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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.

    8

    How to Use Facebook Groups to Explode Your Blog Traffic and Drive Engagement

    How to use Facebook groups to increase your blog traffic, drive engagement and interaction. #facebookgroups #facebookgroupslist #facebookpromotionOf course you are a member of at least one Facebook Group.

    Aren’t you?

    It’s impossible to ignore them if you are on Facebook. Everyone including your grandmother and your cat is a member of a group. No?

    As of the second quarter of 2018, Facebook had 2.23 billion monthly active users and over one billion users are active on Facebook groups in Jan 2016 (I couldn’t find the latest stats yet, but that is still jaw-dropping).

    As you know, Facebook groups are where people go to ask questions, share opinions, be entertained, ask for help or offer help and learn new things.

    Facebook users use groups to connect with other people, express and exchange opinions, inform, inspire, work with like-minded people, discover new things, organize events or promote stuff.

    In this article, I’m going to talk about the last reason for using Facebook groups which is as a platform to promote your content.

    Exactly, I’ll teach you how to use Facebook groups to increase traffic to your blog and drive engagement.

     

    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!

     

    Using Facebook Groups for Blog Promotion

    Getting the initial traction when you just published a blog post is almost impossible without any kind of organic traffic from Google or an existing audience.

    However, you don’t just want any traffic, you’d want targeted traffic.

    Because targeted traffic is more likely to sign up for your email list, share your content, click your affiliate links or get the conversation going in the comments.

    The only blog promotion method that could drive traffic the day when you hit the publish button is social media marketing.

    However, unless you have an existing army of social media followers, you are almost dead in the water from the get-go.

    The good news? You can still attract tons of traffic from the social media even with zero followers by using Facebook groups.

    Here’s how you can use Facebook groups to increase traffic to your blog,

     

    How to Use Facebook Groups to Increase Traffic to Your Blog

    When it comes driving traffic to posts, Facebook pages have been continuously stifled by their algorithm updates because Facebook wants businesses to pay them in order to get more visibility.

    On the other hand, Facebook groups aren’t subjected to similar treatment when it comes getting more eyeballs on your content.

    Most bloggers, at least in the early days of their blogs, acknowledge that traffic from Facebook groups is one of their major source of referral traffic.

    For example, Janice of Mostly Blogging have used Facebook Groups to grow her readership.

    If you read my previous post, you know that Sabahan.com is an old blog I created in 2006. It was left, nearly abandoned in 2012 as I wanted to focus more on my other online businesses.

    In June 2018, I’ve decided to revive this blog. If that didn’t happen, you’d have never read this article and Sabahan.com would continue to drift into the Internet oblivion!

    Facebook group promotion is one area in which I decided to focus early on to get the initial boost in traffic.

    For past 30 days, here’s how my referral traffic looks like:

    facebook groups referral traffic stats

    On top of that, visitors from Facebook groups actually convert into new email subscribers which is even better for me.

    You may be wondering why do I get so little traffic from Google.

    To provide a laser-focused content that Google will love, I’ve set all my old blog posts to no-follow so Google is no longer sending traffic to them.

    When Google recognizes what your blog is all about, you should be able to rank better for the relevant keywords in your niche, and that’s what I hope will happen.

    I’m back in the trenches like everyone else who’s starting from scratch!

    Now, here’s how to use Facebook groups to increase traffic to your blog for free.

    Join Facebook Groups

    Joining Facebook Groups can be a great way to build relationships with like-minded bloggers and develop your authority in the topic. In fact, it’s probably more effective than blog commenting.

    To find a group to join, perform a search on Facebook using keywords like “blogging”. Select the Groups tab to limit the results to Groups only.

    There are thousands and thousands of Facebook blogger groups out there. When you find the one you like just click the +Join button.

    search facebook groups

    There are Public and Closed groups.

    If the group is public, you can preview its content and see if it fits your niche. Otherwise, check the group description on the sidebar or on the wall itself.

    Facebook group description rules

    How Do You Know If a Facebook Group Is Any Good?

    Here’s what to look out for when joining a Facebook Group.

    Scan what’s being shared

    If everyone is promoting their own links and there’re no engagements, it may not be a good group to join. But don’t discount these groups entirely, you’ll have to look at the group stats too.

    Look at the numbers

    Ideally, you’d want to join groups that aren’t too small nor too big.

    If you post on groups with 10,000+ members your posts may get pushed away faster limiting their visibility. So larger groups don’t always equate to high traffic Facebook groups.

    Groups that are no longer adding new members in the last 30 days may no longer be maintained by the admin. Also, low posts count in the last 30 days indicate lower participation and engagement in the group.

    The numbers below can give you a clue about whether joining the group will be worth your time.

    Facebook group activity stats

    Check if they allow self-promotion

    Some groups have weekly scheduled promotion threads, some allow you to post directly on the wall, some are strictly no promo zones.

    Most facebook groups run daily promo threads that you can participate to get traffic to your blog. Pay attention to what’s allowed what’s not.

    Join relevant groups related to your niche

    You’d want to be a member of groups related to your niche or industry you’re in.

    For example, if you have a marketing blog and you decided to join a fashion blogger group, that’s not going to help drive traffic and engagement to your blog.

    The admins may not approve your posts if they don’t provide a good match with their audience.

    Minimized Forced Engagements

    There are groups that promote like for like or follow for follow and so on.

    Unless the people who participated in the reciprocal promotion are the exact audience you are seeking, you’ll end up following and being followed by people who have no interest in your content.

    This can hurt your engagement on the social media. Why is that bad?

    Well, when you have a low engagement, the social media platforms, i.e. Facebook, Pinterest, etc will show your content to fewer people.

    Yes, initially your number of followers and likes may increase, but the people who really want to follow you and are actually interested in your content may see less from you hurting your visibility and engagement even more.

    Also be careful when participation in search result click through exchanges to improve rankings. You can be penalized by Google if they find out.

    That said, I feel that participating in blog commenting exchanges help in sparking the initial conversation for a new post. When other people see the comments, they’ll be more likely to leave a comment too. As the engagements happened in your own blog, you should be fine.

    Participating in any Pinterest re-pin treads should be fine but proceed with caution. The benefits include increasing your re-pin counts which signal Pinterest you are gaining authority.

    Even if the person who repins your pin isn’t in your niche, they will probably have some followers who are also interested in your niche and may interact with your pin.

    Then again it all comes back to engagement. Asking random people to re-pin can dilute your niche focus and lower your pin engagements. Low engagements mean your pins may not rank as high for your chosen keywords.

    Facebook Group Engagement Matters

    Groups which are opened to everybody and allow unrestricted promotion/advertising are likely to be less valuable resulting in lower click through and lower engagement.

    Facebook’s algorithm is heavily based on engagement. If the members don’t participate, your posts will get poor visibility.

    So the best groups to join are those with lively discussions and real interactions.

    When group members have questions related to products or services that you offer, don’t just drop a link.

    Help them out by answering their questions and then you can mention related articles in your blog which provide more in-depth answers.

    What drives the engagement is the Facebook notifications that were sent to members when you create a new post or reply to an existing post.

     

    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!

     

    How to Write an Effective Facebook Group Post

    When writing a post, try to be helpful and think how it will not only benefit you but the group as a whole.

    You’d want to offer solutions to problems and what better way then finding existing problems in Facebook groups and try to solve it right there and then?

    When promoting your link, you should include a short snippet of what your post is about to help the readers decide if your post is relevant to them. This helps reducing your page bounce rate which means people will stay on your page longer.

    Mention the benefits the users will gain if they read your post, give them a reason to click. Try to evoke curiosity to encourage click-throughs but don’t promise what you can’t deliver.

    Get active in blogging support groups and make it obvious you’re there to help them.

    For example, one of the most asked questions I found in any blogging groups is how to get traffic to their blogs. It’s the exact question that I’ve answered in my post where I share strategies to increase blog traffic for free.

    So I answered the relevant questions and included my links if they want to learn more. This has driven a few hundred Facebook visits to my blog in just a few days.

    Add links to your post sparingly. Including links pointing to other useful resources besides your own will show that you are genuinely trying to be helpful.

    However, you aren’t there just to solve other people problems. Blogging can be a lonely journey and joining Facebook groups connect you with supportive communities that you can rely on for solutions to problems that you may not be able to solve on your own.

    Some groups being neglected by the admins are getting spammed a lot. If you decide to join such groups, your post needs to stand out. Whether it’s worth your time or not, you’ll need to test it for yourself.

    How Often Should You Post

    Make it a priority to participate in these groups every single day.

    The average Facebook post has a lifespan of 5 hours. It’s the next fastest expiring posts after Twitter.

    So to gain more exposure, you’ll need to post more than once per day. However, I wouldn’t recommend posting the same content more than once in the same group in a day.

    If you think you can get away sharing your links in multiple groups in a short amount of time. You can’t.

    Facebook will detect those and will quietly auto delete your posts and comments containing the links. It’s a way for them to control spam links (even if you aren’t spamming).

    Always observe the group rules to avoid any troubles. Plan your posting and post different content every single day.

    No, you don’t have to post in all of the groups. Try posting in a few and see how they are responding. Keep the group f they provide enough return on your time. Then move on to another group and continue testing.

    Managing your Facebook Groups posting properly will save you time and improve productivity, and will ultimately drive more traffic and engagement to your blog.

     

    Create Your Own Facebook Group

    Having your own Facebook Group provides another channel for you to reach your audience and get them to engage with your content.

    Not everyone is comfortable giving away their email address to join a mailing list.

    Some people find it more convenient to join Facebook groups to get their daily dose of content right from the source.

    When creating a group, it’s worth noting that the group should be less about you (unless you are a brand) but more about what value it provides to members.

    I am not saying you shouldn’t include your name or website name in the group name but you are targeting a larger audience here many of whom may have never heard about you before.

    If you want to talk about you and your business, that’s what Facebook pages are for.

    For example, I’ve created a Facebook group for Sabahan.com but I didn’t name it Sabahan Facebook Group. I use a generic blogging group name any blogger can relate to.

    But it’s still associated with my Facebook page. The idea is to grow the group by providing  valuable resources and Sabahan.com brand will grow with the group by association.

    Go ahead, feel free to join my Blogging Tips Groups.

    blogging tips facebook group

    Be Helpful and Build Trust

    Groups are communities of people coming together with a common goal. Your goal is to focus on providing content that engages the members.

    Avoid promoting your business or links too often until you’ve earned the members’ trust. If you only want to feed links to your latest posts, you can do that in your Facebook page.

    I’m not saying you shouldn’t promote your blog links but a group is more than a place to feed links.  Perhaps you can create some promotion threads to give the members a chance to promote themselves too.

    Don’t just paste a link and run away. Try to be helpful and answer whatever questions they have.

    When you include a related link pointing to a post on your blog that benefits them, you’ll not only get more traffic from the group, but those visitors are more likely to engage with your content and convert into customers.

    Why?

    Because you’ve built a rapport with them, you’ve established the initial connection when you help them out, so they’ll trust you more.

    You can use your Facebook group to build connections with people. As you create more engagement, you’ll notice the community will continue to support you and they’re more likely to go to your website, share it and even buy your products or services.

    Creating a Facebook group is a quick and easy investment that you can do today to grow your brand and drive traffic to your website.

    It’s another way how you can use Facebook groups to increase traffic to your blog.

    But remember that if you don’t actively set and enforce the rules, your group can turn spammy rather quickly. So be prepared to invest some time and resources to make sure it says clean over time.

     

    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!

     

    How to Track Which Facebook Groups Are Sending You the Most Traffic

    This section is for those who one to go one step further with their Facebook groups promotion.

    I’ll teach you how you can track which groups provide the best ROI for your time and effort.

    Similar to writing a blog post, your Facebook posts should be useful and add value to the group. Unlike a blog post, you can see the result of being helpful with your Facebook group posts almost immediately.

    How?

    By tracking your Facebook group traffic using Google Analytics.

    How to Create Your Tracking URLs

    To start tracking, you need to add extra parameters to your URL to capture reporting data about the referring group.

    For example, I use the following link to help me identify the traffic to a particular blog post  that came from a particular group:

    https://sabahan.com/increase-blog-traffic/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=groups&utm_campaign=blogging_tips

    Don’t worry it’s not as complicated as it looks.

    I use a URL generator to help me create the URLs.

    There are 5 parameters you can add to your URLs. For this example, I am only using 3 parameters which are necessary for our simple tracking purpose.

    • utm_source – this is the domain that is sending traffic to my blog post. I put facebook here.
    • utm_medium – the advertising or marketing medium. For this example I use social  since Facebook is a social media.
    • utm_campaign – this is the individual campaign name. I specified the group name here, i.e. blogging_tips. Make sure to replace empty spaces with underscores “_” and remove any special characters from the group name.

    Keep your UTMs simple by sticking to lower cases, numbers, hyphens for spaces and remove any other special characters. It’s also important to use the same link for the same article. Don’t use “blogging_tips” today and then “blogging-tips” the next day for your utm_campaign as they will track two different groups!

    You can learn more about setting up custom campaigns using Google Analytics here.

    That’s it! It’s not that hard, is it?

    How to See Custom-Campaign Data

    To see the campaign’s reports:

    1. Sign in to Google Analytics
    2. In the left panel, if you want to know which groups are sending traffic right now go to:

    REAL-TIME > Traffic Sources .

    You should be able to see the exact groups that are sending traffic to your blog right now.

    facebook utm campaign tracking

    If you want to know the groups that are sending you the most traffic, go to

    ACQUISITION > Campaigns >  All Campaigns

    how to track traffic roi from facebook groups

    Just remember to adjust your date range accordingly.

    Additionally, you may also want to track your email signup conversion rates using Goals in Google Analytics.

     

    Best Facebook Groups for Bloggers You Can Join Now

    You didn’t think I would end the article without giving you a list of Facebook groups for bloggers and creative entrepreneurs that you can join did you?

    Whether you are just starting out or have been blogging for a couple of years, these groups will help you grow your audience and connect with other like-minded bloggers.

    Here are my top 15 Facebook groups for bloggers that you can join right now.  Not every group is created for promotion, many are blogging support groups but also have a weekly promotion thread you can participate in.

    1. Blogging Like We Mean It
    2. Becoming a Blogger
    3. Boost Your Blog
    4. Write Better, Blog Better: Writing Support for Bloggers
    5. Blogging for New Bloggers
    6. The Blogging Crew
    7. Pinterest Savvy Bloggers
    8. GimmieLove – Blog & Social Media Engagement Group
    9. Turbo Blogging & Business ★ (with Raelyn Tan)
    10. Blogging Newbs
    11. Bloggers United
    12. Grow Your Blog
    13. Pinterest Pals
    14. Blogging Network
    15. Blogging Tips & Social Media Marketing Group << This one is mine! Apologies for the shameless self-promotion 😆

    PS: Please do me a favour by either sharing, pinning or tweeting this post. You can also leave a comment below if you find the post helpful.

     

    Do you want more?

    I’ve compiled a list of 61+ Facebook groups that’re perfect for bloggers. You can join them and amplify your reach by getting your blog in front of more people.

    Start discovering a wider assortment of threads to turn to and connect with more like minded-bloggers. Imagine how much time you’ll save trying to find Facebook groups yourself.

    The list only includes Facebook groups that have accepted members for the past 30 days. This is to help you save time by only applying for groups that are still actively letting new people in.

    Please enter your first name and email where I can email the list to you. Don’t worry, your email is safe, I really hate spam too.

    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!

    Conclusion

    There you have it!

    If you are just starting out, joining a Facebook group is the best way to promote your blog, get the initial boost of engagement and seek solutions to problems you are facing.

    For any blogger, Facebook groups provide a platform to connect with other like-minded bloggers who understand your struggle and journey growing your blog.

    Smaller groups may suit you more if you enjoy more personal interactions as everyone has more of a chance to share their feedback and be heard.

    Conversation in larger groups can move fast and can be harder to keep up. But it also provides the opportunity to reach a larger group of people

    Facebook groups promotion can be time-consuming though. Not all groups are created equal. It’s up to you to figure out which groups work for you and which you can ignore.

    To ensure you only spend time on groups that will actually send you traffic, email signups and engagements, you can track your ROI  using Google Analytics as I explained above.

    Now it’s your turn.

    Are you new to Facebook groups promotion or plan to join any groups soon?

    Are you a member of any Facebook groups which have been working well for you in driving traffic and engagement to your blog?

    I love to hear your story in the comments below!

    4

    How to Grow Your Email List Using Google Analytics Goals Tracking

    How to Grow Your Email List Using Google Analytics Goals Tracking. #emailmarketing #emailmarketingtips #emailtips #emailoptinideasSo you added the email capture form on your blog.

    (If you haven’t, you really need to consider starting your own mailing list.)

    Now what?

    You can sit back and hope for a massive emails pile-up of which would rarely happen.

    Or

    You can find out which traffic sources bring you the most email subscribers. Then focus your effort to attract more of such traffic to help you grow your email list even faster.

    In this post, I am going to give you a step-by-step guide on how to track your email signups using Google Analytics goals.

    While this post is useful for any website owner, the examples given assumed you are using WordPress.

     

    Why You Should Track Email Signups Conversion

    Tracking your mailing list sign-ups right from the start is important to measure your email marketing success.

    It allows you to find out which online marketing strategies are bringing the best ROI (return on investment) for your effort.

    You can then ramp up your effort for the particular strategies to drive even more subscribers.

    As you gather more data, you can run tests to improve your email sign-up conversion rates even further.

    For example, you can find out the exact pages or articles that are most effective in getting new subscribers and then create more similar articles.

    You can also track which signup forms convert the best.

    Optimal Opt-In Forms Locations

    Here at Sabahan.com, I have opt-in forms in the following locations:

    • The post footer at the end of every blog post.
    • The ribbon at the top which appears after the reader scrolled to 70% of the article.
    • Scroll mat which turns any page into a full-screen opt-in form that’s displayed immediately on page load.
    • The ‘obligatory’ opt-in widget on my sidebar.
    • A call to action button on my About Page.

    Sabahan.com shows fewer opt-in forms on mobile devices so as not to distract the user-experience.

    My results show Scroll Mat converts the best.

    Pro tip: If you want to include your signup forms on the sidebar, place them at the very top to improve visibility and sign-up rates. This is the most common location for an email signup form.

    The more places you put the email signup forms on your blog, the better chance you’ll have in converting your visitors into subscribers.

    Now, while you can use Google Analytics to track the conversion rates of each opt-in form location, I am currently using Thrive Leads to do that for me because it’s easier.

    Besides giving me the ability to design beautiful and conversion optimized opt-in forms quickly, it has a built-in reporting feature showing me how each form is performing.

    opt-in form performance reporting

    I know the conversion rates could be higher. Improving them is a continuous process. In fact I have a few ideas queuing up waiting to be implemented. So in my future posts, I’ll show you how I implement them to improve my conversion rates!

    If this sounds too complicated, I learned all these from the FREE Thrive University courses. They have been instrumental in helping me to be up and running faster that I could have been if I were to do it alone. Go ahead check it out.

    Alternatively, if you haven’t designed your own opt-in form yet, you can sign up with Sumo. Their free plan allows you to collect up to 200 subscribers.

    When designing your opt-in forms, there’ll be an option to connect them with your email marketing service provider.

     

    How to Track Your Mailing List Sign-Ups

    This guide is based on using double confirmation opt-in to track email signups using Google Analytics goals.

    Unlike single-opt-in which adds people immediately into the mailing list, a double opt-in requires the people entering their email address to click on a confirmation link in an email.

    Later in the article, I’ll discuss the pros and cons of each method and why you would prefer using one method over the other.

    Adding Google Analytics onto Your Blog

    First thing first. You need to add Google Analytics to your blog.

    The steps include:

    1. Signing up for a Google Analytics account.
    2. Getting your tracking code
    3. Adding the code onto all of the pages on your blog using a WordPress plugin.

    You can find a detailed instruction to help you with the setup here.

    There are plenty of plugins you can use to add the tracking code to your blog.

    Some themes may even have the option built-in and therefore installing a Google Analytics plugin isn’t necessary.

    If you want the ability to access your analytics data right from your WordPress admin dashboard, you can consider installing Google Analytics Dashboard WP (GADWP).

    Setting Up Your Welcome Email Autoresponder

    An autoresponder is an email service that sends an email or a sequence of emails to the subscribers automatically.

    It’s like having a personal assistant that never gets tired and never have to take the weekend off. It’s always there to guide and welcome your new subscribers.

    As you can imagine, you can use it to create a great experience when welcoming and integrating your new subscribers into your tribe.

    There are many mailing list providers offering autoresponder services. I am currently using MailerLite. It’s free to use if you have fewer than 1000 subscribers.

    Setting up the perfect autoresponder sequence emails involve lots of things.

    The email sequence can be a blogging course that gets sent every day for a week or to drum up interest to drive sales to your product or service for a couple of days before the final hard sell.

    I will get down to the nitty-gritty of how to set up an autoresponder in my future posts.

    For now, you probably just want a simple welcome email that goes out once your subscribers confirm the subscription.

    Sending the right message in a welcome email is crucial. It sets the stage whether new subscribes will open and engage with your future emails or ignore them.

    It’s the first friendly engagement between you and your subscribers and it’s your chance to earn their trust and tell them what to expect in future emails.

    Most people use it to send out freebies, PDF, templates or whatever opt-in incentives promised earlier in exchange for their email address.

    Here’s how my welcome email autoresponder looks in MailerLite:

    Welcome email autoresponder

     

    Setup Related Pages to Track Your Email Conversion Goals

    Once you set up your autoresponder email, the next step is to create a Thank You and a Confirmation page on your blog.

    Your goal is to lead people to your Thank You page. Their final destination is your Confirmation page. When they land there, you have achieved your final conversion goal.

    If you are using a single opt-in method, your goal completes when the subscribers land on your Thank You page. However, we are using the double opt-in method which involves some extra steps.

    The process would typically involve the followings:

    1. Opt-in form – visitor sign-up on your blog
    2. Thank You page – visitor gets redirected to the Thank You page.
    3. Confirmation email  – your autoresponder sends the confirmation email to the visitor.
    4. Confirmation page – visitor confirms their address and is directed to the Confirmation page.
    5. Welcome email – your autoresponder sends the Welcome email

    You can see the process in action if you click the button below and sign up with my email newsletter  🙂

    Yes Please!

    Creating Your Thank You Page

    The subscribers will be forwarded to the Thank You page after they submit the opt-in form.

    This page can be a simple Thank You for Subscribing page, or a page that lets the subscriber know that they need to confirm their email address.

    Avoid using the default confirmation page provided by your email service provider. A customized confirmation page will work better. But it must include clear instructions on how to finish the opt-in process.

    If you are offering an opt-in incentive or freebies, avoid offering them on this page because the subscribers will just download it and will ignore your confirmation email.

    I set up mine to be as distraction-free as possible as I want to focus the subscriber’s attention to take the next step which is to click the confirmation link in the incoming email.

    I also reminded the subscriber to check their bulk or spam folder if they do not see the message in their inbox.

    Here’s how my Thank You page looks like (although it’s asking for a confirmation):

    email thank you page

    The design may change in the future as I find more ways to optimize it.

    You know you’ll need to improve this page if you are getting terrible confirmation rates.

    You can expect to see 20-30% of people do not finish the opt-in process, that’s the average in the industry (I know that’s pretty high).

    But anything more than that, you may be doing something wrong.

    Keep in mind that most people are probably viewing the page on mobile so keeping it simple to get your message across is important.

    Here’s how my confirmation email looks like:

    Confirmation email example

    When designing your opt-in forms, there’ll be an option to connect them to your Thank You page.

    For Thrive Leads, you can find the setting under Connect with service > Post Opt-In Action:

    Post opt-in destination

    Creating Your Confirmation Page

    The Confirmation page is where the subscriber is directed to once they clicked the confirmation link in the email.

    All the email service providers like MailChimp, MailerLite, GetResponse etc provides a default confirmation page which is hosted on their server.

    Don’t rely on those as the standard confirmation page is very basic!

    I highly recommend you create your own confirmation page so that you can track your email signup conversion and customize the page for extra engagement.

    Next, you should tell your email service provider to use your page instead of theirs.

    For MailerLite, this setting is located at Subscribe settings > Confirmation Thank You page.

    Customize your confirmation page

    This is the page where you can give access to the opt-in incentives promised earlier if you have them. Or you can include those in the welcome email.

    Enhancing Your Confirmation Page

    Since the visitor has confirmed the subscription, you can experiment with many things here to encourage engagement or drive more traffic to your blog.

    For example, you can ask your new subscriber to tell all of their friends about your blog.

    How?

    By signing up for a free GoViral account. The idea with GoViral is you can offer additional cool goodies to your new subscribers in exchange for sharing your site with their friends.

