If you’ve been thinking of starting a blog to make money, make sure you know this first. Three reasons to not start a blog to make money.
If you’ve been thinking about making money online, one of the first things that comes to mind is probably “I should start a blog.”
Even six years ago when I quit my corporate job to venture off and do my own thing, my first thought was “If others can make money from blogging, why can’t I?”
For months, since I was just dipping my toe in the blogging world and had absolutely no idea what made a good blog, blog post, or how to draw an audience in – I was a total fish out of water.
I would write post after post, looking for my voice, and feeling a bit lost in the steep learning curve of coming up with content ideas, sourcing images, learning about email marketing, and digging deep into the world of WordPress and Google Analytics.
I learned everything I could through trial and error, sites like ProBlogger, Copyblogger, and Marie Forleo. I learned to make connections through my blog through guest posting, commenting on other blogs, and mimicking what others did (definitely not my best strategy as I later learned).
This was quite a while before Pinterest (and the endless knowledge that comes with it) was on the scene, and I was learning everything on my own.
Trying to make money from blogging was an uphill battle for me from day one. Even though I had my name on popular sites and blogs, the money wasn’t flowing. Mainly because it’s not really “easy” to make money with JUST blogging… at least it wasn’t for me. Others may have found great success with it – and that’s great – but it just isn’t my story.
I don’t want to tell you this to be a total Debbie Downer – but I want to be honest and transparent to let you know that blogging isn’t a one-way ticket to making money easily and effortlessly.
So before you start down the track of learning how to set up a blog and try to throw a bunch of ads on it to make a couple bucks, here’s a few things you should know:
1. Not everyone who starts a blog makes great money from it.
In truth, the major successes are the ones that are highlighted all over Pinterest. They’re the blogs you’ve heard of, because they have found their sweet spot and are actually successful in making money. There are a lot of other blogs who aren’t making money though… and these are the majority.
We all know that Pinterest highlights the successes and leaves out the rest. I mean really… people aren’t going to get tons of attention by saying “I totally sucked the big one at this and make pennies for the hours of work I put in!!”
2. Making money from only blogging is often a whole lot of work without a ton of reward for a LONG time while you grow your following.
With anything online, it takes time to grow an audience, but with blogging in particular – you need quite a bit of targeted traffic to your site in order to turn those visitors into dollars. Even Darren Rowse of ProBlogger says:
“I blogged for a year without making money and once I started monetizing it was around two years of gradual increases before I approached a full-time income level. It would have been four years before I joined that top bracket of income (over $10,000 per month).”
And this is coming from one of the most well-known professional bloggers out there! He goes on to say:
“Blogging for money is not a get-rich-quick thing. It takes time to build an audience, to build a brand, and to build trust and a good reputation.
And of course even with four or five years of blogging behind you, there’s no guarantee of a decent income.”
3. The money-making streams that come with only blogging don’t always offer big payouts.
Affiliate marketing, advertising, and sponsored posts will bring in some extra money, but in my opinion… it’s not GREAT money to start. Getting to this level where advertisers want to work with you doesn’t come overnight. Again, you have to build your audience before many of these companies want to work with you. All of these are great ways to make money, but you need traffic behind it in order for any of them to really be worth it.
Okay, so with all this negative talk of blogging… let me shift gears and completely contradict everything I just said.
You SHOULD start a blog. Blogging is one of the very best platforms for sharing your message and letting “your people” find you. It’s the easiest way to share your passion with others. It’s a great way to make money if you love to write and teach. It’s by far the best ‘career choice’ I’ve made, simply because I love to do it.
Starting a blog to make money isn’t an overnight get-cash-in-your-pocket kind of thing. It’s a slow burning flame that eventually may (or may not) grow into a great revenue stream for you. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket as a blogger or you may find yourself disappointed. But don’t discount the potential of it being the best life-changing money-making strategy you’ve ever made either.
Contradictory enough? You’re welcome. Now, go get writing!