Everybody can write, and everybody can build a blog. But not everyone can make their blog a popular point of reference for their subject matter. Content is king – but a king also has ministers to help, and good content needs help from various aspects of the real world. In this course, we discuss the essential elements to bringing quality content to the masses, making it popular, and monetizing your effort.
Everybody can write and everybody can build a blog, but not everybody can make their blog profitable. Content is always a king. However, king also have ministers to help. A good content need help from various elements from the real world. In this course, we will discuss various essential element which bring the quality content to the masses and make it extremely popular. We will also learn some of the interesting tips and tricks to monetize your blog.
In Earlier Course
In the first course, we covered the idea of blogging, what a blog is, how to get started, and what you should and shouldn’t post. We covered the absolute basics of the blogging. Getting started. How to write an interesting blog post? The rules, ethics and etiquette of blogging, as well as some frequently asked questions, and a checklist for building a successful blog. These are the ABCs of blogging and it was meant to prove that if you can write a sentence, you can start a blog. If you are a beginner, or an expert in blogging, watching, Building a Successful Blog Course, will indeed help you in your blogging adventures. Of course if everybody who can write a sentence could start a most popular blog, the internet would be overflowing with famous bloggers. So this course is going to turn anyone who can write a sentence into a superstar blogger.
In this Course
So what makes a blog popular? How do you become a superstar? First, you must be able to engage blog readers. Anyone can write a sentence but not everyone can grow that audience in the content, you want readers to get stuck on your site. Networking is of course incredibly important and in the world of blogging, social media is your network. We will cover how to make the most of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and much more. Search engine optimization is the bread and butter of blogging. It will get you more readers. Get your blog in the view of critics and reviewers and help your blog gain a good reputation. On the top of search engine optimization is monetizing your blog. We will be covering this module in depth in our course. We all like to make good fortune. In the module of monetizing, we will cover few tips which will help you make better fortune. There are endless ways to monetize your blog. And knowing the most impactful ways is the key to be a successful blogger. We will conclude this entire course with answers to some of the most frequently asked questions and a checklist for building a high traffic blog.
Techniques to Engage Blog Readers
In this module, we will discuss various techniques to engage readers. Which we do on a blog. However, we will not discuss about social media as we are going to cover that in next module. Some of the topics we are going to cover include comments, contests, blogging with intention, guest post, and series of blog post. These are some of my own tried and true techniques. And I hope that you’ll be able to use them successfully and engage your blog readers.
Comments. Comments are the lifeblood of a blog. They prove that readers are engaged, paying attention, and what you have to say is important. Many blogging platform have the option to allow or turn off comments. If you want to run a successful blog, allowing comment is a must. Some blog have commenting enabled, but very little encouragement is given to readers to actually leave a comment.Maybe the comment section is poorly highlighted. And sometime it’s hidden. We have to click on a link to unhide comment section.Signing up a account with a blog host to leave a comment, is painfully slow and difficult. Make sure that you, as a blogger, are encouraging commenting. If comments are hard to read and follow. Others will not get engaged and the comments section will be under-utilized. Make sure your format is clean. Comments are clearly attributed to the correct commenter and there is a clear flow of the comments. Sometime you want newest comments on a top and sometime you want oldest comments on a top. Keep which one you like, but make sure it’s consistence across. All of your blog. Some formats allow app commenting where a place to comment are insert or shared. Check out the option with your blogging platform, make sure comment section is clearly formatted. The internet is always going to attract trolls. And readers don’t want to read useless profanity or spam comments. Keep an eye on the comments section, especially for the first few hours or days after an article has been posted and remove unnecessary or unpleasant comments at regular interval. Keep a light hand. Just because someone has an issue with what you have to say, doesn’t mean that it ought to be censored. Address the comment head on. This ties in to our next point. As a blogger, don’t step back and leave readers to discuss your article without you. Reply to questions and address comments written directly to you. If there are some critical comments, take note of what is said and reply politely. When readers see that blogger is engaged, it builds trust in your blog and what you hope to say. Remember it is easy to post something anonymously on the internet, it takes bravery to stand behind what you say. Blog commenting is a tool As a blogger read other blogs and comment on them. Leave a polite link to your own blog when it is appropriate only. When you comment on other blogs, especially with the link to related topic. It will also lend capability to your blog. It will prove, you are not spammer and lure readers to your own blog as well.
Blog contests are incredibly popular and it seems like everyone is doing it. Contests are a great way to get some excitement started for your blog and to tap into word of mouth marketing. People love contest and will often share the exciting news with friends, earning you more readers. However, there are many reasons to hold a contest and you should decide what yours is before starting a contest. Do you want to have more subscribers? Do you want to link up with partners in the same business? Deciding on your goals will help you choose the right type of contest. The right type of contest will help you target your audience. If you are looking for a new readers, holding a big giveaway for highly anticipated prize. Will get word of mouth going quickly. If you want great content for your blog, having a contest for readers to submit material like photos, ideas, et cetera, will serve two purposes. Getting you content, and getting readers excited. You can have a more targeted giveaway for something that only loyal readers will be interested in. Like a lottery for special online courses, or a cool gadget. The type of contest you hold will help determine who will participate, and who will benefit the most from the contest.Sweepstakes usually have a nice expensive prize, and will draw a lot of publicity. Lotteries can help a random reader win. And the prize doesn’t have to be something fancy. Keeping it an inside joke with your readers will help keep readership up. Without a lot of random readers getting involved. Contest can be test of skills. This is a good way to attract new readers and garner new material for your blog, too. If you want to get readers excited and get your readership up, but you aren’t sure exactly what to do or what to give them, look around for a partnership. Some companies are looking for a bloggers to get the word out about their product. Fellow bloggers might help you pool your resources. You can even have a post looking for ideas, and rewarding the good ones, like a mini-contest. So you have decided on your contest. Go all your entries, and have a prize ready to go. Now, how do you choose a winner? If you have decided on a simple lottery, that can be done for you by pulling names out of a hat. Or going more high tech with a random number generator. You can download a tool to generate random number from the internet. If you have a content contest, it can be up to your or a panel of judges to decide on the best picture, idea or entry. You can also build a winner selection into your contest. For example, tenth comment wins or top rated comments wins. Or, something very similar. Don’t forget that lotteries, drawing and sweepstakes, are highly regulated and the rules change based on your country. For example, Facebook has a very strict rules about how contests can be run and advertised on their websites. Be sure to read the fine print, and ask an expert for help in case of any confusion.
Blog Posts with Intention
Blog posts with intention. Word of mouth is one of the best way to get new readers and keep those readers around. Contests are one way. Posting with intention is another, a great blog post will become popular. Friends will tell friends. It can really make or break a blog.So, how can you write one of these hit blog post? Emotion is a great way to get people’s attention to get them talking. Controversy is certainly linked with emotion. There is no reason to announce a controversial or offensive topic and take one side or the other just to get people talking. You can state that you want to explore an issue and give both sides. The very acknowledgement of controversy is enough to get people talking. And sometime the controversial topics are very simple. If you start talking about your favorite cola, your favorite football team, your favorite actor. Or just your favorite politician, controversy will start walking to you itself. Be mindful. You do not have to be disrespectful. You just want to start a good, controversial conversation. Sometime, controversial conversation. Goes out of the hand.I strongly suggest that only experience blogger who are expert in handling conversation should approach this matter. A cheap publicity should not be the goal of controversial blog post. Humor. Happiness is another emotion. Humor is way to get there. There is a reason that so many viral videos are humorous. It is a universal emotion that can cross boundaries of age, gender, and country. Finding a way to present your topic humorously will gain readership and maybe even fame. For example, if you are writing. A technical subject, or stating your experience to buy any gadget, you can just add little bit sarcasm, and lots of truth, and can make that very interesting to read. You do not have to be boring. As well as, make sure you balance the humor. Is your field growing or changing? Are there new options out there and no clear winner? It doesn’t matter what field you’re blogging in, technology or art, science or religion, photo blogging or get pictures. These statements are probably true for you. Think about what you firmly believe in about your expertise and post about it.Whether they agree with you or not. Readers will comment and share your article. Opinions gets viral very fast. News. You don’t even have to write a post to make a very popular blog article. No I am not promoting plagiarism. If there is a big news event in your field, for example, the release of something new, breaking news of any kind you can post about that. If you do so, comments are going to flow in.Most of the news are published on PR sites. PR sites do not encourage commenting and conversation over there. They want to protect the interest, and stay neutral with various organizations. Your blog can be a safe place for like minded people to discuss the news of the day. Here is another trick. You can even cut out the hard part. Typing a blog post altogether. And just encourage discussion with a simple concept. Post a video, link, picture, or even a simple discussion question and encourage your readers to discuss it in the comments. Get involved in the comments too. You might be surprised what you learn. Once you experiment with encouraging discussion, you will learn what to post under this category. This comes with little bit of expertise and little bit of experience. After a couple of discussion point, you post on your blog. In your 11 topic, you will understand what kind of topics will work for your discussion forum. The goal of this kind of post is to get readers to open up and share ideas. All these kind of posts with intention will accomplish that goal. Any good blog post is guaranteed to become popular with readers. Check out my earlier course of building a successful blog. For more ideas about writing an engaging post.
