As the days of summer wind down, many around the world are packing up cars, vans and SUV’s to head back to campus. Most 18 to 24-year-olds will begin the fall as poor college students and head home next spring as even poorer college students.
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That, fortunately, does not have to be the case. Aside from the usual part-time jobs and monthly stipends from Mom and Dad, there are other ways for college students to make extra cash to get through the school year.
One of those ways is blogging. Blogging presents college students with a unique opportunity to not only make some extra money, but to practice writing, research and develop ideas in a real-world setting.
Why College Students Should Blog
As a college student myself, I know that blogging is an outlet. It can be an escape from college life with real benefits.
Presented here are five reasons why college students should blog:
- It’s Fun
Blogging is awesome. It is by far the easiest way for people – especially students – to express their opinions, have them contested and respond in an orderly manner.
You can write about what you love or what you hate or both. There are no limits to what you can and can’t blog about. No matter what, you will always love what you’re writing about because you get to decide.
Blogging will also provide real-life feedback from those around the world. Your opinions – if interesting enough – will spark debate and encourage discussion. It is way more interesting than a cognitive psych class, trust me.
- It doesn’t take much time
College students are busy. We have lectures, discussions, activities, clubs and of course, parties, to attend. Blogging won’t slow down your life in the way that 12-page paper on the effects of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity in the 20th century will.
You can blog for five minutes a day or five hours a day. You can link your Twitter account to your blog and even blog from your cell phone.
If you blog on something you follow regularly or something you’re studying, that makes it even easier.
- It’s easy
Blogging doesn’t take much work – relative to the 150 pages of reading and the 8 short answer questions assigned for homework in 13th Century Literature.
Getting started is simple enough and most blogging platforms require little to know technical knowledge.
I tell people this – if you can e-mail and use Facebook, more than likely you can run a simple blog. Don’t be scared away by HyperText Markup Language or SQL queries or File Transfer Protocol. None of that is absolutely necessary. You can get a free blog at wordpress.com or blogger.com and you won’t have to know anything more than point and click.
- It’s cheap
Blogging is very affordable. Most of the time, it can be free. If you want to make money, you might have to invest a little bit, but the costs are only marginal. There are free platforms, free blog designs and free add-ons. There are free help forums and free communities.
The phrase it takes money to make money generally applies to blogging, but it takes pennies compared to what you can make blogging. A domain and hosting can be bought for less than the cost of the pizza and french fries you shouldn’t have had for lunch cost.
- You can make money
Perhaps the most important part and perhaps why you’re still reading is the fact that blogging is an income opportunity. Considering the four points mentioned previously, it’s a fairly small investment for what you can get in return.
Chances are you won’t make millions, or even thousands of dollars blogging. In all likelihood, only those with real resolve and desire will make hundreds in a month or semester’s time. But it’s possible.
If you start your own blog, you’re going to have to work a lot harder – but you can still make good money. Through advertising programs and commission sales, you can put enough loose chain in your pocket to pay for gas to and from home each month.
If you choose to look for a blogging job you’re going to have more competition, but you might reap more benefits. Some blogs pay hundreds of dollars for solid, 1,000 to 1,500 word posts on any number of subjects. Some pay $10 or $20. You just have to find what’s right for you.
You can do it. If you want to have fun, learn more and make some extra cash – blogging could be the thing for you.
It’s a relatively small investment compared to what you can get in return. The least you can do for yourself is give it a shot.
What Is the Most Powerful Key for Turning a Blog into a Business?
Get comfortable with receiving money.
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It IS that simple.
But I cannot lie; getting comfortable with receiving money is uncomfortable for most of us. I, like many bloggers, grew up with many money limiting beliefs in mind. I vibed from scarcity. I did not vibe from abundance. I saw folks in my life work hard at jobs to receive a minimum amount of money. I made many weird correlations between money and service. I figured you just worked hard, made enough money to survive and decided my life would progress along these lines.
Eventually, I woke up, owned these limiting beliefs and freed myself of these mind viruses to build my blog into a business.
