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Bloggers make money from blogging in an every increasing array of ways – but in general they can be broken down into:

1. making money directly from their blog (where the blog makes money – typically from advertising or affiliate programs)

2. making money indirectly because of their blog (where the blogger makes money because of their blog – for example by landing a book deal, consulting or a job)

Recently my friend Darren posted this interesting item.  It ties in directly with a lot I have been saying about the potential of blogs … and not only as a blog itself.  Read what Darren has to say, his info is valuable as always, and then come on back here for my advice and amplification on these ideas.

You came back?  good on you as they say down in Darren’s neck of the woods.  here’s a few things I’ve learned and would like to pass on about making money from blogs.

1. Align Yourself with a Niche:  This is sound advice indeed.  But many of my readers are likely at the point where they aren’t too sure of what a "niche" really is.  It occurs to me I could write a whole post on this … in fact I had better … ok it’s on the list.  But is we apply the KISS principle (Keep It Simple, Stupid, as frequently, but not frequently enough tell myself) a niche for our purposes is a small segment of a big market.  Most importantly, it’s a segment of the market that you know something about and are interested in.  Don’t be fooled by the blogs you are likely reading in this "space" … making money online.  Many of the "big names" don’t know near as much as they think they do, and others, like me know even less, but I started a blog in this area because of my burning interest.  If you are a retiree or soon to be one you have something a huge percentage of people online do not have … real-world experience.  When you see me talking about starting a blog I am not talking about a making money online blog.  I’m talking about capitalizing on what you have done and what you know … that’s where your strengths lie and where your opportunities reside.

2. Establish Trust, Expertise and Authority: One of the most neglected areas in either online or off-line business.  You are not who you say you are, you are who you are … how you treat people, how you present yourself and how you serve others.  You know on one of my other blogs … where I actually make money online … I offered to make a special sort of map with some software I use and email it out to anyone who asked.  In spite of the fact I asked no money and no identifying data (except, of course, their email address … hard to mail without that ;-)) the majority of the people who responded asked, "what, you’re doing this for free with no obligation"?  Yep, I was and i do many other things that way.  One way to be unique is to wear a funny hat, or buy designer clothes.  Another way is to do thigs for people because you can, not because you’ll "get something" in return.

3. Showcase what You Do  This is one of the most worthwhile use of a blog for no-blog purposes out there … and it is used way to seldom.  Gong back to the niche in idea one.  let’s say your niche is commercial florist work … and to empoer your retirement you decide to do consulting and contract work for events that need flowers.  Well, you cna put up a little website that says "Joe’s Flowers" and you’ll then be one of 32,000,000 other sites that Google thinks are about flowers … or you can add a blog to that same website that contains daily aryticles buy "Joe" himslelf. get indexed in minutes by Google, and be one of less thna 7,000 sites that mention "florist rip-offs" or less than 80 for "how to choose a florist".  You do the math.  Blogs give great visibility.

4. Give away the principles and Sell the Personalization One of the things I write about often is self-publication, both ebooks and traditional print books.  And such self-publication makes great sense.  But consider what you publish.  There may be good business in writing a book entitled "principles of flower arranging" and selling it.  On the other hand, you might want to use a blog to give away the besic principles you orignially thought to make part of the book … smaple chapters at least, and make your money on the "back end" … letteing the blog or blog/book combination attract potential cleints and then doing specialized consulting or purchasing work for those that the "give away" information brought in.

5. Sell Yourself Not Someone Else  this is a tip I am going to adapt big time over the enxt few weeks.  Expect yo see a lot of changes here about’s.  I’ve been selling a bunch of "little things", all for other people.  It makes money … what we call "affiliate marketing" … but in the final analysis it does nothing for me.  So alot of adverts, among other things are gonna be gone forever … not becuase they don’t work but becuse the work for somneone else.  keep this in mund, Joe, as you think about how you start your florist blog … don’t lcutter it with all the typical ads for FTD and other beig name flower sites … the ads will work, that’s for sure, but they won’t work for you, they’ll work to promote others.

6. Make Yourself Accessible  I’m always shocked at the number of people who try to make money but then at the same time try to be anonymous.  I’m working on an article right now about a web entrepreneur whom I used to recommend and how he has now seemingly fallen down the rabbit hole of "a fast buck at all costs".  At the moment I have things on hold becuase I’m finding it hard to find anything good to say to accompany the negative things I have seen.  I wrote to him days ago for clarifications and explanations of a few of his latest actions … days later, not a word.  I guess that’s something he’s said to me by non-verbal communication.  If a blog and/or any other kind of on-line effort is goung to be any use to you at all, you must make yourself available … by email at least.  Unanswered emails are a continual, significant problem … it’s hard to get people interested enough in your work to leave comments or to write you an email … treat their ,ails like gold and the writers like the VIPs that they trily are.

So, there’s my cut on Darren’s six original rules.  What have we left out, and what do you disagree with?  As always, I welcome comments, constructive criticisms, disagreements, questions or just plain talk.  You can leave a comment to this article or email me direct at: davestarr (at) gmail (dot) com or call me on 1-719-423-8872. I’m usually on Yahoo messenger (davestarr) and will be happy to chat there.  If you liked this article, please subscribe to my RSS feed so you get all my news and views.

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