Learn how to make money from each and every blog post

How to Make Money Blogging (A Roadmap for People Who Want Success)

Disclosure: Just so you know, we may sometimes earn a small commission from affiliate links on this site.

Have you tried blogging with the goal of making money online only to find that no-one reads or shares your articles? Perhaps you tried blogging for business without success? Or been too scared to start blogging at all?

It's tough out there. It is.

You're not alone either. The vast majority of blogs fail to make a cent. Literally. They make $0 per year. Only about 5% of all active bloggers report earning enough to support themselves.

To make it into the top 5% you gotta be prepared to change your mindset about what blogging is and what is required to make it to the top. Luckily, it's not hard. In fact, you're going to quickly see and understand the right outlook and why it radically improves your chances of success.

But first...

Start how you mean to go on. Get set up with a stunning blog. The fastest, easiest and most popular of all blogging platforms is WordPress, which allows you to start a blog absolutely free.

Blog Quick Start

WordPress powers approximately one third of all websites on the Internet. Free. Quick. Easy.

Ready?

1. Blogging Awesome

That's right! We don't blog, we awesome.

Let's redefine the term blogging by changing our approach to take things to a whole new level.

Think of a single blog post as a startup business in its own right.

Yep. You read that right. One blog post is equivalent to a small startup business.

Why?

In the early days a few hundred words could shoot to the top of Google's page rankings and stay there. Over time competition grew as more and more people started trying to make money from the Web.

It's gotten to the point where it is virtually impossible to rank a single blog post for a highly competitive (and therefore profitable) key-phrase in Google search.

That's why we're going to change. Instead of churning out a new article in a single day, or even a single week, we're going to treat a single article like we would a startup business - complete with a business plan.

This might require a readjustment of expectations.

You're not going to get an article out today, or even tomorrow. It's going to take a few weeks, months maybe.

Treat each blog post like a side hustle business that you work on until it's awesome enough to launch.

Only publish when you know you have undoubtedly the best blog post of its kind in the world. Period.

2. Create an Amazing Business Plan

I know. Sounds pretty weird, right? A business plan for a single blog post?

Trust me. It's super important.

A Good blog post business plan will help differentiate your article from millions of competitors.

Blog Post Business Plan

Unleash your potential to make money online working from home with a single blog post.

  • Blog post business plan for people who want to make money online
  • Drastically speed up research and planning to get a head-start on creating the world's most awesome blog post in your niche.

    Gather and analyze everything you need to know to create and market a money making blog post.

    Perfect for people who want a passive income working from home, businesses wanting to increase visibility or entrepreneurs looking to start a profitable online business.

Here's a quick overview of what's in my free blog post business plan to get you amped to kick-start an organized and effective blog post campaign.

Outline of SME Pal's free blog post business plan to make money online

Like any entrepreneur starting a business you need to know:

  • How much time and effort is required.
  • What financial costs there are.
  • What gaps or angles exist.
  • What obstacles exist.
  • Who the competition is and what they're doing right (and wrong).
  • How much traffic there is.
  • Who your audience is.
  • How much money you can make.
  • How to make that money.
  • How long it will take to start making money.
  • ...

Most of all.

A blog post business plan will tell you whether or not your idea is viable and worth pursuing.

Essentially, it will save work in the long run because it will ensure your efforts are directed towards something that actually has a chance of making money. Not all blog ideas do.

Keyword Research Quick Start

Find keyword ideas using Google's Keyword Planner.

  • Discover new keyword ideas using Google Keyword Planner
  • Add a few potential search phrases you're interested in and let Keyword Planner find related and relevant keyword ideas, with traffic volume estimates.

    Broaden your search to discover new keywords and then collate the traffic data to understand the size of the organic search market in your niche.

Once you have a good understanding of the breadth and depth of a post's niche organic search potential, it's time to work out who's dominating the keywords you're after.

Competitor Research Quick Start

Discover who dominates your niche using Google search and SEMRush.

  • Analyze competitors' backlinks and SEO using SEMRush
  • Google each target keyword and create a spreadsheet of all the top ranking pages and sites for each one.

    Analyze the top ranked sites using SEMRush to understand how and why they are dominating. This sheds light on what will be required to compete.

    Identify sites that link to them. Incorporate this data into the marketing plan and get those sites to link to you (see how to make friends with kickass influencers for more).

Try it out. Analyze a competitor right now.

Note: You are able to use SEMRush for free by signing up. However, the free plan is limited to 10 requests per day - thereafter a paid plan is required.

3. Develop a Killer Outline

Making a rubbish outline is easy. Here's what I started with (in an attempt to cover everything I had identified in the previous step).

How to Blog

Learning how to blog is an important business skill that can increase page rankings in Google and bring plenty of traffic to your website.

