This guest post is by Marcello Arrambide of wanderingtrader.com.
It has been about one full year since I started blogging about travel, and I have started to generate $3,000 or more a month via my travel blogs.
My very first post was published on May, 4th, 2010, and it was nothing but grammar mistakes and partaking in an activity that I really don’t enjoy: writing. I’m telling you this because even though I am a horrible writer, English os not my first language, and I need other people to proofread my work, I’m proof that you really don’t have to be the best at something in order to do make money via your blog. I have started to make at least $3,000 a month via my main travel blog, wanderingtrader.com.
Initially, I started my blog to capture traffic for a day trading business that I was running. I wanted to get more people interested in day trading and, well, get more sales. What it turned into was my own personal travel blog about my passion for travel, and tips about day trading and travel. My whole blogging strategy is based on exposure; you might have read my post about focusing on quantity of traffic instead of quality when you first start out.
There are a million posts on ProBlogger about making money blogging online and frankly almost everyone online makes money the same way. It seems there aren’t very many new ways that bloggers can make money from blogs. Darren wrote a great post on how bloggers make money from blogs if you are interested in learning your different options.
Instead of talking about ways to make money blogging I’m going to share how I managed to start making $3,000 a month via my travel blog in less than a year. I consider it ten months, really, since I took two months off when I got extremely frustrated by a small change in my blog design that crippled the traffic to my main blog. The list below is what I started focusing on, in order of importance.
There are some instances where you find advertisers, but for the most part advertisers find you.
Once you have the right criteria you are eligible for a range of money making options with your blog. The most important thing is getting your name out there. You want to try to focus on guest posts, SEO, and getting on every single blog list that’s related to your niche. The more people who see your blog, the more likely it’ll be that advertisers will find you as well. Below are some examples of the travel-related lists that my blogs are listed on on.
- Top 50 Influencers in Travel
- Top 10 Most Influential Travel Bloggers
- Top 100 Independent Travel Sites
- Top 100 Travel Sites
By working on exposure, authority will come naturally. You want to be careful how quickly you build your authority online, because you can’t become an expert in your niche if you only launched your website yesterday.
Creating solid authority for yourself, and advertisers will know that you have a website that is both legitimate and powerful in the niche you’re covering. If you achieve enough exposure, and have good authority, then you may be considered for things like a press trip. That’s a bonus that might be restricted to the travel niche, but you get the idea.
How we measure authority is something of a debatable issue, since most of the lists on the web have some kind of limitation. Either way, when I have asked people specifically about this they have repeatedly given me the same information:
- Compete: The lower your blog’s Compete rank, the better.
- Alexa: You want an Alexa score under 100,000.
- Google PageRank: Getting above a PR 3 is good.
- Opensiteexplorer: This service gauges your domain authority
Sticking with it
As I explained earlier, there was a time when I got extremely frustrated and just gave up. A redesign to my blog caused me to take a giant hit from Google, and I was extremely annoyed. I just gave up!
If I didn’t take that two- or three-month break, I might have been on my way to making double what I make now. The tactics I’ve outlined so far helped me in the very first month that I started to make money with the blog. I’ve now nearly doubled my income using the strategies I’ll share below.
Getting in with the Rat Pack
When you get started blogging, you have to understand that you are the new kid on the block. There are people I know personally who have been blogging for five to ten years, and I call these people the Rat Pack. They’re the cool kids on the block that you want to get to know and work with.
How did you feel when you met that new kid in your class back in school? The way for them to succeed was to avoid being pushy or asking for too much. They had to be part of the community.
I made the new-kid mistake of approaching people the wrong way, and asking for things I shouldn’t have. Luckily I had a few bloggers point me in the right direction, and that allowed me to get to where I am today. Be engaging, but not demanding. Be interested, but not needy. It’s all about being part of the community and not trying to force your way into the cool kids’ group.
By interacting with the Rat Pack, you’ll open yourself to an extensive group of people who already know how things work and can share best practices. Since these people already have exposure, that may allow you to take a shortcut when you are ready to start making money with your blog. By talking to other bloggers in the field, I went from zero advertisers to having a list of over 60. Use the tools above for exposure and authority to find the Rat Pack in your niche.
Outsourcing what you can
I’m busy, the guy at Mcdonald’s is busy, your kids are busy. I get it, you’re busy. When I first started blogging I was running a day trading business, traveling around the world, day trading, and running my blog. How did I handle all of this? I hired help. I found what now is a team of employees overseas that I pay to do a lot of the admin and back-office work for me.
The old adage is really true: it takes money to make money. While you may not have hundreds or thousands of dollars to invest in getting someone to help you, you may be able to afford, say, $100 a month. Understand that your time is money. By outsourcing mundane tasks—even if it’s just a few hours’ work a week—you will free up your time to do more important things, like creating quality content and thinking of better ways to make money with your blog.
The one goal I had for my blog was to break even. Any business or blog that you create should at least break even. You’re not going to be doing something for very long if you keep losing money. I pay a team of two people a total of $510 a month for roughly 45-50 hours a week of work. Just imagine the things I can accomplish during that timeframe!
Are you making money yet?
After you have successfully started making money with one site, you can continue on to other ventures to increase your income and your online empire.
Think about expanding to other niches online. My main niche is travel which is absolutely massive. I now am branching out to my other passion, which is day trading. I have started an Online Day Trading Academy to help others, and now I can blog about day trading and travel across two sites, which will significantly increase my exposure online.
What about you? Are you making money from your blog yet? Which of these strategies do you use?
Day Trading from 8 different countries Marcello Arrambide has begun to chronicle his travels around the world on his Wandering Trader Travel Blogs site. He has traveled to over 40 countries in his lifetime and is currently exploring South America. You can find out more about Marcello on his Facebook Page or RSS.