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Blogging 101: The Beginners Guide To Building a Profitable Blog (2020)

blogging Feb 04, 2020

This article is the birds-eye view of the different elements involved in building a profitable blog business. This is made from personal experience and a wealth of blogging resources.

We cover:

  1. Creating a business plan for your blog
  2. Building your blog website
  3. Blog Writing and Content Creation
  4. Growth & Marketing
  5. Making Money From Your Blog (Monetization)

Although this article may not be all you need to know to grow a blog, it will show you what you need to learn.

Let’s get started.

Creating Your Blog Business Plan

Starting a new business is exciting yet overwhelming. When I started mine, I was certainly anxious to dive in.

That drive to jump right into everything ended up slowing me down considerably. I spent a lot of time spinning my wheels because of a lack of a plan. 

I didn’t begin to make much progress until I started making decisions on what I was going to spend my time on, and what I wouldn’t spend my time on.

What resources do you have available?

The big questions are: 

  1. How much cash will you be investing, if any?
  2. How much of your own time will you be investing, if any?

Knowing the answer to that will fill in a lot of blanks on your business plan.

For example, if you were investing a lot of time and little money, you’re going to end up learning and doing a lot of the technical work like writing, marketing, web design, etc.

In that case, using a super simple business plan would be most beneficial.

The skills that you’re not going to outsource, you’re going to have to find a way to learn them or avoid them all together.

If you want to know how much it costs to outsource, we created a task value breakdown to show you the cost for different skills like:

Web Design

Web Development

Content Writing

SEO Strategy

Link Building

Social Media Ads

And about a hundred more skills

Click this link to get our free resource on outsourcing to online workers.

Picking Your Blog Niche and Topic.

When I started Kidd, we wanted to create resources for all online businesses, our goal was to support all the digital-nomad entrepreneur types. 

We had some great ideas for content on blogging, e-commerce, agencies, consultancies, but we wouldn’t be able to dive deep enough in every topic to make a difference for our readers.

We decided to narrow our niche down to bloggers and content-based businesses. Once we made that decision, the path became more clear and all of our other business decisions obvious.

Niching down allows you to focus your resources where they will be most effective.

You may already have a topic in mind for your blog, but to narrow down, we want to look at the sub-topics of your topic.

For example, let’s say my topic is - dogs. Within that topic, there are layers of sub-topics.

Some might be:

  • Dog foods
  • Dog training
  • Different Dog Breeds

You could even take one of those sub-topics and go another layer down.

The sub-topics for dog training could be:

  • New Puppy Training
  • Obedience training
  • Agility training

We could dig another layer into one of those sub-topics, but I think you get the point. 

Pick a specific starting point. You could always expand upward once you get the ball rolling. 

Once you know your layers of sub-topics, we want to see if the customer base for your niche is big enough to build a business.

Search your topics using a tool called Ubersuggest by Neil Patel (Neil is a good resource for all things blogging and SEO.)

Update: Ubersuggest is no longer free. Now, it's $10/mo and we still highly recommend it.

Let’s see how many people search “puppy training” each month.

33 thousand people search the keyword, “puppy training”, every month.

Keep in mind, that’s only one keyword.  

It’s the main keyword, but there are also tons of searches for more specific keywords around this topic called “Long-tail keywords”.

Ubersuggest also recommends some potential competitors' content and their results. 

The article on German Shepard Puppy Training gets almost 3 thousand organic search views a month. There’s plenty of potential here.

For more tactics to determine the value of your niche, check out this article, How to Create a Million Dollar Business This Weekend, written by Noah Kagen on Tim Ferriss’ blog. 

 

How To Build Your Blog Website

While I was doing research for this blog post, one thing I wanted to know was why most people fail to build a successful blog.

When it comes to accomplishing something difficult like losing weight, writing a book, building a business, or any big lifestyle change, there is usually a common hurdle that stops most people from continuing. 

For bloggers, that hurdle is tech issues. 

Learning how to manage all the tech involved in building an online business can be a lot for the unsuspecting.

The main lessons here are:

  1. Aim to make the tech that runs your business as simple as possible.
  2. Once you get through the tech problem hump, your likelihood of success goes way up. 

