Are you interested in learning about how to make money blogging? There are a lot of different ways to make money online from home, and blogging is one of the easiest and simplest ways to go through that path. If you have been online for any amount of time, I’m sure that you must know what a blog is and how it functions. You probably read a blog or two or a daily basis as well. It basically acts as a sort of online journal where people can display their thoughts and information to the public on the topic of their interest. Nowadays, if you look around you, you will find more and more people taking up the online art of blogging. It’s not just limited to the rich and famous, but also to the average person next door who has never hit the spotlight before. Even mysterious people like The Mysterious Marketer are using blogs…
Apart from being something for keeping track of one’s thoughts and informing others about one’s experiences, blogs have become an essential part of online business, providing companies with a medium of interactive communication between themselves and their customers. That means more money for them, but not only to them though. You can easily earn money with your own blog if you know how.
This article provides you with a step by step explanation of the various things that you need to know in order to begin setting up and profiting from your own blog, starting from the research stage and going all the way up to getting visitors to your blog. If you are a beginner to building an online income stream, you will definitely find this article useful. Even if you are one of the more experienced in the field, you may find a couple of valuable tips and tricks to help you along the way with regards to traffic generation and monetization of your blog.
One of the most important things you need to keep in mind is that consistency and persistence are vital to long term success. If you are willing to keep on going regardless of the setbacks you encounter, success is inevitable for you. In order to further simplify the process though, this article has been broken down into a few key aspects that you need to know about in order to succeed: finding your topic, doing your research, setting up your blog, developing winning content, monetization of your blog, and generating traffic to your blog.
01. Finding Your Topic
The first step in developing your online blog is to determine the subject or niche which you are most interested in. In general, it is best to choose a topic that you are passionate about, while having the topic also be a profitable one. This is often not a problem, as most topic that people are interested in can be profitable in some way.
One of the key benefits of blogging on a topic that you are passionate about is that you will most probably have an ocean of existing knowledge with regards to that topic already. Thus it makes it a lot easier for you because you know what you’re talking about when you make new blog posts on your blog. Also, it will give a better impression to the readers of your blog and they would eventually come to know you as some knowledgeable in their field of interest.
It is in your interest to build your blog with the long-term results in mind. As such, you will need to make sure that you provide your readers with information that is useful and informative to them. It is this type of valuable personal sharing and insights that make you stand out from the crowd, and make readers come back to your blog again and again.
That being said, you don’t necessarily have to be one of the world’s topmost authorities on the subject in order to create compelling blog content. All you need to have is knowledge that is slightly above what the average person in your market would have. Even if you don’t have this knowledge in the beginning, don’t worry. You can research and develop the experience with regards to that subject along the way. It just takes a little more time and effort than if you were already someone who knew a vast amount on the subject at hand.
Many bloggers begun their careers not really knowing a lot about the target topic, but they were really passionate about it. Because of their passion, they were able to work hard and study more and more about the topic on a regular basis. The result is that, over time, they truly became experts in their field due to the continuous amount of learning that came about from their passionate endeavors.
Most of us have several different areas of interest, so it would be best to choose an interest that would be most profitable for you. Certain online industries provide greater levels of earning than others, so this is something that you should keep in mind when choosing your niche. The common rule is that there are three ultimately profitable markets that are booming all the time: money making, health and fitness, and dating and relationships.
If you have an area of interest pertaining to one of these three markets, it would be great for you. Though it’s not necessary that you have to go into one of the markets mentioned above…
Once you have found the right general topic of interest for you, the next step would be to narrow it down. For example, you may be someone who is interested health and fitness, you can’t just create a blog on health and fitness in general. The reason for this is because such a blog would be too general and it would be hard to cover everything about it in great detail. Another reason is because such a general coverage would lead to massive amounts of competition. The broader your target, the more competition there generally is.
Going from your general topic of interest, like for example health and fitness, narrow it down to a smaller sub-niche. Examples of sub-niches might include topics like ‘organic fruit and vegetable remedies’ or ‘body toning for men over 30′. Even if a sub-niche has a smaller population of interest, it can still be immensely profitable for you. Just make sure that you don’t go too narrow, or there might not be enough people interested in that topic then.
02. Market Research
Once you have decided upon the topic that you would like to blog about, a topic that is profitable and which you are also passionate about, it’s time to do a bit of research on that topic. The thing to bear in mind is that you ultimately want to earn money from your blog.
Sure you are doing this blog partly because you are interested in the topic at hand, but if you don’t earn any money from your efforts in the end, it will all be futile. The main purpose of your blog is to earn money, so make sure you don’t forget that point.
Now you may be wondering… How do you get people to pay you money, or to take you up on offers that would make you money?
Well, quite simply, everyone has a number of problems that they would be happy to solve, and they would gladly pay in order to find some sort of solution to these problems. All you have to do is to find out the problem that the people in your market are having, and provide them with the solution to that problem. Find out what people want, and give it to them…
In order to further simplify the procedure, here is the research process boiled down into its key components:
It sounds quite simple, and as a matter of fact it is. Now that you know what to look for, you can go out into your market and begin doing your research. Here are a couple of questions that will stimulate your mind while you are doing your data gathering:
Now that you have a better clue as to what you should be looking for, here are a number of places where you can collect the information you need:
Question and Answer Sites
These sites are really great for finding out the important questions that people in your market are desperate to know about. Question and answer sites allow an open environment where people can freely ask questions and wait for them to be answered by others who are knowledgeable about the topic. By researching these sites, you will be able to find questions that pop up again and again, as well as the solutions to these questions.
