The Beginners Complete Guide to Making Money Blogging

One question that I’ve been asked by a lot of beginner bloggers in the recent past has always been, how can I earn money from my blog?

While I’ve answered this question in a number of ways, depending on the situation of the person who was asking, I’ve finally decided to do this complete guide on how to make money with a blog for beginners as a reference resource for any other person who will want to learn about this subject.

So, if you’re still struggling with making money with your blog then I ask you to read this post very carefully!

How Do Bloggers Make Money?

How Do Bloggers Make Money From Blogging?

Some of the top questions I’ve heard over and over again are: how do bloggers make money from blogging? How do beginner blogs make money? What types of blogs make the most money? And, can I really make money blogging?

While there may be no problem with these questions however, a careful look will reveal that the focus of these people is nothing but the amount of money that you can make from blogging.

Of course, that’s not a bad thing. There are hundreds and thousands that are presently making 6 – 7 figures with their blogs. People like John Lee Dumas, Pat Flynn, Michelle Schroeder, Melyssa Griffin, and so many others.

But, focusing ONLY on the money will lead you on the wrong path. This is where many miss it.

For example, in a recent blogging statistics by BlogTyrant.com, it was revealed that out of 350 bloggers surveyed 69.4% reported earning zero income from their blogs and 59.3% reported ever starting a blog and abandoning it at some point.

That’s frustrating, right?

The good thing is that the most successful bloggers today don’t focus on making money blogging, they build sustainable blogging businesses.

You’re Not Just a Blogger – A Blog is Not a Business!

I’ve written variously on this topic. Please do yourself some good by reading these posts:

1. “The Shocking Truth about Blogging – Evolve or Go Extinct!”

and,

2. “Hey Blogger, Please Quit!”

There are some powerful nuggets of wisdom that you wouldn’t want to miss!

If you’ve been online for some time now you’ll agree with me that in the last few years blogging has changed from what it used to be when “make money blogging” was still in its infancy.

Back then blogging was not different from keeping an online diary. Many didn’t think of it with the commercial intent that we do today. People simply wrote about their personal thoughts, activities and sometimes, their favorite recipes.

Also, social networks weren’t as popular as they are today. But as the World Wide Web continued to evolve and people realized that sharing on social networks like Facebook and Instagram is much easier than writing a long blog post, many transitioned sharing their personal stories to the social networks.

The result is that blogging is now more of a commercial venture than it used to be. Nearly every business now has a blog. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a one-person or a Fortune 500 business; every one now blogs!

Not only has the blogging landscape changed, the competition has also become rife. The last time I did a search I discovered that there are currently over 440 million blogs out there. Besides, since the beginning of 2014 tens of thousands of new blogs are being started every day.

there are currently over 440 million blogs

Think about that and consider the fact that back in 2005 there were only about 64 million websites (with just a small portion being blogs). But then the number of blogs rose to about 173 million in 2011 and now we are talking about over 440 million blogs.

Can you just imagine what it’s like out there?

Your guess is mine!

Unfortunately, many newbie bloggers, mislead by articles and blog posts written some 5, 6, or 7 years ago (which in internet years is decades), take on the toga of “Blogger” without taking into cognizance the realities of the day. The result is that many discover too late that they’ve not only wasted their precious time but also their meager resources.

So, if you’re still relishing in being tagged a “blogger” please QUIT because you’re not just a blogger you’re an entrepreneur who blogs.

For your own good please quit blogging and build a business!

And, that’s what this guide is all about – helping you build a flourishing online business with your blog.

How to Make Money through Blogging

The Blogging Business Model

There are a number of ways you can start making money with a blog. The classic make money blogging advice goes something like this:

  1. Set up a wordpress blog
  2. Go on the content creation hamster (Content is KING!)
  3. Follow and connect with others in your niche on social media
  4. Comment on similar blogs, and
  5. Monetize your blog traffic with paid ads and Google Adsense.

Now, this is actually a faulty blogging business model. The 6 – 7 figure income bloggers never grew their blogging businesses to that income level following this classic “make money blogging” blueprint.

To understand the blogging business model you need to understand the CORE function of a blog.

Just take a critical look around today. Why is it that every business now has a blog?

Why do you think companies like Coca-Cola, Disney, Starbucks, and American Express invest time and resources on creating blog posts?

The answer is: Marketing!

Businesses invest in blogging because a blog is principally a marketing machine. It’s important that you understand this.

So, when you hear some people ask questions like, “what types of blogs make the most money?” or, “how do beginner blogs make money?” it’s clear that they have a wrong understanding of the core function of a blog.

This is because, blogs don’t make money. Businesses do!

Whether online or offline businesses make money by gaining customers. And they do this by selling them something.

However, to sell them something, they will need to gain their attention first. And that’s the purpose of the blog – to generate leads.

So, the blogging business model is all about building a list of prospects and turning them into paying customers!

This is how to really use a blog to make money. It’s the tried and tested business system that’s based on true business principles of all ages.

Alright, let’s now step through the blogging business model.

Steps on How to Make Money Blogging

Build your blogging business

Step 1: Define Your Blog’s Purpose

It was Mark Twain who said, “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why”

For me that’s truly profound. And I’d say, “The most important day in your life as a blogger is the day you find out why you are blogging and pursue it with all your passion!”

So, do you want to build a blogging business? First, find out your WHY!

Recommended: 5 Little Known Blogging Mistakes that Could Be Frustrating Your Efforts

Step 2: Define Your Target Audience

Who’s your ideal blog reader? Who do you want to target with your content and offers?

Defining your target audience right from the start will help you avoid wasting your precious time in activities that does not add any positive returns to your business. So, with your blog’s purpose in mind decide who your idea customer will be.

Truth is, no matter the amount of traffic you drive to your blog or the number of followers and friends you acquire on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc. if you have not defined your blog’s target audience all your efforts will amount to nothing.

