Did you know that blogs are some of the most profitable websites on the internet? According to a Forbes article, blogs can earn over $1,000,000 a year! Pretty crazy when you consider the fact that anyone can buy a domain and just start writing. But what separates the broke blogger from the millionaire blogger? That’s what we’re here to discuss. How to write a blog post that makes money…
Know Your Audience
One of the simplest ways that blogs can make money is by placing ads in the sidebars or promoting affiliate products. These ads and affiliate promotions only work if you know and understand who your audience is. Without that, they aren’t relevant and the chances of making money are very low.
Assuming you already have a niche in mind, you can get to know your audience be hanging out in relevant Facebook groups, seeing what kind of questions are being asked on Quora, and generally just keeping your finger on the pulse of the community you want to serve. You’ll notice that the same half dozen questions keep coming up. When you notice what they are, simply write a post that provides the answer and share it.
If you prefer to make more data-driven decisions, there are a bunch of tools to help you analyze the search results:
- KeywordTool.io – This is a free tool that will allow you to see the most popular keywords being searched in your niche.
- Twitter Advanced Search – Simply type in the keyword that you want to target and set the filter to “questions” to see exactly what people are asking the most.
- Ubersuggest – This is probably the best free tool on the internet. It will give you things like search volume and ranking difficulty to give you an idea of whether a keyword is worth targeting or not.
- SEMRush – This is a paid tool that is similar to Ubersuggest but it gives you much more detailed and “up-to-the-minute” data. It also allows you to spy on your competitor’s websites and see what they’re targeting too.
Headlines Are Key
Headlines are arguably the most important part of your blog post. This is because they are the first thing that people see when you either pop up in the search results or post an article on social media. Your readers make the decision whether to click or not based solely on your headline.
If no one clicks on your articles when you promote them, you’re going to have a hard time earning commissions…
A good headline either evokes curiosity from the reader or defines the benefit of reading the article. Take this article for instance. You probably clicked over to read this because you’re looking to write a blog post that makes money. The words “How-To” told you that this would be an educational article describing exactly how to do the thing you want to do. If the article had been titled “Components Of Money-Making Blog Posts,” you probably wouldn’t have clicked because it sounds like I’m just stating an opinion and not giving actionable information.
Your article could be spectacular, but with a lackluster headline, it’s dead in the water. Here are a few tools to help analyze your headlines:
- EMV Headline Analyzer – This will tell you the Emotional Marketing Value of your headline
- CoSchedule Headline Analyzer – This will analyze your headline on a scale of 1 – 100 for a more objective answer
Use Sub Headings To Break Up The “Wall Of Text”
Let’s face it, most of your readers will be on mobile devices. It’s very easy to scroll on a mobile device and attention spans are severely compromised when on mobile. If you don’t use sub-headings and your post looks like something out of a medical journal, your reader will click out very quickly.
Using sub-headings allows your reader to scroll through and skim-read the article to better understand what the article is about. If they like what they read in the sub-headings, they’ll probably stop longer than 10 seconds to read the article itself. Think of using the headline to get your reader to bite and the sub-headings to set the hook.
You should make your post easier on your readers’ eyes whenever possible.
Never Dodge Bullets
If you haven’t noticed, I’ve been using bullet points throughout this article for a few reasons. One, it makes the post easier on your eyes, and two, it lets you know where the most important information is.
Each time I’m listing tools that will help you, I’m placing them in a bulleted list. This helps them stand out from the rest of the text. If I were simply using inline links, the tool recommendations would be harder to spot and you’d have a lower chance of clicking on them.
Remember that one of the best ways to monetize a blog is through affiliate promotion so you need to make recommended tools (a.k.a. your affiliate links) easy to find. Place a bulleted list at the end of a section and watch your clicks skyrocket.
Add Clear, Relevant Images
As humans, we’re visual learners for the most part. Our brains process visual data a lot faster than text data. This means that you can make your points more effectively if you include relevant images and screenshots into your posts. For instance, if you were doing a post about email marketing software and you talked about how clean the interface looked and how easy it was to use, wouldn’t it be easier just to include a screenshot?
I know this is an obvious example, but you could also make use of infographics to better break down complex topics. If your content is more abstract, consider using royalty-free images to convey an emotion or a vision. You can tons at these sites:
- Unsplash – This is probably my favorite royalty-free site. The pictures are great and they are easily searchable.
- Pexels – This site is a little bit smaller than Unsplash, but Pexels also includes royalty-free stock videos to download.
SEO Is A Must
Unless you’re simply blogging to tell people about your day, SEO is non-negotiable when trying to write a blog that makes money. Most of your traffic will come from search and if your site isn’t optimized for search then you’ll never get found.
Without getting too deep into SEO, consider writing articles based on keywords with buying intent. Something like “Product A vs. Product B” is a perfect example. The person who searches this phrase is ready to purchase one of the two products and simply needs to know the key differences.
If you’re an affiliate for both products, it doesn’t matter which product they choose. As long as you give an honest comparison and write the article in such a way that the search engines know that it’s a comparison article, you will appear in the search and probably cause the person to buy.
Some SEO best practices include:
- Using your keyword in the title
- Adding a proper meta description
- Use related keywords in the content
- Add alt-text to your images
- Link to other relevant content
Include A Call To Action
It’s a sad fact that people don’t do anything online unless they’re told to. You could have written the best article on why Purina has the best dog food, but unless you explicitly tell the reader to click on the button to go and buy it, they probably won’t. They’ll go “huh,” close the article and then google it later when they’re thinking about it again. When they do that, they’ll probably not click on your affiliate link and you won’t earn the commission.
Instead, when making a buying recommendation, use a strong call-to-action, and make a big, contrasting button visible to the reader. However, calls to action don’t have to be buying related. You can simply ask someone to like you on Facebook or subscribe on YouTube in addition to simply placing the button there.
Remember, people almost always need to be told what to do online.
Offer A Lead Magnet
Here is what separates the 7-figure blogs from the 6-figure blogs. To make big money as a blogger, you need to build an email list. When someone clicks onto your post, the probability of them buying something off of seeing your article once is practically zero. But how do you get them back on your site again? You email them and ask them to look at your stuff over and over again.
For every post that you write, you should offer some sort of a lead magnet. This is something of value that you offer in exchange for the reader’s email address. Once you have the reader’s email address, it’s infinitely easier to keep putting them back on your website or marketing products directly to them via email. Be sure to offer educational emails as well as marketing emails so that you don’t burn up your list and start getting unsubscribed.
As a general rule of thumb, it’s safe to assume you’ll generate $1 per month for every email on your list. If you have a particularly high-value offer, you could increase that to $2 or $3, but $1 is a good minimum estimate.
Once you start thinking in terms of building an email list, your blog posts really just become bait to place in front of the reader before asking for their email address. Write articles on low competition keywords, grab their email, and then manually share your articles in the impossible niches manually via email.
While it is possible to write blog posts that make money, it’s not as simple as just throwing up a page and waiting for the money. Writing a post that makes money takes a pre-meditated approach and careful thought.
Having said that, anyone can do it with the right process. It’s not particularly hard once you have it figured out. So get out there armed with your new-found knowledge and start writing some money-making posts!