So, you have decided that you want to make money online and want to start with blogging. That’s great but do you know what type of blog you should be creating if you want to monetise it?
And if you have an existing business, why not incorporate a blog into that too to boost your earnings 😊
There are several different types of blogs out there. Not all will earn you money… and even those that you think will generate an income, might not – if you commit a few cardinal errors.
This article will shed light on a few types of blogs and what you can do with them. Instead of pigeonholing the blogs into specific categories, it’s important that you view them based on their income-generating possibilities rather than the purpose for which they’re built.
OK, let’s crack on…
These types of blogs have very low income-generating potential. Generally, they’re nothing more than online ramblings where you write about your thoughts and feelings on what’s going on in your life, etc.
For example, a lady who has a personal blog may decide to write about make-up tips and so on and start promoting cosmetics, skin care products, etc. It’s possible – but difficult to make money with this type of blog.
These are the most common types of blogs which are created to target a specific audience. If you wish to do affiliate marketing or sell your own products, you’ll want to create these niche blogs.
It’s important to get an umbrella domain for the market while you niche down. What does that mean?
Let’s assume you wish to create a blog on ‘homemade dog food’, buying a domain that’s too closely related to the niche such as DogFoodZone.com will stifle your growth. What if you wish to blog about dog training in future?
Instead, you may buy a domain such as HealthyPaws101.com (this domain is probably taken, but you get the idea).
Well, with the HealthyPaws101 domain, you can start blogging about puppy training. It will be a new category on your blog. As time goes by and you start going deep into each different and related category, you’ll have an authority site.
This is how authority sites are built. They’re just a niche sites that grew big.
These sites are similar to personal blogs, but they have a purpose here. Let’s assume you’re overweight and decide to go on a weight loss journey. So, you start a blog to journal your progress and let people know what you’re doing.
When you have progress, you can share what tools and methods you’re using. If you’re following a program such as P90X, and losing weight, you can share your affiliate link to the Beachbody website and make commissions when others sign up.
Herein lies the crux of this type of blog – You MUST be making progress and succeeding for people to trust you.
It doesn’t matter if it’s an online marketing blog or a keto blog or even a calisthenics blog. You MUST have results for people to trust you. Your success and progress will spur them to trust your journey and do what you’re doing – and buy what you’re using.
These are blogs with different topics that you’ll curate content from different sites.
Beginners would do well to steer clear of these types of sites. You’re better off targeting one niche and building a brand and an audience.
Guest Post Blogs
Similar to curation, but you’ll be vetting the different guest posts and only posting what’s relevant to your niche. This is more of a technique than a type of blog per se. Some blogs are totally made up of guest posts… while others have lots of content created by the blog owner and the guest posts are also thrown into the mix.
You’ll need to decide if you need guest posts to supplement your content marketing efforts or if you’d rather have a blog where all content is proprietary (with no need for outbound links).
Besides these types of blogs, there are blogs that are dedicated to teaching… or the pursuit of a certain lifestyle, etc.
The profitability of a blog is dictated by its ability to sell. You’ll do that with affiliate links, product links, ads, and also build a list that you can re-market to in future.
While you don’t need all these components in place, you definitely need the list building and the links that translate to sales. Your blog only makes money when people buy from or through you.
Create a blog that people love because of its value… and they’ll trust you and buy whatever you recommend.
“Successful blogging is not about one time hits. It’s about building a loyal following over time.” – David Aston
If you are reading this post, you must already realise that affiliate marketing is one of the quickest and most lucrative ways to start an online business.
But it isn’t always as straightforward as it seems and we’re going to look at a couple of affiliate marketing strategies that you can use to boost your effectiveness as an affiliate marketer and these are based around the concept of SEO (search engine optimisation).
This may sound like affiliate marketing for beginners, but I reckon most would benefit from these 2 tips.
Sound good? Let’s dive right in…
Basic Keyword Research For Affiliate Marketers
As an affiliate marketer, you want to learn the best ways to use keywords to help build your business. But if you don’t have any experience working with keywords, it can be a little confusing.
These helpful tips should assist you in being able to learn the best keywords and how to use them. First, you need the right tools to help you gather the best keywords.
If you’re just starting out, there are some great free and paid keyword tools you can use. One of the good free ones is Google AdWords. You can also use tools like Wordtracker, SEMrush, SpyFu, Ubersuggest, Wordze or Keyword Discovery.
Some of these have all free access, some free but limited usage offers and others are paid.
The Google AdWords Keyword Tool is very easy to use. When you pull up the screen, type the word or phrase you’re thinking of using on your website or blog. For example, if you’re selling acne products, you’d type the word acne in the box where you list the word or phrase.
When the words come up, you’ll see: acne, cystic acne treatment, adult acne treatment, best acne treatment, etc. The tool will show you if the competition is high, medium or low and what the volume of global and local monthly searches is.
One helpful tip is that you also want to cover other terms people would use to search for acne. To get other words people might be using, you can pull up an online thesaurus and type in acne.
You’ll get a response of: blemishes, pimple, skin inflammation etc. – and you can put those words in the keyword tool and see how they rank.
These are words that people use when they’re looking for something but aren’t completely sure what they want. For example, someone might type in the keyword ‘shoes.’
When you’re doing keyword research, you also want to look for exact matches. An exact match is how it sounds. Your keyword or keywords exactly match what someone has typed into the search engine.
For example, if someone types in ‘black lamp’ and you have that as your keyword, it will lead them to your website or blog or ad.
