Beginner’s Guide To Blogging As A Side Hustle (5-Steps)

Last Updated on July 19, 2023 by Jordan Alexo

So, you need some extra cash. And you’re wondering if blogging can be a viable side hustle for you.

Well, buckle your seat belt because you’re in for an exciting ride.

In this guide, you’ll learn the advantages and disadvantages of blogging as a side hustle and the steps to get started.

Key Takeaways

  • Blogging has evolved from personal online journals to serious online businesses.
  • Many bloggers now make substantial incomes and focus on a specific niche.
  • Starting a blog as a side hustle offers flexibility, allowing you to work on it whenever you have time outside of your full-time job.
  • Blogging has no growth limits compared to other online businesses.
  • The more content you publish, the more potential traffic and revenue you can generate through affiliate marketing, advertising, and selling products or courses.
  • Blogging as a side hustle has low startup costs.
  • You can start with minimal investment, paying as little as a cup of coffee monthly for web hosting and around $10 per year for a domain name.
  • While blogging has its advantages, there are also challenges to consider. For instance, it takes time to build organic traffic and learn several skills, such as content writing, SEO optimization, and utilizing blogging tools.
  • Mental fatigue is another aspect to address. Sometimes you may need strategies to overcome exhaustion and isolation.

Is your laptop killing your blog’s success? Learn about the best laptops on the market.

What Is Blogging?

what is blogging

Blogging was originally a way to share their day-to-day experiences, thoughts, and opinions online.

In fact, the word “blog” means “web log,” which refers o a personal website or online journal.

But the blog has evolved and changed over time. Nowadays, many bloggers make a living from their blogs. Also, they’ve become more “niche” oriented. A niche is a specialized area or topic that a blogger can focus on.

Such as food, fashion, travel, finance, fitness, parenting, or technology.

While before, blogs were more general, as you can imagine by the term “online diary.”

For instance, you have bloggers making five to six-figure incomes. For example:

  • Adam Enfroy: makes about $250,000 a month with his blog promoting affiliate products and selling his online course.
  • Pat Flynn: he earns around $170,000 a month from his blog, Smart Passive Income. Pat makes this money through affiliate marketing, book sales, and course sales.
  • Michelle Schroeder-Gardner: makes over $40,000 monthly, only working four hours daily from Making Sense of Cents through affiliate marketing and sponsored content.

I just wanted to share some impressive stories. As you can see, you can start blogging as a side hustle, and someday, it can replace your 8 to 5 job income.

Blogging isn’t any longer simply a hobby. It has become a “serious” online business for many people.

3 Reasons To Start a Blog As A Side Hustle

Let’s take a look at three reasons to start a blog as a side hustle:

Reason 1: Flexibility

You don’t need to wake up at a specific hour to start blogging. Or stick to eight hours a day. Instead, you can work on your blog whenever you can squeeze in some time.

This makes blogging a fantastic side hustle for those who work full-time jobs.

Reason 2: No Growth Limits

Unlike other online businesses, like selling books on Amazon or products on eBay, blogging has no growth limits.

For instance, the more blog posts you publish, the more traffic you may receive. Also, you can promote thousands of affiliate offers, slap Google ads and make money whenever someone clicks on them.

And later, you may sell your online courses, ebooks, coaching services, or physical products.

You seriously don’t have any business like it! And you could say, “The sky is the limit” when it comes to growth potential.

Reason 3: Low Startup Costs

I’ll later talk more about the costs of this side hustle. However, one of the main advantages of blogging is that it’s relatively inexpensive to start.

Let’s say you want to build a brick-and-mortar business. You’d need to rent a space, invest in inventory, hire employees, and pay utilities and other expenses. That’s easily tens of thousands of dollars upfront without guaranteeing success.

But with blogging, you can start by paying as little as a cup of coffee at Starbucks monthly.

What Are Some Disadvantages From Blogging As A Side Hustle?

Not everything is daisies and sunshine when it comes to blogging as a side hustle. You also have some less desirable aspects like with any other business.

1 – Slow Growth

Blogging can take time to gain traction from search engines. See, Google doesn’t trust new blogs.

It takes time for Google to trust and send visitors to your blog. You should expect at least six months to a year of consistent effort before seeing decent organic traffic (visitors coming from search engines).

2 – Learning Curve

It isn’t peaches and cream when learning how to blog effectively. You have to learn many skills from:

  • Writing enticing and easy-to-read content
  • Optimizing your content for search engines
  • Learning to use WordPress (a popular platform to build and manage your blog)
  • Using image editing software like Canva to create eye-catching visuals for your blog
  • Oh… and let’s not forget AI tools like ChatGPT for generating engaging blog content.

And the list goes on and on. For this reason, expect to spend a reasonable amount of time learning and developing new blogging skills.

I wrote a fantastic post recently, “Blogging Fatigue – I’m Exhausted.” Because as much as I love blogging, it can sometimes be mentally exhausting.

3 – Mental Fatigue

The constant writing, studying, and isolation can be draining. So, it’s essential to have some techniques to overcome this problem.

