Could You Be a Blogger?

Written by Karen Bryan

be a bloggerThere seems to be a lot of hype along the lines of “be a blogger, write a few posts and the money will start rolling in”. I don’t think it’s quite as simple as that. I’ve been a blogger now for six years. I started using self hosted WordPress to publish on my travel site, Europe a la Carte, in October 2006. In my opinion, blogging isn’t a quick or easy route to becoming rich but it can give flexiblity and more control over how and where you earn a living.

Can You Make Money Blogging?

Yes, you can, but it will take some time and a lot of effort until that happens. It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to charge readers to view or subscribe to your blog with so much “free” information available on the internet. Therefore the main source of income will be from advertising. To attract advertisers you’ll need to achieve a decent Google Page Rank and some traffic.

My Podcast on Being a Successful Blogger

Subscribe to the My Money Podcast from Help Me To Save in itunes.

Two Blogging Essentials

Great Content

You have to have something of benefit to your readers when they arrive on your blog/website, whether that be humour, beautiful photos or useful information. Ideally you’d like them to become regular readers and interact with you on social networks such as Twitter and Facebook.

Search Engine Optimisation

There’s no point in having wonderful articles on your blog if potential readers can’t find them. Search engine optimisation helps your blog be visible in search results

Five Tips to Increase Your Chances of Blogging Success

Extensive Research

Do a lot of research before you start. Read up on what has worked for other bloggers, read blogs in the sphere in which you’ll write. Work out what common factors the high traffic blogs share. Think about the keywords that your blog will target. Find a good domain name which, if possible, should contain one of your keywords. You need to choose a topic about which you are very enthusiastic and knowledgeable, as you’re going to be writing hundreds, if not thousands, of posts about various aspects of that topic.

Learn Some Technical Skills

You’ll need some basic technical skills to set up a self hosted blog. I was fortunate that one of our sons did my IT for me, but I still had to master basic html and how to change widgets in the blog sidebar.

Focus on Your Readers

Always think about giving your readers what they want and what will keep them returning to your blog, rather than your competititors. You need to get traffic to your site if you want to sell advertising.

Don’t Expect to Earn Quickly

Have another source of income, at least initially. If you’re single, a day job to cover your basic living expenses, or have a working spouse/partner who can cover the bills. This gives you some breathing space to get established, but do give yourself some goals and deadlines.

Be Realistic

You really have to be doggedly determined and prepared to work long hours. You’ll have disappointments and setbacks and days when you just can’t get down to writing. When you start doing something as a job versus a hobby, it won’t feel quite the same fun. You can also read my thoughts on the advantages and disadvantages of self employment and working from home.