When I first started blogging, it was something of a hobby. I enjoyed writing and sharing my insights and knowledge with the world related to digital marketing. Whenever I received a new comment, I felt like a kid on Christmas morning.
Many years have passed since those first days, but I’ve never lost my passion for blogging. However, I don’t just do it because I love it. I do it because it’s a great way to make passive income and have complete control over my own schedule.
Over the last seven years, I’ve made over $1 million from blogs I’ve built, monetized, and sold. While some naysayers will say that blogging is not a real career, my experience says otherwise.
And even though I’m consistently making several thousand dollars a month from my blogs, I’m still not making all that much compared to industry-leading bloggers like Arianna Huffington who has made over $300 million from her Huffington Post blog.
The truth is that building a successful blog takes time, effort, patience, and some thick skin. Before you start making the big bucks, you might be lucky to scrape by with an extra thousand dollars the first year.
My advice: start blogging as a side hustle, and don’t quit your full-time job. However, treat blogging like a business from the start. Focus on it and build your empire. Then when someone asks you “Is blogging a good career,” you can show them your income report and smile.
This is a good time to note that if you’re interested in starting your own blog, I highly recommend you check out my free email course called IGNITION to begin. It walks you through every step you need to take.
Blogging Led to My Career as an Online Entrepreneur
For those who are just finding me, blogging has led to my career as an online entrepreneur.
It’s a quick story, but definitely a good one.
I started blogging in 2014 and at the time, I was blogging part-time on a website to help people with a problem that they were having.
I kept blogging to help people solve their problems and as time went on, more people began visiting my site, and my first blog grew to a reasonably large 150,000 visitors per month.
While my site grew, I had to continue to pay bills so I realized that there was a way to make money with this blogging stuff by putting ads on my website.
I was shocked to learn that those boring little ads actually make money and yes, people do click on them. No hard work, just passive income.
Then, when I was making enough money to pay for it, I outsourced some writing and tried to find more ways to make money with affiliate marketing, partnerships, selling leads, and more.
I started to have some real success with that blog (as you can see in my income reports), so I decided to start another blog and repeated the process. Thus began my blogging career.
I did this over and over again and now I am a professional blogger with a digital media business comprised of a handful of sites that makes me somewhere between $20,000-$25,000 dollars a month in revenue. Never did I think I could make this much money online, but blogging really can become a lucrative full-time career option if you’re willing to put the work in at the start.
What you need to understand about blogging is that…it’s not just a blog. Because, when you start a blog, you’re starting a business, and you need to act like an entrepreneur.
And who wouldn’t love to start a blog?
The startup cost to become a blogger is extremely low
It’s open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year
A successful blogging business generates passive income
You can select whatever blog niche you are passionate about
You can become your own boss of an online business
There are numerous sources of income on a blog
Monetizing a blog is easy
I could go on and on…
How Much Do Bloggers Make?
One of the common things a naysayer will tell you about bloggers is that they don’t make enough money.
Now, to be clear, if you start today as a new blogger it’s highly unlikely you’ll be making a million dollars within a year. Just like any business, there is a learning curve.
But as I already mentioned, I make more blogging than I ever would have at a traditional company, and I’m not alone!
Don’t believe me?
Let’s examine some of the people out there who make me look like I have a lot to learn.
For example, there is a blog called Survival Life, as you can see below.
Would you believe me if I told you that this website right here makes $1 million or more every single month? Pretty crazy, right?
Basically, they have a lot of quality content about survival and survival gear. They make money from affiliates, ad revenue, and sponsorships.
That is a million-dollar example, which is far above where I am. But still extremely impressive.
Making Sense of Cents
The next example is MakingSenseofCents (dot) com.
They discontinued their income reports, but they used to have income reports kind of similar to mine and in June of 2018 they reported over $100,000 in earnings for the month.
I really have no idea how much they make now, but their site is pretty minimal and without all of the fancy bells and whistles, they are able to make a TON of money.
Just a Girl and Her Blog
Next we have JustaGirlandHerBlog (dot) com, a popular lifestyle blog, pictured below. It’s run by Abby Lawson and her husband—just two bloggers who made over $40,000 alone in December 2016.
