I’ve been a blogger since I was 14. That’s over half of my life now. I’ve made a lot of money from blogging and enjoy doing it, but I would still write even if it didn’t make me money. Writing is my autopilot — my default mode. At the end of the day, I’ve always found myself doing it when I want to avoid doing anything else. Writing is a lot of things, but one thing that it has never been (at least when I blog) is a chore.
If there’s one thing people need to understand before trying to make money on the internet, it’s that.
There are a lot of ways to make money online. Blogging, vlogging, podcasting, influencing, etc. You can make money with all of them, but not all of them are right for everybody. Whichever one you choose, you should be prepared to do it for a long time without getting paid. The people who only do it for the money rarely stick around long enough to make any.
When someone asks me which one I think they should do, they’re usually asking, “What’s hot right now?” This isn’t a very good way to look at it though. Trends come and go. Your personality and strengths are more important for choosing the best option for you.
Read the following and ask yourself, “Do I really want to do that?”
Bloggers write a lot. Even the ones that don’t, still do. It’s not the same as writing a book or writing for print — it’s writing with a short attention span, but that’s still a form of writing.
Do you like to write? If not, don’t start a blog, because that’s what blogging is. It’s writing. A lot of writing.
Vloggers (e.g. YouTubers) record themselves on video. They spend a decent amount of time editing video too. It requires charisma. Are you charismatic?
Do you want to be on video, watched by millions of people? Do you think recording yourself is fun? If you want to vlog, you better.
Bloggers write. Vloggers make videos. And podcasters… talk. Do you like to talk a lot? If you want to podcast without a partner, are you ok with talking by yourself for a long time?
My buddies Ben and Brett run a podcast on ice fishing. They’re passionate about ice fishing and can talk about it for hours. Can you do the same thing about your topic?
Influencers spend a lot of time on social media. Taking and posting selfies, sharing personal stories, etc. They’re basically internet celebrities.
Do you want to be internet-famous? Is it your dream to have paparazzi follow you and write stories about your personal life? That’s the reality for big influencers (including vloggers).
Don’t think about what’s popular right now. Blogging isn’t as big as it was 15 years ago, but you can absolutely still become a successful blogger. Podcasting is huge right now, but if you don’t like talking, why does that matter? Pick the medium that is the best fit for you, that way you’ll stick with it. That’s more important than trying to time the media market.