How long does it take to make money blogging?
If you’re focused and determined, you can monetize your blog in one year or less.
That being said, it isn’t as simple as writing more content or taking better photographs.
So what does it take to become a professional blogger?
Keep reading to hear powerful advice from 20 creators living full-time off their websites.
Psst, don’t forget to pin this post for later!
20 Tips For Taking Your Blog Full-Time In One Year
1. Grow a well-nurtured email list
Email marketing for bloggers is a topic I’m extremely passionate about, though I’ve noticed it often gets overlooked by those just starting out.
Your email list is comprised of your most dedicated fans; the ones who can’t wait to hear from you, read your content, watch your videos, and more.
But how do you actually get people onto your list?
By offering value-packed opt-in freebies that help your community solve a problem quickly and give them a taste of your expertise.
Note that it’s first helpful to:
- Have a solid mission statement so you know who you help and how. A template you can use is “I help [group of people] do [how you help].”
- Know what products/services — either your own or those created by affiliate partners — you’ll eventually pitch.
Knowing these two things allows you to create an opt-in freebie that truly serves your audience and attracts the people who would truly benefit from your product.
My free profitable blogging webinar dives deep into this powerful strategy.
-Jessie Festa, Jessie on a Journey
2. Commit to your blog from the start
I’ve been blogging full-time for seven years now and my biggest tip is to commit.
So many people fail because they don’t go all in.
They are hesitating in some way and aren’t giving enough time to their blog.
If you really want to make it, you’ve got to fully commit, put in the time, and go full speed ahead.
-Kristin Addis, Be My Travel MuseWhat is your best advice for taking a #blog full-time? Here are 20 powerful tips from professional bloggers! #ProfitableBlogging
3. Remember that it’s not about you
4. Pick a niche for your blog and stick to it
5. Focus on evergreen blog content
6. Be strategic on every decision
-Bruna from I Heart BrazilOne tip for becoming a #ProfessionalBlogger: Treat your blog as a business that offers *real* value and helps a group of people in some way. Here are 20 more #BloggingTips!
7. Treat it as a real business that offers real value
Understand from the beginning that:
- It’s a full-time job
- You need to provide content that actually helps other people in some useful way
- There will be obstacles that you’ll need to push through
These three aspects are often overlooked by those who think that blogging is an easy way to make quick money.
Realizing that hard work and dedication and a business sense are vital to the success of a blog will ensure you have a much higher chance of succeeding.
8. Establish a target audience
9. Engage with other bloggers
10. Create a plan that works for you
11. Find power in the word “no”
12. Create a content schedule
13. Outsource mundane tasks
I was very skeptical about being able to take my website to full-time within a single year, but I’m happy to report that nine months into my journey, I’ve done so.
I think my best tip to encourage others to become a full-time blogger in a year is that if you’re short on time like me, you need to be willing to outsource mundane tasks to be successful.
Things such as editing content, posting content, article research, and finding/creating images can all be outsourced to someone for a nominal fee.
While I still focus a lot of my time on deciding what content to write and creating the content itself, I’d much rather put my energy into that because it’s what really moves the needle in my business and has allowed me to create positive momentum for my website moving forward.”
-Ron from Prison Insight
14. Identify your niche keywords
So many bloggers focus on metrics like Domain Authority and pageviews, but there’s only one thing that really matters if you want to take your blog full time:
I learned early on that earning meaningful passive income from a website doesn’t require a huge number of page views.
Instead, the most important aspect to focus on is finding “buying keywords” that are fairly low competition and writing about them well.
Even if they are low volume, very niche keywords — often referred to as “long-tail keywords” as they tend to be three or more words long — can still be worth writing about if you think that you can quickly get to the first page of Google with a readership made of eager buyers just looking for your expertise!”
-Melissa from Travel Car Seat MomTruth: You don't need to be everywhere to build a #ProfitableBlog. Instead, focus on your strengths + throw yourself into mastering one strategy at a time. Click here to read all 20 #BloggingTips!
15. Focus on your strengths
Blogging is such an all-encompassing job that you can go crazy making to-do lists and trying to focus on 100 things at once.
But instead of spreading yourself too thin by splitting your time between writing content, producing YouTube videos, mastering Instagram and growing your Facebook, slow down!
Focus on one platform that you love until you have it under control before attempting to do everything.
-Katie & Ben from Two Wandering Soles
16. Attend local expos
-Tina Pik, Hangry By Nature
17. Focus on link-building
Many websites don’t focus on link building enough, even though it’s one of the things which can make or break your success.
A link profile is one of the most important ranking factors for search engines, as a website with more links from high-quality sources is more credible.
