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The Side Hustle Show

Author: Nick Loper of Side Hustle Nation

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The Side Hustle Show is the podcast for part-time entrepreneurs who are looking for business ideas, actionable tips to start a business, and killer strategies on how to turn their side hustle dreams into a growing business. We cover all aspects of starting a business and making money (online and offline), including small business marketing, sales, websites, social media marketing, blogging, time management, and more. Our topics include passive income ideas, niche sites, self-publishing, software and app development, coaching and consulting, freelancing, affiliate marketing, Amazon FBA, and much more.

Learn how to turn your business idea into your own thriving small business. Starting your own business gives you the freedom and opportunity to quit your job. It doesn't take a high-flying start-up to make money or create an awesome lifestyle business.

Guests include Jon Acuff, Chris Ducker, Brian Clark, John Lee Dumas, Pat Flynn, and many Tim Ferriss and Gary Vaynerchuk proteges. Because your 9 to 5 may make you a living, but your 5-9 makes you alive.

Hosted by Nick Loper, Chief Side-Hustler at Side Hustle Nation (.com).
349 Episodes
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Can you build a new income stream on your lunch break? This week's guest says yes, and shares how. In this episode, I’m joined by Mike Zima from ZimaMedia.com -- a full-service digital marketing agency that got its start with a single $5 sale on Fiverr. It’s been a while since we talked about Fiverr, but the way today’s guest has used the platform to start and grow his freelance business is an eye-opener. Mike’s claim to fame: He’s the only Fiverr seller who’s mentioned in Fiverr’s IPO pitch deck. But it all started with one $5 order. He’s now doing thousands of dollars a month, perhaps tens of thousands of dollars a month in Fiverr sales. Tune in to hear what’s working on Fiverr today, Mike’s “rapid gig prototyping" strategy to test out new offers, and how to wean your reliance off of Fiverr while building your agency.
Are you operating online fully compliant with GDPR and CCPA regulations? Do you have the right type of liability insurance to cover you should the worst case happen? If you’re unsure about any of the legal stuff surrounding you, your business, or side hustle, it should be a lot clearer by the end of this episode. This is because Mariam Tsaturyan from FreelanceandMarketing.com has graciously agreed to do some legal listener Q&A for us in today’s show. She’s a licensed and practicing attorney, who helps bloggers and online business owners navigate the often-murky waters of legal regulations and compliance. Tune in as we tackle some of the big topics like entity selection, GDPR, and liability insurance. Then we'll dive into some specific questions from the Side Hustle Nation FB group.
Do you know how much cash flows through your hometown on a monthly basis? In this episode we explore how to get some of that cash flowing toward you! I'm joined by Nick Huber, co-founder of Storage Squad and host of The Sweaty Startup podcast. Storage Squad, a student storage service, has grown to over $3M in sales since starting it as a little part-time project back in 2011. I invited Nick on The Side Hustle Show to help walk us through his "sweaty startup" framework. That is, how you can start a low-risk, low-overhead, local, service-based business, set it up for success, and let that be the vehicle that drives you away from a lifetime of cubicle slavery. Tune in to hear Nick’s thoughts on generating service business ideas you could start today, evaluating the market and competition, and scoring your first customers. That’s why I think this is pretty exciting -- it really doesn’t take many customers to begin to make a meaningful income here.
Early last summer I joined Teachable’s “Creator Challenge.” The premise was to research, create, and launch an online course over the next three months. On top of that, Teachable provided expert support, a community of fellow instructors, and a little friendly competition. People have been asking me about creating an online course for years — but since I tend to work better with a deadline, I jumped in on the challenge.
Creating your own website can definitely be a great side hustle–if you take the time to monetize it. But the problem is that many people who create websites have no clue how to actually make money with them. When this happens, your website becomes a liability. You’re sinking precious time and money into something that isn’t giving you a return. However, it’s entirely possible to prevent that from happening or to fix the problem if it has already started. You just need to know how to use your website to generate income, and in this article, I’m going to show you how. Let’s look at 15 great ways you can monetize your website and turn it into a proper revenue-generating machine.
