Blogging Hero

How to Make Money with Your Blog

Captivate Your Readers with Eye Catching Headlines


You could write the most interesting, relevant and helpful post in the world, but if you don’t ensnare your readers in the first place, then what does it matter?  No one’s reading it.  A great headline will stand out to your readers, and shout at them “Read me! Read me!” and they will listen.

A headline has to do several things.  It has to attract your reader, and it has to be informative and true to the content of the piece.  As Brian Clark writes in his article about writing headlines:

“Your headline is a promise to prospective readers. Its job is to clearly communicate the benefit that you will deliver to the reader in exchange for their valuable time.”

Your headline can’t just be flashy words that sound intriguing – they have to actually represent what your post talks about.  You have to be able to deliver.  But writing content is for another day – first, here are some tips for how to write an eye catching headline.

Make it Stand Out on the Page

Your headline should be obvious.  To catch your reader’s attention, it should be plainly visible and attractive.  Use a readable font and make it significantly larger than your main text.

This may seem like obvious advice, but I’ve seen some blogs where the post title isn’t so easy to find or distinguishable from the text.  Consider also using a different font color.

Try to put your headline above the fold (this is the line below which users would have to scroll down to see).  This is your chance to entice them to stay a little longer, instead of bouncing off your site right away.  While this is not completely necessary, you should have your headline as high up on your page as possible as it helps users locate your content more easily.

Jazz it Up

How the text looks will help your readers notice the headline, but it’s how it reads that makes the difference.  Your headline should sound interesting.  Jazz it up, put some spark into it.  You can play around with alliteration and other writing techniques.  Keep it short, somewhere from 7 to 10 words – short, yet long enough to sum up the main point of the article succinctly.

Look at Other Headlines For Ideas

One of the first tricks is to look at what headlines other people are using.  Look at blogs that have a lot of followers and commenters, and see which headlines seem to be working the best.  Also look at newspapers, magazines, and advertisements.  Get a feel for what headlines look like, and start experimenting with those formats.  These formats are tried and true, so they’re more likely to be successful.  But don’t ever copy someone else’s headline word for word.

Use Keywords

Do keyword researching using Google’s Adwords Tool.  This will help you understand how your readers are searching for a particular topic and what words they are using.  You should avoid words or phrases that are searched frequently – they will be too competitive to be useful.  Instead look for more specific words or phrases.  Play around with word order, and try combining different keywords (as long as it still makes sense and will read well to your readers).

Using keywords will help your blog entry’s title get picked up by search engines, but it will also give you an insight into how your potential traffic thinks, and it may give you some ideas for words or phrases you hadn’t thought of.  Here are more keyword tips.

Need some more ideas?  Brian Clark has a great series on how to write headlines effectively.

Increase Your Traffic with Unique Content Ideas


The number one way to build traffic and keep readers coming back is to have interesting and relevant content.  Fascinating articles, critical analyses and helpful how-to’s are great, but part of having interesting content is have a variety of articles.  Here are some more ideas you might not have thought of.

Follow the News

Reading the news daily will help you write the most up-to-date articles.  Current events are great because there’s already a buzz about them, and if you can be one of the first bloggers to post then your chances of search engines finding your site and of other bloggers linking back to you are higher.

Stay ahead of the news by subscribing to various news websites.  You can keep track of all your subscriptions if you use a website like Google Reader, which shows all your feeds and subscriptions in one place!


Contact people that are relevant to your content and your readers.  Think of someone your reader’s are just dying to hear from and read about.

You can use a variety of media for your interview.  You can email someone questions, use some kind of chat program or use Skype.  Don’t be afraid to try out different media, and be flexible for your interviewee.

You can interview anyone – maybe another, more popular blogger in your subject area, or aim even higher and go for an author, artist or musician.  Don’t aim too high, of course… try to contact someone you think is more likely to respond.

Video Demonstration

Instead of typing out a “how to” post, record a video of yourself showing people how to do something.  This feels more personal and may even be a better way of explaining the process to your readers.

It could be anything from how to apply make up, to how to cook ratatouille, to how to knit a sweater.  You can even try taking a screencast of your computer screen and show someone how to do something on the computer.

How to Engage Your Visitors and Gain Readership


How interactive elements can help your blog

Engage your readers by giving them something to do.  Reading is passive experience for a reader.  I once read that when a reader is finished reading an article on your blog, they look for something to do; for example, comment or share on Facebook, etc.

Here are a few things you can include on your blog to give your reader something to do.

Enable Comments

Yes, this is obvious, but I included it just in case.  Have a place where readers can comment on your entries.  Encourage discussion by asking a question at the end of your post.  It can be any kind of question – from sillier, fun questions to more controversial, thought provoking questions, depending on your blog.


Start an email newsletter, and include a place on your website for readers to sign up for it.  Put this somewhere off to the side, but near the top of your page so people will notice it.

Make sure that you actually have interesting content to share with your readers, of course.  And definitely do not spam them!  That will only turn them off from their site.

