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Have you tried blogging with the goal of making money online only to find that no-one reads or shares your articles? Perhaps you tried blogging for business without success? Or been too scared to start blogging at all?
It's tough out there. It is.
You're not alone either. The vast majority of blogs fail to make a cent. Literally. They make $0 per year. Only about 5% of all active bloggers report earning enough to support themselves.
To make it into the top 5% you gotta be prepared to change your mindset about what blogging is and what is required to make it to the top. Luckily, it's not hard. In fact, you're going to quickly see and understand the right outlook and why it radically improves your chances of success.
Start how you mean to go on. Get set up with a stunning blog. The fastest, easiest and most popular of all blogging platforms is WordPress, which allows you to start a blog absolutely free.
WordPress powers approximately one third of all websites on the Internet. Free. Quick. Easy.
That's right! We don't blog, we awesome.
Let's redefine the term blogging by changing our approach to take things to a whole new level.
Yep. You read that right. One blog post is equivalent to a small startup business.
In the early days a few hundred words could shoot to the top of Google's page rankings and stay there. Over time competition grew as more and more people started trying to make money from the Web.
It's gotten to the point where it is virtually impossible to rank a single blog post for a highly competitive (and therefore profitable) key-phrase in Google search.
That's why we're going to change. Instead of churning out a new article in a single day, or even a single week, we're going to treat a single article like we would a startup business - complete with a business plan.
This might require a readjustment of expectations.
You're not going to get an article out today, or even tomorrow. It's going to take a few weeks, months maybe.
Only publish when you know you have undoubtedly the best blog post of its kind in the world. Period.
I know. Sounds pretty weird, right? A business plan for a single blog post?
Trust me. It's super important.
Unleash your potential to make money online working from home with a single blog post.
Drastically speed up research and planning to get a head-start on creating the world's most awesome blog post in your niche.
Gather and analyze everything you need to know to create and market a money making blog post.
Perfect for people who want a passive income working from home, businesses wanting to increase visibility or entrepreneurs looking to start a profitable online business.
Here's a quick overview of what's in my free blog post business plan to get you amped to kick-start an organized and effective blog post campaign.
Like any entrepreneur starting a business you need to know:
Most of all.
Essentially, it will save work in the long run because it will ensure your efforts are directed towards something that actually has a chance of making money. Not all blog ideas do.
Find keyword ideas using Google's Keyword Planner.
Once you have a good understanding of the breadth and depth of a post's niche organic search potential, it's time to work out who's dominating the keywords you're after.
Discover who dominates your niche using Google search and SEMRush.
Google each target keyword and create a spreadsheet of all the top ranking pages and sites for each one.
Analyze the top ranked sites using SEMRush to understand how and why they are dominating. This sheds light on what will be required to compete.
Identify sites that link to them. Incorporate this data into the marketing plan and get those sites to link to you (see how to make friends with kickass influencers for more).
Try it out. Analyze a competitor right now.
Note: You are able to use SEMRush for free by signing up. However, the free plan is limited to 10 requests per day - thereafter a paid plan is required.
Making a rubbish outline is easy. Here's what I started with (in an attempt to cover everything I had identified in the previous step).
Learning how to blog is an important business skill that can increase page rankings in Google and bring plenty of traffic to your website.
Perfect! Assuming my audience are mindless robots immune to boredom. It's got no punch. No zing. In short, it's rubbish.
Rubbish, yes; but not entirely useless. It's a foundation from which to grow.
You gotta start with an outline that covers your bases but don't try to do everything at once. Inspiration and ideas for really cool stuff will come to you over time.
An outline lives and breathes as you learn new stuff and write about it. It doesn't end. It shouldn't end.
Here's where I'm at (so far).
Learn a new approach to creating game-changing blog content that drives high value traffic and makes money (from your very first post) - with insights from the world's top bloggers.
Patience is key. It takes time to come up with creative ideas to improve both the structure and content of your post. It helps to think of it like this.
