Blogging Hero

How to Make Money with Your Blog

DIY SEO Tips for Bloggers


When you register your first website, you will soon find that lots of search engine optimization companies have “discovered” you and are eager to email you SEO quotes.  At first, it might seem like a good idea to get someone else to promote your blog – and if you have lots of money to spare, there’s certainly no harm in paying for professional help.  However, bloggers need not retain seo experts to drive traffic to their sites.

You don’t have to be a pro to make use of all the great techniques the pros use for website promotion.  In fact, you can do for yourself most of the things an SEO could do for you.  Here are a few tips for getting started:

- Think about your blog in relation to your audience.  Ask yourself what people might be searching for when they find you.  Consider the topics your blog covers and how people might come to read about them.  These thoughts can help you assemble a list of keywords to target when generating traffic.

- Reach out to other bloggers.  Surely you aren’t the only person writing about your topic (or maybe you are – that’d be neat!)  Find people who write about similar things and ask if you can trade links with them.  Follow their blogs, especially if they are more popular than yours, so that you can see what they’re doing to attract so much traffic.

- Sign up for blog directories so that people who are looking for blogs can find yours.  Also, the more links you can get back to your site, the better.

Remember, many advertisers will want to know that you have a good following before they choose to advertise on your blog.  The more traffic that comes to your site, the more money you can make as a blogger.

Ways for Students to Make Money Online


College life can be expensive. Between paying for books and going out with friends, the bills can add up. Unfortunately it can be difficult to find a job in these hard economic times. You may have trouble fitting a job in with your busy schedule. Even if you do have a job, it can still be difficult scrounging up extra funds, as textbooks can costs hundreds of dollars.

If you are looking to earn some extra cash, you may be interested in learning how students can make money online. Obviously, if you’re reading this site, you know that it’s about blogging, so you can guess what the next line is going to be: One great way for students to make money is by blogging.

So how exactly does blogging benefit college students?

As a busy college student trying to balance classes, homework, clubs, sports, internships, etc, you probably have little time to work long shifts. And even if you do, the costs of housing, tuition, books, and actually having a life outside school can add up. You want something easy and flexible.

With blogging, you can set your own hours. You can work in those ‘in between’ moments, between classes. You only need to write a few paragraphs. Take a break from your essays and write about something fun, something you’re actually interested in.

Plus, if you’re a writing student, starting a blog is great practice and a great way to build your presence online. The print industry is dying – less people read magazines and newspapers. They read the news online. To be a successful writer these days, it is much easier to start writing a blog. If you want to find a job at a publisher or a major news site, then you’ll need to be able to demonstrate a working knowledge of how to maintain a blog, do basic HTML, etc.

Even if you’re not a writing student, many advertisers are looking for all sorts of niches. You could be a fashion student – great. Start a blog about fashion; get paid to talk about something you already love. Computer science major? Start a blog about the newest updates in technology and gadgets. You get an outlet for your passion.

Any kind of major can start a blog:

  • medical
  • nursing
  • dental
  • vet
  • law
  • graduate/MBA
  • cooking
  • fashion
  • design
  • art
  • architecture
  • travel & hospitality /study abroad
  • information technology

How do I make money blogging as a student?

It’s easy to set up a blog. You can go to any site like,, etc and set up one up in only a few minutes. Pay for a unique domain name – it’s worth it not to have that attached to it and will help brand your site. (Advertisers like it and it will be easier for your visitors to remember).

Once your blog is set up, start posting! Write as frequently as you can and maintain your blog. Writing often helps you practice and get better and writing, and also helps build up unique and original content on your site. Once you have a few posts up, you’ll need to start getting followers. The more people that read your blog, the more appealing it will be to advertisers.

Here’s where being a student comes to your advantage: as a college student, you’re probably active on Facebook, Twitter, or other various social media sites. This puts you in a great position to promote your blog. Encourage your friends to check out your entries. Post the link when you publish a new article. Use catchy headlines to attract your friends’ attention and encourage them to share your post if they like it.

Student blogging is a great way to make a few quick dollars. You can earn money online and get some extra cash to go out with your friends or pay for those expensive college text books. When you’re in school, every little bit helps.

WAHMs Can Make Money Online


I know it’s been awhile since my last post; I’ve been busy unfortunately, but now I’m back. This time I’m going to do something a little different, and focus on who can make money online.

Anyone really can earn money through blogging, but there’s one main group of people who are really taking advantage of paid blogging, and that’s Work At Home Moms (or WAHM). So HOW exactly do they do it?

Before we get to the how, though, let’s focus on the why.

Why start a blog?

