Bloggers: Position Yourself Where the Money Is

Image Credit: Local Money Book

Image Credit: Local Money Book

Most bloggers struggle to make money because they don’t have the one thing that is necessary to really earn an income from their blogs: the right audience.

The money is going to flow to blogs that can reach a specific target audience.

That audience could be people interested in a particular niche (home improvement, golf, healthy living, gardening, etc.) OR in a specific geographic location. Choose the location you love and know the best and that has a fairly large number of people either living in it or traveling to it.

Give some serious thought to how large an area you want to cover because that is going to be key to how many businesses and advertisers will be interested.

In some areas – such as Austin – that will be a simple decision. In others such as the Dallas / Ft. Worth metroplex you will have to decide whether to target DFW or just Dallas or Dallas Metro or only Ft. Worth or Ft. Worth Metro, or maybe rural Dallas or surrounding areas outside a particular direction from Dallas.

Ask around and see what other people call where you want to target the most. Do a little research – maybe check to see how CraigsList has your area sectioned off. They have Dallas/Ft Worth separated into Dallas, Ft. Worth, DFW Mid-Cities, North DFW and South DFW.

A larger area is probably going to be better than a very narrowly focused one because the more people you can reach for a specific business the more valuable your site will be to them. This is going to vary greatly depending on whether you are in a large city or a small one.

Before you decide on the area you will cover, be sure to think about what kind of topics you want to write about and what businesses are involved.

Why target only Santa Rosa Beach or only Pensacola if you can just as easily target the entire Florida Panhandle or even all of Florida?

The reason you want to do that is so that you can reach a potentially larger audience and more businesses will be interested. A lumber mill like Good Millwork would be much better off working with a blog that covers Florida than any one city in Florida.

In their case, blogs or forums about home improvement or interior design might be an even better fit. If you’re really into DIY (do it yourself) home renovations or have a flair for interior design or love architecture consider those niches instead of or in addition to a geo-local blog.

You need to cover an area you know well because you will know how far people customarily travel to shop or on vacation or for entertainment in YOUR area. This can vary greatly from state to state and even city to city.

While city dwellers may rarely drive outside their own city, those who live in smaller cities (populations under 80,000-100,000) usually do travel into the closest large city and those who live in small towns may drive 60+ miles to make major purchases or have a night out on the town.

Do NOT target only the metro area. Remember that those who live outside of it drive into the city because there may be no other choice for them. Whenever possible you want your site to appeal to those in surrounding communities too – and this is why:

You want to target the audience that businesses need to reach.

Different businesses are interested in reaching different geographic locations. There is a hole in sites like Yahoo! Local and Google Maps for some businesses that you can fill.

Those sites usually target only locations within 25 or 50 miles which can be detrimental to manufacturing businesses that are centrally located between major geo-metros. Here is an example.

Golden Rule Gazebo is a gazebo manufacturer which delivers all over Texas and to surrounding states. They are located right in the middle of Texas – perfect for delivering gazebos across the state but bad for getting any kind of visibility on Local Search Directories because all of the major cities are just beyond 50 mile distance limit from them.

That means they can’t show up for searches for gazebos from Austin (just over 100 miles) Dallas (124 miles), Ft. Worth (112 miles), Houston (163 miles), San Antonio (173 miles).

Being featured on and advertising on blogs with large audiences in major Texas metros, blogs that write about Texas in general, or blogs where the audiences might want a gazebo are the perfect solution.

Good target audiences that immediately come to mind for gazebos are people interested in landscaping, wedding planning blogs or blogs catering to Bed and Breakfasts.  Think about what audiences you can reach that businesses need.

Geo-targeted and niche blogs can fill the void for businesses like them. And sharp bloggers can create collaborations to push their local location blogs and niche-specific blogs to the top of Google search.

You can offer advertising packages across blogs for the specific other cities and metros businesses want to reach in the same way free printed classifieds like The Penny Saver and Thrify Nickel (now called American Classifieds) do.

Exactly what geographic area you cover is up to you. It could be anywhere and of whatever size you feel is best for what you want to write about and what kind of businesses you plan to attract as advertisers.  You could even partner with an existing site.

There is ample interesting content that can be developed:

  1. What to do in that area
  2. Local attractions
  3. Local events
  4. Restaurant reviews
  5. Local musicians
  6. Other bloggers who write about your area

By reaching a local audience, your blog can become a focal point that any business local to that area can use to reach their potential customers and clients. That is where the money will be.

It makes more sense for people to “hang out” on a site where others where they live are instead of Facebook or Twitter and that ability may be coming later this year. (More on that in the next month or so.)

