Running a profitable blog that focuses on a topic that you’re truly interested in seems like an impossible dream to most internet entrepreneurs.
It can be difficult learning and mastering search engine optimization concepts, web design, and great content creation. Doing all of those things with a profitable niche that you actually enjoy is infinitely more impossible.
Well, that’s what you’re led to believe. It’s actually a lot simpler than most people think.
It doesn’t matter if you’re running a self-hosted blog, or if you’re using one of the popular web 2.0 hosting platforms, either. As long as you have a blog, you’ll find that you already have all of the tools you need to succeed.
The Old Way – Keyword Research and SEO
Don’t those words leave a bad taste in your mouth? They’re so boring and absolutely terrifying. For most of us they turn out to be nothing more than a big waste of time – and maybe even a waste of money. What we really need to understand is that these are outdated methods that never actually had anything to do with profitable blogs, anyway.
Is that to say that you won’t collect a significant amount of traffic with your blog? Of course not! The search engines will (hopefully) provide hundreds of new visitors to your site every day. But this shouldn’t be the primary source of your traffic.
If it is, then you’ll quickly find it really is impossible to earn a living from your site. The search engines (and these techniques) are only good for bringing new visitors to your site. Once you have them there, you’ll need to convince them to become regular readers. That’s when things start to become profitable.
The New Way – Finding and Writing for a Market
This is where most people get it all wrong, whether they’re relying on the old techniques (SEO and on page optimization techniques) or focusing on the latest zeitgeist – “content is king.” Actually, that mantra has been around for at least a decade. Don’t you wonder why it keeps popping up?
In order to run a successful blog you’re going to need more than passion for your topic and well searched key phrases. You’re going to need a topic that actually has a market. If you don’t take the time to investigate the viability of a market before you start creating your site then you’re doing it all wrong. You have to know that people are going to want to read what you write.
Even if they do find it through search engines, how do you know what they’re going to be interested? Sure – anyone can write a 500 word article on model trains. But how do you know that the content you’ve created is actually relevant to the audience? You do it by finding and studying their market. Once you’ve done that, you can start writing for that market.
This is the first post in a three part series on turning your blog into a successful venture. In the next article you’ll learn how to find a market. You’ll also learn about micro-virality and how to put it to work in your online business.