SIDE HUSTLE SHOWDOWN: Amazon Kindle Publishing

Side Hustle Spotlight:
Amazon Kindle Publishing

 

kindle

 

You have a dream of writing, but don’t know where to start.

 

Welcome to Kindle Publishing!

 

Millions of people have written a book – fiction or nonfiction – and self-published it to the audience of Kindle and Amazon. There, the books are as available as the top sellers you find in book stores across the country. Imagine seeing your name on a book!

 

This is what I did. Many of you know that I was an Avon representative, and I hustled that business very hard. In fact, I am going to start selling again. I tried every suggestion my manager and her manager gave us, and some of them were fantastic. I found customers, and the products were selling themselves.

 

Or were they? Not without some sales help, I’m sure.

 

In my world, the idea behind MLM is not to entice others to sign up so that you make money. The idea of the MLMs that I get involved with is that I provide access to a product that someone wants, needs and enjoys. I would never sell or promote something that I did not enjoy, so I am happy to support that aspect of MLM.

 

I saw great success with my Avon business, and I stopped because I was too busy; I had started a new job; and I just didn’t want to hustle that hard anymore. My life is changing rapidly, and in light of the Side Hustle Spotlight challenges, I am trying a side hustle of Kindle Publishing.

 

I wrote a short book on 30 days’ worth of tasks you can do to build your business. Now, it may not work for every MLM, like Tupperware, leggings, etc., but most of these tasks will work for you. They would even work for small businesses that are selling non-MLM products.

 

I wrote a short book on 30 days’ worth of tasks you can do to build your business. Now, it may not work for every MLM, like Tupperware, leggings, etc., but most of these tasks will work for you. They would even work for small… Click To Tweet

 

My book is called: MLM & NETWORK MARKETING.

 

I almost didn’t want to write it because I know that people will succeed, and for those who believe in scarcity, that means a lot of people will learn how to earn and keep customers. I have since learned that there is an abundance of money in the universe and there’s enough for everyone.

 

There is an abundance of money in the universe and there’s enough for everyone. Read about MLM & Network Marketing here. Click To Tweet

 

 

So… back to the side hustle:

 

Kindle Publishing

 

Step One: Write Book

 

It’s ok to have it in a .doc format, as the conversion team will turn it into your masterpiece. My one piece of advice is to have people read it, and note any edits or errors. You can also use a virtual assistant for this – and likely for a very reasonable price.

 

Step Two: Create a Book Cover

 

There are so many answers to “I’m not creative or artistic!”.

Use a program like Canva or PixMonkey to create a cover, or turn to a pay service like Fiverr or Upwork.

 

Step Three: Posting Your Work

 

Create an Amazon account and check out “Kindle Publishing”.

There are step-by-step instructions on how to upload your manuscript (aka book) and cover, and you have the opportunity to preview your work of art before it’s published.

 

Step Four: Marketing

 

It’s up to you on how much traffic you want to bring to your project. Kindle offers sales and promotions that will (hopefully) entice people to purchase and read your book. You get paid by the book purchases and by page reads for those who subscribe to Kindle Unlimited. There’s an analytics page to show how your work is performing.

 

Your book will show on Amazon just like any other book sold.

 

Review So Far:

 

This is an amazing passive income opportunity. You can promote your products as much or as little as you wish.

 

Originally, I had published my book under a different name, but after consulting with an influencer, I have since changed the title, the cover and reformatted the inside.

 

As I just published this new version about 24 hours ago, I am still waiting to see any results. I have promoted the book across my Facebook groups, and on Twitter. Hopefully, I will see some traction soon!

 

I also included a link to my blog in the book. I am hoping to increase traffic to my blog through this book, as I post a lot of resources on side hustle tools, like Freshbooks, Planners, and other recommended products that I’ve tried and loved.

 

SIDE HUSTLE: AMAZON’S KINDLE PUBLISHING

EARNINGS: $2.97 CAN

 

DO YOU HAVE SUGGESTIONS ON HOW TO MASTER THIS SIDE HUSTLE?
SEND ME A COMMENT BELOW!

 

This post may contain affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission if you choose to purchase through these links. Please see my disclosure for more information. Amazon Affiliate Disclosure: I am a participant in the Amazon Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by providing links to Amazon.ca and affiliated sites. 

 

 

 

 

 

SIDE HUSTLE SHOWDOWN: Etsy Digital Download Store

SIDE HUSTLE SHOWDOWN

 

As promised, albeit a while ago, I had discussed doing a special project about side hustles. Here we are!

 

Etsy

 

What is a side hustle?

 

Some people call it a gig, some people call it a passion project, others call it beer money. It’s a side project that people take on for various reasons. Perhaps you need more income to go on vacation, pay the bills, or invest in your retirement. Others are motivated by boredom. Either way you look at it, a side hustle is when you offer goods and/or services for money and it’s not your regular job.

