Most people who become bloggers do so with high expectations of striking it rich. You can’t even blame them because the net is full of people promising they can show them how to make a whole lot of money online, saying that all they need is a blog or a set of websites. A few have actually done it and they get a whole lot of traffic because people think if they stick around long enough some of that fortune will rub off on them. Others haven’t come anywhere near making a decent online income but they write as if they hold the key to financial freedom. Unfortunately they manage to fool a lot of people, all those newcomers who come online to hopefully improve their financial status.
Many who fail to reach their dream of financial freedom continue the online life because they’ve come to love blogging. After all it has so much to offer, you get to express yourself, to share your knowledge with others and the interaction with your commentators is truly sublime. Unfortunately the rest will give up in disgust once they’ve come to realise it wasn’t as easy as they were made to believe.
Now, I’m not here to tell you that I have the secret because I haven’t and saying any different would make me as dishonest as all the rest. However, over the years I have discovered certain things that every blogger needs to know if they want to make their blog a success.
This is the most important part of making money online and yet most of those people selling their ‘secret to success’ fail to mention it. All they tell you is get your niche online and the money will start to flow in. Start up another ten and you will increase your income tenfold. Unfortunately no traffic means no customers which means no money and ten times nothing is still nothing.
Getting traffic is possible though but it takes a lot of work and a fair bit of time to drive traffic to your site. What makes things worse is you don’t want just any traffic, you want targeted traffic. This means if you have a blog that is selling computers you don’t want people coming over who are looking to buy dog collars.
The way to get targeted traffic is all tied into the keywords you use in your domain name, your headings, blog titles and posts. Even that is not going to work unless the search engines think you have something of value, and the way to do that is by getting backlinks via blog commenting, forums, writing articles but most importantly by writing brilliant content so other will link to it. My post How I Am Marketing My Online Lottery Niche highlights some of the strategy I’m using to market my latest blog.
A Product To Sell
Most everyone will tell you to make money online you need something that you can sell, preferably your own. Unfortunately most of us don’t have that and so we do the best we can by placing Adsense ads on our sites or by promoting other peoples products as an affiliate. I’ve had a bit of success selling products like FlexSqueeze (a brilliant blog theme), Market Samurai, web hosts and a few others. The problem with those products is once you sell someone a product they’re no longer a potential customer, at least not for that product, which means you’re forever looking for new customers.
In my post The Secret To Online Success Is Passive Income I outlined a few methods I used that were making me money on a regular basis. I also spoke about my latest venture, one that I am confident will be my biggest earner because I am now selling a product that people buy on a regular basis, lottery tickets. I am now in the process of driving traffic to Buy Online Lottery Tickets with the knowledge that every time I gain a customer I will make money whenever they purchase a lottery ticket online. I’m also offering others the opportunity to become a MyLotto affiliate giving them the same opportunity to make money online, knowing that I also make a percentage of their sales.
Building Your Brand
At the beginning of the post I said the most important facet of making money online was driving targeted traffic to your blog, well that’s not quite true, there is something way more important. The most important part of your online businesses is YOU! You are the face of your business as everything you do online affects the way others perceive you. That being the case it doesn’t matter how much traffic you drive to your blog because if your online profile is suspect you’re screwed.
By everything I’m including blog commenting as this is by far the most popular method used by bloggers to market their blog. I’ve known this from the beginning and I am constantly surprised by the amount of people who fail to use commenting to their advantage. This is probably because done properly it takes time and many prefer quantity over quality failing to see that a lot of poor comments only serves to hurt their brant. If you’re not sure what constitutes a good comment I suggest you read Teaching People The Proper Way To Comment as I used this post to grade people on the quality of their comment.
One thing to remember while online is that unlike the offline world you have time to think before responding to any negative comment, or feedback on one of your products, that you may receive. Never, ever, let anger cloud your replies because once you blow up online you reveal to everyone your loss of control and lack of professionalism. Two posts taking about this subject that you may find interesting ate Kristi’s 3 Questions To Ask About Offensive Content On Your Blog, although you can apply this to a lot more than just blogging.
