Is doing a blog worth it? Well, that depends on what you want to get out of it. Ask yourself what it will cost to start up. How much time will you give to building it (and creating awesome content)? And what is your budget? It also depends on what you want to offer your audience. Do you plan to monetize your site to earn passive income? Do you want to sell digital products and/or make direct sales? When you have solid goals and a business strategy, a blog is one of the best ways to market in today’s world.
Some bloggers make good money selling their digital products. Others offer coaching and courses. Often this brings in more cash than the older systems like affiliate marketing and ad placement. Although blogging is a fiercely competitive industry it remains a lucrative source of income for hundreds and thousands of bloggers.
So how do you know if your blog is worth doing? Is the blogging market truly saturated, or can blossoming new bloggers still earn a decent living from their blogs?
Let’s find out.
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Today we’ll cover three areas:
- Why do people blog?
- What should a blogger budget for?
- And what must you do to make your blog worth doing?
With this information, you gain clarity to see whether starting a blog is worth it for you.
Let’s jump straight in!
When blogging started it was mainly used as a platform for journaling. And the context was social. This soon evolved into a way of teaching and sharing knowledge.
Today, it’s a vital aspect of digital marketing. It is a form of content marketing aimed at a predetermined target audience, with the goal of increasing traffic through the site. The more people that visit, the more chance you have to convert them into customers (and sales.) It’s then that you start making a regular income and can benefit from passive streams of revenue.
A blog can be a stand-alone site, created as a way to generate passive streams of income. It can create awareness about a cause, passion, or product. And it can also be added to the existing website of a business. In this case, the blog content promotes the service, brand, or product.
Blog content not only boosts awareness of products and services, but it’s also an excellent way to provide information relevant to a business or brand. Visitors that find helpful advice, and thorough reviews, are more likely to continue using that site as a go-to for accurate, reliable information.
When visitors convert to customers, all your hard work and planning start to pay off! And your blog becomes worth all the time and money spent.
Want to read more on The Benefits of Blogging.
Why start a blog?
Do any of these statements sound like you?
I want to blog because:
- I have a business and need a blog as a content marketing strategy.
- Or I have a business and need a blog to educate prospective clients on my brand, products, and services.
- Or maybe I have a cause I’m passionate about and want to blog so that I can get others excited about it too.
- Because I want to create passive streams of income and a blog sounds like a viable way to do this.
- I want to increase traffic through my existing website, and I believe a blog will help.
- I love writing and want to share my thoughts and experiences with a like-minded audience.
Answer yes to any of these questions and blogging is going to be worth it for you!
But it will only be worth it if you are serious about putting in the time and applying certain practices. A blog that no one reads is definitely not worth doing, so promoting your blog, and generating traffic, is part of the process. Know before you start that it will be hard work. The good news is, it won’t cost an arm and a leg! In fact, many bloggers have learned this the hard way, spending loads on promotion only to find the organic (unpaid) traffic gets better results.
There are a number of ways you can start a blog. Many of you will read articles like ours. Some will take courses or even hire professionals to set it up. You can read my step-by-step guide on How To Start A Blog. But this article is covering the essential components of blogging.
We are going to look at:
- The costs of setting up, maintaining, and monetizing your blog.
- What you must be prepared to do. (I cover 11 main criteria.)
- And what your earning potential could be, based on simple, actionable goals.
What Makes Doing A Blog Worth It?
A blog is definitely worth doing if you:
- Want financial independence and control over your earning potential.
- Like the freedom of working from home or anywhere that has an internet connection.
- Enjoy the freedom that comes with unconventional and flexible working hours.
- Want to be self-employed on a part-time or full-time basis.
- Want to create passive streams of income.
- Monetize your blog successfully.
- Can convert traffic into revenue.
- Are prepared to spend some money in the right places and on the right things.
- Have services, courses, or products to offer.
How Do You Make Blogging Worth It – The 11 Focus Points:
4 Essential Components That Make Doing A Blog Worth It
It’s not going to be easy and it’s not going to be fast. Building a blog has many elements. You need to plan. You need to teach yourself the basics (or pay someone to teach you.) And you need to stay motivated, believe in the niche you have chosen, and the content you produce. All these things take time. And usually, just before you give up, you persevere that bit longer, and BAM! Things start to happen.
You may also like: Blog Niche Ideas: How To Choose The Most Profitable Blog Niche.
Will you be able to set realistic goals, and can you commit to setting time aside for your blog. This applies to those who are starting a blog and still have a full-time job elsewhere. But it’s also for full-time bloggers.