  • Find a Niche
  • Understand the Niche
  • Put Together a Business Plan
  • Choose a Quality Blogging Platform
  • Learn How to Write
  • Make Connections
  • Learn about SEO
  • Grow your Blogs
  • Be Mindful of Cost
  • Generate Revenue
  • Keep Learning
  • Avoid Common Pitfalls

Perfect! Assuming my audience are mindless robots immune to boredom. It's got no punch. No zing. In short, it's rubbish.

Rubbish, yes; but not entirely useless. It's a foundation from which to grow.

A good outline is something that evolves with your blog post.

You gotta start with an outline that covers your bases but don't try to do everything at once. Inspiration and ideas for really cool stuff will come to you over time.

An outline lives and breathes as you learn new stuff and write about it. It doesn't end. It shouldn't end.

Here's where I'm at (so far).

Make Money Blogging (A Roadmap for People Who Want Success)

Learn a new approach to creating game-changing blog content that drives high value traffic and makes money (from your very first post) - with insights from the world's top bloggers.

  • Blogging Awesome
  • Amazing Business Plan
  • Develop a Killer Outline
  • Write to Melt Faces
  • Cite Incredible Resources
  • Quote Experienced Experts
  • Use Rich Media
  • Add income Generators
  • Launch the First Strike
  • Make the News
  • Make Friends with Kickass Influencers
  • Write for Growth
  • Make More Money
  • Next Level

Patience is key. It takes time to come up with creative ideas to improve both the structure and content of your post. It helps to think of it like this.

An outline should be presented as an ordered list of major incentives/benefits to the reader. It's not exclusively a description of the content.

Don't focus on what you're writing. Think about what readers are getting.

4. Write to Melt Faces

There's a scene in Lord of The Rings where Aragorn delivers a battle speech to the men of Gondor and Rohan who stand against the armies of Mordor in front of the black gates.

Sons of Gondor! Of Rohan! My brothers! I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me.

A day may come when the courage of Men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship, but it is not this day.

Your job is to take whatever niche topic you have chosen (even if it's the life-cycle of earthworms) and do this for your readers.

Flood your post with passion. Stuff it full of brilliant insights. Sprinkle with attention grabbing media. Wrap it all in punchy, concise writing and beautiful, clear formatting.

It's gotta have something about it. Some substance. Audacity. Freshness.

Picture in your mind how you're going to wake people up. Work them into a frenzy. Get them laughing, crying or shouting out loud. All the better if it's all at once.

Aim high in each and every aspect.

Strive to be unique. Better. Unusual. Different.

4.1. Reach Out & Grab 'Em Title

Titles are hard!

You have to juggle three things at once in a single, short sentence:

  1. Use target SEO keywords
  2. Accurately describe the content
  3. Spark intrigue

Take time over the title. It is absolutely critical to the success of your post.

A title is to a blog post what an elevator pitch is to a startup.

Wired wrote an article about what a difference clickable headlines make.

The difference between a good headline and a bad headline can be just massive. It’s not (in the ballpark of) a rounding error. When we test headlines we see 20% difference, 50% difference, 500% difference. A really excellent headline can make something go viral.

Don't panic if you don't have the perfect title to start with.

Leave the wording 'til last. Adapt and fine-tune as you go until it's ready to go out there and captivate people.

4.2. Draw 'Em In Description

Make the description a promise of something greatly valuable for the reader. What is your blog post going to offer them that they really, really want?

A blog description must inspire readers with an exciting promise of value.

Along with the header, the description is about the only chance you have to convince visitors to click thru. Don't waste it on a dry, boring description.

Here's my original description.

Learning how to blog is an important business skill that can increase page rankings in Google and bring plenty of traffic to your website.

Technically accurate. Worse than useless.

This description doesn't light the inspire fire. Readers can get this type of information anywhere.

Here's what I finished with.

Learn a new approach to creating game-changing blog content that drives high value traffic and makes money (from your very first post) - with insights from the world's top bloggers.

Why is this better?

It doesn't mess around. It goes straight to the point in the first few words - make money blogging. Learn how to do it in a game-changing way. Comes with insights from the world's top bloggers (credibility).

The description isn't about the content; it's about the reader.

4.3. Punchy Headers

Boring. Is. The. Enemy.

Make headers gripping. Never, ever let go of the reader's attention. Not for a second.

Think of headers as the cheerleaders of your content.

Like the description, headers should inspire and intrigue, pulling readers along.

The four main ingredients of great sub-headers are curiosity, surprise, personality & emotion.

4.4. Engaging Content

Let your content evolve as new ideas emerge. This is one of the advantages of writing over a long period of time. Creative ideas have more chance to find a home on your pages.

I'm naturally a bland, technical writer. My background is in programming and development books intended to be concise, precise and thoroughly devoid of any style, humor or flair.

I need to have several passes at editing and rewriting my content to make it snappy and engaging. I build it up layer by layer.

Don't underestimate how important being engaging is for a blogger. Research by Nielsen Norman Group shows that the longer someone stays on a page, the less likely they are to leave.

