I get a lot of emails from ladies who are in the beginning stages of starting a side hustle that fits their passion and aligns with their ideal life. In fact, over half of them say something like:
I love what you’re doing on Happy Black Woman, how can I do that, too?
The problem is, most people mistakenly think that this blog IS my business, when it is certainly NOT. I love writing here to document my own journey and encourage other women along in their path. That’s my main motivation for maintaining the site. What keeps it a priority on my list to be here every day is that I have also been able to earn a little bit of money from helping people through my work here.
This Blog is Not a Business
The blog itself? Nah, it’s not a business. And neither is yours.
I have a few advertisements and affiliate links on this site, but the revenue is hit or miss. Unreliable, but nice when a check comes in. My real business is writing, speaking, coaching, training, consulting. That has never changed. I get paid for my writing when I sell books and ebooks. I get paid when nonprofits and associations hire me to come speak at their conferences. I get paid when people book a coaching session with me to get clarity around their career, business or personal growth. I get paid to conduct workshops and webinars on leadership, career development, and social media. I get paid to help professionals build their personal brands for career advancement. I get paid to help entrepreneurs and small business owners develop their online marketing strategy.
Those are the products and services that I’m selling. My main site (along with this blog) allows me promote myself as someone who adds value to people’s lives through information and inspiration. In turn, that leads to more clients and customers. Same thing with my Twitter accounts and Facebook pages. They all serve a purpose in helping me sell myself so I can help more people and fulfill my personal mission.
How This Applies to You
If you want to build a successful business on the side – or turn your side hustle into your full-time hustle, you have to be very clear on what you’re selling. You want to create a website like mine? Fine. (Here’s my free ebook on how to start a blog.) Write to help people. Write to share your story and inspire others. Just remember that you cannot sell motivation alone. If you’re using it to promote your business, then your blog has to be a vehicle for something that actually brings in money.
Figure out what you’re selling. (Here’s a post I wrote on how to define your side hustle.) Then use your blog to promote your products or services to people who might be interested in buying.
Does this make sense to you? Is there anything I can clarify further about this process?