Blogging is often sold as a life-changing way to make a huge amount of money.
And there’s some truth in that. Plenty of people make a full time income from blogging. Some make a LOT more than that. And one of the advantages of blogging is that you can make money writing about things that interest you – things that you’re truly passionate about.
But if it were that simple, everybody would be doing it. Setting up a profitable blog is like setting up any other business – it’s hard work, success is far from guaranteed, and far more ventures fail than succeed.
This article highlights all of the advantages of blogging, but I recommend you read it alongside my other piece of the disadvantages of blogging. Surprisingly few people share the full picture on this, often because they have ulterior motives, such as selling you a blogging course! I’ve not made one of those (yet!), so I’m simply sharing my own experience, which brings me neatly to the next point…
- Why Listen To Me?
- The Advantages of Blogging
- 1. Writing About Subjects You’re Passionate About
- 2. The Potential for Passive Income
- 3. Having a Place to Showcase Your Talents
- 4. Creating Somewhere to Record Key Moments
- 5. Learning All Kind of Digital Skills
- 6. Many Different Ways to Make Money
- 7. Getting Free Stuff
- 8. Being Completely Your Own Boss
- 9. Working When, Where and How Much You Want
- 10. Creating a Sellable Asset
Why Listen To Me?
I’ve been making a living from blogging – in one form or another – since 2009. You’re reading one of my blogs right now, and I am (or have been) involved with many others: those I own, those I write for, those I’ve managed, those I’ve sold, and the ones I started that never gained any momentum.
It’s not hard for me to list the advantages of blogging, because I’ve been enjoying them for over a decade. But the disadvantages are equally important, and only by weighting them up for yourself can you decide whether it’s something worth getting involved in. Over the years, I’ve coached a number of aspiring bloggers, and more than a handful have gone on to decide NOT to proceed once they’ve understood what’s truly involved.
I’ve always been keen to provide an honest take on the realities of blogging, as such a take is surprisingly hard to find. There is a certain amount of truth in the theory that there are people out there who make money blogging only by teaching other people how to make money blogging.
This particular article does concentrate on the PROS of blogging – and there are plenty of them. But, as suggested in the intro, do make sure you familiarise yourself with the cons too.
The Advantages of Blogging
1. Writing About Subjects You’re Passionate About
A blog is a great creative outlet for writing about subjects that truly interest you.
Love cats or dogs? Start a pet blog! Just had your first child? Mum or dad blog. Into music production? Create a blog to review products and write about production techniques.
The list goes on, and is truly endless.
Over the years, I’ve had various blogs that centre in on my interests. Back in 2009, I moved to Portugal, and had a blog about that which spawned a successful book. I also had another one on Portuguese food and wine that I went on to sell when I moved back to the UK. I have a wellbeing blog that I started when I quit drinking and lost a bunch of weight. I’ve also, amongst others, had a tech blog and a parenting blog, neither of which was particularly successful!
If you can think of a topic that interests you so much you’d happily write about it for FREE, starting a blog on it that you could one day make a living from is the stuff of dreams – and plenty of people do achieve that.
You can come close to that dream by doing freelance writing. Over the years, I’ve been fortunate enough to be paid by clients to write about subjects that interest me. But it’s not the same as having the full creative freedom to write about exactly what you want, how you want. When you’re writing for clients, sometimes you luck out and get paid well to explore things that fascinate you, but you’re as likely to spend time following stringent guidelines and writing about stuff that leaves you cold.
2. The Potential for Passive Income
This is the big one.
When you have a successful, established blog, you literally make money while you’re asleep or on holiday. One of my first tasks each day is to log on to various affiliate and advertising network dashboards, and see what my blogs have earned (on relative auto pilot) in the past 24 hours. Getting an email notification to say you’ve made an affiliate sale while you’re lying on a sun-bed is undeniably awesome, and I’m been lucky enough to experience that many times.
