Connect with us

Uncategorized

How I Built a 4 Figure Monthly Blog in 3 Months – Part 1

Published

on

I started a new blog last year, and the blog was resulting in four figures monthly for me within 3 months of starting it.

I will be sharing how I did this in a series of blog posts on Zac’s blog (also check out Zac’s blogging successes), with examples and resources to make this series really practical.

Here are some interesting things about the blog I started:

  • It started as challenge to myself on my blog to show my readers what is possible through blogging
  • I started the blog in a different niche from my blog’s niche
  • I maintained the blog under a pseudonym
  • It was a “success” within 3 months of my starting it, according to my plans when I started it; my definition of success was for it to generate 4 figures monthly,
  • I documented my progress publicly on my blog in a series of posts

What will be covered in this series?

  • Part 1: How I Planned My Blog and Chose a Niche
  • Part 2: How I Chose My Domain Name, Set Up My Blog, and Created Key Pages
  • Part 3: My Process for Writing Key Posts that Drive Income
  • Part 4: How I Market My Blog

Since today’s post will be kick-starting the series, I’ll start by going into how I planned my blog.

Why Plan Your Blog?

Most of us are used to viewing blogging as something really simple, and we feel there are really no life-changing decisions when blogging so there’s no need to plan. Why not avoid “procrastination” and just get started?!

How I realized the importance of planning a blog

Small Business PlanI used to share the opinion that planning isn’t necessary when blogging but the blog I’m featuring in this series isn’t my first blog; I started my first blog carelessly, without any real plan on what to write about, and not only did I struggle to figure out the purpose of my blog for a very long time, it also took me a whole year to generate any real income from it.

Once I started to generate income from my first blog, I realized I could have shortcut the process if I was initially well-informed about what I am doing, and if I had planned everything before I started. My knowledge and experience with my first blog helped me plan my new blog. In retrospect, I’m glad I did.

When it comes to planning a blog, there are 3 things I believe are key, and that this article will be covering. They are:

  • Choosing a niche
  • Determining your blog’s purpose
  • Deciding on a content and marketing plan for your blog
  • Planning how to make money from my blog

The ultimate aim is to get results and the above 3 things must be taken seriously; they might evolve once you start your blog but it is important to start with them in mind.

How I Chose My Niche

Finding a Targeted NicheWhen it comes to blogging, you can’t afford to be a jack of all trades.

There are hundreds of millions of blogs all over the world and thousands in almost any niche you can imagine; with so many blogs that specialize on topics they care about, and the increasingly limited time we have as human beings, readers can’t afford to read your blog if you’re a generalist.

I learned this the hard way with my first blog; I struggled for a long time and couldn’t build an audience when I was writing about everything. However, the moment I shifted gears to start talking about writing, especially the kind of writing that helps you get paid online, readers started paying attention and I started to build a real audience.

I wasn’t ready to make this mistake with my new blog so I decided to choose a niche and stick to it. This time, the niche I chose was the “guest blogging” niche, which can be classified under the content/inbound marketing niche, which can also be classified under the marketing niche.

If you carefully analyze how I chose my niche, you will notice how specific I was. Here are some tips when choosing your niche:

1. Make Sure it’s Something You Have Experience in: In my case, I have years of experience with guest blogging. I have written guest posts promoting my blog, and guest posts promoting my clients; I’ve written around a thousand guest posts over a span of 3 years, and I’ve written guest posts to get traffic, subscribers, backlinks, etc., so I know how guest blogging works inside out.

Your blog topic could be about your experience, what you studied in school, your hobby, or a subject you are passionate about. Just make sure you know enough about your subject to be able to blog about it.

2. Make it Specific: I needed to get results quickly, and this is a one man operation. I’m not a mega corporation with millions to invest, so I can’t afford to choose a niche too broad.

I could have gone with “marketing” or with “inbound/content marketing” but I went with “guest blogging” because it was more specific and I feel I could achieve success much sooner in that niche.

