What is a blogger?
Blogging has changed over the years from small personal sites to multi-million dollar businesses. With that, so to have bloggers evolved to keep up with these changes and drive the industry forward.
These days, bloggers can be found all over the world and come from a huge variety of different backgrounds. If you’ve got a device and access to the internet there’s no reason you can’t become one too. However, it’s best to do your research beforehand and go forward with a plan.
What Is A Blog
The technical definition of blogging, taken from Merriam-Webster, is:
A regular feature appearing as part of an online publication that typically relates to a particular topic and consists of articles and personal commentary by one or more authors.
Blogs can be one part of a website with a broader focus or the sole focus on a blogging platform like Tumblr or WordPress.
What Is The Purpose Of A Blog
The purpose of each blog can differ based on the type of blog it is, who is running the blog, who is creating each post, and other factors.
In general, the primary purpose of a blog post is to accomplish one or more of the following:
- Convert (sell products, obtain information, etc.)
Many blogs will attempt to accomplish all of the above goals.
However, some may only focus on informing customers and driving conversions, such as corporate blogs. Others may only focus on entertaining readers, such as movie review blogs.
Common Blog Types
The different types of blogs on the net are near endless. New types of blogs are also being created each year as new technologies emerge, such as cryptocurrencies and advanced AI.
Some of the most common types of blogs include:
Fashion Blogs and Beauty Blogs
A fashion blog or beauty blog may vary from a personal blog ran by fashion enthusiasts to large multi-million dollar enterprises run by well-known influencers.
A food blog, similar to fashion blogs, can range from small niche sites focused on specific topics up to high-earning lifestyle publications.
A travel blog can range from budget travel advisors to luxury aficionados. Some of the largest travel blogs on the internet have developed into multi-million dollar behemoths.
Entertainment blog is a broad term for blog types covering movies, music, video games, television, and more. These can vary from small one-person sites to major publications with industry connections.
Personal Blog and Lifestyle Blogs
Lifestyle and personal blogs can have some overlap with other blog types, with the distinguishing trait being that each post is usually from the perspective of a single person talking about their life and interests.
Fitness and Health Blogs
Fitness blogs cover fitness and dietary topics. Many overlap with personal blogs when run by individuals with larger fitness and health brands also running blogs on their websites. With plenty of health and wellness affiliate programs out there it can be a good choice for many.
Sports blogs can cover everything from opinions and projections to sports betting and game coverage. There are blogs for every sport imaginable, with larger sports blogs covering the top sports.
Political and News Blogs
A Political blog and news blog will usually cover a wide spectrum from mainstream political commentary to more niche opinion sites. Some of the largest news blogs on the net attract millions of visitors each month.
Parenting blogs can fall into the category of personal blogs or may instead focus on specific topics such as being a first-time mother or father. Specifically, “Mommy” blogs are quite popular.
Top earning blogs have managed to move past simple blogging into other areas such as eCommerce and coaching/course creation.
Business and Finance Blogs
Business and finance bloggers can run a wide spectrum ranging from personal finance to niche-related topics like international business or law. Many business blogs are also run by businesses to help customers better understand their products and services.
Automotive blogs range from individual enthusiasts discussing their hobby up to major manufacturers and large media publications. Similar to sports and entertainment blogs, top automotive bloggers usually have many industry connections to rely on. Rideshare blogs are also not uncommon.
Pet blogs can range from individuals talking about their love for their furry friends up to major businesses in the pet industry. There can be a lot of overlap with social media influencer marketing and some animals are known to make more than human influencers.
Blogs vs Websites vs Wikis
Many people become confused with the different terms bandied about to describe content and website types. Despite a lot of overlap between each one, it’s important to understand key differences.
A website is a collection of web pages that share a domain name. Publicly accessible websites are what make up the World Wide Web. A blog can be one component of a website, but not all websites will have blogs.
Wikis are a type of collaboratively edited content source created using a wiki engine, a type of content management system. These differ from blogs in that they are decentralized with no recognizable owner and do not follow a traditional structure.
Authority sites are a blog type website that seeks to build authority on a broad subject and become a trusted source. Authority sites are often built for monetary purposes, with the primary product of the website being information.
Niche sites are similar to authority sites but will focus only on one very niche topic, leading to the website being much smaller. An example might be focusing on a specific type of product or service within a broader category.
Microblogs function much in the same way as regular blogs but differ in their length and scope. Most microblogs are published by a single person but can have multiple writers. Examples of modern microblogs include Twitter and Facebook.