    Once you signed up, just follow the prompts in GoViral to create your “Share this to get the freebie” page.

    Here’s an example on how it’s done:

    goviral confirmation page

    Here’s my current Confirmation page. It’s pretty minimal. The content may change in the future though.

    Confirmation page

    Hiding Your Thank You & Confirmation Page

    Now that you’ve created your Thank You and Confirmation pages, you need to ensure that nobody can stumble upon them accidentally as this will mess up with your goal tracking statistics.

    To hide your pages, you need to:

    1. Hide them from the search engines.
    2. Hide them from your blog search result.

    To hide your Thank You & Confirmation page from the search engine, you can install SEO plugins like Yoast SEO.

    On the page you want to hide, scroll down to the Yoast SEO section. Click on the Advanced icon and then select No from the drop-down option.

    how to hide thank you page

    Do this to both your Thank You and Confirmation page.

    Next, you’d want to hide those pages from your blog internal search.

    You can install the Search Exclude plugin to help you with this. All you have to do to exclude the pages is check the “Exclude from Search Results” check box on the right of your editor.

    exclude thank you page from internal blog search

    If you provide access to your opt-in incentives in your Confirmation page, you’ll need to make sure the URL is not easy to guess. Otherwise, people will be able to download your incentives without signing up just by guessing your confirmation page URL.

     

    How to Track Email Signups Using Google Analytics Goals

    I choose two separate goals for my email list signups tracking because I want to see how many people actually confirm their email address after submitting the opt-in form.

    If I have 10 signups per day, but none of them confirms, my actual conversion rate won’t be accurate.

    Setting up your goal tracking with Google Analytics is actually pretty straightforward as you’ll see next.

    1. In Google Analytics, click Admin on the left panel, then the Goals menu.
      track email signups using google analytics goals
    2. Click on the “+NEW GOAL” button.
      Setup new goal
    3. Add a name for your conversion goal and for the Type, select Destination and click Continue. This will be your first conversion goal which will be achieved when visitors land on your Thank You page.
      Google Analytics Goal description
    4. Under “Destination“, select “Begin with” from the drop-down menu. Then add the URL for your Thank You page. Make sure to include the forward slash at the beginning and omit your domain name. For example, if it’s https://domain.com/thankyou, then just enter /thankyou.
      Goal details
    5. Repeat the steps again for your Confirmation page. Here’s how my goals look like currently.
      Track mailing list signups

    That’s it! You are now ready to track email signups using Google Analytics goals.

    Just give Google Analytics a few days and a few sign-ups to start getting your data.

     

    How to Find Which Traffic Sources Convert the Best

    Once you’ve received several newsletter sign-ups, you can start finding which traffic sources bring you the most subscribers or which blog posts convinced the visitors to give out their email address.

    Login to your Google Analytics account, then go to Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels
    Traffic acquisition channels

    It appears that at the time of writing, I get the most email subscribers from referral traffic (visitors arriving from other websites), followed by traffic from the social media.

    If you want to find out which social networks convert the best, click on the Social link as shown above.

    In the Social section, you can see all the users coming from the social networks.

    It’s not a surprise I get most of my email subscribers from Facebook since I got more traffic from them at the moment. However, the email signup conversion rates from Quora traffic is more than double than that of Facebook.

    Best social media traffic for emails

    This tells me I should continue my focus to attract Quora traffic if I want more email subscribers.

    On a side note, you can learn how to use Quora to drive traffic to your blog here.

    To see which traffic source as a whole (domain) refer visitors who convert into email subscribers, look under Acquisition > All Traffic > Referrals.

    referral traffic email conversion

    To find out which of your blog post and content leads to the most conversions, look under:

    Conversions > Goals > Reverse Goal Path

    To separate the goal from all other goals, select your Email Signups goal under the Goal Option drop-down menu.

    Best converting blog post content

    This will show the steps (up to 3 levels) your visitors take before they sign up to your mailing list.

    You can use this information to find out which blog posts lead to the most subscribers. If you have multiple landing pages (squeeze pages), you can find out which ones produce the best conversions.

     

    Single Opt-In vs. Double Opt-In: Which One Is Better?

    The difference between single opt-in vs. double opt-in is that double opt-in requires the subscribers to confirm their email address before they can join the mailing list.

    Single opt-in adds the subscriber’s email into the email list immediately after they submit the opt-in form. No confirmation is necessary.

    Each method has its own pros and cons.

    Double Opt-In Advantages

    • People can’t sign-up using fake email addresses as a confirmation is required.
    • You have a more engaged list because people on the list really wanted to join in.
    • Your subscribers are less likely to report your emails as spam.
    • Improve your sender reputation and email deliverability.
    • Your subscribers number is more accurate as it represents interested people.
    • It ensures you have a quality mailing list.

    Double Opt-In Disadvantages

    • Some people won’t complete the signup process (expect 20% or more unconfirmed signups!)
    • Some subscribers may forget to click the confirmation link.
    • Sending a lot of email in a short space of time can turn off new subscribers.
    • Slower list growth.

    Single Opt-In Advantages

    • Signing-up is effortless
    • Simpler to set up for the marketer.
    • No unconfirmed subscribers problem.
    • Faster list growth

    Single Opt-In Disadvantages

    • Deliverability rates may be lower
    • Higher risk of being reported as spam
    • Mistyped email addresses, malicious and bots signups can end up on your list
    • People entering fake emails just to grab your opt-in incentives.
    • Your sender reputation may suffer
    • Costly to maintain your list if it’s full of non-working emails (since email service providers usually charged by subscribers count)
    • Legal compliance issues in some countries.

    So which one should you use?

    A study conducted by GetResponse says while single opt-in appears to be better from the start, double opt-in is the better choice long-term.

    They found the single opt-in conversion rate is worse than that of the double opt-in. Double opt-in emails also get higher click-through rates.

    Single opt-in vs. double opt-in

    That said, the best method will depend on your situation. You’ll have to test it for yourself to decide which method will work best for you.

    Some people claim single opt-in can work well too. You just need to send the right welcome message and actively clear out inactive/invalid subscribers in your email list.

    As for me, I’m currently experimenting with the double-opt in for Sabahan.com mailing list.

     

    Conclusion

    Armed with this information, you can now start to track email signups using Google Analytics goals to improve your email marketing ROI.

    By focusing your effort on attracting only the right kind of traffic or creating the right content, you’ll be working more efficiently which will grow your email subscribers count even faster.

    Now it’s your turn.

    If you are already using Google Analytics goal to track email signups in your blog, what traffic or content that lead the most sign ups for you?

    10

    How to Use Quora to Drive Tons of Traffic to Your Blog (The Ultimate Guide)

    How to use Quora to increase blog traffic and engagement for new blogs. #quora #quoramarketing #howtousequoraBlog traffic…

    The most elusive thing every new blogger could ever have.

    You tried promoting your posts on the social media but when you stop sharing, the traffic stops too.

    Search engines take too long to rank your posts.

    Perhaps guest blogging is the answer. So you write several guest posts only to get a trickle of visitors.

    Sounds familiar?

    You wonder if there’s a faster way to get traffic than the search engine or without the need to pitch your ideas like guest blogging. You want the traffic to continue to flow even after you stop writing.

    Well, good news, there is a better way!

    This is where Quora comes in.

     

    What Is Quora

    If you don’t know, Quora is a question-and-answer site where questions are asked, answered, edited and organized by its community of users.

    Think Yahoo Answers but better and the answers are actually helpful.

    When it was started, Quora goal was to create a platform where community members can provide a high-quality response in order to build their own reputations as experts.

    From the start, Quora was tremendously successful in attracting people who were at the top of their fields. Early contributors to the site included Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and venture capitalist Marc Andreessen.

    Here are a few interesting facts about Quora and Quora traffic stats:

    • Founded in 2009 by former Facebook CTO Adam D’Angelo.
    • As of June 2017, Quora has 200 million monthly unique visitors.
    • According to Alexa, Quora is the 92ths most popular website in the world and 44th in the United States. (last updated July 18, 2018)
    • A large portion of Quora’s user base (20.4%) is from India. The majority, 36.7%  is from the US.
    • The most followed Quoran is Balaji Viswanathan with over 480,000 followers
    • Ashton Kutcher and even Barack Obama have taken their turn answering questions on Quora.

     

    Exclusive Bonus:
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    Download the accompanying cheat sheet that will cut time spent on driving massive traffic from Quora.

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    The Benefits of Quora

    There are a few tangible benefits you can gain by participating in Quora Q&A such as

    • Establish your position as an authority in your niche
    • Build your personal brand
    • Grow your email list faster and with more targeted subscribers.
    • Drive targeted long-term traffic to your blog – your popular posts will continue to drive traffic for months even years after being posted.
    • If you write an excellent answer, the Quora staff may pick it up and have your posts syndicated to major publications including Time and Inc. Magazine.
    • It can be an effective place for content marketing.

    However, those things can only happen if you have an effective Quora strategy to get your answer viewed, read and upvoted like the top writers.

    Using Quora for Social Media Marketing

    To use Quora for marketing your business or blog more effectively, you need to determine what’s goal.

    Do you want to build a personal brand, use Quora to drive traffic to your blog, get leads to your freelance business, build a huge online community, help other people by sharing your knowledge?

    While getting tons of views to your answers is great, there are other benefits to using Quora for marketing your blog and business.

    If you share valuable tips and real insights to your Quora readers, you’ll reap the rewards by building trust, authority and credibility. It’s the best way to promote yourself and your business without selling out.

    How to Use Quora to Drive Traffic

    To use Quora to drive traffic to your blog and build trust as a Quora contributor you need to:

    1. Optimizing your profile
    2. Finding popular questions to answer
    3. Writing your answer with authority and proper formatting

    We’ll look at each of these in turn.

    How to use Quora effectively?

    Start by replicating what other popular Quora users have accomplished. While it won’t be easy, it’ll be worth the effort.

    Using Quora for SEO won’t take you far though because any links placed within your answers are no-follow links. This means you won’t get any SEO benefits for using relevant anchor text or getting backlinks from Quora.

    As you start answering more questions, you’ll start receiving more notifications of questions that other Quora users have asked you to answer.

    You can simply pass on the questions if you don’t want to answer them. However, those who asked you may turn to followers or upvote your answer if you can write the best answer for them.

    When people check your profile to learn more about you make sure it’s optimized to showcase the best of what you have to offer.

    Make Your Quora Profile Stand Out

    To use Quora to drive traffic and get targeted leads, you’ll need to optimize your profile by adding relevant attributes based on your niche.

    It’s your chance to stand out, demonstrate your knowledge and expertise and help you get traction from early on.

    To edit your profile, click on your profile picture on the top right, then go to Profile. On the right-hand side, click the Edit link next to the Credential & Highlights.

    optimize quora profile

    You’ll have an option to add several credentials in the following areas:

    • Employment
    • Education
    • Location
    • Topic
    • Language

    Add all the necessary info about you.

    You can then select one of your credentials and set it as the default as shown below.

    set default quora headline tagline

    Your default credential also serves as a tagline which is shown at the top of every answer.

    Quora tagline headline

    This tagline should tell your audience that you’re qualified to answer those questions. So it’s important to make it enlightening and attention-grabbing.

    One popular format is to give a list of descriptive roles separated by a “pipe” character.

    For example, for my default profile I use:

    Blogger at Sabahan.com | Internet Marketer | Programmer

    You can follow me on Quora if you want.

    Any links you place in that field won’t be clickable so you may want to include them in the Profile Summary.

    The Profile Summary is the chance for you to stand out. You can:

    • Tell a story of your personal or professional experience
    • Ask the readers to follow your social media accounts
    • Ask the readers to visit your blog,
    • Entice people to sign-up for a lead magnet
    • Link to your popular and most useful Quora answers
    • Structure your profile summary to make it scannable.
    • Include social proof – such as major publications where your work was published if any.

    quora profile example

    There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Copy how the top writers write their bios and adapt them to your own needs.

    top writer profile

    In addition to having a default credential, you can also set specific credentials for the different topics you write about. This serves as a custom bio highlighting your expertise for that topic.

    For example, for the Blogging topic, instead of showing my default tagline, I use “I Blog at Sabahan since 2006”

    To customize your topic credentials, click the three dots at the bottom right of your answer, then click Edit Credential.

    create unique credential for topics

    Provide In-Depth Content On Your Blog

    People come to Quora to find an answer to their question and they are actively looking for new ideas to try.

    Your own blog is the best place for you to find content to link to in your Quora answers. So you need to bring your best blog posts to their attention.

    Choose a blog post to use as your answer. Strategically place related links pointing back to that post or specific section in the post.

    No, you don’t have to link to your blog posts each time you answer a question.

    What you’d want to do is pick a post with multiple examples or strategies that are not included in the Quora answer. This gives the reader a reason to click on the link.

    Don’t copy the whole post and present it as an answer on Quora. There’s a chance that Google will penalize you for duplicate content if you do that too often. And be sure to disclose your authorship when you link to the post.

    Having written a blog post, article or opinion piece on the subject position you as having some form of authority. People will pay attention to your answer more.

     

    Exclusive Bonus:
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    Download the accompanying cheat sheet that will cut time spent on driving massive traffic from Quora.

    You're also subscribing to the Sabahan.com email list. Unsubscribe any time.

     

    Find Popular Questions in Your Topics

    Here’s another secret sauce you can use. Instead of answering every question in your topic, try to answer popular questions or those that are gaining traction.

    Why?

    Because popular questions help you get more views to your answers quicker.

    There’s something for everyone doesn’t matter what niche you are in. Here are the 50 most followed topics on Quora at the moment.

    On Quora, lifestyle-related questions are more likely to get upvotes and comments.

    While those questions may get you more views, if they’re not related to your blog niche or business, you’ll likely get fewer click-throughs to your blog or drive lower quality leads.

    How to Find Questions With the Most Views & Followers

    To find a question with the most views and followers, start by searching for a topic in your niche.

    Use short phrases and pay attention to Quora autosuggest topic names. Don’t use long sentences because they are not good for getting relevant topics you want.

    For example when you do a search for “blogging”, Quora will suggest related topics like “Blogging Platforms, “Blogging Advice”, “Guest Blogging” and so on.

    popular topic search

    The Blogging topic has 775.5k followers which is a clear indication of its popularity.

    quora popular topics

    You can also browse the Related Topics section and gauge their popularity by the number of followers they have. These would be great topics for you to target.

    Once you found a popular topic, drill down until you find a popular question.

    You may be thinking the most popular questions have already received too many answers and you can’t possibly compete with them. But remember, most popular questions also have a ton of followers so when you post an answer, those followers will be notified that there’s a new answer.

    So, how do you know if a question is popular?

    The Question Stats reveal how popular the question is.

    Question stats

    Once you’ve found a question with lots of followers and views, you can start answering it right away.

    Ideally, the question should be asked recently and already being followed by at least 500 people. However, don’t limit yourself, you can respond to any question with a low number of followers as long as it’s getting lots of views.

    It’s even better if the question has only a few answers but a lot of followers as you will be able to stand out easier and more people will see your answer.

    Now, instead of searching and then writing an answer each time, you can mark the question to Answer Later. You can search all the popular questions and build a database of questions you want to answer.

    answer later

    Later you can spend time dedicated for writing the actual answers. That way, you’ll work more efficiently as you’ll be focusing on doing one task at a time.

    Many of the followers will be notified as soon as your answer is posted so you will start getting views almost immediately.

    Quora places a strong emphasis on promoting new answers similar to how google likes fresh content.  So your answers may get an instant boost in view.

    Questions That Get At Least 1000 Views After a Week

    A question that’s at least a week old is gaining traction if it’s starting to accumulate 1000 views or more. There’s a chance that the question will continue to get more views.

    popular questions last week

    Quora doesn’t indicate when a question was first asked but they do include the date when it was last asked in the Question Stats. When a newer question is merged with an older one, the last asked will show the date of the newer question.

    Unfortunately, you can’t sort your feed by date or view count so you will have to dig around looking for such questions on your own.

    Find Questions That Appear On Google Search

    Some Quora questions also appear on the first page of Google search results bringing in tons of organic traffic.

    For example, the long tail keyword (phrases that contain 3 or more word)  “drive traffic to blog using quora” appears second on the search result page. These questions are good candidates to target if you can find them.

    organic google traffic to quora

    Find Questions Answered By Most Viewed Writers

    Another way to find popular questions is by finding questions that were answered by the most viewed writers on the topic.

    most viewed writers

    While not all of the questions are popular, you may discover a few that have contributed to the popularity of the writer.

    You can also follow these people. Your home feed will contain an assortment of questions answered by the people you follow. Quora will also notify you of any questions they’ve answered.

    You will notice that some of the most viewed writers are no longer active but their answers still get significant views. That can happen if your answer continues to be relevant long after it’s first created.

    Find Questions From the Topic FAQs

    Some topics have an FAQ section listing the top questions being asked or most relevant ones to the topic.

    Topic FAQs

    The Topic FAQ contains the most common and frequently asked question in the topic’s subject area from people learning about the subject. The questions aren’t overly specific for the topic.

    You can start finding popular questions from the FAQ list and share your take on them. Just make sure to be helpful and avoid writing just another me-too answer.

    Some of the questions may not have good answers (or any answers) at the time they are added to the FAQ. So this is your chance to give good guidance and demonstrate your knowledge of the subject.

    Keep an Eye on A2A (Asked to Answer) Questions

    Ask to Answer or A2A is when a user request or ask someone to answer a question on Quora.

    As you start answering more questions, you’ll start receiving more notifications of A2A questions that other Quorans have asked you to answer.

    Check the Question Stats and take note of the view count.

    A2A Ask to Answer Questions

    You’d want to answer questions with fewer existing answers (ideally less than 5) but are gaining traction by getting lots of views (500 or more) in a matter of hours.

    Because there are only a few answers, there’ll be less competition which means you should be able to stand out easily by writing the best answer.

    The person who created the A2A may upvote you and turn into a follower if your answer is really helpful to them.

     

    Exclusive Bonus:
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    Download the accompanying cheat sheet that will cut time spent on driving massive traffic from Quora.

    You're also subscribing to the Sabahan.com email list. Unsubscribe any time.

     

    How to Write the Perfect Quora Answer

    Now that you’ve located relevant and popular questions you want to answer, here’s what you need to do to craft the perfect Quora answer.

    Make Your Answer Scannable

    No one likes to be confronted with a massive wall of text when trying to find answers to their question.

    People don’t read your answer word-by-word, they scan because it’s more efficient and help them find information faster.

    So it’s important to break your answer into smaller, easily digestible chunks.

    To create scannable answers, make sure to incorporate the followings:

      • Subheading – organize your answer into different sections to help the reader navigate your content. Drive curiosity by using descriptive headings.
      • Short paragraphs  – break up large blocks of text with short paragraphs to improve readability.
      • Bullet points and numbered lists – create itemized lists to make the content scannable.
      • Bold, italics and underline – draw the reader’s attention by bolding, italicizing or underlining important keywords. But use them sparingly.
    • AVOID USING BLOCK CAPITALS.

    Tell a Story

    People love reading stories.

    In fact, it has been proven that when we hear a story, our brain activates the same areas as if we were experiencing the events of the story ourselves.

    Depending on your niche, you can use personal stories of struggle, tragedy, perseverance to pull people in and inspire them

    Even when writing about a technical topic, you can turn some of your points into a story to make your answer more engaging and relatable.

    Add Images or Videos

    Use images to make your answer stand out more. As people scroll down the thread, using images is a powerful way to grab their attention and ‘interrupt’ their scrolling.

    If you are talking about an event, add a related image, a public domain celeb photo for entertainment topic perhaps  to get people’s attention

    Don’t just use any image, use relevant photos, infographics, charts etc. to support your ideas and illustrate your points.

    There’s a study which shows people like reading content with images. Make sure to use only high-quality images and optimize them so that they load quickly too.

    If you don’t have personal images, you can use any of the free stock photo sites to find suitable ones to use in your answers. Quora uses the first picture in your post as the preview so make that one counts.

    Adding a related YouTube video can also help you to stand out.

    Be Different

    Have you noticed how some answers tend to be repetitive?

    For example, the answers to the question how to make money online always involve creating a blog, promoting affiliate offers, selling your own products or services and so on.

    As the readers scan your text trying to extract useful information, try to make them think that yours is different. With new information to learn, or interesting story to enjoy they’ll less likely skip your answer.

    If you can’t come up with a better answer, try to be different.

    So back to the how to make money online example, you answer could involve unconventional or strange ways people can do to earn money such as selling your hair, be a virtual jury, or even rent a friend!

    make money doing strange things

    When the followers are notified of a new answer, they will receive a preview of your answer.  So ensure that your intro is intriguing enough to encourage click-through.

    Provide Hint There’s More

    If your objective is to drive traffic to your blog, try to offer the gist of the subject in your answer.

    It should provide enough value to get views and upvotes, but not so much people think there’s nothing else to learn.

    Include a call to action in your answer to encourage people to take the next step, that is to click on your link.

    How Long Your Answer Should Be?

    As long as it needs to be.

    Although, you should avoid writing a very short answer (50 – 100 words) as it adds little to no value to the conversation unless the question can be answered satisfactorily with a short answer.

    I often write 500 words or longer to ensure I provide much-added value.

    Additional Benefits of Writing Good Quora Answers

    Keep in mind that you’re considered as an expert so having an opinion matters.

    However, when coming up with a statement, make sure to back them up with data or include links from the sources. Avoid writing self-promotional answers as it will hurt your credibility.

    If you know other bloggers who’ve written a comprehensive post about the question, don’t hesitate to link to them in your answer. This way, you’re perceived as being genuinely helpful.

    An additional benefit of writing good answers is having the chance of getting featured in Quora Digest.

    Quora Digest is an email sent by Quora daily or weekly which contains a list of answers which Quora thinks you might like to see.

    The answers are a mix of programmatically generated and hand-picked from globally popular topics. It is sent out to 1000+ users and sometimes 3+ million Quora users.

    As you can imagine, this could drive even more views to your answers.

    Also if your answer goes viral, more people will check out your profile. As I mentioned earlier, having an optimal profile is a must as you don’t want this traffic to go to waste.

    How to Get More Views and Upvotes

    If your answer got upvoted by other Quora’s user, it will rise to the top of that thread.

    The higher your answer in the thread, the more view you will get. The more view you get, the higher the chance to get upvotes.

    Upvotes will result in the followings:

    • Boost your answer up the thread
    • Provide social proof which makes your answer look more trustworthy
    • More people will check out your profile and click the link to your site.

    The number of upvotes can form a positive feedback loop where it drives more views and upvotes to your answers.

    Some even resolved in buying upvotes to boost their popularity. Avoid this as it will put your reputation and account at risk.

    Unfortunately, getting real upvotes for your answers to get the top of the thread isn’t easy either.

    So how do you get more upvotes to your answers?

    • Avoid self-promotion – try to be genuinely helpful. Make sure the link pointing back to your blog post complements or provide further clarification to your answer.
    • Tell a story – as I mentioned earlier, telling a story is a way to engage with your readers and develop a strong emotional connection. As people get more engaged they’re more likely to upvote your answer.
    • Share actionable steps – focus on how-to content mixed with personal storytelling.
    • Be yourself – sharing technical details and data is good but if you can inject some personality in your answer, doing so helps you to stand out more and be more relatable to readers.
    • Avoid technical jargon – use ordinary, everyday language to connect with more people.
    • Grab attention with the first sentence – you can make the first or second sentence interesting enough so that people will click through to see the full answer.
    • Wrap up with humour or inspiration – you can try making the last line or two humorous or inspirational. If you can end a solid answer with something that makes people smile or feeling inspired, they’ll be more likely to upvote you.

    How Often Should You Post on Quora?

    There are several Quora users who amassed millions of views to their answers. If you are not one of them, don’t worry 🙂 It’s a tough thing to achieve but not impossible.

    These people usually fall into one of the following groups:

    • Longtime Quora users who consistent writing answers and manage to answers 3000+ questions during their time on Quora.
    • Those who write a few hundred answers and get picked up by Quora Digest and their answers go viral.
    • Famous personalities or celebrities.

    If you are just starting out and are serious about driving blog traffic to your site from Quora, you’ll need to start answering questions. I would recommend answering one question (or two)  per day on Quora for at least 30 days.

    Focus on answering questions related to your niche. Answering questions that are of personal interest is a good way to start because you are answering topics you know a lot about.

    When you are answering questions from your own personal experience, you won’t have to spend a lot of time thinking about your answer. When you don’t have to think of a topic, you could answer rather quickly.

    As you write more, there are more related answers from you on the topic for the readers to check out.

    You can write on Quora every day because you can repurpose the answer for content marketing on other social media like Facebook, LinkedIn and get traction there with it as well.

