How To Be A (Well-Paid) Professional Blogger

Talk to Lynn on Twitter

Charles asked a great question on Twitter this week: "How does one become a Professional Blogger?" Before I answer that question, you may be wondering "what is a professional blogger, exactly?" It means you make a full time living as a blogger, that blogging in your niche is your profession or career. Simple as that!

A professional is a person who is engaged in a certain activity, or occupation, for gain or compensation as means of livelihood; such as a permanent career, not as an amateur or pastime. -source

How To Become a Professional Blogger

Yes, it's easier said than done. That's true for almost anything super awesome that you want to achieve in life. But it's not at all hard. There's no rocket science involved. Anything you need to know, you can learn along the way. Next month I will have been blogging for 9 full years, so I'm telling you these things from personal experience!

I'll give you 8 tips that I consider to be key points to becoming a successful blogger, plus a video I shot last year that will show you what MY life as a professional blogger is really like...

Choose Your Blog Topic Wisely!

I cannot stress this point enough. It's first on my list for a reason.

The niche you choose, or the topic for your blog, has the potential to lead you into your ideal lifestyle. You will eat, breath, sleep, live, read and become this topic - so you want to put a lot of thought into this upfront.

See: How to Choose a Niche and also read: Did You Choose The Wrong Niche?

Don't Get Lost In The Noise

You start out with a great idea, you're passionate about your topic, you start setting things up... and then all of a sudden you realize you're drowning in a sea of noise and distractions and you start to panic!

(It's easy to get sucked into "Internet Marketing", especially while you're trying to learn how to set up and market your blog online. Learn, yes. But don't let yourself get overwhelmed with all the hype & information.)

Stay focused on YOUR business, and YOUR objective.

Be very grounded in who you are, what you do, who you want to reach - and why. The majority of the content you consume both online and offline should be related to your niche. Be educated, have a strong opinion, be intent on serving your market, and consistently be visible to your target market.

Consistency is important. Not only can you "get lost in the noise", and find yourself distracted and overwhelmed, but your voice can get lost in the noise if you aren't consistently engaging your target market and bringing value to the conversation!

See: Keeping Your Market Engaged & Responsive

Serve Your Market

I know, I know - you decided to start an online business so you could make money from home! But the way to do that successfully is to serve your market with everything that you are. Get this step right, and the money will follow. ;-)

"Keep in mind that most of your competitors are lazy and they are only in it for the profit. It doesnt take much to stand above and apart in most niches." source: How to Become a Market Leader in Your Niche

Serving your market is what's going to make you popular. Gaining popularity or exposure in your niche is what will bring you traffic and grow your readership. Avid fans and loyal readers are what you need to successfully monetize your blog.

How do you serve your market? It depends on your niche and angle, but ideas include: sharing news, discussing trends, helping them with buying decisions, telling them about new products or new solutions, giving them actionable how-to information, creating products/solutions, etc.

Make Yourself KNOWN In Your Niche

Don't rely on one source of traffic, or a limited marketing strategy. Also, don't expect people to magically come to you just because you started blogging. Figure out where your target market hangs out, and go to them.

Don't limit yourself. Look at magazines, Facebook groups, podcasts, offline events, books, blogs, etc. You need to be showing up in these places too, and engaging with your market where they are. There are some places you can't engage - such as leaving Amazon reviews - but being "seen" by your target market in multiple places online is how they will come to KNOW you, which will make them more likely to interact with you when given the opportunity elsewhere.

See: 8 Elements of an Organic Marketing Strategy

Focus on Building a HUGE Readership

This should be your top objective, over and above "making money". Especially starting out. Becoming a successful blogger isn't all about traffic and conversions, it's about loyal readers and avid fans. These are the people that will share your content, refer new readers to your blog, buy your products, buy products based on your recommendation, etc.

You build a readership with GREAT content, so this always needs to be your primary focus. Give them what they want or need the most! Encourage them to subscribe by email, and join you on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, so you can keep them engaged as you publish new content.

Don't skip out on list-building! I know it's tempting, but your mailing list will be a very big part of your success as a blogger. It's best to start right from the beginning.

See: Do You Ignore Email Marketing for Your Blog?

And: Do You Dread Emailing Your List?

$$ Making Money With Your Blog $$

Keep an open mind about revenue sources. There are many ways to monetize a blog. Never rely on a single source or a single merchant, by the way - you never know when you'll lose that connection for whatever reason. (said from heart-wrenching experience!)

Once you build a strong readership and a following in your niche, merchants and brands will come to you with options and opportunities. And of course you'll get approved for affiliate programs more easily.

Ways you can monetize your blog include: affiliate marketing, creating your own products and/or services, contextual advertising, advertising sales, and writing sponsored posts for brands/merchants.

Also see: Choosing Products To Sell Online

DO NOT Give Up!

The people who succeeded before you, and the new people that will succeed next, are the people who choose to stick it out. There's no real "failure" possible here. Worst case scenario, you discover what doesn't work, and change course. Period.

