This is the final post in a series of post on how I built a blog that was making four figures monthly, and, most importantly, how you can do the same.
Here’s what the series covers:
- 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
I’ve addressed how I planned my blog, how I created my blog, how I make money from my blog, how I create key posts, and how I create key pages.
Today’s post will be addressing an essential part of my strategy; how I market my blog.
How I Market My Blog or My Guest Blogging Strategy
My marketing strategy is based solely on guest blogging; nothing complicated or fancy.
I’ve experimented with other marketing tactics in the past but guest blogging seems to be the only effective one for me, without really going out of my comfort zone, both on the long and short term.
However, I have been guest blogging for 3 years now so I have made quite a number of mistakes. This post will be teaching you my approach that works, eliminating all the guesswork I had to do when I was just getting started.
Why It is Important to Plan Your Guest Blogging
Most bloggers approach guest blogging in a simplistic way; by looking for blogs willing to publish their guest posts, and submitting posts to these blogs.
Before guest blogging, it is important to have a plan; in other words, you need to design a guest blogging campaign, and this campaign will often be influenced by the following factors:
- What are your goals?
- How soon do you want results?
- How much time can you invest into guest blogging?
- What niche are you in?
The above questions, and more, should influence your guest blogging plan. Here’s how they can influence your guest blogging plan:
1. What are your goals?
Do you want to use guest blogging to get one or two quick clients, or do you want it to be a core part of your blog growth strategy? Depending on your answer, the kind of guest posts you write, the kind of blogs you guest post on, and how many guest posts you write will be different.
Example: If I am a freelance writer who needs to get 1 â€“ 2 clients within a month, and I’m considering doing this by guest blogging, instead of just submitting guest posts to any blogs I can find, it will be more effective to find the biggest blogs read by the kind of clients I want, that will publish my guest posts quickly, and submit my guest posts to them.
I will also want to make sure my post is in some way relevant to the freelance writing service I offer, so that clients can see a connection and then hire me.
In other words, looking for the top tech blogs and contributing a post about the top iPhone apps, or sending a random post to my favorite blog about blogging, won’t cut it.
2. How soon do you want results?
If you want results as soon as your guest post is published, you should focus on quality instead of quantity; in other words, you want to avoid targeting a lot of small blogs. Instead, you want to target the very big blogs since they tend to have a wider reach.
3. How much time can you invest into guest blogging?
The time you invest into guest blogging will, almost always, be directly proportional to the results you get. If you don’t have enough time, you need to ensure every minute you invest counts; in other words, you need to find the very best outlets for your guest posts so that every post you submit can make an impact.
If you have a lot of time, you can focus on a strategy that might not get immediate results but will have massive impact on the long run; by this, I mean you might also want to consider using guest blogging as part of your SEO strategy.
4. What niche are you in?
This is critical. Guest blogging isn’t the same in every niche; some niches have very few blogs, and the popular blogs in some niches have few readers. You have to factor this in when you’re guest blogging.
If you are in a niche that won’t really help you benefit from guest blogging, you might want to consider an approach where you target relevant blogs in much bigger niches and look for ways to link the topic of that niche with the topic of your niche.
Decide on the Number of Guest Posts You Want to Write
Once you’ve considered the 4 factors outlined above, the next step is to decide on the number of guest posts you will be writing on a monthly basis.
The number of guest post you decide on should be influenced by all these factors. Here’s a summary of the factors again:
- Your goals
- Your niche
- Available time
- How soon you want results
Depending on what your goals are, you will find yourself writing 2 â€“ 20+ guest posts every month; no matter the situation, I will recommend not writing less than 2 guest posts a month.
For me, my initial plan was to write 20 guest posts a month but I soon realized that, with my other activities, that is easier said than done, and, most importantly, I didn’t need to write as much guest posts.
How to Find the Right Blogs to Guest Post On
When it comes to guest blogging effectively, a huge part of the process is finding the right blogs to publish your guest posts.
Here are some tips for you when trying to find blogs for your guest posts:
- Make sure the blog is in your niche, or relevant to your niche.
- If you can’t find a blog relevant to your niche, make sure there’s a way you can tie your topic to the topic of that blog. Example: I can promote a marketing blog on an iPhone blog by writing a post titled “10 Cool iPhone Apps for Marketers.”
- Avoid writing guest posts for blogs have easy criteria; you are looking for results, not an easy guest blogging opportunity.
Techniques for Finding Blogs for Your Guest Post
Here are my favorite techniques for finding blogs that will publish my posts:
1. Google Search: By searching for guest blogging-related terms + the niche I want to guest post on, I can find hundreds of blogs in Google after a few hours of searches. Assuming I’m looking for blogs in the design niche, here are terms I would use:
- Design blog + “write for us”
- Design + “write for us”
- Design blog + “submit guest post”
- Design blog + “guest blogging opportunities”
- Design blog + “guest blogging”
- Design blog + “guest posting”
- Design blog + “contribute”
- Design blog + “submit article”
You can also use variations of the above terms, replacing “design” with your niche. It’s also important to include the quotes in the guest blogging related terms when searching, as this only shows blogs that actually need guest posts.
How to Write Guest Posts that Get Results
When trying to write guest posts that get results, make sure you consider the following tips:
- Look for a proven formula that works with the blog; try to see if you can find their most popular posts, or analyze their most recent guest posts, to see what they have in common. There’s every probability the blogger already has a formula she believes in, and you will increase the chances of your guest post being accepted if you stick to this formula.
- Make sure the topic of your guest post has a connection to your niche; this way, readers of your guest post have a reason to check you out.
- Link to relevant and authoritative sources in your guest post; this helps readers associate you with these sources, and it improves the chances of your guest post ranking well in the search engines for long-term gain.
- Make sure your guest posts are properly formatted; you might already have your own formatting style, but it might help to study the blog you will be publishing on, and to format your guest post using the format common on that blog.
- Make sure your bio describes you well; it can talk about your expertise, experience, as well as how you can help readers of your guest posts.
Guest blogging can be very powerful, especially when you use it as a core part of your marketing strategy; this post is the last past of this series and it details how I approach guest blogging for my blogs. I hope you are able to get results on your blog by following the suggestions in this post.
Bamidele Onibalusi is a blogger, freelance writer, and the founder of Writers in Charge, a popular blog for writers. If you want a proven formula for getting writing clients by blogging.
Thwart the Thieves: How to Protect Your Company Data from Hackers
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.
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.
Best Strategies to Get More Likes on Your Instagram Photos
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Meet the Entrepreneurs and Experts of Affiliate Summit West 17
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.
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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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!
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