Month: January 2017

4 Steps To Monetize Your Blog Like A Professional

Content might be king, but bloggers certainly struggle to feel like royalty. Maintaining a profitable blog in a crowded online market is genuinely challenging. Not only do bloggers have to find their niche, create great content, stay up-to-date, and encourage interactions, but they also have to find a way to make money off of their blogs.

Monetization is, no doubt, the biggest challenge any blogger will face. So, here’s a four-step strategy that could help you overcome these issues and monetize your blog like a professional:

Step 1. Understand Your Source of Income

Most bloggers make the fundamental mistake of not recognizing their client. As a blogger your community is your service. Your job is to find an audience that shares your niche interest and then connect that audience to brands that would like to approach them.

Blog’s generate income from digital marketing agencies, so it’s important to understand what they need. Agencies are constantly on the lookout for great content within a specific niche. These agencies are tasked with finding a target audience for their client’s business. Communicating with the right audience is their top priority. Once you understand this you’ll be able to hone your messaging more effectively.

Step 2. Use The Right Tools

After you’ve taken the time to define your target clientele (digital marketing agencies) you need to make sure your blog is meeting their benchmarks. The most logical way to do this is to benchmark the blog using tools most popular with digital marketing agencies. This includes MOZ, SEMrush, MAJESTIC, and sistrix. These tools are commonly used to dissect blogs and rank them on the basis of quality and quantity of their traffic. Digital marketers use them to understand how valuable your blog is, which is why you must use the same tools to track your performance.

Step 3. Benchmark

Once you’ve shortlisted the tools, you need to ensure our blog meets the minimum benchmarks on each of them. MOZ, for example, considers a Domain Authority score of 20 a minimum. Similarly, you can aim for a minimum traffic score of 1,000 on SEMrush and Trust Flow of 20 on Majestic. Meeting these benchmarks is absolutely essential for monetization.

Step 4. Get Discovered

Traditionally, digital marketers would directly email a blogger if they were interested. This helped them create a working relationship but the process is slow, tedious, and inefficient. Professional marketers are now more likely to use content distribution services to find the best blogs. These platforms list blogs alongside crucial test data from tools like MOZ, SEMrush, and Majestic. It makes it easier for quality blogs to get discovered and for digital marketers to find the right fit. Using these services is absolutely essential if you want to get discovered by the top agencies and monetize your blog successfully.

These four simple steps should have a noticeable impact on your blog’s ability to generate revenue. Once your blog meets the basic requirements you can turn your focus on maintain great content.

Original post: 4 Steps To Monetize Your Blog Like A Professional

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How to Make Money with Videos Online

Even since fast Internet connections around the world became the standard, video has been a dominating force online. The explosion of smartphones and mobile Internet only reinforced this trend, as people are now able to watch videos on the go and 24 hours per day.

Guess what, if you want to make money online, you certainly need to consider a strategy that involves video. Below you’ll find some tips to help you in this path.

1. Know The Business Models

There are basically two available business models to make money with online video: release the videos for free and earn with advertising, or charge a fee to let users access your videos.

The first model is suitable for videos that will attract a large number of views on platforms like YouTube or Facebook. Funny videos and videos about celebrities, technology, politics or other popular topics tend to do well under this model. Keep in mind that you will need to publish many videos for this model to become profitable. It’s not uncommon to see publishers releasing several videos on the same day!

youtube-screenshot

The second model is suitable for premium and educational content. For instance, educational videos that teach people how to program or build websites, how to earn money through investing, or how to gain skills necessary to make money on some professional field. The advantage of this model is that you will need to produce fewer videos, but it will take some work to produce the videos and to structure the learning platform.

2. Use a Professional Hosting Platform

Especially if you are going with the second model, using a professional platform to host your videos is essential. Online video streaming is complex, and if you try the do-it-yourself approach you might end up causing problems for your paying customers.

If you need a recommendation, check out UScreen. It is one of the most popular platforms around, and it has the advantage of coming with several other services that you might need for your educational or premium video website.

uscreen

For instance, they have tools that will help you build your landing page and video pages. They also have built-in payments for both subscriptions and one-time payment for the videos. This can save you a lot of time if you don’t have technical know-how.

