You might be thinking to yourself: “Is it too late to start a blog? Blogs have been around for the best part of the last twenty years.” And that’s a fair question.
The short answer is no, it’ not too late.
The little longer answer is that there has never been a better time to start a blog than right now.
Today we have the best (and easiest to use) tools we have ever had available for successful blogging. And it only gets easier every year.
You can start a professional looking blog with literally less than $100 and you don’t have to be a computer geek either. If you know how to browse the internet and know how to type text in a word processor, you have most skills you need already. The rest is easy to learn.
People have been asking this question for the last ten years or longer. They are worried they have missed the boat. But people have also been asking if email is dead, if affiliate marketing is dead.
Hopefully I will help you answer this for yourself through this post and this blog.
Do people still read blogs today?
Just do a Google search for your favorite topic of interest that comes to mind. Go to some of the pages in the search results and see for yourself. Most of them are blogs.
In fact, most businesses today have a website with large and growing blog section. Whether it’s your local plumber or a pool guy, if they are smart, they will have a blog on their website. Why? Because people read blogs and because blogs attract new visitors and new customers with free organic traffic from the search engines.
According to Siege Media, 20 billion WordPress pages are viewed by over 409 million people each month.
WordPress is the largest and most popular blogging platform. But it’s not the only one. There is also Wix, Squarespace, Builderall and few others. Which means the total numbers are even higher.
But isn’t blogging dying?
Content marketing online is huge and is rapidly becoming bigger every year. Blogging is a huge part of that. Total content marketing budgets are already worth hundreds of billions per year.
According to Content Marketing Institute, 56% of content marketers increased their spending on content creation in 2019 as compared to a year earlier.
Sixty one percent of marketers increased their written content (articles, blogs, ebooks) over the same period.
Why? Because it works for them, it makes them money. Siege Media reported that marketers and companies who make blogging their priority are 13 times more likely to see positive ROI (return on investment).
Target Marketing Mag reported that in 2018 the surveyed companies spent 29% of their content creation budget on blogs and articles. Video, although very popular, came in the second place at 18%.
Infographics and other images came third at 14%. A lion’s share of those would also end up on blogs. If we take this into account then it looks like closer to 40% of content creation budget was spent on blogs and articles.
We are talking some serious investment here.
What types of blogs make the most money?
There are plenty of niches where bloggers make significant incomes. I reported some of the blogging incomes not long ago so feel free to have a look there at your leisure. The income reports may be out of date now but it will show you a wide cross section of niches that people make money in. Also, that list is just a tip of an iceberg.
I’ve seen all sorts of small blogs making good incomes, from food recipes to fashion, form bicycle reviews to education and everything in between. By small blogs I simply mean blogs operated by one person and in some cases by a couple. Some are small, some a lot bigger.
Also, remember this: if a niche can be monetized (and most can) then your income does not depend on the niche as much as id does on the effort you put in.
The more effort you put into your blog, the more money you can make.
One of the easiest and most popular ways to monetize a blog is with ads. Another, possibly even more popular and potentially a lot more lucrative is affiliate marketing.
Some people prefer to write an other people’s blogs, as freelancers. The advantage is that you can get paid almost from day one. The disadvantage of course is that your income stops as soon as you stop writing.
However this can be a good choice for many, for example if you are looking for a career change or have lost your job and need income to pay the bills.
Some people choose to do both: freelancing while building their blog for the long term income.
A quick look on Upwork, one of the top freelancing platforms today, will show you that Content Writers are listed there in the top 30 most in demand skills and if you look in that category you will quickly discover that plenty of content writers and blog writers charge $30 per hour and more. The more experienced content writers and blog writers command writing fees upwards of US$100 per hour. Why? Because the companies can’t keep up with demand. It only gets better (for the writers that is) every year.
Great income potential for blogs
If you get serious about blogging, whether for yourself or somebody else, it’s possible to earn a six figure income. It’s not even that unusual anymore to see serious bloggers today earning upwards of a million dollars per year.
But of course it’s not a walk in the park. Blogging takes time and dedication. Particularly in the first year when there is almost no traffic to your blog and therefore hardly any income to talk about.
You have to have the right mindset. You have to have the discipline to keep writing for a year knowing that very few people will actually read your posts.
You have to have the discipline to keep writing, knowing that there will be almost no traffic and no income for many months.
You have to see the big picture and that is that if you keep going, you will get closer and closer to a full time income. Once you get there, you will have a lot more time and location freedom than if you had to keep working for a boss.
