Friday, November 26, 2010

Using Your Blog to Make Money

Most of us think that the only way to make money out of a blog is to monetize it. Well that is the easiest way to make money blogging but it doesn't mean it is the only way to make money out of a blog. In fact there are lots of their blogger who just use their blog as a bridge to their real income generating activities.

Many people freelance at or elsewhere. The most common job is obviously writing. If you get a writing job you will have to prove that you can write. For the times I have done freelancing I have always hated having to submit a sample copy. Now if you have a really nice blog you don't have to do that. You can have your prospective employer check out sample copies of your work from your blog.

If you have an online store you need to have some means of referring people to it. What else could be better than a blog? It is easy to update, ranks well easily with the search engines and your customers can give their views through the comment section. Using your blog to push up sales can be very effective. There is however one very important rule when it comes to using this method, do not monetize your site. It makes you look cheap and this can work against your credibility.

Most experts today are offering consultation through their blogs. Readers are free to ask questions which can be answered through blog posts. Now this will build your profile and give you an opportunity to showcase your expertise. You will be able to gain more customers this way.

Several A-class bloggers today are offering coaching on how to become better bloggers. From Problogger to Yaro Staraks . You can create programs where you teach other people about something you are good at (doesn't have to be necessarily blogging). You then use your blog for enrollment.

So you see, you don't have to make money out of your blog to make money blogging. You can use your site just as a tool that makes generating an income easier.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Selling Your Products on Your Blog

Many people tend to think that the only way to monetize your blog is to add some adverts. True, it is the most popular way, but not all people do that. Some have discovered that you can make more income out of your site without Ad sense.

Selling your own products is a welcome alternative if you don't want ads in your site. Take e books for example. If you have knowledge about some topic why not write good e books and sell them. Actually you are more likely to make money selling products than ads if you are low on targeted traffic.

If you are a software developer, you can still find your blog a very important tool in pushing your product sales through the roof. You are focusing on marketing your products instead of getting bad reviews out there. You also get the chance to correct your critics. Many people are developing software that make things like Search Engine Optimization(SEO), content writing, social media promotion etc. a walk in the park.

Blogger templates and  Wordpress themes, plug-ins etc are also very profitable. The best strategy for selling these is giving some free and then selling the premium ones for a fee.

If you have some digital products you can also sell them on your blog. Make sure you provide enough information so that people can easily choose products that suit them. Offer discounts and coupons to encourage people to buy more.

Setting up your online shopping cart is very easy these day and if you have signed up with payment processors like PayPal you can have one in minutes. Avoid having to ask for lots of information when collecting payments. People generally hate filling forms and may give up mid way.

Lastly if you want to make some good money from your product sales you need to optimize your site for the search engines. Most people looking to buy something will use the search engines to find it.

Friday, November 19, 2010

How to Get Content for Your Blog

Blogging is fun and exciting. Looking at your blog grow can be one of the most satisfying things in your life. Posting every other day is also great especially with the knowledge that you are helping somebody somewhere. A point comes however, when you run out of ideas and you can't find something to write.

An inexperienced blogger would reduce the posting frequency, but you shouldn't let that be you. In fact that will be one of the mistakes you could make as a blogger. New blog content is very important. You can't just reduce your blog content and expect you are going very far.

For one having fresh content for you is great if you have been optimizing your site for the search engines. The likes of Google like blogs that are constantly updated with quality content. In fact if the Google bot constantly finds fresh content in your blog, it will increase the frequency of indexing your site.

Subscribers are also very important for the growth of a blog. It is not all the time you will have to depend on the search engines for traffic. You can get traffic from you feed subscribers. If you keep on posting, you will have something new to send them lets say every week. 

So we agree that content is very important for your blog. One question still remains, if I have run out of steam and can't get ideas for my blog posts what do I do?

For one you will have to find things that inspire you to come up with new content. It could be either reading other blogs, interacting with other bloggers, observing things in life or even research. Find things you do that give you a clue on what to write.

You can also join social bookmarking sites like StumbleUpon so you know what is trending. You can find excellent articles that can give you an idea on what is in.

If you however you feel like you can't write maybe you could get assistance from outside. Take guest posting for example. You could allow people to post articles in your blog in exchange of exposure. This also gives your readers something different from a different writer.

You can hire people to write content for you. Get a really good writer who will charge you around $5 for a really good article. If you visit you are bound to get enough people ready to sell their writing expertise.

If you don't have money to spend, then you don't have to worry. You can still get free content for your blog. The reason why most of us do Article Marketing, is the fact that such articles can be given free for republishing. So long as you are going to keep the content and links in the post or resource box intact, you can get articles from article submission sites. The publisher is happy since he gets backlinks and traffic to his site when his articles are published elsewhere and you are also happy that you got free content for your blog. It is a win-win situation.

