How to Start a Blogging Business – Ultimate Guide

How to Choose a Profitable Niche

Are you ready to take a step into the online business world but aren’t sure where to start?

Of course online marketing, professional-looking themes and a unique writing voice are all important in creating a profitable site. But often the first, and most essential step, is picking a profitable niche.

What is a niche? A niche market is a subset of a larger market with its own particular needs or preferences.

Let’s look at a broad topic such as health, for example. There are many possible niches to blog about within that particular market. Writing about holistic health could be your niche as could staying healthy while pregnant and so on.

Therefore, finding a niche means zeroing in on a very specific topic. While it is possible to write about a wide-range of broader topics and find success, focusing on a specific niche is essential in turning your blog into something profitable. It tells your audience that you are an expert on that particular subject.

Turning a blog or business into a profiting entity is more easily done by catering to already established and tested niche. Some popular niches include:

Health/Fitness

Parenting

Sewing

Food

 

And more.

At this point you might be wondering - why would I choose a niche that thousands of other bloggers have pursued?

The truth is that competition can actually help grow your business because it means there is an existing market with willing buyers. There will always be a market for health, fitness and so on.

Alright, so we’ve determined that finding a niche is critical. But how do you decide on one niche amongst hundreds?

Research

Start by making a list of the following:

What are your interests/hobbies?

What niches do you contribute money towards?

What are your goals for your business?

This is a great way to compile a list of possible niches. Don’t worry about having too many - in fact, the more the merrier! You’ll be able to narrow them down by considering the following:

Blog About Your Passions (Sort of)

It’s true: Readers will know whether or not your writing is genuine so try not to blog about a topic you have no true interest in or know little about. Picking a niche that that you enjoy will come through in your writing voice.

However…

If your goal is to make money or make blogging your full-time job, you can learn to be passionate about certain topics.

We guarantee that not every business or brand out there began because of a genuine passion for wool socks or coffee makers. The idea is to find a market that sells, become an expert on that market and go from there.

So don’t feel you need to limit yourself to what you already know and love. Doing research may result in the discovery of something that spikes your interest and may yield a higher profit.

Additionally, it can help to consider what problems you have in life and how you solve them. Articles that inform or help a reader can be extremely profitable - from Best Morning Yoga Poses to How to Create a Budget for Groceries.

Consumers are constantly trying to better themselves and fix problems in their lives. This could be a good place to start when trying to find the perfect niche for your brand.

So far we’ve determined that:

You should be (or learn to be) an expert in your niche group

Any niche has the potential to become profitable with enough time and energy. However, some niches naturally do better than others. Niches that are in high demand such as fitness already have a proven track record in terms of profitability, so keep that in mind.

Don’t Be too Broad...

Picking a larger topic like finance or health is great because, as we mentioned, they are popular. However with broad topics comes a much more diverse audience and catering to each member can become difficult. If you narrow it down a little and instead focus on ‘personal finance tips’ and ‘healthy eating on a budget’, for example, you’ll find a much more engaged audience.

...Or too Narrow

On the other side of things, it’s important to avoid making your niche too narrow. You want to be specific but also allow your brand to grow, as any good business should. If you’re niche is too particular it will have nowhere to go. You may have a few people willing to spend money on that particular topic but it will fail to be a sustainable business.

Keyword Search

The traffic you drive to your website will directly affect the profit you make off your brand.

One way to determine how much traffic a niche could potentially receive is to perform a keyword search.

Keyword Searching allows you to see how many times a day certain words or phrases are searched. Not only that, but it allows you to see what specific phrases people are using for certain topics during their searches.

So why does this matter?

If you’re wanting to choose a profitable niche it is essential to know exactly what people are typing in the search bar. Keyword searching reveals the actual language people are using when they think about various topics.

For example, let’s say your niche is yoga and you’re writing a blog post about morning yoga poses. Typing in “morning yoga” into the search bar yields the following results:

Morning yoga flow

Morning yoga routine

Morning yoga poses

You can see that there are actually two more popular phrases related to morning yoga than ‘morning yoga poses.’ Knowing what phrases your target audience is using helps you to better cater your content to them and informs you about what niches could turn a profit.

Find Topics That Can Be Monetized

Affiliate Programs

Again, any topic that you choose has the potential to be monetized. However there are affiliate programs, for instance, that are higher paying and more popular amongst certain niches.

The health market, for example, is currently worth $8 billion in 2018 so it’s no surprise that affiliations surrounding that niche are going to be more common and better paying.

Choosing a niche that is in high-demand means that affiliates are more willing to pay higher amounts to their clients.

“But I’m not passionate about health!”

That’s okay. While it’s important to realize some niches are naturally more profitable than others, you shouldn’t let that completely determine the area of study you center your work around. There are still hundreds of affiliate programs for just about every topic under the sun.

Amazon Associates, for example, is great because it caters to a variety of niches. There are thousands of products on their site that can be linked, from yoga mats to supplements and beyond.

So if you aren’t planning on using one of the big money-making niches, consider using a variety of more general affiliate programs to boost your profit margin.

Selling Products

Finding a niche that you can center self-made products around is a great way to take your brand from a hobby to a business.

It’s also significantly easier to sell online than it used to be with sites like Etsy or WordPress plugins and widgets.

Ask yourself these questions:

Is this a niche that I could write e-books or e-courses about?

Is there a product that I could create that my audience would need or want?

If you answered yes to one or both of the above, then chances are it’s a niche that has a higher probability of turning profitable!

Let’s recap.

Choosing a Profitable Niche (Checklist)

Research your interests and hobbies 

Choose a topic you are familiar with

Pick a niche market that is popular amongst consumers

Pick a niche that can be monetized through digital or physical products

Obviously it’s almost impossible to hit every single one of the bullet points above. However, if you attempt to check off at least 2-3, and follow our guidelines above, you’re already one step closer to turning your niche profitable!

How to Choose a Domain Name

The beginning processes of starting a website or blog includes choosing a domain name.

A domain is a way of identifying a website through its URL title. For instance, Google.com and Whitehouse.gov are both domain names. It is the way visitors find and access specific websites.

Making your domain name unique, memorable and easy for your readers can result in increased traffic and profit to your blog or business.

Because a lot rides on what domain name you choose, it can be a bit of a process to decide. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or unsure about the prospect of choosing a domain name, we’ve got you covered!

Below you’ll find our guidelines for picking out the perfect domain name for your site.

Do Your Research

Before creating a domain name for your business or blog, check to see if any potential names are already trademarked or copyrighted, This is a crucial step in avoiding future lawsuits or loss of your domain name. This can be done by simply typing in a possible name into a search engine such as Google.

You can also find out if a domain is available by using a

Domain Name Generator. This tool checks if a domain has been taken while simultaneously generating possible combinations of the words you search. If you’re having trouble getting creative with your title, this tool is perfect!

Pick an Appropriate TLD

A Top Level Domain, or TLD, is the last few letters following the dot at the end of a domain name. The TLD helps to identify the website in terms of its area of origin and its overall purpose.

Who knew that a few little words could have such an impact on potential readers?

Some generic TLDs (gLTD) include:

.COM (Commercial)

.ORG (Organization)

.NET (Network) and more.

In most instances, we recommend going for .COM (but we will discuss those few times when it might benefit you to go a different route later in our article).  

So why .COM?

Firstly, it’s a TLD that most of your readers will recognize, be familiar with and will easily remember.

In addition, it’s the most-used TLD to date, making up 43.69% of all domain name extensions as of June 2018.

And, lastly, it’s usually cheaper to use .COM over other TLD’s.

So while it’s generally best idea to opt for .COM to target  a global internet audience, there are a few exceptions.

For instance, if your brand or business is catering to a smaller niche audience, using a more unique TLD such as .FOOD or .SOCKS could make you stand out. These new gTLDs also aid in informing the potential visitor about your brands specific niche.

It’s also not uncommon for businesses to use geography-based TLDs (otherwise known as GEO TLD)  to affiliate themselves with target audiences in certain areas.