3. Make Sure it Has Potential: If there are a lot of businesses offering services relevant to your niche, it is a good sign it has potential. There are a lot of people offering guest blogging services, people doing case studies about it, and I’ve made money in the past doing it, so I know it has potential.

With these 3 things in place, you are well-equipped to succeed in a niche.

How I Determined My Blog’s Purpose

Since your blog can’t be about everything, it is important to also work on its niche; what will you discuss, and what will be the main aim of your blog? The more specific your blog is, the clearer its purpose.

Part of my blog’s purpose is to inform people about guest blogging and teach them how to get results doing it; this was automatically established when I chose my niche.

However, to take things to the next level and establish my blog’s purpose, I decided I wanted it to be different from other blogs that talk about guest blogging. I want the tips to be practical, informative and easy to use; as a result, it will be rare to see my blog focus on “10 tips to do this guest blogging, etc.” Of course, I could write about topics like these once in a while but the focus of my blog is on offering practical information like the ones below:

As you can see from the above 3 posts, which are the kind my blog focused on, the main aim of my blog is to provide useful information that readers can act on, not just another filler “tips” post.

How I Created a Content and Marketing Plan for My Blog

I knew my blog won’t succeed just because I have the perfect niche, and that I had to create a real plan for marketing it. This plan had to include how I approach content on the site as well as how I market it.

Here was my plan for my blog:

Search Engine Optimization PlanningBlog content: 3 blog posts a week on average

Marketing: 20 guest posts monthly and regular activity on community sites like Quora

I was being unrealistic with these goals because I had another well-established blog that required my attention, I freelance for a living, and I had other plans, so I couldn’t commit to meeting the above goals without focusing on my new blog full-time; and I can’t afford to work on it full-time yet. However, having the above goals as my plan helped a lot.

I didn’t meet up with these goals but using it as a guide, my blog started to generate income soon. It has been making me an average of four figures monthly for at least 9 months now, and it now gets an average of 4,000 visitors monthly.

I also evolved some of my plan, like being active on Quora, when I didn’t see any results from doing them after sometime. So, instead, I changed my focus to only publishing posts on my blog and guest blogging on other blogs. Surprisingly, I didn’t have to do a lot of these to get results; with just 6 quality posts on my blog and around 5 guest posts published on other blogs, I had my first month where I made over $500 income as a result of the blog.

How I Planned to Make Money from My Blog

It is important to discuss this to put things in perspective. How I planned to make money from my blog is an important piece of the puzzle and it is something I needed to decide on before I started my blog.

Based on my experience, of 2 years, building my first blog, I had realized that one of the easiest and quickest ways to make money from my blog is by offering my services. I was a freelance writer; this time around, I decided to offer my services as a professional guest blogger, and occasionally a content marketer.

With this kind of plan to make money from my blog, I only needed to get a few clients every month and income will be consistent.

I did. I got my first client exactly 1 month and 10 days after I started my blog; when my blog hasn’t gotten up to 500 visitors; I still work with the client today, and I’ve made five figures working with him.

What I realized in the process is that, by offering my services, I don’t need thousands of monthly visitors to make money from my blog; with just hundreds of visitors monthly, I was getting clients consistently and soon started having four figure income months.

Watch Out for Part 2

This post is already very long so I have to stop here. In part two of this post, I will be talking about how I created my blog, chose my domain name, and how I went about creating key pages that influenced the success of my blog.

This article was written by Bamidele Onibalusi, who is a blogger, freelance writer, and founder of Writers in Charge, a popular blog for freelance writers.

Continue Reading

Uncategorized

Thwart the Thieves: How to Protect Your Company Data from Hackers

Published

on

Running an online business where you are dealing with customer data and private information can be scary. It doesn’t matter if you are a sole affiliate marketer or a huge 500+ person company, a data hack or leak can happen at any time. Even scarier than the initial leak itself, is that if hackers find a way to access private company data, they may be able to bring down your business. If you’re worried about this potential threat, you might want to learn how you can protect yourself.

Luckily, there are specific tactics you can put into place to shield your company data from hackers.

Keep reading and you’ll learn what it takes to keep your data safe. When you’re done, you’ll understand how you can lower the odds of a hacker stealing precious company data.

