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.

How to Promote Your Blog Using Guest Posts


If you want to see your blog traffic increase, guest posting is a really great way to promote your site.  It opens up opportunities to reach readers that you otherwise might not have been able to, as well as strengthening your relationship with other bloggers in your niche.  A successful guest post will also help the site that post on, and if everything goes smoothly they’ll be more interested in working with you in the future.  Plus, more readers will see your name and know who you are.

How to Write a Guest Post

1. Find a blog in your niche

Posting on a blog in your subject area is important for two reasons: a) the blogger will be more wiling to accept your guest post offer, and b) it will help you find readers who are actually interested in your blog. Since the point of guest posting is to attract readers and promote your blog, you want to post on a blog that has readers interested in what you have to offer.  If you try to post on an unrelated site, then even if that blog’s readers do investigate and take a look at your blog, chances are they won’t stay for long and they won’t come back.

It’s also a good idea to find a blog that has a little bit of a larger following than you, but not too big of a following so that getting a guest post on the site will be more competitive.

2. Build a relationship with that blogger

Read the blog, comment on the posts there, and let the blogger get to know you a little bit.  People are more open to working with people they already know or are already acquainted with.  Show through your comments that you are familiar with the subject area and that you have something to add to the topic.

3. Check for a guest post policy

Before contacting the blogger, check their site to see if they have any policies about guest posting. Some bloggers have specific guidelines they want guest posters to follow, and if you don’t follow them you could ruin your chance to post on their site.  You want to make sure you follow all of their rules so that the process runs smoothly.

Check to make sure that the blogger is likely to want to do a guest post – see if he has done them in the past. Also check to see if he has any rules about how to submit a guest

4. Approach the blogger

Send them an email explaining who you are, what your blog is about, what your guest post would cover, why it would be beneficial for their blog, etc.  Here is a great article that explains how to approach a blogger with a guest post.  This article has a lot of great tips for contacting the blogger, but there was just one thing I wanted to mention.  They suggest to include your post in your email, but I would probably avoid doing this in the initial inquiry because it might seem too forward.  Really, it depends on the blogger (which is why you need to check their guest posting policy) and is up to your discretion.  For some it might be fine, even preferred, but for others it might not. So just be careful and make sure you know the blogger’s preferences.

5. Write the Post

If they say yes, congratulations. Now it’s time to write the post.  Remember, this post is your opportunity to get more visitors to your site, so you want to make sure it’s perfectly polished.  Copy edit and proofread, even have a friend take a look at it.  This is meant to draw traffic, so you want to present your best work.  Plus, if your post is good, then maybe the blogger would be willing to do more guest posts with you in the future.

If the blogger writes back to you with suggestions or criticisms of your post, accept them graciously.  The blogger is helping you by accepting your post; they don’t owe it to you and have the right to turn you down.  Fix whatever you can and see if it meets their expectations better.  Of course you also have the option of not making those fixes, but then you might miss out on a great opportunity.

6. Respond to comments

You’re still not done, even after that post goes live.  Once the guest post is published, be sure to respond to any comments.  This is your opportunity to interact with other readers, and is an extension of the guest post.  If you follow up with the readers’ comments, you’ll establish credibility and build online presence.  The comments are another chance to get blog traffic, so don’t let that chance go by.

And that’s it! Once your post is published and comments come in, be sure to check your stats and see how the guest post affects your blog traffic.

Best Ways to Build Backlinks to Your Blog


By now many bloggers will have heard of Google’s recent PageRank update, or at the very least, they will have noticed the after effects of it. Some bloggers might be upset, having suffered a loss of PR, while others will be celebrating a rise in PageRank.

Google will say that PageRank doesn’t matter, and that bloggers shouldn’t worry about it so much. The stat is arbitrary and they take many other things into account for the search results page. So why are so many bloggers obsessed with it?

Some might think they’ll be able to make more money blogging with a higher PageRank; others might use it simply for bragging rights. As is often said, PageRank is like a “popularity contest”, and each link pointing towards your site is a “vote” for your site.

