The Truth Revealed: Is Blogging A Good Career In 2020?

When I first started blogging the only thing I had on my mind was my own financial freedom. Little did I know that blogging as a career needs to be seen from several different standpoints. Entrepreneur blogger, Corporate Blogger, Creative Writer.

Each path has a slightly different level of risk and reward. So lets run through what this all means and how it affects the answer to your question “Is Blogging A Good Career?”

Table Of Content

What Does a Blogger Do?

There is far more to blogging than meets the eye. To run a successful blog you need to be a jack of all trades; writer, editor, creative, graphic designer, influencer, SEO, social media expert as well as having basic finance skills.

It’s really like running a small business. Contrary to what most people think, it is not about being paid to sit at home to write just a few flowery words. A good blogger will write an informative and insightful account of a topic.

Okay, writing skills are of primary importance in this profession, but there are several other activities that a blogger is required to perform to get people to read their blog.

Is Blogging A Good Career?

Well… yes. But there are four different ways to view blogging and three ways to turn it into a successful career path. So lets understand a little bit more about these different paths:

  1. Professional Blogger
  2. Hobby Blogger
  3. Corporate Content Creator
  4. Agency Content Creator

Professional Blogging

There are a growing number of bloggers out there who have taken up blogging as a full-time career, and in fact turned it into a profitable business model.

Just like any other profession, it is hard work with no short cuts or get rich quick fast tracking. There are not so many bloggers who write solely for the creative satisfaction. Most people blog to be able to create a regular source of income to get the tax man away.

A typical day for a blogger is about responding to scores of enquiries, sending direct email pitches to clients, and learning the ropes of profitable internet business.

Much like any other occupation, blogging requires you to embody a number of characteristics. Never diminishing thirst for research and learning, effective negotiation skills and the ability to write with expression and purpose

Anyone considering entering the blogging profession needs to be determined. But the rewards can be very significant if you can learn all of the associated skills that come with blogging. You need to see past just being a writer or a creative.

Hobby Blogging

Hobby blogging was hugely popular ten, maybe twenty years back. But we don’t really hear to much about them anymore. Or at least they are viewed through a commercial lens nowadays, given the thousands of success stories we have seen. Bloggers making $5,000 or even $50,000 a month is a compelling draw.

Today everyone wants to monetize their blog, and rightly so. Why not see a return time, effort and skills.

Most blogs are trying to sell advertising, products or services. Whereas a hobby blog is merely an account of the writer’s interests and passions. Almost diary like in their writing approach. Often focusing on what the writers wants to say, opposed to what the reader wants to know.

It is a piece of writing that is focused on the writer’s creative and artistic outlet. A hobby blog is not centred earning a meaningful income. Having said that, it is still possible to turn a hobby blog into a cash generating website.

The main objective of a hobby blog is to provide the author a platform share their thoughts and perspective about a topic.

Become A Professional Blogger

If you aspire to become a professional blogger, there are a few things that you need keep in mind. Not everyone will be successful. There, I said it…

As with all things in life there are the top 1%. The people who rise to glory and get super rich. The next layer of people enjoy what I would call financial freedom. They work for themselves and can earn a six figure salary and create a valuable and saleable asset in the process.

Then sadly as always there are the people who don’t succeed first time, but hopefully learn a huge amount on their journey. Knowledge to be deployed in their next enterprising attempt.

Becoming a top professional blogger requires expert like subject knowledge. As well as a host of other digital marketing and entrepreneurial skills.

A blogger needs to be adept at search engine optimization, web design and promotional activities such as creating backlinks, guest blogging, interlinking, email marketing etc.

You could be an excellent writer but as far as blogging goes, you can achieve success only if you also understand how to be found on the crowded search engines of Google.

Flying solo as a writer and blogger can be a daunting task if you don’t have the right mentor, guidance or training advice.

Corporate Blogging

A corporate blog is basically a blog written for a company. Content is published with the intention of achieving whatever goals the company has set itself through its digital marketing strategy.

