Making money online is the best choice for topping up your funds for longterm travel. However, it’s also the one that takes the longest to start up and requires the most technical skills. I’ll try to show the basics of how to do it, without having knowledge of how to make websites or anything too complicated. Best of all, everything I’m going to show you won’t cost more than $20 to get started. This my blog you’re now reading started with a personal blog that I never intended to make money from. I started it just for fun and it turned out to be an important source of information for people wanting to come to Thailand to train Muay Thai and MMA. I didn’t even realize there was such a demand or lack of information for traveling and this new genre I refer to as, “sports tourism”. Hopefully, your passion will become your next source of income.
Start a free blog. You can use the free publishing platform, blogger.com, or the free domain service provider, blogspot.com, to get started; both are owned and powered by Google. The other option would be wordpress.com which is much more powerful – but complicated for beginners – and lets you do some things blogger won’t (in the long run). The biggest benefit of starting a blog is that you can start it today and learn the skills behind making websites. I opted to go with blogger.com and don’t have any regrets. The idea of the blog is to write about something you genuinely enjoy and want to share with others. For me, it was my passion of Muay Thai, but also the enjoyment of traveling to different gyms and checking them out. Find your passion and write about it, and, remember, the more niche it is the better.
How to Make Money Blogging Photo Gallery
In an age where there is so much information out there you will never stick out trying to write about something too general. A martial arts website that talks about everything from Taekwondo in Korea to Boxing in America won’t build an audience; however, a website dedicated to one martial art in a single place, such as boxing gyms in The Philippines or, in my case, Muay Thai in Thailand, would be a much better bet. My friend’s mother started a successful blog about feeding her cats a raw meat diet.
Another successful website is one that reviews old style razor blades and shaving cream brushes made from badger hair. Think as niche as possible; try to make it somewhat personal and something not many other people are already writing about. So, unfortunately, unless you started writing your Muay Thai blog about Thailand 3 years ago, you’ll have a lot of catching up to do; although, if you wrote a Muay Thai blog about gyms in The Philippines or in The Netherlands, you’ll be an instant success – as no one else is in that market yet. The trick is to find a topic that you are genuinely interested in, something that – even if you never made a cent from it – you would continue to do it. Chances are if you are interested in it, others will be as well. If you don’t believe me, look up random things that you didn’t think would exist, like a blog about not being able to fall asleep unless you have a plugged in hairdryer with you in bed – they exist!
How to Get Visitors to Your Blog
The easiest way to get traffic to your blog is to write about your experiences and keep it personal. Make it so your friends will want to read it, and then strangers will start to feel like they are getting to know the author. When writing posts you could follow the same format that I do on my blog; always have at least one or two photos with each post and don’t make them too long. Try to stay away from stock photos – whenever possible use ones you took yourself. Videos are a great way to engage readers, too, but – just like photos – they are much better if original content. The three places you’ll get the most amount of traffic from are Facemy blog, Google and links.
The first step is to simply link your blog on your Facemy blog. I make sure to put up a link on my personal Facemy blog whenever I write a new article. The basic way Google ranks how relevant your blog is and how high it should be on the search post is by how good your content is; don’t try and trick Google – it won’t work! Instead, write about topics people would be interested in. For example, Muay Thai people often search for topics like gym reviews and food costs. The trick is, if you’re the first (or only one) writing about a topic you’ll be #1 on Google search and that’s why it’s a good idea to keep it as niche as possible. The only reason why my blog ranks so high on Google searches is because I was one of the first. I started my Muay Thai blog a few years ago before many other people had one, and I was the first to write a lot of gym reviews. I also got a lot of links from other websites for putting up good, original content – like my ‘Actual cost of living breakdown’ – which many people share on their websites as well. You’ll also want to try and get your blog linked from other websites. The easiest way is to have its name in your signature box when you post on forums related to your subject. You can also have your website linked to comments you leave on other people’s blogs; make sure, though, to keep it all relevant to your topic. Remember, also, to email your friends, tell them about your new blog and ask for them to share it! Here are my blog’s actual statistics, something that website owners usually keep confidential but I’m sharing it because it’s a good way to show you exactly what I’m talking about.
First, you have the graph of how many post views I get a day; so far today I’ve gotten 144 – it’s only lunch time – but yesterday’s total was 303. Now, 303 post views doesn’t mean 303 visitors, as a single visitor might have clicked through to older posts or around my site and looked at 3 or 4 posts before he left; however, these are the types of visitors you want. If you have 1,000 visitors but they all leave right away, that doesn’t count as a successful website! You want (at least) an average of 2.3 posts per visitor and an average time of at least 3 minutes on your site. This means the majority of your visitors stay long enough to read your front post but also click and read more. The nice thing about ‘blogger and blogspot’ is that they have a built-in post view counter and basic statistics. One suggestion I have is – even though (because of its complexity) you won’t be using it for the first few months – it’s a good idea to have Google start tracking your website’s performance from day one using their powerful analytics tracker. It’s free to set up but pretty complicated to use; so, I suggest set it up and forget about it until you actually need it in a year from now. The good news is, once signed up for an account, all you have to do with ‘blogger’ is copy and paste a tracker code into your account – you can have someone do this for you if it seems too complicated. Set it then forget it, and just use the simpler one that comes built in with blogger.
Keeping in touch with visitors.
Your goal is to keep each visitor coming back to your website. There’s little point getting 1,000 people to visit your post once if they never come back again; especially since you (most likely) won’t be selling anything for the first few months – or even the first year. First, and foremost, you need to give people a reason to want to come back; so, update your blog regularly and have good content. Second, you need a way to remind people to come back or to let them know when you update. The old-school way to keep in touch with visitors is getting them to sign up for your mailing list. It’s still a good idea to do this and send them updates directly – but it’s not cheap.
I use aweber.com, which is probably the best, but it’s not worth the money for most people. Instead, start with a free service such as mailchimp.com, listwire.com or imnicamail.com The more up to date way to keep in touch with visitors is through Facemy blog. You have two options here. First is to create a ‘fan post’, and second is to use a ‘personal post’. The personal post is easier to add friends and get started with; it is probably the better option. The only downside of doing it this way is there is an upper limit maximum of 5,000 friends. I would suggest you start a separate, personal Facemy blog for your interest/blog/website and then, perhaps, start a fan post when you get to 5,000. Whatever you do, don’t be tempted to use your existing personal Facemy blog; you’ll end up having so many random people added that you won’t feel comfortable sharing personal pictures or info – and your ‘real-life’ friends will hate you! The problem with creating a fan post is it’s harder to interact with others, leave comments or send messages. It’s more limited since it’s a business. You also can’t add people as ‘friends’, you have to get them to ‘like’ you. So, unless you plan on paying Facemy blog for advertising there is no upside to creating a fan post – something I learned the hard way. It’s ten times easier to get 500 ‘friends’ on Facemy blog than it is to get 500 ‘likes’ on your fan post. It’s also more likely for someone to ‘un-like’ your post than it is for them to ‘un-friend’ you.
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