How to Make Money Blogging

I was recently trying to explain to a friend new to the concept of affiliate marketing how I made money from blogging.

For this post, I’ll use Sugarrae specifically as an example of how I make money by blogging since most people blogging primarily to earn extra cash (or a full time income) are doing it via one personally branded blog (which is what Sugarrae is for me).

Understand Readership comes First, the revenue later

Making money through blogging is not an instant process. You need to focus on readership first and revenue after you start to develop a readership. Am I saying you should launch a blog with no idea how to monetize it? ABSOLUTELY NOT.

Unless “back pats” and comments pay your bills, you need to have an idea of how you plan to monetize your blog before you start building it. But it can’t be THE focus from day one. Start with a plan regarding what niche your blog will target, what demographics your blog will serve and what topics and programs you’ll be able to turn to in order to monetize it.

That said, understand that in MOST cases you’re going to work on your blog for months before you start to see even an insignificant amount of revenue coming from it. Results will vary based on any “personal brand” you’re starting out with and how hard you work at PROMOTING your new blog.

When I originally started Sugarrae, there were NO ads on it. My primary concern was building my personal brand and not creating a revenue stream. I’m not saying you should IGNORE monetization. I’m just saying you need to understand it is on the back burner compared to building an audience in the beginning.

Understand that Blogging for Money has Overhead Costs

Expect to pay for hosting (I use Netwisp) – I’ve been over why you shouldn’t use free subdomains like WordPress.com, etc if you’re really planning to make blogging an income.

You should also plan to spend a few bucks on a design (assuming you’re not CSS and PHP savvy). I use the Thesis theme framework (you can find out why here), but also have my Thesis framework skinned. I’ve been doing this a long time, so I’ve obviously invested into my design (Proof Branding did the current one)… but you can find great low cost templates to alter (if you’re using Thesis, you can find some nice custom skins at Themedy) if you’re just starting out. It doesn’t need to be a custom design, but it shouldn’t look like a plain generic template either.

Choose a Niche

There used to be a time where I said choose what will make money versus choosing what you love. For instance, I started off in the telecom industry. I didn’t “love” telecom, but I always joked that I could learn to love any topic that made me money. But 2012 is a different playing field than 2002.

With Google’s love of “brands” – large and small, you’ll need to be sure that whatever niche you pick is one you can write passionately about – and regularly. It needs to be a topic you can become an authority on – and therefore build a brand on. And for most bloggers starting out with their first blog, the only way you can achieve that kind of authority and STICK WITH IT is to be blogging about something you are 1. knowledgeable about and 2. something you’ll enjoy blogging about.

On Sugarrae, I blog about affiliate marketing, entrepreneurship and Internet marketing – topics I am obviously passionate about and – I think anyway – it comes across in my writing. I don’t blog as often as I’d like, but I try to make sure that when I do? It isn’t “fluff” so to speak.

Figure out what your hobbies are, what the things you enjoy are – then check the larger affiliate networks and ensure there are products that relate to your niche with affiliate programs.

Setting Up Your Blog

WordPress is free, and despite its security loopholes and constant updating, it’s my preferred platform. You can install WordPress in under ten minutes (they say five, but if you’ve never done it before, it might be more like ten). Next up, ensure you make sure you do basic SEO for your WordPress blog so it will do as well as possible in the search engines once you follow through on all the steps below. Get that design (and framework like the Thesis Theme if you can) and you’re ready to go.

Be Real

Before you write a single post, I’d like to offer up some advice. BE REAL. Don’t be who you think readers want you to be. Don’t be just like the person writing for the most popular blog in your niche. BE YOU. Being you may not get you the most readers, but it will get you PASSIONATE readers.

I was talking with a very popular blogger a while back. His subscriber list trumps mine many times over. When I made a joke about that, he said, “Yeah, but your readers trust you, they listen to you – because you never bullshit them – you are what you are. I may be more popular in numbers, but your entire audience LISTENS.” I’ve long said I’d rather have 5K READERS vs. 50K subscribers. And it’s true. You may not be everything to everyone, but by being real, you will be “real” to YOUR audience. And that’s the goal. If you plan to make money online, it’s not about “numbers” but rather about a following. And people can see right through “fake” – so be REAL.

