A few days ago, I received this message from a friend:
I get a version of this question about once a month.
“I’d love to blog like you do, where do I start?”
So here’s a secret… my blog doesn’t make any money.
Blogs don’t usually make money.
Blogs are fun.
Blogs are a great conversation starter.
Blogs can open doors.
But the money doesn’t come from the blog.
There’s a few reasons for this:
- A blog by itself is inherently worthless. Even a good blog. In order to get anyone to see your blog, you have to drive traffic to it. Which, in most circumstances costs money. In all circumstances costs time and effort.
- Once you have traffic, it’s fairly difficult to capture your readers in any meaningful way. That takes skill. It’s helpful that the skill to get people to stay, or click, or sign up… is the skill that I write about… copywriting.
- Once you capture your readers, you have to have something to do with them. Like, sell them products or services.
So the next part is, how do you make money then?
Well there are a lot of people online with a lot of different answers to that.
Some will disagree with me. Some make a lot more money than me.
But honestly, most of them make a lot less money than me… despite what they say.
In the video above, I give you the answer not to “how can my niece make money online” but instead to “Abbey, how do you make money online?”
Here’s my answer:
I write copy for clients.
Copy is different than blog posts. (I explain that in more detail here). The short of this is: I write things that make other people a lot of money. And then, they give me some of that money.
I help copywriters with their business.
KC and I have a site called The Business of Copy where we provide resources like contract templates, project planning spreadsheets, video training, and more. Copywriters pay a monthly fee for access.
I help companies hire, train, and retain great copywriters.
Some of my clients have needs that I can’t fill by myself. Sometimes they need content writers, sometimes they need a whole team of writers. But usually, they’re not sure how to do that in a way that retains their voice.
Here’s what some other people do:
The Writer’s Market.
The Writer’s Market is an annual guide of publications that pay freelancers for articles as well as instructions on how to submit articles for publications. This is the best way to get published in “Big Name” magazines.
There are thousands of agencies that hire all types of writers: technical writers, copywriters, article writers… even ghost writers and editors for books.
Starting an Online Business.
There are a lot of other ways to make money online through ads, affiliate marketing, and online courses. Here are a couple resources to get you started.
- Ramit Sethi’s Guide to Online Business Ideas
- Daniel DiPiazza’s Guide to How Online Entrepreneurs Make Money
Here’s another secret.
My passion writing… my English-degree-touting self… That’s on another blog. A blog with a pseudonym. That blog doesn’t make any money at all. That blog is my outlet.
The problem is, a lot of people see one and assume because it exists, that it is profitable. This is a huge mistake online. They graduate and they want to do that. Sip coffee in pajamas and write. That’s not the way it works for most of us.
You have to find a thing. A thing that people will pay for and use that to make money while you write about love and loss for fun. Because I haven’t found a way to get paid for the latter yet.
What’s the point of the blog if it doesn’t make money?
So if all of the above is true, why create the blog at all?
The blog serves a lot of purposes for me:
Brings people into my world. Someone will share a post I made with their audience and sometimes their audience includes clients that need copy or copywriters that need help with their business.
Keeps people in my world. We’re busy. I’m not so arrogant to think that someone that read and liked a post of mine once gives me one ounce of thought after that. So continually creating allows me to stay top of mind with my audience.
Adds credibility. When a potential client or customer Googles me they can see that I exist and I have an audience.
Gives my clients and intro to who I am and what I know. Before we even hop on a call, a potential client can get an idea of my expertise and outlook.
And… not the least of which, I enjoy it! I’m a writer at heart so producing new content for the blog is something that’s fun for me. It’s an outlet where I control what I say and when.