I want to start by stating that this blog post will not apply to everyone. If you are blogging as a hobby or just for fun, and you aren’t focused on creating an income from your blog, then just skip this post over.
However, if you are serious about creating an income from your writing, I think what I have to share might shock you!
So, let me start with my story, then I will be glad to hear yours!
Let Me Start With My Story
I started blogging (with the intention of making money), over 3 years ago.
Now I know what you are thinking,
‘This guy has been blogging for money for three years, he must be making some big money each month!’
But the truth is, that for the first 2 1/2 years of my blogging journey I was like 99% of bloggers.
What do I mean by that?
- I was putting 30-50hours a week into my blogs
- I was building great relationships with other bloggers
- And my BEST month, I made about $400.
Now $400 a month may sound great to you, but let me put it into a bit of perspective!
$400 / 160 (hrs) = $2.50/hr
For those of you who didn’t get that equation – let me explain.
$400 = Money I made from my best month
160 hrs = The average amount of hours I spend on my blog each month
$2.50 = The hourly rate that my blog was paying me
I don’t know about you, but doing the sums and finding out that I was only making $2.50 for each hour of effort that I put into my blogging, didn’t really excite me! But the funny (or sad, depending on how you look at it), is that when I posted the fact that I made $400 from my blogging in that month – I had a stream of congratulatory comments!
Since when did $2.50 an hour become something that people aspire too?
What Is Your Value?
I am not talking about your value as a human being, I am talking about putting a dollar figure on your worth!
This may be easy for some. For me, I knew that I was making $20/hr as a builders laborer – so to me, the value of an hour of my time and effort was $20 (almost 10 times what my blogging was paying me).
Obviously Something Had To Changes!
Once I did these numbers (about six months ago), I knew something had to change.
Being newly married, I couldn’t afford to be spending 30-50 hours on something that was only making me $2.50/hr – my priorities needed to change.
Now I had 3 Choices:
- Give Up Blogging (This is not something I wanted to do!)
- Find A Smarter Way Of Blogging
Obviously the first choice wasn’t an option. I love blogging (which is why I continued to work so hard for so long – even with little results). That meant that I needed to find a way of working smarter, not harder.
Everyone knows the 80/20 rule.
80% of the results, come from 20% of the effort.
If I wanted to work smarter, I needed to find the 20% of the work that I was doing that was getting the results and focus on that!
For me, I found that the majority of my income came from affiliate sales that came long after the posts had been made – ie. search engine traffic. This shocked me, because I had a decent following (almost 2000 RSS subscribers), but from that point on I decided to change the shift of my focus from community involvement (which was the 80% not getting results) to search engine focus (the 20% that was). Now I am not saying that we should all ditch any form of social media and community involvement – so please don’t read it that way. I am just saying that was the scenario in my case – yours could be the complete opposite.
Start To See Your ‘Value’ Increase
When you find out what part of your blogging is getting the results and you start to target your efforts at improving these results, you will start to see a shift! While the time that you spend on your blog(s) may stay the same, since you are focusing your effort – your results (profits) will start to increase.
And now, instead of only making $2.50/hr for my blogging, it is more like $15/hr.
Now I know I am still not at the level of value that I want, but 600% growth in 6 months isn’t too bad!
3 Steps To Improve Your ‘Value’
If you are stuck in the ‘large hours, little pay’ blogging cycle, there are a couple of things you can start doing now, that will almost see an instant increase in your blogging income.
- Give Yourself A Value
I always believe that you need to start with the end in mind. If you are looking to make a full-time income from your blogging, you first need to set an hourly rate – so that you can set a monthly income goal. As my hourly rate was $20/hr – my monthly income goal is currently $3,200 ($20[x]40hrs[x]4weeks).
Once you set an hourly rate for your blogging effort, just watch as certain tasks start to become less important!
- Find Out What Is Working For You Currently
Now that you are starting to realize that things need to change if you are going to significantly increase your online income, start looking for what is currently working for you!
I am a stat’s addict! Now this can be a big time waster, but it has also allowed me to really look into where my traffic is coming from, and what is making me money. Once you find out these two things (and put them together), you will have the thing (or things) that are currently working for you.
- Focus On What Works
You now know that there are things that you are doing that are working and making you money, and there are other things that while not necessarily bad things, are not generating the results you are looking for. Doesn’t it just make sense to focus the majority of your effort onto the things that are working? But I find that the opposite usually happens. People focus on what they THINK should work, instead of using the tools available to you and KNOWING what works.
Becoming a full-time blogger is really as simple as following those three simple steps. So why don’t you start now!