When most people think of what it means to make money blogging, two words seem to come up almost automatically: “instant cash”. And yet blogging for money isn’t your ticket to quick wealth as it’s often made out to be. The truth is that today’s highest-earning bloggers weren’t even SEO specialists. Instead, they had a great product, a promising idea for a blog topic, and the industriousness to stick to the effort over the years.
One of the first things that you have to do as a professional blogger is to get ready for all the work that lies ahead of you. Keep in mind that your blog won’t be the only one of its kind that’s already up and running, which means that competition for reader’s attention is much stiffer now. Like every other business enterprise, blogging won’t give you a lot of revenue at the start! A blog needs to be paid a lot of attention to, especially during its first year or so. If you already spend most of your day in your full-time job, you have to be prepared to devote around 4 more hours of your time just to maintain and update your site.
Despite these challenges, professional blogging can prove to be very fulfilling once your site has gained a foothold in its own niche and readership base. After all, it’s one thing to write about what makes you tick; it’s another thing to do that and get paid for your efforts! Before you put up your blog, however, read up on these golden rules that will help you monetize your blog. Follow these principles, and you’ll find that blogging for money can be as enjoyable as it is profitable:
1. Decide on a niche to specialize in, and plan out your blog accordingly:
Will you be writing about sports? Or will you be running a steady stream of political commentary on your site? Are you considering putting up restaurant reviews? Whatever subject you choose to specialize in, the other elements of your blog should match it quite well. Choose a blog template, for example, that matches your overall theme, and keep your blog posts within the bounds of your chosen niche.
You can afford to create an off-topic blog post every so often, but if you want to gain your readers’ trust and establish yourself as an expert, it’s better to be consistent with your blog entries. If you’re dealing with technology, for example, it wouldn’t exactly serve you well to start talking about relationships or how your visit to the dentist was unsatisfactory.
Most importantly, however, you should choose a topic that you will actually love researching and writing about. It’s hard to fake enthusiasm for a topic that you don’t actually care much about, and it’s a tactic that usually backfires. Don’t start a blog on technology just because it’s a popular subject.
Instead, choose a niche that you feel strongly about, whether it’s food, politics, religion, photography, or even something as esoteric as zoology.
Remember, a good blog is one that’s written with obvious zeal and passion, and dealing with a topic you love ensures that you won’t get sick of writing about it year after year.
2. Update frequently:
Updating your blog regularly can make a big difference in the volume of traffic that your blog receives. Because site traffic usually translates into revenue, you have to ensure that readers are visiting your blog frequently. Encourage them to visit by updating your content as regularly as you can. People don’t want to return to a blog only to find a post that they’d already read before! Make your readers’ visits worth their time by providing them with new content as often as possible.
Frequent updating also ensures that Google and other search engines index your site frequently, making your blog more visible and accessible to others. If you don’t want your blog to fall into obscurity, you have to work at giving your readers a lot of fresh entries.
3. Take advantage of ad networks and affiliate programs:
Once you’ve got your blog up and running, you can look into more direct ways of earning money from your site. A good way to jumpstart this is by signing up for Google Adsense, which rewards you for each click that an advertising link receives from your site.
You can also sign up for an affiliate program such as Amazon.com Associates, Clickbank, or Azoogle. When you become an affiliate partner, you have to put up appropriate links to your blog that direct your readers to a product offer. The affiliate program will then pay you for each visitor from your site who makes a purchase or signs up for a service.
Whether or not you like it, blogging for money will always involve some form of advertising in your blog. Remember, however, that the volume of traffic your site receives will affect the number of clicks that your ad links will receive. No matter how great your affiliate program is, it won’t produce a lot of revenue if your blog doesn’t have a lot of visitors.
4. Write quality posts:
No matter how frequently you update your site, and no matter how many ad networks you’re part of, you can’t earn any long-term revenue unless you offer your readers a lot of quality, credible content. Nobody wants to read something that’s poorly or shabbily written, so do your best to write as well and as accurately as you can.
When your readers realize that they can rely on you to give them solid advice and credible information regarding your niche, they’re bound to return to your blog, as well as create backlinks to your site that will boost your search engine ranking. The moment that your readers see that you’re an expert who can share valuable knowledge and information, they’re bound to become loyal visitors who can boost your traffic and create revenue for you.
Although there are different ways through which people make money blogging, the best tactic is still to provide quality content to your readers. After all, your visitors aren’t frequenting your site just to marvel at your blog template! Nonetheless, it’s also important to come up with a blog theme that works well with the niche you’re dealing with, as well as to use advertising networks and affiliate programs wisely. Once you’ve gotten the hang of it, you’re sure to be blogging your way towards a real and sustainable profit!