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The difficulty of running several blogs

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There has been a lot of discussion regarding blog networks recently and the challenges that arise from running multiple blogs. David Peralty, one of the co-founders of the blog network Grand Effect, wrote a great post about a week or so ago entitled ‘Blog Advertising Difficulties: Blog Network Doesn’t Mean Big Money‘. In his post David explained the difficulty in getting a good advertising rate from ad networks. Just 2 days after David wrote this post it was announced that the popular blog network Know More Media was closing shop.

Jeremy Wright, CEO of b5Media, had invited bloggers from this closing network to join b5Media and a few days later gave some tips on how to run a successful blog network in his post ‘A Whole Lotta Thoughts On Blog Network Success’. I found this post very insightful as Jeremy runs one of the biggest and most known blog networks on the web and he clearly knows how the blogging industry ticks. In particular he made a very good point about how the selling of ads works with networks. Here’s point 4 from the ’10 Reasons Managing Bloggers (and Blog Ads) Is Harder Than Your Grandma’s Corns’ part of his post :

In order to move beyond AdSense-style ads, you need to move up the food chain: Most bloggers or groups who are forming blogs together assume that if you grow traffic, you’ll be able to quickly improve the quality of your ads. It’s really not that easy. You need to “move up the food chain”. The advertising food chain basically works like this: some media buyer somewhere (in an agency or in a company) decides he want to buy ads. He convinces his clients to spend something ridiculous like 20$ CPM on the ads. He then farms some of the ads out to the ad networks he works with at 4-5$ CPMs (TribalFusion, Burst, etc).

These networks then cross-sell and backfill their inventory to the point where regular bloggers are lucky to get a 1$CPM (if they can even get into the network). Boutique shops take the “high value” inventory and do the same cross-selling game, so that bloggers are lucky to get a 2-3$ CPM these days (it used to be 5-6$ CPM). And folk with direct relationships with media buyers get the rest (at 7-10$ CPMs). But if you thougt getting into the ad networks was hard, it’s 5x harder to get into the boutique networks and 100x times harder to get those direct relationships going.

The difficulty of running several blogs

One of the reasons I am very interested in all of this is because I run a few blogs myself. As well as Blogging Tips, last year I started an entertainment/joke type site with a friend and I started a UK technology blog too which concentrates on gadgets, gaming and computing. When I have time I also post on my personal blog too. I have never put as much energy into my joke and technology blogs as I have into BT though I am looking to rectify that.

The problems which I face with running multiple blogs are not that different from the problems which blog networks face. Infact, if my blogs were to become more successful I would definately consider co-branding these blogs in the way tradional blog networks do though I don’t think the day to day management of the blogs would change.

So what difficulties do you face when you run multiple blogs? Well, the biggest challenge is management. You have to manage your time effectively and if you have people writing for you, you need to manage them too. Updating your blogs software, design and coding your blogs theme and promoting your blog are tasks which all bloggers face however when you own a few blogs these tasks are obviously magnified. At times it can seem like a juggling act.

It isn’t always easy finding good bloggers

With my 2 other blogs, which I mentioned previously, traffic is not at a level where I am able to negotiate with ad networks. This is something which I will no doubt face in the future though the biggest problem I face with these blogs just now is finding good writers. This is a problem which I am sure many blog networks and indeed many blog owners face. It can be difficult for both the blog owner and the blogger to set blogging rates and I know that in general the money bloggers get for writing for blogs is quite low however from a blog owners point of view, it is very difficult to find an author who consistently writes good posts on a daily basis.

I recently parted ways with 2 authors with those blogs because of this. When they first started their posts were longer and more thought was being put into them. However, as time went by posts got shorter and most seemed like they were rushed. I have went through 4 or 5 authors for each blog and either I have been very unlucky or this is very common. The bloggers all started off enthusiastically but as time passed, the quality of posts dropped. The fact is, there are a lot of bloggers who don’t put the same effort into paid blog posts that they do into posts on their own blog, which I can appreciate to a certain extent.

