Make money from your blog

Make money blogging, Income streams, Monetizing your blog, affiliate marketing, advertising, product sales, services, e-books, webinars, coaching, courses, sustainable income

Income Streams from Blogging – Part 1

You have thought of making money through blogging but you are not sure of the steps that you need to take to realize this goal. Your first step starts with owning a blog and I would recommend a self-hosted blog if one of your aims is to diligently pursue financial gains through your blog. Check this quick 6-steps guide on how to create your blog.

Ideally, if you already own a blog, exploring avenues to monetize it might be your next aspiration whether it’s a business or a hobby blog. There are products tailored to suit your needs out there.

I will tell you straight up that, in as much as you can earn through blogging, it is not a get rich fast scheme, however, if you do it properly, you can earn enough to support yourself and more.

It’s also pertinent to know that it is not just enough to have a blog. You will need to make time to create content that is beneficial to people, network, engage and build your readership. Your readership would serve as the bedrock of earning long-term income from your blog.

Now, let’s look at the various streams you can generate income with your site online which could be classified into eight categories.

Earn money blogging, monetizing, Sustainable income, Advertising, Affiliate Marketing, Products, Services, Self-hosted blog, E-books, Coaching, Donations, Networking, Readership, Sales, Events, Financial Gains

  1. Advertising
  2. Affiliate Marketing
  3. Products
  4. Services
  5. Events
  6. Recurring Income
  7. Offline business sales
  8. Others
  • Income Through Advertising

Lots of bloggers start monetizing their blog through ad networks and this could grow to a decent income stream when your blog traffic and brand grows. You’ll find some advertising companies that are willing to pay for advert space on your blog. There’s also Google Adsense that runs cost per click ads by placing relevant banners to your site and with this program, you don’t need to have direct contact with the advertiser.

Advertising opportunities are not restricted to known ad networks. You could explore the option to sell private ads on your site through your engagement with your readers. The ad can come in form of banners, logo, links or buttons. I have successfully used this method on the sidebar of my blog a cooking pot and twisted tales.

Sponsored posts is another avenue of making money where you write for the company or review their products. Creating engaging series of posts is also a possibility and the advertising company pays for an acknowledgment piece in the post such as ‘powered by or brought to you by, XYZ & Co.’

Your periodic newsletters, videos, and podcasts are practical opportunities to sell sponsorship space.

  • Income through Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing and promotions is a great tool and is the most commonly used method by bloggers for generating income.

There are various affiliate programs out there such as Amazon Associates, LinkShare, Share A Sale, Disqus etc., and they are easy to sign up to. Your income comes from the commissions that you earn for sales when a buyer comes from your site. You can create banners for your site or add affiliate links to your post. Amazon Associates is a good place to start from. This process could also work with private businesses that have related products to sell and would pay you a commission for selling on your site.

  • Income from Products

Creating virtual or physical products presents a lucrative opportunity that is worth looking into. I published my first e-book in April  and have earned a tidy sum from this singular item. Your blog is a content marketing tool that could be used effectively to market your products such as e-books, online courses, and webinars, photographs, apps, themes, digital products as well as physical merchandise like T-shirts, paintings etc.

Your blog is a content marketing tool that could be used effectively to market your products such as e-books, online courses, and webinars, photographs, apps, themes, digital products as well as physical merchandise like T-shirts, paintings etc.

The possibilities of earning are practically endless and with the right approach, your dream to making real income could be within your reach.

In Part 2, we will explore the other streams of earning an income from your blog and I do hope that you find this article useful. Let me know in the comments what you’ve tried or what you would wish to try as a start.

How To Create A Smart Blog Business Plan.


Blog Business Plan, blog business plan, strategic plan, financial projections, social promotion strategy, blog opportunity, potentials, continued growth, monetization strategy, Tips, Marketing strategy, Income Streams and Revenue

You may wonder how important a business plan is for your blog and I must confess that as a beginner I wondered the same thing and I learned this the hard way after dabbling around with my first blog. Having a business plan for your blog is not mandatory, but if you regard your blog – or plan to do so – as a way to earn income, to grow your platform, to showcase your creativity and create a brand, then your blog is your business and creating a blog business plan is essential.

