Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Who Else Wants to Have a Successful Blog?


How the heck a blog becomes successful? Truly speaking, success and failure of blog all depends on you. But there are few things that are common in every successful blog.

When I started blogging I didn’t even knew B of Blog, but somewhere I was determined to have a blog which would be different from others. I began reviewing every successful blog and tried to figure out what’s the thing behind their success. After reviewing ten to twelve blogs and websites, I suddenly realized that every blog that I visited had few things in common.

Those were the grand points for a successful blog. You should keep in mind those point while making a blog, otherwise your blog would be nothing more than a crap.

Here are those grand points. 
1. Be Original
Being original and writing interesting posts in your field of expertise, will definitely get you regular readers. Being original here means, writing your own opinions, predictions, ideas and articles in your field of expertise. Just because everybody has created “Make Money Online” blog, you don’t have to create one on that topic too. You can blog about something that you like and still make money. Believe me there are millions of people (out of 6+ billion world population) who would like to read what you write, whatever the field that you are expert in (or at least have vast experience).

If you love what you do, it will give you that extra edge. Because when you love something, you won’t have that pressure about finding topics to blog about. It will come naturally. And since you are expert in your field, you can always rely on your expertise.

2. Be Collector
Second way of climbing to success with your blog is to choose a strategy that is actually quite easy to accomplish. You just need to create or collect top-lists (roundup posts) and post them in your blog regularly. 100 WordPress Plugins, 10 Vista Wallpapers, Free 39 iPod Tools…etc all are examples of post titles that you see on these kind of blogs.

·         Example Blog: http://www.smashingmagazine.com

3. Be News Reporter
The third method of making your blog successful is to be the first to report on something. Usually blogs that are in this category are very niche in nature. They chose a topic that is very narrow, for example iPod, and will monitor the news for that topic. If Apple changes one icon in iPod they will report about that.

If you have a good source or an insider, it will be an advantage. Because posting first before others, is the key here. You want people to know about something in your blog, and not somewhere else. Therefore not everybody can be News Reporter.

4. Post consistently
Well this matter a lot, especially if you are having many rss readers. I would recommend writing a post daily. This doesn’t mean that you would write a piece of crap and post it on your blog daily. Your blog post should have a quality.

If you are inconsistent you may lose your rss readers. I have faced this problem many a times when I was new to blogging.

5. Figure out what other blogs are lacking
Take a look on your competitor’s blog/website and try to figure out what are they lacking. Your competitor’s weakness could be your stepping stones to success.

You may try doing a survey and ask peoples opinion about you blog and monetize your blog accordingly.

6. Never lose hope.
If you are not getting enough traffic that you thought your blog would get, just be cool. Don’t lose hope; no one gets a sudden traffic, at least not in first five to six months. Just be patient.
When I started my first blog around two years ago, I could manage to get  only five rss readers in first month, and one of the was my mama.

7. Learn from experienced peoples.
This is so key – in any area of life really – and can really help you to improve quickly and avoid wasting time. I recommend not only subscribing to the two excellent resources called Problogger (about blogging) and Copyblogger (about communicating better and more persuasively). I also recommend delving into the archives of these two blogs.

When I started blogging I spent two or three weeks reading lots and lots from the massive archives of Problogger. I learned a lot about blogging, marketing, monetization and what you should and should not do. Before I started this blog I knew very little about blogging. After those weeks I at least had a basic education that was very helpful. If you are thinking about creating your own blog or have just started one I recommend reading the big series Blogging Tips for Beginners over at Problogger.

8. First impression matters.
The most important part of your article is your headline. A bad or boring headline will not entice a whole lot of people to click and start reading. A good one will.
It is the first few sentences of your post that matters equally. If you are not able to attract the attention of the reader in first few lines, you have lost them.

9. Don’t clutter your blog.
You don’t have go minimalist to the max but a cluttered blog makes it hard for the reader to find what to focus on. Experiment and try new ideas out. But also think about what widgets and all of that other stuff you really need. Do they add value for your readers or are they just hanging out in your sidebar? Declutter the unnecessary parts and make your blog look more attractive and focused for your readers.

Conclusion
So these are the methods you can employ for your blogs. If you have personal blog, then you can apply one or more of the methods to your blog. However, if you want to get a good result, then you should create a new blog that is targeted for a particular topic and chose the method that you want to use for it. These methods work better on professional blogs, because personal blogs will have ramblings and other personal posts in it. And not everybody wants to read that.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

What is Search Engine Optimization?



