How I Make Money Blogging

by Paul Wilson

 

Having a license plate with BLOGGER on it I get stopped a lot and asked questions about blogging. The number one question I get is, “Can someone really make money off of blogging?” This question is always followed up with, “How can I make money off blogging?”

Often people do not like my response. Mainly because I dispel any belief of someone starting right away making thousands of dollars a month. The blogosphere is full of stories of well known bloggers who took years to make the money they are currently making. It is a rare, rare example of a blogger who in month one made several thousands of dollars (regardless of what some hyped-up ebooks may tell you).

If my tales of blogging hardship hasn’t discouraged my listener than I proceed to share what I have learned.

Advertising Works…Sometimes

First, advertising can make you money. Darren over at Problogger and Jeremy at Shoemoney are proof of this. However, the likelihood of becoming an A++ blogger is rather unlikely. I’ve experimented with advertising but haven’t really taken to it. Not to say one shouldn’t, and maybe someday I will go down that path. For now, though, I prefer the clean, concise look of a non-ad-littered website

The Community Is Key

The number one resource in bringing me consistent revenue has been the community around my blog. My readers have introduced me to more opportunities and consulting jobs than anything else. In fact, it was due to a reader that made it possible for me to leave my corporate job.

Community Building Is Not Easy

Which conveniently takes me to my next point–you don’t build a community overnight. When I first started blogging I had no readers what-so-ever. This being the case, I had to work at Oracle during the day and blogged at night for almost a year. A community is a fickle thing. If you don’t continually work it won’t grow, and if you stop building it will die. I am reminded of a millionaire I once spoke to. He told me, “If a business isn’t growing it’s dying.” Your blog is no different. Many web snakes will tell you that you can put a blog on automatic and you will make lots of money. I am here to tell you this is rarely true, particularly since I have tried to do just that with another blog. Both my business partner and I have learned the hard way that blogs take nurturing and time.

The Quickest Way To Build Your Community
There are lots of different ways to build your blog community, most of which I endorse. However, there is one tactic that I stumbled on that I don’t see discussed much. The best way I built my blog community was actually through my offline efforts. Early last year I was introduced to a blogging group here in Salt Lake that met once a month. The group consisted of an eclectic assortment of blogs that ranged to finding employment to planning weddings. However, it were these people and their blogs that helped me build MyMarketer and its community.

Offline Communities Help With Your Online Community

Back in the day when I had a PageRank of a whopping 1 I wasn’t particularly focused on my writing. Yet, as I worked and played with the Utah bloggers they helped my define my blog and even sent some of their traffic my way. Though, I must admit that I did have to work for their traffic. In May of 2007 we created a street team that worked to get Seth Godin to Salt Lake City. On my blog I created posts that had in depth graphs of our efforts. These newly found friends started linking to my graphs because it was pertinent to what we were doing. I was now having blogs with 4-6 PageRanks linking to me. These links, in my opinion, were a significant factor in helping me jump to my current PageRank of 4.

For me this offline community-building was a serious catalyst in defining my presence on the web, and to make the necessary money to leave corporate. I strongly suggest to any budding blogger to find a local blogging network that meets outside of cyberspace. If your city doesn’t have one than create one. I love how Janet has a link on her site that lists all the Utah bloggers she is aware of. I know for a fact that this directory has helped her several times in generating buzz on her different projects.

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