Monetizing a Blog and Choosing a Platform

Dear Brian,
How do I create a profitable blog that makes at least $200/mo in 1 month?

You can’t.

A blog is a business like any other, and you’ll never make a profitable business within 1 month. It’s an unrealistic expectation, and you should set more obtainable goals. Here’s a bit of background on how to make money blogging.

How websites make money is either through traffic-based affiliate ads or selling an actual product. This is accomplished by signing up for Amazon Affiliates     Amazon.com Sign In , Google AdSense Page on google.com, and Rakuten Linkshare Rakuten Affiliate Network.

As a general rule, for every 1000 people that visit your blog, you’ll make approximately $.05. If you want $200/month, you’ll need to draw 4 million visitors each month. If you can hit this number within a month, you’re wasting your time blogging – businesses will pay you millions for that kind of Internet wizardry.

There are, of course, ways to make more than that ratio. For example, if you blogged entirely about digital cameras and became well-known as the go-to person for great information on digital cameras, each camera you post a review for can include several text- and image-based affiliate links for people to purchase the camera. Since they’re being used in context, these ads will perform much better.

Simply posting a blog won’t gain it any traffic. Even search engine bots are unlikely to notice it, so you’ll be a part of what’s known as the deep web, the non-indexed part of the Internet. Before you’ll even begin drawing search traffic, you’ll need to register your site with the major search engines. Get your content on Google

Google’s the easy one – all you have to do is list your site, be sure your site is mobile optimized, and follow SEO best-practices (a whole other subject). To get on Bing and Yahoo, you’ll have to raise your click-thru rate, which is the rate of people who visit your site and click on a link.

Being listed on a search engine is a necessary step, but that doesn’t guarantee success either. If you were to blog about digital cameras like my previous example, there are currently 65,700,000 results. Your site will be placed at the end of this line on page 6,570,000.

When was the last time you visited page 6,570,000 of a search result? Do you think you can convince 4 million people to do so every month?

To make around $150-200/month consistently, you’ll need at least 100 well-written blogs. Video, pics, and other interactive content can help as well. Each of these blogs needs to be solid and current information.

Once again using the digital camera example, you’d only want to review cameras that are currently on the market. Writing a review of an older model is pointless, because a) nobody’s looking for it anymore, so the possible search traffic is low, b) timing matters for Google’s algorithms, and c) nobody’s interested in your opinion because they already found what they needed from the 65,700,000 other sites about digital cameras.

If you’re looking to make money as a blogger, the only way you’ll do it is from guest posting. Check sites like

Freelance Writing Gigs Freelance writing resources, jobs, gigs and advice
Indeed one search. all jobs. Indeed.com
Craigslist jobs, apartments, personals, for sale, services, community, and events

Look for keywords like “blogger,” “writer,” and “content,” to find blogging gigs (or look for the contributor section of your favorite blogs). Places like Huffington Post, Forbes, etc. don’t pay for guest posts, but you’ll be able to reach a larger audience and promote your blog. Places like Lifehacker, Cracked, etc. accept and pay for contributions from freelancers. Some places are hiring full-time and part-time writers.

By guest posting, you’ll not only get paid, you’ll be providing expensive SEO, content marketing, and link-building services to your business. People often pay upwards of $25,000/month just to get anchor links placed on relevant sites.

In fact, once you start guest posting, you’ll gain posting access to these websites and can begin selling links within them.

That’s how you make $200/month blogging within a month – by selling content, not with your own blog.

Here’s a video on the subject:

Dear Brian,
Who invented marijuana?

It depends on who you ask.

Some will say God, and others will claim Mother Nature (also called Gaia) and Father Time procreated.

In some cultures, a series of God-like superheroes caught in an endless war for immortality are the founders.

Many still believe animal spirits are responsible, while others will claim the discovery for themselves.

In this shared version of reality in which we inhabit, I’d say it was Tommy Chong. Also Steve Jobs created computers to surf Al Gore’s Internet so I could relay this information to you and the masses through this website created by Jimmy Wales.

Dear Brian,
Blogging
: I love Weebly, it worked great for me. But all I keep hearing is that professional bloggers have WordPress. What is your opinion? Do I really need to switch?

I’ve also heard I’ll waste a lot more time with design/html on WordPress.

Since nobody’s mentioned it, it’s worth noting that Huffington Post is the largest and most trafficked blog online, and they do not use WordPress.

Huffington Post uses Blogger (or BlogSpot, whichever you want to call it), which is Google’s blogging platform. Though the free version sucks, with a little money, Google’s own platform is much easier to use if you just want to focus on blogging, and I had plenty of SEO success on it when I used it.

I eventually transferred to WordPress and hosted a free site on their servers until I couldn’t take it anymore and had to buy my own domain and host my own site.

The only reason I moved my business elsewhere was because I was hit with a court case over blowing the whistle on Bank of America and Blogger deleted my blog and all its analytics without even notifying me or giving me a copy of the court order.

I lost everything and had to struggle to recreate my site from scattered backups. I was pissed and will never use Blogger again for that reason, though the UI and functionality beat WordPress easily.

And for the record, all these responses assume you use the free platform, so to clarify this thread for anyone reading it that’s not familiar, what’s being said is using the default (free) domain of yoursitename(dot)wordpress(dot)com looks more professional than yoursitename(dot)blogspot(dot)com or yoursitename(dot)weebly(dot)com.

None of those looks to me like anything but a blog, but you will notice that more professional SEO speakers at workshops and seminars in every industry promote WordPress over the others. It doesn’t in any way mean anything. It’s just looked at as “oh hey, here’s a blog.”

One just happens to be from a law firm too cheap to pay for a vanity URL while the other is from some kid who can’t afford a vanity URL.

They’re all blogs, though a professional who works all day has more detailed informational blogs while a kid reads about it all day and knows the overviews. Search algorythms don’t care, though they’ll favor the detailed info in the context of search terms.

The only way to make your blog look like a more professional website is to pay to remove the (dot)bloghostingsite from the URL because people on the whole would rather visit Walmart(dot)com over Walmart(dot)WordPress(dot)com, though there is a demographic of blog enthusiasts.

So it doesn’t matter which hosting service you use, and the numbers SEO experts quote are only true because they’re selling them to the business leaders in conferences. It’s all a bunch a misguided bs that does not in any way affect your actual search rankings. What matters is quality content. Period.

Know your audience and stop listening to snake oil salesmen who don’t know what they’re selling you, because search engine optimization takes on a whole new meaning in a M2M environment where you can push an Amazon Dash button to place an order without ever touching the Internet yourself.

Brian Penny versability anonymous maskBrian Penny is a former Business Analyst and Operations Manager at Bank of America turned whistleblower, troll, and freelance writer. His work has appeared in High Times, Huffington Post, Fast Company, Cannabis Now, and Hardcore Droid.
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Versability

Brian Penny is a former Business Analyst and Operations Manager at Bank of America turned whistleblower, troll, and freelance writer.

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