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Profiting from Your Blogging Efforts

Blogging can be a lot of fun or it can be a lot of work. Usually, it is a little bit of both. But the main reason most people get into blogging is to make money at home by sharing their knowledge and experiences with the world.

The thought of finding a niche topic that you are passionate about or at least somewhat interested in and have some knowledge about, then finding a way to earn money blogging about it can be a very intriguing idea. But you need to remember that consistently writing blog posts, building traffic, gaining readership, and ultimately making money from it takes a lot of work.

So, what do you need to do in order to profit from your blog? There are many things that need to be done at one time or another and some more often than others, but here are three things that should be done on a regular basis from the start…

1) Write Awesome Content

Writing great content will help you get readers and keep them coming back for more. Great content gets shared and linked to, crappy content doesn’t. One of the best ways to grow traffic to your blog is through great content on a consistent basis.

2) Build Your Email List

Many bloggers do not understand how important it is to collect email addresses from their visitors to build their email list of opt-in subscribers. Using an auto-responder service such as Aweber is a great way to start building your email list. You put an opt-in form on your blog, offer something of value to entice people to subscribe, send out a periodic newsletter, and watch your list grow. Then, from time to time you can send them resources and useful products that you are an affiliate of and make money from the sales.

3) Market like a Madman

If you want to make money blogging then people need to find your blog. Building traffic and readership is extremely important and to do that you need to market your blog. This can be done many different ways (and should be) but it basically falls under two general steps…

* Making your blog SEO friendly.
* Marketing your blog to potential readers/subscribers.

These two things go hand-in-hand. For example, if you are marketing to individuals on a forum or in an article with a link to your blog then search engines are also going to pick up on it.

Making your site SEO friendly is very important because it allows more individual readers to find your blog by searching on search engines for specific keywords and information within your niche. The main way to SEO your blog and build high rankings on the search engines is to get backlinks. There are tons of ways to do this and some of the more popular ways are through article marketing, guest blogging, blog commenting, directories, forums, web 2.0 sites, social media, video marketing, press releases, and several others.

Marketing to potential blog readers is mainly done through social media websites like Twitter, Facebook, Digg, and many others. It is also done through engaging in conversations with other bloggers in your niche via comments on their blog posts and helping each other on forums. Your goal here is more to build relationships with people so they get to know and trust you and want to become a subscriber to your blog and purchase things you recommend.

Once these three simple steps are in place and part of your regular routine, you can expect to start profiting from your blogging efforts sooner, rather than later.

Best Way for Teens to Make Money Online in Their Spare Time

The job market is tough these days for everyone and that’s especially true for teens that are still in high school or just starting college because they have little education or experience to help them get hired anywhere, and they can’t work full-time. So, the jobs they can get are typically very low paying. Most teens need a way to make money just like the rest of us. They might not have as many bills as most adults but they do have plenty of things they need to pay for, especially if their parents can’t afford to give them money, or simply won’t. So they often go online looking for things they can do to earn money from home.

They are actually several ways for teens to make money online but definitely one of the best is to make money blogging. This is ideal for many teenagers because they are typically very web savvy since they have been using the internet for pretty much their entire lives. And they have the time needed to build a successful blog through frequent updating, link building, and social networking. Plus, there are very few barriers to entry and it can be done for free or very cheap. There are numerous teen bloggers nowadays that are very successful and more getting started every day. It seems like every other time I hear about a newly successful blog these days I find out it’s a teen who owns it.

Several of the top make money online blogs, internet marketing blogs, and other types of home based business / work at home blogs right now are owned by teen bloggers. Not to mention all the teens that are making money blogging about countless other topics in a huge variety of niches that most internet marketers like me never hear about. Almost any topic an adult can start a blog about a teen could do the same, and do a better job at it a lot of the time because they tend to have more free time to focus on it and are often a lot more tech savvy.

It’s really just a matter of finding a good niche (topic) to blog about and then building the blog, which is something just about any teen could learn how to do in less than a day. Then, use the available internet marketing strategies such as link building, video marketing, and social networking to get traffic and make money from the blog. And be sure to update (blog) on a regular basis to keep the content fresh. Most teens have plenty of time to do all of this and more on a daily basis, and that is why so many teen bloggers are finding a lot of success these days.

So, if you are a teen looking for ways to make money online or a parent trying to find ways for your teens to earn some extra money, you should certainly consider the potential to make money blogging. Just remember you can’t make money from home if you don’t take action so get started right away on becoming a work at home teen!

