There are probably a million and one different ways to make money online.
So why blog?
Especially when blogging seems like it’s more work than a lot of other ways.
I mean, you have to write.
Well, you definitely do have to write.
Which is why it really helps if you love writing…
However, you don’t have to love writing. You don’t even really have to like it. You just have to be willing to do it.
And here’s the thing, you don’t even have to write as much as you probably think you do.
There are successful bloggers who create content once a week. I also know bloggers who only create content once a month.
I even know bloggers who rarely create new content. They started off by creating what you’ll hear me refer to as “foundational content.” After creating their content, they switched their focus to keeping that content updated. From there on in, they simply promote that content.
You need to understand that blogging has changed.
Blogging is NOT just an online journal anymore.
Your blog can be whatever you want it to be.
It can have as much or as little content as you want to create.
Your blog’s success doesn’t depend on HOW MUCH content you create. It’s about WHAT kind of content you create and HOW you present your content, along with HOW you promote your content.
In other words, your content strategy plays a BIG role in the success of your blog. It has to fit within your larger blogging strategy. And that’s exactly what THIS blog is all about. Teaching you tried and true strategies to start and grow a successful blog.
If you do it the right way, blogging is one of the most powerful ways of making money online that there is.
And that power comes from two things that are unique to blogging. Content and comments.
So what is it about content and comments that make blogging such a powerful money-making platform?
It all ties back to the three things that you need if you want to make money online.
The Three Things You Need If You Want To Make Money Online
In order to make money online, there are three things that you need.
To make money online, you need to have authority, credibility and relationships within your niche.
You need to be recognized as an authority
Every blog falls within a niche.
In broad terms, a niche is a specialized segment of the market.
Your niche is made up of two elements. Your topic and your audience.
In other words, WHAT you are talking about and WHO you are talking to.
In order to succeed online, you need to be recognized as an authority in your niche – by your peers, but more importantly, by your audience.
Being an authority is defined as being someone who has extensive and specific knowledge about a subject.
Another word for it that you may be more familiar with, is an “expert”.
You have to be perceived as an “expert” in your niche.
I realize that this can sound kind of scary, especially if you don’t consider yourself to be an expert.
But here’s the thing.
In the online world, your credentials aren’t as important as your ability to help people.
Let me ask you a couple of questions.
Do you have knowledge, experience, and skills related to your niche? Do you know something that can help someone else?
If yes, then you have expertise.
As long as you have SOME expertise, the only thing you need to worry about is being a “little more expert” than the people you are trying to help.
As soon as people see you as being more expert than they are, you are seen as an authority.
Here’s a great real-world example of creating authority.
I have the following “credentials”: I have a Master’s Degree in Health Sciences specializing in Community Nutrition. From there I went on to become a licensed Registered Dietitian for over 10 years. I worked in one of the premier cancer hospitals in Canada. After having my first two kids, I started a private nutrition practice, which I ran for several years. As far as “the world” goes – I am a nutrition expert.
Let’s say I was approached by someone who was trying to make the transition from a vegetarian diet to a vegan diet.
Now I am definitely NOT vegetarian. Although I love vegetables, I really love my meat, and can’t see ever giving it up.
So let me ask you a question. Do you think a potential client would see me as a vegan nutrition expert and would be inclined to trust that I know what I am talking about?
Probably not. Regardless of my credentials.
Let’s look at a different example. This blog: Blog to Biz Strategies.
I don’t have a business degree, marketing background, technical experience or coaching certification.
However, I have built three six-figure online businesses through blogging. I have designed and built all my blogs from scratch. I have invested tens of thousands of dollars in online business and marketing training and coaching. And I have been able to teach others to do it for themselves.
Do you think that qualifies me as an “expert”?
The people that I have worked with and am currently working with, see me as an expert.
I have been where they are and have achieved the level of success that they want to achieve.
Compared to them, I am an “expert”.
Now, although I have built multiple six-figure blogs, I have not yet built a 7-figure blog.
So what does that mean in terms of my “expertise”? It means that while I am an expert at building a 6-figure blog, I am NOT an expert at building a 7-figure blog (yet).
Just because I am not a 7-figure blogging expert does that mean that I am not “expert enough”?
Of course not.
Right now, I am expert enough to help anyone who wants to get to the six-figure level with their blog.
Once I hit the 7-figure level, I will be a 7-figure blogging expert. And at THAT time, I will be able to help bloggers with a 7-figure goal.
What you have to remember is that while you are helping your readers grow, you are also growing.
In order to help people, you just need to be more of an expert than they are.
Being an expert or an authority is simply about having successfully walked the path that you are now teaching others to walk.
So that’s the first thing you need if you want to make money online.
Next comes credibility.
You need to be seen as credible
Credibility is defined as the “quality of being believable.” That means that your potential customer actually has to trust and believe that you ARE an expert.
