Your Blogging Questions Answered

I get emails all the time asking about what the best ways are to make money with blogging, how to get a blog noticed, what the best niches are to blog about, and so on… I usually reply to the emails, but a lot of times they are the same questions. I’m working on a new project for blogging and would like to compile a list of your top blogging questions. Not only will I be answering your individual questions, but this page will also act a resource for many, whenever they are looking for advice, questions and any off the wall ideas for blogging.

To get you started, I’ve posted a few questions I’ve received over the years, along with my response. I would greatly appreciate if you could leave a question or two in the comments area and I will leave an answer to each and every question about blogging.

Q: Why did you decide to start blogging?
A: I actually thought about blogging for a couple years before I actually got started, but wasn’t sure if it was something I wanted to get into. The decision to start blogging was one of the best I’ve made so far. Not only has it opened a whole new world for meeting new people and making new business contacts, but it’s also become it’s own little successful business on the site. The branding and authority that has been received through blogging has also been tremendous.

My original intention for starting the blog was to document stories, concepts and ideas that I had worked on and experienced over the past decade, while also helping others learn how to start making money online as well. Over the past few years the blog has accomplished all of this and much more.

Q: What is the best way to monetize a blog?
A: This answer to this question really depends on the niche that your blog will be focusing on. When I first started, I wasn’t focusing on monetization for the first year, then I decided to go with sponsor advertising. The sponsor advertising is the main revenue generator for this blog. I would focus on providing quality content, while the advertisers could target the direct audience that is perfect for them. It’s the perfect combination for any blog owner.

Other methods for revenue generation on a blog include; affiliate marketing, direct sales, creating your own product and exclusive content. Affiliate marketing is easy enough to understand, which can be as simple as linking to and using your affiliate link whenever you mention a product or book for sale on their site. Direct sales is where I focus my efforts, which is basically selling advertising on your blog. Creating your product is one of the best ways to build your brand and make a significant amount of money, as you will earn 100% of all sales through your blog. If you want to build a premium membership or forum around your blog, you can do this through a monthly or annual membership, which gives your premium readers access to special tools, articles, case studies and even direct contact with yourself.

I hope you enjoyed these first few blogging questions and I would really like to see a few questions from all of you. Thank you for reading, and please leaving your blogging question in the comments below.

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  1. Over the past year I've decided to moderate all comments on the blog. This was mainly due to the amount of spam that was coming through the filters, and when I moderate comments, I can keep track of the latest ones and reply to them accordingly.

    As for negative comments, I really haven't seen any lately on the blog. The only comments that I would remove from the blog are ones that are spam, attacking another commentor for no reason (hasn't happened yet), or just out there to attack or blemish a company name.

    If a comment ever does come up about someone that has had a bad experience with a company, I will usually let the company know so they can leave their response, but I would still leave it all on the blog.

    Whether you leave negative comments on your blog, it's up the blog owner, but if you start removing every comment that offends you, you are probably going to push away your audience, and at the very least, the ones who are leaving comments and you keep removing them.

  2. I think its great you're having a Q/A going here.
    What are some of the useful wordpress plugins that worked well for you? Were there any tools or things you've done on your blog (aside form awesome content), that helped bring your readership to the next level ?
    My recent post minify your javascript code to speed up website

    1. There are a lot of really great wordpress plugins out there, and depending on the niche and layout of your blog they may fit, or may not. I always like plugins that easily allow users to share and spread content around for your (I will be adding facebook/twitter sharing features this week). I also like the "related posts" keywords and anything that makes it easier for you to have your top content seen to new users.

      Earlier in the year I wrote a post on the top wordpress plugins every blog should use. It might be a bit out dated, but still has a few good ones on the list. I will have to write an updated post soon.

      As for a plugin that has really helped the growth of the blog, I would say hands down that the Aweber lightbox subscriber form has been crucial to the growth of this site and the many others who have used it.

      Using the right combination of plugins and social networking tools is always the best combination for viral and branding success.

  3. Zac,
    I am slowly trying to be a regular poster on music stuff (my specialism) BUT have decided I also want to to blog on different matters. Is it best to have different subjects on completely different blogs/websites or lump them all together and categorize instead? PLEASE!

    1. I think it's very important to keep your blogs tight in their niches. This can be said for multiple reasons. If you are going to be writing about music and your blog is built around the music concept, people should be coming to the site specifically for "music" related content and nothing else.

