If you’re thinking of making money from blogging, expect to have your work cut out. Blogging is by no means a ‘get rich quick’ scheme. In fact, it’s one of the slowest ways to make money online.
If you’re thinking about starting a blog, you’ll need to think long term if you’re going to make any money at all. The two monetisation strategies from a blog are typically either affiliate marketing or Google’s Adsense program. Both strategies require traffic (visitors). This tends to be the biggest problem for new blogs – no traffic.
Getting Traffic To A Blog
If you simply want to write, but don’t want to pay for setting up your own website, checkout my article “Get Paid For Advertising Online Without A Website“. If you want to build a website of your own, checkout my article “Create Free Website And Make Money“. Traffic is a major part of building a successful blog, so ideally you should start with your own domain name and hosting.
Without your own hosting, you’ll need to use free blogging platforms such as Hubpages.com. Google doesn’t tend to rank sites like these on their search algorithms – so you will need to ‘fish’ for traffic elsewhere. One of the best sources of traffic is Google, so you’ll need to get your own site and create some awesome content in order to get traffic from them.
Getting traffic from Google isn’t easy. You’ll need to create some great content and share it as much as possible. Over time, your content might appear on Google, Bing or Yahoo search engines. Google is the main one and has the most traffic, so aim for Google. If you fall short, you might still rank on the other search engines.
Content Is King
Google likes fresh content. Even the best bloggers fall from the top position on Google as new content gets priority. Google uses a number of algorithms to determine whether your content is good enough to rank for any given keyword, or combination of. Bounce rate is the rate at which people ‘bounce’ off your content after they arrive. It signals that your content is not what people are looking for. You want people to engage with your content, share, like and comment on it. If your content is good, this is more likely to happen. Without good content, no amount of sharing it will make this happen!
Content Marketing Is ‘Queen’
I spent a huge amount of time creating content in the vain hope that it would somehow magically rank on Google and bring me tonnes of traffic. I was disappointed! Without the date to learn about your visitors’ interactions on your blog, there’s little to go on in terms of ranking it. So you’ll need to get people to your content in order to get likes, shares, comments and interaction. If your content is good, people will naturally share it and link back to it as a resource. If not, they won’t! Either way, it’s a signal to Google of where to place your content in the grand scheme of things.
You can market your content with a back-linking strategy which can include:
- Guest Blogging – Reach out to other blogs within your business niche and offer to write content for them, in exchange for links back to your site
- Blog commenting – comment on blogs within your niche
- Forum posting – comment and engage on forums to link back to appropriate content
- Article marketing websites like Ezinearticles allow you to link to content from new articles you create on their sites.
- YouTube is a great resource for video creation which can be linked back to blog posts
- Social media marketing – share content on social media sites
You can also make it easier for your visitors to share your content using social media share buttons on your site.
How Long Does All This Take?
Don’t expect the money to roll in immediately with a blog. Getting enough traffic to a blog can take 6 months to a year depending on the frequency of your blogging and how well you can market it. See How Long Does It Take To Make Money With Affiliate Marketing.
Monetising Your Blog
Making money is another story entirely. Some bloggers have a tonne of daily visits to their blogs but don’t make any money. Monetising a blog can be done with either Google Adsense, affiliate marketing or a combination of the two.
With Google Adsense, you simply place some code on your content and Google turns it into adverts. Depending on your particular blog topic, you can earn various small amounts from advert clicks you receive from visitors. You’ll need a huge amount of clicks though to make this a viable living income.
With affiliate marketing, you can sell other people’s products from your blog. There are thousands of products available on the internet. If a product is connected with an affiliate program, you can join the program and earn commissions on the sale of products from your website.
Building A List Of Subscribers
Most bloggers who use affiliate marketing to monetise their blogs have an email list of subscribers. They build this list by offering a ‘giveaway’ product, course or ebook, for example, to their visitors. In exchange for their ebook, they get someone to join their list. As a list grows, the blogger can reach more and more people with their email marketing campaigns.
If a campaign is successful, affiliate marketers can make large amounts even by selling small products; just because they can reach thousands, or tens of thousands of people at once through their lists.
What To Start A Blog On?
Blogging is a time consuming way of making money from the internet. If you’re not prepared to put in the effort over the long term, you’ll likely give up before you see any tangible results. If you’re a patient person though, it can be a good way to build a passive income over the long term. As your blog grows, your visitors will increase in number and you’ll be able to build a list of subscribers. If you align your content with your products well, you’ll start to see sales coming through too!
You should build a blog on a passion. Anything other than your passion will be much harder to sustain for the necessary length of time needed to generate any traction. I built a blog on harvesting mushrooms several years ago. The idea came from a keyword I had found which offered a certain amount of traffic. The trouble was I knew nothing about mushrooms nor cared! I gave up after several months of blogging. Every blog I wrote I needed to read up on the topic and learn from other blogs, so it was very time consuming.
With a passion, or something you’re interested in, you can sustain your interest for much longer and it’s easier to write.
Best Products To Promote From A Blog
There’s a huge difference in the affiliate marketing products you can use to monetise your blog. For example, Amazon typically pays its affiliates 3-10% commission on a product from the online store. Digital products pay more, up to 50% commission on a sale. However, if you choose to promote products from subscription affiliate programs you can earn an ongoing income from each sale, rather than just a single commission. Subscription products are things like software and membership type products. They offer recurring commissions from previous sales.
Is There A Faster Way To Earn Money Online?
Yes there is! However, the fastest methods of making money online cost a lot more money to get going with. Ideally, join a high commission affiliate program and use paid marketing strategies to start generating sales. This still takes some time and also you risk burning through cash without making anything in return. So initially, you’ll need to spend money learning which strategies work the best. Don’t do this is money isn’t available to spend on learning.
Once you gather some data, you can determine which adverts produce the best outcomes and make the most sales. Then, you can scale up by increasing your ad budget. Some affiliate marketers spend tens of thousands on marketing every single week. However, they don’t start here. They will start with a manageable budget they can afford, and build up once they start seeing positive results.