Everyone seems to have a blog these days and with good reason: a lot of money can be made with blogs. A lot of people now use blogs instead of a traditional website to get things done. They can be used to promote businesses, to share your opinion and most of all, generate income. Let’s take a look at some blogging tips and strategies for starting a money-making blog.
But first, what are some advantages of starting a blog?
- Blogging is an excellent form of advertising
- It’s free to set up
- Can get very high rankings in the search engines
- Can be constantly updated with relevant information
- Can generate income
Anyone doing business online should have a blog and if not, they should start blogging ASAP. It’s an excellent way to get your business out there and be noticed. Increases in sales usually follow. There are a lot of ways to make a lot of money using only blogs – you can sell products related to your blog, you can advertise for someone else, you can use AdSense to generate extra income.
Not only is it incredibly easy to create and start a money-making blog these days, but it can also be very fun and exciting, especially when you start making money from it.
It’s important to remember to update your blog often; every day is good or every other day and your blog has to be filled with useful information. Write about your topic or business area.
If you are a complete newbie at blogging, you’ll have to learn, but I’ve mentioned, it is so easy to learn. I would recommend you take a look here www.bloggers-guide.com if you want to know all you need to know about blogging.
Lesson 1: Affiliate Marketing and Blogging
Affiliate marketing is one way in which bloggers utilise their blog to generate revenue.
The amount of revenue generated by a blog that features affiliate marketing links may vary significantly depending on the amount of traffic the blog receives, as well as the compensation offered for affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing essentially entails creating a link on the blog to another company’s website. The other company then compensates the blog owner according to a previously agreed upon contract.
This compensation may be awarded in a number of different ways. The blog owner may be compensated each time the advertisement is served, each time a unique website visitor clicks through the advertisement or each time a blog visitor performs a desired action such as making a purchase or registering with the website.
Let’s discuss some aspects of affiliate marketing which bloggers should understand, how to select opportunities carefully, how to maximize the income potential for these opportunities and finally, how to understand the requirements associated with these affiliate marketing opportunities.
Selecting Affiliate Marketing Opportunities
There is a wide variety of affiliate marketing opportunities available. Many different companies and websites offer affiliate marketing opportunities. In most cases, the blog owner simply needs to submit the website address of his blog along with some other basic information for approval. Usually, the company is not likely to reject the application unless the content of the website is deemed to be objectionable or otherwise in a conflict of interest with the company’s goals.
However, although getting approved to display affiliate links on your website is a rather simple process, this does not mean blog owners should select these affiliate marketing opportunities without discretion. It is a far better idea to carefully select affiliate marketing opportunities with companies who are of interest to the target audience of the blog.
A well-focused blog that is reaching a specific target audience should seek to display marketing links directing website traffic to companies which complement the blog without acting as direct competition to the blog.
This helps to ensure the blog visitors will not only be interested in the affiliate marketing links, and therefore more likely to click on the links, but will also help to ensure that they do not find the affiliate marketing links to be bothersome.
Maximising Affiliate Marketing Opportunities
Once blog owners have selected affiliate marketing opportunities it is time to consider how they can maximize the profit generated by these links. There are a couple of critical factors which blog owners should carefully consider to help maximize their profit from affiliate marketing. This includes regularly evaluating the effectiveness of the affiliate links and promoting the blog to maximize traffic.
Blog owners who incorporate affiliate marketing into their blog should regularly evaluate the effectiveness of the affiliate links. This can be done by comparing the percentage of blog visitors who click on the affiliate links to the overall blog traffic.
A blog which has high traffic but a relatively small percentage of visitors who click on the affiliate links should consider making changes to attempt to entice more blog visitors to click on the links. These changes can involve the aesthetics, size or location of the advertisements. Making only one change at a time is recommended because it makes it easier for the blog owner to evaluate which changes are most beneficial.
Self-promotion is also a crucial way for blog owners to maximise the profit from their affiliate marketing opportunities, as this drives additional website traffic to the blog. Higher website traffic will generally translate to greater profit from affiliate marketing. It could also be beneficial for the blog owner may want to occasionally mention companies for which they are an affiliate to generate interest in the advertisements on the website.
Understanding Affiliate Marketing Requirements
Finally, blog owners should pay careful attention to the affiliate marketing agreements they enter. This is important because some companies may place restrictions on the usage of a link to their website. This may include restrictions such as avoiding objectionable content, not including links or advertisements for direct competitors or restrictions on the appearance of the affiliate links.
Failure to adhere to these guidelines may result in the blog losing affiliate privileges and the blog owner being denied compensation. Check out these common affiliate marketing mistakes to avoid.
Lesson 2: Display Ads For Bloggers
If you have joined the blogging revolution that is sweeping the net, and you think you might want to make a little revenue – or a lot of revenue – from your blogging efforts, you might want to check out these display ads tips for bloggers.
