A Glimpse Into the World of Professional Blogging





Attraction to pro blogging

Professional blogging is very attractive as a vocation with a lot of potential for entrepreneurs who have a basic understanding of today’s innovative Web technology, as well as discipline, motivation and insight into one or more topics about which to write. The number of so-called pro bloggers who earn reasonable sums of money from their blogs are small; and still smaller is the group of bloggers who make a living entirely from blogging. Kimberly Palmer, a senior editor for U.S. News Money and author of the book, The Economy of You, citing a Pro blogger survey in her How to Earn Money as a Professional Blogger article, wrote:

“…most bloggers earn less than $100 per month, and 3 in 10 earn less than $10 per month. Only 16 percent of the 4,000 respondents say they make more than $2,500 a month.” That having been said, however, the number of bloggers who have managed to monetize their blog enough to supplement an existing income have increased since 2009 when Ms. Palmer’s article was written; and the pro blogging community is growing at a rate which can be described as moderate, but it is difficult to say whether this trend will continue since competition for online advertising dollars has increased at a much faster rate.

Many Web users and marketers dream of entering the sphere of professional blogging, even while there are some who happily devote an hour or more each day to their blog with the ever present wish that they could earn some kind of financial reward for all of their work. But those who yearn to monetize their blogs must know and utilize existing models for making money from their blogging activity, the most popular of which is to sell advertising space through Google’s AdSense program, or the less popular method of selling advertising space to one or more companies that wish to reach the bloggers’ audience.

A self-supporting blogosphere

Indeed, the number of people who do make a comfortable living just by selling space on their blogs comprises a very small percentage of an otherwise vibrant online marketplace; but this has not been a deterrent to aspiring pro bloggers, simply because the attraction of this vocation and the lifestyle it it supports appeal to many. Aspiring pro bloggers need not be dissuaded as they will find it comforting news that bloggers – pro, amateur and blogging hobbyists – are very supportive of each other in the sense that most of the people who read weblogs are bloggers themselves.

The self-supporting characteristic of this blogosphere is due – in part – to the fact that people who use blogging technology on a daily basis are most likely to be interested in what other writers are doing with the medium. And this is a fact that begins to explain why those who succeed in the world of professional blogging are mostly individuals who have devoted themselves almost entirely to learning about, talking about, and writing about blogging. More than any other topic, pro bloggers turn their attention to the phenomenon of blogging itself; and a lot of pro bloggers make their topic of blogging the stunningly self-reflexive focus of their blogs on an ongoing basis.

Of course, professional blogging is destined to become much more complicated in the future than it is today; but it must be said that pro bloggers who attract the largest audiences and make the most money are mostly concerned with investigating the blogging movement as well as offering advice to amateur bloggers. However, as the kinds of people who regularly read blogs change, and the demographics of bloggers expand and diversify as blogging software becomes more user-friendly, it is very likely that the world of pro blogging will begin to reflect these changes.

Pro blogging in flux

Indeed, it is very difficult to predict exactly what kinds of blogs will be reaping the greatest financial rewards five or ten years from now; but the world of pro blogging is one of constant change, and continues to be in a state of flux – not unlike the overall blogosphere and the larger Internet community – which is part of what makes it so exciting, appealing and inviting. If you are an aspiring pro blogger, it might be helpful for morale to heed the words of pro blogger Jim Wang, who is quoted as offering this advice: ‘Be patient. “It takes years to get to the point where you can earn a living off the site,” a sentiment which echoed by other successful pro bloggers who know what it takes to achieve pro blogging success.

Blogging: A Money-Making Web Marketing Tool





From mere comments to profits!

Blogging has come a long way since the late nineteen-nineties when it was seen as a way to merely comment on existing webpages, or an opportunity for visitors and readers to interact with each other and voice their opinions about various types of content. The amazing thing is, what started as a single-sentence commentary has evolved into pages of personal views on just about any topic imaginable; and as it stands today – March, 2016 – and continues into the future, blogging has increased its revenue-generating potential by attracting an increased share of online advertising.

So if you are already a blogger who have spent, and still spend, a fair amount of time blogging, you could literally make money simply by asking for it, as long as you had previously laid the groundwork for this eventuality. In other words, if you’ve already established a blog for which there is a regular readership (following), the expectation that a portion – if not the majority – of this following can be transformed into a customer base for any products/services you recommend is certainly reasonable. Therefore you would have an easier time turning a profit by hosting sponsored links or banners on your blog, thereby deriving an income from this activity practically overnight.

But even if you did not start your blog with the intentions of turning a profit, the ability to earn supplementary income from your blog may be easier than you think. Keep in mind, however, that there is still a lot of time, work and effort involved in the monetization process; but the question any serious-minded blogger must address is, if s/he is already putting in the appropriate time, work and effort needed to monetize a blog just to maintain it, why not also opt for the monetary reward? And for anyone who is not currently blogging, but might want to embark on a career in blogging, this method of making money on the Web might be just the thing that could start your Web marketing career as will be discussed later.