In other words, they have to trust and believe that you really do know what you are talking about.
Credibility is closely tied to authority.
There are two things that influence credibility.
The first factor is whether you have “been there, done that”.
In other words, are you speaking and teaching from experience? Have you successfully accomplished what you are teaching others to do?
The second factor is whether you’ve actually been able to help someone other than yourself.
Now I know that can sound daunting. I mean what if you’re just starting out and haven’t really helped anyone in a big way?
That’s totally ok!
Having helped someone doesn’t mean that you have to have changed their entire life.
Even if all you’ve helped them do is to get through ONE roadblock, even a minor one – you’ve begun to build your credibility.
Every little success that you help your potential customers achieve goes a long way towards building credibility.
So that’s credibility.
The last thing you need if you want to be successful at making money online are relationships.
Specifically relationships with your audience.
You need to build relationships with your audience.
Relationships refer to our connection with others.
People have to feel connected to you in some way before they consider buying from you.
That connection will grow the more that they interact with you.
Think about your own experiences.
When you are looking to buy a product or a service, how do you make that decision?
It often starts with reputation. This could be either your prior experience with the store or business or their products/services. Or, it could be reviews and recommendations from sources that you trust, if you have no prior experience.
Once you’re comfortable with the reputation and quality of the products/services you are considering, it usually then comes down to relationships.
The store you end up choosing is usually the one that you have the best relationship with.
What if you don’t have any kind of pre-existing relationship? What would you do then? You would probably turn to people you know and trust. In other words, your relationships.
The best businesses are built on relationships.
So we’ve talked about authority, credibility, and relationships. Together these three things form what’s called the “know, like and trust factor.”
The “know, like and trust factor” says that before people to buy from you, they need to feel as though they know you, like you and trust you.
So if you want to make money online – cultivating that “know, like and trust factor” has to be your #1 priority.
A Blog Is The Fastest Way to Build Credibility, Authority, and Relationships
Let’s get one thing out of the way.
In this day and age – if you want to make money online, you NEED to have an online presence.
That online presence could be a website, a social media presence, or, as we’ve been discussing in this post, a blog.
Let’s take a look at each of these.
The first is a website.
Why A Website Isn’t Enough
If you want to make money online, you NEED to have an online presence.
That means a website. A website acts as a business card. It lets people know about you, but more importantly, it gives you a way to collect email addresses (SUPER IMPORTANT), and a place to showcase your products.
Having a website is a great starting point. But if you want to be REALLY successful, a website is not enough.
It’s the equivalent of peeking into a store window, after-hours.
You can see what’s on display, but you have no idea if what they offer will suit your wants and needs.
It may look professional, but it doesn’t tell you anything about whether they really know what they’re talking about.
With a website alone, there is no real way to build any kind of relationship.
Websites are one-way “conversations”.
So what about social media?
Why Social Media Isn’t Enough
You don’t own social media. And that is the biggest reason you should not rely on social media as your main way to make money online.
I can’t tell you how many people have ended up losing EVERYTHING that they built on a social media platform.
All because of a policy change. Or a technicality.
Facebook pages get shut down. Facebook groups get shut down. Instagram accounts get shut down. YouTube channels get shut down.
Without notice. Often, through no fault of your own.
And when that happens, what can you do?
You’ve lost everything. At that point, your only hope of getting it back is throwing yourself to the mercy of that social media platform.
Do not put your money making efforts at the mercy of someone else’s platform.
The second issue with social media is that it doesn’t do a great job of showcasing your authority and credibility.
Your content is always competing against someone else’s content.
The feeds of your social media followers are stuffed with content. There is so much content being loaded onto social media platforms that the likelihood of your follower even seeing your content is low unless they specifically come looking for it.
Not to mention the fact that you don’t really have any way of organizing your social media content in a way that makes sense to your followers.
Your content is shown in the order in which it’s posted. Which may not necessarily serve your follower’s needs.
What social media is GREAT for – is having conversations. Engaging with your followers.
There is no doubt that social media is POWERFUL for building relationships.
But, when it comes to the know, like, trust factor – we’ve already established that relationships are only a PART of the equation.
So this brings us to blogging.
A blog combines the best of both a website and a social media platform
A blog offers the best of both a website and social media…and more.
A well put together blog can make you look professional in the same way that a well-designed website does.
Blogging platforms, particularly WordPress, make it easy to build a stunning online presence for yourself.
The ability to interact with your audience through comments and your email list is what will help you build relationships with your audience. You can then use social media to strengthen those relationships.
But it’s the CONTENT element of blogging that is the true gold mine.
What sets a blog apart from any other online platform is the ability to quickly and easily provide your audience with relevant content.
As long as your content helps your reader in some way – your authority and credibility are virtually guaranteed.
