How to make money blogging, and the three tools you need to be successful.
What are the five tools you need to be successful at blogging and how can anybody get a blog up and running in just a few hours? These are some of the most basic questions that I get asked about blogging but they seem to come up time and time again as people struggle to understand the business of blogging.
Make Blogging Easy
The first step to successful blogging is to make it easy. If you make blogging difficult for yourself, you’ll never do it and without active blogging, your blog will fail. There are a few different software options for making your blog a success, you can either self host or use a commercial service. I prefer self hosting, it’s a little more technical but you get a lot of powerful benefits from hosting a blog yourself.
To start, you’ll need to install a package called WordPress, it’s a blogging platform designed to make your life easy. Bluehost has a one click installation procedure that will take all the complexities out of the process for you. So that’s your first tool, a powerful content management tool called WordPress that will help you update your blog daily.
Know Your Traffic
The second step to running a successful online blog is to know your visitors. You need a software package that will tell you everything you want to know about your visitors because without real data, you don’t know if your decisions are good or bad. For that, you’ll want to install Google Analytics.
Google Analytics gives you a powerful overview of not only how many people came to your website but also where they came from, what websites they found you from and a host of technical data from a visitors browser.
Earn Money from Blogging
Most of the time, the reason we’re blogging is to make money and there are a couple ways to make money while blogging, each has it’s own unique approach.
First, you can make money blogging directly through advertising programs and affiliate links. For example, when I promote Bluehost on my site it’s because I like them as a company but also because I earn money forwarding traffic to them. An affiliate is most often a commissioned relationship which pays when a sale is made as opposed to advertising which pays regardless of the sale.
Second, you can make money through lead generation. This is more complex but my friend Charlotte’s wedding business is an excellent example of this method. She writes a wonderful blog about weddings to help brides and offers a variety of event planning services to brides on the blog.
A third model for blogging is witnessed at a website like the Upside Trader which charges visitors a monthly subscription for access to premium content. This model is a lucrative business model for successful bloggers and makes use of premium content as a means to generate revenue.