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Turning a Blog Into a Business

Friday, September 8th, 2017

Bloggers love blogging. They all want to combine their passion for writing amazing and engaging content in order to earn money for their efforts. Over the previous ten years, they’ve found a huge number of ways to do this. One thing worth mentioning is that in order to turn a blog into a business, the chosen set of methods should fit in nicely with the intentions and the content on it. There are numerous examples on bloggers who have completely failed at getting their target audience right, and you simply want to avoid that.

One of the most common methods for obtaining your first few dollars is a subscription or paid membership model. It rarely works, mostly because people who browse the Internet don’t care about pay for extra content when they can find it for free. The Internet is huge!

If your content is not unique and valuable for your visitors and readers, you might want to consider switching methods to skyrocket your monthly revenue.

Some of the best established methods that work for experienced bloggers include:

* Selling books, shirts, mugs, cups, pretty much any type of merchandise that contain the blog’s brand or logo

* Selling products or services from other sources directly via your blog

* Providing ways for readers to give out donations – think Patreon

* Promoting and participating in affiliate programs for PPC opportunities

* Selling ads to showcase other companies on your blog

We’ll mention a few of these outstanding methods and explain them further down below:

Affiliate Programs

Affiliate programs work splendidly, because for people looking to buy your banner placeholders, you do the exact same job as Google AdWords. You basically get paid to upload an advertisement for a service or company onto your blog. The difference with affiliate programs is that you don’t just get paid for clicks on an advertisement or two, but purchases your visitors made via your ads.

They are very attractive to bloggers because there are thousands of websites (like Amazon and BN.com) that offer a huge range of items for sale – some of which you can sell via your blog. These websites will then pay you for each sale they made via your blog.

Merchandising

In case your blog has good content, images, logos, pretty much anything printable onto a mug or T-shirt for people to enjoy, you should consider investing money in merchandise you branded with the help of your blog. It’s always good to have these types of promotions, because they are not only good for overall engagement with your audience, but for earning yourself some extra money.

The easiest methods of setting up your mini shop is by partnering up with website who specialize in online merchandising. Each merch item you want to be sold will be displayed automatically, with your branding on it, on these customized webpages so that the visitors think as if your site is the one selling your merchandise, not an online vendor. A huge benefit with this method is that your readers can purchase items without you having to do anything. Your single duty is to set up the store. The online service you’re cooperating with takes care of the rest.

The most popular on-demand branding services are:

* Branders

* CafePress

* Direct Lines

* Zazzle

Selling Space For Display Ads

This is the classic way of earning money off your blog. Selling advertising space means those who relate to your blog the most will pay you money if you place their ads on your blog. If you have a huge number of incoming traffic, you’ll get a lot more inquiries.

This means that your blog needs to have relevant content to the advertiser if you want your blog to be attractive to them. Signing up on Google AdSense, for example, is the most simple way to get some money flowing. But as an established blogger, you might want to look into ad networks.

Advanced Blogging With WordPress

Friday, September 8th, 2017

Break Through Into the Blogging Industry with WordPress

If you have a blog of any size or you desire to grow a large blog, this article is for you.

Simple Tool to Manage your Content Flow

Do you work inside of WordPress and you have multiple writers or others who manage the content for your blog? Rather than messing around with spreadsheets and Google Docs, try EditFlow plugin for WordPress. EditFlow is a plugin that allows you to do things that are, for example, only visible for editors. Only the people that are editors can see the comment. You can have a dialogue right inside the post! It provides a searchable and sortable calendar so you can see all the articles that are written in an easy way. You can post “needs images” and other comments in the sidebar to manage your content flow.

Is it Too Late to Start Blogging?

As a new blogger, you might think that it is too late. You might think that the other successful bloggers have too much of a head start. With blogging, any person can develop a voice. People starting now to blog are not too late. It’s certainly more cluttered and there are a lot more blogs, but this opens up opportunities to network and grow faster. While there are a lot of people blogging today, there is no one that has the exact same set of experiences, stories, skills and perspectives. Harness what you have that is unique. It’s a great way to break through into the blogging industry.

Techniques to Attract and Engage your Blog Visitors

The editorial mix that goes into a successful blog varies. But for the most part, successful blog editors post one newsletter each week (on Thursday or Friday) with tips for the weekend. With a team of writers and a few guest writers, two original articles are posted daily. To engage with as many social networks as possible, it takes a lot of time. So, in order to succeed you must plan and strategically schedule your resources. During the week there is usually a “challenge” assignment for visitors to take-away and build upon the tutorials that are published earlier in the week.

