Making money your blog is definitely one of the most exciting times for the growth of your site. Setting up your blog for the first time, getting your first post live, then seeing traffic coming through your site on a daily basis are all amazing things, but finally seeing all of your efforts come together and that you have built a web site / blog that can really make you money, now that’s amazing!
When it comes to blogging and making money on line I’ve had my fair share of everything. With ZacJohnson.com I’ve been able to generate over six figures per year through various methods, such as onsite advertising, affiliate products, partnerships and affiliate programs. Even better, my personal brand continues to grow each step along the way.
This post is all about making money with your blog and now I’m going to break down some of the best ways to start monetizing your blog, while not jeopardizing your user experience.
Best Methods for Make Money with Your Blog
As mentioned, there are plenty of ways to make money with a blog but you don’t want to get into any shady areas and you definitely don’t want to lose your audience just for a quick buck. Each of the methods mentioned below I’ve used on my own blogs and your audience may even benefit from them in the process.
Most of are already familiar with affiliate marketing, but for those of you who aren’t it’s all about earning a commission on products or services that you recommend through your blog. For instance, if you just read a great book and mentioned it on your blog, you could use your Amazon.com affiliate link to refer sales back to Amazon and you will earn a commission on each.
The good thing about affiliate marketing is that it expands across nearly every industry and topic that you could think of for a web site. This means no matter what topic you write about on your blog, there are plenty of ways for you to monetize your content. You also don’t need to actually sell products or services to earn commissions, you can also refer leads to business or earn commission just for people to fill out short surveys or download games.
If you already have an idea for a site that would be a great fit for your site, go to their main page and look for an “affiliate program” link on the bottom section of their site. Most sites do have affiliate programs, but not all of them list it on their sites. To find more affiliate programs in your niche you can join larger affiliate networks such asshareasale.com that house thousands of different programs or search Google for “niche/industry + affiliate program” and you will have a nice assortment of programs to look through.
On Site Advertising
If you’ve spent a lot of time building up your site traffic, content and brand then you may be able to start selling on site advertising on your blog. This can be anything from product reviews, banners or newsletter promotions. Depending on your site traffic and niche, the price you can charge for advertising will heavily vary.
When selling advertising on your blog be sure to limit the amount of advertising space available. This will help you for two reasons. The first is that it won’t ruin your blog reader’s user experience and the other reason is that you can sell your advertising at a premium rate if you have less spots.
A great way to bring in new advertisers to your blog is to add an “Advertise” button or link to your blog. If you are having trouble finding advertisers for your site, take a look at your biggest blog competitors and see who is advertising on their sites. Send them an email and offer them a great deal for a test period to advertise on your site.
Creating Your Own Products / Services
The holy grail on blog monetization is creating your own product or service. If you are an authority within your niche and blog readers are continually coming to your site to hear what you have to say, then creating your own product is a great way to monetize your blog. When you have your own product or service not only will you be able to create something that your audience is interested in, but you will also be earning 100% of the revenue as well.
Some of the most successful ways to create your own product or service through your blog is with your own personal consulting service, creating a membership area to premium content and by writing an ebook with your best posts and content. Each of these might seem like they might not sell well on your site, but people pay good money to save time and benefit from quality services. This means, if people are coming to your site to read what you have been writing about, it’s very likely they would pay a premium for great content and services as well.
Starting Your Own Mailing List
All of the monetization methods above are extremely important and lucrative, but if you aren’t building a relationship and keeping your audience coming back for more, you are just another blog on the web. Starting a newsletter or mailing list for your blog is the absolute best way to grow your audience on a daily basis and giving you the ability to contact all of them with the simple click of a button.
I’ve been using Aweber for many years now and they are one of the most trusted businesses online for email and newsletter management. All you need to do is throw a signup form on your site and ask people to join your newsletter and you are ready to go. To increase the amount of signups to your mailing list, you should create a free product or guide that you can give away to anyone who signs up. Not only will this allow you to offer a quality bonus to your audience, but it will heavily increase your conversions as well.
Through the use of a newsletter or mailing list you can keep your blog readers up to date with any new and exciting events going on at your blog, while also letting them know about any new premium services or products you are offering through your site. All of the biggest bloggers in the world and thanked mailing lists as their number one method for growing their brand an monetizing their sites.
Always Treat Your Blog Like a Real Business
Starting a business on the internet is extremely cheap and easy, but getting your site to the status of a real business that makes money is quite an accomplishment. This means you need to treat your blog like a real business. Blogging is one of the slowest forms for making money online, but when done correctly it can turn into a multi-million dollar business. Just take a look at TechCrunch, HuffingtonPost
If you haven’t already, get setup with your blog and a free domain name, then shoot me an email with any questions you have about getting setup. I can even set you up with a free premium theme to get you on the right path.
This is it! We finally completed the “Seven Days of Blogging: My Personal Guide to Blogging”. If you missed any of the previous posts in the series, be sure to click here and you can find a link to all of the previous topics and discussions. Good luck with your blog and keep me updated on your success!
