I’m not going to start digging for truth on “WHY” but the number of people interested to make money blogging grows at a fast pace and yet – most will fail, not able to even earn enough to cover hosting expenses. While the topic of blogging to make money is extremely extensive and there are many products that will teach you how, including my own (Expert WordPress), I want to write about what should be an absolute MUST have basics in order to succeed.
So dig into learning…
Idea behind this post is to serve as an introduction for new bloggers, to guide you into reading information that will help you get started faster, and achieve more by providing relevant information and relevant services. It is not intended to replace normal training we provide in Expert WordPress but rather help those who are on tight budget right now.
There are several steps that have to be implemented if you are seriously considering to make your blog profitable and we will discuss them one by one…
- Niche Research
- Blog Design
- Blog and eMail integration
- Content Creation
- Traffic Generation
- Blog Monetization
Please keep in mind that this post is designed to help you build a blog you will be actively posting to, often referred to as “Authority Blog”, and not something you slap a bunch of PLR content into.
Niche research must be completed before you even register your first domain! Like it or not but your success or failure begins with this step.
You simply have to find topic you will be able to write about and separate yourself from anyone else, create your unique voice and your own version of the truth. Blogs are read not only for the content they provide but also for the opinion shared within that content! I find myself continually reading a few blogs, whose author I can personally identify with and share many of same ideas.
We are a community creatures and associate with those we LIKE! So become the one that others will like or hate, as strong emotions on either end produce best results and I have seen a blog filled with hundreds of comments based on nothing more then dislike of the blogger but I guess he can handle all the negative feedback and gets something out of it! Hey, I’m not judgmental!
Best Topics To Choose From:
- Your professional experience and knowledge that you feel passionate enough about and willing to create ongoing quality content
- Your life gained knowledge and experience that you love to share, much like I do on this blog
- Your hobby – if you feel strongly about it I bet there are hundreds of others who feel the same way about your topic of conversation
- Your unexplored interests. This could be any topic you always wanted to pursue and just never had a chance but willing to spend time to investigate, research and write about. And no – make money online is not a good topic, even if you are passionate about it! Remember – your goal is to create an authority blog and this specific topic has some heavy weights you simply will not be able to compete with!
I have found that best topic becomes one that you feel passionate about to write and that will continue to draw people, has enough demand for information and also has products you can sell as affiliate.
Be aware to disclose when you do affiliate marketing if you are in US as it looks like big brother pushing FTC to control blogospere and can have very negative impact on you for failure to do so.
Posts To Help You With Niche And Keyword Research:
- Allow Google Tell You What Search Results To Dominate
- How to Choose the Right Blog Niche: A Simple Three-Step Method
- How to Choose a Niche Topic for your Blog
- Making Your Blog Stand Out
- Keyword Research for Bloggers
Second most important aspect of your blog is your design! And I’m not talking about creating some flashy look, although if creativity is what you want to convey to your visitors – feel free to do so!
I know I will be partial and have a vested interest but I strongly believe that FREE WordPress blog installer we provide includes everything you need – latest WordPress.org blog, best plugins we have tested for compatibility and maximum benefits, custom theme and installation video to help you get it installed security and optimized for SEO.
Custom Niche Theme we provide with package is already optimized for SEO but is fully replaceable by ANY other properly coded theme. I can only recommend you review this post I wrote about free themes and SEO problems associated with them – 2 Reasons Your Blog Is Destined To Fail.
Theme Ideas For You:
- 10 WordPress Themes That Dazzle With Unique Design
- Blog Templates For WordPress Review
- 10 Best Web 2.0 WordPress Themes
Also if you would like to venture on your own or perhaps have an existing blog not fit for using EWP package – I want to share some other useful informational resources for you to optimize your existing blog.
- Identify your goals and lead your customers to those goals by designing your sidebar properly. My friend Barbara Ling has described it beautifully in her post 7 Of The most CONVINCING Ways To Boldly Make Money With Your Blog Sidebar
- Use plugins to enhance your blog and at least some very basic subset of them must be part of every WordPress blog, I have described it in my post Build Minimalistic WordPress For Speed and Profit (NOTE: WordPress Automatic Upgrade plugin no longer needed) and please be sure to actually use those plugins properly to avoid issues I described in this post: Why Your Blog Traffic Sucks?
- Integrate security into your blog! I know this advice might seem out of place but a hacked blog can damage your reputation and as such opportunities to make money very fast – chose your options by reading my post on 5 Steps To Practical WordPress Security
And once your blog is up and running here are 5 Steps That Must Be Completed For Every New Blog Promotion
I simply cannot stress enough importance of the blog and email marketing integration. I know many have a bad taste from unscrupulous email blast campaigns and don’t want to have anything to do with email marketing.
This is where you are making huge mistake! If you do it properly – you can truly separate yourself from your competitors by simply providing a convenience to your visitors and at same time benefit from a trust you can now build over time through email autoresponder sequence!
I personally consider that Blog Broadcast option provided by aweber was one of the Biggest Impacts on making my own blog profitable – FAST and I describe the process you can use to implement it on your own blog in my post Want To Make More Money Blogging? Broadcast Your Blog!
Email marketing works seamlessly when integrated into your blogging efforts and enables you to benefit from best of both worlds:
- Blog can be used for building a subscribers base, or community as I like to call it, and help you establish trust by delivering content people want and DIRECTLY requested from you
- eMail marketing can be used to deliver more traffic back to your blog each time you use blog broadcasting or when you want to announce an article you find beneficial to your readers.
