Side Hustle Site Building: How to Carve Out Your Business Time Budget

Building a liveable income from your affiliate sites takes time. Even with full time effort you are looking at 6-12 months before you will be banking a reasonable income, and longer to match what you could earn in a regular job.

This timing makes it unrealistic for most people to decide they are going into affiliate marketing full time from a standing start.

It is a great side hustle! You can invest time in your website whenever you like!

This was the main attraction for me when I started learning how to build websites - but it is also the main reason why so many people fail.

Sustainable Discipline

When you are accountable to no one it is easy to put things off. It can be a hard slog after a full day of work to park yourself at the computer and grind out an hour or two of work. 

It is all too easy to just sit down for a minute, maybe catch up on a Netflix series, put your feet up because you deserve it after a long day. 

The temptation will always be there.

If you think that it will take self discipline, you are probably right. But the harder you are on yourself the less likely you are to sustain it long term.

A much better word is routine. If you really want to pursue an additional stream of income then you need a routine that will become what you live.

This will lead to consistent action and real progress that short bursts of enthusiasm and effort will never attain.


I have been guilty many times of having an idea for a new site, investing a day getting some KW research and content planning done and the site structure in place. I might add a couple of articles to kick things off, and then….. Nothing.

You could call this shiny object syndrome. But they were mostly viable projects and I do want to see them through eventually.

The real limitation was that every time I did this I would further divide the time I had available to build sites. This led to neglect and a lack of progress anywhere in my portfolio.

Considering I only had 5-10 hours a week to put towards site building, would I be better off dividing this between 15 sites or going all in on one? For me this was an easy decision once I thought to ask myself the question.

When you map out all of the tasks you need to complete to get a site up and earning, then five hours a week should be the bare minimum. Check this post out for a first year map for your time budget

So I moved ahead with all my focus on one site - at least I will have a few aged domains to play with in the future!

Your Time Budget

Time to do some work – so take out a pen or your calendar and map out your week.

We need to figure out exactly how much time you can dedicate to your side hustle, and when that will take place. 

Some points to remember:

  • Be specific with where you will be and what you are doing
  • Include your travel time – if you work 9-5 but you leave the house at 8 and get home at 6 you have to account for that time. If it takes you an hour to get ready, again this should not be free time on your calendar.
  • Overestimate informal things like family time

Before we start looking to plug gaps with side hustle time, take a good look at what you are already doing and where it is feasible to work on your website at the same time.

Lunch time, your commute? You may be surprised with how much you can squeeze into your day without adding anything extra to your calendar. If you can find 2-5 hours a week here you are already winning!

Now we can start to schedule in some additional time. If you can spare an hour a day, great! You could already be closing in on ten hours a week.

If you can only squeeze in 15-30 minutes then that it ok too. It may not seem like much, but over the course of a year that is 90-180 hours you will have invested. Imagine the progress you can make in this time compared to if you dismissed 15 minutes as not being worth it.

Even a baby step will get you closer to where you want to be.

Weekends is where you can make huge dents in your workload. But if you think you will work eight hours a day on weekends, well you probably won’t. But what can you commit to?

A couple of hours can really boost that time budget and still give you plenty of opportunity to have fun, rest and recharge.

If at the end of all this you haven’t yet hit five hours a week, then it is time to consider the hard stuff. If you are sleeping eight hours a night, then it’s time to create an extra hour in your day by sleeping seven…. You get the idea.

Over the course of a year you can make massive progress with as little as five hours a week. But realistically most people can do more if they plan out their routine.

I Found 12.5 Hours a Week...

...with no nights or weekends.

My routine guarantees 12.5 hours a week of work, and everything above that is a bonus. I still work most nights, but only if I feel like it. Weekends I’ll get in a couple of blocks of time when I am free and I get into a groove.

I never feel guilty about losing any of that time because I know that my base line is 12.5 hours a week and that I will make good progress if that’s all I do – but usually I’ll get closer to 20. 

Where do these hours come from during a busy work week?

  • 30 minutes before work – usually allocated to answering outreach emails and speaking to contractors while I am having breakfast.
  • 60 minutes – I sit on a train for 30 minutes each way going to work. I can use this time to go on FB, read the news, or do something worthwhile that will lead to me not having to get on this damn train anymore. So I work on my sites.
  • 60 minutes – I eat at my desk so my lunch hour is free. I’ll have a coffee somewhere and plow through some editing, site design, or anything that requires a longer block of focus.

Do I miss these blocks of time occasionally? Absolutely. But long term it doesn’t matter because I have the habits in place that this is my default routine on a normal day.

Perfection is not required.

The best part is that I can relax when I get home, play with my son, and if time allows and I am in the mood I can get some more work done. It doesn’t hang over my head all day as something I should be doing because my progress doesn’t rely on it.

Final Word

One of the only great equalisers is that we all have 24 hours in a day. It is how you use it that counts.

If you have started a project but gradually lost momentum, no problem!

Get out a pen and go through the above exercise. Look at how you can set yourself up to win with a sustainable routine. 

Only consistent action will get you results. Results will get you energised, and over time you will get where you want to go.

About the Author James Treloar

Corporate Debt Collector turned internet marketer. I run a successful portfolio of Amazon niche sites, an FBA business, and a content agency. The Amazon opportunity has been life changing for me, and is so big that there is enough room for everyone to carve out their niche. The hard part is getting started!

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