How Professional Blogging is Different from Hobby Blogging


Harsh! How do you make money from your blog?

This is one of the most common questions I have been asked, and the same is probably true for you if you are a blogger who has publicized the fact that you make money from your blog.

If you are a hobby blogger and are seeing an income report like the one I publish on my blog monthly, you may find yourself wondering what the difference is between your blog and other blogs that are making money.

To understand this concept, you need to understand what differentiates your hobby blog from a professional, money-making blog.

In this guide, you will learn the most fundamental and crucial aspects of professional blogging, which could change the way you look at your blog forever.

How is hobby blogging different from blogging for money?

Hobby Blogger
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Since I began as a blogger in 2008, I have met countless bloggers and read countless blogs. One thing that is common to most bloggers is that they started as hobby bloggers. In fact, when I started my own journey as a blogger, I started as a hobby blogger myself!

If I had to describe a hobby blogger, it would be someone who writes about multiple subjects – someone who blogs about anything and everything. There is no set of rules and no topic limitations on such a blog, and this is probably the best way to jump into the field of blogging. After all, this is often how we discover our passion.

Most hobby bloggers started a blog to share what they know, their thoughts, philosophies or ideas, or to simply rant about various issues. Rarely will you find a hobby blogger worrying about matters such as SEO, optimal site design, etc. What matters most to the hobby blogger is how many people are reading their blog, or how many visits they are getting.

Does this sound like your story? If so, then you are a hobby blogger.

The life of a hobby blogger changes when he discovers that it is possible to make money from a blog. Bloggers who are just getting started on the money-making frontier usually start with an ad network such as Google AdSense, Monetag etc.  Once they start making even a few cents, their perspective on their blog changes completely.

This is usually how a hobby blogger steps up to the door of professional blogging. Soon the question arises, “How can I earn the kind of money that other established bloggers are making?

I, too, entertained this question (and sometimes I still do!) when I see an established blogger’s excellent income report.

So what are these bloggers doing differently to make it possible for them to earn passive income from their blog?

Let’s have a look at the qualities that differentiate a hobby blogger from a professional blogger.

Qualities of a blog that makes money:

Before I share these important qualities, I would like you to know that most established, A-list, popular bloggers started their blogging journeys as hobby bloggers, just as you have. And like you, later in the journey they discovered various ways to earn money from a blog.

This is how most bloggers come to understand the importance of blogging strategically rather than just blogging on a random topic.

Since you and I are on the same page, let’s go ahead and look at what you need to do to turn your hobby blog into a quality money-making blog.

Niche of the blog:

The niche (topic) of a blog is one of the main factors involved in turning any blog into money-making blog. If you are someone who is blogging on topics like wallpaper, jokes, SMS, Movie news, etc., you may see a fair amount of traffic, but there is less potential to make money there.

There is a point at which the commercial aspect of the topic that you choose to write about comes into play. For instance, a blog which is about commercial topics such as health, education, marketing, business, or finance makes more money than a blog in any other niche. This is because there are many advertisers who are willing to spend million of dollars every month on advertising within these commercial niches.


Choose a topic that has commercial value. You can use Google’s keyword planner tool or SEMRUSH to see the CPC (cost per click) of any topic (keyword), to confirm the commercial value of a topic.

In the above example, you can see how the suggested bid is increasing with the various topics.

This should not be the only criteria for selecting a niche, but it is at least a good way to check the commercial value of any topic that interests you for blogging professionally.

Writing for the target audience:

Driving random traffic to your blog will never help you in any way. If you are someone who writes a blog post and shares it on your Facebook profile, or who messages others to read and comment, this will not lead you anywhere. You need to refine your writing, and start writing for your specific readers.

You need to write for that one person who should be reading the content. For example, right now I’m imagining that you are sitting in front of me in an empty chair, and I am teaching you all of this. This way, this article is conversational, and it’s written precisely for you.

Also note that I’m using “I” and “you” to communicate the information in this article to you. Do you feel as though it is written for you? This is exactly what you should be doing on your blog.

If you want to improve the reach of your blog and reach out to the right people, you should create readers’ personas. Here are a few questions you need to ask:

  • What demographic are you trying to reach?
  • What are the problems which the members of your target demographic are facing?
  • Are you using the right language in your article to reach out to your target audience?

So the first thing you need to ask yourself is who your target audience is.  Thereafter, you should survey your existing readers, or interview your most engaged users in an effort to understand their needs and interests. You can read this guide to learn more about personas.

