4 Great Side Hustles for Stage Managers

4 Great Side Hustles for Stage Managers

4 Great Side Hustles for Stage Managers | brokeGIRLrich

When people think about side hustles or survival jobs, a lot of them seem to revolve around being on the same place all the time or work hours outside of 9-to-5. Any stage manager knows that doesn’t really help us out.

Work hours change a lot in the theater. While you might be able to swing some bartending shifts or night job work during rehearsals, once a show is up and running that’s out. And you might be able to babysit or work as a temp in an office once a show is up and running, but not during rehearsals.

To complicate things more, you might be on tour or work on a cruise ship and then an awful lot of side hustles probably aren’t going to work for you.

I’ve got you covered though. Here are 4 side hustles that are entirely location independent.

Blogging

Did you really think I wouldn’t suggest it? This is clearly my favorite side hustle.

All you really need is about $30 to get started and a subject you’re passionate about. If you told fresh-outta-college Mel that one day she’d supplement her stage management income by writing about personal finance, I would’ve laughed my butt off, but it turns out $30,000 in debt makes you pretty passionate about personal finance.

If you have a hobby you love enough to write about twice a week, you could easily start a blog. If you are on tour or a cruise ship and traveling the world, you could easily have a travel blog on your hands.

Pros

  • You can work on it from anywhere with internet access.
  • You can work ahead when you know you have a crazy schedule coming up.
  • The income possibilities are very varied.
  • It’s nice to be able to set your own work schedule.

Cons

  • It usually takes about a year of work before you see any income (though some people, especially in certain niches, manage to make money well before that).
  • You have to invest a little in hosting and a domain name. This can be done for around $30 to set up and then $4-$8 a month after.
  • You have to consistently write on a topic, even when you don’t feel like it.
  • You have to track your own income and taxes as a freelancer.

To give you an idea of possible blogging income. I work solidly part time (10-20 hours a week), unless I’m not stage managing, then I put in more time working on building my social media following, guest posting, etc. I post 3 times a week and do a link up party post for other bloggers on Saturdays.

I started brokeGIRLrich at the end of July 2013 with an investment of nearly $400 (I decided to commit to 3 years of hosting, rather than going month to month, but you totally don’t need to make such a long term investment). I made my first income from brokeGIRLrich in July 2014 ($107). I broke even on my investment in December 2014.

Last month alone I earned over $600 from brokeGIRLrich.

For a step by step break down on how to start a blog, check out this post!

Freelance Writing

If a blog is more of a commitment than you want to make, you can look into freelance writing. It is helpful to have a writing portfolio, so if you wrote for your school newspaper or have any kind of writing samples that you can throw online, it’ll help you out. You can totally just sign up for a free website through somewhere like WordPress, Blogger or Wix to build your portfolio site.

If you don’t have any writing samples, think of a subject matter you’re an expert in (there’s probably at least one thing) and look for large blogs that are in that niche. Do you make the absolute best chocolate chip cookies? Search some big cooking blogs. Do you have amazing organizing tips or a cool way you lay out a planner? Check out lifestyle blogs. Do you love roadside attractions? Check out travel blogs. Are you really into the latest tech? There are blogs for that too.

Do you have a cool stage management story that doesn’t break any confidentiality rules to share? There are a growing number of theater blogs with audiences that would love to read it.

Check out the tone and writing style of the blog you want to guest write for. Write up your story. Proof read it. Make sure it’s written in a similar fashion to the posts on the site you want your article published and then write a nice email to the contact person on the website asking if you can provide a guest post.

Your email should include information about why you think your post would work well on their site, a quick outline of the post and a note that you are a real human being just looking to build your writing portfolio.

If they agree to a guest post, double check that your post adheres to any guidelines they set out. If it does, send it over. If it doesn’t, edit it until it does. Once it’s published, add it to your portfolio website.

Repeat this step about 5 times. Do not work for free for more than 5 times. 

A reasonable starting rate for freelance writing blog posts of around 500 words is $20. After some time, you should be able to build your freelance writing business so that you can find clients that will pay more.

Pros

  • You can work on it from anywhere with internet access.
  • It’s nice to be able to set your own work schedule.
  • There is no cost to get started.
  • If you stick with it and find the right clients, you can make a lot of money.

Cons

  • The competition is pretty fierce among new freelance writers.
  • It can take a few months to build up a solid client base.
  • You may work with difficult clients that request multiple edits.
  • You have to track your own income and taxes as a freelancer.

I’m also going to tell you that there are several people I know, in real life, who have made freelance writing their career. One of them is Cat Alford, who took everything she knows about how to kick a$$ at freelance writing and turned it into a course. The basic level of the course is $197, which is a big investment, but if there’s one person I would trust to teach me how to build a freelance writing business, it’s her. If you’re interested, you can learn more here.

If you just want to start dabbling, some places to look for freelance writing work are:

Virtual Assistant

With the crazy increase in online entrepreneurs, there’s also been an increase in people who need assistants.

These jobs vary a lot, but if you have a basic understanding of how websites work, social media or personal assistant tasks, it might be a good fit for you.

Common tasks for virtual assistants can include any combination of the following (the person hiring you should make it clear which tasks they are looking for you to complete):

  • Social Media Management
  • Website Design
  • Website Maintenance
  • Editor
  • Writer
  • Personal Assistant

You are likely to make more money if you understand the technical side of websites, since there are a lot of bloggers out there who don’t. You can learn these skills for free online at sites like the Khan Academy.

If that’s too technical for you, social media management or even personal assistant tasks (organizing schedules, answering emails – sound familiar?) are ways you can make more money.

Pros

  • You can work on it from anywhere with internet access.
  • You can usually set your own working hours.
  • There is no cost to get started.
  • If you stick with it and find the right clients, you can make a lot of money.

Cons

  • You are working for someone else, so you’re subject to their deadlines.
  • You have to track your own income and taxes as a freelancer.

You can find Virtual Assistant positions on these sites:

Transcription Work

If you want to start earning right away and don’t want to work for yourself, transcription work can bring in an extra few hundred dollars a month.

There are several companies out there offering online transcription work. You’ll usually have to pass a grammar test and do one or two transcriptions for free as a test. Make sure to take your time and get them right. There’s little room for error during the hiring process.

To transcribe, you’ll need internet access and a quiet spot. Headphones often help people hear better too.

Pros

  • You can work on it from anywhere with internet access.
  • You can set your own working hours.
  • There is no cost to get started.
  • You get paid weekly with most transcription companies.
  • You can work as little or as much as you’d like.

Cons

  • Transcribing can be frustrating because of poor audio quality.
  • Some transcribing companies have more work opportunities than others.
  • The pay structure is non-negotiable.
  • It can be time consuming.

Some online transcription companies are:

You can find my review of working for Rev here.

Conclusion

Each of these four income methods can be built up to solid steams of extra money that can keep you afloat in between gigs or provide extra income when you’re working.

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