Thus even in the Blogosphere, networking is ultimately important. You can have the best content in the world, but if you’re not going “out there” meeting new bloggers and building relationships, then it doesn’t matter.

Backlinks can also help drive more traffic to your site, especially if you get a link from another blogger who has a lot of visitors. One of the best ways to get traffic to your blog is to get people to link back to you. The more links that point to your website, the more likely that people will click on one of those links.

Building traffic is important for your blog – whether you just want to reach more people and get your message across, or if you are also looking to earn money blogging as well.

So how do you get people to link to you?

Visit Other Blogs

Just like in the real world, in order to make friends and to network, you need to put yourself out there. You need to go up to people and say hello. In the Blogosphere, that means perusing other blogs with similar themes and commenting on them.

Leave Meaningful Comments

When you do visit other blogs, there’s a certain etiquette expected. Don’t just leave a link back to your site. Do leave an insightful comment about the blogger’s post. It doesn’t have to be a masterpiece, but it should be relevant and add to the discussion. Don’t just comment once. Do continue to leave comments (making sure they’re always insightful and not spammy). This shows that you’re a loyal reader and the blogger will appreciate that.

Be an Active Member on a Forum

Join a forum related to your niche. Establish yourself as a helpful member of the forum’s community. Just like with comments, post frequently – but also make sure your posts are appropriate and interesting. Always be polite to the other members, even if you disagree.

Link to Other Bloggers

Bloggers will be more inclined to link to you if you’re linking to them. They’re probably looking for links to their blogs themselves, so linking to them is a nice exchange.  Don’t assume though that just because you’re linking to someone, they’re required to link back to you.

Go to Conventions, Network Offline

It helps to make connections face to face. Bloggers might be more eager to link with you if they’ve met you in person and had a chance to have a conversation. Hand out business cards with your name and blog URL.

Be Nice

You’ll probably notice a trend here – and that is, be vocal and be polite. It sounds corny, but readers like nice people and they want to read interesting and helpful posts. If you demonstrate these characteristics, then they’ll want to link back to your site.

Be Controversial

Controversial content gets noticed.  For example, take a look at the recent story about Amy Chua, the “Tiger Mom” and her new book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother.  It’s been all over the news.  People are talking about it.  The Times article says that the online version of her article in the Wall Street Journal has received 7,000+ comments.  Even though many disagree with her parenting style, you can’t deny that her controversial book has made her a household name.  Controversial can help you get buzz, can get you noticed.

Have Good Content

When you’re out there promoting your blog and networking with other bloggers, you want to make sure that you have the content to back up your hard work. People won’t want to link back to a site that isn’t helpful.

There are of course many other ways to promote your blog and get your blog seen.  You can also use SEO strategies to get traffic to your site.

How to Promote Your Blog Using Branding


Certain products and services just stay in your mind.  How do they do it? How do they stand out from the crowd?


Branding is a way to make your blog memorable and recognizable.  It involves taking multiple elements of your blog – your content, your look – and making them all stay consistent with each other.

Mainly, then, it’s about repetition. But be careful, because there’s a subtle difference between repetition and redundancy.

When you first create your blog, no doubt you picked a particular theme.  Cooking, maybe, or technology or sports, whatever.  Branding goes a little bit further, though, and includes things like the tone you write with and the layout and colors of your design.  All of these things need to come together to create one unique package.

To start branding your blog, you want to use a particular design, theme and repetition that help your “brand”, or style, stick out to your readers.

Here are some steps you can take:

1. Choose your subject and your angle

Pick something that you know a lot about and that you are passionate about.  Let your enthusiasm for the subject bleed into your writing.  This can help your readers get excited about what you’re saying and keep them coming back for more.

Say your subject is cooking.  There are different ways you can talk about cooking.  For example, you can write from the point of view of a mother trying to find healthy ways to feed her family, or perhaps from the point of view of a vegan looking for tasty recipes.  The subject “cooking” is a little too broad, but if you stop and consider what kind of “angle” you’re writing from – and this will depend on who you are – then you’ll take one more step towards developing your unique brand.