The first 10 seconds of the page visit are critical for users' decision to stay or leave. The probability of leaving is very high during these first few seconds because users are extremely skeptical, having suffered countless poorly designed web pages in the past. People know that most web pages are useless, and they behave accordingly to avoid wasting more time than absolutely necessary on bad pages.

If the web page survives this first — extremely harsh — 10-second judgment, users will look around a bit. However, they're still highly likely to leave during the subsequent 20 seconds of their visit. Only after people have stayed on a page for about 30 seconds does the curve become relatively flat. People continue to leave every second, but at a much slower rate than during the first 30 seconds.

The probability of leaving a web page drops with time

Always maintain your energy and enthusiasm for creating the best possible content. Take regular breaks to keep your mind fresh. Write when inspiration strikes.

Find a method that works for you and do everything in your power to avoid slipping into a mediocre, run-of-the-mill voice and allowing readers to drift away (without a conversion) as they get bored or frustrated.

4.5. Format for Skimmers

Formatting plays a big role. Spacing, structure, fonts & layout all make a big difference in how easily readers digest and retain information.

Above all else. Be concise & clear.

73% of visitors skim rather than read the blog post thoroughly.

Formatting is a way to break up content in a way that entices readers to keep going. Especially people who are starting out with a cursory scan of the article to see if it's worth their time.

Great formatting can entice skimmers to stay on-page and become engaged readers.

Perhaps they notice a heading that interests them. Perhaps they see a quote in a callout box they like. A useful bullet list of resources. An interesting stat, chart or infographic.

Blog Writing Quick Start

Write better quality blog posts in less time using Grammarly.

  • Better blog post writing using Grammarly
  • Compose bold, clear, mistake-free writing with Grammarly’s AI-powered writing assistant.

    Be confident in the quality of your writing - regardless of whether its for a blog post or marketing & promotional materials. Eliminate errors, from grammar and spelling to style and tone. Find the perfect words to express yourself. Get corrections on any writing platform (including Gmail, Twitter, and LinkedIn).

No-one goes online seeking densely formatted text based articles that look like they're from the 90s.

5. Cite Incredible Resources

As a general rule of thumb, back up claims with a link to a corroborating, trustworthy source.

Following this one rule will literally make you more trustworthy because it shows you're researching the claims you make - not sucking thumb. This also makes you look professional.

Neither of these reasons is why we do it.

Trustworthy citations are evidence of research & quality and provide a platform to connect with influencers in the same niche.

Citations are a vital part of any awesome blog post because they provide a promotional head-start.

Email cited experts and tell them they've been featured. Ask them what they think. Perhaps they'd like to contribute something more? Do they know that you intend to send out some press releases to garner some national media coverage? They might like to be part of that.

Offering something before asking for something is far, far, far, far, far, far more likely to get a positive response.

6. Quote Experienced Experts

Even if you consider yourself an expert on a given topic, there will always be plenty of really smart, knowledgeable people who know stuff you don't. Maybe they approach things from a different angle.

Influencer Marketing Quick Start

Grow traffic and reach quickly and effectively by finding influencers who can reach your target audience.

  • Influencer marketing outreach using NinjaOutreach
  • NinjaOutreach is the influencer marketing platform trusted by companies like Disney, Amazon and Walmart.

    Do everything from generating business leads to link building using a variety of efficient and automated processes.

    Quickly identify influencers with access to your audience and benefit from accurate databases of contact information to make outreach a breeze.

Don't look at blogging as something you do alone. Fundamentally,

Blogging is a collaborative effort and diverse perspectives add value.

Gathering input from influencers in your niche is incredibly important for four reasons:

  1. Influencers Know Stuff (You Don't)

    Improve your content using the experience and knowledge that other people have gathered on their way to becoming an influencer.

    These external insights will help to flesh out your own article.

  2. Build Important Relationships

    Reaching out to other people also helps to establish contact with people in the know. Getting them to contribute wisdom to your article means they get to know a bit about you too.

    Down the line they may ask you for insights or be prepared to work on other projects.

  3. Increase Reach & Buzz

    Influencers who have contributed to your content will be far more inclined to mention or promote it, assuming they like what they see (which they will because you're making it the best in the world).

    Promoting content is also a lot easier when you can drop a few names.

  4. Build Trust & Authority

    Think of someone you respect and admire. Someone at the top of their game. Wouldn't it be great to have them contribute a quote to your article?

    A lot of other people might also be interested in what they have to say. For that they'll visit your article.

7. Be Visual

Humans are visually hard-wired. We like to look at things. This makes visual media non-negotiable.

Don't add visuals for the sake of it; but don't post content without it.

Blog Visuals Quick Start

Create beautiful visual designs easily using Canva.

  • Visual designs for the Web using Canva
  • Add powerful infographics, charts and other visualizations quickly and easily using professionally designed templates with drag-n-drop tools that help fast-track your work.