Skills you need:

Do you think you need programming skills to be a great blogger? Do you need to be technically savvy to create an authority blog? If your answer is “yes”, then let me tell you my friend, you are wrong.

Such skills can easily be outsourced, and you should focus on what you do best. There are certain skills that you need to have, or you should acquire in order to make your blog successful.

Here are the skills that are most likely to have a positive impact on your blog:

Writing skills:

Blog writing skills
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If you are already a good writer, you should try to be a better writer every day. You should acquire the skills of storytelling and read about copywriting in an effort to learn to write compelling content. Learn blog writing tips to improve your posts.

Improving your writing skill takes time, and you will acquire better skills by reading and noting how other successful writers are writing and practicing.

SEO skills:

SEO Skills
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SEO (search engine optimization) helps your blog to rank higher in search engines. It may sound like a daunting task to learn SEO, but anyone can learn SEO in less than 48 hours. After that, all you need to do is practice, and find the perfect SEO formula for you.

If you hire a professional to create your WordPress blog, then all you need to focus on is writing optimized content. Is it difficult? Not at all! Here are a couple of guides which will help you to get started:

Marketing & promotional skills:

Marketing skills
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If you are writing content but are not promoting it, it’s like throwing a party in the middle of the jungle, without inviting anyone. You need to learn how to promote your blog, How To Promote Your Blog (12+ Actionable Blog Promotion Techniques), how to market your blog as a brand, and how to market yourself as an authority. These skills take time to acquire and develop, but as soon as you start thinking about them, you have started the process of developing these skills.

Blog business plan:

Blog business plan
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Having a business plan for your blog is necessary, especially when you are trying to take it to the next level. What actually is a business plan?

Simply stated, a business plan is an outline for your blog’s success over time. You either have this business plan between your ears, or you document it somewhere. This is a perfect guide to help you to start writing a business plan for your blog.

If you start with just these four simple things I have listed above, your hobby blog will start making enough money to pay your phone and travel bills.

There is no limit to the potential growth of your blog, and you can reach out to millions or even billions of people with your writing. However, this can happen only when you start looking at your blog differently.

What steps will you be taking in the coming days to turn your hobby blog into a professional blog that makes money?

What are the questions you have in your mind about making money from your blog? Use the comments section below to answer these questions and to post questions of your own!

Do you know a hobby blogger who might benefit from reading this post? Share this article with him now, and he might thank you later! Here are few articles which are recommended for you:

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Authored By
A Blogger, Author and a speaker! Harsh Agrawal is recognized as a leader in digital marketing and FinTech space. Fountainhead of ShoutMeLoud, and a Speaker at ASW, Hero Mindmine, Inorbit, IBM, India blockchain summit. Also, an award-winning blogger.

35 thoughts on “How Professional Blogging is Different from Hobby Blogging”

  1. iaan

    I was looking for such wonderful post, and finally I got it that every person have some unique quality, it’s totally up to a person, that how smartly he can live through out his blog. This is Extremely Powerful Post which can turn anyone into a honest professional blogger. Hats off to your passion, dedication and smart work. In future, I’d love see more at SML. From very first day, really, I’m big fan of you and SML.

    1. Harsh Agrawal

      Hey iaan,

      Great to see you as an active reader and commentator of SML. Keep reading and adding value through your comments.

  2. iaan

    “strong enough to accept your shortcomings” — very true. We all first have to know our strengths and weakness and sportingly accept it. I have also felt so. Thanks Harsh for putting such a practical blog to us. There are lots of so-called blogs about blogging but most of them just show their readers daydreams instead of giving some practical tips. No doubt this is one of the best blog in my reading list.

  3. Waqas Khan

    Hello Harsh,
    Once again great post. I have one question for you regarding my blog. I am running a tech blog but it prevents my to earn money (not getting approval from Google adsense.) Can you please suggest some thing so I can turn my blogging passion into money making..

    Waiting for your positive response.

    1. Harsh Agrawal

      Hey Waqas,

      You can try different ads like adsoptimal, or infolinks. plus you can also do affiliate marketing.

  4. Amanda

    I have to disagree that there is only a hobby blogger and a professional blogger who is making money directly from the blog. There are many bloggers who have blogs as a means for promotion and as a platform to gain an audience for other projects, books and services. These bloggers are most definitely just as professional.

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