Blogging: Simple, authentic, free!

The simplest and fastest way to express your point of view on the Web is through blogging, because there really no skills required other than the ability to legibly convey your thoughts in a way that others can understand; so in this regard, an average adult who can read, type and click a mouse can start a blog and be good at it. Blogging can be compared to having a virtual piece of paper on which you write your ideas, experiences and new products while hoping that the truth and quality of your articles shine through and entice readers to also try your product. And to think that all you need is a PC and an Internet connection to beging blogging and attracting advertisers.

In this day and age when advertising saturate our lives, we question the credibility of promoters’ claims, and this is where the authenticity of a blog is not only an asset to its owner, but is seen as a valuable resource to those who read and follow it. And although blogs, in their truest form, allow real people to share their real-life experiences without the distraction of paid advertising, reading a blog about first-hand product use is like talking to an individual about his/her first-hand experience. And after all, don’t most people prefer to buy tried and tested products?

Blogging is free, and despite the fact that, today, it is considered a marketing tool from which considerable incomes can be generated, many blogging platforms like WordPress, Blogger and Tumblr as well as several others, still see it as something to augment current marketing tools and offer it free of charge. This opportunity for a free web space and time is definitely a plus for new businesses that are just starting up, and needless to say, a blogger having the ability to monetize his/her blog pages without incurring an expense for the space and time in which the blog is accessible, can generate a generous income for his/her growing blogging business.

Blogging credibility builds your market

A prerequisite to establishing a following and building a market for your blog is credibility. Your blog’s title, content and availability on the Web (reliability) must be credible; so that as you proceed through the writing of your experiences on a particular product or industry, your readers will come to realize that they can depend on your posts for their own information needs. Therefore, you become an expert in the particular topic of conversation and are seen as such, which results in more readers visiting your blogsite and more bloggers linking to it.

When companies and professional organizations notice the growth of your readership base, they will soon contact you with offers for advertising on your blog page or make you an affiliate, in which case you’ll be compensated by the affiliate program for every referral to the merchant’s site that was generated from your blogsite. So credibility is that element of blogging which must be maintained at all costs in order to begin the very important task of building a market for your blog; because unless you are a known entity (pro athlete, Hollywood star, politician, etc.) chances are that nobody reads your blog, except maybe your mom and a few friends and family members.

However, the group of people you know is certainly not big enough from which to build a market, so you’ll need to start looking at a number of different methods that can be effective in your market-building objective and take your blog to the next level. because without a viable market for the products and service promoted on your blog, you could be destined to the same fate of those who have spent months or even years blogging just to realize that the money they make from advertising adds up to such a negligible sum that it is hardly worth mentioning.

Blog market-building tips

Concentrate on those elements (prequisites) mentioned earlier (title, content and reliability), and then make sure that the subject matter is appealing to your target audience, which in turn will enduce advertisers to reach out to you and help you to monetize your blog. With this in mind, we hope you find the tips and methods provided in following paragraphs helpful to your your blog marketing aspirations.

Start using your email to communicate, if you are not currently doing so; because today’s blogging is overcoming the popularity of emails to quickly and effectively reach and expand a market. And in this age of speed and quick access, logging in and downloading email is simply taking much longer than clicking into a blogsite. So allow them to explore your blog by using a short email message as a teaser to your blog site; and if your email is on an entirely different subject, simply use your email signature to provide them with a link to the site.

Invite readers to subscribe to your blog or to a newsletter. In order to do this you’ll need an opt-in form through which your your readers can provide their name and email address, two of the items needed for them to authorize you top send them information via email. Giving your readers an opportunity to subscribe to your blogsite, and providing them with exclusive information that is not given to anybody else, will entice them to subscribe by giving their name and email address. Just make sure to be responsible in your use of their information, as the last thing you want is a comment on your blog that you are a spammer.


Surveys and blogging networks

Make a serious and ongoing effort to understand your readers. You can start by conducting a simple survey for them to complete, which will provide you with a better understanding of their profiles and advertising preferences. Ask your blog followers and readers to give you feedback on a post, an ad link, or a product trial that you shared. Using this approach is like interviewing your readers without the commitment and intrusion of a face-to-face interview.

Consider joining a blogging network, which is a collection of blogsites that consist of content about a common industry, common interests, common readership base, common payment mode, and other similarly common characteristics. Most consumers find credibility and convenience in clicking one link to several real bloggers about a single subject. In this regard, more bloggers are clearly better than, and more influential, than a single one.

Ultimately, the only way to find out if you can succeed in blogging by taking advantage of the free software offered by the various platforms, build credibility, create a market and succeed in attracting advertisers to monetize your blog, is to start one; and if you are already blogging, you really have nothing to lose. So give your online presence a boost by effectively using this free Web marketing tool that could propel you to new heights in the blogosphere.