You may have a great site idea, but what if you ignore Search Engine Optimization (SEO) ?


Many new website and blog maker ignore the importance of SEO. This is the thing that decides your ranking in the search engines. Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of maximizing the volume or quality of traffic to a web site (such as a blog) from search engines via "natural" or un-paid ("organic" or "algorithmic") search results as opposed to other forms of search engine marketing ("SEM") which may deal with paid inclusion. The theory is that the earlier (or higher) a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine.


There are a numerous techniques that can be utilized in search engine optimization that can assist or injure you when it comes to SEO.


The 10 grand SEO tips for your site:


1. Content
This happens to be most primary for any search promotion strategy, devoid of this one purely step to make certain that there is a motive for somebody to be on your site, everything else is ineffective.


2. Incoming Links
A link is a link but exclusive of the simplest type you are not going to do sound in search engines. The more links you have the more frequently you are going to be visited.


3. Web site title
Make sure that you have the appropriate web site titles for your pages is very significant. The keywords you put in your title are imperative in order to make certain that your subject is interpreted by Google.


4. Heading tags
When you are laying out your site contents you have to be sure that you are producing the content flow in such a method that the heading tags are based on importance. Making certain you understand heading tag structure is very vital.


5. Internal Linking
Make sure that your internal connections helps robots to find the substance on your site is vast. Using relevant copy throughout your site will inform visitors more efficiently what to expect on the consequent page.


6. Keyword Density
Make certain that you have the correct keyword density for your page and sites topic is supreme. The understood rule is no more than 5% of the whole copy per a page.


7. Sitemaps
It is for all time a first-class idea to provide search engines a helping hand to discover the content that is on your site. Google, Yahoo, MSN and Ask all sustaining sitemaps and most of them provide a great way to guarantee that it is discovering your sitemap.


8. Meta Tags
Most of the people will tell you that meta tags don't matter, but they do. There will be several times when Google will use your meta report as the copy that gets pulled with your search catalog. This can lend a hand to attract the guest to visit your web site if it is connected to their search query.


9. URL Structure
Making sure that your URL structure compliments the content that is on the parallel page is very significant.


10. Domains
It can assist to have keywords you are involved in ranking for within your domain, but only as greatly as the title, heading and content matters.


And lastly let me know what techniques you use, to be ranked higher in search engines. Please post your comments. I love to hear from you.


Sunday, June 27, 2010

How difficult it could be to Write a Blog post?


How hard could it be to write a blog post? If a teenager can do it, you can too… right? Well writing a blog post isn’t hard at all, but writing a great blog post is very difficult.


Over the past few years I have started 2 blogs. Although my first blog was a personal blog, the content was crap. Readers didn’t care to read the content or engage in the conversation (comment on the blog).

The Ultimate Site Guide on the other hand isn’t a personal blog, but you actually read the content and engage. I constantly am getting great feedback from you and requests to write more content.


I know I am not the best writer out there and I still have a lot to improve upon, but I feel that I have a good formula when it comes to writing blog posts.

Here is how you can write a blog post like me:

Get out of your old ways:
Do you remember writing term papers in high school or college? If you don’t, lucky you! If you do, then writing blog posts is going to be a difficult task for you. You have to ignore all of the things that your professors taught you about writing.


You aren’t here to write a term paper, you are here to create a conversation!
If my blog posts sounded as if I was talking at you instead of to you, wouldn’t you get bored and irritated with me? Make sure you do the same and talk to your readers and not at them.


Know what you want to write about:
Before you start writing the first word, you have to know what the last word is going to be. I don’t mean this in a literal fashion, but you have to know how you are going to start off your blog post, the points you are going to convey, and how you are going to wrap everything up.


If you are one of those people that likes to wing things and be spontaneous, that’s great. As one of those people, I have realized that it doesn’t work too well with blogging. All it will cause is you to spend more time writing than you need to.


Plus, I am pretty sure you are already strapped for time. Right? So why waste more of it.

Create an awesome title:
So are you ready to start writing now? Wrong! Until you can come up with an awesome title, you shouldn’t start writing your blog post. You could have the greatest content, but if your title sucks, most people won’t end up reading it.

To come up with some cool titles, I tend to look at 3 blogs:
1.    Brian Clark from Copyblogger has written some cool blog posts about titles.
2.    Leo Babauta from Zen Habits usually uses cool titles for his blog posts. Although his blog isn’t about blogging, it is a great place to go to for some inspiration.
3.    And last but not least, Darren Rowse from Problogger also uses catchy titles.

