I suck. I know.
My templates change as much as my mood. One day, I’m sporting a black background template with some favorite quote as my blog tagline and the next day I feel more emo. Thus my rainbow-patterned blog background now sports a red-heart graphics for the header and the latest post would detail how I got hacked at Ragnarok Online.
Then I created a new blog and then another and soon I had enough of creating new blogs to manage that I decided to stick to one site (this) for my personal portfolio and the only one I frequently update (monthly is frequent, right?).
Traffic is everything if you use your blog to convert. And being an owner of an outsourced social media marketing team, it makes me cry (inside) when I do all these myself. As a blogger, I understand that there are reasons why I am not earning through my blog – either through ads or through referrals.
So, if you REALLY want to earn from your blog, take note of these 5 reasons that might be true for you.
Reason 1 – Too Cool to Campaign
What you’re a blogger? I didn’t know that.
If you can think of one person on your online network that does not know that fact. Stop reading. Visit his profile, send him a message and invite him to your blog. (And of course, finish reading this. ) Your close circle of friends can be your first blog readers and subscribers. It’s either you have not put out the word enough or you rarely mention your blog to them.
Want an example?
This was what happened to one of the nicer blogs that I subscribe to. The blogger really knows how to write good content but something is holding him back.
With the popularity of the Azkals soccer team came the surge of people who now openly declare that they are soccer fans long before Azkals became known. His blog posts suddenly transformed from daily humdrums to lavish declaration of love for soccer. Same for cosplay fans.
If you are fan of soccer, let the people know. Integrate it in your posts. Post it as your status message, invite your friends to watch a game. Don’t forget to send it to bookmarking sites. Launch promotions. Create soccer-themed contests to encourage non-readers to your blog. You can use a free pass to a major game to invite people to your blog too.
Don’t think you are too cool to campaign. Marketing is important.
Reason 2 – Dissatisfying Your Readers
So you are already campaigning and putting the word out about you and your blog.
Well, do you write how-tos or list type of articles on your blog?
Notice that most type of articles on social bookmarking sites include articles of this type. Applying it to your own blog would help generate interest for your content and your blog. Aside from such, it easily gets shared to other readers.
If you are already creating articles like these, you might already be aware of using pillar content to retain the interest of your readers. It might be time for you to know how to do it (if you are not yet doing such).
Pillar Content. Flagship Content. Cornerstone content.
As quoted from Copyblogger,
The first goal of cornerstone content is usefulness and relevancy to the website visitor, no matter how they arrive. The second goal is to make that content so compelling and comprehensive that people are willing—no, make that excited—to link to it.
Keep traffic high by feeding your readers with valuable content.
Reason 3 – Ignoring Your Tribe
Nobody wants to join a group and feel like they don’t belong. So when you feel like you are getting out of place as a reader, you normally tend to forget about the group. Or tribe as Seth Godin loves to call it.
There can only be one tribe leader on your personal blog. And that should be you. Therefore, asking people to follow you is giving them benefits of joining in. You have to know how to keep them coming back to your blog.
Some tips for building a tribe:
- Share stories. Use them to build bonds and strengthen ties between tribe members.
- Be the Example. Walk the walk and talk the talk…people only follow those who take their own advice and show they mean what they say.
- Create a goal. Define something people want to rally around achieving.
- Celebrate Accomplishment. Reward tribal milestones or goals reached, whether collective or that of a tribal individual, with shared praise and/or a small physical gift of appreciation.
- Build the Story of the Tribe. Set the Vision. Define the tribe’s journey, goals, interactions, future, and how teamwork will get them where they want to go in a story that epitomizes what the tribe is about. Weave every person, skill, and resource into the story.
Build your blog community.
Reason 4 – Acting That It’s Not Cool to Earn
There is nothing wrong with accepting paid posts. As long as it is fully disclosed, that is.
Bloggers get pitches and invites from PR agencies. Some actually receive emails for text link placements and ads on their blogs. But a blogger that I know actually said that he is already satisfied with just blogging because it is “just a hobby”. Does that mean he turns down the above calls from agencies?
It is interesting enough as a topic and I have mentioned it on my previous post about how Creativity and business don’t mix. “No ugly ads for my pretty blog!” may be the mantra some bloggers follow.
Hobbyists occupy the most spot on Technorati’s State of the Blogosphere for 2010 for those blogging just to speak their minds in areas of interest. Very much understandable. In my opinion, it starts with a hobby. Is it wrong to earn from it?
Alodia also started cosplaying as hobby. Now she is raking in endorsements and invitations to prestigious events. Why not gain the same exposure for your blog?
Don’t be ashamed of growth.
Reason 5 – Skimping on Investments
When it comes to blogging, some people skimp on paying for stuff and tools to use to make their blogs more profitable. And just because social media is mostly free does not mean that there is no monetary investment or time investment on your part as a blogger. You need it badly.
A short list of things to invest in:
- Invest in information products.
- Invest in your network.
- Invest in business cards to give out on events.
- Invest in books.
- Invest in a good theme. Try Thesis if you are running WordPress.
- Invest in running ads for your blog.
- And, please, invest in your hosting provider.
I have just leveled up with a certification from Ateneo-DigitalFilipino through the Certified Blog Entrepreneur Program. Anyone who wants to earn from blogging or wants to learn how to manage marketing campaigns should check that one out. Highly recommended. So much to learn on how to gain income from blogging and offering services.
Invest in yourself and your tools to become a better blogger.