Guest post. Guest posting is exactly what it sounds like, having someone else write a post for you. Doesn’t that sound great? However, this is a trickier subject than just outsourcing the hard work. First, there are two types of guest posting. One, where your blog hosts a guest writer and one where you are the guest poster, for a fellow blogger. Both have their advantages. Being the guest poster, allows you to get your name out there and gain publicity for your own blog. And besides, doing a favor for a fellow blogger is always a good idea.Whereas guest hosting takes some of the pressure off you. Gives a blogger an opportunity to promote themself and can be a nice treat for your readers. However, you have to spend lot of time working hard to make your blog perfect so it might be a little scary to turn the reins over to someone else. So what to write? Or what do you ask a guest to write? First, stay on the topic. Make sure that you or your guest knows what the blog is about and has something relevant to say. A bad guest will provide a lot of links back to their own blog and not provide a lot of content. This is the biggest trap to avoid. Different hosts might have different rules, but as long as you have a high quality content. As the guest or the host. Guest hosting is easy. Guest hosting can seem like a gimmick but it actually has lot of benefits.Yes, it can attract new readers from other blogs. But more importantly than leadership is readability. This means, quality content and quality links. Links are very important to search engine optimization, and therefore, important to blogging. Having high quality links that lead to a reputable source. Make your blog look better. Your blog will be more likely to pop up when your topic is searched for. So, what makes a great guest post? Here are couple of quick rules of thumb. First, word count. No one wants to listen to a blow hard talk for hours about himself. Keep it between 300 to 800 words. Provide valuable link. Don’t link only back to yourself. Obviously you can link back to your own blog but 15 different links to 15 different articles on your own blog is rude and useless. Stay on a topic. If you don’t have anything important to say, you shouldn’t be asking for a guest spot on a blog. Promote, promote, and promote. Guest posting is an excellent opportunity to announce something new for your blog, or social media sites.
Here are a few of the ideas to keep in mind. First, don’t submit random posts to strangers. Guest posting is a favor they are doing for you, and if they have no idea who you are the odds of having that carefully crafted post you lovingly wrote, are very slim. Become a regular commenter on blogs you like and when you have developed a relationship with the writer. Offer up an article. You might have to market yourself, but the rewards are worth it. Make sure that what you offer up is worth noticing. When you offer to guest post, have something ready. It doesn’t have to be finished, but have a good, polished paragraph to show the host. Make sure that whatever you submit is not clearly linking back to your. Own blog multiple times or someone the host blog knows. Always be constructive and creative. Writing one guest post is not a way to get your blog more popular. Writing for many different blogs will get your name out there, and build your reputation. If you want your blog to become popular, you have to do some hard work. Even if that means writing your own post, and multiple guest post. Don’t expect immediate results. All this hard work is not going to pay off immediately. You are trying to build a good reputation, and this kind of thing is not built overnight. The point of all this guest posting is to get your name out there, and to become internet famous. Make sure you keep track of your guest posts and build them into your about me info, on your own blog. Keep a list handy for using as a resume when you offer to post for other blogs. You can even get paid to be guest host. This isn’t a guarantee and it won’t happen with smaller blogs. However, with some larger busy blogs, guest posting opportunities often get paid. Keep an eye out for these opportunities. Be aware, there will be a lot of competition. But good content will be sure to attract that attention. While we are on this topic, let me put a small offer to you. If you want to become a guest author on my blog, let me know. This will be a good exercise for both of us.
Blog Post Series
Blog Post Series. Another way to engage blog readers is through the Blog Post Series. This is a pretty straight forward idea. It is a post on one topic that stretches over multiple post. It can be one topic, multiple linked ideas. Or, expanded list on the same idea. Blog series can attract and keep readers. You know how some TV shows end on a cliffhanger and say, to be continued? This is the same idea with a blog series. Regular readers will keep tuning in to read the next installment of your very own interesting series. Great series will also attract new readers. Returning reader will increase traffic on your site. Which search engines keep track of. It is an easy way to make yourself more noticeable to search engines. The increased traffic, density, links and readership will all attract attention of the search engines. Let’s be honest. Sometimes, writing content for your blog can be very difficult. Blog series will help over here. Turn one large topic into two, three, or five blog posts. Here is word of caution for you. Do not stretch a small topic into multi-part blog posts. That’s never a good idea.Use your good judgement.
Points to Ponder
Let’s go back over what we have learned. Comments. These are a must. Enable commenting on your site, and comment yourself on your own blog and others. When you are building a network, you can’t do this without communication. Comments are one of the most effective way to communicate on the internet. Contest. Contest will attract new readers and reward old ones. There are multiple ways to run contest with different methods and goals. Choose wisely and make sure you are obeying all the rules. Blogs with intention. There are different ways to get people talking on your blog. Humor, opinion, and controversy. These are great ideas to make into posts and attract new readers. Guest posting. You don’t have to write every single post. Get a guest to do it. You can be also guest on other blogs to get publicity and build your reputation. Blog post series. Series are a way to keep readers interested and stretch out one big idea into multiple, easy to read blog post. They often become the most popular topics on your site.
Social Media – Social Sharing and Social Networking
We will explore how social sharing and social networking work. Social media is extremely important and we all should use it. Many of us already have social media accounts for our personal lives. We might check them multiple times a day, or maybe only once a week. They are way to spend some free time, but as a blogger, we should really use them to market yourself. In this module, we will discuss about various social media, and some of the best practices associated with social media.
Before we learn about social media, here is something we should learn first. URL shortener. URL shortener, shortens lengthy URL address to easier to remember little chunks of text. Here is an example, this is regular URL. With the help of URL shortener, you can just convert it to a shorter link address. Why would you want to use URL shortener? Let’s understand little bit more in detail why would we want to use a URL shortener. First it makes all blog post look cleaner and neater. There are not huge chunks of blue, underlined text in the middle of nice and neat post. And in the first blogging course, we learned that a good looking post is a well-read post. Shorter URLs are easier to remember. Yes, you can click the link. Or, copy and paste to your browser, but not everyone will do this. Shorter URLs makes link easier to share, something you want to encourage your readers to do. Twitter has a 140 character limit on post. If you’re trying to promote your blog, but the URL to your post is too long to feed on Twitter, you will be stuck. A shorter URL is very helpful when you are working with Twitter. Here is one of the most important advantage of URL shortener. Detailed statistics. Many URL shortener provides detailed statistics about how many times your link has been clicked, by who, and where in the world your link is traveling. It can be very helpful, and above all it’s interesting and cool. There are a few different URL shortening tools. For example, Bit.ly, Cicky.me, or TinyURL. My personal preference is Bit.ly. Bit.ly has very easy to use interface, as well it provides very accurate statistics related to your link.
