This post is a follow-up of my first “100 things” attempt, 100 Ways To Live A Better Life, which was absolutely a blast. This time, for your convenience, I grouped the tips into several areas: content, layout, plugins, promotion, networking and money. And if you’re into big lists, you may be interested in this one too 77 Tips For Starting An Online Business.
Your blog content is the cornerstone of your activity. You can’t have a blog without producing good, constant, quality content. Of all the other activities related to blogging, like promotion or networking, I consider content production to be by far the most important.
1. Keep An Idea Incubator
Don’t take it easy, take it as it comes. Find a place where you store your ideas. Writing only from instant inspiration is totally unproductive. Besides, chances are that your most valuables ideas will come when you’re not able to blog them. So, create an incubator and let them grow.
2. Make A Mindmap Of Your Blog
Keep a bird-eye of your articles. Putting your blog into a mind-map, with posts, categories, promotion and income sources proved to be an enlightening exercise for me. Not only it offered a totally different image of my blog but gave me a lot of ideas for overall improving.
3. Write Timeless Content
Don’t be caught in the “right now” trap. Writing about hot topics will last as much as the hot topics last. And we all know what’s hot is short. Try to write content that will be easily read in several months or years from now. Even if it’s about a hot topic, put something timeless in it.
4. Use Explicit Headlines
Headlines are the first thing your users are seeing. They are like a bait. If the bait is good, they’ll eventually bite the blog post too, if the headline is boring, common, predictable or not intriguing, they will most likely skip the whole paragraph.
5. Be Specific
Don’t go too far from the specific of your blog. If you do have different skills try to accommodate them on a tight topic. Widening your blog in an uncontrolled way will eventually dissolve your brand and even if you’ll have readers interested in different topics, you’ll be harder to recognize as a monolithic brand.
6. Be Constant
Be there constantly. Create a habit not only for you, but for your readers. Once you establish a connection with them, they will expect you to be there. Whenever you feel the need to give up, remember you will going to disappoint more then yourself.
7. Create And Maintain A Posting Routine
This will need a lot of self-discipline but it’s the cornerstone of your blog. If you won’t update it constantly, there will be no blog. Experiment until you find your pace. Some bloggers are posting 2-3 articles per day, some one per week. I find it easily to do around 2-3 posts per week.
8. Find Your Own Size
Find a post size which fits your habits and skills. Don’t do it like other successful bloggers, don’t copy, do it by trial and error. Seth Godin writes about 6-700 words pe entry, Steve Pavlina does more than 2-3000. My own ballpark is in the 1000-1200 words per post. Find your own.
9. Write From Your Own Experience
Show openly what you know and what you can say about something, without being afraid that you’re wrong. It’s much worse to blindly copy the experts than to assume your own mistakes and publicly learn from them. Your own experience is the most valuable blogging asset you have.
10. Be Authentic
Don’t play the mister know it all, dare to be personal and transparent. Always. A blog is the ultimate expression of an individual. Don’t waste time trying to be perfect, just be better. If you’re wrong, so be it. Remember, you’re unique. Nobody can be you.
11. Write For Your Readers
A blog is a personal matter, but if you want to have more than 2 visitors (including your mom) do yourself a service and write for your readers too. Think how your readers will benefit from what your write. If you want to be the only beneficiary of this process, you can safely start a private journal.
12. Create A Blogging Setup
You don’t just write. You must have a strategy, goals, evaluations. You need to have a place in which you can focus on the main goal. Since I created my blogging setup, GTD style, the whole idea of blogging has changed for me. Pick your own specific type of setup, even pen and paper, but do make one.
13. Ask The Readers
Interact. Don’t just assume you know what the readers want from your blog, go ahead and ask them. You can do that in comments, via email, on twitter. Or you can use online communities. Or you can write a specific post in which you ask them. There are ways. Just go ahead and ask.
14. Post In Advance
Don’t be shy about that, or think that it will ruin your authenticity. As long as you’re the author and you do write timeless content, there will be no problem. Posting in advance is a very good strategy exercise, not to mention the relief of always being covered.