Flexible Hours

The good thing about blogging is that your schedule is flexible and your hours can be whatever you want. You can write at any time during the day and answer emails at any time during the day – whatever time works for you. You can fit your work schedule around your life. Plus, you don’t have to worry about getting up early to sit in traffic to be at work on time!

As a work at home mother, you are your own boss, and you can work whenever is best for you and set your own deadlines. You decide how frequently you want to update your blog, what posts you want to write and what advertisers you’re interested in working with.

In Demand

Many advertisers are looking for good “mommy blogs” to advertise on. Advertisers want to reach as many potential customers as possible and convince them to buy their product. Many potential customers read mommy blogs. Advertisers know this, and so many of them want to advertise there. They will often send products for families to test and review.

Extra Cash

To be honest, you’re not going to make millions from day one. Blogging takes time, dedication and patience. But you can make enough to cover shopping trips. Enough for diapers or food. And who’s to say you can’t earn even more than that? Blogs that have a large following and good content can charge more for reviews and advertising and earn more.

How can WAHM make money blogging?

Many stay at home moms know they can make money with blogging, but aren’t exactly sure how to go about it. First of all, there are tons of ways Work at Home Mothers can make money online, and blogging is only one of them. You can sell items online (thinking about having a garage sale? You could always sell those items online). You can sell services online through a payment service provider. (are you a work at home mom who used to be a teacher? You can sell tutoring services online).

There are even different ways to make money with your blog:

  • Reviewing products
  • Directing traffic to advertiser’s sites
  • Putting ads on your blog

You can use any of these strategies, or even use all three. But you can’t just start and expect to make a lot instantly. Here are some tips that can help you earn more:

  • Write frequently about a topic you know a lot about – updating your blog often will appeal to readers, and when you know a lot about a topic you establish credibility
  • Network with other bloggers and work on increasing your audience – the more people that read your blog, the more interested advertisers will be in using your blog
  • Be original and unique – this goes for everything from the writing/content to the look and feel of your blog. Don’t just use a default setting, try to customize your blog so that it represents you

Writing blogs is a great way for mom’s to earn money online. If you know what you’re doing, if you work hard and write well, then you can succeed with blogging.

Why You Should Have Your Own Domain Name… And How to Get One


It’s a question asked by new bloggers, “Should I get my own domain name? Or is it okay to use blogspot?” (or, or any other free blogging site).

Well, it is “okay” to use to use a free blogging site, but… getting a domain name is better, and getting one as early as you can is ideal.

What is a domain name?

A domain name is anything like or or  It belongs to you specifically.

Why is it better?

Having your own domain name:

  • Increases your credibility
  • Looks more professional
  • Helps with branding by making your blog more recognizable and memorable
  • Gives you more control over site, and therefore more flexibility in regards to layout and set up
  • Is sometimes more appealing to advertisers

Many people use blogspot blogs to spam, so some advertisers and some readers may not trust a blog they see at blogspot.

To some readers, a domain name just looks better.  It’s easier to read and remember “” than to remember the longer “”.  Because that “blogspot”, or “wordpress” or whatever is so common and so recognizable, your eye just kind of… drifts there, instead of to the front part of the URL (or at least, that’s what happens for me).

Something about just gives you more authority.  Consider the “blogspot” the training wheels on your bike… you’ll look like a newbie using it.

Oh no! I already have a blogspot/wordpress/etc… What should I do?

It’s best to get a domain name straight from the beginning.  Maybe you didn’t know, maybe you couldn’t for some reason.  If you are on a free blogging site, don’t fret.  You can switch over, and should, as soon as possible…

But wait! Don’t go running to a registrar just yet.

Consider first:

  • How long have you had your blog?
  • What is your blog’s Page Rank?
  • How many visitors go to your blog?

It may be “dangerous” to switch over.  If you have had your blog for a long time, then chances are you probably have a higher Page Rank and a larger amount of traffic.  You may lose your Page Rank if you switch your blog to a new domain name. (This is why it’s better to get your own domain straight from the beginning).

If your blog is profiting and successful, you may want to take more time to reconsider what you want to do.  Will switching over help you become more successful, or will it just be a hassle that won’t make much of a difference?  Every blog is different, and while having a domain name is better for most bloggers, maybe you are the exception.  And maybe you’re not.  Weigh the pros and cons yourself.

You can transition over, but be aware of what will happen and do your research.

Oh, and if you’re worried about all your old blog posts, there are ways to import them to your new domain name.

How to Make the Switch

1. Choose your domain name

The name that your blog is using at (which would be the “yourblogname” part) may already be fine, and may be usable as a domain name.  …but then again, maybe it’s not perfect.  Here are some tips for choosing your domain name and fun domain name ideas.  Make a list of choices, because the one you want may already be taken.

