Is it possible to be a full-time blogger? Can you make a living as a blogger? How do you start a blog and get paid for it?
These are some common questions that people ask me about my life as a full-time blogger.
I actually started my blog in 2014, right after we became totally debt free. People kept asking me how we did this, so I created my blog in response to all of those questions in an attempt to mass mentor family, friends, or anyone else who wanted know more about becoming debt free.
However, I didn’t make a full-time income until the beginning of 2017. I started my blog while I was a salesforce database consultant, but it wasn’t until 2016 that I was able to work on my blog full-time.
I decided at that time (beginning of 2016) that I would stop database consulting and attempt blogging as a full-time career. It was around the beginning of 2017 that I finally began to earn a respectable amount of money blogging.
The turning point for me was around August of 2016, when I had my first “big-girl” affiliate product launch. I made about $2,500 and my income increased from there. Before that launch, I actually enrolled in Elite Blog Academy. It took me about 8-9 months to finish, but once I was done, things began to fall into place and my income started to reflect the new skills I gained from Elite Blog Academy.
If you are wondering, yourself, how to start blogging full-time, there are a few things you can do to make that dream a reality.
But first, I have to warn you: blogging is not easy! Yet, it is incredibly rewarding. As I write this, I am gearing up for a 4th trip to Cuba and am planning to take my kids to Disney world in September. Before this, we went to California for six weeks, spent almost 3 weeks in the Dominican Republic and a few days in San Diego. If I didn’t have the flexible schedule that blogging provides, I could not do any of this! Anyway, I digress….
It’s very likely that you have a message, story, experience or skill set that could help someone. People might actually be desperate to connect with people, just like themselves, on issues they might think are insurmountable.
However, the internet is an incredibly crowded space. It’s getting harder and harder to stand out among all the noise and other people trying to establish an online presence. So, if you really want to help people, you’ll inevitably have to be ok with putting in the work to be found.
This means creating content consistently and investing in marketing methods to promote that content. You can promote your content for free on social media. You could also pay for advertising on social media platforms or in search engines.
The point is that you not only have to be committed to helping people with useful solutions to their problems but you’ve also got to be committed promoting the message your target market is anxious to hear.
Don’t forget that in all this business of helping people, you’ll also make money! That’s the truly neat thing about blogging. You can make a difference in people’s lives while getting paid.
Think about it- if you can solve a pressing problem for someone, you will get paid. That’s how life works and it’s something we should capitalize on in a way that helps both ourselves and those around us.
Now that you’ve decided that you’re game to become a blogger, you may want to know all about how to start blogging full-time. Here’s the process I followed to become a full-time blogger and begin earning a full-time blogger income.
Start a Blog
This step seems obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many people think that having a web presence without a blog is enough. Some people get great starts on social media channels like Instagram and YouTube, but the little-known secret is that people typically aren’t able to convert their audience to buying customers.
A blog is a great way to do this is by starting a blog. With a blog, you have a “home-base” that is your own to do as you please. Social media is fickle and you are really at the mercy of the platform’s developers and owners when you depend on those places alone for exposure. A simple algorithm change and your audience (and income) could disappear overnight.
Having a website allows you to add elements that will help monetize your web-presence like ads and affiliate links and one of most important marketing channels: your email list. All of this is kind of hard to use on free platforms or social media alone.
Invest in training for bloggers
As I mentioned above, blogging is really competitive these days. Everyone (and their mama) has a blog. There are a lot of people vying for the same audience. Sometimes, this training can be “expensive,” but it’s worth it.
When I say expensive, it’s nowhere near the money you’d sink into a traditional business. The capital you’d put into a restaurant, car wash or even real-estate venture run in the tens of thousands and even more.
Many blogging classes you can take can be as little as $35 or go up to a couple thousand. Note: just because a course is very expensive doesn’t mean it’s the best.
When you are looking for blog training, you want to make sure:
- There are plenty of testimonials of people who’ve used the course and gotten results
- A place to network for students to connect and provide feedback on the course, like a FaceBook group or online forum
- There’s a money-back guarantee in case it turns out not to be a good course
If you get into blog course that doesn’t have much transparency or evidence of being helpful, you could be wasting your money.
I invested in a course called Elite Blog Academy that meets all these criteria. I don’t know if I want the creator, Ruth Soukup, to know this, but I think the price of the course is too low!
I’ve earned about a 1.500% return on my investment in the course so far. Elite Blog Academy eCourse has many success stories, plus a FaceBook group where students can share feedback, concerns and get additional support. For this reason, I highly recommend it.
Add services to make a full-time blogger income
There are some rock stars that start blogging and boom! They are an “overnight” success. They put in a few dollars, a little time and a just a few minutes later- BAM! They are making six-figures a month. For the rest of us, this process will take time- especially if you start out blogging part-time like I did and many others did.
However, one of the things I did to speed up the amount of income could bring in from my digital activities was add a service that complemented my blogging activities. I added freelance writing to my activities and it has made up a good portion of my income.
In fact, according to my 2017 year-end income report, my income split was:
- 20% directly from my blog (ad network income, affiliate marketing & sponsored content)
- 80% from freelance writing activities
I chose freelance writing because it helps me establish authority in my blogging niche and increases my internet “footprint.” Not only does freelance writing also allow me to earn more income, but it gives me the capital to put into my blogging business so it can continue to grow.
Plus, I do get many writing clients (I cover personal finance, entrepreneurship & travel) because they understand I have a following through my blog and social channels and can share the work that I do for them on these platforms.
Some services you can offer as a blogger include (I will also place links to resources in case you want to learn more):
- Freelance writing
- Virtual assistance services
- Pinterest virtual assistant
- Create and Sell Recipes and Crafts
- Podcast Editing
- Video Editing
How much can you make as a blogger?
This is the question that everyone asks. The answer is: it depends. I have many blogger friends that earn anywhere from $2,000 all the way up to $20,000 or more each month blogging. Then, there are these super successful bloggers earning $50,000 a month or more.
I’ve checked their story and interviewed a few of them:
- Holly Johnson– (earns money as a freelance writer & blogger)
- Michelle Schroeder
- Rosemarie Groner
- Kristien Larson
- Gina Horkey
I made $50,000 last year through my online activities which included both freelance writing and blogging. You can see a breakdown of my 2017 blogging income here. My goal is to more than double that for 2018. I’ve got a tutor for my kids and think I could actually see this happen!