- Planning content,
- Creating that content,
- Doing keyword research and applying SEO techniques,
- Following up on emails,
- Checking orders and stock (if you have an online store),
- And many small details that need attention, all takes time.
To save time you will need to use plugins and software, like automated email marketing tools, analytics to track digital interactions, and SEO toolkits, like Yoast.
3. Adaptability and Consistency
This seems a contradiction, right? How can you stay consistent if you keep changing things? But consistency refers to keeping certain things the same. For example, writing style and tone, fonts and formats, posting at regular times, and creating content consistent with your niche.
Adaptability is the ability to change strategies when you see you aren’t hitting realistic targets. Stay on top of your analytics, read your target audience, and be prepared to change the way you write content to keep up with Google’s search engine algorithms. Stay informed on the problems your target audience needs solutions to.
4. Learn from your blogging mistakes (and the mistakes of others!)
These are common mistakes you can avoid from the start:
Don’t use free hosting
When you start a blog with the intention of monetizing, never use a free domain or host. When you do this your URL will appear long and cumbersome, putting potential advertisers off. Readers will be skeptical as to whether you are serious about your brand and even question your authority on your topic.
The other reason for self-hosting is faster speed and more space. When you use plugins your site will slow down. This won’t be an issue on a paid plan. Your space, and pages, will be limited with both free and basic plans. And if you are doing a blog, to make money, you will need the extra space as well as quality SEO plugins. Plugins add up. You start out with the bare minimum, but as you tweak and improve your blog the need for more plugins can’t be avoided. You want to be able to
- share posts across social media platforms,
- add videos,
- use analytics,
- add secure payment options,
- and eventually even add an online store, using something like Shopify or WooCommerce.
Don’t start blogging without a plan
Set up a blogging calendar and content strategy first. And stick to it. Use a clear writing style. Use apps like Grammarly and Hemingway to help you make your posts clear, concise, and easy to read. Create content that is consistent with your topic, adds value, and answers problems.
Don’t spend blindly
Spend wisely – Research what successful bloggers do. Take note of what they did wrong and don’t do the same! A common mistake is overspending on social media platforms, only to find it brings no return on investment.
Use sites like MarketingProfs, Bluehost, or OptinMonster to get blogging statistics that show you where to spend and which criteria to meet. Criteria, in this case, could mean word count and types of posts like lists, guides, how-to posts, etc.
Want to read more on Common Mistakes Amateur Bloggers Make?
7 Strategies To Make Doing A Blog Worth It
1. Build Your Blog The Right Way
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This means choosing the right blog name, the right blogging niche, and the right hosting platform (to start with.) We recommend Bluehost, especially if you are a beginner. As time goes on, you may want to switch to another platform. With Bluehost, you will have that option. They have affordable paid options when you want to upgrade or monetize.
Many sites, like Weebly and Wix, let you build your website for free (hosting included.) Don’t do it! You’ll be locked in, with no option to migrate at a later stage. If anything were to happen to that company, you would lose both your traffic and content. Basically, you’d have to start from scratch. Remember, blogging is a long-term endeavor, so start off on the right foot.
2. Know Your Target Audience
Who are you writing for? And how do you figure this out? Before you even start a blog, you need to know what you want to blog about. Choose a topic that you are passionate about and familiar with. You want to establish your blog to “speak” with authority. What problems can you solve for people?
If you are already working in a specific field, then your task is easier. If you are taking a courageous leap into the unknown, you need to stay true to yourself. Never start a blog for the money. That is a surefire way to fail. On the other hand, if you are passionate about money, then starting a finance blog could be a viable option.
Perhaps you specialize in horticulture, start a gardening blog. Or maybe you are a life coach and can offer online coaching sessions or self-help courses. Cater to an audience that shares your interests, you’ll find it easier to build great working relationships and loyal customers.
3. Create The Right Content
Content should cater to your target audience. Find out what they are looking for and what problems are common. By researching social media platforms like Pinterest, YouTube, and Instagram you will discover gaps that exist within your niche. Perhaps certain problems don’t seem to have many solutions available. Swoop in and fill these gaps.
Sticking to your topic will help build your online presence and authority. People will know, based on the number of articles geared towards a certain topic, that your blog is the site to visit for reliable, accurate content. Create quality content over quantity. This not only helps build your reputation, it also means Google’s search crawlers have a better chance of finding you and placing you in the right category with a good ranking.
Apply the AIDA principle to your blog posts.
