Most article writers go through the article writing vs blogging dilemma at some point in their career.
So, which is better, article writing or blogging?
In this article, we will look at the advantages and disadvantages of each and then I’ll finish with my recommendation on the way to go.
Article writing is simply where you do some write-ups that should follow the instructions of paying clients.Once you give them the article and get paid, all rights to the article are transferred to them.
Advantages of Article Writing
1. It will help you to make money quick
You get paid as soon as you send the article to the client. In fact, many people get hooked to article writing since this helps them to make money fast in Kenya. Kenyans are generally respected worldwide for their astute writing skills. Once you improve your writing skills, you can get excellent clients paying even $100 per 500 words.
2.You become a “Walking Google”
That’s what some people call me :).
This is because you’ll one day write about sharks…another day about restaurants in LA…another one weight loss and the list goes on. After years of writing, you’ll have some knowledge of all sorts of things.
3. It is easy to set up
If you go to Upwork right now, you’ll get ready jobs waiting for you to bid on. Fiverr can be set up in minutes. You can as well get awesome direct clients through cold pitching.
4. It can get predictable (good for planning)
If, for example, you write 5 articles per day at 10 dollars per article, you get your $50 per day. If you work 5 days a week, you can easily say you make 250 dollars per week. At a dollar rate of 100, this makes it a predictable Sh. 25,000 per week for a normal week.
You can use this figure for your planning. I advice though that you plan with worst case scenarios just in case some articles get rejected, you receive rewrite requests, or you even get an emergency and are unable to work.
Note that this predictability comes with time and some extra skill. Otherwise you can get a steady client then when he leaves, you remain dry.
5. You sharpen your grammar skills
Your grammar skills will always be put to the test. Even if you are an expert of experts, you’ll still get someone who’ll correct you. This way, your skills will keep growing.
In case you’re unsure of your writing skills, feel free to get professional assessment at PenStars.
6. You need little capital
You only need a computer, an internet connection and electricity to start up. You can decide not to take up any paid options from freelancing sites and still make money.
Disadvantages of Article Writing
1. It is active
Yes, you can make money today writing articles, but you have to do it actively. In case you get sick or have to attend something, you earn absolutely zero that day.
In case a certain month is full of events or emergencies, you’ll end up not earning anything that month.
2. You become dependent on clients
Clients come and go.
Some can even reject your work for no good reason.
Years ago when I was starting, some guy in iWriter rejected my article citing “already has article”. What sort of reason is that?
In article writing, you may go through dry times where there are no clients with work to give. Furthermore, in case a client has character issues, you’ll have to deal with those issues if you work directly through bidding sites like Upwork.
3. It can get boring
Today you write about pigs, tomorrow doughnuts and the next day iPads.
At some point, you simply get bored writing about different things.
People also get to a writers’ block level where they simply have no idea what to write about or just don’t feel like writing.
I remember once sleeping on the keyboard and then sending work without proofreading. That was in my first few weeks of writing. The client sent a very bad email telling me to check a certain paragraph, which had repeated z’s.
Something like “This will cause a buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…”.
I realized I had slept on letter z when writing!
4. You can get conned
You can easily get conned by a client, especially if you are new in the industry. Personally, a lot of clients conned me when I was starting out.
This was part of the reason why I started FreelancerKenya, to teach people how NOT to get conned. However if you’re well trained you can easily get by without losing a dime.
5. You earn once from an article
Once you write and send an article to a client, you get paid once. This is unlike in blogging where you earn repeatedly from the one article.
I have written thousands of articles for clients; I wonder how much I’d have earned if I used that time and energy to create my own sites and content.
Blogging here is used to mean creating your own website or blog where you post your own content. All rights belong to you. You are free to follow your own “instructions”.
As a blogger, you can also do guest blogging on other people’s sites, write on article directories such as EzineArticles and web 2.0 properties such as HubPages.
Advantages of Blogging
1. It is partially passive
Don’t let anyone lie to you; it will take time and hard work to create a successful blog. Even Problogger’s Darren Rowse once talked about the amount of hard work he put in when he started.
Once your blog gets to the level of FreelancerKenya, you can still earn even when you don’t actively do something. I’ve had busy months where I’ve taken care of other things but still get my affiliate commissions, sometimes adding up to great figures. I also still manage to sell my different services and training, sometimes without actively touching this blog for weeks.