The top question and answer site at the moment is Yahoo! Answers. There are a lot of question and answer sites out there, but so far, none of them can compare to this one in terms of both popularity and traffic. Browsing through this site, you will find people from all over the world answering questions on almost every topic imaginable.
This is definitely one resource which you will want to consider referring to again and again in order to find ideas for your blog posts. You might even be able to find creative approaches to particular problems which you would not have been able to find elsewhere. You can sort results by popularity, or even by recency in order to identify upcoming trends in the market.
Forums and Discussion Boards
One of the sure signs of the popularity of a niche is that there is a forum dedicated to the topic in question. It’s a simple matter to find a forum related to your topic of interest. Just do a simple Google search and you will be able to find the forums that you are looking for. It might be a wise decision for you to sign up at these forums and to start participating in discussions too. This will help you to gain more exposure for yourself, and also to better understand the feel of the people in the market.
Even if you are not planning to post on the forums right away, you should sign up as soon as you can. This is because most forums show the date at which you joined them. Having an older date gives a sense of seniority when posting on forums, and this can have positive effects on people interacting with you.
As you go through the forums, look through the popular threads that have a lot of views and replies. You will definitely find topics that people talk about more often than others. Discover what the most pressing needs of the community are, and learn more about the people in your marketplace.
Understanding your market to a greater extent can mean the difference between success and failure. Know their feelings and their passions, and find out more of what you need to know. If you are the impatient type, you might even want to ask your forum members about this directly by posting a new thread.
Apart from understanding what people talk about and what their needs are, you will also be able to discover the online resources and sites that they frequent, as well as the type of material they may enjoy reading or going through. This will give you a strong upper hand as you browse through these materials. You might even find one or two popular products that really stand out from the crowd.
Social Networking and Media Sites
There are various sites where people like to hang out, and discuss their passions together with their friends. These social networking sites allow users to follow other people who are interested in the same topics as they are.
Social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace are definitely sites that you should consider looking at in order to find out what people are talking about on a daily basis. Not only that, but they also allow you to keep up-to-date with the latest trends and information that are coming up in the marketplace.
Other sites you should consider browsing through include video sharing sites, and social bookmarking sites. You’ll get a ton of ideas that will help you in progressing your blog.
Other Related Blogs
There are probably a lot of other related blogs in your niche as well, and you should do your best to have a look through these blogs. You will come to understand more about the more popular names in your market, as well as the types of posts that they are making which best resonate with their readers.
It is also advised that you subscribe to these blogs using an RSS Reader, such as Google Reader, in order to instantly see when they update their blogs with new content. This will allow you to quickly and easily see all the latest posts by popular blogs in your niche, and will also keep you up-to-date with news and updates.
You may also choose to regularly comment on the blog posts that are put out by these sites. This will help you to gain more exposure for yourself, as well as providing their readers an opportunity to check out your blog as well.
Google Alerts Notifications
Google Alerts is a free online service from Google that allows you to get instant updates on the topic of your choice right to your email. With regards to the updates involved you will be able to choose the types of updates you would like to receive notifications on, whether they be news updates, blog updates, or more. You can also choose how often you want to receive the updates, thus making this quite a useful tool for keeping yourself up to date in your market, and getting researched terms.
It is probably best if you have a new email account dedicated to your blog for receiving these alerts. You might even want to create a new email address just for keeping these updates too, though you will need a Google Account in order to use this service.
The screenshot below shows you how to fill in the fields. It’s actually quite simple:
Once you’ve gone to the Google Alerts website, simply enter your related blog topic into the search terms box as shown above. Next, it is best that for the type of searches you want to conduct that you select everything. This will bring back updates related to all the different media, such as blogging sites, video sites, and news sites as well.
For volume, you can choose to bring back only the best results, or you can bring back all the results that Google finds. I more often choose to bring back all of the results. For the update frequency, once a day is good because setting it to update to often might clutter your inbox, though you may choose other options if you so desire.
Lastly, simply enter your email and create your alert and you are done. Whenever Google Alerts finds new updates, you will be notified immediately.
03. Keyword Research
After you are done with choosing a profitable subject which you are also passionate about, and you have finished doing your market research in order to identify the key problems that your market is facing, you may then begin doing some keyword research. Keyword research simply refers to identifying the commonly used search phrases that people use in the search engines in order to find what they are looking for.
As is done by most online marketers, you should focus on finding keywords that have a lot of traffic and searches, but also have low competition levels. Though having some competition is always a good indicator of market profitability. A market with no competition at all might not be that profitable, so don’t worry if you find some competitors for your keyword research results.
There are a lot of different keyword research tools out there, but the best free one that is used by almost every online marketer is the Google Keyword Tool. It is free and very easy to use. You may also use the free version of Market Samurai or any other keyword tool if you have it.
