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. (Hint: try FICTION 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.
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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.