Facebook, unless you have been living under a rock for last five years, you know what Facebook is. You probably have a profile. It is quite possible that Facebook is running on the background of your computer or mobile right now. And if you have a blog you should be using Facebook to promote it. Here is a question back to you. Do you have to question the talk about your blog post on your Facebook?Absolutely no, but here are few quick and easy ways to use Facebook to your blogs advantage. Post photos. Everybody loves visual. And, you can post photos and encourage your readers and friends to read your blog post. This can be photos of what you’re going to cover in your blog or something very relevant to it. Try it once and you will notice that your friends actually like to see the photos from your blog post. Promote posts, give a quick update, and link to your blog when you have new post. And then, take a step back. Your friends and family will be obviously be interested and you might even lure in a few acquaintance. You can easily answer. Few of the question, your friends, and family might have. However, remember, your friends and family are also interested in your personal life. Don’t over promote your blog post on your Facebook profile. Create a fan page. This is absolutely must do thing. Fan pages are the place where you can talk about your blogs as much as you want. Friends will subscribe to this page. They will want to know more about your blog and you. So without hesitation, post away. However, make sure you post something which is interesting. If you just keep on spamming your fans, well they won’t be your fans eventually. Create a group. Facebook group pages are similar to fan pages. They are way for user to announce to their own fans that they are interested in this topic. It is like letting your friends do the marketing for you. There is a big difference between fan page and group. Anything you post in a group remains on a group. Whereas, anything you post on a fan page, your fan can share it and make it viral. On the plus, side group gives a great sense of community. Personally, I have fan page as well as a group. I use both of them efficiently. Timelines. The Facebook timeline was an unnecessary change when it was first rolled out. But for bloggers it is something of a godsend. On the new timeline, when someone comments on your post, it bumps it back up into the top of the news feed of your friends and anyone else who has commented. This happens quite often. Basically you become a top news story if there is enough engagement in your Facebook post. Your friends can conveniently log in at their preferred time. However, they will still see a Facebook post if there is enough engagement.
Twitter. Twitter is a micro blogging tool, which allows user to post 140 character thoughts on anything. Post about your blog, post about your post, post questions to user, do anything which you find appropriate on Twitter. Anyone can comment, share, and pass along this info. Users can group other user that they follow into list and other user can take this information and begin following you themselves.Twitter is an incredibly powerful tool for bloggers and its impact is quite big. Sounds scary. Well, it can be, but don’t be frightened away from Twitter. Use it to your advantage. Remember, that you are limited to 140 characters and beyond that, there are no limits. Use hashtag to create trending topics. Use the at the rate symbol to directly tweet someone. Engage with your readers. Answer questions. And don’t forget links, links, and links. Remember the rule, just don’t spam users. Remember, your links should be interesting and relevant. While posting on Twitter keep in mind, you are in good company. You are surrounded by millions of active user at every moment. Because of Twitter’s short format, many user tweet multiple times a day. Essentially increasing the number of readers you get every day. Better yet, many celebrities use Twitter. You might not become famous, but because user will want to check in on an A-lister, you can sneak information about your blog into their feed and get noticed. Make sure you do not spam or post irrelevant information into Twitter’s timeline. If you keep on posting something which is not relevant to user, eventually user will mark you spam and you may lose your Twitter account. Twitter needs short URLs. URL shortening service is absolutely necessary for Twitter. Make sure you select the right one.
Google Plus is obviously a Google product, which means it has been specifically designed to be good at its job. On Google Plus, you can post messages, but you can also create notification, spots, share, and hang out. That’s right, Google Hangout can be used through Google Plus. So you can talk to your follower almost face to face. Google Plus also employs circle which allows user to group their friends into categories keeping business and personal life separate. This is great if you write a professional blog and don’t want to clutter up friends and family’s news feed with information they might not care about. Facebook also have list. However, it is not as intuitive as circles of Google Plus. There is also evidence that Google Plus members get a boost during Google searches. And their post will show up higher in Google’s ranking. So, it definitely can’t hurt to become a member and try this out.
Social media and professionalism don’t always go together, but on LinkedIn they meet. LinkedIn is a place for professionals to meet and connect. Business can also create their own profile, so that users and customer can link up and provide a reputation for both themselves and the businesses. Connecting on LinkedIn is like providing reputable links on your blog. It verifies who you are and they qualify the quality of your material. LinkedIn also provide valuable tracking demographics of who has viewed your site and linked up with you. So you can find your precise audience. If you are a simple blogger and do not need or want a business profile on LinkedIn, you can still benefit from a personal account. You can use it to link up with readers and post your articles and qualification. Use LinkedIn like a public online resume. You can create a good reputation for yourself by providing lots of links and articles. If you want to provide guest blogs as discussed in the previous module, LinkedIn profiles with examples of your work can be foot in the door.
Pinterest is an online scrapbooking website. Sign up for an account. Come up with a theme, and start pinning. It seems very simple, and not useful to a blogger looking to connect with readers, right? Pinterest is actually one of the fastest-growing sites on internet. So you shouldn’t overlook it. Pinterest seems like a domain of crafters, photographers, and artist. If you blog about any of these things, great, get on Pinterest right away. If your blog is more technical or not based on photographs, you should still give Pinterest a chance. It is for more than pretty crafts and photographs. There are millions of Pinterest users and you can find those with similar interest to yours. Get them headed to your blog by posting humorous photographs or images related to your topics. You can always create custom image based on your blog and post it on Pinterest. It is very powerful and engaging, and there you have it. Pinterest as a social media.
Measuring Social Media Impact
Let’s face it. Creating a social media presence can be a full-time job. On top of a full-time job of blogging, and possibly your real full-time job, too. There is a type of path that most bloggers follow, the excitement of beginning, and dreaming about becoming an internet sensation. That peak is followed by steep drop when the hard work and low return becomes a reality. But successful bloggers stick with it and think about how to reach their goals. That is where social media comes in. First you must set your target. You might not become an internet sensation. So, what are your goals? Do you want a certain number of regular readers? How about certain amount of ad revenue?There are different ways to use social media to achieve these very different targets. Define your goals or you will never know how to reach them. Find your audience. Whether you want to become a millionaire or just an expert in your small field. You must find out who else is out there and how to get them to build up to your goals. Find out what these people like, where they get their information, and what social media they use. You might have to try every single social media site to find out your audience. Determine your of cost what is written. You could pay a peer expert to set up your social media pages for you and target the best audience. But you better have deep pockets yourself, because buying your way to the top is expensive. If you’re spending 20 hours a day writing a post, answering comments and linking up on a Facebook, but you’re not getting anything in return, you need to rethink your strategy. Because, the return is not worth it. So how do you measure success? You can count the amount of comments on your site is getting. Or the traffic your site is receiving. Ad sense ad will prove to you how many clicks they received and your revenue can be one way to track return on your investment. There are also many different sites that help you figure it out, your internet presence.
Klout, so you have determined what you want out of your blog and how to attract readers. You think that you have ratio posting, social media, and downtime worked out. You can measure page views and ad revenue, but is there any way to actually measure how much work you’ve done? Klout is a website that does just that. It gives you score out of 100, and once you sign up, it tracks your score daily. As an example, US President, Barack Obama, has a score of 92 and an average highly active blogger has a score in the 50’s. These scores are calculated based on feedback from eight sites. Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, LinkedIn, Foursquare, Wikipedia, Instagram, and Klout itself. It keeps track of how many friends you have, how many times you are re tweeted on Twitter, and many other calculation that are industry secrets. Of course, these are all arbitrary measurements, and there are ways to work the system to gain a large score.
Social Media Best Practices
So how can you make the most out of social media? First, announce your blog post on social media. It’s like giving your blog a boost. You can double your readership just by announcing it where there might be interesting parties present. When using social media, don’t just announce you have a new post and disappear. Stay for a while, talk to people, answer questions, and comment on things that are not your own announcement. Make a LinkedIn profile. It can be tedious and seem useless but not having a professional presence online is like having an out of the date resume. It’ll only take a few minutes, and you only have to update it every once in a while. Even if you hate the idea of social media, if you have a blog, you really ought to be on at least Facebook, Google Plus or Twitter. Using all three can be time consuming. But without some sort of online presence, how can your readers find you? Encourage commenting. Answer people who message you, especially if they have a question. If there is a fight growing in your comments section, jump in and try to cool everything off. It’s all just part of the internet, right? If your social media site and blog are a safe place for comments and discussion, you and your blog will benefit. Is in real life, be authentic and truthful. Lying is always found out, even if it’s just on the internet, and you’re claiming to be six feet tall and a supermodel. Make it easy for readers to connect with you online. Provide links to your social media sites on your blog. Most social media site, like Facebook, Google Plus, and Twitter provide handy widget for this very purpose. When you post online, have a point. Don’t make pointless comments about your dinner or the weather, unless of course, you have a food blog, weather blog or something very related. People will begin to tune you out if you don’t have a purpose most of the time. And all your hard work on a social media will be good for nothing. Be an active user. Set a schedule for yourself and post regularly. People are creatures of habit. If they know when you post something new, they will look for it at the right times and find you when you have a new post. The whole point of all this best practice is be engaged. Interact, be truthful, and join the conversation.
