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    Victor

    Author Archives: Victor

    An engineer by training, Victor has been working full-time online as an Internet marketer, a programmer and an app developer since 2001. He has been blogging at Sabahan.com since 2006 sharing his experience and teaching people how to make money online. Click here to join his private Facebook Group for bloggers.

    13

    How to Find Profitable Blog Niches That Are Insanely Popular

    You want to start a blog (or have started one) but you’re not sure what topics to write about.Finding profitable blog niches that make money. Includes list of popular blogging niches that you can start your blog in, attract massive traffic and make good money. #blognicheideas #findingblogniche #blogniche #profitableblogniche

    You are not alone. This is a hurdle nearly every new bloggers face.

    If you want to make money blogging, finding the right blog niche shouldn’t be taken lightly. In fact, it is one the most important steps of starting a new blog.

    Get it wrong, it might come back to bite you later.

    So in today’s post, I’m going to show you how to find profitable blog niches and be confident whatever niche you choose will get you traffic and make you good money.

    I will also share a blog niches list and tools to get your inspiration going.

    In any case, if you wonder how bloggers make money from their blog and want to start your own, check out my how to start a blog guide.

    Ready? Let’s get started on finding that perfect blog niche!

     

    What Is a Blog Niche?

    Before we talk about profitable blog niches any further, allow me to explain what a blog niche is.

    A blog niche is a general topic area that you want your blog to focus on.

    For example, if you want to write about health and fitness, you need to narrow down your focus to target one specific sub-topic such as:

    • Weight loss/dieting
    • Healthy living
    • Muscle building/workout
    • Running
    • and so on.

    Why?

    Because it will be easier for you to stand out and attract the right kind of audience to your blog.

    If you focus on one topic area, there’s a good chance your readers will also be interested in your other blog posts since they all are related to one another.

    Trying to appeal to everyone will only confuse your visitors.

    For example, do you think you can be a fan of a radio station that plays music from all different genres when you’re only interested in K-pop music?

    That said, avoid niching down too much.

    If your topic area is too narrow, you’re going to run out of high demand topics to write about. And you’ll struggle to get enough traffic.

     

    How to Choose a Blog Niche That Drive Traffic and Make Money

    Some people say just follow your passion and the money will follow.

    However, being passionate about a topic is not enough. You must also find out if there’s an existing audience that’s large enough in that niche that you can make money from.

    People go online to find a solution to a problem, learn something new or be entertained. If you can offer any of these, you will make money no matter what niche you choose.

    People go online to find solutions to problems, learn something new or be entertained. If you can offer any of these, you will make money no matter what niche you choose.Click To Tweet

    But the question is not if you can make money but how much can you make from that niche.

    To answer this question you need to look into three factors which are passion, demand and profitability.

    The trick is to find the right balance between them to arrive at the best blog niche for yourself.

    #1. Passion – How passionate and knowledgeable are you about the topic

    Growing a blog takes time and a lot of hard work. In fact, most bloggers only start seeing the fruits of their labour six months even a year later down the road – if they don’t quit.

    When the going gets tough, the passion will carry you through they said. So how passionate are you about the blog topic?

    The second question you need to ask yourself is how knowledgeable are you about the topic?

    It’s easier to create great content, attract an audience and stand out if you have existing knowledge within your niche.

    However, you definitely do not need to be an expert to start blogging in a niche. Documenting your unique journey can be as exciting and insightful as that by an expert.

    That being said, having a passion and deep knowledge about a blog niche before you start is actually optional.

    What? Wait, that’s the exact opposite to what I’ve just said earlier you ask?

    What I mean is that you can go to sites like Fiverr, iWriter or TextBroker and hire a writer to write articles for you. No passion or expertise is necessary!

    Although your ability to suggest the right topics and evaluate the quality of the article is another matter altogether.

    So you can’t just jump blindly into any niche expecting other people to write for you because it will show in the writing.

    Paying others to write is actually more common than you might think. In fact, some of the most successful niche blogs are doing this all the while.

    One good example is Health Ambition, a blog in the health niche by the guys behind AuthorityHacker.com.

    The blogger behind Health Ambition blogger is actually just a pen name because there’s no single writer who wrote all the content.

    According to SimilarWeb, the site is currently getting roughly 600,000+ visitors per month.

    That said, if you are new to blogging, you should try writing at least the first 10 posts yourself. This allows you to gain experience and understand what it takes to create a good blog post.

    As your blog begins to grow and start generating good income, you’ll have the budget to hire a writer or two and scale your content creation.

    At this stage, you can focus more on things that you really need to be doing like promotion.

    #2. Demand – Is there a large enough audience in the niche?

    You can slave away at blogging telling yourself of some future success which may or may never come because your audience is just too small and nobody searches for your topics.

    Sorry but that’s why it’s important to make sure the niche you want in has an existing audience that’s large enough.

    The best way to judge the demand is by looking at the competition. More competition could mean there are many other bloggers who are earning money in that niche.

    For example, personal finance is a highly popular niche and some may say oversaturated. Nonetheless, there’s still a lot of demand and search volume to go around.

    Since this is a big niche, you can focus on a wide variety of financial and money-related topics. There will always be a gap that no one else is covering.

    Before long after doing your keyword research, you’ll discover that you’re probably not competing directly with other bloggers but your ability to produce the most helpful and relevant content.

    Take DollarSprout as an example. It’s a relatively new blog launched just over a year ago in October 2017. In October 2018, the site broke $61,000 in monthly income.

    That’s insanity, I know!

    Like Health Ambition, the majority of their content was written by guest writers.

    Secondly, you can perform keyword research to gauge the popularity of the keywords and their competition in your niche using tools like KeySearch.

    Also, make use of Google Trends to see what everyone is searching and to discover trending topics you can focus on.

    For example, if you are in the online marketing niche and want to know which e-commerce software is more popular between Shopify and WooCommerce, Google Trends has the answer below.

    Find popular blog niches

    Google Trends is also great in identifying seasonal topics. At this time of the year, people have started creating tons of holiday-related topic.

    #3. Profitability – Can you make good money from this niche?

    It’s entirely fine to blog about your hobby or things that interest you. If you don’t care about turning your blog a profit then this factor is irrelevant to you.

    However, this post is about finding profitable blog niches and niche ideas that you can monetize from the get-go. You know you aren’t wasting time because you knew it’s a profitable blog niche.

    Even if you are not really passionate about the topic, once you start making money from your blog, it’ll be much easier to develop your passion for the topic.

    How much money you can make blogging depends largely on the niche you are blogging about and how you’re providing solutions to problems people are searching for.

    For example, if you blog about used books, you probably won’t make much money from it unless you also sell rare and expensive books that are in demand.

    Blogging about your attempt to learn a new language can be a good read for your audience but probably won’t be profitable for you.

    On the other hand, teaching other people how to learn a new language in a unique way would probably be very profitable.

    Just take a look at Idahosa of the Mimic Method who generates $300k to $400k in annual revenue four years after it began.

    He developed a method to help himself learn multiple languages – and sound like a native speaker in all of them!

    Idahosa eventually turned his unique approach to learning languages into an educational business and now provides courses in 10 different languages including.

    To gauge the profitability of a niche, check out how other blogs in the same niche are monetizing their content.

    • Are they using affiliate programs to make money?
    • What type of topics do they write about?
    • Do they write mostly promotional or informational blog posts?
    • Do they have a newsletter where people can sign up to?
    • Are they using any ad network to monetize their traffic?
    • Do they sell their own products and services?

    Answering these questions should give you some ideas about the niche’s money-making potential.

    To summarize, your best blog niche is at the intersection of passion, demand and profitability.

    How to choose perfect blogging niche

     

    How to Find Popular Blog Topics in a Niche

    To help you evaluate the potential traffic of a blog niche, I highly recommend giving KeySearch keyword tool a try.

    KeySearch offers a no credit card required free trial that allows 3 daily searches and analysis as well as YouTube research.

    One of my favourite features is the Competitive Analysis which lets you analyse your competitors and discover all the keywords they are already ranking for.

    Then you could easily target similar keywords and select those which you’ll have a better chance of ranking for.

    Find popular blog topics

    Why second-guess the popular blog topics in your niche when you can find out what already working for other bloggers with KeySearch?

    After all, a blogging niche consists of multiple blog posts.

    If you use KSDISC code, it’ll only cost $13.6 per month until you cancel.

    Once you’ve zeroed in your keyword, you’ll need to dig further to make sure it won’t be difficult to rank on Google for your website.

     

    How to Find the Best Keywords to Target

    Just because your competitors are already ranking for the keyword doesn’t mean you will too.

    Let me give you an example. Can you guess what my target keyword is for this blog post?

    If you guessed “profitable blog niche ideas” or “blog niches” you are right. You can see them in the post title!

    Here’s how I found it.

    Using KeySearch as my go-to tool for keyword research, I went to the Competitive Analysis tab and entered a domain that belongs to a particular niche, in this case, it’s TwinsMommy.com.

    Then KeySearch spits out all the keywords that TwinsMommy.com are ranking for.

    Best blog niches

    Looks like quite a few long tail keywords related to the blogging niche I could target myself.

    Next, I wanted to know how difficult it is to rank for the head keyword “blog niches” and see how much traffic it could bring so I dug further using KeySearch.

    As it turns out, it’s not that difficult at all. With a difficulty score of 30, this keyword is easy-to-moderate to rank for.

    Profitable blog niches

    The cost-per-click (CPC) is decent ($1.44), and the monthly search volume is reasonable (560) for this niche.

    Since my goal was to find keywords that won’t be difficult to rank on Google I think I’ve found my keyword!

    The CPC indicates how much advertisers are willing to pay to get their ad shown on Google Ads for this keyword.

    A high CPC (over $1) means more advertisers are bidding for this search term which shows there’s money to be made here.

    By comparing the Domain Authority (DA) between our sites, I should be able to predict if I could beat TwinsMommy.com for this particular keyword.

    Since Sabahan.com has a higher DA than that of TwinsMommy.com, i.e. 42 vs 36, this tells me I should be able to rank for “blog niches” easily.

    What is Domain Authority?

    Domain Authority (DA) is a search engine ranking score developed by Moz. It predicts how well a website will rank on search engine result pages.

    A Domain Authority score ranges from one to 100, with higher scores corresponding to a greater ability to rank.

    You can check your blog DA and that of your competitors using Moz Link Explorer.

    Different keyword research tools may use different metrics but DA should give you some idea of your ranking capability.

    In general, you would want to compete with websites that have similar DA or lower than yours.

    If there are websites with lower or similar DA to yours in the top 10, then you should have a good chance of ranking for that target keyword.

    Again, this is very easy to check using KeySearch as you can see below.

    Here’s what it looks like for the keyword “blog niches”.

    Niches ranking domain authority

    As you can see above, you don’t always have to have the highest DA to rank on the first page of Google.

    While there’s no guarantee that you will rank for the chosen keyword, a proper keyword research will definitely improve your chance of ranking.

    Related: 9 Quick SEO Tips and Tricks For Blogs

    Keyword research is an ongoing process requiring continuous blog posts optimization and backlinks acquisitions.

    Having a good keyword research tool like KeySearch will definitely help. Learn more about KeySearch here or sign up for the free trial.

     

    Why Choosing a Profitable Blog Niche is Important

    In some niches like blogging, if you want to write about a popular subject to bring in traffic, everything has probably been done to death by many other bloggers.

    The competition can be fierce.

    You can target long tail keywords instead with easy to moderate ranking difficulty.

    Long-tail keywords are simply longer and less competitive keywords containing 3 or more words.

    For example, instead of targeting “wood flooring”, go for “which wood flooring is most durable”.

    To rank on the first page of Google result, writing a long blog post (>1800 words) is often a prerequisite (but it’s not always the case).

    According to a study quoted by Search Engine Watch, the number 1 position in Google gets 33% of the search traffic.

    Suppose I manage to secure the number 1 spot for the keyword ‘blog niches’ that gets around 590 searches per month.

    That’s 590 x 33% = 194.7 visitors/month or just 6.49 visitors per day.

    All this hard work to write a useful and meaty long-form content, just to attract a measly 6 visitors per day to this article 6 months to 1 year down the road.

    That’s not very exciting, is it?

    Sure some people say the small wins do add up. If you write 10 of such posts, you could end up with 60 visitors per day.

    But what if I tell you, it’s easier to find long tail keywords with easy-to-medium difficulty in niches other than blogging and with 10 times the search volume.

    Just one article from that niche alone could bring in 60 visitors per day to your blog.

    That’s 9 fewer posts you have to write and still get the same result as that in a blogging niche.

     

    Combining Topically Related Blog Niches that Make Money

    I should mention that one could actually get more visitors from a long-form content because it could rank for multiple keywords, sometimes hundreds of keywords for one article.

    This article, for instance, could end up ranking for “blog niches”, “profitable blog niches”,  “best blog niche ideas”, “how to find profitable blog niches ideas” – you get the idea.

    So what’s my point?

    Some niches are easier to drive traffic to than others (and make money from).

    I’m not saying you shouldn’t blog about blogging. I am saying, for some less popular or highly competitive niches, you should try combining multiple topics as long as they make sense.

    For example, “travel and budgeting” or “mommy blog and make money blogging”.

    If you want a concrete example, look no further than the personal finance blog The Penny Hoarder.

    While they write about all the different ways people can make money from home and manage their finance, they also have posts to help people save money, live frugally and get deals in categories like

    • Food -  “These Grocery Stores Will Give You a Free Thanksgiving Turkey”
    • Parenting – “Keep The Holidays Happy and Affordable With These 16 Kids’ Toys Under $30”
    • College – “Enter the Google Science Fair for a Chance at a $50K Scholarship”
    • Travel – “Plan Ahead to Snag the Best Travel Deals on Cyber Monday With These Steps”
    • And so on…

    Also, be ready to capture the visitors’ email by placing the opt-in forms on your blog.

    That way you can drive these targeted visitors further into your marketing funnel and maximize your money making potential.

    If done right, you can make tons of money from the blogging niche (or any other niche) from the backend even with a smaller search volume.

    Related: How to Start an Email List for Free Right Now

     

    Profitable Blog Niches List

    Below are some of the unique blog ideas you can consider.

     

    1. App Development
    2. Arts and Craft
    3. Astronomy
    4. Beauty and Fashion
    5. Beer and Wine
    6. Biking
    7. Blogging
    8. Camping
    9. Car and Automotive
    10. Career Tips
    11. Cats
    12. Celebrity
    13. Coding
    14. Comedy
    15. Computer Hardware
    16. Conspiracy Theory
    17. Cooking Tips
    18. Couponing
    19. Cryptocurrency
    20. Culture
    21. Dating and Relationship
    22. Diet
    23. Digital Marketing
    24. Digital Nomad
    25. DIY Craft
    26. Dog Training
    27. Dogs
    28. Education
    29. Entertainment
    30. Entrepreneurship
    31. Environmentalism
    32. eSports
    33. Fashion
    34. Fine Dining
    35. Fishing
    36. Food
    37. Food Photography
    38. Forex Trading
    39. Freelancing
    40. Frugal Living
    41. Gadgets
    42. Gardening
    43. Geography
    44. Graphic Design
    45. Hacking
    46. Health and Fitness
    47. Hiking
    48. Home Decor
    49. Home Improvements
    50. Home Organization
    51. Homeschooling
    52. Interior Design
    53. Investing

    1. Language Lessons
    2. Life Hacks
    3. Lifestyle
    4. Living Abroad
    5. Makeup
    6. Massage Therapy
    7. Meditation
    8. Mental Health
    9. Minimalism
    10. Mountaineering
    11. Music
    12. Natural Medicine
    13. Parenting
    14. PC Games & Consoles
    15. Personal Development
    16. Personal Finance
    17. Pets
    18. Photography
    19. Poker
    20. Politics
    21. Pregnancy
    22. Productivity
    23. Real Estate
    24. Relationship Advice
    25. Religion
    26. Restaurant Reviews
    27. Robotics
    28. Running and Marathons
    29. RVing
    30. Science
    31. Self-improvement
    32. SEO
    33. Sewing and Knitting
    34. Shopify
    35. Side Hustles
    36. Skincare
    37. Small Business
    38. Smartphones
    39. Social Media Marketing
    40. Software Development
    41. Sports
    42. Street Food
    43. Survivalism
    44. Technology News
    45. Travel
    46. TV Shows
    47. Videography
    48. Website Design
    49. Woodwork
    50. WordPress
    51. Work At Home
    52. Writing
    53. Yoga

     

    Once you found a niche, you can use the Keyword Niche Finder tool from WordStream to find unique, potentially undiscovered long-tail keywords in your niche.

    You get 10 free searches up-front, and one free search per day going forward.

    When I typed “blogging” the tool return the following long tail variations to consider.

    how to find a blogging niche

    With some keyword research, you should be able to quickly uncover many more popular and high demand blog topics to write about in your niche.

     

    Additional Resources to Help You Get Started

     

    Conclusion

    Finding a profitable blog niche involves a balancing act between these three factors:

    • Passion
    • Demand
    • Profitability

    Without passion, it’d be easier to quit writing when no one is reading your blog.

    Even if you are passionate about it, you’ll struggle to get traffic if no one is searching for your topics.

    Finally, to find out if the niche is profitable, you need to make sure there are existing blogs which are already making money in that niche.

    There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. You just have to create a better blog or approach that niche in a way that no one has taken before.

    Now it’s your turn.

    Have you started your own blog yet? If you have, I love to hear in the comments why and how did you select your blog niche.

     

     

     

    8

    11 Reasons Why Your Blog Isn’t Making Money (and What to Do About It)

    Is your blog isn’t making money (or enough money)?Is your blog isn't making money? If you feel stuck and frustrated with your blog isn’t making money, this post is for you. #makemoneyblogging #failedblogs #howtomakemoneyblogging

    Let’s get real – trying to make money from blogging is hard.

    In fact, it’s so hard, a very high percentage of bloggers failed to generate any meaningful income from their blog in their first year – and then they quit.

    I started blogging since 2006 and have had my fair share of failed blogs.

    Over the years, I’ve learned a few things from these unsuccessful blogs and noticed they all shared a few things in common.

    If you feel stuck and frustrated with your blog isn’t making money, this post is for you.

    You may be committing one or more of the mistakes discussed below which are stifling your growth and preventing your blog from reaching its true income potential.

    I’ll discuss some of these mistakes and the reasons behind them along with suggestions on how to fix them so that you can start making some money from your blog!

    Let’s get started!

     

    #1. Not Getting Enough Traffic

    During the first few months of your blogging journey, you would probably get very few visits to your blog.

    Most bloggers only notice some traffic from Google 6 months (or longer) after starting their blog.

    Thinking this would be the case forever, they might only publish new posts once in a blue moon due to the lack of motivation or even quit blogging altogether.

    Quitting too early is one of the biggest reasons why bloggers fail to make money from their blogs.

    The good news?

    Getting little to no traffic is quite common for most new blogs and it’s not bad luck nor it is a reason to quit.

    Growing a blog takes time. It’s during this time that you have to persevere, blog more consistently, even when hardly anyone is reading.

    One of the best examples of not giving up is the story of Moz co-founder Rand Fishkin’s wife Geraldine and her travel blog, Everywhereist.com

    For 2 years, her blog never broke 100 visits per day. Today, she gets over 100,000 visitors each month.

    failed blog not making money

    Image credit

    But what if after all these years, you’re still struggling to get visitors?

    Then there may be something else you are doing wrong.

    Geraldine’s blog is just one of many examples and you certainly do not have to wait 2 years to start getting good traffic and making money from your blog.

    How to Fix low traffic problem

    The biggest motivation killer for new bloggers is working on something that gives no reward for their effort.

    But there’s a difference between hard work that won’t get you anywhere and hard work that contributes toward increasing your traffic and income.

    For example, just dedicating your time to writing blog posts and ignoring the promotion part is one of the biggest mistakes you could make as a blogger.

    In fact, you should spend 80% to 90% of your time on promotion and only 10%-20% on content creation.

    Check out the following blog posts to help you with this.

    You can expect to get little traffic and make nothing at least during the first six months. But don’t just take everything lying down. Fight for it!

    If you could implement the tips and strategies outlined in the posts above, you could very well accelerate your growth faster.

     

    #2. You are in the wrong niche

    Are you trying to make money by blogging about blogging?

    If you are new to blogging, I’d suggest changing your niche or at least don’t make the blogging topic as your main topic.

    Don’t get me wrong. While you can make money by blogging about blogging, this niche is full of highly experienced bloggers and Internet marketer.

    If you find a great blogging product to review, chances are, thousands of other bloggers may have written a similar article about it.

    To be successful, you’ll need to be very good or be different to stand out from the crowd.

    Besides, the blogging topic is far from being the most popular niches out there. Coupled with the tough competition, it’s a hard niche to make money from.

    There are tons of other more popular niches with a much larger audience and lower competition. You’d be able to stand out easier in these niches and attract traffic faster.

    Related: How to Find Profitable Blog Niches That Are Insanely Popular

    Niching down will help you to stand out more too.

    For example, if you want to write about health and fitness, you need to narrow down your focus to target one specific sub-topic. You can focus on weight loss/dieting, healthy living, muscle buildings/workout and so on.

    Personally, I’ve made more money from other niches than from my blogging blog.

    It doesn’t mean that it will stay that way forever though. It’s just a bit harder to make money by blogging about blogging.

    If you just write about general blogging topics, you’ll need tons of traffic to make decent income from ads alone (I put ads on Sabahan.com because I love to experiment ;)).

    The best way to make money from the blogging niche is to sell your own products or services. Package your knowledge into info products, coaching packages or online courses.

    Then you can start your own affiliate program and recruit other bloggers to promote your products and services.

     

    #3. Not doing keyword research

    If you want to make money from your blog, you need to write about topics that people are already searching for.

    People go online either to learn something, be entertained or find a solution to a problem.

    If you can write quality and highly relevant content that serve these needs then you just improved your chance of making good money from your blog.

    You can achieve this by doing keyword research.

    Keyword research involves finding a series of popular words and phrases that people are searching for based on your topic. Then you make an attempt to rank for them.

    Without conducting any keyword research, you risk writing about topics that may be interesting to you but have little to zero interest to your target audience.

    When conducting your keyword research, the ideal keywords should satisfy the  following criteria:

    1. Good search volume – target popular keywords that get lots of traffic
    2. Low competition – improve your chance of appearing on the first page of Google result
    3. Have commercial intent – how profitable is this keyword?

    The following are several tools to help you with your keyword research.

    Ubersuggest

    Ubersuggest is a keyword research tool by Neil Patel. It’s free to use without the need for a registration.

    To use it just enter your keyword in the search box and it’ll show you whether the keyword satisfies the criteria above.

    For example when I entered “make money blogging”, I can see its search volume, keyword difficulty and commercial intent.

    keyword research make money blogging

    A few things to note from the keyword overview above:

    1. Search volume – at 18,100, this keyword has a pretty good monthly search volume.
    2. SEO difficulty – this is the keyword difficulty rating. Although it says 31 Medium, this is not a good keyword to target for a new blog. Checking out the pages that rank on the first page for this keyword should give you a clue whether you have a chance of ranking.If most of them are authoritative sites and have been around for a while, then target a different keyword because you won’t be able to compete with them. To see these sites, scroll down to the SERP Analysis section:
      top 10 serp result competition
    3. Cost Per Click (CPC) – this is the highest price an advertiser would pay to rank for this keyword in Google Ads. The higher the CPC, the better the commercial intent would be.

    Trying to find good keywords can take you all day and there’s no guarantee you’ll find good ones unless you know what you are doing.

    This next tool will solve this problem.

    KeySearch.co

    What if you could ‘spy’ any blogs in your niche and find the exact keywords they are ranking for?

    With KeySearch, you can!

    You can sort of reverse-engineer any blogs and discover new keywords that you may be able to rank yourself.

    To find the organic keywords a site are ranked for, I use KeySearch Organic Keywords feature.

    Just to give you an example, I entered Raelyntan.com and found all the keywords her blog are ranked for on Google.

    I can also access other ‘behind the scene’ information such as the keywords:

    • Positions
    • Monthly search volume
    • Estimated traffic that goes to the site
    • Exact URLs that rank for those keywords.

    find organic keywords a website ranked for

     

    If Sabahan.com has the same domain authority level as Raelyntan.com, I could easily target similar keywords and could probably rank in the top 10 for those keywords too.

    As you can see, this can be a very powerful and quick way to find good keywords to target.

    KeySearch is one of the cheapest professional keyword research tools out there. It’s the tool I’m using for my own keyword research.

    It costs $17/month, but you can use the following coupon code to get  20% off so you’ll only pay $13.60 monthly until you cancel or upgrade your plan.

    KSDISC

    If you are serious about using SEO to drive organic traffic to your blog and don’t want to spend $99 per month, then KeySearch is the best keyword research tool for you.

    Learn more about KeySearch here.

     

    #4. Not learning Search Engine Optimization SEO

    It’s one thing to do keyword research, it’s quite another to optimize your blog posts using those keywords so that you rank on Google’s first page results.

    You can only rank properly by knowing how to implement good search engine optimization (SEO) tactics.

    Don’t worry though, this is not as complicated as it sounds.