But passive income doesn’t just appear by magic. As discussed in my “passive income is a myth” article, you have to put in substantial up-front effort before you get even a sniff of any passive income. If you think it’s a case of writing 20 blog posts and waiting to get rich, you’re sadly mistaken. You might start to see some drips of it after writing 50, but meaningful, life changing amounts of blogging income come much later – after at least a year or two of consistent effort.
However, this article is concentrating on the advantages of blogging, and it IS a potential route to passive income, IF you have the tenacity to work at it.
3. Having a Place to Showcase Your Talents
A blog is a great place to show off your writing abilities, and some of your best blog articles can form part of a freelance writing portfolio.
I’ve always run my own blogs alongside doing paid work for clients. It’s a great combination, because it allows you to play the “long game” of earning passive income, at the same time as paying the bills with work you know you’ll be paid for.
A blog provides the perfect playground for developing your content creation craft, and gives you a place to show off your best work.
4. Creating Somewhere to Record Key Moments
When I started my first blog about moving to Portugal, I did it in the original spirit of blogging. I didn’t initially intend to turn it into a money-making venture.
Blogs were originally conceived as online diaries. Over time, they’ve evolved into more of a combination of informational and commercial content. Chronological, diary-form blogs are much rarer nowadays. Most people start a blog with the intention of one day making money from it.
Going back to my Portugal blog, my primary motivation was to capture an exciting time in my life. The site went on to become successful and make money. Selling my first advert on the site was a very exciting moment. But I would have been happy just to have the electronic “diary” to show my children one day.
If you do build a blog about something important to you, such as parenting, mental health, or getting fit, it can be a creative project in and of itself. My wellbeing blog talks a lot about mental health and quitting drinking. They’re key moments that I’m sure I will want to look back on in years to come.
Once again, a blog you’d happily write for free, with income as a bonus, is a great thing to have.
5. Learning All Kinds of Digital Skills
You learn a HUGE amount from blogging. Writing the articles is only a small part of what’s involved in running a successful blog. Ironically, this is something I discuss in detail in the disadvantages of blogging, too. When I’ve coached aspiring bloggers, several have been demotivated by the fact that there’s a whole bunch of other stuff to learn. Your own mileage will vary.
When you run a popular blog, you have to learn about social media, about Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), about web hosting and the many other technical parts of running a blog. You learn about optimising advert placements, negotiating affiliate deals, doing accounts and tracking income. You meet readers with similar interests and have the gratification of providing advice – but you also have to deal with hackers, trolls and haters.
This extensive learning experience IS one of the advantages of blogging, especially if you want to add to your skillset and find related work. Over the years, I’ve won lots of freelance work as a direct result of stuff I’ve done on my own sites – from writing articles on related subjects to managing people working on other sites.
If you’re looking to boost your digital marketing skills, a blog of your own is the perfect training ground.
6. Many Different Ways to Make Money
Taking this site as an example, there are various different ways it makes money. The main ones are as follows:
- I earn money when people click on the adverts that appear on the site. (Try not to hate on the ads – if they weren’t there, I wouldn’t be able to spend time writing hundreds of thousands of words of free content!)
- I earn from various affiliate partnerships. When people buy products I mention or recommend, I sometimes receive a commission.
- I earn from sponsorships and promotions.
- I make money when people buy my freelancing course, Freelance Kickstarter. The blog effectively acts as a “shop-front” for that product.
The money-making methods described above are the most common ways that people monetise their blogs, but there are others too.
One of the advantages of blogging is that you can pick and choose ways to make money. Some people primarily use their blogs to direct people to products and services they sell – perhaps a range of courses or eBooks. Others concentrate on product reviews and “best X for Y” roundup articles, primarily making money from affiliate commission when people go on to buy those products. A particularly popular model at the time of writing is to create extensive informational sites (with hundreds or thousands of articles) and use display adverts as the main means of monetisation.