You can try to code the newsletter yourself and send it out manually – a good idea if you are tech savvy, but many of us bloggers aren’t.  Fortunately there are some pretty good newsletter and email marketing websites out there.

I’ve used Constant Contact – they were pretty easy to work with and offer great customer service.  While they do offer a free trial, you will have to pay a monthly fee to continue using it.  So, if you want to find something else, here is an article for some more top newsletter websites.


Users can also subscribe so that when you post a new entry, they will receive an email update or an update on their RSS Feed.  Probably one of the most popular services is Google Feedburner.


If you want to use forums on your site, you should probably already have a decent amount of traffic.  You can find some message board services for free.  Make one for your blog to allow your readers a place to meet and discuss your posts. When designing the layout, be sure to have it look just like your blog so that readers will recognize it and know where they are.


If you have room to use this without cluttering your blog, then include a poll widget on the side of your site.  You can use this to ask your readers questions, from things like ‘what would you like to read about’ to something specific about a most recent article.  For example, if your blog is about movies, ask something like “what did you think about Inception?”


Widgets are programs you can put on your blog (typically you see them in the side columns of a blog), and can be anything from an advertisement to a poll to a game. All you have to do as the blogger is copy and paste the code onto your site.

How to Break Writer’s Block


Maintaining quality content on your blog is key to attracting visitors and keeping them.  Eventually most (if not all) writers stumble into writer’s block.  Here are a few tips how to combat it:

Make a list

When you first start your blog, brainstorm a list of topics.  (You can do this any time, really, but its best if you do it when you first start.)  Try to think of as many as possible… maybe 15 or 20.  As you are writing these, you may find other topics, add them to your list.  You may also find that some topics can be expanded to multiple posts.  Make sure you update your list every time you get a new idea!

Stay Ahead of the Game

Before you start publishing blog entries, write a few (maybe five or ten) and save them on your computer.  Once you have a decent amount (let’s say you chose ten), start with posting the first one.  Wait a few days before you post the second one; while you’re waiting, start writing blog entry #11.  Save it on your computer – don’t post it yet.  When a few days have passed, post that second entry.  Wait a few days before posting #3, and while waiting post #12.  And so on…

This way you are always a few entries ahead of yourself, and if you get really stuck, or if life happens and you do not have a chance to write, you will have a back up so your readers aren’t kept waiting… and  you’ll have updated posts for your blogs traffic.


Maybe your readers have posted a few questions or comments that you can expand into a post.  You should be checking your comments and responding to any that appear anyways.  Maybe you find yourself writing several paragraphs in response – instead, use this as a post.


You might see a post on another blog (of similar theme to yours) that maybe you disagree with, or maybe you have a few comments to add.  Use this (perhaps if you are polite and friendly with the other blogger, they would be willing to link to your post so readers can get “both sides” of the issue).  Stay civil of course!  Do not bad mouth another blogger; not only could it backfire and create an enemy, but it will leave a foul taste in your reader’s mouth.

Take a poll

Ask readers to submit questions and/or topics they’d like to see.

Take a Break!

Sometimes the best cure for writer’s block is to get up and take a walk.  Relax and try to focus on other things.  An idea will probably hit you when you’re least expecting.

How to Increase Your Readership with Quality Content


Writing quality content will grow your blog’s readership and increase reader loyalty.  It can also get you better paying tasks if you are using paid reviews.  Here are a few things that will help you create interesting content that will catch your visitor’s attention and help you increase your readership:

Be Original

Anyone will probably eagerly tell you that the key to quality content is originality.  This doesn’t even necessarily mean that you have to be writing new, unique, innovative ideas that no one has heard before – it can just mean writing about your life and your thoughts.  Don’t copy and paste from other blogs or other sources (like Wikipedia), actually put your own thought into it.

Just write what you tell, be honest, and something original will come out.  After all, we are not all clones of each other, we all have different ways we think about the world.  If you focus more on telling the truth, instead of trying to be original, then chances are you will become original.

If you try too hard, you’ll probably just get frustrated and run into writer’s block.

But originality is not the only thing that goes into creating quality content.  Here are a few other things that will help you create interesting content that will catch your visitor’s attention and help you boost your readership:

Have a Distinctive “Voice”

In writing, your “voice” refers to the sound your words have.  But it’s written, not spoken, you say.  Voice has to do with the tone you take towards what you are saying; it’s how your tone and word choice come together to give you a unique and distinctive style.  Just as the articles in Reader’s Digest will have a different voice from the articles in National Geographic, blog posts can have different voices.  A mommy blogger will sound different from a student blogger.

Developing your own voice takes practice.  Write every day.  Don’t think too hard about it, just let the words come out on the page as if you were speaking to someone – whether it’s a friend, colleague, or acquaintance.  Post often, and soon you will realize that you do have a distinctive voice.  Write101 has a good article about developing your voice.

Keep Your Audience In Mind

This is Writing 101.  You want to make sure that your writing is clear and comprehensible to your readers.  After you have written your post, reread it out loud to make sure it makes sense.  Try reading it to your spouse or family member and see if they understand what you are talking about.

