So now it’s time to look at how to make money with your blog!
What you'll learn today…
If you’re taking blogging seriously (which I hope you are, as it’s an amazing way to make an income around your kids), then making money is going to be a natural next step.
Once you’ve set your blog up, have a few posts on there and are in the routine of running your blog and posting regularly – you can really start to think about making some money!
I’m doing this with you lovely and am sharing my journey as I do it too…
Today’s post will see us looking at a whole bunch of things including how you can make money from your blog as a beginner, how you can optimise your blog and content planning, amongst a ton of other things…
Everything I mention in this post has something to do with helping your blog on it’s way to making some money…
So let’s get this show on the road…
“This post may contain affiliate links and if you make a purchase using one of my links, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you”.
- Can you make a living blogging?
- What makes a blog successful?
- Get the Money Making Tip Sheet
- How do beginner blogs make money?
- How Can I Make my Blog Profitable?
- Optimize your blog for users!
- Format your Blog Posts properly
- Know who your audience are!
- Think about your Traffic strategies!
- Look at your competitors and see what they’re writing about!
- Always have a Content Plan!
- Engage with your readers, reply to their comments & interact with them wherever you can!
- Build your email list from the beginning!
Can you make a living blogging?
Well the answer to this is a simple and definite yes…
If you’re willing to take the time and put in the effort, you can have a successful blog!
If you can accept that it isn’t an overnight thing and that it can take months (or even years) to become successful and get your blog properly off the ground – you have to give it a go…
At the end of the day, what have you got to lose!
As I’ve mentioned at least twice already in my other blog posts, blogging is a marathon and not a sprint…
If you’re wanting to blog to get rich quick – quit right now because it isn’t going to happen.
Blogging takes a lot of blood (not literally), sweat and tears (I’ve definitely had a lot of those for sure), but you have to be able to pick yourself up and keep pushing through every hurdle you come across.
You have to be super passionate about what you’re blogging about, so that you can keep talking about it day in, day out…
What makes a blog successful?
When you hear the word “success”, what does it make you think of…
- Achieving something (goals/plans).
- Having lots of money.
- Being able to retire at 40.
Success is different for everyone!
There are a number of things which make a blog successful, so let’s look at them now:
Blogs that are in a popular Niche!
Blogs which are in popular niches tend to be the most successful.
A popular niche is where there are passions and problems, money being spent on products and an area where people are searching on the internet for it all the time…
Some of the popular niches include:
- Survival (preppers)
- Interior Design
- Personal Development
- Education + many more…
Within the above niches are many, many, many popular blogs, because they niche down and concentrate on particular segments within a huge market.
I talked about this more in my post “How to start a blog and the Tools you need to do it” because it’s important to not be too broad when it comes to your niche and topic…
For example, if you had a food blog (of which there are thousands out there) to talk about all food would probably not get you noticed, because there’s just too many different things to talk about, but if you were to talk about say vegan food or organic food only and give all kinds of information and be super helpful in that one area, you could build up a following of super fans, who will see you as an expert!
Concentrating on a specific area, giving it your all, along with quality content will definitely help you stand out and keep people coming back over and over…
Also having a unique take on things and giving your writing a different twist, will keep things interesting!
Blogs where people are spending money?
A niche where money is being spent is also a MUST…
When people want help, tips and advice, they’re usually willing to pay for it.
All the big niches (mentioned above) are huge money makers!
They all provide a want and need for people.
For example, a lot of people love to garden and are very passionate about their gardens, so they want to find out all they can and purchase all the things they need to help maintain an amazing garden…
When it comes to Parenting, mums and dads will often do anything to find information out about how to get their baby to sleep at 3am (so they can sleep too) or how to soothe them when they’re teething (that high pitched cry can break your heart & your eardrum).
This niche has a massive market and a ton of money is being spent!
Blogs which are super helpful, valuable and influential to their readers, are going to become a success at some point, because as you build up trust, people will start buying the things you have to sell.
Write about what you love
You probably hear it a lot “Always write about what you love”…
It’s so important to have a blog which you love to write on.
If you want to be around in years to come, you have to be able to talk about your niche all the time.
Passion for your blog will show in your content!
If you don’t enjoy it, your posts will be stilted and uninteresting, because there’s no love being put into them.
Get the Money Making Tip Sheet
You can grab this and start making money today!
Find out all the tips to help make your blog profitable…
How do beginner blogs make money?
Beginner blogs can make money straight away!
How awesome is that… and I’ll share with you in a bit, the way in which you can do that.
Once you’ve launched your blog – you can make your very first £1… and then it can keep going from there!
It all depends how much time, effort and help you put out there.
As a beginner blogger, you can make some money… but it probably won’t be the thousands of pounds you’re led to believe from some bloggers out there (remember “it’s not a get rich quick” thing).
It’s a slow and steady process.
Building your audience (the people who are looking for what you’ve got) is where it begins.
People need to like and trust you, before any of their hard earned money is going to part with them.