    To get started, check out the following articles:

     

    #5. Not creating the right types of blog post

    When it comes to making money from your blog, there are certain types of posts that could potentially make you more money.

    You need to create posts that answer questions or offer solutions to problems your readers may have.

    For example, you can write about any of the following topics and weave affiliate products/services within the post.

    • Best shampoo for dandruff
    • Best paintball gun under 200
    • How to start a blog that will make money in six months
    • Samsung galaxy s9 vs huawei p20
    • The best blusher for oily skin
    • You get the idea…

    The best types of posts to monetize with affiliate links are:

    • Tutorial or How-to posts
    • Comparison posts
    • Product reviews
    • Storytelling/personal experience that solves a problem
    • Tools/resources pages
    • Income reports

    You can learn more about these post types here.

     

    #6. Promoting the wrong affiliate programs

    Just because you write about a topic and place an affiliate link doesn’t mean people will click and buy from you.

    If the content is not related to what your readers are looking for, nobody will buy or sign up for the offer.

    For example, placing banner ads about diapers and baby products on a page about blogging won’t get you many if any sales.

    Other than that you may need to promote:

    • More digital products/ecourses due to the higher commissions
    • Products/services that offer recurring commissions
    • Affiliate programs with higher EPC value

    To learn more, check out my other post where I share tips on selecting the best affiliate programs for bloggers.

     

    #7. Not promoting any product or service hard enough

    Truth be told, I dislike reading an income report only to discover it’s no more than a thinly veiled hosting/affiliate sales pitch.

    At other occasions, some posts claim to reveal the secrets to gaining a gargantuan number of visitors to your blog.  Yet there’s actually very little insight to gain from them – unless you buy the recommended course(s).

    But do you know why you see these types of posts all over Pinterest?

    Because they convert and people, especially newbies, are actually reading and believe in them.

    You see, these posts focus on a pain point the reader may have.

    A pain point is a problem, real or perceived. In this case, how people struggle to increase blog traffic and make money from blogging.

    The opportunities come when you provide solutions to those pain points.

    Instead of sharing the values in the blog post for everyone to see, you offer solutions in the form of courses, products or services.

    Like it or not, this is part of marketing/trying to make money from a blog.

    If you push too hard, you’ll end up alienating your regular readers (but newer blogs don’t have to worry too much about this because there’s likely very few regular readers).

    If you don’t promote any products or refuse to address the readers pain point for fear of sounding too salesy, insincere or manipulative, you will make less money.

    The trick is to find a balance between providing actual value in your post and trying to sell something when the actual value is elsewhere. You can do both!

    If you decide to create an income report for instance, just be honest with your numbers. Don’t show fake figures just to get people’s attention.

     

    #8. Not adapting to SEO/Social Media algorithm changes

    It used to be quite easy to get rank on Google.

    But as time goes by, Google continues to update their algorithm making it harder and harder to rank. Sites that failed to adapt fell in rankings and lose their traffic.

    Just by being aware of what the general trend brought by each update allows you to produce content that satisfies Google requirements.

    Below are some of the notable SEO algorithm updates over the years:

    Florida Update (November 2003)

    Google penalized spammy tactics include keyword stuffing, invisible text, using multiple sites under the same brands.

    Panda Update (February 2011)

    Reduced rankings for low-quality sites and those with copy content from other websites. At the same time, it improved rankings for high-quality sites with original content, in-depth reports and thoughtful analysis etc.

    Penguin Update (April 2012)

    This is the webspam algorithm update which specifically targeted link spam and manipulative link building practices.

    Hummingbird Update (September 2013)

    Hummingbird is one of Google’s major updates. Its goal is to increase understanding of the true intent behind user’ searches. If your content answers the user’s question, you will likely rank for several keywords instead of just string of keywords the user searched for.

    RankBrain Update (October 2015)

    This update introduces machine learning to Google algorithm. It monitors user behaviour and responses to queries to learn more about the user’s intent and the value of certain pages. It’s now Google’s 3rd most important ranking signal.

    Should you write for the search engines more?

    While all the updates may seem technical, at the end of the day they are geared towards improving the user experience and helping users find answers to their queries.

    Your job as a blogger is to create high-quality content that will answer these queries and engage them at every stage of their buyer’s journey.

    Related: 21 Terrific Blogging Tips and Tricks That Will Make Your Blog Successful

    Facebook Algorithm Updates

    If you are using Facebook as part of your social media marketing strategy, you’ll need to pay attention to their updates in order to boost your organic reach.

    In 2018, Facebook algorithm places more priority on content around individual’s friends and family members rather than posts from businesses with. The goal is to drive more authentic interactions.

    As a blogger, you can start creating quality content that drives real interactions and shares.

    Here’s how:

    • Create more video – especially live video
    • Start discussions to drive interaction
    • Encourage your team, friends and family to share your Facebook content
    • Add fewer links, more photos and tags. Facebook prefers it if your content keeps users on their platform.
    • Focus on Facebook groups more than pages.

    To learn more, click here.

     

    #9. Not treating your blog like a business

    Let’s say you want to start a coffee shop. What would you do in order to make it grow and generate an income? Can you..

    • Just turn up for work when you feel like it?
    • Focus on other things while running that business?
    • Can your business grow if you avoid investing money in it?
    • Would it be acceptable to ignore your customers?

    The answer to each question is, of course, a resounding no.

    You would go through all the blood, sweat and tears trying to ensure your business venture is successful, right? Your whole life would revolve around your coffee shop.

    Blogging is the same in that you have to run it like you would a business.

    But that could be hard simply because it’s online and all you do is sit in front of the computer screen.

    How can you know what to do and how to do it? How can you measure your results?

    Here are a few ideas…

    Invest in your blog

    You need to spend money to make money.

    You need to get your own domain name and a self-hosted blog (avoid the free blogging platforms).

    Get a good theme to make your blog looks professional and improve your branding.

    You’ll also require other expenses as part of your marketing budget.

    You may need to spend money on social media automation tools, purchasing Facebook ads, email marketing software, hire a virtual assistant and so on.

    Fortunately, these things won’t have to cost an arm and a leg.

    For ideas on tools and resources to help you build and run a successful blog, check out my Blogging Toolbox.

    Invest in your blogging education

    If you are new to blogging, you may want to invest in a blogging course.

    Wait, actually that’s not even necessary because you can learn almost anything for free online.

    The problem with trying to scour the Internet and figure out everything by yourself is that you will get overwhelmed fast.

    • Where can you find reliable information?
    • Do you know what you need to learn at different stages of your blogging journey?
    • How about all the distractions and misinformation you’ll come across along the way?
    • Isn’t it nice if you have an easy to follow, well-organized information at your fingertips?

    If you have the time and are willing to experiment by trial and error, by all means, do it. But sometimes the mistakes can hinder your progress and may prove costly.

    Personally for me, I’m a self-taught guy. I’ve never taken any blogging courses or purchased blogging ebook in my 12 years of blogging. (I’ve bought many other ebooks/guides besides learning how to blog though).

    That said, recently I decided to purchase Elna Cain’s Ready Set Blog for Traffic because I wanted to learn about Pinterest quick.

    It did help me increase my Pinterest monthly viewers to over 60,000 in just over a month.

    Monthly pinterest viewers growth

    Ready Set Blog Traffic is more than just a Pinterest guide though. In fact, the Pinterest guide is just one of the 5 modules available in the course.

    Other modules teach you how to build a solid foundation for your blog, learn some SEO strategies and learn how to create income-generating content.

    If you want a good introduction to blogging, how to get traffic and make money, this course is probably for you.

    Click here to learn more about Ready Set Blog Traffic.

    I am always open to learning new things faster and may purchase more courses in the future.

    Dedicate time to run your blogging business

    You have to make time for your blogging business.

    Don’t have time?

    Start waking up early at 4 or 5 am and find that time. Work on your blog on lunch breaks, evenings or weekends.

    Now I don’t want to tell you what you should or shouldn’t do when it comes to managing your own time. You probably have a full-time job and have other time-consuming commitments.

    My only question is, how bad do you want to make money and be successful? Only you can answer that question!

     

    #10. Not starting your own email list

    They said the money is in the list.

    That’s true but you don’t actually need an email list in order to make money from your blog.

    If you get highly targeted traffic from Google, you WILL make money right away with less effort.

    But there’s only one problem with this approach.

    What will happen if Google or the social media decided not to send you any more traffic? Your blog will stop generating income overnight.

    Having an email list makes you less dependent on traffic coming from Google and the social media platforms. It is probably the most important asset you’ll ever have as a blogger.

    Your email list is yours to keep. You can bring your audience anywhere with you no matter what happens to your blog traffic or social media accounts.

    You can continue to nurture the relationship and continue to market relevant offers over and over again.

    Compare that to traffic you get from Google, unless the visitor becomes a regular reader, you only have one chance to market your offer.

    Related: Learn how to start your email list for free.

    If you’ve just started your blog, I would recommend focusing on content creation first. Remember, your readers will only sign up if they see you have something valuable to offer.

    Once you have enough good content then you can start adding the email opt-in forms into your blog and start collecting visitors’ email.

    The reason why I recommend you to do this later (one or two months after starting) is that you will spread yourself too thin trying to do everything at once.

    But you MUST start your email list even when you don’t know what you want to talk about in the email.

    You don’t have to send out regular newsletters right away. Just start collecting email addresses.

     

    #11. Not putting the work in

    You can’t expect a full-time income by putting a part-time effort.

    Be prepared with the amount of time and effort you’ll have to put in to make this blogging thing work.

    If you want this bad enough and put in the work, you will make money from your blog.

     

    Conclusion

    If you blog isn’t making money, I hope you find some tips and tricks from this post that you can implement to improve your odds.

    Making money from a blog won’t happen overnight. At times, the going will get tough, and only the tough will get going.

    By following the right techniques and implementing the right tactics, plus lots of perseverance and dedication, I believe anyone could start making money 6 to 12 months after starting a blog.

    Now it’s your turn.

    Are you already making money from your blog?

    If you are, how long did it take you to make your first income? If not, why?

    Please share your story in the comments!

    3

    Discover 7 Blog Post Types to Monetize Using Affiliate Links

    The best post types to monetize your blog with affiliate links. #monetizeablog #makemoneytips #affiliatelinks #affiliatemarketingBlogging by itself won’t make you money.

    In order to make money blogging, you need to know how to monetize your blog properly.

    There are several ways to monetize a blog.

    You can display banner ads, write sponsor posts, sell your own products or services, even sell other people’s products or services.

    In today’s post, I want to focus on blog monetization through affiliate links a.k.a affiliate marketing.

    Affiliate marketing involves selling other people’s or company’s products in exchange for a commission.

    Unfortunately, most bloggers make little to no money with affiliate marketing because they fail to understand that simply dropping some random affiliate links on a blog won’t work well.

    The devil is in the details of how exactly you promote your affiliate offers.

    My goal in this post is to show you the exact ways to make money from a blog through affiliate links that gets results.

    Sounds good? Let’s dive right in!

    Related: Learn How to Make Money Blogging (Detailed Guide For Beginners)

     

    Affiliate Marketing for Bloggers

    To participate in affiliate marketing, you can sign up to a company’s affiliate program, get a special tracking link that you can place on your blog to promote their products.

    When a visitor purchases the product after clicking your affiliate link, you will earn a referral commission for the sale.

    Aside from the lucrative income potential, affiliate marketing is a good monetization option if you don’t want to create your own product, deal with customer service or manage your own inventory.

    The best part is you only need to put in some work upfront (plus some occasional updates), and it will continue to generate passive income as you continue to get visitors.

    As a blogger, your goal is to provide value for your audience, then you can make money along the way via affiliate marketing.

     

    How to Monetize a Blog Using Affiliate Links

    Choose a Profitable Topic

    I assume that you’ve decided your niche when you started your blog. A blog niche is a small topic area that you want your blog to focus on.

    This could be personal finance, health & fitness, blogging, and so on.

    Keep in mind that some niches are easier to monetize while others may expose you with too many competition.

    But don’t let competition deters you as it could mean more opportunity if you can offer something unique.

    Niching down will help you to stand out more.

    For example, if you want to write about health and fitness, you need to narrow down your focus to target one specific sub-topic such as weight loss/dieting, healthy living, muscle buildings/workout and so on.

    In any case, you’ll need to think about what problem your readers have and the solution you can provide by recommending certain products.

    Related: How to Find Profitable Blog Niches That Are Insanely Popular

    Select the Right Affiliate Programs

    Some merchants run their affiliate programs in-house or through several affiliate networks.

    Sometimes the commission rates can vary from one network to another. So shop around and promote those which offer higher commission rates to increase your profits.

    how to join affiliate programs

    You don’t want to promote just any affiliate programs. Try selecting those that are highly relevant to your content.

    For example, if you blog about cats, you might want to promote offers that sell branded cat food at a discount or those that offer free cat food samples.

    That being said, don’t limit yourself to promoting offers which belong only in your niche.

    If you are a mom blogger for example, there’s no rule preventing you from creating a how to start a blog post where you can promote a web hosting affiliate link.

    Ideally, you would want to start by promoting only products or services that you’ve used personally.

    In all likelihood, Amazon Associates comes to mind since you can promote anything under the sun.

    While it’s a good way to start with affiliate marketing, unless you are Darren Rowse of the fame Digital Photography School, don’t expect to be rich promoting low-priced products with low commission rates from Amazon.

    I recommend trying Amazon Associates nonetheless because it would be a great learning experience. Who knows you could be the next Darren Rowse!

    It can be a pretty exciting experience to get your first sales.

    How to join affiliate programs?

    Check out my other post for more tips on how to select the right affiliate programs and discover the best affiliate programs for bloggers:

    >> 29 Best Affiliate Programs for Bloggers (That Will Make You Money)

    Understand the User’s Search Intent

    Before you sit down and write a post to promote affiliate offers, think about the reason why people conduct a specific search.

    Are they looking for specific information to help them with something? Are they in a buying frame of mind?

    Here are three types of search intent examples:

    1. Informational – searches performed to learn something or answer a question. Eg: “what is a convection microwave oven used for?”
    2. Navigational – searches to locate specific website. Eg:  “Samsung USA”
    3. Transactional – searches performed possibly to buy something. Eg “best convection microwave oven samsung”.

    Understanding search intent

    By understanding the search intent, you can optimize your content for keywords that target visitors in any phase of the customer lifecycle.

    Some of your posts may not even contain any affiliate links because they are meant to educate and build trust. These posts are for visitors in the learning phase.

    While other posts are created specifically for promoting affiliate offers (but it should be done in such a way that they actually bring value to the readers).

    You can include the following high commercial intent keywords to target transactional searchers:

    • Best
    • Buy
    • Discount(s)
    • Low priced
    • Free shipping
    • Coupon(s)
    • Review
    • Branded searches/product names

    Understanding search intent will help you convert more visitors into buyers.

    One of the best examples of a website that make full use of commercial intent keywords is the Wirecutter.

    Nearly all of their articles talk about the best of [some product, brand, gear].

    Because they are targeting long tail keywords (those with three or four keyword phrases which are very specific),  almost all of their articles appear on the first page of Google search result for their chosen keywords!

     

    Uncover the Best Keywords With Keyword Research

    No matter what type of post you create, you need to perform some SEO (search engine optimization) to ensure it will rank well on Google.

    Organic traffic is the best source of traffic bar none as it converts well when your content satisfies the user’s search intent.

    A good starting off point to finding great keywords is to look for these three main ingredients:

    1. Good search volume – potentially more traffic for you
    2. Low competition – so that you have a good chance for ranking
    3. Have commercial intent – is the keyword profitable?

    To learn more about keyword research and tools to help you uncover good keywords check out this keyword research section.

    To learn how to optimize your blog for the search engines check

    9 Quick SEO Tips and Tricks For Blogs

     

    Your Blog Content Matter

    People said content is king.

    That makes sense because it’s easier to attract blog readers with quality content. Over time, the readers will turn to avid followers as they grow to trust the blogger more.

    Consequently, it would become easier for the blogger to monetize the content by promoting relevant products and services to an engaged audience.

    But I feel nurturing your audience usually take place when they are already in an email list. As long as they stay in your list, you can continue to cultivate the relationship.

    This is ultimately more powerful because an engaged and trusting email list could do wonders for your sales conversion rates. It’s also easier to sell high ticket items which could lead to more income.

    Related: How to Start an Email List for Free Right Now

    Unless you have thousands of captive audience and has been blogging for some time, most of your visitors are likely to be new and probably had never heard about you before.

    Monetize the new visitors

    All you have is one blog post to engage them. So what should you do to monetize these new visitors effectively?

    For a start, you can create content that solves a particular problem. Cut to the chase, give them exactly what they are looking for.

    But how you ask?

    You can start creating certain types of posts to promote affiliate offers without being salesy.

     

    Best Blog Posts for Affiliate Links Promotion

    From my experience, it’s not always necessary to create ultra-detailed blog posts to convert your visitors.

    If you can answer the visitor’s problem and give them what they want in a few paragraphs, why make it more complicated than it needs to be?

    The beauty of affiliate marketing is that you don’t always have to sell something in order to make money.

    For example, you can promote CPA (cost per action) offers and get paid when a visitor takes a specific action such as signing up for a free trial, taking a survey, getting a quote, all without having to make any purchase.

    If they want free makeup, there’s an affiliate program where you can give away free makeup samples!

    In reality though, you do have to write substantial, useful and relevant content.

    Not because you want to nurture your new visitors (it’s a start), but because long-form content (over 1800 words or longer) usually rank better in Google especially for competitive keywords.

    We are creating a blog after all, not an affiliate website which gets its traffic from paid advertising.

    Long-form content also tends to offer more value, help establish authority and increase the time spent on a blog while reducing the bounce rates.

    These are signals used by Google to rank your content in the search results. If you want organic traffic, you do have to write longer posts.

    When it comes to making money from a blog using affiliate links, some post types do better than others.

    The following are a few post types that you can create to promote affiliate links.

    #1. Write a Tutorial or How-To Post

    For these types of posts, you dedicate an entire post to talk about a specific product or service.

    You break down a product, show how to use the features and how it could benefit the readers.

    The title may contain “how to” or “how do I’ or ‘tutorial”. These types of posts often do well on Pinterest too because they are actionable.

    The beauty of these posts is that you can target popular keywords without actually mentioning the exact product name you are promoting in the title.

    That way you can attract a larger pool of audience who may be looking for a solution to a particular issue but have no idea what product they should use.

    For example, for my post How to Start an Email List, I recommend MailerLite as the go-to solution for anyone looking to start their own email list. It helps that I also love MailerLite!

    Since there are more people searching for “how to start an email list” than “how to use mailerlite”, it makes sense to target the more common keyword phrase.

    Pat Flynn of SmartPassiveIncome.com is also using this tactic to promote ConvertKit but using YouTube video tutorial.

    write a tutorial or how to post

    #2. Create a Comparison Post

    A comparison post is where you compare two or more products and favour one product over the other.

    It’s also a way to give your readers more choice if the offer you recommend doesn’t appeal to them.

    People reading a comparison post often already narrow down their choices or are looking for a second opinion, an assurance that they are making the right decision.

    These posts can convert pretty well because the intent to purchase is already there.

    You can even go one step further by comparing several different products but that can get complicated.

    To see some examples of product comparison posts, just google “[product name 1] vs” and see the autocomplete for some ideas.

    Product comparison post examples

    #3. Write a Product Review

    Writing product reviews can be an effective way to promote products with affiliate marketing.

    Review posts provide value by helping people make an informed decision about the product before they make a purchase.

    It’s even better if you can write from your own personal experience and make recommendations by adding affiliate links to those recommendations.

    How to write a product review that converts?

    Check out the following video from Affiliate Marketing Ninja for some review template you can implement.

    You don’t always have to write positive reviews though. An honest review which includes your likes and dislikes can sometimes be more effective.

    Also, you can write reviews of several products and end the post with an explanation of why one product is the best option out of the bunch.

    #4. Storytelling/Personal Experience Posts

    If you know something that may benefit others, try finding relevant affiliate offers that fit your story and then share your experience in a post.

    For example, if you use a certain product to help you lose weight, you can write about it and recommend that product.

    Instead of just dropping links to products and hope people buy, offer those affiliate links as additional resources that complement your content.

    Try to include prominent call-to-action. You can ask the reader to click the link or learn more about the benefits they will gain from the recommendation.

    Don’t just paste a banner ad out of nowhere because you think people will click and buy from it. They won’t.

    #5. Publish a Compilation/Roundup Post

    You can create a post listing a number of products or services that help you solve a particular problem or achieve a certain goal.

    This can be an easy way to include affiliate links in a blog post because you may not have to include a lot of content. Just a paragraph or two is enough.

    You can talk about

    • The best…
    • Top things…
    • Must-have…

    #6. Create a Tools/Resources page

    Having a page that lists the tools you use is a great way to provide more value to your visitors.

    For example, as a blogger, you can list your web hosting provider, WordPress theme that you use, email marketing software, favourites WordPress plugins and so on.

    Your resource page can contain free and paid tools which may include your affiliate links.

    Usually, these are tools that you use yourself and can vouch for their quality. However, don’t just drop a description without explaining why you recommend it and how it had helped you.

    That said, chances are, people who visit your resource page may have not reached your level of expertise yet, so the tools that they need may be different.

    Here’s a comment I got for one of my posts which show why you should offer more options.

    Create a resource page to promote affiliate links

    While I did recommend a mix of free and paid tools in that article, he was probably looking for more free options which are as good as the paid ones.

    So think about how you can offer alternative products/services which may suit people at any level.

    For an example of a Tools/Resources page, check out my Toolbox page.

    #7. Write an Income Report

    You see this type of posts everywhere on Pinterest.

    Income reports are great because they provide insights into how much other bloggers are making and how they are doing it. This makes income reports very popular.

    They can motivate and inspire people to work harder. As people will be comparing your result with that of their own, you’re going to hit their pain point if they’re still struggling.

    Your affiliate links within the post serve as solutions to their problem. The more income you can show, the more persuasive your content can be.

    Sadly, because of that, income reports can turn spammy rather quickly.

    For some, they are no more than a thinly veiled hosting/course sales pitch that has become commonplace.

    Some bloggers go as far as creating fake income reports for traffic and to generate clicks to their affiliate links.

    Whether you want to publish your income report or not, ask yourself if it aligns with your own blogging goal and values.

    If you choose to publish one, also be ready to get some negative feedback too as some people would doubt you (especially if you don’t show enough proof) or might feel jealous of your achievement.

     

    Link to Your Money Making Posts for Extra Visibility

    Find several of your money making posts and link them from several places to drive more traffic.

    You can link to them from your:

    • Homepage
    • About page
    • Main menu
    • Sidebar
    • Posts/pages that get lots of traffic

    If you’ve Google Analytics installed, you can find popular pages by going to BEHAVIOUR > Site Content > All Pages

    Find popular posts via Google Analytics

     

    Make Sure Your Blog is Ready for Affiliate Marketing

    There are a few things you need to implement in your blog to comply with any affiliate promotion.

    Depending on the affiliate programs, some companies might require you to add a paragraph on each page which includes one of their links.

    In other cases, disclosing this in your Terms of Service or Disclaimer page should be enough.

    You need to create:

    • A privacy policy page
    • A disclosure or disclaimer page
    • If you promote Amazon Associates, you need to place Amazon marketing policy on your sidebar or footer for each blog post that has Amazon affiliate links.

    Here’s how my disclaimer statement looks like on my Start a Blog post.

    Disclaimer example

    Click here to learn more how to create these important pages.

     

    Conclusion

    And that’s how to monetize a blog through affiliate links folks!

    One thing to keep in mind is that making money from affiliate programs won’t happen overnight.

    It takes time and requires consistent effort to make any meaningful income from it.

    As your traffic grows, you’ll soon find that any affiliate links you promote will result in a conversion if you follow the strategies outlined above.

    Once you start making sales, you can always tweak your posts to improve the results.

    Now it’s your turn.

    Do you promote any affiliate offers in your blog? Which promotion methods that are working for you?

    Let me know by leaving a comment below right now.

     

    6

    29 Best Affiliate Programs for Bloggers (That Will Make You Money)

    When it comes to finding the best affiliate prDiscover the best affiliate programs for bloggers that will make you money. #affiliateprograms #passiveincome #bestaffiliateprogams #makemoneyograms for bloggers, identifying programs that are reliable and pay well can be a real challenge.

    Which one should you join when you don’t know what to look for?

    That’s an important question to answer because most affiliate programs will make you very little money or nothing at all.

    Then there are a few that would probably make up the bulk of your affiliate commissions.

    So in today’s post, I’ll help you find the best affiliate programs that will make you money no matter what niche or topics you write about.

    To make money from affiliate programs, having a website or a blog is very much a necessity (in most cases anyway).

    If you haven’t started your own blog, check out my guide here: How to Start Your Own Blog ( Beginners Guide)

    Also, you can learn how to make money blogging and affiliate marketing here: Learn How to Make Money Blogging (Detailed Guide For Beginners).

     

    How to Make Money From Affiliate Programs

    Do you just write some content and then sprinkle a few affiliate links, and sit back and wait for the big money to roll in?

    Well, not really.

    To generate any meaningful income from affiliate programs, you’ll need traffic and tons of it.