Examples:

.london

.NYC

.Africa

Though it’s important to note that not all cities and areas have registered TLDs.

Our suggestion would be to consider your target audience and go from there!

Additional Tips:

Avoid numbers or hyphens - Numbers and hyphens appear unprofessional and are difficult to remember. Was it easy-food-prep1.com or 1easy-foodprep.com?

Keep it short - Again, longer domains are more difficult for your audience to remember and may result is loss of traffic to your site. Keep your domain short, sweet and to the point.

Make it unique - Keeping your domain name unique will help you stand out amongst competitors.

Use keywords - If possible, let your readers know what your brand or website is about by using keywords. For example, the domain name sparkleandshine.com gives no indication of what realm your niche is is, unless you’re already well established.

Note: Using keywords can also help with SEO!

Be creative - One of the worst feelings is figuring out the perfect name only to find out it’s already taken. As of the second quarter of 2018 there were approximately 339.8 million domain name registrations across all top-level domains That’s a ton of claimed domain names! But fear not - the opportunities for your name are endless. Consider using some variation of a name you really like or think outside the box. After all, not every idea has been thought of yet!

Use Thesaurus.com - Look up interesting or unique words that incorporate your brand.

And, lastly, don’t rush it. Your domain name can make or break your business so you’ll want to take the time to make a decision. With success, your brand will grow and it’s important to have a domain name that can grow with you.

Should you buy expired domains or new domains?

If you’re taking the steps to create a new website for your brand or blog, figuring out a domain name is probably first on your list.

A domain name is an identity for your website and how potential readers will find your content. It’s the URL that consumers will use to access your site.

There are two ways to obtain a domain name:

Create a New Domain - Crafting a brand new domain means registering a name with an organization. You do not have to be a business entity to do so - you can register personal domains as well.

Buy an Existing One - An existing domain is one that has either expired or is deactivated that you can purchase.

So which one is the better option? We’ve outlined the pros and cons of each below.

PROS OF BUYING AN EXISTING DOMAIN

Existing Traffic & SEO  - More likely than not, a deactivated or expired website will still be generating at least a little traffic. This is due to the fact that some users may not realize the site is no longer active and are still visiting it regularly.

It’s also highly likely that the previous owner of the domain put a least some time and energy into crafting the SEO for his or her website, which is great for you! This means that the site likely has an established presence in major search engines.

Get the Name You Want - There’s nothing more frustrating than coming up with the perfect domain name for your website only to find out it’s already taken. Buying an existing domain could give you the URL you have been wanting for your website.

CONS OF BUYING AN EXISTING DOMAIN

Can Be Pricey - It’s possible to find an existing name that sells for a decent price but it’s usually more expensive than creating your own.

You Don’t Know the Domain’s History - This is the main reason a lot of people shy away from purchasing expired domains. Purchasing an expired domain is similar to buying anything used - you don’t know what kind of history it’s had.

As we mentioned above, it is possible that the SEO is in great condition. But on the other hand, the SEO could be in terrible shape. Is the site blacklisted? Does it have any restrictions in place? These are all possibilities when buying an expired or existing domain.

PROS OF CREATING A NEW DOMAIN NAME

It’s Cheaper - While it’s fairly likely you’ll end up spending at least a little money to register a new domain name, it is less expensive than buying an existing domain.

You Have Control - If you want to take things into your own hands - SEO, marketing and more - then it’s beneficial to create your own domain name. You won’t have to worry about the history of your domain, what the previous owner did or didn’t do, etc. You can optimize your website for SEO knowing that it’s in a good place.

CONS OF CREATING A NEW DOMAIN NAME

Starting From Scratch - As we mentioned above, it’s possible that buying an expired domain can result in existing traffic as well as a site that is already search engine optimized. When you create a brand new website, you are essentially starting from scratch. In addition, it takes time for new sites to start getting recognized by search engines such as google.

The Benefits of Using WordPress as a Blogging Platform

According to W3Techs, WordPress currently powers a little over 30% of the entire web, making it the most popular content management system available. This, combined with the fact that WordPress itself started out as a blogging platform, makes it the ideal and most professional candidate for your blog. If you still aren’t convinced, we’ve outlined 4 major benefits to using WordPress as a blogging platform below:

WordPress is SEO Friendly

What other blogging websites such as Blogger may lack in SEO, WordPress makes up with several built in optimization tools by default. In fact, WordPress automatically generates title tags and meta descriptions for all of your pages and posts. Furthermore, additional SEO boosting plug-ins may be implemented as needed by the host.

Its features and functions guide a search engine through the posts, pages, and categories to help the search engine crawl your site and gather the information it needs to include your site within its database.” - https://codex.wordpress.org

It’s Easily Customizable

WordPress is home to thousands of free themes and templates, making it the ideal platform for your blogging needs. Because these themes can be easily customized, your blog will be stand-out amongst others in your niche. Through WordPress, plugins, widgets and more can also be added in order to extend functionality or add new features to your website, creating a more unique look for your blog.

Software Updates

WordPress comes with an automatic updates system that allows you to perform updates right through your admin dashboard. You’ll also receive notifications when a new version of WordPress is available to be downloaded. Plugins may also be used to handle back-up needs as well as hacking prevention. These features allow your blog to have optimal functionality and security.

Equipped for Different Media Types

If you’re wanting to add video, images or audio to your blog posts, WordPress is the platform for you. With a built-in media loader, WordPress stands out amongst its text-only competitors. It is equipped to handle and support various media types.

We hope this answered your questions about using WordPress over other competitors. It is user-friendly, safe and can be customized to your needs, making it the perfect platform for your blog!

FREE VS PREMIUM WORDPRESS THEMES

By Jordan Barrett

Deciding between a free WordPress theme and a Premium WordPress theme can be difficult - are paid themes worth the money? Are free themes too basic? We’ve outlined the pros and cons of each theme below if you’re having difficulty deciding!

FREE WORDPRESS PROS

It’s FREE! The main draw of using a free WordPress theme is, of course, the price. (Just be sure you are downloading free themes through the WordPress platform and not unreliable outside parties!)

Ideal for Beginners . Using free themes can be a great way to experiment with WordPress if you’re still learning. Because they are built under a simple framework, free themes are ideal for those users who are just starting out.

Faster Load Speeds. Because the features in free themes are limited, websites will load faster for visitors as a result.

Strict Review Process. One of the best parts of using a free theme is that you’ll know exactly what you’re signing up for. Themes downloaded from WordPress.com undergo a very specific and detailed review process.

FREE WORDPRESS CONS

They are Overused. If you are hoping to stand out amongst competitors, you may want to steer clear of the free themes. Looking at Twenty Seventeen, for example, we can see there have been over one million active installs of this popular free theme. This might be considered a major drawback to those wanting a unique look for their website.

Lack of Creator Support. Because free themes come with no strings attached, creator support will be absent along with any step-by-step installation instructions.

Limited Customization. Most free WordPress themes are constructed under a very basic framework, meaning specific website capabilities and features such as widgets, buttons and add-ons may not be included.

PREMIUM PROS

Customization! Paid WordPress themes, or Premium themes, have the ability to be customized to fit the site you have envisioned through plug-ins, widgets, sidebars, links and more.

Reliable Support. As mentioned above, free themes come with no strings attached - including support. Paying for a theme means paying for technical support to troubleshoot any issues that might arise with your website.

Specific niches. One of the best parts of using premium themes is that you can find one that perfectly fits your niche. A baking website will require different elements than a finance website and so on. Using a theme that molds to your niche and topic will appear more professional to website visitors.

Regular updates. As the saying goes, you get what you pay for and with paid themes you receive continuous software updates, keeping your theme and website current and fresh.

Security. With premium WordPress themes, the chance of viruses or internet hacking is a lot less likely than when using free themes.

PREMIUM CONS

Slower Loading Speed. Because premium themes can include many more features than the free themes, website users may suffer slower loading speeds.

