How to start a blog you can grow into a side hustle

Hustlworks — How to start a blog you can grow into a side hustle — HustleWorks

Create Your Own Blog—Guide

Hey, we want to start by letting you know that this is indeed a free Guide to create your blog, and it's not a short one (Too long to read, what's the answer) 🤪. Starting a side hustle isn't easy, but hey — if you want to make more money from your blog, then start this side hustle and grow it into a full-time job.

Starting a blog is more than a hobby. It's an investment in your career and one that will pay off big time if you set it up correctly. Your readers will become your loyal customers who help fund your side hustle. When you blog regularly, your subscribers are more inclined to support you because you're making an effort and helping others in the process.

Make it an atomic habit even if you don't make any money. Blogging is easily one of the best ways to become influential in your niche. It doesn't matter what type of blog you create (which is entirely possible if you're willing to invest time), but the secret is to create something that people want to read more often. People who care about your opinions, wants, and needs are already coming back time and again because they enjoy what you have to say or what you offer as a writer. That's a more accessible place to begin than someone asking for money in exchange for their blog (we do this all the time). It only requires a few simple steps that even beginners can take. And here in this guide, we will walk you through the entire process from A-Z, so you don't miss anything important. With our complete guide and tips on starting your blog journey for your audience, we've got you covered for step one in starting a blog that can grow into a side hustle.

Why we started blogging

We're motivated to create a blog that shares information in basic terms regarding the online entrepreneurial journey. We've always liked e-commerce and wanted to share how everyone can start their own online thing, from blogging to an entire online shop.

The big question: What is a blog?

A blog is an ideal place to use communication tools like email, social media, and blogging software. It is also a primary marketing channel used by customers to know more about your side hustle or products. So, when choosing a domain on which to launch your blog, find one that has excellent web hosting. Of course, you want to pick a domain name that is both memorable and short; however, you should not limit your choices to popular domains only. 

Starting a blog can be an exciting adventure into the world of writing, but how do you know where to begin? And how do you keep your blog going once you get it started and want to grow it into something that supports you financially or creatively?

In this guide, we'll talk about:

  • Share your opinion, passions, or lifestyle
  • Develop your brand as an expert
  • Teach others what you know

Why is blogging so popular?

In just the past few years, the popularity of blogging has grown amazingly. The website blogging trend reached mass proportions with the spread of social media into this new millennium and general social networking, mobile devices, and e-commerce sites. Upon reaching a certain level of popularity, an aggregator network or social media platform spreads your blog's material across different media channels. 

As the popularity of blogging grew, so did the number of blogs being started. And one by one, these blogs migrated over to WordPress and became the dominant platform of choice for many bloggers worldwide. People were eager to create blogs because of the excellent features that came with them. But hey! We're talking about writing here! And we can't forget about posting content to blogs! How do we know which ones will become best? That's why you come in!

Who is a blogger?

Bloggers are individuals who love sharing parts of their lives with you. They post various arts, home designs, carpentry, and finance articles. They go about it in multiple ways. Some blogs focus on one or a few subjects but allow them to bring their style. Other blogs force each member to wear a particular clothing style, style their hair in specific ways, and even adopt a specific racial identity. There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to blogging.

You probably have never thought about who you are as a blogger. You may have often answered, "I'm a blogger." This blog has become a place where many people read about starting their own entrepreneur journey. Many bloggers have become known for their services or products they create. Some bloggers become known for the quality of their writing or services they provide as part of their blog. Whenever you are looking for a new blogger, it is good to learn more about them. 

Have you ever wondered why more and more people are starting blogs? 

Is it the surge of technological advances that occurred before the web? Perhaps it's because our world has become smaller and smaller each day. With social media sites such as Facebook, Pinterest, TikTok, and Twitter becoming as crucial as email in many people's lives, many feel that they need an outlet for expressing their thoughts on current events and trends. Whether it's for fun or profit, bloggers have created a unique form of entertainment that brings forward countless ideas. If you aren't blogging already, there are tons of reasons why you should. THE ONLINE WORLD NEEDS US.