    For a start, you’ll need hundreds of visitors or more per day, the more the better of course.

    But that’s only part of the equation. What you really need is targeted traffic.

    I’ve made tens of thousands of dollars from CJ.com alone because I received highly targeted search engine traffic to my affiliate websites.

    affiliate programs commission

    Related: 7 Proven Strategies to Increase Blog Traffic for Free

    Best of all, once the ball starts rolling, everything will run on autopilot.

    You will continue to generate passive income day in, day-out without doing much work as long as you get targeted traffic and your content stay relevant.

    I’ll write more about making money from affiliate programs in my future posts, so stay tuned!

    Related: How to Monetize a Blog Using Affiliate Links

     

    What to Look For When Applying For Affiliate Programs

    When applying for affiliate programs, here are a few things you need to consider:

    The type of products/services on offer

    Only join and promote affiliate programs that fit with your niche.

    For example, trying to sell a forex trading software to people interested in gardening will result in little to no conversion.

    The kind of traffic coming to your website will also determine the type of products/services you can promote.

    The cookies duration

    In affiliate marketing, a cookie is a small file placed in web browsers to track sales or referrals.

    Some cookies last for 24 hours while others could last 30 days or longer. If a user clicks your affiliate link any time within the cookie duration and makes a purchase, you will get a credit.

    The longer the cookie duration, the better because you will still get paid even if the user takes longer than normal before making a purchase.

    The company’s reputation and support

    If you’re joining an affiliate program that’s managed in-house by the merchant themselves, perform some research to make sure that the company is reputable and is actually paying their affiliates.

    If in doubt, it’s better to join larger affiliate networks because all the trackings and payments are done by the network.

    Often, the network will still pay you even if the network itself is not paid by the merchant.

    Promotional assets, banners, email swipe copies and links

    Do the merchants offer creatives to help you promote their offers? This will make it easier for affiliates to market more successfully.

    Personally, I prefer using just links and writing my own copy because they convert much better than banner ads.

    Linking directly to products via deep linking

    Having the option to link directly to specific products will make your affiliate marketing effort more effective.

    This is especially important if the merchant offers lots of products to promote.

    Pay attention to the TOS (terms of service)

    Each affiliate program has specific requirements on how you should promote their products/services.

    For example, some don’t allow you to use Google Ads to promote their products or offer rebates or promised kickbacks from your affiliate commission as an incentive.

    Understand the do’s and don’ts when applying for an affiliate program or risk having your account suspended.

    Pay attention to the affiliate program’s EPC

    EPC stands for earnings per hundreds clicks.

    This metric is used by many affiliate networks such as CJ.com and ShareASale as a way to gauge how well a merchant’s affiliate program is converting for their affiliates.

    epc affiliate program

    For example, suppose you are getting 200 visitors per day to a page in your blog. If only half of the visitors end up clicking your affiliate link, that’s still 100 clicks per day.

    If you send those 100 clicks to an offer which has a $20 EPC, you could potentially earn $20 per day.

    In a month, that’s $600 just by promoting one offer.

    That said, the EPC number is just an average, you could earn more or less. In general, you would want to promote programs with a high EPC.

    Promote digital goods more

    While it’s totally fine to promote physical products, if you have an option to promote digital products more, do it.

    Why?

    Because digital products usually have much higher commision rates than the physical ones.

    Promote products with recurring commissions

    Try to find affiliate programs which offer recurring commissions. This means you will continue to get paid as long as a referral remains a customer.

    WordPress themes like ThriveTheme and landing page creator like ClickFunnels are some of the high-paying affiliate programs you can consider.

    For instance, ClickFunnels offer 40% recurring commission, plus 5% second-tier commission from each sale that your referred affiliates make.

     

    Best Affiliate Programs for Bloggers

    The followings are some of the best affiliate programs for bloggers in various niches that you can join right now.

    How many programs should you join?

    If you are just learning about affiliate marketing, I’d recommend picking two or three to test the waters.

    As you gain more experience or looking for more specific products to promote, you can apply for more programs.

    I’ll try to summarize what each affiliate program is about, the benefits for joining, along with the commission rates and other details that you may need be aware of.

    If you are new to affiliate marketing, you may have come across terms like pay-per-sale, pay-per-lead and pay-per-click.

    Pay-per-lead means you get paid when someone gave their email or other contact info to the merchant.

    Pay-per-sale means you get paid when someone actually purchase something via your links.

    Affiliate Networks for Bloggers

    An affiliate network is like a marketplace where you can find merchants in various categories and participate in their affiliate programs all in one convenient place.

    Whatever your niche is, joining affiliate networks should be on your to-do list if you want to make money blogging.

    Now let’s go through the list of affiliate programs for bloggers (in no particular order).

     

    #1. ShareASale

    ShareASale has been in business for over 18 years and it’s one of the most reliable and established affiliate networks.

    After the acquisition by Awin, a global affiliate network, ShareASale has started including more international affiliate programs which mean more monetization opportunities for bloggers.

    In term of payment, the minimum payout is $50 via direct deposit, mailed check, wire deposit and Payoneer.

    Payoneer is a great choice for those not residing in the US because they can get their payouts faster.

    ShareASale has more than 40 categories to choose from. These include art/music/photography, health & fitness, fashion, financial, food/drink, home & garden and more.

    So you should be able to find relevant affiliate programs no matter what niche you are in.

    You can also refer affiliates and merchants to their program.

    For each merchant signed up through your links, you’ll get $150 and $1 for each qualified affiliate.

    This affiliate must sign up with ShareASale as an affiliate, and generate at least one click in order for you to receive the $1.00.

    Some of the blogger-friendly affiliate programs you may consider joining after you signed up with ShareASale include:

    • Tailwind – the Pinterest scheduling tools every blogger should use
    • Grammarly – automated proofreader, spelling and grammar checker.
    • PicMonkey – graphic design templates, Pinterest pins, photo editing and more.
    • CreativeLive – online photography classes, shooting and editing photos
    • ShareASale affiliate – you can promote ShareASale on your blog too!

    I joined ShareASale since 2004 and find them OK. Some gripes I heard from other affiliates include the somewhat outdated user interface, and problem contacting merchants directly.

    Click Here to Join ShareASale

     

    #2. CJ.com

    CJ short for Commision Junction is one of the largest and most established affiliate networks around. They have more merchants than any other affiliate network.

    I’ve been a member for a while and never have encountered any issues with them.

    With CJ.com, the minimum payout is USD100 via check, direct deposit or Payoneer. You can even select to get paid in your own currency (if supported).

    Click Here to Join CJ.com

     

    #3. Amazon.com

    This list wouldn’t be complete without the Amazon.com affiliate program.

    It’s one of the most popular affiliate programs for both new and seasoned bloggers due to the mind blogging products selection.

    Because of that, you can simply choose a target keyword, write your article around that keyword and then later find relevant products to promote and sprinkle the links within your content.

    The downside?

    Most product categories have pretty low commission rates between 1%-10%.

    The short 24 hours cookie duration is also a bit of a bummer. If a user clicked your link and only complete the purchase 24 hours later, you will not get the credit.

    That said, Amazon.com is pretty good at converting people to make a purchase. They’re a trusted household name after all.

    If the visitors end up buying more items from the other categories, you will be credited for all their purchases.

    Another thing you should be aware of is that Amazon.com requires you to make at least one sale within 90 days of sign-up or else they’ll reject you from the program automatically.

    The good news is you can always reapply later. Although, you’ll have to update all your links.

    Also, you’ll probably make more money if the bulk of your visitors come from the US.

    If you want to override the country restriction, you can try tools like  GeniusLink to earn commission through purchases made by international traffic.  You will need an Amazon Associates account in each country for which you want to monetize the traffic.

    It will cost $5 per 2000 clicks so it’s up to you to decide if it’s worth using.

    Click Here to Join Amazon.com

     

    #4. Awin

    Short for Affiliate Window, it’s a medium size affiliate network company based in Europe so it is a great choice for EU-based publishers.

    In addition, you can also find many US companies like Hyatt and BuzzFeed. If you are in finance, shopping, telco and travel niche, Awin is worth joining.

    To ensure only serious affiliates apply for their program, they charge a $5 admission fee which you’ll get back with your first payout.

    The Awin Publisher Referral Programs encourages you to refer new affiliates. When an affiliate you referred receive their first commission payment, you will earn $30.

    Once you got accepted to individual programs, you can install their WordPress plugin that automatically transforms all your links into affiliate links.

    Click Here to Join Awin

     

    #5. Flex Offers

    Flex Offers offers many established US brands like Ticketmaster, Yahoo Small Business and Macy as well as more European companies and others from around the globe.

    They have over 20 million products on offer in a wide range of markets, so it’s a good network to join (besides Amazon) if you looking to sell physical products.

    As part of their verification process, all initial payments are sent via check. The check must clear before you can setup direct deposit for future payments.

    Another cool thing about Flex Offers – you can also refer other publishers and then get a percentage of their commissions.

    Their FlexRev-$hare referral program based on your monthly sales volume. In essence, the more money you make, the more you will earn on your referrals (up to 50%).

    Click Here to Join Flex Offers

     

    #6. MaxBounty

    MaxBounty is a little bit different from the other affiliate networks in that most of their offers are of the CPA types.

    CPA stands for cost per action. That is, you get paid when a user takes a specific action such signing up for a trial, taking a survey, getting a quote etc – no purchase is necessary.

    Personally, I’ve derived most of my affiliate income from promoting CPA offers. They convert pretty well since all the users have to do is take an action.

    Getting warm and targeted traffic (like from Google search) will do wonders to your conversion rates. To increase your conversion rates further, make the links contextual and appear as part of the site design.

    I usually avoid using banner ads to promote CPA offers. While it could work, it could clutter your site which results in lower conversion rates.

    I’ll write more about how to promote CPA offers in my future posts so, please remember to come back!

    One hurdle you’ll encounter when trying to join MaxBounty is that they will call you on the phone for an interview. But I think it’s worth giving it a try.

    With MaxBounty, you can choose to get paid weekly too which is good.

    Click Here to Join MaxBounty

     

    #7. Rakuten Marketing

    Formerly known as Linkshare, Rakuten Marketing is another affiliate network offering a few big brands.

    You can find Walmart, Bloomingdale’s, Sephora and the likes here. It’s often voted as the best affiliate program for fashion and beauty bloggers.

    If you offer tutorials in your blog and want to promote relevant online courses from Udemy or Coursera, Rakuten can be an option.

    I’ve used them actively during their LinkShare days and they were great. Although I read recently that they have a less friendly user interface.

    Click Here to Join Rakuten Marketing

     

    #8. Creative Market

    Creative Market is an online marketplace for community-generated design assets.

    As an affiliate, you can promote WordPress themes, stock photography and other digital goods.

    Creative Market offers a flat 10% commission for every new customer who purchased through your links. That’s pretty low for digital products if you ask me.

    However, to make up for this, you will earn 10% on every other purchase the customer makes for an entire year.

    In addition, you can convert your affiliate earnings to credits which you can spend on Creative Market and cut down some of your business expenses.

    Click Here to Join Creative Market

     

    #9. Envato Market

    Envato Market is a collection of themed marketplaces for digital assets. You can buy anything from Photoshop actions, sound effects and video footage to WordPress themes and plugins.

    I’ve been an active buyer and used them for most of my online projects. So from a buyer’s perspective, they are pretty reliable.

    As an affiliate, you’ll earn 30% commission on any first purchase you refer with a cookie duration of 90 days. The minimum payout is $50.

    Click Here to Join Envato Market

     

    #10. ClickBank

    Anyone doing Internet marketing for any length of time should be familiar with ClickBank.

    ClickBank is a marketplace for digital products, from advice to getting in shape to healthy cooking recipes and dating advice. It’s one of the oldest and popular affiliate platforms online.

    One of the advantages of ClickBank is that anyone can sign up and create unique affiliate links quickly without the need for approval. Also, high commission, sometimes up to 75% is common.

    Their Gravity metric (sort of like the EPC) gives you a quick way to judge the performance and quality of a particular product.

    However, if you decide to join, be selective with which products you choose to promote to make sure they are of a good quality.

    Click Here to Join ClickBank

     

    #11. Panthera Interactive

    Panthera Interactive is another network offering mostly CPA offers. I have had good experience with them. Unfortunately, my account was deactivated because of inactivity.

    Guess it’s time for me to reapply!

    Click Here to Join Panthera Interactive

     

    #12. VigLink

    VigLink is a little different from the other affiliate networks. It works by scanning your site for common product terms or merchant mentions and adds an affiliate link.

    While I haven’t tried them yet, I can see how this can appeal to a lot of bloggers.

    It allows you to monetize your content without having to apply to individual programs and insert the affiliate links manually.

    You may still need to apply individually to many merchants as getting accepted doesn’t mean you can promote all merchants in their network.

    Click Here to Join VigLink

     

    #13. Skimlinks

    Skimlinks specialises in in-text and contextual advertising. It works very similar to VigLink in that Skimlinks converts your outbound links to affiliate links.

    The main difference is that you have access to every single merchant’s program (over 27,000) from the get-go.

    Both VigLink and Skimlinks are good options in case you got rejected by Amazon associate program or if your blog topics are more diverse.

    If you don’t have an affiliate account with a particular merchant which you want to promote or don’t want to bother applying and setting up affiliate links, this may work for you.

    Fashion, hobbies, tech gear,  discount and savings are topics that usually do well.

    With Skimlinks, you’ll get 75% of the revenue split.

    Click Here to Join Skimlinks

     

    Blogging Tools Related Affiliate Programs

    As a blogger, there are tools and resources which are necessary in order to run a blog.

    From web hosting to WordPress templates and from email marketing to social media scheduling tools.

    Chances are, they have an affiliate program that you can join and promote to your own audience.

    The following are some of the affiliate programs to consider.

    • Bluehost – web hosting. earn $65 for each referral
    • WP Engine – web hosting. Earn $200 per sale.
    • MailerLite – this is the email service provider I use. Earn 30% recurring commission on sales
    • ClickFunnels – sales funnels, landing page creator. Earn a 40% recurring commision.
    • ThriveTheme – WordPress themes, opt-in forms plugin, landing page creator etc. Earn 35% commission per purchase + ​25%​ recurring commission
    • ThemeForest – WordPress themes. Earn 30% commission on sales
    • StudioPress – WordPress themes. Earn 35% per sale.
    • Fiverr – hire a freelance. Earn up to $150 for each referral.
    • Tailwind – the Pinterest scheduling tools. Earn 15% per sale and $0.50 per sign up.
    • Grammarly – automated proofreader, spelling and grammar checker. Earn $20 per sale.
    • PicMonkey – graphic templates, photo editing and more. Earn 30% per sale.
    • WPforms – create contact forms, collect payments, opt-in forms etc. Earn 20% per sale.
    • Social Warfare – plugin for social media sharing button. Earn 30% commission on sales.
    • Sumo – Opt-in form plugins, sharing button, etc. Earn 30% recurring commissions.
    • Ultimate Bundles – offers bundles for ebooks, ecourses and resources at a highly discounted price (90%-97%). Earn 40% commissions for every bundle you sell.

     

    Finding Affiliate Programs in Your Niche

    The affiliate programs listed above are just a few of the more popular options for bloggers.

    But what if you want more option?

    Search Google for More Affiliate Programs

    Just head over to Google and enter “[niche/topic/product] affiliate program”.

    For example, suppose you are getting ready to create content for Christmas and want to monetize it with affiliate links. Go to Google and search for “Christmas affiliate program”.

    However, you may have to sift through the results as they can contain anything from related articles, affiliate programs listed on networks or specific products.

    search affiliate programs niche

     

    Some bloggers and entrepreneurs also host affiliate programs for their own digital products, ebooks, online courses, coaching etc.

    One main advantage of joining these programs is the higher commission rates since they are mostly digital products and there’s no middleman to take a cut on.

    You can run your own affiliate programs too if you have your own products to offer. I’ll talk more about this in my future posts.

    Follow Other Bloggers in Your Niche or Ask Your Affiliate Manager

    If you don’t know what to promote or couldn’t find suitable affiliate offers for your blog, check what other successful bloggers in your niche are promoting.

    Sign-up for their email newsletters and see how they are weaving affiliate promotions in their emails.

    In addition, you’ll often have access to an affiliate manager after you joined a program. You can always ask him or her to find the best performing offers to promote.

     

    Conclusion

    As I discovered more of the best affiliate programs for bloggers to join, I’ll update this post accordingly.

    So feel free to bookmark this page and come back later for updates.

    My hope is that this post will make it easier for you to find the affiliate programs or networks that are suited for your content, no matter what topics you write about.

    Now it’s your turn.

    Are you already making money from affiliate programs? Which ones are your favourites?

    Please share your story in the comments!

    8

    15 Things to Do Immediately to Improve Your New Blog

    Learn how to immediately improve your new blog with these 15 tactics. #bloggingtips #bloggingforbeginners #improveyourblogSo you started a new blog, now what?

    You googled for some ideas only to be overwhelmed with a million things to learn, it’s hard to know where to begin.

    Either that or…

    You probably have little to no idea as to what the necessary next steps to take or how to get things done when you have no technical know-how or previous blogging experience.

    What you need is a good plan to help you start building your blog on a solid foundation.

    It may take some trials and errors but that’s fine because the improvements will happen over time. That’s part of the learning process.

    What’s more important is to just start doing something right away.

    So, in today’s post, I’ll discuss the exact steps you’ll need to take to help incorporate the elements of a successful blog and immediately improve your new blog.

    You’ll learn how to integrate the social media channels, create a logo, add important pages, install must-have WordPress plugins, analytics and more.

    Even if your blog isn’t new,  you can use the suggestions below to see if there’s anything you might have missed since you launched your blog.

    Ready? Let’s dive right in!

    Related: How to Start Your Own Blog (Beginners Guide)

     

    #1: Improve Your New Blog Using the Perfect Theme

    Selecting your blog theme is one of the most rewarding parts of starting a blog.

    When you change the theme, you’ll be able to see the result immediately. A theme dictates the look and feel of your blog and how your users interact with your content.

    Changing your theme is the fastest way to improve your new blog.

    There are thousands of free and paid WordPress themes you can install.

    I’ve personally purchased many paid themes from Theme Forest due to the broad selection of themes, quality design and niche specific theme offerings.

    For example, I wanted a theme to showcase my mobile apps and found one specifically designed for that purpose.

    At the time of this writing, I’m using the FocusBlog Theme by Thrive Themes.

    To change your WordPress blog theme just follow these steps:

    1. Login to www.yourblog.com/wp-admin
    2. In your WordPress dashboard, click on the Appearance > Themes

      You’ll see several pre-installed themes. If you don’t like those, click the “Add New” button at the top:
      updating wordpress themeOn the next screen, you’ll be able to search the free WordPress theme repository. You can sort by popularity, latest or filter by feature, industry and layout.
      sort and select themesOnce you have found a theme that you like, click the “Install” button (which appears on mouse over). WordPress will download the theme files to your server.
      install preview wordpress
      You can also see how it would look like without installing by clicking the Preview button. Then, just click “Activate ” on the next screen:
      activate themeYou can further customize the theme by clicking on the Customize menu under Appearance.

    You can always switch theme if your current theme doesn’t do what you want.

    Although, as your blog gets more popular, try to avoid changing themes often because it will only confuse your regular readers.

     

    #2: Write Your Site Title and Tagline

    The title is typically the name of your site, while the tagline is a short description or phrase which describes what your blog is about.

    WordPress uses the site title to identify your site in syndication feeds. It’s visible in the title bar of a web browser and in a few other places.

    Since they are one of the first things your visitors will see, it’s important to optimize and create a strong title and tagline which communicate what your blog has to offer.

    It’s also a good idea to include important keywords in them for search engine optimization (SEO) purpose.

    To update your site title and tagline, go to Settings > General and update the text box. Click Save Changes when done.

    Site title and tagline settings

     

    #3: Claim Your Social Media Accounts

    I suggest creating dedicated social media profiles just for your blog.

    To get started, decide a handle to represent your blog. At the bare minimum, you would want to create profiles for Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

    Ideally, you would want to use the same handle for all the social media platforms for branding and consistency. This makes it easier for people to find and follow you on each platform.

    In addition, try to make your social media descriptions consistent across all platforms.

    If the handle you want to use isn’t available, you’ll need to get a little creative and come up with a handle which you can use everywhere (but don’t make it too complicated).

    You should consider creating a Facebook group as groups often have a better reach and engagement due to how Facebook algorithm treating them more favourably.

    Related: 9 Ways to Promote Your Blog Posts When You Have No Followers

     

    #4: Install Social Media Sharing Buttons

    Placing the social media sharing buttons next to your posts make them more shareable which could potentially drive more traffic to your blog.

    In fact, a study found that using social media sharing buttons on blog posts leads to 7 times more mentions.

    The share count provides a social proof. The higher it is, the more likely other people will share your content.

    To encourage sharing, place the buttons at two locations, one at the top and another at the bottom of your content.

    I like to have mine floats on the left so that people can share the content anytime while they read.

    Social media sharing buttons

    Although you don’t want to include too many buttons because more choices don’t mean more shares. Only display buttons for sites that you think your audience use.

    There are countless free and paid social sharing plugins to choose from. Unfortunately, some of them can actually slow down your site.

    I am using the Social Warfare plugin because it’s fast and I like the clean design. It costs just $29.95 a year which I think is worth paying for.

    Besides the standard sharing buttons, it has additional features to let you:

    • Show the Pin button on image hover for Pinterest
    • Customize your Pinterest image, description, title
    • Recover your lost share counts when you change your permalink structure
    • Perform automatic link shortening
    • Create Click to Tweet box easily within your content as you can see below.
    Including social media sharing buttons in your posts makes them more shareable which could potentially drive more traffic to your blogClick To Tweet

     

    #5: Create Favicon

    A favicon is the little site icon you see on your browser tab or on your browser bookmark.

    Favicons were originally created for a fast visual search among thousands of bookmarks on the Internet.

    Create favicon

     

    While this change may seem trivial, it is important because it improves user experience by making your blog more identifiable.

    If you care about branding, it is a must-have element to help your blog stand out and look more professional.

    To create one, you can use tools like the Favicon Generator. You can also use Canva to design the image or logo from scratch.

    If you have a logo for your blog already, you’ll only need to upload it to the generator above and download the generated icon file.

    Alternatively, it may also be possible to create one right from your theme settings.

    If this function is supported, you can usually find the setting under Appearance > Customize

    site icon

     

    #6: Create a Professional Looking Logo

    In addition to your content, your logo is another way for your readers to connect and identify with your brand.

    So it’s important to have a professional looking logo which represents your identity the way you want it.

    To create your logo, you can use tools like Canva or PicMonkey.

    Alternatively, you can hire a designer or head over to one of the freelancing sites like Fiverr to get this done cheaply for as low as $5.

    Once you have a logo ready, you can upload it to your blog by going to Appearance > Customize > Site Identity

    Although depending on the theme you are using, this setting may be located elsewhere.

    For instance, for the Thrive Theme that I am currently using, I can change my blog logo via Thrive Dashboard > Theme Options > General Settings

    Update wordpress logo

     

    #7: Add About, Contact Other Important Pages

    To create a new page in WordPress, go to Dashboard > Pages > Add New.

    add new pages

    About Page

    The About page is one of the most important pages to have in any blog.

    Contrary to what some people may think, the About page is not just about you. It’s about how you can help your visitors to get what they want.

    It’s a chance for you to connect with your readers and to establish trust. Use this page to convert casual browsers into avid readers or visitors into subscribers/customers.

    Remember that you don’t have to come up with the perfect About page in one sitting as you can always edit and improve it later.

    Read: How to Design & Write The Best About Page For Your Blog

    Contact Page

    Next, you need to create a Contact page so that people can get in touch with you.

    As you’re just starting out, including a simple contact form should be enough.

    Currently, I am using the Contact Form 7 plugin. I like it because it’s free, light-weight and supports Google reCAPTCHA to filter spam.

    In addition to the form, you may also want to include your email address just in case the form stopped working.

    However, you risk having your email address harvested by spammers if it’s visible in plain sight.

    To make it a little bit harder for email scrappers, you can try any of the followings:

    • Do not make your email address clickable using the mailto prefix.
    • Spell out the email address: nancy [at] lovelywebsite [dot] com. Not a great solution though as users may mistype the address themselves.
    • Convert your email address into an image. This is the solution I am currently using.
    • Install Email Address Encoder

    Privacy Policy & Disclaimer Page

    What is a privacy policy exactly you might ask.

    Well, a privacy policy informs your visitors what type of data you’re collecting, how you’re collecting them and what you’re doing with that data.

    You need to create these pages as they are mandatory by law in some countries.

    Having a Privacy Policy/Disclaimer will improve user trust.

    They are also required if you:

    • Are doing business in the European Union, you need a policy which is fully compliant with the GDPR requirements.
    • Want to apply for Google AdSense to display ads or if you plan to use other third party services like Google Analytics.
    • Are doing affiliate marketing. Some companies might require you to add a paragraph on each page which includes one of their links. In other cases, disclosing this in your Terms of Service or Disclaimer page should be enough.

    So how do you create these pages?