Points to Ponder
Points to ponder. When starting out on social media, you will want to learn about URL shorteners. They make your posts neater and cleaner. Additionally, they’re lot easier for your readers to remember. When starting a blog, you will want to get involved on one if not all of the following social media sites, Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. Once you are on social media site, you can keep track of whether you’re making an impact using a number of online tools. One of the commonly known tool is Klout. There are number of best practices to keep in mind when you start social media, but the biggest rule of all is be engaged. Talk to your followers.Post important links, and remember that you are trying to provide a service, not the other way around.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Here is a quick rundown of the SEO topics we are going to cover. Don’t worry. They look complicated, but they are easy enough to follow. We will discuss about Off site SEO techniques. On site SEO techniques, keyword rich content, SEO friendly site designs, blog title tags, blog post writing, search engine submission, SEO plugins, Meta tags and robots, friendly images, post slug or URL, removing dead links, no follow and finally we’ll discuss about content. Now let’s understand what search engine optimization is.
Search Engine Optimization
You might already know what search engine optimization is, but let’s go over it again. It is a way to balance your content with keywords, images and links to help search engines. Especially to Google to find your website. Blogs are particularly suited to SEO because, each post is easily picked with keywords, links and sometimes with images. Search engine spiders or programs that crowd the web looking for content pay attention to this three big clues. Because these programs are built with these ideas in mind, you can easily tailor a website. To be noticeable, but sometimes that comes at a cost to readability. If you try to jam as many as many keywords into your post as possibly it will not read well. It will be very obvious what you are doing. So while SEO is extremely important, because you certainly want the casual web browser to find your blog, please keep in mind, don’t sacrifice the readers experience for SEO. If your posts are unreadable orpointless because they are too focused on using a set of keywords, you should rethink your strategy.
Off Site SEO Techniques
Off site SEO techniques. One of the best ways to build up the reputation of your blog and increase your rank in search engine is through off site links to your blog. It means that other people are reading what you have written and trust you as a source. This is the goal of every blogger. The big question is, how do you do this? First, quality content is a must. Obviously, you will never have a great reputation without the material to back it up. But, countless great blogs are very hard to find. You must market yourself. Trade links with fellow bloggers. You link with me and I will link with you. But, if you don’t have this kind of network available, you can try getting your blog listed in a directory or buying links. Neither of these are as good as actual links and will only get you so far. But, it is worth trying to get your name out there.Here is a warning for you, if reputable search engine like Google. Or being find out that you are trading links which are meaningless andyou are just submitting to directory without any relevancy or you are just buying links to to promote your blog. There are good chance they will enforce search engine penalties on you. I strongly suggest that you not try. Any illegal methods or blackhead SEOs. As I said earlier, buying links, which is against search engine terms and conditions, you stand a chance to get removed from entire search engine.
On Site SEO Techniques
On site SEO techniques, so what can you do on your site to help the search engines spiders find you. Keywords, we have mention keywords quite a bit in this course and honestly they cannot be mentioned enough. When you are talking about a subject you don’t mention it once. And then just say it and that thing right. Make sure your blog post contains the right number of dimension to sound natural and it makes your blog post clear. It is usually the perfect keyword density. Don’t over use the keywords and as well as just don’t use it ones and never use it again. Good design, a well designed blog is actually a huge help to search engines. Good titles, tags at the end of post, indexes, and quality post of a good length make for a well-designed blog and good way for search engine to find you.Intralinking is also sometimes called as Interlinking. This actually means linking within, or between your own blog. Have you blogged about two related ideas, provide a link on both the post to each other. Provide older and newer links that allow readers to scroll through posts chronologically. Have a greatest hits link, with links to ten, of your best posts. Search engine spiders map your website by following links, so make it easy for them to explore your entire blog. Keep your blog updated, even if you only post once a week or once a month.Make sure that you keep on that schedule. Having an out of date or never updated blog is the first thing that will make a search engine ignore you. Never updating or posting is like locking your doors and turning off all the lights on your house. It looks like no one is at home.If you don’t feel like going to your blog. To write new content. Nobody wants to come to your blog, stay connected with others. Especially to your readers. Provide a way to link up with your Facebook, Google + or Twitter. Allow commenting and answer questions that are posted to you. Staying connected will get you those much wanted links. And even better, word of mouth marketing.
Keyword Rich Content
Have I mentioned keywords enough yet? Do you believe that they are the biggest key to SEO? Let’s go a little deeper into keywords and how to use them. First, don’t let the new terms scare you away. Keywords are simple. Think about the main topic of your article, that is your main keyword. See just by wanting to write about topic you have already done half the SEO work. Additional keywords will be what you think readers will search for when they are interested in the topic. May be your topic is, how to quickly lose ten pounds in ten days.Well, the average user isn’t going to type all that into search engine. So try to sneak shorter phrases in like, lose weight quickly, lose ten pounds or lose weight or weight loss etc., So how often should you use keywords, should they be every other phrase. How about in every sentence or every other sentence? This sort of keyword packing will be extremely noticeable and even make your blog look yechit and spammy. Try to use your keywords about 5 to 20% of your article. And erring one the the lower end will be better than overstuffing your article. Once your article is written, there are ways to sneak keywords into your post. First, the URL of your website can act as a keyword.Search engine spiders take this account, when looking at your site. If you’re writing about weight loss article on your blog post. But your URL has no mention of weight or loss, there are chances search engine will probably overlook you. Second, as tempting as it might be, avoid having an overly funny or punny title. The title is a great place to put your biggest and best keyword. For example, for weightless article, you can have. Titles like ’10 steps to lose weight quickly. but if you have a title like ‘bigger, stronger, faster and leaner’ this may not clearly convey the message that this blog post is about weight loss. There is a entire module which describes about. How to create attractive title. There is a module in the course which describes how to create appropriate title. You can also add altered text to any image, include in the post. This is the text that appears when you hover your mouse over an image. Search engine spiders can read this so it’s a good place to add keyword where it won’t bother readers. Headings. They also count as keywords. They make reading easier and they are like mini titles, so fill them with keywords. Tags, which are defined as keywords that are listed at the end of your post, are obviously a good place to put additional terms you think readers will search for. Meta tags are a type of tag listed within the HTML code for your site. It is not posted on your blog as a part of your content. But search engine spiders will read this. This used to be extremely critical for SEO. And while they have fallen out of the favor, it is still a good place to add keyword or two, if you have access to the HTML code of your site.
SEO Friendly Site Designs
SEO Friendly Site Designs. There are always ways to optimize your site for search engines before you even write a single word. There are SEO friendly site designs that will help the search engine spiders easily navigate and cache your webpage, obviously search engine spiders are going to love themed site. There will be hundreds of pages with hundreds of keywords, literally packed with exactly what people are searching for. If you want to become an internet sensation A theme blog is for you. Find a niche topic that you are an expert about and start typing. If your blog has 200 posts about one subject, the search engines are going to immediately rank you as an expert and start sending traffic your way. A simple rule is to follow, if your blog is easy to read for human, it will be easy to read for search engine as well. Why is that? It is because of all the topics we have covered so far. Titles, headers, and, to make it searchable, you need good keywords. Remember, to keep your site design simple. Simple design means, clean layout, title, header, and of course, it also means awarding some design option like. Flesh animation and lord of such heavy wen elements. A rule of thumb is, if your blog looks like an early MySpace page, you need to remove few animations.
Blog Title Tags
Blog, Title, Tags. Blog title tags are very important to SEO. There are essentially the blog’s subtitle. Let’s take an example from earlier and say that you have a blog called ilovehulahooping.com. This is the title of your blog and you would like to followed by hooping into cs and amateurs. From a more technical standpoint, that is what should appear between title text in your HTML code. This code ensures that this text is what word appears at the top of your blog. For example here is my website, blog.sqlauthority.com. The title tag is, Journey to SQL Authority with Pinal Dave. And here is another subtitle which is, SQL, SQL Server, MySQL, Big Data and NoSQL. You can see there are lots of keyword used in the title tag as well as in the subtitle. Also pay attention that I have word, blog, SQL and Authority in my URL as well.When you mouse over my header image, you can also see there is other text which says journey to SQL authority with Penal Dave. Simple techniques like this are helpful to search engine optimization. Search engines use this data the way same way once use meta tags as a way to determine what your blog is about and shuffle you to your place in the search results. You might be surprised at the result you get when you tailor this for keywords and search engine optimization. For example, change your subtitle to say, hula looping tips trade and pictures. And you might have stumbled into exactly the formula. That people are searching for when they try to Google or Bing hula looping. At the end, you’ll find your blog is now gaining rank in search engine results. Another great benefit to title tag is that they willbecome the link tags whenever you posts links about your blogs. It will make your name more memorable, recognizable, and act as a SEO for your website even when, you are not doing any work, in that front. Once again, remember, title tags are very important. Before we end the clip, I would like to clarify one thing. The blog title is different from blog post title. In my case, journey to SQL authority with Pinal Dave, is a blog title, where as SQL server drivers for various drivers is the title for my blog post. Both of them are extremely important, and most of the time they are the key factor why anybody is landed on your blog post. You can further rate how you can optimize title of your blog post. Into my earlier course building a successful blog. In the module writing an interesting blog, I’ve discuss in detail how to write a irresistible title to your blog post.
