You are reading blogs all wrong and understanding this may significantly change your fortunes on how much you make with your blog down the road. You’re probably wondering how anyone could read a blog incorrectly, but bear with me for a minute and you’ll see what I mean. If you really want to make money from blogging, you should be studying blogs and not reading them.
Let’s take JohnChow.com as an example. Whether you like him or hate him, there are things that you can learn from him (as from all bloggers that have a large following). The problem is that most people that read him are reading what he is writing at this moment. If you have a blog that has 10,000 readers and as much traffic as he does, then you should be reading his latest posts. If you only have a few hundred readers and a small bit of traffic, then you should be reading and studying his archives of what he was doing when he was in the same position that you are now in. That is where you will find the key information of what you need to grow and make money on your blog, not with what he is writing now since he is in a completely different league than you.
Here is something that may surprise a lot of people that read his blog. If you are one of his followers and have a fairly new blog, my guess is that you have monetized your blog extensively with advertising that he has recommended. But when John first started his blog, he had no advertising on it at all (and since this post only has a couple of comments while most of his posts these days have dozens, I’m making the assumption that most readers have never seen it). It wasn’t until later when he had begun to build a readership that he began to place advertising on his blog.
While I don’t think that basic advertising is too detrimental to a blog, if your blog looks like John Chow’s does now and you are just beginning, you will lose a lot of readers. Readers will tolerate advertising a lot more after you have established your credentials with quality content over a period of time, but won’t if the first time they visit all they see is ads. The least amount of advertising you can live with (and none if it’s possible) in the beginning is the best for the simple reason that it shows the readers that you are doing your blogging with no financial gain in mind.
So, since you have likely been reading blogs the wrong way, here is an easy step by step plan on how you should be reading the A-listers.
Step 1. Find the bloggers that you like the most: The bloggers that you like have struck a chord with you. It’s important to find out what that is since you will want to strike a similar one with your readers. These bloggers don’t necessarily need to be in your blogging niche. You can learn a lot from any top blogger.
Step 2. Go through their archives:Take the time to go back through their archives and see the steps that they have taken to make the big leaps that they have. In some cases, you may be surprised at their writing in the beginning. Everyone has a learning curve and you should be able to pick up on stylistic changes made that helped make the blog more popular. Pay special attention to the posts that have a lot of comments and when these started to appear. That is an indication that the particular post drove a lot of traffic to the site because it had something that grabbed reader’s attention.
Step 3. Brand this information in your own way: As you begin to see the posts that attracted attention and changes that were made that helped the blog gain popularity, take that information and brand it into your own writing style. Copying it exactly won’t likely work because that blogger is already doing it (and much farther along in doing it). You need to add an extra alpha and your own unique style to the equation.
Step 4. Hope you have a little luck like them: Your probably asking why you should be taking this advice from someone who isn’t an A-list blogger himself. There is also a bit of luck that goes into the making of every A-list blogger out there. That is not to say they didn’t create their own luck, but they were fortunate to have the stars align for them at some point in their blogging and hopefully that will happen for you too. The luck is much more likely to happen if you are producing quality content that people find interesting.
Step 5. Even if you don’t become an A-list blogger, you’ll make money: As mentioned above, a little luck (and a lot of hard work) is involved with making it as an A-list blogger, but if you follow the above steps, you are almost guaranteed to be a B-list blogger. And as I have shown, you can still make a six figure income being a B-lister. What you learn from studying the A-list bloggers’ archives should gather you a core following of readers that should help you bring in enough to make online blogging a career if you choose.