Blogging is powerful!  Blogging simply works – don’t let anyone tell you differently.  Does blogging take time?  Yes.  Is blogging an overnight, smoking-gun key to immediate success?  No.  Blogging takes a little bit of patience – but it does work – extraordinarily well.

Why is Blogging so Powerful?

Blogging gets traffic to your site.  Site traffic opens up a myriad of possibilities for monetization.  Your focus should be on edifying visitors and, thus, building loyalty to your site/brand.  You don’t have to focus incredibly hard on marketing language, sales funnels or anything of that nature.  While those elements are key to finally making money from your site, by putting too much focus on them early on, you may forget the main goal: creating an awesome read and experience for your visitors.

What Should I Blog About?

You should create your blog for a topic that you have expertise in.  I have a music theory/appreciation site called Music of Bach.  In a very short time, I generated many blog posts for this site.  Now, according to Jetpack, I have written about 27,000 total words on that site.  I must say, this was pretty freakin’ easy.  Why?  Not because I’m an expert blogger, but because I am a music enthusiast and love the topic.

You should turn your passions and interests into a blog.  You will quickly be able to build it because of your close alignment to the topic.  So what happens then?  You get traffic.  Google will begin to pick up your blog posts, include them in their index and offer them up as search results to Google searchers.

Methods of Monetization

On the site you are currently reading, I am mainly selling my web design services.

Affiliate Marketing

However, as I create blog posts, I am able to engage in affiliate or referral marketing.  Be careful with this: you don’t want your site to be a marketing mess; you know the site’s I’m talking about – the one’s that are so overloaded with ads and marketing material that your entire browser slows down and has you pulling your hair out of your head.

Yet, you can tastefully include referrals in your blog posts as they are in line with the topic and able to truly improve your visitor’s lives.  For example, in my blog I am constantly talking about the power of Jetpack, a useful WordPress module.  Conveniently, Jetpack does have an affiliate program from which I get a commission percentage on sales.  This is an example of natural inclusion of marketing material into your blog.

CJ.com is one of the most popular affiliate networks.  You can sign up for free and choose advertisers that fit gracefully into your blog’s topic.

Freelancing

I was able to quit my 9-5 not long ago.  This was because I decided to follow some sound advice I picked up from other bloggers: while you cannot expect to be getting enough organic search traffic to have a passing income generating blog overnight, you can use your blog, in the interim, as a platform for selling freelance services.  This is a great way to work from home while you wait for your blog to pick up while also granting you time to write for your blog.  Don’t be afraid to advertise your site on Craigslist or, for those braver and with deeper pockets, Adwords while you wait for your blog’s traffic to increase.

Gaining Subscribers

Make every visitor to your site count, even when, in the beginning, your traffic is sparse.  Implement email opt-in’s and web push notifications on your site.  Your subscribers are much more valuable than even your targeted search traffic.  This is because subscribers have already made a commitment to you.  The more subscribers you have, the more interested readers will see your posts.

What’s the Key to a Good Blog Post?

I’ve spoken about this in more detail in the link right above.  Make your posts at least 400 words.  Include in line text images (I recommend JPG format for faster loading) in your post to guide “attention deficit” readers all the way through them.  Make sure your email opt in form is visible.  Link to other sites and within your own to other posts that will edify the user – remember, brand loyalty.  Make sure your content is unique and try not, to the best of your ability, to duplicate content.  Structure your post with headers like H1, H2 and H3 to clarify the post to readers and search engines.  Proof read your post.  Spend as much time ornamenting and cleaning up your post as you do writing it.

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