Have you found yourself wondering what's a blog and how does it work? Have you heard people say, "I'm a blogger" and wondered what they really meant by that?
Well, I'm here to help you out! Blogging is my job. It's how I earn my money, pay my bills, buy Christmas presents and put money into retirement.
The whole blogging concept can be a little confusing because it's so doggone easy to become a blogger. Pretty much anyone can do it if they just understand what it is and what steps to take. So, here's the short of it and then I'll jump into all the details.
What is a blog?
A blog is essentially a website that is run by an individual that is sharing information with others. It can be as simple as keeping a journal online and as complex as running a full out blogging business that makes money and pays the bills.
How do bloggers make money?
Blogging is not a scam. There are multiple ways that bloggers can earn money including:
What is blogging?
If you dig into the history of blogging the first blog that was created was somewhere in the 90s, but the exact details are kind of hazy.
No one is really sure who started one first. We have some ideas on who it was, but everything is really unofficial.
If you flash forward to today, anyone with an internet connection can start a blog. If they have some money to put into it, they can start an even fancier blog.
There are so many different levels to blogging and being a blogger that it can get confusing when you see so many people that can say "I'm a blogger" and yet they all look so different.
Some are making a lot of money while some aren't making any money. Some are really just journaling, and others are teaching people things. We can all say we're bloggers, but we all do different things.
You're not alone if you are confused about what a blogger is. Sometimes it might even feel like we're all doing our best to confuse you because we can do so many different things!
We just make it as chaotic as possible for others to understand, done we? Let's clear it up.
What is a blog?
A blog is essentially a website where a person, typically alone, can publish blog posts (which are like articles but not), consistently or inconsistently. Did that help at all? Probably not! Let's break it down.
A blog is more or less like an unofficial website. It's not backed by some large business (although any business can have their own blog).
A blogger is typically someone who started a blog on their own because they had something they wanted to share. Then, the writer composes blog posts about the topic of their choosing.
Blog Post vs Articles
Blog posts can be confusing because some people call them “blog posts” and some people call them “articles”.
However, I don't really think of blog posts as articles because when I think of articles, I think of some sort of news or official website. If someone is writing an article, they're likely going to venture out and get the scoop or find a story.
Bloggers aren't really focused on getting the latest news or stories. We're focused on writing what it is we're passionate about.
That doesn't mean we don't have some of the latest information. It just means we aren't sharing news on a variety of topics, just the one we blog about.
Many times, bloggers are writing about something that we want to teach. We're more like the Wild West when it comes to putting content online!
There are people out there that are reporters and that's their profession. They go out and find stories that will impact the community and then write about them.
Bloggers are different. We get to write about whatever we want, and we don't have to answer to any sort of news site. This can actually be kind of scary, but it can also be a really good thing as well.
How Blogging Works
Bloggers start a website and call it a blog. Then we have blog posts where we write about things that we're passionate about. That's the same for pretty much all bloggers.
But, it's what those people who become "bloggers" do with all that content, information, and their website that defines if they are a hobby blogger or a blogger that actually makes money that pays their bills.
Hobby bloggers don't worry about having a blogging strategy. And, they aren't trying to make money blogging. They are simply doing what they feel like whether it gives them monetary results or not.
Now, let's be honest. You aren't reading this blog because you want to blog for the fun of it, right?
If you're wondering how to make money blogging, there are two things you should know:
1. You need to provide very valuable content
A lot of bloggers will start a blog and then basically just have a journal. They will talk about their feelings and what they're going through in life. But, none of it is necessarily action-focused. It's more emotion-focused.
They'll write about whatever sparks their inspiration. If you're a professional blogger, you'll focus less on yourself and more on others. When people sit down to write a blog post they might say, "I think this would be a great idea. I loved having this experience, so I'll share it with others." The keyword here is "I".
Now, a professional blogger will say, "What are other people looking for? I want to provide what they are saying they need." You want to write blog posts that people are searching for and that will teach them something very valuable.
For example, if you're passionate about knitting, it can be helpful to write your story about why you love it, but that's not necessarily what's going to help you grow a blogging business.
But, if you instead think about what people are looking for, such as "how to knit" and "knitting patterns" and "how to knit XYZ", you'll write the blog posts that people are searching for.
Professional blogging has less to do with your story and more with how you can teach readers something that will change their life.
2. Don't be afraid to put your personal spin on topics
There are a lot of personal finance bloggers, food bloggers, knitting bloggers, and every kind of blogger out there. There will always be a lot of people in your niche, even if you chose one of the 160+ narrow niche ideas that I shared here.
Maybe you are really specific with your niche and feel that you're the only person writing about it today. I can tell you that you won't last for long.
There will always be someone else that comes along and writes about the same topic as you. What will really help you grow your blogging business is the personal spin you put on it. It's the way you let your personality show through and infuse yourself into your business.
You do this by the way that you write, take photos, and put up your videos. It's you that's going to help your blog stand out.
Write the content that people are looking for, but also let your personality seep into it when you're writing.
For example, I'm very video focused. I love getting on my camera, filming videos and having a YouTube channel to connect with you guys. So, that's one of the ways that I differentiate myself from other bloggers in my niche.
Another thing I do is let my personality come through on the camera. Sometimes that's a good thing and people like it, sometimes they don't!
But, I'm not afraid to be myself on camera and on my website. I let pictures show my personality so hopefully, I become a bit more memorable and stand out from the crowd a bit more.
How to Be a Blogger
You're going to need all of these elements and more to run a successful blogging business. But if you really want to start a blogging business that's actually going to be making money, you have to start creating a website that becomes really valuable to someone.
You want people to think of you and come to your website looking for answers the minute they get stuck with a knitting problem.
The moment you become valuable to a reader is the moment you can monetize your brand.
You can put up ads, have affiliate links, do sponsorships, and create your own products. That's how you start to monetize and make money off your blog. But, the core of your business is valuable content and you.
Think about your reader and what they're looking for. Write that content and don't be afraid to put your own spin on it!
Join my free blogging course below for more information on how to become a professional blogger…