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This is probably the number one question. “How much money do you actually make blogging”. I’m going to break it down for you and explain it.
How much money do I make?
Now, don’t get me wrong. Blogging can be a really lucrative career, but it isn’t simple. It took me 7 months to see any money at all (approx. $100 per month). It also took me a very long time to teach myself how to run a blog effectively. There is a lot more that goes into blogging than buying a domain/hosting site, producing content and making money. There are numerous steps in-between including SEO, taxes, and business management, that need to be addressed.
Currently, my income fluctuates depending on many factors. My SEO score that month, social media engagement, content production, website optimization, and sponsorship availability. Instead of spending thousand on courses I have scoured google and youtube to learn everything I know now. It is a large learning curve especially if you are not tech savvy.
Why are so many bloggers pushing their lifestyle to others?
When I started my blog in 2017, I was “promised” by several bloggers that hard work equals a lot of money. I’ve been blogging for two years and I can assure you that is bullshit. They push people to start a blog because they make profits marketing overpriced vague courses and selling a dream. So if bloggers push this “luxury lifestyle” then people will buy into the whole scheme and let’s be honest, it is rarely attainable.
The truth is 81% of blogs never even make $100 from blogging. With that being said, you can make money blogging and a lot of it (like Heather Reese or Neil Patel), but it isn’t that simple. Commissions on sales are essential to keep blogs running, but I personally am always trying to find people the best deals and give as many options as possible so you are informed and can make the right decisions for you! The money you work hard for should never be wasted on only one option. Nothing is that black and white.
Is it even worth it?
I can not answer this for anyone. I was extremely broke and unhappy before I started blogging. We struggled month to month and I needed something to help contribute (financially) to the household (while being able to stay at home with my kids). Contributing financially to my household from the blog didn’t happen until about a year in. When clients ask me how long they should blog for before giving up, I recommend two years.
It took me almost two years to get completely off the ground and make this a career (blogging is ever changing so continued knowledge is vital to success). It is something I am passionate about and that makes this job incredibly rewarding. You have to ask yourself several questions before starting a blog. Do you have the time that running a successful blog requires? My blog is a full-time job between social media, blogging, editing, creating content, etc. You can not and I repeat CANNOT just write a post, click publish, and make easy money. Spoiler alert: there is no such thing as easy money (and if there is, I’m not a lucky one who has mastered that yet).
How did I start?
In 2017 when my daughter was just a few months old, I decided to bite the bullet and pursue my dream of writing. I started with a plain domain name I got from GoDaddy for .99 for the year. I also used the free blogger platform. After 6 months I decided to upgrade to a Siteground (best decision I have made thus far for my blog) hosted site because they offered a free data transfer that would move all of my blog contents to the new hosting platform. Plus, then I officially had complete control of my blog and didn’t have to fear it being removed for no reason (it has happened to several bloggers before).
In 2017, I was seeing more “get rich quick” posts about blogging than ever before. I saved up for several months to get this blog up and running(about $200). It took 7 months to see a little profit returned and it wasn’t until the end of 2018 that I was making a full-time income.
What have I learned?
I learned that getting rich quick is an overrated scheme. It isn’t going to happen overnight. I learned that as much as I love blogging you have to be really invested to make money. I put in at least four days a week on the blog, constantly learning, and adapting, and I’m still not breaking the $5000 per month mark that a lot of bloggers are claiming to be over. I’ve learned add-ons are crucial to the success of my blog. So I have a monthly total I pay for certain services that keep this blog running. I also learned that in blogging, more experienced bloggers eat their young.
I have found a few bloggers that are genuinely helpful, but for the most part, bloggers that have been in the game for a long time do not care about the little bloggers. It turns into a money making frenzy instead of teaching for understanding and helping small blogs find their way. I understand needing to make money by selling valuable info through online courses, but $5,000 per course? Give me a break.
Would I do it over again?
I would do it all over because to me, it is worth it in the long run. It has given me a lot of financial freedom and also taught me so much. I wasn’t going to invest in $5000 courses, so I spent a lot (and I mean A LOT) of time researching and teaching myself. I could have a website design and marketing business by now with all of my acquired knowledge (hey, there is an idea. LOL). You have to want to blog and I think that is the point many new bloggers miss. It isn’t an easy way to make money. It is literally a business.
Secrets for a new blogger?
-Start with a WP hosting site. I began with a free site (blogger) and it was a pain in the ass to get everything moved over when I decided to own my own website. On a free site like blogger, your content can get removed at any moment for any reason and you have no say. About 6 months into my blogging journey, I switched to Siteground because I didn’t want anything to happen to the content I worked so hard to produce. Plus, it gave me access to WordPress which keeps my bog running smoothly.
-Learn SEO. Search engine optimization or SEO is basically an algorithm for how search engines (i.e. google, bing, yahoo) show certain content. I can not stress enough how important SEO is! Your webpage and the content you provide needs to optimized perfectly for a search engine to want your content on the first page, and to be honest if your content isn’t on the first page, you will not get a lot of organic traffic to your blog. Without traffic, there is little money made.
-Reach out to larger blogs from the beginning. Part of successful SEO is credible backlinks. Maybe offer to guest post or do some research and find content that could benefit from adding a link something you have already written. Backlinks are something I wish I would have started with at the start of my blogging journey.
-Take time to learn the art of blogging before diving in. If you are unsure about starting a blog, obtain as much knowledge about blogging as you can. Many bloggers have FREE content and mini-courses that when pieced together can turn into a large but necessary lesson. I jumped in and had to learn a lot of things later and that was challenging, especially when my name/ brand was at stake.
-Get on social media. Social media is the main component that drives traffic to my blog. I have followers that are gold to my blog views. Pinterest and Instagram are my top social media outlets. I also have a twitter, youtube, and facebook page that helps send traffic to the blog. Post on social media regularly. For Instagram, facebook, and twitter I recommend posting once per day. For Pinterest, I recommend posting 50-100 pins per day spread out over time. There is an automation tool called tailwind I recommend. In tailwind, you can automate your posts in advance so if you spend 45 min to an hour once per month automating post you won’t have to be pinning on Pinterest all day, every day. You can however manually pin and get amazing results without spending the money, it is just more time-consuming.
-If you enjoy blogging, don’t give up. A few months into my blogging journey I gave up. I quit creating content, I strayed away from my social media, and I decided blogging wasn’t yielding the results I wanted. My lovely fiance actually encouraged me to get back to it. He said something cliche like “Rome wasn’t built in a day, and you’re building an empire, my dear”. He opened my eyes to something I hadn’t realized before. Nothing in life that is valuable is free.
I traded many hours of researching and content creation that seemed unnoticed, but I soon realized that results take time. I may not have been making money at the point, but if I would have given up completely, I would never have proven people wrong who told me blogging was a “waste of time” or “not a good enough job”. I’m also able to help people by creating awareness and teaching certain aspects that have made me successful.
-Use tools! Plugins, apps, and automation tools can be your best friend. Canva, shortpixel, hootsuite, and tailwind to name a few. If you use tools they can help your business grow faster and stronger than ever before.