How To Make Money Blogging or Being a Social Media Influencer
One of the questions that I get asked regularly is how do you make money from your blog. Usually I simply chuckle and realize that there's a general misunderstanding that while I might be driving fancy cars, drinking expensive bottles of wine, and traveling to exotic places ... most of that is paid for by other people. However, there are a handful of critical ways that I've learned to make enough money to pay for the things that I can't get for free. Let's take a look at how that works.
There are countless blogs online right now. Most of them see less than three visitors per day. That’s a worrying revelation we know and it’s possible that right now your blog isn’t getting much traction. This is a massive problem, particularly if your end goal is to monetize your blog. So, let’s explore some of the steps that you can take to change this and start earning some real cash from your website.
Understanding Your Needs, Goals, and Passions
If your main reason to become a blogger or social media influencer is simply to make tons of money while becoming rich and famous ... stop here. Seriously, this industry is a LOT of hard work and frustration. It's also a lot of bull shit. I like to be as transparent as possible and sometimes this scares people off. I've been successful but I'm not rich, I probably will never be. However, for my wife and I, we decided that being happy was more important. Despite the fact that I'm working constantly and often only getting 6 hours of actual sleep per day (plus naps where I can), I wouldn't give this up.
That might not be a reality for you but it works for us.
You should also be prepared to sacrifice a lot and be willing to pretend that you are always having a great time. While authenticity is important, most brands aren't going to pay you to talk about how crappy of a day you had because a sponsor was being unreasonable, or didn't pay your invoice, or that your laptop broke and now you have a sudden $2,000 bill you didn't plan for. These are professional headaches that are constantly happening. Even when these things are exploding around you ... the show must go on. If that means writing happy stories promoting a tech company's latest products or the joys of a new super food and how happy it makes you feel to support their charity of choice, you just gotta do it. Or find other sponsors that match your personality.
There's no right or wrong way here. The key is simply understanding what you want to do, how much you need to keep doing it, and what non-monetary value you get from the job. If I simply wanted to make money, I'd quit today and make 3-4 times what I do as a blogger. For me though, I enjoy the experiences, unique people, opportunity to explore the world, and ultimately the security of knowing that I won't ever get laid off again. If I fail ... it's my fault. If I succeed ... it's because I did a great job.
With that being said, there are some core ways that you can make this happen. Having a blogging strategy is critical so you can create the right content and promote it to the right people while attracting attention from the sponsors you want to work with.
Content Is King
It should go without saying but just in case it doesn’t, content is the key ingredient of any successful blog. If you don’t have great content, you’ll be lucky if users stick around for more than a couple of minutes. To create great content, we suggest that you explore who your target audience is and what they are going to be interested in. Consider completing some keyword research to find out what they are searching for that relates to your blog. You might also want to think about investigating trending topics. It’s a great way to keep your blog both fresh and current. Remember, the main goal here will be creating content that goes viral and is shared thousands of times. Of course, you can help this process along yourself.
How Will You Make Money From That Content?
There are MANY MANY ways to make money from your content. The most simple way is to offer sponsorships. This can be as simple as being offered a free pair of shoes to wear in an Instagram photo or even $100 for a blog post talking about how much you love solar energy. Over time, as your audience grows, other methods will open up for you including advertising, affiliate deals, speaking engagements, even selling your own products.
This isn't a linear pattern and while good quality content is essential ... each piece of content needs to have a purpose. Some will be to attract search traffic, others will be to convert that traffic into clicks on an affiliate link.
Overall though, if you want to make money as a blogger, your content must be aligned with your marketing objectives or you will fail.
Using Social Media To Promote and Engage
If you use social media, you’ll find it easier to build up a larger following online. You will discover that you can promote your own content and reach a wider audience base. That’s important for businesses that might be thinking about working with your blog. When you get active on social media, it’s important to follow the eighty: twenty rule. The basics of this is that eighty percent of the content that you share should be useful, engaging, or entertaining. Only twenty percent should be direct promotion for your blog.
Reach Out To Sponsors Directly
Of course, you could already have a high level of traffic and a high level of engagement on your blog. This might leave you wondering why you’re not getting any interest from businesses. The simple answer is that you haven’t asked. If you want to connect with businesses that can take your blog to the next level, then you need to reach out for them yourself. Make polite inquiries and you’ll be amazed how many respond with partnership deals that could be relevant to you.
Make It Easy For People To Find You
Finally, if you want to monetize your blog, you need to ensure that things are as easy as possible for your users. In other words, they shouldn’t be hitting a roadblock any time they try to click a link or buy a product. You can create QR code links to ensure that you can easily direct users to the page they need. You should also explore the best hosting service to keep your blog as user-friendly as possible.
We hope this helps you understand everything you need to know to effectively monetize your blog. If you take the right steps here, then this can either be a nice extra cushion of cash or even your main income. The choice is entirely up to you and will largely depend on how much effort you put in.
- Written by James Hills
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