How to Find and Actually Get Side Hustle Jobs - Elizabeth Stapleton
Elizabeth Stapleton
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How to Find and Actually Get Side Hustle Jobs

Side hustling and blogging go together like peanut butter and fluff (I hate jelly, fluffernutters all the way!). Many a blog would turn into a side hustle if it didn’t actually start out that way. But blogging isn’t for everyone, in which case you’ll need to look for those side hustle jobs and therefore extra money doing something else.

Finding Side Hustle Jobs

Where you will find opportunities for side hustle jobs depends on the type of side hustle you want to do. While there is some crossover, some places are exclusively for one type of side hustle. The easiest ways to find side hustle jobs is to look at job boards and to network. I swear networking can be fun, even for introverts like me.

Job Boards

There are of course general job boards, and I’m sure you’ve heard of them, but there are also specific job boards for types of work. For example, Contena is a job board I use to find freelance writing work.

Recommended Job Board

I used Contena when I was working my 9-5 and getting started freelance writing. It made it easy to find freelance writing jobs to pitch. While it's not a cheap Contena it is definitely worth it if you don't have a ton of time to spend looking for freelance writing jobs to pitch. 

Contena pulls together pretty much all of the available freelance writing jobs out there into one place and will even notify you via email of ones in your niche. They also provide an estimate of how much you will make with each job.​

General Job Boards

Some examples of general job boards include Indeed.com, Craigslist (particularly their Gig section), Career Builder, and SimplyHired. You might also find work from literal job boards, for example, the last apartment complex I lived at had a cork board where people posted looking for workers or trying to sell something. There was a similar board at my previous gym. Check your surroundings; you might find there are more of these boards than you think.

Freelance Writing

Now I did mention I do freelance writing, so I do know of some great job boards to look at when pursuing this work. They include ContenaCraigslistProBlogger,FinCon I also really like FreelanceWriting.com which sends out a Morning Coffee Newsletter with job listings.

If you would like to get started with freelance writing but aren’t sure where to start, I highly recommend Gina Horkey’s site Horkey Handbook. I took her 30 Days or Less to Freelance Writing Success, and it works. If you are unsure about buying the course right away, you can learn more about Gina by checking out her site, she wrote a great post on how to become a paid freelance writer.

Best Course

Personally, I found the course, 30 Days or Less to Freelance Writing Success extremely helpful to get me started with freelance writing. It breaks down everything you need to do, step by step, so that by the time you get to pitching for jobs, you are prepared and successful. For me, the course paid for itself when I got my first freelance writing job. I now earn between $2,000 - $4,000 per month (check out my income reports) with freelance writing.

Networking

I know networking can sometimes seem like a dirty word, but it really isn’t. It just means maintaining relationships with others in the same community as you. I think networking gets a bad rap because people are working in areas that they don’t enjoy. If they don’t enjoy what they do, then they probably aren’t super interested in networking with people that are in that area.

The other possible reason that networking has become a bit of a dirty word, is that it can be nerve-racking, particularly for introverts. Yes, please, I love approaching strangers and trying to start a conversation without seeming rude, pushy, or weird.  Ya, no thanks.

I use to struggle with this view of networking and still do occasionally; I can definitely be awkward. What I found helped me most was a single piece of advice that completely shifted how I approached networking. Sadly I don’t remember where I heard it but here is the advice: act as though you are the host of the party.

The host doesn’t feel bad about stepping in to introduce themselves and see what the other person needs. That is the difference, to approach networking to find out what a person needs and try to help them, rather than just throwing yourself at everyone.

So once you are comfortable with networking you’d be amazed at how many opportunities will start coming your way. The vast majority of my freelance writing work has come from networking via Facebook groups and FinCon.

Your Current Network

These are your friends, family, colleagues. You might stay connected with them in real life or via social media like Facebook or LinkedIn. Don’t over think taking care of this network; it doesn’t always have to be about giving or receiving it could just be catching up. Networking is just about building and maintaining relationships.

