Creating a WordPress blog can seem daunting when you contemplate doing it off of the official WordPress site where you simply point and click your way through the options until it’s published. [Read more…] about Creating a WordPress Blog
Some affiliates set up a blog and create lots of content – without ever learning the ins and outs of search engine optimization. As a site owner, whether you have your own products or promote someone else’s, it’s important that you know SEO. [Read more…] about Basic Search Engine Optimization for Affiliate Blogs
Setting up a blog using WordPress doesn’t have to be challenging even if you don’t know the first thing about blogging. With just a few simple steps to follow you’ll be blogging away in no time. [Read more…] about Setting Up a Blog Using WordPress
When you decide to embark on an affiliate marketing career, an affiliate marketing blog is a must have strategy. It can seem a little overwhelming to set one up if you’re not technologically advanced, but setting up a blog is actually pretty simple with a few easy steps. [Read more…] about Setting Up Your Own Affiliate Marketing Blog
Out of all the ways that exist to build a website, none is as simple as blogging. In part 11 of Joel Comm's Adsense Secrets presentation, he'll show you how easy it is to set up a blog using the tools that Google has provided. Ready to get started?
Joel Comm is Dr. AdSense, an Internet entrepreneur who has been online for more than 20 years. Joel is co-creator of ClassicGames.com, now known as Yahoo! Games and is the author of the web's best-selling AdSense ebook, “Google AdSense Secrets (Or What Google Never Told You About Making Money With AdSense)”.
Super affiliate marketer Rosalind Gardner explains how to make your RSS feed more profitable.
Video by Rosalind Gardner, author of the best-selling The Super Affiliate Handbook: How I Made $436,797 in One Year Selling Other People's Stuff Online. To learn how you too can succeed in Internet and affiliate marketing, please visit Affiliate Blogger Pro.
Plugins for the WordPress platform are tons of fun and incredibly useful. You'll find everything you need to turn your blog into something that is every bit as great as you would have imagined. While there are many plugins out there that are worth your while, the five that follow are the cream of the crop.
This plugin actually comes standard with your WordPress installation. You will have to get a WordPress.com API key to make it work, but after you do it's pure bliss. It keeps spam comments away automatically! Akismet is smart enough to put suspected spam into a separate folder, and it even learns from you as you go. Always activate this plugin for the best results with your blog. It saves you a ton of time too!
Linking to different pages in your blog from every page is a great search engine optimization tactic. The problem with blogs is that it can be so hard to dig through old posts that are related and manually link them in your new post. Related posts solves that problem! It will automatically insert some relevant posts for your blog. It's very hands-off and very effective. Both visitors and search engines love this plugin.
All in One SEO Pack
Once again, optimizing your site for the search engines is going to be one of the best ways you can make money with your blog. The higher you rank, the more traffic you get. The more traffic you get the more money you make! The All In One SEO pack makes your life easier because it allows you to specify the title, description (that will show up in the search engines), and keywords.
WordPress Database Backup
Backing up your blog is crucial if you value your business. You never know what could happen to your server, and it would be devastating to lose everything. This plugin allows you to easily back everything up by pressing a few simple buttons.
This plugin is really cool and it encourages a lot of interaction on your blog. It lists the people who have the most comments within your blog. They love this because they get the extra exposure. You love it because people really get into posting to try and be at the top. It also gives social proof. When people visit a blog for the first time they are more likely to stick around if there are clearly other people there who value your content. The fact that they can see others participating is a great thing.
There are an incredible number of different plugins out there that are ready for you to use. Install these essentials and you'll be well-prepared to become the great blogger you're going to become.
Blogging is a great way to make money with Google AdSense. In part 7 of Joel Comm's AdSense presentation, you will learn how to get started in just a matter of minutes.
Joel Comm is Dr. AdSense, an Internet entrepreneur who has been online for more than 20 years. Joel is co-creator of ClassicGames.com, now known as Yahoo! Games and is the author of the web's best-selling AdSense ebook, “Google AdSense Secrets (Or What Google Never Told You About Making Money With AdSense)”.
If you want to know the secret to successful blogging, you must watch this video. John Chow discusses some of the reasons why most bloggers don't make money.
Building a blog is not enough; you have to market it. Treat your blog like a real business. It takes time, money, passion and commitment to build a money making blog.
What is more important than your traffic is how you monetize that traffic. Blog consistently. Keep working on your brand.
This video by Internet marketer Rosalind Gardner will show you how to embed YouTube videos into your blog or website.
Adding your own or other's video to your site or blog increases visitor retention rates and times. That in turn makes your site “stickier” and will increase your search engine rankings. Better yet, it doesn't eat up your bandwidth! Find out how easy it is to post a video to your blog.
Video by Rosalind Gardner, author of the best-selling The Super Affiliate Handbook: How I Made $436,797 in One Year Selling Other People's Stuff Online. To learn how you too can succeed in Internet and affiliate marketing, please visit Affiliate Blogger Pro.
There is a reason why the WordPress platform is the standard among affiliate marketers. You can install it in a few minutes, add unique themes and plug-ins in seconds, and be indexed in the search engines within hours – even if you don't know HTML. But the default settings for WordPress are designed for hobbyists and bloggers. Affiliate marketers whose business depends on high search engine rankings are left out in the cold. But that's no reason to be discouraged. With a few easy tweaks, your site can become highly tuned for SEO.
Change the default permalink settings. The WordPress defaults have a date based directory of posts. This is perfect for blogger who wants to track her entries over long period of time, but it's poison to an affiliate marketer wants to present evergreen content. Click options in your admin panel, and then click Permalinks. It's easy to change this to a category based setting.
Pinging is a way of letting search engines and other indexing services know that you've made a new post. This is good. But every time you edit and update one of your posts, WordPress pings all those services again. The more you update, the higher the chances are that you'll be seen as a spammer and blacklisted. This is bad. Ping optimization plug-ins strike a wonderful balance – getting you seen by more sites and reducing your chances of getting flagged by accident.
Tags can be a big boost to your SEO efforts if you use them properly, but the default WordPress settings make it tough to keep track of them. Most new affiliates will be tempted to give up entirely. Luckily, plug-ins like Ultimate Tag Warrior make it easier to recognize and manage your tags.
META Tags and Keywords
Items like your title, META description, and keywords are all covered by the default WordPress installation, but it's tough to have pinpoint control of this information on each individual page. Third-party SEO plug-ins are incredibly popular on WordPress for this exact reason. It's important to be careful with your keyword selection. The importance of keywords in webpage description has been drastically lowered thanks to SEO spam.
It's important for your site to have links to your own posts and pages. They’re a sign that you, as the webmaster, have an interest in showing visitors other relevant things on your site. Unfortunately, you might be too busy making new content and promoting your site to spend time rereading all of your posts looking for opportunities to cross-link things. Fortunately, quality plug-ins like LinkWithin can come to the rescue, automatically pointing visitors to similar content on your website.
Do you have something to say? Well, the internet is the perfect forum for your opinions. But, don’t just voice your views, make money doing it as well.
The great thing about the internet is that an enterprising person can always find a way to make money there. You are connected with literally millions of people the world over who are all looking for something. If you have what they need, then you can turn a profit for your efforts.
Blogging, as most of you know, started off as online journaling. Today, hundreds of people are blogging on a variety of different topics and gaining an audience. With an audience, you can create an income that can provide money for vacations, rainy days and the like.
One thing about blogging though; it can take a while to gain a following. The more followers that you have, the more influence and opportunity you will also have. But, you don’t have to wait to try to turn a profit from your words.
Tips for Monetizing Your Blog
Here are some tips to help you start off on the right foot and create a blog that will net you an income.
Start a blog – Blog platforms are free. You can begin a blog without any money. Do you have something to say in a particular area? Investigate your niche to see who else is blogging in it already and how successful they are. You can pick up some tips by following these blogs. Create your own blog with your unique angle on the niche.
Promote your new blog – Use social networking sites and social bookmarking sites to showcase your articles and posts. Article marketing can also help you link back to your blog so people who like your work can read more.
