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Are Online Side Hustles Worth the Time and Effort

Are Online Side Hustles Worth the Time and Effort. 90%fail…Why?

Hi and Welcome, I hope this finds you well.

Are Online Side Hustles Worth the Time and Effort.

I am guessing some would say yes, and others would say they are a waste of time, effort and money.

Some serious research on the question:- Are online side hustles worth the time and effort,? seems to back the anecdotal evidence, that they are not worth the effort.

Facts and figures can be hard to come by, one I have come across in the E-Comm niche is:- There are 2.1 million online retail stores operating in the USA.

That is a lot of competition, although you could hardly call this saturated. The success rate of good profitable stores is generally accepted as a bit less than 10%.

So what is the problem?

Why is the success rate for online side hustles so low? Lets take a look at the available data.

  • There are currently 4,208,571, 287 internet users. (Internet World Stats)
  • Asia has the highest percentage of internet users (49%), followed by Europe (16.8%), Africa (11%), and North America (8.2%).
  • The total number of websites on the internet is 1.95 billion. (Internet Live Stats)
  • Over 409 million people view more than 20 billion webpages a month. (WordPress.com)

With nearly 2 billion websites on the internet, not all will be active. many will be information websites, schools, universities, colleges, scientific, political and other informational sites such as Wikipedia.

Obviously the number of websites related to earning online is only a small proportion of the total number of business websites on the internet. The actual number is hard to define, but it is believed to be less than 7% of all websites on the internet.

These failure rates are generally confined to the Solopreneur group, who make up the bulk of websites related to earning online.

Research shows that most E-Commerce start ups fail within the first 120 days.

The two biggest problems uncovered by researchers are:

  1. lack of business knowledge
  2. Lack of technical knowledge and online marketing techniques.

I will add a two more, lack of research, and a lack of focus.

Lack of Business and Technical Knowledge

This is diving in blind to all the pitfalls involved in online marketing. Having an online E-Commerce business is unlike any other.

If you are thinking of starting one, start with the reasons why you would start an offline business.

  • What am I offering?
  • Why is it desirable?
  • Who is my customer?
  • How does (your product / expertise) benefit them?
  • What are my long-term goals

If you don’t understand the marketing avenues, then you are doomed to fail. Unlike a renting space in a mall, you have to get your “thing” in front of the people who need or would use it.

Making something available online, is a lot harder than having a shop front with pedestrian traffic walking past all day.

So It is your job to find where they hang out online. Many people try to buy their way in but…

Even the most experienced face book marketers will tell you, don’t expect too much from a face book advertisment. The face book buyer is usually buying on impulse, and the price point is very low, between $10 – $35.00. Take out your costs and you probably are left with $1- $7.00 profit.

A welder in his shed making a stand, Used in the article re Online Side Hustles Worth the Effort
Making something in the garage.

You will not be buying a new beamer trying to flog stuff using face book ads. Instead use it for lead generation, the occasional sale will help lower your ad costs.

Even E-Bay has costs involved.

The internet is an ever evolving platform. The big media platforms, like the book of faces, Pinterest and other conglomerates, are all constantly up dating their services, adding new rules and updating their algorithms.

Trying to keep up takes a little effort.

Who Knew an Online Side Hustle was so Involved.

Not that many actually… and the reasons people fail at this can be grouped under two specific causes:- Lack of research and failing to treat it as a business.

There is a small list of reasons above for setting up an online business. Adding a set of expectations of what you want to achieve helps as well.

  1. Make $15,000 a month in sales
  2. Sell 350 mid-range ticket items per month
  3. Have a 10% conversion rate by the end of the year

For decades, many measures of U.S. entrepreneurship declined. But business formation has surged since the beginning of the pandemic, and the largest category by far is e-commerce.

However to make money online there are roadmaps, and they come at a cost. Neglecting to understand these methods, leaves you wide open to every bear trap there is online.

An online side hustle is very different to making some widget in your garage, putting a sign on your fence, and telling your friends.

There are however some good benefits if you put in the ground work first. Not the least being a steady income stream, once you have all your ducks lined up.

Just remember to keep your bookwork up to date. Treat it like a real business.

Do bloggers make money

Some of them do quite nicely. Blogging needs consistency. As a side hustle it is relatively easy, but it takes time to become an income stream, if that is your intent.

Reasons for blogging include

  • The benefits you can offer. Your knowledge, experience or some gadget.
  • A desire to write
  • The ability at some stage to monetarize your content.

This is often the path to affiliate marketing. Many travelers, for instance, like to blog about their trips, or show their photos.

Often times ( once established), they can get affiliate links from travel companies, tour companies and possibly insurance companies, and others, Adsense for example.

Still, to be successful you need to learn the ropes. Website planning, Search Engine Optimization, length of copy, niche research, landing pages and other good things.

Graph showing the stages of starting a online project, used in the article Are Online Side Hustles Worth the Effort. 90%fail...Why
The bloggers roadmap.

Still many give up and their blogs fade into obscurity.

Selling Services

The gig economy.

Since early last year (2020),  The stay at home mandates, forced people to change the way they think about work.

Not only in America but throughout the world. As this lady explains

Many thought “stuff this we can do better”. So people have resorted to building webpages, providing good content, including paid subscriptions to their services.

More families today work at home, cook at home, care for kids at home, entertain themselves at home. Even school their kids at home, and make use of online delivery.

So why not sell your expertise as well?

The gig economy is a popular for both side hustles and full- time business’s. Personal trainers and those in the health and wellness arena, pet care, languages, music etc. all do well with an online presence.

The way people go about setting up their business online is usually combined with a blog.

Selling services is one of the real expansion areas from side hustle to full time business. Adding an appointment page, or making a booking page for a website is inexpensive and not that hard to set up.


There are other work from home side hustles that make enough, for people not to bother to return to their day jobs.

Crypto trading (questionable), website design, landing page design and email services are all areas where people are choosing to do their own thing.

Health and wellness is another.

If more people take the time and do the research, treat it with a little respect, it could return your efforts 100 fold maybe more.

Properly researched and resourced, I expect the success rate for websites considered a online side hustle, to be a lot better than 10% over the next 12 months.

Enjoy the rest of your day or night depending where in the world you are.

Thanks for reading.


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