The internet continues to grow with no end in sight. The internet grows by the addition of information and data, also known as content. As more content is created and published online, opportunities to earn money as a content creator are growing rapidly. One of these content-creating jobs is blogging.
And blogging is big. Big enough to provide a legitimate career in professional blogging.
Have you ever wondered whether you could quit your job and make a living as a professional blogger? More and more people are making this a reality. Here are some tips from someone who has made the leap.
First, what does it mean to be a professional blogger?
More people than you realize are blogging today. Sports fans, stay-at-home moms, fitness enthusiasts, chefs, financial gurus, and many more enter the blogging world every day.
Some people blog as a hobby, to share information, journal online, make friends, and for other non-monetary reasons. Others blog to promote their business or as a side hustle to supplement their income. But can you make money blogging? Yes. There is a growing number of people who earn a full-time living through professional blogging.
If you have ever asked yourself, ‘Should I quit my day job to blog?’ you are essentially asking if you should become a professional blogger. Being a professional blogger means the income you earn from blogging must be able to replace what you earn from your current full-time job with enough revenue to cover your current salary and benefits.
For example, let’s say in your current job you earn a salary of $40k per year and receive benefits like health insurance and other perks. To fully replace your entire salary and benefits you might need to plan to earn $60k per year in a career of professional blogging to cover all of your current salary and benefits.
How can you earn money blogging?
You may be asking, ‘How do I get started making money on my blog?’ One benefit of blogging is that there are a wide variety of ways to earn revenue from it. Here are a few of the most common ways.
Blogging ad revenue
Using your blog to earn money through advertising revenue is where advertisers pay you to place ads on your blog site. You’ve probably seen ads like this along the sidebar or sprinkled throughout the content of many of the websites you’ve visited.
You can manage this process yourself, but it is complex and timing consuming.
Instead, you can manage it through an ad partner like Google AdSense or Media Vine. However, the revenue generated from it can be relatively low even if your blog site has many visitors.
In affiliate sales or marketing, you include banners or links to a company on your blog. When a visitor to your blog clicks on a link to the company’s site and makes a purchase, the company pays you a portion of the sale. The more traffic your blog has, the higher likelihood a reader will click on the company’s link and make a purchase, benefitting you.
Popular programs like Amazon Affiliates offer a commission to you for sending customers to their site. The downside is that the commissions paid by big company affiliate programs can be relatively small. Working directly with companies can result in higher commission percentages, earning you more revenue.
Partnerships and sponsored content
Partnerships and sponsored content are where companies looking to grow their customer base or followers contact bloggers to write reviews, news-style articles, or short blog posts to spread the word about the launch of their new products or services. The higher your blog’s traffic, the more interest a company will have in working with you.
As a blogger, partnerships to write sponsored content for companies can be lucrative and grow over time into consistent revenue generation. The caveat is that a blogger should disclosure to their readers that the post or article you write about a product or service is sponsored content.
How hard is it to become a blogger?
A question most people ask is, ‘How do I start a blog?’ For a hobby or even a side hustle blog, starting a blog can be as easy as following these basic steps:
- Choose a topic and name
- Find the right blogging platform
- Set up your web hosting
- Customizing your blog
- Start blogging!
However, professional blogging requires a few more steps and wearing many different hats. To be a successful professional blogger, here are a few of them:
- Web developer
- Email marketer
- Social media specialist
What are some of the biggest challenges to blogging?
Blogging can be fun, rewarding, and a great way to earn money. However, blogging is not without its challenges. Here are a few examples to consider:
Even with millions of blogs sites in existence and more being created every day—a growing number of which are income-generating—there are still people who don’t take blogging seriously as a career. This can be a challenge to building your credibility and reputation.
Many full-time, professional bloggers are self-employed. While this gives freedom, it can make it challenging to obtain credit for a car loan or home mortgage, because self-employed blogging can be seen as an inconsistent source of income.
Blog revenue is dependent on visitor traffic. If your blog’s content doesn’t attract lots of visitors, you won’t earn income. Period.
Google, Amazon, and other ad and sponsorship partners are constantly changing the rules with updates to their algorithms. It can be difficult to keep up and this can cause you to miss out on revenue until you can sort it out.
When is the right time to start blogging?
In a nutshell, the right time to start blogging is now. The sooner you get your blog up and running, consistently posting content, and generating site visits, the sooner Google with begin indexing and ranking your content.
Indexing is where your content is “read” by Google’s web-crawler algorithms and entered into the correct categories in Google’s massive database of sites. SEO helps speed up this process. Because it can take a while for Google’s algorithms to begin indexing your site, the sooner you have your blog up and running, with SEO-optimized content, the better.
What does it take to be a successful blogger?
While there is no magical combination of sure-fire skills or mindset that will make you a successful full-time, professional blogger, here are some that are particularly helpful to have:
- Good writing skills are essential. This means grammar, punctuation, spelling, sentence structure, and other fundamentals. Poorly written content will turn readers off and they will click to another site.
- An eye for good design. This includes the look, feel, and style of your blog, and especially images and photos that can add visual context as well as pop and emphasis to enhance your content.
- Consistency is key. You must be willing to commit to writing and publishing your blog content regularly, at least once per week but ideally more often.
- Understand SEO optimization. Proper use of Search Engine Optimization will boost your Google index rank and lead to more traffic to your blog site.
- Compelling writing. You must be able to convey your content in a way that grabs the reader’s attention and holds it till the end where you will likely place a Call to Action for the reader.
Is blogging worth it? Yes, it can be. Can you enter the world of professional blogging? Yes, you can. The information above gives a good understanding of what is required to start a career in blogging and some of the rewards and challenges you might face, as well as some tips for how to get your blog up and running more quickly and efficiently.
Still have questions about becoming a professional blogger or have some helpful tips or insights of your own to share? Leave a question or a tip in the comments below and let’s keep this conversation about professional blogging careers going!