The art of blogging has developed a great deal since its conception. Blogs often no longer resemble the single-author blueprint of the noughties. Blogging has exploded in popularity and readership and, as such, has become big business. From Rand Fishkin to Timothy Sykes, millions of people are using their blogs to showcase their personal brand and bring home the bacon. Whether you’re looking to make money from an already established blog, or you’re looking to start from the ground up with an income in mind, this article is for you.
Banish The Blog Ads & Broaden Your Horizons
Want to know something which may surprise you? Blog Ads are not the best way to make money from your blog (by a long shot).
Many bloggers still believe that the classic model of assembling a quick WordPress blog, littering the pages with repeated keywords and sticking a few ads on the sidebar is enough to make money from a blog. This article will show you how outdated this idea is. Here’s why:
- Blog ads pay next to peanuts – unless you have a monstrous amount of traffic then there is next to no income to be made with them. Other factors affecting Google AdSense include: your blog’s topic and the type of ad displayed
- Advertising is a distraction – ads are actually calls-to-action in their own right. So these will naturally distract from your content and your own conversion rate
- Ads can make you look sleazy – if you want to be taken seriously, ads are the wrong way to go. They are often unrelated to your content and take the charm out of your web design
Check out this previous post to see more about other common mistakes that bloggers make.
Catering To Your Niche
Creating unique and engaging content to fit your blog’s niche is a sure-fire way to build a readership. With so many blogs out there, this is a step you simply cannot ignore. This is relevant to anyone wishing to build up their reputation and make a solid income from their blog. Here are some tips to point you in the right direction:
- Just starting out? Do your homework. If you’re just starting out, you should make a list of popular blogs in your niche or industry and consider what makes them so great. It could be a particular type of content which makes them successful, e.g. ‘how to’ guides or interviews with industry leaders
- What does your readership really want? Get involved with your established readership. Engage them in conversation via social media and encourage them to give their opinion on your post in the comments. You need to change people’s lives for the better and offer quality content to stand out from other blogs
- Interview your readership – if you already have a readership, it would be useful to create a landing page with a call-to-action to get their email addresses. The next step would be to email them questionnaires to see if there is any topics or types of content they would like you to focus on
Martin Lewis’ Money Saving Expert blog is an excellent example of content which changes the lives of its readers. The page also features a sidebar with a clear call-to-action on the right hand side to capture the email addresses visitors. This sidebar even boasts what topics are covered in the latest newsletter emails to boast what the user has to gain from signing up.
Affiliate Marketing: Your New Best Friend
Affiliate marketing is a term that you have probably heard being thrown around all over the internet. So what is it?
Affiliate marketing is a marketing arrangement by which an online retailer pays commission to an external website for a review or promotional post for traffic or sales generated from its referrals. The external website is quite often a blog.
For example, Cult Beauty offers an affiliate programme where bloggers can sign up to review their products. In exchange, the blogger will receive 10% of sales revenue from the referrals. Bloggers also have to post the Cult Beauty banners and ads on their site. One example of a really successful Cult Beauty affiliate is beauty blogger Zoella.
This means that if you own an influential blog with a healthy readership, you could be offered the opportunity to have goods or services delivered to you free of charge or for considerable payment. Things to consider are:
- Choosing the right brands or products for your blog
- How you could sell yourself and your blog to them
From Blogger to Ecommerce Whizz?
The transition from blogging to ecommerce is not all plain sailing. But it is possible, and could be a great money-maker. You are essentially switching from selling ideas to selling products. Here are some points worth considering:
- Does your niche include any products that you could sell? It would make sense to sell something related to your industry. If you’re a D.I.Y blogger, it would be great to sell hand-crafted decorations or furnishings
- Do you have what it takes? Whilst there are some transferable skills between the blogging and ecommerce industries, you do need to be a certain kind of person to stick to a business plan. Ecommerce demands lots of attention to detail and the drive to make sales, which can be very different to writing fun content on a blog
- How would you sell your products? There are so many ways to get involved in ecommerce. Ebay and Etsy are brilliant ways to get started. If you’re getting serious, consider setting up a store with a platform like WordPress for unlimited customization, potential to scale and the ability to integrate with blog platforms. You can also use a WordPress plugin for managing sales and even integrate a Shopify buy button to your existing WordPress site.
Will You Profit from Your Blog?
There are many ways to make money from blogging these days. Here are the key points to take away and get yourself on the road to becoming a professional blogger:
- Avoid ads on your blog wherever possible
- Create relevant and useful content in a niche industry
- Consider affiliate marketing to get paid for reviewing products or services
- It may be possible to diversify and get into
Was this advice helpful and relevant to your blog? What lessons will you take away from it? Let us know in the comments.