Can you actually make money blogging?
This is my answer and it may shock you.
Ok, so you are not convinced. “But what about so many people who are making money online - blogging?” You persist.
No, they are actually not making any money from blogging; they are making money because they have a business. They are selling products or services and they use their blogs to support their business.
(If you blog for pleasure, this is the time to tune out.)
Sonia Simone (of Copyblogger) said once when she was asked how to make money blogging, “Blogs don’t make money – businesses do.”
Most people approach blogging without having any knowledge of how it actually works. They start blogging and think of ways to monetize it. They think of their blog as the main thing.
Try to shift your perspective. Try this idea on for size: if you want to make money online, you need to have a business idea first. Then use your blog as an attraction strategy, a way to find new customers and clients. Make blogging a part of your overall marketing strategy.
You don’t need tons of traffic; you don’t need traffic that comes and never returns, you certainly don’t need people looking for free information who would never buy from you. You need to slowly move people on awareness ladder. They come to know you, they dig your free content and they get on your list. Slowly, they might be ready to buy from you.
If you have the right foundation (viable product or service idea), you can start blogging before you actually offer anything. However, you can’t expect to make money ‘just blogging’.
Here are 7 great reasons to blog for your business instead.
#1 Show your expertise
Say you are a school teacher and you want to create a site catering to mums having kids with disabilities. You want to sell coaching to these mums on how to help their child integrate in mainstream school settings.
You want to establish your credentials first if you want anyone to listen to you. You have worked as an integration specialist and you want to build authority. Blogging is the way to go.
When you blog in this niche topic, you are showing of your skills and understanding of issues faced by these families. You create highly engaging content that is useful and gives valuable information that these mums can put to use immediately.
You create coaching packages. You write an ebook. You develop daily planners for kids with special needs and you let your audience know that all that is there if they need to buy it.
(If you are a writer, copywriter or a content marketer, blogging has a special advantage for you. It also acts as your online portfolio. Sweet!)
#2 Give people a reason to get on your list
When you have a static website, somebody might visit it once and then forget all about you. You want to avoid it at all costs.
You want o reach out to the right kind of people: People who are interested in what you have to say. You want to drive highly targeted audience to your site.
Anyone who is interested enough to spend a few minutes looking through you website, should have a reason to come back. Publishing fresh content regularly gives them this reason.
Go a step further. Offer a freebie to get them on your list. They might bookmark your site or have the best intention to return, but they will forget. Most people do. Remind them by sending them updates.
#3 Create likability and trust
Blogging encourages interaction with readers and prospective buyers. You respond to their comments, reply to their emails. You can’t help but have a one-on-one with your audience. You can’t help but show your human face.
This is the perfect opportunity to show although you mean business, but you are also human. You genuinely care about them and are here to help. You have solutions to their needs.
Being honest in your communications will create a lot of goodwill and trust. When people like you, they are already on your side. They trust you enough to do business with you.
#4 Attract links
When you create high quality content, and slowly start attracting interested readers, you will also attract links from other related websites, parenting, schooling or disability, in this case.
You can take it up a notch and devise a guest posting strategy where you approach these blogs in your industry asking for a post (and a link in your bio). Be sure to have some sort of relationship with the blogger first to dramatically increase your chances of getting a yes. Subscribe to their blogs, comment and share their posts before you get in touch.
#5 Rank well in search engines
Creating content for a highly targeted audience means you start to get noticed by the search engines. If a parent searches for ‘should I put my child with ADHD in a mainstream school’ your blog post might come up. Somebody looking for tips on how to cope with rejection of their application for an integration aide may lead them to you.
You don’t have to stuff your content with keywords. With specialized and highly focused content creation on your blog, via guest posting and through other social media channels, you will automatically start to show up when people search for this information.
#6 Create brand awareness
You are creating content, you are engaging with your readers and you are active on other social media channels. You are spelling out your unique selling proposition. All the time.
All of this will go a long way towards strengthening your brand.
Your URL, your logo and colours, your blogging voice and online persona: people will encounter this repeatedly until they start recognizing you.
They know what to expect from your brand, because you have been doing it over and over again. They understand what makes your different and how you stand out from the rest of the crowd. They know they’d rather come to you then go anywhere else.
#7 Bring clients to your doorstep
And this is by far my most favourite reason for blogging.
Having gone through the whole process where people now see you as an expert and an authority, they like and trust you and they come to you already presold. Pre-qualified prospects.
You will have potential clients getting in touch with you without you having to lift a finger. Instead of you going after them, they come to you.
And this is a dream come true for any business owner. For any blogger.
And this is how you make money from blogging.
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