No Reviews! Unlike free WordPress themes, premium themes are not required to undergo any specific review process, which may ultimately affect the standard of some paid themes.

If you’re still not sure which theme is best for you, consider the following:

Are you a beginner looking to experiment with WordPress for the first time? If yes, then free themes are the way to go.

Are you wanting a unique look and style for your website? Then it’s probably best to opt for a premium theme.

Are you starting a personal website and/or blog? We’d suggest using one of the many free themes.

Will your website require more features and formatting capability? We suggest a premium theme!

What to Consider When Choosing a WordPress Theme?


Choosing a WordPress theme can seem a daunting task to many - after all, you’ll want to leave a good impression on any visitors to your site and your theme is the first thing they will see.

Making a list of all the features you need and want for your website is a great way to start. But what features should you have? While there are a lot of options, we’ve made it a little easier by compiling a list of the top 5 questions to consider when choosing a WordPress theme.

#1 VISION

The first thing to ask yourself is does this theme support the vision of your site? It’s essential to find a theme that matches with your niche and your overall goal for the your business. Consider a format that will benefit the success of your blog though the following:


#2 APPEARANCE

Is it too flashy? Sometimes themes can be decked out with menus, colors and fonts but you want to ensure that anyone visiting your site will be able to navigate it without an issue. Oftentimes a more simplistic theme is the way to go and then you can customize it to your needs.

#3 CUSTOMIZATION ABILITY

Speaking of customize... the next question to ask is :Is it customizable? One of the best parts of starting a website is getting to make it special and unique to you and your niche. Picking a theme that can’t be customized will result in a website that looks like hundreds of others.

For instance, does your theme support plugins? Plugins are an essential part in making your blog run like a professional site.

If your theme cannot support such as YOAST, a free WordPress addition that helps you boost search engine optimization, you may want to look elsewhere.

#4 RESPONSIVENESS


Is your theme responsive? In other words, will your theme perform successfully across varying screens such as mobile devices or tablets? Not everyone who visits your site will be doing so through a desktop computer - in fact, a large majority of traffic to your site will be done through a mobile device.

In fact, as of July of 2018, Google has altered its algorithm so that slow-loading mobile sites rank lower in SEO. Meaning that if you want to ensure your site appears in the google search engine, you’ll want a theme that remains mobile-friendly.

#5 SETTINGS


Are the settings easy to access and configure? Much like it’s important for visitors to easily navigate through your website, it’s equally important for you to navigate through the settings without issue.

Check to see if everything you’ll need can be accessed through your WordPress dashboard.

#6 BROWSER-FRIENDLY


Is the theme browser-friendly? You can bet you’ll have traffic from varying browsers - from Chrome to Safari and more - and it’s important that your site runs successfully on each. (Additional tip: Check browser capability through mobile devices as well!)

Let’s review:

Does it support your vision?

Is the appearance appropriate?

Can the theme be customized?

Is it responsive and mobile-friendly?

Are the settings easy to access?

Is the theme browser-friendly?

This checklist is a great place to start as you decide what WordPress theme to utilize for your website.

The Top 5 Best Free WordPress Plugins for your Blog

One of the benefits of choosing WordPress over competing platforms is the variety of free plugins at your disposal. But deciding which plugins to use can be difficult. A plug-in is a bit of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress website. For this reason, plugins can make your site more professional and functional for viewers. To help you decide, we’ve outlined our top 5 essential free WordPress plugins for your blog.

#1 Yoast SEO - It’s no surprise that Yoast SEO is one of the most popular plugins for WordPress to date. Making your site as search engine friendly as possible is the surest way to drive traffic to your blog and raise your monthly viewership. Yoast SEO allows you to set meta descriptions, keywords and titles while editing a blog post.

You will have the ability to know how well certain posts are optimized by various colored dots found at the bottom of a drafted blog post. Red dots signify problems to fixed, yellow/orange mean there are improvements to be made, while green dots let you know that your SEO is all good.

Furthermore, this plugin has many customizable features including a Social tab through which you can associate social media platforms with your site. Features like this one can help drive even more traffic to your blog.

While the basic Yoast SEO plugin is free to download, Premium Yoast SEO is also readily available with additional features such social media previews, suggestions for links, most-used words and more.

#2 Akismet Anti-Spam - Nothing crushes the excitement of starting a new blog quite like spam. Because internet spam will inevitably find its way into your comments section, downloading Akismet Anti-Spam as  soon as you start your blog is vital.

This free plugin helps to regulate the comments on your blog and allows you to send those comments to a specific place to be reviewed by you. You can even turn on a setting to automatically discard pervasive and obvious spam so that you never even see it.

#3 WP Forms - The third free plug-in on our list allows you to enable contact forms for viewers to fill out with ease. You can choose from already created templates and customize which specific fields you want such as phone or email.

Additionally, WP Forms is100% responsive, meaning it will work on tablets, cell phone and tablets. You can even collect payments through this plugin without having to hire an outside developer!

Having a plugin like WP Forms gives your readers an easy way to reach out will present your blog in a more professional way. Interacting with your readers is crucial to learning what is working with your blog and what is not.

#4 OptinMonster - Getting people to read your blog posts in the first place is a pretty big deal - but the key is to get those same people to come back. OptinMonster helps you do just that.

This plugin allows you to craft opt-in forms to be displayed for viewers of your site. There are a multitude of templates to choose from so you can decide what works best with your blog.

Because email Marketing is such an essential part to growing a website and increasing traffic, this free plugin is must. OptinMonster gives you the tools to grow your subscriber list and, in turn, the monthly viewership of your site.

#5 - Google Analytics Dashboard - Our last free plugins is arguably one of the more important ones. The Google Analytics Dashboard allows you to track your site and view statistics from the dashboard of your WordPress homepage.

You will have access to in-depth reports about the performances of specific pages or posts throughout your site. Knowing where your website stands in terms of traffic and pageviews gives you an idea of what is or isn’t working and which posts have had more success.

You can even track emails, downloads, affiliate links and more.

Additionally, you’ll see real time stats of:

Visitors

Acquisition Channels

Traffic Sources Details

We hope this list helped you narrow down which free plugins are essential when starting your site. To view all WordPress plugins click here.

Where to Get a Logo Created for Your Website

When we think about some of the largest business in the world, oftentimes an image, colors or certain text comes to mind - this is the impact of logos.

Logos play an important role in representing your company to consumers. It informs your audience about your brand so that they recognize and remember you. Logos are generally a combination of letters, colors and symbols.

Creating a logo for your blog is not nearly as complicated as it used to be, with hundreds of available services online. We’ve outlined five of our favorites for you below!

Free Logo Design

FreeLogoDesign is the perfect place to get a free logo created for your site with minimal effort on your part. Simply visit the site and enter your business or brand name in the space provided (or the name you would like to appear on the logo).

FreeLogoDeisgn will then generate your business name onto an assortment of pre-made templates for you to choose from. You can customize any template by changing the fonts, colors, shape and more and then download it onto your desktop for free! (A high-resolution image can also be downloaded at an additional cost.)

Graphic River

GraphicRiver is a graphics site with items such as fonts, vectors, icons and logos for sale. Logo prices average about $32/download with many categories to choose from such as:

Abstract

Animals

Crests

Food

Letters/Numbers

Nature

… and more, providing logos for a variety of niches.

One of the additional benefits to using this service for your logo creation is that you have the ability to look at the sites top authors of the month. You can view how many sales they’ve made, ratings they’ve been given by consumers and their portfolio.

Turbo Logo

Similar to FreeLogoDesign, TurboLogo allows you to craft a beautiful logo in minutes. But rather than rely on templates, sleek and simple logos are generated based on the parameters you set.

With over one million icons to choose from and a variety of fonts, your logo will be unique to you and your brand. It’s free to create as many logos as you need - when you find the perfect one, instant downloads start around $19. You’ll have the download options such as transparent, color or black-and-white to suit your purposes.

The service also allows you to scale your logo to fit your specific vector needs without loss of resolution.