15. Your Blog Post Is A Traveler
Once you hit publish, your blog post will live a life of its own. Your blog post will be a traveler. Be sure to give it the needed equipment to survive in harsh conditions and also enough instructions to find his way in this world. Take of him properly.
16. Your Blog Is Beyond Your Blog
Your blog is far more than your posts. You think it’s just a collection of articles, but it isn’t. In order to be successful, your blog must be a presence. It’s made by your posts, comments, your comments on other blogs, your tweets, your stumbles. Make a presence out of your blog, not just a list of topics.
17. Break Your Post Into Edible Chunks
One of the easiest yet most ignored practices in the blogging business. Don’t write like you’re running a marathon. Break the posts in smaller chunks. It will not only help your SEO, but it will create a much more clear writing approach. You’ll actually think better.
18. Link To Yourself
Don’t be shy about what you write and don’t wait for ever that your posts will be discovered by others. Link to yourself as often as you can. This practice, also known as interlinking, is also good for SEO, but its main advantage will be to create a greater awareness of your content. Even for you.
19. Do Writing Challenges
Push yourself into writing exercises. Establish a number of words per each post. Write personal stories. Write a how to. Write a 100 list, like this one. Try to write a specific number of posts in a specific period of time. Try to expand your skills beyond what you already have.
20. Engage In Group Projects
Try to do collaborative writing challenges. I participated in several collaborative projects, for blogs or ebooks, and it was a very productive experience. It will be extremely good for promotion, of course, but it will primarily help you try different writing styles.
21. Use A Dictionary
There are a lot of online or desktop based dictionaries. I find this extremely useful when I search for synonyms or related words. Yes, English is not my primary language, but I think a dictionary would benefit even if you’re born as an English speaker.
22. Create A Publishing Filter
Don’t just let the blog posts flow away. Create a publishing filter and apply it every time your write. I have my own filter made up by 7 questions to answer before publishing and so far it worked great. Find your own, based on why and what you are writing. It’s a good thing, trust me.
23. Create Alternative Content
Your blog can contain so much more than just text. Create podcasts, video content, or just apply alternative ways to your creativity, like mind maps, PDF based booklets or templates. A while ago I added Downloads page to my blog and I must tell you this page is pretty busy with clicks.
24. Link To Authorities
If there are authorities in your blog niche, link to them. That will help your readers understand your preferences and orientation, it will help them identify you better. Linking to somebody else it’s a statement in itself. As always, be constant and specific.
25. Openly Present Yourself
Write an About Me page with whatever type of information you want in it, as long as you feel it represents you. Subsequently, write About Me pages for any other media you are active on. For instance, I created an About Me page for my Twitter presence.
26. Keep It Simple
Blogging is not philosophy. Even if you are trying to explain complicated concepts, do your best to keep them simple. Your blog is competing with a gazillion other information sources, so be sure you’re giving something at least easy to understand.
27. Read Your Own Blog
Too often ignored. You must be your first reader. Whenever I have some free time I read some of my older posts. There’s nothing narcissistic in it, on the contrary, most of the time I dislike what I wrote, and think I could have done it so much better.
28. Balance Your Category Distribution
This is one of the 4 important metric I follow and which is tracked by the blog audit plugin. Keeping a balanced category will help not only in writing but it will improve your rankings in search engine. Too much content under one category will end up with a lot of duplicate content in your blog archives.
29. Create A Mailing List
This wasn’t yet applied to this blog, at the moment of writing this article, because I think it’s a little bit too early. But I successfully created and used mailing lists before, on niche websites, with tens of thousands of users. I mean it, tens of thousands. I know it’s doable.
30. Use Brainstorming Techniques
One of the most simplest – although pretty scary at the first sight – is this very blog exercise: a list of 100. If you are hit by the writer’s block, just sit down and try to find 100 ways to solve that problem. If you think it’s not possible, you’re completely wrong. You’re actually reading the result of such an exercise.
31. Don’t Quit
The most important tip of all. Don’t quit. Breaking through gets harder and harder, and in the first 6 months you can barely scratch the surface. Stay there and do your daily job even the results are so slow to show. At some point, you’ll be successful. But if you quit, you won’t. That’s for sure.
