So you want to make money blogging, huh?
This is where I should wish you good luck because most people barely make enough to pay for their $75 bucks a year hosting! It took me quite a while (5 and 1/2 months) to make any money from my first blog, but once you learn how to take things to the next level, it becomes so much easier.
Once you have a proven strategy that you can replicate over and over, you’ll feel like you can start any blog on any subject and make a ton of money from it. The problem is, most people don’t have that strategy.
You can’t just go out and start a blog without a plan. Otherwise, you’ll have yourself a hobby rather than a highly profitable business.
I have been blogging since 2011 and have a plan for you.
Follow these four super simple steps, and you’ll find yourself raking in hundreds of dollars every week and have a successful blog.
1. Have a Dynamite Lead Magnet
Gone are the days of posting your phone number and email on everything and expecting people to reach out after every new blog post.
It just doesn’t work that way anymore. You need to offer the consumer something if you expect to get something in return. That’s the only way that Google will acknowledge that you have visitors that aren’t “new.”
Whatever your blog is about, you need to have a great lead magnet if you want people to return to your blog and build your email list and have smile-making Google Analytics numbers 🙂
For example, let’s see if you can figure out which one of these choices is the better of the two so you can have a successful blog.
Option 1: You land on a blog to read all about grooming your cat. The article you read is okay, but you feel like you’re still lacking information. You want more, but there isn’t much more available for you on that website, so you bounce.
Option 2: You land on a blog to read all about grooming your cat. The article you read is okay and while you’re reading a small pop-up hits the corner of your screen and says that if you subscribe to the email list, you’ll get a complete guide to grooming your cat including tools, brushes, shampoos, and coaxing mechanisms to help make the entire process easier. (The search engines also love this.)
Now, it’s obvious which is the better choice. (Even new bloggers figure this one out) but it’s incredible how many people don’t utilize great lead magnets like that. It’s so simple to set up an offer and get readers to subscribe to the list. You simply have to give them exactly what they want right when they want it. Don’t give away all the treasure in the article; make them want more, and to get more, they have to give up a little as well.
2. Write a Nurturing Email Sequence
Moving on to the second method; now you have their email because of your incredible lead magnet, but now you have to keep it. If you spam their inbox 50 times a day with email headers that say “hey valuable subscriber” or “hello [insert impersonal greeting here]” you will lose them because they’ll realize they’ve been duped.
To make money blogging, your emails need to be incredibly personal, and the subscribers need to feel like you are speaking directly to them. To begin with, you should have a few different lead magnets and a few different email sequences depending on what got that person into your list. Sign up for good autoresponders like Mailchimp or ConvertKit, put one of their plugins into your site and you’ll be ready to go with your own blog. This will help you by offering variables so you can fill in the blanks in your email based on the information you’ve received about that subscriber. (Don’t worry – you’ll get the hang of it. Just go step-by-step through this plan and you’ll be fine.)
Back to the cat example, if someone subscribed to your list to get an e-book all about cat grooming, maybe you want to send them through a cat funnel. If someone joined the list to get more information about saltwater fish tanks, you’d want to send them through that funnel.
Either way, make sure that the email sequence speaks to them because not only will they remain a subscriber but they will present a lot of value on the backend with your content marketing as you keep writing to them going forward.
This is the first step to becoming a successful blogger.
3. Have a Pocket Pre-Launch
A tremendous mistake that many bloggers make is that they spend months crafting this incredible blog of amazing content before they determine a need for their market.
Is your target audience really interested in what you want to sell?
Having a business plan that you’ve run by your blogging coach is a smart move. They’ll tell you things like you should have the premium WordPress theme, that adsense doesn’t make sense, that LinkedIn does work for some bloggers and that you could start a podcast if you really want to.
For example, if you’re creating a course using your blog to teach people to start their own bakery business from home, you would first want to determine if there is an interest in that subject. While it sounds like a great idea and something people would like, you want to do a small little pre-launch first to see if there is an interest.
Take your subscriber list, maybe start a Facebook group, reach out to people on social media and other social networks, check Amazon best-sellers in your niche and find out if people are interested in this subject. Find a niche group of people who are seriously into baking and offer them access to a small portion of the course with an e-book for a fraction of the actual cost. This is where it helps to build your traffic. Here are some ideas:
- hold a webinar
- Write more blog content that is high quality and answers the readers’ problems
- Create some guest posts
- Write great content that’s of high quality
- Do keyword research to get the right keyword phrases for each and every blog post
Doing this will save you a lot of time down the road, it will help you determine if there is interest, and getting feedback before your actual launch will help you craft the full course for the needs of your audience. And in the long run, it will help you make more money blogging.
4. Monitor, Test, and Tweak
The final step is not to stop there. Keep going, keep testing things, and monitoring your results. If you did a pre-launch and it failed, tweak things and try again. Maybe there is no market for what you’re selling, but at least you found out now instead of later. Check search engine optimization (SEO) results for your keywords in your niche and make sure they aren’t too difficult to hit so that you get more traffic.
If you find that your subscriber list is taking in what you’re offering and people are spending money on your blog, then you should 10x those results. Continue promoting your offerings, contributing new content to the blog, and do it all over again. You’ll get more pageviews and you’ll also be building your editorial calendar at the same time – all good things for the search engines as well as your readers.
One of the most important things to remember is that you want to test the results and don’t settle even if things are going well. Test different email sequences, test different buttons on your blog, test various pop-ups, test, test, test. A WordPress blog makes this easier because there are plugins you can use to help your monetization methods.
Once you find something that works well for you, then you can repeat the entire process all over again with a different offering on your blog. Build your social shares, take part in affiliate programs, keep posting great blog topics for your readers and the search engines, get more blog traffic and, before you know it, in not too much time, you’ll be a full-time blogger with a nice size email list with more email subscribers than you ever thought possible, just like me and my colleagues. We always say we have the best job in the world, where you can hang around the house in your yoga pants!
Start now and you’ll be able to come and join our ranks soon!