I started this blog up again after letting it sit for a while. This time, I actually want to stick with it and write for fun about my profession for the time being. Getting traffic is taking a while now so monetization is not happening anytime soon. So this is actually what I want to talk about. Should we blog for the sole purpose of making money? Or, should we just have fun? If we get traffic great, if not then at least we are enjoying writing about our niche. So here are my thoughts and opinions on this subject.
Why Should You Just Blog In General?
Just blogging alone is a great hobby because it can turn into something big in the future. You never know and you always have to dream in life. Even if we do not make it big, then we will have at least something decent to show for. A blog is great because you can do it whenever you have time and it teaches you discipline. You have to schedule where you write your articles, check your traffic, and also your emails for any correspondence that can lead to some great business opportunities. You just write your articles, publish them online and people will find you. If you seriously put your heart and soul into your blog, then you will be rewarded. You have to think that good things will come to you even in times where you are going through a traffic slump. Do not let a drop in traffic deter you from claiming a piece of that online pie.
Share Your Knowledge With the World
We all know something special that is unique to us. Whether that is our profession or our hobby, there is something that we have spent our entire lives doing. After doing this for so many years, you have become very good and knowledgeable about it. After accumulating all of this knowledge, you are ready to share your mind with the world. This is a great time to start blogging and let people learn about you and what your life story is. Nothing is greater than sharing your life with others and connecting with new people. Think of blogging as a way to grow your network and meet new people.
Become a Better Writer
Blogging is a great activity for anyone because writing is one of the essential forms of communication. We write emails all of the time and we can always benefit from being able to express our thoughts clearly and concisely. Writing articles will help us not only with writing better emails but also documents and presentations, pretty much any form of written communication. Since people read so much every day on the web, we have to supply that content for them to consume and digest. Since we communicate on the daily, blogging will definitely help us become better writers.
Communicate Your Thoughts Better
Not only will we become better writers through blogging, but also better listeners and speakers also. When we blog, we have to go back and read what we wrote and make sure that it makes complete sense. If what we wrote does not make sense to us, then it will not make sense to anyone else either. So we need to read and sometimes talk aloud to hear our words being spoken. Just think about having to deliver a speech with one of your articles. How does your article sound when you speak it out? Does it sound good or bad? Does it sound the same way that it reads? We have to use our ears to listen and lips to speak. We use every part of our body when blogging, which allows us to become better communicators. Communication is a life skill that is also beneficial and adds value to anyone in any setting, whether professional or casual.
Connect With Others
We spend a good part of our time everyday online. Chances are, we are consuming content from someone else. When we consume someone’s content, we are establishing a connection with them. Someone has something interesting to show us and we want to know more about what they are offering. You too can connect with other people when you blog. You will be surprised at how quickly you will be noticed even after a short period of time. If you have some interesting thoughts that causes lightbulbs to go off in your reader’s mind, they might even contact you. So this is why blogging is great for meeting new people based on a comment interest.
Should I Blog for Fun?
I want to talk about blogging for fun before talking about making money because this is where you will start in your blogging journey.
For Just Starting Out, Just Have Fun With Your Niche
When you first start out blogging, you just find your way through the web and learn what works and what does not. If you have no plans in the immediate future to monetize your blog, then you should just write whatever you want. I have talked about doing keyword research to find what people want to read. Technically, yes you should do that if you care about traffic, which is needed for monetization. It is not that simple. Just writing articles and hoping people will find and like them is very hard. Very, very hard in fact. That is why you should choose a niche that makes you happy and you have a lot to say about. This is why you can just write and write without having to worry about all of the pitfalls that you will encounter along the way. If you are super casual with what you want to do with your blog then you can just enjoy your niche and someday the people might come to you.
Focus On Finding What Works For You
Without the need to worry about what people want to read versus what you want to write about, it means that you can focus on what you want to do with your blog. You do not need a set schedule where you have to write a certain amount of articles per week. You also do not have to check your traffic daily and see if you hit any slumps. These are pitfalls of blogging early one, we become so fixated on traffic. Trying to hit certain numbers and when we do not, we feel that we are a failure. If you are just blogging for fun, then you can do what works for you and no one else. If you plan to monetize later, then you have traffic and competition to worry about.
Do Not Worry About Traffic or Competition
I would say that traffic can be very disheartening early on. You should always have Google Search Console and Google Analytics setup on our blog on day one. Even for casual bloggers, you benefit from knowing about your web traffic. This allows you to use the data that comes from people looking for your blog. At the very least, you can see how people found you and find new topics to write about. Blogging just for fun means that you will not be obsessed over traffic going up one day, down the next and the constant fluctuations throughout the week.
