Lately I have been getting asked (what feels like a million times), the question of how I make money with my blog. Or, can you (I) monetize my blog? Ironically, I attended a local Blogger’s Event this week and two questions were the focus, do you have a blog and do you monetize it? I’ll cover what I do on this Blog.
First a disclaimer….This post is NOT a get rich, a how to make a million in 30 days and it’s not the only way to make money with a blog. I am not claiming or promising you a thing! I am merely going to answer these questions by sharing with you how I generate revenue on this blog.
I’ve been blogging for a few years now, not many years, just a few. I started blogging on the topic of nanotechnology, I even wrote a short eBook on the topic. I also write about I.T. Strategic Planning, some personal thoughts and now I focus primarily on Social Media because that is what most of the readers here want from me. Then every now then, it comes in spurts, I get asked how I make money with my blog. OK, I get asked a lot 🙂 Keep in mind, I didn’t start blogging for the purposes of monetizing, I had a website long before I had a Blog, it’s easier to manage and it gives me a place to share my knowledge and help people.
I’ll bet the answer to this question is like finding the holy grail, I decided to do a little research and this is what I found out. I did a Google search for the phrase “Make Money With Blogs”, I noticed that there are 202,000,000 references to that phrase. Next I did a search for “How Bloggers Make Money From Blogging”, that showed a result of 136,000,000 references. Then I tried “How To Monetize My Blog” which brought a result of 522,000 references. I even setup a couple Google Alerts and monitored what was being posted for a few days, it’s a mess out there when it comes to this topic. As you can see this is a hot topic and considering the economic times we are in, I’m not surprised people are trying to find ways to make money. I actually hate the fact that we need money to survive but that’s another story.
Let’s move to what I do here on owengreaves.com, if you look around you’ll find I do very little, on the sidebar you will see a couple books I promote, they are affiliate links to Amazon.com. If you go to Amazon you can learn how to do the same thing, they cover the how to very well. I wrote a short eBook that I sell and that’s about it. The real dollars come from consulting on this topic, Social Media and I.T Strategic Planning. The truth be told, I just love to help people figure things out here on the Internet.
There are many ways to generate cash through your blog but you have to decide what your passion is and do people want what you have to sell. There is a process to follow, you don’t find a product first…you find a problem to solve before you start investing in a product.
Recently I Tweeted on Twitter a link to an article by Chris Brogan called, Make Some Money, and people thought I was spamming when I was merely promoting what Chris wrote. Money is a sensitive topic and anything that sniff’s of SPAM is an even touchier topic. Gary Vaynerchuck believes anyone can monetize whatever their passion might be, someone is going to buy what you’re doing, eventually. The trick is finding enough people to buy what you’re selling.
That’s it for now…stay tuned for more : )
I joined Twitter May 21st, 2008, not that long ago but it really doesn’t matter because I only had 6 followers on December 17th, 2008. That’s right; I went from 6 followers to 1,000 in 10 days! You’re probably saying one of two things, so what or how did he do it? Keep in mind, I’m just getting started and I don’t have the following some of these Twit guru’s have because they’ve been around a long time. This is not the only way to build followers with Twitter, it’s just what I did.
Before I get into it, we should more than anything talk about the why? Why did I sign up in the first place and then why did people start following me, I wasn’t selling anything and I wasn’t dropping pearls of wisdom on anyone, so why? You will read that I was looking to build traffic to my Blog, that’s the main reason I started and because someone got my attention.
Now, I had been reading, testing and playing with all kinds of tools to find a following, my interests so to speak. I’m not saying everyone that I follow and or that follows me has the same interest as me but there is a reason they follow. I follow anyone who is willing to follow me, I hope I am anyway. Why? Because I believe everyone has something to offer, even if it’s a BOT! I’ll deal with the BOT’s later. Along the way there will be a tipping point, a point where my followers will figure out if they are still as interested in what I’m doing or eventually find likeminded people and move on, I’m ok with that. So why, why did I join Twitter? I heard about Twitter while reading a Blog and the owner of the Blog called Twitter his secret weapon. That got my attention and the question came to me again, WHY? As I mentioned I was looking for an easy way to create traffic to my Blog, did I say easy? In the grand scheme of things it is amazingly simple but I had to give it considerable thought and effort.
