Over my years as a self-employed, I have always had some kind of work on the side that I have maintained. When I started in Photography, that was my side business. I started earning a few hundred extra dollars each month from side photography jobs and that continued to grow fast. When I started designing websites, it was a side business but in 2005 I made it my full-time business.
In 2007 when the first iPhone was launched, I started another side business reviewing apps. Years later that turned into a technology review YouTube channel which I still run (very much on the side) today. I mostly review and produce tips/tricks videos for technology that I use or purchase for work.
In 2014 I filmed a photography course which I put online for free. A year later I started a YouTube channel and started producing content around photography as well. The photography course took off and at the time I am writing this, has over 240,000 students that have taken the course. Unfortunately, I did not provide much follow up to that course to generate any revenue, but I have attempted to gather emails and engage with some of the students through a Facebook group.
I always have to be working on something. I spend the majority of my day focusing on creating for my clients. I pour a lot of thought and effort into their projects, but I still desire to work on something of my own, which is why I keep a couple of things going at all times.
In an attempt to be more accountable to my side projects I am going to start challenging myself to give some extra time to those projects. As my side projects produce more income, I can afford to work on them more. At this point, I am only able to work on them once I have completed all of my client work. That leaves enough time to work on them, but not really create on the level I really want to be at with these projects. That might require adding someone to my team who’s job is to help with the creation of the content I want to be producing. This will take more revenue.
I’m going public with my financials
Ok, so I am kind of going public with my financials. I am going to be sharing a monthly post that breaks down where all of my side income is coming from and how it’s growing. I am doing this because if it is not growing, change needs to happen, and this will help me visualize it. This will also keep the fire lit under my butt because who wants to read financial reports on something that is not growing. This will start out very rudimentary, but I hope to evolve it into something fun to look at and read. This has been something I have wanted to do for quite some time, but have not due to not having time to make it look awesome. NOT EVERYTHING NEEDS TO LOOK AWESOME JERAD! Ok, so it would be nice if it did, but for now, it’s just going to be a list.
I am not posting this information to show off or come across like I am bragging about success in any way. I am posting this information to be accountable and to show that you can earn enough money on the side to afford to take your family on vacation or put money into savings. The goal is not to be rich, the goal is to be comfortable and to have the freedom to choose my work.
To get started, I am going to post what August of 2017 looked like. I will explain what each of these items is in short and will post about them more in length at a later time. I plan to have revenue goals and reach goals as well. Reach goals will be around subscriber count, new students, and sign-ups.
My side income comes from a few different locations online. I am going to list everything that I plan to grow. Know that there are some small side income streams that I do not care to grow anymore so I will bunch those together into an “other” category which is where old side income revenue streams will go to die. The numbers below are gross revenue. In future months I will try to list expenses associated to having earned that income. Currently, I have some overhead that is shared between Hill Media Group and these side projects so some of the income reported below also has to pay for a portion of the overhead.
Current side income total – $2,967.69
- StateOfTech – $774.62
This YouTube channel is part mobile technology review videos and part tech tutorial videos.
- Ditch Auto – $347.75
This YouTube channel is similar to StateOfTech but for Photography. The videos that perform well are reviews and tutorials.
- Jerad Hill – $33.46
This is my personal channel which I do not post too often. I do plan to do a lot more on my personal channel in the near future. I am just trying to decide what I want my focus to be there.
- Amazon Product Links – $1,001.61
These are a bit hard to track because I have one Affiliate account that has links spread across a couple of websites and YouTube channels. Typically, if I am not making new videos, I see a major dip in revenue from Amazon Affiliate links.
- Google Adsense links/display – $117.69
Adsense links are also a little hard to track because I am using one account to manage ads placed on a few different sites and I have not yet segmented out those ads so I can see which are performing well and which are not. This is an area for growth for sure.
- Paid courses on Udemy – $17.36
Most of my courses are free. My goal was to produce free courses and then have a paid course as the next step. The problem is that I never produced any of those paid courses. I have one course that gets one or two new sign ups each month producing a tiny revenue but I list it here because I plan to grow this.
- Other monthly revenue streams from side work – $675.20
I will elaborate more on this “other” category in the future. This amount is nothing to be upset about and some of you will wonder why I am not trying to grow it. This section represents income from about 8 different locations and it will take a lot of work to continue to grow it.
I do have other monthly revenue streams such as the income earned from Hill Media Group and my Photography work. My main work is what pays the bills. The goal here is to increase my monthly revenue from my side projects and eventually try to narrow my focus. As I mentioned before, the purpose of this post is to be public about my side work financials for accountability and to keep me motivated. I do hope that this information motivates others as well. This is very much side work for me. Some months I put 20 or so hours into this, other months it’s less. If I devoted a bit more time and focus to these projects, I would see substantial growth, and that is the goal here.
In sharing this information, what is something you are currently doing on the side? Are you earning any income from it and would you want to if you could? I would love to hear your thoughts or comments below.