If you have a blog with good, useful content then there are plenty of ways to monetize it, once you get traffic to the blog.
One of the best ways is to promote some decent products and services related to your blog’s niche.
You mention or review a decent product and if somebody buys, you get an affiliate commission.
You don’t hold any inventory, don’t have to worry about shipping, customer service, product returns, noting.
What a great income model. I love affiliate marketing.
Some products and services pay recurring affiliate commissions. Meaning, once you find them a customer, they will pay you every time that customer reorders from them (whether a product or a service).
It doesn’t get much better than this.
Then there is another way to cash in with blogs and niche sites in general. If you website is making money, you can generally sell it for 30-40 times its monthly profit.
So if you have a blog earning you six figures (let’s say $10k per month for simplicity), then you also have an option to sell it for about $350k-$500k if you want to. This could be your exit strategy, particularly if at the time you already had a second blog going.
The possibilities are endless.
The cons of blogging
We already discussed some. It will take a long time to see traffic and you have to have to right mindset to keep going.
But there are also solutions for this problem.
One is to start targeting, with your writing, search phrases that are low competition – the long tail low competition keywords. It’s not uncommon to be able to rank for these in weeks rather than months.
In fact this is the only type of keywords a new blog without any authority should be focusing on. It’s a no brainer.
Another solution is to start a YouTube channel that is in the same niche as your blog. This can have some serious advantages. It can give you traffic to your blog long before you start getting decent amounts of organic traffic from the search engines.
It can also help others discover your content and link to it.
However, many people get frightened at a mere thought of putting their face in front of a camera. If you are an introvert, like many bloggers are, don’t worry. There is another solution.
It’s called Pinterest.
Pinterest is a visual search engine (not a social media platform, contrary to popular belief). It can work with many niches like DIY, lifestyle, self improvement, travel and many more.
Pinterest, when used correctly, can bring you tens of thousands of visitors to your blog very quickly.
Yes, it’s another skill to learn, but it’s not hard.
You will have to weigh the pros and cons of YouTube and Pinterest.
Would you prefer to learn an additional skill and see your blog traffic grow a lot quicker, or are you happy to keep writing useful content and wait until Google will start sending you organic traffic from search queries.
The choice is your. You can choose whatever suits your personality better.
Some people also say that blogging can also be a lonely endeavor.
However I don’t see it that way. You can interact with your readers via comments and through your subscriber list. You can also join a community of like-minded people. There are communities of bloggers on social media and almost every decent blogging course has one as well.
Besides, I blog so I’m able to spend more time with my family and to be able to travel more.
If that means giving up the occasional chat at a water cooler in a corporate office, it’s an easy choice for me.
If you start a blog about something you are passionate about or interested in, even if you keep blogging part-time it could eventually grow into a full time income stream and beyond for you and your family. This mainly depends on your persistence and work ethic.
If you have a message to share with the world, if you want to help others with useful information, or even if you are purely interested in making money while helping others, then blogging is definitely one of the best money making opportunities available today.
However, if you have a shiny object syndrome or don’t have a lot of patience, blogging may not be for you as it requires a bit of preparation and a lot of work in order to reap the long term benefits. Not hard work, but it needs to be a consistent effort.
Blogging requires quite a bit of patience and stick-to-itiveness. If you are an impatient type, jumping from opportunity to opportunity every few weeks, then blogging may not be for you. But if that’s the case, and you have been trying to make money online for a while, then you also need to stop and ask yourself why you are not making any money online yet.
In majority of cases the answer is so simple, it may surprise you: every time you jump ship (try another opportunity) you are restarting from scratch and all your efforts in the previous opportunity have been wasted (apart from some skills you have picked up on the way).
That’s not to even mention that there are only a few real opportunities available for an average person online. The rest are either pure rubbish (shiny objects) being peddled by some unscrupulous marketers or, or have got very limited earning potential.
There are also some fantastic opportunities available that may require some serious entrepreneurial skills. Not for the faint-hearted. By the way, do you think those can be acquired in a $49 ebook or even a $997 course? I don’t think so.
Blogging is definitely simple.
It’s both hard and easy at the same time. It’s easy to create a professionally looking blog. It’s easy to do research and write a good post. You don’t need to be a great writer either. It’s hard to do it consistently.
It’s hard sometimes (often) to be patient in that first year (and sometimes longer) and just keep doing it no matter what.
Regardless, it’s still one of the best (and most affordable) income opportunities for a single person to build online.
Until next time. Stay focused.