It sounds like a dream, right? You set up your blog and in no time begin making enough money to quit your day job or launch your business. You sell your house and travel the world — maybe you buy a sailboat — and all you have to do is write a few posts a week (of course while you’re sipping a margarita on the beach).
OK, this sounds great to me too. But as a business owner, I can tell you that’s definitely not my reality. And it likely isn’t — and probably won’t be — for you either. I know that’s some blunt truth, but I want to be honest here. Is it possible to make money from a blog? Yes. Is it a lot of work? Yes. Can you leverage a blog to help your business as an entrepreneur? Definitely. But, it’s still a lot of work.
Having said that, blogging can be a great way to connect with your audience. You can use it as a tool for your business — and yes, sometimes you can make money from it.
The first step is:
Create amazing content that will keep your readers hooked
When I started my copywriting house recently, one of the most common complaints I heard from clients was that they couldn’t possibly create as much quality content as they wanted. The first thing I always tell them is to make sure they’re passionate about their content (“What keeps you up at night?” I ask). Next, work with others who are equally passionate, especially those who really get your mission on a gut level. Use that passion to drive your blog forward.
Build a dedicated audience who just can’t stop caring (and clicking!)
It’s difficult to make money without an audience. So focus first on building an audience. Use social media to your advantage. Create consistent content on a regular basis. Be patient. It may take several years to make your blog into what you want it to be. Remember—as you do so, you’re creating trust with your audience, building your brand, AND spreading your message. So even when you’re not making money directly from your blog, keep in mind that it’s still contributing to your overall business.
Don’t be afraid to sell your t-shirts, e-books, pet rocks, etc.
OK, forget the pet rocks. But one way to make money from your blog is to sell directly through it. Your audience cares about you by now, right? And you know your audience! So what is it they want? Are you a writer? Sell an e-book or market your fantastic editing services. Have you built a brand based on your personal style? Sell t-shirts with your logo (your blog has a logo, right? It should!). I could go on, but you get the point. When your audience cares, they’ll want to buy your merch or cookbook or whatever else you have to offer.
Sign up for an affiliate program
Affiliate programs are one of the most popular ways beginning (and experienced!) bloggers make money. Amazon is a popular one, but there are many affiliate programs available to bloggers of all sizes. With this, you’re linking your readers to a product for sale on another site. Once they click through and end up buying that product, you earn some money.
So these are just a couple of ways to earn money. There are, of course, many ways. Whatever you do, don’t inundate your readers with ads. They’ll click off.
More importantly, focus on the big picture
This is where my assertion that making money directly from your blog isn’t necessarily what matters (unless your overall goal is to be a blogger). However, if you’re an entrepreneur, remember that your blog is just one piece of the puzzle. Your goal here is to build a successful business.
Whether or not you make money directly from your blog today or tomorrow isn’t really the point. If your blog has amazing content, showcases your personality and highlights your product or service, you’re already on the right path.