This post is based on episode 133 of the ProBlogger podcast.
In interviews I often get asked something like, “What’s your number one secret to making money online?”
That’s a hard question to answer, because ultimately there’s no one ‘secret’ and no single way to make money online. People use lots of different methods, and in this post I’ll be taking a quick look at some of them.
Blogging isn’t a ‘get rich quick’ scheme. And you need to stick with it for a while before you’ll see any results. But whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been blogging for months or even years, these seven tips should help.
#1: Choose a Topic You Really Love
If you’re starting a new blog, pick a topic or niche you genuinely love and are passionate about.
This has several crucial benefits:
- It makes it much easier to stick with your blog for the long term
- Your enthusiasm will help readers feel drawn to your content
- It helps you create products that people will buy because you know what they’ll enjoy
Of course, you can make money from an area that doesn’t interest you. But it’s a lot easier to do it if you’re blogging about something you really like.
#2: Be as Useful as You Possibly Can
Make your content and your products as useful as possible. Or, as my son told me once, “Tell the world something important”.
You can make money online by doing things that aren’t useful or important. You can even do it by ripping people off. But it’s much more satisfying and sustainable to build a real business that’s useful to your customers.
#3: Be Confident About Putting Yourself and Your Products Forward
Some bloggers find it really hard to sell themselves or what they do. But while it is difficult, you must learn how to do it. You need to be able to make offers and approach potential partners confidently.
That doesn’t mean you need to hype everything up. A quiet confidence can work really well.
#4: Diversify What You Do
Don’t just focus on one income stream. Find ways to diversify so that if something doesn’t work out too well you’ve got other options.
That might mean:
- Diversifying the topics you write about. I’ve got two long-running blogs : Digital Photography School and ProBlogger. Perhaps you have more than one blog as well. And if one isn’t going well at a particular point, the other(s) could back it up.
- Diversifying your income streams. I don’t rely on just one area (e.g. ads or selling ebooks). I try to create multiple income streams so that if one falls over or takes a while to take off, I have others supplementing my income. Another option is to have a day job that brings in money while you’re getting your blog going.
#5: Take a Long-Term View
There have been times when I’ve made money fast on the internet. But it usually came after two or three years of hard work building relationships with readers and producing content for free.
Try seeing the time, energy and even money you put into your blog as an investment. Hopefully, it’ll pay off one day. But don’t expect it to happen immediately.
#6: Treat Making Money as a Business, Not an Event
Making money online might feel like it’s an event, such as a product launch. But for most online entrepreneurs it’s a long-term business where they’re creating something that grows over time.
For example, if you’re doing affiliate marketing you’ll be building systems that continually promote products to your readers (perhaps by using an auto-responder).
Think strategically about what you’ll be doing and how you’ll be monetizing your blog. Simply building a blog that gets traffic won’t make money for you.
#7: Create Your Own Products
Don’t rely on advertising revenue or affiliate income where you promote other people’s products. Instead, work towards having products of your own to sell. Develop systems around those products to sell them – not just at the launch, but on an ongoing basis.
This could be an information product (such as an ebook or online course), a physical product, or a service you offer such as consulting or speaking.
None of these things are new. I first talked about them in a video I created back in 2010. But they all work, and if you follow them you’ll have a great chance of making money from blogging.
If you’ve got a different tip to share, or if you want to let us know about your experience using some of these ideas, leave a comment below.
Image credit: Erik Mclean
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