You could either have just a blog and use this new Social Network we will be alpha testing OR create a blog that has a live aspect to it similar to how BloggerLuv works. What you want to do is become “the” site – or at least one of “the” sites – that everyone wants to share locally.

If you’re sold on the idea of starting a local site you may be interested in becoming an authorized Local Proud reseller. This very short video explains what they offer:

Have questions? Want to take your blog to the next level or start a new one? Join us in at BloggerLuv, add CommentLuv to your blog, or inquire about being invited into our private blog collaboration.

Just leave a comment in this post or use our contact information.

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Gail Gardner

Small Business Marketing Strategist at GrowMap
Creator and owner of GrowMap.com, Gail is primarily known for mentoring small businesses and encouraging bloggers to join collaborations to share skills and support small business.

Comments

  1. Thanks for the advice, I’ve started a new blog recently and I’m a bit short of topics. Will definitely be bookmarking for this for the ideas.
    Work Accident Compensation would love you to read ..Personal Injury Claims – Are you entitled to claim?My Profile

  2. Baby Games says:

    Try to be your self,that is the most important I think.

  3. It makes sense that we can’t necessarily cover all areas effectively. Geo- targeting specific areas where we can be perceived as the area expert may be more productive.
    Kevin would love you to read ..3 Things to do BEFORE you Start your Boise Home SearchMy Profile

  4. iPhone App Development says:

    I fully agree with this post. Because i think this is important for blogger to target their boundary. Doing so, a channel is made for monetizing. You came across with your audience. Location targeting can help you to be directed with your people. This will also help blogger to reduce bother that happens with global targeting.

  5. I came across your blog from a google search and I’m so glad I did because this post is packed full of information. I always find focusing on local a bit of a challenge and I tend to put it off, but I love your suggestions and I feel inspired to have another go at monetising my sites now.
    Carport would love you to read ..Metal Carport KitsMy Profile

  6. So can you do a combined geographic AND niche blog effectively? For example, what if I wanted to do an Iowa-based blog targeting runners? Or maybe a Midwest running blog?

    • Hi Andrea,

      Yes, definitely! Think about it this way. If I’m a runner I know other runners but there are lots of generic running blogs so do I recommend them? Probably not. But suppose I’m a runner based in Iowa or the midwest and there is a blog that writes about runs local to me.

      Now do I share that blog with all my running buddies and friends? Absolutely! What you write is still of interest nationally or internationally so you don’t lose anything – and because you have a local component you GAIN local readers.

      Once you have those local businesses who sell products or services runners use benefit from advertising with you or having you feature their products! Now you have viable income opportunities that ADD to your blog and advertising and content that is interesting to your readers instead of taking away from them.

  7. Great post. I think it’s super strong to have a great following geographically, whether online or otherwise. The sense of community is great for anyone and will help in many aspects of life. I just fired up a new blog that will definitely fit a certain geographical demographic, so this article has some awesome food for thought. Thanks!
    Jody Elliott would love you to read ..Our New Journey- How to Live your PassionMy Profile

  8. You are so right! In my begining as a blogger I targeted the wrong audience for about 4 months and I was asking myself everyday why I can’t make some money. But I opened my eyes and saw the mistakes that I made :)

  9. Very interesting post.

    Research is definitely key whether you have an offline or online business. If you do have a local market, I can see how narrowing that down to specific areas would be pretty important.

    No matter what you do offer your target audience, it is going to take time to build your business up. No one is going to make money overnight but the journey is so worth it.

    Thanks again,

    Adrienne
    Adrienne would love you to read ..Blog Commenting- My New Favorite ThingMy Profile

  10. Brandon Bailey says:

    Interesting post. I think a lot of bloggers think they can start up and start making money right away. It is possible but not very likely. I think if you really want to be successful you need to blog for the right reasons. Do it because it is something you enjoy and you will be rewarded in one way or another.

    Brandon

  11. Hey Gail

    Research is definitely the key to attracting the right audience without a doubt. Getting it wrong from the offset is pretty much like having a massive list interested in everything else except what you offer. As they say the money is the list right…but only if your list is niche targeted!!! and the same rule applies for your audience/traffic.

    Kerry Russell
    Kerry Russell would love you to read ..Don’t Pay For Traffic – With A Little Time And Effort You Can Get FREE Targeted Traffic – Part TwoMy Profile

  12. Robert Simpson says:

    Very Interesting post!

    I have to watch what I say here as my blog is not specific in area nor niche market…

    I have created my blog as a central hub to share future products or promotions in the area of Internet and affiliate marketing which is massive and covers a wide variety of sub niches.