Curate an email list

  • Sell physical products, digital products, or services
  • Or maybe all of the above

Your blog is your home base. It's the stable platform from which you launch your content marketing campaigns, grow your audience, and become a thought leader. If you're starting, setting up a blog can be confusing, so we created this guide to take you through every step of the process the easy (and fun!) way. We'll walk you through the costs of hosting and domain names, choosing a blogging platform, picking an attractive theme for your blog, building social traction with on-site social media tools like Facebook comments and Twitter integration, and more. 

There are reasons to get into blogging. First, if you want to generate passive income and share your passion, then for sure, starting a blog is a good idea. Second, if you have something to offer – a product or service that can be delivered right away, you might as well start a blog to sell it. A third reason is that for bloggers who want to use their blogs as a lead generation channel, then yes, blogging is pure gold. Start a blog as a creative outlet where you explore your passions, experiment with fresh ideas. 

How to start a blog hustle? 

The answer depends on the blog you want to start and your current blogging skills. Not everything is as obvious as you think. As a matter of fact, with the proper steps, you can build a blog in no time at all, whether it's on Shopify, WordPress, Blogger, Wix, or another platform that suits your needs. Naturally, the first step is considering whether you want to create a personal blog or a side hustle-oriented blog.

But how to choose a side hustle blog that will produce content for a living?

There are many resources on the Internet that provide great tips and tricks about starting blogs and freelance writing jobs, but what about the creation and upkeep of side hustles? 

If you want to start your successful blog, you will have to pick a niche, create an audience, and choose a way to make money. It may sound easy. But choosing a niche for your blog and running with it is hard. We've had many people try to take my advice and run with it, often because they think that blogging for money is relatively easy. But the reality is that picking a niche is tough. Remember, our job is to make use of all possible blogs. Pick something relevant to you, and one which might interest new readers too. You want people to subscribe and regularly comment while making occasional posts on related topics (e.g., Side Hustle Blogs). The more people who engage there, the more views you get. 

Choosing a Niche: What's your story?

Choosing a niche is more of an art than a science. A niche isn't just about knowing the popular topics out there. Because of the Internet, finding topics anyone can relate to has never been more accessible. You can find nearly anything online these days. And if you know of something that isn't being discussed, you can create a blog post around it and cater to an audience that will read it. By choosing a niche that appeals to people, you can ensure that your blog is unique and keeps people coming back for more. 

If you want people to read your blog, you need to create content suited to that reader. Choose a niche that interests you, and then create articles that specifically appeal to that person. For example, if I were writing about e-commerce, it'd be tough to create content that didn't sound like it was talking about politics. If I were writing about becoming more productive, then my article would need to be more specific and focus on techniques. Think of it like this: If your niche is building a vehicle for sales for your product, it will be flooded with traffic. But if you're just an advocate for stuff, traffic will be scarce. Focus on creating content that either already exists or is related to what you want people to learn more about. Some methods work better than others, and you need to figure out how they work before you start using them, but there are many ways to create content that speaks to the people who matter most.

Here are some ways you can do this:

  1. Focus on a specific location (e.g., Toronto)
  2. Focus on a specific segment within a larger category (e.g., not just recipes, but vegan recipes)
  3. Deliver your content in a different style or voice (e.g., humor)
  4. Compete with quality (e.g., in-depth posts on a topic that no one else is willing to do.

Whether you're writing for an audience of one or tens of millions, it's essential to deliver your message in a way that appeals directly to those readers. One effective strategy is to focus on a specific location (e.g., Toronto). By focusing there, you're guaranteed to resonate with users in that city and probably other places as well (e.g., smartphones are popular there). By focusing on a smaller group of readers, you leave yourself some wiggle room to specialize — either more closely or less closely — within that niche.

Using Google's Pageview feature, we analyzed the traffic to my blog from one specific location in particular – Toronto. My interest in the food industry and my background in local government gave me the confidence to focus on a particular location and market niche. We created content that resonated with our audience – mainly because of the style and voice of my writing, which emphasizes friendliness and interest rather than technical complexity. In this way, creating content optimized for local visitors forced me to engage in local conversations, which, in turn, generated traffic back to my blog from all over the Internet.

Pick a blog and domain name

Choosing a domain for a blog is probably one of the trickiest tasks you'll face when creating one. In recent years there's been an explosion of great domain names out there like peoniesandpeaches.com or chucknorrisxchange.com. This means that it'll be easy to choose a unique domain name if you follow the proper steps.

