Boost Your Income – 5 Side Hustle Suggestions

Are you struggling to pay all your bills? Is the new energy crisis starting to hit your pockets hard? Then you are not alone! I have been watching my bills go up at a faster rate than ever before and my friends and colleagues have started to become really worried about their personal finances. How can we find ways to make ends meet?

Although I am no money saving expert, I have worked multiple jobs at once and have experienced several different side hustles which have made a massive difference to my life by enabling me to keep on top of my bills. I am not talking ‘get rich quick’ schemes; just simple ways to gain extra income with a little honest work involved. So if you are ready for multiple hustles, definitely read on!

Why are bills going up?

Last year we really began to see massive price rises as Covid ended but fuel shortages first began to hit our pockets hard. Then we saw a shortage of lorry drivers which put an extra squeeze on our finances by making everyday shopping items more even expensive. This was simply due to a lack of drivers – fewer people seem to want to drive lorries and work long hours doing so (with the after effects of Brexit making it worse still).

Now our over-reliance on oil and gas has been highlighted as Russia is the third largest producer of oil in the world. This horrible conflict in the Ukraine has led to sanctions (rightly so) which have impacted on our supplies of gas and diesel. Prices are predictably soaring.

Side hustles for 2022

Here are some small ways that you can add a little income stream to help with bill paying. With each one, either I have tried it myself or a close friend has:

1) Take in a lodger

University students are ideal for this as they are usually self-contained and make good tenants. They only want to stay during term times and will pay a fair rent for a room and access to a kitchen and en-suite.

You can charge a competitive rate of between £120 and £180 a week for this and because students are just individual tenants (not a couple or family), they are easy to accommodate. The home insurance with lodgers who are renting a room does have certain stipulations though, so make sure you check these out, as they may involve an initial outlay of cash (for instance fire regulation requirements). Also search ‘contents insurance for lodgers’ and related articles to make sure you are fully clued up on the subject.

Alternatively, offer a room out using Air B’n’B. This one I cannot comment on but is clearly popular. Having a spare room empty during these times is a shame as it could be helping to ease your financial worries.

2) Work some care shifts

I found working flexible hours in care homes was the most satisfying side job I ever had. The industry is desperate for carers who are flexible and willing to work at night time. Up until recently I would do evening shifts and my friend took over the mantle, working whenever her partner was at home to look after her kids in the evenings.

Nothing beats the feeling of helping someone to get on with their life. This is a side hustle because it slots alongside a full or part time job and can help fund necessities. Unsociable hours pay twice as much, too.

For me, it was a summer job between contracts and I ended up doing it happily for three years, mainly at weekends. I used this extra income to pay off a credit card successfully.

The good thing about this is that you can say yes or no to shifts and don’t have to feel obliged. Simply use your spare time to make a contribution and enjoy doing so, whilst knowing that you are steadily increasing your income.

3) Offer a service which is in demand

If you are good at baking, sell some baked goods.

For me, tutoring has been an incredible way to make extra money on the side. I have always had people asking me if I could tutor their sons or daughters to help them with Maths or English and this has really helped me out over the years.

Since Covid made working at home easier, I have taken on clients using Zoom. This reduced the cost of driving to tutor them and significantly cut my costs as well as saving me time.

Local websites and Facebook pages are good places to advertise your skills. People are always looking for gardeners, cleaners, artists, dog walkers, bakers and content creators. Why not tap into one of those markets and gain a little extra income at the same time?

Alternatively, why not look into becoming a virtual assistant for others? I found this great article offering training for a Virtual Assistant Job.

4) Create a website or blog

It would be odd if I didn’t mention making money from blogging, as this is something I am currently exploring. Just like any business website, a blog provides information and entertainment. This means it deserves to be recognised as a quality source of content. So why not monetise it?

Setting up a blog about things that grab your interest can lead to a fun and satisfying adventure. You do have to be prepared to put the work in though, especially if you want to place adverts alongside your articles. Blogging is a skill which comes with practise and one which has changed my life. I get tonnes of pleasure out of producing content about books, entertainment and the environment.