I curse like a sailor… I very regularly offend people. But I also don’t bullshit on Sugarrae. What I say is what I’m thinking and not who I am “trying to be” to please the masses. You want the audience who likes you as you truly are, not as you try to be. A bullshit personality can only go so long before it’s found out.

Figure Out Your Point of Difference (POD)

I’ve been mentioning the need to have a POD in affiliate marketing and blogging since the mid-2000′s. When I wrote the affiliate evolution over six years ago now (and have never updated it, because it’s STILL relevant today), I mentioned within it (and the statement applies to traditional blogs as much as commercial affiliate blogs):

“Treat your affiliate site like any ‘real business’ and develop a point of difference. Sorry guys, it’s up to you to figure out how to do this. But, I can promise you that spending some time on doing this, on creating a POD, will be the single biggest thing you can do to keep your resume dusty and on your hard drive.”

I cannot overstate how important it is to find a POD – or a Unique Selling Proposition (USP), depending on the terminology people wish to use. In short, this equates to figuring out how to STAND OUT among the top competition in whatever niche you’re in.

With Sugarrae, I think my POD is my “in your face” writing style and my in-depth product and service reviews. A lot of the online marketing blogs were doing their best to appear super professional and politically correct when I started. And, keeping in line with “being real” above, that wasn’t my style – so I offered up the same topics, but infused with my personality.

When it comes to my reviews, I noticed so many people were going the lazy route… here is the product, here are the generic screenshots of the product and here is my 500 word overview of the product (and honestly, half the time, I was wondering if they had even actually USED the product). My reviews take me a while to do, but I think they’re different than the rest of the reviews you find on blogs like mine – and that it shows.

Find out how you can leverage your “real” to be different than the top competition. When we launched a Blackberry blog, we noticed the top blogs catered to the tech geek crowd with news, scoops, etc. So we decided to cater to the not so tech crowd – focusing on teaching people simple things and give them understandable and simple solutions to their problems.

Check out the competition and figure out your POD. It will likely be a big factor in your “make or break” when it comes to blogging. Whatever the topic is of your blog – if you look at the top sites you’ll be competing with and find what they’re MISSING, you can likely get some inspiration to help in finding that POD.

The Beginning: Blog Like Everyone is Listening

If you “wait until you have readers” to begin posting awesome content, then you’ll likely be waiting a long time. You need to blog as if everyone is listening from the moment you launch because when someone happens upon your blog, what will turn them into a READER vs. a VISITOR is said awesome content. Not everything needs to be a work of art – but you need to show readers you have a lot of awesome to share and give them a reason to keep returning.

Look at other popular blogs in your niche to see what kind of content is resonating with readers. Check Google Suggest for what people are searching for… start typing your topic and see what appears in the drop down – this is likely the exact information that people are searching for. All you have to do is start providing them with it. Keep adding a letter to find more suggestions. For instance, I might type “affiliate marketing a” and see what drops down… “affiliate marketing b” and see what drops down, etc.

You’ll read a lot of advice on blogging frequently. I’m more in the “blog when you actually have something to say” camp. I personally would rather post 1 (what I hope is a) truly helpful post a week than 6 “so-so” posts. But I will say that while you don’t need to be blogging daily, you do need to be blogging consistently – especially in the beginning.

That said, I have a very sporadic blogging schedule here on Sugarrae – mainly because I run a few companies that can sometimes take my attention away from the blog for periods of time. However, I’ve had the brand for a long time now and it’s something “I get away with” and not something I SHOULD be doing. Additionally, my analytics tell me that every time I go a while without blogging, I begin to see a traffic dip (which correlates to an earnings dip) – so try and do as I say and not as I do in this arena for maximum benefit. ;-)

Build Your Mailing List From Day One

Mailing list? I fully admit that I used to think of a mailing list as a “days of old” marketing technique. But my buddy Derek Halpern (one smart SOB) gave me a [headdesk] moment a while back. I knew he was an email marketing nut and we were discussing WHY he was one. I didn’t get the focus, because I got plenty of word of mouth and search engine driven traffic. And he looked at me and said matter of factly, “if Google or any other traffic source decides to stop sending me traffic, my mailing list ensures I have the audience I built via them STILL ready to listen to me.”

