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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:

(more…)

Posted in Blogging

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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…)

Posted in Blogging

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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…)

Posted in Blogging

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Why You Need to Be Lazier in Your Writing (a.k.a. The Case for Repurposing Content)

Why You Need to Be Lazier in Your Writing By Sarah Landrum

After reading the word “lazier” in the headline, you must’ve thought: “Wait, what? How can you even suggest that? Do you know what you’re asking me to do?”

OK, before we get down to the nitty-gritty, let’s clear up a few things first.

By “lazier,” I’m not talking about copying others’ content word-for-word. That’s a reprehensible thing to do, no matter how you look at it. It’s awful to watch a blog post that took you several hours to write and edit get scraped and turned into white-space filler by a random Internet website.

What I mean by “lazy” is chilling out on the whole “cough up one original post a day” method of blogging. Sure, doing that by your lonesome is great and all, but at some point your “idea well” is going to become dryer than the driest parts of Antarctica’s Dry Valleys. After all, there are only so many things you can say on a subject without repeating what’s already been said on 37,840,171,347 other websites.

In that case, you’re left with no other option but to repurpose your content.

What’s “Repurposing?”

As the name suggests, “repurposing” is changing your content in such a way that its purpose will change. For example, let’s say you crafted an anti-smoking blog post aimed at middle-aged people. If you want to target teenage smokers next, you can reuse the ideas from the original post, rewrite it in a way that teenagers understand, and bam! You have a new post that is just as original as the well, original. (more…)

Posted in Blogging

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How to REALLY Make Money Blogging – Interview with Ruth Soukup

How to REALLY Make Money Blogging - Interview with Ruth SoukupTell us a little bit about yourself and your blogging journey.

My name is Ruth Soukup, and I write a blog called LivingWellSpendingLess.com, which follows my adventure of finding the Good Life on a budget. I started blogging in 2010 because my husband and I were fighting a lot about money, and I needed to find a way to hold myself accountable. Almost immediately I discovered two things: 1.) I absolutely LOVED blogging—it was the perfect pastime for me, and 2.) there were people doing it professionally as a full time job.

I resolved to learn everything I could about how to become a professional blogger, and told my husband that my goal was to make enough money blogging so that he could quit his job. He of course thought I was completely crazy, but in 2013, three years after starting my blog, he was able to quit his job and become a stay-at-home dad. We’ve never looked back!

Give us an example of how you first monetized your blog.

Like many bloggers, I started with Google AdSense. I was on Blogger at the time, so AdSense was already integrated—it was super easy! Ad Networks are still a major source of revenue for my blog, but I now use many different networks besides just AdSense.

What types of marketing strategies have worked best for you?

I feel like my traffic and marketing efforts have really come in waves, and I have learned to mostly just ride the waves as long as I can, and always keep an eye out for the next wave to jump onto. (more…)

Posted in Blogging, Interviews

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