Working from home, writing about whatever you please, whenever you please - writing a blog to earn a living sounds like an ideal career to many people. But that’s just the problem. What separates you from the masses of people with internet access and infinite ideas they want to plaster across the web? What makes a blog successful amongst the millions of others out there?
The important thing about the vibrant world of blogging is to remember it is not a ‘get rich quick’ scheme, but it can be a ‘get rich at a moderate pace in regards to time invested and a certain amount of luck’ scheme. One of the most important steps is to choose the main topic or theme of your blog. There are many different types of blogs ranging from advice blogs to travel blogs, and even blogs that solely consist of pictures. When choosing a topic there are two important things to keep in mind: 1. You must be passionate about your topic; 2. Make your topic unique. “World War II Today” is a historical blog which recounts the events of WWII on a daily basis with text, pictures, and video. “What My Daughter Wore” is a fashion blog composed of sketches of the blogger’s daughter wearing some of the latest trends in fashion. In general, there are no restrictions as to what a blog can be about and they often become impressive displays of creativity.
One of the main things to know about the blogging industry is that the revenue is all in the advertising. From a purely monetary standpoint, a good blog attracts a lot of advertisers. A lot of advertisers means more revenue. In order to attract the attention of many companies, your blog must also begin to amass more and more readers. The more views your blog receives, the more valuable that advertisement space is. Most advertisers pay based on CPM (cost per thousand readers). “This month, my highest CPM ad is paying $6. Most are around $2 or $3,” 35 year-old blogger Amy Corbett Storch reported to the New York Daily News. However, it can take a considerable amount of time before a blog receives enough exposure to attract a decent amount of advertisers. This is largely due to the sheer number of blogs floating around the internet (an estimated 181 million existed by the end of 2011). Regardless, blogs that do rise above the crowd can become quite profitable. Case in point, "Pinch of Yum", a food blog which discloses its monthly profits, made $16,573 last month alone. This is a sizable increase from its report for December 2012, when it had a net profit of $4,277 (not to mention the profit of its first month of operation, $21.97).
In many ways, blogs allow for a freer flow of information than other forms of conventional writing. They are not scrutinized by academia, nor fact checked by the press. They cannot always be certified as reliable, but this is part of their beauty. The success of blogs rely on a sense of trust between the blogger and his or her readers. They are littered with opinions and many are filled with useless advice, but they provide a portal into some of the smaller details of human experiences. They are also open to anyone to read or write. Some blogs, like “Pinch of Yum”, even offer advice to beginning bloggers and explain the work behind what their readers see.
In general, blogs offer a source of entertainment enjoyed by everyone, from college students to stay at home moms. While cultivating a blog to turn a sizable profit may be a very difficult task, if successful, it will also be very rewarding.Featured image courtesy of Pinterest.