Can you believe we only have about 5 more weeks left in 2014? I have been busy traveling back to Michigan to see my family for the holidays. So, I invited a friend and 10-year expert blogger to create an awesome post for you! She is not only an expert, she’s very passionate about social media period. My guest blogger is Sue Bride. Sue enjoys working from home building WordPress sites and marketing products and services online. I hope after reading her post, you’ll also check out her blog at sueblimely.com. BTW, the post image was taken by Sue’s daughter while exploring Australia.
The reason I asked Sue to write about making an income from your blog is that I just wanted to give you a taste of what is possible by owning and maintaining a blog. First you have your passion, your main “why.” Next, we mix in income-producing ideas and commenting/socializing. But, for now, here are some of Sue’s thoughts that should get your mind spinning as to just what’s possible with your own blog. Without further ado, here’s Sue!
How To Make An Income From Your Blog With Integrity By Sue Bride
Would you like to learn how to make an income from your blog, without compromising the integrity of what you write about? In fact, I believe that’s the only way you can.
Before you start to make a consistent income with your blog, you need to become known and respected for what you write about, by a readership interested in what you’re selling. There are no real shortcuts these days because coming up with something unique is hard and the competition is great.
I don’t mean to put you off. Success is possible, if your desire is strong enough and you put in the time and effort. Anything worthwhile is worth working at and waiting for. The range of online income producing activities is huge and still growing. It’s only relatively recently that the masses took up shopping online. Even though it’s no longer possible to earn just by throwing up a website, adding some good keywords and a few blog posts, this huge increase in the market works in your favor.
What Can You Sell?
Income From Selling Other People’s Products
• Products and services created by a third party for a one-off affiliate commission.
• Subscription based products and services where you earn ongoing commissions.
• Multi-Level Marketing, where you and your referrals are required to buy a certain amount of product or services each month.
• Through an e-commerce store attached to your blog or another of your own sites.
Income From Your Own Products and Services
• Digital products that you create yourself: e-books, videos, online training products and courses, stock photos and images, printables…
• Creative products: Paintings, prints, photos, books, craft items, web design, clothing, woodwork …
• Coaching and Mentoring for individuals or small groups.
• Virtual assistant services.
• Technical services: web coding, problem solving…
A blog is one of the most powerful marketing tools there is, even if your actual sales are made elsewhere.
• You sell an affiliate product and use your blog to direct your readers to your referral links.
• You run another site dedicated to the product or service you sell.
• You sell your own products through a third party such as Amazon or Etsy, JVZoo or Clickbank
Whatever you sell, you have to provide content of interest to the people you want to buy from you. Using your main blog for writing purely advertising material won’t bring you repeat visitors, or the income you’d like. Writing about a topic related to what you sell, in a non-promotional way, can.
It’s very unlikely that this will happen overnight, unless you already have a good following on a social media site and bring them with you. Some people do well selling on Facebook alone but if they add a website, and useful blog, their profits increase.
Bring in The Visitors
You need to get eyes on your blog posts and those eyes need to belong to potential buyers (a target market). If your content is interesting enough, your market will come from search engines and through your, well thought out, activity on social networks.
Depending on what you sell, you don’t need to stick with the main social media channels of Facebook, G+, LinkedIn and Twitter. You may be better getting yourself known on niche forums or groups. Some types of product do very well on Pinterest. Then there are offline networking activities.
One of my favorite ways is being active in small helpful blogging groups. That’s how I met Deborah and how I came to be writing as her guest blogger. Getting to know other bloggers by regularly commenting on their blogs is really useful too.
You may have heard the expression “Brand Yourself” and it’s very important. People are much more likely to buy from those they know and trust. Unless you develop a totally unique product that becomes a well-known brand on its own, you will be the brand. Darren Rowse, developed a hugely successful site, Pro Blogger some years ago, but it wasn’t until he started his Digital Photography School that he made the big money. Similar sites were starting up but Darren was already known. Deborah can help you get started with the branding process.
Whatever you decide to specialize in, make sure it’s something that’s going to retain your interest, something you have a passion for. That’s not necessarily something you already have a lot of knowledge of. It could be a topic or niche that you’ve always wanted to learn more about. If you do some training, and research well, then you can blog about it as you go. Take your readers along your own journey of discovery.
I’ve tried to cover a huge topic in one blog post. You may want to check out this post for more ideas shared by 26 other expert bloggers. If there are any questions on specific areas please ask by leaving a comment. Can you add any other ways of making an income using your blog?