WAHM

How to Launch Your Online Side Hustle Today

You’ve been thinking and dreaming about a side hustle for months now.

You’ve finally decided you want to start a side hustle, but you just don’t know how to start it. You don’t mind working at your day job, but you know you don’t want to be working there forever.

How to Launch Your Online Side Hustle Today

Having a side hustle – whether you’re a stay-at-home mom like me or a full-time working mom out of the house – is the first step to having the freedom to control your destiny.

Okay. That sounds a little cheesy, I know, but it’s true!

For those of you who don’t know what a side hustle is, it’s when you do extra work on the side of your full-time work to earn a bit of income. And if you do it right, this can eventually be your main hustle.

No more gossipy co-workers or a nagging boss to hear everyday. With a side hustle business you have the option to earn enough cash on the side to quit your day job. Wouldn’t that be nice?

But, let’s not get too ahead of ourselves.

If you want to start a side hustle today and have no clue where to start, here are six steps you need to follow for a successful launch!

Side Hustle Plan

1. Monetize Your Passion

monetize

For most of us, you may have no idea what you could side hustle. If you’re not crafty and not interested in making scarves or leg warmers, what can you offer?

Ideally, you want to find something you LOVE doing, you’re good at and people are going to pay you for it.

If you’re still stuck, here’s a post on 22 different freelance services you can offer.

Some popular side hustles include:

  • Freelance Writing – As a stay-at-home mom I started my freelance business on the side. I worked 4 hours a day and was able to make a living as writer!
  • Virtual Assisting –  If you’re super organized you can be a virtual assistant for other bloggers and business owners.
  • Blogging – I’m also a blogger and have several blogs!
  • Start an Etsy Shop – Nikki of Mommy My Way sells products on the side.

What if you have something you love doing and you’re good at, but there’s no market for your passion?

Try considering something else you’re sort of good at. I didn’t choose freelance writing as my side hustle because I’m some great writer.

I chose it because it looked like something fun to do and I enjoy writing. So, if you enjoy photography or copywriting or designing, consider those services for your side hustle.

2. Make Space

make-space

Okay, let’s get real here.

If you want to grow your side hustle and really make it your thang, you need a dedicated space in your place.

For me, my desk and laptop are in my main bedroom practically in the closet (I can touch my shirts and jeans).

For you, it may just be a nook in the kitchen or in your spare room. No matter where it is, just having that space makes your side hustle feel legit.

It turns your passion and hobby into a biz and gives you that extra confidence that what you’re doing can become successful and profitable. I mean, just look at Melyssa Griffin! She was offering design services, but once she was making enough moola with her blog, she gave that service up!

3. Create a Schedule

create-schedule

Having a side hustle takes a lot of dedication and commitment. And it takes time.

If you work full-time, then when do you side hustle? It’s not like you can only do it on the weekend, especially if you are trying to build an online business.

For most people they wake up earlier and work on their hustle when they come home from their day job.

They also work on the weekends.

Since I freelance write part-time, I consider this my side hustle. I’m a full-time mama here!

But, now that my twins attend school, I entered the world of full-time blogging and had to learn to manage my time and create a plan around my blog.

If you need more tips to maximize your productive times, check out my post on 26 ways to supercharge your productivity.

4. Get a PayPal Account

pay-pal-account

You want to get paid right? Since your side hustle is online, you need an easy way to get paid.

PayPal is a universal online payment system and most businesses and solopreneurs use it.

There is a small transaction fee of 2.9% so just chalk it up to doing business. Since you’ll be using your PayPal account for your side hustle, opt for a business account if you want, but it’s probably not necessary at first if you’re just freelancing it up.

You’ll be able to send invoices to your clients and receive payments from your customers.

5. Track Your Hustle

track-side-hustle

You’re actually running a business, so it’s a pretty good idea to keep track of what’s going on.

The easiest way to start is with a P&L sheet. This tracks your profits and losses.

You can easily draft this in Google Sheets or on Microsoft Excel. Do a month-to-month P&L and see how much your side hustle is making you. If you notice it’s on the up and up, you can start to really think of the idea of turning it into your main hustle.

You’ll also want to track your deductions for taxes. I typically set aside 30% of my earnings each month, but check out how much you should set aside in your home state.

Just remember, if you make more than $400 as a self-employed person, you’ll have to file a tax return, even if you otherwise wouldn’t be required to.