Ok, so let’s begin with using the Google Keyword Tool. First, you need to think about the types of words or phrases that people would be using when searching for the problems and solutions related to the topic of your choice. It can also be related to general topics that people like to discuss in your niche.
For instance, if I were doing a blog about how to make money with blogging, I would be able to brainstorm the following keywords:
Take the collection of keywords that you have brainstormed, and you can now enter them into the Google Keyword Tool for further research as shown in the screenshot below:
Just enter your words or phrases one per line into the box, and click the search button. You will get the results of each keyword along with other further related keywords that you can use. From the results you can easily see that the research subject above is fairly popular, getting quite a number of searches every month.
Competition is not a major concern if you have gone down deep enough into a sub-niche where you can settle yourself. So, once again as a reminder, remember to narrow down your topic into a sub-niche before you start as discussed in the first section.
Now that you have obtained the results from the Google Keyword tool, you can now pick the most relevant keywords to your blog topic and write them down for later use. These keywords should have some of the highest search volume results, as you will be using these keywords in the title and descriptions of your blog for the purpose of search engine optimization. When people search for those keywords in the search engines, they will be able to find your site there in the search results.
04. Setting Up Your Blog
Now that the preliminary blog research has been done, you are ready and armed to go out into the world wide web with your own blog. There are generally two ways for you to set up your own blog: the free way and the paid way.
The free way is rather easy, as all you have to do is to sign up for a free Blogger blog using your Google account, and get it set up quickly and easily using their simple walk-through setup process. It’s free and easy to do, and Blogger is one of the most popular free blogging platforms out there. However, if you are really serious about making money online using your own blog, the free way is definitely not the road you should take.
There are a number of reasons for this, and due to these various reasons, we will be pursuing the paid route in this money making tutorial:
Thus, by creating a paid blog, you will have more control over what happens to your blog at all times. So, in order to create a good blog, we will be setting up a paid blog using the WordPress content-management system. It is one of the most popular ways of setting up a blog on the web. The process is quite simple actually, and it doesn’t take much effort to learn:
Easy, yes? Let’s begin…
Getting Your Domain Name
For purchasing a domain name, I would highly recommend that you do it through Namecheap. I have found their services to be fairly priced, the support is good, and they include free who-Is protection which will prevent other people from seeing your personal details
The process of getting a good domain name for your blog is simple. Based on the keyword research you did previously, take the results you obtained and enter them into the Namecheap domain search to see if a .com is available. It would be preferably if you use a keyword that has higher search volume over one that has a lower search volume.
You will probably find that most of the good .com domain names are taken for your keyword. If you can’t find a suitable domain name with a .com, then you can add stop words to the domain name, like ‘a’ or ‘the’ and such. You may also try adding short relevant words to the front of the domain, such as ‘blog’, ‘tips’ or others such suffixes.
The reason for having your keyword in your domain name is that it helps your site to rank higher for that particular keyword in the search engines. The higher you rank for a particular keyword, the more traffic and visitors you will be able to get to your site
Getting Your Hosting Account
The hosting account is an important step in the development of your blog as it stores all the online files associated with your blog. A good hosting account should not only be relatively inexpensive, but the support should be good and the uptime should be at the max level so that your blog is most always available online for your viewers to access.
If you don’t have a hosting account already, I would suggest you to get one from HostGator. In terms of hosting, their service is one of the most popular, and their support is really good too. Hosting packages are quite inexpensively priced. Get a normal unlimited hosting plan, and I would advise you to take the Baby Plan as it allows you the option of adding unlimited domains should you need more later on.
It is quite cheap though. After adding all the costs up, the price of the Baby Plan would probably come to about $10 to $12 a month, which is not a lot. You can choose to pay yearly, which is cheaper, or to pay monthly, which is slightly higher priced.
After purchase, HostGator would have given you the details of the addresses of your name servers. Note this down as you will need this to begin set up. You will normally get two name server addresses.
Setting Up Name Servers
Now you have purchased your domain name and your hosting account as well as getting the information about your name servers. We now need to get these name servers to point from your domain name to your hosting account.
So go to your Namecheap account, and under the Manage Domains section of your My Account area, click on the domain name of the blog you would like to edit the name servers for. Once you have done that, you will be able to click on ‘Domain Name Server Setup’ on the left hand side of the screen. You will be brought to a screen where you can select ‘Specify Custom DNS Server’, and then enter your two name server addresses in the fields below and save changes.
It might take up to a few hours for your name servers to propagate, so be prepared to wait a while in order for things to start working.
Setting Up Add-On Domains
The last step before we install WordPress is the step for setting up your add-on domains in your hosting account. You will be able to access the control panel for your hosting account, typically a C-Panel configuration, by going to http://www.yourblog.com/cpanel.
Once you have logged in with your username and password, scroll down to the Domains section and click on the Addon Domains button as shown below:
Once you have done that, you can begin filling in the information with regards to your blog’s new domain.
You basically only need to fill in the ‘New Domain Name’ field with your domain name, and the rest of the fields will automatically be filled up for you. Next, you can create your own password or you can use the site’s password generation tool to do it for you.
Make sure you keep your password safely, as it’s something very important. Once all is done, you can save your results and you are ready to proceed for the installation of WordPress. See below for visual demonstration:
05. Setting Up WordPress
Let’s continue on with our installation of WordPress. Your blog is now almost done, and it will just take a few clicks in order to create your new WordPress blog.
