Blog As A Business

The following is a great post by who is building up his own blogging business. 

Earlier this year Business Insider ran a story that described the 10 ways that rich people think differently. For the record, they defined “being rich” as having an annual income of $160,000 or greater and a liquid net worth of $3.2 million or greater. Though there are lot of good habits that can help people become wealthy, one of the more common ones is the fact that a lot of them were business owners who started their own businesses.

Being the owner of a business is significantly better than being an employee. In one situation you trade your labor for a wage. But in the other you get compensated for having a property that others need.

Being an owner is scalable. There is no limit to the number of money making assets you can have. But being an employee is not. No matter what your wage is, you’ll always be constrained by the limitation that there are only 168 hours in a week.

Even though you may think you don’t have any grand business ideas or great inventions that anyone will ever want, I’ve got news for you: If you own a blog, you’ve probably got more of a chance at joining the financial free than you think. Here’s why.

A Blog and a Business Are Not the Same Thing:

First off, let it be well known: “A blog alone is not a business.”

Anyone who has ever registered a URL, posted a few articles on it every week, and expected to collect thousands of dollars in revenue every month has probably never been so disappointed. In reality they probably make next nothing and wonder “why?”

That’s a very common mistake that a lot of bloggers make in the beginning (myself included). They confuse simply having a website with owning an actual legitimate business. But the two are not the same.

A business is something that exists to generate revenue. It offers the customers something they find of value, and in return the customers compensate the owner for whatever it is they will receive.

On the contrary, most blogs that don’t generate any revenue are just a mixed collection of random topics and thoughts. There is often no strategy to the content, promotion, or placement of the advertisements.

If you’re struggling to make any money with your blog, take a good look at your site and ask yourself a serious question: What exactly am I offering?

  • Do I write about anything useful that would keep readers coming back?
  • Do I talk about useful services or products that would lead to any kinds of conversions?
  • Do I have enough traffic that advertisers would even want to entertain an affiliate relationship with me?
  • Is my website setup in a way that people could find my content naturally through Google?
  • Is there even an ultimate goal or monetization strategy to me running my blog?

It’s these types of reflections that could make the reverse of what we said above possible: You can start a business through your blog. But first you’ll have to treat it like one. Here’s how:

How a Blog Can Help You Become Wealthy:

There’s a huge difference between simply writing a blog and treating it like a business. In one instance you’re hoping to make money. In the other you’re doing things and testing new methods that you know will help you grow.

Rather than just writing a bunch of random articles, you need to create your content with a specific purpose or a goal in mind. You should use your blog as conduit for ideas, services, and products (either your own or from other people). It gives you the opportunity to be an entrepreneur and create something new. You have the chance to make money where none existed before and go far beyond what your labor wage.

The trick to it all is being conscious of these strategies. For the first year of my blogging career I made almost nothing. But then over the next two years I was able to start applying this philosophy and starting seeing some real income growth – over $30,000 to be exact! And the best part is – I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface of where this income generation could go.

So what are some of the things you could be doing that will help turn your blog into a real business?

Thinking about the monetization strategy ahead of time. When I started my guitar website, I knew ahead of time that I wanted to monetize it with Amazon rather than Google because the prospect for revenue would be much greater. I organized the theme and all my content around making it as easy as possible for my readers to click through to very specific products. There was a strategy before the first piece of content was ever written.

Whether you have a site now or plan to start a new one, you can still do the same thing. Write down a brief list of exactly how you plan to make money with your website. Is it with:

  • Google Adsense,
  • Amazon,
  • other affiliate programs,
  • your email list,
  • services,
  • private advertising?

Now ask yourself what you’re doing to help make each of those things happen. All of your content and actions should always be moving in a direction that helps these business goals. Doing things that are neutral or counter-productive are a waste of time.

Make every post matter. One of the biggest changes I’ve made over the years is to focus less on quantity and more on quality. My ultimate goal is to get every post I write to rank in the Google Top 10 results so that it can be found naturally and organically by common Internet users from now until eternity. Why? Because regardless of what monetization strategy you choose, I’m sure it will always need one very important input – traffic!