About Bloggers and Affiliate Merchants





Blogging as an affiliate tool

If you are new to affiliate marketing and wish to increase your earnings, an ideal way to do so is by making contact with merchants who own the products/services (‘products’) and/or affiliate programs in which you are most interested; this way you can save yourself a lot of time, money and heartache, because you will know – first-hand – what is expected of you in relation to those merchants’ products.

That having been said it should also be pointed out that affiliates who prefer to use blogging as the method by which to promote a merchant’s products must be receptive to the idea that the topics they cover in their blogs should meet a number of objectives. In other words, the topics these affiliates blog about should be of interest to a large section of the blogging community, while simultaneously be compatible with the affiliate products they are marketing.

For example, some of the most popular blogging topics pertain to money, various types of loans, debt consolidation, and other financial topics; but also encompass tips and techniques on how to make and manage money. These are just a few examples of popular topics that bloggers explore on the web, so it is no surprise that so many bloggers turn their attention to dealing with debt.

Gain the merchants’ confidence

Once you, as a new affiliate marketer, decide that you intend to utilize blogging as your way to promote products you should contact the affiliate merchants to let them know what marketing strategy you are using – or will use – to promote their products, even while you ask for their advice as to what they have found to be the most effective strategy for marketing such products.

Merchants will know their product the best and they will have a good idea of the strategies being employed by other affiliates that have been proven most successful in making sales. In addition, contacting the merchant also shows them that you are dedicated to achieving success in your affiliate marketing vocation, which should give them some extra incentive to work more cooperatively with you.

Keep in mind that once you have stated your intention and disclosed your marketing strategy to these merchants, they might make the extra effort to design (or brand) marketing materials specifically for you, so it is important that you be consistent in your approach, topic and medium. If your topic pertains to debt, you might want to blog about the ease with which consumers fall into debt and the difficulty they have in getting out of it; this way merchants might have more confidence in your marketing approach and expertise.

Know your blogging topic!

There’s nothing wrong with creating a positive impression on your affiliate merchants, and contacting them also shows your enthusiasm for marketing their products. Merchants having an in depth knowledge of affiliate marketing also know that over 90% of sales are generated by less than 5% of their affiliates; so good merchants will recognize your efforts and provide you with tools, information and other resources that will help you achieve success.

If you intend to blog about some of the popular topics mentioned earlier, make sure you have some knowledge about these topic, since you wouldn’t want to blog about loans, debt consolidation, savings, and certain types of investments unless you have a thorough understanding of financial management or consulting. If, on the other hand, you are already familiar with loans, debt consolidation, savings, and types of investments, make sure to use your knowledge toward achieving your blogging goals.

By sharing expertise you have in a given field, you will certainly be able to help your readers solve any problems they may have in that particular area, while reaping sizable monetary rewards for your time and knowledge. So while popular topics can prove to be very fruitful to blog about, you must be able to write intelligently about them.

Many of the more successful bloggers who make a substantial income from their blogs spend a significant amount of their time writing about money; so if you know how to entice and woo advertisers while building a blog fan base, you can also earn a considerable income simply by talking about money; as long as you do proper research on the topic and learn how to write compelling posts about it.

Dealing directly with merchants

The more success you have blogging about a particular topic, the more interest you will create in your blog, such that if and when you email a merchant and they don’t respond, you should have no problem getting the attention of other merchants; and you should really refrain from any dealings (partnership?) with a merchant who fails to communicate, since such failure might be indicative of other problems, such as refusal or failure to pay your commission.

An affiliate marketing partnership is by no means a problem-free arrangement, since it has been shown to involve a number of problems, including but not limited to, poor quality products, poor/non-existent customer service and failure/refusal to pay affiliate commissions. Keep in mind that some merchants also make big promises and set high payout rates knowing full well that very few affiliates will actually meet their objectives. You should avoid working with such merchants.

Communicating with merchants

When you communicate with merchants, you should ensure that you use a professional tone; and if you have suggestions on how a merchant can improve his/her offers, you should let them know, because most merchants appreciate feedback, and know that a lot of the feedback they receive can improve their programs.

Always remember that smart merchants understand the value of good affiliates and will treat you with respect, assist you with resources, and pay your commissions promptly; while smart affiliates understand that merchants want quality promotion and sales performance.

To get the most out of your partnership, you should always be professional and make an effort to cooperate with your merchant; and try to understand that good merchants are always busy, which might make them seem like they aren’t that good; but be assured that they will answer your questions and emails, even if it takes them a bit more time.

The longer you work with a merchant, the more you will understand how they do things; but if you are just starting out in affiliate marketing, you have to realize that a merchant can help you understand how things work. So if you listen to the the reputable ones and show initiative, you’ll be well on your way to achieving success as an affiliate marketing blogger.