On Writing – What to blog about & how to “sell” it?
This will be a quick chapter for those bloggers who are more than interested in making a living off of blogging. Think of this chapter is a quick stop to a motel, or a rest room, in the middle of your journey. Now when it comes to making money and blogging, I already said that there are two kinds of people.
The first kind is lined up with individuals who take blogs for granted. They only blog because they think that the virtual cloud is a thought dump. What about you? A modern woman who doesn’t have much cash, she has high expectations from this entire online thing and she wants to make money just like the rest of the bloggers.
What is that special ingredient which is missing from your blog posts? Or, do you have any idea what you want to blog about? If you remember correctly, in the initial chapters, I talked about blogging and different subjects related to it. Let’s put aside the “Daily Rant” type of blogs and take a look at different ways to monetize your blog.
Don’t worry, the next few chapters will individually attend to monetizing blogs in more depth.
- Pick a Blog Subject That Appeals To Potential Readers
First of all, you’re going to select a subject that appeals to people; something they can relate to at different levels. At the moment, ‘Personal Development” is a pretty hot issue but definitely not an easy one. 5 years back, when I started blogging, there was this guy who had a small network of friends. They all used to blog about personal development and how they wanted to make the world a better place .
The irony of the situation is that after 5 years, his blog is still there and he isn’t making a lot of money. Why? Good question. First of all, he was blogging about things at a very small level. The guy mostly cared about his blog’s popularity and creating back links. His strategies were good, but his intentions weren’t.
Strategies that Mister XYZ was using for Blog Popularity were?
- Backlink creation through commenting on other people’s blog.
- Being a greedy person and imposing a No-Follow link policy on his blog. Even if you commented on any of his articles, the search engine would never consider your comment links because of the no follow attributes.
- Forum commenting.
- Guest posts at other people blogs.
- Buying links in bulk from same sources, same IPs and same category websites.(not a great SEO move)
- Being counter productive by having a lazy schedule! (Very common mistake!)
- Not keeping up with latest discoveries in Personal Development field.
If I were to go on, I could point out a hundred different mistakes. The only reason I am not typing down his Blog URL is because I don’t want to reveal his identity. Anyway, what I do want to tell you about is how blogging on a common subject, such as “Personal Development” can help you to make loads of cash.
Why is this guy successful?
Steve has been blogging on various subjects related to Personal Development for a long time now. Trust me, it has been years since this guy wrote down his first blog post. Here’s why I think that he is successful in today’s HIGHLY competitive blogging communities:
- Pavlina is very realistic when it comes to setting goals, aims and then eventually helping people to achieve them. When he started blogging, his expectations were not all about making money. He wanted to HELP people with the ups and downs of their lives. Some of his blog posts are way beyond 4,000 words; which shows his level of commitment and research he puts into each post.
- Even if he is making money, he has earned it.
- Your job is to set realistic goals. Your first realistic goal should be about being realistic and knowing that you wont be making money in the first few months of your blogging antics.
Walk The Talk:
- Purely talking in the context of blogging, you should be able to demonstrate what you are preaching about. Steve Pavlina, over and over again, has been known to experiment with his theories by putting himself to test/ risk before making any recommendations to his readers.
- Whatever you are going to blog about, always follow it. This way, your readers will know that you are a legit source.
People, nowadays, always trust credible sources and they want to do it because there are so many posers out there in the online world. I can guarantee you this: if you are willing to show even a tiniest bit of legitimacy in your blog posts / online presence, your readers and followers will definitely hear you. It means that they will buy your products, go to your referral links and help you make money, while making their lives better through YOUR posts!
Use Multiple Advertisement Networks:
- It takes a few months to generate traffic at a minimal level. As soon as you have noticed a steady flow of people coming to your website, apply for Google Adsense, Kontera, InfoLinks, Info Barrel and many other Ad revenue services.
- Get involved in direct advertisement. It took me 8 months of non stop blogging to get noticed. I was just contacted a few days back, from Lacoste company representative. They wanted to put a banner on my Blog for a “small” amount of fee.
How did I become noticed? Well, the answer is right there in the next two bullet points…
Establish a Strong Social Network Presence:
- Twitter, Facebook, YouTube are the three main networks that should be the bread and butter of your blog posts. Whatever you are blogging about, don’t forget to promote yourself on these three networks. They are like the minimum quota of the entire social footprint. The rest of the networks are scattered over DogPile, Bing, Google Plus, LinkedIN, StumbleUpon, Reddit, Digg, Digo and etc.
