So, you’re thinking of starting a blog but you’re curious if it’s still worth it or if this business model is going the way of the dinosaur.
This is a fair question. After all, people have been blogging for decades. And there’s tons of new media forms out there that are much flashier and trendy.
But as a full-time blogger, let me tell you: starting a blog is still worth it in 2023 and beyond, but only if you do it the right way.
So, let’s dive into why I think this business model is still profitable, what the pros and cons are, and how to decide if blogging is for you.
Is Blogging Worth It?
Blogging is worth it if you want to create a diverse digital asset that can increase your income, teach you new skills, and help you start a new career. However, blogging isn’t worth it if you need quick cash since it can take months or years to turn a blog into a business.
The reality is that blogging is tough work. And here’s a personal example.
It took me three years of consistent blogging before my income crossed $1,000 a month. But in 2022, This Online World made $272,000. And it’s on track to pass $600,000 in 2023.
As long as you can build an online audience for your blog, it’s worth it. And don’t think that blogging isn’t popular anymore or that it’s impossible to turn into a business.
In fact, according to data from SEMrush, long-form blog posts are still one of the most profitable forms of content marketing. So, starting a blog is worth it if you pick the right niche, stay consistent, and continually improve.
How Blogging Changed My Life
In 2018, I was finishing my second year of college. I was also working at a digital marketing agency, and upon graduation, I was looking at a job paying about $45,000 in my field.
I decided to start This Online World in 2018 to document my journey of making money online. And in my first year, I only made $1,700 blogging.
At first, it seemed like blogging was a flop. And even my girlfriend at the time told me to quit and didn’t like how much time I was spending on my website. Some things never change, I guess!
Anyways, I decided to stick with my blog, and my income and knowledge continued growing. Fast forward a few years, and blogging now makes $20,000 per month or more for me. I also earn money with my laptop while traveling the world as a digital nomad, and have lived on six different continents.
I wanted to share my blogging journey since it highlights how this business model can change your life. And this is the fundamental reason I’ll always believe that blogging is worth it.
My Top 8 Reasons To Start A Blog
If you’re wondering if you should start a blog or not, here are some of the top benefits you might want to consider:
1. Generate Income
One obvious benefit of blogging is that it can help you earn more money. And this was one of my main motivations for starting my blog back in 2018.
Personally, I like blogging since it has numerous ways to monetize, including display ads, affiliate marketing, sponsorships, online coaching, and selling digital products.
A lot of this income is also passive income; it comes from content I wrote years ago. And this is one of the most unique and exciting elements of blogging in my opinion.
2. Learn New Skills
I didn’t know anything about digital publishing when I started my blog. But turning a blog into a business forces you to learn.
Some of the main skills you can expect to learn include:
Search engine optimization (SEO)
Social media marketing
These are the kinds of skills that can help you land new online jobs as well, or advance your career. In fact, I’ve started numerous digital marketing side hustles thanks to these blogging skills, and this income helped me a lot during college.
3. Blogs Are Still Popular
As mentioned, content marketing is still one of the most popular forms of marketing. It’s highly profitable as well when done right.
The reality is that a ton of the web is blog content. In fact, 76.2% of all websites use WordPress according to data from W3Techs.
Yes, the demand for video content is growing. And people want more multimedia options than ever before. But this doesn’t mean high-quality blog content can’t add value to people’s lives and build an audience.
4. Expand Your Network
Another reason to start a blog is to grow your professional network.
Networking with other bloggers happens naturally if you follow some fellow bloggers on social media. You can also attend conferences and conventions to meet like-minded entrepreneurs.
I’ve made heaps of blogging connections over the last 5 years. This has helped me land new freelancing gigs, jobs, and also helped me learn valuable skills while having a lot of fun.
5. Blogging Helps You Launch New Businesses
One of my favorite benefits of blogging is that you can leverage it to start new businesses.
You can do the same thing. Start a blog first, and then leverage your audience to branch into eBooks, podcasts, online coaching, print on demand selling, or some other business entirely.
6. Low Startup Costs
Blogs are an incredibly affordable business to start. And I’ll share a personal example again.
I started This Online World with a $20 domain name, a $45 WordPress theme, and some basic hosting from SiteGround. This cost under $200 for my first year.
