I can sum up the purpose of a blog in three short words: To make money.
Some people may think of a blog as a type of online journal, but that idea – to me – has gone the way of the dodo. That may have been the case in the early days of the internet. But today, a blog means business.
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You can think of a blog as any website that contains information that is updated on a regular basis.
And yes, that covers a lot of websites on the internet.
The goal of a blog certainly varies. Maybe the purpose of a blog is to make money through ad sales or affiliate marketing.
Maybe a business blog aims to attract customers to a brick-and-mortar store. Whatever the blog’s goal is, there are several benefits of blogging.
More on those later.
What are the types of blogs?
A blog will (and should) cover a niche.
Blogs can offer information on topics that cover anything from food recipes and Disney travel tips to health advice.
But, they shouldn’t do all of those things. Blog content usually focuses on one broad topic. If you’re starting a blog, pick a niche and stick to it. For example, some common blog types include:
- Travel blogs
- Food blogs
- Finance blogs
- Lifestyle/mom blogs
- Beauty blogs
- Business blogs
Of course, just about any type of business can have a blog on its website.
What are the benefits of having a blog?
If you’re thinking about starting your own blog, you might be surprised at the number of benefits a blog can have.
In short, a successful blog that gets lots of traffic on a regular basis can either help an existing business grow or become its own business.
Here are some of the major benefits of having a blog:
8. Grow your social media following
It’s considered a best practice to include social media buttons (like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn) on your blog.
It’s true that social media platforms can be used to drive traffic to your blog post. But also, your blog may help increase your social following as well.
If your readers are enjoying the content that they found through search, they may decide to give you a follow so they can stay up to date.
7. Help your marketing strategy
If you own a business, you’re going to need customers. Maybe those customers are simply reading your content. Maybe you want your customers to purchase a product or service.
Either way, you need to find a way to reach your target audience. Blogs can be an excellent way of doing that.
Having well-written blog posts that utilize search engine optimization can help you rank on search engines like Google.
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This, of course, will help your customers find you when they search for something online related to your business.
It’s an organic way of finding customers that has lasting benefits.
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6. Enhance your online presence
Brand recognition is everything. The more places you are, the better.
Frankly, it’s not enough to simply start a Facebook page to promote yourself. How will people find you?
It’s best to have a robust website that has good visibility. Blogs have many more indexed pages than a regular business landing page.
Plus, if you are highly Googlable, you will have overall better credibility.
5. Share insight and information
In the blogging world, it’s not uncommon to find bloggers, writers and small business owners who are truly passionate about the information they share.
Educating an audience with high-quality content to offer their expertise may be the very reason they got into blogging in the first place.
A blog writer can very well be an expert in their field with the goal of helping people. A blog, or vlog in some cases, is an excellent way of reaching a large number of people and make a big impact.
4. Generate affiliate marketing sales
Oftentimes, bloggers can endorse a service or product by including it in their content and linking to it. If that service or product has an affiliate program, the blogger can earn a small commission off of the purchase at no cost to the customer.
For example, a food blog can link to the best kitchen appliances and earn a small commission each time a visitor makes a purchase.
Notably, Amazon is a huge affiliate that is a behemoth in the affiliate world, but they are also known for having small commissions. Of course, it’s surprising how fast the money can add up if you have a high volume of sales and traffic.
Plus, it’s very possible to find programs that offer higher commissions and so you can make even more money. Commissions will often vary by niche, so it may be something you want to consider when starting your blog.
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3. Generate ad revenue
One of the best ways to generate money from your blog is through ad revenue.
If you have enough visitors to your website each month, you can apply for an ad network like AdThrive and MediaVine. If you’re starting out, you can also try Google AdSense.
The bigger companies will have minimum requirements for monthly traffic. If you start to reach 50,000 page views per month, it may be time to look into one of the big players like AdThrive or MediaVine.
When you have enough visitors each month, you can add advertisements on your site and earn revenue from each visitor you receive.
2. Sell digital content or courses
Many successful bloggers also use their platforms to sell their own products.
There are great margins with things like online courses or digital downloads, such as ebooks.
Selling a course or a digital product takes an initial investment. But once it’s up and running, it’s almost pure profit. I think that a huge benefit of being in an online business is that your costs are generally low and profit margins are high.
1. Make money
At the end of the day, all of these strategies will ultimately result, directly or indirectly, in making money.
The best part is, none of the strategies listed above are exclusive to one another, so it’s certainly possible to enjoy multiple benefits of having a blog.
In fact, you may be surprised to know that blogs can earn anywhere from $0-$50,000 per month or more. The sky is the limit.
Our friends at RankIQ say that professional bloggers make an average of $7,500 to $25,000 per month.
And even if you truly do want to have a blog to share your expertise with a large group of people, you might as well be compensated for it. And implementing best practices will help you reach a wider audience.
What key things should a blog have?
If you’re starting a new blog, you may want to be aware of some best practices.
Before you get started, you’ll want to do some keyword research to see if there’s enough traffic to support your niche of interest.
Then, take a look at the competition. What keywords are your potential competitors ranking for? How much traffic do they get? Remember, you’ll need at least 50,000 page views per month to get started with a new ad network.
But if your competitors can generate traffic on the niche, then odds are, so can you.
That being said, I don’t like to spend too much time looking at competitors. Overall, you want to be unique and bring something new to the table instead of copying what everyone else is doing.
If you move forward with your blog, obtain a good domain name, preferably one that is short, and use WordPress to run your site. It’s considered the industry standard.
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Once you begin blogging, new blog posts should be written 1-3 times per week. Blog posts should be written in an easy-to-understand manner with plenty of subheadings. Utilize images and infographics to make your blog posts more engaging.
If you can write more than three posts per week, that’s even better. But make sure that you’re pumping out quality content with unique and helpful information. Last but not least, it’s a good idea to end with a call to action (CTA). Think about what you want your customer to do once they have read your blog post.
Are there any downsides to a blog?
Sure, there are cons to everything in life. Blogs can be time-consuming if you’re doing it right. Plus, it can feel like a grind, especially in the beginning. It’s easy to question whether or not you are seeing a real benefit.
But remember, it’s a marathon and not a sprint.
For example, it may take several months to see a blog rank on search engine results, and likely longer if you’re just starting out.
If you’re using a blog to grow an existing business, it may be difficult to allot appropriate resources. I’ve seen a lot of business owners attempt to start a blog and inevitably publish sporadically or stop after publishing only a handful of articles.
But consistency is key.
Remember, it will take time to see genuine website visitors on your site. But if you stick with it, you might just be surprised by the results.
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