I don't think you have a reason not to update your blog. Getting blog content is very easy and there is no reason your site should remain stale with old content.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

When to monetize your site

I have heard this debate for a very long time. Exactly when is the right time to monetize your site. Some people say that you should have ads on your blog right from the start while others will advise you to wait at least for some time until you are getting some targeted traffic.

If that is so then why do I see new sites littered with ads all over? If it has no monetary benefits why do it? Doesn't it look like a waste of time and even a poor way of marketing your blog (considering people just hate ads)? Not really, everybody has their reasons.

A smart guy once figured out that you can get your site indexed very fast if you run some Google Adsense. Just that coupled with a few high quality links to your site and the Google bot will be after you. It doesn't seem a hard thing to do and since it works, it's worth a try.

If it is your desire to make money blogging then it might be a good idea to let people know that right from the start. I didn't say you go put Adsense everywhere, no just a lonely ad somewhere, not for making money but for passing a message. There are readers who get disappointed when their ad free blog soon starts showing some adverts. You don't want that to happen to your blog right? Just let them know what you are up to right from the start.

So now I have told you the pros of having adverts in your blog from the very beginning, here are the cons. For one you won't make anything, not a single penny. It can be very disappointing. I have this friend of mine who thought he can write a few posts and then start making money from Adsense. I let him try it. When it never worked he assumed the promise of making money online was the proverbial pie in the sky. I tried to convince him otherwise but he was adamant and gave up. With this attitude you simply can't make money online.

When you have set up a new blog you want to get lots of subscribers, loyal readers and the like even before you think of making money. Now when you put ads all over your blog even before your site is indexed you look very inexperienced. Like I said above you can have a little ad at some lonely corner for purposes I have mentioned, but if you cover every little space with them you will be doing yourself a lot of disservice. Around this time you should be thinking about marketing your blog and optimizing it for the search engines before you think about the checks.  They don't come easy so work for them.

So when is the right time to monetize your blog? I would say there is no such thing as a right time. It will all depend on what you have in mind. However take into consideration that you want to have a successful blog. Make sure what you do what works for you and not against you. After all we'd like to see you blogging happily to the bank.

Monday, November 8, 2010

How to monetize your blog

After you have been blogging for some time you get to feel that you should be paid for your efforts. Or maybe it was your idea from the start to make money blogging. Whichever the case blog monetization is something that has to be approached with caution.

If you started your blog without ads introducing them might scare some visitors away. The only way to avoid this is to have ads on your blog when starting out. This way nobody will be surprised as your goal will be very clear straight from the start. If you are just begining to have thoughts about monetizing your blog, don't be shy about it. Try this methods I am suggesting below.
  • Google Adsense- The granddaddy of all blog advertising solutions. You can make lots of money from Google Ad sense if you have a content rich website that receives a considerable amount of traffic. Ads range from text ads to image ads or even text links. Highly customizable to fit your blog or website.
  • Infolinks- Great pay per click advertising solution. After Adsense i would say this is the next best option. All websites great and small are welcome to try this In-text advertising solution. The best thing about it? No minimum qualifications. You can have ads running on your site in minutes.
  • Chitika- Display ads relevant to your search engine traffic. Get paid monthly via Paypal($10 payout) or Checks ($50 payout). Great advertising solution if that can generate lots of revenue if you get lots of traffic from the search engines.
  • Ads Fundi- The good thing about Ads Fundi is that they pay you per click and per sale. You get 75% of the cost of the click and 50% commission for every sale made. It is very easy to set up and you can have ads running in your site in minutes. If you have problems having your Ad sense account approved then this is a great alternative.
  • Adbrite- This another great way to monetize your site. You bid for ads and then display them on your site. Works for most people. Worth a try.
  • Bidvertiser- Get paid monthly via check or PayPal. Minimum payout is only $10. Only highest ads are displayed on your site for maximum revenue. Another great advertising option.
  • Speedyads- Another advertising solution for you. You can set it up and have ads running on your site in minutes. Get paid monthly via check or PayPal. Minimum payout is only $10.
This advertising solutions should definitely help you make some money out of your blog. Remember making money blogging is not about how many ads you display but the amount of targeted traffic you get. Instead of pasting ads allover your blog find ways to increase your visitors if you really want to make money.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Why you are not making money online

O.K somebody told you making money online was easy. If you ask me that is very true. You can make money online and big amounts as at that in fact snoring while your online shop continues to bring in more and more. So why do we keep on insisting that making your money online is hard?

The reason why I claim that making money online might not be a walk in the park is because I talk to newbies most of the time. People who come online with starry hopes and inflated expectations. You might want to blame those wise guys who never seem to run out of things to sell. After you have read their PDF file  that was supposed to give you the magic trick to make you millions within no time, you realize that you need to see their video which will outline how to bla bla bla. Before you realize it your losing more money than you are making, if ever you are.

So why would it be so difficult to make money online? I have tried to outline some of the reasons that dollar has proved elusive.

