Last Updated on by Michael Brockbank
I love how some experts out there convince their audience that they can instantly make bank from a blog. Though, it’s mostly to get someone to buy a product. The bottom line is that it’s very difficult for a beginning blogger to make a decent income right off the bat.
In fact, you’d probably have better luck playing the Powerball Lottery than replacing a full-time income within a month.
Now, I’m not saying that you should give up the endeavor to host your own blog. In fact, I am a strong proponent of creating a blog, especially if you’re a freelance professional or writer.
However, it’s not the glitzy and glamorous lifestyle a lot of people want you to believe.
I would like to point out that I am not against blogging. In fact, having my blogs has generated a lot of cash over the years. What I am focusing on here is what you can expect as a beginner.
From day one.
1. It Will Take More than an Hour Per Day
One falsehood I want to point out is how some say that you’ll only need to put in an hour per day to operate a successful blog. Unless you are paying everyone to do everything for you, that is simply not true.
Especially if you plan on writing all of the content yourself. A decent, well-written and researched article is going to take you at least two to three hours to create.
Eventually, there will come a moment when you’ll spend considerably less time with upkeep. But until your blog starts reaching more than 10,000 visitors per month, expect to spend some quality time developing your site.
2. AdSense Pays Very Poorly!
I know a lot of people who have this misconception that they can make a lot of money by using AdSense. Granted, AdSense is perhaps the easiest way to monetize your blog. However, it also pays the lowest.
For example, WriterSanctuary had a $2.83 RPM last month. That means that it would take an average of 1,000 visitors for the site to make $2.83. That’s not a lot of income when you’re a beginning blogger.
That’s not a lot of income for a professional, to be honest.
The benefit of using AdSense, though, is that you can get it on your site with only one published article and no visitors. And once you get enough traffic coming in, AdSense can pay for your web hosting.
3. Free Sites Are HARD to Monetize
Free websites offered by platforms like WordPress.com, Blogger, or Wix are exceptionally strict when it comes to how you can make money from your content. In most cases, you can’t even add affiliate links depending on the platform.
This is one of the reasons why I suggest people use self-hosted WordPress by using a company like GreenGeeks. Not only do I work closely with them, but all of my sites are on their servers.
Yes, this is a shameless plug as I make a commission for those I sign up. But the reality is that you have absolute control over your blog by using web hosting companies with WordPress.
In any case, trying to go the free route just makes making money incredibly difficult.
4. You Won’t Instantly Replace a Full-time Income
Don’t believe that you’ll instantly bring in enough money to quit your regular job tomorrow. It can take months if not years to bring in enough to make it worth becoming a full-time blogger.
Now, there have been a few who fell ass-backward into success by hitting the right trending topics in short succession. But they are often the exception rather than the rule.
Plan on spending a great deal of time building up a popular blog.
5. You’ll Need a LOT of Traffic
As I said, bringing in tons of money relies on bringing in tons of traffic. Especially if you’re only using AdSense. That RPM I mentioned earlier, well, it would take 1.13 million visits per month to bring in $3,200.
Keep in mind, though, that serious bloggers don’t rely purely on AdSense. As I’ll go over in a moment, there are a lot of ways to monetize your blog.
My point is that no matter what, you’re going to need a serious number of visitors to replace a full-time income. And given the competitive nature of the Internet, you have a lot of other blogs and sites to contend with.
Anyone who isn’t reading your blog is reading someone else’s.
Did you know I have a book on Amazon about how I became a success as a freelance writer while developing my blogs? It’s a story about dealing with impostor syndrome and depression while striving to become more than I was.
6. You’ll Need a LOT of Content
For a beginning blogger to generate a serious income, it’s going to take an incredible amount of high-quality traffic. This is a pretty common point that a lot of experts make on YouTube, actually.
Some will want you to blog every day for 90 days. But what if you don’t have the time to whip up 90 awesome, researched, quality posts because of work and kids?
You also need to figure that not every blog post you write is going to appear on page one of a Google search.
You’ll need to invest time learning search intent, finding good keyphrases, and writing in a way that puts your content ahead of the competition.
7. It Takes Up to Eight Months for a Post to Cycle Through Google
On average, it can take four to eight months before anything you write will gain traction on Google. This is based on experiences with my own blogs as well as client websites.
The odds of you writing something today that will go viral is slim to none. You’d have better luck getting hit by lightning on a sunny day.
This just means that if you plan on turning your blog into a money generator, it’s going to rely on the long game. This also means that if you have some amazing ideas for posts, you need to get them published as soon as possible.
8. You Can’t Write What YOU Want
One major misconception for the beginning blogger is that he or she can write whatever they want to boost income. That’s not entirely accurate. Actually, I would go so far as to say that this ideal is somewhat false.
Well, with an asterisk.
Knowing your target audience and providing content people want to consume is of utmost importance. Sometimes this means writing about a topic that appeals to others and not yourself.
If you have a vested interest in your niche or industry, it’s not so bad. But if you want to attract enough visitors to replace a full-time income, you need to deliver the content for which they’re looking.
For instance, I would love to just write journal-entry-style blog posts telling you about my day as a writer. Unfortunately, those kinds of articles perform exceptionally poorly on Google.
And unless I had a massive audience who wanted to read those types of articles, they’re not going to generate much in terms of income.
9. Your Blog’s Niche Matters
The niche of your blog will play a prominent role in how much money you bring in per visitor. Especially if you focus on ads and affiliates. This is because every industry spends money differently on advertisements and marketing.
For example, the health and fitness industry has an incredibly high RPM in AdSense compared to writing and gaming. This is because the health and fitness industry spends an astonishing amount of money when it comes to marketing.
This also includes products, services, and anything else related to the overall industry of your preferred niche.
The niche of your blog will also influence the topics you write about. And some industries are simply more popular than others. This also means you might have considerably more competition depending on what you want to create.
10. Lots of Ways to Monetize a Blog
As I said earlier, there are many, many ways you can monetize a blog. Or, I should say, monetize a self-hosted blog. And if you diversify what you offer, you could greatly improve the chances of making a serious income as a beginning blogger.
Though, a lot of the really cool stuff is only available if you have an established website and can generate a certain number of visitors per month.
Case in point, some ad systems that are far superior to AdSense require that you can draw 10,000 visitors per month. For a new blog, this is unrealistic. It’ll take a while to get your site to that point.
However, you do, indeed, have a huge variety when it comes to monetization. So, just because you can’t join those big systems yet, it doesn’t mean you can’t make a decent amount of money in the meantime.
A few ways you can make money from a blog include:
- Affiliate marketing through sites like ShareASale.com
- Sponsored posts (usually reserved for more popular sites)
- Writing your own eBook and selling it directly from your blog
- Adding eCommerce with drop-shipping
- Create and offer courses for something you’re good at doing
- Offer your services as a freelancer (if you are a freelancer)
And these are just some of the ways I can think of off the top of my head.
The Potential to Make Money Blogging Is Real, But…
It will take you a lot of work to get a site to the point of replacing a full-time income. How much time and money you invest in the project is going to determine how long it will take.
I still often push for people to think about blogging simply because there is such great potential. I just wanted you to know that you’re not going to wave a magic wand and buy a new car next month.
And who knows, you might hit that one article that does go viral and fling you into popularity. It’s possible; just don’t rely on it.
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