One of the questions that I’m asked most frequently on Quora is how to make money blogging. It’s not as hard as you may think, as you’ll see in the infographic below. There are plenty of ways to monetize your blog, but let’s start with the quote from Jason Calacanis below.

Build Trust

Building trust is the number one reason to have a blog. Sure, your blog puts you on the map and helps people find you. But, without trust you cannot establish a business relationship. Nobody wants to do business with a shady used car salesman, and frankly, too much online comes across with that kind of vibe.

Engagement with your audience is how you will build your business. Engagement happens when your audience trusts you. Let’s talk about how to build trust.

Building Trust and Engagement

  1. You’ve got seven seconds. That’s how long it takes for someone to form a first impression. A first-time visitor to your blog will take, on average, seven seconds to decide whether they want to stay or leave. So, how can you use that seven second test to get them to hang around?

It helps to have a simple, modern, professional, clean, and clutter-free page design. Your home page should not look like one of those full-page advertorials in a newspaper (remember what a newspaper is?) or a magazine. White space, easy to read type, and easy navigation are all good design features to build into your home page.

2. Publish content that you audience wants to read. This should be second nature, and it will be if you know your audience. Who do you want to reach with your blog? If you don’t have an ideal customer in mind, that’s your first step before you even put your blog together.

3. Be you. This gets to the authenticity that Calacanis speaks about above. The connection that you make with your audience will come from you, when you present your genuine self. Let your personality shine through everything you write. Show your human and humorous sides. There’s only one you (thanks, Mr. Rogers), so don’t fake being someone else. As one of my mentors says, put your smell on everything you do. That scent is what will attract and build your tribe.

4. Write in a conversational style. Right now, you and I are having a conversation. Your part of the conversation can happen in the comments section. I read every comment and respond (unless the comment is spam). Blogs are not the place for formal writing. Keep your writing simple, friendly, and casual, and you’ll build trust in your readers. One more thing – make sure that your spelling and grammar are correct.

5. Put your face on your website! People want to connect with a real person. People like to know that there’s a human behind the content.

More Thoughts on Building Your Audience

6. Use high quality, high definition images. Using anything less will make your site look amateurish and unprofessional.

7. Use no more than three different fonts. This will help you maintain a professional look.

8. Make sure that the colors you use on your website work well together. This will also help you maintain a professional look.

9. Make sure that your website is mobile friendly. More and more traffic is coming from mobile devices – are you ready for it?

Now, here’s what you’ve been waiting for…

What would you add? I invite your comments and questions, and your likes and shares!

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