Going on vacation anytime soon? Or perhaps you are just traveling for a few days on business. Even with the best of the mobile tools out there, from smart phones with blogging applications to wifi cards and wireless Internet access on airplane flights these days, you can be stressed about one less thing if you prepare your blog for your time of absence.
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There are a few things to consider before you begin to prepare your blog. Does your blog consist of time-sensitive information? Are there other writers on staff? What are the expectations of your readers? Taking a close look at these questions and answering them honestly will largely determine your course of action for prepping your blog to be maintained while you travel.
Auto-Publish Is Your Friend
Write an extra article a day for three days, and you will have three articles that can be set to auto-publish while you are away. If you have time sensitive articles that can only be published after a certain date and time, ensure that these articles are saved as drafts and are not published until the agreed time. Any embargoes you can receive a day or so early can be set to auto-publish in this manner, and you still appear to be on top of the news even if you are away from the computer.
If you are unable to work this out, try a different type of article for your blog. A round up summarizing the week’s highlights in your industry or a Top 10 resource list is not time sensitive and can be posted at any time. Your readers will still receive valuable and relevant information, completely unaware that the article was written days or even weeks ago.
Those bloggers that do not deal with time sensitive information as much will have an easier time stockpiling articles to auto-publish during your time of absence. If you have run out of ideas for advanced articles, look at some of your previous work. Is there anything you can follow up on? What about those articles you started but never finished? Or even those articles you finished but never published? Now may be a good time to polish those articles and utilize them to keep your blog updated while you travel.
Get Some Human Help
If there are other bloggers, editors, administrators or contributors associated with your blog, alert them to your travel plans and ask them to help maintain your blog. Anyone with access to your blog’s dashboard can write, edit and publish content, as well as respond to inquiries and article comments. Other contributors can write something beforehand, and you can set the article to auto-publish at a particular date and time. On the simpler side of things, you may only need someone to visit your blog’s website periodically just to make sure all the things you have set up are running smoothly.
If you plan on blogging during your travel, having a point person with administrative access can help you get content out when you are unable to do so yourself. Perhaps you have taken photos of an event with your mobile phone and posted them to TwitPic, Flickr or Facebook. Your remote point person can take those photos from their respective online destination and include them in a blog post, clearing your schedule to focus on your immediate environment and remain stress free as you are away from home.
Make sure that whoever is helping you out has access to you at (almost) any point in time. Give them your mobile number, and basic travel information, depending on your level of comfort with sharing private data. You may be more comfortable giving them your personal email address as opposed to your hotel address, if you are able to receive email alerts from your mobile phone. Otherwise, rely on services such as Twitter, which can give contacts private access to each other through direct messages without having to share any personal contact information at all.
Remember the Readers
Depending on your level of daily activity on your blog and your readership, your readers will have different expectations for your blog. If you already blog on a daily basis, your regular readers will expect daily content, regardless of your other activities. Whatever the case may be, it is in your best interest to appease your readers whenever possible. It is up to you as to whether or not you would like to disclose your travel plans to your readers, or possibly incorporate your blog into your travels.
If you are able to find a way to maintain your blog while you are away, you do not necessarily need to tell your readers that you will be away for a given period of time. This is ideal for some bloggers, depending on schedules and existing web presence, among other personal factors.
If you are thinking of blogging about your travels, you may want to take a close look at your travel itinerary before committing to updating your blog as you travel. You may not have as much time to blog as you initially thought, so setting up something with a friend or co-blogger can ensure that your content still gets posted if you are able to get the primary aspects of your content to your remote “helper.”
Otherwise, things like photo slide shows and video clips can easily be set up through Flickr and YouTube, which can take less time than writing an article or two. Embed the slide show or video clip on your blog and include a short sentence or two. Now you have updated content as well as a fun and social way to combine work with play.
What Is the Most Powerful Key for Turning a Blog into a Business?
Get comfortable with receiving money.
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It IS that simple.
But I cannot lie; getting comfortable with receiving money is uncomfortable for most of us. I, like many bloggers, grew up with many money limiting beliefs in mind. I vibed from scarcity. I did not vibe from abundance. I saw folks in my life work hard at jobs to receive a minimum amount of money. I made many weird correlations between money and service. I figured you just worked hard, made enough money to survive and decided my life would progress along these lines.
Eventually, I woke up, owned these limiting beliefs and freed myself of these mind viruses to build my blog into a business.
Forget Practical Advice
Bloggers may advise you on practical tips for turning a blog into a business like:
- build an email list
- begin affiliate marketing
- open consulting services
- build passive income through courses and eBooks
None of these practical tips help you turn your blog into a business if you are allergic to money, or if you cling to many limiting beliefs and fears concerning money. Why? You follow advice to lose money if you fear losing money and ignore advice to make money if you fear losing money.
Get comfortable receiving money. This is the best advice for turning your blog into a full time business.
Getting comfortable receiving money moves you into abundant, prospering actions. You become more generous. You become more prolific. You begin opening income streams without attaching to any one stream. You also build your friend network generously, promoting other bloggers and expecting nothing.
All prior steps lead to increased blogging income. All prior steps came about because you became comfortable receiving money.
I speak to many bloggers who fear monetizing their blogs. Said bloggers fear readers used to free, selling-free content will head for the hills or complain the moment income streams enter the fray. You cannot turn a blog into a business unless you open blogging income streams.
Get comfortable with:
- receiving money
- releasing fear-filled bloggers who whine about you receiving money
Only broke, poverty conscious, unhappy, unclear or jealous bloggers have a problem with you turning your blog into a business. Have you ever complained about someone who works a job to receive money? Of course not; no sane person complains about another human who works a job to make money. We all have that right. Why then would a sane person complain about you receiving money for service rendered on your blog? Let go these unhappy, unclear, folks. Get comfortable receiving money. Build a business through your blog.
It Is Just Money
It is only money.
Money is just a neutral means of exchange. Add no emotional charge to a neutral means of exchange; no big deal.
I promote my premium offerings through virtually every piece of content I create. I am comfortable with receiving money. I am comfortable building a business through my blog. If I can help people and receive money – in a world where money is the prime means of exchange – I help people and receive money. I am comfortable with it.
Do not be shy. Be clear.
Avoid doing the affiliate walk of shame, begging and pleading for enough money to buy a stick of gum each time you disclose your affiliate offering.
Be clear. Share how you make money through the sale of something on your blog.
Check out my blog disclosure statement. Does that make your head explode? I basically say I make money through all images and links on my blog. I cover myself and feel comfortable with receiving money.
Build your blog into a business.
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.
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