Blog Post Writing
Blog post writing. Keywords and tags are important in SEO. Images help. Having the right URL is always good. But your blog is never going to be the best if you don’t have the best possible quality. You know the kind of site I’m talking about. There are plenty of links and keywords galore but everything about the site screams scam. You don’t want to be ranked among this site. So keep this mantra in mind, quality is king. Repeat this to yourself whenever you feel like resorting to tricks to push your blog higher in Google ranking. Stick to the point. Keeping one topic actually help your blog. I do well, and so do team post. It’ll help you keep a focus on keywords, without having to work too hard. Find yourself stuck in the middle of long post, and you don’t want to finish. Are you thinking about throwing in a aragraph stuff with. Easy keywords and calling it a night? Think again. This has actually shows that shorter posts, 300 to 500 words, look better to search engine spider. So, go ahead. Cut down this post with, to be continued and post it. And keep writing. When you are refreshed and turn your post into a series. Search engines. Will like your extra content, extra keyword, and right length of post. Now with the risk of contradicting myself in the same clip, I will say, quantity is important too. Quality is important but certainly don’t overlook quantity. The truth is that, a blog with 200 post is going to be get higher ranking than one with 20. So try to keep posting regularly, and get your content higher. It would be nice to be able to do all the right SEO tricks, and become an overnight sensation. But the need for quantity ensures that you will be working hard for a good period of time. Right mix of the quantity. And quality will bring you to the top of the search engine. But, one thing to keep in mind though, is that if you are just copying and pasting blog posts in attempt to look like you have 200 posts, search engines will consider that cheating. Search engine spiders will actually read this kind of copying and pasting as plagiarism, even if it’s of yourself. And you will get bumped down in the rating.
Search Engine Submission
Search engine submissions. So, we are learning all these SEO techniques to try to make our blogs more appealing to search engine spiders. This can seem like an agonizingly long time to wait. Isn’t there something you can do? Yes, there is. You can submit your blog to the search engine of your choice to be indexed. And no more waiting around. There are even programs that will submit your blog to all the best sites. They also claim that they know the tricks of how to make the process easier and faster. However, there are some warning associated with this practice. Beware of services that require payment to submit your blog. Remember if you are patient, this is a process that happens for free And some of these programs will be preying on your in-patients. Free programs are worth it. What do you have to lose? But, there are many scammers out there, so play it safe. Also keep in mind that submitting to an index can still take a long time. It is not guaranteed of getting online quickly or even before the spiders find you.
For the average blogger, talking about SEO results in confused looks. Fortunately, word press in particular has plugins that help blogger choose the best way to get the name out there. Of course, it is not as easy as pointing to which plugin to use and magically your number of readers will double. Before we understand the plugins, we need to understand various concepts related to search engine optimization where plugins can be helpful. On Internet, we have various plugins available which can help us in meta tags and robots, friendly Images.Optimizing post slugs and URL, removing dead links and implementing Nofollow links. Once we understand these concepts in depth it will be very easy for us to go and pick the right plugins.
Meta Tags and Robots
Meta Tags and Robots Search Engine Spiders crawl the internet indexing content and pages. They are what get you on to search engines.Part of what Search ngine Spider look for is duplicate content. This is a big indicator or plagiarism of course. However, blogs are tricky because the average person will be blogging about similar things multiple times, especially if you write a niche blog. There are ways to avoid this, and to write your content to appear viewer differently every time. But this can be awkward and irritating sometimes. Meta tags, which are keywords built into the HTML code of your post will help un-focus the search engine’s spiders but fiddling with HTML can be almost as akward a quote an irritating. And some blog host don’t allow access to the HTML code. Ideally you could create a map of your blog for the spiders to see and that way, they would search the right parts of you blog. And you won’t run the risk of getting lower rating for duplicate content. Luckily, there is a plugin for that. The robot meta plugin creates a map telling the spider where to read your blog, and awarding duplicate content.
Friendly images. Let me ask you one question. What was the first thing you noticed on this slide? We all know what’s your answer is. You definitely looked at the image first. One tip to make your blog more attractive, easier to read and help with SEO is to include images with your blog posts. Everyone likes to look at pictures of course. But how do they help with SEO exactly? When you take an image with a keyword it ads more weight to your site for the spiders to count. Simply dumping in a picture is not so simple, though. What keyword should you use to tag it? Is there a character limit? What if the search engine don’t understand your keywords? Is this all really necessary?Don’t worry. There is a plugin for that. Friendly Images is the name of the plugin itself. You can use this plugin to help you tag your images properly so that search engines recognize these photos and alerts the search engine spider that this photos belongs to you. If your site uses lots of images this plugin will save you hours of work.
Post Slug or URL
Post slugs or URL. This is a practice we have already covered. And one that we are probably all aware of from reading blogs ourself. It is good to use keywords for your blog post in the blog titles. This is good place to sneak in keywords, and of course, they will be on topic and attractive to readers. The title then becomes part of the URL for your blog which is another good place to sneak in key words. And now you’re covered two SEO best practices in one swell scop key word to is your best practices in one fell swoop. Of course it can’t be as easy as that. There are lots of words in the title that aren’t key words too. Let’s go back to an old example, the blog post about how to lose ten pounds in ten days. That will become the title and you can see a simple URL, but the spiders aren’t going to read five out of eight of those words. They might even ignore your post as unimportant because it is too wordy. A better URL would be ten pounds in ten days or losing ten in ten days. You’ll be happy to hear that there is a plug-in for that as well. It will automatically optimize your titles for search engine spiders without a lot of fiddling around behind the scenes. Install multiple plugins for the post slugs. And see which one you find most comfortable to use.
Removing Dead Links
Removing dead links. When you first start your blog, you are probably full of excitement and enthusiasm. Before you lose steam, you create a blog layout, and start typing away. However, as the months go by, you find that you didn’t quite format things the way you wanted. And your URL could use some work and your blog indexes can be improved. Before you know it, you are faced with changing the entire layout of your blog. Possibly even altering permanent links. Unfortunately this is an SEO nightmare these links are what keep you connected. To the internet as a whole, and via a search engine. Now we are looking at changing all those old ties. In the end, your blog will be benefited, by changing your URL structure. But in the meantime, the reindexing required, is going to take forever. And you are going to miss out lots of new readers. Believe it or not, there is a plugin for it. You can use that plugin to identify. Dead links and change it yourself. If there are any errors, you can use the same plug-in to throw a 404 page not found error. You can also give a guidance on your 404 page what users should do when they land on the page. If you know there is a new location of your dead link, the better thing to would be to have 301 redirect. 301 redirect. Will seamlessly point to search engine the new location of your old blog post.
No follow. Commenting on a blog is bread and butter of SEO. It is not only good for the blog, making it appear popular and reputable, but commenters can share links to their own blogs. However, WordPress recently changed its comments to nofollow, which means that comments, including well volunteer links no longer counts when SEO spiders crawl your site. In technical words, using attribute REL is equal to nofollow will now instruct search engines not to crawl Any links. This can be good when there are lots of links hosted by follow bloggers which you don’t want to acknowledge. However, there are definitely valid cases when you want search engines to follow links.Here is the big question, is there a way to take this control back? Absolutely. There is a plug-in for that. The plug-in allows bloggers to choose, on a case-by-case basis, which comment and links are valuable and adds attribute to follow or not to follow. This helps tremendously to new and old bloggers who wants additional exposure and cross-linking.
All in One SEO
All in one SEO. As you probably realize by now, there is a lot to SEO. There are so many ideas to keep track of for your blog: Keywords, meta data, linking, image keywords, headings, indexing. Keeping all of this in mind as you write a simple blog post. Can be completely overwhelming. Wouldn’t it be nice to have all in one pack? Well, you probably know what I’m going to say next. There is a plugin for that.The all in one SEO pack through WordPress takes care of all of these things from titles to meta tag to keywords anything. And everything.The plugin can run the whole blog or you can use it on case by case basis. This is my favorite plugin. If you are going to do something, do it well, and this plugin can do that for you.