Social media is an important facet of your online business and one that I still have a long way to go as far as online promotions go. It’s also very important as far as branding goes and so you have to be very careful how you conduct yourself when using them. Something that many people fail to realise is that almost everything you do online is open to public scrutiny and that being the case acting in a manner that can be seen as untoward by others can cost you business. So be very careful what you say online or even what you link to. You may think that something you saw online was extremely funny and so you tweet the link to all your followers not thinking that many of them may find it very offensive.
When it comes to social media it’s my opinion that ChingYa would have to be the online social media guru, blog posts like her 7+ Major Tips In Enhancing Your Upgraded FaceBook Page just goes to show the wealth of her knowledge. You could do a lot worse than going over there and learning from what ChingYa has to say.
Phew, I don’t normally rave on like this but I reckon I just had a lot to say, and even so there is probably so much that I left out. This is where you guys come in by using the comment section. What are you doing to make your blog a success? What have I missed out and how can we help each other to attain our goals.
As I’ve been blog hopping the past few days I’ve seen heaps of discussions going on about Google’s +1. Some say they love it, some say they hate it and others don’t seem to give a damn. Those who dislike it seem to think it’s doomed and it’s only a matter of time before Google pulls the plug. Personally, I think as far as Google is concerned the +1 is more than just a social media tool.
Some of the comments on the posts I’ve read asked such questions as to which is more important. Should you delete the Twitter icon just so you can promote Google’s +1 or do you leave both. As far as I’m concerned I believe in giving my readers a choice so I’m not going to pull one just for the sake of the other. Even so, I believe both are of value, one short term and the other long term and I reckon you may just be interested in what I have to say about the value of both social media buttons.
Twitter’s biggest value, as far as promotion is concerned, is short term at best. Let’s say you write a brilliant post and someone with a huge following gives it a tweet. That tweet may be picked up by someone else who also tweets it and on it goes. This can lead to a huge traffic spike, I know because it’s happened to me a couple of times, but unfortunately it is very short lived. If you’re lucky you’ll get a few comments, you might even get a couple of people subscribing to your list, but that’s it. Once the spike is over things go back to normal as if it never happened.
Now we have Google’s +1 button. Is it really a rip off of FaceBook’s like button or is it a lot more than that? If you ask me the +1 will have far reaching consequences as its way more important than merely being tied to social media interaction. Think about it, apart from making the lives of SEO experts, and bloggers miserable, what is Googles main purpose in life? According to Google:
Google’s mission: Organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.
So, they don’t really care about us except for when it comes to two things; the first is making them money by displaying Adsense ads and the second is by us providing quality content for their users, but these pale next to their main purpose for existing, that of providing the best search engine results for their customers.
Why do you think they keep changing their algorithm? I put it to you that backlinks will lose it’s importance sooner than you think. The biggest problem with backlinks is that it may not offer the most accurate way of determining the worth of any given site. Google knows that just because someone has a huge amount of backlinks doesn’t necessarily mean it’s providing the best content. It could also be because they have a bigger bank account or know how to do better SEO than the rest.
What if Google decided to let it’s users decide as to which is the better site? It could well be that Google’s ultimate plan for it’s +1 button goes way beyond the social media aspect. What if it plans to incorporate the results of the +1s into its search algorithm? Let’s say there are two sites discussing the same topic, one with a lot of backlinks and one with only a few. Let’s also say that the one with a lot of backlinks only had a few +1s but the one with a few backlinks had a lot more. Google may decide that the one with more +1s has a lot more relevance, because that’s what it’s users are saying, thereby bumping it up in the SERPs!
Yeah, sure there are going to be a lot of wankers who will try to game the system by fixing the results, but seriously, don’t you think Google is aware of that? After all, they weren’t born yesterday! If I know Google not only have they got a plan to prevent this, they also have a plan to make those who try to rig the system pay for it. Oh, and there are so many ways they could do this, the least being cancelling their Adsense account and the worst being removing them from the SERPs altogether. If you don’t believe me try it and see what happens.
As far as I’m concerned I think the +1 is a great idea and I hope that it takes off. As long as I continue to provide my readers the best content possible it can only have a positive effect. Anyway, that’s my take on it. Do you think I may have hit the nail on the head or do you think I’ve got it all wrong? If I am right, can you afford not to have Google’s +1 displayed on your blog?