Never delude yourself by the huge growth in your social media following. The truth is social media is great for driving traffic to your blog but those who will help you meet your purpose are those who are interested in your offers.

This is your target market. Ignore this and you will simply waste your time chasing the wrong crowd.

I can tell you this from my personal experience. Time past, this blog was averaging 50 comments per post. The irony was that this “highly engaged community” of fellow bloggers hardly clicked on any ad – not even Google Adsense on the blog – at least as a show of support!

Pick the wrong audience and you can be sure of frustration along the way. You really don’t want that.

Step 3: Define Your Product/Service

It was Robert Kiyosaki who said that except you’re the Central Bank or the government’s designated minting company, you don’t make money because…

Money is earned!

And, I’ve said this earlier, blogs don’t make money; businesses do!

Businesses make money by solving a problem for people or by filling a need. They do this by selling product(s) or service(s) that provide a specific outcome or transformation for their customers.

And so, to make money with your blog you need to have a system of earning that money. You need a product or service that your target audience is ready to exchange for their money.

Now, there’s something called product market fit. As defined by Marc Andeerssen, who coined the term in 2007, product market fit is “being in a good market with a product that can satisfy that market.”

Basically, what this means is that you need a market that’s large enough and a product that fulfills a need of that market.

From research, between 43% and 75% of businesses fail because they wrongly assume that people are interested in their product/service. And so, in defining your product/service you must avoid falling into this trap. You should research your target audience to pinpoint their pain areas and then offer products/services that will heal those pains.

Step 4: Architect Your Sales Funnel

Design your blog business Sales Funnel

We’ve mentioned earlier that the main purpose of a blog is for generating leads and converting those leads into paying customers.

… The system that helps you do this is the sales funnel.

The sales funnel is the “money-making machine” behind every one of the 6- to 7-figure blog businesses you see out there. It’s something that you hardly hear of among the “average” bloggers. Most of the typical make money blogging tips your read might mention list building but beyond that nothing is said about a sales funnel!

What’s a sales funnel?

A sales funnel is a series of steps designed to guide visitors toward a buying decision. The steps are composed of marketing assets that do the work of selling, like landing pages and email.

NOTE: Your sales funnel works behind the scenes to make sales for your business.

Unfortunately, most bloggers mainly focus on creating content and then chase after blog readers, comments, followers and shares on social media. This is because they are unaware of the power of the sales funnel!

A sales funnel can help you grow your business, from capturing leads to making the first sale and then turning that into repeat sales. The best part is that it can do all of these automatically, once you’ve set it up!

Your sales funnel over time will include 4 basic levels of offer. These 4 levels are:

(i) Your free offer – This is the exploratory phase and it’s where people are first introduced to your brand. The purpose is to turn “browsers” into interested leads. It’s obviously one of the most important components of the sales funnel. It separates those who are simply curious from those who are truly interested. It’s your “hand raising offer”!

(ii) The front-end offer – This is designed mainly for customer acquisition. The main purpose is to turn a lead into a customer. There’s a huge different between these two. A person who only opted into your list to get a freebie is worlds apart from the one who has bought something from you.

(iii) The Core offer – This is your main product which delivers the transformation that your business is centered around. Your core offer could be a training course, a service, consulting, etc.

(iv) High-end offer – Some more expensive offer that increases the overall customer value. Popular options include coaching, done-for-you service, etc.

Do note that a sales funnel is also a good way of achieving product/market fit because over time, your business will offer different products to your prospects when the time is right for them.

How to Create a Sales Funnel

There are countless ways you can do this. However, here’s a proven simple strategy:

(i) Offer potential customers a lead magnet

This is a free, value-based incentive that encourages people to join your email list. It could be anything from free videos, tutorials, Ebooks or special reports.

To maximize conversion, you’ll want to offer something irresistible and that instantly attracts attention.

There are a number of ways to get your free offer. You can do it yourself or get your hands on dozens of pre-made lead magnet packages. These packages come with everything you need – high-quality reports, responsive squeeze pages and even autoresponder follow-ups that will help you connect with your subscribers.

One of the places you can get pre-made lead magnet packages is….

(ii) Set up a lead-capture page

With your lead magnet ready you will need to set up a lead-capture page. The focus of this page is on capturing the lead via an opt-in form that adds the subscriber to your mailing list.

One of the best tools in the market right for making great lead capture pages is OptimizePress. With this tool you can easily create your own lead capture pages without any problem. Check it out here.

You’ll also need an autoresponder to capture and manage your mailing list. I suggest you check out GetResponse.com.

As I’ve mentioned above, the purpose of the lead magnet is to turn your blog traffic into leads. It’s important that you get this right because the more people that enter your funnel, the more money you’ll make.

It’s worth emphasizing that your sales funnel is the money making machine of your blogging business. It’s important therefore that you get it right.

You can get high quality, done for you Sales Funnels that converts at Funnels Now.

Step 5: Your Unique Brand Positioning

One of the top-most questions you must answer in order to thrive in the marketplace is “Why You?” Why would your potential customer choose you instead of the competition?

If you take the time to check out the 6 – 7 figure income business bloggers you will discover that they are doing so NOT by being “just another blog!” These top earners have built their brand over time and they have become the go-to experts in their niche.

You cannot do anything less and expect great results!

This is where you need a Unique Selling Proposition (USP).

Your USP is simply a statement of what makes you and your offers different from the competition. Its primary purpose is to influence your potential customer’s perception of your business – why they should care about you and your service/product and not the competition.

Put another way, a USP is why a customer should care about your Brand.

Your USP should clearly define the value you offer and the problem you solve. It should articulate a specific benefit that makes you stand out from the competition.

In order to define your USP you’ll need to consider carefully:

(i) Your target audience – Who is your ideal customer? Check step #2 again and be as specific as possible.

