Blogging offers the promise of easy money, meeting lots of people, being offered free products, and all whilst sitting in your pyjamas at home on a Sunday morning. In practice, many find it’s a daunting and chore-like exercise in futility and frustration. If you’re asking how to earn money from home by blogging than there are basic things to think about first.
It can be easy to lose heart when you feel you can’t crack into it, whilst ‘big’ bloggers smugly write articles (that you could do better!) on popular websites about their great lives time after time.
So right now I’m going to break it down to the basics, in the spirit of Keeping It Stupidly Simple and giving you something grasp if you’re thinking about just starting to get into, or on the verge of getting out of, blogging.
You need traffic.
There is simply no way to to earn money from home by blogging without people visiting your site. It doesn’t matter what income streams you have working for you on your website, if there is no one reading your stuff, then it’s all for nothing.
There are many ways you can get traffic to your site, but a great way to build some trust and engage your target market is by creating blogs and getting them published on other websites. If you can get your blog published on other platforms, they will usually have an “about the author” section and/or a link to your website. Which means anyone reading what you have written has a direct path to find out more about you and read all the fabulous content you’ve put up on your own blog. Instant traffic.
Good websites – how to be sure?
This is the first stumbling block for most would-be bloggers – the definition of a ‘good’ website. There are sites out there which will publish your article regardless of what it is, this isn’t good. It doesn’t look good for your profile and doesn’t get you anywhere. Likewise, going for sites that are the biggest in their field is a waste of time. Don’t worry though, the big sites will come when you have a reputation.
It can take time, and some trial-and-error to figure out the difference between the good sites and the bad, but knowing the sweet spot between a site that is good enough to bolster your profile, but not too big to accept your article, is a skill that every blogger needs. You also need to know what people you are trying to attract to your own website. Make sure you know who your target market is and that they are going to be looking at the website you want to publish on. There is no point writing an article for a parenting website if you are a blog about travelling while single.
So when you find one, how do you get them to publish your article?
2. Outreach- How To Get To Them?
Good outreach is the most important aspect of guest blogging in that you can get anywhere with it, and nowhere without it. You could be the best writer in the world, or have a portfolio of top-quality articles on superb sites, but without a good opening gambit you will be glossed over and dismissed (as with so many things in life!).
In my experience, the best outreach emails differentiate themselves, are concise, and virtually demand a response from the reader. The first way towards this is looking at the DON’TS rather than the DOS. Try to be different than this. Please!
Don’t write ‘guest post offer’ or any variation of it as a subject – it marks your email immediately as unoriginal.
Don’t try to impress with long words, complicated phrases, and over-politeness – people can tell if you’re a good writer; they can also tell if you’re straining too hard to try and sound like one.
Don’t kiss ass – this doesn’t even need explanation.
Don’t take too long to explain yourself, or your idea – whilst you may have a long list of great attributes, and an article idea that is interestingly complex, a lot of people simply won’t read your email if it’s a wall of text.
Don’t just generically put the website into a cut and paste email. Do some research on the site before writing and try and personalise why you would fit into their writing. You also run the risk of not changing everything you need to in the email you’ve just pasted from the last 5 people you sent it to and you can’t come back from having the wrong website or company name listed in your email. (And I’ve had many emails telling me how great this website is to only have a different one listing later on – not very professional).
Be brief, be unique, and end your email with something interesting. A nicely phrased P.S. can be a great way to do this.
Writing is the essence of blogging. The internet is full of wannabe writers, and the most valued bloggers are those with a distinct voice, a diligent work attitude, and an understanding of their readership. Becoming a good writer doesn’t happen overnight, it’s a continuous process, so always be learning and improving. First thing you need is to check that blog. For example, I’m going to use a pretty hard example: a lawyers website. When you go to that blog, you’ll see that they publish information about their company, and write about things related to cars (because they cover motor injuries). Find out what area they are in (Queensland) as services businesses will be more locally focused. You can then go to Google news, see what’s trending in that area or about that subject and pitch a topic.
This is a strategy for a small blog with few posts, now we are going to take a bigger one – Virgin.
Bigger websites and blogs have a much wider audience and can tend to have more variety in content. Here you will have to find out exactly the OPPOSITE as above. You need to find out what isn’t written on their blog, but is discussed or would fit in with their niche and pitch a topic. For example a quick way to find out questions people are asking about travelling to pitch to an airlines blog is by typing “flying yahoo answers” or “travelling yahoo answers” to get the info on what people need answering and write about that.
4. Make Money
A lot of bloggers focus on their writing and sites within a certain field, but the real money comes when you begin to contact companies with blogs. Many of these companies have blogs, but not the writers to fill them with content. By getting in touch with these kinds of companies and offering services you can begin to get a foothold in blogging full time, and hopefully start turning your passion into cash.
5. Have Faith
Blogging takes time, effort, and a little bit of luck. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get responses at first, things can easily come in fits and spurts when blogging. Especially when starting, it pays to have faith that the offers will come and not to sell yourself short. Believing in yourself will make others believe in you too, so don’t get desperate or disappointed. Start blogging.