When I first started this blog, the goal was to share my experiences with friends and family, but also to create some extra revenue so I could continue doing what I love: traveling. In this post, I’ll share with you how I monetized my blog.
First, it’s important that you understand no one becomes an overnight success. Generating followers and revenue is a slow process and, unfortunately, most people don’t make it to the holey grail of a profitable blog. In fact, majority of bloggers quit within the first 6 months. If you’re looking for easy money, then blogging isn’t for you because readers can spot a sales pitch from a mile away. So, it’s important that you come across as sincere when writing and go easy on the affiliate pitches/links. Remember, your writing is the product that people are interested in.
Here’s the top 10 reasons bloggers fail:
- Looking for quick money
- Not passionate about writing
- Lack of motivation and consistency
- No niche (and too much competition)
- Lack of SEO
- Poor writing
- Too focused on just writing posts
- No social media posting and networking
- No content schedule or long-term goals
- They gave up too soon
The Number One Rule: Content Is Always King!
Never forget that you’re writing for real people with feelings, emotions, thoughts, and expectations. Don’t treat them like cash-grab opportunities. And, especially don’t treat them like idiots. They know an affiliate link when they see one (and there’s a special place in hell for bloggers that recommend crap product for a commission).
So, how do you avoid this pitfall? You need money, sure. But, also, you don’t want to come across as a businessman (eww). The solution is simple. Always, always, always put your content first. That means write interesting and engaging stories, share amazing photos, and engage with your audience. Don’t spend all your time signing up to hundreds of affiliate sites when you only have a dozen people reading your blog. First, get people excited, which brings us to rule number dos.
Rule Number Two: Aim For 1000 True Fans
And no, I don’t mean 1000 Facebook followers or Instagram followers. A true fan is someone that will buy anything you produce. Whether it’s an eBook, jumper, or a really obvious product promotion, they’ll buy it.
Most people are pleasantly surprised when they hear 1000 true fans is all it takes to live off your blog. It’s not millions or tens of thousands of fans. You don’t have to be number one on trending or featured in the BBC. Just 1000. Pretty doable, right? Here’s the breakdown: if you can earn $50 from each true fan every year, that’s $50,000 in a year. You’re ballin’. Even $25 from each fan will pocket you $25,00, that’s more than enough for most frugal travelers (Thailand here I come).
And the best thing is, once you reach 1000, your true fan base grows exponentially. At 1000, your brand has social proof and validation, you get referrals from people talking about you to their friends. It starts to grow by itself. The hardest part, is getting started.
So, how do I get 1000 True Fans?
It’s a lot like gardening. It takes a lot of time and effort to turn peoples seed of interest into a well-rooted fan. First, write killer content. This will get people noticing. Second, show some personality (slay, queen!). People come for the content but stay for the friendship. So, who are you and how are you going to let that shine through your blogs? I like using brackets to express my inner dialogue (duh) and I go out of my way to say the cringiest puns. Others, celebrate their ethnicity or gender. Do what works for you.
Once your personality is shining through, the next step is to keep them coming back for more. You need to start an email list. Social media only shows your content to a small percentage of your followers, but an email list places the distribution of content in your hands. You’re in control.
Final Step: Profit!!!