2. Think about your audience

What type of audience are you looking to appeal to?  Different people are attracted to different types of themes.  Perhaps you’ll want a more “cutesy” theme, or perhaps a technical theme.

3. Make your layout match your subject

Two blogs could be about cooking, but one might have a more sophisticated, high class look while another might have a more fun and homey type of look.  Your layout is important for creating an atmosphere, and you want to make sure that that atmosphere matches your writing style and the goals of your

4. Create a logo

The logo should match your layout (or you can design a layout that matches your logo).  The logo is a KEY element to branding.

How to Get a Logo:

  • Design it yourself
  • Run a contest on your site
  • Ask/pay someone else to create a logo for you

When you design your logo yourself, you have the most control and you’ll know what you want.  The problem of course is that you may lack the skills to create what you want.  If you don’t know how to do graphic design, then you can look at these other options: run a contest, pay someone else, or (website that helps create logos?)

Which option should I choose?

When running a contest, you can’t guarantee that you’ll find anything that was what you had in mind.  You’ll have to choose a winner, but there’s no guaranteeing that you’ll really want to use the winning logo as your logo.  Maybe it’s the best… but still not quite what you wanted.  Of course, you could approach the winner and tell them this (politely of course).  Explain that theirs was the best, but ask if they would be willing to make a few tweaks (be prepared to try offering them something extra)…. Of course at that point you might as well just pay someone to create something for you.

Another thing to think about is that you’ll need to provide some sort of prize.  “Bragging rights” might be enough for some, for others perhaps the prestige of winning and the publicity it provides will suffice.  However if you are not well known yet or don’t have a big following yet, you may want to actually offer something

When you’re paying someone else, you can have a dialog and explain to them what you’re looking for; if it’s wrong, then you can easily ask them to fix it; after all you’re paying them.  The downside though is that this will cost money.

Remember, it’s not just about the logo, it’s about the “feel” of your site.  Your layout, your writing, your logo, your colors – all these things come together in one package to create your brand.  Everything should match and remain cohesive.

6 Ways to Promote Your Blog


Last week we talked about using Facebook to promote your blog.  Here are 6 other options for promoting your blog.

Here’s a quick list of the places you can go to promote your blog.

1. Blogs within your Niche

Leave comments on other blogs that are in the same niche as yours.  Make sure that your comments are relevant, polite and well thought out.  If people respond to you, respond back.

2. Forums

Find a forum in your same subject, and join it.  Post frequently, but make sure that you are making thoughtful posts that are relevant to the discussion and aren’t just repeating what other people are saying.  They don’t have to be long posts, they should be meaningful.  They should add to the topic at hand.  Once you’ve been active for awhile, you could even start threads of your own as well.  This is a great strategy because more people will see read the first post.

Put your link in your signature.  When you post, the same etiquette applies as to comments – always be relevant and polite.

3. Use directories

Again, find a directory with your niche, or, if you can’t find one, submit your link to a general directory.  Directories are not as popular as they used to be, but can still be helpful.  It never hurts to cover all your bases.

There are directories for blogs and then directories for articles.  You can submit articles at sites like Some sites like this will allow you to post a link in your author bio or within your actual post.

4. Write a guest post

Once you’ve networked and developed friendships with other bloggers, approach them and see if you can do a guest post.  Explain what topic you would like to write about, but don’t send them an already completed post.  Start a discussion.

Make sure you look for any rules the blogger might have about how to submit a guest post.  Some blogs have procedures for that kind of thing, and you will not only look foolish if you do not follow their instructions, but you probably won’t end up getting to write that guest post.

5. Use “share” icons

Many bloggers have icons at the end of their post or at the top of their post that allow readers to share – either using Facebook, Twitter, etc.  This makes it easy for readers to pass along a post that they liked.