Don’t be afraid to exclude people. For example, this blog is targeted at digital entrepreneurs and entrepreneur bloggers. This is why you hardly see “make money blogging tips” and similar posts on the blog. My focus is more on entrepreneurship and building businesses!

(ii) The problem you solve – Ideally, your product/service solves a specific problem for your ideal customer. Think of the pain you’re eliminating. How is your customer better off after working with you or buying your product versus the alternatives?

(iii) Your uniqueness – This is what meaningfully sets you apart from other businesses that are similar to yours. As I’ve mentioned earlier you can differentiate yourself in thousands of ways: service, experience, technique, etc.

Focus on those things that make a tangible difference to your audience.

A great USP comes from a deep understanding of who your customers are, what they want, what they value, and what motivates them. It should also cause your prospects to crave your product or service.

You’ll likely have a different USP for each product or service you offer.

Step 6: Drive the Right Traffic

Fuel Your Business Machine with the Right Traffic

Traffic is the life-blood of every online business. Of course, that’s nothing new. However, there are a few things you must note when it comes to driving traffic as a business and not as a “blogger”.

First, you must understand that it is not about quantity but quality! You should identify the traffic sources that are right for your purpose and concentrate most of your efforts in those areas.

From my own experience I have discovered that the most reliable way to get traffic to your business blog is to buy it. You could buy traffic from Google, Facebook or even solo mailings.

Now, if you’re concerned with paying for traffic you shouldn’t because your sales funnel allows you to spend money on traffic without going broke. Simply learn the simple tricks of setting up a sales funnel and implement one for your business and you can be sure of recouping your investment in no time at all!

If you’d rather go for free traffic sources then I’ll recommend search engine optimization (SEO). But you must understand that this is really not free as you’d be paying with your time – and time is money!

Conversely, I have also discovered that the worst traffic source for blogs is traffic from blog comments. Comment traffic has only one value for your blog: SOCIAL PROOF!

If you aim to sell advertising space on your blog, the comment section of your blog could be an advantage. But beyond this depending on traffic from comments is a very quick way to go into extinction!

So, in driving traffic to your funnel choose wisely where to concentrate your efforts!

Pitfalls to Avoid If You Want to Make Money Blogging

Pitfalls to Avoid While Building Your Blog-Based Business

As you transition your blog into a full-fledged business online it is important that you note some of the common pitfalls that online entrepreneurs face all the time. Being aware of these real issues will help you greatly in your quest for success.

The following list is only a small fraction of what you should look out for. I have only included these out of the many pitfalls believing that these will greatly help you.

1. Not having a plan

A lot of average bloggers only focus on how to make money blogging and never care about making a plan. This is one reason why many of them struggle without any tangible results.

As a business you need a business plan.

Of course, you don’t need a formal twenty-something page business plan. Those big-format business plans have grown obsolete! What you need is a simple document that lays out who your customers are, what you are selling and what people are willing to pay for your product or service. In addition, work out how much cash you’ve got and how long it will last.

RECOMMENDED: The Plan-As-You-Go Business Plan

2. Giving away too much and not getting back

This is the bane of many bloggers. They are used to giving and giving without asking in return. You don’t build a business only by giving.

Of course, to establish your credibility in the marketplace you’re expected to offer something for free. However, your giving should be carried out with your business objectives in mind – turning a conversion into long-term customer relationship. This is the purpose of your sales funnel.

So, don’t give away the farm. Instead give strategically – offer something useful and intangible in exchange for a customer’s contact info so you can promote more of your offers to them in due time.

3. Spreading yourself thin on social media

Social media marketing is good for marketing and building your brand. But, without the right strategy in place it could become a time waster.

While the primary purpose of social media is for connecting and socializing, as a business you’re on social media with a different motive.

It’s important therefore that you clearly define who your target audience is and then choose one or two of the main social media networks where you know your audience congregates and then make a plan of marketing to them.

4. Ignoring your customers

The customer, they say, is always right! And as you must have known by now your business exist to serve the customer. Unfortunately, our human nature usually works against us as we are mostly focused on ourselves.

Not only that, as bloggers we’ve been counseled to do what we LOVE if we want to make money blogging. The result is that we go about our blog business with the mindset of succeeding simply by doing what we KNOW and LOVE!

Unfortunately, that’s only half the truth. Success in business is NOT about what you know or love but about what the market wants. The problem your business solves for your target market should be the problem that your market counts as important enough.

But how do you know this?

By listening to your customers. They have the answers you seek. Ignoring them is detrimental to your success. That’s why the customer is always right!

RECOMMENDED: How to Finally Locate Your ‘Blog Money Topic’ and Create Your First Profitable Online Offer

5. Having wrong expectations

I’m sure you’ve seen those ads that promise success working one hour a week and in your pajamas, right? The truth is, if you build your expectations on those promises you’ll only end up with frustration.

Building a successful business, whether it’s online or offline, takes massive effort. While there are tech tools that will help you automate most of the operations never expect your success timeline to be measured in weeks or months because there’s nothing like overnight success.

So, you must ask yourself from the beginning if building your blog business will still be worth it if it takes years to get there!

6. Business model jumping and niche hopping

This is related to #5 above. A lot of newbie entrepreneurs, because of wrong expectations, are easily moved to abandon their business or change strategies because they see someone else making money in another niche or market.

Instead of focusing on what is working for others find your focus and then stick with it until you make it work. Jumping from one business to another and from niche to niche makes nonsense of your efforts. However, simple, repeatable, and consistent action steps towards your goal will eventually get you there.

Conclusion

If your intention is to make money blogging then this is the proven path you must take. The blogosphere is evolving and you need evolve with it. It doesn’t matter your experience level if you’ll carefully follow these steps you’ll have your blog business up and running in no time.

