No, it’s not too late to start a blog.
I launched a pile of new blogs last year and they’re growing. They aren’t meteoric but then I’m not putting 100% into them. I have one massive blog that earns the lion’s share of my income. I have two additional blogs that together earn a smidgen above $10,000 per month. The rest earn little bits but together bring in around $2,000.
My point is that sites I’ve fairly recently launched and haven’t put all that much time and money into getting traffic, are growing and making money. Here are some traffic screenshots of newer blogs I started:
If I can do it with many sites without putting all that much effort into it, you can as well. There’s no better time to start a blog than now. I have no doubt that had I put 100% of my time and content budget into any of the above sites, they would be 10x to 30x what they are now.
As an aside, I launch several new sites each year so that I have a good inventory of sites primed to grow. Some I grow a little and sell. Some I hang onto for the long term. Some are huge successes. Some not so successful (relative to other sites I start).
Be Patient with your new blog
One thing you’ll notice about the above traffic screenshots is that it took several months for each blog to get some okay traffic. I seeded each site with 30 to 50 articles and then added more every few months. Each of the above now has more than 200 posts yet it’s still taking time for traffic levels to reflect that. However, the more you front-load your sites with content, the faster you’ll hit higher traffic levels. However, if the best you can do is drip-feed articles monthly, that’s okay too.
Aren’t there a lot of blogs out there in every conceivable niche? In other words, isn’t it totally saturated?
Yes, there are no shortage of blogs in most niches. However, as a society, we are all spending more and more time online. More people are doing more Google searches. More people spend more time on social media. More and more of our lives are spent online.
While the above only goes to 2019, it’s probably likely that annual search volume continued going up through 2021. More searches by more people mean more traffic to be had.
The real question is whether it can still be profitable to start a blog in 2022?
Again, the answer is yes. Traffic equals profits. If you can get traffic to your blog, you can make money. I monetize all my blogs (except this one) with display ads. I use Mediavine to get ads on my site. Mediavine handles everything. I just focus on publishing articles and getting traffic.
Just this month, I onboarded 3 new small blogs with Mediavine so now they earn money. They don’t earn much but they will in time. Check it out:
$4 per day isn’t life-changing but it’s a start. My biggest site that now earns $70K to $100K per month started at less than $1 per day only 8 short years ago. I stuck with it and over time revenue grew and grew.
My biggest recent success is a blog I launched in April 2021 which is now earning $4,000 per month.
$4K per month is a great milestone because it’s getting close to the median income in the USA. Check it out:
In one year, I was able to launch a blog and grow it to $50K per year in revenue. That’s pretty good.
There are constantly new products and topics to blog about
If you decide to jump into an established niche such as automobiles, tech, fashion, home and garden, food, pets, photography or whatever tickles your fancy, there are always new products and topics and trends to cover. There’s new stuff going on all the time. In fact, a very good way to gain a quick foothold in any niche is to be on the lookout for new products, product lines and/or topics to blog about. If you’re first to cover it, you’ll get the traffic.
Always new and emerging niches to jump into
There are also new niches to jump into as well. Smartwatches was a relatively new niche when Apple launched its first smartwatch in 2015. Drones are a relatively new niche as well. While both are very competitive now, there was a point in time not too long ago when you could have been the first to blog about it.
These are two obvious examples off the top of my head. Other recent new niches include Keto, smartphone photography, VR, AI, 3D printing… the list goes on.
Are there better options these days for making money online than blogging?
Yes and no. It depends on what you enjoy doing and your skillset. Consider the following:
Videos: Many folks earn a terrific living making videos for YouTube and TikTok. You can too. Like blogging, it’s certainly not too late to get into this business model. They’re called YouTubers or vloggers.
Ecommerce: There are several paths you can take with ecommerce such as selling solely on Amazon, selling from your own site, both and/or dropshipping. You can sell physical products, info products and/or software. So many options.
Podcasting: Podcasting is massive these days and growing like crazy. I have to admit I didn’t see this coming but it makes sense. Podcasts are something people can listen to in their vehicles or anywhere with their phones. There are no shortage of folks earning a great living producing a podcast.
Email marketing: Usually email newsletters are tied together with a blog, ecommerce site and/or vlogging business. However, some folks run businesses that is only email. It’s definitely a viable business model if you know what you’re doing. It’s a little more advanced than blogging and vlogging but can be a great business. Marketing Brew is a good example.
Freelancing / selling services online: This is my least favorite option for making money online because there’s not much of a passive income aspect to it unless you hire people (which is entirely doable). Many folks earn a great living writing, offering graphic design, selling SEO services and/or consulting all from the comfort of their couch with a laptop.
While there are so many viable blogging alternatives, my favorite to this day is blogging
I got started online blogging. I’m still blogging. Sure, I run some email newsletters, sell a course, and have even made some videos but my main business is blogging, aka publishing text-based content.
It helps if you go about it in a smart way… here’s the blogging strategy I deploy on every blog I publish
For every article you publish, you can pursue one of two strategies. They are:
- Target a low competition keyword, publish a great article and let it rank in Google and get traffic on its own, or
- Target a more competitive keyword, publish an epic article and then promote it so that it gets links to it from other sites.
Both methods work. Both have pros and cons.
I focus on the first strategy. I spend quite a bit of time looking for easy-to-rank keywords. I do no blog promotion or link building. The advantage to this is I don’t spend time or money promoting content. I restrict all reinvestment into content. The downside is that most keywords I target don’t have all that much search traffic potential. My goal is that I average 300 visitors per blog post per month. That’s not much but it works financially.
The second strategy means publishing a few articles but earning more from each article published. You will invest time and/or money into promoting your content.
And yes, you can use both strategies on the same blog. In some ways, this is optimal. I just can’t be bothered with the promotion stuff. I prefer writing and publishing. I’m not into promoting. I’m probably leaving a good amount of money on the table refusing to promote but at the end of the day, this is a lifestyle business for me and I like to do what I like to do.
The important takeaway is if you want your blog to be profitable, you must have and pursue a strategy that will get you traffic. Do not wing it. You must be methodical and strategic in order to get traffic to your blog.
Jon runs the place around here. He pontificates about launching and growing online publishing businesses, aka blogs that make a few bucks. His pride and joy is the email newsletter he publishes.
In all seriousness, Jon is the founder and owner of a digital media company that publishes a variety of web properties visited and beloved by millions of readers monthly. Fatstacks is where he shares a glimpse into his digital publishing business.