Why you need that business plan.

  • To help you keep up your focus.
  • It will help you develop a short and long-term strategy that will help you gauge your progress.
  • Help you to carefully plan ways to make money from your blog in the best way that suits your brand.
  • Gives you a clearer picture on how you will promote your blog.
  • Helps you budget and guides you through future decisions for your blog as a business.
  • It helps to serve as an evidence to interested parties or investors who want to partner with you. Assuming that your blog grows popular over time and investors express interest in partnering with you, the decision to partner or not to partner with you could hinge on their assessment of your business acumen and a possible peep into your blog’s business plan. Such decisions are easier to make with documentation no matter how simple it is.

With this clarity on why you need a blog business plan, let’s go into the details of how to develop a simple, smart plan for your blog.

Thinking it through.

There are certain thoughts that you should have on your mind as you create your plan such as:

  • The platform (hosted or self-hosted) that you want your blog on – WordPress, Blogger, TypePad, Others.
  • If you are self-hosting, consider how to get your domain name, how to buy hosting service, customizing and designing your blog and consider what the annual fees of maintaining your blog will be.
  • What are your three main goals for blogging? Identify them and use them as your focal point.
  • What will your blog subject focus be?
  • Who is your target audience and what are the possible solutions that you plan to offer to them?
  • When a reader visits your blog, what are the calls for action that you want them to take – Subscribe, buy, share etc ?
  • How will you encourage them to take such action?
  • Search and study your competition. What is it that they are doing that you can learn from and possibly improve on.
  • How often will you update your blog? Think of your first ten blog posts, develop the content and come up with a list of focus keywords for your blog.
  • What are the strategies that you will use to increase your blogs’ SEO? Do you plan to run periodic promotions for your blog?
  • How will you measure your success? Think of the methods that you could use – Google Analytics, Email and RSS subscription, comments, and feedbacks.

Little Reminders.

Remember that your plan shouldn’t be as thick as a book to be efficient. Your plan could be a one pager.

Remember to keep it simple and to avoid vague phrases which are difficult to understand.

8 steps guide to writing a one-page blog business plan.

  • Executive Summary

Keep your blog’s executive summary brief, practical and inspiring. It explains what your blog is about in a general sense to anyone reading it and should contain a summary of why your blog exists, your blog strategies and where you see your blog going in future. You can also include a brief biography of your blogs management and it’s ownership status. Here you can introduce the face/s behind the blog, their competencies, and responsibilities.

  • Your Blogs Objectives

In this section for your blog goals, you state clearly the idea behind your blogs existence, it’s short and long-term goals, your growth strategy, who your target audience is and what your blog culture will be. What style or tone would you be writing in – formal or approachable. List three or more goals for your blog in phases of three months, six months and one year. Your goals have to be clear, practical and measurable.

  • Your Offerings and Monetization Strategy

What strategy do you intend to use to make money from your blog? In this section of your plan, list how you plan to monetize your blog through the various available mediums like affiliate & partnership programs, advertisements, membership, and subscriptions, sponsored posts, product sales, services or reviews that you offer. Will you sell your product on Amazon.com or Etsy shop? Will you offer courses? Write out a sales strategy for items that you plan to sell on your blog.

  • Your Blog Opportunity and Potentials

Analyze your blog’s intended niche. Is it a big or small one? How broad is the niche? What is its growth potentials? In this case, you might want to study some leading blogs in your targeted niche. What can you learn from them? What benefits do you think you can bring into your blog that your readers will gain from? These are vital questions that you need to resolve even before launching your blog.

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  • Your Marketing Plan and Social Promotion Strategy

In this section, you have to give serious thought on how to market your blog. How will you attract your target audience to your blog? Do you plan to publicize your blog through free or paid campaign? What tactics will you use for effective results? What are your competitors doing in this aspect? A plethora of information exists our there to help you learn how to use social media effectively for your business. Develop a plan to learn and work out how to use one or two platforms at a time and keep expanding your scope. Create a scheduled plan for Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, Email, Guest posting, offline marketing and others. Also, consider how to track your social media influence and blogs growth using tracking software such as Google Analytics.

