How to Be Different in Blogging So You Can Make Money From Home

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"I want to make money blogging but there are so many bloggers already! How can I stand out?"

"I'm incredibly shy. Can I still be a successful blogger?"

I get these questions all the time and I've got some tips for you that go beyond just "be yourself."

In person, I'm naturally very outgoing (this is sometimes embarrassingly obvious in my Instagram Stories...) but that doesn't necessarily transfer to the writing on my blog. And I know a lot of people who are very shy in person but incredible bloggers online! 

You can absolutely run a successful blogging business, even if you're shy or if there are a lot of bloggers in your niche. Let's dive into my fav tips!


We're currently accepting new blogging students in my budget-friendly course, Blogging to Win! Doors close soon so be sure to join while you can!


1. Take a break from your fellow bloggers

Initially, this tip sounds terrible so let me explain!

If you only seem to be writing about the same stuff everyone else is writing then you need to take a break from reading blogs in your niche. How can you think outside of the box if you only hang out inside of it?

How can you think outside of the box if you only hang out inside of it?

I'm a big believer in supporting our fellow bloggers so don't leave this post thinking you need to give everyone a cold shoulder. Just take a short break until you overcome your writer's block. 

2. Provide actionable steps in each of your blog posts

Make sure that every single post you publish leaves your reader with an actionable step of some kind, be it the inspiration to finally start their new diet or the actual steps it takes to create a workout plan.

I've talked a little bit about this on my blog and YouTube channel but I really cover how important it is in my blogging course. 

I don't believe in writing fluff posts, which are simply posts that are written because it was "time" to get something new on the blog. Don't write a post if you can't provide value or inspiration. It's a waste of your time and it's a waste of your readers' time. 

3. Encourage interaction outside of comments and respond to every single DM or email

You will never have a successful blogging business without readers. That's just common sense, right? 

But how can you stand out in the crowd of bloggers and prove to readers that you and your content are special? Encourage personal messages through Direct Messages or your blog email!

This is very time-consuming but it's certainly been worth the effort in my experience. I personally handle all of my email correspondence by myself, partly because I'm controlling and partly because I don't want to be even one person removed from connecting with my audience. You're reaching out to Allison, not Allison's virtual assistant, right?

I personally handle all of my email correspondence by myself, partly because I’m controlling and partly because I don’t want to be even one person removed from connecting with my audience.

Email me a blogging question or a quick hello to hello(at)allisonlindstrom(dot)com and I will personally get back to you. Pinky promise. 

Nowadays, I spend a couple of hours each week responding to messages. It sounds like a lot (and it is!) but I look at it as building relationships with readers and gaining free research for my business. 

I encourage interaction with my subscribers by asking open-ended questions in my emails. And I never ignore a message. Ever. (Unless it lands in my Spam folder, in which case it disappears into the internet universe forever.) 

Responding to emails benefits my readers because they know that an actual person is providing answers to their questions and offering advice. And this benefits me because my readers are telling me exactly what kind of problems they have and how my blogging business can help them. It's a win win!

I've lost count of how many times someone has told me, "You're the first blogger to actually respond to my email!"

4. Be proud of who you are and what that means for your readers

It's said by everyone but I'll say it here too. "Be who you are and don't apologize for it." (As long as you're not hurting anyone, girlfriend!) 

Bloggers naturally feel the pressure to try different avenues in their business, be it a new category or project. Sometimes this pressure is good and you should take the plunge. But sometimes you need to just stick to the beat of your own drum. 

Here's an example of what I mean. 

You're passionate about golf and consider yourself a bit of an expert so you've entered the blogging world to help others. After a bit of time, your blog has grown considerably and you slowly begin to get requests for you to branch out into other sports. 

But you're really only passionate about golf and don't play (or even care about) other sports. Should you write about them anyway?

No! Unless writing about one sport is hurting your business in some way, you should stick with what you're truly passionate about. 

