Blogging Hero

How to Make Money with Your Blog

How To Write Good Content to Get More Traffic


There are three main ingredients needed to make money blogging: content, traffic, and a monetization strategy. All 3 ingredients are necessary. Even if you have good content, it means nothing if no one sees it. And even if you have a ton of visitors, you won’t make a dime unless you are doing something to make money – whether it’s through advertising, selling your own product, or having a premium content section, you need traffic to earn money with a blog. The more people viewing your site, the more valuable your site is to advertisers.

So how do you get those visitors to stick around and explore your blog? How do you get them to subscribe to your newsletter and RSS feed? You write good content. As they say, “Content is King”. True success boils down to good content.

Writers block, however, can sometimes get in the way. Here are some content ideas to keep your bloggers interested and coming back:

Write How-To Pieces

How-tos are simple to write and incredibly valued by readers. If a reader can come on your site and easily find a post explaining how to do something – how to make ratatouille, how to sew a sweater, how to do something – then they’ll be happy. And happy readers are returning readers.

Break a News Story

Staying ahead of the news is great way to get some search engine traffic, but it’s also important to readers because it shows that your information is topical and up to date. When you do post the news, be sure to include your own thoughts on the events and encourage your readers to post their own comments as well.  You can use Feeds to follow the news and break a story, so you can always stay on top of what’s going on.

Be Controversial

People love controversy. Write a controversial headline, and you’ll be sure to catch the readers’ eyes and get them to stick around for just a little while longer. It’s also good for getting your post shared and getting traffic through Social Media. Plus, other bloggers might link back to for your unique opinion. Controversy is great for getting traffic to your blog!

These are just a few ideas you can use to write a blog post.  Try making a content web of everything you know about a topic.  Start with your main subject, whether it’s cooking, or travelling, or sports.  Then draw lines branching off from that with subcategories.  For example, for sports you could split that into different types of sports, like basketball, soccer, or fencing.  You could also branch it off into professional, college, and high school.  You could do another branch for entertainment, for training tips, to equipment reviews.  As you go along, you’ll probably find yourself leading to more and more specific topics, which can give you ideas for what to post about.  You could also read this article for ideas for blog inspiration.

Other Posting Suggestions

Use Other Media

Don’t just post long winded articles – that won’t appeal to everyone. Make video blogs and post pictures as well. Opening yourself up to a variety of different media can help you reach more viewers who might not like to read.

Vary Your Topics

Mix up the topics you post about and mix up the type or format of posts. For example, let’s say you write a travel blog and update three times a week. Your blog typically covers trips you take around the world, activities you can do while travelling, and how to find good deals, how to plan your trip, how to book a hotel, etc. Don’t write all 3 posts in one week about a trip to Spain. In the same token, don’t do three posts that are all about how to find good deals. Mix them up through out the week – write about your trip to Spain on Monday, then write about how to find good deals for hotels in Europe on Wednesday, and about fun family activities in Orlando on Friday. The variety will appeal to different readers throughout the week.

Of course, there is one exception to this rule: If you are doing a Series of posts.

Write a Series

If you have a lot to say about one subject, then a good idea is to break that up into different posts. This keeps you organized, but it also helps you to encourage your readers to keep checking back to your site every day.  Sometimes people just don’t want to read 1 long post that goes on forever.  If you find  yourself writing a lot about one subject, then breaking up into smaller posts can help you become more focused, and thus more clear.  It gives you an opportunity to explore a subject more thoroughly, which is a good way to provide relevant information to your readers.  The more thorough you are, the more credibility you will develop too, which help you increase your traffic.

To earn money blogging, remember this: Good content leads to more traffic, more traffic leads to more money. These are only a few tips for writing content. Also remember that you need to post regularly. Having good content helps you increase your traffic, but in the beginning it also helps to promote your blog, so be sure to network with other bloggers as well.

Strategies for the Busy Blogger: How to Post Regularly During Busy Times


Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a great holiday season.  I apologize for the lack of posting; I’ve been rather busy in the last couple of weeks and I got a little behind schedule, unfortunately.  I know that’s not a good excuse. Maybe my New Year’s resolution should be to stay on top of my posting schedule!

And while I’m on that topic — For the busy blogger, sometimes it can be difficult to get those posts up.  Maybe your life is hectic and there’s just no time.  Maybe you’re struggling with writer’s block.

