You may have heard the term side hustle thrown around here and there. It is a term that has both positive and negative connotations. Positive because a side hustle is a way to make extra money on your own terms. Negative because in the gig economy it’s unfortunate that individuals can’t make a decent living without having some kind of side job. And yes mammas, raising kids is work! That should be enough contribution right? Sadly no, our economy and culture doesn’t value the work families do to support the next generation.
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So what do you do when you need additional income but can’t work a full-time job? Or you’re already working full-time but still need extra money? One option is to create a side-hustle, but what does that mean?
The Anatomy of a Side Hustle
Put simply, a side hustle is an income stream that you create to make money in addition to your regular day job. This isn’t just a second job – it’s an income stream that YOU create to earn extra income.
It’s called a side hustle because you need to have hustle or drive to succeed with you side gig. Since this isn’t just a second job with a different boss looking over your shoulder, everything pertaining to your side hustle depends on you. A positive outlook and self motivation are essential to making it work.
Why? Because this isn’t a get rich quick scheme, it takes work and dedication. You’ve got to break away from the pack and win.
Typically a side hustle starts with a small monetary investment. More often than not, they start out as bare bones endeavors. Nick Loper of Side Hustle Nation started his first business with 5 bucks. I’ve been selling items on ebay and Amazon that I find at thrift stores for years. Simply put, it isn’t necessary to have a large sum of money upfront to start your side business. All you need is a good idea and a willingness to try something different.
The largest investment you’ll probably make in your side hustle is your time.
A side hustle is scrappy. It’s beginnings may be humble, but it’s purpose is to make you money and/or make you happy!
Sometimes a side hustle might even bring in more money than your regular gig but for one reason or another you can’t quit your day job. Perhaps you’re a stay at home mom, that’s your day job and your side hustle would be the extra money you bring in from your own business.
The coolest part of having a side hustle is how much fun it can be. A “side hustle” is your baby, your dream, your business. The “fun” part is watching your business grow. Yes it’s work, but it’s your work, and you control it.
Perhaps you have a special talent or hobby that you can monetize. There are ways to make money from doing the things you love, you’ve just got to think creatively to figure out how to make money from them. It might be as simple as opening an etsy shop or selling your graphic designs on fiverr. You can experiment and push your limits without a ton of risk.
Ideas for a Successful Side Hustle
The sky is the limit when deciding what kind of side hustle you want to do. I’ve compiled a few ideas to help you get started but don’t let this list limit you. Try to think outside of the box.
Easy Side Hustle: Blogging
One of the easiest and cheapest way to start a side hustle is to start your own blog.
Sometimes I think “blog” is the wrong word to call sites like this one. We typically think of a “blog” as a type of online journal but really they are so much more! Women like you and me have turned “blogging” into a huge industry by creating content that informs and teaches people about things that they are actively looking to learn.
A blog can inform readers on anything – from the trials and tribulations of motherhood, the intricate details of paper crafting, the ins and outs of marketing strategies, car maintenance for the clueless, over-thirty skin care techniques -your blog can cover whatever you want! The focus of your blog is solely up to you. If you have a passion for something, anything, and you know a little more about it than the average person, you can create an amazing blog!
There are a lot of benefits to starting a new blog. Blogging as a side hustle has very low overhead. You can get started for as little as $3.45 a month with web hosting through Bluehost. Plus, if you use my link you’ll receive a free domain name.
Another benefit of starting a blog as a side hustle is that you can have more than one. In fact, blogging is an excellent way to document any other side hustles you are starting. People love to follow and read about the beginnings of new businesses, even if they are ultimately not successful. Plus, writing about your new business is a great way to step back and think critically about the business decisions you make. It is also a great way to problem-solve issues that may arise as you learn how to make money from your side hustle.
Ways to Make a Side Income As a Blogger
Learn how to make your own courses: Melyssa Griffen’s Blog to Biz Hive
Learn to use affiliate links: Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing
Monetize your email list.
Sell New or Used Items with Amazon FBA
I began selling antiques online with ebay. The market has changed over the past ten years and now Amazon is king. Luckily for you, it is fairly simple to start selling on Amazon.
The easiest way to do this is using the Amazon FBA program. FBA stands for Fulfilled By Amazon. Basically, you ship the items you want to sell to Amazon. They store your items until someone buys them through the Amazon marketplace. Then, Amazon ships the items directly to the customer. This is nice because all of your items stored at Amazon are automatically part of the Prime program. This means that everyone who has Prime is going to buy your items first. Why? Because the customer gets free two-day shipping. They cool part is that you don’t have to worry about anything. Once you’ve shipped the items to Amazon, you don’t have to worry about them any more.
If this sounds interesting but overwhelming, check out this really informative post from The Selling Family on how they started their FBA side hustle in their living room. It’s really inspiring and I can attest that this does work!
You can read about my experience selling with Amazon FBA here.
Become a Paid Freelance Writer
Freelance writing is an excellent way to get started as a work at home mom. If you enjoy writing and are semi-decent at it, you should give this one a shot. There are plenty of resources that can help you get started and lots of job boards where you can find potential freelancing clients.
One of the quickest and easiest way to be a successful freelance writer is to focus on a particular topic, or niche, to write about. That way, you can really pinpoint the type of writing you want to do AND they type of clients you want to attract.
If you have no idea what topics (or niches) you’re going to focus on, it makes it really hard to attract your ideal clients.
If you don’t know where to start you can begin writing for content mills like Textbroker and move up from there. Content mills are places that pay you to write short articles for their clients. You’ll start out making a few dollars per piece but as you gain authority, the amount you earn will go up.
Making Your Side Hustle Work
Take your time while you figure out what type of side business you want to start. This is not a “get rich” thing, but a long process that will probably start out pretty slow.
Just remember, a side hustle is up to you. Dream big!
A word of warning, don’t get sucked into any kind of “home business” that requires you to pay for their “services.” There are plenty of legitimate lost cost ways you can start a side business.
Remember, the joy of a “side hustle” is working your tail off on something that you create and own. Make it yours.