For most bloggers writing is a hobby and crafting the next blog post is more of a labour of love than a part time job. However, over the last couple of years blogging has taken off and the number of people who describe themselves as full time “bloggers” has increased dramatically.
A recent survey on ProBlogger.net, the leading resource for people who want to learn about blogging, found that 15% of the 1614 respondents earned more than £750 during October from their blogs. Amazingly nearly 100 readers earned over £7500 for the month, not bad for what probably started as a part time hobby.
The key to starting a successful blog is to love the topic you write about, churning out daily posts about a subject you know nothing about and don’t have a passion for is a recipe for disaster.
Although blogging for money has the potential to become a full time career most people use it as a stepping stone to bigger and better things. In some cases popular blogs have been acquired by the mainstream media leaving the owner with a tidy lump sum. In other cases companies are so impressed by the abilities of a certain writer they offer them a job doing what they love.
In 2006 Tom Whitwell was a humble music blogger running a niche publication called Music Thing. Suddenly, thanks to Google Adsense, Tom was making money from the blog and no doubt thinking of ways to turn a modest income into a full time career.
“I’ll never forget my first cheque from Google. An envelope arrived with the familiar multicoloured logo, posted from 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View. Inside was a cheque for $130.87 (£65). A few months earlier I’d pasted a few lines of code into my little music gear blog and some small ads appeared. Now, miraculously, I was being paid.”
In the end Tom used the blog to land a top job with The Times but still runs his personal blog in his spare time.
Making money blogging isn’t an automatic passport to riches, indeed a statistic famously quoted around the blogosphere is that most blogs have only one reader. However with a bit of imagination and a lot of passion bloggers are increasingly using their blogs not just to make a living in their spare time but to land a dream job to boot.
According to Patrick Altoft the key to attracting the attention of a potential employer is to be popular:
“Blogging is like a popularity contest, the top bloggers all write about what the other top bloggers are saying and to newcomers the industry can seem impossible to break into. However with a little imagination and a lot of passion anybody can create a moderately successful blog. Employers take a risk when they hire somebody and have to trust the words on a CV and the candidates performance during their interview as good indicators of long term ability. If you have demonstrated your ability by blogging consistently for months or even years with a loyal following of readers it makes the decision to employ you much less of a risk.”
While employing bloggers isn’t going to revolutionise the recruitment industry overnight in the UK it’s well worth considering that in the future the candidate that beats you to a top job might not have a better degree than you, he just might have more people reading his blog.