Cashing in on Your Hobby: How to Make Money on Your Blog

Local Blogger and web consultant Vanessa Brown believes building an audience begins by building a connection with your readers.

Have and interesting and ‘real’ voice. Provide Value!

A lot of bloggers or website owners want to attract readers but they invent a persona online that isn’t really them. Consciously or no, readers can see through a ‘fake’ character. Really important to love yourself and be yourself on your blog. There is an overload of ‘stuff’ on the internet. Regardless of your topic you can find thousands of pages about it online. To stand out and gain readership you need to provide your readers with something that is useful, helps them with their needs or problems, and keeps them coming back for more. You can’t do that with cursory or bogus knowledge. Give your readers good stuff and that will get around, keep people coming back, and explode your readership.

Pair up in ‘real life’ with other members of your community.

Get out there! Many bloggers and website owners are under the impression that they can build a business and never leave the comfort of their home. This was hard for me to do! While the internet allows for more work freedom it doesn’t replace the personal aspect of doing business. Go to trade shows, group meetings, events, etc. Participate in tele-seminars, webinars, and group chats. If you’re going to throw your stuff on a website, sit back, and hope for success you may find it hard going. You need to be a part of your target community and put yourself out there as an expert in your field and you’ll find your readership growing exponentially.

Define your target market.

I can’t tell you how many times, when I’m consulting with a website owner, that I hear someone say, “My target market is everyone! My product/service/style can appeal to just about anyone!” Even the biggest companies in the world with the widest range of products and services know that they aren’t going to appeal to everyone. The most successful bloggers and website owners gain the highest level of readership by defining their market and niche and approaching those individuals with their marketing. You’ll never be all things to all people. (Which I have noticed with women–even myself–we have a hard time with!) Be the best you are for your target market.

Learn SEO

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, refers to the art and science of researching the keywords that people are searching for online and including those keywords in the proper places on your website. If you want to gain readers for your gardening website you need to research the keywords that people are looking for and include them the right way on your site.

Understand and Use Social Media

Using Twitter, Facebook and Social Bookmarking is a fabulous and more importantly FREE way to market your blog and gain readership. It can also be a huge time waster if you don’t have a clear direction on how to use is correctly. There are many useful and free (some of them written by me) How Tos on Twitter, Facebook and Social Bookmarking so you can teach yourself.

Vanessa Brown blogs over at, and is part of the Utah blogger review site She helps companys all over the country with their social media marketing with her services. She also runs an online membership site teaching women to make money with their blogs at

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