I’m often asked how to make money blogging so want in this article to lay out some basic steps that I see most bloggers who make a living from blogging go through.
Here is how to make money from a blog:
- Set up your blog
- Start creating useful content
- Get off your blog and start finding readers
- Build engagement with the readers that come
- Start making money from the readership you have through one or more of a variety of income streams
Sounds easy doesn’t it! On some levels the process is simple – but you need to know up front that there’s a lot to each step and below I’m going to give you some pointers on each including some further reading.
Here’s how to make money from a blog.
1. Start a Blog
In order to make money blogging you’re going to need to have a blog. While this is pretty obvious it is also a stumbling block for many PreBloggers who come to the idea of blogging with little or no technical background.
If that’s you – don’t worry! It was my story too and most bloggers start out feeling a little overwhelmed by the process of starting their blog.
2. Start Creating Useful Content
A blog is not a blog without content so once you’ve set your blog up you need to focus your attention upon creating useful content. What you choose to create will depend a little on the topic that you choose to write about (on that note, most successful bloggers have some focus to their blogging whether that be a niche or a demographic that they write for).
The key with creating content is to make it as useful as possible. Focus upon creating content that changes people’s lives in some way will be the type of content that people will value the most and it will help people to feel like they know, like and trust you – which is really important if you later want to make money from your blog.
3. Get off your blog and start finding readers
As you create the most useful content that you possibly can it is easy to get very insular with your focus and spend most of your time looking at building your blog. Many bloggers have a ‘build it and they will come mentality’ with their blogging but this is a bit of a trap.
If you want to make money from your blog you need to not only focus upon building a great blog but it is also necessary to get off your blog and to start promoting it.
There are many ways to experiment with growing your blog’s audience that I’ve written in previous blog posts and talked about in podcasts (I’ll share some further reading and listening below) but it is important to enter into all these strategies remembering that you should not just be looking for ‘traffic’ but ‘readers’.
Start by thinking carefully about the type of reader you’d like to have read your blog. You might like to create an avatar of that reader (sometimes called a reader persona or profile) to help you work out who you’re trying to attract.
Once you know who you’re hoping to have read your blog ask yourself where that type of person might already be gathering online. Begin to list where they might be gathering:
- Are they reading certain blogs? List the top 3
- Are they participating in certain forums? List the top 3
- Are they listening to podcasts? List the top 3
- Are they engaging on certain social networks? List the top 3
- Which accounts are they following on each of these social networks? List the top 3
Each of these places that you reader might already be gathering has opportunities to develop a presence whether that be by leaving good comments, offering to create guest posts or simply by being helpful and answering questions.
With this list of blogs, focus, podcasts, social media accounts in hand you will have some good spots to begin to hang out and create value.
The key is to build a presence, to add value, to foster relationships – not to engage in spammy practices.
4. Build engagement with the readers that come
With sustained focus upon creating great content and finding readers for your blog you’ll begin to notice people visiting your blog and engaging with your content.
At this point you need to switch your focus to engaging with those readers and building community.
Respond to comments, reach out to those readers personally and do everything that you can to keep them coming back again and again by building a ‘sticky blog’.
Look after the readers you already have well and you’ll find they spread the word of your blog for you and help make your blog even more widely read.
Having an engaged reader is also much easier to make money from.
5. Start making money from the readership you have through one or more of a variety of income streams
OK – the first four steps of starting a blog, creating content, finding readers and building engagement with those readers are important foundations that you really do need to get in place before you’ll be able to build long term income for your blog.
There’s no avoiding that what we’ve covered is a lot of work but if you do it well you’ll be setting yourself up well and giving yourself every chance of being able to make money from your blog.
With these foundations in place you’re now ready to start attempting to make money from your blog but you do need to be aware that just because you have set up your blog, have content and have engaged readers that the money won’t just automatically flow.
It takes continued work and experimentation to make money from your blog.
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