First, return to your hosting control panel, and move down to the Software/Services section. You will be able to find a button called Fantastico De Luxe, so click on that button. This is a feature that allows you to instantly install various platforms quickly and easily.
You will then be brought to a page with a number of different scripts that you can install. If you look on the left hand side of the screen, you will notice that one of them says WordPress, so click on that.
Once that is done, you will be brought to the page where you can install WordPress, so click on the New Installation link.
On the ‘Install on domain’ section, choose your domain name from the drop-down box. You don’t have to enter anything in the ‘Install in directory’ section, so just leave it empty.
Next, choose your username and password and enter them into the required fields. This will be the username and password you will be using to log-in to your WordPress blog’s admin area, so make sure you note it down and keep it safe.
Once done, fill in the rest of the fields. You will have to enter the name your are using for your blog, and this is what visitors will be able to see as the person making the posts. Then enter your email address as well as the name of your blog and its description.
Remember to use the keywords you used for your domain name in the name and description of the blog as well. This will help you to get better rankings in the search engines.
After you click on the finish installation button, you have now finished with the installation of your WordPress blog. You may see what your blog looks like by going to your domain name and having a peek.
You can log-in to your WordPress blog’s admin panel by clicking on the login button on the sidebar, or by going to http://www.yourblog.com/wp-login.php.
Changing Your WordPress Theme
One of the great things about WordPress is that it makes it really easy for you to change the theme that your blog is looking. You can instantly change the way your blog looks with a few more clicks of the mouse.
To change your WordPress theme, all you have to do is to log-in to your WordPress control panel. On the left hand side of the screen, you should see a section called Appearances. Simply click on that, and it will bring you to the Themes section of your blog control panel. Click on the New Theme tab at the top of the screen, and you will be able to choose if you want to search for a theme from the WordPress theme directory or to upload your own theme.
Searching for a theme is simple, and all you have to do is to type in the type of theme you are looking for into the search box. It will bring back some results, and you can choose to install these results or to preview them to see what they would look like. After installation, you can activate the theme you want to use.
If you want to upload a theme you got from somewhere else, go to the Install Theme section of your blog once again, and click on the Upload link. This brings you to a page where you can browse for the .zip file of your WordPress theme and upload it to your server for use on your blog.
There are a lot of different places where you can get beautiful free WordPress themes for your blog. It’s best to select a theme that matches with the topic of your site and what you are talking about. There are themes that have been designed for particular niches too. Here are a list oft sites that you can browse through if you so desire:
You may also choose to do a Google search in order to find the type of theme you are looking for, whether it be an online business wordpress theme, or a weight loss theme. Though make sure that the theme you use is SEO-friendly and that it supports the use of widgets.
After you have found theme theme you like, you may install and use it.
06. Optimizing Your WordPress Blog
It’s now time for you to optimize your WordPress blog. The purpose of optimization is to make your site SEO-friendly so that search engines can rank your site highly, allowing visitors to find your site. It will also help bring more traffic to your website while providing your visitors with a better experience.
In order to do this, we will need to make use of various WordPress plugins as well.
Installing WordPress Plugins
Plugins are one of the main things that make WordPress so useful. They allow you to implement additional functionality to your blog which would not have been there otherwise. There are a ton of different plugins available for different purposes, so if you ever need a special function for your WordPress blog, try searching for a plugin for it.
You will be able to search for plugins by going to the main WordPress plugin directory at http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins, or simply by clicking on the Plugins link on the left hand side of your blog control panel, click on the Add Plugin button, and then searching for the plugin you need or are looking for.
Additionally, similar to the themes, you will be able to upload a WordPress plugin you got from another site as well by clicking on the Upload link in the Add Plugin area.
You can also find plugins by using Google. Most plugins will be available for you to download for free, but there are paid ones as well.
Here are the important plugins that you will need to install onto your WordPress blog. You may find others in future, but these are the ones you should use for now as the most basic configuration for your blog. Go to the Add Plugin section from your WordPress control panel, search for the plugins named and install and activate them.
All in One SEO Pack: Definitely a must have for every serious blogger. It allows you to optimize post and page titles and descriptions on your site for SEO purposes.
Google XML Sitemaps: A plugin that creates a sitemap for your blog, allowing the search engines to easy crawl your blog.
Pretty Link (Lite Version): A simple plugin that allows you to shorten long links so that they look nice, and they contain your blog’s URL.
Sexy Bookmarks: One of the most elegant social bookmarking plugins, it displays social bookmarking buttons that allow your visitors to quickly and easily bookmark your site and share it with their friends.
WP Super Cache: Allows all of your blog posts and pages to be cached on a regular basis so that your blog loads super fast.
Every time you create a new blog post, it creates a new page on your site with its own URL. That URL is your permalink for the blog post. The default URL that is automatically created isn’t very good for SEO purposes, so you should change that.
The default URL is something like this: www.yourblog.com/?p=7
This is what you want it to be like: www.yourblog.com/the-mysterious-marketer
It looks a lot nicer, more descriptive for readers, and gives you better rankings in the search engines for the keyword you are targeting in the title. The method for changing it is quite simple.
