For most bloggers out there, making even a few dollars seems like an elusive dream. But nothing really beats the feeling of seeing that first cheque from Adsense or getting your first commission payment from Amazon, not matter how small. And small is how most blogs will start, unless you’ve invested heavily in full time staff and a huge marketing campaign from the start then you are going to need to build your audience slowly and surely by delivering a regular flow of high quality and engaging content.
But what do you do when your blog, whether you started it with aspirations to quit your day job or simply as a hobby or passion project, does start to pay you a few pence here and there? It could be paying its own way by covering your hosting costs, or bringing in a bit more pocket money.
But after you’re first $20 a month, how do you turn that into $200 a month, $2,000 a month or more?
It makes sense to save up the majority of the money you make from your blog in the early days and reinvest it to see how far your site can really go. Speculate to accumulate, or so the saying goes. If you feel it’s time to ramp up your efforts with a little investment, then here are three ways to invest your cash:
Recruit more writers
Outsourcing is the theme that underpins much of Tim Ferriss’s lifestyle bestseller The 4-Hour Workweek. And if you want to grow your site without it sucking up all of your time then you’re going to have to do the same. You’re not a robot after all and if you’re producing a content-heavy site then there comes a time when you’ll need some help. There are plenty of guest bloggers who will contribute material for free, depending on what your topic is, but if you want to maintain high quality and editorial independence then it is always best to pay for professional writers, preferably native speakers to the country you are writing for. You may be surprised at how affordable it can be. And more content = more traffic = more revenue for you.
Experiment with paid traffic
If you are making your money from selling a product or possibly through affiliate sales by comparing prices or reviewing items then there can be value in paying to drive extra traffic to your site, so long as you keep track of what your conversion rates are and how much each visitor is potentially worth. Pay-per-click advertising can end up an expensive beast if you do not know what you are doing, but do your research and put the proper checks in place to stop costs spiralling out of control and start small by experimenting with small amounts of money and testing the results.
Tweak the design
Once you start to see where the money is coming from you can start to change things to try and improve the results. Is there a particular advert position that is clicked on more often than others? Try paying a designer to move around positions of your other advert boxes or calls to action and see which ones are the most lucrative. Giving your site a custom refresh, especially if you’re using a generic free WordPress theme, can also improve your authority and reduce bounce rates, improving the overall quality of your site and hopefully your revenue too.
Need help to get your blog off the ground? iDream Design, gurus in Web Design Cambridge can help. Specialising in conversion rate optimisation and search engine marketing, they are sure to get your blog moving in the right direction.