When you’re trying to make money blogging, falling behind in your posting schedule might seem like a terrible thing.  If you have a large following of bloggers clamoring for a post, you might lose a few if you take too long to update.

Here are some strategies to keep the posts coming – even on the crazy days.

1.      Use guest posts

Can’t think of something to write? Didn’t have time to write a post?  See if you know anyone who wants to write a guest post on your blog.  This can be some great filler, and it also helps the blogger who is writing the guest post by giving them some visibility.  So it’s a win-win situation.

2.      Keep a back log of posts

Keep about five to ten posts saved in a word document as back ups.  That way when you’re really struggling, you have something already written that you can quickly post.

3.      Space your posts out more

Maybe you’re stuck in writer’s block because you’re posting too much.  It might help to cut down on the number of posts a week. For example, if you do five a week, try cutting back to 2-3 a week. Updating consistently is more important than writing as often as possible.  If you write too much, you might burn yourself out.

4.      Post a note

If you foresee that you’ll be busy in the next few days – for example, the holiday season is approaching – then post a note on your blog telling your readers that you’ll be on a hiatus for the holiday season.  Be sure to include a date when they can expect your return, and maybe even include a few links to good resources that will entertain your readers while you’re gone.

Hope you all had a great holiday season!

Video Blogging: Basics


We’ve been emphasizing the importance of keeping things on your blog fresh: unique content attracts readers and keeps them coming back.

Using video blogging is one great way to mix things up and increase your audience.  Websites like YouTube are a testament of how popular video is, and including it on your blog may help you appeal to a new audience.

Video blogging can open up a whole new set of possibilities, in addition to attracting new readers.  For example, some things are just easier to explain with video, like how to knit a sweater or how to use PhotoShop.  Video is a very versatile medium, and when you use it you have more flexibility with how you portray your thoughts, ideas and content to your readers.

By using both video entries and writing, you are giving your readers options.  Maybe they’re tired and don’t feel like reading.  Instead of leaving your site, though, they can watch something.

The next few posts will be part of a 4-part series about using video on your blog.  It will cover:

  1. Introduction to Using Video (that’s this post)
  2. Reasons to use Video – weighing the pros and cons
  3. Video ideas for your blog
  4. SEO Tips for using Video on your blog

In these posts, we’ll explain in further detail about why you should use video on your blog (and why some people choose not to).  We’ll also help you brainstorm for ideas.  Not all kinds of video will work on all kinds of blogs: some subjects lend themselves to video blogging, but for other subjects, you may struggle to think of appropriate video ideas.  Lastly, because video lacks text, it can sometimes be tricky to optimize a site or post with video content, so in our final installment you can find some SEO tips for video blogging.

Unique Content Ideas: Follow the News


If you run out of steam and need ideas for content, one great idea is to follow the news and stay ahead of the crowd.  If you check the news regularly, you’ll be one of the most informed and first to know about any given event.  This means that you could help break a news story if you stay up to date with your current events.

Why would you want to break a news story?

If you’re one of the first to post about something online, chances are you’ll also be one of the first that Google notices.  And that means that when people start searching for the news item you’re posting about, your blog will come up.

If it’s an especially juicy news story, then there will be a lot of buzz around the web about that item, and staying ahead of that can be even more beneficial.

Plus, keeping up with what’s going on shows your readers that you’re in touch, that your information is up to date, and ultimately that you’re credible.  It helps establish authority on a subject.

So people will be more likely to find you, and more likely to link to you.  And then you can gain readers.

Useful Tool for Following the News: Google Reader

Alright, so you’re convinced that it’s a good idea.  But with the amount of online papers and media out there, how could you possible stay up to date?

A great tool for this is Google Reader.  You can subscribe to a number of different websites and organize them in different folders.  Whenever a new story is published, Reader will be updated and you’ll see it come up right away.  It displays the headlines in a list, and when you click the headline it expands so you can read either a summary of the article or the article itself (it depends on the website).

You can have all your news sources in one place, so you don’t waste time jumping from website to website, sifting through content.

So start reading the news so you can write about it.  Of course, don’t just repost articles or links to them.  Be sure to include your own opinions and interpretation of what’s happening.  Add a new perspective to make it interesting for your readers.  Remember, interesting and unique content will appeal to readers and keep them coming back.

Craft Your Posts For Your Readers: How Article Design Can Increase Traffic


How your content appears on the page can have a huge influence on your bounce rate and ultimately your number of readers.

