Do you want to know why most blogs fail, abandoned by their owners between three and nine months?
I’m sure you have many theories.
Lack of readers, lack of subscribers, lack of patience to wait for the readers and subscribers, and lack of time are likely causes.
However, according to successful blogger Minuca Elena, the reason most blogs fail has nothing to do with any of those things.
In a recent interview, Minuca explained that the reason most blogs fail is the blog owner has no idea how to make money blogging, also called blog monetization.
My recent content marketing post about how to monetize your blog was met with controversy.
For example, Gilly Madison responded that bloggers fall into two categories, those wishing to make money and those not wishing to monetize. I beg to differ. I believe there is a third category of bloggers– those who might want to monetize one day.
This post will offer two ways you can monetize should the desire to make money blogging ever come.
Fortunately, publisher Lois Hoffman is here to explain how you can make money writing on the Internet.
Lois’s forte is helping writers monetize, so she is an expert in this field.
Are You a Blogger Looking to Monetize Your Knowledge?
For many bloggers, writing is simply a creative pursuit. It’s a way to share what you know or what you’re experiencing and be part of a vibrant blogging community. But if you’re looking to your blog as a source of income, it’s important to think more strategically about your content marketing strategy. It’s not just about getting visitors to your site. Content marketing (or authority marketing) is about generating leads and then driving sales from your traffic.
What is Content Marketing?
The Content Marketing Institute describes content marketing like this:
Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
Write valuable content
The first and most important part of content marketing is valuable content. You write content based on what your ideal reader wants and needs whether that is learning how to blog, figuring out what to cook for dinner, or giving your readers a good laugh. Stay laser-focused on solving their problem and consistently deliver the solution.
Drive traffic to your site
Blogs like Mostly Blogging provide tons of great information describing how to drive traffic to your site with catchy headlines, keyword-rich content, and various outreach strategies for getting people to visit and read your blog. If you follow her advice, visitors are compelled to click on links to other valuable content. Doing this consistently leads to a loyal audience who knows, likes, and trusts you and your expertise. If you do it well, your readers share the information with others to expand your circle of influence.
Capture reader emails
The next step is to capture emails of your readers. Why, you ask? The short answer is control. You own your list and control the messaging and timing. You have direct access to your ideal reader without the filter of finicky algorithms or even the whims of readers. People are busy. Deliver the content they want directly to them while giving them additional opportunities to solve their problem. Namely, they solve their problem by purchasing your product or services. But they need a reason to give you their email.
Create marketing assets
Marketing assets are customized content whose primary purpose is to capture email addresses. They include things like checklists, workbooks, webinars, reports, infographics, videos, SlideShare presentations, ebooks, podcasts, among lots of other types of content. Create branded assets (put your name on them) and tell them what to do next to get more info. Make them available on your blog as a sidebar widget, embed them in your blog posts, and use them for Facebook and Google ads to generate leads outside of your blog environment.
Write a compelling call to action
- Understand the needs of your audience – Get to know what they want. Find out their problems and provide solutions and include them as call to actions. If you don’t have the answer already, survey your audience to get some qualitative data.
- Learn to turn normal visitors into subscribers – Add CTA’s using the language your audience will respond to and make those CTA’s visible.
- Test and repeat – There’s no solid way to write effective call to actions. You have to test and try until you see the best results. Every industry is different.
On the blog Kissmetrics, the psychology driving readers’ behavior is this:
All human behavior, at its root, is driven by the need to avoid pain and the desire to gain pleasure. Even when we do something that appears to be painful, we do it because we associate pleasure with the action.
Effective CTAs offer the solution and a reason to do it now. The Daily Egg offers suggestions and examples of CTAs that work.
What is your product or service?
Once you’ve captured your readers’ emails, you’re in a position to convert your leads into sales. But what are you selling? If you’re like many bloggers, you offer consulting or coaching services to help your readers beyond your blog. Although you know your readers need what you have, many aren’t ready or able to go all in. Creating an info-product, like a book, is a smart way to leverage your knowledge and give readers an additional option for benefiting from your wisdom and insight.
Writing a book gives blog readers two options for solving their problem and gives you two ways to generate income. The beauty of a two-pronged approach is that promoting either your book or your services drives potential customers to explore the other. Readers of your book may find they need additional help once they read it and those receiving your services may want information written down for greater exploration.
