I think that when you begin a blog you should outline your goals.
Maybe you are blogging to help people. Maybe an attempt to change someone’s life for the better is your goal. Is a secondary goal to network with like minded people? Is the tertiary goal to make money from the blog?
What is that you are going to offer your audience? Stay focused here. You might look to your passions or goals to come up with the main theme for your site. Are you an authority on a topic or passionate about something in particular?
Maybe you already know a lot about a particular topic and want to share your experiences. Monetization is always easy, so don’t worry about that part. While discussing the topic there is bound to be some products and services that helped you achieve your level of understanding, and help you do what you do. There is likely opportunity for you to make money as an affiliate marketer for those products. Even to begin with you can just run AdSense ads throughout your site.
With AdSense, you will get paid for clicks on the ads. The ads will either be related to the topic of your site, or more likely these days will be to web sites that your visitors have already visted (it’s called retargeting).
Anyway, as you progress through your blogging you will undoubtedly speak on a product that you use. Wait for it to come. Don’t worry about getting all your affiliate relationships squared away immediately.
Consider Creating Your Own Product As You Go
Now, if some of what you want to help people do can be explained through video, you could even create your own product as you go along. You could shoot the videos and embed them into posts. Describe textually what to do, then sell access to the videos on a pay per view basis perhaps. If you are going to do that, also offer the option for a monthly subscription granting access to all of the videos on the web site.
But the key is to always stay focused on the same theme for your blog. Don’t be all over the map with your topics. You can even use the blog as you learn approach. Even a grade one can teach someone in kindergarten something. And besides, anyone can learn from anyone. Also, you reinforce your understanding of something by teaching what you know.
Decide ultimately who you are blogging for, even before you get started.
Ask Yourself, “Who Is My Target Audience?”
Now, if you are sharing your own expertise in an area, the target audience is you. Who are you? What do you do? Where have you been? Where are you going? Why should people listen to you? The answers to these questions will become “your story.” Attach a photo to the story and you have your first blog post, or maybe even the home page for your site.
Don’t be afraid to bear your soul in your blogging. Inject some personality. Do you like only you know how. You are the authority on you after all.
If you really focus on helping people, karma is on your side. If you are honest and truthful it is very rewarding and somewhat therapeutic. If you tell people the products that you use and why (and even why not another product that you tried), then you WILL make money. AdSense is just a default money maker really. But of course you can use both.
Where To Find Affiliate Products To Promote, And How To Start Cheaply
You will find mass amounts of products on Amazon. Become an affiliate of all three English language sites (.com, .ca. and .co.uk). When you refer someone to a product on Amazon, see if it exists in all three stores. If so, redirect the visitor to the right one based on the country they are visiting from. Their geographic location cab be auto detected.
Next, consider eBay for some products. And Clickbank has some digital products. But I recommend making your own. Perhaps give text info away free and sell for video access. There are lots of tools on the Web to help make it all happen.
Start with the free stuff. YouTube can host private or unlisted videos for free. WordPress is a great platform for free self-hosted sites. S2 Member has a free version that will let you sell access to specific parts of your site with PayPal.
Just keep your message focused to your audience. Picture talking to yourself if you are (or would have been) in your target market.