After Derek said that, I resurrected my old mailing list (which meant starting from scratch as far as subscribers since I’d let the old one I’d never put any effort into lapse) and began to actually put some focus on GETTING subscribers. I’d recommend that you do so as well. Lynn Terry offered up some great advice here as a guest post on starting your first email newsletter which you can read for more detail (that said, I second her recommendation of Aweber).

But simply “building” a list isn’t enough – you also need to send your list newsletters – which Lynn covers pretty well in the above post. I admit to being horrible at sending out newsletters even with my new-found effort to get subscribers, but that is something that I will be changing. Like with blogging, the frequency isn’t as important as the consistency – I know this because I utilize mailing lists on my commercial blogs (whereas Sugarrae is my personal brand blog). And like with blogging, try to do as I say and not as I do. ;-) That said, every time I send a newsletter, I get increased traffic, increased sales on products I recommend and increased social mentions.

When the blog you’re working on is your primary focus, your newsletter can be an important revenue generating tool. Don’t wait to start building that list. For more email list tips and awesomeness, I’d recommend that you visit Derek Halpern’s site, Social Triggers. This guy is wickedly scary smart.

You can check out Derek’s interview below with THINKTRAFFIC on how he built a 17K subscriber blog in under a year. While we don’t always agree on every aspect of blogging, he’s a source of very solid advice.

The interview above is specifically about how he built his blog that centers around marketing – but you can use his tips to create a blog in any niche.

Get Social (or Network, Network, Network)

Let’s be clear – I don’t mean to sit on Facebook all day or to tweet your links incessantly on Twitter. What I mean by this is that you need to get involved in your off-site community. Why? Because people like to help, link, retweet and drive traffic to people they know and like. Look at all the things I’ve linked to above or people I’ve mentioned in this post. I “know” them all, except for one. Half of them, I initially “met” by interacting with them on social media. I communicate with people on a non business level through my social channels and the relationships I build ultimately help me promote my blog.

Traditional brick and mortar businesses get involved with their chamber of commerce, attend local networking events, sponsor local youth teams, advertise in local papers… bloggers need to be involved in their off-site topic community with social media.

Interact with Your On-Site Community

Once you HAVE an audience commenting or sending you emails, be sure to interact with them. Don’t simply ignore the 12 comments on a post or the follow up questions readers might ask. Do your best to answer them and offer the additional help or advice they’re looking for. This is any easy way to help turn one time visitors into actual readers.

I’ll use an offline example to try and drive this home. My son plays youth football. Every year, he outgrows half of his equipment and we have to replace it. But I know nothing about how the equipment should fit, sizing, etc. One year, I happened to go to a local, non-chain store in our town. The prices were higher, I had to wait 30 minutes to get serviced… but it was because they used their specialty knowledge to ensure each customer was specifically helped, sized and fitted correctly. When I went to the big chain stores, I was pointed to an aisle. This non-chain store actually spends time fitting my child’s helmet specifically to him. So they are now the first store I go to for my son’s equipment and the first place I refer other parents to.

When you’re starting out – be that helpful blogger. People will remember it. They’ll return to your site, they’ll subscribe to your list and they’ll refer your site to friends. I understand this gets harder to do the bigger your blog gets – but if you’re reading this, you likely don’t have a big blog yet – and helping your internal community is a great way to help build your audience.

I was one of the first people to start using the Thesis theme. So when I started doing tutorials, I would have people frequently post questions about them and I did my best to help them figure their problems out. Even though my blog at the time had less than 10% content on Thesis, I suddenly found myself being linked to and mentioned on tons of sites as being a helpful resource on Thesis. My still small Thesis Tutorials category is now one of the most visited categories on my site – and those tutorials help drive people into other portions of my site, to my social profiles and to my mailing list.