Model for Blogging:

People are much more likely to read tutorials if they have been inspired to do so. The key things that are used for success of a unique blog include a successful editorial model. Each blog is different, but for the most part this editorial calendar works.

Build three things into the editorial calendar:

  1. Information – 90%
  2. Inspiration
  3. Interaction

This is all free content. Four day a week posts, twice daily, plus a summary newsletter once a week to roll-up the tips and outline information posted during the week.

What Is Long-Form Content and Why Does It Work?

Long form content is a trend that is doing very well on blogs. Long-form content can be called “meatier” content. While typical news-friendly content includes articles with 500-800 word range, long-form content is different. A typical blogger’s average piece of content was around 1,000 words or fewer. Articles focused heavily on SEO, including keyword optimization. The only problem with this strategy? Bloggers were getting a lot of search traffic, but not a lot of return traffic, direct traffic, or brand searches, and user engagement metrics – stuff like bounce rate and time on site – were pretty low.

Long-form content, on the other hand, isn’t just rewarded by the search engines – it also resonates with readers. By creating longer, more in-depth content that provides tons of value to an audience, bloggers’ content strategy has seen success with improved engagement metrics.

Ideal Blog Content Size

Based on statistical data, the ideal blog post takes seven minutes to read and is around 1,600 words long. This is not light reading but is well worth the extra time and investment because some blog editors report that with long-form content, the average time on site has more than tripled!

Extra Content Ideas

Contests (with a prize) and polls (or discussions) are important. Community and engagement is key. Anything you can get a reader to “do” on your site is important. Second, it teaches you a great deal about your readers. At the end of the month, a monthly poll with a follow-up post to re-visit the data is useful to readers. Additionally, other blogs will consider your content good research data that they will want to link to.

Forums – although a bit of old school technology, is still interesting for readers. Readers can have discussions and show off some of their own ideas. Forums are easy to setup and in most cases, your web hosting provider will offer you a free tool that is easy to use.

Plugins for Functionality Improvement

With the growth of long-form content, the user scrolls down to read the entire article. This causes the sidebar items, in most cases, to scroll up or disappear temporarily. The ability to keep some of the most important sidebar items visible and remain persistent is a great solution to add to an existing blog.

  • Floating Sidebar
  • Lightboxes
  • Exit live boxes
  • End of post boxes appear
  • What do you want the user to see when they get to the end of the page? If you can deliver something different there, you can increase page views or newsletter subscribers.

Where can I get these plugins?

Most of these plugins are available at WordPress.com. If you are looking for a more specific plugin geared toward professional blogging, you might consider joining problogger.com. If you become a member of problogger.com/download-center you will find all the plugins that they have developed for professional blogging.

The plugins for bloggers include:

  • Facebook tracking,
  • Sticky Top Bar messenger,
  • Flicker plugin to suck in images into your blog
  • EasyDigitalDownloads – manage all your eBook sales from within WordPress
  • WordPress editorial calendar – helps to visualize all posts that are scheduled and you can drag and drop then around in order to change the posting date

Monetizing your Website

There are heaps of ways that you can monetize your content. If you are limited to only a few and can’t spend too much time testing all the monetization options available, then you can limit your energy to eBooks and affiliate links.

eBooks Monetization

eBooks are a profitable income streams. If you launch 4-5 eBooks a year, it provides a good little income for you over the years. Writing and publishing eBooks is an entire strategy that will be outlined in a different article. There is so much information that is needed in order to fully explain this monetization strategy.

More Monetization Ideas

Affiliate promotions such as Amazon links, provide a good income too. Newsletter ads and banner ads can be lucrative too as a publisher. Good old fashioned Google AdSense can be profitable for a blogger if you offer a high-level target with your content. It’s hard to beat in terms of direct sales. As with any monetization, be patient, persistent, and use only high-quality, original content.

Web Hosting for Blogs

While most bloggers are using WordPress, there are some bloggers who still use b2evolution or other blogging tools. For the most part, all web hosting providers offer WordPress for free. The question as to whether you need a bargain basement web host or a partner that actually specializes in WordPress with plugin assistance or migration help may be necessary. Every blog is different and which type of web hosting you use is something that you, the business owner, will need to decide. Build a brand that advertisers will want to align with and even with small traffic, if you have really good topics, you can earn a nice living with your blog.