As we turn the calendar on a new decade, I thought I'd reflect back on the last 10 years. To paint the picture of where the 2010s started for me, I was: coming off a great year in business, and had high hopes for the future about to get married blogging at nickloper.com, on a bunch of random topics $150k underwater in our house, which was a huge source of stress Let's see what happened next!
Rob brought in $40k last year hosting tours in of Washington, D.C. -- all on the side from his day job, and with no marketing budget. However, if you Google “Washington, D.C tour guide”, Rob Pitingolo's TripHacksDC.com is nowhere to be seen. So what's secret sauce? He’s been creating helpful tourist-friendly content on YouTube, and outlet largely ignored by his better-funded competitors. His channel has had more than 1.4 million views to date, and he’s funneling those viewers to his site where they can sign up for a tour. In fact, his channel has grown so much that he’s partnered with YouTube and ad revenue from his videos has become another income stream for his business. Tune in to hear how Rob has grown his business into a fun and cash-flowing side hustle, how he leverages YouTube to reach his target customers rather than traditional tour marketplaces, and how he’s growing the business beyond just himself giving tours.
How do you start a side hustle? Well we can talk about side hustle ideas and marketing tactics until we're blue in the face, but in studying my catalog of past interviews, a few common traits popped up over and over again. I've compiled those into this 7-step guide to starting a side hustle. Whether you’re an established business owner, or you’re just starting out, I think you’ll find this a helpful framework for your projects. It'll also help you identify where you have the biggest opportunities for improvement this year.
Is there gold in your backyard? Or, more accurately ... dog poop? Erica Krupin found $1000 a week in hers, with a side hustle that can easily be replicated in your local area. Erica started Kroopin’s Poopin Scoopin, a pet waste removal business in her spare time, and now has more than 80 recurring weekly customers. With an average price of $15 per customer per week, that’s over $1,000 a week, picking up dog poop. Sometimes it’s the simplest businesses that are the fastest to get started and see some results. Erica just left her day job to pursue this full-time, and with the plans she has in place, it looks like her business is set to continue growing. Tune in to hear how she landed her first customers and markets this business, how she prices the service, and how she delivers on her promises.
Helping people make decisions is a big business! In fact, these two Side Hustle Show listeners started a website to do just that, and it's now bringing in $17-20k a month. Oh, and the project is only a little over a year old. Alex Goldberg and Healy Jones run a site called FinvsFin.com, which focuses on reviews and comparisons of direct to consumer brands. They earn money as affiliates -- basically earning a commission on sales that are referred through the site. Note: Click here to download Alex and Healy’s top tips for growing and monetizing an affiliate site from this episode. FinvsFin is an example of what I’ll call the modern comparison shopping site -- helping readers make decisions and getting paid for it. And since comparison shopping was my original side hustle over a decade ago, this was especially fun to dive into. The impressive part is that this is still very much a side hustle. Both Alex and Healy have full-time jobs, and their business falls under the “passive income" business model. Tune in to hear how Alex and Healy prioritize and create their content, what they’re doing to market the site and drive traffic, and how you can borrow some of their same strategies in your own niche.
Etsy is no longer just the marketplace of handmade crafts! Yes, you can sell digital products like printables and even drop ship physical goods without ever touching your inventory. We haven’t really discussed Etsy in detail for a while. But I thought it was time to take a closer look at this platform again, as it’s seen tremendous growth in recent years. Opening the doors for you to create your own passive products -- both through digital downloads and drop shipping physical products. In fact, since 2015, the number of Etsy buyers has more than doubled -- far outpacing the growth of Etsy sellers. So, if you are currently selling online or have an idea in the pipeline, you’d be crazy to ignore the potential Etsy holds as a "Buy Buttons" platform. Melissa MacDonald is a long-time Etsy seller who now focuses her efforts on Etsy marketing and optimization for other shop owners. Tune in to hear Melissa’s process for coming up with new passive income product ideas, her favorite tools for running a hands-off Etsy shop, and how to optimize your listings for conversion and sales.