Canva Logo Maker

Canva is a hub for creating various graphics - from invitations, menus, Instagram posts, collages and more. In addition to these features, this popular service also offers the Logo Maker app.

The process of creating your logo is made simple with drag-and-drop features that are user-friendly. In addition, most templates are available to download for free.

Design Mantic

The last service on our list is Deisgn Maniac. After entering your company title or name, you will then be prompted to select the industry your niche relates to.

Some of the industry options include:

Beauty

Photography

Education

Finance

This is great for filtering results specific to your field. Once you pick a template you have the option to customize the text, colors and even change the position of the logo elements.

Creating a logo is the perfect way to symbolize your business and influence your audience!

Best Email Marketing Services

It’s no surprise that email is one of the best ways to market and promote your brand. Emails provide businesses a chance to learn about their audience by considering the following:

What emails are being opened?

What sections of the emails are being clicked on?

What format appears to be the more popular?

And so on. Emails provide companies with valuable information that can ultimately help grow a brand and increase the potential for profit.

In addition, email marketing provides you with an seemingly infinite number of potential subscribers. Over half of the world’s population are using email as of 2018, according to a Radicati research study.

For these reasons, we highly recommend starting email marketing for your blog to increase your traffic and audience engagement. We’ve outlined the The Top 5 Email Marketing Services for bloggers below.

#1 MailChimp

MailChimp is a marketing platform that allows you to create the following:

Email

Landing Pages

Postcards

Signup Forms

Google Remarketing  Ads

Facebook Ads

And more.

This service’s campaign builder for emails is user-friendly, making it the perfect choice for bloggers who are just starting out but want to maintain a professional presence. Some major benefits to using MailChimp include:

Drag and Drop - MailChimp's templates are completely customizable with drag-and-drop features that allow you to bring your brand to life.

File Storage - Through MailChimp’s content manager you can store files like images so you don’t have to go through the hassle of uploading them all over again. (This is especially useful for files that will be used in every email - such as logos or headers.)

Photo Editor - MailChimp has a built-in photo editor so you can resize and correct images right in your campaign template.

Test Emails - You can send test emails to yourself or colleagues to ensure your content is ready to go. MailChimp makes it easy for you to collaborate with any other team members with a reply/comment section right in dashboard.

Automations - MailChimp does all the work when you sent up automatic emails for various situations such as welcome emails, birthdays

#2 Convertkit

The major draw to using Convertkit as your email marketing service is that it was made by bloggers for bloggers. While it’s still a relatively new player in the world of email marketing, it’s been a fast-growing competitor.

With Convertkit you can embed customized forms right into your website to grow your subscriber list. Furthermore, this service recognizes that not all your subscribers are the same and provides the tools to organize your list through segments and tags. You can group certain subscribers together based on their interests or activity to provide them with a more personal service based on their needs.

In addition, Convertkit has made it easy for bloggers to switch from previous providers to their service. (Even moving sequences and forms!)

Lastly, you can also enroll in the Convertkit Creator Pass, which includes a full year of the service as well as four courses geared towards helping you build your brand. This is an ideal program for beginner bloggers looking to expand their business.

#3 AWeber

Similar to MailChimp, AWeber uses a drag-and-drop system to make creating emails easy and convenient for you. Choose from a variety of templates that require zero coding skills or experience but still provide a professional campaign for your subscribers.

With their campaign builder, AWeber allows you to Trigger targeted, personalized email sequences based on a subscriber’s action.

You can track your success in Aweber’s analytics dashboard which can inform you of how many people:

Opened your emails

Clicked a link

Visited your website

Made a sale

This analytics dashboard can provide you with inside information about your audience so you can cater to them more seamlessly.

You can try AWeber free for 30 days.

#4 Constant Contact

Created in 1995, Constant Contact continues to be one of the internet's most popular email marketing services for small businesses. This mobile-optimized platform has over 100 email templates that are completely customizable in the user-friendly editor. You can even search for templates specific to your niche to make the emails personal to your brand.

One of the biggest benefits to using Constant Contact is their social integration system, Social Share. Through social share you can promote your emails on Facebook, Twitter and other social media channels or schedule posts in advance through your account.

Constant Contact has essentially combined two of the top marketing platforms - email and social media - which is a major plus!

#5 InfusionSoft

The last marketing service on our list is perfect for bloggers with products or services for sale. InfusionSoft allows you to promote your products, capture leads, automate email follow-ups and more through their Customer Relationship Management (CPM).

Another asset that sets this platform apart from the rest is it’s organizational ability. Some key features include:

Customer Information - You have the ability to keep all customer records and contact information in one, secure place.

Task Reminders - You can set up task notifications and receive reminders about various deadlines or goals.

Customer Lists - You can segment your customers into specific lists to follow through on leads.

Lastly, InfusionSoft makes a point to encourage personalization. You can create custom lists and then send personalized messages to specific audience groups.

What type of blog posts should I be writing?

If you’re a blogger you’ve probably heard “blog about your passions” more times than you can count. And it’s true - readers are more likely to return to a blog that produces genuine, knowledgeable content. Blogging about your passions is also beneficial to you, the writer, because it can prevent you from getting burnt out on topics you have no real interest in.

But how do you turn those topics and passions into living, breathing blog posts? What type of blog posts is a reader more likely to show interest in?

Below we are discussing 6 Essential Types of Blog Posts you should be writing for your blog.

#1 How-To’s & Instructional Blogs

Consider why you get on the Internet. In general, we tend to use search engines to figure out how to do or accomplish a specific activity, problem or goal.

Examples:

How to Lose Weight

How to Draw

How to Get Rid of Ants

A blog post that teaches your audience informs them of your expertise in a certain area and gives your blog an air of professionalism. Think of yourself as the problem-solver for your audience!

#2 Reviews

Reviewing products you love or have recently used is another great way to get traffic to your blog. People are always looking for new products to try so why not make your blog a place for readers to find them?

Reviewing is also an easy way to integrate affiliate links into your content!

#3 Current Events

One of the easiest ways to find content for your blog is to simply consider the news in the world around you. One benefit to writing about current events is that the news changes every day - which means you have new possible content every day!

Consider writing about your feelings and opinions about local or world events that your audience would be interested in.

#4 Guest Bloggers

Guest blogging is the act of allowing an outside source contribute content to your blog. This process is great for bringing new life to your blog and simultaneously exposing your content to another audience. Guest blogging is ideal for getting yourself out of a creative rut and bringing extra traffic to your website.

#5 Personal Stories 

Personal stories - whether they be ones of success, sadness, humor or otherwise - sit well with audiences because they are relatable. Some readers prefer to be talked to rather than talked at and may enjoy personal content over instructional, reviews, etc.

#6 Checklists

Checklists are a great way to allow your audience to be accountable for themselves. They can also help you break down instructions into various tasks to be accomplished separately, which is a lot less overwhelming. Think of a checklist as a resource that you create for your audience.

How Long Should My Blog Posts Be?

One of the most asked questions when it comes to creating a blog is, “How long should my blog posts be?”

Simply perform an internet search and you’ll quickly find conflicting advice.

On the one hand, some experts argue that short-form is the way to go. They point out that because our attention spans are shortening, our blog posts should be too. Readers are more likely to start and finish a blog post that is 500 words or less, right? 

But others point out that Google has started to favor long-form over short-form. Longer articles tend to have more backlinks, which can help content rank higher in Google which can mean more views and exposure for your blog.

So what does this mean? Should you go for long 1,500+ articles or stay in the 500 word range?

The ideal length of your blog post will depend on two crucial factors:

Your Audience - Try playing around with long-form vs. short-form and see what resonates more with your audience. Which posts are getting more views, shares or comments? Your audience is the number one way to tell if something is working or not.

Your Content - Since every blog is different, it’s hard to pinpoint what the ‘perfect’ length is when it comes to posting. If you can say in 700 words what others have to say in 2,000 words, there’s nothing wrong with publishing shorter blog posts. As long as the content is informative and well-researched, the length doesn't necessarily matter.

