15 Jan Making a Career from Blogging
This started off as a Facebook post. I kept trying to condense it down, but I inevitably had to leave important details out.
Somebody asked a little while after I posted my last Facebook status about making blogging my career in 2017,
“how do you make money just writing and posting articles?”
Good question. You’ve gotta have something or some reason to write, in the first place.
Writing was never something I had in mind as a career. I think the desire to write comes from a need to communicate. For me it was to communicate thoughts that I felt had value to them but might not be all that well-accepted. It started back in college, at a point where I was very unhappy with what I was doing. The details are for another post, but to state it succintly, I felt like we, the students, were all at the center of something where the relationship we had with the school was benefitting the school in a greater way than it was us. I felt that there was value in what I was experiencing. Writing all of that down gave me literally a marathon’s worth of mental training in juggling, sorting, and articulating my thoughts and feelings. I felt that my insight and experience could in some way help or at least validate the thoughts and feelings of others going through the same thing.
Time went on and I started working on a book to encapsulate it all. After I surpassed that, I began blogging for fun because I discovered I actually enjoyed writing. It was something I always wished I had more time for. I realized at that point in time that, ideally, it’s what I wanted to do as a career. With several full-time jobs and no real way to abandon any of them to start something entirely new, my blogging was brief and only when I had time.
Since then, it’s something I’ve never grown tired of. I decided in 2017, after having made a big change in 2016 and moving that it was time to pursue it systematically. As I looked toward other bloggers who were making a living, I couldn’t find one single concrete path to follow, everyone did it differently. I came up with my own path, the one that allows me to speak most authentically.
At the core of it, I came away with this realization: when we’re going after what we want in life but don’t yet have, we are always needlessly complicating it either with unnecessary steps and/or obstacles that we simply need to sit back, analyze, and overcome. That’s what led me to come up with this macro-oriented perspective on blogging.
The Process Behind it All
The whole process is really simple; the money-making that is. Whether or not you realize it, you participate in helping millions of people make money every day – without spending a cent of your own money to do it. Think about billboards. In that equation there’s you, the billboard owner, and the advertiser. The advertiser pays the owner for the exposure their billboard gives to people like yourself, driving by every day. Your interest and money don’t factor into their money-making venture at all, yet your presence creates a business relationship where there wouldn’t normally be one. In the same way, millions of website owners offer up space on their pages to advertisers. The great thing is that websites are able to track how many times a page is requested and seen, and how many times each ad is viewed and clicked on.
I think online ads are often wasted money. That being said, their use is on the rise, in spite of the questionable ROI for advertisers. Why? Most people have an ad blinder on. Most people don’t pay one cent of attention to them. Why? I think most ads are very poorly created (visually, or textually), and aren’t well targeted. Look at the CTR, or “click-through rate”. At best it might be 10%, meaning 1 out of 10 people who see it actually click it. At worst it might be 1-.5%, as few as 1 out of 100. The good thing is, it doesn’t really matter if someone clicks. What matters is that they’ve been shown the ad, regardless of whether or not you actually paid attention. Here’s a little infographic I made to make sense of it all.
Billboard advertisers don’t keep track of how many people purchased because they saw a billboard and then pay the billboard owner based on that statistic. They pay what the owner deems necessary. Web-based ads are a little different, because it’s hard to place and justify a price on a website. Billboards don’t lose value because they’re always in the same place and traffic doesn’t vary a whole lot, Websites on the other hand are way more volatile.
So, how much do you make?
Theoretically, there’s really no limit to it. When I get where I’m at a surplus, I want to start with a few philanthropic pursuit, as well as building my Unbothered line of apparel and home goods. Without getting into a whole lot of details on it, ad revenue can vary somewhat. It is an always-changing algorithm, but this article explains it pretty well. A lot of it comes down to the category of your website, the type of ads Google feels fits your site, and the demand or number of searches being performed for those things, which in turn determines the value of a view or a click. Getting the right ads show is a matter of developing your website so that your advertiser has a better means to decide what kind of ads to show, and then show the very best
None of this matters though, unless you’re on my end of things.The beautiful thing about blogging is that it truly is a dream job, and by that I mean one that you not only enjoy, but also very easily monetize – under one condition – getting your content seen and shared by as many people as possible. It’s a career where you’re not truly selling anything to anyone… there’s no hard sell or purchase to be made, it’s just there for people to enjoy and share with others.
And this is why I do what I do…
My goal is and always will be to offer interesting, original content, and insights into life and everything about it, in the hopes that the content in some way helps you to live a better, richer (in every sense), more enjoyable life. Of course, I have to make a living, but my ulterior motive isn’t so ulterior at all – to offer you something that you feel is worth sharing! Your job, if you so accept it, is to read what interests you, give feedback on what does and doesn’t so as to help me do a better job, and help me spread what you like of what I do by sharing with your friends.