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How to Blog and Make Money Online

Is blogging really a viable source of income? Is it worth the risks?

Various computing methodologies estimate the number of blogs in the world at 150 million to 180 million, with an average post of 1,100,000 every day. According to the Washington Post, the number may even be as high as 208 million if all the social media accounts used for microblogging are included.

More than half of all blogs are considered inactive and semi-active, and no more than 3% are maintained for professional use, including the blogs in business websites. A professional blog is either monetized or used for e-commerce, but only a small percentage earns enough to maintain operation without the help of other sources of income.

Like starting a business, starting a blog has lots of risks. It may not take off and if it does, it might take at least nine months before you receive your first payment. It might take another one and a half years before it earns enough to replace your day job.

To improve your chances of succeeding, you need to know the basics of blogging and the different ways to make it a viable source of income. This is the only guide you will ever need if you want to know how to make money from a blog.

  1. Create your blog

The weight of the domain name in search engine ranking is no longer as valuable as before. Nevertheless, according to SEO Moz, the domain name may still matter, so there is no reason not to follow this advice.

When creating a blog, the theme that represents your brand and the plugins that work well with your theme and multimedia are as important as the web design itself. Some blogging platforms allow you to easily activate a basic responsive design to make the website viewable on smartphones and tablets. However, for some blogging platforms like WordPress, you might need technical help from web designers and developers who understand coding very well.

  1. Build your content

Your content should be as specific as possible, as veering away from your niche and primary keywords only makes you susceptible to Google Penguin penalties. You need to be well-versed in your niche because you cannot survive in a field you barely understand.

One big mistake that many novice bloggers commit is choosing a lucrative niche and promising market, and making them the starting point of their venture. What you have to do though is to think about your passion and expertise before searching possible niches to penetrate. You need to have a strong personal connection to your blog if you really want it to succeed.

Writing content is another complex matter as it requires you to be well-versed with keyword researching and keyword matching, on-page optimization (e.g. anchor texts, tagging, etc.) and of course, SEO and creative writing.

There are tools that can make your job easier, but for starters, better try “freemium” SEO tools first.

  1. Establish a relationship

This is where social media marketing, email marketing, article marketing, SEM marketing, and link building enter the picture. A blog is not only a website that offers information. It should be something that reaches out to an untapped market and interacts with them, preferably in real time. You have to make them feel that you are an indispensable source of information.

When establishing a relationship, consistency is very important to prevent your market from looking for other possible sources. Follow a definite schedule when posting and frequenting your social media pages as much as possible. Do not skip a day and if you cannot manually publish on a regular schedule, learn how to use automation.

Establishing a relationship also means launching various digital marketing strategies to drive traffic back to your blog. The quality of content is the most important factor when ranking a website. However, remember that not everyone relies on search engines to find you. You also need to learn how to maximize your exposure through other websites and the social medial.

  1. Choose your income stream

Knowing how to make money from a blog is not enough. You also need to understand what might work well on your blog. You can use some of them all at the same time, but for starters, focusing on only one or two is more likely to produce good results. This is because people want to feel that your intention to offer relevant, credible, and useful content is genuine, and not just any tactic to lure them for your business.

The most lucrative income streams include:

  • Blog monetizing


This means signing up with an ad vendor and allowing its PPC ads to show up on your blog. The most common payment schemes are CPC (cost per click), CPM (cost per mille or thousand impression), and CPA (cost per action).


In CPC, you are paid based on the number of clicks an ad receives from your visitors. In CPM, the basis is the number of views your webpage where the ad is shown receives. The CPA scheme is a little broader as the action referred to may differ from one vendor to another. It can be finishing a registration, making a purchase, or answering a survey.


  • Selling private ad space


This normally does not work for new blogs, but once you get a foothold in your niche, you might be able to get sponsors who would pay to have their ads shown in your blog. This is a more lucrative income stream than pay-per-click ads, but the requirements are also heavier.


  • Affiliate marketing


Under this income stream, you are paid a certain commission based on your visitors’ purchases.


You need to sign up with an affiliate marketing network, such as CJ Affiliate by Conversant (formerly Commission Junction) and ClickBank, or with an e-commerce website, such as Amazon and eBay. You choose some of their products and market them in your blog. By leaving affiliate links in your posts to redirect your visitors back to the affiliate network or e-commerce’s websites, you earn commissions, which may be as high as 75%.


  • Selling digital products


Digital products refer to e-books, podcasts, photos, infographics, and anything that might be easily downloaded from your website. Selling other people’s or companies’ digital products may also fall on this category, provided that your agreement does not cover an affiliate program.


  • Selling subscription and membership


Selling subscription and membership in exchange for exclusive information is a lucrative business for many niche websites. However, you need to offer more than generic information and secondhand research data for this to work.


You can also sell slots for webinars and online training classes, provided that you have extensive experience and certifications to back up your claims.


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