Corporate blogs are created, published and maintained by an in-house team, or sometimes outsourced to an agency, just like the services we offer.

The table below demonstrates the growing number of large companies blogging as a method to reach out to their audience.

Corporate Blogs
Fortune 500 Companies With Public Facing Blogs

In-House Content Marketing

Large companies will usually have an in-house marketing team with writers, graphic designers, SEO, web designers and so on. Hundreds of thousands of dollars will be budgeted on head count to product awesome content to deliver the businesses marketing strategy.

Blogger, or as they are called content creators, writers or the editorial team will product blog posts on the companies website to draw reader to their website and the a point of sale. Maybe converting that reader into buying a physical product or a service.

The downside with this in-house approach is the overhead. Meaning the cost of employing a team on full time contracts. There is also the age old problem for all marketing departments across the land of – stale content. From time to time the pool of creativity can run dry.

When the in-house team runs out of ideas, its great to tap into a fresh group of creatives who can re-ignite the project. That’s where agencies can play a role.

Agencies: Blog Writing Companies

Agencies are usually small businesses made up of either in-house content producers and often a group of freelance contributors. Agencies tend fill the corporate marketing gap for larger companies. As well as performing the majority if not all marketing functions for small to medium sized businesses.

It’s often just too much of a distraction for small business to commit to full time creative employees who need to be generalists. You really do need access to specialist marketing skills in todays competitive landscape.

Many Businesses Now Use Blogs to Promote Themselves

Blogs are a great way to promote products and services or simply raise brand awareness.

Imagine you are a new company. No one knows what you do and no one has ever heard of you. The marketing team are tasked with changing this. The old school approach would have been to create leaflets to mail out, issue Press Releases (PR) or buy advertising space in hardcopy publications.

All of that still happens today. The new channel to reach your audience is through search engines. Companies but website out there and their success is determined by their content and whole set of criteria created by Google.

The long and short of it is to reach the top of the search engines you need content. Great content. A lot of great content. The easiest and cheapest way to achieve this is with a blogging approach. Content that attempts to answer questions prospective customers are typing into Google.

If you can answer these question you will be seen as an authority on your topic and people will build up a trust for your opinion, services and products.

Corporate Blogging Best Practices

If your entrepreneurial spirit takes you on the path of professional blogging, you are free to do and say what you want. I mean on the internet there are no barriers.

You writing style, your tone, your subject matter is purely down to you. Or more accurately dependent of what your audience want. So lets say you could blog about adult topics or be highly satirical with your content, or take a political or controversial stand point to get a specific agenda across to your reader.

Corporate Guidelines

In corporate blogging forget all of that. There are rules. Companies has spent a lot of money on establishing their position in the market, their brand, their reputation. So any corporate marketing department will have guidelines for you to follow as a writer.

Say In Your Lane

To maintain corporate reputation everyone needs to know their role in the organisation and understand their boundaries. If you explore a career as a corporate content creator or writer then expect to be limited to one function.

The chances are you wont be able to try a bit of SEO, or graphic design, as this becomes difficult for managing to stick to quality and policy standards. You’re there to be a writer.

How Do You Become a Blogger And Get Paid

You basically have three options when considering is blogging a good career and will it make you money:

Employed Writer

Employed by a company within their in-house marketing team, or employed by an agency as a writer or content creator. This is a salaried job, meaning your income is fixed and paid monthly.

Freelance Writer

We will look into a freelance writer a little later. But in short it is a self-employed position and you work on a job-by-job basis, writing for clients, companies or other blogs.

Blog Owner

This is where it get really interesting. You run your own blog and treat it like a business. Generating traffic that you convert into sales by monetizing areas of your website.

So where do these blogging jobs get advertised, or how do you set yourself up as a freelancer or blog owner. Well lets move onto answer each of those questions…

Where To Find Blogging Jobs

If you want work within a team environment and have the stable and consistent income from being employed then corporate blogging may be the right choice for you.

