Traveling Your Way to a Better Blog

Chances are, you enjoy blogging. At least you did at the start. While some people blog as a profession, most of us start them out of passion. Why is it, then, that blogging often turns into a chore? After a while, at least for some bloggers, it feels like something we have to do, rather than something we want to do.

Has the passion really dissipated?

Better BlogNo, in all likelihood there are a number of factors that go into blog dissatisfaction that have nothing to do with passion…

It might be the staleness of comments discussion, or even a traffic plateau. Most commonly, though, we grow bored with our blogs because it feels as though we’re spinning our wheels.

Nothing feels fresh any more. Thankfully there are ways to combat that feeling.

A change of scenery

I’ve found that some of my freshest content ideas come immediately following a vacation or business trip. That is, those are times when the juices flow.

I can usually bank a few weeks’ worth of content on all of my blogs. The ideas sometimes come while I’m on the trip, sometimes while I’m on the airplane, and sometimes immediately afterwards. But whenever they came, they coincided with times that I’d been on the road.

Changing the scenery, apparently, did change my mind. Being away from familiar dwellings inspired something in me. That is, it seems as though my blogs had grown stale, because my environment had grown stale.

After talking to many more people, particularly work-from-home types, I found many similar stories. Getting out of our comfort zones apparently gets the creative juices flowing after they’ve gotten stagnant.

The great news is that traveling doesn’t have to be a big ordeal. Simple trips can suffice. You can also find useful purposes for travel, so you can combine your best interests. Here are the two ways I’ve traveled, much to my benefit.

To the surprise of some, none of them involve a tropical beach…

Traveling to get away

A vacation? Perish the thought. There’s too much work to be done. While many of my office dwelling friends get three, four, or even five weeks of vacation per year, I’m lucky to get but one. It’s one of the few drawbacks to working for a start-up, and working from home. With constant pressure to grow our sites, it’s tough to get away even for a week. Yet, as outlined above, getting away is still important. The best way I’ve found to reconcile these issues is to take frequent mini vacations.

The key here is to completely change your surroundings. I live in a mostly urban area, so these mini trips are to the land of small towns and trees. Lots and lots of trees.

Friends of mine who live in small towns like to take their trips to New York City, Boston, Washington D.C., or other fast-paced, populated areas.

The overall point, though, is to find stimulus that you simply cannot find at home. That will get the creative juices flowing again.

Of course, over the years it has become more difficult to create an all new environment. After a while, vacationing in small towns gets stale, too. Still, there are all sorts of adaptations of this. For instance, I’ve taken to seeking out a car rental as far in advance as possible (as to keep the cost as low as possible — you don’t want to book a rental car just a few days before you need it). You can also choose an uncommon destination. Have you ever been to a beach town in the winter?

It’s surprisingly relaxing.

Again, the overall idea is to take a day or two off work, overlap with a weekend, and completely change the scenery. The new stimulus will inspire you and get you back on track.

Traveling with a purpose

While traveling with the sole purpose of changing the scenery can be helpful, it’s even better to combine this with a professional purpose. As I noted above, it didn’t matter whether I was vacationing or traveling for business. Either way, the ideas would start flowing. So why not take the opportunity to grow professionally?

For anyone who works on the Internet, there are dozens of helpful conferences every year. Affiliate marketers have a number of conferences that have long track records and are run by successful people. There are general blogging conferences, and there are niche blogging conferences. There are also industry conferences – tech bloggers will find plenty to their liking here.

Conferences give us a chance to expand our social networks. Surrounded by people with similar interests, it’s hard to walk away without a ton of new address book entries.

Conferences also provide a great opportunity for a face-to-face meeting with people we’ve met online. Twitter can be great for conversations, but there’s so much more to a physical connection.

Additionally, conferences provide many educational opportunities. Panels and keynotes feature material from some of the most successful people in any given field. These speeches and panels can give us ideas that we can apply to our own sites. That is, conferences provide a veritable treasure trove of ideas. Those ideas spur the mind, which helps us keep things fresh.

