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How a Blog is like a Thanksgiving Dinner

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In America, today is Thanksgiving, a national holiday during which families cook a traditional dinner of turkey and a few other dishes, like cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, and dressing (or stuffing). But did you know your blog is like a Thanksgiving dinner? It’s true!

The turkey is the main focus, but variety matters

The focus of a traditional Thanksgiving dinner is the turkey. It’s the main event. But without the rest of the dishes, even the most perfectly roasted bird would make for a dull dinner. To give a greater context and variety, you need the mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, and your aunt’s weird Jell-O salad (nobody’s quite sure what’s in it).

On your blog, there needs to be a main focus, but also a variety of supporting topics. You can’t leave the main subject alone for too long, and you can’t place too much emphasis on the side dishes. Many of us have a niche for our blog, but there are plenty of subjects that are related to that niche. Write your longer, more thorough posts on the main subject and your shorter posts on the “side” subjects.

Preparation is everything

The key to a successful Thanksgiving dinner is preparation. The menu has to be planned, the shopping list has to be written, and everything has to be done in the right order so that the dinner’s ready on time and everything’s just right.

Likewise, you need to plan your blog. Only through planning can you accomplish certain kinds of blog content, such as video posts, series of posts, and promotions. You need to plan general goals for your blog, as well, such as monetization efforts and networking/social media strategies.

You’ve got to please the guests

I certainly do love to cook, but a big part of what I enjoy about it so much is the enjoyment that other people get from the meal. I love to hear people say what they enjoyed about it. While I create a menu that I will enjoy, I also create a menu that I hope everyone else will love, too.

Blogging is exactly like cooking a Thanksgiving dinner in this respect: it works best if you blog about something you like, but you want your audience to like it, too. You want to get feedback in the form of blog comments, trackbacks, and votes from social media submissions.

Follow best practices for best results

You don’t want your turkey to be undercooked or dried up and tough. You can avoid these problems and have the best possible Thanksgiving dinner by following the collected best advice from others who have come before you and cooked many Thanksgiving dinners over the years. When there’s some history behind an activity that allows us to see what techniques work best over time, we call these techniques best practices. One best practice for a perfect turkey is to soak the bird in brine solution prior to roasting.

For blogging, there are best practices we know work well to help us have the best blog possible. For example:

  • Create core content that is the best in its class, sometimes referred to as pillar or flagship content
  • Have a unique and well-designed blog theme or template
  • Network with other bloggers
  • Add pictures to your posts to grab attention and stand out
  • Link out to other blogs and sites
  • Create the most compelling and original content you can

Make the most of leftovers

One thing that’s true about big Thanksgiving dinners is that there is a lot of food left when it’s over. You can make turkey sandwiches for a week, or you can get creative with the leftovers and use them to make stir fry, a soup, or even a pizza.

On your blog, you want to make the most of your previous posts. You can serve up these “leftovers” in a variety of creative and tasty ways. The most common and easiest way to do this is to simply link to your previous posts from relevant anchor text in new posts. But occasionally, you want to create new posts that call attention to your older posts. The more creativity you can work into these, the better.

Traditions with a twist are big hits

Everybody loves the traditions that give a sense of meaning and nostalgia for good times in the past. But tradition followed blindly has the opposite effect: it becomes boring and meaningless, just “going through the motions.” Instead of just doing the usual same turkey the same way, why not create a twist on the tradition? What about a turkey with a pomegranite molasses and black pepper glaze, or something even more different? (One year we had a Mexican Thanksgiving dinner with no turkey!)

On your blog, putting a twist on the usual kind of posts creates much fresher content that really gets attention in a way the same-old same-old just can’t do, anymore. Many bloggers have a speed-link type of post, where they have a list of links they feel are worth your attention. Many of these posts are the same as any other of its kind. For a twist, I decided to sample an enticing or provocative quote from another blogger’s post, and use their name as the link back to the post. These Overheard in the Blogosphere posts have become one of the most popular things I do on my blog.

So these are some ways in which a blog is like a Thanksgiving dinner!

Happy Thanksgiving, America!

Michael Martine has been involved in web design and internet marketing since the late 90's. He is a blog coach and consultant at Remarkablogger. He lives in beautiful Vermont, U.S.A., with his wife, step-daughter, and grandchild.

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Blogging

Advertising Revenue: Yes or No?

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Are you a new blogger ready to hop on the Adsense train?

Pump your breaks a few times. Slow down and think this through.

Advertising revenue can prove to be a lucrative income stream for bloggers over the long term. Build a large, loyal following. Be generous. Be patient. Success will be yours, as will Adsense ad clicks and increased blogging revenue. New bloggers have a different Adsense experience though. I see excited newbies ready to cash their first Adsense check on receiving approval. 6 months later, after making $.02 per month, the enthusiasm dies and the blogger removes Adsense from their blog. Why? Bloggers learn a harsh lesson about advertising revenue: you need a huge, loyal following to generate significant income through advertising channels.

