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Creating a Blog for Profit: 4 Things You Must Do Before You Start
Creating a blog for profit, as opposed to one for fun, requires thought and planning. As any successful online entrepreneur will tell you, the easiest way to make money online is to treat it like a real business. Just because there may be no employees, a marketing budget or a formalized business name, does not mean that blogging for profit is not a serious business.
4 Steps to Creating a Blog for Profit
With that being said, following are four things every prospective blogger should do to create a blog for profit.
I. Purpose: Every successful business fulfills a need. That’s why they make money; they service a need for their customer base. Many bloggers, especially those who are just starting out, don’t take the time to figure out what this is before they start blogging.
But, figuring out the purpose of your blog is the very foundation of creating a blog site for profit. So ask, and answer in detail the question, “What is the purpose of my blog? What need am I fulfilling for what customer base?”
To use an example, I publish two freelance writing blogs: InkwellEditorial.com and SeoWritingJobs.com. Why two?
Freelance writing is a wide niche. Hence in order to better serve readers, one site (InkwellEditorial.com) focuses on the industry as a whole, and the other blog (SeoWritingJobs.com) is targeted to those who want to know how to start an SEO writing career.
Same niche (freelance writing) but the purpose of each blog is different.
II. Content Development: After you figure out the purpose of your blog, you’ll have a good idea about what you’re going to write about. Many may think this is the easy part, but content development is as critical to creating a blog for profit as figuring out the purpose of your blog.
Many bloggers severely underestimate the time investment needed to create good content. I’ve spent as much as three hours on one post – no kidding! This 1,800 word post on how to start a freelance writing career while working full time as an example.
You see, to differentiate yourself and make readers want to come back for more, you can’t turn out run of the mill, general posts that can be found all over the web.
Your content has to have weight and substance. It should give readers an “Aha” moment or provide a piece the puzzle they didn’t know about. And just how do you accomplish this?
By research, eg, providing statistics and first-hand accounts that back up what you’re saying. For example, on InkwellEditorial.com, I write from first-hand experience. I’ve been a freelance writer since 1993, so I have tons of experience that I pass on to other freelance writers via my blog. Readers can tell that I know what I’m talking about because it comes through in my writing.
III. Posting Schedule: When creating a blog for profit, your posting schedule is going to play a critical part in the process. How/why?
Much like a retail store, you should stick to a regular posting schedule – especially in the beginning -- in order to grow your readership. Your readers are your “customers,” and if they don’t know when the “store” (ie, your blog) is “open”, they won’t return very often . . . or at all.
Also, readers have to get to know you in order to build a relationship with you and your blog. Your tone, the “voice” of your blog is part of this. A consistent posting schedule allows your readers to come back on a regular schedule. The more they come back, the quicker you can establish a relationship with them and the quicker your blog can start turning a profit, which brings us to the last point . . .
IV. Monetize: How is your blog going to make money? There are so many ways to monetize a blog these days it’s ridiculous. Many bloggers either over do it, or don’t do enough of it. Some of the more popular ways to monetize a blog are:
Private Ad Sales: This should only be done after your blog has built up some traffic, for this is what advertisers pay for.
Creating Your Own Products for Sale: You can do this right away, especially if you have experience in the niche you’re blogging about.
Marketing Affiliate Products: If you don’t have the time, patience or interest in creating your own products to sell on your blog, this is an excellent alternative. Via major sites like ClickBank.com, there are literally thousands of products in thousands of niches you can promote from day one.
Affiliate Marketing Tip: Just be sure not to overdo it, or promote products you don’t believe in and/or can’t speak knowledgeably about. Readers are an amazingly intuitive bunch; don’t take them or what they know for granted.
Respect your readers and they’ll return the favor. Disrespect them, and not only are they unlikely to return to your blog, they may blog about your insincerity on their blog – turning away even more potential readers.
Google AdSense: With a simple click of your mouse, these ads can be added to every page on your blog. When creating a blog for profit, this is one of the first options many bloggers go for.
Whatever you decide . . . the point is to do just that – decide. Figure out how you want to monetize your blog; do some projects – and make a written plan and follow it. You can adjust it as you go along, but thinking about this up front will help you to stay focused as you build your blog.
Creating your own blog for profit doesn't have to be hard. If you follow these four blogging tips, creating a blog that is succcessful will not only be easier, it will be quicker as well. Good luck!