Photo Via Unsplash
2020 was a year I won’t ever forget.
According to a survey done by the Pew Research Center, “one-in-four adults have had trouble paying their bills since the coronavirus outbreak started, a third have dipped into savings or retirement accounts to make ends meet, and about one-in-six have borrowed money from friends or family or gotten food from a food bank.”
In April of 2020, the United States' unemployment rate hit a record high, 14.7%, leaving more than 46 million Americans jobless. Fortunately, the unemployment rates since early 2020 have slowly declined. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 6.7% unemployment in November of 2020.
Nonetheless, the numbers are dizzying. If 2020 has taught me anything, it’s that the shit can very easily (and quickly) hit the fan. One day life is happy and good, and the next, you’re jobless, sick, or even worse.
Coronavirus has brought with it a lot of fear, panic, and anxiety. However, it also was a timely reminder that the 9-to-5 isn’t synonymous with financial stability.
It’s time to rely less on a traditional job and more on something you’ve built and can control more easily. The pandemic is an opportunity to develop financial stability in the future with a side hustle.
The modern-day side hustle is growing
A side hustle is any type of work that’s taken on in addition to one’s full-time income. In general, side hustles are utilized to provide supplemental income for discretionary spending or to increase savings. Common side hustles include Ubering, selling homemade products, freelance services, a part-time job, or online writing.
According to Bankrate.com, 45% of working Americans have a side-hustle earning an average of $1,122 per month.
As expected, millennials are more likely to have a side gig than any other age group. Moreover, young adults rely on their side hustles to provide a larger portion of their income. Bankrate.com reported that “About 40 percent of millennials with a side hustle say it’s the source of at least half of their monthly earnings.”
When the pandemic struck, people with significant side hustles were in a better spot financially than those relying solely on their 9-to-5 income. While it seems there’s finally light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, it taught us an invaluable lesson regarding financial stability.
“Never depend on a single income. Make investment to create a second source.” — Warren Buffet
Financial stability is the result of having multiple income streams. As we’ve seen over the past year, one source of income could very easily be wiped out at any time. By having a second, third, or several, you’re better suited to survive and hopefully thrive through tough times.
The ever-growing income stream — online writing
Now more than ever, people are searching for something to do. With restaurants closed, reduced store capacity, and stay-at-home orders— people are craving ways to occupy themselves.
According to Statistica, almost 4.66 billion people were active internet users as of October 2020. By 2022, Cybersecurity Ventures projects that number to be closer to 6 billion, nearly 75% of the world's population.
As the number edges closer to the 7 billion population of the earth, the surge of online information seekers will continue to grow. This means that there has never been a better time to start sharing your knowledge and expertise online.
Not only are the number of internet users growing exponentially, but the pandemic has people stuck indoors looking for something to do, consume, or read.
Now is a golden opportunity to start building an additional income stream by sharing your knowledge and expertise online. Since the pandemic started, I’ve grown my freelance writing business from $0 to $1,000+ per month.
Find your niche and share your expertise online
To start writing online, identify something in your life that you know a lot about and then start sharing it. It could be painting, woodworking, cooking, home decor, or even sleeping.
When I started writing online, I was in the midst of training for an IRONMAN 70.3
This is a long-distance triathlon consisting of a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bike, and a 13.1-mile run. Although I’m not a personal trainer or elite athlete, this experience gave me a unique perspective on getting in better shape. It put me in the category of “knowing more than the average person.” And ultimately, it helped me amass more than 100,000 views in a 6-month period.
Regardless of where you’re at in your life, there is something that you are knowledgeable about. There’s something that you know more about than the average Joe.
To start writing online, you don’t have to be an expert, you just have to know more than the average Joe.
Once you’ve figured out what you’re going to write about, start sharing your thoughts, experiences, knowledge, and expertise online. Medium is a great place to start since you can earn money based on your articles' number of views and reading time.
People are looking for advice, expertise, or knowledge — and you have it. Start sharing all of it online to build a side hustle that not only creates an additional stream of income but is fun and enjoyable.
2020 was a reminder that anything can happen. While I was fortunate enough to keep my 9-to-5 job, I also used the pandemic as fuel to start creating another source of income. Since the pandemic started, I’ve grown my freelance writing business from $0 to $1,000+ per month.
While I’m nowhere near replacing my 9-to-5 income, it’s comforting to know that if tragedy were to strike, I at least have some income to rely on.
Online writing is one of the easiest, most effective ways to create an additional income source. Identify what you know a lot about, and then start sharing your experience, expertise, and knowledge online.