Have you ever considered blogging as a way to make money? Whether it’s a dream job or an additional income stream, the idea of working on your own terms and being your own boss is tantalizing.
But before you dive into the world of blogging, you should be aware of both the pros and cons that come with this type of endeavor.
From establishing yourself as an expert to dealing with hater comments, there are plenty of things to consider when starting your blog.
Let's explore the pros and cons of blogging so you can make sure it's right for you.
Pros of Blogging
1. It's Flexible - You Can Work at Your Own Pace
One of the main advantages of blogging is flexibility. Working on a blog means that you have the freedom to work whenever and wherever you want.
This makes it perfect for those looking to start a business with minimal time commitments, as well as those wanting to generate passive income while still enjoying their free time - or even while sleeping!
There are no hard deadlines when it comes to blogging – unless imposed by yourself or required by sponsors or collaborators. This gives writers and bloggers the chance to keep up with their own pace and create content according to their own terms.
This level of flexibility is one of the major benefits of blogging and why many choose it as an avenue for generating income in today's digital economy.
2. It’s Inexpensive To Start a Blog
Starting a blog is an easy and cost-effective way to get your thoughts and opinions out into the world. If you're going bare-bones, all you need to pay for is the domain name at around $10 and hosting which you can start out cheaply, for less than $50 for your first year.
For a blogging platform, I suggest you start it on WordPress and you can get away with a free theme. The one I use is GeneratePress which is free, but you can upgrade later to the full version if you need it.
You may need to invest in some tools and training which can drive up the cost. However, there are some free tools or very inexpensive ones available. For training, you can get a blogging course or just check out my post on starting a blog.
3. There Are Different Ways You Can Make Money
There are many different ways to make money with a blog, ranging from ad revenue, affiliate marketing, sponsored content, and selling your own products.
Let's break these down:
- Ad Revenue- When your blog starts to get some traffic, you can start adding display ads. You can use either Google Adsense or companies that pay more such as Ezoic or Mediavine. With Adsense, there is no minimum traffic threshold you need to meet, but with other companies, there is usually a minimum number of monthly pageviews you need.
- Affiliate Marketing- Affiliate marketing is when you link to a product or service on your blog, and when someone clicks that link and makes a purchase, you get a commission.
- Sponsored Content- Companies will often pay you to write about their product or service on your blog. This is usually based on the amount of traffic you get, but some may pay a flat fee for each article.
- Email Marketing - When you have traffic, you can build your email list with email marketing and either sell your own product or send out emails that include affiliate links.
- Selling Your Own Products - If you have a talent for something, you can turn it into a product or service and sell it on your blog. This could include digital products like ebooks, memberships, or coaching services.
- Getting Clients - You could offer a service to your readers where you can charge a fee. Consulting usually works great here.
These are just some of the ways you can make money with a blog, so be sure to explore your options and do what works best for you.
4. Freedom to Live and Work Wherever You Want
For myself, the biggest pro of blogging is the freedom to live and work from whatever location I want. A lot of my time is spent in Thailand, especially in the winter months. There have been many times when I brought my laptop to the beach and just started writing.
I would assume that many people would love to live and work abroad - on their own terms as well. Blogging gives you the freedom to choose where you live.
If you have a job, you need to live in the same city where your employer is. Not with blogging. You can hop on a plane to your favorite destination and work from there.
5. Ditch Your Day Job
This ties in nicely with my point above. However, I would never tell anyone to just quit their job and start blogging. Rather, start a blog in your spare time and once you have enough traffic and revenue coming in, you can make the decision to quit your job and focus on blogging.
But, if that's not your goal and you just want to have an extra source of income - blogging is also great for that. You can work on it part-time while still keeping your day job as long as you are able to manage your time properly.
Replacing your day job with blogging is something I am sure that many people would love to do. At least that is what happened to me and I never looked back. I'm sure others feel this way too.
6. Become Known as an Expert in Your Field
If you are able to write blog posts about something you have a lot of knowledge about, you can quickly become known as an expert in your field. People will turn to you for advice and this could open up new opportunities for you that extend beyond blogging.
These can include paid speaking engagements, consulting gigs, writing books, creating a course or even being featured on TV or podcasts. Being a successful blogger not only brings financial rewards but also recognition in your area of expertise.
7. You Will Inspire People
This blogging pro goes beyond the financial aspect of blogging. You can truly help and inspire people through your blog and build some good relationships.
Your blog readers will come to you for advice, motivation, and guidance - something that is invaluable and can’t be measured in money. Seeing the impact you are making on their lives is a reward in itself. This has been one of the most rewarding parts of blogging for me over the years as I enjoy helping people.
