Entrepreneur's Delight
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5 Ways to Turn Your Blog into a Living, Instead of Just a Hobby

While blogging itself has been around since the birth of the internet, only within the past 5 or so years has it bloomed into a lucrative way of life. Stay at home moms are making a living with their good housekeeping tips, artists are making money offering advice and tutorials, small businesses are pulling in more customers by making their enterprise more personable and approachable, in fact, 60% of businesses had a blog in 2012!
While most people might think the “blog market” is oversaturated, the truth is, if you want to join the race, grab a horse and start running. Because while you may offer similar services as 100 other blogs out there, no one will ever have the same thing to say as you do, and your way of doing things might change the way someone else does them.

There are several website building resources online solely to help beginners start their own website or blog, so take some time to find which provider suits you best, and decide if the blogger’s life is the life for you.

Assuming you’ve decided that, yes, that life is for you – what’s the next step to making it into a living?
Turn Your Blog into a Living

1. Active Content

This is perhaps the most important aspect when it comes to earning money by blogging, more important than actually making connections to those financial resources.

Before placing ads on your site, or becoming affiliates with another, make sure you have the time and motivation to keep your blog updated, current, and actively being posted to. A dead blog will not bring traffic, and traffic will not bring in hits on your ads/affiliate links that return to you as cash. Whether you post multiple times a day, every other day, or weekly-- be sure to keep a schedule with your content, and apply yourself wholeheartedly to keeping that schedule.

Active content eventually leads to building a web presence, which leads to consistent subscribers to your blog and the things you have to say, and those are the people who will be paying your bills.

2. Advertising and Affiliates

No one likes seeing ads on sites, that’s why AdBlock browser extensions exist. However, there are more ways to drive traffic to advertisers than just the product-sharing boxes on the side of the screen.

The most common methods of placing ads on your site include Google Adsense, and joining a company affiliate program. Have you ever clicked a link on a blog, only to be redirected to an Amazon product page? While not every product link on the internet is due to an affiliation, that’s what happens when the blog is partnered with Amazon. If you were to buy the product you were linked to, the owner of the blog would receive a commission.

There’s a fine line when it comes to advertising on your blog, however-- you still have to keep in mind, your viewers don’t automatically constitute potential customers. Not only that, but internet-veterans are wary of clicking advertising links, or they simply disregard them. So while it’s acceptable--and expected--to have advertisements on your blog, be careful to not accidentally alienate your viewer base with too many.

3.  Sponsored Posts

Have you ever been listening to the radio on your way to or from work, only to hear one of your favorite talk-show hosts suddenly break out into an enthusiastic pitch for shaving cream? Or energy drinks? Or a new smartphone? Sometimes, it’s easy to see that they are being paid for the shout out, because the entire thing seems so forced and out of place. Other times, however, you may not even notice you’ve just been advertised to.

Chances are, as your blog grows, you may be approached to do sponsored posts for one company or another. The challenge is, then, how to do so with grace and dignity, without making your audience question your motives. Take the time to learn how to use sponsored posts to your advantage, and how to recognize what makes a sponsored post good vs. bad, readable vs. untrustworthy.

4. Offer Paid Subscriptions

I imagine there are a lot of differing opinions on when the best time to implement something like this is, whether it’s early on in you blog’s life or later after you’ve earned an impressive following, but either way, it can make or break you in a lot of ways.

With the rising popularity of sites like Patreon and KickStarter, it’s clear to see that people love free stuff-- even if, technically, they’re paying for it. (“Contribute a monthly fee to support me, and you’ll receive a FREE t-shirt!”)

How can this be intertwined into your blog, then? For starters, continue giving the same time and attention to your free content as you soon will be giving to your paid content- the discrepancy between the two should be essentially seamless. People should still enjoy your blog without having to pay, and without feeling like they’re being cheated by not being a monthly cash-provider.

In terms of paid content, offer articles, tutorials, free swag, things that otherwise the un-paying viewer would not have access to. Even if you only give them advanced-access to upcoming articles before they go public, there’s something exciting about being a member of a club that’s not open to everyone else.

5. Selling Goods/Services

Do you sew? Draw? Are you a master of grammar and language? Instead of advertising for someone else’s products to make some extra cash, consider advertising for yourself, and the things you can do.

This might fall under the “paid subscription” umbrella in a lot of ways, except that it would not be a pay-by-month program, and you can be a little more unrestrained in terms of the product.

Whether it be grammar or writing classes, video tutorials on how to change your car’s oil, stickers you print out at home and ship, everyone has some talent they can offer to others. Focus on those skills, polish them up if you have to, and you now have a profitable small business running alongside your blog (which offers free advertising!)

No matter if you’re a writer, an artist, or a mechanic, you have a blog-niche waiting to welcome you. Even if what you’re passionate about usually has nothing to do with writing, video blogs and photo blogs are just as popular and can implement the same money-making tactics we’ve already discussed here. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there-- chances are, there are others looking for the exact opinions and expertise you have to offer!

Copyrights © 2024 Inspiration Unlimited eMagazine

Any facts, figures or references stated here are made by the author & don't reflect the endorsement of iU at all times unless otherwise drafted by official staff at iU. This article was first published here on 7th February 2017.
Katie Kapro
Katie Kapro is a contributing writer at Inspiration Unlimited eMagazine.

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