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Go from side hustle to solopreneur in 6 steps

Investing in your career is a smart move that will boost your earning power over the long term, but investing in a side hustle is a genius way to create multiple streams of income.

Starting a side hustle isn’t just about extra paychecks. It gives you the opportunity to learn new skill sets, discover and consider new career paths, and diversify your network of clients and collaborators. Last but not least, a side hustle creates a safety net, and a sense of autonomy over your work and finances should your day job ever go awry.

It might seem like a no-brainer, but side hustles can be a challenge. You have to adopt new work habits and become a master of time management and self-management. But if done right, your side gig can become a full-time, or stable part-time, solopreneurship. It can be your own independent venture with steady clients, and steady income.

Below is a guide to launching a side hustle, then transitioning into a full-fledged solopreneur.

Step 1: Brainstorm your options and create a framework

A side hustle isn’t just about pursuing your passions and beloved hobbies. It’s about strategically exploring opportunities that suit your interests, skills, and availability. For example, if you want to launch an SAT tutoring business, but your full-time job requires you to travel during peak test preparation season, then you might have to think of alternative paths.

If you work a 9-to-5 tech job on the east coast, you can consider consulting companies on the west coast during the early evenings, thanks to time zones. Being realistic about your time commitment, then setting the right framework and schedule in place, are the keys to building a sustainable side hustle over the long term.

Take Ari Krzyzek, founder of creativewomens.co. Ari’s full-time job is as a creative director and chief designer. While she enjoyed networking and meeting new women entrepreneurs, she had a hard time actually finding those women.

In 2015, Ari founded Creative Women’s Co., a creative oasis for women entrepreneurs where they can share their goals and struggles, exchange feedback, and collaborate. After seeing a need in the community, Ari brainstormed what would work well, created her framework and website, and now has a fully-functioning side hustle to complement her full-time, creative job.

Step 2: Write a business plan

It might seem old school, but a business plan will help you create a road map to ensure you reach your side hustle goals. It doesn’t have to be a long-winded document.

First, it should clearly articulate your product or service. One section should list realistic goals for your business, be it sales milestones or a clear plan on how to turn your side business into your full-time career. Add some research on competitors, a list of potential customers, and a simple operating model that will help you reach your stated goals. Before you know it, you’ll have a business plan that can guide you along the way.

For FirstLeaf.club, the business plan was relatively simple: to create a subscription-based business that introduced customers to new wines every month. To get started, First Leaf has customers complete a small quiz to understand what wines the customer likes (for example, do you drink reds, whites, or both?).

Once the quiz has been completed, First Leaf sends a box of six new wines for the customer to try on a monthly basis that is guaranteed to make the club member smile. And with over 150,000 members, First Leaf’s business plan appears to be working!

Hedgehog with sketch of business idea

Step 3: Determine the right business entity structure

This step might not be as fun as brainstorming business ideas or dreaming up big goals. But it’s a critical one, so don’t skip it. Installing the right legal structure from the start will help you tap the right legal protections and tax benefits.

In general, your main options are a sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), or corporation. Each one offers different legal protections and comes with various tax implications, so speak to a lawyer who specializes in small businesses to determine the right legal framework for you. The bottom line is that you have to decide which balance of legal protection and cost is right for you.

Step 4: Set a schedule

As we learned in step one, being realistic about your time commitment is key to getting started. It’s also key to thriving, especially if you aspire to eventually turn your side gig into a full-time career as a solopreneur.

But there’s much more to it than being honest about your availability and considering your day job. Side hustling is all about smart time management. You must create a set schedule that will ensure you can meet all your side hustle deliverables, build a client base, and scale your gig into a full-fledged and reliable source of income.

Here’s how to start. Look at your calendar and block off a set number of hours each week for your venture. Try to dedicate the same number of hours (be it 3 hours a day, or 3 days per week), and if possible, the same time slots each week (maybe you work weekends, or Thursdays and Fridays from 9 am to 2 pm) . This programs you to be consistent and to stick to a schedule so that your side hustle is on track to grow into something real.

Hugh Brooks of HughBrooks.design decided to turn his love for graphic design and illustration into a full-time side hustle. By offering prints he has created for sale on his online store, Hugh is able to bring in recurring income from this work while he spends the remainder of his schedule with custom commissions that he receives through both his website and his Instagram account.

