How profitable can blogs get over time
How to turn your personal blog into a business
Everyone has their own blog these days. And everyone wants to make big money with their blog.
I can still remember the time I started my blog.
I had a marketing consultancy. But it felt like I was going around in circles. I wanted to earn passive income, not get paid for my hours.
Even then, ten years ago, people were making money from blogs. And even though I was a marketing consultant, I didn't make a single penny on my blog.
It was time to finally heed my own advice.
So I set up my own blog and started writing.
And even ten years later, I'm still writing.
My blog is still really profitable.
You have probably heard this before: someone starts a blog and one day it suddenly takes off. This is how Tim Ferriss and Brian Clark had their big breakthrough.
Now you think to yourself: "I can do that too!"
I have good news for you: you can do itdefinitely create. You could very well be the next Tim Ferriss and build a multi-million dollar business.
I can confirm that. Blogging has been critical to my own success. If I hadn't invested so much time in blogging, I wouldn't be as successful today.
But I also have bad news: it's a lot of hard work. The mega successful bloggers invested a lot of blood, sweat and tears to get to where they are today.
It's not impossible, but it takes dedication and a lot of hard work.
I can still remember not being able to sleep because I wrote so much. I took risks and wondered if it would pay off in the end. I've invested my own money en masse without knowing if I would get the investment back.
But I did it. And you can do it too.
I am nothing special. I don't have a great deal of talent or exceptional blogging calling.
I will now show you how you too can become successful.
Find out how I attracted over 195,013 visitors per month to my personal blog and how I then turn my visitors into paying customers.
You have to know your audience
The best blogs have one thing in common: You know your audience.
That sounds like basic knowledge now, but it can make all the difference. If you don't know exactly who your audience is, you can't monetize your blog either.
In other words, You have to give your readers exactly what they want.
And you have to know your audience very well in order to do that.
To get to know your target group better, you can use Google Analytics (GA) and take a closer look at the demographic and psychographic data.
Log into GA and go to the left sidebar. Click on target group > Demographic characteristics> Overview.
Then you will see the basic key figures for age and gender.
You can see more detailed information by clicking on age or gender in the two boxes.
To see the psychographic features, you have to clickTarget group> interests> overview click.
On this page you will see three categories: Affinity Category, Segment with Ready-to-Buy Audiences, and Other Category. Here's how Google explains each of the categories:
- Affinity Category: Breakdown by lifestyle, similar to that of the television audience, for example: technology lovers, sports fans, and home cooks
- Segment with target groups ready to buy: buying interests (e.g. people who want to buy something)
- Other category: Here you get the best insight into your target group. For example, the affinity category includes food lovers, while the other category includes recipes / cuisine / East Asia.
This is very useful when analyzing your target group. You can get to know your target audience and find out what they like. Then you can use that information to give them exactly the content they want to see.
That is what makes every successful brand so successful. Marketers build on their audience because of it is working.
You don't have to have a huge budget to be as successful as them. You can do this with GA and a little knowledge of content marketing.
Once you get to know your target group a little better, you can also earn money with your blog.
Advertising is under attack, but it is very useful when you want to make money on a blog. Advertising is especially great at the beginning. And when you do it right, ads are pretty effective.
The secret is not to bombard your visitors with ads. Nobody wants to see a page that is littered with blinking ads.
Instead, you should run targeted ads that appeal to your visitors without annoying them.
The best way to do this is with Google AdSense. This is the platform of choice for many bloggers around the world.
Visit the AdSense page and click on “Register Now”:
You then either have to log in with an existing Google account or set up a new one:
Then you have to enter the URL of your site and select your language.
Then provide some information:
Then click on “Send application”. The AdSense team will review your application. If everything goes well, you'll be there!
Once you've been accepted, you can go to your AdSense dashboard and click on “My Ads” in the left sidebar.
Click on “New Ad Unit”.
Here you can choose your ad size and ad type.
Click on “Save and Retrieve Code”. You will then receive a code that you can incorporate into thetags of your page.
Here is an example from Google of what this should look like:
When you've pasted the code, your ads will appear! You can check your earnings in the AdSense dashboard.
You can run as many ads as you want. However, you should start with one or two first. See how your audience reacts to the ads.
If you experience a higher bounce rate, consider choosing a different ad type or placement. You can experiment a bit here!
Experimenting with ads is the key to success.
Harness the power of lead generation
When people hear that you can “make money” from a blog, they first think of the typical things: advertising revenue, affiliate links, etc.
But a few of the top earning blogs rely on something else entirely: lead generation.
Acquiring leads with a blog is more indirect, but still very effective.
How can you make money from lead generation?
Very easily. Your blog is pulling Visitor at. These visitors can in Customers be transformed. With these customers you can then salesdo.
This is the model.
The process is quite simple too.
Instead of convincing your visitors to click on an affiliate link or purchase an advertised product, you want to collect and store their information.
Here is the process as a quick summary:
- Create a lead magnet. You have to make your readers an offer they can't refuse - something they really want. It has to be free and engaging. Mostly e-books or exclusive content are offered.
- Ask for their email address. In order to access or download the content, the user must provide an email address.
- If you have the email address, you need to get in touch. The best way to do this is with an email drip campaign. With a drip campaign you can automatically stay in contact with all users who have left their email.
