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?
Monetization. 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)
- Healthcare, medicine
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.