There are countless sites out there which claim that they can show you how to make money blogging online. Most will tell you how easy it is and many of those will offer to sell you their unique and guaranteed process. So how do you separate the chaff from the grain so to speak.
That will be the main purpose of this site: to evaluate the options available generating an income blogging. We’ll look at who’s doing it right, and what set’s them apart. We’ll evaluate the tools available and we’ll test the techniques designed to bring you enormous amounts of traffic. We’ll talk to industry leaders and hopefully share ideas and experience with each other.
In the end, I think we’ll find that there are two ways to be successful: hard work and luck. I’m counting on both!
I didn’t spend much time this weekend looking after any sites, or reading any blogs, so this morning I had quite a few to catch up on. One in particular stood out… maybe because of it’s relevance to the last post: Do You Have A Plan To Be Successful?
In that post, I discussed the importance of defining success. For me, success MUST include spending time with my family. I’m certainly guilty of missing great moments because I’m working late, but in general, I try very hard to spend a defined amount of time working and to keep it limited. . . especially during the times when my kids are up and home and wanting to play. If I made twice as much money, but lost that time with my family, then I have failed. That’s just my take on it.
Jason over at JohnCow.com posted a similar article about the importance of taking time off and setting priorities in life. In the post titled, “Work Stress Affects Your Overall Life – So Take Time OFF!” he ends with this:
For me what really brings it all into perspective is this –> What do you want your loved ones to have engraved on your tombstone?
“Your Name Here” was a hard worker who knew how to put work above everything else!
“Your Name Here” was a loving husband, dedicated father and lived life to the fullest!
I hope you’ll take the time to check out his post. Also, take some time to let me know how you deal with balancing your work and family time.
We all plan to be successful, at least I hope we do. I would argue that most people don’t set out to intentionally fail. Sometimes it certainly appears that way, but I think if we are honest with ourselves, they have other reasons, and how they are measuring success may be different from ours. But that’s not what I’m getting at. The question I should be asking is, do you have a plan to be successful?
We sit down and plan so much of our lives. . . what we are doing today, what we are buying at the grocery store, how much money we are putting away in savings. . . the list could go on. Growing up you may have had something that you wanted to do with your life, or a career that you were interested in and you did whatever it took to be successful. Some things take more preparation than others; for example being a doctor requires more school than being programmer. It may be that there are certain things that you are just naturally better at. I have a friend who can take anything apart, figure out what’s broken, and put it back together again. I always end up with parts left over when I try that.
The thing that surpises me though is that there are so many cases of people who look at blogging or starting an online business as an easy way to wealth, and yet don’t seem to put a similar amount of planning in to make it happen. More times than not, their blog or business fails in the first few months, and they end up shutting it down or selling it for a few hundred dollars. There are always going to be exceptions, but in general I believe to be successful, you need to figure out what success looks like to you and create a strategy to get there. Here are a few steps to get you started: Read the full article
One of the most popular ways of generating traffic for your blog is to generate back links. These are links to your site from another website. There are many different things we can talk about related to backlinks such as the quality of backlinks, how to attract backlinks with quality content and how to use anchor text in backlinks to make your blog more relevant for your chosen key words. Before we get there though, we need to generate some content which gives people a reason to link to your site. That’s why you will see so many of the better SEO marketers tell you to “create quality content… create quality content… create quality content”.
If you create quality content, then people will WANT to link to your site, without you having to ask. These are the most natural links you can receive and believe me when I say that Google will eventually figure out if you aren’t linking naturally.
Let me give you an example. I was reading an article recently which lead me to a website which maintains a pretty exhaustive list of “do follow blogs.” Because I think that the site is valuable to you and me, I have linked to it in the previous sentence using the anchor text of “do follow blogs.” Let me be clear though… the value I found in the list had more to do with some of the blogs that I found and am interested in and less about finding a place to post comment spam. And my link is a “do follow link”. Technically speaking, a do follow link is just a link that does not use the nofollow tag, which is designed to tell search engines NOT to follow the link.
Choosing a theme for your blog is much like choosing a name for your child. The good news is that once you choose one, it’s typically very easy to install it. Notice I said “install”… not “configure”… but we’ll get to that.
There are a tremendous number of themes available for you to install for free, and probably an equal number of themes for sale. Don’t assume that just because a theme costs money, that it’s the better theme. Depending on the needs of your blog, a free theme may fit just right.
I typically start out looking for a free theme over at the WordPress Theme Directory. There are a number of themes available for free and you can search by many criteria. I’d recommend first browsing through a number of blogs to get a feel for what you like and don’t like. This will help you narrow down your search criteria.
In our last post we talked about choosing a web host for your new website. I recommended HostGator.com as a low cost but good quality host. I have an account with them now, and I’ve owned a web hosting company in the past, so my recommendation is not uninformed. That being said, there are a number of other great hosts out there as well, so if you have a company who has been fantastic for you, please share your experience so that we have options available.
This article will focus on actually installing WordPress on your website. We’ll assume that you have your site up and running on your hosting account, and that you know all the appropriate usernames/passwords, etc. In the future, we may evaluate options other than wordpress, but for now, let’s keep it simple. Ok… let’s get started.
There are three primary ways to install wordpress on your hosting account:
- Use Fantastico in cPanel
- Use the Install4Free service
- Roll up the sleeves and do it yourself
This entry will be fairly high level but is intended to address some of the high level items which must be taken care of in order to get your blog off the ground. We’ll assume for the moment that you are planning to use WordPress as your blogging software of choice, and that you will be installing and hosting your blog yourself (rather than using the wordpress hosted service). We’ll also assume that you have a domain name either in hand or in mind, but I’ll make a note to address choosing a good domain name in a future post.
Some of the first things we’ll need to consider are:
- Web Hosting
- Installing WordPress
- Choosing a Theme
- Installing Plugins
I’ll address each of these items over the next few days:
In general, most wordpress blogs will not be very resource intensive and can therefore be hosted on any shared hosting plan. If you do not have any experience with web hosts, take some time to do a little research and ask friends and colleagues who they use. There are a number of hosts which are fantastic, and there are also a number which are horrible. If we assume that your blog is tremendously successful as we all hope they are, then the last thing you want is to have downtime or data loss because you were trying to save a few dollars. In many cases, you can host your site for about the same cost as a couple cups of coffee at Starbucks and be perfectly ok.
So if you’ve happened upon this site, you are probably thinking “Why do I need another MMO blog?” It’s a fair question… it’s the same thing I struggled with when I was trying to determine whether I would even create this blog. The short answer is that you don’t. There is a wealth of information available on the web which can give you the knowledge and tools to make money with your blog. There are hundreds or even thousands of different ways to do it also.
The trouble I had was determining which ones to believe. I tend to be very sceptical when it comes to evaluating the information that I see on the web… sometimes I’m probably too sceptical and it causes me to not realize the maximum benefit for my efforts. I see posts online detailing new programs, ebooks, techniques and such and I immediately begin to think “What does that person have to gain from telling me about that product?” In most cases, it’s an affiliate link that will earn them a little money. Now, don’t get me wrong . . . I can appreciate someone elses hard work and I try to make sure I click on affiliate links when I plan to use a product as a way of recognizing the person who introduced me to the product, but in many cases, the links are placed before the evaluation of the product is complete. Let me give you an example.
Read the full article