Let’s be honest now, there is more information about how to make money blogging than there are actual opportunities to make money blogging.
Blogging for Money is the one niche where you actually make your money by showing others how to make money blogging (whether either of you are actually making any money seems irrelevant at this point) and it is this endless cycle, a cycle I like to call ‘Groundblog day‘ that drives so many to give up before they even gave themselves a chance.
The problem as I see it lies in the fact that this one niche seems to be the most ‘accessible’ and therefore anyone who is anyone jumps into the fray and says ‘hey look at me, I can teach you how to make money with a blog’ Heck, even I am indirectly doing it here, and technically this blog is about niche sites and affiliate marketing – not ‘make money blogging’ but one fact remains and that is that I DO make money from this blog.
I never set out to make money blogging as it were, in fact I often think to myself how much better off I would be if I had never started blogging in the first place - but whether I like it or not (I like it) here I am.
But What made me successful where so many others have failed?
Becoming a successful online personality who happens to own a blog comes down to three key fundamental areas. These three areas, or pillars make up the foundation of every successful blogger who has ever come before you. I don’t care what the circumstances are, each blogger that you know who is making money doing so has built their blog up with and around these three founding pillars.
The 3 Cs of a Successful Blog.
I call them the three C’s because, well they all start with C. That’s right: C C C. And although when you hear what they are you will cry ‘Yes Yes Yes!’ in agreement, the entire Spanish speaking population is already saying it. (that’s how good these three pillars are ) And they are:
Let’s explore these further…
Content is King, and this is true on so many levels it’s not even funny. The first thing you need to to is produce ‘Pillar Content’ or ‘Killer Content’ and you need to do it all the time.
I can give you a thousand tips on how to market your post and how to build backlinks and how to engage in the community to encourage engagement on your own blog and all that blah blah blah, but honestly – nothing will bring traffic to your blog like good content. Write Epic Shit as Corbett Barr of ThinkTraffic.net would say – and he is right.
The most visited posts on my blog are those that are epic and are full of useful information. I wrote about my loss of pagerank and made sure the post was a complete guide for anyone wanting to know about Pagerank. I also made sure that the post contained something tangible and actionable for my readers. As a result this article received more retweets and shares than any of my previous posts, and I did nothing different to market it. The same thing happened when I compiled a list of free link building tools.
The lesson – write epic shit and provide some substance!
Corbett Barr of ThinkTraffic is a great one, but another that comes to mind is Ana Hoffman. Ana has been blogging for a similar amount of time as I have but she is a lot more well known than I am (and probably makes a lot more money too). Putting all other factors aside, Ana has produced at least 1 epic post every week for the last 12 months on her TrafficGenerationCafe Blog. I have produced one a month at best (let’s be honest Alex). Nothing more needs to be said.
Another great example of consistently epic content is Tristan Higbee of BloggingBookshelf.com Tristan is all kinds of Awesome and every post he writes is epic (or at the very least funny as hell) Check out his blog for constant inspiration – and just to keep it relevant, here’s a particularly epic post: 101+ Killer Blog Post Ideas
*I have to make a special mention of Moe aka the KeywordsBlogger.com. Check out his blog and I dare you to find me a single post on his blog that is not epic. Seriously, everything Moe publishes gets bookmarked by me – everytime. That’s how epic his shit is. He’s also a fantastic resource for anyone looking to learn how to really analyse a niche prior to jumping in.
There’s a thousand more, in fact I guarantee that if you now think about all the bloggers you know and/or follow, the reason I bet you know them is because you read some ‘epic shit’ that they wrote once.
It all starts with Content…
I cannot recommend highly enough the epic post from Corbett titled 21 Quick Actions You Can Do Today to Set Your Blog Up for Massive Success. This post is not only a must read for anyone serious about blogging for the long term, it is also another example of the power of killer content. EPIC POST = over 250 RT’s (Corbett’s average is well below this, only reinforcing the power of writing epic shit)
Pat Flynn of SmartPassiveIncome.com knows a thing or two about making money online, and again this can be attributed to the content that he produces. Check out this post titled: The Content Pyramid: Healthy portions of posts for your Blog because it is a fantastic infographic showing what you should write about, and in what porportions. Pat knows a thing or two about successful blogging so I strongly advise that you go take a look.
