If you hate your job, do something about it – start a side hustle, work your ass off on it, and get your ass out of the rat race once and for all – here’s how to do it…
Around 80% of Americans hate their jobs.
Did you know that? Pretty crazy, right?
Even more so when you consider that you’ll be doing this “working thing” for the vast majority of your life.
You also have job insecurity to consider too, so you could hate your job but also worry that you’ll be laid off without warning at any point too.
It could happen next week or when your 58; it doesn’t matter, really.
The economy is all over the place at the moment and chaos not order seems to be the dominating force on the planet at the moment.
And that, alongside all the other doom and gloom we’ve been subjected to for the past 24 months, is why quite a lot of people are depressed, anxious and unsure about their futures.
Add in things like the rise of automation and the fact that AI will almost certainly replace about 30% of the workforce within the next 10-20 years and there has never been a better time to start doing your own thing.
What To Do When You Hate Your Job But You Can’t Quit
Never one to be pessimistic, I have some good news for you: if you hate your job, you can do something about it – and you can start right now.
You don’t need any special skills, you can learn just about anything online for free, and you don’t really need any cash to get started either.
All you need is the drive to learn, to apply yourself, to focus singularly on one thing for 12 to 24 months.
If you can do this, you can get yourself out of the rat race for good.
How do I know?
Simple: this is exactly what I have spent the last 10 years of my life doing.
And I’m nothing special; if I can pull this off, anyone can.
As long as you can read and write, you can pull off a successful side hustle.
The Power of The Side-Hustle
What is a side-hustle? A side-hustle is a project you develop while still being gainfully employed.
You work on it in your spare time, doing as much as you can. It is a grind, especially if you have kids, but it can be done.
It could be a blog, an iPhone app, a drop shipping business –whatever.
What’s the end goal of a side-hustle? To create a stable, reliable secondary income that will eventually surpass your salary, allowing you to quit your day job and go full time on your project.
Pretty cool, right?
It is one of the most liberating things an individual can do.
Earning your own money, not having a boss, working your own hours, and actually “owning” something is one of the best things you can do.
You create an asset out of nothing, basically. It could be a blog, a blog with video courses, an app, a web resource – whatever.
As long as you care about the project and you can dedicate the time, you can make it work.
But it does take time. Quite a bit of time. With blogs, you’re looking at 12 months of solid graft before you’ll see any upside.
But what’s 12 months in the grand scheme of your working like?
It’s a drop in the ocean.
And after 24 or 72 months, you’re going to be sitting on something with cash flow that has value – and that means you have yourself an asset.
And you can sell assets for cash.
Get a few assets and you can quickly double or triple your net worth in the space of a couple of years.
Where To Begin?
I cannot tell you what to do for your side hustle, that’s on you.
You need to find something you’re interested in, care about, and can dedicate a lot of time to.
My background is online blogs. I started as a journalist in 2009, writing about technology. By 2014, after watching nearly half of the people at the company I worked at get laid off, I decided enough was enough.
I was sick of worrying about my job, so I decided to start my own side-hustle, a blog.
I started in earnest in late 2014 and now, six years later, this blog generates five times what I used to make a year with my old job.
Since then, I have launched another blog, including this one, and I bought a site as well.
I now have four blogs. Two of them make very good money, one is growing, and the other isn’t really done for profit (that’s this blog, FYI).
Looking back, six years seems like a long time given everything that has happened. But in relative terms, it really isn’t long at all. Especially since now I will never have to work for anyone else again.
How Long Does It Take To Make A Blog Successful?
I started this venture when I was 30. I just recently turned 37; had I started in my 20s, I’d be much farther along the path.
Either way, it doesn’t matter when you start – or how old you are. Just start, that’s the main thing.
Start and be ready to make failure your friend, mentor, and life coach.
I have three viable blogs that all make money. They make money while I sleep, when I work on them, or when I take a couple of weeks off work.
But it wasn’t an easy road to where I am now; I made a lot of mistakes and wasted a lot of cash because, put simply, when I started, I didn’t know what I was doing.
I learnt on the job, basically.
It was a baptism of fire. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
All of my mistakes and failures taught me valuable lessons that helped me to grow and develop my skill set.
Now I know exactly what I’m doing.
But it wasn’t exactly plain sailing. The ends in this case, however, do justify the means. As long as your moving forwards with a project, you’re making progress.
Most people give up too early as well.
