Blogging is one of the most awesome activities in our days. Personally, I count myself blessed to have been blogging for over 6 years.
Three things have had me so excited during these years of creating content:
- Learning a lot
- Meeting with exciting new folks
- Making money
You can not be a successful blogger without in-depth knowledge of what you blog about. The blogging process takes you back to school.
The struggle to stand out makes you work hard to produce the best content. The best content only comes with going through an always bending learning curve.
If you are average in your niche, chances are that you’ll soon join the majority who have quit the scene. The simple reason is that folks don’t just consume mediocrity. People want the best and you must be the producer of top notch content to retain your readers.
I have met with so many cool folks
One of the strong factors of successful blogging is networking. I understood this early enough and that has been one of the key factors of my progress.
It’s one thing to be connected in blogging. It’s another thing to maintain healthy relationships and that’s what I fight to do.
If you want to quickly fail as a blogger, function as an Island. You’ll have to work your soul out and bleed your wallet to succeed alone.
There is no successful blogger you can mention who would tell you he’s been working alone. Once you start producing result-driven content, you start attracting like-minded people to you. Connecting with them and sticking together opens up many more opportunities.
I have made the money (Still making more)
I’m not bragging. But I have made more money online as a blogger than working offline with local businesses. Initially, I faced difficult challenges blogging from my country. There have been lots of negative factors standing on the way.
It’s not like things have completely changed. But it’s a hundred times better today. Though Paypal (The most commonly used online payment platform) isn’t fully covering my country, 2checkout has been awesome.
To make money online is one thing and to convert that (usually from US Dollars) to local currency isn’t bread and butter.
Besides, Internet Bandwidth isn’t for every one here. We are still paying over $80/m for 2gb daily maximum bandwidth. See why doing videos from Cameroon isn’t a joke? It actually threatens your wallet. But this is better than a few years ago.
2 things you must do to make money as a blogger
I’m tempted at this point to ask you to forget about everything else you have been told to do to generate income as a blogger. The reason is that many have tried out those methods but with no results to take home.
I think something of prime importance is missing and that’s what I want to address in this post. Let’s keep those “thousand” ways to make money blogging aside and focus on these two:
1 – Build your market place first
Have you read about affiliate marketing, sponsored posts, direct sales, contextual advertising, etc? Trust me these will all fail and drop you like a piece of shit if you do not have a market place.
That’s why bloggers who rush into trying any of these without a marketplace come back with their hands on their head.
It will never work, people!
You may have some drops of income. But that’s just good enough to renew your domain name next year. It isn’t any income to live the dot com life style.
Trying to monetize your blog without a thriving, responsive and active marketplace is like shooting your leg. It will only end up driving negative forces to your spine.
Think of your local marketplace. Imagine your neighbor is the only buyer and seller. Let’s even say he owns the market. It’s never going to generate income for. It doesn’t matter the quality of goods he sells in the market.
He will remain poor for as long as there are no buyers and sellers streaming in. That’s not far from your blog. You may have the most beautiful themes, hosting on the best and advertising the best products ever. If you don’t get readers on your blog, you are as good as not having a blog.
But how do you build your blog as a market place?
This is where bulk of the job lies. Setting up your blog isn’t enough. There must be a promotion strategy to build your influence and marketplace:
1 – Post consumable content constantly.
You need something to constantly happen on your blog to bring readers. That’s constantly posting top-notch content to inform your readers and solve their problems. No one comes to your blog to read outdated piece of content. People come in for something new and useful.
2 – Post on other platforms constantly
It’s about your blog here right?
But being frequent with helpful content on other platforms is a way of advertising your blog. There are many of these platforms out there that need you to contribute helpful materials. Once readers figure out that you are an expert, they will come to check you out and a portion of them will signup to your blog, list, etc.
Here are some quick ideas to post content on other platforms and help build your marketplace:
- Be active on Social Media platform (Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc)
- Participate on comment sections on other blogs (especially blogs in your niche)
- Post to Content Syndication and sharing platform like zest.is, Medium, etc
- Guest post on other blogs in your industry
- Be active on Quora and other Question and Answer sites
3 – Attract search engine users
Search engines are a huge source of traffic that can quickly expand your market place. Visitors from Google and other search engines are folks who are likely going to resonate with your content more closely. That’s because they made a search and the search machine told them you have what they want.
But you must optimize your content so Google will understand where to place you and who to send your way. Search engine optimization is a big topic that’s far beyond the scope of this post. I have posted quite much on this topic so you may want to read more here.
4 – Attend offline event
This is something many bloggers are yet to add to their expansion strategies. As a matter of fact, offline events get you connected and share ideas with folks live and the connections you make face-to-face are stronger and long lasting.
Find out from your environment if there are industry-related offline event. Don’t sit at home. Be part of it with your business cards. Walk up to like-minded persons and have a chat.
If there are no offline events, go ahead and organize some. This is big growth tool.
So what next?
Now, with an active marketplace, making money as a blogger is easy. I tell you the main reason it’s a big task to make money blogging is the fact that most bloggers don’t have a marketplace.
Once you have an active market, people coming, reading and engaging with you on your blog, you can then strategize and monetize using all the methods spoken about:
- Affiliate Marketing
- Sponsored posts
- Selling your own services
2 – Develop your skills to be hired
Getting hired in the market is another way to make money as a blogger. But you must develop some skills.
Most often, this will be required off your blog. Yes you are a good blogger. What about being paid to speak at a conference?
What about setting up a coaching program? What about writing for another platform and be paid? There are many of these skills you can develop and sell.
You see with me that there are only two things you need to make money as a blogger:
- Build your marketplace
- Develop your skills
Once these two are put together, making money won’t be a big issue.
Let me know what you think.