Hey everyone! I don’t write a whole lot about monetizing my blog, in part because it really hasn’t been a high priority for me. However, as with many personal finance bloggers, I do have a longer term goal of developing an online business platform. For me, this includes but also extends beyond Mystery Money Man.
My priority is and continues to be writing about stuff that I find interesting, in hopes that it will be of some help or inspiration to my readers. Often it’s money-related, other times I’m simply recounting my learnings in doing life as a people leader, husband and father.
Behind the scenes at Mystery Money Man, I’ve been laying the groundwork for an online business. It’s not something I’m racing ahead with, but rather taking more mindful steps, at a pace that I feel is right for me. I’m also not doing it alone, as I’ll explain later on.
I’ll be honest, as things are progressing, I’m realizing that the potential to build something pretty substantial is very real. I could choose to be more aggressive, and attempt to force things along, but that doesn’t feel like the right approach. There may come a time to go 100 miles/hour, but for right now, it’s slow and steady.
One thing I’ve realized is that I need to simplify. I’ve been spreading myself too thin, and it’s hurt my ability to focus on everything Mystery Money Man related. : ) That’s why I’ve decided to shut down an otherwise great side hustle for the time being.
DROPPING A GREAT SIDE HUSTLE
A few months ago, I wrote a post about how I decided to start a side hustle recording music. What began as a brief conversation with an up and coming singer/songwriter, turned into a full album, produced by yours truly, in my fairly well equipped home studio. We’re now finished tracking, and I’ll begin the mixing and mastering process this week.
At the time, I saw this as a fantastic side hustle opportunity. Imagine being able to make some pretty serious money doing something you’re passionate about, in the comfort of your own home.
Some of my favourite moments over the past couple of months have involved settling into the comfort of my studio chair on a Saturday morning, coffee in hand, ready to track some killer guitar or vocal tracks.
With this project nearing the finish line, there are plenty of reasons for me to look for the next recording gig, but I’ve decided to put this great side hustle on hold for the time being.
Before you chalk it up to craziness, here are a couple of reasons why:
IT’S TIME INTENSIVE
Ever tackle a home renovation? Have you noticed how finishing it always takes more time (and money) than originally planned, no matter how small the job?
The same can be said for recording music.
In the case of my current gig, it’s taken considerably longer than the time I’d budgeted for when we’d set out. There are a few reasons for this. For starters, the project grew in scope as we went. More songs were added, as well as the number of instrument and vocal tracks. I even added a string section to a couple of tunes. : )
If music was my only side hustle, that would be ok. After all, it’s been an enormous amount of fun! But recording music isn’t my only focus, which leads to my next point.
IT’S CREATED CONFLICTING PRIORITIES
You really can have too much of a good thing.
The time I’m spending recording music is a blast, but it’s conflicting with other things that are really important to me, including this blog. For example, I’ve found it more difficult to maintain a regular posting schedule over the past couple of months because of the hours I’ve been logging in the studio.
I can make more money in the short term by recording music. However, I’m more interested in building a scalable online business, as it offers far more earning potential over the long term.
I’m sure I’ll take on more recording jobs in the future, but it’s gotta make sense. If someone comes along with a manageable project and an offer I can’t refuse, I’ll take it. The great thing about this side hustle is that there’s not a lot of prep involved. In other words, I can hit the start button with ease.
For now, I’ll stick with creating music purely for the love of music. I’ve got a couple of projects to keep me busy, which includes finishing a few of my own songs, and experimenting with some new material. Best of all, there’s no time pressure, I can go at my own pace!
BUILDING AN ONLINE BUSINESS – THE GROUNDWORK
When I launched MMM, I began spending a lot of time reading other blogs. There are so many great writers out there producing incredible content, and I’ve become a huge fan of many of them.
One thing I noticed, however, was that a lot of sites lacked a strong brand presence. In fact, many blogs didn’t even have a logo, and most that did, well….they left a lot to be desired.
I found that really surprising, as having a strong brand is so important for any successful business. Brand recognition lends to the credibility, quality and professionalism of any business, even a blog.
In other words, when it comes to blogging, quality content is #1, but projecting a great brand image isn’t far behind.
DID I HEAR A FIVERR IN THERE?
What I also noticed was that a lot of blogger’s gravitate to sites like Fiverr to fulfill their logo design needs. While I’m not saying you can’t get a decent logo via Fiverr, there are far more misses than hits.
In short, you get what you pay for, in every way.
I chatted about this with my friend Jay, who happens to be a fantastic designer. Not only is he a close friend, we’ve also worked together on a number of creative ventures in the past, including Mystery Money Man.
I told Jay that I’d noticed a need for high quality logo design services within the blogosphere.
We came up with the idea of creating a logo design firm which could fill the void between large, impersonal (and costly) design houses, and sites like Fiverr, which offer very little in regards to quality and service.
I left the idea with Jay, and he ran with it. In a very short period of time, BroGoLogo was born.
The business model is very simple. Top quality logo design; simple, straightforward pricing, and an unparalleled service experience.
Within the few months BroGoLogo has been up and running, we’ve had an opportunity to create logos for a number of websites, as well as bricks and mortar businesses. The feedback we’ve received has been incredibly positive. We’ve even worked with some fantastic blogs, such as Get Rich Quickish, The Pearly Pig, and Building-Income.
As the main design guy, Jay is the driving force behind BroGoLogo. I provide input into some of the design work, as well as help with business development, but my primary focus remains Mystery Money Man.