    If you can’t make a commitment to writing on Quora daily, you can dedicate more time writing one or two answers per week and make them the ultimate answers.

    Some users who manage to attain top writer status managed to do so with only a few hundreds of answers under their belt.

    Case in point, Oliver Emberton who managed get 16.1 million views answering only 125 questions and was named Top Write in 2013 and 2014.

    When Is The Best Time to Post on Quora?

    According to Imran Esmail, if you are living in North America, posting early in the day or late at night can help.

    Since a large portion of Quora’s user base is from the Indian subcontinent (20.4% according to Alexa), you can get a lot of views when they are just waking up or going to bed. (When it’s 8:00 a.m. in New York City, it’s 6:30 p.m. in Mumbai; 10:00 p.m. in NYC is 8:30 a.m. in Mumbai.)

    For me, I don’t specifically try to target audience in other time zones. I prefer writing according to my own schedule, usually after 9 PM.

    I’m located in Malaysia, two and a half hour ahead of India. So when it’s 9 PM here, in New York City, it’s exactly 9 AM and it’s 6.30 PM in Mumbai.

    Finding the optimal time to post will need some testing on your part.

    Avoid Spamming and Follow The Rules

    Quora defines spam as:

    On Quora, spam is defined as one or more questions, answers, posts, comments, or messages whose purpose appears to be to direct traffic to external commercial sites while providing little to no value back to the Quora Community.

    When linking to your blog post, provide a summary of how the reference answers the question. If the link is not relevant and the gist of the answer is not understandable by the writing on Quora then the question will violate answering policies and guidelines.

    Quora allows some leeway when posting about your product or company as long as it’s relevant. However repeatedly posting the same information or intentionally misapplying topics on posts in order to gain more visibility may be considered spamming.

    Answers that drive traffic to external sites for promotional or commercial purposes and do not sufficiently answer the question are considered spam.

    Try to avoid writing a one-line answer, pasting a link or quote. Short answers often contain less value and may be collapsed by other Quora users.

    If you’re doing affiliate marketing, keep in mind that Quora’s policies disallow you to post affiliate links. Instead, add relevant links to your blog post (when appropriate) which may contain affiliate links.

    How to Track Quora Traffic For Conversions and ROI

    Review Your Performance With Quora Stats

    Quora Stats allows you to see summary and detailed statistics regarding how many people had viewed, upvoted and shared your answers.

    Quora stats

    The more views, upvotes and shares you have the better your performance. It’s an indication of the impact of the knowledge you are sharing to the world.

    However, you may want to dig deeper than just be content with those numbers.

    You’d want to track the number of Quora users you’re driving to your blog, the email list conversion rates or whatever important metric you want to measure.

    Use Google Analytics to Track Conversion

    Here’s how to do it.

    Sign-up with Google Analytics if you haven’t already then install a plugin like Google Analytics Dashboard for WP to help you add the analytics code into your blog.

    For this example, I am tracking my newsletter sign-ups.

    1. Set up Goal Tracking In Google Analytics

    You can follow this instruction to set up your Google Analytics account for goal tracking.

    2. Locate Quora In Social Networks Traffic Acquisition

    Inside your Google Analytics account, on the left-hand menu, click

    Acquisition > Social > Network Referrals

    You should see Quora listed on the list.

    Quora social network

    You may be wondering why I get very little traffic from the social media.

    If you follow my earlier post, you’d know that Sabahan.com is a very old blog that I am trying to revive. None of my earlier posts have any social media presence because I didn’t do any social media marketing for Sabahan in years.

    I’ve also set all the old blog posts to no-follow so Google no longer can send any traffic to them. Hence the low number of visitors I get at the moment.

    I could have made some extra money from AdSense if I didn’t do that but I needed to create a laser-focused content that Google will love.

    So I am literally starting from scratch.

    This is actually good because it gives me the opportunity to test different strategies to grow Sabahan.com and find out for myself what works and what doesn’t. And you can read all my findings on Sabahan.com!

    Anyway, as you can see from the image above, the average visitor from Quora spent around 3 minutes reading my blog, the longest among the social network traffic.

    To find the actual newsletter signup conversion, navigate to:

    Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels

    Then click on Social to delve deeper into the numbers.

    Quora goal conversion tracking

    A break down of the social media traffic shows 14.29% of visitors from Quora has signed up for my newsletter in the past 6 days.

    how to track newsletter conversion

    Admittedly, the sample size is small. Nonetheless, I found traffic from Quora consistently outperformed other traffic sources when it comes to lead generation.

    A large sample size can be found from an experiment conducted by Wishpond where up to 79.2% of Quora visitors signs up for a free trial after landing on their blog.

    Conclusion

    Quora is one of the most under-utilized social media channels for driving traffic to blogs and it should be part of your digital marketing strategies.

    Let’s be real though, you can’t expect a torrent of traffic after spending just a few hours answering questions here and there.

    Unless you are being featured or get lucky, expect little traffic for the first few weeks.

    Also, remember only to link to your blog post when it’s helpful and necessary. Linking to the same source repeatedly is considered as spamming by Quora.

    I hope you now have a solid strategy to dominate and use Quora to drive website traffic to your blog!

    Aside from using Quora to drive traffic to your blog or build your email list, you can use it to get clients for your freelance business, drive relevant people to join your Facebook group or follow you on Twitter or whatever your goal is.

    Spend time on Quora and you’ll be rewarded for your effort.

    Have I missed anything that isn’t included in the article? Have you already started using Quora to drive traffic to your blog?

    Let me know in the comments below.

    17

    27 Best Blogging Tools to Help You Grow Your Blog in 2019

    Best blogging tools to grow your blog, tools and resources to increase productivity. #blogtools #bloggingtools #Bloggingtips #blogmarketingLooking for the best blogging tools to add to your list of blogging tools?

    Great!

    As you know creating, organizing, and promoting your content can take a lot of time.

    As a blogger you need to be online most of the time, it’s so easy to become distracted and procrastinate. We often end up doing tasks that we think are important but aren’t urgent.

    For example, even though reading the how to select a gorgeous WordPress theme guide is important for your blog, it’s really not as urgent as promoting that awesome blog post you’ve just published.

    The best blogging tools increase your productivity, help you write better posts, help you prioritize tasks, and grow your blog traffic faster.

    These blogging tools come in the form of WordPress plugins, software/apps, services and websites which help you to stay focused while writing, organize your time better or automate tedious tasks.

    Some of these blogging tools are my favourites too as I’ve been using them daily to save time and money.

    While most are free some offer paid options which come with extra features.

    This post separates the wheat from the chaff to help you find the best blogging tools for your own needs.

    Disclosure: At Sabahan.com I believe in transparency. The list includes a few affiliate links. If you sign up using my referral link, I’ll earn a commission at no extra cost to you. This helps me keep Sabahan.com up and running.

     

    Best Blogging Tools For Beginners

    WordPress

    If you are already using the self-hosted WordPress for your blog you can ignore this. Otherwise, it’s something every beginner need when they start a blog.

    Fiverr

    You can either try to do everything yourself or head over to Fiverr and pay others to do the job for you for as low as $5.

    You can get help with a logo design, blog illustration, theme installation and customization, WordPress issues, plugins installation, proofreading, writing blog posts, you name it.

    Although, I wouldn’t recommend Fiverr for blog promotion and marketing, links building and SEO. The methods they use to drive short-term traffic, get followers on the social media and backlinks can often do your blog more harm than good.

    On a related note, feel free to check my post to help you grow your blog traffic.

    Thrive University

    I wish resources like the Thrive University existed when I started my blog in 2006. It could have answered most of my newbie questions and accelerated my learning process.

    Thrive University is an entire library of in-depth training material, focused on creating and optimizing your blog or site conversion. It can be getting more email subscribers, more sales, designing beautiful blog, creating engaging content and more.

    Registration is free and you can access many beginners-focused as well as advanced level courses for the veteran bloggers.

    Here’s a screenshot from the main page:

    free blogging training material

    While anyone can access the content for free, it’s geared towards those who use their tools and plugins. Personally for me, joining their Thrive Membership ($19 monthly)  has been the best investment I made for Sabahan.com so far.

     

    Blog Writing Tools

    Google Doc

    While the built-in editor for WordPress is fine for most bloggers, I personally prefer composing my posts using Google Doc.

    Here’s why:

    • It’s free – if you have a Google account, you already have access to it.
    • The document is accessible from everywhere
    • The autosave feature is less confusing than that of the WordPress one.
    • It allows blogger collaboration – your partner can edit, view or comment on your article with varying degree of privacy.

    The only problem I encounter is when exporting my post to the WordPress editor. Copying and pasting the content results in all sorts of formatting issues.

    I ended up spending extra time removing extra line breaks, unnecessary HTML code and uploading the images manually.

    If you post often, you may want to consider using tools like Wordable to help you export Google docs to WordPress.

    I’ve tried Wordable before and it worked pretty well for long-form content. You can try the free option (with conditions) or pay $19.99 monthly for unlimited exports.

    Since I don’t post that often, I’ve been moving my posts from Google Docs to WordPress manually.

    Hemingway Editor

    The Hemingway App is a free online tool (there’s also a desktop version for PC and Mac) that helps you to improve your writing and make it easier to understand.

    Unfortunately for me, it introduces an extra step since I am already using Google Docs. If that doesn’t bother you, you can actually save time editing and improve the readability of your text.

    Grammarly

    I use Grammarly to help me fix my spelling and grammatical errors.

    While it won’t fix every issue, it can be extremely helpful for any blogger to help them communicate their ideas in a better and more concise way.

    For those whose English is not their first language like myself, Grammarly is an invaluable tool to have in my blogging toolbox.

    If you have been using the built-in Microsoft Word spelling and grammar checker, give Grammarly a try as it works better.

    I’ve tried both the paid and find the free version is good enough for my needs. You can add the Chrome plugin or Microsoft Word plugin (this is what I’m using)  to automatically check as you type.

     

    Free Stock Photos

    Adding images to your post can make them more appealing.

    It’s a way to grab the visitor’s attention and draw them into reading your article. On the other hand, having a blog post full of text can turn some visitors off.

    Having images also make a post more shareable. Those using Pinterest understand how important it is to have an eye-catching graphic to increase their views count.

    Here are some websites where you can download free images and use them without attribution.

    Pixabay

    One of the most popular free stock photo sites to download free images from. You don’t even have to give credits for using the image. No strings attached.

    Pexel

    Another website offering free photos for personal and commercial use.

    Unsplash

    Unsplash is a good place to find free high-resolution photos.

    PhotoPin

    PhotoPin lets you search millions of Creative Commons photos from websites like Flickr. Since it’s not a curated list, the quality varies from one photo to the next.

     

    Graphic Design Tools

    Canva

    One of the most popular graphic design tools online.

    The template-based, drag-and-drop design tool makes it very easy for non-designers to create a professional looking image that pops.

    Canva is great for creating social media graphics, ebook covers, Pinterest images and business stationery and many more.

    While there is a paid option, the free option is good enough to get you started.

    PicMonkey

    Another very popular online photo editing tool.

    Unlike Canva, it comes with a lot of photo filters and effects. I would say it’s more of an image editing tool than a graphic design tool.

    PicMonkey also comes with beautifully designed and fully customizable Pinterest templates to help you create eye-popping pins that get attention.

     

    Premium Themes

    Theme Forest

    A good place to find premium themes that match your blog niche. I’ve personally purchased several themes from them including article directory themes and mobile app showcase themes.

    Most themes are very affordable. You don’t have to spend much to find some gorgeous looking themes with great features and a mobile responsive design.

    Due to a large number of themes available, finding the best one for your needs can be challenging. Just be sure to check the reviews. Stick with the highly-rated and well-established themes developers.

    Thrive Themes

    While Thrive Themes may not have the largest collection of themes, they are better known for their suite of conversion optimized design and WordPress plugin.

    They’re also cheaper as you can get a theme for a one time fee of $49.

    If you are after the user conversions like me, you can’t go wrong with Thrive Themes.

     

    Blogging  Tools For WordPress

    Google Analytics

    With Google Analytics, you can track how and when users visit your blog. These information are important indicators of the results of your effort in creating and promoting your blog.

    You can install WordPress plugins such as Google Analytics Dashboard for WP (GADWP) to quickly integrate Google  Analytics with your blog.

    Best WordPress Plugins

    Instead of repeating the best WordPress plugins you can install on your blog, click the link above to check out my related post.

     

    Blogging Tools For Marketers

    You can’t depend on Google or other social media for traffic forever.

    By having an email list, you have a growing audience that you can continue to market and announce your new content over time.

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

    As a blogger, you are also a marketer and these are the tools you need to market your stuff.

    MailerLite

    MailerLite is an email marketing platform that helps you collect your visitors’ email addresses.

    MailerLite is totally free to use if you have fewer than 1000 subscribers.

    An email list is probably the most important asset an online business owner could have.

    Sumo

    Sumo is a suit of free marketing tool (a collection of WordPress plugins) that helps you:

    • Design opt-in forms on your site and connect to email marketing services like MailerLite.
    • View Google Analytics traffic directly within WordPress
    • Increase traffic by content sharing for all Sumo users.
    • Chat live with your customers and visitors
    • Get in touch via contact form
    • And many more…

    Sumo is mainly used for creating email capture forms and adding social sharing buttons.

    The free plan limits you to 200 email subscribers, attached Sumo branding and with no support. That being said, it’s worth trying considering the immediate benefits your blog will enjoy.

    Thrive Leads

    At the moment I am using Thrive Leads to design my opt-in form.

    Unlike other paid list-building plugins, there’s no upsells or extra features to unlock. Everything is accessible for a one-off fee of $67 (it comes with free updates for life including one year of support if you stop paying).

     

    Tools For SEO & Getting More Traffic

    Google Webmaster Tools

    Google Webmaster Tools is a free service by Google for webmasters.

    It allows you to check indexing status and optimize visibility of your blog or websites and improve your rankings on Google search result.

    You can learn more how to use it to improve your ranking here.

    Bing Webmaster Tool

    Similar to Google Webmaster Tools, Bing helps you rank properly on Bing search results.

    Yoast SEO

    A must-have WordPress plugin to help you improve your search engine rankings. You can learn how to use it here.

    WP Smush

    WP Smush helps you to automatically compress and resize images without losing quality so that they load faster.

     

    Task Management & Productivity Tools

    Trello

    Trello is a project management tool that lets you create boards for each of your projects and visually view them in one place for easy management.

    It’s a great tool for individual bloggers or a team to manage workflow, collaborate on a project and be productive.

    Trello uses a Kanban board style method to manage tasks. This task management style lets you organize your tasks in vertical columns. The first Kanban system was developed for use by Toyota automotive in Japan.

    kanban task management

    Usually, these columns are titled Pending, In Progress and Done or something like that. So you could work on the tasks in the “In Progress” column and when complete you would move the tasks across to the Complete column.

    Trello task management

    I started using the free Trello a month ago. Since then I’ve found myself stop posting virtual sticky notes or to-do list in multiple places and become more organized.

    Here’s a template you can use as a guide to help you create a blogging editorial calendar in Trello.

    Here’s another guide to using the Kanban method with Trello.

    Toggl

    Toggl helps you track your time better.

    Why is it important?

    When you start tracking your time on a task, you stay accountable for the time you’re spending on that task. It is useful for bloggers who want to focus on the time they spend writing, researching and editing.

    If you are curious how much time you’re taking on a project you can time yourself with Toggl and find out. As you can imagine, this can be useful to freelancers who are billing by the hour.

    When it comes to executing my to-do list, I break up my time into a series of 30 minutes blocks. I don’t have to complete a task in 30 minutes. It’s there to help me stay focus on one, and only one task for at least 30 minutes.

    It’s a method I stumbled upon a while back. It has helped me to be more productive, stay more focus and get more things done.

    I’ve used Toggl daily since forever. I’ve used both the paid and free option and found the free one is good enough for a solopreneur like myself. It works best with a task manager like Trello.

    I must admit I am not a productivity nor a time-management expert who could organize and schedule my time perfectly. But I keep learning, trying to get better at it each day. I just made sure urgent and important things get done.

    Roboform

    Roboform is a password management tool which supports multiple devices from desktop, tablets to mobile and has multiple browser support as well.

    There’s a free option available but I needed to sync across devices, cloud backup, Two Factor Authentication and web access, therefore, the paid option is what I am using right now.

    When you have a lot of accounts on different websites, having a password management tool is a must.

     

    Conclusion

    Whether you are a new or a veteran blogger, having access to the best blogging tools and resources could save you time, work faster write better and gain more readers.

    I’ll be updating this post and will add more tools to the list from time to time.

    Now it’s your turn.

    Do you have a favourite blogging tool that’s not included in the list? Leave a comment, share any tips or tell us which tool you are using.

    18

    7 Proven Strategies to Increase Blog Traffic for Free In 2019

    Learn the strategies how to increase blog traffic for free. Drive traffic to your blog now! #blogtraffictips #howtogetblogtraffic #increaseblogtraffic #howtopromoteyourblogYou started your blog and now you want to know the strategies to increase blog traffic for free.

    Yes?

    Before I answer that question, let me tell you why most bloggers fail to attract traffic to their blogs.

    Back in 2013 and earlier, most bloggers wrote 350 to 600  words articles about anything they like and hoped for the best.

    Some may got lucky when Google picked up their content and ranked them for certain keywords.

    If you are still doing that today, it won’t work.

    Some discovered a few different strategies to drive traffic to their blog and figured that they would give each one a shot and see what happens.

    The ideas may come from articles like 23 ways to increase blog traffic or the 101 best ways to promote your blog for free and so on.

    While you can try 101 ways to increase traffic to your blog, it’s more useful to know where you should be spending most of your time to get the best ROI.

    This post will explain the strategies and biggest platforms that you should use to promote your blog posts and increase your website traffic.

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

     

    How to Increase Blog Traffic For Free

    If you want to make money blogging, driving large amounts of traffic to your blog should be one of your main blogging goals.

    That said, all traffic is not created equal. What you need is traffic that converts into social media shares, engagements, email subscribers and customers.

    Getting visitors to your blog requires a specific plan that you need to execute and follow through.

    Executing random tactics sporadically won’t help you much in the long-term and it’s a waste of your time.

    To start increasing traffic to your blog, the first step is to make sure your blog posts are helpful to your readers.

     

    1. Start With Creating Content That Solves a Problem

    Use your blog as a way to help others with what you know. Although, you don’t have to be an expert on the topic to help your readers.

    For example, when you start blogging, you’ll face many problems and challenges along the way.

    As you learn new things, you can turn this new found knowledge into helpful advice for your readers.

    As you come up with a blog topic to write about, think how:

    • Your new knowledge can benefit your readers
    • You can help them solve a similar problem
    • Your ideas can help improve their blog, business, traffic etc.
    • You can help them achieve their goal easier and faster
    • You can inspire them and in-turn helps you reach your own goal (convert them into email subscribers, customers etc).

    Leave the opinion pieces to the newspaper columnists. I’m not saying you shouldn’t share your opinions or give your perspective on an issue.

    However, you’d want to avoid writing only about things that you are interested in.

    Why?

    You don’t want to be the type of blogger whose only concern is to make other people like you.

    These bloggers spent so much time creating content about them instead of creating the content that other people actually want to read and that they need.

    When a visitor arrives at their blog, as awesome as the content may be, if there’s nothing for the visitor to learn and benefit from, they will leave.

    So, if you want your readers to like you, give them what they want!

    It’s perfectly fine if you want to be a lifestyle blogger or  Instagram famous.  Be an inspiration. Give tips and strategies for your readers to help them through the process.

    Good blog posts should:

    • Help solves your reader’s problems
    • Have practical value, i.e. actionable
    • Be formatted for a quick read, i.e. scannable
    • Be long enough to hold reasonable value.

    One of the best ways to write great content is to create a long-form content.

     

    2. Write Long Blog Posts (Long-Form Content)

    What is long-form content?

    There’s no exact definition of what “long” means, some experts agree that  1200 to 2000 words article is considered to be long.

    Thus, long-form content dives deeper into the topic and cover all the bases by answering all questions the reader may have (kind of like this guide you are reading).

    While creating long-form content for your blog requires a considerable amount of work and time, the benefits you get in return are well-worth the effort.

    This blog post, for example, took me 2-3 days to write!

     

    Benefits of Creating Long-Form Content

    Here are some of  the benefits you get from writing long-form content:

    Your posts will rank higher on the search engine results

    There’s a research done where they found the average word count of a first page result was over 2000 words.

    increase blog traffic

    Your posts are seen more authoritative

    Long-form content is meatier, better-researched and often offer more valuable insights than shorter posts.

    Writing long-form content position you as an authority and helps establish you as an expert in the subject matter.

    According to Backlinko.com, in-depth, authoritative content also has a direct relation with search engine rankings.

    People spend more time on your site

    With comprehensive and useful content, people will spend more time reading them, increasing the time spent on your site.

    They’ll also tend to visit your other pages more because they trust you more.

    You get more search traffic for related keywords

    Writing a longer post allows you to integrate more long-tail keywords into a single article.

    What are long-tail keywords?

    A long-tail keyword is a keyword phrase that contains at least three words. It’s used to target niche demographics rather than the mass audience.

    Because they are more specific, they are often less competitive than generic keyword terms.

    So, with long-form content, you can get one of your posts to rank for hundreds or even thousands of long-tail keywords.

    Your posting frequency doesn’t matter as much as the length of your posts when it comes to optimizing your content for long-tail keywords.

    Brian Dean of Backlinko.com said he has managed to get 1 million unique visits over the last year. At that time he has only published 32 posts in his blog.

    Your post will get more shares

    People tend to share posts that provide so much more valuable information as found by BuzzSumo. With 3000-10,000 word articles getting the most shares.

    Why?

    Longer blog posts offer more value and are unlikely to be filled with trivial or superficial information.

    average shares by content length

    How and When to Create Long-Form Content Blog Posts

    Getting people to visit your blog every single day is nearly impossible if you don’t have great content to begin with. So before you worry about increasing traffic to your blog, worry about your content.

    If search is a major source of your traffic, focus on creating longer content. However, don’t create long-form content just for the sake of it.

    Not all topics warrant excessive detail (think current news and celebrity gossip).

    Try to write about evergreen topics such as how to articles that focus on beginner topics to stay relevant.

    To make sure your content are easier to read, you’d want to:

    • Use shorter paragraphs with shorter sentences in them
    • Use headings and subheadings to break up your content
    • Use bullet points and lists where relevant
    • Highlight key points in bold, italics or underline
    • Use images to break up your content

     

    3. Optimize Your Blog For The Search Engines

    Making your blog’s content SEO-friendly is one way to drive massive blog traffic.

    In 2018, Google processes over 3.5 billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year.

    When I talk about optimizing your blog for the search engines, I am referring mostly to Google because they have the lion share of the global search volume.

    A good blog SEO practice helps you rank better on the other search engines too.

    global search share

    While having a blog that’s focused on Google SEO is great, trying to get traffic from them is hard because:

    • It’s very competitive.
    • Can take awhile to rank
    • SEO can get quite technical

    That said, it’s one source of traffic you can’t ignore because you get very targeted traffic which will engage with your content. Good rankings also bring consistent traffic for months even years to your blog.

    Some people will tell you to only focus on publishing great content and the search engines will notice and will rank you appropriately.

    While that can definitely happen, it can take a very long time, months if not years. Most bloggers already gave up by then.

    Why leave this to chance when you can be proactive and take action to improve your search engine rankings quicker?

     

    Understanding Search Intent

    People arrive at your website with an intent. Either they’re looking for specific information to help them do something or they want to learn something.

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

    For instance, if they are in the learning phase, make sure your page is informational. On the other hand, lead people to your sales page if they are in the buying phase.

    Understanding search intent will help you sell more of your stuff, get more email subscribers, get more clicks on your ads or whatever your goal is.

     

    How to Optimize Your Blog SEO

    So how do you optimize your blog for the search engines?

    Improving your blog SEO involves two main components:

    • Doing proper keyword research – target less competitive, long tail keywords that have high commercial values
    • Getting backlinks to your blog

    Free tools like Google Keyword Planner or Answer The Public is a good starting point for keyword research.

    Each of your posts would become an optimize landing page to draw visitors from the search engines. These are highly targeted visitors which would likely engage more with your content.

    To learn more about SEO and how to optimize your blog, check out the following posts:

     

    4. Participate in Q&A Sites Like Quora

    Quora is a Question & Answer website where people go and ask questions on any topic.

    Quora

    Created in 2009, today Quora has more than 100 million unique monthly visitors and is one of the most popular websites on the Internet.

