Thursday, June 13, 2019

How to Write a Blog for Income From Home

My Journey to Make an Income by Blogging 

My affinity for blogging started over a decade ago while working a late night hospital shift. The small-town hospital afforded me plenty of "downtime" in between patients, usually between midnight and 6 am. My usual routine was to complete homework for whatever program I was in at the time. But on occasion, I would be caught up on homework and looking for creative ways to stay busy while passing the time.

Wifey and I will still be kayaking as much as possible
Enter the world of blogging. I had built websites for several years and dabbled heavily with eBay and bulletin board services even earlier. I actually started with a class in Basic programming that my mom enrolled me into at the young age of 12. I knew then that I had an affinity for these new computer things and looked forward to using them as much as possible.

It's About the Connections You Make, Stupid

The real purpose of writing this post isn't about earning income while blogging. It is to tell all the people I have met in the blogosphere what I am up to and to say hello. The journey I have had on this Blogspot blog alone is noteworthy. The dozens of online friends I made a decade ago who I still talk to today is heartwarming.

I spent some time yesterday looking back at all the posts. I deleted over 1,000 spam comments from all over the globe. Surprisingly, I found a brand new set of 24 from one Arabic spammer just now as I came here to pen this post. These guys should know by now that backlink spamming is going to get them ranked negatively by Google. Google is well aware of these old tactics and already has it plugged into their algorithm to shun the cheater. But hey, it got the blog 24 advertisement views on my Adsense account so...

How to Make an Income with a Blog

This blog actually has made money, believe it or not. I've never been clever enough to create my own product an sell it like Patrice over at Rural Revolution. She had a plan, executed it and to this day is still plugging along with her opinionated blog. I am really proud of her and all of her accomplishments. Successfully raising a family while handling the farm life and all her animals. She has shared her craft of writing with many people and even encouraged me with a NanoWriMo challenge. She is a great example of how to be self-sufficient and work from home at the same time.

Still enjoying the Orange Jeep too!
Of course, Captain Rawles has lead the pack in a way. His blog reaches millions and has gained worldwide notoriety. I have had the honor of writing and publishing two blog posts on his blog over the years. Because of his blogging notoriety, his blog gets attacked on a regular basis by haters. They have successfully taken his site down a few times but he has always managed to overcome with redundancy.

These are just two of the individuals I've met over the years through the hobby of blogging. The overwhelming support my family received during our house fire was amazing. My local church did a great job helping us with clothes and food but the internet friends I made just blew me away. The donations and letters of support were amazing. I still have a manilla envelope filled with all the cards and letters that came after the fire. I get it out about once a year and read through it. Truly amazing what people will do for a stranger they met through a blog.

Blogging isn't Always About the Money

I admit to starting a blog with the intent of making a little extra income on the side. I had heard it could be done and set out on my quiet night shift to accomplish just that. But in reality, it was an outlet to share my affinity for writing and chronicle my life so that it might benefit others. When I look back at this blog now, there were virtually no advertisements at all in the first year. How was I expecting to make an income with no adverts?

The answer: it didn't really matter if I made an income or not. I enjoyed writing and sharing my quirky sense of humor. In a way, I'm sure that was some validation searching in there somewhere. Was my humor funny? Could I elicit a comment of approval? Yes, that was definitely a factor. But the overarching was just to release my desire to write. I can't explain it really. Perhaps I just think that I am really funny and like to read my own stuff. (read: huge dork)

The ability to connect with other bloggers and share ideas was fantastic. I had a nice list on the right side of my blog that linked to all my internet friends. We bounced back and forth commenting on each other's posts. It was comforting to share links with people of similar interests. I appear to have lost my sidebar links now, unfortunately. I'll have to dig around this template and see if I can find them somewhere.

Top Three Methods to Making Money on a Blog

If you landed here by some chance that a search engine actually picked up my title, I'll share with you the three top ways that I have found to make an income by blogging. Some I have done myself but some are what I've seen my friends around the internet accomplish.

1. Banner advertising - 

The simplest, and most well known is Google's Adsense. Although I've been a customer/member for over a decade, I can't say I've made a ton of money with this revenue generator. But that's because I didn't try super hard. In this area, it is all about the amount of traffic your blog gets. If you have 50,000 pageviews a month or more, Adsense could be a decent income producer. I have another blog that I have been focusing on for the past few months (hence no posts regularly here) and I've managed to reach 12,000 page views in one month. On Adsense, it earned me about $20. Definitely not equal to the amount of time that I have put into the blog. But, the main purpose of that blog is to write material once and walk away after 3-6 months. If I do it right, it should continue to trickle in revenue for a few decades.

The Orange Jeep with Two Swify Kayaks
But, if you ARE hitting more than 10,000 page views per month, you should be switching from Adsense to Ezoic ads. Ezoic is still owned by Google but they seem to put a lot more effort into the advertisements and their placements on your site. Since your blog has to be older than four months, I do not qualify yet but have already tried to apply in vain,. With Ezoic, the revenue should be 3-4 times what you would get from Adsense. I look forward to proving that right.

2. Affiliate marketing - 

The most popular here is Amazon Associates. You all know what it is by now so I don't need to explain. But you should know that there are several other companies out there like Share-a-sale, Commission Junction (which I think is called something else now) and just about every other website has an affiliate membership program.

Of course, the plan here is that you somehow drive traffic to their "store" and if the visitor buys something you will get a percentage of the sale. Pretty straight forward. I have only done Amazon affiliates and I think the most I made in one month (when I blogged nearly every day) was about $120 in that month. You can definitely produce some good income with this method. But you have to stay on top of your links to make sure they remain valid over time. Dead links = no dinero.

3. Direct sales - 

Either create your own products like Patrice does with ebook and tankards or buy someone else's stuff and sell it directly on your website. eBooks have been around since the start of the internet and believe it or not, people are still buying them. If you can figure out a way to create your own informational booklet, odds are there is someone in the world looking for that information.

This is where you will make the most income because you are the captain of your own ship. Thanks to the internet and the speed of shipping packages around the world, the sky is the limit on what you can make, sell, and where you can ship it to.

Mixing Up the Blog Topics

It wasn't my intention. My intention a few months ago was to capitalize on this established blog and see if I couldn't' revive some revenue out of it with some new posts about kayaking. I really like kayaking and there's sage old advice that you should only blog about what you love or it will become taxing and unenjoyable. So I switched the topic on this blog to kayaking and changed the template of how it looked to give it a more modern feel.

Then I realized, that just isn't what this blog was for. This blog was a means to express the current events in my life and share with like-minded individuals. So I reverted the blog back to its original template design. Unfortunately, it seems I destroyed some of the modules I used to have like linking to the blogroll of other bloggers who I used to follow religiously.

If you've read this far, maybe you are one of those blog authors that I used to follow. I would be happy to reconnect with a new widget on the sidebar if you could leave me a comment below. I suspect there aren't many out there anymore. Like Granny Miller, did she retire? Pioneer Preppy, Warlock Sundance, Leigh, Jay Ater, Kim, Milo, MaribethKC, well...the list is quite long. I have to jump on a conference call so I'll have to say farewell.

If you are interested, my new site is allowing me to blog about my career in radiology. In the next few months, I will probably pull the kayaking posts off this site and put them on a dedicated site just for kayaking and return this blog back to its original platform for posterity. And I'll drop by from time to time to was poetic because...who else is going to listen :-)

aka OJD

Edit: couldn't remember Granny Miller's name and called her Granny Smith, LOL. Corrected!