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Start Side Hustling, Even If You Don’t Know How

If you follow and read personal finance blogs, chances are you know about side hustling. For those who don’t know, having a side hustle can help you bring in extra income, pursue a passion, and even get out of debt. But how do you side hustle when you don’t know where to start?

20160826 - side hustling - mcdonaldsGet A Part Time Job

One of the easiest ways to start side hustling is to get a part time job. There are so many companies that are willing to be flexible and let you work as little as you want. Now, you can get a job with a company like McDonald’s, or you may want to work towards a dream and get a job in an industry that you see yourself in.

This can be anything from getting a job at a clothing store (if you are interested in fashion merchandising) to a coffee shop (if you love the idea of owning your own someday).

Not only will you make money from the part time job, but you will also gain access to networking with other employees and managers, experience in the field you may want to pursue, and maybe even some perks.

You could use the extra money to pay off debt, start saving and investing, or even using it to start the building your own business.

Use Content Mills

If you find yourself wanting to work online when you start side hustling, it can be hard to find your footing in the virtual world. While many people will tell you content mills are a terrible thing, I think they can be beneficial while you are learning the ropes of working online.

I started freelancing and side hustling with content mills. I used websites like UpWork and BlogMutt to further my writing skills and make a little money on the side. Now I am able to write guests posts for other blogs, and I have quite a few clients that I gained outside of these websites.

So why do I recommend them? I believe that you deserve to get paid for your work. I also know that many companies and websites don’t prefer working with someone who has no online presence or portfolio. Doing work on content mills can provide you with a little extra income (keep in mind, these sites can pay VERY little), and they can also help you pad your portfolio.

When you decide to start earning more directly with clients, you will have something to show them in terms of your work. This can make you look better than the competition, and get you a higher rate as well.

side hustlingLook At Job Boards

A little better than content mills, job boards usually have businesses that are willing to invest more time and money for someone who has experience in the online world. Many freelance job boards, like ProBlogger, have jobs with companies that are looking for long-term relationships with freelancers.

The best part about job boards is they help prepare you for cold pitching. When you start side hustling, it can be overwhelming and scary to pitch your services to someone that you admire/want to work for. With a job board, you know that a company is looking, and you are able to prepare yourself and work on what they are looking for before you send off that email.

I love using job boards, and I have found that they can help you find clients and make more money than you would have in a content mill.

Create A Website

Some people may say that blogging is dead. Well I can reassure you that it is not. Like everything in the world, blogging is evolving and changing every day. There are so many ways to create income with your own blog including ads, sponsored content, or even your own products.

Related Post: How to Start Your Own Blog

Now, unlike other avenues of making money with side hustling, you are responsible for all aspects of your website and its success. Most likely, your blog won’t create an income for you right away. However, with patience, dedication, and persistence, you could see returns on your investment in a short amount of time.  

side hustlingStart Selling

If you are an outgoing person, and you love pleasing and influencing others, direct selling may be for you. With so many different companies, you can sell anything from makeup, to home-ware, to weight loss aids.

See a list of top Direct Selling Companies

Keep in mind, most of these companies require for you to buy their product at a discount before you start selling it. Most will offer a kit or “party” package, and from there you are told to sell as you see fit.

This side hustle is very common (most likely you have friends on FB that you see promoting these companies) but it can also be lucrative. As a forewarning, don’t start this side hustle if you aren’t a people person, or if you don’t fully believe in the product/service that you are selling. It could mean a lot of wasted time and inventory on your part.

Get Referrals

Networking is one of the easiest and surefire ways to build up your side hustle. People are more likely to go somewhere that’s recommended than they are to go to a place no one has ever heard of. The same can go for using people to help them with their needs.

Do you have a skill set in writing resumes? Let your family and friends know you will help them update their resume for free or at a discounted rate in exchange for a referral or testimonial if you do a good job. This can add padding to your portfolio and also get your side hustle a few referrals.

Word of mouth is one of the most underutilized forms of referrals for people and businesses. Instead of spending a ton of time on advertising and marketing, you can reach clients just from getting your name out there. How easy is that?

Bonus: Prove You’re An Expert

This tip isn’t a direct way to start side hustling, but it is important to remember if you want to be successful once you start. Proving that you are in expert in your field helps you identify your ideal clients and also to easily prove your worth.

If you are skilled at Photoshop and design, pitch yourself as a freelance junior graphic designer, Photoshop tutor, or portrait editor.  If you have a cosmetology license, pitch yourself to beauty and hair blogs, build a portfolio of satisfied clients, and prove that you know all about cosmetology.

People are more likely to choose you over someone who doesn’t have the experience and expertise in your field. Proving that you are a knowledgeable expert in your field can open up doors in the side hustle world that you never thought possible.

Whether you are looking for supplemental income, or to potentially replace your day job, starting a side hustle can benefit you in so many ways. Even if you don’t make a ton of money, you are still gaining valuable skills and knowledge that you wouldn’t have gained otherwise. As a bonus, you could even add your side hustle to your resume to get a better job if you want to. Talk about a win-win.

This post was written by Kimberly Studdard, a talented writer with proven experience in side hustling.

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My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.


  1. Hey, Derek!

    Another great article! There’s no reason not to bring in extra cash when Side Hustles are available. I’ve Side Hustled in many fashions since the ’80’s. Yardwork when I was in college, even after married, custom woodworking for clients, Amway, manufactured wiring harnesses for antique Chevy trucks for a vendor, and now I’m freelance writing.

    My freelance gig is through UpWork and it’s going well. I was with BlogMut for a while, but the income was low and it just didn’t work out.

    A part-time job is the quickest way to bring in extra coin, as is donating plasma, but it’s not as regular as a PT job. I see hiring signs all over when I’m out and about.

    Great info D! I hope some folks follow up on your suggestions. I know a few that need to.

    • I absolutely love the side hustle. I run this site, my wife and I own a rental property, and she’s just recently starting her own photography business! In a couple years who knows? Our side hustles could be our full-time incomes!

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