I’ve noticed a trend recently when it comes to blogging and social marketing: it seems like a lot of companies are talking at their customers and not with their customers. When it comes to marketing, it feels as though businesses are shouting into the void and throwing everything they’ve got at the wall to see what sticks. Man, what an awful way to market. Read more “Talk with, not at, your customers”
So you’ve started blogging. Great, there are literally 700M other people doing exactly what you do. What you do being writing 300 to 500-word posts at a regular interval. You see, just blogging by itself isn’t enough any more when it comes to standing out. When a 12 year old with an internet connection can do what you do, and a professional writer can do it better where does that leave the rest of us? Instead of focusing on what you do, focus on why you do it and build a unique brand for your blog. Read more “How to build a unique brand for your blog”
You hear the word differentiation and, in some ways, this word can become over-saturated. What exactly does differentiation entail across social media platforms? We analyzed each form of social media in earlier blog posts exploring how to exploit the benefits of each to help grow your blog. Read more “Differentiation: A Strategy Across Social Media”
So a few weeks ago I wrote about my/our ‘why’ (check out the full post here). This week I want to talk about your why. Well, not your why specifically, but to encourage you to think about your why as I have. So let’s go ahead and answer the question ‘why do you blog’ together. Read more “Why do you blog?”
When you write a new blog post, your first objective should be how to make sure your readership knows about it. The obvious channel is to post an update to your social media pages, but there are other strategies to let your audience know about your most recent article. One of those ways is to tap into the power of email communication. This article will outline the basics of email marketing so that you can better tap into an ever-growing audience. Read more “The Power of Email Communication”
Guerilla marketing for blogs… what the heck is that? For a blogger on a budget, or even a small business, it may be one of the best tools in your belt. In short guerilla marketing is the method of using unconventional and cost effective tactics to stick to a budget while crafting an effective marketing campaign. Read more “Guerilla marketing for blogs, not just for zoo critters”
Blogging is something single guys in their mom’s basements do right? Why should my company blog?
Well imaginary questioner, you’re wrong and you should blog because, frankly, if you’re not you’re behind. Blogging has become essential to growing and marketing businesses in the past five years, making companies still relying on cold calls look like they belong on display in the local museum. Read more “Why should my company blog?”
Money is, and likely always will be, an uncomfortable subject. But we live in a world where money is important. And you’d be lying if you said you didn’t hope your blog could generate some form of second income. That’s why we’re running out guide on how to make money off your blog.
I mean, who doesn’t love the day-time mom blogger millionaire story? While that’s largely falsified and an edge case, there’s no reason you can’t profit off your passion. During my time with Monstah Mash we made some profit and while there are plenty of resources on how to make money, but most of them are selling something or sound too good to be true. Let’s sift through some of the bs together.
When it comes to monetizing your blog you’ll have two main options: advertising or selling merchandise. With advertising it’s all about getting eyeballs on your site to increase your pageviews and therefore your revenue. With merchandise it’s about creating quality products people will want to buy, and setting up an easy way for readers to buy them. I’ll give you a brief run-through of how we did this with Monstah Mash and how your blog can start making money.
This is the primary source of income for many blogs, and is the bread and butter of the internet. Think of your site as a billboard, the more eyeballs on that billboard the more valuable it becomes. If your blog has a high viewership you can enroll in ad-sharing networks such as Google’s Adsense, or even negotiate your own deals. Adsense is a great simple platform as it allows you to embed code for ads on your site, while generating a dashboard report to view their performance at a glance. Depending on your traffic, this can be a great way to make money off your blog and leverage your readership.
With Monstah Mash we used a mix; we had a pretty good base of users and were able to make some money off of Adsense as well as an ad network specifically made for sports blogs. We even negotiated a few private ad deals giving us money to invest back into the site, leading me to the next method of raising money.
For private ad sales many reached out directly to us, however don’t be afraid to be a bit proactive in your efforts. After all, not reaching out is a guaranteed “no” so what do you have to lose?
Who doesn’t love stuff? Especially high-quality branded stuff? Merchandise can be a tricky path to take as the products you roll out must be of good quality for this to work. However if you can pull it off, it’s a great moneymaker. With Monstah Mash we took on a part time designer to come up with shirt designs that we sold through an online store. We had the shirts done up, rolled them out to our readers, and let them take care of the rest.
It was a great system, didn’t cost us and egregious amount, and brought in some extra revenue. Plus it allowed us to further cultivate our branded persona, which tied into the actual work we were doing on our site. Win-win.
Not sure where to sell your stuff? A few of my favorites are Zazzle, Redbubble, and CafePress. They make it easy to place your designs on a variety of products and sell through their store while making a commission. Personally I chose Redbubble as their easy-to-use interface made setting up shop a breeze, but the above three are a great starting point to get your site shop off the ground.
