Toyed with the idea of starting a blog, but never quite committed to taking the plunge? Click here for some encouragement – and how to make money from it.
Why Start an Online Blog? Plus, How Could Turn it into a Business
To those of us who have yet to embark on blogging, creating and contributing to a unique space in amongst the noise and clamour of the world wide web seems, for all the world, like something of a pipedream. While, once, it may have been primarily reserved for hobbyists who were content to share their thoughts with a handful of IRL and internet friends, blogging has evolved to hold a pretty coveted status in modern life.
This is, of course, a result of a number of now-household names who found their own beginnings in blogging – and, over the years, propelled themselves into stardom. From beauty gurus like Zoella and Emily Weiss – founder of now-billion-dollar makeup brand Glossier, which began as nothing more than the blog ‘Into the Gloss’ little over ten years ago – to tech experts like Michael Arrington (TechCrunch) and star-studded names like Perez Hilton, the value of blogging continues to speak for itself.
Of course, there are many more who, while they would not be considered ‘celebrities’, make a good, steady income directly from the blog they maintain.
Still, as with anything that attains such a high level of respect – and promises a career that is both creatively liberated, and financially rewarding – many of us are quickly deterred by our own lack of self-belief.
“I don’t have anything worthwhile to write about,” we tell ourselves. Or, worse still, “No one will be interested in anything I have to say.”
It is all too easy to imagine that the world’s success stories have something we don’t – something instantly enticing and captivating to thousands of readers. In reality, all they have is the drive and confidence to press ‘post’ once, twice, and over and over again.
Starting a Professional Blog is Not as Hard as You Might Think
In our minds’ eyes, it is easy to imagine there being some black-and-white dichotomy between those sleek, unique and pro-grade blogs run by the world’s best and brightest, and the bland, basic and altogether uninspiring pages maintained by those who are too stubborn to call it quits.
This could not be further from the truth, however. While you may not have the expertise or funds to have your own website coded from scratch, strong aesthetics and a streamlined user experience are far from unattainable. Website builders – or, in other words, creation platforms that enable you to work from templates and user-friendly tools without any coding – offer the ideal solution to anyone who wants to create a blog that is as unique as it is functional.
Your blog needn’t have a humble beginning – even a small readership deserves a bold first impression.
You Already Have an Invaluable Readership
This is not to say that your readers are out there, refreshing a non-existent blog, waiting for your first post. Rather, any area of life that interests you – however niche, small, limited, complex, simple, or, to you, bizarre – represents a potential shared interest. It needn’t be big, bold, or popular – or, on the face of it, even boast the potential for a six-figure income.
Blogging is, like art, interior design, music or fashion, a creative pursuit. Even if your blog is dedicated to offering financial advice or purely practical guidance, it will represent a creative outlet. What this means is that it demands a certain level of passion and commitment from bloggers in order to reach its full potential. The only way to ensure that savoir-faire reserved for the most popular content creators out there is to pursue what you love with unbridled creativity and enthusiasm.
Nobody Expects Overnight Success
Pressing ‘post’ for the first time is a daunting prospect. It can feel a little like preparing to shout into a deep void or take a step forward in the dark. We know that, in the first few weeks and months, our readership will be primarily comprised of supportive friends and family, and that there stands before us a long road of trial and error.
It can feel a little embarrassing to press post when your only readers are your mum, dad, and that one friend you’ve kept in touch with since secondary school, but it is important to practice resilience and patience here – it will certainly pay off in the end. Remember: there is, of course, nowhere to go but up.
Okay, but How do Bloggers Make Any Money?
There is, in actual fact, no catch-all answer to this question. Successful bloggers will find a variety of revenue streams – streams that will, inevitably, increase in size and number as their sway within relevant readerships increases (and, of course, their relevant readership grows).
From receiving revenue from advertisements to creating premium, subscription-based content – or, if you’re really thriving, branded products to sell via your own site – making money represents its own creative pursuit for bloggers. One thing is for sure, however, and that’s the fact that pursuing and maintaining an online blog can be just as financially enriching as it is creatively enriching.