Expand Your Blog Work Using These Side Hustles

It’s always good to try to expand your work whenever possible. Doing so can help you add more income streams to your portfolio. The more streams of income that you have, the more money you stand to make. Not only that, though, but diversifying your work portfolio can help you to stay interested in the work that you do. After all, you won’t get so bogged down in just one line of work.

There’s one other great reason to diversify your side hustles if you have a blog – they can actually provide you with even more ways to promote your blog and find a wider audience. Ideally, your side hustles should all be symbiotic so that you can promote them all through each other. This will help reduce your workload when it comes to PR and marketing.

Are you thinking about the kind of side hustles that you could help you expand your blog work? Here are a few that you might want to think about.

Start A Podcast

These days, it may seem like everyone has their own podcast. So, why don’t you set up your own and join the party? It can be very easy to start your own podcast even if you don’t have any recording experience. And the best thing is that you won’t have to blow your budget in order to buy some fancy recording and editing equipment. Many cell phones now come with some very good in-built recording equipment on them. Your laptop probably does as well. Plus, many laptops now come with their own editing software that you can use. If you have a bit of extra cash to invest in your podcast, then you could always hire a digital editor to take care of this for you. One other thing to mention before you do start a podcast is that you need to have a unique idea for it. Don’t just do something that lots of other people are doing or else you will really struggle to find an audience. Make it unique about a niche that is rarely covered on podcasts, and you should be onto a winner.

Create A YouTube Channel

Another way to make money online is to start working on a YouTube channel. If you are creating videos on a regular basis, such as once a week or every two weeks, then you should find that it can be incredibly easy to build up a sizeable number of followers. The more followers you have, then the more views all of your videos will get. Each of those views can add up to earn you some money if you monetize your videos by adding adverts. You just need to look at the success of YouTubers like Zoella to see how profitable a channel on the site can be. Again, just like podcasting, you don’t need to be experienced in film and editing to make great videos. Of course, you might find that success comes quicker if you do use a video crew service as it can help your videos look a lot more polished and professional. Before you do create your YouTube channel, you need to make sure that you have a unique niche for your video content as this will help you grow your audience by quite some way.

Work On Your Instagram Account

If you also have an Instagram account, it could be worth working on that to try to increase your followers. This is something else that can be easily monetized if you are willing to put the time and effort in to increase your audience. I’m sure that you will already be following some Instagrammers who have upwards of 100-thousand followers even though they might not be famous. But thanks to their regular posting of niche content, they’ve been able to grow their numbers. Thanks to all of this work, they will be receiving offers of collaborations with well-known brands. These could involved sponsored posts that they will be paid for, or they might receive freebies in exchange for a review. If you want to grow your followers so that you can start to monetize your profile in these ways, it’s best to start now as it could take some months. It will certainly be worth it, though, as it will help you add one extra income stream to your bow!

Create Some Merchandise

If your blog is already fairly popular and you attract quite a few loyal readers, then it could be worth launching your first line of merchandise. Your readers will then be able to buy various products with your blog’s branding over them. There are a lot of different types of products that you might want to sell as merch. For instance, T-shirts will go down especially well, as will mugs and mouse mats. Some bloggers also like to sell branded wall prints and fridge magnets. When you do start to think about making some merchandise, it’s a good idea to get a few quotes from different manufacturers. This should give you an idea of how much you need to sell items for in order to make a profit. Don’t forget to factor postage and packaging expense into your budget as well. One of the best things about selling merchandise is that it can really help give your blog marketing a bit of a boost. That’s because people will be walking around with your brand on their T-shirt, which can help spread its name through word of mouth.

Take On Extra Freelance Work

It’s also worth seeing if you can pick up any extra freelance work while you are working on your blog. For instance, you might be able to do some content writing for a company in your spare time. Not only does this help to keep your financial situation stable, but it can also help you form relations with other professionals. And you never know when you might need to reach out to someone else in the business world for a helping hand!

Good luck making a go of these diverse side hustles!

Outsourcing Companies: 3 Steps To Making The Right Choice

We’ve discussed before how outsourcing can be good for your business, so today, we’re going to examine the process of finding the right company to outsource to. While outsourcing can be beneficial, its full potential is only realized if you work with a company who is capable of performing the work at hand to the best standard possible.

The first step

To find the right company to meet your business’ needs, you will first need to define a specific requirement and then match this with a specific type of service provider. For example:

  • If you need your website to rise through the Google rankings, you’ll be looking for an SEO expert.
  • If you need to ensure your business’ technology is always in good order, you’ll be looking for a managed service provider.
  • If you require assistance in managing your payroll, you will be looking for a bookkeeper or accountancy firm.

Ask for recommendations

Primarily, seek recommendations from fellow business owners. You can do this online via forums, or you can attend a local networking event. With the latter, there’s no guarantee someone who runs a company that meets your specific needs will be present, but someone who knows of a good company almost certainly will be.

Ideally, you’re looking for three company names that you are then going to research in more detail.

Check how much each company talks about you

There is a tendency for service providers to use any meetings you have with them and their website copy to talk about themselves. It’s understandable that this happens; after all, they’re trying to ‘sell’ you the idea of their company, so they will want to talk about their reputation, previous successes, and how their company is preferable to others.

However, this sales spin isn’t useful to you as a client. What you need to know is what the service provider can offer to you; how their specific service is going to benefit your business. All good providers will focus primarily on their benefit to you as a client; managed IT providers such as Red Key Solutions go to great lengths to focus on how their service can help to grow your business; SEO providers should emphasize the benefits of improved SERPs in terms of converting sales; and accountants should seek to continually center the way that improved financial management can help you to reach your business goals.

