Side Hustle: Blogging

Considering writing blogs as a side hustle to make money? Check out these 7 steps to show you how!

Photo by Alexa Williams on Unsplash

Many people know that I got my business started as a side hustle. I was working full time and working to get my business going when I was off. Eventually, I was able to make my side hustle my full time job. Because of that, I regularly have people ask me about making side hustles their reality.

This article is the second in a series of articles about side hustles.

Warnings

I’d like to start with a few warnings.

  • I don’t believe in the easy way in or out of anything. Hard work has never been a problem for me.

  • I don’t think everyone can do everything well. Skills, knowledge, and talent are different, and while I agree that almost anyone can learn something, I don’t think everyone should do it or will do it well.

  • This specific article is about blogging online as a side hustle, which takes time and dedication to be successful.

Blogging is a great way for individuals to share their thoughts with the world, but it can also be the perfect tool for business owners and organization leaders to share value with their clients and lead them to sales.

Blogs can be on a website, trade sites, social media platforms, and a variety of other places. But if you’re looking to make blogging a side hustle, you have to know where to start.

computer on desk with glasses, binder clips, and a notebook

Step 1: Figure out what you can blog about

You likely have talents and skills in specific areas. As an educator, I started with educational blogs, but I started tapping into the things I also love. Traveling, storytelling, parenting. There are blogs for all of those things.

Protip: Make a list of potential topics, titles, ideas to write.

Step 2: Start writing

It may sound odd to start writing when you don’t have a job yet, but people who hire you will want to see writing samples. Use that list from step 1 to start writing. You can also check out what questions people are asking in your area of interest and start writing blogs to answer those questions or to share experiences with them.

Protip: Keep track of your process and your drafts to showcase.

sitting at a table writing on a piece of paper with a cup of coffee


Step 3: Put together that portfolio

You can use those writing samples and the drafts to put together a portfolio of your work. Be sure to include any starting references (those questions, where you got your idea, etc.) and put them together in a portfolio. It doesn’t need to be fancy. A portfolio website or a Google Drive would suffice. Keep it organized!.

Protip: Take a few of those writings and change the purpose and audience to show variety.

Step 4: Figure out the details

You have to make some decisions. How much will you sell your articles for? How will you accept payment? Are you willing to ghostwrite instead of publishing under your name? Will you sign an NDA? What does your process look like from start to finish? If they commission a piece from you, what does that process look like for you? What tools do you need?

Proip: Create a contract for the sale of your piece.

Step 5: Find an aligned audience

Next, you can find businesses and organizations who have blogs (0r need one) within your topic area. If you love to write about fishing, check out Bass Pro Shop or Cabela. If you love to write about 6th grade science, check out influencers or websites that are the go-to place for people interested in 6th grade science. Try to find people who align with your values to make the process sit better in your soul.

Protip: Go back to those questions in step 2 to find an audience.

the word audience written on a white board with arrows pointing to it


Step 6: Reach out to that audience

This step takes a bit of research and planning. You don’t want to reach out to the CEO of Bass Pro, but you might want to reach out to someone in their marketing department. Find the right person to reach out to, and send them an email, telling them your experience in the area that you’ve written about. From there, you can either give them a few title samples or ask them if they’re entertaining freelance writers. Some writers hesitate to put title ideas out there to avoid those ideas being stolen, but putting those titles out there also helps omit them from asking for ideas.

Protip: Create an email template to send and a spreadsheet to track your progress.

Step 7: Follow up

So many people forget to follow up. Whether you sell the blog or don’t even get a response, you should still follow up on your leads from steps 5 & 6. If you sell the blog, you might provide other titles or monitor the progress of the original blog to see if you can write for them again. If you didn’t get a response, you might follow up with that initial person and reach out to another logical person in the organization.

Protip: I like to copy another person in the organization on the email to increase the sense of obligation to respond.

It may take a while to get paid blogging, but if you’re good at it and keep working at it, you could easily see your side hustle start paying bills.


Categories: writing