    I’ll more than likely narrow it down to a training blog for Internet and affiliate marketers but even then it will still not be specific in nature to what I sell or promote.

    What is you view on this?

    Cheers,

    Robert :)
    Robert Simpson would love you to read ..Testing! Testing! Testing!My Profile

    • Hi Robert,

      Geotrageting is really more important for reaching local audiences so you can benefit local businesses who will then support your efforts financially.

      Your site as you describe it IS in a niche: Internet and Affiliate Marketing which is both a huge niche and a very saturated one. While that can be valuable there are only so many blogs about the same thing that any one person is going to frequent on a regular basis.

      What I hope experienced bloggers will start to see is that first we share skills on sites like yours and mine, but then we need to move on and create sites that connect our local communities with locally obtained physical products and services.

      Anything that exists solely for the sake of making money is like breeding horses solely for the sake of breeding more horses. They are like pyramid schemes that are self-limiting because indefinitely growing demand is impossible.

      As we make decisions in our lives I believe we should focus on what is sustainable and good for all. Selling get-rich-quick ideas to the same target audience over and over that don’t work for 99% of the people who buy them only benefits the seller and is therefore not creating a better world for all (except to the extent that it gives you more money to spend).

      A more ethical offering is to do something with your time and talents that benefits many and improves the overall economy, raising the standard of living for many instead of just one.
      growmap would love you to read ..Why the Economy is In Decline and What We Can Do to Improve ItMy Profile

  13. What uuuup?

    Thanks for great post, I gues having a geo specific blogging community will evidently lead to greater loyalty and form tighter bonds. I am a huge believer of creating a strong community over a large community. Thanks for the food for thought.

    • The problem with existing communities of bloggers is that they are too general. That is fine for leading and learning but not effective for making a living or benefiting the economy and small business or creating a better world.

      If the “niche” is blogging there are millions of fish in a huge ocean. None get traction. Change that niche into “blogging tips for restaurants” or “Best of Chicago” or “home improvement Dallas” and NOW you have a viable audience.

      Can a blogger rank as the best blogging-tips blog? How many blogging-tips blogs do you suppose there are?

      Can that same blogger have one of the top three best blogs about home improvements in a specific metro location? ABSOLUTELY! All they need is “a little from their friends” (Other bloggers in their niche and out of it willing to lend a hand.)
      growmap would love you to read ..PostRank Connect Identifies Social Media InfluencersMy Profile

  14. I think you absolutely correct. There is something to be said for the ready-aim-fire model vs. the ready-fire-aim model. Too many start a business without knowing whether there is a market for their product and the demographics as to who to target. Thanks for a good post!
    Riley Harrison would love you to read ..WHAT CAN I DO DIFFERENTLYMy Profile

  15. Steve Youngs says:

    I guess it all depends on what products and/or services you wish to sell, there probably are times where a narrow geographical audience would be better. But having an online business should mean that geography is irrelevant.
    Steve Youngs would love you to read ..Men Of HonourMy Profile

    • Hi Steve,

      When geography is irrelevant you have to compete with the multi-national corporations who control almost all traditional media plus Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc. We’ve been unwittingly playing their game for years!

      Here is just one example: every search engine that ever existed COULD have asked for a location when someone searched for – for example – “Dallas video store” but they never did. WHY DIDN’T THEY?

      Because if they don’t most people will never find out that besides Blockbuster there are small independent video stores!

      Google is finally willing to offer local listings but those will favor Big Brands. (Much more about that in the post I’ll put in CommentLuv in this reply.) Speaking of them, read the comments in that post and you’ll see many automatically assume they are the “best” search engine – even if they never used any others. One commentator even thought they were the ONLY company that figured out how to index the Internet.

      When you target a specific geographic location you can reach a new and growing segment of shoppers: those who understand why shopping locally and suppporting small businesses creates improved economic conditions for their communities.
      growmap would love you to read ..Google Monopoly- The Google GuillotineMy Profile

  16. Great advice for those who have a local appeal. Knowing who your audience is and knowing as much about them as possible can give your location focused blog a big step up towards getting more readers.
    Danielle McGaw would love you to read ..“If You Build It They Will Come” – 6 Ways to Make Sure They DoMy Profile

  17. Your post has inspired me to give more attention to my local blog than to global-audience revenue sharing sites which I’ve been writing for. Hopefully, local advertisers can notice my site if I can increase my readership. Thanks.
    Naya would love you to read ..Philhealth Maternity BenefitsMy Profile

  18. Dennis Yu says:

    Gail,

    Great insight! The local markets are a natural progression from the larger enterprise blogs. It’s only a matter of time before there are the equivalent of local news sites that are run by bloggers. These will replace TV stations, magazines, and traditional media. And I predict massive employment shifts, mostly in the favor of the little bloggers.

