How to Blog Money: – 5 Easy Ways to make money by blogging

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Blogging can be a great deal of work. And no one wants to work for free. So being able to make money with your blog can be a great incentive to keep your blog going.

But how to blog for money?

In this blog entry, I’m going to share five of the easiest or at least most straightforward ways to make money from blogging. Of course, easy is a relative term. Blogging itself needs to be done in a disciplined manner if you want to be successful with it. And that does involve work.

There are actually a number of ways to make money with blogging. Some are direct and some are indirect. However, five easiest ways are:

1. Freelancing
2. Advertising
3. Selling Someone Else’s Product
4. Selling Your Own Product
5. Memberships

While not all of these are direct with respect to the blog. They are all ways to use your blogging to make money.

1. Freelance Blogging

This is probably the most frustrating and the easiest method. Frustrating because most blogging work pays very, very little. Unfortunately, many internet marketers and entrepreneurs treat their blogging in a very cavalier fashion. They simply haven’t realized how powerful a blog can be. However, other groups cannot afford to have unprofessional blogs. And they are willing to pay a reasonable amount for freelancers to write their blogs.

2. Advertising

This is probably the most common method of making money by blogging. It is passive. Doesn’t require much to arrange. And depending on the amount of traffic you gather, can be quite lucrative. Generally speaking, most advertising is sold through a third party. The most obvious version is Google AdSense. Google arranges with marketers to deliver ads through its AdWords service. Google is  paid every time someone clicks on the ad. Bloggers and other content producers arrange to display those ads for which they are paid a portion of the click fee. However, there are a number of services other than Google which do the same thing. Some pay based on clicks and some pay based on displays and size. Some services, Google amongst them, also sell ad space to other advertising networks. This allows one network to serve more ads to their publishers. Ultimately, this should produce more income for you the blog publisher.

3. Selling Someone Else’s Product

Often the next step after advertising is to sell other peoples’ products. There are a number of variations on this technique. For example, you can sell physical products. The manufacturer often ships these directly to the customer. You can also sell affiliate products. These are usually virtual products but they can be physical.

4. Selling Your Own Product

If you are able to sell someone else’s product with your blog, what is to stop you from selling your own? Sometimes these are your own physical products. However, the most common and easiest product is the virtual product. For example, blogging is a common technique to sell training courses in audio or video format. EBooks are also sold this way.

5. Memberships

Selling your own product often involves selling information in the form of books or courses. But there is another form of information. Your blog itself. The most obvious technique is simply to sell access to the blog itself. This has an advantage of being a recurring income. Unfortunately, it can be quite difficult to carry off without irritating the potential reader of your blog.

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How do you Blog: – Why you should run your blog like a business

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How do you blog?

I know that when I first started blogging, I thought that I could just sit down and let the words flow. Somehow, magically, the words would appear on the blog. And the traffic would just flow from out of the blog ether. People would read my wonderful ideas and be suitably impressed. They’d fall at my feet and shower money on me. Cake, parties and big houses, oh my!

Boy did I have it wrong!

How wrong I was has been the subject of many of my blog entries in the past. Whenever I’m short of a subject I know I have a quick “Oops, I blew it again” story for my blog.  What is really scary is that every once in a while I’ll get lazy. I’ll try to blog that way again. Guess what? For some strange reason I end up in the same place. Strange, how that happens.

The truth is that you need to run your blog as if you were running a business. Because that is what you are doing. Even if it is a not-for-profit, it’s still a business.

I repeat, why?

There are many reasons that you need to approach your blog with the same level of discipline you would approach a business. Or perhaps the word is should. I’m sure there are people out there setting up their business in a slipshod manner. In any case, I’m going to give you six main reasons.

