Are people still blogging?
The simple answer is “yes” and, not only that, they are becoming millionaires with their blogs.
You are probably skeptical about this answer. I don't blame you. Blogging started out as nothing more than an online diary in the early days of the mid 1990s (or as your kids will tell you, it was during the Stone Age).
People talked about everything that was on their minds and happening in their daily lives, from the spouse cooking dinner to homeschooling the kids.
Now fast forward to 2016.
You will find blogging has taken on more of a business-centric atmosphere.
It is where the average Jane and Joe can talk with the CEO of a multimillion dollar company about the products and services that were received. It is also where the recently married couple is streaming a home-showing video on a real estate agent's blog as they consider placing a bid.
People are making business connections with peers, sharing success stories, and monetizing their blog content.
So Where Does the Money Part Come in?
There is no single step in building a blog so you can make profits. It is a systematic approach in creating a following, extending your reach, and driving traffic to your site.
It also helps if you find some type of connection with your readers. Many people try to become experts in some specific industry or business niche, then hone the content around this niche which will attract more readers.
Let's take an example from Dale Partridge. He has launched multi-million dollar companies and is a trusted advisor to big corporations such as Facebook, Ritz-Carlton and Panasonic. Yet he began his career journey by starting a blog and using it to leverage his audience reach and his advertising initiatives.
He now has over 1 million social media readers online.
Consistent quality content = leverage.
Okay, you are probably nodding your head wisely. You can handle this. All it means is slapping a few memes and rehashed stories that you spot on Facebook and Twitter on to your blog. Strategically place in a few repeating GIFs of some old sitcom moments in the post, slap in some affiliate links, and come up with a snappy clickbait headline.
I've seen people do that and you know where they are now? Still sitting at their computer wondering why the millions haven't come rolling in and nobody visits their blog.
They took the easy approach by thinking that their current circle of friends and family would do the hard work for them by sharing their blog URL across the webosphere and interacting with other fellow readers. Then they assumed that people would be so enamored by the jazzy headlines that the readers would be coming back for more.
It didn't happen. Why?
They moved too quickly without the proper intent. They went from point A of picking a platform to host their blog to point Z of advertising without figuring out all the necessary steps of deciding what type of content to post and who their main readers are to coax them to visit their web space.
None of their readers saw the person as a business expert in anything because they had no idea who they were or what they were offering.
Today, I'm going to show you how you can blog for profit by positioning yourself as an authority in your business niche and connect with your readers to bring them to your blog.
Then I will provide you with the steps to start selling what you wish on your blog to bring in money, whether you want to develop a subscriber list, work with adverts, promote your affiliate network, or further gain clients for your personal products and services as you move them through your sales funnel.
Let's get started.
7 Steps to Blogging for Profits
- Pick Your Blog Platform
Platforms have come and gone during the years.
Myspace was popular back in early 2003. Then Google's Blogger stepped on the spotlight stage for the next several years. Today, many people are moving toward WordPress due to its versatility.
It can be used for everything — from a daily journal to your own e-commerce shopping site. Setup is also pretty simple as you can host your blog directly with WordPress.com or you can self-host your blog and have your own personalized URL without the “dot WordPress dot com” host name at the end.
Dale Partridge also recommends the WordPress platform as well as the self-hosting option as he has more scalability and control of his webpage. This strategy is helpful in case you want to suddenly change the scope of your blog to seek other monetized opportunities.
If you don't like WordPress, I completely understand. You want to use the platform that feels right with you and suits your preferences. There are tons of platforms available including Google+, Blogger, Tumblr and Quora.
- Develop a Blogging Schedule
Blogging schedules are the life, or death, of your monetization efforts.
What happens with most new bloggers is that they will post once to twice a day, every day, for several months. Then they begin to cut back on their posts for a number of reasons: perhaps they are disappointed by the number of readers or something happens in their real life that they have to focus on right now.
Their readership numbers start to drop off because there is no new content to hold the interest of the web traffic that stops by. The blogger is now posting once a month to once a year, and they have dismal readership levels.
You need to develop a solid blog schedule and keep to it. Systems create consistency.
When you have a schedule, it tells your readers that they can expect new and exciting content on that specific day and time, enticing them to return and interact with you. You create a loyal following that can build over time.
There are many ways to schedule your blog posts. Some people do it manually, yet there are apps and plug-ins that allow you to create a posting schedule. You can also use these apps across social media accounts to have your blog content reach followers on Twitter, Facebook and other platforms.
