Earning extra money from a side hustle is a great way of supplementing lost income or saving for upcoming expenses, and with the pandemic not slowing down any time soon, the need for new sources of income is growing every day. Since March of this year I have had numerous readers reach out to me with questions about earning money online. Looking over the email responses I had composed I wanted to condense that information and share my tips with the rest of my readers.
Before I share my tips, I want to point out there are tons of options for earning money online but not all are created equal. I want to share with you tips that allow you to earn money from home comfortably while keeping your sanity and keeping your mind focused on your career and personal well-being.
Where can you provide value?
The first step to earning money from a home based side hustle is figuring out what you want to offer. The best way to do that is to think about where you can provide value to others. It does not need to be a professional skill like accounting or tech support, you can sell your poetry, fitness videos, fashion advice or any other talent you might have.
Create a comfortable work-space
No matter what you choose to do, you need to have a comfortable workspace or home office. If you are used to working from an office or retail location you will quickly find that you need a dedicated space that allows you to focus on the task at hand. This was something I neglected in my early days of working from home. It was not until I changed my environment that I actually started being productive.
Set a schedule
Making money from a side-hustle while managing a household and/or maintaining a career is difficult. It will take time and effort to establish yourself but you can’t let it take over your life. I found that setting a schedule for myself was a great help. I always dedicate a certain number of hours per week to my side hustle and I force myself to put everything down when the time comes. If you want to succeed in this over the long term, sticking to your schedule is a necessity.
Establish your web presence
With the new developments in artificial intelligence, DIY web design tools will allow you to have a website up and running within a few hours. Most of these design platforms are intuitive to use and very affordable. Expect to pay anywhere from $2.99 to $30 a month for the domain, design and hosting. If you are looking to build a more customized website to suit your needs, try some WordPress themes.
Find sources of work
Over the last 10 years, many startups have made it their missions to help freelancers find work online. There are countless platforms that cover almost any line of work. You can use a platform that is industry specific like Dribbble or you can offer almost any service on a platform like Upwork. These sites allow you to tell the world about your products or services and bid on projects on your own terms.
Invoice and get paid
When I first got started working from home I was surprised to find that collecting the money was one of the most difficult parts of being self-employed. Putting together invoices, tracking hours and setting up the payment process was more difficult than I anticipated. Luckily, there are much better options now than there were in 2008.
I typically give my clients two options, they can pay 50% upfront and the other 50% upon completion or they can place the entire amount in escrow and release the payment when the project is finished. My go-to is the HouseCallPro Invoice Software because it allowed me to automate the invoicing tasks and process payments all in one. There are many other solutions that offer similar services but make sure you read reviews and inform yourself about how they handle disputes. I have made some bad experiences going through the arbitration system if a client refuses to pay.
Now that you have some guidance on where to get started there is nothing holding you back from earning extra cash from home. If you have any advice or want to share your working from home experience, please drop a comment below!