Five Tips on Making Money With Your Blog
“The only point in making money is, you can tell some big shot where to go.” –Humphrey Bogart
I like Bogie’s remark in the above quote. We are retired now and don’t have to concern ourselves with other people who think they can tell us what to do. We are the bosses of our own home-based business and we decide what we will do today and tomorrow.
Blogging is one way to make money online, but it is not as easy or simple to do in reality. Like all businesses, you have to work at it to succeed. It took me four tries before I developed this blog. I came up with these ideas to monetize a blog by doing research on Amazon. Here is a link of books available on Amazon.
Here are five more great ways to make money from your blog:
- EBooks and Info Products:
If you’re into blogging, chances are you love writing. This is the perfect path to creating your own information products and eBooks. You can sell them on your website, through Kindle, Smashwords and more. If your blog readers love your content, they’ll love to get even more when they can add them to their mobile device and take it wherever they go.
- Contextual Advertising:
You’ve probably heard of Google AdSense and Chitika. These are advertising networks that display content on your pages. The ads displayed are related to the topics of your specific blog posts…thus, the term “contextual”.
Working with an ad network means you don’t have to find your own advertisers and you don’t have to deal with client service either. It’s all taken care of by the ad network and you get a percentage of the profits. Or you can maximize your revenue by displaying contextual ads and accepting advertisers on your blog as well.
I decided against using this type of advertising for this blog due to the chance a fraudulent ad might appear. Working from home is a swindler’s dream of bilking you out of your money. However, I am going to use Google AdSense for my upcoming blog, Overcoming Hearing Loss with Bill Hall.com. I have been testing the contextual ads for hearing products and they appear to be legitimate ads.
- Blogging for Pay:
One of the simplest ways to start earning money from blogging right away is to simply be a blogger for hire. It’s a guaranteed way to get paid for your work. This method means you only get paid when you blog and most jobs don’t pay incredibly well. Still, it’s a great place to get started and start earning money almost right away. I use Guru.com and Outsource.com job boards as my referral source for paid assignments.
- Feeding Traffic to a Mailing List:
You may have heard the term, “the money is in the list” and it’s absolutely true. Growing your own email subscribers list ensures that you have a growing audience of people that you can keep in touch with over and over again.
Many bloggers keep their focus on content on their blog and simply funnel people into the mailing list, so they can make offers and sell products via email. Email marketing is an important topic, so we’ll definitely be talking about it in a later post.
While many bloggers prefer to communicate with their fingertips to the keyboard, many also have a very commanding presence and enjoy speaking to audiences. Your blog proves to your readers that you are an authority on your subject.
Speaking to your audience is a good way to cultivate an audience, as it can be very profitable. Whether you run your own webinars, podcasts, or speak at various live events, having an active blog following can help you bring more people to your speaking events and increase your income.
You might just use one idea to start with, but most successful bloggers use a combination of a few or more monetization opportunities. The key is to start exploring ideas, testing them out and further developing those methods that work for you.
What do you think? Do you have questions? Write a comment below and start a discussion.
Five Ways to Earn Money from Your Blog
“Survival can be summed up in three words: Never Give Up! Just keep trying.” Bear Grylls
If we’re going to talk about profit from blogging in the next series of posts, we’d better start with the most important discussion of all.
How do you make money from your blog?
When I retired, I tried starting a blog but failed to make a go of it. I read several books and found several authors who were quite knowledgeable about blogging. Jason Wolf is one of them and he published Blogging Blackbook: Everything you need to Know About Blogging from Beginner to Expert.
I tried several times to start a blog. I failed mostly because I couldn’t develop enough ideas to keep them going. However, all of my research on blogging and making money online led to www.HomeBizforRetirees.com/
Jason Wolf’s book, “Blogging Blueprint,” was instrumental in helping me to develop this blog and find a way to make money from home.
I developed a plan, and then I worked the plan. Then I discovered you have to have an idea of how to make money with the blog. This article will help you to think about what you would like to do to monetize your blog.
To give you some ideas, here are five straightforward ways you can earn money from you blog:
- Sell Advertising:
Many bloggers capitalize on their traffic by selling advertising for their blog. This works well for high traffic blogs that can attract high paying advertisers. It is often the choice of bloggers who don’t want to do any selling on their blog and want to focus solely on content. Still, there is selling involved in attracting advertisers and there is plenty of work involved in serving advertising clients.
