Do you want to start your own blog? This step by step guide is for everyone who wants to launch a successful website or blog.
The tutorial is long! Make yourself comfortable and save it for future references. In this tutorial, you will learn:
- How to Choose Your Domain Name
- How to Get the Best Hosting For Your Domain
- How to Set Up Your WordPress Blog
- How to Find The Best Design For Your Blog
- Blogging Best Practices
- How to Get Traffic to Your Blog
- How to Make Money From Your Blog
Why Choose WordPress?
WordPress is a blogging content management system (CMS) which powers 25% of all websites. One of every four websites runs on WordPress.
The first thing you should do is to choose a great domain name for your blog. This is the address you type in your browser. Here are my tips on how to do this:
- Brainstorm 5 Top Keywords – When you start searching for a domain name, create a small set of terms or phrases that describe your idea. This will help you to find your perfect domain name. Once you create this list, you can start to pair these terms or add prefixes & suffixes or even combine them with other words that are not on your initial list. Play around until you find a good match.
- Use A Domain Selection Tool – If you still need help to brainstorm some domain name ideas, you can tool such as Domainr. Just remember you can use this tool to find a domain name and then go and get it for free with your web hosting company.
- Easy to Remember – Your domain name should be short, catchy, and easy to type and remember. One or two words are perfect; three words are the absolute maximum.
- Make The Domain Unique – Having a unique domain name is crucial. You don’t want to have your website confused with another popular or lousy website. Never choose a domain that is simply a plural version of another website. Having your website confused with a popular site already owned by someone else is a recipe for disaster.
- Branded Domain – Always choose the brand over a domain with a keyword. If you have a company, or you are just starting a website about a specific topic, you will make the smarter choice. Get a brandable domain over an exact or partial keyword match domain. According to Nielsen, branded websites are the 3rd most trusted advertising source for internet users, tied with editorial content. We trust brands. Treat your domain name as a brand name, not a keyword. Furthermore, domains containing only keywords are used for spam, and Google is a bit suspicious about exact or partial match domains. Exact match domain, for example, means that if you want to rank on Google for dog walking services in Chicago to pick a domain the name dogwalkingservicesinchicago.com
- No Hyphens and Numbers – These domains are hard to remember and don’t sound credible. Most domains with hyphens and numbers are usually bad ones with spam and phishing. Most importantly, they also correlate poorly with rankings in Google, with branding, and with traffic.
- A .com top-level domain – TLD is ideal because it is most popular among internet users. Your second-best option is a .net domain. These two are the first and most popular TLDs
- .Org is suitable only if you run an organization, but you can use it for a blog as well.
If you are planning to target a particular country, you should consider a country-specific domain such as “co.uk” for the United Kingdom. There are 100s of new top-level domains launched in the last few years, but I strongly advise you to stick to the most popular of those: .com. and .net. The main reason is that there are not enough case studies if these new TLDs rank well on Google organic rankings. For example, .info domains were used by spammers and black hat marketers for years to rank websites on Google, but since 2012 when Google launched their Penguin and Panda updates, you rarely see .info domains ranking on Gooogle’s first page of search results.
Several other TLDs you can consider
- .co: an abbreviation for company, commerce, and community.
- .net: technical, Internet infrastructure sites.
- .org: non-commercial organizations and nonprofits.
- .biz: business or commercial use, like e-commerce sites.
- .me: blogs, resumes or personal sites
- .club: suitable for a niche community
Best Hosting For Your Domain
Web hosting is where you keep your blog’s files (blog posts, images, etc.). Without a web hosting service, you can not use your domain name. It needs to be connected to a web hosting provider in order to appear online and in search results. You should make no compromises when you choose a hosting provider because your blog or website performance will suffer.
How to set up your WordPress blog
In this section, you will learn the basics:
- I will show you how to use WordPress dashboard
- How to change your blog’s design
- How to install new plugins/features and optimize your blog for SEO
After your first login, you need to activate your blog because it will display the default “Coming Soon” page.
This is the area on the right from the black vertical menu. It shows you an at-a-glance look at your recent activity, including how many posts, comments, and pages you have. You can also write up a quick draft blog post here.
You can modify the look of your dashboard when you click on “Screen Options” at the top right of your screen.
Initial Blog Settings
These settings are very important configurations you should do before you proceed with anything else.
You should change your blog title and tagline to something meaningful, which tells the readers what your blog is about. This will also help Google to determine what your blog is about, and this can also help you with your organic rankings. To access the screen below, go to “Settings” bottom left and click on General.
SEO Friendly URLs
By default, WordPress URL addresses are ugly and not SEO friendly. You need to change them. Go to “Settings” again and click on “Permalinks” and choose “Post name.” This will help you with your on-page SEO and will also boost your organic rankings in Google.
About And Contact Pages
Every blog needs an “about” page where you tell a little about yourself and your mission. Contact pages usually have a form where your visitors can reach you. I will show you how to install a free contact form plugin later in this guide.
To change your design, you should click on “Appearance” and select “Themes” from the sub-menu. After that, click on WordPress.org Themes.
All of these themes are free! You can sort the designs by different filters and search for specific keywords to find the best design that suits your needs.
When you find your theme, click on “Install” and then activate it from the next screen. The installation will redirect you.
If you want premium design, I can recommend you two marketplaces where you can find the best designs for your money. The first one is Themeforest, and the other one is the MyThemeShop. After you purchase and download your theme, you need to go to Appearance – Themes – Add New and upload and install your new blog theme.
Additionally, you can customize the theme you pick from the appearance area.
From here, you can change your site icon, blog colors, header, and background images. You can also create different menus for your blog, add and remove widgets, and choose to have a static page to show on your blog as a home page or your latest blog posts.
WordPress blog widgets are small blocks that have a specific function. You can add these widgets to your sidebar, which is usually on the right side of your blog.
They are also accessible from “Appearance” – Widgets. There you can drag and drop all available widgets on your Sidebar and Footer area.
