Can you make a living blogging?

You know what a blog is, don’t you? Yes, it’s a fairly new term made up of the words ‘web’ and ‘log’. So it’s more or less an electronic diary whose entries are available to anyone online. There are tens of thousands of blogs about any type of topic and they are all free to read, respond to and even copy and change. And still you can earn a living through blogging. Anyone can. Provided you understand and follow a few principles. There are a number of categories you can put people into when it comes to the way they produce or consume information. The first category most people fall into is that group of people who most of the time consume information but produce little.

In other words, about 80% of all Internet users only read blog entries but don’t create any themselves. The second category of people are those who share quite a lot of information most of which how ever is trivial and rather personal. Those are the people who spend lots of time on social networks such as Facebook, Google Plus or Twitter. They talk about their hobbies and free time activities and their messages and posts are rather superficial. They also don’t have their own blog so with every piece of information they share they promote the platform they are using. What is Facebook’s most effective advertising tool? It’s active user base of course. So when you use Facebook a lot, you promote Facebook but not your own brand or website. You will also not make any money by using Facebook no matter how much time you spend on it.

Then there is the category of people who produce most the content available on the Internet. Those can be professional journalists as well as bloggers or forum users. About 20% of all Internet users create about 80% of all Internet content. And out of the 20% of ‘content creators’ about 5% earn a living blogging. The fascinating fact is that you or anyone can belong to those 5%. Of course the vast majority of people will never become bloggers because they are not willing to change their way of thinking. They simply can’t process the thought that they are able to make a living by running a blog. Their mind instantly jumps to the ‘no can do’ part of their brain. They come up with all the reasons why can’t earn a living online instead of thinking about reasons why they can.

At this point many of you will say: “But I don’t think my thoughts and ideas are good enough for me to earn a living”. Well, if you skills and experiences weren’t sufficient to earn a living you wouldn’t be able to have and keep a job. What are you doing for a living right now? Why do you think your skills and abilities are good enough to earn a living through a regular job but not through your own blog?

When you google the phrase “earning a living blogging” you get a lot of pages and articles that talk about ‘traffic techniques’, ‘guest blogging’, ‘conversion rates’, ‘CPC Networks’, ‘CPM Networks’, ‘affiliate programs’, ‘shared hosting’, ‘Google Analytics’, ‘bounce rate’, Google Adsense’, ‘domain registration’, ‘WordPress configuration’, ‘SEO strategies’, ‘social media marketing’, etc. All those things might be important but guess what? They are by far not as possible as some very basic principles which are not covered on those pages.

At the core of those principles is the ‘law of increasing returns’. This law says that when you invest your time and thought power into a project, it sooner or later pays off and the earnings are greater than your investment. Of course the law of increasing returns also applies to blogging. If you share your ideas, thoughts, suggestions, experiences, problems, etc. with others through your blog, you will get paid for that some way or another. And your income will be big enough to live off of your blogging activities.

Another basic principle is that the most valuable and important asset to any business or system are thoughts and ideas. You can have the best blogging software program or platform in the world — if you don’t fill it with interesting and valuable information, it’s like a huge empty container. A lot of people will tell that for any website or blog owner SEO (search engine optimization) is crucial. I totally agree with that. Yes, it is true, you write your blog for others to read. You can send your blog’s links to your friends via email or post them on Facebook and Twitter but unless you have thousands of influential friends, you won’t be able to earn a living through this strategy. You want to attract and keep a lot of readers worldwide. You want to your blog to be read and promoted by people you don’t even know yet or will never get to know. That’s why you need the help of Google and other search engines like Microsoft’s Bing. Most so called specialists will tell you that you have to do a lot of technical stuff like ‘content optimization techniques’, ‘inbound linking’, ‘link exchange’, ‘keyword tweaking’, ‘conversation oriented link building’, and on and on.

The more you read about this stuff the less you understand. At least at the beginning. My advice is this: If you start running your blog, read as little about all the technical questions as you need. Focus on the core: your thoughts and ideas. They are unique. They are the raw material for your success. The technical stuff is the container, the packaging of your ideas. Yes, you do need the container but you can build and refine it later. The most important blogging activities don’t happen within that container. They happen inside your head.

Of all the many SEO methods and techniques there is one that accounts for about 90% of your success and most ‘experts’ don’t even mention it. The single most powerful SEO factor is your blog’s content, your information, experiences, ideas, thoughts, interviews, questions, photos, videos, stats, study cases, comments, reports, articles, posts, poems, songs, essays, discussions, projects, etc. Don’t worry about Google. Google is sophisticated and clever enough to detect and index good content no matter how well you have twisted your site ‘under the hood’. What really counts is the stuff your blog entries are made of.

One thought on “Can you make a living blogging?

  1. By far the single most helpful and inspiring article I’ve come across in the three weeks I’ve been researching blogging (and debating on taking the plunge). Thank you.