(Cover Photo: James Baldwin)
How To Make A Living As A Black Blogger
Don’t believe the hype, ‘blogging aint dead’, the only thing that’s changed is the rules of the game. If you’re running a blog but not making ANY money then you’re doing something seriously wrong. It doesn’t necessarily matter how good you type or write, although those skills obviously play a role, what really matters is that you play the game how it’s suppose to be played.
That means, you have to be able to assess the data, and experiment accordingly. Think for yourself and see how your audience reacts. Sure you can use bits and pieces of other strategies to make yours but ultimately you will have to create a custom plan for your own situation.
By the way, if you didn’t know, a blog is basically an online public journal usually written by one person or a group. People blog about anything; personal experiences, entertainment, yoga tips, how to become a fortnite champion, etc. Usually a blog is dedicated to a specific demographic or category.
There are primarily article based blogs like this, trudreadz.com. There are also photo blogs, video blogs, live-stream blogs, etc. The advice you’re getting today is from an experience with an article based blog, so you if you plan on having a different type of blog then use what you can and leave behind what doesn’t apply.
When I started this blog, I had no idea what what was going on. I knew how to write but knew absolutely nothing about blogging. A quarter million hits later I’m starting to get the hang of things.
I’m not the ‘best blogger in the world’ but I do have plenty of hands on experience that could be passed on to inquiring minds. Also, just in case you haven’t heard, in 2020 there is still a ton of money to be made in Blogging. It takes time but it’s not that hard or impossible.
When you’ve made the decision to start your blog you’re going to have to choose some type of ‘online content management system’ that is good for blogs. This platform is ran on WordPress, and I’ve had a much better experience with this ‘online content management system’ then other platforms I’ve tried throughout the years. If you are going to start a blog I definitely recommend going through WordPress.
With whatever company you choose there are usually options to set up a free introductory account, I would only use that option to feel out the platform, not to start your blog. This is because when you choose the free option you have to add the company name in to domain name, such as startablog.wordpress.com for example.
You may pay anywhere from $100 to $400 for a full service account to start your blogging journey, depending on what type of features you require. Yes, it costs money to make money. However, think of it like your starting your own independent journalism platform for less then a $1,000.
What’s Your Why?
This is an important question you need to answer for yourself, preferably before you get started. It makes a huge difference in how you’ll run your blog.
- Is this just a way to express yourself?
- Are you building a brand?
- Do you want to bring attention to particular issues?
- Looking for passive and/or active income?
- Want a place to make announcements to your following?
- Are you looking to make a living?
Basically, it ultimately comes down to, is this about making money or a personal cause? You can do both at the same time, but you need to know that’s what your plan is.
You can monetize your perspective, instead of giving it away for free on Facebook status updates.
A blog is perfect way to create passive and active income. You could make fast money with direct sales, affiliate marketing and/or get the slow monthly checks from advertisers like Google.
It use to be easier than it is now to making money blogging. Before you could fill your blog with a bunch of keywords, slap on a bunch of ads and affiliate links, sit back and count your money. The rules have changed.
A lot less people actually read blog post now. The headline and cover photo is a lot more significant than the content of the article. Thanks to social media, most blogs are talking about the same ‘trending’ topics at the same time. So if you’re the little blog on the totem pole, by the time you talk about the ‘trending’ topic it’s already been thoroughly discussed. Your chances of ranking on search engines for that topic are slim to none. You may get some shares and likes but you won’t get that free steady stream of traffic from being ranked on sites like Google. These are all things to consider.
More then likely, your first 6 months to a year will be rough. Little to no traffic, little to no income, little to no following. So I wouldn’t quit your day job right away, wait until you’ve already made what your monthly goal is a few times.
Say you need $2,500 a month to work from home, wait until you’ve done that at least 3 times. At least this way you won’t ruin your creativity as a blogger being so stressed out about paying the bills.
If you keep pushing and delivering quality content then you’ll see how those pennies turn to dollars, then turn into a living. The thing is, once you write articles and post them they actually start working for you. You do the work once, and it continues to build value with time.
The majority of your income will come from direct sales and ad revenue. The least of your money will more then likely be from affiliate marketing, such as Amazon.
