What is a blog and how does it work? Can you really make money blogging? How much do bloggers make?
Over the years, I have received many questions about blogging. People want to know what is a blog, how they work, is it really a way for people to make money, and so on.
I completely understand all of the questions. While blogging has now been around for more than a decade, it’s still a fairly new way to earn money. I still have people give me funny looks when I tell them what I do for a living.
But, I didn’t really know what a blog was when I first started mine. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing.
I didn’t know how people made money from blogs or anything else like that.
Pretty much everything I learned about blogging was through trial and error, and I made a lot of mistakes over the years, haha! Honestly, it’s because of those mistakes that I’m where I am right now.
My life has completely changed because of blogging. I was able to quit a job I didn’t love, I travel full-time, and I can retire pretty much whenever I want.
It’s funny to think about how far I’ve come, especially since I had no idea what blogs even were.
Back then, I also never realized that you could learn how to earn money blogging. I don’t think I even looked into it because that was never my goal when I first learned how to start a blog. I certainly never thought blogging would drastically change my future, but I’m so glad I gave it a shot.
I had so many questions when I started my blog, and I learned 99% of what I know the hard way – by making mistakes.
I know that many new bloggers probably have some of the same questions I had because I receive hundreds of emails a day from readers asking how to start a blog, how to make a living through blogging, and more.
Today, I’m going to help you by answering some of the most common questions I receive about blogging.
Some of the questions I talk about include:
I know that blogging can seem scary in the beginning, but remember that most other bloggers were in the exact same place you were when they started.
Blogging, just like any other hobby or job you start, takes time to learn what you’re doing. You have to do research, read about what other people have done, and learn as you go.
For some people this can be frustrating at first, but good things always do take time.
Blogging isn’t as easy as it looks from the outside. Even the most successful bloggers still spend time learning how to do new things. I am constantly signing up for new courses and learning from other people.
Even though it takes time and can feel difficult, blogging is something you can do. You can earn money blogging so that you can work towards living the life you want.
One of the reasons I love blogging so much is that you can do it all on your own time. You don’t have to learn everything at once. You can start your blog and grow it at your own pace.
While there is no 100% guarantee that you will be able to earn a full-time living by blogging, I know many bloggers who are full-time and are very happy with it.
Content related to what is a blog:
Before we begin, I want to go over what is a blog definition and some other basic blogging questions.
A blog is a website.
Google’s definition of a blog is, “a regularly updated website or web page, typically one run by an individual or small group, that is written in an informal or conversational style.”
A blog is content that is written on a website. It usually consists of articles, like the one you are reading right now.
What is a blog used for? Blogs can vary from person to person.
You may create a blog to journal, to teach on a topic, to sell something, to tell a story, and so on. There’s no exact rules about what your blog has to be used for.
What is a blog post? Blog posts are individual entries on a blog. Blog posts usually include text, but they can also have photos, videos, infographics, and more.
An example of a blog post is what you’re reading right now. There is a title, its own URL (that’s the web address), and text where I share in depth information.
No, it’s not too late, and you haven’t missed out.
The online world is still so new, and each year there are new ways to monetize and grow your blog.
For example, it wasn’t until the past few years that companies and advertisers started realizing the value of online influencers, such as bloggers, and that means even more opportunities to earn money blogging.
Before that, companies mainly wanted to advertise with celebrities, but it is shifting to bloggers and other online influencers (such as Youtubers and Instagrammers!).
The online world is a huge place and it is just going to keep growing. Every blogger earns a living in slightly different ways, and everyone has a different message and story. Plus, there are so many different ways to earn money blogging, and the options have continued to change and grow since I started blogging.
Of course, because the blogging world keeps changing, there will constantly be new things for you to learn, but that will probably always be the case for managing any kind of business.
So, if you are thinking about starting a blog, today is the day. Don’t let your fears hold you back any further! You can find my free How To Start a Blog Course here.
Deciding on a name for your blog is probably one of the hardest parts of blogging.
Even if you know exactly what you want to blog about and have some articles written, deciding on your blog’s name may be stopping you from actually creating your website and launching it.
I don’t remember how I came up with Making Sense of Cents, but I’m glad I did. It is still catchy, and I receive compliments on it to this day.