Your readers are MUCH MORE LIKELY to buy what you are selling when they see that what you are giving away for FREE is helping them.
It’s your content that proves your expertise, credibility, and authority.
Blogs have been specifically designed to help you deliver content to your audience in an easily digestible, engaging format. This sets it apart from every other platform out there.
You can create content that goes deep enough to actually help your audience. You can organize your content in a way that is easy to find. Your content is always in one place, and if you are posting or updating regularly, it’s always current.
Now if THAT hasn’t been enough to convince you, let’s talk about some of the other advantages of a blog vs other methods of making money online.
The Advantages of Having A Blog
There are numerous advantages to having a blog. Here are just a few.
A blog is a platform you own.
We talked about this when we were talking about social media, but it’s worth mentioning again.
The best platform that you can build your blog on is what’s called a self-hosted WordPress blog, and we’ll talk more about this in a later post.
For now, it’s enough to know that as long as you build your blog on a self-hosted WordPress platform, NO ONE can EVER take your blog away from you.
With any other platform – whether it’s social media, free or hosted blogging platforms, e-commerce platforms – you do not own them. Which means if you lose them, or want to make a change, you have to start from scratch. You can’t take your content with you.
A Blog Works For You 24/7
You’ll often hear a blog called a “content management system.”
The purpose of a blog is to make it easy for you to provide consistent, current content to your audience.
Every new article that you write for your blog builds on and adds to the content that’s already on your blog.
The more quality content you provide on your blog, the more powerful your blog becomes.
It’s hard to change a person’s life with one article alone, but a series of articles, working together, building upon one another has tremendous power.
But the 24/7 power of a blog isn’t just about the content. If you set it up the right way, and monetize the smart way, you can turn your blog into an automated money-making machine.
Which means that you can be generating an income 24/7 – awake or asleep, at “work” or on vacation.
There Are No Boundaries In Blogging
In order to be able to connect with people via social media, they have to belong to the social media platform that you are using.
You have to take the time to create an account and enter your personal information.
And while there are many people who are on social media, there are likely just as many who aren’t. They either don’t have time, or they don’t trust it.
That can represent a huge opportunity lost.
A blog, on the other hand, is freely accessible to everyone. You don’t have to sign up or “join”.
Anyone can visit your blog, anyone can read your blog.
A Blog Has A Low Start-Up Cost
One of the things I love the most about blogging is that it doesn’t cost a lot of money to start.
If you’re willing to DIY it, you can start a basic, very no-frills blog for less than about $100 – $150. That makes it one of the most cost-effective ways to start making money EVER.
Where else can you start making money with such a low initial investment?
A Blog Gives You Freedom and Independence
You can make money online from anywhere in the world with nothing more than your laptop.
Your time is your own. You can work when you want, and as much or as little as you want.
You have complete control over your income.
I know one blogger who lives in Costa Rica with his wife and he only works as many hours a week as he needs to in order to pay for their cost of living. He doesn’t want a big blog or a big income. He and his wife want a simple life, so they are choosing to blog only as much as they need to.
You Can Blog About Just About Anything
In the offline world, people invest thousands of dollars and years of their lives getting the proper credentials to get a great job. And even then, there’s no guarantee.
I can’t even begin to tell you how many Master’s degree students I’ve seen working at minimum wage jobs, because they can’t find a good job in their field.
To start a blog that makes money you don’t need any special credentials or training. You don’t need work experience or business experience. You don’t need to have the “right references” or network with the “right people.”
Within 3 to 6 months you can start a blog on pretty much any topic you want and start making great money, quickly (but you have to set it up the right way).
Look at my story as an example.
I gave up my professional license as a Registered Dietitian because I made way more money blogging about how to make handmade greeting cards.
Yes, you read that right.
Because of blogging, I was able to trade a profession that I didn’t particularly enjoy for a hobby that I loved. And I made way more money.
Why A Blog Is The Best Way to Make Money Online
In summary, a blog is the best way to make money online because it is the ONLY platform that makes it easy for you to build authority, credibility, and relationships with your audience.
In other words, unlike traditional websites and social media, the very nature of a blog is such that it allows you to build that “know, like and trust factor” that is essential for converting readers into buyers.
Blogging has been the foundation by which I have been able to start a number of different profitable online business. It has led to multiple income streams, including:
- printables and digital files
- online courses
- a membership site
- coaching and consulting
Blogging has allowed me to connect, engage with and really get to know my audience.
It can do the same for you.
Simply put – it’s my belief that if you want to make money online – a blog is the best way to do it. And if you already have an existing offline or online business, then a blog is the best thing that you can do in order to explode your business.
There you have it friends. You now know why blogging is such a great way to make money online. So what comes next?
I recommend that you read my post How to Make Money Blogging: The 8 Key Steps. That post walks you through what it really takes to make money with your blog.