Profitable blogging takes work, but for industrious entrepreneurs, it can pay off.
If you could survey 1,000 bloggers, I’m sure the results would be a 90% who don’t make more than 100$ a month, 9% who earn enough online to support a family, while the remaining one percent can enjoy a comfortable lifestyle from working four to six hours daily.
Among the last category, there is someone who can make more than $100,000 annually, working just a few hours a day. Think of Pat Flynn, for example, who made more than 300,000 in July 2017.
How are these successful bloggers making money?
A few time-tested methods continue to work, and innovations have introduced new ways to earn income online.
A Blogging Business Game Plan
Businesses have recognized blogging’s value, with blog marketing budgets tripling in recent years. When in 2013 Yahoo! spent $1.1 billion to acquire Tumblr.
This was because apparently blogging is a serious business, and proven business principles apply to doing it successfully.
For most business models, revenue stems from three things. Promotional efforts such as advertising determine how many prospective customers are contacted. For blogs, this represents website traffic volume.
The number of initial contacts exposed to sales presentations depends on the percentage taking the necessary follow-up steps.
In offline contexts, this can involve strolling store aisles, scheduling an appointment, or browsing a catalog. For blogs, this may mean joining a mailing list, subscribing to a social media feed, or clicking a sales link.
Converting sales presentations into revenue is a function of a strong delivery.
For blogs, this means building good reader relationships and writing effective copy that grabs the reader’s attention, holds interest, arouses desire and compels action.
Promoting Your Blog
Social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube represent one of the best ways to increase blog traffic.
An effective approach is to build a following by broadcasting compelling content hosted on your blog. This can take the form of graphics, videos or articles.
Create short messages inviting followers to view your content. Use similar methods to invite followers to events pointing to your blog, such as teleconferences, webinars or podcasts.
When promoting blogs, don’t limit yourself to online media. Blogs can engage in traditional publicity opportunities too!
Position yourself as an expert on your subject, and let others know about your blog by using press releases, interviews, speeches, and other traditional publicity tools.
Or use digital versions of these tools, such as webinars.
Whichever marketing methods you use, think mobile. Smartphones, tablets, wearables, and other devices account for an increasing percentage of online traffic.
Improve your blog by using a mobile-oriented or responsive web design. Include graphics with content whenever possible, since images generate the most mobile appeal and clicks.
Using Blogs to Create Sales Opportunities
Experts estimate it takes an average of five to 20 contacts with a prospect to make a sale.
Instead of relying on one blog visit when you drive traffic, turn it into follow-up sales opportunities.
One way to do this is by allowing visitors to subscribe to ongoing content.
Email registration forms, RSS feeds, and social media integration buttons can turn one visit into repeat contact.
API scripts enable you to integrate these tools with social media registration forms (there’s a tab you can use on the Facebook page of your blog, for example).
Another technique is booking initial consultations through your blog. Invite visitors to fill out a form to schedule a free introductory conversation with you.
Use the opportunity to deliver sample value and offer your paid services. Tools such as Outlook and Google Calendar’s Appointment Slots can help you automate this process.
Monetizing Your Blog
When it comes to monetizing your blog, veteran bloggers have found several effective methods.
For many, affiliate marketing has grown into the most profitable income stream, generating a big part of their online revenue and outweighing the profits from selling ads, Adsense or freelancing.
Amazon Associates is the most popular affiliate program, but there are many others, including numerous niche-specific opportunities.
Advertising and a number of other methods also work well. If you offer a consulting service, you can use your blog to promote it.
Create content that positions you as an expert and introduces your audience to the problems you solve and the benefits you deliver.
Another efficient way to monetize blogs is selling your visitors infoproducts on subjects that interest them.
These can include PDF ebooks, Kindle books, audios, videos or recorded webinars.
For Pat Flynn, 240k$ of the 320k$ earned in July 2017 come from selling course sales (his Power-Up Podcasting).
A high-leverage way to multiply infoproduct and consulting revenue is turning your blog into a membership site.
By password-protecting specific content, you can create premium, members-only areas where paid customers can download infoproducts or receive exclusive consulting opportunities, such as weekly training calls.
You can charge a one-time fee for access, or create a subscription service for recurring monthly income.
We’re moving from an industrial revolution to the information age and the world wide web is offering gold opportunities to become successful entrepreneurs.
There are many profitable niches to be discovered on the internet and if the market you choose is crowded, you can still become an expert on a particular topic of that crowded market.
Share your expertise with your audience and become a recognized name. Then, leverage the power of your position, by creating courses and selling infoproducts.
If you’re passionate about your blog, stay dedicated to making it a useful and entertaining source for your readers.
Follow these tips and offer new engaging content to your readers to keep them faithful. Your blog may not make you millions, but your commitment can certainly gain you a reasonable profit.
Erik Emanuelli is a problogger and social media marketer. Find him at NoPassiveIncome.com.