Blogging is my number one recommendation as a hobby and the best kept secret for generating side income. There has never been a better time to be a blogger. Costs are almost nothing and the rewards are high.
- Potential Income
- Fulfilling hobby, causing you to want less expensive fancy gadgets to fill the void
- Ability to meet like-minded individuals
- Creative outlet
- Applicable to all interests and to people from all walks of life
If you’re wondering how much people can actually make blogging, the answer is “a ridiculous amount.” Here are a few examples from real bloggers in different fields today:
Here is a handy reference chart of what bloggers are generally able to make based on traffic levels. Your mileage may vary depending on the category you write for (i.e. categories like personal finance are more lucrative than categories geared towards audiences with no income, like teenagers). Most bloggers I’ve discussed this with generally fall in the 4-6 cents per page view zone, monetizing most successfully from a combination of affiliate relationships, selling their own e-courses or other products, and display advertising.
It is conceivable to generate $18k-$150k per year through blogging as a side gig. And if you are working full-time on your blog as many of the larger success stories above are, you can earn more than $250k+ per year.
Will everyone hit those numbers? Probably not. But there’s a wide spectrum of commitment level to income generated, and likely there’s a spot that would fit your life comfortably. If you’re having fun along the way, you can slowly adjust your blogging time to fit your lifestyle.
It’s amazing how simple and cheap it is to build your own little corner on the internet. I remember the absolutely shitty geocities pages back in the late 90’s. All it takes to build a professional, inviting website of your own is a hosting company, a domain name, and a wordpress template.
I recommend getting started with a Bluehost account for $3.95 a month. They are one of the largest hosting options within the blogging space, which means the ecosystem for tutorials and support further down the road is one of the most robust. This promo will give you pricing of $3.95/month vs the regular $7.99/month. Bluehost will also register your domain name for you for free, a $10+ value.
Step 1: Select a Plan
If you’re just starting out, I see no reason to go with anything other than the basic plan for $3.95 a month. You can always upgrade as your needs grow.
Step 2: Select A Domain Name
This is the fun part! I admit I spent more time than strictly necessary brainstorming names for my blog. If you already have a domain name kicking around somewhere, there’s an option to transfer that url over to your new plan. The system will come up with some suggestions if the domain you entered is taken, but I actually really got a lot of value of consulting NameMesh for name inspiration. It will combine similar conceptual words for you as inspiration, and you can just take the available one you like back to the registration workflow at Bluehost.
Step 3: Finish Registration
You will go through a couple of screens asking for payment and address information. You’ll be presented with several options for add-ons like site back-up and search engine jumpstart. I find these to be mostly unnecessary. When you install wordpress, there’ll be lots of free plug-ins to get you started which do basically the same things. The only service I chose to add was domain privacy protection. You are legally required to keep a true name and physical address on file with ICANN. I don’t know about you, but it’s weird to think my name and home address are floating around out there for anyone who visits the website to find. Plenty of people eschew the service, so it’s really a personal comfort thing.
Step 4: Install WordPress
Once you finish registering, log into your new Bluehost account and find the ‘Wordpress’ button. WordPress is a free, open-source blogging platform. It is the single largest blogging platform in the world and powers over 20% of the world’s sites. WordPress is what makes it magically easy to run your own blog.
Step 5: Pick a WordPress Template
The WordPress installation guide will walk you through the basics of how to use WordPress, and one of the first things it will do is show you a selection of free templates. Pick one that appeals to you, and that’s it! You’re live on the internet and off to the races.