Making money comes from helping people.
Find your audience and give, give and give…
Help them as much as you can and be there to give advice and answer their questions.
Do this and build good relationships with people and the money will follow!
Create and share interesting, useful and valuable content with your readers.
This will get them to realize you’re someone who they can trust to get decent and reliable information from.
Making money from your blog comes with blogging (creating the actual content) alongside money making methods, of which there are many.
These methods include the following:
- Affiliate Marketing
- Ads (advertising)
- Sponsored Posts
We’ll look at them in more detail in a moment, but I want to say this…
You don’t have to do all of these.
In fact, you don’t even have to do half of them.
It’s about finding what works for you and your blog.
It could be one of them, or a mix of them…
Start out with one and then see how it goes and then you can incorporate another one and then another one if you want to.
Just get to grips with something properly and really try it out before moving on to another one, because you’ll end up super overwhelmed if you try and do it all in one go!
You need to give them a chance as well and not just try them once and give up!
I’m also a strong believer in not putting all your eggs in one basket (so to speak) and having several income streams!
So let’s look at each of the money making methods now:
One of my favourites is Affiliate Marketing.
It’s also one of the easiest ways to make an income, especially when you’re first starting out.
This is the method I mentioned at the beginning, where you can literally make money straight away!
In basic terms, affiliate marketing is promoting other people or company’s products/services and receiving a commission (percentage of the total cost) from the sale.
You use specially created links and when your readers click on them, they get taken to the product or service (or whatever it may be) and then once (and if) they purchase – you’ll receive whatever the % commission amount is.
You may receive it immediately, or have to wait for a while.
This is entirely dependent on the platform and how their affiliate program works.
One of the best affiliate platforms to use is the fabulous Amazon…
Pretty much everyone I know uses Amazon or has done at some point in their lives.
It has EVERYTHING on there.
Whatever niche you’re in – you’re going to find something on Amazon which you can affiliate yourself with and recommend to your readers…
It’s super simple to sign up and you literally Join, Advertise and Earn (exactly like in the screenshot above).
You find something to promote (for this example I’ve chosen a very pretty yoga mat as I want to do more yoga).
Because I’ve joined the Amazon Affiliate Program, I then have this box which appears at the top of my Amazon web pages all the time.
This means whenever I want to promote something, I choose the product (like the pretty yoga mat) and then click on the “Get Link” section at the top.
This gives me a unique and specially created link, just for me…
You have the options of:
- Text Link
- Image Link
- Text + Image Link
I’ve just chosen the text link as an example to show you in the above screenshot!
(NOTE: You cannot cloak Amazon links like you can with other affiliate links. Cloaking just means you can shorten links and make them look more pretty)
I always go for the short link option when using the Amazon link too.
When you add this link into your content, it will redirect to the yoga mat (or whatever product it is you’re promoting) and if someone purchases through that link – you’ll get a commission.
It’s as easy as that…
A great way to use Amazon affiliate links (and any other affiliate links for that matter) is to write a post and include the links throughout the content naturally.
People love posts where products and services are reviewed honestly, by bloggers who have actually used the product/services themselves.
This builds up trust between the blogger (you) and the reader!
Don’t just shove up a page with a load of products on there linking to Amazon though, as this will just look like you’re trying to sell all the time and it doesn’t give any real value.
Other big companies and places you could go to are:
They all work in similar ways, in that you sign up and register with them and then see what requirements there are, or you may have to complete an online form.
You may have to wait to be “vetted” and reviewed, to see if you’re a suitable candidate or you may get approved automatically.
Either way, it’s always worth checking affiliate programs out, because they have the potential to make you a lot of money.
For example, on one of my previous blogs, I had an image on my sidebar which recommended a membership program which I had been a part of, had gone through it entirely and loved it!
It helped me so much that I signed up to be an affiliate for the program via Clickbank (which is where the affiliate program was held).
I wrote a post about it and shared all the ins and outs of my experience using the program (and included affiliate links throughout the post naturally) and I also had a clickable image link to the program within my sidebar.
I made a fair amount of money from it – just this one product which I took a bit of time to write a post about and put a clickable image on the side of my blog posts and pages…
I just wanted to share that quickly, to show you that it can work.
That above was from just one product… and I had many more like that.
I also wanted to share this great article with you 105 of the Best Affiliate Programs of 2020, so you can go and check this out too.
The guy who wrote the post shares programs in all kinds of niches including: fashion, beauty and make-up and gaming to name just a few…
With any company that sells products and services, there could be the potential to become an affiliate.
Some companies may not even have thought about having an affiliate program in place, so if you have an audience of people who you could sell a lot of certain products too, you could always reach out to the company and see if you could come to some sort of arrangement with them, in regards to being an affiliate.
At the end of the day, for them, it’s easy money, as you’ll be doing the selling!
They’d just need to set up an affiliate program (with a company such as Affiliatly for example) and then you get to work selling their products and services.
Anyway, that’s enough talk about Affiliates, because I could go on and on, as I love it!
