This blog attracts a pretty wide range of readers but you can separate them into two broad categories:
- Freelance writers (aspiring or established)
- Internet marketers
Those two groups certainly overlap — I am an example of that as you can see from my income reports. But I know that many passive income advocates turn their nose up at the idea of paid blogging and consider it a last resort at best. And in fairness, I understand that attitude — I once felt similarly.
But no more. In this post, I want to explain why paid blogging should be your first option when it comes to making money online (tweet this), why it doesn’t have to represent the end of your passive income projects (quite the opposite!), and why it could completely change your life — as it did mine.
Why the “Passive Income Only” Mindset Can be Damaging
There are people in the blogosphere who have made a lot of money from the kind of passive income streams that we could all attempt to emulate with minimal financial investment. Let’s consider a couple of the best known: Pat Flynn and Spencer Haws. I know that these guys are role models to many of you (as they are to me) and there is no doubting their success.
However, their success was borne out of a lot of hard work for little or no reward, over a period of many months. Pat’s Green Exam Academy was nearly two years in the making before it finally made money, and Spencer toiled away on niche sites for months before hitting on a winning formula. Their patience and persistence were huge assets.
What I want to get across is that the passive income dream doesn’t become a reality for many. Often it’s not because they lack the capability — it’s because they run out of steam. You’re working a full time job and spending a considerable amount of your spare time on passive income projects. There will be a point at which you seriously debate the value of what you are doing.
You can easily go many or months or even years without making serious progress, and it wouldn’t be because you are incapable or a failure. The fact is, establishing passive income streams is extremely tough.
But what does that have to do with paid blogging?
Why Paid Blogging Can be Your Savior
Let’s rewind to September 2011.
At the time, my goal was to quit my job and establish a viable online business. How I did it was less important than the act of actually doing it. I’d tried various approaches, mainly revolving around niche/authority websites. Nothing had worked. I was at my wits’ end, and seriously frustrated by my lack of progress.
If you’re a regular LWB reader you’ll know the story well — in total frustration I submitted a few pitches to people via the ProBlogger Job Board and subsequently landed a job with WPMU. From there I got another client a month or so later, quit my job, and the rest is history.
My key point is this — I may have started off dreaming about passive income but it was paid blogging that enabled me to quit my job. Not only that but it gave me the time with which to work on my passive income projects without it taking up all of my spare time, and without me being under the pressure that it had to work.
If you’re just having a bit of fun with your passive income projects, fair enough. But if you have a burning desire to quit your job and build a viable and diverse long term business, you owe it to yourself to consider paid blogging very seriously.
How Paid Blogging Can Benefit Your Passive Income Projects
Every passive income project I work on is directly benefitted by my blogging ability.
Whether it was my first ever niche site back in the day, my freelance writing guide, my One Hour Authority Site project or Leaving Work Behind itself — each project has revolved around my ability to write good content. My writing ability is my business’ most valuable asset in everything that I do.
And my ability to write good content has increased exponentially since I started being paid to blog. I believe that it gives me the cutting edge not only in terms of my freelancing business but also with my passive income projects.
But that’s not all. Working with some big clients (and with blogs attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors per month) has taught me a huge deal about blogging. I have gained a huge number of invaluable contacts — my network has swollen.
In a nutshell, paid blogging has exposed me to the online world in a way that simply would not have been possible otherwise. Furthermore, it has afforded me both the time and necessary skills that enable me to concentrate on passive income projects.
What if Paid Blogging isn’t For You?
In short, it probably is.
If you have ever written content for a niche or authority site, you could be a paid blogger. If you have ever created your own blog, you could be a paid blogger. If you nearly failed English at school (like I did), you could still be a paid blogger.
Up to about 14 months ago, I never thought I would be a freelance writer. Actually, that’s not technically true — in reality, I’d never even considered it. In a sense it is all too easy to look down on it. Exchanging time for money? How antiquated.
But with the greatest of respect, you are a fool to look at it that way (as I was). And in reality, the absurdity of that thinking can be exposed pretty quickly if you consider how much time you have spent on failed passive income projects without earning a penny.
I was that guy — the passive income failure with a chip on my shoulder about service businesses — but boy have I changed my colors. My freelance writing business now earns me about as much as I ever did from my job in less than half the time. That’s an extra four hours every day that I have to work on passive income projects that I am far better equipped to succeed with because of the experience gained from paid blogging.
Ultimately, if you want to look down at paid blogging and carry on regardless with your passive income projects, that is your prerogative. But in doing so you may well be turning down the opportunity of a lifetime. Paid blogging completely changed my life for the better, and I would love to help it do exactly the same for you.
So What Now?
Your decision comes now.
I have heard more than one person say, “Paid blogging is fine if you want to make a bit of money on the side, but I’m going to keep working on my blog/niche sites/[insert generic passive income strategy here].” Those people are invariably the ones who fail to ever make any real money. Which person are you going to be?
Leaving Work Behind is packed with plenty of free advice if you are interested in finding out how to become a successful freelance blogger — start here. And if you’re really committed to launching your own freelance writing business, check out my guide: Successful Freelance Writing Online.
Whatever your decision I’d love to know how you feel about paid blogging, so please leave your comments below!
Creative Commons image courtesy of Philip Taylor PT