You can't please everyone so don't stress yourself out by trying!

5. Value your readers because they are the reason you have a blogging business

This tip is about valuing your readers beyond saying "Thank You" on the blog, although that's important too. 

Stop looking at your analytics as just pageviews and bounce rates for a moment. Each pageview was created by an actual human being who took the time to read what you have to say. What an honor! 

Readers don't just support your blog by making your Google Analytics look good. They also provide insight into how your content could improve and give you feedback/personal stories that can get you thinking outside of the box. 

You created a website to help others but don't be surprised if you find yourself growing and learning as well! If you're blogging the right way, then your blogging experience will be a two-way street. 

Your blog isn't just helping change your readers' lives. The relationships you build with your readers will certainly be changing your life. 

How will YOU stand out in the blogging world? 

 

How to Make Money From Home ● Money Making Ideas for Bloggers

Want to know how to make money blogging? It's one of the most popular questions I receive from my subscribers! 

Most, if not all, bloggers use multiple ways to make money from home. It helps protect them from drastic fluctuations in earnings throughout the year.

Depending on only one stream of income (like ad revenue) isn't the "thing to do" because it leaves you vulnerable to internet or advertising trends throughout the season. 

Here's an example. 

Advertisers (like those working with Google Adsense or AdThrive) typically spend most of their budget in the final quarter of the year, just before Christmas. This means that you could receive a million pageviews on December 26 and your earnings per 1000 pageviews (RPM) will be lower than normal because advertisers aren't spending much on ads that day.

The same rule usually applies at the end of each quarter throughout the year. Advertisers are resetting their budgets and RPM will again dip for bloggers. 

This can be a frustrating experience for anyone depending solely on ad income. The best solution for this is a hot cup of tea and creating multiple revenue streams! 


Psssst...don't forget that Blogging to Win is only accepting new students for a few more weeks when this post goes live! We won't open the doors again will Summer 2017!


Here are my favorite ways to make money from home as a blogger!

*My revenue streams are listed in no particular order unless otherwise noted.

1. Products (#1 source of revenue)

Creating something with your own two hands (or in my case, my own sturdy computer) can feel very satisfying! It makes you want to shout, "Look, Mom! See what I made?!"

But it can also be very profitable if you've created the right product, have the right audience, are charging the right price, are marketing the right way, and are doing everything else right. Sound difficult?

It's not easy making money selling your own products. But the nifty trick I've learned is to scan every comment, email, and direct message I receive, looking for certain phrases or questions that can help me identify exactly what kind of product my audience needs. 

...the nifty trick I’ve learned is to scan every comment, email, and direct message I receive, looking for certain phrases or questions that can help me identify exactly what kind of product my audience needs.

I'm constantly looking for ways to improve but I knew I'd hit a sweet spot when I received my first email saying, "Can I just pay you now? I can't wait for you to open the doors and I want to have access to the course the moment you release the content!"

That email came after months of hard work, cups of coffee, and constantly researching, where I tried to determine how I could help my audience the most. 

Imagine you have to ask your readers, "If you could only take one [course, product, etc.] with you to a deserted island, which one would you take?" 

...now go out and create that product!

2. Ads

A lot of bloggers discourage the use of ads but this particular passive revenue stream and I have a love relationship that stems back to my good ole days. 

Here's what you need to know:

I recommend using them because ads can be that necessary evil to help you afford larger investments in your blogging business. 

Ads can be that necessary evil to help you afford larger investments in your blogging business. 

I didn't have extra money to invest in my blog when I started out. Honestly, my baby boy was less than a year old so all of my income was going towards diapers, doctor visits, and caffeine! 

But I knew I needed equipment and I desperately wanted better software somewhere down the road. 

Ad revenue alone paid for all of the equipment and software that I used to create my first course. That branch of my blogging business would've grown much slower without the ad income, but now it's my #1 source of revenue!

There's also some talk in the blogosphere about how ads take away from a site's credibility but I'm not sure I agree with this either.  