The way your content is perceived is fundamental. You may create good and engaging content, but if you don’t lay it out in a pleasant way, it will not be read. People like to see beautiful things first, and then read beautiful blog posts.
32. Buy A Professional Theme
I cannot stress enough on this one. The theme I’m using for some time now, not only for this blog, but for other projects as well, is called Total. And it’s not just a theme, it’s a complete framework. Check it out.
33. Create A Different Home Page For Your Blog
If you use an out of the box setup from a vanilla wordpress installation, you end up with a home page made by your latest blog posts. Replacing this list with a home page is usually a good idea, especially since your posts will be visited most of the time directly from search engines or other links. A home page can tell a completely different story.
34. Use Excerpts Or Features On The Blog Home Page
If you created a different home page for your site, doesn’t mean you won’t have a list of posts. That’s what I call a “blog home page”. Using just one or two full posts in that list is a good thing: usually, it keeps the reader focused. For the other posts I suggest using excerpts to declutter.
35. Enable Threaded Comments
Latest WordPress version have this cool option in the setting: enable threaded comments. You can even chose the depth of the threaded comments, standard (and what I recommend) is 5. In the old days, you had to look for a plugin to make that happen. Threaded comments are a great visual enhancement, not to mention the conversation boost.
36. Identify Your Blog Hotspots
Hotspots are places on your blog more visible than others. Depending on the reader’s habits and your own layout, you can use those places for various incentives, from subscribing reminders to advertising or premium content. The following 4 tips are examples of hotspots in my blog.
37. Use A Greeting Before The Content
Based on their referrer. Just before the content I have this sentence which welcome my users, based on their referrer and give them specific incentives. I created a thesis hook for those of you who are running thesis, but I’m sure you can find a plugin for that, if you don’t.
38. Keep Them Reading Your Articles After They Finished Your Post
After the post area I set up a retention zone. It features related posts (there is a plugin for that) and link for some strategic posts. After they finish your post, keeping them around is a very good idea, and that hotspot seems the best place to do it.
39. Put Short But Relevant Content Near The Linkbar
Another hotspot is at the link bar level. I chose to put there the total number of subscriber I get via FeedBurner. For my experience, link bar is not as hot as the beginning or the end of the post, so I just use it as an overall subscribing incentive.
40. Use A Tabbed Zone For Recommended Articles
The last important hotspot is just before the sidebars. I used it for a custom tabbed zone holding the most important articles in the most relevant categories. It gives a bird-eye on what it can be found and it dramatically increase the click rate for the selected articles.
41. Your Blog Header Is Your Identity
Pay attention to your header, that’s where the title is usually placed. People will remember your blog by visually recreating that zone. If it’s too crowded it will be hard to memorize. I Always recommend to keep your header as clean as possible, in order to be easily remembered.
42. Add A Top Posts Page To Your Menu
And subsequently create a top posts page. I don’t recommend to have it automatically generated based on the popularity of your articles. Tweaking it according to your own perspective of what’s good is much better.
43. Add A Downloads Page
If you followed tips number 23, Create Alternative Content, having a separate Downloads page for that is compulsory. If properly promoted, many people will land to that page directly, without seeing your home page or any of your posts.
44. Use Full Feeds
People have the freedom to chose which way they are going to read you: via web or via an RSS reader. Keeping partial feeds on the RSS part used to be a common tip for making people visit your site for the full content. I don’t buy it. I have full feeds: as long as they read me, it’s their choice how they do it.
45. Mix Your Twitter Timeline Into Your Blog
Put your latest 5-7 tweets in the sidebar or even in the footer, but do let them know that you have a twitter timeline. Will talk about how Twitter can enhance your presence from a promotion point of view a little later, but from a layout perspective, publicizing your current tweets will make your blog feel much more alive.
46. Focus On The Content
Whatever you do or add to your general layout, keep in mind this simple question: will this help my content to reach my users faster? If you answer “no”, or “maybe” to this question, usually the add-on doesn’t worth the time.
