Becoming a full-time, work-for-yourself writer and online entrepreneur is a dream that thousands — if not millions — of individuals aspire to achieve.
Like many things worthwhile, in order to become one, it takes time and a lot of hard work.
For a lot of people (myself included), it all starts when you are currently grinding away at a full-time job.
What’s more, is this full-time job is something you’re trying to get out of.
Enter — the Art of The Side Hustle.
Side hustles have been talked about a lot in the last 5 or so years. What is a side hustle? According to Oberlo a side hustle is,
“a way to make money outside of your 9 to 5 job. It allows you to make more money that’ll give you the freedom to pursue your passions, buy things you need or want, and lower any financial worries.
Truth is, most 9 to 5 jobs don’t pay the bills. Especially if you’re just starting out in your career.”
I’d personally take that last paragraph a bit further with, “The truth is, most 9 to 5 jobs don’t pay the bills. They further don’t bring the type of meaning and fulfillment one expected when starting out.”
That’s why a side hustle can be so beautiful and rewarding. If done correctly, an individual can work towards and fulfilling and meaningful goal while simultaneously supplementing his or her income — sometimes in the range of thousands per month.
Now a side hustle that either builds to full-time income or helps supplement income for discretionary purchases can take many forms. For me, it took the form of writing online articles and using those articles to drive traffic so I could market and sell my digital products.
In this article, we’ll go over the exact routine I used to build up to my $2,000 a month online side hustle. I made that money through the publication of online content as well as the sale of digital downloads and online courses.
We’ll go over how to generate writing prompts within your niche, how to publish articles that make money, and how to drive those money-making articles to the sale of your digital products.
Let’s get into it.
Overview: The daily side hustle routine
Like stated, this article is going to illustrate my own personal side hustle routine. Now with that considered, I was personally working as a server in fine-dining when I was making this side hustle happen. This means, the hours I was responsible for with that full-time job was anywhere from 3:30 pm to 12 am daily.
Furthermore, I wasn’t completely beholden to the traditional Monday through Friday schedule.
For you, take into consideration the timing structure of the side hustle and apply them to your own daily and weekly schedule.
You’ll see — with my schedule, I was performing much of the side hustle before my full-time job obligations. If you primarily work mornings into the evening (like a traditional 9 to 5) you may have to flip what’s listed in this article.
The morning side hustle routine
Below are going to be the approximate times as well as activities that took place in the respective times.
Side hustle hours 6 am — 9 am
In the hours of 6 am to 9 am I would wake up, get a quick breakfast, head to the gym and workout, come back, eat a bigger breakfast, shower and get ready for the side hustle workday.
I would read my to-do list (compiled the night before) with the tasks I needed to complete.
So I wasn’t overrun with task-anxiety, I always made sure there were 3 tasks that needed to be done that day. These were tasks that I would need to get done — with little exception. These were also tasks that took more than a logistical approach.
For instance, a logistical approach would be, “read and respond to email” and I felt I could do that every day without writing it down. It coincided with the logistics of the day.
The tasks that needed to get done would be something like,
- “Write a least 750 words for latest article”
- “Complete sales page build on WordPress website”
- “Email [Name of Person] and discuss potential affiliate partnership”
You see — it was more than just logistical work. It was work that would keep sending me into the future as a side hustler with more and more accomplished.
Now all of this is considering that I wasn’t starting a fresh article. For that, we’ll go into the next block of hours.
Side hustle hours 9 am — 1 pm step 1
Once I had completed my allotment of morning tasks, I would get myself ready to write the articles that serve for the foundation of everything else in the side hustle pursuit.
For this, I would use a very useful platform. That platform is Quora.
For those of you unfamiliar with Quora. Quora is a question or answer based platform. Users can either submit a question that they wish to get answered or submit an answer for an already submitted question.
According to MarketingLand, the platform sees about 300 million unique visitors monthly. This is a very advantageous tool for the side hustler.
This tool is advantageous because it works as a writing prompt generator for the side hustler. Again, let’s consider that you don’t have that much time to work on the side hustle. Writer’s block can creep up at any time. By using Quora — you’re able to see in real-time what topics are being discussed within your niche.
You are able to see what questions are popular (by popular, I mean seeing millions of answer views) and answer those questions as the prompt for your article.
That’s what I would do. I would take a few minutes, go into the platform, search my niches (at the time they were self-improvement, personal growth, motivation, psychology and more), I would then check the metrics of the question. I would take into consideration:
- How many views of the question and answers are there? If there were more than 1,000,000 it would be a question that I answered as well.
- How many followers of the question were there? If there were more than 100,000 then I would answer the question.
- How many answers have already been generated? If there were 100+ answers already created, I would answer the question as well.
This technique helped me save hundreds of hours that I didn’t have seeing as I had 8 hours already spoken for due to the full-time job.
Once I was able to identify a question — something like, “What is something a person can adopt today that will benefit them 5 years from now?” and answer it using an online content article template.
My goal in this block of hours was to at first create one article a day and perform this 5 days a week minimum. Once I got comfortable with the process, I upped the amount to two articles a day. I thought,
“How bad do I want this?”
It’s important to understand and accept — most of the articles that I produced weren’t going to gain too much (if any) traction. It wasn’t about every article being great — it was about producing articles so they had at least the chance of being great.
From there — when I finished the article, I would syndicate it on a platform that could actually help me generate money.