It’s time to dive into the ol’ listener mailbag and answer a few questions in this week’s edition of The Side Hustle Show. I’ve had quite a few interesting questions come in since the last Q&A episode, and picked 20 to talk through in today’s show. Like this format? This is the 9th installment of “20 Questions” so feel free to go back and binge on the older ones too: 346: The Con of the Side Hustle, Beanie Babies, Affiliate Marketing, and More: 20 Questions with Nick 320: Multiplying Money, Morning Routines, and $100k Side Hustles: 20 Questions with Nick 291: Email, Ebooks, Platforms, and Conferences: 20 Questions with Nick 271: Brilliant Blogging, Ruthless Productivity, and Guaranteed Success: 20 Questions with Nick 245: Network Marketing, Imposter Syndrome, My Side Hustle Mistakes, and More: 20 Questions with Nick 219: Growing Traffic, Monetization, List-Building, a Day in the Life, and More: 20 Questions with Nick 198: Blogging, Branding, Book Writing, and Finding the Right Side Hustle for You: 20 Questions with Nick 181: SEO, Affiliate Marketing, Self-Publishing, Udemy, and More: 20 Questions with Nick A common piece of advice you’ll hear is to take audience questions and turn them into content, so here’s a meta example of that in action. This episode covers market saturation, getting up earlier, mapping out content, and lots more. Enjoy!
Looking for a part-time side hustle where you get can your inventory for free and there are almost no startup costs? This week, I’m excited to introduce the side hustle of public domain publishing. This is the art and science of republishing classic literature - where the copyrights have expired - and earning passive royalties when your version sells. Because these works are so old, they’re available online for free - but many Amazon shoppers and Kindle owners will pay to have them delivered straight to their device. I think any business where you can get your inventory for free is pretty compelling! Since 2013, Aaron Kerr has pocketed over $110k in royalties through this very part-time side hustle. You can see all his public domain projects over at TimelessReads.com. Tune in to hear how this business model works, Aaron’s advice on what to publish and how to get past Amazon’s gatekeepers, and how to differentiate your public domain books from everything else out there.
This week’s show is a re-take on last year’s Thanksgiving episode on 10 Creative Side Hustles that Make Real Money. That show was a hit, so I’m returning to that format for another round. Some of these will you have kicking yourself not thinking of it yourself, and some of these are 6-figure businesses you could literally start tomorrow. Here are the 10 creative side hustles I cover in this episode: The 7-Figure Lemonade Stand The World's Most Boring Podcast Local Dog Poop Pick-Up The 6-Figure Dog Walking Business The 7-Figure Email Newsletter Business The Ambient Noise Alexa Skill Big Bat Houses The Niche Service Provider Directory The Niche Productized Service In-Person Classes Enjoy!
Can you really get paid to answer questions? That’s exactly what Debbie Gartner from TheFlooringGirl.com does - and her answers are earning her $20,000 a month. Debbie used to run a local hardwood flooring consultation business. She’d estimate jobs, make recommendations, and match homeowners with reliable installers. In her spare time, she started her blog with the goal of showing up in some local search results to generate some more business. “I wrote blog posts that were questions that my customers would have,” Debbie told me. Note: Click here to download Debbie’s top tips for growing and monetizing a blog. But as you might have guessed, the site soon started to reach an audience well outside her local area. A couple of years later Debbie got out of the brick and mortar flooring business and decided to monetize her blog. She was already pulling in more than 100,000 visitors and by simply turning on ads she made $1,100 in her first month. From there she continued to grow her traffic numbers, added affiliate posts, created her own products, and is now making more than $20,000 a month. Tune in to hear how Debbie is driving traffic, how her site earns money, and how you may be able to replicate some of Debbie’s tactics in your own niche. Note: If you don't have a blog of your own yet, my free video series will show you how to get up and running quickly and affordably.
Would you trade $200 for $4,000? That’s exactly what today’s guest, Josh Elledge is doing. Josh runs a kind of modern PR service for small businesses and has developed a unique and innovative way to break through the marketing clutter and have real conversations with real prospects -- and do it at scale. He’s found a way to create what he calls “a speed dating environment.” That's his metaphor for the revolving door of new prospects he’s interviewing and selling his services to. To do this, Josh has created a podcast called The Thoughtful Entrepreneur. It serves as a platform for business owners to talk about their businesses, and for Josh to demonstrate to them how he can improve their visibility. It’s a win-win, and with streamlined processes in place, Josh is seeing a return of around $4,000 for every $200 he spends on producing his show. If you’re a current or aspiring freelancer, consultant, coach, or agency owner… this is gold.  Tune in to hear how Josh does his proactive prospecting, how he’s turning his content creation into sales conversions, and the foundational ground game he’s got set up that makes this all work.
