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Half-decent blogging intro but a naughty title
on 14 April 2014
Zoe Griffin already had a profile before starting her blog so she's already had a proven audience and knowledge of her field - celebrity gossip.
See, that's the key - building an audience that regularly comes back to your blog daily or even several times a day. That's even more important than keywording or SEO. It doesn't matter how search engine savvy you are or what 'clickbait' tricks you pull - readers will just bounce straight off a blog that has weak content.
I first became aware of the power of blogs as a potential money-maker and marketing tool in the mid 2000s via my interest in photography. There were a couple of photography blogs I followed that packed in great information and had hundreds or even thousands of visitors daily. The authors had 'authority' even though when you checked out their histories they were just low-level local photographers that had, through sharing information, become 'internet famous'. But that didn't happen overnight...
I started my own blogs not to make money directly but to 'build authority'. I'm a photographer and designer and blogging helped me to seem like the 'best man for the job' in my locality as I shared interesting information appealing to potential clients. A few posts ranked highly on Google for local searches and I started to get 'out of the blue' work I would never have got otherwise for very little outlay - and the blogging part was fun as I love to write and didn't feel a chore.
I've since added niche websites, exploiting what I've learned from blogging, for very specific aspects of my work. It means get many more enquiries than I ever did pre-blogging when my website was little more than a fancy online leaflet. As part of my work involves building websites, I make the power of blogging something I really try and sell to my, sometimes skeptical, clients.
Some time later I started a parenting blog, focussing on language learning, with my wife. After a 'voice in the wilderness' start it now gets around 7-10k unique hits a month and some of our posts often get widely shared in our niche. The blog doesn't directly sell products but we include Google Ads, which on a (very) lucky month may pay one or two household bills or at least give us some funds for a fancy meal out. Oh, and we've been sent quite a number of parenting-related freebies!
We didn't work hard at moving towards 10k hits, just set a target to add at least a few strong posts every week, but I took nearly four years to gain than traffic, albeit with some periods where we barely touched it. Who knows? Maybe if we work at it, this blog could become a key part of our income, rather than just provide a nice little 'dividend'. But it won't happen overnight.
The thing to remember is that blogging is not new - it's just a form of journalism, a form of writing. All the old rules apply. Clear concise, snappy content. Rich information. Entertaining.
Also, blogs work better when they are not robotic and anonymous. I followed a few money-saving and frugality blogs that were great but the authors were kind of in the background, hiding behind the site rather than making themselves part of it. Cheap meals blogger, Jack Monroe with her hipster mum persona front and centre, by contrast, is 'lifestyle media' gold and has become famous while better blogs have remained obscure.
So ignore the 'get rich blogging' hype. See blogging as journalism. Build an audience. Write about things you are truly enthused about not just what you think is profitable and have fun.