By SURABHI ROHILLA
As we step into the start of a new decade, more and more people are beginning to look at the idea of starting a blog to make money.
I am sure you have seen many claims about the huge earning potential of a blog and how you can make $10,000… $20,000… $30,000 per month within 5 to 6 weeks.
Is there any truth behind those claims?
Is it still worth pursuing Blogging to make money in Post Covid-19 world?
How much time does it take on an average before you can start making money?
As you read through this article, I will answer all these questions for you and I will reveal the real reasons more and more people are drawn to starting a blog to make money. I will also show you the risks and challenges of blogging that you should consider before starting yourself.
By the end of this article, you will be clear in your mind if this business is the right one for you.
It is important that you read every word of this article because I will reveal some powerful tricks to help you create your first blog for free in less than 3 days.
The Change Of Tide Towards Work-From-Home
Covid-19 has forced all companies worldwide to move their operations online.
The biggest tech firms such as IBM, Microsoft, Amazon are investing in technologies to help companies sell to their customers without being physically present in front of them.
Clearly, right now is the best time to start a home-based-business because you can easily start it as a side hustle and start earning additional income.
Starting A Blog As A Home-Based Business
Starting a blog as a home-based business is highly profitable and popular because it is amazingly simple to start this business, all you need is internet and a laptop. You can create a website even if you are a non-technical person who doesn’t know anything about HTML or computer programming.
Here are some statistics to give you a bit of perspective on the popularity and potential of blogging as a business.
Adding a blog to your website is the best marketing strategy because it’s proven to increase your business profit / side income.
Why Blogging Is So Popular As A Source Of Income
There are a lot of factors contributing to this huge popularity of blogging as a business and as a means of promoting your existing local business.
1. Rising cost of traditional forms of advertising
Blogging as a source of income involves writing content that adds value to your readers or solves their problems.
By that standard, Blogging is in direct competition with the traditional forms of advertising i.e. Print (Newspapers) and Media (Television).
The declining popularity of traditional forms of advertising has directly contributed to the rising popularity of blogging websites.
The cost of advertising in Newspaper and Television has been rising every year making them less practical for advertisers.
Newspaper advertising costs rose by 41% between 2000 to 2005 – The Guardian
When you compare the cost of advertising in print and television alongside websites and email marketing you can clearly see it is much more viable for companies to pay commissions to bloggers for advertising on their websites rather than buying space on the television or newspapers.
2. A massive decline in readership of print media
Looking at the rising cost of advertising charged by newspapers you would think that they command a higher readership which gives them an edge over websites as a medium.
However, that is not the case, Newspapers circulation have actually been on a decline.
The declining advertising revenue of Newspapers gave way to the steady rise in advertising revenue of Google.
The numbers below show the shift in the trend of advertising budgets moving away from Print media to Digital media and the biggest share of the digital advertising money today goes to Google and Facebook.
Blogging as a business has benefitted the most from this shifting trend by using blogs and websites as the digital real estate to display advertisements through “Google AdSense”.
3. People with any kind of skill can start a blog
Blogging does not require you to be an expert in technology or literature.
Anyone can become a successful blogger provided they have the following two qualities –
- They can read on any topic for hours and not get bored from it
- They have a passion to share their learnings with others
Apart from this, there is really no other skill or experience required to become a successful blogger.
This ease of starting a digital business has contributed to the rise in number bloggers all over the world.
4. Extremely low start-up and operating cost
Blogging as a business has the lowest start-up cost.
Blogging requires an investment of your time and not your money, this is what makes it an incredibly attractive proposition for people from all occupations and backgrounds.
The only investment required in setting up a blog is
- A Domain
- A Hosting service
- Internet connection
- A Laptop or a Mac
- Your dedication and time
What is a Domain & What is Hosting?
To help understand the concept of Domain and hosting we will compare them with an example which everyone would relate to.
We all use Mobile phones and we can use them as an example to understand the use of a domain and hosting service in the case of a blog.
