Yesterday Darren Rowse wondered if the only bloggers who were earning a living from their own blogs were “make money online” bloggers. To be honest, I used to wonder the same thing myself. As the owner of a network of niche blogs, I can tell you it’s very difficult to monetize this network with advertising. Unless you’re selling courses or ebooks, it’s not so simple to earn money with a writing blog.
Freelance writers don’t have a lot of disposable income. They don’t reach into their pockets to buy impulsively. Private advertisers want their ads on high profile blogs and most freelance writing blogs aren’t high profile. I’d be lying to say the first couple of years trying to monetize this blog weren’t frustrating.
Two Things Every Profitable Blog MUST Have
After two years, FWJ began bringing in about a thousand dollars a month. Not too bad, right? The problem is, I was looking to earn a full time income. I knew that wouldn’t happen without two things:
At the first BlogWorld I went to Jim Kukral‘s session about making money with blogs and he said something I never forgot. If you blog ten pages of content and use a click-based form of revenue such as Adsense, and each page earns ten cents per day, you’ll earn about $30 at the end of the month. If you put up 100 pages of content and each earns ten cents per day, you’ll earn about $300 at the end of each month. If you put up 1,000 pages of content and each page earns ten cents per day, you can earn $3,000 at the end of the month, and so on and so forth. Put up 4,000 pages of content, and you’re a six figure blogger.
Of course, those numbers mean nothing if no one visits my blog. So Instead of monetization, I focused on content and traffic.
As soon as I began putting a full time effort into this blog (and blog network) it took off. My challenge wasn’t only to post content, I had to post good, relevant content…the kind that makes people want to come back for more. I love talking about writing, but it’s hard to write about the same thing every day for five years without sounding redundant. No one wants to read crap.
I read every comment posted here. I ask questions. I take it to Twitter. I learn what interests you the most, I read news and other blogs related to freelance writing, and I do my best to stay current so I can always remain relevant. I talk about the things YOU want to talk about and the things on my mind…and it works. As I posted more content my page views, traffic and yes, revenue began to rise. I hired other bloggers to write on even nichier freelance writing related topics, and turned this blog into a network in order provide even more good content to the freelance writing community. All that work is paying off.
Traffic is more of a challenge now than it was five years ago. At that time, I was only one of a very small handful of bloggers who rocked the writing niche. Nowadays there are dozens, if not hundreds, of freelance writing blogs on the web. Let me rephrase that, there are dozens of really GOOD writing blogs out there.
Thankfully my hard work paid off. I’m able to bring thousands of visitors each day, but I have to stay on my game. In addition to continuing to post content each day, I spend a couple of hours a day visiting blogs and the various social networks to continue to build relationships with freelance writers. I also analyze my traffic stats each day to learn what’s bringing you here and what’s driving you away. Traffic is enjoying a steady rise.
In the past year my profit has grown, so much so that I don’t need to take on any writing, blogging or social media clients if I choose not to. After I built up a loyal community, I learned their wants and needs. I analyzed their demographics. I experimented with different types of ads and learned this community were more clickers than buyers. Affiliate advertising doesn’t always do well at this network but click based advertising is being very good to me. Still, a girl can’t live on Google alone. I began to reach out to private advertisers, and they began to reach out to me. I now enjoy a profitable mix of affiliates, clicky ads and private clients. Adsense, my second highest earner, looks to break $1000 for the first time ever this month.
It’s been said by a few freelance writing bloggers that I can’t care about my community and still want to earn money with my blog, but I disagree. I can absolutely do both. I mean, why not earn money talking about what I love each day? If I didn’t care about my community, would I be doing this for five years? Why does it have to be selling out to earn from blogging? Why does money automatically disqualify a blogger from caring or offering good content?
You can be a niche blogger and earn good money
“Make Money Online” bloggers aren’t the only ones who can earn a living from their blogs. I may not pull in as much as John Chow or ShoeMoney each month, but I can support myself on this blog’s earnings — even after I pay the other bloggers and technical person who help to keep this place going.
I learned that to make it blogging for myself, I can’t rely on anyone else to get it done for me. I have to work at it every day, even if it takes years. Profitable blogging doesn’t happen overnight. Sometimes it takes five years. Are you patient enough to wait it out?
The other day I realized that I can stop blogging today and this network will still continue to earn enough for me to draw a salary and pay the other bloggers. Perseverance definitely pays off.
Still think you can’t monetize your niche?
What questions do you have regarding blogging and earning money?