Do you have a blog? If not, you’re missing out. If you do have a blog, do you really appreciate the value of your mini-internet empire?
1. You Get To Make Money
If you have a self-hosted blog you have control over what you put on your pages, including advertising!
If you have a free blog, chances are you aren’t allowed to put ads on it and if you can you either get nothing in return or a flimsy portion of ad revenue.
Start making money! Get yourself a self-hosted WordPress site today with a great domain name for less than $100 a year.
To make some money online with your blog, have a crack at:
- Affiliate programs – check out Commission Junction, eJunkie, ClickBank…many others.
- Affiliate products – Amazon, Etsy, Trip Advisor, the list goes on.
- Paid advertising (banners, in-text links, text links)
- Selling products by having your own store using a free merchant service such as PayPal
- Sell your own eBooks or access to your site’s articles
- Subscription to your newsletter to receive special offers
- Getting royalties for images in your articles (that people buy from your site)
- Income for referring people to other sites
- Building up your site to sell it for cash (flipping it)
- Selling your domain name because your blog gets good traffic
- …..the list goes on.
I read somewhere that having a blog without making ad revenue (or money of some kind) is like “turning up to your Prom with no clothes on!”
2. You Build An Online Reputation, Build Your Credibility And Can Become An Expert
A few simple tactics can help you build such a reputation:
- Develop and maintain an online presence, on your blog and on other blogs.
- Don’t forget to include a link back to your blog.
- Comment frequently on blogs in your niche and answer questions asked on the other blogs.
- Readers will think you’re part of the furniture over there and be more likely to click on your links back to your site.
- You may even score a guest gig (guest post) on the other site. If you’re any good, it may become regular gig.
- Other blogs in your niche may want to form a joint venture with you.
- You can quote your site as published material and use your site statistics in your resume or bio.
- People want to get to know you. By sharing a little bit about yourself (when relevant) they will start to talk about you offline as well as quote you online.
- They will also link to your site because they think you know more, or better, than they do about something.
- You can join associations based on the fact that you have been in the internet industry for x number of months or years and have particular experience doing ‘your words here’.
- If you answer people’s questions they may ask you to put them all together in eBook form, to save them trawling through all of your site pages.
- They can read your stuff offline after they print it, so make sure any eBook you create can be read nicely online and is printer friendly (meaning you don’t destroy rainforests to print it).
- Check out ZenHabits to see how famous you can get – a book deal even.
- If you have a particular logo, mugshot (a.k.a. a pretty photo of yourself) – you may be recognisable by many people.
- Most people know who Seth Godin is and what he looks like.
- What about Matt? Who the hell is Matt do you ask? Google ‘Matt’ and in the first page (maybe the second) you’ll probably see a link to his YouTube videos, “Where the hell is Matt?” and other related videos. He made himself famous like Susan Boyle with a couple of minutes of video footage and millions of internet views later came…sponsorship deals and the internet lifestyle of travel, freedom, fame and fortune. Nice.
3. Blogs Pee All Over Beat Websites For Traffic
Have you heard of SEO (Search Engine Optimization)?
Basically, whenever you update your site you want it indexed (added to the internet like a library catalogue) so people can find it if they search for your content/keywords.
- If you use a traditional website, the search engine spiders (crawlers) that index your pages may not come for another month (or two!).
When you have a blog, web crawlers usually come daily and sometimes several times a day. This means as soon as you add something to your site, including updating a post, the search engines send their army to see what you have to offer.
- Update your posts if you think they are a little flimsy, outdated or in need of freshening up.
- As soon as you hit the publish button, the search engines web crawlers receive a ping and come to have a look.
- Warning 1: excessive hitting of the publish button, might cause them to get tired of your site and just stop coming. This is not favourable. Use your draft mode to make changes wherever possible, and only publish when it is ready, after you have edited it.
- Warning 2: beware of duplicate content. Spiders may not bother updating your site and may even blacklist the page so that it never shows up in search results.
The best way to get indexed is to write new content, that is original, on a regular basis.
Q. How often is ‘regular’?
A. If you aim to add something new to your site every two weeks or less, the search engines should continue to frequent your site on a regular basis (even daily still to check for new content). As soon as you drop below this mark and don’t post anything for more than two weeks – you may discover your site ratings plummet and your new content taking longer before people can find it in search engines.
If you want to get high up in the ratings, write an article that meets one or more of the following criteria (not an exhaustive list):
- Subject is topical or viral.
Take Susan Boyle for example. When people are madly searching for something and you have an article on that phrase and the other keywords they are using, they may end up on your site!
- Subject hasn’t been covered recently or may have fallen off the radar.
- Take a unique angle – answer questions not answered already. Take an investigative approach and read between the lines of the popular press.
- Choose a controversial topic – maybe take an unpopular view to get ‘flamed’ and popular through your infamous posts.
- Make sure your article is full of great information that is well researched. Your goal is to have your visitors favourite your post in their social networks and bookmarking services to spread the word and get even more visitors. Repeat visitors are even better with subscribers being the ultimate goal.
If you write a great post that somebody ‘thumbs up’ on StumbleUpon, you may find you end up with hundreds of visitors in no time.
4. Blogging keeps your brain healthy
Despite my father being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease a few years back, I’m convinced that his purchase of a computer and getting hooked on surfing has rejuvenated his brain.
He had to learn all about computers (and all the nasties associated with maintaining a machine). He surfs daily, often hourly or for hours. Since discovering StumbleUpon, he is our best unpaid researcher 🙂 We email him some topics and off he goes. He might not remember what he had for breakfast, but he isn’t going downhill as fast as the doctor expected.
5. Blogging lets you switch off for a while
Okay, you must react if you smell smoke (i.e. your lunch or your house is on fire), but apart from that – claim your time.
Switch off from the kids, your spouse, the noise around you and get immersed in your time. Turn up the speakers and put a YouTube video on for some random music or subliminal learning. Make sure it is educational or meaningful and not just ‘Fred’ though! Join StumbleUpon and update your blog with your latest discoveries – as they relate to your site’s content or just for the hell of it.
6. Blogging sets you apart from others
This point is not meant to be conceited. I just mean that blogging, and making money from blogging, is something that very few (if any) of my friends or family do. In Australia, it is still catching on. When it becomes really big Down Under, I will be able to say, “Oh yeah. I’ve been blogging for x years now.”
7. Blogging gives you an excuse to meet strangers
I recently went to New York with my husband. I met a lot of people who really opened up as soon as I mentioned we were blogging about our trip. (We haven’t quite finished the updates but will put a link here when we do).
How many other things do you know you can drop into a conversation that will get people wanting to talk to you? And take their picture! Things that are true, nice, ethical and not rude!
8. %$#@ – Blogging lets you make stuff up
Just make something up and let it out for the world to make of it what they will.
Sometimes the best posts are the ones that are absolutely fictional. Check out my husband’s post about a guy who really did make stuff up and rocked the socks off Amazon, radio shows and helped a TShirt company increase its sales for a product 2,300%.