Blogging for profit isn’t easy. In fact, when you first start out, it can seem downright impossible. Killer content doesn’t always sell. Especially not when it’s on a one month old blog. And that complete lack of positive feedback can really make you wonder whether what you are doing is logical, let alone potentially profitable.
Should you plan on venturing into the stormy waters of blogging for profit for the first time, there are a number of things that you can do to keep those initial waves to a minimum. I will now outline nine things that I wish somebody told me when I was first starting out.
Don’t Quit Your Job
Blogging requires electricity and electricity requires that you pay your bills. Blogging is not a get rich quick scheme. It’s not even a make money quick scheme. While you can expect to make money eventually, until those dollars start rolling in, you are going to need another source of income. That source of income can be a job or a healthy bank balance. It just can’t be your dreams of blogging stardom.
Manage Your Expectations
As stated above, don’t expect to earn much when you start out. The real money in blogging comes in year two. Yes, year two, not month two. Don’t expect to go viral and become the talk of the blogosphere because your first post was a work of art. Traffic takes time, it takes patience and it requires realistic expectations. Overly high expectations lead to nothing but heartbreak and the slow death of your motivation.
Start One Blog, not Three
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you can make more money by starting three blogs simultaneously. You should start with a single blog and you should throw all of your motivation and enthusiasm into that blog alone. You might be surprised to learn just how much thought, planning and hard work a single successful blog requires.
Start the Right Blog
One of the cornerstones of successful blogging is choosing the right topic to blog about. Even blogging experts occasionally get this wrong because there are so many factors to consider. Before writing a single post, make sure that your topic of choice, in the very least, meets the following criteria.
- High demand/low competition.
- You understand it, or can learn.
- You are genuinely interested in it, or at least, don’t hate it.
A Personal Blog is not the Right Blog
Everyone likes to believe that they are special and that their thoughts are both interesting and unique. Unfortunately, your musings upon the similarity between your cat and your girlfriend don’t make for an interesting read. If you want to make a profit blogging, you need to stick to your blogs topic and talk about yourself as little as possible. If you want to start a personal blog, that’s fine, but personal blogging and profitable blogging are two completely different things.
If you are excited about the prospect of becoming a blogger, you might find yourself writing post after post in quick succession. Unfortunately such enthusiasm is unlikely to last and it’s therefore important to pace yourself. You don’t want to publish twenty posts your first week, only to follow it up with two posts the second. Decide how many posts you can write each week and never post any more than that. WordPress allows you to upload posts and schedule them to be published automatically at a future date.
Learn Basic SEO
Blogging at its purest form is always going to be about the written word. But unfortunately, if you want to get ahead, you are also going to need to know a little about search engine optimization. Notice that I said a little however, you don’t need to be an expert nor do you need to hire one. Pick up the basics and apply them. Don’t be intimidated by the steep learning curve, a little bit of SEO understanding goes a long way.
Keep Your Posts Clear
WordPress makes stylish blogging easy. The number of available themes might as well be infinite and even if you’re not willing to spend a penny, you can still set up a professional looking blog in a matter of minutes. A fancy theme is not enough however, you need to present your content in a professional fashion too. This means white space, short paragraphs, sub headings and bullet points. It doesn’t matter how good you are at writing, nobody likes massive blocks of text.
Don’t Give Up
Finally, considering the number of would be professional bloggers that go on to quit in their first year, the most important piece of advice for any newbie blogger is probably just not to give up. Blogging for profit requires patience and never is that patience more important than during those first few months. Consider the posts that you are writing to be an investment. Invest enough time into their creation and you will eventually be rewarded. If you quit before your blog matures however, all your hard work is likely to have been for nothing.
This post was written by Tom Koh. He makes his living online and has real advice to offer for those starting out today. He has written about many useful tools like backlink booster, alexa rank checker etc. on his blog.