Life as a “Professional Blogger”

by admin on October 20, 2009

Every once in awhile, I get an email message or a linkedin invitation from an old acquaintance or even just somebody who has read my blog and I get asked one or more of the following questions:
1. What is it like being a professional blogger?
2. Can you make money blogging?
3. Can you make a living as a professional blogger?
4. How do you start?

So in this post I'm going to answer this questions so that I can just link to this post everytime somebody emails me with inquires about the life of a blogger. So here goes...
1. What it's like being a professional blogger?
To tell the truth, the professional code of conduct for being a blogger is a bit of drag sometimes. Like always sitting in front of your computer wearing nothing but your underwear. It gets tedious. Somedays I think to myself "Ahhhhhh, what would I give, just to once again wear a nice comfortable suit, blazer, cuff link and all"
Plus, when you are married, groupies are always a problem. Temptation, temptation. Thankfully, I've been able to resist so far.
2. Can you make money as a blogger?
Yes. You can make good money. Lots of people make great money.
3. Can you make a living as a professional blogger?
Yes, you can, but before you run off and open a Blogger account and tell the world what you had for dinner last night, you should be told that 1) Most blogs don't make any money 2) It takes years for a blog to become profitable (with a few exceptions).
Take this blog for example. I make anywhere from one to two hundred bucks a month off it. Of course, I spend anywhere from 5 to 15 hours a month posting to it, so let's say I'm making $12-15 hours doing prepress pilgrim. And I have been posting to this blog for more than two years. Now why does this suck as a money-maker? Because I didn't do a competent job of market research. Heck, I didn't do ANY market research. I have just been doin' prepress for more than 15 years and heck, that's what I'll blog on.
Now, this is not really a big secret, but I'll tell you anyway, there's no money in prepress and hasn't been for years. I mean, jees, most people that read my blog are probably more interested in knowing if they are going to keep their job over the next six months then whipping out the old wallet and buying the latest and greatest widget-whatever through one of my affiliate links. Now, if two years ago I had started blogging about anti-aging strategies or personal health issues, I would be making a LOT more than two hundred bucks a month blogging. Those niches are so hot that the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) along with Google is launching lawsuits against fake blogs (or "flogs").
4. How do you start?
Well, that's dead easy. Open up an account at either Blogger or WordPress or Live Journal and start typing away. A far more important question to ask yourself is why do you want to be a blogger?
Are you trying to make money (see answer to #3)?
Do you have a burning desire to write about something?
Do you need a marketing vehicle for yourself?
Do you need to vent?
In my case, it was a combination of all of the above, although you may find it interesting to note that making money off this blog is becoming less important over the years. Bloggers who have been doing it for more than a couple of years will tell you that having a good marketing vehicle like a blog is actually more valuable than trying to make money off it. That is to say, because you are a blogger, you are offered far more opportunities than if you are Joe Schlub with the bullet point resume. No really, unless you are applying for a government job, if somebody says "send me your resume" well you might as well just forget about it.
Again, I can only speak from my own experience. Like right now I'm busting butt on a project with good potential in between being a stay-at-home Dad and there's NO WAY I would have had this opportunity without blogging for a couple of years. Like the client totally understands that I stay at home with the kids and we are in a con-call and there's a Dora the Explorer video playing in the background, that's cool.
Mind you, if any of you guys think this is a dream job, just remember that if the kids going crazy every odd day (it happens) that just means I have to stay up until midnight catching up. But hey, if I think I'm hard done-by, I just think what would have happened if I had picked the "safe" route back to reemployment and taken some technical course to retrain myself like... the PMI certification (Project Manager Institute). Oh man, tons of those guys in the city looking for work.
Anyhow, gotta go. Boatloads of work to do. I'm really glad that Blenz opened up this nice coffee shop on Main close to where I lived. The seats with the nice cushions are outstanding.

{ 1 comment }

Human October 29, 2009 at 12:40 pm

Thank you for this honest post. I have just started (almost 2 weeks now). All the internet is full of do-this and do-that to get your blog that up or that profitable, but rarely you get the chance to read the actual feeling of owning a blog. Cheers!

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