This is a great example because in addition to hosting a blog, they use their website to sell several different products and even an online course.
As I said above, your blog is not just a blog.
To make money blogging, you need to integrate your blog with other channels like eCommerce platforms to sell your own products or online course platforms to create tutorials and other instructional material that you can sell over and over while building a loyal following. This is a great way a full-time blogger can diversify and use their website for more than just professional blogging.
Easy Baby Life
The next example is EasyBabyLife (dot) com, a popular mom blog, and as you can see below, the last income report I could find was April of 2017.
In that month, they made around $4,500.
Lastly, we have TravelBlogBreakthrough.com. As you can see below, the last income report I could find was in 2016 and they made right around $2000.
The reality is, many of these people stopped sharing their income reports, but I’ll bet you what they’re making now is significantly more than what these images show.
And as you can see, not everyone is making tens of thousands of dollars doing this. Some people make a couple hundred, some a couple thousand, some a couple of tens of thousands, and others over $100,000 per month.
The numbers are all over the map, but most importantly, this should prove to you that blogging is a very valid career if you take it seriously. Heck, you could start something as simple as a movie review blog or a music blog and with the right amount of traffic, it could be very lucrative.
Take my free IGNITION course if you’re looking to start. I promise it’ll help you out.
Skills Needed For a Career in Blogging
Going back to my original point of whether or not blogging is a good career path, there are definitely some skills that you have to have in order to be a successful blogger.
Good Writing Skills
I’ve known a lot of freelance writers who started a personal blog and were soon making a lucrative income. However, we’re not all professional writers, and the truth is that if you can’t write or you’re not big on writing, then you’re not going to do well with blogging.
While you can always outsource, you’ll still need to edit and revise. If you’re not a good writer, you probably won’t be a much better editor. Unfortunately, blogging isn’t the best career option for everyone. But if you have the writing skills, you might as well give it a shot.
You absolutely have to work hard at this blogging stuff. It isn’t a “get rich quick” scheme, but it can be a reality if you work hard at it.
Since starting in 2014, I’ve also discovered that patience is a very good quality to have as a blogger.
In that first year, you’re not going to see a lot of success. Heck, I even lost money my first year.
You need to be stubborn. If someone asks you why blogging is a good idea, and you’re still building your site, you won’t be able to show off your income report quite yet. However, if you keep at it and don’t up in the face of adversity, you are going to succeed.
Even when you’re just starting and not seeing the results you might want, you have to keep pushing through. As long as you’re stubborn enough to persist even through the tough times, you’ll make it to the other side with a nice chunk of change in your pocket.
You also need to be organized to be able to run any type of business, and a blog is no different. While this may seem like it’s simple and all you need to do is show up and write once in a while, there are so many intricate details to a blog that meticulous organization is a big positive.
When you first start building a blog, you’ll find that there are many different website builders, web hosts, and thousands of digital marketing tools that can help you take your blog and website to the next level. You have to be able to be organized enough to test different tools, keep track of results, and make sure that everything is running smoothly. Lack of organization will quickly prevent even the best blogger from becoming a pro blogger.
Career Advancement Opportunities
Just like any other career you have to look at other variables like career advancement with bloggers.
Do bloggers have advancement opportunities?
Well, not really, because you’re working for yourself. You’re not going to get a promotion because….you’re the boss already.
There’s not going to be someone who says, “Oh, great job on this article. You deserve a promotion!” That’s not how it works.
Growth is 100% on your shoulders, which is definitely a big positive. The harder you work and the better decisions you make, the bigger you can get.
Blogging can definitely lead to other opportunities like speaking or consulting if you choose to position yourself in this way. But if you want a pat on the back, it will come from no one else but yourself.
Next, let’s talk about work/life balance. Most people worry a ton about this before starting their blog.
They think they may work too hard and may not balance out their personal life and their work.
My response? Good.
The reality is that you may not want as much time off as you’re thinking and here’s why…
If you’re doing it right, you’re going to be addicted to your own blog or your own business.
