Why Blogging is the Best Side Business

Fathers Day 2009 Sunrise on Miami BeachToday we welcome back our normal Tuesday contributor, Catherine Alford!

Maybe I’m biased, but I firmly believe that blogging is one of the absolute best side businesses out there. From the low start up cost to the fantastic community, I encourage everyone I know to try their hand at creating one. Here’s why:

Low Start Up Fee

Setting up a blog is relatively inexpensive. You can always start an absolutely free site on WordPress or Blogger to see if you like it, but as your blog grows, you might have to move to a self-hosted wordpress site. I always recommend this route to start off with, since moving my own blog to wordpress was pretty time intensive.

However, regardless of the route you choose, your start up fees for a blog can easily be under $100.00. Purchasing a custom theme, domain name, or graphic design service can definitely add to this cost, but always make sure you really enjoy it before spending too much money growing it.

Incredible Community

I seriously don’t know what I’d do without my blog friends. It’s amazing how you feel like you really know someone after meeting them online. The best part is that the community just keeps growing.

People start blogs every day, and there are millions of them. I personally love meeting new bloggers, hearing their stories, and learning about how they live. It’s the best part about blogging in my opinion. Plus, personal finance bloggers give the best advice!

Low Stress

There have only been about a handful of times when I’ve had a “freak out” moment when it comes to my blog. These freak outs were usually the result of a technical glitch that I just couldn’t fix or the site going down at a really inopportune moment. However, for the most part, blogging is only as stressful as you make it. Sure, I stay up late to make sure the post for the next morning is perfect, but for the most part, the day-to-day blog operations are really fun, and it’s the best job I’ve ever had.

Room to Grow

When it comes to blogging, the sky is the limit. There’s no salary cap, no glass ceiling, and no waiting on someone else to give you an annual raise. The amount of money you make blogging is completely up to you and how much time you are willing to invest to ensure its success. For some people, this is the hardest aspect of owning a blog, but for me, it’s the most exciting and gives me the most motivation to move forward.

I seriously could go on and on about why blogging is so great. I really don’t know where my life would be without it. I’ve met so many amazing people and had such cool experiences because of my blog, and that’s why I’d recommend it as a hobby or a side business to anyone.

Do you have a blog? If so, why did you start one?

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About Catherine Alford

Catherine Alford is a personal finance freelance writer who received a B.A. from The College of William and Mary and an M.A. from Virginia Tech. She enjoys sharing her adventures on her blog, www.BudgetBlonde.com.

Comments

  1. Thanks as always for having me, Lance!!

  2. I couldn’t agree more! It definitely has the potential to be a great side business, if done right. The amount of work though is high.

  3. I started blogging to write about all the crazy things that happen around me. I actually considered naming my first blog “Calamity Christine.” After I started that first blog I completely fell in love with writing and the rest is history. My blog certainly cannot yet be considered a “business” buy maybe one day!

  4. The biggest threat I’ve seen over the last year or so is Google. They have demoted many ‘user driven content’ sites in their search rankings, a category that blogs fall into dead center. If you are truly looking to grow your blog as a business, this is a headwind that you should be prepared for.

    • Thanks! That’s why I think it’s so important to diversify and to rely on multiple sources of income for the business rather than just affiliate or ad sales. Most of my income comes from staff writing, not affiliate sales driven by google searches.

  5. Kyle @ Debt Free Diaries says:

    I’ve always loved the idea of blogging, and I started my most recent blog with the purpose of keeping myself accountable while working on paying off debt. In the process I’ve already gotten to get to know so many other interesting people along the way!

  6. I started blogging to increase my influence. As a successful person, I decided to share some of my skills and experience. The best part of blogging is the interaction of readers and contributors. I have been doing it for nearly 3 years.

  7. I think blogging can be great, but unfortunately, your success is not really run by you, it is run by Google and the search engines. Most blogs get traffic from one search engine. If they do something wrong, they could lose it all overnight. I have seen it happen more times than I care to count. While blogging can be a good side business, the competition is super high, the return is usually very low (for most bloggers), and the time commitment is a lot more than most realize.

    • Hey Grayson, Yeah I definitely had one of my worst blogging moments when I got click bombed a few weeks back and couldn’t get in touch with anyone at Google to get my money back. That’s why I think it’s so important to diversify. Most of my income doesn’t exactly come from my blog itself, but opportunities I’ve gotten because of the blog, like staff writing, etc.

  8. I’ve got to agree with you here. Years before I started my blog I was considering all kinds of wacky side projects and businesses that I could start up, but all of them involved too much risk and capital investment. With blogging you have neither problem. All you really invest is your time. And eventually when you start to turn a profit, you don’t even really have to do that anymore (as you know with staff writers).

  9. I agree that blogging is a great opportunity to get to know others and hear their stories. I started blogging because I like to write, and I wanted to become a part of the PF community. I hope to help others with my experiences – as I am just starting out on my own, I have a lot to learn and a lot ahead of me such as possibly buying a house, marriage, investing, etc. and I hope everyone can learn something as I go along!

  10. I just do it for fun for the moment, if it turns into more then great.

  11. For me it’s a low cost hobby unless I really start to put some effort into it. I was inspired by all of the Personal Finance sites even though I’m blogging about career. PF blogs have helped me so much with my own life and money, I’m so glad there are so many quality blogs out there!

  12. Community is one of the most important things for me in blogging. It’s been great to be “surrounded” but a group of supportive folks who really “get” personal finance and living within their means.

  13. Alex @ Searching for Happy says:

    I started a blog as a venue to talk in and play around with, but it definitely has grown to something more. I have yet to make a lot of money off of it, but I’m starting to see the potential!

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