Ever thought of making money through blogging about your cruising exploits? To use a favourite expression of one of my pals, usually in response to an offer of another beer - "It would be silly not too"
When you think about it, we cruising sailors are perfectly placed to write a blog - or to turn it around, blogging is ideally suited for cruising sailors.
The very nature of cruising means there's always plenty to write about; events on passage and at anchor, extraordinary sights at sea, the fascinating people we meet, adventures ashore and any manner of other unique experiences.
And we're already well-disciplined in recording a fundamental underway record of our travels in the ships log.
And many cruisers write a blog for just these reasons, and are happy to leave it at that.
Do they make any cash out of it?
No, probably not.
Are they missing a trick?
Well yes, I think so.
Because it doesn't take that much more effort to turn it into a business venture that provides a steady stream of funds drip-feeding passively into your bank account.
After all, the main part of the work has been done already - the creation of good, solid, original and interesting content.
So what do you need to get started? Probably nothing more than you've already got aboard - a laptop computer and a digital camera.
Then download a free blogging platform - WordPress is one of the most popular - and get blogging! You can work on your blog offline and when you're ready, find an internet connection and publish it direct from your laptop.
"Ah," you say, "but how do I make money from it?"
In essence, there are just two things you need to do to make money through blogging:~
You may think that the number of people taking a look at your blog will be limited to the extent of the email addresses you have in your contact list, but you'd be wrong. You need the help of the Search Engines - Google, Yahoo, Bing etc - to spread your blog worldwide.
The search engines are looking for a blog which is unique, interesting and popular with those people that get to see it - which is something you can influence...
Furthermore, the Search Engines are looking for blogs and websites that are likely to provide answers to the search queries made by their customers - that's you, me and everyone else. Specific keywords built into your blog will trigger the Search Engines into offering up your blog in response to an associated search term.
But how will you know what those keywords are, and how can you build them into your blog whilst maintaining its authenticity, relevance and attractiveness?
Good question! You're going to need help with this - and we'll deal with that soon.
So all this stuff about clicking on links. What's that all about?
Adsense Links: These are groups of advertisements you can ask Google to put on your blog pages. Google will try to make them relevant to the content on your blog page, such that they will be of interest to your visitor.
Your visitor clicks on one of the Adsense Ads and Google cheerfully pays you a few cents for your efforts.
You can see various examples of these at the top left of the content column on many pages on this website. Or you could place one wherever you like, such as the one below for example...
Affiliate Links: These links take your visitor to a suppliers website. You'll get nothing for the click, but you will get a percentage - typically 5% to 15% - of what your visitor spends when he gets there.
The suppliers website remembers who your visitor was, and if he returns to buy at a later date you'll still get your percentage. It's much like a finders fee.
Affiliate links can be banner links Like the West Marine one below.
Clinking on this banner will take your visitor to the West Marine site where he can browse around or search for a particular product. Go on, try it...
Alternatively they can be a product link like the one for the ICOM SSB Radio on the right.
Incidentally, if your visitor clicked on the image and went on to buy one of these SSB radios, West Marine would pay around $95 directly into your bank account...
Search Boxes: You can see one of these - a Google one - at the top of this page. This is how it works:
But there are other search boxes you can try out on your blog site. The one below is for an on-line book supplier. Unlike the Google Search Box, this one doesn't pay out for clicks, but if your visitor buys a book you'll get a percentage of whatever he or she spends.
Try typing in 'Offshore Sailing'. Oh look, one of mine...
Talking of books, do you think you've got one in you bursting to get out? Everyone has at least one apparently.
If so, my advice would be to publish it as an eBook. Trying to get one published as a printed book is a real hassle (believe me, I know), and once (or if) you do get it published you'll only be paid a miserly percentage of the publisher's profit as a royalty.
But write it as an eBook and publish on your own blog site and, guess what? You get all the money!
You can afford to sell it at a much lower price making it very good value for the buyer. But only if it's a good book of course.
And there are still more ways of making money through blogging.
For example, when you blog is fully established, companies may well ask you if they can advertise on your site. Which they can of course - for an appropriate fee!
You bet it is! Think you can do it? Of course you can!
Blogging is easy, but turning it into a profitable pastime is rather more difficult. But not impossible; it just requires a lot of research and hard work. You'll make mistakes - lots of them - but eventually, you'll get there.
But, relax, there's help at hand - a real shortcut to success in fact, and it's called BizXpress...
BizXpress is the only toolkit for WordPress that can take you from struggling webmaster/blogger to successful entrepreneur building equity and earning a sustainable income.
How can I be so positive about recommending this toolkit to you? Because it's the same system I used to build this website - I know it works!
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