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Wealth Creation Through Blogging

This guest post is by Shaun of MoneyCactus.

There’s a blog for just about everything these days. Some are a lot better than others, but I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that any blog has the potential to become great.

It is completely possible to find a niche and an interested audience if you are serious enough about it yourself.

Wealthy

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Some Internet entrepreneurs are better at doing this than others and make the process look easy. While many of these great bloggers definitely have a talent for what they do, the fundamentals of how they go about it really don’t change too much at all.

I guess now is probably a good time to tell you that this is not an article about making money from your blog. Before you even get to this stage you need to develop a strategy, understand your market, and allocate your resources. Good bloggers understand this. They are the same principles that you would use when making any investment.

If you want to create a blog that is successful, then these basic wealth creation fundamentals should go a long way to getting you there.

Hobbies are not an investment

People often make bad investment decisions, most of which are based on their emotions or—even worse—a “gut feeling.” Bloggers can make this mistake when selecting a niche as well.

A hobby is not an investment, it is just another way to spend your money. You do not need to be good at a hobby. Really, it’s just something you do to waste time.

The best investments are made in things that you are very knowledgeable about. Don’t confuse something you like the sound of with something you know a lot about. In order to create an authority site and demonstrate social proof, you need to know enough about your area of interest to attract readers. You do not need to be an expert, but you do need to have a knack for delivering information that makes readers want to keep coming back.

Do your research before anything else. You wouldn’t waste time and money on a dud investment; don’t do the same with a blog.

Risk makes it real

If you told me I had an imaginary sum of $1,000 and then asked me to pick some stocks to watch over a year as a way to practice my investing skills, I probably wouldn’t have any trouble making a choice and playing the game. If you told me I had to actually put my own money on the line, the chances are I would be studying those stocks very closely and sweating every decision I made.

If you are really serious about blogging, then you need to have a stake in the game. It doesn’t need to be big money, but spending some money on your blog will help keep you motivated as losing it is never fun.

Forget Blogger, WordPress.com, Tumblr, or any of those other free platforms (believe me, I learned the hard way). Yes they can be useful and they are simple to set up, but if you plan to use your blog as a means to generate income, then invest in yourself, and pay the small amount of money it costs to get a unique domain name and a self-hosted account.

Give before you receive

Tithing is practiced by many of the world’s richest people, but you don’t need mega bucks to start giving. You can give in lots of ways that help others, and the nice thing is that giving has a habit of coming back to you in lots of other ways.

Bloggers are quite possibly the nicest people I know. It is amazing how approachable they are, and what they will do to help or provide advice if you ask them. If you spend some time hanging out in the blogosphere, then you will quickly realize that the whole network runs on love. Bloggers write about things they love, people follow the things they love, and the better you are at showing people how to do what they want, the more love you will get in return.

If you can find ways to be ridiculously useful to others within your niche and over-deliver on your promises, you will attract people organically. Unsurprisingly, bloggers follow other bloggers in their niche, so reach out and give to a fellow blogger or combine your powers to offer even more.

Diversify your traffic sources

In order to spread risk, investors often use different vehicles to grow their wealth. The same principles apply to blogging: a nice spread of traffic will ensure you are not reliant on any one stream.

There are many ways to do this, and you might have your own methods, but here are a few things that I have been doing to grow my audience.

Search engine traffic

There are ways to help make your blog posts as targeted as possible by focusing on keywords and employing other SEO tactics. But, to be perfectly honest, the most visited pages on my site are poorly optimized (I really should do something about that).

Instead, I write about what is affecting me, and I try to solve the problem. Funnily enough there are lots of other people that have similar problems, so my posts end up getting found anyway. I’ve found the best thing to do is just focus on a single topic per post. That way, basic things like keyword density seem to happen on their own.

Blogging carnivals

This is one of the best ways I have found to share my blog posts as widely as possible and get referrals from other blogs. It is also a really great way to network with other people in your niche. Different carnivals have different rules, but they usually let you submit a recent article that you have written on your site. A link to this is then listed on the carnival host site, which means potential traffic from other bloggers and people that are regulars on the host site.

Blogging carnivals are often hosted on a different site each time, so submitting your articles regularly means you are more likely to be seen by a broader audience. If you want to look for a blogging carnival for your niche, you could try starting here.

Commenting on blogs

This has got to be the next best thing to guest posting. You get to have your say on a topic, actively participate in an online community, and you can often leave a link to your site for people to see what you are all about.

I think that this traffic generation strategy is completely underrated. I can’t tell you how many times I have checked out a site because I liked a comment I read somewhere else, and Google Analytics tells me others do the same with my site too. If you want to develop your comment strategy, you might like this guide to writing killer comments.

Blue-chip blogs

The best blogs have “shareholders” in the form of subscribers. These people have decided that the site is an asset to them, and that it’s worth investing their time in. Like any good stock, a blog needs to continue to perform over the long term in order to hold or increase its value, and that requires ongoing effort.

I’ll be the first to tell you that there is more I could do more to improve the stock of my blog, but every time I have invested in it, I have seen a gain. My final wealth creation tip is to continue investing in your blog: set short-, medium-, and long-term goals, but view it as an appreciating asset that will grow in value over time.

