Want to Earn More Money With Your Blog? Avoid These 5 Rookie Mistakes
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By Holly Reisem Hanna
When I started blogging blogging in 2009, I had a clear idea of how I wanted to monetize my site, what I was going to write about, and how I planned to execute it all. But even though I had a clear cut plan in place, I still made some rookie mistakes. Not only did these rookie blogging mistakes slow down my earning potential, they also slowed down my overall growth and traffic.
Here are 5 rookie blogging mistakes to avoid, if you want to earn money from your blog quickly.
When I first started out I had very linear thinking when it came to blog monetization. However, I quickly learned that if I was going to make it as a blogger, I needed to diversify my income streams. Which meant that I needed to think and act more like a marketer – “How can I make money from this blog post I just wrote”?
Since all of my content is free on the site (besides my e-book), I had to figure out ways for my free content to make me money. So I included other revenue streams like affiliate marketing and sponsorships to my repertoire. Recommending and referring products and services that I personally believe in is a great way to generate revenue, while keeping the site free of too many banner advertisements. Along with adding additional revenue streams, I also looked at how I could monetize each post, and included clear call to actions when I wanted a reader to take action.
A word of caution. You need to be judicious with what you’re promoting, as well as you need to fully disclose your relationship if you’re gaining financially from it. Your relationship with your readers will always be your bread and butter, without trust and respect you’ll lose readers, traffic, and in the end money.
One additional note. You maybe curious on how I monetized this post, so let me show you exactly how I did it. I included one affiliate link, noted below. I linked to two relevant articles that contain strong affiliate and referral links. And lastly, I linked to my e-book.
I first learned about this in Holly Klaassen’s e-book, 50 SEO Secrets for Mom Entrepreneurs (affiliate link). You probably know that when another website links to your content it’s good for your SEO, because Google awards “link juice” (think about this as a vote of confidence in your content). The more “link juice” that you have, the higher Google ranks your content in search results – which ultimately means more organic traffic to your blog.
But did you know you can give your own site a little “link juice” by interlinking your own content? What this means in plain English is, that you link keywords and phrases in your most current blog post to older content on your blog. Not only is this good for SEO, but it keeps visitors on your site longer, and makes it more likely for a conversion to be made.
Since I neglected interlinking when I first started blogging, I tend to go through a few old blog posts each week and interlink them, along with updating outdated info and adding images. It’s never to late to refresh your content and have it make money for you.
Flying by the Seat of Your Pants:
While I had loose goals in my head on what I wanted to do with my blog, I didn’t have clear cut, concrete, goals written down on paper. Because I didn’t have a written roadmap in place, I wasn’t able to monitor what I was doing. Flying by the seat of my pants worked to a point, but it didn’t allow me to take my blog to the next level.
As a blogger you need to think like a business woman, which includes having a marketing plan and learning how to evaluate your promotional efforts. This is also holds true for your financials, set specific monetary goals and create a plan on how you’re going achieve them. If you don’t have these in place you’ll plateau and become discouraged – you may even decide to throw in the towel, which happens to a lot of bloggers.
When I first started blogging, I figured I didn’t need to use images with my blog posts due to the professional and educational nature of my niche. After all, what was I going to take photos of… my desk? It’s not like I was traveling to exotic locales that would make for good scenery.
But what I quickly learned is that humans are visual creatures.
One image alone can evoke thousands of emotions – just look at the success of the visual social networks like Pinterest, Instagram and Flickr. Having images in your blog post can help to grab a reader’s attention, enhance and break up your text, as well as support your point. It’s also been shown that social media updates that contain images tend to be shared and liked more (which means more traffic to your blog). It’s also good for your SEO (remember to use your alt tags) and it just looks more professional.
Look at any high traffic, popular blog on the web and there’s one thing that you’ll notice – great formatting. While I wasn’t terrible at this aspect when I started, my blog posts definitely needed some improvement.
Let’s start with the basics, writing for the web is different than writing for print. Many readers are generally searching for a specific answer to a question or problem, which means their time is limited, so it’s important that you get to the point quickly.
Make your articles scannable by using sub headers, bullet points, and numbered lists. And remember to include lots of space and short sentences and paragraphs. Large chunks of text means individuals have to sift through lots of information to find what they’re looking for. Make it easy on your readers to find what they’re looking for.
By having information that is well presented, you keep readers on the site for a longer period of time, as well as repeat and word of mouth visitors. And more visitors equal mote traffic, which means more money.
What rookie blogging mistakes have you made? Do you have any other tips for earning money with your blog?