Last week I wrote an epic post entitled Five Reasons Why Blogging Is A Terrible Side Hustle Idea. It garnered a lot of attention because I shed some light on some of the lesser-touted aspects of blogging.
I still stick by my guns; I think blogging is probably a terrible side hustle for a lot of people. It isn’t the end-all-be-all side hustle for everyone. It’s no different from other things; not every has the stuff for elite professions like being a doctor, a lawyer, a CEO, or a corn detasseler.
- 1 Why is blogging a great side hustle?
Why is blogging a great side hustle?
However, I would be remiss in my duties if I didn’t also say that for some people, blogging can be a fantastic side hustle, or even a full-time profession.
There’s a lot to like about it. It’s no wonder why it’s so popular. Hell, I’m doing it.
Reason #1: Startup Costs Are Low
The only requirements to get your blog up and launched is hosting, which you can get for less than $50 per year from a quality provider. Everything else on top of that is extra.
But be warned—the extras can easily add up. If you want to be truly successful, you will need to invest in at least some add-ons, like social media scheduling tools, website services, email providers, faster hosting, etc… The list goes on and on.
Reason #2: You’ll Have The Ultimate Flexible Schedule
You can literally work on your blog whenever you want. Up at 2:00 in the morning and still in your tighty-whities? Go for it. The internet is full of people in tighty-whities.
For me, this worked out great over the summer when I was away on travel for a week at a time. I batch-wrote my articles before I headed out, popped them into WordPress, and scheduled it to come out while I was in the middle of Wyoming and far away from any internet source.
You can also work literally wherever you are. Fun fact: I’ve worked on this blog in coffee shops, laundromats, airports, hotel rooms, in-laws’ homes, in Denver, in Seattle, on lunch breaks at employer’s offices, and with a cat trying to hijack the keyboard at home (she wants you to know: aaaaaaasdfjgshgjjjjjjjjjjjjjk).
The only thing that doesn’t lend itself well to flexibility is responding to people’s comments and social media interactions. But, in general, you can get away with working just about anytime and anywhere as a blogger, as evidenced by the increasing popularity of digital nomads.
Reason # 3: There Are A Lot Of Ways You Can Monetize Your Blog
Blogging made me squeamish at first because it still feels kinda weird for me to make money outside of my normal day job. Luckily for weenies like me, though, there are a lot of ways you can make money with a blog:
- Create and sell products like ebooks and courses
- Ad revenue from Google Adsense or another advertising network
- Ad revenue from privately placed ads (yes, you can rent out your blog as real estate)
- Affiliate marketing
- Sponsored posts
Of course, even if there are a lot of options, you still do have to get out of your shell a bit. People won’t just come to your blog waving money in your face like some exotic Hollywood stripper.
This has been one of my biggest challenges so far—it’s easy to blog, it’s hard to blog and make money. In my first year of blogging I made a measly $14.63. I could have bought soooooo many gumballs though!
Reason #4: Your Earning Potential Is Huge
You can make a shit ton of money by blogging! Don’t believe me? Check out these archives from popular* bloggers below:
*Key word: popular. You’ll generally earn more money as you become more popular—which means that just starting out, you likely will earn little to nothing.
The reason these bloggers make so much money is because they’ve figured out how to decouple the amount of effort they put in for a set monetary rewards. I could write one blog post and recommend a product, and if 1% of people buy it, I might need hundreds of people to visit the blog before I make a few bucks.
A more popular blogger, though, could write the same blog post and get hundreds of thousands of views, and make a ton more money.
Related: How To Blog For Profit Without Selling Your Soul by Ruth Soukup
Reason #5: It’s A Great Creative Outlet
Blogging is much more than a money-making opportunity. You get the chance to make your voice heard by a large group of people—something few of us get to do.
First, this scared me. I am a wimp when it comes to meeting people in real life. I moved from northern Michigan to Alaska when I was 18 because I thought there were too many people in northern Michigan, for pete’s sake. But, I realized that I have something to say to others—something that may just change their lives—and blogging is a great way for me to do that.
Plus, it’s a whole different type of creative outlet from anything else I’ve ever tried before. I had to design my blog, write each post, and design the images that go along with it. Then, I had to devise a social media strategy to spread my message. Now, I’m working on a marketing plan to figure out how to make money off this dang thing. So far, I’ve “failed.”
It’s a failure, but more importantly, it’s an opportunity to learn and get better at a completely different skill than I’ve ever had (or likely will have) the chance to improve. Biology school sure as hell doesn’t teach you how to market yourself for a profit.
That’s probably one of my favorite things about blogging so far, though. Even if I were to never make another dime, I’d be happy chugging away at this blog week after week because it’s teaching me things I’ve never had the chance to learn before.
It’s changing me. It’s insulating me from failures and making me more bold in everyday life. Calling up an insurance company to argue about coverage? I would’ve shied away from that before, but now, bring it (*thumps chest*)! I just killed my website last week and revived it with help from my hosting company later. Whachyou got, son?
Is blogging really a great side hustle?
Now that I’ve been blogging for a little bit, I can definitively say that yes*, blogging is a great side hustle.
*If you exhibit the following characteristics:
- Don’t need immediate income
- Are persistent
- Are adaptable
- Are creative
- Are a good writer (or at least willing to learn and improve)
What do you think? Have you ever had a blog, and has it been “successful” by your standards? Leave a comment below!