The difference between having a blog that makes enough money to pay for Sunday lunch as opposed to providing you a living income comes down to a number of considerations. In this post, I will provide guidance on 10 essential tips to make money blogging online, by looking at some of the most common mistakes that bloggers make and which means that a Sunday roast is as far as they get. Reading these tips might help you to reach your blogging targets much faster and profitably!
1. Understand the Difference between Blogging as a Hobby and for a Career
If you walk away understanding one key point from this article, this is the most important point of all. So listen up! Attention please! 🙂 You MUST know what the end product or services are that you are selling. How the products or services you sell and promote are specifically designed might change over time and this is because, as you begin to sell items, you will begin to understand your customers and users better. You will receive requests and be guided in a specific direction and have a valuable chance to learn about your potential customers.
SO! if you spend countless hours, days and months creating content that does not in some way guide your users towards the products you are selling, then you have nothing more than a hobby site!
A site that you put a lot of time into
A site that people might enjoy reading and viewing.
But which does NOT convert into income.
We have made these exact mistakes ourselves, i.e. we have learned the hard way. Spending a year writing good content for a website but never seeing the money come in, bar some pennies from Google Adsense. This all changed when we learned that every blog post you do should be carefully planned such that it fits in, in some way, not just with the theme of your site, but to guide people towards a product or service that does generate income. It seems so obvious now to us and hopefully, it is to you now also.
If you are only looking to have a hobby a blog, feel free to write on whatever you wish as it comes to mind. Blog to your heart’s content.
If, on the other hand, you are looking to make a career from blogging, or at least to make an income that validates the time you spend on blogging, create blog posts that incite an interest or at least guide potential customers, in some way, to have an interest in your products.
2. Build a Mail List from the Start & Build a Trust Funnel
What you will find as you build your blog and try to sell certain products to your followers, is that it is rare for people to just visit your blog site and to buy from you!
The vast majority of sales you will make will come via a sales funnel. Sales funnel? Well, the sequence will be something like this for getting a sale. It will go:
- Attract a visitor to your blog site.
- Find a way to get that person to subscribe to you (such as offering them something for free)
- Build their trust
- Then try and sell them something that they will find of value.
An email list is vital because it can play a key role in driving sales through building this trust funnel. You can learn more about email lists and marketing in our post Why Building an Email List is Essential for Pro-Bloggers.
If you are interested to start building your list, one of the best packages for bloggers and individuals is ConvertKit.
3. Consider Selling Digital Products
There are a number of ways to make money blogging but one of the very best ways is to create your own digital products. WHY?
i) Are scale-able (meaning that there is no physical limit to how many you can sell).
ii) Do not require you to store any stock of any kind.
iii) Can be sold whilst you sleep aka passive income!
iv) You do not rely on 3rd party sellers and have control over the sales price
v) You can keep most of the income from the sale (as opposed to day 5 or 10% when selling someone else’s product as an affiliate).
Selling your own digital products is a pros way to really build a blogging business.
4. Make Your Own eCourses and eTraining
One of the very best digital products you can create and sell are eCourses and, to do this, the platform Teachable is fantastic. Providing your own online courses has never been easier given that teachable provides an affordable way for individual and beginner bloggers to add their own courses.
You might be reading this post and be new to blogging and feel that the idea of creating an online eCourse is something way beyond your skills and experience and that this might be a step too far in your blogging journey?!
Let me tell you something important! If you know how to create a PowerPoint presentation and Word documents and PDFs, you will be able to create courses on the teachable platform. (We cover how to create your own eCourses on the Blogging Income Growth training).
The majority of bloggers who make big incomes, have one thing in common! They offer their own eCourses!
5. Use Affiliate Marketing from the Start
Making money from affiliate incoming is also a great way to get started because you can start promoting and selling items almost immediately, i.e. once you have got accepted for the affiliate programs you apply to. You will also find that will learn a significant amount about what sells and what doesn’t from experimenting with affiliate marketing. It will, in other words, help you learn the trade, as it were.
Some of the best affiliate programmes that you might find of interest so that you can make money blogging are:
Amazon is one of the biggest marketplaces in the online world! You can very often products that you can sell that match your niche on this marketplace. You will not only get a percentage of the sale for that item, if they buy it, but from any Amazon purchass they make on Amazon in 24 hours.
Tradedoubler has a large number of advertisers on its books; so, this one-stop shop for finding a number of different affiliates for your blog site makes Tradedoubler a very useful option.
This works much like TradeDoubler in that it is a consolidator for many companies to offer their affiliate program through. This is a popular affiliate site used by a number of bloggers.
6. Think High-Quality Content and Blogging
If you want to ultimately make a living or at least some good part-time income, remember this idea of TRUST I alluded to earlier in this article.
Is a blogger who offers poor quality posts likely to offer a high-quality product for sale?
As a customer yourself, are you likely to trust and buy from someone who has an informative site that oozes quality, trust, and expertise? OR a site that looks like the writer lacks knowledge and expertise?
Learning how to write high-quality blog posts, is something you can master in a relatively short time as a newbie blogger, but here are some quick tips for content creation so that you can build posts that ooze of quality and that will help you develop that trust factor.
7. Be a Problem Solver for other People
A hack to give yourself the greatest possible chance of succeeding in generating income is to focus on solving other people’s problem. Be a problem solver!
Helping other people is not only rewwarding from a personal point of view, but it is also a PROVEN way to generate income!
Whatever your blog niche, there will be ways that you can help others.
8. Create a Solid Sales Page
You might have seen other people’s blogs and noted that the sales pages are huge. i.e. very long?! The sales page itself might, for example, be 2,000 words and include:
- Testimonials from people who have used the product.
- A very detailed breakdown of exactly what the product includes and what it does or provides.
- Explanation of who the product is suitable for.
- Reasons why you should buy the product.
- The benefits of the product.
These long sales pages exist for a reason! It is because they are proven to work much better than short sales pages.
Do not just throw up a sales page with a photo, a brief explanation of the product or service and a link to purchase it. Take time and make an effort to create a detailed and effective sales page for each item!
9. Stick to a Niche
You will remember, earlier in this post, that I emphasized the importance of building a mail list from the start of your blogging journey. If you want to make money blogging, it will be profoundly easier for you to build a very clear and solid set of followers who have a clear interest in a clear niche, if you blog about a specific niche.
With a set of followers on your mail list, who are interested in a very specific hobby, activity or topic, you will find it drastically easier to sell those followers products. You will, in other words, have a really strong mailing list that will be so focused, that you should quite easily be able to identify the best products to sell them.
10. Use Call to Actions in Your Posts
Making sales on your blog is something that needs and effort and thought.
Placing a link to am Amazon.com product is good but you should consider techniques such as:
- Using images to support and highlight the product, as well as using text.
- Use a ‘Call to action’ towards the end of your post to again push to get that sale.
A call to action is a term or phrase that makes a clear suggestion to a reader. Terms such as “Buy it now” or “Book your place” – suggest to the reader that they should do something.
If you are trying to sell one main product on the page, you might also want to push the actual sale in the middle of the blog post and then use a call to action at the end of the blog post. If you have made an effort to write a quality post, the end of the post can be a great place to include a call to action for trying to guide that person to make a purchase.
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