A Blog is like your phone (The handset) which you decorate as per your taste and style. You choose the apps you want to install on it, you choose the wallpaper, the theme that looks attractive.
In the same way, you create your blog on a choice of your platform (Wix or WordPress etc) and then choose a theme for it and install various apps to manage different features of it.
A Domain is like your phone number, which is unique for every person.
- No two phones will ever have the same phone number.
- People will always reach you when they dial that number.
- You can share that number with people who want to reach you.
In the same way, you buy a domain name from places like Namecheap.com/Godady.com etc.
- A domain name is the unique address of your website/blog.
- No two websites will ever have the same domain name.
- You can share that domain name with people who want to visit your website
For example –
www.Financialfreedomist.com is a domain name.
What you see on your screen right now is the blog which I have linked with this domain name.
So every time someone types www.financialfreedomist.com they will reach this blog that I have created.
A Hosting Service is like the cellular service provider whose sim card you use on your phone.
It is the cellular service provider which gives you the sim card that is needed to link your phone number with your phone.
To make it simpler, the cellular service provider takes people calling your phone number to your phone where you can receive their calls.
Similarly, the hosting service is needed to link your website with your domain name.
The hosting service takes people searching for www.financialfreedomist.com to this website you are seeing.
You can buy a domain and a hosting service to start a blog for less than $9 per month – Read about the price comparison of leading Hosting services in the market today.
There is a detailed breakdown of all operating costs involved in starting and running a blog done by one of my favourite bloggers, you can read about it here.
5. Unlimited growth potential
There are many other search engines like Bing, Yahoo, Duck Duck Go.
This number is constantly growing with the ever-growing population of the world.
Your website starts competing with the biggest brands from the day it gets indexed by the search engines.
Search engines are constantly scanning the internet for the latest content and new websites. Once they find your website and the articles written on it, they create a place for your website in their database, this process is called indexing.
It takes few days before your website gets indexed, and with time and consistency of writing new articles on your blog, it starts getting higher rankings in the index and shows up on the 1st pages of the google search results
From there you can grow your business and sky is your limit.
This is quite exciting because unlike in the past where you had to spend loads of money on advertising, today you just must ensure your content is original, helpful and solves the problems of your readers.
With time search engines find your articles and show them to the right audience at no added cost to you.
To add to this, you have social media which is also available for free.
You can grow your blog and use all these powerful resources available for free.
6. Huge profit margins
Blogging as a business has the lowest operating cost as we have seen above and that has a direct impact on your profit margins.
Because your operating costs are so incredibly low for running a website/blog, your profit margins are huge compared to any other industry.
7. You make money even while you are sleeping
You can make money from your blog even when you are sleeping or out having a vacation with your family.
It is possible to do this because once you have created your website, written the articles, uploaded your videos and after your posts have started attracting thousands of visitors every month then that is the sweet spot where you can start enjoying the perks of all the hard work you have put in establishing your blog as an authority.
Your website will keep working for you even when you are sleeping because your content is already there to help people with the answers to their problems. So, your income stream will be active even when you are not in front of your laptop.
You will still need to keep your blog updated by posting new content regularly and updating your old posts as and when required but what makes blogging so popular is the fact that you will be creating a self-sustaining business that will be working for you 24×7 with an investment of fewer than 10 dollars!
8. You do not need to “sell” anything
I have never been good at making sales pitches, I realised this at the very beginning of my professional career in 2006. This is still my weakness, so much so that I find it difficult even to make a pitch for my own skills as a consultant to my clients at work.
If you are like me then you like the idea of starting a blog as a side hustle and with time you will make a good income from it well.
You can create a blog, write helpful content and create revenue streams where your readers do not have to pay you a single penny.
You can do this by using tools such as Google AdSense to place ads on your pages, or by adding affiliate links or by adding links to your own products such as e-books or online courses etc.
