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The importance of diversity on your blog

August 15, 2011

in Blogging Tips

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When someone mentions diversity, two things generally come to mind: 1) Diversity as it pertains to corporations - who and how they hire and 2) Investment diversity.  I'm going to give you a third to consider: Diversity and your blog.  Diversity is defined simple as variety.

Side income diversity as a whole

I learned a few years back that having all of your "income eggs" in one basket, just isn't smart.  With the economy the way it is, and companies watching out for themselves, having only one income source that your livelihood depends on is risky to say the least.  You just may find yourself coming into work one day only to find out you've been laid off with no other income.  Not a good situation to be in.  While my side income certainly doesn't match my primary income, it's enough to pay the basic bills.

To diversify your side income, make sure that your blogging income comes from as many diverse areas as possible: multiple websites, multiple topics, multiple advertisers, multiple sources, etc.  As an example, here are a few examples of how my side income is diverse (and it's still not as diverse as I would like):

I'm exploring offering products in the form of eBooks and I'm researching offering a paid membership site as well.  I'm constantly looking to further diversify my income sources.
I've known all along that maining diverse and multiple sources of income on my blogs and websites was important, but I recently  received a nice little reminder.  For some reason the search engine traffic to one of my big income earning niche sites was hit hard.  As a result, my eBay and Asense earnings plummeted.  While my overall earnings will be negatively impacted, my other revenue sources are helping me to avoid losing my income all together.

Blog Income Diversity

The most common way people associate diversity with their blogs is through income diversity.  Income diversity is the concept of using different advertising and income earning opportunities all at the same time on your blog or website.  By doing so, your blog isn't dependent on just one income stream, but many.  If one stream declines, perhaps others will pick up.

Monetizing with multiple income streams can not only increase your overall earnings, but can insulate you from the often unexplainable income declines from various sources, which as I referenced above can and do occur.  This is even more true as Google continues to tweak and modify their search engine algorithms.  One  of the biggest risks to your online success is failing to diversify your income streams.

In order to maintain income diversity on your blogs or websites, you must utilize different sources of income.  Here are just a few examples of possible options:

  • Google Adsense - Google Adsense performs very well for search engine traffic, especially if you're getting a decent amount of it.  If you aren't showing Adsense ads on your blog or website to your search engine visitors, you're missing out.
  • Affiliate Offers - Affiliate offers provide a way for you to promote a product to your readers and if the reader purchases the product, you earn money.  Generally this is either a % of the sale or a fixed amount.  Affiliate offers are commonly promoted via banners in your sidebar or above or below your posts.  A more effective strategy  though it to include them as text links in articles.  I often do this through review articles or product comparison articles.  These types of articles not only provide potential income for you, but value to your readers as well.
  • Paid Advertising - As your blog grows and begins to get more traffic, advertisers will approach you to place ads on your site.  This is absolutely something you should consider.  Private advertising income can often become one of your main sources of income.  One word of caution: Beware of companies offering text link advertising.  While it can certainly generate a decent income stream, Google frowns heavily on paid text links.  As a result, if they detect your selling paid text links, Google can and will negatively impact your search engine traffic.
  • Consulting - Once you establish yourself as an expert or authority in your niche, you can often provide consulting services to your readers.  I do that through my Side Income Services work.  One of my friends and clients Christopher Foster recently started offering writing consulting for bloggers.  What Chris is doing is a perfect example of what I'm referring to here.
  • Speaking Engagements - Also, as your blog grows and you become a little more well known, you can often earn money from speaking engagements.  This can include: TV spots, radio spots, and speaking at conferences in your niche.  While not all of these are always paid engagements, some of them are.  Even the ones that aren't can benefit your bottom line through increased traffic and visibility.

Writing Diversity

Another key area where diversity plays an important role in your blog is writing, and specifically I mean your topics.  The concept here is to stay within your niche, but write on various topics within that niche.  For example, here on Side Income Blogging I write on: Blogging Tips, Social Media and Traffic Tips just to name a few.  Keeping your topics varied but still honed in on your niche is key to keeping people coming back to your blog and key to ranking successfully on Google for your various articles.  Who wants to come back to the same blog day after day just to read about the exact same thing?  Certainly not me.

In addition to writing on different topics, try different writing techniques as well.  Be controversial, tell a story, ask questions, take a stand on a topic, or even disagree with another blogger (and link to them).  All of these are ways to keep your articles interesting for your readers, and frankly make it more enjoyable for you when writing as well.

Wrapping up

I'm quite sure I'm just touching the surface of this topic, and am confident there are many other areas where diversity is an important aspect of your blog.  As you continue to write, build traffic and ad income earning opportunities, I would encourage you to focus on and think about diversity and look for opportunities as often as you can.

What are your thoughts on diversity in blogging?  Did I miss something?  Have you found an area where diversity is important?  If so, please add a comment and add value to the article!

photo by: david.nikonvscanon

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