If you’re new to blogging or ever wondered how to make money blogging, this in-depth guide will walk you through step-by-stepstarting a successful money-making blog.
You might think – I could never do that, only a few lucky people make money blogging, you’ve gotta have some technical skills.
At the time of this writing, I’ve been blogging for only 1 1/2 years. And most of that time I spent on my podcast and writing my book – not blogging. And yet one day I realized – hey, I can make money blogging! In October 2017 my blog made $21,881.78. You can find out more reading my income reports. And I don’t say that to brag, but to show you, you can do it.
In this guide on how to make money blogging, I’ll show you what I’ve learned over the past 1 1/2 years. The best part about blogging is how cheap it is to get started. For the cost of a cup of coffee once a month, you can become a blogger.
The guide is broken down into eleven parts. Let’s get started.
- Why Should You Blog?
- What Should I Blog About?
- How To Create Your Blog
- How To Make Money With Affiliate Income
- How To Make Money With eBooks
- How To Make Money by Freelancing, Staff Writing, and Advertising
- Why You MUST Build An Email List – And How To Get Started
- How To Write Great Content That Gets Shared
- How To Grow Your Blog And Get More Readers
- The Resources I Use For My Business
- How To Become Irresistible And Grow Your Following
Part 1 – Why Should You Blog?
I started blogging in the spring of 2015. Considering how long blogging has been around – that’s a pretty late start.
Why would anyone want to blog? There are plenty of reasons. And it’s still a great time to get started. Check out this list and see some of the reasons why.
1. It’s fun and rewarding
Blogging is fun. I get to write about things I enjoy and I meet people online who share similar interests.
I spent most of my career sitting behind a computer. At one of my jobs we worked in a room with no windows that we called the cave. Don’t get me wrong – I love being behind a computer. But there isn’t much social interaction.
When I decided in 2015 I was going to flip my life on its head and do exactly the opposite of everything I’ve ever done:
- help people with their problems
- go to conferences and meet people
- talk to people (you don’t do that much as a programmer)
my entire outlook on life changed. I get to help people with their finances. I’m making a difference.
2. You’ll make new friends
I have made so many new friends I wouldn’t have met otherwise. It’s amazing! Relationships might start out as comments on a post, replying to a Tweet, or an email.
My virtual friends end up becoming people I hang out with who live close by, or people I see at conferences. I have a whole bunch of new people I’ve met that I consider friends.
Often you might feel alone –
Am I the only person out there that likes Tonkinese cats?
But if you start blogging about Tonkinese cats, suddenly other Tonkinese cat lovers find you. And because of your common interest, you quickly form a common bond.
Blogging is a great way to meet like-minded people that share your hobbies, beliefs, values, and goals.
3. You’ll learn new things
I am a life-long learner. When I lived in Atlanta, I would visit the library once a week, check out the new releases, and pick up any book that looked interesting.
The reason I love writing about personal finance is that there is so much to learn. From extreme couponing to 403(b) annuities to tax deductions through conservation easements (haven’t heard of that one, have you?)
No matter what subject you pick to write about – even if it’s you – there are new things to discover. Writing is just putting your thoughts to paper. You can have an opinion, observation, or just ask questions.
There is no need to become a research specialist when it comes to learning. Everything you could want to know is available online.
4. You’ll challenge yourself
I am an introvert. What was surprising to me at the last conference I attended were how many people stood up in front of a room full of people and said:
- I am an introvert.
- I am shy.
Blogging is a way to break through the limiting beliefs that are holding you back from experiencing your best life.
If you want to remain behind the scenes and write for the pure joy of it – that’s ok too! Nothing says you have to do a road tour and meet all of your readers.
But everyone I’ve heard from and talk to say the same thing:
Getting out of my comfort zone and putting myself out there was the best decision I ever made.
5. You can grow a business
In just 18 months of blogging here is a list of the amazing opportunities I’ve had:
- Speaking at a big financial conference
- Being interviewed on the radio
- Being interviewed on dozens of podcasts with a reach of hundreds of thousands of listeners
- I’ve been quoted countless times in online publications, including Forbes and U.S. News & World Report
All of these help build my brand and grow my business.
6. You can save on taxes
You won’t find this reason mentioned except on a personal finance blog.
Blogging is a business. When you make money from it, you become a business owner.
There is a different tax code for business owners, and the benefits are HUGE.
Now I do not claim to be a tax expert (I am probably compared to you, but I’m not going to do your taxes). I’ve been a small business owner since 2000. The number of deductions you can take if you own a business compared to a non-business owner is incredible.
If I find a relevant business conference in Orlando (Disneyworld!) I can write-off all my travel expenses (not for my kids, but my food, plane ticket, lodging, etc.).
Because I have a home office, I deduct 10% of all my utilities as a business expense (my office makes up 10% of the size of my house).
If you run your business expenses through a credit card, you can accumulate points for free benefits. My wife and I have flown to Hawaii and stayed one week at the Four Seasons – for free. It was paid for with credit card points we accumulated from legitimate business expenses.
You can end up with thousands of dollars in deductions.
I do want to point out there are IRS rules for having a legitimate business. I won’t get into them here. Bottom line – if you start a blog, and your blog starts making money – you have a business.
Seek out a tax expert so you can take advantage of the tax benefits of being a small business owner.
7. You have something to say
That’s right – you have something to say! Everyone does.
Right now you might be wondering – what should I blog about?
Tomorrow I’ll give you a sure-fire way to find the one thing you’ll love to write about.
8. To have financial freedom
While this guide is about how to make money blogging, money is just a tool to achieve your goals in life.
People can tell in your writing if you are passionate about something. You could make a lot of money blogging about fashion for example. But if you aren’t fashionable or don’t care much for fashion, you’re much less likely to succeed. And you want to succeed, right?
There are dozens of things I could have blogged about and made a lot more money, but I like helping people with their money. One guy put it appropriately –
You’re going to start a business that helps broke people who don’t have any money to pay you?
Yes. Because for me, the opportunities to build a profitable business extend beyond helping those who may be broke.
Blogging is a path to financial freedom. Like any other job, it will take time and effort. However being a blogger, you’re in the driver’s seat. You’re the boss. You work as much or as little as you want.
Every part in this series includes one small, manageable step. So are you ready to get started?
All I want you to do is write down the reasons you want to blog. You can certainly pick more than one!
Writing for writing’s sake (journaling) is great to record your life and events. But if you want to be a successful blogger and achieve some of those things in the list I mentioned, you need to know your Big Why.
Knowing your Big Why is what’s going to motivate you to follow through and take each daily action.
Part 2 – What Should I Blog About?
I get this question a lot when people are thinking about starting a business too. What kind of business should I start?
