If you have ever dreamed of making it big blogging online, you have probably heard about people like Pat Flynn or John Chow who now live entirely off their online incomes. They and many others like them have great stories about how they started making money online and how you can emulate their successes. Interestingly, most of these people make the bulk of their money teaching people like you and I how to make money… Sounds too good to be true.
Anyway I wanted to throw a dose of realism into the mix and say that while it is entirely possible to make a full time living online, it certainly isn’t easy, and it is a full time job in itself.
When I first started this blog I was over the moon happy when I made my first few dollars in adsense income, and then even more happy when I had people offering to pay me money to sponsor posts and talk about their various product or service. What I soon realised though is that I was putting in a hell of a lot of work for only a very small amount of money. As an example, in my first 3 months of blogging I am pretty sure I only made $100. I would have been better off going down to the local McDonalds and working nights.
You see to become successful online you need to network heavily and that takes a massive amount of time. Fortunately for me, I really like networking with people and I saw the personal finance niche as a great opportunity to mix with other like minded individuals. However, if you are just getting into a topic because you think there is money to be made, then watch out! I can almost guarantee that you will give your blog away before too long because you just aren’t passionate enough about your topic.
I have had a few patches with this site where I have thought about going on hiatus simply because of the amount of time commitment that it takes, but I always manage to find the time to write something. Although lately I have been slacking off in the networking space and have had a few people contact me asking if everything is going alright. The truth of the matter is that everything is going alright, but I am focusing my efforts on starting up an online business with my wife and running a blog on the side is actually a lot more difficult that I thought it was going to be. The result is that I spend far less time visiting other peoples sites and I do not even get a chance to reply to many of the thoughtful comments on this site (although I do read them all).
I am sure that if I spent more time on this blog I could turn it into a $5,000 a month site, but the amount of time and effort required for me to do that means that I would not be able to be as active on my other income generating ideas and to me they have a better potential than just one finance site ever would. Fortunately I really enjoy talking all things finance, and I love helping people, so any income I derive from this site is just icing on the cake.
Back to the main topic though – Can you make money blogging? Hell yes, but don’t give up your day job for a while. Also if you think you are going to start pulling in $50,000 a month like Pat Flynn then you are going to need to reevaluate your goals a little, as that just isn’t going to happen – sorry. For most people that get into blogging they will find that the small reward for the massive effort just isn’t worth it and they will end up either selling their blogs or just letting them go dormant. It happens all the time! There are heaps of people I connected with early on that started blogging around the same time as me and I would say only around half of them are still at it today with varying degrees of success.
I’ll finish off with just a few of the things that I have learned:
- Stick with it – Most blogs die before their 1st birthday and never reach their full potential.
- Engage with the community of other bloggers in your space.
- Set realistic goals and track your progress.
- Comment and gust post as much as you can.
- Ask for help from other more established bloggers. Quite often they will be more than happy to help you out just like someone helped them early on.
- Choose a topic that you enjoy and that you can write about.
- Have fun with it. If you aren’t having fun then you aren’t going to stick with it.
Good luck 🙂