Blogging can lead to making money online, but you don’t make money blogging. There is an important distinction here.
Think on that a moment
But, but… look at all those professional bloggers out there: Darren Rowse, Michael Dunlop, Pat Flynn, etc… Those guys are making a living blogging full time.
Take a look at their blogs and see how they’re making money:
- Problogger – Has a membership scheme, sells affiliate products and it own products including their e-book guide: 31 Days to Build a Better Blog. Click here to visit ProBlogger.
- Incomediary – Sells affiliate products and his own products, including wordpress plugins like Popup Domination.
- Smartpassiveincome – Sells affiliate products such as hosting as well as running multiple side projects like niche sites and iPhone apps.
Notice how none of their income streams actually lists “blogging.”
So why start a blog?
There are actually a lot of reasons to start a blog, but take a look back at my first sentence. While you don’t make money directly from your blog, blogging is a very good tool that leads to making money online.
Here’s the fundamental question you need to answer when you start blogging.
What is a Blog?
A journal? A diary? A website?
A blog is a marketing tool.
A blog is your tool for selling your product. Whether your product is a piece of software, a book, or simply an idea.
You blog is a tool for selling that product.
But wait! What about those people who are just starting hobby blogs. They aren’t selling anything.
Actually, they are. They are selling themselves and their information. Maybe it’s just for their own satisfaction, but they are selling their writing to their readers. They are selling their thoughts, their information, their own personal stories to their audience.
If you look at the blogs I listed above. They are successful blogs that focus around the idea of making money online. Each of those blogs is a promotional tool for the blogger.
What are the Benefits of Blogging as a Marketing Tool?
Looking at the world we live in today, we are surrounded by marketing tools. What is the difference between a blog and other kinds of marketing tools out there?
Herein lies the answer to why people continue to try and break into blogging for income.
Blogging applies a variety of strategies that makes it appealing for the businessman.
The Economics of Blogging is Good
This isn’t the first time I’ve made this point, but it’s one of the most important aspects of making money online. That is that there is a low barrier of entry.
It’s not like opening a restart or a laundromat where you have to buy or lease some real estate that will cost tens of thousands of dollars before you see a single cent of return.
You are creating a virtual storefront.
You can start your blogging business free with one of the free services available: blogger, type pad, wordpress, etc…
While, I definitely recommending at some point getting your own host so you can gain full control and a .com domain name, even that expense is minimal.
There are many good hosting companies out there. I use and recommend hostgator, which is fast and reliable. While they aren’t the cheapest, they are low cost at less than $10 a month and they have a great balance between price and reliability.
So, now you’re up and running with a business where the overhead is less than $10 a month or even free.
Multiple Income Streams
One thing about blogging is that it allows the blogger a variety of tools to enhance their incomes. You can sell the virtual real estate on your blog to earn money, sell someone else’s products, sell your own products, earn passive income, create a membership area, etc… The possibilities are limited only by your imagination.
This way you can use a single tool, your blog as a launching point for multiple streams of income.
The traditional start up business has very limited access to marketing tools that can promote so many different streams of income. Just think of all the different signals that your blog can generate.
Remember: You are limited only by your imagination.
A blog gives you access to a marketing tool that lasts perpetually. Think on other forms of marketing and compare: A television commercial airs for a limited time, a newspaper ad runs once, a flyer lasts until the receiver tosses it in the trash, a bumper sticker fades…
A blog post lasts forever.
I have people coming to blog posts that I’ve written months ago to read and leave me a comment.
Each of those blog posts is an opportunity for me to build a relationship with that person and promote my blog and its products.
That blog post has the potential to become passive income for me.
I know there is a debate amongst bloggers about whether blogging in itself is passive income or not. Of course, the act of keeping your blog running and up to date is anything but passive. But what you’ve already published and posted is passive for the most part. I no longer have to do anything for those old posts to keep generating interest for my blog.
Building a Relationship
You can’t downplay the value of building a relationship with your audience. A blog more than almost any other form of marketing allows you to build a social relationship with your audience.
They learn your voice and your tendencies.
Even if you chose to keep your personal identity separate from your blog, your audience will get to know you through your writing. And through your writing you will build a relationship and a sense of trust.
You can’t do that in a television commercial.
It’s difficult to build up that kind of authority. It takes time and effort and some sense of longevity.
The content from your blog gives your audience the opportunity to get to know you.
You can Blog on Your Own Schedule
The thing about operating an online business and a blog is that you can do it own your own time.
If you have a day job, you can keep it and still run your blog.
You can write your posts in advance when you have free time and schedule them for publication later. You can do your work weeks in advance if needed.
Not many businesses allow this kind of flexibility.
So, when someone considers starting something on the side to make money, this is a big consideration that favors blogging.
That said, be prepared to be patient and nurturing with your blog. Nothing in life comes quick and easy. It’s the same with blogging.
But you can be flexible with it and build up your income over time if you are patient and stick with it.
Blogging is Fun
The thing is… Blogging is fun!
That’s a big bonus for me. I just enjoy the process of blogging.
Of course, some people are more methodical and business like with their blogs. But you can go wild with your imagination as you write about your topic. It’s good practice for being innovative and creative.
Bottom line: Enjoy your blog. Have fun with it!