A couple of weeks ago, a friend teased me on an email list, saying she had better ways to spend her hours than “wasting them blogging.” Now the truth is, she has no idea how much time I spend online, but I responded:
I guess it depends on how much money you make doing it.
The response was utterly flippant, but the result was a swarm of emails — 131 so far, to be exact — asking how I make money blogging.
I was shocked. Not because lots of people wanted to know how to make money online from home, but because they didn’t know how. The info is everywhere, and I was shocked that so many are interested, but unaware of the opportunities. Because of this need, I decided to hold a local workshop that would teach the attendees how to make money with a blog.
Having coded sites for 18 years and blogged for eight — and having made my share of mistakes along the way — I have accumulated a lot of knowledge. But putting it in to an accessible and understandable form is is still daunting. In order to succeed, these folks need search engine marketing experts on their side, or at least search engine marketing expertise. They need to understand social media optimization — something that didn’t even exist back when I started blogging.
In other words, I’ve got to figure out how to condense 18 years worth of reading, research, study, experience, conversation, mentoring, and trial and error into a neat little package that will actually be useful, without being overwhelming.
New bloggers don’t need to hire a search engine marketing firm, but they need to learn the basics of how to attract readers and get traffic. They say “content is king,” and I agree. But you can have the most fabulous website in the world, with the best possible information, and if no one in your market can find you, the impact is lost. And your blog won’t make you a penny.
If you were just starting out trying to make money with your blog, what one piece of advice would be most helpful?