Plugins can add thousands of functionalities to your blog. To add one, go to Plugins – Add New. You can browse the WordPress plugins database sorted by categories on the left or use the search function on the right to find exactly what you need. Before you install a plugin, check its description to gauge whether or not it is compatible and tested with your WordPress version. You can also search for plugins in the WordPress plugin directory – wordpress.org/plugins/
After you pick a plugin, click on Install and then on Activate Plugin.
- SEO Plugins
Yoast SEO offers the ability to improve on-page SEO for your WordPress blog.
- Security Plugins
Lockdown WP Admin conceals the administration area (wp-admin) and wp-login from intruders. It offers an alternate URL to access the WordPress back end and protects the blog by issuing a 404 error to those who aren’t logged in. Bad Behavior keeps your blog free from link spam and malicious activity. Anti-Spam by CleanTalk protects the blog from spam comments and registrations by quickly comparing data in the cloud. Spam comments are disallowed while real visitors’ comments are published.
- Comments/Contact Plugins
Akismet analyzes comments, trackbacks, and pingbacks against their resources to determine if the information provided is spam.
W3 Total Cache increases server performance and download times, improving user experience and website speed. a3 Lazy Load – This plugin improves your blog performance and load times. It also reduces server bandwidth by only loading images when they are visible when the visitor scroll your pages. WP Smush strips images of bulky information, reducing file sizes without compromising quality.
- Backup Plugins
BackWPup – Secure your blog and schedule complete automatic backups of your blog installation.
- Contact Plugins
Contact Form 7 is a simple and reliable solution you can use on your contact page.
- Optional Plugins
Google Analytics Dashboard Plugin allows users to track stats, website speed, and pageviews from a single plugin. Jetpack allows users to manage traffic, image performance, and add security to your blog.
Blogging Best Practices
How Are People Using Blogs?
In terms of blogging categories, they commonly fall into the following groups:
- Personal blogs, journals, or diaries: Bloggers who fall into this category share their own life experiences and anecdotes with their readers. The point of personal blogs or diaries is to allow the writer to share anything they want to, no matter the topic. Some of these blogs are focused on specific topics such as parenting or work diaries, but they all focus on the personal aspect of the blogger’s life. The posts contained in these types of blogs may be re-purposed later for a biography, but the focus is always the same: personal stories.
- Hobby or special-interest blogs: Hobby bloggers are the people who blog about crocheting, video game playing, coin collecting, comic books, sports interests that all fit into a specific theme. This genre includes beauty bloggers, jewelry makers, and bakers. The writers of these websites are looking for an audience who shares similar interests.
- Professional blogs: Professional bloggers create their blog websites for the simple purpose of making money online. The blogs in this category are geared to the purpose of generating revenue for the website owner. On these blogs, you will see advertisements, affiliate links, and paid reviews.
- Corporate blogs: These blogs are created for use by a company or business. Corporate blogs are found on the company’s main website and contain general information of interest to consumers or shareholders. Topics covered on corporate blogs may involve items of interest to the company’s employees, product launch news, or the company’s efforts in community relations.
- Community blogging portals: Community blogs offer location-specific information to residents of a particular area. Local neighborhood watch blogs fall into this category and usually cover items of interest to those who are nearby.
Strategies for Blogging Success
Whether or not you’re successful as a blogger can mean various things to different people. While a personal blogger might consider success to mean that they’ve received five-hundred page views in a day, success to a professional blogger means that they’ve earned enough income for the month.
Despite your definition of blogging success, blogging in any category takes a lot of hard work to achieve greatness. Your level of success may depend on you, and it could involve any number of writers, marketers, and other experts. A successful company can use a blog to showcase the personality of the company or business while offering useful products and services.
Establishing Blog Authority
No matter your industry, your blog’s authority can be established and built up to maintain your influence over a particular niche. When your blog becomes a trusted source of information that is useful and interesting, your authority grows. Before blogging, create a plan of attack that encourages growth in your area of expertise.
Self-hosted blogs offer many options when it comes to the type of content of which you can write as well as advertisements you may place. Self-hosting your blog is the easiest option and should be treated as an essential part of the business.
How to Create Content That Works
- Create an editorial calendar of which you can use to establish a blogging schedule. Content creation does not have to be a daunting task for your industry-specific updates.
- Plan your content in advance so that you have a good idea of what your future customers are looking for.
- Create content that answers questions for your customers. In doing so, you further your company’s authority in your niche, and you become a source for useful information.
- Consider what your readers would want out of your blog and create content to accommodate them.
Style and Branding:
In blogging, you are given the opportunity to establish your writing style while focusing your marketing efforts on branding. Create content that showcases your brand without veering away from your own voice.
As we’ve said above, your best bet is to create an editorial calendar of which you want to use in content creation. People who abandon their blogs tell their visitors that there is nothing new or exciting about their product or service. Blogging frequency matters in that your visitors will become accustomed to the frequency of which you create new articles. In reading your content, in time, they may come to expect specific types of content from you on a regular basis. If you need help with content creation, you can use content creation marketplaces such as HireWriters.com.
Visitor Comments and Engagement:
- When starting out, you may be sad in thinking that your mother is the only one who reads your blog. It’s when readers begin commenting on your blog that it really comes to life.
- When you get comments on your blog’s articles or posts, always respond. If a consumer, reader, or employee took the time out of their day to read what you’ve had to say, then you, at least, owe them some reply or explanation.
- When readers comment and share their opinions and views with others, chime in with your expertise if you have anything useful to add. Readers love engagement and want to know that your company is listening.
- Comment moderation is an important aspect of the reader engagement process. Set aside a specific time every day to read comments, reply to readers, and to moderate comments. Comment moderation allows you to weed out information that may be deemed useless, self-serving (spam), or defamatory to others.
- If your blog is popular, then it is a good practice to have a moderation process in mind. This might allow for comments to receive automatic approval if the comment author has been approved in the past.
- Having visitors log in to your blog to leave comments might cut down on the spam created, but it also cuts down on the engagement.
- Reader engagement through comment replies and moderation is an ongoing and necessary process for websites that are highly trafficked.
