Dear Side Hustle Bloggers,

You’re probably a really nice person. You probably started a blog, with the intention to help people and make some money while you did it. I know I’ve made a ton of mistakes as a blogger, so I’m not here to judge you or assume you have bad motives. But, I’ve heard a lot about people like you, and I am someone who was once victimized by many “helpful” bloggers who are always welcome to dole out advice about side hustles they’ve never tried, all for a quick profit for those glorious referral credits.

But here’s the problem. When you recommend side hustles you have no experience with, you’re giving people hope that you have no right to give. Sure, hypothetically you can make $500 a month on Swagbucks, but who really does that if they aren’t recruiting people with their referral link? No one that I know of! Sure, hypothetically you can make $5,000 a month doing transcribing things or writing freelance articles, but have you done it? Because if you don’t know you can do it, please stop recommending it to others.

Side hustle bloggers are giving people who teach real, doable business models and bad name and I’m freaking sick of it. So respectfully, humbly, I ask that you stop and consider if any of the things in this open letter sound like you, and if they do… then please just stop. You’re hurting yourself long term, and I promise your blog will make you a lot more money if you actually help people!

Stop recommending crappy side hustles

When you recommend crappy side hustles like SwagBucks, you aren’t helping people. Sure, those $5 Amazon gift cards are nice, but that won’t pay their bills, pay for a car repair or basically anything useful to someone who wants to change their financial future.

Also, the horrible job applications you’re sharing about “hypothetical” things people “could” do- can you stop posting those too? Unless you’ve made a living writing freelance articles, then don’t share that horrible idea with someone else. I did support myself that way when I was a new single mother, and it was horrible, and I love to write! I know how lovely it is to get paid for every lead you send to people! I have a few services that I actually use that I recommend to people, and the income is awesome! But please stop recommending jobs you literally know nothing about besides “Oh hey! If I share this and put up a pretty graphic, people will trust me and I’ll get money because they registered!”

People care if you don’t care about their long term success. A lot of them don’t have blogs and a platform of their own, so I’m taking it upon myself to speak for them. Just stop. Stop wasting their time with meaningless side hustles that don’t help them create a long-term solution that will actually begin to solve their financial issues.

For bloggers who write about blogging

Also, please stop recommending BlueHost to aspiring bloggers. They suck, and it’s not just me saying it either. The only people recommending them are the people who are making bank off their commissions.

I seriously wish I could copy and paste all the threads from my blogging Facebook groups here, but that would be really long. Seriously, if you’re a blogger who recommends Bluehost and don’t use them yourself, just stop. You can read all the reasons why in-depth here. If you use them, cool! Recommend away. But let’s start keeping out readers in mind before we make recommendations, mmkay? Some of us work really hard to be honest and above-board in all things, please don’t give us a bad name because you like the Bluehost commission structure.

Psst… if you’re not a sneaky side hustle blogger and think you might want to become an awesome blogger…

One of the things I’ve learned is that many people get into blogging and think it’s all sunshine and roses. They follow the latest plan that tells them they too can make $50,000 a month working 4 hours a week while lying on the beach drinking rum… then 6 months later they’re either making nothing, or they’ve sold their souls.

Going into blogging with realistic expectations for what style of blogging would be the best fit for you would probably have saved a lot of bloggers a lot of pain and suffering, or save them from selling their souls to the Blue Host affiliate program and other such gimmicks. The quiz below will tell you what kind of blogging might be ideal for you!

 

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69 Comments

  1. Wanda

    Thank you so much for your honesty and integrity…it is very much appreciated and needed. Please continue to be the person you are. I completely agree with you regarding the blogger you mentioned.

    Reply
    • Christina Root

      Wanda,Thank you for your kind words. I appreciate them!

      Reply
  2. Nikki

    Yes. Yes. Yes! Such a good read! When I was blogging, I had BlueHost and it was the worst. I guess one good thing is they gave my money back, lol, but wow!

    Reply
    • Christina Root

      Nikki,
      Yes, maybe them giving you your money bask was the best thing! 🙂

      Reply
    • shelley

      All I can say is Amen! Okay, that’s not true – I can say a lot more about how it’s hard to respect the big bloggers who are suggesting products, courses, and hosting that don’t help but pay them big bucks. I’m to the point where I also want to get in groups and scream the alarm when I see some of the recommendations that are based purely on commission rates. And while I’m on my rant, the online world often feels like one long sales pitch. You can’t even ask a question in a group without a dozen people answering you with their affiliate links (which certainly does NOT inspire trust!). And if I see one more “I’m doing so great and making lots of money after only two months” post I may go nuts. There are honest people out there but you certainly have to watch out for the snake oil salesman.