Your domain name is important and helps with branding, so you should give this a good amount of consideration.

2. Get the domain name

Go to a domain registry and buy the domain.

Some domain registries: GoDaddy, BlueHost, Moniker,, Network Solutions, eNom, but there are many others out there as well.  Take a look around before choosing one.  Do your research so you know the pros and cons of each company.

3. Get hosting

Your host is where your website is stored, and is different from your domain name, although companies like GoDaddy offer both domain names and hosting.  Hosting companies provide space on a server for your website.  So you buy your domain name, but then you need a place for your website to be hosted.

4. Move your blog

Make sure that you let your readers know ahead of time that you will be moving and what you will be moving to, so they aren’t surprised.  Ask people that are linking to you to use the new URL.  Make sure that they are all using the same URL… there is a difference between www and no www (ie: or

5. Set up a redirect from your old URL to your new URL

So that if there are any backlinks to your old URL, when people go to your old URL they will automatically be redirected to your new URL.  I think the most used is a 301 Redirect.

6. Be patient and keep updating at your new domain

You may lose your PR, but it should come back in time… Google updates every few months so you may have to wait a few months.  Understand that ultimately, it’s not your PR that matters, but the community that your blog creates.  And your community you can definitely bring with you on the transition, as long as you make sure that you’ve followed these steps.

Before making the transition, you should put a lot of thought into it.  Weigh the pros and cons and understand what risks you might be taking and what those risks mean for your blog specifically.  Every blog is different and there is no one right answer or one right way to do things.  For more information, you can read this link on Google Webmaster Blog about how to move your site, and/or this entry specifically about transitioning from Blogger to WordPress.

Monetizing Your Blog – For Beginners


So, you’re relatively new to blogging, and you’re starting to think about monetizing your blog, but you have no idea where to start.

There are many things to consider, once you decide to monetize.  Who do you advertise for?  What do you advertise?  What types of ads should you use?  Where do you put the ads on your blog?  How do you put them on your blog? …but first and foremost is the question of When?

When should you start monetizing your blog?

There are two different points that you can do this.

Some people monetize their blog right away, when it is still new (usually they use Google Adsense).  Others decide to wait until they have a good chunk of content and a few followers.  There are ups and downs to either way, let’s take a look at them.

Monetize at the Beginning

Disadvantage: If you just started your blog yesterday, chances are you probably don’t have that many visitors.  With programs like Google Adsense, you get paid when your readers click on those ads.  So, if you don’t have many visitors… you’re probably not getting paid.

Advantage: However, if you start placing ads in the beginning, the visitors you do get will know what to expect and will be used to it.  Ads will have been on your blog from the beginning, so it’s no big change for your readers.  Some people fear that if you wait until later to monetize your blog, you run the chance of losing dismayed readers.

Monetize Later

Disadvantage: If you wait until you have a lot of readers, and then suddenly spring ads up on your blog, you may risk losing some of your visitors.  Personally, if a reader leaves your site because a few ads pop up some day, they probably weren’t worth your time.

Advantage: When your blog is new, this gives you a chance to focus on writing content and networking with other bloggers.  Some people might think that an ad-free blog is more appealing and attractive, and that it might help you gain more readers in the beginning.

Conclusion: Monetize When it Feels Right

There’s nothing wrong with making money with advertising, and you shouldn’t have to worry about losing readers because of it.  After all, you are working hard on your blog and it’s fair that you get paid for hard work.

It’s okay to start at the beginning.  But if you want to wait, that’s fine too.  You can also slowly integrate ads on your site over time.  Perhaps start with a few small text links, then banner ads, then maybe even some paid reviews (always remember to use a disclaimer).

The main thing to remember: moderation is key.  It’s not the presence of ads that might throw readers off, it’s the amount of ads that might throw readers off.  If your blog is covered with ads, that is what is going to drive readers away.  So as long as you always balance ads with unique and original content, then you shouldn’t have to worry.  If you provide good content, and your blog is easy to navigate and user friendly, then you should be fine.

Blogging Check List for Beginners


If you’re new to the world of blogging, you might not be sure where to start!  There are a number of factors you’ll want to consider.  I know sometimes it’s difficult to find very basic information, so I created a list of blogging fundamentals for those who need it.

1. Choose your topic

Choose something that you have passion for and that you know a lot about.  Down the road, it may be difficult to come up with a new post day after day, week after week.  But if you have passion for the topic and know a lot about it, then you’ll find things will be a little bit easier.