Blogging has opened up an entirely new way of how non-technical people interact with the Internet, and now anyone can publish anything about any topic – without having a website – and anyone can profit without even having a product!
Display ads for blogs makes perfect sense. These advertising programs are designed to work with sites related to the keywords for the ads that are being presented. Each time you add content to your blog, the display ads gobble it up.
The beauty of blogs is their potential for rapid growth. If you become known as an expert in your area of expertise, word of mouth spreads quickly and your blog can become very popular. So, it is vital that you always teach something with every blog entry. You want your readers to come back frequently and they will if they know they will learn something.
Not only will your readers bookmark your blog and return often, but they will link to your blog enthusiastically as well. People in forums will refer to your blogs and discuss what they learned. Websites will link to you as a valuable resource. In short, if the information you provide is valuable, then your blog will grow very quickly.
There is a method to the madness of starting a money-making blog. It is important to write about specific topics and sprinkle your blog entries with specific keywords to get the best results and the highest revenue, and to test the waters.
Decide what area you would like to write about and then do some keyword research. The keyword tools are located in your Google AdWords account. Yes, you need a free AdWords account to be successful but you don’t have to fund it to use the keyword tools. Look for keywords related to your subject that are high paying. These are keywords where the bid amounts are high. Make a list of the top-paying keywords, and use that list to determine what topics you will write about.
Remember, you want people to visit your blog time and time again, and build up a readership, make sure that your blog is well written and informative. Don’t just target keywords for the sake of targeting keywords – the writing needs to make sense! Writing valuable content is the first step to generating traffic to your blog, and traffic is needed to profit from display ads!
There are a few different display ad companies that you can look into joining. Here are some of the most popular ones:
Google Adsense is probably the most popular option. For Google Adsense, The more you update, the more the Google spider visits your page. Ultimately, you move up in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) for the topics that you write about. You see where this is going. The higher your search ranking, the more traffic you receive, which ultimately leads to higher revenue from AdSense ads.
You are allowed to use the AdSense ad units in two different places on each page. You can accomplish this in a couple of different ways. First, you can add the AdSense ad code to the template for your blog. This is done through the control panel for your blog, and some knowledge of HTML is needed. The other option is to paste the AdSense code directly in your blog post each time you submit a new post. You can use it once at the top and once at the bottom, or once after a few paragraphs of the post, and again after a few more paragraphs.
Get that code in there however you see fit – but then pay close attention to the results so you can see what is working and what isn’t. Tracking is everything if you want to make real money!
Of course, you need to advertise your blog as much as possible as well. Make sure that you provide links to other people’s blogs as often as possible, and that you visit blogs, leave comments – and leave a link for your blog as well!
Lesson 3: SEO
Unless you have just awakened from a 20-year nap, you are aware of blogs.
Many of us use blogs to record our ideas and experiences, but a few savvy online marketers actually use blogs to generate genuine five, six, even seven-figure incomes.
Perhaps you have read the stories about people who have made a fortune from their blog; some of these entrepreneurs have become millionaires many times over because they seem to know something that we don’t.
If you are like me, you have made an effort to monetize your blog with AdSense and some affiliate programs, and possibly even had some success. However, earning the ‘big bucks’ has escaped the vast majority of us bloggers.
Like most things, there’s an easy way to do it – or the hard way, and trust me, when it comes to making money with your blog, you do NOT want to take the hard way.
One important factor, maybe even the most important factor when it comes to your blog, is SEO. If you don’t optimise your blog for SEO, then people would likely not be able to find your blog in the sea of blogs and you wouldn’t be able to make any money.
I won’t go too much into details here about SEO but here are some things you need to keep in mind when it comes to optimising your blog for SEO:
- Use a plugin such as SEO Yoast or RankMath to help you optimise your pages and rank for keywords
- Use SEMRush or Ubersuggest to discover what your competitors are doing and how you can better optimise your website
- Make sure the loading time of your blog is fast. Optimise your loading time with a plugin such as WP Rocket and remove all unnecessary plugins and optimise your images using a plugin such as ShortPixel
- Build backlinks to increase your authority both in the eyes of a search engine, but also to get people to visit your blog
Find out more about SEO tips here.
Lesson 4: Basics Of Blogs And Blogging
Have you heard other people talking on and on about their “blogs” while all you could do was smile and nod?
Yes, “blog” is a peculiar word, conjuring visions of mosquito-infested swamps, and you can’t imagine why people would be eager to get more visitors to theirs.
Blogs can be devoted to a single topic, or they can be the equivalent of personal diaries in which people record their private thoughts and observations about the world. The contents of a blog are limited only by the imagination of the blog’s creator, or “author”.
