So you’re considering starting a blog as a way to make additional income but don’t know where to start? The following tips will teach you how to blog as a side business and hopefully give you the information you need to eventually turn it into a full time income.
Blogging isn’t for everyone. Sorry, but it’s a fact. It takes commitment, patience, knowledge and an audience in order for a blog to make money. Let’s take a look at each of those points and then you can decide whether blogging is for you.
Many people think that in order to make money blogging all you have to do is write a few posts, slap a couple of ads on it and sit back and watch the money roll in. Sadly this is far from the truth. If it were that easy, wouldn’t everyone be doing it? In the very early stages of blogging you will need to blog every day. After you have a number of posts online (50 should be sufficient) you can reduce your posts to one every other day. If your content is really good eventually you may be able to blog just once or twice a week. This takes commitment. It is not for the weak at heart because dedicating yourself to blogging every day can be difficult. If you can get into a routine and have a clear blogging plan, this will become easier.
When you first start blogging it is very likely that no one will be reading your posts. This can be very upsetting, frustrating, and disappointing to many people who blog to make money. Search Engines won’t pay you much attention until you have those initial posts up, and so the chances of anyone finding your blog through a search query are low. Don’t let this stop you. Keep blogging as if there are people reading your posts, because if your blog has value and is relevant, eventually you will have readers.
There are various forms of knowledge that you will require in order to make money with your blog. The first is an in-depth knowledge of your topic or niche. Because you are going to be blogging every day in the initial stage, you are going to need a good amount of knowledge on your topic in order to have plenty of content.
The second is knowledge of SEO (Search Engine Optimization). You will need this knowledge to format your posts in such a way that Search Engines will index your posts and show them in search results.
The third form of knowledge is website building and maintenance if you plan to do everything yourself in order to pocket as much of the profits from your blog as you can. Anyone blogging as a side business needs to treat it as a real business and a free blogging platform will not work in the long term. A self-hosted blog will do better in the long run and is not subject to the whims of a free blogging platform. WordPress is quite easy to learn and master, with many done-for-you themes available, both free and paid. Before your blog begins to make money you will need to cover these costs, but in time your blog should earn enough to pay for hosting, your domain name and if really successful, the cost of hiring someone to maintain your website.
4. An audience
What is a blog without readers? A hobby! The ultimate goal of your blog is to make money and for that you need an audience. But how do you get anyone to read your blog and allow you to make money from their readership? In addition to blogging regularly and implementing SEO, you will need to promote your blog. This can be done in a variety of ways. Social Media is a very popular method of promotion and is highly successful. The likes of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram are all great platforms for promoting your blog.
There is little point in monetizing your blog until you are sure you have readers. Provide visitors to your blog with the means to subscribe so that you can accurately monitor how many people are reading your blog. Use an Analytics program to give you day to day statistics that will let you know whether you are reaching your target audience. Once you are sure you have a reasonable number of subscribers you can begin to monetize your blog. Monetize too soon or too much and you will lose your audience. No one wants to be sold to every time, so use monetization techniques sparingly.
Depending upon the topic of your blog there are various ways to monetize it. One of the most popular methods is affiliate marketing. Strategic placement of affiliate links in your posts will encourage your readers to purchase products and earn you a commission. One of the biggest affiliate programs is Amazon.com. Now the largest online retailer there are literally millions of products you can link to no matter what the topic of your blog is. There are a vast number of other affiliate programs too. Do a quick Google search for affiliate programs and your niche topic, and you should find at least one or two that you will be able to work with.
Placing relevant ads in your sidebar or footer can also earn you income. The key is relevancy. Your readers have already proven by subscribing that they are interested in what you have to write, but getting them to hand over their money takes a bit of finesse. Ads should not dominate the page and should not irritate the reader to the point where they leave your website.
If you find you enjoy blogging you can turn some of your knowledge into a book and sell it on your blog. Make reference to it in some of your posts. When you are writing a post that addresses a particular point that is covered in more depth in your book, take that opportunity to let your reader know they can find out more by purchasing your book. Be sure to provide a link to make it as easy as possible for them to buy.
So now you know how to blog as a side business all you need to do is decide whether you have the commitment and patience to get the necessary knowledge and build an audience that will earn you money day in and day out. If this is for you then there is no time like the present. Go to it!