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Here’s My 2022 Online Side Hustle Income Report

In 2022, I continued working on various online side hustles, even though I’ve put most of my time into this one. My latest side hustle hasn’t made me any money yet, but the others still do.

So here’s a breakdown of my 2022 online side hustle income.

Etsy Printable Planners Business, my so far Biggest Online Side Hustle Income

Let’s face it – this one took a nosedive. There are reasons for that. One, I almost completely stopped listing new products. Two, I also stopped promoting my printable planners on social media, especially Pinterest. While in previous years Pinterest brought some traffic and signaled to the Etsy algorithm that my listings are interesting, my Pinterest traffic decreased significantly in 2022.

Screenshot of my shop's social media traffic in 2022. Compared to the previous year, traffic coming from Pinterest decreased 85%.
2022 summary of social media traffic, screenshot from the Etsy dashboard

Reduced external traffic and my shop not being favored by the Etsy algorithm anymore lead to 50% lower traffic than in 2022. Additionally, my conversion rate dropped as well, so my earnings took an even bigger cut than 50%.

Screenshot of my Etsy stats, showing a consistent decrease of visits over the whole year 2022. Compared to 2021, visits to my shop's listings decreased by 51%.
Screenshot of my Etsy stats

In total, my shop was getting 71% fewer orders than in 2021 and revenue was only CHF 2’105 (USD 2’285) in 2022, compared to CHF 7’261(USD 7’883) in 2021.

Lessons from my 2022 Etsy Business Activities

  1. Adding products to your shop and being active on Etsy is important to stay relevant to the Etsy algorithm
  2. External traffic is crucial in case you fail at 1)

In summary: You can NEVER stop marketing your products – not for your Etsy shop anyway.

Selling 3D models

Promoting the 3D models I sell took 0 hours out of my 2022 schedule. That did not influence my sales numbers in a significant way – I made $219, just $20 less than in 2021. That looks like normal fluctuation to me.

There’s a bit of a change in which marketplace is performing best for me. Sketchfab just keeps getting better and better, and is now my most successful 3D model selling platform.

Needless to say, I’m completely happy with how this side hustle develops – with me putting in zero effort, it keeps giving me close to $20 a month on average.

Pie chart of my 3D model selling income in 2022. 47.5% of income or $101 were generated by Sketchfab, 40.9% or $87 by CGTrader, and 11.7 or $24 by TurboSquid.
Pie chart of my 3D models selling income

So I’m very happy with this truly easy online side hustle – I can leave it alone and it keeps making me money.

My Online Side Hustle Income from Print on Demand

Here’s another side hustle I didn’t give much care and maintenance: My print on demand business. Compared to 2021, my print on demand income decreased by CHF 684 (USD 742).

One of the reasons is that Spreadshirt now is required to deduct the Quellensteuer from my earnings, which is 15% and makes me miss out on CHF 220 in 2022. In case anyone knows how to file for getting the Quellensteuer back, let me know. I tried to fill in the form, but I have no idea what to write where, so I abandoned the task.

The other reason for reduced earnings is either that I didn’t add many new designs, or the generally bad world situation (you know, war, inflation, stuff). The most impact on my earnings was the Christmas business, which was going bonkers in 2020, so I got paid much more money in January 2021 than in January 2022.

As for marketplaces, this pie chart shows clearly that most of my print on demand income is still generated by Spreadshirt, like in previous years.

Pie chart of my print on demand income. 92% or $1'376 were generated by Spreadshirt, 4.2% or $61 by Redbubble and 3.8% or $57 by Zazzle.
Pie chart of my print on demand income.

I still love print on demand, and I will probably try to add more designs in 2022 than in 2021. I find it quite an easy and relaxing activity.

Writing on Medium

I’m still writing on Medium, sometimes publishing my articles there, additionally to on this blog. Medium is paying me for the time people spend reading my stories.

I did not write many articles in 2022; 8 was all I managed to do.

At the beginning of the year, I wrote some moderately successful stories. After I stopped publishing, my Medium Partner Program earnings slowly started declining, as you can see in the following screenshot of my Medium earning statistics.

Screenshot of my Medium earnings, which make only a very small part of my online side hustle income.
Screenshot of my medium earnings

I will keep this up – I should at least be able to write as many articles on Medium as I did in 2022.

Summary: 2022 Online Side Hustle Income Percentages

Pie chart of my overall side hustle income report, showing that print on demand make me the most money with 42.8%, followed by Etsy with 40.5%.
Pie chart of my total online side hustle income

You can see that Print on Demand is now my new front-runner. That’s a bit of a shame because I invested so much time in creating all my Etsy products.

On the other hand, while I was giving Etsy and Print on Demand about the same amount of attention in 2022, POD seems much more worthwhile. While not tended to, my print on demand business did not nearly crash as much as my Etsy earnings.

So what to Focus on in 2023?

It looks like in the long run, my time is better invested in print on demand than in Etsy planner pages. Of course, my print on demand niche is much less competitive than the planner pages niche on Etsy. It’s only logical for it to survive with less care.

But there’s still my new 3D print on demand side hustle, and I’m just at the beginning with that one. This is still where my focus will be in 2023.

For my other side hustles, I will put some effort into social media for my Etsy printable planners shop and see if I can get some traffic from TikTok, Instagram, and Pinterest. I already wanted to do that in 2022, but I didn’t really give it much effort. Short-form video is what attracts eyeballs at the moment, so I’ll focus on that.

I will keep having some casual fun with print on demand, I just like the speed with which you can release a new design that could possibly be successful.

And of course, I will keep writing.

How did your year go? Are you happy with your side hustle earnings? Let us know in the comments!