Want to start a blog side hustle?
Blogging can be a great option for your side hustle. Blogging connects you to people. Helps you learn a lot of valuable online skills that you can use for more work opportunities. It can improve your communication skills and fuel your creativity.
All that being said, it is not a get rich overnight kind of deal. Many online make it look easy. “Throw a blog up and make a couple of thousands of dollars per month starting your first month” kind of thing. While miracles do happen and it is possible, it is also highly unlikely. A blog side hustle takes skill and work and time.
But it is something that can bring in income if you put in the work and can also add a lot of value to your life. This coming from the young lady who was super reluctant to even open a Facebook account so many years ago. Now the work from home, blogging, and content marketing field is my passion.
Learning to blog has added a lot of value to my life. Amidst the struggles of learning all the ins and outs, I have grown and grown.
So if the blogging thing is something that you want to do and you are prepared for some work, here is a guide to get you up and running fast so you can start learning…
For Your Blog Side Hustle
1.Your Name and Niche
Oh man. There is so much controversy over this one. You could spend forever trying to pick out your perfect blog name and never actually start your blog. And then there is the “Niche” dilemma.
To niche or not to niche. I mean it’s as dramatic as Shakespeare. @lorihil #bloggingClick To Tweet
First let’s address the niche issue and then we’ll get to your name.
What even is a niche? you may ask.
A blog niche is simply the main, overreaching topic that you will write about. Now the reason this is so controversial is that there are successful blogs that focus on a specific niche and there are successful blogs that are what we typically call “lifestyle” blogs. They talk about many different things.
A great niche example is You Grow Girl. Not only is this a blog about gardening, but it is a blog about urban gardening geared towards females and also DIY gardening.
That is pretty niche, but if you explore the site a bit you will still see many micro topics housed under that overreaching topic of urban DIY gardening.
Blogger Gayla Trail shares about growing the plants, eating the plants, and even some travel articles to look at and photograph plants.
It is focused and specific and yet can still cover many things.
Part of the beauty of blogging is its diversity.
Here at Immensely Social, we are about DIY online business. Within that, we can chat about social media, content marketing, blogging, side hustling, inspiring people working online all over the world, and many more things.
But you are not likely to see me talking about the latest fashion show, I will leave that to the fashion blogs, or the best diaper bag, I will leave that to the mom blogs. Unless those topics tie in occasionally in a very relevant way.
Some reasons to choose a more narrow topic when you are just starting out are focus, clarity, and opportunities.
Let me explain…
You may think that having the main topic, puts you in a corner and makes it hard to come up with blog post ideas. But, the opposite is often true. When you do not have a main focus there are so many directions to go that you can feel completely overwhelmed and end up doing nothing.
It is much easier to have a main topic with a few supporting categories and know you will focus on those.
If you look at the home page here at Immensely Social, below me sitting on the couch with my cute fur babies, you will see a menu of the four categories I use.
If the topic I am considering posting about does not fit into productivity, online business and work from home organization, online business inspiration, or tutorials for an online business than I know I need to refocus. Still, that gives me a lot of room to play.
Something we will not do a deep dive into here but is important is knowing your Ideal Customer Avatar (ICA). Without the marketing language that just means the person that you are writing your blog for. You may think you are writing for a lot of people and hopefully you will be but what you write will connect better with your readers if you focus on one person. Your person.
How will your person feel about the content you are writing, how will they connect with it? Focusing on a smaller niche can give you the freedom to have greater clarity about the purpose of your blog and “the person” you are writing to.
Just like we talked about it being easier to choose a blog post topic when you are more niche, it can also be easier to find income opportunities for your blog. Affiliate partners and companies offering sponsorships like to see focus.
Even if you are just getting started and have a small audience for your blog side hustle, if you have a passionately engaged audience, that is the perfect fit for a company they are still likely to choose you.
As with the example above, a company wanting to get the word out about their special plant lamps for city dwellers would be more likely to form a partnership with You Grow Girl who is focused on city gardeners and has a passionate community of readers around the topic than a larger lifestyle blog that just talks about gardening occasionally between fashion and travel posts.
All that being said, you have to choose.
There are some extremely successful lifestyle posts covering a variety of topics too. A good example is a lovely blog The Freckled Fox. If you have a look at Emily’s menu, she covers fitness, food, family, fashion, and more and has had great success.
Just keep in mind that if you do choose the more open lifestyle route it may take longer to build up a loyal audience and get traction.
Another potential path is to niche first and expand later. Your blog side hustle could even go full-time this way. Many online entrepreneurs have used this strategy successfully. Focusing first and then, as they have built up an audience, expanding into other related topics in a way that makes sense.
Choosing Your Niche
So you have decided to niche, but how do you choose?
If the purpose of your blog side hustle is to have impact and make income, you have to figure out where your passion meets marketability. You could be super passionate about purple speckled frogs but I’m not sure there is a lot of income opportunity there. I know that is an extreme example but think about what you know, what your passionate about, and if there is already a market somewhere in that. If someone is not already selling products or making money around your passion it may not be a good topic choice.
On the other hand, if there is a very profitable market around a topic but it is something you hate talking about, probably not a good fit for you.
Choosing a passion topic with no market will bring discouragement and choosing a market with no passion will bring burnout and fast!
You have to find your sweet spot.
That center of a venn diagram.