Fortunately, BloggingTips hasn’t really had this problem and I’ve been happy with the vast majority of bloggers who have written on this blog and I believe there are a few reasons for this. First of all, authors write weekly and not daily, which means that authors should struggle less for post ideas and are less likely to rush posts. Secondly, all authors who write here have a blog of their own and since their blog is stated with all of their posts it’s in their best interests to write high quality articles as it promotes their own blog and raises their profile. With my other blogs this wasn’t the case, I don’t recall many of the bloggers running a blog of their own. With no blog and no interest to raise their blogging profile, the incentive to write great posts on a consistent basis is lower.

Going Solo

At the moment I do not have any authors hired for my 2 new blogs and therefore I will be writing all posts myself. There are pros and cons for doing this. By writing posts myself I can make sure that the standard of posts are higher and make sure the blogs go in the direction I want them. However, it also means a little more work for me which may be a problem some days. For example, if I have been spent a few hours writing a long post on BloggingTips and a few hours working on something else, the last thing I may want to do is write another few posts. Blogger fatigue affects everyone and the end result is usually a rushed poor quality post. This is something I am conscious about and another reason why time management is very important when you run multiple blogs.

Overview

I’m not surprised that some networks are struggling to be profitable. Large blog networks are in a position to negotiate with advertisers directly but challenges arise with more mouths to feed and more people to manage. More and more bloggers are opening a 2nd or even 3rd blog of their own and are facing the same problems which these blog networks are facing.

Regardless of the challenges that a 2nd, 3rd or 4th blog will create, it can be very rewarding so I wouldn’t discourage anyone from increasing their blogging portfolio. Just remember, it can be difficult to manage your time effectively with multiple blogs. Outsource some work if you can afford to do so and try and not put yourself in a position where you are stressed as one if not all of your blogs will suffer.

🙂

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Kevin Muldoon is a professional blogger with a love of travel. He writes regularly about topics such as WordPress, Blogging, Productivity and Social Media on his personal blog and provides support to bloggers at Rise Forums. He can also be found on Twitter @KevinMuldoon and .

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A Blogger’s Guide to Broken Link Building

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The internet is broken (literally).

Millions – if not billions – of links get broken daily due to expired hosting, incorrect site migrations, and typing errors.

That’s not good news for the respective site owners.

For link builders, however, the broken links present huge opportunities.

In this article, you will learn how to leverage these opportunities in the form of broken link building.

I will show you the exact process of scouring the web for broken links that you can turn into a backlink to your site!

Why do broken link building?

Before we begin, you need to understand why broken link building is one of the best ways to build a formidable link profile for your site.

And here’s the answer:

It’s all about reciprocation.

If you do something nice for the site owner, there’s a good chance that s/he will return the favor in kind.

In this case, if you point out broken links on a site owner’s page, s/he could be more willing to link back to one of your pages as a way of thanking you.

This principle is well above other link building tactics where people demand links from sites without giving something in return.

Let’s put it this way:

If I don’t scratch your back, will you scratch mine?

(Answer: probably not)

And that’s the thing with broken link building. Both parties benefit from this tactic.

The site owner points to pages within the content that work. You gain a backlink for your effort.

It’s a win-win!

Now that we’ve discussed the why, let’s hop onto how you can proceed with your broken link building campaign.

Below are the exact steps that you should follow to properly pull off this tactic for your blog:

Find resource pages

Have you heard of resource pages?

You know, pages with lots of outbound links related to a specific topic?

Here’s an example of one:

resource page example

This page is a treasure trove for broken links!

The goal of resource pages is to provide visitors with information from third-party pages about a topic.

However, as the years go by, some of the sites no longer operate, which render their links broken.

And site owners don’t have the time to check each link on the page one by one and see if they work.

Therefore, consider this your job of helping them out.

By identifying the broken links, you can request to get one of your blog posts included in the page!

More importantly, site owners are more willing to link back to you on their resource pages. This is only assuming that the blog post you want a link from is relevant to the topic.

But first, we need to find resource pages related to your blog’s niche.

Hop on to Google and use the following search query:

[Niche] resource page

Replace [niche] with your actual niche.

From here, Google will return results of resource pages that you comb through. Click on each of the pages and keep the best ones in a spreadsheet.

Find broken links from pages

neil patel 404

Here’s an example of a broken page.

It’s a page on a blog or site informing you that the link you visited no longer exists.

Your goal, therefore, is to find 404 pages or broken links from resource pages!

Using the Chrome extension, Check My Links, helps find broken links.

It’s what you need for quickly checking pages for broken links.