Essentially, it says that other websites trust your content; however, it’s very important to avoid black hat tactics such as buying links because search engines can easily penalize you and stop showing your website in search results at all.
So what are the best white hat strategies for link building?
The most popular tactic is guest posting — where you write an article for a high-quality website in exchange for a link to your site.
Another very good strategy is creating infographics.
People like to share them and use them in their own posts. Therefore if you create a great infographic, you can get a ton of backlinks even without your outreach.
Finally, sharing often on social media can be very effective. Many times someone likes your post and uses part of it in their own article with link credit to your site.
Link building is helping us continuously. Our rankings and traffic are steadily increasing and link building is one of the big reasons for that. In fact, we credit our first guest post on a high domain authority site is one of the factors that kickstarted our success.
-Matěj Halouska, Czech the World
18. Create “Cornerstone Content”
Becoming a full-time blogger in just one year? Is it really possible these days, with such fierce competition and an oversaturated market?
The good news is that, based on my seven years of experience blogging as a business, the answer is absolutely yes.
The “not-so-good” news?
It’s not easy, though it’s easier with some guidance.
My biggest tip for you is to focus on creating “Cornerstone Content” — as in, your best articles; typically in-depth guides full of useful information about a topic you are considered an expert on. Here is an example.
These will be the posts you always refer to from your other content, and that are more likely to be cited by other websites and blogs — and possibly even large online publications — to bring the majority of your traffic.
Personally, I didn’t take my blog very seriously when I first started; however, in 2012, after taking a number of online blogging courses and reading helpful guides, I learned about the importance of using keywords in your content to help it rank.
In just one year I had 950% more users and 820% more sessions compared to the previous year.
While this massive spike in traffic didn’t lead to full-time income right away, it did once I realized I could monetize it through adding affiliate links to popular posts (again, that Cornerstone Content!).
Just make sure when using affiliate links to always disclose that you have done so to keep an open and honest relationship with your readers.
-Clelia Mattana, Keep Calm And TravelDo you focus on #EvergreenContent in your #BloggingStrategy? Learn why you should here -- plus snag 19 other powerful #BloggingTips!
19. Don’t write for social media
Many newbie bloggers have an expectation that one of their posts will go viral on social media, but the chances of that are very slim and even if it happens, it has little long-term effects.
Instead, focus on writing quality evergreen content that people search for and which has the likelihood of serving as a building block for future content discovery on search engines. It should be more about the reader rather than about you, which also means it will be relevant for a larger audience.
Personally, when I visit a destination I’ll usually work on a few types of content:
- Bog posts featuring personal experiences and impressions
- In-depth travel guides
- “Snack-bite” listicles that are easy-reads such as a “top 10 list”
I once spent several months living and traveling in the Hawaiian islands. From this trip, I published multiple blog posts and a series of travel guides. The blog posts were read by hundreds in conjunction with their publishing, but the travel guides are read every month by thousands of readers in a consistent and predictable manner — 30x compared to readers of the “social media-oriented” content!
When you create your content I recommend writing for people like yourself.
It might sound like a cliche, but don’t try to be who you’re not. As a traveler, I personally like to read in-depth guides that go into great detail.
So as a publisher, I write this exact content, understanding that there are lots of other travelers like me “out there” who will discover, consume and share my content because it is relevant to them.
-Avichai Ben Tzur, X Days In Y
20. Focus on Pinterest
When I discovered Pinterest in January of 2018 I read blogs and signed up to free email courses on how to use it effectively.
Pinterest is a massive search engine. When people are Googling ideas and tips, quite often a Pinterest result will be on the first page.
Pinterest isn’t just about crafts and baking, either. It’s a gold mine for people who want to drive traffic to their blog.
The key to success on Pinterest is to pin engaging images that make people want to save, repin, and click.
I pin about 30 times a day — mostly my own content, but in the beginning you’ll need to pin other people’s pins not only to grow your followers but to keep Pinterest happy.
Each pin I create either goes to a blog post or one of my products.
You can also use Pinterest for affiliate marketing as long as you disclose that the pin is an affiliate pin. It’s important to play by all the rules.
Today, 90% of my traffic comes from Pinterest, which has helped me increase my product and affiliate income as well as my ad earnings!
-Iva Ursano, Amazing Me Movement
How To Become A Professional Blogger [4-Minute Masterclass]
Along with the above tips, I’ve got a bonus to really help you get to a point where you’re blogging as a profession:
The above four-minute masterclass is meant to give you an action plan for your blogging business.
It shows you what to focus on now — and next — to grow your traffic, community, and income.
In fact, the strategy shared is the one I’ve used to take my website full-time and get to a place where I get to be my own boss, get paid to be creative, and travel the world.
How To Take Your Blog Full-Time [Pinnable Infographic]
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