While ‘play guitar’ is an example of a keyword phrase, an example using longtail keywords would be ‘learn how to play guitar’ or ‘how to play guitar notes’ or ‘how to play guitar for kids’ etc.
Longtail keywords are important because you can get more traffic because you rank well – and you’ll end up with higher conversions.
OK, now let’s look at some ways to optimise your site with some basic SEO settings and we’ll assume that you are using WordPress to build your blog or website.
Basic Search Engine Optimisation For Affiliate Blogs
Some affiliates set up a blog and create lots of content – without ever learning the ins and outs of search engine optimisation. As a site owner, whether you have your own products or promote someone else’s, it’s important that you know SEO.
Make sure the settings allow search engines to index you. Inside the dashboard, you have the option to block access to your site by the search engines. This is under Settings and Privacy, so do a quick check to see if it’s set up correctly.
In the Writing category under Settings, go to the bottom where it says Update Services. Find a good up-to-date Ping list and paste those URLs into this area. That helps other sites know when you have new content.
Categorize your blogs and deliver a good navigation system. When a visitor lands on your website, you want it to be sticky. Sticky means they stay around for awhile, not clicking out after they read one blog post.
Go to the Settings section again and click on Permalinks. You want this option to be Post Name. This means that after your domain and the word blog, the URL will have the name of the post, like this: yourdomain.com/blog/keyword-relevant-blog-title.
Use both broad and longtail keywords in your posts and pages. Some affiliates make the mistake of trying to rank for the broadest keywords in their niche, like “health” or “diet.” It’s much easier to rank well in search engines when you use longtail keywords.
A longtail keyword phrase would be something like this: “the best diet after pregnancy.” Over time, as your blog becomes an authority figure, you may find that you’re also ranking for the broad terms as well.
Use a Google sitemap plugin. This plugin helps Google have quick access to a sitemap, rather than you having to manually create a sitemap that helps guide their robots or spiders around your domain.
Consider an SEO optimiser plugin to give your blog a boost. There are many plugins that help you maximize your blog posts on autopilot. Do some research and see what works best for your needs.
Are you willing to work like crazy for 5 years (give or take) so you can retire?
If so, I’ve got a business plan for you. And I don’t care if you’re 20 or 70 – this can work.
One note before we get started: Anything that you either can’t do, don’t want to do or don’t have time to do, you outsource.
And in many cases that’s going to mean outsourcing some of this.
Oh yes, did you notice how I covertly slipped that “7 figure payday” in there? I’m serious about that. Doing what I’m about to lay out for you, you can indeed retire in about 5 years with about 7 figures.
Your results may vary – in fact, they might be a whole lot better than that, I don’t know.
Let’s get started:
Step 1: Select Your Niche
What I’m about to propose isn’t rocket science. It’s not even new. But it is profitable, and here’s the key: You can do this in parallel, meaning instead of doing just ONE of what I’m outlining, you do several.
I recommend 3 – 5 of them.
What you’re going to do is build an entire business from the ground up, with an eye on selling it.
That’s right – the entire time you’re doing this, you have your exit strategy in mind.
It’s sort of like someone marrying for money, knowing they’re going to be asking for a divorce in 5 years. The money is a sure thing, they just have to put in the time and work.
Okay, that was maybe a bad analogy, but you get the point.
If you put in the time and do the work, you will get the money.
It needs to be a topic that has plenty of interested people willing to buy plenty of products, and of course there needs to be plenty of affiliate products continually coming into the market.
Step 2: Setup A Sales Funnel
Now that you’ve got your topic, you’re going to build a sales funnel.
Run a free offer on a squeeze page to get subscribers and place a couple of products in your funnel for them to buy.
Maybe you’ve got a $7 report and a $37 video course, or whatever.
These should be quality products that YOU own. And yes, they can be built around PLR, or you can outsource, etc.
I know what you’re thinking – thus far I haven’t told you anything new, except for the fact that you’re doing all of this with an eye to selling it.
Yet who does this? Very few people, but those who do end up with BIG paydays.
Do everything under a pen name. Make no mistake – EVERYTHING must be under your pen name.
And for each of these businesses that you build, you need a different pen name.
Okay, you’ve got a squeeze page to capture names, a funnel with a low-priced product, a mid-priced product and a membership site.
Step 3: Setup A Blog
Now you need a blog. Get a great logo, excellent branding and make it look super professional. Do NOT skimp on the branding and logo.
Post on the blog at least a couple of times a week, preferably more.
Make each upsell in your funnel a stand-alone product, too, and promote those on your blog.
Promote affiliate products to your list to make some good money as you go along.
Step 4: Write A Book!
Now write a book. See? I told you there was work involved. You can use content from your blog to create your book, or hire someone, or just write it yourself.
Link from inside the book to a squeeze page to capture more subscribers.
Put your book on Amazon and get your subscribers to review it for you. Yes, the book is under your pen name, too.
Don’t worry too much about promoting the book. Your real motivation here is to build credibility. A book on your topic with your pen name on it looks AWESOME when you put the thumbnail at the TOP of your blog.
Wow! You (your pen name, actually) are an EXPERT.
If you create a big product such as a $200 – $1000 course, get affiliates to promote it. Or get affiliates to promote your memberships site.
Your goal is to build your list BIG, make some nice income along the way, and put together a very professional looking business which you then sell for six or seven figures.
Rinse And Repeat!
If you do this simultaneously in 3 to 5 different niches, you will have an AWESOME retirement in about 5 years or so.
What I recommend: Start in ONE niche and get everything into place. Hire someone to write the blog posts for you and do some promotion.
