Today we’re going to talk about professional blogging, which is exciting because it’s kind of where I started. At least being enchanted with professional blogging, if you will. Basically what happened was, and I told the story a little bit on Monday. It was this half-done PDF that was how to become a professional blogger, how to start writing, and getting paid. How to create a blog and make money. I printed a PDF and brought it to Pennbriar which was the place where I worked out when I was working at Pepsi before. I remember being on the stair stepper reading this PDF and then went home and built the blog.

The website I built was on Blogspot. I ended up turn around, building it out on WordPress, getting into WordPress. Then that started the journey into Internet marketing and the world and life that I now live. So it all started as being a professional blogger or wanting to be a professional blogger. So the first thing is, what qualifies you as a professional? And that was a question that I had. I remember actually at the time I was in college, I was going to school full time, and I was working full time. So I was working about 60 hours a week and going to college full time, so 20, 30 hours a week and doing homework and whatever. But I remember asking my professor at the time in an eCommerce class, I was like, “What is a professional?”

professional blogger

What is a Professional Blogger?

Because I was thinking like, “I want to be a professional blogger”. That sounds fun, right? But what is a professional blogger? What is that? The definition that I came to was having a blog that makes money. Having a blog that generates revenue. Now in my estimation, that is what a professional blogger would be. You are a professional blogger if you have a website or a blog that you make that makes money. I am a professional blogger. Anybody is a professional blogger who has a business and writes articles for a living. Now going into yesterday’s topic, we talked about the single stream of income or the multiple strings of income from a blog, and basically where you’re paid directly for the blogging or the writing activity, or being paid indirectly through services and software that you sell, or whatever.

A professional blogger is usually doing the latter, meaning they are usually paid from the products that they sell, from the ads that show up, from the affiliate’s revenue that they generate, from the services they sell. That’s how a professional blogger usually makes money. No, I mean, you might have sponsorship, and their ads show up, or your writing because of sponsorship or whatever, but nobody pays you for the act of writing on your blog. So that’s just an important distinction, but there are so many different ways of generating revenue once you have a blog up.

Finding Your Niche

The hardest part is finding the inspiration for the content. That’s where things like niche come in. Your passion, your purpose, finding the thing that drives you, the thing that you want to write about because I mean, let’s face it. You’re going to be doing this for years. You’re going to be writing blog posts. You should be, you should at least have something that you’re writing about that you’re happy writing about for years. I can tell you, in my early days from an SEO standpoint, we started sites on all sorts of crazy shit just to generate an affiliate income, and it was fine. We would put up a quick site, we would add two or three blog posts, we’d get it ranked for a certain keyword phrase, we’d drop an affiliate product, and then we just kind of let it go.


It was all very smash and grab, let’s promote an affiliate product, let’s make 10 or 20 grand, then wait until it relaunches in a year or six months where we can make a bunch more money. Which is fine, but the problem is, is that kind of quick hits sites when Google re-optimized, like re-indexed everything, those sites went away. Now, I mean, one of the biggest ranking metrics is consistency. Writing and publishing every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, or every Monday and Thursday, so your consistency in writing is essential, at the end of the day, you’re writing for readers. The readers, who visit, watch and listen, are the people who ultimately are going to end up providing revenue to you in some way or another. Whether it’s ads, affiliated, buying products or services, you’re not just writing to an empty chamber and then hoping to make money.

I wrote a blog post for a friend’s site years ago called The King, and I’ve referenced it quite a few times in the 14 years that I’ve been online, but this blog post was like all the things that I fucked up when I first started. And one of them was posting banner ads. I had like 18 banner blocks on one sidebar, even though I only had seven visitors a day coming to the website. Of course, I wasn’t making any money, and it was ugly as shit, so they’re not clicking on anything, which means I’m not making any money.

successful professional blogger

How to succeed at being a professional blogger?

It’s important to know that you’re going to be happy, passionate, and purposeful about creating content that is going to add value in somebody’s life, to make a difference. 

If you write a couple of articles and then you give up, obviously it’s not going to work. If you trail off writing articles because you don’t have passion for the thing, then it’s not going to work. So you want to pick something that you enjoy. Maybe it’s fitness, maybe it is DIY projects. Maybe… For me, it’s marketing and business. My first blog, JD’s blog that I started 14 years ago, just kind of let it die. And then I, whatever. But so JD’s blog was about specifically, was the intersection between technology and business, which is still where I live.