Though most Internet marketers would have you believe this is a very complex process, it’s actually more about following some very basic SEO rules and producing good content to support. Basic stuff like picking low competition target keywords and using authority links can make a pretty big difference.

What do I want people do once they read my site? Suppose you were able to get 100,000 people visit your website every month. Visitors alone don’t make you rich. It’s what they do that counts.

What actual actions would you want those people to do when they got there?

  • Click on the ads?
  • Buy your products?
  • Sign up for your email list?
  • Hire you for whatever service you want to offer?

Now ask yourself: Is your website setup in a way that the visitor will do this? This is called a “call-to-action”, and as part of that monetization strategy we talked about above you need to think about the placement of things and whether or not they are setup in a way that will help you achieve your goals.

Suppose for a second that your goal was to have people click on your ads. Take a look at any big-name website that you respect and compare what they’re doing to what you’re doing. For example: Notice how Financial Samurai has 3 ads before you ever even read the post.


That’s not a coincidence – that’s just good strategy!

Writing about what your audience really wants. One of the biggest mistakes I see other blogs make is that they write articles that are “me, me, me”. Me-me-me is okay if all you want to do is write a blog. But it’s not okay if you want it to run like a business.

Think of every time you go to the Internet. It’s usually because you’re looking for something – an answer, a how-to, even entertainment. If you land on a website that doesn’t do that, then you pass it on. Now look at your site and really ask yourself: Am I answering someone else’s question? Am I giving a great how-to? Is my post even entertaining? Again, compare yourself to a blog you really respect and take notice of the differences.

Paying attention to what’s already ranking well. Maybe you think your article is awesome. But how do you really know if it’s going to stack up to what Google (and more importantly its users) think is great? There is a really easy way – type your question into Google and browse through the Top 10 results. If those top 10 results are better or more resourceful than what you’re about to publish, then you may want to re-evaluate your content. Chances are it’s going to have a hard time breaking the top 10 if what you’re about to publish isn’t even as good as what’s already out there.

Diversifying. No one ever said you have to stick to one blog. If you want to write about multiple topics, consider creating more than one website. From a user perspective and SEO approach, this will a whole better because the visitors will find the targeted information they’re looking for rather than having to browse through a mix-match of content stuffed onto one site. Plus much like a diversified investment portfolio, this will give you a unique chance to make money from more than one source.

You’ve Got a Unique Opportunity:

Owning a business means having a strategy. It means thinking ahead and moving towards a direction. There’s testing and trying new things when the last thing you did doesn’t work (or is no longer working). Without all of that, all you’ve got is a blog.

I find it truly remarkable that week after week I can check my Adsense account and see activity for webpages that I created years ago. Now every day while I’m at work or sleeping, people all over the world are typing search terms into Google and being redirected to my websites. They read the content I’ve created and possibly click on one of the ads surrounding it. And why do I get this special financial privilege? Because I’m the owner. Because I recognized that there was a legitimate opportunity that was too good to pass up.

The good news to all of this is that the barriers to entry are still incredibly low. Google and SEO are always changing. Websites are always going down while new ones go up. But one thing remains constant – advertising. As long as billions of people search the Internet every single day and click on ads, the Internet will always need good content to support it. And with that there will always be an opportunity to make money.

Using your blog as a business is about as much of a mediocracy as you’re ever going to find. When a regular guy like me can write a post about investing and have it out-rank a professional article that appeared in Forbes, that’s a power you’d never find anywhere but on through the Internet.

Regardless of whether you’re a seasoned blogger or just entertaining the idea, I highly encourage you to check out my +7,500 word how to start a blog tutorial post. You’ll find everything in there from getting started to advanced techniques such as keyword research and link building. I tried very hard to pack everything in!

Honestly if you look to your blog and ask yourself “how can I turn this into a business”, I think you’ll be surprised with what you can do. Building websites is one of the most risk free, low-expense, high-return ventures that you could possibly get yourself into. And more importantly – it’s a lot of fun too. But it’s up to you how far you want to take it. So don’t just own a blog. Create a real business that puts you on the path to wealth.


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. There are professional bloggers now who make way more than bankers, doctors, lawyers, and entrepreneurs while having much more fun, much more freedom, and doing less work. Get started. You never know where the journey will take you!

Updated for 2017 and beyond.