We have all heard the stories, "Mum makes millions blogging part time!" In most cases this simply isn’t true; in fact, it’s a super scam. You cannot simply write a blog, even an amazing one, and expect the money to start piling up behind your desk chair. Most money made blogging is garnered through subtly advertising a product or service that closely aligns with your content. Unfortunately most things we are passionate about writing have nothing to do with a tangible object that can be bought and sold, i.e. a love of sports. But don’t let this discourage you, the key to making money blogging about a passion is to turn social value into monetary value. Here’s how...
Take Time to Prep
Though you may have a ton of valuable material and even a kitschy writing style, you still need to prepare your blog for doing business. Getting down to brass tacks means finding your niche. In order to get noticed and be competitive you need to do some research. What are other successful sports bloggers writing about? What is their style? What stories are they focusing on? Once you have an idea what everyone else is doing - do something else. Being different yet engaging will keep your readers coming back to hear what you have to say because they enjoy your unique take on common subjects discussed in sports.
Though Adsense brings in some serious bucks for certain bloggers, unfortunately sports blogs simply do not align very well with this pay per click platform. Even though Adsense can be a powerful tool, it can also sometimes hinder blog growth. Most first time blog visitors are quickly scanning your blog to determine if it’s worth a read, if they are bombarded with Adsense ads they sometimes get frustrated and remember to steer clear.
Trust keeps your readers coming back for more. Before attempting to raid the cupboards for cash, make sure your content is top notch, honest, and noteworthy. Base your points on facts, whether they align with your opinions or not. Readers will respect your honesty and thus give you a chance to explain your opinions.
Become an Affiliate
Becoming an affiliate means establishing a formal relationship with local teams, venues, and online betting sites. There is big money to be made in offering links to ticket purchases and betting venues, but make sure these links are carefully embedded and closely aligned with your content. If you wish to go the advertising route, put these links in sidebars so they do not distract or interrupt your readers.
Give Them Cake
Providing readers with awesome deals or discounts is a great way to generate income and increase reader traffic. Make sure the deals are legit before offering the links to readers. These could be discount tickets, sports memorabilia, or official team goods such as hats or t-shirts. Before posting links, make sure to enter an official agreement with the discount provider for commissions for the sales you generate. When offering weekly or monthly deals, allow readers to opt-in for emails that include information on discount deals or special offers.
Pick the Host with the Most
Your blog must give off a completely professional feel. This will not only attract visitors but it will help you establish legitimacy at first glance. Many hosts offer a variety of themes and can be custom tailored for your specific needs. Hosts like DreamHost offer low monthly hosting rates and allow users a custom domain name. Research your host well before making a final decision and try not to get locked into a long term contract.
Making money blogging may not be easy, but it is extremely rewarding. Any good blogger will tell you to write about what you know and what you are passionate about. If the idea of having your own sports blog sounds like a dream come true, chase it. You can make a steady income writing your sports blog if you remember to be unique, find your voice, and be creative yet modest with advertising.
Image via Women Vote PA