“Your Guide on How to Make Money Blogging” written by Mike Marko.
Are you looking to make money online to make some extra cash?
Or maybe you want to learn how to make money blogging so you can replace your job?
I get it. Blogging is definitely the way to make money online. We make over 90% of our online income through our blog.
There are a lot of misconceptions about blogging that I want to clear up for you. That’s why I wanted to share this guide on how to make money blogging.
So let’s get started.
How to Make Money Blogging
Like I said, Bren and I make over 90% of our online income from our blog. But before we dive into how to make money blogging, I think it’s a good idea for you know who I am.
Who Am I To Talk About Blogging?
Two years ago I would never had thought I would be teaching others “how to make money blogging”… in fact I didn’t even know what a blog was. Seriously! No clue!
Bren and I decided to start with a blog that was associated with an affiliate program. At the time I took a blind faith purchase and got started. Well… it wasn’t like I had to make a serious investment because it was only $25/month. But still it was kind’uv scary starting something I knew nothing about.
During the course of the past two years, we learned a LOT! I took a lot of courses on blogging, and how to promote blogs to get traffic. I was eager to learn as much as I could. In fact, I’m still learning… and I expect it will be a lifelong learning process as we strive to keep getting better and serve our readers better.
But that’s what it’s all about. Providing value to you.
So in the process of learning to blog over the past two years, we were able to get on the leaderboards for several affiliate programs. And that was all because of our blog. And our income keeps climbing.
OK, enough about me… I’m sure you’re anxious to learn about how to make money blogging. Let’s get started.
Lesson #1: Serve Your Audience First
The money will then follow.
If you focus on the money first, then it will be a lot more difficult to be successful. Service your audience and you will develop a devote following. Your blog is your “freebie” that is used to attract customers or clients.
Lesson #2: Own Your Ad Space
It is important that you control your own ad space on your blog because this is where most of the money is to be made.
When you use free blogs, most likely the ad space is used by the provider or the space has limited use for you. They are geared towards making money for the provider.
Even when you own your own blog you shouldn’t sell the ad space. Sure selling ad space is attractive because it is passive income, but you can often make three to ten times more (or more) using the same ad space to sell affiliate products, or your own products or services.
Lesson #3: Don’t Push for the Sale Right Away
You ask, “what does that mean?”
It means that instead of trying to push your visitors to buy your products upfront, you delay the sale.
This is similar to what I talked about in Lesson #1 where you want to provide lots of value. When someone joins your email list, give them value. Give a free gift like an audio, ebook, or a series of videos. On our blog we give away our free bootcamp so our visitor can register for our training series on how to make money online. After a couple of videos into the series, we start recommending affiliate products that they can purchase to achieve the same results we talk about.
Give value first, then much later ask for the sale.
Now don’t get this confused: some interpret this to be never ask for the sale. I know I made that mistake at first. You always want to inevitably ask for the sale. Just don’t ask for the sale right away.
Lesson #4: The Main Purpose of a Blog Is to Collect Emails
In my opinion, the main purpose of a blog is to collect emails. Sure you have quality content to attract your visitors, but your ultimate goal is to ask for their email by having them opt into your newsletter or free gift (i.e. lead magnet).
If you don’t get their email during their first visit, there is a very small chance that they will ever return again. They will leave and never come back.
Once you have their email, you can keep asking them back to your blog so they can consume even more of your quality content. By doing that you earn their trust.
Lesson #5: Have a Mix of Products at Different Price Points
There are four different types of products you need to have to successfully make good money with your blog: lead magnet, funded proposal, reoccurring income, and big ticket items.
Lead Magnet: This is the free gift you give to have your visitor register on your email list (talked about in Lesson 3 & 4).
Funded Proposal: This takes the form of inexpensive products or services you sell to help pay for advertising and other overhead for the blog. This typically ranges from $7 to $50 in price. Not only does the funded proposal help fund your overhead, but it also builds trust as the buyer (your visitor now because a buyer lead) gets used to making purchases from you. It is a psychology thing: that small purchase starts to build trust. Plus it helps get their credit card out in case you have an upsell ready to go.
Reoccuring Income: These products work much like your cable or internet bill: you pay a monthly fee to keep the service. In this case you offer your customer a chance to buy a service or product that requires them to pay a monthly fee. This fee may range from $25 to $150 per month. There is a lot of power in developing a large reoccurring income stream because you can be making money even when you don’t make any new sales.
Big Ticket Items: This is my favorite type of product. Big ticket items typically range from $500 to $5000 or more! I love big ticket items because it is actually much less work to sell one $1000 product than it is to sell 100 products worth $10. Plus you have a lot less effort needed to serve 100 customers than the one customer who bought the larger product.
In the end it is best to have a range of all four types of products offered through your blog. It will give you the ability to service a much larger audience. Bren & I talk more about products in our free bootcamp series.
Lesson #6: Blog Consistently
Although I am advocate of publishing content daily, as long as you publish consistently you will help serve your visitors. Even if you only publish a blog monthly (and that is the least amount I suggest you post a blog) make sure it is the same time every month so your visitors know when to expect it.
The advantage of blogging daily or almost daily, is that Google will tend to favor it because you show to Google that your content is fresh is relevant. That will help you rank higher in search results. Also be blogging daily you create a LOT more content hitting a lot more keywords to help attract even more traffic to your content.
