I’m in the business of blogging/influencing full-time for the past 5 months but before that, I was working a Full-Time 42 hour a week job as a Physical Therapist. Even though I was working full-time and blogging was my side hustle, I managed to make about $30,000 from my side hustle while working full-time last year. It’s totally possible to make money from a side hustle or passion project. When Instagram was down for a full day a fews weeks ago, people went nuts. It was my day off, so I didn’t notice so much but there were tons of people laughing at influencers that day, reiterating their hope that they have something to fall back on other than Instagram. Even brands were freaking out wondering how influencers would get their scheduled sponsored content up. It was a crazy day and it showed that it’s always imperative to have some ownership over your side hustle. Here are a few questions to ask yourself when thinking about how to start/create a side hustle or passion that you can monetize.
What are you good at, passionate or knowledgeable about?
You’re probably good at something. Usually that’s something that you’re really passionate about and can be turned into a profitable side hustle. Start with what interests you and what you’re passionate about. Do you love reading and all of your friends come to you for what to read next? Parlay that into a website and email list were you can recommend your favorite books. You can then monetize your website by linking your favorite reads with affiliate links. Affiliate links are websites such as RewardStyle and ShopStyle that you can join to monetize your websites. Maybe you are a makeup guru. You can start a youtube channel or a business doing makeup on the side for parties, events, or special occasions. Maybe you’re an expert at shopping. Do your friends come to you for shopping tips and advice? You can parlay that into a business. The possibilities are endless. The easiest side hustle to make money quickly is in selling products, so if you’re creative in any way, sell that creativity. If you’re hella knowledgeable about something, sell that knowledge.
How will you market that business?
This is the next question after you decide what your side hustle will be. Are you going to rely on word of mouth? That’s a really great marketing strategy especially if you provide services such as personal shopping, makeup, event coordination etc. Word of mouth is gold but you will definitely need a website and probably some form of social media. Millennials will visit an Instagram Profile before visiting a website so it’s critical to the success of your side hustle to have both. Here are 5 East Steps to take your blog, brand or business to the next level. Whether your website is a blog or storefront you want to choose the best place for your product or business. You will have more control over your own website. Pipdig.com has amazing templates for websites and online stores. Squarespace is also a wonderful option for building a website super easy without much experience. Etsy.com is great for selling physical products and digital products as well as Shopify.com. You can even sell your old clothes, shoes and accessories on Poshmark.com or TheRealReal.com for quick cash.
How will you get paid?
Now there are tons of ways to monetize your side hustle. I already mentioned affiliate websites like Rewardstyle or Shopstyle who give you a commission on any purchases made from linked products on your blog or website. Websites like Etsy.com have built in payments systems and for Squarespace website you get paid via stripe.com or paypal.com. Although cash is always king, cash is harder to keep track of as far as bookkeeping and you’re gonna want to have receipts for tax purposes. Yes, even though your hustle is a side hustle, you’re still going to have to pay taxes on any moneys you make during the year.
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Should you LLC?
I sat on this one for a long time. I previously thought that the best route for me as a blogger/independent contractor was to LLC (even though that’d cost me at least $1000 in New York City and an even bigger headache to market in a local newspaper for a few weeks). But I was recently told by an accountant that LLCing is not necessary for my situation and that I could forgo the LLC process and opt instead for Professional/General Liability Insurance which costs between $400-$600 yearly for independent contractors. It’s really up to you if you should LLC or not but I’d read up on both methods and decide which is best for you and your side hustle.
In addition to blogging/influencing campaigns with brands, I monetized my blog with affiliate links to make commissions, sold my knowledge acquired from 9 years of blogging in Pitch Templates and Ebooks, sold my Independent digital and print magazine Steele Magazine, I sold clothing on Poshmark and did a few consulting gigs. Who knows, if your side hustle does well enough it could possibly become your full-time-all-the-time gig! A little extra coins never hurt anyone all it takes is dedication and consistency to make money from the things you already love to do and would probably do for free.
Take The Guess Work Out of Pitching to Brands