Now that I’m kickstarting a brand new version of this site and talking about blogging, several writers asked me about developing a blogging side hustle.
If you’re considering this too, the first step is to ask yourself whether you’re blogging as:
- A publisher (content creator);
- A ghostwriter.
Are you a publisher or a ghostwriter?
Over the past 20 years I’ve developed hundreds (literally) of blogs. It used to be simple: choose a topic and monetization options (affiliate products or advertising), then start the blog on a free platform to check for traction. Traffic and income? If yes, develop a WordPress site, if no, forget the idea.
Today, we’ve got a huge glut of content. This means that you need a great idea for a blog as well as ways to build an audience fast. You also need stuff to sell. Preferably an affiliate product which is new and “hot” — something which 10,000 affiliates aren’t already promoting.
Yes, you can still create a blog AND earn money for the holidays with a blogging side hustle. However, create a PLAN first. Yes, I know, I’m always nattering about planning — that’s because it’s important. Holiday sales are ramping up this month. (October.)
What about ghostwriting as a blogging side hustle?
If developing a blog and selling stuff sounds too complicated, consider ghostwriting.
- Tap your existing client base. They’re ramping up for Christmas sales. Some will welcome having a writer on whom they can call. And yes, even if you’re ghostwriting fiction, your clients need promotional content, so ask.
- Do the rounds of local companies. Look for companies which not only have a website, but which have at least 20 employees. Smaller companies can’t afford you — you’re aiming for at least $150 per post, more if you have a track record.
Let’s look at blogging side hustle ideas to make money for the holidays.
1. Ghostwriting as a blogging side hustle: offer customer interviews
A couple of my blog mentoring students use this side hustle and charge their clients $150 per hour.
- Call customers suggested by the business to line up an interview (on the phone is fine);
- Conduct the interviews;
- Source images (you can charge extra if you’re taking photos);
- Write the blog post;
- Promote the post on social media.
This particular side hustle can be a literal goldmine.
I highly recommend that you get your own blogging clients. However, you can also scout the freelance marketplaces. One of my students had success with Contena.
2. Publishing as a blogging side hustle: create your own affiliate deals
When you promote affiliate products, you’re promoting on commission. Why not generate your own affiliate deals with companies?
Here’s how it works:
- Contact a company with whom you’d like to work — a company which offers high-ticket items;
- Negotiate a deal. Usually your commission is a percentage of the sale price;
- Work out how you’ll know when one of your leads results in a sale. The company will set this up for you — the easiest way involves you offering blog readers a discount when a customer mentions your blog to the company;
- Write blog posts on your blog promoting their stuff.
Local companies are best for creating your own affiliate deal. As mentioned, choose a company which sells high-ticket items.
My students have had luck with:
- Car and boat sales;
- Farm machinery sales;
- Exercise equipment sales;
- Greenhouse sales;
- Companies which offer home renovations and extensions.
One of my students did so well with creating her own affiliate deals that she’s now blogging full-time. She’s making much more than she made at her day job.
3. Publishing when you already have traffic: sponsored posts
Got a blog and some traffic? Brilliant. You may have tried writing sponsored posts in the past and been paid a tiny amount like $50 or so from a small company. Aim for bigger companies. You’re looking for companies which will pay you $500 to $1,000 per post.
If you’re thinking: “Yes, but Angela, no one will pay ME that much because…”
Here’s what I tell my students: “If you have traffic, you can capitalize on it, as long as you’re likely to be able to send some of that traffic — even if it’s only ten leads a month — to the business.”
Consider that advertising via Google or Facebook is very expensive for keywords. Many companies lose money on their advertising — way more than $1,000 a month. When they pay you for a sponsored post, that content keeps selling for them as long as you keep the post online. Content is an investment.
I suggest that you charge companies per year for your sponsored content. Instagram influencers may only leave their sponsored content online for a week.
A great blogging side hustle will create Christmas cash, so start blogging today
Start today. Get busy and have fun.
Blog mentoring for blogging success
Starting a blog? Perhaps you want to increase your blogging income, or get paid to write blogs.
We offer blog mentoring for three kinds of bloggers:
- Beginning bloggers, who need help with choosing a niche, an audience and monetization options;
- Experienced bloggers, who’ve had some success, but want to boost their blogging income;
- Bloggers who want to get paid to write blogs.
You CAN write. It doesn’t matter why you think you can’t. You can write, and writing will become easy for you.
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What if you could create AND sell a product in just eight hours? The product could be anything: a Kindle ebook, a collection of articles, a short story… a new writing service for your clients.More info →
If you've heard that authors are successfully publishing their fiction as serials, and are curious about how it's done, read on. Readers enjoy serial fiction today, as they've done for centuries.
This practical guide helps you to start writing serial fiction, starting today.
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Copywriter and marketing pro Angela Booth maintains a busy copywriting and ghostwriting practice. Fascinated by online marketing, she wrote one of the first business books for internet marketing, published by Allen & Unwin. She’s been an enthusiastic blogger since the late 1990s.