Sunday, September 23, 2007

Dress Your Blog For Success

If you blog as a writer, you know your blog can be a great tool for getting your writing out there. Many writers are full-time or part-time bloggers.I blog professionally for several clients but it makes up less than 25% of my work so I consider myself a p/t blogger. I also earn successfully with Google Adsense, which I know many new bloggers do not. I've heard many vent and say they haven't hit payout and joined two years ago or that they got turfed from the program for click fraud. To earn money at Adsense you have to really do some homework about effective blogging and be very cautious about how you manage your blog. It's not too difficult, though. I know many bloggers who earn regularly through this program. I know bloggers who earn a full time living blogging thorugh multiple income sources and I, myself have earned a few thousand dollars in the last 18 months across several blogs.

Here are some tips for a successful blog.

-Make it look nice. Play with colours and graphics and make it look appealing so people will be drawn to stop and look if they land there.
-Diversify your income. Beyond Google Adsense ads, add some affiliate marketing banners or referrals too.
-Add a blog roll. Share some love with fellow writers and they will probably do the same. You can also add your other sites to your blog roll.
-Widgets! I love widgets. They're neat and can be unique and dress up my blog. I have some that are functional and others that just dress up the site.
-Regular content. If you only update it once a month, you'll be lucky if you get a few readers. Update regularly to ensure people come back because they know they'll find something new
-Don't overdo it on the paid posts. I have a blog or two that I have plenty of paid posts on but consider the paid posting my main income for them. I don't fill all my blogs with these as too much can hurt your readership. People don't want to come 'just' for ads. I try to respect my niche on most of my blogs as much as possible.
-That brings me to the 'find a niche' advice. The only way you can develop a following and subscribers will add up is to find a category for your blog so people can find you.
-Tag, Ping and social bookmark. Spend some time doing these things and your readership will rise and your CTR % will too!
-Plug your blog! Put your blog url in your signature line for forums and for when you comment on other people's blogs. This will help more people find you.
-Read and comment on other blogs in your category. This can bring you links and more readers.
-Blog Catalog and MyBlogLog. I use both of these and they are an excellent marketing tool. I think I'll blog about them later this week.
-Polls, pictures, scrolls, banners...you can find many online for free or small fee that can help dress up your blog too.

I also came across a great blog with helpful information. Give your blog a Blog Checkup on a regular basis.

Another good idea is to read John Chow and Darren Rowse regularly for advice.

Spend a few minutes every day or an hour every week promoting your blog and in no time, you'll see a difference!

1 comment:

Michele L. Tune said...

Excellent advice, Dana!

I'm "fairly new" to blogging, but I've already figured a few of these tips out by studying, but I've learned some things here (thanks!). I'll try to apply these tips to my blogging life ;-)

Smiles,
Michele
"Writing the Cyber Highway"
http://writingthecyberhighway.blogspot.com/