Thursday, September 9, 2010

Work at Home Jobs for Moms 2: Blogging

 This is the second post in my work at home jobs for moms series. 

How much money can you make from online blogging?

There are thousands -- hundreds of thousands, maybe millions -- of "mom bloggers" who share their thoughts and ideas on their blogs. You're reading one of them right now. While most bloggers blog for personal enjoyment or to share their family news with friends, some do it to earn money. And of those who hope to earn from their blogs, only a small percentage actually succeed at building a significant or even part-time income from their work.

What sets the "earners" apart from the "non-earners"? I think there are a few things that increase your chances of making money from a blog:
  1. Niche: The theme or topic of your blog needs to be narrow enough that you have a definite focus, yet broad enough that you always have topics on which to write and a large enough audience who cares about the topic.
  2. Strategy: How will you make money from your blog while helping your audience? If every post is an overt effort to sell something or promote a paid review item, readers will lose interest and profits will be sparse. A good blog monetization strategy considers first and foremost what your audience is looking for and what you can do to help them get the information or things they need.
  3. Content: Good, original, useful information will draw readers, keep them coming back for more and cause your readers to share your posts through social media online. Dry, stale, redundant posts will have the opposite effect. As a blogger, it's your job to bring fresh, helpful, funny, interesting, or beautiful content to the table whenever you post. 
One of the first things you should do when you start a blog is to write down your plan for each of these three areas. What is your niche? What strategy will you use to earn money in this niche (adwords, paid advertisements, sponsored giveaways, affiliate links)? How will you produce good content for your blog?

To start a blog you need to do a few quick things:
  • Buy a domain name (this should be keyword specific, ie buysilveronline, not marksonlinesite).
  • Purchase a web hosting plan (I recommend using HostGator web hosting).
  • Install a blog platform (with HostGator, you can install a WordPress theme in a few minutes).
  • Start writing. 
The best resource I've found for beginner bloggers as well as more seasoned bloggers who want to increase their productivity and earnings is Amy Bass' blogging course. She has a free report on how she went from 0 to $5,000 a month and how to replicate her success. Definitely check it out -- I love that she offers that for free so you can get started without spending a dime .. other than on web hosting, of course.

Once your blog is online, there are four important things you must do to get your blog off to a great start:

1. Create an "About" page. This is such a key part, but often overlooked by bloggers. Let your readers know who who are, why you're blogging, what ties you have to the topic, and what they'll find on your blog. For example, on my About page I introduce myself, include a picture, explain that I'm a work at home mom who is seeing online success and share my goals as well as topics I'll cover on the blog.

2. Use your blog's header to tell what your blog is about. The blog tagline should be descriptive and convey in a few words what your niche is. As you see, mine mentions "tips on maximizing online income while balancing work, home and family." Visitors get an idea right away as to what type on content they'll find on the blog.

3. Include a short bio of yourself on your main page. Mine is on the top of my left-hand sidebar right now, just a headshot and a caption to give readers a sense of whose articles they are reading when they come to my blog.

4. Find related blogs in your niche and network. Start by commenting on these blogs -- look for busy ones with great content -- and link back to your blog. Link to these blogs from some of your posts when something is especially interesting or helpful. Over time, ask if you can guest blog or if the other blog authors would like to exchange links. You can get some great traffic in the beginning by commenting on many other blogs and having readers follow your hyperlink back to your blog.

The answer to my question at the beginning of this post is ... top bloggers earn thousands every month, and even tens of thousands of dollars, just from one blog.Will yours be next?


Kidgas said...

Thanks for the link to the free report. I have entered my email address and am just waiting to download it. I am curious to see what I can learn by reading it.

Sharla said...

thank you so much for the tips. I have been a blogger on my family's private blog for five years and after the readership got too high and the "private" became not so private, I have just launched a public blog this week and am going to attempt to make it profitable. Any tips are greatly appreciated, so thank you!