3. Have Your Own Website

If you are going to release videos on YouTube and make money via advertising, you might think that you don’t need to have a website. Even if you are going to charge for premium videos, you might be tempted to use some third party platform instead of hosting your own domain name.

This is a mistake. You need to have your own domain and promote it to your audience. That is because your own domain and site is pretty much the only online presence you control 100%. If your audience get used to visiting your site, subscribing to your email list and so on, you will never risk getting cut out of the business by external circumstances.

Imagine the despair of people who published all their videos on an external platform that went out of business and decided to shut down the website! You could lose everything overnight. If you are not a technical personal, check out SquareSpace, as it is pretty easy to build a website with them.

4. Leverage Social Media

Like it or not, social media is an essential part of any marketing plan these days. You will need to have, at the very least, a presence on Facebook and Twitter. Pinterest, Instagram and LinkedIn are also recommended options, depending on your target audience.

Make sure that you share all your videos on those platforms, as they can drive a lot of views. Facebook, for instance, is already the second largest video platform online, losing only to YouTube.

Original post: How to Make Money with Videos Online

Are Keywords Still Important When it Comes to SEO?

There was a time not too long ago where keywords were the end all be all of SEO. All webmasters had to do was to fill their pages with specific keywords, use optimized anchor text for backlinks, add keyword rich headers and title tags, and voila! You had a fully optimized website. While things may have been more simple from a marketing plan, they completely undermined Google’s product offering. Many people forget that Google’s main goal is to provide the most relevant search engine results to its users and keyword manipulation techniques meant that their algorithm was easy to circumvent. And for this reason, Google hit webmasters with update after update to make sure that things like keyword density would not hold the same weight in future rankings.

However, keywords aren’t completely dead and are still in many ways the backbone of SEO. They just have to be approached differently. Let’s take a look at how the role of keywords has changed when it comes to search engine optimization.

Keyword Placement

Google still needs the use of text, and therefore, keyword placement still plays a major role when it comes to search engine rankings. However, keyword placement will do more for your site than keyword stuffing or keyword rich backlinks.

Placing your main keywords in your title and headers is still an important part of any on page SEO marketing strategy, and this probably will be the case for years to come, unless Google makes a huge change in the way pages are indexed. Title tags play an essential part in search results, and poorly optimized title tags will always yield negative results.

Google still gives priority to key areas, such as meta information and headers, followed by copy and navigation last. It is therefore capital that you optimize these key areas with a variety of keywords so that tags across your site do not become redundant.

Keyword Meaning

Google is doing everything in its power for its algorithm to be more “plastic” and tailor itself to the user’s needs. It is also trying to make its algorithm more human by not only identifying keywords and indexing them, but by deriving meaning from them as well. Google is constantly changing its algorithm so that it can make correlations between keywords on a specific page to allow it to make sense of what the page is truly about.

For instance, different iterations of the same keyword phrase are less likely to rank for different search terms than they were before. So, you should forget about adding specific keyword phrases to your pages and rather focus on a consistent theme throughout your pages that will allow them to rank naturally for certain keywords.

So what does it mean for SEO Marketers?

It simply means that keywords are not completely obsolete, but our approach to them has to be changed. Instead of focusing on keywords, webmasters should focus on the human aspect of search and focus on providing relevant content rather than creating content for machines. As technologies such as machine learning are being introduced, the gap between man and machine is drawing consistently closer, and this should prompt SEO marketers to move towards other facets of SEO such as user experience if they want to be more successful in the future.

Original post: Are Keywords Still Important When it Comes to SEO?

Google Image Search Shows Colorful Suggestions

Google Image Search has a different way to display suggestions: it now shows a long list of colorful boxes with related searches. You can click one or more boxes to dynamically refine search results.

For example, when searching for [sportswear], Google shows suggestions like: [women basketball], [tennis], [badminton], [golf], [volleyball], [nike woman], [alexander wang], [adidas], [fashion], [performance], [vintage], [trendy], [urban], [school], [gym], [90’s], [70’s], [vogue], [luxe], [avant garde], [korean], [italian], [french] and more. It’s interesting to notice that each category of suggestions has a different color.