Promote, Promote, Promote

Honestly, I find that this is the stumbling point for most people wanting to earn an income through blogging. You build it and wait for them to come. [headdesk]

In addition to being social and interacting with your on-site community, you need to LET OTHER PEOPLE KNOW YOU EXIST. And you do that with good old fashioned promotion and hard work. Find guest posting opportunities and work hard to promote your new blog. Create a few pieces of flagship content. Ask friends to help promote said (only the truly worthy) flagship content. Ask friends to link to you from their blogrolls. Hold a contest. Market, market, market. This is the toughest part of building a new blog – and an absolutely vital one.

Forge Through “The Blogging Dip”

It’s no secret that I absolutely LOVE Seth Godin’s book, The Dip. It’s all about knowing when it’s time to quit and when you’re just quitting. After the initial high from building something new wears off, you’re then writing great content and promoting your blog – the two hardest aspects of blogging – and it’s easy to start feeling deflated at all the work you’re putting in and watching subscribers only trickle in at the beginning. I’ve taken to referring to this as “The Blogging Dip” because it’s the timeframe in which most bloggers lose interest, give up and declare “it” didn’t work.

I’m not saying you should continue on the same blogging path for two years if you’re still not seeing results and audience growth after some time as passed. But you have to realize this dip exists and decide beforehand whether or not you’re willing to work through it. If not, there’s no point in even building a blog in the first place.

Start Monetizing

It never, EVER fails that at every Affiliate Summit, I will have a blogger come up to me after my session, tell me they have a decent readership, but they’re not making any money. When I ask how they’re monetizing their blog, the answer is usually the same… with ads on the sidebar.

Now don’t get me wrong – I run ads on my sidebar and those ads make sales. But they make a very insignificant amount of sales compared to the other ways I monetize my blog. You can’t simply slap up six 125X125 ads and expect to make a significant income.

You need to join affiliate programs (or a master affiliate network if your blog focus is very scattered) and link – tastefully – to products and services within posts. If you have a lot of pageviews, look into selling advertising on the site (either on a CPM basis or on a CPC basis with a program like Adsense). Create an info product you can sell. Market products and services you genuinely love to your mailing list (however, don’t simply blast them with ads – you’d better have some useful content surrounding any calls to action).

Additionally, don’t be SCARED to monetize. I meet one too many bloggers who tell me they don’t try and monetize their site for fear of alienating readers. Well, as Lee Odden once said, “It’ll be tough to pay the bills with a wallet full of famous.” I’m not saying to slap Adsense at the top of every page or shove offers down readers throats. But there is NOTHING WRONG with monetizing a blog to help afford you the time and money to continue helping your readers on a regular basis. The minority that IS offended might bitch the loudest, but if you monetize tastefully, they WILL be the minority.

If you own a productivity blog and do a post on “Six Ways to Find Two More Hours in a Day” then LINK, with an affiliate link if possible, to the products or services that you’re showcasing as making their lives easier. You’re actually doing your readers a FAVOR. You can either A. not link them and force your users to do a off-site search to find them B. link to them without an affiliate link or C. link to them with an affiliate link and potentially get commission on something you were going to link to ANYWAY. Why the HELL would you not choose to use method C?

When it comes to monetizing, I’m also a big fan of doing reviews. That said, never lie, always be honest in your reviews and never sell out your readership’s trust in you for a twenty dollar affiliate commission. Oh, and for the love of all things PLEASE only review products you’ve actually USED. There’s enough crappy, bullshit reviews on the Internet. Make yours worthy of being read.

