by Guest Author
I really love the concept of “blogging away debt” (which is the obvious appeal of this site) because after I got out of High School, I went to community college, but it couldn’t keep my attention. As you’d expect, that quickly amounted to me taking on student loan debt so, naturally, I went out looking for jobs. I settled into a good position for a small company doing their website stuff which lead me to begin learning about the whole blogging thing. Before long I found myself spending my free time in the afternoon constantly blogging, commenting, connecting, and finding ways to earn a few bucks. I have a long way to go before all of my debt is eliminated, but ever since I started my blogs, I have been able to scale it from nothing to a couple hundred extra bucks each month (which can do some very amazing things to knocking down debt, believe me). Here’s how I’m doing it…
Keeping a solid mindset
The thing that I needed most when I set out to use my blog to cut away at my debt was inspiration and motivation. I needed these two because I had already been busting my butt at work all day, and now I had to come back and put in another 4 – 6 hours into the blog. What I started to do was look for a mentor. There were a few different people in business that really caught my attention. One of them was Patrick Byrne; who’s the CEO of Overstock.com. It wasn’t just about having that high position, but the lifestyle that came about with the success. So what I did was make a mental image. The person who I wanted to be. By doing so, I was able to sit down and write out clear goals. Once I had those goals, I was able to break it all down into manageable tasks for the day-to-day activities.
I found that having these clear goals and activities made it far simpler to do my work, and keep my eye on the debt reduction prize. Before long those extra hours I was putting in doing blogging after work didn’t feel like a drudge. It became exhilarating because it was forming a new lifestyle.
Promoting products I love
I started my blog(s) focused around the hobbies I enjoy (like music, crafts, etc), and so the first few months was me writing as much as I could doing tutorials, reviews, and the like. Later down the line I began looking to affiliate marketing which sounds off-putting because of the whole “marketing” aspect of it, but it really made sense if I wanted to earn a bit from my blogs. The post that really got me excited was labeled “11 Lessons I Learned Earning $119,725.45 from Amazon Associates Program“. It taught me how to get into the affiliate program done by Amazon which was a no brainer because I was already talking about products on my sites…but I was never linking them as an affiliate (where you get to earn a commission).
Basically it’s this
1. Find a product you’re promoting (in this case it was an item I was using with my hobby)
2. Talk about it on your blog
3. Link to it with your affiliate URL
But that wasn’t the end. Sites like Etsy, Ebay, and other major retail websites have these affiliate programs. So when I was doing my reviews I’d plunk in a link and viola! I began earning some money from what I had already been doing.
Working off what works
Once you start to learn all the various skills that goes into blogging you will be astounded to find how many of them can be nice little money makers of their own. For example:
• You could setup websites for people or businesses
• You could create graphics or edit video for clients
• You could publish a book or develop a piece of software
Creating content isn’t the only form of income generation with blogging. If you take the time to browse around freelance marketplaces (here’s a good list to start with) you can figure out what other people are doing, and then use your skills (and blog – like a resume) to get your foot in the door. What I did was help friends, family, and aquaintences setup websites for their businesses (or just as a personal site). Since they signed up for the domain and hosting under my name I earned a commission. It’s win/win/win since they get a site, I got to help them, and I earned a bit of extra money with my skills.
That’s my story…what’s yours?