You’re wondering whether you should start a blog. Is it really possible to make an income from blogging? These days, blogs can be real publications, as well as businesses. While the days of “instant income” from blogging are long over, blogging still offers huge opportunities…
That said: avoid missteps. You can waste a lot of time and money on a blogging idea that will never work.
To make an income from blogging, you must avoid the avoidable mistakes
I’ve been blogging for almost two decades. I love it just as much as I always did. And when I coach newbie bloggers, I see them making pretty much the same mistakes new bloggers have always made.
These mistakes are 100% avoidable, and easily identifiable.
Before we get to the steps, consider what it takes to make money from something. Let’s say you want become a farmer. Specifically, a dairy farmer — you want to sell milk and cheese, and make money from the sales to support your family.
What’s your first step?
If your answer is “buy a farm” or “buy cows”… you’re wrong. Perhaps you’re more sophisticated, and you said “create a business plan”. That’s wrong, too.
Just 3 steps to success: create an income from blogging
Your first step is to perform a quick, at-a-glance, and highly informal cost-benefit analysis. Put another way, you want to know: “what do I need to do and spend, and how much could I make?”
Although a cost-benefit analysis sounds complicated, it can be really, really simple. You want to think about your blogging-income idea, and avoid obvious errors.
For example, let’s say you want to become a mommy blogger. Sounds like fun, right? You take photos of your kids in adorable outfits, and post them online… and brands will pay you to do that. Amazing, and so easy. You can do it…
Maybe you can — but maybe you shouldn’t. A quick Google search to identify some of the costs, and some of the benefits, leads you to a blog post, DEAR MOMMY BLOGGER:
NOBODY IS READING YOUR SHIT
I mean no one. Even the people you think are reading your shit? They aren’t really reading it. The other mommy bloggers sure as hell aren’t reading it. They are scanning it for keywords that they can use in the comments. “So cute! Yum! I have to try this!” They’ve been told, like you, that in order to grow your brand, you must read and comment on other similar-sized and similar-themed blogs.
I haven’t posted the above to discourage you from mommy blogging — I posted it so that you research your idea, and can create a cost-benefit analysis. You may decide that the benefits outweigh the costs.
With that in mind, let’s look at some steps to create an income from blogging.
1. Got an idea? Do a cost-benefit analysis first… before you speak to your friends about your idea
You’ve got an amazing idea for a blog. You’re excited. You want to tell everyone about your idea.
In our example above, you saw how a simple Google search alerted you to challenges in mommy blogging. Do the same thing for your idea. You may decide to ignore challenges, or think that they’re irrelevant. It’s best to know what challenges others have found, so that you can assess your idea realistically.
2. Find and follow bloggers who are blogging your topic… Are they making money? How?
Your next step is to find bloggers who are doing what you hope to do.
Today, many bloggers share their income as a way of getting traffic to their blogs, and their offers. Read some of these posts, and work out how those bloggers are making money.
Don’t make any decisions yet. You’re still gathering information.
3. Assess your time and money: everything takes longer than you expect…
Now it’s time to look at your situation.
How much time do you have to devote to your blog each day? You’ll find that the bloggers who are making the most money spend many hours on their blog every day. Chances are that they have help too.
Next, decide how much money you have to spend on your new blogging business — a blog is very much a business.
A tip: write everything down.
Get a paper folder for your blogging information, or create a folder on your computer.
Write everything down. Save your bookmarks. The more effort you put into your research, the more likely it is that your blog will succeed.
During your first year, invest everything you make back into your business
Aim to invest your earnings back into your business. Anyone who’s starting a business expects that it will take time for the business to make money. It will take time for your blog to make money too.
In conclusion… You CAN make an income from blogging. Thousands of bloggers, with large, or tiny blogs, do make money. With a little luck, and a lot of energy, you can join them.
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