NOTE: Once you start monetizing, you need to add a Disclosure page to your site. Missy Ward has a great Disclosure page on her site you can take a look at. I’d say to take a look at mine, but it’s not exactly one you’d likely want to model your own after – but it still does the job. ;-)

Use Tools To See What’s Working (and What Isn’t)

Once you have an audience, you need to start using tools to see what is working on your blog and what isn’t. You can use Google Analytics (free) to see where your users are coming from and what pages their visiting most. You can use Crazy Egg (paid) to see what users are clicking on (and what they’re not) when they’re on your site. You can use link cloakers (GoCodes is free – Eclipse Link Cloaker is better, but paid) to easily insert links (and be sure to use SID codes to identify which sales come from which ads) and as a result find out which ads and mentions are working and which aren’t. PopUp Domination (paid) is great for increasing newsletter subscribers.

Can You Really Make Money Blogging?

Understand that most who attempt it won’t, but ANYONE CAN. You might be thinking, “Wow, thanks Rae. That was encouraging.” but the fact is that most people simply don’t follow through. If you really work at it and really FOLLOW all of the free advice out there you CAN do it. If you’re the type who would rather have condensed information in one spot versus searching the net, Then Traffic and Trust (paid) by Nick Reese might be a great starting point for you. But understand all of the free or paid information in the world isn’t going to help you unless you FOLLOW THROUGH.

Blogging isn’t easy money – it’s simply an easy opportunity. YOU have to decide what you’re going to make of it.

About Rae Hoffman

Rae Hoffman aka "Sugarrae" is an affiliate marketing veteran and the CEO of PushFire, a search marketing agency specializing in SEO audits and link building strategies. She is also the author of the often controversial Sugarrae blog. You can connect with Rae via Twitter, Google+ and Facebook.

Sugarrae runs on the Genesis Framework

Genesis Framework

If you’re someone who doesn’t understand a lot of PHP, Genesis will give a ton of functionality that you wouldn’t be able to obtain otherwise with a simple control panel instead of having to alter code. For the advanced, Genesis has incredible customization possibilities via Genesis hooks.

The theme is not only highly customizable, but it has allowed me to run Sugarrae more professionally, with a much more targeted focus on monetization than it ever has been able to achieve before.

You can find out more about Genesis below:

Comments

  1. This was an AWESOME post. After reading, you really inspired me to make my own blog! You’re also right about following through. It’s tough for people when things aren’t working and they just want to say, “the hell with it!” But thank you for the advice. We’ll see if I get to where you are in 5-10 years! Ha

  2. [quote]Understand that most who attempt it won’t, but ANYONE CAN.[/quote]
    Understated somehow, yet right on the jugular here. Thanks again, Rae.

  3. Abdul Ghani says:

    I guess this is what you call a detailed, must-read guide about making money blogging.

    Easy to see you use those techniques/tips yourself throughout your own blog. Definitely adds to the value of those tips.

    Thanks for taking the time to share those worthy tips, pretty motivating to whoever needs some kind of boost. The parts about being real, and finding your POD are key to whatever venture you throw yourself in IMHO.

    And if I may add something, some fail even before trying to be real, even before choosing a niche. Many fail thinking they don’t have anything special that’s worth people attention. But the truth is this in most cases absolutely false. Out of all the people out there, there ARE some who’ll love to hear about your thoughts, insights, humor, personality (or curses actually).

    It goes beyond blogging or making money. That’s a major lesson of life actually : just be who you are. Some won’t like you. But some will. And you’ll be much much happier.

    True story :)

  4. I’m still laughing, tears rolling down my face [from the video]… the white kid wants to be black. Seriously, talk like normal people, be thyself. Eminem pulled this off, you are totally failing.

    PS: Sorry for the trolling. But he needs to know this for people to take him seriously.

    • Derek is a New Yorker, I think that just comes across ;-) … but he knows his shit :)

    • Thanks for the feedback Codeangry.

      - Derek

      P.S. Sweet middle name. It screams credibility.

      • It’s the Nickname, homie ;) It’s not meant to be credible… but INCREDIBLE (great movie ‘Ray’, you should see it).

        PS: Don’t be getting into a flame war with the Human Torch. Just accept my blunt advice (I’m INTP, not good at being nice but I compensate through honesty). If someone looked like you (or like me, totally not gangsta) and talked like that in my face, I’d feel deeply offended and the conversation would end abruptly.

