HOW TO BECOME A BLOGGER AND GET PAID FOR IT: THE REAL WORLD GUIDE
Do you wanna earn tons of money writing posts just a few hours a week? Do you wanna spend all of your time drinking beers on the beach and thinking about what’s the next level of laziness you can reach ☺ ?
Then slap yourself really hard in the face and WAKE UP…
…Wake up my dear Neo because the Matrix of Quick-&-Easy-money has you…
The internet is literally filled with bloggers, ebooks, courses, and other tons of materials that promise you to get filthy rich in no-time.
And the process will become just all easy-peasy, no efforts required.
But that’s pretty much impossible, buddy. I beg you to come back to the real world.
How to Become a Blogger and Get Paid for It?
Being a blogger and getting paid for it is basically like running a full-time business because the amount of tasks you have to complete every day can become really overwhelming.
Not to mention that it can get very lonely if you’re used to be always around people.
And that’s why not everyone is cut out for it.
Becoming a professional blogger requires you to have many qualities. Check out the main ones, to have an idea:
- Be prolific, writing A LOT is the main way to become a better blogger and get paid.
- Cut the fluff. If something isn’t so important, cut it relentlessly.
- Use any data you have to understand better your readers.
- Keep learning, you’ll be surprised to see how much time you have to spend researching just to be up-to-date.
- Become consistent and regular in your posting. This is a job, remember? That’s why many compare it to a long-term marathon, not to a sprint.
- Plan your actions and organize your work.
- Be patient to get paid. Success doesn’t happen overnight.
- Be able at managing yourself because there will be no one to stimulate you or remind you of important deadlines.
- Take some risks because you won’t find a guide that shows you the right thing to do at any moment and situation.
- Be passionate about what you do, otherwise, you won’t be able to face the challenges that will come to you.
- Be willing to really talk to real people. Don’t run away from the comments.
To put it simply, you’re gonna get from the whole hustle exactly what you give. Nothing more, nothing less.
…if all these nasty “details” about being a blogger don’t scare you, follow the steps I’m going to show you.
Stay with me in Wonderland and discover how deep the rabbit hole goes…
How to choose a niche
You can’t write about everything, so the first step is to choose your specific niche.
This is really, really, really important because it will help you to:
- Attract a loyal audience because we all tend to connect with individuals who share our interests
- Find writing gigs that pay good money because you’ll be seen as an expert in the field
Finding out your niche can become quite challenging sometimes, but here’s a simple process that should help you. How to choose it?
Make a list of things that you’re interested in.
What can you talk about all day long? What kind of books do you read the most?
Then, make a list of your skills.
Is there something cool that you’ve accomplished? Is there something that you enjoy teaching to others?
Do you have more experience than others in doing something? Can you do something that the average person doesn’t?
Finally, consider what can be more profitable. What is in demand? What are people already paying for?
Your sweet spot
The sweet spot which includes interests, skills and profitability is your winner.
Don’t worry about being not competent enough. Are you ready to become an information junkie and keep yourself constantly educating on the matter?
There you go, you’re already better than many others.
About 8 years ago Steve Kamb decided to start a blog about fitness. And you know what?
There were already thousands of fitness blogs out there!
But Steve started thinking about a “small” interesting detail: he was a nerd and he knew that there were other nerds like him.
Others who grew up with Star Wars movies and video games. Individuals who were often perceived socially as weirdos and misfits.
He typed “nerd fitness” into Google and didn’t find any relevant results. So, he started a fitness blog specifically for nerds.
How did he succeed? For 9 long months, he published every day short posts not any different from the posts on other fitness sites, generating just about 100 subscribers.
Then he read a post about bloggers and he understood that he needed to change something to get paid.
He switched from 5 generic posts per week to 2 in-depth posts well researched and full of nerdy mentions, metaphors, and quotes.
He really filled his posts with his nerdy personality.
NerdFitness started gaining new subscribers very quickly and now they are more than 200K. The site receives several millions of unique visitors a month. Obviously, he is paid in full. And, the best of all, Steve created a huge community of friendly nerds that share his interests.
The moral of this real-life story?
Well, there are at least two of them.
The first is that you have to differentiate yourself from the others.
You have to find the USP, Unique Selling Proposition as they call it in marketing.
Yes, you’ll find someone who’ll read what you write if you persist. And if the demand in your industry is really big, you may find your way to a place under the sun.
