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Passive Income and Side Hustle Report, August 2020

It's the second month of keeping track in public! Let's take a look back at July. My total income from side hustles and passive sources was $129.07. I set some August goals that were focused on sales numbers and groundwork than monetary values:

  • Find two freelance writing jobs.

  • Add three new resources to my TeachersPayTeachers store.

  • Draft listings for the items in my "eBay box," to make active at some point when I need a boost.

  • Sign up one more Patreon subscriber at the $9/month tier, or 3 more at the $3/month tier.

So how'd I do?

Freelance writing jobs = DONE! I drafted a month's worth of social media posts for a metal band (which will hopefully be ongoing for a couple months) and wrote a resume for a fitness instructor. Plus, I got hired near the end of July to write a short article for a print magazine -- the check will come in September, but the cool news is that they liked the article and put me on their freelance list!

And just throwing this out there -- I found it much easier to find paying entertainment writing assignments 10-15 years ago, when there were still a decent assortment of regional print weeklies/monthlies. Now I can find enough copy writing jobs to keep me occupied, but all the "article writing" happens on my own blogs! Ah, the digital age....

That being said, I did also submit queries to a couple children's publishers to do something called "work for hire" writing. Y'know when your first grader brings home a book about velociraptors from the school library? Chances are, a freelancer was paid a one-time flat fee of a couple hundred dollars to write it. Haven't gotten any bites yet, but hopefully I'll be the one writing about velociraptors soon!

Teachers Pay Teachers = DONE! I made two new digital resources that correspond with paper activities that have been good sellers; then I bundled the digital ones with their paper counterparts, making a total of four new listings. I also added a profile photo, a banner quote, and several more bundles; I've seen an uptick in sales this month, which is mostly due to the school year starting. But the bundles are moving and a more friendly landing page can't hurt!

Draft eBay listings = NOT DONE. Just didn't get around to it.

Increase Patreon subscribers = ALMOST DONE! Two more folks signed up at the $3 tier, which brought me to the $38/month break-even point on web subscription costs! Wooooo!

Now let's talk numbers. Here's how August shook out:

  • Interest: $14.29

  • Dividends: $3.95

  • Credit Card Cash Back: $26.75

  • Writing: $85

  • Teachers Pay Teachers July Payout: $2.72

  • (not counting Patreon until it's above $38/month)

Total: $132.71

Instead of living in the PayPal Slush Fund, I've been putting most of the money from writing and bandcamp sales into my family's joint money market checking account as we're focusing on building cash reserves right now. (Don't worry, I still leave a few bucks in there for Bandcamp Friday!) Credit card cash back will be redeemed when it's time to Christmas shop; I'm hoarding all my Ibotta rewards until then as well.

It's also worth noting that since June, I've been bartering writing services for public relations -- it's not income so to speak, but this exchange is saving me hundreds of dollars. If you read the first Ask A Metalhead column about PR, you know the price range... DIY and barter arrangements are a great way to keep costs down in any area if you can leverage applicable skills.


September Goals:

  • Continue earning credit card rewards to out towards Christmas gifts. I found a credit card through AAA that gives 2% cash back on grocery and gas purchases; it doesn't pay out until you've reached $50 in rewards, but it will definitely increase my cash back earnings for the Christmas fund and beyond. I also set up my internet bill to autopay on a 1.5% cash-back Chase card -- autopay will supposedly save me $5 on the monthly cost, in addition to earning a dollar and change cash back. Hey, I'll take it!

  • Get five more preorders on the Money Hacks for Metalheads and Old Millennials ebook.

  • Sign up two more Patreon subscribers. I'm going to tweak some rewards based on suggestions from friends -- working to get above the break-even point!

  • Continue the pace of two writing clients per month in addition to my bartering arrangement; I don't want to push that too much as the school year is starting.

  • Get those darn eBay listings done!

I know September's total will be more than August because I'll get paid for that freelance article as well as some curriculum writing I did over the summer -- but regardless, I'll keep laying the groundwork for more income to build!

How do you create passive income? And what's on your Bandcamp Friday wishlist?? Leave a comment!


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