    Dennis
    Dennis Yu would love you to read ..Groupon for a Denver Cosmetic SurgeonMy Profile

  19. Thanks for this post. I now know that i can make money by local blogging. At first, i was hesitant to blog because i find it a waste of time but because of what you have shared with us, i now know that i can now gain money by just blogging.
    lawyers in Tampa would love you to read ..Florida DUI Trial – DUI Manslaughter Trial Of Former Yankee Star Starting Poorly For ProsecutionMy Profile

    • Hi Tampa,

      Think of what type of content people in Tampa are interested in that would also be a perfect fit for lawyers and other businesses who want to reach that audience. I am firmly convinced that combining a niche with a location is THE key to having an influential blog that makes money.

      Many combinations will not have any strong sites right now, but if they do that is not a bad thing IF you can interest them in collaborating. There is room for more than one top content site in ANY niche and having others to collaborate with makes it that much easier to succeed.
      growmap would love you to read ..Stop Competing – Start Collaborating!My Profile

  20. this is a good article to talk about this, I do not believe that local blogger will provide an opportunity like this. I think it not only provides jobs for every blogger, but it also provides the ability to express one’s opinion or we can say to comment on a certain issue. you’re doing a great job, continue to provide you updated information for our readers.
    Paris Accommodation would love you to read ..Charming small little house near Bastille in ParisMy Profile

  21. Great points.. many people overlook creating a blog that targets a local area. I personally know someone who has a blog about Waikiki tourist deals and special events, and advertisers want to advertise on the blog like crazy even though it barely gets a few hundred visitors a day… the more targeted your blog is, and the more “money” related it is, the higher chance of earning money from it.
    Henway would love you to read ..Motivation to lose weightMy Profile

  22. This is a welcome blog post as I was wondering if I should target my new blog to my geographical area or make the posts more universally appealing.
    Brian Talk would love you to read ..The Apple Ipad is signalling the end of the laptop eraMy Profile

    • Hi Brian,

      I am glad the timing is fortuitous. You will definitely want to have a specific audience in mind and to select a niche that has a significant number of people. Choosing a niche is a little like doing keyword research. You want to target an existing demand without targeting what you are unlikely to be able to master.
      growmap would love you to read ..Building Traffic Using Anchor TextMy Profile

  23. Many of my blogs are not making any money, but some are . Now I think, it may be because the right audience is coming to those blogs from which I am getting money.

  24. Glenn over on Viper Chill wrote an article about this a while back. His take was to look at large up-coming events, eg World Cup as an extreme example, and then laser in on this.

    Also, re local… just because you don’t live in, for example, LA, doesnt mean you cant blog about it. Just do the research first!

    Ivan

    • Hi Ivan,

      Positioning yourself in front of any traffic spike – whether that is a huge event, or holiday shopping, or tourism or any other idea – will work. I don’t believe any of them are as powerful though as having a super-popular site connected to a major geo-targeted area.

      If you already had a blog like that, when something major comes to town you already have the audience.

      While you can write about an area where you do not live, those who have personal knowledge of a location – and ideally recent knowledge – do have the advantage.

  25. I never thought local blogging will give me an opportunity like this. It doesn’t only provide job for me but it also give me the capability of voicing out my opinion or may i say comment about a certain matter.

    • Hi Delaila,

      There are many small businesses that could benefit from an auto related geotargeted blog from window lettering businesses to auto-body shops to car parts houses to wrecking yards. This idea needs to take off as soon as possible.
      growmap would love you to read ..Local Search Directory ListingsMy Profile

  26. I’m also planning of going local for a new project, though it might eat most of my time, since it does require offline marketing efforts on the side. But of course, this has much potential since it’s much easier to target audiences. I may just have to think about what to offer on that site first. I love those ideas that you have mentioned Gail (restaurant reviews, events, local attractions, etc..). I guess doing SEO for that is much easier, but I may need some serious time management to do when it comes to content making :)

    Regards,
    Jason

    • Hi Jason,

      One of the reasons we collaborate is to share best practices for accomplishing more in less time. One thing all of us should seriously consider is recruiting writers passionate about our niche.

      There are far more people who love writing and would gladly contribute content but do not have the technical skills required to install and maintain a blog than there are people who want to learn it all themselves.

      It just makes good sense to encourage writers to guest post on our sites. Teach them the skills they need but free them from all the other complexities we have to deal with on a regular basis.

