When most people first start producing a blog, they always check the statistics page daily to see how many readers they have. Although it can take some time to build up a pool of loyal, regular subscribers and occasional readers, if you consistently provide high-quality content, maintain a predictable publishing schedule, and are pro-active about marketing your blog, you can expect to rapidly increase your readership.
When that happens, what began as a hobby can quickly demand much of your time and energy. From developing fresh content to managing your blog to interacting with your readers, you can easily find yourself spending several hours per week on your blog. It’s not uncommon for bloggers to become frustrated and eventually reduce the amount of new content they produce or even stop writing altogether.
Still, even if you don’t write another single blog posts, unless you actually go in and delete your blog, it will continue to have a life of its own online as people conducting online searches discover your postings and read them for years to come. If you have taken steps to monetize your blog that means that you can have a residual income indefinitely.
Staying Interested In Your Blog
There is a benefit of keeping your blog going for as long as possible. The more regular readers you have, the most respected you are in your niche community, and the more well-known your blog becomes, the more potential revenue there is.
While the initial rush you get from publishing your first blog post will eventually fade away, it’s important that you keep yourself interested in your blog for as long as possible so that you can really enjoy the benefits of all your hard work. That’s why it’s so important at the outset not to create an unrealistic publishing schedule that can’t be sustained. It’s better to start out slow: You can always add more later.
A good way to stay interested in your blog and at the same time not let it take over your life is to schedule only certain periods of time during which you work on your blog. When and how many hours that is per week depends on your schedule, but when you know that during those hours you will be focusing on your blog, it’s easier to keep it going longer.
Developing Loyal Followers
One of the greatest pleasures of blogging is interacting with people from all over the world who share your enthusiasm for your subject matter. So keeping involved with those people is another way to keep your blog going. Reading and commenting on other people’s blogs can keep you engaged in the online community and also help provide you with a steady stream of new material that you can use for inspiration.
Another idea is to invite other people to “guest post” on your blog in exchange for your doing the same on theirs. This is a good way to get your blog in front of a whole new group of potential followers who are already interested in your subject matter. Remember: The larger your subscription list and daily hits, the more you can charge for advertising, the more potential customers you have for affiliate products you promote, and the more popular you will be.
When people leave comments on your blog posts, try to always respond so that you can help build interpersonal relationships with your readers. Not only can this lead to rewarding friendships, but it also increases the chances that they will be open to any commercial purposes you may have with your blog.
Running Your Blog Like a Business
Once you realize how easy it is to make money from producing your blog, you probably are going to want to maximize the amount of revenue you can earn for your efforts. A lot of casual bloggers end up running their blogs like a business because it’s fun, easy, and you get to work with topics that you already enjoy.
Even if you devote only a few hours per week to your blog and work on it in your spare time, it’s possible to earn hundreds or even thousands of dollars per month from your blog.
As a business owner, your job is to keep your content fresh, interesting, and high-value so that people will keep looking forward to your postings and your popularity will improve. If you are struggling with coming up with new ideas, you should consider outsourcing your content. That means hiring freelance writers to create your content for you. There are plenty of places you can go to find skilled writers who will produce high-quality content for you at reasonable prices.
Among the most popular freelance writing hiring sites are eLance, Guru and ODesk. On most of these sites, you set a range of what you are willing to pay and freelancers will submit bids on your project, along with data about their experience and expertise in your subject area. You don’t have to hire the lowest bidder. You can choose whichever one you want.
Maintaining Consistency and Quality
The best way to build your following is to continually provide high-value content that people can use. This will keep people coming back again and again and will also cause them to recommend your blog to other people. If you are struggling to maintain your own quality standards, consider investing in outsourcing so that you can continue to build the size of your blog and your potential earnings.
The look of your blog will impact how many new visitors subscribe to your blog. When you select your theme while setting up your blog, you can change it anytime you want. Keep tabs on the new themes that are being introduced all the time. If you find a theme you like better or if you practice your CSS skills and want to try designing your own theme, by all means go for it.
