Adding a side job is common financial advice for people who need to increase their income, but the reality is that it's often difficult for people to maintain a side hustle on top of a full-time job without a major time sacrifice—especially if you decide you want to retire early.
Marjolein, who lives in the Netherlands, was tired of living paycheck to paycheck.
"After a week of 10-12 hour workdays, I came home and I realized I didn't want to do this for 40 more years," she says. "I googled how to retire early and that's how I found the FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) movement."
Marjolein, who blogs about her financial journey at Radical FIRE, knew she had to find an efficient way to save time while managing a full-time job and her various side hustles. With Zapier, she's been able to grow her site while hitting some major financial milestones.
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The initial challenge: Saving time on growing her audience
It's a lot of work managing a blog. Not only do you need to write content and put it out there, but you also need to make sure people can find it. For Marjolein, that meant spending a lot of time promoting her work on social media.
"It took up a lot of my time, and I wasn't necessarily enjoying it," says Marjolein. "I would rather use my time to work on content creation."
One of her favorite Zaps—what we call Zapier's automated workflows—shares her new posts to Reddit.
"Reddit is one of those platforms that has a really good return on investment if you invest some time in it," she says.
Unlike automatic sharing tools that are often baked-in with websites, Marjolein likes the customization options Zapier offers.
"You can absolutely adjust a gazillion things with Zapier to make sure that you sound natural and still take the brand voice into account," she says.
Her social media marketing is completely automated, so she never has to worry about promoting her content on LinkedIn, Twitter, or other networking sites.
"I post three times per week," she says, "So I get a consistent stream of content to my social media platforms."
Marjolein also builds her audience through eBooks she sells on Gumroad. Whenever someone purchases a product from her Gumroad shop, a Zap automatically adds the customer to her email list on Mailchimp.
This allows Marjolein to keep customers plugged into her content and ultimately help her bottom line.
Automating the small stuff to focus on financial freedom
Now that Marjolein has automated her marketing, she uses her newfound free time to focus on developing her content and connecting with other bloggers. She's also tripled her monthly pageviews since she started automating with Zapier, which has translated into more financial opportunities.
"I'm getting daily sponsored content requests and my reach on social media has increased tremendously," Marjolein says.
As for her personal financial goals, so far Marjolein has taken two mini-retirements, increased her salary, and invests while living on half her income. She estimates she'll be able to retire early in five years. Not bad for a side hustle.