You already know that there are in fact people making a living online, some through blogging or related activities. Can you do it too? Say you want to earn $5,000/month through blogging. Is this possible?
Not many traditional writers manage that (other than copywriters and maybe technical writers). However, some tech bloggers reputedly make $3-5K/mth as a full-timer. Unless you score a full-time gig at a top blog already earning revenue, you have only two ways to earn that kind of money from pure blogging.
One is to have your own blog that makes $5K/mth in advertising. But how long is that going to take, if ever? Most bloggers will not earn that kind of money from their blog – at least not yet.
The other way is to be a blogger for hire. But can you make $5000/mth being paid by the post as a freelancer? I’ve been told that the going rate for a relatively experienced blogger is $20-30/post. Do you know anyone getting that kind of rate? Are you at that level? Other estimates suggest that bloggers get between $5-75 for blog posts and feature articles. That does not include linkbaiting, which can pay more if you have the skills, the clients, and the network to promote the content.
Back to the for-hire option. Let’s use $25 for a quick calculation, but let’s work backwards. If you want to earn $5000/mth with 20 days of work (so that you’re not slaving 7 days per week), then you need to earn $250/day.
At $25/post, if you can get it, you would have to write 10 posts per day of at least 400 words each, maybe more.
Believe me, you simply cannot keep up such a pace. I used to write up to 25 posts/day in 2006, but it was gruelling, and my quality slipped. You have to factor in research, revisions, distractions, low-productivity and low-creativity days and personal tasks. And even then, you really have to know your topic. If you split up those 10 posts/day into 2-3 different topics, you then need to be on top of them. That’s a lot of research.
A Safer Approach
So how then can you earn $5K/mth online? This is merely my advice, but I suggest a mix of strategies:
- Invest in yourself: build your brand. While you’re still building up your client list, build your own blogs. Focus on no more than two or three. One should be your personal but professional blog – possibly using your name – which highlights your skills and topics of interest. Prove your authority in them by writing at least once per week.
- Build your money blog. Have a niche blog in a topic that interests you and work on monetizing it. This blog will take time, but could earn you a nice side income in a year or three.
- Hire yourself out. Check for writing/ blogging gigs at Performancing Jobs, Problogger Jobs, Freelance Writing Gigs, or wherever else you prefer to frequent.
- Be a guest writer. Build up your profile (and backlinks) by writing guest posts (usually free) for as many high-profile sites as you can manage to find time for. This will be key for the next step.
- Sell yourself. You should always try for multiple streams of income, not just pure blogging or ad income. As Brian Clark says in his new free Teaching Sells report, you should not rely on earning a living blogging just for Google. Only having AdSense on your “money” blog isn’t enough, nor is blogging for hire. The real money online always has been and probably always will be from teaching something that someone out there wants to learn.
If you can build yourself up as an authority on something, this can be the most lucrative facet of your online career. The topic depends on your own skillsets. The format might be ebooks, podcasts, videos, low-circulation e-newsletters, subscription services, CDs/ DVDs, print books, workshops or something else yet to come.
While there is a concern that small online publishers might bite the dust because of ad blocking, for the present, more blog publishers are paying higher per post rates than in 2006. Some do it because they can, others because they feel they have to. And rates will likely rise.
Some blog publishers are even offering a % of net revenue. You get a low monthly flat rate to tide you over, and you have to take an active, long-term role in a blog or blog network. If you have the time, it can pay off enormously. Some bloggers are earning $4-5K/mth this way. The number of these opportunities might increase over the years. But if you can’t wait to find out, or can’t afford to invest all your time on the promise of a big return later, the above strategy is my advice.