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8 ways to increase traffic and make money from your blog
When working with bloggers you come across many great writers, passionate and dedicated to their cause of producing great content for their subscribers. After all this is the reason they started their blog. Share the passion and show/teach others what is most valuable to them, and closest to their hearts.
Unfortunately most bloggers are not as good in monetizing their blogs, which in the end often results in them losing touch with their subscribers due to lack of time (juggling these priorities is an art in itself!) Upside.Digital loves blogs, and to help bloggers out there we have put together a list of guidelines on how to earn your living doing what you love most.
How to get started
When you have set up your blog, you have decided on a great design, you have written awesome content that engage readers – you’ll probably soon realize that only having a great blog with great content is not enough. It may be satisfying but you can’t live on satisfaction alone! So how can you go from being a hobby blog writer to a professional blogger that can make you a living from blog writing?
To start with, you need to get readers to your blog that actually read what you write, and you need increased traffic to eventually be able to make any sort of money from it.
Below I have listed 8 things that any serious blogger needs to learn:
How to use social media to increase your traffic:
The first golden rule is to share your content more than once. Since no one will see all your posts in the social media news feed, you need to give your readers multiple chances to read your post, and across different platforms. The easiest way to do this is to share each blog post multiple times, depending on the platform, in a structured way. For example, you might publish your post on Twitter, Facebook and Google+ directly after writing it. One day later you tweet it again, and the following week you share it again on Google+, and you continue.
However, be sure to post the same blog post using different tactics, e.g. one with the headline from the blog post, one with a quote, one as a question, one as a fact, etc. Garrett Moon have created a great example how to use different platforms for maximum reach, and how you can make your own schedule to follow for each post:
Get Influencers to Write for You
One of the most common ways that blogs finally break through nowadays is by finding influencers to write for you, and by getting the chance to guest blog yourself. Obviously, influencers have the ability to influence a large amount of followers, and only by them writing on your blog will attract a massive amount of readers.
If you’re active on other blogs, social sharing communities (e.g. Reddit), discussion forums, and attend fairs and other blog events, you will start to build your own network in the blog community. And this is the way you want to do it. Paying someone to write for you will seldom work out.
Start Writing For Influencers
Guest blogging is an excellent way to reach out to people who have never had the chance to read your work. Again, use your network to try to get in contact with other blog writers that write on the same theme as you. Try to get them into a blog post swap, so first you guest write for them and then you invite them to do the same and write for your blog.
Another big advantage is that when you guest blog or get others to write for you, it will help your search engine ranking since more links will be leading back to your site.
Ensure you understand how SEO work and how to write “SEO friendly”
Search engines provide a huge opportunity to get “free” traffic, but many bloggers do not know how to create a blog that is Search Engine Optimized. As already discussed, the more blogs that link to your blog the better. But there are many other ways to increase your ranking, and one of the most important one is to know how to write SEO friendly content. Here are the main aspects you need to consider, in addition to writing great content:
- Use Headlines and Sub-headers when you write
- Link back to older posts when writing
- Optimize the length of the posts. In general, at least write 350 words in a post.
- Research on optimal keywords while you’re writing. Make us of tools such as keywordtool.io, to find optimal keywords to use
- If you add an image to your blog, ensure your keyword is added as the image descriptor (or Alt Image tag)
Write content that is shareable and target an audience that is likely to share.
If you chose to write about topics that are shareable on social media, you will find it much easier to quickly build up your own audience. You need to pay attention to current trends to know what people out there talk about.
In general, readers share content that ‘touch’ them personally, and the headline wording is extremely important. Research show that 85% of the content that goes most viral belong to one of 3 categories: food, home, or lifestyle. On the flipside, content related to business, tech, or news only accounted for 14% of viral traffic.
The type of post that by far outperforms other types of posts are list posts. People love the excitement and mystery of lists, and they will feel satisfied by reading and learning something new quickly, while easing their curiosity. Not many bloggers use list posts, which makes it even more effective for the bloggers that actually do it.
Another important aspect when it comes to shareable content, is that different social media platforms favour different topics. Hence, your social media success (amount of shared/likes/comments) for a specific post will depend on what your topic is about, and what you focus on in your headline, and on which social media platform you publish it on. As a guideline, consider these facts when you chose what to publish, on which social media platform:
- Facebook and Pinterest favour home-oriented content, resulting in users often sharing recipes and other home-related content.
- If you have a video to share, Facebook is usually the place
- Twitter is the place for giveaways
- Content related to tech works well on Twitter and LinkedIn, but not on other platforms
Finally, the two best performing topics on social media are actually not cat videos … but chocolate and chicken. Who would have guessed?
Make use of Google Analytics
Google Analytics is an excellent free tool that is very easy to set up. Once you have copied a small script to your page, Google starts collecting data about your site and its visitors. Make sure to analyse the data at least a couple of times a week. Important Key Performance Indicators are
- amount of visitors,
- clicks on your site,
- amount of time spent and
- source of your traffic.
How to monetize the traffic you generate to the blog
Ones you have figured out how to bring subscribers to your page, you need to understand how to make money. The easiest way to get this part right is to consult a professional, and ask for access to their affiliate network to be able to choose which ads to run. Google Adsense offers a good start, but you can only have a maximum of 3 ads per page, and you cannot decide on what’s being displayed. Hence, having access to an affiliate network is crucial to maximize banner revenue.
You might do it reluctantly, but remember it will make you a revenue so you can keep on writing your blog! Rules of thumb for effective banner placement are
- You need to place the banners where people actually can see them.
- Have at least 2-3 banners above the fold (what you see on your screen without scrolling down).
- Preferably you should have one banner on the top of the page, close to the name of your blog.
- Further, ads placed between the posts have a higher likelihood of been seen than on the side.
- If you can chose what to advertise, show ads that are related to the topic being discussed in general on the blog, or in a specific post.
Let your readers sign up to an email list
Owning your own email list doesn’t only give you the chance to send newsletters to your readers, you can also send promotional content and earn money doing so. You will need a sign up button and a data base to store email addresses, and then you need an email platform to set up the sends. It sounds like a lot of work, but this can easily be achieved by letting an agency take care of the sign up process and email sends.
If you’re serious about making money on your blog, I would strongly suggest that you consider outsourcing this part to specialists, so you can concentrate on the writing. Go to http://Upside.Digital and what they can do for your blog.
Don’t give up!
I saved probably the most important one until the end. You will have days when you wonder what the heck you’re doing. When it feels like you’re writing for no one, and when that Google Analytics visitor graph just looks like a never ending straight ocean line … Don’t Give Up!
More than often it takes months, possibly years before you finally get your break though. And often it will end up being that one random post that went viral, or that one magazine that recognised your post, or that one guest blogger that finally said ‘yes’.
Whatever it is, the day when your Analytics Graph shoots off like a crazy rocket, you will confidently lean back on your sofa knowing it was all worth it. And from this day on, don’t forget to add “professional” to your business card Blogger title.
Upside.Digital are experts in making money from blogs, and we have expert consultants that will help you with all these crucial aspects to make your blog successful. Just give us a ring and ask to
become a part of Upside Blogosphere, our professional blog monetization service. Everything we do with Upside Blogosphere is performance based, so if you do not earn money, we won’t either. That’s what we call a win-win.
About the author
Anders Hampf has been working with online marketing for the last decade and is specialized in online monetization and email marketing. He has helped numerous companies to monetize their sites and come up with customized solution for his clients.