Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Earning money from your blog

Three simple ways to earn money from blogging. (We're assuming you blog for personal gain to begin with and aren't all that serious about carefully crafting your entries for keywords and other search optimization tactics.)

1) Enable links in your headline so that clicking on this will take them to your site - or your sales page. What this will do is to associate the terms in your headlines with that address. So as you craft your words to excite interest, these will be associated with that page. (Here's where all your research in keywords can pay off...)

2) Enable adsense on your blog. (While most people don't make any huge amount with adsense - or nothing at all - it at least might bring you a few pennies until your blog becomes intensely popular with people who love to click-through.) The real truth is that most people ignore all ads unless they are served these up as part of a search query, which is why text-relevant ads such as adsense generate revenue.

3) Put a link to your squeeze page on every blog entry or at least on the page some place it will be found. Enables people to opt-in to your newsletter where you can give them helpful links to your product sales pages. This is relationship or permission marketing. Means you need to work out the phrase and link you want to use in a text editor and keep this up in another window so you can cut-and-paste it where you want it. (Great thing about blogs is that you can go back and edit your earlier posts - so you can try this out by plunking it down on the last month's worth of blog entries...)

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Another approach, utilizing the above, is to maintain several blogs on different niches. Each blog would then point to a different key page. For instance, most of my stuff is on philosophy, so everything is linked to my bookstore. However, I have another blog on my artwork, which is linked to my art site - which you can tell I haven't spent a lot of time at.

Were I to spin off all the ag-stuff I talk about in this blog into its own, I'd create a bookstore of ag-related items and link to it.

But that is the general theory about earning money through blogs.

It's not set up to earn traffic as well as article marketing, but that is another story. I get some closure from blogging, which is why I do it. Article marketing is just that - marketing.

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update: 070629

Just found that my autoresponder service can take an RSS feed from my blog and send it out to my list.

Means when I blog (which is where my thoughts are freshest - if most raw) I can be sending out emails to my list.

Now, this takes some study. I often will blog several times a day. That wouldn't be good to be getting several emails a day from me - no matter how you love my writing ;) As well, my blogging can go off-subject easily, since my interests are varied. This blogging would have to be more disciplined.

I already have several blogs, partially to separate my approaches to things. This one is practical, about how to make a living in the Midwest - and it deals with farming, internet, and occasionally politics. Another, A Modern View, deals with philosophic issues and how to improve life through the Law of Attraction as well as other Go Thunk Yourself Library references.

The list I am creating is specifically for Law of Attraction enthusiasts. So I should probably create a blog which deals and mentions only the Law of Attraction.

This actually helps your article marketing. For me, I tend to write a thousand or so words at a time, sometimes less, but often way more. These are too wordy for articles, which should be about 300 words or so. (They'll take more, but few read that much.) You can take that blog entry, copy/paste it into a text editor and convert it to several smaller articles. Then post those articles to as many directories as you can take the time for.

Your list recipient gets a longish email from your blog. Meanwhile, the articles from that blog entry are each creating more links to your squeeze page where they can get your later blog entries.

The trick is to keep that blog narrowly focused on that particular subject. And to blog no more than once a day on that special blog.

The great part about this is that in blogs you can have hot-links all over the place, which will get sent out to your list. Articles don't usually allow hot-links in the body text. So your list subscriber is able to click onto whatever product or page you are talking about.

For instance, when I mention Wattles, Haanel, or Hill, I always link to a book I've republished on my Lulu storefront. Law of Attraction is linked to a book I've edited on that subject. If I link to an author like Peale or Covey, I give my Amazon link.

You see then, that this type of blogging can potentially raise sales - or affiliate sales. And at the same time, you reduce the stress of writing articles. Makes the whole thing a lot more fun!

Now, my latest work (which will get started shortly) is a book I'm mid-process of writing. I've got it all outlined and in several large pieces which have to be edited down to form. To do this I'm creating a blook. Means I've started a blog (Internet Millionaire Plan) which is going to lay out the book section by section in that blog.