Lesson #7: Longer Blog Posts are Better
Do you know what works best for getting traffic to your blog? Creating longer content.
I wrote a blog post about how long should a blog post be, in which I recommend for your blog post should be 600 words bare minimum if you are blogging very regularly.
In one of his bog posts, SEO expert Niel Patel recommends that your blog post should be at least 1500 words, ideally 2000 words or more. My results also show that longer blog posts of 1500 words or more do have a better chance of ranking in the search engines.
The data does support that longer blog posts do get more traffic.
Lesson #8: Spend At Least As Much Time Promoting as Writing
You should spend at LEAST as much time promoting a blog post as you do writing it. If you spend 7 hours a week writing blog posts, then you should spend at least 7 hours a week promoting them.
If you can’t spend that much time promoting your blog posts, then scale back on your writing so that you are spending at least the same amount time promoting as you write.
For tips on how to promote a blog post check out “3 Things to Do Right AFTER You’re Done Writing a Blog Post.”
Lesson #9: Optimize Your Time
Spend your time working on higher value activities.
What that that means depends on your goal.
If your goal is to increase traffic then measure the number of visitors you get for each hour of effort. That means if you spend three hours writing and promoting a blog post that brings you 50 visitors, and you invest another five hours writing and promoting another blog post that brings you 250 visitors, you need to determine which effort best serves you. If you do the math for our example, you will see that the first blog post brings roughly 17 visitors per hour of effort while the second blog post brings you 50 visitors per hour of effort.
Know your numbers by recording your time spent and analyzing your Google analytics.
You may find that guest posting, especially early on, may be better use of your time than publishing content on your own blog because are still new. In that case you may try to publish 25% of your early content effort as a guest blogger. You still have to build up your blog, but this way you can start building up traffic to your own blog.
Now don’t get me wrong… you still need to create content for your blog. You have to build it in order for it to be a more efficient use of your time. You want your own organic traffic.
But when you start, your new blog carries little weight.
Lesson #10: You Are Slowing Down the Growth of Your Blog
Your biggest source of in productivity is that you are doing everything for your blog. You have to deal with technical issues (unless you use a blog system like this), read books and articles about your field, answer questions from readers, syndicate/market your blog posts… and the list goes on.
The more you think about it, the more you realize that you can’t do everything.
That’s where I take my queue from lean manufacturing processes. If a single machine is slowing down the work of others in the factory, then it can cost tons of money. A smart manufacturing manager will be willing to spend money to eliminate the bottlenecks. In most cases, eliminating the bottleneck is must cheaper than the cost of the actual bottleneck to production.
This is true of almost any process, including blogging. While we may not buy a new machine to help (though I did buy a new computer because my laptop was way too slow and out of date), we might purchase software, increase our internet speed, or hire a virtual assistant or programmer. Sure it may seem expensive at first glance, but the cost of the bottleneck is probably much greater than what you would spend fixing it.
Initially we did all the work ourselves, but as we started to produce a small amount of income we started adding tools and software to speed things up. We eventually hired virtual assistants to help with some of the mundane and routine tasks that weren’t worth our time to perform, but still had to be done.
Lesson #11: Sell Right Away
How many subscribers should you have before you start selling? 1,000? 5,000? More?
The answer is you should be selling from day one.
You want to be able to automate as much as possible, like we discussed earlier. Since you are effectively the bottle neck in your business you need to get as many tools (and a virtual assistant) as quickly as possible. Once you start making money, you can start to invest in these resources to further grow your business.
Now be careful not to make your blog into a huge commercial. You’ll push away your potential customers because nobody likes to be sold. Instead make the option to buy available, and remind them occasionally that you do have things available for purchase.
Lesson #12: Ignore Your Google Search Results
Don’t get me wrong. I am a firm advocate of SEO and getting found on Google. But when your blog is new, for the first six months to a year you should not spend a lot of time on SEO optimizing your blog.
Your blog is new. Google won’t really pay it much attention for the first three to six months. Do some very basic SEO and keyword research, but don’t spend a lot of time on it. Spend your time on other forms of marketing your blog. Eventually people will start finding your blog even without SEO optimized blog posts.
Just get to writing quality content.
You can always revisit old blog posts a year later and freshen them up, and SEO optimize them.
Lesson #13: Don’t Waste Your Time with Your Own Products
When you first start off, you will have NO CLUE what your customers want. They often don’t know what they want. So spending time and money developing products is a waste of your time.
There are plenty of affiliate products ready for you to promote to make money online.
Only once you have a firmly established blog and are making substantial money should you even think about making your own products. Right now, though, there is better use of your time.
Lesson #14: Learn, Do, Teach
You best serve your audience be always striving to learn new things. Keep expanding your mind and strive to be the best in your niche.
Practice what you learn, measure the results, and then teach them in your blog. Be sure to be open about your journey because your audience will appreciate your openness. By continually learning new things you will never run out of great content to create for your blog and your audience.
Final Words About How to Make Money Blogging
I just shared 14 lessons on how to make money blogging. No matter if you are a beginning blogger, or if you been blogging for a while, I am sure that you will find several lessons that you can start to implement today that will show you how to make money blogging more effectively.
Let me know what you think about my lessons in the comments below. If you think I missed a key lesson, please also tell me about it below.
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Thank you, and happy blogging!
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