This post contains affiliate links, should you decide to make a purchase using any of my links, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Full disclosure here.
Starting A Side Hustle Blog
Are you tired of living paycheck to paycheck and are in desperate need of starting a side hustle? Or are you happily employed but would love to earn some extra money on autopilot to support your lavish lifestyle? Perhaps you are just curious about how bloggers earn money and are able to quit their 9-5. Well if you are any one of those people then you have come to the right place. I am going to show you how to start a side hustle blog and earn extra money on top of your full-time job.
Over the past couple of weeks, I have been researching for ways on how I could make this blog more useful. While I love to post about beauty and fashion which is the heart of Travel Beauty Blog. There was always a desire deep down to blog more about blogging. If you have been following my blog for some time you would see that I do have a few posts on the subject as well.
The reason I held back from posting on the subject was that I did not want to confuse my followers. After debating it for some time I said to myself what’s the worse that can happen? However, this is not going to be another blog focused on how to make money blogging lol. But you get the point as to why I finally decided to take the plunge so now lets dive right in.
Free vs Self Hosted
Since this post is about making money as a side hustle I am going to keep it real. I am not going to butter it up and make it sound nice by telling you to choose a free platform. Free platforms are for hobby bloggers who do not ever intend on making money with their blog. When I started my blog in 2016 it was solely as a creative outlet and to share my fashion and beauty finds. Back then I had no idea what a blog was until around the time I started mine and found out through Instagram and research. Neither was I aware that it was possible to make money from blogs nor how they did it.
What I am saying is that it’s okay if you want to start out free and then make the switch. That in itself was a nightmare for me to get my blog posts and design together afterward. So if you know right away your plan is to earn money from your blog I highly suggest making the investment in WordPress. You will see for yourself that you will make back that investment and more in the future. Not overnight though, as you have to put in the hard work now. But you will eventually once you follow all my methods outlined in my free mini-course (launching soon).
Additionally, when using a free platform like blogger.com or squarespace.com you do not own your content. “Well, I wrote those blog posts so how could it not be mine”, you probably asked yourself. Free platform means your blog can disappear just like that if they ever go out of business. A lot of times you are also unable to utilize your full potential of earning. Such as by using ads to monetize your blog. Simply because they have the right to do so and could blackmail you for working with an ad network that they don’t like for instance. Those are just some real-life examples as to why you should start a self-hosted blog with WordPress.org from start.
My goal is to help you launch your blog in as little steps as possible without making you feel overwhelmed. Having some basic tech skills as well as familiarity with blogging terms are required. Before launching you should have a clear mindset about whether you want a hobby blog or a side hustle blog. Once you get past that stage you can begin with the steps outlined below.
How To Start A Side Hustle Blog
Research: Determine Your “Why”
The research phase is where you determine the purpose of starting a blog. Ask yourself the following questions and take notes of the answers to refer to them later on.
Why do you want to start a blog?
What problem will you solve?
Who is your target audience?
What should I blog about (niche)?
How will my blog stand out from the millions of blogs? / What will I be known for?
After you have objectively answered these questions then you can move on to the first step
Step 1: Brainstorm Names For Your Blog
Why did I start off with brainstorming names and not choosing a domain name first? Your domain name should be in line with the name of your blog or real name. Come up with at least 5 to 10 names or catchy phrases that you can use but are easy to remember. For instance Travel Beauty Blog, you know right away what my niche is and that is the idea.
Create a memorable name and try to include at least one blog topic in your domain. Now that you have a list of potential names start a domain search. Suggestions are usually provided if the chosen names are already taken.
Bonus tip: Before finalizing on a domain name, check Instagram, Facebook, and Google to see if it’s available.
Step 2: Choose A Domain Name And Hosting Package
Bluehost is recommended by most bloggers because they offer very low-cost plans if nothing else. Boxing out a lot of competitors and making them the number one choice of many.
Click get started and continue to each step in order to set up your account, domain and hosting package. Next, you will select either a basic, plus or choice plus plan and continue to the following page as shown below.
As a new subscriber, your plan will automatically be on the yearly plan which starts at only $3.95 per month. Which works out to less than $50 for an entire year, after which, you can switch to monthly billing if you like.
Setting Up Your WordPress Domain With Bluehost
Finally, the fun part where you get to choose your desired domain name for your blog.
An Alternative To Bluehost
Another hosting company that I would like to introduce you to is Name Cheap. Name Cheap also sells affordable hosting plans perfect for both beginners and advanced users. I have personally used their services for over 10 years and their customer service is impeccable.
Whenever you experience difficulties with your hosting or domain they are quick to respond and are available 24/7. Alternatively, you can find answers to frequently asked questions on their website without contacting them.
In my Free Side Hustle Mini-Course, I go into more detail about which hosting plan is right for you as a startup. Ones I have used in the past, currently using, and my overall experience with using them.
Step 3: Installing WordPress
You should now have your domain name and hosting plan set up, if not click here now and refer to steps 1 and 2 above. Whichever hosting company you chose, your login credentials should have been sent to you. Bookmark the link and save your password for future reference. As you are going to need it to download the WordPress application.
Log in, locate Softaculous for cPanel, which usually contains the WordPress installation link. Download WordPress to your site’s main domain which would be something like travelbeautyblog.com or www.travelbeautyblog.com. Unless you want to reserve your main page for a landing page for example then you may install it to another path eg: travelbeautyblog.com/blog.
When the installation is complete bookmark the link because this is the site address that will allow you to access your blog’s backend.
Although you have completed this step, propagation of your site may take up to 24 hours. This simply means that you will not be able to access your website until some hours later. Rest assured that this is a normal process with every new website and has nothing to do with you.
Step 4: Start Building – Accessing Your Website Backend
Congratulations on making it this far as some people would have given up after conducting a domain search.
Now you are ready to begin the other important steps which I cover in my Free Side Hustle Mini-Course. The idea is to give you all the steps required for starting your blog in bite-sized pieces so that you are not overwhelmed with too much information.
That is why in my Free Mini-Course where I go over everything in more details, you are able to tackle it in bits. Working at your own pace and taking as much time as you need to properly configure your blog.
Step 5: Branding And Logo
Branding plays a vital role in helping people to remember your blog and who you are. It gives you the opportunity to create an aesthetic for your blog. My suggestion is to choose 2-3 colours and 2-3 fonts that you will use on all your blog graphics.
It’s okay if you do not have it all figured out at the beginning because like you when I first started, I didn’t have a clue about what colour scheme I should use. Neither was everything as complicated as it is now with blog aesthetic being a trend and requirement.
Step 6: Install A Premium Or Free Theme
There are some decent free pre-installed themes on WordPress but it’s not as half as pretty as a paid premium theme. Based on your budget, you decide whether you want a free or paid theme. You can find pretty decent budget friendly themes for around $25 to $30. More about this is discussed in my free mini-course.