It’s still the thing I do, except the technology has taken the form of advertising, so it’s what I do is ad tech. By and large, it’s just a more specialized version of the technology, and everything we do is very sales psychology focused on marketing and business. So I’m still pursuing that same thing that I started with years and years and years ago, it’s just a slightly more focused version of that. My point being your passion and purpose, pick that thing that you’re still going to be, it might take a couple of forms, and you might go through a couple of iterations, a couple of life cycles of that thing, but find, figure out something that you like and then evolve to that, and let it help you evolve. And then blog about that.

Tools on Setting Your Own Blog

Today I want to talk about some things and ways that you’re going to be the professional inside professional blogging. I’m going to assume that you have your passion, purpose, like a site set up, all of that other stuff. I probably shouldn’t assume that, so we’re going to go through a small little… We’re going to step back to the beginning, and I only have 12 minutes to get through this. I didn’t decide that it was going to be this. What we’re going to do is I’m going to show you some real quick little tools that I use all the time to kind of discover domain names, set up hosting, all of that stuff.

Now it is way easier to start this professional blogging thing than it was when I started. Blogs are prevalent. Everybody’s got one, shit, I mean, even on Facebook is considered a blog and you can publish posts to it, LinkedIn you can publish posts to it. The problem with those platforms is you don’t control them. You don’t own them. You can’t advertise maybe quite the way you would want to on those platforms, which is the challenge. I mean, you always want, if you’re going to invest this much time in writing something, you want to own the platform that you are writing for. Do you know what I mean?

1. Finding Good Domains is my favorite place for finding good domain names. If you go up in this top chatbox, then you can just type in a domain name. I just picked up over the weekend digital accelerator, which you’re going to see some cool stuff happen with. So I picked up but we have, .com, .net, those were all taken. But what it does is it lets you see all of the new-age kind of TLDs that are available and it’s updated all the time. I had a domain awhile that I bought like four years ago,, which we started, which I started building out over the weekend, too.

You’re going to see more about Digital Academy. But if you wanted to, let’s say, what’s good, is available. You can register it. But it gives you a big long list of all the domains that can be registered. You can click right through here and go and purchase this domain through GoDaddy. I want my name, of course, they get the affiliate commission, but they deserve it because they’re awesome. And that’s their incentive for continuing to run this tool. Now there’s a couple of different ways, so once you get a domain name, it’s kind of like your address on the internet. You have to hook that up with a web hosting account.

2. Web Hosting

A Web hosting account is a place on the internet where your website files are living. So whenever you type, then it goes and hits a server out in the middle of cyberspace somewhere, and then it pulls up all of those website files and it loads them on your screen. Hosting is just another piece that you need to have. Now I’ve used Media Temple owned by GoDaddy for years. I like Media Temple. I think most of the web hosts online now are owned by GoDaddy, but Media Temple is real nice. It used to be a premium level of hosting. I think it still is. GoDaddy is the biggest, as far as I know, it’s either GoDaddy or HostGator which are the biggest website hosting platforms. But setting up hosting is pretty simple.

You can register your domain and host it from the same place. The GoDaddy hosting used to be kind of shitty but they’ve done a lot to make it better. All you need is you need just this web hosting. You can do web hosting if it’s going to be a simple little personal blog for a while. Then you can just do this deluxe plan, which is $5.99 or $6.99. Oh, it’s $7.99 a month. So unlimited websites, unlimited storage.

It’s a nice plan to kind of grow into. Once you get to a point where you’re running 3,000, 5,000 visitors a month, you’re probably going to want to upgrade into a bigger, dedicated hosting plan. But of course, you’re going to be generating revenue as a professional blogger. You’re going to be generating revenue that you’re then going to reinvest back into your business for more traffic, for better hosting, for quicker load times. All of that stuff becomes important once you start running a real business from your blog.

3. Content Management System – WordPress

So this is GoDaddy, then the software that we use is WordPress. So Now, WordPress is an open-source content management system, it’s CMS. WordPress was just a blogging platform before but they’ve expanded to being a content management system over the last probably three or four years. WordPress, from what I know, WordPress powers like 24% of all websites online. It is ridiculously powerful and useful and prevalent. There are thousands of plugins, thousands of themes that help you extend the functionality of WordPress. Install is super quick. So in fact it probably lists it here. The ultimate plan is to use WordPress. You don’t necessarily need to have this ultimate plan for GoDaddy to use WordPress, but WordPress is a one-click installation for most hosting providers. So it is not that difficult. You don’t even need to know about to install it.

