Many teachers who write blogs would like to make some money from their blogging to either supplement their income or even just cover the costs of some of their time. This isn't an area I really have any experience in, so I asked Miracel Juanta from A Teacher's Odyssey to write me some tips on this, so what follows is a guest posting with Miracel's advice on how to make your first dollar.
You might ask, “Why $1? I’m not blogging just for a mere $1!” Reality check, my friend. I just don’t want to create false hopes that you can easily make big money from blogging. But what about the A-list bloggers out there? Well, yeah, they became millionaires when there were only few bloggers then. It’s different now that there are plenty of blogs mushrooming here and there. Competition is tougher now.
Can you really make money through blogging? The answer is yes ,however, it will take some time. Here, I will outline the steps which can lead you to earning your first $1 in blogging.
- Don’t blog for money
Ironic, isn’t it? If you will blog for money, I guarantee you that you will soon quit. The successful bloggers like Yaro Starak, John Chow, and Darren Rowse didn’t blog just for the money. They blog because they are passionate about what they’re doing. So, choose to blog about your passion.
- Choose a good blog platform and design
Choosing a good blog platform and design is crucial in building traffic for your blog. You should make your blog look professional, otherwise, you would turn-off your prospective readers. If you’re a newbie blogger and want a free and user-friendly platform, then Blogger is for you. I started out with the classic Blogger template, however, it wasn’t SEO-friendly. Good thing, I discovered Eblogtemplates which is not only SEO-friendly but it was Adsense-ready. But, if you have the money, go for the Thesis template for Wordpress. It’s the most SEO-friendly of all templates.
- Create quality posts
It’s becoming a cliché but I will still say it nonetheless: “Content is king”. How can you generate a lot of traffic if you write such crappy stuff? You want your readers to come back and ask for more. You want to have a loyal reader base. Satisfied readers will give you back links and will promote your blog through different social media such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Digg, etc.
- Build a strong online presence
Okay, so now you’ve got good content but it will just put into waste if you don’t have readers. Where will you get your readers? Promote your blog through different social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Digg, etc. My number one referrer is Facebook. It’s also good to promote through Twitter because you can be strategic in choosing readers for your blog. Another thing that worked for me is joining blog directories such as MyBlogLog, Blog Catalog, etc. Build relationships by participating in forums and commenting on other people’s blogs. Establishing a strong online presence will increase your back links.
- Learn from the masters
Managing a blog takes a lot of hard work and research. That’s what I did. I subscribed to the feeds of the top bloggers. I downloaded free e-books about SEO. I learned from the mistakes of other people. There are free unlimited resources and tools that will help you improve your blog and increase your fan base.
- Monetize your blog
When’s the right time to monetize your blog? A lot of people immediately place ads on their blogs when they only have a couple of posts. Many readers get turned off when they see plenty of ads. Resist the urge to monetize your blog instantly. Focus on building quality content in the first three months of your blogging career.
- One option to monetize your blog is through paid posts. You can join Ehow or Sponsored Reviews. Some people have issues in paid posts that they reduce the integrity of the blogger. To avoid this, make it clear in your post that it is a sponsored review.
- Another way to monetize your blog is through affiliate marketing. Many people have a lot of success in Google Adsense. Amazon has an affiliate program which allows you to sell their products through your blog. Widgetbucks is similar to Amazon but you have more product options which you can cater to your niche. Furthermore, you can earn money by referring other bloggers. What is most successful for me is Infolinks. Infolinks is a pay per click program which has a large potential of bringing in the bucks based on the impressions gathered from your blog.
- What are the lessons that I have learned in monetizing my blog?
The bottom line is it is still a trial and error thing. What works for me may not necessarily work for you. Why? It depends on the kind of traffic that you generate. This is where Google Analytics comes in. What I do is analyze where my readers are coming from, what are the most popular posts and when traffic is heaviest. Another lesson that I have learned is on choosing the right affiliate program. I read the reviews first from bloggers of authority. Side by side reviews are extremely helpful.
- What lessons have you learned from monetizing your blog?
- What mistakes have you made?
- Which program works best for you?
Do share your thoughts with us.
Thanks again to Miracel Juanta from A Teacher's Odyssey