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The Simple Tweaks That Transformed My Side Hustle into a Full-Time Business 2024

And how I plan to continue

“The best time to start was yesterday, the second-best time is now.”

In 2021, the advice that propelled me into the world of online content creation was simple: “Just begin.”

And that’s precisely what I did.

Perfection isn’t expected from the outset; it’s something you cultivate along the journey, continuously improving and sharing your experiences.

That’s how I went from scratch to earning over $20,000 in my first two years.

For 2024, my goal is somewhat different: Making enough money to sustain my now full-time creator career.

Here’s how.

#1 Consistently Boring

Wait… did I get that mixed up?

The rules for content creation are straightforward. As I shared in a tweet:

“To outshine most competitors, simply outlast them.”

Why is this crucial for making money?

In short: building an audience. No matter your online profession, you likely need an audience to monetize it.

Writing on Medium, selling digital products, creating YouTube videos, or developing courses – it all hinges on an audience.

And to build that audience, you must consistently deliver value every day. That’s step one. I’m on my way for 2024, sticking to this strategy:

#2 The Funnel Approach

Simply creating a paid product, listing it on Gumroad, and marketing it to your audience won’t suffice. I’ve tried that; it didn’t work – no sales, no money.

The better approach is this:

  • Create a free product – a simple guide, a short eBook (a few pages), a one-page Notion template, or something similar.
  • Collect email addresses for free access.
  • Market this free offering to your audience via tweets, blog posts, newsletters, videos, etc.
  • Create a paid product that relates to and expands upon the free one.
  • Market the paid product to the email list you built with the free offering.

This process is essentially a funnel strategy.

People who acquired the free product are more likely to purchase the paid one. I employ various forms of this strategy in my newsletters, blog posts, and social media content.

This is generally what most successful content creators do – offer a free product or service that leads to a paid offering.

#3 Relationships

Content creation thrives on collaboration. Or it should.

While almost everything has been done before in some form, that doesn’t mean it can’t be re-imagined, improved upon, or repeated with a fresh perspective.

However, this reality also means you can build partnerships with other creators instead of constantly starting from scratch.

In essence, I’m talking about securing partnership deals or sponsorships, joining affiliate programs, and referring people to platforms or creators.

I leverage partnerships in three ways:

  • Direct partnerships: Since the end of 2023, offers that comes directly to me have steadily increased. That’s great & it means I can pick and choose carefully.
  • Affiliate marketing: Since I write and discuss tools & platforms extensively, comparing and recommending them, it makes sense to be affiliated with the ones I personally love and use. That’s what I do – I promote my favorite platforms or services.
  • Sponsors or ads: Increasing revenue through strategic sponsorships is one of my goals for 2024.

Medium to large newsletters often sell ad spaces within their issues for a set price. This is an excellent way to monetize an otherwise free service.

The potential is immense.

The other avenue is paid newsletters or issues with recurring revenue – the goal for many creators.

While I haven’t actively promoted my paid newsletter a lot, it has still attracted a few paid subscribers.

#4 Maximizing AI Potential

The time that people underestimated AI tools has come to an end, as far as I can see.

And that’s a good thing, because AI done right is extremely powerful. And the skills to use it correctly will set you apart from the obviously AI-generated garbage that most people put out there, while still considerably lowering your work load and input.

AI writing tools like ChatGPT, Claude, or Gemini have come a long way.

The boring work is easy: With a few clicks, AI can help you elaborate on ideas, lengthen paragraphs, add bullet points, and more.

The true power of AI writing tools lies not in the tool itself but in how you utilize it.

I’ve transformed several threads into Medium stories in a matter of minutes with Claude’s assistance.

I’ve been repurposing and updating my entire content catalog with the help of AI. Fast!

The trick is the right prompts, of course, but also the perfect re-prompting if something doesn’t come out as planned. It’s like learning a language. 

I’ve compiled several helpful AI prompts in a Notion database for me to remember, track, and tweak. And I use a tool called Espanso to add shortcuts for text expansion to quickly use those prompts. 

The Bottom Line

2024 is shaping up to be a pivotal year for me.

I’ve set a four-step plan to generate a good amount of passive income, building upon previous successes, and actively pursuing multiple avenues to earn money this year.

The plan includes consistent content creation, utilizing funnels to market paid products, leveraging partnerships and affiliate programs, and fully exploring AI tools to save time.

At the end of 2024, I’ll reevaluate the process to answer one simple question: What can I do better next year?

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