If you’re a blogger, you probably have most of the information already written for a book. It’s a matter of organizing what you have in order to create a compelling narrative for the reader to follow. Being an author opens doors to speaking and presenting workshops. It also creates an event-worthy reason to be featured on various blogs and elsewhere in the news. Publishing a book features your expertise which drives clients to other products or services you offer.
In order to generate income from your blog, you need to create consistent valuable content to your ideal reader, create marketing assets to draw them closer, and build your email list. Once you do, you can offer them solutions to their problems through the services or products you offer. Writing a book is a valuable asset to generate income or establish yourself as an expert in order to drive sales and create access to new ways to promote yourself.
Congratulations to Janice for taking that step and publishing her book, The Insider’s Guide to Building a Successful Blog! She embodies what is possible for bloggers.
What part of the content marketing journey is the hardest for you?
Other content marketing resources:
Authority Marketing infographic
Lois Hoffman is the owner of The Happy Self-Publisher and author of Write a Book Grow Your Business: Build credibility, establish expertise and develop trust with your ideal client and The Self-Publishing Roadmap: A step-by-step guide to publishing the book of your dreams. She is a writer, speaker, workshop facilitator, and coach for new and experienced writers. She specializes in helping bloggers and business professionals build credibility and differentiate themselves in the market by writing and publishing books about their area of expertise.
Host Blogger’s Commentary:
Why You Should Monetize
Since AN INSIDER’S GUIDE TO BUILDING A SUCCESSFUL BLOG was published just one month ago, many exciting events have taken place.
Lois has already helped me monetize. People keep writing me to tell me they’ve purchased my ebook and the confidence they have in my tips that the book will help them be more successful bloggers in the new year.
The last month has definitely been exciting.
- Besides the new-found income, my exposure has increased.
Two well-known bloggers, Debby Kaye and Sally Cronin, interviewed me and reviewed my book. Tina Frisco reblogged Debby’s interview, so I received exposure on her blog as well. I was also interviewed by the NobleLoaded blog.
- In addition, my Twitter followers have exploded. My Twitter count is growing at a rate of about 100 new followers a week.
- Also, my MailChimp email list is getting new subscribers at a rapid rate.
- Next, a digital media company wrote me and offered me a contract to freelance for them. They are guaranteeing to pay me for sponsored posts.
- Furthermore, Matt (Kaboomis) Loomis has asked me to appear on his show. His guests include blogging influencers, so I am excited.
- Finally, a well-respected blogger wrote and asked if he could advertise his blog in my sidebar.
I don’t know if those events would be occurring even if Lois hadn’t published my ebook last month, but the timing definitely coincides.
I took Lois’s advice and turned my blog into a book. If you want help going from blogger to author, check out Lois’s website, The Happy Self-Publisher. She offers coaching and consulting services for the aspiring author in addition to her books on self-publishing.
Exciting News! The response to the free incentive for ordering AN INSIDER’S GUIDE TO CREATING A SUCCESSFUL BLOG has been overwhelming! As a result, I am extending the offer of bonus material with proof of purchase of the book and doubling the bonuses for purchase.
Potential to Monetize in the Future
I have interviews scheduled for two dates in December. Matt (Kaboomis) Loomis, the second interviewer, has offered to try to sell copies of my book, AN INSIDER’S GUIDE TO CREATING A SUCCESSFUL BLOG when I appear on his show.
Consider this comment from Akaahan Terungwa, a published author on Amazon:
Congratulations for publishing your first work on Amazon. As a prolific author on that platform myself, I heartily welcome you and can authoritatively tell you that, a million doors are already open for you!
It’s true! “A million doors” can be open for you, too, if you monetize.
Readers, please share so others wishing to monetize know about Lois’s expertise and the value of monetization.
What has your monetization journey been like? I look forward to your answer in the comments section.
UPDATE: More Ways to Monetize Your Knowledge
Since the publication, of this post, my business partner and I started the Mostly Blogging Academy of Blogging Courses.
We have 8 courses to help bloggers and marketers of all levels.
Starting a course for newcomers in your niche could be a way for you to monetize as well.