Author Topic: How to turn a blog into a successful side gig?  (Read 1505 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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How to turn a blog into a successful side gig?
« on: October 29, 2017, 09:31:36 AM »
Hi guys,

Does anybody have a blog that they have been able to turn into a successful side gig?

We just started a blog about our journey to FIRE and wondering if we can also turn into a successful side gig.

[MOD EDIT: Spam Link Removed.]

(As per the guidelines, link will be removed as soon as we get the feedback we are looking for)

We have experience with successful side gigs:

-A consulting business
-A tax prep side gig
-A product we launched a couple years ago

All of which bring in $400K+/year (together with our 9-5 jobs).

But we have no experience whatsoever with blogging.  So if anybody has any tips on how to turn a blog into a successful side gig, please share those tips with us.

« Last Edit: October 29, 2017, 09:35:13 PM by arebelspy »


  • Magnum Stache
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Re: How to turn a blog into a successful side gig?
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2017, 10:37:18 PM »
Option 1: Get super, duper, ultra, mega, extremely lucky and turn it into a $400k/yr lucrative income like a certain MMM.

Option 2: Use your blog to promote yourself as an expert in something or other, and leverage that to generate side income.

Option 3: No clue, any other ideas?


Option 1 is unlikely, especially in the FIRE space.  MMM was early, abrasive, and unusual in the space - and also lucky.

Option 2 is my approach, and it's certainly been profitable for me, though hardly enough to let me retire.  My blog (see sig) directly generates "beer money" - I'm happy with $20-$30/mo on average in direct income, though this tends to go up over time.  It's remarkably hard for me to identify trends in traffic as over half my blog's total traffic is one particular post (front paged Reddit with my office build summary), and the decaying impact of this post dominates a lot of other trends.

That said, my blog indirectly generates an awful lot of income for me, as it establishes me, quite comfortably, as a world expert in things I work with - battery packs for electric bikes, in particular, but also off grid solar and general battery knowledge.  I'm more likely to curl up with a set of research papers in the evening than a TV show.

The side income is in the form of battery pack rebuilds (this is tapering off a bit as a few other people are in the space, but that's fine with me as I'm honestly really tired of building battery packs and obey the shipping regulations, which I think some other people rather ignore, and my goal is sustainability, not specifically personal income here), writing gigs (I had my first paid article in Make Magazine recently), and similar projects.  I'm looking to establish some other lines of product in my particular area of expertise, and my blog (hosted for free on Blogger - which handled a huge, huge spike in traffic without any problems on my end) serves as the advertising for that sort of stuff.  No SEO needed - my content is my SEO.

So it's useful from that perspective, but I don't expect to be pulling in a few hundred grand a year off it any time soon - I'm simply not playing in the right spaces for that.  I'm also not doing video, which seems to be the way to get lots of subscribers.  I don't like video for conveying most information, I don't make a general habit of using it (I'll put it in posts where it makes sense, but I am entirely opposed to stream of consciousness teardowns and the like), and I'll stick with text and photos, because I enjoy it more, and because I feel it's a dying art form on the modern internet.  I wrote something like 40k words on the operation of a particular type of drone (I really should convert that into an ebook), and laugh at my terror over a few thousand word essay back in school.

But, in general, jumping into a heavily overpopulated space (early retirement blogs were novel a decade ago, getting popular 5 years ago, and are obscenely common now) doesn't seem to be a useful path for a blog - to me.  I'm sure some people will prove me wrong and succeed in that space, but it seems to require an awful lot of what I'd consider "selling out" and whoring out your page space for credit card signups, loan reconsolidation services, and the like.  I'll post affiliate eBay links for things I've used, but I've no interest (or readership) for offering the highly profitable financial services.


  • Walrus Stache
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Re: How to turn a blog into a successful side gig?
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2017, 01:34:10 AM »
Do you really need to remind everyone that you make $400k a year in every post of yours?

Well done on doing that, but it's getting tiring mate.


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: How to turn a blog into a successful side gig?
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2017, 10:34:57 AM »
I know what you are saying Marty but it's so amazing and they are so proud, it's constantly on their mind. I used to do that type of thing all the time and sometimes I still catch myself doing it. I don't think they mean to brag, they are just proud; and with good reason.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: How to turn a blog into a successful side gig?
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2017, 01:18:00 PM »
Are you a writer? If so it is possible to make some income on a blog.

He is my 2 cents... and its worth more then 2 cents since I have been a developer for internet marketers for over 10 years. I worked for Joel Comm when he wrote Adsense Code and I am the developer who made Deal of Day and Word Village. Both of which were generating over $700 a day and sold in the seven figures. I was there when Mike Filsaime was killing it and several others.

No... I have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars of other peoples money and the only one making money was me and the writers. 15 years ago you could get in early and own the game as Joel Comm. He made a killing off the books and selling of the domain's. To get Deal of Day making $700 a day he had a staff of about 10. The site covered payroll and a few other attempts.

Do not, and I mean do not starting reading books on making money online and think your going to make money online. It is very difficult and will only work if your best friend and college buddy specializes in traffic. The internet marketers write those product because it is the products that make the real money. You sell the book and get the lead then sell them more stuff.

If you are a gifted writer, then yes you can make money. And you don't need your blog to do it. Sure write in your blog daily. Try to get some good traffic flow and then sale ad blocks. But that wont be the real money.

The real money is in affiliate products. Currently the going rate for a conversion is about $65. When you see a free trail on the internet you can bet that the affiliate getting you there made around $65 or will make around that when you buy. The company knows that they can get about $120 per customer. So if you buy and they lose the $65 on the front end they will make it back on upsell and email promotions. People just don't get this starting out. That number changes but its a good basis. If your not getting $120 per customer then your lower and you need to look at why. If you getting more your doing something right.

If you can write, be the affiliate. Take the front end money and you will make more. Find a product you know something about on affialite sites like clickbank and jvzoo. There are many of these... they key is finding a product you can write about and relate to. Then go to forums, facebook groups, facebook pages, your blog and other blogs and talk about. Then put your link to get you paid. You will make more money. The issue is everyone thinks they can do this and really almost no one can write. If they can write that great copy then they make more as a copy writer or writing books.

Play with it... don't put a lot of money it. Start writing and building you site then get people to optin. You have to find a way to build the organic traffic. Buying traffic is way harder then people think.

It is possible... but harder and harder every day. To many companies have a staff of 20 working on there blog every day. Im one of them. I make a nice living to manage a blog and the company sales funnels. Staff is around 25. Company makes very little off the blog if any. The blog makes the company look more legit. We make our money of products specifically supplements.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2017, 01:19:53 PM by frenchsquared »