Things change up quickly in the blogosphere. Methods that used to work amazingly well yesterday no longer do the job today. A link-building technique, which is king now, may lead to a penalty tomorrow. That is why it is crucial to stay in touch with the most recent developments for anyone who intends to develop a successful money-making website. However, a newcomer may not have sufficient knowledge to start on the right foot. Here are thirty-one up-to-date tips to get into blogging with correct tools and a focused mindset.
Tip Number 1: Let your site be both a niche site and a blog
The first question, which most beginners ask, is whether they should build a blog or a niche site. Traditional, one-paged micro niche sites no longer have the ability to rank in Google, as they used to do years ago. Therefore a blog is the way to go, but this does not mean that you cannot optimize your blog in the same way micro niche sites used to be. Set up one or more articles and include relevant keywords and affiliate links. You can optimize different articles for different keywords in the same niche and transform your blog into a “macro” niche site, i.e. a niche site that is also an authority site due to the vast array of topics that it covers.
Tip Number 2: Find a Group of People With a Problem, and Solve it!
I have learned the importance of this tip only recently. People search on Google for three main reasons: for recreation, to seek information or to purchase a product. When choosing a niche or topic for an article, it is important to aim the contents at people who have a problem and who are likely to try to solve it by purchasing a product or service, regardless whether these are our own products or ones for which we are affiliates. For example, people typing “money earning sites” in the Google search form will likely need money, which they want to earn by doing some job on websites. In this article, I provide them with a list of reputable websites that pay their users for completing specific tasks.
Tip Number 3: Add Something Valuable to the Internet
Follow the PEACE rule: Create websites on topics you are passionate about. Put a serious effort to be different with your money-making websites. Take action on your subject matter. In other words, if you cannot play soccer yourself, do not set up a website on “how to play soccer.” Only tackle subjects on which you are competent and make sure that your site is effective. Your audience will be looking for something specific when they enter your website being it information, a product or a service. Make sure to give them exactly what they want, nothing more and nothing less.
TIp Number 4: Get A Great Domain Name
Choose a name for your brand, remembering that the name will stay with you forever. The name has to sound professional and be easy to remember. Your domain name is one of the first things that your visitors and people you deal with will see. Ask yourself if you are choosing a name that authorities in your niche would feel confident linking to from their sites, and whether the name alone can inspire trust to your visitors. A successful business is made up of several ingredients, and, while the domain is only one of many, it can be that one ingredient that may give a sour taste to your recipe when chosen badly. Get your domain from Namecheap and keep your domain and hosting separate all the time.
Tip Number 5: Get a Good Web Host
There is no host that will serve you throughout the whole of your blogging career. As you start out, do not worry about the needs you will have when your site will be making millions of dollars with millions of visitors every day. To start with you need a cheap host, but one that is fast and reliable. If your host is slow such as Hostgator or Bluehost, the people visiting your site will leave it before it has fully loaded. Choose one of these three reputable hosts: Site5, Arvixe or Siteground and you will be set for a great start. Read this review for a technical comparison of the ten most popular web hosts.
Tip Number 6: Choose a Great Looking and Functional Theme
Use Joomla or WordPress for your site. One of these two content management systems will get the job done for you, whichever type of website you are planning. Make sure to choose a theme that looks great. Ask a friend for an opinion on the look of your site or post in the web design section of the Warrior Forum. You can get valuable feedback there. Be careful, however, because some of the users love to be mean for no reason. Also check the html5 of your theme before deciding to keep it.
Tip Number 7: Have Some Money to Invest
An old cliché says that you need money to make money. This is indeed so true. Years ago, it was relatively easy to have a site get to the top of Google’s search results for a low-to-medium-competition keyword. This is no longer the case today. You will need many resources to dominate search engines. One man can’t do everything, especially SEO. Building a successful money-making website without outsourcing will make it very hard to achieve any success. At best you are looking at several years before you start seeing any serious money coming in.
