Bogging is one of those activities that most people do not associate with a career path, but truthfully, those people really don't understand the power that bloggers have. I'm not just talking about the influence that bloggers have over their audience—I'm talking about the earning power that bloggers have to make a living for themselves.
In today's post, I want to talk to you about whether or not blogging is a good career path. That being said let's go ahead and get started.
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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 about five years ago, and I was blogging on a website just to help people with a problem that they were having.
I kept blogging and more people kept visiting, and it grew to a very large size. Then, I kind of realized that there was a way to make money with this blogging stuff by putting ads on the website and other things.
Then I noticed, “Wow! These really make money!” I found ways to make even more money with my website after that. From there, I started another blog and began to outsource my writing responsibilities, not just for the first website, but to other websites as well.
Now, this isn't to gloat, but just to tell you what's possible—I have a business that makes somewhere between $20,000-$25,000 dollars a month in revenue. And if you're skeptical of that, you can click here to see my income reports.
Those income reports detail every cent I have spent every month, and where I made my money from every month. I've been doing that for five years, so you can see how the business has progressed over time.
But you need to understand that when you start a blog, you are starting a business, so you are actually an entrepreneur. The thing is, the startup cost is very low, so technically speaking, you don't even need to get a college education to be able to do this. It's something that you can just do.
Just like the experience that I had, if you were to create a blog today, it's going to start slow. However, things do grow over time, and you're going to realize is that your ability to make more money expands with the amount of traffic you have coming to your website.
I have to say, if you're looking to get started with it, you can click here to learn how to start a blog. When you start a blog, don’t think of it as you just writing on a little blog in the corner of the internet.
Think of the fact that you are starting a business, so you need to treat it like one. Be serious about it because a blog is actually a business, even on day one.
How Much Do Bloggers Make?
Now I want to talk about something that I'm sure most of you are focused on, which is how much bloggers make. Realistically, you're not going to be making a ton of money the first year that you're in business because you're really trying to figure things out.
You're juggling things, trying your voice in different ways, and adjusting your strategies and learning, which is fine; I did that myself, so I am living proof.
Like I said, right now I make between $20,000-$25,000 a month. It all started with a simple blog to help people, and then I ventured out and created more blogs and hired more people. But the thing is, there are people who are way ahead of me, and there are people below me.
For example, there is a website 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, all they do is have a lot of content about survival and survival gear, and they make money from affiliates and ad revenue and sponsorships.
That is a million-dollar example, which is far above where I am. The source of my data for that is simply from a podcast. You can click on that link to learn more about it.
The next example is makingsenseofcents.com, as you can see below. They discontinued these now, but they used to have income reports kind of similar to mine. This website was making over $100,000 a month at this point, and this was a long time ago.
I really have no idea how much they make now, but does this look like some crazy corporate thing to you? No. They're just really good at what they do, and these two people obviously make quite a bit of money.
Next we have justagirlandherblog.com, pictured below. It is run by Abby Lawson and her husband—just them. The last income report they had was in December 2016, and they made just over $40,000.
The next example is easybabylife.com, and as you can see below, their 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.
While many of these other websites stopped sharing their income reports, I have continually shared mine. You can click here to see my income report from the last month.
The reality is, many of these people stopped sharing their income reports, so this was years ago that they were posting these numbers. Frankly, I don't even know how much more they're making now, but I'll bet you it's really significant.
The money they made really depends on the quality of their content production, their monetization strategies, skill sets, networking skills, and the influence they have over their own audience.
Skills Needed to Be a Blogger
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.
First, you need to have good writing skills. If you can't write or you're not big on writing, then you're not going to do well with blogging. It doesn't mean you can't improve; you can always take writing classes, or you can practice writing to get better at it, but you generally have to be a pretty good writer.
You also have to be hardworking. You absolutely have to work hard at this blogging stuff. It isn't a get-rich-quick scheme, but it can actually happen if you work really hard at it.
In my six years of doing this, 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, which leads me to my next point.
You need to be stubborn. You need to believe that you are going to succeed, and you need to be stubborn enough to keep pushing and keep working hard, even though you don't see a ton of results. In time, as you continue to work hard, those results will come.
I'd also say that a really good skill to have as a blogger is the ability to network—not just in person, but also through email. Being able to connect with people and network with them is a very helpful tool in this particular industry, because the more people you know, the more opportunities are going to open up for you.
You also need to be organized to be able to run any type of business, and a blog is no different. But lastly, the most important skill you need is to be competitive. If you are a competitive person at your core, then blogging is really good for you, because there is definitely competition out there.
There's not so much competition that they can't be beaten, but there is competition out there. If you see a competitor that you think is weak, or that you think you could look at what they're doing and maybe do it a little bit better, you can go after them and try to directly compete and hopefully overtake them.
Then, you move on to the next competitor, and then the next. There's no shortage of competition, and I personally love that. It's something that is a reality in the blogging space, or really in any area.
