Hi there! My name is Paul Scrivens and I’m a blogger. That’s pretty weird to say simply because many people don’t know that “blogging” is actually something you can make money from.
When you think of the term “blog”, what comes to mind?
You probably don’t think of it as a side hustle but that is exactly what a blog can be.
In fact, it’s one of the few online side hustles that anyone can start and it can turn into a full-fledged business.
The problem is, not everyone is up to the task of building a business.
When you hear bloggers talking about starting a blog they usually just talk about finding a niche, finding a web host, and then writing content.
If those were the only steps to building a successful blog then everybody would be starting successful blogs.
The fact of the matter is, those are just the steps to help you get into the door.
Building a blog is no different than building any other business and if you can view it like that, then you have a much better chance of success.
In this post, you are going to see your blog through the eyes of a business.
It’s About Money
If you’re going to start a side hustle then it’s important to understand that one of the main reasons (or only reason) you are doing this is for money.
It’s great to say you want to help people, change the world, and put a dent in the Universe, but money is definitely one of the driving factors.
This isn’t important for motivation because money as a motivator only lasts so long.
This is important because when you consider the fact you’re trying to make money, it will change your perspective on some of the choices you make.
For example, when you get ready to pick your niche, do you pick the one that you are passionate about or do you pick the one that has a better chance of making money?
When you pick that niche do you write about things that some people will be interested in or do you write about things that a lot of people will be interested in?
The answers now might seem obvious to you when they are posed as questions like this but the reality of it is, most bloggers start blogs in niches that have a small chance of success and then they write about things that have an even smaller chance of success.
You can make decisions based on money that still help you change the world. Making decisions based on money doesn’t make you a bad person or someone that is greedy.
It makes you someone aware of the fact that the lifeblood of any business is revenue.
If you aren’t making revenue, then you don’t have a business.
It’s About Your Audience
When you think about starting a blog as a side hustle you probably say things like:
I am going to start a blog.
I am going to write about this.
This mentality tends to carry on to every other decision.
You decide to write about certain things because that is what you are interested in.
The problem with this line of thinking is that you aren’t going to pay yourself. If you aren’t writing about the things that your audience cares about then you aren’t going to have an audience.
When you’re able to combine the idea that your decisions are based on increasing revenue and pleasing your audience, then you stand a better chance of running a successful blog business.
Whenever you write a post you always have to think if your audience will gain anything from it.
If someone visits your blog and gets zero value out of it then why should they visit it again or share your content?
Nobody wants to go to a grocery store that only sells broccoli.
Starting a Blog as Your Side Hustle
Okay, so how do you get started with this whole blogging thing?
First things first you need to decide on a niche.
This is where some advice can get a little bit sketchy because most bloggers can only give you the advice they’ve followed themselves for their one blog or have read from others.
Usually that advice is:
Pick a niche and then niche down.
What does that mean?
Should You Niche Down?
It means if you decide to start a blog on health & fitness instead of writing about all things health and fitness, you decide to only write about eating for diabetics.
The purpose of niching down is to allow you to really focus on a specific audience which is great.
The problem with this advice is that at the beginning of your blog’s existence it can take some time to reach that audience and when you finally do you aren’t sure if this is going to work out at all.
The safer route is to stick with the general health and fitness niche, write on a variety of topics and see what sticks.
This way if you decide to niche down you’ll be comforted by the fact that you know the content will do well.
Do You Have Time? Do You Have Patience?
When people think of a side hustle they are intrigued by the fact that they can make some extra money.
The problem is that when they imagine the side hustle they jump right to the best case scenario where they are making money.
This rarely happens and even less so with a blog.
Building up a blog business takes time and energy. You definitely need both and if you can’t find both then you are going to be in trouble.
If you think you can only afford to work on your blog 3 nights a week that’s okay.
However, if you don’t have the patience for getting the blog to grow then that is a problem because it’s going to be hard to build a blog up quickly working just 3 days.
Some people are able to build their blogs up quickly but that’s because they are consistent with doing the right things.
If you’re consistently doing the wrong things then it doesn’t matter how hard you work.
That’s true for any business.
So what are the right things to getting your blog off on the right foot?
Successful Steps for Starting an Awesome Blog
We’ve already addressed how you need to look at your blog from a money angle as well as doing everything for your audience.
What else is needed? It’s pretty simple when you look at the formula.
Write content people want to read + Promote that content to the people that want to read it = Successful blog
Every successful blog follows this formula.
Every non-successful blog misses at least one part of this formula.
Sometimes bloggers will blame it on something else. Maybe their theme is as pretty as they want.
Maybe they don’t like their logo.
But the truth is, most of the time it’s either because they aren’t writing content that people want to read or they aren’t doing a good job of promoting that content to people that want to read it.
Writing Content People Want to Read
People tend to complicate this step.
They try to think of the most unique content in the world and end up either stalling or finding out that people don’t want to read it.
So how do you ensure you’re writing content that people want to read?
Look at what has worked for others.
There are already blogs in your niche that are successful (hopefully) so see what topics have been working well for them and then write your own versions.
This is called the Skyscraper Technique.
This isn’t the first how to start a blog post on the Internet and it won’t be the last. However, it’s one with a unique twist to it that will help to make it stand out.
Promote That Content to People That Want to Read It
Now that you’re writing content that people want to read it’s time to promote that content to the people.
Again, you can look at other blogs in your niche to see where they are having success.
Pinterest? Facebook? Instagram?
The general rule of successful blogging is that you need to spend the same amount of time, or even more, promoting your content as you are creating it.
The Formula Is Simple
As you can see the formula for starting a successful blog as a side hustle is pretty simple but the execution can be a little hard.
If you find yourself veering off the formula a bit don’t get discouraged.
Take a step back and assess. See if you’re still sticking to the plan.
Eventually You’ll Have a Full Business
Blogging is one of those things that if you’re doing right, it doesn’t stay a side hustle.
The reason for this is because as you continue to do the right things for your blog it will continue to grow.
As it grows it makes more money and might require more of your time. If you get a blog up to $1,000 a month it’s actually hard to keep it steady at $1,000 a month.
That number will either go up or down and if it’s going up then it’s going to keep going up if you continue to do things the right way.
In the end, blogging is closer to a gateway business than it is just a small side hustle.
However, it can lead to many opportunities that are side hustles like:
- freelance writing
- logo design
- WordPress help
Blogging can open many new doors for you so give it a shot. It’s well worth it. Check out my FREE 12 day blogging boot camp.
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