You see where this is going. Five years of hard work, along with rolling some of your profits back into the business, and you then get to sell them.
Sites like these that have products, big lists and a BOOK sell for a healthy six figure income. Sometimes even seven figures. Apiece. And you’re going to have 3, 4, maybe 5 of them.
Remember to keep everything separate on each site. Separate hosting. Separate autoresponders. Separate everything. This makes it super easy to turn control over to someone else when the time comes.
Turnkey online business are always in demand. From a buyer’s perspective, they pay a big chunk of money but then they get a guaranteed stream of income. All the buyer has to do is continue what you started.
You can even turn over your outsourcers to the buyer if they don’t want to do the work themselves, and often they won’t. For them it’s an investment in their future. For you it’s a major payday and a plane trip to the islands.
For example, your pen name is Jon Smith. Your real name is Abby Jones. Jon Smith often recommends Abby Jone’s product or blog or freebie to his readers.
Thus you get people subscribed to your list, too, who get to know you, not just your pen name.
You retire, and you can continue to send out emails promoting affiliate products.
So not only do you get a big payday – you also get some large lists of your own that you can continue to promote products to.
Remember – 5 years of hard work, and then you can retire.
No job in the world, that I know of, offers you a retirement plan like that.
Do me a favor, will you? Go to Google and look up a few niche blogs. Start by typing in the niche word and then the word blog such as “insomnia blog” or “dog training blog.”
As you go through the page 1 SERP (search engine results page) links, notice the difference between opt in forms that simply say, “sign up for updates” or “sign up for the free newsletter” and those that address the visitor’s urgent problems.
Here’s a stark contrast you can see as an example. On one website the opt in form looks like this:
But land on a different insomnia site and the results are much different:
Wow! On this one you’re promised the newsletter, but also a FREE Sleep Starter Kit you can use TONIGHT.
There’s a big difference in who is addressing the visitor’s urgent issue of being sleep deprived.
Another site, located at http://www.insomnialand.com/blog, promises a free sleep training kit and says you’ll be sleeping better within 2 weeks.
So what can you offer that sets you apart from other marketers in the same niche?
Find Out What Your Niche Needs
One of the worst offenses to your visitors is to offer them something they don’t even need. When you think of need, dig down deep. Dig where it hurts – where they feel desperation.
Instead of “How to Have Pretty Skin,” touch on the concept of shame and beauty with a report called, “7 Ways to Clear Up Acne Overnight.”
Be specific about the problem.
Add a sense of urgency to the mix.
It’s not enough to offer a report on how to make your first $100 online, but offer it on how to make that first $100 today.
You can go to Google and type in the niche and the word forum and visit a myriad of forums to see what people need. So here’s a great example: http://www.psychforums.com/insomnia – when you go there, you don’t even need to go into the threads to get some great opt in report ideas for insomnia, such as:
- Natural Insomnia Remedies
- How to Fix a Messed Up Sleep Schedule
- How to Sleep When You Don’t Feel Tired
- A Beginner’s Guide to Curing Insomnia
Another place you can visit for ideas on what consumers need is the comment section of other blogs. Whenever you see a blog with a thriving community, people will often comment and discuss their needs – especially if the post doesn’t answer all of their questions.
For instance, if you see a comment that talks about the difference between insomniacs and perpetual thinkers, that could spark the idea for you to create a report called “Do You Really Have Insomnia?” where you differentiate between someone having sleep problems and someone whose mind won’t shut off.
Using this tool, if I type in “insomnia” first, one of the top 10 listings is “insomnia cures.” Click on it and go one step further, and you see report ideas such as:
- Insomnia cures for depression
- Insomnia cures during pregnancy
- Natural insomnia cures
Deliver Value They Would Gladly Pay For
For many marketers, their big mistake isn’t in coming up with an idea. They mess up when they fail to provide value. You see, this is your very first impression with a potential new subscriber.
You want to give away a whole course. Something where they download it or access it and can’t believe you just gave that away. This will do more than just appease a new audience – it will have them sharing it with others.
When you finish creating your opt in offer, put a price on it. In fact, you might even create a page somewhere online where you’re selling it for that price. That way you can show more value by saying, “My FREE Gift to You: Download My Insomnia Kit Now (Regularly $27)!”
But don’t skimp on the information. Your subscribers will know if you’re trying to dupe them.
It will also help you increase conversions whenever you do put a product out in the marketplace. Your readers will be thinking, “Wow, if s/he gives this much value away for FREE, I can’t begin to imagine what great information s/he’s charging for!”
Beat The Competition
You want to be the best you can be at all times with your business. But you also want to make sure you’re better than the other guy. Always one step ahead of him and outperforming his offer.
So that means competition spying time! Go through the same steps you did when you were first checking out the offers for your niche on page one of this report. Make notes about what offers are already out there.
Look at every detail of their opt in freebie. How big is it? Is it broad, generic information or detailed and specific? Do they have poor spelling and grammar? Do they have blatantly wrong information?
Make notes of everything you like and dislike and keep those handy whenever it’s time to create your own offer. So for example, if one insomnia expert said in his report, “have good sleep hygiene,” but he didn’t expand on what that meant, you make sure you do in your report.
So take your niche and go to Google and type it in. Then click on the News tab. So here’s an article I just pulled from the recent news about insomnia:
You can add that to your report. This up-to-date research might give someone a huge relief from their worry – or it might alert them to urgent information they need to know now.
Offer Multiple Formats For Your Prospective Subscribers
Many marketers have nothing to offer. Just updates. That’s the worst type of opt in offer to have. Anyone can go to your blog through their bookmarks, or choose to use an RSS feed to check in.