    • You may refer to Website Policies which is an automated generator for Privacy Policy, Terms and conditions and other legal documents tailored to your blog or business.
    • SerpRank privacy policy generator page is another service you can consider.
    • You can see a sample Privacy Policy from the Better Business Bureau.

    The information provided above is for reference only. It’s not a recommendation or an endorsement, or a legal advice. If in doubt, please consult a lawyer.

     

    #8: Set Your Permalink Structure

    A permalink is the web address used to link to your posts or pages.

    It’s called permalink because the URL to each post/page should be permanent and never change.

    As you start a new blog, you need to make sure to use the most friendly URLs for both humans and the search engines.

    To set your permalink, go to Settings > Permalinks

    I recommend using Post name because it’s clean, short and it’s easy to include your main keywords in them.

    optimize url permalink

    By default, WordPress uses the Day and name option.

    https://www.website.com/2018/08/22/sample-post/

    You can change this to the Post name option then click Save Changes.

    https://www.website.com/sample-post/

    If you already have many posts when you make this change, your existing links will break.

    To fix this issue, you’ll need to create redirects to instruct WordPress to automatically redirects the visitors coming from your old URL to the new URL.

    The one plugin that works for me is WP 404 Auto Redirect to Similar Post.

     

    #9: Install Google Analytics to Track Your Traffic

    Google Analytics is a free web analytics tool offered by Google to help you track and analyze your website traffic.

    You can use it to monitor your progress, see where people are coming from, the number of visitors you get and so on.

    Even if you are not ready to use it, you should just install and start collecting data now.

    Sometime in the future, you may need to present this info if you are marketing a media kit or trying to attract advertisers.

    To get started with Google Analytics go here and sign up.

    Next, you’d want to insert the tracking code into your blog.

    Most themes should have an option where you can just paste your code in.

    Or you can install Google Analytics Dashboard for WP (GADWP) to add Google Analytics to your blog quickly.

    For starter, some of the most important metrics to track are:

    • Users
    • Sessions
    • Average session duration
    • Bounce rate

    Click here to learn more about each of those metrics and why you should track them.

    To ensure you get more accurate data, you may want to prevent Google Analytics from tracking your own visits.

    To do that using GADWP, go to Google Analytics > Tracking Code then select the Exclude Tracking tab.

    Select the user you want to exclude tracking from then click Save Changes.

    Exclude myself from Google Analytics tracking

     

    #10: Register Your Site With Google Search Console

    Google Search Console is a free service offered by Google that helps you monitor and keep your site’s presence in Google search results.

    Among the metrics you can track from the Google Search Console are

    • How many times your page appears in Google search results (impressions)
    • How many clicks you get
    • Your click-through rate or CTR
    • Your page position

    This information comes straight from the horse’s mouth so don’t ignore it. Instead, use it to improve your new blog.

    If done right, the adjustments you make will improve your Google rankings and drive more traffic to your blog.

    Here’s how to do it.

     

    #11: Install the Necessary WordPress Plugins

    While WordPress itself is an awesome platform for creating websites, the default installation is rather limited in features and functionality.

    This is where the WordPress plugins come in.

    You can pick and choose which plugins to install to add certain capabilities and features into your blog. It’s the fastest way to improve your new blog.

    For a start, I recommend installing:

    • Yoast SEO for search engine optimisation
    • Antispam Bee for anti-spam
    • W3 Total Cache for caching and speeding up your blog
    • BackWPup for backups
    • Wordfence Security for security.

    Find out more about them in my article about the must-have plugins for blogs.

     

    #12: Add Optin Forms to Collect Email Leads

    While this step may be the last one on this list, it’s by far one of the most important things you can do to improve your new blog.

    I can’t stress this enough.

    If you want to make money from blogging, the money is in the list.

    So much so, an email list is probably the most important asset you’ll ever have as a blogger.

    Also, it makes you less dependent on traffic coming from Google and the social media platforms.

    You can’t control those traffic sources and you don’t own your followers – Google, Facebook, Pinterest and other social media networks do!

    If they decide to shut you down, your followers will be gone in the blink of an eye.

    On the other hand, your email list is yours to keep. You can bring your audience anywhere with you no matter what happens to your blog.

    Find out how to start an email list for free.

     

    Conclusion

    Creating the perfect blog won’t happen overnight so don’t get discouraged if yours doesn’t look like what you have in mind.

    The most important thing is to just get started right away.

    To improve your new blog, pick one thing (or two) to implement today and then come back later to this article and implement another.

    Have I missed anything? Which ones are you looking forward to implementing in your new blog?

    Please share your story in the comments below!

    2

    How to Deliver a Lead Magnet or Optin Freebie Easily

    How to deliver a lead magnet or optin freebies easily #deliverleadmagnet #sendfreebieOne of the most asked questions by bloggers who started their email list is how to deliver a lead magnet or opt-in freebie to their new email subscribers.

    Whether you are offering a free ebook, PDF guide, cheat sheet, printables, templates – offering lead magnets or opt-in freebies is a great way to grow your email subscribers faster.

    However, figuring out how to tie your free download to your opt-in form can be confusing.

    You don’t want your lead magnets to be like others which fail to deliver the promise to new subscribers.

    You can jump through hoops trying to figure out how to actually send that free PDF guide to your new subscribers…

    Or

    You can read this post and learn how to do it quickly!

    So, in today’s post, I’m going to walk you through the whole process from creating your opt-in form, hosting your file along with the tools you can use to deliver your lead magnet.

    Sounds good? OK let’s get started!

    Related: If you haven’t started your email list yet, check out the following guide:

    How to Start an Email List for Free Right Now

     

    How to deliver a lead magnet/optin freebie

    So how does a lead magnet delivery works?

    Depending on how many opt-in offers you have, there are many ways to do this. Each has its own pros and cons.

    The two solutions I’m going to share below are pretty straightforward.

    In addition, I’ve also included a bonus delivery method because, why not? 🙂

    To deliver a lead magnet, the basic idea is to include a download link in the email you send to your new subscribers immediately after they signed up.

    The key is to automate the process so that you’ll only have to set it up once and let your email marketing provider do the hard work.

    I am going to use MailerLite as an example here.

    If you’re starting out, I recommend using MailerLite because their automation feature is free (unlike some other email service providers that will charge an extra for this feature).

    Either way, the processes should be quite similar whether you are using MailChimp, ConvertKit, GetResponse, ActiveCampaign or other.

     

    Where to host your lead magnet file?

    MailerLite doesn’t offer file hosting so you’ll have to upload your file to your website via FTP or WordPress Media Library.

    To upload your file in WordPress, just go to Media > Library > Add New.

    hosting lead magnet file

    The downside of using the built-in WordPress Media Library is that each time you update and re-upload the file, the URL will change according to the current date.

    While there’s a way to fix that,  it’s just adding an unnecessary step into the process.

    You can avoid this by uploading the file via FTP to a folder on your server.

    Alternatively, you can use Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive or other online cloud storage.

    If you use Google Drive, just upload the file as usual and get the shareable link to include in your delivery email.

    share file link google drive

    Just make sure the “anyone with the link can view” option is set to prevent anyone with an access get editing privileges.

     

    Method #1: Email the freebie after the new subscriber opt-in

    This method sends an email containing the download link (not as an attachment) to your new subscribers.

    Method #1 entails the followings:

    1. Creating an opt-in form – offer a lead magnet/free stuff for joining your email list.
    2. Creating an automation workflow – triggers your autoresponder to send out an automatic email when a subscriber joins your email list.
    3. Create your autoresponder email  – which contains a link or button to download the freebie.

    This method is ideal if you:

    • have got only one lead magnet to deliver.
    • want to deliver lead magnet via email and not from a download page
    • want to create multiple lead magnets/opt-in freebies for different blog posts/categories.
    • have a single opt-in. Single opt-in adds the subscriber’s email into the list immediately. While double opt-in requires the subscribers to confirm their email address. You can learn more about the differences between a single opt-in vs. double opt-in here.

    How to enable/disable double opt-in in MailerLite

    You can use Method #1 with both single opt-in or double opt-in.

    At the moment, I am using Method #1 with double opt-in enabled for all my lead magnet deliveries.

    In order to enable double opt-in, login to your MailerLite account and select “Subscribe settings” from the menu on the right:

    enable or disable double opt-in

     

    You can choose ON/OFF for your double opt-in. In addition, you can also edit your Confirmation Email, along with the Confirmation Thank You page.

    Keep in mind that you can also use your own thank you page by directing new subscribers to a landing page (that is your lead magnets/freebies download page) in your blog.

    We are going to implement the landing page option in Method #2.

    For now, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to implement Method #1.

    1. Create an opt-in form

    Please refer to my start an email list post to create an opt-in form. Pay attention to step #3 where I show how to create an opt-in form with MailerLite.

    Once you’ve added your lead capture form, come back here and continue to the next step below.

    I’ll wait 🙂

    2. Create an automation workflow

    MailerLite automation workflow allows you to create a series of emails.

    For this example though, we just need to create one email. This is an autoresponder email which is sent automatically when a new subscriber joins your list.

    Here’s how to do it:

    Login to MailerLite, then click Automation > Create a new workflow

    autoresponder automation

    On the next page:

    1. Name your workflow – for this example, I called mine “Lead Magnet Delivery”
    2. Set the Trigger – select “When subscriber joins a group”

    setup workflow trigger

    Two new options will appear after you selected a trigger.

    1. Select an existing group or create a new one.
    2. Check this box if you want to resend the email for subscribers who rejoin the same group in the future.
    3. Click Save.

    email automation setup

     

    Next, we will add the first step to the automation workflow.

    To do so, click on the + button then click the Email icon.

    email autoresponder workflow

     

    The next page involves the following steps:

    1. Write a subject line – you can include personalization and emojis if appropriate
    2. Add sender details
    3. Design the whole email
    4. Check this box if you want to enable link tracking with Google Analytics. I always enable this for tracking purpose.

    autoresponder email details

     

    To write the email content, click the “Design email” email (in step 3 above) and you can start creating your autoresponder email.

    3. Create your autoresponder email

    The final step is to create your autoresponder email.

    Here’s how one of my lead magnet delivery emails looks like.

    lead magnet freebies email example

    Keep it brief and to the point – after all, they opted in to enjoy your offer right way.

    Give an indication that more updates are coming their way.

    I’d recommend sending out your actual welcome email the next day. This will allow you to connect and build a relationship with new subscribers.

    This is crucial to get them to familiarize with you which might increase future email open-rates.

    For now, make sure the automation workflow is ON.

    email automation

    That’s it, you are done!

    Test the process by signing up using a secondary email (you can always unsubscribe later).

    Or you can ask a friend to go through the signup process and ask for their opinion.

    With this method, you can send a different email for each lead magnet that you offer.

    You just have to set up a different workflow that sends out a unique email depending on which lead magnet they signed up for.

     

    Method #2: Direct the new subscriber to a download page

    For this method, you’ll have to create a download page for your blog.

    Like in method #1, you must upload the file to your website or to an online cloud storage.

    • Create an opt-in form – offer a lead magnet/free stuff for joining your email list.
    • Turn on double opt-in
    • Send the confirmed subscriber to your download page or download the opt-in incentive immediately

    This is a good option if you:

    • have more than one resources to offer, then creating a static download page/resource library/vault is the way to go.
    • want to encourage further engagement (like share your other content or invite others to subscribe)
    • only offer one freebie and want it to start downloading right after they click the confirmation link

    Let’s go through the steps in detail.

    1. Create an opt-in form

    You can refer to my start an email list post to help create your opt-in form. Pay attention to step #3 where I show how to create one with MailerLite.

    Once you’ve added your lead capture form, come back here and continue to the next step below.

    2. Turn on double opt-in

    Please refer to the previous section above: How to enable/disable double opt-in in MailerLite.

    When a double opt-in is enabled, the subscriber will get a confirmation email containing a link or button to confirm his/her email address.

    In MailerLite, you can design your confirmation email via your Profile > Subscribe settings > Confirmation email

    optin confirmation email example

     

    Few things to keep in mind when designing your confirmation email:

    • Keep it simple – you don’t want to distract the user with unnecessary text or graphical elements.
    • Make it obvious – use a large, descriptive text for your call-to-action button or link
    • Remind them that they won’t get the freebie/lead magnet if they don’t confirm their email address.
    • Use your brand design – if you use a certain colour for your brand, use it. You can also place your logo in the header.

    When you click on the confirmation link or button, you will be directed to the Confirmation Thank You page which we will design next.

    Still with me? 🙂

    3. Send subscribers to your download page or download the lead magnet immediately

    For this third step, you can either send the new subscriber to your download page or initiate the download to start automatically after they clicked the confirmation link.

    The easiest way to deliver your lead magnet is by including the download link in the Confirmation Thank You page. This page is hosted on MailerLite server so you don’t have to create one manually.

    To do this, click on the Confirmation Thank You page then Edit Content.

    download link subscription confirmation

    If you want more control or customize the download page further, you can create a new page in WordPress and send your new subscribers to it.

    Here’s how to do it:

    1. Add a new page to your blog
      create landing page
      You can try making this page attractive or add more elements to encourage further engagement.You can easily create an engaging and good-looking landing page using tools like Thrive Architect.Thrive Architect is a drag-and-drop landing page editor that comes with 270 beautifully designed templates. It’s the tool that I use to create my own landing pages.Here are some example templates that you can customize to match your blog:
      thrive architect landing pageThere are tons of other features that can help you to quickly build professional looking homepage and landing pages fast and convert visitors into customers or email subscribers.
    2. Take note of the page URL and then enter it into the “Or use your own landing page” text box and then click Save.
      use your own landing page

    What if you don’t want to create a landing page and want the freebie to start downloading immediately after the subscriber clicked the confirmation link?

    Easy, just replace your landing page URL with your download link.

    However, I would only suggest using this direct download method if you’re offering only one lead magnet, like a catch-all freebie type.

    That’s it, you are done!

     

    How to password protect your download page

    If you are offering valuable resources/files in your download page, you may want to password protect your download page. This ensures only your subscribers have exclusive access to your lead magnets and opt-in freebies.

    Using a simple password that is easy for your subscribers to remember should be good enough. Include it in your welcome or confirmation email.

    To password protect your lead magnet download page in WordPress:

    1. Edit the page you want to password protect
    2. Under the Publish section in the top left corner, click the Edit link next to the Visibility setting.
    3. Select Password protected and enter your password.

    password protect wordpress page

     

    Bonus Method: Automatically send download links/pdf to new subscribers right from your WordPress interface

    How do you send a PDF or any other file automatically to your new subscribers without creating autoresponder email at your email service provider?

    The answer: by using the Asset Delivery feature in Thrive Leads.

    Thrive Leads is a WordPress plugin that helps you create beautiful and compelling opt-in forms that will convert better than the average forms.

    It’s the one I use to design all my opt-in forms at Sabahan.com.

    The Asset Delivery feature in Thrive Leads allows you to associate one or more downloadable files with any opt-in forms you create in Thrive Leads.

    This method is ideal:

    • If you want a quick and easy way to set up lead magnet delivery right from within your WordPress admin interface.
    • You don’t want to set up a separate list or a separate autoresponder email at your email service provider.
    • If you offer content upgrades – content upgrades are opt-in offers specific to a single blog post.
    • If you don’t want to set up a new group, new automation etc for each offer.
    • You want to free up your email delivery service and only use it to send out your actual newsletters.

    To learn how the Asset Delivery works, you can watch the following video:

    You can read more about Thrive Leads Asset Delivery here.

     

    Conclusion

    There you have it!

    That’s how to deliver a lead magnet or opt-in freebie.

    Now it’s time to take action.

    Start transforming your opt-in freebie ideas into reality.

    Learn how to create a lead magnet then use the tools I’ve talked about to deliver them and keep your subscribers engaged.

    If there’s anything that I’ve missed or unclear in the article, please let me know in the comments.

    Thanks for reading!

    18

    7 Powerful Strategies That Will Increase Your Email Subscribers Fast

    Learn how you can increase your email subscribers with this list building strategies #increaseemailsubscribers #listbuilding #emaillistWant to increase your email subscribers fast? You’ve come to the right place!

    Your email list is probably the most valuable asset you’ll ever have as a blogger.

    Your website could shut down, traffic from Google and the social media channels could disappear, but as long as you have your mailing list, you’re still in business.

    Since having an email list is so important, you would want more email subscribers. Having more people in your email list is a surefire way to grow your business faster.

    In order to get more subscribers, your opt-in forms and offers have to be very good.

    A good opt-in form will help you get more leads without needing more traffic.

    So in today’s post, you’ll learn how to increase your email subscribers by creating highly persuasive opt-in forms without needing any more traffic.

    If you’re up for it, you can turn these list building strategies into a 7-day challenge. Let’s see how many you can implement on your own website.

    Let’s dive right in!

    Related: How to Start an Email List for Free Right Now

     

    #1: Increase Your Email Subscribers With a Benefit-Driven Opt-in Forms

    When creating your opt-in form to collect email addresses, ask yourself this question:

    Why would anyone subscribe to my email list?

    If your answer is so that they could get the latest updates from you, that’s not enough.

    Nobody wants to subscribe to another email newsletter without getting an immediate benefit. People want it now, not sometimes in the future which may or may not arrive.

    So you’ll need to bribe your visitors into giving their email address by offering them something called a lead magnet or an optin freebie.

    Your freebie can be a

    • Free ebook
    • Checklist
    • PDF guide
    • Cheatsheet
    • Graphic template
    • Email course
    • and so on.

    These are incentives that solve a particular problem your readers are facing.

    Next, you can reframe your offer by changing from “Subscribe to Email Newsletter” or “Sign-up for the latest updates” to something that is benefit driven.

    For example, identify the feature of your freebie and then add “This will help to…“.

    Here’s an example of an unoptimized lead capture form:

    bad optin form example

     

    Here’s a benefit-driven example:

    Benefit driven email subscription form

     

    As you can see, spelling out the benefit the visitor will get from subscribing makes the opt-in or lead capture form immediately more persuasive.

    In this case, your visitors will learn how to optimize their blog and improve their rankings fast.

    Here are some key points to keep in mind when designing your opt-in forms:

    • Make your copy benefit-driven by spelling out the immediate benefits the visitors will get.
    • Consider using the word free (or add a price tag) in your offer.
    • Consider adding a specific image of the freebies/lead magnet. Adding a professional looking image increases the perceived value of your offer.
    • Avoid using a generic text for your submit button such as  “Subscribe” or “Sign up”. Use a call-to-action text like “Let’s Go!”,  “Download Now” or “SEND IT TO ME!”.
    • Try to relieve concerns over being scammed or harassed. You can include something like “We hate spam. Unsubscribe anytime”.
    • The less information you ask for the better. This improves your email signups. You can ask for the email and perhaps the first name for personalization. So instead of “Hi”, you can greet your subscriber with “Hi Jim”.
    • Consider creating a dedicated landing page  for your opt-in form – you can send people who ask about how to get more cool stuff from you. You can also link to this landing page if you are doing guest blogging.

     

    #2: Create Targeted Offers for Specific Blog Posts/Categories

    You can improve your sign-up rates further by offering a specific opt-in offer.

    Running more than one offer on your website makes it possible to appeal to different segments of visitors.

    This will result in improved conversion rates more than what a typical, single “catch-all” offer can achieve. It also enables you to create segmented email lists.

    This is powerful as you will be able to send highly targeted messages to exactly the right people. When you know exactly what your readers are interested in, you’ll make more money from your email list.

    You can do this by offering a special freebie for:

    • Specific blog posts – you can see an example on my SEO Tips and Tricks post where I offer a SEO checklist that’s only available from that post.
    • Each category – this is also something that I’m planning to do here at Sabahan.com.

    But what if you don’t have an opt-in offer available? You can adjust your message to target that specific audience instead.

    For example, if you have a category for email marketing and you want to place an opt-in form in that category page, instead of just using the following:

    how not to gain subscribers

     

    Adjust the message to target the particular audience who visit the email marketing category. Drive home what’s in store for people when they opt-in.

    Email marketing tips

    Notice, I’ve also replaced the generic “Subscribe” button to a better CTA “Yes Please!”

     

    #3: Create a Lightbox Popup

    A lightbox opt-in forms (sometimes also called pop-ups) are usually shown on page load or when the user is about to exit the page.

    lightbox popup

    Sometimes they are seen as intrusive and can be annoying. But it has been shown time and time again that they simply work.

    Currently, I am using Thrive Leads which helps me create my lightbox. Thrive Leads comes with a huge selection of ready-made opt-in form templates so you don’t have to design yours from scratch.

    Check it out and take advantage of the one-time, non-recurring fee of only $67  and see it for yourself (it also comes with a 30 day money back guarantee).

    Instead of using the normal lightbox, I’m using the Scroll Mat (sometimes called the Welcome Mat), an enhanced version of the normal lightbox.

    A Scroll Mat turns any page to a full-screen opt-in form that’s displayed immediately on page load when a visitors arrives on your site.

    scroll mat / welcome mat

    Thrive Themes has found that showing the lightbox instantly on page load is more effective at converting visitors into new subscribers.

    It’s even more effective than a lightbox that was triggered by exit intent. The basic idea of exit intent is that you make an opt-in lightbox appears the moment a visitor shows that they’re about to leave as demonstrated below.

    Exit intent demo

    For me initially, I was a bit apprehensive as I don’t want to annoy my visitors with pop ups but my results have also shown it’s one of my best converting opt-in forms.

    popup conversion

    This is an ongoing experiment and I believe I can improve the conversion rates further by using a more specific offer and by showcasing a more exciting picture.

    I only show the popup once for every 7 days so as not to annoy my visitors. And it will only be shown when the visitors land on a blog post or a category page. So it’s not the first thing they’ll see when they land on my homepage or blog index.

    You can watch the video below to learn how Thrive Leads works.

    If you are starting out, I recommend pairing Thrive Leads with MailerLite.

    There are three reasons why Scroll Mats convert well:

    • It fills the screen – getting the visitors full attention
    • triggers on page load.
    • requires an immediate response – yes or no?

    To improve your conversation rates, you can try implementing the recommendations in point #1 above.

     

    #4: Run A/B Split Tests to Improve Conversion Rates

    Here’s the thing though, don’t simply use popups, scroll/welcome mats or any other opt-in form types simple because I or some other bloggers use them.

    Instead, you should run your own test to see what works best on your site!

    So this is where the A/B split testing comes in.

    A split test or A/B test is a test that you can run to compare two different versions of an opt-in form to find out which one gets you the most signups.

    Don’t worry, A/B testing is not rocket science. In fact, it’s pretty easy to implement if you’re using the right tool.

    Why is running an A/B split testing important?

    Because it will help you get more leads on autopilot with the same amount of traffic.

    For example, if your blog gets 100 visitors per day and only 1% of them opted-in, that’s one new subscriber per day.

    Using an A/B testing, you can improve your conversion rates and possibly get 2, 3, 4 emails or more per day with the same number of visitors.

    Fortunately, this is very easy to do if you are using Thrive Leads.  It’s the opt-in form designer that I am currently using and I will use it as an example.

    AB split testing

    You would want to create a variation of your opt-in forms and start an A/B split test to find out which one converts better.

    You can start by testing the big elements first such as:

    • Opt-in form types – lightbox popup vs scroll mat?
    • Create different offers – find out which offer resonates more with your visitors. Or make it smaller or simpler vs long and comprehensive.
    • Framing of the offer – test the title, subhead, and text copy. Add/remove bullet points, paragraphs of text.
    • Opt-in form designs – test different freebie image, the colour of the submit button, opt-in form layout, minimal vs detailed template etc.
    • Rinse and repeat – continue testing and tweaking to improve your conversion rates.

    The reason why you’d want to test the big elements first is that it can be difficult to get a statistically significant result.

    If you’re just testing something small such as the text on your submit button “Get It Now” vs “Download Now”, you would need tons of traffic for the test result to be significant which can take a very long time complete.

    That said, you can test the smaller elements later once you’ve found a winning opt-in form and the button copy is a good one to start testing on.

    Testing different offers is one of the most powerful ways to increase your opt-in conversion but creating different offers can be time-consuming.

    Instead, what you can do is find ways to re-frame your existing offer, and modify the offer to match the frame more closely.

    For example, if you offer a SEO checklist, you can advertise it in several ways:

    1. Learn how to double your search engine rankings in 90 days
    2. SEO case study: How I improved my blog SEO and drive massive traffic from Google
    3. Your SEO Checklist: 7 steps to optimizing your website
    4. Do-it-yourself SEO strategies and save money
    5. Beginner’s guide to SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

     

    #5: Implement a Two-Steps Opt-In Form

    One good A/B test you can conduct is to test a 1-step opt-in form vs a 2-step opt-in form.

    A 1-step opt in form is just your normal form with the name/email textbox, while the later appears as a link, a button or graphic which launches the actual opt-in form when clicked.

    Here’s an example of a two-step opt-in form:

    two-step opt-in form

    Two-step opt-in forms are powerful because they use the power of micro commitments.

    The idea is that, if you’ve already made a commitment to something, you’re more likely to follow that path of action and are less likely to change your mind about it.

    So when you click on the text link or button, it shows that you do want to get the thing that was advertised. That click is the micro commitment which will drive you to complete the process such as fill out an opt-in form when presented with one.

