Many people dream of blogging for profit, and this goal
is not far beyond the reach of someone with average
intelligence, a willingness to work hard, and a basic
grasp of blogging technology. However, very few
people manage to reap the profits they want from their
blog. Most people who attempt to make money with
their blogs do not succeed for two reasons. Often,
bloggers have unrealistic expectations of how fast their
readership will grow and how much money they will
make, and when these expectations are not met the
disappointment can crush the desire to continue
blogging. The other trap that many bloggers fall into
has to do with lack of planning. If you want to turn a
profit as a blogger, the key to success is to make a
realistic plan and stick with it.
To succeed at blogging for profit, the main thing that
you will need is a large readership. The higher your
traffic, the more advertisers will agree to pay you.
However, cultivating the regular visitors that you will
need in order to make a profit isnt easy. As more and
more blogs appear each day, having a great idea or a
wonderful writing style is no longer enough to get
attention. You need to be able to market your blog
Too many bloggers spend all of their time writing posts
and almost no time marketing their project. To be
certain, updating as often as you can is a great way to
keep your blog high on blogrolls and high in blog
search engines like technorati, and once your readers
know that you update frequently they will return to your
site on a regular basis. However, it does not matter how
often you update if nobody is reading your page, so dont
skimp on the time that you spend drawing visitors to
your site. To make your dreams of blogging for profit a
reality, try decreasing your number of posts and using
some of that time to draw new visitors by setting up
link exchanges with other bloggers, making contacts in
the blog community, and following other established
modes of winning traffic.
Of course, even if you are a marketing genius or have a
really great idea for a blog, success is not going to
happen overnight. Building the kind of readership that
blogging for profit requires takes time, and in all
likelihood it will be at least several months before you
are able to turn much of a profit. Try to stay committed
to your blogging project during this initial rough period.
To stay motivated, set goals for how often you will
update and how many readers you want to attract, and
then reward yourself for sticking with your plan.
There are two kinds of lists you can build with a blog:
1.Email subscribers (Old school, more work)
2.RSS subscribers (New school, hardly any work at all!)
We'll cover both below and even show you how to put your emails subscribers on automatic followup by subscribing them to your blog's feed!
What is an Opt-in List? (old school)
An opt-in list is a collection of email addresses you gather from people who agree to receive email messages from you.
“Double opt-in” has become the standard type of signup for agreeing to receive emails.
In the double opt-in process, a person fills out your online signup form with her email address. She then receives an automatic email message asking her to click on a link if she agrees to receive emails from you. Since she must complete these two actions to sign up for emails from you, it's called a double opt-in.
The double opt-in process is designed to protect publishers from being accused of sending spam.
Benefits of Having Your Own List of Targeted Customers
One of the goals for your website is to have repeat visitors.
A great way to get people to come back is to gather the email addresses of your targeted visitors, and remind them of your site and its wonderful content through a series of emails and / or a regular ezine.
You can also announce your newest products (ebooks, etc.) to your opt-in subscriber list, and occasionally promote other people's related products that earn you a commission.
What is AWEBER?
AWEBER is an online service that enables publishers to capture visitor sign ups, and then send out ezines and followup autoresponder* messages. It's an important marketing tool for your online business.
Get Set up with AWEBER
Go to http://www.aweber.com and sign up for their service.
Watch the AWEBER Setup video for more information.
*What is an Autoresponder?
An autoresponder is an automatic email message. It can be a single message or series of messages.
You’ll need an autoresponder system that automates the process of sending out your email messages to subscribers, an opt-in (sign-up) form on your site that enables visitors to subscribe, and content-rich email messages that will be sent automatically on a designated schedule.
It's an important marketing tool for publishers.
What is an Ezine?
An ezine is an email newsletter that's sent to people who have subscribed via your opt-in form to receive it. This would be what you run through your AWEBER account.