47. Use Excerpts On Archives Pages
First of all, make sure you add or enable the standard archives pages in every wordpress theme. And then, be sure to make the archives displaying only excerpts of your posts, this will create a better user experience and possibly increase the time you readers are spending on your articles.
Plugins are for your blogging what chip tuning is for a street car. The right combination is hard to find, but once you find it, not only it will make your work much easier, but it will also make you look awesome! Or at least it will make your blog look awesome, which is what are we talking about in this post.
48. Akismet Spam Protection
You can’t really do it without this one. Or, you can blog but you would have to completely turn off your comments. Which is not blogging anymore, right? Activating akismet requires a key, but you can easily generate one in seconds. Once you install it, you’ll forget about it. That’s how a decent plugin should behave, anyway.
49. Google Sitemap
Another must have and also a quiet one. Once you install it, you don’t know it exists anymore, but it does work heavily in the background. The plugin does exactly what it says, it creates a sitemap of your blog in XML format and automatically submit it to Google every time you post. Pretty convenient, huh? (download here)
50. Recent Comments
A very useful addition and one that your commenters will heavily appreciate it. The plugin is easy to install, comes as a widget and is also quite configurable. Highlighting comments usually enhance the conversation, or at least this is what happened to me. (download here)
51. WordPress Download Monitor
If you’re going to have alternative content, like mindmaps, free or paid ebooks, templates or audio / video material, you should consider using this. It will help you organize your downloadables by category, show number of downloads and you can even create new posts inspired by those results, like my most downloaded mindmaps.
52. Blog Audit
This is a shameless self promotion. Blog Audit is a simple plugin I wrote, which lets you etablish blogging goals and measure your progress. You can set a posting routine, a comment density, even a pingback volume and then watch live how you’re doing with it. Download it here Blog Audit Wordpress Plugin (2197).
This will also make your commenters shine with happiness. If your commenters enter a web address in the designated field, CommentLuv will go there and extract your latest post link. If you sign up for CommentLuv at their site, you can even customize which post you will want featured. Neat!
54. Recent Posts
Great way to showcase your latest articles in the sidebar. Readers are curious, they want to know what’s on your mind lately and if they are really interested in what you write, they will always want to be updated. It’s simple and good blog real estate use. Download here.
55. Similar Posts
I use this plugin to show a list of (possibly) related posts after each article. It’s not always matching the main idea and sometimes it gives weird results, but even that is much better than manually compiling a list of links each time I publish. Great time saver and good retention tool. Download here.
Woopra is a new analytics tool and I’m kinda fond to it. Tracking your website is done by installing a simple wordpress plugin, which, a part from helping Woopra gather all sort of data, doesn’t do much. But will talk about Woopra as ana analytics service a little bit later. Download here.
57. WordPress Automatic Upgrade
Saves me the trouble of doing it manually. I reckon I struggled for years with manual upgrades of WordPress, and even if I got really skilled at some point, I can’t avoid the fact that this is just plain boring. Not to mention is time consuming. Better automate the process. Download here.
58. Twitter Tools
Twitter Tools can do a lot of nice tricks for you. It shows your latest tweets in the sidebar, automatically tweet when you publish a new post and can even let you tweet from your own public interface (don’t know who uses this, but it’s kinda cool). Download here.
59. Avoid The Plugin Hysteria
No plugin can write content in your place. No plugin can make you authentic. Spending too much time hunting, installing and testing new plugins will shift your focus from your most important task: to produce and maintain a constant flow of quality content. That would make you famous, not the plugins.
You will have to make yourself known. You will have to get out and let the world you’re there and you are writing something important. Not promoting your work would be like projecting fabulously creative commercials in Sahara. The ads may be fantastic, but if there’s nobody to see them, it’s useless.
60. Don’t Be Shy About Your Blog
If you really know you wrote good stuff, go out and spread the word. Unless you hired a PR company to handle this you gotta take care of your own promotion, at least until it takes off. And even after. Accept the idea and make time for it in your schedule.
61. Tweet Your Blog
Sign up for Twitter and start to promote your posts there. Already mentioned a plugin which will automatically do most of the hard work for you, but you can also do it manually. Used properly, Twitter can bring in hundreds or thousands of visitors per day. As in every other social media space, the thumb rule is to be constantly there. Somehow.