4 of the Best-Paid Blogging Niches

If you haven’t considered niche blogging, maybe you should. It’s the best way to earn top dollar as a freelance writer.

“Assignments get easier and easier to do as you learn where the good sources and statistics are for that niche topic,” Carol Tice explains. “Developing story ideas gets easier too — as sources catch on that you write a lot on their subject, they start tipping you off about breaking news and emerging trends.”

Thousands of bloggers have recognized this and made their fortune from it, writing on all sorts of niches. For example, there are people making money writing about income properties, frugal living and even meditation and mindfulness!

Some niches are more profitable than others; your ultimate goal should be to target an industry or two where there’s real money in writing. Here are some of the best niches for making a profitable living as a blogger.

1. Money-Making Blogs

2015 and 2016 have seen new ways to make money online, either on an individual level or as a business. Blogs in this niche focus on SEO, email marketing, writing and freelancing, money-making tips and tricks, how tos, social media, product development, affiliate marketing, advertising, and other tips for increasing individual or company revenue.

Among the top money-making blogs of the year:

Smart Passive Income
Neil Patel
ProBlogger
Daily Blog Tips
The Nectar Collective

If you write for any of these blogs, or start your own, you have a good shot at building your writing career and bank account at the same time.

2. Health, Fitness, Wellness, and Healthy Foods

Since more than two-thirds of American citizens qualify as overweight or obese, while being thin continues to receive a strong emphasis in the popular media, blogs about overall health and fitness tend to bring in the money. These blogs usually focus on such topics as trending superfoods, tricks for staying on your diet, diet comparison tips, simple workouts and exercises, natural ingredients, and other healthy subjects.

Please note that credibility is crucial in this industry. It’s hard to gain a following if your blogging tips don’t show results. Top blogs in this field include:

NerdFitness
WellnessMama
Simply Living
Healthy Happy Life

3. Technology

There will never be an end to the invention of gadgets, electronics, software, and apps for both consumer and commercial use. As a consequence, we’ll always need publications that cover press releases, reviews, and how-tos for the many new technologies that roll out.

The kind of tech blogs that do particularly well bring authoritative knowledge to the discussion. They understand the specs and applications of new devices or softwares. They also bring a unique perspective to the tech market, by enabling consumers see things through different eyes.

There have been several highly profitable blogs that have made their fortune in the tech sector. They include:

CNET
TechCrunch
The Verge
Gizmodo
Engadget
The Next Web

Entering this market as a blogger isn’t too difficult if you love technology. As long as you have an understanding of the industry and a winning personality or perspective, you could penetrate this high-paying blog market.

4. Fashion

It’s inarguable that the fashion market is oversaturated, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t many bloggers who do very well in this industry. Fashion bloggers make their money partially with a unique perspective on fashion and primarily through advertising and affiliate links.

Style articles tend to generate a lot of traffic simply because people like to look at the photos. You can probably imagine the kind of passive income this will generate through ad traffic.

Top fashion bloggers of 2016 include:

Zanita Studio
Cupcakes and Cashmere
Damsel in Dior
The Blonde Salad
The Man Repeller
Fashion Toast
Bryan Boy

This market is hard for independent bloggers to penetrate, but you can get your name recognized through guest blogging. Some fashion bloggers will pay top dollar for guest blog content that brings a unique, outside perspective to their forum.

Original post: 4 of the Best-Paid Blogging Niches

Unleash Your Hidden Millionaire with These 5 Tips

Being a millionaire is a highly coveted status for many entrepreneurs who are constantly striving to be the best in their industry. If you’ve got your eye on this prize, you’re not alone. And while there is no magic pill for success, here are five practical tips you can use to move closer to your goal:

1. Stop judging your success or failure

At first glance, it appears that success and failure are absolute; success is when you get what you want and failure is when you don’t. You may want to consider that these definitions of success and failure are exactly what cause you to fail. Not because you’ve done something wrong, but because the words you use have the power to create what you experience.