What Is A Blogger
So, now that the definitions have all been covered, what exactly is a blogger?
The straightforward answer is that a blogger is someone who writes for a blog. This can be a single person who manages all aspects of the blog, including website creation, blog content creation, etc. Or, it can be a writer who is hired as part of a larger team.
As the medium has matured and developed into a more recognized method of putting out information, it has led to multi-million dollar empires, creating many very wealthy people.
Pros And Cons Of Being A Blogger
When reading about people like Arianna Huffington, Timothy Sykes, and other successful bloggers, it’s hard not to think about carving out the same path to success.
And, while it may be difficult to reach those same heights, it is certainly possible to create a solid revenue stream as a blogger as many others have.
There are, however, some things to consider both the positive and negative when looking at the life of a blogger.
The Pros Of Being A Blogger
Unlike your average 9 to 5 job, blogging and many other internet-based businesses allow you to scale earnings more easily. Online businesses can reach people all around the world 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The resources needed to run a blog are also scalable. If you need more writers, you can easily hire more. Everything from server space to post output can be increased as needed.
Many bloggers will tell you that one of the main things that attracted them to the job was the freedom it provided. This isn’t always true, mind you, as some blogs may be focused on specific locations and less location-independent.
However, even blogs that are based on specific places can be managed from other locations as you can hire writers in those specific areas.
Freedom To Choose Work
One other major benefit of being a blogger is that you have the freedom to choose what topics you write about – also known as niche selection. Many of the most successful bloggers started publishing about their hobbies and interests.
While bloggers ultimately need to tailor their writing to their specific audience, bloggers have the choice when starting as to what they will write about.
Potential To Make Lots Of Money
It can’t be overlooked that there is the potential for bloggers to make a lot of money. Blogs can be monetized using methods such as affiliate marketing, eCommerce, selling digital products, and more.
Not all blogs make a lot of money, however. Factors that determine how much a blogger makes include site traffic, the topic of the blog (luxury travel vs bargain fashion), and potential for monetization (email list size, number of posts ranking, etc).
The Cons Of Being A Blogger
While blogs are easily scalable compared with physical businesses, it comes at a price. The faster you wish to scale your website, the more money you will need to put into it in terms of content marketing, link building, advertising, and more.
While you can compensate by working harder, it will be impossible to scale your website quickly on your own. At some point, if you want to eliminate the time it takes to grow a blog, you will need to spend money.
Many Skills Involved
Along with the above fact that it can take a lot of money to scale a blog, it also takes many skills to run and properly grow.
Most blogs rely on more than just writing to drive their success. A basic understanding of marketing, user experience, web design, and SEO is needed to gain traction.
On top of this, many bloggers will find they need to produce videos (vlog) and podcasts to better reach their audience.
Blogging As A Profession
One of the aspirations people getting into blogging have is to quit their job and blog full time.
Not only is this possible, but it has become more common over the years as more money is put towards paying bloggers.
How Much Can Bloggers Make
While it is certainly possible to become a blogger professionally and run your blog full time, the actual amount of money you can make will vary drastically.
At the high end, professional bloggers can make millions of dollars each year. Most bloggers, however, don’t reach this level and can expect a comfortable salary in the mid to high five and six figures.
Glassdoor reports that the average salary of bloggers, based on user submissions, is a bit over $50,000 each year. It should be noted that this is likely referring to writers working for companies as employees.
For blog owners, income can be much greater depending on the amount of traffic, the size of the email list, and the value of the topics being covered.
Check out this post on how much bloggers make for more info.
How Do Bloggers Get Paid
How bloggers get paid will depend on whether they are working for a larger company or themselves.
For bloggers working as salaried employees or on a per-project basis, most will receive a weekly, bi-monthly, or monthly paycheck similar to any other job.
On the other hand, blog owners who are in business for themselves will probably be paid from a combination of sources, including:
- Affiliate marketing (usually monthly deposits)
- Influencer marketing (usually per project or monthly)
- Advertising (usually monthly deposits for ad networks or upfront payments for ad space)
- eCommerce (per item purchases)
Not all blogs will monetize using each of these methods, but most will have two or more. The most common combinations include affiliate income and advertising.
What Is The Workplace Of A Blogger Like
As noted in the pros of blogging section, bloggers can work from just about anywhere. This can include everything from a home office to coworking spaces or hotels and coffee shops.