    You can use Thrive Leads or any other email signup form designer to create these two-steps opt-in forms.

     

    #6: Add an Opt-In Form to Your About page

    Do you know that the About page is one the most visited pages on any website?

    People love to get to know the person or company behind the website to learn more about what they have to offer.

    It’s a go-to page for new visitors who are curious to know more about you and your business.

    So this is the perfect opportunity for you to get in touch with your visitors by adding your opt-in form to your About page.

    To improve your conversion rate, here are a few suggestions:

    • Use a different wording than what you normally use throughout your blog.
    • Create a different design entirely
    • Use a 2-step opt-in form
    • Place those people on a specific list – because these are people who are very interested in what you have to offer
    • Add two opt-in forms in two location – one right after the opening paragraphs, and another one at the end of the page (for those who read the whole page).

    Here’s how my 2-step opt-in form looks like in my About page.

    about page email subscription form

    If you don’t have an about page yet, you should create one. Check out the following post to get started:

    How to Design & Write The Best About Page For Your Blog

     

    #7: Make Your Freebie/Opt-In Offer Graphic Pop

    Instead of having an opt-in form filled with text, you should also include an image that represents the opt-in incentive.

    If you offer a free ebook, have an ebook cover graphic to visually represent your offer. If you offer a pdf checklist, take a screenshot and make it looks good.

     

    opt in offer graphic

     

    A visually appealing image can increase the perceived value of your offer, makes the benefit more tangible and increases your conversion rates.

    You can go to places like Fiverr to get this done cheaply for as low as $5.

    Additionally, you can purchase some good looking ready-made templates which you can customize from Creative Market.

    If you are the DIY type, you can give Canva or PicMonkey a try.

     

    Conclusion

    There you have it, 7 ways to increase your email subscribers fast.

    You can turn this into a 7 days email list building challenge if you are up for it!

    In addition to social media marketing, your list building should remain a priority in your content marketing effort.

    If there’s one thing I should mention before I end this article – don’t be shy about advertising your opt-in offer.

    Make it obvious for your visitors they’ll get something highly valuable if they opt-in for your offer.

    If you are too subtle, fewer people will see your email subscription forms and you may miss out on potential visitors who may become subscribers.

    How to increase subscribers to newsletter? There’s need to be a balance.

    If you are too aggressive, you may annoy your visitors who don’t opt-in.

    Either way, you should run an A/B testing to see what works for your own website.

    Now it’s your turn.

    Which of the email marketing strategies above have your implemented or are planning to implement in your email list building effort?

    I’d love to hear your experience in the comments below!

    16

    9 Ways to Promote Your Blog Posts When You Have No Followers

    Learn how to promote your blog posts - leverage the social media channels and marketing tools #blogpromotion #increaseblogtraffic #promoteonsocialmediaSo you looking for ways to promote your blog posts?

    A lot of people still think if you build it, they will come. That statement may be true a couple of years ago when there was less competition on the Internet.

    Today it’s not enough to just publish great content, cross your fingers and hope for the best.

    You’ll have to do more than that to get noticed.

    But what if you have only a handful or even no followers to begin with? Can you still promote your content effectively?

    Yes, you can!

    In this post, you’ll learn how to leverage the social media channels and several marketing tools to promote your content when you have only a few or no followers.

    Let’s dive in, shall we?

     

    Spend More Time to Promote Your Blog Posts

    When it comes to content marketing, some people suggest that you should be spending 20% of your time creating content and the other 80% should be spent on promoting it.

    This is crucial especially when you are just starting out because nobody knows you exist. The only way for you to get more visitors to your blog is via content promotion.

    But I know it’s often hard to spend less time writing especially if you are not a fast or a talented writer.

    As a non-native English speaker myself, I probably spend around 30% of my time writing content because I just need to take extra care to make sure my sentences or grammar make sense. And I am still trying to get better at this lol!

    I also prefer creating long-form content so it’s not possible for me to just whip a blog post in a day and be done with it.

    Now let’s go through each of the blog promotion methods.

     

    #1: Pick the Right Social Media Channels

    There’s a lot of social media networks out there so it can be a challenge to pick the right one to start with.

    Find your strength and spend more time on those which will likely provide you the best ROI. Don’t try to be in all of them as you’ll spread yourself too thin.

    Don’t be jack of all trades, master of none.

    Check out Neil Patel’s video below to give you some ideas if you are new.

    Here’s a recap if you prefer reading:

    • If you are in B2B (Business-to-business), you’ll likely do well on LinkedIn
    • Twitter is also good if you are in B2B but not as well as LinkedIn
    • Facebook, YouTube and Instagram do really well in B2C (Business-to-consumer)
    • YouTube works well for both B2B and B2C and it will also give you a long term traffic if your videos ranked well.

     

    #2: Get on the Pinterest Action

    Get this: you can have huge success on Pinterest even if you don’t have large followers. On Pinterest, the number of followers you have doesn’t matter.

    If you are not familiar with Pinterest, it’s a social media platform that allows you to discover and share content. Although it works more like a search engine than a social media platform. In fact, it’s one of the world’s largest search engines.

    So why Pinterest?

    • As of Sept 2017, Pinterest has more than 200 million active monthly users.
    • 87% of users have purchased a product because of Pinterest.
    • Pinterest users spend twice as much as those referred by Facebook. From my personal experience, visitors from Pinterest spend more time on my blog and view more pages per visit.
      pinterest-marketing
    • The half-life of a pin is 3.5 months. That means the pin you create today will continue to bring in the traffic a couple of months down the road.

    Just registering and pinning your posts won’t suddenly bring a torrent of visitors though. You need to have a Pinterest strategy.

    For that, I am using Tailwind to help me schedule my pins out and it has been a tremendous help.

    I started with only a handful of followers (fewer than 20) yet my pins reach extends much further beyond the 20 followers.

    Currently I have over 60,000 monthly reach, just after one month of actively using Pinterest.

    Pinterest reach

    You’ll never get this kind of reach via a Facebook page with a small number of followers, it’s mind boggling!

    Tailwind scheduled pins

    Get Tailwind here. You get to pin 100 pins per month for free, forever. There’re paid plans available that allow you to pin more.

    For a start, I’d recommend you to give the free version a try.

     

    #3: Look for People That Have Shared Similar Content

    To do this, I recommend using BuzzSumo.

    BuzzSumo helps you to find the most shared content on the social media channels and influencers related to particular topics.

    Why?

    Because it allows you to find people and influencers who are more willing to share your content on their social media account since they have already shared similar content in the past.

    You can also write similar articles about the most shared topic because you already know these topics are already trending.

    Here’s how you find people who are more likely to share your content.

    Go to BuzzSumo and type in whatever your keyword is.

    Scroll down the list of posts and find one that is the most relevant and has a lot of shares. Then, click on the View Sharers.

    For example, when I searched for “blog promotion tips” the follow results came up. All I needed to do next was to find the most relevant articles to my own blog post and then clicked View Sharers.

     

    Buzzsumo view sharers

    The next page will show a list of people who have shared that specific post. You can even sort the list by the number of followers.

    While you can approach them via their Twitter handles, the best way to get their attention is through email. You can find this information on their website.

    How to use buzzsumo

    Keep in mind that this is a numbers game so the more people you contact the better.

    Not everyone will respond or will be willing to share your content. But those who do share may have thousands of followers. So, whenever an influencer is involved there’s a higher chance your content will go viral.

    Emailing each person can be tedious so you may want to automate the process or find an affordable virtual assistant from places like Fiverr. Because you may want to contact over 50, 100 or more people to get the best result.

    You can use the following email template as a guide:

     

    Hey {name},

    I just saw you shared this article {link of the shared post} by {author name} about {topic}

    I thought it was pretty great myself.

    Anyway, I’ve just published a similar article that expanded on that article and I thought you might like it.

    Let me know if you want to check it out.

    Cheers,

    Rob

     

    Notice that you don’t give out the link right away. You are asking for their permission before you send them the link.

    The reason is that if they reply and show an interest, you’ll increase your chance of getting your blog post shared.

     

    #4: Add Social Media Sharing Buttons to Your Posts

    For a new blog with a small number of followers, adding the social media sharing buttons makes it easy for your visitors to share your content.

    The share count acts as a social proof which will encourage others to share your content since they see other people are sharing it already.

    Social media sharing buttons

    While there are many social media sharing buttons out there, I’ve decided to go with the Social Warfare plugin because it offers additional features in one package such as:

    • Show the Pin button on image hover for Pinterest
    • Customize your Pinterest image, description, title
    • Recover your lost share counts when you change your permalink structure
    • Automatic link shortening
    • Create Click to Tweet box easily within your content as you can see below.
    The share count acts as a social proof which will encourage others to share your content since they see other people are sharing it already.Click To Tweet

    Previously, to get all these features, I had to install several separate plugins. I’m trying to reduce the number of plugins installed as this can improve the performance and security of your blog.

     

    #5: Join Relevant Facebook Groups

    Because this post is about ways to promote your blog posts when you have no followers, joining relevant Facebook groups can be one of the most effective ways to get your content in front of a larger audience.

    Facebook groups

    While you may not likely get hundreds of visitors immediately from Facebook groups, they can be a source of targeted traffic that will engage with your content.

    One downside of Facebook promotion is that you need to keep on promoting your content.

    The average half-life of a Facebook post is about 30 minutes, that is the length of time it takes for content to reach 50% of its total lifetime engagement.

    That’s circa 2013, today it might be even more dismal with each Facebook algorithm update.

    But don’t let that data discourage you because many have found that promoting on Facebook groups will definitely get that ball rolling.

    I’ve dedicated an entire post where I shared the ins and outs of how to use Facebook groups effectively.

    How to Use Facebook Groups to Explode Your Blog Traffic and Drive Engagement

    I am currently tracking every single link I posted on Facebook using Google Analytics. I’ve been doing this for about a month now.

    The goal is to find out which Facebook groups bring in the most traffic and also the most newsletter subscribers.

    You can see the exact method that I’m using at the bottom of that post above.

    Once I have enough data, I’ll share my finding on this blog.

     

    #6: Participate on Quora for a Long-Term Referral Traffic

    Guess what, I’ve written an entire post on this topic this so I won’t be repeating my points here. Check it out below:

    How to Use Quora to Drive Tons of Traffic to Your Blog (The Ultimate Guide)

     

    #7: Leverage the Social Media Scheduling Tools

    Why should you schedule your posting on the social media?

    There are several benefits of social media scheduling:

    • Save time. You don’t have to spend hours in front of your computer all day long leaving you more time to connect with your followers and to create more amazing content.
    • Optimize your posts engagement. The ability to schedule content in advance means you can post at ideal times for maximum likes, comments and shares.
    • Increase reach. Social media scheduling helps you reach more people as it allows you to promote your blog posts on a consistent basis.

    You can start by using Buffer for social media scheduling.

    Buffer is pretty easy to use and is beginners friendly. The free version allows you ten scheduled posts at a time across multiple social accounts.

    I am using Buffer to schedule posts to Twitter, Facebook group and Facebook page that I am an admin. You can even install the browser extension to schedule any posts you encounter while browsing online.

    In addition, I also like Hootsuite and RecurPost.

    RecurPost is good if your content is evergreen, as it helps you publish your posts over time. I use it to cycle through all my posts on Twitter.

    Also, I am using Buffer in combination with Feedly for content curation.

    Feedly is a feed reader which offers an easy way to aggregate your information feeds (the blogs that you are following) in one place.

    Feedly

    When I find an interesting content that I want to share, I just hit the Buffer button right from the app and it will be added into my Buffer schedule.

     

     

    #8: Link Out to Other People to Get Their Attention

    When you write a blog post, try to link out to relevant sources.

    However, you don’t want to just shove up the links for the sake of it. They need to be useful and add value to your content.

    As you do this, you’ll get on people’s radar. This builds incentives for them to engage with you.

    By putting them first it shows trust. You’ll earn their goodwill even before starting your outreach. Get to know them first, try to provide value before asking them for help.

    Once you hit the publish button, shoot them an email or tweet that person and let them know about it.

    Email often works better than just tweeting it at them because it’s more personal.

    Here’s a sample email template you can use:

     

    Hi {name},

    I enjoy your work and find it very useful, I even linked out to you in my latest blog post.

    {your link}

    Feel free to check it out.

    Cheers,

    Rob

     

    It’s important not to push them to share, just give them a heads up and explain why you mentioned them.

    If your content is good enough they may start sharing it on the social media exposing your content to a wider audience which can drive more traffic to your post.

     

    #9: Start Collecting Your Visitors’ Emails

    Do you know what’s the worst thing that can happen when it comes to getting people to visit your blog?

    It is not having opt-in forms installed to collect their emails!

    There’s no excuse not to start your own email list today. Imagine if all of the traffic sources suddenly stop sending you traffic overnight.

    Your business will suffer and all your effort trying to create quality content will go to waste.

    If you have an email list, you can continue to promote your content to the people on your list, build a relationship and sell stuff to them even with zero traffic or no website!

    Your email list is one of the most important assets you’ll ever have as a blogger or site owner.

    To learn how to start your own email list click the link below:

    How to Start an Email List for Free Right Now

     

    Conclusion

    There you have it, 9 ways to promote your blog posts when you have no followers.

    Now you don’t have to do everything at once, pick one method and focus on it.

    Once you get the hang of it and start seeing results, you can then add another method into your blog promotion strategies.

    Consistency is the key here and don’t expect results overnight. The more time you put in, the more successful you’ll be.

    If it didn’t work, find out why. Perhaps you just need to spend more time with it or adjust your approach.

    Are you using any other content promotion strategies? Feel free to share them in the comments below.

    12

    How to Start an Email List for Free Right Now

    How to start an email list for free right now. #emaillists #emailmarketing #mailinglist #startemaillist #emaillistbuildingMy biggest mistake when I started blogging in 2006 was not starting my own email list!

    Had I took the plunge, imagine how many email subscribers I would have today, hundreds of thousands maybe?

    If you’re reading this, I’m sure you’re already aware of the importance of why you should have your own email list.

    So I won’t bore you with the why part (well for most bloggers, it’s where the money is).

    Unfortunately creating a mailing list for your website from scratch can be overwhelming and expensive.

    But those aren’t entirely true.

    The good news?

    Starting your own mailing list doesn’t have to be complicated or costly.

    So in today’s post, I’m going to show you how to start an email list for free.

    And this whole process should take you less than 20 minutes!

    Ready? Let’s dive in!

    Related:  7 Powerful Strategies That Will Increase Your Email Subscribers Fast

     

    How to start an email list for free (fast)

    There are quite a few email service providers that you can use, but all email marketing services aren’t created equal.

    For me, I knew growing an email list could take time.

    I didn’t want to spend money on something that would cost me a monthly fee, yet generate little to no income, at least during the first few months.

    Bootstrapping is the name of the game here 🙂

    Now you may be asking, why can’t you just send email for free from your Gmail account?

    Here’s why:

    • Gmail email makes you look unprofessional
    • Gmail limits the number of emails you can send a day
    • Gmail is good for one-to-one interaction but not for mass emailing your subscribers
    • You can’t track who opened or clicked your email
    • Your emails are more likely to be blocked by the majority of email providers
    • Managing your subscribes/unsubscribes can be a nightmare

    Next, I’ll describe the exact steps how to build an email list for marketing. These involve:

    1. Signing up with an email service provider.
    2. Creating an opt-in form to collect emails
    3. Placing an opt-in form on your website
    4. Done (sort of)

     

    #1: Sign up with an email service provider

    I recommend using MailerLite.

    It’s forever free to use if you have fewer than 1000 subscribers.

    Unlike some other email service providers, it doesn’t limit the number of emails you can send per month.

    Most importantly, you have an unrestricted access to their autoresponder service which allow you to automatically deliver your opt-in freebies/lead magnets after a user sign up.

    In comparison, some other email service provides will only let you send one autoresponder email. You’ll have to upgrade your plan if you want to setup more.

    Basically, the free tier of MailerLite gives you full access to all their paid features including autoresponder, automation, segmentation, tracking, tagging system – the whole enchilada.

    start mailing list from scratch

    As your subscribers grow past 1000 people, you can upgrade to a paid plan. Their plans are among the cheapest email marketing software out there too.

    Go ahead sign up with MailerLite now.

    I should mention that you will need your own domain name to use MailerLite.

    Here are a few steps that you need to do during the sign-up process:

    sign up for email service provider

    Getting your account approved

    After creating your MailerLite account, you need to have your account validated by completing these 2 steps:

    Complete your profile

    Fill in your blog/company information. MailerLite will use this info during the approval process. So make sure your blog is in good shape to improve your chances.

    mailerLite profile

    Verify your website domain

    Your website verification consists of two steps. First, you need to enter your website URL:

    website domain verification

    The second step is entering your email address.

    You must use the same email domain as your website domain, i.e. [email protected] Don’t enter a free email address from Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo etc. here.

    Wait for account approval

    Once you’ve completed the 2 steps above, MailerLite will start reviewing your account.

    Mailerlite account approval

    This usually takes from 15 minutes to 4 hours, but sometimes it may take up to a day. They will send you an email notification after the review is completed.

    Also whenever you decide to upgrade your plan, you’ll have to go through the approval process again.

     

    #2: Create an opt-in form to collect emails

    MailerLite comes with tools to help you design an opt-in form. This will likely be your main method of collecting new mailing list subscribers.

    Here’s how you do it.

    Create a new group

    First, you need to create a new group to save your subscribers in. Click Subscribers > Groups > Create new group

    Create an email group

    For demonstration purpose, I named my group Demo Group.

    Mailinglist group

    Once created, your group will appear in the Groups list.

    Next, to create a new opt-in form, click Forms > Embedded Forms > Create Embedded Form

    Create opt in form

    Below, I named my form “Demo Group Form #1

    .Form name

     

    Next, you’ll need to associate the form with a group or groups. Here I selected the Demo Group I created earlier.

    Select group

    Click “Save and continue” and on the next page, you can edit and format your optin form.

    Few things to keep in mind when designing your opt-in form:

    • The less information you ask for the better. This improves your conversion rate.
    • Ask for an email address and perhaps the first name so that you can personalize your emails. So instead of “Hi”, you can greet your subscriber with “Hi June”.

    The default MailerLite optin box only asks for the user’s email address. To add the name text box, click on the email textbox edit icon, then click on the “Add new field” button.

    Add name field

    Play around with the form design and settings. Don’t worry if you make a mistake because you can always edit, delete and recreate the form.

    When you are done, click on the Done Editing button.

    newsletter design

    You can watch the video below for an overview of MailerLite embedded form.

     

    #3: Place opt-in form on your website

    And now’s the fun part!

    There are two ways you can embed the form into your blog; manually or by using a WordPress plugin.

    I am going to show you how to do both.

    When you are done designing your form, you’ll find the following code snippets under your Form Settings tab.

    Form settings

    opt-in html code

    #1: Manual Integration

    For the manual embed, you will need to copy the first code snippet once into your website header.

    Most WordPress themes should have an option where you can paste the first code snippet into the header.

    For Thrive Themes which I’m using, I can paste the code via the Analytics/Scripts section. Yours may be different.

    Header code

    Then, for the form body itself, you can paste it anywhere you want it to appear. It can be on your sidebar, within a post or at the end of a post.

    To show it within your post, activate Text mode then paste the code into the text editor.

    wordpress text editor

    Below is how it looks like in my post.

    opt-in form preview

    That’s it!

    You’ve now successfully created your first email opt-in and people can start signing up for your email newsletter.

    #2: WordPress plugin integration

    If you are using WordPress, you can install the plugin for MailerLite. To do so, click your Profile image > Integration > WordPress

    Follow the instructions to complete the steps.

    Mailerlite wordpress plugin

     

    How to send your first newsletter

    Adding subscribers

    Now that you know how to start an email newsletter, you can start sending your first email newsletter!

    But wait.. how can you send newsletters if you haven’t got any subscribers?

    Good question!

    I suggest you test the sign-up process by signing up using a secondary email address to see if everything was set up properly.

    Alternatively, if you have an existing subscribers list, you can import it or manually enter them to MailerLite.

    Here’s how to do it:

    Click on the Subscribers tab > Add subscribers

    Add subscribers

    Then choose one of the ways to upload your list, either with CSV, Excel or manually entering emails one by one.

    Create your first campaign

    In MailerLite, the emails that you create are called campaigns.

    To create your first campaign, click Campaigns > Create your first Email

    Create email campaign

    On the next page, you will see 4 campaign types. But for demonstration purpose, we are going to create Regular Campaign.

    Create regular campaign

    Enter your campaign’s subject title. You can use emoji to grab attention, though I’d recommend you use it sparingly and test if positive results are produced.

    Another thing to consider is adding personalization to engage more with your subscribers.

    Fill in the rest of the details. Then click NEXT: Content.

    Check out the following video on how to Quick Start your campaign and how to use the drag and drop editor when designing your email.

    Once you’re done, click Done Editing.

    Edit email campaign

     

    Send your first campaign

    Once you’ve designed your campaign. It’s time to send it out.

    On the next screen, you should be able to select the subscribers you want to send the emails to.

    Select the Group or Groups, then click the NEXT: Review and confirm button.

    Select campaign recepients

    On the next page, you may want to send a test email to yourself to check how the email will look like for your subscribers.

    Send test email

    Sometimes the test email ends up in spam folder because of the additional word Test added in the subject field. Don’t worry, this does not happen with the regular campaigns.

    Click the NEXT: Schedule button below.

    Schedule email campaign

    Select the Send now option, then click the Send button.

    Sending email campaign

    Success!

     

    How to customize your confirmation page

    The confirmation page is where the subscriber is directed to once they clicked the confirmation link in the email.

    Confirmation email sample

    MailerLite provides a default confirmation page which is hosted on their server.

    While this works fine, the design is rather uninspiring and basic.

    Confirmation page

    So, you might want to customize your confirmation page:

    • If you want to track your email signups
    • To improve engagement. Perhaps you want the new subscriber to follow you on Twitter
    • Provide a download link to freebie/lead magnet as promised earlier

    To specify a different confirmation page, just change the URL of the landing page to one of your own.

    Click your Profile picture > Subscribe settings > Confirmation Thank You page

    Subscribe settings

    You can create the page as you normally would when creating a page in WordPress. Here’s how mine looks like at the moment.

    Confirmation page

    The design will definitely be changed in the future as I run experiments to my improve engagements.

    For further reading, you may want to read my article below. Pay attention to the section where I talk about customizing your thank you page.

    How to Grow Your Email List Using Google Analytics Goals Tracking

     

    How to design beautiful & high converting opt-in forms

    Here’s the thing though – the default MailerLite opt-in form looks rather uninspiring!

    While it gets the job done, people won’t be signing up in droves anytime soon.

    Of course, you can make your opt-in form more beautiful and compelling but the MailerLite form design and options leave much to be desired.

    To help you create a beautiful and high converting opt-in form, I recommend using Thrive Leads. It’s not free but it’s well worth the price.

    You can see it in action here at Sabahan.com as I use it to design all my opt-in forms.

    If you are serious about building your email list faster, having versatile and professional looking opt-in forms are crucial.

    And Thrive Leads will help you achieve that goal.

    After you sign-up, you’ll have access to Thrive University. It’s a free online marketing course you can take at your own pace.

    You can learn how to:

    • Design persuasive and beautiful opt-in forms
    • Grow your mailing list faster
    • Create irresistible opt-in offer, a.k.a freebies/lead magnet
    • Implement the next generation email list building tactics
    • Implement advanced strategies in email marketing
    • And more…

    Build email list course

     

    If you ask me, the email marketing courses worth far more than the price of Thrive Leads itself.

    You can access them all for free with the purchase of Thrive Leads (only a small portion of the courses are Thrive member exclusive).

     

    Entice people to sign up by offering freebies/opt-in offers

    People don’t sign up to mailing lists for no reason. They will only give you their email address if they can get something of value in return.

    People don't sign up to mailing lists for no reason. They will only give you their email address if they can get something of value in return.Click To Tweet

    Gone are the days where you can just paste your opt-in form in your sidebar, and that’s enough to get people into your list.

    Today the Internet is a busier and a noisier place. You need to stand out from the crowd to get noticed.

    Providing great content is a good start as it may be enough of an incentive for some people to register their email to get updates.

    Unfortunately, soon you’ll find your conversion rate is still low.

    Most of your visitors would leave after they get what they wanted and may never return.

    So how can you get more people to sign up?

    By offering what we call a lead magnet or optin freebie. These are incentives that solve a particular problem your audience is facing.

    Related: How to Deliver a Lead Magnet or Optin Freebie Easily

    These opt-in offers/lead magnets can be in the form of:

    • PDF guide
    • Checklist
    • Free ebook
    • Cheatsheet
    • Spreadsheet
    • Video or email course
    • And so on…

    Here’s one of my own opt-in freebies to give you an example.

    best facebook groups

    GET INSTANT ACCESS TO

    61+ Curated Facebook Groups List That are Perfect for Bloggers!

    What you will get:

    • Instant access to the full list via Google Sheet
    • Frequent updates to include new groups
    • High-quality groups you can join now
    • check
      Amplify your reach by getting in front of more people
    • check
      It's FREE!

