Sunday, January 02, 2011

10 Tips for Making Money with Your Website or Blog

Many writers want to try it - and also want to make money too.

And why not?

Especially if you love to write anyhow. I have been learning about doing just that for the last couple of years. It's definitely a learning process. And success doesn't happen overnight. It takes awhile for real traffic to start coming to a site.

Here are ten pointers for people who want to start up a blog or website and make money from it.

#1. There are a lot of blogs out there. Some  subjects are very crowded and may have huge commercial blogs or sites already out there with plenty of subscribers. The key trick that many experts tell new bloggers is: find your own niche.

     It's kind of like writing an English paper. Your subject can be too unfocused. Trying to get all the infromation for a subject like, for instance, "World History" is pretty impossible. How can you even come close to covering all that "World History" entails? So narrowing down your subject more is the key. For a subject lie World History to succeed as an English paper topic, for instance, you could narrow in and cover "Political Thought for Spring 1910 in the U.S."

#2. Think about what you know and what you like. This will help you write with gusto and excitement about your subject - because you will be enthusiastic without being fake about it.

#3. Do research first. You don't want to have a blog that is already saturated online. Find out what people want to know about, what real people are searching for. Then go ahead and try to give the people what they want. Yes, this sounds like commercialism, but it is being smart, especially if you want to make money with your site. You can always use trial and error, but research is smarter. One free site that may help you is the Google Webmaster Tools site. There is a LOT of information here, all for free.

#4. Consider your platform. Use your own url or web address if at all possible. You can put a Wordpress blog on their site or on your own site (recommended). Wordpress is lauded as a good, free blogging platform. You can also use Blogger, which is easier to learn, I think. But many professional swear by WordPress. You can also have a custom site built by a professional if you can afford it. If you try to switch to Wordpress from Blogger later, you will lose your photos. But since Wordpress is so flexible, that may be OK. I personally have several Blogger blogs, plus one new Wordpress blog.

#5. Make sure you keep up on your blogging. The very minimum time frame you should expect to post on your blog is at least 2 times a week. Some bloggers get by on once a week. But do not leave your blog without a new posting for more than 2 weeks, because people will start taking your blog OFF their link lists, and Google ratings may go down as well. And websites also need refreshing as much as possible.

     You can also use other sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, to make your pages more popular and attract new readership. You will need to keep up on these sites as well.

#6. Do your research. People don't want to read blogs about stuff they already know or is a rehash of somebody else's popular blog. It's a waste of time for your reader. One example of this type of blog is the "pointer" blog. A lazy blogger will say "Hey, I found a great blog. Here it is:" and then just put a link. Would you click that? Well, maybe. And I have done that before too. But if the site I go to is not what I am looking for, I will just click out and go somewhere else.

#7. Study with the experts. Blogging can be easy, especially if you are using your blog as a personal diary. In that case, (the personal diary blog) you probably don't care if lots of people come by to read it. But if you want to increase traffic, which increases sales, you need good, free advice. I have some good links for that at the end of this article.

#8. Be patient. Even using all the tricks in the book, such as SEO (Search Engine Optimization), a blog often takes months or even years to come into its own and have a regular readership. You may be lucky and go up in the ratings sooner than that, but probably not. You can keep track of developments with the free counter at Statcounter and see your traffic and popular keywords, etc. there.

#9. Keep to your subject if you are trying to make money. Don't ramble on about what you are eating today, about whether or not you like the weather today,  or go off on another tangent. Narrow your focus if you have a focused blog. That is what your readers expect and want. You can change the focus of your blog with a personal blog or diary, and that is OK. Just don't expect to have many readers.

#10. Be safe, and check your websites often. Actually go to your server and look inside to find your files. Does everything look OK? Make sure there are no "extra" pages there. Change your passwords regularly too, just in case. Keep an anti-virus and a firewall on your computer. And backup your files using an online service or a hard drive backup system outside of your computer. You will be glad you did.

Find out more at these sites:

Bloggeries - their description "Learn how to set up a blog, start blogging, produce quality content and use these forums as your internet marketing courses." You must have 15 postings here before you can add your signature. Bloggeries members can answer your blog questions and you can also learn about SEO here.

The Warrior Forum - this is both a pay and free site. If you are selling products via your blog, or want to learn about Internet Marketing, you may want to join the Warrior Forum. It is $37.00 to join, and is a one-time fee. The people here are real experts, and there are many people here every day.

Squidoo - This site helps you make lens pages easily, and shares its ad revenue. It was started by Seth Godin, who wrote many famous marketing books. You can see my pages there or try making your own page too.

The ProBlogger site - famous, and has many free articles for you. The book he wrote is great too. I have a copy.

Want more advice on making a beginning blog? You can contact me personally or go to my SEO for Beginners page.

Here is my lens about my Squidoo journey: Free Squidoo Secrets: My Beginner's Path to Giant Squid.



My Personal Page and blog
The Nontrads site and blog
My Squidoo pages
Join me on Twitter as @betsyanne or @nontrads

This fun money-making Mama art design is from the Microsoft Office Clip Art pages


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