How Much Does It Cost To Start A Blog?

How Much Does It Cost To Start A Blog

If you aren’t a math fan, don’t worry! There aren’t many costs to consider when starting a blog.

1 – Web Host

Your blog needs a house on the internet, and that’s where a web host comes in. A web host is a service that stores all your blog’s files and makes them accessible to visitors.

Now, you have budget-friendly companies like Bluehost or Siteground that offer hosting plans from around $3 to $5 per month.

If later you want to have faster loading times and more advanced features, WPX Hosting is a great option.

2 – Domain Name

Basically, it is the web address that visitors will use to access your blog. Some examples include:


I suggest you get a “.com” domain name because it’s the most commonly used and recognized extension.

Often you can purchase a domain name for around $10 a year at Namecheap or GoDaddy.


You spend about $3-5 monthly on web hosting and around $10 per year for a domain name.

5 Steps To Start Blogging As A Side Hustle

At this point, you have some basic ideas about why blogging is a great side hustle. But how can you start? Here are five steps:

Step 1 – Choose A Niche

Choosing a niche is the starting point for any blog.

You want to focus on a section of the market and create content around it. When it comes to this, there are mountains of bad advice online.

Many influencers commonly tell beginners, “Choose a niche that you’re passionate about.”

But this isn’t always sound advice. Sometimes, your passion may be overly competitive or not profitable enough.

So, what should you do?

  1. Write down some niche ideas you may have in mind.
  2. Research those niche ideas to see if they make money. If you find any relevant products or services within that niche, it’s a good sign.
  3. Analyze their competitiveness. For this, check several search terms related to your niche. If most results have only high-authoritative websites dominating the first page, it might be challenging to rank your blog.

You can use tools like Semrush, Ahrefs, or plain old Google search to get a sense of your niche’s competition and profitability.

I recommend you read this post, “Unlocking Success: 11 Best Niches For Blogging With Low Competition.” It will help you find good niches to start your blog without killing your chances of success.

Step 2 – Build Your Blog

Now it’s time to build your blog! Yippy!

1 – Domain Name

domain name

You need first to register a domain name for your blog. As mentioned, you can purchase a domain name for around $10 per year from platforms like Namecheap or GoDaddy.

2 – Get Web Hosting


The next step you want to choose a web hosting service for your blog. I mentioned earlier that Bluehost or Siteground as good options. You have other companies.

However, don’t get too complicated. At this price point, most companies offer similar features.

With Siteground, go for the “Starter Plan” at $3.95 per month. You can only have one website on this plan, which is perfect for starting. If you want more websites later, you can upgrade to another package.

3 – Connect Your Domain and Hosting

nameheap web host

You need to connect the two after purchasing your domain name and web hosting. For this, you must update your domain’s DNS settings with the nameservers provided by your web hosting company.

4 – Install WordPress

install wordpress

Once you have connected your domain and hosting, installing WordPress is next. You should find an option inside your web hosting account to easily install WordPress.

Once you have WordPress installed, you log in to your new website. Usually, it will be your website domain followed by “/wp-admin.”

5 – WordPress Dashboard

wordpress dashboard

Spend some time exploring the WordPress dashboard. Getting familiar with all the features and settings may take a while.

However, WordPress isn’t as intimidating as it may seem at first. Also, you can find many great video tutorials on YouTube explaining everything from setting up your blog to customizing themes and plugins.

So, set everything before passing to the next big step. You want to have a basic design (theme). My favorite ones are Kadence (the one I’m using currently) and Astra.

These themes are lightweight, meaning that they load quickly and won’t slow down your website.

Step 3 – Keyword Research

Once you have a nice-looking blog up and running, you must find the right keywords.

Basically, keywords are the words or phrases people use to search for content online.

For example, if your blog is about fitness tips, some potential keywords could be “healthy recipes,” “weight loss tips,” or “workout routines.”

You want to build a list with ten or more target keywords (search terms) relevant to your niche.

Later, you will write content around these search terms to optimize your website for search engines.

I recommend you read my post “How To Find Low-Hanging Fruit Keywords?.” Where I teach a method to find easy keywords to rank quickly for.

Anyway, here’s quickly my Semrush strategy for this. You get a 7-day free trial and do your keyword research.

Here’s what you do:

1 – Add a keyword related to your niche to the Semrush keyword research tool.

seed keyword

2 – Head Keyword Magic Tool and select “Related.”

semrush magic keyword tool

3 – Go to KD% (Keyword Difficulty Percentage). In the custom range, add 10. This will list easy search terms with a low keyword difficulty percentage.

semrush keyword difficulty 1

If you don’t find any decent keyword, try another relevant main keyword and repeat the process.

Start organizing your list of target keywords along with their search volume and difficulty on a Google Spreadsheet built specifically for keyword research.

It should look something like this:

Step 4 – Write Your First Post

Okay, now you have your blog set and a keyword list and are ready to start creating content.

