Last Updated on: March 20th, 2017
Someone on Facebook messaged me the other day, asking “What is blogging?”
I was a bit speechless. I didn’t know how to answer, because really, how can you explain what blogging is to someone who doesn’t really know?
So I directed him to my post 5 Things New Bloggers Need to Know, and said, “This will help you.”
Yet… just four years ago, I had the same question.
I was a newbie blogger back then.
I was clueless.
And I still remember the struggles I’ve endured over the years as I’ve journeyed from “newbie” to “pro.”
It wasn’t easy. It was time-consuming. I was constantly learning. (I still am!)
To help speed up my learning process, I followed these 8 Action Tips For Guppy-Bloggers In An Ocean Of Sharks.
I also followed these 30+ Blogger-Sharks Spouting Oceans of Knowledge… and still follow some.
I’ve come quite far in my blogging journey. I’ve practiced the 10 Effective Strategies to Becoming a Successful Blogger.
I’ve also built a solid business from it.
The thing that really amazes me it that most people think blogging is a quick way to earn money.
But blogging is NOT a quick way to earn money… not at first.
In today’s post, I am going to share a few things I’ve learned about blogging and earning money online. I will reveal how I earn money through blogging, explain what blogging really is (the essence of blogging), and hopefully give you some ideas about how you can increase your blogging strategy and income streams.
By the end of the post, you should have most of your questions answered! Of course, chances are, you will likely have a bunch of new ones! LOL
But at least you will know more about how to earn money online!
WTF is Blogging?
Blogging is more than just writing articles (also called blog posts) and publishing them online.
If you’re a blogger, you likely already know that blogging involves:
- creating and then running your own website — read Blogging Resources + How To Start a Blog (if you don’t already have one)
- learning how to install and update plugins
- moderating and replying to comments
- figuring out how to be noticed by search engines (hint: make sure you submit a sitemap to the search engines! You can use this free sitemap plugin to help you with this.)
- learning how to create images for your posts (hint: use Canva or PicMonkey to help you — they are both FREE to use!)
- learning how to take and then use screenshots in your blog posts
- learning how to use Click-to-Tweet links in your blog posts (hint: read How to Use “Click-to-Tweet” Links In Your Blog Posts (for FREE))
- figuring out who to link to within your posts (promote your friends, but also link to top posts in Google that provide good information or complement your message)
- determining how to promote your posts on social media (hint: you have to have accounts everywhere!)
- learning why networking with other bloggers is important (especially “blogger-sharks” — the big bloggers who you constantly learn from — such as the ones in
- doing guest posting (and following proper guest posting etiquette)
- providing value to your audience
- growing your audience (usually by offering them an incentive to sign up to your mailing list, such as a freebie or a content upgrade)
- determining which email marketing platform to use (Mailchimp, GetResponse, Aweber, MadMimi, Constant Contact, etc.)
- figuring out how to monetize your site (hint: you can start by using AdSense)
- creating content on a regular basis (remember, you can always hire someone to help you do this… such as me!)
- AND SO MUCH MORE!
The Downside of Business Blogging
Blogging takes time. So does running and growing a business.
The tasks pile up.
There is no end.
Between checking emails, assembling newsletters, keeping accurate Income/Expense book-keeping records, writing content for my own sites, writing content for others, marketing my business, promoting my blog posts and interacting with others on social media, doing editing and other author assistant work for others, and forming relationships with my friends/followers, it easy to become exhausted!
I sometimes wonder if I’ve made the right choice.
I’m passionate about MOST of what I’m doing, but I have doubted myself a lot throughout the past four years.
I was filled with a lot of unhappiness in November and December of 2016, too — so much so that I decided to quit blogging for a while.
But… all I needed was a break. A long break! (I took one over the Christmas holidays and also cut back on my blogging schedule.)
I needed some time to evaluate my goals. I have many, both personal and business-related. Yet some of my personal ones are related to my business ones. (For example, I’m currently working on a book about helping others overcome their suicidal thoughts. I plan on selling it from one of my top posts: I Want to Kill Myself – What Should I Do?)
There are other downsides to business blogging. Many people make mistakes. Read 7 Common Blunders to Avoid when Business Blogging to find out what they are. Once you fix these mistakes, you will be able to earn money from your business. (Or should I say, more money?!)
Are You In the Wrong Biz?
If you’re not passionate about what you’re doing, then you’re in the wrong business.
Sure, “work” is called “work” for a reason. It’s usually not fun.
However, when you make a decision to do something with your life, you often don’t have all of the information required.
You learn as you go.
At least, that’s what I did.
When I began blogging, I did it simply to “get my name out there,” because I wanted to do something with my writing abilities. I actually wanted to publish a book I wrote while I was in university.
