Posted at September 16, 2016 at 10:23 am by Jerry Low
When I first started blogging and affiliate marketing in 2004, there wasn’t much competition. It was easy to get your foot in the door and make money.
Now, things have changed. More and more people want in on the action, and Google is cracking down. While that all sounds like bad news, there is still a lot of money to be made in blogging. Take Pat Flynn, for instance. He made more than $93,000 in July 2016, and he’s just one example.
Of course, you can’t be like Pat Flynn overnight unless you have some smart strategies in place.
Fortunately, once you know how to get the ball rolling, you can start making some money with your blog.
I am going to help you with some personal tips of mine in this article.
You’re only going to be able to make money at blogging if there are people interested in spending money in your niche.
That means you need to pick a niche that you can make money on if you’re going to succeed. It’s important to understand that passion is critical since you’ll be blogging on the same topic for years. However, passion is only part of the equation. If you can’t make money in the niche, passion is futile. You’ll only be blogging for yourself.
Once you come up with an idea, you need to see if there is money to be made.
Start with Google AdWords. Head over to the Keyword Planner and type in a keyword related to your niche. For instance, if you’re interested in PlayStation 4 video games, type that into the search box. Look at the search trends and the competition levels for the keyword. You’ll see that the competition is high, meaning advertisers are snatching keywords related to PlayStation 4 games up.
Next, you need to head over to BuzzSumo to see how your niche performs on social media. When you type your topic into the search bar, a list of results will come up, displaying all of the social shares and backlinks for that topic. This will give you a very good idea of how much social buzz your niche has.
Now, you’re almost done with your niche research, but you need to use one more tool. It’s time to head over to an affiliate network, like CJ.com. Look for merchants that sell products in your niche and check out their network earnings. This will show up in the green bar. If their network earnings are good, that is a great sign.
Once you found a profitable niche and started a blog, you’re ready for the next quest, targeted traffic.
First, you need to understand what targeted traffic is. When someone searches for a topic that is relevant to your niche, that is your target audience. Also, when someone follows a competitor on a social media site, that’s part of your target market. The same is true for someone who engages with a relevant social media post or a blog post. This is your target market, and you have to win that market’s attention.
How do you make that happen?
You know you need to develop web traffic, but where do you find it? It turns out the Internet is full of great places to get traffic.
As the largest social network, Facebook provides ample opportunities to reach your target market. You can do this with Facebook ads. Facebook ads offer a fast and easy way to reach your target market. Just remember that your profit equals your revenue minus your cost, so you need to keep your costs down to excel with this strategy. Also, use Facebook Pixels to track your conversions so you know that you’re making money with your ads.
The key is to target your ads based on interests, digital activities, demographics, life events, and locations. The more targeted your ads are, the easier it will be to reach your target market.
There are a number of strategies and tricks you can employ with Facebook ads.
While many people create text posts and ads, photos are your best option on Facebook. According to a study, Facebook posts with photos have 120 percent more engagement. That engagement shoots up to 180 percent if the post has a photo album.
Of course, you aren’t going to put a photo album up as a Facebook ad. You have to get creative with this. You can turn a photo album into a graphic article, which is a fun way to transform a standard album into a visual presentation. You can also take a page from my playbook and take the photos from an album and turn them into a slide presentation. I briefly elaborated on each slide and included the relevant links for the photos. So far, this album has reached over 140,000 people, received more than 8,000 clicks, and gotten more over 950 page “Likes.” Of course, I didn’t get all of that traction by simply putting it up on my page. I managed to do that by creating a cool post and then boosting it.
This is a fun ad option that lets you send your post out to the masses. Just be sure to boost it to people outside of your page. That way, you can pull in new people.
Facebook video playlists are another great way to reach your target market.
Don’t embed the videos from YouTube. Instead, upload the videos directly to Facebook. You can create video tutorials, behind-the-scenes footage vlogs, interviews, or anything else that you want, and then use them to bring in lots of people.
There are lots of tools out there that make it easy to create videos. Use Wimeo, Magisto, and Animoto to make videos easily. If you want something that’s better quality, you can go with Camtasia Studio.
You likely have some posts that have performed really well on your blog. Amplify those posts with Facebook ads. These ads will have high levels of engagement, and they will help you reach more people. You’ll drive more people to your blog or your Facebook page, which will help you monetize your blog in the long run.
Search engines like Google provide an excellent way to make money from your blog. Better search rankings equal more traffic and revenue. It really is that simple. Whenever someone stumbles on your blog via Google, the person is considered a warm lead. If you can provide relevant information to these leads, you can turn them into fans. Then, you can turn them into paying customers.
The question is, then, how do you rank better so you can get more traffic?
While a lot of marketers put all of their time and energy into off-page techniques,you need to spend a lot of your time on your time on various on-page SEO ranking factors. This isn’t rocket science. You need to get back to basics, which means you need to tweak the headlines and title tags. Google doesn’t broadcast how it ranks websites, but researchers have determined that it still pays attention to headlines and title tags. It’s up to marketers to guess what it views as important, and titles and tags are still important.
It does go beyond titles and tags, though.
For instance, there was a rumor not that long ago that Google added CTR to its algorithm. Sites with a high CTR moved up into the results. Rand Fishkin at Moz ran an experiment and determined that Google does give sites with a high CTR a bump in the rankings. That means that you need to tackle this issue so you can benefit from this algorithm change.
If you follow these steps, you’ll boost your traffic from Google and other search engines. Once you get that traffic, you can convert it and start making money with your blog.
Your competitors have already done a lot of the hard work for you. They have spent time out in the trenches, digging up traffic. You can pull some of that traffic away from them by commenting on their blogs.
Blog commenting is one of the best strategies out there, and it’s also one of the most overlooked. It’s often overlooked because it’s rarely effective. It’s not ineffective because it’s a bad idea. It’s ineffective because people aren’t good at it. You have to engage in a meaningful conversation with a stranger. If you can do this properly, you will kill at this strategy. If you just go in and drop a link, you’ll be a nuisance. On the other hand, if you say, “nice post,” you won’t be a nuisance, but you won’t get anything done, either. You have to create a comment that makes people want to learn more about you. Then, they will visit your blog and become one of your readers. If you do this really well, you’ll even get the blog’s owner over to your site.
So how do you do this well?
First, only leave a comment when you have something meaningful to add to the discussion. Also, only leave a link when it’s appropriate to do so. If you have a post that is relevant to the original post, add it, but do this sparingly and be very careful. Spend a lot of time on the blogs and add to the conversation. You will start to notice a spike in your blog’s traffic coming from the blogs that you visit.
You have the power to drive traffic to your blog, and then you can monetize that traffic. In order to make that happen, you need to find a profitable niche, and then you have to reach your target market. Spend time on Facebook ads, and then double down with Google and other search engines. Finally, head over to other blogs so you can reach your competitors’ traffic. If you use all of these strategies correctly, you’ll have a successful blog on your hands.