Skip to content

Taking you beyond the guidebook

Inspiring you to live your best life through travel

How Long Does It Take To Make Money Blogging? [One Year Or Less]

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

THE PROFITABLE TRAVEL BLOGGER PODCAST + RESOURCE LIBRARY

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 Muse

What is your best advice for taking a #blog full-time? Here are 20 powerful tips from professional bloggers! #ProfitableBloggingClick to Tweet

3. Remember that it’s not about you

Beyond my income reports that share how to make money as a blogger, you will see nothing on my sites about myself; my likes, dislikes, favorite pair of shoes, and so on.
 
It’s not relevant because the harsh truth is no one cares. It’s all about my readers and providing value to them in some way.
 
A big mistake I see with new blogs is they want to make it all about themselves. Instead of creating articles like “What I did in New York City” you should be writing “What YOU Have to See & Do In New York City.”
 
It’s the exact same article, but instead of it being about myself and my needs, it’s an itinerary for my readers and provides them with value in exchange for their attention.
 
The first article would provide little value to anyone, only serve as a humble-brag.
 
If you can take the ego out of the equation and change the script from “me, me, me” to ‘how can I better serve my audience?’ you have already won half the battle.”
 
-Claudia Torres, The Fab 20s
 
How Long Does It Take To Make Money Blogging? [One Year Or Less]

Here is how to take your blog full-time within a year. Photo via Jessica Thames/Pexels.

4. Pick a niche for your blog and stick to it

I left my job as a Marketing Director at a huge law firm to blog full-time.
 
My biggest tip:
 
Pick a specific niche and stick with it.
 
I dedicate most of my content to local Charleston businesses and events. My blog serves as a resource for local Charlestonians and those looking to visit The Holy City.
 
Now that I have established myself as a Charleston expert, it is much easier to find brands to partner with and generate income. Rather than a lifestyle blogger, I’m a Charleston Lifestyle blogger.”
 
-Jaime from Charleston Blonde

5. Focus on evergreen blog content

My top tip for blogging as a profession is to work on evergreen content.  
 
Evergreen content for a blog is content that is forever fresh; content that people will always want to read.
 
The internet is a fickle place and fads fade fast. For example, I’m a mom blogger, so how-to articles and kid’s activities posts bring consistent traffic to my blog.
 
Posts on whatever kids music is popular for a month or whatever the parenting trend is in the news may get a good month of traffic, but it dies down fast.  
 
I’m not saying don’t post on the popular trends, though I recommend putting more effort into the forever posts.”
 
-Amber Faust from Faust Island 
dream big blogging goals

Here is how to become a professional blogger. Photo via IvoryMix.

6. Be strategic on every decision

My top tip for becoming a full-time blogger within a year is to improve your mindset for success to get on the right track and establish a successful business.
 
Be strategic about every single decision you make for your blog.
 
For instance, do thorough keyword research about a group of keywords that form what I like to call a “cloud” of content, where you choose keywords that complement each other, but that are broad enough to be stand-alone pieces. For this blogging strategy, you’re creating different posts to create related content, so that Google sees your website as an expert on the topic. 
 
Then make a marketing plan for each post on the social accounts you know will bring traffic to your website.
 
More importantly, know what you want to achieve with these posts.
 
Are they written for organic traffic only? Are they affiliate articles?
 
Don’t just write a post because your keyword research tool said it was easy for you to rank for. Have a plan for it. This way, you will know exactly what you have to do to achieve your goals — no more guessing or spending time on vanity tasks that don’t bring you money, such as Instagram, in my case.
 
Focus on building a winning strategy that will ditch your 9-5 office job.

-Bruna from I Heart Brazil

One 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!Click to Tweet

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.

 
-Derek Baron, Wandering Earl

THE PROFITABLE TRAVEL BLOGGER PODCAST + RESOURCE LIBRARY

8. Establish a target audience

My top tip for becoming a full-time blogger in one year is to really drill down onto your ideal customer/reader. That will drive and guide every aspect of your blog, and will help you to not chase all the shiny things you think you should be doing. 
 
You cannot appeal to all readers out there, so if you find an engaged target audience you can get away with an ugly blog layout, mediocre photos, and a small number of social media followers.
 
If you find a core group of people who think you are writing directly to them, they will walk through fire for you!
 
Make everything on your blog about them. Allow them to be the hero of their own story so they can get credit for your wins.
 
As bloggers, we want to be Luke Skywalker, but we really need to be Yoda, guiding and mentoring our audience so that they — not us — can save the day.
 
-Sarah from Sustainable Cooks
 

9. Engage with other bloggers

You should always be working on finding your community.
 
I don’t mean just your community of readers and followers, but the other bloggers and business people who work in the industry.
 
Blogging is a very isolating job and it can get very confusing and discouraging. Having a small group of three-to-four people you can go to and share ideas, celebrate triumphs, and build one another up is invaluable.
 
 
smart blogging goals help you grow a business

Learn how to blog full-time with the tips in this post. Photo via IvoryMix.

10. Create a plan that works for you

My top tip for becoming a full-time blogger within a year is to set goals and create a plan that works for you, not what everyone else on the internet says you have to do.
 
