If you’ve been keeping up with my blog, I’m sure you already know that I’m really interested in starting my own business. I’ve had my eyes open for ideas all year, specifically related to my new bullet journalling passion. I’ve always loved to design and create, and the dream would be able to make money from selling useful resources that help my fellow bloggers, students, and miscellaneous creatives.
The classes in today’s post cover topics related to side hustles. What is a side hustle? Well, it’s a way to make money on the side to supplement your main source of income (e.g. a full-time job). I’ve been struggling to find a full-time job, so I’ve become a lot more passionate about pursuing side hustles that make sense for me and my various interests.
I can see myself following the advice of all of the brilliant ladies behind the courses I review below. My trouble right now is just picking a lane. In March I plan to begin sharing my journey through these creative ideas. For a sneak peak of what I’m hoping to achieve, keep reading!
“How to Publish Low and No Content Books like Journals, Sketchbooks and Workbooks” by Ronnie Walter | 68 minutes
This course was a really simple introduction to the kinds of digital products you can easily produce and publish on Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (formerly known as CreateSpace). If you are a somewhat artistic person who wants to start making passive income, this might be something you want to consider.
After you’ve done all the work of designing your product (e.g. lined notebook, coloring book, workbook, planner), you can publish it and start to make money from it online. Amazon will handle distribution. All you have to do is market it (admittedly, not simple in itself unless you already have an audience).
Before I watched this class, I was already thinking of ways to produce and distribute journal bits and bobs, since I’ve gotten more seriously into bullet journalling. I found this class really helpful in opening my eyes to other possibilities. It also demystified the process of self-publishing with Amazon.
In addition to sharing the publishing process and product ideas, Walter goes through the pros and cons of self-publishing and reasons why creating a digital product might be something you want to do, beyond simple artistic ambition. She also shares how pricing works and how much you can expect to receive given your selection.
After taking this course, I was inspired to:
- Brainstorm some specific low/no content products I uniquely capable of creating
- Create a timeline of product releases (to direct my focus)
- Start thinking about design themes I wanted to create and tools I could use to bring them to life
“Etsy Side Hustle: How to Make Money with Etsy Without “Making” Anything!” by Jules Tillman | 23 minutes
Holy-effing-moly. This course blew my mind. I’ve always wondered how people made money with Pinterest, and this course kind of explains it. For a 23-minute video, there is a lot of information packed in to show how you can make money by promoting Etsy products on your blog via Pinterest. (I had to repeat sections to make sure I processed what I was watching!)
I didn’t enter this course knowing what it would be about. I thought it would be along the lines of the course I previously discussed, making a digital product and then sitting back to let people purchase it. This course is similar in that it would ultimately result in passive income, but that doesn’t mean there’s not some on-going work involved to get there.
She attaches a PDF with all the information in the course and the order in which she recommends to get signed up for the programs that provide your customized links that will help you start earning money. She emphasizes that this is not a get-rich-quick scheme, it will take some time and upfront costs to get going after free trials are over, but over time (if you’re willing to put in the work and work smart) you can begin to make a modest income from this side hustle.
I’ve already begun the motions of putting Tillman’s advice into action. I’m currently waiting to get approved for two affiliate programs. I don’t have the biggest blog audience yet, but I am actively working towards improving my engagement and following at the moment.
“Freelancing for Creatives: From First Leap to Finances” by Margot Harrington | 58 minutes
I found this course when I was looking into more of the classes I had saved at the beginning of starting my free-trial of Skillshare. I figured after the thoughts swirling around in my head, this class might help me leap into projects knowing what to expect.
Harrington gives a lot of solid, no-nonsense business advice about how to manage your money best for long-term stability.
She also shares her tips on managing clients. She discusses what people are the best clients and red flags to consider when considering potential clients. I would’ve never known to think about the types of clients who would be unpleasant or untrustworthy, so I really appreciated this section of the course. I feel like I would enter projects with more clarity and confidence now.
After taking this course, I was inspired to:
- Make a business plan outlining my goals and steps to launch
- Look into starting a new business account for my freelance income
My free trial of Skillshare is about to end, so this may be my last post reviewing courses that I’ve found useful. Assuming I have enough time, my next Skillshare mini-reviews will likely cover courses related to specific topics on blogging, like setting up a newsletter, using Pinterest to promote blog posts, and building a significant blog following.
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