Don't focus on what you're writing. Think about what readers are getting.
There's a scene in Lord of The Rings where Aragorn delivers a battle speech to the men of Gondor and Rohan who stand against the armies of Mordor in front of the black gates.
Sons of Gondor! Of Rohan! My brothers! I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me.
A day may come when the courage of Men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship, but it is not this day.
Your job is to take whatever niche topic you have chosen (even if it's the life-cycle of earthworms) and do this for your readers.
It's gotta have something about it. Some substance. Audacity. Freshness.
Picture in your mind how you're going to wake people up. Work them into a frenzy. Get them laughing, crying or shouting out loud. All the better if it's all at once.
Aim high in each and every aspect.
Strive to be unique. Better. Unusual. Different.
Titles are hard!
You have to juggle three things at once in a single, short sentence:
Take time over the title. It is absolutely critical to the success of your post.
Wired wrote an article about what a difference clickable headlines make.
Don't panic if you don't have the perfect title to start with.
Leave the wording 'til last. Adapt and fine-tune as you go until it's ready to go out there and captivate people.
Make the description a promise of something greatly valuable for the reader. What is your blog post going to offer them that they really, really want?
Along with the header, the description is about the only chance you have to convince visitors to click thru. Don't waste it on a dry, boring description.
Here's my original description.
Technically accurate. Worse than useless.
This description doesn't light the inspire fire. Readers can get this type of information anywhere.
Here's what I finished with.
Why is this better?
It doesn't mess around. It goes straight to the point in the first few words - make money blogging. Learn how to do it in a game-changing way. Comes with insights from the world's top bloggers (credibility).
Boring. Is. The. Enemy.
Make headers gripping. Never, ever let go of the reader's attention. Not for a second.
Like the description, headers should inspire and intrigue, pulling readers along.
Let your content evolve as new ideas emerge. This is one of the advantages of writing over a long period of time. Creative ideas have more chance to find a home on your pages.
I'm naturally a bland, technical writer. My background is in programming and development books intended to be concise, precise and thoroughly devoid of any style, humor or flair.
I need to have several passes at editing and rewriting my content to make it snappy and engaging. I build it up layer by layer.
Don't underestimate how important being engaging is for a blogger. Research by Nielsen Norman Group shows that the longer someone stays on a page, the less likely they are to leave.
If the web page survives this first — extremely harsh — 10-second judgment, users will look around a bit. However, they're still highly likely to leave during the subsequent 20 seconds of their visit. Only after people have stayed on a page for about 30 seconds does the curve become relatively flat. People continue to leave every second, but at a much slower rate than during the first 30 seconds.
Always maintain your energy and enthusiasm for creating the best possible content. Take regular breaks to keep your mind fresh. Write when inspiration strikes.
Find a method that works for you and do everything in your power to avoid slipping into a mediocre, run-of-the-mill voice and allowing readers to drift away (without a conversion) as they get bored or frustrated.
Formatting plays a big role. Spacing, structure, fonts & layout all make a big difference in how easily readers digest and retain information.
Above all else. Be concise & clear.
Formatting is a way to break up content in a way that entices readers to keep going. Especially people who are starting out with a cursory scan of the article to see if it's worth their time.
Perhaps they notice a heading that interests them. Perhaps they see a quote in a callout box they like. A useful bullet list of resources. An interesting stat, chart or infographic.
Write better quality blog posts in less time using Grammarly.
Compose bold, clear, mistake-free writing with Grammarly’s AI-powered writing assistant.
Be confident in the quality of your writing - regardless of whether its for a blog post or marketing & promotional materials. Eliminate errors, from grammar and spelling to style and tone. Find the perfect words to express yourself. Get corrections on any writing platform (including Gmail, Twitter, and LinkedIn).
No-one goes online seeking densely formatted text based articles that look like they're from the 90s.
As a general rule of thumb, back up claims with a link to a corroborating, trustworthy source.
Following this one rule will literally make you more trustworthy because it shows you're researching the claims you make - not sucking thumb. This also makes you look professional.
