People who start a blog site are rarely considered credible writers. Authors or writers are often viewed with a certain amount of reverie. They’re the story tellers, the experts, the worldly. But most people don’t lump bloggers into that category.
Bloggers, even with the not-so-recent changes to technology and the publishing industry, are seen as amateurs. They are seen as hobbyists. Blogging is something people do to pass the time, something that shouldn’t be taken too seriously.
But blogs are more than just websites maintained by hobby enthusiasts. They can be leveraged for many purposes. And yes, a hobby is definitely one of them. But there are many more. Some personal, some professional. It all depends on what your ultimate goal is for your blog.
Technically a Blogger, But Definitely a Writer
The Bureau of Labor Statistics defines a blogger as a person who “write(s) posts to a Web log (blog) that may pertain to any topic or a specific field, such as fashion, news, or sports.” I found this definition in a list of examples of authors and writers put out by the BLS. Therefore, it’s safe to say that a blogger is a writer.
What sets a blogger apart from their journalist/book author/technical writer counterparts is that a blogger is typically a “one-man show.” I say that in quotes, because the bigger blogs can definitely be multi-manned. But most people start out pulling all the strings themselves.
Content creation, editing, publishing, site management, promoting. Newspapers, media outlets, even fiction/non-fiction book authors have teams upon teams of people to do these tasks. Not bloggers. That’s all you baby.
But the beauty of creating a blog is that while you have complete responsibility for literally everything, you also have complete control over literally everything. You get to write about what interests you and your readers.
If you don’t think your readers would want to know about the path dependency of the Qwerty keyboard, you don’t have to write about it. There’s no trying to convince a boss or an editor that you know that will bore your readers since you are the boss and the editor. You are in charge.
Your posts can be as serious or as light as you’d like. As long or as short as you’d like. And it’s important to remember that you don’t need to be the next Hemingway to create a blog site. So take that pressure off of yourself right now.
Let’s take a look at five examples of the kinds of people who should start a blog site.
The Hobbyist – Those Who Simply Enjoy Writing
We mentioned them earlier, so it just makes sense to start with the hobbyists. These are the writers who people typically think of when they hear the word blogger. And let me tell you, there is nothing wrong with being a hobbyist.
Blogging is a perfect outlet for the person who loves to write in their spare time. Fiction, non-fiction, poetry, interviews, how to’s or anything else your heart desires. You could write about the world from your dog’s eyes. You could transcribe interviews you have with your favorite local brewery owners (ooh, that’d be fun… I might do that one).
I first thought about starting a blog site when Dave and I moved to Idaho. We bought a huge fixer-upper house and I thought it’d be a perfect way to keep our family and friends updated on our progress. I’ve since moved on to writing about various topics like starting up businesses and food preservation.
Whatever you want to write about, you can write about it and self-publish it with a blog. You can promote it on social media and tell your family and friends about it, or you can just write, publish, and see what happens. Your blog can be as big or little as you like, as serious or as fun and silly as you want it to be.
You don’t need to be a super-blogger with 10.5 million views per day, 18 published e-books, and a new cookbook (in spite of the fact that you frequently burn soup) to be successful at blogging. Success is all in the eye of the blogger.
If your goal is to simply write a new poem once a week, and you do that with your blog, then my good reader, you are a success.
The Teacher/Learner – Those Who Love to Learn and Relay Information
The teacher or learner type is also a hobbyist. But not necessarily one with a writing hobby. It could be woodworking, cars, rock climbing yoga (I really hope that’s a thing!), video game design, or critiquing modern art.
Whatever the hobby is, this person wants to learn more about it and share what they’ve learned with others.
Blogging is a great way to share knowledge with other people. You can share your ideas and opinions and get creative criticism in return. You can help others with problems or questions related to your hobby.
I poured over countless homesteading blogs before we got chickens and ducks to make sure I was going to take care of them properly. I would ask questions in the comments sections and learned so much in a very little amount of time. And I have yet to inadvertently kill one of my girls.