It can be a very successful tool for communicating with your customers, building a relationship with your visitors, branding yourself and your site, increasing your traffic, launching your own products, profiting from affiliate products, and more.
What Makes an Ezine Successful?
You probably subscribe to at least a few ezines from other publishers.
You've probably also quickly unsubscribed from several ezines.
What makes you stick with some ezines but drop others like a hot potato?
The ezines we stay with tend to be ones that provide useful new content and resources. We drop the ones that are nothing but sales pitches or canned / regurgitated content.
And that's the key to a successful ezine: Provide original, useful content - and preferrably, provide a lot of it for free. Always give (in the form of free, useful content) before you take (in the form of recommending a useful product or service the reader has to pay for).
Make sure some of the messages you send to your list contain no monetization at all - simply drop a line to share some valuable information for free. That's what makes you a trusted, indispensible resource for people in your niche.
Based on your research and your ongoing efforts to tune in to the conversation of your niche - what original, valuable content would your subscribers love to receive? What format would they prefer?
Adding an Opt-In Form to Your WPM Blog
(The following instructions for putting the opt-in form code on your site are based on using A Weber. If you’ve chosen a different autoresponder system, you’ll need to modify them appropriately, based on instructions provided by your system.)
From within AWeber, click on the Leads tab in the top navigation menu.
Click on Web Form Generator
Click on Create new web form
Fill in the form:
1. Form Name – whatever you want to call it; no one else will see this)
2. Type – select In-Line.
3. Background color – leave this blank if you want, or pick a color to go with your site.
4. Headline – Enter the text you want shown just above the form.
5. Input Fields – select Email Text, Name Text
6. Submit Button Caption – enter something more interesting than “submit” (i.e., “Begin Free E-Class”)
7. Thank You Page – enter the URL of your home page (or a different page of your choice)
8. Use New Window – do NOT check this
9. Forward Variables – do NOT check this
10. Ad Tracking – Leave blank
11. Message Number – select (Default) 1 autoresponse
12. Dimensions – Leave as is
Click on Save. A new page will come up that says Success: your web form has been saved.
Click on Get HTML (in the one-row table under Web Forms). A new window will open.
Copy the HTML Code in the botton box of the HTML code window.
Go to your WPM site administration page.
Click on the Presentation tab
Click on Widgets
Select and Drag a New Text Widget up to your Sidebar. Open the text widget and enter the html code from aweber into the text widget and save it.
Instructions below are for the older sites that do not use widgets
1. Open your FTP program
2. Go to /public_html/wp-content/themes/ (and the theme format you’ve chosen, such as contentdesk-2-col-right)
3. Select the sidebar.php file and open Properties
4. Change permissions to 777 (select Read, Write, Execute options if using SmartFTP)
5. Click OK
6. Go back to WPM
Decide where on your blog’s sidebar you want your Opt-In form to show (it should be at the top; in this example, we’ll place it right under the Translator image).
Paste the java script code you copied from AWeber into the appropriate place within your sidebar code. For our example, under Translator, insert it right after these 2 lines:
Click on Update File to save.
View Site to see how it looks.
Remember to go back and reset the permissions of your Sidebar file to 644 via your FTP program.
How Can You Encourage People to Sign Up?
One very successful method for increasing signups via your opt-in form is to offer a free gift that has value to the people you're targeting.
Typically this is in the form of a special report, an e-course, access to videos or audio, etc.
The Keys to a Successful Subscriber Gift
•Make sure that anyone who signs up via your opt-in form receives this free gift immediately.
Make sure your free gift is useful, valuable, and very high quality. A junky gift makes people feel ripped off (and isn't a very good sneak-preview of what they'll receive from you in the future!), and they'll unsubscribe immediately.
Building an RSS Subscriber Base
This is really where its at these days. All I have to do is have people subscribe to my blog and updates to the blog are automatically sent to my subscribers via their feed reader or via email.