Neither of these reasons is why we do it.
Citations are a vital part of any awesome blog post because they provide a promotional head-start.
Email cited experts and tell them they've been featured. Ask them what they think. Perhaps they'd like to contribute something more? Do they know that you intend to send out some press releases to garner some national media coverage? They might like to be part of that.
Offering something before asking for something is far, far, far, far, far, far more likely to get a positive response.
Even if you consider yourself an expert on a given topic, there will always be plenty of really smart, knowledgeable people who know stuff you don't. Maybe they approach things from a different angle.
Grow traffic and reach quickly and effectively by finding influencers who can reach your target audience.
NinjaOutreach is the influencer marketing platform trusted by companies like Disney, Amazon and Walmart.
Do everything from generating business leads to link building using a variety of efficient and automated processes.
Quickly identify influencers with access to your audience and benefit from accurate databases of contact information to make outreach a breeze.
Don't look at blogging as something you do alone. Fundamentally,
Gathering input from influencers in your niche is incredibly important for four reasons:
Improve your content using the experience and knowledge that other people have gathered on their way to becoming an influencer.
These external insights will help to flesh out your own article.
Reaching out to other people also helps to establish contact with people in the know. Getting them to contribute wisdom to your article means they get to know a bit about you too.
Down the line they may ask you for insights or be prepared to work on other projects.
Influencers who have contributed to your content will be far more inclined to mention or promote it, assuming they like what they see (which they will because you're making it the best in the world).
— Ryan Robinson (@TheRyanRobinson) August 1, 2019
Promoting content is also a lot easier when you can drop a few names.
Think of someone you respect and admire. Someone at the top of their game. Wouldn't it be great to have them contribute a quote to your article?
A lot of other people might also be interested in what they have to say. For that they'll visit your article.
Humans are visually hard-wired. We like to look at things. This makes visual media non-negotiable.
Create beautiful visual designs easily using Canva.
Add powerful infographics, charts and other visualizations quickly and easily using professionally designed templates with drag-n-drop tools that help fast-track your work.
Embed your visuals into blog posts and share them via social media (i.e. pinterest) to add additional channels that drive traffic back to your blog post and help increase conversions.
Readers need to feel they are getting the information they want without having to 'work' for it. Sometimes an image, chart or video clip can transmit concepts and information better.
Research by mdg advertising showed that,
People remember only 10% of information three days after hearing it, on average; adding a picture can improve recall to 65%.
That's not all. Images are vital when it comes time to share socially.
A blog must always convey information in a way that is easy to consume, digest and retain. Visuals accomplish this plus have the added bonus of being readily shareable.
Take off your writer's hat. Put it down somewhere nearby. You'll need it again soon.
It's time to dress the article in sexy calls to action (CTA) to generate a constant flow of conversions that keep money rolling in.
A conversion is a desired action taken by a visitor. Usually an action that will generate revenue for you, either directly or indirectly.
Here's the trick.
It helps to think about this in terms of the sales funnel.
Sales funnels help capture more conversions by drawing in readers who are not necessarily ready to convert on first reading. Not everyone arrives at a page ready to buy something (one of the reasons email list signups are crucial for generating revenue down the line).
Makes sense then to ensure you capture visitors' attention for as long as it takes for them to convert.
Learn how to make your own high converting sales funnels right now.
Understand how sales funnels can help drive conversions and increase earnings.
Quickly learn how to implement effective sales funnels for a diverse range of conversions, from email sign-ups to eCommerce purchases.
Over time you're going to spot more opportunities to provide value. With that will come more opportunity to earn using new sales funnels. Here's what Ryan Robinson (who has some great insights for earning on the side) has to say.
The most important lesson I've learned in growing my blog to 400,000 monthly readers (and $50,000/mo in side income) over the last five years, is that you need to very thoughtfully diversify your income streams—especially if you're hoping to blog full-time.
