For a lot of people, blogging is more than just about the money. It’s about community and sharing and making a difference in peoples’ lives.
At the end of the day though, unless your bed is made of 100-dollar bills, money plays a key role in your blog’s existence.
In a previous post we’ve already talked about how you should know ‘your purpose / motivation’ for your blog before you start – however since financial considerations are always there or thereabouts whether you have a commercial venture or not, it’s crucial to understand the role money plays in your blog’s fortunes.
1. Don’t make your blog about the money
Focus your blog on people – your readers, on conversations, on building relationships, on sharing ideas and most of all, on positioning your blog at the center of the conversations in your niche (it’s a topic for a whole different discussion, but in short, talk about what matters to people in your niche now, not yesterday or tomorrow.
The money will come, as a direct outcome of your site being successful, as long as you monetize it properly.
If you are fretting about ‘making money’ from your blog then you might have things the other way around. After a certain point ‘optimizing your revenue streams’ stops improving the bottom line. You just have to make your site the most popular site in your niche (or close enough) – that’s when the big advertising dollars come in and that’s where you want to me.
Provide value to your readers and work hard at making your site popular – the money comes as a by-product.
2. If your blog makes money, treat it like a business
For starters, you should learn the basics of making money through blogging – the different options available to you (advertising, affiliate products, direct sales) and how to evaluate what works best in a particular niche.
Then, you should master one form of revenue generation – let’s say contextual advertising – and once you optimized your blog to the hilt, it’s time to move on to the next revenue source. Optimize, then diversify.
3. Learn to pay yourself first
You need to be compensated for your time at the very least, and you deserve a good second income, so treat your blog seriously, as a business, even if it’s something you’re doing ‘on the side’.
4. More Money needs Business Growth, which needs a Scalable Business Model
A business cannot scale without more people and investment, and it certainly cannot expand if you don’t spend time working on its expansion.
In short, take your blog seriously, cover your bases and it will reward you handsomely in the future. If you take your eye off the ball in the start (or worse, right when you hit a purple patch), your blog will hog your time and not give you back the revenues you expect.
Blog less, Administrate more.
Blogging can be a drug and it’s hard to get yourself out of the cycle of blog, blog, blog when you’re the sole person managing everything on your blog from writing to design to promotion (which is why blogging partnerships, when done properly, rock). If you want to make money though, you’ll have to wean yourself off from your heavy blogging and take time out to promote and manage your design and revenue optimization. At the risk of repeating myself, outsource as much of your non-essential tasks as possible, whether to your readers (volunteers) or employees (paid).
Brainstorm, set goals, devise a plan and execute it.
It’s easy to say that you want to earn $3,000 per month from your blog by the end of the year, and it’s also easy to create a plan that ‘theoretically’ makes it work. What’s difficult is the execution, because that takes a lot of time, commitment and the need to reduce your blogging frequency.
This balance between the now (blogging and writing) and the future (promotion, monetization, managing assets and resources) is one that you’ll need to address constantly through the life of the blog. It gets easier when you can outsource the blogging, the promotion, and the design to someone else, but you still have to balance your time between writing and running your ‘business’.
To wrap things up, unless you are blogging for just for fun, you should make sure that your blog is geared to earn you money. However, at the end of the day, remember that money is a function of how well-known your site is, so focus on providing value to your readers and you will automatically make more money.