Tip Number 8: Traffic is King
No, content is not! Although you hear many bloggers say otherwise, traffic is the hardest part of the equation. If you get qualified, laser-targeted traffic to your money-making site, you can rest assured that you will be profiting from that traffic. You may just sell advertisements on your site or use Google AdSense to monetize it. Even if your blog consists of blank pages, you will still make money from those. Now, do not get me wrong. Content is important. If the site is a poor-quality one, your visitors will never come back and they will not purchase your products. Let me summarize this tip with some equations: NO TRAFFIC + EXCEPTIONAL CONTENT = $0, TRAFFIC + POOR CONTENT =$XXX but TRAFFIC + EXCEPTIONAL CONTENT = $XXXXX. Hopefully, that makes my point clear enough.
Tip Number 9: Spend Half of Your Time Learning and the Other Half Doing
Anyone expecting to become a niche site expert and genius after reading this or similar articles is deluding himself. Internet Marketing is a very vast topic and cannot be learned in a few weeks. As time goes by, Google becomes more and more difficult to dominate for a new site, so it is important that you take action today. Do not limit yourself to “doing“, though; “learning” is also an important part of the job. The more knowledge you have, the easier it will be to do things the right way.
Tip Number 10: Stay Away From Guru Products
No one will share their money-making secrets online for $19.99. If someone can make $50,000 a month, you can bet an arm and a leg that they will not share their method with you. The so-called gurus give all sorts of excuses why they would do that. The truth is they only want your money in exchange for systems that are flawed. You will never make a cent with those systems. Forget about get rich quick schemes and start building slowly a business based on a model that has proved in time to work.
Tip Number 11: Take Advantage of Offline Learning Opportunities
Learn marketing, not “Internet” marketing. The same principles that apply to offline, traditional marketing also apply to the online world. The Internet provides a new ground for interaction with potential buyers together with new forms of communication. Some of these make marketing easier and others make it even tougher. Taking a course in marketing at a local university can greatly enhance your skills and make your job easier. The core methodology for online entrepreneurship does not differ from its offline counterpart.
Tip Number 12: Learn a Bit of PHP, Templating and CSS
This is not a must but it does help out a lot. You do not need to become a programmer, but knowing the basics is a big plus. A webmaster may often need to customize certain aspects of his money-making website by doing changes that can be achieved only via CSS and templating. For example, I have coded the banner for my own website completely by myself. The alternative is to outsource these changes to a proficient programmer. Fiverr is your friend in these cases.
Tip Number 13: Do Keyword Research
Many SEOs will tell you to write for humans and not for search engines. I have yet to see one single webpage at the top spot of Google that has not been optimized. Now that Hummingbird, Google’s latest algorithm, has been recently unleashed, we will likely be hearing this saying more and more often. Do not listen to this. Do keyword research using a reliable application such as Market Samurai. If you can afford only one single application for your online business, Market Samurai should be it. Insert your keywords into your article in a most natural way and use synonyms. If the article sounds great to a human being, Google will likely enjoy it too. Use keywords, but don’t stuff, and write naturally to please both your human readers and search engines alike.
Tip Number 14: Mind the Grammar
Whether English is your first language or not, excellent grammar is a must if you want to gain the respect of authoritative figures in your niche, as well as that of your visitors, leads and prospective customers. If you are unable to write proper English, take a course and learn how to do it properly. My first language is Italian and I am still trying hard. My English is not perfect, but it is improving. No matter what your level is, you can improve. Try this resource to begin with.
Tip Number 15: Verify Google Authorship and Publisher
Read this article to learn how to do this in a matter of minutes. Building up a solid author reputation takes time, but we all got to start somewhere, and starting today will be easier than doing it tomorrow. By verifying Authorship you associate your articles with your personal Google Plus account, and, by verifying Publisher you associate your website to a Google Plus Page of your choice.
Tip Number 16: Be Truthful
Blatant promotion of a product will not help you sell it better. Consumers visit a blog before purchasing a product because they want a real review, so give them your honest opinion about the product that you are selling. In this day and age where deceitful advertisements are everywhere from posters on the sides of buses to our computer screens, people have learned to be choosy on information. If you sound like an ad, your visitors will filter you just like they do with an ad, your credibility will go down, and the chances of making sale will get slim. Pick products that are good ones, use them yourself, and be truthful about their usefulness as well as their defects. If possible, offer options to your prospective customers so that they may choose the product that best suits their needs.