I may do a more in depth post on this soon, so keep an eye out!
Next up we’re going to look at Ads…
Ads can be another great way to make an income on your blog!
They aren’t my cup of tea, because I don’t like visiting blogs when there are ads throughout the content and popping up all over the place.
For me, it ruins the experience and hinders my viewing of the blog itself, as I’m always having to click off ads…
That said, the example I mentioned earlier, where I had a clickable image in my sidebar – that is classed as a “Banner Ad” and can work well if you have one or two which really resonate with your blog.
Banner Ads are basically ads which are embedded into your posts/pages and are image based.
A lot of companies who use banner ads will have the image ads created for you, then you can just choose the one you want and embed it into your site.
For example, Siteground (the hosting company I use) has a range of different images in different sizes, for their affiliates.
You would simply choose an image and click on “Get Code” then embed it wherever you want it to show on your blog!
It’s super simple…
Banner Ads are popular and when clicked on, go to the site where you’re advertising.
If someone purchases from clicking through – you’d get whatever commission the program pays!
I may even test out a few banner ads on this site and see how they go. Watch this space…
Banner ads in a sidebar tend to be non-intrusive, unlike ads which pop up all over the place (the ones I don’t like).
Ads only really work on a blog if it has lots of page views and visitors, because the money only really comes in when the traffic is ramped up on your blog.
They’re simple to set up however, and there are a few places you can go to set ads up!
I’m not going through how to do it, as they’re all pretty straight forward. If you want to check them out you can and sign up for accounts, however, because I said that ads don’t really work until you have a lot of traffic, it may be something you want to come back to at a later date… especially as some of the platforms have certain requirements you need to meet before you can apply!
Google Adsense works by having ads matched to your site, depending on what content and visitors you have.
The ads are created and paid for by the advertisers who want to promote their products.
Media.net and Infolinks offer what’s known as “Pay Per Click” Ads and are alternatives to Google Adsense.
This means that when someone clicks on the ad, the advertiser will pay you.
Mediavine is not an ad network like the others mentioned.
They are privately owned and help content creators build sustainable businesses.
They promote themselves as you “becoming part of a family” when you join, as they are there to help and support you!
You can see why if you have a ton of traffic on your site, these could be really good money makers…
Next up we’re going to talk about what Services you can offer…
Services are a fab way to make money when you’re blogging, especially when you’re first starting out!
There are literally tons of things you can do and offer – and get paid for it.
So for me (as an example), I could offer a proofreading service for other people’s blog posts.
I could get them to send their posts to me to check and make sure they read ok.
OR, I could even write other people’s blog posts for them, because I love to write…
I could also offer 1:1 coaching calls on how to set up a blog!
These are just a few things I’ve thought of, off the top of my head! (I’m not actually offering these services by the way – not right now anyway)…
TIP – Make sure you’re selling services which are directly related to your blog niche and topic!
Whatever niche you’re in and whatever knowledge and expertise you have – you can turn this into a service for money!
Below is an infographic showing some of the different types of services you could look into doing (depending on your niche and expertise).
Obviously there are many others (I couldn’t fit them all on), but I wanted to briefly mention Membership Programs.
Membership programs are great for people who want to sign up to something a bit meatier.
Most memberships either offer a pay monthly program, so their members can have access to fresh content every month, or they could pay a one off payment and have access for life to a members area…
It’s probably not something for you to think about when you’re starting out, but it’s definitely something for you to think about in the future – if your niche allows it.
I was part of a fantastic membership program at the Female Entrepreneur Association with Carrie Green.
It was a monthly membership and I was part of it for over a year and learnt a ton…
She only opens it up once or twice a year though so you have to join a waiting list.
A great place to get some other ideas for services is a place called Fiverr.
It’s a freelance services platform, where people offer their services for $5.
I’ve offered services on here previously as it’s a great way to earn some extra money while getting things off the ground.
So that’s a little bit about Services, so go check out the infographic above and Fiverr to get some inspiration on the services you could offer…
Products – the wonderful world of products…
I’ve created quite a few products over the years, on my other blogs and they’re a great way to make money and get creative!
There are so many different things you can create products on and digital products are fab, because there’s no actual physical product.
You can create an eBook for example and set up a sales page or button – and be selling that eBook and delivering it digitally to people all over the world…
People don’t have to wait for days while it comes in the post (just a few minutes tops for it to hit their email inbox or create an account) and they can access it immediately and use whatever it is, right there and then…because it’s all done online!
This whole digital era we’re in and being able to access things straight away is a real game changer!
