They say “do what you love and the money will follow,” but I’ve always taken such colloquialisms with a grain of salt.
When I started blogging about my student debt experience, I didn’t expect my writing would secure any attention—let alone profit. However, after 3 years of blogging, my website, Money After Graduation, has become an unexpected resource of both money and work experience.
Since then, I’ve become enthusiastic advocate of pursuing your passions on the side. Here are three big reasons why.
Make Money Where There Is None
My site generates revenue directly through direct advertising, affiliate links, and products like Google AdSense. The money I make is not enough to lead any sort of life of luxury, but it has sustained me over the past year as a full-time student.
Truthfully, there is a lot of money to be made online if you’re creative and willing to work hard. You can freelance, sell things, or start a blog, like I did. In addition, the great thing about blog advertising revenue is that it’s largely passive, and we know I’m a fan of money shortcuts like that!
Succeeding as a blogger is a matter of establishing a niche, continuously engaging your audience, and cultivating multiple revenue streams. However, in addition to the income my site produces directly, it also acts as a portfolio of my writing that I can use to pitch myself for freelance projects.
I never expected these opportunities, but I’m grateful I can list “freelance writer” on my résumé and present polished examples when applying for new gigs. Developing a side hustle can help you develop your professional brand. Keep this in mind, and always have a clear vision of who you are, what you’re selling, and what you expect to get for it.
While still small scale, my site grew in popularity enough to catch others’ attention. It brought me here to the SALT™ Blog and connected me with established leaders in the Canadian personal finance industry.
Before I knew it, I was rubbing shoulders and grabbing coffee with published authors and renowned speakers in the industry. And they weren’t just reaching out to be mentors either; these leaders wanted me as a business partner for new projects.
You never know who is going to find your work and like it—provided you put yourself out there.
Turning a hobby into a side business while I was already juggling a full-time job or my MBA course load meant many many extra hours of work and weeks of perpetual exhaustion. Still, the skillset you can develop from doing so will be worth every minute (and the extra cash flow won’t be too bad either!).
Do you have a side hustle? Tell us about it in the comments!