Hi All – I have a question. When you compare your early days of blogging to what you are today – Is there anything that you wish, you hadn’t done?
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I started blogging just an year back and today when i look back, there are certain things that i wish i shouldn’t have done. I won’t call them mistakes – but rather “Experiences”, because those are the things that taught me a lesson or two.
1 – I should’ve selected the template with care.
I was looking for free blogger templates and as and when i came across one, i picked it up almost instantaneously.I did not check for cross-browser compatibilities, I did not even check if the comments link is working, I didn’t check if the columns(it was a three column template) are all placed well at different resolutions. And heck, i didn’t even check as to how big and ugly the code was.
All that mattered to me was the look. And somehow in my browser(FF), it looked all good. But not to everyone – i received emails from my friends (i didn’t even have a good number of reader’s at that time) saying that the columns are all over the place. Thanks to them, i started to tweak the code but in vain, there were certain things that i could not get away with – I was done! One fine day i decided to change the template once and for all -hah! what a relief, that’s the template I’m using right now.
2 – I shouldn’t have worried about the traffic or monetization.
All that mattered was quality. Quality of the posts and how frequently you delivered them but instead i worried about traffic, incoming links, page rank and as you guessed i had a not-so good in shape blog. Later, i managed to get over the “reputation” thing and concentrated only on my posts and their quality. I managed to make it fairly OK, i must admit.
3 – I should have interacted more with the blogosphere.
As you may already know, even if you have a fantastic blog, it’s not going to attract people if you are unknown to them.
When i started blogging, i did not spend even half of the time i spend today for interacting with bloggers. I was too busy tweaking and posting. Later, as i read from other professional bloggers,(though hesitantly), i started to interact with other bloggers and that’s when i realized that this phenomenon called blogging could be more fun and learning hand in hand, and not boring as it used to be.Today, i have an entire list of readers with whom i share ideas, get feedback, ask opinion etc and it’s truly amazing to know people. Study them and you have answers to your questions most of the time.
4 – Linking more.
Though i thought that i was writing great articles, others didn’t think so. They might have, but they didn’t tell me may be. I never linked to other blogs. I only linked to wikipedia, Google products etc.Honestly, i thought that linking to others may bring down my chances of ranking high on Google. I was wrong.Linking to others will only help you get appreciated by friends and readers. It also creates and urge for “invisible readers” to react – so that they make sure that you note them, and one day you link to them too. After all, everybody wants to be in the loop.
5 – Keyword research.
I would say it’s my impulsive nature that made me write articles. When ever i came across a rubbish or an excellent product or a service – i used to get excited, because it’s the passion in you – and i wrote articles based on it. Sometimes it used to be products, sometimes a blogger’s comments, or an article on a news site. Although it satisfied me,ti could not generate much traffic because, what i wrote was interesting to me, my wife and my friends (i guess) only. Had i done some keyword research, i could’ve picked up some interesting topics from the most searched keywords on Google and written articles that created traffic.I didn’t -i struggled to get the traffic.
I doubt if anyone would agree to me on the above points, but this is the truth – just what happened to me. It could happen to young bloggers too, and I’d like to nudge them, make them aware that these are the things that could get you carried away. To sum up, my advice to young bloggers who pursue a successful career in blogging (do i sound like a brag – boy ???) is to- Select your platform wisely – be it wordpress or blogger, pick a cool template and forget it. your viewers get a bad idea about you when you keep changing the template every week. you can tweak, that’s improvisation but make sure you have a template that you are likely to use for a long time.
– Don’t worry over traffic or money, believe me those are things that’s proportional with the quality time you spend on your blog. The more the quality, the more the time – the more the return. you should forget about it totally – and concentrate on the articles you write, how appealing they could be.Everything else, fame and money will follow.
– Interact with people, talk to them, get their ideas, study it, brood over them, try to implement them, pull off what you can’t – get on with others.Find your fan, find your critic. It will help a lot in self analyzing you at least, expel some wrong notions you cultivated about yourself and your blog.
– Link more with others, it’s a way of telling them that you appreciate their work(even thought you criticized). So link, get linked, exchange links, don’t panic about the google algorithm or the page-rank.
– Do a bit of research.Yes you should follow your heart, write about things that you are passionate about, but also make sure you are not losing the platform. See what’s happening around you, what people are searching, write about it, contradict, agree and do all that.Mix it with the topics you are passionate about. It will take you a long way in getting quality traffic.
