“Is blogging a business?” I get that question a lot!
Forgive me, but the correct answer is not an answer but depends on your answer to another series of questions.
- Do you earn income via your blog or website?
- Do you sell services via your blog or website?
- Do you think of your blog as a business?
- Does your blog pay for itself?
- Has your blog paid you back for start up costs and owner investments?
Blogging is a very broad term and depending on your experience it could mean any number of things to you and something entirely different to someone else, so lets define our terms, and answer 3 of these closely related questions about blogging and money.
Is blogging a business?
Writing content alone and publishing on your blog cannot earn you income, but it can prepare the platform for other streams of income to happen.
You can earn montey from blogging without having your own products, courses, coaching or other services through
- Sponsored content
- Ad placement
- Sponsored emails
- Sponsored social media posts
- Paid speaking
- Ad networks
and many more things.
If a blogger is a blogger first then moves on to coaching, or offering services, it's still usually because the blog was the platform that allowed them to become known for their expertise or service.
You don't HAVE to offer your own products, services or coaching to call your blog a business. You can still blog as a for profit business and earn income by writing sponsored posts and content that earns from ads, promoting affiliate links, etc. Blogging is the talent or vehicle that makes those streams of income possible. Nolo.com explains it via tax purposes:
For tax purposes, a business is any activity in which you regularly engage primarily to earn a profit. You don't have to show a profit every year to qualify as a business. As long as your primary purpose is to make money, your blog should qualify as a business (even if you show a loss some years).
I believe technically, a business is if (or when) you reach the point that you have paid yourself back all investments and start up costs and are regularly making a profit above just covering expenses. However, you definitely want to THINK about your blog and treat it like a business long before that point.
Is it all about the money?
Some folks don't see blogging as a business, but more of a hobby or ministry and feel torn or defeated because the blog isn't making enough money to keep itself going. Exmample: this quote from one of my clients (used by permission):
I didn't start teaching women in The Blog Connection and coaching because I wanted the money, but because I wanted to help others make money as I had learned to do. So while adding those things to our business added to our streams of income significantly, it wasn't the main goal or focus in starting that part of the business.
Can your blog have an impact without making money?
Yes! absolutely. But money does play a part. All of us need money to live. So unless you're prepared to keep feeding this hobby or ministry out of another income stream you have from somewhere else, you need to find ways to monetize it. When it brings in income it multiplies your opportunities for impact.
And as in any business there is some investment that has to happen on the front end, time, money, learning curve, experience, etc. to best learn how to make the impact and the income happen down the road.
All you need to teach others is more knowledge of the topic or solution than they presently have. @Katie_Hornor
If I had waited until I was a world famous blogger to start The Blog Connection, I'd still not be helping other women. And as I've continued to learn and grow, so have my opportunities to teach others the things I've learned and help them make an impact and and income. And now, because I've published books, made money etc., others look to me for experience and help to learn to monetize their platforms.
How can I grow my blogging income?
- Check out this list of 13 things you can do each month for extra income.
- Join us in The Blog Connection for personalized feedback and a supportive community to help you grow your influence and income.
- Leave us a comment telling us if your blog is a business and how you are monetizing.
Get our free mini-ebook “Earn up to $1300 a month with these 13 ways to earn money online”.