Although much of the landscape for building brands has shifted to social media, there are still opportunities to make a killing by blogging in 2019. Your chances are even better if you’ve built a good following on your current blog and paired it with social media engagement.
The next step is to find a way to monetize the activity. You’ve likely come across articles that boast “How I Made $10,000 in My First Month of Blogging” and other high-figure clickbait.
Before you buy into that notion, please recognize that less than 4 percent of the blogging population makes more than $10,000 a month. The majority make closer to just $1,000.
“How much you could make would depend on several factors, including how often you blog, the quality of your content, how competitive your topic is, and how effective you are at building an audience and generating traffic,” says Melanie Pinola, blogger for LifeHacker.com.
You can successfully monetize a blog, and make a comfortable living doing so. But you’ll have to put in a substantial initial investment of time and effort to succeed. You’ll also want to avoid the following classic mistakes.
1. You fail to regard your blog as a business
It’s perfectly acceptable to run a hobby blog. You might even collect a few hundred followers from it by posting when you feel like and not investing anything further.
But you’ll have a very difficult time monetizing your blog content in this manner if you don’t treat it like the business it has to be. A solid blog will have a dedicated name, logo, mission, and message, as well as the website.
You’ll have to develop an explicit business strategy for making money that includes crossing all your legal Ts and dotting all your financial Is. Start your business the right way by setting up a business structure.
You’ll want to incorporate the business and pay any associated fees. Follow through with your business plan, post content regularly and consistently, engage with your followers, and develop the kind of content they will let you know they want to see.
If you can adopt the business-savvy mindset, you’ll be on the road to success eventually.
2. You’re more focused on the money than on the readers
You might be able to generate money fast. You might even be able to sustain that income for a few months. But you’ll need a long-term strategy that focuses on your readers, not the money.
“Taking cheap shortcuts like accepting low-quality guest article submissions for paid links, may only damage your site’s ranking and turn some of your readers off,” writes Alexa Mason, the author of Single Mom’s Income, a wildly successful financial blog.
“If you start to post crappy content just to make a quick buck or partner with brands that you don’t truly support or wouldn’t recommend, your audience will notice the inauthenticity and leave,” Mason continues. She stresses the importance of writing high-value content that accords with your brand and core message.
3. You don’t stick with it when it gets difficult
Yes, it’s discouraging when you’re competing against 150 million blogs on the Internet, and yours doesn’t show results from your efforts right away. It’s even embarrassing when you post something to social media every day and receive little response.
But don’t give up! Every blogger has a niche: a dedicated audience that’s waiting for a great blog to appear. If you have a good idea and exert the dedication to make it flourish, give it a fighting chance. It may take months or even years to see the results you desire, but it can happen.
If you feel strongly that the topic you chose is not working, move on to a different one. Many bloggers run several blogs at a time, and most of them are honestly not successful. It takes only one to make it over the top.
4. You try to do it by yourself when there are thousands of resources available to assist
Renowned blogger and marketer Melyssa Griffin says she has seen many bloggers commit the error of trying to succeed all on their own.
“One thing that I see in a lot of work-from-home careers is that we end up closing ourselves off from other people. Not on purpose and not because we secretly hate the world, but rather because we just don’t think about it,” she has stated in a blog post.
She suggests using social media, business contacts, friends, family, and anyone else who will listen to help launch and promote your blog. You can build a dedicated audience from the dozens of resources you have at your disposal, which in turn may reach hundreds of others that are not directly available to you; it’s up to you to get them on board and working on your behalf.