On the other hand, I will say that if you want to take a slightly different angle, you could instead choose a topic that you find interesting, but you DON’T know a lot about it.  The point of the blog would be to document your learning process.  For example, you could write it with a ‘for dummies’ type of slant.  Do your children tease you for not knowing how to use a computer?  Prove them wrong and write a “parent’s guide for using a computer” type of blog.

2. Choose your Domain Name

You don’t have to buy your own domain name, but many blogging experts out there will strongly suggest that you do.  Generally, domain names are not ridiculously expensive, although it depends on which name you want to use.

If you do use blogspot or another free blogging site, keep in mind that the blog name you use (ie could eventually become your domain name, if you change your mind down the road.  Having this foresight can help you brand your blog and create reader recognition once you switch.

Keep in mind that if you use blog spot for now, but then get a domain name, you could lose your page rank.

3. Design Your Blog

Many blogging platforms come with a list of free themes you can use.  If you lack layout design skills, pick one for now, as you will see in a moment, the main focus for you – as a beginner blogger – will be spending time writing and learning.

Choose a layout theme that matches the subject matter of your blog and/or that represents your personality.  Don’t just use the boring boxy default.

If you know how to make your own layout, then do it!  Originality is key, and that does not just pertain to the writing.

4. Write write write!

Build up content.  Write as often as possible and as consistently as possible.  If you can only write three times a week, try to spread out your posts, instead of posting three posts all around the same time.

Once you reach this phase, balance your time between writing and researching blogging.  Read up posts with blogging advice, learn how to design your own layout if you don’t already know how, and learn how to optimize your blog.

5. Start networking

Branch out with other bloggers in your subject area.  This may be difficult to find at first, but some thorough searching should easily help you find other bloggers.  There are a number of things  you can do, like submitting a post to a blog carnival (this helps others find you) or read blog carnivals to find others like you.

When you find other blogs, leave comments and be friendly.  Write something that actually makes sense and adds to the discussion.

These steps are an introduction to the world of blogging.  Once you have done all these, you can learn more about how to promote your blog, increase your blog’s traffic, and how to monetize your blog.

SEO Basics for Beginners


It just occurred to me that I haven’t done a “basics” post about Search Engine Optimization.  This is an important lesson for beginning bloggers, so here it is.

I’m going to break this down really simply because we all have to start somewhere.  You can always skip ahead if you already know something.  This is intended for beginners and SEO “newbies”.

Search Engines  101

Search engines are websites like Yahoo, Bing and Google, and people use them to find websites.  The internet is huge, and it can be difficult for searchers to find what they are looking for.  It can also be difficult for people with websites or blogs to get traffic or visitors.

When you type in your search query on any of these search engines, they will display a list of results, these are called the “natural” or “organic” listings.  They will also display relevant ads on the side.

How it works

Search engines have special bots, called spiders, that are constantly “crawling” the internet.  They follow links and index the pages they find, which they store.

When someone enters a search, the search engine will look through all the sites they have and try to pull up the most relevant websites.

Relevancy is determined by the content on your page.  Search engines can look for relevant keywords, for example.  The importance of a website – which determines how high your website will appear in the organic listings – is based on how many other sites link to your website.

What is SEO?

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is a way that website owners and bloggers design their blogs to help them list better in the organic listings.

Bloggers and web designers use specific keywords within their page titles, meta descriptions and content to help search engines better understand what their page is about.  This way they can make sure that their page will appear as relevant to search engine users looking for that topic.

Page title – this is what appears in the blue bar at the very top of the screen.

Meta description – this is a short paragraph about your site.  This paragraph will appear in the organic search results to describe what your website is about

Content – the actual writing on your page

For more information about ways you can optimize your site, you can read a previous post about how to use keywords to optimize your site.  Google also has a great SEO Starter guide (NOTE: this is a .PDF file) that can help explain how to use page titles and meta descriptions, as well as other aspects of optimization.

Pros and Cons of the “More Tag”


As a blogger, one of your options when you post is to use what’s called the “more” tag.  If you have ever seen one of those links on a blogger’s home page that comes at the end of an entry and says “Read more here” or “See full post”, you know what I’m talking about.

Basically the more tag allows you to post an excerpt of your entry on your home page, and then if the reader wants to see more, they have to click the link to see the rest of your article.

How to Use it on Your Blog

Here are instructions for how to use the more tag:

  • Write your post as usual.
  • Click where you want the break to be.  Many people include the first paragraph or first five lines or so on the home page.
  • Look for the “insert more tag” button.  It is on the tool bar / editor at the top, usually next to the alignment buttons, the hyperlink buttons, etc.
  • Click it
  • A line should appear, dividing your post in two

If you are using Live Journal, it will be called an “LJ Cut” instead of a “more tag”.