Most people get it completely backwards and go into blogging thinking about making money, before building up a base of readers or figuring out a way to really serve their market. There's nothing fun about that, and it gets frustrating real quick. But "serving your market" IS fun - and positions you nicely to monetize your blog.

You'll have days where you feel like throwing in the towel. That's normal. After blogging for almost 9 straight years, and making a full time living at it, I even have days where I feel like throwing my laptop off the back deck and getting a job at McDonald's. :-| LOL. Aren't you glad I didn't?!

The point is, it happens. Get serious about making your blog successful, whatever it takes. And on those bad days, don't beat yourself up. Take a break, take a nap, whatever it takes, then come back to it fresh.

Most of all... Have Fun :D

If you did choose the right niche (see point #1), you should be enjoying your blog. It's a fun thing to work from anywhere, on your own schedule, talking to other enthusiasts and bloggers on your favorite topic all day long, and helping people and/or discussing hot topics "for a living".

A big part of that is in the topic or niche you chose for your blog. But the other part of it is all mindset. And the more you love what you do, the more cool people you'll attract in your business! That includes readers, merchants, partners, etc - those key people that can help you take your blog to the top. ;-)

Becoming a well-paid professional blogger is NOT difficult.

In fact, everything I shared with you above is downright EASY. Most people try to skip these steps though, or most of them at least, and end up frustrated and disappointed. JUST DO THE STEPS.

This is a career choice - and an awesome one at that! - not the lottery or casino. Want an super cool career that pays incredibly well? This is it...

If you want to see living proof, watch the video below. My thoughts on this haven't changed at all over the last year, or over the last ~9 years I've been blogging.

Here's a video on "The Lifestyle of a Professional Blogger" I did last year, that will give you a peek behind the curtains of my life:

In that video I mentioned my life as a super affiliate - but right now I highly recommend the Affiliate Survival Guide for becoming a professional affiliate blogger - and being very successful at it! ;-)

Click here to see WHY I recommend it.

(that link will open in a new tab/window, so no worries if you're still listening to me ramble on at the coffee shop -lol)

Best,

About Lynn Terry

Lynn Terry is a full-time Internet Marketer with over 17 years experience in online business. Subscribe to ClickNewz for the latest Internet Marketing trends & strategies, Lynn's unique case studies, creative marketing ideas, and candid reviews...more»

Discussion

  1. Truly excellent intro to pro blogging, Lynn. It's easy to do but that doesn't mean it isn't a lot of work. I think a lack of consistent effort is why most bloggers fail to reach their full potential. I also believe you have to truly love what you're doing in order to remain dedicated enough. If you're only doing it because you picture leisurely days, fame and fortune, you'll have a very difficult time getting there.
    Melody recently posted..What are Pro Canadian Marketers up to in 2013/2014? (Statistics) ©My Profile

  2. Hi Lynn,
    Great guidance! It's all true but I have to admit that I haven't done some of your tips above for some particular reason. All in all, it's important not to give up easily though
    Okto recently posted..Earning a Living Online with CraigslistMy Profile

  3. These are all good tips to follow and this article should be saved and reference to at least quarterly in order to make sure you're keeping on track with your good habits.
    Brent White

  4. You’re spot on, Lynn! I agree most on the idea to get yourself well known in the niche you choose. When you succeed doing that, you can definitely call yourself a professional blogger. What’s even greater is the fact that it will be easier to earn more if you’re established.
    Riza recently posted..360 Sales Proof Inside !!! The Unique Course For Becoming International Kindle Sellers!My Profile

  5. Becoming a professional blogger and a well-paid one at that is very important. There are basic things to do and basic rules to apply. These have been highlighted in this post. Moreover, for one to become a blogger goal setting, planning, and commitment to success should be imbibed.

    This comment was shared in kingged.com where this post was kinggged.
    http://www.kingged.com/how-to-be-a-well-paid-professional-blogger/
    Sunday recently posted..360 Sales Proof Inside !!! The Unique Course For Becoming International Kindle Sellers!My Profile

  6. Terry,
    This post is one of the best & most distilled blueprint to succeed on the internet. I am going to bookmark this and print it out to hang and refer to later when I am not sure what to do next. Thank you.
    ~Brian

  7. Solid, no-nonsense tips. I've been blogging successfully since 2007 and your tips are spot on. I run 6 profitable sites now and while finding a niche can be trial and error, if you work smart, it all falls into place. Not an easy career but so rewarding.

  8. I know you say never give up but I have almost give up trying to please Google. I am changing my internet business plan to be more email marketing orientated. I did have at least three successful niche sites all getting around 1000 visitors per day, but Google just killed them in one blow. I admit I was getting advice about SEO from the wrong sources and my business suffered because of it. Now I am building a customer list and a business that Google can't interfere with.

    • Smart, Mark! I always say "Market your business like Google doesn't exist" - which includes not going down the "SEO rabbit hole". Unfortunately you're not alone in learning that one the hard way! An organic marketing strategy is definitely the way to go, while still targeting keyword phrases to reach your ideal readers & customers - naturally.