The topic of your blog may affect your writing as well.  If you are writing about technology, you’ll probably be using words that the average person won’t understand, but your audience will.

Watch Your Grammar!

This is a no-brainer, but it has to be said: good grammar and punctuation.  It goes along with “being easy to read”.  Grammar has a purpose beyond being a lesson in grade school, and that is helping us understand each other and communicate more clearly.  It should be noted – for more advanced writers – that certain grammar rules are less used (for example, it is now more acceptable to use “dangling prepositions”, so feel free to use those, but don’t tell your English teacher I said so!)

To Recap: What You Need For High Quality Content

  • Originality
  • Distinctive voice
  • Audience awareness
  • Proper Grammar

You want to also make sure that your writing is easy for your visitors to understand and that it’s entertaining and interesting.

I’ll leave you with a quote by C.S. Lewis, writer of the popular Narnia series, that goes like this: “Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.”

How Your Blog’s Layout Can Increase Your Blog Traffic


How a blog looks can have such an influential effect on how much money you make. You can make more money online with a better design. Unfortunately it’s true that people judge books by their covers – and also websites. You can draw readers in if you have a nice, attractive layout, and you can keep them coming if your site is easy to navigate and user-friendly.

Here are five basic things you should consider when designing your page:

  • Banner & Background
  • Readability
  • Relevancy
  • Usability
  • Ad Location

Banner & Background

“Use original content” goes for both your words and your images. Readers will be more impressed if you can create your own top image. Don’t go too crazy over it though; it doesn’t have to be too extravagant. If you want a more clean, functional look, then you can just include your logo at the top.

Your layout can look nice with really any type of background, whether it’s just a solid color, a simple design (ie: stripes), or an image. If you do use an image, then I would strongly recommend that you use a solid color background for your posts. Text is usually impossible to read on top of an image. If your readers can’t read your content, they’re not coming back.

Try to spice things up and keep it exciting by including at least three different colors. Colors should match and complement each other – not clash!


What good is good content if your readers can’t make out the words? When ensuring that your text is readable, you should look at three things: font color, font type, and font size. Your color should contrast enough so that its readable, but it should not contrast enough with the background so that it hurts the eyes to look at. Bright red can be difficult to read on a bright blue background, for example.

As far as font type and font size go… keep your audience in mind. If you are writing for an older audience, you should probably stick with a larger font. If you are writing a humorous blog, comic sans, for example, would be fine. But if you are writing a more serious blog, you might want to go with Times New Roman or Georgia.

Just remember, if they can’t read it, they’re not sticking around. Easy text to read will encourage your visitors to return and increase blog readership.


Your layout should be appropriate to your content. If you are writing about food and cooking, then you could have a picture of food in your top banner. But don’t have a picture of soccer players.

Taste and style is going to depend on you, and your viewers. Keep your subject in mind when creating a design. For example, you will not want a pink background and bubbly text if you are writing about wrestling, cars, etc.


One of the most important things is that your site is user-friendly and easy to navigate. Put some tabs at the top to help guide your readers throughout your website. If you write about multiple topics, include a sort of “Table of Contents” type of list in a side bar. For instance, if you have a Food & Cooking blog, you could have a link to “recipes,” another to “recommended cooking supplies”. Make sure that these are visible across your website. A user might not access your site straight through the home page. He might find a link or have been directed by a search engine to a particular.

Also keep in mind that cluttering your page with a variety of ads, widgets, buttons and banners might make it harder for readers to find their way around. You can still incorporate these things into your layout, just make sure they do not interfere with your reader’s ease of navigation. Swamping your page with all these can also slow down how fast the page loads – and if it takes too long, a visitor might turn back.

Ad Location

If you have ads, try to make them unobtrusive. Of course they are going to have to be noticeable (that’s their purpose), but work them into the layout so that they fit. Sometimes I see ads that literally do not fit into a column, and it makes the page look sloppy. If a page looks sloppy, viewers might not want to come back. Furthermore, and this is crucial if you are just starting out, do not over load the page with ads.

While we do want to impress our readers, we also do not want to overwhelm them. I’ve seen websites with music, pictures everywhere, and even little pictures that trail after the mouse as it moves around the screen. This is over kill! And probably much worse than a simple, “boring” layout. Whereas a boring layout might not necessarily give a warm welcome or invite, an over the top design can scare the reader away. I certainly have no interest in searching for the real content when I’m bombarded by too many images.  For more great tips on layout design, read this article about designing effective layouts.

If you aren’t good at web design, you may want to hire someone or, if you can’t afford that, start with a template. The free blogging sites usually come with one and they are somewhat customizable.

Some final tips…

Do… make your layout attractive, clean and functional.

Don’t… depend on your nice layout

Don’t focus all your time on making your layout perfect. Yes, it’s important, but don’t forget to update your content! There are many different ways to increase blog traffic, and the layout is only one!

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