- Consider creating a commenting policy on your website that outlines the rules for those wishing to leave their thoughts and opinions. This sets the stage for your visitors to know what is considered acceptable in commenting on your blog.
- This also tells visitors that you will not allow them to be ridiculed or otherwise treated poorly while they visit and comment on your website.
Blogging Success – What it Looks Like
No matter how you look at it, every blogger has the same goal, and that is to have their opinions, values, and information read by the largest audience possible. When you become a trusted authority in your niche, the sky is the limit.
Get Traffic To Your Blog in 2020
When running a website or a blog, the question that gets asked more than anything else is how to generate more traffic. This doesn’t have to be a daunting task and with these handy tips, you’ ll be well on your way to creating tidal waves of traffic to your website. There are many ways to increase your blog traffic, and while some may seem obvious, I will provide you with a detailed breakdown of each one.
1. Content is King
Create content that really helps your visitors. Content is king in attracting readers who will come back to your website for more. This helps establish your reputation as a thought leader and innovator in your field.
2. Create Great Headlines for Your Articles
Great headlines drive traffic and encourage visitors to click to read more. Using a headline formula is the key to creating effective headlines that appeal to your visitors.
3. Create 10x Content
Create content that is 10 times better than your competition. This will distinguish yourself as a leader in your niche.
4. Set a Writing Schedule and Stick to It
To gain more exposure to your content, you might have to be prolific. Visitors will get used to the consistency in your writing schedule when visiting your website.
5. Write List Posts
Writing a list post is a sure-fire means of getting visitors to your website. List posts are popular in the blogosphere and have great potential for going viral.
6. Link to Your Older Content
Linking to your older content reminds visitors that despite the date on the post, the content doesn’t lose its relevancy. Recycling older posts often provides new visitors with relevant information, so they don’t have to go digging through your website’s archives.
7. Interview Experts in Your Niche
Email those who are considered experts in your niche. This shows visitors that your website is a trusted source and encourages the expert interviewed to share your content with his or her audience.
8. Create How-To Articles
There are always people on the internet searching for the best way to accomplish their goals. Creating how-to articles show your visitors that you are an expert in your target niche, and it helps you become a trusted source for information.
9. Link Out to Your Sources Generously
If you want to get noticed by those whose opinions you value, don’t be afraid to mention their expertise. Let them know. Send a short email to everyone mentioned in your article.
10. Use Relevant Keywords
If you are trying to attract an audience for a specific niche, research the keywords necessary to get the targeted traffic you want. I created the most detailed guide on how to use Google’s free keyword research tool – Keyword Planner. Doing keyword research helps you get the traffic you want so that you can give the visitors what they want.
11. Use SEO
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an important part of digital marketing. You can learn more about it from my extensive post about the 116 SEO Myths. You should also check my extensive WordPress SEO guide.
12. Use Proper Spelling and Grammar in Your Articles
This may seem obvious, but many visitors skip over content that uses poor spelling or grammar. Poor grammar and spelling are bad for your website and create speed bumps for your visitors, slowing them down.
13. Use Visual Content (Pictures and Videos)
Articles that contain many pictures and some videos increase stickiness on your website. Adding visual media increases readership.
14. Allow Others to Guest Blog on Your Website
Allowing those in your niche to guest blog creates a double audience for your content. Guest blogging adds value to someone else’s website while building relationships with other writers.
15. Guest Blog On Top Industry Blogs
Guest blogging is a great way to get more traffic and backlinks to your blog. It is one of the most effective tactics to grow your blog on a low budget.
15. Write a Round-Up Post
Round-up posts are a great way to connect with industry influencers who will help you to create content faster.
16. Enable Website Comments and Reply to All of Them
Make sure that your blog comments are enabled so that visitors can leave their opinions on your articles. Blog comments allow the readers to share their voice or questions, thus encouraging them to come back for updates on the conversation. Stay engaged by replying to comments because it lets the visitor know that you are paying attention and care about the words they’ve shared.
17. Always Reply to Visitor Correspondence and Questions
If visitors reach out to you via blog comments, email, or any other method, always take the time necessary to give them a reply. Replying connects you with visitors and keeps them engaged. It also gives you interesting content to tackle in the future, thus creating more traffic.
19. Hold a Contest or Giveaway on Your Website
Create a contest or giveaway on your website encourages visitors to read and share the contest post. You could offer money, product, or services. If you can afford to give anything you can contact companies or bloggers and asked them to sponsor your giveaway with free product or service.
20. Use Videos to Keep Users on Your Website Longer
Using videos on your website is a good way to keep visitors on your website longer. However, don’t place a video in the content without explanation. Create a short text version of the video. Drive traffic with how-to videos or videos you’ve produced yourself
21. Study Your Current Traffic Stats
Your traffic stats should not be a mystery to you. Learning how visitors landed on your website helps you figure out what works for your readership, and you want to continue what works, right?One of the best free tools to help you in the process is Google Analytics.
22. Keep Track of Your Traffic in an Excel Spreadsheet
Create a spreadsheet that details the dates and content that generated the most traffic. Keeping track can offer you ideas on marketing products that turn visitors into sales.
23. Add Your Article Links to Wikipedia as Sources
If your website is considered a reputable authority, you can add your source link to Wikipedia. Wikipedia is the most visited content source in the world and it offers unbiased information.
24. Bold Certain Words or Phrases in Your Content
In the content creation process, bolding certain words or phrases immediately draw the visitor’s eyes to those particular words. While there is no evidence that using bolding or italics affects your website’s SEO, it does make the content easily consumable by your visitors. Who wouldn’t want content that is easy to read?
25. Always Write a Call to Action in Articles
At the end of each post or article, create a call to action that begs readers to reply in the comments. Well executed calls to action create a sense of urgency in the visitor, making them follow your instructions.
26. Seek Out Referral Traffic
If you have proven your website to be a leader in your niche, then others will link to your content because it’s useful and relevant. Create awesome content and you will get backlinks from many big and reputable websites and blogs which will bring referral traffic.
27. Repurpose Your Content
Create a podcast, slideshow, infographic or e-book based on your content. When you repurpose your content to a new format for listeners or readers, you can reach a new audience for your website.