Buffer and Hootsuite are two apps that immediately come to mind to help with scheduling content. Just keep tabs on your engagement levels, as sometimes it becomes too easy to schedule blog posts and not visit your blog to have conversations with the readers who visit or have questions.
You can lose that personal touch with readers if there is no connection.
- Connecting with Readers
Developing your reader base is the one step that will take up most of your online time.
First, decide what you will be blogging about. Simple step, but a very important one.
Keep in mind that blogs aren't always meant to be strictly business professional. The great thing about blogging is that it allows you to show your personality and helps you emotionally connect with your readers with your stories.
You would also benefit by developing a theme with your blog. Jumping around too much with your content, especially in the early days of blogging, can leave your readership confused on what your blog is about and what message you are conveying.
Talking about cat food coupons the one day and then going in-depth about the Pythagorean theorem can have readers scratching their heads in puzzlement and lose interest.
Even when the topic is serious, you can place in your own opinions and attitude. While people are visiting to read the content, they also are coming there to connect with you on a virtual level and develop an online relationship.
You are, in essence, creating a brand profile so people understand who you are and what you are about as they become drawn to your words and your opinions. You become an expert in your field who has the information and answers that people are seeking.
- Expand Your Reach
Once you connect with readers, you can then expand your reach.
Your readers can help you with this task as interacting with them can lead you to find more followers, peers and business professionals scattered throughout the web.
Draw them to your blog by having engaging online conversations. Spark their interest so that they will follow you back to your blog and entertaining content.
Also, keep in mind that different people interact with blogs in different ways. Not everyone enjoys reading long blocks of text.
A 2014 Pew Research study has found that 63% of people use YouTube to watch videos. So intersperse your posts with videos, images, and audio content so you can reach out to the most people. Then entice the readers to stay for a while.
5. Monetizing Your Blog with Subscribers' Lists
Okay, now you are ready to monetize your blog. The reason why I didn't suggest this step earlier is because you can do all the monetizing in the world and not bring in profits if you haven't created a loyal readership following yet.
Once you have developed a loyal readership that wants to find out even more information apart from the content featured on your blog, you can move on to creating a subscriber list.
Subscriber lists are unique because you can use them in a variety of different ways. The subscriber list can inform people of when a new post appears on your blog, or can feature special offers that are exclusive only to members. With this subscriber list, you can also promote discounts for products, services, coaching programs and other paid content for those people who have become loyal readers.
It's like an extra bonus to them simply by becoming a member of your list. This creates fans, followers and customer loyalty.
6. Advertising To Bring in Passive Income
Businesses love advertising on blogs.
It is like renting an online retail space where they can feature their products and services that relate to the posted content on your blog. These advertisements allow businesses to reach more consumers, and allows you to gain money from the business through a type of online advertising lease on your blog.
So, in essence, you get paid a small fee by agreeing to feature their ad somewhere on your blog.
There are different ways in which you can get paid by businesses:
- Pay-per-impression: a business will pay you every time their ad appears on your blog
- Pay-per-click: a business will pay when a consumer clicks on the advert to go to the company's webpage
- Pay-per-action: you will receive payment if someone clicks on the business ad and then performs a follow-up action such as making a purchase from the business.
There are also several different types of advertising available for bloggers that can monetize blogs:
Contextual ads are where the ad content is related in some way to the content that you post.
Text link ads appear strategically in the content as an active link that a reader can click on and be redirected to a webpage.
Impression-based ads are cost-per-impression where advertising may be featured via rotation and are paid when the specific ad appears.
Direct ads allow businesses to purchase ad space on your blog. Also called sponsored ads, the business may feature a banner ad at the top of the page or on the side of your featured content.
Affiliate ads work when the blogger is part of a business system or company as you can provide links to company-related products. You are normally paid based on whether a person makes a purchase.
- Hone Your Influence and Exposure
Once you are an expert in your business niche, you basically have the power to grow your profits through the content you post.
People often never fully utilize this power for one reason or another because they never realize what they can do with their exposure. Yet you now have a devout readership who is listening to what you have to say. Use their attention to your benefit.
You can provide mentoring and teaching to help people solve the types of problems they experience in their lives. You can also offer comprehensive reviews about products and programs that you are a part of, or simply provide information that readers want yet can't obtain through regular means.
Blogging for profit isn't hard. Yet it does take time and work to build up your following and keep them coming back to your content.
Everything in business is about relationships and your blog is no different.
You can't make a blog one day and expect to have millions of dollars the next day. It's just like placing your money into investment securities. You have to coax the money to build up over a length of time while making the right choices towards positive growth. Do the same with your blog and watch the seeds you plant grow. See you at the top!