Skills Needed to Make Money Blogging

When people find out that I’m a professional blogger, they either ask me what the hell that means or how is it possible to make enough money to live on by blogging. Many people seem to think that there must be some hidden secret to easy success that only a few know and that is what has kept them from being able to make more than a few hundred dollars a month blogging.

While you will likely be disappointed to learn that there are no secrets or an easy path to this success, you should be encouraged to know that it’s possible for anyone to be a pro blogger if they really want to. The main catch is that if you want to succeed, you are going to have to work hard. Really hard. Probably harder than you have ever worked before. However, if you are willing to do this, you can make money. I’m the perfect example of “if he can make money on the Internet, anyone can.”

I have no special skill that has allowed me to make money blogging. I write a decent amount, but I am by no means prolific. There are many bloggers that produce much more content than I do. While I do know the subject matter I write about, all the information has, for the most part, been self-taught. So the question is why have I been able to make blogging a full-time job when many others who have better skills and talent than I haven’t?

I believe most of it simply comes down to attitude. While it helps to have superior writing skills, that in itself isn’t enough to succeed. I won’t BS you and say that making money blogging is easy or simple. It’s true that some people get lucky blogging and making money ends up being easy for them (just like there are lottery winners that make money) but far more of the people who are making money simply appear to have been lucky. The truth is that they worked long hours to get where they are. While this is probably not a typical list of traits and skills that are associated with blogging or Internet entrepreneurship in general, I don’t think I would be blogging full-time today without them:


90% of making money blogging is not quitting. There is a lot of talent out there that simply doesn’t have the stamina, willpower and just plain stubbornness to keep going when the only two people reading your blog are yourself and your (mom, dad, sister, brother, friend). A stubborn streak has helped me keep going even when it seemed that nobody knew that I existed on the Internet.

Most people quit because the success doesn’t come quickly or easy enough for them. It takes a substantial amount of work and dedication (likely much more than you ever imagined), to make any business successful and the same is true with blogging. Having a stubborn streak that made me refuse to give up has helped me clear numerous hurdles that could have easily stopped me dead in my tracks.


I love what I do and if you don’t love whatever you choose to write about on the Internet, you’re going to make it nearly impossible to succeed. In fact, I can say that I would be doing what I am doing now even if I wasn’t making a cent. I know because when I started I wasn’t and even after 2 years of blogging, I still had no reasonable expectation that I would.

It takes time to make money on the Internet because people have to discover you. If I didn’t truly enjoy doing what I’m doing, I would never have had the stamina to keep going. Passion let me spend long hours working on the Internet without realizing how much time I was actually devoting. Even with all those long hours, I still enjoyed spending the time doing what I was doing above all the other choices I had.


Working on the Internet will always pose unexpected problems and it will be essential to use creativity to help solve the numerous problems that are bound to arise along the way. The solution to the problems often won’t reveal itself right away. I have had to try new ideas including multiple failures until I hit on something that worked for what I was trying to accomplish. Being able to be creative and adapt has helped a lot in making everything work.

Self Motivation

If you want to find an excuse not to do something that you know needs to get done, but which you really don’t feel like doing, there are a lot of easy ones to adopt. You are your own boss and if you want to waste time, it’s easy to do. Since I work for myself, being able to motivate myself to keep writing and putting effort into my current projects when it didn’t always seem to be worthwhile to do so was essential. If I hadn’t been able to find ways to keep myself motivated at all stages of growing my blogs, none of these would exist today. It wasn’t always easy to keep going when it seemed there was no reward for the effort, but even during those times I found a way to motivate myself to keep producing material.


I don’t believe I ever had a grand vision of where my writing would eventually lead, but I have always had a vision of where I wanted to go next. Instead of being at the bottom of a mountain and looking at the top and saying I wanted to get there, I started at the bottom and saw a step in front of me that I wanted to climb. From there, I found the next step. and then the next step. As the blogs have grown, I think I am beginning to have a wider outlook, but that concentrated vision in the beginning was extremely helpful.


I knew I was in this for the long haul from the beginning. In fact, when I started there wasn’t any platform out there for people to make money from content alone (adsense didn’t exist). It never entered my mind that I would make a lot of money quickly, let alone ever. I felt that if I could produce good quality content and information for people who eventually it would be of value for advertisers and figured it was going to be years down the road. Had I assumed that I was going to make money in a short period of time, I would have been highly disappointed and probably quit long ago.