I’ve made a list below of all the different kinds of products you can offer your readers: (I’ve listed physical products and digital products as some of you may want or need to have physical inventory, depending on what your blog and niche is about)
This list could get quite long…
- Printables (I love creating printables such as planners)
- Replay of a Webinar
- Online Courses
- Email Courses
- Video Courses
- Templates (if you have a great template you’ve created and used such as a “blog post template”, then this is great to sell as a downloadable product)
- Private Boot Camps/Groups (via social media group or page)
- Stock Images (put together a selection of great stock images)
- Ultimate Guides
- Digital Magazines
- Digital Subscriptions (such as weekly recipes/classes)
- Audio Content
- Graphics & Digital Art (wallpapers, icons etc)
- Animations & GIFS
- Swipe Files (such as email/ad/sales page copy)
- Toolbox with Resources you use
- Case Studies
- Bundles (templates, stock images, copy etc)
- Physical Books & Planners
- Craft Products
- Beauty Products
- Office Supplies
- Kitchen Products
- Garden Products
- Baby Products etc…
The list really is endless…
There are just so many product options you have to sell on your blog, so you’ll ALWAYS find something, no matter what niche you’re in.
Amazon is a fantastic place to check out for product ideas, because it has loads of categories to sift through…
I can spend a few hours checking out all the things on Amazon and come up with ideas I would never have thought of!
So if you get stuck, head over there and get yourself some inspiration…
Physical products are great because they offer a higher perceived value and are also a fab extension to your digital products.
The last option I want to let you know about, when it comes to making money from your blog is Sponsored Posts…
In the blogging world, a Sponsored post is when a company pays a blogger to write about their product or service.
You get paid for writing a post and reviewing their product.
If you do a sponsored post, you have to mention somewhere within the post that it is sponsored.
As you become more established, brands and companies will start to notice you more and will want to create sponsored content alongside you.
If you want to learn more about sponsored posts, you can check out this article from Convertkit!
There are companies which offer opportunities for you to write sponsored posts.
I haven’t ever done a sponsored post myself, so I can’t give any feedback on how it turns out, but I know it’s a popular way to get further reach, engagement and sales.
So that’s the different ways you can make money on your blog, even when you’re just starting out…
I have to say, even making just £1 from your blog, will give you the most amazing feeling in the world!
And if you can make £1, you can make £10 and £50 and £100 and then £1000…
Once you can make that first £1, the world is your oyster and you get that buzz and that passion to make more, so what are you waiting for – go try one (or more) from the list above!
How Can I Make my Blog Profitable?
There are ways you can set your blog up to be profitable and any help in that department is always welcome by me!
So these are some of the ways that you can do that:
- Start collecting email addresses from the off… building your audience is essential. Don’t wait!
- Research what your target audience needs and wants are and give them what they want. It’s all about your audience and readers and what they want to hear about.
- Add affiliate links where you can throughout your blog and posts (as long as it’s organically and naturally). This is a great way to earn money from recommended products and services that you love. You’re helping them which in turn helps you. Signing up for the Amazon Affiliate Program is great as well, as you can make money from all kinds of products!
- Be in the mindset that blogging is a long haul ride! If you know that it isn’t a get rich quick scheme, you won’t be disappointed if it takes a while to get up, running and some cash coming through the door…
- Plan and have goals… small goals (daily/monthly etc…) and bigger, yearly goals. This isn’t just income goals either, it’s setting yourself up for success. Setting targets such as hitting 100 subscribers/writing 10 blog posts/guest posting on 5 other blogs etc…
- Be distinctive and different from other blogs in your niche, as you’ll stand out more.
- Spend more money on things which are important – email marketing platform/theme/hosting. If you’re taking it seriously and you want it to be a business which generates you income, you have to spend money. You wouldn’t be able to set up any other business without spending some cash, so why would being online be any different. Yes it’s cheaper, but cheaper doesn’t mean FREE!
- Take courses to help you grow and learn as this will make you a better blogger!
Optimize your blog for users!
Something to think about when you have a blog, is optimizing it for your users.
I’m going to give you a few tips for optimizing your blog for both your readers and the search engines, however, bear in mind that you should ALWAYS make sure your blog and posts are for your readers first…
Don’t start going optimize crazy just for search engines.
Google will know what you’re doing and won’t like it… they’ll know your content's main purpose isn’t for your readers (which in turn will affect your SEO anyway).
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) which I’ve talked about in this post and the fab Yoast Plugin is something to always think about when optimizing your posts.
Targeting the right keywords in your posts is a great way to make sure they’re getting in front of the right people and using the Yoast plugin is a simple and effective way to do that!
Alt Text for Images
Alt Text (short for alternative text), also known as alt descriptions or alt attributes, is when a description is given to the images you place on your blog.
The main reason for this is to describe images to readers who have visual impairments and are unable to see them. It also helps things like image browser blockers and screen readers.
When you add an image to your library, there’s a “Describe the purpose of the image” button you can click on.
This takes you to a page where you can see when to use the alt text and for what images, as you don’t have to include a description for every single image on your site (it’s just for a little help if you need it)…
The idea of adding a description is to describe the image as best you can, without adding a load of spammy keywords.
This article from Moz can help a lot when it comes to getting the most out of your alt-text descriptions…
Making your blog responsive basically means making sure it responds to some key elements that it needs to, in order to perform well.
