You adore blogging. You enjoy getting your thoughts online and look at other people come and read and discuss your opinion.
Too bad making money from blogging is not as easy as keeping a personal journal. You need to develop a business mindset if you really want to earn an income from your blog:
- You have to think of your blog as your work place and blogging as your business
- You need to learn how to be consistent, persistent and humble
- You need to deliver quality, hands-on content your readers can use right away
- You need to learn marketing skills.
I’ve learned these things after reading dozens of freelance writing blogs and (e-)books. I’m a still learning and still experimenting with new ways to earn more and with less stress, but that’s part of the fun of the freelancing profession, isn’t it? 🙂
Jane Sheeba’s new report Can I Really Make Money Blogging? Stop Wondering! Here’s How You Can definitely helped me see new horizons.
A Pro Blogger I Admire
I’ve been following Jane Sheeba‘s Pro Blogging Success for nearly eleven months before I made the decision to subscribe to her newsletter and killer content writing e-course. I was never a regular blogger, as pushing myself to do something out of inspiration would only lead me to produce low quality content and get an anxiety attack— however, Jane’s advice helped me realize that I can make my own schedules without having to push myself too hard. All it really takes is a bit of time management and an effort to get most of the work done when the muse is favorable.
When Jane released Can I Really Make Money Blogging? and asked some of her subscribers for a honest review, I thought it was a chance to finally give back to a pro blogger I truly admire, as well as to learn how to write a good book review (because that’s a new ground for me to explore). Both these possibilities made me enthusiastic enough to start working early on a review of Jane’s report, by taking notes as I read the chapters and by outlining this post before I was even halfway my reading.
Yes, it was a slow labor of love, but I wrote a book review and that’s a big step forward in my career.
Jane’s Advice For Bloggers
1. Product Reviews— Jane’s report is filled with numerous, hands-on tips on how to write an honest review. This is particularly true of affiliate marketing: disappoint your readers once, disappoint them forever– they’ll fly away like birds, really, no second chances. Jane stresses the importance of staying on the realistic side and provide both the cons and the so-so aspects of the product along with the benefits. Readers appreciate that, whether they buy or not. If you write good tutorials, they will surely remember YOU.
2. Valuable Content— I agree with Jane that our content should provide value. Always. That’s the only way to fidelize your readership. And your loyal subscribers, who often convert into customers.
In fact you should save some exclusive golden nuggets just for your list subscribers. Why? Because they’re so special.”—- Jane Sheeba in Can I Really Make Money Blogging?
We all need to feel special. I’m in Jane’s mailing list because I do. 🙂
Also, Jane suggests you build a mailing list today, not to wait for your blog to develop– so I’m starting tonight!
3. Guest Blogging— Jane suggests to use it to increase subscriber count. She tells you how to do it with practical examples in her e-book, but I will add this:
Use guest blogging to prospect, too!
Getting yourself out there not only improves your visibility in front of potential new readers or subscribers, but also high paying clients. I got a SEO + article writing gig this way.
4. The 80/20 Rule— You have to balance your promotional content with the value you provide to your readers. An overly promotional blog can lead many to unsubscribe or to abandon your blog, causing a substantial drop in traffic and conversion. That’s why Jane suggest you use the Pareto principle for business, also known as the 80/20 rule: the amount of valuable content should always outnumber your promotional messages.
5. Income Reports— Publishing income reports along with an ‘how-to’ guide on how you earned that income will build readers’ trust. And I mean real trust. Because you could fake an income report, but not the exact steps you made to earn that money with your blog. If your readers know they can trust YOU, they won’t forget about you.
6 (Bonus!). A Blogger’s USP— Jane stresses the importance of defining your Unique Selling Proposition (USP). You’ll find more about it in her report, as she describes it thoroughly from planning stage to delivery, but I suggest you start learning about USP right now, to make the best out of Jane’s advice.
What I Don’t Agree With
The only personal ‘pet peeve’ about the e-book is Jane’s view of bloggers who ‘fake it till they make it’. While I definitely agree with her on the lack of credibility and trust such bloggers often carry to the blogosphere, I’m generally a supporter of blogging about subjects and areas we know nothing about.
First, because it’s a challenge: you can’t learn about a new topic until you actually need it.
Second, because it helps master research and interviewing skills.
I think that blogging about something we don’t know is NOT faking it when done properly: I may not know much about computer hardware and networks, but I can research documents, visit tech companies, ask the experts and then write what I learned, share expert quotes and advice.
I do that often and I come out with more knowledge than I would have ever learned on my own.
Have you read Jane Sheeba’s new e-book? What’s your take on freelance blogging?