Side hustle hours 9 am — 1 pm step 2
After I had my article completed on Quora, I would syndicate it on Medium through the Medium Partner Program.
Now I won’t go over in detail Medium or the Partner Program — many of you reading this already know what it entails.
Again — considering the immediacy of this being guided for the side hustle pursuit, the beauty of the syndication from Quora to Medium is that you don’t need to do double the work. You are using the content you already created with the help of your prompt tool and using that content on a platform that sees 60 million unique users (estimate) that can also help you generate money.
It’s important to note — if you’re working on Medium and you’re not pitching and publishing with publications, it’s highly recommended you do so. With publications, you can get a wider exposure with the help of their readership base (especially if you’re just starting out).
Side hustle hours 9 am — 1 pm step 3 (example for Wednesday)
After I completed all of the content-oriented tasks for my side hustle, I charged myself with communicating with my audience.
What did this look like?
Well, when it comes to online content creation and building an online business through content and digital sales, it’s important that you build an email list. With an email list, you have further communication with your audience.
Now, using my own experience as the example, consider that this day is a Wednesday. We would need to consider that, because that is the day of my weekly newsletter.
I would use my own email service provider and send out an email broadcast to my email list. The broadcast would include anything from:
- New developments I wanted to share within the niche.
- New articles that I published (sharing with the friend link).
- New obstacles that I or a member of the email list was dealing with (and how they overcame it).
- New digital products that I was releasing
- New surveys asking my audience what they are looking for
During the side hustle, there is a lot of experimentation with the email list. That’s the whole point. In order to understand your list, you have to experiment and try different things out.
There are going to be “unsubs” that’s a part of the business.
If you solely rely on Medium to be your side hustle money generator, you’re exposing yourself to missing out on 30% extra revenue (I make and made during my side hustle days an extra 30% monthly revenue from the sale of digital downloads and digital courses) from the usage of your email list.
Side hustle hours 1 pm — 3:30 pm
After the bulk of the side hustle tasks (see steps 1 through 3), I was set with tying up any loose ends before I had to head to my full-time job.
Again, I was working full-time in a profession that required me to work evenings and nights. For you, if you are working the traditional 9 to 5, much of the aforementioned routine will probably be adopted after the full-time job.
Once I completed my 2 articles, syndicated those articles, and contacted my email list for potential added revenue, it was time to wind down my tasks and forecast the next day.
What I did was find a place where I could stop. I found in the hectic side hustle life, there was nothing more frustrating than not knowing where to pick back up the next day.
- If I was working on an article but couldn’t finish it — I would make a note in my to-do list of where I stopped and ideas for continuing.
- If I had identified a question from Quora that I wanted as a prompt for the next day’s article, I would copy the question down word-for-word so I didn’t lose it.
Everything was mapped out for the next day so I had a clear vision and set of goals to accomplish. Organization is key. You’re essentially balancing two jobs and it helps when you make a clear distinction of what needs to be done for the side hustle.
Once I was completed with setting out the tasks for the next day, I would grab a quick bite to eat and head off to work in the restaurant.
I found that when I wrote everything down for the next day, I didn’t think about it when I was at my full-time job. I was able to completely focus on that work (if anyone reading this has worked in food service — especially fine dining, you know how mentally demanding that work can be).
Full-time job hours 3:30 pm — 12 am
For this 8–10 hour chunk of time, I would work my full-time job.
I’m not going to talk at all about this because it isn’t what this article is about.
Side hustle hours 12 am — 1 am
Once I would get home from my full-time job, I would occasionally have an idea or two that would spring up about the following day’s side hustle tasks. If this was the case, I would jot it down in my to-do list as a reminder for the next day.
Other than that, this wasn’t a time for production. Again — if you find yourself on the flip-side of the schedule (you work mornings into the early evening), your side hustle routine will look slightly different.
I found that a good night’s sleep was very important for the demanding days that were ahead of me.
Everyone will be a bit different, but holding for holidays or scheduled time off, the only days I would really take off were Sunday. This is because as a restaurant worker, the traditional weekends don’t exist.
I also believed in myself and told myself I would work my ass off in order to turn my side hustle into my full time job.
The world economic structure is changing and changing fast.
Gone are the days where you can secure a well-paying job that can carry you 35 years and into retirement.
The perhaps unfortunate truth for many is: your single income may not be enough.
Fortunately, however, modern technology has broken down the barriers to start your very own side hustle to help generate more discretionary income and better — a way into more fulfilling full-time work.
You just have to know how to do it.
A daily routine will help you get into the flow of creating a prosperous side hustle.
Everyone’s side hustle routine will have his or her own specifics and intricacies. However, the most important part is that if you’re interested — that you actually start.
“Do not wait: the time will never be ‘just right’. Start where you stand, and work whatever tools you may have at your command and better tools will be found as you go along.”
― Napoleon Hill
Starting off, there will probably be a lot of mistakes made.
You will create a bunch of content that appears to not being working at all, at least in terms of traction.
However, in the initial stages, what’s important is not what you write about. What’s important is that you sit your ass down in your chair or at your desk and just write.
Once you start the side hustle, it will snowball — I guarantee that. Perhaps three or six months down the road it won’t look exactly how you thought it would, but it will start to take form.
So plan out your side hustle routine and get started creating.
The world needs your voice now, more than ever.