Content is King
We have learned a lot about SEO in this module. It can all seem a bit overwhelming, and it might seem like it’s taking the fun out of writing about a subject. You once were very excited about, but before we leave this module, with that said idea in mind, let me say, content is king. Even if you are a master at SEO and can hit the right keyword percentage every time, please keep in mind, SEO will never replace an excellent content. Great writing and good ideas will bring in readers. Having a reputation for excellent writing and good content will boost your readers. Even if it is through word of mouth, eventually, interested readers will find you. Good posts can even make up for bad formatting that make your blog hard to find, disorganized looking. Or, maybe just bit dull. Remember, a good content should not be an excuse for formatting your blog purposely bad. Blogs themselves are almost primed for SEO as if they were created with getting search engine results in mind. They’re, after all, packed with keywords, are frequently updated and filled with links. Even if you never do another thing with SEO, starting a blog, especially on a platform that is frequently indexed by search engine spiders, like WordPress or Blogger. Will get you well on the way to getting great SEO results. There is a saying that has been going around SEO blogs that I wanted to quote here. Write for humans, not computers. Computers and computer program that rank your SEO result are one thing. But without good content, readers will never stick around to read the post. Content is king.
Points to Ponder
Let’s go back over what we learned. When considering search engine optimization, the first thing to think about is offside techniques.Namely, this is the building your reputation with the links to your site from outside science. There are numerous ways to do this, from link sharing to social media. There is not much you can do to control off side links. So let’s focus back on,on-site techniques. The main things to keep in mind on your own blog are keywords, good design, interlinking, keeping it updated, and connected with others. If you’re having a hard time with SEO. There are similar plug-ins that can help you. But if you’re going to take one thing away from this module, let it be that content is king. Without good content and excellent writing, no amount of SEO will ever manage to keep readers on your site.Remember, write for humans, not computers.
Monetizing a Blog
If you’ve been on internet lately, you’ve certainly seen advertisements, banner ads, pop up windows, and more proclaiming the fact that you can make money off your blog. It is certainly true. However, there are many more ways to go about it than the schemes those ads are announcing. There are four main ways to earn money. Advertising, products, services, and blog built to sell. We will go over ways to truly make money from blogging in this module.
Right Time to Monetize
Right time to monetize. So, when should you start monetizing your blog? How long do you have to wait to start making money? Is there a goal you have to reach before you can make money. A thousand readers, a thousand blog post, world-wide fame and acclaim for you blog. Not at all. You can start making money right now. You don’t have to start big. You can learn as you go and figure it out, what works.You can earn a little money as you learn. But keep in mind that you won’ t be able to quit your day job immediately. It will also train your readers that your blog is for profit. It won’t come as a surprise to readers when suddenly there are ads on your blog because they werethere the whole time.
Advertising is of course one of the biggest ways to make money from your blog. If you believe the banner ads and pop up windows on the internet is the only way to make money, that is definitely wrong. There are many more ways you can make money online. Here are few of the ways you can make money, online. Advertising networks, affiliate marketing, sponsorships, text links, advertorials, newsletter, RSS feeds, and community forums. This was just an highlight. We will talk about all of this in depth in this module.
AdSense. When we talk about advertising on a blog, we are almost always referring to AdSense. This is one of the most popular advertising network in the world as it is available in most of the countries. AdSense is Goggle product. It is easy to integrate into most blogging platforms. For example, WordPress and Blogger. You can have maximum of three AdSense ad blogs on your blog or website.You can customize how you want ads to appear and where they are on your site. So you can avoid over stuffing your blog with too many ads. AdSense pays you on per click basis as well as per view basis. The major income through the AdSense is from pay per click. Of course, it is pennies per click so you need a lot of readers. Clicking on those ads like I said before, you can earn a little money if you have lots of readers. Here is one more advantage of AdSense. Once you start using AdSense, there is a dashboard in your AdSense account, which will guide you with the best practices. A little warning. If you click on your AdSense advertisement, even by mistake or for testing purpose, your AdSense account may stand chance to get banned.
Affiliate marketing might sound like a scary technical term. But it is really not that difficult. You, the blogger, works with a partner or affiliate to help make money off your blog. Usually, well-established blogs are more likely to work with affiliates and make money. For example, a crafting blog partnering with a company that sells. Crafting supplies is a perfect match. The way it works is that the affiliate pays the blogger to promote their product whether it is whole line of items or just one special product or maybe even classes or seminars. The blogger is paid a percentage of whatever product sells or by the number of people who click on the link. The way the blogger is paid will depend on the affiliate they are working with, so read the fine prints. There are a number of affiliates who regularly work with bloggers. So seek out one who fits your niche. Amazon.com, eBbay, and Commission Junction are very popular affiliates who are well known. These affiliates regularly work with various bloggers all over the world, so the process will be very smooth with them. Try out various affiliates and figure it out, which one works best with you. And your readers.
I like to use the analogy of sponsorships to racecars. It is true that both racecars and blogs get sponsorship. And it is the same concept.You get paid to put the name out there in the public. And hopefully you get money and the sponsor gets business. However, for a small blog just starting out it can be hard to put your blog out there. So here comes the big question. How can you make your blog more attractive to potential sponsors? First keep up with your SEO. Which we covered in the previous module. SEO means that your blog is getting readers, getting noticed, and will eventually have name recognization. Your blog must have good content. You better believe that sponsor will check out your blog before agreeing to write a cheque. Good content will also attract readers, and that’s the one thing you do not want to miss if you have a sponsorship or not. A good SEO, good content. Lots of reader, heavy traffic and all of these things add up to having a high ranking. There are many ranking services from a simple Google search to programs like Cloud or Alexa that give your page a numbered score. The better your score, the more likely you are to get s sponsors. In the meantime, start small. Prove that your blog is a good candidate for big sponsor by trying out smaller sponsorships. Partner with other blogs with a similar subject and check out other smaller blogs to see who is sponsoring them and who can be good candidate for your blog. Offer a free sponsorship to gather interest. For example. Promote a fellow blog or sponsor without payment to prove them that your blog is a great place for them to advertise. This kind of good will gesture will benefit you when you go looking for a real sponsor. So what are you waiting for? Have you done your research? I think finding a right sponsor is not that difficult. It just requires you to do a little bit research. But at the end, the results will be in your favor.
Text links can also be way to earn money on your blog. But how can such a simple link earn money? Advertisers pay bloggers to add a link, on their blog. This link brings reader, to a page that sells the product. Or the sponsors home page. In the hopes of selling something or gaining business. The blogger is paid per click or lump sum. It is up to the advertiser. This link may appear in multiple post as a permanent link somewhere on the sidebars, headers or footers or can be a one time bill. It is an easy way to make money if the opportunity arises. However, there is a downside to the Text Links. Sometimes they can decrease blog’s Google ranking. Or even removes them from the search engine altogether, because the links may appear disreputable or scammy. You can overcome this by using no follow HTML tag that we have covered in previous module.
An advertorial is an advertisement made to look like an editorial. This concept is not new. Newspaper have been doing it for ages. Blogs are just beginning to join in the game. If you’re popular, lucky blogger, a sponsorer might pay you to write a blog post that is highly favorable to their product. The ethics of this are up to you. You might actually like the product or maybe just need the money. Maybe your readers want to know about this amazing, great new thing or maybe they will see it is a scam. That is a definitely downside though.Google may penalize your website. The paid favorable reviews are not a good representation of any product. The human being behind the search engine algorithms. Thinks paid editorials as a scam to buy your way to top of the page rankings whether or not this is a truth this is hard to tell. There are good chance that your page might altogether disappear from search engine results. The way to avert this is to clearly state that you are being paid and by whom. There are standard disclaimers that you can easily copy and paste to your editorial blog post. In summary, if you can, stay away from editorials. But, if you prefer to go with editorials, make sure there is a disclaimer and all the links which you are using to point to a product or another website are with no-follow tag.
