Posted by blogexercise
I finished my previous post with the promise to elaborate a bit more on the information Darren Rowse of Problogger disclosed during his webinar on ‘Monetisation of a blog’. I had the chance to be part of this last week and there was a lot of information that was worthwhile to pass on.
I really urge anyone who is interested to make money from their blog to subscribe to his site ‘Problogger’. Darren Rowse has been very successful in making money out of his blogs about ‘blogging’ and ‘photography’ and has first-hand experience to support his tips. There were dozens of questions at the end of the webinar and I like to share some of his countless tips.
Timing of monetisation?
Several people were asking when to introduce monetisation in to your blog. This can be regarded in several ways.
- Wait with monetisation until ………
Some people may start a blog and will not consider making money out of their blog until the blog is popular. There is something to say for this way of thinking however there are some disadvantages with this approach. Your readers and subscribers are following your blog as it is and they may not appreciate the commercialisation of your blog.
- Monetisation from day 1
By doing this you set the right expectations for your readers and you create awareness that you see your blog as a business. You can start with subtle advertising or create your page in such a way that the ads integrate well in your pages.
Number of monetisation streams?
Darren Rowse recommended considering 1-3 different streams. The first step is to identify your readers and their ‘needs’, find out what they are asking for and then match this with the promotion of a product or service. The type of monetisation depends therefore on the type of audience and their needs rather than choosing a random way of making money. Again just as with a ‘normal’ business, creating an income with your blog requires business planning and taking all factors into consideration.
Amazon affiliate programs?
Affiliate programs offer a way of making money online by promoting some one else’s product or service. Rowse has been using the Amazon Affiliate Program in his blogs for a number of years and supports this method of creating an income. First of all, Amazon is a trusted brand and it is a familiar site to many readers. The good thing about Amazon is that people may browse and buy more products when they are on the website. All the sales based on your link will give you a commission.
WordPress.com versus WordPress.org?
WordPress.com offers a full package including blog name and hosting. It is possible to start a blog within 5 minutes and have a reasonable amount of freedom regarding the appearance and the functions of the blog. There are restrictions though and one of them is that you can’t monetise your blog. They don’t allow any form of advertising. The only thing you can do is publish an e-book that you have written yourself.
WordPress.org on the other hand allows you to monetise your blog in any way you want. In order to set up a blog within this website you will have to buy a domain and hosting. Furthermore you may need some technical skills as it is not as easy to start up a blog through WordPress.org as with the hosted variety. However if you do have intention to make money from your blog you should consider this option.
More than one blog?
Another popular question was about the amount of blogs you can have. In principle you can have as many as you like but the danger is that you run out of time to write good quality posts. The trick is to get a good balance, not to spread yourself too thin and rather than maintaining several blogs about different topics Rowse recommended to diversify your niche.
Hopefully this will give you something to ponder!
Posted by blogexercise
Well after my last post things have changed indeed. I was talking about changing my header and I had a go at this but I ended up going a different avenue altogether. The perfectionist in me won’t allow me to put something online that isn’t 100% to my liking and I started playing with other templates instead.
Choosing a new theme
There are 171 different templates available in WordPress. Spoilt for choice one could say. And you can browse them in various ways. Simple from a-z, the most popular or latest themes or the Premium section – the ones that come with a cost.
The advantage of browsing for a new theme when your blog is already up and running is that you can see how your blog will appear in a particular template. I can remember going through the templates before my blog was published. I found it hard to imagine which one would look the best and would reflect me, my topic and my writing style the most. As “Twenty Eleven’ has a style that is appealing to me I could imagine my blog looking attractive with that theme.
The advantage of having a ‘life’ blog already
With a ‘life’ blog however you can see how your blog will appear and this was very helpful. After I selected several templates I came across ‘Mystique’ and I loved it. The default colours and lay-out for this theme are the ones you see in my blog. I did try however every possible combination of colours and lay-out but came back to the ones I saw when I changed to Mystique. You can do this by going into ‘Theme Options’ and selecting from the colours and lay-out options on offer. Your blog will then appear in the format of your choice.
I even opened two versions of WordPress so I could see both themes –Twenty Eleven’ and ‘Mystique – next to each other. Although I had liked Twenty Eleven initially I found ‘Mystique’ more professional and classy. I can still adapt the header but the colour scheme of “Mystique’ is interesting enough and for the moment I like to leave it as it is. Furthermore I do like to add the occasional picture in the future.
There is a ‘Premium’ section of templates available and in order to use them you have to pay a small fee. Before making a decision though it is possible to see your blog in those templates as well. All over a nice feature and worthwhile having a look at once you feel more comfortable and daring.