If you're heavily dependent upon one traffic or income source, then you're only a Google search algorithm change or Facebook update away from seeing your figures plummet.
As it gets increasingly competitive to carve out your own profitable niche as a blogger, consider adding multiple revenue streams to your blog over time—like affiliate promotions, sponsored content, online courses, eBooks, digital templates or files, ad networks, a podcast that can host advertisements and more.
Out of all the ways you can monetize content, email is a must-have.
Converting visitors into email signups is vital to long-term sustainability and earnings because every other channel relies on a 3rd party.
Content relies on Google search, or social media traffic. Affiliate marketing relies on the company that's paying commissions (companies like Amazon can simply cancel your associate account without warning and withhold payment at their discretion, making it a dangerous way to build a business). Advertising relies on relationships with advertisers. And so on.
The email list you build is your own. A Google algorithm update can't take it away from you.
While you can get started with email marketing for free (usually around 30 days) you will generally have to pay a small monthly fee to your email marketing service depending on how big the list gets.
Get everything you need to grow an email list with AWeber (free for 30 days).
Email aside. There are a lot of ways to monetize a blog.
Find the combination of revenue generators that work well for your particular blog post niche and audience.
By 'launch the first strike', I mean publish the article.
Wow. Sounds like I've exaggerated this a bit. I mean we're only publishing a blog post and doing a bit of promotion to launch it, right?
You've only invested weeks or months of work to get to this point. All with the sole intention of creating the most valuable niche post in the world.
The people currently making money from your niche probably won't mind one bit that you're after their lunch. They won't notice as your post captures a bigger and bigger slice of the pie. They won't up their game to preserve their revenue streams.
Oh wait. They will.
You are in a war. Be prepared to run a tough campaign for domination right from the start.
Luckily, you have a bunch of serious advantages in the shape of a business plan, killer content, influential allies and a professional marketing campaign waiting to be unleashed.
Subject: Awesome! You've been published in [title]
Hi [Expert's Name],
Thanks so much for your fantastic contribution to my newly published post [title] [link].
Please take a sec to let me know what you think, or if there are any edits you might need.
I really appreciate you taking the time to help out. Let me know if I can repay the favor by helping out with any of your upcoming articles? I learned a heck of a lot writing this so I'd be happy to share some of those lessons.
Subject: Awesome! You've been quoted in [title]
Hi [Expert's Name],
Your article on [cited title][cited link] was so great I had to mention it in my newly published post [title] [link].
Please take a look over your citation under [header] and let me know if there are any changes needed.
Thanks for making such a great resource. If you have any feedback on my article I'd really value it. I learned a lot from putting it together so I'd be happy to contribute some of what I've learned to your site if you'd be interested?
The folks over at GrowthBadger have this to say about why you should consider yourself a marketer of content - as opposed to a blogger.
There's gotta be at least one (preferably more) hook that will appeal to the media within your content. There are two ways to do it:
If you can't work out what is newsworthy about your niche topic you're doing it wrong. Try this trick.
Include local content if local media coverage is important. Interview people. Do Research. Offer a prize. Offer a scholarship. Do whatever it takes to be able to pitch something unique and interesting to reporters and journalists covering your beat.
Just. Be. Newsworthy.
I wrote an article highlighting the best new business ideas coming out of U.S. universities. It's newsworthy because it's a showcase of up and coming entrepreneurial talent and has nothing to do with me.
Pitching to the right media led to coverage (in this instance USA Today).
Now you're ready to reach out with attention-grabbing headlines that journalists and reporters will love.
Learn how to write a press release that gets publicity every time.
Pitching to reporters and journalists has a pretty low success rate (even for great pitches) if you don't already have a relationship. Arguably the best way to get on their radar is to become an invaluable source.
Follow them on social media. Comment on and share their articles. Provide helpful answers if they reach out for information. HARO is one of the best resources in this regard.
Build valuable news media contacts using HARO (Help A Reporter Out).
Flip the dynamic. Instead of pitching reporters with cold call emails, have them reach out to you with requests for information and advice.