Most bloggers will work from a space comfortable to them and conducive to focusing. This usually means an office of some kind or a similarly quiet space.
It’s important to remember that blogging is still a job, so while you may see many alluring images of blogging influencers working from the beach or other exotic places, this isn’t always the best option.
How Can Someone Become A Blogger
The obvious answer to this is by starting a blog. From the moment that you publish your first blog post, and consistently post subsequent entries, you are a blogger.
What is important here is the consistency that you bring when working on the blog over many years. While there isn’t any hard data, it’s a good assumption that most bloggers give up within the first year.
Blogging isn’t difficult, but being consistent when you aren’t seeing the results you want can be. So, it can help to understand how long it may take to succeed, what kind of skills you will need to develop, and how to calibrate your expectations for success.
Many of these affiliate marketing courses teach you how to start a blog and monetize it with affiliate offers.
How Long Does It Take To Become A Successful Blogger
There isn’t a definitive answer to how long a blogger will take to succeed financially. However, there are a few factors that can provide guidance on how long it can take to gain traction.
Most blogs take between 3 and 6 months to start seeing results from search engines and social media efforts. This time can be cut down for someone who already has a name for themselves, such as a celebrity, or if you have a lot of money to throw at advertising.
For most people, however, that 3 to 6-month mark is a good time frame to start getting some traffic. This won’t lead to making a lot of money at this point.
For monetary success, it’s a good idea to plan on things taking one or two years with consistent work and quality content.
What Skills Go Into Blogging
As noted in the cons section, running a successful blog takes many skills. The good news is that many of these positions can be hired out to more experienced individuals.
However, you’ll need to know what skills you need, and more importantly, those you don’t, when first starting.
Some of the skills involved with starting and growing a blog can include:
While you don’t need to have the best-looking website in the world, understanding the basics of web design will move you past many first-time bloggers.
The most important thing when first starting is that a good blog needs to be fast and user-friendly. Too much in the way of fancy designs with lots of pictures and video will slow your site and lead to visitors bouncing.
Normally shortened to UX, user experience encapsulates the overall experience of using your website.
The key here is that you want everything to be easy and intuitive. This means clearly labeling everything and making sure that visitors don’t have to hunt too long or wait for things to load.
Learning UX basics will ensure that your users have a pleasing experience when visiting each blog post, leading to higher returning users.
Search Engine Optimization
SEO is the structuring and optimizing of a website and its content so that search engines can easily find and index everything.
The important thing to note is there are no fancy tricks or insider information that will allow you to beat the search engines.
Instead, there are industry best practices that, when combined with quality content and user experience, can help your website rank and grow.
Copywriting and Content Writing
Copywriting generally refers to marketing and sales-focused copy, while content writing describes writing done for informational purposes.
Writing is the core of any blog and if each blog post you publish isn’t top quality, you won’t see much success. This is one of the most important skills to learn to become a successful blogger.
As your blog grows, you will probably want to develop an email list allowing you to better market to returning visitors. This is how the most successful blogs have made large amounts of money.
Curating and successfully marketing to an email list requires an understanding of email sales copywriting and a few other skills that will help you to succeed.
Other Relevant Skills
Aside from the above, some other skills that can help bloggers to succeed include:
- Video production and editing
- Search engine marketing (PPC advertising)
- Social media marketing
- Graphic design
Each of the above, while not necessary to be an expert in, can help in the creation and managing of a more professional-looking blog.
These are the skills that can help bloggers to move past the competition and to succeed in the long run.
What Types Of Bloggers Are Most Successful
The simple answer to this is that the most successful bloggers are those that are the most consistent. However, there are some categories of bloggers who can expect greater success than others.
According to RankIQ, the most profitable blogging niches based on monthly earnings potential include food blogs, personal finance, lifestyle blogs, and travel.
Niches that have large amounts of money involved, such as personal finance, or a lot of interest, such as travel, will increase the chances of a bloggers’ success.
What Is Blogging?
Done right, opportunities to be a professional blogger are near limitless. Any topic can be covered by a blog post and even with over 100 million blogs in existence since 2011, there are still many opportunities.
Despite many blogs already in existence, new bloggers are achieving success each year. The keys to this success lie in persistence and the successful cultivation of a few different skills that can set bloggers apart from their competition.
By focusing on these skills and developing top-quality content that satisfies visitor’s needs, new bloggers can ensure they are positioning themselves for continued success and further growth.
Find out more on how to start a WordPress blog here.