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Lidiya’s Secrets to Transforming a Side Hustle into a Thriving Business

Written by:

Esther is a business strategist with over 20 years of experience as an entrepreneur, executive, educator, and management advisor.

Lidiya’s Secrets to Transforming a Side Hustle into a Thriving Business

In the dynamic world of digital entrepreneurship, it’s inspiring to encounter individuals who not only navigate it with skill but also empower others to follow suit. Today, we have the privilege of speaking with such an influencer in the realm of personal and business growth — Lidiya Kesarovska, the founder and driving force behind Let’s Reach Success.

Launched as a hobby blog in 2013, Let’s Reach Success has burgeoned into an authoritative platform, rich with over 2,000 articles that attract hundreds of thousands of readers globally. It’s a beacon for those aspiring to convert side hustles into full-time businesses, offering a blend of inspiration and practical guidance.

In this interview, Lidiya shares her journey from the early days of freelance writing to establishing a successful online business. We delve into the strategies that catapulted her blog into a lucrative venture and explore the insights gained from her personal growth journey. Let’s go!

Introducing the Visionary Behind Let’s Reach Success

SBS – Hi there! Can you introduce yourself and the venture you embarked on?

Lidiya – Hey, I’m Lidiya, and I’m the founder of Let’s Reach Success — a blog that’s all about personal and business growth, teaching you how to start a side hustle, turn it into a full-time business, provide epic value while doing what you love, and live your best life thanks to the freedom it provides. It started as a hobby blog back in 2013 but has later turned into an authoritative platform hosting over 2,000 articles, getting hundreds of thousands of page views, leading to partnerships and sponsorships, inspiring people all over the world, and becoming the foundation of my business.

I’m also an author (here are my books), course creator (my programs), and podcast host (of The Free and Fearless podcast). At the end of the day, I try to create content on the topics I’m passionate about and have experience with and thus provide value in any way I can. My digital products are the best way to work with me as each program dives deep into a specific topic or business model and teaches you the ins and outs of it.

Lidiya Kesarovska

The Genesis of a Game-Changing Journey

SBS – Share with us your journey leading up to this idea. What inspired it?

Lidiya – My journey is actually a personal growth journey. The business is just a natural side effect and bonus that comes with it. I wasn’t satisfied with my life back when I was living in my home country (Bulgaria), and I knew I wanted to create a passion project that also turns into a source of income, and then use it to create a life on my own terms.

I first did that thanks to freelance writing, while growing my blog on the side. Once I had recurring monthly revenue and some savings, I relocated to the Netherlands as it was (and still is) my favorite country. I later replaced my freelance income with my blog income and felt the ultimate creative freedom — creating content only for my platforms, growing my audience, monetizing the site in different ways, and also teaching people how to do the same.

My main motivators to keep doing this (as it’s all about consistency — after all, it took years to actually get a lot of blog traffic and learn how to monetize it) are the following:

  • Not wanting to go back to the life I had before relocating
  • The strong desire to keep the newly found freedom and independence that I worked so hard for
  • The gift of loving my work and the joy of sharing my message with the world and connecting with other like-minded individuals all over the world, thanks to my content

If there’s something you want bad enough, you will find the desire to start. But momentum can be lost, so you have to plan long-term and make sure you continue working on your passion project. Only then can it turn into something sustainable, which will help you transform your whole life.

Crafting the Blueprint: From Concept to Reality

SBS – Walk us through the journey of conceptualizing, creating a prototype, and bringing your blog to life.

Let's Reach Success blog

Lidiya – There are different models I’ve tried, such as freelancing, blogging, and later digital products. But now I want to talk about my blogging journey as it’s the main thing I’ve always been doing, what I loved the most, and what has worked best for me.

To find the courage to start a blog (back in the days when I knew nothing about blogging), I combined my writing skills with my passion — personal growth. I did some research and decided to go with WordPress for my content management system. And thank God for that, as it’s still how I recommend people create sites and blogs, and it powers most of the sites on the internet.

In the first two years, I was treating it more like a hobby, while earning from freelance writing to support myself. I was posting content on the blog and getting some traffic. After that, I decided to learn all I could about the business model and actually use better tools, switch to a self-hosted WordPress site, start accepting sponsorships, start an email list, design my site better, optimize it better, etc. 

I basically started treating my blog as a business, and things changed from then on. Search engines started trusting my site more, traffic was growing, brands were reaching out for collaborations, I started testing ads and also added affiliate marketing as my next income stream, and so much more.

