7 Lucrative Side Hustles

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7 Lucrative Side Hustles

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Whether you need a little extra cash to make rent or you simply want to explore your passions outside of work and get paid for it, a side hustle can be a lucrative way to bring in more income — without waiting for your boss to hand out a raise.

The side hustle economy is booming. In fact, according to a study from BankRate, nearly 37 percent of Americans have a side job, and they’re making an average of more than $8,000 every single year.

Your side hustle is exactly what it sounds like: A gig that you juggle alongside your day job. Balancing your side hustle against everything else isn’t easy, but it can be lucrative, not to mention fulfilling.

Related: The Best Employees Have Side Hustles — Here’s Why

If you’ve got a passion that pays, you probably already have a good side hustle going. But if you’re in the market for a little extra dough and you’re not sure where to start, this list of the seven best hustles should help.

Start up your sole proprietorship and see which of these options might work best for you:

1. Instagram influencer.

Influencers are so effective as marketers because they are seen as authentic and trusted — to their followers, they are friends, not advertisers. Therefore, you might find incredible traction within your field (and beyond) if you’re able to monetize your social media activity, particularly on Instagram.

Take, for example, the growing community of teachers as Instagram influencers. They inspire fellow education with their color-coding, organizing, decorations and curriculum planning, and some of them get paid more — much more — for their IG work than their “full-time” job. This is a long-term play, however. You need to be well-established in your niche before brands think about approaching you for paid work.

2. Real estate agent.

If you live in a competitive real estate market, you probably know someone in this business. The real estate business is enormous and can be lucrative, based on how much time and energy you have to devote to it. Real estate is a great venture to start part-time as you build a client base and learn the intricacies of the business.

To become an agent, you’ll need to take a course and pass a test to obtain your local real estate license. You may also want to work under a brokerage that offers you protection and leads on clients, so there is a bit of an upfront, as well as ongoing, cost.

Showing houses and apartments, however, typically happens during unusual or non-work hours, like nights and weekends — which means it could fit right into your schedule.

Related: The Top 10 Side Gigs for 2019

3. Accountant.

Helping small businesses or other sole proprietors with their taxes sounds like a tough side gig, especially with the rise of easy-to-use tax software. But about 70 percent of small businesses outsource their tax preparation duties, meaning there’s a market for being willing to roll up your sleeves and learn how to prepare taxes for others.

Doing remote monthly bookkeeping for small businesses on retainer, writing and producing a web seminar or e-book on how to file, or helping businesses craft a business plan they can use when applying for a loan are all small, but focused, ways to put some accounting knowledge to good use.

4. Photographer or videographer.

Taking photos or videos is an excellent example of a popular hobby that can become a lucrative side hustle if you’re willing to invest in the tools and in building up your client base.

Good freelance photographers and videographers are often hired by individuals, businesses and organizations to document events, take headshots and work at parties like weddings or engagements. You can set your own rates depending on the quality of your equipment, your time in business, your particular style and whatever other variables go into the difficulty of taking the pictures/videos and editing them on the side.

5. SEO/content writer.

A great way to break into freelance writing is to offer businesses your services as a content writer, with an emphasis on helping with search engine optimization. If you’ve always been a skilled creative writer and want to start making money from the craft, a few free courses or blog posts can teach you the basics of writing with an eye towards SEO-friendly content that businesses need to rank higher in search.

Small businesses are increasingly using blogs and social media content to attract new customers and drive traffic to their website. Create a website, craft an introductory email, and start pitching businesses on the idea of you writing content for them on topics related to their industry.

6. Coaching or consulting.

Have you become an expert in your chosen field and want to pass your knowledge and skills on to those trying to make a name for themselves? Are you the friend everyone turns to for advice, because you’re not just a good listener but preternaturally wise? If so, professional or life coaching could be a fun avenue to explore.

Good coaches are typically credentialed by an organization like the ICF in order to assure clients of their background, but there is no law that says you need one. You could start coaching on an informal basis before making the leap to more professional coaching. Coaches typically have a niche in leadership or executive coaching, life coaching, relationship coaching or career coaching.

Consulting in your field is also a strong possibility if you’re experienced enough to justify the role. Selecting a niche and setting up a website or platform to begin marketing yourself is the first step. Networking to find and develop clients is the next.cra

7. Crafting.

This one is worth mentioning because of its popularity. It’s one of the biggest side hustles out there that is arguably available to everyone — unlike a slightly more specialized hustle like construction/repair work. If crafting is your hobby and you feel confident that you can sell your wares to people outside of your friend group, it’s easier than ever to set up an Etsy or Shopify page to promote and sell whatever it is you make to the masses.

Be careful not to turn a hobby you love into an ecommerce job you hate: Stay true to what drew you to the craft in the first place and don’t overextend yourself.

A side hustle isn’t just about the money. According to The Hustle, a larger percentage of survey respondents say they “love” their side gig more than their actual job –and since side hustlers make an average of just $686 a month, it likely has to be a labor of love. If you can find a hustle that helps you save for a vacation or afford a nicer apartment, however, you’ll love it even more.

Stephen King’s 10 Best Tips for Becoming a Phenomenal Writer

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The King has always been the sort of writer who can release one bestseller after another. He has sold more than 350 million copies of his works.

Wouldn’t that be nice? To be able to sell that many books? To be that productive?

Well, in 2002 King temporarily gave up on writing horror novels, and wrote a little book chronicling his rise to fame and discussing exactly what he believes it takes to become a good writer. Since then, it’s become the most popular book about writing ever written, which is understandable.