Everyone has their own voice and you need to use it. I have brought my own voice into my writing. While this may sound obvious, it has been difficult to accomplish. I’m not the best writer in the world and I would even say that a good description of my writing style is “common.” When I see other writers that put the words down so much more eloquently than I am able to do, I want to change my style. The few times I’ve tried this, it has been disastrous because it simply isn’t me. That is not to say that I don’t incorporate ideas that I see other writers doing that I like, but when I do this, I do it in my own style instead of trying to change mine to theirs.


Not faith in the spiritual sense, but the faith that what you’re writing or creating is helpful to others. When I first began writing, I received little feedback because there just weren’t a lot of people reading what I wrote. I had faith that what I was creating was worthwhile and helpful to those few that did find their way to my writing. Having that faith will help you to keep going and creating content, and even more so when you do begin to receive positive feedback.


I would never be near where I am today without a lot of help from others along the way. When I first started out, it was brutal and downright frustrating trying to get the word out that my blog existed. Over time, however, I was able to find other people who were in the same situation as I was and we banded together to help each other and our blogs as best we could. There were also some slightly bigger and more established sites that took a chance on my potential and drive by helping me out when they could have very easily ignored me. I could have never done it on my own.

No Outside Life

You have to be willing to give up a lot of the activities and free time that you had before beginning the project. You have to be willing to put these other activities aside as you build your presence on the Internet, especially in the beginning. When I first started, I was working full-time at another job. It was literally like doing two full-time jobs at the same time. I had to make some big changes in how I spent my free time. If you think you are going to be able to succeed only spending an extra hour or two when you can find the time, you will be sadly disappointed when the money doesn’t come.

As you can see, my list of what you need to be a successful blogger doesn’t match up well with most of the others you have probably read. It certainly isn’t the “quick and easy” success that seems to scream in every advertisement you see. I do, however, believe it’s a realistic list of what helped me get to where I am today.

For those that are hoping for directions on how to make easy money, I apologize if my list disappoints. What I can say is that the skills listed above are ones that every person has within them and therefore anyone can succeed if they are willing to put forth the effort. Even with all the work, disappointments and frustration, it’s a wonderful experience along the way. And it is due to those many obstacles that it’s all the more satisfying when you can say writing on the Internet is your full-time career.

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22 Responses to Skills Needed to Make Money Blogging

  1. Broken Arrow says:

    Haha, thanks for sharing this Jeffrey. An honest, down-to-earth, and realistic assessment on what it takes to be a pro-blogger.

  2. An OUTSTANDING Article.

    Thanks for this, I’ll show my wife a printed copy of your blog today. She thinks I spend too much time blogging.

    Have you visited my blog, “Decisions About Money and Controversial Commentary” ?

    If not, Please do so.

    I have had your site on my blogroll for quite a long time now, because your content is Always Superior!

    Thanks, John DeFlumeri Jr.

  3. mattpet says:

    thanks for the honesty and helping decide it may be for me for a career.

  4. Tom Rose says:

    Wow! I had the strangest sense of deja vu reading this, thinking “when did I write this article?” I’m a little different in that I am a freelance blogger, but without some great people having given me a chance, even doing that would have been impossible. I’m bookmarking your blog and sending it around to my circle of friends who are struggling, but on the verge as well.

    The one thing I can say is that freelancing has given me the ability to finally be able to put the time in to my own blogs and not worry about a salary like I used to. Well done!

  5. Bobby says:

    Great piece. I think passion is the most important ingredient. There are far more topics on which I could blog than topics which I’m passionate about. There’s the rub.

  6. sheri says:

    Awesome blog! Thank you for the boost to know I can do this too! :)

  7. Shadox says:

    Stubbornness is no guarantee of success. I have been blogging for about 2 and a half years, and have seen only very modest success. Of course, I am blogging for fun and not money, so that may have something to do with the outcome… :-)

  8. Omar says:

    Thanks for your honest assessment. I usually write drafts and save them. Then I can edit and post. I know I have to work harder on building an online presence. I’m in the beginning stages. I want my content to inspire and enlighten people. I know the money is coming as long as I give value to others and enjoy what I do. I love what I do so now I have to keep pushing so my site can get better and the readership grows. Thanks for the post.