By using the above workout, I can simply take my book sections and blog pieces of it, which will be automatically emailed to everyone on my list, replete with links.

Then I take that blog entry and make articles out of it - each one with an invitation to join that list.

As I compile a set of articles, these become a special report, which will be available as a free PDF download - but will also have hotlinked offers to my other books and services.

When I have the first chapter, this will be a limited offer sales item - with a free update to anyone who emails me corrections they find. Of course, those people will then be put into a sublist as they are very active and deserve to be rewarded even more - plus, that sublist enables me to send the download link to those specific few.

As sections of the book are ready, this becomes another limited-time offer - at a higher price.

Finally, as the book is ready, a preview edition is available in hardcopy or download from Lulu - but only available to my list subscribers. And those who send me corrections will get a free final download edition. The preview edition is paperback, the final Lulu version is hardback, with the paperback retired.

When I create the Amazon version, the cycle will repeat - since I raise the prices for the hardcopy Amazon version (as their royalities are low and they operate by discounting).

When the Amazon hardcover version takes off, I can then extend its sales life by updating the copy and making a paperback version. This goes through the same process with the list, which enables me to get help in editing the book, as well as reviews which can go on the cover, and sales page.

That gives a smallish sales funnel. Lots of little items which go to a final big item.

Now I can offer a workbook, based on the original book, along with bonuses such as a collected kit of sample pages which correspond to the book. Were I energetic enough, I'd be able to then have this book, workbook, and kit all available for teaching weekend seminars either in person or online - for a still higher fee.

And subsequent books which simply extend the brand can be offered along this same line - keeping the original blog and its email features.

But meanwhile, readers could be told about my other books and additional product lines.

In that fashion, I can up-sell my existing customers over to parallel product lines/funnels that match my own interests.

All starting from a blog.

Now this means that you can use this blog-marketing plan in all your sales funnels - as a complement to your existing article marketing efforts.

The discipline of this is another point to take up. How do you limit yourself to a single blog entry per day? When you're "on a roll" or "in the zone", you don't simply want to quench that red-hot fire of inspiration.

Solution: Save as draft. Publish per day. Sure, go ahead and write several blog entries on a particular area, or blog throughout the day as the inspiration hits you. But save these as draft and then log in daily to time what you send out to occur only once per day.

Now, if you are "blooking" your next book, you may have tons of material to send out to your list. Work these up off line, saving to a text file that you can copy/paste from. Here you can use the "save as draft" method to line up a considerable quantity of entries - again, working within your inspiration, leaving the mundane to a small chore each day.

This enables you to work on a given area one day (or week) and then another different area the next day (or week) and still send daily e-mails to your list through your blog posts.

Examples:

On the Internet Millonaire Plan, I have several thousand words ready. I can edit these and then copy/paste into draft blog entries. Then, when I'm working up articles and then special reports, I can edit those links into the blog entries. (Yes, you should link your articles from your blog, as this gives your articles better search engine rankings - just pick the best article directory when you do.)

On Law of Attraction, I have already published a book (as linked). I can take the text of this book and split it into several blog entries and those in turn into several articles. In this case, the blog is marketing the book and providing lower-priced reports and excerpts as extra value - and an entry level to that sales funnel. The blog in this case adds value to the book by providing online links where more data (or related products) can be found.

As I've published many books, this would then be a way I can market each specific book. Each would get its own blog, which makes it more searchable through the web, and so people can find it more easily. I can take a static book and make it more valuable - plus include more people into this product and related products. And article marketing the book gets a lot easier.

So there you have it. Pretty new marketing techniques which can keep you busy, but efficiently so. I haven't found anyone else who's cross-connected these marketing techniques, but I'm available for comment if there is.

Luck to us all. Count on me to let you know how it goes...
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