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
Are things not going the way you’d like? Want more sales? Feeling kind of helpless?
You’re not alone. As marketers, sooner or later we’ve all been there.
I’m sure you have heard of the phrase “fail forward” and it is a good mantra to stick to when running an online business (in fact, any business really).
Don’t let fear of failure stop you from taking action because that is a sure fire way to fail.
OK, with that being said, here are 4 ways to increase sales and increase your income right now.
You might balk at one or two of them. All I can say is try them before you pass judgment.
1: Get More Affiliates
And I mean LOTS more affiliates. How much time do you spend creating products? Or getting new people onto your list? This is also how much time you should be spending on recruiting more affiliates, and especially GOOD affiliates.
If you can afford it, I highly recommend getting an affiliate manager. If you can’t yet afford it, then become your own affiliate manager. Watch launches and see which affiliates do well, as well as which product owners are building a list that’s perfect for your offer.
Recruit bloggers who are list building. Ask your list and especially your product buyers if they want to be affiliates.
Then cultivate relationships with these people. Don’t just approach them and forget them. Send them personal emails, comment on their blogposts and act as though you are friends, because that’s the best way to MAKE friends.
And don’t discount little affiliates, either. I once had a new affiliate who made exactly ONE sale. However, that sale was to a super affiliate who contacted me, asked to promote my product, and sold 420 copies in one week. You just never know.
2: Grow Your Lists
Yes, this is obvious, isn’t it? We all know that the money is in the list, right?
Well, I know marketers who aren’t aggressively list building, and they wonder why they’re not making sales.
On a typical list, you’ll have attrition. And I don’t just mean people unsubscribing, either. The person who is hot to buy your product today will have forgotten who you are in 6 months, or they moved on to another interest, or whatever. You have to be continuously building your lists – all of them.
Do more guest posting, more webinars for other people’s lists, more JV’s and anything else that will further fill your lists with prospects.
3: Increase The Number Of Marketing Messages You Send To Your Lists And Prospects
If you’re placing ads, place more and better ads. If you have a Facebook group, send them more marketing messages. If you’re doing webinars, do more webinars for your lists.
And by all means send more marketing messages to your lists. A lot of people are scared silly to email their list more than once or twice per week, but here’s what happens when your list doesn’t hear from you every single day:
They forget about you.
They even forget who you are and why they subscribed to your list.
Yes, you will get a few more unsubscribes from your list when you email daily, or even twice per day.
But that’s okay, because you will also keep the rest of your list engaged and interested, and you will likely double or perhaps even triple your sales.
Email daily. Email twice a day if you can keep it interesting. But only do this sparingly and if you are email marketing correctly i.e. you are providing value upfront before ever promoting anything to them.
Some marketers take this to extremes during a launch and do a “crush campaign” which really hammers your poor subscribers when they get 5+ emails the same day about the same promotion. I don’t treat my list like this but there are those who do; I normally unsubscribe when I get hammered like this because I don’t think the marketer really cares about their subscribers by doing this.
4: Raise Your Prices
If your sales page is converting well, then raise your prices and see what happens.
Even if you wind up converting at a lower rate, you’ll likely still be making more money because your prices are higher. Consider a $20 product converting at 7%, versus that same product priced at $35 and converting at 5%. You’re looking at $140 versus $175 per 100 visitors, or a $350 increase for every 1,000 visitors. It adds up.
When you raise your prices, some of your steady customers will stop buying. But you’ll also get new customers who want to pay for quality, and you will make more money.
When marketer Dan Kennedy advises any business owner on how to increase revenue, the first thing he tells the owner is to raise prices. Nearly every time the business owner will balk and tell Dan it’s a terrible idea. And nearly every time it results in a MAJOR boost in revenue.
And there you have it – 4 ways to increase your sales and revenue right now. These might not be for the timid, but I can tell you from experience that they work.
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.
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.
1000 prospects come to your site or sales page. 1% of them buy a $50 product. You’ve made $500.
You invest 2 days trying a few different ways to increase your conversions, and 3 are successful. You only increased your conversions by 1%, yet you’ve doubled your income, selling 2% of the prospects who come to your sales page.
Now for every 1000 prospects, you make $1,000.