Remember, it’s not about focusing on some isolated money making methods. It’s about implementing sustainable and automated online systems that keep pulling in new leads and turning those leads into customers that make you money day in, day out.

If your blog is already up and running it’s important that you start treating it as a business by building into it this automated business system. However, if you’re still thinking of starting your blog then you’re in luck. Read this post carefully again and take action right away.

Your Turn: Now I’ll love to hear from you. Do you already have a blog or you’re just thinking of starting one?

Is there any part of this post you’d want more info on?

Feel free to share your thoughts in your comments below.

And why not share the post with your social contacts if you find it helpful?

What Facebook And Other Social Media Sites Can Teach You About Blog Monetization!

Recently, there has been a whole lot of controversy regarding the subject of blog monetization. While some bloggers agree that monetizing your blog is a good thing, since you deserve some form of compensation for your labour, others vehemently oppose the idea emphasizing that blogs are for relationship building and trying to make money off your relationships is unethical!

Still among those who accept the idea of blog monetization, many readily frown at the idea of selling ads spaces on your blog as a way of monetizing your blog. To these ones, displaying adverts on your blog is simply a put-off and should be discouraged!

Now, I’m not here to argue whether blog monetization is right or wrong. However, having observed the confusion that many bloggers face because of these divergent views, I want to use this post to make a statement on these various beliefs and leave you to make your decision on what is best for you!

Recommended: Who Is Making Your Rules?

Blog Monetization – What Really Should You Do?

Blog Monetization: Example of Facebook and others!At this point let me say what really pushed me into writing this post was a comment in a discussions in one of the groups in LinkedIn.com. During this discussion, which centered on the recent changes by Facebook, a member of the group mentioned how much he now disdain Facebook because, to him, Facebook has lost its focus and is now more concerned with making more money for the site owners rather than being a truly social networking site!

What, Facebook has lost its focus?

Now, I understand that many people have this view. Of course, most of the new changes on the site are nothing but subtle ways of increasing the number of businesses and individuals that advertise on the site.  But does this make Facebook to have lost its focus?

Of course, you may not stand the sight of the ads on these social networking sites but you must remember that you are not the one who calls the shots. For one, you use the site for FREE, not caring about how the various resources you’re enjoying for free, are being financed.

Besides, how much do you know of the mission and vision of these sites that you now think that sites like Facebook have derailed because they are selling ads on their sites?

Indeed, when I read that comment the controversy surrounding blog monetization, which I’ve read on different blogs over time, came to mind. I realized then that why many are against the idea of monetizing a blog through advertisements, stem from the same root.

The fact is, a blog is nothing different from a social media site.  Indeed, many have come to accept it as a socializing tool – both for connecting with your readers and also building relationships with them.

But beyond that, a blog could be a business and a marketing tool.  In fact, to get the maximum results from your blog you must accept it to be so.

So, How Do Social Media Sites Make Money?

I think this is a question that we need to ask if we must learn anything from these social media sites and making money online. As you read this I’m sure you have profiles on different social networking sites. And of course, if you are on Facebook, which I believe you are, you have been using the site for free all these years.

But have you cared to know how they keep providing those tools and resources for free? Do you realize that Facebook, Google.com (G+), Pinterest, Linkedin etc are registered business concerns?

What this means is that while they offer you the opportunity to connect with your social circles on their sites for free they also aim to cut a profit as businesses!

But depending on the social media platform, the business model and monetization strategies may differ.  But the truth is, no matter how different the strategies may be, it still stand that they must make money for their venture capitalists!

Here are some ways social media sites are making money that could be interesting to a blogger:

1. Advertising – This is a common one to all the social media sites.

2. Selling subscription – Depending on the target market a few social media sites sell subscriptions to keep the network going.

3. Building and selling applications – This is another fast growing way social media sites are now monetizing their traffic.

4. Replacing affiliate links – This was actually the monetization model of Pinterest. They opened the site to all of us, encouraging us to share our user-generated content with our online friends, but unknown to us, something else was going on right under our nose!

5. Feature upgrades – This is a big one for LinkedIn. While you are free to have your profile for life, if you however desire to use some of the advance features of the site, you then need to upgrade your membership.

Any of these monetization methods can actually be used on a blog. take a cue from these social media sites or you’ll soon be packing your bags and luggage and hitting the door!

Recommended: Hey Blogger, Please Quit!

Go To the Ants and Learn!

Ok, that’s what the Holy Book says. And why not, if social media sites like Facebook and the rest are making money through the sale of adverting space, why not a blogger? And so, I’m saying, it’s time when bloggers should go to the social media sites and learn how to monetize their blogs.

I’ve always said it that bloggers are among the most hard working people on the internet today. That labor shouldn’t be in vain – a worker is worthy of his reward!

Or, don’t you think so?

Over to you: Do you think bloggers should sell advertising space on their blogs just like the social networking sites? Share your thoughts with us in your comments below.

Hey Blogger, What Really Is Your Product?

In the recent past, the question of what a bloggers product should really be has been the subject of many blogs.

Before now, the generally accepted business model for nearly every blog was the paid advertising model where you create a blog that aims to make money through selling ads and possibly promoting affiliate products.

Like I mentioned in my post detailing the lessons I have learned in 4 year of blogging, this model has really become a highly competitive one. But beyond just being highly competitive some bloggers actually see this model as wrong one.

They reason that a blog which runs on this model is simply treating the readers as their products, i.e. build a large following of readers and then look for an advertiser to pay you for placing ads. In this, they reason that since the advertisers pay you based mostly on the numbers of readers (traffic) you have, the readers are therefore your main products which to them is unethical!

Then, others believe that selling ads on a blog is basically a wrong approach and that you MUST have your own product as a blogger if you truly want to make money blogging!

However you look at it, all of these arguments may be correct but unfortunately rather than help, many budding bloggers have become confused about what next steps to take in their blogging journey.

