According to a recent survey from Bankrate.com, nearly half of all millennial workers say they have a “side hustle” they use to earn extra money on the side. In today’s “gig economy,” American workers are constantly encountering new ways to earn cash without the commitment of taking on a traditional job. There are countless success stories online about people who have taken a side hustle or a passion project and turned it into full-time employment or, even better, turned it into a revenue generator that negated the need for full-time employment.
However, while the side hustle is ubiquitous and seems, at first, like an easy concept to tackle, often the truth is not nearly so bright.
Side hustle success is particularly difficult to judge from the outside because the benefits of having one include intangibles, such as flexibility, and because many workers feel that any cash they bring in from such work is a “bonus” and they are therefore having success even if they are not doing much more than breaking even.
To further complicate matters, many side hustles rely on social media platforms, among the most notoriously misleading environments on the planet. If you look at social media, you might easily become convinced every fashion blogger is a millionaire and does nothing but enjoy fine clothes and beautiful places all day. The reality, however, is usually far different.
According to a report from CNBC, about one-third of American workers with a side hustle still struggle to make ends meet. In many cases, this is because they are reliant on a gig like driving Uber or Lyft, which has many hidden costs, or because they are “too passionate” about their second job and dedicate too much time to it and not enough to their full-time income generator.
If you are truly passionate about your side hustle and want to make it your primary occupation, then love for the process will only take you so far. You will also have to find a way to communicate that passion to others so you can thrive while doing what you love.
Content marketing is key to this process.
If you look at most successful “side hustlers,” you will see that they have one thing in common: they are extremely attractive. No, not physically! They have extremely attractive content that meets the needs of their audience in meaningful, compelling ways and brings the audience back for more. Many times, this content marketing success is largely intuitive. Successful fashion bloggers, for example, tend to create compelling content about their subject matter because they know what other fashion aficionados want to know and provide that on their platform.
You do not have to have an innate love for your topic or business specialty in order to learn from these successful side hustlers, however. Simply dedicating yourself to identifying what your audience needs to know in order to realize that you are the answer to a problem or issue they are facing will go a long way toward turning your little side gig into a full-time occupation – or at least one that could replace your full-time income.
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