17th Jun 2012 10:59am | By Rebecca Kent
No longer just a hobby, blogging is now a formidable industry with the potential to earn big bucks
Nine-to-five jobs are so yesterday. Now you can be anywhere in the world as you post your musings on a blog, and potentially get paid for it. Apply a few trade secrets, then think about retiring early. The best thing is, you don’t have to be a web geek to succeed. TNT speaks to three people who blog for a living and asks them how they do it.
The blog: gapyearescape.com
The hits: 13,000 unique visitors a month.
The income: From £500-£2500/month.
Hussain, 25, might still have been hanging out in a Thai jungle, had his blog, which funded his gap year, not paid. Thankfully it didn’t turn out like that. In fact, not only did the blog pay – through ads and affiliated marketing – it ensured the blogger, from Tooting, had a riot of a time. There were surf tours and shark cage diving, plus free food and accommodation. And it all began with a conversation about an Aussie soap.
“In 2009, before travel blogs had taken off, I was in Melbourne sitting with a guy who ran the Neighbours tours and he suggested I try for a free tour by mentioning it on my site. From that point I started pitching to all sorts of operators, writing honest reviews in exchange for the experiences. Not only did the operators really appreciate them, my readers did, too,” he says.
Now much of Hussain’s income is through affiliated marketing – getting a cut, about five per cent, of purchases made through links on his site. “If you get enough of those it becomes an income. But most important is the passive income. A blog I wrote two years ago is still making me money.” Hussain now owns five sites and has a team of hired help. Not bad for what started as a gap year project.“It’s essential you start a blog that has potential for lucrative affiliate marketing – find a niche,” he says.