It’s impossible to keep track of the number of active blogs. Some estimates put the grand total at more than 50 million.
Whether that’s an exaggeration, the blogosphere is an infinitely huge place where people from all walks of life chime in with their opinions, suggestions, thoughts and creative writings every minute of every day of every year, non-stop.
Is it possible to break through this morass of verbiage and create a blog that grabs the attention of readers?
On top of that, is it possible to stand above the crowd and build a blog that can make a profit through advertising revenue?
The answer is yes, but it comes with several caveats. First, you won’t make a dime until you get enough subscribers and regular viewers to make you attractive to advertisers.
Plus, you’ll need a niche that’s not already covered by a million other people, an understanding of advertising basics, enough capital to pay for lots of up-front expenses and maybe an extra helper or two to assist with workflow after things get busy.
Here’s a summary of what every prospective blogger should consider if the goal is making a full-time income from their efforts.
The hardest part of building a money-making blog is building a subscriber list. People spend years getting their lists to a point where advertisers take notice. But it doesn’t have to take you years. You can hire freelancers who specialize in bringing in subscribers.
Just be careful about costs. Know how much you’re willing to spend to acquire each new name for your database. There are plenty of WordPress plug-ins that create innovative pop-ups that draw in your readers. The good part is that many of them are completely free!
Financing the Operation
Setting up an attractive blog is not a super-expensive endeavor but there are costs that you’ll have to cover, like advertising, consultant fees for people who help you get subscribers, website name fees, hosting expenses and many more. Perhaps the best way to free up personal funds to cover these costs is by taking out a loan to fund the business.
Likewise, you can free up cash by slashing your monthly budget and lowering some of your expenses that you take for granted. Cut the cable cord, stop eating out, and try and avoid going into any retail stores period. Then there are some of you who have fixed monthly costs like student loan repayment, which is unavoidable.
Student loan refinance rates are quite favorable when comparing historic trends, and now is as good a time as any to refinance. You can save a significant amount of money on monthly payments, get a much lower interest rate on your student debt, and have a longer repayment period when you refinance.
Build Your Network
One of the most overlooked aspects of building out a successful site is the importance of growing your network. There is a common misconception that a virtual business is less dependent on relationships with others.
In fact, I would argue that it is more important for a website than most other businesses. When you are a new site, the major search engines probably won’t even recognize that you exist.
However, guest blogging opportunities on other mature sites will help get you recognized faster than you might otherwise. The same goes for leaving thoughtful commentary on other bloggers' articles. Make sure you are leaving real and honest feedback, and others might find their way to your site in return.
Selling Ad Space
Once you accumulate at least 100 subscribers, it’s time to start searching for paid advertisers. You might need 1,000 or more names on your list, so don’t be discouraged in your early efforts to locate advertisers.
The exact number depends on your subject niche and the demographics of your blog members. Subscribers aren’t the only important metric either. Some native ad companies prefer to focus on monthly unique visitors, total pageviews, and even the average bounce rate.
The bounce rate is how long a particular user stays on your site from start to finish, the higher the better of course.
Finding a Lucrative Niche
Some of the most financially lucrative, but also most competitive, subject-matter niches include wellness, health, diet, and weight loss, self-help and wealth building. Some experts say that you should only choose topics that you already know about or have some expertise with.
Writing around something that you are already passionate about and knowledgeable on is the easiest way to run a site. You don’t want to spend copious amounts of time researching topics.
Content is King
The single most important aspect of any successful blog or website is content! Put simply, have the best, most informative and engaging content out there and the visitors will come.
Don’t worry about word minimums and maximums, or a perfectly structured sentence. You simply want to understand your topic and the point you are trying to make, and then find the most succinct and efficient way of conveying that message to your readers. It is really that simple.
Don’t be afraid to hire outside help, especially after your efforts begin to pay off and you become busy with user engagement, advertising acquisition, analysis of new customer demographics, and other tasks that come with being a successful blogger. There are plenty of sites that offer up freelancing options, like Upwork and Thumbtack.
These contractors have their expertise, listed fees, and are reviewed by people who have previously used them. Just set the filters on the site to find potential contractors who best meet your needs.
Additionally, if you find that you are wildly successful, you might need to hire a good CPA and/or financial advisor.
Likewise, you might consider setting up an LLC or some other type of business entity in order to indemnify yourself from any legal recourse.