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One of the fears many people from many different industries have is whether their skills are transferable to another occupation. They say people change jobs on average seven times in their lifetimes. The older I get the more I believe this statistic.

Despite getting an MBA and working in finance since 1999, I wasn’t sure whether I had any useful skills in the tech sector. I wanted to at least give tech a try just to say that I participated in the golden era of the internet while living in SF. Succeed or fail was less important given I had already accumulated my target financial nut.

As feared, I wasn’t given a chance to join any tech company despite my applications. I knew very few people in tech to provide any introductions. It was only after almost two years of half-heartedly searching that I stumbled across Personal Capital, a financial tech company, because a content manager position opened up, and I was a long-time affiliate partner and user.

Although we bloggers have come a long way, I still think we lack the respect we really deserve by journalists, everyday people, journalism schools, and businesses. Sure, some blogs have sold for multi-millions of dollars, but for the most part, anybody over 30 will probably discount blogging as a admirable profession. People looked at me cock-eyed every time I said I was a blogger, so now I just say I have an online media business. When they don’t understand, they discredit.


A couple years ago I did some due diligence on the Stanford School of Journalism. They had a PhD program, which I considered, until I realized there was no way I could last 5-7 years in research mode. Then I discovered the Knight Fellowship Program, which paid something like $75,000 a year and provided what seemed like an innovative learning experience over a year and a half period.

I applied and got the big fat NO (they select ~15 domestic fellows a year out of hundreds). But I did keep in touch with some of the fellows and curiously followed their journey. One fellow recently graduated and updated her LinkedIn profile with the following description: “FREE LANCE (sic), Content and Storytelling Strategist.”

In other words, after finishing up the Knight Fellowship Program, she did not create something of her own, but ended up just another freelancer who writes posts and tells stories! Do you really need a fellowship or a graduate degree to do such a thing?

We bloggers OWN our domains. We are marketers, storytellers, SEO veterans, social media strategists, and business people. If you own your own domain, you have the ability to control your destiny. You partially control and influence a little slice of the world. If you are a freelancer (don’t confuse being a blogger with being a freelancer), you are constantly looking for your next gig with much less control.

Those bloggers who are able to create a large presence should be looked upon with much higher esteem than an editor from a major media publication, a journalist, or a freelancer. As a blogger, you created your presence and have to do the work of every department. As an employee of a media organization, you are just one part of the machine. The organization lives on if you leave. The same cannot be said for a blogger. Bloggers hire freelancers, not the other way around.


I’ve had the opportunity to intimately work in the marketing department of a financial tech startup for the past six months. Based on what I’ve observed, the person who can create and market the content effectively should be the MOST coveted employee in the marketing department. I may be biased, but I’ll tell you why as someone who doesn’t need to necessarily work to survive.

1) Great content rules the web. We bloggers know what type of content works well (great organic growth, SEO, etc) and what works poorly. Online writing is a skill that takes thousands of hours of practice. You can’t just try harder to write better often times. Writing takes a different part of the brain. Less than 1% of the population will write as frequently as us. We are therefore at a great competitive advantage when it comes to written communication, story telling, and content generation. Once you develop the critical skill of good written communication, you become a marketing gem at any organization. There’s blog post writing, advertisement copy, press releases, webinar copy, internal communications, and outreach that is in the domain of the writer.

2) Great content lowers advertising spend. CPC costs range as low as 50 cents to $1 for content advertising on platforms like Dianomi and Outbrain. CPC costs for direct advertising generally cost between $1 – $3 a click. But if you have a fantastic piece of content, you can lower the price to under 10 cents. When you can lower costs by 90%+ and get the same amount of traffic or more, you should be handsomely rewarded. Advertising budgets for firms are in the hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars a month. What is the value of the person who can reduce costs by $900,000 for the same amount of exposure with a great article? A lot!