6. Tweet it

When you publish a new post, update your Twitter status as well.  Let your friends and followers know you’ve updated, and see if your friends will retweet your post.  Timing is important. Try to tweet or update your status at a time you feel more users will be online and will see your update

The main thing, as you may have noticed, is that you will have to explore your niche and start networking with those within it. What everything comes down to is: networking.  Be polite and be relevant.

Use Social Media Sites to Promote Your Blog


The idea is simple: whenever you update your blog, post a link on Facebook.

Many bloggers do it. I know a number of my friends on Facebook do it, as I’m seeing blog links popping up more and more frequently in my news feed.

Why use social media sites?

Some people will argue that social media is the new way to go, the new playing field.  It’s easy to see why, since more and more people are using websites like Facebook.  Why wouldn’t you want to use Facebook to promote your blog?  You have a network of X amount of friends, and when you post a link there, you know some amount of those X number of friends will see it.

Compared to the big scary Rest of the Internet, where you could easily get swallowed up in the crowd and remain unnoticed.  At least with Facebook you know you’ll get some readers.

So why not use Facebook?  I can only think of a few reasons people might hesitate. You might not want your family seeing or commenting on your blog.  You might be afraid of sounding vain or spammy.  As for the first – there are probably privacy settings around that, and for the latter: there are ways you can post to avoid “shameless plugging”.

How should you use Facebook?

Think about what hours of the day most of your friends are on Facebook, and post the link at that time.  The link will pop up in their news feeds and the chances are higher that they will see it and click on it.

Use an enticing headline and even a description or excerpt of your post.  Don’t just post a random URL, give people a reason to click it.


DON’T Spam Your Friends

When you first start posting your links on FB, it will help draw in initial viewers.  However, if you do it too frequently (every hour on the hour, every day…) your friends will probably get bored of constantly seeing your link pop up in their Feed.  You don’t want them to hit the dreaded “Ignore” button and knock you out of their Feed permanently.

So be considerate of your friends, and wait a little bit between posting a link.  If you do update your blog frequently, consider only posting links to blog posts that you feel are your best, your most interesting, your most controversial, those ones that really get it right.

Ask Your Friends to Share the Link, too

The good thing too is that if your friends like your post, they can also share it via Facebook to their friends and this can help you build more of a following.  So consider asking them to post it, especially when you’re first getting started.

More to Think About

On the other side of the coin, the one thing about Facebook though is that you don’t get link cred if someone else shares your article. Normally, when someone on the internet links to your blog, that link will count as a “vote” towards your site, and will go towards your Page Rank for Google.  On Facebook… this doesn’t happen.  Links shared on Facebook are NoFollow, meaning you get no vote no matter how many people link your article (on FB).

Also even when people share a link, there’s not really a permanency about it.  If another blogger links to your blog, it’s there on your home page and it stays there until they take it down.  No such thing on Facebook.  There are a few spots on a person’s profile where they could share a link, but there’s not really a place to share them.

In light of this, you might want to consider creating a page for your blog on Facebook, but don’t do this if your blog is new or doesn’t have that many followers.

The best way to promote your blog is to use all the resources you have available.  Yes, post a link on Facebook, but do all that other stuff too: find blogs in your niche, build relationships with those bloggers, get backlinks.  Post on forums and put a link in your signature.  Use Blog Carnivals.  Write Guest posts.

Blog Promotion Techniques – How to Network With Other Bloggers


Networking is an essential tool for blog promotion.  It’s how you get ahead in the real world, and it’s how you get ahead in the blogosphere.  Like the real world, there are certain etiquettes – or “netiquettes” that will help you along.

Build Up Content First

Wait until you have a good amount of articles on your blog before you begin networking.  This way, when you do network, people who visit your site will see what you have to offer.  When they see that you have good content, chances are they will be more inclined to link back to you.

Join Appropriate Niches

What is your blog really about?  What is the purpose, goal, or subject?  Find an appropriate niche where you can fit in, where you are likely to find other bloggers and readers who will be interested in the content you have to share.