The people who signed up are now part of your lead generation strategy.
This works for any type of business: digital companies, construction companies, sellers, service providers.
Take a look at Derek Halpern, for example. Here's his lead generation opt-in:
Michael Hyatt takes an aggressive but engaging approach on his blog and other websites. The opt-ins are just everywhere.
Marie Forleo does it the same way on her website.
One of the most successful entrepreneurs when it comes to lead generation is Ramit Sethi.
If you respond to one of his appealing offers, you will be put on the mailing list. And then? With the convincing content you will then be convinced step-by-step to buy one of his courses.
Even if you don't have anything to sell yet, building an email list can prove extremely profitable.
You can use the list to attract your first paying customer.
Harness the power of affiliate marketing
You probably know the saying: “Four eyes see more than two”. This means that you have to find the right partner for blogging.
The most successful bloggers use affiliate partners to grow their sites and gain attention. It works great and is very easy.
Don't worry, you don't have to be an opinion leader to find affiliate partners. You can collaborate with other bloggers or entrepreneurs. There are plenty of good service providers to start with.
One of the best known affiliate programs is the Amazon PartnerNet. Unlike Google AdSense, you don't have to wait for approval. You can start right away.
With Amazon PartnerNet you can create links, advertise and offer your readers an Amazon shopping cart.
Your readers can then use the link to buy things they would buy anyway, and you will get a small commission.
Amazon PartnerNet is especially great if you want to promote niche products. If you have a blog that's all about productivity, you can offer daily planners or organizational tools.
To register with Amazon PartnerNet, you have to click on “Register now for free”.
Enter some personal information. Then you get to the overview. Here you can see your sales and create links.
The image is from BrendanMace.com.
Now you can create your links and take advantage of the power of Amazon's program.
Let me now briefly discuss how you should approach affiliate marketing for the best results.
Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income recommends participating in affiliate marketing. You should only advertise products and services that you have used yourself. You really have to be convinced that the products are helpful.
I believe in this type of affiliate marketing because it creates trust. If your audience knows that you have used the product or made use of the service, they are more likely to try it out themselves.
You can also see if there is an affiliate program in your niche.
Many companies have their own affiliate programs and often (but not always) they pay a higher commission than Amazon.
We just want to take a look at the affiliate programs for housewares:
As you can see there are a few. Let's take a look at the top result from World Market. You forward prospects to Cj.com:
This is World Market's in-house affiliate network, with which anyone can sell World Market products online.
There are an infinite number of affiliate programs for every niche imaginable. You are sure to find a suitable affiliate program for your blog with which you can get started right away!
Selling a product (or several)
What better way to monetize a blog than selling a product?
Some of the most successful blogs do this, and it works wonderfully.
Nomadic Matt offers several travel guides:
Your visitors think your blog is great. So if you offer a product that fits your blog, your readers will be crazy about it.
Like the guides from Nomadic Matt. His site is all about travel tips, and that's what his books are about too.
The premium content that really great stuff, it's only in the books and its readers know that.
And I don't have to mention that you can keep 100% of the profits to yourself.
You will likely have to pay a few fees to cover software costs and payment methods. That being said, all of the money is yours.
And this is how you sell products on your blog.
First you have to come up with a product that your audience will love.
Before you start thinking about a product, however, you need to build an audience; you need to attract readers to see what they like.
Once you know your readers, you can design a product for them. Don't just come up with a product because you really want to sell something.
Create a product that makes life easier for your readers.
Jeff Goins has a blog all about writing and creativity. To add value to his audience, Jeff wrote a book -You Are a Writer (So Start Acting Like One).
The book was a huge hit, and Jeff started creating even more products for his rapidly growing audience.
Jeff didn't write the book just so he could sell something. He wrote it because he knew it would benefit his readers.
That can make a huge difference.
With this in mind, you can now choose a product.
Here are a few ideas to help you out:
- A book
- A course
- A video series
- Personal advice
You can also ask your audience before you decide on a product. If your users like videos and you offer them a book instead, you're probably not selling that much.
Secondly you have to think about how you want to sell your product.
Digital products are cheaper to manufacture and sell. If you're selling a digital product, you can use Shopify or WooCommerce.
If you're selling a physical product (such as a book), you need to go through a few additional steps. ConvertKit has a great guide explaining how to sell physical products on the internet.
Thirdyou have to tell your audience about your product.
Email is by far the best way to advertise a product. It doesn't matter whether you have a large or a small email list.
You can also set up an online store or sales page for your product.
Then, once you let your audience know what they're getting from your product, you can see the sales come in.
Moving from a personal blog to a profitable one is easier than you think.
And you know what? Your readers want to support you!
If you have loyal readers, then they will be very happy to buy your products, provided that two things happen:
- The product really makes your life easier and ...
- The product will help you.
So it's totally okay to use one or more of the above methods. You can even use them all at once. (Just make sure you don't clutter your audience with sales offers!)
After a while, you may find that one or the other method works better. Or you find one that doesn't suit you at all. Over time, you can find out.
Stick to what works. Then you have a formula for success.
Monetizing your blog doesn't have to be spam-like. You can even use it to gain the trust of your audience.
If you are not yet making any money with your blog, you should give these methods a try. One of them is sure to bring you good results.
How do you make money with your blog?
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