Install it and it’ll appear as a small checked icon alongside your address bar. Clicking it automatically scans links in the page.

broken link using check my links

It gets highlighted in red if there’s a broken link, together with an error report at the text’s right side.

Using the same spreadsheet, keep the pages with broken links and remove the ones without.

Find the email of the site owner

The next step is to inform site owners about the broken link.

However, you can only do this if there is a contact page or an email address available on the site.

But what if they don’t have either?

Not to worry – there’s FindThatLead to the rescue!

It’s another Chrome extension that lets you find email addresses of people who own or work on the site.

By installing and clicking on its icon, you will see the different emails of people who are part of the organization.

Findthatlead

To help verify their emails, you must click on the check icon. It shows if it’s either GUESS or VALID. Filter out the guesses and keep the valid ones.

Inform site owner about the broken link

Once you have their emails, you need to craft a message informing them about the broken links.

Since you’ll be sending to as many site owners as possible, the process even becomes tedious and repetitive.

However, there’s a way you can automate the process to make the job easier for you.

Gmail’s Canned Response allows you to create an email template you can use for your broken link building campaign.

Therefore, instead of crafting new emails talking about the same thing, you can pull out the template and fill in the blanks for each new site owner!

gmail canned responses

In the email template, address the site owner by their first name. It’s the first step of personalizing your campaign.

Next, talk about how you came across their page. You were probably looking for resource pages to help you write a post about the topic they’re covering.

After that, point out the broken link on the page. It’s the very purpose of the email, after all.

Now, here’s the most important part:

Mention that your blog has a similar page that can replace the broken one.

In this part, don’t make it sound like you’re forcing your link to be included in the page. Just suggest your link to the site owner.

Give them the choice to either include your link or not. You have to trust them to make the best decision for their page.

Here are other tips on help you write the template:

  • Make your email short and sweet. Your recipient is more likely to read the entire email. It’ll also be easier for them to understand and follow your requests.
  • Be professional by maintaining the proper grammar and punctuation.
  • Follow up with another email once or twice if they don’t respond. But more than that, and you end up spamming someone.
  • Be polite and know that you’re just asking a favor. If they ignore your emails after multiple times of reaching out to them, move on to the next site.

Finally, review the results of the campaign with the template you’re using. If the response rate is low, maybe you need to tweak your template to generate better responses.

Conclusion

As you can see, broken link building is more about building relationships more than everything else.

Once you click “Send,” there’s nothing much you can do about it.

They may link to your site on their resource page. They may not.

However, as mentioned earlier, you need to trust people to do the right thing.

If you pull off your broken link building campaign flawless, they will link to your blog posts 100% of the time!

If you’re not confident in developing and implementing this campaign, you can ask agencies like SEOExplode that offers SEO services with years of experience in link building.

They will help guide you in the process of broken link building. This way, you can develop a link profile that will bolster your blog’s SEO performance.

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Beware Who You Trust for Advice

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Sometimes I ask questions on Quora.

I asked a question recently about shadow boxing while walking and if this practice burns calories.

Peep 2 answers.

 

I was a personal trainer and fitness nut for 20 years. I know shadow boxing does in fact burn calories and help you get more ripped because since doing it every single day during my walks, my arms are becoming as defined as ropes. True; shadow-boxing does not increase muscle mass. But the individual gave me a false, untrue answer because he fears what he looks like and cares about the opinions of others. He is not shadow boxing while walking or jogging because it is not effective; he fears people will look at him and believe he is a fruit loop, whatever that means.

Yikes.

Exhibit B.

 

This individual actually offers honest, truthful advice; shadow-boxing while walking burns more calories. If he ended it there, the advice would have been helpful. But he also fears criticism, aka, what people think about him, so his fears advise me not to do the extra calorie burning thing, because I would look like a Rocky wannabe jerk.

Yikes.

Two well-meaning guys who offer poor fitness advice because each guy deeply fears what people think about them. If I was not a fitness pro I’d have believed their inaccurate advice and would have cheated myself out of calorie burning. All because of the illusion of fear and its hold over most of humanity.

Blogging Advice

Before you trust blogging advice, check the source. Does the blogger:

  • radiate happiness?
  • radiate compassion?
  • exude success?
  • inspire you to succeed?
  • uplift bloggers?

