The Blogging Business Model
For years we’ve all heard about blogging and how it’s a great way to make a living online. However, very rarely do people explain exactly how blogs make their money.
So today I wanted to break down the blogging business model and how it should really be done. Starting with this image:
Fundamentally blogging can be broken down into three core components: driving traffic, creating community and generating income. You can’t just start a blog, start writing and expect to become an overnight millionaire via Google Adsense.
The model is simple, but it never fails. Building a successful blog is as simple as producing great content, driving traffic, retaining visitors, bringing them back often, building a tribe and monetizing it.
Ultimately your ability to make money with a blog will depend on the three steps. Each step is just as important as the other. Here is a break down:
1. Driving Traffic
Before you can start driving traffic to your blog, your blog needs to be worthy of traffic. That means it must be user friendly, attractive and full of useful information. Driving traffic can be broken down into 4 steps:
- Guest posting
- Social media
- Referral Traffic
- Search Engines
The easiest way to drive traffic to your blog is through guest posting. Guest posting is when you guest publish a blog post on another person’s blog. Guest posting puts you right in front of the exact readers you want for your blog. People who are reading blogs similar to your own. For a complete break down; read The Ultimate Guide To Excellent Guest Blogging.
To quickly grow your blog; you should guest post at least once a week. (Time required: 2 hours)
Next is social media. You can start by sharing your blog posts on your most active social networks. Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and LinkedIn are all good. Next display one or two social profiles on your blog so your readers can follow you. Lastly actively engage with your readers via social media. Build a presence. (Time required: 1 hour)
Referral traffic is traffic from other websites. To build up referral traffic, you can comment on other blogs, participate in forums, write articles for sites, encourage readers to share your content, link to it and more. (Time required: 2 hours)
Search engines are the ultimate traffic source. To start generating search engine traffic; you need to optimize your blog posts to rank for keywords.
To learn about on-page SEO; read The Ultimate On Page SEO Checklist. Next read 4 Stupidly Simple Link Building Techniques For 2012. (Time required: 2 hours)
For as little work as 7 hours a week, you can start seeing rapid growth.
2. Creating Community
Community is arguably the most important component to a highly successful blog. Why is creating a community so important? Well, when you have a community of people who know, like and trust you; you can sell anything to them.
That doesn’t mean you can manufacture some garbage product once a month to launch out to the suckers who trust you. It means you can create a valuable product that your community will happily purchase from you and thank you for. A product that makes your community trust you even more and respect you.
How do you build community?
You build community by building an email list and encouraging readers to return regularly. You can build community by installing a forum, encouraging readers to communicate with each other and start discussions. If you want to build a community fast, build a list of loyal readers who actively engage with your content.
It’s that simple. For more community building information, read How To Build A Community And Get More Blog Traffic.
3. Generating An Income
Generating an income is really the easy part. Driving traffic is pretty basic. It requires hard work, patience, a lot of time and often money. Building a community is far more difficult; gaining trust. Once you have your reader’s trust; you can sell them anything. It’s as simple as creating an information product, having a sales page written and putting it online.
You can monetize your blog via sponsored ads, Adsense, Amazon, affiliate products, the list goes on. But if you really get it right, if you really build a community…
…you have one obvious choice, and that’s to create your own product. Monetizing via advertising and affiliate links is for rookies. Only use those means of monetization when you struggle to gain trust.
While affiliate marketing works and is an essential piece of the online marketing puzzle; creating your own product provides you with far more control and leverage. Plus, your income will be limitless.
P.S. Leave me your thoughts, comments and questions below. Also opt-in to the email list on the right for more blogging tips, tricks and secrets.