Other things you want to keep track of are:

  • Receipts
  • Invoices sent
  • Payments (if outsourcing)
  • Projects
  • Pitches sent

6. Develop a Hustle Strategy

hustle-strategy

This is it! Up until now, you haven’t officially started hustling. But now you’re ready.

You need to come up with a plan to generate income with your side hustle. Since I have a serviced-based business, rather than a customer-based business like an Etsy Shop, here’s a strategy to help you get noticed and earn you some cash.

The hustle strategy is a plan to get your name out there. Right now, no one knows you have anything to offer.

Maybe you’ve been blogging on the side for the last year and now you want to start doing Pinterest images for other bloggers.

Whatever you choose as your side hustle you’ll want to focus on blogging about it and pitching.

Develop a Blog Content Schedule

If you already have a blog or you need a blog for your side hustle, you want to come up with a schedule that highlights and promotes your services.

Let’s imagine for a minute.

You want to do some virtual assistant work so you create posts around the problem prospects face. Some blog post ideas might be:

  • 45 Things You Can Outsource to a VA
  • Solopreneur? Why You Need a VA Yesterday
  • 120 Ways You Can Be More Productive in Your New Business

By focusing on the problem – not enough time, too many tasks to do in a day, having to take responsibility for all parts of a business etc.. – you can create blog posts around that and highlight the benefits of having a VA on your side.

Pitch Your Little Heart Out

What is pitching?

Basically it’s a “speech” on why your services are perfect for a prospect’s business. If you are a freelance writer you might mention how your writing has generated hundreds of shares (even if it was only that one blog post you wrote a year ago).

If you want to do Pinterest marketing you can talk about how you were able to double or triple your following and how it’s your #1 referral for traffic.

Who do you pitch to?

There’s two methods I use to find clients. They are: cold pitching and pitching to job ads.

Cold pitching means you scout out companies, bloggers or start-ups and pitch them your services. They aren’t actively seeking anyone so your pitch has to really convey the benefits to having a writer or social media marketer or a designer for customized social media banners.

Pitching to job ads isn’t as hard-core, since you know these prospects are seeking someone out. Here you want to explain what you do and how you can help them out.

For example, here’s a job ad for a blog writer on ProBlogger:

job-ad

Basically you follow the instruction on how to apply and wait to see if they hire you.

Make sure to grab my free side hustle promotion kit to get more job sites, sample pitch emails and more!

7. Start a Blog

If side hustling is really what you want to do, then the best avenue to take is to start a blog. When I started my freelance writing business, that was the first thing I did. I created a couple of blog posts and shared it on my social media channels. This got my name out and helped prospects find me!

***if you want to start a successful side hustle business, start a blog! Here’s my step-by-step tutorial on how to start a blog in only 10 minutes!**

A blog also helps define your expertise in your niche. For example, if you want to set up an Etsy shop and sell your printables, you can still start a blog and provide useful tips on using your printables, why yours are superior and creative ways to use your printables.

Or, if you are a coach for mamas, your blog can focus on tips to help moms run a successful home life or business or both!

Side Hustle Balance

Having a full-time job or children to take care of during the day and finding time to run a side hustle can be a challenge.

I’m not the perfect mom; if my kids squeal with delight when I stop folding the laundry to play with them, then I know I’m working too much.

But, I always think about the why behind doing this. I chose to stay home and work so that I could take care of my twins. So that I can be the one to put them down for their naps or cook their meals.

And you can do the same too.

Starting your own side hustle is one of the best things you can do for you and your family!

What are you waiting for?

