How many of you have a secret desire to one day not have to go to an office in a dreary city block, or stand before a bunch of reluctant students and look like you know what you are talking about, or cope with the other crazy drivers as you maneuver your delivery truck through traffic and obstacles looking for a parking space, or drag yourself out of bed before even the birds are up to get the trawler out into the bay or the cows into the milking shed?
Which of you, who having been blogging for a while, reading the wonderful success stories, and envying the amazing page ranks of some of the “pro” bloggers, would also like to have money flowing into your bank account while you sit at home doing what you have already chosen to do because you enjoy it? I know one or two of these pros personally, so I know it can be done.
How can you make this happen for you? Or, more realistically, how can you begin to make this even LOOK like a possibility?
I’m no expert on this, but I have begun, and I am seeing some good results. I’ve been experimenting and trying things that some of the experts write about. Some work for me, some don’t, but all the time I’m learning. And I’m finding that, although it is time consuming, and even hard work, I am enjoying it because it is something I am doing for me!
But I don’t only blog for myself. Some of my blogs are blogs with a message. I believe I have something important to say, and I need ways to get that message read. Perhaps you are in the same situation â€“ part of an organization, church, club, political party, or similar. Perhaps you are a journalist or author who just lives to be read. You might be a poet needing somewhere to wax lyrical. Maybe you are a born teacher or prophet who just has to tell it like it is. Or, perhaps you just have a huge ego and need an audience.
If you are one of these, why would you also want your blog to make money?
Let me tell you a secret. Well, it’s not really a secret, many others know it, but it is an important key. There is an important link between readership and income.
The same techniques that will gain you a readership will also enable your blog to earn money. And if your blog earns you or your organization money, you will be able to afford to do more blogging, and use better tools to do it.
And it isn’t just a case of being able to do both at the same time, and so you may as well do so. No, the truth is that if you do the money earning part well, using appropriate techniques, it can also gain you more traffic. And traffic is what both of these goals need if your blog is to succeed. Success breeds success, and even if you, rightly, don’t equate success only with income, many people do.
Of course, this symbiosis between readership and earnings will not happen if you use inappropriate techniques. For example, we’ve all seen the banner farms where you arrive at a site and are confronted with garish flashing ads, which not only hurt your eyes and offend you with their content, but make it extremely hard to find out what the page is actually about. It still amazes me that even large corporations risk offending their readers with such things. My average stay at such a site is purely determined by how quickly I can get to the next one.
This might be an extreme example, but there are many other counterproductive approaches to traffic building and online marketing. We will look at some of these later in this series.
On the other hand, a well thought out, tastefully designed, appropriately targeted advertisement can actually enhance the content of a page for some readers. You can increase the value the page has for them by providing them with an opportunity to find something they are genuinely looking for. They may leave your page by following the link, which is always a concern, but if they go away in a positive frame of mind, it is likely they will remember your site gratefully and will be back.
If the ads on your site are relevant to your site, and people are clicking on them, and so earning you money, it is clear that your site must also be relevant to those people. This is a useful measure that you are doing something right with your content. If they are not attracted to your site in the first place, and that is entirely driven by the content, then they won’t be there to click on the ads.
You may say, but I can see this just from my page counters. True, you can measure visitors this way, but it does not show you who really engages with your site. But if they do something while they are there, such as post a comment, mention you in their own blog (hopefully with a linkback), send you an email, give you a phone call, fill out a response form, subscribe to your newsletter, buy an e-book, put a link to your site in their blogroll, put your RSS feed in their aggregator, or click on an advertisement, you know that their visit meant something to them. Our aim is to achieve all of these responses, but clicking on an ad is always useful feedback.
Because so many people are interested in earning from their blogs, a large number of useful tools have been constructed to facilitate doing this well and measuring the results. These measurements are just as useful for gauging and fine-tuning the audience your blog reaches. Best of all, most of the tools are free, and we’ll be introducing them as we go along.
As I mentioned above, I am learning a lot from many other bloggers, and along the way in this series I will give you links to some of the best resources and advice that I have found and am finding every day. The blogosphere is dynamic, so nothing stays the same for long. We need to track with these changes. In fact, by being an effective blogger you become an integral part of the changes.
So, as a brief summary, whatever the aim of your blog, it is worth while implementing some kind of earning scheme on your site.
Of course, you can’t do any of this unless you HAVE a blog or other website, so if you don’t have one you might like to first bookmark this page for later reading and then skip over to Your First Blog.Next time we will begin to look at some of the various types of opportunity that are available for you to make money from your blog.