After the pandemic in 2020, many Americans have discovered that side hustle is the new job security.
In this post, I’ll break down the income streams I’m working on right now. (and also, in the past) I created this post in order to keep track of my progress and to help readers get some ideas for their side business.
Here are my goal setting and overall progress
- I started side hustle in 2015.
- My goal is to make an extra $1000 a month on top of my freelance project. (as of 2021)
|Year||Monthly Side Income|
|2015||$52.99 a month|
|2016||$107.72 a month|
|2017||$126.63 a month|
|2018||$642.46 a month|
|2019||$782.06 a month|
|2020||$490.22 a month|
First, Why Did I Start a Side Hustle?
I went back to school to get my bachelor’s degree in graphic design at 30. Going back to school requires a large investment of time and money as an adult student. I already had a mortgage and no more space for extra debt like student loans at the time. So, I started to investigate ways to make extra money at home.
I graduated from college end of 2019 just before the pandemic and financial crisis happened. Even so, I could start my new freelance business without worry about money. (because I didn’t have student loans!)
Side hustle won’t make you a millionaire overnight, but it is super helpful to avoid getting into debt.
The income streams I’ve been working on since 2015
- Dropshipping $14,746.52
- eBay $6,639.56
- Poshmark $2,168.38
- Tradesy $354.14
- Affiliate Marketing (Blogging) $477.58
- Sponsored Posts (Blogging) $328.42
- Dividend Income $240.78
- Fiverr $360
- Rakuten $1,169.89
- Mr. Rebates $394.06
- Ibotta $67.79
Total Net Income: $26,707.17 (already subtract all the business expenses)
Dropshipping is selling products without having an inventory. The business model is known as “low-profit margins.” And, I think so too.
I started this dropshipping business back in 2017. In the first year, I made a deficit because of the shipping fees. In the second year, I calculated all the expenses carefully and then income grew little by little.
My routine as dropshipper:
- Product research
- Creating images that make people want to buy
- Upload images and write product details on the site
- Provide customer support as needed (mainly shipping issues)
Related Post: List of Dropshipping Suppliers
eBay is an excellent side hustle for the person willing to put in a little extra work for fast cash. You can buy and sell almost anything on eBay!
I’ve been selling pre-owned clothes, handbags, shoes, accessories, and electronics on eBay since 2015. I started selling on eBay as part of my spring cleaning at first, but it gradually became one of my income sources.
My routine as an eBay seller:
- Shoot photo of items
- Upload images and write item details on the eBay
- When an item sold, pack it
- Weigh a package to calculate shipping cost
- Buy shipping label online and print it out
- Head to USPS!
Poshmark is a social commerce marketplace where people in the United States can buy and sell new or used clothing, shoes, and accessories, etc. Just like eBay, I sell pre-owned fashion items on Poshmark since 2017.
My routine as an Poshmark seller:
- Shoot photo of items
- Upload images and write item details on the Poshmark
- When an item sold, pack it
- Print out provided shipping label
- Head to USPS!
What I like about Poshmark:
Poshmark provides a shipping label for you. All you need to do is print out the provided shipping label. You don’t have to weigh a package if it’s under 5lbs. I really like this “simplified shipping” system.
Tradesy is an online peer-to-peer resale marketplace for buying and selling women’s luxury and designer contemporary fashion. I sold my designer handbags on Tradesy once in 2016. I really wanted to like Tradesy because of its user-friendly platform. But unfortunately, I had a really bad experience with Tradesy. I’m not going to use them again.
#5 Affiliate Marketing (Blogging)
Affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission by promoting other people’s or company’s products/services. You find a product you like, promote it to others, and earn a small percentage of the sale as a commission. Affiliate marketing won’t get you rich quickly, but the revenue formula is very clear.
The simple formula of passive income with affiliate marketing is PV x CTR x CVR.
- PV = Pageview
- CTR = Click-through Rate
- CVR = Conversion Ratio
#6 Sponsored Posts (Blogging)
My primary sponsored post income is coming from this blog, Happier Freelancing.
You will probably say “LOL” after read my First Year of Blogging Report. My website traffic was VERY little, but I still made enough money to cover the cost of running this website. It may take a little longer to monetize your blog if you are not a B2B blogger, but blogging can be a good side hustle for some people.
Related: How to Start A Profitable Blog
#7 Dividend Income
My husband gave me some dividend stocks for my birthday in 2017. I didn’t know what to do with it, so just left it alone until 2020. Lol
Dividend income grew little by little, so I started to have an interest in the stock market. (thank you to bloggers who share their dividend income reports!)
As of March 2021, the stock market ups and downs like a roller coaster. I’ll wait until it gets back to normal before buying new stocks. The US stock market is out of control now.
DISCLOSURE: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a small commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no additional cost to you. Please read my full disclaimer here for more info.
Fiverr is an online marketplace for freelance services and you can sell a wide variety of digital services. My first gig (digital service) was “3 Pinterest images for $5.” Guess what? People ordered it A LOT and requested revision endlessly. I had to keep my customers happy even though it’s only a $5 project, so yeah… I worked too much.
All of my customers were happy. They left me 5 stars, but I wasn’t happy at all. I stop using Fiverr since then.
Rakuten is a cash-back shopping site where you can earn 1% to 25% on purchases you make from more than 2,500 online retailers.
I downloaded Rakuten’s free browser extension to get automatically notified when cashback is available, so I don’t miss the cashback. It looks like this:
#10 Mr. Rebates
Same as Rakuten, Mr. Rebates is a cash-back shopping site where you can earn 1% to 25% on purchases you make from more than 2,500 online retailers. Mr. Rebates also offers a free browser extension to get automatically notified when cashback is available.
I compare the cashback rate between Rakuten and Mr. Rebates and then use the higher cashback rate. Cashback won’t make you a millionaire, but it much better than paid online surveys in my opinion. (because you don’t have to do anything but shopping)
I don’t use coupons but I use a grocery rebate app called Ibotta. (It’s free to sign up) The average Ibotta user earns $150 a year on groceries, online purchases, and delivery. I’ve tried multiple grocery rebate apps and by far Ibotta is real money. (some cashback app only give you points and you need unrealistic points to cash out, that’s not real money)