Have you been blogging for years and its growth has been stagnant? Maybe, the traffic is not what it used to be in the past.
What could you have done that lead to this situation?
You’re still uploading consistently, you’re still writing quality articles that are relevant to your audience, and you’re still communicating with your followers.
And yet, you feel like something is not entirely right.
Before you do an overtake, hang on for a minute.
It’s not an unknown phenomenon. It happens to a lot of bloggers like yourself.
Now that you’re reading this article, it’s time to step up and have a change of plans. Or really, just fine-tune the plans you’ve set up before. A lot of times, when people set goals to gain more income, they think about those money-making schemes.
In blogging, there are much more things to evaluate and consider for you to have a profitable blog. Here they are below:
Develop a better plan
When you started your very first blog, the reason could be because you love to write.
And, just like everyone else, you developed a plan. However, this plan you created before needs to be updated and keep up with the trends we have today.
Social media and SEO changes a lot. Even your audience probably have changed in the past few months. Look into what’s happening in the industry and your blog’s data. This will allow you to craft a new and solid plan for the future of your blog.
Understand your audience well
Are you writing for yourself or are you writing for your audience?
The answer could be both.
At the first stages of your blog, it would be all for yourself. Nobody knows you and nobody have seen your content.
But traffic will slowly come to your blog. And then you can know who your audience indeed is. To be able to understand them, you must dive deep into your analytics. Know their demographics, where they come from that lead to them to your site, identify their interests, and they know how to empathize with them using your blog posts.
Create other types of content
When you’ve been doing the same thing for months, you’ll just get the same results. In blogging, you’ll need to have more than just a long and well-researched articles.
For instance, when you blog about facts and statistics, why not use an infographic to deliver your message?
When you review a product, you can create a video review instead.
Posting various types of content can be challenging, but if you do it well, you’ll see a spike in your traffic.
Optimize for search engines
The old trick in the book that almost never fails when done right.
If you want a profitable business through your blog, you’re going to have to level with the SEO efforts of your competitors.
There are a lot of sources that can get you started with this. Follow them and make your judgments.This is not an overnight thing, though. You need to be consistent so your ranking will stay up for as long as you can.
Improve your online presence
You spend a lot of time perfecting your blog posts, and that’s great. However, the time you spend in content creation should not block the time you have for outreach and promotions.
Go out there and do some paid promotions if you need, follow people in your niche, and most importantly, communicate with your audience.
If you’ve already built a substantial following, now’s the time to improve your online presence.
Read this guide to get more some ideas to get this done.
Network with like-minded people
While it’s important to build a connection with your target market, building relationships with influencers and bloggers can be beneficial to the growth of your blog.
Reaching out to people who have the same passion and interests as you can open you to a lot of opportunities. By partnering up with those who are in the same industry as yours, your blog will gain readers that come from them.
Automate tasks and look for help
With all businesses, there are ‘small’ tasks that may add up leading you to stray away from your primary goal. Some tools can help you with this. But if tools are not enough, you can always get a personal or virtual assistant to help you.
Raise your capital
You have to remember that your blog could be profitable. View it as a business and understand that a successful one needs time, effort, and money.
Yes. Money is part of the blogging business.
Getting serious about turning your blog into a money-maker machine would require you to spend a few (or a lot) bucks. This could be used for better theme and design, tools, reliable hosting, writers, and assistants.
If you have some money issues, crowdfunding could be a lot of help to you.
To put it simply, crowdfunding is where a bunch of people raise small amounts of money to fund a project they want to support. If you are interested in starting your own, you can go ahead and read Shopify’s comprehensive guide.
Lots of successful businesses that you see now are a product of crowdfunding. And you may be just one of them in the future. Who knows? Remember that your readers would want to support your blog if they value you enough.
Build an email list if you haven’t already. Email marketing remains to be a valuable part of your marketing strategy. It’s still a dominant communication platform, and those who signed up to your newsletter are open to being contacted by you. Make sure to learn how to do email marketing the best way.
