Blogging Hero

How to Make Money with Your Blog

Guest post submissions blogging and bloggers


We are now accepting guest blogging writers on our make money blogging WordPress site. Typically we will request a post exchange where our post is added to one of your blogs. Your guest blog news article should be about or related to one of the following topics: making money blogging, getting paid to blog/ads, profiting on your blog, blogger audience building, blogger awareness outreach, advertising on blogs, social media marketing, microblogging, WordPress plug-ins, web site audience building.

If you are interested in a guest post exchange please email me.

How to Use Photoshop


Photoshop has a wide array of options and abilities when it comes to photo editing. In this guide, we will briefly review how to use basic editing tools of Photoshop. You can also ask for help with sites like Top Ranked Designers.

Marquee Tool

This tool will allow you to remove and drag a specific part of an image to another area. Just click on the icon, move your cursor over to the image, and finally drag the cursor over the area you want to remove. You can now drag the rectangle shaped box anywhere you want.

A similar tool to the marquee is the Lasso tool. This tool grants the ability to create free-form selections.

Quick Selection and Magic Wand Tools

These handy tools allow users to select a specific part of a picture. For example, you could select and move just a baseball, ultimately leaving the background behind. Just select the tool, hold down the mouse, and move the cursor left and right until it grabs the area requested.

Crop Tool

Cropping a photograph allows users to remove unwanted parts of the background. Just select the crop tool and drag the borders of the image inward until satisfied. Once everything is picture-perfect, click the enter button to cut the unwanted background.

Text Tool

The text tool is overall self-explanatory. You can add text to an image and use the provided tools to make it blend-in. Simply select the text tool and click on the image. Now type in whatever you wish to show up on the image. Options at the top toolbar allow you to edit the font family, style, size, and more.

Those are some of the most basic tools on Photoshop to get you started. Once you play around with them, you should begin to learn Photoshop like a champ.

Increase Blog Traffic Using Social Media Widgets


Bloggers looking to retain followers and increase traffic need to know two main things:


As mentioned in previous posts, one of the best ways to get links to your site is to build relationships with other bloggers.  Comment often on their blogs, email them, etc, and get them to link back to your site.  Creating an online presence adds to your credibility, and when you create a friendship, then you can get introduced to other bloggers who will also want to add you to their network.

Social Media

I’ve also discussed the benefits of using social media to promote your blog posts and drive even more traffic to your site, and how bloggers can do this by including those little “Share” icons at the end of a post.  These social media sites are great for reaching potential visitors that you otherwise might not have. People are interested in what their friends have to share.

How to Utilize them Both

There are a few widgets for blogs that actually help you do both of these things. Social media is already about networking online, so the two already go hand in hand.  But this widget* is an easy way to network not just with other bloggers, but with your readers well.  You can be connected with just a few simple clicks.

You can put a widget on your blog home page that allows visitors to connect with you on various social media websites like Facebook, Twitter, technorati, digg and LinkedIn, just to name a few.  This one in particular also has a link so readers can add a blog to their RSS reader (which I can say, from a perspective as a reader, is pretty awesome, since I like to use a Reader for all my RSS feeds, so I can read them all in the same place).

It’s always a great idea to cover as many bases as possible, as you don’t know what kind of reader will stumble across your blog.  It never hurts to be prepared for everything.  This type of widget easily allows readers to connect with you on whatever social media outlet they have, so they can easily follow your blog and anything else you might doing.

*What is a widget?

Widgets are small applications you can add to your blog home page. Typically they appear in the side bar.  They can perform any sort of function.  Check out some of your favorite blogs and take a look at what they have in their side bar.  They can be about anything, show anything and do anything.  You could have something that shows how many visitors you’ve had, or what you want for your birthday, a countdown to your birthday, a list of books you’ve read in the past month, or a list of your most recent posts.

How to Embed Video in Your Blog


A few weeks ago I did a series on video blogging, explaining the benefits of vlogging, providing ideas for vlog posts, and providing tips for optimizing your vlog posts, but there was one major section that was missing: how to embed vlog posts on your blog.

If you want to start vlogging, there are a few different ways you can connect users with your vlog:

  • Post on YouTube (or other video website) and link to your channel on your blog homepage
  • Post on YouTube and write a new blog post for every new video you upload
  • Embed the video in your blog posts
  • Embed the video in your blog posts, but behind a ‘more’ tag

Option 1: Link to your Channel

Your channel is your page on YouTube that lists all of the videos that you’ve made.  You can link to this on your blog home page side bar.  While I think that this is a great idea, I think it should be done along with one of the other options.  Only linking to your channel may not attract as much traffic as the other options.

Option 2: Write a New Blog Post when you upload a new video

Whenever you post a new video, you can also post a blog post letting your readers know, and provide a link to that video in your post.  (Make sure you use keyword-rich link text).

I would say this is preferable to option 3.  This prevents your blog from loading slowly.  The problem, however, is that it means users have to load another website to get to your video.  Once they’re gone, they may get sidetracked and watch other videos on YouTube instead of coming back to yours.

