A few months ago Darren from ProBlogger wrote a great article about making money from blogging. In his post he discussed a recent Wall Street Journal story that publicized his $250,000 blogging income and points out 5 "Reality Checks" when it comes to blogging for dollars. I thought he made some great points and I wanted to give you my take on the money making aspects of blogging.
- 1. It takes a concerted long term effort
- Darren’s been blogging for 5 years, me? 4. Like Darren the first year I was not making or even looking for ways to make money. I was blogging for me. It was a creative outlet while working full time and taking care of my newborn. I’ve had many conversations with new bloggers who want to immediately see an income for their blog. While I don’t think it’s impossible to make money from a young blog you have to be in it for the long haul. I truly believe blogs are an investment of your time and energy and expecting a full time income on a blog that’s less then 3 years old may be unrealistic. It takes a long to time to build a reputation and a loyal readership.
- 2. It takes luck
- I have a hard time with the luck thing. I agree, there is some luck involved but I’m very much of the mindset “Luck is where preparation meets opportunity.” About 2 years after I started blogging MSN published my weight loss story and for 2 days I got an influx of visits. A lot of those visits become loyal readers and my subscriptions increased. I do consider it lucky that they published my link BUT I did submit my story, I did have a well organized site for them to link to and I already had ads in place to take advantage of the additional income opportunity from the increased traffic. There is no doubt some bloggers get a bit of luck but don’t depend on it to increase you income. You still need to have a well designed, informative blog that people will want to visit over and over again.
- 3. It takes a lot of work
- Now this I can fully get behind. Like Darren I routinely work 40-60 hours a week, if not more. Many bloggers think they can simply just write a few posts a week then sit back and watch the money role in. For me, I have 3 blogs and a community that needs constant attention. I built and designed the blogs myself, reply to as many comments as possible, reach out to my readers using social media sites, record videos, edit podcasts, write posts, prep photos, calculate nutritional information for recipes, check and respond to stats, I can go on and on here. And unlike Darren I’m not even anywhere CLOSE to make a 3 figure income. Thankfully I’ve blurred the line between "work" and "play." Genuinely loving what I do and sharing part of my life online makes my work fun, some of the time at least. ;~)
- 4. Many don’t make much money blogging
- It’s true. And I love Darren’s analogy of professional sports. There are many people who golf, for example. Some are professional and make a ton of money, some amateurs may make a bit in local tournaments but the majority of golfers don’t get a dime.They play for the love of the game. Blogging is very similar.
- 5. It’s hard
- Boy is it. Coming up with relevant things to write about that resonates with your audience, warding off spammers, opening up yourself to criticism, feeling pressure from your audience, managing ads, etc. I mean every job has it’s pressures but I think some perceive blogging as "You make money by talking about your life online? WOW that easy." Little do they know it’s still a JOB.
Like Darren, I don’t mean to detour you from blogging but I do think you need to be realistic when it comes to make money from it. I’m no where near making three figures like Darren. Honestly, I’m lucky to make two and that’s with consulting projects doubling my blog income. I also have no where near the traffic that Darren gets. As a simple comparison Digital Photography School (his most popular) has 219,065 subscribers, my most popular blog, Roni’s Weigh 1,730.
Blogging started as a personal, creative outlet for me and that will always be my first goal. Making money is nice but sometimes it may actually be more work then it’s worth. That’s a decision you will need to make yourself and I’m curious…. Do you make money from your blog? Is it worth it? If you don’t, do you plan to?