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44 Comments

You are awesome! Thank you.Reply to Sherlyn
Another great ? post . Thank you for your helpful information.Reply to Donna
Hey Donna! You’re welcome! Glad you liked the tips to start a side hustle business!Reply to Elna
I always get questions about starting a side hustle, and I’ll definitely share your tips!Reply to Phon
That’s great to hear! So glad this post was helpful!Reply to admin
Thanks for sharing. Very helpful information.Reply to Shevaughn
I’m so terrible with mapping out my time! It’s hard to have an online side hustle when Netflix is calling your name lol. I love your P&L idea and I’m sure it helps when tax season rolls around again!Reply to Jessica
Hey Jessica! Yes! I’m terrible with time management. It can be 5 pm and I have NO idea what to cook for dinner! Or, it’s the end of the month and I have like 10 projects due in five days! But, I’m still managing and my biz is doing well too!Reply to Elna
As a blogger, side-hustling is important! I have a few ideas and lots to choose from now, thanks for the free promo- kit and awesome inspiration!Reply to Forest
Hi Forest Rose! Thanks so much. Yes, having a side hustle is a challenge but it’s a great way to transition from working for others to working for yourself! Thanks for grabbing the free kit!Reply to Elna
I cannot imagine working and blogging! That’s a lot of work! But I loves the photos on the blog post! Bright and eye catching!Reply to Alexie
Hey there Alexie! Love your blog btw! Your baby looks adorbs 🙂 Yes, I actually blog on lots and lots of blogs, ha, but that’s my work. I don’t consider TwinsMommy or my other site as work. I LOVE blogging and I have so much fun with the graphics too! Thanks for stopping by.Reply to Elna
I am semi retiring soon (as a psychotherapist and career counselor) and already have a Coaching private practice that is growing. I am an old hippie Boomer who finds that advice from millennials is useful and refreshing. Your suggestions for a home business will work for anyone of any generation who is committed to succeeding at starting up a side hustle or a “retirement” business. I will incorporate your ideas into my business plan. I found you on Pinterest and am glad you are there as I have recently dropped off of Facebook. Thanks for the inspiration, best wishes with your family and venture.Reply to Jonni
Hi Jonni! Thanks so much for stopping by. Oh, and telling me you found me on Pinterest! So glad you said that. I’m trying to find out where most of my readers are coming from, so this is useful info for me 🙂 That’s great you want to start a side hustle when you retire. I hope to keep my side hustle when my twins marry off!Reply to Elna
Great info! Saving to reference :))Reply to Sarah
Hey Sarah! Thanks. Glad you liked my post on having a side hustle.Reply to Elna
This is so helpful! I’m so glad I’ve found you here and on Pinterest. I’m a (new) blogger who would also love to branch into freelance writing. Extra income as a mama of three would be wonderful!Reply to Aimee
Hey Aimee, That’s great 🙂 So glad you told me you found me on Pinterest! I’m finding that Facebook is generating more of a following so this is good to know! Happy to hear you are interested in freelance writing. I will be writing about that subject over on TwinsMommy, but if you can’t wait I blog all about it over on ElnaCain.com Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! I’ll be sure to check out your site!Reply to Elna
This is way too much awesome content for me to digest in one sitting. I had to bookmark it and keep the tab open so I can read it when I have more time to concentrate.Reply to Ann
Ha! Thanks Ann, Love to hear you’re gonna sit down and digest this like a mom-boss! 🙂 Enjoy..Reply to Elna
This is such a great outline of how to start a side hustle! Great info. You also provided helpful links that apply so many different types of side hustles.Reply to Emily
Hi Emily! Thanks so much. Starting your own side hustle can be overwhelming right? There’s soo many things you have to do. But, I feel if you just do one thing at a time and on your own time frame, it won’t seem so hard. Glad you enjoyed my post!Reply to Elna
Oh I love this. I actually am trying to figure out what could be my side hussle. (I’ve been working really hard to get my blogging going) as I’m a SAHM of 4 and our oldest is heading to College come the Fall and OH MAN OH MAN…. can you AHHHHH lol… I can’t work out of the home because of our youngest just yet so I need to get it together and make at least some food money for my son since Hubby is basically taking care of the the home base. Thanks so much for sharing!Reply to Ellie
Hi Ellie! Sounds like your plate is full! 🙂 That’s how moms roll eh? There’s never a dull moment. So happy to hear you want to start a side hustle and blog. For me, I found freelance blogging a great services for stay-at-home moms. I’ll be posting about freelance writing hear and there or you can jump over to my other blog to learn more! (ElnaCain.com)Reply to Elna
I’m like raising hands emoji to the one about planning because it’s so important! I went a year and a half without using one and didn’t realize how much it would improve things for me! I even have a blog binder now with all the downloaded worksheets and free goodies I receive from successful bloggers.Reply to Channing