1 – Write An Outline

I always start by writing a good outline for my first blog post. You can easily do this by installing a browser app called “Detailed SEO Extension.” It’s free, so don’t worry!

detailed seo

Once you have it, search for your target keyword and analyze the top-ranking pages. You want to go to each of these top-ranking posts; you can open them in different tabs.


Then use the “Detailed” app to analyze their headings and subheadings. You can use this information to write your outline.

2 – Write Your Post

With an outline, it’s easier to write your content. You need to answer each question or section you identified in your outline.

Also, make sure to include an introduction and conclusion. The introduction should be brief and explain the purpose of your posts.

On the other hand, your conclusion should summarize the main points and provide a call to action or closing thoughts.

The call to action can be something like encouraging people to leave a comment and read another related post on your blog.

3 – Optimize Your Post

You don’t need to do anything super complicated. Just make sure to do the following to optimize your posts to rank well on search engines:

  • URL Extension: Include your main keyword in the URL extension of your blog post for better search engine optimization. It should look something like this:
  • Title Tag: This title appears as a clickable link in search engine results. You want to add your main keyword to the title tag. But also make it catchy and compelling to attract clicks from people.
  • Heading Tags: Add your main keyword to your H1 (this heading should be the same one as your title tag). Also, add other related search terms to your H2, H2, etc.
  • First Paragraph: Include your main keyword in the introduction of your post.
  • Keyword Placement: Throughout the post, strategically place your main keyword and related terms naturally and organically.

And that’s about it! If you do this, then you have done 80% of your SEO work already.

4 – Proofread and Edit

I suggest you use a tool like Grammarly to proofread and edit your blog post. You can freely try out the basic version, which will catch most grammar and spelling errors.


However, later down the road, as you gain more experience as a blogger, you may want to upgrade to their premium version for more advanced editing features.

5 – Publish Your Post

publish post

The last step is to publish your post online. Nothing special here! You must push the publishing button on your WordPress text editor and double-check your post for any formatting errors or typos before hitting publish.

Step 5 – Keep Learning

This guide is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to blogging as a side hustle. I only covered some basics to get you started on the right track.

But as I said before, you want to improve your skills constantly. I’m going to give you a list of blogging skills you want to develop. So you don’t fall off the wagon or get confused as you continue on your blogging journey:

1 – SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

Learn how to optimize your website for search engines. This consists of on-page SEO strategies such as keyword research, keyword placement, meta tags, and off-page SEO techniques like link building.

2 – Writing High-Quality Content

You want to improve your introductions, conclusions, and how people can skim through your content easily. I suggest you check some of my posts to get an idea.

Anyway, I use images to break up my content and bullet points for easier readability, and I try to keep paragraphs concise and to the point. Also, I enjoy adding “key takeaways” at the beginning of each post for readers to understand the main points quickly.

You can also buy books like “On Writing Well” by William Zinsser or “The Elements of Style” by Strunk and White for further guidance on improving your writing skills as a blogger.

3 – Monetization Method

You have many ways to make money through your blog. Here are a few options:

  • Affiliate marketing: one of the most popular methods of monetization for bloggers. It involves promoting products or services from other companies and earning a commission for each sale or referral made through your affiliate links.
  • Sponsored posts: collaborating with brands to create content that promotes their products or services in exchange for payment.
  • Google Ads: monetizing your blog through Google AdSense and displaying ads on your website.

Choose one of these methods and learn how to implement it on your blog.

4 – Analytics and Data Analysis

You want to learn how to see data from Google Analytics. Now this tool isn’t an easy walk in the park, but it is essential to understand the performance of your blog.

So, spend some time watching video tutorials or taking online courses on navigating and analyzing data in Google Analytics.

Later, you’ll need this skill to see what works and isn’t on your blog. Analyzing data will help you see what your readers enjoy and engage with the most. This way, you can give them more of the content they love and optimize your blog for success.

Last Thoughts

As you can see, blogging can be a fantastic side hustle that may one day become a primary source of income.

Over the years, it has changed a lot. It used to be like a diary on the internet, but now people make real money from it.

Most successful bloggers focus on a specific niche. One fantastic aspect of blogging is that you can do it when you have free time outside your normal job.

And, the more you write, the more people might visit your blog, and the more money you can make.

Also, blogging is dirt cheap to start. You just need to pay a little for your website’s name and host.

But it’s not easy. See, it takes time to get people to visit your blog. You also have to learn several skills, like how to write well, make your blog appear in search results, and use several blogging tools.

Besides, it can be tiring to write a lot and constantly learn new stuff. Sometimes, you might feel alone since blogging can be a solo job. Therefore, finding ways to stay energized and connected with other people is essential.

You have five main steps to start blogging.

  1. Pick a topic you want to write about.
  2. Make your blog by buying a name for it and getting a web host like Siteground or Bluehost.
  3. Research keywords that people might search for to find your blog.
  4. Write your blog posts for one of those keywords.
  5. Keep always learning and getting better at blogging.

And that’s all! Stay dedicated, don’t give up, and keep on blogging. If you have any questions, leave them in the comments below, and I’ll be happy to help.

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