Starting a blog for money is a great add-on to your side hustle business. But how do you do it without being all icky and salesy?
How do you connect with an audience in an authentic way?
Let’s talk about the question I get asked the most when someone starts a side hustle: Should I start a blog? And the short answer is yes.
Awesome. Let's go!
Just kidding. There's a little bit more involved with this, but the short answer is definitely yes. You should absolutely start a blog. However, you should probably start a blog after you've made your first sale.
So whatever your side hustle is, whether it's a service or a product, get that first sale locked in place before you start worrying about starting a blog. Because, as a friend of mine recently said, you don't have a business until you're making sales.
Make sure that you have that piece in place first, and then definitely start a blog. Here's why: It is going to help build your credibility. You'll be able to get feedback from your clients and use that to develop your own voice when it comes to creating your blog.
Credibility is super important when you’re starting a blog for its money generating capability. Your audience will not buy from you if they feel like they can’t trust you, plain and simple. So truth and authenticity need to be your cornerstones.
Table of Contents
Starting a Blog for Money – The Basics
Your blog should be about helping your customer through some type of journey.
Take Them On a Journey
First of all, you need content on your site that is beginner related, particularly if you are providing a service.
Where does your client need to be at to be able to work with you? That's the content that you wanna make sure you get them through so that they're at a point to work with you. You need to educate your potential client.
You need to take them through some beginner pieces as well as some intermediate stuff. All of that will help build your credibility because you're giving away free content, but you're also educating them so that when they're ready, they can start working with you.
For example, if you’re a freelance writer offering your services as packages, you might provide content like:
“How to make the most of the content you have on your website” aka repurposing content.
“How to create a content calendar” so your potential client already has one in place before you start working with them.
What will make it easy for your potential client to see working with you as a win:win? You need to provide the content that gets them to that place.
That is one reason why starting a blog is a definite yes.
Your Online Presence
The next reason why starting a blog is a great idea is that it helps you create your online persona or your online presence.
What you see online might be a little bit different from what you see when you meet someone in person. And that's totally fine because the way that we communicate online is a little different from how we communicate when we're face to face. That's okay. You just need to be sure that you are aware and deliberate while developing out what that looks like.
If you don’t do this, you can come across as fake and you can also confuse your readers, particularly if you use strong language one week and then the next your language is soft and passive.
For more specifics on developing your own voice, be sure to check this blog post.
Connect With Your Target Audience
- What are the things that you stand for?
- What ideas are you passionate about?
- What are the things that you want to talk about?
Make sure you include that type of content on your blog too, as it helps develop your online persona further.
Your blog allows you to connect with an audience. So if you've done a really good job of identifying who your target audience is, or who your target customer is, then you want to make sure that you're connecting with them on their level. That means creating content that they wanna read, get value from, and connect with. When you clarify who your audience is, making money after starting a blog will become easier.
Go All in With Video
Another thing about a blog is that is doesn't just have to be words. It can be video.
You'll notice that on Hustle and Groove, I have now switched to doing both written and video content. And they're both connected and cross-referenced on the same page. That's because I've had so many people reach out to me and say, “Hey, Lise, I love your videos. I love the way that you train. Are you planning to do any more?” And that became my goal for 2019; to go all in on YouTube.
It's about connecting with your audience on a platform they love to frequent. So a blog allows you to do that in different ways.
SEO For Organic Traffic
Long term, it's also organic traffic. You can write one blog post and it lives forever. It goes out into the interwebs. If you've done great search engine optimization, you'll be able to get organic traffic coming in within 30 days of publishing your post. Probably sooner if you've done a really good job.
So make sure that your blog posts are optimized for any of your free gifts or for any of your paid content. That's how powerful organic traffic will be further down the track, once you've been in business for a few months to a year.
Repurpose Blog Content
And finally, another thing a blog allows you to do is repurpose content. So you've written one blog post. Awesome! Now you can repurpose that into social media posts…
You can repurpose it to a YouTube channel. You can create an infographic. You can turn it into a slide share. You could write a book. You could create a product.
You can do so many things with one piece of content. The possibilities are endless and only limited by your imagination.
If you want to start a blog with posts that are evergreen and not tied to a date, remember to change your WordPress theme settings. If you're using a premium theme, it will allow you to specify whether post dates are displayed or not.
Hover over that and you'll see some options pop out.
You want to choose either “Customize” or “Theme Options”. It depends on your theme as to which location you'll find the date piece.
I use OptimizePress 2 with their SmartTheme and to remove the date from blog posts, I need to choose “Theme Options”.
You'll see from the image below, all I have to do is make sure that the date is not enabled by removing the tick. So simple.
Hopefully your theme is the same!
So that is the long answer to the question of if you should start a blog. Yes, you should.
But first, make sure your business is earning or that you've had your first sale before you shift your attention to doing something like this.
Because this is busy work when you don't have sales coming in.
Your immediate action step is to decide on the platform you’d like to start a blog on (WordPress is my personal fav) and then determine what your target audience prefers in the way of content… is it written, audio or video? Whatever it is, start creating!
Starting a blog for money and income generating capability is a great way to shift into working for yourself. Start with the blog basics of getting your first sale before delving deep into this.