Increase Your Search Volume And Online Business Earnings With The Long Tail

If you’re like many online business owners today then you’ve set up your internet presence within the framework of a blog.  This is a smart move because, as any savvy internet marketer will tell you, blogs tend to perform better in the search engines than static sites and people tend to like them more too.  This is due to a number of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that the major search engines place a higher value on sites that offer new information on a consistent basis, and the content is more “sharable” on social media.

If your business model is centered around generating revenue with contextual advertising or affiliate programs then you may already know that churning out a large volume of high quality posts and information is vital to increasing your profits.  It is true that you can still earn a decent amount with only a handful of high-ranking posts that target highly-searched keywords, but experienced bloggers know that going after so-called “long tails” is also worthwhile.

By going after “long tail” keyword phrases I’m referring to those which tend to be three words or longer and have what could be considered relatively low search volume.  They are more obscure terms that are easier to rank for but deliver less revenue because few searchers use them when looking for information.  For example, getting your blog post ranked highly for “cheap platinum wedding engagement rings” is much easier than ranking for “wedding rings”, though the latter phrase might see a hundred times more search engine traffic than the former.

Essentially it comes down to two different strategies.  Either you can write huge numbers of posts that target long tail terms or you can focus on targeting more popular keyword phrases with less frequent posts.  Each has its pros and cons, but I feel that the long tail is overlooked much too often.  By using the long tail approach you can worry less about having to earn inbound links, and focus more on simply pumping out consistent and useful content for your site.  The challenge becomes not so much fending off competitors but rather finding the motivation to write one or more informative posts per day, which in my book is a pretty good trade-off.  Of course I’m not saying to ignore keyword phrase volume altogether, but it might be a good idea to think about zeroing in on phrases that might only draw a hundred visitors a month instead of ten thousand.  You can make up for it with volume.

As I said, this might not be new information for some online business owners, especially those who earn a living with contextual ads or affiliate programs.  I have noticed, however, that people who use a blog as an ecommerce platform tend to be less disciplined about generating site content.  They tend to be satisfied when all their product pages and posts have been published, and they completely lose sight of the benefits that consistent blogging can provide them.  In essence, they might as well have a static site, and this fact seriously limits their earning power, even if they’re pursuing one of the best online business ideas.

When I approach these folks and inform them that they are not leveraging their blogging platform to its full potential they usually complain that they don’t know what to talk about.  For these people the concept of the “long tail” has either been forgotten or discarded, but ignoring it is a huge mistake.  If you have an online store that was built using WordPress or any other blogging platform then you have an enormous opportunity to take market share simply by coming up with weekly or daily fresh content!  If you’re trying to figure out how to make a lot of money with your online store then you should know that you can greatly expand its reach by adding more posts to capture more potential business.

Let’s say, for example, that you sell yard signs via your site.  You could blog about everything from how to keep yard signs clean, to how to design it for maximum impact, to what qualities to look for in a sign maker, etc…  The possibilities are endless.  It’s not even so important that each post tackles a major concept or issue; you just need to write as much content as you can in order to capture as much of the long tail traffic as possible.  This way there is less pressure on you to rank #1 for “yard signs” because the hundreds of other posts on your site are combining to pull in a huge amount of targeted traffic on their own.

It’s really just a matter of going wide or going deep.  Ideally, you would do both, but it’s easier in the beginning to rank for the long tail keyword phrases, and then you can go after the “big fish” later on down the road.

How to Make Money Selling Advertising on Your Website or Blog

If you own a website or blog, run an internet marketing business, or work at home online, then you probably know what advertising options such as Google Adsense are and how they are basically an easy way to sell advertising space on your site/blog. You also might know that it can be put on just about any website or blog and that it is one of the most popular ways for website owners to make money online. It’s no secret that selling advertising on a website or blog is a great way to make money online, but many people don’t fully understand how to do it.

One of the best ways to make money online is by selling direct advertising on your website or blog. This goes far beyond Adsense ads. If you have built up a popular site then it’s pretty easy to find people who will pay you big money to advertise on it. I make thousands of dollars per month from people buying advertising on my blogs/sites.

Part of the allure of selling advertising is that the income is relatively passive and residual. You pretty much know how much you are going to make each month (barring any cancellations) and you don’t always have to be hoping for affiliate sales, Adsense clicks or other ways you make money from your website via your visitors performing an action. Sure you will probably have some advertisers cancel every once in a while, and have to find new ones to replace them, but for the most part income from selling advertising is pretty consistent.