Finally, offer your services
If you have great content, have a solid following, and is continuously making improvements on your site, it’s now time to offer some of your services. From writing, consultations, to selling an ad space, you can also launch your own branded product. Here’s a very inspiring post about someone who monetized their blog by offering services.
Over to you
What we want here is for your blog to be able to stand on its own for an extended period.
There will be revisions and refining of plans along the way, but those will be worth it.
Also, don’t forget to test and optimize according to the results of your efforts. One key to an effective strategy is to adapt to new learnings you get from the data you gathered on your blog.
A Quick Guide to Blog Analytics
Your blog traffic is the key indicator of its overall performance.
And if you do not truly understand how blog traffic works, then you need to ask why you’re even blogging at all!
In fact, there’s more to blog traffic than the number of visitors your blog.
You must understand where the traffic is coming from, the quality of traffic your blog receives, and more!
Knowing all these things should steer you in the right direction as far of improving your blog’s process is concerned.
To help you make better blogging decisions, you must use one of the most powerful tools for analyzing traffic: Google Analytics.
If you’re not using it yet and want to learn more, then read on!
How Can I Check My Blog Traffic?
Your blog traffic is the metric to weigh your blog performance.
However, and as mentioned above, traffic is just an overall term to call all the users who visit your blog.
A user coming in from social media is not the same as the one coming in from a guest post.
For example, if you haven’t set up any social media presence yet, then you’ll question the traffic you are getting from social media.
It could be because people are starting to share your blogs now, which can give you a clue on what people like to read.
Here are some traffic metrics to track and analyze:
- Source – Describes where your traffic is coming from. Use this information to identify sources you need to focus or improve on
- Bounce rate – The percentage of a single session where your visitor has no interaction with your page. It tells you how frequently users leave your blog without visiting any other pages
- Average Time on page – The average length of stay of your visitors on your page. Aim to make your visitors stay longer by writing better content and optimizing your page speed
Knowing and understanding all of these using Google Analytics helps you fix any leaking holes that you didn’t know existed before.
Your content marketing strategies, better blog post, and the development and design of your blog are all going to benefit if you can analyze what you are currently doing.
How do I use Google Analytics for my blog?
Installing Google Analytics is easy and doesn’t require any plugins.
Here’s a quick guide on how to install it regardless of what CMS you use.
Create a Google account and make sure that you’re logged in to it before you head to go to the next step.
Go and sign up a Google Analytics account for free and fill out all the needed information such as your website URL and country.
From there, Google will automatically create a property for you. You will find a tracking code similar to this below:
This the Global Site Tag, a unique tracking code that you need to paste on the header or footer file of your website.
Once you have it all set up and installed properly, you can wait for a few days and review all the traffic your blog receives. Note that it will take approximately 24 hours for GA to start collecting data from your site.
Once GA has collected enough data for you to analyze, you can click on any metric buttons they have available.
Here’s a screenshot that shows the acquisition channels which includes source, number of users, bounce rate, and average time on site for seven days.
As you can see, the referral channel is lagging in all the above metrics compared to other channels.
When someone clicks on a link to your blog, GA marks it as referral traffic. In the data above, this traffic source shows a higher bounce rate and a much lower average session duration.
What this data tells is there could be better improvements on what kind of websites the link building strategy is doing or focused on.
Additionally, the average session duration on all channels can also be improved by working on the quality of the content and fixes for a few design properties.
But, you don’t always have to look at the negative side of things.
This GA screenshot shows that almost 90% of the users are from organic search, meaning, the SEO efforts are going quite well and just needs a few tweaks for improvements.
These are just some of the details GA will show you to help you understand what your blog’s traffic is about.
However, web analytics only uncovers your blog’s traffic information.
Most of the performance problems of a blog stem from having SEO problems. In this case, you can ask Pathtorch to identify the problems for you and help you understand what’s wrong.
Blogging is a great platform to share your ideas with an audience.
However, to truly be effective, you need to understand how your blog is performing under certain factors.
Understanding these allows you to create better content and promote it in the right places to generate even more traffic.
The post above should shed light on the value that Google Analytics brings to the table.