        • Ha — no flame war here.

          Quick tip though: You can’t please everyone, and while you would be offended, there’s tens of thousands of other people who love it.

        • I’ve been trying to teach this to my brother for years. Check this out:
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NaL1WHlZk6s

          It’s a train wreck. It keeps getting worse. BUT the audience is cheering, louder and louder. The more preposterous the performance gets, the louder they get. Everybody loves a failure, it’s entertaining. That’s why failblog is so popular. It’s in people nature to enjoy someone else’s failure. It makes them feel better about themselves.

          But do you think they liked what they heard? Do you think, at any moment, they want to be in her shoes? NEVER. But it’s fun to watch. Nothing but a fleeting moment of entertainment. Consumed and forgotten. Off to the next youtube video WITH CATS…

          I’m stopping here… this is getting too offtopic and I’m messing up Rae’s blog and very valuable post. Next week I should be launching my own blog (if I finish coding the Affiliate System by then)… and I’ll share more. It’ll be FUN.

  5. Awesome post Rae. Although I’ve been working on the web full time for many years now, I’m relatively new to blogging. So this helps. And I’ve been totally lazy with building email lists, meaning I’ve never bothered with it.

    I had never heard of Derek or Social Triggers, so thanks for posting the video. It sold me on building an email list…off to work on that. :)

  6. I’d love to hear more thoughts on “being passionate” about your niche, Rae.

    I am more of the mindset that you need to be “1. knowledgeable about and 2. something you’ll enjoy blogging about” – things we are passionate about might not in the end be the best money-makers.

  7. Rae, give the mass of scammers who call themselves “Internet Marketers”, I think you should start off by saying that no one should spend thousands on guru classes and “systems”. There are no secrets or short cuts to making money by blogging. You made money as an affiliate by building topical destinations and promoting products, not magical launches with systems filled with pixie dust.

  8. It’d good how this post clarifies that blogging has overhead costs. Too many people assume that blogging is a free way to make money, which couldn’t be farther from the truth.

  9. Derek in social triggers is awesome… I’ve been following and learning from him for a while. Glad I found your blog!

  10. Rae, you are a great writer! I can say that I am guilty of never following through. I am great with all things electronic, computers, graphics, business, and I’m into politics. My problem is I think to start a niche and think to start another. After all that thinking I haven’t started anything! This has gone on for many years. I have to stop thinking so much and start somewhere. But how do I do that?

  11. Hi Rae,

    I just started a blog not very long ago, so I wanted to see other people’s blogs to get an idea what they write about and really to know what I should do! It is hard to know what to do. I got some knowledge through reading yours…so thanks. I understand it takes time and EFFORT on my part to build my blog up and if I do it right people will eventually go to my blog like they are to yours.

  12. All the info you might need to start in one post – good stuff. I would just echo the advice on not quitting too early. All the advice you’ve given is good, practical and will work. The most important thing to understand is that it takes a lot of effort and time to make money blogging. Most people quit too early when they don’t see big results, but it is important to keep blogging and keep putting the effort. If you work on your blog daily for a longer period of time you will slowly start seeing the results and you mind get your big break where you actually start earning money with the blog.

  13. Wow, just finally got my website on the web after taking a web design class. I started a blog before I was anywhere near finished with the site. I love to write and I love Mexican Food! So voila, I got my niche. I found you on Google when I searched for affiliate marketing & boy am I glad I decided to click on your link. It’s a bit overwhelming and i’m no wheres near read enough )I’m skimming your links to your other blogs). I guess you can tell by now i’m a southerner with some of my dialect and yes I write my blog that way just like you said, be real! Hell, look at Paula Deen, she’s way more country than I am and she’s loved everywhere. But, getting back to the subject, thanks for all you have done and your writings. I’m sure I’ll be a whole lot more successful thanks to you!

    LeslieLaGringa

    Btw, I speak Spanish, too…lol, can’t you just imagine a southern accent speaking Spanish.

