Over the past couple of years, I’ve seen the amount of income I make from blogging grow steadily. Some months now, it’s half my income. That can mean $5,000 a month or more from blogging.
How did I build a lucrative business as a paid blogger? Here’s how it worked for me.
- Start my own blog, which became Make a Living Writing.
- Promote my blog on Twitter and LinkedIn. Keep building my audience and learning about what makes a great blog post.
- Ask existing clients if they need a blogger, using my own blog as a sample. Entrepreneur magazine says yes.
- I become their anchor blogger, posting three times a week. This was summer 2009.
- Many small businesses approach me after seeing my Entrepreneur posts and ask me to blog for them as well.
I thought it would be enlightening to give those interested in earning from blog-writing fees a look at what it takes to earn a decent living as a paid blogger. The short answer is: Be able to write a lot of very powerful, well-linked, properly formatted, well-researched, short blogs. Never run out of story ideas.
Learn as much about the technical end of blogging as you can, so you can show clients you know the ropes. At this point, I’ve used WordPress, Blogger, Movable Type, you name it.
Then, pitch high-traffic sites and try to get on as a regular, paid blogger. From there, if you’re writing well, other clients who need help from a professional blogger will begin to find you. If you can understand what they need to say and the audience they are trying to reach, you can grow your stable of blogging clients.
Here’s a breakdown of my blogging activity for a typical recent month. Without breaking any confidences by telling you what any specific client pays, here is the amount of blogging I do for paid clients in a month:
- 12 posts a month for Entrepreneur under my byline
- 22 or so posts a month for BNET under my byline
- 4 posts a month for a small-business-finance client, half-ghosted, half my byline
- 4 existing blog posts rewritten for the same client, to conform to good blogging style, add images, links, etc.
- 4 posts a month for another small-business-finance client – ghosted for business owner
- 12 posts a month for a collaboration-software startup, mostly ghosted for their team.
Total blog posts: 58
Total pay: $5,100
Gawd, I’m tired just looking at that blog total! No idea how I do it. This figure, of course, doesn’t count the posts about writing I create for this blog…so you can add another 8-10 posts a month there. To sum up, I’m a blogging fool these days!
My point in showing you this is that even at decent rates, blogging is a grind. You have to create a lot of blogs to earn well. A background filing on daily deadlines is definitely a plus.
My other point is to say, don’t blog for $10 a post. There are living-wage blogging jobs out there. Anywhere a company or publication needs to talk to a specialized audience, there’s an opportunity. Blogging really can pay the bills.
Yes, this isn’t that moonshot way of earning that so many are dreaming of, where you monetize your own blog and make six figures on autopilot. This is an everyday, working-class sort of way to earn from blogging. Simply helping publications and companies communicate powerfully with their readers and customers.
While I really love writing long features, I’ve also kind of fallen in love with blog format. It’s short, sassy, fun, and connected. Guess that’s why I’ve ended up doing so much blog work lately.
Photo via Flickr user Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com