- Affiliate Marketing can be used in both separately or combined – you chose the method but I can tell you from first hand experience – it is extremely effective. In fact when I talk to many of my IM partners, people find it hard to believe that I get 20-40% open rate on my emails when industry average is 3-5% and I believe it is due to the value I do my best to provide to people choosing to read my emails. I generally only promote something I tried, tested or found beneficial for myself (yes, there are some rare exceptions when I act based on previous reputation of the product creator but those are very rare)
Delivering value to your community via blog and via email should be your first and foremost goal and I guarantee you will see results! In fact for me investment into aweber begun to pay of on my second month and at that time my email list was below 1000.
I talk a lot more about the integration process during webinar Blogging as Integral Part of Every Business and you can watch the recording.
Content is what brings people back to your blog and helps you to be found through search engines. It is the very core that defines your blog and it should be what you concentrate on the most!
I don’t consider myself an authority on how to create content and personally concentrate on delivering information that I know (based on stats and feedback) my readers find most useful and also deliver it in a way that optimized for Search Engines and Social Networks.
While the 2 have quite different need – they can be combined and used on same post and really boost the benefits of each other. Being able to make your post viral on social networks has huge implications on your traffic and as result your earning potential. Here are some article to help you with each:
SEO For Your Blog
- White Hat SEO Video Lecture By Matt Cutts – an older post that contains 2 video presentations by Matt Cutts of the Google 🙂 and has all the info you need on blog SEO that is still quite relevant
- Why “More” Is Better? a tip from yours truly that helps me and hopefully will help you
- And of course nothing can beat the amount of information shared in Stomping The Search Engines 2 , I recommend that you get it to learn the aspects of SEO for your business.
Viral Content Creation
I’m not very good at this aspect (I blame my lack of proper education in English 🙂 ) so instead I want to share blogs I personally read to get inspirations and ideas, as well as tutorials on that part:
- Maki at Dosh Dosh is one of the best in my opinion when it comes to creating viral blog content and his posts are extremely educational – Internet Marketing and Making Money Online.
- Michele Fortin at Copywriting and Marketing Tips is best of the both worlds – blogging and Internet Marketing and one resource I recommend you read, better yet – he has great content packed eZine, subscribe using options he provides.
- Brian Clark from Copywriting Tips for Online Marketing Success is another resource I want to mention that will give you answers to many questions you didn’t know you had.
I could list a few more people here I personally read but those 3 guys will deliver all you need and some of the highest recommended blogs on my list. And now that you have learned how to create blog posts optimized for Search Engines and Viral Marketing – we need to dive into really important aspect…
Traffic is a lifeblood of your blog and if you are just starting – you will discover that majority of your time will be spent on multiple traffic generation strategies and stats checking (just kidding! 😈 , hopefully that blogging disease will pass you by).
There are multiple way to get traffic to your blog and some more effective then others, so instead of wasting you time on reciting them all – I will provide you with what seem to work best for my blog:
- SEO of your blog and each of your blog posts! Google for me is one of the biggest sources of the traffic and I will not recommend to anyone ignoring SEO aspect and it will become easier as you learn more about basic steps. I have 36 articles to date on SEO that you can read, chose what you like!
- Blog commenting – but not just on any blog, read my method in details here and I guarantee it will work for you, it does for everyone else – CommentLuv Plus DoFollow Equal Unlimited Link Love
- Link building to get authority status for my blog and since this topic is quite extensive – I simply point you to my One Way Link Building series of articles. And make no mistake, if you use even some of those starategies – you will see results!
- Social Networking is the last method I will mention here and it includes Video Marketing, participation on Social Networks and multitude of other tasks that involve community based sites marketing. There are many things to be shared here and I have quite a bag of information you can find under Social networking
I don’t want to overload you with too much information here and you will discover, as you grow alone with your blog that some strategies work better for you than others – just stick to them, while being on lookout for new techniques and you will see results!
In my personal opinion this is one of the most overused and underutilized aspects on the blog and for a good reason. Our blogs have limited space on which we can place affiliate banners or Sponsor Ads and too many bloggers, in attempt to earn more from their blog, simply overload it with multiple and sometimes conflicting messages!
Your blog monetization should be directly derived from your blog design and goals you have determined for your blog. It can be just about anything you want, from sharing your message to the world to generating blog income via AdSense as I have discussed in post Google Text Ad Impact On Blog Earning, just be clear on what you are trying to accomplish and implement it!
And while your goals will change as you progress alone, as an example until recently Sponsor Ads were not really an options on my blog, you must retain main thing – Common Sense!
Any monetization model you implement should never overshadow main value you have to offer – Content!
This is what people come for to your blog and the moment you forget it – you will pay for it! Here are some article I have written on the subject:
- Monetizing Your Blog Without Annoying Your Readers – I still use this very same strategy and it works extremely well for me. This script is HUGE income earner without annoying my readers. You can see it in action in top right corner of the blog.
- What Is RSS And How You “Monetize” It discuses the topic of earning from your RSS feed and works very well for me.
- WordPress Banner Manager Plugin – OIO Publisher – this is an affiliate review of the Banner Management plugin I personally use on this blog and highly recommend due to it extreme flexibility and effectiveness.
- Banish Low Balling Ads To Earn More With Your Blog talks about maximizing your blog AdSense earnings. A few simple steps will pay dividents.
- Extending Blog Into Info Product goes beyond a blog and suggests a way to create an info product. It can be simpler than you think and will be the biggest earner for you!
When you think about it – you only have 6 Steps to get right to be profitable! 6 steps done one-by-one and done correctly will ensure that your make money blogging efforts will not be wasted![audio:make-money-blogging-broadcast.mp3]
Disclaimer: some of the links mentioned within this post or posts they lead to are my affiliate links and I get compensated for recommending those products. However I never recommend something I didn’t believe in and welcome your questions and feedback.