- Affiliate Marketing:
A common choice for many is to go the affiliate marketing route by earning commission through recommending products. Many bloggers place ads in their side bars, at the bottom of posts and so forth, but the affiliates who make the most money make product recommendations directly to their audience. They write about products, recommend relevant products in their posts and so forth.
This blog is an example of affiliate marketing. I do not use Google ads on this site because the “home-based business” term attracts a lot of “scam” offers. The products I recommend are not “scams” and I try to offer good ideas to help you develop your online business.
- Product Sponsorship:
Sponsorship is a similar concept to advertising, but in many cases, no money exchanges hands. Instead, bloggers are treated to free products in return for mentioning their product, running a giveaway and so forth. Many large and small companies are actively looking for the opportunity to reach their target audience through bloggers, so there is plenty of opportunity to enjoy a variety of perks.
- Sponsored Posts:
Like successful bloggers, many companies understand that the most premium ad space on a blog is the blog post itself. Sure, you can put ad banners in your sidebar, but those are most likely to be ignored because people focus on your content. That’s why many companies are willing to pay for the opportunity to post on your blog. Sponsored posts are usually more commercial in nature, but as the blog owner, you ultimately decide which posts you will accept and which you won’t.
- Bolster Your Product Sales:
If you already have an existing online business where you sell your own products such as necklaces and bracelets, a blog can be the perfect complement to this. Engaging your audience, building a more loyal relationship and educating them on your product is a win-win for everyone.
If you are hesitant to write articles on your products, consider outsourcing the writing to a freelancer. I offer blog content development on my business website, Hall Content Writing.com. Click here to view the site or use the contact form above this page.
Certainly, this isn’t an exhaustive list of the possible ways to profit from a blog because every blogger and business is different, but it gives you plenty of ideas to get started.
Blogging Blackbook: Everything You Need to Know About Blogging from Beginner to Expert, by Jason Wolf. Click here for the book.
Stay tuned for part two on making money with your blog. What do you think? Write a comment below and let me know your thoughts.
Eight Tips to Overcome Writer’s Block
“I overcome writer’s block by switching to a different project.” –Isaac Asimov
Writer’s block happens to the best of us. It is not the fault of our brains slowing down due to age. It is common and good writers and bloggers develop “Cheat sheets” to list tools to help get back on track. In Part 1 of this series, we covered seven tools to help you “crash through the wall.”
Here are eight more tools for you to use.
- Have regular topic brainstorming sessions:
Coming up with topics on the fly is hard. If you don’t already have that great idea when you sit in front of the screen, you may find yourself dumbfounded, distracted and the next thing you know, a few hours have gone by.
Instead, set aside time each week or each month to brainstorm topic ideas. Once you get one idea, it’s easier to come up with more ideas. Put the list where you can easily access it when you hit a “dry” period.
- Reintroduce old topics and give a new reason to read it:
When you’re super busy, you may not have time to write something new. But if you’ve been blogging for a while, certainly you have a nice library of great posts that much of your audience has probably never seen.
Let’s say you’ve been talking to your readers about the importance of composting and your readers are really responding to this. Maybe you wrote 5 posts on the topic in the past 3 years. This is the perfect opportunity to point your readers to those posts. It’s likely new information for them, but even if they read it before, it’s a great refresher and extra exposure for your existing content.
- Interview someone:
Instead of you answering the questions all the time, interview someone else. You can interview popular bloggers or experts in your niche, bringing your readers some new perspective and valuable content. You can even ask your readers to help you with the questions you’ll ask in the interview, so they can be part of the interview process as well.
- Conduct a case study:
A case study allows you to showcase a client’s experience with your product, service or advice. It not only provides useful information to your audience, it’s also a source of social proof because your readers can see that you are actually helping real live people. Always keep track of your success stories so that you can showcase them in a case study.
- Let someone guest post on your blog:
Be open to the idea of having guest bloggers on your blog. Many bloggers will write for free, in return for a byline and link back to their website. Just be selective in the guest posts you publish. It’s your blog and reputation on the line, so choose posts that understand your audience and deliver exactly the kind of content your readers want to read.