In this post my aim therefore is to help clear the fog this may have caused.

Make your blog a valuable business

Don’t See Yourself Simply As a Blogger, See Yourself as a Business!

I don’t know what brought you into blogging. But one thing I know is that a good number of those who read the webincomejournal.com are here because they want to make money with their blogs. For these ones, my advice is:

“Approach your blog as a business right from the word go. Instead of just seeing yourself as a blogger, see yourself as a business!”

This approach does not only help you to set your target audience right from the beginning but also help you to define what to offer.  Unfortunately, many of the blogs out there can really be classified as “Just another WordPress Blog” and nothing more.

Recommended: How to Build a Business and Not Just a Blog!

Now, there are 3 basic requirements for any business to succeed online, which are:

1. A product that has value in itself.

2. A platform through which you can effectively communicate that value; and

3. Visitors who want what you’re selling

A careful look will reveal that the main issue is the #1 requirement, a product that has value in itself and I think this is the reason why many bloggers are concerned about product creation.

Your Product Most Times Depends On Your Business Model!

For any blogger to really understand the issue of product creation, he/she will need to know what business model he/she is running or intends to run. Truth is, there are different business models you can choose from to make money online. These models basically can be classified into the following:

Model #1 – Free or Open Access

This is mostly found in businesses promoting digital content. Everyone has free access to the “product” without first giving anything for it in advance. The product offered may be in the form of text (like on your blog), video (like on Youtube.com), audio, software, or any other digitally deliverable goods or services.

Model #2 – Restricted Access

Unlike the free access, this model aims to get something in advance from the person wishing to acquire the product. This “price” paid in advance could be something as simple as your personal contact information (physical or email address) which gives the product provider a way to deliver the content to you. This model is mostly common with physical goods but can also be used in delivery of free subscription content or digital information products.

Model #3 – Paid Access

This one is quite obvious. You have to offer money before the “product” is delivered. This could be seen in operation in membership based content delivery systems, and of course, in nearly every other online business where either a physical product or digital product is being sold. Unfortunately, because this model asks for the money before the “product” is delivered, many only see this as the only true business model where a product is truly involved. But this is far from the truth.

Now, take a look at these 3 models and you will discover that as a blogger, you can easily use any of them in making money with your blog. You could pick any of these business models or combine two or even the three!

What really is the blogger's product?

But, How Do This Help You With Your Product As A Blogger?

Here are my suggestions:

1. Threat Every One of Your Posts as a Product

As you do know I’m an advocate of valuable content (remember, content is not king, but value is!) This is actually what you should do with every one of your blog post. Threat it as a product and make sure it offers value to the reader. Simply regurgitating other people’s content on your blog in other to keep it updated will not help you. Your blog readers must see and get value from every post published on your blog. By so doing, even if you want to charge for your content, people will be ready to pay for it.

2. Focus On and Listen To Your Readers

No matter what others believe, my belief is that your readership is your target market and not your product! You must aim to provide value for them every time. But you cannot do this except you listen to them to know what they want.

But how do you listen to them?

Go through the comments on your own blog with your “ears to the ground.” Read other blogs in your niche but instead of just skimming through the posts and jumping in to post a comment, read each post with your mind wide open to pick up the frustrations and challenges exposed in the posts and comments.  Do this over time and you’ll be able to provide more value on your blog which will boost your brand and subsequently, bring you more business.

3. Make Your Blog an Online Real Estate

One thing about real estate properties is that they have a way of growing in value with time. You should aim therefore at turning your blog into a valuable property by continuously proving value with your content. One way to do this is to answer questions being asked by your target market. Most of these questions may be pressing issues while others are just trivial ones. No matter what they are turn your blog into a digital platform that answers those questions and with time your blog will become an online real estate – a property whose value will increase over time.

4. Package Your Knowledge and Skills for Sale

I see the blogger as a vastly skilled individual. From what I have seen across the blogosphere, it is clear that a blogger who can create valuable content or provide a professional service to clients and does it well can definitely create a product of their own. And so, once you have been able to build your personal or business brand, your target as a blogger should be on how to package your knowledge and skills for sale.

Conclusion

Your product as a blogger depends largely on the blogging business model you have chosen. But you shouldn’t wait until you have created a particular “product” before you consider yourself to have a product as blogger.

Your “product” should start with every post you publish on your blog.  Remember, there are many who are charging a fee to have access to their content because that is the business model they have chosen. If however, no one will be ready to give you money for the content you are publishing on your blog right now, creating a “product” will not bring you that eureka!

Start today, position yourself not just as a blogger but as a business and starting from there, give value to your target market and the issue of creating a product will resolve itself.

Over to you: There you have my thoughts about this issue of, what is your product as a blogger? Now is your turn.

Do you think monetizing your blog with third party ads is a wrong model?

Do you agree that except you have created a “product” then you do not have a “product” as a blogger?

Share with us in your comments below

How Google Local Drive Targeted Traffic – My Wooden Watch Review Blog

Free organic traffic is the best form of traffic ever!

That is a BIG, BOLD statement, right? Now, listen to this…

When that organic traffic is from Google local users, it can be a lot more targeted!

Note that very well and your struggles, trying to get buying traffic to your blogs/websites would have come to an end. You can quote me on that!

A Word About My Wooden Watch Review Blog

I don’t know what niche you’re into, but my first blog was a coupon blog that reviews wooden watches. You know all those designer watches from wewood.com?

At some point, nothing significant was happening to my blog. I was getting a bunch of daily traffic but no sales. I later discovered that the problem wasn’t the niche I chose but the type of traffic I was attracting. That was when I discovered that the geographic location of every niche matters and that targeting the right people can yield the best results.

In this article therefore, I want to share with you some fundamental principles behind Google local and how it can help you attract the right prospects, make you more money from product sales and expand your reach.

Google SEO for Website Traffic!