Try this quick 10-minute exercise:
- Take a sheet of paper
- Draw a line down the middle, so there are two columns
- In the left column take 5-minutes and write down everything you are passionate about
- In the right column take 5-minutes and write down everything you are an expert on
- Circle everything that overlaps in the two lists.
The overlap is called your ‘Zone of Genius‘. It’s where you take something you know about (you’re an expert in) and that you would be passionate about writing.
Here’s the thing – if you pick a topic you’re only mildly interested in, you won’t stick with it. It’s a waste of your time, and you won’t be successful.
I’m an expert cake baker, but I only bake 1–2 cakes a year. I’m not that passionate about baking. I used to be when I was single and had nothing better to do on the weekends. It wouldn’t make sense for me to start a cake blog because I’d likely flame out and quit.
What if I’m not an expert?
For some reason people don’t realize this:
No one starts out as an expert at anything. You become an expert.
Let me share with you all the things I’ve become an ‘expert‘ on since I’ve started blogging that I wasn’t an expert on before:
- Publishing a book
- Producing a podcast
- Creating well-written blog posts
- Public speaking
- Explaining complex financial topics in easy-to-understand terms
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- And LOTS of other things
Someone once said if you read three books on a subject you’re an expert. Why? Because 99.99% of the population hasn’t read even one book on the subject.
The reason I’m an ‘expert‘ on everything in that list is that I learned how to do it. Plus – I kept practicing until I got better.
You can do the same.
If you have an interest or passion, wouldn’t you enjoy learning more about it? And the process of learning would be fun, right? It wouldn’t be a drag. If it is, you might consider a different topic to write on.
I thoroughly enjoy learning more about personal finance and sharing that knowledge with others so they can improve their lives. I also happen to enjoy the business side of things and learning how to reach more people so I can help them too.
Realize you don’t have to be an expert
That’s right – you don’t have to be an expert.
I didn’t drop into this industry as an expert. It was a process. Over time you will become known as an expert.
If you’re just starting out learning about how to make awesome cheap sandwiches, for example, you build your blog and community around your newfound expertise on making awesome cheap sandwiches.
You can then package that expertise into an ebook, digital course, printed book, or advertising opportunities.
If you teach someone how to make a great sandwich, you’re an expert sandwich maker to that person. You only need to know a little more than someone else to be an expert in their eyes.
Sometimes just documenting your journey from beginner, to intermediate skills, to expert, will make you an expert.
For example, I documented some of my beekeeping journey on my website. I’m two years in, which makes me an expert compared to anyone who hasn’t bought bees yet.
You can document anything you want to get good at, or that’s occurring in your life:
- baking cakes
- getting a pilot’s license
- how to buy a classic car
- being more productive
Look at the movie Julia and Julia. It is based on someone preparing all 524 recipes in Julia Childs’ landmark cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. And that journey got turned into a movie!
What I’m saying is – the sky is the limit. You can document your journey about anything.
I’ve met plenty of personal finance bloggers that are or were deep in debt. They blogged about getting out of debt.
Many of them now make over six-figures per year blogging.
I ‘started’ my blog in January 2015. When I say start, I got WordPress set up on Bluehost.
Then I went down the rabbit hole of trying to make my blog look pretty.
I spent the first six weeks trying to make my site look amazing. I didn’t write a single blog post for nearly two months. I spent the whole time making the graphics look nice, figuring out the structure, the menus. I revised my logo about 53 times to make it perfect.
What I didn’t do was write anything.
I wasted a lot of time. Finally, after Valentines Day rolled around, I said to myself – when are you ever going to write something and publish it!
Perfection is the Enemy of Good.
My blog today looks nothing like it does when I started. In fact, I completely overhauled it with a new look. The six weeks of work I put in eighteen months ago has been trashed.
Just write. Write anything. People are curious, and they want to get to know you. If you have to write about what you did this weekend and file it under your My Life folder on your blog – that’s great!
Decide what you want to blog about! Figure out your Zone of Genius and pick from there, or decide on something where you’ll document the journey.
Then tell the world about it because your friends and family will hold you accountable. Post it to Facebook or tell a close friend. But don’t let the naysayers get you down. You can earn a living as a blogger, and you can do it.
Part 3 – How To Create Your Blog
In this part you’ll start a blog on WordPress. I’ve got a video tutorial that walks you through the process step-by-step in just 15 minutes.
It’s simple – if you want to be a successful blogger you need to run your blog on a successful platform.
Let me give you an analogy – if you wanted to open a successful restaurant, would you use ingredients you could find for free? Of course not because who knows what you kind of ingredients you would be getting at no cost. You would start with the bestingredients you could afford.
Lucky for you – it doesn’t cost much to get started blogging (in other words, it’s the cheapest business you’ll ever start). You can get a good quality restaurant up and be running without breaking the bank. Plus if you decide you don’t want to be a chef, you get a 100% money back guarantee. Not bad!
Where to get started
WordPress is the #1 blogging software in the world. If you want to start a WordPress blog for cheap, going with Bluehost to run your blog is the answer.
I’ve used Bluehost to start three companies (including this website). In fact, the first time I used them was in 2005.
You can start your blog with Bluehost for as low as $2.95 a month (a discounted rate I personally negotiated and that is available only through my link). Plus they give you a free domain name if you go with the 12-month hosting plan (that’s a $15 value).
The best investment you can make is signing up for the 12-month hosting plan through Bluehost. You save money by signing up for at least 12 months.
If you change your mind later, you can get a refund at any time. In six months if you decide to get a refund (you won’t because you’ll enjoy blogging so much), you can get a partial refund for your unused time.
Why pay for hosting?
You can find free blogging services like Blogger where you could start a blog. I already mentioned how that would be like using free ingredients to cook with and start a restaurant.
Here’s what’s important – if you ever want to:
- make money off your blog
- make money off your freelancing
- build a successful business
- have a professional looking website that attracts visitors and customers
you have to pay for hosting.
The reason is simple – customization and flexibility. Free blogging services like Blogger don’t allow you to add all of the features available with paid hosting. Such as:
- shopping carts
- speed enhancements to improve the user experience
- free add-ons to make your site look better
- access to thousands of free WordPress plugins (custom functions and features so that each blogger can tailor their site to their specific needs)
I’ve been building online businesses and e-commerce websites since 2000. I would never in my life start a new website with a “free” blogging or “free” website platform. If you do, within months your website is going to start growing, and you’re going to have to switch to a paid platform anyway. You will have thrown away all that time (and lost money in the process).
I’ll give you another analogy. With free hosting, it’s like renting an apartment that has steel walls. You can’t use a hammer and nails to hang pictures, install shelves, put up wallpaper or hang a TV mount.
With paid hosting, your apartment is like a modular office space you can customize however you want. You can move the walls around, put nails in to hang pictures everywhere you want, install shelves, mount five TVs around the place, etc. Heck, you can even cut a hole in the wall and stick in a new window if you want.