YOUR BLOG IS A MONEY MAKING PLATFORM
One of the things I learned about blogging early on, is that your blog is a money making platform. So don’t limit your income potential to things like sponsored posts, Google Adsense, and affiliate links.
Grant, over at Millennial Money has some fantastic content related to this topic, and his site never ceases to inspire. While Mystery Money Man and BroGoLogo are still very much at the ground floor, Millennial Money is making national headlines for creating wealth by building a diverse online business platform, including a myriad of effective side hustles. What he’s accomplished is nothing short of incredible.
For the time being, the sole focus of BroGoLogo is logo design. But the real potential lies elsewhere. Many of the same clients looking for a great logo, are also in need of many other, related services. Digital marketing, social media management, help with SEO and consultation on blogging or personal finances, you name it.
It’s where BrogoLogo and MMM intersect.
At this point, it’s just groundwork. We really haven’t accomplished anything yet. But the foundation is being laid, the support systems are being built. It’s pretty exciting stuff!
If you know someone who might be interested in a great logo for their business, their band or their blog, send them over to BroGoLogo.com to get in touch with us.
You can also email me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information, and I’ll steer you in the right direction!
Last but certainly not least, I’ve gotta give a big shout out to J.Money and his crew over at Rockstar Finance, for inviting BroGoLogo to be a part of their Rockstar Designer Directory. If you have a few minutes, head on over to check out the profile!
23 thoughts on “HOW I’M LAYING THE GROUNDWORK FOR AN ONLINE BUSINESS”
Thanks for the inspiration about taking a blog to next level. Yes this is a great idea about the logo venture! Online Marketplace are changing the way we work. Looking forward to hear more about your experience with building this new idea.
Thanks so much, Jan! I’ll definitely provide updates as things progress. : )
Congrats on getting those side hustles in order! I think it’s a good thing that you’re having to choose between different avenues of online income. It’s all about picking what you love, too. 🙂
Hey Mrs. P! I agree, sometimes you’ve got to decide between some pretty great options. I guess it’s a good problem to have. Lots of work to do though, we’ll see how things go!
With a recording studio like you’ve got, maybe there is a future in podcasting? Or engineering a podcast? Hell, maybe even vlogging if you’ve got a camera as well?
I was just DM’img with someone today about you and Jay. Hopefully they’ll reach out to you soon!
Still loving my logo! My next project for you guys is to come up with a killer design that would look great on a hoodie or t-shirt. I’ll be reaching out when I’ve got a better idea of what it is I’m looking for.
Hey Ty! A podcast is definitely on my list of future projects, down the road at some point. Man, we’d love the challenge of a clothing graphic design.
Thanks for mentioning us by the way, hopefully they’ll reach out!
Regarding the logo venture, how are you going to compete against guys from e.g. India who charge $5 an hour?
Hey Troy, thanks for reading! There will always be folks who are content with a $5 or $10 logo, which is perfectly fine. But if someone is serious about the potential to market their business or blog, the value add is well worth the additional $$$ investment. There are a few distinct advantages with our model. First, we aim to provide a much higher level of service, and I think we deliver on that. We take a collaborative approach, working closely with the client to ensure their vision is captured in the design.
With our “pro” package, the final product is delivered in formats that can be transferred to much larger applications. In other words, if you want your logo on a tee shirt, posters, heck, even a billboard, we’ve got you covered. : )
So far, the majority of clients are actually opting for the more expensive “pro” package, which surprised me at first, but I think they recognize the value add. To me, it’s further evidence that there’s a strong market opportunity.
For those who only intend to use their logo for web applications, our entry level package fits the bill. So far, so good. 🙂
Sounds like you have a good idea. I don’t really understand why people use 99designs, which costs upwards of $300 per logo.
Congratulations on making a choice to focus your energy on BroGoLogo and the expansion. Building a business that is scalable makes perfect sense and you sound excited about it. Good luck to you!
Thanks, Mrs. G! When you’re someone who has a lot of interests, its very easy to get distracted. It’s a constant battle. : )
That’s awesome, MMM! Sometimes it works best to focus on one thing at a time. It’s great that you can start and stop your recording side hustle at any time – the perfect side hustle, in my opinion. Congrats on getting BroGoLogo off the ground – sounds like it’s got a fantastic start! 🙂
Thanks Amanda! I agree, it’s hard for me not to want to dive into absolutely everything. Restraint. It’s a novel concept!
Awesome job on BroGoLogo – I checked out the site and it looks awesome!
Thanks Chris! New projects on the go all the time, the response has been super positive!
Interesting path and frankly a pretty wide open market. If it turns out well I suspect you’ll have a lot of bloggers at your door step. Also it sounds like while it’ll have a slower start it’s more scalable then your existing business.
I’m definitely seeing the potential. Things seem to unfold as you make progress, it’s a cool experience.
Being the owner of a small business website these suggestions will help me out to stand out my business in crowd. Thanks for writing such an informative blog.
Thanks Eric, you’ve got a pretty great looking site!
Thanks.. Means a lot!
Just like companies don’t want all of their profit to come from one item, it’s smart to diversity product lines. This is the same for our portfolios/ stock sectors, etc. It can also be said about any passive income stream. Don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket, so having multiple sites to lay the overall foundation will lead to more success in the future. Works out even better because you have already built up the following with MMM so it will be easier to generate leads and potential customers in the new venture. Looking forward to seeing your progress.
Thanks! It’ll be interesting to see where things lead!