Tip Number 17: Get Backlinks
“The best SEO tactic you can adopt is to not do SEO at all.” Let me add, “if you want to keep frying burgers at MacDonalds for the rest of your life.” Do not try to learn SEO by reading other people’s articles. Very few folks will reveal their real SEO strategies on their blogs. Instead reverse engineer their link profiles. The best and cheapest application to do this is Market Samurai. Read this article to learn exactly how to do it.
Tip Number 18: Go for Guest Blogging and Do not Be Afraid of Rejection
Guest Blogging is a good way to build backlinks, authority and contacts. I am likely not the right person to ask for tips on guest blogging, since I am not very successful at it. Most people report that the best strategies that work are to try to establish a relationship with the blogger before asking. You should also have a look at the posts on the blog to check the style that the blogger likes and try to imitate it. Start up with low PR blogs and work your way up. Finally, if your post gets rejected try to ask the blogger if he can give you any tips on how to improve your style to suit his needs. Never be afraid of rejection. You cannot avoid rejection when you are in business. Instead try to make use of it to improve your work as explained here.
Tip Number 19: Use Gray and Black Hat Methods if Needed
Strict White Hat SEOs will repeat again and again that you will get amazing results by establishing relationships and providing exceptional content. The truth is that most marketers and bloggers, before linking to you, will look at your résumé and the traffic that your site has. If it is lower than theirs, the chances of getting a link will be slim. As such, sometimes you will need to create links to your own site by yourself. The best way to do this is to use aged domains. This is quite an expensive method, but also a very effective and rewarding one. My rule of thumb, when I do this, is to never spam. In other words, if you set up a site or have someone set it up for you, make sure that the site is valuable. It also has to look real, so you should aim at building a fully-fledged, high-quality money-making website.
Tip Number 20: Do Not Leave Your SEO in the Hands of Others
Avoid using services such as Fiverr and similar ones to boost the link profile for your money site. You can use these with brand-new websites you build to use as link sources to your money site, but never use them to link to the money site itself since the links may be detected as spam by Google. This could result in a penalty applied, and recovering from it may be a pain in the behind. Most of the links that many SEO services offer are very low-quality ones. Even when using them on your Web 2.0s you should be careful regarding the services that you choose. Ask the SEO expert as many questions as possible. Know that most of the time the very best outcome is getting a series of useless links. Typically you are more likely to be flooded with links that may actually damage your Web 2.0, and while this is not as disastrous as losing the money site, why would you want to spend your precious time building a new blog as a link source only to lose it because of a poor outsourcing choice?
Tip Number 21: Set Up Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and Other Social Pages
Set up accounts for your site on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus. Use Hootsuite to update them easily all at a go with very little effort. Take a look at this tutorial to see how to do it. Social signals will not help with SEO, but are a valuable source of traffic and serve to establish trust. Take note that you will need Facebook likes and Twitter followers to establish authority. Stay away from services that offer link exchanges or free followers. These typically involve users who do not care about your website and just like your fan page or follow you so that they can get a like or follow back for themselves. Google and Facebook are getting really good at detecting this. You may want to use these services to get the first few likes or follows to help you start up, but that will be it. You will need real fans and followers to progress. Use Facebook and Twitter Ads to get those.
Tip Number 22: Make YouTube Videos
YouTube is the second largest search engine on the market and Google owns it too. It is becoming increasingly popular as a source of traffic as well as a platform to promote brands and products. If you are good looking and outgoing, you should definitely give YouTube a try. Even if you are not, hire someone to do it for you or be creative and use a screen recorder to create tutorials and info products.
Tip Number 23: Install Google Webmaster Tools and Analytics
Monitoring progress is a crucial step towards the successful implementation of a valid monetization strategy. Google’s Webmaster Tools and Analytics provide valuable data, which will reveal what is working for you and what is not, to what extent your efforts are being effective and the overall behavior and demographics of your site’s visitors. Learn how to use these tools in a most effective way and implement them, but don’t get obsessed with them (like the undersigned). Checking them once a week is more than enough.