You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars to start a blog. And you can always reinvest your earnings to begin scaling. This is what I’ve done, and I now outsource a lot of content writing and website design elements and have grown my blogging team over the years.
One more reason to start a blog is to simply become a better writer.
Blogging is competitive, so you need to create high-quality content that helps readers to win. This inherently makes you a better writer and content marketer, which is pretty neat!
Plus, blogging can help you branch into gigs like freelance writing or editing. This is what my blog has helped me accomplish, and I’ve written for dozens of publications, including Forbes, as a result.
The year 2023 has been a massive year for AI developments. The introduction of ChatGPT alone has sent the blogging world scrambling.
But while some people think blogging is dead and these AI changes are bad news, I disagree. Quality content is still important, and AI writing tools just help bloggers and freelancers save time.
If anything, this is great news if you’re thinking about starting a blog but don’t have as much free time. You can now use tools like ChatGPT, or Koala, which is my personal favorite, to create rough content for your blog.
This is what I’m doing on one of my niche Amazon affiliate blogs. As you can see in the screenshot above, it’s humming along at $100 in monthly commissions some months, which isn’t bad for a small niche site test.
Just make sure you edit your content to make sure it’s high quality and makes sense. But if you’re strapped for time, you can still start a blog and publish consistently if you work efficiently.
What Are The Downsides Of Blogging?
Now that I’ve covered some popular reasons you should start a blog, here are some of the main downsides that are also worth considering:
Competition: Blogging is competitive, especially in popular niches. This means you need to establish yourself as an authority in your chosen niche, which is easier said than done.
Scaling Time: Due to competition, making meaningful income with a blog can take months or years. It took me 4+ years to go full-time, after all. So, if you need quick money, don’t choose blogging.
Industry Updates: Google and other search engines have algorithm updates all the time. Social media trends can change too. This means building your blogging traffic can be a bumpy ride that isn’t always easy or stress-free.
YMYL Topics: Some topics, like finance and health, are considered Your Money Your Life topics by Google. This means you need to have some serious credentials and authority to realistically build an audience in these niches, which again takes time.
Is Blogging Still Profitable?
Blogging is still profitable, and the low start-up and operating costs of running a blog also means it can be a high-margin business. However, most blogs need a large audience to make a full-time income and to run profitably.
However, this doesn’t mean you can’t run a small niche blog at a profit and put the extra money towards your savings. And plenty of beginner bloggers can make decent money, even if it’s not full-time income.
As you can see, half of all bloggers are making between $0-$200, but 10.6% make upwards of $500. This lines up with a lot of my experience at This Online World as it took 17 months for me to hit the $500 a month mark in blogging income:
Data from the survey showed that only 14.9% of bloggers earned more than $5,000 a month, with a meager 1.9% earning more than $20,000.
So sure, most bloggers don’t make tens of thousands of dollars per month. But this doesn’t mean you can’t run a profitable blog if you do it right.
Should You Start A Blog?
So, should you start a blog?
Well, I think the answer largely depends on your goals and interests.
If you want to build a business that can run itself and generate life-changing income, blogging is for you. I also think blogging is worth it if you like writing and content creation and want to sharpen your digital marketing skills.
Furthermore, if you’re already a niche expert in your chosen niche, you’re ahead of the game. Having credentials, authority, and real life experiences can help you hit the ground running and gain an edge over the competition.
That said, don’t start a blog if you need to make money quickly. It took me 17 months to pass the $500 a month mark with This Online World, and a lot of blogs never make significant income.
If you fall into the “need quick cash” camp, I think you’re better off using various gig economy apps or freelancing. But this doesn’t mean you can’t diligently work on your blog on the side to scale it into an income stream.
In any case, I hope sharing my story helps you decide if blogging is worth it. My final piece of advice is to take the leap if you’re on the fence. After all, you never know where a blog can take you if you put in the effort and remain consistent.
Want even more ways to make money? Checkout:
Tom is a full-time blogger and freelance writer with a passion for side hustling, passive income, and the gig economy. His work has appeared on dozens of personal finance websites like Money Crashers, The College Investor, Investor Junkie, and more. This Online World is all about providing people with honest ways to make and save more money by using technology. To learn more about Tom, read his About Page!
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