What To Do When Your Side Income Goes Belly Up

4 Takeaways to Remember When Your Efforts Fall Through the Cracks

I’ve written before about how I put nearly 50 hours into a consignment sale and earned $178 as a result.  I’m also the queen of not making a sale on eBay, Craigslist or Facebook garage sales.  Come to me for advice, people.  I know how to get it done.  Not…

Photo Credit:  Liz Edgar (Creative Commons)

I have a new income earning fail that definitely tops the list.  So if your side income efforts have ever flopped, read on friend.


I began this blog in February ’15 for three reasons:

  • I love helping people become financially free
  • I love to write
  • I want to earn a side income so that my own family can accomplish our financial goals


So I started PiggyBankDreams, flying forward as gracefully as a pig on skates, hoping that I could wobble my way through and earn some side money.  I researched like a madwoman, looking at ways to blog with integrity while making money.  I ventured first into affiliate sales, following in the footsteps of Pat Flynn at SmartPassiveIncome.


In a nutshell, an affiliate sale happens when you promote a product (i.e. a book), then people buy the book through your link and you receive a commission for the referral.  I decided to choose only things that I loved and would benefit my readers.  So I started reviewing books once a month on my blog, attaching an affiliate link to each book.


My first mistake:  This was when my blog was receiving approximately 10 views per week.  If that.  Lesson learned?  Crickets don’t buy books.


I really was doing it for the learning experience more than anything.  I didn’t expect to earn a down payment on a house with it, but I will say I laughed out loud when the following email from the Amazon Affiliates Program drifted into my inbox last month:


We are writing to notify you that your Associates Program application has been rejected and you will no longer have access to Associates Central.  This action was taken because we have not yet received a referral from your account.  Accounts that have not referred a sale within in 180-days of sign-up are automatically rejected.


Translation:  In 6 months, you’ve earned $0.  We’re cutting you off.  It’s not us; it’s you.


I still chuckle about it.  But man it stinks when your side income goes down the tubes, doesn’t it?  You feel inadequate.  Like you’re not holding up your end of the deal.  Like you’re a failure.  To my husband’s credit, he is completely fine with me not bringing in extra money if I don’t want to.  But that makes me want to all the more!  Does that makes sense?


Despite my laughable first attempt at affiliate sales, I did keep researching how to make money online and found something that didn’t involve boring my readers with stale book reviews.  🙂

For the first time in my life, I am being paid to write.  I create content for blogs and websites as a ghost writer via TextBroker.com.  The money isn’t a lot in the beginning ($5-$10 per hour), but I can work from home whenever I wish, much of what I write is regarding finances, the income potential will increase, and I’m finally seeing the “red” in my business ledger start to shrink.

Just being able to cover my blogging expenses is an immensely satisfying goal.  If I would have quit looking, I would have missed this opportunity.  This piggy bank dreamer is finally starting to dream again.


What’s the takeaway here?


  1. Don’t give up your ambition if a side income goes belly up. And DON’T beat yourself up.  You tried something.  That’s awesome.
  2. Perhaps it’s not the right time for it. I definitely learned that with that delightful email from Amazon.
  3. Hold onto your goals.  There was a reason you started this.  Remember why and hold tightly to that.
  4. God might have something even better in store just around the corner.  I’m being PAID to WRITE.  Seriously, sometimes I do a little run-in-place dance when I think about it.  So many doors are opening now that I’ve begun that journey.    This may just be a dip right before an ascent, like Seth Goden wrote in his excellent book, “The Dip”. (<—— No affiliate link, hehe, you see what I did there?  I’m so ironic.)


Join the Discussion:  What is your latest side hustle and how’s it going?  Reach out to other commenters and share some support with one another.  Let’s build each other up.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

2 thoughts on “What To Do When Your Side Income Goes Belly Up

  1. I have not read many blogs lately, and I’m upping my game again just now. Amazing that this is the first post of yours that I’ve read in a while, and it speaks to me so directly! I too have struggled with the “writing for pay” issue – though I haven’t been as proactive as you have been. I’ve pretty my resigned to the paralysis of doubt – and that’s what I’m praying will end. Thank you : )

    • I too have been catering to the “paralysis of doubt”. I love the phrasing you chose. All that zesty zeal I felt in the first 6 months of blogging is wearing off. I knew it was coming, but it’s still TOUGH. So glad my words spoke to you. I totally get it. Keep writing, my friend.