The Guide to Profitable Blogging was originally released in e-book format to ProfitBlitz newsletter subscribers. It’s now been converted to be publicly available on the site.
I’ve been earning a living by working online full-time since 2008 and the only regret I have is that I didn’t leave my previous full-time job earlier. Although I’ve been able to make a six-figure income each year except my first, I’m always looking for ways to improve my efficiency and to learn new things from the experience of others. Over the years I’ve purchased a number of books and e-books on blogging that made big claims about teaching how to earn a living, or how to make six figures from blogging. While some of those books and e-books did deliver quality content, I’ve always been disappointed about the lack of good information about actually making money with a blog.
Before we get into the details of building your blog’s audience and making money, it’s important to understand that not all blogs serve the same purpose. There are at least 5 different types of blogs:
- Personal blogs
- Corporate blogs
- Authority blogs
- Niche blogs, or Made-for-AdSense blogs
- Spam blogs
If you already have a blog you’ve obviously chosen some topic or niche for the blog. However, I want to cover this information here because I know many bloggers launch without giving much thought to it, and adaptions can be made even after the blog launch. And if you haven’t yet launched your blog this may be a topic that concerns you.
All good blogs will evolve over time. Sometimes it may be minor changes like the particular types of posts that are published, or it can be a major change like the primary topics of blog content. Depending on the specifics of your situation, a major change in topics may require actually starting a new blog, but sometimes it can be accomplished by re-focusing the current blog.
A lot of information about building a successful blog covers topics like choosing a niche/topic, getting traffic, and monetizing the blog. All of these things are important, but ultimately a blog is nothing without its content.
Regardless of what topic you choose to cover with your blog, and regardless of how you attempt to make money from it, quality content is essential. In this chapter I’ll talk about developing a content strategy and how you can set your blog up for success.
Every now and then I like to take a look at successful blogs to see if I can identify the specific reasons for their success. One thing that I almost always come across when I’m looking at a successful authority blog is that the blogger has been able to attract and develop a highly responsive audience.
A responsive audience can be observed in a few different ways, including an active comment area on posts (number of comments and quality of the discussion), mentions on social media and social networking sites, other blogs and websites linking to posts, high response to products and affiliate recommendations, and the general perception of the blogger and how readers tend to trust him or her.
Something that all successful bloggers will have in common is that they are well connected to influential people in their industry and they have a strong professional network. Regardless of what industry or niche your are blogging in, and regardless of what monetization strategy you take with your blog, your network will play a role in your success.
Blogging and networking go hand-in-hand. You could say that successful bloggers have a strong network as a result of having a successful blog instead of the blogging success being a result of the strong network. The truth is, a strong network helps a blog to grow, and a successful blog makes networking easier. Regardless of how you see it, networking with other bloggers, social media users, and blog readers should be a priority when attempting to grow a blog.
Over the past several years the most common questions I’ve been asked by fellow bloggers revolve around traffic and how to get more of it. Whether a blogger has 10 visitors a day, 100 visitors a day, or even 10,000 visitors a day, they always seem to want more (myself included).
With that in mind, no blogging guide would be complete without giving enough attention to traffic building tips and techniques. This chapter will be devoted to a few of the things that I have found to be effective in my own blogging experience. The following chapter will cover the topic of guest posts. That content goes along with this chapter in terms of building traffic, but guest posting is especially important in my opinion and deserves enough coverage to warrant it’s own chapter. So if you aren’t reading this book from cover-to-cover and you are only checking out this chapter for building traffic to your own blog, be sure to also read the following chapter.
In the previous chapter we looked at several different ways to get visitors to your blog. In this chapter we’ll look at one of my favorite methods for growing your blog’s audience. This strategy is something I recommend every blogger to do during the early stages of their blog, because it can work in any niche or industry.
Another reason why I recommend guest blogging is because if you do it right, and with consistent effort, you will get results. The specific results will depend on a lot of factors like which blogs publish your guest posts, how much interest your posts generate, how many people click through the links to your site, and how many of those visitors your are able to convert into loyal followers of your own blog.
SEO is a topic that many bloggers and website owners obsess over. While search engine traffic is very valuable and can often be a source of higher-than-average-quality traffic, I think many bloggers focus on it too much. Having a well-optimized blog is a good thing, but allowing SEO to take up too much of your time and focus can have a negative impact on your overall blogging efforts. From my experience, some bloggers and website owners want to obsess over small details but then they don’t do the things they should be doing that have a major impact on SEO (like focusing on creating amazing content and getting links from other sites).
One of the most popular ways to make money with a website or blog is to sell advertising space. Most commonly this is for banner ads, but it could also be text links, video ads, or some other form of ad. Personally, I have more experience with ad sales than with any other blog monetization method. It has worked out well for me over the years, but it is not a good fit for everyone.