A – Attention: You need a strong hook at the beginning of the post to grab your readers’ interest.
I – Interest: Once you have their attention, you must follow through with information on how this post will solve a problem.
D – Desire: Once the interest levels are piqued, your content must entice and appeal to your readers’ emotions and logic.
A – Action: This must be followed in the closing by a call to action (CTA.) The relevant plugins will unlock features to create boxes, widgets, favicons, and buttons. These will lead your readers to either subscribe to your newsletter, sign up for free offers, or purchase what you are selling.
4. Promotion and Email Marketing
Will your blog still be worth doing if it isn’t ranked on the first page? Yes, it will be! Imagine if everyone who didn’t rank high just stopped blogging? Users would be left with a small choice of possibly substandard content. It has been proven that much of the traffic through sites is organic (as opposed to paid methods.) And the reason for this is self-promotion.
Network with bloggers in the same niche. Post across social media platforms. Use multiple forms of media like videos, live streaming, images, and excellent written content. Be active on social media platforms and get the relevant plugins. For example, plugins that allow you to post tweets on your blog. Offer discounts and specials. Run competitions, offer free stuff! People can’t resist free digital products like ebooks, white papers, and step-by-step guides.
The importance of email marketing cannot be emphasized enough. Email marketing done right can bring 38x return on investment, according to Neil Patel, a leading digital marketer. Learn as much as you can about email marketing so that your blog is worth doing.
5. Know Your Stuff
Become familiar with the terms used in blogging. Here are 15 blogging terms to start you off. (There are loads more!)
- Inbound/outbound links
- Inbound/outbound marketing
- Meta description
- Keyword research
- Meta tags
- Alternative test/tag
- Bounce rate
- Lead scoring
- And a host of abbreviations like API, URL, CTA, and more.
Don’t be overwhelmed, many of these terms are described on your WordPress dashboard with outbound links to definitions. So once you are set up you will be guided, just by using your dashboard and your SEO plugin (which can be free or paid.) WordPress provides you with a basic version to get started.
Research blogging stats
- Posting 16 times, or more per month, gets 4.5 times as many leads as blogs that only post 4 times or less. But remember, quality beats quantity every time.
- Blog posts of 2,000 words plus get better results.
- 36% of readers prefer list-based headings.
- Businesses that blog get 97% more links to their websites.
- 34% of bloggers say updating content brings results, but only 38% update their older content.
- Businesses who blog double their email traffic.
- A heading of 6-8 words increases the CTR (click-through-rate) by 21%.
When you arm yourself with this kind of information and apply the same strategies, doing a blog will be SO worth it!
6. Learn How To Grow Traffic
As I mentioned above, get familiar with marketing strategies and apply them. Email marketing, like blogging, is still very relevant and extremely important for converting traffic to leads and leads to sales.
7. Get The Relevant Plugins
The most important plugins are your SEO and email marketing software. Almost every company will offer either a free trial or a basic free package, with the option to upgrade. This makes blogging a low-risk investment. It’s also designed to be affordable for beginners and makes blogging very accessible.
Cover All Your Bases
To make your blog worth the time and effort make sure you:
- Know in advance what your monthly costs will be.
- Have enough money to pay for these costs yearly.
- Create a tight content marketing strategy. This includes planning your blogging calendar and creating your blog content.
What are the start-up costs of a blog?
A blog costs money whether it’s used as the main hook to generate income or as an extra platform to increase traffic to your site. You shouldn’t avoid paying for services like:
- Hosting – from $3,00 (with Bluehost, you get this deal and a free domain for a year.)
- Themes – free and paid (paying for a theme is a good investment down the line because paid themes have extra features.)
- Plugins – free and paid (these include SEO, analytics, and getting buttons for social media feeds, sharing buttons, automated mailing software, and more.)
- SEO tools – free and paid (Yoast SEO has a basic free package that will get you started. You can upgrade later.)
- Analytics – free and paid. Only 5% of bloggers don’t use analytics.
- Email Marketing Tools – like Mailchimp (free.) As soon as your traffic hits over 1,000, you can upgrade to a paid package.
- Security – included in the hosting package, essential if you are accepting payments online and get people’s personal info and email addresses.
So is doing a blog worth it
Check if your domain name is available
And this is where we need to ask, “Is doing a blog worth it?” And the answer is, most often, YES!! The good news for amateur bloggers is that most of these things are available for free. It can cost as little as $3-5 per month! That’s $36 – $60 per annum! And most hosting platforms offer all of the above, especially if you take the more comprehensive package deals. This is convenient and works out cheaper than if you had to purchase each component separately.
