Time to Read (using avg wpm): 9 mins
An approach to The Second Chute of The Loot Chute.
Blogs may not seem like a good way to make money up front. People just blog for themselves and to get attention right?
Not always. A ton of people are making money with their blogs, either indirectly or straight from it. Almost all big companies and industry leaders have blogs, “come check out our blog for tips to use this!” or “see what our creative team is up to on our blog!”
“Woah! Ok where do I sign up!?” you say.
The following is a way of breaking down and simplifying blogging for income into it’s elements.
This post will touch on each of these points:
- Coming up with your blog
- Creating your blog
- Content creation
- Automation (kinda)
So without further ado or hoopla, lets begin.
Coming Up With Your Blog
Ok so where do we start?
Well first thing is to come up with a niche or a product to center your blog around.
A niche is defined as a specialized but profitable corner of the market. If you can find your corner of the market and get a following, you can be profitable. The purpose of “niche-ing down” is to make it easier to get a following/fan base. These are the people that will be giving you the money.
There are 2 techniques to “niche-ing down”
- Craft a small, hyper specialized niche that doesn’t exist yet.
- Something like, Single dad’s with a boy and a girl living in mobile home with their no-tailed pet turtle.
- You would collect a fan base of these kinds of people and you would rule the market (until other people realized how good it was and tried to cut into your niche).
- Pick an existing niche
- This is a good idea too because if the niche exists already, then it has proven that it can work.
- The strategy to taking this on is to make this niche your own, personalize it, and create content that is better than the other guys
If you are centering your blog around a product that you have already created then you will have a much easier time creating your blog because you can skip straight to naming it and creating it.
Creating Your Blog
This is very easy nowadays.
The easy way is to just use a hosting site, get a free domain name, pick website design software (like wordpress), set up the background stuff and pick a template.
Bluehost is the hosting site I used. I went through Pat Flynn’s affiliate link here because I love Pat Flynn. (we will touch on affiliating in a bit)
Any of these sites will walk you through the process and it is alot easier than you may think.
Ooh boy my favorite.
This is the meat of the sandwich. It doesn’t matter what you do if your content is bad (like mine), you will not be successful.
Your content has to fulfill the needs of your niche. If your niche requires fun and excitement and you are calling out “Bueller” over and over– you aren’t going to make it.
That doesn’t mean you have to be fun in your niche either. You just have to fill the needs. You don’t want to be marketing to 65 year olds about the stock market and making potty jokes. It just won’t work.
A Few Tips to Aid in Content Creation:
- Come up with your topic and then pick here and there from other sources to aid you and back you up (leave links back to the sites, people love links)
- Make it relatable by turning the content into a story of when you used it or when it happened to you
- And most importantly. Pictures! Color! Spice!
If you run out of ideas and you are established a bit you can even start asking your fan base what they would like you to talk about.
Now, you started this blogging enterprise to help people. You are an altruistic person. You are helping your niche and helping the world.
“I guess it’s okay if I make some money while I’m doing it…” you say.
Here are your main sources of income (to donate to charity of course):
- Affiliate marketing
This is the easiest one. Just sign up for something like adsense and let the fun begin.
Sometimes you may not want to put ads up on your website if you don’t want to seem too obviously into the money and/or distract from the content. Sometimes it’s better to just make your money through your products and affiliates.
You see this all the time. This is when people tell you about a product they like and leave a link up to it. If you have an agreement and you send someone over to someone’s website and they buy something; you get a percentage of the profits.
Affiliate marketing is awesome.
If you use it right you not only help yourself out but you help your audience and your affiliate out. It’s a win win win!
What do I mean by use it right though?
Well only use products that you know are applicable to your niche and that you know will help your audience. Don’t just pick up any affiliates you can find. You can lose the trust and damage the relationship with your fan base if you send them somewhere and they buy some garbage double-sided eraser pencil.
If you already have a product– good, you have been selling it this whole time.
If you don’t– good,
You have been building up your following and your email list this whole time. The email list is essential during your product creation.
Did you ever notice that every site you go to asks you for your email? (like I will do at the end of this post) Well they are doing this to make sure that they can stay in contact with you. You are either already a customer or at the least you are a prospective customer, because you are on the site.
Once they have your email they can send out surveys to get customer opinions or let you know there is new content so,”come back to our site!” When you collect an email address, (and you don’t abuse it and make them unsubscribe) you have a money– I mean follower.
So anyway, this whole time you are creating your product you are using your email list to remind people and ask for pre-orders or you are putting up a link to your kickstarter (a crowdfunding platform). Never mind the actual launch of your product, if you have a supportive following you can make a ton of money before you even start working on your product.
A couple of easy product ideas to help you not only make money but also give you some credibility are as follows:
- Book/E-book. Write a book about your niche that just condenses alot of your important blog content. It’s easy because you have most of the content already, just link it all together in book form. Sell your book on your website or, if you are smart, give it away for email subscriptions (Pat Flynn does this with his e-book).
- T-shirts. Put your logo on a t-shirt or a mug or what have you. This is a good way to advertise and make some money, especially if your logo isn’t dumb.
A lot of internet business sources recommend that you use your email list to contact your audience and grill them about their problems. Dig and dig and dig until you identify the underlying cause and then come up with a fix. This, they say, is the best way to start the product creation process.
Your blog, especially if you are your own brand, will probably never be completely automated. There are ways where once you have enough steady income from your blog you can hire writers and developers and editors to take care of it all while you sit at the top of the pyramid drinking your whiskey and coke at 11 in the morning.
It rarely works that way though.
First off, because if you have become that successful, you really care about your content and you would never let some grimy writer mess it all up.
Next, because if you are your own brand, it has to be you making the content or you lose your audience.
Finally, even if you are willing to leave it all in the hands of writers, developers and editors, you have to be making enough money to pay them.
But you can still (kinda) automate certain things:
- Publishing content. If you like to post content on a schedule, say Wednesdays at 3, then you can easily set it up to post at that time. Let’s say over the course of a few days you put the rubber to the road and write 3 great articles for your site. You can set each one to automatically publish on this Wednesday and then next Wednesday and then the following Wednesday. You just worked a few days for 3 weeks of content.
- Emails. The same thing goes for your emails, batch produce them and have them go out at previously specified times.
Other things automate your cash flow from the start:
- If you sign up to have ads run on your site and you haven’t posted anything in years but people still end up on your site and click your ads, you are making money.
- Any of your affiliate links you have posted (that haven’t gone out of business (like the double sided eraser pencil)) will still be making money from clicks.
- If you have products on your site and people click on them, you get the picture.
Blogging isn’t for everybody. It takes a lot of time and effort (I’m realizing) to get off the ground and a lot of time and effort to keep your audience engaged (I’ve heard).
Making real money takes effort.
When you think about it in the big scheme of things though, it is so worth it. A few years of hard work and sacrifice for the rest of your life with total options plus the option to improve the lives of all those around you and those in need.
The key is persistence. You haven’t failed until you quit.
Quitters never win and winners never quit
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