    By joining Quora, you can:

    • Build your personal brand and reputation (you’ll need to use your real name to participate in a Q&A)
    • Use it to drive engaged referral traffic
    • Get massive blog traffic for free

    Sometimes Quora will continue to drive traffic from answers you created months ago (or a few years earlier). It’s normal to see questions from Quora ranked on the first page of Google search results.

    Some bloggers vouch that Quora is one of the major sources of traffic to their blog.

    Visitors arriving from Quora are more likely to spend time, visit other content and convert on your website.

    How do I know?

    Recently I started participating in Quora and as I checked my Google analytics I noticed the followings about the traffic from Quora:

    • They are spending more time on my site –  over 7 minutes on average
    • They are viewing more pages – 2.53 pages
    • Bounce rates are pretty low

    get traffic from quora

    Granted, the sample data is small but, there are many other bloggers who claimed to experience those good numbers too.

     

    How to Use Quora For Blog Promotion

    While you aren’t allowed to promote your blog directly, you can leverage their popularity by providing high-quality answers and strategically place related links pointing to your blog posts within your answer.

    Take extra caution when linking to your blog. Doing it just for clicks can get your account suspended for spamming.

    Your goal is not to answer every single question, but to answer popular questions that receive more views.

    When someone upvoted your answer, Quora will rank it higher and make it appears in the community feed increasing its visibility.

    To get the most out of Quora, you’ll need to do followings:

    • Optimize your profile – position yourself as an expert in the topic. Use your bio to promote your blog and social media accounts.
    • Provide in-depth and good content on your blog – give Quora users a compelling reason to visit your website
    • Find questions that attract the most views and followers – you may be thinking the most popular answer has gotten too many views and you can’t compete with them. Remember, most popular questions also have a ton of followers so when you post an answer, those followers will be notified that there’s a new answer.
      find popular quora questions
    • Look for new questions that are gaining traction – a week old question which receives 1000 or more views is a good candidate

    Let’s be real, you can’t expect a torrent of traffic after spending a few hours answering questions here and there.

    Unless you are being featured or get lucky, expect little traffic for the first few weeks.

    Ideally, you should try to answer at least one question every single day. Your answers need to add value to the conversation for them to attract views. In-depth answers are good but they can also be short, concise and unique.

    The more time you spend time cultivating your presence on Quora, the more views you will receive. To increase blog traffic, just keep it consistent and be patient.

    To learn more, check out my comprehensive guide on how to use Quora to drive traffic to your blog

     

    5. Use Pinterest to Promote Your Blog Posts

    After writing an amazing blog post, you need to tell people about it.

    This is where Pinterest comes in.

    Pinterest is actually a giant advertising billboard, still, its users never look at it that way. Another interesting fact about Pinterest is that it’s actually a search engine with a social element.

    So it’s a little different from the other social media networks.

    As such you’ll notice people who visit Pinterest are there mostly to search for information (for the social part you can follow other people too and share their content).

    This means they are more engaged and will respond to content that provides an answer to their question.

    Pinterest works so well for bloggers because the platform is image-based (as opposed to video-based) that can be tied up with your written content. It’s actually the secret weapon for many bloggers.

    Pinterest can help you

    • Drive lots of traffic for free
    • Gain organic traffic quicker compare to Google for instance
    • Gain sustained traffic for months.

    The disadvantages of Pinterest is that it takes time to master and require some skills to create beautiful pins which attract people attention.

    To learn more how to use Pinterest to drive traffic to your blog check out the following articles:

     

    6. Write Amazing Guest Posts

    Guest blogging is a great way to promote your blog to a new audience who’ve never heard of you before.

    It can be useful in getting links back to your site when your blog is new. But it can also be bad depending on who you ask.

    The advantages:

    • It’s a good way to get started
    • Helps build up backlinks – quality links improve your blog search engine rankings

    The disadvantages:

    • Not a great source of referral traffic
    • If you write a guest blog for a small blog, chances are you won’t see any traffic
    • You don’t own the content and you can’t republish it on your blog.
    • Takes a lot of work
    • You’ll need good writing skills.

    The best way to go about it is to select the right blogs. Don’t just offer to write on any popular blog. Find those that are relevant to your audience.

    Now, I have a confession to make.

    I’ve never written a guest post before!

    Sure, I can guest blog on some mid-tier blogs if I choose but to get the most out of guest blogging, you’d want your posts to appear on the largest and most authoritative sites.

    The alternative is to guest blog on several smaller but good quality blogs which is doable but will take a lot of work.

    You see, English is not my first language as may be apparent from my writing.

    I don’t want to spend more time than necessary trying to craft the perfect post with impeccable grammar, while putting other more important tasks, which potentially could provide a better ROI, on the back burner.

    That said, it’s something that I plan to do in 2018 because I believe it’s one of the best ways to acquire backlinks from authoritative domains.

    The goal is not to drive immediate traffic but to  gain traction on Google for the long-term.

    When the time comes, I’d probably hire a good proofreader from Fiverr to help me polish my post. 🙂

    In any case, check out this in-depth article about guest blogging to help you decide if this is the route you want to try.

     

    7. Start Your Own Email List

    Building your email list should be a priority early on in your blogging journey.

    Unfortunately, most bloggers think collecting email addresses isn’t important. We are more focused on creating content on our blog because it’s the thing that actually gets us traffic.

    Admittedly, I was also guilty for not starting my email list early on.

    Why create an email list when you have nothing to sell or you didn’t even know what you’re going to talk about?

    Having an email list allows you to build a deeper relationship with your audience even when you don’t have anything to sell.

    These are people who have given you the permission to email them. So you can ask them questions about what topics you should write about.

    It’s a way for you to drive traffic instantly to your new blog posts too. Just send your subscribers an email whenever you publish a new blog post.

    Darren Rowse of Problogger.com said he always get a traffic spike whenever he sends an email to his list about a new post.

    For most bloggers, their email list is their number #1 way to make money.

    If you are starting out and are on a tight budget, I would recommend registering with MailerLite.

    You’ll have full access to all the features for free and can send an unlimited number of emails per month if you have fewer than 1000 subscribers.

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

     

    8. Other Tricks to Increase Blog Traffic

    I don’t consider the following methods as a major driver of traffic (especially if you are just starting out) because they often offer lower ROI but can be effective if done correctly.

    Your own experience may differ though, so feel free to give them a try and see it for yourself.

     

    Create Twitter and Facebook Page/Groups

    The reason why I don’t include Facebook and Twitter as one of the major sources of traffic is that they are unreliable, have a short lifespan and inconsistent.

    If your post goes viral, you’d get loads of traffic for the first few hours then it dies out. Some say the average lifespan of a tweet is around 15 minutes, and Facebook post last for about 6 hours.

    To improve your visibility you’ll need to post more frequently (and risking driving people away for over posting). On these platforms, people don’t return just to search for previous content.

    Having a large number of followers can improve the visibility of your post and extend its lifespan substantially as people reshare or re-tweet it. Unfortunately, new bloggers with only a handful or no follower have no chance.

     

    Facebook Updates

    Facebook algorithm changes could affect your post visibility too. The recent one limits posts from pages or brands from showing up in a user’s news feed and there’s nothing you can do about it.

    Well, actually there is something you can do about it, which is to pay Facebook to show your post to more people. Facebook advertising requires a different set of skill to master. If you don’t know what you are doing, you could end up burning a hole in your pocket.

    Remember also, these social networks actually own your audience. They can shut you down for whatever reason.

    That said, don’t discount Facebook or Twitter completely. They can work wonders if you can create viral video content. Unfortunately, regular blog posts have less chance to go viral unless it’s some next level stuff.

    Also, not everyone wants to sign up for your email list. So, with a Facebook Group, you have another channel to connect with your followers. The best part about Facebook groups, it doesn’t adhere to the same restrictions or the algorithm that a Facebook page does.

    Joining other Facebook Groups can also be a good way to promote your blog. There are many blogging related groups you can join (just do a search to find them).

    There are no complicated requirements. Most groups welcome anyone as long as you are a blogger.

    Finally, create dedicated Facebook Page or Twitter account for your blog.  It’s always good to build up an audience on these platforms as it gives your blog more visibility to more people.

    Facebook and Twitter should be part of your content marketing strategies.

    Related:  How to Use Facebook Groups to Explode Your Blog Traffic and Drive Engagement

     

    Drive Traffic By Blog Commenting

    The are two ways you can get benefit from blog commenting:

    • Leave a comment on other blogs – others will notice and may visit your blog
    • Encourage comments on your own blog – this helps create long-form content and help to boost your SEO.

     

    Leave Comments on Other Blogs

    Commenting on other blogs is a good way to get you noticed.

    However, all blogs are not created equal. You’d want to select popular and highly authoritative blogs in your niche to comment.

    Visit those blogs on a regular basis and start leaving awesome comments that add value to the discussion.

    Granted, this may not bring you much traffic.

    But your goal isn’t to get everyone come across and clicks your URL (although that would be nice). The goal is to get people who are really into the topic to notice and click.

    The bloggers may start noticing you and might start mentioning you in their blog posts or get an invitation to guest blog.

    In any case, WordPress comments are no-follow by default.

    Meaning anyone leaving their website URL or link in the comments won’t benefit from the SEO juice of the page. This is good because it discourages comment spam.

    Unless the comments are do-follow, blog commenting won’t boost your backlinks and domain authority as Google does not transfer value or anchor text across these links.

     

    Encourage Comments on Your Blog

    This second benefit of blog commenting is seldom talked about.

    Earlier I talked about how creating long-form content help you rank for hundreds even not thousands of keywords.

    But what if you are very busy and don’t have the time to research and write 2000+ word article?

    You can encourage your readers to comment on your blog post!

    Once you’re starting to get comments, reply to all of them. Try responding with more than once sentence instead of just thanking them for commenting.

    Try to expand upon what they’ve written or debate them. Your goal is to encourage healthy discussion.

    When other people see that you take time to reply to comments, they will comment too.

    Imagine having 10 people leaving 50 words comments, that’s an extra 500 words of free user-generated content on your page. You just bumped your 1000 word blog post word count by 50%.

    Having a longer post means more keyword variation you can rank for, and more value to your readers.

    Blog comments help you build engaged followers to your blog. If they are bloggers themselves, you might even be able to start a mutually beneficial relationship.

    Through blog comments, you can discover new perspectives that you might not have considered before.

     

    Conclusion

    When it comes to generating blog traffic, most bloggers feel rather demotivated because:

    • Nothing seems to work no matter how hard they try
    • Things seem to progress very slowly
    • They keep reading how the top bloggers get tons of traffic  but they see nothing
    • They get trickles of traffic here and there
    • Blog search engine optimization (SEO) can get technical and takes time

    The biggest mistake most new bloggers make is spreading themselves too thin. They try to master every blog promotion strategies.

    What you’d want to do as a new blogger is to focus your time learning just one strategy. Get very-very good at it. Then add another strategy to the mix.

    Identify Your Strengths

    Start with the strategy that you think you can be good at quickly:

    • If you are a good writer, maybe you should start with guest posting
    • If you are a technical person, then Google SEO may be right up your alley.
    • If you are creative then Pinterest could be the answer to your traffic drought
    • If you like helping people, use Quora to for content marketing
    • If you are a good learner pick and mix two or three strategies

    Some bloggers will tell you how their blog traffic began to pick up after a year-long blogging.

    Which was after they got nice guest blogging gigs, had some posts became viral in the social media or Google finally started ranking their posts.

    Wouldn’t it be great if there’s a way to accelerate this process without having to slog away months and months and still see nothing?

    Yes, there is!

    By getting very good at one (or two) strategy first!

    The only way to increase your blog traffic fast is to be consistent and never give up. Most importantly, focus on proven blog promotion strategies that increase blog traffic.

    In any case, you would want to get on the Pinterest action and get a good start on increasing traffic to your new blog.

    Over time, you’d want to make sure not to depend on a single traffic source.

    Now it’s your turn.

    Do you have a blog promotion strategy that work for you? Please let me know in the comments.

    If you find this post useful, feel free to share it.

    Thanks for reading!

    11

    9 Best WordPress Plugins For Blogs In 2019

    The best WordPress plugins can extend the functionality of your blog and help you achieve your blogging goal. #pluginsforwordpress #wordpressplugins #recommendedwordpressplugins #bestwordpresspluginsThe best WordPress plugins can extend the functionality of your blog and help you achieve your blogging goal.

    Whether you are a WordPress beginner or a veteran blogger, selecting the best WordPress plugins for your blog can be tricky.

    The most popular WordPress plugin may not necessarily be the best plugin for your blog.

    Worse still, some of the so-called must-have plugins could slow down or introduce holes that could compromise the security of your blog.

    Finding useful plugins don’t have to be a daunting process though.

    And this article will help you do exactly that.

    Starting with the bare essentials such as contact form, SEO, social, analytics and caching plugin to speed up your blog, I’ll explore other popular WordPress plugins that will take your blog to the next level.

    Finally, I’ll look into ways how you could declutter and reduce the number of installed plugins yet still have important features for your blog.

    You can skip the first two sections if you are already familiar with the basic of WordPress plugins and know how to install them.

     

    What Is A WordPress Plugin?

    A WordPress plugin is a small piece of code that you can install with just a few clicks to add a new functionality or enhance an existing functionality of your WordPress blog.

    To see your list of installed plugin, log into your WordPress admin dashboard, then click Plugins > Installed Plugins.

    best WordPress plugins

    Your first WordPress installation comes with two few default plugins. They are:

    • Akismet – checks your comments for spam. It’s very useful for personal blogs. However,  if you make money from your blog in any way, you’ll need to pay for the service (I’d delete Akismet). Later I’ll show you a free alternative to Akismet which allows both personal and commercial use.
    • Hello Dolly –  the world’s first official WordPress plugin. It doesn’t do anything useful except demonstrates how a plugin works so I’d also uninstall this.

     

    How to Install a WordPress Plugin

    If you’re new to WordPress then you might not know how to add new plugins to your blog. To do so, click the “Add New” link under Plugins menu or the button at the top.

    add new plugin

    The next screen will show the official WordPress plugin directory.

    If you can think of any feature you want to add to your blog, there’s probably a plugin for that.

    With tons of free plugins to choose (55,469 and counting!), it’s easy to see how some WordPress users end up installing anything that takes their fancy.

    My advice?

    Have some self-restraint because installing too many plugins will do your blog more harm than good 🙂

    When you find a plugin you like, click the “Install Now” button. When WordPress finishes downloading the plugin, just click the Activate button to activate it.

    wordpress plugin directory

     

    Free vs. Premium WordPress Plugins

    With so many free plugins available, why would you want to pay for a  premium or paid plugin?

    Well, there are several reasons:

    • Frequent updates – premium plugins will be updated more often. So they usually work better and are compatible with the latest version of WordPress and other plugins and themes.
    • Better support – developer helps you troubleshoot issues if something goes wrong.
    • Better security – probably more reliable and secure than a free plugin that could just be a side project for the developer.
    • Extra features – some plugins come with a premium version which offers extra features that’s not available in the free version. It’s sometimes called a freemium plugin which you can upgrade to the premium version for more advanced features.

     

    Best WordPress Plugins For Blogs

    When you Google “best WordPress plugins” or “must have plugins for blog” you’ll come across with many different suggestions and opinions.

    Instead of creating a longer list of plugins than the next blog, I’ll start with the bare-essentials, i.e. plugins which are useful for a new blog.

    These plugins address a universal concern or needs every blog owner cannot afford to ignore.

    With so many plugins to choose from, it is inevitable that some features overlap may occur. The duplicate in functionalities can cause conflict so you’d want to minimize the number of installed plugins in your blog.

    Instead of listing the features of every plugin, I’ll explain what each plugin does and its advantages and disadvantages to help you decide if the plugin is right for you.

    In any case, these list includes some of the most popular plugins for their respective speciality. They are the same plugins installed at Sabahan.com too so you can be confident they work as advertised.

     

    Contact Form 7

    contact form 7

    With over 5 million active installations, it’s one of the most popular contact form plugins for WordPress. All blogs should have a contact page to allow visitors get in touch with the owner easily.

    With Contact Form 7, you can make some fields compulsory or create forms for a different purpose other than a normal contact form.

    The form can be placed into a post or page of your choosing by using shortcodes.

    Pros

    • Free
    • Support Google reCAPTCHA
    • Light-weight
    • Uses simple markup to alter form content
    • Supports third-party extensions for additional functionalities

    Cons

    • Installation can be a little tricky for beginners

    If you need help with the installation, you can find step-by-step instructions on how to set up Contact Form 7 here.

     

    Antispam Bee (Akismet free alternative)

    antispam bee

    This plugins automatically blocks spam comments and trackbacks without captchas and without sending personal information to third-party services.

    I had used Akismet for all my blogs before they required a subscription for commercial blogs. Today Antispam Bee is my go-to anti-spam comment plugin.

    Pros

    • Free
    • No ads
    • Easy to configure – no license, no registration required
    • Supports both personal and commercial blogs
    • Developed in Germany so it’s GDPR compliant

    Cons

    • None that I am aware of

    For further reading, check out this article about using Antispam Bee to block spam comments.

     

    Yoast SEO

    yoast seo

    Yoast SEO seems to be on everyone’s top 10 or must-have plugins lists these days.

    While a lot of things has changed as far as optimizing your blog for the search engines, there are things that stayed constant such as having keywords in your title and descriptions, keywords in alt text for images, and headers text, good keywords density and so on.

    Creating content that is properly optimized for Google and other search engines can be daunting.

    And this is where the Yoast SEO plugin comes in.

    It walks you through optimizing your blog posts for the search engines without having to be an expert in blog SEO.

    Pros

    • The free version should be good enough for most bloggers.
    • Easily optimize your post/page/category title and meta description – this is the feature I use most.
    • The Analysis feature offers good optimization suggestion – but there’s no need to fret about the imperfect score. Just use it as a guideline.
    • Quickly set any page/post/category to no-index

    Cons

    • At $89 per year, Yoast SEO Premium is expensive but could be worth it.
    • The sitemap function can’t exclude posts from certain categories
    • Bloated code since you can’t remove features you don’t use.
    • Ads on the free version

    For me, the ease of internal linking could be a reason for an upgrade.

    The premium version also allows you to optimize your title/meta description and content for up to 5 keywords.

    However, trying to optimize for 5 keywords at once seems overzealous and the paid tool doesn’t make it any easier.

    Besides Yoast SEO uses exact match for the secondary keywords. So you can end up stuffing keywords into your title and description instead of making them flow naturally.

    If the multiple keywords feature is the reason you want to upgrade, read this helpful review to help you decide.

    I’d just focus on writing great content and naturally sprinkle any secondary keywords in the article body and subtitles.

    In case you’re still wondering if you need Yoast SEO Premium, check out this review too.

     

    W3 Total Cache

    w3 total cache

    In my post SEO Tips for beginners, I stressed that having a fast loading blog is crucial to your search engine rankings.

    A slow loading website usually ranks lower on Google search results and will hurt your business.

    The good news is, you can easily improve your blog performance by installing a WordPress caching plugin. Caching plugins work by storing your blog data temporarily in the cache so that it loads faster the next time the user opens the same page.

    For that purpose, I am using W3 Total Cache for Sabahan.com and it works wonder for me.

    The default options should work fine for most bloggers. Just make sure to enable Page cache and HTTP (gzip) compression.

    If you have a busy blog, you may want to use the CDN feature.

    CDN, short for content delivery network allows you to serve your static content such as images, video, CSS, Javascript using servers from across the world.

    It minimizes your server load because CDN distributes the load on multiple servers across the world (they are located closer to your visitor’s location).

    Most CDN  services will cost you a monthly fee. However, there’s a free CDN  service you can try by Cloudfare CDN.

    All you have to do to get it up and running  is change your nameservers on your domain registrar website. Your host should be able to help you set it up.

    That said, the free Cloudfare CDN won’t give you significant improvement in performance. I tested Sabahan.com with Pingdom.com  and selected Melbourne, Australia as a test origin. Since my server is located in the US, the loading time is still not that great.

    free cloudfare cdn improvement

    Here’s the pros and cons of W3 Total Cache plugin:

    Pros

    • The free version should work for most people.
    • A multitude of caching functions
    • Helpful documentation within the plugin.
    • Use by many popular blogs like Mashable, Matt Cutt and WpBeginner.

    Cons

    • Pricey premium version at $99 per year.
    • Advanced features can be complicated.

    In any case, caching plugins are known to conflict with other plugins or themes. Ideally, you should only install one such plugin on your blog.

     

    Google Analytics Dashboard for WP (GADWP)

    google analytics dashboard for wp

    Tracking how and when users visit your blog is crucial. The number of visits and page views your blog have are an important indicator of the success of your blog.

    First, you’ll need to sign up with Google Analytics to help you do just that.

    To integrate it with your blog, you may want to install a Google Analytics plugin. This is not actually necessary but these plugins simplify the process as you don’t have to manually paste the tracking code into your blog’s header.

    Some of the Google Analytics plugins also give you access to your Google Analytics data without the need to leave the friendly confines of your WordPress dashboard.

    Currently, I am using Google Analytics Dashboard for WP (GADWP) by ExactMetrics.

    With GADWP, you can view the number of visits to your site, bounce rates, organic searches, pages per visit, and more directly on your WordPress dashboard.

    In addition to the general reports, the in-depth Page reports and in-depth Post reports allow further segmentation of your analytics data, providing performance details for each post or page from your website.

    post analytic report

    Pros

    • 100% free (no paid version)
    • Easily adds your analytics tracking code
    • View reports right inside your WordPress dashboard homepage
    • Reports are easy to understand

    Cons

    • Maybe overkill if you don’t care about in-dashboard reporting
    • Serious marketers or developers who need to dig deeper may need to look elsewhere

    I have used Google Analytics for WordPress by MonsterInsight but found the free version too limiting. The whole plugin feels like an advertisement for the pro version.

     

    BackWPup

    backupwp

    Backing up your blog regularly should be part of your standard WordPress security practice.

    Backups could save you from a lot of future troubles and give you peace of mind. If you run a business blog, I can’t stress enough how much backups are crucial for your long term survival.

    When an update or changes you made go haywire, or your blog just got hacked, you can quickly restore your blog from a backup and start afresh.

    BackWPup allows you to create a complete backup for free and store on the cloud i.e. Dropbox, Amazon S3, Rackspace or FTP, email, local server.

    BackWPup can backup your database, WordPress theme, plugin files and uploads folders. You can even exclude folders from the backup.

    Pros

    • It’s free  – a paid Pro with extra bells and whistles is also available.
    • Easy to set up
    • Can store backups to cloud storage – Dropbox, S3, Rackspace etc.
    • Can schedule automatic backups
    • Can create multiple backup jobs – each job creates smaller backup file thus more memory efficient for your server to handle.

    Cons

    • Storing backups to Google Drive requires the Pro version.
    • No quick restore option for the free version
    • No incremental backups (it backups everything not only new/updated files so can be resource intensive). If you have a very large blog, you may want to look elsewhere.
    • Pro version is pricey.

    Ideally, you should not store your WordPress backups on the same server.

    Storing your backup files into a folder on the same server can be a good temporary solution but not recommended for the long term.

    If your server failed or are hacked and your backup files are compromised, it defeats the purpose of setting the backup in the first place.

    The good new is you can get started with Amazon S3 for free. Upon sign-up, new AWS customers receive 5GB of storage and 15 GB of data transfer each month for one year.

     

    Google XML Sitemaps

    google xml sitemap

    A sitemap is a file on your server where you list the pages of your website to tell Google and other search engines about the organization of your site content.

    In the old days, you’d have to create the sitemap file manually. Today you can use plugins like Google XML Sitemaps to help generate an XML sitemap for your site.

    This sitemap file helps search engines like Google and Bing to easily understand the structure of your site and include them into their database.

    Everytime you publish or update posts or pages, Google XML Sitemaps will automatically update your sitemap file and notifies all major search engines about the new content.

    Pros

    • Free
    • Plug and play
    • The default configurations are good enough
    • SEO experts can tweak many settings
    • Set priorities for posts

    Cons

    • None that I can think of – good enough for the average user.

    After creating your sitemap, you’ll need to submit it to the search engine webmaster tools:

    Sitemaps do not necessarily boost your SEO rankings, the main purpose is to help search engines crawl your website better.

    Since new blogs usually don’t get many backlinks to their posts or pages, it is harder for the search engines to discover them.

    Having a sitemap for your new website or blog is advantageous because it improves the discovery and visibility of your new blog quicker.

     

    Wordfence Security

    wordfence security

    The default installation of WordPress is pretty secure. You just have to make sure to use a strong password and constantly update your WordPress version and plugins.

    Having said that, it does not stop malicious people from attempting to break into your blog.

    This is where Wordfence Security comes in as it keeps your blog more secure.