Time was, traveling was an expensive, time-consuming process. But now, with the Internet and travel agencies, it’s quite simple. We can use cheap travel for many purposes. While going to a conference or other industry even helps reconcile our professional and personal needs, a simple trip away from home can do the same. There are plenty of opportunities to do so. When things are feeling stale and you need new stimulus, a short weekend trip can provide weeks, even months, worth of solutions.

Joe Pawlikowski edits several blogs across the web, including his latest project, A New Level, which addresses issues for at-home workers (and whatever else he’s thinking about).

Top 10 Blog Directories of 2011 and 2012

Top 10 Blog DirectoriesDo you have an interesting blog of your own? Well, now it’s time to think where to place your blog where it will be easily visible to all the Internet users and therefore, getting your blog ranked high in the search engines.

Every blogger wants his or her blog to be one of the top listed blogs in the search engines. For that, you will have to index your blogs with a good and well-known blog directory.

Top 10 Blog Directories

Given below is the list of top blog directories of 2011 and 2012.

1. Technorati

Technorati was created by Dave Sifry and launched on November 2002. This top active blog search engine and blog directory has been indexing more than a million blogs by 2008.

Technorati tracks the tags included by the bloggers. These tags are beneficial in categorizing the search results in this blog directory bringing the current ones first. This leading blog directory also provides rating to each blog’s authority.

Technorati.com has bagged the SXSW 2006 awards for its Best Technical Achievement and Best of Show. It was also termed as one of the “2010 Hottest San Francisco Companies” by Lead411 that was founded in 2001.

As of November 2011, the Alexa ranking of Technorati is 1,076.

2. BlogCatalog:

It is very easy to get your blogs indexed with this directory without any great effort. The blogs and sites are categorized based on what your blog is about. There are several bloggers who are active users and happy with this blog directory.

BlogCatalog can bring more traffic to your blogs and help to rank your website in a good position. All the bloggers who have their blogs posted on BlogCatalog recommends others to use this blog directory which has an excellent and attractive website design.

All you need to do is to login and submit your URL to Blogcatalog.com.

3. BlogGlue:

There are millions of blogs indexed here helping to achieve a huge amount of traffic to your blogs. BlogGlue not only works as a Search Engine Optimization tool but also as a social networking platform, helping millions of users to share their ideas and promote their companies to the present and new audiences.

BlogGlue.com connects the bloggers with the new audiences who have blogs that share similar things with the other’s blogs. It specializes in attracting traffic to your blog through social networking. Here the bloggers help each other by promoting their sites.

4. Blogarama:

If you want to attract more traffic to your blog and develop its popularity, you should consider Blogarama to index your blogs. This blog directory is one of the top listed blog directories chosen by several bloggers.

If you are interested in indexing your blogs with Blogarama you should go to their website and create an account by filling out a small form and hit submit. You will very soon see a good response from the audience. Visit Blogarama.com for more information.

5. BlogHints:

This is a big blog directory that approves only blogs and not websites. When you are submitting your blogs, you can choose the category that matches with your blogs and get them indexed on BlogHints.com. There are free listings such as Featured listings, Regular listings, and Reciprocal listings. But for this, you are required to have a Reciprocal link.

When you are submitting the URL of your blog, you will have to provide the title, URL, and a short description about it and provide META keywords and META description of your blog. The BlogHints staff reviews the submissions made by the bloggers before approving them.

6. Bloggernity:

This blog directory has several thousands of blogs indexed and many more are getting indexed every day. This site is becoming much popular than it was before with more number of new bloggers submitting their blogs on Bloggernity. Unlike BlogHints, Bloggernity does not require reciprocal links for free listings.

You can go to their website Bloggernity.com and look for their recent news, entertainment and other issues related to their website. You can also take a look at the new bloggers who have indexed their new blogs to become familiar with this website.

