Today it seems almost everyone has a blog of some form, even if that blog is just a free hosted one provided by Blogger or WordPress.com. Starting a blog is easy, and if all you want to do with your blog is share recipes, travel stories, or random rants then a free Blogger sub-domain is all you need. However, if you want to turn your blog into a profitable venture, you will need to invest more time and money into growing your site and its audience.
Professional Blogging is a Job
A huge number of would-be pro bloggers launch new blogs, fill them with ads, fail to see results, and then give up, declaring to anyone that will listen that it’s simply not possible to make money from blogging any more. If you weren’t in there at the start, and are not one of the big names, it’s too difficult to grow an audience.
There is some truth to the perception those bloggers have of the industry, but they’re wrong to say that it’s not possible to break in to professional blogging these days. The Internet is saturated with sites on almost every topic – but if you’re creative, consistent, and come up with a new angle, you can make money.
To make money online from blogging you have to treat it like a business. You need to plan your site carefully, and you need to build it right from day one. A blogger’s business plan should cover:
- The niche – are you blogging about tech, cooking, travel, pets?
- The angle – why should people read your blog over someone else’s? Your angle could be “business travel tips for females”, or “a single dad’s opinions about video games”.
- The domain – you shouldn’t try to monetize a free blog. Spend a little money on a domain name and a hosting package so that you look professional from day one – remember that if your free host was ever to shut down, your blog will go with it. Even if you’re able to move it to a new host before the old one falls into oblivion, you’ll lose all your links, page rank, and authority.
- The platform – most people use WordPress for their blogs. WordPress is free, has a huge install base, and thousands of plugins available for it.
- The theme – you can change your site’s theme at any time, but if you come up with a distinctive logo and colour scheme early on then it will be easier to build a brand.
- Monetization – affiliate links are the easiest way to make money from blogs, but there are other techniques which work as well.
Once you have your plan figured out, purchase your hosting, and start posting some content. Don’t try to monetize the site right away – spend a few weeks, even a month, building up your readership and then start gradually introducing your chosen monetization methods.
Making Money From Your Visitors
The easiest, and least intrusive, monetization method is banner ads. Simply sign up with an advertiser, and then post their ads in your sidebar. You will get paid each time someone clicks on one of your ads.
Other monetization methods include in-text links, from advertisers such as SkimLinks, and affiliate marketing – where you promote products and get paid for each purchase that is made by someone who has clicked on your link.
If you have a large following, you may be able to charge a flat fee for sponsored posts. Tread carefully with this kind of marketing, however – too many sponsored posts in a short space of time could alienate your users.
It takes time to build up a large following, and to make money from your blog. Post new content frequently, and you will see results.
About the Author
A. Fowler from affiliate network ClickSure – find out more about ClickSure here.