In the control panel of your WordPress blog, on the left hand side should be a section called ‘Settings’. If you open up that section by clicking on the arrow next to the link, you will be able to find a sub-section called ‘Permalinks’. Click on this in order to change your permalinks.
Once you are there, under the Common Settings, select ‘Custom Structure’ and enter this:
With this both the category of your post, as well as the post name will appear in the URL of your blog post.
Still under the ‘Settings’ section of your WordPress control panel, click on the ‘Privacy’t link. We want to change the privacy so that search engines will be able to find our site.
Under the site visibility option, make sure the following option is chosen:
I would like my site to be visible to everyone, including search engines.
Then save your changes. It is very important to make sure this is done or else no one will be able to find your site when they are using the search engines.
Setting Up Widgets
Widgets allow you to add various boxes to the sidebars on your blog in order to enhance usability and navigation. Not only that, but they also help make your site more search engine friendly as well.
To set up your widgets, under the Appearance section of your WordPress control panel, on the left hand side of the screen you will be able to choose the Widgets option.
There are a number of different ones you can use, but some of the best ones you might want to use are:
Categories: Allows you to display the categories on your site on your sidebar.
Links: Allows you to display various links on your sidebar.
Pages: Allows you to display the pages (not posts) on your site on your sidebar
Recent Posts: Displays the recent posts that you have made on your blog.
Recent Comments: Displays recent comments on your blog
Search: Adds a search box on your sidebar for visitors to find stuff
Setting up your widgets is easy. To put a widget on the sidebar of your choice, simply drag the widget you want from the left side of the screen, and place it on the column on the right side of the screen. To remove a widget, do the opposite.
You can see the options for a widget by clicking on the arrow on the right of the name of any widget.
Pinging Your Blog Posts
Pinging your blog posts every time you create a new post enables search engines to be notified whenever you create a new post. This will get you a lot of results, and something that you should always do whenever you create a new blog post.
However, since you are using WordPress, you don’t have to do it manually. WordPress allows you to enter a list of sites to ping into a ping list, and automatically pings those sites whenever you create a new blog post. To do this, simply go to my blog post on how to ping a website, and you will be able to get a WordPress Ping List.
Copy this list, and go to Writing section under the Settings category on the left hand side of your WordPress control panel. At the bottom of the page, under the ‘Update Services’ section, you will be able to paste this list in. You may then save your changes.
Now, every time you create a new blog post, WordPress will automatically notify those sites that you have some new content.
07. Creating Your Amazing Content
Your site is now fully set up and optimized for best results. You now need to create amazing content that will get visitors coming back to your site again and again.
There are various things that you can do when it comes to creating amazing content for your site. But they basically hinge on three main methods, namely creating it yourself, getting other people to do it for you, or reuse existing content from other sources.
Creating Your Own Content
A blog does not necessarily have to be composed of only writing, though this is the best option. You can create blog posts using pictures, video, audio, and other media. However, from time to time it is best to write some stuff as opposed to relying entirely on video or audio.
When it comes to generating content for your blog, it is best if you do it yourself as your own content is what allows you to build a unique image in the market that builds your fan base. People often like to see the personality that exists in blog posts, and this is something that can only be done by creating it yourself at times. Your aim is to build your credibility and reputation in your market.
It is a good idea to write on topics that are hot in your market and of great interest. You can find these hot topics in much the same way as shown the market research section previously. Look at what people are talking about, what people are asking, what people are discussing in your market.
Create useful and informative content that will meet the needs of the people in your market. You may also choose to create some entertaining content once in a while too. As you create more and more content and blog posts that people enjoy using, more and more people will come to your site and become a part of your loyal readers. Work together with these readers to build a great blog, and those readers will contribute by helping to earn you money as well.
Regularly provide great information and tips to your readers based on what they would like to see. By doing this, visitors will buy products from you even if you don’t ‘sell’ to them. You may recommend to them some great products that you have personally used and tested out, and they would buy those products from you earning you a commission from the links they click on.
Make your blog the number one place that people would want to go to when it comes to finding information in your niche. In the initial days, you may find that you don’t have much great content, but as time goes on and you accumulate in blog posts, you will build a stunning knowledge base.
Remember that you don’t want to be earning some quick cash that is just here today and gone tomorrow. You want to build an online asset that will bring you money again and again. The best way to do this is with useful content that displays personality and uniqueness.
If you wanted to estimate the amount you could earn from your site, you might say that every visitor to your site is worth about 10 cents. If you had 100 visitors to your site a day, that would be probably about $10 a day, or $300 a month. Another way to estimate would be based on the number of strong fans you have to your site. You can estimate each strong fan to bring you about $1 a month. so if you had 10000 strong fans, that would be an estimated $10,000 a month for you based on the monetization of your site.
Getting People To Do It For You
Getting people to create content for you can come in the paid or free method. The paid method means that you outsource the task of content creation to others and pay people to write articles or create blog posts for you. This can be good from time to time, but it has the disadvantage of making you lose your unique voice in the content you create as other people are creating the content for you.
The free method would be inviting other people in your niche to do guest posts for you on your site. Other people are invited to write a blog post as a guest, and in exchange they get exposure, traffic and a backlink back to their blog. They may even invite you to do guest posts on their blog too.