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  • Continued Growth Plan

For sustainable growth of your blog business, your role as a blogger is to continually develop yourself on how to become a better blogger. Set some goals for continued acquisition of knowledge like attending conferences, workshops or seminars that are relevant to your blogging niche. Taking relevant classes or training that will help you hone your skills. Keep up with the trend by subscribing to magazines with the right information.

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  • Your Blogs Financial Projections

This section should consist a summary of your blogs’ expense and expected financial forecast. Work out the things that you would need to start-up your blog such as hosting fees, site theme and development, promotional fees, internet cost etc and create your startup budget. It is essential to create a spreadsheet or a table for tabulating income from your blogs revenue streams. Each month take a record of your monthly income from each source and as time goes on, you are able to recognize the things that don’t work for you and able to take a business decision on them.

  • Your Exit Plan

Every good thing does come to an end and inasmuch as the last thought on your mind when you are launching your blog is how to kill your blog, the reality is that at some point, you may decide to call it quits, therefore, having an exit plan is simply financial intelligence. Would you sell your blog business or transfer it? What options would you consider?

Quick Tip

Read your blogs business plan at least once a month. It helps to keep you focused on your goals.

You can download a blank business plan template here for your use.

Well done for sticking through with it.  It’s your dream, so, have fun with it! Write your vision down and give it a go with gusto. Every business runs with an idea, and when you treat your blog as your business you place it in a place for success. Do you have a business plan yet or are you blogging without a business plan? Do let us know in the comments.

 

 

Your next 30 days post-launch routine.

Launching, Successful Blog, Theme Design, Social Networking, Blogging, Blog Directories, SEO,

Setting up a blog on WordPress is relatively easy, however, creating a successful blog may be overwhelming and to achieve long-term success, it is imperative that you make great choices from the onset.

Following a step by step plan would be vital in helping your blog to flourish.

Your blog’s success is hinged on:

  • Setting the right foundations.
  • Creating quality content.
  • Building an online presence
  • Networking and marketing your blog.
  • Continuous strategizing for success.

30 Days post-launch routine of connecting the dots.

Day 1.

Don’t launch too early; assuming that you are yet to launch your site. It may be tempting to take off as soon as you decide to start blogging, but you must make sure that you’ve covered the required basics in setting up your blog.

Day 2.

Decide on the niche you want to create for your site. Yes it’s your blog and you may have a lot of topics that you want to cover, but if your blog is geared towards income generation, you would need to have it associated with a certain focus – it’s like being an expert in your field of interest.

Day 3

Make a blog business plan or set goals for your blog. These goals are not fixed and could be adjusted as the need arises, but it’s worthwhile and helps you to keep focused.

Day 4

Create great content in your own unique voice. Keeping your posts fresh, engaging and informative will give your readers something interesting to look forward to each time. You may consider creating extra posts (in the draft) for those days that your time is constrained.

Day 5

Keep your posts concise. Don’t ramble and add unnecessary fluff that adds no value to your content.

Day 6

Consistency. Determine how much time you have to dedicate to your blog, then have a regular publishing schedule. Stick to it. It could be daily, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly. This way your readers expect your posts. Inconsistency with your publishing could affect your readership adversely. This ties in with having extras in your draft to fill in on days when other things get in the way.

Day 7

Interact with your readers: When readers leave comments on your blog, don’t ignore them. Respond, engage and build your community.

Day 8

Be yourself and create your style: Competition persists out there, but the way you can stay on top of your blogging game is to try to differentiate yourself from others. Don’t be afraid to express yourself. This could be by creating more detailed content that proffers solution to the reader and helps them to take action.

Day 9

Always ask for feedback from your readers. Keep your posts interactive, especially towards the end where you can encourage comments, ask them a question or run a survey.