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Quick and Effective Tips to Maximize Speed of your Website or Blog
Few things are worse than when you click over to a new website or blog, and then it’s loading slow as anything. With everyone having an extremely short attention span, and so many options for other websites and entertainment online, a fast loading website is a must for every blogger, brand, or business on the internet.
There are also many benefits associated with a fast loading site, beyond just user experience. Google is now penalizing sites that take too long to load, and boosting up other sites that a mobile-optimized and running super fast.
Depending on how technical your design or WordPress skills might be, the process of speeding up your site and maximizing it’s optimization might vary. To help with this process, I’ve listed a few of the best working methods below.
Optimize your Homepage to Load Quickly
With the homepage being one of the most vital parts of your website or blog, you should be doing everything possible to make sure it loads quickly. Different things can be done to speed up your homepage such as lowering the number of posts on the main page, minimizing applications and widgets from third-party sites, and also optimizing your images so they are either loading as a smaller sized file or through a CDN service. It’s also a good idea to use an SEO friendly theme or template, as these are more often cleaner with their coding and already optimized right out of the box.
Use an Effective Caching Plugin
If you are using a CMS like WordPress or blogger, then using an effective cashing plugin can contribute nicely in the process of making sure your site is loading as fast as possible. Since caching is an apparatus for a temporary storage of web pages to diminish bandwidth and to improve page loading performance as well, it saves the server’s time to make web pages load faster. Caching plugins are easy to install and use. All you need to do is perform some research online to see which plugin is best for your site, then click a few buttons to have it installed right within WordPress. Once this is done, it’s usually just a matter of copying the account number of your CDN and letting the hosting provider and WordPress plugin do its work.
Use CDN (content delivery network)
We’ve already referenced content delivery networks or CDNs, a few times now. The way these solutions work is that they host a version of your site on their server, and then loads the content from another server that is closest to that individual’s location. More and more site owners and bloggers are using CDNs not only to improve page load speed but to provide users with a great experience to make them stay longer on the website. Also mentioned earlier, this can help with how well a site ranks in Google, while also moving your site above the competition. Moreover, if one of your server locations is overloaded due to huge traffic and visitors, then users can automatically be switched to a new server location to enjoy fast loading website experience.
Improve Your Hosting Plan
If you have a slow loading website or blog, it’s likely due to your hosting plan. If you are pushing a lot of traffic through your site and making money in the process, you should definitely upgrade from a shared server. Shared hosting is often fine for new site owners and bloggers, but as your site gains more attention, backlinks, and traffic, it will also likely be using more server resource. On a shared server, your site is also sharing the server resources with many other sites — sometimes hundreds, or even thousands! Upgrading your hosting plan to a VPS or dedicated hosting package can greatly improve the performance of your site as well. So, if you are still using a cheap web hosting plan with an average price below $5/mo and receiving massive traffic from search engines, then it would be the right time for you to upgrade your hosting plan with a better one to speed up your website loading speed.
Use Optimized Images
Big images take up a lot of space and resources when it comes to loading data from your site. This is especially true with very high-quality images. While these images are going to play a big role in the beauty and engagement on your site, there are still ways to optimize such large images so they load faster and put less stress on your server. There are many plugins are available that can drastically reduce the file size of an image without reducing the quality. Image optimization will not only help you boost website load time but will also save disk space for more files and media. If you really don’t want to overload your website with plugins, then you can also use online image reducer apps and software to optimize image before uploading to the media library of the site.
Minimize HTTP Redirects Requests
How and where content is being loaded on your site can also affect its overall performance. You may need to use redirect requests to redirect the web browser from one URL to another. There are a variety of reasons as to why you might want to do this, such as to specify a new URL location, to track visits and clicks on the site or to connect different elements of the website with each other. Since redirects might be necessary to enhance overall UX of the website, you should only be using the redirect requests that are most important because excessive redirect requests can have an ultimate impact on the loading speed of your website/blog.
Don’t Leave Your Audience Hanging
When browsing the internet, few things are more annoying than accessing a slow loading website. It’s hard enough to get someone to visit your site, let alone stay for a few seconds. Don’t give them a reason to leave right away because your site isn’t loading as fast as it should be.
Follow each of the simple and effective site speed optimization tips above to make sure your site loads as fast as possible, ranks higher than the competition and also doesn’t disappoint your audience when they hit your site.
7 Examples of How to Rank Higher in Google for Your Name
Your name is important and when someone searches for it online, you want to make sure they find your correct information. This isn’t just about reputation management, it’s also about looking your best and delivering a great first impression.
The key thing to remember here is no matter what someone is searching for online, they are likely going to start with a simple Google search. Since most people share their name with hundreds or even thousands of people in the world, having your content rank for your name might be quite a challenge. This is especially the case if you share a name with a popular celebrity, politician or well-known personality.
The good news is that when it comes to ranking for your name in Google, anything is possible. Implement each of the seven methods below into your content creation and marketing efforts to see your own site and content start ranking higher for your personal name.
