I am frequently asked how to be a blogger. The answer really depends on what you want out of it.
I’ve been writing for years. I’ve only monetized blogging about a year ago and I am surprised how much money my blogs are generating.
Why do you want to blog?
There are a lot of reasons to blog. I enjoy writing. You can blog to share your writing and to demonstrate your skill if you want to get copy writing or ghost writing jobs.
A blog attracts traffic to an existing website.
Most people tell me their first reason is to make money. Yes, you can make money blogging.
Blogging can be a great creative outlet. Blog to share your photos or writing while maintaining some control over everything else that shows on the page.
Showcase Your Writing
If you would like to be a professional writer, a blog showcases your abilities. You can create articles and posts demonstrating the different styles and “voices” you can write in.
If professional writing is your goal, you need to carefully proofread everything you write before you publish.
I first started blogging to learn WordPress. I had been a web designer for years, but could see that WordPress could be a good fit for some clients. WordPress wasn’t as easy to use as it is now. I wanted to know how WordPress worked so I would be able to help clients. I also wanted to be able to show examples of simple sites clients could do themselves.
I took a few things I had written back in school and turned them into small blogs. Each small blog demonstrated a different theme and different plugins.
My first small blogs: Hilton Head Island, Ireland: a Different Visit, Caving
Yes, you can make money blogging.
If this is your goal, think about who might want to advertise on your blog. Look at other blogs that talk about the same topics you are thinking about blogging about. Who advertises on their sites? Start a list. See what they are selling. Who would buy those products?
Once you have a good guess of your potential advertisers target audience, write for them. The audience your site attracts makes a big difference in how much money your site earns. A click on my site about Caving earns a few pennies. A click on My design42: Lighting and Design or Project Small House earns much more. These sites are reaching the site visitors advertisers will pay more for.
Attract More Traffic to an Existing Web Site or Store
Add a blog to any site to increase traffic.
If this is your goal, stay on target. You don’t just want to attract traffic. You want to attract customers.
Blog about the products you sell. Add photos and details that aren’t available anywhere else.
Choose a product for each post. Think of everything someone might want to know about it. Perhaps show how it goes with another product.
Think like a customer. What would you search for? What would you want to know? Write the posts your customers wants to find.
How Do I Start?
Start writing. If you are already writing, look at everything you’ve written. Would any of it work as a blog?
If you don’t already write, start creating a few posts and articles in Word. This will give you an idea whether blogging is going to be something you enjoy and will give you the posts and pages you need to start your blog.
How Much Does It Cost?
It doesn’t have to cost much at all to get started as a Blogger. You can have a Blog on DreamHost for as little as $2.59 a month. They install WordPress for you and even register your Domain Name for free!
Compare Hosting Prices on DreamHost >
How Long Does It Take?
Writing each Post doesn’t have to take long at all. WordPress has an app that works on your phone. You can take a photo and create a post out of it really quickly. I save them as Drafts, then take some more time with them later.
You can write a bunch of Posts, then schedule when you want them to publish.
How Long Does It Take To Make Money?
I don’t know. Some of my Blogs make money right away. Others sit around, then take off. One Blog only had 4 pages. I wasn’t all that interested in the subject after my initial enthusiasm. Then someone Pinned a photo from it on Pinterest. The pin was re-pinned and re-pinned and the little 4-page site earned a little over $6.00 a month for a few months. I added a few more posts and now it averages $20.00 a month. No, that’s not much. But, it’s stuff that I wrote years ago. It adds up. Now that blob makes a few hundred dollars a month. I could probably do better, but I’m not that interested in the topic and other blogs pay better.
Blogging isn’t free money. It takes time to write something that is worth reading. It takes time for Google to find you. But a good Post or Page continues to get traffic. Little by little it adds up.