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5 Ways to Build an Audience for Your Blog and 10 Ways to Make Money Once You Have

To succeed as a blogger you must be diligent, methodical and have something to say people are interested in hearing.
5 Ways to Build an Audience for Your Blog and 10 Ways to Make Money Once You Have
Image credit: wundervisuals | Getty Images

If you're looking to start a blog, or you're already knee-deep in blogging, you've likely scoured the ends of the earth searching for ways you can make money blogging. While there are plenty of options, to really make money blogging, you have to ensure that you hold steadfast and true to a certain set of criteria. If you can do that, then you'll likely succeed in the long term. Fail to do that and you'll see your efforts fall flat at best. 

Overall, there are 10 primary ways you can profit from your blog. But before you get there, you have to build a great blog with useful content. Now, that could take a long time, or it could be done in a shorter time span. Gerard Adams built Elite Daily and sold it within three years for $50 million to the Daily Mail. 

Of course, that might be an rare example, but there are plenty of blogs out there that are churning six and seven-figures per year like clockwork. It isn't easy, but it is possible. Just like Roger Bannister's four-minute mile, it's much easier to achieve a goal after you've witnessed someone else do it. 

So if you're looking to start a blog in the near future, or you're already a blogger, there are certain things that you need to know and adhere to. 

What makes a blog successful? Every blogger who's experienced some semblance of success knows that starting a blog isn't a walk in the park. Not only do you need to get it off the ground and address a variety of issues, but you also need to provide constant attention to it. It takes a significant amount of work to get a blog off the ground. This is definitely not for the faint-hearted. Here's what you need to do.

1. Regularly add compelling content.

Not just a couple of times per month. Weekly. You need to build compelling content that attracts a specific audience. The more niche your blog is, and the bigger that niche, the more success you'll experience sooner. Some bloggers, like Mashable's Pete Cashmore, are known to do five or six pieces of content per day, every day, for a year or more before really picking up steam.

Related: How to Start a Blog and Make Money Online

2. Nurture and grow your audience.

It's not just about consistent blog content, you also have to nurture and grow your audience over time. That means responding and replying to comments, building a community through email marketing and creating a Facebook Group where you can converse regularly with them.

Related: 10 Smart Ways to Earn or Build Backlinks to Your Website

3. Engaging through storytelling.

The better you are at telling stories, the more likely you'll succeed with blogging. The fact is that people want to consume engaging content. That happens through the vehicle of a powerful story. The better you are at related concepts through storytelling, the quicker you'll be able to grow your blog's audience.

4. Strategically attracting readers.

You have to strategically attract readers to your blog. Whether that's through understanding SEO and online marketing or by guest blogging on other popular blogs, this has to be done the correct way. The more you know and understand about the mechanics of these strategies, the better and quicker you'll be able to grow your audience over time.

Related: 3 Reasons Why Your Blog Sucks

5. Staying topical.

Blogs are built by staying topical. That's how readers are attracted. If you're writing about technology news, don't start doing self improvement. If you're discussing ways to make money, don't start talking about health insurance. Get the picture? Stay topical so that you can provide some certainty to your audience about the topic and make search engines like Google happy. 

And the 10 Ways to Make Money Blogging

There are 10 paths to profit with your blog. The better you understand webinars, sales funnels and conversion rate optimization, the more likely you are to churn a profit early on. 

It takes time. So don't get discouraged in the beginning days, weeks or even months. You're going to need some persistent effort to see things through. However, if you stick it out, you could generate numerous streams of passive income from your blog and even potentially quit the everyday hustle and bustle of the rat race. 

1. Advertising

Advertising income from platforms like AdSense and others isn't going to necessarily pay the bills unless you have significant traffic. Ads tend to slow a site down, which affects the user's experience, which in turn affects visibility on search engines. It's also important to be careful not to place too many ads above the website's fold.

2. Podcasts

While podcasts might not results in a direct income, they do help to build and nurture audiences, and you can use that platform to further promote your blog and its content. Like blogging, you have to stay consistent with this if you want to build a big audience over time. 

3. Affiliate marketing

This is a relatively quick path to profit. Even if you have a small audience, depending on the earnings potential per sale, you could make a decent revenue with affiliate marketing. However, if you have a sizable list, this is far more feasible from early on to promote to your audience.

Related: The Affiliate Marketing Model: A Blueprint for Success in the Gig Economy

4. Events and webinars

Another great way to make money from your blog is to host events and webinars. These can be in-person meetups, conferences or virtual gatherings. It's entirely up to you. You'll likely make the most amount of money quickest through this particular source. Think about adding value at the front over all else and the profits will eventually follow. 

5. Premium content

Create a premium content area and charge a monthly fee for access. You can place your best content here behind a pay wall. If you have a burgeoning online community and readers trust you to deliver value, and you're great at building instructional blog content, consider premium content with monthly subscriptions.

Related: 21 Ways to Market Your Business Online

6. Digital info products

From ebooks to audiobooks and other digital info products, these make for a great source of revenue from your blog as long as they are relevant to the topic you're known to be writing about. It takes significant work to create value-laced digital info products, but it's well worth it. When you combine these with an effective sales funnel, the sky really is the proverbial limit. 

7. Courses

Courses are great ways to make money from your blog. You can sell them directly on your blog, or you can leverage platforms out there like Udemy, Ankur Negpal's Teachable and Jonathan Cronstedt's wildly-popular Kajabi platform. While Udemy takes a significant portion of your revenues, platforms like Teachable and Kajabi are designed more for internet marketers. 

8. Physical products (ecommerce)

Blogs are a great way of attracting readers into ecommerce stores through Shopify or another platform. Building useful posts that act as product reviews or other information about the industry your products are in is a great way to entice readers to come and visit your blog. 

9. Email marketing

Of course, email marketing is one of the biggest ways to make money blogging, but it requires an audience. You've likely heard that the money is in the list, and no truer words have been spoken. The estimates are approximately $1 for every subscriber on your list per month if you approach it the right way. Build a list early by creating a lead magnet and an email warming sequence, even if you don't have a product to sell yet. 

10. Selling services

You can sell numerous services from your blog such as coaching, design, consulting and others as well. No matter how you look at it, blogs are a great source of driving organic traffic. You can also use it for stealth marketing by using a Facebook or Google Pixel to remarket to those users once they've visited your content by presenting a relevant advertisement to them across the internet.