Many new and veteran bloggers dream of paying the bills with their blogs, and it’s not unreachable if you’re willing to put in the blood, sweat, and tears to make it happen. The reality of it is that most bloggers will never pay their bills or buy nice cars with money made from a blog, simply because they lose interest and lack the dedication necessary to make it happen. More often than not, new bloggers are inspired by the big “A-List” blogs that have been on the scene for a while and they think, “wow, blogging is easy money!”, and when they make a total of 87 cents in ad revenue their first month, interest and motivation goes right down the drain. Perhaps more importantly, bloggers who are interested in getting serious about making money need to treat a blog like a business, and a key fundamental into making a business succeed is a plan.
To start cashing in on a blog, one of the main aspects before you even think about it is having a large reader base, and I’m not talking 98 readers, I’m talking thousands. The bigger your stats are (RSS subscribers, traffic, PageRank, etc) the more an advertiser will pay you. The trick is actually getting those visitors and traffic. Building up your base of interested readers is very frustrating and usually takes a great amount of time, but the rewards can be phenomenal. You can be the best writer in the world, and even have the greatest target niche to exploit, but without a solid, long-term plan, failure will always be knocking at your door.
There is a delicate balance to maintain when it comes to updating and marketing your blog. Many new bloggers will concentrate almost fully on writing and content, and totally forget about marketing. On the contrary, a lot of new bloggers are more worried about getting the word out, but they have no real content of value to push. What’s recommended is that you stay somewhere in between these areas – meaning you need content, but you also need to effectively market it as well. Updating your blog often is a great way to keep your blog up high in blog search engines like Technorati, and once you’ve established that you update a lot, readers will likely return more. However, if no one is reading your page, then it really doesn’t matter how often you update! Make sure you spend some quality time each day getting the word out about your blog. Learn who your competitors are, and go comment on their blogs. Of course, you need to keep it clean, but if you make worthwhile interesting comments, you’ll entice readers who are already interested in your niche to come over and check out your blog for similar material. Making contacts, and networking with other bloggers is extremely important as well, because you can draw off of each others failures and successes.
Let us be honest, success with a blog will not come overnight, or even after a few weeks or months. It takes a tremendous amount of steady time and effort to build a popular blog, and usually a bit of luck as well. If you plan on making blogging your sole means of income, don’t quit your day job just yet. Write a business plan that details how you are going to run your blog, and how you plan on making it successful. During the first few months, it will be rough, and most bloggers reach a blogging “plateau” after three or four months. If you can make it past this and continue on steadily, then your chances of success skyrocket. When you get into that sixth or seventh month and you realize you’re actually making money, it can be very exciting, but don’t cash in just yet, you still have a ton of work to do. The more you make, the harder it becomes. Expectations are set higher each month that you better yourself. It’s very common for bloggers who become successful to hire a support team just to keep things running smoothly, and this allows the main author to write new articles instead of keeping up with accounting, advertising, and promotions. It’s very possible to get to this level of blogging fame, but without a plan, you’ll never see it happen.