Whatever your niche, make sure you are interested in what you write about because blogging is a long term thing. It takes time to build up a site and improve characteristics such as speed and SEO. I recently wrote a post about How To Blog, which discusses some of the ways to grow a blog and start to make an income.

I recently found a link (which I have added to this blog post as an update) which is all about Blogging as a Side Hustle and it is really relevant and hugely helpful regarding starting a blog and using it to make side hustle passive income.

5) Make a KDP book

This is the very first thing I did with my own writing. I put together a book of short stories and self-published it using KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing). Amazon makes it really easy to publish straight onto their platform and charge an appropriate price for your work. Just make sure you are thorough when setting up the book with a particular Amazon KDP niche or multiple niches, as being too limited can affect your book’s visibility.

Although I write fiction, a lot of people make a reasonable income from non-fiction books. For instance, those which explain how to do something useful. Books include cooking tips, car maintenance, mental health advice and a whole range of relevant modern topics.

All you need to do is create a Word document of whatever you want to talk about and then upload it to the KDP page. It will then help you to create a front page and blurb and you can decide if you want to sell the book as an ebook or paperback or both. If your material is good, then soon a bunch of sales will come along and some people will use their Kindle Unlimited membership to read your book, while you get paid for each individual page they read.

Summary

Thank you for taking the time to read my suggestions for side hustles to help pay those growing bills. Another brilliant blogger that I recently discovered wrote a really good post about How To Get Your Family Finances In Order which is well worth a read as well.

My suggestions are all side hustles anyone can do. This is a tough year with inflation and a general cost of living increase which is forcing all of us to dig deeper into our pockets. Soon the UK national insurance contributions will also be increased so we have to find cool ways to bolster our incomes. Hopefully my side hustles list has helped and you can add your own ideas at the end of this blog post.

A friend suggested that I write this side hustle post and I am grateful for the idea. Hopefully some of what I suggested will be helpful to you or someone you know. If you want to read more of my content, which is about everything from books to current affairs, please follow my blog for future articles.

Working From Home – Ideas

Over time I have experienced lots of different work patterns. In the past I have worked full time office hours, flexible hours, several jobs at once and night shifts. But Covid has introduced working from home as an acceptable part of a normal working pattern. Although I teach face-to-face part time, I still manage to have some time at home doing my other work, such as freelance writing.

Lots of my friends include managers and researchers and they have really got used to working from home. So much so that they have opted to carry it on in preference to returning to the office.

Personally, I hope to work at least two full days from home after the summer and I am really looking forward to it. I have gathered together some advice for people who are new to this kind of work and listed them below:

Working at home – Suggestions

– All of my friends agree that getting rid of distractions is vital when setting up a home based office. Here is a previous article about this, Working from home – without distraction. Such distractions include family members, pets and neighbours popping round for tea.

– Having the right equipment matters. That includes back supports for any chairs you sit on. Also it is vital that you get an anti-blue light screen protector that minimises glare, helping you to look after your eyes. This will also stop them getting tired so quickly.

– Make time for physical breaks. Not travelling to work is great for the environment but often it is easy to become quite sedentary. Time can also run away from you so make sure you rigidly set times for breaks and chances to be mobile.

Some easy ways to mobilise include:

a) Take the dog for a quick walk (he/she will thank you for it).

b) Do ten squats. These are great for getting the blood flowing and wake up your glutes as well as keeping you alert.

c) Walk up and down the stairs twice. Perhaps even treat yourself with a glass of water at the end of it.

d) Do a home maintenance task for five minutes. This helps in two ways as it gives your back and eyes a rest as well as contributing to those chores that will otherwise build up throughout the day. Good examples are: fill the dishwasher, take the bins out, dust the window sills or wipe the kitchen surfaces.

e) Close your eyes and lay on your back, doing alternate leg raises. This will give your abdomen a simple workout whilst allowing you to let your eyes relax for a few minutes. Three lots of ten leg raises work wonders.

– Make sure that if you have a visible timetable online, you pencil out a block everyday for admin tasks. If you don’t then colleagues won’t resist booking you in for back-to-back meetings all day long.