Lucky for us, building an online business has gotten easier over time. 

Most people recommend WordPress.org as the platform to build your website. I disagree. 

WordPress was the easiest way for a non-tech person to get their website up and running. You can basically build any type of website with any features you want.

WordPress was the best option in a time when the other options were horrible, drag and drop website builders or hard coding your website yourself. 

During that time, WordPress was able to capture around 20% of the website market.

That’s right, a third of all the world's websites are built on WordPress.

Those amazing credentials don’t change the fact that most bloggers (using WordPress) trip up over tech issues. 

Over time, competitors with more specific purposes have popped up. 

Two examples of this are Shopify and Kajabi.

Shopify created a simple way for non-tech e-commerce founders to build their business.

Kajabi focused on serving a different market. Content-based businesses, like us. 

Starting Your Business With Kajabi

 

Kajabi is the secret weapon for businesses that sell digital products.

20,000+ companies and big names like Brendon BurchardAmy PorterfieldBilly Gene, and Chalene Johnson all use Kajabi to build and sell their digital products.

Their all-in-one online business platform is the easiest way for anyone to build an online business without having to worry about tech problems.

Their platform includes everything from building your website, email marketing, building funnels with their easy to use templates, making it simple to create & sell products like workbooks, courses, communities, and membership products.

You would be surprised at how much easier it is to have all that in one place. 

Without Kajabi, you would need to purchase all of those features separately from 3rd party companies and integrate them to work in tandem. (This is where to tech frustrations begin).

Kajabi took all the features you need and put them in one platform. 

They’re even letting me offer you an extended trial (28 days) so you can see for yourself. 

Start your 28-day free trial here. 

If you ever need help learning all Kajabi has to offer, they have instructional videos on every single feature

 

Once you get your website up and running, it’s time to start writing blog posts! 

How to Write Great Blog Posts

Would you be surprised to hear that in blogging, writing is nothing like how we’re taught in school?

Back in the day, your writing was limited to the amount of space you had on the paper. If you were writing a column for a newspaper, there was a specific length it could be. 

The more compact the writing, the less space it seemed to physically take up.

Now the opposite is preferred. We have unlimited writing space because of the internet, and the less cluttered your writing is, the better.

Beyond that, the average American reads at an eighth-grade level. So if you’re writing your blog posts for your old grammar-nazi of an English teacher, your writing might go over many people's heads. 

The goal of real-world writing is to clearly express your ideas to your target audience, so make sure you use language that your readers understand.

When it comes to industry terminology, understand the different levels of industry expertise you’re writing for. If you are writing for someone new to your field, it would make sense to explain your terminology as it comes up.

For example, if your writing about marketing and mention CTR make sure to let them know that CTR stands for Click Through Rate, which is the percentage at which someone clicks through your marketing to the next page.
 

What Should You Be Writing About? 

Recently I started a mission to interview successful blogging experts to discover the fastest way to turn a rookie into an effective blogger.

The goal is to find what people are doing wrong and avoid it. 

Nick Loper was my most recent interview. Nick is the founder of a website called Side Hustle Nation, a successful blog and podcast that guides people on how to make more money outside their 9-5 job. 

Nick has come across thousands of bloggers through his business. So, I asked him what the most common and biggest misuses-of-time bloggers are guilty of. 

His answer? 

Writing blog posts that you want to write, instead of writing blog posts based on keyword research and demand.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t also guilty of this. 

Once you’re consistently writing, you’ll realize that it is time-consuming work, and time spent writing articles that won’t bring more traffic to your website is time wasted. 

In blogging, traffic ultimately means money.

To give you an idea of how to research content before writing it, I’ve linked some awesome resources.

How To Find Good Blog Topics (Resources)

Both of these recommendations are from Backlinko, which I highly recommend checking out if you’re starting a blog. 

  1. How to write a blog post.

This article takes you through finding topics and breaks down every section of a blog post and how to write it.

  1. The Skyscraper technique 

This technique shows you how to find opportunities by searching for weaknesses in your competitors’ content and improving on it. 

The Content Pyramid 

After reading the 2 recommendations above you’ll know how to write blog posts that your audience is searching for.