    Embed your visuals into blog posts and share them via social media (i.e. pinterest) to add additional channels that drive traffic back to your blog post and help increase conversions.

Readers need to feel they are getting the information they want without having to 'work' for it. Sometimes an image, chart or video clip can transmit concepts and information better.

Visual media increases engagement & shares

6 facts about visual content by Poll Everywhere

Research by mdg advertising showed that,

Articles with relevant images get 94% more views, on average, compared to articles without images.

People remember only 10% of information three days after hearing it, on average; adding a picture can improve recall to 65%.

That's not all. Images are vital when it comes time to share socially.

Images on Facebook receive 20% more engagement than videos and 352% more engagement than links.

A blog must always convey information in a way that is easy to consume, digest and retain. Visuals accomplish this plus have the added bonus of being readily shareable.

8. Add Income Generators

Take off your writer's hat. Put it down somewhere nearby. You'll need it again soon.

It's time to dress the article in sexy calls to action (CTA) to generate a constant flow of conversions that keep money rolling in.

Conversion

A conversion is a desired action taken by a visitor. Usually an action that will generate revenue for you, either directly or indirectly.

Here's the trick.

Making money is about understanding what readers want and offering irresistible CTAs to help them get it.

It helps to think about this in terms of the sales funnel.

Sales funnels help capture more conversions by drawing in readers who are not necessarily ready to convert on first reading. Not everyone arrives at a page ready to buy something (one of the reasons email list signups are crucial for generating revenue down the line).

47% of buyers consume three to five pieces of content before making a purchase decision.

Makes sense then to ensure you capture visitors' attention for as long as it takes for them to convert.

Sales Funnel

Learn how to make your own high converting sales funnels right now.

  • Sales funnel for a blog post
    Chart by AdEspresso
  • Understand how sales funnels can help drive conversions and increase earnings.

    Quickly learn how to implement effective sales funnels for a diverse range of conversions, from email sign-ups to eCommerce purchases.

Over time you're going to spot more opportunities to provide value. With that will come more opportunity to earn using new sales funnels. Here's what Ryan Robinson (who has some great insights for earning on the side) has to say.

  • Diversify Your Income

    The most important lesson I've learned in growing my blog to 400,000 monthly readers (and $50,000/mo in side income) over the last five years, is that you need to very thoughtfully diversify your income streams—especially if you're hoping to blog full-time.

    If you're heavily dependent upon one traffic or income source, then you're only a Google search algorithm change or Facebook update away from seeing your figures plummet.

    As it gets increasingly competitive to carve out your own profitable niche as a blogger, consider adding multiple revenue streams to your blog over time—like affiliate promotions, sponsored content, online courses, eBooks, digital templates or files, ad networks, a podcast that can host advertisements and more.

  • Ryan Robinson
    Ryan Robinson is a blogger, podcaster and side project aficionado that teaches 400,000 monthly readers how to start a blog and grow a profitable side business at ryrob.com.

Out of all the ways you can monetize content, email is a must-have.

Starting & growing an email marketing list is non-negotiable for bloggers.

Converting visitors into email signups is vital to long-term sustainability and earnings because every other channel relies on a 3rd party.

Content relies on Google search, or social media traffic. Affiliate marketing relies on the company that's paying commissions (companies like Amazon can simply cancel your associate account without warning and withhold payment at their discretion, making it a dangerous way to build a business). Advertising relies on relationships with advertisers. And so on.

The email list you build is your own. A Google algorithm update can't take it away from you.

While you can get started with email marketing for free (usually around 30 days) you will generally have to pay a small monthly fee to your email marketing service depending on how big the list gets.

Email List Quick Start

Get everything you need to grow an email list with AWeber (free for 30 days).

  • Start and grow an email list using AWeber
  • Easily create a platform to build a sustainable income using cutting edge email marketing technology.

    Quickly and easily create attractive, responsive signup-forms and popups and dazzle subscribers with beautiful emails designed using drag-n-drop templates.

Email aside. There are a lot of ways to monetize a blog.

Ways to Make Money from a Blog

Find the combination of revenue generators that work well for your particular blog post niche and audience.