Optimize your blog – Ever heard of search engine optimization? Use targeted keywords in your headlines, photo captions, taglines and anchor text so that search engines can rank you high in their results.
Sell advertising space – Internet sites are prime real estate. Sell space to subscribers, visitors and other bloggers in prime spaces on your site.
Blog for others – Your writing talent can benefit others who don’t have time to continually update their blogs. There are freelance jobs available on the internet for blogging for hire. Companies may pay you to blog about them to increase their sales. You may have to have a certain amount of daily traffic for this type of position.
Blog regularly – The only way to maintain your income and traffic is to provide something new for people to read on a regular basis. Just keep the information coming and your blog will grow. With growth can come more income for you.
By setting up your own article marketing blog, you can take promoting your products to a much higher level. How does it work? By creating a central space online for your content, you’ll have an area where you can promote your stuff and you can also open it for others to use.
Why would you let others have some space in your article directory? Because there’s power in unity. Together, the multitude of articles created by different authors works to drive up ranking for the site, which in turn brings a higher level of visibility to your products.
It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved. As the authors submit articles and promote their articles on other sites, you’ll get links back to the blog and as the spiderbots crawl the web, all of those links will be noticed.
When the spiders gather that data for the purpose of indexing because of the links, your page rank will be higher because it’s looked upon as an authority site. Which means you get your articles about services and products promoted without having to do all of the work.
Not only that, but when you have your own article marketing blog, you get to have relevant content that’s constantly refreshed and site visitors get a smorgasbord of information at a glance.
Plus, you’ll be able to provide links to your other sites and have ads for the affiliate products that you’re promoting. You’ll want to purchase a domain for this blog so that you own it outright. Pick an easy to remember name for the blog.
A few handy tips you’ll want to keep in mind if you’re considering setting up a blog of this nature. First, make sure you take only quality articles. Material that’s full of misspellings and poor English or spam content isn’t going to bring in the results you want.
Include a disclaimer about plagiarism, too – the last thing you want to deal with is someone stealing content from other sites, posting it on yours and claiming it as his own. Once you have your domain and you have plenty of authors with decent articles all ready, you’ll be waiting for the traffic.
Having an article marketing blog pulls in keyword traffic, but you’ll still want to promote your new article marketing site and help it start earning for you. You can offer ad space for sale to companies and entrepreneurs. You can also offer a paid membership with some extra perks along with the free membership to those wanting to submit content, like faster approval or better positioning on the site.
Free is the most attractive word in the English language when it comes to getting your own business off the ground online. Most newcomers start out blogging on free blog platforms such as Blogger.com or WordPress.org.
But then they realize that maintaining control over their blog on a domain of their own is of utmost importance – and WordPress is what most people use to create an online presence.
It’s very easy to insert a WordPress blog into your domain once you have hosting with a cPanel. Here’s what you do using HostGator, for example:
1. Log into your hosting account and click the Fantastico button (a smiley face) under the Software and Services section.
2. On the left-hand side, under Blogs, click on the WordPress link.
3. Click the New Installation link.
4. From the drop-down menu, pick which domain you want to install the blog on. You can also choose where to install the blog. If you want the blog on the primary domain, then leave the space blank where it says “Install in directory” but you may want to put a landing page on the primary domain and put your blog on a different area such as domainname.com/blog.
5. Enter your admin nickname and password that you’ll use to manage the blog’s content on a regular basis.
6. Click Install WordPress.
The next screen will show you where your access URL will be for your blog. Make sure you keep track of this information. To complete the process, click Finish Installation. Once your blog is installed, you can pick a theme that will match your niche topic.
Then you’re ready to start posting to your blog! The more you post, the more often various search engine spiders will visit your blog and index your site for relevancy to your niche topic.
Make sure you post frequently and use keyword phrases in the titles of your blog posts as well as your content. Have a strategy in place to monetize your blog with the sale of your own products or as an affiliate to promote someone else’s products.
Getting your blog set up is the easy part of the process. Now comes the difficult part – getting visitors! You need to find traffic to come to your blog or it won’t be a profitable investment of your time.
There are several different places where you can advertise your blog. Some will cost a small amount and others won’t cost you a penny. Start with the free options and as you begin to see a return on your investment of time, you can invest some profits back into marketing your blog with paid options.
1. Join message board communities. This is a simple way to advertise your blog. Interact with your fellow users and advertise your blog in your signature line, if it’s allowed. If it’s not allowed, there’s usually a folder available within that forum that does allow you to advertise your sites. Use them.
2. Join a social networking site. These sites are a good way to network with like-minded people who are interested in the same subject your blog is about. Join the community and get to know the other members and then you can supply them with a link to your blog. Many in social networking circles provide cross-promotions, so you’ll probably accumulate a lot of valuable backlinks to your blog.
3. Utilize social bookmarking sites. Write a great thought provoking post on your blog and submit it to sites like Digg.com or del.icio.us. There are hundreds of people who spend hours at these sites searching for good websites to check out. Your blog can get a surge of traffic through this strategic and viral sharing method.
4. Join a blogging community like Blog Explosion. This offers you a way of connecting with other bloggers who may do a review of your blog on theirs, which would help drive more traffic to your site.
1. Use advertising campaigns like Google AdWords. Place an ad on the search engine result pages and pay only when someone clicks on the link. Make sure you use the best keywords to get the ad noticed, so that you can drive more traffic to your blog.
2. Use text link advertising. Contact some of the more popular blogs in your niche and see if they would be willing to sell you some advertising space through text links. If the price is right, take the chance to have traffic driven to your site from theirs. Not all sites will be willing to do this, so keep trying different ones until you get one to say yes.
There are certainly more ways to accomplish effective advertising for your blog. You can market it the same way you would any other website online. The key is to keep costs down while maximizing your selling potential within the blog.
For those just starting out in the blogging business, you’re probably wondering which site is best to start your blog with. The three most popular blogging sites that most bloggers choose for their business needs are Blogger, WordPress and LiveJournal.
Not all blogging sites are good for advertisements, so you’ll want to check each one out. Here’s a short comparison of the three sites listed here to help you choose what's best for you and your niche:
Blogger – This is usually the choice for beginners because it's the easiest one of the three to set up. Simply sign up for an account and they take you step by step through the process of getting a blog started.
Blogger is affiliated with Google, so even signing up for the AdSense ads is extremely easy to do. They walk you through that as well. They don't have as many blog templates to choose from as the others do, but this site is definitely recommended for those with no blogging experience who want to get launched without hassle.
WordPress – This site is a little more complicated to start a blog with. They still walk you through the setting up process, but there's a little more to their set up than with Blogger. WordPress allows you to export their blogs to your domain, so marketers who’ve blogged a little while can move their blogs when they're comfortable doing so.
WordPress offers plenty of different blog templates to choose from and many people create free templates you can download as long as the bottom of the blog gives them credit. This is perfect because when you're promoting to a niche audience, the theme can set the tone and authority of the site for the reader.
LiveJournal – This is an excellent community-driven blogging site. It offers a free account to blog with as well as a paid account option. Unfortunately, you have to upgrade to a paid account to use most of its features.
Ads are a paid account benefit, so this option isn't the best choice for making money from ads with little to no start-up cost. Advertisers can pay you to place ads on your blog if you have a paid account.
The free account is good for use as a networking tool to get others to visit your blog on another site where you could make money. Consider it a “feeder blog” that funnels readers through to another destination.
There are many other blogging sites out there to choose from, but most offer paid accounts to utilize the best services they have. Going with a free account now is the best option when you want to keep costs low and earning potential high.
You can always upgrade later on and get a paid account with one of the other sites. Be sure to research those sites to determine which one offers what you need. Whether you're a newbie starting out or an intermediate to advanced blogger, these sites give you the best opportunities for bringing in income on the ‘net.
In order to make your blog a successful money making entity, you’ll need to get traffic to it and keep them coming back. The best way to do this is to provide the best content you can in your niche and make it interesting to your blog readers.