8. It Can Be Fun
Although blogging should be treated like a business if you want to be successful, blogging can also be fun if you really enjoy the topic you are covering. It's not a job that you have to do, but something you love to do.
You will be able to write about topics that are of interest to you and engage with readers who share the same enthusiasm as you. For me, this was definitely one of the most enjoyable aspects when I first started blogging - and it still is today!
Cons of Blogging
1. It Takes Time
Of all the online businesses you can do, blogging will take the longest before you will reach success. This is because it takes time to build an audience and get traction for your blog. In fact, you might not make any money within the first 3 to 6 months. Any money you do make will be usually small anyway.
That's why a lot of people quit. They expect quick results and when that doesn't happen, they think it's a total failure and quit. If you go into this without expecting to make any money in your first 6 months, then I believe you have what it takes to start a blog.
Once you receive that first cheque, PayPal deposit, or wire transfer, even if it's just a few bucks, it will be the best money you will ever have made and it will motivate you to make more.
2. You Need to Learn SEO
A successful blog relies on SEO - which is search engine optimization for short. When you start your blog, you need to understand how the search engines work before you do anything. You need to know if your niche gets enough traffic, what topics to cover by creating a topical map, do keyword research, on-page SEO, link building, proper blog post length and more.
I know this all sounds complicated, but it really isn't SEO is just a time-consuming process but anyone can do it once they understand the basics.
If you'd like to learn SEO, my favorite guide is the SEO Checklist by SEO Buddy. It's been designed with beginner bloggers in mind.
3. Bring on The Criticism
Whenever you post something on the internet there's always a chance that someone will disagree with you or take offense at something you've said. This can lead to negative comments or even trolling behavior which can be unpleasant and damaging to your reputation.
However, you need to take this with a grain of salt. There will always be people who don't appreciate or understand your message. You need to be thick-skinned and accept that this comes with the territory of blogging. Don’t take it personally, but also make sure you are representing yourself in a positive way online.
You can do this by backing up any claims you make by linking to a credible resource.
4. Privacy Issues
When you start a blog, you can either do it anonymously by creating a persona, or you can use your real name and picture if doing a personal blog.
If you decide to use your real identity, it’s important to be aware of the potential privacy issues that could arise. It's good practice to protect your personal information online by avoiding revealing too much about yourself such as where you live or giving real-time information about where you might be staying. You also need to be aware of security risks such as hackers or someone trying to steal your identity.
However, the advantage of showing people that you are a real person outweighs the negatives.
It's up to you how much personal information you share on your blog. Do what you are comfortable with.
5. It Can Be Difficult if Writing Isn’t Your Strong Point
You're going to be writing a lot when you blog. So, if you're not good at writing, you might find it challenging.
However, the game has changed. This is especially true for those for whom English isn't their first language and who want to write in English.
Enter AI. You've probably heard of ChatGPT, which is a tool that uses artificial intelligence to write content. The content is scary-good, even Elon Musk thinks that. However, you should never use it without doing some heavy editing, because Google and other search engines might at some point be able to detect it. If they do, all that hard work can go down the drain.
So if you're great at writing, you might not need an AI assistant like ChatGPT or Jasper. If you're not great at it, it's worthwhile having. Just think of it as a writing assistant and make sure you do a lot of editing.
6. Google Updates Can Negatively Impact You
A few times a year Google rolls out updates that could either give you a huge boost in rankings or cause your pages to drop drastically.
This is why it’s important to understand SEO and not do anything that can negatively impact your blog. The best advice I can give here is to deliver more informational and helpful content than commercial. This means limiting the number of pages that are strictly review-type or "best of" pages where you have a lot of affiliate links.
Dedicated commercial type pages like this should make up less than 50% of your content. A good number is around 30%. This will keep you in the good graces of Google and should help you avoid getting crushed during an update. Of course there are other factors involved, but I found this should be your #1 guideline.
Blogging can be a great way to start your own business and make money online by being a real business owner. However, it's important to know the pros and cons before you get started. In my opinion, the Pros outweigh the cons every day, all day.
It's inexpensive to start, you can write on almost any topic, it's flexible, you can work from anywhere, and - you can make enough money to even quit your day job. How is that not a motivator to start a blog right now, right?
Keep in mind there are cons too like it takes time before you'll make any money, you might have some low-level criticism, you'll need to learn SEO skills and if writing isn't your strong point it could be difficult.
However, since there are more pros, I believe you can overcome this with a lot of hard work and dedication.
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