Not that long ago, blogging for a living sounded like a dream to me. Stuck in a demanding marketing job, I would spend 10+ hours each day working, with every bit of extra time I had left stressing about work — or learning something new that might help me do my job better.
Needless to say, I loved it. Otherwise I would have never been able to put that much time — and mental effort — into it.
But at the same time, I found myself at the end of every day thinking back to a time when I actually created something. The good old days when, at the end of a workday, I knew I had put out into the world an engaging article, a press release, or maybe just a short blog post.
I constantly felt the pull to go back to my copywriter days. But I couldn’t possibly justify leaving an executive position to go back to writing. Nor did it make sense from either a financial or career perspective. At least that’s what I thought. Until I took the leap.
The truth about blogging full time
Blogging for a living can be incredibly fulfilling. If you have a knack for turning a phrase, time to set aside for writing (and the patience to sit down and actually do it), some solid research skills, and a drive to succeed, I can’t imagine a better career path.
Especially if you have a hobby, interest, or past experience that you can share with others (think cooking, exercising, decorating, cleaning, or crafting, to name some of the most obvious ones).
I’ve seen people making a good living with their arts & crafts blogs, some that have made good money by sharing their late grandmother’s recipes, or mommy bloggers that have shared their experience with thousands of new mommies looking for some much-needed help. Fishing enthusiasts that turned their experience into online treasure troves of information, gamers that created a platform to share their gameplays, or talented photographers that shared their craft with others, helping them hone their own skills.
Because that’s the beauty of the internet. I lets us connect with people that share similar interest. And at the same time, it provides a platform for those who are willing to share everything they know about a topic with whomever might be looking for that information.
Of course, you probably knew all of that. So on to the natural question that follows: Can that pay the rent and put food on the table?
Do bloggers really make money?
Most definitely. And many bloggers make significant amounts of money running their own websites. Just the other week, I was reading about a blogger in my group whose website brought him $142,000 IN A SINGLE MONTH from ads alone. Yes, you read that right. That’s one month’s paycheck, working for himself.
While he may be an outlier, and that amount was his best month ever, I wanted to share that with you just to give you an idea of how lucrative blogging for a living can be.
More realistically, depending on the topic you blog about, the different ways you choose to monetize your website, and how much work you’re willing to put into your blog, you can expect to earn between $4,000 to $10,000 each month by your second year.
Paying attention to what works best and brings in the most revenue, then outsourcing (there are a gazillion easily-accessible freelance platforms to help you scale) to produce more revenue-driving content could put you in the $100,000 to $200,000/year bracket when it comes to revenue.
My main website — a real estate & luxury home blog — is now bringing me more money than I was earning as a marketing executive for one of the biggest names in the online self-improvement industry. I earn enough to pay my rent and all expenses, pay off credit cards, indulge a little, then put money aside every month.
Of course, it could take you years to get there. But that’s all the more reason to start today and grow your online asset slowly before taking a jump and diving into blogging full time.
So if you’re wondering whether blogging is still profitable in 2021, the answer is a resounding YES.
What can you blog about?
Now, if you’re wondering what you could blog about, know that that’s entirely up to you. You should think about what is it that you know best, and what can you could bring to the table and offer value to others.
To give you a rundown of what types of blogs are most popular among those that run their own websites and make a living off of them:
- Food blogs come in many forms: some share recipes, others review restaurants, others focus on specific cuisines or cater to a specific diet type. Either way, there seems to be a massive online audience interested in food, and many food bloggers successfully tapped into that and earned good money doing it.
- Fashion blogs rank high in popularity and have a huge global audience. They can also be monetized in many different ways and tap into a big pool of advertisers that are looking to promote their products.
- Sports blogs, much like fashion blogs, have a big audience worldwide. Bloggers track their favorite sports, players, industry news, you name it, and develop a following made of people that are interested in the same thing.
- DIY blogs have been killing it online for over a decade. People love doing small projects at home, and they almost exclusively turn to Google search to find out how to get it done. They range from arts & crafts to home décor, woodworking, sewing, you name it. Hell, it can be about how to brew your own beer, the sky’s the limit here.
- Fitness or health blogs attracts tons of readers looking to better care for their bodies and wellbeing.
- Parenting blogs have also grown in popularity in the past decade, beaming with resources and personal experiences about how to best raise little humans — and allowing their readers to learn from other parents.
- Pet blogs cater to a wide range of readers including pet owners, animal lovers, animal shelters, and people looking to adopt furry friends. They’re further divided by the type of pets they cover, some catering to dog lovers, cat owners, tropical fish enthusiasts and so on.
There are also industries that are seeing a massive growth in popularity in the past few years like gaming and e-sports, self-improvement, meditation & mindfulness, cannabis or psychedelics, to name just a few.
But at the end of the day, what matters most is that you pick a topic that you enjoy talking about — and that you’re interested in learning more about yourself. After all, if you’re going to be sharing things with others, you’re going to constantly have to learn new things, so make sure it’s something you’re passionate about.
What does it take to be a successful blogger?
First and foremost, you’ll need to be patient. Blogs don’t become successful overnight, it takes time to grow an online presence and a large enough following to monetize properly. Websites take time to build, get populated with quality content, and attract organic visits. But you know that old saying, build it and they will come? That applies perfectly to online blogs.
Secondly, you’ll need to be organized and have a good amount of self-discipline. There’s no boss around to tell you when that article needs to published, or to prioritize tasks for you. It’ll all be up to you, and the more organized you are, the more you can get done and fast-track your growth.
You shouldn’t be afraid to pivot. Maybe what you start blogging about won’t bring you the best results, but you’ll notice that whenever you cover a more niched topic, your traffic explodes. You shouldn’t be set in your ways and refuse to change, but rather take that opportunity to ride the wave and start blogging exclusively about that topic.
Think you have what it takes? Did most of what I’ve written above speak to you? Then stop wondering and postponing your career as a blogger and start today. Before you know it, you’ll be able to turn it into your full time job, and we will be here to help you every step of the way.
Featured image credit: Photo by Arnel Hasanovic on Unsplash