Last week I attended the Build Your Blog Conference 2014 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Roomed with my buddy, Andrea, from I Get Ready. (Um, yes, I did discover that amazing URL for her. Call me a genius.) Met some great people, connected with vendors, networked, attended some great breakout sessions, and had a good time all around.
Plus Waffle Luv. To die for.
Below I’m going to leave a brief summary of the workshops I attended. (When the recordings of the other sessions are released, I’ll add summaries to those as well.) This is about brevity, so no great detail, but perhaps you can still glean some important facts.
10 Ways to Get Traffic to Your Site
Jill Nystul of One Good Thing by Jillee
My expectations were pretty low going in. I didn’t know anything about Jill except that she was a TV host turned blogger. I knew she was good at marketing herself, but she hires out her blog tech. Having personally studied this stuff for 20+ years, I didn’t think I’d learn anything new.
I was pleasantly surprised. OK, so I didn’t learn anything completely new, but Jill did throw in specific insights and ideas on some of the topics that were helpful. Here are my chicken scratchings from her talk: [click to continue…]
Today one of the sites I blog on (not one that I own), is down. Again. And here’s the most bizarre part of the aggravation. When the site throws the 500 error — because the hosts server has crashed — HostGator has placed advertisements on the error page!
Hey, lookee here! We can’t keep any sites up and running BUT!!!! get 20% off when you sign up for our lousy service. Woot woot!
To be clear, they’re having no problem putting up an advertisement. They just can’t figure out how to keep up the paying customers pages.
There is, I believe, a special place in hell for those who make a living sending spam email and leaving comment spam on blogs. In addition to serving no useful purpose, these leaches on society make online business both more annoying and more expensive.
If you can, however, overlook the wasted resources spent dealing with comment spam on your new blog, you might be able to find some humor in the utter stupidity of the comments.
Below, please find a sampling of the best/worst comment spam I’ve gotten on my own blogs recently. (And in case you’re wondering, no, none were remotely relevant to the actual post.) [click to continue…]
Bloggers are not necessarily novelists, but they are all storytellers. In light of that, I wanted to shre these great tips for you writers out there, because many of these tips apply to all of us.
Thes are from Pixar’s visual presentation, but I had so much trouble accessing the presentation that I’m posting the core thoughts here. Please click over to see the full information. Great ideas! [click to continue…]
A few months ago, all PopCred Network site owners were sent a letter about our decision to close down the subdomain sites. While we still love the network idea, we found the implementation to be problematic from the administrative side.
Network sites are a different animal from stand-alone sites Those small differences meant that our network customers didn’t have the same FTP and file access and couldn’t upload their own themes and plugins.
All our clients who responded have had their sites converted to standalone WordPress sites. They can manipulate their site any way they choose at a phenomenal annual fee.
To complete the change, we moved Win-with-1.com to PopCred.net and merged the content. Why? We just like the name PopCred better!
If you’d like to get a site up and running in just a few days, join the blogging revolution with a PopCred.net standalone WordPress site today!
Facebook = stay connected (too connected)
LinkedIn = business attire
YouTube = sucked into wasting inordinate amounts of time
Google + = didn’t they learn from Orkut, Dodgeball, Jaiku, Wave, or Buzz?
Twitter = don’t get it
Pinterest = do we really need more social media?
The first time I heard about Pinterest, I full on slapped myself in the head. Why? Do we need a public bulletin board? Do we need to share every image we find interesting with the entire world? Is the world waiting with bated collective breath waiting to see what craft project we are dying to do or what grumpy cat saying we thought was best?
Under duress I finally joined the Pinterest fray in March. I’m still a babe in the woods, but used as a business tool — as opposed to using it to while away the hours ogling crafty projects without actually doing any of them — it can be very powerful. How? It can put clickable images from your blog posts in front of millions of eyes. [click to continue…]
When I give my Make Money With Your Blog workshop, I try to convince folks that the key to making money with a blog is to actually have a blog. Not just a URL that directs to a WordPress site, but a site with actual content. Lots and lots of content. Interesting content.
Invariable most of the attendees leave with enthusiasm. They see that they can make money — really good money — and are ready to jump in.