Here are some of the formats you can choose to offer for your new subscribers:
These can be done in a variety of ways. Usually it’s a timing slant. So for instance, you could offer:
- 7 Day Diet Plan
- 2 Week Sleep Improvement Course
- 365 Day Stress Relief Tips
Like this report, you can create a short PDF file for your subscribers to download and devour. Extra points if you encourage them to share it virally with their friends!
Give someone access to something exclusive – a membership site. You can have a free level where users get in and get to see inside, and then they can level up to a gold or silver membership.
Not everyone likes text. Some people like to learn on the go. You can create a podcast that subscribers love. It can be you talking or you interviewing someone – or even you being interviewed by someone else!
A video course is a great opt in freebie. Not everyone has fast Internet, so if you go this route, give them the download files to watch on their desktop so they don’t have to worry about streaming speed.
Split Test Your Offers
Make sure that whatever option you choose when creating an unbeatable opt in offer, you test and tweak throughout the year. Set up a split test so that you have different offers.
See what people like best. Test different formats for the same information. Test different offers completely. Test different ways of saying what it is you’re offering them as a freebie.
OK, there are 5 thing that you can do to create an unbeatable opt-in offer. If you want to know more about building your list after they have opted in, check out the featured resource below where you can get a free report about simple list building.
There are thousands and thousands of niches out there and picking one to blog about can be overwhelming to a beginner.
- Do you choose a niche you’re passionate about?
- What if you’re passionate about minimalism? How will you sell anything?
- How can I be sure my niche is profitable?
These are just some of the many questions that many beginners have. Choosing a niche is not rocket science. There are just a few simple criteria to meet and you’ll be able to spot a good niche within 15 minutes or so.
It’s imperative that you pick a niche that’s profitable if you want your blog to make money. You can’t turn a donkey into a racehorse… and you can’t turn a losing niche into a winner.
1. Is There Money Being Made In Your Niche?
This is the first and most important point to consider. For example, if you’re planning to blog about model airplanes, your first step will be to do a Google search for your main keywords and see if there are other bloggers in the niche and if they’re selling/promoting products. If you see competition, that’s a good sign.
Secondly, you’ll need to check if there are products to sell in your niche. In this case, it may be model airplane sets, magazines, acrylic paints, etc. The more products you have to sell, the better – and the more variations the product has, the higher the chances it’s a profitable niche.
Look at the number of reviews and you’ll get an idea of the quantity of merchandise being sold, and you can ascertain the profitability and viability of the niche.
2. Do The Niche/Products Solve A Problem?
Generally, if the niche revolves around solving a pressing problem, you can bet that it will be profitable. The ‘make money online’ niche and sub-niches are highly profitable because millions of people have a NEED for more money in their life.
The same applies to the health niche. In fact, the health niche is the most popular niche of the lot, because when one is in discomfort, they’ll willingly pay to end their pain/discomfort. Weight loss, migraines, back pain, teeth whitening, etc. are very profitable niches because people have problems that need solving.
3. Is The Niche A Sub-Niche Of A Bigger Market?
Ideally, you should pick a niche that’s a sub-niche of a huge market. For example, picking a niche such as ‘keto diet for weight loss’ will allow you to niche down and dominate the niche… and after that, you still have room to grow.
So, your blog has room to grow in future. A micro-niche might be easy to dominate but will not have potential for growth.
The price of the products you’ll be promoting and selling will indicate potential profitability.
Many people tend to be afraid of pricing products too high, but you don’t want to undervalue your products so don’t be afraid to experiment at different price points; you may be pleasantly surprised at the results.
5. Keyword Competition
When choosing a niche, it’s a good idea to do some keyword research and analyze the competition.
Using a keyword tool such as Ahrefs will give you an understanding of the lay of the land and whether you can beat the competitors.
If authority sites are dominating the search rankings, you might want to niche down further or just find another niche.
It would be a good idea to check on the trends of the niche. Some niches are flash in the pan trends that crash fast once the fad dies. Think Pokemon Go and fidget spinners. There was massive demand for a while… and now, it’s crickets.
Anything to do with wealth, health and attracting the opposite sex are good places to start as they are always popular and trending in the news, social media etc.
7. Can You Drive Traffic?
Last but not least, are you able to locate your target audience? This is very important because you’ll need to drive traffic to your blog. If you can’t find your audience or they don’t hang out online, you’ll have a major problem here.
Are there others advertising in your niche?
If you see other companies advertising for products in your niche, that’s a sign that you can reach an audience. Just pay attention to the longevity of the ad. Some ads are here today and gone tomorrow because the advertisers lost money. So, you’ll want to look for winning ads that stand the test of time.
These 7 criteria are easy enough to check for and will give you an excellent idea if the niche you’re looking at is worth getting into. Once you’ve determined the profitability of the niche, you’ll just need to get started and keep going. Don’t hesitate and brainstorm for too long. Action is the key to success.
“If you want to learn to swim, jump into the water.” – Bruce Lee
Any online marketer worth his/her salt would have heard the line, “The money is in the list.” It has been repeated ad nauseam and still thousands of beginner marketers are clueless as to how to build a list.
To make matters more burdensome, most autoresponder software companies charge a monthly fee for their services. So, this is a recurring cost that must be recouped quickly to keep the beginner marketer in the green.
When you’re first starting out on your blog, you’ll not need to build a list. You should first track the amount of traffic on your website. The moment you’re getting 50 to 100 unique visitors to your blog daily, it’ll be time to sign up for an autoresponder. This will buy you some time if your budget is tight.