There are services out there that will help find advertisers for you but they will take a percentage of the earnings. These services can be good because they make it a lot easier to find advertisers. However, I don’t use them because I like to get all the money from advertisers on my sites and I want to be in control of who is advertising on my sites. I like to find the advertisers myself so I don’t have to worry about losing any of the revenue or having the possibility of links being placed on my site to websites that I don’t want on there. This is more work because once you find them you have to take the payments, put up their ads, and keep track of them. But it’s not very hard if you get a good system in place.

So, how do you sell advertising for your website?

Let’s dig in…

There Are 2 Major Ways to Sell Advertising on Your Website

1) Revenue Share Advertising

Revenue share advertising is a very popular way that website owners can earn money with ads. Google Adsense is an example of revenue share advertising. These are sites that find the advertisers for you and then, when somebody clicks on the links that are displayed on your site, they give you a share of the revenue created by the click. The amount of money per click varies depending on the deal made between the revenue share company and the advertiser. This is information you usually don’t get to know.

Revenue share programs are great because they are very easy to set up. Basically all you do is sign up for the program, insert some code into your website template and the ads will show up. Not much extra work is needed on your part.

Of course, revenue share programs also have their disadvantages. For instance, Google Adsense has some very strict rules about what you are allowed to do with your ads. Make sure that you read and understand the terms of service before you click the “I agree” button. It is very easy to inadvertently commit “click fraud” with Adsense and once your account gets suspended, you won’t ever be allowed to reinstate it.

Another disadvantage of revenue share advertising is that you don’t get all the money from the ads on your site. They company usually takes just as much (or more) than you get. It’s the price you pay for the ease of use and them finding the advertisers for you.

One thing to remember with revenue share programs is that no matter what one you choose, make sure that you understand what they expect from you and what you are allowed to do and not allowed to do with your ads.

2) Direct Advertising

Direct advertising is fairly self-explanatory. You find the advertisers, display their ads on your site and collect the money. This is the best way to make money through advertising if you want to keep 100% of the profit from the ads. Of course, the disadvantage of direct advertising is that it’s not nearly as easy to implement as revenue share and you have to find your own advertisers for your site.

Before you start hunting down direct advertisers, you will want to decide which kinds of ads you want to run. Do some research and see what kind of ads work well on other sites similar to yours. You only want to run ads that are at least somewhat related to the content of your site.

Then make sure that you understand how to implement the ads into your website or blog template. You will need to know a little bit about coding to make your advertising look professional. Finally, you will need to know about the business side of advertising. You will need contracts and invoices and a way to keep track of individual clients. While direct advertising usually brings in more profit, it is far more time consuming and harder to keep track of than revenue sharing advertising.

Whichever advertising method you choose to make money online, be sure you understand the advantages, disadvantages, and limitations of each method as well as expectations of everyone involved. Advertisers can be very fickle and so can your readers. Some readers don’t respond well to sites that are covered in ads, so you will want to make sure that you strike a balance between content and ads. This is important because, if you lose readers, you’ll lose advertisers and income.

Revenue share advertising and direct advertising are both very good ways to make money online and are simple enough for just about anyone to implement. Remember that if one method doesn’t work for you, you can simply try the other. I actually recommend utilizing both so you can make even more money and spread it out a little between multiple income streams.

How to Find Blog Advertisers

Here are some ways to find advertisers for your blog so you can make more money from it…

1. Google your main keyword phrase and a few of your secondary keyword phrases. Now, take a look at the Adwords ads at the top of the search results. These ads are from businesses and entrepreneurs who are promoting websites in your niche to make money, and they are paying for traffic. You already know they are willing to spend money advertising for your keywords, so why not try to contact them and see if they want to advertise on your blog? They could buy a banner or text link on your blog for a set dollar amount per month.

2. Find other sites/blogs in the same niche, or similar niches, as yours that sell advertising and contact the people advertising on them to let them know you also sell ads on your site. You could even ask the blog owner where he gets his advertisers. Most bloggers are very helpful and would be happy to give you some information.

3. Go to the sections of forums or facebook groups in your niche where you can post that you are selling advertising. That should get you quite a few new advertisers. You could also post a special offer for ads spots on your blog.

4. Check out various affiliate networks and see if you can find affiliates who might be interested in advertising on your site.

5. Take a look at offline advertisers. This one is a little more complicated because you are dealing with people who are not usually as internet savvy as those above. However, if you look in newspapers and magazines in your local area, you might find businesses in your niche that would be interested in advertising on your blog. You’ll probably have to educate them a little so preparing a short report with screen shots of traffic and keywords would be a good idea. Don’t talk down to these folks because they aren’t stupid, but realize that terms you consider to be common (like RSS) might be a foreign language to them.