There are several advantages and disadvantages to using the more tag on your blog.  Ultimately you’ll have to decide what the best option is for you.  What do your readers expect to see when they come to your blog?

For the occasion, I have insert a more tag myself so you can see the result.  Read about the advantages and disadvantages.

Read the rest of this entry »

Getting Started: Understanding Page Rank


If you just started blogging, you may have heard this phrase floating around: “page rank”.

As a new blogger, eagerly awaiting your rise in popularity and an inflow of traffic, you will soon discover that there are several systems out there that rank the popularity of your blog.  Page Rank is probably the most well known and most used system.

There are a variety of other ranking systems out there and they each provide their own way of ranking websites and blogs.

  • Google PageRank
  • Alexa
  • Compete
  • MozRank
  • Technorati

Google PageRank

Probably the most used way of measuring a blogger’s popularity, Page Rank is a system developed to measure the importance and relevance of sites on the internet.  The scale goes from 0 to 10, and “Page Rank” is usually abbreviated to “PR”.

Your PR is determined by the number of pages that link to your website or blog and by the page rank of those pages that are linked to your blog.  So the more pages that link to you, the better. Your PR will also be increased if someone with a high PR is linking to you.  A link from a page with a PR of 1 will not make too much of a difference, but a link with a PR of 7 will.  In fact, this will help raise your PR a little bit, too.

So to recap, your PR will be higher based on:

  • The number of pages linking to you (more is better)
  • The PR of those pages (higher PR linking to you is better)

Those with higher PRs will appear higher in Google’s search results, although there are a few other factors that help determine how high you appear in these results.

To check your PR, you can go to this PR checker, or you can install Google’s tool bar.

Don’t stress out over your PR for now.  As a beginner blogger, your PR will probably not be that high.  Focus on building unique content first, and then start promoting  your blog.  Don’t be impatient about your PR, it will come in time.

Getting Started: Monetize Your Blog


You’ve set up your blog, developed some backlinks and popularity, and now you’re ready to monetize! Here are a few things you can consider if you want to monetize your blog. There are many other ways to make money with your blog, but these are some of the popular ways.

  • Pay Per Click Ads
  • Banner Advertising
  • Paid Reviews

You should probably hold off on monetizing your blog for a few months after starting it, as you’ll want to focus mainly on creating quality content and backlinks. Once you are ready, though, you can start incorporating ads into your blog. Obviously they are going to have to be visible, but try to make them fit naturally into your layout. Don’t cover your blog in ads – especially in the beginning – as it may decrease your blog traffic, which is the opposite of what any new blog needs.

Pay Per Click Ads

When you use these ads on your blog, you are paid for every time a reader on your site clicks an ad. These are typically referred to as PPC ads or PPC campaigns. If you’re using PPC ads, you’ll want to make sure you post the ad somewhere obvious and visible on your site so that your users can see it. Still try to make sure it fits well into your layout, and doesn’t look random or out of place. Google Adsense is one of the most popular types of PPC ads.

Banner Ads

You can also make money blogging with ads.  With these ads, advertisers pay you for space on your blog, and you put their banner there. Banners come in a different sizes (125×125 and 300×250 are just a few). You can put them in different places throughout your blog. For example, you might have a side bar for ads. You can also use the long horizontal ads and intersperse them between your posts. Don’t use too many though, or you might lose some of your readers.

Paid Reviews

Another blog advertisement you can experiment with are paid reviews, but the better integrated these are into your blog, the more natural your blog will look and thus it will attract more readers… and ultimately the better it will work. (Therefore you might want to wait until you already have a good deal of entries and some backlinks). If they think you are being paid to endorse something, readers may leave or be turned off. So if you are doing this, you should put a disclaimer somewhere on the blog that says it. Give fair reviews to gain reader trust.

Interspersed with other content, these can give real dimension to your blog. If you have a cooking blog, for example, do some posts about recipes, and then a review of some cooking product or website. This is probably even better than a blog just about recipes, as it gives your reader something more to do than just read. Variety (within your subject of course; do not post about something off topic) will spruce up your blog and make it really attractive.

And as always… Keep the Content Coming

Continue to post regularly; if you stop or the gaps between posts are too long, you won’t be able to maintain a readership as viewers will not be willing to keep checking your blog. Some people say that you won’t make money from the beginning and others say you can. My advice is to be patient. If you start out with ads all over your blog, people might think you are only interested in making money and it might repel readers. It’s a cliché for a reason: “slow and steady wins the race”.

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