There are so many examples of a side hustle. Here’s a few for fun:

  • Lawn cutting
  • Delivering papers
  • Writing a blog for income
  • Creating an online store, like Etsy, and selling handmade items or vintage goods
  • Signing up for odd jobs
  • Dog walking
  • Virtual Assistant

 

SPOTLIGHT: ETSY STORE
FOR DIGITAL DOWNLOADS

 

Etsy

 

In May, 2018, I started my Etsy store with two listings. I offered social media digital designs, and announcement digital designs. Neither of them were true digital downloads, as they would be customized to the customer.

I wanted something passive, so I created a few more listings:

I wrote a 30 day guide for MLM and direct sellers based on my previous experience as an Avon representative.

I created a Freezer Stock Inventory form.

I made a Babysitter’s/Nanny’s Emergency Contact form to record important information that someone caring for your children should know.

I designed a CYA Acknowledgment regarding Smoke Detectors and C02 Detectors to protect landlords.

Finally, I also created 24-hour entry notices from the landlord or agent to the tenant.

 

Review so far:

 

Etsy makes it super easy to set up a store quickly. It also has amazing resources, and sadly, I must admit I have not taken the time to review them in detail.

Each listing costs $0.20 USD. This listing is active until you run out of stock, or four months’ time. Etsy collects a commission on each sale. They have recently increased it to 5% of the purchase price, to my understanding.

The interface is super easy to use, and you can also see stats like how many people have visited each listing, where your traffic is coming from, and more. It’s amazing how far these sites have come since the simple eBay days!

While I have had no sales to date, I have read that you should have 20+ to be featured more prominently on Etsy. I know my offerings are pretty simple in nature, but I was hoping for some traffic.

I have found that it’s a great way to advertise for my blog, however. I have seen some traffic directed from my social media offering, so that’s a highlight.

My intentions are to continue creating digital downloads until I have at least 20 listings. I will continue to advertise my listings through social media and any other outlet that I can use.

Once the store has 20+ listings, I will let the listings continue for at least 3-4 months and see if I can recuperate my initial investment. If there’s no growth, sadly, I may shut it down. If there is movement, I will continue for a while longer.

I have also signed up to be an affiliate member of Etsy, and hopefully that may help the side hustle biz! Note: Signing up to be an affiliate member requires a credit card and a cost of $5 without guaranteed approval.

 

SIDE HUSTLE: ETSY SHOP

EARNINGS: $-5.40 USD

Do you have suggestions on how to master this side hustle?
Send me a comment below!

This post may contain affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission if you choose to purchase through these links. Please see my disclosure for more information. Amazon Affiliate Disclosure: I am a participant in the Amazon Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by providing links to Amazon.ca and affiliated sites. 

Collect-me-not: This Girl Isn’t Going Down Without A Fight.

April Showers bring May Flowers…

Spring isn’t arriving very quickly here in Ontario. We are in the tail end of what we are hoping will be the final blast of winter. The beginnings of tulips and daffodils are starting to pop through the dirt, and the birds are singing. We are still inside, though, waiting for the sunshine and warmer weather.

There have been a few changes lately. I read that mortgage rates will continue to rise in Ontario. I’m personally seeing the stress test affect buyers, and house sales seemed to have slowed down. (Some say it hasn’t, but here’s an article that spends more time debating it then finding out the facts.) Plus, the standardized lease for residential tenants and landlords takes effect in a couple of weeks.

Life As I Knew It…

As you know, I’m battling an old student loan debt with a collections agency, and I can’t say it’s going well. A couple weeks after I reached out to the company, I still had not received my statement of loans. I did, however, receive a letter from them. Inadvertently, I may have made a comment about income. Bad move! The letter said, “we have learned that you are employed. If we do not hear from you within 10 days with a repayment plan, we will be recommending legal action be commenced against you.”

I called them immediately. How dare they send me a letter threatening me, when I am still waiting for them to prove authenticity of the debt!

My (Not So Humble) Opinion

When you are in collections, it seems like the rule of thumb is to not contact them until you have means to pay. While that may not be the right thing to do, it seems the safest.

Checkout 51 Home

Do Your Due Diligence

I can say I did my due diligence. I called the government. I called student loan centres. I’m satisfied that I owe this debt, but that doesn’t lessen the desire to see a statement.

When I had spoken to the supervisor at the collections company, he had recommended a few different ways to pay off this debt. It seems to be a standard list of suggestions, most of which made me inwardly laugh. If I had access to most of these suggestions, I wouldn’t be in that position in the first place!

Payment Suggestions

Suggestion: Pay it in full. Great idea. I don’t routinely keep $10k sitting around, so that’s not so much a thing.

Suggestion: Borrow money from family. Gee, why didn’t I think of that? Sorry, not an option in my family. We don’t mix money and family unless your life is hanging in the balance.

