This is a continuation of my sidehustle log series. The previous instalments can be found here:
March has been an exciting month.
I launched a website, thanks to inspiration from Alan Donegan and the Popup Business School over at Choose FI. I then worked up some courage to tell my friends and family what I was doing for once, seeing an ego-stroking boost in views as a result.
It is down again now, but what can you do. At least it is out there, right? One step at a time and all that. Some of the experimental soaps are almost done curing too, so they will be added as soon as I’ve gotten around to taking some pictures in the crisp winter weather we are currently experiencing this Easter.
Work has been hectic, as I’ve mentioned in other posts, so I haven’t had the energy to work on sidehustles as much as I would have liked.
Despite that, I have to admit that I actually started a new Etsy shop! I heard so much about printables, instant downloads and the laptop lifestyle from the FIREdrill podcast, so I just kind of gave it a go. It is quite fun, and a welcome break if I need to take my mind off writing and over to do something creative in a different way.
I sold some things! Netting a whopping, 220 NOK (about $28.5 or £20) before expenses are subtracted. Considering how much I’ve spent on buying soap consumables and Etsy listing fees, that still leaves me in the red. But it is a start.
March was the month where I saw my very first online sale. One of my saving trees sold within the first week of posting, earning me a flabbergasted look of “wait, what?”.
A few days after that, a budget bundle sold, making me wonder if there was a trend to all this, or if it was just a spike in the statistic.
My bet is on a spike in the statistics, until proven otherwise. It is dangerous to get too excited this early in the process, after all.
With those two sales, I have earned back the Etsy listing fees for the other six and then some. That puts this one in the green, even if it is the youngest of the shops.
I even sold some soap this month!
A friend/acquaintance ordered three bars of soap, and I got to experience a great sense of accomplishment as I wrapped and mailed it on my way to work one morning.
I know, orders by friends do not really count, and friends and money are a bad mix, so I added a couple of freebies to make sure they feel appreciated.
Time will tell if I need to open up a currency account to avoid getting hit by $10+ exchange fees every time I earn a penny, which is always something to look out for when you’re from a tiny country.
Never the less. It is a tiny start, and I am quite excited about it!
Up until now, I had intended to treat each business separately for my own budgeting and breaking even purposes.
But since the digital download business has very low upfront cost, and making soap is much more expensive, I have decided to just bundle it all up into one budget.
It makes no difference from a tax perspective, and if these businesses manage to grow, I would be just as self-employed with one businesses as with two.
I have considered adding the hosting costs of the blog as well. I figure if I can break even on all my hobbies put together, that is a great place of strength to start from. Anything from there on out is gravy.
I will not lie, the dream is to be able to live off sidehustles like this, being free from dependency on employers, interviews, application writing and other terrifying things. So we are not one of those blogs that talk about saving 25 x our annual income and then retiring on that. We are in more of a hurry as neither of us have permanent employment.
How that will work out, neither of us know. That is what this blog is for!
I should use Pinterest, I hear that everywhere. It can be a beast of a traffic booster if you manage to get the hang of it. I had a Tailwind trial round, courtesy of Mama Fish Saves, but I cannot defend investing more in my writing hobby at the moment. Not until the shared budget mentioned above is in the green.
I try to, but I just haven’t gotten the hang of it yet (though it is a nice place to waste 15 minutes if your brain needs a break), but I figure like anything, if I keep playing around with it, it might grow slowly and organically.
I am not much of a social media whizz, but I must admit that my favourite at the moment is Instagram.
It’s easy, it’s low barrier of entry, and it’s fun. It doesn’t annoy me with random notifications because I turned that off, but it is nice to log in once a day or a few times a day and get that ego-boost because someone has liked your post. The tags also makes it easy for people with similar interests to find you and vice versa.
Plus, unlike many other social media apps I’ve found, Instagram allows and makes it easy to have multiple accounts. I can have a personal account, one for Frugasaurus, one for my soaping and one for my printables, and never the twine shall meet or require me to keep logging in and out and in and out.
Do you have any sidehustles you’ve been tinkering with? Have you been seeing any growth, or have you been too busy to work at it? Are you stuck somewhere in the process?
I am nothing but a newbie myself at this, but I hope that we might be able to help and encourage each other one step at a time!