If a company neglects to mention how they can help your business, instead focusing on their abilities, it’s a bad sign – and could even suggest they have to talk about themselves, as the benefits of their service are not immediately apparent otherwise.

Final thoughts

It is also worth noting that in addition to the steps above, at least some of your decision-making will be instinctive. Some people may try to argue this is problematic, but this isn’t actually the case. Gut instinct is important in life, and provided there are no obvious red flags about the company in question, there’s no harm in trusting it. If you like a company and like the idea of working with them, that’s a very good sign indeed.

Hopefully, the considerations above should help you to find the outsourcing provider your business needs – good luck!


Debt Settlement Versus Bankruptcy: Which One Should You Choose?

There are no predictable economic cycles. If there were, we would all be wealthy. The economy grows and falls as the result of numerous forces beyond our control. There are signs of risks from time to time, and some are more reliable than others. But, predicting is well outside the reach of most people.

People lose jobs. They run into huge medical expenses. They lose their nest eggs. Some commit to mortgages they cannot fulfill. Still, others accumulate debt that exceeds their ability to pay now or in the future. And, for whatever reason, they find themselves between a rock and a hard place.

In 2008, just under 60,000 people declared bankruptcy according to the American Bankruptcy Institute, a considerable improvement over the years of the Great Recession. In real terms, that can mean deciding what’s better for you: debt settlement or bankruptcy.

Between the financial rock and it’s hard place

Debt settlement and personal bankruptcy are two sides of the same coin. They solve similar problems in different ways. You can take either pay to get out of debt, but the results will affect your future differently. You need to understand what these options mean to you.

  • Debt settlement helps you address your personal finance, family finance that has gotten out of control. It does so by negotiating deals with the creditors you owe. It may not get rid of the debt, but it seeks to settle on an amount you can handle.
  • Bankruptcy is a quick way to get out of debt. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy will eliminate your debt, and a Chapter 13 version will negotiate a plan to repay your creditors. It requires the assistance of a lawyer, federal court hearings, and a lasting negative impact on your credit rating.

The potential and availability of bankruptcy as a solution encourages creditors to negotiate to settle for some return as better than no return.

Why settle a debt?

Reaching a debt settlement does not dismiss your obligation to pay your debt. But, it can reduce the size of the debt.

Negotiating with the creditor can result in your paying only a fraction of what you owe. It helps you avoid the damage that bankruptcy does to your credit record. And, negotiating payments will reduce the time and cost of bankruptcy.

But, negotiating on your own can present problems. Your creditors have no obligation to cooperate. They have the upper hand because you are contractually obligated to pay debts you incurred. So, while debt settlement might be good for you, it’s not the best option for the creditor.

Creditors are positioned to resist any suggestion you make. Still, if negotiating is their only choice when your bankruptcy could eliminate the debt, they may offer solutions. Some creditors have hardship plans which help resolve financial problems arising from personal hardships like a death in the family, major damage to your home, or catastrophic medical expenses. There is no standard solution, but you might request such a repayment plan where they accept a reduced regular payment and forgive late charges.

You might, then, prefer to use a debt settlement service that will take on the negotiations and argue from the advantage of experience and knowledge of the debt structure and possible options. The professional will save you time and represent you with consistency.

Debt settlement providers work with your creditors to reduce the total you owe to a balance you can afford. You make fixed monthly payments to the debt settlement company which it uses to pay the amount and the charges for the company’s fee, typically 20%. And, you should expect the IRS to treat any “forgiven” debt as taxable income.

Finally, you use a reputable debt collection company that does its job and without scamming you. You might confirm their Better Business Bureau rating, check the internet for their reviews like those at https://www.nationaldebtreliefreviews.com/national-debt-relief-reviews/. And determine if they are members of the American Fair Credit Council and the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators

Why claim bankruptcy?

Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, bankruptcy will relieve you from your debt burden, either by settling on a structured repayment plan or wiping out the debt entirely.

While debt settlement may negatively impact your credit history for years, bankruptcy will certainly lower your FICO score. Chapter 7 bankruptcy appears on your credit record for 10 years and will affect your ability to purchase a home or car and to secure credit cards. Chapter 13 will stay on your record for seven years from the delinquency. The amount of settlement or repayment plan is decided by a bankruptcy judge in terms of your state’s laws.

One huge risk in a Chapter 7 filing is the court may demand the liquidation of assets including your house and/or car. In addition, bankruptcy will not eliminate debts owed for student loans, child-support payments, or delinquent income taxes.

The real problem with either form of bankruptcy is the cost of legal representation. You can’t argue bankruptcy on your own so you can expect to pay legal fees from $500 to $6,000.

Debt settlement vs. bankruptcy: What works best for you

As the Chicago Tribune says, “While the economy has recovered to a reasonable standard, wages took a long time to get back to normal. This means that households are still carrying large amounts of debt, often at extremely high-interest rates. If you’re someone who has a large amount of debt, you might be looking for various ways to solve your problem.”

NerdWallet research reports the average American household has an outstanding credit card debt of $15,482. Add this to an average mortgage and other debts of $134,058. When you consider those credit cards accumulate debt with 25 to 29 percent interest rates, you can see how the debt becomes challenging.

Debt Settlement and Bankruptcy can both solve your financial problems. But, if you’re unsure what works best for you, you might first seek advice from a nonprofit credit counseling agency working in your interest to determine the most advantageous, appropriate, and cost-effective route to your solution.