People often see bloggers on social media or visit their blogs and wonder, can I make money blogging too?
When was the last time you bought something online? What if I told you you could get a share of the profits from sales of that product by writing a blog post about it?
So, can you make money blogging? Absolutely yes! And you can make a substantial amount. The best way to start earning money from your blog is through affiliate marketing.
Why Use Affiliate Marketing For Your Blog
If you’re not yet familiar with affiliate marketing, you need to know that it is one of the most powerful and effective ways to make money online. Here’s a great definition of what it actually is:
Affiliate Marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts.
In short, you get paid every time you refer one of your readers to a product through a custom link given to you to place on your blog. So within your blog post, you are going to promote a relevant product by recommending it to your readers and once they click on the link and purchase through the vendor; you get paid a commission. But should you just try and promote anything you like? Will it be profitable? The quick answer is No.
There’s a little concept called the ‘niche’ (market) that you should understand first. It can spell the difference between success or failure during your affiliate marketing efforts.
Here is a wonderful video showing you the breakdown of how the process works (take a moment to watch before reading on).
Finding a Profitable Niche
Your niche market is that specific segment of the market that you want to focus on. To find your niche, and one that is profitable in affiliate marketing, ask yourself these 3 questions:
First of all, what are your interests and hobbies?
For you to do research and consistently write about a niche, you need to have a certain level of interest in it, or dare I say a passion for that specific topic.
Take a moment to seriously consider what things truly interest you. It can be something obvious, like a hobby or a current profession. Do you like to read books? Do you like visiting art museums? Do you go to a cross-fit gym? What industry do you work in? What do you know a good deal about?
Now as you go about your day, make a conscious effort to identify products or services that you need or use on a regular basis (or even just on occasion). Products that you use or reading materials like books and magazines can be a great source of inspiration for ideas and topics to write about. DIY tools, pet products, etc., things that you have experience in or problems that you have solved and would be helpful to people to share.
Can you think of a specific problem that you want to solve in your life that you think will also help other people? You don’t need to be an expert on the topic. Your readers can share in your journey to discover answers to your problem.
Make a list of these interests and needs and narrow them down. It helps to keep in mind that you have to blog about the topic all the time.
Second, What are other people’s interests and needs?
To further help you zoom in on your niche, ask your friends and family what their interests and needs are. Inquire about the topics that they search about online.
What products have they ordered from Amazon? What services have they availed of online?
What topics do they search for on the internet? Have they tried Googling for answers to any particular problem or issue they have encountered in the past?
After you’ve compiled ideas from friends and family, compare them with your first list. Are there any overlaps? Are there things someone else is interested in that aren’t on your list, but give you a spark of interest?
3. Do other people search for and buy these needs and interests online?
So you know what you and people close to you are interested in. But how about the world wide web? For a niche to be profitable, there has to be a market larger than just your family and friends.
An easy and very effective way to find out which among the things you are interested in will sell is by visiting online marketplaces themselves, like Amazon, eBay, ClickBank and others.
For example, if “pet supplies” is on your list, search for that keyword on Amazon.com. You’ll get a lot of sub-categories (sub-niches). Explore those, read customer reviews, find out which are the best sellers.
Other places you can check out to see if people are searching for your keyword include the following:
There are more, and I will elaborate on them in an upcoming post.
So now you have chosen a niche and have started a blog. What’s next?
Boosting Your Blog Traffic with SEO
For you to earn from your blog, you need traffic. Lots of traffic. A business establishment has a physical location that can’t be manipulated to go where the customer foot traffic is.
But an online business has a virtual location on the world wide web that can be steered towards a position where customers will see it. This process of affecting the visibility of a website is called Search Engine Optimization or SEO.
There are other ways to increase your site’s visibility, such as advertising on Google or Facebook, but we will focus our discussion on SEO for now.
Your most important source of visitor traffic are search engines. Visitors who land on your page by finding it through a search engine are classified as organic traffic.
This is why you want your blog to appear on the first page of Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other search engines when people do a search for specific keywords. A specific keyword under the pet supplies niche could be “puppy house training supplies.”
How do you tell Google that your page is the best match to that keyword when someone searches for it? You do this by optimizing your blog content to make it “SEO friendly.”
SEO Tips for Beginners
Here are some of the things you can do to make your blog post optimized:
- Target so-called long tail keywords. You have better chances of making it to Google’s first page by using the keyword “puppy house training supplies” than “pet supplies.”
- Include keyword in title, but try to keep your title short (~60 characters only).
- Mention your keyword, its synonyms and other related terms a few times in the article. For example, “dog potty training supplies” “puppy housebreaking products”, and so on.
- Include at least one relevant outbound link to a related article in well-known website.
- If possible, also include an internal link to one of your previous posts.
- Longer articles have better chances of ranking high on Google, so make your article at least 800 words.
- Include images with file names, titles, and alternate text that contain or are related to the keyword.
- Install an SEO plugin like Yoast on your WordPress or whichever blogging platform you are using.
These are just a gist of the most important things you can implement on your blog. SEO can do wonders for your affiliate marketing business if done right.
Learn About Affiliate Marketing from the Best
We have only touched on some basic concepts on how you can earn money from your blog through affiliate marketing.
Anyone who is really interested in learning the ins and outs can get the best help from a community of bloggers over at Wealthy Affiliate. I’ve been with them for more than two years, and I can tell you they’ve made everything easier for me.
From tips for absolute beginners to advanced knowledge for seasoned bloggers, Wealthy Affiliate (free sign-up) has the right information for every type of blogger. Hopefully I was able to answer your initial question, can you make money blogging?
There’s no reason why you should not benefit from the wealth of knowledge that top bloggers have accumulated, especially because it’s absolutely free to sign up (above)! You won’t need to ask, can I make money blogging ever again once you’re a member that is actually doing it.
You’ll find everything you need to know about how to find a profitable niche. You’ll learn about the tools of the trade, and even receive assistance setting up your blog.
If you have additional questions about how to make money by blogging, or affiliate marketing and Wealthy Affiliate specifically, don’t hesitate to drop me a line in the comments below.