Using A Freemium As An Incentive
A freemium is a gift that you’ll give away for free in exchange for an email address. The freemium could be a short report, or a 3-part video training or a checklist, etc. What you give away has to be of value and congruent to the niche you’re in.
You can either outsource the job or create one yourself from scratch. Alternatively, you may use private label rights (PLR) content and rebrand it. This will allow you to create a product with your branding quickly while maintaining quality.
Connecting Your Autoresponder
Once your lead magnet is ready, you’ll need to create a landing page for it. You can do a quick Google search for ‘best landing page examples’ to get an idea to model. You may wish to get a cover image done for your freemium on Fiverr.com.
After your landing page is complete and looks great, you’ll want to sign up with an autoresponder like Active Campaign or Aweber, and embed the sign up form on your landing page. Most of these software have video tutorials to guide you. So, don’t get put off by the ‘tech stuff’.
Once the form is embedded, you’re well on your way to collecting leads and building a list.
All Roads Lead To Rome
In this case, Rome will be your landing page and this is something that you own.
To mitigate the risk, you’ll want links from these social media entities pointing to the landing page on your blog. In this way, you’ll be able to siphon traffic from these high traffic sites and build a list of subscribers who wanted your freemium. Now you have some degree of control and your own asset.
One of the best tools you can use to build a list on your blog is Thrive Leads. The software has options for you to create a non-intrusive scroll mat that allows readers to sign up. Besides the scroll mat, there are also sticky bars and pop up options for you.
Thrive Leads is designed to help you get as many subscribers as possible from your blog. It’s a worthwhile investment that will reap dividends many times over.
Locking Your Content
This is one of those techniques that’s annoying to some people, but highly effective nonetheless. You’ll need to use a content locking plugin to execute this method. If you have Thrive Leads, you can use it too, with a few tweaks.
Basically, you’ll have an interesting and highly valuable blog post where you share some insider information. Somewhere around the center of the post (preferably the most interesting part), you’ll insert the content blocker.
Some readers may get put off and close the page, while others will sign up. Whatever the case, you’ll know that those who signed up are truly interested in what you have to say and you’ll be building a list of highly targeted subscribers.
By now you’ll realize that building a list on your blog is a piece of cake if you have traffic coming in. All you need to do is insert forms for them to sign up to your list (in a variety of ways). With the versatility of Thrive Leads, a good landing page and a value-driven freemium, and a solid autoresponder, you’ll be able to build a list of targeted and interested subscribers in just a matter of time.
Drops make an ocean. So, get started today and in a few months from now, you’ll have an email list that trusts you and buys the products you recommend. This is where you’ll find the money in the list i.e. the saying should more accurately be “The money is in the customer list.”
Blogging has truly revolutionized the way one experiences the digital age. There is apparently no limit to what you can do with the help of blogs. Even the smallest aspect of your daily personal life like recording journal entries has been given an entirely new dimension.
Going on from there, there is a lot of scope for picking up interesting debates and discussions through blogs. You can even start some of these discussions yourself.
And it is easier to do than you might think. Honestly, it isn’t rocket science; you don’t need to be a scientist who posts revolutionary details about his latest experiments.
If you blog well, i.e. if you are engaging enough that people want to come and read it, you have a really good chance of making some money, by just going about your daily activity of posting blogs on areas that interest your readers in your niche!
Here are some of the things you can do to make sure that your blogging activities get rewarded by more than just comments and praises:
You could get yourself registered with a search engine. Doing this will virtually guarantee that your blog will get a great deal of free, organic traffic, and traffic is the lifeblood of any blog/business.
In this way, the higher the ranking your blog achieves, the more you are likely to get paid because more people will be able to find your content quickly.
Here are a few tips to help you with your blog content:
- Reader Friendly Content: At all costs keep your content – articles, poems, photographs, videos – reader friendly, that is to say, it should keep more and more readers interested. Your reader must be at the center of you post in a way that your reader must feel that he is gaining something out of reading your post. This is the basic rule in marketing.
- Make It Worthwhile: Never let the reader feel that he has been tricked into reading your post or clicking on your blog link. You are thwarting all your long term chances of that reader coming back to your blog, in which case your blog rankings over the long term are in a dicey position.
- Check For Errors: Making grammatical and spelling errors can be a major put off for many readers. They may not visit your blog again simply because the errors that you make are too high. Always proof read your blog. A small typo here and there can be understood, but make sure you don’t make any major errors.
- KISS: Or, Keep It Short and Simple. This is the thumb rule you must follow at all point. Long winding posts tend to get boring. And it may contain nothing that is interesting to the reader. Also no one has the time enough for your blog, no matter how well you write. In fact, your blog will be much more appreciated if you put your thoughts simply and shortly.
- Make It Interesting: Make sure that you hold your reader’s attention by making your posts snazzy. They must not be written in a tone that is tiring to read. Write short sentences and keep then crisp and precise. Always hit the point immediately in the course of your article.
- Link: Keep linking the blogs you read to yours in order to build a network those people will be in turn encouraged to link you. Remember, linking increases rankings.
- Keywords: Using the keywords of your posts frequently increases the search ability of that particular article of yours which in turn leads more people to visit your blog.
- Clear Thoughts: Make sure you put your thought clearly before the readers so that it does not become tedious for them to read.
- Colloquialism: You can write in a friendly tone. Avoid using too many slang words, but otherwise, if your post demands it, you can be colloquial.
