This post is gonna be different from my normal posts covering personal finance and investing. It’s been a while since I posted any sort of personal update. So this post will be an update on that.
I started blogging a couple of months ago. From the very beginning, my goal was to make enough money to turn this side hustle into a full-time job. I really enjoy sharing information that I know has the capability to really help people and change their lives for the better.
Prior to this, I had also tried web design after setting up websites for myself and a few friends. Though I enjoyed the process a good bit, I quickly got frustrated when I wasn’t sure how to make something someone would love. Everyone has such specific tastes and preferences, I found it daunting and unenjoyable to try and meet those expectations.
I know that I would have gotten better with time. Any skill takes time. I just didn’t see a good-enough return on my investment to continue with it.
This post is an update on where I am at in my journey as a beginner blogger
What Do I Want Out of a Side Hustle?
Since the beginning, the goals of my side hustle haven’t really changed.
I Have to Enjoy It
No matter what you do in life, there will be parts of it you don’t like. It may be paperwork or emails or research. The important thing is for enough of it to be enjoyable that it outweighs the frustration.
I know that I don’t do my best work when I get burnt out. When I would reach my wit’s end in college, I would perform far worse than when I at least had energy. It is a big fear of mine for this to happen in my side hustle or career.
To balance this out, I needed to make sure that I enjoyed a lot of what I was doing.
Since graduating college, I frankly have not been personally satisfied by the 9-5 career grind. I know that I just began my career, but I am frustrated by the concept of working for 2-3% raises per year, maybe with an okay bonus on the side.
My skills and capabilities increase by far more than a couple of percents a year. I work hard to gain additional skills and cover more responsibilities, as I know many people do. Yet, except for possibly when you switch companies, you are unlikely to see much more than that. Even a promotion will likely only give you 5-10%. Though this is more noticeable, it is unlikely to change your life in any meaningful way.
With a side hustle, I wanted something that was scalable. Something that I could make far more or far less money depending on how much time, energy, and efficiency I put into my work. Plus, once I eventually hire people, I want something that can scale and increase revenue alongside those increased costs and workload.
I Own My Product
I also found it very frustrating to realize that none of the work I complete is my own. Sure, I can reference it on my resume. But, if I increase my efficiency by 20%, I don’t feel any benefits. Instead, it is the high higher-ups like CEOs and directors, and the company itself (which I don’t own) that truly benefit from this increase.
I want a side hustle where I can create something of my own, put it out into the world, and continue to own it. To be able to update it over time and continue to reap the benefits for years to come.
In the majority of day jobs, there is a ceiling you hit. Whether it’s $60,000/year for a teacher or $300,000 for an attorney, there is a realistic ceiling to your pay. For me to select a side hustle, that side hustle needed to have no real ceiling. Something where I could get better and better and continue to increase my income.
I know that there will be a ceiling to how much I can make by myself. But that’s the thing about building a business. I can always hire additional talent to help me produce and suddenly the ceiling has jumped up another level.
When you include the concept of hiring and outsourcing, I don’t really believe there is a ceiling to a business.
Time & Place Flexibility
Though there are pros to working in an office, I much prefer to work where and when I want. If I want to work late one day and wake up late the next day, I want that option. If I want to work at a coffee shop one day and at a family member’s house the next day, I want that option.
I know that there are careers with work-from-home options and more flexible schedules. But these still come with significant restrictions, which is understandable since you have a boss to answer to. If I work for myself, I can get rid of these restrictions for myself.
If you want some additional information and points, check out my YouTube video covering aspects to think about when choosing a side hustle.
Why Did I Choose Blogging?
There are hundreds of side hustles that would meet the above criteria. Why would I choose blogging?
I Enjoy Teaching and Learning
My entire life I have loved the process of learning a new skill or gaining new knowledge and sharing that with someone. I enjoy trying to craft the method of presentation to make it as effective as possible. Blogging is, in essence, a job of sharing knowledge with others that has the capability to improve their life.
Teaching is also one of the most effective methods of learning. When you learn something, the final step to mastery is to teach it. Being able to effectively teach a subject proves that you have reached a significant level of mastery. I am by no means a master yet, but I am on the road toward it.
To develop these blog posts, I have to develop my own knowledge of the subject. Whether it is something that just clicked for me last week or something I’ve known for a year ago, I have to learn something myself to share it with others. Recently, I have been very into personal finance. The journey of building wealth to work towards a better life. What better way to further my knowledge than to teach it to others?