    Please enter your first name and email below to get an instant access. Don't worry, your email is safe. I hate spam too!

    Your lead magnets don’t have to be complicated though. In fact, you should start with something simple which offers a quick fix to a problem.

    So how do you create an effective lead magnet that converts regular visitors into email subscribers?

    That’s a big and interesting topic on its own and deserves a dedicated post.

    Stephen from AspiringBloggers.com has shared some opt-in freebies ideas  to help you grow your subscribers list.

    You can also learn some email marketing strategies from  Thrive University.

    When you register, you can get access to more than 20 different guides, video courses, training webinar recordings and interactive content to help you build your online business.

    Best of all it’s totally free to join!

    The catch? While most of the guides can be implemented regardless of the tools you are using to design and build your blog, some guides are specific to the Thrive Themes plugins.

    It’s free anyway, you got nothing to lose but more email marketing knowledge to gain. If it’s good enough to help me get started, it should be useful to you too!

    Register with the free Thrive University now.

     

    Where should you place your opt-in form?

    When it comes to placing your opt-in or signup forms, the more location you placed them the better.

    Here at Sabahan.com, I have opt-in forms at the following locations:

    After each blog post

    So far this location hasn’t converted as well as I hoped for. I suspect this is due to the fact that there are so many blogs placing their forms at the same location resulting in “opt-in form blindness”.

    Blog footer

    The hero image sign up form

    A hero image is a large, featured image prominently displayed on the homepage.

    Hero image conversion

    It’s one of the first elements a visitor see when they visit your site.

    A hero image tells what your site is about and how you can use it to show you have a solution to the visitor’s problem.

    It’s an ideal place to add your opt-in form to directly influence the behaviour of a visitor as they go through your site.

    But why do I use a button which introduces an extra step instead of an actual opt-in form?

    Well, people have discovered that asking the visitors to click on a button or link before showing them the opt-in form can improve your conversion rates.

    I found that to be true for Sabahan.com. Currently it’s my best performing opt-in form.

     

    Inside specific posts

    I haven’t created many of these yet. But I think if you have a highly targeted and compelling opt-in offer, this location can CONVERT LIKE CRAZY.

    Optin within blog post

    The ribbon bar at the top

    This ribbon is a horizontal bar that appears after the reader scrolled to 70% of my article.

    Why 70%?

    Because I only want to show it to readers who are actually interested in my content.

    This improves my conversion rates tremendously and I get good sign-ups from mobile users.

    ribbon button optin

    The scroll mat (or welcome mat)

    Scroll mat turns any page into a full-screen signup form that’s displayed immediately on page load. It rolls down to welcome visitors to your website when they land on a specific page.

    I was a bit reluctant to implement this at first for concern that it may affect the users’ experience. However if authority sites like Problogger.com find such ‘popup’ acceptable, the least I could do is test it on my blog.

    Scroll mat

    In any case, I’m limiting the scroll mat to only appear once a week. So far it is one of my best performing opt-in forms.

    On the sidebar

    The ‘obligatory’ signup form widget on my sidebar. For best result, I recommend placing this at the very top of your sidebar before any other widgets.

    Sidebar optin form

    On my About page

    A call to action button on my About Page. I got a few signups here.

    About page opt-in form

    There are many other locations you can experiment with in addition to the above. Each placement will perform differently depending on your site design, niche and audience.

    The only way to find out which one performs the best is to test out the various locations as you go along.

    For that purpose, I’m using Thrive Leads to track my email sign up conversion rates.

    Thrive Leads helps me find out which opt-in forms/content perform the best over time. I can even conduct an A/B testing to automatically increase my conversion rate.

    Email signups conversion rate report

    I know there are tons and tons of things I can do to improve my conversion rates. I’ll be glad to share my finding in my future posts, so stay tuned.

     

    How to track which traffic source brings you the most signups

    By default, MailerLite tracks who has opened your email newsletters or clicked on links.

    However, if you want to track where your new subscribers came from then you’ll need to use Google Analytics.

    I’ve dedicated an entire post to teach you how to use Google Analytics to track your email signups.

    Check it out here: How to Grow Your Email List Using Google Analytics Goals Tracking

     

    Conclusion

    There you have it!

    That’s how to start an email list for free from scratch.

    Email lists offer the best form of communication with your audience.

    Even though social media marketing often gets the spotlight, having access to your audience email addresses is still the most valuable digital marketing channel for your blog.

    Not content marketing, nor influencer marketing.

    Now it’s your turn.

    Have you started your mailing list yet? Now that you know how to create an email subscription list, are you going to start one soon?

    Please share your story in the comments.

    Thanks for reading!

    22

    21 Terrific Blogging Tips and Tricks That Will Make Your Blog Successful

    Blogging tips and tricks that will make your blog more successful. #bloggingtips #bloggingtricks #bloggingforbeginners #bloggingtipsandtricksWhat are the blogging tips and tricks every beginner blogger should know about?

    It’s a valid question but not an easy one to answer in a few sentences.

    As you start a blog, things can get complicated rather quickly.

    As if writing good blog content is not hard enough, you have to know about blogger web design, search engine optimization, starting your email list, marketing via social media and sometimes some basic coding.

    It’s overwhelming, to say the least. I know because I’ve been there.

    The good news?

    If you are reading this post, you are already a step in the right direction.

    Below, I break down some of my favourite blogging tips and tricks to help you save time, blog better, grow traffic and increase your social media followers faster.

    Instead of listing each tip on its own, I’ve put them into three main categories:

    • Blog writing tips
    • Blog promotion tips
    • Blog design tips

    Ready?

    Related: 9 Successful Blogging Strategies to Get More Visitors in 2019

     

    #1: Blogging tips and tricks – Writing tips

    Write catchy headlines

    Writing great headlines will help you

    • Attract more readers
    • Grow traffic faster
    • Improve your search engine rankings
    • Get more shares on the social network
    • Get more paying customers

    If you get the headline wrong, all your effort will be a total waste.

    As a matter of fact, according to David Ogilvy, on average, 5x as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you’ve written your headline, you’ve spent eighty cents out of your dollar.

    Think about it.

    Writing great headlines is the best ways to get more shares, get more readers, improve your search rankings and grow your traffic.Click To Tweet

    Okay but how?

    There are two things you can do:

    1. Run an A/B headline test using tools like Thrive Headline Optimizer
    2. Follow the proven formula to arrive at the best headlines.

    Method 2 is quicker so we are going to do that first.

    Head over to CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer and plug in your headline to see if it’s a keeper.

    Below were my attempts trying to come up with the best headlines for this blog post (it may change slightly as you read this).

    create catchy headline

    Of course, you can always run an A/B test for your headlines later.

     

    Blogging checklist

    Get Instant Access  Blogging Tips & Tricks Checklist

    Download the accompanying step-by-step check list that will help you create a better blog quicker.

     

    Write long blog posts

    I’ve been repeating this point like a broken record in several of my posts.

    Research shows that the average length of articles that rank on page one of Google search results or get the most social shares has a minimum of 1500 words.

    I’m a  non-native English speaker and my grammar isn’t the best in the world but I think everyone can do it.

    How to create a long-form content then?

    Check out this post from Neil Patel to help you out.

    Use conversational tone

    You can avoid making your posts read like a textbook by using “you” and “I”.

    This makes them more conversational.

    This helps you connect more with your readers and create a more engaged audience.

    Make your blog content actionable

    A good blog post should be educational, practical and actionable.

    Instead of just listing stuff in your post, show them exactly how to do it. Include relevant screenshots in each step.

    Next time they want to learn something, they’ll come back to your blog to find the step-by-step instructions you have laid out earlier.

    How do I know?

    Because I track my traffic using Google Analytics. And once in a while, I see returning visitors who spent up to 45 minutes reading a post.

    Use images/video to create appealing posts

    Have you ever came across blog posts which feel like a chore to read?

    I have.

    It’s a shame because the blogger was definitely knowledgeable and worked hard to create good content.

    Unfortunately, as he described all the technical stuff in the post, I was left to my own devices trying to picture what he meant.

    A picture is worth a thousand words.

    use picture images

    Use the free stock photo websites to find unique images for your blog. Here are a few:

    Use screenshots and graphics to explain the message you’re trying to convey. People are more likely to read and stick around if you do.

    Use Canva or PicMonkey to design your graphic and for image editing.

    You can also use the Windows snipping tool to capture screenshots.

    windows snipping tool

    But don’t stop there.

    Add videos and infographics to keep people engaged. If you don’t have your own videos, you can always find relevant ones on YouTube and embed them into your content.

    When you find a relevant YouTube video, click on the SHARE link.

    how to share youtube video

    Then click on the “Embed” tab. You need to copy and paste the HTML code in your blog post.

    how to embed youtube video

    Here’s an example of embedded YouTube video. Go ahead, press the play button. It’s relevant to this blog writing tips.

    Adding images/videos into your blog posts will do a few things:

    • Your bounce rate will drop
    • Your search engine rankings will rise
    • You’ll get more shares on the social media

    Neil Patel analyzed close to 6 billion pages recently and they found that people tend to share articles more on the social media if they contain more images.

    Use short paragraphs

    Your paragraph should not be more than 5 or 6 lines.

    If you notice, I tend to use short paragraphs at Sabahan.com too, usually no longer than 3 lines.

    Longer paragraphs can be overwhelming and people usually skip them.

    Also, more and more people are browsing the web from their mobile phones, so do these people a favour by using short paragraphs.

     

    Blogging checklist

    Get Instant Access  Blogging Tips & Tricks Checklist

    Download the accompanying step-by-step check list that will help you create a better blog quicker.

     

    Use subheadings

    Subheadings break down your blog posts into sections. This makes it easier for the readers to scan.

    use subheadings to break up your text

    Without subheadings, people won’t be able to get to the gist of your content without reading the whole article. As a result, you’ll get fewer readers.

    Notice the difference below?

    no subheaders

    Subheadings allow people to scan your post and get to the section that interests them and keep them scrolling through for the next section.

    Use descriptive but concise subheadings. Make them interesting to pique the reader’s interest.

    To add a subheading, just select the heading you want from the drop-down menu when composing your blog post.

    optimizing headers tag

    Include a conclusion

    To keep it simple, label your conclusion, “conclusion“.

    People often scroll down to the bottom of the post to see what the post is all about (or to estimate its length).

    So make your conclusion interesting to entice them to read the rest of your post.

    The conclusion section is also a good place to include your call-to-action.  A call-to-action is an action you are requesting your readers to perform.

    Don’t assume that they automatically know what is expected of them.

    You can ask them to leave a comment, share the post, sign up for your email newsletter and so on.

    Use Grammarly to check for grammar and spelling mistakes.

    Before you hit the publish button, make sure to double check your grammar and spellings for any mistakes.

    I recommend using Grammarly to proofread your content.

    While it won’t fix everything (as you may noticed from my own post!), using Grammarly is definitely better than proofreading by yourself.

    You can find other blog writing tools here.

    Link to other sites

    Don’t be afraid to link to other relevant sites.

    In fact, it has been shown that linking to other authoritative and relevant pages will improve your SEO rankings.

    It also makes your content more valuable since you are pointing your users to relevant information which are not available on your site.

    When you link out to other people, you will get on their radar. You build incentives for other people to engage with your site.

    Reply to comments

    I often see bloggers ignoring readers who left comments on their blog. Questions went unanswered and the reader’s appreciation wasn’t acknowledged.

    Don’t be like those bloggers!

    Replying to comments will help you to:

    • Create a more engaged audience
    • Increases the post word count which is good for SEO
    • Add more value by including points that aren’t mentioned in the post

    Now don’t just reply with short answers and be done with it.

    When answering, try to include your target keywords if possible and address your readers by their name.

    For more blog writing tips, check out this expert bloggers roundup post at WordsByJustin. (I was also being featured in the list).

    Write for SEO

    What does it mean to write for SEO in 2018?

    Here’s a hint: By providing a solution to the searcher’s queries.

    Watch the video from MOZ below to find out more.

     

    Blogging checklist

    Get Instant Access  Blogging Tips & Tricks Checklist

    Download the accompanying step-by-step check list that will help you create a better blog quicker.

     

    #2: Blog promotion tips

    Include social media sharing buttons

    The social media sharing buttons have always provided a way for blogs to bring their content to a wider audience.

    The share count provides a social proof which indirectly attests to the quality of your content. People are more likely to share your content if they see other people are actively sharing it.

    Don’t include too many otherwise it can look cluttered.

    I decided to go with Social Warfare because it offers a few features that aren’t available in other competing plugins.

    social media sharing

    Social Warfare comes with a free and paid version.

    I’m currently using the paid pro version (it costs $29 per year) because it offers useful features for any serious bloggers in one package such as:

    • Show the Pin button on image hover for Pinterest
    • Customize your Pinterest image, description, title
    • Recover your lost share counts when you change your permalink structure
    • Automatic link shortening
    • Create Click to Tweet box easily within your content as shown below (alternatively you can use this)

     

    The share count provides a social proof which indirectly attests to the quality of your content. People are more likely to share your content if they see a higher share count.Click To Tweet

     

    Build your email list

    Why do you need to build your email list?

    Because you do not want to only rely on Google, Facebook or other third parties to send you traffic. They could shut down your traffic source anytime leaving you high and dry.

    Also, if you want to make serious money from your blog, having an engaged and eager email list is the best way to go about it.

    If you want to make money online blogging and via affiliate marketing, email marketing should one of your main priorities.

    Even if you are not selling anything at the moment, having an email list is for you to provide value and connect with your readers more.

    Related: How to Start an Email List for Free Right Now

    Promote your posts on Facebook groups

    Getting organic traffic takes time.

    So before your organic traffic takes off, you can join blogger-focused Facebook groups and promote your posts to drive traffic and engagement.

    I personally get the most engagement, shares and comments from Facebook traffic.

    You can learn my tips and tricks on using Facebook groups to drive traffic to your blog here.

    Tweet, tweet and tweet again

    If there’s a social media channel that let you promote the same link repeatedly without being spammy, it would be Twitter.

    In fact, that’s how you should use Twitter for content promotion.

    You can automate this repetitive task by using the IFTTT  tool and other automation tools

    IFTTT

    IFTTT stands for If This Then That.

    It’s a free web-based service that helps you connect all your different apps and devices.

    There are over 600 apps that you can instruct to do specific things they couldn’t do otherwise.

    Now, here how you use it to automatically tweet your latest post.

    After you register with IFTTT, enable the following applet to automatically tweet your new blog post

    Automatically tweet your new blog posts.

    Just follow the instruction to get it going.

    ifttt wordpress

    RecurPost

    Use Recurpost to schedule your tweets.

    Dedicate some time (a few minutes to an hour on the weekend) to write short updates for all your important posts.

    Then use Recurpost to slowly publish them on Twitter several times a day in a span of several weeks.

    The free plan allows 3 social media accounts and 100 scheduled content. So you can see how much time you can save if you pre-schedule 100 tweets in one month.

    You can also try Buffer or Hootsuite.

    Learn SEO to drive traffic from Google

    If you don’t know this already, SEO stands for search engine optimisation.

    It’s the thing you do to improve your blog position in the search engines result pages.

    I’ve dedicated an entire blog post to help you learn some SEO tips and tricks. Check it out.

     

    Blogging checklist

    Get Instant Access  Blogging Tips & Tricks Checklist

    Download the accompanying step-by-step check list that will help you create a better blog quicker.

     

    #3: Blog design and improvement tips

    While some of the tips in this section assume you are running the self-hosted WordPress, they are applicable to other blogging platforms too.

    Declutter your sidebar

    When I started blogging in 2006, everyone was trying to fill their sidebars with widgets and links so that the users can interact with their blogs in multiple ways.

    More choice means better user experience right?

    Nope.

    In fact, there was a study conducted involving jam in a supermarket. One day they display 24 varieties of jam that people were allowed to sample. Then on another day, only six varieties of jam were on displayed.

    While the larger display attracted more attention, when it came to purchasing, people who saw the larger display were one-tenth less likely to buy than people who saw the small display.

    Fortunately today, it isn’t as bad as it used to be.

    When it comes to your blog design, you want people to focus on your main content.

    It’s where you’ll make more money from (and from your email list if you have one).

    People will return for your content and not the sidebar.

    Take a look at your blog’s design and work out what you can live without.

    Remove extra widgets, links or tools on the sidebar that don’t move you closer towards your blogging goal.

    Remember, when it comes to your sidebar, less is more.

    Add widgets that will help you get more email subscribers, show important blog posts, or get more social media followers etc.

    Create a static homepage

    The default homepage for blogs typically displays a list of their latest posts.

    For the longest time, that was my default homepage too. Only in June 2018, I changed my homepage to a static one.

    creating static homepage

    The information on static homepages stays the same. It’s up to you if you want to display snippets of your latest blog posts or other dynamic content.

    The main reason why you would want to create a static homepage is to present your most important information front and center.

    It makes it obvious for your first-time visitors to know who you are and what immediate benefits they’ll gain from you.

    You control how your visitors start their journey. If you want them to sign-up for your newsletter, this is the place to nudge them closer to that goal.

    So how do you create a static homepage?

    First, you need to create a new page for your homepage. It’s the same process you took when creating your About, Privacy, Disclaimer pages.

    Once that’s done, go to Settings > Reading.

    For the “your homepage display” option, choose “A static page” and select the page for your Homepage.

    Create static homepage

    At Sabahan.com, I’m currently using ThriveThemes.

    You can watch the following video to learn how to design a professional looking static homepage.

    Or check out this article.

    Speed up your blog

    Having a speedy blog will not only improve the user experience, but Google considers your page load time an important ranking factor.

    I know I’ve been repeating this point in several of my articles already because it is THAT important to get it right.

    The faster your pages loading time, the higher you’ll rank (provided that you’ve implemented the good SEO practices).

    So how do you shorten your page load time? You can start by installing the following WordPress plugins.

    • Install W3 Total Cache
      This is a caching plugin. It improves the SEO and user experience of your site. You can skip this if you have installed other caching plugin.
    • Smush Image Compression and Optimization
      A WordPress plugin which resizes and compresses all of you images. Using smaller images ensure your pages load faster.

    Here’s a before and after experiment you can do.

    Go to pingdom.com and enter your URL. Alternatively, you can also use Google PageSpeed Insights. Note your page load time.

    Then, install the caching plugin above and then run the test again. I’m pretty sure you’ll notice an immediate improvement in your blog load time.

    Install Google Analytics

    Installing an analytic tool is a must for any blog. Otherwise, how would you track your progress?

    Even if you are not ready to use it, you should just install and start collecting data now.

    To get started with Google Analytics go here and sign up.

    Next, you’d want to insert the tracking code into your blog.

    Most themes should have an option where you can just paste your code in.

    Or you can install Google Analytics Dashboard for WP (GADWP) to add Google Analytics to your blog quickly.

    So now what?

    You need to track how well your content is performing. This information provides important indicators of the results of your efforts in creating and promoting your blog.

    For starter, some of the most important metrics to track are:

    • Users
    • Sessions
    • Average session duration
    • Bounce rate

    Metric #1: Users

    Users are the unique visitors.

    They are distinct individuals visiting your blog during a given period, regardless of how often they visit.

    For example, people who visit my blog every day would only be counted once for the month, because they are distinct individuals.

    This is one of my favourite metrics because it shows how I’m making the world a better place, one person at a time lol.

    Pay attention to how your users count increases over time. Don’t worry too much about the daily or monthly fluctuations.

    To view your users metric, go to AUDIENCE > Overview and select Users from the drop-down menu.

    users metric

    Metric #2: Sessions

    A session is the number of times a user has visited your blog within a given time frame.

    The defaults time frame is 30 minutes.

    To view your users metric, go to AUDIENCE > Overview and select Sessions from the drop-down menu.

    sessions metric

    The session count is incremented each time the user visits. For example, if a visitor read my blog once a week, that would add up to 4 sessions per month.

    Why is it important?

    If you know what your visitors are doing on your website, you can influence their behaviour so that they perform the actions that get you closer to your end goal.

    The higher the sessions count, the more likely they’ll sign up for your newsletter, make purchases or engage with your content and so on.

    Some advertisers like Mediavine are using the session count as a benchmark before accepting bloggers into their program.

    Metric #3: Average Session Duration

    The Average Session Duration is the average length of a session within a given time frame.

    It’s an indication of the quality and relevance of your content because it measures how long people actually stay on your blog.

    Longer session duration is generally better. But it also depends on your end goal too.

    For example, a longer session duration on your check out page could mean people are having a hard time making a decision or the page confuses them.

    For Sabahan.com, I found that visitors from the social media are spending more time on my blog recently followed by the organic search.

    To view which traffic sources are sending more engaged visitors, go to ACQUISITION > Overview

    Average session duration

    While this information can fluctuations a lot, in the long term, a pattern could emerge.

    You can use this information to ramp up your promotional effort to attract more of such visitors.

    Metric #4: Bounce Rate

    The bounce rate is the percentage of sessions where people only see only one page before leaving your site.

    To view your bounce rate, go to AUDIENCE > Overview

    how to check your bounce rate

    A high bounce rate can be good or it can be bad.

    Why?

    Well when a visitor arrives from Google for example, and they spend a few minutes reading your article, then they leave. That visit counts as a bounce.

    But that doesn’t mean that your page doesn’t deliver. Perhaps, the visitor has found what he was looking for.

    In general though, you would want to have lower bounce rates as it could mean people are viewing more of your pages and are engaging more with your content.

    To learn how to improve your bounce rate, watch Neil Patel’s video below:

    Top 10 most popular pages

    These are your most visited pages or posts. To find your post popular pages go to BEHAVIOUR > Site Content > All Pages

    They are important because you can optimize these pages further to attract more organic traffic, improve your bounce rates or time spent on page.

    They can also be the perfect places to promote your lead magnet/freebies to get people to sign up for your email newsletter.

     

    Have a targeted About page

    The About page is often one of the most popular pages on any websites.

    Why?

    Because your visitors want to connect with you, not your blog.

    Your blog can be about anything but only the person behind it makes it more relatable to them.

    You should utilize your About page as a digital marketing tool to engage with your target audience to bring you closer to your end goal.

    That’s what I mean by having a targeted About page.

    I’ve dedicated an entire post talking about how you can create the killer About page for your blog. Check it out!

     

    Conclusion

    Back in 2006 when I started blogging, what everyone considered blogging tips and tricks for beginners were a little different (like writing a 300 words article was enough already!).

    There was less noise and the social media as we know it today didn’t even exist.

    But today, it’s different.

    There are more competitions, the Internet is noisier and there are endless things you can add to your to-do list (isn’t that has always been the case? lol).

    My advice?

    Don’t try to do everything at once. You’ll end up spreading yourself too thin and suffer burnout.

    Find out the most important thing you need to do now. Then concentrate all your effort on it. When you are done, you can move on to the next task.  Having focus is especially important for every new blogger.

    Lastly, don’t give up if you don’t see the immediate results. Blogging is a marathon, not a sprint.

    Successful blogging tips involved putting the time to acquire skills and put your knowledge into practice.

    Now it’s your turn.

    Have you tried any of these blogging tips and tricks? What are your best words of wisdom that helped you get closer to your goal?

    Feel free to share in the comments below.

    34

    9 Quick SEO Tips and Tricks For Blogs (Updated for 2019)

    9 SEO Tips and Tricks for Blogs. #seotips #seotricks #blogseo #seoforbloggers #searchengineoptimizationWhat are there the best SEO tips and tricks in 2019?

    Most site owners have no idea what SEO is about, let alone the crucial steps they can easily take to improve their rankings in Google.

    The problem is that SEO ranking factors are constantly changing.

    What works today may not work tomorrow. Staying on top of the latest changes can be a real challenge.

    The good news?

    If you are reading this, you’ll learn the latest SEO tips and tricks to promote website and drive massive organic traffic in 2019.

    I’ll discuss the dos and don’ts in search engine optimization to help you optimise your pages the right way.

    Ready?

    Related: 5 Extremely Actionable SEO Tips For Beginners When Starting A New Blog

     

    SEO Tips and Tricks 2019 (that Actually Work)

    Viewed individually, each SEO tip or trick discussed below may only offer a small incremental improvement to your blog.

    The power lies in combining them into one blog optimization strategy and sticking with it from day one.

    While there’s no one size fits all which guarantee rankings, sticking with the fundamentals is a step in the right direction.

    Your site should remain on Google’s nice list no matter what algorithm changes it throws at you.

    For this to work, you need:

    • A good on-page SEO practice
    • Proper site optimization
    • Great and useful content
    • High-quality backlinks

     

    book

    Exclusive Bonus: Download the accompanying step-by-step SEO checklist that will show you how to optimize your pages quickly.

     

    #1: Optimize Your On Page SEO

    On page SEO optimisation is such a necessary component in any SEO efforts.

    In fact, it’s so important to get this right.

    Otherwise, the remaining search engine optimisation tips might not be as effective.

    For on-page SEO, you need to pay closer attention to the title tag, the meta description, page URL as well as the keyword density on the page (although this one not so much).

    Try to place your target keywords near the beginning of the article. Then, sprinkle them throughout your article and make it looks natural.

    Avoid stuffing keywords as you can get penalized for over optimization.

