This post on how to make money blogging is part of the ‘What I wish I knew when I first started Blogging’ Series. In this post I’ll share readers comments on the topic of making money from blogs as well as some of my own experiences and advice.
When I asked readers for their regrets when it comes to making money there was a variety of responses – from bloggers wishing that they’d started experimenting with ads and affiliate programs earlier to others wishing that they’d never started monetizing blogs at all because it was a distraction from what they actually liked doing – writing about their topic of interest.
My Own Experience with Making Money from Blogging
I sometimes look back on my blogging with a twinge of regret that I didn’t get into blogging earlier and establish myself in my niches before ‘competitors’ did. I dabbled in making websites about 10 years ago (5 years before I started my first blog) and blogged for a full year on a personal blog before even considering that I could make money from blogging or starting blogs on any focused topic.
If only someone had told me what I now know – getting a foot in the door in my niches back then could have had some amazing payoffs.
Having said that – part of me is very glad that I didn’t ‘Go Pro’ or start commercializing my blogging too early. That first 12-18 months of blogging on a personal blog was very formative. I learned so much about communicating online, building community, writing and the way that blogs operate – to the point that when I began to blog on a commercial level I had a lot of skills that helped me grow those new blogs faster.
The other great thing about that first year or so was that it gave me a love for blogging. I blogged because I enjoyed it and not with dollars in my eyes. As a result I wrote about things that interested me and not what would make money.
In a sense, that first blogging experience was an apprenticeship or training ground for what came later.
I see a lot of bloggers rushing into commercial type blogs that I think could learn a thing or two from starting a personal blog for a few months (or longer). These blogs quite often are on topics that they think will make money (rather than things they know about and love), they quite often have ads slapped all over them (instead of presenting their content as the prime thing on the blog) and they quite often have content that is regurgitated from elsewhere, uninspiring and uninteresting.
These blogs rarely survive longer than a few months because the blogger gets frustrated by the lack of initial earnings (remember it takes a year or so for a blog to ‘hit its straps’) and has no real interest in the topic to keep them blogging.