How To: Become a four figure blogger, Part 1

April 30th, 200620 Comments

This is Part 1 in a series I’m writing describing how to become a 4-figure blogger.

What is a four figure blogger?

A four figure blogger is someone who earns at least $1,000 a year from their blog. You might be wondering why I would spend time writing this series – $1,000 a year seems like a pretty modest goal when people are earning $10,000 a month from their blogs.

My reasoning is simple:

The number of people who have the time, resources, and knowledge to develop a five or six figure income from blogging is very small in relation to the number of people that can devote a few hours a week to tacking $1,000 onto their yearly income through blogging. The amount of time it takes to earn $1,000 a year from blogging is significantly less than the time it takes to earn even $10,000.

On a side note: this is not advice for people writing personal, diary-like blogs. Writing about your day, what you had for breakfast, who you argued with at school, and other mundane events is not going to earn you much money, if any.

You need traffic to make money

If you have any hope of earning $1,000 a year from your blog you’re going to need traffic. You don’t need much, I am on track to earn over $1,000 a year and I am averaging well below 500 unique visits a day.

What’s the secret to getting traffic? Write. Write regularly, write well, and write unique and interesting content.

  • Write regularly. If you can, write every, single day. If not try to write at least three times a week. People will keep coming back if you give them a reason to.
  • Write well. You don’t have to win any awards, but if you’re bad at spelling use spell check. If you make a lot of typos read over your post before you press “Publish.” A few mistakes greatly reduce your credibility.
  • Write unique and interesting content. Give people a reason to come back or subscribe to your blog’s RSS feed. If you’re regurgitating the same stuff you read everywhere else, why would they subscribe to your blog? There are plenty of others with the same stuff. If you’re writing about a news story, offer your opinion. If you’re giving financial advice share a story or explain why you’ve come to a certain conclusion.

Your posts don’t have to be mind blowing, you don’t even have to do much research. They can even be relatively short. Your goal is to give readers fresh content that they can’t get anywhere else, not become a world famous author.

Along with writing you should get involved in the blogging community. Start leaving comments on other blogs, email some of your favorite bloggers and let them know about your blog, use trackbacks when you link to someone’s blog, offer to exchange links with others, or consider joining a blog network.

In short, write regularly let people know your blog is out there.

I’ve got traffic, what next?

AdSenseMonetization. It’s just a fancy way of saying “make your blog work for you.”

So you have a blog you enjoy writing for and you’re ready to start earning some money from it. The obvious choice is to place AdSense units around the content. This isn’t a bad idea and depending on the topic of your blog it could be very profitable.

Some examples of topics that could earn decent money from AdSense:

  • Real estate
  • Financial information (investing, credit/debt, loans, etc)
  • Education
  • Healthcare, medicine
  • Electronics/Technology

The key with AdSense is to continually optimize it. Start by reading Google’s AdSense optimization guide, then check out Problogger.net’s AdSense Tips for Bloggers and Eric Giguere’s AdSense Tips.

To earn $1,000 a year from AdSense you’ll need to earn $2.75 per day. Certain topics (like the ones I listed above) can earn more than $2.75 per click. If you’re getting a decent amount of traffic and you spend just a few hours configuring AdSense you should start seeing decent earnings in a short period of time. Continue optimizing until you hit that $2.75 per day mark and you’re set!

If your blog isn’t suitable for an AdSense campaign, either because the EPC is too low or your content isn’t acceptable according to AdSense’s TOS, you have quite a few options. You can look into some other pay per click advertising programs or sign up for some affiliate programs.

I’ll discuss affiliate programs in detail in Part 2 of Become a 4-figure blogger – they’re where the real money is at.

Related Articles:

How To: Become a four figure blogger, Part 1

Joseph Cheng | April 30, 2006

Sorry This comment should be with this post..

I found a good website reviewing Web2.0 and also an article reviewing weather you can make money with Google Adsense and affiliate programs

The address is http://www.Net2pt0.com

Hope it is useful.

Jamsi | May 1, 2006

Nice write up Ben, very clear and to the point. This looks to be a good “pillar article” as per Yaro’s top 10 blog tips ;)

Good luck!

[...] How To: Become a 4-figure blogger, Part 1 This is Part 1 in a series I’m writing describing how to become a 4-figure blogger. What is a four figure blogger A four figure blogger is someone who earns at least $1,000 a year from their blog. You might be wondering why I would spend time writing this series – $1,000 a year seems like a pr… [...]

[...] This is Part 2 in the series How To: Become a four figure blogger. If you haven’t already, check out Part 1. [...]

