We all want to get ahead, right? Or maybe we simply want to reach our dreams? Whatever your goal in life is, somehow you have found yourself thinking about blogging. Am I right?
Great, then you have come to the right place for a two-part “Ultimate Blog Discussion.” Whether your goal is to start a blog for the first time, enhance your blog and make some money, or get some help in making your blog something that goes higher than the clouds, as far as your dreams go.
But, no matter what the objective, we need to start some place and that is with a discussion.
To help us do that, we have broken down the topics into chapters or modules. There are three in this article and two more in the next article, for a total of five. Let’s start with the first three, shall we?
- Creative Considerations for Your Blog
- Chapter 2
- Are Digital Agencies For You (Including YouTube)?
- Chapter 3
- Understanding the Concept of an Income Generating Blog (Includes How-To Steps!)
So, when we have finished this article will have accomplished the following:
- We will have some philosophical, yet important considerations;
- Understand what is involved in getting help to reach our dreams (digital agencies); and
- In addition to realizing the easy aspect, also realizing that this blog can make us money from the start (and it doesn’t have to be hard, even according to the experts!).
As a final note… Remember, you don’t have to read all three chapters in one sitting. Grab your favorite drink, iced tea, soda, spring water, and come back and continue. 🙂
Chapter 1: Creative Considerations for Your New Blog (Or New Life for an “Old” Blog)
Going way back in history and blogging was once considered only a platform for fashionistas to show off their latest outfits. Now blogging is considered instrumental when developing one’s online presence and branding. As the creator of your own story, you need to design a marketing strategy that is going to get you (and that story!) noticed! If you don’t accomplish that level of success, you will go out of business before you even start. So, let’s increase your odds of success and making the splash that you deserve, eh?
So, what do we know about this whole blogging thing?
Blogs have become the best way to engage with your target audience and drive traffic to your website. Blogging helps clarify your audience. It draws in readers who are interested in what you are writing about, and when you are successful in engaging them, that blog may keep them coming back again and again.
Still not sure where to start? Or, maybe you are an experienced blogger and looking for a way to breathe new life into that blog (or blogs). Either way, let’s start at the beginning, the foundation, and aim for that success, shall we? Here are some tips. And, if you are a newbie, fear not… Take a look below and see how easy it is to set up your business blog (or even a blog just for fun, that makes some money on the side). Not sure that this is an easy task? I have some information on that step-by-step process, again, in part two. So, relax and remember to breathe and hold on tight for part two (the next article).
Chapter 2: Are Digital Agencies For You?
Before we discuss the topic of digital agencies, let’s take a look at a relevant episode of Marketing Momentum with Charles and Deborah:
I started out the process by attempting to break down agencies by categories, but what I found were quite a few full-service agencies, just like Charles and I were discussing on the topic of Digital Agencies. So, even though there is not a precise definition that fits all, there is definitely this common thread of “full service.” Let’s see for ourselves, with this list of four popular agencies.
- Web.com – Full service including “website creation; Organic search optimization, Lead generation; Pay-per-click advertising; Facebook Marketing.”
- Marketo – “Lead management; Email marketing; Consumer marketing; Customer base marketing; Mobile marketing (each with additional services in these “bundles”).”
- HubSpot – “Content creation and optimization; Email marketing; Social media suite; Marketing analytics dashboards; Marketing automation; Goal based nurturing; Custom workflows; Salesforce integration; Smart content; Attribution reporting; User roles;” and the list continues.
- BuzzSumo – “10 trending feeds; 50 exports; Unrestricted searches; Language filters; Content analysis reports; Domain comparison reports; Outreach lists; Facebook analyzer; Top author reports; Trending RSS feeds; Advanced trending filters; Audience building;” and the list continues.
Analyzing What They Have to Offer
As you can see, there are quite a variety of services, from optimal topic identification to content creation, to content promotion, to the analysis of what is working (and what is working for the competitors). It is easy to see that with any of these plans, there is a good chance for you to be successful and possibly reach your dreams, assuming you have the money to pay the fees, and you are committed to any steps that you would need to do on your end. If you a constrained by time, but not by money, then choosing a Digital Agency seems to be a good choice or at least considering one. The key thing is finding the one that suits your particular objectives. That is where the free trials, or opportunities to speak to a representative really come in handy in making that type of choice.
While we are on the topic of agencies, we need to consider some of the other needs of a blog. One such need that doesn’t come up in the first layer of lists of services provided by full-service agencies is that of graphics and design (even web design). There is no comparison, when it comes to design, to works of art creating by graphic designers. They are gifted individuals who understand what appeals to audiences when it comes to the visual representation. This may be another area where you want to budget for an agency.
An example of where you can see the excellence in design, as it meets 1) web design; and 2) specifically the functionality of e-commerce web design is at Blue Fountain Media Ecommerce Design.
Just looking at the images in Blue Fountain’s exceptional web design makes you realize how inferior some other designs are, in comparison. The images are vivid, and the composition is compelling and intriguing, making one want to click on the images. If we are talking about e-commerce website design, what do you think happens as someone clicks on one of these compelling images?