You need to be able to customize your site if you want to make money.
For example, if you want to make money from advertising, advertisers prefer professional looking websites. A professional looking website is much harder to get with the free blogging services, which is just one more reason to go with a hosting platform like Bluehost.
Why Use Bluehost?
Here is why I trust and recommend Bluehost to new bloggers:
- Amazing 24×7 support via phone, e-mail, or chat. If you have questions on getting started or setup, you can get help quickly and easily
- It’s easy to get started. My 15-minute tutorial walks you through step-by-step how to get started blogging. It really is that easy to start a WordPress blog.
- FREE blog domain – Bluehost will give you a domain name for free such as www.MyAwesomeBlog.com
- 100% Money Back Guarantee – Bluehost has a 30-day money back guarantee
- FREE WordPress setup. WordPress is the blogging software used by the majority of bloggers. Bluehost includes an easy setup for adding WordPress.
- Reliability – Bluehost websites are up 99.9% of the time. Reliability is important because if your blog is down, you don’t make any money! I lost over $5,000 in one day before when GoDaddy was hacked and my website was unavailable.
- Self-hosting. If your goal is to make money from your blog you have to have a self-hosted blog. Self-hosting just means you are paying to host the blog yourself using a service, as opposed to using a free service that hosts it for you.
- You’ll look professional – Free blogs like Blogger, Tumblr, or WordPress.com limit you in various ways and appear less professional than self-hosted blogs.
- It’s cheap! Price matters. And when you have quality and price, it’s a win-win for you. Bluehost starts at just $2.95 per month (a discounted rate available through my link) which is less than a cup of coffee!
When you are ready to get started, click here to sign up with Bluehost. Then read my step-by-step tutorial on How To Setup A Blog On WordPress in 15 Minutes.
There are a lot of blog hosting companies you might come across. As someone who has been in the online business since 2000 and has started three successful companies using Bluehost, invest in yourself and check them out.
Naming your blog
What if you can’t think of a name for your blog?
One challenge of getting started blogging has nothing to do with writing or setting up the blog. It’s figuring out what to name your blog!
You might think all the good names are taken! It just takes time to find the right one for you.
Even if you can’t think of one yet, you can get your blog setup and finish up the name later. I’ve worked on a lot of websites where we had an idea (our adoption website) and started developing it, only to settle on a name weeks later (NRFA.org).
- Sign up for a blog host (Bluehost is the one I recommend) and get WordPress installed. You can follow my step-by-step instructions.
- Start thinking about a name for your blog
Part 4 – How To Make Money Blogging With Affiliate Income
You’ve probably asked yourself the same question. Can I do it too?
When I started blogging in 2015, I never planned on making money with my blog (making money with your blog is called monetizing). I had other ideas I wanted to pursue that would financially support my business:
- writing books (did that)
- building online courses (haven’t had time to do this yet)
- advertising on my podcast (not pursuing this right now)
- public speaking (did that)
- building a membership site (undecided on this one because it’s a bit time consuming)
Then I started learning about affiliate marketing and how easy it was to monetize a blog. Eighteen months after starting my blog when I first focused on monetizing it, I made $11,400 in my first month.
I share that with you because there is plenty of opportunities for new bloggers to make money. The thing that gets me is if I had known then what I know now (and what I will share with you), I could have made money with my blog much sooner. Lesson learned!
Keep this in mind – I’m new to blogging too. While I’m not new to online business, I’ve never had a serious blog like I do now. And I’m just getting started. That’s proof new bloggers are still making money.
I’ve met bloggers at conferences that made $50,000 – $100,000 in their first year! It’s crazy, and it’s possible.
It doesn’t matter how crowded you think a particular topic is (there are thousands of personal finance bloggers like me) there is room for you to carve out a piece of the pie for yourself.
How can you make money blogging?
I’m going to walk you through each of these topics in the upcoming lessons. But let’s look at the many ways you can make money with a blog:
- Affiliate marketing (which is free to do)
- Selling ebooks
- Advertising on your blog
- Freelancing and writing for other blogs and websites
- Having sponsored posts on your blog
What’s nice about some of these are they are passive income streams. Meaning your blog has the potential to make money 24 x 7.
- while you sleep
- while you’re on vacation
- while you’re watching TV
Katie & I have spent weeks away from home traveling the world – Egypt, Greece, Italy, Germany, Austria, Switzerland to name a few – all the while our online business continued to make money for us.
How long does it take to make money blogging?
I’ll never forget when Katie & I launched our first digital product in 2007 and started selling it using PayPal. She made seven sales at $50 each on the first day, all the while she was working at an internship.
I want you to have realistic expectations, though. Those results are not the norm. My first month of monetizing my blog I made several thousands of dollars. But that occurred after I had been blogging for eighteen months. But do the math – I’m estimating my business will earn six-figures in ** the second year**. And I’ve never monetized a blog before!
Realistically I could have made money much, much sooner, but I focused on other parts of my business (like my podcast Financial Rock Star, and then writing my best-selling book 99 Minute Millionaire).
Yes, you can make money blogging, but it isn’t a get-rich-quick business. It’s like building any business. It takes time, effort, and persistence. But the more you invest in yourself, the faster you’ll become successful.
I’ve read a story in Forbes magazine about a mother on welfare who built a 7-figure online business in a little over a year. There are some bloggers that earn six-figures after one year, and others that earn several thousand dollars on the side after a few months of blogging.
Anything is possible.
If you’re a hard worker and a go-getter, you can really shine.
Making Money Blogging With Affiliate Income
Let’s start making some passive income from your blog through affiliate income.
I love affiliate income. It’s simple – your blog acts as a salesperson selling products. But there is:
- no inventory
- no costs of any kind
- no shipping of products
- no investment
- no fees to sign up and get started
It sounds almost too good to be true – but it’s real and 100% legit.
Let me give you an example. Let’s start with the biggest affiliate program in the world – Amazon.
Here is a link to a cookbook on Amazon (go ahead and click it).
A new window will open up and take you right to Amazon where you can buy the book. If you bought that book, I would earn an affiliate commission from Amazon. Let’s call it $0.50.
If you’re over at Amazon, you might decide today is the day you’re going to spring for that new T.V. that costs $400. If you buy it, I get an affiliate commission on that too. We’ll call it $25 because I sent Amazon the referral.
All I had to do was put a link in my blog to the cookbook. That’s it. Someone visits your blog where you talk about the Joy of Cooking, and they click the link. The link takes them to Amazon. If they buy the Joy of Cooking (or anything else), you earn a commission.
It’s free to sign up and become an Amazon affiliate (it’s called the Amazon Associates affiliate program). You can earn up to 10% in commissions.
