Blogging is so 2011.
While blogging has become less popular, attracting a fan base has not. There has been a shift from bringing users to read your blog to bringing users to your social media sites like Facebook and Instagram. These platforms has simply created a better way to house an audience and deliver content to them regularly.
On the other hand social media networks don't really give you full control over your content. Each network has it's own set of rules and restrictions that might make monetizing your audience a bit harder.
While many people have moved away from the blog and moved purely to social media, there is still tremendous opportunity with blogging. And owning a website to host your blog on is a huge asset when it come to monetization.
I want to share with you a few ways I've been able to monetize blogs in the past and describe some amazing opportunities that people have today.
In 2010 I had enough experience to understand the basic concepts of monetizing a blog with Google Adsense.
For those of you who don't know, you can add Google Adsense (place ads) on your website and Google will pay you every time someone clicks on an ad. You'll get anywhere from about 10 cents to $5 per click depending on they type of ad that is clicked and the type of content on your site.
If you write about legal issues and your readership is mainly people looking for legal advice, the ads served on your site will be for legal services, which pay more than many other topics. If you use the Google Keyword planner to find out what keywords are most expensive you could write a blog on an expensive topic and ensure that you get high cost per click on your ads. (This is a whole game I'll explain in another post)
So I set up my blog on blogger (Googles blogging service) and decided I was going to become a famous Blogger like Parez Hilton.
All I did for a couple months, was pick music videos from YouTube and write a quick opinion on the music video, maybe 500 words each post. Since Google's Blogger platform was connected to Google+ all of my posts went out with hashtags to Google+ as well. Just based on that, I was able to generate a decent amount of traffic to my site. Maybe 50 a day.
Next I got into Twitter. I would post all of my articles on Twitter with tons of relevant hashtags everyday. They key with Twitter is to post the same articles over and over again with different hashtags.
I was posting about 40 times a day. So I ended up using a tool called Hootsuite to help me manage the posting schedule. It's actually quite easy. You can also have you blog post automatically posted to Twitter after you write it, if you're using blogger.
I was able to get my daily traffic up to about 80 - 100 people a day with just these two techniques. And because I had Google Adsense on my blog, I was able to monetize that traffic. I ended up accidentally finding a great category for ad clicks. Most of the ads on my site were for music schools, which paid about $1 per click.
Now, I was only generating about $5 a day after the first month, which is nothing but it is something. It's proof. I've always said, if I can make 5, I can make 10, if I can make 10 I can make 20 and so on.
And that is the truth. All you have to do, is do more of what is already working. So I started increasing the amount of times I would tweet a day to 80 times a day and I opened up three new Twitter accounts and started to build those and post on those about 20 times a day.
Then I started to focus on Google+ to see if I was missing any opportunity there. I joined groups and found some creative ways to drive more traffic to my site.
I started posting Reddit and found that I could drive a good amount of traffic. Then of course I eventually ended up using Facebook to drive some traffic.
I want to mention that I didn't have large Twitter accounts, Google+ accounts or Facebook accounts. The only reason I was driving traffic was due to the volume of activity I was producing on these sites. And the large volume of posting is what actually helped these networks to grow as well.
Within 3 months I had the blog making $500/m. Again, this is not a lot of money, but it's more that 90% of Bloggers out there who are working their butts off to create awesome content that no body is reading. And it's fairly simple to do. And the point is, if you can make $500 you can make $1000, so just keep trying to grow and re-invest your cash into paid advertising if needed.
Now keep in mind this was in 2010 and a ton has changed since then. Facebook and Instagram offer huge traffic driving opportunities. There are content advertising networks like Taboola, Outbrain, Rev content and more, that allow you to pay pennies for traffic. Pinterest and Twitter can still help you drive tons of traffic, Reddit is alive and well for sending traffic and there are literally over 20 other sites that can help you drive traffic to a blog.
Placing ads on your site with Google Adsense is just one way you can monetize your blog. Now there are tons of affiliate programs where you can sell products, there is drop shipping, and even easy ways to create your own products to sell on your site.
The opportunity now lies in building large social media following so that you can drive free traffic to your blog and monetize it.
(to be continued)
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