I started Write Yourself Happy as a way to escape my unhappy feelings in my workplace and trying to find ways to be happier e.g. through gratitude by reminding yourself of the important things in life and also recognising the smaller everyday little things that bring a smile to your face. Not to mention inspirational quotes.
Nevertheless, I started exploring side hustles that might help with me building a side income. It is by no means passive but will help with my journey to FIRE, which I mentioned in a previous post.
“Build the life you want, then save for it.”
This is a quote that I discovered amongst a Reddit community resonated with me and speaks volumes. When you are starting your journey into FIRE, it is important that you also enjoy the journey and not kill yourself over it trying to save, save, save to reach that magic number.
Building your life how you want to spend it in your FIRE days and work out how much this would cost you to maintain. Then save for it using the formula as described below. In my confusion, I have been working for so long now I have forgotten what kind of life I want so this is work in progress…
Just to recap, in a nutshell – you work out your ‘magic’ number by multiplying your annual spending by 25 and then that will be the amount you need to save and invest into an index fund. The index fund will then give you income to live on (if the market goes up). Now this is truly passive, my friends. For further info, I suggest you read up on this on Mr Money Moustache who has a very informative post on it!
Blog news & strategies
My blog as you can see is not yet very focussed and the truth is, I am not sure where I want it to go. I am hoping that as my interests develop and as I develop, so will my blog. I see a lot of advice from other blog gurus telling you to find your niche, find your niche, find your niche and unfortunately it isn’t that easy for some of us. I have started and closed countless blogs because I couldn’t gel with a topic I thought I liked. So I am hoping something materialises from just writing here. Until then, my blog will be a mish-mash of random things until I find a flow…
I am rather puzzled as I have spent the best part of a month promoting on Pinterest but I haven’t really gotten any traction. Again blog gurus say best strategy is to join contribution boards and PIN – 10-15 posts daily. Maybe this explains my lack of growth on Pinterest as I am not pinning enough which adds to the fact that it is not driving traffic through. I am also not yet decided in my blog direction and this is also causing the slow down in growth.
Twitter strategy that worked for me in the past has been to follow as many people as possible and they will follow back. I haven’t actually used this much as I don’t think my audience (which I haven’t decided who they are yet) are on this platform.
Numbers at present are:
- Blog traffic March – 80 views (ha!)
- Facebook (note I know different name, in process of changing it!) – 169 likes
- Pinterest – 24 followers
- Twitter – 53
Because of uncertainty and time constraints, I won’t be focussing much on promoting these social media accounts. At this early stage of my blogging life, everything is o-v-e-r-w-h-e-l-m-i-n-g me. So take it slow or burn out.
This blog has been around since October 2017 but I haven’t actually started to promote it and write in it seriously until February 2018. So technically it started then.
So I started to explore two avenues of revenue: matched betting and Etsy. None of these are passive and requires my constant attention which means I put less effort into my social media strategies and blogging.
Unfortunately I didn’t really start to tally my income for each a separate month but will start to so I can document my progress.
Matched Betting: £806 profit
What is matched betting? Despite what many people think, matched bеtting is not considered gambling but is a technique used by punters to profit from the free bets and incentives offered by bookmakers.
Many bookmakers will put out offers such as bet £5 and get £10 freebet. This type of bet is generally risk free and once you find your way around will only take 5 minutes to earn a potential profit of £6-8. Do a few more of these and you are quids in! I would recommend joining a community to get training, support and to get access to other offers.
I discovered Profit Accumulator and was dubious until I signed up to their free trial and followed their tutorial to earn my first £50 profit. This covered their membership fee of £17.99. From this site I have learned many of the different ways you can earn risk free money from bookie offers and the active forum is also a gold mine of information. Members often post offers they find which saves you from having to look yourself. This is generally considered risk-free as it is based on the application of a mathematical equation rather than chance.
Many of the members are bringing in £300 – £1000 per month depending on the time they can spare. I am just about making £268 per month putting in 2-3 hours 3/4 times a week whilst trying other things on the side, this is all the time I can spare. There is potential to make more and they will show you how they have done it by listing the offers they have pursued.
I would definitely recommend signing up for a free trial to see if it is for you. If not, you won’t lose anything but will be quids in anyway!
I only knew about the ‘bet y get x’ type of offers but as I made my way through the offers, getting to know the forum members there are actually many many more different offers that require different strategies to tackle. I am still making my way through these and hope to break £300 this month.
Etsy – £50.83 (294 page views)
I started my Etsy store Digital Crafts Designs in selling digital downloads. I am into pretty digital stationery but unfortunately lack Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop skills. I have been putting the other half of my time into following tutorials and learning how to use the tools.
The purpose of these digital downloads gives buyers the option to print if they want or use as part of a digital planner on GoodNotes or Notability to write on or bullet journal on.
I designed and listed 10 items for sale and have made 9 sales bringing in revenue of £50.83. Sales have been slow occurring every 2-3 weeks and it appears after speaking to other Etsy sellers it has taken them up to 2/3 years to earn enough to go full time on Etsy. Oh Lord…
To develop Etsy, I have put time into editing the tags and advertise on social media but will need to review these strategies as they are not yielding much in results. I will also need to research if there are any other methods to promote it. If you have ideas, please share…desperado times ahead…
I would like to aim to get at least one sale a day at some point but for now aim for one sale per week. No idea what to do to achieve this though so any suggestions welcome!
But I do think having just 10 items is contributing to the low sales so I am hoping to increase this and branch into making printable journals (bullet journal inserts, financial planner etc) and see how these do. It is all trial and error and very very slow developments as all this takes time to create. I will aim to have at least one planner out in my shop this month.
Time is of the essence and I have very little of it. My work days are long and take up a lot of my brain power. By the time I get home, I can barely mutter a word to my husband and just end up sitting on the sofa motionless like a vegetable. Yes that is what it does to me.
Things are not good at work, rife with bullying and unethical practices, so I may have to spend some of my evenings and weekends job hunting and finding a better place to work in and a change of environment.
In terms of which income stream I want to develop more, it is Etsy. This has potential to be passive and I am artsy by nature. The learning process is frustrating as Adobe tools can be powerful but really confusing and complex to master. I guess I also just want to get things done ASAP. Patience is of the virtue, I tell myself. I am just grateful for the tutorials around the web that helps to make learning easier.
The matched betting will be something I will continue on the side and same with this blog. It is very time consuming managing all three so will try my best.
This all fits in with my FIRE strategy as I plan to reinvest this income into my index funds to build up my nest egg. However before I can do that I will need to reinvest it back into the side hustles as matched betting can require a lot of capital if you want to go for the larger stakes.
The good news is I want to show you that both of these income streams are doable for the average person…if you are willing to put in the time. At first I was very inspired and encouraged by seeing income reports of more established blogging gurus making six figures per month but after trying myself, I became defeated. It is a long hard slog building a following and constantly churning out content. Blogging income won’t be happening for me
ever for a while as I have next to no traffic but the matched betting and Etsy are instant profit makers that anyone can do that doesn’t require building a following, building an email list, building this, building that etc.
Anyway what about you? Do you have any tips? Are you side hustling? What have you got that is working for you?