What is a blog and what do bloggers actually do? What’s the difference between a blog and a website and does your business need a blog?
More and more people are wanting to learn how to start a blog either as a creative outlet, a hobby or to start a blog to make money and quit their job.
If you’re confused about what a blog is and how it’s possible that some people make a full-time income blogging, you’ve come to the right place. I’m going to break down everything you need to know about blogging in this post.
So, let’s get started!
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Before I started blogging I was in the exact same place as you. I didn’t know the difference between a blog and a website, and it was mind-boggling to me that there were people making six, seven figure incomes simply from their blogs.
So, despite not knowing anything about blogging I was eager to get started. I wanted to earn a full-time income online too and I was determined to make it happen for myself.
Fast forward 2 years, I’m now making $3,000-$4,000 per month from my blog and I run it full-time!
I’m not an “expert blogger” by any means, but I’ve learned a lot about blogging and making money blogging along those two years.
So, today I’m going to go over all the basics of blogging, answer all your questions about blogging and also give you tips on hoe to make money blogging.
Here’s An Overview Of What We’re Going To Be Looking At In This Article:
What Is A Blog? How Is A Blog Different From A Website?
Simply put, a blog is a website that publishes articles often, usually at least once per week. The articles appear in reverse chronological order either on a blog page or directly on the homepage of the website.
A website doesn’t need to publish new content as often (or ever) – it can just have a few static pages with information, a portfolio or a shop.
Although Buzzfeed is a big corporation and may refer to themselves as a publisher, they tick all the boxes of a blog: their primary focus is on creating content for readers.
Similarly to Buzzfeed, my blog actually has the elements of both a blog and a website. If you go on my homepage, you will notice that this is a static page that doesn’t change.
However, if you head over to my blog page, you will notice that I publish a new written post 1-2 times a week.
The majority of my audience visits my website to read my blog posts and to find new information to solve their problems, which makes my website predominantly a blog.
On the other hand if we look at websites, their primary function isn’t to provide free content in the form of blog posts. A website might have a blog to boost their sales and visitor numbers, but their primary function is usually to sell a product.
A good example of a website with a blog is Teachable.
The main purpose of the website is to sell a product – in this case, a software that enables its customers to create online courses.
They also have a blog that helps them to attract their target audience, but this isn’t the core of their business.
An example of a website with no blog is Nordstrom.
Nordstrom is a retailer that focuses on selling beauty, fashion and interior products.
Other examples of websites with no blog would include:
- Social media platforms like Youtube, Facebook and Pinterest
- Other retailers like Amazon
- Portfolios and stock images sites
Any of these websites could also add a blog if they wanted to, but right now they don’t have one.
What Is Blogging?
The main definition of ‘blogging’ refers to writing, editing and publishing new blog posts on your blog.
It’s a creative process which is often really fun, exciting and also challenging.
You as the content creator have full reign over what you want to blog about – you can focus on topics that will help you to make extra money part-time, or you can write in a diary form if you just want to write about your personal life. This is completely up to you!
‘Blogging’ is also often used to refer to everything else that goes along with having a blog.
That includes marketing, promoting and strategising.
Bloggers who earn a full-time income blogging actually spend 80% of their time marketing, promoting and creating income sources for themselves through affiliate marketing and other sources. Only the remaining 20% get spent on actually creating new content!
Don’t let this scare you – blogging is a demanding job that includes many different tasks, but it can be very lucrative too!
What Is A Blog Post?
A blog post is this – this piece of text that you are reading at the moment!
Most often, a blog post is simply a piece of text that you publish on your blog page, but it can also be in the form of images, video or a podcast, among other things.
The structure of a blog post can be very varied, but usually it boils down to a simple format: there’s a Headline (title), paragraphs of text followed by images/ videos and sub-headlines that make it easier for the reader to follow your writing.
Website Vs Blog – Which One Do I Need? Or Do I Need Both?
No matter if you’re an individual, a business owner or a small corporation, having a blog is always beneficial.
The reason for this is because blog posts are an awesome way of reaching your target audience and building trust with them. Think about it, how often do you land on a website that you’ve never heard of before and decide to buy a product from them? Not very often, right!
Blog posts also typically generate more traffic than other types of website content. And more traffic -> more eyes and more income.
Although blogs are usually updated once a week, ultimately it’s you who makes up the rules. If you don’t have time to write a new blog post every week and also market it accordingly, you can aim to write a new blog post once a month.
Simply put, there’s no downside to having a blog.
Depending on your goals, you can create a blog that has some elements of a website (like me!) or a website that has a specific blog page.
What Is A Blog Used For?
You can also use blogs for whatever you personally want. It can be anything from having a creative outlet to learning new skills to making more money.
I know many people who started a blog to increase their chances of getting hired for a job. You can showcase so many things through your blog including your writing skills and your design skills!