If so, awesome. Trust the advice because you know the person offers advice from love, harmony and truth.

But if someone adds a fear-based element to the advice – like the fitness guys above who fear what people think about them and allowed their fears to become a projection on me – you know it’s bad advice because fear is not real, an illusion, and stepping into illusion moves you away from truth.

The Truth

If you burn more calories, you burn more fat and get ripped. This is truth. Shadow boxing while walking made me super ripped so the truth shines through. But if I stopped shadow-boxing while walking because I feared what people thought about me or what they’d say about me, I would step into the illusion of fear, away from truth, and would not be as ripped and cut as I am now.

Imagine if I listened to those 2 fear-fitness guys last month when I returned home? I’d look a lot more like Olive Oil and less like Bruce Lee.

Be careful about who you trust for blogging advice guys. Most people mean well – like the fitness dudes – but project their deep fears onto you and offer poor, or downright terrible, blogging advice. I have compassion for afraid bloggers but I won’t listen to their illusory advice.

One Such Example

Many top bloggers feel terror at losing email subscribers so offer advice based on the fear. Meanwhile, guys like me who have no such fear offer advice to help you bond deeply with your most rabid fans through email, exponentially increasing your success. Loss is impossible in a Universe of abundance.

Who do you think inspires you to live your dreams?

The blogger offering advice from the illusion of fear, pulling you away from truth, into smoke, mirrors, and appearances, not really there?

Or the blogger offering advice from truth and abundance.

Follow heart-centered bloggers.

Live your dreams.

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Do You Establish Work at Home Boundaries?

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Some people love attention.

I know a few who do their best to grab my attention. Phone calls, emails, cryptic Facebook Messages.

I ignore everything and every one outside of what I do in the moment since I set up work at home boundaries. I close the door and go into my office. No way I stop working for anything or anyone who starves for my attention. The house could burn down and I would scoot out at the last minute because work time is work time and I do nothing else save work during work time.

If you do not respect your time, people will not respect your time. If you give people your time whenever they want your time, for:

  • favors
  • gossip
  • small talk
  • chats
  • general BS

people will gladly ask for favors, engage in gossip, engage in small talk, chat you up and BS for hours, because you chose not to establish work at home boundaries.

100% of the time, if people appear to be using you or eating up your precious time, it is your fault. People treat you how you choose to treat yourself.

How a Happy and Successful Blogger Sets Up Work at Home Boundaries

Easy; I close the door, walk into the office and get to work. I do not leave the office until I complete my work. My phone? I turn it off. I check email rarely. I only check Messenger 2-3 times daily for 5 minutes at a clip.

I set up definite, clear, work at home boundaries to respect my time. People reflect my time-respecting back to me. Easy peasy.

If someone tries to grab my attention through Messenger, or the land line, or through email, or at the door, I completely ignore attempts made to grab my attention and time. Boundaries folks; you need to be clear and firm on your work at home boundaries to ensure everybody else respects your boundaries.

You Are Walking into a Word Office

Would a friend, family member or casual neighbor barge into your 9-5 job office asking for a favor? Would said folks barge into your 9-5 job office to spread the latest gossip? Nope. Then why allow said folks to barge into your work at home office to do similar things? Nope. Put up boundaries. Door closes. Enter office. You are busy. You are working. Even my 3 year old niece understands when Uncle Ryan goes to work in the home office. Everybody else can easily grasp this concept.

What About Impatient or Desperate Online Folks?

I completely ignore impatient, fear-filled, desperate folks who demand I answer Messenger or email requests in 1 minute, 5 minutes, 10 minutes, or in 24 hours. I respect my time and completely ignore people who do not respect my time.

I built my blogging business almost completely on a passive income model so nothing I do online is time sensitive. I have answered most questions 1,000 to 10,000 times through my courses, eBooks, blog posts and videos. It is up to these awesome but unclear folks to find and use the answers I created, to improve their lives.

I am generous daily, publishing a blog post and/or video. Plus I published about 800 posts on Blogging Tips, and over 2,000 posts on Blogging From Paradise. It is on the impatient folks screaming for my attention to follow my blog posts, guest posts, videos, eBooks and courses because I answered their questions many times.

People treat you exactly how you teach them to treat you. I have posture so I set up work at home boundaries for offline and online folks.

Respect your time and work schedule and other folks will do the same.

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