The road to becoming a successful blogger is littered with half-hearted attempts at blogs that have been left to rot. I think that blogging is a job that outsiders see as easy money and an alluring way to become your own boss, but once someone begins to make a go of it, they realize that it’s ridiculously hard to make a sustainable salary with.
But it’s not impossible! Those full-time bloggers, YouTubers, and influencers you see out there do exist in this space and are able to not only earn their primary income from this but are also able to earn enough that they’re hiring staff and expanding their empires every day!
Can you do it, too? Maybe. Here are some tips on how to make a full-time income as a blogger or influencer that will help make sure you’re heading in the right direction.
How to Make a Full-Time Income as a Blogger or Influencer
1. Post consistent content
None of this works without creating an audience. With an audience comes expectations from you about output. To be successful, you have to publish content regularly on a consistent schedule. True, there are a few who make it without a regular schedule (I’m thinking solely of Dan Carlin and his Hardcore History podcast). But if you can’t keep at the top-of-mind of your audience, they’ll go somewhere else. Try to keep an editorial calendar going so that you’re able to plan content ahead of time, rather than scrambling to come up with new topics.
2. Do the work part of it
It would be lovely to just write whatever you wanted and watch the dollars roll in, but it doesn’t work that way. (At least, not until you’re already successful and have become an authority.) Research topics that are popular in your space. Spend time doing the SEO (or hire someone to do it). Market your content, pitch publications, learn to take better pictures. Do the “work” part of blogging if you want to make it your only job.
3. Spend time on your site
Make sure your website is optimized and that it loads correctly on both desktop and mobile. Cull any plugins that slow down your site. Shrink your image sizes, and make sure that all of your links work correctly. (I use WP 301 Redirect for this and it’s AWESOME)
You can’t go at it alone. So take the time to engage with both your audience and the other people in your niche. Being wary of competitors and staying in your own bubble just doesn’t work in this space. You have to be a part of the community to create partnerships, find new opportunities, and make an income.
5. Invest in your business
Head to industry conferences, pay for apps or tools that will help grow your business. Remember that your time as an entrepreneur should be spent creating money-producing opportunities. Not wasting it on things that will take you to double the time if you did it the free way.
6. Diversify your income streams
Rarely do bloggers make money or full-time income from one avenue. I think a lot of us learned this the hard way when banner ads lost their appeal and many had to scramble to make up that income. Use ads, affiliate links, and reach out to brands for sponsored campaigns and partnerships. Try to create at least 5 different sources of income so that if one goes away, you’ll be able to have the others prop you up.
7. Create products
In addition, you should be creating your own products or services that don’t rely on many outside sources. I say “many” as you might decide to create print-on-demand products or dropship. And you’ll need some outside vendors to help. Other avenues include courses, membership sites, books, services, coaching, printables, your own line of products creating in-house, speaking gigs, downloadable presets, and dozens of others.
8. Diversify your platform
Don’t feel like you need to be everywhere. But do make sure that you have a presence where your customers and readers go. If you want to run a cooking blog, then you need to be on Pinterest and possibly YouTube. If you want to run a fitness blog, you’re going to want to have some inspiration pics on Instagram and have some quick workouts on YouTube or TikTok. Business bloggers should be on Twitter and LinkedIn if they’re looking to grow their platforms. Lifestyle bloggers have a little more leeway when it comes to social media avenues. But again, don’t feel like you need to be everywhere. Start slowly and build out once you master one channel at a time.
9. Don’t neglect your newsletter
No matter what happens to your blog, social media channels, or products, your newsletter is the key to making sure your fans stay in the know. Make sure that signing up to your newsletter is easy, prominent on your blog, and that it provides some value (we’re all less inclined to give away our email addresses without some incentive). Make it a priority to keep your newsletter updated regularly, as these are your most loyal followers, easiest customers to sell to, and they deserve your attention.