If you love creating content, blogging professionally seems like a dream come true. All you need to do is post a few blogs a week and let the money roll in. During your ample free time you can travel, play tennis, enjoy the beach, or just take a long nap.
Of course like most dreams, reality is a bit more challenging. It can take years to turn blogging into a living. Most bloggers never earn enough to quit their day jobs. Still, if you love to write it’s possible to make blogging a lucrative source of cash. By blogging your passion you can build an audience, drive customers to your business, and yes even make a living. Here’s how.
Figure Out What You Love
Just as it’s hard to succeed in a job you don’t really like, it will be hard building an audience for a blog you don’t really care about. It’s normal to fantasize about money or success. However to succeed at blogging the writing needs to come first. What do you care about, what topics do you love discussing with your friends? What keeps you up at night? By blogging your passion, you’ll be able to keep going even when the going gets tough. If you’re developing a business, collaborating on content with trusted partners can really help.
Brainstorm some suggested titles for your blog. Think about the areas you could be writing about. If finance is your passion will you be covering home budgets or stock picks? Think about your ideal audience –– are they young professionals, entrepreneurs, moms? Maybe they are all three!
Go online and do a search on some of your topics. In this case it’s better if you aren’t unique. You don’t want to be one-of-a-kind because that suggests your audience will be limited. If there are lots of blogs with content that looks identical to what you want to create, make adjustments. Minor changes can make a big difference.
Look Like a Pro from Day One
If your goal is to get paid, then you’ll want to register a domain name. Pick one as close to your own or to your business as possible. Signing up for a free blog on Medium will not impress potential clients. It will also limit your chances of attracting advertisers. Plus, having your own site can help protect your IP –– the content you create.
You also need a good web hosting provider to ensure that your site loads quickly. Do your research –– good choices include Bluehost, Siteground, Dreamhost, and Squarespace among others. Most bloggers use WordPress for its user-friendly features that make SEO simple. Remember, ranking high in Google placement can really increase your pageviews. So researching SEO and how to effectively use keywords is very important. Finally, make sure your blogs are well-written and well-edited. In this case a second (or even a third) set of eyes can make all the difference.
Build Your Audience
This is obviously a vital step and it can be difficult if you’re just starting out. Use your social media platforms to let people know you’ll be premiering a blog on a specific date. Consider giveaways like books you’ve written or inexpensive merch to motivate sign ups. Keep to a consistent schedule, posting new blogs on the same day or days of the week. As you build an audience you’ll be able to make some money by selling your own products or services through the blog. Just make sure you aren’t writing a long sales pitch but are instead delivering informative, interesting content.
Ad Sales and Affiliate Marketing
When you read about bloggers earning a six-figure income, this is often how they do it. Many bloggers make money through ad sales with Google Adsense by far the most popular. Every time a reader clicks on an ad that appears in your blog you’ll earn a few cents. Enough clicks and it will really add up (excuse the pun). This is why you’ll want your own site, since Google Adsense and many others don’t work with the writers publishing on sites like BlogSpot or Medium.
Like most bloggers, I earn money from affiliate links. Along with ad sales, this is the top way they make money. It takes time because for you to successfully promote a product you need to have built up trust in your audience. It’s also important that you only endorse products or services that you have personally tried and enjoyed. Recommending an unfamiliar or untested product will backfire if readers dislike it. They are likely to blame you as much as they do the product itself for any negative experiences.
There’s no question that like most things in life, success as a blogger only comes from hard work and a fair amount of time. The good news is that once you’ve scaled up a bit you can definitely make money in your sleep.
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