Step 5: Market your side hustle

You have your idea, business plan, and set schedule. Now you need customers or clients. Whether you’re selling a line of products or a specialized service, be it a line of trendy handbags or all-natural home remedy recipes, you have to figure out how you’re going to reach your target audience.

This is where the beauty of social media marketing comes in handy, where you can reach customers from across the country via e-commerce or remote consulting. Whether you reach them via Instagram or LinkedIn, make sure to secure a website that comprehensively communicates what your business is all about.

Make sure your website has a contact form, a page outlining your bio and expertise, clear product descriptions, perhaps links to your best work if you’re a creative consultant, and what makes your hustle so valuable.

Whereby.us provides great examples of how you can market your side hustle. A newsletter content agency made up of local journalists, writers, and creators, Whereby has both their ‘Contact Us’ form and their email promoted on the home page. Whereby also promotes its services on LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Medium to help spread the word.

illustration of Instagram posts of products

Step 6: Stick to your side hustle to become a solopreneur

It can take some time to gain traction, but don’t feel discouraged if you’re not an overnight success. The key is to set realistic goals each month, be it gaining one client or selling your first ten units. As you scale, determine whether you should adjust your legal structure or business plan as well. Stick to your plan and be proactive about outreach until you get some momentum and feel your side hustle has become a stable source of income.

Lissy Alden of Myndy.co started her career improving organizational culture and engagement. Experiencing employee burnout first hand, Lissy began to focus her passion for employee engagement while consulting for Fortune 500s and startups, until she eventually ditched her corporate job and turned her side hustle into a full-time solopreneurship. Lissy is living proof that if you can dream it, you can do it.

Go get ’em! Whether you’re an experienced career professional looking to branch out, or a tinkerer ready to turn your now-and-later gigs into a fully-fledged business, there’s a place and a market for you online. Alternative domains like .co, .club, .designand .us enable you to strengthen your brand without having to compromise on your website name while providing other great benefits like enhancing your SEO. Get started today!

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wpadmin December 28, 2022 0 Comments

Annual Highlights From Matt Mullenweg

WordPress held the annual State of the Word keynote address on December 15th, 2022. During the event, WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg addressed the progress of various WordPress project aspects and provided previews of what’s coming in the future years.

A group of contributors and developers attended State of the Word 2022, and it was also live-streamed with over 30 watch parties and 500 RSVPs across 11 countries.

This article will recap the event and let you know what WordPress has achieved in 2022 and the plans for the project.

State of the Word 2022 Video

In case you missed the live stream event, WordPress uploaded the State of the Word 2022 to its YouTube channel, and you can watch it here:

Four Freedoms of Open Source

Josepha Haden Chomphosy, the executive director of the WordPress project, began the event with the question, “Why WordPress?” She followed it up with a reminder of the four freedoms of open source:

  1. To run the program for any purpose.
  2. To study how the program works and change it to make it do what you wish.
  3. To redistribute copies.
  4. To distribute copies of your modified versions to others.

These freedoms, stated in the WordPress Bill of Rights, remove barriers and help secure a free, open, and interconnected web in the future. Josepha then mentioned that Matt Mullenweg taught her that open source is an idea that can change our generation.

2022 WordPress Recap

Matt Mullenweg then took the stage and started the keynote address. Here are the highlights for the 2022 recap.

Gutenberg Editor

As an editor tool for website and mobile application building using the block paradigm, Gutenberg has seen wide adaptation worldwide. Matt believes that Gutenberg will be bigger than WordPress itself.

In 2022, bbPress Forums, which powers WordPress.org forums, has embedded Gutenberg, so now you can add links and images in forums without using HTML-like language. This is done with the Blocks Everywhere plugin that will also be embedded in BuddyPress.

WordPress support forum text editor that uses Gutenberg block editor

Other applications also have embedded Gutenberg. Here are a few examples:

  • EngineAwesome, a Laravel-Based SaaS application.
  • Pew Research Center’s Political Typology Quiz. One out of eight quizzes has been converted to blocks in 2022, with more than 1 million people completing it in 2022.
  • The web version of Day One, an award-winning journaling app, uses Gutenberg.