      Reply
      • Christina Root

        Shelley, Yes, the snake oil salesman seems more common than not!

        Reply
  3. Evangeline

    I agree with you Christina, we need honesty from those who are recommending jobs to us. My husband and I moved because I retired, and then it took us 17 months to sell our home plus pay a mortgage on our new home, our savings was depleted. Because of his age, it took my husband two years to find a job, that pays less than 30,000.00 a year. I never did find a job to help the family income and then my 88 year old Dad moved in with us. There are millions of people out there facing hard times, just trying to get by and we are hanging onto everything you tell us.

    Reply
  4. Cathy Felts

    Thank you so much for your honesty. I so appreciate that about you and what you have to tell your readers. I know I can trust your information – oyhers, not so much. It is hard sometimes figuring out what to trust and try and what to stay away from. I know if you present it, it will be worth it. It will be work but it will help reach long term goals. So, thank you!

    Reply
    • Christina Root

      Cathy, thank you! Yes, sometimes it is hard to know what to pursue and what to stay away from. They are sneaky!

      Reply
  5. felecia

    Thank you Christina. When I first researched about making money online I came across a lot of these posts. They provided some good basic information but they made it seem like blocking was easy and I know it’s not. You’re free video was honest and not hyped up. U let us know that it would take work and we could start for free! I haven’t getting rich over night but that wasn’t the expectation. Expectation was to build a sustainable business that can help support my . That’s what I was really looking for from my “side Hustle.” Thank you for your honesty and sharing what you’ve learned. We appreciate you your classes and hard work

    Reply
    • Christina Root

      Felecia,
      Thank you! Anyone who tells you that you can get rich quick/overnight…run in the opposite direction! That’s impossible, unless you are stealing from people!

      Reply
  6. Melissa

    This is my #1 pet peeve in my new venture into the world of blogging. So much so that I dedicated an entire section of my blog to it called “No BS Blog Tips”. I just started this past summer and was overwhelmed with how much I didn’t know and how much information was out there only to find out I was being misled by a sales pitch. Not cool. This is also why you are one of the very few people I follow religiously. You are always honest in your advice and I value that greatly!

    Reply
    • Christina Root

      Melissa, thank you for your kind words! Yes, I try to be as transparent and honest in all my work so that I earn the trust of students!

      Reply
  7. Karen

    Oh my oh my! I cannot tell you how many blogs I’ve seen/read in the last few years that I thought to myself “that’s a load of shit”. I mean I understand that a person wants to make extra money or do blogging as a full time income but do they have to sell their sole to the devil to do it?

    Reply
    • Christina Root

      Karen- Exactly! They have sold their soul for some extra cash!

      Reply
  8. Cassy

    Thank you Christina, for speaking up for us little guys who are just starting out or those of us who are still plugging away to get to that next level. Ironically,I just watched a video with Pat Flynn mentioning about only recommending things that you have personally used. It’s refreshing to see a blogger who cares.

    Reply
    • Christina Root

      Cassy, yes! The moment you recommend something to someone and it’s a horrible product, your name will forever be associated with that product in their heads. Better to take less money for quality than more money for broken trust!

      Reply
  9. Kate

    Thank you for this open letter. In all the time I was searching for an online side hustle, it never even occurred to me that bloggers were promoting stuff they didn’t actually do and were only promoting for the affiliate commission. Maybe I’m naive, but I don’t think I’m alone in thinking this. Thank you for confirming what I’d already begun to suspect. Thank you for getting the word out. Hopefully, this blog post goes viral! And thank you for being willing to be real and tell the truth.

    Reply
    • Christina Root

      Kate- Unfortunately, it’s the sad truth! And, a lot of times people are willing to say how great something is even if they have tried and hated something because the commission is too good to pass up!

      Reply
    • Jess

      Kate, you are not alone. I felt the same way.