Let’s begin!

Enable 2-Factor Authentication

2-Factor authentication means that a password is not the only thing a person needs to access a certain ‘account.’

This is helpful because if someone accidentally exposes their password, their data is still going to be safe.

Most of the time, 2-factor authentication means you need an authentication code whenever you want to login to a specific account. Or, you’ll need to login to an app, that is constantly generating new authentication codes.

When you sign up to something like this, you’re also given some ‘backup codes.’ These codes are ‘hard-copy’ codes you can use should you lose your phone. You can write down these codes on a piece of paper and put that paper somewhere safe. You’ll then have a way to login to your account even if you don’t have your phone nearby.

There’s also the option of using a ‘key.’

This method is growing in popularity because it’s a lot more secure than using a message sent to your phone. With this option, you buy a special USB key. You then need to insert the key into your computer before you can log in to your account.

If you want to keep things as secure as possible, security keys can be the best option. Just make sure you buy your keys from a reputable source.

Be sure to enable 2-factor authentication for all your digital business systems.

Teach Employees How to Keep Data Safe

Data breaches often happen due to human error. If you can train your staff on potential scenarios that might lead to a data breach, you can reduce the odds of an issue related to human error.

One thing you need to teach employees is the importance of verifying URLs before they enter information.

For instance, there are a lot of hackers that will use a method which involves creating a duplicate web page. When people reach this duplicate webpage, they’ll think it’s the original version. Following this, they’ll enter in their login information. The hacker will then have this login information and they can then use it to access your data.

It’s worth noting that using methods like 2-factor authentication can help reduce the odds of this becoming an issue. After all, even if someone has access to the password, they’ll still need the authentication code/security key to gain access to your systems.

Another thing you should teach employees is to be wary of how they carry/transport data.

You should also let them know that they’re not allowed to store data on their USB sticks. USB sticks are convenient, but they’re also an easy way to lose company data.

The alternative is to store everything on a cloud server. This will help prevent a scenario, wherein an employee accidentally leaves their USB lying around and someone then steals You should also tell employees that they should always make sure there is a password on their computer.

Make Use of Business Specific Cloud Services

If you’re using a cloud service, use one that’s designed specifically for business. Such a service can often provide a lot more security, than a normal cloud offering.

You’ll find certain options provide you with a lot of insight into who has access to certain files and folders. Using the administrator login, you can control who has access.

This is especially helpful if someone loses their laptop.

You can just log in to the dashboard and make it so that the computer in question no longer has access to the files. If someone steals the laptop, they’ll be unable to access the data and exploit it. If you’d like to know how access rights work, check out this post for more info.

Such services also provide you with logs.

This can be helpful if you’re trying to spot unusual data access patterns. If you notice a login from an unusual location, it could be the sign of someone trying to hack your system. You can shut down this login as soon as you’re aware of it.

Hire People to Check Your Systems

There’s also the option of hiring people known as ‘white hat’ hackers. Such individuals will look for ways to hack your systems and gain access to your data. These people can let you know what vulnerabilities exist in your system and how you should fix such issues.

According to HeimdalSecurity, the following cyber attacks and threats are the biggest risks to data companies of all sizes:

  • Getting their info compromised in massive data leaks
  • Smartphones shipping with malware and malicious apps
  • Ransomware attacks on cloud services
  • Cryptojacking that affects their hardware
  • Financial losses and data compromise due to cryptocurrency trading
  • Scams with advanced social engineering tactics
  • IoT devices like smart locks or smart assistants being hacked

This preemptive approach gives you the chance to address issues before they’re exploited in a way that can damage your business. Good white hat hackers can be expensive. But you need to compare this cost to what you might expect you lose if someone hacks your company data.

Do You Know How to Protect Company Data?

There’s really no way to escape the fact that your company will have sensitive data stored on electronic devices. This can be a problem because people who are looking to exploit your data can hack these devices.

In this post, we’ve reviewed how you can protect your company data from hackers. You need to focus on training your employees so that the odds of human error are low. You also want to make use of things like 2-factor authentication.