Reusing Free Content
For most people, writing is a really tough thing. And many others hate creating content from scratch. The most popular method of reusing free content is from PLR material. PLR articles give you the right to use them as your own, and to rewrite or edit them in anyway you wish. The content is already written or done for you, so it is an easy matter to simply rewrite it to suit the needs of your audience.
Normally you would pay a fee for a certain PLR package in order to use it, and these paid PLR packs are of the best quality. There are free PLR articles and content available too, but these are less useful due to them already having been used millions of times all around the web.
You may use the search engines for the topic of your choice followed by the phrase ‘plr’ in order to find material on the topic of your interest. There’s PLR out there on almost every imaginable topic, so finding a PLR store that meets your needs isn’t all that difficult.
Remember to make your PLR content unique enough though so that it doesn’t get into a problem with duplicate content and go into the search engine’s supplemental index.
Content Generation Solutions
Before we go onto the next section, I just want you to be aware that there are a number of tools and services for content generation out there. These solutions generally take free content from other sites and use them on your blog, simply adjusting the layout of your blog post. The most popular of these is autoblogging, but you can find some more content generation software and tools by reading one of my previous blog posts
Some of these solutions allow you to automatically create content even while you sleep, but having a blog with nothing but copied content is not really a good formula for success. If you use these tools, you should still add uniqueness to your site by creating your own useful content as well.
When creating a fully automated blogging solution, people normally use plugins that help to automatically bring traffic to their site to by automating the social bookmarking process or through other means. Two popular plugins for automating traffic in this manner which is normally used include the Onlywire Auto Poster and the Web Traffic Genius.
Use Video and Images As Well
As mentioned before, don’t limit yourself solely to creating content with text. A lot of people have blogs that only use video and images, and this has proven to be quite successful for them. For the best results, try to mingle both text, video and images for superior presentation.
Video is one of the most popular forms of media on the web and many people enjoy watching videos for long hours. A simple video can greatly enhance the attractiveness of your site. Of course, you don’t have to create a video on your own from scratch.
You may simply visit YouTube or some other popular video sharing sites, and take their video and embed them into one of your blog posts. If you were doing a blog post on blogging, you would search YouTube for a video on that same subject and embed it into your blog post for great results.
Embedding a video from YouTube is easy. Simply choose the video you would like to embed, click the Embed button located below the YouTube video, and it will give you a code that you can paste into your blog post. You are given some settings that you may want to adjust for the video as well, such as size and other features.
When embedding the code into your blog post, ensure that your post is in the HTML view and not the visual view. This is required for it to work properly.
08. Monetizing Your Blog
The part that you’ve all been waiting for, it is now time to monetize your blog using various services that will bring money in for you. There are a lot of different ways to earn money from your blog, and it would be best if you used several of them in combination. This would help to build multiple revenue streams for you, and earn you more money.
Also, one very important thing when starting up your blog, is for your to build a subscriber’s list that you can email again and again. This is absolutely crucial for you to build your revenue. By creating a list, people will sign up to your site, giving your their email list in exchange, and you can email them with offers or blog updates.
Pay Per Click
One of the most popular forms of blog monetization is through the use of pay per click ads. This means you display ads on your site, and you earn money in exchange for visitors clicking on those ads. The most popular pay per click program among bloggers at the moment is the Google Adsense program, and you can sign up and use it.
You will need to have a blog before you can sign up, and they will need to approve your application first before you can start making money.
Every time a visitor clicks on one of the ads displayed on your site, you earn a commission. Different keywords provide different value per click, and the more competitive the keyword is, the more money you can earn. Of course, you should never click on your own ads or you will get banned for life. Don’t even do it by accident, as they won’t accept any excuse.
If you want to get more people to click on your ads, try changing various features of your ads such as the color, size, or layout and positioning. Experiment and see what works. However, please read the terms of service before you do so, as you are not allowed to tell your visitors to click on your ads or you will get banned.
Affiliate Programs allow you to promote other people products by placing a link to those products on your blog. When your readers click on those links and buy the product, you will earn a commission. This commission varies, but it can be somewhere between 4 to 100 percent for each product sale, depending on the product vendor.
Clickbank is a digital marketplace and they specialize in selling digital products, such as ebooks and software. You can earn a large commission from their product because of the digital nature, and commissions average from 50 to 75% per product sold.
Amazon Associates is the affiliate program used by Amazon.com. It allows you to promote physical products sold on Amazon for a commission ranging from around 4 to 8%.Not only that, but you get commission for each and every product that the customer buys when they click on your affiliate link during a 24 hour period. This makes it very profitable for you.
A great way to include affiliate links on your site is by using banners, including them in blog posts for related topics, or by doing a product review of a particular product.
Product reviews are one of the most profitable ways to earn money from your affiliate links, and it’s not that difficult too. Of course, you will have to have used the product before you can review it, but readers are basically looking for what the product is all about, what it does, the benefits and problems, your experience with the product, and the price of the product.
Product reviews allow you to pre-sell your readers, giving them an overview of the product and its benefits before they reach the salespage. By doing so, it increases the likelihood of their purchase when they start reading the sales letter.