Now is a great time to figure out your target audience. Look at the websites that already exist for your niche and see how they are selling their product or offering a free bonus. Identify the most popular stories (i.e., blog posts) on those sites, and see what they have to say about your topic. Click through on a few of these links and read what their visitors have to say about your service or product. Focus on their most significant pain points, why they think the way they do, and what can be done about them. 

When choosing a domain name, make it:

  • Memorable 
  • Easy to spell
  • Easy to say
  • Unique

Blog names are a big part of branding. There's no better way to communicate a point than through a persuasive intro paragraph, and your blog name should ensure your readership clicks through from your homepage. Bloggers must build strong brand vocabularies, too. That doesn't mean you grab all the grammar matches in the world – it means using practical resources.

The very first step in building anything online is choosing a domain name. In most cases, choosing a domain name is pretty straightforward - you can go with something generic like thehustleworks.com or thehustleworks.com. But choosing a blog or tech site can be more challenging. If you've never worked with domains before, you might come away from this post thinking that there isn't much difference between.com and.net, and there is when it comes to web design. The only real difference here is that different corporations own that.com and.net. We want to make that while there are distinct benefits to using generic domain names, they don't scale as well — especially when you decide to run a side hustle or small business. So when picking a domain name for your new site, don't settle for anything less than a fantastic one. 

Blog structure

A header is the first thing that people see on a blog. This typically contains a menu or navigation bar that shows users what posts they can follow and links to other related posts. The sidebar is where most people will be reading most of the time because it shows the new content and is often more interesting. Typically, the sidebar has social icons or buttons for sharing posts directly with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Reddit, or many other places.

Many blogs also add widgets that provide additional functionality. A shopping widget may tell users they can buy the latest products directly from a given blog. Add-on widgets can be convenient if you want to create an add-on for another site. For example, if you create an Add-on for your favourite blog, you can provide the users with related content on another website rather than posting them separately on your own.

Blog appearance has changed with time, and these days blogs include a wide variety of items and widgets. However, most blogs still comprise some standard features and structures. Here are common elements that a typical blog will include:

  • Header with the menu or navigation bar.
  • Main content area with highlighted or latest blog posts.
  • Sidebar with social profiles, favourite content, or call-to-action.
  • Footer with relevant links like a disclaimer, privacy policy, contact page, etc.

What does it take to get your first hundred blog views?  

This is the question shared by all successful bloggers and social media managers. One trick that may help you reach that ideal number is to think about just what you want people to see when they come to your blog site - including how great your content is. Giving people reasons to come back regularly over time can build trust with them as both a blogger and your website's user.

If you have a blog about something in Toronto, you want to pick out some niche that will enable you to reach a wide audience with your writing. For example, BlogTO is a blog that focuses on everything concerning Toronto — both on a macro and micro level. Their writing is well-thought-out, and their subjects matter to them. They choose topics based on research, reading other blogs, people they know as friends, or dealing with companies frequently.  

Getting readers to your blog consistently

If you want to have a successful blog, you need to solve one problem. We know what you're thinking: Why would we want to distribute your blog? Why would anyone want to distribute your blog? But this is what ends up happening a lot: a blogger posts a great post, gets it ranked and shared on social media, but nothing else happens because they don't have a distribution strategy. 

The other problem is that bloggers are humans, too — they go through numerous stages before posting something online. Even if they have an organized distribution strategy and a set of steps for posting, their posts may be missing critical pieces of information needed for some people to see them. We've been doing this for many years now, and while you could automate this process, it would simply replace one step (publishing) with another (reading comments and social media). Unless you're actively building an audience, the last thing you need is another chunk of work waiting for your content when you launch. 

Ways for your blog to make money

There are many ways you can monetize your blog, depending on the kind of blog you decide to start. For example, twinning a low-investment side hustle with a blog creates a sustainable way to grow for little cost other than time and energy. But many people think using something like affiliate marketing is the only way to start making money for some reason. If you're thinking about starting your blog, it's worth taking a look at which other monetization methods might work out for you.