Even the most successful bloggers start to run out of their own original content to post about. Some resort to scraping the bottom of the barrel to find things to discuss, but that ultimately loses them readers, which means less money streaming in.
Where do you find great ideas to post about? There are actually many different things to use to get you out of your stuck-in-a-rut mode. These may be simple techniques to use, but they can be effective if used right. Here are some things to try the next time you get stuck for something to write about:
Scour the news sites – Search the news sites like CNN, MSNBC, and FOXNEWS and see if you can find a top story that you can blog about. Instead of just linking to the story, add your own accounting of it.
You can post about your personal feelings toward the story or ask your readers what their thoughts are on it. Just make sure the story somehow relates to your blog’s topic.
Check out your fellow blogger’s sites and see what they’re blogging about – It may seem unethical, but as long as you’re not stealing content, it’s perfectly acceptable to see what the community is interested in.
Is there a post that catches your eye? Is there something you can add to that post? A new spin you can put on it? Media outlets always have an eye on the competition to see what others are doing – and you should, too!
Internet research – Do a search on the Internet for your blog’s topic. See what information you can come up with concerning your niche. You may become inspired by something you’ve read there or you may think of some comments to post about it.
Check the video sites – YouTube has a zillion different videos out there that you can add to your blog. See if you can find one that relates to your blog’s topic. Post the video to your blog and have your readers share their thoughts on it.
Consider doing reviews – Reviews can be a good filler to use while you try to get inspired again. Choose some articles, websites, books or whatever you can think of that’s related to your blog’s topic and post a review of it. If it’s a good review, add your affiliate link and make some money from your opinions!
Daily activities – Think about what happened within your day that you might be able to work into your blog. If your blog is about flowers and you happened to go for a walk and saw some flowers on the way, use that as your post.
Let your readers know what kinds of flowers are seen in your neighborhood and if possible, take come pictures to add since visual stimulation enhances the reader’s experience.
You can easily get back your inspiration for your blog posting if you look to other sources. They can help you come up with ideas of what you can share with your readers or they can give you a nice filler until your personal inspiration comes back. Don’t lose readers just because you’ve lost your blogging muse!
Whenever you mention article marketing, most people instantly get an image of sitting down to write a bunch of content. But it’s more than the writing process. You can cash in promoting affiliate products or your own products and services by setting up a system that automates your article marketing for you year round.
There are three ways to add article marketing automation to your task list. The first involves outsourcing your writing and submission process to a qualified freelancer. You simply pay a bill and then let them conduct a full article marketing campaign for you, with hyperlinks pointing back to your domain.
The second one involves an email autoresponder system. Use a free viral report to get subscribers to an online newsletter and then drip feed a daily, weekly or monthly article to them that you grab from your own article directory account or from someone else’s, since you’re allowed to use articles as a publisher.
Use a system like Aweber and schedule your follow up emails to go out on a regular basis. You can add a bit to the email by writing an introduction about the topic that the article will cover, and ending the email with a conclusion (and possible hyperlink to a product, too).
Thirdly, you can use the same tactic on a blog that you create. Register a domain on a registrar like GoDaddy and use a hosting plan at a site like Hostgator, which has a cpanel where you can install a WordPress blog using the Fantastico button.
Then click Add New blog post and post your first article that you grab as a publisher form an article directory. Keep adding new blog posts, only for subsequent entries, schedule them to post each day for as long as you want them to appear.
Google and other search engine spiders will continually visit to index your content – the more frequently you post, the more often they’ll come back to index. Try to post some original articles mixed in with the article directory content or at the very least write an introduction to the article and a conclusion, as you would do with an email autoresponder.
Article marketing automation can help shave time off of your daily task list. By either allowing someone else to handle the workload or setting up a system that continues posting throughout the year, you’re able to focus your efforts on other areas where you need a more hands on approach.
Every blogger who earns income from their blog knows that the only way you can make money is by getting and keeping the traffic coming. Without your readers, you wouldn’t be making money at all.
There are lots of ways to get them there, but the question is – how do you keep them returning? If a reader isn’t impressed by your blog at all, then they’ll leave your blog, never to return again.
With them goes their blog’s traffic that you could’ve benefited from if they’d linked to you. Here are some tips to make your blog appealing enough to keep the traffic there to earn you some money.
The most common mistake some bloggers make is in their blog’s design. Blog readers not only look for interesting and informative content – they also want to come to an inviting space to read it.
The blog’s design needs to be inviting to them and comforting. It’s crucial not to have anything that would annoy them to the point of leaving because they can’t stand it. Make sure you’re not annoying them with colored font that’s hard to read or a bunch of graphics that are too distracting.
A few animated graphics are fine, but don’t have flashing ads and glittering graphics detracting from your blog’s message – or your strategically-placed advertisements. It’s fine to use colored font for your posts, but make sure it’s easy to read.
A pale yellow font color against a pure white background may be too difficult for the visitors to read. They shouldn’t clash with the background color either. Clashing colors can give visitors headaches, so they’ll leave your site without bookmarking it for a later visit.
The other common mistake bloggers tend to make is with their content. Some bloggers don’t update very often. If you only post once a month, your readers will forget you’re there and won’t return to your site. Post to your blog at least three times a week to keep human visitors and search engine spiders coming back.
Some bloggers also make the mistake of only providing text content to their blogs. Text posts are great, but mix it up a little every once in awhile with multi-media formats. Provide some interesting pictures, audio files and videos. Offer a little variety and your visitors will come back to check and see what else you’ve been up to.
It’s also important to stick to your blog’s niche topic. If you’re blogging about Homeschooling, then stick to that topic. Providing information about a celebrity’s latest excursion will turn off your readers unless it somehow relates to homeschooling.
To make your blog successful in bringing you money, make sure you make the blog appealing to your readers. If your readers keep coming back, your chances of making money from your ads and offers will increase.
Blogging has been around for a long time on the Internet. It started out as a creative outlet for people to take their personal journals online to share with family and friends. It branched out into outlets of information to be shared by experts and now people use them for a money-making opportunity.
Blogs are excellent tools to earn some extra money without having to invest start-up cash. They’re loved by the search engines because blogs are usually updated frequently, unlike websites that are updated less often.
Millions of people visit blogs every day for information or entertainment purposes. A lot of the blog visitors are ones that come back to check in on the latest entries into a blogger’s world.
They link their blog to your blog, which increases your reader base. The blog’s traffic becomes so huge that your chances for earning increase. Using AdSense ads are the most popular way to generate income from your blog.
By strategically placing the ads on the blog, you can entice visitors to click on them, with each click earning you a share of the profits Google takes in. While a couple of clicks earn you very little, a high flow of traffic and clicks earns you a substantial amount.
To make a lot of money with AdSense, you have to drive traffic to the blog. The most important concept with AdSense is to remember that you have to make the ads visible and not hidden somewhere in the blog where they can’t be seen. The more people who click away, the more money you’ll make.
Another way some people make money from their blogs is by using advertisement space. Advertisers scramble to place one of their banners on the more popular blogs. They’re willing to pay you based on the traffic numbers you generate and the prime space available within your blog.
There are many ways you can monetize ad space. You might charge a flat fee, take a commission based on the number of click-throughs, or make a deal where you get a percentage of the sale of a product, much like an affiliate marketer does.
If your blog is extremely popular, then there’s more of a chance that advertiser’s will compete to have their banners placed in your space. Blogs are a good way to earn some money by sharing your thoughts, feeling and even your daily tasks.
Choose a topic that has a high number of searches, launch a free blog at Blogger.com or WordPress.com, and strategically implement your ads and offers to start seeing a steady income build over time.
It's a lot of fun to blog, but it can get old fast if no one is visiting! Getting your blog to the top of the search engines for your main key phrases should be your goal to make this traffic happen. Keep in mind that it will take time, but it's very possible.
