While the internet never runs out of ways to earn an extra buck, blogging as a side hustle is a sure way many would love to master. Although it sounds like a fun thing to do, monetizing it can be trickier. Even for those with an artistic mind and astute with words, it can be daunting if the start was on the wrong note.
Earning extra bucks from blogging feels nice, and if done right, you can go ahead and kiss goodbye to your day job. Of course, if you’re just getting started, your immediate goal wouldn’t be to quit your job. But when you’re deeply rooted in blogging, understanding every nook and cranny of earning money with it, you can easily call it quits.
How Much on Average Does Blogging as a Side Hustle Bring?
During your first year of blogging, you can earn from as little as $500 to around $2,000 a month. If you can navigate through the ups and downs, get your audience glued to your blog, you can see your revenue rise steadily through subsequent years.
According to Glassdoor, the average blogger earns at least $32,800 a year. The data is according to various anonymous sources sharing what they make from their blogs. Most of the bloggers we know who do blogging as a side hustle working up to 30 hours a week make an average of $200,000 per year.
And if that didn’t surprise you, we also know of a couple of bloggers who earn millions of dollars per year working even below 10 hours per week. That’s a crazy ROI for such a short time. Blogging is the best way to earn money passively, and if you do it right, you can have all the time you ever wanted to go round the world or do whatever you want!
The Truth About Earning Money from Blogging
It’s easy for the dollar sign to hypnotize you, yet you can potentially disregard the amount of work and effort it takes for these bloggers to reach that level. From the testimonials we’ve heard from highly paid bloggers, it took them an average of 10 years while working over 40 hours a week without fail. The truth is that many budding bloggers lose focus along the way and quit.
It could take you a year or even much longer to start making a significant amount of money, even if you’re doing it right. If you’re going to start blogging as a side hustle and earn good bucks, you need to pick your area of specialty. Blogging about just about anything is not going to cut it.
How To Start Blogging as a Side Hustle
Apart from the technicalities of setting up a website, finding your niche, and focusing on content generation and keywords, you need essential tips to know how to maneuver through the process.
Have Realistic Expectations
Don’t expect to start earning once your blog is up and running. Be realistic about your expectations so you can navigate setbacks during the first six months and achieve success. If your goal is to see an inflow of cash right away, you’re more likely to be disappointed when reality hits you.
For a start, you’ll need to invest your time, at least 8 to 15 hours a week nonstop for 6 months without expecting any return. We understand that’s a lot of input, but you’ll have to set your eyes on the bigger picture.
Identify Your Unique Strengths
Everybody has one thing that they’re seriously good at and would excel at it effortlessly. If you’re going to start blogging as a side hustle, you’ll need to identify what your unique strength is. Focus on what makes your blog memorable and stands out from thousands of other blogs on the web.
If you have an expertise that you’re good at, for instance, you can emphasize it together with your credentials so your audience can find a reason to always rely on you for solutions in that niche. Lack of skill or expertise shouldn’t worry you; you can choose a different angle. Take your personal life experiences, stories, or journeys and make them stand out.
Work with Time Schedules
Even though you aim to end up blogging as a side hustle, you should treat it as a business right from the start. Well-established bloggers can have the luxury of doing it as a side hustle, but in your case, it’s business! And that needs time, dedication, and unwavering resolve.
We highly suggest that you find a schedule when you can filter everything else and focus on your blog. As you do with your day job, dedicate at least 10 hours a week, but if you’ve got more time, the better it is.
Have a Content Plan
Most budding bloggers think it’s okay to create some random content and post it whenever they feel like it’s been a while since they created a new post. Successful blogging requires a proper content structure and plan. Without it, everything you post will go to waste and won’t convert into money.
Below are a few ways you can plan your content and give your blogging as a side an excellent start:
Categorize your content
Define your categories to allow readers to easily navigate through your blog. Also, ensure they’re closely related to attract a reader’s interest while reading through.
Brainstorm content ideas and monetize them.
Blogs are about expressing opinions and ideas. When your posts contain attention-grabbing ideas, it’s easy to get an audience once your blog goes viral.
Focus Keywords and Pillar Posts
One of the ways to come up with ideas is to use keyword research tools that can give suggestions on the topics you want to write about. You can also choose to do pillar posts. These are usually long, detailed articles that serve as your blog’s main content. You can do pillar posts on ideas such as “30 unique ways to reduce your household power consumption.”
Monetized Posts and Affiliate Marketing
You can also brainstorm ideas using monetized posts, which are for the sole purpose of generating income. Most bloggers opt for affiliate programs where they create links leading readers to a company’s product or service and get paid for every successful sale.
If you choose to be an affiliate, think carefully about the products you’ll be promoting to ensure they align with the niche of your blog so that it’ll be easier to mention the products. But be wise with affiliate marketing because overdoing it will certainly lead your audience away.
Sponsored posts are content ideas related to a particular brand where you educate your audience about the company’s products and services. The brand may at times write the content or you can do it. Either way, you receive payment.
This option is quite interesting and is one of the simplest ways of blogging as a side hustle. If you have a massive following, you can charge brands hundreds to thousands of dollars for every post. While doing sponsored posts, be cautious about Google’s rules and FTC guidelines to avoid your blog getting deranked and penalized.
Paid Courses and digital products
Another way to come up with content and monetize it is through creating courses. This strategy is one of the most popular among bloggers. Courses are a way of adding value to your audience, and most will readily be willing to pay if it’s worth their time and money.
Digital products such as eBooks, photographs, plugins, and documents, among others, can also passively earn you an income if you find a way to create content around them.
Choose a Host and a Domain Name
A host lets your blog be available on the internet, while a domain is an address that directs the audience to it. Luckily, you don’t need a lot of money to get a hosting space as there are plenty of hosting service providers with attractive packages for those starting with blogging as a side hustle.
Your goal is to eventually make money from blogging. So, it’s crucial to establish trust with your audience for the very first time. If you opt for free hosting providers, your website address will probably end up with the provider’s domain name on it, such as myblog.wordpress.com or myblog.wix.com. As such, attracting an audience’s attention is going to be much more difficult as very few users will view you as serious about what you’re doing.
Also, search engines like Google have algorithms to bypass such web addresses when returning results. And most importantly, qualifying for sponsored posts, AdSense, and affiliate programs will rarely recruit bloggers with such web addresses.
As low as $7 per month, you can get yourself a WordPress hosting space from reliable hosting service providers. So why risk your chance of success with free hosts?
A domain name tells your audience what your blog is all about, so when choosing one, ensure that it reflects your niche. For instance, if you’re into automotive and aftermarket parts, you could go with something like aftermarketguru.com. That will align your blog in the direction of doing affiliate marketing, sponsored posts, and many other forms of monetizing your website. Also, make sure it’s easily memorable and catchy.
Go Viral on social media
After building your blog and still going on with monetization, you’re going to need to make it known to the masses. One of the quickest ways to get yourself an audience is by getting others to share your posts on social media.
While writing content, mention posts by other notable bloggers and reach out to them either through their contact forms or social media. Tell them about how you’re a fan of their work and ask them to share a link to your post on their social media pages. Doing this can get you a following on social media and gain traffic to your blog.
Is Blogging Still Profitable in 2021?
Whether you’re blogging as a side hustle or as your main gig, it’s very profitable, but only if approached realistically. Understand that it’s a process that takes time, dedication, and commitment to grow unless you’re already a celebrity with a massive following.