Trying to make money with your blog can seem like an overwhelming task. If you’re new to blogging, there can be so much to learn and so much to do. But the fundamentals aren’t that difficult. So, let’s get down to blogging basics
The two keys to successful blog monetization happen to be the same two keys to successful blogging without monetization. If you don’t want to be a lost site in the blogosphere, you need to have quality content and a steady flow of targeted traffic.
In the blogging world they say “content is king.” It’s true. If you listen to any blogging adage, listen to that one. You can follow tips and perform tricks, you can stand on your head and sing, but if you don’t have anything worth reading, none of it matters.
Don’t be a copycat. It’s annoying and illegal. Of course you can write about things others have already written about (is there anything truly original left to write about?), but you need to add something new. Your experience, your perspective, your insights, or an angle specific to your audience. Make sure your posts add to the conversation or bring something to specifically benefit your readers.
Brevity is the soul of wit. It’s also the soul of a quality blog post. If you want to write the next great novel, don’t do it on your blog. Instead, make your point clearly and as quickly as reasonably possible.
In the same vein, keep sentences relatively short and paragraphs manageable. Remember the feeling you got in college when you opened a text to see pages and pages of dense text? Remember how you wanted to run away from your dorm and eat twinkies? White space keeps your posts from seeming overwhelming. Images help break up the text. Heading and subheading make sense of the information.
There are some notable exceptions to this length philosophy, but until you’re more experienced and confident, this is the way to go.
When Sam and I were dating, he tried to impress me with his extensive vocabulary. More accurately, he tried to test me with it. If I was able to comprehend the onslaught of obstreperous technobabble (see what I mean?), then he would know I was smart enough to take seriously.
Apparently I passed — we’ve not been married over 27 years. But trust me, blog posts are not the place to dazzle others with big words. As much as possible, use terminology that your readers already understand. And if unknown words are necessary, explain them clearly.
When I was in sixth grade, I was kept in from recess, as my parents were told, for “visiting with her neighbor too much.” Again.
I sat at my desk as the clock slowly ticked on, trying to focus on my maize colored social studies book — undoubtedly the most boring book ever written (with the most boring crayon color ever created). It wasn’t until I was an adult that I realized how fascinating history really is.
Don’t be a textbook blogger, even if you offer textbook content. Add some humor, some images, some compelling stories.
Now I don’t necessarily want you to blubber all over your blog. Nor do I suggest that you reveal every deep, dark, personal secret from your closet of skeletons. But the best way to get traction on a blog post, is to get people to feel something.
Whether they laugh or cry or scream or just think really hard, you’ll be more likely to get comments and linkbacks and social sharing if your readers have a strong reaction. Challenge your readers and they’ll challenge you back.
Traffic fits with content like the chicken and the egg quandary. You can write your living brains out, but if no one comes to your site, you would have better spent your time watching reruns of Gilligan’s Island.
You need great writing, but you also need people to read it. To hone in on your target audience, ask yourself these questions:
- What is your ideal reader googling for?
- What are the top ten questions your prospective readers are asking?
- What problems are they trying to solve?
If you are writing about the topics, answering the questions, and solving the problems of our readers — and make sure you can be found on those topics — you are on your way to pulling in the readers who will be with you for the long haul.