    Pros

    • The free version offers loads of features
    • Learn where threats to your blog originate
    • Plenty of options to tweak to suit your needs.
    • Set it and forget it (but you have to know what you’re doing)

    Cons

    • A little complicated for new users
    • Turning Live Traffic monitoring could severely slow down your blog or conflict with other plugins
    • Can be quite resource-hungry causing poor performance
    • Firewall rules only get updated in 30 days after the premium version
    • Premium version is pricey

     

    Useful WordPress Plugin For Blogs

    While WordPress itself is an awesome platform for creating websites, the default installation is rather limited in features and functionality save for the content management system it’s originally intended for.

    That in itself is actually good because you can pick and choose which capability you need by installing the exact WordPress plugins and avoid the bloated code problem.

    Ultimately, your blog goal determines which plugins are necessary. For example, what’s essential for a blog that sells things online may not be useful for a personal blog.

    I don’t want to review some random plugins that only look good on digital paper but may not work as advertised. So this list only includes plugins that I’ve personally used in my blogs.

    This list will be updated from time to time to include additional plugins deserving the spotlight.

     

    Child Theme Configurator

    create child theme plugin

    This plugin is intended for those who want to modify their current WordPress theme beyond the basic configuration allowed in the theme settings.

    To use this plugin, some technical knowledge about WordPress is necessary though.

    Child themes are the best way to customize your WordPress theme.

    A child theme is a theme that inherits (or copies if you prefer) the looks and functionality of another theme, i.e. the original theme (parent).

    The idea is that you can modify and add new functionality to the parent theme without modifying it directly as you are working with the child theme.

    However, child themes aren’t easy to create. This is where the Child Theme Configurator comes in.

    It generates any number of child themes from your parent theme giving you unlimited control over the look and feel while leaving your parent theme untouched.

     

    Easy Table of Content

    easy table of content

    Adding a table of content (TOC) at the beginning of your posts (or sidebar) can be a good way to make them more readable and manageable for your readers.

    The readers can skip through the information that doesn’t necessarily apply to them and go directly to the parts they actually want to read. This could reduce the page bounce rates, and in turn, will improve your search engine rankings.

    Besides highlighting the important sections of your posts,  adding Table of Contents to your blog also helps Google to show rich snippet in the search results.

    Easy Table of Content helps you achieve those goals by easily creating a clean table of content.

    The table of contents is generated automatically. No shortcode is necessary, just point and click to implement.

    You can see the actual implementation of Easy Table of Content on this post.

     

    Post Views Counter

    post view counter

    Have you ever wondered if anyone actually read your newly published blog post? Sure you can install an analytic plugin to track your page views but that’s not the simplest way of doing it.

    For new bloggers especially, knowing that some people are actually interested in what you have to say can be fun and flattering. At least you know your blog is no ghost town 🙂

    You can easily see how many times a post or page had been viewed by installing Post Views Counter. It’s simple and convenient to use as the view  count appears right at the bottom of your post/page.

    It also provides social proof to your visitors in that other people are interested in your content too.

    Unlike some other post views counter plugins, you can exclude counts from bots, logged in users or by IPs. Post views count is also not auto increment for every page refresh.

    I also like the fact that I can easily import data from WP-PostViews which I had used previously (but is no longer updated by the developer).

     

    Q2W3 Fixed Widget

    floating sidebar widget

    Have you ever wanted to put a spotlight on an element that deserve a spot front-and-center without disrupting the content flow?

    Maybe it’s your newsletter opt-in form, a table of content, product promotions, Follow Us widget or photos that “sticks” to their screen.

    Well, you can do so with Q2W3 Fixed Widget.

    When installed, it adds the “Fixed widget” option in your widget settings (as you can see from the image above).

    If the box is checked, the particular widget will always be visible when the page is scrolled down or up. It basically creates a sticky floating sidebar widget for your WordPress blog.

    You can see a working demo of Q2W3 Fixed Widget on this page for my own newsletter opt-in form (if I haven’t disabled this feature already).

     

    Thrive Leads

    list building plugin

    Having your own mailing list is crucial to the success of your blog. Email remains the best way to market your offers and build a sustainable business.

    Most of the traffic coming from Google or social media are temporary. Some visitors may never return after they read your content.

    One way to ensure they will return is by capturing their email addresses. You can send them an email whenever you publish a new blog post.

    At Sabahan.com, I am using Thrive Leads to design my opt-in form and connect to the MailerLite email marketing platform. MailerLite is totally free to use if you have fewer than 1000 subscribers.

    While Thrive Leads is not free, it’s one of the best list-building plugins for WordPress.

    Unlike other paid list-building plugins, there’s no upsells or extra features to unlock. Everything is accessible with a one-off fee of $67 (it comes with free updates for life including one year of support if you stop paying).

    You can design a great looking and professional quality optin form with a few clicks. There are a variety of optin form types: Lightbox, ribbon, widget, slide-in, screen filler overlay, you name it.

     

    To Top

    scroll to top plugin

    To Top allows the visitors to easily scroll back to the top of the page. It’s useful if you publish long posts often.

    When installed, it adds a floating scroll up icon at the bottom right side of the page. When clicked, the page rolls smoothly to the top.

    There are various options available to help you customize the button to match your needs. You can see a live demo of this plugin on this post.

     

    How to Reduce the Number of Installed Plugins in Your Blog

    With more than 55,000 free plugins to choose from in the WordPress plugin directory alone, it’s easy to feel like a kid in a candy store.

    How many WordPress plugins are too many?

    While there are no hard and fast rules, most experience WordPress users would agree that less is best.

    Dan Norris, co-founder of WordPress website support service WP Curve prefers to keep sites to under 20 plugins.

    Installing too many plugins could potentially cause:

    • Site performance issues and slow page loading. Front-end plugins especially add extra JavaScript or CSS files to your site increasing the number of HTTP requests. In addition, some plugins may increase the number of database queries which may increase your server load.
    • Website crash due to poorly coded plugins.
    • Security breaches and hacks – you can’t be 100% certain that all plugins are safe and secure. Some plugins are poorly coded or haven’t been updated for a while exposing your site to security risks.
    • Reliability issues due to poor coding, slow updates, poor support and plugins being discontinued.

     

    How to Avoid Problems With Plugins

    Here are some tips to avoid any of the problems above:

    • Avoid installing plugins offering similar functionality.
    • Uninstall plugins that you don’t need.
    • Replace plugins that are no longer updated
    • Only install plugins that come from trustworthy and reputable sources.
    • Check when the plugin was last updated. Try to avoid those that haven’t been updated for more than a year.
    • If possible look for plugins with over 100,000 downloads and 4+ star rating.
    • Check the support threads to see how the developer is responding (or not).

    One of the best WordPress plugins you definitely need to install is a caching plugin. I’ve written a post to help you how to quickly and easily increase your blog loading speed.

     

    Install Plugin Detective

    When your site is experiencing an issue, you basically had to manually deactivate/reactivate individual plugins to find the exact plugin that’s causing that issue.

    A new plugin solves this pain by taking this manual process and automates it for you. You are basically doing the same thing just with a fewer clicks of a button.

    You can check out Plugin Detective’s WordPress.org page here.

     

    Install a WordPress Theme That Comes With Useful Built-In Features

    In addition to the suggestion above, installing a WordPress theme that comes with useful built-in functionality can also help reduce the number of plugins you need to install.

    The problem with this is that choosing the right theme can be tricky as you could end up installing a theme that comes with tons of features that you don’t actually need.

    This is called the “theme creep” which is when your WordPress theme tries to do too much by itself.

    WordPress themes should only handle your site’s design and layout. All the functionality is supposed to be in plugins.

    Some themes may look awesome today but:

    • Will it still be around a few years from now?
    • Will it continue to be supported and get updates?
    • What if you want to switch theme in the future?

    My questions were answered while I was looking for ways to design a conversion optimized landing page for an ebook about cryptocurrency that I wanted to sell.

    I came across Thrive Themes.

    Thrive Themes offers a variety of themes and plugins. But the one theme that I am using is the FocusBlog Theme.

    Update: Unfortunately this theme is sold out! All their themes will be replaced with the brand new, visual theme builder.

    The best thing about this theme (besides being conversion optimized) is that it comes with many built-in features that the average WordPress user would actually need.

    Any one of these can be the best WordPress plugins for your blog too.

    Right off the bat, I no longer have the need to install plugins like:

    • Author Bio Box – this displays a box with the author’s biography and also social icons at the bottom of a post.
      author bio box
    • Related Post Plugin – this plugin shows related content after reading your post. It’s an effective way to increase pageviews and reduce bounce rates.
      related post plugin
    • WP Smush – or any other image compression plugin for that matter. Thrive Themes uses Kraken in the background to optimize your images so your pages load as quickly as possible.
      image optimization plugin
    • Comment Lazy Loading – useful if your posts get lots of comment so your pages load faster. The plugin prevents the comments from loading automatically when page/post is loaded. Instead, this plugin only loads (lazy load) the comments when the user scrolls down to the comments section. The default Thrive Theme installation doesn’t have this feature built-in though as it needs to be installed via a separate plugin. I like it so much I have to mention give their Thrive Comments plugin a mention here.
      comment lazy loading
    • Floating Social Media Button – must have for every blog to maximize your social media visibility. Some of these plugins can slow down your blog because they have to load additional stylesheets and scripts. Fortunately, this is not a problem with Thrive Theme.
      floating social media button
    • Social Media Follow Us Badges/Widget – these social media buttons are usually placed on the blog sidebar. It’s the best way to build your followers on social media.
      social media follow us button
    • Breadcrumb plugins – A breadcrumb helps your visitors keep track of their location on your website. It displays the breadcrumb navigation, usually at the top of your posts that tell users where they are relative to the homepage.
      breadcrumb navigation

    Installing Thrive Themes is just one of the ways to help you keep the number of installed plugins down.

    Should you decide to switch theme in the future, you’ll not lose important data but may lose some of the formatting.

    Thrive Theme still allows you to seamlessly switch between themes without any issues. You just need to install the relevant plugins to regain the missing functionality back.

    Granted, these built-in features may not be as fancy or as versatile as those offered by separate plugins. Still the functionality they provide should be good enough for most people.

    Another plus for using Thrive Themes is that all their themes and plugins are optimized for mobile so the functionalities work seamlessly on mobile devices.

    While it’s possible to purchase each theme and plugins separately, you can save much more if you join the Thrive Membership for as low as $19 per month.

    As a member, you’ll have access to all of their plugins and themes and you can use them on 25 of your own websites.

    Disclosure: At Sabahan.com I believe in transparency. I’m a member of Thrive Membership and use their products on this blog. If you sign up with Thrive Membership using my referral link, I’ll earn a commission at no extra cost to you. This helps me keep Sabahan.com up and running.

    Free Thrive University

    If you are not ready to join yet or want to learn how to create websites, landing pages, opt-in forms and maximize your website conversions, check out their Free Thrive University. Thrive University gives you access to all of their guides, courses and webinars for free.

     

    Conclusion

    Each blog has different goals and needs and there’s no one single plugin that’s one size fits all.

    The best WordPress plugins are those that extend your blog functionality and help you achieve your blogging goal.

    However, installing too many plugins can distract you from doing things that really matter for your blog, such as writing great content.

    Now it’s your turn.

    Do you agree/disagree with any of my points? Have you encountered any issue with any of the plugins mentioned above? Please let me know in the comments.

    If you find this post useful, feel free to share it.

    4

    How to Start Your Own Blog (2019 Beginners Guide)

    How to start a blog using WordPress. Beginners guide. #startablog #startingablog #wordpress #howtostartablog #howtoblogformoney #blogSo you want to start a blog?

    You are in luck because in 2019, creating a blog is easier than ever.

    This guide will teach blogging for beginners.

    You will learn how to select your own domain name, choose the right blogging platform, select a reliable web hosting, and publish your first post quickly.

    The whole process should take you no longer than 20 or 30 minutes to create your blog.

    Although it could take a little bit longer if you haven’t come up with a name for your blog already or you don’t know which theme (blog design) you want to use.

    Let’s dive right in!

    How to Start a Blog For Free

    You can create a blog for free if you want to.

    However, a blog with its own domain name, i.e. yourblogname.com, will cost around USD10 per year (later in this article I’ll teach you how to get a free domain name).

    The blog web hosting (think of it like a computer on the Internet where your blog is saved on) will cost around USD4 (or more)  per month. That’s pretty cheap if you ask me.

    If you want to start a blog and make money from it, you’ll need to spend a few dollars on those things.

    Later I will explain why you shouldn’t start a free blog if you are serious about blogging.

     

    Selecting Your Blog Niche – What Should You Blog About?

    A blog niche is a small 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 buildings/workout and so on.

    Why?

    Because by becoming a voice in a specific small segment of the industry, it would be easier for you to stand out and attract the right kind of audience that will relate more with your content.

    It’s also important to select a niche that you can establish yourself as an authority. But that doesn’t mean you must already be an expert in the topic.

    Sharing your own personal experience which helps others can be as good and informative as those coming from the experts.

    While having a passion helps, it’s also important that you blog about topics that help people solve a particular problem.

     

    How to Choose Your Blogging Platform

    You can start your blog on many different blogging platforms such as WordPress, Tumblr, Blogger and more.

    What is the best free blogging platform? You can’t go wrong if you follow the crowd.

    WordPress powers more than half of the top 100 blogs. Even more impressive, it runs nearly 30% of the entire internet.

    When it comes to blogging, it’s the most popular content management system (CMS) by far.

    There are two versions of WordPress, WordPress.com and WordPress.org.

    Sabahan.com is using the self-hosted WordPress.org blogging platform.

    Self-hosted means you download the WordPress software and run it on your own server.

    Everyone who are serious about blogging should go for this option.

    Here’s why:

      • It’s FREE – All you need is a web host and domain name. There’s no catch. The software is free because you have to setup and host it yourself (use this article as your guide)
      • Its design is highly customizable – There are tens of thousands of free and paid themes to help you create the exact look you want.
      • It’s powerful – There are more than 42,000 free plugins in the official WordPress directory alone. Plugins add more functionality to your blog, from contact form to plugins that improve blog performance.
      • It’ secure – The team behind WordPress is always updating their software and keeping everything safe from bugs and hacking attacks.
      • It allows you to make money – You can place ads on your blog and experiment with any blog monetization strategy.
      • It helps you rank higher on Google – Getting traffic is the lifeblood of your blog and WordPress.org will make it easier for you to get better rankings.

     

    Why You Shouldn’t Create a Blog On a Free Blogging Platform

    On the other hand, the other free blogging platforms like WordPress.com, Blogger.com, Tumblr, Medium or Wix limit your freedom and customization options that a self hosted WordPress blog offers.

    Here are some flaws you need to know:

    • You don’t own your blog content –  Since your blog is being hosted on another website, any violation of their terms of service (even accidentally)  can result in the shutting down of your blog.
    • Your blog address looks unprofessional – it can also be hard to remember, i.e. Sabahan.blogspot.com vs sabahan.com.
    • You are not allowed to advertise – your monetization options are limited.
    • You can’t fully customize the look of blog -  you’ll have a limited selection of themes available to really make your blog stand out. You can’t even use the free WordPress plugins to add new functionalities
    • Limited web space – you can only have so much space for your posts, images and videos as most free blogging platforms drastically limit the amount of web space you can use.

    That being said, it’s completely fine to blog just for fun or as a hobby. You can start with the free blogging option and later migrate to WordPress.org.

    Unfortunately migrating your blog can be very time-consuming and tricky. So, I’d recommend starting a self-hosted WordPress blog from the get-go if you are serious about blogging.

    Setting up a blog like Sabahan.com is actually pretty easy and cost less than you think.

    I’m going to teach you the exact steps on how to start a WordPress blog.

     

    Sign Up With a Web Hosting and Install WordPress

    WordPress officially recommends Bluehost. Established in 1996, it’s one of the oldest web hosting companies around (even before Google).

    They are reliable and secure. With the once-click-install feature for WordPress, you’ll get up and running in no time. Their web hosting offer comes with a free domain name too.

    Disclosure: At Sabahan.com I believe in transparency. If you sign up with Bluehost using my referral link, I’ll earn a commission at no extra cost to you (in fact, you will save money and get a free domain). This helps me keep Sabahan.com up and running.

    I’ll guide you step-by-step in creating a blog on Bluehost.

    1. Sign-up with Bluehost web hosting.
    2. Choose your hosting plan (the cheapest one should suffice).
    3. Pick a domain name for your blog
    4. Complete hosting registration
    5. Install WordPress with one-click installation
    6. Log-in and write your first post.

    These steps shouldn’t take you longer than 10 minutes (provided that you already know what domain name you want to use).

    Now let’s go into each step in more detail.

     

    1. Sign up With Bluehost Web Hosting

    Open up Bluehost in a new window and following along these steps.

    Click on the “get started now” button to get started.

    how to start a blog

    2. Choose Your Hosting Plan

    On the next screen, there are three options you can choose from Basic, Plus and Prime.

    Blogging beginners can start with the Basic plan. It is also the cheapest plan. You can always upgrade later if you need more features.

    web hosting plans

    3. Pick A Domain Name

    On the next screen, you’ll need to choose a domain name (Bluehost will give the domain name to you for free).

    Owning a domain name also allows you to can create a personalized email addresses like [email protected] or [email protected]

    If your first choice .com domain isn’t available, you can use other domain name ending (like .net, .org).

    If you already have a domain name bought from somewhere else, use the second form on the right “I have a domain name”.

    choosing domain name

    The minute you launch a blog with your own domain, the minute you launch a brand.

    Your brand is what makes your blog recognizable to people.

    You should put some thought into selecting your domain name (but not so much).

    Here are some tips when choosing a domain name for your blog:

    • Use your personal name – if the blog is about you or you want to build a brand using your own name.
    • Use brandable name – if you want to build a brand apart from yourself, you can use a brandable name such as FrugalPurse.com instead of Best-How-To-Save-Money-Tips.com 🙂
    • Keep it short – a shorter name means less hassle for the user to type and less risk of mistyping.
    • Make it easy to remember – avoid confusion with complicated or creative misspellings.
    • Avoid numbers and hyphens – this makes it hard to remember and explain the domain to others.
    • Select a “.com”, “.org” or “.net” – those are the most popular. People usually associate a website with “.com”. Avoid extensions like “.biz”, “.club” and other less common ones. They are harder to remember.

     

    4. Complete Your Registration

    In the next screen, you’ll find three sections on this page.

    • Account Information – just enter your contact information as you would normally.
    • Package Information – you’ll need to choose the account plan here. For the Basic plan, I’d start off with 12 months. To save more, you can select the longer options.package informationThe reasons why you would want to purchase at least the 12-month hosting plan are:
      • You’ll get a free domain name.
      • You save money from the monthly pricing.
      • You save time and hassle from having to renew monthly.
      • You avoid the risk of losing visitors when your site is down.There are optional extras that you can purchase but they really aren’t necessary to start a new blog. That said, you might want to consider the Domain Privacy Protection.When you register a domain name, your contact information is made public. If you don’t want that, you can tick this option. Bluehost will hide your registrant information and replace it with theirs. In any case, you can always add those add-ons later on if you decide that you need them.
    • Payment Information – The last section is the payment information. If you want to pay with PayPal, click on the “More payment options”.payment informationOnce you have entered your payment information, click the Submit button. You’ll be asked to create your password to login into your Bluehost account.bluehost password

     

    5. Install WordPress

    1. Use the password created previously to login into your account.
      success-password-creation
    2. Once you’re inside your Bluehost account, you’ll be able to pick one of the themes provided by Bluehost. Keep in mind that you can always pick another theme later from the WordPress.org repository.
      wordpress theme
    3. After picking a theme, you are now ready to log into your WordPress dashboard and start building your blog. Click the “Start Building” button.
      building wordpress blog
    4. On the WordPress welcome page, you’ll be asked whether you want to create a business or personal blog. It’s up to you. Or you can click the “I don’t need help” to do it on your own.
      wordpress welcome bluehost
    5. If you click on the Bluehost menu on the top left-hand corner, you will see the main Dashboard with various sections designed to help you create your new blog.If you go to your blog address, i.e. www.yourblog.com, you will see a “Coming Soon” page.It’s OK to start launching your blog right away by clicking on the Launch button. This allows you to easily preview how your blog will look like to your visitors.Don’t worry, since no one knows about your blog yet (unless you tell them), you can freely experiment with the blog design.
      bluehost dashboard
    6. After clicking the “Launch” button, you’ll be asked to enter the title and description of your blog. These let your visitors know what your blog is all about. Remember that you can always update this info later.
      launch my blog
    7. Congratulations! You have just launched your new blog!

     

    6. Log-In to WordPress Dashboard and Add/Write Your First Post

    You can log in to your blog admin dashboard by visiting www.yourblog.com/wp-admin. Just replace yourblog.com with your own domain name.
    wordpress dashboard login

    Once you’re logged in, you will see the WordPress dashboard screen below. Your dashboard may look slightly different.
    dashboard

    Now’s the fun part – it’s time to share your blog post ideas with the world!

    1. Adding a New Post
      To start writing your first post, on the left-hand side menu, click Posts > Add New.

      The Add New Post screen looks something like this (your screen may look slightly different from mine):
      add new postYou can start entering the title of your blog post and the content in the big text box below the title.If you don’t have to finish your blog post in one sitting,  the “Save Draft” button on the right of the page will save your draft.If you want your post to be published later, you can schedule the post too.Adjust the Visibility setting to make your post private or password protected so only certain people can see it.To publish your post, just click on the “Publish” button on the right of the screen. Congratulations you have just created your first blog post!You can always edit or delete your published posts. Go to the “All Posts” section of the Posts menu to find the particular post you want to change.

    Once you have some excellent blog posts written, you can start promoting them on the social media.

    In fact, some say you should dedicate 20% to 30% of your time on blog content creation and the bulk of your time should be spent on blog promotion.

    Start creating dedicated social media profiles, they should include a Facebook page, Twitter and Pinterest profile just for your blog.

     

    What Is The Difference Between Blog Posts vs Pages

    Blogging beginners are often confused by the difference between a blog post and a page.

    Both posts and pages help you organise your content. In most blogs, posts and pages look almost identical.

    Pages are accessible from menus while posts are often placed inside categories. The collection of your latest post snippets is  visible from the blog index.
    blog index

    Here are some of the key differences between Posts vs. Pages:

    • Posts are timely – when you publish a new blog entry, you’d publish a post.
    • Posts are social – you’d want as many people to read and share your blog entry.
    • Posts encourage engagement – your readers can comment on your blog post. This helps establish trust and build loyal followers to your blog.
    • Posts belong in a category (or several categories)
    • Pages are evergreen – content such as about page, privacy policy, contact us aren’t supposed to be outdated. You may need to update them once in a while.
    • Pages are not meant to be social – it’s often unnecessary to include the social sharing buttons on pages.
    • Pages can’t be commented – you don’t usually allow comments on pages.

    These are the norm but there are no hard and fast rules. For example, some blogs may include important posts in the menu (like what I did for this post), or allow commenting on their about page.

     

    How to Change Your WordPress Blog Design

    You can change the appearance of your blog by changing the blog theme with just a few clicks.

    Changing the theme will have an immediate effect on the look and feel of your blog. It’s one of the most exciting parts of starting a blog as you and your visitors will be able to enjoy the result right away.

    There are thousands of premade WordPress themes that you can install. Some are free while others are paid.

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

    For example I wanted a theme to showcase my mobile apps and wasn’t disappointed to find a theme specifically for that purpose.

    I’m currently using FocusBlog Theme by Thrive Themes for Sabahan.com.

    They offer more than WordPress theme though. Their products are designed from the ground up to help you convert your visitors into buyers, subscribers or whatever business goal you may have.

    To change your WordPress blog theme just follow these steps:

    1. Start by 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 theme

      On 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.Once the theme has been installed, just click “Activate ” on the next screen:
      activate theme
      You can further customize the theme by clicking on the Customize menu under Appearance.

     

    How to Select the Perfect Theme For Your Blog

    Here are a few tips to help you find the perfect theme for your blog:

    • Look for clean and uncluttered design  – it will provide good user experience to your visitors.
    • Check for responsiveness – A responsive design ensures your theme works properly on any screen from desktop browsers to mobile devices (important for good search engines rankings)

    Finding the perfect theme for your blog can be time-consuming though.

    The good news is, you can always switch theme if your current theme doesn’t do what you want. As your blog gets more popular, try to avoid changing themes often because it will confuse your regular readers.

    While using the free themes are enough for most bloggers, at some points, you would probably want a professionally designed theme created specifically for your particular industry or niche.

