- "Before I could start earning $10,000 a month with my business," writes Latasha Peterson of the Arts & Budgets blog, she had to make some decisions and some changes to her mindset.
- Her best advice for starting a lucrative side hustle or building income streams includes establishing a plan of action.
- Then, she suggests, help your audience problem solve, and build a solid team around you.
In 2016, when I got pregnant with my first son, my husband and I agreed that I would stay at home with our baby and launch a side business. I had a history of side hustling and had a lot of ideas I wanted to pursue.
I started my blog Arts and Budgets to help creative people find more ways to earn money while still pursuing their artistic dreams. During the first year, I didn't earn any money, but I learned a lot of helpful information to help me grow the business.
In 2017, I started to monetize the blog and in May of that year, I earned my first paycheck from it. Soon after that, I turned Arts and Budgets into an actual business by incorporating it into an LLC that July.
With the help of this side hustle turned full-time business, I have created 10 income streams, paid off $30,000 of debt, and am able to work from anywhere. And I have earned at least $10,000 each month so far this year. Before I got to that milestone, though, I had to make certain decisions — and I had to make some changes in myself.
Arts and Budgets get over 100,000 monthly pageviews, has over 50,000 followers on social media, and is on track to hit six figures in revenue for the first time this year.
If you are looking to turn a side hustle into a profitable business, here is my best advice.
For many years, I struggled with believing that I could turn my side hustle into a business that earns a full-time income. But once I started to shift to more of a positive mindset in 2020, things started to change for me.
Before I could start earning $10,000 a month with my business, I first had to believe that it was possible. I also made a point of forgiving myself for my previous money mistakes. I didn't want to live in shame or feel like those past decisions were holding me back any more.
I became more proactive, too. I went from saying, "There is no way I can make that amount of money with my business," to, "What are the things and resources I will need to earn more money each month? I can totally achieve this."
There are a few simple things that help me maintain a positive outlook, even when things are uncertain.
I start my day by saying affirmations about my business, which helps me stay optimistic. I try to spend time around people who inspire me. When I start to have negative self-talk about my money choices, I check myself and reframe it into something more positive.
I also write out sticky notes with encouraging quotes and post them around my space, so I can look at them whenever I need a boost.
Video by Lauren Shamo
One of the key things that has helped me reach my consistent income goal of $10,000 or more a month is setting aside time to create a monthly action plan.
At the start of each month, in a Google doc, I ask myself the following questions.
- What will be needed to reach my income goal this month?
- What systems do I have to put in place to make this happen?
- How can I help my target audience with my products and services this month?
Having this framework in place helps me quickly react to trends or demands from my audience. For example, during a planning period, as part of my online course Blog For Profit Academy, I recently put together a new masterclass to help side hustlers prepare for open enrollment. The masterclass helped bring in new students to my course, which in turn helped boost sales.
When I create content, I think about providing value to my target audience, not just selling. I started seeing success and profit with my blog when I focused on making content that would help my readers solve a problem or address a pain point.
I've learned that my readers find it frustrating and challenging to figure out how to start a side hustle. A lot of the time, they have an idea, but no idea how to start it or what resources they need. So knowing that, I've been able to create accessible freebies, courses, and services to help them delve deeper and monetize their skill sets and great ideas.
Video by Courtney Stith
I created my course, the Blog For Profit Academy, because many of my readers would reach out to me and ask "How do I start a blog?" or "How can I turn a blog into a business?"
Because of those questions, I decided to create a full live course on how to turn a blog into a business from scratch. With my eBook, "Side Hustle to Freedom," I share examples of potentially profitable side hustles, advice about how to earn more money and even use those income streams to help pay off debt quicker.
One of the ways I have been able to earn $10,000 a month with my blog is because of passive income streams like selling digital products. With a consistent passive income stream, you can earn money while traveling or even while you sleep.
Additionally, I earn money passively by working with the ad management company, Mediavine to place ads on my website. With this income stream alone, I made $6,000 this month.
Passive income streams do often require some work upfront. It took me two months to create the "Side Hustle To Freedom" eBook, with help from the design platform Canva to complete it. It took three months to create my Blog For Profit Academy course. I use Teachable to host my course, Canva to create the visual content for the course, and then the tool Screencast-O-Matic to record the lessons for the course.
If you are looking to turn a side hustle into a business, I recommend staying consistent with your content, because that can help you be seen as an expert in your industry and build your brand.
To help me maintain my presence, I set up a posting schedule each week for my social media platforms, and I set up a posting schedule for the month for my blog posts.
It became clear as Arts and Budgets grew that I wouldn't be able to handle everything on my own. So in the summer of 2021, I hired a writer, and a web designer to help with the security and clean-up of my site.
Currently, I am searching for a virtual assistant to help with some of the administrative tasks involved with running Arts and Budgets day to day.
Video by Lauren Shamo
One of the things that really helped me when I started hiring was coming up with a list of qualities for potential team members. It's important to me that my team be committed, deadline-oriented, excited to learn new things, have experience with blogging and social media, and writing about personal finance and entrepreneurship, and approach their work with a positive attitude.
I know that I wouldn't have gotten this far without help from my husband and my mom, and without hiring these team members. With my new hires, I have been able to create more content for my blog and social media platforms each month. It has given me the chance to focus on other tasks in the business and get more done in less time.
Becoming a full-time entrepreneur has taught me that you can achieve anything with a positive mindset, hard work, dedication, and consistency.
If you are looking to start a side hustle, always remember that it is a journey and does require work, but it is so worth it in the end.
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 50,000 followers on social media. She has been featured on Bankrate, Tailwind, LegalZoom, QuickBooks, Mediavine, Plutus Foundation, and more.
More from Grow: