Every month, a handful of business-minded folks start making money by creating blogs. Some will make thousands of dollars every month! The amount of money you earn depends on factors such as available opportunities and your audience, but there’s no reason you can’t make it. Here are some simple steps to create a successful residual-income blog of your own.
1. Choose a good topic.
Before anything else, you must think of a topic and niche to blog about. Thankfully, there’s no shortage of things you can cover, but selectivity is important. You should ideally go for a subject you’re passionate about or have an interest in. Ask yourself whom you are targeting, what level of competition you’ll face, and whether the topic or niche is sustainable. At the same time, make sure your blog remains focused on a single topic or a few tightly related topics, so you don’t confuse the search engines and your readers by talking about too many things.
You love your hobbies, but did you ever think they could actually make you money? While some hobbies are just for fun, other pastimes are great for bringing in extra cash, so you can get a double benefit doing the things you love.
If you could use some extra income, turning an existing hobby into a home-based business is a great place to start. Here are 10 hobbies you can turn into a successful side business.
If you have a way with the camera, you could turn your love of photography into a fun home-based business. Stock photo sites allow you to sell your favorite shots, and you get paid every time someone uses one of your images.
Whether you start your own blog, create colorful brochures for local businesses or write the great American novel, you can turn your love of writing into extra cash.
Do you always know where to put the lamp? Do your friends compliment you on your sense of style and eye for color? If so, you can turn your good taste into a lucrative home design or interior decorating business.
If you have been blessed with a green thumb, you could turn that talent into another kind of green. From selling fresh herbs to teaching your less talented neighbors how to garden, there are plenty of ways to turn your talents into a great home-based business.
If you have an eye for design, you might want to start a graphic design business in your own home. You will need a high end computer and some talent, but this business could be quite lucrative.
If you love to play sports, you could look for a paid coaching position or start a home-based business fostering the talents of local young (and not so young) people. There are lots of ways to turn your love of sports into a great sidelines business.
You do not have to play sports to profit from your love of fitness. Whether you teach a yoga class in your great room or just offer fitness tips to local moms, you can bring in some extra cash while improving your own fitness.
Believe it or not, your love of Facebook could actually earn you some extra cash. There are plenty of business owners willing to pay good money for social media counseling and a steady stream of business-related updates. You will need dedication and talent, and a good sales pitch, but this is one of the best home-based businesses around.
Whether you play an instrument, have experience in a band or just like to write music, you can turn your talents into a wonderful home-based business. You can teach piano to young people, play at local dive bars for extra cash or even become a session musician.
Arts and Crafts
Do you love to paint? Do you make your own jewelry? Are you a whiz at leather crafts? If so, you can sell your creations and pull in some extra cash. From local craft shows to websites like Etsy, there are plenty of outlets to help you profit from your creative talents.
Finding extra cash has never been more important. So many people are struggling to make ends meet and looking for sources of extra cash, and you are not alone in the desire to make more money.
At the same time, capturing that extra cash has never been easier. There are plenty of unique ways to bring in extra cash, and lots of fun hobbies that could easily double as lucrative home businesses. The 10 ideas listed above can help you get started, so you can be earning extra cash in no time.
2. Decide on your domain name, which then becomes your blog’s name.
Your blog title and domain name are two of the first things with which your audience interacts. Apart from giving them an idea of what they can expect from your blog, your domain name helps place the site with Internet searches, which are vital for generating traffic and profit. As a rule, your title should fit your blog’s identity. For instance, you should choose a “corporate-sounding title” so you can establish yourself as an authority on a particular business topic. You can go for an informal name if you’re targeting a less business-oriented subject, such as celebrity gossip, video gaming, or fashion.
Here are two approaches for choosing a domain:
Choose a Blog Domain Name That Has Keywords
There are advantages to using the keyword approach for choosing a blog domain name. Having keywords in your title can boost your search engine ranking. Ideally, choose a domain name that contains the exact keywords you’re targeting. For example, if you blog about eating a healthy diet, the obvious first choice would be healthydiet.com. It’s short, to the point and easy-to-remember. Unfortunately, many easy-to-remember two-word domains with commercial potential are already taken. Your second choice might be healthydiet.net or healthydiet.org, or you could make the keyword plural to create healthydiets.com.
What if these options aren’t available either? Search engines weigh more heavily the first words in a domain name, so it’s better to modify a domain name by adding a suffix rather than a prefix. Healthydietreviews.com would likely garner more search engine traffic than myhealthydiet.com.
Using keywords in a blog domain name has substantial benefits if you’re counting on natural search engine traffic to bring readers to your blog, but there is another approach to naming a blog that works well for some bloggers.
