Blogging can be both rewarding and highly lucrative, especially if you know how to monetize your blog. You have a message you’d like to share. Or you’re passionate about an area of expertise you would like to teach.
This global pandemic may have caused you to evaluate your life. You may even have lost your job, pushing you to look at alternative sources of income. Or it could be that you want the flexibility to spend more time with your family, which a nine to five job may not provide.
Steps to Becoming a Successful Blogger.
1. Be Clear About The Purpose of Your Blog
There are many reasons to start blogging. You may be looking at blogging to make or supplement your income. But making income should not be the only reason for blogging. It would help if you had a clear purpose for wanting to blog. Your reasons for why you do anything will affect your level of commitment and your level of success. I started blogging from a passion for writing and a message I wanted to share—one of personal growth and transformation.
Be clear about your desired outcome for your blog. Do you want to teach a skill? To inspire readers through your personal stories? Make an impact or engage with the public? Maybe you have a mission to make a difference in the world? Inform? Your desired outcome for blogging should align with what you value. Successful blogging has to start with an interest in more than money. Blog if you also enjoy writing or have a message or area of expertise you are passionate to share.
2. Who Are You Writing For?
In this digital world, you now have unlimited access to masses of people. Anyone at any time can read your work. Blogging is about engaging an audience. The challenge is that, unlike talking to someone, in person you don’t have the benefit of instant feedback. Blogging requires you to be attuned to your reader. As important as asking yourself why you want to blog is asking, why would someone want to read your blog?
Blogging Is Not Just About You
It is important to understand that blogging is to meet the needs of the public. If all you want to do is “talk” (write) without ‘listening’ then blogging is not for you. Blogging is about communicating and, communicating is a two-way street.
Blogging allows me to align my calling to empower women in the area of personal finance with my passion for writing. Blogging can be rewarding when you are aiming to make a difference in the life of your reader. Successful blogging is always about meeting the needs of your reader. Essentially, blogging is an inexpensive marketing tool allowing you to engage with an audience.
3. Become The Expert
Once you’ve decided on your subject area, make a list of things you can write about that topic. Finding a niche is key. It should not only be what you know but also something you enjoy. You may know everything about cameras because you worked in a camera store.
But if it’s not something you’re interested in, it won’t be fun to blog about cameras. Find a subject matter that you know and enjoy. It’s much easier to write something about which you are passionate and informed.
There is no getting away from the need for great, engaging, useful content! For content ideas: “Everybody Writes Your Go-To Guide to Create Ridiculously Good Content”.content! For content ideas: “Everybody Writes Your Go-To Guide to Create Ridiculously Good Content.”
4. Learn All You Can About Your Audience
Once you know your niche, it’s time to learn all you can about your audience. If you are passionate about travel, be specific about what it is in particular about travel that you want to blog about. Narrowing it down further. Maybe it’s about working while traveling. Get to know all you can about traveling and working as a digital nomad.
5. Set Yourself Apart
Because there are so many bloggers out there, you must find a way to set yourself apart from the rest. This is all about building your brand. If you are passionate about DSLR or cameras best for vlogging, how can you set yourself apart from the other bloggers online who write about DSLR cameras?
How can your message be different? If your idea is similar to another blogger, why not use a different style of writing? Throw in some humor on a technical topic. Being specific is more effective than trying to be all things to all people. Become an expert in your subject area. Your unique value proposition is the essence of your brand. It’s what sets you apart. It’s the core benefit or solution to a problem that your audience has. That you are able to solve!
What You Need To Start Blogging
To start blogging, you will need is a laptop, reliable wifi, persistence, and a vision. You will also need a website or landing page to write your blog. Your website needs to be hosted. That’s the platform that will hold your website. Bluehost and GoDaddy are the most widely used website hosting companies.
An Avenue To Convey Your Message
You will also need an email marketing service to collect contact information as you branch out by offering services through your blog. It is advisable you use a paid email service instead of a free email service only because it looks more professional.
Depending on your budget, a laptop can run from $300.00 to $2,000. If you want to be able to easily carry your laptop then one that is light and with a smaller screen may work better for you. Laptops range from 10 inches to 17-inch screens. Or you may prefer blogging on a desktop computer.