Blogging isn’t just about writing content, it’s about how you format your content.  Here are a few things you should think about when formatting your content:

  • Paragraph length: keep it short
  • Use of headings: direct your readers to unique content
  • Lists: provide a preview, entice readers to keep reading
  • Your Audience: what do they expect to see?

With the popularity of texting and websites like Facebook and Twitter, it seems as though people today have shorter attention spans.  When people text they try to fit the most amount of information into as small a space as possible.  The same goes for Twitter.

This means that longer paragraphs and longer articles may be intimidating to some of your readers.  Most readers probably do not even read entire articles, and instead just skim them.

Use Short Paragraphs

If you have large blocks of text, then most viewers will probably be bored or intimidated, and they’ll stop reading and leave your site.  Using short paragraphs may encourage readers to stay longer, since it’s easier on the eyes.

Think about it: if someone puts a large cookie in front of you, you may decline because it’s too big, you’re too full and you don’t want all those calories.  But if someone puts a plate of small, snack-sized cookies in front of you, you’ll eat one, and then another, and then another.  Before you know it, they’re all gone.

Break up your post with headings

This makes your post more structured looking, and helps your reader know what each part of your post is about.  They can skip headings they’re not interested in and beeline straight for the ones they are.  Thus it’s easier for them to find information they’re looking for, and when a site is easy to use, visitors will keep coming back.

Headings also help search engines understand what your content is about, so they have a better chance of marking your page as relevant.

Lists are fast and easy to read

Lists also look appealing, and add more variety to your post.  With bulleted lists and headings your post will be less intimidating to readers afraid of large blocks of text.


  • are easy to read
  • are a good summary for your readers
  • can act like a table of contents (if included in the beginning of the post)
  • sum up the post for readers
  • act like a preview to entice readers to keep reading

Your Audience

Keep in mind, of course, that different subjects will have different kinds of readers.  For example, a political blog will probably have followers who enjoy reading long, analytical posts, so it’s good to do long posts now and then, too.  Longer posts with more text may look more academic, and so if you are targeting a more academic audience, you’ll want to structure your posts for them.

Alternative Media to Spice up Your Blog Content


Blogs are about writing, but if you have a variety of media, then you’ll expand your audience.  Different people like different things – for example, some prefer to read, others, however, prefer to watch.  Most people write on their blogs, but don’t limit yourself!  Here are different ways of communicating to your readers:


If you are an artist, you can post pictures of your artwork: whether it’s painting, sculpture or something you made photoshop.  You can even include information about what materials you used, where your readers can find those kinds of materials, what you got your inspiration from.  You could also encourage readers to respond by asking them for their comments or constructive feedback.


Like taking pictures?  Start uploading them.  Keep in mind that the internet is a public place of course, but feel free to take pictures of your adventures.  You could even try posting an entry in several pictures, and let the photographs show the story for you – without words.  Or post a picture and have your readers guess what it is.  Many people do a thing called “Wordless Wednesday,” where on Wednesday they will post a picture that describes how they feel or is just something they like.


You could also start posting a webcomic.  The webcomic world is difficult to get started in itself, like blogs, but you don’t have to do anything serious.  Instead of writing about something funny that happened, just make a doodle or draw up something in Paint.  It doesn’t have to be a work of art, but sometimes it’s nice to express yourself in a different way than usual, and it can unlock the more creative side of your brain.  You could even post a picture of today’s Dilbert comic, for example (and provide a link back to their site, of course).  Make sure that whatever you do, it’s legal and within copyright laws.


Film a video log or pod cast and upload it to your journal instead of posting an entry.  It could be anything – a how to, an opinion on a current event, or even a story.  It depends on what the subject of your blog is.  Don’t do something random, make sure it appeals to your readers.

Audio clips

Perhaps you’re on vacation and want to blog about your adventures.  Spice your entries up with a little soundbite of the waves crashing on the shore and the seagulls chirping in the background.  Help your readers really feel your experience.

These are all ideas that you can incorporate into your blog. Don’t just do all of one thing – mix it up!  One day, post a how to video.  The next day, write an entry.  Day after that – post your day in photos.  You can even mix them within the same entry.  Think outside the box.

These ideas are meant to help you generate interesting and unique content, to engage your readers and to make both sides of the blog experience fun.  Always remember that you should remain on topic with your blog and that your content is relevant.  For more ideas, check out last week’s post on Unique Content Ideas.

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 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.”