Building a New Network

The easiest way to start building up a new network is to inject yourself into the community. An example of this would be the personal finance blogging community. Comment on others blogs, share posts you like, take part in a blog link up. When you see someone doing something you admire, tell them. Then share what they are doing with others, the more you do this the more recognizable you become when you start putting forth your own work.

Actually Getting Side Hustle Jobs

Once you find a side hustle job or opportunity you want to pursue, there are some things you should do to give yourself the best possible shot of getting the side hustle job.

Follow Instructions

If there are instructions, follow them, all of them. Before you hit send, read through the posting again to make sure you have addressed every question and included every document or piece of information requested.

I recently was looking for a virtual assistant, one of the people that expressed interest wouldn’t provide information I asked for; I had to ask three times. They would respond to the first part of the request and then apparently forget to read the rest. Needless to say, they did not get the gig.

Customize Every Contact

Every interaction with the person making the decision should be customized for that person and side hustle job. It is ok to have template response to get you started, so you aren’t staring at a blank screen trying to type out a response or application. But that template should be customized for the job and person or company offering the role.

Make it Easy for Them to Say Yes

Try to anticipate what the next step questions will be and answer them before being asked. The less back and forth the easier it is to move forward. Before hitting send on the email, read through and see if your email could be construed any other way than the way you meant it. If so, rewrite it, be clear and concise. The less confusion, the easier it is to say yes, this is the right person for the job.

Best Tool

I use Grammarly as a second pair of eyes to help me clean up and proofread my writing/typing. The best part is that it is free to use. You can install an extension on your web browser and it will check any writing you do online. While there is a paid premium version, you can get by with the free version for a long time. I only recently upgraded. If you want to know more about Grammarly, you can read my review.

An example will be if you are trying to schedule a time to talk to the hiring manager on the phone, don’t just say, I’m happy to talk to you on the phone. Way too often I see a response that says they are happy to set up a time to talk, but then requires a response of when and then some more back and forth because the originally proposed time doesn’t work. It can lead to 5-6 emails just to set up a phone call.

Instead, be the first to offer the solution of a time to talk. For example, you could respond:

I’m happy to talk to you via phone, below are a few times I currently have available. Please let me know when would work best or if you have another date in mind. Once we set a time I will call you directly at the appointed time, can you please send me your phone number?

  • 1st time
  • 2nd time
  • 3rd time

Nine out of ten times one of the times you offer will work, and then in just two total emails, you’ve got your call set up. It demonstrates how easy it is to work with you.

Follow Up and Follow Up Again

Don’t give up on side hustle jobs until you get a definitive no. That being said do not follow up daily or even every 2-3 days. Follow up on a weekly or semi-weekly basis. It saves you from being annoying and allows the person you are reaching out to, to process what you send them.

The other beauty of following up this way is that they may have gone with another applicant and it might not be working out. So they could be looking for someone else but haven’t posted the position yet. You could win it with very little competition the second time around.

Wrapping it Up with a Bow on Top

If you are looking for new side hustles, don’t forget to branch out and look in other places. Sometimes when you keep checking the same job board it seems like there are never any new gigs, but by checking a completely different job board, a whole bunch opportunities can be found. When in doubt, reach out to your network, you never know when one conversation could lead to a new lead.

Once you’ve found a side hustle or gig to apply for, give yourself the best chance of winning the gig by providing all the information asked for in the job posting. Also, make sure you customize each approach and are easy to communicate with. Lastly, be sure to follow up.

About the Author Elizabeth Stapleton

Elizabeth Stapleton is the founder and voice behind Less Debt More Wine and ElizabethStapleton.com. She is a Pinterest marketer, online entrepreneur, and recovering attorney whose writing has been featured on Entrepreneur.com, The Huffington Post, The Penny Hoarder, Budgets Are Sexy, Credit Sesame, and Magnify Money. Additionally, she has been quoted in articles on Business Insider, Student Loan Hero, and Nerd Wallet.

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