  9. sherry says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. I agree with a lot of what you said. I enjoy blogging as well and believe that if you love what you do, it doesn’t seem like work when you are doing it.

  10. GaelicWench/Jo says:

    This article couldn’t have come at a better time. Since I am receiving very few hours to work at my current place of employment, it’s obvious I will need to find another means to bring in more income.

    Having only a high school diploma, I’ve been concerned that perhaps I needed further education; at best, a few classes in English at a nearby CC would be a minimum. But when I read from others who have blogs and see the largely unedited prose, I need not worry. Also, I find myself immediately turned off when corrections aren’t made – be it spelling, grammar or syntax after making a few adjustments to a sentence. Truly unprofessional.

    Your article was 100% spot on, Jeffrey; I truly appreciate this, as it will motivate me to perhaps pursue this endeavor. As for my passion, I have a few I could start with, knowing that research is imperative as well.

    Now, I need to go back and do any necessary editing over what I just wrote.

    Thanks again for a well-timed article. Jo

  11. Gail says:

    Great and honest post. I see too many trying to tempt people into thinking that blogging and making good money can be cone easily. Real work and real money never come easily. It takes dedication and perseverance. I blog when I have time and have made a tiny bit of money. I know I could make more if I put more effort into it, yet I have other things that need the effort currently and that is my focus.

  12. I love the honesty about the amount of work and the length of time it took. I think you need to mention how many blogs you had to do to make money.

    The only problem I still have is that creativity problem.

  13. Robert says:

    I agree with Bobby. Passion is the key ingredient, If you blog about your passion, You’ll enjoy it no matter how much time it takes to monetize. Good Luck

  14. Hiro says:

    I just wanted to send you a comment for this really great article. There are so many hustlers and ‘get rich quick online’ people, that it is often hard to find some simple, honest, reality-based advice. I face the day to day struggle of facing the fear of failure, maintaining faith and reading a wonderful article like yours in very helpful. Thank you very much for the honest words.

  15. Jeffrey Strain says:

    Hi Jeffrey..Your article gives me lots of hope. Only one thing disappointed me when you said you worked for 2 years before enough success. Hmm! Can

  16. Gail says:

    Wesley, Adsense and affliate marketing WAS available 2 years ago and even before that. What you are wanting apparently is the get rich quick method of Blogging for dollars which isn’t available. Set your goals and what you need to achieve them and start working today, ie. Oct 4, don’t wait to set those goals till tomorrow or the next day or you might never do it.

  17. MintingPennies says:

    Great article. I think the most important are stubbornness, vision and faith. Without these, it would be hard to last. But I would also like to add that partnering up with someone is something that people should consider. Now I know what all of you are thinking…you don’t want to split revenues with someone, but if you really think about it, the pros far outweigh the cons. If you are looking to be successful twice as fast, two people are better than one. And from what I’ve read, and as far as business go, the success/money curve is exponential–meaning once you break through and you have a good online presence, it compounds at a much faster pace. But until you have built up your presence, it can be tough going at it by yourself and being motivated enough to keep doing it. With a partner, you can do twice as much work, have an accountability partner and “specialize” which will ultimately help you during the “initial phase” while you work on building an online presence. Just my two cents! Just discovered this site, considered it stumbled!


  18. RA Friedman says:

    Remarkably similar, if not identical to what it takes to make it as a visual artist or to swim in any other artistic field. Well done!


  19. Loaner says:

    Wow! This is a great article. For once it’s not all about getting rich quick. It sounds like the truth. It really points up that a blogger needs to love and believe in what they’re writing about, because the time invested will never be worthwhile otherwise, but if someone does love and believe in their subject, it won’t seem like real work.

  20. Crashed says:

    These are great tips. The trick is staying focused on the end goal. I am working on a new blog/website and have no comments so far (other than spammers). It is, like you said, very challenging to stay focused when you feel you are posting and no one is listening or reading what you are posting. Just gotta keep at it and eventually will start to get noticed!

  21. Max G says:

    I have a blog of my own that I started just recently. You are right. It takes a lot of time and dedication to make it work instead of giving up. And you can’t expect to make money right away, it just doesn’t work like this.

  22. Arnuld says:

    You’ve just given me a really crazy idea for a product when my eyes came across that ‘blogging with passion’ line in your post. I’m itching to get started… and I’d just like to shoot you a BIG thank you for popping that idea into my head 😀

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