      I take it a step further in that I rely on others for technical skills. I do that not because I am not capable of learning to install WordPress and plugins and design and graphics (well maybe not graphics – I seem to be challenged in that area) – I intentionally do not learn those things because I spend the time it would take accomplishing other tasks.

      That is why I have more time to teach and add links and promote everyone across Social Networks. I am the only blogger among my most trusted collaborators who has never installed WordPress or plugins and I don’t mind that a bit because I rely on others who I completely trust. I highly recommend it.
      growmap would love you to read ..Support Small BusinessesMy Profile

  27. I have to agree local is the way to go, the potential upside is huge. I would also like to add that most bloggers struggle to make any decent money is because they just do not get enough traffic to their blogs!

  28. i think visibility is key, you can really do some great stuff if you are in the public eye.

  29. The two most important marketing strategy decisions a business can make are
    1) Targeting – which customers/readers/subscribers do we want to attract, and
    2) Positioning – how do our products or services deliver value differently and better than the competition?

    In the case of geo-targeting choosing the appropriate market is critical. As you point out, too restrictive can be bad but so can attempting to address too large a market.

    One key to making the decision is to take a good look at the competitive set and to be honest with yourself in terms of the nature of the value you bring to your audience.

    Andy Perkins

    .-= Andy Perkins @ Satisfaction Questionnaire´s featured blog ..Let’s let respondents decide what matters =-.

    • Hi Andy,

      Than you for taking the time to comment. I have a huge advantage because I managed so many AdWords accounts for so many small businesses that I know how much demand there is in various niches.

      I encourage anyone interested in creating a site to brainstorm ideas and get suggestions from someone like me BEFORE they decide on their new niche or buy their domain name(s).
      growmap would love you to read ..Best of GrowMap – Our Most Important Posts All in One PlaceMy Profile

  30. I recently wrote a column detailing how to get a blog up and running to boost your small business. If yours happens to become a well-known blog, or one that is well-received in a particular niche, it’s always possible to sell ad space on your own. For lesser-known blogs, services such as Google’s AdSense or BlogAds enable bloggers to establish ad programs.My blog has helped existing clients determine the range of my skills and services.

  31. Gail,

    I had this in mind long ago, in fact I started http://sanpedrodirectory.tripod.com/ but was never able to finish since we moved and at that time people were not accepting the internet as a way to advertise their business. I just looked it up again now if it still existed. :D
    .-= C5@ Solutions, Ideas, Conclusions´s featured blog ..Party Games-Parlor Games- Catch The Dragon’s Tail Lessons Learned =-.

    • Hello Cee,

      It can take a long time before everyone starts using technology, but now that almost everyone has a cell phone and many cars have a GPS and most workers use computers the time is coming when businesses that want to stay in business better embrace the idea that they need a larger target audience and fast (because of the declining economy).

      While directories MIGHT catch on if you can get enough people to know about them I believe the key will be interesting content. Not many people are going to email or Tweet their friends and say “check out this business directory”

      Many WILL share a new post about what’s happening in their area – new bands, new clubs, restaurant coupons – the more interesting the better.

      One more thing. You can’t get anywhere with a site hosted on places like tripod because they don’t get indexed. It is essential that someone own and control their domain to the extent that is possible. If someone is willing to work but has no money for overhead they should contact me. We have many JV sites and take partners and sometimes hire work done too.

      .-= growmap´s featured blog ..Best of GrowMap – Our Most Important Posts All in One Place =-.

  32. Thank you for great info. Is there a specific directory, where you can find specific blog for your product?

  33. Hello Gail,

    I agree with you about better targeting one’s audience.

    Most discussions of this typically allude to one of a geographical nature as did this article.

    I can see many of the benefits here for marketers, the financial industry, the real estate industry, the insurance industry, the travel industry, etc… “Long-tail” keyword searches would be a breeze, right?!

    But, the average blogger? Hmm… There may be some struggle to cater to a smaller, geo-focused community. Many bloggers do not even feel that “entrenched” in the local community to know where to begin!

    The thing is… when your inclusion model is defined, so is your exclusion model. Home improvement, golf, healthy living, gardening, etc. has the potential of being very universal, and you run the chance of your geographical region having less interest to the topic as opposed to an area of the country 10 states away.

    I recently researched and published an article on “How Much Money Do Bloggers Make Blogging,” – what caught my attention was the fact that over 1/2 of the blogging community makes between $0 – $10 a month! (Ouch!) http://sourceblogger.com/how-much-money-do-bloggers-make-blogging

    Interesting, thought provoking article… And definitely a concept, that if you can implement, will reap benefits!

    Thanks Gail!

