Blogging is now a career and one that can suit anyone inclined to work for themselves. But how do you make a living off posting your thoughts to the ether?
We now live in an age where people have been doing this for decades. Their secrets are out, their knowledge is laid bare, and all you have to do is work out what they have to teach you.
Platforms come and go. One day mighty Facebook and divine Google will fall to the winds of change and be buried in the server racks of time. But your own website, your own blog, will endure as long as someone is pushing the keys on your magic device.
Here are the keys to succeeding with your blog.
1. Choose A Targeted Topic
You will be bound and held to your most successful idea. Once you have a hit on your hands and an audience for your genre, you will need to produce the content they expect or lose your relevance.
This can be a problem for topics that lose interest over time. For example, a blog about movies, books, or games has unlimited potential to entertain. However, a blog about a specific movie, book, or game will sour with time and eventually all that can be said will have been said and it will die.
To avoid this, look into how your favourite bloggers make their content stay relevant. But don’t be too general. Mass appeal is great but it means nothing in the long run. We all remember that video, that meme, that picture of a cat everyone shared, viewed, liked then tossed to the side to never think about again. Don’t be that meme!
Choose a segment of the audience and be intense and driven in your writing. Write about the section of the market you know you can add to. The more specific and helpful you are about a topic the more genuine value you add to your blog. This will generate repeat viewers and this builds your audience. Building your audience allows you to think about how to make this in to a living.
[Gamers Nexus is a good example of a well run Niche blog. It caters to a small technically-minded subset of a larger popular culture. They generate informative, helpful, and well-written content. In addition, they have ways to access the information from written content to infographics to concise videos.]
2. Make Money!
There are only so many ways to make money from a blog (legally) and they are well known. So here they are!
You have a variety of choices here. You can simply activate a passive ad service like AdSense and become one of those sites you hate with flashing banner adverts.
You can be sponsored to write a post by a company that wants the exposure. This is great and hopefully you can find a sponsor that does not interfere with your blog or corrupt your messaging and make your hard won fans think you have sold out.
You can subscribe to affiliate links that pay you a small commission on any sales. For example, we are affiliated with companies like Amazon and Scrivener.
b) Providing a service
Perhaps you are a writing blog who has the best writing courses in the world just waiting for those lucky readers who decide they want to take the next step and learn to be the best writers they can be! Just an example you understand? *cough*
Or maybe you edit copy online or fix broken phones. Show your audience that you are capable of doing your job! Give a little advice away for free and it will go a long way into showing your readers that you can be trusted. This will lead to many happy sales on both sides.
c) Providing a Product
Now this is interesting. Perhaps you actually have an Etsy page or make something physical to sell? You can boost you sale just the same by showing off your skills in a blog with pictures and videos to boost you sales. Take the great folks at ifixit who show you for free how to fix your computer or phone and sell you convenient products to do so. It’s a great business model.
However, and even better, this can work for any one. Sell your brand! Create a shop. Sell a mug. Everyone needs a mug. Why not one with your blog’s name and branding on it?
d) Asking for donations
This can be a way for your fans to give you the support you need to continue to be the best blog you can be even if they are fully stocked on mugs, and don’t need help with anything right now. Many full time creative make a living simply by the generous backing of patrons who enjoy the work of these hard working artists. We have set up a page on Patreon: Become A Writers Write Patron and another on Buy Me A Coffee. Choose one that suits your needs.
3. Overnight Success!
This doesn’t happen! Hard work and repetition are the only way to achieve anything online in the long run.
Constant content is the key to so much of the success you might one day enjoy. It will help your website, channel or upcoming 3rd future platform get picked up by the magic and misunderstood Google algorithmic headwinds. This will push you the top of search results and suggest you content over other similar blogs.
So while producing worthwhile content and maybe a long suffering smile on a long time readers face at a bad pun you need to keep the going. The words must flow! Above all else keep caffeinated and carry on.
Good luck out there. I know you will be a success.
Christopher writes and facilitates for Writers Write. Follow him on Twitter: @ChrisLukeDean
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