What you aren’t aware of is that success and failure do not exist independently of how you perceive them. In other words, the way you define success and failure is exactly what creates your experience of success and failure. And, if you can suspend your current definitions (which likely don’t support success), you’ll make room for a new definition that will support your success.

Your brain is wired to judge

When you want to create something with a specific goal in mind and you don’t reach that goal, the first thing your brain does is tell you that you’ve failed. But defining an unmet goal as failure only does one thing—it makes you feel bad and discourages you from moving forward.

Finding something that doesn’t work is often more valuable than finding something that does work, simply because it prevents you (and others) from making the same mistake and having to reinvent the wheel.

On the subject of failure, Thomas Edison shared his wisdom with the world, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

And failure, no matter how you define it, isn’t a bad thing. Many great successes have been preceded by great failures. Take entrepreneur Sam Ovens for example, who quit his job to build a job recruitment website that ultimately failed. Ovens told the Epoch times, “The big lesson is that you have to sell something that the market actually wants.”

If his business had not completely failed, giving him just a hint of success, he could have easily stuck with it and struggled for years to make it happen. However, the wisdom he gained from his total failure turned out to be more valuable than gold. Not long after his business failed, Ovens created two successful businesses, becoming a millionaire in just a few years.

Millionaires don’t like lemonade

Even the famous statement that says to “make lemonade out of lemons” is misleading. A successful person has no need to make lemonade; they can appreciate a lemon for being a lemon, and if they don’t like the lemon, they’ll adjust their plan and move forward. They don’t need to add sugar just to feel good.

2. Don’t be a whiner

According to Entrepreneur.com, research has shown that people complain once per minute. That’s a lot of complaining.

Because many people don’t have the patience or interest to listen to others complain for very long, chances are, when you share your emotionally negative experiences with others, they’ll start inserting their opinion uninvited and won’t really be listening to you. This can be a frustrating experience.

If you want to share your negative experiences with someone, the best way to do it is by prefacing the conversation with a simple request. Ask the person if you can share your experience with them and make a request that you just want to be heard. The idea is that by creating the context in which your conversation is about to take place, you’re actually getting the other person to switch gears into listening mode.

Change the context of your conversations

Habitually complaining hurts you more than your friends. When you constantly complain, you are actually wiring your brain for negativity. You’ve probably noticed that whenever you complain, your mood tends to go downhill and collects more negative thoughts. The more you allow yourself to think negative thoughts, the worse you will feel. And when you feel really bad, you’re more likely to make poor decisions.

If you change the context of your conversations with people, however, you can quickly change your mood. Doing this requires not giving in when you want to complain, and seeking out friends who will support you by encouraging you, rather than providing you with sympathy.

3. Don’t be afraid to accept responsibility

When you were younger, you may have heard your parents or teachers tell you that you must accept responsibility for something you’ve done wrong. Because of this, you probably grew up with a negative view of responsibility. But responsibility is a powerful component of success that goes beyond the concept of right and wrong.

Responsibility is literally the ability to respond; to be answerable to someone or something within your control. It has nothing to do with blame or fault. In fact, you can be responsible for something you didn’t cause—and being able to do that is what actually makes you successful.

For example, when a website development company is late delivering a project to their client, the CEO of the company is not the person who caused the delay; they’re not writing the code or managing deadlines. Despite their lack of hands on involvement in the project, they can still be fully responsible and accountable to the client for the resolution of any problems. They didn’t cause the problems, but they’re accountable for fixing them.

The mindset of success

The mindset that says “that wasn’t my job, I didn’t do it, I’m not responsible” doesn’t create millionaires. You’re not likely to find any successful entrepreneurs with this mindset. Success comes to those who can look at a situation and accept responsibility, not for what happened in the past, but for creating a resolution in the future.

4. Stop comparing yourself to others

With all of the successful people appearing in magazines and on TV, it’s no wonder entrepreneurs are comparing themselves to what they see. If you’re doing this, although it’s not inherently wrong to look to others as a model of success, don’t allow it to define you.