We have previously discussed how newsletters keep you in contact with readers so they won’t drift away and possibly can attract new readership. It’s a new way to make money, but now? It’s really quite simple. First. Include ads, more and more advertisers are becoming interested in including ads in newsletters. Bigger blog will obviously earn more money, but if you can prove that your readership is solid and loyal, ads will benefit your newsletter too. You can also allow sponsored emails. These sponsored emails might be something like an ad for hiking boots, if you have a hiking blog or something similar. Trade carefully with sponsored emails, as they can turn off reader who are sensitive to spam emails. Also every country has a different rule for privacy. It is never a good idea to give email address of your readers To your sponsors. Make sure you receive the email directly from the sponsor and forward yourself to all of your readers. By not spamming your readers, not only you follow the legal rules, but also keep respect of your readers.
RSS feed. We have discussed RSS feed in our previous blogging course. So hopefully, we all know how important RSS feeds are to blog.They allow readers to get instant updates about when their favorite sites have updated their content. Readers love this option. But because of the loss of revenue, RSS readers needed to find a happy medium. Ads are now allowed on RSS feed just as with most advertising content. The best bet for using ads in RSS feed. Is to limit it to one or two small ads. There are many programs that allow forcustomizing the ads on your feed so you can control the content size and the number. Just search on lineRSS Feed advertisement and you will find various options. Make sure you try them out one at a time and see which one gives you the most benefit.
Community forums on the most popular blogs, there is a usually a community forum. Active forums are the life blood of a blog. They keep readers engaged, allowing them to interact with the content, and each other. There really are vibrant communities. Sometimes, with more visitors and traffic than the main blog. Some bloggers have started implementing ads into their forums to capitalize on the traffic.These are all the same kinds of option for monetizing a forum as for a blog. AdSense, sponsorship, Text Links, and much more. Keep in mind that the readers will not like ads cluttering up their forums.
So far, we have focused on using advertising to monetize your blog but at the beginning, we did say that there were more ways to make money. One of the main other ways is through products. You can sell your own products on your blog. It doesn’t matter what size your blog is, or how many readers you do or don’t have. If these products are something you already have or can easily make, you will not lose money for trying, and eventually sales will come in. Here are some ideas about what you can sell. Merchandise, this can be prints, photographs, t-shirt with your blog name on it, or stuffed animals that look like your blog mascot. If you have one. Books, this can be books you have written or books by expert on your topic. Even E-books counts over here. If you mention particular books a lot, your readers might like to read them and you can take advantage of this interest by offering a quick and easy link to the book video, if you have made video blog post. Or would like to, keep in mind this is marketable product webcast. The same thing goes for webcast. People will pay money for an interesting, well made webcast. Apps, even if you don’t personally write apps that you can sell, you can sell other products the same way you might sell related apps. Apps are a big market nowadays. Just pick up your phone and see how many different apps you have. Marketplace for app is growing bigger every day. Tap into it to take its advantage. Software, this is especially true if you are personally a software expert or a coder. None. If you know of a software your readers can use, you can sell it on your blog as well. In summary, if you have your own product, your blog is the best place to market it and monetize it. If you do not have your own product, you can still use affiliates, which we discussed earlier and market them on your blog to monetize it.
Even if don’t have a physical product to sell or don’t feel comfortable selling something through your blog, you can still make money by providing services. Remember, for people with skills or technical blogs, a blog can act as a type of resume, providing that you know what you are talking about. There are various kind of services You can sell on your blog. For example, freelancing, you can write, create, edit code. Whatever it is you do for your day job, but on the side, consulting. Lend your expert opinion to businesses all over the world. This is really a good business. Just search on internet, you’ll find lots of consultants. One way or other way they are using blog or website to sell their services. Donation. If your business needs a little cash, your blog can be the place to ask kind hearted souls for a loan. Make sure it does not look like begging. Because begging is not a good idea. Events, if you feel comfortable, offer to host an event where you can talk to people about your expertise. Trust me, there are more events talk on the blog than any other place. Training. Offer training services for businesses or individuals. They will hire you and you can train them at a price. In my early career, I used to sell trainings on my blog and it really worked out very well. Speaking. Some top speaker, can get tens of thousands of dollars for speaking engagements. You might not command that sort of fear. But this kind of services is free to offer. It’s a great way to make some extra money. This is just a list which I can think of on the top of my head. The types of services which you can offer on your blog are only limited by your imagination.
Built to Sell
Built to sell. Did you know that you can sell your blog like you can sell a business? In fact, for some people that is the point of creating and monetizing a blog to attract a buyer. These people create blogs to sell the same way some entrepreneurs start business to sell or buy houses just to flip them. Your blog might be an extremely personal effort, almost like a diary and would feel like selling one of your children, built to sell marketing might not be for you. In fact, highly personal blogs probably do have a big market anyway. Why would somebody pay to take on writing your diary. But if you have a technical or niche blog that is popular. You might be on the right path to creating a retirement plan for yourself. So, how do you create a blog that is built to sell? First, as we have already mentioned, expert blogs that are technical are niche in market, are the perfect way to attract buyer. They can be easily taken over, since the personal voice is not the main appeal of the blog. These types of blogs also can attract steady readership and readership equals cash from the point of view of any interesting buyers. After you are gone your readers need to stick around for the investment to pay off. If you are interested in, build to sell make sure you are building up loyal readers. Blogs are personal in their very nature and highly changeable. The layout changes, host changes and sometime the whole intent of the blog changes after the blogger have been at it for a while. These kind of changes scare up potential buyers. Remember, they’re investing in a company and need to know they’ll get a payoff. That is why it’s important for your blog to have a history. Older blogs sell better. Blogs whose age can be measured in years, not months or days will be more appealing. Built to sell blogs are not a get rich quick scheme. It is also important to keep a good accounting history, because buyers will want to know your financial history for tax purposes. Selling a blog also doesn’t have to mean cutting all ties and swearing off all contact. Some buyers will be interested in keeping on the blogger in a management position, especially if this blogger is the heart, voice and reputation of the blog.This buying company will monetize and finance the blog, essentially paying the blogger to write. Or you may want to retire completely.These options depend on you, the buyer, and the type of the blog.
Quick Ideas: Start Monetizing
Here are quick ideas about how you can start monetizing immediately. We are now at the end of this module, and hopefully you have picked up some ideas about how to turn blogging from a hobby into a livelihood. However, if you’re still struggling, or feeling overwhelmed, here are nine quick tips that you can do today to start monetizing your blog. Teach a class on your blog. Sell it as a video, or provide it free for a set period, and then start charging users. Sell services, freelancing, consulting, training, pick one and offer it on your blog, and see if there are any takers. Make a branded video and provide it on your blog. Offer it to other blogs. Post it on YouTube.Get your name out there. Use AdSense. Sign up for an account and play around with it. It’s easy to shut down if you don’t like it, and there is no easier way to monetize your blog. Find a sponsor for a blog post. Ask fellow bloggers or check out who is sponsoring them and contact that sponsor. Add an app where readers can buy products through an affiliate like Amazon.com. Sell logo t-shirts. People love to wear t-shirt proclaiming their favorite things. If that thing is your blog, you will make money and get free advertising. Write an eBook from all blog posts and sell it on your blog. Or write a whole new e-book if you are feeling adventurous. Write and Advertorial about a product you really love. Contact the company and tell them you love their product and are talking about it on your blog. Perhaps you’ll make some money. Do let me know which one of this you are going to exercise first.
Points to Ponder
Let’s cover what we just learned. First, don’t wait to start monetizing your blog. Do it right now. When you finish this module, start monetizing. Advertising is the main way to monetize your blog, and there are so many ways to do it. AdSense is the biggest and most common. But you can also sell affiliate products, get sponsors for you blog, or write editorials about products you love. You can also add advertisement to your newsletters, forums, or RSS feeds. You can sell products and services on your blog and let the readers come to you with their cash. Another way to monetize your blog is to sell it to a bidder and essentially retire from blogging. This is, of course, takes the problem of blogging out of your hands, but you will make a profit while you are at it.
Frequently Asked Questions
In earlier module, we discussed quite a few topics ranging from, how to build high-traffic blog, to monetizing it effectively. In this module, we will discuss some of the most frequently asked questions related to SEO, social media and monetization.
How much is too much to share on social media?
How much is too much to share on social media? Using social media is a great way to market yourself. Matter of the fact, we covered this topic earlier in this module. However, if you took my advice too much to heart, and started posting everything everywhere, you might be in trouble. Social media sites and your readers will not appreciate irrelevant or duplicate content on the timeline or in inbox. Either they will make you spam or eventually they will create a filter to not read you. Here are few of the tips. Do not repeat whole blog posts. Your blog should be at one central place. There should be no need to repeat this entire blog post at multiple host or at different platforms.Keep your blog post at one central location. And post a link to your blog post on various social media sites. Remember, do not repeat the post or link on the same site over and over. What it means is that you should not be repeating a one link on one social media multiple times in short period of interval. You shall stick with top two or three sites, as well as top two or three links for your blog. Hosted on various social media, with a moderate interval. For example, I personally post one link once in 12 hours period. I post one link during the day for the readers who are in my time zone and one link 12 hours apart for the readers in different time zone.
