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Moms + Blogging = $

Moms are making money with their blogs because companies with products and services to sell to families are seeking them out.

Having your own product, like an ebook, to sell can also help you monetize your blog.

Before you can start making money, you need a good amount of traffic and reader engagement. Your online visability is what will drive your success in getting readers (and buyers) for your services. Social media, used correctly, can help. Tweet about your latest post and talk about it on Facebook.

Get Paid Blogging for Brands

A great way to make money with your blog is to promote a specific brand. Many big brands pay bloggers to write about them. The blogger writes about the brands products or services and describes the features and benefits for their readers. If the blog is relevant to the brand, it’s a win-win situation for both. In fact, if you see bloggers writing about specific brands, there’s a good chance they’re getting paid for it.

Brand Networks

You can connect with relevant brands through networks designed for that purpose. These include SocialSpark, Escalate Network, Blog Frog, and Sponsored Reviews, among others. You sign up and submit your blog, and advertisers can find your site by browsing blogs in their niche. These networks allow you to set your own price and, if there’s interest, you can negotiate with the brand.

Some brands get more involved than just providing a paycheck. They may help you further connect with your readers by offering free giveaways. This gives your readers a chance to try the brands products themselves.

Getting Started

Before you sign up on a network, there are a few basic considerations. Your blog should have a consistent following of readers but, even more importantly, you should be influential with them. In other words, you’ve laid the groundwork by building a solid relationship of trust with your readers and they listen to what you say. When you have influence, your message is more powerful and it means more sales for the brand.

When it comes to blogging for brands, certain niches have a higher success rate than others. For example, brands of all shapes and sizes love mommy bloggers. Blogging moms are extremely influential with their readers, many of whom are mommy bloggers themselves. This is what you need and a core group that listens to you and buys products on your recommendation.

Catering to a specific geographic location also works in your favor. If your blog has a geographic base in Philadelphia or Northern Arizona, these may be areas where a brand wants to increase its sales. If you’re involved in the community offline, this gives your blog an additional influential boost in the community.

You Don’t Have to Sell Your Soul

For many bloggers the idea of blogging for brands is uncomfortable. You’ve been writing a blog and building a loyal readership writing what you want, offering helpful tips, and really connecting with your readers on a personal level. If you start to advertise brands, it might feel like you’re selling out.

How do you do it without feeling unethical? Choose brands you really like and endorse them honestly. Choose them based on products your readers can actually use. Don’t advertise anything you don’t wholeheartedly stand by. Be transparent and come right out and tell your readers that you’ve been asked to write something. Moreover, make sure that the brand doesn’t tell you what you have to say. It should be totally up to you to make either positive or negative comments about that brand’s product.

Selling Your Expertise

Some bloggers monetize their blogs by offering products while others use theirs to market their services. If you’re a web designer, SEO expert, content writer, or other service provider, your blog is an essential tool for driving traffic and getting clients. However, you can also use your blog to attract coaching and other teaching gigs.

Who is Your Potential Reader?

Before you start writing, take a minute to consider your target audience. Picture your ideal client and write content that they can use. Define this person as specifically as possible. What are their interests and problems? Use your blog to speak to them and discuss topics in which they’re interested.

You don’t have to explicitly sell your services on your blog. It’s a bad idea to make every blog post about why people need to hire a web designer, SEO expert, writer, coach, etc. Don’t focus on selling, but provide information they can use. What you’re doing is demonstrating your expertise in your field. When they need your services, you’ll be the one they ask since they’ve already seen what you can offer.

Back to the Beginning…

Now that you have an overview of how you can make money with your blog, it is time to think about the basics before you can see those dollars.

From the start, you want to create a blog that is set up to succeed. There are certain elements every blog should have.

These pages will give your readers an idea of who you are and what your blog is about. They will help your readers navigate your website. Web regulations and search engine optimization should also be considered.

Here are a few of the pages and elements that every blog should have:

•An About Me Page

At the end of the day, people want to know about who you are.

If they’re reading your blog and taking advice from you, they want to know who you are. They want to know about your past accomplishments and failures. They want to know what makes you who you are. They want to know your story.

Put this in an about me page and make it easy to find.

•Contact Page

Not all bloggers want to be contacted. However, it’s a good idea to at least have a contact form. Why?

You could be contacted by potential partners or big advertisers. Or someone could be considering referring a huge group of buyers to your site and just wanted to ask you a question.

You don’t have to answer every single question you get, but it still helps to have contact information up.

•Social Media & RSS

Give your readers a number of different ways to follow you.

In your sidebar, have buttons that allow people to follow you on Twitter, on Facebook and even on Google+.

You should also have a clearly displayed RSS button that allows people to subscribe to your feed.

•The Best Posts

Also in your sidebar should be a list of your best posts, most popular posts or your personal top picks.

When someone lands on your site, they don’t necessarily just want to read your blog in chronological order. A lot of people would prefer to start by reading your 5-10 best articles to decide if they like your content.

If they do, then they’ll start reading your blog regularly. Having these 5-10 top posts easily accessible helps give new visitors the best stuff right up front.

•Privacy Policy, Disclosures, Sitemap and Terms of Service

These four pages are meant mostly for search engines and regulatory agencies.

If you’re using Google AdSense, collecting email addresses or using tracking software, you need a privacy policy.

Google strongly recommends having both a privacy policy and a terms of service. Not having them could be detrimental to your ranking. They’re also required for AdSense.

Having a sitemap will help search engines index your site.

What Are Your Goals?

Knowing your goals for your business, the gaps in your niche and the products you’d like to create or promote is a good, solid start to making money on your blog. Before deciding, however, do a little brainstorming. Visualize what works with your comfort zone:

Writing reviews of products you use in your business or hobby?

Literally monetizing your blog with contextual text ads?

Having a “catalogue”-style website and selling your crafts?

Using a third-party vendor site such as Etsy.com and selling your crafts?

Promoting the products of a niche or industry figure you really admire and enthusiastically support?

Running a membership site on your blog?

Providing virtual services?

Writing a book?

Probably the easiest way is to create a digital product and promote it with your blog – only there is a right way and a wrong way to do this.

If this idea appeals to you, it’s important to remember that most of the time, you don’t blog about your product. Instead, you blog about the topic the product .

To Create a Money-Making Blog, Remember:

Create Viral Content…If readers want to quote from your blog, gain guest spots or share links, you are on the right track.

You Are What You Write… Articles and posts should be unique to that blog – and totally consistent with the blog mission, theme and readership interests.

Create Value…Articles and posts people refer back to, review in a genuine and positive way; and that are totally relevant to the blog readership’s needs.

Keep Track of Trends… Successful blogs are often ahead of the curve by writing about topical information or releasing important industry news.

Refer Readers …FAQs, job boards, apps, videos and resource lists and links are present on top blogs.
Be Professional…Successful bloggers exhibit professionalism and quality in every aspect: Design, focus, content, identity, consistency and more.

Post content regularly…and interact as much as possible with your readers when they comment, ask questions, or email you. Post in forums where your ideal readers hang out and share content on other sites to get exposure.