28. Share Your Content on Facebook
Share your content on Facebook, but make sure to include a relevant photo with the link. Share interesting tips, tools, and news along with a call to action that leads visitors to your website.
29. Create a Facebook Page
Creating a Facebook page is essential to your website’s traffic. Posts on pages that contain photos or video are considered more valuable in the newsfeed and will remain longer.
30. Encourage Others to Share Your Content on Facebook
Ask family members or friends to share your content with their friends on Facebook. This increases the reach of your content and increases your overall website traffic. You should also ask for shares at the end of your article.
31. Run a Facebook Poll
Create a question that you will pose to your readers on Facebook. If the question is compelling or controversial, people will share it on their timelines.
32. Run a Facebook Contest and Reward Those Who Share Your Content
Running a contest on Facebook increases traffic and offers the ability to collect email addresses. Fans can subscribe to an email list while sharing your post, which generates more traffic.
33. Add Social Sharing Buttons to Your Website
Readers don’t want to copy and paste your links into their favorite social media website, so make the process easier for them by including social sharing buttons on your website. The easier it is to share, the more shares you will receive and that equals more traffic.
34. Get More Facebook and Twitter Followers
Create a sentence or two that encourages readers to like your page on Facebook or follow you on Twitter. Copy this text into the bottom of each article to get social media interaction. This is a tried and true method of pulling readers into your circle to dispense even more content to them on a wider array of channels. Example: If you found this blog post useful, follow us on Facebook and Twitter!
35. Ask for Re-Tweets When Sharing Content on Twitter
When you share content that is awesome, there is no harm in asking for your Twitter followers to re-tweet your message. Using the words: Please re-tweet in Twitter messages garners FOUR times the number of re-tweets. Don’t be afraid to ask; it helps to widen your audience.
36. Use Quora to Answer Questions and Include Website Links
Quora is a question and answer website. If you are an authority in your niche, browse questions and answer them, while including a link back to your website in the process when it is appropriate. This also works for placing your website address in your profile so that those who see it may visit your website to learn more about you and the information you provide. This Quora marketing guide is useful in reaching the website’s 6.5 million monthly visitors.
37. Share Articles to Twitter Using the Proper Hashtags
Using hashtags on Twitter helps users find your content which leads to more traffic. Even those who don’t follow you on Twitter can see the content created when they search a specific hashtag.
38. Direct Tweet to Influencers
Send direct tweets to influencers in your niche. Chances are good that if the content is valuable, these influencers will share it with their followers.
39. Share Articles to LinkedIn
Share relevant articles to LinkedIn to generate quality traffic from the website’s 414 million users. Begin with completing your profile, build connection post status updates and join groups relevant to your niche.
40. Add Your Website’s URL to Your Twitter Profile
Use the space in your Twitter profile to share a link to your website. Your Twitter followers might follow the link to learn more about your business.
41. Add Your Website’s URL to Your Instagram Account
Similarly to Twitter, Instagram provides a space to put a link in your profile. Use this space to put your URL in or a link to a blog post that you’re especially proud of.
42. Add a Link to Your Skype Status
If you spend a lot of time using Skype, place a link in your status to give those you speak with a reminder to check your website for updates. It’s wise to use any space that websites give you to promote your website or brand.
43. Add Your Link to Your Pinterest Profile
Let your Pinterest followers know where you conduct your business by including your website’s URL in your profile. You can also include your web address in every description when adding photos to the website.
44. Start Your Own Podcast
Make a list of influencers in your niche and interview them on a podcast. Staying persistent in the promotion of your podcast will grow your audience and website visitors.
45. Create a Quiz to Increase Reader Engagement
Websites like Qzzr allow you to create and embed a quiz into your website. The longer the visitor remains on your website, the more likely they are to share your content.
46. Share Video Content on YouTube
Videos are a great way to get your message across to visitors while keeping them glued to your brand. Be sure to include a link to your website in the video’s description to send traffic back your way.
47. Share Content with LinkedIn Groups
Join groups on LinkedIn and expand your audience by sharing your content. Getting your content seen is the key to generating traffic while providing valuable information.
48. Share Your Content on Google+
While Google+ might not seem like it’s the most popular social media website, it does have quite the following of users. Learn how to drive traffic from Google+ with this handy guide by Ankit Kumar Singla.
49. Update Your Google+ Profile with a Website Link
In your Google+ profile, include a link back to your website. For every view or follower you have on the service, the chances are greater that they visit your website.
50. Share to Communities on Google+
Find communities on Google+ that are in your niche and share your content with them.
51. Share Posts that Contain Images to Pinterest for Maximum Effect
Posts that contain a few images are guaranteed to bring in traffic if shared on Pinterest. The website caters to an image loving audience, so why not cultivate a post that caters to them?
With 100 million users, it’s hard to ignore Pinterest. According to Jeff Bullas, 88% percent of people have purchased items they’ve pinned. That sends traffic that converts to sales.
52. Share Articles in Photos on Instagram
Instagram doesn’t allow users to share links to articles, but you can create photos that instruct followers on how to reach your website.
53. Use Periscope
If you haven’t heard of Periscope, now is the time to get started using this service. It allows you to connect with your audience using live video.
54. Create Custom Infographics
Infographics are a great way to get people to read your website. Share Infographics on social media along with a link back to your website so they can learn more about your business and the content that you offer. Use a service like Canva to create a great infographic that is likely to be shared. If you are short of time or skills, you can find great freelancers on Fiverr and get stunning infographics for $10-30
55. Use Twitter Chats to Get Targeted Traffic
Twitter chats are found by using a specific hashtag that is relevant to your business. If a user posts a question that is relevant to your content, share a link, but don’t forget to use the proper hashtag in order to be seen.
56. Start a Twitter Chat
If you can’t seem to find a Twitter chat relevant to your business, then start one. This provides a great way to engage with followers and those seeking information in your niche.
57. Comment on Others Websites
Commenting on the websites of others usually allows for a spot where you can share your website’s URL. Use this space to share your website or the URL of a post of which you’re especially proud.