When evaluating your “image and design needs,” this is another case where you may find that you need the best and are limited on time and skill set and it is time to hire someone who can help you reach your dreams.
Bonus Section: Marketing that Ecommerce Site through Images (and Gaining Credibility)
You see what I am seeing, right? These vivid images that are drawing the audience in to click and purchase. Now, let’s grab those images and get them out in the social networks to draw the clientele over to the e-commerce site!
There are many different image-focused sites that we could consider. Two of them are:
Knowing that there are sites out there that cater to images (and videos) is one thing, but understanding how to utilize it in a way that benefits us (especially when we have hired an agency to create a stunning e-commerce site) is another thing. To build credibility, one has to build a following (and engagement) on sites like Pinterest and Instagram. This is especially the case when it comes to e-commerce sites that are highly visual.
Chapter 3: How To Create An Income Generating Blog In No Time
Ok, with all of this talk about hiring agencies that may be well above our budget, I wanted to give you hope (as we lead into part two of our “Ultimate Blog Discussion”). That is, hope that you can do this on a smaller budget and still have phenomenal results! Hiring the agencies can send you to success that is beyond the clouds and do it fast enough that you may feel like you traveled on a rocket to get there.
However, there is also fulfillment in building your success one block on top of the next, and pretty soon you have built your own skyscraper with your own two hands. With that in mind, let’s talk about building a blog that generates income… One that YOU build yourself! Note: we will also talk about building blogs in our part two, so you are in for a treat with all of the information coming your way.
So, let me ask you this… When you tell someone that you are a professional blogger, what is their response? Do they look at you as if you have three heads? Incredibly, there are people who think blogging is just a joke. They think it is not a career or a way to make real money. They may tell you that it's just a hobby or simply a diversion from the daily grind.
Your family might even think you've gone off the deep end when you tell them that you are becoming or have become a professional blogger. They will probably cackle and say it's impossible to make money that way.
Since your family only wants the best for you, it's understandable that they may not be as open to the idea of blogging as you are. They may even think you need an advanced degree to earn a substantial income. Thankfully, this couldn't be further from the truth.
Yes, if you haven’t realized it already, you create a blog that makes money – excellent money for you and your pocketbook!
Not Just a Blogger
The moment you decided to use your blog to make money, you are no longer just a blogger. At that precise moment, you became an entrepreneur, and your blog became a small business. Think of your blog as one of those free webinars you see online. You are offering valuable information free of charge in hopes of attracting customers.
Want to Enhance Your Blog?
Want to enhance your blog? What’s stopping you? You don’t have to limit yourself to only information. You can make your blog whatever you want it to be, and you can even add skills that will augment the monetization of your blog. Visiting places like Udemy or Teachable may give you ideas of new skills you want to learn. Maybe you want to pick up a couple of classes on SEO (Search Engine Optimization) so that you can become an expert in your own right (who knows, you may be selling SEO resources from your own site once you become an SEO guru!).
The nice thing is you can do WHATEVER YOU WANT. If you just want to blog/write… then do that!
For example, check out how successful Ms. Ileane is, using sites like Teachable to present her courses on YouTube! That is monetization in action!
How Blogs Make Money
Making money with your blog is not as difficult as it seems. Yes, it takes hard work and dedication, but it is really as simple as the following four steps:
- Attract users with free content.
- Offer freebies in exchange for their contact information such as email.
- Build a trusting relationship by continuously providing them with valuable and entertaining information they can share.
- Offer services or products that are genuinely useful.
In other words, if your primary goal is to make money, your blog needs to be a lead generating machine. In turn, those leads need nurturing until they convert visitors into returning customers. To accomplish this, you need to plan ahead. Simply put, you must know what you want to write about, have taken the time to find out where your target audience hangs out and customized your website with user-friendly landing pages that peak their interest.
All Systems Go
Once you have targeted your niche, brainstormed a few blog topic ideas, and developed an eye-catching website, it's time to get down to business. Profitable blogging takes research and proper execution. Google has a multitude of resources you can read and apply to your blog, utilizing that research to help monetize your content. From optimizing your SEO to creating an editorial calendar to help you stay on top of your posting schedule, Google is a great place to start to find what you need.
Just like a fine-tuned engine, your blog comprises itself of many different parts that need to work in unison. Although it can be overwhelming in the beginning, you will reap the rewards later. Even the most well-versed bloggers know that to generate income, you need to be present at all times, even if that means they outsource some of the work. By breaking your blog into a series of different steps, you will be amazed at how quickly you can create an extraordinary blog that is generating money for you. After that, it is exponential and a matter of math (the kind that goes into your bank!).
Ok, now it is time to breathe. Are you breathing? Good! It is also time for the break and to get ready for Part Two of our “Ultimate Blog Discussion.” I have a surprise for you in that Part Two. It is something that I am creating just for Ms. Ileane and just for her BasicBlogTips.com. Maybe, if she would like, she will share it back my way after you all have received it J So, be sure to come back and visit us and share this blog post so others can benefit!