Tag Archives: lifestyle blog

3 Things to Remember When Your Blog Becomes a Side Hustle

3 things to remember when your blog is your side hustle[* This post may contain affiliate links — because my blog is my side hustle!! ūüėČ ]

Congratulations! Your blog has graduated from a fun hobby and creative outlet to something that is pulling in a bit of money on the side. This is an amazing development! But now what???

If you’ve decided to roll with it and turn your much-loved baby blog into a full-fledged side hustle, there are a few things to keep in mind.¬†¬†Blogging can be a fun way to make some extra cash, but only if you’re prepared to put in a fair amount of work. While Finding Delight is by no means my full time job, I do consider it profitable enough to be included in the lil pie chart in my brain that is titled “work.” Unfortunately, there are a lot of resources out their for folks lookin’ to turn their lifestyle blog into the whole dang pie but not that many for those of us who are happy with keeping it at a good, hearty slice.¬†

With that in mind, here are a few things I wish I had implemented as soon as I decided to consider my blog a money-making side hustle…

Keep It Separate

First, successful blogging is just one chunk of your life. So it needs it’s own chunk of time! Schedule dedicated time for your blog that is separate from the hours you need for your main income source but also separate from your home life, too. It took me awhile to get a hang of this and I would often let blog stuff leak into both realms. My saving grace in this department was definitely my perfect planner. This thing lets me schedule my day down to the half hour–which might sound crazy to some! But if I can see where in the week I have “blog work” scheduled (always highlighted in a pretty pink!), I’m less likely to pop into WordPress when I should be working or email that company back when I’d rather be hanging out with my husband.¬†

Making Time For You

I think there’s a tendency among bloggers to stack their plates too high. When something that started out as a hobby becomes a part-time job, it can be hard to reconceptualize. It doesn’t feel like work. However, you might find that there is great potential and power in slowing down and allowing some time for yourself. Last week I didn’t put up a single blog post because I wanted to give my full attention to a new project I was really excited about. And that’s ok! Sure there are things I do, like affiliate linking, that allow my site to make money without me around. But for the most part, I just don’t worry about it anymore. Think about this time away from blogging as the space in which content can be born! You allow yourself time to read books, or play games¬†(www.finalfantasyxvapp.com#home), or travel, or bake a cake…whatever it is that you enjoy…and then you’ll have these rich experiences and opinions to share with your readers later!

Know The Reader

If there is anything that means success in the literary world, it is the ability to know your readers well, inside and out. And the same goes for blogging – if you can make sure that you really have a strong grasp of your audience, then you will be able to provide enjoyable and useful content. This becomes a careful balance when your blog is a side-hustle. You might start to feel pulled in a lot of directions. I know I did. You want to create the content you enjoy creating…but also get paid to do so by brands. You want your friends and family to continue stopping by…but you also want to grow your audience to include new folk. I put new posts to the test with a series of questions:
(In order of importance)
Will I enjoy creating this?
Will the readers I currently have gain something from this?
Can I optimize or monetize in some way?
Could this encourage new folk to join my tribe?

Any blogging-as-side-hustle hopefuls out there? I’d love to hear your questions, challenges, or thoughts! ‚̧
And bloggers who already have this blogging-for-biz thing nailed down — What would you tell someone just starting out on this journey? xoxo

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Everything You Need to Know to Find Your Blogging Niche

*This post may contain affiliate links.*

Finding your blogging niche is one of the best and most powerful ways to grow your audience and start making a profit from your little corner of the internet. Admittedly, I’m interested in LOTS of things (you probably are too) and I’m still working on whittling down what I include on my blog. However, over the years I’ve come to realize that my posts about books, career, travel/packing, and life management systems (like capsule wardrobes and meal plans) perform the best…and not just that…I enjoy creating them, too. They’ve become my own lil “lifestyle” niche! Sure there are other things I’d love to write and share about. But they’re better left outside of Finding Delight.¬†

So, what are some of the steps I took to find this mystical niche? Read on for everything you need to know.

