Sometime in 1994, the first blog went live. Of course, back then they weren't known as blogs. They began as homepages, then weblogs and finally blogs.
With over 31 million bloggers in the U.S, it's fair to say that blogs are very much part of lives. They provide content that educates, informs and entertains.
Importantly, blogs have led to the development of blogging as a career. What began as a passionate endeavor for many people is today a profession that can earn you six figures a month!
Read for more insight on how to launch a career as a paid blogger.
Lay a Strong Foundation
To become a doctor, one must earn a medical degree. To become a pilot, you must graduate from a flying school. Almost every skill-based career requires an education or some form of training.
What about blogging?
Well, the path to becoming a paid blogger isn't so straightforward. There are well-paid bloggers out there who don't have any professional training in blogging. They just set up their own blogs, started creating great content, built a solid reputation and holy smoke! Paid gigs started coming along.
However, today's blogosphere is fiercely competitive. Thousands of blogs are cropping up every day, making it harder to stand out from the crowd.
This is why starting a blog and churning out content is no longer enough. You have to lay a proper foundation. Take professional courses and learn more about what it takes to create and maintain a blog that will earn you money. Master the technical side of blogs, as well as the aesthetic side.
Hone Your Writing Skills
Blogs are content driven.
Even though photos and videos are quickly becoming a big part of our digital media consumption, written content is king. Most people go to their favorite blogs to read. Visuals only complement the experience.
As such, honing your writing craft should be a priority.
Take writing courses, read as much as you can, and write frequently. The most effective way to become a great writer is to keep writing, keep perfecting your turn of phrase.
Great content will keep attracting new readers to your blog. The secret to hacking it as a paid blogger is to maintain a vast audience.
Pick a Niche
Why bother to pick a niche when top blogs like HuffPost pulling in over a million bucks have no specific niche? In fact, HuffPost blogs about anything!
Perhaps you need to be reminded that in its early days, HuffPost began as liberal, commentary site. As its readership and revenue grew, it expanded its horizons.
Picking a blogging niche enables you to narrow down on an audience and makes it easy for you to write about the stuff you know. Let's say you're a fishing enthusiast. Will you be on top of your game blogging about fishing or hunting? Fishing, no doubt.
When you settle on multiple niches, you run the risk of coming off as a jack of all traders. It's the easiest way to lose an authoritative voice and turn off readers.
That said, be clever when picking a niche. Some niches are so niche they can't attract big enough an audience for your blogging to be profitable.
Know How to Find Paid Blogging Opportunities
Like in most professions, an employer will rarely come knocking on your door.
OK, some opportunities do come knocking - like when a big company notices your blogging influence and approaches you for an advertising partnership -- but that doesn't happen every day.
You have to look for paid blogging opportunities.
With your blog as a portfolio, for instance, reach out to high-profile publications and ask for an opportunity to contribute content. Such publications are always looking for established voices to write for them, and they pay very well. If the editors of the publication you are eyeing love the content on your blog, you stand a great chance of getting hired.
Another opportunity to earn money is through sponsored blog posts. Here is how it works.
Many organizations have realized the value of digital marketing. At least 79 percent of Americans now shop online. To grab a share of this consumer base, brands have to build an online presence. There are a couple of ways to do this, including using sponsored blog posts.
A brand or their marketer would typically reach out and ask you to blog about their product or service. The cost of the sponsored post depends on the popularity and authoritativeness of your blog.
Running banner ads and becoming an affiliate marketer are also legit ways to turn your blog into a money-making machine.
Keep Delivering Value to Your Readers
The allure of big money can spell an end to your career as a paid blogger. There are bloggers who, unable to pass up a chance to cash a check, let their blogs become advertising platforms. Don't be like them!
Keep delivering valuable content to your readers. It's understandable when you do a handful sponsored post to push a brand, but don't make your content all about brands. In a 2108 Adweek survey, 51 percent of the respondents made it clear digital ads (in whatever format) harm their online experience. Take note!
The Stage to Become a Paid Blogger Is Set
The Information Age has brought us many goodies, including new careers.
If you're looking to pursue a career as a paid blogger, smart move! As long as you have the passion and the right tools, your dream is achievable. While we can't do much about the passion, we have given you the information you need to have a head start.
Good luck and don't forget to keeps tabs on our careers site for more tips.