P.S – I’m not trying to be a brag-boy or a “professional blogger” here, just trying to share my experience with young bloggers – hope it helps.
eCommerce: 3 Simple Ways to Increase Traffic, Sales and Revenue
For most people blogging is used as a fun and easy way to share their lifestyle or write about their passion. But for some this hobby had become their profession.
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Nowadays there are many options to make money with a blog – for example by getting paid for advertising products. Another way is to add your own eCommerce to the blog and sell the products that you are passionate about in your own web store. Creating an online shop can be the first step into your life as a digital nomad or simply being your own boss.
A few years ago, it was necessary to work with a professional developer to integrate an online store to your website. Especially for small manufacturers, this meant a huge investment before they could even start selling their products. Nowadays setting up a web store has become a lot easier and cheaper: Platforms like Shopify can easily be integrated in existing domains and therefore help makers and crafters to start their own eCommerce without professional help. Once you have set up your own Shopify store it is all about increasing the traffic. A bigger reach will eventually lead to a higher number of sales and more revenue.
So, let’s have a look at three simple steps to do so:
1 – Turn your small business into a smart business…
…by adding automation and product management to your website. When launching your business, it might be fine to keep track of the orders in an Excel spreadsheet at first. But since you expect your business to grow it will become one of the most important things to have a management platform in place that allows you to process orders and handle inventory professionally. Therefore, it can be handy to add a production planning and scheduling software as integration to your existing web store. An easy-to-use solution for Shopify-users is the Shopify inventory integration that adds products to your website, manages inventory or tracks shipments.
2 – Make your products sound and look good…
…by adding high-quality images and longer product descriptions to your page. Not only will this make your eCommerce look more professional, but it is also a great way to increase your traffic by reaching a higher rank in the search results. If you are not able to create these yourself, you can outsource writing or graphic design work to freelancers on sites like Fiverr or Upwork.
3 – Don’t stop blogging…
…or get it started if you haven’t done so yet. While it is exciting to start your own business it also takes a lot of time and energy to set everything up. Anyhow, this should not lead to giving up on your blog. Why? Because a growing eCommerce site and an active blog go hand in hand. And remember: The content of your blog should be interesting to your targeted audience and contain at least one thousand words in order to effectively rank in the search results. Here are some examples of the top eCommerce blogs for inspiration.
…and that is it!
You are now almost ready to start your own eCommerce! In addition to following these three steps, it is always good to keep an eye on your ecommerce competitors. Do not steal their idea but have a look at what is working for them and aim to go beyond that. As long as you focus on your product, the content of your site and a growing search ranking you will successfully manage to increase your traffic, the sales and the revenue of your business.
Should You Answer that Blogging Question Again?
“Ryan, how do I increase blog traffic?”
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“Ryan, how do I make money blogging?”
If I had a dime for every blogger who asked me each question I’d have quite a few dimes. Toss in all the times I observe bloggers asking each question via Quora and various Facebook Groups and you have as many dimes as grains of sand in the Sahara Desert.
I know what you are thinking; should you answer the same question for the 2nd time, 10th time or 100th time? Confusing. One part of you wishes to be generous. Another part of you fears missing an opportunity to help someone who can be a potential client or customer. Another part of you feels annoyed at being asked the question again. Another part of you feels annoyed at embracing and releasing the guilt of ignoring the question.
Should you answer these common blogging questions again and again?
Of course not.
Answering the same, common question more than 1 or 2 times is:
- an inefficient use of your time
- amateur hour stuff
Here’s what I do to:
- answer questions quickly and easily
- open myself up to more potential blogging business through possible clients and customers
- be calm, cool, collected and at peace despite being asked the same question many times
Are you ready?
Write a blog post!
Or write and self-publish an eBook.
If someone asks me how to drive more traffic to my blog I send them this link:
Or I send ’em a link from any one of my myriad blog traffic driving posts on Blogging From Paradise.
If someone asks about specific income streams for making money through their blogs I send them a link to my eBook:
Or if someone asks how to make money through guest posting I send them this link from my guest post on the blog of the awesome Enstine Muki:
What an easy, simple, efficient, effective way to:
- answer a common question many times
- answer a common question in 1-2 seconds
- drive traffic to my blog
- increase my blogging profits
- help people, and be helped by people through their prospering of me
- avoid anger
- avoid annoyance
- avoid judging people who have no idea how to blog
Fools complain about new bloggers asking the same, old questions. Why does a new blogger ask a question? They have no idea how to blog! Duh. Why anger at their ignorance? Why get annoyed that you need to answer the question again? Write a blog post answering the question. Send the blog post to anybody who asks the question. Seize opportunities to help people and to drive traffic and profits to your blog.