58. Share Others Content if it’s Useful and Interesting
To show your followers that you don’t only care about self-promotion, be sure to share useful content created by others. This shows that you are a trusted source of information. You can get a chunk of traffic if you use Sniply.
59. End Blog Posts with a Question
Ending your blog posts with a question encourages your visitors to comment. When they come back to further the discussion, it creates more page views for you.
60. Follow the People that Twitter Recommends
When logging into Twitter, the service offers up the handles for those it recommends for you to follow.
If you follow these people, there is always a chance that they might follow you back. Those who follow you back provide you with an extra audience that sees your content.
61. Follow the Followers of Influential People in Your Niche
Check out the followers who follow the influential people in the same niche as your website. These people are more likely to share your content if they share similar interests (and they do!)
62. Share Your Posts on StumbleUpon
Stumble every post that you create on StumbleUpon. This puts your content into a specific category for those looking to discover certain content types.
63. Submit Useful Posts to Reddit Sparingly
Submission to Reddit is a double-edged sword. Use this tactic sparingly because the users on the website may come to know that you are seeking traffic. Tip: Have a thick skin when reading comments on any postings but don’t be afraid to be controversial.
64. Outreach to Other Bloggers
Reaching out is one of the most effective tactics to spread the word about your content. It also helps you to build connections and benefit even more in the long run. Reach out to other bloggers in your niche and make an agreement to share content. Getting more links is the key to getting more eyes on your content.
65. Submit Your Website’s URL to Google and Bing’s Webmaster Tools
Utilize Google to diagnose and repair any errors found on your website. Not only can you improve your website, but you can also find out the search terms visitors used to access your website.
66. Include Your Web site’s URL in Your Email Signature
Use the area in your email’s signature to create a link to your website. Whenever you contact another person or business, they will see your website.
67. Use Forums to Get Traffic
Locate forums relevant to your niche and offer any articles relevant to threads created there. This sends traffic to your website from those interested in learning more about you or your business.
68. Spy on Your Competition
Find Their Link Sources and keywords they get traffic from Google. You can use tools like Ahrefs to check their backlinks and SEMrush to find their keywords.
69. Use a WordPress Plugin to Share Related Posts in Every Article
Gain more visibility for older posts automatically by installing a WordPress plugin that shares related posts at the end of each new post.
70. Create a Slack Team
A Slack team consists of a community of people interested in the same topics. Create a Slack team and invite the community members to share content that you are proud of.
71. Host a Reddit AMA
If you are an expert in your field, then you have value to add to a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) session.
72. Use an Email Auto-Responder
If you go on vacation, you may not be available to answer questions or other emails from your readers.
73. Get Your Website Listed in Google News
If your content is based around a news cycle, then you should consider submission into Google News. Follow Google’s guidelines to learn more.
74. Use HARO to Gain Visitors
HARO (Help a Reporter Out) offers the ability to be interviewed if you are considered a source of valuable information.
75. Go on Television (Local Public Access or Other Channels)
Taking a spot on a local public access channel can put your face in front of people who are interested in your website or service.
76. Create Business Cards
You don’t have to be online in order to get readers to visit your website. Pass out business cards that contain your URL. Ask friends or family members to do the same and leave cards where they can be seen (bulletin boards, inside books, etc.)
77. Create Merchandise that Contains Your URL
Create a coffee mug or hat that contains your website’s URL. Whenever you leave the house, you become a walking free advertisement for your own business.
78. Host a Workshop to Educate People with Your Expertise
Host an in-person workshop if you feel that you’re an authority in your niche. This allows you to educate those who look to you for advice and it encourages readership.
79. Host a Conference to Share Your Knowledge
Similar to hosting a workshop, hosting a conference is a great way to get the word out to larger crowds about your website. Prepare for any speaking engagements by creating an outline of points to talk about.
80. Start or Attend a Blogger Meetup
Starting and/or attending a blogger meetup puts you front and center with bloggers like yourself. Use this opportunity to talk about your niche and create networking opportunities.
81. Create Branded T-Shirts and Give Them Away
Use a t-shirt designer services such as Spreadshirt.com to create a branded t-shirt design. Wear your t-shirts and give them away to visitors for free advertisements.
82. Offer a Free Product or Service
Visitors love free stuff and will continue to return to your website if a product or service is provided free of charge. Giving away a small service or low-cost item can boost web traffic and get others to link to your website.
83. Do Company or Product Reviews
Reviewing companies or products in your niche can amount to increasing your expertise on these items. If you’re considered an expert, visitors will count on you for your honesty and will return to your blog.
84. Post a List of Jobs on Your Website
If you have any positions available to work for your website or business, create a WordPress page that aids in listing the available positions. WP Job Manager plugin offers the functionality of posting jobs as well as letting your visitors do the same.
85. Create a Forum to Gain Reader Engagement
Use a forum using bbPress – to create a forum that you can increase the reader’s engagement. The longer visitors interact with one another, the better for increased traffic and pageviews.
86. Offer Awards to Bloggers
Make a list of people in your niche and rate them about certain achievements. Give them a blog award to flatter their egos. Everyone likes to be recognized and creating an award that you give to others is a great way to get the word out about your website. Bonus points if you create a graphic that can be used as a badge for other bloggers.
87. Submit Your Website to Aggregators
Submitting your URL to various aggregators like to receive a surge in traffic.
88. Create an E-Book and List it on Amazon
Repurpose content from your website into an e-book format and list it on Amazon. Be sure to include your website’s URL in the first ten pages so that readers can see it when they preview your book.
89. Be on FourSquare or Yelp
Yelp and FourSquare want to know your physical address, but you can also include information on your website. This is especially useful if you offer a physical product or service.
90. Buy an Established Newsletter or Email List
A site in your niche that is no longer active may have an established newsletter or email list. Contact the business owner to see if you can purchase their email list in order to offer his or her former customers some fresh content.
91. Allow Other Websites to Syndicate Your Content
Allowing other websites (especially those in your niche) to syndicate your content gets your blog posts in front of fresh eyes.
