Making a living off of a blog is a very real possibility today. A publisher is no longer needed as a medium between the creator and their audience. The fruits of technological progress allow us to enjoy unprecedented freedom. The ability to share anything we want whenever we want without having to ask anyone’s permission has grown to define the modern world.
And while a lot of the things that are produced by this system are fueled only by enthusiasm and madness, there are many opportunities to capitalize on your hard work. Blogging is not an exception. With enough time and effort, you can turn a writing hobby of yours into a profitable business. So what exactly are the steps one has to take to start making a living off of a blog?
Find a Niche
Having a niche is one of the main defining traits of a ‘professional’ blog. If you want to make money off of it you’ll have to start building an audience. And being all over the place doesn’t really work for that. If you want readers to tune in regularly, you’ll have to let them know what to expect from your blog. People will come back with certain expectations once they know what you are about.
The topic itself doesn’t really matter as much. Of course, some subjects have a wide appeal, others have a very narrow audience. But a talented writer can make anything interesting. So instead of focusing on what everyone likes, try to think more in the direction of what you can write about. Picking a popular niche is important but it won’t help you much if you don’t know the first thing about the subject.
Find a Persona
Once you decide on what to write about, the next important step is to figure out how you’re going to approach it. Your style of writing, your website design, the words you use – every little detail is important. Regardless of the topic you pick, chances are, there will be a couple of other authors covering it. Find something that makes you stand out amongst the competition.
This is the part where you can really go wild. It’s about creating an atmosphere for your audience. Communicating your personality to them. So there isn’t really a wrong way for this. You can try working it out yourself top to bottom, or you can outsource everything but the writing to professional designers and artists. Go with whatever works better for you.
Consistency and Quality
The next step after setting the standards is keeping up with them. One amazing post you wrote that one time means nothing unless you can consistently produce high-quality content. That’s where bloggers face their most significant obstacles. You can fall into a writer’s block or simply burn out. That’s why it’s important to pace yourself appropriately.
Develop a schedule and follow it to the letter. It doesn’t have to be tight. But it can’t be too scarce either. Too much workload and you’ll get jaded. Too little and your audience may give up on you. Shift things around until you find a perfect ratio. But once you find that balance, make sure you keep to it. A pattern is good. Anything that can be recognized by your readers plays into your brand.
Build a Community
Every previous step contributed to this general purpose. A brand is nothing without a community. If you’re set on making a living off of blogging you have to remember that the audience is basically your employer. That’s why building your community and making every effort to maintain it is an essential part of developing a personal brand.
There are many ways that can help you keep and expand your audience.
- Appealing to the interests of your readers;
- Interaction and communication;
- Guest blogging.
Guest blogging and optimizing your writing to fit the search engine algorithms will help you attract more people. But getting people to visit your blog is only half the job. The other (and arguably,more difficult) part is to convince them to stay. Making them feel individually important and heard is a tricky thing. But it works wonders if done properly.
You have to understand exactly who your readers (or at least the majority of them) are. What makes them tune in? What are their daily lives like? What bothers them and what makes them happy? Use this knowledge to guide your blog in the direction they’ll find interesting. Remember that you’re writing for them and not for your own amusement.
Engage with your readers. Read their comments, answer their concerns and questions. Let them play a role in the creative process. Hold polls or small contests. It doesn’t have to be something huge. The creative reins are still in your hands. But letting the people play a role other than a passive observer can make them feel welcome on your page.
Once you have a relatively big thing going on you can start thinking about profits. And when it comes to blog monetization, your best bet would be paid ads. Offer space on your blog to advertisers and you’ll be able to make some amount of money depending on how many people drop by. However, you have to pay attention to a couple of nuances.
Smacking down whatever ads are offered can destroy everything you’ve worked so hard on. You’re the landlord here. So picking suitable neighbors for your community is your duty. Make sure the pop-ups are not too annoying. They should not interfere with the atmosphere you’ve created. Try to think about what ads your readers will be interested in. It will benefit your community, yourself and the advertiser.
As you can see, monetizing a blog is a very doable thing. With the abundance of quality software and information on the topic, it shouldn’t be a problem at all. The main thing that separates successful blog monetizations from failed ones is whether you can stand out from the crowd. Hundreds of thousands of aspiring writers compete for a place under the sun.
Being just as good as anybody is not enough. You have to be better. And if you put enough hard work into your project – you can be. Building a personal brand will help you get to where you want to be.
Elizabeth Price is an experienced content creator and marketing specialist at EssayPro.com.