Who wouldn’t like to blog for a living?
Imagine sitting at your desk in the morning, typing away and making a great living while everyone else is fighting the morning traffic.
Can you really make money typing about your favorite topic and putting it out there for the world to see?
The short answer is, yes, you can.
The bad news is that the success rate for a full-time income isn’t great if you’re not familiar with the business of blogging, but with a good game plan, bringing in a second income from blogging is well within your reach.
This article aims to give you that game plan
Choose Your Subject Matter
There are 2 basic choices:
1. You can write about what interests you, or
2. You can write about something that you know is popular and profitable.
It’s certainly a lot easier and more enjoyable to write about something you’re passionate about, but, depending on your passions, there
might not be a lot of outside interest or money in it.
The ideal situation is to find a topic that fits both categories.
A good plan is to write a list of everything you have an interest in.
If you have particular knowledge or skills in an area that others with your interest don’t always have, that’s even better.
Reflect on your topics and do some research.
- Are there plenty of people who would be interested in your topic?
- Do they spend money on products in that field?
- Can you bring value – something unique – to this audience?
If you can answer “Yes” to the questions above with reference to one of your favored topics, then you have a winner!
That all said, there are no real “rules” to blogs that become successful, and you are quite at liberty to start a “multi-subject blog” (a bit like this one is), and you may find some topics are hits and some are misses
If You Need to – Strengthen Your Writing
You don’t need to be capable of penning the next War and Peace, but it’s important to be interesting, and no amount of marketing will make up for poor writing.
In the past, you could get away with poor content, and there’s simply too much competition to be successful with anything less than decent writing.
Don’t be afraid to take a writing class at the local college if you think that would be of assistance to you.
Or take an online course
There is always the option of hiring someone else to do the writing for you, but that can get expensive quickly if you are not careful (especially at the beginning when you are not generating any income) .
You could also “mix-up” your blog a bit by using videos from YouTube and graphics if that is what you prefer.
Select a Domain, Hosting, and a Blogging Platform
You can purchase a domain name from GoDaddy or Namecheap for about $10 per year.
Make sure you also purchase an SSL certificate (this means your site will be seen as “secure”)
You’ll also need to find a place to host your website, which you can do for usually less than $10 per month.
Here are my Top 3 hosting providers. All 3 are really good, solid providers and run offers from time to time, so just go for the one that feels the right one for you when you apply
TIP: You can buy your domain from your hosting provider (it’s actually the easiest way to do it) but I recommend that you buy your domain from a regular domain registrar, separate from the company you use for your hosting. This way, you’re free to change hosting at any time by just pointing your domain to your new hosting company. It makes life easier if you change your mind or want to try a new place.
In terms of a blogging platform, I’d recommend WordPress.org (as opposed to WordPress.com), and you can install it from your hosting panel. WordPress is very well-supported, with so many excellent free and premium themes and plugins, that it’s hard to recommend anything else.
WordPress is easy to use and with a little work, you can really make it look great. Plus, the WordPress software itself is free.
There are a lot of forums dedicated to using WordPress and you can always get the help you need in getting started and maintaining your WordPress blog.
Here is an excellent set of WordPress beginner videos from mythemeshop.com as well which cover all the basics (including which version of WordPress you should use) as well as installation and first setup.
Monetize Your Blog
Don’t be bashful about setting up your site in a way that optimizes your opportunities to get paid!
Apart from helping people you actually want to make money from your blog.
Here are a few ideas to monetize your blog:
1. Create your own information product.
Could you make a video, eBook, or audio to sell to your readers?
Digital information products can be very easy to make and have a high-profit margin. All the tools you need are available online for free.
2. Offer services or consulting.
Offer your readers the chance to work with you one-on-one to get your advice or your service.
3. Build an email list.
Get an account with a popular autoresponder service, like Aweber, so you can enable your interested readers to opt into your newsletter.
The autoresponder service provides the software for them to opt in and for you to contact them by email on a regular basis.
This way, you can build more rapport with your readers and make more money.
4. Sell other related products.
In every topic you can imagine, there are products related to yours that you can sell for a commission.
Find some of these related products online and look for their details on becoming an affiliate.
For these products, you can post ads on your website, write about them in your blog posts, or talk about them in your newsletter.
5. Sell ad space on your website.
Product owners in your field are always looking for more places to market their products.
Offer space on your website for their ads and charge a monthly fee.
Or sign up for programs like Google Adsense and let their ads appear on your site.
You could get paid by advertisers simply by bringing visitors to your site.
6. Sell your website and start another.
Any site with a lot of traffic can be sold for a considerable amount of money.
Once you’ve built it up, you can always sell it if that appeals to you.
Create a Posting Schedule
Consider your topic and competition. If the other bloggers in your field post daily, then posting weekly will make it difficult for you to compete. Some topics lend themselves to more frequent posting than others.
One post a week is the absolute minimum; 3-5 times a week would be better. Ideally, it’s more effective to publish your posts on a set schedule so your regular readers know when to expect your new posts.
Keep in mind that you can pre-blog. Most of the popular blogging platforms will allow you to preload your posts, and then they’ll be published at the time and date that you’ve specified.
Having a set posting schedule will also keep you honest and current with your writing. It’s easier to say to yourself, “I’ll just do it
tomorrow” if you don’t have 2,000 people waiting for your next post on Wednesday at 7:00 pm.
Stay on Target
Many bloggers quickly get off track and start blogging about their lives. It’s very difficult to be successful writing about your life, unless you have an incredibly interesting life or you’re an incredible writer. Your friends are sure to read it, but few other people will have any interest.
This is a very tough way to get the thousands of followers you really want. If you want to veer off course now and then, wait until you have at least 1,000 followers, at least.
Promote, Promote, Promote
You can have excellent content, but if no one can find you, it’s all for naught.
Try these easy ideas to get started with promoting your blog:
- Add your blog address to your email signature.
- Start a Facebook or other social media page about your blog.
- Open up a business Twitter account
- Add to your LinkedIn profile
- Create a PInterest Board and populate it with graphics from your site
- Submit videos to YouTube with a link back to your blog
- Post on related forums and include your blog address in your signature and profile.
- Leave comments in other people’s blogs, linking back to yours
- Create a press release and submit it online. It might sound funny to have a press release, but they can get you listed in Google news. You might even find that your press release ranks higher in the search engine results than your domain name.
- Submit your links to bookmarking sites. Go to sites like Delicious, Digg, Reddit, and similar websites to help get your site noticed.
Be Patient, Consistent and Have Faith
Learn everything you can about blogging
Look at other blogs in your niche or away from your niche and try and determine what makes them successful
Is it the content? The engagement? Are they top of the search engines, or do they use social media really well?
Spend time learning about marketing and search engine optimization and taking action on what you learn.
Blogging is not the most “instant” of home business ideas and it will take some time before you see any kind of reward for your efforts, but if done right can lead you to at least a second income in your spare time, and is more than worth considering as a home business idea.