    Jeffrey Baril – Source Blogger
    “Determined To Make You A Better Blogger!
    http://sourceblogger.com
    .-= Jeffrey Baril – Source Blogger´s featured blog ..As A Blogger- How Do You Measure Success =-.

    • Hi Jeffrey,

      I agree with you that if you target a major niche like golf or healthy living or gardening that you COULD go national or even international but you could also decide to be geography specific. Which is better depends on the size of the niche, where you are located, and which advertisers you believe would be most interested.

      If you have a definite niche readership – like gardening or home improvement – you don’t have to limit it to a geographic area – but many bloggers don’t really have a defined niche at all – and I believe that to be a mistake IF they desire to generate an income from their blog.

      Another blogger recently wrote that you don’t need a niche – just write. I agree if you just like to write and don’t care about making money that you can do it that way, but why not use your talents to create a better world at the same time?

      Most people have been disconnected from how the world works for too long. They don’t know the connection between what they buy and where it comes from any more. By providing ways for producers to reach consumers directly – whether that means those interested in specific niches or located in a particular area – we create a healthier economy.

      It will be easier for a blogger to become “THE” blog for a geo-targeted area than it will be for them to become “THE” home improvement blog for example – but they could become either. They can do what most interests them and get serious about growing their audience.

      Businesses NEED us to reach their audiences at a cost that generates a profit for them. That is especially true for local businesses for whom buying Internet advertising that reaches too many who are not their target audience is too expensive and doesn’t work. Businesses may not realize that yet but it IS true.

      And bloggers – if they are going to be serious bloggers – need to generate an income to cover their overhead and all the time it takes to manage a blog, write quality content, promote it, manage comments, visit other blogs, interact on Social Networks, etc.

      Thank you so much for that link. I shared it yesterday. Most bloggers do not realize that few blogs are making money. Some of us never focused on that aspect and others don’t want to monetize because they think doing so means something negative.

      Many PR3 and even PR4 blogs with Alexa ratings under 50,000 make little or no money. Bloggers need to know that. Yesterday I read a post that said revealing what you make is bad. I suspect that may have been either because he doesn’t want to admit how little he earns OR because there are some very famous bloggers who have lied about it (and been outed – eventually).

      I believe honesty is best. Blogs do NOT automatically make money! They only make money when you have a plan and implement that plan. I just saw a blog today that is 2 years old, doesn’t appear in Compete at all, has no PageRank and has an Alexa Traffic Rank of 6,674,025.

      That is what happens when you work hard but don’t know about SEO or collaborating or anchor text. Contrast that with another blogger I’ve been working with whose blog is only a few months old, is already PR2 and has an Alexa rank of 43,534 in the U.S.

      There is no reason for a blogger to go it alone now that there are so many with the willingness and experience to show the way. I hope you and all the bloggers reading this will join the collaborations explained in the post I’ll feature in CommentLuv in this reply.
      .-= growmap´s featured blog ..Why I Recommend BloggerLuv- CommentLuv- SBC =-.

      • Gail, I certainly agree with you that it’s pretty difficult for a single blog to generate income even if they have decent traffic as you mention with the sub 50k Alexa ranking etc.

        For most blogs, they’re either monetized with CPC or CPM ads and affiliate links. Either way, even these monetization streams are heavily niche related. Some areas do really poorly with CPC ads like Adsense.

        Some successful blogs eventually realize that they’re better off using their site to sell their own products in some cases. Either way, you always have to be a in a good niche or it’s much harder to make a profitable blog.
        Jarret would love you to read ..Dietary supplements for weight lossMy Profile

  34. That is really gonna help me a lot .I will keep this post in mind & I am gonna have a domain name and thinking to start a blog,and my blog will be as good as Growmap. :)
    Thanks!

  35. I am shure that blogs have become very important these days. I too have a blog where i write news about my business and it attracts very much audience from all over the country. Blogging is a great business.

  36. I thought it was going to be some boring old post, but it really compensated for my time. I will post a link to this page on my blog. I am sure my visitors will find that very useful.
    Thanks again!

    • Hello,

      My writing may be complex but it usually isn’t too boring – at least I haven’t had any feedback to indicate it is. It looks like you’re using Volusion? They are my favorite ecommerce platform.

      If you decide to start blogging again you may want to join our collaborations. Details in the post about BloggerLuv, CommentLuv and SBC.
      .-= growmap´s featured blog ..Why I Recommend BloggerLuv- CommentLuv- SBC =-.

  37. Great article! I totally agree with your premise that there is a lot of money in local blogging.

  38. Great post! Thanks for passing along such an informative and interesting post here!

    • Hello and welcome,

      I wanted to let you know that comments like yours are almost always flagged as spam by bloggers for two reasons:

      1) There is nothing in it specific to the post where you submitted it.
      2) Generic comments that include “great post” or “interesting post” are commonly used by spammers.