The former techniques will help you position yourself as an expert to your readers and search engines, but that’s not all you need to do. 

The Content Pyramid will make your content well rounded and appealing to your readers.

 

This content pyramid is from Smart Passive Income. 

As you can see the foundation of the pyramid is case studies & how-tos. They will bring readers to your site because they answer questions that your audience is searching for. 

The two Backlinko recommendations will cover how to find those topics and write about them. 

Everything above that is how your audience develops a relationship with you. This is where your opinions, thoughts, and advice matters. 

Without it, your audience will see you as a purely transactional website and won’t become raving fans. 

How to Grow Your Blog 

When it comes to where to effectively spend your time - growth & marketing is priority #1. 

That being said, marketing is a black hole that you can spend years trying to navigate. Keeping your marketing plan simple is the key to success. 

Let’s start with the customer journey.

Understanding the Customer Journey

The customer journey is a guiding principle of marketing. It represents the relationship the customer has with you and your business. You’ll find variations of it around the internet, you’ll also hear it called the buyer’s journey.

 Either way, the customer journey I use has 3 simple stages (I always try to stay on the simple side): 

  1. Awareness

Awareness (a little self-explanatory) is when the prospect is becoming aware of you, your business, brand, product, or service. 

  1. Consideration

Consideration is when the prospect knows about your business, product, etc. and has determined whether or not they have a need for you and your product.

  1. Conversion

In the conversion stage, you’re persuading qualified prospects to take action, usually resulting in a purchase. 

It’s important to remember that you may use different channels or platforms at different stages of the customer journey. 

For example, you might use your blog to raise awareness with SEO. Then you could have an opt-in to get their email. From there, you do your consideration marketing by email. In your emails, you’ll be linking to a landing page, where they make a decision.

You could also use Instagram, Pinterest, or Facebook Groups for the awareness stage and keep the rest of the process the same.

Picking The Right Channels

You’re going to be creating a lot of content. Pick a content style that fits your strengths and what you enjoy the most. Let’s go over a few.

Youtube

Long-form video (8-15 min long). You will also need to be ok with doing some post-production for your videos. If you know how to edit videos or are interested in learning, this may be the platform for you.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

SEO is all about writing. This is probably what you were thinking about the most since you decided to start a blog. If you don’t mind a lot of writing, this is a good option. 

Instagram 

Instagram requires a few different things to be successful like short videos, graphics, and photos.

There are tons more platforms out there that are a little different but will have the same marketing principles.

The biggest piece of advice I can give anyone is to pick one platform and dedicate all of your marketing resources there until you have enough resources to start investing in the others.

 The 2 Pillars of Content Marketing

Content marketing has 2 distinct and easy to remember parts.

  1. Content creation
  2. Content promotion

I have met and talked to a lot of people who take the advice of marketing gurus shouting on their platforms that you need to create a ton of content. So, they get started creating new pieces of content every single day.

Some of the people I met were years into frantically creating as much content as they could all the time wondering why they haven’t seen nearly the same amount of growth of their peers.

They got the content creation half down. The problem was nobody ever found their content. They don’t promote it.

I consider promoting your content actually more important than creating your content. As a rule of thumb, you should spend up to 5x as much time promoting your content than you took making it. 

To put that into perspective, this article took me about 3 weeks from start to finish. Including outline, design, and optimizations. I’m already planning to spend upwards of 4 months having the whole team work on our promotion of this article. 

Content promotion is different on every channel. 

For this article, we plan to write a lot of guest posts, as well as use the skyscraper strategy mentioned on Backlinko. 

Link Building For Your New Blog

Link building is the process of getting backlinks to your blog. A backlink is when a website (not yours) links to a page on your website.

This is one of the most important factors Google considers to determine the credibility of your website and send organic traffic to your website. 

A good backlink can raise the credibility of your site and a specific piece of content which will in turn drive more traffic. On the other end, a bad backlink can also lower credibility. 

So what makes a good backlink? 

  1. The link comes from a website with a high Domain Score

    Domain Score is a metric used to estimate the value of a website to search engines.

 

  1. The link comes from a page with a high Page Score

Page Score is like Domain Score but it’s specific to a certain page of a website and not the domain as a whole

 

  1. Whether the link is no-follow or follow. 

A publisher of a website can create a backlink and set it to no-follow, essentially telling search engines not to give that site any credibility.

