by Andrea Boff Sutton
If you “blog serious” it means that you want to make a business out of your blog. It means you would like to find a way to monetize your talents, products, and services in such a way that you move from “hobbyist” to “entrepreneur”.
Some of you might have read the first article in this series: Part 1 Getting Serious. In this article, there are a couple of very important take-a-ways for a serious blogger, and I want to restate them. Everything I talk about in this post is dependent on your understanding and implementation of these basic things:
1. Get analytics hooked up on your blog.
2. Get the facts on Search Engine Optimization and use them…
3 Make a commitment to keeping your readers engaged by Cross Linking
b. Soliciting and replying to comments
c. Cadence: At the end of this article, I will give you a link that should help you in your “blog serious” education.
The Serious Blogger – It’s not for everyone.
Expect it to be Work – You are starting a Business.
If you want to make money at this, then you have to approach it like it’s your job. To take your blog from a non-monetized status to one that is ready to make money, you should expect that it will take lots of time and effort. If you have an idea that you can make a full-time income with 2 or 3 hours of effort, reset your head. This is full-time work. If you need money fast, this is not a quick fix.
The work you’ll need to do comes in 10 eye-opening categories.
I’m going to address two today: the set-up, and the generating of traffic. I’ll write two more every week till you stop reading. It’s a big topic to do right.
The Set Up
The most important tool to use for your blog is where you choose to host it. Like any business, it’s a good practice to set up your blog with a reputable blogging site. Now, the first time I did this, I used “Blogger”. I used their free service – built a huge following, and in 6 months, the site was taken down by a “Blogger Bot” that erroneously identified my site was a spam site. After 3 months of writing emails to Blogger to try to get my content back, I gave up and was never able to revive the site, losing a good portion of my followers. So, where you host your blog is critical, and you get what you pay for. “Free” is not good.
To prevent this tragedy, I strongly suggest that you buy a domain name for your blog, and host it like you would a website. It costs a bit, but you have to approach this like a business, so plan to invest about $8 a month in hosting fees. (right now, you can do a bit better) I recommend BlueHost – they have toll-free 24 hour support, live chats, great analytics, easy-to-sync Google analytics, and support WordPress blogs. “Blogging with Amy” (a wonderful source for serious bloggers) will tell you exactly how to do this. Get yourself a WordPress blog.
The work to generate, monitor, and circulate traffic:
How do you generate traffic and how much traffic do you need to generate? This is a tough question to answer, because a lot depends on your niche. A tool-and-die maker blog may do well with 500 subscribers, but it might take 100,000 a day to make success happen for an executive coach or a recruiter. To generate traffic, you need more than great content, but without compelling content, you have to go back to being a hobbyist. One of the key differentiators between blogs that monetize and blogs that don’t is the quality and compelling nature of the content. If you are answering the need of your niche, you have a chance to make some money. Then, you must understand who is behind your traffic numbers and that takes analysis. If you write a blog on cooking, you need to know if the majority of your traffic comes from wanna-be-chefs or cook-at-home moms. You must write faithfully to those who are interested, so knowing them and catering to them is part of a healthy, reader-oriented blog.
I see lots of bloggers who have their twitter streams displayed on their blogs, displaying tweets that read more like friends talking in the wash-room than serious blog topics. If you generate blog interest with smart topics in your given niche, how do you think your casual tweets will enhance the lives of your blog audience? You generate traffic with a focused message. Keep it focused.
Next Week I am going to Explore:
Headlines and Keywords
More to know:.
Blog Guru, Steve Pavlina (click)
Comments and Replies
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve had so far as a blogger? I would like to hear your stories so I can address some of these issues in upcoming posts! Thanks so much.