One of the main things to think about, is having a responsive design. This means having your blog automatically scale to whatever screen size it needs to, no matter what device you’re reading/watching on.
Google set recommendations in 2015 for websites to have responsive web design and it has never been more important to make sure your blog can be seen perfectly on every device, to give your reader a great viewing experience!
Where do most people check out your content these days – smartphones and tablets…
You can see from this article that over 70% of web traffic is conducted from a mobile device and the average time we spend on our mobile devices is over 5 hours a day, that’s crazy…
These little mobile devices can be taken with us everywhere, so it’s no wonder we’re spending more and more time on them.
It also shows that they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, so you need to make sure your blog is super responsive.
Luckily for us, most themes available on the market today have already incorporated mobile responsive attributes – because they have to be designed that way in order to sell.
When people purchase themes, they want to know that the responsive element is already built into it, so that no faffing around with code is required.
I use the Divi theme and it’s amazing because it’s fully responsive.
Not only is it responsive, but you get to chop and change everything, to suit and tailor your blog's design needs, making sure your blog will always look good wherever it’s seen!
It does this by giving you the option to customize Desktop, Tablet and Phone elements individually.
So if one size of text or image looks fab on desktop but not on mobile, you can go in and change the phone text and image size ONLY, so that your mobile design looks fantastic too.
It’s so versatile and simple to use…
Having a responsive blog not only gives your readers a great viewing experience, it also helps a lot on the SEO front…
They generally tend to perform better and have a lower bounce rate than non responsive sites.
Having a speedy load time is also key, because this also has an affect on how your blog ranks.
No one wants to get to a blog or site and be waiting around forever to get onto it.
Happy load times = Happy Users…
The “acceptable” wait time is found to be between 1-2 seconds…
If a reader is waiting around too long – they’ll just end up leaving (and they probably won’t come back anytime soon).
There are several things which can affect your blogs speed and I’ve listed a few of them below:
- Too many plugins installed (only have the necessary ones and ones which are supported and maintained with regular updates)
- Too many large images (images should be 100kb or less, so make sure you optimize your images. I use the Shortpixel Image Optimizer plugin)
- Too many ads
- Your hosting plan may be too small
- Don’t have too many blog posts on the homepage
- Too many widgets
- Videos – Don’t host videos on your site (use YouTube or something similar as its primary function is to host video files – your hosting providers isn’t)
- Not having a Caching plugin (I use my Siteground hosting caching plugin, but there are other ones out there such as W3 Total Cache
There are many other things that could be slowing your site down, but these are the ones I could think of right now!
Format your Blog Posts properly
When you write your blog posts, think about your reader and what the experience is like for them.
If they’re too long with too much text in one chunk, this can be really off putting and difficult for people to stay focused.
Don’t let the way you format your posts affect the fabulous content you want to put out there!
Here’s a few ways you can make your blog posts read easier and be reader-user friendly…
- Short sentences
- Headers & Subheaders
- Bullet Points
- Number lists
- Lists – everyone loves a list of things (I really love lists…)
- Have relevant photos & images
- Use Bold text
- Have any links “Open in a New Tab”, so that when people click on them, they won’t lose your blog page
- Have a unique writing style
- Use some colours within your text (preferably your brand colours)
- Always have a Call to Action (CTA)
- Have infographics, charts – people love visual content
- Have awesome blog post headlines
- Create URL’s which are relevant and not too long
- Have social sharing buttons within your posts (and on your pages)
Implement some or all of these things and you’ll make your posts the best experience you can for your readers!
Oh and also, use a spell checker (such as this chrome extension one called Grammarly). This works great with WordPress alongside the classic editor and the Gutenberg editor.
I use Google Drive to write a few of my blog posts first, as I find it easier sometimes than writing directly into WordPress.
If you choose to use a text editor like this (Word etc), they have built in spell checkers already!
There’s always going to be a few errors here and there – you’re human and you shouldn’t let it get to you, but if there’s too many incorrect spellings and poor grammar, people unfortunately are going to think you’re not very professional.
Know who your audience are!
Knowing your audience and who you’re talking to is extremely important when it comes to optimizing your blog…
If you don’t know who it is you want to reach, your content won’t reach the right people…
I think the best way to think about who it is you want to talk to, is to create a persona or avatar, so that everytime you write, you have that “persona/avatar” in mind… you can write as if you’re talking to that one person!
It really helps if you can picture someone you’re writing to. You can even find a picture of someone on the internet if it helps and stick it to your computer.
So as an example of an avatar:
Karina is 29 years old. She’s a stay at home mum with two young children. She wants to earn money for her family and be able to work around her children, without going back to the typical “9-5” job!
Sarah who is 35, has three children and is working full time, but has been researching how to make money online, to give her more time to spend with her family and financial freedom!
These are just two examples of “Avatars/Personas”.
When I write my posts or even pages (think your About Me page), it helps to have a clear focus, so I’ll keep a visual of my “avatar” in my mind, so that I’m making sure I write to them only.