Adnan – Blogtrepreneur | May 2, 2006

Hi Ben, very nice series of articles you’ve written here. You’re right by saying that most of us don’t have the time and/or effort to focus on a 6 figure blog, so I myself am aiming more for the 4 figure boundary. I’ve written an article on Making Money Through Adsense at http://blogtrepreneur.blogspot.com/2006/03/how-i-make-money-on-internet-part-2.html so check it out! Good luck with making your 4 figure income,
Blogtrepreneur

[...] Ben at College Startup is writing a useful series of posts on How to Become a four figure blogger.So far hes put together 2 parts (read them at part 1 and part 2). Here are a couple of key quotes from the series so far with a few of my own comments on each: If you have any hope of earning $1,000 a year from your blog youre going to need traffic. You dont need much, I am on track to earn over $1,000 a year and I am averaging well below 500 unique visits a day. [...]

| May 2, 2006

[...] Iflge College Startup, er det mest penger i blogge om flgende: – Eiendom – Finans – Utdanning – Helse – Elektronikk og data [...]

[...] How to Become a Four Figure Blogger, Part 1 “This is Part 1 in a series Im writing describing how to become a 4-figure blogger.” (tags: blogging fourfigure) [...]

J.D. Roth | May 2, 2006

I want to point out that it is possible to become a four-figure blogger from a personal blog. I’ve kept a personal weblog for more than five years. It’s nothing special, but it is well-written and, I like to think, fun for regular readers. I only added Google Ads two months ago, but I’m well on-pace for a $1000/year from that weblog. The key is that I write a lot. I write long entries, four or five times each week. About three or four times a year, an entry will become “hot” on the internet for some reason. (I’ve given up trying to predict why.) This is enough for my main weblog to provide a modest income for me, and I haven’t even tried to optimize the ads.

I’ve also started a couple of ancillary weblogs, a comics blog and a personal finance blog. The former is two months old; the latter is just a few weeks old. Already, they each make several dollars a week. That’s not a lot, but I know that with time, and with an accumulation of entries, both will do quite well. Patience is the key. (Patience and good, regular content.)

I look forward to trying other topical blogs, actually. I just need to find a way that they don’t eat up my entire life!

Ben Bleikamp | May 3, 2006

J.D. – I agree, some people do have success with personal blogs, just look at Heather Armstrong, she is one of the most popular (and probably most well paid) bloggers out there.

Unfortunately, most people can’t make everyday events sounds as interesting as you or Heather, so they struggle to make money with a personal site.

Congratulations on earning four figures :) Hopefully you can turn that into five figures

[...] How To: Become a four figure blogger, Part 1 [...]

Nystul | May 3, 2006

Great post Ben. I do agree with what you have mentioned in here, and it is very possible to make good money from “recreational” blogging. Just takes a lot of patience, and the willingness to read and learn from others who have succeed.

I started out a few blogs a few months ago, and is glad that I am seeing the results from them right now.

[...] How to Become a Four Figure Blogger, Part 1 “This is Part 1 in a series Im writing describing how to become a 4-figure blogger.” (tags: blogging fourfigure) [...]

[...] This is part 3 of a series called How To: Become a four figure blogger. If you haven’t, read Part 1 and Part 2. [...]

[...] On College Startup Ben Bleikamp started a series about Four Figure Blogging. He motivates his choise of topic as follows: The number of people who have the time, resources, and knowledge to develop a five or six figure income from blogging is very small in relation to the number of people that can devote a few hours a week to tacking $1,000 onto their yearly income through blogging. The amount of time it takes to earn $1,000 a year from blogging is significantly less than the time it takes to earn even $10,000. [...]

[...] How to become a four figure blogger is the first post in a series about making $1000 from blogging. It has some useful information for people who are interested in becoming Pro Bloggers as well as tips for most sites designed to make money. [...]

[...] These days, it isn’t unusual for TLA revenue to outstrip AdSense revenue.   Grab a few PR5 and PR6 blogs, sell 10 ads per site and you’re looking at four figures per month.  While Ben’s Four Figure series was mostly focused on how to nail 4 figures per year from a single blog,  you can certainly use his principles across several blogs to get to the $1000 mark much sooner. [...]

[...] Earlier in October, I announced that I’d be donating all site earnings to the Grameen Foundation in celebration of Mr. Muhammed Yunus and the Grameen Bank’s 2006 Nobel Peace Prize award. First, thanks to everyone for making it a record earnings month for Experiments in Finance and contributing to this worthy cause. It was the first month I broke the 3-figure barrier and if I can keep this up, maybe can make it to becoming a four-figure blogger. [...]

[...] Ifølge College Startup, er det mest penger i å blogge om følgende: Eiendom Finans Utdanning Helse Elektronikk og data [...]

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How To: Become a four figure blogger, Part 1 was written by Ben Bleikamp on April 30th, 2006 at 5:13 am and posted in Blogging, Entrepreneur

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