- Review a product:
If you’ve recently tried a product that you think would be of interest to your readers, review it. Audiences appreciate detailed and honest reviews from someone they trust (you). Not only do reviews provide your readers with valuable consumer information, you can earn commission through your recommendations as well.
- Search current news and relate it to your topic:
In addition to adding bloggers to your RSS feed, you can also sign up for topic notifications from various news sites. For example, at http://news.google.com, you can customize their site, so they show more of the stories you’re interested in reading. You can also sign up for RSS feeds in specific categories using keywords in your niche. Staying up-to-date in your niche is crucial and there are plenty of tools to make it quick and easy for you to stay on top of your game.
- Share content and add your commentary:
For super easy content on the fly, all it takes is a trip to http://YouTube.com, http://SlideShare.net or http://EzineArticles.com and you can find useful content to share with your readers. Be sure to add your own commentary, so your readers know why you’re sharing it and so they get your unique perspective.
My favorite Science Fiction writer, Isaac Asimov, once wrote that he beats writer’s block by going to another project. He was a prolific writer and certainly followed his own advice.
Coming up with fresh and interesting content, is an important job for any blogger. Don’t waste time spinning your wheels. I’d recommend bookmarking this post or print it out to use as an “Overcoming Writer’s Block Cheat Sheet.” You might say this is an updated version of Isaac’s method to keep up his writing productivity.
Just keep it handy whenever you stumble and you’re sure to have great new ideas.
Do you have other suggestions to overcome writer’s block? Send it on to me and I will share it with our readers.
Beat Blogger’s Block: Seven Blog Topic Brainstorming Methods
“I don’t need an alarm clock. My ideas wake me.” –Ray Bradbury
There’s nothing worse than sitting down at your computer and finding you have absolutely nothing to write about. You may be thinking that it’s because you are retired and your brain is not working the way it used to when you were younger. But, rest assured, it happens to all of us at one time or another.
We can get help to beat writer’s block by using simple brainstorming methods so we can hear the “tap, tap, tap” of our keyboards again.
Here are Seven methods:
- Be ready anytime:
It’s funny how blogging ideas strike us at odd times. Sometimes, it’s when we’re watching a movie or standing in line at the bank. Other times, it might be when we’re exercising or watching our grandkid’s soccer game.
While you can’t always take the time to blog the moment an idea strikes, you can certainly take note of those great ideas. Always keep a notebook with you or keep your mobile device handy. You can write down your ideas in the notes feature of your device or use the audio recorder for later review.
Ray Bradbury, a famous science fiction writer, once wrote that he didn’t need an alarm clock because an idea will strike. What he didn’t say is that he recorded the idea right away so he could recall it for later use. Follow his example.
There is always so much more that can be said on just about any topic. If you’ve written a popular post about teaching grandchildren how to save money and it turns out to be very popular, do more with it.
Here is what you can do:
- You can expand on each point you made in the original post
- Create budget spreadsheets for kids and grandkids
- Recommend related products
Always leverage the work you’ve done in the past to create more of what your audience wants now.
- Fill your RSS reader:
Other bloggers can be a great source of inspiration. Fill your RSS reader with blogs in your niche and scan them regularly. Look for hot topics and the latest news that you can incorporate into your own blog. It is simple to set up the RSS reader. Download the app on your computer or mobile device and activate it.
- Take or share a picture:
There is so much truth to the saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Pictures can evoke emotions; make people think and get them to pay attention. If you don’t feel like writing, take a picture or share one you already have. Let the picture tell your story.
- Ask questions:
It’s one of the easiest types of posts to make and they often get the best response. Instead of lecturing to your audience, ask them a question. You could also think of something controversial or something they’ll be passionate about and ask them for their opinion.
- Accept questions:
Create a submission form so that your readers can submit questions to you. It’s an easy way to come up with ready-made topic ideas that you know that your audience is ALREADY interested in. Include your readers name and blog (if they have one) to give them a little recognition and exposure as well.
Use Your C
- Write a response to someone else’s post:
Once again, the writing of other bloggers can be a great inspiration. If you read a post that you really like or one you dislike, you’ve got yourself a brand new topic idea. Of course, if you happen to disagree with a blogger and you don’t want to burn any bridges, always state your case logically and respectfully. Not only is it good content for your readers, but also it could be the start of a mutually beneficial relationship with the other blogger.