Someone else’s success is not always going to be indicative of the kind of success you will create. Everyone has unique gifts and talents to share with the world, and if you compare your success to someone who derives their success from a talent you don’t have, you’re going to be disappointed. For example, you may love composing music, but if you compare your success to Mozart, you’re going to be disappointed.

It sounds simple, but the best way to be successful in business is to create and run your own business, and model only what can be applied to your business. Don’t try to stick a round peg in a square hole. Do what you love to do and what you’re great at. Make your success your own. Don’t chase other people’s dreams while sacrificing your own. Forge your own path to greatness.

5. Don’t fake it ‘til you make it

While there can be some benefits to the famous phrase, “fake it ‘til you make it,” that’s not always the case. If you find yourself engaging in this behavior for long periods of time without results, you’re probably just spinning your wheels. The most likely reason you’re spinning your wheels is because you’re modeling the external behavior of someone who derives their success from their inner world.

According to TheIntrovertEntrepreneur.com, when you “fake it ‘til you make it,” you’re not honoring or acknowledging your truth. And studies have shown that when people fake being happy, their mood actually deteriorates faster.

This makes sense when you realize that mindset, not actions, are at the root of success. If you find yourself particularly drawn to someone whose success you want to emulate, you need to discover what their inner thoughts are and find ways to develop that mindset.

Your thoughts determine your results in life

Mahatma Gandhi said:

“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.”

No matter what business you’re in, the best thing you can do to improve your success and feel good about what you do is to work on your inner game—starting with your thoughts.

Original post: Unleash Your Hidden Millionaire with These 5 Tips

Google Image Search Starts Playing YouTube Videos

Google Image Search’s mobile interface tests a new feature that starts playing snippets from a YouTube video at the top of the search results page. It’s not disclosed as an ad, there’s no sound and you can’t stop or hide the video, which continues to play on repeat.

Right now, the experiment seems to be limited to fashion-related queries like [men jackets], [lookbook], [winter outfit], which match videos from YouTube channels like New Look and River Island. “New Look is a South African-owned British global fashion retailer with a chain of high street shops. (…) The chain sells womenswear, menswear, and clothing for teens,” according to Wikipedia.

Google only shows labels like: “New Look on YouTube”, even though this looks like an experimental ad format. I hope it will never become a regular feature, as it’s pretty annoying and it wastes Internet bandwidth.

YouTube Desktop Notifications, Now For Everyone

It looks like YouTube’s notification experiment is now a regular feature and you can no longer disable it by clearing cookies. When sign in to your Google account, YouTube’s desktop site no longer shows Google+ notifications in the navigation bar: it replaces them with YouTube notifications.

“Your notifications live here. Subscribe to your favorite channels to get notified about their latest videos,” informs the new notification box.

The Best Ways to Promote Your Blog

Creating a blog is not enough. There is a lot of competition out there these days. Literally millions of blogs around the world, so even if you choose a small niche, you won’t be alone competing for those visitors! The solution? You need to learn to promote it, to optimize it for SEO and so on. Below you’ll find some promotion tips that might help!

1. Creating your email list

The first and foremost step to take towards promoting your blog is to create and prioritise your email list. It is considered the most effective way of turning organic traffic into potential readers – readers who consistently view the quality stuff you publish and continue visiting your site. Making it possible for your viewers to subscribe to your site is vital because they are likely to turn into your regular customers. There are various tools that could help you create an effective email list including List Builder, SumoMe plugin as well as Scroll Box among others. Lead Pages and OptinMoster are also great tools that can help you create your first email list that is capable of providing you with followers who are willing to read through your content and share it with others in their network.

Developing your email list is a stunning cycle that involves getting subscribers, contacting them whenever you publish an article, and once they have read it, they share it with their friends. When these friends subscribe, the cycle goes on.

2. Submit your emails at the most opportune time for easy access

Understanding the correct time to drop an email to your audience’s inbox is important. According to experts, sending an email around 10.00 am is ideal. This is attributed to the fact that most people tend to check into their inboxes at varied times depending on their business types. It is believed that most of these peak times occur some minutes before 10 am.

3. Deliver email alerts for the latest posts

Writing to inform your audience about your newly published content can be very ideal. You can do this by sending them the titles of the new stuff as one way of promoting your latest content. As such, this practice enables you to increase traffic on your blog.