You're going to need to learn about Search Engine Optimization to make this a reality. The very basics of this is knowing which keywords to focus on. These are what people are searching for in the search engines, and how they might find your blog. Some of these keywords get a lot more searches than others get, so it's in your best interest to eventually choose the ones that do get searched for often. Keep in mind that these are often more competitive than ones that are searched for less — but you might get lucky.
You need to focus your efforts on these keywords for now. Choose a big one that will take longer to reach, as well as three to four additional terms you're going to try and rank for. These should all be similar! Then, you're going to include these keywords in each blog post you make in various combinations. Always focus your posts on one term, and include the others only if they make sense. As you focus on these similar keywords the search engines will start to rank you more highly because your blog is tightly focused and relevant to what you're targeting.
It's not always that easy, however. A lot of ranking decisions are based on how many backlinks you have coming into your website. You need to do what you can to get relevant links that point to your homepage and your individual posts. You can get these links by writing articles to submit to directories, writing guest blog posts on other high traffic blogs, using social networking sites, using social bookmarking sites, and buying links (be very careful with this tactic.)
One of the best ways to get your blog to the top of the search engines is to show consistent, relevant postings over time. Google seems to favor domains that have had some time to age and that are going to be a good bet for their visitors. Remember — Google's (and other engine's) goal is to provide the best experience possible for the people who search with them. If your blog is going to be a good match for your search terms it will be easier for you to rank and stay there.
Finally, you need to make sure that you're always posting amazing content. The better your content and the more interesting your blog, the more people will link to it. There is nothing better than getting free links just because people liked what you have to say! Keep your mind on the SEO side of things, but also remember that you are ultimately catering to the needs of the people in your niche. If they like you, the search engines will like you.
It's not enough to just write content for your blog and expect people to come and buy. We can all wish that were true, but it takes a bit more effort than that. It's as much about marketing as it is about having great content.
One of the most important aspects of marketing your blog is making sure you take as many steps as you can to become perceived as an expert. “Expert” blogs tend to get a lot more visitors, a lot more comments, and a lot more sales! You definitely want to cash in on the expert status.
So, what do you need to do? The most important thing is that you make yourself known in the community. If there is a forum in your niche (there probably is!) create an account and start answering questions. People won't know you at first, but it will soon become clear that you know your stuff and you're here to help people. After enough time has passed you can usually include a link to your blog in your signature file. This is great for getting traffic directly from the forum posts, but it will also count as backlinks!
In addition to posting on forums you can also comment on other people's blogs. The more you comment with relevant information, the more people will be inclined to visit your blog. This is also a big part of networking. As you get to know that other big players in this niche you can strike up guest blog posting deals to make yourself even more well known.
Yet another way to market your blog is to write articles. The more relevant, quality content you have out there pointing to your blog, the more likely people are going to be to find you. As you know, the more people that find you the better your chances of developing a good readership and making some money.
Finally, you can even pay for your traffic through Pay Per Click like Google Adwords. You will definitely want to study the art of Adwords before diving in, and you'll need to create a blog post that is a review of some sort, or is asking people to sign up for your list. When you're marketing through PPC you need to clearly spell out what kind of action you want the people who are clicking on your ad to take.
These four tips may all seem very different to you — that's because they are! This can seem confusing to someone who is new to blogging. It's important to understand that there are different marketing techniques you'll use to form an overall marketing plan. Pick and choose what will work fro you, but it really does take an army of techniques to become truly successful.
You know that blogging can be a lot of fun, but you probably also know that there are some problems out there that bloggers face. If you keep yourself aware of these things you'll know exactly what you need to do to combat the problems. You'll be a better blogger with an amazing blog as a result.
The three problems most bloggers deal with include:
- Lack of Focus
Let's tackle these one-by-one!
The first problem is burnout. When you first got started with your blog the chances are good that you were really excited. You had it in your mind that great things were going to happen. You probably also thought that the returns were going to be immediate. Soon enough, you realized that writing about the same topic all the time can be boring, and that it can take some time to bring in a great income.
It's fine to feel frustrated! You should know, however, that these feelings are what can make or break you as a blogger. If you give up, you'll never know what it's like to be a successful blogger pulling in great money. If you persevere past this frustration you can be extremely successful! The majority of bloggers give up, so make sure that doesn't happen to you.
The next most common problem is sameness. This simply refers to the fact that it can be hard for cloggers to find their exact “niche.” Sure, you know what your blog will be about — you might even have it very targeted. That doesn't mean your blog will stand out from the crowd! In order for you to gain the most loyal following possible you need to do something that will put you above the others. You might run special contests, write in a unique “voice” using humor or other forms of unique writing, or just come up with something that is absolutely off the wall but that your visitors will love.
Finally, the last problem many bloggers face is the lack of focus. We've already discussed that it's hard to stay motivated past the early stages, and this problem often leads to a lack of focus. You started out writing a blog about weddings, but you quickly got disenchanted and start blogging on a different site about sports instead. This goes back to the issue where you just need to push through. Even if you feel like you just can't focus on this topic, you need to realize that jumping from one thing to the other will only hold you back from reaching your goals.
There are, of course, other problems that bloggers face as well. The difference between those who do well and those who give up is their determination. If you are determined to earn enough income to replace your job, for example, you're going to need to know that these problems are there and come up with a battle plan to banish them forever.
Remember, blogging is wonderful, but it takes a unique mindset to really make it as a blogger.
Optimizing your blog for the search engines is crucial! There are so many different blogs out there that you'll quickly sink to the bottom if you don't optimize. Follow these seven tips and you'll be well on your way to high rankings.
#1 – Create the Right Permalink Structure
The permalinks WordPress uses by default are not search engine friendly. You can make this simple change by putting %postname% instead of the default that is there. This will create URL's that include your post name — which should include your targeted keywords.
#2 – Install All in One SEO Plugin
This plugin is a must-have. It allows you to specify a title, description, and the keywords for the search engines. It can really help you reach the top of the listings, whereas the standard WP installation can fall short.
#3 – Install Related Posts Plugin
Search engines love it when content pages are interlinked. It also works very well for the search engines. It will automatically include links to other posts that are similar. Very convenient!
#4 – Research your Keywords
When people search, they do so by keyword. You need to know what these keywords are if you want to rank at the top of the search engines. Your posts should be centered around these keywords.
#5 – Include Your Keywords in the Title
You need to include your main keyword in the title of your blog. Also, include your main keyword and select others in the titles of your posts and sprinkled throughout your pages.
#6 – Make Your Blog Easy to Navigate
Easy navigation is essential for your guests and the search engines. That means including your blog's categories, recent posts (to make sure they get indexed) and pages. Easy navigation is also part of choosing a good design.
#7 – Expand the Ping List
When you make a new blog post WordPress will “ping” the blog search engines. This alerts them that content on your site has changed. This can help you get indexed fast so you can start making income fast. Do a Google search to find an expanded ping list you can include in your wp-admin so you make sure you get as many of these sites to update you as possible.
Using these seven plugins will make your job of ranking highly in the search engines easier than ever. If you're new to blogging with WordPress then the terms might seem incredibly strange to you right now. As you study them and put them into action it will start to feel like second nature!
Choosing how to monetize your blog is a huge decision! There are many different options and it can be difficult to judge which type your readers will respond to most. Take a look at these different options, and make your choice with your readers and the market overall in mind.
Option 1: Adsense
Adsense is probably the easiest way to monetize — and the most difficult! It's easy because it's just a simple code that Google gives you (they even automatically match up the ads for you!). You make money as soon as someone clicks on your ads, whether they actually go on to make a purchase or not. Adsense can also be incredibly difficult. You usually get paid a few cents per click and it can take a lot of traffic for it to add up to something that is even remotely worth your while.
Adsense might be a good thing to test, especially as you're getting your feet wet with blogging. If you're in the right market and find the right ad positions and colors, it can certainly turn into a nice hands-off income for you.
Option 2: Affiliate Products
Selling products as an affiliate is a great way to make money. For one thing, you get to earn money from the products without having to fulfill them yourself or deal with customer service issues. Nothing is better than that! The returns are usually higher than with Adsense, provided you're able to find an offer that converts well with the people who visit your website.