Your heart will race when you see that first visitor pop up on analytics.
You’ll smile wide when you make your first dollar with display ads.
You’ll go to bed every single night wanting to wake up to work on your own blog.
Frankly, if you’re like me, you don’t really consider blogging “work”. As you grow, it becomes a hobby, a passion, and it just so happens to be your job as well.
Keep in mind that it isn’t easy.
The first few months may be a struggle. But once you’ve gotten used to blogging, you’re going to find some success, and then you can then reinvest some of the money that you’re making to hire others to help grow your business. This is when things get big.
But the point is, you dictate your own schedule and you can go at your own pace. If you only want to work 20 hours a week on your blog, then fine, you can do that. If you want to work 40 hours a week, you can do that, too. But 80 hours? That is really not recommended, but if you want to do that you can.
Of course, just like any business you start, there is a risk to this career path. There are certain things that can happen that can really impact your business drastically in a couple of days.
For instance, you can have a Google update which may drop (or could increase) your blog traffic by 30-40%. While this doesn’t happen all the time, it is a risk that you have to be willing to take.
There was also a recent thing that happened where Amazon, which has the largest affiliate program in the world, decided to lower their commissions. This hurt the earnings of a lot of bloggers and things like this just happen sometimes.
But if you think about this objectively, is any job really safe?
I worked in corporate America for about eight years and lost my job twice when it was no fault of my own. The first time there were budget cuts, the second time the egos of three executives essentially crushed the marketing department.
Although there are some risks to blogging, I really think it’s crazier to trust an employer with your financial future and let them dictate everything and control you. Instead, you can create your own path where you navigate everything and you determine how much money you can make, blogging is the way to do it.
Heck, you could even start a financial blog yourself and make a better living than working for a full-time employer.
Skills Learned Translate to Other Jobs
As a blogger, it’s important to understand that even if things don’t go as well as you had hoped, you’ll still learn a lot and develop many new skills that will translate to other jobs.
First, you’re probably going to understand simple web design. Whether you’re using web design software or WordPress you’ll understand all the simple stuff. You may not be a full coder (I’m not a full coder), but you will understand the simple stuff by simply being involved in it.
You’ll also understand social media, which is a very valuable component of really any business out there. If you know how to grow and nurture an audience in a social community, you’re always going to be employable.
You’ll also learn copywriting or the “art of words,” as I call it, and how to make sure that the copy and content you’re putting out there really resonates with your audience. This could lead to you writing your own book, becoming a high-paying copywriter, or even starting a book blog of your own.
You’ll also learn SEO, or search engine optimization. This basically means making your website friendly enough for search engines to see it and send you traffic.
You’ll learn about email marketing, as well, which means people signing up for an email list and you sending them out emails to build a relationship with them.
You’ll learn how to manage others, and with that, you’ll learn project management skills to make sure that things are getting done.
You’ll learn about domains, including which web hosts are the best for hosting your domain, how to choose the best domain name, and the need to avoid free domains.
You’ll learn about photography if you decide to take pictures of your own products during your blogging journey. This is especially common in product reviews, especially when evaluating photography equipment, which may be better suited for a photography blog.
Like I mentioned earlier, the reality is that a blog is not just a blog—it is a business and should be treated as such. Any business needs a good CEO and the best way to do that is to become a well-rounded individual.
Is Blogging a Good Career?
Do I think that you should get started in a career as a blogger?
Yes…but don’t quit your day job yet.
The truth is, you can still work while you are blogging.
Personally, I think this is something where you should do it as a side hustle.
It takes time to figure it out and if you are desperate for money while trying to become a blogger, you’re going to make dumb decisions out of desperation.
There’s nothing wrong with doing this as a side hustle at first, that’s exactly what I did.
Now I know, this is all easier said than done. But if you take anything away from this post, it’s that you need to sign up for my IGNITION course right here to get started.
The reality is that blogging is an incredible career and one that everyone deserves, but few are brave enough to try. Don’t be scared, you owe it to yourself to build your own business and blogging is the simplest way to do it.