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Jon, you just rock! I agree that you should be called “his Royal Awesomeness” :). This is the greatest post I ever read about blogging and monetizing a blog. I know some bloggers who are able to make a living 20-30k per year with their blogs but it took them years to build a following and thousands of posts too…
Over the past eight years, I’ve had the good fortune to work with some of the smartest bloggers on the planet. I worked with Brian Clark as he built Copyblogger to a multimillion dollar brand. Neil Patel and Hiten Shah also hired me to help them launch the KISSmetrics blog, eventually creating a multimillion dollar SaaS company.
In addition to getting new readers to your blog, you will also want to make sure your current readers are coming back. This is where email marketing plays a big role. By collecting the email addresses of your visitors (with their permission of course), you can then notify them when you post something new on your blog. This keeps people coming back to your blog, which not only gives you more readers over time, it also allows you to build a closer relationship with your readers.
You can then customize your theme using the customizer. The extent to which you can customize your website will depend on the theme you selected. Change between themes easily just by activating a new theme. All of your website content will appear in the new theme.
In return for a reader’s email address, I would give away a free 7 day email course via email. About 85% of the time, that reader would stick around after the mini course to check out my new articles and updates.
Find a community. Blogging at its heart is interactive. You write a blog post and people comment on it. This is a great way to connect with people who are interested in the same things as you are. Blogging allows you to teach these people based on your experience, and it gives you the opportunity to learn from your readers as well.
I will be rocking my blogging in 2018! Back in the Fall of 2017 I rolled out a modern web site design and a podcast. I’ve also just done an evaluation of what worked last year and the areas where I fell short. I also found it helpful to examine those latter areas to understand why. With those in mind, I know where I need to focus my energy. I’ve even got two new products in the works (both in the editing phase). 2018, here I come!
Modify Your Blog. Once we had our domain, hosting, WordPress, and theme, we spent a lot of time tweaking the theme to get the look and feel we wanted (i.e., making our vision a reality). Then we spent even more time tinkering with the theme and arguing about it and tweaking it some more. Once we had created our blog, we set up a free Feedburner account so people could subscribe to our site via email and RSS subscriptions. And then we established a free Google Analytics account to track our stats. Feedburner and Google Analytics were both easy to sign up for, and we still use both today.
For instance, you’re reading a post about how to make money blogging. If you’re a subscriber, what do you think the odds are that you’ll receive an email from us sometime soon offering you a product about how to make money blogging?
Janice the runner might want to post a photo of her running, along with a couple of paragraphs about how she discovered her love for the sport, her running goals and maybe a bit about her life when she’s not hitting the road.
One of two behind The SITS Girls and Bloggy Boot Camp. Believer that this community is a movement, and not just a website. Currently on a quest for unending free WiFi & stronger caffeine. I’d love to get to know you better: Find me on Twitter @FranBanducci and on Google+.
Second, it keeps your site on Google’s good side. That’s important too. Why? As of late 2017, Google may alert people when a site is insecure. No site owner wants a visitor to get a big fat warning that their site is insecure!
Hi Ramsay, Happy New Year! Another great post from which established bloggers can also benefit. I’ve been getting bogged down with SEO recently so I’m glad of the tips in the comments thread about keeping it, mostly, simple and concentrating on good, long form content. I have a couple of questions. 1. in 2018 do you think narrowing down to a specific niche is super important or is multipotentialite blogging still going to be effective? Yikes – I know I need to work on my strategy 😉 2. I notice when I click on a link in your posts the new post doesn’t open up in a new window – evidently this isn’t an important back-end consideration for you, and perhaps something you do intentionally? 3. For selling a blog would you recommend Flippa or Empire and any chance of a new updated blog post on this (or is your previous one updated already?)
Thank you Sir for giving valuable information. I have been following you for a while and learned a lot. Really love your SEO articles about getting better google ranking. I am a wedding photographer and trying to promote my website online as best as I can? Thank you again!
Also, I think allowing comments on your blog makes you approachable and builds a community. Plus, if you solely build your community on social media networks, what happens when they disappear? You never know, it could happen.
As usual a top knotch post full of excellent advice, very easy to understand and follow. Just studying your posts is an object lesson in how these things are done. I, like many aspiring bloggers, am very familiar with the glazed look that passes over people’s faces when I attempt to explain what my plans are! I think the primary problem is that we have been brought up to do business in a particular way. You make something therefore you get paid for it. Most business people feel there is something inherently wrong about a system where you provide huge amounts of valuable content free of charge and without obligation. The peception is that the model cannot be susstainable.
You’ll get your first month free, and then you’ll pay $19 a month for up to 500 subscribers, with additional charges as your list grows. AWeber is a bigger investment, but offers all sorts of creative options like autoresponders, lots of testing methods and beautiful templates.
Why not experiment by selling your services as a freelancer or consultant in your area of expertise? A food blogger could create meal plans for busy families, a photographer could take headshots and portraits, and pretty much any blogger can offer to write paid blog posts.
If you need a little help I would highly recommend you check out my article How to Start a Blog in which I run through the steps you need to take to get up and running. It’s really not as hard as you might think!
Publish Consistently. Teach web crawlers to come back to your site on a regular basis and improve your rankings over time by publishing regular content for site visitors to enjoy. After all, the point of having a blog is to build a bigger following. Ranking higher in search results will help, and becoming a source to rely on for consistent content helps as well.
Start selling from day one…I’ve always thought you had to build a sizable audience and then drop that knowledge that they’ll pay for. But doing it for the motivation to make money FORCES you to create a damn good product(s). Makes complete sense, Jon. Thanks!!!
It’s my responsibility. If people are ever going to respect blogging as a legitimate business model, those of us who are successful have to speak up and share what we’ve learned. None of us works in a vacuum. The only way we can advance our field as a whole is to collectively share what we’ve learned.
One thing that really struck me in this post is the reverse sales funnel. I’ve always thought to start off cheaper then gradually charge more money. To be honest, this reverse funnel sounds scary, but since you said you had great results, I should probably give it a try.
Hi Danielle. It looks like Facebook has removed the more detailed categories from the pages since this post was written – I just set up a test page and I don’t see the page type listed anywhere. You can choose the broad category “website” when setting up your page as mentioned above in the post, though.
Companies don’t offer free blogs out of the goodness of their hearts. They still want to make money somehow. If you’re only using their free service, they’re not making money from you. Therefore, they don’t have a lot of incentive to keep you happy. Sometimes this means you’ll have little to no support. Other times it means you’ll be badgered with offers for their paid-for products.
Within a month, I had On Moneymaking off the ground, and within two months, it was getting 2,000 visitors a day and Performancing nominated it for the best business/money blog of the year. A couple of months after that, Brian Clark asked me to become the Associate Editor of Copyblogger, and so I sold On Moneymaking for five figures and went to work at one of the most popular blogs at the world.
Thanks, I can learn many new things from this post. Now I realize my mistake that I did in the past, and of course I will apply the basic rules for my blogging journey. After I follow this guide, I will be able to create a trusted reader for my blog.