You will have to decide if you want to promote digital or physical products. This decision will likely come down to what kind of niche you're in and how your site visitors will respond.
Option 3: Creating Your Own Products
After you get a loyal following of readers it's easier than ever to create and sell your own information product! You'll have to fulfill the orders and deal with customer service issues, but the tradeoff is that you get to keep all the money! You are also the one who knows your readers best, so you're likely to come up with an offer that converts extremely well since it's exactly what they want.
You can write an ebook, create a membership site, deliver a paid e-course, create a video series, or record audio. If you want to make the package even better you can combine a few different approaches to add massive value. The options are endless when it comes to monetizing with your own products. Some of your blog readers might eventually want to become an affiliate of yours as well!
As you look at these different options you might start to feel overwhelmed. That's perfectly normal! It's hard to know what the best path is when you're just starting out with a new niche. A good way to get a feel for the best way to do things is to see what other blogs and sites in your niche are doing. You're not trying to copy them, you're simply taking note of what works and using it yourself.
One of the main differences between a blog and a static website is the way people are able to interact with your content. With a static site it's just people reading words on a page. When you have a blog they can explore and even comment back! You want to get that sort of interactive spirit going so you can create a loyal readership with your blog.
That doesn't mean it's easy! There are literally millions of blogs out there all vying for the attention of your audience. It can be even harder to grab people's attention when you're just getting started. The bad news is that it's going to take some work and dedication to build up a loyal readership. The good news is that it's very possible, and even fun, to put these things into place. Follow these rules and you'll have the kind of repeat visitors and fans that really make blogging worth your while.
Rule #1: Write Great Content
Let's face it; if your content stinks there is no way people are going to come back and read again! They'll just click away, never to return. If you write great content, however, you're sure to get some fans. Not everyone considers themselves to be a good writer. That's OK! No one expects you to have perfect grammar and spelling. It's far more important that you write interesting content that stands out from the crowd. Give your real thoughts and opinions on things that matter to the audience.
When you write great content, not only will you have people who want to visit your blog all the time. They will also link to you! You know that more linking means higher rankings in Google. That's definitely a great thing that will expand your readership base to levels you couldn't even imagine when you got started.
Rule #2: Leave the Comments Open
It's amazing — but there are bloggers out there who close their comments! While it can be a lot of work to try and get rid of those spam comments, you're also missing out on a big part of what being a blogger is all about. You need to let the audience write back and speak their mind too. People don't just want a website they can read anymore, they want one they can add their “2 cents” to. So, leave your comments open and listen to them. It doesn't matter if people always agree with you or not (they won't!), you'll get a much larger and interested following.
Rule #3: Guest Blog
The chances are good that there are some blogs out there that are very well-liked by the people in your niche. These blogs probably get a lot of traffic and a lot of respect. It's time to get your name and website out there in front of this audience! All you need to do is write to the owner and say that you'd like to write some guest posts. They will probably be more than happy to take a break from their own posting and to give you a link back to your blog. This will not only give you link juice for the search engines, you'll also win some of their loyal readers who are interested in what you have to say.
Learning how to create a loyal readership with your blog is incredibly important if you want your blog to thrive. It's all about the people, and making sure they are aware of your blog and love your content.
Are you constantly blogging but the numbers you see in your traffic logs are embarrassingly low? It can be maddening to check your stats and realize that no one is actually stopping by. Don't give up yet, because there are four great ways you can get traffic fast.
Traffic Tip #1: Do Your Keyword Research
Many bloggers make the mistake of thinking they can just throw some posts up there and expect to get traffic. There is a lot more to it than that! You need to make sure you are looking at the keyword data to find terms that are getting a lot of searches. Ideally, you want these terms to have low competition so it's easier for you to rank. Once you start basing your posts around these kinds of keywords you should find that you're getting a lot more traffic.
Traffic Tip #2: Write Enticing Articles Off-Site
Submitting to article directories isn't just a good way to get backlinks to your site, it's also a great way to get readers! Sites like EzineArticles.com have their own readership of people who are looking for the exact topic you're blogging about. If you write a compelling article that leads into your resource box, people will be enticed to visit your blog.
Traffic Tip #3: Give People a Reason to Come Back
Getting traffic in the first place is one thing, but what you want to do as a blogger is have them coming back over and over again. The best way to do this is to create special offers or exciting events. For example, you can give away a prize each week to the new people who subscribed to your list or your feed. You can also run a contest for people who leave answers as comments on your blog posts. Make your blog a happening place to be and people will want to visit often and tell their friends.
Traffic Tip #4: Create Linkbait
Linkbait is when you write a blog post that is so exciting or controversial it gets people to come to your blog, comment, and link to the post. You may share some shocking news or offer an opinion you know is bound to stir people's emotions. You do need to have thick skin when you write linkbait! Don't expect everyone to agree with your opinion.
An example of linkbait is going the opposite way everyone else goes. For instance, imagine you have an electronics blog and you decide to review the iPhone. After reviewing the product you decide you don't like it. You then write to tell your readers why. Since this was a product everyone was gaga over when it first came out the chances are good you would have gotten a strong reaction right off the bat.
There you have it! These are four solid ways you can start to increase the traffic on your blog as soon as possible. When you put these methods to work you'll realize that the secrets to getting great traffic were in front of you the whole time.
While no one knows exactly what the formula for search engine rankings is, we do know that it has a lot to do with how many “votes” you have out there on the web. These votes are counted as backlinks. If you think about it, what do you when you find something you really like and want to share with others? You link to it! That's why the search engines count these so highly. While you should definitely aim to get to the point where others will link to you, it's possible to take things into your own hands for now.
Below are some of the top strategies you can use for building backlinks to increase the value of your blog in the eyes of the search engine.
Write Articles and Submit Them
Writing and submitting articles is a great way to build backlinks! There are sites out there like EzineArticles.com and GoArticles.com that allow you to post your content with a link back to your site. That means you get to have your link on authority sites! The more articles you write, the more you can submit them. The beauty of this is that you can often submit the same articles to different sites, or rewrite them quickly to have something that is more unique.
Comment on Other People's Blogs
It's a great thing to remember that a huge part of blogging is getting involved in the community. Commenting on other people's blogs will not only get you some recognition from their readers right away, it also counts as a backlink! Keep in might that some of these links are termed as “nofollow”, which means the search engines may not pass along ranking or “juice.” That's okay, because the algorithms are always changing, and since these links are so highly targeted they are a great thing.
Write Guest Posts
Writing guest posts for other niche blogs is an amazing strategy. People love to let you do this because it gives them a day off from blogging. Readers love it because they get a fresh perspective on a topic they are interested in. You'll love it because it means you get a link back to your site and all you had to do was write an extra post for the day.
Use Social Bookmarking Sites
Another thing you can do is bookmark your sites. Now, there are some rumblings out there that these won't count as highly in the future as they do now. Still, bookmarking your sites lets the search engines know “you are there” for fast indexing. If you take the time to make sure the sites you bookmark with are high quality, you'll get the benefit of those links as well.
Paying for Links
There are many different ways you can pay for links. It is important to know that Google and other search engines frown on this because it's like you're gaming their algorithm. Whether you choose to do this or not is up to you, but it can be an effective strategy if you don't go overboard and aren't obvious. You can contact people directly or even work through link exchange networks.
Learning how to build backlinks to your blog is extremely important if you want to rank well. Add a few links at a time and they will build up in a massive way over the long run.
Getting your blog indexed in the search engines can seem impossible sometimes. It can often be so random! One blog gets indexed in a matter of minutes, while another one takes weeks. While the search engines don't reveal their exact formula for indexing, there are some methods that have been proven to work for many bloggers out there.
Of course, many people decide that the first thing they should do to get their blog indexed is to submit it to the search engines by hand. There is actually a lot of disagreement on this point! Some people think the search engines look upon this favorably, and other people think that hand submission can hurt you.
The bottom line here is that it really doesn't seem to hurt your rankings, but it's best to keep in mind that the search engines “know it's you” who is submitting the site. What they want are votes of confidence from other established sites out there. That's why it's better to concentrate on those.
If you already have a network of sites then you have a huge advantage. All it takes is a relevant contextual link on one of those sites and you'll often get indexed very quickly. This is especially true If you have access to a site that gets indexed often.
Not everyone has established sites, however! The good thing is that there are sites out there that allow you to put your content on their site. Article directories are one example. If you write an article for a site like EzineArticles.com with a link back to your site in the author's resource box, the chances are good that you will get indexed fairly quickly. You can also add your content and links to sites like HubPages.com, Squidoo.com, and others.
Another thing you can do is make sure you submit your RSS feed to directories. There are RSS directories out there that alert people (and spiders) that your content has been updated. This can increase your chances of getting indexed. Some examples of sites you can submit to include Feedagg.com and Feedage.com.
Yet another piece of the puzzle is writing great content and updating often. There is no exact formula for this, but we do know that Google likes content! If you can write a few posts right off the bat to show that you're going to be a great, relevant site, there is a larger chance that your site will get indexed.
If you still haven't made it into the search engines it is going to take a bit more effort. Usually a combination of a few of these will work well. Also, a little bit of patience goes a long way. It's not unusual to wait a week or more for the magic to happen! Still, by following the suggestions above you'll find that you get indexed fairly quickly and often.
Blogging is a fairly new phenomenon in the Internet Marketing community, but it has proven itself as a reliable way to generate traffic to your website. [Read more…] about Using Blogs to Generate Traffic
Twitter seems to be a major buzz word and you know what? It should be because it is a good way to reach your audience and gain a whole new audience. You can use your blog to garner the power of Twitter for more traffic, sales, and valued relationships. [Read more…] about Setting Up a Twitter Feed on Your Blog
Micro-blogging is a good thing and using Twitter makes it even better. However, Twitter will never take the place of a blog. The bottom line is that Twitter is not a full fledge blog. It is simply a way for you to get your words out to the masses in a more expedient manner. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons Twitter will never replace a blog. [Read more…] about Why Twitter Can't Replace a Blog
If you wish to develop a steady blog readership, it is important that you post to your blog frequently. This could be viewed as hassle. However, thanks to the automation features of the WordPress blog, you don’t have to be a slave to your blog. You can sit down to write posts according to your schedule and set the blog to post them on the dates and times you desire. [Read more…] about Automate Your Blogging With WordPress
Blogs are a fantastic way to make money. They perform well in search engines, they’re easy to promote, and they can offer very sticky content. If you blog often, and you’re good at what you do, you could develop a pretty large following of readers who subscribe to your RSS feed and read your content on a daily basis.
One of the biggest keys to success with blogs is posting in them regularly. If you don’t post regularly, you probably won’t get much traffic, and people won’t return. Posting frequently also keeps your content fresh, and search engines love fresh content. [Read more…] about Building Your Income with Blogs
There are basically two types of bloggers in the world – reporters and experts – and some people perform both roles (usually the experts, it’s hard for reporters to become experts, but it’s easy for experts to report).
If you have ever taken an Internet marketing course or attended a seminar specifically for beginners, you have probably heard about the two different methodologies. Whenever the business model is based on content, and if you blog for money then the model is based on content, people are taught to either start as reporters, or if possible step up as experts.
I’ll be frank; you want to be the expert. [Read more…] about Reporter vs Expert – Why Most Bloggers Are Stuck Reporting
WordPress is one of the main choices for a blogging platform on the Internet today. Twitter has quickly become the hottest micro-blogging application. So can you imagine what occurs when the two meet and marry? A partnership that creates a most wonderful thing – that’s what!
Well, maybe not wonderful but then again it all depends on how you look at it. With the proper plug-ins you can create an awesome social networking tool since both Twitter and WordPress are both strong contenders in the social media arena. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular Twitter plug-ins that you can use on your WordPress blog to create a social power house match made in heaven. [Read more…] about Popular Twitter Plug-ins for WordPress Blogs
In every bloggers life comes a special day – the day they first launch a new blog. Now unless you went out and purchased someone else's blog chances are your blog launched with only one very loyal reader – you. Maybe a few days later you received a few hits when you told your sister, father, girlfriend and best friend about your new blog but that's about as far you went when it comes to finding readers.
Here are the top 10 techniques new bloggers can use to find readers. These are tips specifically for new bloggers, those people who have next-to-no audience at the moment and want to get the ball rolling.
It helps if you work on this list from top to bottom as each technique builds on the previous step to help you create momentum. Eventually once you establish enough momentum you gain what is called "traction", which is a large enough audience base (about 500 readers a day is good) that you no longer have to work too hard on finding new readers. Instead your current loyal readers do the work for you through word of mouth.
Top 10 Tips
10. Write at least five major “pillar” articles. A pillar article is a tutorial style article aimed to teach your audience something. Generally they are longer than 500 words and have lots of very practical tips or advice. This article you are currently reading could be considered a pillar article since it is very practical and a good “how-to” lesson. This style of article has long term appeal, stays current (it isn't news or time dependent) and offers real value and insight. The more pillars you have on your blog the better.
by John Reese
It's happening. Again.
The Internet marketing ‘game' is rapidly changing… again.
Email marketing is under attack like never before…
Pending legislation. Spam filters. Email overload.
Internet users' inboxes are full. They are loaded with junk and they are tired of the hassle. Opt-in rates are on the decline — and they will continue to fall.
So the cries are coming from many Internet marketing circles…
“Email marketing is dying — it's only a matter of time.”
That's right. Many people see Email marketing dying completely. Many marketers are already positioning themselves to do business without it.
Why are they preparing to do without it? Because it's just going to be too much of a hassle to get people to opt-in. And if that's not enough, it's going to be such a hassle to get around spam laws, filters, and other nuisances.
Do you want to know what *I'm* planning on doing? [Read more…] about The ‘Game' Is Changing, Are You?
Blogs have been around for many years. They started out, in the beginning, as great personal journals for Internet users who wanted to share their daily lives with their family and friends. Now, fast forward through the years to today; where they are now commonly used as business tools as well as private diaries of sorts.
Blogs are basically mini-websites authors use to post information about a specific topic. Some blogs share experiences of an author’s career path, while others provide up to date news concerning the topic their blog presents.
What Makes Blogs Such a Great Tool to a Business Owner?
Blogs can provide so many opportunities for business to reap rewards that no business website should be without one. Here are some of the benefits a blog can provide any business owner:
A blog can drive more targeted traffic to their main site.
Blogs are favorites of search engines. They provide up to date content on a regular basis, so search engines will find them easier. Blogs can also be linked with other like-minded blogs to allow for more click-through visitors. Social bookmarking sites, social media sites and even message board forums love them as well. People will refer their friends to them when they see something they like.
Blogs make it easier to gain return visitors.
If a visitor likes your blog, they’ll keep coming back to see what else you have to say on a specific topic. Business blogs can be linked to the main company site as well. The more times people stop by, the more chances an owner has of getting those visitors to your business site.
Blogs allow one to easily gain expert status amongst a target audience.
The more you blog about your site’s topic, the more you come across as an expert in that field. A visitor can be awed by the information you’re offering them and could look up to you as an expert on a particular subject. Now, the next time they need to buy a certain product or need help with something in that area, they will think of you first.
Blogs are user friendly and inexpensive to boot.
There are blog programs that you can sign up for free or for a very nominal fee. Most blogs are easy to set up as they generally walk you through the process step-by-step. There aren’t too many marketing tools that are as easy to use and inexpensive to obtain. This alone makes a blog painless to your business budget.
Business blogs are easier when it comes to upkeep.
Blogs are fun to use, which makes them much easier to maintain. Posting regular tidbits of your chosen topic keeps a blog updated without a lot of hassle. Updating websites is essential, but can be time consuming and confusing as well.
The biggest benefit business blogs provide is…
Building Rapport with Your Target Audience
This is, by far, the best benefit you can obtain from a blog. Blogs have comment sections where readers can leave messages for you to let you know they liked what you said in a post or to add their own thoughts on the topic at hand.
You’re building a relationship with your target audience that can help gain trust from them as well as find out what they’re looking for in a product. This is your way to get an inside look at what your customer’s wants and needs are without spending lots of money on marketing surveys and advertisements that don’t work.
Blogs can give your business everything mentioned above and more. Adding a blog to your arsenal of marketing tools is a must do for any online business owner.
Are you a serial blogger? Do you have multiple blogs to go along with all of your different projects? This is a great idea since blogs are a great relationship and traffic builder. Managing multiple blogs over time can become a challenge to even the most prolific blogger. Sometimes you start a blog with good intentions but just run out of things to say.
Blogs are best when fresh and full flavored. A blog that doesn’t get posted to often will lose readers fast. The same can be said of a blog that just plain gets boring.
If you’ve built up a good readership and the blog is getting some action from the search engines, you won’t want to be too hasty in pulling the plug. There are some great ways to breathe new life into a tired blog.
- Invite a guest blogger to fill in for a few weeks.
- Start a series of short tip posts on a subject that you love to talk about.
- Write your thoughts on other’s blog posts, linking to them.
- Give an update on a previous posts that received a lot of attention.
If you find yourself at a loss for fresh ideas and lack motivation to keep trying, it may very well be time to ‘kill’ your blog rather than simply abandon it. Here are some tips for giving your blog a decent send off.
Don’t delete your blog unless you are 100% positive that you’ll never come back in this direction again. Content is content after all and these existing pages do get some amount of traffic.
Never just fade away into nothingness. Always post a farewell message so that visitors know that you won’t be posting again in the future. Don’t sound depressing and defeated, just let your readers know that you’ve enjoyed the blog but have decided to move on and focus in other areas.
Add some links to your side bar to direct visitors to your current projects or a new blog if you have one.
Consider collecting your favorite blog posts and turning them into a Special Report or even an eBook. You can send what you create to your mailing list as a gift or use it as a free gift to attract new mailing list subscribers.
If you’ve had your blog for a long time and have a loyal readership, hold a tongue in cheek blog funeral and invite your readers to post their eulogy comments on the final post.
Many people start their blogs on hosted platforms. Hosted blogging solutions can be a good way to start, because they’re free and they’re generally trusted in the search engines. But there are perils associated with hosting a blog on someone else’s server.
For one thing, you’re at the mercy of the owner of the platform. Blogger has been known to delete blogs without warning, simply because they felt the blog was too much like spam or too commercial.
WordPress doesn't allow affiliate links to be used on their blogs, so making money by hosting a blog on their servers is difficult. Ideally, you should start your blog on your own server, preferably in the root of the domain.
Some people have their blog in a subdirectory, such as yourdomain.com/blog. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but putting your blog on its own domain can have special benefits. For one thing, a root domain often ranks better in the search engines than a subdirectory.
Putting your blog on the main domain (just yourdomain.com) can help it rank better, and might even give it a little more credibility in the eyes of your visitors. For another thing, people generally prefer a blog over a content site.
If you have some sort of content site on the root domain, then you have a blog in a subdirectory, people may come to your domain specifically to read your blog. If your blog isn’t easy to find, they may leave and never come back.
Most people who host a blog on their own server use WordPress. If you host the software on your own server, you’re free to have affiliate links if you wish. WordPress also has a lot of support in the form of themed templates and plugins.
If you’re going to host your blog in the root of your domain, you’ll upload all of the files and folder directly to the root instead of a subdirectory. If you had your blog previously in a subfolder or another domain, you’ll need to do a 301 redirect to tell search engines and visitors that the files have moved, and where they’ve moved to.
If you don’t know how to do this, you can search Google for “301 redirect” to learn how to set this up. If you move your blog from a hosted solution, you’ll need to provide a link to your new blog in a post on the old location.
Simply create a new post on the old blog, and say something like, “We’ve moved! This blog has been relocated to a new domain. Click here to visit the new blog, and be sure to update your bookmarks!”
By linking to the new location, you’ll not only be telling your visitors where to find you, but you’ll also be telling search engines where to find your new blog. They’ll follow that link to your blog’s new location, and you’ll probably get the new domain indexed faster than if you didn’t link to it from the old one.
You can save yourself from having to do this later by starting your blogs on your own domain from the beginning. A domain name is generally under $10, and hosting can be found for as little as $5 per month.
Some people may not even have that much money available when they’re just starting out, and that’s understandable. But as soon as you can possibly afford it, you should probably invest in a domain and hosting.
If you get a new domain, log into your cpanel and click the Fantastico button (it’s a little smiley face). On the left sidebar, under Blogs, click WordPress. Then click New Installation. From the drop down directory, choose the domain you want it to reside on.
If you want it to be located on yourdomain.com, leave the next field blank. If you prefer it to be on yourdomain.com/blog, then put the word blog in the next field. Then you’ll just enter all of your administrative login information and click Install WordPress and your blog will be live! You can find plenty of free themed templates to alter your blog with online.
RSS is short for Really Simple Syndication. When you think of the word ‘syndication’ you probably think about a syndicated newspaper column, meaning the column appears in a variety of newspapers around the country or the world. There’s also syndicated television. A program that goes ‘into syndication’ is picked up by a large number of television stations for rebroadcast.
So how does this syndication apply to you? You make use of RSS when you make your blog entries available for syndication. RSS is really what sets a blog apart from a regular old website.
You may know that a blog is really just a simple content management system. You enter your text and it creates pages for you and sets up navigation to the page. When you post to a blog, it also adds information about your post to a special RSS file that becomes your ‘feed’.
The location of this feed file becomes your ‘feed address’ otherwise known as your ‘RSS feed’. This is all done automatically so you don’t really have to know a lot about how it happens, just that it does happen. What is important is that you take advantage of the RSS feed and use it to promote your blog.
There are many popular Blog and RSS directories on the web that you can submit your feed to. When someone visits that directory and searches for keyword phrases, if you have blogged about it, it will turn up in their search and they will be connected to your blog via your feed.
In addition to the directories, individuals can subscribe directly to your RSS feed if you provide the address to them. It’s common to use a small ‘chicklet’ image on the side bar of your blog to advertise that your RSS feed is there to grab. When someone subscribes to your feed, they take your RSS feed address and plug it into a special RSS feed reader or they take it to a web based RSS reader like a My Yahoo page. Once they plug that in, they will get alerts whenever you post to your blog.
RSS really is simple, isn’t it?
When you’re ready to start blogging, you have quite a few options. The first decision to make is which blogging platform that you’re going to use. The two most popular formats to choose from are Blogger and WordPress. Both are free and both can be formatted to host your blog files on your own hosting account. So how do you choose between them?
Blogger is popular for its easy set up. You can visit Blogger.com and have your own blog up ad running in just a few minutes. If you want Blogger to host your blog files for you, you simply choose a subdomain name and you get a blog URL that looks like this:
Blogger gives you several preset templates to choose from and you do have some ability to customize the look.
If you have an existing website that you would like to add your Blogger blog to, you just create a folder on your hosting account, then provide the FTP info to Blogger and it will publish the files over to your site.
WordPress offers you a hosted option similar to Blogger at WordPress.com, however the options for customization on the hosted version are limited. If you’re going to choose WordPress, you will be happier with the features and customizing options if you install the blog script on your own hosting account.
Installing WordPress is much easier that you might think. You simply upload the files and open up the install page, one click later and you’re all set. Customizing the look is a little more involved but there are good instructions available online.
WordPress installed on your own domain shines over Blogger with features like being able to set up categories and publish ‘pages’ in addition to the individual blog posts. WordPress also gives you the ability to schedule posts so you can set it and forget it for a period of time.
