So You Want to Be a Professional Blogger?

You’re not alone. A lot of bloggers aspire to make the kind of income found on this list from Paula Mooney. Some may think that blogging is a shortcut to riches.

It’s not.

Sure, someone will probably read this and leave me a comment about a blogger who was able to blog their way to fame and fortune within a few days or weeks of starting to blog. That’s wonderful. That’s also the exception.

There are basically three ways that you can earn money from blogging:

  1. By blogging for someone else who pays (possibly a blog network or a corporate blog).
  2. By selling advertising on your blog.
  3. By writing sponsored posts through programs like PayPerPost and ReviewMe.

From what I’ve read, unless you are blogging for someone else, earning money with a blog can take months or possibly even years. It takes time to build up a readership. The more readers that you have, the more likely you are to be able to earn money from your blog.

(In the interest of disclosure, WritingThoughts has accrued some money from ads, but not enough to cash out. I do have some money coming from PayPerPost next month. I’m not making a mint doing this, but I’m having fun. Plus, as my brother says, apparently I have awesome googling skills and I do have patience and persistence.)

Which brings me to another point. Blogging is more than just writing. It takes me less than an hour to write a long post like this one, but I spend at least another hour every day interacting with other bloggers on their blogs and through social media. An excellent overview of social media can be found on Char’s Essential Keystrokes. This post at Influential Marketing Blog lists media tools and sites that are specific to women.

What if you do want to blog for someone else? Check the blogger job listings at Problogger or the job listings at About Weblogs. Remember that these positions can be very competitive. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t get offered the first position that you apply for.

Best of luck to all bloggers, whether they have professional aspirations or just want to have fun.

Contents (c) Copyright 2007, Laura Spencer. All rights reserved.

  1. Most paid blogging opportunities pay very poorly with a base amount starting around $50 per month plus a tiny percentage for impressions per month. I find that the reason people join blog networks is mostly for exposure — the chance to get their name out there with perhaps an opportunity to snag some paid projects.

  2. Matt, I didn’t really have good statistics on pay for blogging opportunities so I didn’t include it. Thanks for providing that detail. I think some paid blogging opportunities provide a revenue share, which may or may not be a good thing.

  3. Hi Laura,

    I’ve been blogging for a over a year and a half – though I started on a blogging community which really isn’t a great way to earn adsense, but was an excellent place to network. I think, with time and determination, blogging can be a fairly good side income. I know a fair number of bloggers who have multiple blogs that they contribute to almost daily and between paid posting and ads they make between $500.00 and $1,000.00 monthly – which I consider pretty good for a few hours a day.

    But it took them a good while to get up to that income and a long time to develope contacts who regularly read them on their main blogs. For me it’s more of a writer’s circle. Eventually it will become a good place to get to talk with my readers (you know, once I’m actually published).

    I still tinker with the idea of monetizing my blog, though, so I really appreciate articles like these which give me ample resources to peruse. Thanks.

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  5. Laura,
    Thanks for this information. I’ve been considering monetizing my blog. I am an Amazon affiliate and occasionally link to a book I recommend, but haven’t earned anything yet. I primarily did it since I was linking to books there anyway and thought I might as well make a few pennies if anyone actually followed my recommendation.

    However, I do have another business that I’m working on to earn money from affiliate programs and advertising. So this will be helpful for that.

  6. Hi Merry! I would love it if this could eventually produce a side income. We’ll just have to wait and see. In the meantime, I’m going to learn all that I can and keep on posting.

    Lillie–I’m really glad that you found this useful. I wish you success with all your business ventures.

  7. Hi Laura –

    I found an inspiring post from a guy making $18k per month from Google Adsense.

    He runs 12 niche sites, and he’s correct when he says:

    * Follow your passion
    * The niche blogs foster more relevant ads and therefore better click-thru rates

    Another guy said to provide a service to people, too.

