You’ve heard of this thing called a blog or even people “blogging”, and you’re like what is that? And why do people do it? Well, I’ll try and answer that for you today.
First of all, what is a blog?
A blog is a type of website. In the traditional sense, a blog is a website that is started by a person – and it talks about topics related to the interests of that person. In essence, a blog is a personal website.
Nowadays, many companies and businesses have blogs as well because it’s a fantastic way to market their products and services. But any regular person can start a blog.
For example: this website is a blog. It talks about personal finance topics as well as blogging topics. If you compare this website to a website like CNN.com – there are big differences. CNN is a news website that isn’t tied to a personality. A website that sells hand creams is an e-commerce site, and is also different than a blog because e-commerce sites are set up to sell physical products and also do not have a personality.
I would say the biggest difference between a blog and any other type of website is that a blog has a personality attached to it.
So what is blogging?
Blogging is all the things people do to run their blog. When someone says “their blogging”, most people think they mean they’re writing an article for their blog. But really, there’s a ton of duties involved in creating a successful blog – so it could be a gazillion things, like responding to emails, researching topics to write on, or building relationships online.
Why do people blog?
Well, back in the day, I would say most people started a blog to journal their own life, get their voice “out there”, and also to help people learn things.
But today, I think most people start blogs because they want to make money online. There’s a HUGE opportunity to make a lot of money online which attracts people to blogging. It’s something an everyday person can do with little investment – which is why blogging is so incredibly popular.
How do people make money blogging?
The idea of making money blogging is really really simple. Basically, you’ll write blog posts on whatever topic you want, and then people will read your blog post. In your blog post, you can recommend products that the reader might be interested in. You can also sell a product you’ve created.
The whole idea of blogging is to write about stuff you love to talk about and then promote products to people who read your articles. When they buy the products you promote, you make money.
This is really a simplified version of how a blogger can make money with their blog. There are many ways a blogger can make money though.
Here’s an example: You start a travel blog and write about your travels. Well, in your blog post, you can mention that you booked your hotel with booking, or you used this specific tour company for your waterfall day trip excursion, or you used this company to buy your travel insurance.
The companies you mention can pay you money for referring customers to them. This is called affiliate marketing and it’s one of the most popular ways to make money with a blog.
So really, the whole idea of blogging is writing good content that people want to read, then getting yourself noticed so people can find your article, and then making money is kind of a consequence of both happening. This is what a successful blogger does (in a nutshell!)
A common way people make money with their blogs is through affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is when you promote other peoples products and services for a commission. For a good idea of what a good affiliate marketing online training would look like, you can check out wealthy affiliate.
Benefits of blogging
Well, the main benefit of blogging is definitely making money. Bloggers can make an extra few hundred dollars per month. Bloggers can also make thousands of dollars per month.
There are bloggers who publish what’s called “income reports” where they outline the amount of money their blogs are making.
Here are a few examples of income reports:
- Michelle at Making Sense of Cents
- Abby at justagirlandherblog
- Jessica Gavin
- Mindy at This Fairy Tale Life
There are hundreds of example of people publishing income reports. A lot of people love reading them because they are super inspiring.
The other main benefit of blogging would be the freedom and the “work from anywhere” aspect of it. Since your blog is online, you can work from anywhere with an internet connection. For example, I travel around the world and blog at the same time.
In terms of freedom, you get the flexibility to blog around your daily responsibilities. A lot of people begin blogging as a side thing at night or on the weekends while keeping their day jobs. When they’ve gotten to a point where they make enough income from blogging, they quit their jobs and blog full time.
With a blog – whether you’re doing it full time or not – you can work as much on it as you want. And you can work on it when you want. It’s the ultimate freedom job. You can hustle hard… but take days off, or even a week of whenever you want. I had no idea how much I’d value this freedom when I started blogging. As of now, I don’t think I’m capable of being an employee anymore! I’m just so used to the freedom.
What can you blog about?
You can blog about anything. It’s one of the coolest part about being a blogger.
I will have to say though that if your goal is to make money blogging, you can’t blog about “anything”. You need to be blogging about topics people are interested in, and more importantly, blogging about topics people need help in.
For example, when you talk a lot about yoga, it’s really easy to recommend yoga mats, yoga programs, and health foods to people who read your yoga blog. These are products your yogi’s naturally want to buy.
