You aren't quite ready to quit your job but you want to start a side hustle that you can manage easily while still making some extra cash. Well, there are a ton of great side hustle business ideas out there and starting your own blog is one of them, which if done the right way can become a profitable side gig.
How do I know? Because aside from being a Money Coach and Financial Expert, I create content for the Clever Girl Finance Blog (right here!) and this blog has also been a great source of income for me.
Not only does blogging help me share my expertise, it helps me build my brand awareness, grow my audience and it also gives me the opportunity to work with some amazing brands in the finance space as well as try out some awesome products and based on the content I have created on my own blog, I also get paid to writing for several other outlets amongst other things - all of this contributes to my business income and you can do the same too!
If you are knowledgeable about a topic or have had some interesting experiences and you'd like to share it through blogging ( like me and my passion for finance), you can definitely turn your blog into a fabulous side hustle. So let's talk about just how you can get started creating your own blog and what you can do to make it successful.
Decide on a topic
First and foremost, before you spend any money setting up your blog, you need to decide on our topic or niche. What will you be writing about? Who is your ideal audience? It's important to do this so your blog has a content theme and so that you attract the people are interested in learning about the particular topic you write about. If you write about a million different completely unrelated topics then it will be hard to get your audience to stick around because not everyone will be interested. For example, I write about a variety or personal and business finance topics for women.
Choose a domain name, get hosting
This is the name your blog is going to be called so choose wisely :) Once you've decided on your blog name, be sure to do a domain name search to make sure it's not taken i.e. search on www.YOURBLOGNAME.com. The next thing you want to do is purchase that name as well as hosting (where your content will be housed) for your blog.
My recommendation on where to purchase your domain and hosting? HostGator!
I'm a huge fan of HostGator because their pricing is affordable (seriously, they start at $3.95 a month for a domain name + hosting) and they provide unlimited storage and email addresses which is a big deal for me because other hosting companies charge for this and it can get really pricey. Also their customer service is pretty awesome too. If you are new to blogging, this is a pretty sweet deal!
Have an idea for more than one blog? Need multiple domain names for your future epic businesses? Then check out HostGator's Baby Plan which offers you unlimited domains that you can set up whenever you are ready!
Set up your website
Once your domain and hosting are out of the way, it's time to set up your blog. When it comes to blog, WordPress is hands down the most popular blogging platform and there's a reason - it's great for SEO and easy to use. Click HERE for a YouTube video on how to set up your Wordpress blog if you decide to use HostGator. It's pretty simple and all you have to do is follow the instructions.
Once you've set up WordPress, the fun can now begin and that is selecting your theme and blog design!
Starting writing consistently
Ok so your blog is set, and this is where you need to put in the effort to create your content which in turn will help your grow your audience, improve your web rankings (along with good SEO practices which WordPress is great for) and get closer to turning your blog into a profitable business. Like I mentioned above, creating content has helped me work with brands, grow my audience, get paid to write for other outlets and more.
It's a good idea to create a content calendar or plan each month on what you'll be writing about and how often (daily, bi weekly, weekly etc). Not only will this help you stay on track as you create content, it will also ensure you don't run out of ideas of what to talk about on your blog.
Make your content visually appealing and focus on quality
The spell checker is your friend! Also be sure to use images, break up long paragraphs and learn about blogging best practices etc. A visually appealing, well written and well organized blog is not only attractive, it will also make people will want to share it too and that's exactly what you want!
Build your list
Your list of subscribers that is! These are the people who will sign up to receive content from you because they have a high interest in what you are blogging about. The reason why you want to build a list is because this will be an audience that you actually "own" and you can communicate directly with. Even if people follow you on social media, you don't own those followers. This means if for instance Instagram goes out of business today, your followers will be gone! Also growing your own list of subscribers means you can let them know when you launch products or services and turn a percentage of your subscribers into actual paying customers.
You can encourage people to sign up for your list by providing them with a freebie like a checklist or mini eBook and be sure you put your subscribe button in visible areas on your website!
Promote your content .... everywhere
As you create content, you want to make sure people are reading it and that your blog is getting noticed so don't be afraid to share it far and wide. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Medium, Pinterest etc are just a few social media sites where you can get started promoting your content.
In order not to get overwhelmed though, consider setting some time aside once a week to share it across platforms or using a plugin or feature in Wordpress to auto publish your content as soon as your post it. Check out WordPress' "Social Media Auto Publish" and don't stress, WordPress plugins and features can be setup with the click of a button. "Here" are the details on how to install a plugin in plus tutorials on so much more!
You can also set up tasteful Google ads ( or affiliate / brand ads) based on categories that your audience will relate to, which can earn you some passive income. Earnings from these ads will be based on blog visits and link clicks so keep that in mind. Even if the earnings are small the being with, as your blog audience grows so will your earnings.
Growing a blog takes time but if you are consistent and you stay the course you will reap the benefits. As your blog visits and audience grows, opportunities to monetize your blog will increase as well, from increased advertising revenue, to opportunities to work with brands, getting paid to review products or even creating your own eCourse or digital products for sale - there are a ton of possibilities to make your blog profitable!
Working on a blog? What steps have you taken so far to make it profitable?
Bola Onada Sokunbi
p.s. Don't forget to check out HostGator by clicking HERE - I can't rave about them enough!