Although only a minority of bloggers make any real income, there’s no need to become discouraged and give up before you make a patient, determined effort. Whatever niche you choose to exploit for your blog, the bottom line is always going to be that you’ll wind up knowing more about your niche, and the people who visit it, than if you gave up too early. Here’s how most successful bloggers monetize their work.
Professionals Make Money, Not Amateurs
Strive always to give your site a professional look. Readers must realize that you mean business, then they’re more likely to give you some business. Building a professional-looking blog is easy with a CMS like WordPerfect. It has a multitude of both free and paid themes, and is an extremely easy platform to master for beginners.
They also offer all the apps and plugins you’ll need to take your blog to the next level as you attract more traffic; and most of the basic ones are free.
Choose a Profitable Niche
Specializing your blog to focus on a niche guarantees an audience of some kind; but it may remain so small and select that you won’t earn much. So consider fitting out your blog to deal with one of the surefire, evergreen niches, such as: Finance and/or business, the different aspects of relationship/dating, health and/or fitness
Building your audience and developing authority takes time, so make sure you choose a niche you know something about and would enjoy writing about. You’re going to need patience to build up an audience.
Make Your Content Share-Worthy
Quality attracts clicks. Mediocrity drives them away. Useful and engaging information, done with a light touch and sense of humor, drives viewers to blog sites. Humdrum and repetitive mush will turn your blog into a cyber ghost town in no time. So decide that you will give your blog the time and energy necessary to provide great content — whether that means doing it yourself or hiring it out.
Focus on Generating Traffic
Once you feel you’ve begun to master the quality content of your blog, the next step is definitely to focus on growing your audience. Successful bloggers know about, and use, all or most of the following:
Take advantage of other social media platform to promote your blog. You should have accounts on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, etc. As you establish one platform, move on to another — until you have a full platoon of social media that directs viewers back to your blog.
Do guest posts on other blog sites. Most of them will let you use a link back to your own blog. That way you’re taking advantage of built-in audiences.
Use LinkedIn to syndicate your blog posts. Once you’ve created some dynamite content, don’t let it just sit on your blog site — put it up under your LinkedIn account. Needless to say, if you don’t have a LinkedIn account yet . . . GET ONE!
Leave comments on other blog sites similar to your own niche. This can create relationships between you and other like-minded bloggers. Or, as the man said after his wife told him their dog had fleas: “You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.”
Choose the Monetization Method that Fits Best with Your Goals
This may take some experimenting before you feel comfortable, and profitable, with a money making method. Here are the mainstays of blog monetization:
In affiliate marketing, you sell other people’s merchandise and then take a commission on each sale from your site. Oftentimes the product you’ve dreamed of creating and selling already exists, so why reinvent the wheel? Sell it as an affiliate, instead of as the original creator. All the groundwork and initial hassle have already been taken care of. You can promote the product via an email list or with reviews on your blog.
Use Google’s AdSense to sell advertising on your blog. These ads go on the sidebar of your blog, and you’ll get paid per click or impression. Payments are minuscule, so this works best if you’ve got, or are aiming at, a very large audience for your blog.
If your blog is meant to be educational or extremely informative, sell eBooks or offer a course in your niche subject. Before you create your educational eBook or course, run a survey on your blog to see what kind of viewer interest there is. Only you can decide what is the breakeven point for this kind of a project. Do you need a dozen people to buy your e-book or twenty to take your course — then those are the magic numbers you’ve got to see before creating anything. If you don’t see such numbers, don’t give up; just keep focusing on building your audience and try another several months down the road.
As was said in the beginning, not all blogs bring in an income. But by following these steps you can substantially increase your chances of turning your blog into cold hard cash. If you make an income along the way, that’s just gravy!
Author: Amanda DiSilvestro
Amanda DiSilvestro gives small business and entrepreneurs SEO advice ranging from keyword density to recovering from Panda and Penguin updates. She writes for the nationally recognized SEO Company HigherVisibility.com that offers online marketing services to a wide range of companies across the country.