  14. Rae you are one hell of a writer! I must admit this my first time stumbling upon your blog, but I will definitely be following from now on. I honestly can’t say I have ever read a single blog post with so much complete & useful information. And for those of you newbie bloggers reading, this just goes to show how important it is to write good quality content. As Rae has stated, this is what brings you loyal readership and eventually earn decent money.

  15. This is indeed a great post and one worth sharing. my question here is; how can one truly monetize his blog without using adsense? what are the necessary steps to take and where to go. thanks

  16. Thanks for the info. You say you are not about using free services like WordPress.com .. but your site is made in WordPress :)

    • Marauf – there’s a difference between using WordPress as a content management system on your own domain (like I do here at Sugarrae) and *hosting* your site on a free WordPress subdomain (which I do not). :)

  17. Hi Rae

    Great information! You really covered all the major points. The most important one that I got from it is, “Understand that most who attempt it won’t, but ANYONE CAN.” I appreciate your honesty here.

    I’ve blogged for a few years now and have done quite well. But I have tried to help members of my team who “really” wanted to do it too and they just were not successful because they wanted immediate results. It take dedication and consistency with blogging and may take months before monetary results are realized. This was the hardest thing to explain!

    Thanks again for the informative article and telling it like it is!
    Best,
    Lisa

  18. Great article Rae!

    Really loved reading through it as even though I’ve read quite a few “similar” articles/guides they often forget to point out that when writing a blog you have to be YOU. Building a loyal readership is more valuable in the long term, than building a readership of twice as many, but less than half as loyal.

    When people start to like you and return to your blog, that’s when you’ve hit gold! Not only in possible sales, but also in tons of other new opportunities that these people might offer.

    I always tend to think of the internet visitors as people you might meet. Will you buy something from a stranger on the street who yells about his/her product? Or rather from a long-time friend?

    “You need to blog as if everyone is listening from the moment you launch because when someone happens upon your blog, what will turn them into a READER vs. a VISITOR is said awesome content. ”

    THAT has to be one of the highlights of this post. So many bloggers often forget this (including myself :/) and initially just make “half” posts instead of great written, quality posts. Write great from the GET-GO. With so many bloggers around these days, you have to show something new to them ;)

    Kind regards,
    Andraz

  19. You know it! So far I have only been giving free content away… I have been getting subscribers too… but the main idea for me was to also share valuable knowledge that helps people in communities!

    Now my blog isn’t even two weeks old and I have about 80 people a day visiting!!!

    Thanks for the great information!!!

    Craig

  20. And Sugarrae, don’t forget paid marketing. I’ve seen A LOT of ‘bloggers’, who are mostly just marketers, who are making a KILL’N, just getting paid traffic into their ‘funnel’. Yes they’re bloggers, but they’re marketers #1.

    Also, I like how you mention blogging for value or readership #1. When I first got started, I was so desperate to earn an income online, that I basically spammed the hell outa’ the search engines lol. I created little value, and really was just directing traffic into my funnel. That killed me long-term, as well as using “tools”, to share and syndicate, and really overdoing it.

    The key is value. And oh yeah sourcing other info.

    Awesome blog.

    Jason
    “Make Money Blogging PROS”
    (Currently the internet’s most ghetto blog, but it’s game on once I can get someone to help with the aesthetics :))

  21. Very good analogy regarding brick and mortar businesses reaching out to even their local Chamber of Commerce.

    It really drove the point home.

    I’m really glad that you emphasized on the importance of “being you” when posting. It gets really easy to over-formalize yourself when posting. Your natural train of thought is that some super authoritative figure could be reading. lol

    I don’t use profanity when blogging, but lately I have noticed that I’m being more relaxed. With that said, I’d like your opinion on this. You suggest being you, but what are your thoughts for posting in the 1st person? I’ve come across bloggers speaking against using the word “I” often.

    • I’ve never heard people recommending against writing in the 1st person. For me, I would never be able to write a post in the third person – to me, THAT would feel awkward. :)

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