I turned my side hustle into a full-time job and now make £27,000 a year – how you can too | The Sun

WHEN dad-of-two Robin Young found himself without a job, he knew he needed to make some extra income to pay his bills.

The 39-year-old, from Oxfordshire, started a side hustle setting up a website for gym fans to buy equipment by comparing prices.

He hoped that the sites would bring in a bit of extra income and after six months, his first site, Fitness Savvy, was bringing in roughly £200 a month.

He then managed to secure a job in accountancy, while his side hustle ticked along in the background.

But when gyms were forced to close their doors during the coronavirus lockdown in 2020, Robin's website took off as people searched for the best deals on home gym equipment.

In the last year, he raked in £27,000 a year in profit by running the fitness comparison site and starting up his new venture Garden Furniture Sales.

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The websites compare the prices of fitness equipment and garden furniture from retailers such as eBay and Amazon.

It meant the 39-year-old, who is now a father of three, was able to give up up his job to focus full-time on running the websites.

In the next year, Robin hopes to see his monthly income jump to around £5,000 by investing more time into managing the sites.

Robin, who had no previous experience in setting up websites, said it's "super easy" to learn and doesn't require you to invest a lot of money.

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He said: "I found myself out of work and was claiming job seekers allowance and was working a couple of temp jobs for some extra cash.

"I was looking for ways to bring in some extra money but I had no spare money to invest.

"I'd always been quite interested in fitness and noticed that there wasn't a website for comparing home gym equipment, like there are for supermarket items or insurance.

"So I just Googled 'how to set up a website' and watched a bunch of free YouTube tutorials that taught me how to do it.

"In total, it cost me around £200 to set up the website – this included buying a domain name and paying a hosting provider for the website."

Robin said the websites don't need a lot of upkeep to make money.

This is because price comparison websites make their money through paid advertising and through affiliate links, which generate commission.

He started by writing blog posts on the website about products he liked from big brands like Adidas and Nike.

He said this put him in a good position to approach the companies and ask them to provide affiliate links for his website.

Robin said putting in the hard work at the beginning means he can now be flexible with his working hours.

Robin added: "Because it isn't customer-focused, I can work late at night and have a lie in the following day.

"I always make sure I have enough money coming in to cover my bills at the least, but it's nice to know you have flexibility.

"The thing with running comparison websites is that you can decide how much time you want to invest.

"You can easily run them around ajob by putting in a few hours in the evening, or you can work on them full-time."

"You can also take days off when you like, but it's important to remember that the more time you invest, the more money you will make.

"Just try to be realistic, keep your expectations in check and don't leave yourself short on cash."

Robin also shared his advice for anyone thinking of setting up their own side hustle.

"Don't leave your job after you've had your first good month because it takes time to build up the website so you have a steady and regular income", he said.

Everything you need to know about extra income

Running a side hustle is similar to running a small business, so get clear on your rights.

If you earn more than £1,000 extra a year, you’ll need to pay tax on your earnings. 

You can operate as a sole trader, a partnership or a limited company.

The rate of tax you pay will depend on whether your side hustle is a limited company or not.

If you are trading through another platform, such as Amazon, eBay or Depop, ensure you fully understand the legal terms and policies.

If you are selling overseas, you may need to comply with rules in other regions too.

If you intend to grow the business, you may want to protect your name or logo with a trademark.

Equally, ensure you are not infringing another business’s brand, product or logo.

You can search for a trademark at gov.uk/search-for-trademark.

What other ways can you boost your income?

It's not just setting up websites that can see you earning more.

There are plenty of side hustles you can get involved in to make some extra cash.

Market research is used by companies who want to find out what people think of their products.

Companies are willing to pay people who want to take part in market research sessions because it means they might sell more of their products.

Depending on what you get picked for, you can earn up to £200 for just a couple of hours of work as well, according to MoneySavingExpert.

You can go mystery shopping, which involves being asked to shop free of charge.

You can even do it online in some cases as well.

Or, you can get paid up to £6 by filling out online surveys.

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Avon sellers can make up to 32% commission on orders they place as well.

The Sun previously spoke to one woman who earns an extra £230 a month with her side hustle as an Avon lady.

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