9. You can help others
A lot of people write blogs on subjects which people find difficult to talk about in public, such as homosexuality, depression, diseases, social anxieties, you name it.
Your blog can help people struggling to cope with such issues in their personal lives.
People often feel lonely and many face resistance and rejections even from their families and loved ones.
Reading about their issues on your blog will give them the mental strength. They get the reassurance that they are not alone.
This feeling of having the ability to help those in need is also a great motivator for people to start a blog.
10. Networking beyond boundaries
Blogging is a fantastic way to meet new people and make friends beyond physical boundaries.
It helps you to share your ideas and thoughts with people from all geographies, all backgrounds.
You are also able to have very meaningful conversations with real people with real insights through comments on your posts. This is one of the best aspects of blogging, it allows you to connect with people from any corner of the world and hear their thoughts on the topics of your articles.
11. Learning new things
A lot of people start a blog about something that they are an expert in and a lot of people also start a blog about something they want to become an expert in.
In both cases, one of the advantages of blogging is that you always get to learn something new.
You get to learn so much more about the subject of your blog when you do research on a topic for your blog post.
You also get to master a lot of new skills on the journey of blogging. You learn Website Designing, Web Copywriting, Digital Marketing, Search Engine Optimization and more.
You can use these skills to then earn more income by doing freelance work for other clients looking to outsource those jobs for their websites.
This is one of the best motivators for bloggers because the time you spend on your blog empowers you with more skills to earn more.
Challenges of Blogging as a Business
1. Payoff may take some time to materialize
Starting a Blog is the ultimate way to turn your hobby into a profitable business.
But it is not a business that can make you rich overnight.
It must be treated like any other business where you will invest your time and money before you will start making a profit.
It may take you 6 months to 1 year to start generating income from your blog.
So, like all other businesses, you must spend time to understand the problems and needs of your target audience, and then invest your time in the first 6 to 12 months to write well-researched articles addressing their problems one by one.
After you have written 25 to 30 articles, that is the sweet spot when your blog starts getting noticed by search engines and they begin to redirect traffic to your posts. This is the time when you can start monetizing to generate income.
You need to do a realistic evaluation of how long it may take you to write your first 30 well-researched articles. That is how long it will take you to start making some money from your blog.
2. Economic conditions directly affect your earnings
Just like any other business, blogging income also takes the impact of the economic conditions in the world.
The ongoing Covid-19 situation has had a direct impact on two category of people – The daily wage earners and freelancers (which includes bloggers).
Some bloggers have faced major dent in their earnings, while some have seen a rise in website traffic and their blogging income.
For example, travel bloggers are currently facing a huge dent in their monthly earnings because nobody is searching for “holiday destinations and ideas” right now when the world has frozen its borders for travellers.
At the same time, health and fitness bloggers are getting more traffic because more people are searching for ways to keep them active and healthy during the lockdown.
You should factor in such risks before jumping into blogging as a full-time business.
I always tell people to start saving at an early age and build an emergency backup fund before quitting their jobs and starting a blog for making money.
3. You start feeling lonely
This is one of the common problem bloggers face across the world. When working from an office, we get to interact with our colleagues and meet friends after work for catchup before going back home.
Most bloggers work from their home, they get too engrossed in their research for the next post and often lose touch with their social lives.
You become obsessed with your work and marketing it on social media and then there comes a time when you start feeling lonely.
You can avoid this by bringing discipline with the time that you give to the blog and the time that you give to your family and social life.
A lot of people start their blogs along with their friends or their life partners. They divide activities (content creation, marketing, website designing etc) among each other.
This can be an ideal situation and it can make the journey of your blog even more engaging and exciting.
4. You can easily get distracted and lose focus
I am sure you have also experienced this when you were last sitting in front of your system searching for something on the internet. You start from one place and before you know it you have 50 tabs open in your browser and you have not read even quarter of them properly.
The trick that works for me is to finish the outline of the post and get all my thoughts down on the page within each outline before breakfast. Then I give myself dedicated 2 to 3 hours to research on the topic of my article after dinner.