I later created my first online course — Blog to Biz System — that teaches you how to start, grow and monetize your blog. Since then, I’ve launched many other courses and trainings. 

Blog to Biz System

Strategies for Gaining Visibility

SBS – What was your strategy for putting your blog on the map?

Lidiya – There was no official launch for the blog. I started it and simply began posting content on it, which eventually ranked in search engines and brought me traffic. For the digital products, there are launches that I plan, execute, and then analyze the numbers. After that, the doors to the programs usually remain open and anyone can enroll at any time.

As all this is digital, it costs me nothing more than my time and effort. The first expense I ever had was my hosting plan. Once I started taking my blog more seriously, I also invested in other tools such as an email marketing provider, podcast host, graphic design tools, etc. When I got into the course business, a course hosting platform was necessary too. 

But the good news is that in the beginning, you can just spend a few dollars a month (for an affordable host) to get your blog off the ground and start getting your content out there. Once you’re actually earning an income, you can set this as a business in your country (this works differently for every country so you’ll have to research how that works). 

I had my business registered in my home country in its first years, and once I moved, I also registered it in the Netherlands and began paying taxes there. I always had a bookkeeper, though, from day one of running an actual legal entity. That saves me the need to worry about taxes or any missed deadlines, so I highly recommend you get one too (unless you have the skills necessary for that).

Many people are scared of the legal aspect of starting an online business, but I actually loved it. It was only scary before I knew how it works. From then on, I realized a one-man business like mine doesn’t have that many responsibilities (compared to a more complex business structure like a corporation) and as long as you have a bookkeeper to take care of your financial documents, you’re good.

Tactics for Readers’ Attraction and Retention

SBS – After your initial launch, which tactics stood out in attracting and retaining readers?

Lidiya – Building traffic is one of the main goals of a blogger, and there are many activities that go into it. For a start, I began creating better and more optimized content, as well as went back to old articles and updated them strategically. Many of them started getting traction so my organic traffic eventually got to 100K monthly page views. Now it’s much less, but I’m working on growing it again.

I also got traffic from Pinterest, which is the only social media platform I use for my blogging business. I actively create Pins, optimize them, and change my designs often to offer fresh content for Pinterest. That works equally well for old and new blog content. I teach my best Pinterest tactics in my masterclass Pinterest Boost.

Over time, I reached 1 million monthly views on Pinterest.

Pinterest account

Over the years, I’ve also been publishing monthly blog income reports to document my journey. If you go back to these, you can see exactly how much I earned and spent in my business each month and what actions I took to grow traffic and revenue. Now, I only publish this behind-the-scenes content inside my membership and community Blogger Playground (which just opened its doors this month, by the way).

Speaking of content created with the goal of building traffic, one thing I want to give credit to are my guides. That’s cornerstone content, long and well-optimized guides on the key topics I cover on my site and which are set up to be my categories. They are interlinked very well with the rest of the content on my site, and Google knows they are more important than anything else.

Here are some of them:

You might want to pay more attention to your category pages, add more content to them and turn them into optimized guides that Google can rank high.

Another big aspect of my growth strategy is email marketing. I believe an email list is a blogger’s biggest asset, and we should be building it from day one. Whether small or big, it’s all about engagement.

Your subscribers are your biggest fans, they want to hear from you often and have given you permission to their inbox. So this is your chance to form relationships and provide extra value.

I grow my list thanks to having opt-in forms throughout my site offering strategic lead magnets. Once on my list, they are added to an automated welcome sequence, and after it, they start receiving emails from me weekly with new content and some updates.

So, basically, my promotional strategies boil down to:

  • Quality content that ranks in search engines and brings visitors to the site
  • Email opt-in forms to get people on my list
  • Automated emails and newsletters to form relationships (before they hear about my paid offers eventually)
  • Pinterest

A Snapshot of Your Blog Today

SBS – Give us a snapshot of your blog today, and share a glimpse of your future plans.

Lidiya – My income comes from ads on the blog, sponsored blogging (I teach all about it in my course The Blog Sponsorship Boss), and sales from digital products (that includes my courses, books, and membership). Affiliate marketing used to be a big part of this too, but it slowed down in the last years and I haven’t been doing much of it lately.

