Everyone knows or at least has a pretty good idea of what a blog is. But most (99.9%) have no clue of the true possibilities that a blog creates for financial wealth. All it takes is a little know how, some time on your part and some creativity. It doesn’t matter if you are into skateboarding or fashion shows, if you like Nine Inch Nails or Barbara Streisand and Barry Mannilow, if you like monster trucks or snakes and spiders. What you need to understand is that there are an infinite number of niche categories out there and that when the blog(s) are properly monetized (set up for earning revenue – cold, hard cash) the money will start piling in.
First let’s start off with where to start. Don’t use a generic, free blogging service. This will make you look immature and cheap to your potential audience and will cost you dearly later on. Also the ads that will be showing predominately may be the hosts and not yours. Find a good, dependable hosting company or service. Make sure they have very high up times and research them on the web. I, personally have found GoDaddy to be a great place to get started as they have a quick blog tool which can have you up and running in no time and their price is very, very cheap (a few dollars a month).
Next, pick a niche and a catchy and corresponding name for your blog. Be sure to research and refine your niche. If you narrow yourself down too far and become too specific you will find a very small audience and zero chance of ever earning big money. For instance, If you like spiders don’t go with just brown recluse or black widows as that would be far too narrow and would leave out all the other cool, popular and even venomous arachnids that people love to read about. Try and pick something you are both knowledgeable about and like. If you don’t like the subject and are in it just for the money it will show to your readers.
Take the time to brainstorm a little and when you have narrowed it down to three or four ideas start to search the web and see how popular these ideas are. Of course, if you like politics there isn’t much more popular than Obama, Reverend Wright, Hillary and McCain (Bush revisited). Don’t sit back and say, “I don’t know something that everyone would be interested in.” That is a major cop out and is actually learned helplessness (a term coined by Anthony Robbins). Whether you believe in God or not, we are all unique and everyone has unique gifts and experiences. Just think about it for a moment. What makes you mad, sad, happy, etc…
Maybe you are a single mother with several kids and you would like to write about your family’s growing experiences? Maybe you are a hobby stock investor and have some interesting insights? Maybe you like horses, turtles, dog breeding, etc… Maybe you have some work related issues or experiences you would like to share with others. You name it there are people just like you out there whom are yearning to learn from your experiences.
Another tip is, don’t be too hard on yourself. As the famous saying goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Understand that you will get better and better over time. Its just like anything else – practice makes you better and better. Once you’ve decided on a title and niche, get started and by this I mean start writing content for your blog. This is vitally important. And don’t just write endless rambles and keyword littered articles that are written for the search engines and not your readership. The main point here is to write for your readers.
Place quality over quantity and never, never copy or use other peoples articles or content and pass them off as your own (this is plagiarism and now fits into Google’s search algorithm – it will put your content way back and maybe even in the supplemental index where it will get zero readers – and not only can it hurt that one page but your entire site could also get the same treatment – it isn’t worth it). Do not worry about how long your articles must be and SEO (search engine optimization). This used to be important, but nowadays Google and the other search engines are getting far smarter and they make money by producing the best search results. The overall best content will naturally rise to the top every time – period.
There are many writers out there that just write thousands upon thousands of some of the worst quality, meaningless articles and content I have ever seen. What’s funny is that one well written article or page of content can easily surpass all their thousands and thousands of low quality articles in unique page views and readership. I would say 90% of bloggers fall into this low quality realm and then they wonder why they don’t make much money. They grow tired and then give up.
Here is one of their ideas on how to write a blog and make money from it:
1. Generate blog
2. Add Google AdSense to it.
3. Get traffic
That was about it. Do you think someone reading that will make it big with a blog? Not likely. What do you think about the readership of the article or content? Dismal at best.
You must strive to provide the best quality content you can to your readers on whatever subjects you decide to target whether it be politics, religion, cars and trucks, sex, music, Armageddon, whatever. Another great tip here, is that there is quality content and then there is what is called monster content or linkbait. Linkbait is content that is just so good that it entices droves of people to link to it, blog about it and your website, etc… This is what you should strive for in your writings. As one great linkbait page of content or article could literally bring you millions of page views all in itself.