Google has made it pretty clear that they take no-follow links pretty seriously. They don’t diminish the domain score of your site but they don’t help either.

There are a lot more ranking factors that Google uses to determine the credibility of your site. These are 3 simple rules for backlinks that will take you the farthest.

To see 197 more ranking factors Google uses, make sure to check out Backlinko’s article on the topic.

Google’s 200 Ranking Factors: The Complete List (2019)

How Do You Build Links?

When you’re just getting started you need a few tactics that you can rely on to build backlinks.

Remember the first rule, you have to be creating content that there is a demand for. If you’re creating content there is no demand for nobody will want to link to your content.

Once you create good content that there is a demand for, you want to ask yourself, “Who will want to link to this blog post?”

The easiest way to answer that question is to find the people who linked to similar content.

Let’s use our dog blogger example again and say you’re writing a blog post targeting the keyword house training a puppy.

When we search for that keyword on Ubersuggest we get these results.

 

On the right side is the SERP or Search Engine Results Page.

You can see there is a section there for links, that shows you exactly how many people linked to a competitor’s article on that subject.

Click the orange number of links and…. 

 

There’s a list of the people who linked to your competitor's article and the page they linked from. 

From there you can export the data into a spreadsheet for you to go through and get rid of the ones you don’t want. 

Once you are done exporting your lists, copy them all into one long spreadsheet. When you’re done, it should look something like this. 

Notice I took out the last few columns of the export file and replaced them with a few of my own. 

Contact Name, Contact Email, Lead Outreach and Last Contact (The date we last contacted them).

You can’t tell from the screenshot, but after I put all the leads on one list, I use the sort function of Google Sheets to sort the list by domain authority.

Then I deleted all of the websites with a domain authority under 35. This will stop you from picking up any links from a crappy website.

From here, you need to collect names and emails from that list of websites.

There are many tools on the internet that help you do this, but by far my favorite is Snov.io

Once you set up a Snov.io account, make sure to install the Google Chrome extension. 

Click on the website in your list, and using the Chrome extension, find the email of the contact.

 

 

From there, click “show all” to see all of the contacts at that company.

If you don’t know who to contact within a company, I created a priority list to help find the right contact by job title.

  1. Title contains “SEO”
  2. Title contains “content” or “Blog”
  3. Contact is on the marketing team.
  4. If the company is small, its CMO.
  5. If the company is really small, the founder or CEO. 

Once you find the right contact, go ahead and add them to your spreadsheet. 

You can do the whole spreadsheet at once or do it in blocks. It doesn’t matter. 

Building Links With Email Outreach 

Once your list has your desired emails on it, it’s time to start sending those emails. To do this, you want to create an email template to save yourself some time. 

I’ll share mine with you in a minute but let’s go some email outreach best practices

  1. Your subject on the email should be between 36 and 70 characters, and clearly define the content of your message

  2. Personalize your subject with the name of the contact or company they work at.

  3. Personalize your body text with their name and more personal information, like a blog post you read or something you found interesting about their work.

  4. Wednesday is the best day to send emails, Saturday is the worst.

  5. Putting a link to your LinkedIn and Instagram accounts will dramatically raise your response rate.

  6. Following-up once will raise your response rate, any more is generally perceived as annoying. 

Those tips on email marketing above originally came from a Backlinko study analyzing over 12 million emails. 

Take a look at the email outreach template we use. We recommend making your own version of it, but it’s a good guideline.

 

Hey {Name},

I came across your page [URL] while doing some research on {our topic} 

{Give your opinion about the article, add some comments or whatever}

Our team just finished creating a detailed resource on {our topic} 

{Link to our blog post}

Is this something you would share in your article? 

Keep up the great work, I’ll be following along. 

Cheers,

Adam

LinkedIn

 

Short, sweet, and straight to the point. Generally speaking, you want to use as little words as possible to get your message across. The last thing you want to get is a wall of text in an email. 

With a template like this, there is still a good amount of personal information that you need to fill in for every email, but using a template like this will speed up the process and save you a lot of time. 