But you’ll hit a big impact only when you’ll give your audience something different. Something they can’t find elsewhere.
The second moral of Steve’s story is that the best factor which differentiates our business from others can be simply our personality.
Is not always possible to play the personality card with big organizations. But solopreneurs and small teams should always add at least a bit of their inner world to the business.
Read other sites in your niche and pay attention to the small details and shades that differentiate them from each other.
This could help you to find something that nobody else but you has.
Take your time to think about it, but don’t worry if you don’t feel 100% confident about your USP.
Sometimes is better to start writing in a broader niche. New ideas will come to you while you interact with your audience and keep learning new things.
How to dive in your ideal reader’s soul
Deep connection examples
Becoming a great blogger is all about connecting with your ideal reader.
Talking to him like you would do with a friend, making him feel understood and appreciated is what you need to build that real connection.
If you don’t really understand your partner’s true feelings and thoughts, he won’t feel that deep connection with you, right?
You can gain his attention if you publish useful content, that’s true.
But if you really write to help him, if you’re sincere, he’ll feel it. And at some point, he’ll probably be ready to fight for you.
Look at the machine Steve Kamb has created, he has about 80 individuals that help him run the community for free.
Just because they believe in him, in his honesty and in the project.
Look at the “legacy” of Gary Vaynerchuk, he really gives a ton of value to people who need it.
In almost every speech he explains how he feels their pain because he’s already been there, he inspires them to take the right choices and work hard.
As a result, he’s treated by his fans like a hero, you just need to read a few comments under his videos to see that.
They would have never achieved so much success if they didn’t understand the visitors who read and watch their stuff.
How to create a deep connection
And now that we get that, what should we do to really understand the people we want to connect with?
The answer is pretty simple: we should REALLY CARE about those people, understand what they think, feel what they feel.
Is it a sort of Jedi mind trick? Or is it something we can train?
Some people are more empathetic than others, but we can all train our empathy super-powers and become what we want to become.
We just have to really know that person and try to put yourself in his shoes.
And one of the best ways to do that without even leaving our room is to do a research on our ideal reader.
The important part is trying to be very specific about him and meditate on the thoughts he shares on the internet.
For example, if you want to start a site about gardening, check out the comments people leave in gardening forums, facebook groups, subReddits, under gardening posts, under gardening books and products on Amazon etc.
The essence of the method is to read the comments, find out every piece of information that you find relevant and put it in an organized spreadsheet.
It could seem a bit too mental and intellectual. But a good marketing research is a very handy way to understand the people who you’re approaching on your site.
Feel free to find an example of this method applied in copywriting in this post by Copyhackers.
Like anything important, it takes time. But if you do it properly, you’ll get to the next level of becoming a blogger. That’s for sure.
How to start your blog
Launching a site isn’t so hard from a technical perspective. But if you don’t know how, check out our step-by-step guide.
When you’re ready, start publishing your posts and replying to your readers’ comments.
When you do so keep always in mind that 1) you’re writing to help others; and 2) you can’t please everybody, but you can please your ideal reader.
How to connect with other bloggers and communities
You will progress much quicker if you connect to other people in your industry. So now is the time to become active and talk to other people in the groups, forums, and sites in your niche.
Ask specific questions about things that you don’t know. You’ll be surprised at how many people could take the time to reply you.
Reply to the questions of other people when you know the answer, trying to bring them value and helping them some way.
Never forget that you are connecting with other people like you. And like any kind of good relationship with another person, it takes time to become stronger.
Give a lot of value to others first, then you’ll be able to ask a favor yourself.
Check out the best sites in your niche and find out if they accept guest posts.
If they do, try writing for them to establish your credibility as an expert in the field and to reach more people.
But remember that they will accept only high-quality content, that’s why you’ll need time and training to write better.
How to Improve your skills and become a better well-paid blogger
Go on buzzsumo and find the most shared posts in your niche.
- Pick one of the best
- Read it several times
- Rewrite it with your own words.
Don’t publish the result anywhere, it’s just an exercise to let you absorb the writing style of the best bloggers in your industry.
It’s a relatively quick method to become a better blogger.
But to really improve, you should deepen your knowledge of subjects like:
- Digital Marketing
- Basic psychology
You don’t have to become an “expert”, whatever that means for you. But having a good foundation in these fields is necessary to step up your level.
And it’s not rocket science, you know? It “just” takes time, patience and a good amount of empathy-ninja-training.