7. Bloggapedia:

This is not only a blog directory and search engine but also a social networking site for the bloggers that allows users to connect with others and share ideas and views.

Bloggapedia has special categories that provide good searching results with the keywords that you have entered with the search engine. It gives easy searching for all the users.

You can go to their website Bloggapedia.com and create an account and sign up to submit the URL of your blog and get it indexed quickly.

8. Blogadr:

Blogadr is one of the good blog directories chosen by bloggers to post successfully and drive more traffic to their blogs. You can add your blog to Blogadr.com by providing some information required by this website and choose a category that is relevant to your blog.

Once you have filled out their form and submitted, the reviewers of their website will get your blogs listed if all the information is correct and does not contain any spam. You can index your blogs on this well-used blog directory for free.

9. GetBlogs:

This blog directory has more than 25,000 blogs indexed with them. This directory is reviewed and edited by their group of people. There are around 16 main categories and over 167 sub categories. You should choose the appropriate one that is relevant to the content of your blog.

Take a look at GetBlogs.com to view different blogs that have been indexed categorically which is easy to search for a specific blog. You can submit your blog in this directory for free and get more traffic to your blogs.

10. Ontoplist:

Ontoplist is one of the popular directories that approve blogs as well as websites. There are extra features available for free for all the bloggers who submit their blogs and websites here.

One good feature is the analytical tools that help in checking the progress of your blogs which will be helpful for the bloggers to improve their blogs to attract more traffic. You can also submit your new posts on your blogs and mention about it on Facebook and Twitter by using the ‘Auto-Feed Blog’ feature.

If you are a writer and interested to post your articles, you can promote your writings on this website. You can also share your interests and views with the like-minded bloggers that you will find on Ontoplist.com.

Conclusion:

There are several more popular blog directories that are useful in creating huge traffic to your blogs within a few days.

For best results, you can submit your URL to as many blog directories as possible to drive as much traffic as possible to your blog. All you have to do is to choose the best ones for your blog to become popular.

Which blog directories are your favorites?

Five Blogging Tips for Beginners

Where on one hand, blogging is considered to be a way of life for many people who update what is happening in their lives, commenting on present issues in their neighborhood and their country etc.

Blogging Tips for BeginnersWhile on the other hand, there are people who refrain from blogging not just because they don’t know much about it, but because of their fear of the unknown.

There are many people who dive into the world of blogging for the glitz and glory that they have come to know of through their friends.

However, they tend to drop out of the blogging scene when they find that the sole purpose of them starting to blog is not being achieved… ranging from being the most read blog to earning money via one’s blog. So what is it that separates the grain from the chaff?

Five blogging tips for beginners and the lowdown on the things


Have a goal for your blog:

Before you set out to be a blogger and be a success at it, you should define a goal for your blog. It could be anything from aiming to gradually be a better writer – showcasing your already possessed prowess in the art of writing articles – putting forth your talents at things like giving expert advice or to just making money from your blog.

Blogs may have a great idea behind it… but, it will not be followed or even read by the world if you have not defined it to yourself.

Decide the goal in advance; what exactly you want from your blog and then strategize accordingly to make it a hit.

Interests of the readers:

One may start a blog with the sole aim of making money, just because the wannabe blogger has heard stuff from many veteran bloggers that their blogs are paying them enough to live lavishly or at least paying their bills. And with the enthusiasm at an all time high, they start a blog.

However, when they analyze what their blog is not doing that the blogs of their successful peers is, it can be seen that the content is either minimal or if it is there, it is just stuff that a select few would even understand and relate to.

To make your blog a hit, you need two things: the contribution of both the blogger and the reader… very important. The blogger needs to take care of the content, his identity and his goal, and also to take care of the reader’s choice and preferences. Study and understand your target market. This is an important tip for blogging beginners to keep in mind.

Be Yourself:

Whether it is a blog crammed with the daily happenings at college or filled with helpful hints at doing stuff that will supposedly interest the potential readers, it won’t go a long way if the bloggers themselves do not find it interesting enough to come back and read it themselves.