Tip: If you’re still unsure, try starting somewhere in the middle. See what writing 1,000 words (or thereabouts) does for your and your content.

If you are struggling to make 1,000 words and your post becomes redundant, short-form is probably a better fit. Or if you feel like your readers are missing vital information, long-form may be the way to go.

How to come up with blog post ideas?

So you’ve been pumping out blog post ideas for months - writing in-dept, quality articles without a hitch, life is good… and then one day your fingers hover above the keyboard a moment too long and you wonder to yourself, “What am I supposed to write about now?”

At some point every blogger will hit that ‘writing wall’ - especially when you want to keep your content fresh and current. If you’ve hit a roadblock in your writing, don’t give up just yet. Below we’re going over 5 Ways to Come Up With Blog Post Ideas.

#1 Ask Your Audience - Who better to consult about potential blog post ideas than the people who are actually reading your content?

If you already have an established audience (even if it’s small and still growing!) it can be beneficial to ask them if there is anything they would like to see from you. After all, when you write content specifically requested by your subscribers it lets them know you care enough to reach out and follow through.

In addition, try to be creative with how you ask. You could have them leave comments on a blog post, leave a poll for voting on social media or have them submit through an email form (which could be an easy incentive for building your email list!)

#2 Check out the Competition - Looking at other blog content in your niche is a great way to conjure up new blog post ideas. Check out successful blogs and figure out why they have the traffic they do - oftentimes it’s because of blog topics they choose to write about.

Remember: You don’t ever want to copy someone else’s idea - but there’s nothing wrong with finding a little bit of inspiration!

#3 Your Experience - Some of the best ideas come from our own experiences in our day-to-day lives. Think about a problem you recently solved or a a situation you were in that you believe would benefit your audience to read about.

Just find the most affordable dinner idea? Write about it. Figure out how to create a savings? Write about it. People love to read success stories and the ability to relate to the writer.

#4 Social Media - Images can act as inspiration to the creative mind so taking the time to scroll through Instagram or Pinterest may spark some new blog post ideas. Do a keyword search of a topic in your niche and see what you find!

You’ll be able to see and read what is currently trending in the world, which may provide some insight into a new blog post.

#5 Update Old Articles - Life is ever evolving and changing and the Internet is no different. If you are struggling to think of new content, consider recycling some of your older blog posts with updates and additions.

Perhaps there are new resources surrounding a certain topic that weren't available when you originally wrote an article. It’s important to keep your content current and updating old posts is an ideal way to achieve this.

How to Create Intriguing Blog Post Titles

Convincing readers to click on your blog post can result in better Google rankings, more social shares and increased audience engagement. As a result, there is a lot of pressure to craft a blog post title that will receive those much-needed clicks.

In order to create the perfect title, there are a few factors to consider:

Be Honest

Make sure that the title of your post is realistic to the actual content of your article.

If you title a post, ‘10 Baby Names that Have Made a Comeback,” but only refer to 8 baby names in your post, you risk losing the trust of your audience. What do you actually reference or talk about in your blog post? Include that in your title!

Keep it Short

Shorter titles tend to perform better for two very important reasons:

1,) You want to catch your audience’s attention - and keep it! Titles that are too long run the risk of losing your readers interest… fast. In fact, a recent study found that people tend to lose attention after a mere 8 seconds.

2.) You want all (or most) of your title to appear in search engines and emails. In general, 60-70 character blog posts perform the best.

Put the Important Information at the Beginning

It’s possible that even with precautions, your complete title may not appear for readers until they click on your article. For this reason, put important keywords towards the beginning of your title so that they see those first.

Speaking of keywords...

Include Keywords

Yes, you can work SEO into your blog post titles too!

Think about your audience and potential words they might search in order to find your content on the internet. You could even perform a test search yourself to see what pops up when you utilize certain phrases or wordings. Find a (natural) way to include these keywords somewhere in your blog post title.

Use Lists

People are attracted to lists - they make information easier to break down and digest. So why not also utilize this in your blog post title?

For example:

Turn, “The Best Baby Carriers” into “The Top 10 Carriers for Your Baby” - this lets your audience know just how many baby carrier options they are going to be exposed to!

Include Personality

Readers love to feel like they can relate to an article, so don’t be shy in sharing your story! Let’s compare two possible titles below:

How to Avoid Debt

How I Avoided Debt

Replacing even just one word makes your article more attractive to the reader because you are proving to them that something can and has been accomplished - by you!

Use ‘How-To’ and ‘Guide’

Lastly, the majority of people who search content on the internet are looking to accomplish or learn how to do a certain task or activity. Let those readers know that your blog post will solve their problems but using phrases such as, ‘How to…” and “A Guide to…”

Doing this will draw their attention to the fact that you have the knowledge and resources to help them in their endeavors.

How often should I be publishing blog posts?

As a new blogger is can be appealing to spread your content all over the internet as quickly as possible. After all your hard work with coding, organizing and customizing your blog, you should want to do just that!

It stands to reason that the more content you create the more opportunists there are to gain subscribers, increase traffic and get more social shares. But before you hit that publish button twenty times, consider the following: How frequently you should publish your blog posts?

Quality over Quantity

If you continuously publish 3-4 blog post a week, your audience will come to expect 3-4 blog posts every week. When you put the pressure of writing that many articles on yourself, you run the risk of producing less than quality content.

Blog posts should be informative and rich with resources, advice and well-researched content. Bloggers often forget that running a blog is not just simply writing - it’s marketing, optimizing and structuring every single post.

Don’t Waste Your Ideas

When you publish too frequently you may also burn out or exhaust all your best ideas too quickly. There’s nothing worse than wasting one of your best topics on an article that was rushed and thoughtless.

Don’t Overwhelm Your Readers

You also want to avoid annoying your readers with the frequency of your posts. Would you be willing to stay subscribed to a blogger from whom you received 4 emails a week? Give your audience something to look forward to rather than something to get tired of.

 

Okay, so how often should I post?

In general, posting once a week is a great place to start, especially if you are still in the beginning phases of establishing your blog. This will give you enough time in between posts to research, write and edit without feeling overwhelmed.

As your blog grows and you feel more confident, you can always increase the number of published posts every week. It’s better to give your audience more content over time rather than take away - just make sure it’s content that matches the quality of previous posts.

Keep in Mind: Despite the above, there are still blogs out there that thrive posting shorter content more frequently. How often you publish will depend entirely on your audience and your overall goals for your brand. A successful blog will be one that you have the capability of keeping up with consistently!

How to outsource content:

Outsourcing is the practice of obtaining goods and services from a foreign supplier. In general, it is used by businesses that are experiencing a shortage of employees or who may not be able to afford domestic labor. Outsourcing can help to increase the productivity and profit margins of a business or brand.

Did you know you can also outsource blog content?

Blogs should grow and change as traffic grows and changes. Believe it or not, some blogs fail because they are too successful and creators have a hard time keeping up with the needs of their audiences.

In circumstances such as these, the idea of outsourcing is introduced. Bloggers may require the extra help of an individual (or individuals) in order to produce more content, run social media and PR, draft newsletters and more. Therefore, outsourcing is not limited to simply writing material for articles - you can employ an individual to complete any tasks related to running your business.

When should you outsource?

Blog content should be outsourced when it is no longer possible for you to personally keep up with the daily needs of running a website. Brands that post frequently, utilize emails or require additional marketing may need to relinquish responsibility to an outside source.

There are many facets to blogging and therefore many different areas where outsourcing may prove beneficial. Perhaps you require additional talent for blog writing, newsletter creation, social media marketing and so on.

Note: It’s not ideal to begin outsourcing right after creating your blog. Instead, work on building your brand and perfecting your own writing skills. Doing this will make the transition easier when it’s time for you to bring in outside input.

What to do prior to outsourcing?

Before you begin the process of outsourcing, ensure that you have a business strategy in place. Having a plan may help prevent future hiccups in your marketing strategy.

Some questions you should consider are:

How many writers/marketers are you looking for?

How will you compensate them for their work?

