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  • #26: Writing her way to a $9000 side hustle

#26: Writing her way to a $9000 side hustle

Learn how to start your writing side hustle

Our Hustler today did not fit into the 80 hours/week job. So she started to find things that fit the life she wanted and in the journey she

🤑 Earned $9000 from her side hustle before quitting her job

🤩 Built an audience of 100K+ on Linkedin & 22K+ on Twitter

🤯 Became the Linkedin Top Voice 2022

Building a $9K writing side hustle: ​​Niharikaa Kaur Sodhi's journey

Niharikaa Kaur Sodhi has amassed a good audience on Linkedin & Twitter, where she talks about writing, audience building and side hustles. She is a writer, educator and creative entrepreneur. But the journey to this started in 2021 with a side hustle.

Pursuing writing as a side hustle

Niharikaa made her first money by writing an article for around $3 during her undergraduate in Bangalore. But she never thought of pursuing it seriously. Instead, she started blogging about her weight-loss journey. She also started travelling during her postgraduate from the University of Manchester, and her Instagram feed had solo travel stories from over 12 countries. Her niche was fitness and travel, and she grew her Instagram to 11K followers. After being an influencer for some years, in 2020, she decided to stop as she did not feel excited.

When she returned to India after her post-graduation, she joined Zomato as a Recruitment Associate. But she felt like a misfit in the 9-5 environment. Within a year, she moved to Genpact in the field of Digital Operations. But the feeling remained the same. She wanted to explore more. She began reading stories of people making side incomes. It inspired her to get started with her own side hustle as well.

"I refuse to believe you shouldn't be kicked to go to work when you wake up. I refuse to believe that you need to reach a certain 'level' to do high-impact work. Labels and designations aren't exciting, either. And I strongly believe that there's enough wealth we can all create if we play by the mindset of abundance and not scarcity."

For a side hustle, you want to do something you are passionate about. For Niharikka, it's been health & fitness. So she decided to start by offering fitness consultations. But after working with two clients, she felt tired, and it was not fun. She understood that her passion for fitness might not translate into a side hustle.

Next, she decided to write. And she decided to explore different channels and narrowed it down to Medium to showcase her talent. She started to write her blog on Medium and even reached out to other publications to write for them. She also started to freelance. In her first month, she made $8. Writing made her happy, and she enjoyed it too. It also allowed her to be creative and write about her experiences.

Scaling her passion for writing into a $9000 side hustle in less than a year

Soon, Niharikaa found herself editing before work and writing after work. Sometimes when she would be free in the afternoon, she applied for writing gigs online. But there were no instant results, rather many ups and downs. Despite ups and downs, she stayed consistent in her efforts.

Her highest-paying gig came from a millionaire techie who wanted to help him with his brother's university admission cover letter. The gig came months later as a result of the credibility and network built via her previous assignment. Another opportunity came to her when she created a communication strategy for a business that had given her a content assignment.

"People don't always know what they want, so you offer it to them. Put something shiny on their table which will help them grow their business. Be an investment for them and not just another payment."

She also started to write many more articles a month. From 5-6, she went on to write 20+ articles a month. Soon her side income added up to $9000, which was 3X of her full-time job's compensation. So at 25 years of age, she decided to quit and pursue the path of solopreneurship.

Creating a life & business on her terms

Niharikka wanted a life where she enjoys the work, gets to work with people she looks up to, can pursue creative ideas and earns well. So after quitting, she decided to structure her life so that she works only 20 hours per week. She also started to actively build an audience on Twitter & Linkedin, which helped her get more clients. Soon, she diversified her income streams into

  • A cohort-based course every quarter: Summit 21 is a cohort-based course where people learn how to build a sustainable system to write. The course is very customised and helps build cross-platform traction. Most people who enrol in the program have full-time jobs, and more than half of the students are also parents.

  • She does not do many freelance projects. But very few related to website content and personal brand building.

  • Digital products: LinkedIn guide, Medium Guide, Side Hustler's checklist and more. The products are a mix of paid and free. She made $8,420 in revenue in a year with six digital products.

Her future plans are to scale Summit 21 and launch a self-paced Linkedin course. Follow her hustle by subscribing to her newsletter here.

Put in the work, fall in love with the process, and detach from your results.

Niharikaa’s advice to anyone starting a side hustle

Hustlers Insights of the week

Building a life on your terms: The best upside of having a side hustle or various income streams is that you can build a life on your terms. Niharikaa did not enjoy corporate life, so she took a bet on herself and created a life where she works only 20 hours every week.

Don't get too attached to your interests: Your passion may not necessarily become your side hustle. Making it a business may remove the fun from it. You need to find something that is fun and can bring outputs. And you can do this only by trial and error like Niharikaa.

Diversify service-based side hustle to scale: A service side hustle should be diversified to scale. You should create different streams that enable you to reduce your work hours but still get a good income. Niharikaa did this very well by reducing her freelance work and creating digital products and courses.

Resources of the week

Minimalist Hustler Daily: Join 1400+ online hustlers in receiving a daily email with three quick & valuable resources that will help you make more money online.

The Side Hustle School: Niharikaa's newsletter, where she shares insights and her experiences of side hustling.

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