It feels great to get those commissions, sales and service requests when you’ve done literally 0 on your blog that month.
2. You have the rights to your content
I love this one.
You can use your content in whichever way you want. I have seen bloggers selling their sites in Flippa or even repurposing their content to use as trainings and eBooks. One famous blog created an eBook from the same blog content and sold it. Imagine me packaging all the posts in this blog as an eBook and selling it to you :)
I wonder if I should follow his footsteps…
3. No rules
Of course there are rules of nature, such as the Principle of the Path (google it!). In short, you have to work hard and SMART to get rewards.
On the other hand, you have total control of your site and can add or remove whatever you please.
You don’t have to wait for anybody’s approval.
4. Earn repeatedly from one article
One article can earn you loads. Once your site is well ranked, you can go for vacation and still come home to a fat commission. For example, this post earned me over $2,000 in Payoneer affiliate commissions within 2 years of putting it up. It still earned me way more in other ways e.g. a finacial service I used to offer.
5. Get recognized
I have also received emails from different companies such as Equity, Chura, Thrifty etc to do some form of task for them. Let’s just say there are times where I am the first to know certain things before everyone else.
For example, I get mailed by Brad of iWriter whenever there are major issues with Kenya, I swiftly send those updates to my mailing list.
In short, with a great blog, you’ll get recognized and be able to do positive things to improve the lives of your audience.
6. Make money from all sorts of things
Yes, you can make quick money from all sorts of things. Some guys will want you to set up their blog, others will need help with SEO and even more will need training on how to make it in writing and blogging.
If your blog is in a different niche, you’ll get many people who are thirsty for information, and willing to pay for it.
You can provide both free and paid training for all the requests you receive on your mail. I mostly provide free email support for basic questions. But paid consultation or training for in-depth requests.
These unquantifiable money making opportunities are in addition to all the other conventional income generating methods you’ll get in blogging.
Disadvantages of Blogging
1. It takes time to set up and start earning from it
This period is actually unpredictable though experts say it can go from 3 months to even 1 year. You can easily earn zero if you create a bogus blog.
The saddest thing that can happen is the creation of a perfect blog with no marketing or SEO.
No one will ever read it apart from you!
So make sure you create the very best possible content, and market it heavily.
2. It requires some significant capital
Apart from the computer and internet, you need to also pay for your domain name and hosting. It is also advisable to everyone to get some training before setting up a blog. I recommend Affilorama for awesome free and paid training. You can get more on Affilorama by clicking here.
Apart from domain and hosting, I would also recommend you pay for an email marketing software such as AWeber for list building.
3. Income can be inconsistent
You cannot predict and plan with a certain amount in mind.
A lot of people ask me how much I make per month from my blog. I no longer disclose my blogging income, but the last time I disclosed, a few years ago, the range was between $1500 and $2000 per month. My blog income comes from eBook sales, affiliate commissions, training and services offered. As stated above, I also get all sorts of things on my mail.
Once more, the harder you work (actively), the more you earn. But it feels great to know that you can still earn passively whenever something comes up. Whenever you push some serious promotions, you can break your all-time earnings barriers with every successful promotion.
Is it profitable? Yes, especially due to the fact that it you get partially passive or residual income. The only problem is that the profit can be unpredictable to some extent, especially for a new blogger. Veterans have some level of predictability in their business.
Conclusion and Recommendation
The above list of advantages and disadvantages is by no means conclusive. You can feel free to add others on the comments section below. Both these methods will help you to make significant money online (if you work hard and smart).
On the other hand, my recommendation is you start with article writing since it will help you to make money fast in Kenya. Meanwhile, as you continue earning as a writer, you can even create a free blog and start making money from it. Most free blogs don’t really perform well nowadays, therefore a self-hosted blog gets my highest recommendation.
Creating a self-hosted blog is simple, just follow the steps below:
- Register your domain name
- Host your website
- Install WordPress
- Write engaging, high-quality, well-researched blog posts in your niche
- Promote heavily through social media marketing, search engine optimization, outreach and proper email marketing among other methods.
About the big article writing vs blogging debate, to me blogging wins. Remember that it may take time for you to get totally from article writing to full-time blogging; but once you do, you will be way ahead on the road to financial freedom and job satisfaction.