Of course, you don’t have to do only one thing. I worked on sites with one primary way of making money, and others (like this one) that earn from various different angles.
The beauty of blogging is that there’s no single right way to do it. Thousands of people make money from doing blogging their way.
7. Getting Free Stuff
While I wouldn’t suggest that getting free stuff is a reason – by itself – to start a blog, it certainly can be one of the perks of blogging.
When I ran my food and wine blog, I’d get sent lots of things to review, such as artisan food products. The same is happening now, with my recently started wellbeing blog. I have enough alcohol free drinks in my garage to last me all year!
Running a popular blog is much the same as being an Instagram “influencer” with lots of followers. Companies want to send you stuff so that you expose it via your platform. And there’s nothing at all wrong with this, so long as you show integrity, disclose such gifts, and don’t falsely hype a product just because you got it for free.
As I said, the free stuff is a bonus, not an end in itself. But if you’re blogging on a topic that’s aligned with your hobbies and interests, you can end up getting things you would have bought anyway for free – and that can be as good as money.
8. Being Completely Your Own Boss
I spoke earlier about the creative freedom of running a blog, but it’s not only creative freedom. You’re free to take a blog of your own in any direction you want.
You can decide to put your own unique take on a specific subject. For example, the “USP” for HomeWorkingClub is that we provide a blunt and honest, down to earth take on home working and freelancing. When I’ve written for certain clients on similar subjects, I’ve been encouraged to “sugar coat” things more than I ever would on this site.
You can run off in any direction you choose – perhaps really going for it with video content, or expanding with a podcast.
You can choose to flood your blog with content, or take the approach of covering a small number of topics in incredible detail.
You can focus on the style of monetisation that most appeals to you, from creating your own products to focussing on bringing in traffic and making money with ads.
You can also change your mind about all of these things, and do something different if a previous strategy isn’t working, or you’re simply bored with doing things the same way.
There are very few businesses – even online – that give you quite the same freedom to always do things your way.
9. Working When, Where and How Much You Want
Blogging is one of the few activities that you can do from the beach, or from your hotel balcony. So long as you have an internet connection, you can work on a blog wherever you are and whenever you want.
You can also work on a blog inconsistently. Obviously for the best and fastest results, you want your audience (and Google’s algorithm) to see you making a consistent effort, constantly publishing new articles and improving the site. But – back in the real world – a blog doesn’t completely fall apart if you don’t have time to work on it for a while.
As I work on both my own projects and on client projects, I don’t always have the same amount of time to spend on my sites. Sometimes I outsource content creation to other freelancers while I work on paid projects of my own. Sometimes I have weeks or months when one of my blogs is my primary focus. Sometimes life happens and a few weeks pass when a blog just sits there neglected, waiting until I have time to lavish care on it.
Let’s be honest, there aren’t many projects that are as flexible as that. Blogs can be surprisingly forgiving when it comes to picking them up and dropping them as you are able.
10. Creating a Sellable Asset
Of all the advantages of blogging, this is perhaps the most exciting, AND the one that not many people know about.
Once you have a blog that’s making money consistently, there are plenty of people out there who will want to buy it from you. It’s just like selling any other established business.
And here’s the really exciting bit: blogs typically sell for around 30-40 times their regular monthly profit.
So if you build a site up to the point it’s making a (relatively achievable) $500 per month, it has a resale value of about $20,000. $2,500 per month, and it’s worth six figures.
That’s pretty exciting stuff.
“Flipping” blogs, which essentially means building them to sell them on, is a legitimate business model that plenty of people make a LOT of money from.
So that concludes our roundup of the advantages of blogging. Is it something you like the idea of doing? If so, you may want to consider doing one of the following things:
Founder of HomeWorkingClub.com – Ben has worked freelance for nearly 20 years. As well as being a freelance writer and blogger, he is also a technical consultant with Microsoft and Apple certifications. He loves supporting new home workers but is prone to outbursts of bluntness and realism.