Try these simple wealth creation strategies on your blog and see what happens for yourself.

Shaun is not an accountant, financial planner or life coach, but he writes about wealth creation anyway! Shaun’s motto is “Make wealth, not money,” which fits quite nicely with where he wants to be in life. You can find out more by visiting his blog where he shows you how to do nothing and grow wealthy.

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Comments

  1. Faizan says:

    I agree with the writer that if you want to make money by blogging, its best use self-hosted WordPress.

    • Dean says:

      I am also in this boat.Self hosting all the way.
      I have found a unbelievable deal on hosting.
      Great blog.
      Bookmarked.

  2. I would not dismiss a hobby as an investment so lightly. If you’re hobby happens to have a wide appeal there’s no reason you can’t turn it into a business. I turned my hobby blog into my full time job. It can be done. But it depends on the hobby.

    I wouldn’t waste much time with Blog Carnivals or blog commenting – you will have a lot of trouble building a lot of traffic this way. Sure it’s nice when you’re new and only getting a few hits a day and are desperate for traffic but it’s not something that’s scalable.

    • Shaun says:

      I agree that it depends on the hobby, I guess it can also depend on the carnival too. Personally I’ve had some great experiences with these, often getting mentions on bigger blogs as a result.

    • I agree with you here Jonathan; I was lost to hear that a hobby is just something one wastes time on. I write as a hobby – it has always been my hobby. But now that’s how I earn an income online. Not too bad for a waste of time eh?

      • Tanya Price says:

        How did you get started? I’m interested in blogging full time and I love fashion. I’m actually starting an online boutique and the clothing/accessories are gently used but upscale. Any help? I’ve never blogged in my life!

  3. Mark Aylward says:

    Shaun
    I have had great success with blog commenting and intend to increase my guest posting as the few I’ve done have been well received and effective. My question is about blog carnivals…This concept would appear to be “cheating” and potentially viewed as “unnatural” by the search engines, yet you seem to be a big proponent? Your thoughts?
    Thanks for the tips!
    Mark

    • Shaun says:

      Hey Mark,

      I don’t think there is really anything wrong with blog carnivals. The content isn’t replicated or anything ‘unnatural’, it’s basically just a big round up post which are very common.

  4. Giving before receiving is a fool-proof strategy to wealth creation Shaun. Offer your wealth of talents, help others become successful, become wealthy. Add value, become valuable.

    Thanks for sharing!

    RB

  5. Zia says:

    Very nice bio Shaun, “You can find out more by visiting his blog where he shows you how to do nothing and grow wealthy”. I would love to visit your blog.
    Since I started blogging I am confused of this phenomena, “Hobbies are not investment”. I am desperate to start a blog about cricket which is my passion, hobby and everything. My “gut feeling” urge me to start it quickly, but the lessons I learned are stopping me.

    • Shaun says:

      I guess it depends on what you want to get out of it. If you are passionate about it, then do it anyway.

  6. Great advice. I’ve participated in blog carnivals before and found it worthwhile enough to jump in and host my first blog carnival next month as one of the activities to mark the first anniversary of my blog. I confess, when I posted the carnival notice I was a little nervous – what if nobody participates?! – kind of nervous. 25 entries later, I realize this is going to be awesome!

  7. Hugo Guzman says:

    Solid post, Shaun. I particularly dig the “give before you receive” advice. It’s something that is the secret weapon not just for bloggers, but for any brand interested in growing their social media foothold. The best way to grow influence and build rapport with influencers is by giving and giving without expecting to receive.

    P.S. I’m ashamed to admit that I’d never heard of a blog carnival : (

  8. Auren Kaplan says:

    Don’t forget about PPC as a paid way of driving traffic and exposure to your blog. Combine that with an email capture and you can build a list that will serve you in many ways down the road.

  9. Great post! Blogging is a huge part of branding yourself. I also definitely agree with investing in your blog/website if you plan on using it as a business. You have to own your content!

  10. eliZZZa says:

    Hi Shaun,

    great article! I’d like to counterdict on one point and add one more:
    1.) Building a blog around your hobby may be VERY successful and rewarding in any way!

    I am teaching everything around web production and when I prepared another workshop about “YouTube, Facebook & Co) in 2008, I wondered again, what people fascinates about YouTube. So I uploaded a video with knitting instructions – just for a test and just because it was my hobby…
    A few weeks later I was surprised to find some tenthousand video views and I became curious. Teaching WordPress as well (self-hosted), it was easy to setup a blog and to start developing.
    http://www.nadelspiel.com is my fulltime job today.
    My YouTube partner channel counts close to 13 Mio video views meantime. This channel and a facebook group are sending most of my visitors after search engines (~60%).

    2.) The one point I missed in your article is “Listen to your audience”. Ask them, what to do next, let them vote what they want to read next, ask them, what they want to buy at what price… I was begged by my visitors to sell my videos on DVD, to sell written instructions, to sell yarn, to open a “club”, to offer member galleries and so on…
    Saves you many hours and many wrong decisions. If I had started such a project with a concept and strategy in mind, I bet, I would do appr. 50% wrong. Letting my visitors do the development made me do 90% right. Thats mainly because you can’t count on much experience or advice running a niche blog.

