Do you have a blog? Do you use it as your hobby? Your outlet? Or perhaps it is part of your business or your plans for becoming a digital nomad. There are many reasons to have a blog and not one of them is wrong. That said, have you ever thought about, or dreamed of, making your blogging hobby your full-time career?
Although the majority of blogs are personal passion projects, it is entirely possible to make money from your blog. In fact, it goes further than being able to earn a bit of extra pocket money. Blogging is now big business and there can be serious money to be made. So much so that the career path of a full-time blogger is now fully established, and fully profitable.
Has that piqued your interest? Are you looking to transform your blog from a side hustle to a full-time paycheck? If so, then this is for you. This article will walk you through the ways in which you could turn your blog into your career.
Understand Your Blog
Firstly you need to know and truly understand your blog and you can do this in several ways;
Know your niche
Your blogging niche will be reflective of the content you post and the content you post will be one of the most important decisions you make when it comes to monetizing your blog. Your content will be the foundation for making money from your blog, so getting it right is crucial.
When it comes to choosing a niche there are two avenues you can take. Firstly, you might opt to choose a niche that is related to a passion of yours or something that you can comfortably spend a lot of time researching and writing about. This could be travel, sports, beauty, fashion, or whatever is nuance to you. Writing about something you are truly passionate about will not only be enjoyable and easier, but it will also come across to your audience. Your authority on the subject matter will convey in your writing and it will help you grow your audience base.
Alternatively, you may opt to choose a niche based on a business need. Many blogs are so profitable because they are refined to a niche that commands high search engine results. Being discoverable via SERPs is one of the best ways to generate traffic and in turn income. So if you can identify a popular topic that not only commands a high volume of searches but is a relatively easy topic to ‘rank for’ on the SERPs then this could be a very shrewd move. That said, this route may require a lot of detailed research to ensure you become an authority in that niche, especially if it is a topic outside of your comfort zone.
Know your language
The diction and syntax of your blog will also hugely impact how easy it is for your readers to become interested in your blog. It will also influence the type of readers you attract to your blog. You want to ensure the language and tone you convey in your blog are consistent and appropriate for the audience you are trying to reach and build.
Know your audience
No blog will be successful without building an audience. Of course, your audience will be relevant to your niche but try to take steps to define your audience further, much like you would if you were marketing a product. Using the example of a travel blog, think about the content you want to produce and who it is likely to attract. Will it be parents traveling with young children? Solo travelers looking for adventure? Luxury travelers staying in high-end resorts? Eco-friendly travelers? Identify and refine your readers as much as possible so you can ensure your content speaks to and attracts them to your blog.
Network to Get Noticed
While your audience base is unlikely to be other bloggers, you should not overlook the power of networking amongst other bloggers. You can find other bloggers by joining online communities and groups, typically via social media. These communities will allow you to make connections with other bloggers who may or may not be within your niche with a view to establishing your online presence. Spend time getting to know other bloggers, and mixing within these communities. You can take the opportunity to post links to your content, share other bloggers’ content and build connections and friendships with other bloggers within these groups. Never underestimate the power of sharing relevant content and the effect it can have on your connections and eventually the traffic and awareness brought to your blog. You may also make valued friends who you can turn to for blogging advice, hints, and tips should you need them.
To keep your audience engaged and coming back for more you need to provide some form of schedule. A schedule that means you produce regular content and that gives your readers a reason to keep returning to your website. If you publish new content every few months or on an ad-hoc basis you are likely to lose any loyal following. That said it is important to get the balance right, you do not want to be putting content out there for the sake of it. Quality is always preferable over quantity. Finally, consistent writing is essentially a practice, it is a great way for you to hone in on your skill, tone, and writing ability. The more you write, the better you will get at it.
How to Monetize
Ok so you have a handle on a few of the blogging basics, but the real reason you are here is to know how to make money from your blog. Once you have established the above, below are three of the most lucrative means you can look to derive an income from your blog.
Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular and lucrative means to make money from your website. What is more, you don’t need incredibly high traffic to start seeing results, although the higher the traffic the higher the income.
Affiliate marketing is where you receive a commission for products or services sold as a direct result of consumers visiting your website. Take the powerhouse that is Amazon by way of example. Amazon has an affiliate marketing program, which enables bloggers to recommend products sold on Amazon, via their blog. If a reader goes on to purchase the recommended Amazon product the blogger receives a commission for the referral. The amount of commission will depend on the affiliate program in question, but suffice to say if you are receiving even a small percentage of an expensive sale (on a regular basis) it will add up quite nicely.
When opting for an affiliate marketing program it is important that you choose a reputable program and that it is relevant to your niche. Gamers for example will want to stick to top paying casino affiliate programs and such because it will be relevant and interesting to their audience. It is also a more credible sale if you are looking to promote something you would use yourself. A gamer signing up to a travel affiliate program because the commission rates are high is unlikely to make much commission.
Secondary to affiliate programs is online advertising. Online advertising is a huge business and it can be incredibly profitable for bloggers, especially those who manage to sign up for well-paying online advertising programs. The programs work by using your website to display adverts dotted across your content and home page. Each time a reader clicks on the advert you will receive a fee. For some bloggers, online advertising isn’t a huge appeal as it can disrupt the look and flow of your website. That said, for many, the payoff is worth it.
There is a range of online advertising programs available that you can attach to your blog. Some will have a minimum traffic requirement (which can be very high) but will pay good money for the privilege of advertising on your website. Other programs may not pay quite so much but may not have any minimum requirements for joining their schemes. As with affiliate marketing, the more traffic your website gets the more you can expect to earn.
Another popular way that bloggers make money is by hosting or creating sponsored posts on their blogs. Typically this content will include a link to another website with the view of either raising awareness of that secondary website or raising its domain authority. Depending on the terms and conditions of the sponsored post, a blogger may be asked to create the content within a particular brief and be paid a fee for doing so. Alternatively, the content may already be provided and sent to the blogger who simply has to host the content. Again a fee will be paid for this as the blogger is providing a service, and potentially harming their own website by linking to another site with a lower domain authority.