How Blogging Makes Money
A lot of people are under the impression that blogging is simply a hobby. But, in actuality, it can be a great way to earn money. Although, it isn't necessarily easy to make money blogging which is why we have put together the following guide.
Blogging is incredibly accessible; anyone with a computer and an internet connection can create a blog. However, you do need to have something to say, too.
Your blog needs to draw an audience in. Building a following can take time. It isn't something that happens overnight. You won't wake up and find yourself flush with cash.
This guide includes
Starting Your Blog
Starting a blog is relatively straightforward. There are two options that you can choose from when it comes to setting up your blog.
You can either choose a free blogging platform, or you can create your own site to house your blog. The choice is yours, and they both have their pros and cons.
Free Blogging Platforms
Free blogging platforms tend to be the better option for casual bloggers; it is harder to make money from these platforms, though.
However, they are really easy to set up, and they don't cost a thing which is great for those who want to try blogging out before committing more energy to it. On the other hand, there are often limitations to what you can upload onto the blog.
For example, some platforms limit video and image uploads. Some don't allow you to place adverts or publish affiliate links. These platforms also tend to retain control over your blog, and they have the right to delete it if they want to.
If you want to try blogging using a free blogging platform, then there are a number of options that you could try.
Firstly, WordPress is a great choice. It is a free basic blog hosting site, and it is very user friendly. However, using the free version does mean that you will have to deal with the website's ads and branding; you also cannot place your own ads on the site.
However, if you choose to pay for premium access or if you use some of the best hosting sites for blogs like Bluehost or Hostinger, then you can have more control over your WordPress blog and what goes on it.
Creating Your Own Website
For those who aren't particularly tech-savvy, the idea of creating your own website can be daunting but don't worry; it's not actually that difficult.
If you choose to create your own website, then you will be in a better position to create a brand for your blog. You have total control over how you want your blog to look. You can even choose the domain name and the URL.
You can use templates from services that offer a premium subscription, like WordPress, which has a lot of templates that you can choose from. When you pay for the premium, you get access to more features and more control over the blog.
Creating your own site is a better option for those that want to make money from blogging.
Choosing Your Blog Topic
The simple truth is that your choice of blog topic can make or break your blog.
You need to put a lot of thought into your topic. You should try to choose a niche which you know a lot about, something that you can cement yourself as an authority in.
A lot of bloggers don't differentiate themselves enough, and their blog becomes just another face in the crowd, so to speak. You need to find a way to spin your concept into something new and innovative.
For example, if you have an interest in fashion, instead of starting another generic fashion blog, you could approach it from a new angle. Your blog could focus on ethically conscious designers or ways to upcycle clothing or thrifting.
More and more people are looking for ways to show their concern for the environment, and so by taking this approach, you are opening up your potential audience more.
If you are struggling to come up with a topic for your blog, then you should start by looking up some other blogs. Are there any blogs that you enjoy, but more than that, what blogs are successful today? Can you identify any gaps in the market, and if so, could your blog fulfil those gaps?
You could also consult google or other search engines. Try typing in a few keywords and look at the autocomplete suggestions. This can show you what people want to find; it shows the demand. You could also check out forums to see what the people want what they're looking for.
You may also want to take into account the current trends. Think about what topics are in the media. While you should do your best to try a topic that ensures longevity for your blog, choosing to participate in trends every now and again can widen your audience base and attract more readers.
You also need to decide what type of content you want to produce on your blog. You could go for articles, tutorials, guides, interviews, lists or reviews.
You don't necessarily have to stick to one type of content either you could mix and match as long as it is in keeping with the vibe of your blog.
Finally, don't forget to identify your own areas of interest. While the above criteria matter and can definitely help you to narrow down your ideas, you also need to feel passionate about your topic.
If you try to blog about something that you have absolutely no interest in, you will quickly get bored, and your readers will be able to tell that it is inauthentic.
4 Easy Ways to Increase Traffic to Your Blog
Once you have decided on your topic and you have chosen between creating a website and a free blogging platform, you need to get your blog up and running. Part of this is writing and publishing your posts, and part of it is driving more traffic to your site.
After all, a blog cannot survive or make a profit without readers. It is highly unlikely that your audience will simply stumble across your blog accidentally. Therefore, you need to promote it.
Promoting your blog on social media is an easy way to get more readers. The truth is that any business today would struggle to survive without a presence on social media. Think about the audience that you want to reach. Where are they most likely to spend their time online?
Create social media accounts on those platforms. Think Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. When you are designing your social media presence, you should do your best to keep your brand in mind. Your social media accounts should be consistent with your blog in their design.
Try to post consistently because this is the best way to create a following. Remember to post backlinks and clickthroughs to your site. You could also look into paid advertising to promote your social media pages and, therefore, your blog.
You could also look for ways to increase your engagement, like running a competition or hosting a giveaway.
Connecting with Other Bloggers
Another way that you can increase traffic to your blog is by making an effort to connect with other bloggers. Are there any other blogs that are similar to yours in theme or topic?
Some bloggers are reluctant to build these relationships because they view these bloggers as competitors, but you might be surprised by how mutually beneficial these relationships can be.
A lot of blogs feature a community page where they promote other blogs; this is done in return for a link on your blog. It can help with your SEO too. You could also write guest blogs for each other's blogs as a way to advertise your blog and vice versa.
If you make an effort to build a relationship with other bloggers and share their content, they will do the same for you.