What plan do you have in place for coming up content ideas?

Are you going to require your writers to come up with articles from scratch?

Will you continue to do any writing yourself? If so, how will you balance your content with the content of your staff?

What to look for when outsourcing?

Once you have your business strategy in place, it’s time to find talent for your blog!

First and foremost: Research, research, research!

Bloggers often make the mistake of picking the cheapest, most convenient writers without taking the time to consider whether they are truly the best choice for the job.

Look at writing samples, resumes and experience to determine who will best fit in with your company.

Personality and Voice - It’s likely that since starting your blog, your audience has come to know and love your voice and writing style. When you decide to outsource blog content, it can be beneficial to find someone who will compliment the existing tone of your content.

On the other hand, perhaps your writing voice has become stale or boring - sometimes bringing in a new writing can help keep your content fresh.

The individual you choose will depend on the current state of your blog and the needs of your audience.

SEO - It can also be beneficial to ask whether or not a prospective writer has experience with SEO. Since optimizing content plays such a major role in the production of blog posts, it would be ideal to find a candidate who knows how to handle SEO and can integrate it seamlessly. 

Additional Tips:

Trial Articles - Unsure if a prospective candidate is right for the job? Offer to pay them for a trial article! Doing so will inform you of two important factors:

You’ll have first-hand insight into how they will potentially handle content you want produced.

You will also know how they take constructive criticism if there are editing notes you provide for them post-trial.

Communicate with your Employees - Keep in mind that they individuals you hire are coming into your process brand new. Take the time to explain your business model, what your goals are for your company and the writing style you prefer. This will help to better inform your outsourced talent about the expectations and responsibilities you have set for them.

On a similar note, don’t be afraid to send edits or request rewrites of particular sections. You are paying for a service and deserve to publish content you approve of.

Where to find potential outsourcing opportunities?

One of the best places to find writers for your blog is through freelance platforms. Some popular ones include:

ProBlogger and BloggingPro

The job boards on ProBlogger and BloggingPro are ideal for finding outside contributors. You can post a job summary with details including payment, content length requirements and contact information.

UpWork

UpWork is another great freelancing tool for the outsourcing blogger. You can hire individuals for any range of work including short-term tasks, recurring projects or full-time contract work.

Simply post a job (it’s free!) and review any proposals that come in. You can also collaborate with ease through Upworks using video or chat, sharing files and tracking project growth.

In addition, you can process payments (hourly or fixed) and receive invoices for completed work.

The basic UpWork package is free but but they also offer UpWork Pro and UpWork enterprises which include additional features such as support, handpicked talent and custom solutions.

Remember: Take your time in the outsourcing process - you want to find individuals who will better your brand and help you grow your blog.

Where to get beautiful photos for your blog

Images in blog posts serve a higher purpose than simply being nice to look at. Oftentimes images can help break up the text of a blog post to give your audience an easier read. They may also provide additional context to certain topics where words may fail.

High-quality images are essential to creating successful blog posts. So what do you do if the best camera you own is the one attached to your cell phone?

Using royalty-free image websites is the perfect solution to sharing high-quality images without the need for camera equipment. We have a list of 7 places to find beautiful stock photos for your blog.

Note: Always check for licensing conditions before posting any images! Some websites may request credit, may have regulations about personal vs. commercial use, etc.

1 Unsplash

If you’re in need of high, high quality photos, Unsplash is the place to look. Originally made for designers, this service provides beautiful, free images from various photographers for your content. With over 50,000 contributors and new images added daily, there’s a lot of options to suit your needs.

2 Kaboompics

Kaboompics prides itself on its Super Seach-Engine to help you find the exact picture you desire.

You can search by category, photo orientation, single shots vs session shots, keywords and more. This service also provides color-palette options that will automatically display the colors present in various images - perfect for matching the aesthetic of your blog!

3 Stocksnap

Stocksnap adds hundreds of high resolution images weekly to their website for your personal or commercial use. Browse through various categories to find high quality images perfect for your niche.

4 FoodiesFeed

Yep, there’s a stock image site dedicated specifically for food! FoodiesFeed offers high resolution photos of pretty much any food imaginable, ideal for recipe or food- related blogs.

4 New Old Stock

Most of the photo services on our list are high-resolution, modern images… but if you’re looking historic photography, New Old Stock has got you covered. This royalty-free image site is loaded with vintage photos from the public archives, perfect for retro blogs.

5 Styled Stock

Feminine bloggers rejoice - this service was made for you! Styled Stock is full of beautiful, minimalistic photos (most of which feature a clean, white background). These simple images can offer a streamlined, feminine look for your blog.

6 Gratisography

Unlike most others on this list, you won’t necessarily find the most ‘quality’ photos on Gratisography. Instead, they aim to be quirky and creative, straying away from the typical ‘stock’ photo stereotype.

7 Pexels

One feature that sets Pexels apart from the rest is that in addition to offering high-resolution, downloadable images they also offer free videos! And you can search for images by color!

How to Drive Traffic to Your Blog

So you’ve got your blog up and running. You’ve added menus, picked out a theme, published a few posts… now what?

All the customization, plugins and coding is great (and highly important!) but it all means nothing if you website is not generating traffic.

More Traffic = More Profit

Think about it like this - if you have ads or affiliate links on your website, your commission is usually based on the number of clicks you receive. You’ll have a higher chance of receiving more clicks if there are more visitors to your website, right?

Increasing your traffic will also draw the eye of any companies who might want to sponsor you. The larger your audience, the more money those sponsors are going to be willing to pay.

If you have e-books, courses or physical products available for purchase, you’ll make more sales the more people visit your website.

Therefore we can say that web traffic is directly related to the overall success of your blog. Promoting your blog can be accomplished through various marketing strategies.

In this section we will outline 4 major ways to market your blog:

SEO

Social Media

Email Lists

Guest Blogging

SEO

In order to increase traffic to your website, optimizing your blog posts for SEO is essential. It’s one of the first steps you should take when marketing your content.

Use Keywords - With plugins like Yoast SEO, you can set a keyword for each blog post and use it throughout the article. This will increase the chances of a user stumbling upon your website when they search for that keyword (or a variation of it).

Add External Links - Linking to relevant content of other authors in your niche can help provide credibility for your work as well as build relationships with fellow creators.

Add Internal Links - Find ways to incorporate internal links throughout your blog posts. Internal links are hyperlinks that take the user to another page or section of your website and Google loves them!

In addition, mentioning and linking other articles you’ve written in your blog posts gives your audience a chance to explore more of your content.

Have a Subscription Box - Of course it’s great to have a new user reading your most recent blog post. But the trick is to get that same person to come back for every new blog you post.

Adding a pop-up subscription box is a great way to start building your mailing list (and can help with the email marketing we discuss later on in this article).

Social Media

Pinterest

Over the past few years Pinterest become a major player in driving traffic to blogs and websites. This social media platform currently has over 250 million active pinners, making it the ideal place to host links to your blog.

Pinterest Marketing Tips

Apply for Rich Pins - Rich Pins show metadata right on the Pin itself, giving Pinners a richer experience and increasing engagement. Rich pins inform your Pinterest audience of important information related to your pins.

There are 4 kinds of rich pins: Article, App, Product and Recipes.

Once you’ve applied for rich pins and they’ve been validated, any metadata found in the content on your site will be turned into rich pins. Rich pins make your articles appear more professional and will drive more traffic to your blog.

Set Up Alt Text - When you set up pins throughout your blog posts don’t forget to add alt-text to your images. The alt-text is a brief description pinners will see before clicking on your link. Also consider including your blog or business name in the alt-text so users begin to recognize your brand.

Pin at the Ideal Time - Generally Pinterest is more active in the evening hours when people are winding down from the day. When you make an effort to pin during this time, 1.) You increase the chances that Pinterest will show your pins on the homepage and 2.) Are more likely to have pinners willing to pin your content.

Use Group Boards - The group boards on Pinterest are perfect for reaching people beyond your current followers and are essential when starting out. In short, a group board is a place for multiple pinners to share their content.