Some excellent free resources to start are: NeilPatel, QuickSprout, CMI, Copyhackers, Copyblogger, SocialTriggers, SmartBlogger, Problogger, TheCopywriterClub, WritingRevolt, SethGodin, GaryVaynerchuk, HubSpot.
“Oh my God! They’re so many! How am I supposed to absorb all this information a become a great blogger?”
Keep calm and start learning what you can. You don’t have to read every single post, so just start with what you’re more interested in right now.
Then try to apply it right away to what you’re doing.
The more time and efforts you put into the process, the better you’ll become. That’s it.
Don’t forget that:
- almost all of them have podcasts and Youtube channels that make it much easier to absorb the information you need
- almost all of them have some great courses that may help you to learn faster because all of the materials are structured in a systematic way. If you can afford it, think about it.
How to market yourself as a well-paid professional
Earning a stable income just from your site requires some time.
Some people start earning a full-time income from their site after a few months, others after one year or more. How to get paid quickly? Well, many bloggers start writing for others as soon as they can get paid for this.
Every day more and more businesses are investing in their sites and in the creation of an audience through publishing posts created by bloggers.
This means that, if you show on your site that you’re a good blogger, there will be people willing to pay for your abilities.
Here are the best ways to find gigs and for bloggers get paid:
- Following the job boards
- Creating a professional Linkedin presence
- Cold emailing businesses in your niche
There are tons of job boards out there, so I suggest you to check the job section of Listiller.com, a site for bloggers.
It shares the links to the writing jobs of jobs for bloggers on all the other platforms where you can get paid. So this way you don’t have to spend a godzillion of hours sorting through 30 different sites.
Concerning Linkedin, you have to:
- optimize your profile
- find the businesses in your niche
- connect with the people in charge of marketing.
This post will enlighten you about all the process.
Finally, in order to succeed you have to become persistent in your cold pitches and don’t rely only on the job boards.
Maybe you’ll feel a little uncomfortable the first times, but after a while, you’ll get used to it.
How to grow your blog and monetize it: get paid for what you are doing
The more efforts you put in improving your skills and marketing yourself as a professional blogger and getting paid for it, the more money you’ll see coming from the writing gigs.
Yeah I know, easier said than done. But…
…if you persist, you’ll reach a secure income by writing for other businesses blogs.
That will allow you to leave your 9-to-5 job once and for all (if you didn’t already).
All of this means that you’ll be able to focus more energy on growing your site, creating more content, helping more people and finding the best ways to monetize a wonderful site you created and get paid for it.
There are entire books and courses on how to monetize your site and get paid, but the two most popular methods are:
- creating your own digital or physical products that your audience will be eager to buy
- promoting other people’s products on your site through affiliate marketing
Of course, you are free to try other ways but I suggest you to avoid putting ads and banners on your site. Your site will look much worse and you’ll earn pennies for that.
Here you are welcome to find a quick guide on the most popular ways to monetize and getting paid.
However, that being said, focus more on improving your knowledge of your specific niche and of marketing.
You should monetize and ask to get paid only when you reach a good level of expertise in your field.
And if you’re not already an expert now, don’t expect it to happen overnight, buddy. Be realistic.
When you’ll become a little jedi marketer, you’ll already know how to get paid and better monetize your site.
Becoming a professional blogger is not impossible. It’s not rocket science.
But it takes a TON of efforts, time, patience and sacrifices.That’s why it’s not for everyone, too.
You have to spend a good amount of time on your education and then keep yourself always updated, if you don’t want to fall behind.
You’ll be able to spend much less time working, eventually. But getting to that point won’t be easy.
Do you think you have the persistence to follow this blogger journey to the end?
Do you want to see how deep can go this rabbit hole and when will you get paid for it? Well, actually it’s not all about getting paid. You need to do it from your heart.
Are you ready to trade the hours spent on Netflix or Facebook to watch videos on marketing?
Are you ready to say no to your friends to stay home and train your skills as a blogger?
Are you ready to do that on a consistent basis for at least a year?
If the answer is no, don’t worry. We’re all different, so as I said before it’s not for everybody.
If the answer is yes, welcome aboard my dear Neo.
Follow the mentioned steps because that will be your daily combat-training to become the One. At least for the tribe you’re gonna create.
P.S. Don’t forget to sign up to receive some words of wisdom to help you stay on the path. May the Force be with you ☺!