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Blogging for Profit: How to make money online from your blog
Do you want to make money from your blog? If you enjoy blogging and want to earn money from your writing, here are some things you'll need to know before you get started.
Blogging can be a fun way to make a living writing online.
From hobby blogger to blogging for profit: Are you ready to make the switch and start earning money as a blogger?
When I started blogging five years ago, I didn’t set out to make money from my writing. I blogged because I wanted to meet new people. I wanted to learn about writing for the web and I wanted to create a website I could be proud of. I never thought about starting a blog that would one day make money.
Looking back, I realize that I was just a hobby blogger. I blogged when I had the time and energy. I never treated my blog as a business. And that’s why I never made any money from my website.
A few months ago, I decided to start over and take a serious look at how to make money from blogging and writing online. I realized that if I wanted to be a profitable blogger, I had to ask myself some tough questions:
- Have I chosen a topic that I can write about on regular basis, even when I'm feeling uninspired?
- Is my blog topic unique? Or are there already hundreds of bloggers out there writing about the same thing as me?
- Do I have a plan to deal with content thieves and copycats? Unfortunately plagiarism, scraping, and content theft happens to most successful bloggers. That’s why it's important to have a plan to track your content online and stop people who steal your work to make money off of your blog content.
- Can I devote at least 45 - 60 minutes a day to promoting my blog on social media (Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest)? No blog audience = no money from your blog. It’s that simple.
- Can I financially afford to maintain a consistent posting schedule for at least six months while my blog develops an audience of loyal followers?
- Have I created a realistic timeline for how long it will take for my blog to get traffic from organic searches? In other words, how long will it take for Google to start noticing my blog and sending traffic my way?
- Am I prepared to learn about marketing, time management, accounting, and other ‘business-y things’ that I (normally) find boring?
- What do I need to learn about monetizing my blog, writing e-books, and making money from affiliate ads?
- Can I diversify my income streams from blogging? Or am I going to be putting all my eggs in one basket? What other things should I be doing in addition to blogging if I want to make money online?
- Will my blog help people solve their problems? I believe that the most successful blogs out there are the ones that help people find solutions to everyday challenges. After all, that's why billions of people turn to Google every day. They're searching for answers to all kinds of problems, big or small.
- Where will I find a community of like-minded bloggers? What forums and groups should I join? Can I be a good blog citizen and give back to my fellow bloggers so that we can all be successful bloggers making money online?
Where will the money come from? Here are some of the most common ways that bloggers make money online and offline:
- Selling advertising space on their blogs
- Writing e-books and selling them from their websites
- Using their blogs as a platform to showcase their writing skills and attract freelance writing gigs
- Showcasing their specialized skills and knowledge to attract clients for their small businesses
- Blogging to attract a strong audience of followers that will appeal to prospective print publishers
How much money can I make as a blogger? Like running any successful business, creating a profitable blog requires dedication, perseverance and unbridled curiosity. If you're blogging to make money, you should always be learning about search engine optimization (SEO), social media strategies, clear and concise writing, and community engagement.
I believe that the most successful blogs are the ones that help people find answers to common questions about life in these areas: money, love, work, home décor, cooking, and healthy living. But your blog must be unique, too. Strive to provide your audience with information that they can't get anywhere else, and over time, you'll have a chance to make money from your blog. Before you know it you'll be doing what you love, sharing your knowledge on the issues you are truly passionate about!
What kind of content will get people to visit your blog and share it with others? People like to forward, link to, email and share blog posts they believe will be useful to their friends, co-workers and peer networks. The more content that you can create that is interesting, unique and yet easy to consume, the more your readers will share it. And that will create more opportunities to drive new traffic to your website.
Here are three simple blog post formats that are have been proven by top bloggers to encourage linking, sharing, and re-tweeting.
List Posts – Simple lists make great blog posts. If you spend some time reading popular blogs you will notice that publish list posts quite often. When done well, list posts give your visitors added value, particularly if they provide useful step-by-by step how-to information. For example, an organization that promotes employment opportunities for people disabilities could write a post called "Ten Steps to Creating an Accessible Work Space." Be sure to include a preamble to your list so that readers know the general theme of the article before it launches into countdown mode. List posts with funny visuals can keep people coming back again and again for a dose of levity and lightness during the day. And the more often people visit, the more likely you'll have a blog that makes money.
Infographics -- Infographics are graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge presented in a compact, easy to view format. An infographic illustrating an issue that affects the people you want to reach is a great way to create shareable content. There are several free tools available online to help you create your own relevant infographics. (http://mashable.com/2011/10/15/infographic-resume-apps/)
Photography -- People like to share exceptional images, particularly photographs that are artistic or editorial in nature. If you don't have any appropriate photographs of your own, you can find many licence-free images on the photo sharing platform Flickr in the Creative Commons section (http://www.flickr.com/creativecommons). Be sure to read the licensing agreements before use any of these photographs; even though they are willing to share their photos each photographer may have different attribution terms.
Generating shareable content is vital if you want to create a thriving, engaged blog community. By consistently writing posts that provide added value for your readers, in return, they’ll be generously spreading the word about your blog, one mouse click after the other. And the more often people stop by your site, the more often you can capitalize on ad revenue.
Important reminders for anyone who wants to make money from a blog or website:
Never click on your own ads. You don't want your ad partner to ban you from the network because you decided to boost your ad clicks. If you get banned from an ad partner for fraudulent clicks, you may lose the most important revenue stream on your blog. If you want to make money online, make sure you understand the Terms of Service for each of your ad partners or affiliate sites.
Protect the integrity of your online brand. That means always acting in a fair and ethical manner. Credit your sources, don't use other people's images without their permission.
Don't be a spammer.
If you want to steer clear of problems on your blog, learn more about the difference between black hat and white hat web promotion techniques. Your reputation is worth much more than you think. Don't try to make money from your blog in ways that will get you into trouble. No amount of money is worth losing your credibility.
Why do you blog? Do you blog to make money? If so, what are some of the things you've learned about earning money as a blogger?
Please take the survey or leave a comment and share your success tips for making money from your blog!
Do you blog for money or just for fun?
© 2014 Sally Hayes