Ever since blogging became popular, people have been trying to make a living at it. A few have been successful, but many eventually give up, or if they actually do continue to blog, they aren't making anything. In a session I attended about blogging at SXSW last month, one of the panelists asked the question, "how many of you have a blog?" Nearly everyone in the room raised their hands. Next, they asked, "how many of you are earning with your blog?" Very few people raised their hands.
That does not mean it can't be done. It's just going to take some work. We talked to Darren Rowse, one of the most famous people in the Blogosphere for making blogging profitable (he runs ProBlogger), who shared some tips on how to do it.
Have you been able to make your blog profitable? Tell us about it.
It's Going to Take a While
As Rowse notes, a lot of people jump into blogging thinking they're going to start earning quickly. That is very likely not the case. He says it's about finding a good niche - something you're passionate about. Ask yourself what your interests are, and if your topics are things you can see yourself writing about regularly for years.
When looking for a niche to take on, Rowse suggests doing some research on how many people are searching for that type of content. Use tools like Google Trends. Look at how many people are advertising on this type of content. Is there enough content to write about on the topic or will you eventually run out of things to say?
As Rowse says, there's no rule for how often you should blog. People have been successful writing a post a week or less. Still, your chances of growing success are increased along with your frequency. Think about it.
"Every post you write is a doorway into your site," says Rowse. "If you're only writing 52 posts a year, that's 52 places people can connect with you through Google or through Twitter. If you're writing 365 (one a day), then you've exponentially increased the amount of places that people can find you."
Despite the beliefs of some, blogging is not dead, and it's not dying by the hands of social media. Social media can be the blogger's best friend for sharing content, and attracting more readers.
Guy Gonzalez of F+W Media made a pretty good point in that session at SXSW: "Anyone who thinks Twitter is a substitute for a blog probably wasn't a good blogger to begin with."
Last year, we looked at some polls that Rowse conducted, finding that more people preferred to have more blog readers, as opposed to more Twitter followers. Granted, Twitter use has grown significantly since then, but I don’t know that the outcome would be much different now. A lot of bloggers are using Twitter simply to drive traffic to their blog posts.
Either way, when it comes to content, it shouldn't be about the format (blogging vs. Twitter). It should be about what you have to say, and whether you can convey that to the right audience. More on that here.
Share your own tips for an effective blogging strategy.