    Paid themes have the following advantages over the free themes:

    • More features and customization options – developers need to offer better products due to competition. Extra features like shortcodes, drag and drop builder and other built-in functionalities could reduce the number of plugins you need to install.
    • Support and updates – paid themes are supported by the developer and comes with regular updates.
    • Unique and professional design – unlike free themes, paid themes are installed less frequently because people actually need to pay to use it. A  unique and professional looking theme helps your blog stand out more.

    That said, paid themes are not perfect. Some themes may look pretty but are poorly coded which make them incompatible with some plugins.

    In an attempt to attract buyers, some developers include too many features which you probably don’t need anyway. This could make your website slow.

    Too much dependency on certain functionality that comes with a specific theme can break your blog if you decide to switch theme later.

     

    How to Start a Blog and Make Money

    This article teaches blogging for beginners and how to start one quickly.

    If you already have a blog and want to make money from it, hop over to my make money blogging article.

    You’ll find various ways to monetize your new blog and make money while you sleep 🙂

     

    Conclusion

    Congratulations on reaching this far!

    Now you know how to start a blog, you’re already ahead of other wannabe bloggers.

    Creating a successful blog requires passion and hard work, there’s no shortcut to it.

    The good news is as long as you are willing to learn, the journey itself can be fun and very rewarding.

    Bookmark this post as I’ll be updating it from time to time to include the latest information to help you create a successful blog.

    Next, you may want to read the following blogging-related posts:

    Please share this post if you find it helpful. I’d also love to know your thoughts or any question you have in the comments below. Thanks for reading!

    6

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

    Learn how to make more money blogging. How do bloggers make money? #makemoneyblogging #blogformoney #howtomonetizeablog #makemoneyblogSo you want to make money blogging?

    Maybe you have read stories about how top bloggers are making thousands if not hundreds of thousands of dollars per month from their blogs.

    (Later I’ll show you how much some top bloggers are making from their blog).

    Perhaps you are not a beginner and have been blogging for a couple of months (or years).

    You have been working tirelessly, tried everything you could, yet the income generated from your blog is barely enough to cover your web hosting bills.

    What went wrong? How do top bloggers actually make money blogging?

    Here’s a little secret, it all comes down to the amount of organic traffic you get from the search engines!

    You probably said, you already know this. Hear me out, that’s only half of the story  (but a very important half).

    So what’s the other half?

    Please read on if you want to learn more.

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

     

    How to Start a Blog For Free and Make Money

    To start a blog, you would normally have to do the followings:

    1. Buy a good domain name
    2. Buy a web hosting
    3. Install WordPress
    4. Upload a good-looking theme
    5. Start writing and publish your first post

    Can you start a blog for free? Yes, you can.

    You start a new blog for free at:

    But if your goal is to make serious money blogging, I wouldn’t recommend it.

    Why?

    • You don’t control your content. The blogging platform could shut you down for any reason.
    • Your blog address looks unprofessional and can be hard to remember, i.e. Sabahan.blogspot.com vs sabahan.com.
    • You are not allowed to advertise on most free blogging platforms. So your monetization options are limited.

    The advantages of having a self-hosted WordPress site:

    • You are in total control.
    • You can change the appearance of your blog to match your niche
    • You can add and remove functionality to your heart content.
    • Your posts will rank higher on Google search result
    • You can experiment with any monetization strategies.

    With the freedom and customization options that WordPress offers, there’s one downside you can’t ignore.

    The learning curve can be pretty overwhelming for total beginners. You do have to spend some money from day one as you need to buy a web hosting and your own domain name.

    But I think in the long run, it’s worthy.

     

    Make Money Blogging – Following Your Passion Isn’t Enough

    When it comes to making money online from blogging, the first advice you’d normally get is to follow your passion (and the money will follow or so they said).

    That makes sense because you’ll have a much easier time writing content that you actually love. You can write about hobbies that you enjoy, your work or some specific knowledge or expertise that you have.

    The problem is that some people approach blogging like how it was in 2008.

    They blog about their weekend recap, annual family gathering and random ramblings of their life.

    Then they piggyback on a trending topic and come up with a 300 – 600 words article. Unfortunately that no longer works.

    I’m not saying bloggers shouldn’t write about what’s happening in their life but it dilutes the focus of their blogs and Google doesn’t like that.

    Unless you’re a lifestyle entrepreneur, there are other better platforms for us ordinary bloggers for that, like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.

    In most likelihood, a typical blog usually has more new visitors than returning ones. These new visitors don’t know you.

    When they arrive from the search engine they are either looking for a specific information to help them do something, or they want to learn something.

    Unless you are doing a foodie blog or a restaurant review, no – they don’t want to know what you ate for breakfast, sorry.

    new vs returning visitors

    People have an intent when they arrive. So every piece of content that you create should be there to help them do something or teach them something.

    Writing only about what makes you happy won’t always make you money. You also need to write about what makes other people happy.

    Writing only about what makes you happy won't always make you money. You also need to write about what makes other people happy.Click To Tweet

    To make money blogging today, you need to treat your blog like a business.

    In addition to writing about what you are passionate about, your content also needs to solve your readers’ problem and bring value to their lives.

     

    My Story

    To be honest with you, I was guilty of treating Sabahan.com like a hobby and not like a business too.

    Besides writing about helpful tips and knowledge that benefit my readers, I often shared my personal opinions on news and current affairs.

    To be fair though, I wanted Sabahan.com to be a little personal and not strictly business.

    The result?

    Unlike evergreen content which will continue to generate traffic overtime, other content will run its course and become dated and irrelevant.

    I blogged for 6 years from 2006, yet the financial return that could keep me motivated and continued my blogging journey never materialized.

    I was also running other successful online business so I chose to focus on that instead and stopped blogging at Sabahan.com entirely.

    You see, when you have money being deposited into your account every day for the work that you love doing, it’s much easier to keep yourself motivated.

    Sometimes you need to make money first, then you learn to become passionate about your work real quick.

     

    Write Content That Gets Lots of Traffic

    There are two main sources you can get traffic from:

    • Search engines
    • Social media

    content traffic source

    For certain type of content like tech, sports and business, much more of the referral traffic is coming from Google. By contrast, Facebook does a better job driving traffic to articles about lifestyle and entertainment.

    To get traffic to your blog, you need to find a niche that is popular enough and isn’t too competitive.

    Then, you need to do some keyword research. You don’t want to write everything in your niche or general topics.

    Pick a problem to solve or an outcome your potential readers might what to achieve and find the related keywords using tools like:

    • Google Keyword Planner
      This gives you estimates of the search volume and how competitive the keywords are. Ideally, you should choose keywords that have lots of search volume but low competition.
      keyword planner
    • BuzzSumo
      BuzzSumo helps you find what content is shared the most on the social media. You can enter your competitor’s URL or a keyword to find the most shared posts. Use the result as an inspiration to create something different, useful or better, don’t just copy them.
      buzzsumo.

    Try to tweak your topic so you can complement the popular posts instead of directly competing with them.

     

    How Do Bloggers Make Money From Blogging?

    So how to make money blogging for beginners?

    Once you get traffic to your blog, you can start monetizing it using one or more of the following methods:

     

    AdSense

    AdSense is a service by Google that allows you to put ads on your blog. The idea is you can display Google Ads on your blog and when a visitor clicks on those ads you get paid for the clicks.

    Advantages

    • It’s the fastest and easiest way for a beginner to monetize a new blog.
    • With AdSense Auto Ads, Google is using machine learning to increase your ad revenue.
    • Showing relevant ads could enhance the user experience.
    • Setup once and get paid continuously as long as you get traffic.

    Disadvantages

    • With AdSense Auto Ads, you can’t control how many ads are placed on a page. It could end up crowding your content.
    • Some of your page’s content may be pushed below the fold especially when viewed on mobile.
    • You’ll need a lot of traffic to achieve a meaningful income.
    • They compete with your affiliate links for attention and may affect your affiliate links click-through-rates

    Currently, I’m using AdSense to monetize Sabahan.com. It may not be a permanent fixture though as I want to provide better focus on my own content in the future.

    You are basically getting paid to send visitors away. Although this can be a good compromise if you haven’t fully developed other monetization strategies yet.

    There are pros and cons but I would still recommend you to give AdSense a try. See if it’s something that could work for you especially if you’re starting a blog.

     

    Affiliate Programs

    Affiliate programs is where you promote a product or service and get paid every time someone signs up for it or when you drive a sale.

    There are many affiliate networks out there that have affiliate offers. Here are a few popular programs you can sign up:

    • Amazon.com
      One of the largest affiliate programs. Amazon offers over a million physical and digital products to advertise. The commision may not be big (up to 10%)  but there’s always something you can promote no matter what niche your blog is in.
    • ShareASale
      ShareASale offers pay-per-sale, pay-per-lead, and pay-per-click programs. They have many blogger-friendly affiliate programs you can join.
    • CJ.com
      One of the largest affiliate networks around. I’ve been using CJ Affiliate since the early 2000 so this one is a good one to join.
    • ClickBank
      ClickBank is a marketplace for digital products, from advice to getting in shape to healthy cooking recipes and dating advice. You can sign up and create unique affiliate links quickly. High commision, 75% payout is common.  Be selective with the products you choose to promote to make sure they’re of a good quality.
    • Envato Market
      Envato Market sells digital items such as web templates, themes, video, audio, photos and more. I’ve personally bought lots of items from them since 2010. You’ll get 30% commission for each sale.

    Some companies prefer to manage their affiliate program in-house without joining an affiliate network. Sometimes it’s not immediately clear from their homepage whether they have an affiliate program on offer.

    So, to find out if a company has an affiliate program, you can do a Google search using phrases like “company affiliate program”. Just replace “company” with the relevant name.

    For example, if you want to know if Fiverr.com has an affiliate program, just Google “fiverr affiliate program”.

    Here are the pros and cons of joining affiliate programs.

    Advantages

    • Very easy to get started. Just publish your affiliate link and start selling.
    • Tons of products and services to promote to match your content.
    • You don’t always have to sell something. Some offers pay you when your readers sign-up for a trial offer or a free service.
    • No need to worry about customer support, maintaining the product pages or deal with technical stuff in the background.
    • Ongoing passive income. You will continue to make money as long as people read your content and follow your links.

    Disadvantages

    • You need lots of targeted traffic to generate a meaningful income.
    • You may run into bad affiliate companies that refuse to pay or go out of business.
    • You have no control over the pricing or commission levels.
    • Since you are being paid for mentioning a product, this may compromise your reputation as an honest source of information.
    • Choosing the right products for your blog can take some work.

    Ideally, you should only recommend  products and services that you’ve personally used.

    While there are pros and cons in promoting affiliate offers in your blog, it’s without a doubt one of most effective ways to make money blogging.

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

     

    Sell Your Own Ad Space

    AdSense which is owned by Google is the middleman. You can forgo the middleman by selling your own ad space on your blog directly.

    That way you can keep that middleman fee and you’ll make more money.

    Advantages

    • Potentially more lucrative than Google AdSense.
    • You can hand-picked your advertisers.
    • Can provide a steady source of income.

    Disadvantages

    • Takes more work to manage than AdSense.
    • Have to look for advertisers who are willing to advertise directly on your blog,
    • Have to do administrative work like negotiate pricing, create an agreement and invoicing.

    Again you will need a certain level of traffic for your blog before people are comfortable spending money on your site.

    That said if you have engaged readers that trust your opinion, and lots of traffic, you should prioritize other business model instead of running AdSense or selling your own ad space.

     

    Sell Your Own Digital Products

    Your blog can be a “free” source of valuable information to your readers.

    As they become your loyal followers and are ready for more in-depth material, you can start offering paid information via your own ebook.

    But you are not limited to ebooks, you can sell courses, software, digital downloads and other digital products.

    Advantages

    • No need to keep inventory. Your digital products can be uploaded once then sold an unlimited number of times.
    • You keep 100% of the profit. It can be the most profitable blog monetization strategy.
    • You can sell to anyone in the world and are not limited by your physical location.

    Disadvantages

    • It takes time and a lot of effort to develop your own digital products.
    • People may copy your work, share your files and sell it as their own.
    • Depending on the product type, experience and technical know-how may be necessary.

    I once hired a programmer to code a software for me for USD 500. I used a platform that handled the selling. I just provided the download link from my server and the platform processed the payment and delivery for me automatically.

    I figured I’ve made over USD 250,000 in profit. The only work I had to do was providing some customer support.

    So selling your own digital products can be very profitable venture if done right.

     

    Sell Your Services

    You can get paid for certain skills that you already have.

    You can offer your service locally in your area or virtually online. For Examples:

    • Freelance writing for other blogs/publications
    • Speaking
    • Virtual assistance
    • Consultation
    • Coaching
    • Design
    • Training

    Advantages

    • You’ll learn a lot offering your service as a freelancer
    • You’ll make money quicker
    • Low start up costs, little to no inventory is required
    • You get paid for a skill you already have.
    • You can build up your reputation.

    Disadvantages

    • You do need  an existing skill that other people need
    • The income is not passive. i.e you are trading your time for money

     

    Make More Money Via Your Own Mailing List

    Most of the traffic you get from Google or social media are transient. They come and they go.

    Sure some visitors who like your content may return. The more they stick around, the more opportunities for you to earn money from them.

    But you don’t what to leave this to chance.

    Converting your visitors into email subscribers is the best way to have recurring visitors.

    You can send them an email whenever you publish new blog posts. They will return, read your new post and continue to share every post you write.

    Here’s what you need to do:

    1. Sign-up for an email marketing platform
      This service allows you to send mass-emails to everyone who subscribes to your mailing list. I’m currently using MailerLite because:

      • It’s beginner-friendly.
      • Support is fast and actually helpful.
      • You can send an unlimited number of emails per month
      • Use all features for free if you have fewer than 1000 subscribers.
      • Should you need to upgrade, the monthly cost is among the cheapest compared to other email marketing providers.

    mailing list software

    1. Create a sign-up form on your blog
      A sign-up form allows your visitors to enter their email address. You can place the form at the end of your post, in the sidebar or in a popup. This form is connected to the email marketing service above.I am using Thrive Leads to capture email subscribers because:

      • You can try it for free (ask for money back within 30 days if you decide not to use it)
      • No recurring fees (unless you subscribe to Thrive Membership which I think still worth the money)
      • It’s a WordPress plugin so it will work with any WordPress blog.
      • Simple to use. Have a professional looking opt-in form in minutes.
      • So many setup options to suit your blog like popup lightbox, sticky ribbon, 2-step opt-in, in-line forms, slide-in, screen filler overlay, exit popup and more.

    thrive leads

    An email list can be your greatest business asset. Even if traffic from Google or the social media were to drop suddenly, you can always turn to your mailing list for instant traffic.

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

     

    What Are The Types of Blogs That Make Money?

    The types of blogs that make money are those which solve problems.

    The types of blogs that earn money are those which solve problems.Click To Tweet

    Your money will come from visitors who are searching for a solution to their problems.

    I do think you can make money in almost any niche that you decide  to enter provided that:

    • You are solving problems
    • You are adding value to your reader’s life
    • Your content attracts lots of targeted traffic

    People want to be a better version of themselves. People also want to connect with people who look like them or that they can relate to.

    If your blog helps them to reach their goal faster, easier and cheaper etc., you are on the right track.

    Back to the question, so what are the types of blogs that make money? These are some of the blog niches that make money.

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

    How to Make Money Blog

    Unfortunately, most of the blogs that teach you how to make money seem to be run by bloggers who only make money by blogging about how to make money.

    To be fair, you gotta start somewhere right?

    While this is the niche that Sabahan.com is in, most of my online money making experience came from the software development niche.

    How can you start a how to make money blog when you haven’t even started making real money yet?

    It’s a good niche to start making money in if you can show that you are already generating some income yourself because it shows you know what you are talking about and it gives you some authority.

    But you don’t have to be an expert to start.

    An honest and open view of your own making money journey can be just as intriguing and informative as those of an expert. Share what works and what doesn’t for you.

    You are not limited to how to make money blogging. There are other ways such as

    • Starting a YouTube channel (ideally you should already run a YouTube channel)
    • Dropshipping
    • Make money via podcasting
    • Make money with Shopify
    • Selling on Amazon
    • And much much more

    Personal Finance

    Most people have at least a passing interest in personal finance.

    When you are:

    • Applying for a credit card
    • Planning to purchase your first house
    • Paying your income tax
    • Trying to get out of debt
    • Getting a better deal on car insurance
    • And so on..

    you are within the personal finance territory.

    As a blogger, these are topics that you can write about that solve the reader’s problem.

    Some personal finance sites write about saving money through frugal living, while others talk about various investment strategies to help their readers make more money.

    There are many affiliate offers that you can tie up with your personal finance blog content.

    To find out which products and services you can promote, start scouring through other personal finance blogs that make money on affiliate commissions.

    Take those ideas, then introduce them to your own audiences. Don’t just copy them, improve and make them unique.

    It’s important that you don’t push scummy products on your readers. You are in it for the long term so be professional and earn your trust.

    Health and Fitness

    You can get a piece of this billion dollar industry by starting a health and fitness blog but you won’t get there trying to reach everyone.

    Instead of writing everything under the sun, narrow down your focus to target specific sub-topics such as:

    • Weight loss/dieting
    • Healthy living
    • Food and nutrition
    • Muscle buildings/workout
    • Running/training

    By becoming a voice in a specific small segment of the industry, it’d be easier for you to stand out. It’s also easier to get better rankings in the search engines.

    Many blogs in this niche are started by fitness trainers. If you have some experience or knowledge you want to share (weight loss perhaps), you can write a journal or advice blog or a mixture of both.

    People like to watch you get better. If you can do it, they probably can too.

    The tone of your writing also matters. Should you use a friendly personal tone or a professional tone?  Read other blogs in the same niche and see how they do it.

    Affiliate marketing is the best way you can monetize your health and fitness blog.

    If you have physical products you can even make more money. For instance, LegionAthletics.com have a blog about physical fitness.

    They sell physical products like proteins, supplements and vitamins and they make over $10 million a year because of their blog traffic.

    Beauty and Fashion

    Creating a successful beauty and fashion blog is hard.

    In addition to writing great content, the beauty and fashion niche is more reliant on your own personality and your ability to market yourself.

    If you have a unique and interesting way of showing what to wear and how to wear it, interesting makeup tips and know how to portray yourself to the world this could be for you.

    Successful fashion bloggers get invited to cool events, receive special perks, free merchandise and even business deals by the top brands.

    So there are many more ways to monetize your blog.

    Lifestyle

    Lifestyle blog can be broad. Some bloggers write about anything in their life but that isn’t the best way to approach the niche.

    They can also be categorized into other niches such as beauty and fashion or personal development.

    Lifestyle bloggers write about arts and culture, news and events, gardening, survival, home decor, travel and other subtopics.

    Lifestyle bloggers have the opportunity to be an influencer, write for other publication, or represent other business and organizations.

    Personal Development / Self-Improvement

    Personal development, self-improvement or self-help all have the same goal, that is to transform one’s life for the better.

    However simply offering a better life won’t be that useful. Just like personal finance, you need to narrow down your focus and target a specific problem.

    Narrowing down your focus helps you stand out, get good rankings in Google and monetize your blog content more effectively.

    Posting quotes and other motivation stuff don’t make a good personal development blog.

    Everyone wants to be healthier and happier but when they go to Google they are usually looking for specific solutions to their specific problem.

    They are looking for positive outcomes. Identify who your target audience is and write specifically for that audience.

    Instead of going broad, narrow down your focus to subtopics such as:

    • Mindfulness meditation
    • Yoga
    • Public speaking
    • Dating and relationships
    • Cultivating happiness
    • Mastering social anxiety
    • And so on.

    Other Blog Niches That Make Money Blogging

    There are many other blog niches and topics that can make you good money from.

    As long as there is a demand, one can always create a blog in that niche.

    You can target news and politics, DIY and crafts, celebrities and entertainment and many more.

    Remember, if you want to make money blogging on any topic, your blog needs to solve a problem or add value to your reader’s life.

     

    Example of Top Money Making Blogs

    Here are some example of top money making blogs. The niche varies, from personal finance to food/recipes blog, to make money blogging.

    Most of these bloggers generate their income by selling their own products and services.

    Income from affiliate program comes second, followed by advertising income. This could be from AdSense ads or by selling their own ad space.

    The numbers are obtained from their blog income reports which are published regularly for us regular bloggers to drool over and get inspired 🙂

    The numbers represent their are gross revenue per month.

    Given the low operational cost for running  purely online businesses compared to their brick and mortar counterparts, their gross profit margin are very high.

    OK ready? Here are the top money making blogs

    Eofire.com

    • Niche: Entrepreneurship, online business and podcasting
    • July 2018 income: $161,709

    top bloggers

     

    SmartPassiveIncome.com

    • Niche: Entrepreneurship, online business and podcasting
    • December 2017 income: $167,533

    smart passive income

     

    MakingSenseOfCents.com

    • Niche: Frugal living, savings
    • May 2018 income: $136,807

    top personal finance blog

     

    PinchofYum.com

    • Niche: Food Photography, Cooking
    • November 2017 income: $95,197

    successful foodie blog

     

    SoOverThis.com

    • Niche: Personal Finance
    • November 2017 income: $16,156

    make money blogging

     

    ShowMeTheYummy.com

    • Niche: Food and recipes
    • December 2016 income: $46,367

    food recipes blog

     

    JustAGirlAndHerBlog.com

    • Niche: Home organization, DIY, and home decor
    • December 2016 income: $41,700

    home organization decor

     

    ShoutMeLoud.com

    • Niche: Tech tips, make money online and blogging
    • February 2018 income: $40,055

    successful Indian blogger

     

    MatthewWoodward.co.uk

    • Niche: SEO / Affiliate Marketing
    • December 2017 income: $25,718

    affiliate marketing blog

     

    HorkeyHandbook.com

    • Niche: Freelance writing
    • December 2016 income: $20,492

    blog income report

     

    MillennialMoney.com

    • Niche: Personal Finance, Investing and Entrepreneurship
    • January 2017 income: $18,450

    Entrepreneurship blog

     

    DigitalNomadWanabe

    • Niche: Make Money Blogging, Travel
    • January 2017 income: $12,748

    digital nomad

     

    How Much Money Can You Make Blogging

    I am assuming that you want to start your own blog from scratch instead of being a freelance or employed blogger working for other site.

    So how much money can you make from blogging? Can you quit your day job and make a living just by blogging?

    I guess what you are really asking is can a newbie start a new blog today and be financially independent a few months down the road?

    At the risk of sounding pessimistic, it isn’t easy to  make money blogging. Most bloggers make nothing, fewer make a little and even fewer make a lot

    blogger income chart

    The pie chart above was a result of a readers survey conducted by ProBlogger who said they’re trying to make money blogging.

    • 9% make between $1000 and $10,000 a month
    • 4% make over $10,000 a month
    • The vast majority makes less than $3.5 per day.

    While the survey was published in 2012, I think it’s still representative of the income bloggers can make today.

    How much you could make would depend on:

    • The quality of your content
    • Your ability to optimize your content for the search engines
    • Your ability to promote your blog
    • Your ability to build followers  and grow your email list
    • The competition in your niche

    The good news is, you can learn all these skills  for free online (the exact content you can find on Sabahan.com). Knowing these already put you ahead of the majority of the other bloggers who fail to making money blogging.

    Notice that I didn’t include how often you should blog. It may help but it’s less important of a factor today then it was 5 years ago (before 2013).

    Brian Dean of Backlinko.com said he has managed to get 1 million unique visits over the last year. At that time he has only published 32 posts in his blog.

    You can’t afford to publish tons of low-quality posts every day (a couple of times a week is enough). The days of optimizing 1000 pages around 1000 long tail keywords are long gone.

    The good news?

    Today, you can get one of your pages to rank for hundreds or even thousands of long tail keywords by publishing  high quality and useful long-form content (kind of like this guide you’re reading 🙂 ).

    Now, it may take months to over a year before you start generating income from your blog.

    There are exceptions of course but if you follow the right steps, beginner bloggers should start making decent part-time income in 3 to 6 months. It may take 1 to 2 years to make a consistent full-time income.

    After that, how much can you make from blogging? The sky’s the limit.

     

    Conclusion

    In summary, to make money from blogging you have to:

    1. Create your own blog (duh!)
    2. Write quality content that attracts tons of traffic
    3. Promote your blog like crazy
    4. Monetize your content with ads, affiliate offers, or by selling your own products/services
    5. Convert visitors into email subscribers
    6. Promote related products/services via your mailing list

    So now you know how bloggers make money, you are not limited to choosing only one method. You can start with Google AdSense, then add some affiliate offers into the mix.

    This can be overwhelming if you do everything at once. Bookmark this page, come back later and pick one thing to do at a time.

    If you want to make money blogging fast, I would advice you to revise your expectation.

    But if you keep your focus and work hard, you will make money blogging.