What is a bad link?
What is bad link? Links are a good way to give your site a good reputation. And prove you’re not a spambot, trying to scam readers.However, even human bloggers can make the same kind of mistakes that spambots do. And the bad links are one of them. Let’s understand what is a bad link. Buying link is never good. You cannot fool the Google spiders. Now, repeat the same statement multiple times yourself loudly. Buying links is seen as way to buy page views and page and it is highly frown upon. Don’t even think about doing it.Reciprocal links. Reciprocal links means that you have partner with someone. I link to you, you link to me. Google spider will find this immediately. After all, they are programmed to find that sort of thing. Even three way links will be discovered and everyone involved will be penalized. Make it clear, it is not a reciprocal link. Linking to bad sites will eventually get you penalized. If you become aware of a site you’ve followed losing quality and possibly being penalized, cut ties. This is unfortunate truth, you can also use the no follow option for all the links going out of your website, except for the site you know are reputable. Hidden links are hidden for a reason. Secrecy does not scream, I’m the trustworthy. Just like buying links, do not do this under any circumstances. There are a good chance that Google spiders will eventually find it and your site will be all together removed from entire search engine. Overuse. Even if all your links are valuable andtrustworthy peppering your blog with links to every little thing will look strange. While it’s not unethical, it is unpleasant and should be avoided. If you have too many links, spiders will eventually stop indexing after a certain threshold. Make sure you stay away from any of the practice which we just discussed. Link to another site or blog when you think it’s relevant and useful. In simple word, use your good judgement.
How can I identify spam comments?
How can I identify spam comments? A very common question I’ve seen. If you have commenting enabled on your blog, you will deal with spam. Even if you have spam blocker set to the most strict levels, spams are going to be there. If your comment sections is all filled with spam, your regular readers might lose interest in commenting. Here are ways to spot and get rid of spams before they drive away all your traffic. Overly complimentary comments plus a spammy looking link Is definitely a spam. Everyone likes to read nice things about themselves. And these spammers know exactly how to prey on your weakness. If the link looks spammy and the comment seems too good to be true, delete it. Great post, plus a spammy looking link. Yes, some commenters will be quick to the point, and just want to add a link to their own blog. But it is better to error on the side of the caution and check the link yourself. If you find the link is spammy make sure you block the spamware. Gibberish comments are obviously spam. Yes, yes, somebody does might have had a computer malfunction or their translate page went wrong. But at the best, this comment is distracting and messy and at worst, you have a spammer on your blog. Delete the gibberish spam immediately. Here is a tricky one. Make sure you read entire comment to validate if it is spam or not. No one surfs the internet looking to tell random strangers stories about how they make thousands of dollars in a week with no work. Trust me. It is indeed a spam. The story might be good, but the comment is with bad intention and absolutely off-topic. Well, these are the four ways to identify if the comment is spam or not. Remember, if somebody criticize you on your blog and writes something constructive, that is not a spam. And make sure you answer it politely, and properly.
What are monetizing pitfalls to avoid?
What are monetizing pitfalls to avoid? Monetizing your blog might sound well and good, but there are definitely pitfalls to avoid. First, do not clutter up your blog with too many ads. Choose one or two or you will be driving readers away. Do not spam your readers with too many ads on the blog, on the forum, or in the newsletter. Let readers come to you. Do not give access to your readers to obvious spammers. Do not let questionable companies advertise on your site. A good rule of thumb is if quick or fast is in the title, for example,get rich quick, lose weight fast, they shouldn’t be bothering your dedicated readers. Make sure to do a proper background check of the advertisement you support. It should go without saying, but I will say it anyway. Do not allow illegal ads, gambling, adults ads and under the table prescription will get you in trouble with the authorities.
How can I avoid duplicate content?
How can I avoid duplicate content? Many bloggers, if not all, will have problems with duplicate content, especially niche bloggers who have a small area of expertise, will struggle with creating content that is different enough to avoid being tagged as duplicate content.Especially when focusing on one keyword or set of keywords in the whole blog. First, check your keywords. If you’re concerned, some posts are too similar, look at what phrases you are using over and over. If your keywords are overlapping too much it is pretty clear that your posts are too similar, and will be considered duplicates. By varying your keywords in the individual posts, you will help creating unique content. This can mean, changing your topics, but usually, this will improve your blog and keep readers, happy. Remember, that strong posts, and good content are king. And that a good post will hit all the keywords requirement.
Where do I put my Ads?
Where do I put my ads? So you have decided to monetize your blog with ads. Now, where do you place them for optimal impact? Above the fold is what most experts say. This means that the area of the page a reader will see without scrolling down. Any ad placed here will be noticed. After all, this is where the most people put their ads. So readers have come to expect it. Ads on the side bar or in between post will also do well. Because they are near the content where people are already reading. They will read the ad out of habit. Of course the biggest rule is not too many 3 or 4 ads on a page is okay, but 2 or 3 is even better. Readers will see them, but not get overwhelm and ignore them or even worse leave the site.
What is keyword density?
What is keyword density? You have probably heard a lot about keyword density, and how it is a bit, if not biggest part of SEO. So, what is keyword density, and how do you calculate it? It is very easy. It is number of times a keyword appears in your blog post. It is measured as a percentage, so if you can figure it out how to tip at a restaurant, you can figure it out keyword density. For example, if you use the keyword 10 times in 100 word post your post has 10% keyword density. Don’t worry, you don’t have to aim for 10%. This can make your posts sound clunky or strange or 1% to 5% keyword density is good enough for search engine spiders and not distracting to your readers.
What is my rank?
Here is final frequently asked question. What is rank? Is it important? What is my rank? One way to determine if your blog has readers or if search engine spiders have found it or if your AdSense ad are working is to view the page rank. Therefore if you want a definition of a page rank it is really just how popular your blog is. There are many different sites and program that will rank your blog. Some give your blog a number based on readers, searches, or hit and the higher the number the better. Others will rank your blog against other blogs and the lower the number the better it is. Does this remind you offer popularity contest in school yet. The good news, that like the contest at school, none of this ranking matter. Alexa, one of the more popular ranking site, can tell you how many other blogs get more readers than you. But cannot tell you much more than that. Cloud adds up your tweet, re-tweet, and readers to give you a number that still does not matter. So here is the key question. What is important? Content. Content is king, write a good blog. Provide excellent content and readership will follow. Providing quality content to your community may not earn you millions of dollars, but it will earn you respect and that should be the goal.
Do you have any more questions?
In this model we covered many frequently asked question related to blogging which I often receive. If any of the question is so far not addressed feel free to reach out to me on my Twitter address or Facebook.
Techniques to engage blog readers. Allow commenting on your blog. Run contests, as they are always popular. Blog with intention, always aim for the best. Guest posting, be a guest or host a guest. Stretch a long post into multiple meaningful blog post series. Social media checklist. URL Shorteners help provide links on Twitter and many other social media. Here are a few social media networks, where you should be present: Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. Keep track of your presence with Klout or Alexa. Just remember, they are not always 100% accurate. The best way to network is to engage with your readers. Search engine optimization. On site SEO techniques to keep in mind are keywords, good design, intralinking, regularly updated content and social media connect with others. Make sure your blog is using appropriate plugins. Here are few of the concept around which you want to use your plugin to make your life easy with respect to SEO: meta tags and robots, friendly images, post slug or URL, removing dead links and nofollow. No matter how much search engine optimization you implement, the biggest rule is, content is king. Here is the final checklist for monetizing. The right time to monetize is now. Are you monetizing your blog? Advertising is the primary way to monetize any blog. Here are a few of the ways for monetizing: Adsense, affiliates, sponsorship, advertorials, newsletter, forums and RSS. If you have not implemented any of this way to monetize your blog, start thinking right now. Sell products or services to make money on your blog. Here is the final checklist, which may not be for everybody. You can always sell your blog and cash out. With this final slide, I would like to end this course.Remember, there is no shortcut to hard work. Keep blogging and be a successful blogger. One final time, thank you so much for watching this course.