The average response rate for outbound email is 8.5% so put that into consideration while you’re doing email outreach. 

If only a quarter of the people who respond actually give you a backlink, that means you may only get 2 backlinks for every 100 emails. In other words, you should be sending out a lot of emails if you want to be successful in building links.

Email Marketing, The Back-Bone of Your Blog

Once you get to this part you can expect to start seeing some organic traffic on your website. Now, it’s time to learn how to turn that traffic into subscribers.

Email marketing is the glue to your blog business.

It’s how you keep a close connection to your readers, develop a more personal relationship with them, and take them on a designed marketing journey to get them to actually take notice of the products you’re selling. 

By email marketing, I mean sending emails to the people to subscribe to your blog. This is different from email outreach, which is collecting the emails of people who haven’t subscribed with a different objective. 

Optimize Your Blog For Email Subscribers 

When it comes to building an email list, the first step is to actually get people to subscribe to your list. 

To do this, you need to have an email opt-in on your website. Actually, it’s impossible without one. 

Here are some best practices for creating an opt-in that will get people to subscribe.

  1. “Subscribe to our Newsletter” opt-ins should be avoided at all costs. They have a low conversion rate because they offer zero value upfront.

  2. Give something of great value in exchange for an email. Make sure the free resource is actually something your ideal customer needs.

  3. Create a free resource that offers immediate results. If your free resource has actionable items that will help them solve their problems today, they are more likely to subscribe.

  4. Quizzes are on the rise and showing a ton of promise. If you can create a quiz for your reader that offers some type of personalized report, you will win the email opt-in game. Check out I Will Teach You To Be Rich for a reference.

Once you have an email opt-in, place it throughout your website so all of your readers see your offer. 

To take someone from being a subscriber to being a customer, we use email sequences and pipelines.

Building Simple Pipelines

When it comes to email marketing, there are only 2 types of emails you need to concern yourself with.

  1. Pipeline Emails

    Pipeline emails are part of an email sequence. Over the course of 2 or more emails, they will tell a story to your subscriber with the objective of getting them to take action.

  2. Lead Nurturing Emails

    Lead nurturing emails are emails you send to your subscribers when they are not engaged in an email sequence. They are more value-driven and don’t always have a call to action.

Let’s look at one of Kajabi’s simple pipeline templates as a reference.

 

This is Kajabi’s Sales OVO Pipeline. OVO stands for opt-in, value, and offer.

Let’s break this pipeline down.

It starts with an opt-in page as we talked about in the last section. Once someone takes your free opt-in, it automatically sends them to the sales page for your product and starts them on an 8 part email sequence.

The point of sending people directly to the sales page is to capture the customers who are ready to take the next step, learn more about your product, and purchase.

Fortunately, Kajabi was nice enough to tell us exactly what to put in those emails. Each of the 8 emails has a description of what to put inside of them, based on successful campaigns that their top performers have run. 

Kajabi's Sales OVO Email Sequence:

Email #1: Your Why

Email #2: Official Open

Email #3: Detail Full Offer

Email #4: #1 FAQ

Email #5: 72HR Warning

Email #6: 48HR Warning

Email #7: Personal Plea

Email #8: Last Call 

Keep in mind the call to action in those emails will send your readers back to the sales page when they are ready to purchase. 

Kajabi has 5 more template pipelines for different purposes. It’s also the easiest way to build your own pipeline from scratch with the drag and drop pipeline feature.

 

Getting Lead Nurturing Emails Right

 

Remember earlier when we went over the customer journey? Pipelines are a part of the conversion stage of the journey. They have a clear objective of getting the subscriber to take some sort of action.

Lead nurturing emails go back to the earlier stages of the customer journey with the focus of strengthening awareness and consideration.

They can still ask for a sale, but it's usually a lot more subtle.

To better understand lead nurturing emails let’s look at Ryan Holiday’s company, The Daily Stoic.

 

The Daily Stoic is an online school for stoicism, and content marketing is their bread and butter so I love looking at them for reference. 

Every one of their daily emails goes over a small topic within ancient stoicism and then relates it to our modern times.

Their email is simple. It always has the same banner, and it is mainly text.