Make money with affiliate marketing

Why should you make money through affiliate marketing? There are many benefits of earning a commission through affiliate marketing. Besides the fact that it's a high passive income, you can get free traffic from your websites that link to your affiliate link. You don't even have to be an expert marketer to make money. You can be a complete beginner who wants to add a few new affiliates to increase traffic to his site and still make money.

There are many different ways to make money with affiliate marketing. You can make money by promoting a product, service, or person you associate with. The most popular affiliate programs are affiliate links, which means that you are purchasing something from a third-party website when someone clicks your link from another website.

Display Google AdSense on Shopify Blog

Google AdSense is an easy way to make money from your blog. All you need to do is add a script from Google to your website and start displaying ads. Google Adsense uses a bidding system where advertisers place bids for every specified audience they wish to target. When you place an ad, it tells Google how much it costs to display that ad on your page. For example, if a publisher ad includes a cost of zero for people who aren't logged into Google, then you are only paying Google.

Sell Sponsored Blog Posts

If you're hoping to sell sponsored blog posts to readers, disclosure is a key issue. Small businesses who respond to questions from readers about sponsored content say this is one of the top issues they face from potential sponsors. If you sell sponsored posts that list paid-for items or resources on your site, then you need to understand what the law requires in your area and disclose it fully. If a reader-pays you for a post with information that isn't clearly disclosed — especially if it's related to something else in your site or app — then there could be a breach of law. Potential remedies could include fines or imprisonment.

Sponsorships give advertisers a chance to reach targeted audiences and are commonly accepted by bloggers who want to build an audience. This makes sponsored blog posts more attractive to potential sponsors.

Public Speaking opportunities as an Influencer

Being an influencer has various benefits. Public speaking gigs are an easy way for individuals with blogs to promote their brand. Getting invited to speak at events is what most social media accounts and blogs out there do because it is an easy way to grow your following. Getting a free account to speak at an event or meeting will allow you to take advantage of free food, drinks, or networking opportunities. Getting the chance to speak at events can lead to real-life relationships and potential future side hustle or business partnerships.

Figuring out which event to attend or whom to collaborate with for free is a crucial task. Some bloggers find that speaking at high ticket events or gaining followers on social media is an excellent way to sell the idea of their publication or blog without signing up for paid networking events. Others, who are more experienced and have found ways to monetize their content through paid networking events, spend less time deciding which events to attend and more time focusing on what they want to write about. As long as you are willing to put in the work and network with potential influencers, your goal is already achieved.

Create a Paid Membership Website

When you have your own blog that you put a lot of time and effort into creating, you will want to make sure that your content is actually available to your readers. The easiest way to do this is by creating restricted members-only content. This means that only either those who have paid for the membership or those who have affiliate programs will be able to read your posts. 

Sell digital products on Shopify

If you are a Shopify store owner and think of selling a PDF course on your online store, you'll probably also be thinking of how to get traffic to your store from the right places. The easiest way to do that is by using either e-commerce SEO tools (like Google My Business) or Facebook ads. 

If you find that converting a PDF course into ebooks is too time-consuming or too costly, then I feel your pain. There are ways to convert an online course into a Shopify e-commerce product site into a physical store.

There are two ways to sell an online course: as an ebook or as part of an online learning program (Omad). Each method has its own set of pros and cons, so you should familiarize yourself with each before purchasing. Also, keep in mind that most selling platforms (Amazon.com or eBay) have a unique promotion code associated with the course. This code can be used on your My Account page at Shopify or anywhere else that sells courses.

Selling an online course is another excellent way to make money online. Courses usually sell for a much higher price point than ebooks. You can charge a premium for your expertise. You'll need to create the lessons for your course and any supporting materials you want to include, such as downloads, slides, checklists, templates, etc. Ebooks are easier to build but less flexible in marketing them. On top of that, it's challenging to find suitable plugins or themes that can successfully power an e-commerce website without putting away big bucks for ad spend.

Conclusion

While we don't have all the answers, blogging is an effective means of income. You can make money by simply having a blog. It doesn't matter if you don't have much capital or an established audience. You can still make money from blogging. A blog allows you to share your expertise with anyone interested in the topic you choose, whether it be a general audience or someone who already has specific questions or issues they want to pursue. Additionally, a regular blog allows you to connect with others who can help support or provide feedback on your work. 

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