The difference between blogging and starting a blog for profit is the monetization of your website. Anyone can start a blog, either self-hosted or using a web host.
There are free content management websites that allow you to host a blog on their parent domain. This is called a sub-domain. You could also purchase a domain, register it, host it and create a website essentially designed to be a blog.
Assess the costs of the different options, consider your technical skills such as website design and choose a platform that suits you.
Blogging with a Niche
There are bloggers who want to write on everything, almost. And there are bloggers who focus on a niche. Both can work and both can fail. It depends on the expertise of the blogger. Not the writing expertise but knowledge.
Not every blogger can develop an understanding of every subject that can be written about. If you are a solo team or have a very small team, then it is best to focus on a niche. Trying to write about too many things will not only be challenging but it will also confuse your potential audience.
You too could be perplexed as to which audience you wish to target. If you check out the popular blogs or even the video bloggers who have amassed millions with their channels on YouTube, all of them are focusing on a niche that is well established.
You could write on anything, from fashion to technology, geology to politics, economics to history, consumer electronics to real estate, family or kids to relationships, dating or health, sports or current affairs to news, events, photography and anything that interests you.
Bloggers who have an understanding of what they are writing will always do well. Blogging is not just writing. It is a fine combination of writing, knowledge, specialization, awareness of the latest updates and an understanding of what people or readers are looking for.
Choosing a Niche
Choose a niche that you are comfortable with and equally important is the readers. Do not pick a niche that no one is interested in. You can write a blog on a niche to satisfy your own desire but such a blog will be hard to monetize. You can only monetize a blog for profit that will have substantial traffic.
Microbiology or nuclear science, applied mechanics or even the history of textiles would not be appealing niches, even though some interesting posts can potential get thousands or hundreds of thousands of hits. A niche must be popular for the blog to be monetized for profit. You need a passive income and not a one-time gain.
Related post…How to monetize a website
Advertising on Your Website
One of the most widely used methods of monetization of blogs is advertising. There are many types of advertisements you can resort to. First, there are Google AdWords which would put relevant advertisements on every webpage or post on your blog. Google Adwords can be tricky to get accepted into as you will need plenty of traffic visiting your website to get accepted. Other alternatives are:
- Reddit Ads
- StumbleUpon Ads
- Facebook Ads
- LinkedIn Ads
- Twitter Ads
- Bing Ads
Your website will effectively be populated with ads as per the method of Google and the likes of Bing. You can sign up here for Google Ads and they will sprinkle different kinds of ads in allotted spaces on every webpage. Such advertisements pay revenue in different ways.
Pay per view or impression ads will generate revenue based on how many people are on the given webpage coming across the advertisement. Some ads require visitors on a blog to hover over the advertised link or content for the impression.
Usually, pay per view ads has fixed revenue for a certain count of thousand or several thousand. Then there are sponsored ads, banner ads, footer ads, and larger sponsorships.
You could have sponsored ads on top or bottom of your webpage, as in banner or footer ads, ads within the content you are posting, on your sidebar or you can have a specific webpage
dedicated to only one advertiser or just one brand that will have its offers dominating the layout of the webpage.
These can be facilitated by Google or you can have your direct association with advertising networks. You may also get brands to directly advertise on your blog but for that, you would need a substantial readership to entice them.
Advertising is a steady and rewarding source of revenue for blogs provided there is a large readership. Blogs that are not read by too many people will generate almost no or insignificant revenue with ads. This is why other methods of monetization become not just important but essential.
Affiliate marketing is an effective way to monetize a blog. As mentioned earlier you will hopefully have chosen a niche.
Related post…Are you sure you have chosen the right niche
It has a simple method and can be used by any blogger. You need to sign up with an affiliate marketing network, also referred to as an affiliate network, and start promoting the products or services directly or indirectly.
You write a blog post about a product or service, or in most cases multiple products and/or services. These products or services could be just mentioned in a fleeting reference within a post or blog post. If the reader clicks on the link of the product or service and purchases or signs up then the blogger gets a commission.
Affiliate marketing has become a rewarding source of revenue for bloggers, principally because one doesn’t need a very large readership to earn revenue. Even if one of your blog posts get fifty views and two people end up buying a product or signing up for a service, you can get a handsome commission. Such commissions could be much greater than what you would earn with pay per view or pay per click advertisements.
However, people have to buy or sign up for the products or services for you to earn anything.
Affiliate marketing is often upfront where the blogger makes it amply clear that the posts are about products and services. These posts are mostly reviews or accounts of personal experiences. They are informative but do have some degree of promotional intent in the manner the content is created.
The purpose is to offer information and to influence the buyers to purchase the product or sign up for the service being promoted. You could also do this in a subtle way, without making it obvious that you are an affiliate blogger.
Not only will you receive the training you can also communicate with other members, ask questions, get 2 free websites and be trained in how to get your websites up and running and heaps more.
You could monetize your blog with paid content. You can get paid to write specific types of posts. These could be informative, reviews, assessments of specific products and services, comparison posts, analyses of companies or brands, endorsement articles or just informational posts to help increase the outreach of a company. Paid content is very common and even some of the most read blogs have various posts that companies sponsor directly.
However, a blog cannot survive entirely on paid content. Then it becomes a glorified billboard. Paid content would inevitably be promotional, subtly or overtly. There should be more organic content than paid content. No reader wants to read a blog that is only self-serving and paid content is more in the interest of the company and the blogger than the reader. There are exceptions in cases of products or services that can truly help people in their day-to-day lives.
This may not sound like a very plausible strategy to monetize a blog for profit but it is absolutely plausible. Affiliate marketing paid content and ads are essentially promotions. They are all about e-commerce. Facilitating direct sales is more straightforward and honorable than indirect measures. There are blogs that host direct sales. Incorporating e-commerce features in a blog is no big deal these days.
People who want information and trust the bloggers they follow don’t mind shopping for products they need directly from the blog. This has become very popular in the fashion, beauty, and healthcare sectors. This is also becoming a trend in electronics, and accessories.
Depending on the niche you are targeting, you can easily set up an online store and sell select products or services. Be selective and have only the best products or services. Have an e-commerce strategy to complement your everyday blogging.
For a small fee of $9 a month, you can also integrate Shopify into your website with the Shopify buy button. For more details on the Shopify buy button……..go here.
If you run a WordPress website it is quite easy to add a plugin for a Woocommerce product sales page. The Woocommerce plugin integrates seamlessly with a WordPress website and you can sell products and or services from your website without having to set up another website for your direct sales.
You have to start somewhere and with something. You need to pick one path to monetization and perfect it. If it works, then you should improve it and then consider another option. If it doesn’t work, then have it in place and then expand your scope of monetization.
You can never be sure which monetization attempt will work wonders for you. It is also true that each of these methods has its strengths and weaknesses so they all must coexist. It could be affiliate marketing one month earning you revenues that you need to stay profitable for six months. It could be sponsored or pay per click ads in another month that will earn a mini fortune for you.
The simple reality is that a blog must have a multipronged monetization strategy. You should be open and prepared to generate revenue from any and every possible source. An assured revenue or multiple sources of revenue is the only way to survive, to ensure a blog is profitable and to remain focused on what matters more than everything else, YOUR READERS.
The readers want helpful information, content that will positively change their lives or assist in their decisions. To achieve this, you ought to stay committed to research and ever-expanding knowledge base, you must be dedicated to creating quality blog posts and you must continue working on expanding your readership.
These will be daunting challenges if you cannot come up with a multipronged monetization strategy that works and will work in the future.
I hope you found this article helpful on “Starting a blog for profit”.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact me in the comment area or contact form.