Suggestion: Get someone to co-sign a loan. Umm… see above.

Suggestion: Cash advance on credit cards and pay off loan. Yikes! This option is not a good one. Borrowing to pay off debt is never a good option, and cash advances are not like your regular charge on a credit card. Cash advances are charged daily interest, and are the last segment of debt paid off when you make payments against your balance. Most cards have a limit as to how much can be “cash advanced”, and its usually lower than the limit of the card.

Suggestion: Play the balance transfer option on credit cards until it’s paid in full.  SMH.

Suggestion: Fill out a transparent budgeting sheet, complete with account numbers, institutions and whatever else they desire, and make a repayment plan. I gave my permission for the company to send me the form. This was the only option I could take.

I started to work on the form, and decided I was not comfortable disclosing all of the information they requested. I called up the company, and she said I could block out the account numbers. Their only interest was to receive confirmation that the numbers on the budget were in fact accurate.

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When the Hustle Isn’t Working

Here’s the part that really got me.

Once I had completed my due diligence, my intention was to hustle like I’ve never hustled before. I wanted that debt paid off in full as soon as possible. That blemish was holding me back, and in combination with other debts I am paying off, it was keeping me up at night, and distracting me during the day.

I started throwing as much money as I could at it. The payments that were once directed at credit card debt were now covering the minimums and going towards this account. I had made four different payments in two weeks, paying off a whopping 3% of the amount owing.

She said they still want an agreement because of my history.

I wanted to shout. Scream. Cry. What history? The history of the collections company saying there was no statement to provide? There was no history, as I had no idea this debt existed! But it did. And I hadn’t been paying. I suppose that makes sense. If I was the creditor, I’d be even more aggressive. But I’m a person.  So naturally, I was offended, and yet, I understand.

Hey, You. Yes. You.

There’s a big part of me that hopes this post is never useful to you, because that means you have not, or are not, going through debt problems. I am only human, which tells me it’s more likely I am not alone. I know, however, that many people will not talk about these problems as they are embarrassing, humiliating perhaps, and entirely annoying. Don’t let your pride or your perceived pride get in the way of taking care of your debts. You can’t run from them, and there’s no way to make them disappear. There’s no bankruptcy from Canadian student loans.

Don’t let your pride or your perceived pride get in the way of taking care of your debts. You can’t run from them, and there’s no way to make them disappear. Click To Tweet

The Plan

With that said, I am still on the hustle to get this paid off. I started my first freelancing writing gig (I write for a retail gift site). I’ve applied to positions that allow me to work from home (more work, less transit time). Some sites offer payment for use, and there’s aways surveys, mobile apps and affiliate referrals. I am saving up as best I can, and I am cutting spending at the knees.

Have you noticed my Virtual Assistant page? I started a new course to help me build up my side hustle business. It’s called $10k VA with Kayla Sloan. She is so friendly, helpful, and really supportive. Now is the time to start if you are thinking about it, because her prices are going up. As they should – so far I’m loving the material.

Staying On Top Of Finances

I track my spending in a planner, much like an Erin Condren Life Planner. It’s dedicated to finances only, and I mark each bill or authorized withdrawal in it. Every two weeks, I get paid, and I look at the calendar to see what is coming up for the next two weeks. I deduct those expenses, and I write down every transaction that has gone through my accounts over the last two weeks.

By writing each transaction down, I can see if there are any fraudulent entries, and I can take note of any spending issues or habits forming. It’s great for lifestyle creep as well.  I also make note of how much interest I was charged on my credit card balances, if I carry one.

Every two weeks, I also have a chart that I fill out. It lists my main accounts (chequing, travel, emergency fund, all credit cards). I write in the balances of each account, and monitor that they are going in the direction they should be.

The travel account is added to automatically each payday. This is my saving grace of accounts. I know I could be directing this money to debt. I also know that a vacation helps my sanity. I have a small amount going to the travel fund so that my partner and I can go away to a budget-friendly resort at least once a year. It is comforting to know that, while I am giving up spending and hustling so hard, I will be rewarded by that vacation no matter what happens.

The emergency fund is an account that just sits and collects dust interest.  My emergency fund is low, usually around $1,000 – $1,500. This account is for the true emergency. (I am going to admit: Worst case, I rely on credit while I am paying off the debt.)

This is my life right now. I hustle at work, and then head home to try to find more hustle opportunities. Malls and stores are visited on a need-only basis, and the only shopping I’ve done lately is for cat food, litter and toner for my printer – which died right in the middle of printing my tax return.

Do you have any recommendations? What do you do for side hustles or extra income? Tell me in the comments, or join me on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. What the heck, click a few ads or two, that would be fun too!

This post may contain affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission if you choose to purchase through these links. Please see my disclosure for more information. Amazon Affiliate Disclosure: I am a participant in the Amazon Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by providing links to Amazon.ca and affiliated sites.