1. Blogging can get away with you.

Unrealistic goals are one of the most common problems with blogging. It’s inevitable. The desire to write about your subject blinds you to what is possible. You’ll want to have millions of readers. And that won’t happen. At least, not without throwing money at it. You’ll want to write everyday on it. But of course, that isn’t realistic. You’ll end up finding that you’ve bitten off a feast rather than a mouthful. You’ll find out that your blog is taking up more time than you expected and can maintain.

2. it’s lonely to write without feedback.

The main reason anyone blogs is because they want others to read what they’ve written. That’s cool, there’s nothing wrong with that. And it’s inevitable. Now, it could be just one step in selling products or it could be the sole reason. However, it will always be part of the explanation. And unfortunately, it’s lonely and unfulfilling to write and never be read. Without a reader, there really isn’t much fun to write. And unfortunately, traffic doesn’t just happen. Like any business, you need to plan, prepare and coerce it.

3. If you don’t get feedback, you’ll eventually stop

Think of this as the inevitable result of not having readers. Without feedback to sustain you, you will eventually get frustrated and quit. There won’t be anything to keep you going when the writing gets tough. At some point, you’ll find you need to do something else and you’ll just never return.

4. You’re likely to forget something

Whenever you do anything by a seat-of-your-pants method, you are bound to forget to do something. One of the characteristics of a well-run business is its ability to create processes or standardized ways of doing things. By standardizing how you work within your blog, you are less likely to forget an important step. This is especially true with the market strategy investigation. Many ego-bloggers forget to verify that there is a market before they start blogging. The result is that they also forget readers.

5. You’re likely to stop

One of the worst things you can do to a blog is to be erratic. Your blog needs to be consistent if it is to gain a consistent readership. Stopping even for a few days can cost you readers. They return expecting a new blog entry and find nothing. After a few false starts, they stop returning. A consistent schedule is the mark of a business. It’s seldom the mark of a hobby.

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How do you Blog: – Why blogging should be part of your marketing plan

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How do you blog? Or more properly, why?

Social marketing is at the top of everyone’s radar at the moment. Twittering, facebooking, digging and other social marketing methods are advertised as the only way to market on the internet. The rush to drive customers to your business is on. And that’s cool.

But if you’ve left blogging off your marketing plan, you’ve made a big mistake. Blogging needs to be at the core of your marketing through the internet.

But why?

Why is blogging so important to a comprehensive and well-balanced marketing strategy? Why should it be the first thing you do? Why should it be in place before you get involved in social marketing, local marketing, pay-per-click or any of the other marketing techniques?

In this article, I’m going to give you four reasons that you will want to make blogging the core of your internet marketing strategy. How you blog will affect everything you do.

1. Other techniques need a place to go
I could probably (okay, make that certainly) write an article just by listing all the other marketing techniques. However, almost all of them — social, article, advertisement — work by gaining customer attention and then driving it somewhere. The problem is where? And what happens when they get there? Yes, you could simply drive them to an opt-in page or a static website. But what happens when the potential customer doesn’t love your ethical bribe? They leave. A blog gives your lead a reason to return. In essence, it becomes sticky.

2. It educates your customer
One of the realities of marketing is that many customers and potential customers really have no clue how your product or service should be used. They need help to understand and know when and where to apply your solution. They need someone to educate them in what your product or service does. A blog can be a great way to educate your customers.

2. Proves that you can do what you say
A blog is (or should be) a small, tasty sample of your product and your expertise. One of the biggest hurdles that you will have when selling your service or products is buyer disbelief and fear of loss. The copywriter and salesperson’s biggest hurdle is to convince the buyer that it is safe and that you can deliver exactly what you promise. If they can’t do that, then you won’t have a sale. So anything that can improve the odds of convincing the buyer is worthwhile. Having a blog can help you to not only convince the buyer but literally remove any trace of doubt.

3. Invokes the law of reciprocity
Favours must be returned. If you get something, you must give something. Given our penchant for free — it’s rather surprising that we feel that way. But we really do.  If a buyer is given a gift — without saying it’s a gift — then they will feel obligated to buy from you. Returning the favour as it were. This is why hospitals and charities have taken to putting a nickel in their cries for money. A well-written blog will help customers, provide them with education and generally provide good value to readers. In return, readers will feel obligated and will seek to return the favour to the blogger. Which translates as a much easier sale.

