Wouldn’t that be nice though? If everyone could just quit their current job and instantly earn a six-figure income blogging? And while it may seem that way because of all the posts and testimonies across the internet, not all bloggers make six figures. In fact, most don’t make close to that.
I can’t be sure exactly how many blogs are out there but I know it’s hundreds of millions. And since I’ve been doing this for over four years now, I’ve definitely noticed an increase in bloggers in the past year or so. It seems that the first question a lot of people are asking when they first start a blog is “how can I make money?” And while that’s totally fine people want to start a blog to make money, that’s not how a lot of people make money. Or why the people who do make money started.
Want to know a secret? It starts with content. And then building an audience. You can’t start a blog without content. You can’t build an audience without content. And you can’t make money without an audience. When brands approach you or you apply to campaigns through networks, you need to show them you have an audience. You have to have some sort of influence and voice to share with your audience or you aren’t going to make money. Point blank.
But that takes time. And while yes, I’ve been blogging for over four years, I wasn’t monetizing that entire time. Why? Well it wasn’t as big then. Companies were just starting to work with bloggers and blogging was still more for just journaling, not business. Of course you can still do it as a hobby, but my point is that most people weren’t starting blogs to make a living, it just sort of happened.
I still don’t make a “living” from my blog. I contribute significantly with my income but put it this way… we couldn’t live off of my income if my husband lost his job. Why? A few reasons…
1) Blogging income isn’t steady. Campaigns, sponsored posts, affiliate links… those all happen sporadically throughout the month. I don’t earn the same amount every month and I don’t get paid bi-weekly. Payment comes 2 weeks to 90 days after a campaign ends and my mortgage company obviously wouldn’t care if I needed to make a payment and told them that.
2) Opportunities vary. Some months are better than others in terms of opportunities; I may have 10 campaigns one month and only 4 the next. What if I didn’t have any? Yep, no money. No bueno right?
3) Traffic could be down. Maybe it’s the time of year or something happens with my site, which causes my traffic to dip. This affects the opportunities I get. Brands and networks want to see that you can provide value to them or their client and a lot of networks require a minimum when it comes to page views. This also affects ads and affiliate links… less traffic=less clicks=less money.
So where am I going with all of this? It can sometimes be discouraging to see other bloggers making hundreds of thousands of dollars. The fact that they do that is AMAZING, and I would love to make that much money from blogging one day. But if you jump into blogging and a few months in think WHERE IS THE MONEY?! Why am I not making anything?! Don’t get discouraged… it takes time! Instead of focusing on not making money, focus on other things. Focus on connecting with other bloggers and brands. Focus on narrowing your focus or finding your voice. Work on developing amazing content and being proud of your work. Do that and the money will come.
A lot of people are going in the direction of developing their own products. Printables, e-books, courses, mentorships (shameless plug), and tangible products like mugs, shirts, whatever. And I love that! I love that as creatives we have found another way to make our blogs a business. But please don’t feel discouraged if you’re new and you don’t sell any products. That’s something that can come down the road, if it all! You certainly don’t have to do something like that to be successful. So don’t get bummed and think you’re doomed to fail if you don’t have any plans to do that.
If you take anything away from this post, please take this… do not compare yourself to other bloggers. Sometimes there is no rhyme or reason on how certain brands find certain bloggers. Sometimes there’s just “luck”. But a lot of times it’s hard work. It’s spending hours and hours perfecting your writing, marketing your blog, socializing on social media, making connections, applying to campaigns, etc. If you expect to just show up to your blank space, write whatever you want and leave it at that, you’re going to fail. Take the time to research, continue your learning, work hard at what you do. But most importantly, focus on your content. Because at the end of the day, this is the very backbone of your blog and your business.
If you don’t make any money right now, that’s okay. And if you feel as though you aren’t making enough money right now, work harder! It may take longer than others and it may never be a six figure income, but it can be something. But just because you see a few people making a six figure income, don’t let that discourage you from doing the same. Who knows, it may happen! But whether or not it does, if you work hard and find your voice, opportunities will come.