Many of the technological advances in the blogging world have come about as a result of a blogger needing a way to do something more quickly, more easily, or more completely on their blog. WordPress plug-ins, blog themes, graphics, apps, and the like are all examples of ways inventive bloggers have turned their need into a profitable revenue stream.
You may think that there’s no way you could sell technology because you’re not technologically minded yourself. Not true! Not even Bill Gates does his own coding.
Here’s how to identify and create technology tools your market will flip for:
• Make a list of problems you have. When his wife Jess needed a better way to keep track of her knitting patterns and yarn stash, Casey Forbes started what would soon become a knitting world phenomenon, Ravelry.com. They didn’t intend to create a social site for over a million users; it happened as a byproduct of a problem. You can do the same thing in your own market. What tools do people need to help them accomplish their goals more easily? Write them down.
• Seek out competition. A little competition is good – it lets you know that there is indeed a market need.
• Improve on what is. If there’s already a WordPress plug-in for pulling Flickr images into your blog, but it’s not working well for you, figure out what you’d do to make it better.
• Find a tech hack. Sites like Odesk.com, rentacoder.com, and even Craigslist are great places to find people with the skills you need to make your dream a reality. Read the requirements carefully, and get several bids – and several recommendations!
• Test, test, test. After you’ve got a solution, try it out on your own site, and ask anyone you can to test it for you as well. Maybe that new plug-in works great on IE but makes Firefox crash; you won’t know unless you test!
Once you have a workable “widget” in-hand, take it to the masses. Go to forums, write about it on your own blog, and strut your stuff. The best advertisement is your own blog! You might also give away a copy of your app or plug-in to some other bloggers, asking them to provide you with a testimonial or review on their site.
You don’t have to be a tech whiz to sell your own great device. Instead, you can be the brains behind the operation and pay someone else to do the pixel-pushing and bytebudging.
The number of ways to make money through your blog is limited only by your imagination. This short list is just the tip of the iceberg. I hope by reading through these descriptions, the floodgates have been opened and you have a better idea of how you can begin to monetize your own blog. If you’ve got an idea that isn’t listed here, all the better! The online world is changing and morphing all the time. Put yourself at the front of the next wave, and you can reap the monetary benefits!