You probably don’t want to change your theme too often otherwise you run the risk of disorienting your regular readers. If they find a new design for your blog every time they visit it, they may be less likely come back. While most readers welcome the occasional upgrade, they also appreciate normalcy and routine.
An easy way to keep your blog looking fresh and lively without changing your theme is to periodically change out the image you use at the top of your blog. For example, season images can reflect the passing months without disturbing your readers with an entirely new blog design. Think of your blog as a magazine cover. It should have consistencies every issue but with fresh images as well. Change your images by clicking on the “Headers” button on the “Appearance” box on your WordPress dashboard.
As you get the hang of blogging, another way to sustain your interest is by creating multiple blogs on a variety of different subjects. This lets you to explore your different interests while still appealing to fans of a particular niche or genre. You also can diversify your commercial base.
If you want to write about many diverse topics, you may be better off creating separate blogs otherwise you run the risk of driving off your regular readers. For example, if you write a regular health and fitness blog but you want to talk about your interest in movies, it’s probably not a good idea to blend the two. Instead, just launch a second blog and keep the two topics separate. That way you can continually build your readership while still writing about the topics that you are passionate about.
Improving Your Search Engine Rankings
While it’s important to have a regular supply of loyal readers, it’s also important to continually be attracting new visitors to your blogs. You can accomplish by using the same techniques you would use to attract visitors to any other type of web pages.
Organic SEO refers to free, natural techniques for making your blogs more attractive to the big search engines, such as Google and Bing. Keywords are an important way to accomplish this. When a user goes online and types in a search, the words they enter are called “keywords”. The results generated by the search engine are all the web sites that include those keywords. Find the best keywords for your niche, include them in strategic places within your blog and you can improve your ranking on the Search Engine Result Page (SERP) for those keywords.
You want to include these keywords within your content the optimal number of times. This is called keyword saturation. Search engines give more value to pages that have keyword saturation of about 2 percent. That means that if your web content is 500 words long, your keywords should be included about 10 times.
500 (Total # of Words) X .02 (Optimal KW Density Rate) = 10
Where you place the keywords is also very important. Search engines definitely want to see your keywords and phrases in the headline, in sub-headlines, and in the first paragraph and in the last paragraph. Where you distribute them throughout the rest of the blog is up to you, as long as they have the proper density level.
Search engines are looking for web pages they think their users will find to be the coolest and most useful. As a result, they give more value to blogs that have a lot of rich content. That includes videos, audio file, slideshows, polls, word clouds and other interactive content that make a web page more lively and entertaining.
Search engines also prefer sites that are popular. The more backlinks you have – especially from sites the search engines consider to be expert sites or authoritative – the higher your pages will be ranked. Authoritative sites are those sites that many people use to get answers to their questions. Examples would include Wikipedia, About.com and eHow.com. Expert sites generally include those with that use the suffix .gov or .edu in their web addresses. These designate governmental and academic sites, respectively.
One way to get backlinks to your pages is simply to leave comments on articles posted on these sites, or to participate in forums, making sure you always include your resource box or signature file including your page’s address with every posting. Then, every time somebody follows your link back to your page, your ranking improves.
Make sure your primary keyword is included in your URL, which is the address the internet uses to guide visitors to your site. Also, you can use the easy WordPress All-in-One SEO Pack plug-in to include keywords in your metadata, which are the little descriptions beneath each link on Google. Also, use <h1> and <h2> to create break up your page with headings and to let search engines know which keywords are important on your pages. Input one or more keywords into your image file name, as well as putting it into the ALT text for the image.
Your Blogging Future
Once you begin blogging, you will see how fun and entertaining it can be. You also will learn how potentially profitable blogging can be. The growing popularity of blogging means that there are an ever increasing number of bloggers competing for the same pool or readers, but if you make the effort to create high-quality content that your readers can use in their everyday lives, you can quickly build your blog’s popularity and your potential commercial base.
Using the steps and techniques outlined in this guide, you can easily create, manage and profit from your own blog. Once you get your blog up and running, start interacting with other bloggers and your readers, and hopefully start earning money, you are going to see that blogging can be an enjoyable way to do something you love while making money at the same time.
Enjoy your blogging future and good luck!