Finding these jobs can be a bit of a wild goose chase if you don’t know what to look for. First off you may struggle by searching for ‘Blogging Jobs’. The reality is the role of writer within a job description title is usually labelled as something like…

  • Content Creator
  • Copy Writer
  • Creative Writer
  • Ghost Writer
  • Blog Writer

For the corporate jobs check out the usual job boards where you would find standard full time job vacancies.  Start of by looking the usual big players.

Average Blogger Salary

Now here I’m talking specifically about a full time employed blogger working for an agency or within a companies in-house marketing team.

According to the annual salary report from Glassdoor the average copy writer salary sits around $58,465 in the United states and fair bit less in the UK, on average £28,000.

Average Copywriter Salary
Average Copywriter Salary

So its not a shabby wage. Plus you get the comfort of full time employment and no doubt some good benefits for working within a corporate environment. But is there a more lucrative option for good writers and marketers?

Becoming A Freelance Blogger

Freelance Writers are the full time professional self employed wordsmiths. It’s the opportunity to remain in control of your own destiny, while taking gigs (jobs) and therefore payment from clients requiring specialist writing skills.

It’s not so different from the agency work I mentioned earlier, other than you are flying solo. Which means you need to know how to promote yourself on freelance websites. There are some very good places to start and I would recommend Fiverr as a great place for any aspiring freelancer to start their journey.

Just sign up to Fiverr here and post the freelance services gig’s you want to sell. It’s no more challenging that listing an item to sell on eBay.

Fiverr creates real value for freelancers by pulling in a huge audience for you to sell services to. They take a small fee from the buyers for consolidating thousands of skilled freelancers into one easy to use market place. Fair enough I say. Win Win.

Is Blogging A Good Career
Fiverr A Great Platform For Freelancers To Find Work

Get yourself listed on Fiverr and start your freelance career.

Freelance Blogger Salary

Strictly speaking freelancers are not salaried employees, they are freelance! So we need to talk a slightly different language. Freelancers typically charge by the word or quote each article to their clients.

Now the ‘cents per word’ approach is good for standard copy, but when you face a job that requires research or is technical, then you are going to be doing more than just writing. You can spend hours of your time researching to get under the skin of your subject matter.

How Much To Charge for Blog Posts

Freelance writers can charge anywhere between $0.03-$0.20 per word. Or looking at it another way a 1,000 word article would be between $30 and $200 per gig. There is a big difference between $30 and $200 and this is generally due to the skill and profile of the writer.  

If you can progress you career to get freelance jobs with top publications, your value will naturally go up. Of course the same applies if you are new, or have not achieved high profile guest posts then you will be on the lower end of the scale.

For planning purposes I think most blogger should work on the basis of $0.04 to $0.06 per word, to keep things realistic. Then a typical 2,000 word article would bring home around $80-$120 before expenses.

If your still unsure where to pitch your work head over to Fiverr and check out the going rates on offer so you are in touch with your competition.

Okay. So we have seen the different approaches to hobby blogging, corporate blogging, the agency content marketing. Lets get into the alternative option of being a full time pro blogger.

Blogging As A Business Model

This is where we AMP things up. It’s not so much about wanting to be a writer or a creative. This is about the money and entrepreneurship.

The aim of blogging as a your business is to scale and monetize you website traffic. Most bloggers who take this path are lured by the freedom this path can offer.

  • Be Your Own Boss
  • Working From Home
  • Work As Many Hours As Your Choose
  • No Limit On Earning Potential
  • Building A Saleable Asset

There no such thing as a ‘nailed on’ certainty. Many Pro Bloggers fail to breakthrough the crowd of content on Google. It is estimated there are 31 million blogger in the United States alone and in 2019 there were 4.4 million posts added to Google every day.

Writing outstanding content is just one of three pillars of excellence required to breakthrough and succeed as a pro blogger. It’s surprising how may full time blogger miss the critical requirements to make the grade, and get found on Google.

