If you’ve set up a new blog and are hoping to make money from it quickly, there are a few key steps you need to take in the first six months. Focusing in on these key areas will help you get set up for the future AND (if you do them right) you should see at least a modest income before your blog is six months old.
Focus on content creation (and bake in the monetization)
Relevant, high-quality content is the backbone of your blog. Just because you produce great content doesn’t mean the readers will come. You need to promote your content (see below) to make sure that happens. However, the content still needs to be there, and it needs to be good. It you promote mediocre content all you’ll achieve is a high bounce rate.
You also need to ‘bake in’ discreet monetization streams as your create your content. I don’t advise you to cover a new blog (or any blog) with ads. That’s not the smartest strategy for a new blogger. But you can start recommending products and services you love, that are relevant to your content, from day one.
Start with affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing is probably the best way for any new blogger to start making money quickly. I’ve written a whole series on affiliate marketing (over 10,000 words of content). You can find all the articles in the series here.
Promote as much as you create
Getting readers to your blog is your next job. For every hour you spend on content creation, you probably need to spend at least another hour promoting. This can be anything from social media activity to guest posting, influencer outreach to email marketing.
As a start, check out my 16 strategies for promoting a new blog post.
Find your people
Networking is as much a part of blogging as content creation and content marketing. Set aside time to network with your readers and other bloggers. Interact with readers via your Facebook page and other social media. Find like minded bloggers via blog networks and Facebook groups. Develop a networking strategy.
Build your email list
Ultimately your email list is where most of your sales will come from, whether you’re selling affiliate products, your own services, or anything else. Check out how you can start building an email list for free, right from the day one. You just need a basic autoresponder (I use Mailchimp) and an opt-in gift (here are some opt-in freebies you can offer). You can upgrade to fancy, expensive software and a premium autoresponder later.
Monitor your audience
Read your comments. Ask your readers what they’d like to see more of. Encourage your email subscribers to hit reply and ask you questions. Find out what your audience worries about or doesn’t understand. What are their pain points? These are the issues you want to address, both in your blog posts and newsletters and when considering future products and services you can offer.
Affiliate marketing is a great way to start making money from your blog, but ultimately you’ll probably want to create your own products or services to sell. That’s why you’re monitoring your audience.
I found my audience all ran blogs and websites of some kind, but struggled with organization and time management. That’s why I developed The Busy Blogger’s Success Kit, a digital package full of checklists, cheat sheets, templates and other resources to help you run your blog or site efficiently. I also developed my Savvy Solopreneur’s Guides series based on the pain points my audience were always discussing. And I pick the affiliate products I promote very carefully, to make sure they actually solve a problem my audience struggle with, otherwise why would they want to buy them?
On that note, today I have a crazy special offer for all of you. The Solopreneur Success Bundle goes live this week and will be available for just a few days (September 18th through 22nd) It contains 18 different resources for solopreneurs, worth $1742 when sold separately. Just this week, you can grab the whole lot for $99. AND to sweeten the deal, If any of you buy through my link (that’s this one) you get a FREE copy of The Busy Blogger’s Success Kit (worth $29). Just make your purchase, and send your receipt to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send you a super secret link to download your free kit. You can check out the details of what’s in the Solopreneur Success Bundle right here.