- Post Title: A catchy post title or headline is half your business solved. It can glue a reader to your post almost immediately. However, do not put misleading post titles, or you will lose creditability.
- Always Have A Call To Action: Writing an engaging blog post is great but remember that you want to make money from your content, so always have a call to action to click on a link that either goes to one of your own products or an affiliate offer where you will get a commission. You can see below that I have added several calls to action in this post, just like the one below where I am giving away a free checklist to keep you on track when setting up your blog, so click on the image below or click here if you want 🙂
So, be consistent with your blog content and watch the traffic start flowing in to your blog!
Everyone probably knows the power of giving away something for free to encourage visitors to give you their email address.
But your lead magnet has to be a real no-brainer offer as people are more suspicious and untrusting than ever as they are constantly being bombarded with marketing from all angles and your free gift has to be incredibly valuable and, more importantly, useful, if they are going to be tempted to part with their valuable email address.
I’m going to use the online marketing niche as our example to explain this technique, but keep in mind this could work equally well in other niches, too.
For example, a bride-to-be has an acne outbreak the day before her wedding – what wouldn’t she do to fix her problem?
A woman is in immediate danger of losing her job – what wouldn’t she do to convince her boss not to fire her?
Parents are losing their child to alcohol – what wouldn’t they do to save their child?
Their need is great and immediate. Do you think they might pay to find the solution? Of course. Do you think they would enter their email address into an opt-in form to get the solution? You bet they would!
For example, Google just changed how they rank websites, and now thousands of online marketers are losing tons of money. Think they might like the solution?
Paypal is suddenly seizing accounts without warning and freezing the funds. Would the account owners like an answer on how to unfreeze their accounts? Would everyone else like to know how NOT to get their accounts frozen? You bet.
Facebook just changed (fill in the blank) and now marketers are unable to (fill in the blank) or maybe they’re banned, or…
Aweber just did the unthinkable, and marketers everywhere are freaking out.
XYZ hosting site just got hacked, big time. Websites are down and backups are missing – what to do?
The list goes on and on. Keep tabs on the forums and you’ll find a new crisis every month and often every week.
Offer The Latest Solution
As you’ve probably already guessed, your lead magnet is going to offer the solution to the latest marketing crisis.
Just imagine how fast marketers will give you their email address when you have the answer they desperately want NOW.
Good old-fashioned research, that’s how.
Go to the help sections of the websites involved in the latest crisis and find out everything you can.
If possible, call the website and ask all the questions you need to ask.
Hit the chatrooms and forums and glean all the helpful info that is available. If you find an expert who knows what s/he’s talking about, do a quick phone interview.
Timing is everything on this, and you have got to act fast.
If the crisis hits on Monday, ideally you want your lead magnet up no later than Tuesday to take full advantage of the tsunami of new leads you’re going to get.
The trusted expert and authority, that’s who.
Do you think people will open and read your future emails? You bet your life they will.
Spread Your Net Wisely!
Now here’s the trick to getting your squeeze page in front of as many of these marketers as possible:
Outsource people to search out forums and threads where marketers are talking about this problem. If someone is looking for help, that’s where you want a link to your solution.
Have your outsourcers post a link to your squeeze page offering them the answer they seek.
Yes, it’s that easy.
Not bad, right?
Oftentimes that thread and even your post offering your lead magnet will end up on page one of Google for that particular search.
Not bad, right?
And here’s the best part – your opt-in rate will be sky high. It will almost certainly top any squeeze page you currently have.
One more thing – if you want to take this just one step further, it can blow wide open.
Get On Record!
Get podcasters to interview you and do guest posts on as many blogs as possible.
Think about it – this problem is all over the online marketing community. What podcaster or blog owner doesn’t want to have someone with the solution to offer their listeners and readers?
Just one post on a major blog or podcast can result in a thousand subscribers in 48 hours.
This way you’ll be able to grab not only the marketers looking for a solution, but also everyone else who wants to avoid this headache.
Wealth loves speed. Now go find the latest crisis, research the solution and start building that list.
A side benefit of doing all this research is that you will always be on the cutting edge of whatever is going on in your niche and this is a great place to be.
Too many marketers rest on their laurels and regurgitate the same tired old tactics even though the marketplace has evolved and many of the tactics may no longer work, although the underlying strategy probably does.
Keeping yourself informed will help you to constantly be on the lookout for new trends in your niche and you can jump on these fast as you will become aware of them quickly, so don’t underestimate the power of being “in the know” as it can keep you way ahead of the competition.
Do Blogs Still Work?
The question “Do blogs still work?” is one which gets asked a lot and the answer is quite simple.
Of course, they do!!
Put it this way; providing good high-quality information is exactly how to earn the favor of the search engines, which have the potential to make or break your business.
And since it dominates 75% of the global market share it’s best to focus all your efforts to rank on Google above all else.
So, how do blogs play into this?
Well did you know that 47% of buyers view 3 to 5 pieces of content before engaging with a sales representative, and companies with blogs tend to get 67% more leads than those who don’t have an updated and optimized blog.
And being found easily in the search engines is obviously going to play a key part in people finding your blog posts.
You could have the most amazing content on the internet but if people can’t find it you are wasting your time.
SEO, or Search Engine optimization, is a very important strategy when building your blog, especially off page SEO strategies, and these are continually evolving along with any updates to the Google algorithm.
Sometimes businesses just aren’t clear on how content production can lead to lead generation.
The simple answer is, as stated earlier, people will need several exposures to you and your content before they feel comfortable parting with their contact details or their cash.
