Good morning! Today we continue with our series about making money online. You can check the previous posts about. My July blog income and stats. Choosing a name, domain and hosting. Starting your own website. My failed attempts at making money online I failed at making money online, then succeeded, with freelancing and starting my own website.
Last week we studied how to get started with a blog, getting a name, a domain and a hosting package. Today let’s ask an important question, how many hours are you willing to spend blogging?
Like for most endeavors, the results you can expect from blogging will be directly related to the amount of time you put in. Be warned, blogging is a time suck. Depending on how committed you are to blogging, here are a few suggestions about which way to go. Remember we are considering blogging as a way to make extra income here, otherwise whatever time you have can be spent slowly building your blog without looking for income or bigger exposure.
1-5 hours a week
Your best bet if you only have a couple of hours to blog every week, is to be a staff writer. Find a blog or two who are happy to host your writing, charge them $25 or $30 for a nice post, and be relieved from all the back office work. No need to network around to get noticed, to promote on social media, some blogs won’t even require your reply to comments. You can earn around $100 per month for one post per week, $200 for two posts.
Even better would be to have two different gigs with two websites so your extra income is not dependent on one source only.
Choose a niche where you are comfortable (cooking, mommy blog, travel, money, dogs, retirement, …) and have something to say. Read a few blogs, and look for a “contributors” tab to see if they are hiring. Even if they aren’t, you can drop a nice email and ask to be considered the next time they have an opening.
Unless you are incredibly lucky with your own site, or a pro at niche sites, I don’t think you can make $200/month on a blog you work for one hour a week on. Staff writing is a safer, more stable income, otherwise it may take you months to build up your site for just a few pennies in Adsense revenue.
2-3 hours a day
Blogging two hours a day will mean you can’t do it all. If writing and uploading a quality post takes you an hour, you only have one hour left to reply to comments, keep your blog neat with a new plugin or a little coding, read other blogs, comment around, promote on social media… That is not a lot of time.
You should always prioritize good content, because that is what will make people come over, and come back for more. If it takes you 2 hours to write a post, reduce your posting schedule to 2 or 3 times a week, better post less than use up 100% of your blogging time to write.
Second in the priority list should be replying to comments. You are trying to build a community around your writing, and if people feel like they are talking to a wall they won’t come back.
Then comes networking. How will people know you exist if you blog in a cave? Visit other sites, tweet about articles you liked…
Last would be blog design and maintenance. Before you even start publishing posts, you should take a week or two trying to make your site look nice, in order not to have to maintain much for a while. Then when your blog grows you will have to do tasks to make sure your blog loads quickly, the images are compressed, etc. You can tackle a task a week and still stay current.
20 hours a week
Blogging as a part time job leaves you some time to do most of the above and still have time to post 4 times or more per week. The frequency of posting is a personal choice and you should experiment before deciding what you are comfortable with. Check your stats on Google Analytics to see after how many days without a post does traffic start to drop. I would recommend posting at least twice a week with a long post, or 4 times if you post smaller updates.
Of course taking a week long holiday will not affect your traffic much, but staying silent for months at a time then suddenly posting a couple of articles before disappearing again is not the way to engage an audience.
With 4 hours a day, you have time to write posts in advance, and build a queue of a few weeks of scheduled posts, which is great to then spend your time networking and promoting your blog.
40 or more hours a week
Blogging as a full time job is demanding, but you have no excuses not to push your blog to the top of your niche. As mentioned before, blogging takes time, so do not leave your full time job to start a website unless you have enough cash to live on for the first few months.
With 40 hours a week, no more excuses to have a less than perfect website. Your time will be shared between writing, networking, coding, dealing with advertisers, promoting your site… As you grow and grow it may be time to look into outsourcing some of the tasks you are not so good at, to focus on what you are your best at. Implying that you can afford to do so because your site is already generating money.
You can choose to pour all your efforts into one website, or to diversify, and have a few niche sites, some blogs, your own personal site, etc. if you want to make a living online, better not put your eggs in the same basket at first. You can then stop your less profitable operations to focus on the most successful.
I spend around 2-3 hours a day on my sites, but I have a VA who does some back office jobs for another 20 hours a week. Between the two, we put in our 40 hours. It may look like running a blog is just about putting a post up once in a while, but if you want to make money with it, there is are a lot of things to do backstage.
Do you blog? How long do you spend each day on your site?