So… You want to blog for a living? It’s hardly surprising. There was a time when gifted writers had few outlets to reach an audience with their offerings. Unless you worked for a paper or had a publisher you had to send constant submissions to magazines and hope that one of them would be so kind as to reproduce your work. Now, throw a rock in a franchised coffee bar and you’ll hit a blogger! 🙂
Look on just about any career website and you’ll likely stumble on more than one article extolling the virtues of a career in blogging. They’ll likely tell you that it’s a fun and infinitely rewarding career that virtually anyone can do (it is, it is, they can’t). While it’s no surprise that most professional bloggers are elated by the prospect of being paid to do what they love and are very keen to share their secrets with other passionate writers among their readership, making a living blogging is rarely as accessible or easy as some would have you believe.
Not all bloggers are helpful and supportive
When most bloggers start out they quickly find a small community of bloggers with the same interests and specialisms (niches if you will). These communities are great for establishing your presence. The community will read and help promote your work and the etiquette dictates that you should afford them the same courtesy. Most amateur bloggers, serious hobbyists and professionals are helpful and supportive but the trade is not without its bad apples. The world of professional blogging is ultra competitive and there are a few less than scrupulous individuals that give the profession a bad name. There are some cynical careerists out there as well as some people who get a perverse kick out of belittling the work of others. Don’t let these bad apples derail your blogging career before it starts.
Expect to invest a lot if you’re serious!
While an entry-level laptop and a generic hosting platform might be fine for entry-level hobby bloggers, those expecting to make a career of their blog can expect a hefty initial outlay that will likely require some form of working capital financing. Professional bloggers often need a pretty powerful laptop or tablet to manage multiple applications without impacting on performance in ways that will compromise your ability to hit your deadlines. You’ll likely want to take some high-resolution images to supplement your content and for this, you’ll need a decent camera. You’ll also need a significant initial layout for all your web hosting needs. Nobody ever rose to fame on the back of a WordPress site! You’ll need your own domain name and a managed site with the capacity to store all of your content.
It can take a long time to raise your profile
You can’t expect to become an overnight sensation in such a competitive field. It may take months or even years to build up enough of a following to be able to monetize your blog. Starting out with a Pay Per Click social media campaign is a good first step to draw an audience to your content but if you don’t follow up on this, those visitors you’ve paid for will quickly float away. Affiliate marketing for bloggers is another good route, especially if you are promoting products and services that you yourself, as a consumer, frequently purchase. Incentivize viewers to return regularly and reach out to them on social media. Needless to say, you must also post regularly. When you cultivate a substantial enough following you’ll be able to take steps to monetize your blog.
We here at Life in a House are always happy to help a fellow blogger out who may have questions or just needs a bit of advice. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!