62. Stumble Upon
That would be the StumbleUpon website, a community which aims to make the internet content relevant, by using a human powered algorithm. That sounds far more complicated than it really is. In StumbleUpon you must first contribute a lot of new discoveries until you really get the benefits of the game.
63. Reddit Your Posts
Go on and try Reddit, one of the simplest, yet most crowded user generated content places on the net. Usually, Reddit users are in the geeky zone of the internet specter, but if you carefully chose your subreddits (that would be special communities inside the main Reddit) you can have pretty good results.
64. Digg It!
Although I haven’t been very successful with Digg, I recommend it. I personally know bloggers who benefited enormously from it. Digg traffic seems to be the most volatile among all the communities I mentioned so far. Maybe you can help me change my luck on Digg by pushing this post on the front page. 🙂
It’s all over so you must be there. I don’t know any specific technique on how to use Facebook to promote your work other than just being there. Put your blog feed on the wall, so your friends can see it and just wait. At some point, you will be surprised by how many hits you receive just by being there.
66. Follow Your Trackbacks
Constantly keep en eye on who’s linking to you. Visit them and let a comment. If the number is too high and you can’t physically leave a comment on every site which is linking to you (don’t smile, it WILL happen at some point) just be sure to constantly verify that list. You’ll learn a lot about your audience and possible followers.
67. Comment On Other Blogs
Find at least 10-15 blogs you really like and make a habit out of commenting on them. Not only you will get to know a lot of interesting and potentially useful players in this area, but you will generate a lot of links and buzz. Don’t brutally say: “Hi, check out this great article I just wrote”, say something meaningful and they will eventually want to know more about you.
68. Respond To The Comments
Keep an eye on the conversation you generate, if any. Be there for it, support it and make it a normal part of your routine. Behind your posts lies another exceptional line of content, and that’s your comment repository. Respect your commenters, as they are voluntarily creating content for YOU.
69. Establish A Slug Structure And Stick With It
A slug is the link part of your post, the one that shows in the browser. You can tweak what is shown there just with a vanilla wordpress setup. For instance, I chose to have the post title right before the domain name. Other approaches are to put the date between them, to add an “archives” or even a custom one made entirely by yourself.
70. Participate In Blog Carnivals
Kinda slow but necessary. Submit your most interesting posts to blog carnivals in your niche. It might be a little cumbersome to do this in the beginning but in a 3 months time frame you will gather a lot of links and awareness. Don’t be fooled by the somehow awkward interface of BlogCarnival.com, those carnivals are actually real and useful.
71. Use Proper CSS For Headings
That would be, by a wide accepted standard, 2. Make sure your paragraph titles, also known as headings, are styled with H2. This is extremely important for layout (if you change your theme and didn’t use h2, you will lose the formatting) but for search engine optimization also. A different CSS style weights differently in most of the search engines.
72. Select Your Keywords In Headlines
If you used a different CSS selector for headlines, don’t forget to chose specific words for it. If you want your post to be found by specific keywords, putting them in the headings will significantly increase your chances. It’s one of the cheapest promotion technique I know.
73. Use Proper Keywords In Your Slugs
In the same league as headings come slugs. Although WordPress can automatically create your slug, it’s always a good idea to double check for common words or / and for keywords you want to be highlighted. Also an easy one, but often overlooked.
74. Use Title Tag Appropriately
The title of your post can or cannot match the <title> tag. The thumb rule is: the tag is seen by search engines and the title in the post is seen by search engines + your readers. It’s useful to play a little with the title tag, but don’t go too far, don’t chose completely different words for the post title and the tag title, you can get penalized for that.
75. Use Metatags Appropriately
There is a long debate on the internet about how useful metatags really are. And the real answer is that nobody really knows, so it’s better to get yourself covered. Thesis theme has this awesome feature which lets me control per each post metatags like title, keywords and so on.
