To make money through blogging is to understand that the process is not an instant one. But a viable one and can be a successful venture if you go into it with your eyes wide open and a lot of patience. Copious amounts of coffee may also be needed too.
Elements of a Successful Blog
First and foremost, pick a topic that you are passionate about. You’ve likely heard that a hundred or so times but it’s true. If you don’t enjoy the topic that you are writing about you will quickly lose interest. If you lose interest, you will ultimately stop writing and that means your visitors have nothing to read.
Pick a niche topic that will inspire you to engage with your readership. You are going to be working on this blog, aka your personal brand, for months before you start to feel the pay off. If it happens sooner, fabulous but don’t count on it. New blogs with ads don’t make money when people don’t know the blog exists.
Blogging has Overhead Costs
Start out with software small business, such as Quickbooks so that you can track all your expenses and there will be some. Most important, to start, is a domain and paid hosting. Free hosting simply won’t cut it and hosting is as cheap as $9.95 a month.
I highly recommend using WordPress as a platform (which is free). It’s highly adaptable with the utilization of plugins. There are several free themes you can also use. But you should pay for a custom logo. There are certain things that are harder to change later on down the road, your personal brand being one of them. GotLogos has been around for years and they only charge $25 for a custom logo.
Choosing a Niche
As mentioned above, pick a topic you are passionate about. It can be a topic you already know a lot about or a topic that you’ve always wanted to learn about. If this is your first blog this is even more important as you acclimate yourself with the blogging process. The key is, don’t just merely learn, become an authority on the topic and know all there is to know on said topic.
After you pick a topic, check that there are affiliate programs that you will be able to add to your blog over time. Check the larger affiliate networks such as Linkshare and Commission Junction.
There are several different blogging styles and ultimately it’s up to you but the single most important advice you can be given is to keep it real and be yourself. It’s nice that you are an authority on your chosen topic but you are also human and people want to see and connect with that side of you. That is the single common thread that will keep people coming back to your blog regularly. Have a personality.
Promoting your Blog
Along with blogging style you need to be accessible via social media. Use Twitter and Facebook to your benefit. Connect and engage. Use Twitter to talk about things within your niche but also show your personality and share snippets of yourself too. Don’t be the person that tweets about every single thing they’ve done all day. But on the other hand don’t be that person that never says anything personal.
On the day you launch your blog have a mailing list ready to go. This is one tip I wish I’d paid attention too early on. As your readership grows so should your mailing list. I use Aweber and its stupid easy to set up and affordable. A mailing list is no good unless you are sending out newsletters. Your newsletter, if properly fostered can become a revenue generating tool in time.
Connect, Connect, Connect
So you have your own blog, your newsletter, Twitter and Facebook. Now you need to find like-minded communities and blogs and start commenting there too. Don’t spam, no one likes a spammer but offer real and genuine advice so that people notice you and soon those people are interacting with you and visiting your blog.
Melissa is a freelance writer for Fundraiser Insight.org. She’s a tech geek at heart that specializes in all the things electronic and mobile. Some might say she has a slight addiction to mobile apps and social media.