Write Regular Content. You want your readers to know that when they come to your Blog they will get the content they are looking for on a regular basis. Be consistent. Don’t write eight posts in three days and then have a gap for three weeks and then nine posts in one day and then a gap for a month. Whether you’re going to write once a week, three times a week, every day, multiple times per day or whatever you choose, make sure you maintain a level of consistency. Lack of consistency is by far the biggest Blog killer.
SEO Your Titles. If your blog title is “XYZBlog.com”, and your post title is “How to Start Your Own Business” then the title for your post page should be “How to Start Your Own Business – XYZBlog.com” not “XYZBlog.com – How to Start Your Own Business”. I use the All in One SEO Pack plugin for WordPress for this.
Make Your RSS Feed Link BIG and Easy to See. A hidden RSS feed button somewhere half-way down your page shoved in a corner will not encourage your visitors to subscribe. Make it big, and make it easy to see. Top right hand corner is probably the best spot for it.
Understand Social Proof. It will be easier for you to get your first 50 RSS subscribers if you don’t show you Feedburner Count Chiclet ()until it’s above 50 RSS Subscribers. People tend to follow social proof so below 50 it typically has the effect of discouraging new subscribers, and above 50 is has the effect of encouraging others to subscribe.
Have an About Me Page. People who read Blogs want to know who they are reading. Tell them who you are and include pictures of yourself.
Avoid Email SPAM. Unless you like insane amounts of SPAM sent to your email box, don’t put your email address in plain text anywhere on the website. SPAM scrapers can find your email address. Instead, use a Contact Form. I use the Contact Form 7 Plugin for WordPress for that.
Diversify your Income Streams. Don’t just rely on AdSense. Experiment and test all kinds of income streams for your Blog. If you do use AdSense, make sure you maximize your results.
Create an Advertise Page. Make it easy for advertisers to purchase spots on your site. I use OIOPublisher to manage and automate it all for me. It only costs $37 and for me it’s already paid for itself many times over.
Make Sure You Have Comments Turned On. Blogs are powerful and people visit them because of the ‘conversation’ and ‘community’ that they build. If you turn off comments, it’s not a conversation – it’s a monologue. I think it’s way hard to build-up and monetize a Monologue Blog.
Don’t Require People to Register Before Posting a Comment. Make it easy for people to leave comments. Yes, there will be some SPAM comments you’ll have to filter, but it’s a small price to pay for all the extra traffic you’ll get from people leaving comments.
Use Akismet. Activate and use Akismet to help filter out comment SPAM.
Know Your Blog Metrics. Use the Blog Metrics WordPress Plugin to track your averages. For example, if you set a goal to keep your article length between 300-400 words, the plugin can track that for you. It can also keep track of your comment trends etc. Understanding these numbers will help you grow your Blog.
Have a Unique Blog Theme / Design. Differentiate yourself from all the other Blogs by purchasing a premium Blog theme or get one professionally designed.
Own Your Own Domain. Don’t host your Blog on the free Blogging hosts out there. You need the flexibility of hosting your own Blog. I use Hostgator to host my Blog. Using Fantastico you can Install a WordPress Blog with just a few clicks.
Use the WordPress Scheduled Post Function. As part of writing regular content, be aware that you don’t necessarily have to WRITE the content on a regular basis, you just have to PUBLISH it on a regular basis. With each post in WordPress you can specify the date and time the article will go live. You could, for example, write five articles on Monday and then set the date and time for each one to be released at a specific time on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday so it looks like you’re there every day posting an article. This allows you to go on vacation as a Blogger.
Have Reserved Articles Ready For Posting. Keep a few articles in the draft folder ready to be released for emergency cases. Sometimes unexpected things can happen and you never know when you’ll need an emergency article to fill a gap in your posting schedule.
Leave Comments on Other Blogs. Leaving useful comments on other people’s Blogs will get you exposure. Take the time to write QUALITY comments which will make people want to come to your Blog to check out what else you have to say. If you write brilliant content on your Blog, but crap on other people’s comments, the perception people will have is that you write crap all around so they won’t even bother coming to your Blog.
Don’t Just Comment on A-List Blogs. Find other Blogs in your niche market and comment on their Blogs even if they are small and just getting started. Don’t just look at A-List Blogs as places to comment because you think they have way more traffic than anyone else. Blogging is about building relationships with readers and that happens one person at a time. Well written comments on Blogs that are just getting going can go a long way. If you think nobody is reading them, think again – what about the Blog owner? If you’re the only person commenting on his Blog, he’ll love you for it and will probably come and comment on your Blog as well.
Visit the Blogs of the People Who Leave Comments on Your Blog. Sometimes we just don’t see the obvious. When looking for other smaller Blogs to comment on out there that relate to your niche, don’t overlook your own comments section. Often times your readers will have their own Blogs in a niche related to yours. Visiting your visitors is an excellent way to build up your initial wave of traffic.
Participate in Blog Carnivals. Blog Carnivals are a free and powerful way to get links and free traffic, especially when you’re first getting started. Make sure to link back to the Blog Carnival that linked to you and to submit the carnival to social media sites like StumbeUpon, Digg, etc. This helps both you and the Blog Carnival host get more traffic.