Just like any other career you have to look at other variables with bloggers. For example, do bloggers have any advancement opportunities? Well, not really because you're working for yourself. You're not going to find a promotion because you're not going to have a boss.
There's not going to be someone who says, “Oh, great job on this article. You'll get 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.
That can definitely lead to other opportunities like speaking or consulting if you choose to do those things. But at the end of the day, there is no advancement opportunity of “Chief Executive Blogger,” for instance. It's all about the amount of effort you put into it and how much you grow your own business.
Next let's talk about work/life balance. You may not want as much time off as you're thinking you might, and here's why: if you're doing it right, you're going to be addicted to your own blog or your own business, and you’re really going to want to watch that sucker grow.
When it starts to grow and when you start to get traffic, that's a great feeling. But when you start to see the money coming in, things get real and you get excited about it.
Frankly, if you're like me, you don't really consider blogging and working on websites work. You might be bored or not feeling productive, so you'll just grab your computer and get to work. You don't even mean to do it; it just kind of happens when you're passionate about something.
Keep in mind that you are going to work a lot in the beginning. Once you’ve gotten used to this, you’re going to discover that you understand how it all works, you're finding some success, and you can then reinvest some of the money that you're making to hire others to help out with certain tasks.
In the beginning, it is pretty labor-intensive, but that doesn't necessarily mean that you have to work 80 hours a week, which I'm sometimes known to do—my wife can attest to this. I probably need to get better at that.
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.
The beauty of it is that with a blog, your work/life balance is about as good as it gets because you dictate it. You can technically vacation whenever and wherever you want if you have your own blog. All you need is your computer and an internet connection to keep your business running.
Also, it really is passive. What I mean by this is, while you are sleeping in Bali, or India, or South America, and you're traveling and enjoying your life, this stuff will actually make you money, so that is a really big bonus.
Although it's tough in the beginning year, your work/life balance gets much better as you grow. Of course, just like anything else, there is a risk to this and it is not considered a “safe” path. There are certain things that can happen that can really hit your blog overnight and impact your business.
For instance, you can have a Google update, which recently happened. Afterward, some people saw their traffic drop by 30-40% overnight, which is pretty crazy.
There was also a recent thing happened where Amazon ended up lowering their commission rates for their affiliate program. Affiliate basically means if you refer people to Amazon and they purchase something, then you get a commission. Amazon reduced those commissions recently, and that hit a lot of people hard.
But in reality, is any job really safe? I worked in corporate America for about eight years, and there were plenty of times when I would have been the first person to be let go if the company saw any problems at all.
Although there are some risks to it, I really think it's crazier to put all of your well-being into an employer and let them dictate everything and control you completely. Instead, you can kind of create your own path, where you navigate everything, and you determine how much money you can make.
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. You'll understand WordPress and all the simple stuff. You may not be a full coder (I'm not a full coder), but you will understand the simple stuff.
You'll also understand social media, which is a very valuable component of really any business is social media, and how you can grow an audience in a social community.
You can also learn copywriting or the “art of words,” as I call it, and how to make sure that your copy and content you're putting out there really resonates with your audience.
Speaking of content, you can also learn content creation and the whole process of good content creation. That is a skill that is very valuable because a lot of businesses want to grow their online presence and the best way to do that is with content.
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 and automating everything.
You'll learn how to manage others, and with that, you'll learn project management skills to make sure that things are getting done, as your blog grows and you start hiring people. Then, those individuals will need processes in place to really do what they have to do.
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. If you treat it that way, it can grow really well, and hopefully you'll never have to work for anybody again.
Why You Should Get Started
So why do I think that you should get started in a career as a blogger? It's pretty simple. You can still work while you are blogging. In other words, you don't have to quit your job, and I don't advise you to.
I think this is something where you should do it as a side gig. Hopefully, you start to build up your blog, and eventually, that blog will out-earn your full-time job so you can quit. But in the beginning, do it on the side. There's nothing wrong with that, and that's exactly what I did.
Next, you can blog from virtually anywhere. Even if you’re on a lunch break at work, you can grab your laptop, go to the car, and write a quick blog post.
I remember back in the day when I was going to and from work, I was dictating blog posts on my phone so when I got home I would have a full post written. Then I could edit it and post it onto my website. A lot of people thought I was crazy, but you can't do much work while you're driving other than that.
You should also get started now because frankly, there aren’t many businesses that will make money while you sleep. I know that this is a cliche that people always say, but it is true. Websites never close. They're open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every single day of the year, and they don't stop.
So, when you start today, and as you build it bigger, it's going to get to the point where you're making money while you’re asleep. This happens to me now; I wake up and have money sitting in my bank account waiting for me.
The last reason why you should get started is pretty simple—in a worst-case scenario here, you are going to build marketable skills for a new job even if you fail. If you blog for six months, or even two years, and it doesn't go according to plan, it's okay. In that process, you might find something that you really enjoy, which will make you change your career path completely.
That being said, if you are interested in getting started, you can click here to learn how to start a blog. There is a little guide there that will walk you through the entire process.