The Gutenberg project also concluded the licensing of Gutenberg Mobile. Matt explained that Gutenberg has always been GPL-licensed, but people couldn’t just include Gutenberg in a mobile app due to how mobile apps are distributed.

Mobile Gutenberg now has dual licenses, so you can use it under GPL or MPL (Mozilla Public License) and easily embed it in mobile applications.

Since the beginning of the Covid pandemic in 2020, many community events, such as meetups, have switched to online. In 2022, we saw many online gatherings return to the in-person meetup style.

Matt explained that 500 meetup groups doubled their events in 2022. WordCamps are also increasing in number – from only one WordCamp in 2021 to 22 WordCamps in 2022. So far, 34 WordCamps are already planned for 2023, and the number will most likely increase.

The list of past WordCamps in 2022

Learn WordPress

WordPress hosts the Learn WordPress website. It contains courses and community workshops for people who want to learn WordPress. In 2022, there were 12,000 people who took one of these courses.

Matt said the course activities were happening almost every week and were moderated or facilitated by volunteers.

Website Redesign

The WordPress.org website was redesigned in 2022, including its homepage and blog areas. The new design follows the jazz design paradigm, and Matt hopes that this “neo-jazz meets software” aesthetic will become a new design language on its own.

The WordPress.org homepage

Another new addition to the WordPress.org website is the Showcase section, which features famous websites that are powered by WordPress.

The WordPress showcase page


WordPress acquired Openverse from the Creative Commons organization in 2021 and has since launched it on the WordPress.org website. It’s a search engine that scours the web for Creative Commons-licensed media, such as images and videos.

The WordPress Openverse page

In 2022, audio media will be introduced into the Openverse, allowing podcasters and music creators to share their works with the world.

Matt continued with the following Openverse stats:

  • 22 million images.
  • 1.1 million audio files.
  • Millions of users per month.
  • Over 59 million requests made in the past 30 days.

Photos uploaded to the WordPress photo directory will also be available in the Openverse.

Three Major Updates

WordPress launched three major updates in 2022 with new design tools to customize a website’s entire front-end. What’s more, users no longer need to know as much PHP and CSS as before.

Matt highlighted the top three aspects that shipped with the updates in 2022:

  • Block themes. WordPress themes are moving from a bundle of PHP and CSS to blocks, allowing users to create themes or customize websites in the Gutenberg Editor without dealing with code.
  • Styles and style variations. Themes are usually a collection of colors, fonts, and spacing that people can customize with the Gutenberg Editor. The styles and the variations thereof provide alternatives to these components with the same underlying structure.
  • Twenty Twenty-Three theme. Unlike its predecessors, the Twenty-Twenty-Three default theme comes as a black canvas, with ten style variations designed by WordPress community contributors.
WordPress Twenty Twenty-Three theme in the Site Editor, with the global styles panel showing available styles

Gutenberg Phase Two Wrap-Up

WordPress introduced Gutenberg four years ago, and the project is divided into four phases:

  1. Easier Editing. Replacing the post and page editor with the Gutenberg block tools. Already available in WordPress, with ongoing improvements.
  2. Customization. Using the Gutenberg design tools to customize headers and footers and create an entire website with blocks. This phase includes full site editing, block patterns, block directory, and block-based themes.
  3. Collaboration. A more intuitive way to collaborate during WordPress core content creation.
  4. Multilingual. Core implementation for multilingual sites

We are in phase two of Gutenberg with the latest WordPress 6.1 release. At this point, creating a theme from a blank canvas is possible just by using the Gutenberg editor on the front-end. The upcoming WordPress 6.2, expected to arrive on March 2023, will mark its end.

This is possible using the Create Block Theme plugin that allows importing Google Fonts into the theme and serving them locally from the site. Matt said that with this system, we could haveone theme, one pattern, infinite permutations,” implying the endless customization possibilities with block-based editing.

A Record Number of Release Contributors

A record number of 1,399 contributors made all the updates and new features possible. Check out the following contribution stats:

  • 652 first-time contributors.
  • 204 contributors participated in all 2022 releases.
  • 424 contributors from 2021 returned in 2022.
  • 322 contributors who took a break in 2021 returned in 2022.