If you find the thought of your own blog appealing, and have an Internet- connected computer, here are some suggestions to help you both get a blog going and build an audience with whom you can share it:
First, choose a topic for your blog on which you will enjoy communicating, and prepare your material. Your opinions on a subject are fine but there are always going to be those who know as much, about a topic as you, and if you want a credible blog, you need to be able to back up your statements.
Add some humor and personal experiences to your topic if you can. Writing a travel blog about places you have actually been, and about colorful locals whom you actually encountered, will make much better reading than just posting facts and figures picked up from travel sites and TV shows.
Offer material which will appeal to both novice travellers – like how to avoid pickpockets – and more seasoned ones – like the best-undiscovered attractions in a specific destination.
Don’t limit your blog to your own experiences. Keep it updated with news that might affect those interested in your subject. While your experiences can give people valuable insight, recognize that your opinions about what happened to you or about a specific product are, after all, just opinions. Give people factual information which they can weigh for themselves.
Keep your blog current. On the Internet, news can become old in a matter of hours, and what happened a month ago is ancient history. Telling people considering a trip to Thailand that Thailand experienced a coup last September will do nothing to help them decide about a trip next month. Updating them on the peaceful state of affairs in Thailand today, however, will.
Updating your blog will require a commitment from you. You’ll need to establish a regular time to search for and write about fresh news and get it posted. There’ll be times when not much has happened, and there’ll be times when you can’t type fast enough. But two or three times a week are not too many to post something new.
Even if it’s only to tell your readers that not much has been going on, share a few thoughts, and tell your readers when to next check-in for your next entry, make an appearance. Your audience will keep coming back as long as they know you are.
Keep your blog as simple as you can, without sounding like you don’t have a complete grasp of your subject. You want to appeal to as many people as possible, and nothing will drive those newly interested in a subject away faster than lots of technical jargon and statistics. You can provide complex information, as long as you make the effort to put it in user-friendly terms.
Find a memorable name for your blog, and use your blog editing feature to post it in large, bold-face type. “My Hiking Blog” will probably sound interesting only to Mom and Dad and only because you never write or call them while you’re out adventuring. “Climbing through the Clouds” will appeal to those who either tackle the high places of the Earth or want to.
Finally, make sure your blog is professionally presented. You have a spell checker, so use it. Proofread your copy and correct any grammar or punctuation errors before you post your work. If you’re not sure whether you are using a word properly, get help from an online dictionary. Respect your readers as intelligent, well-informed people who could just as easily spend their time elsewhere.
These suggestions may make your entry into the world of blogging more successful, but it’s up to you to commit to building and keeping an audience.
Lesson 5: Blog Entrepreneur
If someone were to tell you that you could create a global business, completely for free, with nothing more than the tools you already have, and the investment of your time, you’d question their sanity.
Nevertheless, it’s true. If blogging appeals to you, you can create a viable Internet business within a few months: for free.
Blogging is a new development in online businesses. Essentially, it’s instant publishing. Because entrepreneurial blogging is so new, you have a great opportunity to build your business before others copy what you’re doing, so get started now, and start building your own online empire.
Let’s look at five business models for your new Internet blogging business. These five models can be combined if you wish – there are no rules in blogging. You can change the business model of a blog at any time, to a model which generates more income.
Each of these models has the potential to earn you a six-figure income. They are:
- Affiliate blog(s)
- Web publisher blog(s)
- Sales blog(s)
- Service blog(s)
- Blog network(s)
Let’s look at these models one by one.
Many businesses develop affiliate programs because they can recruit a sales force of thousands of people, with little expense. The appeal of affiliate programs for affiliate marketers is that you don’t need a product or service – you can start selling others’ products, on commission.
If you intend creating an affiliate blog, select the products that you’ll be selling before you create the blog. This is because you want to be sure that there is a wide range of products that you can promote.
There’s nothing worse than developing a blog, and finding out that the well is dry: you’ve picked a niche where products rarely change, and in which the products are so standardized that there’s nothing new to write or podcast about.
Web publisher blog(s)
In this model, your blog is the online equivalent of a magazine. Just as a magazine has features and advertising, so does your blog. In this business model, your content is vital, because you’re counting on your content to attract advertisers.
If you choose to develop a Web publisher blog, you’ve got great models – the thousands of magazines which are published each year. Check out a couple of your favorite magazines. Usually a monthly magazine will have a theme for each monthly issue, with two or more stories devoted to this theme. The magazine publishes its editorial calendar a year in advance, so that advertisers can line up their advertising for a specific issue.
In the sales model, you devote a blog to a single product, or range of products. When offline companies start blogs, their blogs are sales blogs – they’re using their blogs to sell their products. If you have products that you want to sell, a sales blog is an excellent business model. You could sell a product that you’ve created – an ebook, a DVD, or art work – or products that you buy from others, and resell.
