Make Money Blogging – Do You Have What it Takes?
Lets face it starting a blog is fairly easy. There are thousands of we hosts out there who are ready and willing to offer you blogging services. Also you can use free hosting services such as Blogger or WordPress. Many people start a blog with the intent of making income, but unfortunately they approach the game with a completely erroneous mindset.
There is an important element that must be understood, A blog is not a business. A blog is simply put a self promotional tool assisting you in making your business a success. Therefore thinking like a blogger is no good if your intention is to build income or in fact build a business. In order to earn significant income from blogging you have to start thinking like an entrepreneur. It is not enough just to be able to right compelling new content you have to look for ways of making this content pay.
I am running several blogging businesses at the moment, this one being my newest and really it is still a baby. Even though I have these businesses only around 20 percent of my time is spend writing new content. I guess your thinking to yourself what the hell is this guy doing with his time. It generally varies from week to week but I try and engage in all of the following
The most important people in anybodies business are the customers or potential customers. If you are blogging these are your visitors. I spend a lot of my time replying to emails or comments and trying to contact new people within my niche. I have a blog based on a niche beauty treatment and have spent a lot of time communicating with a company about advertising a new skincare product. I would say the majority of my income comes through this channel. It is important to answer comments or emails from readers as these are the people you are trying to help, without them you do not have a business. This in my opinion should be a priority.
As indicated above I spend a lot of time reviewing products, on this site I have already reviewed an e book which I although wave a great insight into affiliate marketing. I do not put everything on my site which I review, but if I find something which I think is honest and offers real quality I will usually offer it to my readers, sometimes with a discount. I will then take a reasonable commission from each sale. On my older blogs I can sometimes be put under quite a bit of pressure to review products but I will never review anything that I did not think would be of real benefit to my readers.
Just a quick example I had a request from a guy for this site just 2 days ago asking me to review his site which was based on credit management and showing people their way out of debt. I didnt go for it for 2 reasons 1 I didnt think my readers would connect with it 2 I felt the site lacked real quality and was mostly just a financial affiliate tool.
Figuring out What to Write, This plays a big part of my daily activities. I dont just pick a random topic I happen to know something about. I base a lot of what I write on comments or emails I have received. When I am starting a new blog I try and give a broad overview of what the topic will be based on concentrating on niches after the 6 month period.
Even though must of the writing I do is for the visitors I also have to consider the dreaded search spiders and give them a little something too. I spend time looking at keyword trends and seeing what I might be able to dominate on. For this blog anything around personal development or internet businesses will usually be where I start, however I have quite a few niche words I like to home in on.
I really do not use any particular tool even though I have tried quite a few. I really dont think you can beat Wordtracker if you really want to narrow down the most profitable keywords, but it is really up to you.
Whatever I write with the intent of building traffic and making visitors stick. This site already has an average visit time of 25 minutes which shows people who are visiting are really connecting with my content. I would never simply write for the search engines, even though if the free traffic comes it is very nice.
The most important thing is to give your visitors real quality, write article which they can apply in there life and really feel the benefit of them, not only will this increase your visitor loyalty it will also be a more fulfilling experience for you, as starting An online business should not just simply be about making money.
Building Links, Like any other website, in order to be noticed and receive traffic you have to get links to your site. It is an absolute must that you do this correctly. I spend a lot of time writing short articles, articles that give a taste of the information which can be found on this site. I try and write everyday and submit to article directories. This really has a three fold benefit.
Its helps me gain backlinks from relevant site, Increases my traffic, Helps me gain recognition for the expertise I can provide. I try and make my articles between 400 600 words long about half the size of the articles I write for this blog. I have to say that article marketing is one of the best ways to increase traffic and increase your PR. I use Article Marketer and find within 3 4 articles my page rank seems to increase, although this depends generally on the popularity of the keywords.
I also submit some of my favorite articles to social book marking sites and to blog carnivals, however this usually only in the early days of my blog until my traffic builds up. It is also a good habit to be part of the social network surrounding your topic this means you should make comments on other blogs. Remember youre not just looking for leads your looking to make an honest contribution to the discussion, if you do this you will gain more respect in your field and gain more visitors.
Blogger or Entrepreneur, This is what you now have to decide. Are you just going to be a good blogger. Are you going to create great content but have no real strategy to generating income from it. There is nothing wrong with this approach, but if your looking to gain income you have to be more strategic in your approach.
Do not get me wrong updating your content and making sure it is sound quality is important but it is only part of the puzzle. You must have a plan for making sales or absolutely making money. A lot of bloggers do not know how to deal with the hidden complexities of making a substantial income from their blog. There are many aspects to deal with if you want to give your business and income longevity.
Decide what products meet your target audience and how you can pitch them. Do you want to make a product of your own. Do you want to advertise on your site What ever your plan is working your blog around it. Neither consumers or advertisers will not want to invest in a product which is only half right. Content does not generate income, just as a new electronic devise does not create sales. Marketing, pitching, reviewing and targeting are all needed to make any product sell.
Final Thoughts. Just before I finish up here I just want to extend a short word of warning. When people find out you are trying to create an online business there will be a certain amount of cynicism.
People will accuse of joining the dark side by trying to make a living from home. Peoples general perception is that it is a lazy way to make money when in reality it is anything but. Think of all the work you do to keep you content up to date, deal with the format of your site, promotion, article writing, researching, all this to give people the information they are searching for and to give them it with such quality requires tremendous effort and patience.
There are also those who do not understand the potential for making money online, do not understand the concept of blogging for money and accuse you of dreaming or wasting your time. I am here to tell you not to listen, because there are thousands of people out there all making money in exactly the same way as how I have described. YES you have to be patient, YES you have to work hard, but is not having a job where you set your own hours, wake up and your there, create a substantial amount of income worth it. If not stick to the 9-5.