The Keys To Success
If you want to “make a living” from blogging or even get rich you will need to go above and beyond what everyone else is doing. Here are some keys to blogging success that may prove to be useful:
- Quality Over Quantity – create a platform you can be proud of.
- Maximize Monetization Opportunities – the # of ads you use plus where you put those ads is a critical equation you must figure out. You don’t want to go overboard or sell yourself short.
- Don’t Miss Affiliate Commissions – If you ever recommend a product use an affiliate link. That way if someone makes that purchase from your referral you can get paid.
- Write About What You Love – if you don’t care about what you write about your readers will feel that vibe. Be honest and speak about what you know.
- Take Advantage Of Free Advertising – before you spend a single dollar on advertisements you should be using all free major social media outlets to get the word out about your business. It’s not fun manually sharing your articles over and over in various ways on various platforms, but it’s the best way to reach people without spending any money.
- Always Create Content – the more content you have the more opportunities you have to make money. Think of your articles or posts like a robot that is mining gold for you. The quality and quantity of the robots ‘mining gold’ for you will determine your income.
- Start The Trends, Don’t Follow Them – it may seem easier just write about what other people in your genre are writing about because its “trending”, but realistically by the time your article is posted 1,000 other more informed people have already beat you to the punch. Lead the trends, make the waves, be ahead of the game not behind it.
- Think Long Term – I’ll put it like this, I get more consistent traffic to my year old posts then my new ones. It takes a while before your article will be ranked on google and other search engines, once they do though it’s the best free traffic of all. Each post is a brick, your blog is a castle. It may take a while to build that castle, but once it’s built you have a solid foundation to work with.
- Be Patient – Quality is better then quantity remember. Making quality articles may take longer in the beginning but they will certainly pay off in the end. Do it right the first time, that way you can sit back in confidence knowing you have quality material working for you 24/7.
Blogging For A Living
It is very feasible to be a blogger for a living. However, most people have this vision of making a few posts, sharing it a few times, and cashing out. This is not real life. More than likely you will not get “rich” blogging, but with hard work you can make a living. We’re talking $2,000 – $5,000 in ad revenue a month within a year or two of aggressive strategic blogging.
A big point to remember is, trying to make thousands of dollars a month off of just ad revenue is stressful. Offering products or services through your blog is what will make the most money. Such as advertisement, merchandise, consultations, courses, etc.
Just to give you a rough estimate, in order to make $2500 a month on ad revenue you’ll need at least 10,000 – 20,000 hits every day. These numbers would vary based on article length, number of ads, whether people read it or just share it, your ad provider, and more.
The point is, you need to maintain a high volume of traffic, thousands upon thousands a day, most of the time to be able to live off of your blog with just ad revenue. It might seem impossible, but it’s not. It’s all about technique, how you do what you do. Once you get it down, you’ll know exactly what to do and how to say it. It’s a learning process.
In reality, blogging for a living is just as difficult as any other business except the rules may be a little different. It’s a grueling process of trial and error. That’s why it is important that you love what you do.
You will write many articles that won’t get the attention you feel it deserves. In my situation, I’ve been censored on social media quite a bit. When they take my posts down, there goes my traffic. You will have many days where you make less than a dollar in revenue. You will spend hours and hours of time writing for free, at first. Then one day and you’ll look up and BOOM! You just made $100 in one day from a 6 month old post that just got moved up to #1 on google for that search topic.
That’s just the beginning. You’ll start noticing other articles that you’ve written off as “old” start to gain more and more free traffic from online search engines. As time goes on, you’ll began to have a catalog of articles creating revenue for you, gaining value with time.
If you are signed up with multiple companies who offer affiliate marketing then you have an opportunity to have multiple pay dates. You may get a big check at the end of the month, and 3 small ones in between for example. It depends on how many products you can link to your articles.
Blogging is all about the long haul. When you have hundreds, even thousands of articles under your belt you’ll see that ad revenue sky rocket and sales jump through the roof. So if you have the patience to commit at least 2 years to blogging, you’ll see that “extra cash” your making turn into massive streams of income.