Hello, my name is Steven and welcome to my blog – Side Hustle Teach.
Who am I?
I would describe myself as a regular guy working a corporate 9-5 (5:30 in my case) job.
Fast-approaching my 30’s, I’m happily married to my beautiful wife Shauna. We live in the UK with our crazy dog and cat.
Outside of work, I’m a side hustling teacher.
For those that don’t know, a side hustler is basically someone who works on the side of their standard employment.
For me, I teach and share my wisdom about science. What’s even better is that I have learnt how to monetize this passion.
My days as a scientist
I’ve always been fascinated by science. Mainly, I love biology and learning the ins and outs of humans and diseases.
This spurred me on to go to university, where I graduated with a degree in Biomedical Science.
And with that, I prolonged my time in higher education to achieve a PhD from the Manchester Metropolitan University (UK) in 2016.
So, I suppose you can call me Dr Steven Bradburn.
What was my PhD thesis, I hear you ask?
The official title was:
Circulating immune markers of age-related cognitive decline
Bit of a tongue twister, hey?
Basically my research involved analysing inflammation and how that can potentially damage the brain, which may result in memory problems.
This mainly involved me examining blood samples for so-called inflammatory proteins, as well as performing experiments on cells grown in a dish in a laboratory.
Once my time in education was up, I got my first full-time job in the real world as a scientific researcher at university.
Here, I focussed on understanding some of the causes of Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
Both Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease are fascinating disorders to research, especially when you have a family connection to them like I did.
I progressed as a budding young scientist and even published some of my work in international scientific journals.
From researching brains to blogging
As a researcher at a university institution, you’re not only expected to find cures for diseases, but to also share your wisdom and teach those coming through the ranks.
I love teaching. You get an unexpected amount of satisfaction when you see peoples reaction when the penny finally drops.
And I had a lot of students to help.
During this time, I often found that students were asking similar questions. Sometimes, this would involve me sitting down with them and going over a piece of software to demonstrate how to do something.
But, repeating this process on a one-by-one basis was seriously time consuming!
So, I had a great idea one day to start a website and write how-to articles. This way, whenever a student asked me about something, I could simply ping them an e-mail with my article first and then they could follow-up with additional concerns.
I had dabbled in setting up WordPress websites before, so I already had the main knowledge on how to do it.
And so, in February 2017, my little educational website – Top Tip Bio – was born.
In my spare time from my research, I started writing guides and informative articles that I knew my students would benefit from.
I was pinging my articles left, right and centre to those that needed help.
The students got the information they were looking for, and I had more free time to do my research, whilst still benefiting from helping others.
It was a win-win situation!
But then, something unexpected happened.
Students from all around the world were contacting me and leaving comments on my articles saying how much they appreciated my help.
The screenshot below shows the growth in page views my little educational website had within its first year. Each dot represents a new week.
Remember, I had very little search engine optimization (SEO) experience at this point!
Essentially, my content was being picked up by Google and other search engines for others to see.
This essentially snowballed the more articles I wrote (the website now gets over 50,000 page views a month!).
I welcomed the increased demand for my content, but I was concerned with the ongoing cost of my great idea since this was solely funded out of my own pocket.
For those that have never created a website before, in order to keep a website online, you need to host files on a server. Usually, you rent part of a server from a web hosting company; this is just like renting a flat in an apartment block.
But, the more space you use on your server, the higher the rent cost.
So, I soon faced the dilemma of finding additional funds or pulling the plug on my website altogether.
After researching different ways of monetizing a website, I, like most people, decided to run advertisements to earn a bit of money.
Google AdSense is a great income stream for those with a young website or blog. Basically, you place advertisements on your platform and earn money every time a visitor clicks on an advert.
I was soon earning enough money through Google AdSense to cover the upkeep of running my website. But, the earnings from AdSense was not as great as you may think.
This then got me thinking of other ways I could potentially monetize my side hustle.
I soon discovered that there are so many ways to earn money teaching online! You can:
- Place affiliate links on your website
- Sell online courses and other digital assets
- Start a YouTube channel and eventually monetize that
- Ask for donations
- Do private consultations/tutoring
So, I started to branch out my income streams.
I started adding affiliate links within some of my articles. These are special referral links that are attached to a certain company or product and if a visitor who uses your affiliate link then goes on to purchase that said product, you get a commission of the sale.
Towards the end of 2018, I also created an online course. Online courses are a great source of additional income since there are no restrictions on how many customers you can serve, unlike physical products.
In between this, I also started a YouTube channel. This was a great move since I could create video content that complemented my articles and, more importantly, increase my brand awareness.
Just like a website, you can also monetize a YouTube channel. This includes:
- Joining the YouTube Partner Program (showing advertisements on videos)
- Adding affiliate links within the video description
- Selling merchandise
You will be surprised at how much YouTubers make just through advertisements alone! In fact, the YouTube channel earns more in advertising revenue, compared with the website.
I also learnt so much in online marketing and SEO. This meant that I had a higher chance of my content being discovered by search engines.
What is Side Hustle Teach?
This then brings me on to my next venture – Side Hustle Teach.
Side Hustle Teach is my personal blog where I share all my knowledge on things to do with teaching online in your spare time and profiting from it.
I truly believe that teaching is one of the best and rewarding side hustles you can do.
On my blog, you will find:
- Step-by-step guides on how to create a website/blog and an online course
- Recommendations of the software and equipment I use to teach online
- Reviews of software I use that help me with online marketing and teaching
If you’re interested in making money teaching others online, then I hope you find this content useful.
Also, be sure to drop me a comment and say hi! I’m always looking at connecting with others.
See you around the blog.