Have an Abundance Mentality. Even with all the Blogs out there, there is still a major shortage of quality Blogs with quality information in almost every niche market out there. Don’t look at other Bloggers as your competition because they are not. View other Bloggers as a co-operative community where everyone wins be being more successful. If you help another Blogger out, even if they write on the same topic as you, you are helping the reader, the other Blogger, and yourself. There is plenty to go around for everyone. Don’t try to hoard your success, your traffic, your readers or anything else.
Express Your Opinion. Your readers want to hear your opinion on the topic you’re writing about. They didn’t come to your Blog to read a dry, unopinionated statement of facts. They came to hear what you think.
Backup Your Blog Regularly. Don’t forget to backup your Blog on a regular basis. A database crash, accidentally overwriting or deleting key files, a malicious hacker or any other Murphy’s Law issues can take you out of commission. Backups will save your butt.
Keep Your WordPress Blog Updated. Keep up to date with the latest version of WordPress. If you use a host that has Fantastico like Hostgator this can typically be done with one click.
Setup a Technorati Profile. This will help you keep track of your standings compared to other Blogs out there and see who’s linking to you. Also, when you link to other Blogs, they will see that you linked to them and possibly visit your site.
Integrate Social Bookmarking. Use a plugin such as ShareThis to make it easy for people to bookmark your site with sites like StumbleUpon, Digg, Del.icio.us etc.
Don’t Be Afraid to Monetize. Don’t be afraid to monetize your Blog by selling advertising and such. However, keep your ratio of CONTENT to ADVERTISING high. Don’t have a 100 word post surrounded by 800 blinking, flashing banners.
Use a Reliable Host. All hosting partners are not created equal. After a lot of frustration with many other hosting partners over site errors, slow loading sites etc. I finally found Hostgator. They have been awesome to work with and my site performance has always been top notch even during heavy traffic loads. Start with a reliable hosting partner and save yourself a lot of headaches down the road.
Understand Exponential Growth. My Free eBook “Mastering the Most Powerful Force in the Universe” has a very important lesson for Bloggers to understand about the growth of their Blogs. In short, Blog traffic and income never grows in a linear fashion. You need to apply exponential thinking to your Blogging efforts.
Run a Contest. Be creative and come up with a contest idea which will drive more traffic and links to your site. Study what other successful bloggers have done recently and then come up with your own spin on things.
Digg and Stumble. Use social bookmarking sites like Digg and Stumble to bookmark and stumble OTHER Blogger’s articles. You have to give to get. If you think it’s valuable, you can start with this article.
Participate in Forums. Find at least one forum which relates to your Blogging niche and become an active participant in the forum. Use your signature in the Forum to drive traffic to your Blog, but don’t go over the top with it.
Install Google Analytics. Make sure you are always keeping track of your stats. Knowing where your traffic is coming from, what keywords people find you with on search engines etc. is all valuable information you should be studying and tracking. Google Analytics offers a free tool to do this.
Read Other Blogs. Subscribe to the RSS feeds of at least a few “Make Money Online” to stay on top of the latest tools, plugins, updates and advice on how to make more money online with your Blog. Just make sure you don’t spend all your time reading and no time writing your own content.
Work on Your Mental Game. Your “mental game” makes up at least 80% of your success. This includes things like vision, attitude, beliefs, values, philosophies etc. Always be working on improving and expanding yourself.
Follow Your Passion and Purpose. Find your Passion and Purpose in Blogging. I wrote a Free eBook on finding your Purpose and Passion in life which you can download here.
Write an eBook. Writing a Free eBook in your area of expertise and offering it for free to your Blog readers can be a great way to increase your popularity and to build value for your readers. Have some well placed links back to your Blog so that when people disseminate your Free eBook to others, they know where it came from.
Write Guest Posts For Other Blogs. By writing good quality guest posts for other Bloggers you can help them out by providing content for their readers while at the same time expanding your exposure and readership.
Use Hypnotic Writing and Publicity to Promote Your Blog. In the Blogging world, the fantasy of just doing nothing but writing content and thinking that “If You Build It, They Will Come” will leave you frustrated and broke. Learn to promote yourself and your Blog.
Have a Long Term Perspective. Blogging for Money is not a get-rich-quick scheme. Making money with a Blog can be a rewarding, fulfilling, semi-passive income stream long term which can help you with many other online/offline efforts, but don’t expect to be making a lot of money from day one. The good news is that if done correctly, your income can grow exponentially.
Network With Others In Your Field. Get to know other Bloggers or individuals in your niche. Learn to establish win/win relationships with them. Look for other Bloggers who are at the same level or a few steps ahead of you and help each other succeed.
Utilize Other Media Types. When producing your content, ask yourself if a picture or illustration might be a more effective way to communicate your point. Would a video explanation be better? Experiment with different ways of delivering your content.
Interview Someone. Interviewing an expert in your field can bring great value to your readers. Keep things short, sweet and to the point. Check out my Interview with Dr. Joe Vitale from the movie “The Secret” as an example.
Setup a Newsletter. Use an automated Email delivery and subscription tracking tool like AWeber to setup a free Email newsletter and to begin building your Email list. You can also give away an eBook you wrote as part of signing up for the Newsletter.
Have an Easy Way to Browse Your Archives. The Clean Archives Reloaded Plugin for WordPress will make it easy for your readers to browse through your Archives and find useful content.
Consider Polarizing as a Lightworker. There are many ways to monetize and build your Blog. By getting clear which type of path you want to take, it becomes easier to build your audience and your income. Check out my article “How to Make Money as a Lightworker” for more info.