How to Make Money Blogging: 5 Necessary Traits of Successful Bloggers

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I did a series on Blogging for Profit a few years ago, but as things have changed a lot since then (and I’ve also learned new tricks and tips!), I wanted to re-post the series with updated information. This series will run each Wednesday for the next two months. Enjoy!

One of the questions most often emailed in to me is, “How do you make money blogging?”

The short answer is: it’s easier and harder than you may think. It’s easy because it requires very little cash outlay upfront, you don’t need a degree or certification, the field is wide open and the profit margins are high. On the other hand, setting up a successful blog that makes a part-time or full-time income will only be the result of massive amounts of effort, determination, consistency and perseverance.

If you want to be a successful blogger, here are five qualities you must posses:

1. Successful Bloggers are Marathoners, Not Sprinters

Anyone can be a successful blogger, but unless you’re already a celebrity, there’s no such thing as overnight blogging success. It takes hard work, sweat and more hard work. It may be a few months before you ever see a penny from your hours of labor invested into your blog.

2. Successful Bloggers Have Incredible Passion

If you don’t think you could write three posts per week for the next two years on your chosen blog topic, you need to choose a different topic or a different work-at-home idea.

3. Successful Bloggers are Self-Starters

It’s great to learn from others, but if you want to be spoon-fed, you won’t succeed. Roll up your sleeves, start digging and researching: read books on blogging, read articles on blogging, read blogs on blogging, watch bloggers who are successfully blogging and do your own experimentation.

4. Successful Bloggers Are Creative

In a market that is already saturated, fresh and unique voices and approaches are those that will stand head and shoulders above the rest. How are you going to be different from all the other bloggers in your niche?

5. Successful Bloggers Are Consistent

Readers come back when they can count on you having regularly-updated content. It’s much better to post three times per week every week, than to post thirty times one week every few months.

Next week, I’ll share how to set up a blog and produce content that readers are going to want to flock to. In the mean time, do you have any specific burning questions you’d like for me to cover in this series? Drop me an email or leave them as a comment. I can’t promise to know the answer or have space to cover it, but I’ll definitely try to address as many of your questions as possible.

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Comments

  1. Natalie says

    How does one get started in blogging? I am interested but don’t know were to start.

  2. says

    How do you get your blog out there so people know about it? I have a recipe blog that I started about a year ago and I was getting a lot better at posts (better pics and different recipes) but just as I was getting more followers and hits to my blog I got very sick w/ pregnancy and stopped writing for a few months and now I’ve been randomly posting mostly just menu plans here and there, now I don’t know what to do from here… I feel like I’ve been gone too long and that I ruined my blog :(
    If you HAVE to take a break from it what do you do?!?!

  3. says

    This is a wonderful post. I’ve been blogging for about 9 years, and have earned money for all of those years. I started out with that as a goal! I would add to your list: Don’t be afraid to sell! Mention products you love with an affiliate link. Create your own ebooks to sell. Offer your services as a consultant. Ask people to buy ad space. :-)

    I offer a free download on my site with 100 free tips for blogging moms: http://naturalmomstalkradio.com/blog/wahm-wednesday-profitable-mom-blogging/

    Maybe it would be helpful to someone. Thanks for all you do, love your money saving tips :-)

  4. says

    I have an idea for a second blog, but don’t know if there is a need? (My first doesn’t really get all that much traffic because there are so many others like it.) Where could I test that out and see if it is worth working on?

  5. says

    Hi Crystal;

    Could you cover the topics of respectively declining an offer – the proper how to’s & I’m starting to receive requests for advertising and sponsorship and I have absolutely know idea how to walk through that mine field successfully.

    Thank you!

    • says

      Teresa — a good way is it turn a pitch for something you don’t want into something you do. i.e. if someone writes with a proposal that doesn’t sound so hot, try suggesting a different arrangement. At the very list you will have opened the doors to a new potential contact for later down the line ;)

  6. says

    Great series – I’m really looking forward to it. I’ve toyed with the idea of starting a deal blog with a little bit of a unique spin, but finally decided it just wouldn’t work for me. I work full time with a long commute and just do not have the time to devote to it. However, I still enjoy reading the information about blogging and storing the information away for the perhaps the future. Also, I have a personal weight loss blog that I currently have no plans to monetize (it’s just an outlet for me), but I still would like to improve it for fun even if I’m not making money with it.

    I’ve always wondered how a deal blogger could possibly have original content? If you see a deal on another blog, is it okay to post on your site (without directly cutting and pasting) as long as you give them credit or do you also need their permission (especially for those hot deals that are practically on every deal blog)? Also, I notice many deals on forums before they are on blogs. Is it okay to use those deals?

    Also, how do you deal with the fact that you have to put in countless hours of work before you see a penny and you’re not guaranteed to see that first penny? Seems like that would be an emotional challenge.

    I’d also LOVE to see guest posts from newer bloggers or bloggers with different perspectives and approaches (somewhat like you did in the managing your time series).

  7. says

    Just found your blog today,looks great. My question is how long does it take to get readers when you start a new blog.

  8. Sue says

    what’s the best way to get set up? free like blogspot or independent .com that you pay for? if you have to pay for your site, what are the advantages?

  9. says

    I have 4 blogs, the oldest of which is over 5 year old already. Each one was created for a different purpose:
    What I Learned Teaching Sunday school http://teachingsundayschool.blogspot.com was a place to keep all the SS lessons I wrote, thoughts from great Christian books, quotes, thoughts on really good sermons, etc.
    A Bride’s Cookbook or Surviving the First Year
    http://www.abridescookbook.com/blog is meant to point to the cookbook I wrote (of the same name)
    The Nest Empties
    http://thenestempties.blogspot.com/ is a place to keep the articles I’ve been writing for 2 local newspapers about parenting a college age daughter (who is now graduated) for the past 5 and a half years
    And Starting an Online Store Called givitup
    http://onlinestoregivitup.blogspot.com/ was my first one written as I was setting up my online print on demand store.
    I only really use AdSense on these and my own store products and cookbook, but I love all of them, enjoy writing them and they each serve a purpose.

  10. says

    Looking forward to this series. I started a blog last fall to share recipes mostly with friends, but then discovered MSM and found out that I could possibly make money from blogging. I don’t think I have enough traffic yet for that, but when do you know if you have enough traffic for monetizing?

  11. Jessica says

    I’ve wanted to blog since before I even knew you could make money at it–I love writing and interacting with people. I just haven’t started because I have so many varied interests that I don’t have any idea what I should write about. I’m interested in technology, language/linguistics, fashion, frugality… I guess my question is twofold: 1) how do I settle on one thing? and 2) how do I make my blog stand out from all the other blogs on whatever topic I choose?