Running Your Blog

Lets run through the functions you need to master if you want to succeed in running a successful blog.

  • Content Creator
  • Web Designer
  • WordPress CMS
  • Image Editor
  • SEO
  • Email Marketer
  • Social Media Market
  • Influencer
  • Commercial Manager

Okay I’m exaggerating a little bit. There are so many things to do as a Pro Blogger you will need to outsource some of them at some point. However, in the beginning you do need to come to terms with each of these disciplines, at least at a basic level.

Outsourcing should only really begin when you have sight of where your income stream is coming from to fund employing freelancers to do this work for you.

You will need to prioritize what you can do and what expertise you need to pay for to get things progressing at the right tempo.

A Day in the Life of a Blogger

Many people think that the life of a full time blogger is all about being paid just to write a few fancy words. That is as far away from the truth as it gets. This is a business after all.

Content is King! Well it is up to a point…

As a pro blogger you really need to be on top of your research. I’m not talking researching the topics you want to write about. I referencing keyword research. The number one priority is creating traffic. To do this I and you need to know what people are searching for.

After a dose of keyword research you will need to research your subject. That is unless you are writing about something you have got your 10,000 hours on. Even then, research for references is still a good idea.

Once you’ve written you masterpiece, you need to do the website admin. Get that post onto your blog and allow Google to crawl it and index it.

Meantime, you then need to promote it. Engage with your social media channels, email your list, outreach as part of your PR strategy to generate backlinks.

Then…just like all other self employed workers, you need to do the admin. Pay the bills, check the income.

Starting as a blogger is anything but easy. It requires a lot of hard work and management. But success is a realistic goal if you follow a proven path. I would recommend training or aligning yourself to someone who has a proven track record, or industry expertise.

Do Bloggers Get Paid

In short, no. They are self employed. They generate income through sales, advertising and offering other value added services to clients. If you want to know more about this topic I suggest you read How Much Do Blogger Earn

Average Blog Owner Income

How long is a piece of string? I mean it’s a difficult question for a definitive answer.

But wait…I performed a personal study of 400 blog income reports a earlier this year, so that I could understand a few points:

  • What was the earning potential in blogging
  • What Niches earn the most money
  • How do blogger monetize their content, and which method was the best

Well, in summary I can tell you there are four categories of bloggers:

  1. The Small bloggers who earn up to $2,000 per month
  2. The Medium bloggers who earn between $2,000-$7,500 per month
  3. The High earners who generate between$7,500-$25,000 per month
  4. Then the Elite bloggers who earn $25,000+ each month

The results of my income study are too extensive to report here, so why not check out my income report study of over 400 blog owners here How Much Do Bloggers Earn

Social Media
Get Your Blog Noticed. Promote it!

How to Get People to Read Your Blog

There are many ways to attract readers to your blog. The first thing you need to do is find out where your audience hangs out.

Organic Search

Think Google. This is where you ask Google to crawl your blog and display you work in its search engine. This is organic, in so much that it is free and in theory evergreen, meaning it lasts forever

Paid Search

I’m sure you’ve seen Google ads at the top of your Google search results? Or maybe you’re familiar with the term Pay Per Click (PPC). You bid to win advertising space on Google or other similar platforms such as Facebook or Instagram.

Social Media

Create a channel or page on one of the many social media platforms and post content that people wish to consume. For example, if I was running a blog on Woodworking, I may post a piece of writing or a video on how to make a cabinet.

Reader can click through the link and go to my blog to read the full article.

Email Marketing

Once you figure out the best way to get people to your blog, you need to capture there email address. This is still the most valuable asset your business can have. If Google change the way they handle searches, or if Facebook decides to ban you…you still have an email list of your audience.

Posting new content to your email list gives you a direct connection with your followers.

PR

The principles of traditional PR still apply within the digital world. Promote your content on large well read publications or websites. Or maybe you can guest post one of your articles on someone else’s website.