The approach I use when browsing these 3 blogs is to not only look what titles they have used, but also how many comments each blog post received. What I am doing here is correlating how readers feel about a particular title because blog posts with good titles usually get read more, which means more people comment on them.


Hook your readers:

You only have a few seconds to grab people’s attention. If you can’t grab someone’s attention within the first few sentences you write, you have lost them.

If you look at the paragraph above, you’ll notice that I have done a few things:
1.    I created a conversation with you.
2.    I showed you that anyone could write a blog post, which makes you feel that you can do it to (which you can).
3.    I enticed you to read further by alluding to the fact that not everyone writes great blog posts.

Now everyone has different writing styles, so I don’t expect your introductory paragraphs to be like mine… and that’s fine. As long as you use some of the elements I used, your readers will be engaged.


Get into the nitty gritty details

For a moment, take a quick break and go to some of your favorite blogs. The chances are these blogs are pretty popular. What you’ll notice when reading these popular blogs is that most of them contain very detailed content.


They don’t just cover the basics; they actually get down into all of the little details. Sometimes they go into it so much, that it seems like they are holding your hand and walking you through whatever they are talking about, step by step.


When I first started Quick Sprout I was writing decent blog posts, but for some reason the blog wasn’t growing in traffic. I couldn’t figure out why, but one day I wrote a very detailed blog post (unintentionally) and my traffic started to grow. Ever since then, I have been writing detailed blog posts and traffic has been going up.


I hope you’ll learn from my experience and not waste your time writing mediocre blog posts.

Wrap it up:
Remember in school how your professors told you to summarize what you wrote in your conclusion? That works great for an essay, but it doesn’t work well in a blog post.


I take a 3-prong approach with my conclusions:

1.    Keep it simple stupid – good conclusions aren’t long, they are short and to the point.
2.    Add your final thoughts – don’t just regurgitate what you talked about within the blog post, but say something new and meaningful.
3.    Leave things open – if you want to get more comments on your blog, you have to leave your conclusion open. The easiest way to do this is by asking your readers a question.

Adding the final touches:
Don’t you feel relieved that you are now done writing your blog post? I hate to break it to you, but you still aren’t done yet. You have to check for spelling, grammar, and most importantly flow issues.

We all make mistakes so not only should you check and double check for these issues, but you should have someone else read through your blog posts before you post it.


And after you do all of that, you have to find a cool picture to add within your blog post. Reading content off of a computer screen can be hard on the eyes, but if you add a picture within your blog post, it will make it a bit easier on your readers’ eyes.

Conclusion:
The way I write my blog posts, may not fit your writing style. This doesn’t mean that you have to adjust your writing style, but you should take the elements I described within this blog post and incorporate them into your writing style.


And lastly, you’ll never perfect your blog writing skills. But don’t worry, no one else will either. There is always more room for improvement! So in that spirit, do you have any recommendations on how to write a great blog post?


Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Power of Leverage


If you presently have 100 daily blog readers and you publish an amazing article, only those 100 people know about it. If you are “lucky” and one of those 100 people owns a popular blog, or has an email newsletter with 5,000 subscribers and decides to link to your amazing article, then bam – you just hit a big communication channel and you grow your readership significantly.

Once you have 1,000 readers then you have a better chance of hitting a big communication channel since your existing leverage is greater. That’s why the biggest blogs grow quickest – they have great leverage in the form of their existing audience.

Once you have 5,000 daily readers and you post a great pillar article, those
5,000 people act as little and big communication channels for you, bringing more readers, possibly by writing about your article on their blogs, or linking to you in a forum post, or talking about your blog to a friend.

Effectively your audience is your marketing, which is why the largest blogs have to do little proactive marketing beyond keeping the great content coming. The top blogs have the attention of the other top blogs and they link to each other, sharing the wealth of traffic between them. The rich bloggers get richer. Top blogs also have the advantage of a large enough foundation of readers to hit the top of social bookmarking sites like Digg and Del.icio.us, based purely on their existing readership.

If you have 10,000 readers it’s a lot easier to trigger the necessary few hundred diggs to get on the Digg front page just by using your audience. No doubt there are many great articles that never make it to Digg because they are published by little-known blogs, while content that isn’t as worthy makes it to the front page just because a top blog publishes the content.

Before you go off grumbling that you will never reach 5,000 daily readers, or even 1,000, remember that every great blog started with no readers. We all start at the same place – at the beginning with a big fat 0 on that traffic counter (or maybe a 1 since you read your own blog).

