Everybody is doing it. There are blogs for everything you can imagine. You can’t scroll through your Facebook feed without seeing a sponsored post anymore. There are how-tos and tutorials everywhere.
You’ve read enough about blogging now that you’ve started thinking, hey… maybe I should try this blogging thing.
What does it really take to make money blogging?
You’ve probably read more than 10 different variations of “How to start a blog”- but, can you REALLY make money blogging?
The simple answer is yes. Anyone can make money blogging.
The real answer is- well, it’s complicated.
It’s true that anyone can start a blog. I’ve met people that have terrible grammar and spelling and still make a side income from their blog. (You should always work to improve your skills.) Hey, everyone has to start somewhere…
There are some blogging factors that go beyond what you write and how you write. It’s fairly common knowledge that you need to ‘monetize’ your blog with ads, affiliate links, sponsored posts and your own sell-ables (like e-books, apps, etc). Some bloggers only use one or two of these methods while others use all of them.
I can tell you some real hands-on stuff about this whole blogging thing now. I have 4 blogs. I guess I love to punish myself with deadlines and too much work…
I enjoy blogging. Not so much the deadlines. Okay, maybe I like those too… but seriously- the writing, research, and sharing my knowledge part. That’s what I like.
I’ve learned some pretty cool stuff over the past year and I’ve also learned some cold truths…
So, what can you realistically expect?
You can realistically expect disappointment.
You seriously write to an audience of none for a while. Then you get a few readers… Someone shares your post on Pinterest or facebook. You get your first like on your social channels and it’s starting to get exciting! You make your first commission sale just to find that it’ll take like 50 of those sales to pay for the ink you used to print your new business cards. You get kinda bummed since you’ve been writing, editing, sharing and commenting for 4-5 months now and starting to wonder if it’s really all worth it.
Seriously. You work your @$$ off just to make pennies those first few months. Many bloggers report a year or more of hard work in exchange for a gumball.
Is it worth it?
It is for me…
If you write quality content- (real, usable, easy to use and understand)
Stick with it- (fairly consistently for 6 months to a year while your site matures and proves itself on search engines),
Grow with the industry- (this is big… you have to keep up with algorithm changes, SEO, etc)
Find YOUR audience- (You can’t speak to everyone. Figure out who you’re talking to as soon as possible.)
Learn how to use social channels to drive traffic- you don’t have to master them all! Pick one or two and work it.
And can continuously grow your audience numbers-
You will eventually make money blogging.
It will start as a trickle. Those pennies start coming more frequently. You are always applying to, and trying new programs, affiliates, and ads… You come up with your own brand of sell-able and start making more than pennies. Finally, you start making enough money to make a difference. Eventually, the money becomes more regular… You’ve made it as a blogger! Congrats!
Sadly, the odds are against you sticking with it long enough to make any money. The vast majority of blogs don’t even make it a year before just giving up.
This is why I tell everyone that they should start a blog as a hobby while treating it as a business.
Why would that make a difference?
There’s a learning curve, for one. If you’ve never blogged before, or if you’ve never built a website before… You will be learning while you build and create. It’s not like the seasoned blogger who makes enough money to pay a webmaster to do all of their stuff for them. Those that blog big doesn’t really work behind the scenes stuff anymore. But, that’s not you… you are just beginning.
It takes a while to learn the ropes and get more efficient at writing and posting.
I was already a writer. BUT- I had to learn how to blog, all the web stuff, posting, editing… AND I had to figure out how to take some good pics that were relevant and a good fit.
Then, there’s the SEO stuff. The search engines like you to think it’s easy to master SEO. And, to a point, it is. The problem is this- Once you master SEO for Google, the algorithm will change and you will scramble to get your SEO figured out again.
You should probably add a techie site to your Facebook feed so you know when Algorithms are about to change so you can tweak before your numbers take a hit.
That’s great advice right there.
Blogging takes a chunk of your life to get going. Most people don’t like sticking to something that doesn’t love them back for that long…
But, you know how you hear about these companies that seem to appear out of nowhere and are hugely popular right out of the starting gate? You hear them called things like an ‘overnight success’. The fact is, it takes an average of 5-7 years of hard work and real-time investment into building those ‘overnight successes’.
Are you willing to work for a year or more to start earning a side income?
If your answer is yes, you probably have what it takes to become a blogging success story.
I’m not over-simplifying. The facts are easily checked with your own searching skills on any engine. Bloggers that make it a year have a far better chance of becoming successful. Even more so, the bloggers that stop at nothing…
You have to do a few key things in order to be a success.
Aside from being up-front about affiliate links, there are some things you’ll want to commit to…
First, you have to be willing to change your entire site when you grow tired of your original niche. Don’t feel bad… it happens to most of us. It’s hard to blog about the same thing over and over. I finally decided to ignore the whole ‘niche’ rule and just do my own thing. My unique visitors quadrupled overnight.
Start within the niche you’ve chosen. Write as many articles as possible. When the time comes that you no longer want to write about that niche, change it. If it’s solid writing, you can leave it there. You don’t have to feature it. I took all of my old stuff and gave it a heading next to the HOME clickable. Those that came here for writing and blogging tips can still find them. I still write an occasional piece, so it’s a relevant button to have… I just don’t spend a ton of time on those topics anymore.
Second, you have to keep learning and growing. Your writing skills need to be better than good. In the past, I’ve referred my students to a content mill. I’m sure you’ve heard mixed reviews about content mills but hear me out. You can sign up and do a sample writing in minutes. I recommend Zemandi because they will typically email you with your score and starting pay scale within a few hours. Most of my students have started writing for them the same day.
One of the quickest ways to write better, RIGHT NOW, is to get the best writing tool available. I use Grammarly and it’s free for the basic plan! Try it yourself and write better, now.
If you’ve never written content for a blog or website before, this is a great way to learn QUICKLY. Plus you get paid. It will allow you to earn some money from home while you build your blog. But, the biggest bonus is that you can write ten to fifteen articles per day for them if you want. You will learn to research and write and edit more efficiently. If you’re ready to give them a try, go to Zemandi and when you sign up, they’ll ask for a referral code. Type in 14524 and complete the sign-up.
Third, you need to approach this as more of a hobby, or a part-time job that won’t pay you for quite some time. I looked at my blogs and websites as an Internship that I funded myself. I knew nothing about building blogs when I got started. I had to learn as I went along and you can too! Invest in yourself by learning new skills. It’s easy when you have the right tools.
When I was ready to learn and grow my blogs, I suggest a Wealthy Affiliate as a platform for growth. I’ve been with them for one year now and they have everything you’ll ever need! You can check them out and get a free website to see for yourself!
Fourth– This may be the most important part… You need to stick with a schedule. If you can reasonably post 2-3 articles per week and stick to it, that’s freaking awesome! But, if you’re like most other bloggers that are just starting out, it’ll be more like 1. One post a week is not a bad thing if you stick to it. And, the most important part of blogging is sticking to it.
It takes a while for your website to be found and trusted. Many bloggers give up before their sites are even found on search engines. Stay with it. Tell your friends about it and ask for comments…
Don’t forget to be social. Share it on the social outlets you are comfortable using. But more important, believe in yourself. If blogging is what you want to do, then do it.
Believe you can*make a plan*put it into action.
Need help blogging? Read these!
If you feel you’ve read enough on blogging and you’re ready to get started but you’re unsure about all of the writing stuff… check out these writing resources!
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