Create a Website or Blog with YourName.com
It’s not just about creating a site and putting it out there, it’s also about making sure the site acts as your main hub for everything you do online. This means you should be creating original content for the site, linking to your social media profiles and also referencing back to your site when contributing to other sites or getting quoted/referenced.
Once you have a platform in place, it’s something that will continue grow and develop with your personal brand over time — while also gaining in authority and SEO power as well.
Promote Your Social Profiles
Speaking of social profiles, Google loves to rank sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter right at the top of their search results. Depending on the competition around your name, your social profiles might already be ranking at the top of Google, even above your own websites.
You can see an example of what currently ranks in Google should you search for “Taylor Swift” below.
With millions of sites and new content pieces covering Taylor Swift every single day, it’s her social profiles (Twitter, Instagram and YouTube) that continue to dominate the search rankings.
This same method works for all names and not just celebrities. If you want your social profiles to rank higher, just keep sending more links to them using a variation of your name as the anchor text.
Boost Profiles and Authority Sites
As mentioned in the beginning of the article, ranking at the top of Google for your name is important if you want to deliver the best and most accurate information. If you are having trouble ranking your own site or want to focus on ranking other high authority content in addition to your own, this is a perfect option to explore.
For example, let’s take a look at Warren Stephens, who is an entrepreneur and has multiple bios and articles written about him online. His Wikipedia profile ranks first, then a bio on Forbes and another based around “Warren Stephens net-worth” on TheRichest. While Wikipedia and Forbes are both mega-huge outlets, TheRichest is still quite powerful to be ranking number three for his name.
Celebrity networth sites have quickly been gaining more and more attention lately as they continue to ramp up the number of celebrities, entrepreneurs, and well-known personalities they continue to cover. Even if you don’t think your one of the most famous people in the world, your profile could soon quickly be picked up by their platforms and covered in the media.
How long before we see these “networth” sites ranking on the first page for many average individuals, YouTube stars and entrepreneurs?
Guest Blogging and Author Profiles on Other Sites
While you might already have a site of your own that is ranking well for your name, it’s always a good idea to try and rank for multiple positions with other relevant content. If you are an expert in your industry, a great way to secure even more page one rankings for your name is to contribute content to other high-authority sites.
Not only does Neil have his own sites, he is also a contributor to many big media outlets like Entrepreneur.com and HubSpot.com. Doing a quick search for his name in Google will result in not only his main sites and social profiles ranking for his name, but also each of these contributing bios on other sites as well.
Once again, a perfect example of how you can deliver a great first impression (and your best content) when someone searches for your name on Google.
Rank with Other Content Sharing Sites
As covered in a few of the examples above, a great way to quickly rank at the top of Google for your name is to do so with other well-established sites. In this example, we are going to look at Jeff Bullas, who is one of the most well-known bloggers and social media influencers in the world today.
His site at JeffBullas.com already ranks number one for his name, then his social profiles follow afterward. However, when you move further down the list you will see his profiles with SlideShare.net and WordPress.com also make it on the first page of Google.
Even though Slideshare and WordPress.com are two extremely popular sites, not many people consider them when trying to rank for multiple positions for their name. These are definitely two free options everyone should consider when trying to dominate the whole first page of Google for their name.
Do Interviews and Media Outreach
A common theme in this article has been the power of using authority sites and media outlets to quickly rank at the top of Google. One of the best ways to accomplish this is through interviews and getting mentioned or covered by relevant industry sites that rank well.
A quick example of this can be seen if you search for my name in Google. A few years ago I was interviewed for IncomeDiary.com, and that post still ranks extremely well for my name today.
The same holds true for even big name celebrities or entrepreneurs who do interviews or get covered for stories based around their success and fame. If you do a search for “Lori Greiner” of Shark Tank, you will see interview-based stories from BusinessInsider.com, Inc. and Entrepreneur.com all ranking on the first page for her name.
Not sure how to get media coverage on sites like Entrepreneur or Inc? Simple… just look for the author bio section in each article. Share their content, build up a relationship and maybe your story is a perfect fit for their next article.
Don’t Forget About the Power of Video
Video is a fascinating beast in itself, yet one that is often overlooked by content creators that mainly focus on “text” based articles.
Here’s two quick things you need to know about video.
- People love to share and reference videos
- Google loves to rank video since they own YouTube
Now that you know that, you should definitely be using video in your content outreach and SEO practices.
Still not sure how effective video ranking can be? Richard Branson is one of the most well-known and successful entrepreneurs in the world, with billions of searches for his name annually. With all of that competition in play, do you think a video would rank for his name on Google? — The answer is yes, and even more surprising… it’s not even a YouTube video!
Don’t Just Rank #1 — Rank for All Ten!
The ultimate goal for everyone trying to rank in Google for their name shouldn’t be to just grab that elusive number one position, but instead to rank for multiple (if not all) page one locations.
Run through the above seven working methods again and see what type of content you may already have ranking in Google. It’s much easier to improve your rankings with any existing content that you already have ranking on page 2 or 3 pushed to page 1, versus trying to come up with new and original content of your own.
In the world of SEO and ranking at the top of Google, it’s all about getting your content in the right places and building authority links and references around them
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