Side Hustles are the hot ticket to wealth these days. With stagnating wages and increased costs of living, making enough to get by has become the dream. So what should you do if you want more? Start a side hustle.
It can generate passive income or just be a place for you to showcase your skills, but do it right. Do it with the intention of it being YOURS. Your own little business.
What is a side hustle?
A side hustle is literally any form of work that earns you income in addition to your “day job”. You could be a dog walker, or a babysitter, even a virtual tutor. The only important thing is that you do it RIGHT and treat it like a business.
Even if you don’t want to start a business, you can still “hustle”. But now is the time to invest your own slice internet real estate and begin building your brand. Creating a place for you to find you skills and share them is a great way to get the ball rolling.
Building a business can sound like a pipe dream. The chance of failure is… exceptional… but most of those statistics don’t consider the social media era. Also, statistics are stupid.
But the business building landscape has shifted. And the tech-savvy can outperform a 30-year veteran (in some cases). The best part? You can start just about any business, and I’d bet there’s a market for it.
What’s better? You don’t always have to work full-time for it to be successful. But a proper side hustle is treated like a business. That’s what gets people side-hustling for full-time income on a part-time schedule. That sounds like a better American Dream than those baby-boomers had in mind.
The secret’s in the sauce
Not in the Fried Green Tomatoes sense. This sauce is that modern mix of resources that run the core of any budding business. And the resources you need are more accessible today than ever before. So if you’re hoping to build a business (or two), you can actually start right now! Follow this list to start creating your very own money-maker.
*this post contains affiliate links, so I may receive a commission if you purchase from any of them. I only promote products/services that I trust and use myself. Please see the disclosure for more details.
1. Fully Functioning Website
Buying a domain name isn’t all it takes. You gotta pay for someone to “host” your content on their server. It might sound like a scam, but you’re paying for a lot more than just a website.
My service is provided by BlueHost, and they have saved me a handful of times. With their crazy affordable rate, you STILL get 24/7 tech support, a free SSL certificate (to keep you from dropping off Google’s radar), domain email (firstname.lastname@example.org), and then some.
For “less than a cup of coffee a
I purchased 3 years worth of service for less than $300…!!!! Ya… Totally worth it. And keeps my motivation alive on days when I don’t think I’m into it.
If you haven’t created a website for your side hustling dreams, then start one now and thank me later!
2. A responsive and customizable theme
Being on the web isn’t enough. You need to look good, or at least complete. A good theme is critical. Wordpress has thousands of themes. Many free, many paid. A decent paid theme starts around $40. They look great and all, but the customization can be very difficult. I immediately bought a theme I thought would work, but I switched to a free one within a couple months (at least it’s tax deductible… #facepalm)
THE FIX: My extended/overdue research led me to buy an Elegant Themes membership. And omg, gamechanger. It is absolutely everything I hoped for and more. Not only do you get complete control over your layout, but I feel like I could start offering web design services haha! So easy, so supported, so customizable. It’s a dream.
3. A Logo (and additional outsourcing)
You need a logo, and for a “fiverr” ($5) you can score a logo from a marketplace of creators at Fiverr.
AND! And… just about anything else.
If you want to take a vacation, you can hire a VA to manage your emails/orders/whatever while you enjoy the fruits of your labor. Other services offered range from anything to everything. Writing, editing, proofreading, branding, printing, translating… Check it out here, and consider offering services yourself!
4. A Planner
Planner people, rejoice! Not-so-planner people, it ain’t that bad. Just find what that works for you. There are digital options (Asana, Evernote, etc) that can be accessed from any device, and of course the age-old paper planners.
I’m sure you knew all that. But you might not realize that it doesn’t have to be a “planner” to keep you organized. I got in on the bullet journaling craze and bought a lined notebook from the dollar bin at Target. If you’re more of a list-maker, then I definitely recommend bullet journaling!
Paperchase is my favorite store for all things stationary related (cards, notebooks, planners, desk accessories, scrapbooks…) and they have awesome sales on Planners this time of year. You can check them out here. I
5. Accounting software
Because hosting your website is the first but not the last expense. Save yourself a tax season headache. Keep your books clean with something built for small businesses like Freshbooks. That’s the one I use, and it spares me agony every month.
6. Google Docs
You already have this (it’s free with a google account and you are practically assigned one at birth these days), but I hope you are using it. I use google docs and spreadsheets to track affiliates, my editorial calendar, shopping lists… It’s amazing. It is constantly saving what you’re working on (no more crashes that leave you hours behind), AND it’s saved to your google drive. I can access anything, anytime, anywhere.