4. Google search likes it.
It may seem funny to go from active marketing techniques to a passive source of traffic. But in fact, everything cycles through the search engines eventually. And Google loves blogging. Not only does it provide information but it does so on a frequent basis. The information is both available and timely. And it typically is comprehensive and exclusive. All of which are characteristics the searcher (and thus the search engine) loves. Blogs therefore have an advantage over other types of content marketing as a result.

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How do you Blog: – Why every business should blog

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You may have been told that having a blog is a luxury that most companies should avoid. Or perhaps that letting employees participate on a blog is dangerous. Or that only the marketing department should be trusted with a blog. Or worse, that it should be turned over to webmaster — internal or outsourced — and ignored .

They’re wrong.

Blogging is a key tool for your business’s internet strategy. Like social marketing, your business needs to have and maintain a blog.  And it needs to involve everyone in your company who has something to contribute. It should fairly represent your company, its beliefs and its principles.

But why?

Why should every business blog? Why should your business blog? There are other reasons. In fact, one of the reasons is a whole set of articles all on its own.  But here are five that I feel are the most important.

Blogging is a core tool for content marketing. There are only four overall methods to drive traffic. Content marketing is one of the four. While there are several forms of content marketing, Google loves blogging. More importantly, Google has little choice. After all, search is all about finding information and blogging is all about providing information. Unlike articles and other content methods that are frequently repeated, a blog does have an original source. Of course, blogs entries are stolen like much of the intellectual property on the internet. But since you’ve been registered first, it really doesn’t matter.

But there are other more direct reasons for your company to blog.

Blogging is a way for you to keep in touch with your clients. One of the problems with the internet is that most customers never return to sites they find. A blog will give your visitors a reason to bookmark your site. And more importantly, a reason to return.

Blogging also gives your clients a taste of what you provide. Think of it as a sample counter at your local grocery store. Like a book or an article, it can educate your clients. It can prepare them to deal with you. And it can convince them that you are the proper organization to call. All without selling.

Your blog can also be a method to obtain your visitors email address. Two of the ways to build a relationship with your visitors is by email marketing and by newsletter marketing. Your blog can be one way to convince your visitors that you are worthy of using their email.

The concept of the ethical bribe makes it even more important for you to blog. If you give someone something, they will feel obligated to give you something in return. This is sometimes called the theory of Reciprocity.  And it’s the basis of the squeeze page where you give someone an eBook or similar small item in return for them opting into your email list. Using a squeeze page is in many ways, a simple exchange. However, using a blog — without asking for enlistment –is very definitely a case of reciprocity.

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How do you Blog: – Why people blog

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Blogging is one of the fastest growing activities on the internet today. A situation that has been true for many years now. And, unlike many web activities, it is both active and social. Until the advent of Facebook and Twitter, one of the few ways to interact on the web was through a blog.

So why do people blog?

What is it about blogging that attracts people?

Everyone has their own specific reasons for blogging. However, when we look at their reasons they come down to three major groups and five minor groups of reasons. Each has benefits. And disadvantages. Each has ethical examples and each has rather sleazy side.

Of course, most blog writers do so for a mix of all three reasons. In fact, a focus on a single reason is one of the characteristics of individuals who overstep the bounds of propriety. People driven by a single reason often leave even historic web ethics out of the equation.

One reason for blogging is related to the writer’s ego. Basically, the writer is driven  to blog by the subject. Being heard is secondary. Being heard or not really doesn’t matter. Although having readers is nice. The point rather is to express their opinion on the subject. This may be because the writer believes strongly in the topic. Or it may be because the writer needs to express their opinions. On the other hand, it may be to boost a weak ego. Ultimately, the reason for blogging is internal. It has more to do with the writer than it does with the reader.

