Whenever I mention my blog people roll their eyes and seem to think: “Big deal.You have a blog, and so do millions of others“. But as soon as I mention the fact that I make money blogging they prick their ears.
The concept seems simple enough. I write about topics that I am interested in, that I enjoy, a lot of people read it (hopefully!), and I make money off advertisement. To those among us who have experience doing this, it is simple. To the novice bloggger, however, it is of the utmost importance to realize what he or she getting into.
If you are new to blogging and interested in doing it for money, here are a few things to keep in mind before committing yourself.
1. Blogging is easy – Blogging for profit is more difficult – I won’t go as far as to say it is impossible to draw a secondary income from blogging, but it is whole lot harder than most people care to think. Unfortunately, it is not just about producing content and slapping up some ads. It takes good writing, proper templating, intelligent ad placement, developing an audience… there are a lot of skills required to make a blog profitable, and you will have to aquire them.
2. Get into blogging for the long run or not at all – The vast majority of blogs fail within the first few months, being discontinued and eventually forgotten. More to the point, just a tiny minority of blogs see any profit during the first few months. Unless you are prepared to keep writing for at least a year, you will probably never see any return for your effort.
3. Choose a topic you love and stick with it – General purpose blogs and blogs that trying to cover a lot of different topics tend to have difficulty developing a readership. Make a list of the topics you care about, then choose the one that appeals to you the most and blog about it exclusively.
4. Start with just one blog – If you have a long list of possible topics, do not give in to the temptation to start a different blog for each one right away. By dividing your time between several blogs you will only increase the likelihood that all of them will fail. In the beginning, put all of your effort into one blog. Once you get comfortable writing and find out how things work you might consider branching out and creating additional blogs.
5. If you are unsure, test the waters – It is a fact that a lot of people simply do not have the drive or stamina to keep writing until their blog becomes successful. If you are not sure, try a starter blog on one of the many free services such as Blogger or WordPress .com. (But be sure to choose a service where the content you create is not locked in so you will be able to export it whenever you want.) Feel it out for a few weeks. If, by the end of this time, you have stuck with it and feel like blogging is right for you, go ahead and commit to the effort. The same applies to test driving new topics if you are unsure what to write about.
6. Place ads wisely – Some people recommend not placing ads on a blog until it has matured somewhat. Others recommend putting them up right away. Both approaches have their pros and cons. Just make sure to place your ads tastefully so as not to overwhelm your readers. User experience should be your prior concern.
7. Enjoy your work – This is the real key to successful blogging. If you pick a topic that you love and blog about it with passion for months and years on end, your blog will build a readership, generate income, and be a success on the net. If, however, your blog becomes a chore to maintain, it will fail for sure.
The main point I am trying to get across is that a lot of people get into blogging with high hopes of making a profit – only to fail miserably. If you keep your expectations low in the beginning and invest some time in proper planning you will succeed.