Guest post: Using your blog skills for profit

While most of us blog because we love it, there is another possible benefit besides pure enjoyment: making a little money. 

Erica Douglas, author of The Mum Blogger eCourse and A Guide to Successful Blogging has some advice for anyone wanting to turn visitors into cash. 

Blogging to make money is an attractive option for stay at home mums who want to make a little extra for treats and holidays. I’m often asked, “can I make money from my mum blog?”. My answer is yes, but if you’re really serious a much better option is to take your blogging skills and apply them to a different niche.

The problem with monetising a mum blog

I’ve made a steady income from a mum blog (a blog that chronicles your life as a mum) so it is possible, but there are a number of reasons why it’s hard work. Picking another niche will simply make your life easier.

A mum blog tends to cover a lot of topics and while the ‘traffic’ (readers, surfers) is targeted to a certain extent the only thing they are likely to have in common is the fact that they are parents.
The fact they have ‘something’ in common is why you can make ‘some’ money. Advertisers want to get their ads in front of as targeted an audience as they can, and it’s the same if you’re doing affiliate marketing (selling other people’s products for commission).

If you can come up with a more focussed audience than just ‘parents’ you are going to sell a lot more units, particularly if your audience is very interested in what you’re promoting.

Picking a niche

Hopefully I’ve convinced you that while mum blogging is fun, it’s not necessarily the best way to make money. So what next?

Well now you need to pick a niche that you can apply your blogging skills to. Your chosen niche should be quite tight i.e. it doesn’t cover too many topics. One main topic or three smaller topics that are related is ideal. Do your market research to find a niche where there is demand for high quality content but the niche is under serviced.

Market research in action

Think of some areas you’d be passionate about covering on a blog. Research these areas, look at the existing blogs, books and forums surrounding this niche. Try to gauge demand and look out for niches where there are books but no blogs or where the blogs could be improved upon.

Then ask yourself, what might people buy related to this niche? For example, a photography blog could quite clearly link into people buying cameras which are high value products if you want to sell via Amazon affiliates links. If you choose to blog about tea, however, people will be spending a fraction of what they might spend on a camera and you may find it harder to make the blog pay.

Treating it like a business

This is one of the fundamental differences between mum blogging and niche blogging. Once you’ve done your market research and you have a few ideas you need to consider how you will monetise the blogs.

There are three main ways you can monetise a blog:

  • Monetise traffic – selling banner advertising, sponsored posts
  • Affiliate marketing – selling other peoples products for commission
  • Selling your own products – products you’ve created e.g. music, art, information products OR selling wholesale/imported products.

Which of the above monetisation strategies would suit your niche? How much would you need to sell to reach your income targets? Is your niche still a feasible one now you’ve considered monetisation?

Branching out

The best monetisation method will vary niche to niche but once you’ve established yourself as an authority in a particular niche other opportunities open up to you. For example you may decide to pitch a book on your niche topic, or you could start doing public speaking or offering related training.

Develop your skills

Learn as much as you can about professional blogging. Important topics include SEO, marketing, monetisation and basic business skills. Stay ahead of the crowd and always keep your audience in mind. What do they want next?

What next?

Once you’ve successfully created and monetised your first niche blog you can either apply the same skills to another niche or you can develop your expertise and build an even bigger business around your expert topic.

Ready to get started? Why not join our ‘mumpreneur in a month’ eCourse for some extra inspiration.

Good Luck!

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About Holly Seddon

Holly Seddon is the BritMums blog editor. She's a writer, editor and community consultant and helped launched the community for Adoption UK, which won charity website of the year just 9 months later. She also writes a music blog and is a near-constant presence on the BritMums network.

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2 Responses to Guest post: Using your blog skills for profit

  1. Jen Stanbrook 08 September 2011 at 12:33 #

    Great article for anyone wanting to make some more money through their blog. Lots to think about! Think I will get the ecourse now!

  2. 1dcZGCGV 09 October 2012 at 01:01 #

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