So some other things to think about to optimize your blog:
- Make it easy for people to sign up. Have opt in opportunities wherever you can (just don’t overkill it)
- Utilize the sidebar as you can have your top opt-in offer there, or a banner ad, or whatever you want!
- Make your blog easy to read and navigate around
- Don’t have too many menus and options
- Have a search bar
- Have internal links to other relevant blog posts and links to other websites as well
Think about your Traffic strategies!
To make money from your blog – you HAVE to have traffic!
Without traffic – no one’s seeing you and your fab content needs to be out there for all to see!
Traffic is a huge topic all of its own and there’s just no way I can talk about it all in this post…
So I’m just going to go over the basics and bullet point what I feel are the best tips and ways to get traffic to your blog!
Before we get into it – Traffic is the amount of visitors you get to your blog!
This can be gained in many different ways and through many different tactics!
Your blog should be all about giving value first…
Help others where you can and give great advice.
First and foremost you have to be writing about things people want to hear about and are interested in.
You aren’t going to get anywhere if you’re not giving people what they want.
A great way to do this is to check out other blogs and forums in your niche. This is where people leave their comments and ask questions on what they want to know…
You should also research what types of blog posts are well received in your niche – long form/list posts/infographics/how to posts etc…
Then you can create posts for what your audience wants and needs are!
You can also become involved more with other bloggers and share their content.
Leave comments on their posts (positive ones, we don’t want to be putting our fellow bloggers down at all) and their social media platforms!
Always be friendly, kind and treat people well.
This may seem a given, but trust me, there are so many people out there who are just out to try and put you down and have a negative impact on what you’re doing…
Also, if you try to sabotage another blogger, it won’t take long for you to get a bad name for yourself and be out of the game…
My advice is – don’t ever be negative and hurtful to other bloggers and take no notice and don’t interact with the ones who are negative towards you (there’s delete, block and remove buttons for a reason).
So on with the list of traffic tips:
- Have a clear Blog Theme. There’s nothing worse than visiting a blog which has crazy amounts of stuff going on and you don’t have a clue where to find anything.
Everyone is super busy nowadays and just doesn’t have the time to wade through a mash of content.
- Make sure your theme is clean, clear to read and easy to navigate around.
- Don’t have too many pop-ups and sign boxes (as this can detract from your actual content and put readers off).
You can have these strategically placed all over your blog, without them causing your viewers grief.
- Use a clear colour palette throughout your blog, well formatted blog posts and have consistency in the way your blog looks and feels!
- Write decent, quality content that people actually want to read. Long pillar posts are often best (at least a few of them anyway) because they’re jammed with amazing info and will stand out on your blog.
They’re also the ones readers will come back to time and time again (hopefully) and the ones you should keep updated regularly, by adding to them…
- Create evergreen content (content which is sustainable) and can be referred back to for years to come
- Use long tail keywords – defined as phrases with 3+ keywords as they tend to work better in search ranking
- Have backlinks (links from one website that when clicked, link to another website). If you write fab content, others will want to link to it and vice versa!!!
- Have internal links on your own blog as Google loves interlinking and the more posts you write, the more you can entwine them together (as long as it’s relevant to do so of course).
- Create amazing Pin Image which entices people to click and read your content.
- Use your Social Media platforms and share your content. Interact with your readers and stick around so people can get to know you. Give away great content and remember to link to your blog (check where you can share your links though as each platform is different).
- Get involved with other Social Media groups/pages/boards etc…
Build relationships! Don’t join them and be spammy and salesy, posting your own stuff. There’s usually rules about doing this anyway, but even if there isn’t – it doesn’t look good.
Comment on posts, help and give value and you’ll get noticed this way.
- Create awesome, attention grabbing headlines for your posts, which make people want to know more. Entice their curiosity and draw them in so they want to read more… however, don’t give away everything in the headline – create mystery!
- Always be building your email list and nurture them. Your list is yours so cherish it as it’s your biggest asset! Email consistently (not everyday – weekly will do) so they don’t go cold and forget who you are.
- Create fantastic freebies to give-away! Ones which give quick results.
- Make every post you write the best it can be. Put all your effort into giving as much value as possible!
- Give your readers what they want, not what you think they want. Think about how you can transform their lives and help them out. What can you give?
- Post consistently on your blog- have a content schedule. People want to know when your next piece of content is coming out and they can only do this if you’re consistent.
- Post consistently on your Social Media platforms. It works the same. People are always on Social Media and checking out what’s going on. You want to be at the forefront of their minds and if they see you, they’re thinking about you and will want to check out your content.
- Always ask your readers to comment on your posts as this keeps the conversation going. Have a Call to Action in every post, giving them something to take action on…
- Stay active and make sure your content is up to date. This will make sure more people will click on your links.
- Reach out to other bloggers within your niche and see if you can guest post on their blogs. Add further value to other blogs and you’ll get a ton of traffic from this.