Forget Practical Advice
Bloggers may advise you on practical tips for turning a blog into a business like:
- build an email list
- begin affiliate marketing
- open consulting services
- build passive income through courses and eBooks
None of these practical tips help you turn your blog into a business if you are allergic to money, or if you cling to many limiting beliefs and fears concerning money. Why? You follow advice to lose money if you fear losing money and ignore advice to make money if you fear losing money.
Get comfortable receiving money. This is the best advice for turning your blog into a full time business.
Getting comfortable receiving money moves you into abundant, prospering actions. You become more generous. You become more prolific. You begin opening income streams without attaching to any one stream. You also build your friend network generously, promoting other bloggers and expecting nothing.
All prior steps lead to increased blogging income. All prior steps came about because you became comfortable receiving money.
I speak to many bloggers who fear monetizing their blogs. Said bloggers fear readers used to free, selling-free content will head for the hills or complain the moment income streams enter the fray. You cannot turn a blog into a business unless you open blogging income streams.
Get comfortable with:
- receiving money
- releasing fear-filled bloggers who whine about you receiving money
Only broke, poverty conscious, unhappy, unclear or jealous bloggers have a problem with you turning your blog into a business. Have you ever complained about someone who works a job to receive money? Of course not; no sane person complains about another human who works a job to make money. We all have that right. Why then would a sane person complain about you receiving money for service rendered on your blog? Let go these unhappy, unclear, folks. Get comfortable receiving money. Build a business through your blog.
It Is Just Money
It is only money.
Money is just a neutral means of exchange. Add no emotional charge to a neutral means of exchange; no big deal.
I promote my premium offerings through virtually every piece of content I create. I am comfortable with receiving money. I am comfortable building a business through my blog. If I can help people and receive money – in a world where money is the prime means of exchange – I help people and receive money. I am comfortable with it.
Do not be shy. Be clear.
Avoid doing the affiliate walk of shame, begging and pleading for enough money to buy a stick of gum each time you disclose your affiliate offering.
Be clear. Share how you make money through the sale of something on your blog.
Check out my blog disclosure statement. Does that make your head explode? I basically say I make money through all images and links on my blog. I cover myself and feel comfortable with receiving money.
Build your blog into a business.
eCommerce: 3 Simple Ways to Increase Traffic, Sales and Revenue
For most people blogging is used as a fun and easy way to share their lifestyle or write about their passion. But for some this hobby had become their profession.
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Nowadays there are many options to make money with a blog – for example by getting paid for advertising products. Another way is to add your own eCommerce to the blog and sell the products that you are passionate about in your own web store. Creating an online shop can be the first step into your life as a digital nomad or simply being your own boss.
A few years ago, it was necessary to work with a professional developer to integrate an online store to your website. Especially for small manufacturers, this meant a huge investment before they could even start selling their products. Nowadays setting up a web store has become a lot easier and cheaper: Platforms like Shopify can easily be integrated in existing domains and therefore help makers and crafters to start their own eCommerce without professional help. Once you have set up your own Shopify store it is all about increasing the traffic. A bigger reach will eventually lead to a higher number of sales and more revenue.
So, let’s have a look at three simple steps to do so:
1 – Turn your small business into a smart business…
…by adding automation and product management to your website. When launching your business, it might be fine to keep track of the orders in an Excel spreadsheet at first. But since you expect your business to grow it will become one of the most important things to have a management platform in place that allows you to process orders and handle inventory professionally. Therefore, it can be handy to add a production planning and scheduling software as integration to your existing web store. An easy-to-use solution for Shopify-users is the Shopify inventory integration that adds products to your website, manages inventory or tracks shipments.
2 – Make your products sound and look good…
…by adding high-quality images and longer product descriptions to your page. Not only will this make your eCommerce look more professional, but it is also a great way to increase your traffic by reaching a higher rank in the search results. If you are not able to create these yourself, you can outsource writing or graphic design work to freelancers on sites like Fiverr or Upwork.