This is another commonly used way to make money, though not one I personally utilized. Affiliate links work by essentially placing a text ad or even a visual ad, and then making a percentage off the top of the sales. Essentially you’re selling another company’s product on your website, and getting a percentage of the sale for the effort. If you have a high-traffic blog and those readers are apt to make purchases on your site then by all means go for it. For Monstah Mash we were a news site, not a site people went to to buy things so this was never something we pursued.
There are tons of great resources on affiliate marketing so choose wisely as while there are many great avenues to make your millions, there are many duds as well.
As you can see, there are quite a few ways to make money off your blog. Don’t let that discourage for frighten you though! Sure not every strategy will work because each blog is unique, so take some time to experiment and find your sweet spot. For a short while we tired affiliate marketing but it just didn’t pan out, and we didn’t even try merchandise until our last two years during which it worked out great. As with all things in blogging it’s a journey and learning experience. So go out there, and try to monetize an aspect of your blog, who knows it may pay for itself and put some spending money in your pocket.
Simply put, running a blog and publishing content regularly is a challenge. How can you find the time to do it? One suggestion is to determine what niche your blog fits into. Blog Trackr, which went live online last week, can help in this process and determine what niche content is right for you and your blog!
What Is Niche Content?
There are millions of blogs out there and they cover almost every subject you can think of. Most first-time bloggers believe they need to cover everything, but that strategy often leads to frustration. You do not want to abandon a potential vehicle for getting your ideas out into the marketplace.
Part of the challenge of finding the right niche content is finding how your blog fills a need of your target audience.
Are you designing your blog to appeal to a specific geographic area? Or an industry? Or a particular demographic? These are the kinds of questions you should be asking as you examine the benefits of blogging and marketing.
Establishing Your Niche
The first tactic to find your niche content is to make it relevant. That seems simple enough at first, but what does that mean?
Make sure the content that you have is unique and provides value to your audience in some way. That practical information could consist in spreading your audience’s awareness about a previously-unexplored topic. Your blog could also just provide entertainment to your readers through its humor or interesting content.
Similar to your written articles, when you are looking to find niche content, finding your target audience is important. Right now, it may be someone ambiguous, but it is important to narrow your intended audience to one segment of the population. You may risk alienating your readers, but it is better to trim your audience down and then expand rather than start broad and abandon the project half-finished.
How Blog Trackr Can Help
If you are looking to find where your blog resonates most with readers, Blog Trackr’s software can help. With Blog Trackr, you can find your niche content by tracking your blog’s stats and discovering stories that will increase user engagement and client interaction.
Let’s face it: people seem to be on their phones 24/7. When you think about website design for your blog, you should not solely think about what it looks like on a computer. Most people may not access your site from a computer! They could be traveling, commuting to work or simply prefer to use their phone for business. There are some important tips to follow when going mobile and analyzing whether your blog is optimized for the mobile revolution.
What Is Most Important?
When potential business clients or fans of your blog access your website, what do they see? Remember, they are accessing your site on-the-go which means they are probably losing money in terms of increased data costs.
What is the most important feature of your blog that you want someone to see if they only spend a few minutes checking their phone?
If you are writing a food blog for a local restaurant, it could be the restaurant’s menu. If you are blog for a business, you could include a “best of” section on your mobile blog that features your most-viewed articles.
A search engine like Google has a separate ranking system for a mobile device called Mobile Google. Set up a site map for mobile users to rank highly in Google search engine results.
By creating a mobile site map, search engines can index your pages for mobile browsers.
Streamline the Site
When you are thinking about optimizing your website for mobile devices, you should recognize that long posts, anything using Flash or Java or elaborate pictures will cause longer loading times.
However, if you have multiple pages you would like to exhibit, make sure your website’s menu is easy-to-locate and navigate.
If you use WordPress as your online publishing platform check out this article for information on creating a mobile-ready responsive menu.
If you are thinking about ways you could include pictures on your blog that can be accessed from a mobile device, remember to think about Instagram.
Powerful visuals can stimulate action so be sure to add Instagram to your toolbox of optimizing your blog or business for a mobile user.
And, if you are more adventurous, think about…
An innovative way of incorporating mobile marketing to help boost readership of your own blog is to include QR Codes on places where your blog or business could advertise. For example, ads that appear on trains or at museums could have a QR code on them to allow interested viewers to locate more information about their business.
If you are blogging for a business, you could include a QR code to a popular blog post or offer that your blog is running. To generate codes, you can consider using the Kaywa QR Code Generator found here.
With these few tips in mind, you can begin to optimize your site for a mobile audience and appeal to business professionals and casual readers alike.