It is very much the same as writing a book. If a writer starts writing a book, it would fizzle out after a couple of chapters if he doesn’t identify with it or finds it tiring to go any further. Blogging beginners shouldn’t loose their true personality while blogging.

Ideation and planning:

As discussed before, blogging is an art that is very much like writing a book. After all, it is a well known fact that most of the bloggers aim either consciously or subconsciously to be a writer at some point in their future.

Therefore, what is important after you have decided what your goal is going to be, is to keep blogging on fresh ideas and thinking of new topics, either from your own experiences – through the current news – things going on in the neighborhood – the city – the country or even the world. That will give you an idea of what you want to include in your blog.

Being scared is taboo:

Writing a blog with the constant fear of what the world will think is going to lead you, the blogger, down a steep ravine. Coming out of that state of mind will take years and may even dissuade you from writing not just the blog but also any novel or cookbook that you may have envisioned writing.

Whether it is a recipe for an exotic and unheard of dish or your opinion of what is happening in the world, you, the blogging beginner has to be brave enough to put it out there and stand by what you feel deep inside your heart and soul.

Of course, there are many more aspects that can be discussed on this topic. However, for a start, these five points can be a good starting strategy for those who want to be a blogger and for those who may just want to start writing.

These can be helpful instructions for those who would like the world to sit up and take notice of their blogging skills which could lead him to the world of authoring best sellers and winning the Pulitzer!

Do Comments on Your Blog Matter?

The comments section is a vital part of any given blog. This differentiates a blog from a static website.

It provides an opportunity to build up conversations, letting the visitors provide valuable feedback which helps to make the blog more interactive. The most popular blogs have an interactive community, displaying the visitor’s feedback in an interesting way.

Blog CommentsWhen you talk about Blog Marketing, encouraging visitors to leave comments on a post helps to pull in more traffic and as a result, increases the visibility of your blog.

Moreover, receiving blog comments is a boost for the blogger too because the blogger is motivated to write more meaningful posts for the readers. We will discuss the importance of blog comments and how it benefits you to the core in the sections below.

Why does a Blog comment matter?

It has been observed that great, informative content on a blog can lose its essence because of a negative comment being made on it.

If the reader is smart enough then he/she will read the comment/feedback on the post just to get an understanding about the post. Sometimes a few negative comments might ignite the reader’s interest and prompt the visitor to read the article.

How does Blog commenting help a Blog?

1. Building relationships!

From a Bloggers point of view

When a blogger comments on any blog, there is an attempt being made to build a rapport with the blogger, along with an expectation of receiving returned visits and comments from that particular blog.

It’s a kind of mutual understanding on sharing opinions and good feedback or providing good suggestions. This helps other bloggers in getting valuable links and to boost blog traffic.

From a unique visitor’s scenario

A normal unique visitor might also visit from a comment made on any other blog by you. Here the comment being left has to be very informative to make a unique visitor click on the name you used to post the comment and land on your blog.

2. More chances of getting pre-qualified visitors

The moment a visitor reads a post, it must prompt the reader to leave feedback. It could be either by asking a question/feedback at the end of the post or the content itself must be so impressive that it pulls at the reader’s mind to leave a comment. To leave a unique comment helps to gather attention of the blogger and unique visitors as well.

However, it should be noted that not all blogs can be commented upon by visitors.

For instance, a blog dealing with modernist paintings cannot be understood by all the visitors landing on that blog, either knowingly or unknowingly.

Therefore, the quality of the blog cannot be undervalued just because the visitors cannot understand it. In this case, most of the visitors do not have the faculty to understand those paintings.

Furthermore, some blogs tend to be so comprehensive in dealing with the issue that comments are seldom necessary, apart from words of appreciation!