I Looked Closely At My Interests And Passions

To find your niche, you first need to look closely at your interests and passions. You‚Äôll feel far more fulfilled when what you’re researching and writing and SHARING align with what you love. So, one thing I did when trying to find my blogging niche was write out a MASSIVE LIST of everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) that I was interested in, passionate about, or enjoyed doing/researching. Then, I went in with a few highlighters to start identifying some themes.¬†

I Looked At My Skills and Talents (And My Weaknesses Too!)

Next, I evaluated my skills and talents to figure out how to best use them for creating blog content. Of course you should love your niche, but you need to be good at it too. For example, there are a lot of systems I’ve successfully put into practice in my own life to eliminate decision fatigue. I would say I’m skilled at creating them. So I started working them into my blog posts. Not just because I enjoy coming up with them but I’m good at it.

Finding your niche means knowing your weaknesses, too. I love the idea of posting elaborate recipes on my blog (I even did a fair amount of recipe posts back in the day) but I’m just not that great of a cook. I don’t have the patience for taking process photos as I create a dish because cooking itself is already taking up all my concentration. I don’t enjoy it because I’m not that great at it! (I do think there are some exceptions to this wherein you blog about something you want to learn about a la Julie and Julia or if you’re charting a fitness journey. But overall I’d say steer clear of finding a niche based on a weakness.)

I Figured Out What Problems I Could Solve For Other People

I started to think about what problems people were facing and how my blog posts might be able to solve them. Now I know this sounds high and mighty but think about it! When you type something into the search bar of Google, what are you looking for? Usually a solution, right? It might be how to DIY a really expensive piece you fell in love with at Anthropologie or home remedies for seasonal allergies or even the answer to some obscure celebrity-gossip query.

Solving problems for people is a key aspect of your niche. It’s also an almost guaranteed way to increase readership. (When people are searching on Google or Pinterest for an answer–they might just click on YOUR solution!) But I also wanted to take current readers into consideration when evaluating the type of problems I could solve.¬†

I’ve conducted two reader surveys on my blog over the years. Both of which asked readers to answer,

“What challenges or frustrations are you facing in your life right now?”

Many of their answers went on to become topics I tackled in future blog posts!

[Related: Librarians solve people’s problems every day! USC has an awesome library science degree if this is a path that speaks to you beyond the world of blogging –¬† learn more on their website.]

I Learned From My Competition

Your competition can be used to your advantage. When identifying my specific niche within lifestyle blogging, I began to look at other blogs less as something to emulate and more for what I could do differently than them. What could I do better? Not really in a competitive way…or in a wishing them ill-will sorta way. But my life experience and expertise and passion are uniquely mine. So my niche and my blog should be uniquely mine, too! I want ALL of our blogs to succeed because of who we are and what we love. Not because we’re trying to tick a bunch of boxes of what a blog “should” include. Make sense?

I Constantly Experiment

When you think you’ve figured out your niche, run tests and experiments. No one needs to know about these tests and experiments…they’re just for you!¬†They will help you to figure out whether your ideas are something that should be pursued in the long term. Whether your readers will love it, if your traffic will grow, and most importantly, if you will enjoy it. If you find some posts in the new niche are meeting all of the above — take note! And then look into ways you can double down on that sort of content.¬†

But don‚Äôt be afraid to drop something that hasn‚Äôt worked and move on to the next experiment. You might decide you want to start reviewing brunch locations everywhere you travel to…and then find you’ve started resenting an activity you once enjoyed. Or what about a crochet tutorial that you spend hours photographing and uploading…only to find it got 5 views?¬†

Not everything will work, but you won’t know until you try! And you can always move on to the next great idea!

What steps did you take to find your blogging niche? Any content ideas you love in theory but just didn’t work in practice? SPILL!¬†

Blog Love: I Can’t Get Enough Of These 5 Blogs

favorite blogs

My Bloglovin feed is ever growing but there are a few tried and trues I return to again and again. If you don’t already follow these five, I think you’ll love them too! Have a nose around and let me know if you find a new favorite.

