There seems to be an infinite number of ways to make money these days. You could be a human statue, a shot girl (assuming you're female, of course), a waterslide tester, a crime scene cleaner, or an ice cream taster (sign me up).
There also seems to be infinite ways to make money online, specifically. You could be a product tester, run an eBay shop, do some freelance writing, or have a massively successful YouTube channel that rakes in the dough.
In fact, when I googled “ways to make money online” I got 241 million results.
But when it comes to life as a professional blogger, the waters get a little hazy. Questions come up that aren't often answered. Questions like: How exactly do you do it? How many revenue streams does it take? Are you selling your soul on a daily basis? Are you independently wealthy? And, maybe most importantly, how can I do it too?
As it turns out, transparency is pretty rare when it comes to doing business. At least, rare in the way we might think of it.
Sure, there are public records of house purchase prices and salaries for government employees (trash collectors, for example, make an average of $60,000/year) but when it comes to running your own business, especially as a blogger, there is less known data.
On his podcast, our very own Nathan Barry has this to say about financial transparency:
We all know that it's not polite to talk about money. But I'll tell you what's not polite. It's not polite to grow up not knowing how to function in the business world.
Nathan goes on to tell us all why financial transparency is a crucial conversation to have:
I hope that you'll consider sharing numbers. Just think about it – what bad things will happen? People may look at you a little weird, people may say ‘Oh, it's impolite to talk about money.' But you know what? There might be some teenager in that conversation who's listening off to the side who will learn ‘Hey, maybe the world works a little differently than I thought.'
Maybe they'll learn about your first salary numbers and maybe they'll start to have a better idea about what numbers they should ask for. Or what industries they can get into. Maybe they'll learn that actually blogging can be profitable or that they can actually make money selling art. All these things that people have told them are not possible. Maybe they'll learn because you're willing to speak up, you're willing to share your numbers, and you're willing to pay it forward by being transparent with your own business.
Here at ConvertKit, we already teach everything we know with massive transparency. Our monthly revenue reports are designed to teach and inspire action with our readers. They are aimed at showing you the truth behind running a successful business and also gaining your trust and building your confidence to join us on this email marketing journey.
In a similar fashion, I'm responding to Nathan's request for greater transparency by doing some detective work myself here on the blog. In this series (How Bloggers Make a Living Online), I'm aiming to do two things:
- Shed light on this mystery career by sharing measurable numbers and stats that come from the professional bloggers all around us.
- Provide you with a new way of thinking about how you will make money online.
If I'm able to do that, this series will be a success. If not, we'll at least have had some good conversations with rad bloggers within the ConvertKit community, shared their expertise and businesses with you, and had a good time.
And if you can't have a good time running your own business, what's the point of it all anyways?
Now I'd love to hear from you. Tell me what questions you want me to ask our bloggers. What do you think is a complete mystery about being a professional blogger? What do you want to know the most? This is your opportunity to shape the conversation. I'm waiting for you in the comments below.