“Make money blogging!”
“Earn thousands every month writing about your hobbies!”
“Get a six-figure blogging income now!”
These headlines are common in the world of income-generating blogging. Just how real are these ideas?
The possibility does exist to make money from writing a blog. Darren Rowse of Problogger.net, believes so strongly in the use of blogging to earn an income that his blog is devoted to that topic. Rowse started ProBlogger.net after learning on his own how to make money with blogs. He co-authored ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income with Chris Garrett in mid-2008.
In the book, Rowse explains in his straightforward style that while blogging your way to an affluent lifestyle is possible, the reality is that it takes much hard work and time. What are the keys to success, according to these two authors?
Finding a good topic is the key to having a profitable blog. The topic should not be so narrow that the blogger will have nothing to say after a month, but it should have a definable niche area. A topic like “flowers” is too large to cover properly, but “growing flowers in northern climates” may be a topic where a blogger can corner a market.
The key to getting traffic – and income – to one’s blog is to have a solid marketing strategy. Many popular bloggers report spending significant time working on getting people to their sites. These bloggers spend time writing guest (free!) columns and also commenting on other blogs, sending press releases, and doing other basic marketing for their blogs to gain success.
Some audiences are just more devoted than others are. One of my favorite blogs, Feministing, examines women’s issues in both political and pop culture spheres. The readers of Feministing are, on the whole, very loyal to Jessica Valenti, the blog’s founder. These readers defend Valenti on other blogs and are clear about their allegiance to her blog. This type of audience is necessary for the best blogs because these people will make sure to return to the blog again and again.
Traffic drives advertisers, which determines the financial benefit of owning a blog. Having a successful blog means having a good topic and good marketing to attract and keep a solid audience of subscribers who will stick with the blog over the long haul.