76. Look For Small Or Emerging Communities
Once you’ve done your job with the giants (twitter, reddit or digg) start looking for small / emerging communities in your niche. At this time, both Ycombinator or BizSugar are still young and emerging communities, but judging on how fast they’re moving, they may become mainstream pretty soon.
77. Use A Cluster Of Analytics Services
Observe your traffic statistics. You can use any service you want, from Google Analytics, to a server based log analyzer like webalizer. I use Woopra lately with fairly good results. One good strategy is to group 2-3 analytics services together, because usually they have different algorithms and you can have a better idea about your real traffic if you check at least 2-3 sources.
78. Establish (and strictly follow) A Statistics Checking Routine
Don’t go to your statistics page every 5 minutes. I know the feeling, and it’s not good. In the beginning, weekly it.s ok. Once you get to be linked or retweeted, 2-3 times a day is enough. And you will do that mainly to get in touch with who interacted with your content.
79. Identify Forums In Your Niche
Forums are still very popular and they can be a very good traffic generator. Just be sure to keep a fair balance between your regular contribution to that forum and your self-promotion, forums users are typically a little bit more sensitive.
80. Watch Your Comments Density
That’s another blog metrics which I consider extremely important and which plays a big role in shaping your overall visibility. By watching the number of comments per post. per day, per week and their variations from one month to another you can draw extremely valuable conclusions.
81. Watch Your Pingback Volume
If comments density is a measure of your popularity, pingback volume is a measure of your visibility among other competitors. Identify posts with the higher pingback volume and see what you can learn from them. Pingbacks are like a volume switch for your work, the higher the volume, the most popular the article.
82. Talk About It With Your Friends
Like the friends you have in the real world (if you’re fortunate enough to still have some). Let them know who you really are and what do you do. Don’t put your work under the carpet. Make it as visible as you can. Word of mouth is much more powerful than any promotion strategy I know.
83. Make Your RSS Subscriber Number Public
Surprisingly enough, many of the bloggers I met are shy about these numbers, most of the time thinking they don’t have enough followers to show off. In fact, making the number of subscribers public will encourage your potential readers to join. People are attracted to meaning, not numbers.
Blogging is about connecting. Don’t stay in the same place, you’ll get dusty. Go out, meet new people, contribute or help in different ways. Networking is so often forgot and I think this is a big mistake. Networking is much more than promotion, being able to connect you with people in the real world.
84. Write Guest Posts
Go out and find blogs in your niche. Contact the authors and ask if they accept guest posts. Most of the time, they will. The main benefit of guest posting is not, as they largely promote it, the traffic you get, but the relationship you establish with the host.
85. Write Massive Guest Posts
Massive guest posting is something a little bit different than guest posting (and, as far as I know, is something that wasn’t done so far). Basically, you write an article with several possible developments and then continue those developments as guest posts on other blogs. See massive guest posting.
86. Create And Maintain A Close Group
Identify bloggers with a similar background (they can or cannot be in the same niche, as long as you can get along) and openly propose a cross-promotion. Be careful when you chose them and be sure they are persons you can rely on. You will be in that group for quite some time.
87. Promote The Members Of Your Close Group
Just like any other friendship relationship this must go two-ways. Whenever you see the opportunity to promote them, do it. Retweet, stumble, digg or reddit their articles. Remember, they have to be people you trust and admire. What you promote tells a lot about yourself.
88. Participate In Internet Blogging Challenges
One of the most famous internet blogging challenges is Darren Rowse’s 31 Days To Build A Better Blog. I personally attended (virtually, of course) the last edition and I must tell you it was a really nice experience. This is as good as participating in collaborative projects, only you benefit from the exposure of a blogging icon.
89. Go Out And Meet Bloggers In Flesh And Blood
If you have a hugely diverse audience this may be a little difficult. But even so, you can try it. I did it too and that helped me understand that other bloggers are for real, just like you, they’re not just some numbers in your analytics tool, under the “referrers” tab. Meet them, maybe you won’t become close friends, but you may learn a lot form this interaction.
90. Attend Specific Blogging Events
Like in real world specific blogging events, this time. One of the most famous is Blog World Expo, but there are many other established conferences, not to mention the local ones. Do your best to participate in real events as often as you can.