92. Repurpose Content for Use on Medium or Similar Websites
You can create shorter versions of your best content and publish them to popular platforms like Medium. Put a link to your original article at the end.
93. Create a Wikipedia Page for Your Website or Yourself
Creating a Wikipedia page for yourself or your website increases your reputation as an influencer in your niche. Use the page to link back to your website and detail your knowledge on the niche.
94. Create an Affiliate Program to Sell Your Products
An affiliate program puts other people to work for you, but benefits both parties if the product or service sells.
95. Create an App for Your Website or Business Extensionizr
If you possess app development knowledge, your branding will benefit if you can create an app for your website. To do so, try a website like App Institute (appinstitute.com) in order to create something useful. If you don’t possess the knowledge or have the time, hire a freelancer on Upwork to do the work in app creation.
96. Create a WordPress Theme and Include a Footer Link
If you possess the knowledge to create a WordPress theme, you can get free advertising by including a link in the footer to your website. Those who review WordPress themes will be happy to link back to the source, generating, even more, traffic.
97. Optimize Your Website for Mobile Users
Most visitors will pass up your website if it is not optimized for smartphones. WordPress plugins such as WPTouch offer the ease of use in making your website responsive. Google has also stated that mobile optimization is the key to getting better search rankings.
98. Follow Various Twitter Users
If you follow various users on Twitter, the chances are good that they will follow you back. A small percentage will return the favor, but it still gets your content in front of new eyes.
99. Link to Older Posts on Social Media
When using your social media accounts, share links to older content to move traffic around. This is especially useful for content that doesn’t get old.
100. Search Niche Related Forums for Relevant Content
To keep visitors returning to your website, you must get a good grasp of the type of information they seek. Find relevant forums in your niche to read and take away any ideas that could make for great blog posts.
101. Ask Your Readers What They Want to Read
Ask your current visitors what they would like to see covered on your website. In doing so, you show them that you care about their opinions and it keeps them coming back for more.
102. Create a Browser Extension
Using a website like Extensionizr.com, you can create an extension for use with the Chrome browser. If your website has a product that is something users need to access quickly and easily, use this service to remind visitors to return to your website.
103. Create Content That is Your Expertise
As the old saying goes; go with what you know. If you create content, make sure that it is a topic of which you’re very familiar. Your readers will understand if you write about something you don’t know well.
104. Credit Others for Their Images and Ideas
Link out to those of whom you’ve used their images or ideas. It is always a good practice to share the link love and in doing so, it encourages others to do the same.
105. Create a Youtube Channel
Youtube is the 3rd most visited website in the world. If you can create quality videos you could launch your own Youtube Channel and direct traffic to your blog.
106. Create a Widget or Badge
Use Canva or some other image editor to create a widget or badge for others to use on their websites. Use HTML to embed the widget onto the websites of others, thus creating a backlink for your website. It is very important to use a no-follow link to your website from this widget.
107. Affect Visitors Emotionally
If you know how to pull at someone’s heartstrings or cause a debate, then do so. Be controversial in your headlines and articles. This can trigger big discussions and build user engagement
108. Share, and Ask for Opinions
When you create great content, sometimes you find that there is an already existing article out there that deserves your point of view. Instead of leaving a comment, link to the article and create your own post with your opinion. In the end, survey your readers for their opinions.
109. Study Competitors Content
Learn from the best content of your competitors. Check which articles get the most comments and social signals. You can check social signals count with Ahrefs Content Explorer or Epictions.com.
Setup Google Alerts in order to find industry-specific keywords for fresh content ideas to cover on your website. Google will notify you when the terms come up in news articles so that you can create your own article with your own point of view.
116. Don’t Ignore Negative Website Comments
People usually don’t leave negative comments on your website if they don’t care about the type of content you create. Pay attention to the negative remarks and remedy any errors on your part.
117. Don’t Be Afraid to Build Great Links
Even the best content needs some promotion. For starters contact anyone who is mentioned in your post. You can also check your competition links and try to contact bloggers who link to them.
118. Try Newsjacking
Not sure what Newsjacking is? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. The good news is that it is a legal way to use trends to increase brand awareness for your website.
119. Get Testimonials for Your Product or Service
Testimonials tell future buyers that your website is useful in the products it offers. This is basically the first-hand experience from other visitors who sell your website for you.
120. Offer Online Games
When visitors come to an online game that is fun and entertaining, the chances are good that they will share the website where they found the game. If your website is sticky, visitors will stick around longer and even bookmark your site for future visits.
122. Create an Online Petition
Creating an online petition shows visitors that there are causes you care about. If your website is related to something that could affect social change, you can use Change.org to start a petition. If visitors find your cause worthy, they will share it with others.
123. Meme Customization
Hire a developer who can create a tool that allows visitors to generate and customize memes. You can also use a blog plugin. Think about I Can Have Cheezburger and the customizations it offers. It sounds like catching lightning in a bottle, but it can be a fun experience for your visitors, leading them to come back for more.
124. Live Blog Events in Your Niche
Liveblogging is when you update your content in real-time for events that are happening in your niche. Coveritlive.com is a great tool in liveblogging events so that your visitors can follow along with the action.
How To Monetize A Blog in 2020
This guide is designed to help you understand all of the opportunities of which you can monetize your website and help you to make a living online.
1. Display Advertising
Display ads have the capability of delivering impressive revenues to bloggers, but they can be tricky to manage and can end up making you very little money if not done right. If you want to succeed with display advertising, you need to focus on all types of details about the audience, context, and blog traffic. Most blogs don’t have the traffic volume to make a real difference with display advertising. You must understand all your options before establishing whether or not display advertising is for your blog.
Display ads are easy to set up on your blog and command no special skills. They deliver passive income and work on all types of audiences from the start. Profits are usually small, despite the fact that they need high traffic. They can also put off readers, who may end up turning to other blogs to avoid these ads. These blogs are usually ideal only if you have huge web traffic and other revenue sources. They may also be useful when you want to monetize your blog speedily with ease. You have a ton of ad networks that you can pick from.
