Use these three strategies to run your side hustle business in as little as five hours a week and while balancing a full-time job
One of the most common problems people face while trying to launch a side hustle business is balancing their time while working a full-time job. After 40 hours a week plus travel, time with the family and everything else that comes up, most people just don’t have much time left for their side hustle success story.
It’s too bad because it doesn’t take long for a side hustle to turn into a full-blown career. I was making more than $5,000 a month on my blogs within two years and over $10k a month including freelancing.
My side hustle wasn’t an instant success though and it took years to find enough freelance clients to make the transition from my full-time job.
Don’t think you need to put off your small business dreams just because you’re stretched for time. The best thing about building a side business is that you can do it at your pace.
I’m taking the two of the most popular side hustle ideas from our Make Money Directory to show you how to find your side hustle success story in as little as five hours a week. I’ll detail the absolute minimum you should do each week to be successful and then add extra tasks you can try if you have the time.
The important thing is that you just get started. Find just five hours a week to get started and you’ll be making more money than you thought possible in less than a year…and in a few years, you’ll be ditching the rat race for your work from home dream job.
What Every Side Hustle Needs to do Each Week: 5 Hours of Less
Starting your blog will take a few weeks but you can manage it on less than five hours a week and still do very well. You don’t need to publish an article each week so focus instead on quality posts and getting to know the community of bloggers in your niche.
- Write two posts a month of at least 800 words each. Spend a couple of hours each week promoting those posts on social media and learning how good SEO will boost your ranking on Google.
- Write one guest post a month to publish on another blogger’s website to start getting more traffic and SEO juice for your blog.
- Join a Facebook group of bloggers in your niche and spend an hour each week interacting with the group. Watch for any opportunities to participate in roundup posts or provide a quote.
Check out my two newest books, Google SEO for Bloggers and Make Money Blogging to get started. These books cover two of the most important concepts in being a successful blogger, how to get lots of visitors from Google and how to make money off that traffic.
Freelancing usually involves about half the time working and the other half finding new clients at first. After a while, you’ll have so many clients and so much work that you will spend less time marketing.
- Starting your freelancing side hustle may mean offering some free services at first to build up your example portfolio and get a few testimonials.
- If you haven’t yet built up your client list, spend an hour or two each week scanning the freelancing websites in your niche for jobs. If you can’t find any specific to your niche, you can always look to Indeed, Upwork, Freelancer and Craigslist for projects.
- Who are your most frequent customers? Spend an hour each week hanging out in Facebook groups where your customers hang out. Don’t just offer your services but answer questions and interact with the group.
Finding the Side-Hustle Sweet Spot with 10 Hours per Week
I know a lot of successful bloggers that only spend 10 hours a week on their websites even though they could spend much more. You’ll get faster at writing and it won’t take long before you can put a quality post together in just a couple of hours. This will free up a lot of time to do other things that will help grow your blog.
- Post once a week to your blog and make one post a month a super-detailed and long-form article over 3,000 words. It’s these longer posts that do better on Google and will start to drive lots of traffic to your side hustle blog.
- Try to write a review of an affiliate product each month or a comparison list of products. These make boatloads of money and you’ll start to see that extra time pay off faster.
- Create a few videos and audio snippets of your posts, just summarizing the article in two or three minutes. Use these different media formats to share around the internet and get more traffic.
One way to save time on blogging is to use a social media management tool to schedule all your blog post sharing. I use Hootsuite because it allows me to schedule social sharing and respond to comments all on one page. It saves a ton of time and I get more visitors from social media to my blogs.
Spending 10 hours a week freelancing will allow you to take on longer projects and more customers. Once your contact list starts to fill out, you’ll be able to raise your prices and even start thinking about turning your side hustle into a full-time gig.
- If you aren’t finding enough customers in your freelancing niche, try expanding out into a couple of other topics. You can make money freelancing just about anything. Try a mix of easy, quick jobs and others that take longer but pay more to find lots of clients.
- If there’s a local market for your side hustle services, consider going to a few networking events. You’ll pick up more quick contacts by meeting face-to-face with people and you’ll start building a name for yourself.
- Put together a webinar every few months to talk people through a topic and lead into your services. Give people lots of great information they can use and they’ll trust that you will give them the same quality of work on paid projects.
Just because you have extra time to spend on your side hustle business doesn’t mean you have to do all the work yourself. Consider outsourcing the easy process tasks to a freelancer or assistant that will work for a fraction of what you make per hour. I use Fiverr to find freelancers that can do small projects for as little as $5 each.
Going for Work from Home Gazillions: 15 Hours a Week
Working 15 hours a week on your blog or any side hustle will get you to financially independent fast. With 15 hours a week, you can start thinking about larger projects rather than just keeping your posting schedule full.
- Start putting together ideas for self-publishing books and plan on releasing at least one book each year. Self-publishing is one of my favorite side hustle ideas because it is nearly passive income once you’ve got a book published and it’s a natural process for bloggers.
- You still probably don’t need to publish more than once a week to your blog but consider making the articles a little longer and more detailed. Check out the top ranked posts on Google that appear for your article idea. What are some great ideas and information to include in your post and what are they missing that you could provide new?
- On 15 hours a week, you are basically a full-time blogger. That’s about as much time most spend on their blog each week. Consider going to at least one blogger conference a year. Besides learning everything about blogging success, you’ll make some great connections with others in the industry.
Freelancing on 15 hours a week is often a question of how much project work you have to do. I would spend no more than five hours a week trying to find projects and customers so anything beyond that is time filled actually working.
- If you’ve spent your five hours scouting clients and don’t have enough work to fill 15 hours…but you want to spend more time on your side hustle dream, fill the rest of your time with a certification program. There are online courses or certification programs in just about any niche that will help you build credibility with customers.
- Start turning your best skills into a video course. This will help you reach a new market, people that need your services but want a DIY solution and it will help diversify your income into something more passive.
If you’re working more than 15 hours a week on your side hustle, it’s time to start transitioning to a full-time work from home lifestyle. You may end up working more hours than you did at your traditional job but it won’t be the 55+ hours you had to put in at your full-time job plus side hustle.
Making time for your side hustle is as simple as that and it really can be done on five hours a week. Don’t feel like you have to devote every free minute to your side business to be successful. Start it as a hobby job and have fun being your own boss. Even if you don’t start making money immediately, you’ll start building your business and will eventually start seeing the reward.