Then reality hits and they realize that they actually have to work. They have to write — a lot — and read and research. And the enthusiasm wanes. [click to continue…]
One of the series I’m writing on my lifestyle design blog is about logical fallacies. I love the mental rigor of analyzing what is said for accuracy, clarity, and truth. And fallacies abound.
When I see a logical fallacy come up in the media or discussion, I like to use it as an example of real fallacious reasoning. And in a political season, this is far too easy. I have a lineup of fallacy posts just waiting to be completed.
Yesterday I set about to complete my post about the ad hominem fallacy. I had written a post about the tragedy of the presidential election — in response to another post that employed the relative privation fallacy. I only had to wait for comment number two for the ad hominem attacks to kick in. So I decided to finish the ad hominem post with this very timely example.
I wanted to link to the ad hominem comment in the political post from the new post, but for the life of me I couldn’t figure out how to go about it. I know there are plugins that add a comment permalink button — which would give me the needed info. But I didn’t want to add a plugin. I know that if you have been to a post with comments and read the comments, your next page load will jump to the last comment you read — assuming your cookies are in place and all that — and the URL will include the last comment number. But I had read past that comment and there were other new comments elsewhere on the site, so I was unsure how to find the correct number for the comment I wanted to link to.
After that, I looked in the comments section in the dashboard and couldn’t see anything. I searched the web for some time. Without inserting php into the site — which I thought was overkill — I couldn’t see an easy way to grab this needed number.
Finally I gave up the quest and, instead, decided just copied the text from the comment and refer to it. Here are the steps: [click to continue…]
Trying to make money with your blog can seem like an overwhelming task. If you’re new to blogging, there can be so much to learn and so much to do. But the fundamentals aren’t that difficult. So, let’s get down to blogging basics
The two keys to successful blog monetization happen to be the same two keys to successful blogging without monetization. If you don’t want to be a lost site in the blogosphere, you need to have quality content and a steady flow of targeted traffic.
In the blogging world they say “content is king.” It’s true. If you listen to any blogging adage, listen to that one. You can follow tips and perform tricks, you can stand on your head and sing, but if you don’t have anything worth reading, none of it matters. Two Keys to Successful Blog Monetization
Looking forward to working from home? Here are some tips to get you out of the office and on to better things.
Structure Your Day
Working from home is a dream come true for many. Just saving the commute time can be a life saver. But avoiding office politics and time wasters put you way ahead of the game.
But there is a downside. Without someone looking over your shoulder, the temptation to fiddle the day away can be strong. Too many snacks, too many bathroom breaks, power naps, office futzing, television, and even social networking can take a huge bite out of productivity.
While working with your moods can be a huge advantage of the autonomy working at home provides, most people still find having some sense of structure gives a push to actually get things done.
Take some time to make out a work schedule for each day. First add in any regularly scheduled meetings or events. Then add a lunch or break time to eat, stretch, and rejuvenate. Last, add in the big blocks of time to work on your projects. 3 Work at Home Productivity Secrets continued
In general, to map a domain you must change the A record(s) for the web server in the zone file for your domain, to point to the PopCred.net IP address: 220.127.116.11.
This tutorial will show domain mapping with Domain.com. If you have a different registrar the process may be slightly different. If you can’t create an A record on your registrar site, please check with the registrar customer support for specifics.
On PopCred.net, you can use a custom domain for your blog, such as yourdomain.com, instead of the default address you get when you sign up, like yoursubdomain.popcred.net. This is called Domain Mapping and is available for both the Advanced and Expert blogging packages.
Below are the 12 steps to map your domain. It might look like a lot to do, but it’s very manageable. Each item includes only a click or text entry. We have made this as easy as possible, with almost all of the labor being with your domain registrar.
If you really don’t want to navigate through this, we offer a domain mapping setup service for those who would rather have someone else do the work.
- Purchase a domain name at Domain.com or any other reliable domain registrar (we use My Domain). (If you need help, read this tutorial for choosing a great domain name.)
- Wait until your domain shows a ready status. (This may take a few hours or up to a few days, depending on the registrar you selected and the day/time you registered.) Do not set up domain forwarding (http redirect). If you have already done so, you’ll need to disable it for domain mapping to work. How to Map a Domain to Your Site
When I give workshops on how to make money with a blog, I tell attendees that there are two things that are barriers to successfully creating a blogging business. The first is the technical aspect of setting up a website that you own (as opposed to a free blog owned by someone else — never a good foundation for a business), and the second is getting traffic. Even those who successfully navigate the tech end, very often get frustrated because no one reads their amazing site.
