Starting a Blog as a Side-Business

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Running a blog is a hobby for many. However, a growing number of bloggers recognize the earning potential behind their words. It starts with affiliate links and continues with sponsorships and product tests. With an incredible number of niches, you’ve got a great opportunity to discuss your favourite topics and build a small business on the side. Here we go into the topic of what you need to know before starting and how you find a great and relevant name easily.

Before We Take Off: What Do You Need to Know?

There are a few good reasons to start your blog today. Here are a number of things to keep in mind before you take off:

Blogging Is Easier Than Other Options

Blogging is a simple way to drive attention to a cause or discuss your favorite topics. Unlike with podcasting or vlogging (“video blogging”), you don’t need any new hardware or software. Most likely your existing laptop will be sufficient. It’s also very kind on your wallet: running and hosting a blog involves almost no monetary costs.

No Wordpress Needed Anymore

If you’ve ever ran a WordPress blog before or had to use one as part of your work, you might remember the cruel user experience it brought. Those days are over. WordPress isn’t needed to run a blog anymore. You can simply use a basic template such as Hylia or ElevenTail to get started and host it for free on Netlify. If you are up for more or still just can’t let WordPress go, you can get very cheap hosting now.

Blogging and Social Media

Social Media has taken a strong hold on our daily lives. Smartly done, this can play into your hands. Optimize your posts with great social sharing images and post snippets on Twitter, Facebook and Co. A well-worded teaser can bring people over to your new blog. Never forget to include a link at the end of your posts!

What to Blog About and Where to Blog

There are still the questions of what to blog about and how to name your blog. Without a name, there is no blog and no domain name. Let’s start with the question of what you could blog about.

What should I blog about?

While you can write about anything, you should still consider what you want to blog about. Ideally, you want something that you are passionate about and is of commercial value. A great way is to check our unknown spending. If you check your regular expenses, you will quickly see what your “financial blindspot” is and what you’re spending money on without thinking. This is naturally a great topic to write about as you are most likely not the only one. For some, it might be food supplements to lift more weights at the gym and for others, it is their car. Only you can find out - consult your credit card statement for help!

How to Quickly Identify New Potential Names for Your Blog

Naming can be a challenge if you aren’t creative. Yet with a practical approach it doesn’t need to be. You can use Google to assist you in finding a good name for your new blog. Start with brainstorming terms and search for them + “terminology”. Any example for “food supplements terminology” looks like this:


Any of these pages comes with a glossary of commonly used terms:


These terms are great starting points. Browse the pages, shortlist terms you like and head over to Google Trends to see how active they are. Once you choose your favorites use a blog name checker to see which are actually available and run a safety check on your favorite. You have now successfully identified your new blog name!

Ensure you register the domain name. If you are in doubt about email, you can use - a cheap and secure email service similar to Google. Then it’s about time to configure your Netlify hosting to match the domain name - click on “Domain Settings” after you’ve deployed your free blog template. Follow any instructions on the website of the template to make sure you aren’t missing any crucial steps.

Bringing it together

As we have seen, the steps to starting a blog have got much easier and the incentives to write are still high. It makes sense to contribute a share of your time to blogging, be it as a hobby or as a side-business. Don’t forget to check your name properly before you commit.

Posted 5 May, 2020

Peter Thaleikis

Senior Software Engineer and Tech Writer

Former lead developer taking the leap into freelancing. Experience with a long list of technologies over the last decent. Mostly focused on Laravel and SilverStripe (both PHP-based) and VueJS and VanillaJS. Frontend experience with Bootstrap and TailwindCSS. I also like to write articles about technology and startups culture. Please see my website for references. I can assist with editing, negoti...

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