What Is Google Local?

We all know that Google is the ultimate web company that has several arms. You have their search engine and within this powerful machine is Google local. It’s also a search system that targets local residents. For instance, if you live in Connecticut or Laurel MD, you may decide to sell your products to the city dwellers.

The reason is simple: you already know what is hot right now and how desperate the people need it.

Before you can use Google local to drive responsive prospects, you need to register and list your business on Google database. Thereafter, your web pages would be indexed by search spiders and a base for subsequent promotions is established. That’s where everything begins but it doesn’t stop there.

Research Your Local Market

Your local market is your city. Even if you’re not a citizen of America, you could still target a particular district. However, Google local work best when you have an official address in the town you’re targeting. You’ll be asked to submit your office address so that potential customers can reach you.

To get started with your promotions, first, determine what’s in vogue right now. During the Christmas holidays, people where spending money on the cruise. They wanted to make the season memorable. Several micro keywords were searched over a thousand times during the day. Two of such key terms are wewood watch coupon and fossil coupon discounts.

An efficient keyword research would reveal profitable key phrases like the ones above and more. The terms used by buyers to look for information online shows the intents of their hearts. It’s the fastest and surest way to know what they actually want and how desperate they want it.

Target Geo-Specific Terms

When I realized the immense potential of ranking for geo-specific terms, the organic traffic to my wooden watch review blog almost tripled. Yes, dominating search engines especially Google may not be easy for anyone, not even to Matt Cutts, but when you target the right location, it’s easier and can yield better results.

If you’re using any of the keyword research tools for example, Google Adwords research tool, make sure you add the intended city as a qualifier to the primary term.

Let’s assume you want to build a niche blog to promote women’s boot. Have you determined the exact location you want to sell these products to? When you come to Google tool, type “women’s boot + your city.”

Off course, you should replace ‘your city’ with the right city title. Take this further by targeting streets and avenues. Some streets in US are hotter than most cities in the world – this makes them a perfect bet for search users.

Call To Action Marketing

When the right traffic finally arrives at your blog/site, what happens next?

If your goal is to sell your product, then ask your buyer to click the buy button. After you’ve earned their trust, with your quality contents and honest product reviews, motivating them to buy is easier than you think.

Similarly, these people are already soaked into your offers. They’ve seen the basic features and benefits of taking action. Don’t assume they will buy or subscribe to your list; persuade them to take action now.

Marketing Takeaway: You can replicate the above strategies in your blog. whatever the niche may be, designer watches, women accessories, digital products, software or environmental service programs, it’s proven to work and will work for you.

It’s time to take action and test the waters. But keep your mind open as you climb the ladder of success. Remember, thousands of visitors will not make you money, but few targeted and desperate prospects are bestsellers. See you at the top.

[Michael Chibuzor is a business blogger and shows you how to make money blogging. Read about Wewood, a wooden watch retailer, and check out Fossil, a handbags, jewelry, and clothing shop, that Michael reviewed on his site recently. He monetizes his blog through Google Adsense and affiliate programs.]

How To Make Money Online On A Shoestring Budget!

Sometime ago I received an email from a reader asking something like this:

“I’m a newbie just starting online. I’ve been reading a lot of information about making money online but most of these seem way too advanced for me. I am really interested on making some money from marketing online but I don’t know how to go about it. Can you give me some ideas and a plan on how to do this?

P.S. Please note that I’ve no product of my own!”

When I received that email the first thought that came to my mind was, are there really some people who are still completely uncertain of how to make money online?

Now, please get me right here. You know, sometimes after years of marketing online and reading a lot of blogs that talk about making money online, we seem to have the impression that just about everything that you need to is out there and so everyone should know. But that email was a reminder for me that it is a wrong reasoning!

In replying to that email I was careful to include the needed details on how to go about setting up a system that will [amazon_link id=”0470633956″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]help a newbie make some money online[/amazon_link]. Of course, I tried to avoid too many complications as much as possible. But after that reply I had the feeling that a great lot of details have been left out considering the limitations of email. In light of that I took a decision to do something more detailed and therefore this post.

I’ve decided to make it a step by step plan and as basic and simple as possible. This is to ensure that no matter what level anyone reading it may be at, he/she will found it useful. Of course this post is for complete newbies so if you found it too basic simply ignore it and read some other post!

The plan set out on this post lays out how you can make money online on a shoestring budget. I must say when I started out online I was right in that boat with little knowledge about internet marketing and with little money to invest in most of the programs and “sure-fire cash cows” others were buying into then. But the good thing is that somehow this disadvantaged position worked to my advantage as I had to invest in the only asset I had then – time. I invested time to study whatever I can about making money online and by the time I began to make some money and invest that in expanding my online business, I was better equipped to use the programs and other systems I invested in.

Please note that what I’m laying out below is not my system. It is a system that many have found to be truly powerful and workable. Over the years I’ve adapted it to different markets with a few modifications and I’ve always found it effective. So if you’re looking for a system that will help you make money online with a minimum cost to you then read this post very carefully. I hope you find it helpful.

(Apologies: This post is unusually long unlike most of the posts you are familiar with here. This is because of the details that needed to be included so bear with me!)

So let’s begin.

Step 1: Become an Affiliate at Clickbank.Com

The simple and easiest way I have found to make money online when you do not have a product of your own is to join affiliate programs and one such very powerful affiliate program on the net is clickbank.com. A free account at clickbank.com allows you to promote every product or service listed on the site. You don’t have to create a separate account for the individual products. Just one account and you have access to all the products.

The products offered at Clickbank.com are “digital” products which can be downloaded immediately after purchase. There are no shipping costs and because of this most of the products on the Clickbank.com marketplace, are stunningly high on the commissions paid to affiliates. In most cases you could get a commission that is as high as 75%! This has made clickbank.com a favorite of affiliate marketers but unfortunately it has also pushed up the level of competition. But not minding this competition setting up a system like the one we are dealing with here will help you make the kind of money you want.

