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3 Excellent Side Hustles to Reduce Debt and Generate Income

What is a side hustle?

A side hustle is a part-time gig that you work on outside of your full-time job to generate income. Many people eventually replace their full-time income with the side hustle businesses they have built up!

3 Excellent Side Hustles to Reduce Debt and Generate Income

How can a side hustle reduce debt?

Side hustles help to reduce debt by increasing your income. It is HARD to increase your savings rate or throw extra money at a loan if all the money from your full-time job is already allotted to expenses, especially if you don’t have the frugal gene like me.

My side hustle journey

After saving my emergency fund up to 4K and paying off my consumer credit card debt with a change in jobs in May 2019, I wanted to get serious about finding a side hustle that would work for me to increase my income. If you want to read more about my journey to saving up an emergency fund, start here. Podcasting has changed my life in so many ways, I travel for work so I listen quite a bit and I had been introduced to SEVERAL different types of side hustles, but my problem was I never acted on them. 

I really wanted to start a blog or open an Etsy shop, however, I had tried creating a website to start a Dietitian business the year before and it was a huge FLOP. I had no idea what I was doing and would spend 3 hours at a time trying to figure out how to set up one blog post. I hated WordPress from that experience. 

The Turning Point….

One day when I was flipping through podcast episodes to listen to, I came across FIRE Drill Episode 159: BONUS: Side Hustle Course – Student Experiences and everything you need to know, I immediately started listening. I’m an avid FIRE Drill listener and love J’s episodes so I knew this one would be good. After listening to the episode, I wanted to sign up for ALL of the courses, especially for the awesome, low price of $197/course.  Since J was hosting, I knew it would be quality content.

I settled on two: Blogging for Profit and Etsy Printables.

I chose Blogging for Profit because I wanted a side hustle that could eventually replace my full-time job as my GOAL is to return to work partially by the time I have my next child or not return at all. 

I chose Etsy Printables because I wanted a side hustle that could make passive income and would help me pay down debt. Passive income is especially nice for me since I have a (now) 8 month old baby to play and spend all my time with!

side hustle #1: Blogging

What is blogging? A blog is a space online where a writer creates content specific to a certain niche to educate writers about that niche. There are food, travel, student loan debt, parenting, lifestyle, finance bloggers, you name it, its out there.

How do you make money blogging?

Creating wealth through blogging isn’t a simple thing to do, however, once you initially invest time in it and create a following, it can become easier. First, you have to come up with an idea for a blog, then optimize your post and SEO (search engine optimization) to get your target market readers and followers that you want to create value for. Your blog has to have followers before you can make money through advertising and affiliate marketing.

What are ways I can market my blog to my target market? 

  • Pinterest! Having an account on Pinterest and using it to market your blog through pins and key-worded boards can help drive a GREAT amount of traffic to your blog. The life of a post (pin) on Pinterest is 1600 times that of a Facebook post.
  • Instagram! If you have a personal Instagram page, create a separate account for the blog. Your followers probably won’t want to see pictures of your dog or your blog all of the time but they will enjoy seeing new content on your story.

My Blog

It took me awhile but I finally settled on this logo for my blog. It fits so easily into social media profiles. My logo was made by a freelancer on Fiverr.

My Blog, Personal Finance RD is about creating value for my followers and readers in the form of reducing debt and discussing nutrition related topics.

As my life changes, the potential for my blog topics to change increases. For example, when I finally pay off my debt, then I might strive for FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early). My kid(s) may be older then so my blog may evolve to be more of a lifestyle blog or it may be ALL nutrition and some finance. Who knows, maybe I’ll become a family travel blogger!

Tips to get your blog started

  • If you’re anything like me, you aren’t tech savvy at all and you really need help with this blogging thing and by the way, what is a domain or hosting service?  I highly recommend you take the Blogging for Profit Course that Julie and Cody launched. It will save you an immense amount of time (highly valuable) trying to figure this stuff out on your own. Stay tuned for a full course review coming up!
  • Since this course isn’t open yet, think about what you want YOUR BRAND to be (i.e logo, colors, target market, what you want to blog about).  You could even start outlining your posts ahead of time.

Side Hustle #2: Etsy

Etsy is a platform where sellers open up shops to sell their uniquely crafted items to others. It can be physical handmade items or digital, printables that people can literally print right in their home.

My Etsy Shop

My shop is called Liquid Gold Baby. The name was inspired by my little guy and the journey we’ve had with breastfeeding. Everyone always says that breast milk is “liquid gold” so it was the first thought that popped into my head and it just stuck! I was also just Certified as a Lactation Consultant this year and I want to use the experience and knowledge I have to help moms meet their breastfeeding goals.

My first listing is a printable Breastfeeding Help Guide/Checklist for the Hospital. I know I could’ve used more guidance in the hospital so I hope that moms or someone who knows a mom will find this valuable. I decided to do a printable because I don’t want to be held liable for something to ship out whenever I have a sale. I’m forgetful and if something isn’t shipped quickly, I could receive a bad review which wouldn’t be good for my sales or the reputation of my shop!

My second listing was super exciting to get up because you have to have at least one listing to even open your shop. My 2nd listing is a tweak of the first and is the product of listening to more tips and videos and learning what not to do (ahem, like include a background that will take all the ink out of your printer). This is all I have for now, progress is progress!

Tips to get your own Etsy shop started:

  • Sign up on the wait list for Julie and Cody’s Etsy Printables Course. It has brought me an incredible amount of value and saved me SO MUCH time. Stay tuned for a full course review coming up!
  • Research on Etsy to get ideas on what is already selling. You can also research on craftcount and Handmade Hunt to see what is selling the best in different categories. 
  • Think about what your passions are and what makes you happy. If you are the expert of a particular topic, think about how you could create a product that others will value.  

Side hustle #3: Pinterest VA (Virtual Assistant)

A Pinterest VA is someone who manages a Pinterest account for a business or does some subset of that (i.e. opening the Pinterest account, using keywords to create pins, make boards, etc.). Pinterest is a platform that allows users to share ideas by pinning an image or video to their boards. The great thing about Pinterest is that the platform will continually show your pins, it isn’t like Facebook where a post is seen one time and then it goes away. 

How do you make money becoming a Pinterest VA?

People go to Pinterest when they are ready to buy an item or when they are looking for ideas to buy. I’m new to being a Pinterest VA because I just started the Become a Pinterest VA Today Course, however, I do know that there is great potential for businesses to market on Pinterest.  I can think of several local boutiques and retail stores in my area that could grow their businesses immensely by creating an account and throwing a few pins up on Pinterest.   

These are the 3 side hustles that I’m currently working on to increase my income! I’m still in the early stages of ALL of them. I might have taken on too much at first, however, I’m really excited what the future holds for each of these endeavors!

I plan to update monthly on the progress of them all. 🙂

In health and happiness,

xoxo – Beth

Beth Ferguson
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