      Reply
  10. Elizabeth voyles

    I agree with this so much. When I first started looking for side hustles I was suckered by blog posts into several things that didn’t work out. I feel like the bloggers weren’t honest. It’s made me wary in the online worried. I’ve wasted so much money trying to make money. But I’m learning to be more cautious.

    Reply
    • Christina Root

      Elizabeth-Yes, we should be wary! There are tons of people out there, just trying to scam money with no integrity!

      Reply
  11. Margaret

    I’m not a blogger, but Pinpreneur. I will not save pins from garbage sites containing more ads and banners than legitimate content. I’m a little afraid to pin their thing because who knows what kind of cookies are attached. Mostly, though, I refrain from pinning when I know I don’t want to be associated with a greedy blogger. I think my pinners would think less of me.

    Reply
    • Christina Root

      Margaret, Yes, I feel the same way. I don’t want to be associated with any greedy bloggers either!

      Reply
  12. Gretchen

    I also agree with you Christina. I appreciate that you bring integrity to the world of side hustles and blogging. As someone who is trying to get the side hustle thing figured out, I do rely on advice from others and it is disheartening to see bloggers promote affiliates that they don’t actually use themselves simply to make a few dollars.

    Reply
    • Christina Root

      Gretchen, Agreed! Completely disheartening!

      Reply
  13. KERRY HINDS

    Hi Christina, I truly appreciate you for being so honest with us. You have every reason to be angry, we deserve honesty from persons that claim to be helping us when they really aren’t. They are persons who like to recommend a whole host of useless side hustles that they know at the end of the day, amounts to nothing really. They can’t help to pay the bills. There are people who are going through some tough times and really need the help. If something makes no sense, and cannot help us, stop treating us like fools and stop recommending them! Thanks for being real Christina.

    Reply
  14. Tami Martin

    Christina, I love your honesty and how open you are. I have tried all these sides hustles like swagbucks, and other survey sites and your right they are horrible. You don’t make very much money from them at all. You couldn’t quit job to be home, that is for sure. I still do 2 or 3 survey sites once in a while because they pay per click for emails and if I shop through their site. It gives me a gift certificate or two twice a year that I use for gifts. I am also getting fed up when I see stuff promoting bluehost. I never used them but I have never heard anything good about it. There are ton of people who are out to just make a buck. They don’t really care about really helping someone. Thank you for writing this.

    Reply
    • Christina Root

      Tami, yes! Most people just want to make quick/easy cash, even if it hurts others in the process.

      Reply
  15. Shirley

    Christina…I cannot tell you how much it means to me to see you write what you wrote in an email I just received regarding honesty. In today’s world their didn’t seem to be anyone I could relate to anymore because there is no honesty, no integrity no meaning in anything anyone says any more. It seems like everyone is out for the almighty buck and nothing will stop them…nothing! It’s so good to actually see someone dealing with this head on. I honestly think that parents who raised children in the last 2 and even 3 decades didn’t give their children any guidance what so ever! It’s just sad, so very sad.
    It actually makes me feel like there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Thank you for addressing this issue and showing us your true colors! You rock!

    Reply
    • Christina Root

      Shirley, I agree. Integrity has left most people and they don’t care!

      Reply
  16. Michelle

    Hi Christina – Your honesty is what makes you who you are!! I know anything you recommend or suggest is something that’s tried and true BY YOU! Bloggers should write about what has worked for them not what lines their pocket book, that’s deceitful and dishonest. Us, regular folk hate that.

    Keeping rockin, Christina!!!

    Reply
  17. Jennifer Dawn

    I hear ya! I used Bluehost for far too long ( mostly because I was terrified of downtime switching or losing everything ) but there was already a ton of downtime with Bluehost and they were never willing to own up. The customer support is also the worst!

    Reply
    • Christina Root

      Jennifer, that is so frustrating! I hear ya!

      Reply
  18. Edith Meyer

    Thank you for sharing your frustration with dishonest bloggers. I am a ‘wanna be’ blogger and when I see bloggers taking advantage of others, it leaves a bad taste and makes me question my interest. I certainly would not want to be seen as untruthful in any advice or product I was recommending. Your honesty is refreshing! Thank you Christina! Keep on keeping on….. ; )

    Reply
  19. Luis Rodriguez

    Awesome Christina, I’ve felt this way for a long time now but wasn’t sure if there was anything I could do besides be leery of just about all promotions sent to me. I’ve been following you, but cautiously, because of this. I now see you in an entirely and positive light. I truly believe that you have your readers best interests at heart. Thank you for speaking out and for caring.