3) Social Media is second nature. Bloggers have incorporated social media into their relationship building and blog promotion strategies since the beginning. Interestingly enough, there are many firms who hire teams of people who JUST manage Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest. Can you imagine getting paid $60,000 a year just to tweet 8 times a day and post content that someone else painstakingly wrote onto Facebook? As a blogger, you can create the content and market the content on social media. In other words, you are doing two jobs in one, and should be paid a premium if you work at an organization who hires both content creator and social media person.

4) Without the content, there is a gaping hole to sell. Who wants to just get bombarded with banner ads highlighting how great so-and-so product is? Content marketing is a better way of advertising because it costs less and provides VALUE to potential customers. Content marketing is fantastic for branding and directing conversations on the web. As affiliate marketing experts on our own blogs, we know posts that convert the best provide solutions to readers’ problems.

5) Search Engine Optimization just happens. Bloggers know all about SEO, because we’ve read hundreds of articles on the subject and have spent hours implementing our findings. We are constantly testing our titles, our content, and our strategies. Some of us know how to recover from search penalties. We know all about keyword density, headers, search friendly titles, content length strategies, keyword research, niche site building, and creating perpetual income streams. Many organizations also hire specifically for SEO. The question every organization should ask is: If you are such an SEO expert, why would you work for us instead of create your own highly SEOed site with great traffic and make lots of money on your own? The truth of the matter is, you can’t be much of an SEO expert if you don’t have proof of your own website creation that is heavily trafficked. Everybody would rather makes gobs of money working a couple hours of day than make a much lower salary working for someone else working 8-10 hours a day.

6) Excellent negotiators. Successful bloggers are also successful negotiators. Bloggers must constantly negotiate advertising rates, campaigns, and other deals to maximize their revenues without burning their audiences with fake and repetitive content that ads no value. Successful bloggers will get to negotiate a deal at least once every two days, if not every day, thereby honing their negotiation skills far beyond the normal person. We all get bombarded with offers every day. Bloggers know how to cut through the noise and get straight to the most promising deals.

7) Good communicators. Due to the constant act of writing, bloggers are much better communicators compared to the average person, because the average person doesn’t write nearly as much. Bloggers understand pain points and know how to rally enthusiasm and support. As a good communicator, a blogger can be sent to conferences to be a good brand ambassador for the company. A blogger will probably also be a better presenter than the average person. Good communicators are hard to come by. There’s a reason why some employees stay in the back, crunch numbers all day, and are never client facing. Companies who allow poor communicators to be client facing are shooting themselves in the foot.


A company hiring a blogger is like hiring four people in one. Bloggers should be able to make $100,000 – $200,000 a year as a content creator in the marketing department if the company values your experience. Every single company, large or small should hire a veteran blogger to produce content and build the company’s brand. I’ve seen with my own eyes how much great content can drive down marketing costs, generate leads, and engage the existing user base.

The only problem for bloggers is that the older generation still looks down on bloggers even though some bloggers make way more than the very people who look down on bloggers. Due to such a bias against bloggers, we must fight for what we are truly worth or we must go to companies with a younger demographic who don’t have as much bias.

The other strategy is to simply apply to be a SEO specialist, a social media coordinator, or online marketer if they don’t see a blogger’s worth. You won’t get paid as much, but you can have fun at the job, be less stressed, and still be part of the team. And if you’re thinking about leaving your job, I’ve written a book on how to negotiate your severance package to give you a good runway to explore your new career!


It’s been over six years since I started Financial Samurai and I’m actually earning a good passive and active income stream online now. My online presence has allowed me to pursue other things, such as consulting for various financial tech startups as well.

I never thought I’d be able to quit my job in 2012 just three years after starting Financial Samurai. But by starting one financial crisis day in 2009, Financial Samurai actually makes more than my entire passive income total that took 15 years to build. If you enjoy writing, creating, connecting with people online, and enjoying more freedom, learn how you can set up a WordPress blog in 15 minutes like this one. 

Leverage the 3+ billion internet users and build your brand online. You never know where the journey will take you! There are professional bloggers now who make way more than bankers, doctors, lawyers, and definitely journalists.

Updated for 2017 and beyond.