Taking Long Breaks and Coming Back Later
If you are just casually blogging, you can take breaks and come back whenever you feel like it. You have no need to constantly write and push content out to search engines if you do not plan to monetize. This means a lot less pressure for you. Sometimes traffic can motivate you to write more. Especially if you start to reap the benefits of your consistent blogging. The more traffic that you get, the more traffic that you want. Now we start getting into the whole concept of constantly chasing traffic and never being satisfied with where we are currently at. We always want more. We see the next guy with a large popular website and that is what we want also. We the traffic, the money, the users, everything.
This actually brings me to the next section where I will discuss blogging for money and some of the things that are associated with it.
Should I Blog for Money?
I hardly doubt that anyone would say no at an opportunity at making money. Money does make the world go ‘round after all. Before we get too ahead of ourselves, I just want to bring up some things that you should consider if you ever want to move beyond just blogging for fun.
You Can Get a Few Extra Dollars Coming In
Making a little bit of cash is certainly enticing. Just like with everything else in life, websites have an associated cost to them. The cost is very small though, if you are running your own domain and a basic shared web hosting plan. A domain is about $30 a year now and a basic shared web hosting plan runs for about $5 a month. So we are talkin about $30 plus $5 * 12 months equals $90 a year. $90 dollars a year to run your own website. That is not much really. If you can bring in a few dollars to help pay for that, that would be nice. Of course, the already low cost of running a website does not mean that you need to monetize it right away.
When You Get Traffic, Then Think About Monetizing
You need to get a good amount of traffic to quality for ad revenue. If you are interested in running ads on your blog for money, take a look at these places. You can try Google Adsense, Ezoic, or MediaVine. Heads up on running ads on your blog. These ads typically use JS to serve ads to your readers and can affect page speed scores. Take a look at this article about how different things can impact your page speed score. So if you keep your blog simple and basic with a good WordPress theme like GeneratePress, you will start out with high page speed scores that can handle some JS ads.
Do Not Monetize Too Early, Build Your User Base First
Focus on your users first, then ads later. The reason why is that some ads can be very obtrusive to the user experience. Especially if you plan to load up on the ads and present them to your users. Interstitial ads that appear in-between pages cause delays in users reaching their destination. This is because you are adding extra steps for your users to reach your article. So think about how many ads you want to run on your website because too many ads will cause your users to leave. Since the ads are worthless without users, you need to balance on both. Since users bring traffic to your website, I would always value your readers over your ads.
Another point that I would like to bring up is to watch out for ads that load when you scroll down to them. They might push article content down while you are reading and that can impact both your page speed scores and the user experience. People will not like it if the page starts shifting and moving around when they try to read your article. Take a look at this article about how ads can impact cumulative layout shift if you would like to learn how ads can affect the reading experience.
Ads and Affiliate Marketing: Passive Income, Just Sit Back and Relax
Once you reach this point with your blog, you have “made it”. There is always more to do so you need to set your sights on the next milestone to reach. However, getting to the point where you can run ads and provide affiliate links in your blog is a great moment. You just set them up and they generate revenue for you. You just need to keep writing captivating and alluring content that brings the people in.
Make sure though that you are upfront when you start to monetize your blog. Just tell your readers that you might earn money through ads and affiliate links. This will help establish trust between you and your readers that you are letting them know that you are making money on your blog. This way, there are no questions on when you write sponsored content. Everything is just upfront and known from the beginning.
Should You Blog Just for Fun or Money? Why Not Both?
We never know where we will go in our blogging journey. What we do know in life is that the more effort you put into something, the more that you will get out of it. You should not really have to choose between one or the other. I think that you should blog for both fun and money because both are a good learning experience. When you really get to know your blog really well, then you will know when it is time to monetize. Even if you do not, that is fine. Someday you will think, “I spend a lot of time every week on my blog. Maybe I should get something from it” This is perfectly fine because it is your blog and you control where you take it.
Blogging can be great fun and some will just want to keep it casual without complicating it with revenue. Again, I encourage you to try to monetize your blog when you are ready because you will learn so much more about blogging than just doing it for fun. Keeping it for fun has so many benefits already. You have an opportunity to share your knowledge with the world, you become a better writer and communicator, and you also get to connect and meet new people.
When you are first starting your blogging journey, just have fun with your chosen niche. Do not worry about keywords too much because you need to find a schedule and protocol that works for you. No one ever gets things perfectly right the first time, so do not place that pressure for perfection on yourself right away. Do not dwell too much on traffic and competition. Even so, always set up web traffic when you launch your blog.
Take long breaks if you want and come back. Spend as much time as you want on your blog. A lot of the stuff that you do for your blog, happens when you are not blogging. Go live life, experience things and then come back to your blog with a brand new set of fresh ideas to write about. This is how you meld your blog with your actual life and then you start to realize how fun blogging is.
If you do get the traffic that you need to run ads and affiliate links, then you can decide to take the monetization route. Just remember that ads can introduce complications which can affect your page speed scores and user experience. Do not forget to value those who brought your blog up to the place that it is today. Your readers helped get your blog there. So do not overboard with the ads because your readers bring in the traffic that affects ad revenue.