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.
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.