I learned that early on; they don’t have the will to stay in the fight for as long as it takes – usually 12+ months.
This is the #1 reason why 98% of blogs fail; it’s not because it is hard, it is because it requires hard work and patience.
The spoils of your persistence and investments are well worth it though.
Once a blog is established, it will literally make you money round the clock 24/7, 365 days a year. And once you understand the formula for creating successful blogs, you can use it again and again to launch other blogs.
Although, for the time being I would focus on a single blog – you do not want to spread yourself too thin, as I am doing at the moment. It is a lot of work.
The Importance of Your Blog’s Niche
When you start your blog, you need to think long and hard about what you want to blog about – and how you’ll be different.
The days of churning out short content packed with keywords and ranking are over.
Each and every one of your posts needs to serve a purpose, answer a question, or aid the user in some way.
This means, when you pick your niche, you want to go for something you’re interested in but not something that is insanely competitive.
For instance, you might like cars. I do too. But the car niche is insanely competitive – you simply won’t stand a chance. Ditto, anything related to technology.
For this reason, you need to get creative.
A blog about outdoor offices and remote working will do better than a generic blog about cars – the market is more focused and less competitive.
And when you’re starting out, the less competition you have the better. You do not want to be competing with The New York Times and CNET, trust me.
For this reason, you’ll want to go niche as f**k – the nicher the better.
And while this might sound incredibly frustrating, it is actually really liberating. You just have to get creative.
For instance, rather than doing a generic blog about e-commerce, you could focus solely on one platform – SquareSpace, for instance – and target this solely. You lazer in on it, become an authority, and you rank faster.
Go Niche, Then Go Even Nicher…
In the above example, if you went the more generic route, you would not be able to rank for Best Ecommerce Platform for instance as it is too competitive.
By focusing on a singular topic within an established niche, in this case Square Space, you can quickly build out helpful, actionable content that helps your users and quickly gets you traffic.
Another example? If you’re interested in cars, you could do a blog about mods for certain cars – BMWs for instance. You won’t be competing for keywords like BMW M5 review or whatever.
Instead, you’d be going for much less competitive terms like “best BMW E90 Mods” or “best BMW 5 series wraps” – and these will be easier to rank for.
You can apply this “niching” to pretty much any established topic or subject matter.
You just have to get creative, think laterally, and do not pull the trigger on anything until you know how you’re going to monetize it.
With the Square Space example from above, you’d use Square Space’s affiliate program to monetize that blog from the get-go.
It is a decent affiliate program too. And because your blog is solely about Square Space, all of your readers are primed leads.
You could theoretically make anywhere from $5000 to $10000 a month on very little traffic (maybe less than 5000 visitors a month) in this particular niche.
I know this because I was thinking of doing something in it awhile back – it is a very good opportunity.
Most Important Skill For New Bloggers?
First and foremost, you need to be able to write good copy. That is a must. If you can do this, great.
If you cannot, learn how to write good copy – read Elements of Style, it’ll tell you everything you need to know.
You’ll also need to learn how to set up a WordPress blog, secure hosting, and install a theme.
If you cannot do this, you can hire someone to do it for you – use Upwork or Fiverr for this.
The most important, bankable skill you can learn, however, is keyword research. If you can get good at this, you can have massive success very quickly.
A lot of people talk about “The Google Sandbox”; this is when a new site cannot rank for any competitive terms for a good 12 months.
Google says the sandbox isn’t real, SEOs disagree.
Me? I don’t care about it. I don’t chase big keywords on new blogs, it isn’t worth it.
Instead, I go for low competition, high intent keywords.
Do this and you won’t need to worry about Google’s sandbox. You will start getting traffic to your blog within the first month.
You just have to target the right keywords.
To do this, I use SEMrush. I enter my keyword into its Keyword Explorer Tool and set the Keyword Difficulty to a maximum of 10.
I then browse through the options, pick a few winners, and then check the search intent behind this keyword in Google.
Search Intent is what Google thinks the keyword is about. If you enter your keyword into Google and it is all retailers and web stores, forget about it.
You want informational keywords with buying intent.
- How-To Guides
- Fixing Problems
- Product Lists
- Types of Things
- Explainer Posts
Focus on these, forget “best list” posts, they’re sh*t and everybody hates them, and you’ll quickly start picking up traffic and making conversions.
Basically, your content needs to solve a problem or answer a question: if you can do this, you will get a conversion.
But you first have to find the correct keywords. And this is why keyword research is so important.