By Jared Atchison
Blogging is still very much alive and it’s already turning out to be one of the best ways to build a profitable business online. Starting a blog is now easier than ever. However, people are still skeptical about whether it’s worth the investment. Maybe you’re still not sure whether you’re cut out to be a blogger or perhaps you’re unaware of the many benefits of starting a blog. Well, that’s going to change in a few moments.
Do You Have to Be a Writer to Start Blogging?
One of the main reasons many people avoid starting a blog is they believe only writers can blog. This is not true. All it takes is a desire to share your knowledge and the ability to put your thoughts into words.
In fact, most of the today’s successful bloggers started out this way, then developed their skills over time. If you have a product and want to use your blog to increase your search traffic, there are a number of resources for hiring a freelance writer. If you’re still wondering why you should start blogging, here are a few reasons to consider.
Add an Extra Income Stream
Blogging is a great way to build an extra income stream while keeping your day job. You can start a blog as a side-hustle and grow it without having to take any big risks.
The first step in generating an income stream is getting visitors to your website. Focus on having a content strategy game plan. Schedule the topics you're going to blog about, and write often. Many bloggers think they can just write awesome content and visitors will come. While that may be the case for some, it doesn't always work that way, and sometimes great content can be ignored. If you've crafted an amazing blog post, your content should be promoted. It's incredible what $5-$10/day of Facebook ads can do for the visibility of your content. Creating the perfect headline is also important for social media engagement and SEO.
There is more than one way to monetize a blog. That’s what makes it possible for anyone to make a profit from blogging, regardless of your niche. You can make money using many strategies, including:
- Selling ad space: Programs such as AdSense make it easy to set up and get started selling ads on your blog.
- Using affiliate marketing: Amazon is one of the most popular affiliate marketing programs, but it's not the only one. ShareASale is another popular affiliate program.
- Selling your own products: You can create e-books, video courses or apps. If you're selling a software as a service, you can create a webinar that scales and gives your potential customers more information. A live chat feature is also recommended to help sell your product faster by answering questions on the spot.
- Building membership sites: Some of the best membership sites have both a free version and a paid version. If you're selecting a WordPress theme, look to see if there are some with a built-in login portal.
- Offering consulting: You could create different plans for the various services that you offer and provide 15 minutes of free consulting.
- Doing public speaking gigs: Add a "contact me" page where you market your skills as a speaker, videos of you speaking, and the topics that you cover.
Grow Your Email List
Believe it or not, emails are more effective at generating sales than blog posts, websites and even social media. According to a report by McKinsey, email outreach is 40 times better more effective acquiring new customers than Twitter and Facebook combined. But where do you find subscribers?
A great way to grow an email list is by blogging. Use your blog as a platform to promote your email list by converting your blog visitors into leads. You can do this by A/B testing different email capture forms. When you publish great content on your blog, people will want to receive your latest posts via email. To create great content, pay attention to what your readers are asking. Is there a common question that they have? Answerthepublic.com and Quora are both great resources to find topic ideas based on questions people are asking.
Once you have a big enough email list, you can use it to promote your own products, sell affiliate products, and do much more.
Promote Your Business and Products
Blogging is a great strategy to promote your business and products, and will also help you build your business by increasing brand awareness with each and every blog post you create. This means your website will receive a boost in search engine ranking while driving more traffic to your website. It's best to blog every day, but not everyone has the time to blog that frequently. If that's the case, opt to blog a couple times a week to maintain quality.
Think of blogging as a long-term marketing strategy for your business with the highest ROI. After all, investing a small amount of your time is the only thing that’s required to start a blog.
Share Your Knowledge and Inspire Others
If making money and promoting products is not your goal, then you can start a blog for the sole purpose of sharing your knowledge with others. Whether it’s politics, video games, movies, success, or even your experience with an illness, you can use your blog as a channel to express your ideas and inspire millions of people around the world.
Blogging will also help you build your confidence as a professional. Sharing advice about the topics you know about will allow you to build authority and establish yourself as an expert on the subject. Once the world starts to recognize you as an influential figure, you may start to receive requests for public speaking, coaching and consulting.
Starting is the hardest part of doing anything new. If you’re willing to take those first steps, you’ll see how rewarding blogging can be. It’ll be the smartest investment you’ll ever make.
Jared Atchison is the co-founder of WPForms, a drag and drop form builder for WordPress that's being used on over 400,000 websites.