I made an initial goal to match my job salary and I worked only 15 hours a week. This meant that I could only post once a week but it gave me the ability to make sure that each post was well optimized and likely to market well.
 
That was the plan that I created that fit into my schedule while I worked full time.
 
-Tanya from My Forking Life

11. Find power in the word “no”

My best tip for bloggers looking to quickly monetize is to develop a “just say no” mentality when it comes to the opportunities that come through their inbox.
 
Once you get blog followers, you’ll receive dozens of emails per day from companies looking to leverage your audience; but in my experience, the time spent negotiating these deals and managing the admin side of one-offs just isn’t worth it.
 
To get to full-time revenue quickly, you’re better off finding something that works for you — such as creating an affiliate marketing strategy with one or two programs or generating advertising revenue through a network like Mediavine — and then focusing all your efforts on that.
 
Double down on what works first, and then find ways to diversify. And definitely don’t get distracted by shiny things like free gear in exchange for a review.
 
 
how to become a full-time blogger

This is how to become a full-time blogger! Photo via IvoryMix.

12. Create a content schedule

Wondering how to start a blog for profit?
 
I think the biggest key is to take your blog seriously and treat it like a business from the first day.  
 
That means having a written plan of action — including making a schedule for yourself and sticking to that schedule.  
 
Too many bloggers have no plan, are not regular in posting and aren’t willing to make the sacrifices necessary to go full-time.
 
It also means making the proper investments in yourself and your blog. I found certain professional blogging courses invaluable, as well as tools I use to grow my business on a regular basis.  
 
So don’t be cheap, and realize this is a business and you will get back what you put into it.
 
-Ziggy from Ziggy Knows Disney
 

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

THE PROFITABLE TRAVEL BLOGGER PODCAST + RESOURCE LIBRARY

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:

Money.

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 Mom

Truth: 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!Click to Tweet

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

How Long Does It Take To Make Money Blogging? One Year Or Less!

How Long Does It Take To Make Money Blogging? One Year Or Less!

16. Attend local expos

In regards to how to blog full-time, one of the initial ways we started to monetize our blog and social platforms was via brand collaborations.
 
Cold email pitches were hardly effective when it came to asking for payment, which boiled down to the fact that you can’t build trust over emails.
 
It’s an entirely different ball game when you meet connections and potential business partners face-to-face.
 
That’s how we came across expos, and thought, “Why not give it a shot?”.
 
We sifted through the myriad of expos in our local area and picked out ones that were relevant to our niche and made plans to visit them. Much to our surprise, we came out with three paid blogger brand collaborations in our first expo visit.
 
We were mind-blown.
 
What surprised us was that most brands send out their marketing teams to expos for representation, and if it wasn’t the marketing team, the owners themselves would be there. There was no better place to start forming relationships and have marketing departments and business owners get to know us in person. 
 
My best tip:
 
Put your fearless salesy shoes on and approach the business stand that you can see yourself aligning with. Ask to speak to someone about influencer and blog collaborations, express your love for their product, and explain how a collaboration would be mutually beneficial.
 
Don’t go into too many details, as your aim is to get their business card, follow up, and flesh out all the details in a proper pitch email.

-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

profitable blogging

These tips will help you take your blog full-time within a year! Photo via Pexels.

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 Travel

Do you focus on #EvergreenContent in your #BloggingStrategy? Learn why you should here -- plus snag 19 other powerful #BloggingTips!Click to Tweet

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!

Pro tip:

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

THE PROFITABLE TRAVEL BLOGGER PODCAST + RESOURCE LIBRARY

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 build your blog audience, grow your email list, and become a full time blogger within a year.

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]

Are you a visual learner?

Make sure to pin the infographic below to save this post for reference later!

How long does it take to make money blogging? 

Leave your own tips for taking your blog full-time within a year below!

Enjoyed this post? Pin it for later!

Pin me! 🙂

30-second video vacations:

Jessie Festa standing in front of grafitti wall

Hi, I’m Jessie on a journey!

I take you beyond the guidebook to inspire you to live your best life through travel. Come join me!

Blogging Courses

Want to live your best life through travel?

Subscribe for FREE access to my library of fun blogging worksheets and learn how to get paid to travel more!

.

2 Comments

  1. Nicki Rought on January 30, 2020 at 3:33 am

    Hi Jessie

    We’re 12 months in to our travel and blogging journey and just loved this post and the 4 minute video. So good to read what other bloggers recommend as top tips to succeed. Thank you so much

  2. Nina on February 10, 2020 at 6:49 pm

    Jessie, There is so much great information in this. I am so saving it because there is no way I can possibly remember it all. Thank you!

Leave a Comment





map

THE NEW STRATEGY FOR PROFITABLE TRAVEL BLOGGING

Short on time but eager to learn how to REALLY grow your blogging business? This FREE 5-day email course was made for you.

WHAT'S YOUR TRAVEL BLOGGING SUPERPOWER?

*FREE QUIZ*
UNCOVER YOUR MOST POWERFUL BLOGGING TALENT + LEARN HOW TO USE IT TO GROW YOUR TRAFFIC, COMMUNITY & INCOME!
TAKE THE QUIZ
close-link
UP TO  82% OFF TRAVEL BLOGGING COURSES FOR A LIMITED  TIME!
LEARN MORE
close-image