As someone with a background in the performing arts, I've seen so many incredibly talented people struggle to cover their expenses while pursuing their dreams. This inspired me to get good at finding different side hustles and to want to help others find ways to make more money to build wealth and pay off debt. In 2016, I started my blog Arts and Budgets as a way to share what I've learned about side hustles over the years.
As I got the project off the ground, I noticed how many of the bloggers and entrepreneurs I followed had multiple income streams to reach their financial goals. So in 2017, I began to learn about all the ways that I could monetize my blog and earn more with my platform. I started to research avenues including affiliate marketing, working with brands on sponsored posts, and selling digital products.
Since then, I have created nine income streams from my blog that, all together, bring in thousands of dollars each month. I am on track to earn over $60,000 from this side hustle turned full-time business in 2021.
Here is my best advice about how to create multiple streams of income.
Before you start a side hustle or pursue a new revenue stream, one of the most important steps is to be sure, and clear, about what you want to achieve with it.
When I started Arts and Budgets, I wanted to have the freedom to work from home with my children, create generational wealth, and pay down my debt faster. I knew that my husband and I couldn't rely on one source of income to achieve those goals, so we worked together to come up with a plan.
For the first year of the blog, we agreed that he would stay at his 9-to-5 job to help cover our monthly expenses while I worked on Arts and Budgets. At the time, he started a side hustle business called OneFlo Entertainment, a hub of resources for independent artists to learn about the music industry.
Building these passion projects have been part of the larger financial plan for us, and now my husband is a full-time small business owner like me.
My best advice is to take a moment and write down what you would like to achieve by making more money, and a time frame for accomplishing those goals. Then start to work backwards and sketch the individual steps you would need to take to get there. Don't censor yourself, because there are no wrong answers. Remember that this plan can always change as your goals do.
Video by Courtney Stith
Think about all the skills and talents you already have and the different ways you can scale or build on those same abilities to create new streams of income.
During the second year of running Arts and Budgets, I took some time to think about my existing skills and talents: public speaking, networking, writing, time management, and performing music.
Writing out that list helped me determine which areas to focus on to increase my income. For example, my public speaking experience helped me book speaking engagements at seminars and conferences, while my facility for networking helped me land freelance writing opportunities.
Now both the freelance writing work and speaking engagements are consistent streams of revenue for me.
Think about the work you are currently doing and how you could scale that. Since I was already writing my blog, I started there first. Using it as a platform, I began branching out into different related side hustles.
First I started earning money through affiliate marketing, then with advertising revenue. Then I began selling physical and digital products like Arts and Budgets T-shirts in my Etsy shop, Teachable courses, an eBook, and printable side hustle templates on Gumroad.
From there, I started working with brands on sponsored posts, and then I began sharing my expertise with coaching, both one-on-one and in groups, as well as through freelance writing and public speaking.
Video by Stephen Parkhurst
As I have grown my Instagram account to over 20,000 followers, I've learned how to network with others in my space and create valuable content for my audience, by consistently posting accessible advice and resources every day.
I've connected with fellow personal finance bloggers on Instagram, like Everyday Finance Gal, and together we have held several Instagram Live broadcasts for our followers about topics like how to monetize a blog on Instagram and how to turn a blog into a profitable business.
As I have developed my social media presence, businesses and brands have reached out to me about partnership opportunities.
Video by Courtney Stith
Before agreeing to collaborate with a company, I do my research to make sure it's a good fit. I like to make sure that their mission and goals align with me and with my content, so I usually take on personal finance and entrepreneurship-focused sponsorships.
Brand sponsorships have turned into one of the main income streams for my business. It has helped me bring in anywhere from an extra $500 to $2,000 per month.
One of the ways I earn passive income each month is by being a part of Mediavine, an ad management company, which is a company that places ads on your site. When someone comes to my blog and sees the ads, I earn money. This income stream brings in between $3,000 and $3,800 each month.
Another way I make passive income each month is by selling digital products such as my ebook, "Side Hustle to Freedom," and my online courses. It takes about a month to develop the lessons and videos for my courses, like one I'm launching in September called Blog for Profit.
One of the best things I did when I started my blog was take a chance on myself and try new and different ways to monetize what I had built.
My best advice to anyone looking to create additional income streams is to remember that it's OK to test things out and go through some trial and error. If for some reason it doesn't work out the way you planned, that's fine too. There will always be something that does, though it may take a few attempts to find it. You can learn from your mistakes.
Yes, it can be frustrating when you're getting to know a new role or industry, or even new tools. It took me some time to get up to speed on Wordpress and create the vision I saw in my head for my blog. It helps to stay positive and focused, and to not give up on the journey. Doing that has helped me turn my side hustle into the thriving, full-time business I run today.
Latasha Peterson is a wife, mom of three, side hustle coach, speaker, and the founder of the blog Arts and Budgets. She created Arts and Budgets to help individuals find the best and most profitable side hustles for them. Her blog gets over 100,000 monthly visitors and has over 20,000 followers on social media. She has been featured on Bankrate, Tailwind, LegalZoom, QuickBooks, Mediavine, Plutus Foundation, and more.
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