In case you’re not familiar with the American term ‘side hustle’, it means to make extra cash outside of your normal job. It’s something millions of people do and have been doing for centuries. Today, however, just like many other types of venture, side hustles are increasingly reliant on the internet. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at side hustles and explain why there’s never been a better time to put yours online.
What kind of side hustle can I do?
No matter who you are, you’ll have some experience, knowledge, skill or capability that you can use to make extra money. The list is endless. It could be making local deliveries, mending computers, gardening, bookkeeping, cleaning, doing odd jobs, tutoring, translation, selling on eBay, joinery and lots more. Alternatively, you could have a hobby which can make you money, such as baking cakes, craft-making, buying and selling old toys and comics or brewing. Everyone has the potential to make extra money if they want or need to.
Why now is the right time to start a side hustle
With the autumn nights drawing in and the weather getting colder, we’ll spend much more time at home. Rather than spending all those long winter evenings binge-watching Netflix box-sets, you can put some evenings to good use to launch your side hustle venture and earn extra cash.
This year, there might be more of an incentive to set up a side hustle than ever before. Not only is the pandemic likely to increase the time you are stuck at home; it may also have affected your finances. With UK unemployment set to hit 2.5 million by December, furlough schemes coming to an end and many people forced to work reduced hours, there will be lots of people needing to find additional income. A side hustle can improve financial stability over this difficult period and even become your main source of income in the long term, perhaps enabling you to become fully self-employed.
Why do I need a website for my side hustle?
A website gives your side hustle a permanent home on the internet. This means that people looking for the products or services you offer will be able to find you by searching online. This is important because the internet has become the first place most people look when they want something. If you are not online, you won’t show up in search results and you’ll miss out on all those opportunities to find new customers.
The pandemic has made going online even more important. People have less opportunity to shop for products and services in physical stores and are less confident about doing so. As a result, there has been a significant shift in people searching for the things they need online. According to the Internet Retailing website, UK and EU online shopping grew by 129%, week on week, when the pandemic started and this has become the new normal for many consumers. To take advantage of this change in behaviour, your side hustle will need a website.
How easy and affordable is it to build and run a website?
Building and running a website is both easy and affordable. When it comes to cost, you’ll only need to pay for two things: to register your unique website domain name (e.g. mysidehustle.co.uk), which can cost as little as £8.39 a year for a .uk domain, and to pay for your web hosting, which can be as inexpensive as £2.99 a month (inc. VAT). Overall, that means you can run a website for less than £1 a week. Registering a domain also means you’ll be able to have a professional email address, e.g. [email protected]
As for building the website, it’s never been easier to do it yourself. Most website building programs are free, with WordPress being the most popular – used to build 38% of the world’s websites. These programs are designed to be used by people without specialised computer skills. If you can create a poster on Word or make a PowerPoint presentation, you should be able to build a professional-looking website. You’ll find the website’s layout and colour scheme already in place once you have chosen a theme, so all you’ll need to do is add the text and upload the images. WordPress gives you the choice of thousands of free themes and over 55,000 free plugins that give your site additional features, such as turning it into an online shop.
Two particular features you should look for when finding a web hosting package for your site are cPanel and 24/7 support. cPanel is the industry-leading control panel for web hosting, its easy to use and provides you with a wide variety of tools to manage your website and hosting, including 1-click installation of website programs like WordPress. For those new to building a website, this makes the task even easier.
Should you get stuck or need questions answering when building your website, 24/7 support is vital, as it ensures you’ll have an expert on hand to help you with anything you find tricky or if you have any issues.
Long winter nights to fill and the potential to earn extra money, make now the best time to start a side hustle and take advantage of the growing online market. Having a website gives your venture an easily findable home on the internet and somewhere you can link to on your social media posts and other forms of advertising. What’s more, with websites being easy to build and cheap to run, now’s the ideal time to get your project off the ground.
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