Coming up with a blog name shouldn’t lead to stress, so here are my tips for deciding on a blog name:
See, creating a name for your blog can be easy!
There are many different types of blogs that make money, and you can monetize nearly any kind of blog.
So, how do you determine what to write about?
There is no right or wrong answer to this question. I always recommend creating a blog around a topic that you are passionate about, that you are an expert in, that you like, or something else along those lines.
This can make blogging feel fun instead of like a chore.
You can blog about several topics or you can blog about one specific thing, such as personal finance. For me, I cover a ton of different topics here on Making Sense of Cents. I talk about personal finance, life, travel, RVing, sailing, self-help, and more.
Some things that you may want to think about when choosing your blog topic include:
To learn how to make money with a blog, your blog can be about anything and/or everything. It’s entirely up to you.
Below is a list of possible blog examples and blog topic ideas. The list doesn’t end here either. Choose one, all, or some. It’s all up to you.
That’s the beauty of having a blog – it can be about anything and you can still earn money from it.
There are a few topics I would avoid if you aren’t an expert, like blogging about legal issues, tax issues, or medical advice. You could get someone in a lot of trouble if you gave them the wrong information.
Your blog should be self-hosted if you want to earn money blogging. This is actually one of the first things you should do.
I recommend that you start on self-hosted WordPress (this tutorial will help you start your blog the correct way). I cannot say this enough, but I do not recommend Blogger or WordPress.com (you want the self-hosted version, which is WordPress.org – confusing, I know). Buying that $10 domain name from Blogger or GoDaddy does not mean you are self-hosted either.
Unless you self-host your blog, advertisers, companies, and readers will still know you are on Blogger or free WordPress, and that can look unprofessional. Plus, your blog can be deleted at any time and for no reason if you are using a free version, which actually happened to me. Even though you may save some money in the beginning, not being self-hosted can hurt your chances of earning money through your blog.
Seriously, just trust me. Go with self-hosted WordPress, and it will significantly increase your chances of monetizing your blog.
If you want further proof, take a look at my past income reports. You can tell that my blogging income didn’t take off until I switched to WordPress. That right there is a lot of proof that being self-hosted on WordPress is the way to go!
To recap, the positives of being self-hosted on WordPress through Bluehost include:
To create your blog, I recommend heading to my tutorial: How To Start A WordPress Blog On Bluehost.
After that, you will have three options when it comes to designing your blog:
I usually recommend that a new blogger purchase a premade blog design, such as through Beautiful Dawn Designs. She provides great premade designs for just $45 and this is probably the easiest and quickest design option.
When I first started my blog, I spent almost NOTHING on blogging expenses.
I spent less than $100 the first year and not too much more in the second year.
In fact, I probably went a few years when I was only spending about 1%-2% of my revenues on blogging expenses.
Now, some of my expenses include:
But, you do not need to spend money on all of these things to earn money blogging.
Learn more about my expenses at My Complete List of Monthly Expenses for a Multi Million Dollar Blog.
You do not need millions of pageviews per month to earn money blogging, but if you want to increase your income, it will be important to increase your page views.
Every blog is different, and it isn’t always the blogs with the largest number of readers that make the most money. That’s because once you understand what your readers want, understand how to effectively reach out to companies for partnerships, and know how to charge the correct rate, you can make a good income online in many cases, regardless of the amount of pageviews you receive.
But, if you want to increase your pageviews, here are my tips:
I recommend publishing a blog post at least once a week.
This is because consistency is important when it comes to blogging.
I started out publishing short blog posts a few times a week. Now, I try to do just one long blog post each week. I find that works best for me and Making Sense of Cents.
Others may decide to blog every single day, and some may try every other day. It all depends on what you would like to do.
I recommend simply just launching your blog with one blog post. You can continue to add more as you go.
I recommend this because you won’t have a ton of readers in the beginning anyways, so just getting started is going to be your best plan of action.
Too many people overthink this question, which just delays them from actually starting their blog.
The ideal length varies. I usually recommend that a blog post be at least 750 words.
For Making Sense of Cents, my blog posts are almost always at least 2,000 words, and I have written some huge whoppers (like this one) that are around 5,000 words too.