The second reason is to make money directly with one’s writing.  You can usually tell this type of writer from the amount of advertising on their site. These blogs often try to get you to buy products. In some cases, they become quite insistent — not letting you leave until you buy or not letting you read the blog until you buy. A variation on this is the membership site. A large portion of the site is restricted to people who have paid a fee to read the most desirable articles.

The third reason for blogging is to make money indirectly. In this case, the blog is not intended to create an income. Rather the intent is to help the individual make money from another source. The blog exists to drive traffic to their income source.  This may sound like making money from the blog. However, in this version, the blog’s focus is on providing information. Selling is more or less restricted to the product pages. This is unlike the direct version. In the direct version, the separation between sales and information doesn’t exist.

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How do You Blog? What is Content Marketing and Why Should You Care?

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How do you blog?

Do you just start typing whatever pounds its way into your mind? Are you satisfied with your traffic? No? Are you surprised?

Or are you trying to blog in a disciplined way and can’t seem to get the traffic needed to support your blog?

The solution could be content marketing.

Content marketing?  Why should I care about one more fancy marketing term? I’m not looking to sell a product. I just want to write a blog.

Who cares?

Well, you need to.  Notice that I didn’t say should. I said need to.  Whether you like it or not you need to concern yourself with content marketing. Why? Simple, without traffic your blog will never have readers. Without readers, you may as well not be blogging. In fact, it’s highly unlikely that you will continue to blog. And if you really have something to say, that would be a shame.

Okay, so you’ve spent some time and you’ve learned all about the search engines and SEO. And maybe you’ve even picked a good keyword. And maybe you’re even prepared to slip the keyword in every 30 odd words. (Which reminds me — How do you blog? Are you looking to learn how to blog money? — okay back to our regularly scheduled blog entry :D)

But that’s just not enough.

So what is content marketing? And why should I care?

Well, as I’ve said the whole point of blogging is to be read. You need to draw readers to your site. However, traffic for the sake of traffic isn’t exactly what you need. After all, your blog is going to be read by a whole mess load of spammers no matter what you do.  Or at least by their robots. What you really need is to be read by a number of readers who actually are interested in your topic. Content marketing is perfect for drawing truly interested readers. Think of it as pre-screening your readers.

Content marketing is, simply put, providing content for the purposes of drawing traffic. There are many different forms of content marketing.  Blogging is in fact, a form of content marketing. So is posting a helpful video to YouTube. Or preparing and sending out a podcast on iTunes. Or writing an article for an e-zine like EZineArticles. It can be argued that, even the traditional eBook given out for an opt-in is a form of content marketing.

The one overriding characteristic is that content marketing is all about giving information away in order to gain the interest of potential readers. Once a person has absorbed the information, the hope is that they will visit your site in the search of more information. Or will perform some form of action in order to obtain more information.

Content marketing works on several levels. First, it provides a filtering mechanism. If a person is visiting your site, they are far more likely to be interested in what you have to say. Tire kickers won’t chew up your traffic allowance. Second, it acts as an ethical bribe. A free eBook is really more of an exchange for one’s email. However, by giving your potential customer or reader free information you are invoking the law of reciprocity. People don’t like to be obligated so they will try to return the favour you’ve given them. Finally, it helps to convince people that you really do know what you are talking about. After all, you just told them something important. How much more do you know? They will want to find out.

If you are blogging, then you are already engaged in a form of content marketing. Even if you aren’t selling anything beyond the blog. Reusing that content to drive traffic to the blog makes sense. After all, it’s just a matter of changing the media or the form. In essence, you’ll be selling people on exactly what you’ll deliver. And that just makes sense.

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Did you miss us?

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Did you even notice we were gone?

One of the joys of trying to run a business over the internet is dealing with domain registrars. Sometimes it is a major pain in the ***.