As mentioned above, following current events and participating in trends can provide your blog with some important exposure. You should be able to find a way to relate the news back to your blog or provide your own spin on them and use the news for inspiration.
You have to post content regularly, and you can benefit from the interest in these news stories. You can also then promote the posts on social media using the relevant hashtags to make people more likely to stumble across your posts while learning more about the news.
Creating Viral Content
Finally, you could attempt to create some viral content as a way to reach new markets and increase your audience. However, it is incredibly difficult to predict what is going to go viral.
That being said, by tapping into controversial topics, you can increase your chances. In addition, you can provide an informed opinion.
Making Money from Your Blog
By this point, your blog should be up and running. Once your blog is established, the design is finished, you're posting regularly, and you have your readership, you can finally begin to think about making money.
There are several ways that you can turn a profit with your blog.
You could start by trying affiliate marketing which works by adding affiliate links into your blogs texts.
These links are tracked, and you make a small commission every time one of your readers clicks the link and makes the purchase. A lot of eCommerce brands will have an affiliate programme of some sort.
You can sign up to affiliate networks that can help you to secure these opportunities. It needs to be a good match on both sides; make sure that it would make sense for your blog to promote the brand.
The commissions themselves are often small, but over time they can really build up. The key to affiliate marketing is to be authentic and genuine. Share your honest opinions with your readers and try not to promote anything that you wouldn't purchase yourself.
Banner ads are another great way to earn money from your blog. They are far more visual. As a result, you can sell the space to companies that would appeal to your users.
The banners ads can go anywhere on your webpage, but they tend to be found running across the top or in the sidebar. Banner ads typically payout in one of two ways.
They either off you a cost per click, meaning that you get paid a certain amount for every reader who clicks on the ad, or you get the cost per thousand which is essentially the same as cost per click but instead of getting paid per the individual consumers who click on the ad you get paid per the thousand.
The trouble is that a lot of people today have adblockers installed which can mean that they won't see your banner ads; however, there is no harm in trying them out. Google AdSense is a great way to get started with banner ads.
Sponsored Blog Content
Another option to explore is sponsored content. A lot of bloggers tend to prefer this and view it as a reliable stream of income. Sponsored content is typically in the form of paid-for posts or articles.
A company may ask you to create a blog post around promoting a product of theirs. For example, if you choose to make a fashion blog, then you might create a sponsored post about trends and where you can buy them.
Sponsored content usually proves popular for those who operate within a strong niche. If your readership is big enough, then brands tend to approach you.
Payment for this form of advertising is up for negotiation. You can charge a flat fee, or you could earn a commission.
Sponsored Social Media Content
If, during the promotion of your blog, you curated a strong social media presence, then you can use that to your advantage too. Brands like to use creators with a lot of followers.
Some bloggers are able to supplement their blogs entirely through sponsored posts on their social media channels. You can dictate the terms, and you might be surprised by how much you can get away with charging.
Of course, you need a good base of followers first. A lot of brands request proof of this before they will agree to use you.
Write Guests Blogs
There may be times when brands or maybe even other bloggers reach out to you, especially if your blog has served to cement you as an authority on a topic.
They may ask you to provide them with some content for their site. You could also pitch ideas to them directly if they haven't reached out to you.
Most of the time, you will receive a flat fee for the post. But more than this, you can benefit from the exposure. Your content can make its way in front of people who may not have otherwise heard of you.
This can increase traffic to your blog, where you can then make money from things like your banner ads or affiliate marketing.
Work with an Agency
Blogging is a hot commodity; it is incredibly popular with both readers and advertisers.
This is why there are agencies that are geared towards promoting bloggers and helping them to make connections with bigger brands. Often, working with an agency offers a blogger more security, and it can be a mutually beneficial venture proving to be lucrative for both parties
However, before you can entertain this as a possibility, you need to ensure that you have a big enough following. If you don't, then you won't be considered.
Furthermore, if you do want to work with an agency, then you also need to consider the fact that any brands that want to work with you will be subject to the agency's fees; this can scare off the smaller independent brands and limit your options in that respect.
If your blog has a big enough readership, you could also consider selling merchandise. This merchandise can be whatever you want to make. You could start by providing digital products which cost a lot less to produce. It could be things like eBooks, personalised videos or tutorials.
You could even host digital workshops or courses. These don't cost much to produce, which means that you are maximising your potential profits. However, you do need to ensure that you are good at what you do.
If you wanted to diversify your product range and if you think there is a big enough demand, you could make products too. If you have a slogan, you could make merchandise with this slogan on it. However, these can be expensive to produce, which means that your profit margin is smaller.
Sell Ad Space in Your Email Marketing
A lot of blogs have subscribers, and emails go out automatically to them to let them know when a new post is up. You could sell the space in your newsletters or emails to a brand. Again, this will hinge on the fact that you have a big enough mailing list. It is relatively easy to integrate these ads into your emails, and you can charge a premium for the privilege.
Your blog can also provide you with a great space to promote yourself; you can promote your own business or even use it on your CV to help you to get a job. Some bloggers treat their blogs as a sort of online profile. They use it as a portfolio, it shows off their skills, and it can lead to other opportunities. Blogs are essentially businesses in and of themselves.
By running a blog successfully, you are showing potential employers that you have what it takes to run a small business and have been doing so successfully. The blog could also run alongside your business if you are able to come up with a business that ties in with it. For example, if your blog is about ethical fashion, then you could start your own ethical fashion line.