Be helpful. Be valuable. Use the opportunity to answer their queries as a platform to build a relationship that will radically improve your chances of making successful pitches in the future.
Here's the concept.
Build kickass influencer sales funnels to build valuable relationships and ultimately boost referral traffic from closely related high quality blogs & sites.
Originally we used sales funnels to drive revenue from visitors. Now we're going to use them to drive backlinks and buzz from other sites and bloggers.
I really learned a lot from your piece about [title] and mentioned it (with a link) under [sub-topic] in my latest article [title][link].
I'd love it if you would consider contributing an additional insight for this article?
It can be as long or short as you like. I will of course cite and link your contribution. If you can also share a link to a head-shot that would be great.
I added and linked your contribution. Very happy with it. Thanks so much.
Check it out at [title][link].
I've also followed you on [social network] and [2nd/3rd/etc social network] to keep up to date with what you're working on. Feel free to drop me a line if I can help out or contribute in any way.
I've been reading your article [title] and noticed a [link] under [heading] is broken/outdated. I thought it would be perfect to replace with my article [title][link] because it's full of awesome expert insights like the one you shared.
Let me know if you do update it. I'll share it around my network to generate additional buzz.
You've recently completed the world's best blog post in its niche. You. Are. The. Expert.
It's time to start sharing what you've learned with a wide audience on established blogs and sites. It's important to write great content and get it placed on the best possible sites.
More often than not guest posts generate less than overwhelming referral traffic.
Don't be put off. There are plenty of other benefits to guest blogging. Not least of which is the opportunity to make valuable new connections.
I tend to favor "I [did something unusual/interesting] and here's what I learned" type articles. You might prefer something like, "We researched over 200 [things] and found some real weirdness". Whatever is unique, interesting and has value that is directly related to what you've been doing. Go for it.
Short of ideas for new blog posts? Try this.
Quickly generate tons of interesting and unique blog post ideas.
I chose a sub-heading from this article, "Develop a Killer Outline" and Googled related posts to generate ideas for new posts and potential updates.
Develop a Killer Outline
If your sub-heading has some ambiguity it can help to add a modifying term to ensure more relevant search results.
"Develop a killer outline" produced mainly results related to writing novels. I modified the search slightly to focus it on blogging.
Develop a Killer Outline Blog
Merging these lists gives quite a few ideas and angles for new posts (or possibly updates):
It takes a little jiggling and creativity to merge two concepts together into a workable title. This process regularly surfaces unique angles that simply wouldn't have occurred to you otherwise. That's what makes SubMerging such a valuable exercise.
Fast. Easy. Creative. Ideas.
Earning enough? Great. Take a holiday. Enjoy yourself.
If not, there's work to be done.
Times change. Communities change. Your audience can be a moving target. The Internet constantly evolves. It's important to monitor performance. Update, adapt, refine and improve.
New content is the lifeblood of growing earnings. Actively seek out new ideas for content. Interview an expert. Do some research. Watch the news. Find novel ideas. New ways of doing things.
If your readers would be interested. You're interested.
New and better content isn't simply about updating your article over and over again. It's about opportunities to make more money.
Not all methods of monetization are going to work at the time of publication. Initially there'll be little to no traffic and no-one is going to pay you for that.
Perhaps a social share went viral. Google started ranking your article for a competitive keyword or two. However it happens, new traffic brings new earning opportunities that you don't want to miss.
There are a number of pro tricks and strategies you can use to supercharge your content, SEO, marketing and social presence. Focus on these when everything else is in place and humming along smoothly.
Optimizing for search is a huge undertaking with a myriad of possible strategies and techniques. It's important to implement it. But understand its limitations.
Learn how SEO can help drive money making organic traffic.
Get the basics right first. Next, embrace strategies from a wide range of disciplines, including technical, performance, backlinks, analytics and more.
Benefit from knowledge and skill that will shape and direct your optimizations to produce the best possible rankings that deliver high value organic search traffic.
