Richard Lowe Jr got a $15,000 ghost writing project one month after he started his blog. He says this was a direct result of his blog. There are various ways to make money blogging. Some of us do it through digital products and affiliate programs; there are others who sell services on their blogs.
Here is Richard Lowe Jr’s blogging story.
Tell us about your blogging journey
I began blogging back in the year 2000.
I had my web sites (which no longer exist) where I hand-coded over 5,000 HTML pages.
I had a weekly column on Suite 101 back in the year 2000, and even got one of those articles published in “Real People, Real Stories,” which was a book they published.
I started blogging because my wife was very ill (COPD and lung disease) and I had to stay home a lot to watch over her and be her care giver. I needed something I could do from home, so I started working on my blogs.
After I retired from Trader Joe’s, I re-started my blog to focus on writing, which is my chosen career after being in IT at TJ.
My blog, https://www.thewritingking.com focuses on writing subjects, including my books.
Funny thing, it doesn’t get a whole lot of traffic, but what it does get is highly qualified leads for freelance writing that convert into paying projects on a weekly basis.
If you had to start all over again, what would you do differently?
I’d focus my blog more tightly.
When I started writing my blog in 2013, I wrote about everything including the kitchen sink.
That doesn’t work well for attracting search engines.
Lately, I’ve been working to reorganize the blog to be more tightly focused on writing subjects, and have been moving topics to other specialized blogs or deleting them entirely.
That’s been working well to attract traffic, get my articles shared and get customers to send me business. But it’s much more difficult doing this on a live blog than it would have been to design it that way in the first place.
What was your biggest challenge when you started?
One of the greatest challenges was learning the new rules for SEO.
When I started in the 2000s, SEO was very simple: just pile on the keywords. That’s all changed, and now the focus is on quality of content.
I’ve always written quality content, but Google has raised the bar so the content must be super-high quality to rank well. Of course, that all worked out for the best because the high-quality content converts to paying customers better than low-quality content.
The other challenge was learning the differences between WordPress and hand-coded HTML.
WordPress is much more wasteful of bandwidth and space. On my own hand-coded sites, I made sure everything was as light as possible.
How do you monetize your blog?
My customers monetize my blog by purchasing my writing services. I sell ghostwriting, copywriting, blogging and writing services for authors, as well as LinkedIn profile optimization.
Most of my queries from my blog revolved around blogging and ghostwriting.
One ghostwriting project will cost a minimum of $10,000 (and can be more), so I don’t need many of those to make a living.
I tend to get a half a dozen queries on ghostwriting a month, with one paying customer every two months.
With blogging, I’d get a contract for $1,000 or so every week, and the same with LinkedIn profiles. So it works out to be about 1/3 for each one, with a few smaller projects of other types such as proofreading.
How long did it take for you to make your first $1000 a month?
One month after my blog went live I received my first $15,000 ghostwriting project as a direct result.
What are your favorite blogging tools?
I love TinyMCE, and Yoast SEO is fantastic.
What is that one strategy that has generated most of your blog traffic?
I have an optimized LinkedIn profile. Prospects read my LinkedIn profile and go directly to my blog to find out more. From there, they contact me.
How do you network with other bloggers?
I am a member of some Facebook and LinkedIn blogging groups, and I search the web for blogs in my niche.
It’s a simple matter to send them an email and introduce myself, then build a conversation from there.
Also, I’ve been contacting various SEO-related blogs and building relationships with those bloggers.
What advice would you give someone just starting off as a blogger?
The main lesson is it’s not an overnight process, or not even something you can do in a month or six months.
Creating and promoting a blog, and building a reputation with people and search engines will require a lot of time and effort.
You have to be willing to put in the time, make it high quality, and ignore all the so-called shortcuts.
Just do the work, day-after-day, learn from the experts, avoid anything that even remotely sounds black hat, and you’ll be okay.
Also, make sure your blog is focused, and you have a product that works in a blogging environment. Banners ads, for example, are not going to make you a living.