I always wanted to make enough money blogging in order to meet the payments for my web-hosting and any costs associated with owning my domain or developing my website.
Being able to do that is still very much my goal, even after all this time online! But, wouldn’t it be great to make blogging even more profitable and really start to generate income that might compensate me for my time and effort? Of course it would!
I guess the reason I’ve still not really generated enough money through my blog to pay even for just my annual web-hosting costs is that I haven’t written as regularly as I should and in return haven’t received the number of hits needed to be financially successful when it comes to the likes of using schemes such as Google’s AdSense or Amazon Associates.
I do intend to change that; obviously balancing paid employment elsewhere along with valuing my own free time away from the web with friends and family is important too; I really believe though that in order to be a successful blogger I need to make better use of my time.
I also think I probably need to sell myself better! Not necessarily by handing over cash to some 3rd party (though that could be important at some stage) but rather being confident about what I’m writing and its value to others. I suppose in many ways it’s just common sense, though being savvy about what makes people click (pardon the pun!) will go a long way in getting visitors – and repeat visitors at that!
Here are the top tips that I will refer to in future in attempting to be a successful blogger:
Why do you want to blog?
Choosing the right content management system (CMS)
Where can I find advertisers?
What else can I do to promote my blog?
How else can I make money from my blog?
How much time will it take?
For me it’s to share my love of science and the natural world with others who are interested. My passion for web design, technology, the great outdoors and Scotland also shines through occasionally too. OK, that’s a good start, though as I’ve said in writing this post, I also want to generate some income – certainly enough to cover costs – and it would be brilliant and not unrealistic I think to be able to make enough to feel compensated for my time and effort.
I really do enjoy web design and could (and indeed in the past did) design and build my own website from scratch and that’s brilliant! However, I’ve found that using a well-supported, well-designed and best-of-all FREE content management system (or CMS) has well-proven benefits making it really easy to update my blog quickly and easily and integrate with other useful tools too.
Rather than sitting back waiting for advertisers to stumble upon me and realise how great the potential is for new customers via my website, I signed up fairly early on to both Google AdSense and Amazon Associates.
There are others too worth considering such as Tradedoubler, and many businesses online also offer affiliate schemes.
With Google AdSense you easily customise ad blocks to fit in with your site and get an unspecified amount when visitors to your site click through to the advertisers. To be fair, it’s taken a long time for me to get close to making enough from this to be able to cover my web-hosting costs, though it does at last seem to be gathering speed (probably as a result of blogging a bit more frequently and some attempts at spreading the message of my blog around social spheres such as Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon, and Google +1).
I’ve been toying with the idea of using Google AdWords and perhaps generating new traffic to my website (in a cunning circular sort of way!) who might go on to contribute to my own generation of income. It’s a bit chicken and egg for me though – and I’ve not convinced myself at this stage it’s the best use of my limited financial resource. Hmm!
Amazon Associates is brilliant too in that there’s a wide variety of ways to link to products that in reading your blog visitors might want to purchase from books, DVDs and CDs through to electrical goods and toys. Like Google AdSense though I’ve not seen a huge (or even moderately small) return yet – you really do need visitors not just to click on the links but purchase things from Amazon too!
As I mentioned, I need to be more confident about shouting about my online musings! I like using tools like Twitter, Facebook and StumbleUpon – which I use in order to find out about what else is happening in the world. Familiarity with them, I find, is useful and they are really simple to spread the word.
Word-of-mouth is useful too. I should be much better at saying to folk I meet – check out my amazing website! It’s at www.derekshirlaw.co.uk in case you’ve forgotten ☺
Maybe I should also diversify a bit too – perhaps get some videos up on YouTube, or write an e-book on one of my interests. Or, I could submit articles to other websites, newspapers or magazines.
Sometimes, I wonder if someone, somewhere will read what I write and think – “oh, that would be something our readers would like to read too” – and then pay me for the privilege of reproducing the article of have me write for them…
Yes, I know – first, I have to blog more frequently about interesting things!
Well, I’ve run out of fingers to count how many years I’ve been online with my own website and you already know that it’s not making a profit! My gut feeling is though that the times, they are-a-changing and a there’s a bit more momentum now. What I’m saying is don’t expect returns overnight and you get out of it a multiple of what you put in. I definitely need more content, content content – and to make sure it interests other people as much as it does me… but, I have an infectious personality and I believe my passion for science, the natural world, technology, web-design the great outdoors and Scotland, can be shared with millions of folks around the world!
So, there you are! 6 top tips to stay focused on making money online by blogging. Good luck if you’re trying to as well and don’t be shy about sharing any of your own tips with me!