Last Updated on April 3, 2018 by Michael Brockbank
Many are interested in the idea of making money by blogging. I mean, what writer wouldn’t love the prospect of simply creating a popular blog post every morning to pay the bills? Unfortunately, it’s not as easy to make a living online by blogging as some may think.
A lot of variables come into play when building a blog. You can’t assume you can simply create content and the money will come pouring in.
Truth 1: The Industry Matters
You might see statistics on many sites regarding web traffic. For example, more than 51% of people online use a mobile device to access websites. This is a general statistic. On my gaming blog though, almost 70% of visitors are using desktop or laptop computers.
This is just one example of a general statistic. When it comes to getting traffic on your blog, content and niche are going to play a role in success.
Here’s another example, my health and fitness blog is far more successful than this website in terms of traffic and income. In fact, the new gaming blog I created is already starting to gain on the established health website.
It’s all about what people are interested and the type of visitor you’re trying to connect with. While stats are helpful to build some strategies for creating a popular blog, you also need to remember your niche will influence its success.
Truth 2: Facts Matter
In a world where “fake news” is tossed around so cavalier-like, it’s important to always base your content in facts. I’m not talking about “hearing” something from a friend. Use links to credible sources citing your claims.
This part takes a great deal of research, but it demonstrates three important things for creating a popular blog: reliability, trust and enrichment.
The problem with citing some sources is credibility. Make sure you use links to sources that have a strong presence on the Internet for providing actual information. One of the reasons my health and fitness blog does so well is because I use links to scientific and proven data.
Verify information and compare “facts” with more than one source if possible. It makes you look more legitimate, professional and knowledgeable. These three things are how social influencers are made.
Another aspect of providing factual information is the impact it has in Google search results. Google focuses on quality, and linking to “questionable” material will surely hurt your page rank.
Fact 3: The Competition is Fierce
Anyone who is not reading your blog for the information you create is reading content from someone else. The competition is great on the Internet, and it takes a lot of work to break into certain markets.
I had a client once complain he couldn’t see his site in Google for specific keywords he used in an article. I had to explain to him that one article filled with that keyword isn’t going to guarantee first page results. He’s writing against a lot of others regarding the same information.
You need to find ways to set your site apart from the millions of other blogs on the Internet. Why should someone want to visit your website? Do you offer solid information? Will people leave your site feeling they learned something new?
Because there is so much competition on the Internet, you need to make your site stand out if you want to build a popular blog.
Truth 4: Marketing Your Site is Vital
Marketing is such an open term for the different things you need to do to get the attention of readers. It boils down to people won’t visit a cite they don’t know exists. You’ll have to examine your strategy closely to get as much attention as possible.
Some forms of Marketing include:
- Search Engine Optimization
You need to practice good SEO if you want to make money online with Google or any other search engine. Remember, the competition is doing what they can to be in the top results page. Are you?
- Social Media Engagement
Social media plays an integral role in society today. For example, 81% of millennials will check the Twitter feed every day. You need to connect to those audiences by regularly sharing on social media.
- Notifications, Email and Newsletters
To create a popular blog, you need visitors to come back for more. Setting up notifications, email marketing and newsletters helps accomplish this. And, many of these are free to use. For example, I use OneSignal for WordPress on this website for notifications. It’s free and works similar to the notification system of YouTube and Facebook.
The more effort you put into marketing your blog, the more likely people are going to visit. Of course this is greatly amplified if you write about something people are going to want to read in the first place.
Truth 5: Income is Not Guaranteed
Many people will try to sell you on the idea of generating a lot of money by blogging if you buy their “secrets.” In reality, income cannot be guaranteed simply because there are so many variables that will affect the outcome.
Remember when I said some industries are more engaging than others? It takes some bloggers far more effort to build a stable income because of their niche.
Now, there are certain things you can do that have great potential to increase your income. For instance, my sites generate 4x more money this month than they did last year at this time because of a few changes I made. These changes were:
- creating a regular schedule for writing new content.
- installing an SSL on my primary website, which impresses both visitors and search engines.
- spending time considering what my target audience wants to read.
- adding more relevant and quality links to factual sources.
The truth is, it could be years before your blog starts generating any meaningful amount of money. Then again, it could become an instant success story as a popular blog.
My point is you can’t expect to replace a full-time job as a new blogger.
Truth 6: It Takes a Lot of Data to Build a Popular Blog
A lot of people can create a popular site by doing nothing more than sharing their personal lives. And that’s awesome – I wish I could do that. But many of us still need to put in a great deal of research to engage the audience.
Studies, analytics, following trends and more are often part of creating that popular blog that will generate online money. I know of plenty successful bloggers who bring far more than I do every month, but they also put in a lot more work than I.
My experiences have taught me an extremely important lesson…success for building a popular blog is relational to the amount of effort you put in. Although it may still take time to generate a meaningful amount of money, the results will happen sooner if you’re committed to building the site.
Truth 7: Being Patient Counts
Finally, and perhaps the biggest truth about blogging for money, being patient has its rewards. I’ve seen too many people give up only after a couple of months because the income wasn’t instant.
In reality, it may take nearly a year before you see AdSense or affiliate accounts start to build up.
Case in point, I spent two years working on my sites before they started generating enough money to pay for their own domain names and web hosting. Of course, I wasn’t really putting in all that much effort until recently.
The bottom line is you can’t expect instant gratification when trying to build a popular blog. For instance, it could be several months before Google starts showing your content in search results especially if it’s a new website.
Be patient and focus more on growing your site. If you see positive growth every month in tools like Google Analytics, you’re on the right track. Just keep at it until it reaches your goals.
It’s Possible, but it Won’t Be Instant
It’s not as easy to build a popular blog than what many people might think. It takes a lot of work and effort to really start bringing in the cash. Don’t go into blogging with the idea of getting rich. Think of it more as a way to share your knowledge and experiences with others. Once you start worrying too much about the money, it’s easy to make mistakes or become frustrated.
It’s not always about filling your wallet.
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