When you go to your job you punch in, you punch out, and you get paid for the hours you worked that day.
If you take a day off you don’t get paid.
If you take an afternoon off, you only get paid for half a day.
And the only way to make more money is to work more hours.
In other words, you’re trading hours for dollars.
One of the benefits of blogging is that you can make money 24 hours a day.
You may work on your blog eight hours a day, but it has the potential to keep earning whether you’re sitting at your computer or not.
Another benefit of blogging is the ability to scale your business, to increase your income without increasing the amount of time you spend working at your computer.
Combine these two benefits and it’s easy to see why so many people are starting blogs.
The promise of unlimited earning potential in exchange for a relatively sane work schedule that allows them quality time for family, friends and the pursuit of happiness is like a lush oasis in the middle of the desert.
But for some bloggers that oasis will never be more than a mirage.
If the income on your blog is only increasing in direct proportion to the number of hours you spend sitting at your computer, then you’re essentially still trading hours for dollars.
Which isn’t a bad thing, so don’t beat yourself up about it.
A lot of bloggers never even get to this point.
But now it’s time to amp up your business so it’s producing more money without requiring more of your time.
How can you do that?
Without actually looking at your blog and analyzing your business, it’s hard to be specific.
But here are a few places to start:
1. Improve SEO
If you’re already making money chances are you have a good start on basic SEO procedures.
Focus on extending your reach with content marketing.
Guest blog and submit content to industry websites, create free guides to use for list building, create your own ebooks or white papers.
Your goal is to build brand recognition by publishing content in as many relevant places as possible.
2. Replace affiliate products
If you’re promoting affiliate products, start shopping around to find similar products with higher commissions and/or selling prices.
If you stick with similar products you should be able to just do a quick swap-out of banners on your blog and you can use a search and replace plug-in to change all your affiliate links with one click.
3. Focus on list-building
If you don’t have a list, start building one now.
If you have one, focus on making it bigger, or start a second list with a different focus.
Start a newsletter and focus on learning new email marketing techniques.
4. Create your own products
Position yourself as an authority in your niche by creating your own products.
Go a step further and set up your own affiliate program and let other bloggers promote your product, too.
5. Re-evaluate your blogging goals
It’s possible you’re just not focused on your goal yet, and that happens to most new bloggers, too.
What do you want to accomplish with your blog?
Who is your target audience?
Now, make a connection between the two to determine what products or services you want to promote.
Sometimes all it takes is a little adjustment in course and you’ll be on your way to smarter blogging.