- Review other bloggers products and services and give great reviews. Share specifics and really big the product/service up (make sure you only ever review products you’ve used and tested yourself). Explain how it has helped you/changed your life etc. As well as getting traffic from this (as the blogger/influencer is more than likely to share this validation of their product/service), you could end up being able to promote it as an affiliate and make money from it. Double whammy!!!
- You could also think about doing a list post where you include the top influencers who have helped you with something.
You can explain why they’ve helped you out. If you then reach out to the influencers and let them know you’ve done a post and they’re included in it, they’re more than likely going to be thrilled and if it’s a great article, they may even share it with their audience.
This could then generate loads of traffic for you!
Look at your competitors and see what they’re writing about!
A great way to find out what interests other people and what to write about, is to check out your competitors.
Checking out other blogs in your niche can give you some much needed inspiration.
Look at what their popular posts are and see if you can write something better, in your own way.
By something better, I mean look at what they’re missing within the post and see what the readers want (via their comments section) and include these things.
You can then answer their questions…
Talking of the “Comments Section” see what questions are being asked over and over that you could get a topic from!
If it’s being asked all the time, someone wants (and needs) an answer for it, so it’s the perfect opportunity to write a fab blog post about it and get more traffic to your blog.
As well as the comments, check out how many shares the posts are getting and see what’s getting shared the most.
Write something on this topic, as shared content is always a great find for topics. If people are taking the time to share it, find a way to write a post and put your own take on it.
Check out your fave blogs (even if they’re not in your niche)…
What and Why do you like them!
Is it the way they look? (layout/colours used etc) Is it the way they make you feel when you’re reading them? Is it how they write their content?
If you love something about them, maybe you can incorporate some of the things in your own blog (without copying).
Inspiration is a huge thing as we all get inspiration from all kinds of things.
What’s trending right now within your niche? Looking at your competitors can help you to find “hot” topics to write about.
This article can help you with ways to check out what your competitors are up to.
There are also tools which can help and be very effective with analyzing your competitors, but although they may be free to start off with, they can be costly thereafter.
Two of the tools you can check out are:
Always have a Content Plan!
Putting out fantastic content comes from having a content plan.
It also helps you to stop worrying about what you’re going to write about and what you’re going to put out there.
It’s great to be able to just write about anything (which you can to some extent), but your writing should be striving towards achieving your goals.
You have to be creating the right content to put in front of the right people.
Your content plan will change over time, especially if you’re just starting out.
As you blog for longer, you’ll have more content to measure and a larger audience to track and gather information on.
This means you can put the best content out there for your readers, making sure you’re satisfying their wants and needs.
You want to:
A) Write things which people want to hear and read about
B) Give your readers posts which are compelling, useful and relevant.
C) Write about things that are going to help your readers and give them a ton of value
Let’s have a look at the ways you can create a plan so that you’re always giving top quality content:
- Brainstorm topic ideas and keywords
- Research before you start writing
- Make a list of all the topics you’d like to talk about on your blog
- Pick a few topics where you can write pillar posts for which will be the cornerstone content for your blog, such as guides and in-depth content
- Write 5-10 blog posts which relate to the cornerstone/pillar content posts eg: “The Ultimate Guide to Starting a Blog” as the cornerstone post and then posts such as “How to Set up your Blog with WordPress” and “How to Create Images for your Posts” etc…
- Have a CTA within each blog post. You want people to take action every time they visit your blog
- Keep your readers user experience in mind and cater to who your audience are with your content
I wanted to mention editorial calendars as they’re definitely something you’ll want to include in your blogging toolbox…
Again, as per pretty much all topics within blogging, it could have a whole post or even multiple posts written about it, so I’m just going to cover the basics of what it is and how it can be used.
You don’t necessarily have to worry about one right away (as you have so much else to think about and get to grips with) but once you’re in the swing of things and posting regularly, it will help you out loads.
Planning and keeping organised is key in helping you succeed!
Blogging can be chaos for your brain, because there’s so many aspects and parts to think about.
An editorial calendar can help you to organize and schedule the “content” chaos!
They’re extremely powerful tools.
They help build relationships, make sales and attract the right people to your blog.
Calendars are different for everyone as everyone has different content needs, so there’s no “one plan fits all”.
It can help with areas such as publish dates for your blog posts, promotions you may want to include at certain times of the year, types of content you want to distribute etc…
Some of the key things to think about including in your calendar are:
- Who the author of the content is
- What the content is (the details of the post/email etc)
- What stage the content is at (for example: planning/editing/writing)
- The date you want the post/email etc written by
- The date that the post/email etc is going to be published
- The title or headline of the post/email etc
- What keywords you’re going to be using
- What the CTA is going to be
Before you start putting your calendar together, look at everything you do and what you want to include, such as:
- Blog Posts
- Product Launches
- Social Media
- Seasonal events
I find that the easiest way to differentiate the different tasks, is to have a colour coding system.
You can even use your branding colours (like I have in the example above) to keep it all in sync.
It’s just easier because every time you put a blog post in, you can have them as one colour and then your emails would be in another etc, and they stand out instantly!