Day 10

Social networking: Look for other sites that promote content that’s like yours and create links. Engage your twitter and Facebook to tweet your post once you’ve published it.

Day 11

Search for big blog directories like DMOZ  and add your blog.

Day 12

Network with other bloggers. Start chatting up other bloggers and build a relationship. This way, by the time you launch your blog a number of them would be willing to write or plug your link into their blogs and this can help drive subscribers to you.

Day 13

Dig into your search reports – through your google crawl report or a feed stats plugin to gain a better understanding of the type of topics your readers are clicking and showing interest on.

Day 14

Do a search engine optimization check and learn what you can about SEO. Gaining a bit of insight on the basics of SEO is helpful. There are loads of information online about SEO’s and Yoast has great, simplified information to help a starter.

Day 15

Explore a new social media site, like Pinterest, StumbleUpon. The more networks you get on, the more you expand your circle and subscription.

Day 16 

Search for other forums to join and subscribe to as may RSS feeds as you can that correspond to your interest.

Day 17

Tweak your theme design, declutter your sidebar if need be. Most times during the first setup, the tendency is to add-on so many widgets that we may end up not using. Keep the widgets down to the essentials.

Day 18

Guest post on other blogs. A good number of blogs welcome quality guest posts. This is also another way of getting noticed and connecting with more readers. If your article is good, the chance is that the reader would want to know more.

Day 19

Keep your bounce rates to a minimum: Your bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who enters and exits your site on the same page without any clicks  on other pages of your site. These could be primarily addressed by making your blog readable and avoidance of clutter, as well as annoying pop-ups.

Day 20

Cross link your posts. Add links to your older, related posts into the content of your post or add the related post widget at the footer of each post.

Day 21

Analyze your competition. Yes, it’s good to know what your competition is doing. This could serve as an inspiration as well as pointers on where you could improve on your blog.

Day 22

Think and work on your monetization plan for your blog. Blogging for money shouldn’t be your main driver, otherwise, it could get boring a bit too fast. It’s not enough just to want to earn, but like every business, you should have a monetization plan and strategy. It’s advisable to give your blog the first few weeks or couple of months to gain readership before embarking on an income project.

Day 23

Search for affiliate programs that fit your blogs focus.

Day 24

Consider writing your post in series. Writing in an engaging series keeps the readers coming back because they are looking forward to a continuation.

Day 25

Keep stoking the fire and appreciate all those who wrote or mentioned your blog in their posts.

Day 26

Run an in-depth analysis of your blog and note those areas that need improvement.

Day 27

Improve on your blog. Take the day to check those areas that need improvement and address them.

Day 28

Plan your next blogging posts for 10, 20 and 30 days.

Day 29

Join a blogging challenge, keep abreast of what’s happening in your area of interest. For those whose blog interests lies in writing, there are platforms such as Nanowrimo, Nablopomo and more that offer blogging challenges. These are also ways of connecting with other bloggers and readers.

Day 30

Be patient. Remember that your blog is a journey and not a sprint. It could take months or even years before it grows popular but you must persist and keep your eye’s on the goal with continuous improvement.

So, do you have any routine that you used in the past? Are there more tips that you could share with us? I hope that you find the 3o days routine useful and thank you for reading.

15 essential checks before launching your site.

Site checklist, WP Engine, SEO, Google Webmaster Tools, Plugins, Yoast, MailChimp, Google Analytics, Email

Now you’ve decided to give blogging a try, having a checklist is essential and would help you to prepare for any primary challenges before launching your WordPress site. It makes the arduous and lengthy process of website development less stressful and more productive.

Below is a quick checklist of the important to-do before launching your site.

