Most Unexceptional Way Blog Monetizing Can Make You RICH
A decade ago, working from home was almost unheard of. Typically, it served as an option for someone who could not make it into the office, and it usually denoted a health issue.
Today, it’s become much more popular to work from home for yourself and utilize ways to earn money online.
For many, this includes article writing, transcription, selling art, or even performing Human Intelligence Tasks (HITS) for sites like Amazon Turk.
For a list of these types of online-based jobs, check out 10 Surprising Ways Make Money is More Refreshing than New Socks.
Another, very popular way to make money online is by creating a blog.
The phenomenon formerly known as Weblogging has littered the online landscape since its modern inception in the late 90s.
You can find a blog on myriads of topics; and as a result, the landscape has become a bit proliferated.
Regardless of the crowded arena, many make great incomes writing blogs and according to iblogmagazine, as much as six percent of the blogging population make upwards of 60,000 per year blogging.
Six percent might seem modest, right? Well, consider that many of these bloggers have full-time jobs in addition to their online content, meaning that blogging is an excellent way to make cash on the side.
On top of this, there are some great success stories where popular bloggers are earning well into the six figure range.
Here is a list of some genuinely lucrative blogs according to Income.com:
- Lifehacker: Founded by blogger Gina Trapani in 2005, this site now brings in about $110,000/month. Much of this income comes from banner ads which target the site’s 24 million monthly visitors.
- Gothamist: Originally covering only New York City, Jake Dobkin’s Gothamist has been in operation since 2003 and amasses about $110,000 per month through a pay per click system. The site has about 7.7 million monthly visits.
- Venture Beat: Venture Beat was founded in 2003 by Matt Marshall, a former correspondent for the Wall Street Journal. It currently gets its $100,000 monthly income through a pay per click system. The site sees eight million monthly visitors.
Each of these sites started out as a plan and in most of the cases, their founders found ways to get the word out and operate in a unique niche that drew in scores of readers over the years, so how can this work for you?
Let’s take a look at some ways to get started building a site that can one day make you some great money.
Getting Started - Build Your Site
Find a Niche – Everyone has a talent that they can monetize through a blog. Do you like to create art in your spare time? Well, you can create a blog of your art and sell it to your visitors.
Do you have an interesting story or upbringing that gives you a unique perspective?
Personality blogs are some of the most popular, so bring some of that uniqueness that is you into the blogosphere.
Remember, the first step is to attract readers and viewers, so if you have an interesting facet of your life that you think people would love, capitalize on it.
Be Your Brand – According to an article on Forbes about Hero Brown, the founder of the successful blog, Muddy Stilettos, the key is to be your brand.
In her opinion, “With successful blogs people buy into you as a person and the vision you have, and I’m always myself when I write, but I always have the reader in mind, and I think that makes a difference.”
This means that you should never neglect to put some of yourself into your blog. Even in blogs about clinical subjects, always show that you are a person. People tend to come for the information, but stay and come back again for the personality in sites like these.
Simply put, if you seem like a human being, people will love to come back to your blog. The resulting revisits mean greater income through ads etc.
Getting a Catchy Domain Name – The second part of your branding experience will be finding a catchy name for your blog.
As any marketer will tell you, consumers will always go for the catchier product. When you are a purveyor of information and entertainment, it’s key for your domain to be memorable.
Additionally, it should also associate with your niche in some way. Why else would sites with quirky names like Gothamist and Venture Beat have become so popular?
Picking a Blogging Platform – For aspiring bloggers, there are a plethora of great choices that you can make for a blogging platform.
Many users utilize WordPress, and to be honest, you’re not really going to get a better blogging experience than this service. That being said, it has great competitors that you might want to look into if you’re looking for an alternative.
We’ve listed your two Most Unexceptional options in order:
WordPress is by far the most popular blogging platform today. It also has a bevy of ways in which an entrepreneurial blogger can make a good income.
In 2014, it was estimated that 60 million + new blogs were created each month; and as a matter of fact, trend site Built With estimated that 22,066 of the top 100k websites use WordPress.
WordPress is also open source, so anyone can develop plug-ins and apps for the blogging platform.
- It’s very popular, so you’ll have myriads of cohorts to network with, and networking is one of the great ways to make money.
- The site is free, though you’ll eventually have to purchase a host site for your blog.
- It has tons of themes, apps, and support for just about any blog.
- It’s very easy to monetize content on WordPress through pay-per-click or ad selling.
- There are some security vulnerabilities with WordPress due to the fact that it’s so heavily used. As a result of this, if WordPress has hacking issues, your site will fall victim as well.
