How can I start a blog and actually make money?
I think the first inclinations a person has when coming online to earn money is creating a website and or blogging. It’s simple they say, just start writing about something you’re passionate about then profits will roll in. Many read stories about individuals who created a blog, placed Adsense on the blog then became millionaires or started earning a substantial income. It’s just that simple. Right?
So what does everyone do? They pick a topic, many times a broad topic, start writing content add a few adsense units and expect to earn big money, retire and move to the Bahamas.
The money starts to trickle in .20 cents .50 cents a dollar on occasion. I just have to write more content and bam I’ll buy my plane ticket and some sun screen.
In the beginning it was easier to accomplish this goal with Adsense alone. When Adsense was new and web surfers were clicking like wildfire links not realizing they were advertisements. In those days some publishers were earning big money from Adsense alone.
Adsense and other ad networks are still a good option in my opinion, I use them and you can still earn money but I recommend that not be you’re only form of monetization (Earning Money).
Blogging for Money
If you’re planning to earn money with blogging, avoid the mistake many new bloggers have made over and over again. The mistake? Don’t forget to monetize your blog.
How do you actually monetize a blog?
This is a big question, and there are many answers. You have to consider the topic of your website and if you’ve done any research about blogging then you’ve probably heard of niche blogs and websites.
Before we get into how to monitizeing you blog make sure you know what a niche is and that you’re focused on choosing the right niche for you.
A niche is simply a sub category of a larger topic. For example, if the topic “pets” is an interest, if you want to blog about household pets, consider just how large a topic it is. Can you handle writing everything about every type of pet a person may have?
It’s large in scope. Generally speaking people have all sorts of pets from dogs, to cats, from gold fish to ferrets. A niche is to choose a smaller sub category of the broad topic. How to care for your ferrit would be a niche of the larger topic pets. So you can see it would be much easier for an individual blogger to cover the entire topic, caring for you ferret.
This can be taken to yet another level, consider a Micro Niche “The best diet for pet ferret”. This is even easier to handle and has a number of benefits of it’s own.
Creating a niche or even a micro niche is better for many reasons. First it’s easier for an individual to cover the topic. Second there is less competition. When a person visits a search engine and performs a search for “what should my ferret eat?” The odds of you ferret diet blog has a much better change of appearing higher in the results. As opposed to “Pets” where you’d be competing with the big player in the pet industry, such as Petsmart and Petco.
Now back to earning money (monetizing) your website/blog.
I’ll continue with the example from above, ferrets, and their diet. Of course at this point you’ve created content and you have 10-20 solid pages of useful information related to ferrets and their diet. Now, how might you make money from this?I guarantee you can’t just write it, put Adsense on it, and make enough money to move to the Bahamas. Well actually there is a technique for doing this with Adsense alone. What you would do is create your micro niche promote it until it’s earning a dollar or so each day then duplicate the process on a number of small niches and you’ll have you online income. But that’s not what were talking about today.
Like I mentioned using ad networks such as Adsense or contextual ads in not a bad idea and can add to your online income as I discussed in Multiple Streams of Income. But don’t stop there.
Now that you’re the foremost expert on providing useful information on the ferret diet you can now begin promoting ferret foods. If you don’t have any ferret food to sell, don’t fret this is where you’ll partner with companies who do have the ferret food you seek (affiliate marketing).
For example you could join the Amazon affiliate network and provide links and reviews of ferret food products. And to further monetize you blog you can branch out to other ferret supplies as well.
Now as the expert I can say with authority (which I’m no authority on ferrets) This is the Best Ferret Food on the face of the planet and without it, your ferret will not be as healthy as he could be. So don’t hesitate click this link and help your ferret feel healthier then he ever has!
A visitor will be more likely to believe such a claim from a person who’s put this much effort into the topic.
Now you’ll have two streams of income. First Adsense income and now Amazon commissions.
Again you shouldn’t stop there either because you can easily add another stream of income. You can now partner with an industry leader. PetSmart Affiliate Program Each time you generate a sale you’ll earn a commission. And you’ll have the opportunity to offer discounts on products and services as well.
Again this is an example and can be done with just about any topic under the sun. But remember keep the topic you choose manageable, don’t bite off more than you can chew.
A few tips and suggestions when getting started
Brain storm ideas that interest you then refine them down to a niche. But don’t go too far into a niche. This should be maximizing not limiting. If the topic were footwear refined to socks, you might want to stop at socks before you refine it to for example cotton socks – You don’t want to loose the customer who would rather have synthetic material socks.
Choose a niche with some competition (you want at least some interest in the topic) but not too much competition. You can use tools such as Adwords keyword tools to help refine a niche.
Finding individual affiliates can also present a problem so consider joining a network instead. It’s better to join a network of affiliates.
What is an affiliate network?
Share A Sale is respected in affiliate marketing circles and offers 3,000 different products from 2,600 merchants. An affiliate network is simply one stop shopping for affiliate programs you may be interested in promoting.
Finally if you’re interested in starting a blog or website I recommend owning it. What I mean by owning it, is simply that, register your own domain name, something you can promote, print on a business cards, leave links online etc. Don’t get a sub-domain as you’re primary website.
What is a sub domain?
A sub-domain is a unique web address through a larger website. mywebsite.blogger.com is an example of a sub-domain. You can have a sub-domain and blog just not as you’re primary.