Your goal is to make it as a top blogger eventually so you can enjoy all the benefits I mentioned above. Best of all, when you do make it there you can focus your energies on great content instead of marketing because your readership will spread the word for you.


Friday, June 25, 2010

Attracting Attention




Building Traffic is perhaps the most challenging task for both website and a blog. The best way is to use easy traffic techniques to build small communication channels and build up to the point when you gain access to larger communication channels. Use your best content to drive more traffic. Once you have content worthy of significant attention, other bloggers and people will recommend it naturally – viral marketing will start to take over – you just have to work hard to get to that point.

Here’s some surefire traffic tactics that are easy for new bloggers to begin with. These techniques will get you to your first few hundred readers.

1.   Comment Marketing
Yes, it’s common advice, but leaving comments on other blogs works. When you post comments on other’s blog you grab attention. So, post good comments. Where people go wrong is deciding what good content is, given their goals (usually the error is made when determining exactly what the goals are and what strategies will be used to meet the goals) and assuming that just good content is enough.

2.   Forum Marketing
Just like commenting, a few value-adding contributions to relevant forums with    links back to your blog in your signature file will bring visitors to your blog. Again,   the more time and energy you invest in establishing a credible profile in a forum,   the more traffic you will send to your blog.

I wrote a solid article about affiliate marketing, with references to my blog, and instead of posting it to my blog; I posted it in three forums. Consequently a discussion ensued in each forum after my article was published and a lot of people clicked through to see my blog.

3.   Trackback Marketing
This technique isn’t nearly as good as it once was, but it still brings in a little traffic. Send trackbacks to articles on other blogs whenever feasible in your own blog writing. Trackbacks are placed in the comment area following a blog article and if you can be one of the first to trackback a hot post on a popular blog, some of the traffic will trickle to your blog as people look for more discussion of the hot topic. You also get the attention of the blog author when you send trackbacks.

4.   Encourage comments on your own blog
One of the most powerful ways to convince someone to become a loyal reader is to show there are other loyal readers already following your work. If they see people commenting on your blog then they infer that your content must be good since you have readers so they should stick around and see what all the fuss is about. To encourage comments you can simply pose a question in a blog post. Be sure to always respond to comments as well so you can keep the conversation going.

5.   Submit your blog to blogtopsites.com.
To be honest this tip is not going to bring in a flood of new readers but it’s so easy to do and only takes five minutes so it’s worth the effort. Go to Blog Top Sites, find the appropriate category for your blog and submit it. You have to copy and paste a couple of lines of code on to your blog so you can rank and then sit back and watch the traffic come in. You will probably only get 1-10 incoming readers per day with this technique but over time it can build up as you climb the rankings. It all helps!

6.    Submit your articles to EzineArticles.com
This is another tip that doesn’t bring in hundreds of new visitors immediately (although it can if you keep doing it) but it’s worthwhile because you simply leverage what you already have – your pillar articles. Once a week or so take one of your pillar articles and submit it to Ezine Articles. Your article then becomes available to other people who can republish your article on their website or in their newsletter.

How you benefit is through what is called your “Resource Box”. You create your own resource box which is like a signature file where you include one to two sentences and link back to your website (or blog in this case). Anyone who publishes your article has to include your resource box so you get incoming links. If someone with a large newsletter publishes your article you can get a lot of new readers at once.

I hope you enjoyed my list of traffic tips. Everything listed above are techniques I’ve put into place myself for my blogs and have worked for me, however it’s certainly not a comprehensive list. There are many more things you can do. Finding readers is all about testing to see what works best for you and your audience and I have no doubt if you put your mind to it you will find a balance that works for you.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Make Money from Your Blog


All set? Lets begin to make money from your blog.  As I have mentioned earlier blog is basically a website, therefore just consider a blog as a website and you can apply the methods that you use to make money from a website.

But there are few proven methods to make money with a blog that I am going to explain below:-

1.    Affiliate marketing
Well this is the best option to choose if you are having a blog with more than 800 page views/day. Basically as an affiliate you would be recommending your customers to buy specific products or services. And if they buy the product or services with your recommendation, you get commission (40%-75%). The most popular site for affiliate marketing is amazon.com.  The second best option under this category is clickbank.
It also works on the same principle.

