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How to Make Money Blogging

June 16th, 2011 by Michael Tabor

This is an honest blog about how money is earned blogging. If the only reason you started blogging was to make a lot of money quickly and easily I must sadly inform you that blogging is not for you. 99.99% of bloggers do not make money but then again they are not producing very good blogs. I am going to say this now and repeat it because it is the truth and the only thing that works is – content. Content is everything!
I am 6 months into my blogging career and I can now honestly say that no I am not raking in the bucks, however, I am at a point where I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I will probably never be rich, however one can never tell, and I will make enough money to make a comfortable middle class living. Though I am not The Pioneer woman, (she makes more than a million dollars just blogging and her secret is – Good Content. It is a Suzy Homemaker blog and it is not for me but I admire the aesthetically pleasing site and the quality of the content that is accessible, fun, and rife with information. ) yet, within 2 years I should be making half of what she makes.
This is my first blog about how I make money off blogging but there is a certain percentage of individuals who do nothing but give very often bogus advice, tease you with bits of informational profit-garnering techniques, and then ask you to purchase their secrets to success. Stay away from those people –please do not waste your money on these bogus “secrets”. All the information you need to know to get going is free, the only expenditures will be the products you need to run your blog, marketing and key word search, etc. The beauty of blogging is the start-up cost is minimal and if you do everything correctly your first year investment should be no more than $1,500.00. (I have made all the mistakes an individual can possibly make and already spent around $5,000.00. I will tell you about my mistakes and how to avoid them.) So steer clear of so called “blogging gurus” who take your money and give you nothing you couldn’t find on the internet here or anywhere on the web for nothing. THERE ARE NO SECRETS – only blogs with good content.
I cannot emphasize how important it is that you begin blogging for the right reasons. I started blogging because I love to write. I went to school for journalism and unfortunately spent 25 years of my professional career doing everything but Journalism. I was a recruiter or “headhunter” for many of those years and I loathed it! Now I look back and seeing the success I am having has a professional full time blogger, I regret not having persevered in the field I love so dearly – writing. So if I won the lottery or inherited a large sum of money, I would continue to blog every day. This truly is a dream come true and I consider myself unspeakably fortunate.
Let’s get started – Choose a niche
I made a mistake right from the get-go by one, not picking a niche and secondly which is what one has to do to after a niche is found is pick a domain name. I went 0 for 2. I am managing to eke out a living because the content (there is the only secret word again – content) of this blog is so good, otherwise I probably would not have earned a nickel. I know it is possible to do what I am attempting to do, which is cover everything under the sun, the very successful Huffington Post does just that. However this blog -whadawethink.com is a husband and wife team and Arianna Huffington, the creator of Huffington Post ,had millions of dollars in the beginning to play with and 7000 writers to boot. So yes, in this case Ms. Huffington’s creation is the result of having so much money and the solution to good content and marketing is to simply cut a check and hire great writers and guest writers in addition to 70 + employees to market her blog. The Huffington Post truly is an original online newspaper. This blog is for you and I; the average person who is starting an online business with just a couple of thousand dollars tops to start.
I have at least 3 more blogs that I’m preparing to launch very soon which are yes, one all have very specific niches and two, have a domain name that is apropos. The first is called grammarmarks.com, which covers all aspects of grammar, and style, I will be checking all types of correspondence for grammatical mistakes and corrections, and I will be putting my recruiting business to work by cleaning up people’s resumes. Furthermore, my wife has come up with a niche and great domain herself -teainthetureet.com and just as the name suggests this a very specific niche on tea and one can surmise what the blog is about by the title. The way to get a good niche is just google it and if 100’s of millions of entries pop up, the niche is not tight enough. One would like to get under the 10 million mark and even less for example the number for grammar checking is 2.2 million. You may still say wow, that is a big number, but the reality is the World Wide Web is a sprawling and prodigious entity and over 2 billion people use the internet. The number is simply awesome and staggering.
I will mention some products that I do not personally use but I will vouch for them because keep in mind there is not a product here that I have not tried or some successful blogging colleague hasn’t.
Market Samurai (as you can see I don’t use hyperlinks – this is a matter of choice. I don’t want people leaving my site so I am hopeful that you read my blogs and then seek out whatever it may be afterwards.) is the best in terms of assisting you in terms of selecting a niche. This tool will help you out with keyword selection to drive traffic to your site, SEO competition, rank tracker, monetization, can manage your content and so much more. A friend of mine stated that the product doubled his profits.
Purchasing your domain name and choosing a host
There are a number of hosts (mistake #3 for me. I chose 1and1 and they don’t compare to Host Gator, which is the best – trust me on this one.) In addition, I use Host Gator, the platform I use is WordPress; everyone uses it and for good reason it is great, and it is free. There is no other successful person who uses anything else.
The next step is personalizing your blog. No one is going to stay with the generic features wordpress provides so you can invest in some software like Semiologic-Wordpress or invest in a Web Designer – a good one who is ethical. In terms of finding a good Web Designer, referrals are the only way. I have an honest, talented, ethical and affordable Web Designer and perhaps the second reason whadawethink.com is successful is because it is aesthetically pleasing to the eye. I had done so many things wrong and the site, in my opinion is so attractive, I’m certain there are people who come just for the design alone.
More than one blog
Yes, get out as many blogs as you can handle. I know people who have 20 or more sites.
SEO Optimization
I paid an SEO Optimization company to set me up with all the major search engines. I highly recommend that everyone do this, it’s an additional investment, but it’s necessary. What I would not suggest you do is sign up for the any of their marketing campaigns. I’m in the middle of a campaign that I wasted $800 on and I will not mention the company because who knows, maybe whadawethink.com will pick up dramatically. There was another company I used for marketing and I got hit with nothing but spam. Essentially what they did was throw their clients my way and who had no interest in whadawethink.com but they wanted to use my web-site as a platform for all the links I was getting because the site was so popular. This comes to a product I highly recommend once your blog starts moving along called Askimet, which is a spam blocker and works perfectly.
Content , Content and more Content
Have great content. This blog could literally be those 3 words – provide great content. Writing well, being witty, researching everything you write. Take time to respond to the people who follow you, provide information, but make it fun to read. One could be the greatest writer in the world but if it is dry – well then it may be too scholarly. You really do not want to write scholarly on a blog. If someone is writing a book, blogs are not considered legitimate sources. But if the information is correct every time then many individuals may check your blog first and then proceed from there. That’s what I do with Wikipedia; it’s accurate 99.9% of the time but if I want to be certain I start there and double check at another source. Why? Because I am used to it, it is fun, easy and accessible.
Marketing your Blog
One can pay for it or do it yourself and doing it yourself is a lot of hard work. It is sad but some of the greatest material ever written goes unread because it was not promoted properly. I actually blogged about it. Some of my best blogs have gone unread because the topic was trending and therefore too competitive for the search engines to pick up. My advice is to write what you want. Again, if you are writing just for keywords then your job becomes a drag. Remember content and you will be found.
Use Amazon.com
There are so many ways to make money if you have good Content and you build a following. I only use Amazon .com because it has everything and I do not want my blog to be cluttered. But it’s up to you – Google adsense which has often been called google welfare. No one gets rich on adsense – no one ! Pick an affiliate and go with it – I will stick with Amazon.

I hope you enjoy the site. Have fun and keep coming back.

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3 Responses to “How to Make Money Blogging”

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