Subcribe

Sunday, June 23, 2019

How to Monetize Your Blog Before You Lunch With Ravi



I’m sure you’ve come across lots of ‘How to Start a Blog’ posts and read how easy it is to start a blog.

But, if you’re anything like me, your next thought was “It’s easy to start a blog but what then? How do I grow a blog, get traffic, gain followers, and make money from one?”

When I decided to start a blog I did some research, got a vague idea on how to monetize then went ahead and started one… and I made no money whatsoever for the first year.

You read that right- a year.

I know- I probably shouldn’t tell you that. Why would you want to learn blogging from someone who didn’t jump in and immediately start making money like everyone else seems to? Don’t people start making money in the first, second, and third month? That’s what all the income reports say, right?

The problem is we only hear from those who succeed but that’s not the whole story.

There are  bloggers out there who were instantly successful but they’re in the minority. I’ve read that over 90% of people who start a blog give up before they even reach three months of blogging. Of those bloggers who stick with it, only about a quarter are able to ever make more than a couple hundred dollars a month. Ugh!

I tried following what all the experts said and build up my content before launching.  I wanted to have at least fifteen articles posted when I went live but with two small kids at home I was lucky to get one post a week which means launching my blog took about 3 1/2 months.

Then when I finally launched my blog and started promoting it nothing happened. Pageviews trickled in but I wasn’t making any money.

Finally, after months of earning pennies, I received an email that changed everything.

Ironically, it had nothing to do with blogging, but it’s the reason I was able to stick with blogging long enough to get a consistent income established. 

I want to share what I learned with other new bloggers like you because no one wants to twiddle their thumbs for months waiting to be paid for their efforts. You want to see real results.

It’s not the typical “blogging path” but it’s a path that can get you making money a lot quicker. It worked for me and I am confident it can work for you too.  


Monetize Your Blog Before You Launch

STEP 1: CHOOSE A NICHE AND AUDIENCE

The first step to starting a blog is to know what you plan to blog about. This means choosing a topic and niche. A niche narrows down what you want to write about and who you want to write to.

Some bloggers will insist that you can monetize any niche. That’s technically true but some niches are a lot easier to monetize than others. If you’re blogging to share your passion with the world (which is awesome!) then blog to your heart’s content and you’ll be able to monetize… eventually.  

However, if your goal is to monetize as quickly as possible then you will want to choose your topic and niche carefully because they are going to directly affect how fast you’ll start making money.

The seven niches which tend to be the easiest to monetize include:

  1. Beauty/Fashion
  2. Food
  3. Healthy & Fitness
  4. Lifestyle
  5. Making Money
  6. Personal Finance
Narrowing Down A Niche

Standard blogging logic is to narrow down your niche as much as possible because the better you know and can relate to your audience, the easier it is to talk directly to them and get to know them. You can even go as far as to have an avatar (one person you write to and get to know intimately).

The concept is great but can often be hard for new bloggers. A better idea is to cast a wide net at the beginning and see what your audience responds to.

For example, instead of niching down to natural parenting for crunchy moms, try a natural lifestyle blog with several topics- one which includes parenting. Instead of a blog for the Keto Diet for Diabetics, write about the Keto Diet and then get to know your audience and see what content they respond to and what struggles they are having.

It’s great to write to diabetics but if the majority of your readers have high blood pressure then start talking more to them and their struggles.

Blogging is about sharing your passion but it’s also about listening to your readers and helping them with their struggles. Choose a niche then keep an open mind and see where your blog takes you.

STEP 2: BRAINSTORM A BLOG AND DOMAIN NAME


The primary goal of your domain name should be to represent what your blog is about. People should be able to look at your blog name (and tagline) and instantly figure out what you write about. The quicker people figure out what your topic is, the longer they’ll stay to see what you have to say.

There are a few things to think about when thinking of a blog name.

Keep in mind that these are just guidelines and you probably won’t be able to stick to every one of them. There are plenty of blogs out there who have gone against every one of these and are still successful.

Keep it short and sweet.

