Business School for Bloggers: How to Make Money With Your Blog
I am frequently asked about how to make money on the web, especially how to make money with your blog. I find a wide variety of answers around the web, some of them get rich quick schemes, PageRank games, and SEO illusions, but there is only one answer that I want to shout to the roofs, but few people listen.
Blogging as a business is business. It takes business training and skills to make money with your blog.
That’s it. That’s the secret. John Chow, Guy Kawawasaki, Darren Rowse, Seth Godin, these princes of blogging didn’t get rich with their blogs by just having blogs. They used their business sense and know how to make their blogs work for them. They understood that a blog is just another tool in the business arsenal, a business card and resume all wrapped up in one, offering a business a powerful communications tool. In order to make your blog work for you, you have to understand how business works.
To have a “successful” blog and to make your blog work for you, you have to have skills and training in advertising, marketing, economics, finance, writing ability and language skills, public relations, networking, everything any business needs. These are the skills you bring it to your blog to make it a success, earning the money you deserve.
If you don’t have the business skills, where do you get the training you need to flip your blog over into a business and money magnet?
You can hang out on the successful problogger’s blogs, digging into their past content and sitting at their knees to learn every day they share another tidbit.
You can work towards your BS in Finance at GMercyU or take business classes at your local college, university, or community program, taking months or years of training on the basics of business and business communication.
You can read a book or three on how others made money, but will it really apply to your specific needs? Maybe. It worked for someone.
Or you can get the training you need from fellow bloggers who have “been there done that” with their blog and business expertise and learn from the horse’s mouth, so to speak.
Business of Blogging Events
There are two big blog events annually which focus specifically on the business side of blogging within the United States. Blog Business Summit, which held their program in Seattle in January (the next one hasn’t been scheduled), and the Successful and Outstanding Bloggers Conference (SOBCON2008) in Chicago, May 2-4, 2008.
When I look at the list of speakers, I’m overwhelmed – and excited. Imagine being in the room and able to interrogate Brian Clark of Copyblogger, Terry Starbucker, Anita Bruzzese, Chris Garrett, Chris Brogan, Dave Bullock, Liz Strauss, emoms’ Wendy Piersall, and me, Lorelle VanFossen, on all things business and blogging. You have the whole weekend to ask them all about how they blog, why they blog, and how they make money with their blogs – the business of blogging up close and personal.
You can still register for SOBCon 2008 but space is limited. It is designed to be an intimate workshop, giving you the hands-on skills and personal attention you deserve to help build your blog business. The speakers will be using a unique Presentation/Workshop model, turning theory into practice so you leave the weekend workshops with a solid action plan in place, tailored specifically to your individual needs. It’s one-on-one business training for bloggers.
Topics include establishing and maintaining your online reputation and public relations; business definition, purpose, plan, and demographics definition; increasing the return on your investment and saving time with an editorial calendar and plan; sales techniques and strategies for your blog; investing in social captial and networking; emphasizing the return customer, encouraging them to come back for more; and switching from independent blogger to business owner, learning and coping with new business challenges and skills.
The speakers represent those who have succeeded, as well as those who have tried and failed and then rose up out of the ashes to keep trying again. They know how business works, especially online business and social networking. They are the leaders that bring you the best advice and techniques for successful blogging.
I’ve written a lot about the benefits and rewards of attending SOBCon. It is a life changing experience. But let’s get down to the nitty gritty. If you want your blog to be successful online, you cannot afford to miss this event.
The author of Lorelle on WordPress and the fast-selling book, Blogging Tips: What Bloggers Won't Tell You About Blogging, as well as several other blogs, Lorelle VanFossen has been blogging for over 15 years, covering blogging, WordPress, travel, nature and travel photography, web design, web theory and development extensively as web technologies developed.
I completely agree with your point “John Chow, Guy Kawawasaki, Darren Rowse, Seth Godin, these princes of blogging didn’t get rich with their blogs by just having blogs. They used their business sense and know how to make their blogs work for them”. I would stress the “know how” because there are some successful bloggers who don’t necessarily have much business sense necessarily, but whatever it is they’re blogging about is something they have expert knowledge in and a strong passion for, so their blog becomes an authority in the field.
It takes a lot more than just blogging. But, well, itcan be done by just blogging. A petty I can not attend to the lessons you described. Too far away for me. Is there an online course too? Thanks
as i ponder the idea of trying to make money with my blog, i too wonder if there is an on-line option.
There are many options, but you are on a WordPress.com blog which means indirect income is your only choice as direct ads are not permitted on WordPress.com blogs. It’s in their terms of service.
There are a ton of bloggers who blog about making money with blogs, but many are get rich quick schemes. Take care and investigate only reputable bloggers like Darren Rowse of Problogger.net.
I believe it’s the authority blogs in specific niches that generate the big income. Take the topic of HDTV, for example….an authority blog there could include Amazon.com ads for their HDTVs and generate a $50 affiliate commission per sale.
If said blog had thousands of visitors, it would certainly add up.
People who build such blogs generally then take what they’ve learned and create the generic “here’s how to do it” blog (still highly trafficked, of course). But I believe the main income from a niche site will always outearn a MMO blog site – the affiliate commissions are simply higher.
Where can I get a list of Blog conferences? I want to build a list of them and put them on my blog.
Search the web and check out the Google calendars for blog events.
Wow, great article. I just got started blogging about 2 months ago and am still building my blog up so this article was a real find!! Also stumbled across a clip on Howcast called How to make cash from your blog. So much great info out there!
Yes the bloggers who are making it big time have a business background but still there are some others who get it & make money blogging.
I also think some who make are clever or have some computer programming skills. Some have teaching skills.
WOW I wish I go to that bloggers convention I totally agree with you on the fact that you have to look at it like a business because if you don’t you will not know how to get traffic how to keep customers / readers or any of the crucial things of blogging.
Thanks, Spencer Young Enthusiast
Great post. I’ve used this info and it’s helped my site/blog greatly. Thanks
Very helpful! If talk more details, it would be better!
Great post, very useful. thanks
Great stuff, really helpful.
Also If you wish I have a website full of great resources to help you will making money online. Don’t worry they are all free, such as the best web directories, the best DoFollow Forums and a 5 step guide to blogging.
Be sure to have a good at http://www.makemoneyonline-advice.blogspot.com
I totally agree with you on the fact that you have to look at it like a business because if you don’t you will not know how to get traffic how to keep customers.
I have been blogging for a few months now but dont seem to be getting a lot of traffic 34 i think to date, is there any way to get more people interested is it to do with content or the more content you publish. Or is it the same people coming back to read the new articles i write any help would be great thankyou