How to Start Making Money With a Side Hustle

The following post is contributed by Martin of Studenomics, where he tries to make personal finance fun since you have enough to stress about. You can click here to check out the wide range of content on everything from student loans to getting paid to drink coffee. "I need a side hustle. I don't know what I would do though and I don't have enough time." I hear from many people who hate their jobs. They want to start side hustles so that they could make money with their passions and quit their jobs. They just don't know what to do or how to start. So they don't do anything. They keep on reading books on entrepreneurship, but they can't find the time to work on that business. Let's look at how to start a side hustle today so that you can start making some money with your limited spare time... I'll be brutally honest upfront: not everyone's meant to be a full-time entrepreneur and that's okay. You don't have to quit your job and share memes daily about how much you love running your own business. You can start a side hustle that brings in some extra cash as you work on your career. You don't have to neglect your 9-5. You can grow your career and have a fun side hustle that keeps you out of trouble. It's just critical that we all make money on the side because you never know what life can throw at you. How can you start making money with a side hustle?

Step 1: Decide on exactly which side hustle you're going to pursue and then commit.

Do you want to start a side hustle? Okay, then you need to stop doing certain things. Stop reading books, sharing memes about entrepreneurship, and talking about how you want to be the boss. Stop looking for the perfect idea. Start working on something today and adjust as you go. Before we look at what you can do, let's look at what to avoid doing:
  • Selling detox teas.
  • Any pyramid scheme where you have to promote crappy products.
  • Some vague coaching program that doesn't make sense.
  • A complicated system that you don't understand.
  • Working for some company where you have to pay to be in the program.
What are examples of side hustles worth pursuing?
  1. Any service that's in demand (anything from graphic design work on Odesk to being a barber to selling crafts on Etsy).
  2. Something you can offer on an existing platform (renting a room on Airbnb, offering a service on Fiverr, and so on).
  3. Sharing a unique skill that you have (playing the guitar at weddings or editing podcasts).
There are many side hustles worth pursuing. There are also many scams. This is why the next point is extremely important once you've decided what you want to do...

Step 2: Research this specific side hustle.

It's time to conduct a proper look at this venture to see if it's worth your time and energy. Here's the best part about starting any side hustle: everything has been done before. You don't have to start something from scratch. How do you research a side hustle to see if it's worth pursuing?
  1. Find others who are doing it. Is anyone actually doing this? Can you find someone on Facebook? Is this a real thing?
  2. Read articles on the topic from the main authorities. Try to read the introductory articles to get a grasp of how to get started.
  3. Listen to a few podcasts/watch some videos on this niche. Are there any videos that you can watch on this? Can you listen to a few podcasts to get a feel for the niche?
  4. See if there's any money in this venture. Is there any money in this at all? Do you know anyone who's making this work? Can you speak to someone who's actually making this work for them?
I want you to pursue something that has money in it. There are many ventures that simply don't pay. It's okay to have a hobby, but I don't want you to mix up a hobby and a side hustle. Long story short: you can learn a lot about one topic by just studying it for a weekend.

Step 3: Commit to launching within 30 days.

“The only purpose of starting is to finish, and while the projects we do are never really finished, they must ship.” — Seth Godin
Once you think of a side hustle and research it, you have to launch within 30 days. If you can't launch in 30 days, then this isn't for you. You're just going to keep on putting this off for the rest of your life. It's best that you try quickly so that you can move on with your life. You should also accept that it's okay to be ashamed of your first draft. If you're not then it means that you waited too long to launch. I'll say it one more time: You have to commit to launching within 30 days. How do you make this happen? You just do. I'm not here to lecture you or to tell you that you can't ever go out again. The reality is that certain sacrifices will have to be made if you want to grow a brand new side hustle from the ground up. It won't be easy, but it also won't be impossible. Life will be better on the other side when you have a profitable side hustle that's bringing you in money. How do really you make this happen?
  • Lunch breaks at work. You're not busy 24/7 so try to squeeze in any time you can. A little bit of progress here and there will go a long way.
  • Weekends. You don't have to give up your weekends up, but you can put in a few hours on a Sunday morning.
  • Replace mindless scrolling. We're all guilty of this. Try to work on something creative in the mornings before you start scrolling.
  • Find a way. You have to make it happen and I can't stress this enough.
Take the next month to launch. There are people with families and a lot more obligations than any of us who have made the time to grow a business.

Step 4: Launch and spread the word.

It's time to launch. You have to launch it. No excuses and no holding yourself back. Launch and start to spread the word about this new venture or whatever income stream you decide on. How do you spread the word?
  • Reach out to family and friends. See if you have any leads in your network without pitching your friends.
  • Join Facebook groups. Are there groups for like-minded people? I'm in a group for Airbnb Experience hosts who discuss ideas and bounce strategies off each other.
  • Become active in relevant communities. Find where creators hang out and go there.
  • Send out a few emails. See if you know anyone who may be interested.
  • Find relevant hubs. Freelancers will want to spend time on Fiverr/Odesk/Freelancer. If you want to self-publish on Amazon or sell crafts on Etsy then it's pretty self-explanatory.
The way you spread the word will depend on the side hustle so here are a few specific examples:
  1. If you want to sell crafts on Etsy, you may want to start an Instagram account to promote your work.
  2. If you want to do graphic design or editing working, you may want to post examples of your work on Facebook.
  3. If you want to become a barber or some sort of instructor, offer your services to your friends for free in exchange for a testimonial.
This promotion part will be very uncomfortable, especially if you hate marketing and the concept of self-promotion, but you have to spread the word about your side hustle.

Step 5: Work on growing this side hustle or move on.

Experiment until it's time to move on or push through to get to the next level. I know that it's tempting to share quotes about never quitting. However, sometimes quitting could be the best thing for you. You have to work on this venture to see if it's right for you. How do you tell if this idea's working?
  1. People are interacting with you.
  2. You're getting real feedback.
  3. You're finding clients.
  4. You're making money.
  5. You're enjoying it.
Don't expect to get rich in the first six months. I just want you to try to build some momentum so that you set yourself up to make more money in the future. That's how you can grow a side hustle from scratch if you're currently stuck at day one. The entire goal of this article is to give you the permission that you're looking for to launch. Let us know in the comments about what kind of side hustle you plan on launching.

Photo by Andrew Neel from Pexels


Popular Posts