Earlier this year we lost a domain because the registrar (name withheld but it’s sometimes referred to as Nomore Solutions) decided to fillibuster us when we tried to transfer the domain. Eventually we gave up and let the domain lapse.

Same thing happened  this time but to LearningCreators. The difference is that it probably had more to do with poor systems than intent (unlike the Nomore Solutions mess which clearly was intent).

Eventually we connected with the right person and the problem was resolved. Unfortunately, not by transferring the domain as we wished but still it was resolved.

So now we’re back … until the next time we need to renew.

And I’ve got no excuse not to start posting again. Other than the fact I’ve got a mess load of books to crank out.

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DT – It shouldn’t matter but it does. Your proposal needs to look good.

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First impressions count. It’s an old saying but it is even more true today. Especially for people who are as rushed as are the people in publishing. They don’t have time to waste on half-baked ideas. And unfortunately, if your proposal appears to be half-baked then they will dismiss it and go on to the next. So if you want a publisher to consider the content of your proposal you need it to look professional. That means having it in a proposal cover or binder. It means having it in the right format. It means having it on good quality paper. It means having it laser printed although modern inkjets can be almost as clear. And most of all, it means remembering that people judge by appearance and buy on emotion.

Like this tweet? Get the complete collection from Amazon “101 Writing Tweets: 101 Tips and Tweets about Writing How-To Books for the Kindle” by Glen Ford

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DT – We all have blind spots in our spelling. Keep yours in front of you with a sign.

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As much as I recommend keeping writing and revision separated, the truth is that correcting as you go is inevitable. The best you can hope for is to limit those errors which stop you in your writing tracks. These are the words that you know are wrong even as you type them. Or worse, you know you are about to stop and try to figure out the right spelling. For example, I always stop when I write the word “whether”. For some strange reason, I keep thinking it should be “weather”. Maybe it’s because I grew up in farm country.  Of course, they aren’t the same word and they don’t have the same meaning. But I keep stopping before I write the word in order to figure out which one to use. This stopping is a major disruption to your thought process, your writing speed and the effort involved in writing. So you are well rewarded if you can stop this type of interruption.

One trick to prevent this happening is to keep a big sign or better still, a whiteboard or chalkboard near your desk. You want it to be visible as you are writing. Whenever you encounter this type of word put it up on the board in large letters. It helps if you put a picture, phrase, or something else there to help you remember which version to use. Don’t worry if you can’t draw a straight line. As long as it helps you remember that whether or not you use wether is a matter of animal husbandry. (For those of you without a good dictionary, a wether is a gelding sheep. Sorry, couldn’t resist the baaad pun.)

Like this tweet? Get the complete collection from Amazon “101 Writing Tweets: 101 Tips and Tweets about Writing How-To Books for the Kindle” by Glen Ford

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DT – Work isn’t finished until the paperwork is done. Don’t ignore your record keeping and accounting.

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The only group of people that hate paperwork more than writers are computer software development people. Of course, they’re the ones who are tasked with creating most of it. Writers want to write. Or they feel that they have to write. As I said to another writer (just before writing this paragraph in fact), “Writing sucks, but not writing sucks more.” The one thing writers don’t want to write is paperwork. Unfortunately, record keeping and accounting is a fact of modern life. You can’t ignore it. If you try it will come back multiplied a hundredfold. If you don’t want to do it, find someone who will.

Not all paperwork your writing business will need is government based. You may have a tendency to want to do only the paperwork that is demanded of you, but you need to recognize that approach isn’t right. Tracking your production, errors and other items will help you become more efficient and effective as a writer. You have information needs too.

I have and will suggest some of the other records you may need to capture. But, I can’t cover all the possibilities. As an entrepreneur, you need to be aware of and be looking for the other information that you need to make the business of writing books more effective or efficient.

Like this tweet? Get the complete collection from Amazon “101 Writing Tweets: 101 Tips and Tweets about Writing How-To Books for the Kindle” by Glen Ford

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