A full-time blogging gig sounds ideal, doesn't it. Schlepping around in pajamas and slippers, and sipping coffee while aimlessly writing and surfing the Internet. Not many fixed deadlines or stringent requirements for your work, especially if you own the blog.
Before you get lost in dreamland, realize that making a living as a blogger isn't really all it's cracked up to be. Sure, there are those few bloggers who got in early and now make six-figure incomes by publishing a post or two a day. But they're not even close to being the norm. I know..... you're thinking that you'd settle for a modest income from your blog. Beware. Even a modest income is hard to come by on the internet.
Take a look at what these bloggers are making, and ask yourself if it's really that appealing. The big money is nice, but good luck getting there. The little money is where the vast majority of today's bloggers sit. The two mid-range bloggers are making between $30,000 and $60,000 a year from their blogs, but it's clear that it's a lot of hard work. They're working between 40 and 80 hours a week to pull in even that modest income.
What takes so much time when it comes to blogging? Part of the time is spent researching: looking for viable topics, developing topics, seeing what other bloggers are writing about, and staying up-to-date on the news and industry trends. Part of the time is spent writing compelling content. Some of the writing may look easy, but it can take an hour or two to develop a good post. (And imagine if you're intent on posting two to four times a day, like some do?)
The other activity that takes a lot of time is promoting your blog. The key to making a living with a blog is visibility, and more importantly, traffic. That means promoting your site on other sites, engaging in community discussions that may bring traffic to your site, and generally looking for opportunities to get some press for your site. Traffic is the lifeblood of the blog, and plenty of time will be spent looking for new sources of traffic.
Developing a blog into a full-time gig is not impossible, but it isn't as easy as it may look. Remember, too, that there may be plenty of ups and downs in your earnings, so if you've got a household to support, the risk of blogging for a living may be more than you can handle. As with any entrepreneurial venture, go into blogging with your eyes wide open and sufficient reverence for the amount of time and effort it takes to turn a profit online.
Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE performs fraud examinations and financial investigations for her company Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting, and is the author of Essentials of Corporate Fraud.
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