You can see they don’t pitch a product anywhere on this email. They do have 2 calls to action though: Listen to their podcast and share this email with a friend.

Their goal isn’t to get you to pull out your credit card, it’s to consume more of their content. They know something that a lot of people don’t. 

The more time someone invests reading, listening, or watching your content, the more likely they will become customers. 

You may not run a philosophical school and are still a little confused about what to put in these emails. Let me give you an idea.

Do you know the TV show, “The Office”? Of course, you do. 

In 2018, The Office was streamed for a total of 82 billion minutes. Making it the most-streamed television show ever.

This goes against all of our expectations of what should be an all-star show. 

It’s incredibly low budget, there is literally no soundtrack other than the intro, other than Steve Carell none of the actors had been heard of before, and almost the entire thing was shot in one setting. With all that against it, it was the greatest show of our generation.

The Office succeeded by figuring out what was important to their audience and focusing only on those things. Some of those things are ultra-strong character development and extreme relatability.

By the end of watching the show without any real plot, you felt like you had a true relationship with the fictional characters on the screen.

That is the goal with lead nurturing emails, to develop yourself as a character to your audience and be relatable. 

In his book Dot-Com Secrets, Russell Brunson calls this type of email, Seinfeld Emails… You can tell he is a bit older than I am. 

A different example, same concept.

I was going to write out the different prompts you could use to get this started, but Russell has already done that work for me. Straight out of the book, here are some prompts for Seinfeld (The Office) emails.

 

When all else fails, write an email about a challenge you faced today, and how you overcame it. 

This will show your audience that you struggle with the same things they do and give them more confidence in themselves (and giving you the credit for it). 

Making Money From Your Blog (Monetization)

We’re finally here. My favorite section of this blog post; making money.

You’ve heard cues in the blog post about some ways to monetize your blog, and in this section, we are going to dive deep. 

There are 3 main ways to make money from your blog. Let’s get started. 

Affiliate Marketing 

Here is the definition by Dictionary.com.

In other words, there are 3 parties in affiliate marketing: 

  1. Online retailer (The company with the product for sale)
  2. Affiliate Marketer (You)

  3. Customer 

In this ‘marketing arrangement,’ the affiliate marketer is given a special link from the online retailer.

When a customer is sent from the affiliate marketer’s link and purchases the product from the online retailer, the affiliate marketer gets credit for the sale and the online retailer sends them a commission for sending them a new customer.

With small companies, you may be able to negotiate the commission received per customer, but for the most part, the affiliate structure is up to the retailer.

One of the most popular affiliate programs is Amazon Associates.

Amazon offers 5-10% commissions on any product on their website to their affiliates or associates (they’re different names for the same thing, you may also see it as ‘referral partner’, or ‘Joint Venture partner’).

When you send someone to Amazon from your blog, Amazon puts a cookie in their browser for 24 hours. This cookie allows them to track where they came from so you get the credit.

Meaning, if you send someone to amazon, everything that they buy for the next 24 hours will be credited to you.

Amazon’s 24-hour cookie is the shortest one I personally know of. A lot of affiliate programs install cookies for 14 to 90 days, giving you more time to close the deal.

How to Find Affiliate Products

After Amazon’s affiliate program success back in 1996, affiliate programs have skyrocketed in popularity, making it easy to set-up on pretty much any online business platform like WordPress, Shopify, and Kajabi.

This means you can be an affiliate for virtually any product (Or create your own affiliate program.)

We recommend having only a few core affiliate offers. They should be something you use regularly and would recommend to your own family with confidence.

For example, we only have 3 that we recommend (yes I’m taking this opportunity to plug in my affiliate links ;) 

  1. Kajabi - I chose Kajabi because this website is hosted on Kajabi, and we have used it to build more than one successful business.

  2. Snov.io - Snov.io is the best program for email outreach in my opinion. We use it a ton for our link building.

  3. Freeeup - Freeeup is a marketplace to find online workers. We didn’t talk too much about virtual assistants in this post but if you want a list of what tasks you can outsource for surprisingly cheap.

Having fewer affiliate products will allow you to focus your marketing in a few spots to get better results. 

Let’s say you’re that dog lover I keep using as an example. You might have specific equipment you recommend using. Whether that’s treats, crates, toys, or accessories let’s say you bought them on Chewy.com.