Tip Number 24: Be Prepared for Failure
Take any successful person on the Internet. I bet a grand that 99% of what that person does falls flat. The way they react to failure is what makes the difference between successful marketers and quitters. This job can be stressful, so take time for yourself, relax and consider meditation, going at a gym and doing things that make you feel good. Sometimes we already know the solution to a problem that looks unsolvable. The reason why we do not take the appropriate action is that it involves making sacrifices. Building successful money-making sites involves, like any business, making tough decisions. No pain; no gain. If you want to approach this business with the idea of setting up a little WordPress site and waiting to see what happens, do not bother. It will not work. You must be ready to bet on yourself, accept that you will fail many times and be a man, or woman, of action!
Tip Number 25: No Man is An Island
Find friends, talk to other webmasters, ask for their opinion on your articles. Do not just contact people aiming to get a guest blog post, a link or a free product. Make some human contact and learn from the people you meet up with. Isolating yourself by writing only on your blog and hunting for links is bad for your business because you will lose touch with reality. That is why when we are at school we have exams: to get feedback on our progress, and work on those areas we are weak at.
Tip Number 26: Use Social ADR to Gain Social Proof
Social ADR can be an effective tool to gain social proof for your site. While social proof may not help with the SERPs, it does help in gaining trust from search engines. Social ADR is possibly one of the few tools that does this in a reliable way.
Tip Number 27: Get a Mentor
However, do not pre-pay. Negotiate with the guy to pay him only after the course is over or better yet, offer him a percentage on your profits. Never give a cent to anyone who wants you to put your trust in them without trusting you beforehand. If they do not believe in you, how can you expect their teachings to be effective? Do not listen to idiots who will attack you to this regard saying that you are new and that the mentor cannot risk his time with someone he does not know. Why should you risk your money then? A teacher-pupil relationship can only yield results when it is based on reciprocal trust.
Tip Number 28: Do Not Be Scared of Using Paid Advertising
Many will say that PPC campaigns are a waste of money. Sometimes, however, they can be effective too. You need to do your homework carefully though. Do not invest large sums of money if you are not 100% sure about what you are doing. Do not aim to get clicks; aim at getting conversions. For example, if I was trying to pitch Site5 Hosting I would not use “Get Your Blog Hosted Professionally for Free” as an ad and then, once I get the user to click on my link, explain that it is free only for one month. The conversion rate for a tactic like this will be pretty low. The key to success with PPC is to maximize conversions, not clicks.
TIp Number 29: Do Not Buy Traffic for Your Money Site
Any traffic you may be offered for a fee will never be the targeted traffic which you need. At the very best you get people who will browse your site for twenty seconds for a fee. What they want are the two cents that they get paid by your referrer who will charge you twice as much for the service. Most of them will use robots to browse your site, so it is not even a human that is browsing it. In the worst of cases, there are no real users involved and the traffic is generated automatically by the person selling the traffic himself. This is just a complete waste of money.
Tip Number 30: Remember That All Testimonials Are Fake
I have enough experience in Internet Marketing to state this with certainty and put my hands on fire for it. All reviews, testimonials and recommendations you find on the Internet, forums, professional sites and wherever else are as fake as my old aunt’s teeth! Trusting any kind of testimonial before purchasing an item is foolish even if the person endorsing the product is Candy Candy, a Power Puff Girl or myself.
Tip Number 31: If You Run Out Of Ideas Comment on Other Blogs
Writer’s blocks will be inevitable in the course of your blogging career. Read other people’s articles that you think are interesting, and if there is something you do not agree with leave a comment. You may end up having an interesting conversation that may help you generate new ideas.
That should be enough to get you started creating a profitable money-making website. The list is far from being exhaustive and remember that these are just tips, not a tutorial. You are supposed to research every tip and learn more about how to put it into practice. Luckily I have plenty of material on my site so you can cover most of it, and more detailed tutorials will be made available in the near future. If you have any questions, or want to add some tips of your own, feel free to comment!