How to (finally) make money with your blog

how to make money with your blog

You want your blog to make money. Right?

Well, I’m sorry to tell you this, but you’ve been badly fooled.

Yes, thousands of dollars later, you have no idea what’s going on with your web site.

How do I know this?

Well, for the last 5 years I have been talking with business owners about their blog and for the most part…they are clueless. Of course, I’m sure you’re not in that boat and you can tell me what your blog is converting into dollars – right?

Typically, when I ask about measurements I discover there are no numbers, measurements, metrics, ouija boards, dashboards…nada, zip, zero, nothing.

But (sorry, I’m feeling a bit cynical), no worries, because your friendly web designer will happily charge you $5,000 more to “redesign” your site (one more time). Oh, and don’t forget to politely mention that maybe, just maybe, it would be really nice if they would think about installing Google Analytics so that you could, you know, see what’s actually working!

It’s time to change all that. You own your business and you need to take charge of your web site and your blog.

Let’s jump in and look at 5 ways to increase the money you make with your blog.

1. Get the numbers

As you might guess from my rant, if you want to make money with your blog, first you need some numbers. In this post learn how to make sure Google Analytics is installed. In this post learn how to begin reading Google Analytics to learn what’s really happening on your site.

The basic numbers you need to watch are total traffic and traffic to your “revenue pages”. These are the pages for your products and services. Overall traffic is reported as “users” and you can see traffic to revenue pages by going to Behaviour > Overview and entering the URL of your revenue page in the search bar at the top of the display table.

use a search for revenue page when trying to make money with your blog2. Make it obvious what you do

This will sound obvious…if you want to make money with your blog you need to make it obvious WHAT YOU DO.

Look, I can read 100 blog posts about leadership, customer service, or how to have a great marriage and I’ll guarantee you only about 10% ever mention what they do.

I can read 100 blog posts about leadership, customer service, or how to have a great marriage and I’ll guarantee you only about 10% ever mention what they do. Click To Tweet

Imagine you go to a sales presentation and the sales person never asks you to buy. Strange.

mention what you do to make money from your blog
Don’t make your readers work: every blog post needs to mention what you do.

The fix is easy. Mention a client experience, talk about a speech you gave, refer to a coaching client you helped. Don’t make the reader work hard…tell them what you do.

3. Drive traffic to your store

When readers come to your blog they stop and read. On average, visitors will spend 3-10 minutes on a blog. Whereas they might spend per visit an average of 1 minute on all your pages combined.

That’s a huge opportunity to make money with your blog! When we re-publish our clients’ articles we always include at least 2 links to their revenue pages.

to make money from your blog, tell people what you do
Every blog post would point readers to your revenue pages.

Instead of waiting to the end (only about 30% of readers get to the end of your blog post), insert links in your blog to your revenue pages.

On average, visitors will spend 3-10 minutes on a blog. Whereas they might spend per visit an average of 1 minute on all your pages combined. Click To Tweet

Look for words or phrases that describe what you do. Next, insert links to your products or services pages. It’s that easy—2 to 3 links in every post will start getting more traffic going in the right direction.

4. Build your list

Nothing beats a mailing list. Unlike social media posts that disappear in minutes, an email might get opened hours after arriving in your prospects’ Inxox – even days later. And when you write with a personal tone – your email can be perceived as more helpful and less like a sales pitch.

The trick is to keep building your list.

Start by making it easy to join your list. You can include an optin offer beside your blog, or use a free pop-up tool like OptinMonster or SumoMe.

And, just like traffic to your website, if you want your list to get bigger you need to track the numbers. At least once a month record in a simple spreadsheet the total list size and the change for that month.

5. Ask for the money

If you want to make money with your blog you need to start by doing what any good salesperson would do…ask for the money!

Ridiculous, right? Of course you ask for the sale.

Let’s try a little test…

Go to your latest blog post and count how many times you ask for the sale. Here’s what to look for:

  • Point your readers to your revenue pages: “To learn more about coaching click here.”
  • Invite your readers to download a self assessment: “Thinking about selling your home? Download my free guide ‘15 things to do before you sell your home’”
  • Send readers to your contact form: “Looking for a speaker for your next event?”   

Here’s the bottom line. Your investment in a website and especially in a blog should be returning revenues. You need an ROI on your blog.

The good news is it is possible to retrofit those old articles and put them to work. Instead of collecting digital dust, your blog posts can be generating leads.

That’s what we do. We identify blog posts that have the most revenue potential and then supercharge them with SEO juice (to get higher ranking in search engines) plus drive traffic to your revenue pages.

It’s time to put your blog to work.