Affiliate income comes from links on your blog where you mention products you love. You might review a product or include a link as part of a personal story – I bought this awesome shirt on Amazon for my upcoming trip!
Here are some of the things on my blog I have Amazon affiliate links for:
- medical kits
- my favorite business books
- energy efficiency products for your home
- podcasting equipment
No matter what you blog about, there are going to be products for which you can have an affiliate link.
And the best part is the links on your blog may be around for years. You can end up earning money from an affiliate link for something you wrote about three years ago. That’s the great thing about passive income – it just keeps coming.
How to get started with Affiliate Income
Here are the step-by-step instructions to get started with affiliate income. Remember all of these programs are FREE to join.
1. Join affiliate programs
I mentioned Amazon in our example, but there are many other affiliate programs available.
Some product websites have an affiliate program which may not be listed. If you have a product you love contact the company directly and see if they have an affiliate program.
You just have to click the link and go through the sign-up process. Amazon is the easiest and has been around the longest. You should at least sign up for Amazon to get started.
2. Promote the link on your blog
There are different ways to promote a product:
Consider doing a book review or writing an in-depth product review. In the first month of blogging, I did a few in-depth product reviews. These pages are some of the most highly visited on my website.
Comparing two different products side-by-side helps your readers weigh the pros and cons of each. By helping them make a decision, you help build a loyal fan base.
You can see an example of where I compared two budgeting software products here.
There are many photography bloggers that talk about camera equipment. Camara equipment can be very expensive, and the affiliate commissions can be much larger.
Many people will be interested in what tools and resources you use to do stuff. For example, I have a resources page for all of the blogging tools I use. You can see an example of my resources page here.
It doesn’t have to be fancy – just a picture, product name, and a description. To go the extra mile include a brief summary of why you like the product.
Mentioning the product in what you write about
This one is easy. If you are writing an article on baking a cake, for example, you can include a link to the cake pan you like to use in the recipe.
You help your readers by saving them time with step-by-step tutorials. You can document anything that involves assembly or a process.
You can even document something that already has documentation if you think you can do it better! Just think about YouTube videos you’ve watched on how to do or fix something because the manufacturer’s documentation doesn’t make sense. I look up tutorials all the time on how to use the features of software I own.
I have several step-by-step tutorials on my website for using different personal finance products. If I like the product, I’ll include an affiliate link.
Tips for good product promotion
Be honest in your review. Giving a glowing review of a bad product just to try to earn affiliate income is a bad idea. When you are honest and help your blog readers, they will reward you with loyalty and become a life long fan. That’s worth much more because they will help share your blog to other people.
Promote the benefits
People buy things because it helps solve their problems or makes them feel better:
- Does it save them time? (This ceramic pan cleans up in a flash!)
- Does it save them money? (This book shows you how to save money on groceries)
- Will it help them make more money? (This course gives you a proven plan to getting your dream job)
- Will it help them relax? (This hebal tea will help you sleep better)
I promote Betterment as a fantastic way to get started investing because it’s easy and only takes ten minutes to start saving for an awesome retirement.
The better you become at sharing the benefits of a product, the more likely the person is to purchase the product.
Good product placement
The longer your blog post, the more you can talk about a product or service. But that doesn’t mean you should include a link in every paragraph.
If it’s a short article, 1–2 times may be enough.
For longer blog articles it’s ok to include a link at the beginning, middle, and at the very end.
- Sign up for free to Amazon’s affiliate program.
- Write a blog post about some product you like and include an affiliate link to it in your post.
Part 5 – How To Make Money Blogging With eBooks
Now we’ll talk about how to make money blogging with eBooks. I’ve been creating eBooks since 2009. The best part about eBooks is they are easy to create, and you can sell them for a long time.
The eBook I wrote in 2009 was bundled with some other products. I didn’t have to update it again until 2014. I sold it for five years!That particular product generated hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue for my business.
Here are some common questions and answers about creating an eBook.
How long should my eBook be?
As long as necessary.
Your book should be at least 40 pages so the buyer will see the value in it. That doesn’t mean it has to be 40 pages, single spaced, a 10-point font in an 8.5“x11” page size. Format it how you like – big fonts, pictures, charts, lots of white space.
Ask yourself this question:
If I bought this book, would I feel like I got a good deal?
How do I format an eBook?
eBooks are delivered in PDF format.
You can do it yourself by printing a Microsoft Word file or Google Doc to PDF format. It takes about 2 seconds.
If you want a nice cover you can hire a graphics artist on Fiverr or Upwork to create one for you. You will pay anywhere from $5 (Fiverr) for a simple cover to $299 if you use a service like 99Designs.
I used 99 Designs for the cover of my book 99 Minute Millionaire (just noticed we share a similar name). I was very pleased with the service. If you have the money to spend (which you will someday if you keep blogging) – they are worth checking out.
How much should I charge for my eBook?
I’ve paid $10 for eBooks that were 30 pages long. I’ve also paid $29 for eBooks that were 100 pages long.
How you price your eBook is based on the value you provide, and how your book compares to similar products (if there are any). A good price point is less than $10. Most people are willing to part with $10 for a book.
If you are an expert in a particular field, you can get away with charging more. For example, the $29 book I mentioned was a workout and diet program by someone that placed second at the Mr. Olympia contest. He obviously knows what he’s doing, so he can charge more for his eBook.
How do I sell an eBook?
Selling an eBook is as simple as setting up an account with PayPal and slapping a PayPal button on your website.
When Katie & I started selling our first digital products in 2007, this is what we did. When we started making more money we moved to a custom shopping cart.
Thankfully technology has improved since then. Here are a couple of great choices:
Gumroad is a popular service that connects to your blog and allows you to sell digital products. It’s only $10 a month for the service, and they take a small percent of each sale to cover the credit card transaction fees.
e-junkie is another great service which can have you up and selling in minutes. E-junkie is only $5 a month for up to 10 products.
Can I make money selling an eBook?
Have you ever bought an eBook or a Kindle book?
There’s your answer.
I own hundreds of Kindle books and have bought nearly 100 eBooks over the years. I’ll share with you some of the titles I’ve purchased to give you an idea of what people are selling (and making money on):
- Podcast Legal Survival Guide by Gordon Firemark
- Double Your Guitar Speed by Tom Hess
- Ultimate Sweep Picker’s Guide by Zack Uidl
- Phrasing Concepts for Rock Lead Guitar Soloing by Nick Layton
- Specific Carbohydrate Diet Lifestyle by Jordan Reasoner
- Road to Olympia 2015 by Ryan Terry
You can see I buy a lot of guitar books. There are some pretty obscure titles and topics in that short list. And I’m just one buyer!
Which brings me to my point – yes, it’s possible to make money selling an eBook on pretty much any topic.