You are doing the wrong thing. Seriously If blogging isn't your thing do something else. If you can't do affiliate marketing why try it? Why not do something easier like freelancing? It is much easier and you don't have to wait to make money. However if you feel whatever you are doing is where your heart is, stick to it.The greatest successes are born out of big dreams.

You are not willing to learn to learn. The biggest advice you are ever going to get around here? Learn to learn. It doesn't matter whatever job you had as your day job, doesn't matter if you could pick the bad boys out of a rabbit hole. In the dog eat dog society of the internet it is a good idea to seek advice before you begin to regret. Don't learn from experience, there are those of us who have done it for you, why do it?

Always remember things are not easy. Working online is not much easier than working offline. You have to put effort to see results. If you think the make money snoring slogan was meant for newbies please don't quit your day job, at least not yet. The only advantages you will find here are like, you won't have a boss to bark at you, you don't have keep up with the latest fashion(you can blog with your t shirt and jeans), you work when you feel like and so on.

Work comes first rewards later. If you have chosen blogging, you won't make anything for the first two months. This are meant for marketing your blog, optimizing it for the search engines, writing great content etc.
Don't let anybody mislead you. You will realize how easy it becomes to make money blogging after you have put in the hard work.

This are the most reasons newbies find when they try to make money online. It very saddening to see somebody full of hope go away because they came with the wrong information or attitude. Making money online comes easy, if only you invested in hard work before.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The importance of internal linking

To many people when it comes to Search Engine Optimization, internal links never cross their minds. Their link building efforts are driven towards getting as many external links as possible. If they ever do internal linking it is for the sake of increasing users ease of site navigation or just trying to reduce bounce rate by giving their readers more to choose from.

Have you ever wondered why some sites like the Wikipedia or Amazon seem to top the Search results all the time? I am sure you are thinking it is because they get lots of links everyday. That is partly true. However so do many other sites. The major factor that gives this sites dominance is  internal linking. Though they don't do it for SEO, it still works for them. You might try doing it too, look for other posts and pages you can link to in ever post you write. I always do that and I have seen a very major improvement in my search engine rankings.

The other day I talked about how anchor text is very important in Search Engine Optimization. The choice of words other sites use when linking to you will matter very much in SEO. You may not influence the words somebody will use when linking to you but you can do that with inbound links. If you want a certain page to rank highly for a certain keyword, use it when linking to them.

Sometimes most traffic comes to your homepage. You might want to distribute it among your other pages. You don't want users to bounce away to some other site after reading the single post in your blog home page. You can drive traffic to deeper pages in your blog with inbound links. This not only makes your site user friendly, it keeps your readers on your site for longer.

Any serious webmaster out there will definitely consider internal linking. It greatly improves your site and also goes a long way in improving your sites ranking in the search engine organic results.

Monday, November 1, 2010

How to reduce your blog bounce rate

Have you installed Google Analytics? It is a great tool designed to give you statistics about visitors to your blog or website. One of this statistics is Bounce Rate. Now if you are new at this you might be asking yourself, what is this?

Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors heading to another site instead of visiting other pages in the same blog or website. A high bounce rate could mean you really have to work on your site or in other circumstances, it could mean nothing. It just depends on what your site is about. Take the Wikipedia for example, they have a very high bounce rate largely because they provide information. Once you get what you need you dont need to linger on, do you? You got what you needed after all.

However, if you have a blog like mine and you are having a high bounce rate (say 60% and above), there could be something you are not doing right and you might need to reevaluate your site. Some of the reasons include:
  • Poor design-If your site is designed so poorly it looks like patchwork, you will be scaring your visitors away. You should also ensure your background is white as readers are used to that. Black or other colours strain the eyes and will have your visitors running away. Limit the number of widgets you put on your site. I see blogs with widgets for every other site they have joined. Forget about other sites and focus on yours.
  • Too many ads- You might have heard of less is more. It is really true. Actually having too many ads on your site doesn't make you more money. The few visitors who can tolerate them are likely to become ad blind. I see so many sites littered with ads everywhere, especially in between blog posts. If you are trying to build a great blog you might want to limit ads to the sidebar, while you get readers first. Putting your readers first is what makes a successful blog.
  • Poor site navigation- Make it easy for you visitors to navigate in your site. Show your pages at the top, give a list of your older posts. You can also use inbound links to drive visitors to other posts in your blog. Make it easy for them to remain in your blog by giving them every reason to do so.
  • Blinking banners- Some animations are O.K. I understand you are trying to make money from your affiliate programs, all the best. However, choose your advertisement banners carefully. A banner that blinks faster than my eyelids is no good for your site. So many people are irritated by them.
  • Too many pop ups- You might be promoting your e books or other products but if you love your blog limit your pop ups. Also make it as easy as possible for readers to close them if they are not interested. 
Look into the above if you have a high bounce rate. You might be chasing you visitors away without your knowledge. However, it is never too late to make things right.