Whether you’ve already been blogging as a hobby or want to create your own blog so you can start writing about a subject that interests you, most people who blog don’t want to keep the information they write to themselves. Instead, they want to share it with as wide an audience as possible. And because it can take a fair amount of work to build and maintain a sizable audience, it’s normal to want to earn some money for the time you put into blogging.
Now, despite what sleazy info-products may advertise, blogging is not a solution for getting rich overnight. While it is still possible to build a successful blog, doing so requires time and consistency. That being said, if you already have a blog, there’s no reason it can’t start earning some money now. Even though it may not be a huge amount at first, seeing any money coming into your bank account can be very motivational and make you want to put even more effort into blogging.
So, if you want to earn your first dollar from blogging and then continue making more money, here are the top six options you have for monetizing your blog:
The main appeal of AdSense is that it’s very easy to add to a blog. While most people with any online experience agree that it’s not the best way to maximize the value of your blog’s traffic, if you’re interested in giving it a try or want to fill some extra space on your blog, this guide has everything you need to know about optimizing its implementation.
The two big reasons many people prefer monetizing with an affiliate program instead of AdSense is because they get better targeting and higher payouts. If you like the idea of using this option but are afraid it will be too difficult to set up, you’ll be happy to know that the BuildYourWidget.com plugin makes it a breeze to create a showcase for your site that allows you to display any affiliate products that you want to sell to your audience.
Private Ad Sales or Sponsorships
While it definitely requires more work, it’s possible to sell your own ad space instead of having it handled by AdSense or an affiliate network. It’s also worth noting that if you’re already using the Build Your Widget plugin on your site, you can easily update your product showcase based on any private sales deals you close.
Another option for filling your showcase widget is to create and sell your own digital products like ebooks. If you’re worried that it’s going to be too hard to process your own payments and handle delivery, a comprehensive solution like Gumroad is ideal for selling digital products.
Although there’s not an exact metric for determining this point, once your blog hits a certain level of traffic and influence, people will begin viewing you as an authority in your field. Because regular readers of your blog will know just how much valuable information you can provide, they may want one-on-one time with you. A great way to provide that time is to create a paid community through your blog. This will provide you with a new revenue stream, as well as allow you to engage more with the most passionate members of your audience.
Services, Speaking Engagements or Conferences
Just as with starting a paid community, once your blog gets enough traction, there’s really no limit to the ways you can monetize it. Depending on your specific niche, you may find that launching a service is a good fit for your audience. You may also decide that you want to spend more time away from your keyboard and in front of audiences who want to hear you speak. Additionally, you don’t have to limit yourself to only speaking at other events. Instead, you may ultimately decide that you want to sponsor your own conference.
With all these ideas in mind, one thing about blog monetization that’s worth remembering is you don’t have to limit yourself to just one option. In fact, most bloggers find that using multiple methods allows them to maximize what they earn from their blog. Also, don’t ever feel that you have to stick with a specific monetization option. If you feel like it’s not generating as much as it should, don’t be afraid to test out another form of monetization to see if it’s a better fit for your blog and specific audience.
The year 2013 has seen a real surge in mobile technology in areas like SEO trends. As a matter of fact, mobile technology is overtaking everyone’s expectations, and that is a pattern that is definitely going to continue. As consumers integrate phones and tablets ever more into their internet use, it becomes all the more important to cater to those needs.
A great example of this happened just last night. Sitting at a venue waiting for the beginning of a concert, there were screens advertising other shows happening in the coming months. Someone behind me expressed interest in a concert happening a couple of weeks from now. I could hear them behind me, using their smartphone to access a local ticket seller.
Unfortunately, they couldn’t get the site to work properly. “Why don’t they have an app?” he muttered, as he tried to get through the captcha that was creating a compatibility issue with his device. He would have had a much easier time had he known that another ticket retailer had a mo bile website and mobile app to make it easier to make purchases on the go. I had used it to for the very show I was waiting to begin.
If you are reading this, I have to assume you have a mobile site already. That is great, but it means nothing if people don’t know about its existence or have a positive experience using it. Marketing that mobile site is a crucial element to the whole process. Otherwise, like my fellow live music lover last night, your target audience won’t be bringing in the profits that they should be.
Don’t panic. Marketing a mobile site is similar in most ways to marketing any other. You are just targeting a slightly different user base. Here are seven great ways to market your mobile website.