    Reply
    • Christina Root

      Luis, Good for you for being leery! Unfortunately, that is what it has come to. We can’t trust most! But that means even more to me that you are trusting now! Thank you!

      Reply
  20. Stephanie

    Thank you for being upfront and honest with your good or not so good experiences on a product or company. It is refreshing in a world of greed. Keep the posts coming!
    xo
    Stephanie

    Reply
  21. Chrystal | Nevermore Lane

    This is one of those things that have always bugged me about blogging. I have been blogging for the better part of 20 years (I just dated myself) and of course, things have changed a lot over the years. I know a lot of bloggers on Blogger who make great money. And yet they are always put down for their choice of blogs. I have noticed that the people who scream the loudest are those who had their blog taken down by Google because they broke TOS (but they wont tell you that,) or those on Word Press who are trying to push sales for themes and hosting, mostly Blue Host. And these days, there are so many of these articles. I did a post a few years ago with 270+ places to make money blogging; whether it was brand sponsor, ad networks, sponsor networks or affiliates. I said which ones I used and which ones I knew others had used. I was even transparent to tell them which ones I didn’t know a whole lot about, but the could be good. I DID list companies like Swagbucks, but not even as a side hustle. More as a – hey you are going to search anyway, why not get some points for it – type thing. I don’t think I ever got signups from that, even with as much as that post circles around. I think there is a wrong way and a right way to do everything, and clearly, telling people to use thing you have no personal experience with or claiming things like Swagbucks are the end all be all is the wrong side of the track. I’ve also never been one to say making money from blogging is easy. It’s freaking hard. I have a lifestyle blog and a food blog and let me tell you, food blogging is harder than any other blogging I have done. And I do it for fun lol . If you treat it like a *job* it can be lucrative. But, just like any other business you would start, it takes time to build. I wish everyone could understand that.

    Reply
    • Christina Root

      Chrystal, Yes! A wrong way and a right way! Integrity has to be the right way!

      Reply
  22. Katrina Wison-Kubota

    Hey Christina!
    Thanks for keepin’ or real and authentic! I’ve just started with 5DTPAP and am so grateful for your experience and honest feedback. Keep doing what you’re doing, it is appreciated:)

    Reply
  23. Cheryl

    Hi, Christina, I’ve tried some “get rich quick” schemes. I think you are honest when you say it takes work and time. Because most things do
    take work and time. People who are honest tell you the good and the bad….
    Thanks. (I’ll send a facebook post about how I’m doing, my balance IS slowly growing!!!!!!)

    Reply
    • Christina Root

      Cheryl, It does take time indeed and I always want to be upfront about that. It’s a job, not overnight success!

      Reply
  24. Lamonica

    I absolutely LOVE your honesty and value it. There’s only a few people I follow and trust online and you’re one of them. I totally agree – stop blogging about how to make money blogging. And stop recommending side hustles, I wasted so much time trying those ideas. Thank you for sharing!

    Reply
    • Christina Root

      Lamonica, Thank you! I appreciate you saying that.

      Reply
  25. Robin

    Christina I agree with you. I am also tired of Bloggers criticizing side hustle jobs that others like to do. Working any job is not always about making money, but enjoying what you do and making a difference to others. I have two direct selling businesses and I just started doing affiliate marketing. I like all of my jobs and I will share what I am doing with others, not discourage them from doing it because I haven’t gotten rich off of them yet. A lot of these Bloggers tell people that they make six figures blogging, but actually they are making money by selling from their blogs, their products or other people’s products. So, they can stop telling people they can make all this money blogging. No one makes money just because they have a Blog. Like any job, it takes hard work and determination to succeed. Nothing is easy or will make you rich quick.

    Reply
    • Christina Root

      Robin, YES! All of that, yes! Get Rich quick schemes work because want to be rich without doing any work, so they buy those that promise it to them!

      Reply
  26. Sable

    I really appreciate you. It’s refreshing to come across someone who genuinely wants to help others become successful. I’m glad you voiced your opinion on this subject. I completely agree.

    Reply
  27. CORrinaV

    Yes girl! Love This! I’m not a blogger, but have been thinking about it. I have been so turned away by misleading content. Since I’ve come across your site , I love that you are Real and Honest! There’s no b.s. in what you share. Thank you for being you!

