"Don’t worry you won’t need to sell any products or services. Other people will be doing that for you."
Think of your blog as a way to help your readers by providing them with all manner of invaluable information. So not just the words that make up your content, but also products and services that relate to the content of the blog post.
Stables says that the three biggest mistakes people make when trying to monetize their blogs are:
- Using poor money makers
- Not using the best methods to get visitors
- Not providing what the visitors want
Interestingly under “not providing what the visitors want”, we are reminded to start with the right subject. This seems like an obvious thing until “right subject” is defined. The right subject is one that a) has enough people interested in it and b) interests you and c) lends itself to money making opportunities. Do the first without the second and you may have many visitors but an uninterested you makes for uninteresting content. It’ll be tough to get your visitors to return. Do the second without the first and it’ll be impossible to get enough visitors to make money. The third is self explanatory.
I was struck by an idea he presented about giving the reader what they want – contact the readers and ask them what problems they have that they need to solve. Ask them what they want in order to improve their lives/their work. I’m a marketing professional, why had this not occurred to me? These then become the benefits or visiting your blog. Stables suggests that you think of the benefit as something the reader will, as a result, be able to do better than they can do it now. He gives examples for all the ideas he gives in the book and for this one his example for a benefit of knowledge of bargain cars is a simple one – “You will be able to buy the best bargain car.” This is the benefit of reading your post so start your post with it. Benefits to them are the only reason they visit your blog.
The book goes on to give a formula for writing titles that grab the reader’s attention, a formula for the first paragraph (including that benefit) and reminds us to write as though talking to one person and to use white space in the post to make it easier to read. If this sounds like mostly how-to on writing and not so much on the money-makers, you know that you can institute all the great money makers you want but they won’t make you very much money if your writing doesn’t give your reader the value they expect!
The Big Idea
Make your information different
"…most people go wrong by providing mediocre information."
Make your information different than other blogs on the same subject. Go at the information from a different angle. A couple of examples are posts on:
- The wrong ways to do something
- Companies who are out of business because they did a certain thing, etc.
Even these, though, can be replicated by others. If, on the other hand, you give the information and then include your methods, your opinions, then your blog content will be different simply because it’s yours. This is a no brainer, I know, but when I reviewed some of my own blog posts I found more than one that only had facts. I will go back and make the content in those posts a lot stronger, a lot more valuable to my readers by adding a description of how I implemented the idea or what I thought about the idea.
How to choose the real money makers
"Affiliate or associate programs are the answer."
The most used methods for making money on blogs don’t bring in much money and take a really long to time to see results. The method Stables gives is super easy to do and makes money right away (and it’s not a pittance). He says to use affiliate or associate programs. Our company, TRAINING SYSTEMS, is an affiliate for many organization’s products and services but I would never have thought to link them in blog posts. The book suggests that you only put your affiliate links in posts where that product or service is relevant; don’t put affiliate links in every post you publish. Again, give more info than just words when a product/service allows them to do something better. This is what equals value. First give value/quality advice and then the money will follow.
A way better way to get visitors
"[These are the] best three ways to get a continuous stream of visitors to your blog. They are easy to do…"
There are three simple ways to attract visitors to your blog and they all involve writing. Write:
1. A post on someone else’s blog – one with lots of visitors who’d be interested in the topic of your blog and that are run by authors or other “go to guys”
2. Specific comments (that add value to the content) on popular blogs – same as above
3. Provide answers on Yahoo Answers – answer with a full explanation (if it’s voted by readers as the most helpful it goes to the top of the list of answers)
These are similar to the ideas for getting more readers in My Blog Traffic Sucks. But again there’s a twist, a different angle that Stables’ ideas come from. I’ve never heard anybody suggest the use of Yahoo Answers as a place to provide answers or comment on other answers as a way to attract your own visitors.
And always be sure to include a link to your own blog.
Many short how-to books are poorly written. This one won’t win any writing prizes but his information is solid and easily implementable. If you’ve been trying to figure out how to make money with the blog you love to write I urge you to look past his writing so you can gather his spot-on ideas.