I had never considered until recently that a Blog might be a source of income. Come to think of it I didn’t think too much about Blogs at all, having consigned their usefulness in my mind to a way of tracking your children when they go off on their overseas adventures. But the truth is that Google tells us that 409 million people view 22.2 billion Blogs per day and these Blogs are attracting 48.9 million comments. Anyone who cannot see an opportunity in that may not be looking too far.
In this post I am going to discuss the basics of making a Blog profitable. I will do this through the vehicle of some of my own experience in coming into the sector and establishing a commercial Blog and I will borrow in small part on the experience of my 21 year old daughter Flora.
What to Blog
It probably won’t surprise anyone if the first thing I would recommend to you, when building a business underpinned by a Blog, is that you need to choose a subject that will keep you personally interested and that you can post on regularly. Otherwise, your ‘life’s blood’ will dry up quickly.
In Internet Marketing terms this would be described as identifying your niche and there are countless niches. if you want to test this just make a list of all the things that you have a personal interest in. In the event that you are having trouble bringing these to the front of your mind, just think about your last 10 Google searches, or recall what you would generally punch into the search box when you are seeking information on something. Many of the results will lead you to inspiration in choosing your niche or niches.
For me it was British TV Drama, Steampunk, Making Money Online, International Rugby, Mental Health, Leadership Development, Travel, Working From Home, History, DIY, Gardening, Toy Soldiers and the Paleo diet. Just click here to see what I did with that last one.
This is by no means an exhaustive list but it is diverse. Yours might look similair it might look entirely different. The point is that all that matters is that you have enough interest to be motivated to write about it on a regular basis.
In fact, you don’t even need to know anything at all about your subject to begin with. In many ways this is an advantage because you can profit from developing you own knowledge and write about that development as you go and it is staying fresh because you are researching and learning as you go. This is exactly what I did, and continue to do with planpaleo.com.
The Knowledge Gap – An Advantage:
When I started that blog I had rudimentary knowledge about the subject, having dabbled with it on and off for years. When it became the foundation of one of my monetised business ventures I began to research in earnest and I know more than enough to keep up with the visitors, readers and commentators who come to my site. I am more than happy for you to take a tour there and use it as a learning base for your own efforts. It will not surprise me that when you venture out that you do a much better job than I have!
Writing – The Common Fear:
Many people are intimidated about the thought of writing and writing on a regular basis may seem terrifying or impossible to some. But I can confidently tell you that you do not have to be an accomplished writer to produce an effective Blog; all that is required to begin with, is that you have the interest and the passion to write. You can improve and polish your style, composition, even spelling and grammar as you go. None of these are reasons or obstacles to get up and running with an internet business based on a Blog.
How to Get Your Blog Read
If absolutely new to this subject, then I am sure at this moment you are wondering how your writings will lead to a revenue stream. The fact is that there are many revenue streams available to anyone who wants to press them into service via their Blog. We will come to how that is achieved in the next section but first of all I want to talk about how you get people to read your Blog.
Traffic to Your Website:
Getting people to read your Blog is about driving traffic to your Blog or website. In order to achieve this we need to get indexed and ranked in search engines like Google (65% of global search traffic) Bing and Yahoo (approx 30% of global search traffic.
At the top of this post is a title, ‘Blogging a Business – How To Go About It.’ The first 3 highlighted words are what we call a keyword, which I have researched based on analyst ICS provided by a platform called Jaaxy (there are many others such as Google external, Wordstream, Microsoft AdCenter, Wordtracker, Wordle and Soovle to name but a few). Some of these platforms provide data on the frequency with which these terms or keywords are being searched for on the engines. In simple terms the search engine providers (the big 3 are named above) look for these keywords in published content (your Blog) and they then index and rank those articles. This leads to those articles potentially appearing higher on the search results served up by those engines. This is your aim in writing the Blog; to drive traffic to your Blog through the production of keyword rich content.
Now we have traffic, how do we make money?
Monetise Your Blog
Changes in Advertising Practice:
When you have a stream of traffic coming to read your material you have an audience much like a TV or radio programme. Both of these mediums traditionally funded their content by offering advertising space in their broadcasts. The revenue raised paid for the production costs of their content as well as for their infrastructure and staff wages. Although this model remains in place Most of that traditional advertising has morphed, gone digital and has become a revenue earning potential for anyone and everyone.
Flora: and Ad Placements:
My daughter Flora has been producing a Blog (Curl Meets World) for some time (she is a really great writer and poet). Flora does not monetise her blog but others do! If you were to visit her Blog you would not only see some wonderful writing (I would say that I am her Dad!), but you would see ad placements, linked by the website host which carries Flora’s blog.
I have just had a conversation with Flora about how she can still enjoy doing her Blog but could make some money for herself by establishing her own website and linking ads, rather than driving traffic to this platform with her free content that other people benefit from.
The other potentially big revenue earner is affiliate marketing. This allows you to partner up with literally of thousands of organisations and link your blog to their products and services from which you can derive revenue from as little as 1% to as much as 1% or 75% of their sales. Some of these will attract ongoing commission for things such as subscription services where recurring renewals brings you a recurring income. You know about some of the possibilities her such as Amazon, EBay and AliExpress but there are many, many more.
Business Blog Hygiene
Before I point you towards an opportunity to get started as a commercial Blogger, and before you are tempted to rush off and make your first million within the month as a Blogger, I just want to stress some come down to earth advice.
Discipline and Application:
You have heard it before but I do want to emphasise here that there is no such thing as a get-rich-quick scheme; if there were we would all be rich. Blogging as a business has to be treated as a business, if indeed you want it to be a business. You need to be posting to your Blog regularly, with interesting, informative content, that people will want to read.
You should only reasonably expect to get a return on what you are prepared to invest. The good news here is that for the most part what you will be investing is your time, there is very little outlay involved (you need regular access to a PC or laptop and some basic software tools like WordPress (1 in 4 websites are built and maintained with this software). There is a way to start for at no cost and test, risk free the possibilities to see if you have the discipline and application to continue
Building this type of business is like watching a modern high rise constructed. It seems to take months to put in place the footings which will provide the foundations of a structure that you want to stand for a long time. When done well, the superstructure seems to get built really quickly. So it is with Blogging a business; establishing a Blog and filling it with keyword rich content in structured way will eventually drive traffic to your Blog and it will start to earn you money, it is unlikely (though not impossible to happen overnight)
Where To Get Started
The good news is that you do not have to do this alone and you do not have to have great knowledge or skills about establishing and maintaining websites, or on how to take advantage of the affiliate marketplace.
A more detailed explanation of how this is possible can be found in my review on Wealthy Affiliate – A Beginners Experience (just click here)
If you think you have enough information already. If you are interested in knowing how you can test your suitability, as a Business Blogger, at no cost and no obligation, while gaining valuable experience, first class training, new skills and knowledge right now, then head over to Wealthy Affiliate (just click here) .
You could have a website up and running, with your first blog published today, for FREE.
I do hope that you have found this post useful, in helping you to better understand how there is money to be had from blogging, and how, with the necessary discipline and applied effort, it might lead to a supplementary, or even, main source of income.
I would really like to hear from you (in the comments below) if you need any questions answered. If you have anything to offer in the way of experience in this area then please do contribute I am always kenn to hear of otherr’ experiences and to keep learning; I will answer all comments as I am able..