While technology makes building a blog easier than ever these days, building a blog that gets read is another story. And unless you’re blogging just for grins and giggles, you definitely need readers -- lots of readers.
Make Money Blogging: How I Started to Get Consistent Traffic That Led to Four-Figure Ebook Sales
I first started blogging in 2005 – on blogger. It took me years to get to the point where I got consistent traffic that translated into measureable sales (eg, ebooks, e-classes). Nowadays, I earn in the mid-four figures per month in ebook and affiliate product sales from my blogs (I consistently update three).
The turning point for me in building my blog into a predictable traffic generator was looking to my readers. What I mean by this is, I started answering questions they sent in to me on the blog – instead of replying to readers who sent in questions individually.
If you decide to go this route, it will serve two purposes: (i) personalize your blog; and (ii) allow you to help more than just one person because you can be sure that if one reader of your blog asks a question, 9 times out of 10, more readers are wondering about the same thing.
By answering in a public format (ie, on your blog), you dispense helpful information to many – instead of one.
I. Look to Your Readers: So, this is the first thing you should do when you start building a blog – reach out to your readers and ask them to send in questions, comments and feedback.
If you’re new to blogging and don’t have an engaged audience yet, following are three more ways to get some ideas for blog posts . . .
II. Popular Blogs in Your Niche: Regularly visit popular blogs in your niche to see what they’re writing about. Obviously, don’t steal content, but see which posts are popular on their blog (eg, the ones with the most comments, the most reads, the most social media shares, etc.) and see if you can put your own spin on that topic.
III. Get Personal: As in, tell personal stories that your readers can learn from; these are really big with readers. FYI, you’ll find that recounting your failures is oftentimes a lot more popular with readers than success stories because almost everyone can relate to having a hard time reaching a goal. Also, "failure stories" make great “teachable” moments.
One of the most popular series I accidentally started writing as I went about building a blog was what I called my “ebook publishing failure story.” It detailed my quest to self-publish 50 ebooks on Amazon in one year. I wrote this series for six months detailing my ups, downs and frustrations. My blog's readers came back week after week wanting to know what happened.
IV. Create Series: Piggybacking on the last point, create a series of posts that detail a story from beginning to end. I’ve created several series on my blogs, in addition to the one above. Some have run for months on end, to a year or more, eg:
Make Money Blogging: 2 Popular Series I Created That Led to More Sales
Cold Calling Carol: This series follows a freelancer’s foray into cold calling and how it helped her land clients. She went from being broke to having a $1,700 day as an SEO writer; and
SEO Mary: This series follows a freelancer who detailed her journey as she went about building a career as an SEO writer. We followed her from being employed at a job she hated to quitting to freelance full-time.
Learn more about these SEO writers and their successes/failures.
Like a favorite television show, readers get hooked and invested in these series. Hence, they return again and again to read each post.
There are many elements that go into building a blog that is successful – the design, the platform, the editorial calendar, etc. But, the one thing every successful blog needs is readers. Readers mean traffic; traffic generates sales. Getting readers starts with providing helpful content, so from the very beginning, focus on creating content that serves your readers’ needs -- and before you know it, you will have built a successful blog in no time.
About the Author: Yuwanda Black is a web entrepreneur who lives part-time in the Caribbean (Jamaica). She has earned her living completely online since 2007; blogging is a big part of her success. Get more in-depth ideas for building a blog – a blog that brings traffic and sales.
Keywords used in this article: building a blog, blogging, make money blogging
Learn more about Yuwanda via her Google+ Profile.