And you send 1000 prospects a day, meaning…
Yet so many marketers never bother to do any of the things I’m about to suggest.
Why? I suppose it’s one of those things they’ll “get around to” but they never do.
So here’s what I recommend: If you don’t want to do any of the following, then OUTSOURCE it. We wrote an entire article on the importance of outsourcing elsewhere in this edition, so I won’t harp on it here.
Let’s get started on boosting your conversions:
1: Create A Compelling And Clear Value Proposition
Your value proposition can be the number 1 element that determines if people will bother to read more on your page.
And it’s also the main thing you need to test.
In a nutshell, your value proposition clearly states:
- How your product solves the customers’ problem or improves their situation (relevancy)
- Delivers specific benefits (quantified value)
- Tell why they should buy from you instead of your competition (unique differentiation)
Here’s an example from Prey: https://www.preyproject.com/
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I could do an entire article on creating a compelling value proposition – and I’ll do exactly that in a future post for you.
2: Perform A/B Testing
You create two alternative versions of your page, each with a different headline / color scheme / call to action etc.
You do a split test to see which one works better. When you find out what converts better, then you test something else.
The more elements you test, the higher you can boost your conversions.
Things to test: Headline, page layout and navigation, the offer itself, using different media (such as a video) and even a radical change if you think you might want to start over.
You can use Google Optimize if you’re looking for a free A/B tester, or Optimizely if you want more options.
3: Set Up A Proper Sales Funnel
Sometimes your conversions are taking a hit because you’re asking for the signup or the sale too soon in the process.
If people are still in ‘browsing’ mode, they might not be psychologically ready to subscribe or buy.
If you’re looking to improve conversions on a squeeze page that only asks for their email address, your focus should be on improving the reason why they would want to sign up. Making your offer more compelling – something that will immediately spark their desire – should do it.
But if you’re selling a product, it’s possible that you need to do more to build trust, develop a relationship and prove your expertise.
Remember, the longer and deeper the relationship with the prospect, the more likely they are to buy from you.
4: Address Objections Before They Arise
No matter what you’re selling or how much you’re selling it for, there will be objections.
If I tried to sell $100 bills for $1, there would be objections (and you know what they are.)
Make a list of all the possible concerns your prospects might have.
And then address each one of those in your presentation / webpage / sales funnel.
5: Build Trust
People won’t buy from you if they have no need for your product, if they have no money to buy your product, if they’re not in a hurry, and if they don’t trust you.
There’s not a lot you can do about the first 2 items on that list.
You can create urgency by limiting the number of products to be sold or the duration of your sale.
So what makes people trust your website?
- You’ve got citations and testimonials clearly visible.
- You’re endorsed by well-known people in your niche.
- You’ve got a physical address and maybe even a photo of your office.
- If you or your business has relevant credentials, you’ve got them displayed.
- You’ve got clear, easy to find contact information that includes a phone number.
- Your site looks professional – not something a kid whipped up on his Intel 486 in the 1990’s.
- Your site contains plenty of useful information.
- You update your site’s content often. If your latest blogpost is from 2016, you’ve got a problem.
- You show restraint with hype, blinking banners (please don’t!) ads, popups and such.
- You have zero or nearly zero errors (when it comes to trustworthiness, one error is forgivable, two aren’t.)
6: Stop Trying To Sound Smart
If I were to give you a value proposition that reads like this…
“Revenue-focused sales automation and marketing effectiveness solutions unleash collaboration throughout the revenue cycle,”
…would you have a clue what I was talking about?
Because I sure don’t. It’s not useful to the person reading it, unless your goal is chase them off of your page. Then I suspect it’s highly effective.
Just remember, clarity if key. If they don’t understand exactly what you’re saying, they’re not going to convert.
7: Remove All Distractions
Your goal is to get people to focus solely on the action you want them to take and nothing else. Take a look at your page for anything that might divert the visitor away from what you want them to do. Minimize distraction, unnecessary product options, links and extraneous information.
And ask yourself if there is anything else you can remove that is not contributing to the conversion.
Increasing your conversion rate isn’t hard, but it does take effort…
Effort that will be well-rewarded in increased sales and revenues long after you’re done making the necessary changes.