Chose a Brandable Blog Domain Name
Many popular websites use a brandable domain name that’s catchy, memorable and uniquely theirs. To use this approach, brainstorm a brandable domain name that describes your blog or product in some way, or come up with something that’s completely unique and has no obvious meaning. For example, the well-known website Squidoo.com has a brandable domain name, but it’s not a word you’ll find in the dictionary.
If you go this route, it’s best to keep your brandable domain name as short as possible, and make it easy to spell and remember. To come up with ideas, use a thesaurus, a rhyming dictionary and a domain-naming tool to brainstorm. Then, run your chosen name by other people to see if it resonates with them. It’s easy to get emotionally attached to a name, so ask the opinion of someone who can be more objective.
The disadvantage to using a blog domain name that’s brandable is it makes it more difficult to get organic search engine traffic since search engines are likely to give keyword-rich domains a higher ranking. Of course, search engines aren’t the only way to generate traffic, and if you can attract readers by other means, a unique name may set you apart from the crowd.
Which Should You Choose?
Keyword-based domain name or a brandable one? Which is best? If you’re counting on getting most of your traffic from search engines, a keyword-rich domain is the obvious choice. If you don’t mind doing a little more work to market your blog, a brandable domain name could give you an edge longer term. Either way, linking your blog with a domain name will give it more credibility and professionalism.
3. Write great posts.
Content is critical to creating a successful residual-income blog. You must write interesting posts that people want to read. A good blog speaks honestly and openly about its topic. Make sure your posts are personal; most readers want to feel as though they’re having a candid conversation with you when they interact with your site. You should also center your posts on your readers and address their problems or issues, answer a question, or tell a story. However, you must always remain professional, even when blogging about your personal life.
4. Pay heed to social media.
These days, anyone who isn’t on social media is missing out on huge opportunities. For bloggers, that means missing out on readership. Integrate your blog with your profiles on Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon, Reddit, Pinterest and other major social sites. For instance, post links to your latest blog entries on your Twitter bio, and link your articles to your Facebook page. Avoid replicating the same content by posting the same article multiple times with the same post. However, DO post unique highlights from the same article at different times.
5. Know Your Competition
Entrepreneurs are the most creative people on the face of the earth, and it’s easy to get caught up in trying to invent something new. The problem with too much creativity is that it can take you down a lot of dead ends that ultimately lead nowhere for your business. Thankfully, just about every market is full of competition that has already survived making all of the common mistakes in your industry. The very first step in starting an online business is learning from your competition.
You don’t need to copy everyone else, but don’t start from scratch with your business. Find out where they advertise. Discover what companies they outsource their production to, and find out how they manage their online retail strategies. Search for every detail you can about the operations of your top five competitors. If you start with all the knowledge that other companies have gained, then you’ll be ahead of the game.
6. Outsource Everything You Can
The principal factor in growing a business is your ability to outsource tasks to others. Your job is to run the company, and that makes your time extremely valuable. There wouldn’t be a business without you, so you should maximize your productivity by focusing all of your energy on running everything smoothly. It’s not going to benefit you to learn everything from scratch. Many startups fail because the owner tries to become an expert instead of hiring an expert.
As an example, think about the amount of time it takes for a professional graphic designer to hone their skills. It wouldn’t make sense for a business owner to dedicate countless hours learning how to use software to design graphics. It is much more cost-effective to contract a qualified designer to do it. It’s easy to overlook the hidden costs of doing everything on your own, but you should never be afraid to outsource as much as possible. Put your focus into managing your business instead of being the hardest working employee in your company.
Always be willing to learn your limitations and continually weigh the hidden costs of your time investments in a task. The end-goal for you is the total automation of your business. Don’t get hung up on saving a few bucks. Take ten minutes to write down everything you’re doing that you could contract someone else to do, and keep an eye open for great freelancers.
7. Test Your Marketing Strategies and Increase Your Advertising Budget
Your product might be the best in the world, but you’ll never sell to a person who doesn’t know it exists. It’s no coincidence that the most successful companies spend a large percentage of their profits on advertising. Small businesses usually shy away from investing money into marketing because they associate it with losing profits. If you want to be a successful business owner, then you need to think of your advertising budget as the source of all your capital gains.
Marketing is the only thing that’s keeping your doors open, and it is the most important aspect of running a business that you can scale up. It works just like compound interest. Spend more on advertising, and you will inevitably make more in return. The exception to that rule is when a business owner keeps dumping investments into strategies that don’t bring a measurable return. You can solve that through a constant analysis of split testing. That means creating different landing pages and ad campaigns. You can find out exactly what small changes can be made to optimize your marketing efforts over time. Little changes to text and formatting can make a huge difference for your conversion rates.
Knowing how to create a profitable blog isn’t only the first step to residual income, it’s the most important step. You don’t want to start on the wrong foot, so take your time and put these steps into play.