I’ve started wondering recently whether Medium is the right place for me. I enjoy writing there and interacting with other writers, but it feels a little like a day job. And a not-very-well-paid day job at that.
That led to me consider if writing elsewhere would be a better option.
I wrote in a recent post about a few previous side hustles that worked for me. This made me realize that instead of writing articles for money, I could be writing articles to both make money and build a business.
The one that is at the front of my mind at the moment is creating another travel blog.
I ran one years ago which earned me $60,000 over three years. I’ve earned over $7,000 on Medium in the last year. If I could replicate the success of my travel blog, I’d be making three times what I make there. And I’d be writing about something that I love — travel.
Here are the three main benefits I see from creating your own blog or website.
Benefit #1 — A blog can earn more money
The main benefit is that a blog could earn much more than I can earn here. Of course, there’s no guarantee. I’ve created many blogs and content websites over the years, with a few being complete failures. It’s entirely possible that I could create a travel blog that ends up earning next to nothing.
If you want to start a blog, you’ll love this article about how you can set up a blog for just $33 for a whole year.
There are no guarantees in life.
Benefit #2 — It’s easier to take time off without losing traction
As you are probably already aware, if you stop writing on Medium for a month or two, your views and earnings will likely collapse. With an established website or blog, your views and earnings can stay steady for months, and even years, without any further work.
You will generally be relying on traffic from Google search. Once your site is ranking well, the visitors will continue coming. When I had my travel blog, there were a few pages that got 100-400 visits every day for years. The keywords ranked very well, with some being at the top of the search results.
When this is the case, the pages don’t suddenly stop ranking just because you stop writing.
Benefit #3 — You can build a valuable asset
Suppose you earn $1,000 a month writing on Medium. Also, suppose you no longer have time to write here. What can you do? Nothing much, except let your earnings drift quickly down to $0.
Now suppose you built a blog that earns $1,000 a month. Also, like above, suppose you no longer have time to write there. What can you do? Well, you could take a year off and continue earning that $1,000 a month. Maybe it will drop a little. But maybe the earnings will grow a little even if you neglect the blog.
Over time, your rankings can improve even without extra work.
But you also have another option. You could sell your blog. A content blog can easily sell for 40 times the monthly profit. I’ve even seen them sell for 50-55 times monthly profit.
Your $1,000 a month blog could be sold for $40,000 to $55,000.
With a blog or website, you’re building a valuable asset. Build a few and you can make substantial amounts of money.
So, why doesn’t everyone do this if it’s so easy?
The simple answer is that it’s not easy. Sometimes, everything falls into place and it is really easy. My previous travel blog was pretty straightforward. I traveled and wrote about it. That’s it. Oh, and took a few photos as well.
Other times, nothing seems to work. In that case, you’ll likely need to abandon the blog and try another one.
You need a niche
But this won’t work if you just publish random posts.
One thing to note is that a successful website or blog needs to have a fairly tight niche. Usually, you also need to do keyword research. To rank well, you need to write about what readers are looking for. You also need to target low-competition keywords.
Target low-competition keywords
As an example, you’ll never rank well for ‘things to do in London‘. There are too many huge companies in this niche. The top companies have teams of employees working full-time on ranking their sites.
Go do a Google search and see for yourself. One of the top results is from Trip Advisor. They have over 4,000 employees. Do you think you or I can outrank them for ‘things to do in London‘?
But you could travel to lesser-known places and write about those. For example, you could visit Chiang Rai and Pai in northern Thailand. A post about ‘how to get from Chiang Rai to Pai‘ would be much easier to rank well. That may get you 10-50 visits to your site each day. Keep writing similar posts and the traffic can add up quickly.
My travel blog consistently got 25,000 to 40,000 page views per month while targeting low-competition keywords.
Even with a travel blog, it’s important to have some kind of niche. Maybe traveling in Asia, traveling with kids, traveling as a disabled person, or similar.
Abena Talks recently wrote a Medium article about how she makes great money writing about fruit. Yes, fruit! There are plenty of similar niches that can make great money. Have a read of her post below.
I Made $200,000 Online From This Weird Fruit
As mentioned above, you can’t just write about a bunch of random topics. You need to choose a niche and do some keyword research. Many websites cover keyword research in-depth, so I won’t go over it here.
I can’t say what’s right for you, but I will almost certainly start another travel blog. Stay tuned. First I need to find a great domain name and a decent WordPress theme.
I recently wrote about how I plan to earn $8,000 a month by the end of next year. One of the projects I was planning was a print-on-demand site. After further research, I decided to ditch that idea. I plan to replace that idea with a travel blog.
This should keep me on target.
Have you considered creating a blog or do you already have one? If you have one, how successful is it? If you have any tips, please share them in the comments section.