If you are a marketer of any description you will know that traffic is the lifeblood of any business.
Simply put: No traffic, no business!
A lot of marketers get so caught up in tracking their traffic stats that they forget to make the most of that traffic. Tell you what, traffic is worthless if your visitors aren’t buying what you’re selling, joining your list, or taking some other important action.
So how do you make the most of your traffic and monetize it?
First off, make sure you are indeed bringing targeted traffic to your site. You don’t want just anybody visiting your website or hitting your sales/squeeze pages. Do this and you’ll wonder why you’re getting a lot of visitors but no sign-ups or sales!
So, whatever methods you are using to drive traffic to your website, make sure you have your targeting dialled in and you know your ideal customer is to make the most out of your website traffic.
And secondly, use this little “traffic checklist” to monetize that traffic…
Determine Your Primary Goal
The first thing you need to do is figure out the primary goal for EACH page of your website. Depending on the page, this primary goal (and monetization strategy) might involve getting your visitor to:
- Make a purchase
- Take advantage of an upsell offer
- Join your list.
- Call you.
- Fill out a form.
- Share content/tell their friends.
- Enter a contest.
- Click on a link.
- Clicking on ads, including affiliate offers and AdSense ads.
- Complete a CPA (cost per acquisition) offer, such as filling out a credit card application.
- Read or watch content.
- Visit you offline (if you run a brick and mortar store).
- Ask for a free consultation.
- Register for an event, such as a webinar or contest.
Here are two best practices when it comes to monetizing traffic:
- Be sure to pick just ONE primary goal for each web page (and, overall, one primary goal for your website as a whole). Because if you create a page with multiple goals, your prospect may get confused and not take any action at all.
- Focus on your own products first. There are plenty of ways to monetize traffic as mentioned above, including putting offers from third parties in front of your visitors. Be sure to focus on promoting your OWN offers first, as this will always be more profitable (because you get both the profits and the list).
Design Your Site Around Your Primary Goal
Now you need to design each page of your website around your primary goal.
- If you’re designing a lead page with the goal of growing your list, then remove all other content and extraneous links, so that the page is focused on getting people to join your list.
- If your goal is directly sell a product, then create a high-response sales letter and plug up sales leaks such as external links.
- If your goal is to get people to click on AdSense ads, then create highly engaging content and embed those ads within the content.
Create An Exit Traffic System
Despite your best efforts, people are going to hit the back button on your site and bail out without joining your list, without buying a product, and without clicking on any ads.
That doesn’t mean that they’re poor-quality visitors who’ll never buy anything from you. Instead, it could mean they just didn’t see the right offer, or they’re in a hurry, or you didn’t sufficiently persuade them to take action.
For example, redirect your exit traffic to a highly enticing lead magnet so that you can get people on your list before they leave your site. For best results, create multiple lead magnets so that you can offer the lead magnet that is directly related to the page the visitor was viewing before they tried to leave the site.
For instance, if your visitor was reading a blog article about how to set up a Facebook ad campaign, then offer them a lead magnet (such as a report) that gives in-depth instruction and “done for you” ad templates.
TIP: Don’t know how to redirect exit traffic to another page or create an exit pop? No problem. You can search for “exit traffic scripts” in your favorite search engine, or you can use a service such as Thrive Leads or Conversion Gorilla.
Many folks will say that they don’t like exit pops or redirects, especially marketers, but the simple fact is, they work but use them sparingly.
Test And Tweak Everything
One of the best ways to monetize your traffic is to test and track all parts of the process to find out what really works.
- Test offers to see which ones appeal the most to your visitors.
- Test ad and link placements, including in the header, footer, sidebar, and directly embedded in content.
- Test your headlines, benefits and calls to action to see which improve conversions.
- Test your upsells to increase your per-transaction value.
- Test the design of your pages to improve overall response.
Let’s wrap things up…
So there you have it – a quick and effective checklist for making the most money with your traffic.
- Pick one primary monetization goal.
- Design your web pages around this primary goal.
- Test and track everything to optimize response.
As you can see, this “traffic checklist” is pretty simple, but very effective! So put this plan to work for you today to start making more money from all your traffic.
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!
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…