I make a living with my blogs.
And although I'm a writer, I don't actually write my blogs. I hire writers.
I hire writers to write blogs, I post them, and people send me money. In fact I get dozens of emails every week from people who want to send me money. Last year they sent me over $55,000 dollars.
How is this possible? I'm going to tell you a few secrets and someday, maybe you'll be making a living with your blogs.
Secret # 1
I started my first blog in 1995. I started my second blog in 2006. They weren't actually blogs at the time, just websites with links and news. Over the years they grew, I upgraded their platforms, added new sections and services, and eventually added the blog.
It takes a long time to make money on your blog. On the site from 1995, it was probably 2005 before anyone offered me money. Or later! The second site developed a bit more quickly. By 2015 I was making a living on the two sites.
Secret # 1 - Making money on a website is a long-range project. Start now. Don't worry about how long it will take. I can testify that it will be 10 years later before you know it!
The whole time I was 'growing' my site I did not make any money. I paid programmers and hosting, I spent 5-10 hours a week, I printed cards, I purchased ads - I promoted my website constantly. But I made no money.
Most of my investment though was time. The sites were my 'hobbies'. They were fun. I would work on them like someone might work on a crocheted blanket or a hockey card collection.
About 5 years in I started making a little bit of money on banner ads. The subject of my first website was 'bridge' which is a card game. Eventually, because I had been around since the beginning of internet time, people saw my website as an authority and my google juice started to rise. My traffic grew a bit. And bridge promoters and product dealers felt it was worth their while to have a banner on the home page. I probably earned a thousand or two each year.
So secret #2 - don't plan to make money - for a long time. Enjoy your work for the fun of it.
Make sure your website is a blog. This is new. For decades it didn't seem important whether or not I had a blog and published articles. Suddenly it became very important.
When you publish an article, google sees your site as active. As you probably know, there are zillions of dead websites out there - sites people built and played with then abandoned. Sites built in 1995 maybe! But google doesn't like these and wishes they were all gone.
So if your site is active, if it changes regularly, google will smile upon you and raise you up through the ranks.
And this is true for small business websites as well. It doesn't matter if your site is amazing and has great products or services - you need to add a blog.
When you post an article to your blog, google smiles. When you share it through social media, people will click through and come to your site. Or they will share it and so share your site url. These are all very happy events and google will smile even more. Eventually, people will start linking to your blogs and those links will give you even more authority in google's eyes.
For decades SEO was the big player in having google display your site at the top of the pile. Now it is blogs. Writing. Stories, articles, advice, anecdotes, pointers, lessons.
You can use your blog to sell your product by adding links to your services into the content. And of course, you'll make sure the blog is full of relevant keywords and keyword phrases.
Or you can use your blog to sell other people's services by adding their links into your content. If you are a highly ranked web blog, when you add someone's link to your story, you are improving their google juice.
This is what people pay me for. My google juice. My sites are highly ranked and people want to put their links on the pages in order to increase their servings of google juice.
So Secret #3 - Add a blog to your website. Your blogs will add google juice to your website.
Secret # 4
Maybe you don't want a blog site. Maybe you just want people to know about your services and use them now and then. Maybe you're a plumber or a cleaner.
Blogs will add to your google juice, and help you rise to the top of the pile. People search for services on google and rarely go deeper than the first page. People don't search for services on Facebook (much to Mark Z's disappointment) but they will click through interesting articles - which will be almost the same. Someone interested in cleaning will click on a cleaning article and find your cleaning business website. Bingo. A perfect match. At the same time, Google notices that people are finding your site and will start to raise your up.
Maybe someday you'll have an amazing cleaning website that will be an authority and go-to for people around the world. Maybe cleaning product distributors will want have links in your blog articles so their products can share your google juice. Maybe they'll start offering to give you money for that.
That's what happened to me!
But maybe you just want to give your company profile a lift. Maybe you're not looking at a 10 year project span. Maybe you would like things to happen over the next year.
The graphic below shows what happened when I added a blog to one of my websites. In one year the traffic increased significantly. This can happen to your website as well!