You’ve seen it in newspapers, you’ve read about it on social media, and you may even know someone who does it. But exactly how can you get paid for blogging, and is it worth it?
The short answer is – yes, it’s definitely worth it! Providing you enjoy writing and have a strong work ethic, there’s no reason why you too can’t launch your own blog and make a bit of cash while doing something you enjoy.
One study found that fashion bloggers earn a four-figure sum every year on average, while some blogs have been so wildly successful they’ve gone on to be sold to larger companies for millions of pounds.
In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the major ways you too can become a professional blogger and make money in the process.
Take the plunge and set up a blog
It might seem obvious, but in a lot of ways it’s the most difficult part of the process.
At first, you don’t have to tell anyone you know in real life that you’re blogging. While it may be comforting to have your friends, colleagues and family on side, and while doing that may provide an instant pool of engagement and enthusiastic sharing to boost your view count, there’s absolutely no reason why you can’t use a pseudonym when you start out. Plenty of successful bloggers have done this, so there’s nothing to fear.
Secondly, blogging is largely a risk-free endeavour. Providing you steer clear of controversial topics, don’t quit your day job, and don’t pin all of your hopes on becoming the next Tim Ferriss, there’s no way it can really go wrong. You’ll never know until you try!
To get started, there are plenty of places you can go online to set up your very first blog. WordPress and Blogger are classic popular options, while newer sites like Medium are ideal for those planning to write long-form pieces.
Offer sponsored posts
If you’ve managed to set up your blog, congratulations. That’s the hardest part out of the way!
The second step for budding bloggers is to invest time and effort in growing your audience and becoming a respected voice in your niche.
The reason for doing this is that it’s difficult to become a paid blogger without having an audience which trusts you and reads your output religiously. Making money through blogging works a lot like traditional advertising: any publication can only make cash by selling space of some kind to those who want to reach that publication’s readers, and so you need to have some popularity.
Some bloggers place old-fashioned web adverts – such as banner adverts – on their sites to make money. Depending on what platform you use, you can often do this through systems like Google Adsense.
But the rise of adblockers mean this is more and more difficult to sustain. The main way bloggers make money now is through affiliate marketing (peppering links to products in their texts, and getting a cut if the reader buys) or sponsored posts (where a company or organisation will work with the blogger to produce a paid piece of content).
Often, the blogger will receive a free sample of a product or service related to their niche, and review it on their blog – flagging, of course, that they were paid to write the article.
You don’t necessarily need a large audience or a high volume of posts to find sponsored post opportunities. All you need is a committed audience.
For example, say Blogger A posts three times a week, has a total audience of 100,000, but only 1,000 of them read each post until the end. Blogger B, meanwhile, has a total audience of 5,000, and almost all of them read every word of the blogger’s single weekly post.
Blogger B is a more attractive choice for many advertisers because they know that their audience trusts the content provider deeply and will believe what they have to say. This, in turn, means the advertiser is likely to have more success with the product or service they decide to promote.
Blog for others
If the thought of setting up your own website and achieving wild success in the blogosphere all sounds like too much, that doesn’t mean you can’t be part of the blogging revolution.
Instead of going it alone, you can simply write blogs for other people. Many business leaders are savvy when it comes to commerce but often find that writing content for their sites isn’t something they have the time or energy to do.
For that reason, they’re happy to outsource the job to a strong writer with good business nous. Some bloggers, such as Carol Tice, even manage to blog both for others and for themselves!
There are plenty of options if you’re looking to get paid to blog on behalf of someone else. First of all, you can go all-in and launch your own full-service copywriting business, learn how to brand yourself, and pitch to big-name clients.
To do this, you’ll need to have a killer portfolio, ideally with some experience on it, and you’ll also need to practice your pitching skills.
Other options include working with content creation platforms such as Copify, where there’s a near-constant stream of jobs you can pick up at a time that suits you. Providing you’re an excellent writer and you can work to deadlines, this is a great way to get involved with copywriting.
Of course, one potential downside to ghostwriting is that you don’t always get the credit for your work, and a client’s name will often go on the top of the article instead of your own.
But if you’re in this business to earn a living and sustain yourself, it’s a fantastic way to bring in some cash while also working on other projects to get bylines. It’s a win-win situation!