3 Essential Rules for Making Money with Your Blog
Finally! I’m back in the land of the blogging!
As my regular readers will know, my blog went through some site redesigns a few months back and then not long before that, a server migration. Additionally, around a year ago I also started working for Internet Profits LTD. So, it was proving difficult for me to keep up my blogging routine.
As it would turn out, it was going to prove even harder, as earlier in the year my blog encountered some difficulties which meant that I was unable to do any work on it at all. Plus, with various work project and responsibilities, I found it hard to dedicate the time to sit down and get to the bottom of what the problem was with my blog.
To cut a long story short, it’s now fixed. Woo-hoo!
Plus, taking the time out from blogging (even though it wasn’t voluntary!) has actually enabled me to balance things out somewhat and be even better equipped to serve you.
So, let’s get this show well and truly back on the road, eh?
Making Money with Blogging
Okay, there are many reasons for having a blog. To be fair, not everyone wants to make money from them. Given the potential, it would certainly make sense to do so, even if it’s a few bucks here and there, but if a blog is a hobby and the owner really has no interest in making money from it, then fair enough.
However, I’m guessing that you’re here because you are either already making money online, trying to do so, or have an interest in starting.
Am I right?
Now, if you’ve been following me for any length of time you’ll know that I am all about giving value first and foremost. The relationship that you have with your audience is of paramount importance.
Sure, we want to make money as part of the big picture, but when serving our audience, the job at hand absolutely must be to be the best we can be, give the best we can and help our reader/subscriber/customer get one step closer to his/her desired outcome.
That should go without saying no matter what area of our business we’re considering.
But let’s, for a moment, think about that big picture – making money. After all, if we aren’t trying to make money then we don’t have a business – a business needs to make money, right?
So, if you’re a blogger, you really should be thinking about making money with your blog.
However, I sometimes see bloggers making a vital mistake…
They get so wrapped up in giving that they have nothing in place for themselves.
What do I mean by this?
Well, let me share with you a piece of advice that I was given many years ago. This advice wasn’t actually anything to do with business, but the principle makes sense here.
Back in the early 1990’s I started suffering from depression and anxiety and had to contend with this for a number of years. Now, there’s an aspect of my personality that sometimes made this even harder to cope with:
I’m a caring person.
Of course, there are many caring people about and it isn’t unusual. But, at times, I have found this to be a failing with me.
In that I would give of myself when I really had little, if anything to give. If someone asked me for a favour, I would do it. If someone wanted my time, I would give it. Even if they didn’t ask, I would offer.
None of that’s a bad thing, of course, and I am still very much like this.
However, the advice I was given is: you have to save a little bit for yourself.
What this means is, if you are in giving mode all the time and don’t give yourself enough attention, then you will find that you not only have nothing left to give to anyone else but you have nothing in your reserves for yourself when you need it the most.
What this meant was learning to say “No” at times. Now, that doesn’t mean being unkind or uncaring. It simply means recognising my limits and being balanced and modest.
None of us can give all the time. We all need something for ourselves. That isn’t being selfish, it’s just being realistic. And believe me, when you’re suffering from depression and you’re giving your all to others too, it wipes you out physically, mentally and emotionally.
It isn’t healthy or wise.
So, what does this have to do with making money with your blog?
Well, I see lots of bloggers come up with great content on their blogs. They write well, they present well, they make great videos, they post regularly and they engage with their visitors. Yet there’s something missing…
“I’ve been blogging for ‘X’ months and I’m yet to see a sale! Something’s wrong but I don’t know what it is!”
I have come across that lament many times, whether directly or indirectly. It’s one that, in each case, has the same root cause…
They are not monetising their blog!
Serious question here, people: if you have a blog and want to make money from it, yet have no ways of doing so on your blog, just how do you expect to make money from it? Where do you expect the sales are going to come from, exactly?
Now, that may seem like I’m stating the obvious here and, I suppose I am. But it’s a very real issue – some bloggers are trying to build up an online business for themselves and use their blog as an integral part of this, yet they aren’t actually monetising it!
I’ve had people lament that they’re not making any money from their blogging so I’ve taken a look at their blog – no banners, no monetised hyperlinks, no list-building entry points….
Now, I don’t actually know just why it hasn’t occurred to them that if you want to make money from your blog you have to have these things. But, for some reason, it appears that it is a trend with many bloggers.
Look, if you want your blog to make money then you need to set up ways to make that happen!
Sure, engagement is vital and you need to make connections. This will give you a good foundation through which you can tell people about your offers, but why leave it at that? Why leave a whole load of other opportunities out of the picture?
Your “Silent Sales Machine”.
Meaning, they will sit on your blog and do their job 24/7, whether you are there or not. While you have been doing your groundwork and engaging with your audience, making connections, being on video or live broadcasts, using social media and so forth, your banners have been sitting there on your blog.
All that groundwork that you have been doing will serve to make people more likely to click on one of your banner because they will feel that they know, like and trust you enough to trust your recommendations or promotions.
You see, many bloggers are doing a fantastic job with the groundwork. But they are leaving an enormous amount of money on the table by not having so much as a banner in their sidebar.