Matt also introduced and recognized four new core committers in 2022 – Bernie Reiter, Marius Jensen, Adam Zielinski, and George Mamadashvili.

Plugin and Theme Taxonomy

Starting in December 2022, WordPress is launching a new taxonomy for the plugin and theme directory. With over 50,000 plugins and 10,000 themes, the new taxonomy should help users understand what kind of plugin or theme they’re getting. The new taxonomy also allows the creators to self-identify what kind of project their extensions are.

WordPress Twenty Twenty-Three theme in the WordPress directory, with the new taxonomy highlighted

The feature is still a work in progress, but Matt mentioned four taxonomies:

  • Solo or single-player. Solo developers develop extensions under this category for themselves but also release them for others.
  • Community. These extensions belong to a community of developers with a lead dev stewarding the development. These extensions are then shared in the directory and passed to others. Community extensions also invite contributors to get involved in the WordPress community.
  • Canonical plugins. The WordPress project considers a portion of community plugins important to the ecosystem. These plugins receive support from the core WordPress developers.
  • Commercial. These extensions often have commercial support and are developed by companies. They also offer upsells, such as pro versions of the plugins.

What’s Coming In 2023

In addition to addressing the 2022 WordPress project progress, Matt also presented some plans for 2023.

WordPress 20th Anniversary

WordPress will turn 20 in May 2023. Matt mentioned that few software projects make it to such an age and that WordPress shares the same birth year as Creative Commons.

There will be celebrations for the anniversary – you can follow the updates on the WordPress 20th anniversary website.

The WordPress 20th anniversary homepage

WordPress Community Summit is an event where top contributors gather. After a six-year hiatus, the WordPress Community Summit will come back in 2023 and coincide with WordCamp US 2023.

The WordPress Community Summit 2023 homepage

Gutenberg Phase Three

Gutenberg phase three will start after the WordPress 6.2 release. The next generation of Gutenberg and WordPress will have a real-time collaboration feature that allows multiple people to work together on a post, page, or website. Matt explained that it would feel similar to working with Google Docs, where everyone can see what others are doing on the interface.

This feature will also allow people to invite others to collaborate in WordPress to edit posts, pages, or themes together. This way, users won’t need to use external tools like Google Docs, plus they’ll be able to benefit from using blocks in their collaborative workflow.

Post revisions will also receive a revamped interface during phase three, allowing people to edit revisions or check the post or page history.

Finally, WordPress will improve the media library with the Openverse integration. This will allow people to download media from the Openverse directly via the WordPress media library, improving the editorial workflow.

WordPress Playground

Adam Zielinski developed a new sandbox called Playground. Normally, you need a web host or a local web server to use WordPress. The WordPress Playground, however, will work on web browsers using WebAssembly.

A browser tab showing the WordPress Playground sandbox

The sandbox is handy for testing themes or plugins or just trying a new design with the editor. The Playground already shows potential for the future. For example, you can use it as a staging environment to download and clone your WordPress site into your browser, make some edits, and then deploy the changes on your live website.

WordPress playground is still experimental and in active development, but you can visit the Playground page to test it or even participate in the project.


WordPress has progressed a lot in 2022, including core updates like broader Gutenberg integration and community changes like the reactivation of many worldwide events. The introduction of Full Site Editing, now known as Site Editor, is one of the biggest WordPress changes in 2022, and it has changed how people build websites with this content management system.

As we’re approaching the end of phase two of the Gutenberg project, we can expect another major milestone in 2023 – the introduction of real-time collaboration in WordPress. The new feature will improve our editorial workflow, making WordPress a better platform for creating content.

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wpadmin December 23, 2022 0 Comments

How to use YouTube to enhance your WordPress strategy

Everybody watches YouTube videos. The platform has over 2 billion active monthly users, and over 75% of Americans aged 15 and older are on YouTube, making it the second most popular site in the world.

The potential to capture a slice of this enormous market is an excellent reason to embed YouTube videos on your WordPress site. However, you are unlikely to succeed if you add videos to your site without a game plan.

Once you’ve found a quality web host and set up your WordPress site, here are some tips on utilizing the power of YouTube to enhance your WordPress strategy.

Embed YouTube videos in WordPress

WordPress makes it incredibly easy to embed YouTube videos. You can then capture views and shares from people who visit your website but don’t want to go to YouTube. If you post regularly and share new videos in prominent positions on your site, it can be a great strategy to grow your site’s organic reach.

