It seems perfect doesn’t it? Working from home, writing about topics of interest all day, everyday and never ever having to deal with annoying colleagues or a boss who’s never happy – what could be better? Well, in truth, the answer’s nothing but it takes a lot of hard work to get there. So, if you’re looking to give up the 9-5 within the next week or so in the hope of making $1million this year, then this advice is definitely not for you. However, if you’re looking to inject the market with some new and interesting content, make a moderate secondary income and possibly, one day in a few years give up the day job to devote your life to blogging, you’re definitely in the right place.
Just because you can’t go straight into making a decent income from a one-off blog, doesn’t mean that in the long run it’s not doable – it’s absolutely doable. So if you’re itching to get started, or perhaps already have a blog you’re not sure how to monetize, take a look at these 5 key steps below for blogging success.
Get a blog
It may sound obvious but you’d be surprised how many people say that blogging is a world they’d love to get into but never actually do anything about it.
Blogging isn’t something to be scared of, everyone’s new to it at some point, you just need to take a look around at what competitors are doing. Take a look at some of the best of the best for inspiration on everything from how often they post to how they involve their readers. The best fashion blogs, for example, tend to be pretty minimalist and image heavy whereas the best soccer blogs are much more content heavy because the focus is on match previews and transfer news rather than products.
Once you’ve got your blog, it’s time to start writing. The topic(s) your write about are completely up to you – that’s one of the joys of blogging – but make sure it’s something you’re interested in and passionate about because this will come through in your writing. Remember, making money will come from regular site visits but in order to gain those visits you need to be supplying the goods – in other words, content that people really want to read.
Getting started is possibly one of the hardest obstacles you’ll overcome; quite often people don’t feel comfortable blogging or vlogging their opinions or experiences for the whole world to judge. At first, it may also seem like a lot of hard work for nothing – it’ll take a while before the money starts rolling in. This is something you’ll get used to, for now though, as suggested before, take a look at what the best in the industry are doing and if you’re still in doubt, there are plenty of hints and tips about writing blogs online.
Building relationships with other people in the industry is essential so you should start with people within your niche and people outside of your niche who could benefit from small snippets of your expertise – no strings attached, of course.
Social media is key here, get to know these people and find out who could benefit from the information you’re providing. Comment on blogs, but not in a self-promoting manner as this could seriously damage your reputation in the industry.
Authentic relationships are key here in order to build a trustworthy and generous reputation, hopefully increase your site traffic (although you shouldn’t self promote in your posts, people will automatically head to your site as your name is featured more and more) and, in some cases to establish connections that are much more than just an online acquaintance.
Grow and branch
This all sounds really cheesy and nothing like reality at all, but in the world of blogging – successful blogging at least – it’s essential and it works.
Just because you’re now regularly writing about a topic doesn’t mean you should stop reading and learning about it; you should never stop learning if your content is going to continue to be great.
Never stop exposing your brand, building authority or being helpful because it’s these three elements that are key to your success. It’s important to remember that the money you will eventually make from your blog won’t generally come directly from the writing itself, it’ll come from products, affiliate marketing, e-books, and public speaking etc. because as you become an authority in your field people will want you to help them promote their products and business just as much as they’ll want you to discuss you experience and expertise.
Your blog is your brand and without being constantly told, you’ll learn along the way that it’s your most valuable asset in the online world.
Now to the good bit, the part we’re all here for, how exactly does a blog with great content, brilliant exposure and a superb brand image go from being just that, to a money making machine. You’ll be glad to know, you have a number of options…
Advertising – once you gain in popularity you’ll find it much easier to sell space on your blog to companies wanting to advertise their products through you. Ads are intended to complement your content and make your site look attractive.
Gifting – although not physical money, gifting is one of the biggest benefits of blogging. As your following continues to grow, companies will sit up and take note. Rather than paying for advertising they’ll instead send you their products in the hope you’ll use, wear and essentially shout about and take pictures of them for the whole world to see.
Affiliate marketing – Affiliate marketers promote products from other companies in blog posts and all manner of other ways, as a way to make money. As an affiliate marketer you’ll be given a unique link to place in your content and whenever someone uses that to purchase the said product, you’ll receive a cut.
These are just a few of the ways you can make money from blogging but one final thing to remember is never to stop looking for new sources of income. The money you gain from your blog will ebb and flow, so always having a new technique up your sleeve will ensure your blog is a money maker all year round.