How you make money from a career or side hustle is important. I felt that the monetization of blogging, and related pursuits that may branch off of it, was pretty straightforward. Get people to click to get ad revenue. Use high views to get brand deals. Use the greater exposure to branch into other avenues such as courses, value funnels, and other creative outlets such as YouTube, etc.
As of now, I have not made a penny off of this blog. I have not yet been accepted to Google Adsense, and even if I was, I don’t have the kind of viewers to make hardly any money.
At this point for me, it’s all about producing as much quality content as I can so that when it does pick up, I have the inventory of posts to satisfy the demand.
It Doesn’t Have to Be the End
The beauty to me of a creative side hustle is that you build your own personal brand. If you read my blogs consistently, you would likely recognize my blog’s name “My Money Marathon”. Well, if you just so happened to see that same name and logo on YouTube, you will be far more likely to click it. Same if you see it on Instagram, Twitter, or any other platform.
Once I have built my brand up on my blog, I can use that trust and recognition to succeed in other spaces. I don’t have to worry about being holed up in one place, constrained by its viewer demographic and monetization ceiling.
With a day job, I feel that you are far more constrained to stay in the same situation. Moving from one place to another, always having to make a decision between two positions. In a digital career, I could be a creator on 5 different platforms, diversifying and increasing my income.
Easy to Start
Starting a blog was dead easy. Initially, I started on Wix, which is arguably even easier than WordPress, which is where I ended up. If you were to start a blog or any other website that you intend to be active on, I would VERY strongly recommend WordPress.
WordPress allows for plugins that give you an incredible amount of customization, tracking, security, and other management-related tools. Anything from theme transfer to redirecting to a new URL (something I used when I changed from “My 100K Marathon” to “My Money Marathon”) to adding in banners for users to trade their email for a downloadable.
Not to mention that because of these plugins, I have heard that many ad agencies won’t even work with you if you don’t have WordPress. Their method of inserting their ads onto your website often requires the use of a plugin.
All-in-all, I would have been able to have a fully functioning website on WordPress in around 4 or 5 hours. Including the time to purchase a domain, get hosting, pick and install a theme, set up the home and about pages, etc.
All of this may cost as little as $100. An extremely small amount of money compared to any side hustle that requires outside hardware such as cameras, lighting, machinery, etc.
For more information on why I chose blogging, check out my YouTube video covering exactly that.
Where Do I Want to Go From Here?
For now, all I can do is keep creating. I am continuing to post at least twice a week, focusing on personal finance, mainly covering stock market investing.
I am trying to get more exposure to these posts by posting about them on social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram. This has of course received very little traction since I just began. But eventually, I hope for them to be additional avenues of pulling in visitors outside of search engines.
I am also working to create YouTube videos following my journey of blogging. So far, they are very similar videos to this post. My hope is that they will show a point of view not often seen: that of a beginner. Usually, you watch creators making hundreds of thousands a year who have been creating for years. My videos provide the point of view of someone who just recently started, and is still in the process of learning to be successful.
I enjoy these YouTube videos, but they are not my focus. This is partially because I feel that for now, blogging is something I am better at. I am still getting comfortable scripting a video and speaking to a camera. In the future though, who knows what the focus will be? I will follow the success.
Make Some Money
I of course want to make money from this venture. I have applied to Adsense as I mentioned. For now, that is the only path forward I am aware of.
I am comfortable with going for several months to a year without making hardly any money. I do after all have my day job to fund my life. If, however, I am not seeing any income by this time, I may have to shift my focus to something else. I can’t commit an infinite amount of time to something not returning what I need it to.
I don’t have any expectations of making a significant amount of money any time soon. Eventually, I think it’s realistic to make close to as much as I make in my day job from 2-3 hours/day on my side hustle.
Go Full Time
The eventual goal of this blog, and any digital pursuits that come from it, is to turn it into my main job. I don’t want this to be a side hustle for forever.
I am, in general, a pretty risk-averse person. I would definitely not be comfortable taking the dive to changing careers without a decent guarantee that it will work. That means I probably wouldn’t swap careers until I was making more than I am in my day job through my side hustle.
Who knows, I may struggle to make that much without devoting more time to this venture. Only time will tell.
The future of blogging is extremely exciting for me, and I can’t wait to see what comes of it. For some other points regarding what I hope to get out of blogging, see my video below on my goals as a beginner blogger.
Thank You for Joining Me
I want to sincerely thank you for joining me on this crazy ride. I have literally no clue where this is going to lead. Whoever is reading this, it means the world to me that you would even care enough to have gotten to this point.
Let me know where you are at in your journey, and if there are any other more personal topics you want me to discuss. See you next time!
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