No-one really knows how to consistently create viral content. The reason lies in the nature of what it means to be viral. It's got less to do with content than you think.
Learn the hidden secrets behind viral content that drives explosive traffic volumes.
Peer behind the curtain to see why some articles go viral while others fizzle out.
Learn how the structure of your networks can play a pivotal role in hindering or helping content to spread.
Understand what you can do to give your content the best possible chance of taking on a life of its own and generating mind-boggling amounts of traffic.
Visitors lie at the heart of your success. Don't lose sight of this fact (it's easy to get distracted or bogged down in SEO or marketing and potentially neglect this vital component).
Page speed and performance are vital. At the very least you should be using Google's free Pagespeed Insights to highlight any bottlenecks that might be slowing pages down.
For long articles with lots of images it may be best to use lazy loading . This avoids the download and display of an image until the visitor scrolls down to view it. Lazy loading can drastically reduce the amount of time it takes for a page to initially display.
Inbound marketing doesn't push advertising onto customers. Instead it draws in customers by providing engaging content using a number of techniques, from social media marketing to SEO and branding.
It takes a bit of time for inbound marketing to show returns. It's a medium to long term strategy that accumulates benefits over time leading to stable growth and sustainable profits.
The undisputed champions of inbound marketing are Hubspot who have plenty of great content, community and support for free - with paid plans available as you begin to grow and need pro features.
HubSpot offers a full suite of tools and services that integrate to make inbound marketing faster, cheaper and more effective.
HubSpot's offerings are divided into 3 sections:
Their free plans offer fantastic tools and functionality to get your inbound marketing strategy up and running, and generating revenue. With over 7+ million monthly readers, you're joining a huge community of businesses benefiting from the inbound marketing methodology.
Looking for the ultimate guide on how to start a blog or website with WordPress?
If you're blogging regularly, using SEO, sharing content socially, sending out newsletters, marketing, and doing everything right without success, then I've
Google recently ruined our startup launch with a 'false positive' phishing warning that coincided perfectly with our launch announcement to 4500 existing customers.
The article I wrote about that hugely damaging mistake attracted the attention of John Mueller, who responded sympathetically and said he would 'let the team know' about the problem.
Good to his word, I noted a few hits from Mountain view, California on the affected site and at the article, and a few hours later the erroneous phishing message was removed.
Drupal & Joomla are two popular CMS systems that offer powerful Web design and development features, and both have recently been overtaken in popularity
Choosing the most profitable topics that target valuable keywords to drive lots of juicy organic search traffic is quite hard - especially when you factor in
Video blogging (adding clips to a blog) can help to drive traffic, lower bounce rate, increase engagement and conversions, and generally improve SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and Internet marketing.
Video blogging also provides plenty of "different" marketing opportunities that written content can't - because it is a rich medium for communication.
Bloggers who rely on written content only may find their rankings in search engines suffering as Google continues to include more and more video results (especially from YouTube) in its organic search results.
Content syndication (sharing stuff with permission) can be a great way for small businesses to get more website traffic.
Learning how to blog is an important business skill that can increase page rankings in Google and bring plenty of traffic to your website.
Blogging works! It doesn't matter if you are a college student thinking about making extra pocket money, or a entrepreneur looking to promote your brand.
It also doesn't matter what topic you decide to write about, provided it is a relevant to your niche and something you are passionate about and interested in.
Starting a blog is exciting, but it is also a medium to long term commitment (if you want to derive any real benefit from it), but if you have the drive to succeed there's no better time to start.
Well researched, planned and implemented sales funnels can simultaneously boost traffic and increase conversions and revenue to make more money for blogs and
The vast majority (in the region of 95%) of all sites and blogs ever created fail to make any money at all - let alone a profit.
Almost all businesses that have researched Internet marketing strategies are aware that high quality, engaging and relevant content is one of the best ways to drive valuable organic Web traffic.
The problem is that many people don't have the time or patience to build up a good base of content via blogging.
So what's the alternative?