3. Emphasis given by search engines.

Search engines give high importance to regularly updated blogs. If the frequency of a given page is updated very often, the possibility of getting crawled by search engines gets higher which increases the blog traffic. Thus, it helps in Blog Marketing.

Considerations while posting a comment on someone else’s blog:

1. Don’t just comment for the sake of commenting.

Add some useful information; a genuine feedback that the blogger and a normal visitor might benefit from.

For instance, you could argue for or against what is written in the blog. This will give others a chance to continue with the argument. The key for blog commenting is to gain useful links and more visitors to your blog.

2. Add the blog related information:

Remain contextual. Don’t give misdirected comments. In other words, the comments should directly relate with the blog content posted.

3. Adding URL

Adding your blog’s link anywhere else is treated as a spam. Most of the blogs do take your URL and link your name which gives you an element of popularity in the comments section. Put genuine information rather than projecting marketing related stuff about your blog.

4. Respond back to the comments

Make the commenter feel they’re a valued visitor for the feedback that was provided. Reply back over the blog itself, which other visitors can see. Try sending a personal message, if possible, to build a good relationship.

Moderating the comments on the blog is becoming a mandatory process as more number of comments/queries arises; it becomes quite difficult to handle them effectively. However, the more the comments are responded to, the better the community develops.

Ways to increase your Blog comments:

1. Fire Questions:

Including questions in the post or to frame the title in a question format can help receive relevant comments on a blog post. Setting a question right from the beginning of the post prompts the reader to leave a comment or give feedback.

2. Inviting to post comments

It is observed when a blog asks for posting comments, a blog receives a higher number of comments. In a way, its better to ask for readers to post comments, as people who are visiting for the first time or ones who are not habitual of posting a comment, might get started to post their feedback upon reading it.

3. Open Ended Posts

To follow the art of writing creative posts, one has to leave some room for other experts to add on their opinions.

The post must not reveal everything about a particular topic neither should it sound tasteless.

Nevertheless, it is also possible for some of the blogs to be very comprehensive in nature, that is, they are not of open ended in nature.

4. Setting up a constructive comment section

Setting up boundaries into a comment section helps in getting a higher number of comments. Sometimes things get out of hand when visitors start getting too personal and thus, the tone of the comment must be directed towards the exact topic on which the post has been written about.

5. Be polite

Many visitors/readers do pick out some errors on the blog or the blog post and leave negative feedback that makes one aggressive. Keep it a point to respond back politely.

Try not to delete those comments unless they are spam in nature. It is important to convert the negative sentiments into positive ones.

A blog which has only positive comments raises doubts too. After all, nothing can be 100 % white or black. This is the reason why argumentative comments are encouraged on a blog.

6. Good comments can be rewarded

Good comments made by visitors can be included in the next post highlighting a good suggestion given by a user, so that the person who made the comment feels valuable.

All the key aspects related to blog commenting have been covered in our discussion. You will gain information on ways to increase blog comments, important steps to keep in mind while introducing a comment section or while commenting on other’s blog.

Let us know if something is missing; something that proved useful on your blog…

5 Ways to Retain Your Blog Readership

Retaining blog readers: You’ve created your blog. You have made every best effort to make it impressive and there – you are rewarded – people sincerely like your blogs. And now you want them to continue with you forever.

Retain Your Blog ReadershipYou want people to still like your blogs despite the competition around. If you have applied all the desired techniques to make your blog a popular one and you have also gained a reasonably good readership, you need to think about another angle…something that most bloggers tend to overlook because they take the readership for granted…So what you have to think about now are the ways to retain blog readership.

Readers are readers; they read blogs for getting some beneficial knowledge or educational information out of browsing a page. They have a chance to compare a blog with another as they jump from site to site, blog to blog.

Readers keep searching for something new, some kind of variety in your blogs. So, therefore, retaining blog readership is all about attuning to the interest and choices of the readers and pleasing them. It is about giving and continuing to give them precisely what they relish. Nothing less. Remember that.