If you manage your time well and don’t get sucked into too many unnecessary meetings, you will still have time for exercise and reflection at the end of the day. Without the need to commute, you should have a little bit of ME-time to unwind, get fresh air and maybe even read a book.

Hopefully this advice was quite useful. For similar posts about lifestyle and entertainment, perhaps consider following my little blog.

How To Blog – Progress

As I weave my way through the blogging galaxy, I am learning so much about the process of keeping a blog going. Of course, I am making tonnes of mistakes too. So let me share with you some of my experience, this time focusing on taking a blog to the next stage (whatever that may be for you).

Beginnings

My blog began as a place to write the odd book review and get down my thoughts on environmental issues. It was ad-hoc and I often went months on end without producing any content at all. However last summer I decided to pay for a full WordPress membership instead of the free one, so I could explore plugins, get to grips with the technical side and, most importantly, begin to write regular content.

Here are my thoughts on progressing a blog. I spoke about maintaining one last time in this article about getting into a good routine. Now, let’s discuss moving forward. This can be just expanding the hobby or potentially developing a site in order to make it a part time business. Remember I am still in the early stages and by no means an expert. Nevertheless, these are my thoughts.

Measuring

It is not something worth obsessing over but it is worth having a look at your blog analytics regularly. I am not too interested in overall views but finding out which posts are most popular or have the most interaction via comments can be extremely helpful if wanting to improve the blog.

After all, if people seem to be lapping up poetry posts then it wouldn’t hurt to write some more. When random posts about the News don’t seem to generate any interest, that is no reason not to continue dropping them in but perhaps consider writing fewer.

Adverts

From day one I started using the readily available WordAds featured on WordPress. It seemed odd as -for what seemed like an eternity- it just kept leaving placeholders, which are essentially just adverts for WordAds itself.

However, after weeks of analysing my site, it started to throw up actual adverts and slowly but surely, small amounts of money began to register on the Jetpack dashboard. For me, this has never been a big earner but it does grow slowly over time.

Adsense

As soon as I had my blog up and running, I applied to use Google Adsense which is a nice way to include adverts on a blog whilst establishing it. The hardest part of this process was copying and pasting the code in the right place on my blog. Adsense itself was a really easy to use provider. I noticed slightly more money accruing and occasionally someone would click on an advert for an extra boost.

Using an ‘Insert Headers and Bloggers’ plugin enabled me to insert the code that I needed to connect Adsense to my WordPress pages. I was also able to add widgets within the ‘Appearance’ section of my blog dashboard, where I could then select specific places that adverts might appear. This simply required pasting custom html into the widgets on either my sidebar or beneath the articles.

Moving on…

I now use Ezoic for advertising placement and it has already improved my site speed and revenue, after just a few weeks. Ezoic bids against Adsense and whichever bids the most gets the advert spot each time. The best thing about changing to Ezoic is that there are lots of learning videos and challenges which enable me to take the decisions about my site into my own hands, whilst recognising clever suggestions.

I have recently learned about optimisation and how to declutter my blog of plugins. Similarly I learned how to cache my blog to make it more accessible and responsive. I knew nothing about these things until I watched Ezoic learning videos. They make regular suggestions for improvement which you can take or leave. You can also test each change before it goes live to make sure it doesn’t disrupt your home page.

Working with Bloggers

The biggest thing for me in helping me to improve my blog has been grabbing opportunities to collaborate. I welcomed my first guest post in the Autumn and noticed that my DA suddenly improved. Ever since, I have been offering to write on others’ blogs and encouraging them to produce content for mine. This ‘I’ll scratch your back, you scratch mine’ technique is definitely good for growth and visibility.

Having backlinks to and from other blogs makes your blog look more established and trustworthy, therefore increasing the likelihood of Google recognising it and eventually for Moz to increase its domain authority.

Summary

Without overloading you with information, I hope that this brief article has encouraged you to continue developing your blog. It would be wonderful to hear your own thoughts about moving a blog forwards. Monetisation isn’t everything but it is an added bonus, so please feel free to share your tips below.

Thank you for taking the time to read my article. Please consider following my blog for similar future content and posts about books and the environment.