One Mom’s Journey from Fat to Skinny to Confident

BLOGGING THOUGHTS

My Reality Check About Blogging For Dollars

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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?



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Discussion

There are 10 comments so far.

    Melissa

    April 21, 2009

    I make no money from my blog and have no advertisers at all. I know I could … but I’d fear getting all kinds of “lose weight now” type ads, and I just don’t think that’s on message for a blog about recovery from disordered eating. I hope someday my writing style — and the guest posts I’ve written already — might land me a cool opportunity with a print pub or an online pub that would come with a paycheck … but I’m blogging about a passion and a reality of mine. It’s definitely not something I do for money, and even if I had a bigger following than I do, I think any money I would earn, I’d probably donate to NEDA.

    Berni

    April 21, 2009

    I’m a lot like @Melissa, I had Adsense running for a while, made no money from it and cringed every time I went to my site and saw the “lose 20lbs in 4 weeks” ads. I do want to make money from blogging, but for now I’m a total newbie, 6 months in, and I’m enjoying sharing and connecting with other people so much I’m not really even thinking about it :)

    Sally

    April 21, 2009

    I would just like people to see what i could do and hopefully someone will like what they see need a cake or something and tell their friends that i make nice things and they should try me out. So i guess technically id like to make money eventually but not really through the blog, Just baking. Im no where near where i would like to be with the amount of posts i want.. but i guess you need to start somewhere. (=

    jamie

    April 23, 2009

    I blog mostly just for myself, family and friends. I don’t put my blog out there too much b/c I work full time as a designer and I try hard to keep my personal life separate from my professional. I just find it a bit odd that the guy next to me could be reading about my personal life without me knowing. I’m having a hard time “going public” – did anyone else have a hard time making this leap? But while I think it would be great to roll in some extra money from it, like Berni I mentally cringe at the idea of the reactions I might get from my readers if they see ads.

    Kerry

    April 24, 2009

    I make a negligible amount of money from my blog, but I do get very excited when somoene tells me they tried a new recipe after reading!

    roni

    April 24, 2009

    Kerry – I do TOO! Every time some says they tried a recipe or any idea I shared online I get psyched! It’s such an awesome feeling. :)

    roni

    April 24, 2009

    Jaime – first.. there is always the anonymous option! :)

    Sometimes I wish I did that and yeah.. I cringe.. but then I think.. HEY this is ME, if they don’t like it, then there’s nothing I can do about it.

    What I’ve found is that most people I know rarely read. They are totally uninterested in that part of me. So it’s really not a big deal at all.

    Laura Jane

    April 24, 2009

    I like using my blog as way to share my weight loss struggles and successes with others. It’s great to be able to vent or share a great success with people who are truly interested. Most people in my life, although supportive, don’t deal with these things themselves and don’t have that much interest in what I ate or how long I worked out and all those details. I also use my blog for some accountability (both from “strangers” and from the few people I know personally who do read my blog). So I’m not really interested in making money from my blog. But I do really enjoy learning more about the technical aspects blogging and about getting more readers. And I do enjoy reading blogs like ProBlogger and the posts on here about making money, even though it’s not something I plan to do, if that makes any sense.

    Jamie (fitforamom)

    January 13, 2010

    I agree with Berni. Do it because you have a passion for it. I am a marketing consultant who strategizes with those in the wellness industry and what I love to do is WRITE, so blogging has been a natural progression for me. I am currently working on my first book and thought that blogging would assist me. Being a newbie has been great in regards to all of the connections that I’ve made with like minded individuals!

    Fit Moms = Fit Families = Fit Business,

    Jamie
    @fitforamom

    Kerri O

    January 19, 2011

    I just passed the year mark, I have made a whopping…$5. Wanna go for coffee? Course, you have to pay for your own ;)