He knew his $12 an hour gig at Walmart was a dead-end job. His escape route was a business idea you probably walk past at least a couple times a year without even thinking about it. What's he do? Today, Larry McGee's the guy who takes care of the aquarium at the dentist office and other commercial waiting rooms. And it earns him around $70,000 a year, doing something he enjoys and working just 15-hours a week. Larry’s aquarium maintenance business started as a lunch break side hustle with a friend while working at Walmart. More than a decade into the operation, he's got dozens of predictable retainer clients that pay him every month. In this episode, Larry shares some interesting tactics he’s used over the years to find new clients and keep them around for years. I'm confident he'll give you some food for thought as to what type of local service business could be right under your nose.
Just because a niche is insanely competitive, it doesn’t mean you can’t start an affiliate site and claim a slice of the revenue. At least, that’s what Sa El of SimplyInsurance.com has done, and the way he lays out how he’s done it will pique the interest of affiliate marketers out there. Sa was a door-to-door insurance salesman in Atlanta. He wanted to get into the online space and build an affiliate site, and with more than 11 years’ experience in the insurance industry, it made sense to enter the insurance niche. He took Brain Dean’s SEO That Works course to learn the ropes. But, when he told Brian he was going to build a site in the insurance niche, he was advised against it. Did Sa go back to the drawing board and look for a new niche? Nope. Sa told me there were two reasons why he decided to go ahead and build his site: He likes a challenge, and If the niche is that competitive, most of his competition is already at the top, leaving room for him to work his way up. That was 2 years ago. Today, Sa’s site is bringing in 6000 visitors a month and $13k-$15k in revenue. These numbers prove how competitive the insurance niche is. That’s a huge revenue number for 6k visitors, and Sa told me that only around 4.5k of those visitors are landing on his "money pages." (Some examples linked below.) Tune in to hear how Sa strategically built out his content to capture longtail traffic, how he builds backlinks (lots of them) to rank his money pages, and the tools he’s using to accelerate his efforts.
What if you could make your rent or mortgage payment go away? Or, what if instead of paying that expense every month, your living situation actually paid you? It’s not as far-fetched as it may sound. In fact, that’s exactly what today’s guest, Craig Curelop, has done by intentionally "house hacking" over the past few years. He’s even written a book on the topic, and it's one I wish I’d had when I was 18 or 19! I would have definitely done some things differently. The basic idea is to use other people’s rents to offset, or even profit from your own housing costs. On top of that, you'll begin building wealth through real estate and earn tax benefits as well. If you have a spare room or two in your home, or you're interested in house hacking, this episode is going to get the gears turning for you. Tune in as Craig runs through some examples of how you can do this. Whether you’re a young professional, or you have a family of your own, you can offset some or all of your mortgage payments. But keep in mind, this isn’t a common path -- this is living for a period of time like others won’t -- as you’ll hear from Craig’s story. “Typically you’re going to sacrifice comfortability with profitability,” Craig explained to me. But living for a few years like others won’t has given Craig the financial independence to potentially live decades like others can’t.
You’ve started a business. You’ve created a product or a service. You’re selling it to clients and getting great feedback. That’s great, you’ve overcome so many of the hurdles we face as entrepreneurs. But the next step is finding a way to keep new customers coming through the doors and scaling up your services. That’s the challenge today's guest Matt Rudnitsky of Platypusbooks.com is facing. Matt helps entrepreneurs and other interesting people turn their ideas and expertise into books. For this, Matt earns $30k and up per project. But, as you might have guessed, it takes a ton of work and the client pipeline is sometimes dry for months at a time. Matt has also created an online course teaching self-publishing, but hasn’t enrolled any students yet. So, I invited Kurt Elster from EtherCycle.com back onto the show. (Some of you will remember Kurt from episode 71 back in 2014 where he talked about productized consulting). Kurt hosts the unofficial Shopify podcast and is a leader in productized consulting in the Shopify space. He’s faced all the same problems Matt, and a lot of you reading this are currently facing. Tune in to hear our take on Matt’s business and Kurt's recommendations for next steps. As you listen in, put yourself in Matt’s shoes and see how a similar product or service ladder can apply to your own business.
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Comments (29)