But if you started a blog on cute cat pictures, it’s really hard to promote any products/services that your readers will want to buy. People interested in cute cat pictures aren’t in the mood to buy things – they are more interested in being entertained. Hey, you may love cats – but a blog about cat pictures isn’t a good topic to make money from.
Overall, a lot of people enjoy creating “lifestyle” type blogs. A lifestyle blog is really just a blog that talks about whatever you want to talk about. Lifestyle bloggers usually focus on a few topics more deeply, but post content on tons of different topics.
Here are some nice examples of lifestyle blogs:
The Busy Budgeter – Rosemarie blogs about personal finance, namely budgeting, but she also posts a ton of food recipes, DIY stuff, organization tips, and family stuff. She’s also a great example of someone who started a blog hoping to just make a bit of extra cash but then turned it big (her blog is worth millions).
A Cup of Jo – Joanna’s blog is the epitome of a lifestyle blog. She talks about EVERYTHING, from the do’s and don’t of schedule sex to mediterranean pasta. She regularly gets 100’s of comments per blog post, and is kinda internet famous.
Katie Did What – Katie blogs about fashion, fitness, baby stuff, beauty, motherhood, and more. Her blog shares her thoughts on these topics. She’s really just a mom with to little ones who shares her stories and thoughts online – while making good money too.
Is blogging hard?
Yea, blogging is challenging.
People will sugar coat the life of a blogger as this awesome lifestyle of freedom and money making potential – but in the beginning – it’s far from that.
Blogging is a way to grow your presence online and make money – but it takes TIME. Since so many people are blogging today, it takes more work to “cut through the shit” so to speak. It takes more work to get noticed. It takes longer to “make it” now too.
But not impossible – at all.
People start blogs and begin making money within just a few months. It could be just a few dollars, or a few hundred dollars. And a full time income after the 1st year is totally achievable. To succeed blogging, you need to invest time into yourself and building your blog. You need to learn the things you need to learn and then apply it. And be consistent too.
So learning to blog successfully isn’t any different than learning to be successful at anything else – like singing or basketball. Except anyone with a computer can kill it blogging – whereas becoming a great singer has physical limitations!
There are many things to learn if you want to become a successful blogger. You’ll learn a lot of these things over the first few years. Among those things are how to get traffic to your site, how to write a blog post, and how to monetize a blog post. And like all good things, it takes time.
A blog is whatever you make it
I talked about the freedom a blog gives you, but that isn’t limited to things outside of your blog. Your blog itself is the ultimate tool to give you freedom to express yourself too.
With you blog, you can do whatever the hell you want with it. It truly is your own personal online domain that you fully control. NO boss can make you do anything. You don’t have to follow rules or listen to anybody (within reason of course).
For example, if you want to cuss on your blog, then cuss away. If you want to pour your heart out, then pour it out baby. If you want to get real with people, get real with them. And if you want to keep your personal life separate from your blog, you can do that too.
You can be anyone you want online. Yourself or a persona. At the end of the day, as long as you are providing valuable content on your blog that people want to read – it doesn’t matter.
Blogging is fun
I didn’t think I’d love blogging as much as I do now when I started. I started blogging as a way to quit my day job of doom. Blogging was just a means to an end – a way to make money….
But now it’s all I think about. It’s all I want to do. I just want to work on my blog all the time. Why? Because it’s fun!
First of all, making money is just awesome – especially when you get to keep all the profits (unlike being an employee where you are paid a fraction of the value you bring).
But secondly, I blog about topics I LOVE and have passion for (making money and blogging). And I get to express myself, say the shit I want to say, and ultimately, I am helping people solve problems (which is incredibly rewarding).
Sometimes I blog 10 hours in a day. I work more than 40 hours a week on blogging. Why? It’s not even hard. It’s cause I enjoy it.
If blogging is something you think you COULD enjoy, I really really recommend trying it. If you’re not sure, just give it a shot. It’s obviously a lot easier to do when you love it – but even if you’re thinking you could blog purely as a way to make money – it’s worth doing (and maybe you’ll learn to like it like I did!)
Over to you…
What are your thoughts on blogging? or bloggers? or anything blogging related? I’d love to hear your comments. Use the blog below!