Tips to grow your side hustle with digital content

By Stephanie WarnerFebruary 19, 2021Last updated on April 26, 2021Business, Content Marketing, Tips

The Rise of the Side Hustle using Digital Content

It’s a digital world, and whether your current job already revolves around a digital workplace, we are excited about the opportunity for content creators around the globe to use digital content as a side hustle or passive income opportunity. In fact, already in 2020, we saw a huge 841% increase year over year in the number of digital sales recorded for published content on our platform. And so, for our Issuu 2020 Review, we identified “the rise of the side hustle: sales of digital content to increase” as one of the top 10 content marketing and publishing trends of 2021. We also recently hosted a free webinar: “The Rise of the Side Hustle” and you can watch the recording here.

What exactly is a side hustle? A side hustle might be a completely separate job from your full-time, or 9 to 5 position and is a way to make additional income outside of your regular employment. For some, the side hustle might also be driven by an interest or talent and you recognize that you need to develop your skills or the income opportunity before you can pursue it full time. Or you might find that your side hustle can compliment or expand on your existing business. Especially during these recent challenging times, businesses, designers, entrepreneurs, and more had to consider new ways to generate revenue or pivot to replace lost business. Recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that the online and “non-retailer” business is practically booming in fact. Their analysis of federal tax documents actually found that there were 600,000 more business applications in October 2020 compared year over year to 2019, and a third of those businesses were in online retailing. Consider what you would like to focus your side hustle on, whether it’s a physical item, services including through consulting or offering a skillset or possibly digital content. And then we’re here to tell you that focusing on a side hustle driven by digital content offers a huge area of opportunity!

Starting a side hustle might feel overwhelming, but we recommend you first look at your own expertise, experience, and interests. Consider developing digital content such as “How-To” guides, self-published e-books, zines, and online courses to share your valuable knowledge with others. Digital content is the perfect foundation to start building an income stream for yourself and potentially a more robust business or brand. In fact, digital content revenues grow year over year, and looking at ebooks specifically, revenue in the eBooks segment is projected to be over $15.6 million in the US in 2021. Plus, in October of last year, we announced that Issuu Digital Sales will be 100% commission-free — so you can keep every dollar earned by your content sales.

Transforming your developed content into a beautiful ebook, magazine, guide, etc. that can be easily sold, might seem like another big undertaking, but thankfully Issuu is your seamless digital sales solution. Not only do we offer beautiful content delivery, but also a streamlined payment process for you to be paid directly by your customers. Issuu will help you promote your content too. Issuu makes it easy to offer preview articles that are mobile-optimized, transform your ebook into social stories perfect for engaging new users on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and more. Plus uplevel your digital content by making it interactive with shopping and web links, and embedded videos. Just think, the shopping links could also add to your revenue opportunities with product sales, advertising, and cross-promotion of more content. Issuu helps you maximize passive income opportunities with just a few easy steps.

Side hustles to showcase

For decades now people have pursued work and businesses beyond their 9-5 jobs, and the gig economy has many people opting to earn a little extra cash with deliveries and ride-sharing. But, what we’re watching and most excited about is how digital content can play a major role in the rise of the side hustle. You can learn more about this from our recent 2021 Trends in Content Marketing and Publishing Webinar - Part 2. Plus check out these Issuu publishers that have already launched their own digital publishing empires.

Legally Innovative by Anna Lozynski

Publishing a successful eBook was Anna Lozynski’s goal, but it wasn’t a certainty. Anna is an executive general counsel and author based in Australia. She believes that legal innovation is invigorating, change is energizing and efficiency will never go out of fashion. Anna tapped Issuu Digital Sales for her eBook because it was the presentation was cost-effective, aesthetically pleasing and most important—easy-to-use. As she started out, she balanced her own day job and building out her eBook content and her brand.  Anna found success by tapping a variety of channels to promote her eBook and build her following on Instagram, her own blog, and LinkedIn. You can read even more about Anna Loyznski’s ebook success here

Betrothed Magazine by Brooklyn Wedding Photo

Wedding photographers Megan & Kenneth of Brooklyn Wedding Photo publish and sell Betrothed Magazine on Issuu exploring the art of a New York wedding—for everyone. Especially during these times, weddings come in all shapes, sizes, styles, and budgets. This magazine spotlights weddings and vendors in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania that create beautiful weddings in every way. The publication sales and magazine advertising revenue offers Megan & Kenneth another revenue stream that also supports their wedding bookings too, as a bonus.

Fat Burning For Life by Dr. Jim Bentz

Of course, selling premium digital content as a side hustle, isn’t only for the individual, but rather any business or organization should consider whether they have an opportunity to drive revenue through the sale of the valuable content they offer to clients, patients, or in their day-to-day business dealings. One example is Fat Burning For Life With Dr. Jim Bentz, which offers a guide to shifting your metabolism from sugar burning to fat burning for optimal health. This manual is part of a program offered by Neurological Integration System (NIS) leading practitioner Dr. Jim Bentz and Primal Health Coach, Maddie Knutson. You can register and download the program right here on Issuu.  

Issuu is your digital sales solution

Whether you call it “passive income,” a “side hustle,” or just building your own brand, creating and selling digital content is a trend that we know will continue to grow and Issuu is here to support these efforts. From publishing your eBooks to building out content marketing assets for promotion and to drive sales—Issuu has you covered.

You're Invited! Check out our free weekly workshop series 'Issuu Academy', and join our Customer Success Team as they show you the ropes to Issuu. Sign up and try one out today!