If you’re a business, blogs are an awesome way to reach your target audience and increase your sales.
There is no limit to what you can use a blog for. Personally, I didn’t want to enter the corporate rat race, so I set out to earn enough money from blogging that I didn’t need a full-time job anymore.
What you want to achieve with a blog is truly up to you!
Why Should I Start A Blog?
Whether you’re an individual looking to make money online or a business owner looking to boost your product sales, starting a blog is an awesome way to bring in more revenue.
Here’s just a few things that having a blog can do for you:
- You can bring in a little bit more money – How would it change your life if you could bring in an extra $500 every month? Imagine how you could use this to pay off groceries, gas, student loans… or save it towards a downpayment on a house or your retirement.
- You can bring in SERIOUS money – If you want to quit your job, blogging is a viable option. I now make $3,000-$4,000 / month blogging and I don’t need another job! There are also bloggers making six figures per month – there is no salary cap and what you earn is directly correlated to how much work you put in.
- You can be your own boss – Again, imagine what it would be like to work for yourself, on your own terms. You can wake up when you want, work from where you want and work on exactly those things that you want.
- You can work from home or work from Bali – This is completely up to you! Many bloggers become full-time travellers (often they can even do this for free) while others work from home with their kids. I work from my own offices at WeWork, because I love the community here!
- It’s fun and challenging – You learn so much from being an entrepreneur. Not only do you learn a lot about running a business, you also learn so much about yourself – what your strengths and weaknesses are and how to control your mind. You are constantly growing and evolving when you run a business!
- You get to help people – You can position yourself as an authority and expert in your field. You get to help people who need guidance from someone who has been through what they’re struggling with. This is truly rewarding!
- You learn new skills – Whether you want to blog full-time or you just want to have a hobby blog, you’ll learn new valuable skills from blogging. You can use these to build your business further or to get ahead in your career. Even though I work for myself, I’ve listed my skillset on LinkedIn and I’ve been hired for freelance jobs based on my blogging skills!
There are soooo many more pointers that I could mention, but these are the ones that stick out to me the most.
Finally, you don’t need to be a skilful writer or a master of branding to start a blog. I was a chemist before I started blogging and the skillset required for the two couldn’t be further apart from each other!
Ready to get started? Click here to learn more about how to start a blog in 15 minutes or less.
What Should I Blog About?
Everyone’s personality and interests are different. The first step is to get creative, brainstorm a little bit and create a vision. What are your passions? What do you want to be known for? What do you want people associating you with?
The thing is, you don’t need to choose a single topic either. If you have many passions, you can create a lifestyle blog that focuses on 2-3 different topics, for example fashion, beauty and personal finance. This is what I do here on my blog!
However, you can also choose to niche down and only write about one topic, for example fashion.
My tip is to focus on a topic that you’re passionate about, but that also has a large readership.
So, if you’re passions are very niche and there isn’t a large readership for it (let’s say you have a stamp collection and love talking about stamps), it would probably be better for you to broaden up your niche and include more topics to blog about
What Makes A Good Blog?
A good blog boils down to the connection that you have with your readers. Many people would agree that a great blog is something that offers very valuable information, whether that be great recipes or information on how to get out of debt.
My favorite blogs are those where I can learn things about topics that I’m passionate about. They’re also run by people who I trust and who I feel are my friends, even though we’ve never met before!
If you want to make money blogging, connection with your audience is everything. That’s why there are some small blogs who makes lots of money, and some bigger blogs who fail to make substantial income. It’s all about the connection!
How Do You Make Money Blogging?
There are several different ways that bloggers make money online. These include:
- Affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is when you promote other people’s products and make a commission from every sale that you generate. Here’s a list of high paying affiliate programs for bloggers.
- Display ads.
- Sponsored posts. Brands will pay bloggers to write and review their products. Want to learn more? Here’s a list of the 100 best sponsorship networks for bloggers.
- Selling your own products or services. This includes coaching, mentoring, freelancing and also selling e-books and eCourses. The returns can often be very high!
In short, you can make money as a blogger by recommending other people’s products or creating your own products. If you have enough traffic, you can even make a full-time income from ads!
Curious to learn more about making money blogging? Head over to my income reports!
How Do I Start A Blog And Make Money?
Now that you know the ins and outs about what a blog is and how people make money blogging, it’s your turn to start your own money making blog!
Luckily, I’ve made things super easy for you. You can either enrol in my FREE 5 Day Launch A Blog Challenge OR you can head over to my tutorial on How To Start A Money Making Blog In 15 Minutes Or Less and get started right away.
P.S. Let me know in the comments what kind of a blog you’re going to start! Also, if you have any other questions that I didn’t answer in this post, just ask them away in the comments and I’ll get back to you ASAP!