Go to the Friday Traffic Report and notice that I allow people both subscription options. People who click on the RSS buttons can get an array of major feed readers to add my feed to. People who simply drop their email address get my blog emailed to them every so many days with the latest posts.
Presto! I don't have to write a newsletter! I can mail them any time I want, but when I don't want to or can't, my blog will send them the latest posts on a schedule I can control.
This is done through Feedburner and is a program called "Feedblitz." Just follow the instructions there to get set up with a little form you can put in your sidebar to allow emails subscribers.
Set up your template for mailings (your header, ads, anything you want to surround your latest entries in the emails that go out) and you have an automated system of keeping in touch with your readers!
Not that AWEBER is a bad choice. Some people prefer it and it also sends out your RSS feed to readers just like Feedblitz. I just perfer Feedblitz for simplicity and the fact that I don't often mail my subscribers outside the updates on the blog.
Use what suits you best!
Yesterday was a restful day out with my wife all day - shopping, going to cinemas, drinking coffee, reading the newspapers.
Yet I ALWAYS have an eye out for an opportunity!
Where I am, we have "Jumble Sales". Not sure what they are called where you are but basically just a load of people's unwanted junk. Usually they are run by a church group and sometimes by a women's group / child and toddler group / scout group.
But the thing is - everything is CHEAP!
Well, there are all sorts of things - clothes, jewelry, shoes, cups, vases, DVD players etc etc.
I IGNORE EVERYTHING and concentrate only on the ..... BOOKS
Books are amazing. First of all, we all love a good read. But secondly, at jumble sales they are 30 cents or so. Dirt cheap! Some of them are large volumes. The church are happy just to offload the junk and get a few pennies. Most people are happy just to get a novel or two.
I avoid novels like the plague. I stick to anything that can help my business. So, at these places, there are ALWAYS business related books - one minute manager, leadership, time management, interview techniques, old classics of the business world etc etc. And NOBODY wants to buy them. They are all clamoring for the romance and crime novels. I just take my pick of the business gems.
Yesterday I bought five books. Some were trash I admit. But I got Jack Trout's book which will be a great inspiration.
However, I also got a couple of business books and I will use these for a product or free report. You only need to find ONE nugget when reading and you have something valuable. Just put it into your own words. Use the free speech recognition software that comes with Vista and you will have a product in no time.
What I will likely do is produce a couple of blog posts and probably a couple of 5 minute audios to put on my blog. People love free stuff so you could make a few audios and speak like an expert to give a way as a lead generator. or do a Camtasia screencast using words and diagrams from these books. You don't have to copy exactly.
So, a restful day, but a highly productive one and all for a few dollars in total.
This is about getting started. Taking that first step. It is so easy to moan about our lives and complain that things aren’t how we want them to be. We all do it. We all have done it! So how can we break out of that moaning habit and turn it into a doing one? Making the decision to do something is the first step – but taking action is the most important one. So you get it wrong. It can happen. What do you do? Do you lay there on the ground feeling sorry for yourself while life carries on around you, or do you pick yourself up, dust yourself down and do something else? Come on! Get going! Be a doer! From now on do something new that will move you forward to achieve the life you want! And whatever you do, do it with enthusiasm, with gusto and with commitment!
Do Something to move you towards your goals. Do the things you want to achieve seem too big or too far off in the future? Each goal can be broken down into little steps which will lead you to your dream. Is what you do each day helping you to achieve your goals? Ask yourself ‘what small thing (or big thing, if you like) can I do today that will move me towards achieving my goal?’ Then do it!
Do Something today that you’ve been putting off for a while. It’s that dreaded word – procrastination! Some of the things you put off do need some preparation, but others could be started straight away, if you put your mind to it. Decide that this is the day to get going on that list of things that has been weighing you down for so long. Large tasks can be broken down into smaller ones, and those that can be completed in minutes will be completed in minutes – if you only just start them!
