How to Turn an Interest into an Income: Tips for Setting Up a New Side Hustle

2020 has been an extraordinary year. While many people have switched to working from home, others have found themselves with more free time as a result of reduced working hours or losing their job altogether.

If you have found yourself in a situation where you need new income streams, have you thought about setting up a side hustle? This year of unprecedented headlines and highs and lows has taught us that flexibility and agility are essential.

In this guide, we’ll discuss how to turn an interest into an income. 

How to Earn an Income from Your Side Hustle

1. Rediscovering and exploring passions and hobbies

For many of us, the last six months have provided opportunities to slow down, take stock of our lives and devote more time to hobbies and interests.

If you’re unemployed, or your workload has decreased due to the pandemic, you might have found yourself rediscovering old hobbies or taking up new pastimes.

Having a hobby is proven to be beneficial for health and wellbeing, but it can also provide inspiration for new career paths and business opportunities.

If you’re passionate about something, you can set up a side hustle, which will bring you joy and enjoyment, as well as a wage.

If you’re toying with the idea of embracing the freelance lifestyle or establishing a new business, think about what you are passionate about, how you like to spend your time and what interests you the most.

This should be the starting point of any plan for a new venture.

2. Inspiration for your new side hustle

The beauty of a side hustle is that it gives you freedom and flexibility.

You can devote as much or as little time as you like to your new business, using it to top up your salary or act as your primary income stream.

There are all kinds of ideas you can take inspiration from and build on to develop your own business plan.

Here are some suggestions to explore.

Writing

Do you enjoy writing? Do you find yourself wanting to comment or share your views when you read articles or browse blogs?

If you’re a creative person, you love to write and you feel like you’ve got a lot to say, why not pursue a career in writing or set up your own blog?

You could look into freelance opportunities, launch a blog to share features and articles, or contact websites or local newspapers and magazines to find out about paid roles or internships.

Writing is a hobby, but it can also be lucrative. Blogging has exploded in the last decade, and some sites generate vast incomes through advertising, affiliate marketing and targeted promotions and subscriptions.

If you have a talent, you enjoy putting pen to paper, and you want to interact with others and build a community, there are several ways to make money. 

Read also: How to Start a Blog That Makes $1000/Month: Free Guide for Beginner Bloggers

Sports

3 Home-Based Careers Well Worth Considering

Whether you love training, you live for the gym or you spend every spare minute flicking through the sports channels, it’s beneficial to think about ways you could turn your passion for sports into a viable side hustle.

For gym bunnies and those who love to get out and about and work up a sweat, it’s possible to undertake training and gain qualifications to become a trainer, but there are other options.

You could look into designing your own fitness plans, creating a new brand of sports drinks or gym equipment or set up a virtual gym for people who are working out from home to hang out together, meet like-minded souls and access workouts and classes.

For those who prefer to spectate rather than participate, blogging and podcasting are great options.

If you know everything there is to know about Lionel Messi, you’re always up to date with the latest transfer gossip, or you can’t help but provide a running commentary every time you catch a basketball or football game, why not use your talents to boost your income?

You could start a weekly or monthly podcast, you could set up your own sports blog or you could write features and articles for a sports website.

Millions of people all over the globe have an interest in playing and watching sports, and there is a captive audience ready and waiting for fresh new content. 

Consulting

Consulting is an excellent career choice for those who want to utilize their expertise and experience in certain sectors and fields to earn more.

Some consultants work traditional hours in an office setting, but more and more people are choosing to go freelance or set up their own consulting businesses.

If you establish your own side hustle, you can take charge of your schedule, you can decide which clients to take on and you can set your own prices.

Whether you have experience in marketing and sales, IT and technology or business development, it’s worth thinking about how you could use your skills to forge a more lucrative career path, which offers you greater flexibility and control. 

Learning, training and teaching

The Internet has revolutionized the way we learn. Today, thanks to the web, anyone can become a teacher or mentor.

If you have skills, professional experience or talents you’re keen to share, you can use the Internet to make money. You can design web courses, share video tutorials or host webinars, for example.

From cooking and baking to accounting, web design, personal training and digital marketing, you can earn money in exchange for imparting your wisdom and teaching people how to develop and hone new skills.

Read also: How to Make Money Teaching English Online in 2020

3. Monetizing your ideas

Once you’ve come up with an ingenious idea for your new side hustle, the next step is to figure out how you’re going to make money.

Whether you’re setting up a blog, you’re offering freelance services, or you want to create online courses or share videos or podcasts, you need to be able to generate an income.

To do this, you’ll need to work out how you’re going to fund the venture, how you’re going to promote it and attract viewers, readers or customers and how you’re going to earn money. 

4. Funding your side hustle

The amount of money required to get a side hustle off the ground will vary according to the type of business.

In some cases, a very small investment will be needed, but in others, you may have to outlay a significant sum to start recouping funds.

Before you devote time, energy and money into any kind of business, make sure there is a demand for the services you are planning to offer.

If demand is low, the chances of success are slim. Look for gaps in the market, check out the competition and gather information about your ideal customer or reader.

Think about how you’re going to fund the venture.

Have you got savings you could use? Are you looking to borrow from a friend or family member? Are you considering taking out a loan?

Cost everything out before you advance any further and weigh up the pros and cons of each option available to you. 

5. Promoting your venture and attracting attention

You’ve got a brilliant idea and you’re ready and raring to go. The next step is to shout about your business from the rooftops.

Define your ideal buyer and use the findings of market research to establish the best ways to market and promote your products or services.

You can use social media, set up a website and optimize content to drive traffic from search engines and paid ads or post flyers through the door if you’re looking to attract local customers. 

6. Earning money

It’s hugely beneficial to have a job you love, but you also need to think about how you’re going to put food on the table and keep a roof over your head.

The next box to cross is figuring out how you’re going to earn money.

Are you going to charge a set fee for freelance services? Are you going to monetize your blog by running ads or promoting products for brands? Are you offering businesses the chance to advertise on your podcast? Are you hoping to offer a subscription service? Are you setting a fee for exclusive content or access to premium training courses or webinars?

Research is incredibly valuable at this point. Look at what your competitors are doing, explore successful models and ask your target customers how much they would be willing to pay and what kinds of services and features they would pay for.

More and more people are shunning the 9-5 in favor of more flexible options. If you’re keen to change career paths, or you’re thinking about setting up a side hustle to boost your income, it’s often beneficial to focus on your interests and passions.

It’s possible to turn your interest into an income stream and to use your talents, your skills and your experience to forge a successful career.

Before you start planning, think about your passions and hobbies, figure out how you’re going to make money and conduct thorough research. Get to know your target customer, market and promote your venture and make sure you have watertight plans in place to increase your earnings. 

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