And, let’s face it, you can write yourself blue and if no one reads it you’ve wasted your time.
So, for the next few weeks, I want to focus on resources to give you the best traffic building ideas. There is no magic bullet — you still have to do the work — but this will give you some direction. So read on and get to work!
- Get Quoted in a National Publication
In April — with my son in the intensive care unit recovering from a ruptured appendix — I was interviewed for an article about the presidential race. The article by Rachel Zoll was syndicated all over the place, including such places as the Washington Post and Huffington Post. As you might expect, the result is a huge traffic bump.
- How I Got 2000+ NEW Visitors To My Site…With A Front Page PowerPoint Presentation on Slideshare
If you’re regularly presenting information to your readers in straight text, consider:
- Adding images
- Creating a video
- Recording a podcast
- Publish an infographic
- Offer a slideshare
- 5 Easy Tricks to Write Catchy Headlines
Your title is the gateway to your post. If it’s not attractive, many will turn away before they see a lick of content. Bring them in the door by luring readers with a great headline.
- One Blog Post Formula Proven to Get Traffic and Subscribers Time and Time Again
Simple formulas are sometimes the best traffic generators around. This one explains how to profile a short list of other bloggers either in your own niched or one you want to talk about. This social media friendly technique is a no brainer.
- How to Get Your First Blog Visitors
Most PopCred Network members are relatively new to blogging. So how do you break into the blogging world and start getting readers? According to Joel Williams focusing on content and community are the keys.
Once your site is established — with a few dozen posts under your belt and a small stream of traffic — you will probably have more opportunities to make money with your blog than you have time for.
Just this morning I just finished a nicely-priced skin care product review (which combined bartered promotion and paid posting), declined six offers that were under my price point, and I still have over $100 in sponsored posts waiting to be written. And that doesn’t include any of the affiliate marketing, merchandising, sales, advertising space, or continuity program income that trickles in day and night passively.
Multiple streams of income is definitely the way to go when making money on the web.
Still, I’m always looking for new ways PopCred members can make money with their blogs. Today I received an offer from a website referral service called 32reviews. I hadn’t heard of this site before but decided to test it out and let you all watch the process of starting fresh with a new money-making opportunity and evaluating it for future income. Make Money with Website Reviews: 32 Reviews
Did you notice our home page redesign? We’ve reduced the splash page to add a global posts feed to the right sidebar for all PopCred blogs!
What does that mean in English? It means that every time you create a new post on your PopCred blog, you get a blurb and a link to your new post on our site! You start the day with a quality link back and a new traffic source.
This is our first step in networking and working together to help you build the traffic needed for you to make money with your blog!
Now what? Check out the other blogs that are active, click through, read, and make comments. If you like something, share it through FaceBook, Twitter, or your favorite social media. Easy.
Has someone commented on your blog? Click through their name link and reciprocate!
Working together we can create a prosperous community.
Other than the LIFO (last in first out) model of presenting information, the only real difference between a blog and any other website is that blogs generally invite, encourage, and even thrive on comments. If you get a good conversations going, your traffic skyrockets.
Even for long-time professional bloggers, getting readers to speak up can be a daunting task on a new blog. I’ve been blogging for nine years, but still have only a handful of comments on this weeks-old blog.
But don’t be discouraged. First, look at your traffic. Consistently, I have found that by far most of my readers don’t comment. So if you’re getting decent traffic, your message is getting out. Also, realize that if you write very clearly on a non-controversial topic, there often isn’t much to say in response. Comments often come about because:
Your post needs clarification
Readers want to express a different viewpoint
That said, there are many things that can be done if you’re interested in engaging your readers, starting interaction, and creating community. Here are some great posts to get you started:
- 10 Simple Ways to Get More Blog Comments
Before you read anything, read this. And for heaven’s sake, follow suggestions #1 without fail! (And, yes, I know the resource mashup posts break rule #4. That’s the nature of the beast!)