Do Something for yourself. Enjoy your life now. Don’t wait for some far-off time when conditions may be right to start making the most of the life you have. Your time is precious. Make every second of it count. What do you enjoy doing? Do you make time to do it? Who do you like being with? Do you spend time with them? Do you speak to them and tell them how much they matter to you?
Do Something active every day. It doesn’t have to be formal exercise, just something that gets your body moving. Take the stairs instead of the lift, go out for a walk in your lunch break, and dance to the radio as you make your tea in the morning. Adding that extra bit of activity will make a great difference to you mentally and physically.
Do Something because you want to, not because you have to. Doing something that you don’t want to do, but feel you ought to, will make you feel more stressed, disgruntled and resentful. Be clear, to yourself, and the people you interact with, about what you are, and are not, prepared to do. Don’t get into a fight about it, but be assertive and clearly state your position. Most people will respect you for it.
Do Something new every day. Listen to a different radio station, join a new club, sign up for a new course or start a new book. Routine can make our lives simpler, but too much routine can numb our brain. Adding something new everyday keeps you stimulated. It doesn’t have to be anything major. Trying a new type of coffee would count!
Do Something Creative every week. Doodling, gardening, painting, crafts, working with fabrics, even cooking something you’ve never attempted before. Write a poem, a short story or even a letter to someone you’ve been thinking about. This will keep your creative juices flowing and keep your brain limbered up, whilst giving you satisfaction at having produced something for yourself.
Do Something for nothing. This is really doing something for someone else and not expecting any reward or return, just doing it because you can and it makes a difference. Enough said.
Do enjoy this quote.
‘It is essential to our well-being, and to our lives, that we play and enjoy life. Every single day do something that makes your heart sing.’ -- Wieder Marcia
Just remember, if you're feeling flat, even if it’s only a little thing, do something!
1. Find ONE STRATEGY, formula or whatever that can bring in money.
Many people do two things wrong. First, they choose the wrong product or service. In doing so, the believe that THEY know what is best and what people will buy. This is often coupled with and new idea that they wish to promote. However, it is always best to go where you know people are buying. Customers buy when they want something - it is possible that YOU may have what they want when they visit you and your new idea, but it is more likely that you won't. So, stick to tried-and-trusted methods and products.
The second thing is that people flip from one method to another and before you know it they have lost faith in all methods as there has been no return. Then it's on to the next big idea (often coupled with the purchase of some high end product from a guru who preys on selling the latest methods to unsuspecting newbies). Decide WHAT type of marketing you are going to do and put all your energy into it - affiliate marketing? PPC marketing? developing own products? e-commerce sites etc.
I did all of these mistakes- BIG TIME. I made nothing or next to nothing. Until I changed and now I concentrate on one or two narrow areas and now my income is a hundred times better.
2. BELIEVE IN YOURSELF - you can do this and produce REAL RESULTS.
YES! Because NONE OF THIS IS HARD and there is more than enough to go around for everyone. Yes, it takes time and commitment. But it doesn't take the brain of Einstein, otherwise I wouldn't be doing it. Selling, making blogs, websites, products, etc is easy. Take everything step by step. Sometimes you see these big guru types and think "I could never be like them". That is true! But there is no NEED to be like them. They have people and power behind them. Yet you could earn a GOOD living just by doing the basics. Check out affiliate marketing stuff by Rosalind Gardner. She has NO guru punch behind her and works from a room in her home with just a PC, camera, phone, printer and other basics. And the final result, she's now a millionaire.
3. TAKE ACTION AND FOCUS to work on step 1 every day for AT LEAST 30 DAYS, without any other distractions
We are all victims of distraction. Hell, THIS POST I am writing is a distraction. In the same time I have written this I could have written an article and posted to Go Articles or some other place, or got a link, or posted in an influential forum, or devised a web page etc. Doing this now and then is OK but most people lose focus and drift form forums to emails to TV then to chat then back to downloading the.... etc. the end result is that nothing EVER gets completed and dealt with.