Example

Most new bloggers get 5, 10 or 50 people to visit their blog daily. Imagine if 20 people visit your blog daily. How many of those 20 people click on your Adsense ad, or any ad? 99.99% of the time, none. Tomorrow sees 14 blog visitors. None click your ads. After 1 month, 240 people visit your blog. 2 people click your ad. This sounds about right. At the end of the month, you made $0.04 USD. Of course this is common because you are a new blogger with little traffic. Low traffic blogs generate low profit ad revenue.

Do you know who makes hundreds to thousands of dollars in Adsense revenue monthly? Bloggers who blog effectively and generously for 2-3-5 or more years generate this type of sweet income. Advertising revenue takes SERIOUS work! Maybe 1% of bloggers – or less – put in the work that drives the thousands of people daily to blogs which nets a steady, solid Adsense income. But most new bloggers mistakenly believe their 30 visitor a day blog will yield $100 to $500 per month or more. Never gonna happen guys. Sorry to burst your bubble.

Advertising Revenue: Yes or No?

I share profitable income streams in my eBook:

15 Ways to Make Money Blogging

Buy it to explore different ways and means of profiting, to beef up your multiple streams of income.

Newbie bloggers should never open ad revenue streams because they do not have a large, loyal, targeted readership needed to generate substantial ad revenue. Write and self-publish an eBook. Toss that widget on your sidebar, replacing the ad widget. Brand yourself. Make more money.

Experienced bloggers with large, loyal tribes should consider ad revenue if the ads:

  • feel like a match for the blog and brand
  • are highly targeted for your readership
  • add value for your readers

Think targeting. Sites like the Huffington Post can post any ad and completely disregard relevance because millions upon millions of humans visiting the blog monthly have millions and millions of interests. When advertisers pay a million dollars for a short Super Bowl ad they understand not every one of the 1 billion people watching the Super Bowl is highly interested in their ad, but many folks out of the billion plus people will be interested, and net advertiser revenue, through the commercial.

For you, even if your tribe is large and loyal, you likely do not attract millions of blog visitors monthly. Target advertisements to ensure most if not all of your readers seem highly interested in the ad. Even if a small percentage clicks through you will generates steadily increasing ad revenue by this approach because you intelligently match your ad with your reader.

As a new blogger go with non-ad income streams. Experienced veterans can lay out ads but make sure your ads align with your readers.

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Blogging

The Ultimate Checklist To Grow Your Blog in 2019

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Perhaps you’re here because you’ve had a blog for a long time now, but you feel like it’s just not growing as you hoped it would. The good news, however, is that you aren’t alone. Even blogs that you think are “famous” may have also gone through this same challenge. Fortunately, there are many tricks you can apply to help your blog reach its fullest potential. These are doable, and with a little help from experts, you’re sure to achieve the growth you’ve been dreaming of.

Here’s a checklist you can follow:

  1. Venture Into Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is one of the most effective strategies in digital marketing, which you can also apply on your blogs. Affiliate marketing refers to the act of partnering with companies and businesses that are looking for bloggers who are willing to try out and promote their products and services. In the beginning, you might not be able to reach more prominent brands and companies, but if you keep going, affiliate marketing can also be very effective in helping your blog grow in terms of audience reach. The more you network with affiliates, the more traffic comes to your site.To provide you more insights on digital and affiliate marketing, read through this digital marketing checklist.

  1. Link With Other Bloggers

In the blogging industry, success isn’t so much about competing with each other. In fact, there’s a lot you can achieve by simply linking with other bloggers as well. This means that, from time to time, you create posts that allow you to connect with others in the industry, or you create collaboration posts with other bloggers. That way, you’re both doing each other a favor by expanding each other’s blogs to the current networks that you both have, much like exchanging gifts.

Here are other ways for you to also link or engage with other bloggers:

  • Comment on the posts of other bloggers
  • Mention other bloggers in your posts
  • Engage in the social media pages of other bloggers

 

  1. Create Detailed Content

Especially if you’re writing about solutions to common problems of your viewers, be very detailed about it. Readers want to have answers as soon as they visit your website. Without clear, actionable content, you’re not only going to lose one reader, but you’re going to lose others as well.

Some of the best strategies you can employ to ensure detailed content are the following:

  • If you’re talking about technical or serious matters, include statistics and case studies
  • Stay away from broad statements that are going to leave your readers guessing
  • Whenever you can, include actionable and real data. (e.g. Climate change is expected to hit a _____ mark by 2020. To combat this, one of the things you can do is…)

While the optimum length of every blog post should still be around 500 to 2,000 words, this doesn’t mean that you cannot put in detail. Never write and post anything haphazardly. Be sure to do your fair share in researching beforehand.