    8

    Non-Native Speakers Guide to Making Money Blogging In English

    Non-native speakers guide to make money blogging in English. #blogginginenglish #createanenglishblog #howtobloginenglish #englishDo you want to make money blogging and are wondering whether you should write in your own language or try blogging in English?

    You are a non-native English speaker, perhaps it’s your second or third language.

    You don’t feel confident you can do a good job writing other than in your own mother tongue. You also understand that English is the only available ticket to a global readership.

    As a non-native English speaker myself who have been producing English content, I can share some tips which hopefully will answer your dilemma should you decide to blog in English (or not).

    You will learn how blogging in English could attract more international traffic and possibly make you more money. But there are a few things you should be aware of and challenges you may need to overcome.

    This blog post is a little long but I promise you’ll learn a lot from it.

    Ready? OK, let’s begin.

     

    Is English the Best Language for Your Money Making Blog?

    According to the Internet World Stats, the English speaking Internet users only account for 25% of all the Internet users.

    Chinese speaking Internet users are the second largest group. This is not surprising considering China is the most populous country in the world.

     

    blogging in english

     

    W3 Techs says that about 52% of websites are in English. The other half consists of non-English websites in various languages.

    So it’s clear that English is the language of the Internet. It is also the lingua franca of academic and scientific discourse. Therefore it makes more sense to write your blog in English rather than in your native tongue if you want more visitors right?

    But before you start a blog in English and get too far down the road, there are a few things you need to consider.

     

    What Are Your Blogging Goals?

    Express and Share Your Personal Opinions
    If you just want to write about your experiences and opinions on certain issues and want to attract a certain audience, consider what their primary language is and write in that language.

    Promote a Local Business
    If you have a local business, you’d want the locals to notice the business so you need to write in their primary language.

    Getting traction locally will be easier if you choose to blog in your own native language. The traffic might be slightly lower, but it may be more engaged and lead to opportunities in a local market.

    You may get invited to speaking presentations, coaching even book deal.

    Make Money Blogging
    This article focuses on making money from your blog so if this your primary goal, then I will explain the pro and cons when writing in English for non-speakers.

    I also assume you expect to get most of your traffic from Google organic search.

     

    Why Should You Blog In Your Own Native Language?

    The big companies like Salesforce generated most of its revenue from the US.  The second country that made them the most money is Japan which is a non-English speaking country.

    So what’s my point?

    If you look at the make money blogging and Internet marketing landscape, people are focusing on the US market or any English-speaking countries because there is a lot of money to be made there.

    For countries like Brazil, the Middle-East, Russia, South Americas (even some countries in the Asia-Pacific) the currency exchange rates may not be favourable so targeting these regions won’t make you as much money.

    However, if you are already a native speaker from any of these countries you should consider blogging in your own native language.

    Why? I’ll explain next.

     

    There’s Little to No Competition

    Because there’s very little to no competition in these regions. As the world is becoming more globalised, new markets are opening up.

    Going after these regions give you the first-mover advantage. If you are already living in these regions you have a better understanding of what content you need to create that is currently lacking.

    In the US, the term  “car insurance” would cost up to US86.11 per click on Google AdWords as shown by Google Keyword Planner. Keyword Planner is a free keyword research tool that comes with AdWords.

    google competition

    If you look at the top 10 organic search results on Google US, there is no way you and I can compete with those guys (duh!). They are highly experienced in their craft and have the money to outrank anyone.

    Now search again for the term  but in your own native language. Even though it may say the term is competitive, you’ll still have a better chance of competing with these guys than those from the US.

     

    Your Chance to Fill The Knowledge Gap

    Your blog can target many other niches and not only the money-making blogging niche. For example, you can blog about:

    • Personal Finance
    • Health and Fitness
    • Diet and Nutrition
    • Women’s Lifestyle
    • Working From Home
    • Parenting
    • Beauty and Fashion

    Depending on your language, Google and all these social media sites don’t have enough content in the local languages in those niches. There’s a large knowledge gap you can fill by creating blogs in your native language.

    If you create content for these regions, it’s much easier to get social shares and good Google rankings allowing to dominate your niche.

    Although getting social shares and engagement differ from country to country. For example, the Spanish speakers engage a lot in social media, while the Germans social media usage is significantly lower but increasing.

    You may not be making much today but you are going to grow faster because you have less competition. In the long run, there will be more people in those regions getting online and this helps you grow your blog traffic even quicker.

     

    Blogging In Your Best Language

    In general, starting a blog in your best language is a good idea because it can give you more confidence as you build your blog audience.

    You could fine tune your sentence and use playful words in your own mother tongue. You could write faster too.

    When building your own mailing list, you are writing in your audience native language. As a result, you’ll likely see a high open rate and click-thru rate on your emails.

     

    Should You Create Two Separate Blogs In Different Languages?

    Writing a blog in your own mother tongue is good because of the growth potential and future opportunities.

    But I also understand bloggers  want to make money now, not sometime in the future when our regions have caught up with the US and other English speaking countries.

    So should you create two separate blogs, one in your own native language and one translated into English?

    Personally, I’d only look into creating a second blog only after having some success with the first blog. It takes a lot of effort to translate a blog into another language.

    You also need to think in terms of the work involved in optimising each blog for the search engines.

    Since your main source of traffic would come from organic Google search, for each language, you also have to perform keyword research, creating an optimal title and meta tags, build backlinks, sharing on separate social media accounts, commenting and so on.

    Two sites, two times the work.

    Also, your English-speaking audience is not interested in seeing tweets in other language and will most likely unfollow you. So you may also need two different social media accounts for Twitter, Facebook Google+ and so on.

    Too much work if you ask me. However, if you are up for the challenge, by all means, go for it.

     

    Use Google Trends to Survey What Hot In Your Target Market

    What keywords do your potential readers use to search for your blog?

    • Do they use native keywords only or a combination of native and English keywords?
    • Is there a standard native vocabulary that’s widely used in your niche?

    These are some of the SEO issues you have to consider.

    To help you answer these questions, you can use Google Trends to survey what your potential readers are searching for.

    google trends

    Go to Google Trends and start typing the keywords you want to write about. Make sure to select the country you want to target.

    This will give your some additional keyword ideas to target.  If your keyword doesn’t have data, try a different keyword.

    related queries

    Some of these keywords are  up-and-coming and currently trending upward or downward. May be you can do additional keyword research on top of it.

    It will also tell you what topic is hot right now. If you take those keywords and integrate them into your blog, you’ll start getting more traffic from Google News (assuming you are already in).

    You can start writing about the hot and buzz-worthy topic related to your niche. If you are one of a handful of local websites writing about the topic, you’ll likely appear on Google first page result and will get lots of traffic.

     

    Creating Bilingual Blog or Mixing Two Languages In One Blog

    You may be thinking of creating a multilingual or bilingual blog where you write posts in two or more languages to target more readers.

    Again there will be extra work involved. You need to manage the multilingual version of your site, learn how to target site content to a specific country and make sure you are not creating duplicate content.

    You may want to read Google multi-regional and multilingual sites guide. To learn how multi-language sites may affect your SEO, click here.

     

    Should You Blog In English Even With A Poor Command of English?

    I find most non-native English speakers are pretty forgiving when they encounter a badly written or less than a perfect blog post.

    It’s probably because they are also not aware if there’s anything wrong with the article.

    However, for native speakers, it’s definitely a turn-off.

    Writing in a foreign language is not an easy skill to acquire. While it can be done, learning is always a gradual process. The more you write the better you will become.

    Native English-speakers who are already blogging in English have no idea  how easy they have it 🙂

    However if your goal is to make money now from your English blog, and you are targeting the English speaking countries, you are just making it harder for yourself.

    If you write in broken English, your otherwise quality blog may look amateurish. You’ll get less engagement. People are less likely to subscribe to your newsletter. It may cause frustration and confusion which affect your website conversion rates.

    So, a broken-English set back is not what you need to begin with.

    Personally, I’m aware that my own English is far from perfect. Besides my less-than-stellar grammar, I sometimes struggle to express my idea in a way a native English speaker would.

    For example, I often write something like this:

    When it comes to blogging, the trend is always changing

    While the sentence did get my message across, I know  there’s a better and more concise way to communicate the idea but I’m unsure how to improve it immediately.

    Then later I may come up with:

    The  blogging landscape is continually evolving

    which is more eloquent.

     

    Do You Need A Good English to Create A Good Blog?

    Coming up with a good blog post is hard, even more so if you are doing it in a foreign language. That said, you definitely do not need to have a perfect English to make money from your blog.

    Case in point,  Anil Agarwal, a professional blogger from New Delhi, India who blog at BloggersPassion.com.

    He primarily writes about blogging and SEO with the goal of helping other bloggers to get traffic and make money from their blog.

    If you read his posts, you’ll notice that his English is far from perfect. Still, according to  Forbes.com, he makes around USD70,000 a year from his blog

    bloggers passion

     

    Should You Use The American or British English?

    Another thing to consider is the cultural and linguistic differences within the English language itself.

    I know some native-speakers may feel annoyed reading the American or British English when they are not from that region. There are differences in the vocabulary, spellings, collective nouns and others which can be another hurdle to overcome for non-native speakers in their writing.

    One can go on and on but I think you can just write in whichever English style you’re familiar with.

    For me, I want more traffic from the US, but I often write in British English rather than the American English because, in Malaysia, we are taught British English in schools. English is also a compulsory subject in all schools.

    However, I am more exposed to the American English on TV, movies and the Internet. I often ended up mixing both styles in my writing because I didn’t know which style belongs to which region except the obvious ones.

    Also the copywriting style I prefer using is mostly the American one that tends to overuse certain words like “great, awesome” etc while the UK is a bit more toned down.

     

    You Need to Write (Very) Long Posts to Get Good Rankings

    The days when you can write a 500 words or less article and still appear on the first page of Google search result are gone.

    In 2013, Google announced the Hummingbird update where they prefer pages with an in-depth answer to a question. In fact, the average word count of a google first-page result is 1890 words according to some research.

    word count

    To have a better chance of ranking in Google, you need to write a very thorough and extremely helpful post that covers as many angles as you can for your topic.

    Do you have what it takes to write very comprehensive posts, day in day out,  in a foreign language so that you’ll have a better chance of success in blogging?

    To make the process easier, you need to write something that you’re passionate about. Share your own value and expertise with others. If you do not have experience then you can take your readers on a journey as you learn.

    For instance, what I put up here at Sabahan.com is partly my learning experience. The blogging landscape is continuously evolving and you can’t be an expert in everything.

    As I learn, I feel excited to share my new thoughts and discoveries with my readers in each new posts.

    Also, check out my SEO tips for beginners to help you start off on the right foot. If you have an existing blog, you’ll learn things you can do right now to improve your blog SEO rankings.

     

    Tell Google You Want Your Blog to Rank Globally

    In order to attract the global traffic, you need to use a generic top-level domain, such as .com or org.

    If you use a country-specific domain such as .de or .co.uk, Google will associate your blog with that specific country. This is useful if your business serves a country-specific audience.

    Now sign-in to Google Search Console, go to Search Traffic > International Targeting and select the country which is the most important to you.

    international targeting 1

    Here are a few things to keep in mind:

    • You can target the United States but it can be very competitive.
    • You get less competition if you target your own country but you’ll probably get less traffic.
    • If you want to target a global audience but still want to associate your blog with a particular country, leave the box unchecked.

    For the third point, if you get more backlinks from your own country, that signals Google to give some importance to you in your own country too.

     

    Blogging In English: Offer Your Own Unique Perspectives

    As a non-native English speaker, you have one powerful asset as a blogger. That asset is your own unique voice.

    There’re no other bloggers like you. You have your own way of explaining things, telling a story and sharing your own unique experience.

    Use these to make your blog stand out and to better connect with your readers.

    For example, for this post, my target keyword is “make money blogging”.

    At the moment, it is almost impossible to compete with anyone in the top 10 in Google search result for that phrase. But I may have a better chance if someone searches for “make money blogging in English”.

    make mone blogging google result

    There are thousands of blogs teaching you how to make money blogging. It’s really getting out of hand.

    But none of those (at least I haven’t found one yet) that talk comprehensively and specifically on how a non-native English speaker can make money blogging in English.

    So when you write about a popular topic, think about how you can add value to the existing conversation. What unique perspective you can tackle to make your post stand out?

    If you want to be memorable, and want people to come back to your blog, avoid writing another “me too” blog post, unless you can write a better post than the existing ones.

     

    Tools and Services to Help You Write Better English

    You can hire someone from as low as USD5 from Fiverr to proofread your blog posts. Just make sure to hire a native English speaker.

    fiverr hire proofreader

    If you are just starting out, and you don’t have money to pay someone to edit and improve your blog post, you may be thinking of using Google Translate but I advise against it.

    Start writing your blog post in English and improve upon it continuously. Don’t write in your native language and translate it later to English using Google Translate.

    It can give you an idea of what the text may be but, you’ll miss a lot of nuances, hidden meanings and sometimes even alter the meaning of the text.

    Since it’s machine translation, you will end up with many grammatical and punctuation issues.

    It’s may be enough just to “get by” but if you want to make money from your blog, its poor quality will reflect badly on you as a blogger or your company.

    Personally, I am using Grammarly to help me fix and improve my English blog posts.

    grammarly write better

    Grammarly checks your text for many common and advanced writing issues including common grammatical errors and spelling mistakes. It also provides synonym suggestions to make your writing more readable and precise.

    It won’t help you write like a native English-speaker but it’s good enough in detecting the obvious mistakes you would otherwise miss.

    I’ve tried both the paid and free version and find both very helpful. You can add the Chrome plugin or Microsoft Word plugin (this is what I’m using)  to automatically check as you type.

    Check out how Grammarly can help you improve your English text.

     

    Conclusion

    Blogging in English or any foreign language for that matter is not easy but it can be done.

    You just need the right idea, basic grammar skills, a unique voice and a good writing style.

    You need to understand your audience. Write about topics that solve their problem. Try to include reference to your own context to connect with them closer.

    You don’t have to be an expert in your niche. An honest and open view of your own blogging journey, for example, can be just as interesting and informative as those of an expert.

    Many other bloggers whose English are not their first language are making good money blogging online. If you stick to the tips outlined in this article, even expand them, you’ll be on you way to creating a good English blog.

    If you want to learn more about how to make money from blogging, please check out my other post: Learn How to Make Money Blogging (Detailed Guide For Beginners)

    Please leave a comment or share this post if you find it helpful. Thanks for reading!

    4

    5 Extremely Actionable SEO Tips For Beginners When Starting A New Blog

    Learn SEO tips for beginners. This article contains 5+ SEO tips and tricks to help you rank on Google and other search engines. Read now! #seotips #seo #seoforbeginners #blogseoAre you looking for SEO tips on how to rank number #1 on Google using high impact SEO ranking strategies?

    Are you an SEO beginner or wonder what you can do to improve your position on Google search results?

    If you just started blogging (or working on an existing one) here are some SEO tips to help you out.

    Related: 9 Quick SEO Tips and Tricks For Blogs

     

    Introduction

    Getting the number #1 ranking was pretty easy 10 years ago. In  2005, I got a new website ranked on the first page of Google for keywords of my choice in my niche pretty fast, just based on the on-page ranking factors, without any external backlinks.

    I hand-coded the website to sell a CD burner software that I developed myself. I was pretty hands-on with everything. Besides I had no money to pay other people to do it for me 🙂

    I knew I was ranking with the right keywords because I began making sales  within a couple of days the website went online. The best thing was I spent zero on advertising. If you perform a Google search, the website no longer exists. Oh, the good old days…

    seo ranking tips

    I hate to break it to you…

    But getting number one ranking on Google today is very-very hard. However, there are a couple things you can do to increase your chances of appearing at least on the first page of Google.

    If you just started your blog or website, follow these SEO tips to start off on the right foot. They are the exact SEO ranking strategies I performed on Sabahan.com as I get Sabahan.com ready for prime time 🙂

    If you are a newbie and are wondering  what is SEO. It stands for “search engine optimisation”. It is the practice of increasing the quality of your blog or web page content to make sure it’s ranked well on the search result based on what the search engine considers most relevant its users.

    All major search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo have their own ranking criteria but in this article, I am going to focus on Google. OK let’s get started with the search engine optimisation tips number 1.

     

    book

    Exclusive Bonus: Download the accompanying step-by-step SEO checklist that will show you how to optimize your pages quickly.

     

    1. Focus on Writing Thorough and Extremely Helpful Content

    Blogs that write about everything won’t rank as well as blogs that focus on one single niche very thoroughly.

    Try to write a post that solves a problem your readers have. Go in-depth by breaking down everything your readers would want to learn.

    For example, if you want to teach people how to start a blog,  breakdown your post by creating separate sections and talk about the followings:

    • Why you should start a blog
    • Before you start you should…?
    • What topics should your write about
    • Which web hosting to host your blog
    • What are the differences between WordPress.com, WordPress.org and Blogger?
    • Selecting the right theme for your WordPress blog
    • How can you make money from your blog
    • You get the idea…

    This naturally leads you to write very lengthy posts.

    But that is OK because Google prefers longer post. In fact, the average word count of a Google first page result is 1,890 words.

    content total word

    My point is, you need to write very thoroughly and extremely helpful content that covers as many angles as you can for the topic. Include as much helpful information in one post as necessary.

    Ideally, your post should offer much more than what your visitors initially asked for. This helps your article to become very share-worthy on the social media.

     

    How Google Hummingbird Update Rewards Helpful Content

    In 2013 Google announced an update called Hummingbird where it prefers websites that focus on one single niche rather than those that write about everything and anything that took their fancy.

    Google prefers pages with an in-depth answer and not just those that give you exactly what you type in.

    For example, before Hummingbird, a search for “acid reflux prescription” would return pages like this. While it did give you what you type, it might not necessarily be the most helpful in treating the disease.

    Now, Google will return pages such as this. The page contains information about the diagnosis your doctor might recommend, information about possible treatment, options for over-the-counter medication or whether you even need drugs.

    Notice how thorough and helpful the page is and how it includes more information in addition to the prescription you asked for in your original query.

     

    book

    Exclusive Bonus: Download the accompanying step-by-step SEO checklist that will show you how to optimize your pages quickly.

     

    2. Optimise Your Title Tag and Meta Description

    Having a good title tag and meta description is given since the beginning of search engine optimisation if you want to rank properly.

    title meta description

    When you do a search on Google,  each entry in the search result contains a link at the top which is the title tag and a description below which is called the meta description.

    If  you search for the phrase “make money online” for example, you will more likely click on a search result that contains the phrase “make money online” either in the title or description because it’s related to what you’re looking for.

    This tells Google that they should priorities results which contain the search term you are looking. So make sure to include your preferred keywords in your title and meta description for some ranking juice.

    Is it enough?

    Simply including your keywords in the title and meta description is not enough. Make sure you also do the following:

    • Your sentence should flow and easy to read.
    • It should pique the reader’s interest so that they click your listing
    • Avoid repeating your keywords.

     

    How to Edit Your Title and Meta Description Using Yoast SEO WordPress Plugin

    You can change your existing or create a new keyword-focus title and meta description for your posts using the Yoast SEO plugin.

    The plugin also comes with many other SEO optimisation functions but we are going to focus on the snippet editor, which allows you to edit your meta title and meta description in WordPress.

    Once you have the plugin installed, just follow these steps to start optimizing your meta information on a post or page.

    1. Create a new post or select an existing post to edit.
    2. Scroll down to the WordPress text editor until you find the section titled “Yoast SEO”.
      yoast seo plugin
    3. Click “Edit  snippet” (see image below).
    4. Edit the text listed under the “SEO title”, “Slug” and “Meta description” to include your keywords. Yoast will calculate the length of your text. Make sure the color-coded bar under each text box stays green.
    5. Check the “Snippet preview” and make your title, slug and meta description appear the way you intended.
    6. Once you are satisfied, click the “Close snippet editor” button.
      change title meta description

    Keep in mind that the updated title and meta description won’t be reflected right away in Google search results. You can speed up this process by following these steps.

    To get crawled faster, use Google Webmaster Search Tool which I am going to discuss in the next SEO tip.

     

    book

    Exclusive Bonus: Download the accompanying step-by-step SEO checklist that will show you how to optimize your pages quickly.

     

    3. Use Google Search Console to Rank On Google

    If you are not already a Google Search Console user, drop everything you are doing right now and sign up.

    google search console

     

    Formerly known as Google Webmaster Tools, it’s a free service by Google for webmasters. It allows you to check indexing status and optimize visibility of your blog or website.

    More importantly, it will help you improve your Google rankings.

    After you sign up, give it a few days for Google to populate the data.

     

    Improve Your Blog With Search Analytics

    One of the most important data you want to check is the Search Analytics.

    The Search Analytics shows all the pages on your website that are getting traffic from Google search.

    search analysis

    Since I started reviving Sabahan.com from the dead recently, right off the bat I noticed several issues reported by the console that I need fixing.

    Some of the queries Sabahan.com were ranked for have nothing to do with the niche the blog is in.

    While those search terms used to bring me traffic, which was  good for getting page impressions for my AdSense ads, the traffic they attracted were totally unrelated to my niche.

    You see, Sabahan.com used to be more like a personal blog.

    However, in 2018, I’ve decided to change things and treat it more like a business blog.

    I need to put the SEO Tips #1 above into practice. So I will focus more on topics that are highly relevant to my making money blogging niche.

    As tempting as it is for me to have as many pages as possible indexed in an attempt to boost traffic, it will only dilute the focus of my blog which could affect my search engine rankings.

    My focus today is on search engine optimization techniques, better blogging and content marketing, building your mailing list, affiliate marketing and so on. So no more topics like the average IQ of the Australian aboriginal!

    To fix this issue, I can either delete those pages or prevent Google crawler from indexing them using a Robots.txt file or via noindex Meta tag.

    I won’t discuss these methods here because it’s not something you would normally do when you start a new blog.

     

    Find Out How Many Times Google Shows Your Pages In The Search Results

    You can also find out which of your pages or posts are getting impressions. What I mean by impressions are the number of times your pages are shown on the Google search results.

    When you do a search, you don’t always click through on a result, but when Google shows your post in their search result, it counts as an impression.

    So from the Google Search Console, you can track:

    • How many impressions you get
    • How many clicks you get
    • Your click-through rate or CTR
    • Your page position

     

    click impression ctr position

    So, why is this information useful?

    I’ll explain in the next section.

     

    Use Google Search Console to Improve Your Click Thru Rate and Ranking

    Google Search Analysis shows you all the keywords that you are getting impressions for and your click-through rate. Normally, most pages would get less than 5% CTR.

    This is great because you can use this information to improve your title tag and meta description to get more clicks on your listing.

    When Google notices your listing get more clicks than your competitor above you, they are going to rank you higher.

    Why?

    Because it tells Google what their users prefer. They prefer you over your competitors.

     

    Use Google Search Console to Improve Your Content & Attract More Traffic

    What you can do is take all the keywords that you are getting impressions for and start including them in your copy.

    add keywords from webmasters

    But don’t do this just to make your content  filled with keywords. Make sure your writing flows naturally and that it makes sense.

     

    Use Google Search Console to Rank Number #1

    If you already have a country specific domain such as .com.my or .co.uk, Google already associated it with that specific country.

    But if your site has a generic top-level domain, such as .com or .org, you can use the International Targeting feature to tell Google which countries are most important to you.

    This is useful if your business serves a country specific-audience. So you will experience better results in the country that you are targeting.

    It’s also a good idea if you want the local audience to notice you more as it helps you to stand out locally.

    country specific targeting

    You may want to keep the box unchecked to target a global audience if:

    • Your products/services can be sold anywhere.
    • Targeting the United States is too competitive.
    • You want the ‘global advantage’ but still want Google to associate your blog with a particular region.

    For the third point, if you get more backlinks from your own country for instance, it signals Google to give some importance to you in your own country.

    global targetting

    If you want to ensure your blog is not associated with any country or region at all, you can select Unlisted in the drop-down list.

    This will tell Google that you’re targeting a broad, global audience or region, diminishing the importance of backlinks from any country.

    Keep in mind that when you change your blog international targeting, it may affect your existing rankings as Google will need to reassess your  blog using a new set of rules.

    While the effect maybe temporary, I would only recommend doing this early on or  when you haven’t got many high ranking keywords yet, just to be on the safe side.

     

    book

    Exclusive Bonus: Download the accompanying step-by-step SEO checklist that will show you how to optimize your pages quickly.

     

    4. Increase Your Blog Loading Speed

    Focusing on offering great user experience is important because Google wants to rank content that is actually useful for users. One way you can achieve this is by increasing your blog or website loading speed.

