My Story Of Making Money Blogging
In 2002 I began to blog one day on impulse after seeing another blog and being fascinated by the medium. I had no idea at the time that what I was doing would ultimately lead to a complete change in my career path and end up being something I’d make a full time income from in several years later.
I had no experience or profile in the online space, no technical ability and while I had done some public speaking had done very little in the way of communicating through the written word.
I did not make any money from my first blogs for almost 18 months (I didn’t even know you could so did not try) and when I did start to try to make money from them the first income was just a few dollars a week – but gradually in time my income grew from a part time income to a full time income and then beyond.
How to make money Blogging?
I’m often asked how to make money blogging so want in this article to lay out some basic steps that I see most bloggers who make a living from blogging go through.
Here is how to make money from a blog:
Set up your blog
Start creating useful content
Get off your blog and start finding readers
Build engagement with the readers that come
Start making money from the readership you have through one or more of a variety of income streams
Sounds easy doesn’t it! On some levels the process is simple – but you need to know up front that there’s a lot to each step and below I’m going to give you some pointers on each including some further reading.
Here’s how to make money from a blog.
1. Start a Blog
In order to make money blogging you’re going to need to have a blog. While this is pretty obvious it is also a stumbling block for many PreBloggers who come to the idea of blogging with little or no technical background.
If that’s you – don’t worry! It was my story too and most bloggers start out feeling a little overwhelmed by the process of starting their blog.
If you need a little help I would highly recommend you check out my article How to Start a Blog in which I run through the steps you need to take to get up and running. It’s really not as hard as you might think!
2. Start Creating Useful Content
A blog is not a blog without content so once you’ve set your blog up you need to focus your attention upon creating useful content. What you choose to create will depend a little on the topic that you choose to write about (on that note, most successful bloggers have some focus to their blogging whether that be a niche or a demographic that they write for).
The key with creating content is to make it as useful as possible. Focus upon creating content that changes people’s lives in some way will be the type of content that people will value the most and it will help people to feel like they know, like and trust you – which is really important if you later want to make money from your blog.
3. Get off your blog and start finding readers
As you create the most useful content that you possibly can it is easy to get very insular with your focus and spend most of your time looking at building your blog. Many bloggers have a ‘build it and they will come mentality’ with their blogging but this is a bit of a trap.
If you want to make money from your blog you need to not only focus upon building a great blog but it is also necessary to get off your blog and to start promoting it.
There are many ways to experiment with growing your blog’s audience that I’ve written in previous blog posts and talked about in podcasts (I’ll share some further reading and listening below) but it is important to enter into all these strategies remembering that you should not just be looking for ‘traffic’ but ‘readers’.
Start by thinking carefully about the type of reader you’d like to have read your blog. You might like to create an avatar of that reader (sometimes called a reader persona or profile) to help you work out who you’re trying to attract.
Once you know who you’re hoping to have read your blog ask yourself where that type of person might already be gathering online. Begin to list where they might be gathering:
Are they reading certain blogs? List the top 3
Are they participating in certain forums? List the top 3
Are they listening to podcasts? List the top 3
Are they engaging on certain social networks? List the top 3
Which accounts are they following on each of these social networks? List the top 3
Each of these places that you reader might already be gathering has opportunities to develop a presence whether that be by leaving good comments, offering to create guest posts or simply by being helpful and answering questions.
With this list of blogs, focus, podcasts, social media accounts in hand you will have some good spots to begin to hang out and create value.
The key is to build a presence, to add value, to foster relationships – not to engage in spammy practices.