Building up trust and authority status is crucial to your success, and a blog is an extremely powerful tool at your disposal, to build credibility and showcase your expertise.
So, are you still wondering “Do blogs still work?” Hopefully not, and here are some simple tips that you can use to optimize the way your blog will work for you.
These are easy to do, and you can get started right away; many are common sense, but you will be surprised that many blog owners are not doing them correctly, and that means you can get a competitive edge over them by following them.
OK, on with the tips…
Focus on quality rather than quantity
Going back a few years ago, short sub-500 word articles were the best type of article to write to gain a high ranking on Google, but those days are long gone.
Longer posts are much more favoured today and when I mean long, these articles can be over 3000 words, which is like a small ebook!
The focus is on high-quality information going deep into a topic that can really help your readers with their problems.
Don’t think you can just waffle and stuff keywords into your articles as you will be penalized.
Write with your reader in mind and you can’t really go wrong.
Having a content calendar/schedule is a great tactic to use to try to instill the habit of creating content regularly.
Some will say to write daily, some weekly, some monthly!!
The truth is, there is no right or wrong answer, but you must be consistent.
If you can only manage to write one article a month, that’s fine. Never sacrifice quality for quantity.
Once you have started writing your post you can move onto the next tip…
Encourage Engagement With Your Readers
When you are writing anything on your blog, try to write conversationally; use you and I in your writing i.e. talk to your reader one-to-one.
This really helps to create a connection with your readers. Don’t try to be aloof as the subject “expert” but rather try to position yourself as a fellow traveler.
This is much more engaging for both you and your readers.
Also, try to use stories if at all possible as these are incredibly engaging and powerful.
Another engaging post is a case study, and this also shows the readers proof that what you are writing about works.
If you allow comments on your posts, respond to all your comments as soon as is practicable for you. Having a dialogue is incredibly engaging for the reader involved but is also another indirect form of social proof.
So, now you have readers looking at your content. Let’s move on to the next tip…
Add A Call-To-Action
You should always write a blog post with the end goal in mind, whether it is for the reader to opt-in to your email list or to get them to click through to your offer.
Also use widgets to add opt-in forms or calls-to-action on your sidebar or use pop-ups and/or exit pops.
I can’t stress this enough; don’t just write a post for the sake of writing as it is a waste of time; after all, you are in business to make money and if you have people consuming your content, it is an ideal opportunity to get them to sign up or monetise them.
You may be uncomfortable using more intrusive forms such as the pop-up, but they do work, as long as any offer you are showing them is highly congruent to the post they are reading.
Working in tandem with the call-to-action is our next tip…
Use Content Upgrades
What is a content upgrade?
Well, basically it is another chance to further encourage your readers to sign up.
And, because the focus is on longer posts, a very quick and simple content upgrade to offer is a copy of the blog post in downloadable pdf format so they can read offline or at their convenience.
Other types of content upgrades that work well include checklists, video, audio etc.
Video/audio doesn’t necessarily mean just having a video or audio version of the blog post; it could also be some complementary training that enhances the information in the blog post.
Get creative and you can have many opportunities to capture your readers email address.
If you are going to offer a pdf of the post, then a really quick way to do this is to use either Post Gopher (a WordPress plugin) or, my personal favourite, Designrr. Both of these tools can produce a pdf version of the blog post, but Designrr allows you much more flexibility to customize the end result.
Using calls-to-action or content upgrades aren’t the only way to engage and entice your reader to sign up. Now you can have your very own personal assistant on your blog, leading on to our next tip…
Start Using Chatbots On Your Blog
Messenger chatbots are hot right now and have super high engagement and you can quickly use a service like ManyChat or MobileMonkey (you can use the free versions to begin with although the Pro versions aren’t that expensive).
When you have signed up you can use the service to install a small snippet of code on your website that will allow a custom chatbot to show on your blog; cool. eh?
Both Manychat and MobileMonkey work specifically with Facebook Messenger and have incredibly high engagement, and there aren’t that many blogs doing this at the moment, so it is definitely something worth looking into.
So, there are 5 ways to ensure that your blog is still relevant today and in the future.
Implement them and you will be able to answer anybody asking you “Do blogs still work?” with a resounding “Yes!”
As a bonus, here are 4 reasons why blogs don’t work.
When you look at blogs that are failing, there are normally some common reasons that keep popping up and these are summarized below.
Again, there is a lot of common sense here, but these things can be easily overlooked, so refer to this list often so you don’t fall into any of the traps that could be hampering your success.
A lack of basic SEO resulting in poor ranking
This blog post is NOT about SEO, but you really need to be doing the basics to give your blog an SEO boost.
On-page SEO, such as having a keyword rich post, having your main keyword in your post title, using internal links (if appropriate), optimising tags in any images used, using Yoast SEO plugin (if using WordPress) etc.
Off-page SEO is more important for ranking, and involves building backlinks to your blog, using broken link strategies, reaching out to influencers and guest blogging etc.
If these things aren’t in place, the chances are that your blog won’t rank, which means that few, if any, people will see it and no additional lead opportunity will be created, which, of course, will result in zero new sales.
Blog topics not researched or strategically created.
How can you know what topics are getting searched the most and are most relevant to your company if you’re not doing keyword research?
Writing blog posts with no target in mind is completely pointless.
You must do your research and find out what people are typing into Google to find the information that you are trying to give them.
Targeting these keywords will result in less competition, thus making it easier to rank for, BUT it must be a keyword that people are actually using!
Lack of understanding of the customer avatar and journey.