Some bloggers (only a handful) have this linkbait thing down pat and that’s why their blogs make millions – that’s right millions in advertising dollars and revenue each month! Now keep in mind, no one expects you to be writing like that right out of the gate, but as you write more and more content you will get better. You have to. The rule of writing and linkbait is to try and contribute freely something of value to the internet and your readers. Teach them a unique way to save money. How about a unique way to memorize 100 scientific names of mammals for a biology test? Regardless of your niche there is a lot that you can contribute.
When you start your blog just write. Don’t worry about making money right off the bat. If your intention is not to make money your readers will be much more favorable to you and loyal in the beginning. If you start using Google AdWords or some other form of advertising right off the bat a lot of readers will be put off by that. Generally, it is best if you can wait until you have 50 to 100 pages of solid content. Also try and post your content timely. Don’t wait a month and then post 40 articles in one day. Google and some of the other search engines will probably penalize you for this.
As you write your articles and content you will inevitably be exposed to article marketing and other similar venues like ezines and such. And yes there are people out there that swear that you can get huge results from this. My opinion on this is shared by most of the upper echelon of bloggers and it is this – why on earth would you want to take the time to write great content and give it to someone else. For a link or two back? Hardly worth it as Google and the other search engines already disregard links from article sources like ezines and such. The traffic? Hardly worth it as the majority (99%+) that is created stays with the ezine article. If you are lucky you may get 1%, but by doing a little research you will find that the true pass through and then buy ratios are far, far less. It is better to keep your articles and content for yourself and your own use.
Now, once you have an established website monetize it. Now you will be big enough that your readers won’t mind and if you do lose some they will be replaced by the end of the day. Your choices are to use advertising like Google AdWords, Adbrite and others, become an affiliate and sell other peoples stuff, or became a true entrepreneur and sell your own stuff. Now as you probably know, the simpler things in life are the least worth your time. That said, Google and PPC (Pay Per Click) are the easiest and you can be set up in less than 5 minutes (after they approve your account which may take a day or two). Generally the payout range for Google and other PPC campaigns is $1 to $20 per 1,000 page views for your website. Don’t try and cheat to juice the returns – you will get caught and then you get nothing.
Next is the affiliates. You can sign up with any of millions of companies from Walmart and Target to you name it. The returns are better on average then PPC as you now may get $20 to $50 or more per thousand clicks. The problem with affiliates is picking the right companies that have good long term payout histories. Too many people are lured in by large payouts and then the company folds or similar (its just like the stock market a solid return from Walmart or Target that you will get paid on is far better than a promise of 200% more from an online gambling venue that could be shut down legally or similar). Use your head here and stick with big name companies you know and trust.
Finally there is selling your own products. This has the highest returns of the three revenue sources but involves the most work on your part as you now have to become another virtual business and sell something from T shirts to widgets. Whatever it is you must create it, package it, ship it and handle customer service. As you get bigger this is no small task. But as with anything else, along with the greater responsibilities comes larger returns. Generally, on average (these numbers are all from freely available internet sources) one can expect a payout or revenue of $1 to $20 per hundred page views. See the difference here, it pays 10 times more to sell your own stuff – whatever that might be.
This is what is so neat about blogging. You can do a little of all three and find want works best for you. Use Google AdWords and maybe an affiliate or two and at the same time start selling different ideas you have for products and see what works and what doesn’t. That way you will still be getting income while trying new ideas. This is how many new inventions, website ideas, widgets, etc.. have come about. You can also enlist your friends in your endeavor – the more the merrier. This would make it easier to arrive at and develop more content and fresh ideas to write about!
So there you have it. This is the key to a successful beginning to blogging in a nut shell. As was very wisely said in the classic movie Field of Dreams, “If you build it they will come.” Well in the blogosphere, its quite similar – if you take the time to do a little research and build on it with quality in mind they will come. And if you take the time to stick with it and continuously challenge, improve upon, and contribute then hang on for a wild, wild ride into financial independence and more. Remember some blogs are currently worth millions and more and some are not more than a few years old. This could be you. It can happen and does. I hope you take this to heart and in the process create something phenomenal – I love to see this happen. Just remember the cardinal rule of life – If you help others it will come back to you ten fold.