Post Friendly Comments

One of the best ways for a new blogger to promote their blog is to comment on relevant blogs.  Find blogs that have a similar subject.  Post a few comments about their articles.  See if you can engage the blogger in a discussion.

Make sure your comments pertain to the topic and are relevant.  Do NOT just post a link to your blog.

Link out to other blogs

Include links in your posts to other (relevant) blogs.  These links should be helpful resources to your readers.  This shows that you are concerned about providing useful information to your readers.

Respond to comments and emails

If someone leaves a comment on your blog, try to respond to it as soon as you can.  Likewise if someone emails you.  This will show that you are friendly and that you care about getting back to people.

Be polite!

Don’t demand they link to you.  Instead, take time to build a friendship so they trust you, then see if they will link back.

Being polite goes a long way.  The important thing to remember is that some bloggers may be really busy – perhaps they have a day job, and their blog is not the only thing they do.  Or perhaps they keep in contact with a lot of other bloggers.  Your email could get lost in their inbox.  Or maybe it just takes them a few days to get back to you.  Don’t be pushy – just be patient.  If they don’t respond after a week, try sending another email, but do not sound angry or indignant that they didn’t reply to you.

Kindness begets kindness.  If you show other bloggers that you are nice and that you have good content to offer, they will be more inclined to welcome you into their network.

4 Reasons to Promote Your Blog Using a Blog Carnival


Here’s a nifty idea for new bloggers looking to get their name out: submit an article to a blog carnival.

Blog carnivals are a group, community or collection of bloggers and article entries.  It’s similar to a magazine and has an editor.  The editor collects blog articles and posts an entry with all the links submitted to them, usually with their own comments.  Blog carnivals come out on a regular basis, just like magazines come out with new editions every week or every month, and there is usually a host blog, which changes each edition.

Basically, bloggers post on similar themed subjects, and their posts are all anthologized and grouped together to make it easy for web searchers to find information and blog posts on the topics they’re looking for.

So here are four reasons to use a blog carnival to promote your blog:

1. They help your audience find you

Blog carnivals will already have a large assortment of visitors, who will be led to your blog.  It’s an easy way to find readers – all you have to do is submit your post, and the readers come to you.

There’s a large assortment of information out there, and it can be tough for readers to find your blog over all the others.  A blog carnival will help readers find you more easily.

2. Connect with other bloggers

This is a great way for you to find other bloggers in your subject area and connect with them.  When the carnival is posted, check out the articles and see what’s around.  Read other bloggers’ articles and comment on them.

Blog carnivals provide an arena where you can network with other bloggers and build relationships.  Now not only are you getting readers from the carnival, but you might get links from other bloggers.

3. See what’s popular

You can see what other people are writing about, what articles are getting responses.  You can see what opinions, subjects and thoughts are floating around and being shared, and this may help give you ideas for what to write about.

Find out what topics are “hot” and see if your blog can jump on that bandwagon.  Or, you could always take a different route, and post the controversial opinion.  Both are good ways to attract readers (just different types of readers).

4. May help establish credibility

You have to submit your article to an editor, who then decides to include it in the article.  Since you have to go through this “approval” process, this can establish your authority on a subject.  After all, if an editor includes you, this means that at least one other person has read your article and is willing to share it with others.  This means readers will be more likely to click your link, especially if an editor has written positive comments about your article or blog in their post.

Intrigued?  Get started promoting your blog, and check out Blog Carnival for more information and for a list of blog carnivals out there!

More Blog Promotion Techniques


Blog promotion is a necessary component to accumulating readers.  In addition to using SEO and building relationships with other bloggers in your niche, you can use some of these ideas to attract visitors to your site.

Join Directories

You can submit your blog to a directory.  These can help you gain traffic.  Some people swear by them, others put less of an importance on them.  They are not used as much as they were in the past, but they are worth a try.

