The answer is Yes.
I have been toying with this idea of not depending on the day job alone and having a backup source of income. I had seen a lot of articles and youtube videos that explain about Gig Economy and how you can make money on the side. By money, I mean really good money.
Before I start daydreaming about how much I can earn, I wanted to address the basic question – Can I even make money from Side Hustle? Not how much I can but simply if I can. I have done some basic exploration on this topic last year. Following are three of the many ways available.
You can turn on advertisements in your blog if you have that option. You can use Google Adwords. I chose the default one that comes with WordPress and enabled the ad to be shown up in every post. Did I make money last year? Yes but just 86 cents. For this to work, there are a lot of factors involved
- You have to post consistently
- You have to post on topical contents
- You have to use SEO effectively
- You have to use social media to drive traffic to your blog site.
- Most importantly, you have to provide value to your readers.
I did none of these and yet I made 86 cents. There is potential to make money and how much depends on how you learn the skill and utilize it.
Personally, this is my least favourite way as someone who hates ads myself. Eventually, I may get rid of these ads from my site. If you use a basic version of WordPress, WordPress displays its own ad anyways so, for the readers, I am not sure if it will make any difference.
Affiliate Marketing is when you tie up with some platform and drive traffic to these platforms through your blog. For example, a product recommendation. When somebody goes to these platforms via the affiliate link in your blog and they purchase some product, you get a small percentage of it. The rate depends on the product.
Did I make money? Yes. But only $5. But there is potential to make large amount of money. In general, people find a niche and set up a website just for that niche. Take camera gear for an example. One site may specialize in cameras and its gears and review all the products available in the market. If they have done the SEO right and marketing right, any person searching for camera gear may possibly end up in their site and potentially might go and buy via the affiliate link.
There are lot of companies which have affiliate programs.
Freelancing is something I have tried in the past and had no luck. I had no clue about how freelancing worked back then. Last year, I signed up for Fiverr and looked at all the sellers and buyer requests. I wanted to do freelancing on writing but it is very competitive. I can do technical topics but I was in an ethical dilemma as it was related to my full time day job. So I decided to find a niche and decided to translate contents from English to Tamil and vice versa. I managed to land an offer within a week.
Did I make money? Yes. $25 for one job and I spent 2 hours on that. Can I make more money? Yes, absolutely. I can see people doing freelancing full time. It depends on what value you offer, the quality of work you produce and how you differentiate yourselves. It is also hard work like anything else.
Fiverr is just one platform. There are many more. There are sites that would pay you if you spend 20 minutes on the site they provide and you provide your feedback on the UI.
None of these require your previous work experience or your credentials. Maybe a slight upfront investment. Last year, I set myself a goal of $100 from the side hustles. The idea was that it would pay for my website hosting charges. But I earned only a third of my goal. To be honest, I wasn’t being serious and I did not post consistently. If I had, maybe I would have hit the goal.
One of the first few books that I read was The 10x Rule by Grant Cardone. One idea from that book that got stuck in my mind was to increase the target/goal by 10x. Even if you fail to meet the goal, you would have made far more than what you were going to originally set as a goal.
Let me give this a try and set my target to $1000 this year. I have nothing to lose. Better to try and know rather than just assume. I will tell you next year how I performed on this goal.
“Never reduce a target. Instead, increase actions. When you start rethinking your targets, making up excuses, and letting yourself off the hook, you are giving up on your dreams!”Grant Cardone, The 10x Rule
Happy new year!
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