    I’m finding this last point to be especially true with my new niche site helping folks watch free TV shows online.

    You’re right in that this blogging thing can take time and patience to build up and secure an income.

    And I wholly believe it can be much more than a side income, the more I study these guys who are making a mint off doing what they love.

    Speaking of love, thanks for the linky love!


  8. Nice post. What I think is this:

    Blogs are largly read by other bloggers who are generally ad blind and or know what these ads mean so the efforts don’t prove to be fruitful.

    Non bloggers (still greater part of internet users’ base) usually don’t come to blogsphere. They go direct from searchs to the required destinations.

    This situation is getting worst with exponentially expanding blogsphere.

    Imagine when ever Internet users will have a blog or two with ads and all that…

  9. Interesting points, Laura.

    I’ve learned that one of the popular ways to earn from blogging is to make sure that you choose an easy-to-monetize niche to blog about. Review blogs and celebrity blogs are the ones that often get tons of traffic. If you can tap a niche that’s not yet that much saturated, you’ve found a goldmine. But of course, this should be supported with a good blogging voice and community-building skills, which I’m in the process of learning.

  10. Hi Paula!

    Thanks for posting. I think you’ve found a terrific niche. Personally, I don’t watch a whole lot of TV, so I don’t stop by as often as I should. From what I’ve seen, it looks like you’ve got a good thing going there.

    Hi Diogenes!

    Thanks for committing. You are right, to a degree, about bloggers being ad-blind. But, that is something that we are doing to ourselves. I made a point to sign up for my hosting service through another blogger. When I joined PayPerPost and ReviewMe, I also went through another blogger. Your comment has inspired me to buy books (which I do all the time) through blogger’s ads as well.

    Welcome Alfa!

    Thanks for posting. Finding that right niche can be a trick. Celebrity blogs are certainly hot, but some are also saturated. I think the blogging voice and community skills can be what makes a blog stand out.

  11. We at Bloggers For Hire are starting to see more of a trend in companies wanting to hire a professional blogger for their company. The demand is rising everyday. I’m always looking for talented bloggers. I’m actually billing them out as social media managers or community builders etc. Companies are seeing more and more of a asset in this type of person. If you are interested in becoming a professional blogger please feel free to contact me.

    Jim Turner
    Chief Managing Partner
    One By One Media, LLC

  12. Im still brand new. Blog has been up for about 7 days. But have been in the planning stages for a few weeks. I am of course interested in making a few dollars. Who isn’t. I really am just using the blog in order to tell me story. If I make a dollar or two great. I’ll buy a beer or something.

    Oh well.

  13. Hi Jim! I sent you an e-mail. I’d like to interview you for a future feature on this blog.

    Hi Bowrag! I took a look at your blog. I think that you are doing a good job. You have some humor, some interest, some pics. It’s a good combination.

  14. Blogging is a tough business unless you have a lot of ideas that can be transferred over to writing on a regular basis. Sometimes working on a blog can be much improved if you manage to bring on a partner to share the writing duties.

  15. Thanks for coming by Billy. You are right that there are several really successful multi-author blogs and that can take some of the pressure off of a single blogger. Using guest authors can sometimes accomplish the same thing.

  16. Obviously, some people who are extremely knowledgeable (or just plain lucky!) quickly make good money blogging.

    I got lucky with a humor/parody blog a couple of years ago that scored a whole heap of hits for quite a while and made me over a grand (Australian) from affiliate links I’d placed on it.

    I’ve been blogging assiduously ever since, for nothing or very little. However, it’s still all worth it, because there’s all that writing up there that I can (hopefully) eventually find a market for. (And it does garner constant traffic which helps with my profile, too.)

  17. Hi Matt!

    I don’t think many people quickly make good money blogging. I’m excited because I have just now started to make a little bit with this blog and my other personal blog. But that’s after eight months.

    At this point, I look at my blogs more as a portfolio that shows what I can do.