Blogging As A Side Business

I have been following many personal finance bloggers closely for almost two years. One thing that impresses me about them is their persistence, sincerity, and life goals.

They definitely inspired me to start my own website and focus specifically on personal finance.

I have heard many bloggers complain about people who just want to blog for money.

Many of the popular bloggers started out not thinking about money and eventually made a name for themselves. I really admire them for that.

However, what I don’t agree with is their resistance to others wanting to make money from their blogs.

I understand that if you start doing something just to make money and have no interest in it, chances are it won’t last every long.

However, when someone wants to start a business, I wonder if their first thought is just to do what they like first and not think about profits at all.

I currently work full-time at a nonprofit job that I’m passionate about. I believe in the work and mission of the organization which I think mirrors my ultimate goals in life.

Yet, there’s always an urge in me to start my own business. I want to do that on the side to test out and develop my entrepreneurial skills. Below are the criteria I’ve set for my business:

1. It needs to require a low level of capital, at least in the beginning. 

I don’t want to start out with an alarming concern about when I will be able to make enough revenue to offset the cost of operation. After all, I don’t have a lot of money to begin with.

2. The schedule needs to be flexible.

I want to maintain and do well at my full-time job. I don’t want the pressure of the side business to distract me from my career.

3. There needs to be no hard deadlines. 

I don’t want the added stress of deadlines and clients’ demands from the side business. I had multiple deadlines in college, grad school and at my current job. While deadlines do motivate me, they sometimes make me sleepless at night.

4. It needs to be something I’m passionate about and can pursue with joy. 

Who wants to have a business that they dread every day? Not me. I want to do something that I care deeply about. That’s the only way I can persevere during tough times and make life more enjoyable and rewarding. My full-time job already gives me a large part of that fulfillment. What else do I care about every single day? It’s frugality.

5. It needs to be something I’m good at. 

What I’m good at and went to grad school for, I’m already doing it at my job. One thing that a lot of people have complimented me on is my writing.

I have to admit that I don’t really like writing. When I write a paper or a report, it’s something I feel like I have to do and get out of the way to move on to the next task. However, I always try to do it well and in the best way I can. I just don’t do a haphazard job of something to get it over with.

Writing for leisure, however, is different. It’s a perfect way for me to organize my thoughts and express my opinion to a large audience.

6. It needs to be useful for other people. 

I don’t want to start a business that disadvantages other people or runs at their expense. It needs to provide people with what they need to improve their lives. After all, I myself don’t want to deal with people don’t give a second thought about my well-being.

7. It needs to fill a niche. 

The world is already full of business ideas and successful businesses. What makes me stand out from the rest?

One thing I noticed about personal finance bloggers is that most of them are white Americans. I tried long and hard to look up Asian personal finance (PF) bloggers, but the ones I knew of prior to starting my own blog were only:

— Saving The Crumbs by Al and Deb

— MakeLove,NotDebt by a anonymous couple (the husband is Asian, and the wife is white)

Wallet Hacks by Jim Wang

MyWifeQuitHerJob by Steve Chou

Most of the Asian PF bloggers, however, are males. I’d love to read more about female Asian bloggers who are also passionate about saving money and investing.

Conclusion

And the winner idea for my side business was blogging.

I am passionate about frugality. I have even contemplated getting a license to be a financial advisor. However, for now, blogging about personal finance will suffice. I need to know whether my approach to personal finance can be beneficial to others.

My blog, Frugal Asian Finance, is currently not monetized. I plan to focus on building content on the blog and trust from the audience before making any business decisions. Whether the site can turn into a successful business or not, I will keep it as a narrative of my journal to financial freedom and share it with the world.

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10 thoughts on “Blogging As A Side Business”

  • Hmmmm…I have been thinking of creating my own blog lately. I really got into personal finance the last couple of years by reading lots of blogs like yours, always looking at my finances and getting into investing. I just don’t know if I have enough material to write. =/

    • It’s great you are thinking about starting a blog. You should definitely give it a try. I hesitated to blog for years partly for that same reason. But after I started blogging, ideas just came flooding in!

      I hope you will start one soon. I will be one of your first readers! ^.^

  • I’m with you- I don’t understand why people have an issue with bloggers wanting to make time off their blogs. I spend more than 10 hours a week on my blog in addition to my full-time job and it’d be nice to see some financial reward come from it. I think people tend to get upset when the posts start becoming more “pay me!!” rather than offering genuine advice.

  • Interesting thought Ms FAF. I think monetizing is a really good way to improve your work and yourself. I don’t monetize yet either but I would feel the need to pump out extra good content, to the EXTRA mile if I was just because this isn’t just a hobby now. Level up!! 🙂

  • I always caution people about monetizing right away. When I first became interested in blogging, I saw all of the “I made 16518168161 dollars online this month” blogs, so I jumped on board.

    I wanted to blog, might as well make some cash.

    It technically worked, the blog is the biggest piece of my writing portfolio. As far as ads on the blog, I’ve made less than ten bucks and I don’t have the readership to make a course or anything else viable.

    The old timers are right. It takes a year+ to get to that point. Like you, writing is something I enjoy. Finding a way to make money, even though it’s indirectly, has been awesome.

    Find what works for you and pounce on it like first person to message your okcupid profile.

  • I’ve been thinking about writing a blog post such as this.

    Some interesting things have happened since I started my blog. I’ve had some friends come ask me for help in person and online. Now I have even more incentive to write.

    This is is the advantage of not writing anonymously.

    • I’m glad blogging has been working out well for you so far. Sometimes I also want to reveal my identity but decided not to for many reasons, among which is my current and future jobs. Maybe one day! 🙂

  • I agree 100% with this post. In fact, it’s also my long-term goal with my blog. As long as you’re still providing valuable posts for your readers, I don’t think it’s wrong to want to monetize your blog. Afterall, as PF bloggers we encourage others to diversify their income. If you can make money doing something you love, I think that should not only be supported, but encouraged!

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