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Here’s an overview of what I’ve been up to over the last week or two in developing side hustles, blog income and freelance work.
Being off work is giving me some time to educate myself and try to develop some secondary income streams.
I doubt any of this will pan out to keep me from needing to find a regular job of some kind. But, secondary income streams are always a good thing!
Come back and check out the upcoming post on how I’m trying to stay organized and track my time with my various ventures!
I’ve been trying to put myself out there when I see the opportunity for a guest post. I’ve got a couple of those in the works. But, it sure feels great if someone wants to pay you for your work.
A Twitter friend referred me to another blogger who was looking for writers and will pay for posts. I decided to look into that and am working on my first piece. Hopefully it goes over well and it can be the first step in developing a freelance pipeline.
I’ve also reached out to a few pharmacists who have blogs and internet based businesses that aren’t really “pharmacy” related. I already wrote a guest post a few months back for one. We’ll see what that networking does for me or if there is potential for collaboration or freelance work there.
Generating Blog Revenue
I went for it and signed up for Google Adsense for the blog. My very informal Twitter poll said people don’t really care if I run ads or not. For people who do really care, I suppose there are always pop up blockers?
It looks like I might make about a dollar a week with it at my current blog view levels, assuming people actually click on an ad.
Given the market I target is generally focused on smart spending and frugality, ads probably aren’t the best way to generate an income. But, it’s the easiest way I know to get started and it’s almost completely passive.
I’m down for the experiment!
I also signed up for Amazon Affiliates. If you read my Sauerkraut How To post, you may have noticed some links there.
So far I haven’t had a single person buy something on Amazon after clicking a link, so I haven’t made any money. If I don’t make a sale within 3 months (I think) they’ll shut me down and I can apply later.
Someone doesn’t have to actually buy one of the products I link to, just to make a purchase on Amazon within 24 hours of clicking the link. I hope I can accomplish that within 3 months!
I don’t recommend a lot of products to buy on my blog. Firstly, it’s just not usually related to the topics I’m blogging about. Second, I don’t buy a lot and wouldn’t recommend that much anyway.
I tried to set it up so that the Amazon links are effective tools, not spammy ads.
Amazon mTurk and HIT Work
In my regular quests to find ways to earn some money online, I came across mTurk, which, sorry for the mental image I’m going to give you, is just “twerk” in my head.
So, from now on we’re gonna call it “mTwerk.”
mTwerk pays you pennies to complete “HITs” or “human intelligence tasks.” They’re supposedly very simple tasks that don’t take much time. That’s arguable. It took a few days to sign up and is taking me a while to understand how it all works.
I made $1.87 cents my first day. $0.03 of that was a bonus for completing a pre-screening questionnaire.
I figured, I’ve signed up for a shit ton of survey sites over the years that didn’t make me any money. When I do surveys, I work for 15 minutes then get told I don’t qualify.
At least with this, I can actually make a few pennies.
There are apparently ways to go about it and be able to make some “ok” money. But you’d still be lucky to make minimum wage.
I figure, while I’m not working at all, I can play around with it a bit.
It’s all learning experience and you never know which things you learn will help you later on.
So, here we go!
In Home Help
Through word of mouth I’ve picked up a client who has some health issues and needs some help around the house.
I mentioned to an acquaintance that while I was looking for my next job, I was hoping to find some people who need maybe some help around the house with organizing or things like that.
Ideally, I’d like to develop something where, as a pharmacist, I’m providing some professional advice and support to people with complicated health issues. Not a “caregiver” in the classical sense. But something between a highly educated and professional caregiver and a health coach.
- Helping them stay on top of their medications.
- Advising when they should be checking in with a provider for various issues
- Helping to negotiate the “system” after a hospital or emergency room visit
- Acting as a support system and encouragement to promote independent living
- Provide assistance with some small tasks around the home
I’m not quite sure what to call that yet, but the first step is getting some clients and seeing how it works in person and what services they need and are open to getting help with.