  • Google AdSense: Google makes it incredibly easy to monetize content using their ads. Sign up. Paste their ad code snippet into your site. Monitor earnings reports. Simple.
  • Private advertising: Unlike automated ads from AdSense you'll can sell advertising to companies directly. Keep track of traffic volumes and email list size (collectively, reach) and charge accordingly.
  • Sell services: You're the expert. Why not become a consultant?
  • Sell digital products: I generally prefer creating free eBooks, but there's nothing stopping you from charging for one, or an online course. Paid subscriptions are also a great way to generate purely online income.
  • Sponsored content: Many companies have an in-house marketing team that generates content. They'll pay handsomely to get that content onto the right blog.
  • Paid events: Promote a webinar that shares compelling insights not available via your blog content and sell tickets.
  • Affiliate links: Find a diverse range of high quality companies that offer affiliate commissions for conversions your readers will be interested in. Join popular affiliate networks like Commission Junction and Impact Radius.
  • eCommerce: Sell physical goods. Use a 3rd party drop shipping service to handle everything from warehousing to delivery.
  • Endorsements: Create relationships with companies that pay you to endorse their products. Do this on an ongoing basis to become a brand ambassador.
  • Paid reviews: Businesses are constantly on the lookout for infuencers who can reach their audience. They may approach you with a request for a review of their service. Writing a good review takes a lot of research and effort so don't be afraid to charge.
Pro Tip: Don't be lulled into settling for Adsense ads because they're easy to implement. You might be leaving a lot of money on the table by not perfectly tailoring your own sales funnels towards high value conversions (think, recurring affiliate commissions that generate ongoing income while the customer continues to pay).

9. Launch the First Strike

By 'launch the first strike', I mean publish the article.

Wow. Sounds like I've exaggerated this a bit. I mean we're only publishing a blog post and doing a bit of promotion to launch it, right?

Sure.

You've only invested weeks or months of work to get to this point. All with the sole intention of creating the most valuable niche post in the world.

The people currently making money from your niche probably won't mind one bit that you're after their lunch. They won't notice as your post captures a bigger and bigger slice of the pie. They won't up their game to preserve their revenue streams.

Oh wait. They will.

Blogging is an online war and each post is a new battleground for visibility & revenue.

You are in a war. Be prepared to run a tough campaign for domination right from the start.

Luckily, you have a bunch of serious advantages in the shape of a business plan, killer content, influential allies and a professional marketing campaign waiting to be unleashed.

How to Launch a New Blog Post

  1. Review and publish your post online. Be sure to:
    1. Edit carefully for spelling, grammar and clarity.
    2. Get family and friends to read the article to check for content that is boring, confusing, unclear, ambiguous, or anything else that might cause readers to lose interest.
  2. Share quotable quotes & rich media from your article via social networks. It's a good idea to use quotes from contributors as they might well retweet or reshare your posts because it reflects well on them.
  3. Make a list of every blog, website, resource, expert, influencer, organization or source mentioned or involved in some way. Divide this list into two depending on whether you have:
    1. Made contact (i.e. approached an expert for a quote)
    2. Not made contact (i.e. cited a study supporting one of your statements)
  4. Send emails. The goal here is to let contributors know the article is live, they have been included (because they are awesome in one way or another) and to start a dialog that could end up with backlinks, social media buzz and/or related writing opportunities.
    • Launch Email Template (Made Contact)

      Subject: Awesome! You've been published in [title]

      Hi [Expert's Name],

      Thanks so much for your fantastic contribution to my newly published post [title] [link].

      Please take a sec to let me know what you think, or if there are any edits you might need.

      I really appreciate you taking the time to help out. Let me know if I can repay the favor by helping out with any of your upcoming articles? I learned a heck of a lot writing this so I'd be happy to share some of those lessons.

      Thanks again,
      [Name]

    • Launch Email Template (Not Made Contact)

      Subject: Awesome! You've been quoted in [title]

      Hi [Expert's Name],

      Your article on [cited title][cited link] was so great I had to mention it in my newly published post [title] [link].

      Please take a look over your citation under [header] and let me know if there are any changes needed.

      Thanks for making such a great resource. If you have any feedback on my article I'd really value it. I learned a lot from putting it together so I'd be happy to contribute some of what I've learned to your site if you'd be interested?

      Thanks again,
      [Name]

The folks over at GrowthBadger have this to say about why you should consider yourself a marketer of content - as opposed to a blogger.

70% of bloggers who earn over $50,000 per year say they are active or very active promoters of their blogs, compared to only 14% of lower-income bloggers.

10. Make the News

There's gotta be at least one (preferably more) hook that will appeal to the media within your content. There are two ways to do it:

  1. Include newsworthy content (original research, current trends, novelty, conflict, etc) in the post
  2. Create news that cites your blog post

If you can't work out what is newsworthy about your niche topic you're doing it wrong. Try this trick.

Create a newsworthy story by talking about other people, organizations or businesses doing incredible things.

Include local content if local media coverage is important. Interview people. Do Research. Offer a prize. Offer a scholarship. Do whatever it takes to be able to pitch something unique and interesting to reporters and journalists covering your beat.

Just. Be. Newsworthy.

I wrote an article highlighting the best new business ideas coming out of U.S. universities. It's newsworthy because it's a showcase of up and coming entrepreneurial talent and has nothing to do with me.

Pitching to the right media led to coverage (in this instance USA Today).

Press coverage in USA Today

Now you're ready to reach out with attention-grabbing headlines that journalists and reporters will love.

Press Release

Learn how to write a press release that gets publicity every time.

  • how to write a press release that gets publicity
  • Discover how to create newsworthy content and convert that into valuable media coverage with a compelling pitch.