And install is a breeze. You set it up, you throw up your theme, your plugins, all that stuff, and then you just start blogging. There are millions of tutorials on WordPress, so it’s really easy to learn, it’s really easy to customize, so that’s where you would start. Now, once you start, once you get your domain name and your hosting and WordPress set up, and you pick your theme and all of that initial setup stuff, then it’s time to start figuring out what you’re going to write. We’ve covered a lot on content marketing and researching keywords and all of that stuff. But what I will say originally is you just want to get some momentum.

writing your first article content

Writing Your First Content

I’ve had clients who like, “Well, I’m going to start marketing content”. I’m like, “Okay, cool. Awesome”. And they’re like, “I’m going to create three articles a week for the next year, which is going to give me 150 articles”. And whenever I hear things like that, I’m like, “No, no, no, no, no. You’re going to create one article tomorrow. And then once that one article is done, then we’re going to talk about the article that you’re going to make in two days after that”.

It’s really important to take small steps when accomplishing a task that can be as large as this. Just figure out what your first piece of content is going to be, and write that article and post it, and then give it a couple of days, and then write the next article, and post it and then give it a couple of days, and write the next article and post it. The reason I’m saying this is because when you make up your mind to become a professional blogger when you decide to start messing with this, it is really easy to let your head get the better of you, and say, “Oh man, 150 articles in a year. Like that’s fucking ridiculous”. It’s a lot of words. It’s a lot of words, especially like our average article, when I write an article it’s 1,500 to 2,000 words.

When I transcribe it from these videos, it’s about 4,000 words. For 150 articles, that’s a lot of words. Don’t let the size of that dissuade you from doing something. One article is all it takes. Just let it hang out and be an article a week, and that’s what you commit to. You’re going to have 52 articles by the end of the year. Once you get more comfortable with it, add more in. That is how you build some great content. Don’t try to bite off this huge lump of work that you haven’t even started yet. Because once you, if you commit to writing an article a week, then you look back in six months, and you’re like, shit, that’s awesome. I wrote 25 articles, 30 articles, you know what I mean?

That is where you start to pick up momentum. You’re getting search traffic because it’s all really good content. You’re able to post affiliate links and all that other stuff. So, I have three minutes now to cover some different ways that we can generate revenue. In terms of making money blogging, there are 12 revenue generators. And this is a recap for literally everything we’ve covered in the previous 96 episodes of GSD daily. You can sell your products, eBooks, video courses, membership sites, masterminds, or any of that sort of stuff. It is also possible for you to sell your services.

Whether it’s financial planning services, or marketing agency services, or website design services, or whatever, you can sell them all from a blog, too. You can sell affiliate offers. So whether you find something on that you want to sell as an affiliate, or JBzoo or Commission Junction, or whatever, you can sell affiliate stuff right from your blog post. You can post banner ads. So there are lots of ways that you can get a banner ad snippet and make a couple of cents per ad impression or ad click. Ad sense is one of them, is another one. There are text link ads, which isn’t so much of a big thing anymore. It used to be huge 10 years ago when I started.

I was making $600, $700 bucks from a little tiny block of text links. Now, when you start blogging and start getting search traffic, I get hit up probably 10 times a day for, they’re going to pay me 50 bucks to put an ad or put a link in an article, or whatever, and just pay me through PayPal. I don’t take them, because we’re trying to promote our things, but that will happen. The sponsored listing, sponsored posts, and all that stuff. Sponsored content is another one. You’ll get the best pay just by writing reviews on products, Amazon products, review services, software, mobile apps, all that other stuff.

Site sponsorships, where somebody does a whole site sponsorship and pays you X amount, $2,500 bucks a month to sponsor your site and their ads show up in front of your readers. Job boards are another one I haven’t played with much. You need to have a lot of traffic to have a good job board up. Sponsored mailings is another one. If you are using your blog to generate an email list, then you can sell $1,000 per mailing to somebody else. You would mail your list on their behalf. So it’s another way to generate revenue. Brokering. So being that you are the center of the action between buyers and sellers, you have creators and consumers, you can connect them in meaningful ways into JV partnerships and stuff, where you take as a second-tier commission.

You can do podcast advertising if you have a podcast. Same with video advertising if you have a video, or if you do video content. So let me drop the link for this blog post here in the chat. There’s a lot of different ways you can generate revenue as a professional blogger. Start writing your content is the most important thing. That is going to, by far and away, getting started in just writing an article a week is going to put you on the path to getting your traffic, to helping people solve problems, and then ultimately to generating revenue in your life.

For Questions and Guide

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