Making a Living As a Blogger

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Photo by Vladislav Reshetnyak on Pexels.com

Right off, it would be difficult to make a living just by blogging, although I’m sure a few people are doing it.

Some people who blog casually get seduced by their statistics. I know several friends who have websites and blogs and are rather obsessed with their web stats and analytics. They are always checking to see how many hits the site gets or what pages or posts are most popular or what search terms are being used to find them. Social media has encouraged this with Likes and Retweets and Reposts. Our smartphones love to send us notifications that someone has engaged with some piece of our content.

I do check my websites’ analytics occasionally. I have ten sites and blogs that I do, so it can’t be a very regular thing. I do like to look every few months to see what has been happening, but I also have clients that I do websites for and they are always interested in their stats.

I blog almost every day but it’s not my “job” – though it’s nice if someone clicks on an Amazon link that I use and buys a book or something and a few pennies drop into my account.

I got this alert about one of my blogs last December:

Your page is trending up
Your page clicks increased by more than 1,000% over the usual daily average of less than 1 click.

Possible explanations for this trend could be:

  • Modifications you did to your page’s content.
  • Increased interest in a trending topic covered by the page.

Of course, I was happy that people found this post from back in 2010 and are still reading it and hopefully enjoying it. Google’s “possible explanations” for this are both correct, as I did update the page that month and the topic of the solstice was probably trending across the web as we slipped into winter.

This post was inspired by my browsing Amazon to find a book for a friend who wanted to try to start a blog that would make money. I certainly don’t have a secret formula for that, but I did find a bunch of people who have written about blogging as a job. The idea of having “passive income” is very appealing – and probably quite difficult to do in any meaningful way. Still, give it a try. If you find the secret formula, let me know – then write the book.

 

Are You Social Listening?

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Social listening (or social media monitoring) is paying attention to  your brand’s social media channels for:
– customer feedback
– direct mentions of your brand
– discussions regarding specific keywords, topics
– those same things in your competitors and industry

Of course, monitoring alone isn’t of much value if it is not followed by an analysis to gain insights that you can act on.

Some people refer to this as “conversational research” because it is kind of like listening in on other people’s conversations about you – which in real life is hard to resist.

Though a starting place can be a simple “vanity search” on your name or the name of your company, most professionals will use social listening tools to monitor all four items noted above.

Tools can filter the data in more granular grouping conversations by fields such as geographical locations, online channels (Twitter, Facebook, blogs, forums, etc.), positivity, recency, language, and by specific groups based on sex, age and many other demographics.

Not doing social listening is the equivalent of not listening to your friends and co-workers’ comments about you. “I don’t want to know what they think of me,” is not really a good attitude.

Marketing is certainly a part of any organization and specialized software is needed to complete complex searches and scan the 80+ million online sources for mentions t