This guest post is by Chris The Traffic Blogger.
A desperate reader of mine recently asked how she could make the most amount of money her first month blogging. In order to help her I decided to share with her my “secret” method.
Before I had even begun to explain the same guide I’m about to share with you, she worried that her lack of experience blogging and time to work on the project would limit her success. As I explained to her, this method doesn’t take a lot of work, it takes a lot of “smart” work. Using your time wisely to do the most good in a single month is the key to success. When I told this reader that she could make as much as $800 in her first month, well, her response was classic:
“What?! $800 in my first month of blogging!?”
As I explained to her, you have to keep in mind that your mileage is going to vary when you adapt this strategy for your own endeavors. For starters, this may be the very first time you venture forth writing for any audience, let alone knowing how to write as a blogger. What took me a month could very well take you a year depending on how accomplished you are as a writer, blogger, community leader, and communicator.
Therefore, think of this guide as a grand, overarching strategy which you can attempt to slowly implement and learn from in your own blogging career.
I did make $800 my first month blogging with this strategy, but I may have just gotten lucky. I wrote the right stuff on the right forums and the right blogs at the right time. I had a blog of 187 subscribers in a single month, sold a product worth $37 to this beginning audience (I made $20 per sale) and if you do the math you’ll realize that I sold 40 of them. Possible? Yes. Plausible for your current level of experience? Maybe.
Regardless of your skill level this strategy will teach you how to think correctly when it comes to planning, building up to and executing a sales pitch online.
Well, if you’re really starting from scratch, you’ll need to create a blog. With a number of automated blogging sites out there, like blogger.com and wordpress.com, this really isn’t all that difficult.
Granted, you won’t have anything beyond a free template to start with, but you can still get a minimalistic site up and running without too much effort. I would recommend having an RSS Feed-subscribe widget, contact page, and an archive widget as a bare minimum.
Once that is complete, your next task is creating content about your subject area—enough that you will have posts for the rest of the month. I would recommend a minimum of two to three posts per week of 500 words each. Leave out the last week’s posts, however, as those will be reserved for your sales pitch.
In a single week, I definitely think that you can write six posts. All you do in this week is write posts and set up your blog, so you will most likely not have any traffic coming to your blog from these efforts.
As you write, cross-link all of your posts to each other, so that when your site does start getting traffic, both users and bots will find themselves being sent to many of your posts from any one location. As new posts go live, go back to old ones and keep cross-linking. Obviously you cannot start linking posts until they have gone live, so going back to cross-link will be a must over time. This does two things: makes robots happy and also makes your blog look much bigger than it actually is to first time readers.
So what kind of content should you focus on writing? For starters, I would recommend anything that is timely, easy to follow, and useful to your audience. Be concise (after all, you only have 500 words) but try your best to make people think when they come to your blog. Be unique, be yourself, and create enough well-thought-out content that you will make a great first impression on the people you send to your blog in this first month of writing.
The best way to make this first impression worth a return visit is to provide something no one has ever seen before. This could involve putting a new spin on old dogma in your niche, or coming up with something completely revolutionary by thinking outside the box.
Do a great job of building excellent content and you’ll have enough subscribers to feed that $800 target earnings you’re hoping for. Honestly, this takes a lot of experience in the subject area you are focusing on. You either have the knowledge and personal skill to write for an audience in your chosen niche, or you do not, and if you fall into the latter category then you need to focus on improving that before you can implement this strategy to the fullest.
Now that you have all your posts finished and they are being published on a biweekly basis, you can start focusing on more than just cross linking new and old posts together. It’s time to get traffic, and I’ll leave much of this up to you.
If you want to participate on forums, send guest posts, write comments on blogs or any other form of traffic, feel free to do so with your free time now.
Don’t advertise yourself per se, but if the opportunity arises then you can leave a link or two to helpful posts you have written on any one subject. Just do your best to engage in conversation with leaders and non-leaders alike in your particular niche. Be helpful, ask great questions, and give even better answers.
Focus all of your efforts this week on guest posting, developing a reputation in your niche, and going to where your potential audience gathers. Most of your week should be spent on places outside of your own blog in order to maximize your exposure and get your name out there. This could mean you spend an entire day in conversations on various forums in your niche, or you take the time to look up related blogs and leave constructive comments on them.
Of all the things you focus on, however, guest posting will most likely be your most effective traffic driver. For this reason alone you should be putting your largest effort into contacting fellow bloggers and writing great guest posts for them. Explore their blogs, read their comments and figure out what information you can share with their audience in order to enrich the experience that is their blog.
While continuing with cross-linking posts and building exposure for your blog, you should also look into finding a product which you can sell to your initial audience.
Realistically, you probably won’t have more than fifty followers by the end of the month, but the ones you do have will hopefully really love your work. As long as you do a good job of coming across as someone who understands your niche and loves writing, you should have no problem pitching a recommended product by the end of the month.
Your job now, in week three, is to find that product and also talk to the creator of it. What you want to ask is for some sort of interview, whether that be a Skype recording, a written interview done via email, or any other form of communication that will show your audience that the person who made this product is not only a real person but knowledgeable about their subject area as well. Get the conversation started and have the interview asap.
Be sure to communicate with your audience throughout the month, and don’t be afraid to ask for their questions and/or feedback in a post at some point. This will enable you to build a deeper connection with your initial readership as well as get conversations started on your own blog in the comments section.
At this point, you have a starter blog that is getting some traffic from whatever methods you’ve chosen and you may even have a decent number of followers. With your interview in hand, you will now want to write two posts for the end of the month that both lead into the product you hope to sell to your audience—as well as actually sell the dang thing. Here’s how you should break these two posts down.
Write about the problem that this product can solve. Don’t solve the problem, just write about it and ask your audience for solutions. Above all, be honest. Tell them that you have a solution in hand and that you are trying it out.
Actually do this, please—do not pitch a product you can’t honestly recommend.
If the problem is something that your audience can relate to and which they want solved, then this post should be aimed at whetting their appetite. Tell them that you have found a product creator with the solution to their problems and that you are setting up an interview with that person very soon. Again, do not reveal the product just yet.
Now show the interview, write about your personal experience with the product and ask for feedback from anyone who ends up buying it. Gather the feedback (you should get some if you ask for it) and if you have enough then I would recommend that you also write a third post for the following day. Include in this third post your audience’s reviews of the product, good and bad, and then thank those that chose to leave reviews.
That’s the whole strategy and yes, you honestly can make quite a bit of money if you master it. Really, what you’re learning is how to build a presence and sell to an audience, which is a simple marketing concept adapted to blogging online. Do you think that you could follow this strategy and be successful?
Chris is a self proclaimed expert at showing bloggers how they can get traffic, build communities, make money online and be successful. You can find out more at The Traffic Blogger.