Most people are curious when I tell them I'm a blogger and it's my job. Strange as it may sound, there are thousands of people blogging, both for fun and profit.
If you would have told me 10 years ago I'd be doing this, I wouldn't have even been able to define blogging. It is by far the best job I've ever had.
I've gotten all kinds of questions since I started blogging in 2004. These are the ones I seem to be asked repeatedly.
Do people really make money blogging?
Yes, absolutely, all the time. The money I earn from this blog and from sales of my book is our family's main source of income.
Is it legitimate?
As in any industry, there are definitely scammy people out to make a quick buck. But many, many people are making very legitimate money via blogging and other income streams related to blogging. And the number is growing all the time.
How do people make money blogging?
There are several ways people do so. Here are the main ones:
- Putting advertisements on their blog. Just like a TV show gets paid by advertisers to insert commercials into their show, a blogger gets paid by advertisers to insert graphic or text ads into their blog.
- Promoting a product for someone else and then getting a commission if a sale is made (a.k.a. affiliate marketing).
- Using a blog as a launching point to sell their own product(s) or service(s) like I did recently with my time management ebook Tell Your Time and like I do when I coach others.
- Taking advantage of other opportunities their blog brings such as authoring a book, virtual assistance, speaking, brand ambassadorships or writing for online and offline publications.
How do I start a blog?
Well, if you follow my How to Start a Blog (or Website) guide, I'll walk you right through the process. You'll get your digital hands dirty but no technical know-how is required to start.
How much does having a blog cost?
It depends on a few things such as the blogging platform you use, the size of your site, etc. If you can spare $10 a month, I recommend you do not start with a free service like Blogger or WordPress.com (more on that below).
Like anything, there are plenty of additional products/services you can buy to enhance your blogging experience, but $10 a month (paid annually in some cases) would sufficiently cover the basics. I walk you through setup in my post How to Start a Blog or Website (In 15 Minutes or Less).
Clearly, it's not huge overhead and that's why it's such an excellent business opportunity. Most offline businesses cost significantly more to start.
But like any business, it requires a ton of work and it doesn't happen overnight.
Why don't you recommend Blogger or WordPress.com?
If you have no intention whatsoever of using your blog to generate income now or down the road, either of these services work just fine. However, you get what you pay for, as they say, and for a business blog (i.e. a blog used to make money), expandability and flexibility are key.
Expandability and flexibility are both limited with free blogging services. Also, a free service means you don't really own your blog, they do. That's not so good if you're counting on the income.
I always recommend a self-hosted WordPress blog, especially if you want to make money.
You can also use a blog for your business, even if you have no intention of updating it regularly. Simply make a few easy setting switches and instantly turn your site from a blog into a traditional (static) website. This is great for small business owners who want an online presence.
What's the difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com?
Good question. Both use the same blogging software (I defer to my blogging basics post for the definition). The blogging software is free. Who hosts your blog is where the difference comes in. With a self-hosted WordPress blog, you purchase hosting yourself and therefore it's "self-hosted." If you have a free blog on WordPress.com, they host your blog for you.
At first glance, you might think the deal at WordPress.com is a sweeter one. I mean, free blogging platform plus free hosting, right? Well, life is all about trade-offs (as my dad would say). So, in exchange for their free service, there's a trade-off: they severely limit your ability to customize your blog. They also do not allow you to monetize (i.e. make money from your blog) on a WordPress.com blog unless you pay an upgrade fee. And if you're going to pay them for the chance to make some money, you might as well purchase your own hosting, install the free blogging platform there and have a whole lot more control over your blog and business!
I'm not very internet savvy. How hard is it to blog?
I won't lie to you, making money as a blogger is hard work. Don't expect to get rich quick. There's definitely a learning curve, but if you stick around, I'll show you the method I use, step by step. Boatloads of non-technical people have followed my steps and have started blogging on their own.
Back when I started blogging, the learning curve was significantly steeper because there was far less information available. Actually, I'm grateful I was forced to "learn the hard way" because I gained a lot of knowledge I wouldn't have otherwise. My goal in starting this site is to save others from having to stumble through like I did.
So, what's in it for you Amy? Why are you being so "generous" by offering all this information to us?
My goal is to be straight up with you so I'll tell you exactly why: I'm trying to generate income from this site. My hope is that the free information I provide will generate traffic which, in turn, will allow me to employ some of the money-making opportunities I mentioned above.
Why not check out how easy it is to get started.