So if you are serious about your blog, Google Analytics tells you the next steps if you deeply analyze what your data tells you.
Newsletter vs Blog? You Need Both for Your Business
The goal of content marketing is to get your brand messaging in front of the right people. And not in hard-sell kind of way that we’re accustomed to. But in a way that tells people; “Hey, I exist to make your life easier for you.”
Even though there are plenty of ways to get your message across, bloggers and marketers alike still ask; which works better, email newsletters or blogs?
The short answer? The one that will help you connect with your audience and increase your conversion rate.
The long answer? Well, you’ll find out more as you read on.
Because we want nothing more than to help you connect with your target audience, we’ve come up with a quick guide to help you understand newsletters and blogs better. This way, you’ll know how to take advantage of both.
What is an email newsletter?
Email newsletters are company-centric publications that you send to a specific group of people. They contain company news, articles, and marketing content specially created for the recipients. Email newsletters are often used to target different segments of an email list, allowing brands to maintain their top-of-mind awareness with their target audience.
Creating a newsletter is pretty much the same as writing a blog. The only difference is, instead of formatting content for a website, you’re formatting content for an email inbox.
What is a blog?
Blogs, on the other hand, cover a wide range of topics and content, for all the world to see. They contain articles, images, videos, even music playlists that can be helpful to site visitors in some way.
Blogs are mainly used to educate and entertain visitors of a website, and so much as a promotional tool. They also make a website more dynamic, which encourages visitors to check back again and again.
Blogs can be a great jump-off point for discussions with an engaged audience.
Here’s a chart to make it easier for you to understand the differences between the two.
|Your Email Newsletter…||Your Blog…|
|Is only visible to your email mailing list.||Is visible to anyone who visits your website.|
|Allows you to customize messages for specific groups in your target audience.||Can help you build your credibility as an authority of a specific niche.|
|Can help you deepen the connection with your potential and existing customers. Keeps your subscribers in the loop.||Can educate your prospects about your brand, product, or service, and move them from the awareness stage to the buying stage.|
|Lasts until the message is received and read. The newsletter has already served its purpose once your recipient opens the email.||Lasts for a very long time. blog posts will stay on the web until you take them down or you stop paying your hosting provider.|
|Can be used to drive qualified leads to your website.||Can be used to improve your search ranking since search engines consider blog posts as web pages.|
|Can be forwarded to non-subscribers via email.||Can easily spread via social media. The more shares your blog gets, the wider your reach.|
What’s the best option for you?
Email newsletters and blogs are not that very different if you’re going to think about their purpose. Both tools give you avenues to reach out and communicate with people in your sales funnel. Whether you’re teaching a prospect about the benefits of your product or convincing a long-time customer to make a repeat sale, incorporate both newsletter and blog in your content marketing strategy will help you communicate better.
Is it possible to have the best of both worlds?
Of course! If you want to get your audience engaged, you need to weave both email newsletters and blogs into your campaign. When used together, both work much better. Let’s take a closer look at how you combine newsletter and blog in your content marketing strategy.
- Step 1: Publish a blog post. Don’t forget to check if on-site optimization is on point.
- Step 2: Promote your blog post to your subscribers using an email newsletter. Generate traffic to your post by giving your email list first dibs.
- Step 3: Wait for subscribers to open and read your email. You can easily track your email open rate via any email newsletter tool.
- Step 4: Send follow-up emails to subscribers who didn’t open your last email. Maybe they’ve missed it or maybe they’ve forgotten it. Either way, it doesn’t hurt to send a friendly reminder.
- Step 5: Track your progress. Not happy with your campaign’s email open rate? Check analytics and do A/B testing to get it right the next time.
In the battle of newsletter vs blog, it’s best to settle on a tie. With their own sets of advantages, both tools will make great additions to your content marketing arsenal. At the end of the day, it’s about creating a communication strategy that connects with your target audience.
5 Easy Money Hustles for Bloggers
Money – I’m sure many bloggers won’t say “no” to the chance to earn a little bit more of it.
Whether you’re trying to pay off debt or planning a tropical vacation, earning some extra cash outside your regular job can help you gain strides towards financial freedom.