Enjoyed this article? Here are three more of our most popular posts:

51 ways to get more business from your blog in the New Year
90 seconds to becoming a better writer
5 steps to writing an awesome blog post in less than 60 minutes

How to get more blog traffic (142%!)

How to get 142% more blog traffic

Let’s face it – if you have a blog you want traffic – right? But you need to know how to get more blog traffic.

It makes sense: more traffic equals more business…

In fact, companies that blog receive 55% more traffic than companies that don’t. And according to at least one study, 83% of consumers trust the advice of a blog.

The trick is to first get people to read your blog. And for that I have some help. In fact, I’ve used these same strategies to increase my blog traffic by 142% in one year. Not bad when you consider most blogs we watch trickle along with a modest 5-10% annual growth.

Before I get to my solutions on how to get more blog traffic, let me ask you a question:

Are you writing your content to be helpful?

Don’t get me wrong – it’s great that you want more business. But, if your blog is all about click-through rates and opting into lists – it will be obvious. Like the old saying: If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.

If your blog is all about click-through rates and opting into lists - it will be obvious. Like the old saying: If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck. Click To Tweet

Here’s the good news…

If you write your blog to be truly helpful – without expecting something in return – you will build a tribe and eventually get what you want. It might not be gangbusters overnight, but you will attract people who like your approach. That will happen.

With that caveat out of the way …

Here’s a quick summary of all 25 points on how to get more blog traffic – Slideshare style:

Here’s my favourite (all white-hat) 25 tips on how to get more blog traffic without breaking the bank or staying up all night.

  1. Know this is important work and publish on a regular basis. Once a month is much, much better than – as Tim Urban puts it: We publish every sometime.
  2. Write shorter posts. If you insist on writing Ulyssey’s-length essays you might be losing a lot of readers.
  3. Notice what works and do more of that (this is my fav. overall strategy – read this).
  4. Write in the second person (“you”, “your”, not “me”) – after all, every reader cares most about themself.
  5. Write about your failings. “Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker.” Denis Waitley
  6. Share on social media (hey! we can do that for you).
  7. Take a risk – like write a short post (#2), admit you suck as something (#5), take a bold stand (#19), or start with a personal story (#24).
  8. Do (just a bit of) research. As a minimum, use a tool like buzzsumo to find top ranking blog posts on your topic.
google analytics
With a little strategy and some hard work I was able to increase my traffic 142% in one year.
  1. Be funny (at the very least choose a funny image.)
  2. Write stuff people will want to link to.
  3. Be remarkable.
  4. Don’t interrupt your writing with a lot of links (except for this post, of course.)
  5. Keep adding to your idea pile (I use Evernote and tag them as ‘unused blog posts’ to capture ideas on the fly.)
  6. Kill and bury old, low traffic blog posts. This is a good SEO strategy, but also good for your readers.
  7. Edit ruthlessly. Pro writer’s tip: don’t start editing until you have completed the first draft.
  8. Experiment with your blog on video, SlideShare, illustrations, cartoons or finger paint.
  9. Be patient! Great content with some promotion will attract the readers you want.
  10. Quote bloggers with big followings (then let them know on social media).
  11. Take a stand—a strong voice will cut through the Internet fog and, like a search light, will find the readers you want.
  12. Make it easy for readers to share your blog. We use the floating share button from sumo.
  13. Ask your readers to do something. Like add a comment, share the post or download a guide.
  14. Read lots of inspiring blogs. “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.” Stephen King
  15. Don’t be boring. That’s worth repeating: don’t be boring. There.
  16. Tell stories.
  17. Assume every day is a new beginning because you always have new readers.

I know you’re reading this because you care. You care about results but you also care about helping people with your blog. That’s cool.

Knowing how to get more blog traffic can be confusing

Blogging is hard work.

Some months I struggle with every blog I write. Sometimes it’s hard to find the time, or the topic, or the damn thing just stalls out in the middle and I don’t know how to wrap it up in a meaningful way.

What keeps me going is knowing that __________ (fill in your monthly website traffic) people are coming into my “hotel room” to read what I wrote. And most of them are new (point #25). That’s a big and exciting responsibility, opportunity and role that I play.

If you’re up for that, I know these 25 tips and actions on how to get more blog traffic will help to fill your hotel room.

Thanks to Seth Godin for inspiring this short post. And Jeff Goins for adding to Seth’s post with his own list.

 

Want more help getting results with your blog? Check out these posts:

Tips and Encouragement for Bloggers who Doubt
21 Traffic Building Tips from Professional Bloggers
Build blog traffic while you sleep

(and our cool download “Get more blog traffic now”)