A blog is a great jumping off point if you want to begin making money online. Once you’re up and running with a site, producing content, and building a following, you can slowly begin to expand on your profitable actions through selling ad space, trying out affiliate marketing, implementing a membership site, selling products, and a whole lot more.
If I were to summarize this process of creating a profitable blog it would be something like this:
1. Come up with a great idea for a website (that solves a common problem for an industry)
2. Outline and create goals for your blog (including content, social media policies, and business opportunities)
3. Develop the site with a clean, easy-to-use design that’s optimized to drive visitors toward digging deep into your content and taking actions upon your offers.
4. Expand your brand by developing products and creating new income streams from your work as the traffic continues to grow.
5. Create relationships and associate yourself with industry authorities to convey greater value of your brand (and to have contacts that could help in your next project).
Sounds easy enough, right? But there is a whole lot more that has to go into the blog if you really want to see it make more than a few pennies off an AdSense click.
Sometimes it’s the little things that matter; without them you won’t find success.
Your list is everything because it gives you the power to connect with your followers without having to fully rely on Google or the many social networks that may terminate your account out of the blue (and for no good reason). With a list you can push fresh content, send out product offers, and gather feedback which all grow the brand. The list is why you will always see it on any type of post dedicated toward making money from blogging.
Hard work pays off but a slight oversight could see it all come crashing down if you’re not protecting your (and your visitors’) privacy. There are a lot of malicious web trollers out there that go after new blogs. Your rise in popularity will no doubt bring those who will attempt to phish for your information, try to send you malware, and other dubious activities. Do yourself a favor and block out most of this hassle by checking out the antivirus.com download section, grabbing a program, and keeping it running in the background at all times.
The income you make from your blogging efforts will most likely come from a variety of sources. At the end of the year when you need to file for taxes this can get a little tricky because it’s not like you can just hand over a W2 from a single employer. It would be wise to keep track of all your income sources and begin setting aside 10 – 15% (others say 25 – 30%) of that revenue to go toward taxes (if you’re getting paid directly and not accounting for taxes), otherwise you’ll get burned by the IRS.
Making money directly from pushing content, promoting affiliate products, or passive income streams like advertising is great and all but you’re really limiting your ability to earn more. I would highly recommend that you take a look at your skills and begin selling them as services through your blog. This way you can continue what you do while leveraging a service page that can push people further into the content, which could earn you a good deal more than offering products. Think of it like a long-term investment during those times when the blogging side of the income begins to dip.
Always, always, always keep a sharp mind about this whole online thing. Strategies, ideas, and platforms are changing each day and if you get too comfortable with what you know you are bound to be left in the dust as new competition hits the market. Do yourself a favor and use online learning sites to keep your skills sharp and to learn new ones that will aid with the business.
Horizontal & Vertical Opportunities:
Keep doing what you’re doing as far as blogging goes and the same with continuous education because the skills you master and learn may one day become opportunities to expand your blogging efforts into horizontal (complimentary) or vertical (new) businesses. Instead of a single authority website you could begin work on a few, which scales your online income dramatically.
If you started with a great idea, did the research, and pour your blood, sweat, and tears into the development of the site, you will no doubt find success in your industry. But be warned – the little things do matter throughout this process. Skipping over them could come back to bite you in the rear and that’s something you certainly don’t want happening once you’re tasting the success.