Think about what you are good at and what you know. Ask friends and family. What do people often ask your advice on? What are you passionate about? What would you spend time studying and researching for free because you love it so much?
Write down answers and see if there is anywhere that both what you are good at and have knowledge in and what you are passionate about meet. Then do some research to see what the marketability is. You can check forums and groups, online stores like Amazon and eBay, etc to see if products and/or services are being sold in that niche.
Choosing Your Name
Remember that your blog name will turn into a domain address so you want something that is not too long and something that will be easy for readers to remember. You want your name to be good as you will be investing in it. It is important. However, please do not get stuck here and never move on. I see you my obsessively perfectionistic friend.
With your new topic in mind, look around you for inspiration. Books, magazines, other websites. But do not copy of course. You could even check a Thesaurus for words to express your topic in different ways.
Think of a phrase you could alter like Gayla did with “You Grow Girl.” Or you could play with alliteration where the first letter remains the same like “Faith” and “Family” or “Rest and “Rise”.
You could think about your philosophy and incorporate it like A Beautiful Mess. Messes can be beautiful. You could combine things you love like Cupcakes and Cashmere. Or do a play on your name like A Cup of Jo where Joanna is blogging and possibly drinking coffee. Or try an analogy like The Financial Diet where Chelsea helps readers cut the unneeded from their budgets just like you would cut out the unneeded calories in a physical diet.
Write down all your ideas and see what sticks and feels great for your first blog side hustle.
Ok, once the hard part of your new blog identity is out of the way, it’s time to get your hosting and domain name. This is the technical side of things.
2. Choose Your Host & Grab Your Domain
A web hosting company is what helps you get your blog side hustle online for the world to see. It’s your blog’s home online where files are stored and retrieved when visitors come to your site. When it comes to hosting, there are a lot of choices but I have two recommendations.
The host I use here at Immensely Social is WP Engine. I switched to WPE a while back and have been quite happy. They have installed premium plugins for me for free and include StudioPress themes with plans. I have also been quite happy with the support I have received. Great team.
WPE is a bit more a month than some other options, however. To me it is worth it as I have had cheaper hosts in the past and have experienced issues, even losing updates on my site that I worked really hard on. And you get many premium theme options included if you want to try out different themes to see what look you want without having to buy them separately.
But, I know you may not be able to swing it starting out and that’s ok. Another host that I have used and can recommend is Blue Host. With plans starting at less than $5 per month it is also a great option.
Whichever host you choose, they will walk you through the process and help you get all setup. Make sure you check out what is offered in each plan. Some plans come with domain privacy which will help protect your information and keep you from getting a bunch of spammy emails.
As you go through the process, you will get to choose your domain name. Your domain name is what will show up as the web address. That is why we worked earlier to choose your blog side hustle name. You will want to check the name you chose for your blog to see if it is available as your domain name.
It is great if you wrote down several options because it is possible that your name will not be available. You may have to alter it a bit if this happens as it is best to stick with a “.com” ending to keep your blog looking professional.
Note, I am an affiliate with both of these hosting companies because I have personally used both and can recommend them. When you purchase through my links, they will compensate me at no extra cost to you. This allows me to continue to create great content for you for free.
Both WPE and Blue Host will help you set up and install WordPress which is where you will actually write your posts and create content. Once in your WordPress dashboard, you can change your theme which will give your blog more of the look and feel you want.
I am currently, using and love the Brunch Pro theme. It’s an easy theme even if your website is not food-related.
And add any needed plugins which will help keep your site safer and run smoother, like JetPack.
Your host company will have additional articles and help you need if you have any trouble getting everything set up so don’t be afraid to ask for help if you do not understand something. We have all struggled with the tech.
3. Get Learning
Remember that I did not promise this would be easy. Starting your blog hustle is fast. You can get all this done in an afternoon if you want. But, if you want to blog as a side hustle and maybe even full-time one day, getting your blog online is only the first part. Now you need to create content, market that content, and learn how to monetize that content.
I know it all can feel overwhelming. Just take it a step at a time.
If you really do not have money to invest, there are free tutorials online that you can piece together. But, if you can I highly recommend that you take a course. It is something I wish I had invested in from the beginning. It would have saved me so much time and frustration.
There are things you just need to get right like Legal Pages. Things that can be challenging to figure out on your own. The great news is that there are so many great bloggers out there who are supporting other bloggers with the information that they wish they had known when they got started.
Like Kelan and Brittany Kline who are the Co-Founders of The Savvy Couple Blog with their course Bloggers’ Secrets. I just finished that course myself and became an affiliate to help you. They talk about mindset and productivity along with researching and writing content and making your blog profitable.
I am working on creating another blog post for you on how to write your very first blog post. In the meantime, start paying attention to posts that attract you online and why for inspiration. You can also check out the resources page for more tools and trainings that can help.
To be successful, you must keep learning and work on your mindset to push through when things seem hard. Blogging takes grit.
Ready for your blog side hustle?
If you decide that a blog side hustle is not the right side hustle for you. That’s ok. There are other ways to make money working from home.
Explore the possibilities, just be careful to find legitimate resources. Sadly sometimes the higher the demand the more scams. But, there are also so many good people out there that want to support you in your blog side hustle or with other good work from home opportunities. Check out our That Side Hustle Series for inspiration from ladies who are doing the work.
I wish you so much success. Truly from my heart. I believe in you!
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