Someone out there is willing to pay you for your expertise if you can do one of two things:
- Solve their pain
- Bring them pleasure
Turning Your Blog Into an eBook
Here’s something else to consider – people don’t necessarily want to read all your blog posts. You may write one blog post on a topic and then six months later write something else on a similar topic.
People will pay you if you consolidate your blog posts and turn it into a book.
Of course, you’re probably wondering – why would anyone pay me for an eBook when they can get it on my blog for free?
One word – convenience.
You’re saving them time because they don’t have to dig around your site for all of the information. It’s no different than if you’re searching the Internet to learn about something. What’s easier – searching out ten different sites, or finding the one site that has allof the information in one place?
Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche took all of her blog posts on budgeting, and rolled them into a best-selling book on Amazon! It was the same content, but people wanted something that had all of the information in one place that they could easily read front to back.
- Start writing! If you haven’t started writing in your blog yet – start writing. Sit down and write 500 words today about your blog topic.
The eBook you’re going to want to create for extra income can come right from your blog posts.
Part 6 – How To Make Money by Freelancing, Staff Writing, and Advertising
Freelancing and staff writing are two other great ways to make money blogging.
To break into these lines of work you’re still going to need a blog. Think of it like being an artist – you have to be able to display your work and your portfolio. Your blog lets other people find you and review your work.
I know many personal finance bloggers that make thousands of dollars per month writing for other websites.
To get started, you’ll have to work your way up, just like at any job. Your first jobs you may have to do for $20-$30 per article. Then you charge a little more. Then a little more. Then a little more. Some personal finance staff writers command $500 and up per article.
My friend Stephanie O’Connell (that I interviewed in episode 028 of my show) worked her way up from $20 and $30 articles to earning over six-figures per year writing for major media outlets and Fortune 500 companies.
At some point, you’ll get approached (via email) by someone wanting to write a sponsored post and put it on your blog.
They pay you money; they write the post, and you add it to your website.
Why would anybody do this? To get their product or service in front of the eyeballs of your blog visitors.
The post might be a product review, or include some links back to their company’s website. They may even want to get access to any newsletters you send out and include an ad.
There are a lot of types of sponsored content you could have on your website.
Warning: Be very careful any sponsored content you accept. You run the risk of losing part of your audience if you starting putting irrelevant or inferior products and services in front of them.
I’ve built my reputation as a personal finance expert by not ‘selling out‘. I don’t accept advertising revenue or sponsored content from any company offering a financial service or product.
Number one – it avoids any conflict of interest.
Number two – my readers and show listeners trust me.
That trust builds loyalty. When I do mention a product or service, my listeners and readers know I’m not trying to shake them down for a quick buck. The long term business is worth more financially than any short term gains. Plus I look out for my audience – they are more important to me than money.
It seems counterintuitive, but if you or a company puts People over Profit, you end up making more in Profit over the long run. Don’t you wish your cell phone provider or cable TV company thought that way?
I bet you’ve seen websites with advertising on them before – right? Your blog can also include ads. You get paid when a certain number of ads get shown on your blog or when someone clicks an ad.
Adding display ads to your website is another simple and easy way to make money. The more visitors you get to your site, the more you can make.
There are many sources of display advertising:
You can sign up with any of these services. They include tutorials and instructions on how to place ads on your blog.
All of these services are free to sign up.
AdSense (Google AdSense) is one of the largest. It’s an advertising placement service by Google. The program is for website publishers and bloggers who want to display targeted text, video or image advertisements on website pages and earn money when site visitors view or click the ads.
My two cents
I’m going to give you my two cents about display advertising – I don’t like it.
It is my opinion advertisements take away from the true value of your website – whatever your message is. I think ads are distracting. Ads also slow down your website.
Website speed is important. If your blog is busy loading ads, your visitor might leave never to read your blog.
You have to strike a balance between making money with ads, keeping your site looking clean, and website speed.
Yes, you can make money by having display ads on your blog. If you’re just getting started, maybe you should try it just to earn your first few pennies and get that rush of making money.
The other ways of making money other than ads. And your visitors will love you for it.
And certainly don’t be afraid to say no.
I’ve turned down advertising for steaks, diamonds, all kinds of investing products. It’s funny the emails I get sometimes. Why would I want to advertise steaks?
But if Ruths Chris wants to advertise with me, maybe I won’t turn them down (my favorite steak place).
- Pick one strategy for making money If you try to pick every strategy, it’s like trying to aim at five different targets at the same time. You’ll miss all of them. Focus on one at a time. Affiliate income is the easiest to get started (and free).
- Sign up for a free Google Adsense account I don’t want to discourage you from trying advertising on your blog. Try out Adsense. Even if you’re not going to have ads on your site, you might as well check it out and be familiar with it.
Part 7 – Why You MUST Build An Email List – And How To Get Started
Here is one of the most important and often overlooked things new bloggers don’t do – growing your email list starting NOW!
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard:
I wish I would have started building my email list sooner.
If you’re not building an email list from Day 1, you’re making a HUGE mistake.
What’s an email list?
You’re probably on a few (or a lot) of email lists. In fact, you’re a part of my ‘Get Started Blogging’ email list where I send you this great blogging information each day.
An email list lets you collect the email addresses of your website visitors so that you can contact them later on.
Why would I want to build an email list?
You might think the most important part of blogging is having people visit your website. Visitors mean more advertising revenue TODAY, right?
While having people visit your website is important, being able to connect with your visitors in the future is ten times more important.
It’s also worth ten times more money.
Pretend for a moment you’ve been blogging for eight weeks and now you have enough content to put together an awesome eBook.
Who are you going to sell it to?
How will you sell it to all those people that have been visiting your blog for the past eight weeks?
How will you get them all to come back so you can tell them about your amazing new eBook?
Unless you have a way to contact them – you can’t.
Email is the #1 way to connect with your readers.
I’ll repeat it because it’s so important:
Email is the #1 way to connect with your readers.
Email is better than:
- Sending a tweet
- Posting to Facebook
- Posting to your blog
- Paid advertising where you pay to advertise your product/service
The reason email is king, is because everyone reads their email. Compare that to a Facebook post where someone may or may not receive it. When was the last time you didn’t at least read the subject of an email before you deleted it? At the very least you saw every email you received.
I hope I have you convinced to start collecting email addresses.
Email lists are the golden egg
Stick with blogging, and you’ll build an email list that has 1,000, 10,000, 100,000 or more names on it.
Say you’ve put your eBook together.
Or you’ve got a recommendation for a great $100 product that you get $30 in affiliate commission.
You put together a newsletter and send it out to your list and…
The money starts rolling in.
You’re providing value to your subscribers by telling them about something that is going to:
- solve their pain
- give them pleasure
In return, you earn money for helping them. It’s win-win.