Create a website that is easy to navigate. Start with one to three pages – a homepage to encapsulate the essence of your message, a blog page, and an opt-in page. In building your website, I would recommend using WordPress. It is popular and has a wide selection of themes. Your hosting company offers a few themes without you having to buy one. I would suggest buying your own WordPress theme instead. This ensures that you own the website you’re creating and have all the rights to its content. Write your blog posts using perfect spelling and grammar. Grammarly software is excellent for checking for errors. It is more thorough than the spell and grammar check on Word. Another helpful software is Hemmingway Editor.
Hemmingway Editor checks for run-on sentences, passive voice. And even grades the level of your writing. Write at a level suited to your target audience.
Where does your audience ‘reside’? Which social media platform do they use?
According to the Pew Research Center, 72% of adults in the US use social media regularly. Facebook and Youtube are the most popular social media platforms. According to Statistica, Instagram attracts younger audiences (Millennials and Generation Z). Baby boomers are more inclined to use Facebook.
What are the reading habits of your audience? People are not going to look for your website. You need to go out and reach them. That means posting your articles on media sites beyond just your website.
Post your blog articles on various social media sites. Sites such as medium.com allow just about anyone to publish their articles. The key is to drive traffic to your website. And then keep them engaged. Blogging is a great way to build your brand and your presence.
Allow For Engagement
Be relevant to your target audience. Address a pressing issue they may be facing. Allow for engagement. This means posing questions in your articles. Allow for feedback. If you allow for feedback, ensure that you respond promptly. Feedback will give you insight into your audience and their pressing needs. Convert your audience into advocates!
To optimize your site and increase your readership, your blog posts should be relevant, well-written, and easy to understand. Using software such as Grammarly and Hemmingway Editor will ensure the content is grammatically correct and easy to read.
For a wider audience, it’s best to write at a grade eight reading level. Again, it depends on your audience. If you are targeting a post-doctoral readership then it’s a different audience altogether. The ideal length of your blog posts should be about 1600 words or a six-minute read.
6. Have A System In Place
How many blogs are you going to put out each week? Regularly posting good content is a must. Blogging once in a while will not cut it. Be realistic as to how often you are able to produce a good-quality blog post.
If you have a full-time job you have less flexibility. Keep to a scheduled time to write before turning it into a full-time job. For your blog to be successful, you need to build a following. In order to do so, your readers need to see consistency. Decide how often you will post a blog. Where will you post? This is when it becomes essential you learn as much as you can about your audience.
7. Keep Track
Use a tracking system that can post a scheduled article and track readership. One that will analyze who is actually reading your posts. Odoo and Hootsuite are apps that do these efficiently. Once you get clear about your target audience, then you will need to employ search engine optimization (SEO) tools to attract a larger readership.
To put it in a nutshell, Search Engine Optimization is the process of increasing the visibility of your new website in order to increase the traffic to the website. The outcome of a good SEO strategy is that your website ranks higher on google. If someone was to do a google search on a subject you’ve written on, employing a good SEO strategy allows your website to show up higher on the list.
Show Me The Money
YOU MUST have a highly visible contact form on your website/landing page.
Extend your social media presence: Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter.
Create a YouTube channel. And allow for YouTube ads.
Add affiliate links to your blogs.
Include ads on your blogs (eg. Google AdWords)
Submit articles to other publications.
Start writing on medium.com
Create a course on your website related to your subject matter.
Sell eBooks on your blog posts.
Start charging for membership.
Recommend products or services (whereby you receive a commission) other than affiliate links.
Grow Your List
If you are thinking of monetizing your blog, your opt-in page is essential. It allows you to collect emails and extend the relationship between you and your reader. What are they opting in for? You can have clients subscribe to your newsletter. Or you can offer a free e-book or e-course.
Benefits Of Blogging
Besides blogging, I enjoy traveling. Blogging allows me to work and travel. For me, that means working and traveling to beautiful places in the world. It aligns with my values for freedom and adventure. And my need to express my expertise in finance and business through my passion for writing. I find fulfillment when my readers tell me they find value in what I have to say. That what they learned through my blogs made a difference in their lives.
How would blogging make you feel fulfilled?
Blogging allows you to share your message and generate income. It is a great springboard to many sources of income. The objective is to get people to read your posts and come back for more. If they find value in it, they will continue to seek you out on other platforms. And pay for your message!
Below are a few books that you may find helpful in becoming a successful blogger.
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Building your brand and learning how successful bloggers make a good income through blogging. Learn to build a business around your expertise.To learn more about the basics of blogging – here. More about building an online business – here.
And to become a freelance writer – here.
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Jennifer Thompson helps businesses grow and individuals manifest life on their terms. She can be reached at email@example.com