Over the past 10 years, there’s been a huge increase in people wanting to discover how to earn a decent living from the internet. First came affiliate programs, then Google AdSense and now there’s a “new” kid on the block.
What Makes Blogging Different?
To be honest, blogging has been around in one form or another for at least 10 years. Platforms like LiveJournal allowed people to reach a huge audience back in the day, just ask Debra from the original “Barmaid Blog”, a viral success way back in the depths of 2008.
The reason why blogging is so popular? We’ll, to begin with they’re a total breeze to setup! Even non-technical types can purchase a domain name, setup their hosting and install WordPress. (WordPress being the most popular blogging program)
If all that sounds difficult, it’s really not. Many companies like Go Daddy or Hostgator make it really easy and you don’t need to be a computer whizz to get up and going. There’s also a host of people out there who’ll take care of techie stuff like creating a bespoke theme or a creative logo for your website.
Yes, That’s Cool and All… How Does This Earn Me $$$’s Though?…
Putting adverts on your freshly created blog is easy and nowadays, you’ve a few choices:
- Google Adsense – By far the easiest way to generate revenue from a website. Add the codes to your blog and “hey presto” – you’re in the mass media advertising industry! Some WordPress plugins also make it a snap to add properly formatted ads to every page of your site.
- Affiliate Marketing – This is where things become more complex. Depending on your blogs main theme, you might find certain products will sell well to your audience. For example, a blog about Golfing would work perfectly with any affiliate program selling Golf equipment, training or memberships of prominent courses. The world is your oyster here, only your imagination can hold you back!
- Selling Books / Training – Some bloggers will also sell their own products, such as eBooks or online courses. This can be a great way or making cash if you’re a subject expert and have much to teach people.
It’s Work Jeff, But Not as We Know It!
So you’ve got your blog setup, chosen a rather spiffy looking theme and you’ve plastered every page with AdSense. (Not too plastered mind you, stay classy!) It’s now that the really hard work begins.
To generate profit, you’ll need to create traffic that browses your site and clicks on those all-important adverts. It’s at this time that many newbie bloggers tend to give up, after all, getting people to actually visit your site is one of the toughest things in online marketing!
So how do we do it? Well, the true beauty of blogging is the fact you can take advantage of multiple ways of marketing yourself. Want to automatically post your articles to Twitter? There’s a plugin for that. Want to gather email addresses so you can build a mailing list of people who love your writing? There’s a plugin for that too.
You get the idea, platforms like WordPress make almost anything possible with off the shelf plugins. As a newbie blogger, it’s worth dipping your feet into everything at first, dropping what doesn’t work and mastering the social media networks and marketing techniques that do show results.
Bringing You’re A Game To The Party
Away from all the techno mumbo jumbo and wizardry going on inside your little WordPress blog, there’s a few things you just can’t buy that will make a huge difference to your blogs chances of success.
- Determination – Yes, there’s gonna be days when you get 0 hits, a big fat zero! This is normal for new websites but it’s very easy to see the vast amount of work that’s gonna need doing and decide blogging isn’t for you. It often takes a special mind-set to keep plugging away for months at a time with no instant feedback that what you’re doing is right.
- Work Ethic – One post per week isn’t going to cut it and sub-standard posts won’t cut it either! If you want to go viral, trend on Reddit or hit the jackpot on Facebook, you’re going to need to bring your A Game to every piece of content you post. For a good idea on how “full on” media creation can be just look at any quality YouTube channel that regularly goes viral. The life of a blogger is fast paced and more often than not run like a large scale business.
- Luck – I wasn’t sure whether put luck in this post. Sometimes it gives people an easy “get out clause” and allows them to blame their own failings on being unlucky. However, Richard Branson said once that “Success through hard work isn’t luck” and I can kind of see what he’s trying to say. TL;DR – if you work hard and have an open mind, eventually you’ll strike a piece of luck, then ride that wave all the way to the bank!
So there you have it, blogging is easy to setup, easy to do and many people around the world generate pretty serious cash from it!
However, this isn’t a career move for the lazy, be prepared to work days, night and weekends in the early days and fully expect that you’ll worry about your analytics at 2am in the morning, just as any small business owner worries about cash flow!
If you can master the work ethic, throw together truly creative content at the drop of a hat and build a blog in a niche where there’s loads of scope for advertising and marketing, then you can genuinely become a full time blogger!