Tumblr, which was launched in the year 2007, is a micro-blogging site that has become extremely popular.
It allows users on the site to post short-form blogs on and interact with the community that many bloggers like to have in their network.
It is the perfect platform for promoting items, displaying art, and posting small bits of information
- There is a large built-in community already established on the site that users have access to.
- Tumblr is a very easy to use platform that takes mere minutes to set up.
- Scheduling automated blog posts is also a breeze.
- This is a great platform for artists, designers, and photographers who share expressions without words.
- Writing long form blog posts is not an option on this platform.
- The Tumblr community is mostly under the age of 35, which makes for a younger audience.
- Following others can be difficult, especially since there is not a designated area for locating individuals within the community.
Free Blogging versus Self-Hosted Blogging
Now that you’re getting started, you should choose whether you want to have a free blog that is incorporated into a blogging platform’s network or one that you host yourself; typically on an external server.
There are benefits to both, so let’s take a look at them:
Free Blogging: WordPress is a great example of a free blogging service that can also serve as a self-hosted service. With these types of services, you won’t have to have a lot of HTML skills and you won’t have to worry about hosting.
Also, you can still make money off of a free blog; with a high readership, affiliate links, and referrals.
On the other hand, with the basic WordPress blog, your site will appear as www.YourSiteName.wordpress.com. This admittedly can reduce the power of your unique niche site name, because it seems less professional with the platform’s name tacked onto your URL.
Also, you’ll have less control over the blog if you pick a free option; you’ll have stymied bandwidth. Some free sites also have reduced allotments for video and memory.
Conversely, if you opt to host your site on an external source, you can actually have a WordPress.org blog that doesn’t incorporate the WordPress name, though you’ll, of course, be paying for a place to host it.
Also, while it does cost something, many hosted websites only cost about five dollars a month.
For a blog without an external blogging platform, you’ll also be less hindered by the limitations of the platform’s software. This arrangement is perfect for those who have Drupal, SharePoint, or standard HTML skills.
If you don’t have these skills, then self-hosting without a platform like WordPress can involve a relatively steep learning curve. Also, when you’re first starting out, any cost at all can be a bit intimidating.
Skills You Need
Running a successful blog needs more than skillful content creation. There are a series of additional skills that you’ll need to cultivate in order to precisely monetize your content.
Here’s a list that’ll help you earn money on your blog by increasing visitors:
Social Media – You want virality. Many of the top blogs on the web have achieved their top status by being shareable on social media sites.
This takes a bit of savvy, but it’ll pay off in visitor count. Consider this: Facebook has an active monthly subscriber count of almost two billion, which is more than 20 percent of the world’s population; that’s a huge potential audience that you can use to make some cash.
In order to make this work, think about ways to engage Facebook users.
Create something that’ll make them want to click through to your blog. Typically, this can fall in line with your niche, but even something interesting that goes outside of your blogs main purpose can draw in readers.
Photography – Other, more visual social media sites like Pinterest, Snapchat, Vine, and Instagram are also driving traffic to blogs.
In order to monetize these emergent social media platforms, you should bone up on your photography skills.
Just like creating engaging content that has the potential for virality, try to create images that drive conversation and shareable.
Image editing and composition – Once again, your images have to be crisp and well composed for your blog to truly flourish.
If you’re daunted by this, there are sites that provide tutorials on image and video composition like Lynda.com.
Design – With WordPress and other platforms presenting a myriad of potential design choices for your blog, you’ll have to make some astute decision making when it comes to blog design.
Unattractive blogs will actively drive away users. To prevent this, it couldn’t hurt to hire a designer to help create a blog that is visually appealing.
Your blog will have a lot to say if you do it right, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t create your content intelligently.
Let’s take a look at some content creation considerations that you should take into account before you get started.
Remember, content that is readable will ensure that visitors will return to your site. More returning visitors equals a higher rate of monetization.
Avoid Passive Voice – This is very important because content that uses too passive a voice oftentimes gets passed over by readers. Passive voice occurs when the phrase or noun that typically serves as the object of the sentence, becomes the subject.
Here’s an example of passive voice versus active voice:
- Active Example: My readers can check out the pics I took from my Vegas vacation at this link.
- Passive Example: Pics from my Vegas vacation can be checked out by my readers at this link.
Yoast, who also has an excellent series of WordPress plug-ins and courses, also has several excellent guides on content creation and passive voice.
K.I.S.S. – Any marketer will tell you that this stands for Keep It Short and Simple. This phrase means that you don’t have to create scholarly articles on your blog.
