Does Blogging for Money Work or Not? 6 Noob Mistakes

Three women dnacing in the sunset with their hands up.

A Newsweek article by the “fake Steve Jobs” [Daniel Lyons] blogger basically denounced blogging for money or in other words depicted problogging as a myth. Well, not really, it said

you can’t make “huge amounts money” or “grow rich” by blogging.

I’m a professional blogger by now. It means I earn most of my money by blogging. My path to become a professional blogger was rather unique.


Is professional blogging a myth?

I tried to become a professional blogger since at least 2005 it shows it’s possible. Also along the way I learned what works and what not.

Some bloggers grew and sold blogs for tens of thousands or even millions in mean time. It’s not common but it’s possible.

The author of the Newsweek article tried to earn money blogging as if blogs were the same as main stream media. Blogging is different than journalism and requires a different business model.

There are many different business models out there that work, the old media copycat business model does not work apparently. I want to outline why. Also I will tell you what works instead.


The typical blogging mistakes

The Newsweek author was blogging for huge non targeted traffic and monetization by Adsense: It was not enough, just pocket money. He made these 6 common blogging mistakes:

  1. Blogging for just one blog
  2. Blogging all by himself
  3. Blogging for huge traffic.
  4. Blogging for non targeted traffic.
  5. Blog Monetization by Adsense.
  6. Nothing to sell/offer

He could have done better by changing one or a few things.

Blogging for just one blog
Eraning enough for a living by blogging for just one blog is hard. This is a fact. You need a few blogs. Even the original Problogger had at least three of them. The one blog must be very popular.

Blogging all by yourself
Most successful professional bloggers work in teams. Either they are paid writers on group blogs by companies that pay them and/or other people blog for them either for free or for low pay.

Blogging for huge traffic
Monetization of huge traffic works best by CPM (cost per mille/ thousands page views) ads. Huge untargeted traffic means people flock to a site take a short look and leave to never come back.

They especially don’t click ads. With CPM ads they don’t have to. Just the act of opening a web page and viewing the ad completes the required action to get paid.

Most bloggers won’t have such huge traffic though. Most people will have to aim lower. Thousands of visitors are already many for bloggers.

Blogging for non targeted traffic
Nowadays the mass market does not work whether it’s in music, art or writing. It’s all about the niche.

You have to find a niche, a following of people who really care for the subject and for you as an author, the so called 1000 true fans.

Apart from the people who’d subscribe to your blog you need to write for Google, that is for search traffic.

In case you want to use metaphors as headlines it won’t work. You have to name things. You have to use keywords and boring headlines.

In the best case you write about products, mention their names and people searching for them find your blog and buy them through your blog. For this purpose Adsense is not the best option.

When your blog is really crappy or spammy or simply low quality Adsense might work, but for real blogs it does not.

The only way it might work is when people coming via Google search do NOT find what they seek and they click the ads hoping to find it there instead.

Nothing to sell/offer
Once you have your 1000 true fans you have to offer something of value to exactly these people. Such an offer may be for example

  • consulting
  • a digital product like an ebook
  • a membership forum

or anything else that might be of use to them. These things might vary. It depends on your niche. You could sell videos in the health niche for instance.

This is not the whole story, just a short overview of the typical 6 noob mistakes when it comes to blogging for money. Stop acting as if blogging is TV, radio or print.