Google AdSense is one of the most popular choices, but you can also choose Media.net for Yahoo or Bing. The best part is that these networks are based on context, so they display ads related to the content of your web page. Here are some display advertising options for your blog:
Get paid every time a user lands on the page that displays the ad when it is seen, irrespective of whether the ad is clicked on. This means that visitors don’t have to click on the ad and you will still receive money. The problem is that it needs more web traffic than any other ad types and doesn’t pay as much. PPM works best for high-trafficked blogs like news or humor sites.
With PPC, you will get paid when a user clicks on your blog ads. This is a standard advertising task and offers the best value for money, but you will need to choose advertisers relevant to your blog content for increased clicks. PPC works best when ads are relevant to your blog content.
Banner ads are set in headers, individual posts, and sidebars. They can either be PPM or PPC. They are commonly used and effective for advertising, but they can also ruin your blog look depending on the ads displayed.
RSS ads appear in your blog’s RSS feed and are great for making money. Unfortunately, RSS feeds have now become less popular, which has reduced your ability to make money from them. They work best when you have a big RSS list.
In-text ads are entrenched into your written text. If a reader clicks on these ads, they are re-directed to the consequent ad. The best part is that they look like links, but they can be distracting and annoying from a usability standpoint.
If your blog has a mobile app, then you can advertise through different mobile channels like Millennial Media, AdMob, and Adfonic. With billions of mobiles connected to the Internet, you can take huge advantage of this form of advertising. Mobile advertising works best when you have a mobile app and want to benefit from the huge bevy of Internet-connected mobile devices.
You can use AdSanity widgets to customize and manage different ads on your blog. With advertising widgets, you can offer detailed advertising information to profit from single or multiple ads, but you need to put in more effort and be prepared for a higher entry cost. Advertising widgets work best when you already have ads and want to enhance profitability from them.
Sponsored content requires advertising in the form of a blog post. Relevance and number of visitors establish the effectiveness of sponsored content. It is a good way to earn money because most visitors don’t have a problem with labeled sponsored content, but it can also put off some visitors. This may only work well in some sectors, depending on how well the content suits your blog. Sponsored content is best when you have a wide audience.
2. Create A Sales Platform
In some cases, the best way you can make money from your blog is to create a sales platform. If you provide value through your content and offer relevant information to your readers, then they probably won’t have any problem buying from you. Here are some of the best ways to turn your blog into a sales platform:
- Offer Blog Merchandise – You can create blog merchandise by selling caps, t-shirts, and any other stock for your blog. This fun idea can earn you tremendous revenue, but it is highly situational. Blog merchandise is best when you have an engaged and active set of readers with a cool interactive brand.
- Create an eBay Auction Store – You can even create an eBay auction store for your blog because it is easy and quick for earning added income. This economically efficient strategy is simple to set up, but it is not suited to every blog. Some people may not take your blog seriously and you may not earn your desired income from it. This strategy is best when you’re in a creative niche, which can link to tangible products.
- Begin An E-Commerce Store – You can also sell items directly from your blog without having to involve any third parties, giving you an opportunity to monetize your blog, but you will naturally need products for selling. Turn your blog into an e-commerce store easily with Woocommerce.
3. Sponsorships and Reviews
Most bloggers will agree that readers are their biggest assets because they make you influential and authoritative. When influential people have something to say, people listen. This gives you the perfect opportunity to undertake product reviews and offer sponsorships because you can use your influence to earn revenue without using underhanded tactics.
Here are some of the best options you have:
- Paid Reviews – When it comes to paid reviews, the advertiser will pay you to review their product or service. You will need to let your readers know that the review is paid for. In some countries like the U.S, this requirement is mandatory. You can either use platforms like PayPerPost.com or you can find your own way to earn from paid reviews. Getting paid to review products in your industry is effortless, but not every blog has this opportunity. This works best when you have a high-traffic blog with an understanding audience. You can also get paid for reviewing products in the form of gifts, but most people prefer cash.
- Get Sponsored – Leverage your influential dialogue with your audience to get a company sponsorship to promote them. This is extremely lucrative because you get paid without having to do your own branding, but you need to have a blog that is popular with high volumes of traffic.
- Turn Into A Brand Ambassador – If you’re a fan of a brand, then you can become a brand ambassador by promoting the company. You will get paid in commissions or cash, making it a good way to promote your favorite brands, but you will need someone to value your blog and image. This works best when you have a high-traffic blog with lots of interaction.
4. Passive Income Through Affiliate Marketing
Every blogger wants to earn passive income, so affiliate marketing presents the perfect opportunity to help you in your quest. With passive income, you need to do some work to get it right. Here are some of the best ways to earn a passive income through affiliate marketing:
- Affiliate Program – Become an affiliate to earn money by selling products without having to create them yourself. This is a good revenue source without the need to develop your own merchandise, but you can also put off your audience with the wrong products or if you overdo the selling on your blog. One of the biggest affiliate marketplaces to you can start from are CJ.com and Clickbank.com
- Affiliate Links – You can develop evergreen content with outbound links to relevant affiliate products. Monetizing your content through affiliate links is a good way to earn revenue while offering good value to your readers, but it takes an effort to set up and may not earn you enough revenue. This strategy works best when you publish new articles regularly and constantly promote your blog with all the tactics listen in this guide.
5. Become A Leader
As an influential blogger, you naturally want to mentor your readers, so why shouldn’t you get paid to be the leader that you already are? When you charge a fee for your services, you can focus on providing quality advice to help you spend your time more judiciously. Here are some of the best ways to become a leader:
- Consulting – Consulting allows you to use your expertise to solve or troubleshoot problems. This strategy is highly effective and allows you to build quick credibility with your audience. It works perfectly well as an alternate revenue stream. This strategy requires experience and may not be ideal for novice bloggers. Consulting is best when your intervention is highly respected while offering measurable results.
- Coaching – Your expertise can go a long way in helping clients solve their problems. While it is similar to consulting, coaching emphasizes support, motivation, guidance, and encouragement. With coaching, you can charge a flat rate to earn a reliable income, but this time-consuming process will slow down your blog growth. You also need to have a high degree of authority to be successful.