So the first thing you will need to do is signup for your free account at clickbank.com and proceed to step 2.

Step 2: Market/Keyword Research

Frankly these are two different steps but because they are closely related, I have decided to put them together. Market research is about doing some online research to decide on a market that is hot on demand at the moment. That is, people are presently spending money in this market. Some of the pointers that will help you decide if a market is hot are:

1. Are other vendors targeting this market?

2. Are marketers spending money on advertising to buyers in this market?

3. Are there people searching for information on the search engines for this market?

These and many other indicators will help you pick on a profitable market to target.

Keyword research on the other hand is about deciding on the keywords/phrases you will be targeting to get a better ranking on the search engines. For example, if you chose the relationship market, some of the keywords you may want to target are “relationship repair,” “relationship rescue,” “save my marriage,” “stop my divorce,” etc. (it may interest you to know that this is actually the market wherein I made my first commission on clickbank.com a few years ago!)

The topic of market and could take a whole post of its own and so I’ll not go into details on how to go about it but [amazon_link id=”0313306761″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]here is a powerful resource [/amazon_link] that will greatly help you. However, if you desire to explore this may want to read some post on this subject I did way back. As we are talking about making money online on a shoestring budget on this post, I will advice you use Google’s free Keyword Tool for both of this research.

Step 3: Get a Free Blog at Blogger.com

Blogger.com allows you to create as many blogs as you want, for free. Now I must say I’m passionately enthusiastic about the wordpress blogging platform but creating a wordpress blog that will allow you the type of freedom that is needed to do what we want demands you having a domain name and webhost. Of course getting these could really be cheap. But as a beginner I’ll advice that you go with Blogger.com. You can easily move the blog to wordpress blog later on when you start making money and you’re more experience about running a blog.

When creating your blog at Blogger.com make sure that you use the keywords you decided on from step 2 above both on the blog name and the domain name. Your domain name will look something like this:

www.YourDomainName.blogspot.com

For example, using our Relationship market and one of the keyword phrase above, your domain will look something like:

www.relationship-rescue-tips.blogspot.com

Step 4: Take a Trip Back To Clickbank.com/Marketplace

Indeed you may have done this while doing your market and keyword research but if not, then you need to do it now and choose a product or products to promote. I usually choose about 3 products in each market. Of course you will discover that for each market/niche there are various products to choose from. Once you’re on the site simply pick a category and a sub-category and you will be taken to a page full of listings of products to promote. Select each of these products and visit the product site and take a good look at the sales page. Using commonsense and your own judgment ask the following question before deciding on a product:

1. If I’m having this problem will I go for this product?

2. Does this sales page address the emotional buttons associated with this market?

3. Are there enough social proof? Does the sales page have testimonials of people who have benefited from the product?

4. Is the sales page professionally done?

Of course there are other “technical” indicators like the product price, the commission percentage, and the gravity (i.e. how many affiliates earned a commission on that product in the past one or two week pay period) that are shown on the listings in clickbank.com/marketplace. But using these indicators could be a little advance for the beginner. I actually believe that using the above commonsense questions you can make a good choice of a product to sell on clickbank.com.

Once you’ve decided on the products you want to promote, click on the link that says “Create Hoplink” located underneath the product to get your affiliate link. This is what you will need to include in your blog articles to make a commission on the product.

Step 5: Review the Product(s) On Your Blog

Armed with your affiliate links and some information from the product site, your next move is to write a product review. Note that you’re not writing a sales pitch, the sales page for the product you’re promoting will take care of that. Most of these sales pages are written by professional sales copywriters. All you need to do is guide people there.

Please note that this part of the system is very important because if your review is able to put the prospect in the right frame of mind before visiting the product sales page, you have a higher certainty of them purchasing the product. So if you cannot write a product review, do not hesitate to outsource it to someone. A freelance writer may not charge too much for a product review for a Clickbank product. You can expect to pay anywhere from $10 – $20 for a custom-written product review, depending on the writer and the word count of the review.

If you have taken note you will discover that until this point you have spent $0, so if you will spend $10 – $20 for the product review you will not be doing badly!

Important: Remember to add your affiliate link to your product review at least in the first paragraph and at the bottom. Whatever the length of the review, at the end, you can give a strong “Call to action” so that the reader will be compelled to click on your affiliate link.

Bonus Tip: One secret that have helped me very well in writing very powerful review copies is by signing up for the affiliate programs of the product I want to promote, if there is one. When you visit the product sales page, take a look at the bottom of the page to see if there is an affiliate link. Vendors who offer this type of affiliate programs usually offer promotional materials that can help you writing your review copy!

Step 6: Drive Traffic to Your Review Blog

Once your blog is set up your next move is to drive ‘targeted’ traffic to it. These are the people who are actually interested in the product that you are reviewing. And the way to drive targeted traffic to your review blog is to write articles and submit them to article directories like Ezinearticles.com and GoArticles.com. These are some of the top article directories out there. (Not minding the recent google panda update that affected Ezinearticles.com negetively, they are still way up the ladder!) If you write articles in the niches that you are promoting, and you give away some good information with a link to your review blog in your resource box at the end of each article, you will be able to drive targeted traffic to your blog. And if your review blog is able to convincingly send this traffic to the product sales page these could easily convert into sales, which means you will earn yourself some affiliate commissions!

A few other things you will need to do to drive more quality, targeted traffic to your blog include (but not limited to) backlink building, social networking, pinging your blog etc. A more recent one you may want to try is write guest post and publish them on blogs targeting your niche market. You must know that the more targeted leads you drive to your review blog, the more sales you will make. It’s really simple, but it does take work and time.

