Top Five Truths You Need To Know About Making Money Blogging, by Kimberly Munsey-Carlton

As a paid blogger everyone with a computer asks me if they too can really make money blogging. What writer wouldn’t want to sit in their jammies, write what they want whenever they want, have a devout audience and get paid for it? So, the question remains –Can anyone with a keyboard actually make a living as a blogger?

The answer is a simple yes and no.

To put the concept of making money from blogging in to perspective, if every blog and blogger made money, especially enough to live on, it would be the equivalent of every novelist publishing their first book, without an agent or an editor and instantly getting royalty checks as regularly as payroll. I have been blogging for money and for personal agendas for almost four years and the truth about blogging is it just doesn’t happen like that.

Fact 1. BLOGGING IS TIME CONSUMING WORK

Unless you are posting some pretty explicit pictures of yourself people don’t normally pay you to visit your blog. Individual bloggers get paid by the ad clicks. If you don’t have the time or interest to learn how to drive traffic to your site and become devoted to keeping that site up on the radar of the search engines then you will have no one to click on the ads. These ads are strategically placed on your site by companies like Google. While your personal blog can sign up for ad revenues like Google’s AdSense they will not place good ads on your site nor pay you if your topic is not popular. Learning about how the Internet works, how search engines pick and choose, how to utilize SEO and keyword importance is imperative. These are things you most likely will have to learn on your own because only now are schools even recognizing the void in instruction in this area.

FACT 2. WHO CARES ABOUT WHAT YOU HAVE TO SAY?

Blogs are web logs. They can be instructional, personal journals, rhetoric or editorials. While these types of blogs can be read and loyally followed, they are almost always done by amateurs and do not usually create income. Also, although you may really be passionate about the plight of the Itsy Bitsy Three Legged Mini-Mammoth, how many others are? Is it enough to supply you with a large enough audience that when you are earning a penny per 1,000 hits you can retire to the beach with your laptop? Are your articles going to be re-posted on Facebook or linked to other pages in order to grow your audience? While writing about your ideals is romantic it will not pay your ISP bill much less your landlord. The competition for people’s time is stretched beyond comprehension today. They are inundated with information overload. Your blog must fill a need in their life. It must scratch a real itch. That is nothing new. Marketing experts have known this long before cyberspace was born. You must have a solid understanding of trends, of who your market is, know how to help them find you, and know what problems you can solve for them.

Fact 3. PLANTING A BLOG GARDEN

Blogs that have become success stories have taken years to reach that status. They have a large collection of archived posts, have become recognized by humans and search engines alike as an authority and have a voice that people crave hearing. You cannot have a successful blog without planting your first post and then seeding the blog with new material daily or more. While you indeed can make money on all of your old articles no one will find those old articles if you have stopped posting. The reason goes back to fact one and two. Search engines will leave you behind faster than a friend who has just been offered a ride home from a super model. Writing blogs are very time-consuming and challenging work.

Professional Blogging

BLOGGING FOR MONEY: REALITY OR URBAN LEGEND?

Fact 4. PROFESSIONAL BLOGGING = PROFESSIONAL COMPETITION

You can get paid to blog for someone else. Many blogs do pay professionals and may or may not acknowledge that with a blogger by-line. Political blogs, entertainment blogs and corporate blogs are usually done by professionals. You can be hired to be a professional blogger for these companies by answering an advertised call for writers, or placing competing bids for work on sites like Guru and Elance. I actually answered a call on Facebook for a technology site I follow who offered to pay for bloggers. Keep your eyes open for these opportunities. Professional blogs average a payout of $2.00 -$10.00 for each post. These blogs are usually 500 words, must be keyword oriented and SEO must be observed. In the world of writing, where articles used to get a $1.00 per word, that price is appallingly low but the reality. These can be a one time gig or become a long-term, daily blogger position. BE WARNED! – There is heavy competition for these low paying jobs because professional writers, teachers, even attorneys are hurting economically and are now offering their services.