      If you include something very specific to the post you’re commenting in that makes it easier for bloggers to know that you aren’t spamming. Many bloggers will flag you as a spammer anyway because you’re using keywords in the name field.

      In KeywordLuv-enabled blogs like this one it is a good idea to use a name and your keywords like this: Name @ Texas Black Buck Hunts. The @ symbol causes the plugin to only link your keyword phrase. Many people find having a name too is “friendlier”.

      There is much more I can share with you starting with the post I’ll put in CommentLuv in this reply that explains how to request and/or upgrade your free listings on 76+ major Local Search Directories including Google Maps, Yahoo! Local, SuperPages, YellowPages, etc.

      To not do that is like turning down free advertising so I do hope you’ll take that suggestion very seriously.
      .-= growmap´s featured blog ..Local Search Directory Listings =-.

  39. Dennis Edell says:

    I’ll expand a little on your comment to Kristi. I think a main reason mom & pop can’t or won’t blog is time. Then they have to outsource, which may be very difficult to afford.

    The finest catch-22.
    .-= Dennis Edell @ Direct Sales Marketing´s featured blog ..Welcome To The All New DennisEdellcom! =-.

    • Hi Dennis,

      I agree that small businesses often do not have time or the writing or technical skills to blog themselves. That is why it is important for those of us who have the ability to create niche blogs and support the best businesses near us.

      We can write about and link to them, write reviews for them on sites like Yahoo! Local, Google Maps, Merchant Circle, etc., introduce them to CommentLuv communities and help them become comfortable commenting and building backlinks to whatever web presence they have.

      When businesses near you thrive so does your local economy and the people who live in your community. You, Kristi, I and many others we know are aware how long it took for us to learn what we know now. It is up to us to lead others.
      .-= Gail Gardner´s featured blog ..Support Small Businesses =-.

      • Dennis Edell says:

        Another thing I was considering when I registered SmallBusinessBlogCoach.com; big future plans for that domain. ;)
        .-= Dennis Edell @ Direct Sales Marketing´s featured blog ..Welcome To The All New DennisEdellcom! =-.

        • Hi Dennis,

          Do be sure to let me know when you get that one going. Once you decide on your optimum anchor text and landing pages we’ll start adding links for you from related posts (existing and new).

          Do remember my post on Local Search Directory listings. The businesses you coach will need to either do that themselves (all the info they need is in there – if it isn’t I’ll provide answers) or contract with you to do it for them (probably better for them).
          .-= growmap´s featured blog ..Local Search Directory Listings =-.

          • Dennis Edell says:

            SBBC itself will be one of the first network blogs to open, as I write lots of blogging tips…..that will be how it starts.

            The service side, whatever that turns out to be, won’t be for a while.
            .-= Dennis Edell @ Direct Sales Marketing´s featured blog ..The Official DEDC-Network Comment Policy =-.

  40. Hey, I just read this post and thought to write a comment. I also agree with @ Danny from Tampa Real Estate that targeting a specific area through blogging helps build a community within itself. However, I learnt a new thing from your post which is geo-targetting the blog. I will be looking for some more such geo-targetted blogs. Anyways, thanks for this informative post. Always getting to learn something from your posts.
    .-= Robert@Appointment Setting Company´s featured blog ..Tips for Effective Appointment Setting – The Appointment Setting Close =-.

    • Welcome Robert,

      I am glad that my posts have been of value to you. If you ever have specific questions do feel free to ask. I would like to hear more about your business and what it can do to benefit others.

      Are you familiar with Local Search Directories and communities like Merchant Circle? They could be effective ways for you to locate businesses by geographic location. See my post on Local Search Directories in CommentLuv in this reply for a list of directories and how they work.
      .-= Gail Gardner´s featured blog ..Local Search Directory Listings =-.

      • Hi Gail, thanks for the suggestions. I have checked your post on Local Search Directory Listings. I wasn’t that much familiar with these local search directories or the community like Merchant Circle. I tried to make some research on it. However, may be I’ll need your service. We provide appointment setting services and frequently provide suggestions in order to increase one’s business campaigns effectiveness. Our appointment setters can work with or without a script in order to develop beneficial relationships with one’s business prospects and generate sales quality appointments with the ultimate goal of saving one time and money.

  41. Makes perfect sense – local businesses especially should take to blogging as it will really let people “get to know them” and the more comfortable people are with someone, the more likely they are to become a customer based on the trust aspect.
    .-= Kristi@Blog Marketing´s featured blog ..9 Search Optimization Tips with Benefits for Your Visitors =-.

