One reason most bloggers fail is they focus on monetization as soon as they start blogging, instead of concentrating on delivering value.
Yes, the primary goal of blogging is to make money, however, in the beginning—and if you want to succeed—you need to create a resource that people can actively link to. The Backlinko blog by Brian Dean, for example, started by creating massive guides using what he calls “The Skyscraper Technique,” something that many beginning and experienced SEOs take a lot of value in.
As a result, many professionals in the industry started linking to him as a valuable resource. This resulted in an upsurge of referral traffic and more ranking power in search engines. It is at this point that initial efforts can start paying off and you can monetize your website however you wish, which is why you should focus on creating a valuable resource at the beginning of your blogging journey.
The best way of doing this is to create awesome, linkable assets for your niche. While it’s great to have hundreds of articles on your site, it is not necessarily the precursor for driving substantial traffic to your site through viral marketing.
Having these kinds of resources will make it easier to reach out to others for links and for them to automatically see you as an expert and link to your resource. Most bloggers will happily link to you when they know it will add value to their audience.
If you’re not sure of exactly what linkable assets are, good examples include infographics, original research, interactive charts/graphs, useful tools/calculators, and the time-tested long-form content.
Such assets aren’t difficult to create, however, you may have to develop an understanding of your niche and audience first—which is actually something you should be doing anyway if you’re serious about your business. You are more likely to succeed as a beginner when you stick to a tight niche; people will trust you more than somebody jumping from one niche to another. Moreover, blogging consistently on a topic will automatically improve your knowledge of it inside out, as well as understanding your audience’s psychology—their problems, concerns, and what they really want to consume.
Once your blog starts to grow with traffic, it’s time to turn to a monetization strategy.
The best monetization strategy, period, is to create your own product. Since you know your audience and subject matter so intimately, it’s easier to create your own products for that extra income, in addition to affiliate and advertising revenue. Also, you reduce the risks of losing substantial revenue if an ad network shuts down.
For a detailed and more comprehensive guide on how you should approach blogging as a beginner, the infographic below is a handy reference point, full of beginner-friendly strategies that you can implement right now!