The ideal length for your article will depend on your niche, and the topic that you are writing about.
For your blog to be found on Google search results, you’ll want to learn about Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
You can sign up for The SEO Starter Pack (FREE Video Training) – Level up your SEO knowledge in just 60 minutes with this FREE 6-day video training.
This is a hard question to answer, and it’s also one of the most common questions I receive.
As you can tell from my past income reports, it took me nearly a year of blogging to start earning a few hundred dollars a month from my blog. After two years of blogging, I was earning several thousands of dollars a month, which was all on the side of my day job.
I know some bloggers who were making thousands of dollars a month after just a few months of blogging. There are bloggers out there who began a year or two after me and are making hundreds of thousands of dollars a month. There are also other bloggers who aren’t making any money at all.
As you can see, blogging is not a get-rich-quick scheme and there isn’t a timeline for when you will start to earn money blogging. However, if you are serious about it, you never know what it may turn into.
It all depends on you, the effort you put into your blog, whether you have the time to learn how to monetize your blog, and more.
There are several ways to earn money blogging, including:
I go in depth on each way monetization method here – How To Earn Money Blogging: Your Top Questions Answered.
Many of you are interested in blogging, but you aren’t sure where the income actually comes from.
How does the money actually get to you?
You receive blogging income from whoever is paying you.
There are many companies and blogging networks out there that you can use to earn money blogging, and they usually pay you through PayPal or with a check in the mail.
It takes a lot of work to grow and build a successful blogging business!
If you want to earn money blogging, then you may want to look into buying ebooks and/or courses that will teach you about the topics that will help you become a better blogger from the very beginning. Plus, there are many blogging secrets that you just can’t find by searching the internet. So, by taking a course or reading an ebook, you will learn the exact steps to take to help you succeed.
I’m almost always taking new blogging-related courses because I know that there is always something new to learn.
Here are the ebooks and courses that I recommend for bloggers:
The blogging ebooks and courses above will help you to create a successful blog. They will show you how to master Facebook, get crazy traffic from Pinterest, grow your blogging income, and more.
I hear questions like this pretty often. I also get a lot of people asking me, “If it’s so easy, why don’t you just start multiple blogs and make even more money?”
Blogging is not printing money.
It’s not a scam, and it’s not a get-rich-quick scheme.
Learning how to earn money blogging is work, and just like with all jobs – not everyone wants what you want.
And, for every successful blog out there, there are probably hundreds of bloggers who will never earn money blogging. While you can earn money blogging, not all bloggers will.
It would be like saying that 100% of people who start a business will see success. That is just never going to happen – businesses fail, business owners have a change of heart, and others just don’t find it enjoyable.
I know I am always talking about the positives of blogging, but I also like to mention how it’s not the easiest.
After all, if blogging was easy, then everyone would do it and everyone would make thousands of dollars a month.
But as you know, that’s not the case.
Not everyone is going to earn money blogging because it is WORK! Most new bloggers quit just a few months in. A few months is not enough time to see if your blog will be successful. It took me six months before I started to earn money blogging, and I only earned $100. Now, I have made over $5,000,000 from my blog over the years.
It’s funny/weird to think about what life would be like if I would have quit back then.
Just like you, I went from asking “what is a blog?” to where I am now. And, I’m constantly learning new things about blogging and that is one of the reasons why I enjoy it so much.
Once you realize that blogging is hard, you will be ahead of 99% of everyone else in the game. Don’t assume, like most people do, that blogging is easy money.
Starting a blog can be difficult. But, all bloggers start at the same point.
I remember being so lost when I first started my blog. I had to learn everything the hard way – it sure was difficult at times.
But, I have always really enjoyed blogging. I think that is so important when it comes to this type of business – you either need to have passion in your blog and/or passion in what your blog allows you to do in your free time (such as travel or spending more time with your family).
I have other blog posts similar to this one where I have answered many other blogging questions.
Please head to How To Earn Money Blogging: Your Top Questions Answered for answers to questions such as:
I was going to include all of those questions here but that would have made this blog post well over 10,000 words!
What other questions do you have about blogging?
The post What Is A Blog, How Do Blogs Make Money, & More appeared first on Making Sense Of Cents.