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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, link exchanges, directories, forum signatures, web 2.0 sites, social bookmarking sites, 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.

Choosing a WordPress Theme

Choosing a WordPress theme is not an easy matter. There are way too many to choose from! But one of the most basic decisions you need to make is paid or free.

There are literally thousands and thousands of free themes available for WordPress – and you might indeed wonder why anyone would pay for a Theme? One simple answer – support. Some free themes do have reasonable support but they tend to be the exception not the rule. The other risk with free themes is that they may be some undesirable links and other “malware” in the code – check it out before using it on your site – look for “odd” code in particularly the footer.php.

If you don’t know what to look for in the code stick with well known and popular themes.

If you are in the market for a paid theme then you again have a ton of different options to look at. One big decision is – do you want just one specific theme for single site and how customized do you want the look and design of the site to be? If so there are plenty of themes which you can buy for less than $50 or $70 which will give you some limited customization options.

If however you need something more sophisticated – for example the ability to make a blog which doesn’t look like a blog at all but more like a normal website. Or you have a lot of different websites all of which you want to look a little different from each other – then you will be better off with what has become known as a framework theme.

With a framework theme out of the box the site will look very dull and boring. The concept behind a framework is very powerful though – basically it allows you to customize everything about the site: how many sidebars, where they are, the header, the footer, style of pages, fonts, colors absolutely everything. The trick is to find a framework that is relatively easy to use and suits your level of expertise. I’ve used a couple and at the moment I am really excited about what the Frugal Theme can do.

Best Way for Teens to Make Money Online

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 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, home based business blogs, and 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.

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 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 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.  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.

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 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.  Thus, ranking highly for “cheap platinum wedding 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, Typepad, 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 talk 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.  The possibilities are endless.  It’s not even so important that each post tackles a major concept or issue; you just need to churn out as much content as humanly possible in order to capture as much of the long tail as you can.  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 Blog

If you have a blog and it gets a decent amount of traffic then you are probably looking for ways to earn money from it. One of the best ways to make money blogging is to sell advertising on it. All you have to do at this point is find people who want to pay you to advertise on your blog. That might sound difficult but it can actually be done fairly easy. In this post I will give you some useful tips for finding 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 on the right hand side 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 the Warrior Forum, Sitepoint Forums, and Digitalpoint Forums where you can post that you are selling advertising. That should get you quite a few new advertisers. You could also post a Warrior Special Offer (WSO) 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 blog.

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) are 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. Go find a few new advertisers right now using the methods above and before you know it you will be a master at it.