2.    Pay per review
This method of making money is also growing day by day. Here advertisers pay you to post an article about them on your blog. If the advertiser likes your post he pays you. If you are new to blogging, this method is for you. Keep your prices lower for first, and slowly increase it with increase of your traffic.  The two best sites which offer paid reviews are Review Me and Pay Per Post.

3.    Sign up sponsors
Sponsors are the persons who buy a specific space on your blog /website to display their ads. This method of making money from a website has been available since the dawn of internet. The idea here is you directly solicit sponsors who pay money to place banners and/or text links on your blog. By doing this you prevent any middleman company from taking a cut of your income, but you do have to source and manage advertisers yourself. If your blog has good web traffic, I highly recommend you to try this method. For newbies this method may not work.

4.    Display Ads
Google AdSense is perhaps the best option under this category. If your blog is accepted for AdSense, Google will be displaying ads on your blog, relevant to your blogs topic. If a visitor happens to click on one of the displayed ads, he would be taken to the advertiser’s site, and you would be given certain commission of what Google made when someone clicked on the ad. How much you can earn by displaying ads depends on how much traffic your blog gets per day. If you are not accepted for AdSense, you can try the second best option of AdBrite.

5.    In-text Ads
Perhaps this is one of the fastest growing methods of making money online. The two most famous sites who offer in-text advertisements are Infolinks and Konters. Once you have been approved with any one of the mentioned sites, you will be asked to integrate a code (basically a java script) to your blog/website. After this every process takes place automatically. The text in your blog gets highlighted with double or single underlined.


Yes I know what you are thinking. By this time you must have notices green color double underlined words in my blog. Those are Infolinks in-text ads. If you hover your mouse upon it, you will see a brief description of the advertiser’s site. With this you can decide whether to stay on this site or move on to the advertiser’s site. Once you move on to the advertiser’s site, I would be given certain commission by Infolink.  Kontera also works on the same principle. 


Still have confusion? Want a video. You got it. Check this video out. Cheers!



No matter what way choose. The basic thing you need is to generate enough traffic to your blog. 


Did you like it? Please do post your comments…


      

How to Create a Blog?


Blogs are another kind of websites. They are easy to optimize and are usually organized by date and category with the most recent post/content displaying first.

Blogs are also easier to setup than websites, and because of this reason I choose to set up a blog rather a website. But people are often lured into thinking blogs are a better option than websites.

But don’t be fooled.

That doesn't mean they are easier to promote, build traffic and generate a profit (if that's your goal). Both blog and website requires patience, an understanding of internet marketing and Search Engine Optimization. Even bloggers making a lot of money have put in their share of time and effort.

However you should know that blogs can be somewhat limiting as compared to a website. But if you use WordPress, it is somewhat more flexible than Blogger. Can’t   decide which one to choose? Check my post Blog or WordPress”.

Basic things to note while creating a blog:-

1.    Just like a website blog should have focus on a single topic and audience. Don’t just blog to sell products. Your audience should get useful information when they visit your blog. Blogs with too many ads and less useful content are worthless.

2.    Remember, people who visit your blog, comes in search of useful data. So, your blog should be relevant to your audience’s needs.

3.    Your blog should have a personality too. Display photos, add humor to the text, crack jokes at the instant and once a while. Let people know there is a human behind the texts. Have fun and develop you unique blog voice.

If you are thinking to make a blog on Wordpress, go ahead. It’s a brilliant idea. Basic themes are been provided to you at the time you sign up for WordPress. But you would need good and relevant themes for your blog. And if you want to add a designer’s touch to your blog, I would recommend you to buy few WordPress themes, that would be yours copyrighted item and you can edit its look as per your choice. Moreover, if you are creating a blog to make money from it, you would have to face tough competition. You need to be unique in terms of presentation and quality. Well, I think you won’t mind to be unique. So, here’s a help from my side to you. You can download mind blowing WordPress themes on Ultimatebloggeingtheme and wpremix at very reasonable rates. Enjoy!

Serious about making money:-
If your goal is to make money from a blog, you might want to consider Yaro Starak's Blog Coaching Service (highly recommended). This guy is no amateur and makes 6 figures per year from blogging alone. Get a free copy of his “The Membership Site Mastermind Report”, now. Don’t forget to check his “Blog Mastermind” too.

Moreover there are more blogging services available:-
·         Easy Blogging Guide
·         Blogging jackpot
·         Blogging big

If you are desperate to make money with your blog, but facing trouble doing so, I would highly recommend you to use Yaro Starak’s Blog Coaching Services. It has really helped a lot of people including me. Try it!