Yes, you can earn money blogging, as long as you follow a few simple rules. The most important rule is to forget about earning money when you start blogging.
1. Forget About Earning Money Blogging
That might sound nonsense, but most bloggers fail because they fail to interest their readers. Once you have a loyal band of people reading your blog every day, you can start thinking about telling them about things they might be interested in buying.
2. You Should Never Try To SELL On Your Blog
Selling is fine, if you are an insurance or double-glazing salesman sitting in someone’s living room. Your prospect cannot walk away. On a blog your visitor can be gone in a millisecond, just by clicking the Back button. Selling turns visitors off. How many times have you come across one of those ten foot long selling pages that the gurus use and just closed the window down immediately? Most people do the same.
A better approach to earn money from your blog visitors is to provide unbiased information about a service or product and allow them to BUY it, if they choose to. Your visitors will stay on the site longer and will be more likely to come back if their experience on your site was a feel good one.
3. Make Sure Your Blog Content Is Original And Top Quality
People expect a blogger to have opinions. The most read blogs are those that “rock the boat” a bit, where the blogger is blunt without being offensive.
Never use scraped content. Read around and write a post with your own take on any topic. That way your readers get to know you and might even like you.
All your pages and posts should be totally unique and ideally offer an insight into your personality
4. Allow Your Visitors To Get To Know You
Use personal anecdotes and show that you are a real person. Allow your opinions to come through, without being arrogant or obnoxious, but enough so your readers come to know a bit about you.
5. Make Sure Your Blog Visitors Like You
Would you stay on a website where you took an active dislike to the writer? Most people will just hit the Back button and get out of there. Liking is the pre-requisite to Trusting.
6. Build Your Blog Visitors’ Trust
People will only click your affiliate links if they trust you. You should only recommend products and services that you are familiar with and have personal experience with. You have to build trust by being openly honest.
Monetizating Your Blog
There are four common ways of making money from your blog. All fit into the rule about helping your visitors.
1. Earning Money From Adsense Ads On Your Blog
Contextual ads such as Adsense are the main way bloggers use to pay their costs and make a few dollars. These provide ads that inform your visitors about services related to the content on your page. It just so happens that the people providing those ads are willing to pay you if someone visits their site from your page.
2. Earning Money From Affiliate Programs On Your Blog
This is a difficult area. If you are open and label every link as an affiliate link, most visitors will not click. Yet you need to declare somewhere that some of your links are affiliate links for reasons to do with honest and with legal requirements in some states.
Try putting something along these lines on your Home Page
“Some of the links on this site are referral links. If you click on these links I will be paid a “finder’s fee” by the advertiser. You will pay the same price as if you bought from the company direct”
Affiliate programs are a major potential source of income and you cannot afford to ignore them, but you should only make recommendations that are related to your site’s content. You should also be personally acquainted with every product you recommend.
3. Earning Money From Clickbank On Your Blog
Clickbank pays you around a half of the purchase price of anything bought through your links. It is very tempting to fill your pages with Clickbank products. Don’t.
Be very selective. If something is going to be useful to your readers it will be useful to you too. Buy it through your link, you will get commission on your own purchase eventually. If you don’t like it, claim a refund, if you do, recommend it.
4. Earning Money From Amazon On Your Blog
Amazon ads need to be targeted very carefully if they are to be effective. Find high price items and write reviews of them. Including your Amazon referral code in any contextual links is the best way to earn commission. Make sure you find Amazon products that are related to your site.
The Know, Like, Trust Law
This is a snippet I picked up from a guru somewhere. He gave three steps necessary before anyone will buy from you. I think there are four.
- Know About You – They have to find your website
- Know You – People only buy from people they feel happy with, from people they know, so you need to tell your visitors a bit about yourself
- Like You – People only buy from people they like. Make yourself likeable if you want your blog to be a financial success
- Trust You – People will only click your referral links if they trust you. You need to be totally honest and to build trust at every opportunity.
A prospective customer needs to go through all four steps before he will allow you to earn a commission from his purchase.