Blogging quickly became a passion of mine when I launched Fall for Maine in August of 2017. Unsure where I was heading, the past eight months have consisted of a lot more trial and error than anticipated as I work towards creating a successful blog. This is the biggest reason why I share my experiences with others, not only to guide you away from the errors that I have made but also to find success in your own blogging journey. Blogging has given me an amazing outlet to express my interests along with making some extra money on the side.
Some may not know that I actually work full-time on top of creating content for Fall for Maine. I define myself as an administrative specialist by day, blogger by night. Therefore, creating a successful blog can be a struggle on top of it all.
What is a Successful Blog?
A successful blog can be defined in several different ways depending on the person. Some may feel they have reached success once they reach a certain amount of views or followers. Others feel they have reached success once they start making money. Making money is usually a large part of why people venture into the blogging community in the first place.
Though blogging is definitely a business, it should also be fun. We are all looking for a career that we enjoy getting up for every single day. Blogging is no different. And the more passion you have for your content the more your readers will be intrigued by your authenticity.
Step One. Invest in Yourself
When starting out there is some investment involved. You cannot get to the money making part without spending a little money first. And though I know several bloggers who have quit their jobs and made income solely through their blog, I am not at that stage in my journey yet. When first starting out, I recommend going right for the gold. While the free blogging sites like Blogger and free WordPress versions are great for a hobby outlet, starting out self-hosted is the first step to money-making success. Not only is self-hosted WordPress hands-down the best platform for both beginner and experienced bloggers. WordPress is also great for beginners, easily customizable, and the perfect one-stop shop to create a beautifully personalized blog.
If you haven’t started your blog yet but are looking into taking the plunge check out my post on Choosing SiteGround over Bluehost the self-hosted guide for beginner bloggers. If you sign up for SiteGround with my link you get a free domain, free site builders, free 1-click WordPress install, 24/7 support and all for only $3.95 a month! You really can’t beat a deal like that.
Step Two: Find Your Niche
The next step is finding out a niche. Why start a blog if you don’t know what you are blogging about. It took me awhile to find the niche that I felt fit my personality the best. I started out strictly as a “lifestyle blogger” who also wrote about fashion and beauty. In my third month blogging, I quickly realized that this wasn’t for me. Now I create content on helping other bloggers, finding the best home decor inspiration and DIY hacks. Things that you enjoy doing in your everyday life translate best in the blogging world.
If you are already working a full-time job that you may not be completely passionate about, you want your blog to make up for the fun you feel you’re missing out on. This way when you are creating content after your day job has ended it feels more enjoyable than just another job. Side hustle doesn’t need to be work.
Step Three: Affiliate Marketing
While joining a program like Google Adsense can generate a small income with little to no effort on your part it is not enough to sustain any sort of side hustle status unless your daily views are sky high. Getting involved in affiliate marketing is the next step to making money through a successful blog. Find out the ins and outs of choosing affiliate marketing programs as a beginner blogger here.
Step Four: Scheduling
This is by far the most important step for working full-time while also rocking your blogging career. Scheduling! I treat my blog like I treat my day job and take weekends off. I am able to do so by scheduling most of my content ahead of time.
During the week I take an hour or so every few nights to create content and blog posts. As time has gone on I have become quite good at coming up with blog posts on the fly. This does not mean I don’t put as much effort in, it is due to the fact that I enjoy what I am creating. The more passion you have for your content the easier it is to write 1,000 words on it. Some posts take me weeks to finish, while others take me a night.
Regardless, I have put myself on three posts a week schedule. This may vary due to your own personal preference. Here is an idea of how I schedule my content:
- Mondays – blogging tips, social media hacks.
- Wednesdays – printables, listicles, etc.
- Friday – favorites (i.e., products, moments)
I try to write each week’s posts one week ahead of time. With WordPress, there is an option to select the date and time you would like your post to go live. This is great for thinking ahead and being prepared.
There is also an option to publicize, which automatically posts to social media on your behalf once your blog post goes live. This helps you skip the tedious step of posting to each social media account once you have content ready to be viewed.
And the biggest success to scheduling your content is using Tailwind. Tailwind allows you to schedule your pins for weeks ahead of time, so once your content goes live schedule some related pins to link back to that particular post. Once you have scheduled all your pins you can literally set it and forget it. Weekends are my off time, however, I still generate hundreds of views due to Tailwind keeping my account active on Pinterest. Scheduling pins to Pinterest Group Boards have also upped my blog traffic immensely.
There are definitely struggles that come with trying to grow a successful blog career while working a day job. But with the right mindset and a little discipline you can rock your blogging game while working full-time. Just stick to it and don’t get discouraged! Do you have a blog but also work full-time? Let me know in the comments or come find me on Instagram or Twitter.
Happy Side Hustling!