So, you want to be a professional blogger? But what exactly do you need to do to make money from this? This week we take a deeper look at how to start generating revenue from your blog. Whether you have a fledgling WordPress blog or are a well seasoned blogger with an entire community built up, there are a number of avenues you can go down. But which is best? And how do you actually make it all happen?
â€¢ There are always some growing pains as every new blog strives to get its feet off the ground, not least of which is trying to generate revenue. We start off this week by taking a closer look at the stages of development a site goes through as it matures.
â€¢ Joost gives an insight into the journey of his own site, Yoast.com, and gets down to the nitty gritty of what worked for him and what didnâ€™t.
â€¢ Joost lifts the lid on Google AdSense, and explains its pros and cons.
â€¢ Affiliate marketing; we explain the importance of having both high readership and the trust of those readers. We recommend taking a look at PepperJamNetwork and Commission Junction.
â€¢ We explore other avenues within traditional banner advertising, including some surprising and very neat little hints and tips!
â€¢ The value of the personal brand: In the long haul, this could be the most beneficial thing you do. We explain the how and the why. Joost tells us how his blog has lead to consultancy work for some top customers.
â€¢ Fred talks through the benefits of monetising old blog content by selling it as an eBook. Producing products that can be â€˜builtâ€™ once and sold multiple times has huge benefits.
â€¢ The importance of scarcity!
â€¢ Who you take advertising from is important â€“ if they are ads for less than respectable services or products it could be incredibly detrimental to your personal brand and the reputation of your blog. There is no escaping accountability, and especially not on the web!
â€¢ Why you should be careful about asking your readers for money.
The bottom line? Make money, but always keep your readers in mind!
WordPress core developer and consultant Andrew Nacin speaks about how he got into the WordPress family. He also discusses what changes he would like to have made, like domain mapping into the core and more multi-site flexibility.
WPCandy.com boasts to be the definitive WordPress news and information website on the planet. Site founder Ryan Imel tells Joost and Frederick about what the site offers including WordPress community news, interactivity with the readers, podcasts and community presence.
Pete Cashmore is founder and CEO of one of the world’s most popular blogs – Mashable.com, which happens to be powered by WordPress! Since 2005 Mashable has been a leader in social media and technology news coverage in addition to hosting events like the recent media summit and social media day. In tip-packed show, Pete shares with us:
Why he selected and continues to use WordPress,
The secret formula of success for blogs,
How to work with and develop teams,
How to develop communities,
How to Ã‚ measure growth and monetize,
How to build a brand
Today Joost is joined by Chris Coyier, one of the authors of Digging into WordPress and the founder of CSS Tricks. Chris and Joost talk about a lot of different subjects, ranging from their individual history with CSS sites to what Chris dubbed “the big three” updates in WordPress 3.0 (custom post types, menus, multi site) and how Chris designs a site.
Josh Holmes is a UX Architect Evangelist at Microsoft.com, where he works hard to bridge the gaps that exist in technology adoption and Microsoft and open source projects. In the past, Josh used DasBlogML and he migrated it to WordPress quite easily. On the show, Josh shared with us many of the projects and contributions Microsoft is making to the WordPress community. Among those plugins created by the Microsoft team is Windows Azure Storage for WordPress with is similar to Amazon Web Services or Rackspace Cloudfiles. Among the more interesting was learning how WordPress can be run using Microsoft SQL Server for the database store as shown on sites like oddlyspecific.com for example with performance enhancements. Josh also highlighted some of the steps Microsoft is taking to make deployment of their technologies easier using the Microsoft Web Platform, which is quite a solid offering.
For those of you that are diligent developers or up for a challenge you may want to try the Toughest Developer Puzzle Ever.
Joost and Frederick discussed Google’s Webmaster Tools with this weeks guest John Mueller from Google. All the sections of Google Webmaster Tools were discussed, and their different uses for bloggers, from the new search queries and ranking overview to sitelinks, crawl errors, XML Sitemaps and the recently updated Google News Sitemaps (there’s actually a WordPress plugin for those).
In the plugin picks, at the tail end of the show, Frederick picked IntenseDebate, a very cool comment system by Automattic. Joost picked clean notifications, a plugin to clean up the comment and ping / trackback notification emails.
Creating Communities with WordPress
Chris Pirillo has been a voice, early adopter and harbinger on the web for over a decade. He joins us on this week show to discuss the evolution that his career has taken as open source tools like WordPress also evolved since WordPress MU v1.0. We explored how to build community, manage communities and what specifically is the secret to making unique sites/communities on the web.
Plugin Picks of the Week:
Affiliate marketing starts with finding products you can stand behind, review and then sharing useful information with your audience. As you the trust of your blog readership grows so too do your opportunities to grow income. Social media services like twitter are great for doing more than just broadcasting. This weeks guest Chris Garrett provides numerous useful tips on how to develop and convert your audience into buyers once youâ€™ve established trust. Also learn how to get started, pick products you like and measure your progress.
Plugin Picks of the Week:
This weeks guest was Al Carlton of SelfMadeMinds.com and Coolest Gadgets, amongst many other blogs. We talked about how Al outsources everything on his blogs, so much that he doesn’t even have to write on them himself anymore. Some of the things he mentioned doing:
- He hires writers (through for instance the Problogger job board).
- He outsources design (through various designers and f.i. 99designs.com).
- He also outsources SEO and viral content creation (through several agencies).
There’s much much more, check out his full presentation on the topic on the recent ThinkVisibility conference. We later went on to discuss how to build a successfull site, and Al stressed how important it is to pick a good niche, a fact overlooked so often.
Security issues with WordPress
Security is always an important matter and WordPress is no more immune to hacking than other software available today. Itâ€™s important that you and your web host be aware of the potential compromises going on like the one discussed by Chris Pearson as a unscheduled guest on todayâ€™s show.
From the WordPress world
There were also some great videos released this week on WordPress as a Business Platform and WordPress Corporate Site for Better Communication. The WordPress 3.0 release is also getting closer, learn more about some of the features coming soon.