Start by searching for Pinterest boards related to your niche and request to join. Every board will have different rules (how many times a day you can post, re-pinning rules, etc) so be certain to make note of them.

The best part of group boards? Anyone following the board will see your content even if they aren’t following you.

Instagram

As of this year, Instagram has a staggering 1 billion active users and the numbers continue to increase. So the advantage to using Instagram is that there is clearly an audience. But how do you stand out and get your content noticed amongst one billion other people?

Instagram Marketing Tips

Personalize your Profile - When users visit your Instagram profile you want them to get the impression that you are a professional, successful brand. You can accomplish this by:

Creating a compelling bio with links to your blog and contact information.

Having a relevant and professional profile picture (you could even consider using your brand logo).

Having recent blog posts linked on your profile.

Use Hashtags - Hashtags serve a higher purpose than simply being a fun social media quirk. People search hashtags to find certain images or influences to follow.

Try searching the most popular hashtags in your niche and make a list. Use variations of different phrases such as #lifestyleblog and #lifestyleblogger. 

Don’t worry about using too many - you can always put them in a comment rather than the actual post so as to not overload your audience.

Follow Relevant Accounts - Following the accounts of bloggers in your niche serves two purposes:

They can give you inspiration for your own work. It’s also a great way to get your foot into the blogging community for future collaboration!

The followers of those accounts will start to see you in their recommended accounts!

Engage with Other Accounts - Don’t just simply scroll through your Instagram feed liking every photo you see. Instead, take the time to read the caption and leave a thoughtful comment. Fellow influencers and followers are more likely to engage with your content when you make an effort to respond to theirs.

Other social media sites to promote your blog:

Twitter - Use hashtags, tweet about new blog posts and follow related content/people.

Facebook - Create a page for your blog, post updates and join other blogging groups to share content.

Email

Creating an email list or a newsletter is a great way to remind your audience to return to your site when there are updates or when new posts go live. Emails can also help build a relationship between you and your audience.

As we mentioned above, it’s a good idea to have a sign-up form somewhere on your website for new users.

You can use sites like MailChimp to craft campaigns, set up lists and schedule emails to be sent at certain times. MailChimp has various templates and features at your disposal so you can personalize your emails.

Guest Blogging

Guest blogging is the act of writing a piece for another site, usually one that falls in your niche group. Publishing content on websites that are already established is a great way to draw an audience in - especially one that is interested in your specific industry.

My Blog Guest is a free service with forums dedicated to helping authors find guest bloggers. Get started by creating an account and search for blogs in your field. (You could even submit information to invite guest bloggers to contribute to your own website!)

Additionally, simply do a google or social media search of your niche with “guest post” following.

We hope this helped you as you begin marketing for your blog. Promoting is a long and continuous process but the traffic and profit that will result makes it all worth it!

Where to Find Guest Post Writers

Guest blogging is the process of publishing content on a site that is not your own. We’ll discuss why guest blogging is great and how you can find writers will to post free content to you website.

Firstly, one of the best elements of guest blogging is that it is beneficial to both the owner of the website and the guest writer themselves. It is essentially a win-win situation for all parties involved.

Some of the benefits of guest blogging includes:

Increased Traffic - Bloggers who post on your blog will bring additional traffic and readers from their site. Likewise, your readers will be exposed to the guest blogger and have the opportunity to follow up with more of their content.

Fresh Content - Another benefit to guest blogging is that it can add a fresh spin to your website. If you’re having trouble coming up with content, bringing in another writer is a great way to expose yourself to new ideas you may not have considered before.

Obviously, the more popular your blog is, the easier it will be to find guest bloggers. It’s extremely beneficial for guest writers to blog for websites with insane traffic because the credit is backlinked to their own content.

If you have a brand new blog but want to find guest writers, one of the more obvious options would be to offer compensation for the guest posts. Finding guest bloggers otherwise can take more time but it is possible.

Read on for Where To Find Guest Bloggers (Even with a brand new blog!)

Be Accessible

One of the first steps you’ll want to take is to advertise on your blog. Make it easy for potential guest bloggers to locate the application and read the submission guidelines.

It can be appealing to accept the first offer you receive but it’s important to be selective. After all, this content will represent your website and the image you will portray to your audience. Make sure the post is high-quality, free of spelling or grammatical errors and fits the tone of your blog.

If there are submissions that you do not feel meet the guidelines above, avoid rejecting the post and moving on. Let the prospective writer know why you rejected their content and what you are looking for. This will accomplish two things:

It will encourage them to possibly re-submit at a later time with adjustments.

It will show them that you are in it for more than just views and traffic (even if that really is the motivation behind your need of guest posts!)

Reach out to the Blogging Community

Another great place to look for guest bloggers is within your own niche community. If you haven’t been reaching out to fellow bloggers since starting your own blog, now is a great time to begin!

Building a community is one of the easiest ways to spread content and find go-to guest bloggers. Take the time to find other blogs, comment, like, share and reach out to the creators. In time you’ll be able to collaboratively work with fellow bloggers - and may even get some guest blogging jobs yourself!

Keep in mind: Your community is also your audience. Make an effort to build relationships with your readers as well because you never know who might turn out to be the perfect person to guest post on your blog!

Guest Blog Forums

If you’re still having trouble finding guest bloggers, try posting in online services. One such platform is My Blog Guest.

My Blog Guest is home to a community of guest bloggers. You can scroll through the various forums to post requests for new writers. You can also search for articles that are organized into various categories and tags, ensuring that you find the most ideal material for your blog.

Promotional Value

Inform your guest bloggers about the benefits of posting to your website. Of course traffic will naturally flow to their content and your audience will be exposed to their material but it can’t hurt to lay it out for them. You want bloggers to want to create content for your site.

Allow them to link back to their website or even include a small bio about themselves in an Author Box for additional exposure and recognition.

Social Media

Lastly, browse through social media channels such as Instagram or Twitter to find people looking for guest blogging opportunities. Take advantage of hashtags to locate potential contributors and leads. It can’t hurt to reach out to them with a guest blogging proposal (and don’t forget to mention those benefits!)

How to get people to sign up for your mailing list

One of the surest ways to grow your blog is to build an Email List. This subscriber base, in theory, is the group that will be returning to your blog on a regular basis. They will receive notifications when new blog posts go live and be privy to any announcements or updates on your part.

The people on your email list are the ones that could potentially turn into clients and or customers of your brand. But how do you get people to sign up for your emails the first place? We’ve got 7 techniques to grow your email list outlined in this section.

Opt-In Forms

When you start creating your blog one of the first things you’ll want to provide for your audience is a section for them to opt-in to emails or newsletters for your website.

There are a variety of ways to craft opt-in forms but the key is to make sure they are visible and easily found. Putting forms in your sidebar, football, or, even better, installing pop-ups for first-time visitors will help get more people signed up for your email lists.

Incentive

Let’s be honest - we are all way more likely to follow through on something if there is an incentive involved at the end of it.

Having printables or downloadable content available for readers who opt-in to your email list is a great way to grow your subscribers. Some incentive ideas include:

E-books

Courses

Checklists

Additional Resources

Why Should They Sign-Up?

Unfortunately, simply telling people to ‘sign up for my newsletter’ isn’t going to grow your subscriber list. It’s important to tell your readers why they should give their email to you. Try to include a short message that explains the benefit of subscribing to your email list.

Potential benefits could be:

Notifications for new blog posts

Subscriber-only deals

Additions tips or guides that are email-exclusive

Include one of two of the above bullet points in your opt-in box!

Use Social Media

Avoid limiting email sign-up to just your blog. If you have additional platforms at your disposal - use them! You may find users on Instagram or Facebook who have not visited your blog and have therefore not seen your opt-in form.

Have a Contest

Speaking of social media, bring in more subscribers by hosting a contest or giveaway through your social media channels. Anyone who signs up for your email list is entered into the contest, which is kind of a win-win for both parties.

