Almost everyone today seems to have a blog. While setting up a blog takes mere seconds, building a readership takes time and effort. Those who expect to become expert bloggers and start making money immediately are often disappointed. That’s not to say successful blogs are impossible however. Understanding the ups and downs of blogging can help any writer navigate the challenges they will inevitably face.
The different types of blogs
One of the first steps in creating a successful blog is writing with purpose. Of course, not all blogs have the same end goal in mind. The largest category of blogs is the personal blog. This is where people write about what’s going on their lives, what they did for summer break, what their kids are up to, etc. Personal blogs are generally very different from something like a business blog, which is more professional and focused on a company or its product.
Apart from personal and business blogs there are also school blogs, which are used to facilitate communication between students and teachers, new blogs, political blogs, sports blogs, and much more. The categories are about as endless as there are ideas to write about. Any kind of blog can be successful. The list of the top 25 best bloggers ranges from the historical blog “WWII Today” to the children style blog “What My Daughter Wore”.
Can you make money from blogging?
It certainly is possible to make money blogging, but it isn’t easy. In 2012 there were an estimated 31 million bloggers in the United States alone. That’s a lot of competition. The reality is that most bloggers will not become millionaires overnight. For those that do make money, it takes time.
Bloggers typically make money by putting advertisements on their site. The most common mainstream ad players include Google AdSense, Amazon Associates, and Pay-Per-Post. It takes more than just advertisements however. The difficult part is finding enough readers who will see them.
So how do you make yourself stand out from the other 31 million blogs? First, it can be helpful to write about something of which you are an expert. Not only does it need to be well written, it needs to provide value for the reader. When a reader learns something they can use in their lives, they will likely come back for more. Building a following of consistent readers is a must if you are hoping to start making money. One such example is Budget Direct’s Simply Smarter Blog. The company posts about a variety of relevant and useful issues, from common health hazards in the home to how to change a tire.
Consistency is also vital. Infrequent or long periods between posts is a sure way to drive away readers. Expert bloggers generally recommend at least one post a week and even up to two or three times per week. As long as you are publishing quality content, blog as much as possible.
Becoming an Authority Blogger
What are some ways you can become an authority in the blogging world? Consider the following tips.
- Speak with authority- Write like you know what you are talking about. If you sound timid or unsure of what you are saying, people may discard your opinion. In order to speak with authority you really do need to know as much as you can about a topic. Study up if you have to.
- Observe others- You can’t be a good blog writer if you are not a good blog reader. Look at what the most successful are doing. You will likely pick up on patterns and techniques that they use.
- Understand your audience- This is true of any writing. If you know the needs of your audience, you can cater your message to their lives. One great example is home security and automation company Vivint. Their blog, titled The Neighborhood, is geared towards the everyday homeowner. However, they don’t just write about the home. Article topics range from arts and crafts for kids to dinner party tips. Vivint knows that the same people who invest in home security have families they care about and want to protect. Their blog can help them in all aspects of their lives.
- Be courageous- No one wants to read an exact repeat of what someone else has written. Be unique and original. Those who attract the most attention are typically those who are honest and who are not afraid to speak their mind.