Some entrepreneurs don’t realise that people are reading their blog posts long before they ever converted. As stated earlier, it takes at least 3-5 exposures to your content before a reader will trust you; in all honesty it’s probably more like 7 exposures.
Along with keyword research, you should’ve already done your niche research and know who your ideal reader (and thus customer) is, and ALL your content should be written with this person in mind.
You also need to be able to analyse and track visitors to your website so you can see which post are working and which aren’t.
Without this kind proper analysis, it’s unlikely to know which blog posts actually led people to fill out a form or were part of leading people to fill out a form, so all the blogs were marked as a waste of time.
Lack of a coherent content promotion strategy
Even if you have done all of the above and you do have a wonderful blog that is based on keyword research and properly optimized you still need to promote the blog to your audience.
In all honesty, writing and publishing a blog post is only half the battle.
Without thinking about the different avenues to connect users to your content, your blog is only going to reach a fraction of your audience.
You should also share every blog post on your social media channels; share to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at a bare minimum.
OK, there you have it. You now have 5 ways to ensure that your blog is staying relevant, and 4 things to keep an eye on to ensure that you aren’t sabotaging your success and not ranking as well as you could.
All there is to do now is to start cranking out that content…
How Can I Start Blogging?
So, you have decided to use a blog to help you with building your business, expert status and brand awareness. Good for you; this is a wise decision.
Here’s the truth about 6-figure blogging:
While blogging can be automated (eventually), you shouldn’t expect income to be passive from the beginning; this is simply unrealistic and a mistake that many aspiring entrepreneurs/bloggers make. You’ll have to work at it, especially when you are just starting out and trying to launch your blog and build a platform that you want to be recognized for in your market.
While I eventually outsourced a lot of my content to skilled writers, I still spend time evaluating advertising options, reviewing products that I can promote, building my mailing list and creating ad campaigns to boost traffic and keep my blogs in the forefront of my audiences’ mind.
The point I am trying to make is, while you can delegate many tasks to a team, such as content creation and even marketing, you will want to be directly involved in the initial building phase.
This is your brand, after all.
You need to make sure every piece of content has your voice, carries your message and represents your business in the best possible way.
No one will ever be as careful and professional with building your blog as you will be, right? So, dig your heels in and commit to spending the first few months building your blog from the ground floor up.
Then, and only then, should you begin to think about creating a team that will help you manage your blog and eventually, expand into other avenues with other niche-based blogs (if you choose to do that).
Again, you really need to understand that blogging is not a hands-free method of making money during the INITIAL stages. You must be prepared to put in some time and effort if you truly want to succeed.
But the good news? Your hard work will pay off.
So, how can you start blogging? Well, it is very simple to start and there are 5 distinct phases to getting your new blog up and running.
The 5-Step Formula
Like I said, setting up a blog isn’t difficult and can be done by pretty much anybody. Yes, there is a bit of “tech” involved but it isn’t too hard to work out yourself (Google can be your friend if you do get stuck).
While there are countless reports and articles that over-complicated the process of making money with blogging, here’s a basic overview of how it’s done:
1: Create a blog and register a memorable domain.
Avoid remotely hosted options. You need to be in full control of your website so you can take advantage of all the different revenue options with no limitations (or other people’s advertisements). You need to buy hosting and you have a number of options (such as A2 or Siteground) so shop around for the best deals. You will also need to pick and buy a domain name and I suggest Namecheap for these. WordPress is the most popular blogging platform by far as it is free and incredibly customizable by the use of plugins and themes. My favourite theme is Socrates (it is a paid theme, but it is so versatile and quick and you will always get much better support with a paid theme as opposed to a free one, but the choice is yours).
2: Write (or outsource) killer content that will generate traffic.
This content needs to be extremely high-quality, targeted and informative. All meat, no veggies.
A good place to find writers is Iwriter and the thing I like about it is that you can see the article first before paying, so if you don’t like it you can reject it.
3: Convert your visitors into email subscribers so you can build your list.
A newsletter is key in building a successful blog online.
Scratch that; a newsletter is essential to be successful in nearly ANY market online. You will never make as much money without one.
4: Communicate with your subscribers regularly.
Build rapport and trust. Nurture relationships with your market. This is where you can build a recognized brand as an authority in your market and set yourself apart from the competition (especially those bloggers who aren’t doing this!). To do this you will need an email autoresponder. Popular ones include Aweber, Get Response, and my personal favorite, Active Campaign.
5: Sell products and services to your audience
This is a key strategy for monetizing your blog and also your newly cultivated newsletter. If you want to start with affiliate marketing, you can look for products and services in your niche and see if they have affiliate programs and sign up for them.
If you are in the Internet Marketing or Make Money Online niche, you can sign up for an account at places such as Clickbank, Warrior Plus and JV Zoo and promote a number of products from a host of vendors.
Just be sure that if you are going to promote something, that you either use it yourself, or you have tried and/or reviewed it and you believe it to be worthy of your audiences hard-earned cash.
NEVER promote something just for the money because if you promote something that is poor quality, you can quickly lose the trust of the people you are serving.
So, those are the 5 steps in a nutshell.
Sounds easy enough, right? It is. But it will take time.
The key is to be patient in the initial stages, and once you are up and running, you need to be consistent.
Just keep on going and eventually you will start to see some traction and this will give you a little bit of motivation to keep going.
When blogging, you are in it for the long term; it is not a quick win strategy. But you will build authority in your niche and could become the go-to person when somebody has a problem, and that is a great place to be.
Good luck… now go buy that domain name…