Once you’ve decided what’s to be included in your content plan, you can then set up a simple FREE calendar using a tool called Trello.
Trello helps you to organise and manage any kind of project, so is ideal for organizing your blogging content strategy.
Sign up for Trello and then create a name for your board. I created the name B4M Editorial Calendar (short way of saying blogging for mums as I couldn’t fit it all on).
You can then create 3 lists which can be to do with the content you want to produce. I created as an example:
- Blog Posts
- Social Media
Then comes the creation of “cards”. Create cards for the things you want to do within those lists.
Under the “Blog Posts” card, I added the example titles:
- Brainstorm Ideas
- Plan/Outline Post
- Write Post
It will then pop up advising that you can add any kind of information to the cards.
For example, I added in “Think up 10 blog post ideas” as it is for the “Brainstorm Ideas” card…
And then you’re done and can click on “Now you’re a pro! Keep building your board”.
You then get taken to the main screen where you can see all the cards and lists you’ve created.
You can create more and add to them and it’s really simple to use.
You can also choose a background image, to make it more personal and pretty to look at.
Us mums always like pretty things…
I chose a breathtaking mountain view with a pink sky!
You can click on the card you want to deal with, so I clicked on the “Brainstorm Ideas” one and here is where you can add more information such as:
- Detailed description
- Add items to the current checklist
- Members if you have more than one
- Labels (different colours)
- Add further checklists
- Due Date (and you can set reminders within this too)
- Attachments of any kind
- Cover (this is if you want to add a cover image)
You can also take other actions on the card such as move it, duplicate it, archive it etc…
Comments can also be added in the “Activity” section.
There’s a lot you can do with the Trello Cards so I highly recommend you play around with it, get familiar with it, so you’re comfortable using it.
Trello also has this amazing guide on how to get started, so check it out to get all the help you need to use Trello to its full potential.
Engage with your readers, reply to their comments & interact with them wherever you can!
I don’t know about you, but when I’ve commented on my fave blogs and their social media pages/platforms, if they reply, it means so much to me.
It establishes them as real people and knowing that they actually read the comments and respond, makes me love them even more…
We feel special and heard and that’s a big thing in the blogging world.
Building relationships with your readers is soooooooooo important.
Readers will never buy from you if they don’t know you, like you or trust you and the only way you can do this, is by showing up and putting yourself out there.
Engage with your audience – participate in their discussions and help, help, help…
Act on their comments…
Your readers have taken the time to say what they want to say and share their thoughts and opinions.
Take on board what they say and create content around what they want, have made clear and asked for within their comments.
You shouldn’t ignore comments on your blog unless they’re:
Any comments like this should be removed immediately.
You could also end up with an overwhelming amount of comments in the future (which could happen as you grow and become more popular and more well known).
If and when this time comes, you can only answer as many as you can, but a way to get around this is to answer comments within your emails to your subscribers.
Not only is this a great way to get people to subscribe (as you can say “I answer a lot of questions within my weekly emails”) you can also do Q&A within your email, or even a whole Q&A blog post answering all the questions in one place…
Finally on this point, say “Hi” to your readers and check out their blogs and what they’re doing…
This also helps to build great relationships as it shows you’re also taking an interest and care about what they’ve got going on!
Build your email list from the beginning!
Your email list is your best asset and you should start building it from the beginning!
Don’t wait… Sign up for an email client such as Convertkit, which I’ve talked about in my How To Start A Blog And The Tools You Need To Do It post… (have the link to the email marketing platforms section here in the above post)
Add some forms and opt in boxes to your blog so people can start joining your email list ASAP!
You could also use images as people love clickable images and pop ups too.
Stay in contact with your email subscribers on a weekly basis. You want to stay on their radar and can only do that by being in contact consistently.
People love to get something for FREE, so give your readers some amazing free content which will help them to take action on something (such as signing up to your email list)…
And finally, remember… building a successful blog takes time. It won’t happen overnight!
I wanted to end this post by saying (and repeating) the following:
- Building a blog is a marathon, not a sprint.
- It takes time, dedication, hard work and persistence to start one and keep it going.
- You have to keep at it and NOT GIVE UP, even when the going gets tough.
- Have goals and steps in place to achieve your goals.
- Always engage with your readers, respond to their comments and be a friend.
- The relationships you build all interlink with making money on your blog and there is nothing more important than the relationships you build with your readers and audience. No relationships means no people to buy from you.
- Have a content plan in place so you know what you’re going to be writing about.
- Have affiliate links and CTA’s in all your posts (just don’t be spammy and have them everywhere).
- Make sure you’re driving traffic to your blog and try out only one or two methods first. Make them work (or before moving on, test them out thoroughly). No traffic means no action on your blog at all…
- Use keywords and optimize your content for SEO
- Build your email list from day 1…
You can sooooo make this happen and have your own successful, money making blog!
And don’t forget, I’m going on this journey with you.
We’ll be side by side doing it together…