The 4-Step Process to Starting a Content Business Alongside Your Day Job

A guide to get you one step closer to financial independence with your own business.

The 4-Step Process to Starting a Content Business Alongside Your Day Job
A picture I clicked while writing this article (Image by the author)

A guide to get you one step closer to financial independence with your own business.

I’m writing this article from a beautiful cafe in Bali.

I’ve spent fifteen beautiful days exploring a new country by myself. I’ve chased waterfalls, hiked at midnight to watch beautiful sunrises from mountain tops, and spent hours making friends wiht stray dogs on the beach. I’ve tried incredible new cuisines, walked through tiny artisan markets in the evenings, and witnessed exotic fire dances native to this land.

Throughout this trip, all I have in my heart is gratitude. 

Gratitude that through all my hard work over the past few years, I could carve out a life for myself where I get to take holidays without asking anyone for permission. That my business is automated to such an extent that I keep making money even when I’m out having new experiences.

Today is the last day of this adventure, and I chose to spend a few hours in a cafe writing an article so I can help you create a life this for yourself too.

Warren Buffett famously said, “Never depend on a single income.”

In 2023, with the global economic situation, it’s crucial to have multiple income sources. Mass layoffs have taught us that our hard-earned, high-paying jobs aren’t as secure as before.

Having your own business, especially content business, on the side is easier today — all thanks to social media.

If you’ve been fiddling with the idea of owning a content business, here’s a note for you: right now is the right time. The internet is abuzz with guides, courses, and tips to help you upskill and achieve your dream life.

Here’s a 4-step process to starting a content business in 2023 while working a full-time job:

Step 1: Start writing

The very first step towards building your content business is to start writing. Whether you want to sell a digital product or collaborate with professionals to create something, you need to practice writing.

I began my content business unintentionally by writing answers on Quora. 2x Top Writer badges later, I diversified to Medium, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Twitter.

The nature of writing changes, but the craft remains constant.

You’ve to learn how different platforms work and build a personal brand by writing valuable content. To achieve this, practice the following consistently:

  • Choose topics of your interest and authority and start writing on them.
  • In any niche of your choice, share your opinions on the existing system and upcoming transformations to the industry.
  • Guide others who are just getting started in your field of expertise.

This way, you can establish thought leadership and gather readership while working full-time.

When you build an army of people who are waiting to read what you write next, you gain the superpower of being heard. This community will support you and treat you like an authority.

I chose to be one of the 100 million Medium users to share my insights on productivity, entrepreneurship, and being a writer in 2023. I prefer to write on Medium because:

  • Medium has a domain rank of 94, which means your article can rank higher on search results when you implement good SEO practices. The formula is simple: higher rank = more readership without active marketing.
  • Medium articles float on the internet long after you’ve hit the “publish” button. Every time someone searches for relevant keywords, my article will pop up to give them insights and make me money.

You should chalk down your expectations from a writing platform and decide which social media platform serves it the best.

LinkedIn is currently promoting new content creators heavily, so if your business aligns with the LinkedIn audience, start writing there. For long-form content, Medium and Substack are great choices. Twitter can be your go-to platform if you’re great with one-liner tweets or explanatory threads. Conduct preliminary research on different platforms and start writing.

In case you’re struggling to build a daily writing habit, my journey of writing 30 articles every month with a day job can help you.

Step 2: Leverage data

Once you’ve started writing online, you should focus on the statistics and data.

Most writers make a detailed 6-month content plan and stick to it, no matter what. While their consistency is commendable, blindly churning out new content can be counterproductive.

Within a week of online writing, your platform will show detailed stats of how your pieces are performing. Analyze which topics gather traffic and see what your audience wants from you.

For example, you’re writing on two themes: productivity and mental health.

Maybe your productivity pieces are going slow, but the mental health content gets reshares and comments. The engagement rate is higher on them. People reach out to you to discuss more about what you write. Sometimes, they even comment with topic suggestions they want to read next. This is a clear indication of what your audience expects from you.

Establish an intersection between what your readers want and what you enjoy writing. Keep visiting the stats and modify your content plan accordingly.

My mantra for online writing is: I don’t just write for myself, but for my readers.

Stick to this sentence and continuously deliver to their expectations. Your content business is bound to boom when you make data your business partner!

Step 3: Double down

Now that you’ve learned how to understand the audience’s needs, double down on what works.

Put your energy into creating useful content your readers resonate with. Let data guide your content strategy and focus on what generates more likes, views, comments, and impressions. Build your channel on topics that others identify with.

You can slowly become an industry-leading voice in that domain.

Keep upskilling and experimenting with your strategies to create unique content.

It’d be the right time to start working on a product your audience would find interesting.

Step 4: Ship a product

Maintain a small diary of constructive comments you get on your articles. These comments will help you identify the biggest pain points for your audience. Analyze the gap between existing content on the subject and your audience’s needs.

Build a digital product that addresses their pain points directly.

For example, when I started writing online consistently in 2020, very few writers were making 6-figure USD monthly. It was only an aspiration for me.

In the beginning, it was hard for me to close high-ticket international clients, simply because I didn’t know where to find them.

I finally devised my client acquisition strategy after several rounds of trial and error. Most of my readers and colleagues were still struggling to close a high-paying gig. I released a 90-day plan to get a high-paying client online. It was an instant hit, with an overwhelming response from writers who I could help.

Since I already had a following on Medium, LinkedIn, and Twitter, I could market my digital product to the correct target audience.

After building your platform and authority, you can sell your product too. Solve your audience’s problems and market it directly to them.

Start with a free product and analyze the response. Decide the rates for your upcoming products and services depending on the feedback.

There, you’ve successfully launched your content business. Now it’s only onwards and upwards.

Summing up

When you start your content business, the thrill of it keeps you going. This 4-step process sounds simple, but it is elaborate in implementation. You have to ensure discipline and start your content business by:

  • Writing online and building a readership
  • Leveraging stats and data to create content that gains traction
  • Focusing more on content that your audience resonates with
  • Releasing the first of your many digital products

Always remember the words of Christopher Morley, 

“There is only one success — to be able to spend your life in your own way.”

Your content business will take you closer to that success and to the freedom of living life the way you want to. Seize this moment.

Love writing but don’t know where to start? Join my FREE 5-day course. It’ll teach you the successful writer’s framework that took me 5 years to master.

More on building a writing business here — 

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