February 22, 2018 5 min read
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We’ve all heard of the many entrepreneurs who made it big thanks to a popular blog. They either used their blog as an extension of an existing business or started blogging as a side project that ended up generating significant income.
Related Topics: How To Start A Blog And Make Money Online
If you know the free website building tools and how easy it is to start a blog, you have probably pondered this strategy.
Would blogging actually help you make money? Ultimately, the answer revolves around three factors:
1. Monetization. What’s your plan to make money on the blog? Your options are many, depending on your audience, intent, and other endeavors.
2. Transport. Whichever monetization angle you choose, you will need enough traffic to support it. Your blog’s ability to generate that traffic is an important indicator.
3. Upkeep and longevity. While in most cases your blog can be created for free, it takes time (and sometimes money) to keep your blog up and running. Your profitability depends on what you invest in maintenance and improvement.
Would you like to know more? Here are the details.
Related Topics: 5 Ways to Build Audience for Your Blog and 10 Ways to Make Money Once You Do
Let’s start with the different ways you can monetize your website:
Lead generation. If you already have a consulting or B2B business, you need leads to close sales. A blog with enough call-to-action should get your readership to your contact us page and get you more appointments that you can potentially close as sales. With lead generation, your blog serves more as an extension of your business than an independent way to generate income.
Direct sales. If you have something to sell, a blog can support those sales. For example, you can open a shop to sell clothes, crafts, or even an e-book. You can then use your blog to add value to your prospects and eventually take them to product pages to consider a purchase.
Advertising. If you have enough traffic, you don’t have to sell your readers anything to make money. Instead, you can earn revenue by attracting advertisers who pay you based on the amount of traffic you received or (more likely) based on the number of people who clicked on the ads you placed. In some cases, ads can be annoying to readers. So be careful when placing these early. and maintain the balance between ad content and free, valuable content.
Affiliate Linking. You can also make money from affiliate links, which are links to other people’s products and services that you include in your blog content. You get a percentage of all the sales your links generate and with enough traffic it could represent a significant stream of revenue.
Whichever approach you choose, you need enough traffic to get enough value from it:
Targeting. You have to start with the right audience. Ideally, you will choose a specific target niche that is wide enough to have a large readership but narrow enough to avoid significant competition. This way, you can earn the most relevant followers while facing the least amount of competition. Make sure you research your target audience and existing competition before proceeding. try to find something unique that people really need.
Value. You then need to find a way to add value to these users. Usually this means providing them with the best content that you can produce and that is timely, unique, helpful, thoroughly researched, and well-written. The more value you offer your readers, the more naturally they will be drawn to you and the more they will spread the word of your existence.
Promotion and support. Even if you have a strong content base and a hypothetically valuable niche, you won’t get very far if you don’t spend time promoting and syndicating your material. You need to build an initial audience base and encourage them to get the word out about you while building your brand reputation and sphere of influence. There are many ways to do this, including search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, and paid advertising. However, you need to use at least one of these strategies to increase audience dynamics.
Maintenance and longevity
If you want your source of income to last, you need to invest in keeping your blog up and running and relevant for the foreseeable future (and making sure these costs don’t hurt your profitability):
Relevance of longevity. You need to keep your design and content up to date to appeal to your target audience, whose interests can change – especially when significant competitors invade your area. You need to be prepared to make almost constant adjustments.
Running costs. You will likely have to pay for things like hosting, marketing, and advertising. So make sure you incorporate these expenses into your long-term profitability plan.
Ongoing investment of time. Creating new content, interacting with your followers, and building your reputation will take several hours of work each week. Without this investment, your blog cannot sustain itself.
Related: How To Make Money Blogging
So can your blog make money? If you are sure to address all of the above and feel like you have conquered all three areas of profitability, nothing will stop your blog from being profitable. It’s still a long-term strategy that may not pay off immediately, but with a strong foundation you’ll be ahead of the vast majority of new online entrepreneurs.