Can you make money from a blog?

Can you make money from a blog?

Last night, some formidable Australian blogging and PR personalities joined forces to head a panel skewing the much discussed but hard to crack issue of making money from blogging. Can you make blogging work for your business?

Running a blog can be a way to market and showcase your talent or business offering. However, it isn't as simple as posting about what you do, growing a massive audience and then making loads of money.

Here are a few key quotes from Daniel Kjellsson of blogger conglomerate www.fellt.com, Patty Huntington from www.frockwriter.com, brand marketer Matthew Gain, and Smarter Business Ideas member and blogger at www.tinytimes.com, Karla Courtney, about growing and potentially monetising your blog. We also follow with three blogs by Australian busineses that we feel are doing a good job of using content to sell their services.

"The challenge is finding a way to make money that has ethics.” – Karla Courtney

If you set out to make money from your blog then make that clear and be honest. It won’t necessarily lose you fans and in fact it may garner further trust. Disclosure is key and much like traditional media, if you treat readers with respect they won’t mind being advertised too. In fact, a dedicated audience may encourage it if they value your content and advertising means that it keeps your blog going.

SEE ALSO Why Customer Advocacy is a Smarter Way to Spend Your Marketing Money

"Self-publishing is the future of journalism.” – Daniel Kjellsson

If you compare professional blogs to traditional media websites you’ll more than likely notice that they aren’t too dissimilar in terms of quality of content. What this means is that many people now benchmark blogs against traditional media. If you think your business would benefit from a blog then be sure to spend the time to make it look professional. It probably helps not to think of it as “blogging”, instead look at it as “content marketing.” If you do it right, then you’ve got a great offering then you’ll get great engagement; the kind of engagement that drives people to work with or buy from you.

"I've never met a successful blogger that actually set out to be a successful blogger." – Daniel Kjellsson

You don't need to start a blog just for the sake of having one. If you are thinking about starting a blog for your business think very carefully about your unique offerings. Don't worry about what other blogs are doing, just focus on your business and your offering. If you focus too much on just building an audience or posting for the sake of posting you are heading down the wrong path.

"Think beyond simple monetisation such as banner ads. Think about your niche expertise." – Matthew Gain

“Advertisers are interested in the numbers, not necessarily the engagement,” – Patty Huntington

Display ads are great but not for everybody and more often than not they’re not trueindicator of a blogger’s worth. But bloggers that focus on a niche and are clearly experts in their field they possess a genuine set of skills and passion that can be leveraged for more in-depth work, such as consulting or collaborating with a brand.

The overall message of the event was really to focus on a way to showcase your talent or niche first and foremost and that revenue doesn’t have to be thought of in terms of banner ads. For a small business this means that you can think about ways to use your content to showcase who you are and what you do. The challenge, of course, is finding the time and resources to produce the content and then a way to track the performance of the blog back to revenue.

Here are a few examples of Australian businesses who are running blogs well to promote their services:

EdwardsAndCo Salon
http://edwardsandcoblog.com
Regularly updated unique content that includes how-tos and promotes other non-competitive creative professionals.

Shoes of Prey
http://www.shoesofprey.com/blog
Inspiration on how to engage with their product line and social initiatives such as competitions to get the online community involved.

Aquabumps
http://aquabumps.com
In a way the blog is the business, but it is a great example of using a website to showcase and monetise a talent. In this case it is selling prints of surf photography.


SEE ALSO our interview with Eugene Tan of Aquabumps: Turning your hobby into a money earner

WATCH our exclusive video of Eugene on the story of Aquabumps


Visit the Social Media Club Sydney Facebook group

Read the Twitter stream from the night's event

Photo Courtesy Rocketman Media
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