Let’s cut to the chase: We all want making money blogging from our blogs.
During consulting sessions with bloggers it’s one of the first items we discuss. Everyone has seen the success stories, and we’d all love to be the next blogging superstar and making money blogging. But how?
When my clients ask how they can make money, I pause the conversation there and change directions. The conversation goes something like this.
Me: “So you’d like to earn money blogging?”
Client: “Yes, but I don’t know how.”
Me: “If you want to earn money for your efforts, you have to provide people with something, right?”
Client: “Yeah, sure.”
Me: “So I ask you, what do you provide to your readers that is so valuable?”
The conversation usually stops dead here.
I suggest that the client takes a day or two to ponder that question. Sometimes they come back with a solid idea, and we can build from there. Other times, though, they come back stumped. They’ll ask, “What do readers find valuable?” There’s a good answer to that, and it constitutes my one rule for making money from a blog.
You have to teach them something.
If you’re just re-blogging the news, or blogging your opinion on current events, you’re not teaching the reader much of anything. There’s an old saying about how everyone has opinions and how they all stink. That applies to bloggers, though you wouldn’t know it by the number of opinion-based blogs out there.
To stand out in the blogging world today, you have to be remarkable. That’s sad for opinion bloggers, because opinions are not remarkable. If you want an opinion on any subject, from the latest political news to the hot new gadget release, you can find it on any number of websites. Dozens of writers race to post updates to blogs, hoping that if they post first that readers will find them. But it’s just a shell game. There is no winner when blogging opinions.
If you ignore that rat race and focus on how you can become valuable to readers, then you might be onto something. And you might find not just one way, but many ways to make money from your blog. When you teach people something new, all sorts of opportunities start appearing.
Of course, after I tell clients about teaching through blogging, they always have a follow-up question: How can I teach people with my blog?. Here is my three-part answer.
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How Can I teach people with blog & make money?
OK, So How can I teach people with my blog and start making money blogging? Here is my three-part answer.
1. Start with something you know
With the internet as your guide, you can learn about almost anything. Even if you’ve never known a thing about home improvement projects, you can learn plenty from instructional texts and videos on the web. But if you want to teach readers how to do something, chances are you’ll need a bit more knowledge. They’re looking for something deep and real, and your understanding based on other home improvement blogs won’t cut it.
Start by blogging about one of your passions. If you know a lot about using the internet to save money when shopping, then start a blog about that. You might not know everything there is to know, but you sure know something. You can start blogging with that knowledge. Of course, that won’t always be enough. You have to be always learning, which brings me to Part 2.
2. Dig deep, then deeper
Picking a familiar topic will help at first, but eventually you’ll have to learn even more about your subject. Why? Because if you don’t you’ll run out of material. Using the above example, if you don’t learn more about saving money online, you’ll never be able to keep up and teach your readers something new. You’ll eventually have taught them everything you know, and from there what can you do?
This goes especially for high-tech subjects. I have a buddy who installs video surveillance equipment for businesses and residences. Take a look at that link and look at all the stuff listed just on the very first page. If he didn’t keep up with those products, he’d never be able to keep up. The same goes for you and your blog. Learn it all, and then learn more.
3. Connect with readers
This goes for any blog, but it bears repeating in this instance. So many bloggers I know neglect to respond to their comments and emails*. If you’re
ignoring those, then how are you getting a feel for what your readers like and don’t like? It’s through these reader connections that we can help our blogs go. Unsurprisingly, this holds true even more so for blogs that teach.
* I submitted a guest post a few months ago and forgot to reply to the comments. Ammar was not happy, and I don’t blame him. Every blogger needs to respond to comments, or else why blog in the first place?
When you connect with readers you can find out your weak points. Maybe you explain certain points in an unclear way. Maybe you use too many words to describe something that needs only a few words. Whatever the reasons, your readers are able and willing to point them out. If you learn from them, as they learn from you, you’ll see enormous growth.
Why teaching works?
So many blog posts I read start with theories but never explain them. We’re just supposed to believe that this works, because the author said so. So before wrapping up, I’d just like to outline how you can make more money with a teaching blog than almost any other type of blog.
- Advertisers like teaching blogs. When you teach people things, they often need to buy resources that they don’t already own. That’s a perfect opportunity for an advertiser to step in. Display ads from ad networks typically don’t pay much, but on blogs with a teaching angle you can earn a higher CPM.
- Articles that teach people something spread on social media. If I read an article and learn something from it, you can bet I’ll share it to Twitter and Facebook. If I learned something, then maybe others in my social graph will learn something. And if they learn something, they might pass it on to their social graph. If you want to create content that spreads, try teaching people something. It’s the best form of blogging.
- Affiliate sales rule. Teaching blogs are tailor-made for affiliate marketing opportunities. You’ll have to be up-front about it, but it can be a big money-maker on a teaching blog. If you link people to the tools and resources they need, they’ll be more apt to buy from you. That means an opportunity to make even more money blogging.
Starting a blog that teaches, like a DIY blog, is never easy. But if you put in the time and effort you’ll find it more rewarding than any other kind of blog. You’ll be helping people do things, and you’ll be rewarded with a modest income. If you play your cards right, maybe even a high income.
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