- Use a Good Platform For The Site. Not all mobile services are created equal, and when you are using a bad platform for your mobile site you are asking for trouble. You want a service that is customizable, upgradable, easy to use and has all of the tools and features that you need. Luckily, there are a lot of good ones out there to choose from. One example is Mobi Manage, which actually breaks things down into specialty categories like auto, retail, associations, real estate and more. They also offer marketing packages, so you can control your campaign and aim it at a mobile audience from your dashboard. For something more basic and cheaper (though less feature heavy) you can try MobiSiteGalore.
- Use SMS. Have you seen those little notices on business sites offering people the chance to get special offers through text messages? This is a fantastic approach, and an affordable way to market directly to the mobile crowd. You can either put it somewhere on your site itself as a subscription service, or offer it as a selection when someone makes a purchase or creates an account. But you have to give people an incentive to accept this marketing form, such as special offers by text only.
- Make An App. Having a mobile website is a great idea. But many smartphone and tablet users would prefer to have an app where they can directly engage with you, your content, and your products. You may find this a better goal for your particular brand, as consumers love making in-app purchases, or being able to quickly navigate a site in such a simple way.
- Launch a Mobile Ad Campaign. Unlike traditional ad campaigns, these are made specifically for mobile users and screens. Often attached to ads or mobile site pages, it is a cost efficient way to improving your visibility on the mobile market. You can buy a cost-per-click program that is similar to others you might use for online advertising. But it is usually better to buy a bundled package of 1,000 clicks.
- Enhance Your Bidding. Mobile users don’t do that much searching. It makes up a tiny sliver of the amount of time they are going to spend on the web through their smartphones. You have to make the most out of every second, which means using enhanced bidding features to narrow down data. One of the best articles I have seen written on this topic was by Jeremy Hull on Clickz.
- Make Your Mobile Site User Friendly. It isn’t enough to have an adaptive or secondary mobile site that offers the same content. Users want something that is easy to navigate, offers them the features they need from a mobile perspective, and is less content heavy. Remember to only include the most crucial elements of a website on the mobile version. Offer plenty of easily accessible links to other related pages. Streamline the process of making purchases as much as possible.
- Use Your Mobile Site. One of the most important parts of marketing is making sure what you market is high quality. Use your mobile site yourself, and often. Be honest about how good it is, what features it has, what can be added and taken away. Use other mobile sites to see how they have handled certain parts of their design.
It is important to have a mobile website these days. Just make sure people know it is there, and that their experience using it is a positive one. If you manage those two things, you will be in good shape.
Back in the beginning of SEO marketing, long tail keywords were considered one of the best ways to gain traffic. Over time they have lost their appeal, being replaced by shorter, more popular keywords. However, the internet changes and there is a lot of value to be found in long tail keywords as can be seen in this infographic by HitTail. You just have to know how to make it work for your business.
Understanding Long Tail Keywords.
It’s important to understand what long tail keywords are. Ian Lurie describes the long tail as “Specific, niche search phrases, usually more than 2 words in length, that offer a low competition, low search volume and high searcher intent. “ For example, instead of the keyword ‘shirts’ you might have the phrase ‘dress shirts for church’ which is much more specific and gives you a far greater idea of what the user is actually looking for.
What People are looking for?
You must find the long tail keywords that users are looking for in regards to your business. If you have a business that sells dress shirts, then you want to know what people are searching for related to dress shirts. Suggester is an excellent free tool that will show you exactly what people are looking for in regards to your phrase.
Make the information work for you.
Once you’ve discovered what people are looking for, it’s time to do something with that knowledge. Now this may sound easier said than done, or like it’s going to be more trouble than it’s worth, but it’s not. The conversion rate for long tail keywords is far greater than that of short keywords because it receives a significantly greater amount of traffic as illustrated here on The Moz Blog making it an incredibly valuable tool when used right.
So how do you actually use this to your advantage?
Neil Patel describes exactly how you can focus your efforts on turning the benefits of long tail SEO into profits by focusing not on your page ranking, but on high converting landing pages based on the long tail keywords.
Don’t Abandon Other Methods
Obviously long-tail SEO should not be your main marketing tool, but it is a highly valuable one that can significantly increase your website traffic and ultimately your sales. Some suggest that having a solid SEO strategy in the first place will eventually create long-tail SEO which is true; good SEO should lead to your site getting picked up when someone uses a longer search term.
However, what optimizing for long term SEO does on top of that is create a broader net with each part working on its own to increase your site’s visibility. For example, a really good fisherman is going to go catch a lot of fish with skill and the right bait with just a pole, but a really good fisherman is going to catch a lot more fish if he also adds a fishing net to what he’s already doing.
Using long tail SEO is a great way will help increase your visibility, your traffic, and your sales if you use it right. It was the marketing tool of the past and it’s quickly becoming the tool of the future as well.