Keep the Information Minimal

Consider just asking for email or name and email to begin with. You are more likely to get people to sign up this way because:

A.) It takes less time on their part and

B.) They won’t feel weird giving away too much personal information online.

Allow Your Subscribers to Share

When designing your email or newsletter, try to include sharing buttons to your social media accounts or a “share with a friend” button to encourage readers to spread your content. The best part of this approach is that it requires minimal effort on your part as your subscribers are doing most of the work.

How to Earn Money Blogging

While there’s nothing wrong with starting a blog out  as a hobby (in fact, most successful blogs begin that way!) there are steps you can take in order to start earning money for all the time and effort you’ve put into building your blog.

Making money as a blogger can and will allow you to focus more of your time and attention on crafting your site. One of the main reasons a lot of blogs fail and/or don’t gain traction is because other jobs and responsibilities keep creators from growing their websites. Imagine making blogging your full-time job?

Monetizing your blog is entirely possible - thousands of bloggers have done it and continue to earn revenue from their websites. However, turning your blog into an income does take time, research and trial by error. For this reason, we’ve outlined some of the top ways bloggers earn income and how you can too!

Google Adsense

Advertisement is one of the surest ways to earn money from your blog. With Google AdSense, ads are displayed throughout your site with content related to your niche. This works by matching text and display ads to your site based on your content and visitors.

The way AdSense works can be explained in three easy steps:

You decide where you want ads to appear by pasting html code throughout your site.

The highest-paying ad will show on your site.

Payments are handled through AdSense and added to your account.

You’ll get paid per click meaning that the more times an ad is clicked on, the more money you will see in your bank. Because AdSense is free, you’re working with a pure profit method!

Additionally, the blocking controls page in your AdSense account allows you block any ads you don’t want to show on your blog. You can also format and customize the way you want to present your ads on your site. For instance, if you wanted to keep your home page ad-free but have them intermittently throughout your blog posts you could format them to do so. You can also control the size and frequency of ads throughout your site.

Affiliate Marketing

In short, affiliate marketing is promoting specific products to your audience and receiving compensation for any purchases made through the links your provide. So, for example, say you have an affiliation with a watch company. You would promote the watches through your blog or social media accounts and any sales made through your links would result in you earning a percentage of those sales.

One of the best parts of affiliate marketing is that there are a multitude of affiliate programs available, making it easy to find one (or more) that fit your niche.

The Amazon Associates program is one of the more popular affiliate programs out there. With over 300 million Amazon.com users, it’s a platform that most of your readers will already know and trust.

The Amazon affiliate program is also extremely easy to use. Simply copy the code of a product through your Amazon Associates account, link it somewhere in your blog and let your viewers and Amazon do the rest.

For example: if a consumer clicks on your link and purchases the product you advertised, you receive a percentage. However, if the same consumer clicks on your link, does not purchase your product, but continues to shop through Amazon and make any other purchases while connected to your link, you will still receive compensation. Talk about easy money!

Sponsorships

Similar to affiliate marketing, using company sponsorships in your blog posts is another proven way to monetize your blog. Blog sponsorships work the same way they do in the real world - a company pays you to inform your audience about their product through promotion.

So rather than use affiliate links or ads displayed on your website, you can earn money by writing blog posts about a specific product. Some bloggers prefer this to having their websites covered in advertisement. It’s all a matter of preference and deciding what will work best for you.

Most of the time bloggers are contacted by sponsors and not the other way around so consider having a ‘Sponsor’ section somewhere in the menu of your blog. This will allow potential companies to contact you should they want you to write a sponsored post. Through this link you can list prices, payment methods, traffic statistics about your blog and more.

Sell Products Digitally

E-Books - So far we’ve talked about selling other people’s products… but what about selling your own? E-Books  are popular in the blogging world because they are pretty simple to produce and promote.

Think of a topic that your target audience would benefit from and go from there. Oftentimes posts you’ve already published can work great as an outline for a potential e-book. Having a great title and cover page to draw your audience in will help boost sales as well.

You can use plugins such as Easy Digital Downloads to sell your EBook on WordPress where they can then be downloaded by the user. Selling ebooks can be done from the office chair of your home - a comforting idea to a lot of bloggers!

Internet Courses - Do you have content to share with your audience that you feel could work formatted as lessons? Consider creating online courses for your readers!

Selling courses gives you a little more control of your earnings. With ads and affiliate marketing, your earnings will fluctuate from month to month while your courses will sell at a fixed price. Furthermore, you can alter courses with new or updated information as needed and re-sell them to your audience.

Because most blog posts are already how-tos or instructional in nature, most bloggers find creating online courses easy, fun and familiar. Additionally, you can decide whether to charge per lesson or sell the course all at once.

Plugins, Stock Images, Themes, Ect. - Creating things you know bloggers will use and love can be an easy way to make extra money.

We hope these tips have helped you on your journey to monetizing your blog. While making money blogging takes time and effort, the payoff can definitely be worth it!

Best Blogging Tips

Starting a blog can be an intimidating concept. It can feel overwhelming at times when you consider all the hosting, writing, marketing, optimizing and other various factors that come along with it.

Don’t stress - To aid you on your blogging journey we’ve compiled a list of the Top 10 Blogging Tips for Your Blog.

1 - Build an Email List - According to an email statistics report, nearly 3 billion people will be using email by 2020 - which is quite a big marketing opportunity for your blog! Imbedding an opt-in form on your website is an easy way to gain subscribers and build a relationship with your audience.

2 - Have SEO (But Be Patient) - Search Engine Optimization is so important for your blog - it’s essentially how users will locate your content - but it takes time to learn the ins and outs of a very complicated concept.

We recommend embedding an SEO plugin into your blog for starters. Yoast is a great option to help ensure that every blog post you draft is producing a good SEO score.

3 - Quality over Quantity - It’s not uncommon for bloggers to assume that a blog that produces more content at a faster rate will have more success. But the problem with this mindset is that oftentimes the faster content is produced, the more it may lack in substance. It’s also an easy way for bloggers to get burnt out on writing.

So don’t write about a topic just for the sake of writing an extra blog post that week. Instead, take the time to consider if it’s content that will help your readers and benefit the overall success of your brand.

4 - Utilize Social Media - In the age of Instagram and Twitter, your blog has a multitude of free social platforms at its disposal. Social media is one of the best ways to market your blog and bring in more readers.

Our suggestion would be to avoid tackling every channel at once. Instead start with a couple platforms, build a profile, master their algorithms and then add as you see fit.

5 - Set Up Google Analytics - You can’t expect your blog or traffic to improve if you don’t know where you currently stand. Google Analytics is ideal for tracking your websites growth with various statistics including what blog posts are getting clicks, how many visitors you are generating a day and more.

6 - Use Professional-Looking Photos - It’s important to incorporate images in your blog - they help to break up the text and provide more meaningful content to the reader - but you want to make sure you are using high-quality photos. If a nice camera isn’t currently in your budget, consider using a royalty-free image site such as UnSplash, which is chock-full of beautiful, free images.

7 - Use Call-to-Action Statements - A Call-to-Action Statement (CTA)  is one that encourages the reader to take advantage of something or, well, act! A CTA  Statement could be, ‘Learn how to Get Better Sleep in 7 Steps!” The benefit of CTA’s is that they usually elicit an immediate response and can help get more traffic to your blog.

8 - Write with Personality - One of the easiest ways to get a reader to return to your website is to provide them with content that feels personal.

One way to accomplish this is to write like you talk. Blogging should be informative without lacking in personality or relatability. Remember: You aren’t writing a paper for school - you are writing for your audience!

9 - Break Up Your Posts - Speaking of school, avoid writing essay-like blog posts. In this day and age, people are less willing to read through something in its entirety so make an effort to break up your text with images, shorter paragraphs, bullet points, quotes, etc.

10 - Be Patient - Blogging is a craft that takes time and practice. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, change up your content or try different marketing techniques. If you want to make blogging your full-time job it’s important to experiment as much as you can until you find what works for you.