    A slow loading website will hurt your organic search performance as well as your business. According to Hubspot, a 1-second delay in website loading speed can reduce website conversions by 7%. The good news is reducing your average loading time has the opposite effect.

    At the very minimum, you should aim to get your website loading speed to three seconds or below.

     

    Use Pingdom & Google PageSpeed Insight to Benchmark Your Page Load Time

    Go to tools.pingdom.com and enter your URL. Run your blog through Pingdom several times  from different location to get the average loading speed.
    pingdom website speed test
    It is important to have this benchmark because it allows you to track your progress as you made changes to your blog structures or implement improvements.

    There are countless ways you can improve your blog loading speed. But one of the biggest factors that determine how fast your website actually loads is your web hosting.

    I’ve used Hostgator before but as they moved their support from the ticketing system to chat, the quality deteriorates so much it forced me to switch my webhost.

    If you are looking for a reliable WordPress hosting for your blog, you can check BlueHost.

    In Pingdom, scroll down to the Performance insights section where you can see suggestions on what you can do to improve your web page loading time. Unfortunately, most of the suggestions are very technical for a newbie to implement.

    performance insights

    The good news is there are WordPress plugins you can install that will implement some of the suggestions without the need for you to tinker with the technical aspect.

    In addition to Pingdom, you can also use Google PageSpeed Insights. Google will analyze the content of your web page for mobile and desktop, then generates suggestions to make that page faster.

    google page speed test

    So as a beginner without a technical know-how, how do you implement Pingdom or Google page optimization suggestions? It’s actually quite easy. Most of the suggestions can be incorporated easily into your blog by installing the W3 Total Cache plugin.

     

    Install  W3 Total Cache Plugin for WordPress to Increase Your Blog Loading Time Speed

    W3 Total Cache is one of the most popular caching plugins for WordPress.

    They claim to improve the SEO and user experience of your blog by increasing your blog performance and reducing download times via features like the content delivery network (CDN) integration and caching.

    After installing W3 Total Cache plugin for Sabahan.com, right off the bat, I noticed the loading time decreased significantly.

    Most of the changes suggested by Pingdom such caching of pages and post, database caching, minification of CSS, Javascript, browser caching can be implemented easily.

    It can be a pain to configure but the default options should work just fine if you’re not sure what to change. Also, make sure to enable gzip compression.

    I am using the free version and have not found the need to buy the premium version which is quite pricey at US99 per year.

     

    5. Use Google Mobile-Friendly Test to Make Sure Your Blog Is Mobile Friendly

    Today, it’s more likely that the majority of all traffic that is coming to your website is  from mobile.

    While there are exceptions to the rule such as for business-to-business (B2B) traffic, it’s not going to be that way forever.

    So it’s still very important to make sure your blog looks good on mobile, that it is responsive and friendly on a mobile device.

    So how do you go about in making your blog mobile friendly and responsive? The first step is to see how mobile friendly your blog is by using Google’s own tool that checks mobile friendliness.

    Go to the Mobile-Friendly Test and enter your blog URL. Google will tell you whether or not your blog is mobile friendly.

    mobile friendly test

    So what should you do if your blog is not mobile friendly? You can hire a web designer to re-design your blog or website to make it mobile friendly.

    If you are using WordPress, which you probably are if you are reading this post. You can download many free themes or purchase any of the premium themes.

    I’ve purchased several premium WordPress themes online. One place I’d personally recommend for premium WordPress themes is Theme Forest. They have a pretty good selection of high-quality and good looking themes.

    Just be sure that when making your purchase, the theme is responsive and mobile friendly.

    Currently I am using the FocusBlog Theme by Thrive Themes.

     

    Conclusion

    Now that you have read my SEO tips for beginners. It’s time to take action.

    Implementing any of these tips ensures your blog or website is built on a strong foundation before you start creating even more thorough content or acquiring backlinks.

    These are high impact SEO strategies which means they will affect your Google search rankings in a big way. So whether you are a beginner or an experienced blogger, give them a try.

    Please leave a comment or share this post if you find it useful. Thanks for reading!

    7

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

    How to design and writhe the best about page for your blog. #aboutpage #createaboutpage #aboutpageexamples #aboutmetemplate #howtowriteaboutpageDo you want to know how to write an awesome About Us Page for your blog or website? Are you looking for About page templates or examples you can emulate?

    Who needs an About page generator if you can get creative and design a great about me page yourself?

    Please read on…

    When someone lands on your blog or website and they don’t know about you or your business, the first page they’ll look for is your About us page.

    So start by making your About page  easily accessible from your homepage (or any other web pages for that matter).

    An About Page is a page on a site where your visitors or readers can learn more about you and your business and what you have to offer.

    Often, this web page tells  the story of the site creator’s journey  from the beginning to finally achieving success (or vice versa).

    While it’s okay to talk about your story, for a lot of bloggers, they got carried away and they think their About page is just about them.

     

    Why Is It Important to Have a Good About Us Page?

    Your About page is going to be one of the most visited pages on your blog or site. It can determine whether the visitor is going to stick around and come back or leave your blog.

    It’s a chance for you to build a rapport that will hopefully turn your casual visitors into avid followers or customers. It’s a point of contact for starting a relationship with your future followers and prospective customers.

    If you are a blogger and have been putting off making your own About page, you are not alone. The good news is you don’t have to make it more complicated than it is.

    Your About page can be simple, straightforward and conveys just a few key things. Best of all you can do it in under 500 words.

    However, there’s need to be a balance in selling yourself and driving your visitors away with a self-focused approach.

    Also, it’s not meant to sell your products or services. In fact, using the hard sell could actually drive them away.

    Download the printable graphic  below that will show you how to create a powerful About page for your blog.

    Elements of a powerful about page #aboutpagetemplate #aboutpage

    Download Your Printable Graphic

     

    How to Write A Good About Page

    For a start, call the page “About”,  “About Me” or “About Us” and not “Get to Know Us Better” or “Start Here”.

    People don’t want to think when they are looking for something. They don’t want to look at your “Our History” link and wonder if that’s where they find out about who you are, what you do, and why they should read your blog.

    Near the end of this article, you can also find a few About page examples that you can emulate. Use them as templates in coming up with your own perfect About page.

    So how do you actually start writing an about page that showcases  the best of you and what you have to offer?

     

    Introduce Yourself and Your Blog

    Start by introducing yourself with your name to give immediate sense of trust and familiarity to help the reader know you.

    How you create the introduction is up to you. What’s important is you let your readers know how you can help them.

     

    Doing Storytelling to Connect With Your Visitors

    Good relationships are an important part of any person’s life. Imagine you just met someone, you may only want to get to know the person better if you feel a connection with them.

    This can be achieved by establishing interest and opening up to the person by telling a story in your About page.

    So the first thing you need to do is connect with your readers or visitors by creating a story. The story can be about you or about your business.

    It’s important to understand who you are talking to. So your story should begin by understanding the audience it’s intended for. If you don’t know who you’re talking to how can you tell them what they want and need to hear?

    Explain how you got to where you are today. Make people see how you know what you know.

    If you can create amazing stories and connect with the readers, then they’ll be engaged and will most likely come back and be your loyal readers/customers.

    Loyal visitors can help promote your business via  word-of-mouth. For example, if you have had a good experience with a particular shopping website, you’ll more likely recommend them to your friends and family.

     

    Talk About How You’re Going to Help Your Visitors

    The next thing you need to do is not just write about you and your business, but you need to you need to talk about how you’re going to help the visitor who’s coming to your blog.

    If there’s nothing for them, there’s no reason for them to stick around. You need visitors to your blog to be successful, so ultimately the blog is not about you but about your visitors

    Unless you are creating a personal blog and has no plan to make money from it, always put other people before yourself.

    Be specific, add links to products and service that can benefit them.

     

    Be Impactful By Using Adjectives and Words That Convey Emotions

    To better connect with your audience, you need to be impactful. You can do so by using:

    • Adjectives – beautiful, best, big, important, free, success, valuable, useful etc.
    • Emotional words – amazing, faith, happy, hero, surprising, miracle, courage etc.

    When you do this, you’re more likely to connect with people versus just using text that’s boring.

    Add some humour and personal flair but try to maintain some level of professionalism. Your visitors want to connect with real people.

    Also, write like you speak. Use “you” and “I” in your copy to make it more personal.

    Should you write your About page in the first or third person? I think it’s a matter of preference. Personally, I think writing in the first person sounds like I’m speaking directly to you.

     

    Use Headlines and Subheadings to Break Up Your Text

    No one wants to visit your About page only to be confronted with a large block of uninterrupted text.

    Use headlines to make it easier for readers to scan and quickly find what they’re looking for.

    When readers scan your page, they will often read each headline to get an idea about what you have to offer.

    So use clear and attention-grabbing headlines. Even if they don’t read everything, at least they check the sections that interest them.

     

    Include Your Most Popular or Income Generating Posts

    If you are brand new to blogging, try to create a few guides or posts that you think are useful for your readers and include them in your About page.

    It’s also okay not to do this until you have enough content to share.

    As you start creating more posts, you can include the popular posts or any affiliate-type posts that you want to drive traffic to.

    These posts should showcase your expertise or be the most helpful for your visitors. It’s also your chance to drive traffic to your income-generating posts.

    income generating post

    Click the button below to get the recipe for a perfect About page.

    Download Your Printable Graphic

     

    How Long Your About Us Page Should Be

    As I mentioned earlier, you should use storytelling to pull readers in and engage them in your journey.

    But if you are going to tell a story just don’t just go on an on without knowing who your readers are. Stories are awesome but long boring stories which the readers can’t relate to aren’t.

    So how long your About page should be?

    Some people would recommend to keep it as long as it needs to be. But the problem with this is, the longer your About page is, you’re going to get a big drop-off.

    Keep it short and concise. Ideally, it should be between 500 to 800 words.

     

    Should You Include Your Contact Information?

    Some people suggest that you should include some contact information on your About page.

    However, unless your About page also acts as your Contact page,  you should create a separate Contact page.

    In your contact page, you can provide company information, phone numbers, email address, or online Contact Us form, mailing address, location map or anything necessary.

     

    Include a Photo of Yourself or Your Team

    Including images on your About page is a way to build trust.

    Visitors often felt cold and distant about the business or website if there’s no photo of people on the About page (stock photos do not count).

    So putting the face behind the name should help boost your credibility.

     

    Add A Call To Action

    After the visitors read your About us page, you need to send people or ask them to do something. Don’t leave it to chance, guide them with a call-to-action.

    As one of the most visited pages on your blog/website, your About page should have some kind of call to action (CTA).

    Whether you want them to subscribe to your newsletter, direct them to your popular posts, follow you on the social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest etc.) or learn about (not buy) your products, decide what action you want your readers to take and ask them to take that action.

    Ideally, you should focus on one call to action as too many options will decrease your conversion rate.

    Often your CTA converts better once your visitors get to know you better.

     

    About Page Examples for Inspiration

    Whether you want to write an about page for your blog or your small business,  here’s a few great samples of the best about us pages on the Internet that you can “copy”.

    Use them as a template to help you come up with your own awesome About page layout and content.

    They are listed in no particular order:

     

    Blog Tyrant

    The first sentence is “Artificial intelligence and automation have changed the economy forever.” It just piques your curiosity, what’s that all about? Then you continue reading…

    Even before he started talking about himself, he offers quick links to his most useful posts. He hand picked those that make good impression on a new reader and offer valuable in-depth valuable guide with conversion content.

    The “About You” section further down draws readers attention back in where he explains why helping others is the only way to live his life meaningfully.

    Finally, the call-to-action is placed at the end, to get readers on the mailing list.
    blog tyrant about

     

    TwinsMommy

    There’re many stay-at-home or work-at-home mom who are also successful bloggers like Elna from TwinsMommy.com.

    Elna starts by introducing herself and includes a nice picture of her. By opening up her About page with her name and picture, it gives immediate sense of trust and familiarity to help her readers know and want to follow her.

    Right off the bat, she tells the reader how she could help other moms make money blogging and turn their blog into a thriving business.

    She also mentioned she writes for a living. It’s a subtle way to let the reader know how she can help them in blogging.

    The rest of her story is to connect with the intended audience and gain their trust.
    work at home mom sahm

    CopyBlogger

    CopyBlogger starts out by talking about others. Their About us page stresses the benefits readers can get from their blog.

    The page is clean, simple yet very engaging.Even when talking about their history, they explain how they came to know the importance of content marketing years before it’s called content marketing.

    At the end of the page, they offer free to Copyblogger membership as their CTA offer.

    copyblogger about me example

    Problogger

    I’ve visited Problogger since its early day. Darren managed to attract loyal followers to the Problogger brand with his dedication to providing excellent content and guidance to the bloggers community.

    You would think that as someone who has accomplished many things, his About page could be very long but it’s only 675 words!

    The trick is he includes a 49 minutes long video if you want to learn more about him and Problogger.
    about problogger

    JohnChow.com

    John Chow knows how to use adjectives and emotional words to get attention.

    His About page is written in the third person.Instead of explaining what the readers will get from his blog, he let others do the talking via video testimonials.

    It’s funny because I used to pay John $400 to review Sabahan.com in his blog in July 2007 so I came to know his blog a long time ago.
    john chow small business

    Twitter

    Twitter About us page is simple but impactful as they are using their own social media platform to showcase what they are all about.

    The page displays changing images of trending events as well as tweets from high-profile users.

    As Twitter wrote, “Twitter is what’s happening in the world and what people are talking about right now.”

    At the bottom of the page, for their call-to-action, they offer the reader to see what’s happening himself.
    twitter about example

    Tim Ferriss

    You may have heard of Tim Ferriss from his successful 4 Hour Week book like I have.

    Tim Ferriss includes both a short and a long-winded version of his About page.

    It is also written in the third person to great effect as he was able to list all his accomplishments without sounding like his bragging.He focuses on establishing authority and credibility via social proof.

    When you browse his about page, you see testimonials from industry experts, popular news publications and magazines around the world.
    tim website about page

    MailChimp

    The colourful staff photo mixes the warmth with some actual business.Their About page is simple, fun and effective.
    mailchimp business about template

    National Geographic

    The first sentence summarizes what National Geographic is all about.

    “At National Geographic, we believe in the power of science, exploration and to change the world.”

    Their story is about their unique ways of storytelling to get you closer to the stories that matter!

    They’re also using video effectively. The About us page website design is simple. At the bottom is their CTA which directs visitors into the categories that NatGeo is known to endorse.natgeo best about page

    Conclusion

    If you are serious about blogging, having a good About us page is important.

    In addition to telling your visitors about the people behind the blog, you should also share your mission statement, values and what your visitors can expect to get from you.

    Create a story about you or your business. People like to read stories as it establishes a connection.

    Be creative and think about what you want to achieve. Then put these tips into practice and see how it helps you write the “perfect” About page for your blog.

    Please share this article if you find it helpful. I’d also love to know your thoughts in the comments below. Thanks for reading!

    2

    Things I Should Have Done For Sabahan.com But Didn’t

    I’ve made it my goal to restore Sabahan.com to its former glory and even more (if there’s such a thing lol). What I have to start with now is a pretty good and relatable domain name. At least from where I come from it’s a familiar one.

    If you don’t know what it means, a Sabahan is anyone who is from Sabah. Sabah is one of the states in Malaysia, located in the island of Borneo. Adjectively, it means anything pertaining to Sabah or its people; i.e. the “Sabahan tribesmen”.

    I realised there are non-Malaysian who are reading my blog hence the explanation :). OK enough with the word definition lesson already.

    Another big advantage that I have is I do not have to start from scratch! Many of the time-consuming groundwork has already been put in place. Sabahan.com is already online, happily running WordPress. Just some redesign and the addition of new features to keep abreast of the current blogging trend are in order.

    What Made Sabahan.com Different From Other Money Making Blogs

    Sabahan.com had a pretty interesting previous life. With a decent amount of traffic and quite a number of loyal followers, it was perhaps one of the best personal blogs about Internet Marketing and how to make money online in Malaysia (well, I could be bias because it’s my blog lol).

    Anyway, what made Sabahan.com different from the other blogs in the same niche was the content was based on my own experience. Not that other bloggers didn’t share their experience. I just tend to share things that other Malaysian bloggers weren’t writing.

    For instance, how I paid another blogger USD400 to get Sabahan.com reviewed and then I shared my findings… among many other interesting blog posts.

    My posts were not just a collection of how to make money articles that you can find anywhere on the Internet. Unfortunately, as you may know, I stopped updating Sabahan.com for quite some time.

    This post is like a post-mortem of what went wrong and what could be done better. This post will reveal the pertinent issues I need to tackle with and what my plans are for the near future.

    Complete Blog Redesign With a Static Homepage

    I am not talking about using a new theme but a complete overhaul of the site structure. At the time of this writing, Sabahan.com appears to look like any other blogs. The home page simply features a list of my latest blog posts.

    That is an outdated way of presenting my content. Increasingly, the common trend is to have a portal-like static-homepage which communicates what your site is about and who it is for. It has to emphasis the benefits to your new visitors. The homepage may also include your recent posts among other offerings.

    Take ProBlogger.com as an example to see what I have in mind. But I won’t go as far as displaying my picture upfront. I haven’t really reached such level of authority to use my face to market my brand.

    static homepage

    So in a couple of days, you’ll see Sabahan.com morph into something similar. The homepage is a great place to convert visitors to whatever goals that I set for Sabahan.com.

    Creating Social Media Accounts

    For any serious bloggers in 2018, there’s no excuse for not creating social media profiles. Your Facebook, Twitter and Google+ pages are important for SEO as well as traffic building purposes.

    Your social media profiles can add value to your brand by adding content that won’t appear on your blog itself. Having an actual Twitter for your blog also allows you to get to know the big players in your niche and build a rapport with them.

    Google may look to social media as a signal of an article’s authority and relevance (this is not new but, but there’s no excuse for any serious bloggers not to start now).

    The best way to get shares is by writing the best quality content you can come up with and create a loyal following. If they like your content, they will promote you for free.

    Admittedly, I haven’t completely created my social media accounts yet but they will be done once I get this post published!

    Posting Consistently

    At first glance, only a handful of Malaysian blogs that existed before 2010 are still here today in 2018. To be fair, it takes an incredible amount of motivation for someone to continue writing for that long.

    Most of the new blogs that are started in 2018 are destined to fail and die a slow, boring death. So why do people lose interest in blogging? Some of the reasons are:

    • Writing has become a chore
    • Blogging on a topic one is not passionate about
    • Not enough time due to other commitments
    • Failure to generate decent income to make the effort worthwhile

    Personally for me, it was the Return On Investment (ROI). My original intention for Sabahan.com was rather a noble one (if you can say that lol). Unfortunately, later I found out one need more than that.

    I wanted to share all my online money making adventures for free and hope they could benefit others. While that had been successful in getting comments, engagements and subscribers, it didn’t translate into financial returns.

    I run many other online businesses and if one venture is taking too much of my time but generate little income, it won’t be sustainable for long. Being a self-employed, I need money to pay the bills too!

    So moving forward, I’ll start working on longer content that solves problems and provides value to people. In return, I hope to get more engagement and subscribers, which hopefully will translate into more income for Sabahan.com.

    That does not mean I will fill this blog with more affiliate links, advertising or sponsored posts. Instead, I will still focus on writing useful content that make Sabahan.com stand out and be memorable.

    Blog Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) In 2018

    Having to stay on top of the changing SEO trends that happens every year takes some effort. To tell you the truth, I have not done many research into this (yet) but I’m convince, getting organic traffic in 2018 is not as easy as it used to be.

    That said, I believe many of the SEO optimisation techniques to help one stay on top of the search results still apply today.

    Some of them are:

    • Freshness of content (Google emphasis on the importance of recentness of content especially in areas where user is expected to know what the most current information). Sabahan.com organic traffic died out slowly as I stopped publishing new posts.
    • Fast loading site to ensure good user experience.
    • Good quality backlinks matters (this requires a blog post on its own).
    • Bounce rate (the statistic that shows how many people leave your blog without visiting any other pages. You can get this info by installing Google Analytics).
    • Mobile friendliness (Sabahan.com new design is highly responsive and mobile friendly).
    • Setup your site on Google Webmaster Tools. One of the easiest things you can do is adding your blog to Google Search Console. This service allows you to see how your blog looks like from Google’s point of view. You can find out how it appears in the search result, what’s your positions are, how many people click you link and whether Google crawler encounter any problem accessing your site. With this info, you can optimise your site’s performance in search results.

    I’ve actually added Sabahan.com before into the console but it appears that Google have stopped indexing it, likely due to the lack of new content.

    Now, instead of focusing on all the nifty-gritty details of SEO, concentrate on creating useful and original content that solves people’s problems. When people search for a solution to their problem and found your blog, then it is likely that you are going to get shared on social media and ranked in Google.

    SEO is important but good rankings will come naturally by providing useful and quality content. There’s no need to check all the SEO boxes in one go. Do one at a time while you continue writing useful content for your blog.

    Growing a Mailing List

    Remember in the early days (like before 2010), the trend was to ask your visitors to subscribe to your feed. Some bloggers proudly displayed their FeedBurner readers count on their sidebars.

    feedburner

    Moving forward, bloggers started to display the opt-in form asking for readers’ email address so that they could get the latest updates. As time went by, bloggers realised that they can convert more readers into subscribers by offering something valuable for free.

    Email is still one of main medium of communication online. So it does not matter if you stop blogging, you can still communicate with your subscribers via email. So for a blog to last for the long term, starting a mailing list is a must.

    So for that purpose, in a couple of days you’ll see I will start offering a valuable free resource (also known as lead magnet) that my visitors get when they subscribe to my newsletter. Email provides a direct line to my readers. I can use it to build traffic to new blog posts and offer content that may be different from what one can find in the blog.

    Most importantly, with an email list, bloggers like me no longer have to depend on Google or the social networking sites for traffic.

    What I find interesting is that, this technique is not yet fully embraced by many Malaysian bloggers (correct me if I am wrong). From what I read, Malaysian tend to engage more on WhatsApp, a trend unique to Malaysian (especially when it comes to selling online).

    Regardless, let’s just wait and see how my mailing list building effort take shape as I’ll share my findings in my blog.

    Creating My Own Products

    There had been many occasions where my readers and friends asked about my own money making methods. This is something that people really interested to learn. So why not fulfill the demand by sharing my methods in an ebook of in other forms?

    I’ve personally developed my own software products, mobile apps, ebooks in other niches but why not in Internet marketing?

    I had this light-bulb moment a couple of days ago. Duh! what took me so long lol. Anyway, one of the reasons for not creating my own products for Sabahan.com was because I spent most of my time working in other niches.

    I didn’t want to create a half-baked products just to make money from it. I want it to be genuinely helpful for people. And that is not something easy to do.

    Obviously, it has potential for me to make more money since I am not splitting the revenue with an ad network or affiliate company whose product I am promoting. More money means more motivation to keep Sabahan.com running by providing more great and unique content. That’s a win-win situation.

    To AdSense or Not to AdSense

    At the same time, I don’t want Sabahan.com to be a place where I just slap several ads and hope things will work out in the money making department. Tried that and it didn’t work (I did make some money but nothing to shout about). Besides having ads in the blog is actually bad for user’s experience.

    That said, I still plan to experiment with AdSense Auto ads which was introduced in 20th February 2018. Auto ads analyse your pages and find new places to show ads that optimize for revenue and user experience. AdSence will decide where, how many and which ad sizes to place automatically.

    So I hope to discover whether this feature is a benefit for publishers. Perhaps it is something you can try on your own blog and see if it will provide a better fit to your money making style. May be you have tried already and I am just late to the party lol.

    I Will Spend Some Money On Advertising

    It’s 2018, gone are the days where one could start a blog and start attracting organic traffic from Google immediately. The competition is getting fierce and trying to stand out from the crowd is no small feat.

    I actually have used Google Adwords to advertise Sabahan.com so I will continue to do so as necessary.

    Another thing that we have today that did not exist before 2010 (well at least not as prolific) is adverting on social networks like Facebook.

    So I plan to set aside some money to advertise on Facebook and try to learn what my potential audience likes, what gets shared, where they are located etc. I hope this data can help me decide what to write next.

    As usual, I will share the findings in my future blog posts. So make sure you like our Facebook page and subscribe to our newsletter to get updates!

    Writing The Perfect Post

    You may find spelling and grammatically errors in this post. I hope it didn’t deter you from reading further :).

    My goal is not to write the perfect post (I know my English is also not the best in the world lol) but I just wanted to share useful content and get it out there more often.

    Phew..! With close to 2300 words, this is one of the longest posts I’ve written in Sabahan.com! It took me around six hours to write it. I hope you find it useful.

    Please leave a comment and share it on your social media page. That will definitely keep me motivated to write more posts like this one.

    Thank you for reading!

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