Reading My Tea Leaves
www.readingmytealeaves.com

Why I love it:¬†The site has such a beautiful, calming aesthetic. I could literally scroll through all day and never tire of the bright, crisp images. The posts focus on simplicity and practical ways to live a more sustainable life. Areas in which I’m always willing to listen and attempt to incorporate.

Why YOU will love it: Erin is an amazing writer and photo stylist. [She even has a beautiful book to prove it!] Reading Tea Leaves is a happy marriage of these two skills with a nice balance of writing-driven posts and image-driven posts.

Posts for your reading pleasure: Simple Stuff: Hangers, Floral Ice Cubes You Should Not Make, My Week in Objects Series, Out and About: Seattle, and Habit Shift: Dinner Outside.

And Then We Saved
www.andthenwesaved.com

Why I love it:¬†Budget based content is some of my favorite to read. It might be a strange topic of interest but I always find helpful information and inspiration when perusing ¬†this budget blog. (Plus, there’s such a sense of “we’re all in this together and by this I mean the rough world where stuff is hella expensive”. Ya feel me?) Bonus: I’m a sucker for a great list post and Anna writes some great list posts.

Why YOU will love it:¬†If you want to ball on a budget, and who doesn’t really, you will find some great tips and hacks for doing so.

Posts for your reading pleasure: Spending Fasters Series, How to Grow an Organic Garden on a Tight Budget, 29 Ways to Make Money, 17 Ways to be Happier (Because Feeling Down is Costly), and How a Zero-Waste Lifestyle Leads to Saving Money.

A Cup of Jo
www.cupofjo.com

Why I love it:¬†I started reading A Cup of Jo when I was too poor to afford internet in my apartment so I would go to work early to read posts from the archives until I caught up with real time. (I’m nothing if not a VERY dedicated blog reader.) IMHO, Joanna is the best in the biz when it comes to lifestyle bloggers.

Why YOU will love it:¬†The daily content is truly “lifestyle” with a healthy mix of home, beauty, travel, design, and relationships. There’s literally something for everyone! Plus, a great collection of series that will leave you begging for more!

Posts for your reading pleasure: 8 Great Gifts for Hosts, Packing for Vacation, A Week of Outfits Series, How to Avoid Panty Lines and Other Reader Questions, and Motherhood Around the World Series.

Yes and Yes
www.yesandyes.org

Why I love it:¬†Posts on Yes and Yes always bring some sort of REAL value to my life — and in all sorts of arenas too! Everything from self-care to business, road trips to balancing spending¬†and¬†happiness.

Why YOU will love it:¬†Sarah‘s writing style feels like you’re listening to a BFF and not just someone you found on the internet. Plus, the site features fantastic interviews and time-suckingly wonderful link round-ups.

Posts for your reading pleasure:¬†True Story Series, How to Chase Your Dreams Without Hating Your Life, Mini Travel Guide: Georgia (The Country!), 9 Train Travel Tips You Didn’t Know, and My 5-Second Money Saving Trick.

Budget Bytes
www.budgetbytes.com

Why I love it:¬†Simply put, I love a good food blog…and I especially love a good food blog that ALSO¬†ticks my ballin’ on a budget box! The budget-lovin’ nerd in me is obsessed with the cost break-downs on each recipe.

Why YOU will love it:¬†Budget Bytes features tasty recipes that turn out delicious no matter your income. Plus, each post includes tons of great step-by-step photos so you’re way less likely to mess up the recipe. Score!

Posts for your reading pleasure: Sweet Potato Grain Bowls with Green Tahini Sauce, One Pot Bacon Broccoli Mac and Cheese, 5-Minute Microwave French Toast Mug, Spicy Baked Black Bean Nachos, and Lemon Poppyseed Two-Bite Scones.

What are some of YOUR favorite blogs???