It's hard to believe I started my blog in January of 2008 (actually January 19, 2008). In the course of those eight years, I have learned a lot, however when I started it I had no idea where I was going or what I was doing. Heck, I was barely sure why I was doing it! All I know is I was compelled to write. I started out just being excited about my iPhone and apps, and it evolved from there.
Soon, I was writing about my passion of internet marketing. Then I started getting serious. My first blogs sucked. My nickname is Captain Typo, and I certainly lived up to it. Then I found a virtual assistant who now proofs and posts my blogs with little to no errors.
Once I started focusing on my target audience and getting help with proofreading and editing, I got noticed and started to gain traction with blog aggregators (I am now shared on Business2Community and Yahoo Small Business Advisor (Now called AABacoSmallBusiness.com (Baco = Bacon) thanks guys). So, blogging has helped me to reach new audiences and expand my reach, but it did not directly transpose to income or money.
So why would someone consistently spend time every week to write posts (like this one), to communicate with an audience they don't know, in hopes that it would bring in new business? Because it does!
Taking It To The Next Level
There are three (maybe many more) types of bloggers: one who blogs from a passion, one who does reviews for fun and profit, and one who blogs to market. Which one are you? If you are blogging from a passion, then chances are you are a hobbyist. There is nothing wrong with that (there are people making thousands of dollars per month selling ads on their hobby websites). The second type is someone who is using blogging to get products to review and help companies market their products or services. This is a business model where you get paid to blog for your work. The third is someone who blogs to attract attention to their website to market and sell their products and services. All three types have their benefits and merits.
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Making Money Blogging
Any or all of the three types of bloggers mentioned above can make money blogging if they understand their audience and the market place. Here are five different ways that you can make money through your blog:
- Blog Posts To a Book or Ebook – I blogged for a year and used my 50+ word blogs to create and print an ebook called, “It's Not About You, It's About Bacon Bits! 101 Relationship Marketing Tips!” Even though it was not a best seller like my first book, it makes a great giveaway both online and in person. Use your content and repurpose it as a marketing tool to help you grow your brand!
- Webinars to a Course – I have given hundreds of webinars. You can use these to create products that you can sell. It can be a series of free or paid for webinars, that in the end create a course that you can sell or use to market additional products or services.
- Articles to a Membership Website – I have seen people create membership websites that promise an article per week for a year. Write 52 blogs and you have a product that you can sell as a system to help people learn from you on how to better run their business or non-profit!
- Do a Contest – Think about doing giveaways to promote your Facebook page, blog, or business website. You can even get other people to pay for and ship those products or services to your winners. You have to spend some time researching potential partners, but it can be worth it!
- Get a Sponsor – If you have enough followers or readers, you can get people to sponsor your blog with products, that you can keep or give away. These are generally given to people who do reviews in blog or video form. Build an audience, promote other people's products or services and reap the rewards!
Monetizing your blog or website is not as simple as it seems. You need to build your brand first and get readers or listeners (to your podcast or videos on YouTube). Once you have the audience, you can make money just like radio and TV channels. You may not make Super Bowl money to start out with, but you need to start somewhere. If you can get paid $100 or even get a car to test drive for a week, it's better than nothing! Why not give it a try?
I would love to hear how you have had success or failure monetizing your blog, website or other efforts? I have had my Bacon books and blogs for a while and have had no luck yet but I am still trying! (if you work with Bacon contact me).
Let me hear your comments and feedback!