Can You Still Make Money Online with a Blog today?
In today’s competitive online marketing environment with millions of blogs vying for readers eyes and dollars, frequent updates and algorithm changes from Google that have crushed many online marketers, the need to learn SEO, keyword analysis and changes along with savvy educated consumers, you may be asking Can You Still Make Money Online with a Blog, and how can I make money in the environment? The answer is yes, if you learn how.
When people ask me what I do for a living, they seem shocked when I tell them I am a full time blogger, and I make money online with affiliate marketing. Usually the next words uttered in amazement are, “you can really make money with a blog?” I say yes, and here is how I learned how to make money online with a blog.
If you are new to blogging, you need to learn how to set up a blog, how to monetize your content, how to create high quality and compelling content that addresses your reader’s problem, and marketing the right products. You have the potential to make more money than from your day job.
The key to being a successful online marketer is to learn how to do it ethically. Most affiliate marketing networks have adopted these ethical blogging methods, and list them in their terms and conditions, and not following them will result in immediate closure of your account and forfeiting and commissions.
Are you ready to learn how to make money with a blog ethically, or do you want to stay exactly where you are financially for the next 30 years?
Is it Hard to Make Money with a Blog Today?
I would not say it is hard to make money online with a blog, but it is harder today than it was in the late 90’s when affiliate marketing first began. It takes more time today before you will make your first dollar, but unfortunately with our instant gratification society and so many charlatans selling push button programs that promise instant wealth while you sleep, when they don’t work so many get frustrated and quit. You need to learn and master the fundamentals of internet marketing. These have never changed.
Over the years, the affiliate marketing industry has grown and matured. In the early days all you had to do was put up a blog or website, write some content, put in some links and you could make money online with affiliate marketing.
There were few standards in the early days and it was easy to manipulate the search engines to rank highly for your keywords. Google and Bing have developed sophisticated algorithms to root out blogs with thin content, crush scammers trying to manipulate the search engines to gain ranking and using black hat SEO techniques and de-rank or de-list list websites and blogs from Search Engine Results Pages (SERPS) that do not follow the guidelines.
They also re-rank keywords based on user searches, which can reshuffle where blogs rank at the URL level and by specific pages. Google has applied manual and automatic penalties to blogs they deem have violated their terms of service, used unethical link schemes, used content content farms and other methods to rank higher in the search engines.
Affiliate marketers of the past were able to use black hat marketing techniques to increase traffic and sales, using such illegal and unethical methods as:
directing people to internet sites with doorway pages by inserting phrases in the content that send visitors to a different and unrelated page or destination website.
These black hat marketing techniques have become illegal and would get you banned and blacklisted from most affiliate networks, and will probably have your blog shut down by Google.
You should always use ethical, white hat marketing techniques to drive traffic to your blog or content.
You need to create a blog that is both visually appealing and easy to navigate. If people don’t know how to get to the content they want and need, they will click away and never return.
What about Google?
Google has made making money with affiliate marketing more challenging in recent years, with their various algorithm updates, such as the Panda Update, Farmer update, Penguin algorithm update, and so on, but most of their efforts have made affiliate marketing a more legitimate and respected industry, and rooted out those who choose to use black hat SEO techniques instead of following ethical models to make a buck on line.
Before the algorithm updates, savvy marketers were able to game the search engine with unethical tactics to get their content to the top of the SERPS (search engine results pages), to increase traffic, sales and income.
As Google rolled out their updates, thousands of unethical marketers were wiped out over night, and unfortunately, some ethical businesses were hit as collateral damage.
Google wants bloggers to create high quality long form content that is at least 800 words or more in length, that provides value and not just to make money online. A recent study found that depending on the niche, high value content should be between 1,000 and 3,000 words.
The days of 300-500 word articles are gone. That is now considered thin content with little or no value to your readers or the internet in general.
The lesson here, is to follow Google’s stated affiliate marketing guidelines, by creating high quality content that adds value to the internet and the millions of people searching for your content to help them solve their problems.
As far as affiliate marketing goes, don’t create content for the specific goal of making money online. Your content should still have the goal of helping people solve a problem. You make money online ethically by either direct selling products or directing readers, via affiliate links, to products you are marketing that will solve their problem, such as to help them lose weight, gain weight, become a better cook, find a significant other, find a new house, or help their kids do better in school.
The idea that Google wants to crush affiliate marketing is not true, they just want marketers to do it ethically and add valuable content to the internet while making money online.
What is next if you want to learn how to make money with a blog, is to take a course from an internet marketer who has been making money online since 1998.
The course I have used and highly recommend to help you learn how to make money with a blog is Affiliate Blogger Pro, from Super Affiliate Rosalind Garddner.
This is a 10 module affiliate marketing training course that walks you through all the steps of making money online with a blog, using over 200 tutorials, 190 + videos, quizzes to reinforce what you’ve learned and superior online and technical support.
You will learn the following:
How to start a blog
Find web hosting companies
How to come up with a domain name for your blog
Find physical and digital products to sell
How to monetize your content
Create high quality content that converts readers to buyers
Follow ethical marketing techniques
Develop keyword lists
Create blog post titles that grab readers attention