Ana Hoffman wrote a post a while back on ways to make money from your blog. She says in the post (titled: 9 untapped ways to make money blogging today)
“Making SOME money blogging is not a difficult task. The key ingredient to it is traffic and good content.”
Traffic and Good Content. There you go – again it comes down to content. (Traffic is a result of Community and Consistency – among other things)
Community is important because without it you are never going to be heard, let alone noticed. George W. for example, would never have made president if he did not have
corruption greed wealth all that community supporting him.
Community is also probably the most harped upon aspect of blogging because it is social proof, among other things, but the problem is that like the image above – what looks to be a beautiful thing is actually full of poo (not necessarily penguins), and really (really) noisy.
The first part of creating a solid community therefore, is getting rid of some of that noise, because honestly - you are never going to hear what your readers are saying if you are too busy shouting at them: “Come and Join my Community”
Ah the irony.
The Best way to learn how to foster an active and thriving community on your blog is to go and watch those who already do so quite successfully. Then you simply join in the conversation and become part of theirs.
Here are some of my favourite Community driven Blogs
Go and get involved, engage and interact – and then slowly but surely – that community will find it’s way over to your blog too.
Ingrid Abboud, also known as Griddy has taken the idea of community to a whole new level. Ingrid actually creates content based around what her community is looking for and asking, and her Bring IT series is a perfect example of ‘Fostering Community’ at its finest! Get involved in the comments thread here and you will be helping your own community. (Mind you, with over 100 comments a post, you had better get in fast!)
Marcus Sheridan, aka the Sales Lion is all about community. In fact he recently asked his readers to help him come up with a tagline – and the fact that nearly 75 million people commented and gave their ideas spoke volumes for how well Marcus has fostered an engaging community at his blog. You can read more at his blog or more specifically, the aftermath of the ‘tagline request’: The sheer power of a blogging community, it aint just about the numbers
Brankica Underwood actually teaches people how to blog (like a star I might add) but her approach is clearly all about community. Brankica is appearing everywhere online (evidence of strong community interaction) and again, her blog is a great source of conversation and inspiration. Check out her recent post where she interviewed her blogging peers for a perfect example of fostering a community with your content.
Ana already got a mention, but to be honest she does everything brilliantly. If you want to grow your blog and you are NOT involved the community over at Ana’s blog then you are behind the eight ball before you start. I’m not giving her any more link love though, she can get stuffed.
What is Community Exactly?
I want to quote Danny Brown here on the matter, a quote I stole from his post titled – ‘Why This Blog’s Community Rocks’
(Danny indirectly made this list because Ingrid – whom i love dearly does not shut about him LOL! If she is impressed, then I am too.)
I think this sums up quite nicely what community is in relation to blogging, and if you keep this in the back of your mind the whole time, you cannot possibly go wrong.
“A blog’s community can be many things.
It can be long-term subscribers; it can be first time visitors. It can be “only” readers; it can be regular commentators. It can be every day attendees; it can be folks that visit once then read every other post from a feed, never to visit the actual blog again.
One thing that every single member of a blog community has in common, though, is the connection to each other through the blog (and vice versa).”
How do you REALLY Build a Blog Community? A Love Story. by Mark Schaefer
9 Bloggers who teach the value of a strong blog community. by A Web Guy. – a great analysis of what a Blog Community actually is, as well as a list of 9 great bloggers for you to learn from.
The One Great Key to Building a Blogging Community and Changing Lives – by Marcus Sheridan.
Blogging consistently does NOT mean posting to a regular schedule. In fact, one of the definitions of insanity is ‘doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result‘ Just something to think about
This is the one aspect of blogging that gets most of you because it is the area that no matter what your process, or how good your ingredients are – there is always one factor that you cannot avoid.
Yes it is important to be consistent with the type of content you produce, the general message behind that content, and the method you use to deliver that message, but overriding all of this is the fact that you need to do it over and over and over again. This is where most fall down.
Part of the power of social media and community is the social proof that comes with that. Part of social proof is time as well. If I was to come here now and say this and that about building backlinks and what not, chances are you would believe what I was saying to be true. If I had tried to say the same thing 12 months ago then chances are you would not have taken my word for it. The only thing then that stood between you not listening to me and you listening, agreeing and maybe even sharing was: TIME.
Heals All Wounds Pays All Bills
Here’s the formula for growing a successful blog:
Write epic shit, meet new people – then do it all again tomorrow.