How to quit your job to blog for a living


This is a guest post from Monika Lee. Monika is a Senior Commissioning Editor at Open University Press, McGraw-Hill Education, executive coach and published author. You can follow her on Twitter @Lee_Monika

Have you ever wondered how long it takes before you can make a living from your blog? Charly Lester, who writes the, has done it just in two years. Incredible, given that the amount of online content doubles every 9 to 24 months. Keen to learn how to become a pro, last week I went to Charly’s Guardian Masterclass on ‘How to turn your blog into a brand’ to find out what it takes.

Blog for a living
(c) muharrem öner/ iStock

I found Charly an inspiration: bubbly, approachable and bursting with energy, her enthusiasm for blogging and all things dating was infectious. Busily writing down her top tips and mulling over ideas for my personal blog, I walked out of the Guardian building convinced that at heart I wasn’t an editor, but a blogger.

Surprisingly Charly didn’t start her blog to become a dating expert but to get over an unexpected rejection by the man of her dreams. She was so upset she set herself a challenge to go on 30 dates over three months and her friends suggested she write about it. Yet, when you listen to her story it’s clear Charly was smart about her blogging. She put her name and face to her blog and wrote about her experiences with an honesty and openness that stood out.

A candid review of a Guardian singles event in 2014 led to an offer from the Guardian to consult for their dating website Soulmates and later a promotion to Guardian Soulmates Editor. In 2014, Charly was head-hunted by Time Out and left her banking career to work as their Global Head of Dating and resident dating expert. Only two years after starting her blog, Charly has become a regular guest on Woman’s Hour, and is Time Out magazine’s resident dating expert.

Here are Charly’s top 10 tips to blog successfully:

  1. Write about something that you are passionate about – if blogging becomes a chore, you won’t keep it up
  2. Find your specialist niche and stand out by having a USP and doing something different and better than your competition
  3. Know your audience
  4. Find your voice and keep it consistent – don’t be scared of being critical
  5. Write about your experiences – the more you share of yourself, the more people will want to read it
  6. Know your brand and make it consistent with your niche
  7. Use social media to engage and increase your audience – decide which type of social media works best for you and where you want to spend your time
  8. Make your layout easy to navigate – think about why people are coming to your blog and make it easy for them to find what they are looking for
  9. When you start, write lots of guest posts – choose companies and sites that have high traffic
  10. Make your contact details prominent on your blog not to miss out on writing opportunities

If you are a blogger and have any tips to share, please share them in the comments section below.

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  1. Editing is one thing, blogging is another! It will be good to utilise some of these tips either for my own (sadly neglected) personal blog or in a work context in the future. Sounds like a great workshop.

    1. Good to hear the tips were useful to you – the best of luck with your blogging, let me know how you get on.

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