Make money from your blog with a long term plan

by Irune

Many people start a blog hoping to make it a full time income, just to abandon after the first weeks show no revenue. Make a long time plan to profit from your blog.

Making money from your blog is a dream for many, but a reality for only a few. In theory, anybody who has a grasp of technology, decent skills and something interesting to talk about, could make a blog and make money from writing. In practice, most blogs that started by somebody looking to make money writing are abandoned after a few weeks or months and another disappointed blogger finds a different source of income.

Why do people fail at making money from their blogs
There are two main reasons why blogging for money fails: unrealistic expectations and lack of planning. Many people think that their blog will start generating income immediately, when it actually can take several months of combined writing and marketing efforts to actually start generating a steady stream of residual revenue.

You will need both good content and a willingness to market it to the right audience to start making money with your blog. Your blog will require daily or at least regular attention, publishing posts regularly to keep your newfound readers interested and coming back for more. Only after you have generated a loyal readership and a relatively large amount of traffic can you start counting on income from your blog.

Plan your writing: An editorial calendar
Many blogs start with daily posts and a really active author. Then life gets on the way, the blog owner notices that people aren't rushing to read his words, and the posts start to become more and more infrequent. This means less traffic and less feedback for the author, who loses all motivation and eventually stops writing. Does this sound familiar? An editorial calendar can be the solution to this sort of problem. 

Using an editorial calendar you plan in advance what you want to write about, do your keyword research ahead of time and come up with great blog ideas when you are inspired. Those posts are then scheduled to be published in the future, making your blog a regular source of news and articles instead of a series of high activity surges followed by a slump. If you are using WordPress there's a great add-on called Editorial Calendar that can be used for this purpose, but you can also use a spread sheet or a physical calendar stuck on your wall.

Create a marketing strategy
Unless you are dealing with a really obscure niche, chances are that there are another hundred blogs competing with yours for the attention of your information overdosed audience. This means that no matter how good your content is, if it's not marketed chances are you won't get traffic and so you won't make money from it. You don't need to spend money to market your blog.

There are many sites where you can get backlinks to help your SEO strategy, bookmarking sites to bring your blog to the attention of potentially interested users and Social Media platforms to achieve viral spread of your content. However, all this marketing is going to take time and over time even become tedious. 

Marketing your blog will bring in the required traffic to actually make money blogging.  Try to balance writing articles with marketing them, and remember that once you get a loyal readership they will spread the word about your blog, increasing the chances of new people visiting it and becoming readers.

Set goals and consider blogging a long term investment
Beginnings are often difficult, and it's true that blogging to what seems to be an empty space until traffic picks up can be demotivating. But if you have a clear content and marketing strategy for your blog it's easier to stay committed and give your blog time to become a source of residual income or even a full time job. It is also worthwhile setting goals that you can measure using a web analytics program, since that will help you stay on track, adapt your marketing strategy and acknowledge your blogging achievements.

Blogging is one of those ideas to make money that can take a while to actually start showing results directly, and in many cases that can be very discouraging. If you enjoy blogging and writing you will eventually succeed at making money from your blog, but if your only goal is just to make money it may be difficult to keep on writing to an empty space. If you need quick money you can also use your writing skills to make money writing articles or working for a third party while your blog matures. Affiliate marketing can also be a good source of income in a related topic, along with creating niche sites based around subjects that interest you. 

Updated: 10/30/2011, Irune
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Irune on 10/30/2011

Thanks for dropping by!

I don't really like writing on a single topic either, so I tried to find a blog topic that allows me to touch on different areas, from writing online to marketing or creating a website. Makes it less boring :) But I still write a lot for other sites such as Wizzley when something doesn't fit on the blog.

TerriRexson on 10/30/2011

I'm not good at blogging because I don't like having to write on a particular topic regularly. The editorial calendar and writing articles in advance when the mood takes you is great advice.

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