I searched around and found a number of people had already written about getting more Twitter followers, I found they didn’t go deep enough in my humble opinion. You may feel the same way about this writing on the topic too. I’m not making claims of grandeur; I’m just sharing what I did.
I downloaded one guy’s PDF document on what he did and thought, he is just trying to get followers and not giving much thought into who is following him and what the common denominator might be between him and his followers. Now if you subscribe to Guy Kawasaki’s theory of Twitter followers – Forget the influential’s, I agree to a point, it’s just a numbers game to him. Guy is partly right and so is this young fella in his PDF document, take a read of Guy’s article called How to Use Twitter as a Twool. If you sit long enough and you follow enough people you will get followers for sure, but what do they want and what are they hoping to find in you?
My thinking on the topic is that it may be too time consuming for you; maybe you don’t care or don’t want to streamline who your followers might be or even qualify them. I do, but there is nothing like sheer numbers to guarantee your success if your selling something. I went about my business in building a following in a more methodical way and I asked myself a few questions before I click on the follow button.
1.) Does this person have something in common with me based on their BIO?
2.) Does this person look like someone I would want to follow? (look at their picture & tweets)
3.) How many are they following?
4.) How many are following them?
5.) Who is following them? (See #1 & #2)
6.) When did they last tweet? (Check how active they are)
7.) What is the common denominator that ties you & their followers together?
8.) Is their cause related to yours and how?
9.) Are you interested in that cause?
10.) Is this a potential market?
All those questions are running in my head as I go about finding likeminded followers, did you get that, likeminded is what I was looking for in a follower. It’s the same thing as finding followers interested in your Niche or Market. I didn’t have a set number of people to follow each day nor did I go looking for the ones with largest followers, I just did a lot of reading.
Now, as you are getting people who want to follow you, keep in mind they may not know why they want to, many will never look at you again because they just want to reach 500 or 1,000 or more followers. I have also come to the conclusion; people have a deep need to belong to something so be kind. But if you are in business or are just trying to get started building a following then you must consider the above list of questions in my humble opinion. Just following people blindly without any consideration of who they might be doesn’t accomplish anything of meaning. You’re just collecting followers. I’m not saying forget the influential’s but keep an eye on them, they know something that’s why they’re considered influential 🙂
Once I have given some thought to those questions while deciding if I should click follow I will do the following, if I feel this is a viable market:
– I will go through the next level under the 1st level followers and find out who is following them and quickly glance at their postings or their Tweets and look for the high numbers and so on.
– Then spend time researching those top followers. And then do some test marketing.
Yes the process sounds tedious and slow, yes it is time consuming and yes it can seem like it takes forever. Anything worthwhile is never convenient or easy.
What I have discovered is that if you follow many, many will follow you. So the time issue really takes care of itself and eventually you get a reputation as being someone of value and there will be followers. Now the question is, are you reputable, is what you are doing or interested in something others want from you and want to follow? Getting published helps, an interesting Blog too, the list goes on.
There are thousands of articles on finding your passion and how to maybe even find it, but, in the end it comes from you and you will want to pursue it and hopefully monetize it. Without traffic you will not be able to sell anything or build community. You need Traffic and Twitter is just one way to get started and anyone can do it!
There it is that’s what I did to reach 1,000 followers in 10 days. No tricks no games, just hard work. I had the time because it was over the Christmas break and I’m in between gigs. Sorry if you were hoping this was going to be a step 1, 2, 3 type of lesson but that wasn’t my focus at first, I wasn’t looking to write about it. I didn’t decide how many per day I would go through or anything that orderly, I just looked for people that looked like we had the same interests. Around the 600-700 mark I noticed people were coming along for the ride and they had no common ground with me from what I could see, they just rode the wave with me. I stopped actually following people once I hit 1,000 but the next day I went over 1,100, the eleventh day.
My next steps will be determined by the followers really, what they want and what will they consume. I only hope I can be a positive influence and make a difference to those looking for my knowledge and help.
Have fun and enjoy this Social environment called Twitter. I do use TweetDeck as my primary tool and I use the website now and then but that’s it for tools.
I look forward your comments and tweets.