For shared storage, Dropbox, Trello, and Evernote are awesome too. But it’s just me at this point 🙂 I’m in the process of hiring my husband for some VA tasks, but you know… masculinity can be a curse haha!
Honestly, I ditched Microsoft Word and traded up for Google Docs (paired with Grammarly). See below.
It’s spell check on steroids. It’s free to start AND you can install an extension for Chrome. That means no silly Facebook status slip-ups and real-time corrections on blog posts (!!!). Get Grammarly for free here.
Not saying you should start a blog, but… You should start a blog. Look around, and you will see that every business has a blog these days.
See here: Coca-Cola and Anthropologie have blogs. Definitely not typical blog wielding industries, yet here they are!
Life moves pretty fast. Don’t hold yourself (or your business) back. Ferris Bueller taught you better than that…
8. An Email Provider
There are quite a few that are popular in the blogging/e-commerce world.This deserves its own post, but I want to give you a mini-comparison of the ones I’ve tried.
New to email marketing? Check out Meera Kothand. She’s the best there is, and she is sooo generous with her expertise.
I’m not the biggest fan of MailChimp It was my first provider (when I had no idea what was going on) and it left me feeling more confused. I worked with it, and decided I’d shop around. There are definitely reasons why it’s so popular.
PROS: free (for the first 1000 subscribers), easily integrated, allows you to attach files to emails.
CONS: not very user/newbie friendly.. wah-wahhh
This the the best by far. I tested it out with a exclusive 30 day free trial and was hooked. But my email list efforts are not worthy (yet).
PROS: absolutely incredible in every way. Easily integrated, pretty forms, awesome support in place. These guys do a lot of handholding, and it’s fabulous. For a price…
CONS: the price… at $29 a month (for a mini list), it’s hard to justify if you’re cheap like me. Many bloggers take that hit in order to avoid the presumed difficult transfer process. It definitely is my favorite. But again, there’s a price.
No complaints at all! I would probably be with them forever if my love affair with Convertkit didn’t exist. I call it the Goldilocks of Email Marketing: It’s just right.
PROS: very similar interface as convertkit, streamlined and handhold-y. FREE for under 1000, then starting at $10/mo. It’s the best of both worlds. It might even be EASIER to customize forms with Mailerlite.
CONS: I mean, nothing. I can’t find a downside with these people! Which is why I’m there 🙂 This could be because of
9. Photo Editing Platforms
Canva, PicMonkey, and even the Adobe Creative Cloud are options. My husband uses the the Adobe Suite for school, so I installed them on my computer (for business reasons, of course). I’m totally clueless, and the Canva is FREE and sooo easy. It does everything you need to do for Pinterest/Facebook/Twitter. But if you’re feeling too limited, both Canva and PicMonkey have paid versions that offer similar tools to Adobe (but way easier to use!).
10. Pin Promoting Literature
It doesn’t matter what business you’re in, Pinterest can still serve you. And Carly at MommyonPurpose nails it with her Ebook, Pinteresting Strategies. I’m very cautious with my blog expenses, but this book came so highly regarded from many sources. I wanted in on the action, and it does not disappoint! I only wish I bought it sooner. It’s so affordable, she’s so generous, and I even scored a discount code.
I literally just bought this, devoured it, and my Pinterest Traffic has already SOARED!
Full Disclosure: My “best day” in pageviews was stuck at 584 for months. Not awesome, but that was a really good day. I generally stayed around the 100-250 mark since October.
And then… I started applying her strategies, and LOOK!
***Since this post went live, I have Maxed Out at an all-time best day of Almost 11,000 pageviews!!***
Her strategy is so well formed that it can work for any niche. I have literally seen overnight success with it. You can buy your copy here!
11. Scheduling Services
Although Carly’s Pinteresting Strategies does not require these services, they are still very helpful tools. Imagine putting your traffic on autopilot. These schedulers do just that and more. They do so much that I won’t even dive deep into them here. It’s exhausting – ha!
Tailwind is awesome, and I reached almost 700k Pinterest views with it! Sadly that was before my blog had been properly “built”, but it was amazing to see the power of Tailwind in action!
Like Boardbooster, you can schedule pins, but you can also reach a much broader audience with their Tailwind Tribes. There are so many tutorials, and this is another one that you see promoted everywhere (for good reason)! Check it out and get a free month of Tailwind here and $15 off if you decide to go all in access and analytics!
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