For some, making a living through a blog is a dream for the distant future. For others, it’s a close reality. Still others have made it big and are relaxing with their lives made. It all comes back to making money from your site, and that in turn boils down to monetization and traffic. You have two ways to improve; you improve your visitors and you improve your moneymaking methods.
With traffic, you can improve two things; volume and quality. A larger traffic volume means more money, from a purely numerical standpoint. Higher quality traffic means more interested people, who in turn perform the actions you set up to make money more often.
With monetization, you have a number of ways to improve. You can find higher paying ads. You can sell your own products. You can implement affiliate marketing. You can create a mixture of it all, balancing the highest converting methods of each.
You can also implement a few of these tips, and watch your earnings soar.
Every piece of content you write is an opportunity for people to click your ads, people to subscribe to your services, people to find you through Google, and so on. The more content you have – good content, of course – the more opportunities you have. Try to write at least one post per weekday as a bare minimum. Seven posts per week is good, and if you expand beyond that, you can grow an immense presence.
Quite often, bloggers will find a niche and focus their efforts on that niche, with a sort of content tunnel vision. They find keywords that work and blow through every variation they can, but don’t look to expanding outwards.
Deep keyword research is really important for establishing a foothold. Once you’re established, however, you can leverage that power to expand into more competitive niches with more success. Too many blogs underestimate their own leverage.
The occasional – occasional! – review post is a great way to earn some extra cash through affiliates. Use something simple, like Amazon’s affiliate program, and write detailed reviews of products.
The key here is to always stick to genuine reviews. If you’re making it up as you go along based on other reviews, you’re going to come off as lacking credibility, and you won’t convince people to buy.
If you write too many reviews in too short a time, you also run into issues. People will realize you’re writing them for the money. Instead, only write reviews of products you genuinely want to recommend, and pepper them throughout the rest of your content.
Study your readers. They’re all part of your niche, so they all have something in common. Watch and listen for any common problems they share. Take steps to solve those problems, and present the solution in a monetized way. Offer a detailed eBook for cash, sell a piece of software or a product, whatever it takes within your means.
There’s a lot of basic SEO that bloggers tend to ignore, thinking about diminishing returns. It’s true that slight rephrases of your snippets might be more effort than the returns are worth. On the other hand, if you’re ignoring image alt text, or you’re writing boring meta titles, or you’re ignoring keywords in subheadings, you’re doing yourself a disservice.
Over time, in a narrow niche, you’re writing a lot about specific subjects. Once you have both a reputation and a stock of content, you can compile that content and expand it into an eBook. This eBook will include plenty of value, and you can use it to expand a mailing list or to make money on purchases.
Speaking of building a mailing list, you really need to have one if you don’t already. It’s easy to build and manage a list, and you don’t need to do much more with it than send out a weekly or monthly digest of your best posts. It helps keep readers coming back and it gives you a marketing venue for new products, posts and announcements you have to share.
Unless you found the holy grail of an unoccupied niche, you’re not alone in your field. Rather than treat all other bloggers as enemies, treat them as potential allies. Comment on their posts and respond to their posts with posts of your own. This allows you to help them out a little while siphoning some of their audience to your site.
Every six to twelve months, you should go back over your older posts and put them into three categories. Category 1 is the posts that are completely irrelevant; ignore these until the end of time. Category 2 is the posts that are completely relevant and accurate; put these on a list to promote through your marketing channels. Category 3 is the posts that are a bit out of date, but can be updated to make them relevant again. These are important; you can breathe new life into old content with a few edits and a new round of promotion.
Sometimes, if you have the capability, making videos is the way to go. Both YouTube and Facebook users love videos, and they can bring in thousands of viewers per month at even a basic level. Podcasting is a little harder to break into, but a successful podcast can be a hit on iTunes and bring you revenue just from sales there.
AdSense is a complicated program to use properly, and there are dozens of ways to tweak your ads, your ad copy, your ad positioning and other factors to help expand their flexibility and earn you more money.
Affiliate positioning, affiliate tracking, even the choice of products you become an affiliate for all have an effect. A good affiliate program can make you a living by itself, but you really need to know how to use it.
Social media isn’t exactly new, but it’s still great for bloggers just getting into the realm of online moneymaking. Start small, with just a Facebook and a Twitter account, and share your posts – and any interesting posts you see along the way – with your users. Become a content curator and you’ll grow surprisingly quickly.
Okay, so programming is a bit outside of the realm of blogging, but you can contract out your app idea if you have a winning formula. The key here is to do the research to learn what your audience wants and how you can provide that with an app.
You’re a blogger, and as you grow, you gain a reputation as an expert in your niche. Use that reputation to sell your knowledge as a consulting or your services as a blogger.
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