One of the webinars I attended this week at the Small Biz Success Summit 2012 was a panel discussion on Building Your Small Business with Blogs with Brain Clark of Copyblogger.com, Lee Odden of toprankblog.com, Joe Pulizzi of the Content Marketing Institute and Mike Stelzner of Social Media Examiner.
All four of these gentlemen run successful multimillion businesses. All four of them started these businesses with a blog.
To collectively paraphrase what they had to say about how to make money with a blog: Realize that the core of content marketing is that you don't get paid directly through the content; you make your money by building an audience and then selling your other products or services to them.
What I found really fascinating is that several of these bloggers didn't know what they were going to sell when they started their blogs; the whole key to their business model was building the audience and then figuring out what that audience wanted; the particular products and services evolved over the years.
When you visit the home page of Copyblogger.com, for instance, you'll see the site sells "Design, Traffic, and Conversion Solutions for WordPress", solutions that were developed from input Brian Clark received through his blog.
Others on the panel make their money in different ways; Joe and Lee both mentioned the many speaking opportunities they've profited from while Mike's main source of revenue is the events Social Media Examiner offers, such as the Small Business Success Summit.
So the business model is: build big audience first; figure out what that audience wants or needs; sell it to them.
I've dwelt on this at length because of a statistic one of the panelists mentioned at one point: The average blogger makes $24,000 a year, a stat I found quite depressing because it's not enough to feed the spouse and kids, is it?
So obviously, if you're trying to make money from blogging, you have to do/have more than the writing. Think about the business model I've presented here and about what you could be doing to increase your revenue streams.
More on Making Money From a Blog
- 7 Ways to Make Money From a Blog
- How to Add AdSense to Blogger and Make Money from Your Blog (About.com Google)
- How to Make Money from Your Blog (About.com Blogging)
- How to Make Money from Your Blog (Other Than Using Ads) (About.com Blogging)