There are hundreds of methods to explore. When you find one that works for you squeeze it dry. Don’t spread your resources too thin across too many methods.

How To Avoid A Dying Blog

Many bloggers start enthusiastically but lose motivation. A Lack of results is the number one reason why bloggers abandon their goal. Or perhaps more accurately, the results do not match their expectations.

It takes time for Google to index your blog, then on average it takes blog posts over one year to get into the top three search results on Google. Blogging is a slow burn. Just accept it and be prepared for it.

Here are my 5 top tips to avoid a dying blog:

  1. Set you expectations to fit inline with the 12-24 month timeframe Google needs
  2. Blog about a topic you enjoy. Or at least one that you can write about forever
  3. Make sure you do Keyword research. Only write answers to the questions your audience are looking for
  4. Promote your content. You cannot just upload a blog post and think the job is done.
  5. Be consistent. Your audience will need to be kept fed. Consistency cannot be under estimated
  6. Never give in. If you give in so will your blog.

How to Blog Consistently

Set yourself a schedule for posting. I would aim for one blog post per week as a minimum. It is better to produce a high quality post once a week than a mediocre post two or three times a week.

Don’t burn yourself out. A steady pace should allow you to maintain consistency. Peaks and troughs will not help you over the long term.

The Future of Blogging

Look, we know humans are inpatient creatures. We like to have answers super fast and we turn to Google for those answers. It’s become a way of life.

The point I’m getting to is that someone needs to provide those answers, and that’s the job of bloggers and content creators all over the world.

There is no doubt the search engine landscape is getting more competitive each year. As Google adjusts its algorithms in an attempt to get the purest result, this also re-shuffles the order of the results and in-turn opens up new opportunities.

Feature Snippets, Video Content, No-Click search results are all going to feature more as we move into the next phase of the digital evolution. So my advice is start now, and stay closely connected to the experts and trail blazers.

You can succeed, but you need to act and get the ball rolling.

Blogging is a great career.

Whether its getting creative within a corporate or agency environment. Recording you love for flower arranging as a hobby. Or pushing on to financial freedom, being your own boss and earning way beyond your wildest dreams.

Read How To Start Your Blog

Read How Much Do Bloggers Earn

Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting A Blog

There are just too many bloggers out there trying to make a quick buck from blogging.

Less than 8 to 10 percent succeed in creating a successful profitable blog. If you want to make it in the realm of blogging, you need to be able to write with a certain distinction. But more importantly you need to be efficient. Here’s my top 5 tips of things I wish I knew before starting a blog:

  1. You need to be serious and committed. Success is not around the corner. But when you get there, oh my its rich
  2. Expect to put skin in the game. You will need to put some money down at some point. It’s a business after all
  3. Build your Email List from day one. This is the lifeblood of your income stream
  4. Keyword research is more important than the quality of your writing. Seriously! True, you need knowledge, but average writing can succeed so don’t be put off it you are not William Shakespeare
  5. Writing more blog posts is not always the answer. Focus more time on promoting your blog and squeezing every last drop out of the digital assets you have already created

I Want To Start a Blog But I Don’t Know What to Write About

This depends on what your goal is. If you want to write for the pleasure of writing then just do it.

If you want to monetize your blog in the future then base your blog on content that gets lots of search traffic and has great potential for monetizing. This generally means you need to find a subject niche with lots of potential.

To help you get started read 500 Profitable Blog Niche Ideas

Is Blogging A Good Career

Hopefully we have taken you some way to answering this question for yourself. As with any career path, you need to decide what your preferences are. A lower risk corporate job as a copy writer, or the higher risk opportunity to find financial freedom and the earning capacity only limited by your own ambitions.

Good luck whichever way you choose to go

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Blogs and Article the Same Thing?

The main differences between an article and blogs are the length and the writing style. Typically a blog will be more conversational versus formal and very often a bit shorter than an article. Blogs range from 300-7000 words, whereas an article will be 1,000+ words.

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