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8 Fabulous Freebies for Bloggers

You started blogging so you could make money from home. But now you find you're constantly putting money into your blog. No worries. Here is a fabulous list of some of the best freebies that any blogger, new or old, can appreciate!By Emily Belcher

One of the most popular ways to earn money by working from home is through owning and operating your own blog. As a blogger for only the past two years, I can tell you one thing: you get out what you put in. Success doesn’t happen with writing a couple good articles. It can be frustrating, depressing, and oddly enjoyable. There have been plenty of times that I have thought, “why bother?” but all in all, I am happy that I have stuck with it this long.

With all of that being said, I can guarantee you one thing: I would not still be blogging if it weren’t for some of the incredible freebies that I have came across. I mean, you’re constantly putting cash into your blog by setting up a domain name and paying someone to host your site. Then, if you want to jazz it up a bit with a cute layout and one-of-a-kind logo, you’re digging yourself a hole, rather than jumping in the mounds of cash that you’d imagined prior to becoming a blogger.

So, yes: freebies have been my little ray of sunshine when things have seemed somewhat impossible through my blogging journey.

Here are some of the best freebies that any blogger, new or old, can appreciate:

1. Canva

My numero uno pick is Canva. Everyone knows that pretty pictures are a must-have for blog posts. You can do a million different things on Canva and they make it so incredibly easy for us. They even have templates already designed for our favorite social media sites, blog posts, and tons of other important layouts that you may need. (more…)

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What to Do if You’re Not Getting the Results You Anticipated From Blogging

What to Do if You’re Not Getting the Results You Anticipated From BloggingBy Sarah Landrum

Many business owners and brand managers looking for results assume that blogging is the ticket to success. Expert opinions and how-to articles consistently mention blogging as one of the top methods of spreading brand awareness and driving website traffic, but it’s not an instant fix.

Check out some of the options below to improve your blog strategy to attract more views and conversions.

Realize That Blogging Is Not a Cure-All

Blogging won’t solve all your brand’s problems. It’s not guaranteed to increase your traffic and to be the miracle your site has been searching for, but it’s a start: 84 percent of marketers believe blogs are at least somewhat effective.

Other tactics to consider – along with your blogging efforts – include creating a social media strategy, incorporating email marketing into your outreach efforts, setting a cohesive SEO strategy for your entire site and considering advertising tactics to increase your reach.

Once you’ve developed an overall strategy, blogging can become a focus. If you’re not seeing the results you’ve been looking for, consider the following actions. (more…)

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Five Ways to Treat Your Blog Like the Small Business It Is

Five Ways to Treat Your Blog Like the Small Business It IsBy Deborah Sweeney

Blogging is a rapid growth industry, and plenty of people have found successful careers as bloggers. Still, few bloggers tend to describe their site as a small business. Only around 14% of bloggers claim a salary earned through blogging, so the vast majority of bloggers are hobbyists. Unfortunately, the makeup of the majority has meant that even those who monetize their blogs treat them as hobbies, rather than small businesses. But if you blog with a mind for earning an income, you are building a small business. It is important, then, to treat your fledgling blog like any other start-up.

1. Write a Business Plan

A blog, like a small business, is normally founded to fill a gap or niche. When a business owner writes out their plan, then, much of it has to do with meeting the demands and needs of that small group of consumers. You have to do the same thing – you may not be selling anything yet, but your audience is still your customer-base. Think beyond growing traffic. Traffic is going to be low for a bit and, with banner ads and Google AdSense boasting a dismal .1% CTR average, you won’t survive with ads as your sole plan. Instead, answer a few key questions:


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How to Setup a Moneymaking Blog … FAST

How to Setup a Moneymaking Blog ... FASTBy Holly Reisem Hanna

One of the biggest concerns for me when I launched my blog was what platform to use. I knew I had to purchase a domain name and hosting, but how to bring them together and make them work was a mystery to me. Because I was a new to tech world, I knew I wanted something easy, yet something that looked professional. However the easy solutions that were already put together looked amateurish and unprofessional.

Because of this I decided to hire a graphic designer to help me with the logistics of uploading WordPress to my host and to create a custom theme for me.

I had never worked with a graphic designer and knew nothing about how the design process was supposed to work. I ended up paying for all of her services upfront and sadly for me it was a costly mistake ($600 which did not include hosting costs or a domain purchase). After months of waiting for her to complete the work, she stopped communicating with me completely. Left with an incomplete blog, I had to find a web programmer to fix what she had left undone (another $150).

From start to finish it took 4 months to complete my blog. A process that I was initially told would take 6-8 weeks. Starting a moneymaking blog doesn’t have to be slow, expensive, or a hassle. In fact, if I had to do it all over again this is how I’d do it. (more…)

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8 Actionable Ways to Increase Engagement on Your Blog

8 Actionable Ways to Increase Engagement on Your BlogBy Sarah Landrum

Do your site statistics show that visitors are coming to your blog, but bouncing away before they have a chance to really get a feel for what you have to offer? To increase user engagement, you need to find ways to keep visitors on your site. There are many factors that affect bounce rates, including load times, content and even interactivity.

1. Load Times

According to KISSmetrics, how long your site takes to load has a big impact on whether users abandon your page. A difference of just seven seconds almost doubles the abandonment rate.

In an article in the New York Times, Steve Lohr reports that users are abandoning websites if they take longer than an eye blink to load. Apparently, engineers at Google have discovered that super-fast load times are what Internet users expect and demand.

If you want users to hang around and become engaged, then you’ll need to speed up your site’s loading time. Otherwise, users will grow frustrated and flee.

2. Add Internal Links

Want to keep your website visitors on your site? Add relevant internal links to entice your readers to click on another article, even after they finish reading the first article. This decreases bounce rate, increases time spend on your site and gives you more opportunities to reach the reader and possibly have him sign up for your mailing list. (more…)

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