→ Use the correct spelling of words. If you plan to name your blog ‘Rock, Paper, Scissors,’ you don’t want to spell it ‘Rok, Paper, Sizzors’ because no one will ever find you.

→ Try and get a .com. People tend to search for them by default and naturally trust them more.

→ Never, ever use a hyphen. No one will remember that you’re at My-Best-Life.com but you will send a lot of traffic to MyBestLife.com

→ Try and put your main topic first in your blog name. DogWalker.com will rank higher than WalkingDogs.com when it comes to Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

→ SEO is important but you can consider using your own name. If you have a name that’s hard to say or spell you can use a nickname, middle name, last name, or make up a pseudonym (aka pen name) instead.

→ Avoid niche specific terms that only those familiar with your niche would know. For example, people who follow a keto diet know what Bullet Proof Coffee is but someone looking to learn about the keto diet would have no idea and probably skip right past your site.

You can buy your domain from a number of services but I try to keep my domain and hosting all in the same place because it’s easier. My favorite host is Siteground. To see if your domain name is available scroll to the bottom and under ‘Services’ you’ll find ‘Domain Names.’ Click on it and it will take you to a page where you can see if the domain you want is available.  

If this isn’t the first ‘How to Start a Blog’ post that you have read then you may be thinking “This is exactly what everyone says.” Step 4 is where things get a little different though. Instead of jumping to setting up your website, we are going to switch gears and shift to…

STEP 3: SETUP YOUR PINTEREST BUSINESS ACCOUNT



I know you’re thinking “Why should I set up a Pinterest account when I have nothing to share yet?” Because a warmed up Pinterest account is worth its weight in gold.



When you setup your Pinterest account the right way (meaning you have a business account, a profile with good keywords, and well-keyworded boards) you can start driving traffic and sales within a few weeks before you even start your blog.

You read that right. You can start priming the pump to drive sales before you even start your blog.

I’m not saying you will get rich quick doing this but you can set yourself up to start seeing a few dollars come in in a few weeks instead of a few months (or years) which is what happens to many bloggers.

I want you you to succeed as quick as possible so I am in the process of putting together an eBook to help you out. In the meantime, check out Carly Campbell’s Pinteresting Strategies. It’s an amazing, in-depth e-Book for getting started on Pinterest the right way and it’s amazingly affordable. 

STEP 4: REGISTER AS AN AFFILIATE AND START PROMOTING AFFILIATE PINS YOUR AUDIENCE WILL WANT

There are a ton of affiliate sites out there but the two you should focus on right now are Society6 and Zazzle. Both of these affiliates allow affiliate links on Pinterest and you don’t have to have your own website to promote their products. 

Both have easy to use platforms that allow you to link directly to their products and then pin to your well-keyworded boards. If you need help, comment in my Private Facebook group and I’ll help you out (I plan to do a Facebook live on both soon). 

*Side note: Never use an Amazon link on Pinterest. It’s a big no-no and great way to get your Amazon affiliate account banned. 

Once you’re an affiliate you’ll be able to grab pictures of the products that fit your niche and pin them to your boards on Pinterest.

When you pin your pin, make sureit has the reason why you love it, what the product is, and that you include [aff link].  You can also include three to five #hashtags so people can easily find the product on Pinterest once you pin it.


STEP 5: PIN DAILY  


I waffled on making this Step 5 but I decided to because I wanted to highlight the importance of it.


Pinterest loves (and rewards) active users. This doesn’t mean you have to spend all day pinning but pinning 5-10 pins a couple of times a day can make a huge difference in your traffic.  

At first you won’t have many pins of your owns but make sure to pin relevant, third-party (aka not your own) pins to your boards. Once you build your own collection you can focus more on pinning your own pins. 

You may be thinking “I don’t have time to pin that often!” Which is fine because Pinterest doesn’t care if you don’t pin manually.

You read that right.


