Yesterday I had the opportunity to be part of a Webinar organised by Problogger. Problogger is a website about all aspects of blogging launched by Australian Darren Browse in 2004. The theme of the webinar was ‘monetization’ of a blog. If you are interested in making money from your blog it might be an idea to subscribe to his website and receive notifications of his upcoming webinars. He is one of the earlier bloggers and talks out of experience – and I mean a lot of real life experience! He is also the founder of a blog called ‘Digital Photography Blog – now called Digital Photography School.
I found the information he shared during this webinar very interesting and worthwhile for anybody who intends to make money out of their blog. Because of this I like to recap some of the content of his webinar.
Treat your blog as a business!
Darren Rowse first tip was to ‘treat your blog as a business’. If you want your blog to be an income earning entity, you’ll have to start treating it that way. Just as with any other business you’ll have to strategically think on how to increase your traffic and get more advertisers.
He talked about the three foundations of profitable blogging – useful and unique content, effective promotion and an engaging blogging community. Once you have all those in place you are on the road to profitable blogging.
How to make money out of your blog
Apparently Rowse uses 37 ways, at least! But not every way is suitable for everybody and it takes skill to decide what works best for you. Rowse introduces 7 groups of methods to make money being advertising, affiliate marketing, selling your blog, continuity programs, products, services and other indirect methods.
Currently his blog income derives from over 40% from e-books, 19 % through AdSense, 18% from affiliate programs and around 5% each from direct ad sales, continuity programs and speaking events. This may change on a monthly base depending on the launch of products and services. He uses a combination of monetization methods based on what his readers’ needs and wants. The first rule when deciding on ways to monetize your blog is to get to know what your readers want. You then match the method to these needs.
A bit of history
Darren Rowse first blog ‘Digital Photography Blog’ started out as a photo blog for beginners posting 2-3 articles per week. He remembers thinking that his articles were too simple but reader comments were showing him that he was spot on with his content. Over time he has educated his readers and now he is writing more advanced material and has increased the number of posts to 4-5 per week.
The importance of subscribers
Rowse’ readership grew enormously when he decided to set up an email newsletter. 80% of his subscribers come from this newsletter and only 20% via his RSS feed. He mentioned that a lot of bloggers focus on their RSS feeds to increase the number of subscribers however Rowse found that the real growth of capturing contacts came after he introduced his email newsletter.
When his blog grew he changed his approach. He expanded the type of topics and started hiring writers for very advanced content. He also upgrades his site on a regular base and optimises social media such as Twitter and Facebook.
The Webinar was useful and full of tips. It was presented from the heart and partly as a case study of a successful blog. Rowse ended the session with answering questions from bloggers who attempt to make money out of their blogs.
There were literally hundreds of questions – too much to handle here however I will filter some of the information and publish that in a future post.