A list of the pros and cons of blogging as good business idea. Businesses should blog to attract customers – that’s a given – but blogging can be its own business.
If you’re looking for good business ideas – and a new beginning! – consider blogging. I’ve been working as a self-employed blogger for five years, and earned over $50,000 last year. It’s not a good business idea – it’s a great one!
Next year, I want to earn more than $100,000 a year. I’ve never been a professional blogger who earns hundreds of thousands of dollars a year – I’ve been content with my 20, 30, 40, and 50 thousand dollars a year. But I need a challenge, so I started this New Beginnings blog. I’m putting into practice everything I learned from my Quips and Tips blogs.
Anyway – on to the topic of this post: is blogging a good business idea? Here’s what a reader asked, on my article about blogging ideas for business:
“Hi Laurie, I’m a 53 year old man and I always wanted to be a writer. I got laid off from my job as a foreman last winter, and am looking for good business ideas. On your post about starting a business blog, you talk about blogging as a source of income. My question is, can blogging be a good small business idea?”
And my answer is: Yes, definitely, blogging is a good idea for a small business!
Why Blogs Are Good Business Ideas
Low overhead. To start a blog, you purchase a domain name for upwards of $10. If you want to make money blogging, you need to be on a self-hosted WordPress site – I use HostGator, and have been very happy with them as website providers. You need to buy a theme – I use Solostream’s Premium WordPress Themes, and am very happy with their support and service. All up, starting a blog costs about $200 – which is why I think blogs are good business ideas.
I bought my theme from Solostream, a business that creates and sells Premium WordPress Themes to professional bloggers. They offer awesome follow-up support for questions, problems, and modifications.
On my article about starting a blog for long-term success, a reader (hello Leona!) asked why I pay Solostream to use their themes, when you can get them for free on both WordPress.org and WordPress.com. Two reasons: 1) If you want to put advertisements on your blog, then you have to use WordPress.org (because WordPress.com doesn’t allow ads); and 2) You get what you pay for. When I first started blogging on WordPress.com, I used free themes. When I moved to WordPress.org and my self-hosted blog, I found that free themes didn’t look or function as good as paid themes, and there was no or little follow-up support when I ran into problems. Like any good business idea, blogging has to be done right…and I think paying for good quality items is part of doing business right.
Passion and fun. If you’ve always wanted to be a writer – like my reader who asked about blogging as a good business idea – then you’ll be following your passion. If writing isn’t your passion but, says, puzzles are…then start a blog about puzzles. The content of your blog isn’t necessarily what makes it a good business idea. It’s how you structure your blog posts and advertisements that makes blogging a good business. You can blog about anything you like.
Growth. If you start a series of blogs – like my Quips and Tips – then you have the potential to expand. At one point, I was hiring writers to write blog posts for $15 each. The problem was that I didn’t like editing their posts (and editing was required to optimize for search engines), didn’t like spending a few hours every month paying writers, didn’t like all the administrative stuff that comes with hiring bloggers. But, blogs have the opportunity to expand, which makes them a good business idea.
Passive income. I love that readers are going clicky clicky all over my blog when I’m asleep, on vacation, running with my dogs, or doing yoga! Blogging is a wonderful source of passive income – and thus a good business idea. But, truthfully, blogging isn’t 100% passive. You have to work on your blogs daily to nurture them towards growth, success, and an income that pays the mortgage.
Why Blogs Are NOT Good Business Ideas
Motivation. Like any small business, it takes motivation, inspiration, and drive to start a blog. Actually – starting a blog is the easy part! The hard part of blogging as a business is writing daily, finding advertisements that match your posts, keeping up with Google Analytics to figure out where your traffic is coming from
Slow growth. Is blogging a good business idea if it takes years to make over $100,000 a year? If you love writing and blogging, love learning, love the challenge of building an online business, and don’t have huge mortgage or student loan payments…then yes, blogging is a good business even if it takes years to be truly profitable. But, I think it’s getting easier to make money blogging. The advertisements are better and easier to place, the WordPress plugins are faster and lighter, and the online industry is getting stronger and more profitable.