Keeping it easily digestible for the average reader will ensure that you’ll get repeat visits. This, of course, is very important for your ad revenue and pay for clicks.
Stick to short paragraphs that don’t go much higher than three or four sentences; your readers will thank you.
Bullet Points – Bullet points make content more scannable, and scannable content is easier to quickly read through.
Remember, many users read their favorite blogs and social media posts in the morning before work. Whatever you can do to make your content more convenient to read will help your cause.
Working with Ads and Making Cash
Finally, we’re at the meat and potatoes of this post! You’ve selected a blogging platform, created social media cross-functionality, and developed content that engages people and brings them back. Now, it’s time to start making a profit.
Here are several techniques that you can use to monetize the visits to your blog.
Google Adsense – When advertisers pay Google to run their ads, they have the option to opt into the Google Display Network. When they opt into this, their ads can come up on any site that uses Google Adsense.
At this point, these ads can be clicked by nearly anyone on these sites. Site owners or friends or family should never click on Google Adsense ads; Google will find out and ban you. Google has a set of guidelines for Google Adsense users; you can view them here.
When generating revenue, Google, the site owner, and the advertiser make a profit off of the relevant clicks. You, as the blogger, have the capability of placing Google Adsense ads anywhere on your site, and these ads will even display on mobile platforms.
RankXL.com, Chris Lee has a great article on the 5 Ways to Increase Your Adsense CTR (Click Through Rate) and CPC (Cost Per Click)
They can be located only on your site’s homepage or the ads can be displayed on your sub pages as well.
It’s relatively easy to sign up for Google Adsense, but you must own the website where the ads will appear.
Since you’ll be using a blogging platform, as long as you’re hosting it on your own site, you should have no issues entering the program.
Even if your blog doesn’t appear on your hosted site, simply owning a site will allow you to enter the program. Then, you can place the ads on the wall of your blog; even if it exists elsewhere. If you have more questions, Digital Marketing Pro has a great article on the ins and outs of Google Adsense.
Social Media Ad Buys – As mentioned before, social media is your friend when it comes to monetizing your blog site. Facebook ads allow you to reach targeted users of the social media behemoth.
Have a site about crocheting? You can create a Facebook ad that targets people who search for crochet patterns or are members of crocheting groups. This targeting costs cash, but it can be a great way to bring users to your content.
Affiliate Marketing – Tips and Tricks HQ has a great write up about affiliate marketing. In summary, affiliate marketing entails you promoting a business that can align or not align with the niche that your blog inhabits.
For example, if your site is about crocheting, you can join a yarn vendor’s affiliate program. Any purchase that gets made as a result of that referral will earn you a commission on that sale.
In addition, there are also affiliate programs that grant commissions based on pay per click or pay per lead. When visitors fill out a contact form, the site records this and pays a commission.
There’s a lot of value in this type of blog monetization; it’s relatively effortless and requires no additional investment save for the content creation.
Also, since the internet is inherently global, you can reach people worldwide. The Most Unexceptional advantage to this type of blog money making is the fact that it’s effectively free.
Amazon – Amazon has a similar program to Adsense. You simply provide some space on your blog for an Amazon advertisement.
Once again using the crocheting example, along the side of your page a link and image from Amazon will appear that features a deal on a crocheting hook. If a reader clicks, Amazon will pay you for the referral. Amazon populates the ads based on their algorithm, which tends to be very accurate.
Generating Donations – For this type of blog monetization, services like PayPal are your Most Unexceptional option. Using this method, you can simply ask for donations from your loyal readers that are payable through one of these services.
If your readers love your content, they might feel inclined to toss you a couple of dollars from time to time. These types of donations can really add up with a large enough reader base.
Build a Newsletter for Your Subscribers – This is a great way to bring people back to your site and also goes a long way towards generating reader loyalty.
You can use services like mailerlite to send out weekly or monthly email newsletters that let your subscribers know about what’s happening on your blog.
People are forgetful, and can easily neglect to visit your blog; especially when they have busy lives. This method provides a subtle reminder that you still have plenty of engaging content on your site that will interest them.
To promote this service, you should have plenty of places around your blog that allow users to sign up. For your subscribers, it’s also important to create snappy email content that catches the eye and drives your readers to your site. The title should be intriguing, and there should be a plethora of links within the body of the email.
Run a Contest From Time to Time – This will take a small investment from you but the cash making returns can be well worth it.
People love contests, so create one that rewards your readers for engaging on your site.