 

  1. Enable Social Media Sharing

If you’re a blogger, you’d know it’s inevitable to also have social media accounts. If you can, go for the three major social media pages, such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. The more active you are on social media, the more effective you become as well. Keep in mind the following techniques in terms of social media posting:

  • Keep a fixed schedule of when you usually post new content. This will make it easier for your visitors to expect new posts. Through this, you can also build anticipation among your readers.
  • As you schedule your content posting, also factor in the usual available time of your target market. For instance, if your blog is about parenting, you might want to post at night, when all mommy duties have been done for the day, and they can check their social media.
  • Refrain from posting every hour. Keep your posts within a healthy interval so that your followers won’t become bored or even annoyed. At least every other day is enough to keep your followers excited.

What you can do is post an update on each social media account when you also have a new blog. Link your blog post to your social media post so you can draw traffic to your website. With social media, it’s also easier for your followers to share and spread the word about your content. By simply clicking the share button, they’re able to post this on their social media sites as well.

Conclusion

When you strive to make your blog perform better, it shouldn’t end only with the growth per se. You also have a more significant task to fulfill, which is to apply the necessary strategies that are going to motivate your readers to keep coming back. These above-mentioned tips can help you achieve these two goals. Now you can be on your way towards running your blog to its fullest potential.

 

 

 

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Blogging

7 Reasons Nobody is Reading Your Blog

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Blogging is tough work. It’s not backbreaking labor like ditch digging, but it can be mentally and emotionally exhausting.

It may consume hours, days, weeks, and months of dedication before you see results. Even with a solid commitment of time and creative energy, results aren’t guaranteed. It’s not just about coming out with new content, it’s more about coming out with content that is of real value, will rank in Google, and that people are actually going to read and share.

Millions of blogs are humming along on the Internet, but only a fraction could be termed successful. If you have a blog and it has no significant readership to speak of, there are a few possible explanations.

1 – You Write About Things People Don’t Care About

“It’s easy when you first start blogging to act like your blog is an online journal. While your blog should be personalized, it should be focused on your reader,” copywriter Michael Leonard explains.

“People, for the most part, only care about themselves. As a content creator, it’s your responsibility to give the reader what they want.”

If you’re only writing about yourself, people will eventually tune out. The best thing you can do is to switch your focus to topics your audience is passionate about. Not sure what that might be? Go ahead and ask your existing readers for their input on topic selection.

2 – You Lack a Consistent Voice

Consistency is a huge facet of blogging success. People need to feel they’re encountering the same voice, style, and personality one post to the next. If there’s too much variety in style and content, you’ll fail to resonate with readers and eventually they’re apt to wander elsewhere.

3 – You Have No Social Media Presence

Blogging and social media go hand in hand these days. If you don’t have a social media presence, you’re missing out on the opportunity to expand your blog readership (and vice versa).

Instead of trying to be on every social media platform that exists, spend your time focusing on one or two platforms (such as Instagram or Facebook). By pouring all your energy into building up audiences on these channels, you’ll be much more likely to see a positive impact on your blog.

4 – You’ve Never Done SEO

SEO might be a bit technical for your taste, but it’s still essential. Without an SEO strategy, you won’t be able to capitalize on organic search traffic.

This will leave you 100 percent reliant on paid and/or social traffic … and that will damage your results and lower your chance of building a flourishing audience.

5 – You’ve Never Invested in Link Building

In order to satisfy Google’s algorithm and prove you have an authoritative website that’s worth turning up in the search rankings, you have to demonstrate that you’re a trusted source for content. One of the ways to do this is by developing a link-building strategy.

Link building is the process of acquiring backlinks from other authoritative websites to your own. Though you can do this manually, it’s far more efficient and cost-effective to hire a white-label link-building service like SEO.co.

This approach frees you to focus on the content side, without neglecting the optimization facet of the equation.

6 – You’re All Words and No Visuals

All words and no visuals is a recipe for supreme boredom. If you aren’t careful, it’ll destroy your audience and leave you with an echo chamber of a blog.

As tough as it may be to swallow, accept the fact that people will likely read only an average of 20 percent of the content on your page. In other words, the average person will ignore 80 percent of your blog content.

Much of this depends on the limited nature of the human attention span. The quickest way to get past this is to incorporate some visuals to provide some relief and boost engagement.

“Visual elements jump off the page,” Quick Sprout explains. “If someone is scanning through your blog post, they’ll likely stop at the images. They’ll skim the first few lines before and after the picture to digest your points of emphasis.”

You don’t have to change your entire blogging strategy, but it’s wise to give some attention to visuals. An occasional infographic or video will go a long way with your audience.

7 – You Don’t Post Enough

You don’t have to post a blog piece every day to be successful. But if you’re uploading only one every few weeks, you’re forfeiting your opportunity to engage an audience.

As a general rule, you should post at least three times a week. This means you’ll have to generate something once every two days (with an occasional lapse of an extra day or two). At that rate, you’re most apt to stay at the front of your readers’ minds without overwhelming them.

Develop Your Blogging Strategy

Publishing a random blog post here and another casual commentary there isn’t going to get you the results you desire … no matter how good the content might be. You need a defined strategy that delivers high value to a specific group of readers in a manner that’s consistent with your brand personality and objectives.

One would hope this article has opened your eyes to what that can look like moving forward.

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