While newspaper staffs continue to shrink, blogs have created a platform for any aspiring editorialist to publish content and potentially make a profit. In 2011, WordPress announced that it was supporting more than 50 million blogs. Needless to say, most blogs don’t make any money. How do bloggers distinguish themselves in this sea of content?
Most blogs suffer from a lack of focus. No matter how well-written the content, readers are unlikely to return without a clear understanding of what they’re going to get. Blogs that gain a stable following are still tasked with monetizing their publication in a way that doesn’t alienate readers. It’s getting tougher, but professional bloggers can attest that there’s money to be made on the blogosphere.
Find a Niche
The next Jack Kerouac is probably among us, but today’s blog reader isn’t looking for him. Sporadic, unfocused content doesn’t stick in the digital landscape. If you’re serious about professional blogging, home in on a niche and develop the most informed, interesting content in that niche. Writers looking for a regular cash flow should focus on establishing regular readership.
Monetization Through Visitor Engagement
It takes an audience to turn a profit blogging. The money-making value of links, banners and advertisements is only effective and relevant if you have an audience to utilize them. Know your demographic and what they want to leverage the right kind of ads for your site. Great content isn’t the only way to keep readers coming back. Bloggers can establish relationships with their readers through the comments section. When a reader responds to a post with a comment or question, respond and maintain a dialogue. Readers that feel they are part of a niche community are more likely to return.
Gaining an audience is one thing, but making money from a blog is an entirely separate battle. Luckily, the internet holds convenience in high regard, so tech-challenged bloggers have a chance to turn a profit. Google Adsense is the easiest method for bloggers to make money to date. Adsense automatically matches text and image ads to your site based on content. Advertisers pay varying rates for placement based on your blog’s prominence.
In addition to advertising, creative blogging business models are emerging regularly. Blogs in high demand can place premium content in a membership area where readers must pay an upfront fee to gain access. Some writers are compiling extensive content to create self-publishing ebooks, which have become more common with the advent of tablets. Even if its not a main source of income, you can use your blog to promote your offline business.
Any combination of these monetizing options can support professional bloggers as they carve their niche.
In order to gain a firm grip on a niche or industry, blogs need to continually attract new readers. Traditional wisdom would consider flipping some of the profit a blog makes on advertising into advertising of its own, but on the internet, there’s a more natural way to gain attention. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of making websites more likely to come up on search engines (particularly Google). The higher your site ranks, the more likely that interested searchers will end up reading your content. There are some ranking factors that bloggers can’t do anything about (such as maturity of the website), but a few guidelines can help get your blog on the front page:
- Title Your Page: Title tags are one of the first links Google’s robots read, and they’ll use the description to categorize your site. Consider the keywords you would like to rank for as you title your website.
- Use Metatags: Another high-interest area for bots, metatags are descriptive words that are only shown in the html code. This content also boosts ranking for the desired keywords.
- Write Content Regularly: As Google’s algorithm develops, it’s becoming clear that it holds sites with regular content in high regard. Write on, pro blogger.
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