If you want to keep your data really secure, consider hiring some white hat hackers. They’ll be able to take a look at your setup and can provide qualified advice on how you can make things better.

No matter what type of business or brand you are running online, it’s extremely important to protect your own, and your customer data. This is also true for any bloggers and affiliate marketers that might want to further protect their ad campaigns, company marketing plans, and business models.

Continue Reading

Uncategorized

Best Strategies to Get More Likes on Your Instagram Photos

Published

on

Instagram has faced significant growth in terms of popularity in recent years. With so many ways to promote a business, it’s no surprise that it gained so much love and attention by hundreds of millions of users around the world.

For businesses and brands on the social platform, interacting with your customers is much easier, and you can also attract them through stories and make them think you’re a fun business. However, it’s not as simple as just creating an Instagram profile and going live with whatever random photos you like. There is a wide range of top strategies and working methods to choose from, when it comes to Instagram growth, reach, and success.

One of the biggest concerns for businesses and brands on Instagram is how to get more likes on your most recent photos and image upload. At the same time, it’s also important to have a social media and outreach strategy in place, and knowing how to get more followers on Instagram.

To help with all of this, here are some ideas and strategies to boost that like count.

Post Consistently

It’s no surprise that people like consistency and habits. If they don’t know when you’re going to post, they will get tired of waiting and distance themselves. Therefore, decide on how much you’re going to post weekly, or even daily. For instance, you could post 3 pictures each week, and keep it like that. However, don’t post less than once a week because people will forget about you.

Use Hashtags

This goes two ways: you can use local hashtags as well as popular ones. Local hashtags can help you find customers that are near you. You can look for popular accounts and see what hashtags they are using to get followers.

On the other hand, popular hashtags are helpful when looking to attract a larger group of followers. They help your photos get more attention and thus more likes.

Post Good Quality Pictures

Although you don’t need to have the most professional looking photos ever, you can’t have anything that’s blurry and makes it hard to see what’s there. It’s essential to make sure that you have good lighting and everything is focused.

Post Videos

Some people find videos more engaging compared to pictures and are more likely to be interested in them. Posting videos of an upcoming new product or just product information can be more exciting compared to a picture.

Tip: Ensure your video doesn’t rely on audio. Usually, people watch videos when browsing their feed, and the audio is muted.

Post at High Traffic Times

This one requires a bit of time, as you need to find out more about your audience. If your followers are in other time zones, you should post more content during the right times, so they will see your pictures or videos.

Interact with Your Audience

It’s important to have a good relationship with your clients so they will love your page even more. Moreover, other people will notice that and become potential customers when they see you value your audience.

Instagram Bot

An Instagram bot could increase your followers. It comes with auto likes, follows and posts and earns you organic followers.

However, as with all bots, you will want to be careful with how fast you follow and unfollow other users. Triggering any spam or automated alerts to Instagram could quickly have you finding your account was closed as a result of it.

Use Stories

Instagram stories are really fun and they let you post content that will be available for 24 hours. You can post more goofy content, and your clients will appreciate your sense of humor and the fact that you are relatable.

In conclusion, gaining Instagram likes is not so hard if you know how to do it. You only need some time to apply everything in this guide, and you’re on your way to increase your audience.

Continue Reading

Uncategorized

Meet the Entrepreneurs and Experts of Affiliate Summit West 17

Published

on

Thousands of internet marketers, entrepreneurs, content creators and brands will ascend upon Las Vegas this weekend for Affiliate Summit West 2017. Not only has Affiliate Summit become one of the largest affiliate and internet marketing conferences in the world today, it’s also one I’ve been closely associated with ever since the beginning. From it’s first conference in a small room in New York City with just a couple hundred people to now having more than 5,000+ attendees and conferences twice per year, it’s always been great to attend as both an attendee and speaker.

At the same time, it would be a huge mistake to discount Affiliate Summit as just another networking of marketing conference. The relationships, businesses and life experiences that are a result of the event is second to none — which I why I always recommend everyone to attend, no matter their current level of expertise.

