We’ve already covered three opportunities in our Top Opportunities for Writers in 2012 series. Let’s look at #4, creating a money-making blog.
Hundreds of thousands of bloggers are making money blogging, so this opportunity should be an easy opportunity for you to make money in 2012. So it is, but you need to get off on the right foot. Make a mistake, and your blog will never make money. Sad, but true.
I’ve lost count of the number of writers who’ve written to me, or begged me, to help them to make money. Once I look at their blog, I usually tell them that they need to chalk the dud blog up to experience, and start over.
That’s OK. Over a decade of blogging, I spent the first three years setting up blogs without knowing what I was doing, so I know what works, and what doesn’t.
BIG tip: decide how you’ll make money from your blog BEFORE you create it. This is vital.
Here are some ways to make money:
* Blog advertising
Advertising is the way most blogs make money. The bloggers use advertising networks, or set up their own deals with advertisers.
If you have lots of targeted traffic, it’s an easy way to make money — all you need to do is write. However, the challenge is getting that traffic.
You need to be an experienced blogger to get a useful income if you’re depending on advertising.
* Affiliate marketing — selling products from your blog
As an affiliate marketer, you promote products on your blog. When you sell a product (a buyer buys from your affiliate link) you make a commission. Some commissions are high (most ClickBank products offer high commissions), others are low (Amazon).
Affiliate marketing can be extremely profitable, if you learn the tricks. The big benefit for bloggers is that you can do well, even if your blog doesn’t get a lot of traffic.
* Sell your own products (ebooks, courses, etc)
With affiliate marketing, you sell others’ products, for a cut of the profits. When you sell your own products, you get to keep the profits.
As you may guess, this is my own method of making money blogging.
You can do very well, even if your traffic numbers are low. The only catch is that you need to create your own products, and be comfortable selling them. It’s possible to make a six-figure income from your products plus blog combo, without working terribly hard.
* Blog flipping — create blogs and sell them
When you “flip” blogs, you create blogs in order to sell them.
This can be very profitable. However, it requires a certain temperament. I get too attached to my blogs, and tend to hang onto them.
Other writers love creating blogs and selling them. This is a business you can SCALE. That is, once you know the process, you can do more of it, to bring in more money. You can out-source most of your operation (design, writing, technical aspects) and focus on planning and marketing.
If you go this route in 2012, you’ll do well.
* Build your platform with your blog(s)
I’ve often written about platform, usually on the ezine. Your platform is basically your readership — your influence, if you will.
Whatever you’re writing, you need a platform. The bigger your platform, the bigger your career. If you’re well known, you can charge more for everything you write, and selling your writing becomes much, much easier.
Few writers pay sufficient attention to their platform. Blogging helps you to build your platform: if you blog for no other reason, THIS is why you need to blog.
Platform-building goes on right through your career. It’s a subtle way of making money blogging, but it’s also the most powerful way.
Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll cover six more top opportunities for writers in 2012, so watch for those posts.
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