Yeah, yeah, I know there are MILLIONS of posts about this – but I’ve been asked recently by a few of my friends to offer my tips on how to make money from your blog (apparently they’re under the assumption that I make big money from my blog). Which truthfully, I don’t, but I do make enough to buy myself a few treats & gadgets that I otherwise wouldn’t buy myself. Not bad really when you consider that for me, blogging and fiddling with WordPress is a hobby.
As you may know, I’ve been blogging for 6 years. Yep – this month marks the 6 year anniversary of Mom on The Run! Over those years, blogging has evolved from being solely about community, to being about site analytics, bringing in the most traffic and making money (though the community aspect hasn’t completely died – we’ve now broken off into niches). At times I’ve been a mommy blogger, a fitness blogger, or a how-to-blog blogger – what I write about flips about as fast as my moods do. As I’ve worn these hats I’ve learned a few tricks about blogging and bringing visitors back, which, over time will allow you to make some money from your blog.
1. Tell People About Your Blog
When you start a new blog, no one knows it exists, so you need to tell people about it. So who do you tell and how do you tell them? Twitter, Facebook? For me, commenting on other blogs has worked the best – to develop a network, you need to be active in the network you’re developing. I find that people often visit your blog from the witty comments you leave on other blogs. From my experience, simply broadcasting a link out to twitter doesn’t do much for you, unless you have a pretty solid twitter network – though I would recommend that you do that in addition to visiting and commenting on other related blogs.
2. Be Active in Your Blog’s Community
I like to post a response on my blog to comments I’ve received, and to interact with my community. I also like who ever left the comment I’ve responded to, to receive my response. For that I use a wordpress plugin called Comment Reply Notification. I’ve written about this before and have gotten mixed feedback. Some people like getting a response from the blog author, and others feel awkward about their comment if they receive a response. You could also follow up on comments with a new blog post, if the comment warrants a larger continuation of the topic. In that case I would email the person who left the comment to let them know about the new post.
3. Guest Post for Other Blogs or Submit Articles For Multi-Author Blog Sites
This is a win-win situation for both you and the host blog/site. You give them traffic, and they give you traffic. This works best if you and the other bloggers write about similar things. The link exchange also helps your page rank I’ve been known to write for: Bookieboo.com, CompleteRunning.com, TypeAMom.com etc.
4. Make it Easy For People To Subscribe to Your Blog
Have an RSS feed and make it easy for people to subscribe to it. I love using feedburner. Make sure your RSS feed icon is easy to find. Also offer visitors different ways to subscribe – get posts by email, or read in an RSS reader. Feedburner allows you to do both. At the end of your posts, invite people to subscribe to your feed. I also use a plugin in wordpress called Comment Redirect which re-directs first time commenter’s to a thank you page for their comment, that also asks them to subscribe. Having a facebook fan page, such as the one I have for my Fitness Cheerleader site, that is updated from your RSS feed also helps, as this seems to be a new way people are subscribing to the blogs they love. Advertise your fan page on your blog in an easy to find place.
5. Make It Easy For People to Contact You
Publish your email or use a contact form – make sure your email or contact form is easy to find. This way PR folk can contact you with pitches.
With all of that said, THE MOST IMPORTANT THING I’VE LEARNED is that it doesn’t matter what platform your blog is on, how you market your blog, or what you put in your sidebars of your blog. If you write great, interesting content, on a consistent basis, your readers will keep coming back, your readership will grow, and eventually you will be approached to put paid links, buttons and other ads on your site.
Happy blogging everyone!
PS – does anyone wanna guest post for me when I have this baby? I’m looking for a few guest posts to publish – it can be about Motherhood, Running or Blogging Tips. Leave a comment below and I’ll be sure to get back to you!