  • Install your WordPress backup solution. There are plenty of good plugins that you can set up on your site within minutes. WP Engine platform has automatic back-up support feature that ensures your data is kept safe.
  • Secure WordPress Admin area by installing a security system to prevent hacking into your site and use a unique username and password. Don’t stick with the generic username ‘admin,’ that makes it an easy target.
  • Remove all Ipsum text. These are the dummy texts used as page fillers on the site.
  • Proofread your site for grammatical and typographical errors.
  • Check that images, videos, sliders used are properly formatted and functioning.
  • Check that all links are working correctly.
  • Test installed social sharing icons to make sure that they are working properly.
  • Setup Email for your website. Setting up your email up and your subscription forms as soon as possible will help you to start building an email and subscriber list right away. MailChimp plugin offers a simple way to integrate your emails and save your mailing list.
  • Test that all your forms are working as they should: contact forms, subscription forms, comments.
  • Preview your site in Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari.
  • Check for mobile gadget friendliness and responsiveness.
  • Add your site to Google Webmaster Tools/Google Search Console.
  • Install Google Analytics. It’s important that you install google analytics before you launch to help you keep track of your performance and to learn how your readers interact with your site. It will also provide information on how your site has grown as time goes on.
  • Check your SEO settings. Search engines are the top traffic generators for most websites and optimizing your site for search engines can help to grow your blog consistently. WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast is a comprehensive optimization plugin for WordPress.
  • Check the site for 404 errors through google crawl report and fix them.

Well done! We hope the information provided will be of help to you as you set to launch and if you like this article, please subscribe to join our community.

What exactly does BLOG mean?

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Blog Defined.

Blog. You’ve heard the word repeated so many times, that you want to know what it’s all about.

Simply defined, a blog is your online journal that you frequently update depending on your schedule. A place where you share your thoughts, showcase your creativity and even hone your passion. It is your website and can be whatever you want it to be. ‘Blog’ is a term derived from the word Weblog.

When you launch a blog, you are known as a blogger and your online journaling activity is referred to as blogging.

Blogs have evolved from being just a place where people write and share their day to day activities. They’ve become platforms of influence and change and today you’ll find millions of blogs covering every topic that you can think of and even those one’s that you didn’t imagine.

Anyone can be a blogger and maybe you should consider it too.

Here are various reasons why you should blog. 

Subscribe to receive useful tips and tutorials to help you build a profitable blog and make the most of your creativity.


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Blogging

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Probably, it’s been on your mind to start a blog or you are a blogger on the quest to get more subscribers, more traffic and to earn a decent income from your blog;

If you’ve ever found yourself wondering:

How to start a blog?

How to make your blog profitable?

How to sell your products and services?

How to grow your readership and audience?

How to get the best out of your passion?

…Then you are in the right place!

The Art of Beautiful Expressions is all about inspiring and supporting you to pursue your aspirations not only to create a blog or blogs that serve your readers and revs your creative juices but also to build steady income streams from your endeavours.

About

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Hello. I’m Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha and I’m a serial blogger.

You are welcome to The Art of Beautiful Expressions. A meeting point for those who want to unleash their creativity by, creating a blog with great content, writing a book, podcasting, public speakingphotographypublishing, growing their audience and going professional to make money from their creative passion.

After an intensive year and half of blogging on my personal blog,  “a cooking pot and twisted tales,” where I share my creative writings, photographs, recipes, thoughts and lifestyle solutions with a constantly growing audience, my confidence grew and I started seeking ways of turning my blogging, photography, writing and speaking interests into a more income fulfilling venture, hence the decision to build niche-focused blogs like this one, where I write to help other bloggers on the same journey like me to meet their dreams of making money from their blogs.

The Art of Beautiful Expressions is a simple blog where no matter what class your blog falls in; whether you are a business or lifestyle blogger, a writer, a budding photographer, a reader with an interest to start a blog, there are tips that will help you right here.

I’ll share the tips, steps and my learning with you as we walk this path together. The main purpose of this platform ‘The Art of Beautiful Expressions,’ is simply to educate and to share information with others who seek for ways to enhance their creativity and to make their passion a profitable portfolio.

I believe that you will find this blog useful and by following my blog, it’s the best way for you to stay in touch and receive the latest information and tips.

 




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Build your best blog without all the guesswork. Grow your community. Improve your visibility. Earn from your creativity.

Do you dream of earning income from your blog?

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