Is blogging a good way to make money? It might surprise you, it might even disappoint you, but I don’t recommend it.
A friend is looking to make some money fast. His business is slow and needs to make up the shortfall. He asked about blogging, and I told him that wasn’t the answer. I suggested he get a job instead. Me. A blogging advocate.
OK, here comes the clarification. It depends on how much you need to make and how soon.
- Can you make a good income from blogging? Yes, it is possible.
- Can you make good money fast? Highly unlikely.
- Do most people make a good income from blogging? No, I don’t think so.
I have written more thoughts about this before over at Performancing, so I don’t need rehash the whole thing.
Anyone could make money from blogging but only a percentage of people actually go all the way and succeed. Critical to success is having staying power, not being defeated by minor setbacks, being willing to put yourself out there and put in the hard work. If you stick to it and can do all those things then yes, I am sure anyone can do it.
There are three main ways people make money from blogging, particularly beginners:
- Direct – Advertising, such as Adsense and Affiliates
- Freelance – such as contracts or working for a blog network
- Indirect – Using blog-created fame and credibility for selling products, services and opportunities such as speaking gigs and book deals
The most “instant” for a beginner without any profile at all is the first. In most cases though you will make hardly anything for months.
If you are already in the freelance writing game then the second is an obvious move, although I would caution blogging is not exactly the same as other types of freelance writing. You could get a job with a blog network, but like any job the best pay is given to those with demonstrable knowledge and experience. IE. Beginners don’t get paid very well, if they are accepted at all. You should, if you hunt around the freelance sites, SEO communities, and blog forums, be able to get $5 a post as a beginner, but you will have to work very long hours to pay the bills at that rate.
The third, the approach I personally take as a preference, is not something you can do right away. It takes additional time to build trust, and try to rush it and you spoil the effect. Eventually though if you are successful it is very lucrative.
Ruling out number three (unless you are already respected and famous!), you can get started right away but don’t expect to make much money. In fact, don’t have any expectations until you are doing it months. People who are looking at blogging as a job should not expect to pay their first months bills from blogging income alone.
I love blogging. It pays my bills. But I have been at it a long time. When asked I always recommend the same thing; keep the day job and quit to blog full time when your blogging income is strong and consistent.
So while it is possible to make money at blogging, and some like Mr Chow and Mr Rowse famously make a good living at it, I wouldn’t say it is something I would recommend to everyone. It takes time, it takes practice, and it takes perseverance.
Added: I just posted over at The Blog Herald a highly related article about where to place your time and energy.
Agree? Disagree? Let me know in the comments …