5 ways to retain blog readership

1. Keep readers’ choice ahead of writing

You do the writing and your followers read it. You never know what you are creating after devoting hours, would always appeal and make an enjoyable post for your blog readers or not. You really never get any chance to assess it beforehand unless you release it for publishing and host it on your blog page. And then the reaction – the end result – when your blog is rated as ‘liked’ or ‘disliked’. But it would be too late by then to correct the mistake even if you wanted to.

You know, if you are able to perceive this problem, frankly speaking, you are close to the solution of retaining blog readership.

If you understand it well as to why your blog became popular, what the readers might have liked about your blog and in your writing, you have the battle half won. At least you would henceforth not make the mistake of publishing something that readers do not expect from you.

So finally, if you are not going to lose a reader or readers, you may proudly claim – they have been retained by you – simple. Hence you are successful in retaining blog readership.

2. Variety in writing

Nobody likes the same type of stuff again and again. Variety is a must. To keep your readers attracted and interested, you would have to keep making slight changes in the style of writing – if you can.

Normally we type about our expressions. It is possible that readers have liked your style of writing. But you must surprise them sometimes with a slightly changed way, for example, write something that makes your readers smile or even laugh, put some sarcasm or do an experiment with something new that is not your style – but make sure to do it occasionally. Do not overdose. You would be surprised to see the response suddenly flaring up and those who like you already, will make sure never to leave you.

There is another kind variety – that is about the topics. You write well on particular types of subjects – great. That may be your expertise.

The subjects may be politics, celebrities, films, theater, sports, industries, and so on. But try to avoid being stereotyped. You will lose many other readers simply because they might not like the subject that you are writing on frequently – and your subject of interest may be their last choice.

So to keep entertaining your regular readers and also to widen the base of your readers, do try and write on some new themes to the extent you can.

This will have a magical effect of retaining blog readership.

3. Quality matters

Nobody ever becomes perfect. Keep learning. If you want to Earn, you have to first Learn. Keep improving and always strive for delivering a good quality of writing. Quality may be evaluated from the following aspects at the minimum:

Language: make sure that you always deliver text with right grammar and proper vocabulary. Your readers – good or bad on the language, should never be given a chance to point out mistakes in your work. On the contrary, you must try to get their sincere admiration for perfect grammar and impressive vocabulary. They will like you and respect you – which is the key to gain permanent association – the readership, in this case.

Expression: Expressions are the basic essence of your writing. Make sure that justice is done to convey what you want to. If you are not sure, ask someone close to you, to assess it for you.

Keep a close watch at the quality of stuff that you are releasing. And what you will get then are the reactions – response and impact on readership. Do not forget that your goal is to retail blog readership.

4. Be in tune with current affairs

You start writing when you feel like expressing what you know. The information that you have must be up-to-date, authentic and proper.

Your blog should never invite conflicts and allegations unless you have a 200% guarantee to prove what you are saying. If you cannot prove it, you will lower your online reputation.

So make sure to do all the desired research first and when you really feel comfortable with information and data at your disposal, start putting that into the blog.

A good, informative blog will always be appreciated. People will start quoting and referring you to others. And then they will never leave you. That is an intelligent way to retaining Blog Readership.

5. Be regular

Do not pose to be a casual blogger. It must not appear that you write because it is your hobby and you do the writing only when you feel like doing it.

Your readers may be regular visitors to your blog. If they do not see things changing often, they might as well stop coming to it, and you will lose them. Remember, you never want to do anything against retaining Blog Readership. So if you really want them to be with you, permanently, do keep serving them interesting content frequently.

Lastly, remember not to publish blogs just for the sake of it. Whatever kind of blog you want, you must have a well defined purpose. You might make mistake of publishing something useless inadvertently and you will not even get a chance to repent for it. So wait, and keep searching for something that is striking, pick that topic and start writing.

3 Business Blogging Mistakes and Their Solutions

Research study by HubSpot.com shows that companies who are active on their blogs generate 55% more visitors, 434% more indexed pages and 97% more inbound links as compared to companies that do not blog.

