Blog Your Way To A Second Income
Who wouldn’t like to blog for a living? Imagine sitting at your desk in the morning, typing away and making a great living while everyone else is fighting traffic or the boss.
Can you really make money typing about your favorite topic and putting it out there for the world to see?
The short answer is, yes, you can. The success rate for a full-time income isn’t great if you’re not familiar with the business of blogging, but with a good game plan, bringing in another income from blogging is well within your reach.
Choosing Your Subject Matter
There are 2 basic choices:
1. You can write about what interests you, or
2. You can write about something that you know is popular and profitable.
It’s certainly a lot easier and more enjoyable to write about something you’re passionate about, but, depending on your passions, there
might not be a lot of outside interest or money in it. The ideal situation is to find a topic that fits both categories.
A good plan is to write a list of everything you have an interest in. If you have particular knowledge or skills in an area that others with your interest don’t always have, that’s even better.
Reflect on your topics and do some research. Are there plenty of folks who would be interested in your topic? Do they spend money on products in that field? Can you bring value – something unique – to this audience?
If you can answer “Yes” to the questions above with reference to one of your favored topics, then you have a winner!
Strengthen Your Writing, if Needed
You don’t need to be capable of penning the next War and Peace, but it’s important to be interesting, and no amount of marketing will make up for poor writing.
In the past, you could get away with poor content, but Google is getting smarter all the time, and there’s simply too much competition to be successful with anything less than decent writing.
Don’t be afraid to take a writing class at the local college if you think that would be of assistance to you.
There is always the option of hiring someone else to do the writing for you, but that can get expensive quickly. This is especially true at the
beginning, as it can take some time to start generating enough income for both you and the writers.
Select a Domain, Hosting, and a Blogging Platform
You can purchase a domain name from GoDaddy or other popular registrars for about $10 per year. You’ll also need to find a place to host your website, which you can do for usually less than $10 per month. Search popular marketing forums, like WarriorForum.com, for recommendations of some excellent hosting plans.
TIP: Always buy your domain from a regular domain registrar, separate from the company you use for your hosting. This way, you’re free to change hosting at any time by just pointing your domain to your new hosting company. It makes life easier if you change your mind or want to try a new place.
In terms of a blogging platform, I’d recommend Wordpress.org. It’s so well-supported, with so many excellent free and premium themes and plugins, that it’s hard to recommend anything else.
WordPress is easy to use and with a little work, you can really make it look great. Plus, the WordPress software itself is free. You can download it at WordPress.org.
There are a lot of forums dedicated to using WordPress and you can always get the help you need in getting started and maintaining your WordPress blog.
Monetize Your Blog
Don’t be bashful about setting up your site in a way that optimizes your opportunities to get paid!
Consider these ideas to monetize your blog:
1. Create your own information product. Could you make a video, eBook, or audio to sell to your readers? Digital information products can be very easy to make and have a high profit margin. All the tools you need are available online for free.
2. Offer services or consulting. Offer your readers the chance to work with you one-on-one to get your advice or your service.
3. Build a list. Get an account with a popular autoresponder service, like Aweber, so you can enable your interested readers to opt in to your newsletter. The autoresponder service provides the software for them to opt in and for you to contact them by email on a regular basis. This way, you can build more rapport with your readers and make more money.
4. Sell other related products. In every topic you can imagine, there are products related to yours that you can sell for a commission. Find some of these related products online and look for their details on becoming an affiliate. For these products, you can post ads on your website, write about them in your blog posts, or talk about them in your newsletter.
5. Sell ad space on your website. Product owners in your field are always looking for more places to market their products. Offer space on your website for their ads and charge a monthly fee. Or sign up for programs like Google Adsense and let their ads appear on your site. You could get paid by advertisers simply by bringing visitors to your site.
6. Sell your website and start another. Any site with a lot of traffic can be sold for a considerable amount of money. Once you’ve built it up, you can always sell it if that appeals to you.
Create a Posting Schedule
Consider your topic and competition. If the other bloggers in your field post daily, then posting weekly will make it difficult for you to compete. Some topics lend themselves to more frequent posting than others.
One post a week is the absolute minimum; 3-5 times a week would be better. Ideally, it’s more effective to publish your posts on a set schedule so your regular readers know when to expect your new posts.
Keep in mind that you can pre-blog. Most of the popular blogging platforms will allow you to preload your posts, and then they’ll be published at the time and date that you’ve specified.
Having a set posting schedule will also keep you honest and current with your writing. It’s easier to say to yourself, “I’ll just do it
tomorrow” if you don’t have 2,000 people waiting for your next post on Wednesday at 7:00 pm.
Stay on Target
Many bloggers quickly get off track and start blogging about their lives. It’s very difficult to be successful writing about your life, unless you have an incredibly interesting life or you’re an incredible writer. Your friends are sure to read it, but few other people will have any interest.
This is a very tough way to get the thousands of followers you really want. If you want to veer off course now and then, wait until you have at least 1,000 followers, at least.
Promote, Promote, Promote
You can have excellent content, but if no one can find you, it’s all for naught.
Try these easy ideas to get started with promoting your blog:
- Add your blog address to your email signature.
- Beg for links to your blog from your friends and family.
- Start a Facebook or other social media page about your blog.
- Post on related forums and include your blog address in your signature and profile.
- Pay for back linking services.
- Go to a site like Pingfarm.com or Pingler.com and ping your main web address and your new posts.
- Create additional lower quality blogs on your same subject and link back to your site on them. Don’t spend a lot of time on these. Even a couple of short posts a month can be sufficient to help you move up the search engine rankings.
- Create a press release and submit it online. It might sound funny to have a press release, but they can get you listed in Google news. You might even find that your press release ranks higher in the search engine results than your domain name.
- Submit your links to bookmarking sites. Go to sites like Delicious, Digg, Reddit, and similar websites to help get your site noticed.
- Learn everything you can. Spend time learning about marketing and search engine optimization and taking action on what you learn. These tactics will bring more readers to your blog.
How Many Blogs?
Until you’ve mastered your first blog and are making a nice profit from it, just stick to the one.
When you’re really confident about what you’re doing, you can move on to bringing in more streams of income with other blogs. Three is about the limit unless you’re really a glutton for punishment or can afford great writers.
You’re much better off with two great blogs than 10 mediocre ones anyway. Quality is the name of the game. Try blogs on different subject matters. It will be good for your sanity and creativity if you don’t have to write about the same stuff all the time.
Blogging your way to a second income is entirely feasible if you follow a plan. You now have the basic information to get started with your blog setup and craft your first posts.
Consider the type of content that’s likely to interest your readers and put out high quality work. You can do this if you’re willing to put in the work and are patient.
Someday, you might be able to tell your boss that you’re quitting to be a full-time blogger. In the meantime, enjoy the extra income!