In that post, I promised to discuss how much you can expect to earn by blogging.
Before I tackle that question directly though, I want to point out a few things about starting a blog and growing it into an income-producing entity.
3 Things to Consider Before You Start Building a Blog
I. What Type of Blog Do You Want to Start? The amount of money you can earn by blogging depends on what type of blog you start. Many freelance writers start freelance writing blogs. Makes sense, right? But, freelance writing is a notoriously low-paying niche when it comes to things like Google AdSense. The payout can literally be pennies per click.
Take this blog for instance – I have hundreds of pages and this blog is over a decade old, but it earns less than $100 per month in Google AdSense income.
So why then do I invest so much time in building a blog like this? Because, I write and publish my own products (ebooks / eclasses). This blog (site) gets good search engine traffic because it is constantly updated with properly SEO’d content. This brings me to my next point which is . . .
Do You Know How to SEO Your Content? You can have the best content in the world, but it won’t amount to a hill of beans if you don’t get a decent amount of traffic. My income – as a freelance writer and internet marketer – skyrocketed when I learned the ins and outs of writing SEO content.
Learning how to write search engine optimized copy taught me the foundation of how to drive traffic to a site/blog; this is the foundation of building a blog that makes money – no matter what type of business you’re promoting. It all begins and ends with traffic.
How Much Time Can You Devote to Blogging? In an excellent post on the American Artists & Writer’s Inc. website entitled, 4 Mistakes to Avoid When Marketing Your Freelance Business, super-successful freelance writer Nick Usborne underscores how important this is, writing:
Writing a blog is a great way to hold the attention of your prospects. It also helps a lot when it comes to attracting search-engine traffic. . . . what I see too often are blogs that are essentially dead. They started out strong with a few posts, and then the author got lazy.
So before you start building a blog, figure out a writing schedule. Even though Nick says in his post that you should update your blog at least a couple of times a week, and I advise doing so at least once per week, the bottom line is to stick to a pre-determined schedule.
So in the beginning if you only have enough time to post once every couple of weeks, then do so. But, stick to that schedule. This way, you train your readers on when to expect new content from you. In my opinion, it’s better (and more professional) to stick with a schedule and post less often, than it is to have no predetermined schedule and post willy nilly (eg, 3 times in one week, then nothing for two or three weeks, then once the following week, etc.).
Remember, you want to build a rapport with your readers. I’ve said it plenty of times – people buy from those they know, like and trust. Posting on a schedule starts the conversation – people get to know you; then they start to like you/your content; then trust is instilled. Once you have a reader’s trust, making a sale is just a matter of providing a product/service your audience wants (at the right price).
See the sales trajectory?
So consistency in posting is critical to building a blog – a blog that will earn money.
Now let’s get to the question of how much you can expect to earn by building a blog.
Editor Note: Did you catch this recent post on the site — How Can I Start Freelance Writing?
Freelance Writers: 7 Keys to Earning $500 to $1,000 Per Month Extra by Building a Blog
You can build a blog that will earn you at least $500 to $1,000 a month (maybe more) – within six months — if you . . .
I. Integrate Affiliate Marketing: The truth is, one of the easiest ways to make money online with a blog is to use it to promote products and services (eg, affiliate/internet marketing). So no matter what type of blog you start, find a few products and services that fit with your blog’s topic and promote them.
II. Market to the Niche You Blog In: For example, take my blog, ForeclosureBusinessNews.com. It’s related to real estate, a niche I happen to like to write in. So, I use this blog to not only promote a line of products, but I use it as a “real estate writing samples” blog when I market to real estate prospects.
There’s nothing like clients seeing months and years of posts for them to “get” that you understand that niche.
III. Create Products of Your Own: If you’re a regular reader, you know that in 2010 over half of my income came from products I created (ebooks / e-classes). It can be very lucrative – especially if you go on to create a line of products.
Product Creation Tip: When building a blog, go with something you’re passionate about. The reason is, when it comes to creating products (eg, writing an ebook, developing a seminar/e-class), sometimes the only thing that will get you through the process is your love for the subject matter.
I love the subjects I write about (eg, small business ownership, internet marketing, freelance writing), BUT, there are days when I hate to sit down and write about them. However, because I love the subject matter, it gives me the spark I need to get off my bottom and do the grunt work.
IV. Blog Regularly: As previously discussed.
V. Build a Subscriber List: Subscribers are your loyal customers. Why? Because if someone thinks highly enough of your content to actually give you their email address and allow you in their inbox on a regular basis, then it completes the sales trajectory we talked about earlier, ie, they:
(a) know you;
(b) like you; and
(c) very likely trust you (otherwise they would never have given you their info).
VI. Funnel Your Blog Posts Through a Newsletter: Notice how I send out my blog posts via an Aweber newsletter? This way, when you write a new post, your blog not only gets crawled and updated by search engines like Google (which helps web surfers find your blog if your content is properly SEO’d as already discussed), but you also “touch” your subscribers regularly.
And this brings me to the final thing you should do when building a blog, which is . . .
VII. Promote Your Blog Posts via Social Media: Whenever I write a new post, not only do I send it to my subscribers, I cue it to automatically be tweeted (via Aweber you can do this). This way, even if I’m on vacation, I can write up several newsletters at a time and send them to my subscribers, as well as have them tweeted.
If you do these seven things – and your content is useful/valuable to your readership – you should easily be able to earn $500 to $1,000 per month within a six month time frame.
How Much I Earn from My “Side Blogging”
I have two other blogs (besides this one) that I update frequently, and another couple I don’t do that much with (in over my head – too many blogs, too little time). One adds over $1,000/month to my income (in Google AdSense and in product sales); the other two add a few hundred more.
Building a blog takes work – there’s no doubt about it. But, freelance writers are particularly suited to this way of making money online because blogging is just content creation. And, who better to do this than . . . well . . . freelance writers, no?
Share Your Thoughts on Building a Blog
Do you blog to earn extra money as a freelance writer? If not, why? If so, how’s it going? Please share in the comments section below.