Hey Channing! Planning is ultra important eh? I have to admit that I’m a sucky time manager, but an okay planner. I really need my to-do lists and digital organizers and even my husband telling me, to get anything done around the house! That’s a good idea to have a binder of all the goodies you grab from bloggers!Reply to Elna
Love this – especially #2. Totally inspired now 🙂Reply to Marissa
Hi Marissa! Thanks. Are you interested in launching a side hustle soon? Keep me updated girl!Reply to Elna
This is exactly what I needed. Thank you so much! I just started my own blog and am working on my Etsy store. With homeschooling 6 kids and one of them being special needs it is so hard to find time to eat let alone work my business. Thank you for the encouragement.Reply to Samantha
Samantha! What a inspiration you are! Six kids! I have twins and I’m totally struggling having it all together. I think the other day I was running around sans deodorant! I also know the challenges your face with a special needs child and my heart and support goes to you! I have done therapy for children with autism for many years before I had my twins. Every day can be grueling, but it’s just another day for your child to learn 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!Reply to Elna
Really great post here! I’m not ready to start side hustling but you’ve literally answered every question I had! Bookmarking ?Reply to Jess
Hey Jess! That’s great to hear. You’ll know when you’re ready to start a side hustle! It’s a big step, but totally the RIGHT step. Good luck.Reply to Elna
These are such helpful tips! Can’t wait to utilize your side hustle promotion kit! Rachel | http://www.seashellsandsparkles.comReply to Rachel
Hey Rachel! Thanks so much. I’m super excited to see all these side hustler bosses!Reply to Elna
Hi Elna, As always this is very detailed. I have no idea when do you write all that stuff. There is so many information and great resources on your page. All the time something new comes up. I feel like you write day and night. Ha-ha! I’ll be honest. The worst part for me is organization. I like creativity and freedom but there are always some rules. There are rules about how to promote, behave, make page(s) I need something refreshing. I just love it to create. But to do list are dull. It doesn’t work for me. Any idea that might help?Reply to Rahela
Hi Rahela, Thanks! It might appear I’m at all all day, but I’m actually not! Writing posts for this site and my other site are easy and don’t take a lot of time. Practice typing and writing in your niche helps! Organization isn’t my strongest suit but I seem to to know where everything is. Having a home for everything is key! As for list posts, I love them so I can’t really help you there! Ha, you can jazz them up with interviews, round-ups or case studies 🙂 Good luck.Reply to Elna
This is a great guide to finding your own niche and running with it! I love that theres actually a section about balancing it all – most guides forget that we’re people and not machines. I’m inspired 🙂Reply to Juliet
Aww thanks girl! We are people, although I know my son would absolutely go GA-GA if I really was a ROBOT! 🙂 He’s into bots lately. Yeah it’s important to balance it all because, I mean, you’re working full-time AND running a side biz AND having to take care of the house AND take care of yourself (shower anyone?)…so yeah..gotta keep on top of that. So happy to see some loyal followers happening 🙂 Gonna be a great blog growth update next month!Reply to Elna
Thanks for linking to some awesome blogs! I’d really like to make blogging my side hustle. I’ve been blogging consistently for a few months, but it has been hard for me to gain a community of followers. Any tips?Reply to Emily
Hey Emily! Are you looking for a community of bloggers or side hustlers or creatives? There’s a lot on Facebook (I mention some in my free 15-page promo kit). The best thing is to comment on other blogs, get to know other people in your niche and maybe do some guest posting and build your list! You can make your own community too you know 🙂 That’s great you want to make blogging your side hustle. It can totally work. So many other people and mamas are kicking but doing it!Reply to Elna
I’ve never heard of the term “side hustle” even though I’ve known about work-from-home opportunities for quite some time. I’ve had the desire to work from home for not just weeks, but years. Frankly, I’m scared to death that I wouldn’t be able to “pull it off” and survive. Thanks for sharing this .Reply to Anita
Hey Anita, Yeah, “side hustle” is just a term for your side business or if you’re “moonlighting” as a freelance writer for example. As freelancers we hustle, so it’s just an extension of that. That’s great you are wanting to work form home and having a side hustle is PERFECT! You know why? Because it gives you a test run to see if your biz is successful. Carve out some time and set up a site and start your service. Take it slow and see what grows, right? I’m glad you found some tidbits in my guide and email me if you ever need help getting started 🙂Reply to Elna
This is such helpful information! Thanks for sharing:) findingthewardrobe.comReply to Rachel
Hi Rachel! Thanks so much. Do you have a side hustle or are you itching to start one soon?Reply to Elna