How To Make A Six-Figure Income From Blogging and Writing
A reality check and guidance based on experience on various platforms
I offer a quick taste from my realistic perspectives and professional insights in the field. The more you earn, the happier I can be. I am on your side as a fellow content developer. However, this story serves to check reality to prevent disappointment, rejections, and withdrawal from practice.
I am inspired to write this story after reflecting from bloggers and writers who make substantial money and share their earnings with pride in social media. There are two sides to a coin and multiple sides to a three-dimensional fence.
Being on multiple sides of the metaphorical fence, I am not saying it is impossible to make a six-figure income if you put the required time and effort, and make substantial trade-offs. In fact, I admire those who can do it, sacrificing some valuable aspects of their lives. Wish I could, but my values and goals are different.
While some of us dislike high-income earners for various reasons, they are functional components of the writing ecosystems.
As a content strategist, my concern is different. From my perspective, the problem relates to newbies who follow the "expert" advice without even challenging the beliefs. Many claims are belief-based rather than fact-based. More importantly, advice on social media is subjective and context-sensitive.
Why I specifically focus on new starters: Because they see only one side of the fence and are amazed by greener pastures. These beginners cannot get even one-figure income but aim for a six-figure.
What is wrong with this aspiration? Aspirations are essential for growth but not factoring in reality can cause rejections, disappointments, losing motivation, giving up, and even regrets from unrepairable damage. I witness many new writers and bloggers who experienced this lifecycle.
Was the advice wrong, or didn't the newbies know how to follow the instructions, or something else?
All the above!
The advice might be solid in theory but may cause struggle in reality. Just one-time success of an idea does not necessarily make it valid. Only after repeatable success can a piece of advice relate to a more significant population and be used in practice.
As a published author with multiple books, contributing to several platforms over the last two decades and publishing hundreds of articles and blogs read by thousands, I am still far from six figures. Data from my case, as an active content developer and strategist, can be an indicator to challenge the claims and beliefs in expert advice on social media. Just showing a single article or a blog post in social media, and highlighting how much it earns can sound interesting and exciting, but it has little to do with six-figure earning.
Please don't see this perspective as discouragement. I am optimistic with a growth mindset and entrepreneurial aspirations but always operate in reality for good reasons. I don't want anyone to be disappointed and hurt with false premises. The competition is fierce.
Let's take the point of writing and blogging consistently every day. The advice for posting every day is solid, but it is no panacea for high earning. If your articles and blog posts are only reaching five to ten people a day, even if you write 50 articles a day, you still have a long way to go for six-figure.
My situation may sound slightly different as I don't write merely for money. However, my interactions and current situation may reflect insights into those who do it for money.
By the way, I am not against those who write for money. Far from it, I support them as money is a motivation for creativity and productivity.
After introducing hidden roadblocks and negative consequences, now, let me focus on possibilities so that you get some hope and a smile on your face.
From my perspectives, there appears to be only one way of earning a six-figure income from writing consistently. This only way is to get lucky in broad terms. Yes, luck plays a critical role in making money from online content.
You need luck for your posts to go viral. Realistically, you may need several posts per week to go viral. Is this possible? Yes and no. Luck is a complex topic.
Can everyone have luck? Yes, why not!
People can make their chance. However, creating luck requires a lot of work. Actual work! It is not as easy as it looks from a distance. We need to learn how to deal with uncertainty. Tolerating ambiguity is a critical skill required for creating luck.
But, I don't use the term luck much, I replace it with "serendipity", as it resonates better with me. So how can we create serendipity?
Let me drill down the facts in plain language with relevant examples to unfold this complex concept.
First of all, your content must be controversial. This means that some readers must like it, and some readers must hate it. The bigger the dichotomy you have between these groups, the better outcomes you can have. Finding this balance requires substantial writing experience. Gaining this type of experience and developing these complex skills from books or course materials is not feasible.
But writing something controversial does not mean you need to compromise the rigour of facts and quality standards. You still need to deliver high-quality content which can mesmerize your readers and encourage them to spread the word.
Remember this term "spread the word" as it is the key player and can make the real difference to create serendipity. Another useful term that can add clarity to this concept is synergy. To create serendipity, we first need to create synergy.
Viral stories do not just happen passively on readers' inbox. They must metaphorically burn the inbox by compelling the readers to share them with others. Spreading the word can initiate your content to go viral. Not many high-income earners touch on this blind spot.
You may comment and ask, if so many people write on controversial topics, how come their stories don't go viral. Good question. There is more to this point.
Your post must have an irresistible and compelling title to urge and encourage the reader to open it. It takes the reader just a few seconds to decide to read it. Can your title create an instant emotion in your readers? This is a question you need to ask when creating titles for your potential viral posts.
Your initial readers browse the first paragraph. It takes them a few seconds to decide to read the rest of the post. If your story is too difficult, unappealing, and low quality, it instantly loses its chance even though you deliver the most tantalizing title. Worst of all, they blame your title as click-bait. This is not a desirable situation for writers and bloggers trying to reach out to a broad audience and sustain their visibility.
Not only the reader stops reading it, but he or she also wouldn't even care to share it. And most likely, they will never consider rereading your stories. You may get blacklisted in other words. I witnessed many readers mute offending writers in various social media platforms.
You think I am demanding with these statements. Not at all. I am reflecting the reality by wearing my reader, writer, and editor hats. I have been on multiple sides of the fence, therefore provide practical and useful perspectives.
Even though it is different in other aspects of life, emotions prevail over logic for viral content. In other words, the more emotions your posts can create the more chance they can create to go viral. Not necessarily good feelings. Bad emotions like sadness and anger can sometimes trigger the reader to take action to read, to criticize, and to share.
Did you notice that many viral articles have substantial comments on them? The audience seems to be torn between choices. Some make the author hero and some the villain. And some stay neutral in between. Reading the comments from the viral posts can give us useful insights.
This was a quick taste to earning a good income from your content. Every writer and blogger wants to earn a good income. And some writers and bloggers want to make a six-figure income.
I provided some preliminary perspectives. Modelling successful writers is the right approach, but we need to go beyond that. We need to customize what we plan to model.
I hope this brief introduction to earning six-figure income provide you with useful perspectives. My aim is to challenge your beliefs and what you learn from other writers and bloggers realistically. Something right for someone may not necessarily be right for you. You can check this story about creating viral stories: How To Write Viral Stories In 7 Simple Steps.
A reasonable approach is to take the advice, test it, fail fast, and start the next iteration. Unless we secure, one, two, three, four, and five, it will be very difficult to reach six-figure income.
Some pay the premium price to earn status in life, and some are reluctant to do. A good start is to know our capability, capacity, and motives.
A powerful question to ask is: what are we really trading off while earning a six-figure income?
Thank you for reading my perspectives.
About the author
I'm a writer and published author with four decades of content development experience in business, technology, leadership, and health. I work as a postdoctoral researcher and consultant. My background is at https://digitalmehmet.com.