When Katie & I ran our green building training company, we built an email list of over 100,000 paying customers. Each time we would come up with a new product we emailed the list to tell them about it. We were helping them learn new things that would improve their careers (better jobs, more income, promotions).
During new product launches, we could make $10,000 in 48-hours by emailing our list announcing the product.
And remember – as an affiliate you don’t even have to make products. Some bloggers like Pat Flynn over at Smart Passive Income earn over $100,000 in affiliate income each month just by recommending other people’s products.
Choosing an email service provider
Email service providers maintain your email list for you. For instance when a website visitor wants to sign up for your newsletter to stay in touch with you. The provider gives you software tools that let you add the newsletter functionality to your website.
The top three email providers for new bloggers
Which one should you use?
MailChimp is free to get started, and it’s free for your first 2,000 subscribers. That’s a deal!
You’ll find some people recommend AWeber. When I first started blogging I used AWeber too. So many other people said ‘use AWeber!‘.
I have a sneaky suspicion why – because AWeber has an affiliate program! People make affiliate income when you sign up with AWeber.
MailChimp doesn’t have an affiliate program. I get paid nothing if you use them.
Remember when I talked about being honest in your product reviews and how that honesty will help build you a loyal fan base? I just gave you an example. Recommending the best product to you (MailChimp) is more important to me than earning an affiliate sale from AWeber.
As someone who has used both products, I found MailChimp to be much easier to use.
ConvertKit is a product with a much higher price point ($79/month). As I’m writing this, I’m evaluating the product. You don’t need to invest in bigger and better services until you start making money blogging.
I’ve been using MailChimp for over a year, and I love it. But my fellow bloggers that have been blogging for a while (2+ years) are moving to ConvertKit. So I’m going to see what all the hype is about.
Keep it simple and free – go with MailChimp.
How To Collect Email Addresses
If you’ve ever signed up for a newsletter – why did you do it? You have to come up with a compelling reason to get a blog visitor to give you their email address.
A reasonable goal I’ve heard from professional email marketers is this:
For every 100 website visitors, you’re doing well if you can get two email addresses.
A 2% conversion rate – that’s your goal. Anything higher and you’re amazing. Anything lower and there is room for improvement.
Getting people to subscribe
To get someone to subscribe to your newsletter you need a compelling reason. Too often I’ve seen bloggers have something like this one their website:
Subscribe to my newsletter
Ask yourself – what would be the reason? There isn’t one. Compare that to this:
Sign up for my monthly newsletter and I’ll send you amazing coupons to save money on your groceries. Plus if you sign up I’ll email you a cookie.
Here’s why it works:
The frequency is clear – The newsletter will be sent monthly, so the subscriber knows when they can expect to hear from you.
You show the benefit of subscribing – Your coupons will save them money. You’re helping them solve a problem – everyone wants more money.
You show personality – Everyone knows you can’t email a cookie. By sounding like a human instead of a boring company, you build a connection with your readers.
Come up with an offer to get people to subscribe. It’s been proven if you have a free offer (something of value) people are much more likely to subscribe.
You’ve probably seen plenty of offers, but here are a few to consider:
- Top 10 Tips On XYZ
- 5 Ways You’ve Never Heard Of To XYZ
- How To XYZ In Just 10-Days
- 49 Tips On XYZ
Your offer doesn’t even need to be unique. You can take a blog post or posts you’ve already created and re-package them into a free giveaway.
Here are the offers I use on my blog:
- How To Save $1,000 In One Week
- This blogging course that you’re in showing you how to make money blogging.
Here is a fantastic tool I recommend: SumoMe
Benefits of SumoMe:
- FREE! – You can’t beat free. The basic templates are all free. If you want to get fancy someday you can upgrade to a paid account.
- Easy – It’s simple to add to your WordPress Blog
- Connects to your MailChimp account – You’ve got a free email collection tool that connects with your free MailChimp account. Isn’t blogging amazing and cheap?
- Tons of Features – SumoMe comes with 12+ free tools to grow your website and to collect email addresses. My suggestion is to install all of the email collection tools and see which ones work best.
Don’t go crazy
While SumoMe has all kinds of free tools – every one of those tools you add will slow down your website a little bit. Only install what you need. I recommend installing:
- Welcome Mat
- List Builder
- Hello Bar (optional)
I tried all three on my blog when I got started. I have since scaled it back to just having a single popup that appears when someone is leaving my blog. The single popup works well for me based on the results I’ve measured over time.
That was a lot to take in! It all boils down to this:
Building your email list is super-important.
- Sign up for a free account at MailChimp to store email addresses.
- Sign up for a free account at SumoMe to collect email addresses.
- Start collecting email addresses on your blog
Part 8 – How To Write Great Content That Gets Shared
In this part I’ll give you many of the writing tips I learned the hard way (by writing terrible blog posts when I started).
Writing Killer Headlines
What causes you to read a blog post?
It’s the most important thing. Without a good blog title, your post won’t ever get read. A great headline will cause people to click and read your blog.
A bad headline does the opposite.
There is an art and science to writing great headlines. Let’s keep it simple, so you don’t get too bogged down. See if this book as at your library:
I like the book – it’s expensive. It’s a swipe file of headlines you can copy and vary according to your topic. Which is why I say check it out from the library if you can.
There is no need to re-invent the wheel – find a good swipe file of headlines and just fill in the blanks.
Here is an exercise you should try:
- For every blog post write ten headlines (yes, 10) in five minutes.
- Use a headline analyzer
To create better headlines use a headline analyzer to check your ideas. Both of these are free:
You’ll get different results from each because they measure things differently. One might give you a high score and the other a low score for the same headline.
Try not to get bogged down creating the perfect headline. A good headline is better than not publishing your post.
What do you do with all those extra headlines you wrote? Try different versions when you’re sharing your posts on social media. When you share your content, you don’t have to use the same title as the one on your blog.
AVOID USING ALL CAPS IN YOUR BLOG TITLE!
It makes it seem like you are yelling at the reader. Capitalizing one or two words for emphasis is OK!
Writing Really Really Really Really Long Posts
If you want to rank higher in search engine results write longer posts. A blog post that is 1,000 words long is seen as having greater value than a blog post that is 300 words long on the same subject.
Studies have proven this.
At a minimum, your blog posts should be 500 words long. If you have to choose writing three blog posts that are 500 words each or writing one long 1,500-word article on the same topic – write one long article.
I know what you’re thinking –
But I’ll have three articles instead of one!
The more time a reader spends on a single page the better. Search engines record the time readers spend on a page. My best blog posts are the ones that take over 5 minutes to read, and Google ranks them very high in search results.
Proofread, proofread, proofread
The grammar police will arrest you.
