What’s the most important part in building a blog online and having success?
If you asked every blogger this question they will have a slightly different answer but the most important aspect of a successful blog for me is my audience – and more specifically my email list of subscribers who will read my blog again and again. If I can keep my email subscribers happy and provide them the products or information they want then I am on the path to a successful blog.
What’s the best way to monetize a blog?
There are numerous ways to monetize a blog, but it will all come down to what is best for you and your readers.
For example selling your own products whether that’s software, information courses or even an ecommerce store – while this can be highly profitable you have to factor in customer queries, complaints and perhaps storing stock.
You could offer consulting or a service such as freelance writing however that’s not a scalable way to build a business as you are limited to the number of hours you can work each day.
AdSense is a waste of time unless you plan to build a blog that generates millions of page views per month. Most people don’t have the time or energy to produce the volumes of content to build a blog like that.
Affiliate Marketing is one of my favourite blog money making strategies as it means that I do not have to deal with customers, I do not have to create new products or innovate my products to be better than competition. The only downside is that you are at the mercy of the product owner so make sure that you are not reliant on one product as your income source otherwise you might lose a lot of money if the product is removed from sale or your commissions are reduced.
Tell us about your most successful blog or website you’ve grown
Unfortunately I cannot share the name or URL of my latest blog sale as it was part of a confidentiality clause. However I am happy to share the niche it was in and some of my strategies that are transferrable.
My biggest sale to date was via a broker for a little less than $450,000 and it was for my blog in the Survival/Preparedness niche. I spent about 20 hours per week for a little over two years building up the blog. Initially I managed the whole website so content, email list, finding affiliate offers etc.
Once the blog was making some money I began to outsource different elements such as article research or scheduling social media posts to a team of virtual assistants so that I could focus on the tasks that added value to the site such as content strategy, negotiating better offers with affiliate managers or building relationships with other bloggers in that niche to help amplify my content.
As soon as I began to get more people involved in taking some of the low value tasks off my hands I was able to really begin to grow my blog’s revenue and subscribers exponentially. To monetize the blog I used a combination of my own paid guides and courses as well as affiliate offers for items such as knives and axes.
Right now I am starting a whole new blog to help teach people all of the things I have learnt over the past few years.
How long does it typically take to build a successful blog, and how do you suggest someone gets into affiliate marketing while blogging?
I think that all depends upon your own personal goals. For example if you want to run a blog that will bring in an extra $1000 per month so that you can afford a few treats every now and again, or a blog that will bring in $5000 per month so you can quit your day job and live anywhere in the world or perhaps you want to make a blog you can sell for $2 million
All of these can be achieved in a relatively short space of time if you treat your blog as business and not some where you write about what food youate for dinner and what your favourite episode of Family Guy was. As a rule of thumb you should be trying to make about $1 per month from each subscriber so if you can grow an email list of over 1000 people you should be able to make about $1000 per month if you promote the right products to them.
The best way to get in to affiliate marketing is to understand your audience, what are their goals or problems and look for products that will help them. For example if you have a pet blog and your readers are looking for a pet food that will help maintain their pet’s weight have a look around for products or suppliers which have an affiliate offer. If you are really struggling to find an affiliate offer start out with something like Amazon Associates even though they have quite low commission rates you can pretty much find books, DVDs and physical products that can help your readers.
If you could leave our readers with one last piece of business advice, what would it be?
My biggest piece of business advice is to make sure that you hire help as soon as you can afford to do so. If you spend too much time working in your business rather than on it you will not grow as fast as you would like to.
There are lots of VA’s out there who will happily take some of those mundane admin tasks off your shoulders so that you can relax and begin to do more of the things that make money.