I started wondering recently if Medium was the right place for me. I love writing here and interacting with other writers, but it feels a bit like a day job. And not a very well-paid day job at that.
This has led me to wonder if writing elsewhere would be a better option.
I wrote in a recent post about some previous hustles that worked for me. It made me realize that instead of writing articles for money, I could write articles to both make money and build a business.
I ran a year ago, which made me $60,000 over three years. I’ve made about $6,700 here in almost a year. If I could replicate the success of my travel blog, I would make three times what I make here. And I would be writing about something I love – travel.
Here are the top three benefits I see from creating your own blog or website.
Benefit #1 – A blog can make more money
The main benefit is that a blog could make a lot more than I can make here. Of course, there are no guarantees. I’ve created many blogs and content websites over the years, a few of which have been complete failures. It’s entirely possible that I could create a travel blog that makes next to nothing.
There are no guarantees in life.
Benefit #2 – It’s easier to take time without losing traction
As you probably already know, if you stop writing on Medium for a month or two, your views and income will likely plummet. With an established website or blog, your views and income can remain stable for months or even years without any additional work.
You usually rely on traffic from Google search. Once your site is ranking well, the visitors will keep coming. When I had my travel blog, there were a few pages that received 100-400 hits a day for years. The keywords ranked very well, with some being at the top of the search results.
When this is the case, pages don’t suddenly stop ranking just because you stop writing.
Benefit #3 – You can build a valuable asset
Let’s say you make $1,000 a month writing here. Then, let’s assume you no longer have time to write here. What can you do? Not much, except that your income quickly drops to $0.
Now let’s assume you’ve created a blog that pays $1,000 a month. Also, as above, let’s assume you don’t have time to write there anymore. What could you do? Well, you could take a year off and continue to earn that $1,000 a month. Maybe it will go down a little bit. But maybe the income will go up a bit even if you neglect the blog.
Over time, your rankings can improve even without any extra work.
Your $1,000 a month blog could be sold for $40,000 to $55,000.
With a blog or website, you are building a valuable asset. Build a few and you can earn substantial amounts of money.
So why doesn’t everyone do it if it’s so easy?
The simple answer is that it’s not easy. Sometimes it all comes together and it’s really easy. My previous travel blog was pretty simple. I traveled and wrote about it. That’s it. Oh, and I also took some pictures.
Other times, nothing seems to work. In that case, you’ll probably have to abandon the blog and try another one.
You need a niche
But this won’t work if you’re only posting randomly.
One thing to note is that a successful website or blog needs to have a fairly small 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 keywords with low competition.
Target low competition keywords
For example, you will never rank well for “things to do in London.” There are too many big companies in this niche. The best companies have teams of employees working full time on ranking their sites.
Go do a Google search and see for yourself. One of the best 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 them. For example, you could visit Chiang Rai and Pai in northern Thailand. An article on “how to get from Chiang Rai to Pai” would be much easier to rank well. This can get you 10-50 hits on your site each day. Keep writing similar posts and the traffic can build up quickly.
My travel blog has been consistently getting 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 sort of niche. Maybe travel to Asia, travel with children, travel as a disabled person or similar.