Today, that book remains unpublished and is sitting on a shelf in my home office. It’s a scholarly book about Canadian poetry. I’ll publish it someday. (I was planning on having it traditionally published, but now that I know about self-publishing, I will likely self-publish it… someday.)
I made a video long ago about it…
I have no excuse for not publishing this book, except that I got sidetracked along the way.
You see, when I started blogging back in January 2013, I actually treated each blog post like a personal diary.
I thought that’s what blogging was… writing in an “online journal”! (Seriously… I did.)
I never thought anyone would read what I wrote.
Sure, I knew my stories could be found online, but with millions of blogs on the internet, who would find me? And how?
I didn’t think that anyone would ever read my stuff, much less be interested in what I had to say.
But people found my honesty refreshing.
I also got on Google’s radar with the fourth post I ever wrote. Why? Because I provided VALUE to others. I provided a solution that was extremely hard to find.
THIS IS THE ESSENCE OF BLOGGING – to provide value to others, via solutions or tips on how to make life easier or better.
This was my first lesson about the true meaning of what blogging is… and I’ve constantly attempted to provide value to my readers ever since!
That is why I create such useful posts and resources. There is a lot of good stuff on my Resource Kit page!
Blogging Has Other Benefits (Including Earning Money)
There are many benefits to blogging, depending on what your goals are.
You can express your thoughts and feelings.
You can network with others, making new friends in the process.
You can establish yourself as an expert, and an online authority.
You can grow your business.
You can make a difference in this world, and/or make a difference in someone’s life. (You can even save a life!)
And, of course, you can earn money.
(In my old life, I earned money by doing different jobs. One was teaching high school math and English. Another was prostitution. Seriously. The money I earned was fast and easy… much like how I was when I was a drug addict. In fact, I even quit teaching high school to return to this field because it offered more flexible hours, less stress, and more money. I shared my true story about how I got into prositution after I was raped.)
Today, my life is totally different.
I also have multiple, legitimate, respectable income streams. And most are from blogging!
Ways to Earn Money Blogging
I participated in a round-up post about ways people make money online.
I included most of the ways I earn money online, too.
The ways I earn money include:
- Selling my services. (I sell several of my services on Wording Well, including writing and editing services.)
- Selling someone else’s product and earning affiliate income by promoting it to your audience. (For example, I promote Elna Cain’s freelancing course WRITE YOUR WAY TO YOUR FIRST 1K because it’s so awesome!)
- Selling my books. (Right now, I only have one, Risky Issues, which is a book of short stories. I’m currently working on a non-fiction book, From NOPE to HOPE: How to Overcome Suicidal Thoughts and Live a Happier Life. This will be available in February, as an e-book. I’m also planning a series of e-books for bloggers, and an e-book for freelancers.)
- I earn through AdSense. (Learn how you can earn through AdSense.)
- I earn through sponsored posts and link placements. (See my guidelines for this.)
- I do website work for others. (This service is only offered to a few people, and by request only.)
- I earn through social sharing. I found a new way to earn online through Izea. You can get started with this easily! Use my referral link!
- I earn by coaching others.
- I also help others become authors. (So far, I’ve helped a blind man publish two books, and a lawyer publish one.)
Because I’m always trying to add more revenue streams to boost my income, I recently signed up with Swerve. (One of my business goals for 2017 is to work less and earn more.)
In addition to these ways of earning, YOU can create something of your own to sell, whether it’s a book (or an e-book), an email course, a video course, or some other type of digital product or training.
Maybe you can develop an app that people will pay to use.
You can also create a membership site and earn money from your monthly subscribers.
Really, with the way technology is nowadays, the sky’s the limit when it comes to earning money online! How you will earn will depend on your interests, your skills, and your financial situation. Sometimes you need to invest some money in order to make money.
For example, with blogging, you need to invest in hosting. If you want to be an author, you need to invest in editing and cover creation. There are other things you can invest in, such as paid plugins, paid marketing tools, and a million other things that you might not necessarily need but will make your life easier.
Because I am frugal, I try to limit my expenses while increasing my income!
Blogging Resources and Tools I Recommend Using
I can, however, recommend the following tools and services — all links are affiliate links, which means that if you decide to buy them, I will get a small commission (YOU WON’T PAY MORE BY USING THESE LINKS):
For blogging, I highly recommend buying the plugin Content Upgrades PRO. This will help you grow your email list and ultimately earn money.
So will Tweet Dis .
If you want some themes, check out the ones from Thrive.
For course creation, take The Course Course.
If you want to earn money as a virtual assistant, check out 30 Days or Less to Virtual Assistant Success.
What’s Next? GET FREE STUFF!
Gett some free stuff from me! Each of these posts offers you a freebie! Grab one. Grab two. Grab them all!
Also, you can…
and grab your free e-book below!