- 10 Ways to Get Tons of Massive Comments on Your Blog
Take #1 on this list seriously. On one group blog I write for, I’m known for generating lost of comments. It happens because on that blog I tend to write about things that I’m bothered, concerned, annoyed about. That tends to either remind others that they are also riled up about the issue or encourages those not bothered to defend the status quo. Be careful that you don’t aggravate your readers…too much. Lots of other great tips where. (Note the recommendation for CommentLuv — PopCred members have the premium version!)
- 5 Painless Ways to Get Maximum Blog Comment Love
#1 again. But please note #3. I will not even comment on Blogger (Blogspot) posts because they archaic, idiotic commenting system is such a pain (not to mention unsightly). Solid insights.
- Get More Comments: Focus on the First Comment
While this post in not filled with cutting-edge ideas, it does clearly explain some important techniques and, even better, gives specific examples of implementing them. A guest post by the Firepole Marketing guy.
- 14 Devious Tactics for Getting More Comments on You Blog Posts
If you’ve read through the above posts (and I hope you have!), you’ve noticed there is a lot of repetition. Each post has new insights, but almost every post mentions things like “make commenting easy” or “post something controversial.” That’s because those things work, over and over again. This post, however, has a lot of really interesting, less discussed items. Don’t miss this gem of a post for a plethora of good comment-inducing ideas.
Instead of just linking to a YouTube or other video offsite, embed the video right into your post. This has great benefits:
- Improves the reader’s experience.
- Keeps readers on your blog, instead of sending them away to watch the video.
- Adds visual interest to your post.
To embed a video, you simply add the full URL to the content area. Make sure the URL has a line of its own and make sure the text isn’t’ linked.
For example, enter something like this in the text editor:
This is a video of my daughter, Alana, singing when she was 17.
She's now majoring in MDT (music dance theater) in college.
That input will show up on the blog like this: How to Embed Video into a WordPress Post
Working from home has many advantages. But dealing with a health issue while keeping your business inning smoothly can be a huge challenge. Working for long hours, sitting at a desk and banging away on a keyboard can be hazardous to your health. Yes, pro bloggers, your slippers and cocoa lifestyle might not be the best for your health.
One way to protect your business, reputation, and livelihood is to look for the root causes of pain and difficulty so that you can correct them and get on with the business of your business.
Inflammation is a leading cause of pain. If you suffer from inflammation related health problems — arterial, digestive, muscles, or joint problems — consider trying Nopalea. It’s a wellness drink derived from the fruit of the Nopal cactus. Protect Your Health, Protect Your Business continued
On April 7th, my husband and I found ourselves in the emergency room of Utah Valley Regional Medical Center with our 11-year-old son, Samson, who was gravely ill. Unbeknownst to us, his appendix had ruptured “some time ago.”
Two days earlier he had come in from the playing soccer in the backyard to tell us he didn’t feel very good. What looked like the flu was much, much more serious.
I spent nearly two weeks living with him in the intensive care unit. Then he came home for a couple of days and ended up back in surgery for a partial bowel obstruction. He finally came home (hopefully for good) on April 29.
After the first, very long night, I ran home for a couple of hours (while Sam stayed with him), to shower, change, and grab some things. One of the first things I packed was my computer. I’m blessed that, as a professional blogger, I can work anywhere there is an internet connection. So, other than the overwhelming concern for my boy, my work wasn’t really impeded. I could attend to him whenever he needed anything, and still setup blogs, provide consulting, complete customization, and keep up with correspondence when he was sleeping. Dealing with Illness When Working from Home continued
Digital products are a marketing dream. Once they are created, the hard work is done. As people come to your site, they can simply add the product to their cart, pay for the product, and download it right to their computers. All you have left to do is transfer the money from your PayPal account into your bank account.
As soon as you set up your online store and create a niche-related ebook or other digital product for your customers to download, you are ready to set up your first product!
Follow these seven simple steps and you’ll be ready to take orders in a flash. 7 Steps to Sell a Digital Product in Your Online Store
Now that you have your online store up and running, you need to stock it with great products! As you know, selling from your blog is a great way to make money online. Why not create your own digital product for customers to download?
This tutorial will step you through one of the digital goods we’ve discussed, ebooks. For the tutorial, I will create a simple ebook titled Recipes for Fun: Homemade Arts & Crafts. You can use this model to create an ebook that fits your own blog niche.
3 Steps to Create an Ebook