There are a number of ways to make money from writing on the internet but the way that most people start earning from their writing is by gradually monetizing blogs that they started for fun or as a hobby. It might start out with a blog bringing in a few dollars to pay for its own hosting, or for a couple of books or a few cups of coffee per month. And it may increase gradually so that it eventually becomes enough to be equivalent to a part time job. Some blogs even end up making hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
Of course there are millions of blogs that don’t make money at all. People thinking of getting into blogging for the money should be aware that it is very difficult to be one of the few bloggers who make decent money from a blog (or number of blogs). However, despite the odds, it is possible with hard work and a bit of luck, to make money from blogging. If you are considering either starting your own blog or monetizing a blog you already operate, then you should begin with the following steps.
Firstly, you need to ensure that you have the correct combination of a profitable niche and a catchy domain name. The term ‘profitable niche’ refers to an area that is not so broad and oversubscribed as to be impossible to get into – say ‘books’ or ‘electronics;’ but at the same time not so unique and of such limited time appeal that it will only interest 20 people – ‘a history of poems about tractors’ blog – or not make any money. Once you have a niche that could make money, lets say ‘teddy bears of the world’ then you need a good domain name, something to do with teddy bears that is also catchy.
Secondly, once you’ve chosen your niche and domain name and got your hosting sorted, you need to plan ahead by researching the keywords that are important for your niche. There are a number of tools on the web for this, some free and others costing fifty to a hundred dollars. All of them allow you to research the most common (and profitable) phrases that people type into Google when looking for teddy bear related sites.
Next, and most important of all, you need to write good content. Write it and they will come. This is where most blogs fail. People are so busy planning to make money they forget to write well. A passionately written blog is worth a thousand links – write an interesting and witty blog and update it continually and your audience will keep coming back for more. That said however, if you do all that and also cleverly intersperse the content with a few well chosen keywords or phrases that wouldn’t hurt either!
Fourthly, you need to promote the site. This requires either money or hard work. As hard as you might work on content for a site, it doesn’t hurt to also promote it via link building. Search engines judge your site on popularity and the number of incoming links so it is up to you to go out there and build those links either through sites like Ezine and Hubpages or through guest posting on other blogs. It is possible to also buy software that helps with this and sends articles out to a number of sites with your anchor links built in, but this software will cost you money. Avoid the temptation to use link farms as any short term gain these might bring will soon be punished by Google.
Lastly, you need to monetize your site. This can be done in a number of ways but the most common for people new to blogging (and for old hands) are the following methods:
- Adsense – an ad serving application run by Google. Enroll your site with Adsense to enable image, text and video adverts and generate revenue via pay per click or per impression.
- Affiliate Programs – Affiliate programs are where businesses reward you for traffic and customers you have sent to their site.
- Continuity Programs – A recurring income from a service or subscription that your site provides.
- Private Ad Sales – A business to business agreement between your site and another business who wants to advertise with you.
- Ebooks – Writing and selling some kind of book (normally a guide to doing something) via your site.
One final way to make money from blogging is Paid Blogging. This will be explored in part 2 of this article.
About Guest Author:
Alex Simmonds is a copywriter and freelance journalist currently living in the UK. He also writes a daily financial blog for the contracting sector on issues such as Umbrella Companies.