Conclusion: This is indeed a simple but effective method of making money online even if you have no product and you’re starting on a shoestring budget. Creating a review blog on blogger.com to market affiliate products costs nothing to do but can earn you a potentially unlimited income. Depending on how much traffic you drive to your blog and the conversion rates, you can build yourself a flourishing online business using this exact model.

Over to you: Do you have a few suggestions you will want to add to this game plan? Do you think this is basic enough for any newbie to implement and make some money online? I will be glad if you can add your voice to this plan in the comments below.

Six Figure Pro-Blogging Secrets Uncovered!

Make money blogging

Why do a few bloggers make a six figure income from blogging while others struggle trying to earn a few dollars from their blogging activities?

Is there something these six figure income bloggers know and do that sets them apart from other bloggers?

Are there some secrets that the so called probloggers have access to but are hidden from the rest of us or are those six figure income results being reported by these blogging gurus something the rest of us can achieve?

I’m sure you may have asked these or similar questions at one time or the other if you’re one who really wants to make a living online as a blogger.

Over the past couple of years since developing interest in blogging, nay making money blogging, I have always sought to uncover what these six figure bloggers are doing that I’m not doing. You know, sometimes I think I’m a better blogger than most of these blogging celebrities! ?

But frankly, I’m being serious here!

Make Money Blogging Advice Abounds Every Where, But…

As a blogger you definitely have read or heard both newbie and veteran bloggers advice that to make money blogging you need to

>>> choose a niche you’re passionate and knowledgeable about,

>>> write unique and useable content,

>>> post regularly,

>>> market your blog through various ways like blog commenting, article marketing, forum marketing etc.

However, I want to say as much as all these are important and necessary, there is definitely something that is missing in them. Read any blog out there that offer tips on making money blogging and you’ll discover that all of them give this same advice. Everywhere you turn you receive this type of information as the “insider secrets” to making millions as a blogger.

But have you ever asked yourself if you’re not doing these things? If you’re sincere to yourself you must be doing more than enough. But the question is:

>>> why are you not making the type of income these super probloggers are making right now?

>>> Why is everyone not producing the same results if this is all that it takes to make a six figure income blogging?

To really uncover the secrets of these probloggers I’ve being studying this subject of making money with blogs over the past few years and I’ve asked many questions of successful bloggers trying to understand what really made them successful.

From my research and studies I’ve come to realize that making a six figure income blogging is more than just writing and publishing blog posts. Unfortunately, many of those making six figures as bloggers are not very likely to give you their secrets unless of course, if they can sell it to you in an ebook!

But, the truth is if you are serious about making that amount of money and you’re ready to invest in it, chances are you could be a six figure blog marketing guru as well!

The Secret Is Not Really… A Secret!

Ok, I want to say that what I’ve uncovered is not really a secret except you have not taken time to figure this out before now. When I say it’s a secret uncovered, I’m actually using that phrase as a personal experience. Yes, it’s a secret to many of us but for those who have looked carefully at what the probloggers are doing; it is simply an open secret!

So what is this secret?

Please read carefully…

Six Figure Income Blogging Is More Than Likely Not Done With One Single Blog!

In simple terms, you cannot achieve a six figure income running just one blog. It would take many many blogs to create a six figure income! This is the one secret that has set the probloggers from the pack.

The truth is there is so much that one blog can earn for you! You may be the most wonderful blogger out there but if all your labor is focused on just one blog, you might just be working a job and not building an online business.

How To Put This Six Figure Income Blogging Secret To Work

If you are a blogger who is finding it hard to maintain just one blog, your concern may be, how do you expect to run multiple blogs concurrently when running one is already taking much of your time? If this is your concern then the following may be of help. These are some of the things these probloggers are doing that many of us are not doing right now. From my studies if you’ll add these ones to what you’re already doing, you’ll be on your way to making your own six figure income as a blogger very soon.

1. Be an Entrepreneur and Not Just a Blogger

Sometime ago I wrote a blog post on how to build a business and not just a blog. The truth is making a six figure income blogging demands the mindset of an entrepreneur. If you are still seeing yourself as just a blogger you’ll be missing a whole lot of things. I think this blog post by Yaro Starak will give you an idea about what I’m talking about here. The lesson I learnt from that post is simply the fact that you must be an entrepreneur to make the kind of money you desire as a blogger.

2. Develop Systems

The first thing you should do is to document your blogging activities with the mind of developing systems you can put into use at any time. One of the gains of developing systems is that with such systems you’ll be able to accomplish more with less time. With a tested and trusted system you can easily transfer that knowledge to other markets without much stress.

3. Outsource Your Work

If you truly want to make a six figure income as a blogger then outsourcing some work to others is not a bad idea. Doing all of the work yourself is not something that is possible if you want to make that amount of money. Just be sure that you hire those that you can trust and have a great reputation for getting work done on time and accurately. If you’ve developed systems as suggested above outsourcing your work to others will be much easier as you will be able to decide on an outline of what is needed and provide these to the people you’re hiring. This will ensure that your work can be done to specification. For example you may need some persons to set up your blogs others to write the content for the blogs and yet others to market them using social networking sites. Once your systems are in place all these activities will be done with much ease and to specification. The good news is that you can easily find experts on particular markets in places like this one and pay them for the rights to their articles.

Conclusion: I believe making a six figure income with blogs is definitely something you can do as a blogger. The first thing that you would need to do is find profitable markets. Set up multiple blogs in these markets and then get the right people to manage the blogs for you.  Just be sure that you hire those that know what they are doing and are fluent in the language that you are marketing in as well. Someone that speaks and writes poor English will not help your income, but may hurt it if you have English based readers.

Over to you: Do you agree with the points raised in this article? Do you think having the mindset of an entrepreneur can really help you earn more with your blogging activities? I will be glad if you’ll post your comments below. And please you can help spread this article by bookmarking and sharing it using the buttons below!