Tips for Solopreneurs Wanting to Start a Blogging Side Hustle

Derek Miller
Jul 20, 2018
Side hustles are all the rage right now – between part-time jobs as an Uber driver and renting spare bedrooms on Airbnb, solopreneurs have no shortage of opportunities to earn additional income.

If you’re looking for a way to generate supplemental income, you should consider blogging. Blogging isn’t just a way for you to earn extra money, it’s an excellent opportunity to develop an online portfolio and fine-tune valuable skills such as writing and marketing.

Here are a few tips to help you get your blog off the ground.

Decide on a Theme for Your Blog

One of the biggest mistakes people make when they start a blog is not having a focused theme. The theme of your blog will dictate the traffic that frequents your site. Moreover, a theme requires a consistent and measured voice, which also helps you grow your brand identity. As your traffic and brand grow, you’ll have more revenue earning opportunities.

There are endless possibilities for your blog’s theme. Are you an adventurer? Try starting a travel blog and share your journeys and experiences. Maybe you like sports or technology – whatever the case, find a theme for which you are passionate.

Find a Domain and Hosting Provider

After you decide on your blog’s theme, the next step is purchasing a domain name and finding a hosting provider.

“Don’t overlook the value of a great domain name. In an increasingly tech-driven society, your domain is one of the best ways to develop a brand identity.”
-- Erik Bergman | Founder of Great, the Next-Generation Charity

There are a lot of considerations when choosing your blog’s domain. Some of the questions you’ll want to answer before deciding on a domain name include:

  • Can you build a brand around the domain? Most successful bloggers use their website as their value proposition. They don’t sell goods or services; they sell themselves and their content. As such, the domain name is their brand. If your domain is confusing, hard to spell, or forgettable – then you’ll face an uphill battle with your blog side hustle.

  • Is your domain name available? Many of the top domain names are taken, especially if you want a .com domain. Take some time to search for available domains, make a list of your top ones, and consider looking into non-traditional TLDs such as .fun, .online, .pro, or .travel for example.

  • Are relevant social media handles available? Getting the perfect domain name is important, but bloggers must also use social media platforms to grow their brand and interact with their audience. Therefore, bloggers must also consider what available social handles they can acquire and how they align with the domain.

Once you purchase a domain, you’ll need to find a hosting provider on which to build your blog. A web hosting service allows you to store your files and make your blog accessible online. Without hosting, users will be unable to navigate to your blog.

Dynadot’s VPS hosting is only $10/month and provides solopreneurs with a fast and reliable web hosting option for their blog.

Pick a Content Management System and Blog Theme

Another important decision that needs to be made before launching your blog is to pick a content management system (CMS) and subsequent theme, or layout. The CMS you choose will impact how easy it is for you to create and publish content on your website, and the theme will affect how users interact with your blog’s content. The two go together, so research both before making a decision.

WordPress is the top CMS for bloggers. It’s a powerful, open-source CMS that has millions of themes and plugins. The ease, affordability, and flexibility of WordPress and its themes make it a great option for new bloggers.

Most hosting providers even have a one-click WordPress setup that will install the CMS directly to your domain.

From there, you browse WordPress’ collection of free or premium themes to find a style that matches what you want from your blog. Once you install your theme, you can customize the colors, copy, images, and other elements to create a completely unique blog.

While WordPress is the easiest way for solopreneurs to get started with blogging, there are other CMS platforms you can also consider like Joomla! and Drupal.

Decide How You Intend to Monetize Your Blog

The single, most important question to answer before launching your blog is how you intend to monetize it. Being that you are starting the blog as a side hustle, you should pursue the fastest path to profitability – while also looking at various monetization methods.

Some of the most popular ways to earn money from blogging include:

  • Affiliate marketing and sponsored advertisements: The traditional way to monetize a website was to use an advertising service like Google AdSense to show ads to visitors of your blog. Bloggers earned money either through EPC (earnings per click) or RPM (revenue per 1,000 impressions). Revenue opportunities have progressed, and now bloggers can earn money through methods like affiliate marketing – earning money from users who click links on your blog and then purchase a good or service. There are also other opportunities such as selling ad space on your blog for a set rate or promoting businesses through sponsored articles.

  • Selling products or services related to your blog: A more direct method for generating revenue on your blog is to sell products or services that are relevant to your niche. If you don’t want the hassle of managing inventory, shipments, and customer service – try selling a service to your visitors. For instance, if you’re a travel blogger, you could charge people for vacation planning.

  • Using your blog to land paid writing gigs: Not only can you earn money directly on your blog, but blogging can help you land additional freelancing gigs. Consider using your blog as a portfolio to showcase your writing skills and reference it when applying for other freelance projects. You may even want to add a page on the blog to hire you to write for clients. Think outside the box with how you can best use your blog with respect to your expertise and niche.

  • Be patient. It won’t happen overnight: It will take a while for you to reap the rewards of your blogging efforts – but, don’t be discouraged. If you stay committed, you can succeed!

  • Be proactive. Spend time looking for paid opportunities: Publishing blog articles isn’t enough. You need to join blogger programs, apply for freelance writing work, and join affiliate networks to increase the amount of paid opportunities available to you.

  • Be consistent. The success of your blog depends on consistency: If you publish content frequently, you are more likely to see new and repeat traffic.

  • Be creative. There is no right or wrong way to blog: Blogging is meant to be a unique process for everyone. Create your blog however you want – whether that is entirely video-based, random thoughts, or poetry.

    If you are planning to start a side hustle as a blogger, the advice above can help you get the ball rolling. Remember to find an interesting niche, get a domain and theme that you love, create a monetization strategy, and follow-through. Many people choose blogging as their side hustle, and you can too!

Guest Blog by Derek Miller