Unpredictable and uncontrollable. One of the most frustrating things about professional blogging is that Google changes its algorithms constantly, which means my most popular posts sometimes lose their Number One status on the first page of a reader’s search. I respect Google for wanting the best results for any search term – as voted on by readers – to rise to the top of the search results, but I resent being at the mercy of Google’s tweaks and decisions. It’s frustrating.
Constant learning. I spent a lot of time researching search engine optimization tactics, social media strategies, and blogging as a business. It’s a lot of work to make money blogging – which doesn’t necessarily mean that blogging is not a good business idea! It just means that you have to be prepared to put a lot of time, effort, and energy into your blog. Just like any small business idea, blogging is at least a 10 hour a day job.
One of the most important things I’ve learned in my five years as a professional blogger is that blogging for money is a business. It’s not a hobby, it’s not about loving writing, and it’s not about sharing every detail of my day, week, or month. It’s about solving readers’ problems and helping them find what they need.
Are you intrigued about the idea of blogging as a good business idea? Here’s a great place to start: Beginners Guide: 25 Most Common WordPress Mistakes to Avoid.
I’m curious what you think – is blogging a good business idea for you? I welcome your comments below!
5 comments On Why Blogging is a Good Idea for a Business
I find guest blogging a great way to make some income. If you have a great blog, why not allow some people to post their articles on your blog. It helps make your blog good, and helps them get found.
Blogging is extremely popular now in business- I see it as a useful idea because it helps you connect with readers and customers.
Thanks for sharing your advice about blogging with the lady who is going to Turkey and wants to be a travel writer/blogger. This helps me so much. I plan to start my blog soon, probably within the next week or so, and the advice you’ve shared in your articles and the comment sections has been invaluable to me!
However, I’m still a little confused about why you have to pay for WordPress.org and for Solostream?
I understand the main differences between WordPress.com and WordPress.org are that you can’t have ads on your website/blog with WordPress.com, and with WordPress.org, you can, and you have more control with WordPress.org because you pay for the service.
Also, I’m definitely leaning towards Hostgator.com for the hosting service, as I’ve heard from you and other professional bloggers that it’s a great hosting service.
However, you explain why if we signed up for WordPress.org, we would also need to sign up for Solostream?
You’re 100% right in your understanding of WordPress.org vs. WordPress.com. Whichever one you choose, you need to have a theme – which is the design you see when you look at a blog.
There are hundreds of free themes for WordPress blogs, but I’d rather pay a company like Solostream — I’d rather buy my themes, in other words. I’ve played with dozens of free WordPress themes, but find that they aren’t as easy to use or professional as the ones I buy at Solostream.
Solostream is a business that creates themes for WordPress blogs – either WordPress.org or WordPress.com. There are lots of different types of companies that create and sell themes, but I like Solostream’s look and followup customer service the best.
However, it’s worth looking around! I wouldn’t purchase a theme until I played with a few free ones first. If you find a free one that suits your needs, then don’t mess with what ain’t broken. Stick with what works for you.
I hope this helps, and look forward to seeing your blog.
Thanks so much for answering my questions about Hostgator.com and WordPress.com and WordPress.org, and for sharing why Solostream is great for WordPress themes. Yes, I agree, we get what we pay for! And, let’s face it, $200 to start any business these days is really not much money at all, which is another reason I think blogging is great! 🙂
I really appreciate your sharing this info with me and the other people like me who are starting a blog too. And, I have no problem with you mentioning my name in the article, in fact, I’m flattered that you did. I’m working on get my blog up and running soon, and your sage advice on blogging is helping me so much! I’ll let you know when it’s up and running and I’ll be sure to link to your blog as well on my site. 🙂