Don’t believe the “starting a blog is a great way to make money” hype. If it’s something you’re really interested in, read the truth about blogging for money first.
I’ve seen too many blog posts lately claiming to walk the reader through the simple steps it takes to begin making money by blogging. It’s easy, they say, to turn a writing hobby into an income-earning venture. You can begin making a side income just as quickly as if you were to go get a part time job.
Imagine you read this job description: “Part- to full-time position available. Must have ability to write, interact with readers, manage social media, brainstorm post ideas, collaborate with others, track business income and expenses, and more. Additional responsibilities will be added with little or no advance notice. Pay varies and may be nonexistent for several months, after which it may be inconsistent and intermittent.”
Who in their right mind would apply for that position? Probably only people with a deep love of writing and another income to rely on as they waited for the money-making to kick in. While it’s completely possible to make even more than a full-time income through your blog, it doesn’t come quickly and it doesn’t come easily. There are some truths you need to know before you venture down that road.
The Truth About Blogging for Money
It will take time from other things
Anyone who blogs with the goal of making money will tell you this: blogging requires sacrifice. Sure, you can schedule time to write posts, you can work blogging in around other obligations, and you can vow to only spend time on your blog after your kids are in bed. You might even make that work.
Sooner or later, though, you’ll have to decide between blogging and that other thing. Reading a book, going out with friends, folding laundry. If you have a job- even if that job is staying home with your kids- blogging will have to fit in around all that stuff. If you’re truly committed to making money with your blog, you’ll find yourself saying “no” to other things.
If you enjoy what you’re doing, it won’t seem like such a burden. That’s why blogging has to be special to you.
It can’t just be a hobby
Blogging as it was originally designed doesn’t have to be time-consuming. You write a little about your thoughts and feelings, post a few unedited personal photos, and post. It’s all like an online diary you write in whenever you want.
Blogging for profit is a whole different beast. You need to post at least a couple of times a week, and sharing only personal updates won’t bring in much of an audience outside your friends and family. In addition, you need clean, bright photos. The internet is a visually-focused platform, so excellent photos are what will drive readers to your site.
If you hope to make money blogging, it has to be a passion. You have to love to write. You also have to enjoy other aspects of the work, too: engaging with readers, wading into the technical side of things, scheduling social media posts. Blogging takes a lot of hours and it has to be something you like to do.
The money doesn’t happen overnight
What frustrates me the most about the blogs posts I’ve referred to is that “starting a blog” is usually included in lists of ways to make money fast, or easy ways to make a side income. In my opinion, both of those statements are false.
I have a lot of blogging friends. None of them began earning any sort of income until they’d been working diligently for at least several months. Even then, they only earned a few dollars at a time, and most opted to put that money back into their blog to help grow their business. For most it was close to a year- or more- before they began seeing an income that was significant enough to contribute to household expenses.
The bottom line is that having a blog is hard work and, like most anything in life, doesn’t lead to overnight success. If you love writing and want to share your ideas with the world, blogging might be for you. If you’re simply searching for a quick money-making opportunity, you should consider a different avenue.