Today is all about blogging.  If you’ve ever wanted to make your blog your full-time income, you’ll want to take lots of notes today because Bob from Blogging Your Passion is sharing his personal advice.  He’s the full-time blogger behind Christian Personal Finance and half of the amazing team that produced (and supports) Blogging Your Passion, a great resource for writers ready to get paid for their posts

Why did you decide to get started blogging?

Well, back about 6 years ago now, I was learning a lot about personal finance – out of extreme necessity – and I was becoming so excited about it that I just couldn’t help but want to share what I was learning and discovering. I am not exactly sure how the idea of a website got planted in my brain, but it seemed like something worth trying and after a few months of toying with blogging I launched my first blog.

What advice would you give someone who is trying to decide what to write about on their blog?

That’s easy.  Write about what you are passionate about.  If you choose a topic only based on what you think you can earn you will most likely not be able to stick with it long enough to earn very much at all.  On the other hand, if you are writing about something that you truly enjoy, it will carry you through the tough times when you are writing and working on your blog for hours on end only to make pennies.

The next question is normally, “How do I know what I am passionate about?”  And if it isn’t obvious to you, it is obvious to someone close to you.  So ask those closest to you what gets you most excited.  Often times we miss it, but those around us know what we really enjoy doing and what we already dedicate a lot of our time to.

When you started blogging in 2007, did you imagine it would take 2 full years to be blogging full-time?

I imagined it would take 4 years, if ever.  But in 2008, I got my lay off notice and while I don’t recommend that people do this, I decided to go for it and just become a full-time blogger – long before I was making nearly as much money as my day job.  But I was thrilled to write a blog post (How to Make Money with a Blog) more or less announcing that I had surpassed my day job income with earnings from my blog.  That was an exciting time, but I always tell people that everyone’s journey is unique.  Most people will never become full-time bloggers, and of those who do, some will find a way to do it in less than a year and others may take 6 years.  There are just far too many variables to accurately predict how long it will take.

How do you constantly find inspiration for your blog posts?

Reading books, news websites, other blogs, magazines, keeps a flood of ideas coming in.  And now that I have a team of writers helping me out, there is a lot less pressure because they are helping me with the task.

For your blog, what has been the best marketing technique to drive in traffic and sales?

Two things stand out to me as being extremely important.
1. Having a basic to intermediate understanding of SEO.  I don’t think most bloggers need to be SEO-masters, but understanding some of the basics of SEO goes a very long way in helping drive traffic.
2. Writing extremely helpful stuff.  We live in an time when you just can not fake good content.  At the same time, with the inter-connected world that we live in, if you can truly create something great – people will find a way to market it for you.  Over the last 6 years I’ve tried a lot of different ways to get traffic, and I’ve concluded that nothing beats writing truly helpful and valuable content.  As simple as it sounds, it is actually very difficult and it requires getting into the mind of your reader and knowing what he or she needs. It is a never-ending journey, but one well worth pursuing.

Hopefully you have some ideas flowing now for ways to amp up your blog and start cashing in on your hard work.  Don’t forget to check out more tips and e-books over at Blogging Your Passion.