Making Money as a Blogger
In one of my recent posts on Shoemoney, I wrote about the importance of creating multiple income streams for your online business.
I gave a short example of how you can diversify your income streams.
With today’s post, I wanted to elaborate and give readers a much clearer view of how bloggers make money and what they do to “get there”.
Hold on to your britches, folks. This is going to be a wild ride. Let’s go!
How are blogs born? And why? What’s the purpose?
Believe it or not, the most lucrative blogs never started out to become cash cows. It was something that just kind of happened. Now, roughly one million people create blogs every year and then abandon their blogs a few months later when they realize that blogging is not a get-rich-quick scheme.
The most successful blogs are born because someone has something to say. It’s something they can write about at length. It’s something that can be updated on a regular basis with fresh content.
This is why parenting blogs are so successful. Parents can talk about their kids for a long time. And these types of blogs often turn into lifestyle blogs with a parenting focus.
Most blogs turn into a lifestyle blog after a set period of time, especially websites that start off in a limited niche, such as personal finance. You can only write so many posts on “How to Save Money on X”, right?
There are a million tutorials out there on how to start a blog with hosting and theme information. I’m going to break it down. It doesn’t matter. Personal preference is fine when you’re just starting out. After a few months, if you don’t like something, change it. The only thing that’s permanent are the blog posts. Nothing is ever truly deleted once it’s on the internet.
The Terrible Twos
Most bloggers will tell you there is no point in monetizing a blog before the year two mark. They are two reasons they say this:
- Personal experience
- They’re right
When you start off with a blog, it’s going to take a while to find your voice. It’s going to take months, unless you’re a professional writer, to be able to hammer out one valuable blog post after another with consistency.
On top of creating great content, you need to find people to read it. Social media is the best place to find readers for a new blog. The most successful bloggers did all of their own social media work.
To be a great blogger, you have to be friendly, approachable, and willing to put yourself out there, especially when it comes to social media.
Social media is a great opportunity to make new friends within your blogging community, learn from them, engage with their readers, and then they’ll likely do the same for you. Having a solid online presence as far as social media is how modern blogs get off the ground. New blogs are not simply found through organic search.
People who read blogs on a regular basis are on the look. They will snoop around to find your affiliate links. While most of your readership won’t care, it’s easy to overdo it, which will turn off your readers and they’ll stop visiting.
It easily takes two years to find the magic formula for your own blog. Where should I place ads? What social networks are the best for my blog? There is no set template. It all depends on you as an individual, your niche, and how much time you’re willing to put into the project.
Time for School
Knowledge is money. If you want to get into blogging long-term and turn a profit, you need to soak up as much knowledge as you can. Read books, listen to podcasts, and learn from other bloggers.
Knowledge is such a powerful tool that it has become a large income stream for many bloggers. They create their own courses and sell them to newer bloggers who want to get on the fast-track to earning money through a blog.
What new bloggers need to learn is marketing. It’s hard for professional marketers, so you know it’s going to be tough for someone who has never had to do it before they started a blog.
Social media is a large part of marketing these days, but there are also other aspects you need to pay attention to if you want to be successful. Specifically, link building and SEO. But you should really learn it all, everything from email marketing to online lead generation.
The more you learn, the more you know. And the more you know, the more you can teach. Teachers get paid. Online courses are a great income stream for bloggers, as they get way more of a cut than they acquire from ads and affiliate marketing.
You’re going to learn a lot your first couple of years blogging. You have the time to fix mistakes and tweak your site as you see fit. Your readership will be small enough that most people won’t even notice.
However, the earlier you find your voice and get into treating your blog as a way to make money, the better off you’ll be. You don’t have to monetize, but you do need to treat it as a potential income stream early on. This will help you to take the project seriously from the jump.
Blogs, just like wine, need to mature to increase their value. Once it has matured to the fullest extent possible, you will be ready to monetize and turn your blog into something that can replace part of your income and eventually, all of it.
Blogging isn’t for everyone.
If you don’t have years to spend on development, then don’t waste your time.
You need to have infinite patience and a desire to learn and apply new things to stay on top of your niche.
It’s not easy, especially in 2018, but it can still be done.