Below are some tips to help you optimise your latest post email:

-Indicate why your viewers should go through your content in order for them to understand what they should expect in return.

-Make use of action verbs such as “Read” to enable your viewers know what is expected of them.

-Be short and clear because you will need the readers to find the rest of the information by visiting your blog to look for more information.

4. Sending visual or text emails

According to information from expert websites, you will realise that in the recent times, most people have resorted to using plain texts when communicating with their audience. With respect to latest statistics, plain text emails exhibit a higher open rating than HTML-based emails. Sending plain texts helps to personalise it and thereby making it less spammy in your readers’ inboxes.

Bottom line: You want to gain the most out of your blog, right? There are several ways you can use to give it some ground. What you need is applying the simple tricks above and you are set to go. You can also visit the above link to learn more on how you can enhance your blog and make it a more profitable business. Blogging is a great way to earn a living only if you do it correctly

Original post: The Best Ways to Promote Your Blog

8 Practical Moves to Make Yourself a Better Blogger

Standing out as a blogger is more important and difficult than ever before. There are currently more than half a million blogs on the internet, but only a small fraction of them make money.

A big factor in the failure of many blogs to thrive is a lack of credibility. Credibility can be attained by being a better blogger. Here are some tips for how to make that happen.

1. Gain Experience in the Trade

One sure way to gain the attention and readership you would like is to speak with authority and from experience. The best way to do that is to possess substantial experience in your subject matter.

You can also do courses or go through training programs related to your field. These days it’s possible to find those courses online for pretty much anything you can imagine, from becoming a fine art auctioneer to becoming a master in artificial intelligence!

2. Take Writing Courses

Even if you’ve earned a degree in English or a related field, you could still benefit from a well-designed writing course. You can reacquaint yourself with the rules of grammar and sentence structure, so you can hone whatever previous training you’ve had and put into practice everything you once learned, but might have forgotten, about using the language.

Writing courses can be taken online or in a night class at a local college, and they can serve as excellent refreshers to improve your prose.

3. Show Your Personality

Bloggers who want to compete well must display their personality clearly in their writing and bio. If you write much the same way as most other bloggers, you’ll earn no more than the same level of recognition, if you’re lucky.

Showing your personality in your work makes it easier to find targeted connections and spread awareness of your brand.

4. Be Human on Social Media

Social media is one of the best marketing outlets for bloggers because most people engage with brands if they find them personable and helpful. According to the social media marketers for Buffer, achieving a personable brand is one of the critical keys to managing your blog marketing.

5. Be Seen

Usually, being seen on social media is a function of learning how to use of search engine optimization (SEO). Guest blogging through other publications with the goal of link building is one of the best methods.

You can also grow your visibility through such tactics as brand mentions, affiliate links, and making your blog of higher quality to become more credible.

6. Write Quotable Content

Content usually consists of things like quick facts, statistics, and unique insights on an industry. The clearer and cleverer you can be with such presentations, the better chance they’ll be shared.

Don’t forget to include tools that make it easier for readers to share your quotes, such as click-to-tweet links and Facebook links.

7. Grab Attention with Uniqueness

The blogging market is competitive in pretty much every industry, so if you want to stand out, bring a unique and competitive edge. You might be one of 100 fashion bloggers that focus on the Parisian runway, but how many of them will actually travel to Paris to see the opening show?

Any unique spin you can put on your blog will give you more authority and credibility in the industry.

8. Update Your Design

It’s easy to let your blog become out of date as time passes. Many bloggers focus so much on what they’re writing that they forget to make sure their blog theme keeps up with design trends.

It may require a fresh set of eyes to see the problems that are scaring away recent readers. Run some survey tests to see what your readers think about your blog design.

Becoming a better blogger is a marathon, with a few hurdles thrown into the mix. It will take time and training, and you may not get things right for a while.

You’ll need a combination of the above tactics to achieve your blogging goals. But you’ll become a better blogger and see more success from your efforts.

Original post: 8 Practical Moves to Make Yourself a Better Blogger