Having a mix of “follow” and “nofollow” outbound links on your blog looks good in the eyes of the search engines. Also, internal linking between your blog posts is absolutely essential, not only in the eyes of the search engines but for your visitor engagement and keeping them on your site.
But another type of link you need to be mindful of is monetized hyperlinks.
If you have been talking about a certain subject and you have an offer that you’re promoting that would tie in perfectly with what you’ve been talking about, pick a suitable word or phrase and create a hyperlink to that offer!
The thing with all types of outbound links is that you need to do everything in moderation. Don’t go crazy placing links in every sentence, but just approach your blogging with the thought of hyperlinks in mind. You will then start to see appropriate places to place links almost automatically.
Rule #1: Don’t be afraid of selling
You’ve heard it said, “The money is in the list“.
From day one, you should be building your e-mail list. Your list is a way in which you can deliver value to your audience, increase the important Know, Like and Trust factor and yes, make money! So it makes sense to be building your list right from the get-go.
Yet, a mistake I see beginner and more established bloggers making is not having an opt-in form anywhere on their blog.
Never mind “an” opt-in form – give your visitors multiple opportunities to opt in! Again, don’t go crazy with this, but don’t be afraid to have even three or four places at once where your visitors can opt in.
- You might have an opt-in form in the traditional place, in your sidebar (1)
- You might also have a drop-down or fixed bar at the very top of your blog that contains another opt-in form, perhaps with a different message (2)
- At the bottom of a particular post, you could have a further opt-in form embedded (3) I wouldn’t necessarily suggest doing this for each post, but where appropriate it certainly wouldn’t look out of place.
- Perhaps you have a pop-up or some kind of overlay displaying when your visitors go to leave. This could contain and opt-in form (4)
So, in the above example, a visitor to a particular blog post could very well be exposed to four different opt-in forms. Each form could even be for a different thing, or for the same thing but with a different presentation. This is something that you could split-test. Even the very use of multiple opt-in forms could be a split-test in itself.
Now, I’m not saying that you should have a particular number of opt-in forms or even that you should have multiple forms at all. The point is, you need to be building your list and once you start building your list you can monetize it. But in order to do that, you need to have entry points to your list.
Rule #2: Don’t be afraid of asking your visitors to opt in
First of all, you need to be clear as to the purpose of your blog and precisely what it is that you are offering to your audience. Don’t know? You should!
The problem is, bloggers hear things like “Content is king” and “be consistent in posting”, so they end up posting any old thing. Sure, it may be good, but here’s the vital question: is it actually relevant?
For example, let’s say you have a blog that has the tagline, “Daily Tips for Helping You Make Money Online” (I’ve just picked that out of the air). What do you think your blog posts should contain? A video that you’ve found on YouTube might be interesting and all, but does it have anything to do with your message?
I’ve visited blogs that make claims, for example, that they will help people make money online. Yet their content has absolutely NOTHING to do with what their blog is claiming! Sure, it might be motivational, it might be valuable in itself, it might be well-constructed. But unless it is actually relevant to what your audience is expecting to see according to what your blog claims, then it doesn’t have much value.
Even if you do have banners and opt-in forms on your blog, if your content isn’t relevant to what your blog is supposed to be all about then you’re going to have a hard time getting people to stick around long enough to take action on any of them.
Another mistake I see some bloggers making is having their blog go off in too many directions. They have a section for “Making money online”, a section for “Motivation”, a section for “Interesting links”, a section for “Recipes”, a section for “Health and wellness”……
Do you see the problem?
Not only is a blog with all those categories going to be overloading its visitors, it’s all over the place. If the blogger is in the Health niche then why would they be talking about making money online? If the blogger is in the Make Money Online niche, then why would they have a section about recipes?
Don’t complicate things, don’t confuse things. Be clear on what it is that you are wanting to achieve with your blog, what your visitors should expect when they get there and then stick to it.
Rule #3: Ensure that your content is congruent with your message
I have seen blogs that are guilty of all of the above at once – they don’t have banners, don’t have a single opt-in form, don’t have any hyperlinks, are full of irrelevant content. And the blogger wonders, “Why is my blog not making me any money?”
It should be obvious but, for whatever reason, it isn’t always.
So, if you are a blogger and you are struggling to make money from your blog, ask yourself if your blog is guilty of any of the above issues.
Of course, there are other factors that come into play when it comes to making money with your blog. But you don’t really have any basis to be asking why your blog isn’t making money if you aren’t doing a single thing to monetise it!
It would be like opening up a shop, having no stock and then complaining that your shop isn’t making you any money! If you want to make money from a shop, you have to have stuff for sale. Likewise with your blog.
Make Money from Your Blog!
I hope this content has been helpful to you, especially if you’re someone who’s just getting started and perhaps isn’t yet making money with your blog.
If there’s anything else I can help you with or any subjects that you’d like me to cover in a blog post, please feel free to let me know.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this post. Did any of this resonate with you? Which points did you find the most helpful? Please let me know by leaving a comment in the section below.
Also, if you got value from this post then it would be awesome if you shared it across your social media accounts so that others can benefit from it too. 🙂
Until next time!