Well, I've been blogging for a few months now and I decided to take some time to take stock. I think it's important to do this regularly - stop and see what you've done, what's gone well, what hasn't gone well and how you can improve.
What I believe is that the 2 most important factors that I need to work on if I am going to make money blogging are Traffic and Content.
Taking content first. I was going to say "quality" content, but that is a very subjective term. I've seen blogs which don't have what I would call quality content and yet are doing very well. The thing is to have what we can perhaps call the "right" content.
Content will help in 2 ways basically - you will get more people coming to your blog plus more subscriptions, and you will attract advertisers, who are the means to generate income. These are not just advertisers who will place an ad on your site, but those who will pay for sponsored posts.
Being able to produce good content is something we really need to think about before we start a blog. The topic of the blog has to be something that we know about and feel comfortable with and also have the motivation or passion, as well as the time, to keep writing about it for a long time!
Traffic will ensure that there are the readers to visit the advertisers' spots and generate income and a high number of visitors will also encourage those advertisers to use your site. Traffic in general is good, but targetted traffic is what we are really looking for.
Search Engine Optimisation is essential and good content will keep the visitors from search engines coming back and will also increase your "authority" in your chosen topic. It is no surprise to me that my best performing blog is Authentic Greek Recipes which aims to establish itself as an authentic and reliable source for good quality, easy Greek recipes that are cooked and eaten in the country by the locals.
I realise that I should be doing more content-wise on my blogs and am now trying to focus on using my time in the optimum way, without neglecting that aspect. I've got a pretty good idea which social networks are worth investing time with and which are not. I don't want to spend too much time trying to identify more and more Affiliate Programmes - it's taking up too much time and energy and has led me to neglect the content of my blogs. I am happy with AdSense, Amazon and Commission Junction basically and now have Kontera working alongside AdSense on Authentic Greek Recipes.
Something else that is taking up a lot of my time is Entrecard dropping. Now, EC is providing me with a lot of traffic - even though most of it is 'drop and run' - plus I get to see a huge variety of blogs. Through EC a lot of people have become genuinely interested in my blogs as have I in theirs. But the thing is, I need to be in a position where I am not relying so heavily on EC and can afford to spend less time dropping and more on writing good content. I also need to redesign my blogs in the not too distant future.
So, I feel like I'm going into the next stage of my blogging 'career' and I must admit I feel pretty excited about it!