I have been Blogging for over a year now. When I started this blog last year it was driven by pure passion to write and blog, it was a way to share my travel experiences with the world. It was a way to document my memories in words. It was a few months after I began I started getting a couple emails from people who were interested to collaborate with me, such as advertising, content writing or other info related details.
Honestly, during my initial days I wasn’t quite sure whether my blogs would be of interest to anyone. Only after I started receiving some activity on my blogs and via email and social media I was happy to assume that yes, things were picking up pace and there were people who were reading it.
A few more months into it, I started to think about how I could help the blog be a source through which I could fund my travels to begin with. I was yet not thinking in terms of monetizing my blog, for now my future aim was to come full circle and allow my blog to act as a driving force for my future travels — c’mon we have all been there, where we have wanted to but stopped at planning a trip just because we were too worried about not being able to afford it — For now all I wanted was to travel as much and a few extra bucks would never harm.
There are few basic ways to generate revenue from blogs, directly or indirectly:
Traffic never made money for me —
Being dependent on monetizing my blog through Blog traffic was not something I was considering at that moment since it only works if there is a steady flow of traffic to the blog.
‘Great social media presence and activity = enough daily activity on the blog = Steady traffic’ — None of these at that point were enough to generate views that would convert to revenue (direct revenue).
Publishing sponsored blogs —
The other way of generating revenue was publishing sponsored ads and blogs. To my surprise I was receiving a good number of requests to publish sponsored ads and blogs. Luckily this worked for me and turned out to be a great way to benefit us both, the sponsor and myself. Personally I would charge a one time fee for hosting the posts or ads with no recurring charges. I felt this worked better for me, to begin with I started publishing sponsored posts for a humble pay (direct revenue).
Build a Portfolio —
Another great way, that helped me monetize my blog indirectly, was to use the blog as my portfolio. Let me explain. The blogs we write eventually becomes our body of work, and all the activity on social media acts as a proof of our social presence. Both these aspects are extremely crucial when applying for Freelancing opportunities. It can really help you score a good freelance deal. In my opinion freelancing is a great investment of time and energy, because it not only helps generate quick funds but also the freelance work you do will add up to your body of work. So its a win-win situation either ways. It is important to make a good impression with first time clients, any compromise on quality is a big no-no. My first big $100 freelance deal was with Expedia and I owe it to my blog.
For me the first year into blogging was all about trying, experimenting and learning. Earning was not the primary focus.
Some life lessons I learnt that has helped me since:
- There is no Rule-book for what works and what does not: To begin with I used to read a lots of blogs about what I should expect from my blog and so on and so forth. Eventually though I realized that it is always better to figure out what works best for you instead of blindly trying to follow what worked for others. Build your own rules, remember the so called rule-book is there in the first place because someone was brave enough to experiment and put out what works and what does not in their own words.
- Set your priorities straight: For me quality beats everything, not quantity. I concentrate on posting relevant blog posts and do not count how many posts I published in a week, month, etc.
- Do not give up: There is no timeline within which you need to succeed, start with small goals and try to reach them first. Do not try to make big leaps. If you genuinely believe in what you write or do, over the time try to streamline and modify your blog to try and make it better every time. Just because you got no views on your blog today or lost a few social media followers does not mean you loose hope. Stay focused and believe in yourself.
- Aim at being better than yesterday: If I were to set my aim to become Anthony Bourdain it would seems pretty not achievable, so no stressing. Only aim at being better than yesterday at what ever you do. That way you can aim at improving minor things to cumulatively reach better results. This way in a years time your blog will be better than it was last year.
YOUR BLOG. YOUR WAY!!!