I personally don't think any less of a site (blog or otherwise) when they have ads. As long as the site isn't composed of more ads than content, I simply consume the information on the page and ignore the ads.

Sites like Babble.com, Forbes.com, and even Dictionary.com use ads. Judge their content as you like, but they still maintain a professional experience for users. 

3. Affiliate Sales

If you're genuinely recommending any product or service on your website, you should be including an affiliate link. Period. 

But please don't run out and start throwing affiliate links all over your site! If you can include an affiliate link in a manner that feels natural, then you're in business. 

Example: 

You write a post about your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe and include an affiliate link to your holy grail cookie sheets. You can't live without them and your readers might love them too. Include an affiliate link!

Some affiliate programs are better than others (I talk about my favs to work with right here) so don't feel like you have to just stick with one. I have personally used at least a few links from each site I mention in the linked post above. 

And you might find this post and video very helpful if you're looking for tips on getting that first sale and rocking affiliate marketing.

4. Services

Offering freelance services is a great way to make money from home if you have the time to invest in it! 

I worked as a freelance writer and Virtual Assistant before and during the early days of my blog. But once I delivered my son back in the summer of 2014, it became harder and harder for me to handle clients. 

The downside of offering services is that your income depends directly on how much time you can put into the work. The more clients you have, the more money you're making, and the more time you need to spend on your work. 

Making money passively (selling products, affiliate income, and ads) is my preferred method simply because I only have to invest a large amount of time in the project once. 

My most popular course, Blogging to Win, took months to create but the time I have to put into the content creation is essentially over. Students can purchase my course while I'm sleeping or shopping for groceries. It's much easier than working as a Virtual Assistant!

I eventually put a self-imposed limit on accepting new clients for my services because I just didn't have the time anymore. But it was a wonderful way for me to make money when I was first running my blog!

How do you want to make money from your blog?

JOIN BLOGGING TO WIN BEFORE WE CLOSE THE DOORS! http://allisonlindstrom.com/bloggingtowin ● Most, if not all, bloggers use multiple ways to make money from home. It helps protect them from drastic fluctuations in earnings throughout the year. Check out the video or blog post below to find out the where I make the MOST money as a blogger! ● HOW TO MAKE MONEY FROM HOME ● MONEY MAKING IDEAS FOR BLOGGERS

Starting a Blog ● How Much Money Does It Take?

Got your dreams set on starting a blog but worried about how much it's going to cost? There are a lot of things that you can DIY or even put off until a later date, when you're more established. Here are what I consider to be the most important costs involved to create a blog.


We're currently accepting new blogging students in my budget-friendly course, Blogging to Win! Doors close soon so be sure to join while you can!


This post contains affiliate links but girl, I only recommend things I've used or loved. Read my Disclaimer here.

It can be tempting to start throwing money left and right on different features and designs when you start a blog. Trust me, I've been there! But it's a slippery slope and the best thing you can do for yourself is to be very frugal with your blog expenses. 

I constantly look for ways to keep my expenses low even though I've been blessed to see growth in my blog income over the past year. Every penny counts!

I personally feel that the only absolutely necessary expenses in starting a blog are your domain and hosting expenses.

I've talked about why it's a bad idea to blog on a free platform (like Blogpost) but let me recap for you: if you blog on a free platform then technically that platform owns your content, not you. But you own your content and can dictate if it should be take down when you pay for your own hosting and domain. 

I personally recommend Bluehost and GoDaddy for hosting services and either one will work for buying your domain too.

I've used Bluehost since Day 1 of starting my blog, I've been very pleased with the service, and I have no intentions on leaving them. They host all of my sites (I own more than AllisonLindstrom.com) and I've never had any issues that weren't due to human error (...with me being the human...ha!)  

Pssst...if you use my Bluehost link for the first time, you'll get a free domain so that's one less expense! 