Create Your Own Products
One of the most profitable ways to monetize your blog, though less often used, is by creating your own product for sale. Doing this allows you to not only earn money, but build your reputation as one of the experts in the market. As long as you have some experience or knowledge in the field of your choice, you will be able to make a great product. You may even sell your product on eBay if you have a physical product.
Less people do this though, because it takes slightly more effort, but that means less competition for you. Having your own product also allows you to create your own affiliate links so that your readers can be promoting your product and your site as well.
Though it takes a bit of effort, creating your own product doesn’t have to be all that difficult. Two of the best methods for creating products are through the use of eBooks and Video courses. Which one you prefer may depend on your own personal preferences. Video courses are generally faster to make, but require some more technical knowledge.
Creating an eBook is simple. All you have to do is to use a word processor such as Microsoft Word. If you don’t have that, another free alternative is Open Office. Create a report on the topic of your choice, preferably a hot topic with a solution to a known problem in your market. After you are done, simply turn that file into a PDF and you can start selling it.
When it comes to video, people generally use screen capture software such as Camtasia, or even the free Camstudio alternative. This allows them to capture their voices talking while they go through some demonstrations on their computer, perhaps even through a Powerpoint Slide.
You may even decide to purchase PLR products that you can edit and make your own. PLR products come in a variety of forms, but eBooks and videos are definitely the most popular. You may edit an entire eBook, and brand it with your website’s links, and you are good to go with selling it.
Finally we reach a crucial stage in the development of your blog, one that you should start from the very beginning of your blog’s life, and that is the art of list building. If done right, list building can make up the majority of the income that comes from your blog because it’s really very powerful in a number of ways.
Almost all internet marketers and bloggers who are earning big are doing it through their list. A list enables you to quickly and easily send targeted customers to the site or link of your choice. Sometimes all you have to do is to send an email out to all of your subscribers in order to make several thousand within a day or too. This isn’t that difficult, but it’s important that you build a good relationship with your readers and your list, or no one’s going to read anything you send them.
If you don’t have one already, I would advise you to sign up for an autoresponder service, one of the best ones being AWeber. It will allow you to collect your reader’s emails and to send out emails to all of them anytime you want with the push of a button.
Once you have signed up and created an opt-in form, most people put in their sidebar, like me at the top of this page. You should offer your visitors something valuable in exchange for them signing for to your list. It’s best for this to be a free report or something, or it can even be a course that continues on daily through email.
If you don’t have a free gift that you could give to your subscribers, you may want to sign up for my free Auto Article Backlinks report using the form at the top of this page. Though you are not allowed to change the report in any way, you may give it away to your subscribers for free, and use it to build your list if you want.
Your list is an additional asset that can bring you in a lot of money in complement with your blog. You can email your readers with offers, updates, and even recommended affiliate product links.
09. Traffic Generation
Last, but certainly not least, is the important concept of traffic generation. If you want to earn money from your blog, you need to get visitors to your blog, and this is what traffic generation is all about. The more traffic you have, the more money your can potentially earn.
There are a lot of ways to do this, but you don’t have to do all of them. Pick a few that best suit your needs, and repeat them again and again and again. Depending on your market, some traffic generation methods may not be as effective as others, so find a good one and keep on building that traffic. The key is the word ‘building’. A large amount of traffic is not something that instantly happens overnight. It is something that you have to build gradually.
Let’s get into the different methods that you can use…
One of the most basic methods, you don’t have to do this each and every day. Once you have submitted your website to a website directory and have it approved, the link to your site will stay there permanently, bringing in visitors and traffic. So, this is something you only have to do once per directory. There are thousands upon thousands of directories out there, so it would be in your best interest to submit to just the best ones.
The backlinks from directories can also help you to rank highly in the search engines as well.
Though this can be quite a powerful method, it can be tedious if you do it manually by hand. You may want to use an automated directory submission service such as the free Directory Submitter provided by Brad Callen. It’s free and it’s quite steady.
Another really great way to get traffic and backlinks is through the use of RSS submission. You can submit your website’s RSS feed to various RSS directories, and RSS search engines. RSS feeds are simply aggregations of your latest blog posts in order for your readers to be quickly updated whenever you make a new post.
As a WordPress blog user, you already have an RSS feed automatically created for you, and this is normally located at www.yourblog.com/feed.
There are a ton of RSS directories and aggregators out there, but it can be difficult to search for them as a lot of them are broken. You may visit my RSS aggregators and directories page to find an updated list of the top RSS aggregators and directories that you can submit to.
You may also use automated plugins and solutions for even more power, such as the Web Traffic Genius plugin.
RSS submission is something that you only need to do once. So once you have submitted your website to an RSS directory or search engine, your RSS feed will always be there. These RSS feeds can even rank in the search engines as well, providing your more targeted traffic.
One of the easiest and most effective ways of getting traffic and backlinks, blog commenting allows you to comment on the posts made by other blogs in your market. You will be able to include your website in these comments, and those comments will link back to your site for backlinks and targeted traffic.
Regularly commenting on blogs will help to also build up your reputation in your niche, as well as establishing for yourself a good reputation with other well-known people in your marketplace. Though one thing you have to be careful about is making sure that your blog comments are informative, useful, and contribute to the general flow of the blog post being commented on.