Brad Watt

Probably my favorite episode so far. Also, Dave's an awesome guy who knows his stuff.

Feb 2nd
Reply (1)

Mark Cousino

great idea for a podcast

Jan 29th
Reply

Miguel

good stuff

Nov 30th
Reply

Ivie Porto

Amazing tips!!

Jul 19th
Reply

Amira

From the speaker: rent the entire building and sublease it.

Jul 7th
Reply

Amira

FHA and others

Jul 7th
Reply

sirrellim

Great show, she is very helpful

Jun 14th
Reply

K Hines

I agree that they are advantages, but they are not unfair.

May 10th
Reply

Sara B

Hmm... sounds a bit like a network marketing company that actually provide services.

Mar 29th
Reply

Vincent Ruiz

Do you have to have a business license and or tax ID to have a Amazon reseller account?

Mar 14th
Reply

Daniel Baldry

Great show Nick... 😎

Mar 7th
Reply

SoulTrucker727

I have been listening to this show for a while! I am now a big fan! The information provided by Nick and his guests have helped me to develop a solid business plan. They also have helped me find the correct sources of research information to correctly choose and evaluate my customer base. I am glad to have run across this podcast. Keep doing your thing Nick!! #HustleNation #HustleStrong #GetMoney

Feb 2nd
Reply

Mike Starback

Hi

Jan 31st
Reply

Ava Fails

This triggered my Alexa...LOL.

Jan 4th
Reply

Fadi

This episode is very helpful! Thank you for the great insight.

Dec 6th
Reply

Grigory

How exactly does this happen? I can’t see how a family can be made homeless by airbnb subleasing

Dec 6th
Reply

Leona Gonnelly

Number 5 is destroying Families in Ireland, please don't make families homeless for the sake of extra cash.

Nov 26th
Reply (3)

luk

3:25

Oct 26th
Reply

Laurean Robinson, MA

I have my own local podcast here in Miami called Lboogie's Pop World where I cover local Entertainment and Pop Culture

Jul 26th
Reply

Angelia Dodd

I have a you tube channel (Mystic Moubtain Homestead)and I planned on making a website for that on wood press. I really don't have anything to sell "of my own" yet. so I was considering drop shipping. Can I add a shopify, etsy, etc to this same website or do I need a whole new site for e-commerce?

May 18th
Reply (1)
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