Depending on who you use for your domain and hosting, your total costs should be less than $100/year. Initially, that number may make you take a step back but that's a fabulous deal when you think of how you're potentially starting a business! 

That initial investment combined with a lot of hard work on my part has grown into a full-time online business for me. Fun Fact: I make more as a blogger (while being a SAHM!) than I made working full-time, outside of the home. That could be your future path too!

Fun Fact: I make more as a blogger (while being a SAHM!) than I made working full-time, outside of the home. That could be your future path too!

There are a lot of ways that you can save money when starting your blog! Check out the post below to find out which are my favs.

 

Want a free blog course to get you started in the basics of building a profitable blog? Join my course by entering your email below and I'll send you a bonus 29-page workbook to get you started!

Got your dreams set on starting a blog but worried about how much it's going to cost? There are a lot of things that you can DIY or even put off until a later date, when you're more established. Here are what I consider to be the most important costs involved to create a blog. ||| STARTING A BLOG | HOW MUCH MONEY DOES IT TAKE? 

Starting a Blog Today Doesn't Mean You're Too Late!

Starting a blog today doesn't mean you're too late to the party to make money online! With the right strategies, you can create a blog and eventually grow it into a profitable blogging business. Check out my favorite reasons why we absolutely need your fresh voice in our online communities!

And if you're interested in getting started, I have a 100% FREE blogging course you can join! Just enter your email below to get started and I'll send you a 29-page workbook to get started.

Occasionally within the blogging community people will say, "So-and-So is already an expert in XYZ niche so you should try to find your place elsewhere." I'm absolutely not a believer in this and here are my reasons why.

1. Consumers' preferences may change as they go through different stages in life

Readers don't always stay the same in their preferences throughout their entire lives. They are constantly growing and experiencing new phases, which is great! 

What this means for bloggers is that, while some may stay with us as long as we're writing, we may gain and lose readers throughout the years.  

What this means for bloggers is that, while some may stay with us as long as we’re writing, we gain and lose readers throughout the years.

Here's a good example of this in my own life: 

I used to listen to a podcast that had wonderful hosts and content. But it wasn't exactly G-rated as there was the occasional cuss word thrown around. I didn't pay much attention to this kind of thing before I had kids. (Sorry to admit this, Mom.) 

But after my son was born, I quickly realized I didn't want to play the podcast around his little ears. So I started looking for alternative podcasts that would have the same kind of content, just with hosts that were more kid-friendly. 

The original podcasters I loved hadn't changed and were still providing fabulous information, but I had changed. Thus, I was looking for someone new! 

2. Consumers like choices

This is probably why we have so many flavors of Doritos at the grocery store! Most of us like having a least a few options to choose from. 

I know I'll personally read at least two different points of view if I'm looking for a tutorial or a certain type of blog post. I will sometimes wonder while I'm searching, "Has anyone written a better version of this?"

3. Blogging is constantly evolving

Like the economy, medical advances, and literally any other large topic, blogging is and always will be constantly evolving. 

How boring would it be if blogging tactics and content didn't change for 10 years? What if we just continued to write the same way and provide content in the same manner again and again? Lame! 

Some of best ideas for content delivery come from newer bloggers because they don't realize it's not "normal" to blog or provide value in a certain way. They're just naturally thinking outside the box. 

4. New bloggers create a healthy, competitive environment

This could be my business background talking but I find competition to be healthy for everyone involved in the blogging community!

It forces current bloggers like myself to think outside the box and work hard to provide high quality content. If there's no competition, there's no pressure to write the best blog posts possible. 

Competition also helps readers as they receive the benefits of our progressive thinking and constant efforts to grow as bloggers. 

As a reader, what do you love about seeing new bloggers start their own sites? 

Starting a blog today doesn't mean you're too late to the party to make money online! With the right strategies, you can create a blog and eventually grow it into a profitable blogging business. Check out my favorite reasons why we absolutely need your fresh voice in our online communities!