If you create poor blog comments, it will reflect poorly on you, so don’t even think about leaving useless one liners. If your comments aren’t well-made, people will hardly want to click on your links too.
One of the most basic, but most powerful ways of driving traffic, is by using social bookmarking. Social bookmarking sites allow you to boookmark your blog posts for all the world to see, getting you not only traffic, but also backlinks to your site too. It is a good practice to bookmark every new blog post you make, though this can be tedious if you are submitting your blog post to several different social bookmarking sites all at once.
Click on the like button below to get some cool free social bookmarking software that you can use to turbo-charge your results.
Article marketing is one of the most popular ways of getting traffic to your website. It is quite a simple process but it can take some time. All you need to do is to write an article related to your niche, and submit this article to various article directories. This gives you both traffic and backlinks in abundance.
When creating articles for article marketing, remember to create great content, but cut off that content halfway so that visitors will be interested in visiting your website to find out more. It is best to submit your articles to the top article directories in order to gain the best results.
For your articles, you may rewrite the blog posts that you previously have, or even rewrite some PLR content. Try your best to make sure that your articles are unique or the article directories might not be accepting them.
The top article directories on the web include the following sites:
Some tips for people who are writing articles… Try to make your article in the format of introduction, body and conclusion. But if you can, don’t include a conclusion, and let your final author’s bio included at the end of your article lead to your website for the final conclusion.
To get people to click on or view your article, make sure you have a catchy title that will make people curious. Headlines that arouse the curiosity and get people interested to click on your article are good. This can be done using questions, enticing secrets, or even a set number of things.
As always, submitting by hand can be a tedious process. Recommended article submission software include Automatic Article Submitter. There are free article submitters too, such as Article Submission Helper.
Most of these article submitter support spinning, so you can use spun articles in order to promote your blog. Using spun articles also opens you up to submitting your articles to a blog network such as the Free Traffic System.
As mentioned before, video is one of the most popular forms of media on the web. The use of video marketing can be a really powerful tool for driving targeted traffic to your website, though it may require more skill than article marketing.
A lot of people nowadays prefer to watch videos as opposed to reading articles though, so a good video can really bring a lot of visitors to your blog. If you know how, try to create videos that are useful and informative, but which also keep visitors engaged. Video sharing sites typically allow you to include links to your site in the description box of the video, and when viewers click on those links you are able to get traffic.
Something you can do is to convert your blog post into video format, and upload those videos onto video sharing sites. You may even take the articles that you used for article marketing as well. Converting article to video is a method that allows you to recycle the content that you already have and to get the most out of it without excessive additional effort.
Additionally, you may take those videos and embed them in your blog post so that your blog post is a mixture of both video and article, and visitors can choose which one they want to go through.
Turning articles into videos is quite easy, given the range of online services available in this age. Two services that you may want to consider are Article Video Robot and Animoto. Both of them are really good services that are used by many internet marketers.
If you are on a budget though, you may want to consider simply using PowerPoint along with Camtasia to create your videos. TubeMogul is a free online service that allows you to distribute your video to a number of video sharing sites automatically.
Social Media Marketing
Social media is another powerful strategy for driving traffic to your site and is one used by big companies all around the world. Surely you have heard of sites like Twitter, Facebook and MySpace which everyone uses these days.
Simply put, find these types of sites and create accounts for them related to your blog. Your site profiles should be linking back to your blog, and for sites like Facebook, you may even choose to create a Facebook page for your site. Once you have done that, you can try joining the various groups which are available on these sites if they have groups that you can participate in.
An important key point to remember is to not try to strongly promote any products or even yourself. Social media sites are places where people go to interact and have fun, so show yourself as a fun person who talks about interesting stuff. Gain the admiration and respect of people you interact with on these sites, and they will be naturally inclined to find out more about you.
Use these sites to make friends and build relationships, but don’t try to go overboard. Remember your target market, and build your profiles around engaging the type of people who would be interested in what you would have to offer. Provide your followers with free tips and advice in order to gain their attention.
Using this not only helps you to build traffic, but if done right you can build a very powerful customer and reader base.
Web 2.0 Sites
Last but not least, web 2.0 sites are places that allow you to show your knowledge while getting traffic and backlinks.
These types of sites allow you to post articles and key information related to your niche. The key here is to provide good information, and the backlinks you get can be of great help to you. The more Web 2.0 pages you create, the more outlets there are for people to find and visit your site. It can be a powerful asset to you, so make sure you build it up and use it well.
In addition to the traffic you can get to your site, you can also get plenty of revenue just from creating pages on these sites. That’s because most of these sites enable revenue-sharing, so you get a percentage of money from visitors who visit their sites.
Some of the more popular sites that you can look into include:
I hope that you have found this short tutorial on how to make money blogging to be informative. Blogging is a really great and simple way for you to earn money while talking about the things that you love. Over time, you can create a great revenue stream that will only keep on growing.
One of the biggest problems with blogging, might be that people are not sure how to start and continue forward, so this article would probably have cleared those difficulties for you. The more you do it, the easier it gets. But always remember that hard work and perseverance pay off in the end, and you will get the best result if you are diligent.
All the best, and let’s see the results your work can get!