- They send emails
- They write nasty comments
- They will never come back to your blog if you write poorly
If English is your second language and you’re writing for an English audience, it’s even more important to get it correct.
But there is an easy fix. Here is the exact process I have used to become a better writer.
- Write first. Forget about spelling, proofreading, and grammar as you go along. Just write the dang post and get it 95% of the way there.
- Proofread. Copy/paste your post into Grammerly. Grammerly is a free online proofreading tool. It catches most grammar and spelling errors.
- Read your blog post out loud to yourself. You’ll catch any remaining errors including things you’ve written that don’t make any sense if you read what you’ve written out loud. Trust me – it works.
Note: I do not write in WordPress. I lost a really long article once because auto-save wasn’t turned on. I’ve never written my posts in WordPress since. I write in Evernote (it’s free) because it helps me keep my content organized.
That’s my process for every blog post. It’s simple, fast, and free. I don’t hire professional proofreaders, and I rarely get the grammar police contacting me.
Create A Schedule (And Stick To It)
To make money blogging you have to blog. It may sound silly, but you can’t make money working if you don’t show up to work.
At a minimum, you should blog at least once a week. If you blog less frequently the chances of you making extra money decrease dramatically. You need content on your blog to attract readers.
If you don’t blog regularly, your readers may not come back or move on to other blogs.
The Secret To Better Writing
The best way to get better at writing (in fact the only way) is to write more and more.
Here’s a tidbit every blogger will tell you – the stuff you write first is going to be terrible. I know because my first blog posts were too. When you look back 2–3 years from now at your earlier posts, you’ll say the same thing we all say:
I can’t believe how bad this is!
It’s normal. A baby doesn’t get up one day and start running 5k races. They fall on their face and butt over and over again. Then they start to wobble a little. Then they fall back down. In a few weeks, they start walking. And so on.
I encourage you just to write. Your writing will get better. My blog writing has improved 10x since I started. It’s because I kept doing it and reading other blogs to see what made their content great.
- Create a Content Calendar – Keep it simple. Write down the topic of each blog post you will write over the next 30 days. One per week each week for the next four weeks.
- Create Ten Headlines – Try creating ten headlines for your next blog post using the Headline tools.
Part 9 – How To Grow Your Blog And Get More Readers
What are the things you can do to grow your blog? As your blog grows, it helps you make more money.
You don’t need a massive blog with millions of page views and visitors to make money. You can make a good income with a small, niche site as long as you’re adding value to your visitors.
My adoption website NRFA.org
is a very
tiny niche. It doesn’t get much traffic at all, but it still churns out a nice profit each month.
Yes, the more visitors you have, the more you can make. You certainly want to do anything you can to drive more traffic to your site and build your email list.
You can explore each of these tips further as you continue on your blogging journey.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization is the practice of writing your blog posts so they rank higher in search engines. It’s quite a science and way too much to get into.
There are all kinds of books, courses, and websites dedicated to search engine optimization. You can spend hours just learning the basics.
Install the Yoast SEO WordPress plugin
The Yoast SEO plugin is a free WordPress add-on that helps you write blog posts that are search engine optimized. It’s installed on over 1 million blogs – because it’s that good.
It’s an easy way to get started learning SEO. The plugin shows up right in WordPress below your post editor. It will give you suggestions on what to fix for better SEO. Plus it gives you tips on improving the Readability of your post.
Make a note that as you get further along in your writing – maybe a couple of months from now – you revisit this topic.
Guest posting is where you write a blog article for someone else’s website. There are two very important reasons for guest posting:
1. You can drive a ton of new traffic to your website
I guest posted an article on The Penny Hoarder and got 155 email subscribers in 48 hours, and 2,500 new pageviews.
I also guest posted on Ultimate Guitar and got one email subscriber.
You never know what results you’ll get. But you do have to try occasionally to find out.
2. To get links to your website
One of the factors in how high you rank in Google and other search engines is how many high-quality websites link to your website. It’s part of the secret sauce, and Google doesn’t tell us how important it is, but it is important.
For example, Forbes
is a very reputable website. Articles published on Forbes.com are more likely to rank higher than articles published on MyDogLikesToSleep.biz
(or whatever). Google ranks Forbes articles higher in search results (generally) because of Forbes’ reputation.
If I can get quoted in Forbes or become a contributing author on Forbes.com and the quote/article includes a link to ScottAlanTurner.com, Google will see that link. My website posts get ranked higher in Google because it’s associated with Forbes.com.
The fancy term for this strategy is called backlinking. The more links you have from other reputable websites to your website, the higher you will show up in search results.
The easiest way to get those backlinks is to guest post.
Make It Easy To Share Your Content
All of your blog posts should have buttons that allow your readers to share your posts on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.)
And it’s got to be easy!
Here are two tools I have used and recommend.
Another feature of the free SumoMe tool I mentioned in the email list building lesson is the free sharing tools it includes. It’s free!
Social Warfare is the sharing plugin I currently use on my website. I used SumoMe at one time and then I switched to Social Warfare. For the life of me, I don’t recall why. I think Social Warfare had an email button and SumoMe didn’t at the time.
You have to decide which features you want and then pick the software that meets your goals.
Share Other Blogger’s Content
If I re-tweet or re-post content from Money magazine, it has zero benefits to me because Money magazine is a massive company that doesn’t care who I am. If the article was good it does benefit my followers.
If I re-tweet or re-post content from a popular blogger – (Stefanie O’Connell for example) – my readers and followers benefit because I’m sharing valuable content from other people.
NOTE: I’ll get into this in the section on Helping Other Bloggers, but be sincere in your help. If you only seek out to get something out of someone else, you won’t form a relationship with that person. I’ve liked Stephanie’s blog and content since I first saw it. She has an amazing story of being broke in New York City, and she’s built this amazing personal finance business in just a couple years. I help Stephanie because I like Stephanie, not because I want or expect to get anything out of the relationship.
It’s not possible for you to cover every single aspect of your topic. At some point, you have to share other people’s content. You’re going to get sick or want to go on vacation and won’t be able to write. Where will you turn? Other people’s content.
Link Your Posts Together
If you write ten different blog posts about different ways to make a sandwich, make an effort to link between your posts if it’s relevant.
- You have a blog post on making sourdough bread
- You then write another blog post on making an amazing grilled cheese sandwich
If your grilled cheese sandwich uses sourdough bread, link to your sourdough bread recipe.
There are two very important reasons for linking your posts together:
- It keeps the reader on your site and makes it more likely they will read more of your posts. The more they read, the more page views you get, which increases your blog traffic.
- Search engines see posts that link to one another as better than a post that has no internal linking. Your post will rank higher in search engines. Ten posts about bread recipes that don’t link to one another aren’t as good in the eyes of search engines as ten posts about bread recipes that do link to one another.
