I never thought I would be a writer. I never thought writing could pay bills. And I especially never thought my writing would pay my bills. But since 2011, I’ve produced over 600 articles and $1.5 million blogging.
Now, I’m not here to convince you that you’re the next millionaire blogger. However, I am going to show you how possible it is to earn a realistic salary ($4,000-$6,000 per month) as a full-time blogger.
I know what you’re thinking, “how do you make money blogging?” To be honest, you don’t. The traditional income streams (think ads or paid posts) for bloggers are CRAP.
You see, blogging has nothing to do with making money, but blogging has everything to do with building an audience. The money is in the audience.
In this lesson, I will share how I’ve used my blog to build my audience and how I’ve created useful products to solve my audience’s problems. It’s this unique relationship of attracting people and solving their problems that allow average people to earn above-average salaries writing on the topics they love.
Step 1. It’s About Getting People To Fall In Love With You
Blogging falls in a category of story telling I call “persona marketing”. A strategy built on the idea that your personality is the heart of what you’re selling. With this, comes a completely different set of tactics and standards in comparison to traditional product marketing. When it comes to selling yourself… confidence, authenticity, and relationships become your go-to tools.
For me, it’s been an intentional journey of making friends with a million people. To share my family, struggles, lessons, ideas, and thoughts with those who follow me. And just like with any friendship, it’s my hope to add value to their life. The more this happens, the more loyalty occurs. And loyalty is the heart of a successful blogger.
Real Life Example: On my Instagram account, I do something a bit different than other users. Every post is a lesson. I actually call them #DaleyWisdom. Ultimately, it’s a collection of short teachings attached to a photo from my life. It’s a place to share my deepest thoughts and if you look at the comments, people really enjoy them.
While loyalty is the goal, it’s a slow burn. Falling in love with someone’s story requires history, variety, and well-rounded look at their life. In my experience, this meant producing an array of content from articles and short videos to podcasts and even books. It meant buying a nice camera to share my story with quality. It meant hiring a photographer a few times per year for new head shots, lifestyle photos, and visual aids to deepen the connection with my followers.
Bottom line: You must build an audience BEFORE you build a product. People follow people, not blogs. You are the one worth following. Stepping into that reality takes time. Finding your online voice takes time. But the sooner you can leverage your blog as a platform to share your story in a useful and engaging manner, the sooner you’ll have a community of people who trust you. And when people trust you, they buy from you.
Step 2. Produce Lessons, Not Articles
The next step for turning your passion into a profession is to understand what makes compelling content. As we all know, the internet has no shortage of things to read. But it does have a shortage of things worth reading.
As someone aiming to build an audience, you must produce substance and meaning. Words that grow people. Lessons that are of such worth it is a shock to receive them at no cost. For me, I have have produced a personal promise that every word which leaves my body will educate, elevate, or enhance those who receive it. No social media post, no video, and no article is released without this intention.
Real Life Example: Here is one of my favorite lessons of all time.
4 Signs Of A Leader Worth Following
Package this discipline with consistency and say… 52 weeks, and you have a powerful recipe for building a loyal following.
Bottom Line: Every post should have a purpose. People are overwhelmed with the internet. They desire a voice to follow. Someone who is willing to share their journey and produce content that doesn’t add noise, but actually improves the lives of those who read it.
Step 3. Consistency Is Greater Than Frequency
You’re flying now. Let’s say you’ve built a strategy around your personality. People are falling in love with your story and you’re producing useful content that improves the lives of those who follow you.
Next is the grind. The nature of the internet is speed, consumption, and what’s next. And while you might be able to produce 3 lessons per week today, it’s unlikely you can hold that pace for over a year.
The trick to successful blogging is a commitment to a realistic number of posts per week.
For me, I post 1 article, 1 podcast, and 1 video. I also share this content through a weekly email and daily social media posts. For example, I send an email out every Wednesday or Thursday to my 40,000 subscribers, I post both old and new content on my Facebook page Monday-Saturday at 8am, 12pm, and 6pm, and I post to Instagram 6 days per week between 5-7pm. (Note: I also have scheduled postings on YouTube and Twitter that offer a more automated touch).
Bottom Line: Blogging without a commitment to a consistent content schedule doesn’t work. Start slow but never add something that can’t be sustained. Momentum requires regularity. You can’t build a friendship with a million people if they never know when to expect you.
Step 4. Solve Your Audience’s Problem
So here it is. You’ve finally spent a year building a loyal following with a community of people who love you. You’ve offered them value and you’ve been consistent. You’ve learned who they are, what posts perform best, what content drives the most engagement, and what they want more of. But most importantly, you’ve likely learned what you community cares about and where they need help.
This is your shot. Because you’ve built trust with your audience over a sustained period of time. Because they know you’re not a fly-by-night operation trying to sell them something just to turn a buck. You have power. You have trust.
The next step toward making a realistic salary as a blogger is to launch your first product. A product that solves the problems of your audience. It might be an e-book, a video course, a fashion guide, a life plan, a journal, creative stationary, a designer bag, or just some clever new invention.
Whatever it is, this is your big chance. This is your moment to add even more value to your audience. An opportunity bring them deeper into your community. And most importantly, a chance for your to make an income (that you’ve totally earned).
For me, I spent many years teaching people how to not only build the business they like, but the family they love. I wrote hundreds of articles on how to find a healthy work-life balance and how to build a business with integrity. After months of growing my audience, I recognized my their most pressing problem was not knowing how to start a business. They had great ideas. Tons of passion. The willingness to take a chance. They just felt intimidated to pull the trigger.
And that’s why I created my StartupCamp curriculum. A 12 month step-by-step video coaching course on how to launch a business. It’s beautifully designed, easy to follow, and over 1,000 students have now enrolled. You can learn more about it below.
Bottom Line: When you pair a loyal following with a good product you always get a profitable business. The journey to get here can be intimidating. I clearly understand that. But a year from now, you’ll wish you started today. And if you need help, I’m here for you.
Do you want to make an income as a blogger? What’s stopping you? Was any of this information helpful? Let me know in the comments below.