The first thing I would do is a google search “Product/or company affiliate program.” 

Looks like Chewy does have a program. Let’s check it out.

They would be a good affiliate for physical products. They didn’t put their commission percentage there, probably because it changes based their margin on each product. 

If a company has an affiliate program, it should show up on the google search. If not, use snov.io to find a contact at their company and ask if such a program exists. 

Digital products tend to have much higher splits between the retailer and the affiliate.

Digital products don’t need to be reproduced and re-paid for by the retailer, which usually makes their margin 100%. This means they can offer affiliates a much higher cut without any risk on their end. 

If you we’re a dog blogger and took a course from another dog blogger and loved it, that course would probably make an amazing affiliate. In situations like that, the commissions can often be 50%+.

It’s less likely that a small digital retailer will have a rigid affiliate campaign set up. So, send them an email asking if they have an affiliate campaign, and if you can partake.

 Advertising

Another great way to make money from your blog is through advertising.

There are a couple of main ways for you to sell advertising space on your website. 

  1. Sponsored posts

    This is when someone pays you to write a blog post on your website. Depending on the deal with the retailer, you might include a blog to your email list or on your socials.

  2. Graphic Ads

    This is any type of banner ad. Basically, a billboard on your website.

The most popular method for leasing out your website traffic to advertisers is using Google Adsense. Adsense is a product from Google that acts like an automatic market place between publishers and advertisers. 

Essentially you would create a predetermined space on your website to place an ad, and Adsense would then fill in that space with an ad for every user on your website.

Because Google is using their data on the viewer, they will place an ad on your website that is ultra-specific for that user.

Have you ever looked at shoes on Amazon, then gone to a different website and seen an advertisement for those exact shoes? Welcome to Google Adsense.

How online advertising works

The world of online advertising is complicated, so I’ll try to break it down in an easy way. First of all, there are some terms you need to know:

CPC (Cost Per Click) - The cost of getting someone to click on your ad.

CPA (Cost Per Acquisition) - The cost of getting a new customer. 

Impressions - How many times your ad has been viewed

Reach - How many people your ad has reached

CPM (Cost Per Mille) - The cost of 1,000 impressions

As a publisher, It’s important to know these terms. This will help you determine how much your ad space is worth. 

Different advertisers will pay you different amounts based on a ton of different factors. Sometimes there is a flat rate for a post, sometimes you might charge per click, or maybe per 1,000 impressions. 

The less involved you are in your advertising the less you will make. For example, you will probably make the least with Google Adsense. Yes, their plug and play solution is great, but their split to you is awful.

 

Just check out this example from their own calculator. At 50,000 views a month you’re estimated to make under $11,000 a year.

I think this is a big reason why a lot more bloggers chose affiliate marketing over Google Adsense.

With affiliate marketing, you can choose a product you’re certain your audience is into, so while you make less money on the front-end, you make way more on the back-end.

The highest profit for advertising on your site is to find the advertisers directly. By cutting out a major middle man like Google, you can actually charge more to your advertisers assuming that they’re in your niche and have a need for your viewers. 

There are also agencies that you can hire to handle your advertising for you. 

E-Commerce

For the sake of simplicity, let's call eCommerce any scenario where the customer purchases something from your website. 

For you, this will likely mean digital products. It has never been easier to create your own product and sell it directly to the customer.

For you, an online business entrepreneur, building and selling digital products is a dream come true.

Digital products are infinitely scalable, and only have to be produced once to be sold millions of times.

Let’s take a look again at all of the Kajabi product templates.

 

 

You can offer basically any type of digital educational product from Kajabi, and there are some options for physical products, like dropshipping and white labeling, too.

Expert Wrap-Up 

Congrats! You made it all the way through.

Now you know the different arms and legs of a blog business. 

As you put more time into your blog, you notice most of your time and energy going to all the topics of this blog post.

Come back to these resources as needed, and look deeper into the topics to get a better understanding if needed.

First things first, a great blog business, starts with a great blog business plan. Make sure to grab our blog business plan template to get your blog started the right way.

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Outsourcing Online Skills Cost Sheet

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