Don’t go crazy – only link to other articles when it makes sense.
Pin on Pinterest
Pinterest is one of the top traffic sources for many blogs. When I sat through a Pinterest session at a recent conference, I was blown away.
Bob over at SeedTime Personal Finance showed us how he was using Pinterest to generate over 1,000,000 page views in a year to his website. HUGE!
I’m no expert on Pinterest, nor do I want to be. I bought my wife Katie a course on Pinterest, and she set everything up on my blog. I’m now getting 1,500 visits a month to my blog from Pinterest.
While that’s much less than the 80,000/month Bob is getting, that’s still 1,500 people a month I may never have reached. I could do much better, but Pinterest is not a high priority for me.
Melissa over at Blog Clarity has the Pinterest course I bought. It’s very inexpensive compared to how much time it would take you on your own to seek out a bunch of free information on becoming a Pinterest expert.
Help Other Bloggers
Are you more or less likely to help me because I’m giving you all this great information for free?
You got that right – you’re more likely to help me. That help might come in the form of:
- Telling people you know about my website
- Promoting me on your social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.)
- Sharing my content with others
- Linking to my blog from your blog
- Giving me a testimonial
- Referring me to someone you might meet in the future, even if it’s a year from now
A rising tide lifts all boats.
Other bloggers – even if they blog about the same topic – are not competition.
You wouldn’t believe how big the pie is, and there is plenty for everyone.
You can try to go it alone and not help anyone. The result will be it will take you 2-3 times longer to grow your blog. But if you sincerely set out to help others, they will, in turn, help you.
Warning: : When I say be sincere, I mean it. People can smell an insincere pitch a mile away. I was guilty of this when I first started blogging. If you start out becoming friends with other bloggers first, sometime in the future they will help you with your eBook launch, promoting your blog, your course, giving you an introduction to someone – whatever – because you’re friends.
A few months after I started blogging I went to a podcasting conference and ran into Philip Taylor (PT) of PTMoney.com
. PT is a great guy. He introduced me to a bunch of people in the personal finance space that had been blogging and podcasting for years
. He and I have become friends – I’ve even had him and his family over for dinner.
If PT ever asks me for help with anything, you can bet I will say yes. Because friends do that for one another.
Always give more than you get.
A bunch more great of ideas, right? Let’s keep it simple.
1. Add social sharing buttons to your website
Hopefully, you’ve already added SumoMe to your website to start collecting email addresses. If you haven’t – go ahead and install it.
Add the free SumoMe Share tool so your visitors can share your content with their friends, family, and others. The more people share your site and content, the more viral traffic goes back to your site.
2. Identify one blogger you want to build a relationship with
Start following them on social (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat) and repost one piece of their content 1–2 times per week.
If you want to get gutsy, drop them an email just to say hello and tell them why you like them. Sincerity wins.
3. Install the Yoast SEO plugin in WordPress
Once you get this free plugin installed, it will help guide you in your writing of search-engine friendly blog posts.
Part 10 – The Resources I Use For My Business
I’ve included a list of the exact tools I’ve used to grow my business to become wildly successful in a very short period of time.
Because it’s a long list I’ve put it on its own page. Many of the tools I use I’ve mentioned in this guide.
Part 11 – How To Become Irresistible And Grow Your Following
In this section, I’ll cover a few other tidbits that are going to help you succeed with how to make money blogging.
Create an About Page
As Chris Ducker (a very well-known blogger and entrepreneur) says:
Your vibe attracts your tribe.
People do business with people. Do you want your image to be that of a big mega-bank where every customer is treated as a number and a dollar sign? Or do you prefer the local bank where you walk in, and they know you by name and ask how your family is?
Having an About Page that reflects who you are and what you’re about will help attract the type of people who will become friendsand customers. You can not, and will not, attract everyone. So don’t bother trying.
It’s better to have 1,000 loyal and die-hard fans than 100,000 wishy washy followers that don’t care that much if you post a blog or disappear into thin air.
It’s also more profitable to have 1,000 loyal and die-hard fans. Think about your favorite band or music. The band makes more from the fans that buy every product and show up at every concert than the fans who might come to a show once in a while if something better isn’t going on.
Is your favorite food a banana and cheese sandwich? Then say so!
Be you, and people will be attracted to you. Be quirky, funny, snarky – let your personality shine through. People want to be entertained, inspired, and educated.
If you try to be something you’re not, you will either get bored or be found out.
I learned this in my first (failed) podcast. I did what everyone else expected people in personal finance to do. Look – here’s the artwork from my first podcast:
Clean cut, collared shirt, smiling. All business, professional looking, and boring looking.
Upon receiving some good advice from some really smart people, I scrapped everything and ditched the polo shirt (I’m a black t-shirt kind of guy).
I re-branded everything and became who I was meant to be – the Financial Rock Star. The guy who plays guitar, is in a band, talks about money and investing, and has his cats meowing in the background of the show. I wear cargo shorts and black band t-shirts 340 days out of the year. That’s me.
I don’t hide who I truly am, and it’s paid off. I’m not going to be some guy in a nice suit talking about how to re-balance your investments. I will be the guy with tattoos, strange hair, and talking about how to re-balance your investments.
You should be who you are, and who you want to become.
Your vibe attracts your tribe.
Create a Contact Page
Ever been to a website where you can’t figure out how to get in touch with someone, or they intentionally hide their email address?
Nobody likes that.
How will potential advertisers and companies contact you if they can’t reach you?
Have a contact page that includes multiple ways to find you. At the least you should include:
- Twitter handle
If you have a P.O. box or business mailing address, include that too. (For safety and security don’t use your home address).
Respond to comments and email quickly!
If someone makes a comment on your blog or sends you an email – reply! Doing so quickly helps foster the relationship. Neverignore people.
Some people respond to feedback within 24-hours. I have a rule of 3 business days because I get a lot of emails.
Just a quick reply sometimes that says ‘Thanks for your comment’ might be enough. Your readers want to know you’re paying attention to them. Responding is the quickest and easiest way to do that.
One-to-one communication is a must to build a community of loyal followers of your blog.
You’ve made it through the How To Make Money Blogging guide.
You’ve mastered setting up a blog, how to blog, what to blog about, how to start building your audience, and a bunch of ways about how to make money blogging. Plus you’ve got tons of free tools to use to make you a better blogger.
I hope you’re on your way to becoming a successful blogger.
- Write your About page It can be as long or as short as it needs to be. Make it personal! People want to do business with you, not some nameless, faceless corporate entity.
- Create a Contact Me page Let people know how to get in touch with you.
- Have fun! The most successful bloggers are the ones that do it because they love it.
Now it’s time for you to implement everything you’ve learned – and keep up the great work. Good Luck!