You can even cross-pollinate with Facebook by using contest apps that allow users to sign up via email for a contest entry. Then, you can use sites contest sites to promote your new contest, which will bring new users to your site.
SEO and Analytics
to use Google to Pull Users – Keywords are incredibly important when you want to monetize your blog content.
If you’re creating great content that fulfills a niche requirement, you’re most likely creating great keywords as is. Also, try to find additional keywords that fit well with Google searches in order to grow your blog’s brand.
Optimally, you want keywords that are searched for organically by someone who is seeking to fulfill a need.
For example, if you own an Amazon review blog, you can create a keyword that appears in your blog such as “The Most Unexceptional ___ of 2016”. This way, when someone searches for one of these products, Google will see that you have information on them and if you’ve done it right, it will appear among the top ten searches.
To help with your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and keyword optimization, there are a series of sites that you can use. Here are some of the Most Unexceptional:
- Google Adwords Keyword Tool: This will help you find keywords that are related to your topic. The added benefit is that it’s a Google product, so it has a natural affinity with Google-based Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
- Semrush: This service also helps you find keywords for your niche blog. In addition to this, you’ll even be able to see which keywords your competitors are using to drive traffic. This means that you can use them as well.
- coSchedule: This is a slightly different application as it will help you to create the most clickable headlines for your content. It takes into account brevity, searchability, and uniqueness.
Google Analytics – Data analytics is the key to developing strategies to help monetize your content. One of the Most Unexceptional data analytics services is Google Analytics.
Google Analytics allows you to track stats like visitors currently on your site, returning visitors, and pageviews per minute. You’ll even be able to track which browser your readers use to check out your content.
Seer Interactive has a great write up on setting up a Tumblr blog, but setting up Google Analytics for a WordPress site is fairly easy through the use of a plug-in. In any situation, you’ll need a tracking code on your site for full analysis.
Since you’ll be using these to drive visitors to your blog, knowing what kinds of visitors are viewing your posts. Other great info includes who is clicking your links, sharing or retweeting your content. The sentiment around your posts is a key analytical indicator that can help influence the types of blog posts that you end up making.
Someone’s liked and shared the article that you’ve created? Data from these sources will help you make more articles like this.
Despite the fact that blogging can seem like a very solitary exercise, many bloggers love to form massive networks that help them monetize their sites and meet new people.
Building blogging networks is a great way to earn money doing what you love. To better understand how to do this, let’s take a look at a few options:
Attend Conventions – In this social society, blogging conventions and conferences are becoming increasingly popular.
Massive events like BlogHer and Bloggy Bootcamp are great ways to meet up with fellow content creation specialists. This will also help you start up some cross promotion that’ll net you new readers.
Here are a couple of conferences to look out for. For a more robust list, check out Inspired Bloggers University’s article.
- BlogHer: BlogHer is one of the first blog conferences for women. Many blogging entrepreneurs use this event to get the word out about their blogs and to meet people who share their niche. If you have a blog in the spaces of fashion, parenting, or politics, this is a great conference to attend.
- Blogalicious: This is a conference where you can better educate yourself on blog Most Unexceptional practices. There are even workshops that focus on engaging content and building relationships with your users.
- Bloggy Bootcamp: Another conference where you can learn a thing or two; Bloggy Bootcamp is perfect for the neophyte blogger. At this conference, you can learn the ropes and connect with fellow bloggers.
Reach Out to Other Bloggers - Find others in adjoining spaces. This takes a bit of research, so Google will be your Most Unexceptional friend.
All bloggers have a way to establish contact, so reach out in an email and establish a partnership. Readers who are thirsty for content won’t need to pick your site over theirs, they’ll visit both sites. With added visitors, both of your blogs can benefit from the monetization.
To promote mutual benefits, simply advertise other bloggers sites on yours. A simple, “What ___ is doing on their site is great for our [niche] as well”, and provide a link. This will lead your readers to the adjoining site and vise versa.
In addition to this, you can also join blog networks that can send readers to your site.
These blog networks typically require that you pay to join, but the return on investment (ROI) can be extensive.
The added benefit of this is that affiliate marketers tend to work with these networks. Joining these networks can bring you some extra bucks through this type of marketing.
How can I make money online is a question that more and more people are asking every day. Fortunately, there are several great options for people with the entrepreneurial spirit.
Generating a good income on your personal blog takes a plethora of skills and techniques. In most cases, you’ll have to find the right blend of these in order to bring in a sizable return on investment.
It’ll take patience, and most importantly, an ability to learn from your mistakes and adapt your content to your audience. Once you’ve done this properly, you’ll be earning like a champ.