    • Hi Kristi,

      I agree but I also believe that most local businesses aren’t going to get this whole blogging thing figured out so the next best thing is to have someone start the blog in their area and have the businesses become regular commentators. That will be almost as good as having their own blogs.
      .-= growmap´s featured blog ..How to Build a Successful Blog Based Business =-.

  42. Do you have any statistics on how many searches are geo-targeted? I know that I’m personally using localized searches more frequently, since I pretty much now expect that every little mom-and-pop shop has a web site. But I’m curious as to how quickly the trend is growing…
    .-= Camden@Mens Gifts´s featured blog ..Bronze Sundial- Sun and Moon Bronze Sundial =-.

    • Hi Camden,

      Most people still don’t think to include their location when using a regular search engine. You can prove this for yourself by noting how many people search for video rental store without specifying WHERE.

      I wish that every little mom-and-pop shop had a Web site but that is still not true today. Even ecommerce businesses are slow to understand the importance of Social Media and Local Search.

      The way the economy is declining, traditional businesses will either learn to use the Internet quickly to expand their customer base to make up for declining spend from existing buyers or they will not survive.

      What WILL happen is that separate search engines will become less important as people can get the answers they want on the sites they most frequent. Why search if you can ask people you have a relationship with for their recommendations?

      Eventually people will find a place they like to hang out and find what they need through it. That could be these local blogs I’m recommending or a new Social Network we (my collaborators and I) will be testing soon.

      In the meantime, we all need to share the link I’ll put in CommentLuv in this reply with all the businesses we use and care about so that hopefully they will take action. They need to DO IT NOW! Why pass up free advertising? That is just not wise – especially in this economy.
      .-= growmap´s featured blog ..Local Search Directory Listings =-.

      • Gail, its very true that many brides search “Wedding DJ” so I’ve gone for the “short tail” with my KW anchor text.

        Thanks for the informative article, as usual its of significance for owners of static web sites who eventually start their own blog.

        • Hi Matt,

          Imagine the potential of this for your business. If you created (or partnered with) the best site in Sacramento for what’s happening, events, etc. there would be even more potential for DJ gigs – both weddings and others.

  43. Your post reminds me of the famous bank robber (though I can’t remember his name) who was asked, “Why do you rob banks?” His answer was, “Because that’s where the money is!” :)
    So if you want to make money blogging, then you’ve got to “blog where the money is!” (an obvious fact that seems all to often overlooked).
    Steve (bar jokes)

    • Welcome Steve,

      I’ll correct your link as soon as I enter this reply. In KeywordLuv enabled blogs you need to use the format Steve @ bar jokes so that only your preferred keywords are linked.

      Cute jokes (here and on your site). Yes, this is a case of what might be common sense. Have you ever wondered if they were trying to use irony when they called it that – it is certainly not very common.

      P.S. Love your Finished Projects….lol
      .-= growmap´s featured blog ..Why I Recommend BloggerLuv- CommentLuv- SBC =-.

  44. Targeting a specific area through blogging is a great way to build your community within itself . It is a opportunity to network and help support local businesses in your community as well.
    .-= Danny @ Tampa Real Estate´s featured blog ..Things to consider when purchasing a Tampa Foreclosure =-.

    • Hi Danny,

      It occurs to me that a blog about their local area is a much stronger way to create relationships for realtors than having a real estate specific blog. People would rather buy (and sell) through someone they know BEFORE they need real estate advice.

      It amazes me that so few businesses understand the importance of Local Search. I just noticed yesterday that my Local Search Directory post is number one on Google for Local Search Directory services – but I get very few inquiries. I hope some are the DIY type.

      That is like saying no to free advertising – just doesn’t make sense.
      .-= growmap´s featured blog ..Local Search Directory Listings =-.

  45. I agree with your premise that there is money in local blogging. In fact, I have seen a lot of it firsthand. The west coast of the United States caught on to this years ago. The rest of the country is still just catching on. It is going to be bigger and bigger over time.
    .-= Kathy´s featured blog ..Does That Blogger Know That You Like Them =-.

    • Welcome Kathy,

      Thank you for reinforcing what I also know – that the money is in reaching a specific target audience. Even if a blogger thinks they aren’t interested in money, blogging well is a major time commitment and it just makes sense to be building what will create an income.

      Beyond that, by doing this you can greatly benefit both businesses and local economies and that is going to continue to be more and more difficult. Supporting Small Businesses WILL make a huge difference.
      .-= Gail @ Blogging Best Practices´s featured blog ..Support Small Businesses =-.

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