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Start Your Side Hustle The Right Way
Are you a new blogger, just starting out? Don’t worry, we’ve all been there! Read on for eight keys to keep in mind if you want to build a successful side hustle.
1. You Must Treat Your Side Hustle Like It’s Your Business
I put this one up at the top of this list, because this is the most important thing I need any of my readers to take from anything you read on this website: your side hustle is your business.
If you want a blog that makes you money, especially enough money that it’s the thing that sustains you and your life, then you need to treat it like it’s a business. It’s YOUR business. And that should be a massive motivator to keep you moving and keep you working hard, because it isn’t an easy task. Business have goals, so don’t forget to set yours (you can read about mine here).
For those of you working a traditional nine-to-five, even if it’s a job you love, you’re still working toward someone else’s dream. No matter what you do, your boss still gets more out of it than you will. That’s just how business works. But when you create a successful side hustle, that’s your dream, your business, and you have to treat it like the owner/president/top dog at your company treats theirs.
2. You Must Be Prepared To Learn
Having a successful side hustle means you must commit to continuously learning. Sometimes that means taking courses from other experts in your niche, sometimes that means teaching yourself through the resources made available on Google and YouTube, and sometimes that means reading books from expert entrepreneurs. I’m currently making my way through Tim Ferris’ The Four Hour Workweek, which I highly recommend. You can get your copy on Amazon, through my affiliate link. You’re not going to build your website, your business, in a day.
It takes time, it takes effort, and it takes an open-mindedness to understand that you do not know everything. I don’t know everything, that’s why I’m chronicling my passive income-earning journey on this website (check out my Introduction for more on why I’m doing what I’m doing). I’ve taken courses to get to where I am now, I’ve even re-taken some of these same courses, and I will definitely take more courses to grow and develop as a side-hustler and entrepreneur.
Online courses are a great way to navigate the blogging world, especially when you’re starting out. Don’t get overwhelmed, because there are a lot of options out there. Do your research, really dig into those sales pages, read reviews, and find the ones that work for you. Remember, the best investment is the one you make in yourself.
3. You Must Schedule Your Time To “Work”
Just like you have a set schedule at work, whether it’s the morning shift, evening shift, traditional nine-to-five (or even eight-to-five), you must set your schedule to work on your moneymaking side hustle to make it a successful side hustle. You can’t just go into it on a whim for a few days, and then take a few days off, and then go back to it when you’re up for it. That won’t net you the returns you want. Like I said in point one, this is a business, and it takes a lot to get one off the ground.
Figure out what time in your day you can carve out to get some quality work done on your website. Is it at 6 a.m., before you have to get ready for work? (That’s when I’m at my most productive) Is it during your lunch hour at work? Is it at night for an hour before you go to bed? Find time and schedule it. If you’re the type of person who needs a calendar reminder, then put it in your calendar and have it remind you that it’s time to do your job.
Have you looked at your calendar and worry that you really don’t have enough time to dedicate to your moneymaking side hustle? Then you need to make time. Maybe that means finding something in your schedule that can give, or maybe it means waking up an hour earlier, or even going to bed an hour later. If you’re serious about creating a side-hustle that makes you money while you sleep, then you have to be serious about the work you put into it.
4. You Must Be Fearless
Analysis paralysis is the KILLER for many a budding blogger. Perfectionists of the world, know that this is where you may struggle.
You must keep in mind that when you’re setting up your successful side hustle, especially if you’re new to the world of websites and passive income and affiliate marketing and more, you may not get it on the first try. But that doesn’t mean you should stop and wait for that perfect moment where everything is perfect, because that moment is never going to come.
You have to take things one step at a time. Maybe that means you have to go back and fix things along the way, but you won’t know something’s wrong until you get feedback from your readers, and you need posts before you can get readers, and find people to join your tribe. Don’t be afraid to make beginner mistakes, because we all do that. Check out this post to read about the big mistake I made when I created my first website.
5. You Must Be Confident
Know that you’re going into this with all the resources you need to have a successful side hustle. If you don’t know where to go for something or how to get something created for your website, join one of the many blogging Facebook Groups out there. Many of them are free to join, and no one is going to shame you for asking newbie questions. The people in these groups want to help you, as much as they want to get help themselves.
And on a similar note, being active in those types of groups is critical for networking, which goes part and parcel with blogging. You never know who you’re going to meet, what connections you’re going to make, and those connections can potentially open doors to you that you could never imagine.
Don’t be shy! Join a group or two and say hello!
6. You Must Not Try To Do Everything At Once
When I came up with the idea of a website to exploring my journey of generating passive income and teaching readers about how they can go on their own journeys, I knew that I was going to have to do a lot of things. I was going to have to get my website set up, get my email sequences together for new subscribers, put together enough posts to get a new reader to want to stick around a while, put together social media accounts to spread the word, and create both a freebie AND a paid product.
Now, that’s quite the tall order. But I knew that when I started, that it wasn’t possible to have everything ready at the same time. That’s why you need to prioritize. Obviously, getting your domain, hosting, and theme set up are the primary things you need to do to have your website ready to go at the barest level. Then you have to get some posts both prepared (with good SEO) and posted, and get your email list set up to capture subscribers (because they’re the bread and butter of your successful side hustle). The rest of the priorities are up to you, but you have to remember that if you wait for everything to be completely perfect and ready to go before you launch your website to the masses, you’re never going to start.
Take it slow, take it one step at a time, and refer to my handy (and FREE) Blog Startup Checklist to make sure you have your own ducks in a row, and get inspired to write your first 20 posts with my list of 50 suggestions.
7. You Must Go Back And Update Old Posts As Needed
This is very important to keep in mind. As you blog, a lot of things will happen. You’ll create a freebie to lead people into your email list, one of your posts may go viral, you’ll introduce a paid product to your site. And to maximize all those things, you need to go back and update old posts with that information. If you have an old post you recently refreshed, go ahead and include that link on some of the other posts that are doing really well and are very popular with your readers, because that will lead them to a new post that might become their next favorite thing to share with their friends, and it may also be the thing you need to convert another reader into a fan who is willing to spend money on your paid product.
And when you do introduce something like a paid product to your website, don’t forget to go back to all those places where you talk about paid products and plug yours in. It might take some work and some combing through your pages, but it’ll be worth it when you drive traffic to a product that gets you money while you’re not working. And that’s the goal, right?
8. You Must Have A Self-Hosted Website
This. Is. Key.
As someone who started her blog off on WordPress.com, I can not possibly stress how important it is that you start a self-hosted website (I recommend Siteground, and you can get started for as low as 3.95/month. Read more about it in my post 6 Reasons I Use Siteground To Host My Blog (And You Should Too)). If you’re serious about starting a successful side hustle that makes you the money that will allow you to broaden your horizons and let you live your best life, then you need to do that on your own terms.
Now, WordPress.com has its benefits, even the Business Plan, but if you want to make real, tangible money, and have complete control over your website, then you need to go with one of the many self-hosted options out there.
Still a WordPress devotee? That’s great, and that’s what WordPress.org is for. You can install WordPress on your self-hosted website in just one click. Seriously, it’s just that easy, and you get all the form and functionality that you love out of WordPress. Check out my post, Start Your Own Moneymaking Blog in 5 Easy Steps to go into further detail about how to get your self-hosted WordPress site started off on the right foot.
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