Business Blogging MistakesIt is true that many small and medium businesses have taken to blogging as a promotional activity; it does not however mean that they are doing it all right. Below you will find three blogging mistakes often made, knowingly or unknowingly, along with their possible solutions.

Mistake 01: Publishing Too Much Content about Yourself

While it’s good for your blog readers to know about you and your achievements or let’s say, about the company profile, it’s bad if you publish too much content focused only on YOU or the COMPANY like your services, your achievements and why you are the best! If it’s about company news or if the blog is focused on the company products, then company-focused content is accepted.

In other kind of blogs, writing about YOU solely displays a serious lack of thought leadership. If people are visiting your blog with the intention of reading educational content that will help them, they will be seriously disappointed if all they find on the blog is about how great your services and products are and why should the visitors buy them.

If you are planning on creating a blog along the same lines, it’s a very bad idea. What you should frequently share is educational content, excellent and thought-provoking blog posts and new market data and you should rarely share product info (unless it’s a product-based blog ONLY), content about YOU and software documentation.

Solution: Change the way you present the blog. Talk to people who manage excellent blogs and ask them what they did to reach the same position. In any case, make sure you write educational and fact-based blogs.

Mistake 02: Blogging Inconsistently and Ineffectively

The 2010 State of Inbound Marketing Report by HubSpot.com shows that companies who effectively publish and promote their blog have 46% success in acquiring customers through their blog-generated content. If you have a blog but do not bother to publish content daily or publish anything at all, the posts are not effective or useful to the reader. Your blog ranking will spiral downwards in few days!

The Inbound Marketing Report says that companies make a grave mistake by not utilizing the power of blogging and hence, they leave prospective customers on the table.

According to the data given in the report, companies that blog multiple times a day have 100% chances of acquiring new consumers from their blog content; companies that blog daily or thrice a week have 90% and 69% chances of success and companies that blog monthly or less than monthly have 38% and 13% chances of success respectively.

Solution: Its simple – make an effort to blog daily or at least four times a week. If you have run out of ideas, ask others like friends, colleagues, friends, online friends to pitch in.

Every person has a different perspective on the same thing so it’s worthwhile to talk to others. Or what you can do is hire ghostwriters or invite other people as guest writers on your blog. You can also ask employees in your company to contribute blogs in a rotational manner and compensate them for their performance!

Mistake 03: Blog Does Not Have a Unified Theme

Your blog will not be able to target a specific market if the content is scattered, disjointed, non-concrete and lacking in a unified theme. With blogs, the cardinal rule is to give your readers something, a reason to make them keep coming back. Why will you do this? Because doing so will someday nurture them into becoming paid customers!

Take for example, Income Insiders. From the start, we had decided that the focus of this blog will be to help small business owners, entrepreneurs and beginners to find ways to break through some of the hang-ups that may throw you off track in finding success.

When you browse our site, you will see all the published content – up-to-date is geared towards the same goal….and if we’d suddenly publish a few posts on unrelated topics like how to barbeque or how to clean your kitchen, this would completely spoil the purpose of Income Insiders…getting my point?

Solution: Think hard about the goals of your blog. What is your intention or purpose or expected result from your blog? Know the pulse of the audience and what you can give to lead them to your blog. Make your blog specific always/

Have tips on blogging? Do tell below…

Can You Really Use AdSense in Blogging and Earn Money?

Among many ‘firsts’, the first rule of business is to check out who you’re competing against to establish your business. My question – what is your chance, if any, of making money blogging when there are more than 133 million bloggers (February 2010 data) there already, out of which at least 50% of them are earning money online from blogging? Seems scary, right?

How to make money bloggingWhere do you rank? Search any keyword and Google shows thousands of search engine results of meaningful blogs, which have been optimized with money making models but only a handful of them ever succeed.