Besides bringing visitors to your website, embedding your videos could help you grow your small business too. It can help boost user engagement, conversion rates, and even SEO. Once you start seeing more sales, you should open a business account with features and integrations such as accounting trackers and invoice generators to manage income received from customers and clients.

Still not sure how to embed YouTube videos in WordPress pages? It is much easier than you think:

  • Copy the URL of your YouTube video from the address bar of your web browser.
  • Open the WordPress blog editor and paste the URL on a new line. Remember not to hyperlink it.
  • WordPress and YouTube will handle the rest once you hit submit.

If you want to get your hands dirty, you can get the embed code for a video from YouTube. Find and click the “Share” button underneath the video, select “embed,” and copy the code. Paste the embed code into your WordPress HTML editor window, and you’re all set.

You could also try installing a WordPress plugin to simplify sharing videos from your pages. It may encourage visitors to post your content across their social media pages, giving you more exposure and access to potential new customers.

Embedding a video playlist of content from your YouTube channel on your WordPress site is an excellent way to build organic reach and retain your customer’s loyalty. However, it can work against you if your website directs viewers to other channels. Related videos appear as recommendations at the end of your embedded video based on a visitor’s YouTube history.

Unfortunately, the recommendations will often direct viewers to content from other publishers.

Thankfully, some plugins make it very simple to disable the display of related videos on your website by YouTube, with Embed Plus for YouTube doing a great job. Embed Plus is a powerful but lightweight plugin offering you all kinds of video functionality for your WordPress site.

Here’s how to disable related videos:

  • First, log in to your WordPress administrator dashboard and open the plugins page. Install the Embed Plus plugin and activate it.
  • After successful installation and activation, select YouTube Free from the left-hand side menu to open the plugin settings page.
  • Here, you will find related videos as a setting on the “Default” tab. Scroll down the tab and check the box marked “Hide related videos at the end of playback.”
  • Click the Save button to complete the setup process.

When your page, post, or another document on your WordPress site includes a YouTube video, the Featured Image from YouTube plugin lets you fetch the preview image or thumbnail of the video and use it as your featured mast image.

If your post contains multiple embedded videos, you can pick one to use as a featured image. The plugin supports a range of resolutions, from Max Resolution for themes that feature large mast images to smaller thumbnails, ideal for your post listings.

The captured featured image is an excellent way to improve the look of blog posts in listings that use a featured image, either as a larger image or thumbnail.

Suppose you create many WordPress posts that contain embedded YouTube videos. In that case, the plugin is a valuable time saver compared to downloading the image preview and adding it to your page or designing an alternative featured image.

illustration of a YouTube video in a WordPress comment

Are you looking for a way to liven up your WordPress comments section and boost engagement with your visitors? One of the best ways is to let your visitors insert media, including YouTube videos, into the post comments section.

Unfortunately, WordPress does not natively allow visitors to upload YouTube links, social content, videos, and other media files in their comments. However, there is an easy-to-use WordPress plugin that uses oEmbed to allow users to leave media-rich content as part of their comments quickly.

The DCO Comment Attachment plugin allows your website visitors to quickly embed YouTube videos, links, slides, and many other services without messing with ugly, complicated code.

To allow your visitors to add YouTube videos in their comments using the DCO Comment Attachment plugin, follow the simple steps below:

  1. Install the DCO Comment Attachment and activate the plugin by logging in to the admin section of your website.
  2. After activating the plugin, head to the WordPress admin panel’s “Settings” section and click on DCO Comment Attachment to set up your custom comments settings. The plugin lets you specify different parameters for links and attachments that you allow visitors to include in their comments on your web pages.
  3. Save the settings and try pasting a YouTube link to embed a video to one of your page comments sections.

Watch your audience grow

Once you create a new website or migrate your existing online presence to WordPress, you need to get people to visit. Apply the strategy outlined here to use your YouTube presence to grow your site’s visitor numbers and engagement through embedded videos.

It can take time to get the numbers you need, but with persistence and a well-thought-out game plan, YouTube can be an integral part of your WordPress website’s growth strategy.

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wpadmin December 22, 2022 0 Comments