- Go to any popular blog network and see the number of Twitter followers these guys have. You’ll know what I am talking about.
Deliver Value Instead of Quantity:
- Never underestimate the power of quality content. Write something worth reading, instead of blogging for the sake of blogging! Understood? No? How about Blogging about ways to be more productive, best proven tips for losing weight, effective writing tips and mistakes to avoid, how I created a difference in someone’s life today…
- The subjects are limitless. Find something daily and stick to it.
Search Engine Optimization:
- SEO is so important these days that it can’t be overemphasized anymore. However there are different levels of SEO. As a new blogger, you will probably meet a few “gurus” who will promise you a truckload of cash if you were to hire them for SEO services.
- To new bloggers, who haven’t been into this thing for a long time, I would recommend that they stick with a natural do-it-yourself SEO regimen. You’ll read about it in the SEO chapter later in this book.
Enough Said – What if I want to blog & make money as an Affiliate Marketer?
You know what; you can actually blog as an affiliate marketer to make a good amount of money. But the truth is that it is not that easy. First of all, you are going to have to deliver value to your readers while doing it. Secondly, you need to create a main website, where you can talk about affiliate marketing, your discoveries, recommendations and stuff.
While doing so, you will also need to have a secondary website where you will be promoting your actual affiliate products. This website should remain confidential, in order to keep your niche anonymous. There are many “thieves” and copycats who like nothing better than digging into someone else’s niche, and making money off it, through a mix of their own techniques.
Take the example of ‘Wanda’ and ‘Paula’. These two female bloggers have been into affiliate marketing business for almost a decade now. They make well over $10,000 easily through a network of 20 WELL ESTABLISHED blogs. Did they ever reveal all of their Blog URLs? NO, they never did it because they want to keep their niches secret. Why share the fruit of your efforts with someone when you spend endless nights working on your website for months, or even years?
Through their “general” category blog, both women talk about their day-to-day experiences in the online world. They are a great inspiration for all the ladies who want to blog to make a living off of it. I admire them for their consistency and ability to keep up with the rest of the blogosphere.
In terms of SEO, they, too, were hit by Penguin and other Google updates to punish “spam” bloggers. At the moment, they are almost past the recovery phase. However, now they are not revealing anything specific about their blogs. Most part of their network took the shot; therefore their revenue stream was affected significantly.
Set your goals higher than the mark you are trying to hit!
Still clueless about subjects related to blogging? Think about your hobbies. Do you like pets? Maybe you have an undying love for dogs. How about creating a website, or a blog, that talks about little doggie love, promotes pet products, or sells custom made products for dogs?
You can do this. You just need to take that dreaded first step.
– Blogging exercise for today:
This is a quick exercise to get that hamster powered thought machine running in your head. I want you to brainstorm and come up with 5 unique topics that you want to blog about. Remember, these topics should also be connected to different ways of making money through blogging. Keep the idea of pet website/ pet blog in your mind and come up with something new and unique on your own.
Write down those 5 topics/ ideas and seriously think about them. Which one of those titles do you feel comfortable with? If you want to blog about something, choose a topic that you can relate to. For example, you have a “thing” for plants and you have been gardening for several months, or maybe a few years now.
Whenever you will blog about plants, you will have an extensive knowledge, and enough proof to help people. Your readers will definitely buy your ebooks or whatever product you are selling because they know that this lady has been into plants for a long time and she can really help us set up a DIY Backyard Garden!
Take a look at the following tips to get a bag full of ideas about blogging:
- While writing this book, everything came off on Word Document as a second nature to me. Do you know why? It’s because of my past experience and personal growth in the area of online money making and blogging. I know that whatever I am talking about is based on my research, years of writing practice, and interaction with online clients. I have written down what I have known for a long time!
- Think about all the past experiences in your life. Which one of them left a positive or a negative impression on you? Either way, you can deduce a conclusion for your readers and tell them not to make the same mistakes, or to do exactly as you did during that incident.
- You can dedicate an entire blog post to your loved ones. Talk about how great your father is, your mother or someone special in your life. Not only will you be able to rekindle those old memories, but you’ll also touch your readers in a unique way.
- Probably there are a few topics that already pique your interest. Why not carry a research on them and see what you can find. Who knows, maybe you will type down something extraordinary, based on your findings and past experience in that particular area?
- Did you previously own a business? If you failed, write and share your experiences with other people.
This post is the 6th in my ‘Blogging for your business’ series. You can read the first entry here.