91. Speak Out
Once you’re at a real life event, don’t be shy. I saw too often bloggers attending to interesting events but keeping an unexplainable low profile. Stand out, speak, give feed-back and let the people know who you are. People are more curious than you think to actually meet the real presence behind a blog. Even yours.
At some point, you will want to make some money out of your blog. It’s natural. It’s your work and there must be some sort of payment for it. Only in this business, you have to take care personally about this problem. And that is the good news, because if you’re careful, the sky is the limit. Literally.
92. Accept Donations
Don’t make a loan and vouch it with your blog donations, it will never be like that. Donations aren’t predictable. But having them displayed is a nice way to let people know that you accept their gratitude. If you really write valuable content, you will receive donations. I know I did.
93. You Sell Authority, Not Goods
Always remember that what you are really selling would be your authority, your expertise, your credibility or your lifestyle. Be very careful when you chose to make money and how you do it. Blogging is not about selling, blogging is about building partnerships. You’re responsible.
94. Promote Only What You Use
Once you’ll become well known, there will be more and more requests for promoting different products or services. One of the rules I followed so far was to promote only what I directly used. People have this tendency to associate your person with what you are promoting and if the promoted product is a mess, that could be really awkward.
95. Use PPC Diligently
Don’t overcrowd your page with ads (and yes, by PPC I also mean AdSense). Pay Per Click is such a size consuming advertising technique, it needs a lot of space and exposure to create sustainable results. It can create a stable source of income, but its golden days are gone.
96. If You Sell Space, Sell It Directly
If you decide it’s time to sell display advertising, sell it your own. Make a separate page in which you are announcing your prices and your conditions. Selling display advertising via an advertising agency is very expensive. Not to mention that you don’t really control the process.
97. Make Your Expertise Stand Out
And clearly state that you are for hire. If it’s consulting that you do, say it out loud, if it’s web design, write it with big fonts. Don’t expect people to dig through your posts trying to find what’s your main expertise and if you could help them. There are a lot of people out there already doing it.
98. Make Long Term Deals
Even if the overall payout is smaller, always go for long term deals. Despite what TV news told you, economy is not predictable. Go for a tinier profit but do it for longer time. One of the best promotions I did was a year long deal with a software producer and I’m totally happy with it.
99. Create And Sell Your Own Products
Write an ebook. Create an online course. Make a suite of videos. Go for what you can genuinely create. Making money directly from your products is always better than advertising. You can totally control the process and even if you use affiliate networks to promote your products, the payout is much bigger than in any other field.
100. Use Incentives To Promote Premium Content
Create free ebooks or other free resources to create awareness. Link to your commercial products in those free products and then spread the word. That way, people will have the opportunity to know more about what you do before actually buying the commercial product.
101. Add Paid Membership
I didn’t actually do it here, but I successfully did it in other projects and all I can tell you is that is really working. But it depends a lot on your niche and audience. As of January 2016, there is such a community, built on top of DragosRoua.com readers. The name is The Space and it’s growing pretty fast. You should check it out. Also, as a rule of thumb remember that people are ready to pay from premium content, if that content really solve some real problem for them.
I know, there are 101 ways, not 100, as I promised in the title. I lied. And I also did something that always helped me being successful: under promise and over deliver.
Running For My Life - from zero to ultramarathoner
The spooky thing about depression is that it sneaks in. There aren’t really trumpets and loud voices announcing: “Hail, hail, this is depression entering the room, all rise!” Nope. It’s slow, silent, creepy. It doesn’t even look like depression. It starts with small isolation thoughts like: “Maybe I shouldn’t get out today, I just don’t feel like going out”. And then it does the same next day. And then the day after that and so on. And then it starts to whisper louder and louder in your ears: “Why would you go outside, you loser? Didn’t have enough yet? Want more people to make fun of how much of a big, fat loser you are?”
And then you start to breath in guilt and shame, instead of air. Every breathe you take is putting more dark thoughts into your body.
Until you get stuck. You can’t move anymore. At all.
If you want to know how I got out of this space, eventually, check out my latest book on Amazon and Kindle.