By the way… if you are attending, don’t miss the awesome “How to Become a Millionaire Blogger” panel with myself, John Chow, John Rampton, and Syed Balkhi. It’s almost always standing room only, and rated as one of the highest attended and most valued sessions of Affiliate Summit.

Affiliate_Summit_West_2017_Agenda2_-_Affiliate_Summit

Over the years I’ve literally met thousands of people through the conference and built many powerful relationships and business opportunities as well. With each new year, new speakers, entrepreneurs, and bloggers will take the next step in becoming financially independent, starting a side business or simply changing the world in some way or another.

To help you not only get inspired for this year’s Affiliate Summit West conference but also get inspired with just a glimpse of the talent at this event, I wanted to highlight some of my previous podcast guests, who will also be speaking at #ASW17. Enjoy, and I hope to see you there!

Inspiring Stories and Marketing Tips from Affiliate Summit Speakers

Below you will find a list of speakers currently on the agenda for ASW 17. However, through my podcast I’ve interviewed more than 80 different industry experts… many of which who will be also attending the event in one way or another. Be sure to check out the full list of interviews here.

Shawn Collins and the Affiliate Summit Empire

Shawn Collins of Affiliate Summit

Shawn Collins the co-founder of Affiliate Summit, which has become the largest affiliate marketing conference in the world today.

I’ve been good friends with Shawn for a while now and we’ve both been able to experience the affiliate marketing industry completely transition and develop over the past 15+ years. We were both in attendance at the Affiliate Force cruise, which was one of the first attempts at an affiliate marketing conference, but knew it could be done better. At that point Shawn and Missy decided they could do it better and the rest is history!

John Chow, the Master of Blog Monetization

John Chow is one of the most well-known and successful bloggers in the world. If you’ve ever Google’d “how to make money online” or “how to make money blogging”, you’ve probably come across his name and site several times.

The amazing thing about John Chow was that he was never supposed to make money with his blog in the first place. What was originally just going to be a blog on his personal life and what he ate for lunch, soon became a “money making case study”. As John learned new and exciting ways to monetize his blog content and audience, the money just kept rolling in.

Jump forward several years later and his blog is now generating over six-figures per month, and most of it recurring and automated through his amazing sales funnel system — all of which John talks about in this episode.

Rachel Honoway, From Intern to CEO

Rachel Honoway is the CEO of For Me To Coupon. However it’s not her current position that we are focusing on, instead it’s the great journey that’s led her to where she is today.

The start of Rachel’s journey in the world of online marketing is nearly 20 years in the making. Rachel’s first job was at an internet marketing company called Kowabunga, where she first came in as an intern. As the company continued to grow in size, so did Rachel’s daily tasks and her job title. The company was soon acquired and Rachel was then managing more of the company than ever before. Once leaving Kowabunga, Rachel had a wide range of opportunities over the years before ending up at For Me To Coupon, where she is the CEO today — which is all discussed in this latest episode.

Syed Balkhi, the Wizard of WordPress

Syed Balkhi is not only a master at WordPress, but he is also an awesome entrepreneur.

Since an early age Syed has always had a passion for business and building success. This could be seen from the early years of his life when he was just a kid in Pakistan and selling greeting cards. Then later in life while in high school, Syed started developing sites of his own while quickly discovering what the internet had to offer.

Today Syed runs some of the most powerful and heavily trafficked sites in the world… and yes, they are all powered with WordPress!

Stephan Spencer and the Science of SEO

Stephan Spencer is an SEO expert. He’s also the author of Google Power Search and co-author of The Art of SEO… so it’s safe to say he knows his stuff when it comes to SEO and ranking sites in the search results.

How sites rank in the search results can go all the way back to before 2000, which is when Stephan and his NetConcepts company started getting heavy into SEO services. The thing about SEO is that it’s always changing, so to be one of the best SEO experts in the industry, Stephan is continually at the forefront of the industry and connecting with some of the most successful experts, businesses, and brands in the world.

Geno Prussakov Shares his Affiliate Management Tips

Geno Prussakov is an affiliate marketing expert, author, and international speaker.