Option 3: Embed the Video in  your blog posts

Now, if you’re going to embed the video in your blog, you are going to need to be careful.  If you vlog frequently, then your homepage might be full of videos, which can slow down your loading time.  You can read this recent post about how a slow loading speed can affect your readers.

There are positives for this option, though.  You don’t need to use another website to upload your video; using another website might be a hassle for you, so this would eliminate that inconvenience, if you feel it is one.

Option 4: Embed the video in your blog posts, but behind a more tag

A few months ago we analyzed the pros and cons of the ‘more’ tag, which is a tag that allows you to display only the first part of your post on the home page.  To read the entire post, users would have to click on a link like “continue”.

This answers both the problems of Options 2 and 3.  Now, your bloggers are staying within your site instead of going else where (as with option 2), but you don’t have the loading problems that you might have with option 3.

The best way to do this?  Have an eye-catching headline for your post title that also tells your readers that it is a vlog.  Then, have a short paragraph (2-3 sentences) explaining what the vlog is about and how it will help your readers.  Use this paragraph to entice readers but also for SEO purposes.

To Embed your Video in the post:

Make sure your file is saved using the right format …  .mov or .wmv for example

To embed a video, you need to use specific code.  Here is a link that explains how to embed a video in your blog post and provides a breakdown of what the different items in the code mean.

If you’re embedding a video from YouTube, they will provide you with the code.  Simply go to the specific page the video is on, and click ‘Embed’.  It will prompt you with options, and you can go from there.

If you’re using WordPress, here is information about how to embed video.  There are a number of different options.

Vlogging is a great way to connect with readers and keep things new and interesting on your blog.  However, if your blog is overflowing with videos and has a slow loading time, this can negate any benefits of vlogging.  Think about how you want to share video carefully.

How do you share video on your blog?

Listen to your Readers: Make your site User-Friendly by Soliciting Feedback


One of the sessions I went to at BlogWorld Expo was “Does your blog create a great reader experience?” with speaker Andy Hayes.

It’s an important question you should ask of your blog, and one that I’ve touched on briefly here and there in regards to blog navigation tips and how to make your blog easy to read.

One of the main focuses of this session was how you can answer that question – “Does your blog create a great reader experience?” – by asking your readers themselves.

You can spend hours designing your website, working hard until the picture and idea you have in your head is finally fulfilled… but it means nothing if your users are lost and confused.

You may think your blog creates a good user experience, but getting an outside, objective opinion is much more useful – no offense, but you may be a little biased when it comes to judging the efficiency of your site.  Plus, you designed it, so of course everything seems simple and straightforward to you.

Or maybe, on the other hand, you’ve look at Google Analytics and the stats aren’t so good – your bounce rate is high and you have no idea why.

To truly determine what your users’ experience with your site is, you need feedback from the actual users of your site.  You need to ask them questions and use their responses to improve your site.  (And don’t just ask your mother, of course she’s going to say it’s great!)

As discussed in the session, there are three ways you can do this.

  • Use surveys
  • Meet with focus groups and discuss your site
  • Observe someone using your site


I was surprised when he suggested using autoresponder emails to contact users on your site.  You’d have to get them to sign up for a newsletter (I’ve used Constant Contact and I know you can easily set up autoresponders with them), which you may want to do regardless, as it is a great way to connect with and contact your readers.  You want to wait until they’ve been signed up for a good chunk of time – Hayes suggested 60 days – so that you won’t overwhelm the reader with questions and they’ll have had enough times to visit your site and use it.

The suggestion surprised me because I never would have thought of actually approaching the blogger with an unsolicited email.  It’s something I’d be a little hesitant to do, to be honest (because I can be rather shy).  But, if you wait for the period of time he suggests, you won’t seem too forward, and if a user stays on your mailing list for 60 days they probably care about your site enough to respond to an email about it.

In the email, you can ask them what works and what needs improvement.  Of course, if you are like me and a little hesitant to do this, you could also just use a website that provides surveys like Google Forms or  Experiment with all of these different options… maybe one means gets a better response than another.

Focus Groups

He also suggested using focus groups (meeting with your readers in chat or even in person).  This seems like a great way to network and connect with your readers, and therefore create more of a presence.  They’ll know who you are and when you can connect a person to a website, it makes it that much more personable and interesting.

Testing – Observe Users

Finally with his last point, testing, he explained how it’s most beneficial to observe someone using your site (without you intervening or helping them).  Give them a task, like “buy tickets to England”, and watch how they navigate your site to do this.

Ultimately, he said, every page within your site could be an entry page, and therefore it needs to explain or show:

  • What the page is about
  • That the reader can trust you
  • What the next step is

Note for beginners: The “entry page” of a site is the page that your reader first accesses your site from.  A reader might come to your site from a search engine or from a link from someone else, so you can’t predict with 100% certainty that they will access your site from the home page.  Someone might link to a great article that you posted, or to your About Me page, etc.

I think it is important to realize that you should never be afraid to ask for your visitors’ opinions.  Of course, you also do not want to come across as desperate or needy, so be wary of that.  However, asking what your visitors think shows that you are in touch and concerned about their thoughts and about the usability of your site.