      If you are going to occasionally talk about your life or what's going on with you and the music industry, that makes sense. However if you are going way off topic and talking about politics or sports, I would save that for your own personal blog and not mix the two up.

  4. Hi Zac,
    In your opinion do lightboxes work, or do they drive first time visitors away. I have been considering the option for a while now. I would love to know what you think.
    Also what would be your 1 tip to drive traffic to a blog.

    1. I've never heard any complaints on lightboxes and how they perform with getting new signups, I've only heard and seen of success stories. Sure, they might be annoying on the first visit, but how many visitors are coming to your blog and will never visit again (unless they subscribe). The other great feature of lightboxes, is that you can set them up to display once per 15, 30, 45 days, or any amount you like. This way the people that visit your site every day or once a week won't keep seeing the popup. Go for it and test your results!

      1. Thanks Zac, will look into putting a light box up. Like you say, test and track.
        Thanks for your answer. Great help.

        My recent post Blog Commenting-Why You Should Be!

    1. I personally do both, but the majority of revenue from this site is from direct ad sales. Depending on the niche you are blogging in, you will see a different result. It's easy to make money in the "make money" or "internet marketing" niche once you establish a brand and following, simply because the advertisers know exactly who their audience is.

      Occasionally I will work on deals with advertisers where I run them at a lower direct ad sales rate, but will also earn a commission on any referrals to their network or sales.

  5. Thanks for the opportunity to throw out a few questions.
    Enjoy your blog and you helped get mine going.
    Design is still the process…

    I had an adwords account for about 3 years until it was banned from Google for advertising the ad Google Money Tree for 4 days. I always played by Googles rules and thought I could trust the merchants on a network like neverblue.Three years of work down the drain and I have not opened an adwords account since this happened. That was over a year ago and since then I have chosen to start my own blog.

    My question is: Should I be worried about Google blocking my site? I’m setting up completely new affiliate accounts, but should I be worried? I don’t have an adwords account now. My ip address is also different.

    Also, I was reading an article about linking out and they mentioned to be careful who you link to… Occasionally I come across a humorous video related to my topic on you tube that I will post. Is this a bad practice?

    Thanks for your time!

    1. You shouldn't have any problems with your site indexing or Google not liking it. The web site and you adwords account aren't related to each other, nor does it have any of the offending advertisement on it.

      I would recommend linking to sites that you think are legitimate. Any linking to big sites like YouTube, Facebook or Twitter would be fine.

  6. It's quite common for bloggers to be a bit skeptical and undecided before they start blogging, and once they do, they simply rediscover a whole new passion for this art in the web social world. Interacting with visitors, meeting people with common goals and hobbies and furthermore, slowly developing a small business before they know it 🙂
    My recent post Getting the right color scheme

  7. Is it a good idea for a beginner to use a wordpress blog hosted on It's much easier to setup and it also costs less. What is your opinion please?

    Thank you

    1. I would recommend running a blog on wordpress if this was just a test and you wanted to learn how to use the wordpress platform. If you are serious about blogging, I would say spend the $7 for a domain and extra $10 (or less) a month for your own web hosting. The last thing you want to do is grow out your blog and have it become something substantial and have it not hosted on your own server, not to mention not having your own direct domain.

      1. I totally agree! I have known of many authors who shared that their wordpress blogs gains more viewers in shorter time & earns more compared to their other blogs hosted on other platforms.

      2. Thank you Zac. What is the best place to get a domain name and hosting (not too expensive)?

  8. Zac, when considering direct ad sales, do you approach companies, or do they come to you for the most part?

    Also, do you use a plug in like OIO to manage the ads and their sales?
    My recent post North Georgia Panfishing

    1. At this point, I get emails from advertisers all the time. So for me I personally manage all direct sales, and payment is usually through paypal or invoice/direct deposit or checks for larger/longterm deals.

      I purchased a copy of OIO a while ago, but never got around to using it. I also use for a few other sites. They manage all of your ad space and have a large market place of advertisers. Their cut is 25% of all ad sales.

  9. Is this blog your main source of income or do you have other little ventures on the side?

    Also how long did it take for you to start making any money? I run a small blog but haven't monetized it yet and wondering when i should monetize it.

  10. Thanks for sharing how you started on blogging & for recommending ways to monetize a blog. This info can really be helpful to us beginning bloggers.

  11. This blog continually generates over five figures per month. There was no advertising on the blog for the first nine months it was live. You can see each monthly case study in the "Blog Earnings" category listed in the side bar.

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