    Learn how to 'hook' journalists using attention-grabbing headlines and convert these into valuable media mentions.

Pitching to reporters and journalists has a pretty low success rate (even for great pitches) if you don't already have a relationship. Arguably the best way to get on their radar is to become an invaluable source.

Follow them on social media. Comment on and share their articles. Provide helpful answers if they reach out for information. HARO is one of the best resources in this regard.

HARO

Build valuable news media contacts using HARO (Help A Reporter Out).

  • Online PR with HARO
  • Flip the dynamic. Instead of pitching reporters with cold call emails, have them reach out to you with requests for information and advice.

    Be helpful. Be valuable. Use the opportunity to answer their queries as a platform to build a relationship that will radically improve your chances of making successful pitches in the future.

11. Make Friends with Kickass Influencers

Here's the concept.

Build kickass influencer sales funnels to build valuable relationships and ultimately boost referral traffic from closely related high quality blogs & sites.

Bloggers who do influencer outreach are 87% more likely to report strong results.

Blog promotion types that produce strong results

Originally we used sales funnels to drive revenue from visitors. Now we're going to use them to drive backlinks and buzz from other sites and bloggers.

Influence any influencer with an easy 3-step process. Offer. Engage. Pitch.

How to Build a Kickass Influencer Sales Funnel

  1. For each blog post heading find 10 top influencers in that specific niche.
  2. Start a dialog by offering value. It could be notifying them of a mention. Asking for a quote. Earning them press coverage. Sharing something they did well. Think about what you'd love people to do for you.
    Subject: Congrats! You've been mentioned in my latest article.

    Hi [name],

    I really learned a lot from your piece about [title] and mentioned it (with a link) under [sub-topic] in my latest article [title][link].

    I'd love it if you would consider contributing an additional insight for this article?

    It can be as long or short as you like. I will of course cite and link your contribution. If you can also share a link to a head-shot that would be great.

    Thanks,
    David

  3. Engage with them to build a relationship. Be helpful. Comment on their great articles. Be generous. Be genuine.
    Subject: I've added your insight.

    Hi [name],

    I added and linked your contribution. Very happy with it. Thanks so much.

    Check it out at [title][link].

    I've also followed you on [social network] and [2nd/3rd/etc social network] to keep up to date with what you're working on. Feel free to drop me a line if I can help out or contribute in any way.

    Thanks,
    David

  4. Find a conversion point and pitch. It could be anything from writing a guest blog post to finding a broken link on their site.
    Subject: Broken Link at [title]

    Hi [name],

    I've been reading your article [title] and noticed a [link] under [heading] is broken/outdated. I thought it would be perfect to replace with my article [title][link] because it's full of awesome expert insights like the one you shared.

    Let me know if you do update it. I'll share it around my network to generate additional buzz.

    Thanks,
    David

  5. Refine & repeat. Build new lists of influencers to reach out to. Build new relationships using strategies that worked in the past. Change or discard techniques that don't work well. Keep nurturing existing relationships.

12. Write for Growth

You've recently completed the world's best blog post in its niche. You. Are. The. Expert.

It's time to start sharing what you've learned with a wide audience on established blogs and sites. It's important to write great content and get it placed on the best possible sites.

More often than not guest posts generate less than overwhelming referral traffic.

Average referral traffic across 239 guest articles was only 50 visits.

Guest blogging referral traffic volumes

Average referral traffic from a guest article.

Don't be put off. There are plenty of other benefits to guest blogging. Not least of which is the opportunity to make valuable new connections.

Draw on your newfound experience and knowledge to write and pitch fantastic guest articles to related blogs, websites & media.

I tend to favor "I [did something unusual/interesting] and here's what I learned" type articles. You might prefer something like, "We researched over 200 [things] and found some real weirdness". Whatever is unique, interesting and has value that is directly related to what you've been doing. Go for it.

Guest Article Do's & Dont's

  • Do offer something unique and interesting.
  • Do take the opportunity to cite and reference additional influencers with whom you want to build a relationship with.
  • Do contact everyone mentioned in your guest article to let them know about it in order to start a dialog.
  • Do ask for contributions from other experts and use this to continue forging new relationships.
  • Do link to your blog post as a citation or reference supporting claims in the guest article. Only if it is relevant to do so.
  • Do ensure you build relationships with editors and publishers to give yourself the opportunity to contribute regularly.
  • Don't be self-promotional in any way. For any reason. Ever.

Short of ideas for new blog posts? Try this.

SubMerge Technique

Quickly generate tons of interesting and unique blog post ideas.

Generate new blog ideas using the submerge technique

I chose a sub-heading from this article, "Develop a Killer Outline" and Googled related posts to generate ideas for new posts and potential updates.

  • SUB Header

    Develop a Killer Outline

    If your sub-heading has some ambiguity it can help to add a modifying term to ensure more relevant search results.