Keep in mind, too, that you do not have to make every single little change a reader might suggest.  Furthermore one reader might be in a bad mood, or may be a little bit… slow.  So take their reviews with a grain of salt.

I thought that Hayes provided a lot of useful information for bloggers and website owners.  If you want to learn more, his book Why Your Website Sucks is worth checking out.

How Your Blog’s Load Speed Affects Your Readers


While attending Blog World Expo last week, I went to a lecture on “SEO For Blogs”.  One of the important topics covered in that lecture had to do with the loading speed of a website.

I was already planning on writing a post about reducing load speed for the sake of your users (and preventing them from bouncing), but I was curious about what it had to do with SEO.

It turns out that Google announced last spring that a site’s load speed would be factored into their rankings.

So now you have 2 big reasons why you need to start looking at your sites loading speed:

  • Load speed affects the quality of user experience
  • It can also affect your page rankings for Google

Still not convinced?

Load speed can have a huge impact on the bounce rate of your readers.  If a page takes too long to load, then your readers will leave, without ever getting a chance to see your great layout or your fabulous content.

And if you need any more information, check out this page about why it is important  your page loads quickly.

How slow is too slow?

That same article also explains how specific load speeds relate to user experience.

In a nutshell, if your page loads in…

…0.1 second: the reader feels like they are in control (in other words, fantastic)

…1 second: the reader doesn’t feel interrupted (they expect a little bit of pause)

…1 to 10 seconds: that’s fine, they will wait (could depend on the reader though)

…more than 10 seconds: goodbye!  Your reader is gone.

What causes a page to load slowly?

The main problems are:

  • Server Speed
  • Plug Ins and Widgets

Having large images or too many images used to be an issue a few years ago, but no longer is.  However, they can cause problems for some people using mobile devices to access your site.

How can you decrease your loading speed?

Address the above mentioned issues.

  • Choose a hosting service in the area that your target readers are in
  • Or, if you already have a hosting service, you can test the speed of the service:
  • Don’t litter your site with videos, Plug-Ins, and widgets

Post videos on separate pages of your site, and simply include descriptive links to them on your main page to lead your readers to them.

If you’re going to insist “but my widgets are important!”, my best advice to you is… carefully evaluate which ones are most important.  Limit yourself to only one or two.

Ask yourself, are they really doing anything?  Do their benefits outweigh the cons (such as losing readers because of load speed – you can check your analytics to see your bounce rate) … You can also ask your readers if they ever use any of them.

It also helps to put any javascript you’re using after all of the content (for example, in the footer or at the bottom of the code).  If you put it towards the top, the computer will concentrate on loading that before anything else, but if you put the code at the bottom, then the rest of the content can load, giving your reader something to look at while they wait.

It’s about more than load speed: How fast can your users find what they need?

You should not only consider the speed at which your site loads, but also the speed at which your users can find what they’re looking for.

This means you need to have a website that is easy to navigate and user friendly.

Make sure that they can get to the information they are looking for as fast as possible.  Maybe your site does load fast, but they have to go through a long string of links before they even get anywhere.  Instead, make a positive user experience by having a transparent structure to your site, your readers know where everything is and how to get there as quickly as possible.

Remember – a blog is about communicating your thoughts and/or sharing your product with the world.  If they leave before the page loads, you never have a chance to impress them.  Shorter loading speeds mean that you’ll have more readers using your site, and will thus help you maintain a higher level of traffic on your site.

Back from Blog World


Sorry for the delay in posts!  I was attending Blog World Expo in Las Vegas.  I had a great time and learned a lot – and am armed with plenty more ideas for posts, so expect a lot more in the coming week!

I noticed some bloggers were asking questions simply about where to begin, so I’m composing a short Beginner Blog Check list (expect that tomorrow).  I’m also drafting some posts about reader impressions of a website and reader attention spans, among a few other things (inspired by some of the things I learned at Blog World).

So stay tuned!



Hello!  I am Liz, and I’ll be writing about blogging, how to make money blogging, increasing traffic with your blog, etc.  I’ve been blogging for a few years now, and I majored in Creative Writing in college.

It may sound a little corny, but I think much of the future for writers is online, on the blogosphere (and some of my college professors have recommended to myself and my classmates that if we want to make money writing, blogging is one of the new and important avenues to explore). Since the economy isn’t doing so well, and with the amount of people using the internet these days, a lot of magazines and newspapers are struggling.  Blogging is becoming increasingly popular, and so the big question on everyone’s mind is “How can I make money doing this?” and “How can I reach people and obtain an audience?”  I’ll be trying to answer those questions.

Blogging might seem easy to some; to others, it may seem daunting.  Technically, anyone can set up and write a blog.  But if you want your audience to grow, and you want to make money, more effort is required.  To those who may seem overwhelmed, I offer this: everyone has something on their mind, everyone has something to say.  The main key to writing, and the most important lesson I’ve ever learned as a writer, is that practice is essential.  Write and write and write, and soon you will find that blogging is easier as time goes by.

This blog will cover topics such as how to make money blogging, how to increase traffic, how to promote your blog, how to use ads on your blog, how to increase your income using a blog, etc.  Stay tuned!  Next time: Blogging Basics: Getting Started.