I'll be honest. The selling point of the whole course for me was the fact that the title said "make money". Really. Module 3 of the program is "Make money from Blogging and Social Media as a Service Provider". Another admission is that I had no idea what I was getting myself into, meaning I totally didn't understand what the second half of the course title meant; just that you could make money. Needless to say, I was well educated about the course's purpose and requirements in the first meeting alone so all I could do was dumbly stare at my computer screen after the first lesson with not enough time to process what I signed up for.
I've always been a fan of Digital Filipino's advocacy of spreading and legitimizing E-Commerce in the Philippines, and giving Filipinos a chance to earn and be acknowledged as professionals in the virtual marketing space. And now that the odds were for me, I jumped at the opportunity to finally enroll in one of their classes.
Despite my previous admission, I really did enjoy the course; the thrill of it, not expecting the project to be as challenging as it had been, and the fact that I was able to pull it off with a happy client was a huge plus.
There will be a separate post on my project's case study and how I went about it. This blogpost, instead, will be the summary of the tips and services I've learned while taking the course, their benefits, and a few personal notes. Again, if you want the full thing and even more details, I highly recommend you to enroll as you'll be getting more that way if you do.
HOW A BLOGGER REALLY EARNS
I automatically added that up on top of the list as I personally have experience the power of AdSense. Google AdSense basically serves ads related to your niche, using the keywords and links in your blog to determine the right kind of advertisements that would benefit you and the advertisers. You earn a few cents (currency is in dollars) every time a reader clicks on the ads. The more traffic you get, the more likely it is that a reader will click on the ad.
Let's say you are a fashion blogger and have an ad space on the right column of your blog. Brand X wants to advertise their spring collection on your blog so they pay you, depending on your rate and site traffic, an amount every month to keep their banner on the ad space on your blog.
Despite being more difficult, it's these ads that earn you a solid stream of cash as the advertisers themselves make a deal with you and no longer need any third-party to take their share of the profit. Direct Ads basically refer to ads advertisers pay you directly for.
Bloggers are brand promoters. Whether thy're a brand's "brand ambassador" or not, if they love a product, they will blog about it, they will tell all their friends and family about it, and, most importantly, they will tell their following about it. The same rules apply if a blogger hates a brand (so don't get into their bad side!). Some brands like going the extra mile and pay bloggers, either with cash or irresistible deals, to avail of their service/product and to blog about them given a few details.
This method doesn't necessarily sustain as you, being a quality blogger, will have to choose which brands you are willing to work with as it is your name on the line if you just take jobs willy-nilly. On top of that, you sill have to keep your blog in trend and updated with unpaid content to keep the sense of trust your following has on you and to keep your credibility (nobody wants to read a bunch of ads).
Or commissions, if you want to go down to it. You basically put a brand's product on sale on your site and if your readers clicks on that link and purchase the product, the blog's owner gets a share of the profit. Other variations of that mechanic exists for many other affiliate programs but that's basically the gist of it.
Obviously. (you sell something you have in your inventory though your blog)
Consultation and Blogging Projects
This one definitely takes time. It requires you to have a reputation, a sense of credibility to your name, for clients to call for your expertise on helping them run their projects. You can begin as a Virtual Assistant, learning the ropes by standing as the brand by commenting on other related blogs that might leverage the product being promoted, by posting in relevant forums, and creating and managing their social media accounts.
A few helpful guidelines in creating a blog is to take note of its blog name and domain name, description, target audience, and definite keywords for all these factors will lead to the eventual boost of the brand through search engine algorithms.
I personally hadn't thought of any of this when I first started blogging, leaning heavily on the "personal blog" route. Although this one still is, I've realized that my personal musing relate a lot to either of these three topics: art, business, and technology; so I leveraged that and tailored my blog to show that kind of content and not once did I think to "start over" as I hated the fact that I'd lose the following I already built if I did.
Creating Blog Campaigns for Awareness and Engagement
This one probably needs just as much work as the last one PLUS having your very own extensive blog network. Or at least having a friend that does. Contacting this network of influencers gives you more value as its coordinator and brands will recognize that. They will ask you to have their product tested, reviewed, or even give away prizes for the bloggers in your network. In exchange, these bloggers are expected to write about them and spread awareness about them in their networks; your job is to make sure they deliver.
MEASURES OF SUCCESS FOR A BLOGGER
If you're aiming to be a professional blogger, or at least an established one with a network, it helps to have a tangible, or in this case: numeric, goal to base your success on. Here are some metrics I personally found important as I handled campaigns on, before, and during the course.
Or Page Views, tell you how many pages a reader visits and how long they stay until they lose interest in your blog. The shorter the session might mean that your landing page is off-putting, or that the content you have simply isn't connecting with the reader, or some other reason.
Obviously if your subscriber number is high, it only proves that the content you are posting is of value to your target market and that they are interested enough to see what content you generate in the future.
It can mean the frequency your readers comment, share, or like your posts. How many of them ask relevant questions on your topic and how fast and sincere you are in responding to them. A blog with a healthy number of engagement
More specifically Referral Links, are links from different websites that redirect back to your blog/site. The more referrals you get not only increases your audience and credibility but also tells you which type of content would prove most beneficial to your audience and what type of people you are reaching.
There are many more points in the course proper and they'll be discussed in detail either by the provided reference material or by simply talking to the instructor about it. The best part for me is that not only do you get to explore these points theoretically but are eventually able to apply them during your final project. You'll be made to interact with bloggers and other social media entrepreneurs, and brands that want to work with you.
It's a good opportunity to hone your skill, with curated content designed to help you improve, learning to become a CBSME won't be too hard. In closing, a blogger earns money according to their diligence and persistence to broaden their network and reach. The larger their network and influence, the more opportunity to earn will be brought to them. Engage with readers and serve updated, quality, and curated content. That is how a real blogger earns.