    "Develop a killer outline" produced mainly results related to writing novels. I modified the search slightly to focus it on blogging.

    Develop a Killer Outline Blog

  • Related Posts

    1. 7 Tips to Creating Killer Blog Posts that No One Else Is Writing
    2. A 10-Point Checklist For Writing A Killer Blog Post
    3. How to create a killer blog content plan, so you know exactly what to write about
    4. How to Write the Best Blog Posts That Will Grow Your Influence in 15 Steps
    5. How to Write a Blog Post Outline: A Simple Formula to Follow
    6. 27 Killer Strategies for Brainstorming Blog Post Ideas
    7. ...

Merging these lists gives quite a few ideas and angles for new posts (or possibly updates):

  1. Develop an Outline for a Blog Post No-One Else Has Written
  2. A 10-Point Checklist for Creating Better Blog Post Outlines
  3. Why Developing A Blog Post Outline Helps You Discover What to Write About
  4. Creating Blog Post Outlines That Will Help Grow Your Influence
  5. ...

It takes a little jiggling and creativity to merge two concepts together into a workable title. This process regularly surfaces unique angles that simply wouldn't have occurred to you otherwise. That's what makes SubMerging such a valuable exercise.

Fast. Easy. Creative. Ideas.

13. Make More Money

Earning enough? Great. Take a holiday. Enjoy yourself.

If not, there's work to be done.

Times change. Communities change. Your audience can be a moving target. The Internet constantly evolves. It's important to monitor performance. Update, adapt, refine and improve.

13.1. Always Add Cool New Content

New content is the lifeblood of growing earnings. Actively seek out new ideas for content. Interview an expert. Do some research. Watch the news. Find novel ideas. New ways of doing things.

If your readers would be interested. You're interested.

Great new content is behind every cent you earn.

New and better content isn't simply about updating your article over and over again. It's about opportunities to make more money.

Ways to Add Great New Content

  • New insights from influencers: Give your readers more wisdom. Gain additional chances to make new friends and pull more people into your influencer funnels.
  • Re-purpose content: Your blog won't necessarily rank for every possible keyword you'd like. Turn a section into a podcast or a slideshow.
  • Take it to new platforms: Share and promote audio and/or visual content to drive more traffic and engagement on new platforms. Made a video? Try Youtube. Made a slideshow? Try Slideshare. Podcasts. Interviews. You name it.
  • Updates lead to promotional opportunities: A big update with important new content is newsworthy. A chance to launch the first strike for a second time.
  • Dazzle subscribers: Your email list is the single most important revenue channel you have. Grow and nurture it by sharing the absolute best of the best you've got on a regular basis.
  • Offer a free eBook: eBooks are wonderful ways to make money by charging readers absolutely nothing. Like an email marketing list an eBook can utilize multiple sales funnels to generate passive income over time.
  • New keywords & SEO: Fleshing out concepts and ideas with new text adds ranking potential for new valuable long tail keywords and phrases missed previously. May encourage Google to crawl and index more often.
  • Fix errors & broken links: It happens. Spring clean your content to keep it sparkling and fresh and driving the maximum amount of conversions.

13.2. Find Juicy New Revenue Channels

Not all methods of monetization are going to work at the time of publication. Initially there'll be little to no traffic and no-one is going to pay you for that.

With great traffic volumes comes great earning power.

Perhaps a social share went viral. Google started ranking your article for a competitive keyword or two. However it happens, new traffic brings new earning opportunities that you don't want to miss.

14. Next Level

There are a number of pro tricks and strategies you can use to supercharge your content, SEO, marketing and social presence. Focus on these when everything else is in place and humming along smoothly.

14.1. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Booster

Optimizing for search is a huge undertaking with a myriad of possible strategies and techniques. It's important to implement it. But understand its limitations.

Great SEO is necessary but not sufficient to rank on page one.

Search Engine Optimization

Learn how SEO can help drive money making organic traffic.

  • Guide to Search Engine Optimization
  • Get the basics right first. Next, embrace strategies from a wide range of disciplines, including technical, performance, backlinks, analytics and more.

    Benefit from knowledge and skill that will shape and direct your optimizations to produce the best possible rankings that deliver high value organic search traffic.

14.2. Going Viral

No-one really knows how to consistently create viral content. The reason lies in the nature of what it means to be viral. It's got less to do with content than you think.

Viral Content

Learn the hidden secrets behind viral content that drives explosive traffic volumes.

  • The hidden secrets behind viral social media content
  • Peer behind the curtain to see why some articles go viral while others fizzle out.

    Learn how the structure of your networks can play a pivotal role in hindering or helping content to spread.

    Understand what you can do to give your content the best possible chance of taking on a life of its own and generating mind-boggling amounts of traffic.

14.3. Enhanced UX (User eXperience)

Visitors lie at the heart of your success. Don't lose sight of this fact (it's easy to get distracted or bogged down in SEO or marketing and potentially neglect this vital component).