Often, people fail to make money from blogging because they ignore the primary rule of business – you need to offer something worthwhile for the customer to purchase.

Everything boils down to basic economics – there is demand, you fill the demand and you earn!!! When you want to earn substantially from blogging, it ceases to be a platform where you can go on ranting about your feelings and personal life…however, you do want your readers to know who you are.

This definition of blogging was still relevant, maybe 5 years ago, but not anymore. Like other businesses conducted online, blogging has become yet another way to make money for the long term.

Nevertheless, our question was – can you really make money blogging?
The answer is both Yes and No.

AdSense and Blogging:

Both were like Siamese twins but not anymore! In the early years of blogging, people earned much by activating Google AdSense on their site. It was the latest fad.

If you are aware, the concept of Google Cash Cow was quite popular with new bloggers and some of them claim to have earned thousands, but does it still hold true now? Let’s see.

The problem with AdSense and Blogging these days is three – dimensional: lack of unique niches, flawed search engine optimization and less amount of traffic.

You will agree with me that competition in niches like blogging for earning money has enormously increased in the last few years. Therefore, we have reached a point of stagnancy because bloggers need to give their readers something new and fresh.

Yes, there are people who like to create blogs based on Google’s “high paying keyword” search but that too fails to materialize because the high paying keywords are not constant, they change according to user’s search criteria and interest.

Secondly, even with so much technological advancements around us, bloggers are still clueless about how to monetize their site or how to place advertisements.

A point to note here is that advertisement no longer falls under a preferred alternative for site monetization because visitors show the least amount of interest.

If a thousand visitors come to your site, perhaps 100-150 will click on those ads and there is no guarantee if anyone is actually going to purchase anything from those advertisements; therefore, if you are trying to promote affiliate products through blogging, there is a slim chance of you making actual commissions.

Blogging advertisement has become redundant. It is more redundant because the blogs are not able to provide any actual benefit to the reader.

Ask yourself – would you prefer visiting a site that actually helps you in some way, let’s say, to help you solve problems or would you prefer visiting a site just for 10 minutes of entertainment daily?

Thirdly, due to the first two factors – lack of niche and flawed search engine optimization – a blog will rarely have any visitors. Even if they do, they will hardly translate into any earning if the blog is solely dependent on AdSense. For many, you can make about $200-$250 monthly…

So, what other alternative do you have?

Well, the idea is to use blogging as a “supporting” platform for your main website. This means that you cannot earn from blogging directly but you can get lots of traffic to your main website, which provides products or services to the buyers.

Suppose you are a designer and you want to provide art copyrighter services to global clients; your website is: artcopyrighter.com, which you create like any other business website highlighting your services and pricing.

Now, as a “supportive” platform, you create: blog.artcopyrighter.com, which you will use to blog about your art, your experiences and other things.

Now, in both the cases, you have to do search engine optimization for promotion but essentially, you are not expecting to “earn” from your blogging but using it as a way to capture the traffic and direct them to the main business website.

The purpose of your blog is to give the visitors a reason to return again and again, implying that your blog content should be interactive enough to catch the reader’s interest. And by blog content, one usually means the writing, but one cannot ignore other factors like presentation, format, images, and easy navigation.

If you follow this alternative, you automatically lessen your competition because then your competition will not be measured by the blog itself but by the number of people actively involved in art copyrighting!!!

Hence, your competition reduces, you are able to provide something of value to the consumer by marketing your service to a select market niche geographically and you are able to make your business grow.

A Final Thought:

You need to think twice before creating a blog solely for the purpose of turning into an income source individually. Of course, if you are happy with $200-$250 per month, we don’t have anything to say but what we suggest is to do blogging as a supportive fraction of your main business site.

If you are planning on earning money online, best is to go the professional way. Show your talent to the world or if you have a great product that you know people will be eager to shell out $$$, then its best to create a business website and use blogging as an additional Internet marketing strategy to draw visitors to your site by perfectly optimizing the blog pages and promoting it.