    On Google search results pages, your entry would look like this:

    title url and meta description on serp

    Back in the old days before WordPress and other content management system was the go-to solution for website design, people used to edit the HTML source code directly to adjust the title and meta description tags.

    For most people who are not familiar with HTML coding, I’m sure they all Greek to them.

    on-page seo ranking factors

    Nowadays you don’t have to know HTML to edit the code behind. I’ll explain how later in this article.

    Create a Unique, Exciting Yet an Accurate Title Tag

    The meta title <title> of your page tells both visitors and search engines what your page topic is about. It is, in fact, the most important place to include your keywords.

    You need to create exciting titles because you also want to incite the readers to actually click on them.

    To improve your click-through rates, make your titles punchier by adding words that drive emotion such as:

    • Quick
    • Powerful
    • Insane
    • New
    • Now
    • Easy
    • Amazing
    • How To
    • Free
    • And so on…

    Usually, Google only shows about 70 characters of the title, so make it brief yet descriptive.

    Now, do you know that you can show two different titles, one for the search result pages and another one for your blog readers?

    Now you do!

    To edit your title for the search result pages, install the Yoast SEO plugin, then scroll down to the Yoast SEO section to find the SEO title text box.

    Enter the title you want the search engines to show here.

    seo title

    For your actual blog post title, you can make it more personal/emotional because you want anyone reading your blog to stick around and read more.

    blog post title

    Notice how I used different titles for each.

    For the search engines, I am using the phrase “increase traffic” because people are more likely to search using that phrase.

    Once the visitor clicks on my result on the search result page and landed on my blog post, they will see an emotion-focused title “explode your blog traffic”.

    Pretty neat isn’t it?

    That said, make sure that you have the main keywords in both titles. Or at least they must match one another very closely.

    You don’t want the searchers to click on one title and then landed on a page that has an entirely different title.

    Page Description Meta Tags

    Your page’s description meta tag <description> gives the search engines a summary of what your page is about.

    Description meta tags are important because Google might use them as snippets for your pages.

    I say might because there’s no guarantee that Google will use the supplied description especially if it finds a more relevant section of your page’s visible text which matches the user’s query.

    Also, some people say Google doesn’t use meta description as a ranking factor.

    That said, adding description meta tags is always a good practice to ensure your pages are relevant to the topic. It’s a natural place to add some keyword phrases to encourage website searches to click-through to your website.

    Avoid filling it with only keywords though. If your sentence doesn’t flow naturally, it won’t attract many clicks from the search engines users.

    You can also use the Yoast SEO to edit your meta description and adjust the length as indicated by the green bar.

    meta-description-length

    Yoast SEO is a great tool to help make your site search-engine-friendly quickly. It takes out the tedious part of manually optimizing a page.

    However, don’t obsess over the green bullets and perfect Yoast score. The recommendations from Yoast are just that, recommendations. They are not rules.

    Use Heading Tags to Emphasize Important Points

    Heading tags are the <h1>, <h2> tags that you use to create  subheadings in WordPress editor. Use them to break up your content into meaningful subsections.

    optimizing headers tag

    If you are creating a long-form blog post, the heading tags will help you break up your content into digestible chunks.

    Normally <h1> is more important than <h2>, and <h2> is more important than <h3> and so on. Replace the header tags with <em> and <strong> where appropriate.

    Use multiple heading sizes to structure your content and make it easier for users to navigate around.

    Normally you would use <h1> for your page heading and <h2>, <h3> etc for the subheadings.

    Place relevant keywords sparingly. Your headings should help the readers understand what the subsections are all about.

    Like your main heading, try to make your subheaders exciting. Make them concise yet descriptive.

    Personally, I like to include emotional words where appropriate to draw the reader’s attention to the subsection.

    Include Keywords in Your Images Filename  and Alt Tags

    When saving your images, try to use descriptive filenames.

    For example, instead of using img29.jpg for your filename, you should be describing the content of the image and name it like best-wood-flooring.jpg. Separate each keyword with a hyphen.

    The alt tags are the alternative text for your images which are shown if they cannot be displayed for some reason.

    If a user is browsing your site using assistive technologies such as a screen reader, your alt tags will provide the information about the picture.

    broken image

    If you are using an image as a link, the alt text for the image will be treated similarly to the anchor text of a text link.

    Like any other in-page keyword optimization, try to use short and descriptive filenames and alt text.

    You can include your keywords in your alt text but avoid stuffing keywords or pasting entire sentences here.

    To edit your alt text, select the image and click the edit button as shown below.

    image alt text

    On the Image Details dialog, enter your alt text in the Alternative Text box.

    how to edit alt text

     

    Use Simple URLs That Convey Information

    Your URL is another place to gain some SEO advantage over your competition.

    While the advantage may not be as big as it used to be, it’s still an advantage you can’t ignore.

    You can add your main keywords in your URLs while keeping it simple and short. Avoid excessive keywords in the URLs.

    Google displays your URLs on the search results pages. So you should write them for both humans and search engines. Make it easy to understand what the destination will be about.

    Ideally, you would want your URL to be like:

    https://www.domain.com/blog/seo-tips-for-beginners

    A few things to keep in mind when writing optimal URLs:

    • They are case sensitive – seo-tips is not the same as Seo-Tips. Preferably, make all words lowercase.
    • Use hyphens to separate words – eg. seo-tips-trick. Avoid underscores as those serve to combine two words together.
    • Keep it short – Google will truncate your URL if it exceeds 512 pixels. So be sure to place your important keywords near the beginning. Matt Cutts the former Google engineer once said that anything after the fifth words in your URL don’t matter as much.

    In WordPress, you can make your URLs more user and search engine friendly by updating your permalink structure.

    To do so go to Settings > Permalinks then select Post name

    optimize url permalink

    Bear in mind that changing your permalink will break existing links.

    This happened to me when I switched Sabahan.com permalink from Day and name version to the Post name version.

    https://sabahan.com/2019/08/22/sample-post/

    To

    https://sabahan.com/sample-post/

     

    To fix this issue, you’ll need to create redirects to instruct WordPress to automatically redirects the visitors coming from your old URL to the new URL.

    The one plugin that works for me is WP 404 Auto Redirect to Similar Post.

    Use Keywords in Internal Links

    When you are linking your pages internally, one SEO trick you can do is try to use the relevant keywords in the anchor text.

    Anchor text is the clickable text in a hyperlink, normally the blue, underlined text like this.

    It’s SEO best practices to include relevant keywords to the page you’re linking to, rather than generic text. The helps the users know what the page is about.

    Again, you want to be clever about it. Your anchor text has to be balanced and must not look spammy.

     

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    #2: Include Numbers, the Year or Parentheses in the Title

    The competition for some keywords is really fierce. But here’s a simple trick you can use to stand out from the crowd and improve your click-through rates.

    You can add the year to your post titles.

    For example, say you are writing an article about “The Best SEO Tips and Tricks”, kind of like this article you are reading.

    Just by adding the year “The Best SEO Tips and Tricks for 2019 may weed out a lot of competition and make your content more relevant for users searching for the latest information.

    This will improve your organic CTR (click-through rates) which is an important ranking signal.

    If adding the year is not possible, you can add numbers, brackets or parentheses to the end of your titles instead.

    For examples:

    • Top SEO Tips and Tricks For Blog (Updated for 2019)
    • How to Create an Effective Opt-In Form (PDF Template Included)
    • How I Got #1 Ranking (Step-By-Step Case Study)
    • Social Media Prediction: Where Are We Heading? [Latest Report]
    • You get the idea…

    However, including the year means your content may appear outdated next year. So make sure to update the titles and URLs as the new year approaches.

     

    #3: Get Your Pages Ranked Quickly

    If you want your articles to rank quicker, make sure to register with Google Search Console.

    adding sitemap webmaster console

    This is a tool that you can use to monitor your actual search engine rankings on Google search results pages.

    Once registered, you’ll be notified if Google is having a problem indexing your pages and then you can take the necessary action to fix it.

    To make sure Google knows what your whole blog is about, you need to submit a sitemap.

    A sitemap is simply a file containing a list of your site’s URLs that you submit to Google and other search engines.

    It helps Google and other search engines to include your site’s pages in their search results more easily and quickly.

    The Yoast SEO plugin I mentioned earlier can help you create a sitemap.

    Personally, I am using Google XML Sitemaps because it has the option to exclude specific blog categories from being included in the sitemap (I needed to exclude all my blog posts since 2006 from Google!)

    Use Fetch as Google to Update Your Page in the Search Result

    Fetch as Google in Search Console is a great feature that allows you to instruct Google to crawl your pages on demand.

    Use it to see exactly what content Google download and if your page is redirected appropriately.

    In addition, you can instruct Google to not just crawl but to submit to index by clicking the Request indexing button.

    fetch as google

    This is very useful anytime you update a page or you create an entirely new page.  By request indexing, you can trigger the entire process to make your new or updated content available to searchers even faster.

     

    #4: Make Your Blog Mobile Friendly

    More and more people are browsing the web and searching on Google using a mobile device. Because of the smaller screen size, the desktop version of a site can be troublesome to view and use on a mobile device.

    So it’s critical to ensure your blog design to be mobile ready.

    It’s so important, Google has begun using a mobile-first index. If your blog isn’t optimized for mobile, it won’t rank as well no matter how good your scores are in the other SEO efforts.

    Google also started to show the Accelerated Mobile Pages or AMP (identified with a lightning bolt symbol) in the search engine results pages.

    To create a mobile-ready site, the design has to be mobile responsive. Having a mobile responsive design means your blog automatically adjust to the screen size.

    Fortunately, most WordPress templates are likely to be mobile friendly and adapted the responsive design requirements.

    Not sure if your website or blog is mobile-ready? Don’t worry.

    You can use Google’s Mobile-friendly Test to check if pages on your site meet the criteria for being mobile friendly.

    Page mobile friendly test

    You can also use the Google Webmaster Mobile Usability report to discover any issues affecting your site.

    If your page is not mobile-friendly, you will get the “You page is not mobile-friendly” message on the search result.

    your page is not mobile friendly

    There are many free WordPress templates that are mobile-responsive. If you want to stand out more, I recommend buying premium themes from sites like:

    • Thrive Themes – this is the theme that I am currently using
    • Themeforest – wide selections of premium themes for any niches at reasonable prices.

     

    #5: SEO Content Writing Tips

    I’ve made a conscious decision to only publish long-form content when I decided to revive Sabahan.com from the dead in June 2019.

    It’s a lot of work I tell you that. And if I had a choice I would prefer writing shorter articles and writing more often.

    But in 2019, SEO no longer works that way.

    If I want to improve my chance of ranking on the first search results pages, especially in the blogging, social media marketing, and SEO niche, I don’t think I have any other choice but to write long blog posts.

    It helps that I am passionate about these topics.

    Putting everything that I’ve learned into practice makes the whole process a fun learning experience for me as I got to see first-hand what works and what doesn’t.

    Also, as a non-native English speaker, it gives me the chance to practice my writing.

    Research has shown that publishing long-form content will help you rank higher.

    long-form content seo

    Image credit: Backlinko

    Aiming to write blog posts with 1800 words or longer is a good starting point.

    Long-form content will increase the dwell time, i.e. the time someone spends on your site.

    How so?

    Noticed when you came across a 300-word blog post, you may skim or read it in 30 seconds or less then leave.

    With long blog posts, there is more opportunity to include more comprehensive information about the topic (later I’ll show you how you can use LSI keywords to tell Google you have a comprehensive and helpful content).

    This effectively reduces your bounce rate. Shorter bounce rate signals Google that users love your content and Google will rank you higher.

    A bounce rate is when someone clicks on your Google result but then hit the back button quickly after arriving. Not good.

    To view your bounce rate, you can use any analytic platforms or just log in to Google Analytics, then go to AUDIENCE > Overview

    how to check your bounce rate

    So what is the ideal bounce rate then?

    Well, it depends on your industry and your goal for that page. Generally, the lower your bounce rate, the better

    As you can see there’s room for improvement for my own bounce rate, but it’s not far from the industry average.

    Creating great and useful content for the users will likely influence your blog more than any of the other SEO factors.

    If you create great content, you may start attracting backlinks from other bloggers, improving your domain authority further.

    When it comes to creating long-form content, your goal is to increase time on page, lower bounce rate and provide helpful content for the user.

    As you get more organic or word-of-mouth buzz by creating good quality content, you should be able to build your site reputation with both users and Google.

    Related: 9 Successful Blogging Strategies to Get More Visitors in 2019

     

    book

    Exclusive Bonus: Download the accompanying step-by-step SEO checklist that will show you how to optimize your pages quickly.

     

    #6: Use LSI Keywords to Improve Overall Rankings

    Don’t worry, this is not as complicated as it sounds!

    LSI stands for Latent Semantic Indexing. LSI keywords are words and phrases that Google associates with your main keyword.

    For example, if your topic was about cat food, some LSI keywords may be:

    • “low protein diets”
    • “vegan cat”
    • “lean body”

    How so?

    These are related words which Google would expect to see in a comprehensive article about cat food. They are important because they give the context for Google to fully understand your page.

    Google is moving towards machine learning (RankBrain SEO) to rank pages and no longer relying solely on the traditional on-page and off-page SEO ranking factors.

    For example, Google now knows if you are searching for “vegan cat”, you probably wanted to learn more about vegan diets for cats.

    So how do you find these LSI keywords for your topics?

    A good place to start is the Watson Natural Language Understanding Tool

    For example, when I entered the Wikipedia URL for cat food:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cat_food

    It returned all the important keywords ranked by relevance.

    rankbrain LSI keywords

    The second place you can uncover good LSI keywords is from Google’s own search result pages.

    When you do a search, scroll down to the bottom of the result page to find phrases semantically related to your topic.

    google semantic keywords phrases

     

    You can also try LSIKeywords.com to find related LSI keywords to your topic.

    LSI Keywords

    Now, if you are already a creating long-form content on a topic, you’ll have more opportunity integrating these LSI keywords.

    That said, avoid adding LSI keywords just for the sake of including them into your content.

    Your goal is to provide the best user experience. If these LSI keywords don’t make sense or don’t benefit your content then leave them.

    In most cases though, you’ll find that when you sprinkle the LSI keywords in your long-form posts, you’ll confirm to RankBrain that your content is comprehensive and better all-around.

    If you want to learn how LSI keywords can help you rank on Google, watch Rand Fishkin’s video below:

     

    #7: Research Link Building Opportunities

    When you come up with a blog post idea, it needs to be unique, fresh, with lots of long-tail keywords that can bring in organic traffic.

    But how do you know if the topic is not already saturated or overdone?

    This is where Moz’s  Link Explorer, formerly known as Open Site Explorer comes in.

     

    It’s an all-in-one link building tool that will help you do better link building research, better content marketing and link prospecting. You can find out:

    • The URL / website that is linking back to you
    • The anchor text used in the backlink
    • Page Authority
    • Domain Authority
    • Linking Domains
    • Spam score

    The real benefit is the ability to view the link profiles of your competition. Just plug in their URL, find their top pages,  and reverse engineer their campaigns to help you get backlinks from similar sites.

    Link Explores is a powerful content marketing tool for any marketers. Although it’s can be a little technical for beginners. The free version is currently limited to 10 queries per month.

    You can watch the video below to learn more about how to use Moz’s Link Explorer.

     

    #8: Perform Keyword Research

    A keyword research involves finding a series of popular words and phrases that people are searching for based around your topic. Then you make an attempt to figure out what to rank for.

    Without conducting any keyword research, you risk using keywords or write about topics that may be interesting to you but have little to zero interest to your target users.

    When conducting your keyword research, the best keywords should satisfy the  following criteria::

    • Good search volume – potentially more traffic for you
    • Low competition – so that you have a good chance for ranking
    • Have commercial intent – is the keyword profitable?

    You can use free tools like Google Keyword Planner or Answer The Public.

    Google Keyword Planner allows you to see keywords popularity and see how competitive they are.

    While Answer The Public maps keyword suggestions/prediction which are the questions people search most on the Internet.

    In addition to the above, I am also using KeySearch to conduct my own keyword research.

    keysearch keyword research tool

    It’s a reasonably priced keyword research tool to find keywords search volumes, their competition and profitability.

    KeySearch also gives you access to a free SEO Crash Course where it teaches SEO from the ground up, step-by-step.

    KeySearch costs $17 monthly, but you can use the following coupon code to get a 20% so you’ll only pay $13.60 monthly until you cancel or upgrade your plan.

    KSDISC

    If you are serious about using SEO to drive organic traffic, having access to a good keyword research tool is a must-have.

     

    #9: Switch to HTTPS to Secure Your Site

    Google has confirmed that switching to HTTPS gives a small ranking boost. It was first announced HTTPS as a ranking signal back in 2014.

    Basically, HTTPS is the safer version of HTTP.

    All the major web browsers such as Chrome, Firefox now show an insecure warning if your site isn’t HTTPS. You don’t want this, as it makes your site appears less trustworthy and people might avoid visiting your site entirely.

    If you implement HTTPS for your blog, you’ll see the following when using Chrome.

    secure https icon in Chrome

    Sabahan was using HTTP since 2006 and just recently I implemented the HTTPS. After the switch, I noticed a drop in rankings for many of my keywords.

    Unfortunately, that’s a risk that you may have to take if you already have established keyword rankings.

    Your rankings drop because when you switch to HTTPS from HTTP, Google considers you are using a different URL so you essentially starting from scratch again.

    While it’s definitely a cause for concern, sooner or later you should regain all of your rankings back and traffic should return, provided that you implement HTTPS properly.

    Some say it takes anywhere from two weeks to two months, with an average of one month before everything is back to normal.

    For Sabahan.com it takes around 2-3 weeks for rankings to return to normal.

    After you made the switch, check for broken links.

    Be sure to redirect old URLs to the new HTTPS version. You would want to use 301 redirects. Improper implementation can cause further losses.

    At the end of the day, I’d recommend implementing HTTPS as soon as possible for security, user trust and SEO ranking reasons.

    For a step-by-step guide to switching to HTTPS from HTTP, check out this article.

     

    #10: Speed Up Your Site

    You page load speed, without a shadow of a doubt, is one of the SEO ranking factors.

    With Google placing more importance on the mobile-first index, mobile should continue to be part of your SEO strategies.

    Research has shown that roughly half of mobile users leave a website if it doesn’t load within three seconds. Don’t let your blog or website be part of that statistic.

    Here are a few things you can do to reduce your loading time and speed up your site.

    Related: How to Increase Your Blog Loading Speed

     

    Conclusion

    The other day I was watching Neil Patel’s video on YouTube.

    He said the reason why he is successful is not that he was smarter or had more money than other people.

    He just tests everything to see what works.

    All these SEO tips and tricks for bloggers means nothing if you don’t take action.

    If you want your blog to rank on the first page of Google search results pages, you’ll need to start implementing them immediately.

    In fact, for each tip and trick that I shared on my blog, I made it a priority that I am also implementing them myself.

    Keep in mind that blog SEO optimization is an ongoing process. Often it takes a few months to start seeing the results, maybe three, six even a year!

    What’s important is you take the first step, starting today. Implement the SEO content writing tips. The sooner you start the faster and the better your chance of ranking.

    With these SEO tips and tricks up your sleeves, you are already ahead of the game.

    Are you already using any of them? Do you know of any SEO tricks that are not included here?

    Let me know in the comments!

    PS: Download the SEO tips and tricks PDF below to help you optimize your blog posts quicker.

    32

    9 Successful Blogging Strategies to Get More Visitors in 2019

    How to start a successful blog?Successful blogging strategies to double your traffic. Discover the best blog plan, marketing and content strategy for long-term growth. #blogging #contentstrategy #blogplan #blogstrategy

    By implementing a few successful blogging strategies!

    If I had a blog content and blogging strategy for marketing my blog from early on when I started blogging in 2006, my story would be different today.

    At that time, my other online businesses were doing quite well so I decided to switch my focus. I abandoned Sabahan.com in 2012.

    In June 2018 I decided to revive this blog.

    Now, I don’t want other bloggers to make the same mistakes as I did.

    So in this post, I shared what I’ve learned and distill them into actionable blogging strategies which you can implement yourself.

    I hope these successful blogging strategies will help you grow your blog faster, get more visitors and make more money blogging.

    This is a monster post containing over 6000+ words. Don’t let the word count discourage you though as I truly believe you’ll learn a lot of blogging tips and tricks from this post.

    Related: 9 Quick SEO Tips and Tricks For Blogs (Updated for 2019)

     

    Why Successful Blogging Strategies?

    When it comes to blog content strategy, there has been an increasing focus towards creating more quality content rather than quantity.

    As the Internet is getting more saturated with content, to stand out you’ll need to create the best content possible, not as much content as possible.

    But a blog content strategy is just part of the equation. You need to have blogging strategies for marketing and a blog plan template that you can execute to move your blog forward.

    Let’s get started with blogging strategy number #1.

     

    Checklist blogging strategies

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    Step #1: Start With Keyword Research

    When it comes to writing blog posts, throwing spaghetti on the wall and hope it sticks can be one’s blogging strategy (albeit not a good one)  when the Internet was a smaller place.

    Today, before you even sit down and start writing, it’s important to understand beforehand if there’s an actual demand for the topic.

    While you can wait and hope that Google will crawl your content and rank them on the first search results pages, there’s no guarantee it will happen.

    To get traffic from the Google, your content has to contain certain search terms that real people are searching for.

    So this begs the question, “What exactly are real people searching for?”

    The answer boils down to doing keyword research.

    A keyword research involves finding a series of keywords that people are actually searching for based around your blog niche.

    It helps you research your target market and matches it with what you have to offer.

    Without conducting any keyword research, you risk using keywords or write about topics that may be interesting to you but have little to zero interest to users.

    So it doesn’t matter how epic and valuable your blog post is, or how hard you work for it, if there’s no one searching for it, you’ll still get zero traffic from Google.

    It doesn't matter how epic and valuable your blog post is, or how hard you work for it, if there's no one searching for it, you'll still get zero traffic from Google.Click To Tweet

    Secondly, while writing about popular topics is good, if the topic is highly competitive, you may still end up with little to no traffic from Google.

    The top 10 search results are likely to be dominated by highly authoritative domains leaving little space for a newcomer.

    Now, a good starting off point to finding great keywords is to look for these three main ingredients:

    1. Good search volume – potentially more traffic for you
    2. Low competition – so that you have a good chance for ranking
    3. Have commercial intent – is the keyword profitable?

    By finding keywords that have all three of these main ingredients you will not only be able to get more visitors, but you will also have keywords that can sell and attract advertisers which means more money for you.

    If you are just getting started in keyword research, try to focus on more long-tail keywords.

    Long-tail keywords are simply longer keywords containing 3 or more words. They are often more targeted and less competitive.

    For example, instead of targeting “wood flooring“, go for “which wood flooring is most durable“.

    There are many free and paid keyword research tools to help you with this first successful blogging strategy. Here are a few:

    Google Keyword Planner

    This is a great starting point for doing keyword research. It’s a free keyword research tool from Google which allows you to see the keyword popularity and gauge the competition.

    It also gives you the bid price for the keyword. The higher the price, the more profitable the keyword can be.

    google keyword planner

    Answer The Public

    Answer The Public is another free tool you can add to your keyword research arsenal and blogging strategies for marketing your blog.

    The idea is to visualize and map keyword suggestions/prediction that you see when you perform a google search. These are the questions people search most on the Internet.

    For example, if you entered “wood flooring”, the keyword is expanded and returned related results for:

    • Questions (127) – can wood flooring go over tile?
    • Prepositions (140) – wood flooring suppliers near me
    • Comparisons (90) – wood flooring and carpet
    • Alphabeticals (508) – wood flooring adhesive, wood flooring Belfast, wood flooring cost etc.

    Here’s how the keyword mapping looks visually.

    answer the public

    Paired these keywords with a keyword research tool (such as the KeySearch tool below) to see how competitive and profitable they are.

    KeySearch

    KeySearch is a paid tool and one of the cheaper option at that. While other tools can cost up to $70 monthly for their cheapest option, KeySearch cheapest plan only cost $17 per month.

    keysearch keyword research tool

    I am personally using this tool to perform my own in-depth keyword research. With a quick search, I could find

    • The keyword search volume – how many searches it gets each month
    • How competitive it is to rank on the first page of Google for the keyword
    • The profitability of the keyword. This is actually the CPC (cost per click) which shows how much advertisers are bidding to get their ad shown on Google. You can use this data to target keywords which pay more per click in AdSense or target profitable products if you are doing affiliate marketing.

    For me, using KeySearch has been an eye-opener. I can ‘spy’ how some blogs are driving easy traffic from Google by targeting less competitive keywords which I could easily target myself.

    It’s a quick way to find a target market for my content.

    As if that’s not enough, KeySearch also gives you access to a free SEO Crash Course where it teaches SEO from the ground up, step-by-step.

    They did a good job including loads of SEO tips, tricks and techniques that can help get your site moving faster up the rankings. This course is suitable for any SEO skill and knowledge level.

    If you decide to buy KeySearch, use the coupon code below to get a 20% discount. Instead of paying $17 monthly, you’ll only pay $13.60 monthly until you cancel or upgrade your plan.

    I doubt you could find a cheaper keyword research tool  offering similar features anywhere.