That is about all you really need to find advertisers so you can make money from your blog. There are plenty of other ways to make money blogging but selling advertising is definitely one of the best, and it’s relatively easy to do. Go find a few new advertisers right now using the methods above and before you know it, you will be a master at it, and making bank!

Tips for Selling Advertising

Here are some tips I have learned about how to make money online selling advertising since I started doing it:

* Be specific on what your advertising options and prices are. A confused advertiser will either not pay you to advertise on your site or they will complain later because they didn’t get what they thought they were paying for. If you look at any of my advertising pages you will see that I always lay out exactly what they get and how much it will cost.

* Offer a lot of options. Again if you look at any of my home business advertising pages you will see that I typically offer 10+ advertising options. Having more options increases the chances that you have an option that will fit the needs of most potential advertisers. You can’t make money selling advertising if you don’t have options that people want.

* Set the right price. It’s difficult to know exactly how much you should be charging but you want to get it close because if you overcharge you will lose advertisers and if you undercharge you won’t be maximizing your earnings. Take a look at what other sites in your niche with similar traffic as yours are charging and go from there.

* Only accept certain ads. You don’t want to have ads and links on your site to other sites that aren’t even remotely related to yours. You also don’t want bad neighborhood or banned sites linked from yours. Be sure to state on your advertising page what sites you will and won’t accept. And check each new advertiser’s site before accepting the ad. Deny them and refund their money if you need to.

* Don’t be sneaky. You must give your advertisers what they pay for. Don’t cut their ad time short, or hide it, or do anything else sneaky and unethical. You will lose advertisers very quickly if you do this. You can’t make money if your advertisers are mad.

* Keep track of the ads. You don’t want to accidentally remove an ad that shouldn’t be deleted or keep an ad up long after they have cancelled. Make sure you know which ads are supposed to be up and which need to be taken down.

* Put the ads up quickly. When an advertisers pays for a spot on your site you should get the ad up very quickly. They have already paid for the spot for a specified amount of time and you are wasting their money if you don’t put it up right away.

* Promote your advertising. You can’t make money selling advertising if nobody knows they can buy ads on your site. You should actively promote that you allow advertising on your site/blog. Get keyword anchored inbound links to your advertising page so you can rank higher in search engines, tell other site owners in your niche, put links to it in forum signatures and blog posts, etc… Any way you can to get the word out.

That’s basically all there is to it. Now you know how to make money online selling advertising. It’s one of the best ways to earn money from your website or blog and I highly recommend it as an additional source of income.

Are You Making The Most Of Your Blog?

I remember when the blog was first created. I thought it was a fad that would go away real quick. I certainly didn’t think it would have any real impact on internet marketing and the lives of millions (maybe even billions) of people all around the world. Boy, was I wrong. Blogs are such a vital part of the online marketers’ arsenal, and individual of all kinds, that I don’t know how anybody lives without one. And yet, so many marketers either don’t have one or don’t make the most of their blogs. Well, in this post, I’m going to give you a few tips that will increase the effectiveness of your blogging efforts.

If you do these few things, you will find that your bottom line will also increase…

At the very top of my to-do list is just that — the list. I am amazed at the number of bloggers who don’t make any attempt to build a list from their blog. All it takes is a link to give away a free report through an opt in form. Aweber, which is probably the best Autoresponder in existence today and has been for a long time, is something like 20-ish bucks a month. If you can’t afford that each month for your business then you have no business being in business (I would bet you spend a heck of a lot more than that on crap you really don’t need every month). This is a basic essential that no blogger or digital marketer should be without.

Next, I want to move on to other marketers’ blogs. Why? Because there is an opportunity there that many marketers ignore because they think that ALL their blogging efforts should be on their own blogs. While you should build up your own blogs, posting comments and guest posts on other blogs in your niche can greatly increase the amount of traffic that you get, especially if you post them on blogs with a high authority that are related to yours. So don’t ignore your fellow marketers/bloggers. If you ask, you may even get a gig as a guest author, which can work wonders for your traffic and bank account.

Finally, there is how you actually go and promote your blog. Many bloggers only do the minimum in this area. They update their blogs and then ping the blog directories, and that’s it. And then they wonder why they are not getting as much traffic as they would like. You have to do more than just blog and ping. A good start would be to write some articles and submit them to article directories. In your resource box, have a link to your blog and/or website. Also, share your content on social media accounts. Learn how to do SEO and get your posts & pages ranked highly in search engine such as Google and Bing. These things will get more traffic to your web properties and make you more money.

These are just a few simple things that you can do to increase the effectiveness of your blogging efforts. And they won’t cost you one penny if you learn how to do them yourself.