3 – Don’t stop blogging…
…or get it started if you haven’t done so yet. While it is exciting to start your own business it also takes a lot of time and energy to set everything up. Anyhow, this should not lead to giving up on your blog. Why? Because a growing eCommerce site and an active blog go hand in hand. And remember: The content of your blog should be interesting to your targeted audience and contain at least one thousand words in order to effectively rank in the search results. Here are some examples of the top eCommerce blogs for inspiration.
…and that is it!
You are now almost ready to start your own eCommerce! In addition to following these three steps, it is always good to keep an eye on your ecommerce competitors. Do not steal their idea but have a look at what is working for them and aim to go beyond that. As long as you focus on your product, the content of your site and a growing search ranking you will successfully manage to increase your traffic, the sales and the revenue of your business.
Should You Answer that Blogging Question Again?
“Ryan, how do I increase blog traffic?”
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“Ryan, how do I make money blogging?”
If I had a dime for every blogger who asked me each question I’d have quite a few dimes. Toss in all the times I observe bloggers asking each question via Quora and various Facebook Groups and you have as many dimes as grains of sand in the Sahara Desert.
I know what you are thinking; should you answer the same question for the 2nd time, 10th time or 100th time? Confusing. One part of you wishes to be generous. Another part of you fears missing an opportunity to help someone who can be a potential client or customer. Another part of you feels annoyed at being asked the question again. Another part of you feels annoyed at embracing and releasing the guilt of ignoring the question.
Should you answer these common blogging questions again and again?
Of course not.
Answering the same, common question more than 1 or 2 times is:
- an inefficient use of your time
- amateur hour stuff
Here’s what I do to:
- answer questions quickly and easily
- open myself up to more potential blogging business through possible clients and customers
- be calm, cool, collected and at peace despite being asked the same question many times
Are you ready?
Write a blog post!
Or write and self-publish an eBook.
If someone asks me how to drive more traffic to my blog I send them this link:
Or I send ’em a link from any one of my myriad blog traffic driving posts on Blogging From Paradise.
If someone asks about specific income streams for making money through their blogs I send them a link to my eBook:
Or if someone asks how to make money through guest posting I send them this link from my guest post on the blog of the awesome Enstine Muki:
What an easy, simple, efficient, effective way to:
- answer a common question many times
- answer a common question in 1-2 seconds
- drive traffic to my blog
- increase my blogging profits
- help people, and be helped by people through their prospering of me
- avoid anger
- avoid annoyance
- avoid judging people who have no idea how to blog
Fools complain about new bloggers asking the same, old questions. Why does a new blogger ask a question? They have no idea how to blog! Duh. Why anger at their ignorance? Why get annoyed that you need to answer the question again? Write a blog post answering the question. Send the blog post to anybody who asks the question. Seize opportunities to help people and to drive traffic and profits to your blog.
Do you own Gmail? I do not. Since I do not own Gmail it’d be foolish for me to answer questions via Gmail when I can be answering the same question on my self-hosted blog. I own Blogging From Paradise. I own that online real estate. Answer questions on your owned cyber real estate. Brand you. Grow your business. Increase your traffic. Keep the ball in your court. Have posture.
If I spend 10 minutes answering a question for 1 human I am a fool when I could spend 45 minutes answering the question for 100, or 10,000 or 1,000,000 humans, by writing a helpful blog post answering the question and sending the blog post link to all future folks who ask the question. Plus; when the post goes live, I answer common questions passively, said common questions no doubt in the minds of thousands of bloggers out there.
Leverage. Write a blog post. Do not help one person. Help 10,000 people. Save your time and energy. Make more money.
Matthew Loomis at Build Your Own Blog is a smart guy. Peep his home page. He lays out clear, concise steps for building your blog via his sidebar. You just know how many people asked him the common, pressing, basic blogging questions that he skillfully answered through those clear steps.
He leveraged his knowledge. He answered common questions BEFORE people asked him common blogging questions. Smart! Help a ton of folks quickly and easily. Drive blog traffic. Increase blogging profits. Lower your bounce rate. Improve the amount of time people spend on your blog.
Write a blog post. Send the blog post link to anybody who asks the common blogging question.
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