    Reply
  28. Isabella Roy

    Thank you Christina. It good to know that there’s still honest people like you around. I once bought an E-course on How to make money on Pinterest. It cost me $25 and I was totally disappointed. Everything in the Ebook could be found for free on the internet. No strategy whatsoever. Just how to open and set up an account. A few pointers on setting up pins…nothing substantially new. The whole Ebook was filled with affiliate links some not even relevant. To make matters worse, there was no refund! I was so disappointed. Not so much on about the money, but more so on how much time I wasted going through the course! On the positive side, it taught me to be wary in my purchases and to do my own due diligence.

    Reply
    • Christina Root

      Isabella, That is so frustrating and entirely too common!

      Reply
  29. Renee tamlyn

    Christina, You delievered everything you said you would plus more. I absolutely love your honesty from day 1. I still can’t believe I’m trying to become an Affiliate Marketer (never thought in a million years), I would be doing this, lol. Please don’t stop being you, your a great person to have in my life. Thank you for everything.

    Reply
  30. Johanna

    Hi Christina,
    I am new to all of this & still “rooting” out (pun intended) the legit & non-legit blog teachers. You are one of the top three bloggers who I feel is trustworthy & will guide me without any BS. I’m confident that you will be one of the reasons for my success! Thanks….so far so great!

    Reply
    • Christina Root

      Johanna,
      Thank you for your kind words. I appreciate it. 🙂

      Reply
  31. Kris Edison

    Hi Christina,

    “Stop wasting their time with meaningless side hustles that don’t help them create a long-term solution that will actually begin to solve their financial issues.”

    There’s a lot nonsense hustle suggestions but there are a lot that works too. But I guess, it’s because the blogger works for Google’s ranking more than their readers.

    Thanks for this. It make sense. I am planning to start a blog about side hustles. And I will keep this in my mind.

    Reply
    • Christina Root

      Hey Kris,
      Thanks. Yes, most bloggers are working more for rankings and less for their audience!

      Reply
  32. Reginald Thompson

    Hi Christina,
    Big fan of your blog. Question, do you know anyone who’s used Fluid Market as a successful side hustle? I’ve heard good things, but I’m still a bit skeptical.

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Christina Root

      I don’t have any experience with them or knowledge of them. I know of a few similar sites, and I personally wouldn’t risk lending our my vehicle for a side hustle. Too much rick for me, unless I had an extra vehicle hanging out I didn’t mind if something happened to.

      Reply
  33. Ginny | MothersRest

    Great post! I just unsubscribed from two big bloggers who were pushing me through their sales funnels. They were promoting a class and how it would change my life if “I completed every lesson.” Felt like a pyramid scheme – their business isn’t blogging, it’s getting other bloggers to buy each other’s courses. And no one will say if the courses are really worth the $$ or not, b/c anyone who’s gone through the course wants to make money as an affiliate.

    This made me a little skeptical of you, too, so I loved how you had that “pay whatever you want” promo back in December or January, like you knew we’d find value in your content and were willing to let us try it out – to build more trust. Thanks!

    PS, I do use BlueHost and recommend it. So far, great experience 😜

    Reply
    • Christina Root

      Hi Ginny,
      Thanks! I am so glad you are enjoying your experience here! 🙂

      Reply
  34. Connie Hall

    Amen and thank you!

    I don’t know how many times I have been disappointed and disgusted with some side hustle suggestions. It’s kind of like writing for a “copy mill”. Please don’t tell me how much $ I can make when they only pay $2.00 for 500 words. I’ve done that, and I won’t do it again. My time and writing talent are worth way more than that.

    You would not believe how close I’ve come to going over to Bluehost, because it’s supposed to be so much better. I’m glad I didn’t. I just don’t understand that whole mindset. There is no way that I could recommend anything that I haven’t used or done myself. I’ve been told that I wouldn’t make a good business person because I am too honest…I don’t believe that.

    Reply
    • Christina Root

      I actually used to work for an article mill. If you work for a better mill, you can make good money, but at those prices, you’re right, it’s insane to try to make a living!

      I totally understand. People feel like cutting corners is simply a valid business practice, when it isn’t for those of us with a conscience. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

      Reply

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