Creating online is all about making money with something you love. Or scamming people into thinking they can do it.
While they are many scams to make money online out there, not all hope is lost.
You can make money online in 2023. I am making money online in 2023, building on the success of 2022.
Here are the side hustles I used alongside my full-time job and family to generate a partly passive income of $20,000 last year.
#1 Writing like there’s no tomorrow
I’ve always been a writer first. Not a great one, not even an English-native one, but a passionate one.
That’s why my main side hustle is writing. What you might underestimate is the importance of the written word for almost any other online side hustle.
Writing is the foundation of:
- Blogging, content writing, copywriting, ghostwriting, SEO
- YouTube scripts, Podcast scripts
- Social media content
- Newsletters & email marketing
- product marketing
- CTAs (call-to-action)
In my humble opinion, writing is the number one skill to master.
Now, I’m nowhere near perfect. That’s not the point. I am consistent. That’s key. Consistently trying, consistently doing, consistently improving.
Luckily, we can also leverage the power of AI to help with writing now. That’s how I batch-create a week’s worth of tweets and threads in 1 hour per week.
Long story (not so) short, I make money from writing. Mainly through the Medium partner program earnings & referrals*, but indirectly through the following side hustles.
Money talk: Medium alone accounted for over $12,000 of the $20,000 last year.
#2 Money For Free Products
I began giving away digital products on Gumroad in early 2021, after failing to sell stuff. I could have never imagined that this would lead to a few thousand dollars of passive income two years later.
Free products are funnels to paid products. When you understand that, creating and marketing digital products will change your entire outlook on creator life. Yes, it’s that profound.
My second income stream and a largely passive one is my Gumroad store where I offer free and paid digital products like icon sets, Notion templates, e-books, and services.
Money talk: On Gumroad I made $2200+ (and another $1000 on Payhip)
#3 Tool & platform marketing
Marketing products that I didn’t create is another largely passive income stream I’ve built up over the years. And it’s heavily dependent on writing, another testament to the importance of the written word.
I recommend tools and platforms and share affiliate links. Through these partner links, I make commissions. These can be low or pretty substantial.
For two course referrals last year, I made $500+ alone.
Affiliate marketing is a massive earning opportunity. I am only starting.
Money talk: I made around 2000 dollars with affiliate marketing in 2022.
#4 Creator support
The creator community is remarkable and always up for surprises. Indeed, I was astonished when people started paying for my free stuff.
This includes multiple things:
- people paid for free digital products on Gumroad
- people donated via tip jars like Ko-Fi or Buy me a Coffee
- people paid for my free Substack newsletter (monthly subscriptions)
- people paid for my free Medium newsletter (monthly subscriptions)
This is overwhelming. And I tried to reciprocate and give back more than once.
Money talk: I made a few hundred dollars from the creator community in 2022.
#5 Videos without my face
Lastly, I have two YouTube channels.
That might surprise a few of you since I haven’t mentioned those in a while. The reason: I haven’t worked on them in 10 months. I also don’t appear in front of the camera, I don’t talk, I don’t record videos or audio. It’s all completely faceless. I’ve shared the niches and topics a few times over the years in my Medium stories.
Money talk: In 2022, I made around $1200 on YouTube. I haven’t touched any of the channels since the summer of 2022. It’s solely passive at the moment.
The bottom line
2022 was a great year. Alongside my full-time job and family, I started creating online, had fun, met cool people, and did stuff I love.
This story outlines the five side hustles I used to make $20,000 in 2022. The side hustles include writing, creating and marketing digital products, affiliate marketing, and earning money from the creator community.
Now it’s time to get this solo creator business to full-time in 2023.