If you’re already running a business, you could start an entrepreneurial blog to act as the marketing arm of the business.
On the other hand, if you don’t have a business, look into having products created for you, or buy products which you can resell on your blog. Look in your local Yellow Pages for manufacturing companies: you may be able to find products that you could resell at a profit. Of course, there are many wholesaling companies online, but the benefit of dealing with a local supplier is that you can inspect the products that you’re selling, to ensure quality. Your shipping costs will also be low, resulting in more profit for you.
While the sales blog sells products, the service blog sells services. If you have a service that you sell, then you could create a blog to generate customers for your services. Or, you could sell the services of other people, via a blog.
If you’re selling a service, you know that it’s hard to differentiate yourself from the thousands of others who are selling the same service. A blog is a way to do that. If you’re a dance coach, for example, you’ve got plenty to write about. You’ll attract lots of new business, and you can bring in additional income when you solicit your equipment suppliers to advertise on your blog.
Lesson 6: Blogging Your Business
For a business, there are several potential reasons to blog, but, (there is always a but, isn’t there?) what you really need to consider before blogging, is: Why are you doing it?
- Is it a forum to have a more personal relationship between you and your customers?
- Is it to create a channel where media regularly check what you have to say, instead of media just being passive recipients of press releases.
- Is it private, a workspace where project members keep each other updated without wasting time?
- Is it to establish your company as a thought leader so that people in your business will pay attention?
- Is it to test ideas or products, a place where people can comment, and provide you with a measure of value or interest?
- Is it a bit more ‘cynical’ another attempt to rank higher in search engines because they reward sites that update often, that link to other sites and have many inbound links?
Blogging tools will allow you to publish news, information and opinions widely. You do not need any real technical expertise to write a blog. You just add pages or articles through a “Windows” type of interface so there is no need to rely on a web designer to update it for you.
Business Blogs can be very effective. Blogs can put a human face on your company and on the products and services that you offer, which increases the value of your organization in the eyes of your customers. This, in turn, will build much higher levels of trust so that the readers of your Blog often become your most passionate word-of-mouth ambassadors.
The key issue is discovering what a Blog really can do for you. I find that once a business has the chance to have their questions answered about blogs and understand what they can offer, the question tends to change from “Why to have a blog?” to “Why haven’t we got a blog?”
Northeastern University’s Professor Walter Carl, the students in his Advanced Organizational Communications class (Spring 2006), John Cass and his colleagues at Backbone Media, Inc. carried out the “Blogging Success Study”.
The research team interviewed twenty corporate bloggers from companies of varied size and industry and asked each blogger a series of standardized questions. Only bloggers who had been blogging for over one year and considered their blogging efforts successful were eligible to participate.
They identified five factors for success.
- Culture: If a company has particular cultural traits worth revealing or bad reputation it wants to repudiate, blogging can be an attractive option.
- Transparency: Transparency is critical to establishing credibility and trust with an audience. People want to see an honest portrayal of a company.
- Time: It takes a lot of time to set up, research and write a quality blog. Companies need to identify a person who has the time to blog.
- Dialogue: A company’s ability and willingness to engage in a dialogue with their customer base about topics that the customer base is interested in is critical to its blogging success.
- Entertaining writing style and personalization: A blogger’s writing style and how much they are willing to reveal about their life, experience and opinions brings human interest to a blog, helps build a personal connection with readers and will keep people reading.
Nevertheless, they missed out the most important:
6. It takes a lot of time and dedication to build a good business blog. You must stick with it for months to build up a sizable audience. Lots of people blog for a few months and stop. You need to blog constantly and at a consistent pace. You need to find time to write posts, to reply to comments from readers, monitor other blogs, keep up with the latest industry news and build relationships with other bloggers. However, sticking with it is actually the only hard and fast rule to creating a successful business-orientated blog.
Lesson 7: Blogging with WordPress
My decision to go with Word Press and not with one of the other big blogging entities such as Blogger had everything to do with my having complete control over the site, the flexibility and the ease of use.
WordPress is powering over 35% of the internet at the moment. WordPress allows complete customisation. It is flexible and easy to use, offer extensive plugins to help you get your dream blog together (although remember, don’t have too many plugins or it will slow down your website), one of the easiest ways to produce blogs.
Since I host my website with Siteground, WordPress can be integrated with a click of a button. Within two or three minutes of my download, I had Word Press up and running. In less than thirty minutes, I had installed Divi, my favourite theme builder, I started producing content.
Obviously, I am a very satisfied Word Press customer. You can be a satisfied blogger too whether you select Word Press through your web host or host your blog directly with them.
Starting a money-making blog can seem complicated and difficult to achieve. There is so much information on the internet, and it can be overwhelming. Remember to take just one step at a time and you will start generating income and seeing results in no time.