How much did I make from side-hustles in 2021?

At the beginning of this year, I wrote Can you earn money from Side Hustles based on my experience experiments in 2020. This post seemed to have been interesting for a lot of people and was single-handedly responsible for the likes, views and follower count increase this year. I set a lofty goal of $1000 through freelancing in 2021. I thought I will give an update on how I fared.

I will come to the point directly. I missed the goal by a thousand miles. Now let’s dive deep into the specifics and the excuses.

In the last post, I had talked about three of the many side hustles that I wanted to try.

  1. WordPress Ads
  2. Freelancing
  3. Affiliate Marketing

WordPress Ads

To make money from WordPress Ads there are two key elements

  1. Quantity – You have to write and post a lot
  2. Quality – You have to write stuff that are useful to others.

My blog had neither this year. I wrote a little more than how many days are there in a week. And definitely not useful. Also, I got frustrated with the ubiquitousness of the advertisements and made my blog ad-free. With that went my hard-earned 95 cents through the ads. I wrote about this here: Ad-Free

Affiliate Marketing

The fundamental requirement for making money through affiliate marketing is that you promote the products and the links in your posts. Which requires that you write more. Obviously, I failed to meet this basic requirement this year and as expected made nothing from this. The excuse that I gave myself was that I need to start a niche blog to promote products. That requires writing more too.


This is where I can say I made some progress this year especially in the first half. Through my gigs at Fiverr, I was able to complete 8 orders and made USD 63.20. Not bad. The niche that I chose was not too common and most of the people who approached also had a very tight budget. I felt it was not worth spending my time on those and had to turn down many. However, I do believe that there is an immense potential to make money through this platform if you are serious and have skills that are in demand.

I made $63 in the first five months of this year and was looking decent. At this point, I started feeling complacent at the day job I was doing and started looking for a change. I landed a new job in a month and joined the new organization in July. I had a lot to come up to speed at the new job and freelancing totally went out of my head. I had to turn down a few offers that came my way due to time constraints. I made nothing in the second half.

There goes my side-hustle journey for 2021. I made about 64$ in total. If I look purely from the principle of making money from the side-hustles, I failed miserably. However, if I look from the spirit of making a little extra than what I was getting at the time when I took the challenge last year, I made a few times of the goal amount through the job change. It’s not too bad, after all.

While we are on the topic of money, I want to leave you with a favourite quote of mine from the book “The Psychology of Money”.

“Use money to gain control over your time, because not having control of your time is such a powerful and universal drag on happiness. The ability to do what you want, when you want, with who you want, for as long as you want to, pays the highest dividend that exists in finance.” 

Morgan Housel, The Psychology of Money

I wish you and your loved ones a Very Happy New Year and a fantastic 2022. May all your dreams come true. Cheers!

8 thoughts on “How much did I make from side-hustles in 2021?

  1. Very interesting experiments! I liked your page on Fiverr and might contact you about translation one of these days. Nice quote about money as well. Though I would prefer without money. Highly recommend The Dawn of Everything by David Graeber and David Wengrow for more on this.

  2. hey, thanks for the recommendation. It sounds interesting and piqued my interest already. The post is merely a follow up of what I started last year as I wanted to close the loop. I have been thinking/discussing a lot lately about getting out of rat race, freedom and alternate ways of “peaceful” living. I always have been thinking about this but it got catalyzed after my younger brother retired from the high paying IT job and returned to settled down at our village in search of knowledge. Spending time learning Sanskrit and scripture. Will read this book. Thanks!

  3. Re “thelongview”‘s recommendation of “The Dawn of Everything”

    It’s a biased disingenuous account of human history that spreads fake hope (the authors of “The Dawn” claim human history has not “progressed” in stages… so there’s hope for us now that it could get different/better again). As a result of this fake hope porn it has been widely praised. It conveniently serves the profoundly sick industrialized world of fakes and criminals.

    Fact is human history has “progressed” by and large in linear stages, especially since the dawn of agriculture. This “progress” has been fundamentally destructive and is driven and dominated by “The 2 Married Pink Elephants In The Historical Room” ..

    A good example that one of the authors, Graeber, has no real idea what world we’ve been living in and about the nature of humans is his last brief article on Covid where his ignorance shines bright already at the title of his article, “After the Pandemic, We Can’t Go Back to Sleep.” Apparently he doesn’t know that most people WANT to be asleep, and that they’ve wanted that for thousands of years (and that’s not the only ignorant notion in the title). Yet he (and his partner) is the sort of person who thinks he can teach you something truthful about human history and whom you should be trusting along those terms. Ridiculous!

  4. Thanks for your comment. That’s an interesting argument. Guess, I will have to read the book to understand. Wish you a happy & a healthy new year!

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