    Just my 5 Cent >;o)

    Thank you and kind regards,
    eliZZZa

  11. Carrie says:

    Another great way I have found to learn more about monitizing my blog is through blog conferences. I attended a great conference in Colorado Springs this year called Savvy Blogging. Not only did I network with great bloggers but I learned from many of their mistakes!

    As a newer family blogger I have learned a lot in my first year and I am very happy with where my blog has come!

  12. Jade Sitjar says:

    What do you do in blog carnivals? Sorry I had to ask this, but I’m still a bit new to blogging. Been blogging for 3 months now, but still new here.

    You’re definitely right on your point about that blogging is like investing and stocks. It’s a long term asset for me….And I’d like to keep it growing.

    • Shaun says:

      Hey Jade,

      Basically you submit an article from your blog to the carnival, then the carnival host links to you in the carnival post (just a big round up post). It is a nice way to network in your niche and have your work seen by a wider audience.

  13. naijadotcom says:

    Great post,i like the part about branding and investing in your blog.

  14. naijadotcom says:

    Great post,i like the part about branding and investing in your blog.

  15. sean davis says:

    Very nice article. I actually enjoyed reading it. I would have to agree with everything you said. I live how you compared your blog building strategies ti common investment practices. That hits home with me.

    I’d have to say, in response to Jonathan, that blog commenting carries more weight than just getting traffic. I agree, Jonathan, that it takes more than just commenting. I do, however, believe that blog commenting on a regular basis helps build a brand in a laid back way.

    There are a few people that I fully expect to leave comments on certain blogs and because of that, we now have a relationship and they gained a reader on their own blog. It may not drive tons of traffic but it does help with other things. It doesn’t seem to be scalable, though. I just know it’s real.

  16. Robby G says:

    Keep reinvesting in your blog and make smart decisions. These are great points, and though many of us do start a blog based on our emotional attachment to a certain subject matter, we quickly learn that you are unable to blog for over a year with the same heart you did when you began, so it because about adapting and the ones that adapt best usually last longest.

  17. XuDing says:

    Commenting on blogs is definitely a good way to spread your site.

  18. Jym says:

    Thumbs Up Sean:

    Massive mindset shift between hobby and business blogging. There’s a reason Darren didn’t call this site ‘hobbyblogger’… and you made it clear as day with the analogy around investing.

    These words ‘blogging carnival’ keep popping up with positive recommendation… Must be time to investigate.

    Nice work mate!

  19. Nhut Le says:

    Blogging is a real war now. We need some helpful tips and our own strategy to over come other blogs. Thanks for the good tips here.

  20. I had completely forgotten about Blog Carnivals, I didn’t think it still happened these days, might give it a try again. Thanks for sharing Shaun.

  21. Steve Scott says:

    While I agree that all of these methods are good ones for getting more traffic and making more money from blogging, i kinda disagree with the basic premise that blogging is a wealth creating business in and of itself.

    Don’t get me wrong. As part of a comprehensive strategy, it surely can be profitable. But I thinkn too many people just start blogs these days assuming they are eventually going to retire to an island somewhere and sip Mojito’s all day, where this really is not true for 99.999% of people who start.

    The question should be where does a blog fit into the larger picture of earning an online income. Or boosting your offline income. If you can answer that question…then follow these steps, all can be golden.

  22. shan ali says:

    Very nice article. I actually enjoyed reading it. I would have to agree with everything you said. I like how you compared your blog building strategies ti common investment practices.

  23. Andre Cruz says:

    This is a great article. I agree with writing about what you know.

  24. Bougie Girl says:

    Thanks for the information about blog carnivals.

  25. Great post! Inspiring, honest and full of useful information and tips.

    I have to agree with the wealthy aspect of it, also. A fool and his money are soon parted, but he who is wealthy and rich in life shall seldom be poor. For he knows the true value and worth of what is.

    “Begin from within, and you will never go without” – moose logic

    Many thanks.
    mús

  26. James Greg says:

    I agree, risk is a very dominant factor in every thing which involves money and reputation. People who are afraid to take risks are often the ones that do not progress in their lives and their are many talented people out there unknown and undiscovered because they never took the risk to be known. A blog is the same thing and it would be highly risky to expose what your blog has to say. Bloggers who took the risk to become known are now enjoying high appreciation and criticism as well but they are the ones whom people know and recognize.

  27. LOVE the post!! and yeah bloggers are the nicest people on earth lol^^

    Thanks a lot for the post..

  28. BT Stream says:

    “Give before you receive” gonna be a quote of the day :D

    anyway thanks for the post

  29. Positivep says:

    Thanks Sean…:)
    I’m so new at this but, I believe I’ve tumbling into the right person….

  30. Henry Louis says:

    Good suggestions are posted by the author. As mentioned above, correct way of blogging is more helpful in wealth creation. Nice post.

  31. Diversifying traffic sources is essential. One cannot just rely only on search engines traffic. It can stop or become less anytime. Social media must also be used for getting loads of traffic. And one should always blog about what his interests are.