The Ultimate Side Hustle… Starting a Blog?

Side Hustle | Starting a BlogThe ultimate side hustle is, without a doubt, starting a blog. Whether you are a millennial who hates the thought of working for corporate America for 40 years, a stay at home Mom (or Dad) looking to generate some grocery money for your family, or just a burnt out lawyer trying to find a different way to support his family, starting a blog as a side hustle has become mainstream.

And it’s easy to see why starting a blog is so popular. There are far worse ways to make extra cash – not all of them legal. And with more and more bloggers now posting income reports, it’s easy to see why so many people are lured to the dream of earning a 7-figure income while working 4 hours a week from the comfort of their own couch while blogging about their favorite hobby, which might also be blogging from their couch to make money.

Listen. I’m not here to shit all over blogging. I love blogging. And if you ask my Wife, I’ve spent more time blogging than almost any other activity in the past 7 years. It’s a hobby and a passion of mine. And even though this blog is relatively new, I’ve got many other websites that have hundreds of blogs posts on them.

My blogs have made me money. In fact, this morning I have a meeting with a potential client that found me online, watched one of my videos, and said she “connected” with me. This could be a $3-5k client (update, she had no money to pay me… but I digress).

Blogging, while not passive for me (yet), has supported my family and fed my law firm with new clients since 2010.

If I’m Already a Successful “Blogger”, Why Am I Starting this Blog?

The problem is, I haven’t been able to make the switch from using a blog as a means to drive clients to my law firm to starting a blog as a side hustle to generate passive income. And that’s where I think most people want to be. It’s definitely where I want to be.

Personally, not counting my law firm blogs, I’ve been trying to start an online business ever since our second child was born in 2012. Before she was born, we took a vacation to Florida with our oldest child. And during that week we were gone, it dawned on me that when I wasn’t in my law office, I wasn’t making any money.

Right then and there I decided that I wanted to free myself from the billable hour so that I could spend more time at home with my kids or traveling with my family, and stop worrying about how I would pay the bills if I wasn’t in the office.

Not to mention, I’m not a huge fan of being a lawyer.

As a result, I’ve tried a couple different side hustles in the hope that one of them will stick and I can leave the practice of law behind forever. But up until now, none of them have really lit a fire in me like this blog has. I’ll be honest, writing about money and personal finance and budgeting is a game-changer for me. Not only is it a passion for me, but it has also helped me to become more aware of our own personal finances in a positive way.

Not only is it a passion for me, but it has also helped me to become more aware of our own personal finances in a positive way.

Is this blog going to make money?

I have no idea.

Can I change people’s lives (and mine too) while writing about something that I am truly passionate about?

I certainly hope so.

So let’s dig into why starting a blog is such an enticing side hustle to so many people.

Why Starting a Blog is the Ultimate Side Hustle

There are two main reasons that starting a blog is, in my mind, the ultimate side hustle.

First, it costs almost nothing to start a blog. For less than $100, you can register a domain name, and host a WordPress blog on a server. There you go – you now have a fully functioning blog up and running. From there, all you need is time to write and connect with other bloggers(lots of time, fyi).

Will it cost a little more to get a premium theme and some other ancillary services (like signing up for a service to collect email subscribers)? Sure, but these are typically very affordable and you don’t need to add them until your blog is making money or generating traffic.

Second, a blog is easy to scale. You can potentially reach hundreds of thousands of people each month with your blog and your message. If you provide information and content that is remarkable, people are more likely to share that information, and your numbers will continue to grow exponentially from there.

A general rule of thumb is that you can earn anywhere to one to ten cents per page view on your site. So if you are generating 10,000 visitors per month, you should be earning between $100 and $1,000 per month from your blogging efforts.

This, of course, assumes that your blog has a way to generate income for you. If it does, then the more visitors you attract to your site, the more income your site could make for you.

Is Starting a Blog the Right Side Hustle for You?

You are the only person who can say whether starting a blog is the right side hustle for your situation.

I make the process of starting a blog sound easy, and I believe it is.

But I’ve been working with WordPress and writing blog posts since the early days of blogging. I mean, I used to use TypePad for God’s sake – this was back when I had to go to Borders (yes, Borders, remember that store?) to buy a book that explained how to set up a self-hosted WordPress blog.

My point is, if you are interested in starting a blog, and have something you are passionate about that you want to share with the world, then by all means – you should start a blog. Even if you have no experience with WordPress, it is a fairly easy platform to learn and you should have no problems.

The second part of the equation, can you make money with your blog, is an entirely different subject.

Making money is the hard part, at least it has been for me, and it all comes down to what topic you decide to focus your blogging efforts on.

If you want to blog about the best way to iron clothes, chances are good that very few people will read your blog, let alone spend any money.

How Do You Find a Lucrative Niche for Your Blog?

It’s honestly not that hard to find a lucrative niche for your blog. The hard part is finding a lucrative niche that you actually care about.

Because if you don’t care about the topic you are writing about, and you are only starting a blog to make money, that will show in your writing.

You will struggle to find things to write about.

You will struggle to write more than 300-500 words for your posts.

You will start to post less and less frequently.

Your blog will slowly die out over time.

In general, there are 3-4 MAJOR niches that lots of people are looking for information in, and that people are willing to spend money on. If you can find a topic within one of these niches that you are passionate about, then you are good to go.

So what are those niches? Here you go:

  1. Money (and making more of it)
  2. Relationships/Sex
  3. Physical Health and Fitness (ties into relationships/sex)
  4. Expensive Hobbies (think Golf, Scuba, Rock Climbing, etc.)

There are lots of other niches to choose from, but this is a great starter list. If you can find a sub-niche within one of these core niches, you will be light years ahead of many bloggers.

Parting Thoughts About Starting a Blog

Starting a blog is an awesome potential side hustle. The biggest problem with starting a blog is that it is inexpensive and easy to start and everyone and their mother is already blogging. So standing out from the crowd can be difficult.

In addition, it can take months to get traffic to your blog and start earning any meaningful income, or any income at all.

That being said, if you like to write, have a passion for your topic, and find that people are already earning money in your niche, then starting a blog is not such a bad side hustle.

Do you have a blog as a side hustle? Have you been able to replace the income from your day job? I’d love to hear about it. Please leave a comment below and share your story!