Becoming a professional blogger is one of the most rewarding and respected ways of earning money online and can give you the financial freedom that you dreamed of.
However, is not as easy as it was some years ago, when the craze of blogging had just started. It requires a lot of hard work, time and energy.
Most of the blogs that have grown massively like ProBlogger, Copyblogger and Mashable were started nine to ten years back.
Today, professional blogging requires much more than writing blog posts.
Anyone can start a blog as a hobby. You just need a $3.95 investment per month for your web hosting from Bluehost and you are good to go.
Paid themes like MyThemeShop and Studiopress are definitely advisable for your blog’s growth but not necessary.
If you want to grow your blog like professional bloggers do, then build an email list. They say that money is in the list. Your list is your own. It is unaffected by any algorithm changes on Google. Affiliate marketing comes really handy if you want to market affiliate products to your list.
When you want to transform from a part-time to a full-time blogger, assess your skill sets. Blogging doesn’t just require the art of writing well.
Let’s take a look at the skills required for making a career out of blogging.
- Writing quality content
- Technical aspects like on-page and off-page SEO, installing plugins etc can consume a lot of your time when you are a beginner.
- social media promotion and awareness of social media platforms where your target customers can be found.
- guest blogging on high authority sites and building relationships with other bloggers
- Email marketing
The list is long….
So, before jumping head-on into professional and full-time blogging, take time to learn these skills because they are very important for your journey as a professional blogger.
Before considering leaving your day job, ideally, you should be making some income from your blog. If you start getting the cues of scaling up your part-time blogging income to a larger amount, you can consider leaving your 9 to 5 job.
Even after all this don’t expect immediate results. The blogosphere is filled with so many blogs but only a handful survive beyond their first year. It’s a scary picture. Of those that survive, only a small percentage makes a decent income from blogging.
So, you have to be patient, persevere, blog frequently to get you into the habit, blog with the intention of helping others and not only for money. You will see results but don’t expect immediate gains. Even after a year or so, what you will earn can probably be able to pay your coffee bills.
As a professional blogger, what options do you have to monetize your blog?
- Google AdSense is one option, although to get income from it you would require lots of traffic.
- Sponsored reviews is another avenue. You can write reviews of products and services and when people read those reviews and comparisons, they buy them. You basically help companies make sales.
- Display advertising is another popular option for earning money.
- Affiliate marketing in which you recommend other people’s products and services for solving your audiences’ problems or making their lives easier, is another option. Many bloggers are earning a lot through affiliate marketing.
You can be called a professional blogger if your blogging income is able to pay your bills and you can live comfortably with it. But that takes time and doesn’t come easy. Be prepared for the long haul.
When you select your niche, always take your interest also into consideration. You have to blog for an indefinite time and only when you maintain that interest level, can you survive in this cut-throat competition. Yes, it’s tough competition out there.
Another word of advice is that you should not put all your eggs in one basket. Diversify your income streams. Don’t just depend on one monetization method for your blog.
You can start with affiliate marketing and sponsored reviews. Sell your online courses or an ebook through your blog.
If you have one blog, consider starting another also on a different niche. If something goes wrong with one, you have another one to bank upon. This is called risk mitigation.
Starting a blog can be easy. Maintaining and growing it needs a strategy, business plan and hard work. You need to answer the following questions.
- Who is your target audience? Define your buyer persona.
- What marketing strategies will you use?
- What’s your goal through blogging?
Have a goal-oriented plan. Most people don’t have any action-plan for their blog but expect to see lots of traffic from search engines. You need time and energy to build that traffic.
The second mistake they make is without investing their money, they wish to accomplish their goals in a small time.
Basically either you invest time and be prepared to wait for 3-4 years before you see any substantial results or invest a little money and speed up your path to success.
Start with the minimum and increase as you go ahead on your blogging journey. You can invest in paid themes, plugins and email marketing software like Aweber, GetResponse and Convertkit.
Invest some money in buying a premium WordPress theme. It will not only make your WordPress site better optimized for search but also generally make it faster to load. Google gives brownie points to faster loading websites.
As a professional blogger, be prepared to work harder than your 9 to 5 job. If you love the niche you’ve chosen, then all this work will not appear as so much work after all.
It will be fun but in the end, work is work. From publishing blog posts to social media updates, SEO optimization, guest blogging et al, professional blogging is an all-encompassing activity.
Don’t expect your income to be steady in the first few months when you start making money. But with time and the right effort, you will see it growing until you blossom into a full-time professional blogger.
Treat your blog as a business and have a business plan for your blog.
So, how do you get the cues that you are on the right path?
- You have an exceptional engagement on your social media posts with comments, shares, likes, retweets.
- There’s lots of direct and referral traffic on your blog from Google and social media.
- Your following is large and growing, both on social media and email subscriptions have been your strength. Your email open rate is high.
- You blog consistently and though not necessary, post at least once a day.
- It shows that you’ve been blogging for a while because your blog has many published blog posts.
- From making the digital medium your home, you are also making a foray into the offline medium through speaking and consulting assignments.
Are you ready to become a professional blogger? Perhaps you are already one in which case you can identify with many points I’ve mentioned.
Do give your suggestions and share your experiences with professional blogging. If you liked the post, please share it on your favorite social media platforms.