Is It Possible to Start a Blog for Fun and Make Money?
There are hundreds of good reasons to start a blog, but most of them fall into one of two categories. You either start a blog because you want to make money, or to advance your career in some way, or you start a blog for personal enjoyment. You can think of it much like sports in this way; some people play sports to be competitive and push their physical fitness to its limits, while others participate for fun (with fitness and social bonds being added perks).
But starting and managing a blog is unlike sports in that its end goal can’t be achieved simply by participating; while every sports participant gets some level of physical activity, not every blog can become profitable. So here’s the crucial question: is it possible to start a blog for fun and still make money?
What It Takes to Make Money
Let’s start by specifying what it takes to make a blog profitable in the first place:
- A unique topic or realm. There are billions of blogs out there, so you’ll need to start by distinguishing yourself. What is it that makes you interesting? If you start a slight variation on a blog we’ve all seen 100 times before, nobody will be interested.
- Value and interest. Next, you need to tweak your topic, find a niche, and work to produce high-quality content. Your onsite content needs to be valuable to your target audience, and they need to have enough sustained interest to keep coming back.
- A monetization strategy. Once you have a steady stream of visitors, the next step is to monetize that traffic. You have several options here, but you’ll need to choose at least one to be successful with it. For example, you could get paid advertisers to pay you based on the traffic you receive, or use affiliate links to encourage click-throughs and make a portion of every sale you influence.
The Advantages of a “Fun” Blog
There are actually some advantages to starting a blog for fun:
- Personal knowledge and interest. If you’re starting a blog for personal enjoyment, you’ll probably pick a topic that you already know a lot about, or else have a lot of interest in. If that’s the case, you’ll probably enjoy writing the material, and you’ll end up with a greater quantity of high-quality material as a result. That’s a huge advantage that your competitors may not be able to offer.
- Individual benefits. Blogging for personal enjoyment comes with a host of personal benefits. You’ll feel less stressed and have an outlet for catharsis and self-expression; that’s going to make you more productive and more satisfied when sustaining your blog long term.
- Less pressure. One of the biggest downsides to being an entrepreneur is the amount of pressure you feel to generate income and keep the business alive. But if you’re starting a blog for the fun of it, without the pressing need to generate revenue, that pressure will be nonexistent.
But as you might suspect, there are also some disadvantages to consider:
- Personal interest and group interest. Finding a profitable niche is tough under normal circumstances. It’s even more difficult when you try to match a topic of personal interest to you with a topic that’s interesting to a broad market. Pursuing blogging because it’s fun limits your options, and may exclude you from the most profitable sectors.
- Level of commitment. If you think about your blog as a full-time job, you’ll be willing to invest more time and resources to make it a success. If it’s merely a side project or hobby, you may be less inclined to treat it seriously. You may do less research, spend less on advertising, and care less about professionalism, all of which can negatively affect your chances of becoming a success.
- Goals and structure. Finally, starting a blog for the enjoyment value generally makes you less likely to set firm goals and structure your approach. You’re more inclined to post whenever the mood takes you, rather than on a strict schedule, and you’re more likely to write about topics you like, rather than topics you’ve researched to be attractive to your target demographics. Again, this can negatively affect your chances of profitability.
So is it possible to start a blog for fun and still make money? Absolutely. But don’t think that any blog you start on a whim has the potential to be profitable. You’ll still need to do research, find a way to monetize your work, and invest significant effort to make your blog a success—regardless of why you started it. For this reason, casual blog creators are at a disadvantage in the search for profitability.