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Blogging for Bread and Butter

C. Rosenberg

Blogs are increasingly a way to earn a substantial living. Successful bloggers and marketing experts share the secrets of how to make real money from blogging

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

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“Don’t expect to make any money until you’ve put in at least two years of constant learning, content creation, and networking — think ten to fifteen hours a week. If this scares you off, good. If you’re still reading, even better”–web business consultant Naomi Elbinger

N early every business owner in 2017 recognizes the importance of a website, an online face for the company. Yet many people don’t realize that a website, specifically a blog, can be your business.

Just as a brick-and-mortar business offers a service or product, attracting customers with its unique selling point, bloggers attract customers by selling something, too: information.

Do people pay good money for information? Just think about lawyers, accountants, physicians, and other professionals, all of whom charge often pricey fees for consultations. Sure, bloggers may not be able to compete with those rates, yet the need for the information bloggers provide is very real. By sharing that information, many bloggers find the means to earn or supplement their livelihood.

The money’s not usually coming from readers like you. Unless you’ve subscribed to an online magazine, you’re not charged a fee to browse the latest in health or science, fashion or food, politics or the economy. There are numerous other effective ways that talented bloggers can generate income while writing about their passions.

 

Information Please

Let’s start at the very beginning. What should you write about on your blog? How do you decide on the content you’ll cover and then go about developing it?

“Think about your unique value proposition,” adds Rabbi Meilech Leib DuBrow, who launched his first website over 20 years ago, and who has since designed, built, and launched dozens of sites, most recently kosherhealthfitness.com. “What are you offering that no one else (or at least, few others) are?”

So, in an internet packed with thousands of food blogs, for instance, there could still be space for another — if you have a unique angle.

“Be authentic,” suggests Shoshana Raff, founder of Raff Business Consulting, who focuses on strategy, digital marketing, and social advertising. “Content is king because search algorithms are built to identify unique, authentic, and organic content. If you are providing original content that your target market is looking for, the algorithms will recognize this and your rankings will increase.”

What if writing is not exactly your forte? Should you quit before you even get started? No, say experts, but it will be an uphill ride. When you’re doing the writing, not only do you control the content, but you can also convey your passion. It’s worth the effort. Invest in an editor, if necessary, but realize that the more you write, the more your skills will improve.

The exceptions to this may be blogs about products, such as electronics or vitamins, in which research and anecdotal evidence may suffice, negating the need for writing expertise.

Remember, too, blogs need not be paragraphs of prose. A sentence or two, combined with a video, demonstrative photos, perhaps a link — all that can compose a reader-ready blog entry. Internet readers typically look for quick, easy reads that convey information efficiently and in an entertaining fashion. That’s why lists do so well, as well as blogs laced with humor.

Consider what is most effective for your audience: anecdotal evidence, scientific research, lists, videos, or a combination. (Excerpted from Family First, Issue 568)

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