Blogging has taken off exponentially in the last few years.
As well as being a tool for businesses to promote their site and products, writing a blog makes a fantastic hobby for some and others have turned it into a business in it’s own right.
And that’s because blogging has great potential to earn you money, with advertisers of the world knowing how influential these sites can be.
However it’s not all plain sailing, and while it can seem like easy money, free products and endless opportunities- these things don’t just fall at your feet.
Here are a few things to bear in mind if you want to blog for a living, or earn some income from your site.
It Takes Time to Get Established and Start Earning Money
Blogging is a fantastic way to earn money, you essentially get paid for doing something you love and that interests you. However it’s not that simple, when it comes to blogging you don’t simply set up a website and watch the money and opportunities to come rolling in.
It takes time, effort and dedication to build up a website that sponsors and advertisers want to work with. They will take into consideration things like your website age, your domain authority score, your number of followers, the interaction you get on your posts and the quality of your content and overall site.
These things don’t just come about within a few weeks, and most bloggers work tirelessly and produce content for the best part of a year before paid work starts presenting itself. Even then it can be very unreliable and you might go weeks without getting a single opportunity.
For this reason, if you plan on eventually working from home full time – it can be worth signing up to a freelancing site or doing some other full or part time work, until you know that your blog is earning enough to keep you going. Don’t expect to set up a blog and the money to be rolling in, this is something that comes later on.
You Need to be Passionate About Your Topic
Because of the reasons above, if you want to start a blog that goes on to be a success then you need to be passionate about your topic. You need to enjoy what you’re writing about, since it’s likely to be some time until your blog generates interest.
In the beginning it feels as though you’re talking to yourself as you haven’t built up your audience, so you still need to be getting something out of the experience. See it as a way to learn new things, to build your skills and connect with likeminded people.
Whatever it is, you need to have the passion and motivation to sit down and create interesting and unique content in the beginning without getting anything for it.
A lot of the time, you might not even receive many views or comments. However later on, people will come back to your older posts and when your blog starts becoming more visible in search engines people are likely to stumble across them in search too.
Try Different Monetisation Options
Most bloggers make the majority of their money through sponsored posts and ads. Companies will contact the bloggers they want to work with, which means there’s often not much you can do than wait to be emailed- apart from make your blog the best it can be.
However there are a few proactive things you CAN do to earn money as a blogger. The first is to sign up for a Google Adsense account. With these ads displayed, you get a small amount of money every time someone clicks on your page, a little more if they click the ad and then more still if they make a purchase through this ad.
You can also sign up to sponsored post websites, where you can ‘bid’ on jobs and if you’re what the client wants you can write it and get paid.
Sites like Skimlinks can also be useful, a small piece of code is added to your template which turns certain words in your blogs into hyperlinks. If anyone clicks through and buys from your links, it’s cash in your pocket- no work needed.
While these will be smaller amounts, if your blog picks up over time and you get a lot of views it can be a very easy way to boost your earnings a little without even needing to do any extra work.
You Need to Look Professional
Blogging is something to be taken seriously these days. They’re no longer just simple sites that are set up with some DIY HTML coding, if you want your blog to do well you need to treat it like a business. A professional looking design created by a web development company will help you to keep up with your more established competition.
Sponsors and advertisers have their pick of the sites they’d like to work with, and one of the things they will be looking at will be the overall appearance of your blog. Something that looks smart and is quick to load is key. Have a professional designer or even an illustrator create you a stunning header which will help your blog to stand out. You can find people offering these kinds of services online.
You need to ensure your font and colours are clear and easy to read, that the balance of text, white space and images is right. You don’t want too many ads cluttering up the space or making it look spammy. It can be difficult to get this right if you do it yourself, and so if you want to succeed and go on to make money from your blog then this is a necessary investment.
Another important investment to make your blog look more professional is your own domain. You can purchase these cheaply and link them to your blog for a much more professional and sleek look. Some sponsors will only work with bloggers who have their own domain.
Networking is Key
Later down the line when your blog is established and earning money, it can actually be worth investing some money back into it with your marketing. This can help you to boost your domain authority, improve search engine rankings, reduce errors on your site and much more.
However in the early days, one of the best things you can do is network with other bloggers. Chat to them, make friends, comment on their posts and share their content and chances are they will do the same for you. It helps your content and blog reach a wider audience, and you get to help a fellow blogger in return.
There are lots of blogger chats hosted on Twitter where you can talk to those with similar interest and make genuine connections. Lots of people have found their lifelong friends through blogging, and so it’s certainly a perk. Don’t be shy, get out there and network, follow, chat to and support other bloggers.
You Need to Register and Pay The Correct Taxes
Anyone who is earning money need to be registered so they can pay the correct taxes. The process depends on the country you’re in, but in most cases as a blogger you will register as a sole trader and complete a tax return every year.
Most of the time you will have a ‘personal tax allowance‘ which means you won’t pay tax until you earn over a certain amount, however even if you don’t reach this you still need to make sure everything is legitimate and registered.
Usually it just means completing a few forms online, you can even have an accountant deal with your tax return for you so there’s very little hassle to you.
But it’s good practice to put away twenty percent of your earnings each month, so that way you’re not stuck paying a large tax bill at the start of the financial year.
Blogging can be a fantastic way to earn money from home, doing something you genuinely love. You get to meet new people, learn new things and talk about everything that interests you. It’s truly a platform where you can be creative.
However nothing good comes easy, and it takes time and a whole lot of dedication to reach the stage where companies want to pay you money to work with them.
Your best bet would be to see this as an added bonus to an awesome hobby, that way you’re writing for passion instead of for the promise of cash later on. Because there will always be busy and quiet times with blogging, it’s useful to have a backup plan too for when there’s not much work coming your way. That way you can ensure you can always pay the bills.
Freelancing, running a home business, even answering surveys can give you a little towards your bank balance each month. In time if you’re lucky, your blog might cover everything you need to pay out, but this could take a number of years.
Have you ever considered setting up a blog as a way of boosting your income? Or do you already run a successful blog that you monetise?