On Writing is not only about the basics of writing, and something that you should approach as a craft, but also a passion. Other writing books are focused on the mechanics of the written word, while King shows you how to capture the joy of the craft.

Yes, this little book will make you want to write, not for fame or fortune, but because it’s fun, and there’s nothing else you would rather do.

If I could recommend only one book to aspiring writers, On Writing would be it. But don’t take my word for it. Below, I’ve compiled a list of his best advice from the book, and I also wrote down some of my own thoughts on exactly how they apply to aspiring writers.

1. On Having a Powerful Why
“Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end, it’s about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well. It’s about getting up, getting well, and getting over. Getting happy, okay? Getting happy.”

You see, the issue with any of those motives is that you can reach a point where you’ve earned enough money, or become famous enough. It’s also self-centered, which makes it that much more difficult to keep your head in the game.

But enriching other people’s lives?

That’s a very powerful why.

And you can always change another person’s life. There’s always someone else to inspire.

2. On Rejection
“By the time I was fourteen the nail in my wall would no longer support the weight of the rejection slips impaled upon it. I replaced the nail with a spike and went on writing.”

Stephen the Impaler.

Let’s be honest here. How would you face so many rejections? Would still keep writing?

Your attitude regarding rejection will determine your altitude as a writer.

3. On Inspiration
“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.”

The dreaded writer’s block. Being creatively bankrupt. Procrastinating. Spending more time thinking about writing than actually writing.

Funny.

Writing is a simple process. It’s just our fears that make it seem so complicated.

You sit down at your desk, and you write. That’s about it. Whether you feel like it, or not. Even if you’d much rather do just about anything else. Sit down, and write. That’s it. That’s all it takes.

4. On Writing and Reading
“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There’s no way around these two things that I’m aware of, no shortcut.”

Simple enough, right?

5. On Critics
I have spent a good many years since―too many, I think―being ashamed about what I write. I think I was forty before I realized that almost every writer of fiction or poetry who has ever published a line has been accused by someone of wasting his or her God-given talent. If you write (or paint or dance or sculpt or sing, I suppose), someone will try to make you feel lousy about it, that’s all.

There will always be haters, there will always be naysayers. The only way to please everyone is if you do not do anything at all.

But that isn’t really an option, is it?

5. On Editing
“To write is human, to edit is divine.”

Ah. Editing.

As they say, writing is rewriting.

No one ever wrote a wonderful first draft, and no one ever will.

6. On Ideas
“Let’s get one thing clear right now, shall we? There is no Idea Dump, no Story Central, no Island of the Buried Bestsellers; good story ideas seem to come quite literally from nowhere, sailing at you right out of the empty sky: two previously unrelated ideas come together and make something new under the sun. Your job isn’t to find these ideas but to recognize them when they show up.”

If you do not consume art, if you do not go out there to live your life, to experience as much of this world as humanly possible, then you’ll run out of ideas.

In order to be a creator, you must first be a creation.

In order to write about characters, you must first be a character.

There’s no way around this, and the more you try to create something out of nothing, that harder it will be.

7. On Distractions
“If you’re just starting out as a writer, you could do worse than strip your television’s electric plug-wire, wrap a spike around it, and then stick it back into the wall. See what blows, and how far. Just an idea.”

I do not watch TV. As in, all the stuff that I consume by reading or watching pictures on a screen is meant to either help me grow as a person or inspire me.

Most of the stuff on TV is the equivalent of junk food for your brain. It’s poison, and you need to limit your exposure to it.

While you’re at it, you might want to turn off your smartphone as well.

I don’t even listen to music while writing. I need complete and utter silence, to better hear my thoughts. I need to focus on what I am writing, and not get distracted.

In this day and age, this is precisely what we must all fight hard to keep: our ability to focus, and not get sidetracked by all the stuff that’s one click or swipe away.

8. On The Muse
“There is a muse, but he’s not going to come fluttering down into your writing room and scatter creative fairy-dust all over your typewriter or computer. He lives in the ground. He’s a basement kind of guy. You have to descend to his level, and once you get down there you have to furnish an apartment for him to live in. You have to do all the grunt labor, in other words, while the muse sits and smokes cigars and admires his bowling trophies and pretends to ignore you. Do you think it’s fair? I think it’s fair. He may not be much to look at, that muse-guy, and he may not be much of a conversationalist, but he’s got inspiration. It’s right that you should do all the work and burn all the mid-night oil, because the guy with the cigar and the little wings has got a bag of magic. There’s stuff in there that can change your life. Believe me, I know.”

I agree with this, but my muse is a woman. She’s cute and stuff. Like Tinkerbell. But older. And way more hot. It’s got to be.

9. On Words
“One of the really bad things you can do to your writing is to dress up the vocabulary, looking for long words because you’re maybe a little bit ashamed of your short ones. This is like dressing up a household pet in evening clothes. The pet is embarrassed and the person who committed this act of premeditated cuteness should be even more embarrassed.”
Using simple words is the best way to make your readers understand what your writing is all about. Not reason to be pretentious, which is a synonym for douchebag these days.

10. On “The Important Things”
“The most important things are the hardest things to say. They are the things you get ashamed of because words diminish your feelings – words shrink things that seem timeless when they are in your head to no more than living size when they are brought out.”
This is true. Something always gets lost when we translate our feelings, ideas, and thoughts into words. Something always will, no matter how good you become.
And this is exactly why you always return to the blank page. To try one more time. Just this once. To try to write all that you have stored up in your heart in such a way that it’s all there, on your computer, or phone, or notepad.
But you never quite manage it.
And you almost give up. But you never do.
And this is why you keep writing.