      No matter which model or methods you choose, you don't want to rely on just one thing - or any one vendor. I learned that one the hard way myself, back in 2004 when I lost a big chunk of my income overnight with a policy change to the PPC I was using. Variety is the key! Again, it goes back to "market your site like Google doesn't exist". ;-) Great to see you picking up the pieces and moving forward!! *cheers*
      Lynn Terry recently posted..The Affiliate Survival Guide: Dominate Your Niche and Blow Away Your Competitors!My Profile

  9. CHRISTOPHER says:

    Hello Lynn, thanks for sharing your life as a professional blogger. It's but enjoyable profession to be a blogger, indeed, even though this requires ample of knowledge in choosing good stuffs and how to organize what should be written; and you need to be artistic in the first place. Your blog describes your total personality in and out. This is but the greatest legacy to be handed down to future generation, as far as i am concerned. Blogs should be filled with good things to the advantage of your self and also to the following generations that would follow. I love your opinion here. Thanks. God bless you.

  10. I completely agree with your choosing the first step as finding your niche. If anyone wants to accomplish anything in life, it should be something they are passionate about. This is especially true if you want to be a professional blogger because you will be writing about this topic and living this topic on a daily basis. Finding your niche can be hard and often requires a lot of thought and time, but it is worth it if you can find a topic, be passionate about it, and stick with it. Great article.

  11. Brian Richard says:

    Great tips! I've been looking into becoming a professional blogger but still have a lot to figure out. Thanks for sharing these helpful tips.

  12. "Well paid" blogger! I hope to reach that plateau some day, but, I don't think I can wait nine years like you mention in the article.
    Charlie recently posted..Featured New Internet Start Up – Scramble FaceMy Profile

  13. hello lynn,i have started blogging about 2 month ago and i never taught that i will make it as a career or something...after reading your article i am really interested into this field.Hope ill do well in the future and ill try to become a professional blogger like you are ;)..thank you lynn for a wonderful article sharing with us..
    monish recently posted..Pack of Four T-shirts at Rs.499 only @ TradusMy Profile

  14. Lynn, your post is always so inspiring. You have a good mixture of biz, personal and sponsored posts, which makes your blog very "colorful". I'm still in the infant stage and eager to learn more from you. Thanks!
    Smart Children recently posted..How To Get Children Out Of Bed In The MorningMy Profile

  15. Great post !
    I admit it isn't easy to "serve" first since there are noises and distractions about "be rich quick" around. But the principle stays the same, serve first, then money comes. It isn't easy, but it's worth it.
    Thank you
    Tommy Nguyen recently posted..Popular and Free Pinging ServicesMy Profile

    • That's exactly what distracts a lot of people from building a solid online business with real long-term profit potential. But it's having that solid foundation in place that will put you in the position to earn more money faster - or take advantage of the more advanced strategies. Foundation first! ;-)
      Lynn Terry recently posted..Affiliate Niche Selection (Open Discussion)My Profile

  16. Some really solid advice right there Lynn. I'm not even nearly as experienced as you are - I wish I was... but I found myself nodding after reading several of your suggestions in your post above. My takeaway here is to diversify my traffic sources, engage my audience through different venues and focus more on writing in the future. Yeah, guilty for getting caught up in affiliate marketing chatter... that nasty habit has to go. Thanks for this great writeup. Have a great day.
    Latisha Black recently posted..Affair Websites Is Back! And Ready To rock!My Profile

  17. Great information, Lynn. Thank you for the encouragement and excellent advice!

  18. Sheree Talley says:

    There are an infinite amount of niche topics that you could build a site around, but many of them won’t make you any money because they are too specific. For example, a site that focuses on glow in the dark shoes, won’t (I’d imagine?) get much traffic, therefore limiting its income potential. In contrast, a site that concentrates on women’s shoes, will be much more popular.

  19. Very new...what is PPC, please?

  20. Hi Lynn,

    I really enjoy post, I know that it does take some time building your blog, I feel that people don't do their homework and research. Some bloggers don't realize its a step by step process. In the long run it will payoff.

    Lynn I do believe that staying focus is one key point, and not giving up I also know that I need to come back and go over these steps and the other areas that you pointed out in your article.

    So Lynn have a nice day.

    Tony

  21. I really enjoyed being here, it was an experience i will not forget in a hurry and i have seen what blogging is all about and how i too will be able to do it and succeed.

    Please keep up the good work and i know you will go high in your endeavors.

    Regards
    Paul

  22. Hi Lynn:

    This was a great refresher article for me. My take away here is to pay attention to building a list, don't give up and best of all - HAVE FUN! :)

    Thanks Lynn.

  23. The insights and the opinions shared in this blog are appreciable. I like the way blogger presented information. Thanks for sharing.

  24. Thank's again Lynn..

    I found your blog about a week ago and although I am pretty tired after a day filled with product creation I still cant stop reading when I find a post I am interested in (this one as a few links away also that I would like to check out).

    I'm just starting out (I haven't even taken my first steps really) and your blog is full of great information to help on my way, for that I thank you.

    Loved the video too, its always nice to see the face behind the written words. Great Job and thanks again for the great advice.

    Stephen Hawkins.
    Stephen Hawkins recently posted..I Walk With GiantsMy Profile

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