I’ve been doing a lot of posting about side hustling lately – mostly because the 9-5 slog has me down… I love the idea of working for myself, setting my own schedule, managing my own time and working towards something I really believe in. And while freelancing is a great way to bring in extra money, I have been spending a lot of time on my other side hustle: the Stilettos and Statutes blogosphere.
You may have noticed some of the changes on that front – more posts, varied content, lots of great links to my favorite things, a lot of behind the scenes tech-y stuff (thank you, Enemy of Fun!), migration from one host to another, the beautiful new Shop space, updated tools and organization of the site, a serious social media push to drive traffic – in fact, if you just joined us, welcome! There is a lot more to come, but we are definitely on our way to something fabulous.
I told myself that I would not post about blogging as a side hustle until I actually make money off my blog – and here we are, over three years into my S&S adventure and one month after my decision to monetize S&S and I can officially post that it is possible to make money blogging! Hip hip hooray!
How to start a blog
The first step is to come up with an idea – what do you want to blog about? Do you have enough to say to generate enough content to drive traffic? This is one of the reasons I didn’t monetize my blog the first couple of years – I was too busy working as a lawyer to blog all the damn time. So my blog was travel, pictures, updates for my family and friends as I was living thousands of miles away in Europe. I didn’t have enough material to blog daily or even weekly sometimes. But now I have a backlog of topics and content ideas, which makes blogging as a side gig more sustainable!
You should be able to post 3-5 times a week to really drive traffic to your site, show up in search engines and gain repeat readers and followers. I will be posting all about how to build your blog, which hosting services are the best, how to design your blog, registering a domain name, how to build a social media following, etc. but first – come up with your idea and start working on content… content is the key!
How to make money blogging
While having a blog can be lucrative, it takes a lot of work – time, dedication, patience and motivation – so you have to love it and actually want to do it. Some of the most wildly successful bloggers are reported to make between $1 million and $7.5 million a year – a far cry from my measly blog earnings, but the basics of what they are doing and what I am doing is the same. And the great news is, you can do it too!!
Blogging as a side hustle is all about providing high quality and informative content (which brings in readers and online traffic) and using that content as a means of marketing and accessing the products, services or companies relative to the content. So yes, it is advertising, but because it is your personal blog, your content, your beliefs, your favorite things… you get to pick and choose the products and services you love and want to support.
Monetizing a blog can mean a lot of different things – on its most basic level, this means becoming a publisher or influencer with affiliate marketing companies. I will put together several posts all about the best ones to join, how to apply and be approved, plus everything else you need to know.
How affiliate marketing works
Affiliate marketing programs allow bloggers to link their content to companies and service providers that they love and support – a form of marketing for those companies. As a means of compensation, bloggers receive a small commission for any purchases made by their readers (usually in the form of a percentage of the total amount purchased). While 5% of a $10.00 purchase is only fifty cents… those clicks start to add up and the more traffic you drive to your site with high quality content, the more money you can start to make. To check out my favorite stores that I have personally selected and applied to be affiliated with (shopping and travel) – click here.
Stay tuned, kittens, blogging could be your pot of gold at the end of the rainbow!