I’ve always been told the best way to solidify new knowledge is to teach it to others. So go out and teach what you know to your readers. You’ll probably learn a ton in return and have a lot of fun while you’re at it.
The Networker – Those Who Are Career Minded and Want to Meet Others or Gain New Skills
It may come as a surprise, but blogging is a great way to help you get a head start with a career change or advance your career.
First off, it’s a great way to meet new people in whatever niche you are writing about. A big part of blogging is networking, reading what others have to say about your topic, and engaging in conversations. This isn’t a required part of blogging, depending on your goals, but if you want to meet others in a new industry or a new field, this is a great perk to leverage.
Networking through blogging lets you show off what you know, and highlights that you take a proactive role in your continuing education. (Yeah, I threw in some nice buzz words there.) This is huge, not only to potential employers, but also to new contacts who can serve as referrals.
As for another career building benefit: blogging is a great way to bulk up your resume. Along with showing off your writing and communication skills, blogging requires a working knowledge of technology, website management, time management, internet marketing, and an oh-so-slight bit of coding (at a minimum).
Directing potential employers to a well-designed blog with good content and successful marketing campaigns could easily send you to the top of the candidate pool for a job. How many of your competitors can give tangible proof of that kind of breadth of skill – and that’s not even getting into the skills you’ve perfected with your 9-5 job.
(If this is you and you want some help with your resume, let me know in the comments.)
The Business Owner – Those Who Want to Grow or Promote an Existing Business
Adding a blog to a business website is by no means a requirement; not like having a website in general. But if you own a business, consider whether your business might benefit from having a blog section.
A blog section is a great way to let potential customers, clients, or business partners know more about who you are and what drives you. What does your business do better than your competitors, what makes your business shine?
Do you and your employees get together once a quarter to volunteer? Do you sponsor a little league team? Do you and your team hit up the Thursday trivia game at your local bar every week? What new projects do you have going on?
A blog section is a great place to showcase all of this. Giving back to the community, highlighting an employee of the month or recently completed project can be a huge selling point for someone looking to give you their business.
The Money Maker – Those Who Want the Full-Time Blogger Job
I’ve read a ton of blogs in my day and I’ve read a lot about bloggers. What motivates them, how they got their start, etc. I’ve found that most people didn’t necessarily set out to be a full-time blogger. Most started out as one of the other kinds of bloggers, and then slowly fell in love with the “art” of blogging.
With that in mind, I know that it may be a bit of a stretch to think that you can make a ton of money blogging – though some do. And you definitely can make good money blogging. How much will depend on how much time and effort you put into your blog (or blogs).
OK, but actually how much, right? While the BLS shows the pay for writers or authors ranges from about $31,000 to $121,000, they don’t section any information out specifically for bloggers.
So to extrapolate from what we know, some bloggers probably make nothing as they may have decided to not monetize their site. And the very popular bloggers can make upwards of seven figures – as in $1,000,000+ per year. So it’s safe to say the sky’s the limit. Just keep in mind the million dollar figure is probably an outlier.
Remember, blogging is not a get-rich-quick endeavor. It takes work and there is a learning curve. If you happen to be great at it, then hop to and make your millions! If you feel like you are struggling as you are starting out, welcome to the club. Reach out in the comments for some encouragement or advice.
There are many ways you can monetize your blog site, from affiliate marketing to sponsored partnerships, ads to selling your own products. And it’s all up to you to decide what is best for your site.
That’s kind of the fun of blogging – you are in control of your creativity, the rewards, and the failures. Think you can be successful?
Which Person Are You
I’m guessing that if you’ve made it this far through the post that you’ve identified with at least one of the kinds of people we’ve talked about. I, personally, am leaning toward the teacher/learner these days. Let me know in the comments which one you are.
Are you ready to give blogging a go? There are a ton of free resources to get you started. I’ll detail some of them out in a future post. In the meantime, check out one of the resources I’ve found to be extremely helpful, Wealthy Affiliate.
To learn more about Wealthy Affiliate click here.