If you’re blogging for personal reasons, Blogger is a good choice for its simplicity and ease of use. If you’re using a blog to promote your business, you will enjoy the feature rich options that come with WordPress. Pick the right tool for the job and you’ll be enjoying your blog for years to come.
Blogs have been around long enough now that most people know what they are and a large percentage of small business owners have found ways to use blogs as part of their web presence. There are those who are still sitting on the fence though so let’s count up a few good reasons to go ahead and get one started.
Blogs make adding fresh content easy. Posting to your blog is as easy as writing an email. You don’t need any special skills or web design knowledge.
Blogs help to pull traffic in a new way. Blog posts are distributed by RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds. If you take some time and submit your RSS feed address to a wide variety of RSS and Blog Directories, every time you post to your blog, the directory will know about it. Recently updated feeds are featured prominently, bringing you greater exposure. RSS also connects you to individuals who subscribe to your feed.
Blogs also help to pull traffic through the search engines as each blog post creates a new page of content.
Blogs give your website the sticky factor. Partly because your readers subscribe to the RSS feed and get alerted whenever you post, but also because readers can comment on the blog if you allow that option. Your visitors return again and again to check for comments.
Blogs add personality to your website and to your business in general. It gives you the freedom to let your customers, potential customers and business acquaintances see your lighter side. You don’t have to get too personal, but sharing little bits of yourself can be beneficial to your business relationships.
Frequency is important but blogs don’t require a lot of time and effort to keep them fresh. You don’t have to write full length articles; you can share shorter, useful tidbits as a series and keep your readers quite satisfied.
Perhaps the biggest reason to have a blog is simply that they are so popular with so many people. Blog fanatics can hardly resist clicking on a link to a blog and will subscribe to your feed to satisfy their hunger for fresh blog reading. Makes you want to come down off the fence doesn’t it?
One of the most interesting features of a blog is the commenting function. Because of it the blog doesn’t have to be a one way flow of information. The ability to accept comments turns a simple web page into an invitation to communicate.
I’m sure that you’ve visited busy blogs that get lots of comment activity. The interaction comes close to what we see on a community forum, only the blog owner has control over the subject that their visitors get to comment on. The give and take of ideas is fun and adds valuable fresh content to the website.
If you’re a new blogger, you may have realized that the availability of commenting isn’t a guarantee that people will actually leave a comment. It does take work to get people commenting on your blog. This can be a bit frustrating but there are some ways that you can increase the number of comments on your blog.
One simple approach is to ask your blog readers a question. End your blog post with an express invitation to answer one of your burning questions.
Am I right or wrong? (Ask opinions)
Ask your readers if they agree with your blog post or if they have another opinion.
Ask for advice
Ask your blog visitors if they have ever experienced anything like what you’re dealing with. Invite them to give you tips and share their own stories.
Ask friends for help
Sometime silence is hard to break. Ask a friend to make comments on your blog and offer to do the same for them. When others visit and see other comments it gives them the courage to add their own.
Respond to comments faithfully
When someone is brave enough to make a response to your posts, you should make a quick reply. Thank them for sharing their thoughts and providing you with feedback. Return the favor and post a comment on their blog. This will encourage them to come back and comment again soon.
Whichever approach you choose, remember that many of your visitors may not have experience in using a blog. Give them specific directions on how to respond. (Click on “Comments” and share your thoughts.)
Everyone says that having a blog on your site is a great way of getting traffic to your website. So you installed a blog and started to post on a regular basis. Now, how exactly does it get all this great traffic?
There really isn’t anything magical about a blog where traffic is concerned. A blog is a content management system. You enter content and it creates pages. The pages on your blog aren’t any different from the pages on the rest of your website as far as search engines are concerned.
It’s a myth that search engines like blogs better than standard websites. A page is a page and content is content. What is different is the ease in which you can add new pages of content.
Where a blog does excell as a traffic generator is that it is not reliant on search engines for traffic. A blog doesn’t wait for a search engine to come read it. It has it’s own way of reaching out and telling others that there is something new and fresh to be read and that is the RSS feed.
By submitting your RSS feed to directories and making it available on the blog itself for individuals to subscribe to, you insure that new posts get noticed by a wide audience everything you add something new.
If you can take a day or two out to make the rounds of all of the RSS and Blog directories, you will be pleased with the results when your posts start to turn into instant traffic magnets.
You can promote your blog directly by adding it to your email and forum signatures. Mention it in the author bio of your web articles and publish the link on your main website. Take your RSS feed over to Feedburner.com and have it converted into a little animated billboard that you can publish wherever you want people to be able to read your most recent blog headines.
One way to attract blog traffic is to take some time to post comments on other people’s blogs. Don’t turn into a blog spammer by any means. Visit blogs that interest you and make appropriate and interesting comments, then include a link to your own blog as a courtesy.
Your blog will create additional traffic for you over time if you’ll provide the means for it to happen.
How would you like to be able to make some money from your blog? Depending on your subject matter, it is possible. Let’s look at some ways to get started.
There was a lot of hype in the last year or so about turning your blog into a cash machine. Many of the ebooks and programs promoted were pretty scammy in general and involved using blogs to generate huge amounts of replicated content and then filling the pages with contextual advertising programs. This is not what we’re going to recommend in this article.
If you’re blogging to help in promoting your business, you may already feel like you’re making money from your blog since you’re pulling in traffic and talking about your business. You could further monetize your efforts by promoting related affiliate programs or displaying contextual advertising.
We'll let you know right away that grabbing a banner or button from an affiliate program to post on your blog is not going to be a big cash machine for you. People visit blogs to read the blogs – not look at advertisements. But, that doesn't mean that you can't use affiliate programs to earn extra money.
What you do need to do is blog about the programs that you want to promote. Share a personal recommendation. Talk about how you use the product. And don't just post about it once. Revisit a favorite product a few weeks down the road, and then again the next month. Don't be spammy and hit your visitors over the head with sales messages. Just let them know how much you like it.
In our experience, Google Adsense rarely seems to perform well on a blog. Yet, it's the easiest to incorporate and a few have indicated that they do earn a steady if small income from their blog ad units.
There are other contextual options such as Chikita Mini Malls and ad units from Yahoo, MSN and Gazoogle. The biggest drawback in ad units is that you never know what might show up on your blog. You'll have to decide if the profit earned is worth the space you give.
Serve Your Own Ads
If you find that serving ads for others is unprofitable, consider creating your own text ads and promote your own items and affiliate products in that space.
A few years ago, the word “blog” did not exist in most people’s vocabularies, and now it seems that everyone is expressing themselves with an online journal. You may have heard stories about people making money with their blogs. It’s true! Here are some tips on how to monetize your blog.
Google’s Adsense program is a great way to get started. Submit an easy application at www.google.com/adsense. Once you are approved, you just add some html code to your blog and small text ads will appear on your blog. Google will display ads that share a common theme with your blog. When one of the people reading your blog clicks on an ad, you get paid! The amounts vary, and clicking the ads on your own blog is strictly prohibited.
Affiliate marketing is another great way to make money by blogging. Most companies have an affiliate program, where they pay people to advertise their product online. In most cases, you will be paid a percentage of the sale of an item. Most affiliate programs have many different ads you can choose to include, ranging from full-color graphic ads to simple text ads. You can find affiliate opportunities through Linkshare (www.linkshare.com) and Commission Junction (www.cj.com).
“Pay per post” is somewhat controversial, but still a way to make money blogging. When you are being paid to post, you are actually paid to write about a certain product. In a nutshell, you can register your blog with a company and they will give you a list of things you can choose to blog about. Once you have completed your post, you send a link back to the company and if they accept your post, you will be paid. There may be certain guidelines to be approved, such as the amount of time your blog has been online, how many times you have posted in the last 90 days, and if it is indexed in search engines.
The most important thing to remember is to keep your target market in mind. If your blog is targeted to stay-at-home moms with young children, you will want to keep your ads focused to things that would appeal to them. Do not try to create a blog that appeals to the masses. If you have several different target markets in mind, it will be easier and more profitable to create several different blogs that cater to individual markets.