My first client
Is someone who has issues involving chronic fatigue and trouble focusing. They feel overwhelmed with their situation at home and things “piling up.” They are also in desperate need of some social time.
The house wasn’t that bad. A bit cluttered, but not awful. The client was very concerned about privacy but felt comfortable about me being referred to by the mutual friend.
In talking to her, I found I was uniquely positioned to be respectful and non judgemental of the issues she is having. She said others she has hired to come help her tell her “why don’t you just go out there and get rid of the boxes, it’s not that big a deal.” They can’t respect the issue that she is telling them she has, where she can’t.
As a pharmacist, I’m used to coming to terms with “where people are at” and trying to find a way to work with them right there. In this capacity, I’m not there to tell them how to do things. I’m there to help get things done however they feel they are able to. Or, just do it myself depending on the task.
She’s happy to pay me $40/hr. Right now, she wants me there at least once a week. We’ll see for how long and how frequently this keeps up.
I also tried to do some “market research”
I met at a local coffee shop with someone who was interested in what I was describing based on something I posted on the local small community Facebook page. It wasn’t that helpful, other than to see that the person agreed there was a need for the services I’m describing. Problem is how to get referrals.
A Friends Small Business
I really don’t know how this is going to work out as my friend is a bit all over the place with 30 things going at once.
Initially a couple of weeks ago, there was talk of me just helping out at the business. Thing is, that was near minimum wage and it’s the slow season, so he just had to reduce hours and lay some people off. I don’t think that’s really going to happen or the best use of my time. Though if I get desperate enough, I might ask him about it again.
In that talk we also discussed the possibility of me developing some direly needed policies and procedures and workflows. This sounded more up my alley.
I followed up with him and we sat down to talk so I could better gauge what he wanted.
It sounds like it could be a very intensive project. He says is willing to pay me for the hours I put in. Luckily, he acknowledged that he can be somewhat long winded so, we’d probably want to have me track hourly rather than a project based fee.
Interestingly, he offered being open to paying me as an hourly, w2 employee, or as a 1099 worker on invoice (and paying me slightly more that way to account for self employment taxes).
This all sounds great, but, it’s only for about $20 an hour. And, since he’s kind of all over the place, and it’s not an area I’m familiar with the processes in, it could be difficult to get the actual work done.
I suggested we work on specific policy and memo he needs developed. He needs it soon-ish and it is a good way to see if we work well together. He agreed, but has yet to follow up with me.
In the meantime, I get to perhaps start working on developing some of the things necessary as an independent business.
Developing and Structuring a Business
I already have an EIN, or employer identification number for my “business” of the blog for tax purposes. I’m trying to figure out how I can structure any other work under the same umbrella so that it can be one business.
I haven’t made any money the blog yet, so I haven’t really had to put much thought into all this except for getting the EIN. I’m thinking I can have the blog and then a “consulting” based arm for business consulting?
Since I blog anonymously, this could be difficult. We will see how it all goes. I know I can use a DBA or “doing business as” name for related but separate ventures, like subdivisions of a business. But that’s about all I know.
In meeting with my business friend, he also mentioned that I should perhaps look into some insurances as small business, such as “errors and omissions” for written work.
If I develop my home health side hustle further, I would structure it as it’s own business. There are potential liability concerns as a licensed professional working in the home with someone. I’d want to structure this business a little bit better to protect myself.
And that’s where I’m at on building my business this week!
Regina is That Frugal Pharmacist. She’s a PharmD, mother to a son with cancer, breadwinning wife, personal finance enthusiast, artist, writer, and entrepreneur. Regina’s single-income household has been debt-free, including her home, since she was 28 years old.
Her money approach is “holistic financial health.” She encourages mindful spending, awareness of the non-monetary costs of choices, and aligning personal values with money habits. Regina sees a frugal lifestyle and mindset as an important part of environmental stewardship. As such she’s interested in ongoing efforts towards self-sufficiency and sustainability.