Pinterest doesn’t care how you pin as long as you pin so take advantage of Pin schedulers 


Tailwind is a Pinterest approved, easy to use scheduler and their Tribes feature is a great way to start gaining traffic. Join my Private Facebook Group to view a Facebook live on how to get using Tailwind. 


Once you have Tailwind, Schedule the pins you want pinned, set it to run, and you won’t have to worry about constantly being on Pinterest (except to update your pinning schedule a few times a month).  


Why Should You Blog When You Can Make Money From Pinterest? 

At this point you may be thinking “why should I bother setting up a blog if I can just make money from Pinterest?”

Honestly, You don’t have to set up a blog to make money.

But, if you want to help people, increase your earning potential, and have a business you are in control of (instead of Pinterest controlling you) then you need a blog

A blog is something that is yours. You make up the rules and you own it. Pinterest can change their rules or algorithms at any moment ( and they do- quite often) and your income stream could vanish. It’s a crappy truth but the truth.

That won’t happen with your own site though.

It’s one thing to market through Pinterest and make sales but it’s a completely different ball game once you start to connect with your readers. Connecting with readers is what will keep you motivated.

Another plus of having a blog is that studies have shown building your own email list is the single most important thing an entrepreneur can do to earn more money and building a list is almost impossible without a blog. 

Readers are 40 times (that’s not a typo- 40 TIMES) more likely to buy from someone who emails them than any other form of communication. Imagine the difference between 1 in 300 buying a product you suggest versus 13 out of 100.

Yes- a blog is more work (a lot more work) but it’s worth it if you are planning to run a business and not just a side hustle.

STEP 6: START WRITING AND BUILD UP CONTENT 


At this point you are probably itching to setup your blog. That’s the fun stuff and I just went on and on about how a blog is all yours to do what you like with, right?


But the moment you setup your blog it will become the biggest distraction to writing that you have. You will get sucked into the vortex of branding, email series, learning new platforms, etc.

If there is nothing for your readers to read they won’t come back so focus on content first. At a minimum, you want to have ten articles on your blog when you launch. If you can, try and have another six blog posts set aside. I know six seems like a random number but there is logic to my madness.

Once you setup your blog, you can put up your ten blog posts then launch your blog and open it up to readers. Since you will still be new and trying to build up your trust with Google, you will want to try and post two times a week for the first month at least. 

If you can write one post a week and then post one of your previous posts a week there’s your two times. You will then have two spare posts for when life happens and you can’t write one week. 

Finding Content Your Readers Want To Read

The best way to find popular content is to check out other bloggers in your niche. See what content has done well for them and start writing about those subjects.

Try not to read the articles until after you write your own to avoid their view influencing yours though. I’m sure I don’t have to say this but I will anyway: research and inspiration is fine but copying someone else’s work is never okay.

Most bloggers have a “Popular Posts” section which is great because your work is done for you. However, another neat trick is to go to Buzzsumo. Type in the URL of a blogger and get other bloggers top four posts. Buzzsumo is a paid service but you can get five free searches a day so use them carefully.

Keep your writing on topic and don’t forget to put yourself in the shoes of your reader. Aim to solve one problem with one post and you will be on your way to blogging success.

Need more tips on writing great blog content? Check out my post on ‘How to Write Blog Posts Your Readers Will Love’. 

Set Yourself Up For Success With Good SEO

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and what it boils down to is you want to focus each post around a few keywords that, once your blog is established, will give you the chance to show up on the first page of Google.

SEO and keyword research is a massive subject so I don’t want to try and cover it here but Moz has a great explanation of long tail keywords for Beginners page in their ‘Beginners Guide to Keyword Research’. It’s free to check out and will give you a great basic understanding of what long tail keywords are and the best way to find them.

Digital Nomad Wannabe also has a great free keyword research article and Stupid Easy SEO offers a free eBook for beginner bloggers as well.

Enjoy Your Blog ☺ 



No comments:

Post a Comment

FOLLOW BY EMAIL

How Entrepreneur + Website & Blog Traffic Tips

I still remember the day that I decided to take a leap of faith and finally start blogging. I was so excited and started writing and publi...