For all of the online “businesses” you can start, one of the most popular and sought after is that of a blog. After all, there are so many blogs in the blogosphere, and everyone is just so successful at it; how difficult can it be?
So, should you blog, too? And will it bring you money, decent money that you can put in the bank? Blogging has certainly caught on in the last ten years or so, but is it something you should pursue?
Well, here are 5 steps to let you know if blogging and making money is for you. Because you must have certain ducks in a row, so to speak, for it to work. It’s not as easy as merely creating a blog and ‘they will come.’ Not so fast, pardner!
Here are 5 steps to building a successful blog:
#1 Set up a Blog
Would you believe it, but blogging is not the same as a business? Anyone can have a blog, and many people love posting pictures and posts about their passions and loves for all to see. When you go about setting up a blog, you must have a PASSION for something.
Do you love to cook? Or maybe you’re a dog or a cat person? Love to knit or make jewelry? Are you an expert (of sorts) in managing money or showing others how to live a simple life? Do you play a musical instrument and want to offer lessons? Are you a published author who offers writing advice? Can you home school? Do you have a talent, hobby, skill, gift, command or genius for something?
If you do, it needs to be your PASSION. It needs to be something you love to do all the time, in your every waking moment or at least when you can squeeze it in. It needs to be something you are willing to plunk down money for, even when you know you could be buying other things. But you can’t buy other things, when this PASSION of yours is your life! That’s what you set your blog up to say. This thing you love more than anything; this gift you have that you want to share with the world.
#2 Find Your Readership
This is so important, I can’t stress it enough. It does not matter what you will be blogging about, you need to find out before you ever write a word, where your audience is hanging out.
Who will you be writing for? Are they moms with small children, retirees, crafters, DIYers; where are these people you hope to inspire with your blog? Find 3 blogs that are similar to what you are hoping to achieve and look there.
Does your audience listen to podcasts or get involved in forums? Find the top 3 in each field. What social networks work the best for people in your audience? You’ll be surprised to find that Instagram may work better than Facebook or vice versa. What about Twitter or Google+? Find the top 3 in each place and keep track.
Once you find these places, read what’s there, begin to leave comments, get yourself known by those who are part of those communities. Build a presence and be useful in everything you post.
#3 Only Post Dynamic Content
Blogging and writing posts is not as big a deal as you think. Start with basic posts (called evergreen posts) which you can use and re-purpose in so many ways once they are written. You may want to include videos, your own or others, in your posts; but for now, just concentrate on writing really dynamic content.
Only write posts that people, your audience, will be interested in. It’s not really what YOU are interested in and if you keep doing that, you’ll soon be talking to the crickets. Any post you write has to be something that pulls your readers in with almost a magnetic attraction. Write what you know, but make it always about things your readers want to know about. You can’t go wrong.
#4 Create Your Own Products
THIS is how you make money blogging. Create your own product for sale. It could be a series of ebooks, or a 90-Day Course in Affiliate Marketing which you have written. You might offer lessons or choose to start a membership site, where all of your information is available only to those who sign up for your site.
In addition to your paid content, you can offer freebies, such as printables, reports and the like for free. These can be the basis of your email list; people see things you offer and in exchange for those, they give you their email address in an opt-in form which is on your website.
You may want to offer premium content that covers coaching, speaking, online workshops and webinars. The most important item you can offer is your own product which you can promote in many different ways.
#5 Delve into the World of Affiliate Marketing
When you write your posts the good news is you can use links that point to products you endorse and that will pay you a small commission. That’s why it’s so important to write your posts about things you love to do or believe in.
Because your readership will be built on trust, your readers will understand that anything you endorse is done with their best interests in mind. As you monetize your blog (and that’s what it’s called when you start adding affiliate links), you’ll want readers to click through those links and buy what you offer. Not everyone will do that, but if your readership grows and grows plenty of your readers will not only love your posts, and your advice, but want to share in the products you offer.
Blogging can be some of the best fun you’ll ever have and it can become very lucrative for you.
For finding some of the best quality information on starting a blog and building it into a business, be sure to check out BlogMarketingAcademy.com, BusyBudgeter.com and LivingWellSpendingLess.com. They are all comprehensive and will teach you a lot about making money with a blog.