Have you ever wondered which side hustle will give you the best return on your investment? If you’re looking for a way to supplement your income, starting a side hustle can be a great option. But with so many different opportunities out there, it can be tough to know where to start. That’s why I decided to help my readers by comparing earnings from the first month of each side hustle I tried.
I have started multiple side hustles online and some of them have done extremely well. In this article, I wanted to compare them so that you can see which platform you may want to consider. I‘ll share my experiences and insights from comparing the first month’s earnings of all the side hustles I started. Detail the work involved, the challenges I faced, and the results I achieved.
Etsy is an online marketplace where people can buy and sell handmade, vintage, digital, and unique goods. My first month was a rollercoaster! The journey involves my account being suspended, listing digital 19 products, and learning to run ads. You can read about my first month on Etsy here.
The month ended with a net loss of £6.11 ($7.43). I sold three digital products during that month but running ads and Etsy fees wiped out my profits. Etsy is an easy marketplace to get started with. Anyone can get started selling on the platform! There is a low barrier to entry but with that comes increased competition. You need to make quality products that are in demand to stand out.
My main frustration with Etsy is how they can ban your account without any reason. The sudden ban has resulted in a lowering impression of my products which has decreased my motivation with this marketplace. I still plan to continue with Etsy but I have not uploaded anything since December 2022.
Creative Fabrica is a digital marketplace that offers a wide variety of creative resources for designers, crafters, and hobbyists. I started towards the end of February 2022 and made $7 but that was not a full month. March 2022 was my first full month and I earned $50.43. I uploaded roughly 60 listings and these include coloring pages, activity book pages, and planners.
Creative Fabrica provides sellers with search analytics for 1 day, 7 days, and 1 month. Once I started to base my designs on search analytics my earnings increased. The platform actually pays you for each listing that you upload. This is a very small amount so don’t get your hopes up. Buyers can choose to buy your product or if they have a membership then they can download your item and you will still earn money.
Creative Fabrica is one of the best side hustles to get started with. You can sell digital products, create an online course, and earn money just by listing your products and they also have a fantastic affiliate marketing program. Unlike other marketplaces, you can request a payout in 7 days!
However, the platform has a higher barrier to entry as there is an application process that you have to pass in order to sell on the platform but I believe this is a good thing as it allows more quality creators onto the platform.
If you are interested in Creative Fabrica, I have created a video to help you pass this signup process here.
You can also read about my first-year earnings on Creative Fabrica here.
Amazon KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) is a self-publishing platform created by Amazon that allows authors to publish their books in digital and print formats and make them available for sale on Amazon.com and other online retailers.
During that first month, I created around 50 no and low-content books as these books are very easy to create in bulk. A no-content book has no content inside it for example a notebook, sketchbook, or blank journal. Whereas a low-content book has minimal content and is quite repetitive for example a log book or prompt journal.
I ordered a book during the first month to test out the quality as I wanted to see what the customer to receive and test it for myself.
I earned $27.30 in June 2020 but I also ran ads which came to $12.04. Therefore my net income for the month was $17.26.
Amazon KDP is my personal favorite side hustle. I love creating various types of books to sell and it has a low barrier to entry so anyone can get started. Amazon is the largest online marketplace and you are exposed to many customers that trust the Amazon platform which makes it easier to get your first sale.
I explain how I made over $34k on Amazon KDP here.
Merch By Amazon
Merch by Amazon is a print-on-demand service offered by Amazon that allows individuals to create and sell custom-designed t-shirts and other apparel without having to handle the manufacturing, shipping, or customer service aspects of the business.
I created 10 t-shirts during my first month in various niches. It had 5 sales during my first month earning me £4.94 ($6) however, I ordered one design to test out the quality.
I would say that Merch by Amazon has the highest barrier to entry of all the print-on-demand platforms. They have a very strict application process that many sellers do not get accepted for.
If you do get accepted to sell on Merch by Amazon then you must be aware that it uses a tiered system. You start off in tier 10 where can only create 10 t-shirts (1–2 a day) and you have to wait until to make 8–10+ sales in order to be tiered up. In tier 25 you have to make at least 18–25+ sales to be tiered up higher.
Merch by Amazon is one of the most challenging prints on demand platforms but once you get out of the lower tiers then you can start creating more designs and you will have access to Amazon ads which can help to increase your sales.
Redbubble is an online marketplace that allows artists and designers to sell their artwork as prints, clothing, home decor, and other products.
I created a shop in August 2021 where I listed t-shirts, prints, phone cases, home decor, and many other products. The listing process was quite fun and easy but despite how many items I uploaded it was not until the end of the year that I made my first sale on Redbubble.
I have only made £2.19 so far on the platform and I have not uploaded any products since August 2021 for several reasons.
The first is quality control issues, I have seen some Redbubble products and I have not been satisfied with the quality. I also feel Redbubble is one of the most saturated online marketplaces, full of trademark infringement and spammers. Finally, I do have not too many sellers who consistently earn large amounts with Redbubble and I feel it’s very challenging for beginners to make a large side income with the platform.
YouTube is a video-sharing platform that allows users to upload, share, and view videos.
I uploaded my first video in July 2021 but it was not until the end of January 2023 that I was finally monetized. Youtube pays you through its partner program but you have to have 1000 subscribers and 4000 watch hours. This is very challenging to obtain and many people give up.
In my first month of monetization, I earned $273.73. This has been one of the most rewarding side hustles as I love reading the comments and interacting with my viewers. I posted videos for over 18 months without earning anything from Youtube but I was determined to get my channel monetized.
I aim to continue providing value and helping my viewers earn an income online. You can watch my channel here.
Affiliate marketing is a revenue-sharing model where the affiliate promotes a product or service on their website, social media, or other channels, and earns a commission on any resulting sales or referrals.
I’m an affiliate for many products online and I only started this once my audience began to grow on youtube. Affiliate marketing becomes much easier once you have an audience that trusts you.
I began affiliate marketing in June 2021 and earned $12. Now that I have a larger audience this is one of the streams that I am looking to grow further and I will only promote products I actively use and make money with.
I have shared with you my experiences and insights from comparing the first month’s earnings of all the side hustles I started. My favorites include Amazon KDP and Creative Fabrica. I find Youtube to be the most time-consuming but I really enjoy the interactions and now getting paid to create videos.
In order to make more income, I will be stepping up my efforts with affiliate marketing and Merch By Amazon this year and I plan to document the process. I won’t continue with Redbubble and I’m still unsure about my plans going forward with Etsy for now.
Let me know about your experiences with any of the side hustles listed and if there are any that you are willing to try this year.
You can read my passive income report for the month of February 2023 here to see my progress with these side hustles.