6. Earn Revenue Through High-Quality Content
Your job as a blogger is to create high-quality content for your audience. You spend innumerable hours writing and researching your content, but some of it is simply too valuable to be offered for free. If you didn’t charge a fee for some of your content, it would probably be impossible to reach such high standards. Here are some of the best ways to earn money through high-quality content.
- Private Interviews – You can interview industry experts on a range of different sector-specific topics and charge a fee for accessing this interview. Interviews are cheap to establish and easy to tackle, but you must find well-known experts to command a fee for the interview. This strategy works best when you have good connections in your industry.
- Develop Your Own Courses – You can create courses and teaching resources that a reader can go through at his or her own pace. Self-paced course material should ideally include a combination of audio, video, and text to stay interesting for readers. This is one of the simplest ways for you to make sustainable profits while it can also build your credibility. Keep in mind that creating a course requires a great deal of time and effort. Several places you can publish your course are Gumroad.com and Guides.co
- Create Video Courses – You can create video courses as a less intrusive way to reach out to your readers effectively. Keep in mind that video courses take a lot of time to set up and may require special editing software. You can upload your course to Udemy.com and offer free copies from the start to get reviews and feedback.
- Write E-Books – E-books are the perfect way to start monetizing your blog. They have low upfront costs and no ongoing costs. E-books require no customer support and are easy to develop while helping you win credibility with a wider set of readers. Unfortunately, they don’t offer enough profit per sale and work best in conjunction with other forms of revenue or when you are looking to build your industry authority. However there are E-books that generated six figures in sales, but this depends on the industry and the efforts you put in the creation and promotion.
7. Maximize Your Blogging Capability
As a blogger, you naturally have power over your industry content, so why not make some money by finding ways to maximize your blogging capability? Here are some of the best ways to use your blogging skills to your benefit:
- Paid Guest Posts – Business sites and other blogs will pay you to post information on their websites. If you do this for more than one, then you’ll see your bank balance swelling up soon. Paid guest posts are perfect for polishing up your own writing and the best part is that you get paid to do it. They are relatively time-intensive and it may take you a while to earn some good money. Some blogs will allow you also to include a link to your own blog in the author bio box, which also helps you to get more traffic and better Google rankings.
- Ghost Write For Other Websites or Bloggers – You can also offer ghostwriting services to other websites and bloggers to earn money. While similar to guest posting, you will not be credited for your work here. This is a good way to build relationships and earn revenue, but it can be time-consuming and may not be as lucrative in the long run. This strategy works best when you are into freelancing and don’t mind offering content to other writers and websites.
- Create Sales Letters – Writing sales letters for businesses requires good marketing and copywriting skills that can earn you a ton of money, but not everyone is capable of doing it well. This strategy works best when you’re a blogger with a lot of copywriting experience under your belt.
8. Create A Unique Product Offering
Creating a unique product offering for your readers can help you earn a steady income, but it also requires in-depth planning and hard work to be successful. Here are some of the best ways for you to turn this into a lucrative monetization opportunity for your blog:
- Develop Your Own Products – If you are in an industry with physical products, then you can create and sell your own to make a ton of money. Physical products add credibility to your blog and make you a serious competitor in your field, but it naturally costs more to run because you will spend time and money on producing prototypes before arriving at the final product. This works best when you are in an industry that allows for selling tangible products like healthcare, exercise websites, diet websites, and much more.
- Create A Mobile App – You can easily create a mobile app for your audience to use for selling or promoting something to them. You should ideally have a large audience so that you can use your blog as a platform to promote and build awareness for the app. You can then use this to create cross-selling or promotional opportunities. This strategy works best when you have experience in website development, and you understand your audience well.
9. Organize Events To Connect With Your Audience
As a blogger, you may have a lot of social connections and love to talk to your audience. Creating events is an excellent way to promote your blog and get paid. Here are some of the best ways to use events to connect with your audience:
- Organize An Event – You may want to step out from behind the computer to organize a live event to earn some money. If you have readers who live close to you and are willing to travel, then you may be able to earn some money by bonding with your readers face to face. While it can be difficult logistically, organizing an event is a great way to bond with your readers. This strategy works best when you have a strong audience bond. You can use popular services such as Meetup.com to get more attendees at your event.
- Paid Speaking Opportunities – You can also use your blog as an opportunity to unveil a public speaking career. Of course, this will highly depend on your niche, industry authority, and comfort with speaking in public. This strategy works best when you are a good orator and have something valuable to offer your audience.
- Host A Social Media Party – Bloggers have social media authority, so you can ask a company to sponsor a branded social media party; enabling you to get paid for your effort. You can leverage your large social media following to get paid for promoting specific brands through parties. Keep in mind that the audience is specific, so you will need permission from them to pull off the party.
10. Use Crowd-Funding
If you have a specific blog mission, you can build a crowd-funding page to source funds from your readers. You will get paid for your initiative, but you must have a worthwhile mission that people can support. This strategy works best when you have a goal or mission that inspires action from your audience.
- Get Donations Through The Beacon Network – You can get donations for your creativity and innovation through the Beacon network, but keep in mind that this rewards creative work mostly. This works best when you have a blog related to the creative or advertising industry, and you want to do something different.
- Get Your Readers On Flattr – Flattr is an interesting platform to help you share your creative content and get paid for every like. This is a good way to get paid for your creative effort, but you must be able to convince your readers to join the system. This strategy works best when your audience uses Flattr.
- Request For Donations – You should not underestimate the power of simply requesting for donations when you want to make money blogging. Put up a page for donations and ask your readers to donate for specific situations. This strategy is one of the easiest monetization opportunities for your blog, but it isn’t dependable every time. This strategy works best when your readers appreciate your great work. With so many monetization opportunities to earn from your blog, you’ve got to make the right choices that resonate with your industry. Once you’ve gone through this guide, you will be able to start making money, so don’t wait any longer. Your actions will determine your success.