In the world of the internet, being an expert is key. Geno has mastered the art of affiliate marketing and affiliate program management and through this expertise has been able to grow his personal brand and business at the same time. As the author of many best-selling books on affiliate marketing, and also haven spoke at 50+ different conferences on such topics, Geno is the voice many people turn to when looking for answers to their affiliate marketing questions.

Having trained thousands of marketing professionals through his various books and online blog, Geno also went on to create Affiliate Management Days, which is a conference solely focused on the art of successful affiliate program management.

Oliver Roup Wants to Make Every Link Intelligent and Valuable

Oliver Roup is the founder and CEO of VigLink, a company that helps content creators make money through the use of affiliate marketing, while not having to deal with all the complexities of individual tracking, manually creating links and joining multiple programs.

Before getting active in the online marketing space, Oliver had accumulated quite an exciting resume of previous work with Space X, Microsoft, Paul Allen and many others. However, what might be Oliver’s most exciting experience to date was taking his business at Viglink from an idea to the flourishing business it is today.

For Oliver, this isn’t something that would happen overnight. Instead, it was a long journey of meeting with investors and VCs, trying to convince them that his idea was worth their time and investment. After many failed attempts, Oliver finally found an investor that was interested and things started to move fast!

Years later and over $20 million dollars in funding to date, the company continues to grow and scale in size while also helping sites of all sizes make money with their content while also connecting them with some of the largest brands and advertisers in the world.

Russell Brunson and How to Create Killer Sales Funnels

Russell Brunson is an entrepreneur and the founder of DotComSecrets and ClickFunnels.

While finishing up his last year in College, Russell wanted to figure out a way to make enough money so he could continue with his passion for wrestling and to take care of himself and his girlfriend. After dabbling in the online marketing space and going through various failed projects, Russell discovered that one of the most successful ways to make money online was through the use of ebooks, guides and selling information. While messing around with some friends, Russell wanted to create a potato gun and went to the internet to find out how to create one. Once he found that there was nothing out there, he quickly threw one together and made a little course of his own on how to do the same.

Jump forward several years and today you will find Russell Brunson with all of his attention focused on ClickFunnels, a WYSIWYG editor and seamless way to create high converting landing pages and sales funnels. Not only has ClickFunnels become a huge success, it’s also taught Russell how to grow and scale a company, while also learning how to remove distractions and only focusing on what matters most.

John Rampton and Living the Dream in Silicon Valley

John Rampton is an online entrepreneur who has become a master at pay per click marketing, but even more importantly — making connections and networking with the right people.

I first met John Rampton several years back when he came up to me and asked for an interview while at Affiliate Summit. Since then we just seemed to click and started working on various projects together. In addition to being the Managing Editor of Search Engine Journal, John’s writing can also be found on Forbes, HuffingtonPost, Entrepreneur and many other top media outlets and news sources.

One of the major reasons for John’s success in the world of online marketing can be attributed to his outgoing attitude, willingness to help others and talking with just about everyone he meets. Each of these are all required skills for making it in the world of business and forming new partnerships. With all of this in mind, it only made sense for him to leave his home state of Utah and make the big move to Silicon Valley, CA — the central economic focal point for everything internet!

Thomas Smale and How to Buy and Sell Websites

Thomas Smale is the co-founder of FE International, a company that was founded in 2010 that focuses on website brokering for mid-market online businesses.

Back in 2009-2010 Thomas wanted to get involved in the world of online marketing, but with little technical experience, his options were limited. It was then that he fell upon the concept of buying and selling websites for himself. With only a few hundred dollars at a time, Thomas began buying and flipping websites and getting quite good at it in the process. As his reputation and experience in this space started to grow, so did requests from other individuals asking for his support in selling their own websites — thus, a new business venture begins!

Today Thomas is the co-founder of FE International, which has offices in two different countries and 11 team members — all with the focus on website brokering and mastering the art of buying and selling websites.

See you at Affiliate Summit West!

Continue Reading

Hi, I’m Zac Johnson

Most Read Articles

Trending