I do most of the editing and giving the final shape to my posts the next day before breakfast.
Early morning and late evenings are the time when distractions are at the minimum for me.
Also, I turn off the notifications on my phone while working so it helps me further reduce the distractions.
You will need to find your time when your distractions are the least so that you can focus better and be more efficient with your writing.
5. You feel overwhelmed with information overload
Internet is an ocean and you must learn the art of finding your favourite fish from it.
There is so much information available at your fingertips that you feel overwhelmed at times.
Sometimes I do not realise how long I have been sitting at a single place glued to my laptop screen trying to absorb all that information.
I handle this by
- keeping a fixed set of people/blogs that I follow
- Keeping separate email accounts for my work and social media subscriptions
- Keeping set time limits for various tasks and using reminders to take brief walks in between!!
6. Blogging requires huge time commitment
A lot of people think blogging is quite an easy business and you can work for a few hours in a week and then enjoy fat deposits into your bank accounts.
That dream cannot be farther away from reality.
As a blogger, you must wear a lot of different hats, you are the writer, website designer, SEO specialist, Social media engagement specialist, Digital Marketing consultant, all pooled into one person.
I started financialfreedomist along with my full-time job.
So, all my weekdays are dedicated to my job, and I dedicate my early morning, late nights and weekends to my blog.
My day starts as early as 6 AM and I am usually working till 12.00 midnight.
You will have to say goodbye to “Netflix” and “Amazon Prime” if you plan to take up blogging.
Starting A Blog Without Quitting Your Full-Time Job
Starting your blog while you are still working a full-time job takes the financial stress out of the initial period when you are building your website and creating content.
It allows you to test the waters, validate your Niche, start earning a steady income before quitting your job and jumping full time into it.
You don’t need to be a full-time blogger either. Even part-time bloggers are earning an annual six-figure income from their blogs.
Are You Stuck Like I Was, With Your First Blog?
I started working on my first blog in June 2019. I looked for tutorials and guides for total beginners to learn how to create a blog.
I found a YouTube channel with very detailed videos explaining every step of blog creation from start to the end.
This YouTube channel was owned by one of the leading web hosting company called – Bluehost’s own
Since I had already bought a domain from Bluehost, I thought it will be very easy to create a website if I followed their own tutorial.
So, I started following their instructions word by word.
Their guide was very helpful, and it covered all topics in detail, but I still failed to create my blog even after working on it for 2 weeks because of these main reasons –
- I was stuck for a long time with choosing a name for my domain and Niche for my Blog
- I did not get any guidance on how to select the right domain name and a profitable Niche for my blog
- The process of creating a website felt very tedious and technical and I started losing interest.
- I got stuck in multiple places while setting up some of the plugins and I did not know how to proceed from there
- I did not have anyone to guide me through the steps where I got stuck
- I wasted a lot of time on unimportant tasks (like choosing the theme and customizing it)
- I did not have any guidance on how to choose the right theme for my blog
I struggled with my first website for a month and then I got tired and decided to take a break from it.
How I Created My 2nd Blog In 3 Days With Zero Investment
I got back to searching resources for beginners in blogging in December 2019 when I came across an Online training which had a very modularised structure of teaching.
This website had the complete process of blogging broken down into small modules which made it very easy to follow them one by one without feeling lost in an ocean of information overload.
They had courses starting from beginner to advanced level with exercises to practice at the end of each chapter.
This training covered not just the process of creating a blog but a complete process of setting up a digital business.
This was extremely helpful for me because they also gave free web hosting service for its members.
I created by 2nd blog using this 9 lesson guide without spending a penny.
Creating a successful blog was so much easier after I found the right training and tools to experiment and learn.
Taking advantage of this free training for starting an online business in the comfort of your own home will help you to fully understand why going through numerous online courses is simply not the way to go.
Get your hands on these powerful and proven techniques if you are thinking of starting a blog to make money.