The Importance of Diversifying Your Side Gig

c3de7c63952449849b21c589040a3aa1If you’ve spent any amount of time reading personal finance sites, you’ve undoubtedly come across the advice to get a side gig or side hustle.  What you may not see as often is the importance of diversifying your side gig.  While you may initially make a fair amount of money, things change.  To safe guard your side gig and extra income stream, your best protection is to diversify.

For instance, I started my side gig three years ago.  I was submitting blogger’s posts to carnivals for a small fee.  Around that time, I also began writing posts for other bloggers.  That turned out to be a smart move because within another year, the carnival submissions business all but dried up.

Initially, I was the one who reduced the carnival submissions business because I had more clients than I could handle.  I had to cut a few clients so my load was more manageable.  Then, within another 12 to 18 months, almost all of my clients were gone.  Why?  Some no longer found submitting to carnivals a good business move.  Other clients moved to other people who offered the same service for a lower price.

Had carnival submissions been my only side gig, I would currently be without a side gig.  Thankfully, my freelance writing business grew, though I’m trying to diversify from that one now so that I’m protected should it start to dry up.

If you’re starting a side gig and are interested in diversifying, try these tips:

1.  Find another job that is a natural task for the one that your currently doing

If you’re tutoring high school students in math, for instance, why not also offer services to prep them for the ACT and SAT?  You could even expand to prepping college graduates for the GRE math portion.

2.  Keep an eye out for current trends

If you’re a freelance writer as I am, you may want to also learn all you can about social media and Pinterest.  If you can offer a side gig promoting posts on social media or creating Pinterest-friendly pictures for your clients, you’ve not only become more valuable to your client, you’ve also expanded your business and your revenue stream.

3.  Find a job in a different field that is related

As a freelance writer/blogger, I am always looking for ways to expand my writing from the blogosphere to other areas like print media.  Then, if one area dries up, I always have the other area to fall back on.

4.  Don’t forget local clients

We live in a world that, thanks to the Internet, makes working at home possible for more people.  However, I think too many of us stay focused on the online world.  If you’re a social media manager, yes, you can get a job working for a company hundreds, if not thousands, of miles away.  However, don’t forget to look at your local city and community.  There are local businesses that likely need your help, too.  This is yet another great way to expand your business.

If you’re a freelancer with a side gig, do you make sure to diversify your income streams?  If so, what other tips can you give?