Fact . 5. NO ROOM FOR EGOS IN PROFESSIONAL BLOGGING

Most employers consider it ghost writing and in fact may even take credit for your writing. Some entertainers host blogs as if they author them but may use ghost writers who are paid professionals. There are large writing companies offering to pay you for your work and then re-selling it for a profit as theirs. Moral issues can arise because of people sending you articles to rewrite that they may have bought legally and need re-written to reuse but chances are they may have stolen them from other sites. Blogging, like any type of writing, can suffer from plagiarism. If you sell your article or blog it is no longer yours unless the terms and conditions of the rights to the work were agreed to prior to the sell. Once sold, reselling an article can not only ruin your reputation but get you sued. Another thing to keep in mind is that these are independent contractor jobs and you are responsible for your own taxes and insurance.

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12 responses to “Top Five Truths You Need To Know About Making Money Blogging, by Kimberly Munsey-Carlton

  • cmwillis

    Great article! Out of curiosity, how much could one make, in Chattanooga, as a professional blogger? I see ads all the time to work from home for thousands, but what is a more realistic goal?

    • Kimberly Munsey-Carlton

      Thanks for your comment & encouragement CMWILLIS – To answer that question, unless you have no job and lots of time it will be quite awhile for a real income to be generated. Figuring your income is almost formulaic. If you always get topics you know well and can write 500 words correctly and quickly, and those blogs are paying $5.00 each, then you may make $10.00 per hour. The problem is most of us are not machines who can do that. Also, there aren’t always 80 reliable sources offering you $5.00 to equal a 40 hour week.

      1. You have to start writing on sites for free or low pay per hit sites in order to get a sample to use to bid on jobs. Build a portfolio of good work.
      2. In the non-virtual world if you write you use clips as a resume, which can also be used to get online jobs but because of SEO and keyword knowledge most of the people willing to pay for your blogging want to know you know how to write for search engines and humans.
      3. If you are so in love with your writing that you could never sell it for pennies even to seed for future better paying jobs, this is not for you.

  • Preston

    Finally someone said what needed to be said about blogging. The reality of blogging is so often overlooked or misunderstood. There is money to be made but without understanding the limitations, most won’t be able to make it work. Just goes to show that blogging is in its infancy and that social media is changing all the time. To me thats a sign of great potential if harness the right way.

  • socialmediastudent

    I think it is great that Kimberly says up front that blogs are challenging and time consuming. It’s not as easy as others may lead you to think- Dorothy

  • L Warren

    Kimberly, you could make money giving workshops. Have you thought about it? I’d sign up for it and I know many others who’d love to sit at your feet.Chattanooga State’s Continuing Education department is always looking for instructors. I hope you consider it. You are an asset to the community and the college. I fb’d your post. Excellent writing.

    • kim carlton

      L Warren- As unprofessional as it sounds your post has made me cry good tears! Thank you in more ways than I can write while my eyes have liquid in them!

  • TheFireBat

    I thoroughly enjoyed the article! In some ways; though intended as an article, I could feel the seething angst of the blogger seeping through. I in no way mean for the article to be taken lightly as I felt educated at the same time. It’s due time professional bloggers and teens with a keyboard be differentiated in their craft the same as the “I have a camera, I take pictures with it, thus I am a photographer” mentality be quashed. Bloggers everywhere should hail you for you post for this alone;furthermore, the weight of your writing here not only exemplifies its own points in a blog-esque fashion, but is instructional (if not cautionary) too! I love this piece on many levels and could go on but as a fellow writer, I have a deadline to meet. Thank you for the wonderful piece, it was extraordinary.

    • kim carlton

      Fire Bat – thank you and glad you took something from it. Perhaps someday I will be fortunate enough to read something of yours.

  • Rocko Ihavbone

    Kimberly Awesome Article!

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