Many people email me regarding making money on their blog/ website. Since I am totally unqualified to write about that, Homemaker Barbi addressed this question in a guest post a few weeks ago.
I do believe that before you can make money on your site you need to have readers. While I am not an expert on this either I put together a few tips on creating a successful blog.
- Define Success – When I started blogging I was happy if 10 people read my site each day. I remember the day 50 people visited my site. There were high fives going around my house. When I hit triple digits, you would have thought I won the lottery. Then I went back to double digits for a while and was severely depressed. The problem was that I hadn’t defined what a successful blog meant to me. For some people success means lots of comments, for others lots of hits, for some subscribers and for others it means lots of links. Figure out what you want from your blog, set goals, and then figure out how to reach them.
- Create a brand – One of the speakers at Blissdom said that you are the brand. Your title needs to be something that represents what you are writing about. Create a catchy and appropriate tag line. In the internet world, I want people to know me as The Happy Housewife, Thriving on One Income…. that describes my site and when you look at my header you know what you are going to get when you read my blog.
- Create a clean site – When you look at your site is it easy to navigate? Do you have an easy to find search bar, subscribe button, and twitter button? When I visit sites that are cluttered and difficult to navigate I rarely return.
- Find your voice - This was a phrase spoken many times at Blissdom. Be genuine in your blogging, don’t blog about thrifty living if you are taking expensive vacations and eating out 7 nights a week. Don’t blog about raising kids if you don’t have them. Readers will know if you are the real deal. Being honest on your site will give you loyal readers. This does not mean you have write your site like a tell all book. Just be true to yourself, don’t pretend to be something you are not.
- Blog consistently - If you are only going to blog once a week your blog will probably grow slower than someone who is posting 3 times a day, and that is okay. One of my favorite bloggers posts only once or twice a week. This works because it is her schedule. Do not post every day for three weeks and then stop posting for 2 weeks, and continue sporadically, you will lose readers very quickly.
- Use spell check and the return button- No one likes reading posts that are one gigantic paragraph filled with spelling and grammatical errors. Format your posts so they are easy to read.
- Read other blogs - This is a great way to get to know other bloggers (which can lead to networking) as well as understand the blogging community a little better. If you never read another blog, why would you expect someone to read yours?
- Comment on other blogs- This does not mean comment spam! A thoughtful well written comment that corresponds with the post will usually catch the eye of the blog writer. The chances of them visiting and possibly discovering your site goes up significantly when you leave a good comment.
- Respond to comments- This is so important, especially in the beginning when you are only receiving 3 to 5 comments a day. Once your site grows and you are receiving 20-50 comments or more per day you will probably not be able to respond to every one of them. Try to respond to those who are asking specific questions, loyal readers, first time commentors, and those who have taken the time to write a thoughtful comment.
- Link to other blogs- When you read a post that you enjoy, link to it on your site, stumble it, or tweet about it. Blogging is a community and we are all trying to spread information in one form or another.
- Participate in Memes - You can find a large list of bloggy memes on my other site. Memes are a great way to bring traffic to your site as well as connect with other bloggers who are writing about similar issues. Just remember the Meme’s Golden Rules, link to your actual post- not your home page, link back to the meme on your site, and visit other meme participants.
- Get Connected - Twitter is a great way to microblog (in 140 characters or less) as well as meet new bloggers. Just don’t sign up for twitter and then only tweet your own posts, join the conversation.
- Don’t get discouraged - Many of the “big” bloggers have been blogging for a few years. Although there are some blogs that rise to the top very quickly, most blogs are slow growing, especially if you have other responsibilities and cannot sit in front of your computer 24/7. Most mommy bloggers have a family to raise, a home to maintain, and a husband that would like some attention. If you sit in front of your computer all day obsessing about how to have 10,000 subscribers by March, you will probably run out of things to write about very quickly. Start slow and work on building loyal readers by giving them great content.
Amy from Mom Advice has written a great post with more ideas for growing your readership. You can read her thoughts here.
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