To my mind, the answer is . . . no – at least for most people.
But asked another way, ie, “Should you start an income-producing blog as a freelancer?”, then the answer is yes, in my opinion. Following is some insight into why.
$300 in 3 Minutes from Blogging
The first thing I do when I wake up each morning is check my various money accounts, ie, PayPal, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Clickbank. This morning, when I logged into PayPal, there was one payment that stood out. It was for $300 for an ad on one of my niche websites; one I really don’t pay too much attention to. I update this site maybe half a dozen times a month.
In spite of this, I just can’t seem to let the darn thing go! It earns between $100-$300 per month in AdSense income kind of on autopilot. I’ve thought about trying to sell it, but something just won’t let me because it’s in a high-paying niche and I keep telling myself that one day I’m going to get around to investing in it and turning it into a real money-maker.
At any rate, it took me all of three minutes to add this client’s ad to the site and tweet it for them. That’s it; that’s all I had to do for 300 bucks. Now, if I can only get 99 more clients like this for that site!
But I digress . . . back to blogging for pay.
The Pros and Cons of Starting a “Make Money” Blog
Following are some pros and cons of starting a for-profit blog as a freelancer, which is different from your business card blog.
PRO: You can earn extra money each month. It doesn’t take a whole lot of effort to get a blog to the point where it earns a few hundred dollars per month on auto pilot. My niche blog started earning $2 to $3 per day pretty quickly. The key to doing this is selecting a tightly defined, highly profitable niche though.
CON: It takes a lot of effort to get past earning nominal amounts of money. Getting past the above-mentioned financial milestone takes a lot of effort in my opinion – and experience. Proof? According to a 2011 SurveyMonkey Blogger Money Survey which detailed how much money bloggers actually make – it’s not a lot, ie:
Insight into How Much Bloggers Really Make
. . . a majority of people [bloggers] reported making between $0-99 in 2010, with the next largest groups between $100-499 and $500-999.
I found some hard numbers on perhaps the number one blog about how to make money blogging, Problogger.com. In the post, How Much Money Do Bloggers Make Blogging, the numbers break down like this:
29% reported earning less than $10 per month;
12% said they earned between $10-$29 per month;
Another 12% reported earning between $30-$99 a month;
17% earned $100 – $499 per month; and
30% earned $500 or more.
PRO: It’s something you can do in your spare time. As I said, I don’t spend much time on my niche blog. It’s something I update in my spare time. Usually in the evenings, on the weekends if I’m bored, or on a day I’m goofing off and don’t feel like doing any “real” work.
CON: You have to treat it like a business. Anything venture you start must be treated like a “real business” for it to prosper. This means investing time in it. For blogging, this means updating it regularly, creating an editorial calendar, research and writing posts, marketing it, etc.
Although I don’t update my niche blog often, I do write with my niche in mind, and market the blog (my VA places ads for the affiliate products I sell from it on free classified ad sites).
FYI, I found a post while doing a Google search for how much do bloggers make that gives some detailed insight into everything I’ve said here so far. It elaborates on the costs associated with operating a blog, the factors that determine how much you can earn as a blogger, and a whole lot more.
PRO: It’s free/cheap to start. If you use a free platform like blogger or wordpress, it won’t cost you anything to get started. I don’t advise this. As web hosting is so cheap – less than $10 per month — you should always register your own domain name and pay to host it in an account of your own – even if you’re not “that serious” about your niche blog yet.
PRO: It diversifies your income. As a freelance writer, I have four income streams (writing and publishing my own line of ebooks, developing and teaching freelance writing seminars, affiliate marketing and writing for clients). One of the reasons I’m able to keep my income stable – and grow it steadily – is that I don’t rely on just one way to make money.
Currently, client projects and ebook sales account for the bulk of my income. The money I earn from niche blogging is part of my affiliate marketing income. The reason I started niche blogging was promote affiliate products. I only added advertising once I saw how much traffic this one niche blog was getting.
As far as pros and cons go, these are the biggies in my opinion.
The Biggest Mistake I’ve Made in My Quest to Make Money Blogging
. . . not staying focused.
I have so much going on between client projects, ebook writing, admin duties running a writing company, etc., that I barely have time to breathe – never mind focus on yet one more thing.
The funny thing is, I know I could get one of the blogs I have to earning four figures per month if I just put in an hour or two – consistently – per day. But again, my days are already long – running 10-12 hours most of the time.
Also, as I’m comfortable with my earnings – although I’d always like to earn more – I haven’t felt the need to “stretch” myself outside of the projects I already have on my plate.
So I hold on to my little blogs . . . in hopes of turning the few hundred dollars per month they earn now into a few thousand – when I get time to focus on them.
Start a “Mommy Blog” or a “Woman Blog” to Make Money Blogging?
One thing I noticed in my research for this post is a lot of posts on how popular “mommy blogging” is (heck, I didn’t even know that was a phrase!).
An interesting stat from this post for me was that the average household income for a mommy blogger was $84,000 ($14,000 higher than non-blogging moms). Now, while it doesn’t say that this was due directly to income from mommy blogging, one can extrapolate that it probably has some bearing — even if the mommy blogger only earned a nominal amount.
Another popular niche was “women bloggers“. Appareantly, we blog a lot. Now this makes sense to me because what do girls/women traditionally like to do — yak, yak, yak — whether it’s sharing recipes or divulging the latest on our love lives (or lack thereof in my case!).
So there you go ladies — finally, an online career path where we seem to have an upper hand over the fellas (no harm meant guys).
Ebook on How to Make Money Blogging
I’ve been meaning to write an ebook about blogging. But, as I haven’t earned more than $400/month in AdSense income, I don’t feel like I can share any real meaningful information with you in it – other than telling you what not to do and what might work if you do it consistently.
I may still do it, just to share what I’ve learned along the way – we’ll see.
Learn more about what it takes to make money blogging.
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Top Posts from Around the Web on “How Much Do Bloggers Make”
If you want to do some further reading, following are some posts I lost myself in while researching this topic. It’s some inspiring, informative reading – if you’re ready to be realistic about what it takes to “really” make money blogging.
Share your thoughts? Do you earn money from a blog? Have tips you can share about how to make money blogging? Please share in the comments section below.