Do you own Gmail? I do not. Since I do not own Gmail it’d be foolish for me to answer questions via Gmail when I can be answering the same question on my self-hosted blog. I own Blogging From Paradise. I own that online real estate. Answer questions on your owned cyber real estate. Brand you. Grow your business. Increase your traffic. Keep the ball in your court. Have posture.
If I spend 10 minutes answering a question for 1 human I am a fool when I could spend 45 minutes answering the question for 100, or 10,000 or 1,000,000 humans, by writing a helpful blog post answering the question and sending the blog post link to all future folks who ask the question. Plus; when the post goes live, I answer common questions passively, said common questions no doubt in the minds of thousands of bloggers out there.
Leverage. Write a blog post. Do not help one person. Help 10,000 people. Save your time and energy. Make more money.
Matthew Loomis at Build Your Own Blog is a smart guy. Peep his home page. He lays out clear, concise steps for building your blog via his sidebar. You just know how many people asked him the common, pressing, basic blogging questions that he skillfully answered through those clear steps.
He leveraged his knowledge. He answered common questions BEFORE people asked him common blogging questions. Smart! Help a ton of folks quickly and easily. Drive blog traffic. Increase blogging profits. Lower your bounce rate. Improve the amount of time people spend on your blog.
Write a blog post. Send the blog post link to anybody who asks the common blogging question.
Why Cold Pitching and Bartering Do Not Work in Blogging
2 words: nobody cares.
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I just checked my email. One stranger who came in cold – as strangers always do – emailed me a reply:
“Is that your lowest price?”
I deleted his email. On a day when feeling less compassionate, I junk the email. Label it as spam. Why?
I genuinely care about someone who genuinely cares about me. I do not care much about a stranger who tries to barter with me when he ignored the email where I told him my final, fixed, non-negotiable price. Thousands of strangers have tried this approach. Thousands of strangers get ignored.
That was one of the bartering emails.
I received a handful of cold pitch emails. Bloggers emailed me as strangers, asking to guest post on my site. 90% did not even bother to address me by name.
2 words: nobody cares. Meaning, I do not care about them. I delete. I ignore. I move on.
I checked my spam folder to delete the emails. I scanned. 3 more pitch emails popped up in spam. The bloggers pitching through these emails pissed off enough bloggers to ensure; all future emails of theirs land in spam. Try building a blogging business from the spam folder. I dare you.
Genuinely, nobody cares.
Imagine someone knocking on the door of your home right now. Go ahead. Visualize this scenario.
This person wants to sell you a vacuum cleaner. You shut the door in their face unless you are 1 of 1,000,000 people who would actually buy a vacuum from a stranger at your door. The remaining 999,999 human beings either buy one on Amazon or via their local department store.
Save the 1 person, nobody cares about a stranger who blindly pitches their sales services or who blindly pitches an opportunity at the door of their home. Just like nobody cares about a stranger who blindly pitches them a guest posting opportunity.
How to Get People to Care
If you want people to care enough to buy your blogging course or to feature you on their blogs, care about them.
If you want to land on Blogging From Paradise just do these things:
- spend 3-6 months promoting me on your blog
- spend 3-6 months promoting me on social media
- publish 2-3 posts weekly
- practice writing daily; offline
I begin to care about people who care about me generously and genuinely.
You stand out from the thousands of strangers who I do not care about when you care about me. It is such an easy tactic to build bonds with leading bloggers. Simple, too. Care about me as a human being. Ask for nothing. Expect nothing. Pay your blogging dues. Be generous. Be genuine. Be patient. Be persistent. Guaranteed; you will stand out from the crowd eventually. You have to, because generosity is always repaid in some way, shape or form down the road.
My generous, skilled friends get links on Blogging From Paradise for free.
Strangers need to pay my rate. If a stranger tries to barter my rate after I noted my fixed, non-negotiable, price, I delete the email. I may spam the email. People who do not have enough respect for me to read the entire email belong in spam. Landing in spam is the blogging business kiss of death; you will fail blogging for 1,000 years if your emails wind up in spam. The Blogging Scarlet Letter is S, for Spam.
Just freaking care about bloggers. How hard is that? Stop focusing on yourself and your needs and what you want to GET out of me and do some GIVING. Fool proof, simple, powerful way to build a successful blog. Plus you will have the money to invest in sponsored posts so you need not try to barter like a cheapie. Plus you will receive more and more free links on top blogs.
Doesn’t that sound fun?
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