46% of people say waiting for pages to load is what they dislike most about browsing the web on mobile.

Page speed and performance are vital. At the very least you should be using Google's free Pagespeed Insights to highlight any bottlenecks that might be slowing pages down.

Google Pagespeed Insights score 95

For long articles with lots of images it may be best to use lazy loading . This avoids the download and display of an image until the visitor scrolls down to view it. Lazy loading can drastically reduce the amount of time it takes for a page to initially display.

14.4 Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing doesn't push advertising onto customers. Instead it draws in customers by providing engaging content using a number of techniques, from social media marketing to SEO and branding.

It takes a bit of time for inbound marketing to show returns. It's a medium to long term strategy that accumulates benefits over time leading to stable growth and sustainable profits.

The undisputed champions of inbound marketing are Hubspot who have plenty of great content, community and support for free - with paid plans available as you begin to grow and need pro features.

Inbound marketing using HubSpot

HubSpot offers free usage with paid plans from $400 per month.
64,500 customers in over 100 countries grow their businesses with HubSpot.

HubSpot offers a full suite of tools and services that integrate to make inbound marketing faster, cheaper and more effective.

HubSpot's offerings are divided into 3 sections:

  • Marketing: Grow traffic, convert more visitors, and run complete inbound marketing campaigns at scale.
  • Sales: Deeper insights into prospects, automate the tasks you hate, and close more deals faster.
  • Service: Connect with customers, exceed expectations, and turn them into promoters that grow your business.

Their free plans offer fantastic tools and functionality to get your inbound marketing strategy up and running, and generating revenue. With over 7+ million monthly readers, you're joining a huge community of businesses benefiting from the inbound marketing methodology.

Start blogging

Blogging works! It doesn't matter if you are a college student thinking about making extra pocket money, or a entrepreneur looking to promote your brand.

It also doesn't matter what topic you decide to write about, provided it is a relevant to your niche and something you are passionate about and interested in.

Starting a blog is exciting, but it is also a medium to long term commitment (if you want to derive any real benefit from it), but if you have the drive to succeed there's no better time to start.

Almost all businesses that have researched Internet marketing strategies are aware that high quality, engaging and relevant content is one of the best ways to drive valuable organic Web traffic.

The problem is that many people don't have the time or patience to build up a good base of content via blogging.

So what's the alternative?

why sharing content is bad for business

Content syndication (sharing stuff with permission) can be a great way for small businesses to get more website traffic.

How to start a blog with WordPress

Looking for the ultimate guide on how to start a blog or website with WordPress?

Convincing bloggers to promote your company

Blogger outreach and PR is difficult - I've read a lot of How to articles and guides that say stuff like "Get bloggers to review your site or product", or, "Get as many backlinks from other bloggers as possible".

So everyone knows what to do, but no-one's talking about how to do it. In fact, gathering backlinks is often time consuming, ineffective and infuriating.

Hands up anyone who has spent several hours emailing other bloggers asking them to take a second to look over your new [blog/site/product/service/article/video] and gotten almost no response. It happens all the time.

No blog traffic. Pic by stefanos papachristou

If you're creating great content on regular basis, but not driving traffic or engaging new customers then you need to understand what to change, before expen

Video blogging (adding clips to a blog) can help to drive traffic, lower bounce rate, increase engagement and conversions, and generally improve SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and Internet marketing.

Video blogging also provides plenty of "different" marketing opportunities that written content can't - because it is a rich medium for communication.

Bloggers who rely on written content only may find their rankings in search engines suffering as Google continues to include more and more video results (especially from YouTube) in its organic search results.

Reach out to influencers to grow your blog. Pic by uncoolbob

If you're blogging regularly, using SEO, sharing content socially, sending out newsletters, marketing, and doing everything right without success, then I've

website builders overtake cms

Drupal & Joomla are two popular CMS systems that offer powerful Web design and development features, and both have recently been overtaken in popularity

Sales funnels

Well researched, planned and implemented sales funnels can simultaneously boost traffic and increase conversions and revenue to make more money for blogs and

A breakdown of organic search traffic costs

Google recently ruined our startup launch with a 'false positive' phishing warning that coincided perfectly with our launch announcement to 4500 existing customers.

The article I wrote about that hugely damaging mistake attracted the attention of John Mueller, who responded sympathetically and said he would 'let the team know' about the problem.

Good to his word, I noted a few hits from Mountain view, California on the affected site and at the article, and a few hours later the erroneous phishing message was removed.

Genuine bloggers and businesses use high quality articles to build high page rankings in Google and generate plenty of valuable organic search traffic.

The problem is that the better the content, the more likely it is that others will duplicate, copy, or spin those articles and publish them on their own sites (without permission or attribution).

Most of the time this is not an issue because low quality, article spinning sites generally tend not to rank well in Google search results.

Back to Top