The online world today makes it very possible to be a digital nomad and make a living working from almost anywhere. The key to making a living like this is to have more than one source of income. This protects you from losses in one area or another. In each area where you work, you can work part time and actually make a living.
One of those ways is through blogging. Making money blogging is not as hard as it sounds, but it takes lots of dedication, a hell lot of patience and some setup. To make a living at it will mean even more work. Here are five steps to achieving that level of success.
Step 1: Get Things Started Right
First of all, you need to get things started the right way. The first key to this is to choose a domain name that aligns well with what you want to do and what you want to blog about. This name should either be relevant to your niche or to your own name (if you wish to build a personal brand). The more you specialize, the greater your chance of finding a specific audience and developing a following. (More on that in a moment)
You also need to choose a host. There are two types of hosting: shared and dedicated. Shared hosting is just what it sounds like: you share hosting with other websites. This means you share memory and computing power with them, but this also limits the number of visitors your site can have without crashing, and how much memory you have for your site, so how many pages, photos, and posts you can keep active.
Dedicated hosting is more expensive, but does give you more bandwidth for pages, photos, and a larger number of visitors. Many hosting services offer both kinds so you can migrate from one to the other if you need to as your site grows.
Step 2: Traffic Generation
How do you gain that audience? There are a number of ways and gaining that audience will be crucial to your ability to make a living. This will mean an investment on your part from the beginning.
i) Social Media:
This will be one of the primary ways you will gain an audience. Whether that is through Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, or to a lesser degree, Facebook, finding where the audience for your niche is and being active on groups and hashtags is essential.
ii) Threads and Forums:
Thread and forums like Reddit also have a lot of value for building your audience. Don’t be overly promotional, but be present and talk about your niche, and others will begin to respect your opinion and understand you are a good source of information. When you talk about your blog, they will already trust you.
Though more of a professional networking site, LinkedIn can be valuable to your niche and gain you a significant following.
Once you start your blog, you will want to advertise. This means boosting posts and paying for ads in other ways to gain traffic for your blog. Social media ads, Google PPC, and others all have different results.
v) Word of Mouth:
Those who trust you and start reading your blog will recommend it to others if it proves to be worthwhile. Provide good content, and this will be your best method of growing your following.
vi) Organic Traffic:
It is the free traffic that you get when someone lands on your website through a search engine such as Google or Bing. This is undoubtedly one of the most crucial forms of traffic that your website could gain. why? Because it’s FREE, natural, consistent and it converts. Check this excellent post written by Steven Krohn on Linkedin highlighting the importance of organic traffic for websites.
It will take time and investment to build an audience, but once you do, you can begin to make real money from your blog.
Step 3: Advertising Money
Just as you advertised to build your blog audience and your brand, other brands will also want to advertise on your site to spread the word about theirs. As you expect to pay for ad space, so do they and you can make money from those ads as well. There are a number of ways to sell ad space on your site.
i) Native ads:
Amazon, Google Adsense, and companies like OutBrain provide native ads that are part of your content. You get paid every time a user clicks on those ads.
ii) Affiliate Marketing:
Affiliate marketing works much the same way, except you have links with a code embedded in them, and when a user makes a purchase through your link, you get paid a percentage of that purchase.
iii) Sponsored Posts:
Some brands or even SEO companies will pay you to place posts about products or services or just for links on your website. These posts can be a great source of income.
iv) Site Sponsors:
Site sponsors want to be featured on your site on a regular basis. These brands or companies can also be a great source of regular income.
The money you will get from advertising will vary with your traffic. It can be a large or small piece of your income. However, there are other ways to make money with your site as well.
Do you post pro tips and have in depth posts and videos on a regular basis? You can offer a few of these for free. Look at the way those news websites limit the number of articles you can see per month on each site for free! Similarly, you can also allow your users to subscribe to the rest of the content for a small fee.
If you have the right niche and the right content, this can be a solid source of revenue for you. The key to this will be to create that kind of content on a regular basis. The more valuable content you create and the more often it is created, the better your site and your income will perform.
vi) Sell Your Own Stuff:
Do you create stuff? Do you have merchandise with your logo that you can sell? How about eBooks or software or apps you have created? If you build up a good following, selling those things on your website can be a great source of passive income. You can often make deals with suppliers who will print or create products on demand and send them directly to your customers who order them so you do not have to stock inventory or manage shipping.
Your blog and website can be a good source of income that, once you get running, will pretty much run itself while you create some content part time. You can create both passive and active income through advertising once you have gained an audience. Making a living blogging part time is possible, but it takes a planned set up, dedicated hardwork, consistency and lots of patience. In the end, it can be a great addition to your digital nomad lifestyle.
What’s your take?
How do you make money blogging? What strategies do you follow to build traffic & monetize your blog? Please share your comments below.