Overcoming Blogger’s Block Cheat sheet, Part 1:
Coming up with fresh and interesting content, is an important job for any blogger and it’s easy to get stuck sometimes. I’d recommend bookmarking this post or printing it out to use as an “Overcoming Blogger’s Block Cheat Sheet, Part 1.”
Just keep it handy whenever you stumble and you’re sure to have new great ideas.
Product Review: Tiffany Lambert’s Affiliate Marketing Challenge
“Success is not final, Failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.”–Winston Churchill
One strategy in developing passive income is to focus on making money on our online business through sales of products and services. When we are retired, we can pace ourselves in developing websites, blogs and information products to sell to our audience. This article is the first of a series to generate ideas on what you can do to create passive income.
Become a Niche Affiliate Marketer
There are many products already created that you can promote on your website or blog. If you do not have a website, there is another way to reach your audience. You can post articles on “authority” sites such as Squidoo.com and Hubpages.com. You can also post articles on social media such as Facebook and YouTube.
Understanding SEO techniques will help search engines find information easily and quickly. An authority site will gain immediate creditability with Google.
There is one disadvantage to this method. You do not have control over the length of time your blog will be posted. It can be taken down at any time.
Accordingly, it is better to develop your own blog and become an authority site as you add content to the blog. This method takes longer, but you have complete control over your content postings.
How to find Products to Sell
Affiliate networks have the ability to provide a product for you to sell and keep track of your sales and commissions. Here are a few of the top affiliate networks:
- Warrior Forum
- Commission Junction
- Amazon Affiliates
These programs are reliable and highly rated by affiliates. They provide a unique link to the product you are promoting and use “cookies” to track your sales and calculate your commission. While the commission rates vary by network, the end result is you will receive a check for your efforts in persuading your readers to buy the product.
This blog, Home Biz for Retirees.com is an example of an affiliate site. I write content explaining a topic that is useful for my readers. I provide information useful to create, operate and market home based and online businesses.
I may recommend a book or product relating to one of the subjects. I point out the sections useful for retirees seeking to develop their home-based business. Then I add the affiliate link and make it easy for the reader to click through to the product page.
The commission does not affect the price for the product I recommend. Amazon Affiliate program will pay a 4% commission. Since I try to recommend books that cost less than ten dollars, my commission amounts to pennies. But as traffic to my blog increases, so do the pennies. Like snow during a snowfall, it will accumulate.
Warning: Steep Learning Curve Ahead
I became intrigued several years ago with the potential of affiliate sale commissions. I devoured books on Kindle trying to understand how to do the “simple formula” to generate affiliate income.
Take my advice: It is not simple.
It takes time and effort to understand how to make money online. I took several courses and finally found one that I can recommend to you.
Tiffany Lambert has been an affiliate marketer for several years and did an “Affiliate Marketing Challenge” last January.
Here is what you get:
- Thirty video lessons showing you her step-by-step method to create relevant content for your audience.
- How to set up a blog using a host server, domain name and WordPress.
- How to create the blog with a good free theme, and key tools to make the blog easy for your readers to use.
- How to brainstorm your topic using keyword search tools.
- How to find products to sell from ClickBank and Amazon.com.
- How to create content that converts to sales.
- How to brainstorm topics and headlines in less than fifteen minutes.
- How to obtain affiliate links to gain commission sales.
- Why you should post a “disclaimer” or “notice” that your site is an affiliate marketing site.
- Tiff will do a review of your website or blog and offer suggestions to make the content stronger and appealing to your readers.
- She will “hold your hand” while you work the methods to create a great blog.
While the live challenge is over, she is still reviewing her student’s content and corresponds with you by email. I believe that personal attention is similar to your teacher in the classroom helping you along the way. Her suggestions to improve my blog and the content were extremely helpful.
I am “tech-challenged.” I don’t know how to write code or design a website. Yet, Tiff was able to show me how to overcome my fears and launch this blog.
It was a great experience for me. I have been trying to create a successful blog for four years now. In thirty days, this “over the hill” blogger climbed a very steep learning curve and reached the top with the blog you are now reading. Amazing!
I am working my way through Tiff’s “List Building Challenge.” You will see that project come to fruition in the near future. Once it is up and running, I will write about my experience.
I am sure you will also want to check this “challenge” today. Click here and start building your online business today.