    I’m not sure how long this coupon code will last though so be quick if you want to use it.

    KSDISC

    Use KeySearch to find easy-to-rank, long tail keywords without too much work.

     

    Checklist blogging strategies

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    You're also subscribing to the Sabahan.com email list. Unsubscribe any time.

     

    Step #2: Optimize Your Blog Post for SEO

    If you don’t know this already, SEO is short for search engine optimisation.

    It’s the things you can do to improve your search engine rankings.

    It’s often about making small adjustments to parts of your website. These changes may be small if viewed individually, but when combined with other optimizations, they could  improve the user experience and increase your rankings in organic search results.

    To rank on the first page search results, your content has to be considered relevant and authoritative to the user’s query.

    There are a few blog optimisation strategies you can do to improve your rankings. In this section, I’ll teach you how to properly include your keywords in your blog posts.

    You may also want to read my SEO tips for beginners and Quick SEO tips and tricks where I share the tools and strategies you can implement to improve your blog SEO.

    SEO should be a major part of your content marketing strategy right from the start.

    Include Your Keywords In the Right Places

    Now that you found your target keywords, it’s important to sprinkle them throughout your post nicely.

    optimize title meta description

    Here are some places to include your keywords:

    • Post/page title – this is, in fact, the most important place to put your keywords in. Google will show this in the search results pages so it’s important to optimize this for search and relevance to improve click-through rate.
    • Meta description – this provides a summary of what your post is about. You can include your main keywords here too.
    • Headlines – this is often the headline that appears at the top of your blog post. Use your keywords here but also optimize it for the human readers.
    • Subheadings – structure your post by dividing it into several sections. Include your primary and secondary keywords in the <h2> and <h3> tags.
    • URL – use short URL eg: https://www.website.com/my-target-keyword
    • Alt tags – this is the text used to provide a description for your images. Instead of leaving it empty, try to include relevant keywords here for all your images. Just don’t overdo it.
    • Body – sprinkle your keywords throughout the blog post.

    If this sounds like too much work, don’t worry because you can install the Yoast SEO plugin to help you implement these on-page SEO best practice quickly.

    yoast seo plugin

    Don’t worry about trying to get a perfect score though.

    Certain suggestions like always place your target keywords at the beginning of your title or in the first paragraph of the copy are unnecessary and impractical.

    important places seo keyword optimization

    Do everything in moderation and avoid stuffing keywords unnecessarily or Google will penalize you. It’s also important to ensure your sentences flow naturally and not sound robotic.

     

    Step #3: Write an Awesome Blog Post

    Here are a few successful blogging strategies you can use to create an awesome blog post.

    Create a Long-Form Post

    Research shows that the average length of articles that rank on page one of Google search results or get the most social shares has a minimum of 1500 words.

    Creating long-form content should be part of your blog content strategy.

    Here are some benefits of writing long-form content and why you need to write long blog posts to stand out from the crowd.

    However, there’s no point in writing long blog posts only to fill them with fluff. Also, not all topics warrant a long post. Think celebrity gossip or news event.

    Your goal should be to write the best content than the next guy for your target keywords.

    Having long posts means you’ll experience some readers drop off. Not everyone will read your entire long blog post from start to finish. Some people like to skip to the sections that they are interested in.

    For that purpose, I’d recommend installing two plugins to help your readers navigate your content and to reduce drop off.

    Easy Table of Contents

    This plugin allows you to automatically generate a table of contents for your posts and pages. The TOC provides a sequential list of your post organizational structure.

    In addition, adding a TOC allows you to have your target keywords appear multiple times in your copy. Once in the TOC itself and another one in the section header.

    To Top

    To Top plugin adds a floating scroll up box at the bottom right side (by default) of the page when scrolled down and, when clicked, rolls smoothly to the top. You can see it in action on this post.

    This is convenient when you have a long page, and you want to give your visitors an easy way to get back to the top.

    Combine this plugin with the Easy Table of Contents to make it easier for your visitors to navigate your content.

    If you can’t come up with a long blog post, the next best thing you can do is encourage comments on the post.

    Imagine having 10 people leaving 50 words comments, that’s an extra 500 words of free user-generated content on your page. Your own replies will also increase your total word count, so try to respond to all user comments.

    Include Lots of White Space

    You can format your blog post so that it is easier to read by including lots of white space.

    A quick way to create more white space is to use shorter paragraphs. I personally write 2-3 sentence paragraphs.

    I even create a one-sentence paragraph like this.

    Remember that more and more people are accessing the Internet using their mobile phones. So your readers will thank you for breaking your text into smaller chunks.

    Some other writing strategies you can implement to create more white space are:

    • Use bulleted and numbered lists like this
    • Use subheadings – make use of the H2, H3 subheadings
    • Bold important key phrases or sentences

    Hook Your Readers With a Compelling Introduction

    To encourage the readers to read your post you need a hook. Each sentence in your post should entice the person to want to keep reading.

    Some hooks that you can use to start your blog post:

    • Tell a story – using personal story can pique the reader’s interest immediately. If you don’t have a personal story to share, a fictional one can also help lead into your post.
    • Ask a question to arouse curiosity – your first sentence could be a question about the problem your post is addressing. If they want to find out the answer, they’ll need to stick around.
    • Present fact and statistic – include charts, infographics or reference to interesting facts. The information should make people want to know more what you are writing about.

    Use Images to Make Your Post More Appealing

    This is particularly useful if you create long-form posts.

    Research shows that people often scan and not read a web page. Images can interrupt the scanning process and draw them into the content.

    If you are reviewing a tool or resource, capture a screenshot using the Windows Snipping Tool and include them in your post.

    You can also find related images from the free stock websites like Pixabay, Pexel, Unsplash and PhotoPin. Click here to get free stock photos you can use for your blog.

    I personally use the Windows Snipping tool for screen captures (or the keyboard Print Screen key), then I export them to Photoshop, add arrows, text and drop down shadow to make them stand out more and be more helpful.

    End Your Post With a Call-to-Action

    A call-to-action is an action you are requesting your readers to perform. Typically, they are placed at the end (sometimes throughout) of your blog post.

    Having calls to action are essential in guiding your readers to the next step they need to do for successful blogging strategies.

    Don’t assume that your readers automatically know what is expected of them.

    You can ask your readers to do one or more of the following actions:

    • Sign up for your email list
    • Leave a comment
    • Share your blog post
    • Follow you on the social media channels
    • Recommend related posts for further reading
    • Try or buy a product or service
    • Whatever action of the sales funnel

    Here’s an example of a call to action within a blog post!

    Checklist blogging strategies

    Bonus: Quick Checklist

    Download the step-by-step blogging strategies checklist that will help you improve your blog FAST.

    You're also subscribing to the Sabahan.com email list. Unsubscribe any time.

    You can scroll down to my Conclusion below to see my call-to-action in action. Even this line is a call-to-action  🙂

     

    Step #4: Capture Your Visitor’s Emails

    Why do you need to collect your visitors’ email address you may ask?

    Because you don’t want to rely on Google or the social media platforms for traffic.

    If Facebook were to close your account for whatever reason, or Google changed their ranking algorithm (which happens quite often), your blog traffic could disappear overnight.

    The visitors from the search engines and social media are transient. When they discovered your blog, they may read a post or two.

    Some may bookmark your blog and come back later to check what’s new. Unfortunately, a large majority won’t return because they’ll forget about you.

    With their email addresses safely in your hands, you can remind them to come back anytime you publish a new post.

    Related: How to Start an Email List for Free Right Now

     

    Step #5: Create a Landing Page for Your Lead Capture Form

    To improve your email signup conversation rates, consider creating a landing page specifically for your lead capture form.

    Landing pages are the most efficient way to get your visitors to sign up for your email list.

    Why?

    Because a landing page focuses on achieving a single goal. It’s free of distraction and encourages your visitors to take action.

    Fortunately, you don’t have to be an expert to create high-converting landing pages.

    If you are using WordPress (which I presume you are), you can use tools like Thrive Architect.

    It comes with dozens of ready-made, highly optimized landing page templates that you can use to present your offers and grow your mailing list quickly.

    It’s the tool that I’m using at Sabahan.com to create my own landing pages.

     

    Step #6: Promote Your Post Like Crazy

    Creating an amazing blog post is great, but all your effort will go to waste if no one is reading your post.

    A top blogging strategy should involve spending more time on promotion than on creating content.

    Sadly, the build it and they will come mentality won’t work today. There are millions of other articles competing for the same eyeballs and if you don’t pro-actively promote your content, you’ll never get discovered.

    Ideally, you should be spending 80% of your time on promotion and 20% of your time on the actual writing.

    Personally, for me I try spending 30% of my time on writing and the rest on promotion. As my goal is to create good quality long-form content, spending any less on writing could compromise the quality and length of my posts.

    Here some blogging strategies for marketing your blog as soon as you hit the publish button.

    Send an Email to Your Mailing List

    Since the people in your email list has explicitly opted to receive emails from you, they are more loyal to you than the visitors from the search engines or social media platforms.

    Send a broadcast to your email list to let them know about your latest post. Since these are people who already love you and your content, they’ll more likely to click the links and response to your offer.

    Having an email list means your control your own traffic. You’ll have the ability at your disposal to drive traffic to any of your posts instantly. What could be better than that?

    Promote Your Post on Facebook Groups and Page

    I personally find promoting my posts on Facebook groups very effective. It gives the much needed initial boost in traffic the day after I hit the publish button.

    Unfortunately, the engagement on Facebook page isn’t as good. But that shouldn’t stop you from announcing your new posts. You may have some loyal followers waiting for your latest and greatest content there.

    If you think the post has a potential to go viral or you just want to get more exposure, consider spending some money to boost your post.

    Later I’ll teach you how to reduce your advertising cost and improve your conversion rates by using Facebook pixel to target people who have already shown interest in your content using Facebook ads.

    Facebook groups, on the other hand, are where the cool kids hang out. Since Facebook groups are not subjected to the same treatment as Facebook pages, your post will get more views and engagements.

    Instead of dropping your links and run away, I’ve found that by including a highly relevant link when answering a question, you’ll get better engagement and click-through.

    Bear in mind that Facebook spam detection won’t allow you to post links too often too quickly. So space out your link posting several hours apart if it triggers their spam prevention system.

    Also, participating in blog commenting threads can give your blog some social proof. As new visitors check out your blog post and they see it has comments, likes and shares, they are more likely to do the same.

    I’ve dedicated an entire post to teach people how to use Facebook groups to increase traffic and drive engagement to their blog. Check it out.

    Share Your post on Twitter

    If you don’t have large Twitter followers to begin with (like yours truly), Twitter will bring you little to no traffic. But hear me out, you need to get on Twitter.

    For most bloggers, they only tweet their latest post once and then forget about it. Then, they wonder why their posts never gained traction on Twitter.

    To be honest, I was guilty of doing the same thing!

    Then recently it occurred to me I was doing it all wrong. I was expecting Twitter to work like Google where people would come back to search for information and will discover my old tweets.

    While that may be technically true, it’s not how people use Twitter.

    What most people do is get on Twitter at certain times and scroll through their timeline, scanning and reading only the tweets that catch their attention.

    As to how many tweets they see depends on many factors. Suffice to say only a small fraction of people will notice each time you tweet.

    You see, each tweet comes and goes very quickly. On average, a single tweet has an average half-life of just 24 minutes. If you are not on Twitter when a tweet is published, you may probably never see it. This is especially true if you are following many people.

    So what should you do to get your tweets seen by more people?

    To get your tweets seen by more people, just tweet more and at targeted times when your audience is likely on Twitter.

    To get your tweets seen by more people, just tweet more and at targeted times when your audience is likely on Twitter.Click To Tweet

    Once you published a post, tweet it immediately. Then write several more tweets about your new post and schedule them to be published sequentially in the future. It’s a strategy I just started using recently.

    Dedicate some time to write updates for all your important posts. Then use a social media automation tool to help you publish them at specific times in the future.

    I am using Recurpost to help me with the scheduling. The free plan allows 3 social media accounts and 100 scheduled content.

    Recurpost might be your best option if:

    • You want to test recycling social media posts
    • You don’t have a lot of content you want to automate
    • You don’t want to spend money yet on social media automation tool

    If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll soon notice that for each post from my blog, I use a slightly varied description so that I can promote the same post over and over again at different times without sounding too repetitive.

    In fact, due to Twitter’s policy changes, you cannot post the same Tweet more than once on Twitter.

    recurpost twitter social media automation

    You can register with Recurpost here.

    In addition to Recurpost, I also use Buffer and Hootsuite to schedule my tweets and Facebook page/group posts. So far the free plans have worked well for my needs.

    Here’s another trick you can use. Turn on Twitter Analytics. It’s an incredibly useful tool to track your tweets impressions and engagements.

    twitter analytics

    You can find your top tweets and discover the best time to tweet, the tweets that got the most attention, hashtag and so on.

    Using these social media automation tools will save you time and is the best blogging strategies for marketing your blog effectively.

    Get on the Pinterest Action

    I dabbled in Pinterest marketing in early July. From what I read, I knew it can bring tons of traffic much quicker to a blog compare to other sources like Google (and for free too).

    In fact, some say Pinterest is the secret weapon for some of the most successful bloggers. Well, I’m letting the cat out of the bag as I’m coming to see what the fuss is all about.

    So I’ve decided to make it one of my main focus in driving traffic to my blog before the organic traffic from Google starts to kick in.

    If you don’t know this already, Pinterest is actually a search engine and not a social media platform like many may have thought.

    Like Facebook and Twitter, you can follow people but people go to Pinterest mainly to search for information and not to connect with other users.

    While Google will index your new post automatically, Pinterest will not unless you pin (submit) your post to them.

    Notice the vertical image near the top of this article? That’s a pin which anyone with a Pinterest account can pin on their Pinterest boards.

    So far traffic from Pinterest has been very promising for me. I started pinning actively on 1st August 2018. In less than two weeks my pinned has reached 10833 viewers.

    pinterest traffic views analytics

    But here’s the thing, that’s not the most important metric for me. What I really wanted to know is the number of Pinterest users who actually clicked on my pins and landed on my blog.

    While the number of viewers can be large, it does not equate to the actual visits I’ve received.

    Most new bloggers may hide this fact for concern that the achievement may sound less impressive. Spoiler alert, I am here to be real, not to impress 🙂

    From 1st August till 14th August 2018, Pinterest has sent me a total of 147 visitors (sessions).

    pinterest marketing

    Here’s how the daily visits from Pinterest look like:

    pinterest daily visitors

    While that traffic may not be huge,  I still think this is a very promising development because:

    • At the time of this writing, I had only 11 articles to promote on Pinterest.
    • Google has yet to sent me that much daily traffic (if you read my previous post, I set all my old posts to no-follow literally removing them from the Google index).
    • The average Pinterest visitor stays much longer (10 minutes on average) on my site compare to the visitors from other social networks.
    • The average Pinterest visitor views more pages on my blog.
    • I’m only getting started!

    Update

    It has been 30 days since I started to actively test Pinterest (3 weeks after I published the stats above). My pins are now getting 40,000 views.

    Pinterest views growth

     

    When it comes to getting organic traffic to your blog, it’s unrealistic to expect thousands of visitors to suddenly turn up on my doorstep overnight. Things take time to build up.

    The best part was I only spent an hour or two on the weekends to schedule my pins and let them run automatically for the whole week pulling traffic from Pinterest.

    Here’s what I did to get started with Pinterest:

    • Optimising my profile, boards for my chosen keywords i.e. “blogging tips, “increase blog traffic”, “grow email subscribers” etc
    • Joining group boards – these are collaborative boards where multiple users can pin their stuff for free. Visit pingroupie.com, type in your keyword to find relevant groups for your niche.
    • I checked which other group boards the influencers and popular bloggers have joined. Then I email the board owners if I can collaborate.

    How do you find the board owner?

    The owner is usually the first person that appears on the member list next to the board title.

    how to join pinterest boards

    Here’s an email template I use when asking to participate in a group board.

    Pinterest board request email template

    Hi [Board Owner’s First Name],

    My name is [Your Name] of [Your Blog] where I share [What You Offer].

    I would absolutely love to join your [Board Name].

    I’m following you and your board!

    My Pinterest profile: [Your Pinterest URL]

    My Pinterest email: [make sure to use the email registered with Pinterest here]

    Thanks,

    [Your Name]

    Now to automate my Pinterest pinning process, I use Tailwind.

    Tailwind scheduled pins

    Get your feet wet by signing up with the free plan. It lets you schedule and publishes up to 100 Pinterest pins per month, as long as you want.

    You’ll soon find out how it will save you time, grow your traffic and help you make more money from your blog!

    I’ve only scratched the surface with Pinterest here. I could talk about:

    • Optimizing your Pinterest profile and boards
    • How to design pins that get clicks
    • How to schedule your pins using Tailwind the right way
    • And more…

    But I’ll leave those topics in my future posts, otherwise, this section will become too long.

    I’ll continue to experiment to discover what works and what doesn’t. If you like to see how I am progressing, be sure to subscribe to my email newsletter.

    Email Everyone Mentioned in Your Post

    You may have linked to or mentioned someone in your blog post if so, try to shoot them an email or tweet that person to let him/her know.

    I did this when I wrote the Facebook groups post and that person was happy enough she tweeted the post to her followers driving some traffic and followers on my way.

    It’s a win-win arrangement, free publicity for both parties. Just keep in mind that not everyone you mentioned will be flattered by your move so don’t take it personally if you don’t get the response you wanted.

     

    Checklist blogging strategies

    Bonus: Quick Checklist

    Download the step-by-step blogging strategies checklist that will help you improve your blog FAST.

    You're also subscribing to the Sabahan.com email list. Unsubscribe any time.

     

    Step #7: Get Backlinks to Your Post

    One of the major ranking factors of Google is how many links a page has from other authoritative sites.

    How do you get people linking to your post or blog?

    Guest Blogging Strategies

    Guest blogging is when you write an article for another blog and linking back to your blog. It’s one of the top blogging strategies you can utilise to get instant exposure to your blog.

    Guest posting strategies are effective to:

    • Get backlinks to your site
    • Get in front of a new target audience
    • Show your expertise in a topic
    • Generate traffic to your site

    When you guest blog, you may be allowed to link back to your blog from within the article itself but that’s not always the case. Typically, you are allowed an author bio. It’s where you can link back to your blog.

    author bio

    You can link to your blog homepage, to any free offer, social media profile or blog posts that you want more exposure to. This is how you get your backlinks.

    However, some say the links from this guest blogging strategies may not have as much link juice than if it was unsolicited backlink from a third party. Since Google knows that you ‘created’ that backlink yourself.

    Nonetheless, using this guest blogging strategy is still a powerful way to generate more backlinks to your blog. So it’s still very valuable for your SEO ranking.

    That said, if you guest blog on a small website, you may see little to no traffic. Still, you are in this for the long-term, aren’t you?

    As the blog you’re guest blogging at improves its domain authority, so does the importance of that backlink to your blog.

    Contributing to other highly authoritative blogs gives you a chance to prove your credibility as a trustworthy and credible source of information. This makes it easier to convert your target audience into loyal subscribers or paying customers.

    Let me give you an example…

    The other day I was looking to learn about Pinterest marketing. After all, some say it’s the secret weapon for many bloggers. So I scoured the Internet looking for resources to help me get started quickly.

    I came across many ebooks and online courses claiming to provide the answer to the secrets of Pinterest traffic. In the end, I decided to go for one particular course.

    Why?

    Because the author had several guest posts published in high authority blogs that I followed which include Huffington Post, OptinMonster, Blogging Wizard and a few others. This provided the social proof for me in that she knows what she’s talking about and the information she provided is credible.

    She is now making around $6000 a month, grew her list to 7000 subscribers from a blog started barely a year ago. The convincing sales page coupled with her guest blog strategy nudged me in her direction and she got my money.

    Linking Internally

    If getting links using the guest blogging strategies are too much work, the easier way is by linking internally on your own blog.

    Most people tend to link to their older posts from the new post. You can do the other way around too.

    How?

    Go back to your older blog posts and place a link from them to your current blog post. Since older blog posts should have higher page authority, passing the SEO juice to your new posts can help then to rank quicker.

     

    Step #8 Retargeting With Facebook Ads/Google Ads

    Have you ever noticed how some ads on Facebook appear to be related to the websites you have just visited?

    For example, if you’ve just visited a product page on Amazon, all of a sudden an ad showing the same product appears in your Facebook feed.

    How did Facebook know you visited that product page earlier?

    It’s not coincident. In digital marketing, the practice is called retargeting or remarketing. The cool thing is you can do the same thing for your blog too.

    The idea is to show ads on Facebook or Google only to people who have visited your blog.

    how does retargeting work

    Image credit

    Retargeting is often the most efficient way to do Facebook ad campaigns. Retargeting warm prospects improve your ads click-through rates and lower the cost per click.

    Only 2% of visitors take action on their first visit to a website. Retargeting allows you to reach the other 98% who left your website without taking action.

    As I mentioned before, most of your visitors from the social media or Google search will never return. However, these people already visited your website which means they have shown some initial interest in your content.

    Rather than trying to entice first-time visitors, who may less likely to convert, retargeting aims to get repeat visitors who are more likely to convert.

    Your conversion goal may be to generate more sales, increase brand awareness quicker but for our purpose, it is to get people to sign up for our newsletter.

    How to Install Facebook Pixel on WordPress for Retargeting

    There are several ad networks like Google, Bing, AdRoll that allow retargeted ads. I want to start with Facebook Pixel because it’s one of the more popular options among bloggers.

    Even if you do not have any plan to run a retargeting campaign now, you should install Facebook Pixel now to start collecting data immediately.

    Once installed, leave the tracking pixel on your blog for a few months to start building your pool of retargetable users. When you decide to actually start your retargeting campaign, you’ll have a larger pool to target.

    Here’s how to install Facebook pixel for WordPress:

    1. Go to Facebook Event Manager > Partner Integration or click here.
      installing facebook pixel wordpress
    2. Just follow the online instructions and download the plugin for Facebook pixel in the next page.
      facebook pixel installation instruction
    3. Once installed, the Facebook pixel WordPress plugin settings look like the following:That’s it. You are done! You are now collecting user data automatically for your future retargeting campaigns.
      facebook pixel wordpress plugin

    How to Check If Facebook Pixel Is Actually Working?

    During the setup process, you can send test traffic to your pixel to check whether it is working or not.

    remarketing retargeting ads

    You can also install the Facebook Pixel Helper Chrome extension.

    Once you have the Chrome extension activated, visit your blog to verify your pixel is working properly. If it does, you should see something like the following:

    check facebook pixel working

    If you opt-out of interest-based advertising, the related events won’t be processed. Don’t worry about it. If there’s no other warnings or errors, your pixel should work properly.

     

    Step #9 Update Your Best Performing Posts

    The date when your blog post is published gives an indication as to the freshness and relevance of your content.

    Top blogging strategies include writing an evergreen content but you know that’s not always possible because things move so fast online and your post can become outdated quickly.

    One easy way to make a blog post seems relevant again is by displaying newer comments at the top of each page.

    Here’s how you do it…

    Show Recent Comments at the Top

    When people see recent comments appear at the top, that tells them the post is still thriving and relevant since people are still engaging with it.

    So they are more like to leave a comment or share the post too.

    To show recent comment at the top, go to your WordPress dashboard then Settings > Discussion.

    Under the Other comment settings, make sure to set Comments should be displayed with the newer comments at the top of each page.

    blogging strategies for marketing blog

    Optimize Your Old Posts

    You can look at your top 10 popular posts every now and then and see what you can do to make them better.

    Log in to your Google Analytics account and go to BEHAVIOUR > Site Content > All Pages

    how to optimize old blog post

    Find a post you want to improve and do any of the followings:

    • Add new content by writing a paragraph or two. Expand an existing section or add another picture, video or other media. If it’s a list post, add another item or two into the list.
    • Check if you can create additional internal links to other relevant posts especially the new ones that are relevant to the post. This serves two purposes – it passes some SEO juice to the new posts helping them to rank while making the old post more relevant.
    • Reply to comments or edit existing ones to expand your point. This will increase the word count of your article which helps in ranking.
    • See if you can do some off-page backlinks as well. Email other bloggers and tell them about your awesome blog post.
    • If it’s an affiliate post, make sure that the affiliate links are optimized.
    • Create linkable assets. Create or hire someone to create an infographic from your post. Then do some blogger outreach and send emails to influencers in your niche so that they’ll link to and share your content.

    Use Google Search Console to Improve Your Content

    You’d want to make your post as thorough as possible based on what other people are already searching for.

    To do this, log in to Google Search Console

    Take all the keywords that you are getting impressions for but haven’t been ranked properly and start adding them to your copy.

    google search console

    However, you don’t want to just shove them in and have your content be keyword-rich.

    As people landed on your pages and read your keyword rich page, they will bounce off immediately if your article does not flow naturally. So your writing has to flow naturally and add more value.

    Click here to learn how to use Google Search Console.

     

    Conclusion

    I know this is a lot of information to absorb in one sitting.

    You may want to bookmark this page, return later and implement one or two at a time into your own blog plan template or content strategy.

    Are you using these successful blogging strategies to get more visitors to your blog? Let me know in the comments!

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