But if you are serious, you must prepare to spend in the right places. The list above covers the criteria your blog needs to run smoothly and efficiently. It also allows you to keep abreast of what your visitors are doing, where you are lacking, and where you are nailing it.
As long as the blog can pay for itself, it’s worth it. But most of us want our blogs to be profitable and popular (see my article: The most popular blogs.) Even if money is not a problem, you’ll still need to apply certain principles, like consistency, stellar content, and good customer service, to make it great.
Before you think about “going live,” you’ll need to decide on a name and topics, create a content marketing strategy, and build up a supply of content that you can release at regular intervals. You’ll find helpful articles here.
While you are creating content for your blog, you’ll have time to start saving up for the initial outlay. This applies specifically to bloggers that are going for deluxe offers and want to pay for 24-36 months in advance.
WordPress.org as your CMS
We recommend using WordPress.org as your CMS (content managing system.) Not only is it free, but it’s also open-source. Open source has many advantages.
Here’s just five:
- Simple licensing with no vendor lock-ins
- Integrated management
- Wide support network
- High-quality software at lower costs
- Easy to scale and merge when your blog or business grows
But please pay for hosting. Using free hosting platforms not only sends the wrong message to prospective customers, but it also limits you when the time comes to monetize. No affiliates will want to be associated with a site that has a URL like www.blogonyourown.wordpress.com. You will never own your content or be able to migrate to another hosting platform. Look how sleek www.blogonyourown.com appears, compared to the “free” URL.
Cost #1 – Hosting and Domains
Every domain needs a hosting platform. There are many providers to choose from. Here are some examples of host providers:
- A2 Hosting
- Scala Hosting
- Accuweb Hosting
- And many more
You get a free domain for the first year when you sign up with Bluehost. They also offer an easy 1-Click WordPress installation for your blog.
Cost #2 – Increasing Traffic and Growing Subscribers
Knowing who you’re blogging for is vital. When your content resonates with the visitors to your blog, they will return. And watching your subscriber list grow makes doing a blog worth it, for sure!
But how will you keep track of subscribers, answer queries, analyze your site’s activity, and send out newsletters once your numbers go from, say 10 to 100 to 1000? And how will you convert traffic into revenue?
Most email automation platforms have both free plans and paid upgrades Here is a list of popular email automation services:
- Campaign Monitor
SEO is essential.
Cost #3 – Monetizing Your Blog:
1. Ad placement
This strategy can work if you have enormous amounts of traffic. But the downside is that unless you can choose your ads and where they go, you run the risk of cheapening the overall appearance of your blog. And when compared to other methods, it isn’t that lucrative.
2. Affiliate Marketing
This is a great way to create passive income. As blogging evolves, so do affiliate marketing strategies. Today, many more companies and businesses have integrated this option into their systems. Thanks to the ease of using plugins, bloggers can collaborate with interesting and unique companies and even other bloggers.
3. Digital Products
Can you offer courses and coaching? This is by far the most lucrative way to make money from a blog. Say you have a $150 course that appeals to your niche market; you only need 100 takers to make $15,000. Okay, so you won’t sell 100 courses every month, but if you slowly build up a catalog and offer a range of courses, ebooks, and other valuable toolkits, you may well hit targets close to this figure.
And what if you could offer something of value for $500? Only 10 takers, and you’ve made $5,000. It’s good to do these kinds of projections. It helps you set achievable goals and you create long-term targets to work towards.
With a combination of short and long-term targets, good planning, consistency, sound strategies, and perseverance, you could be in the top 30% of bloggers earning a comfortable living from blogging.
What’s The Verdict?
Before I sign off, let’s run through the main points again. You can jot these down and stick them up on your roster, or notice board, as a constant reminder of why doing a blog is worth it. And what you should be focusing on to make it so!
Approach blogging with:
- Time management
- Adaptability and consistency
- And a willingness to learn from mistakes
Pay attention to these areas:
- Self-hosting over free hosting
- Your target audience
- Promotion and marketing
- SEO strategies
- Wise spending in the right places
And last but not least:
- Educate yourself on digital marketing and pay attention to what the statistics tell you about the top bloggers.
Read all our best articles on blogging here. You will find a tremendous amount of sound advice, awesome ideas, and inspiration. And if you had any doubts about blogging’s validity in 2020, I hope this post has vaporized them!
Now get blogging!!!!