Directories can also help you find other bloggers in your niche, and can help those other bloggers find you and, possibly, approach you for a link.  Directories are usually organized by category, and different directories will have different features.  Some may be pickier than others, for example, but you know that the blogs on pickier directories are successful, noteworthy blogs.

Here is a great article about different blog directories you can submit your blog to.

Use Give-Aways

I’ve seen a lot of bloggers – especially fashion or shopping blogs – with give-aways.  They’ll hold contests of some sort and the winner will receive some product.  Of course, you’ll have to pay for this somehow.  If you can’t afford to give away products, you can always make them yourself.  Blog layout themes, for example, are one popular give away, and you can have the users link back to you.

Use Branding

Branding makes your blog unique and distinctive.  For example, a specific logo design that you always use, even if your layout changes, is a form of branding.  Also having a specific message or slogan helps you brand your blog, site or product.

Branding is mostly used for products, but there’s no reason you can’t apply it to your blog.  Leo Babauta has some great points about how it’s okay – and in fact, a good thing – to use advertising techniques for your blog and how to use branding effectively for your blog.

Craving more information?  Stay tuned for a follow up post with more ideas, or read a previous entry about 5 Steps to Promote Your Blog.

5 Steps to Promote Your Blog


Your site is up and ready: you have an eye-catching, eye-pleasing layout, a build up of quality content that will wow your loyal readers, and keywords sprinkled here and there to make your site search engine optimized.  But you have no readers.

There’s one very important thing left for you to do: Blog Promotion.

Blog promotion is what you do to spread the word about your blog.  It includes anything you do to tell people your blog exists.  This is very important for growing blog traffic.

Here are some steps you can take to promote your blog

1. Tell Your Friends

A great initial place to start.  Your friends can even give you a few tips, especially if your blog just started.  When you start blogging, mention it to your friends, and tell them you would love for them to post comments and start discussion.  Don’t be too pushy though, otherwise they might be dissuaded.

2. Explore Your Subject “Niche”

Search for blogs, websites and forums within your subject area and that have a similar target audience to yours.  On each site, take a look around before doing anything.  Read a few entries, pages, or forum posts and check out the about section.  See what the typical “netiquette” is and be aware of rules and guidelines.

Bloggers Forum is one discussion community that offers tips and has a board where other users can visit your blog and give tips.  However, there are more out there, so don’t be afraid to look around.  Be sure to also look for forums related to your subject area.

3. Post Comments

When you’re ready, find an entry or post and make a polite, intelligent comment that contributes to the discussion.   Focus on being constructive and adding to the conversation.  Make your input worthwhile.  Do not spam with links to your blog.  People won’t take you seriously.

Your goal here is to make friends and build relationships.  Politeness and friendliness will go far.

4. Start promoting!

A blogging forum may have a designated board for providing links to your blog.  Be sure to look up the rules before promoting your blog (you don’t want to violate them or appear to be spamming).

Once you have made a few posts and integrated yourself slightly into the blog’s community or a forum, start posting links to your blog.  Put a link in your signature.

Show how your blog is similar, but different.  Show the blog readers and forum posters that you are offering something similar that would interest them, but that is also different from what they are already getting by the current site they are on.

5. Guest Post

By this point, you should have made several friends on blogs and forums.  Approach them politely and see if you can do a guest post on their blog.  Explain what you would like to write about – and be open if they have any suggestions for you – but do not send them an already written post (as they may say no, and they may be turned off if you assume they’ll want your post).

Your post should of course match the content and theme of the blog.

Be sure to check any guidelines for guest posts – many blogs will have these posted somewhere, so look for them.

Another option…


A few of my creative writing friends have been posting links to their articles as they publish them on Facebook.  It appears in my News Feed every day and is a great way to attract visitors.  Also include a link on your profile on Facebook, if you are comfortable with this, of course.  You can reach acquaintances this way.

Remember to be polite at all times!  There is a distinct difference between being controversial and being rude.  It’s great if you want to post a constructive comment that disagrees, but be civil and make it clear that you are posting merely for the sake of a genuine discussion and to play devils advocate.