One of the perks of being a blogger is that there are countless money-making opportunities out there.
In the current marketing landscape, you are only limited by your creativity.
You just need to find the best side hustle that will not only help you grow your portfolio but also your bank account.
What is a side hustle anyway?
A side hustle refers to any income-generating activity that you can do outside your regular job.
For many bloggers, especially those who are still building their brand, having a side hustle helps them pay the bills.
But if you know how to play your cards right, it can also help you live out your dreams.
Easy money hustles bloggers should try out
If blogging isn’t bringing home the bacon for you, then you need to consider getting into different side hustles.
Since your main skill is blogging, there’s a huge market for your skills. Getting a side gig shouldn’t be a big problem for you.
What matters, however, is how much you want to work these easy money hustles.
Here are some of the best side hustle ideas that can help you make more money, right in the comfort of your own home.
Since blogging involves writing compelling content for your own blog, one way you can make extra cash is to offer writing as a service. After all, the best way to earn money is from doing something that you love.
And assuming that you’re really good at it, you can easily make an extra $500 just by writing a few fresh articles for a couple of clients. Even if the industry is already pretty competitive, resist the urge to undercharge your services. Make sure to charge based on the value you will bring to your client.
One side hustle that currently has a high demand for it is virtual assisting.
Since most site owners are looking to monetize their blog, landing a client who has a need for your specific skill set should be easy.
There are plenty of things you can do as a virtual assistant, depending on what your client needs.
Some might need help with admin tasks like file organizing and bookkeeping, while others might need someone to take over their social media accounts.
Most VA job vacancies require good writing skills. As a blogger, you should have this skill down pat to gain an advantage over the competition.
But whatever you’re good at, you’re sure to find a client online looking for someone with your expertise.
Are you constantly getting queries regarding blogging?
Then another way to monetize your expertise is to turn into a service. Market yourself as a thought leader and offer premium advice at a price.
But before you can charge anyone for a call, you need to prove that you’re worth it of course.
You need to have a landing page at least, that presents your credentials with a specific niche.
Once you get your first clients, don’t forget to ask them for testimonials as you’ll need all the social proof you can get to build your consultancy business.
Join the gig economy
Another option to augment your monthly income is to join the gig economy.
Getting a gig is just how you picture it. You have the freedom to choose which projects to work on at a specific time.
You can be writing copies for a brand this week and putting together a content strategy for a completely different client next week.
Joining the gig economy lets you make the most out of your free time. Instead of being idle, you can work on different projects for extra cash. This set-up is perfect for you if you thrive in variety and like to switch things up or if you get bored with the same task list easily.
The most popular site where you can get side gigs is Fiverr.
Set up a page for your services and wait for clients to roll in and hire you for a job.
You need to market and promote it across different online channels. This way, more people can see and contact your page regarding your offer.
Again, you can control the pace of projects coming in and out from your page. You have the choice to accept or deny gigs that come your way.
However, getting a job these days isn’t easy. You’ll probably end up accepting the gigs anyway even if you’re not fully qualified for it.
Nonetheless, when all the chips fall to your favor, having side gig gives cushion to your finances and leaves you something to do during your downtime from blogging.
If you’re constantly on YouTube, here’s some terrific news for you!
You can now earn money by watching videos on the most popular video streaming website out there. It usually involves joining a program that rewards viewers with gift cards or hard cash by simply watching a video.
Most of the time, you’ll be asked to watch video content sponsored by big brands.
If you want to earn more, there are some programs that will pay you to take surveys or use a mobile app that’s related to the video you just watched.
While it might not earn you thousands of dollars, watching videos for a bit of cash is much better watching videos for nothing.
It’s easy to rest on your laurels as a blogger and call it a day.
However, if you wish to up the ante by earning more, then you should take up the challenge of getting a side hustle job!
As mentioned, the side gigs featured above are low hanging fruits. You already have experience in doing them, so why not try your hand at earning from them?
Who knows? Taking the risk with a side hustle might just lead you to start a new business or pursue a passion. Dare to live life on your own terms!
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