I love doing new things with my business, blog, and content. Here are some new projects I tackled this year:

  • Creating a membership and community for bloggers
  • Using AI
  • Starting a niche site
  • Turning my book High-Value Offers into an audiobook and sharing it on the podcast
  • Doing a content audit – I edited hundreds of articles on Let’s Reach Success, optimized them better, republished them, and gave them a better chance of ranking
  • Creating content for my other blog, Bold Business School
High Value offers

My daily tasks as a blogger include some of the following:

  • Working with brands on sponsored content
  • Creating new blog content
  • Updating old blog content
  • Taking courses to brush up on my skills
  • Interviewing fellow bloggers and sharing their success story
  • Doing keyword research
  • Tasks related to digital products (course updates, sale page updates, helping students, launches, etc.)

Lessons Learned from Building a Blog

SBS – What key takeaways or beneficial lessons have emerged as you’ve built your blog?

Lidiya – I can’t tell you how much I love my business. It’s one of my biggest teachers in life, and I believe it always gives me exactly what I need. Especially in the tough moments.

This was a hard year in my personal life and business, and yet, in many ways, it was the best one as the personal growth that happened during it was massive, I became more grateful than ever, stopped doing things that weren’t working, and doubled down on what has been working and what my heart truly wanted.

I want aspiring entrepreneurs to know that there will be bad days in your business. There might be bad weeks, months, quarters, and even whole years. If you still love what you do just as much as you do during the good times, you’re meant to be in business and have found your purpose. If not, you might consider something else that requires fewer emotional challenges.

To be in business, and to be a content creator and blogger, is to face imposter syndrome more often than you’d like, to feel uncomfortable, to keep showing up when you don’t feel like it, to wonder if anything you’re doing will ever work, to feel like giving up, and to not be understood by others in your life who aren’t in business. 

But it also means waking up with a smile and doing work that actually matters, making a difference in your readers’ lives, building something scalable, having the ability to test new things, trying new monetization methods, and working on what inspires you.

The things I did over the years that I consider wins are actually starting the blog and never leaving it behind. It all comes down to that — creating content long enough (and getting better at it) so you can actually see results. Once you have the traffic, many opportunities become available to you, especially monetary ones.

Forming relationships in the industry and partnering with people has its benefits too. Thanks to that, I was given the opportunity to be featured in Yahoo News! and Yahoo Finance! 2 years ago, and I grabbed it:

Yahoo feature of Lidiya

A lot is possible online, but you need the mindset necessary to stay in the game long enough, the curiosity to learn more about your industry, the playfulness that makes you innovative and create things that have never been done before, the courage to reach out to others, get featured on other platforms, and invest in tools and courses.

Most of the other skills (building sites, optimizing content for search engines, creating courses, launching, etc.) I learned on the go and then improved thanks to learning from experts and practicing. So don’t use the lack of experience and skills as an excuse not to start a business.

Resources/Tools for Running a Blog

SBS – Which tools or platforms have been of great value for running your blog?

Lidiya – The tools that I call indispensable in my business are:

  • WordPress (content management system)
  • Web hosting (my choice is WPX)
  • Canva (for graphic design)
  • Styled Stock Society (a membership for stock photos and Canva templates)
  • ConvertKit (for email marketing)
  • Podia (for hosting my courses and membership)
  • Podcast hosting (I’m with Blubrry)

Inspirations and Influences

SBS – Are there books, podcasts, or other mediums that greatly influenced or motivated you?

Lidiya – One person whose work and teachings have greatly helped my business journey is James Wedmore. 

I’d also recommend the books by Alex Hormozi, $100M Offers and $100M Leads.

Advice for Aspiring Bloggers

SBS – What advice can you offer entrepreneurs gearing up to launch their first blog?

Lidiya – It might take you some time till you see actual results.

Don’t define yourself by the things you tried in business that didn’t work. Each gets you many steps closer to what actually works.

Don’t stop investing in your personal growth, it’s directly related to your business growth.

Keep your why in mind every single day. Make sure why you do what you do is a strong enough reason that will keep you going for as long as you want to be in business.

Whenever someone from your audience gives you positive feedback (whether it’s a testimonial, email, comment, or just a quick message on socials), save it somewhere. That’s the stuff that makes everything else meaningful — the actual impact you have on people. Whenever you feel down, come back to these positive messages and remember why it’s all worth it. I like collecting these on the Testimonials page on my site.

Diving Deeper

SBS – If our readers are eager to delve deeper into your business, where should they head?


  1. Lidiya Kesarovska says:

    Thanks so much for having me. Was a pleasure sharing my story with your audience 🙂

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Lidiya’s Secrets to Transforming a Side Hustle into a Thriving Business