Categories
Blogging

How to Grow Blog Traffic for Free

Your current blog has excellent content but no traffic.

You really want people to see your high-quality content. Let’s speed up this process and get your content to an audience!

Hopefully, you’ve been using great SEO practices when writing your blog posts.

How to Grow Blog Traffic

If you have at least 30 blog posts then consider driving traffic to your blog using social media. To avoid burnout, only focus on one platform. You’ll get better results mastering one social media platform than trying to be a jack of all trades. Here are a few tips to follow if you want to know how to grow your blog traffic.

Before you get started, make sure you have the basic sharing features on your blog.

Related: Social Media Growth Tips for Organic Growth

Get Traffic from Facebook

Facebook is big on engagement these days, if you have any likes or comments, engage with your audience.

  1. Create a Facebook page for your blog posts. You’ll be able to share your blog posts on your Facebook page.
  2. Join different Facebook Groups related to your niche. Post often to these Facebook Groups, answering questions, etc. After being active for a few weeks, you’ll get opportunities to post your blog.
  3. Use scheduling tools such as HootSuite and Buffer to schedule posts in advance.
  4. Post a few lines of text from your blog post along with a blog post URL. Try adding a relevant short video clip or high-quality images.

Get Traffic from Instagram

Instagram is also big on engagement so if your pictures have any likes or comments, respond and try to keep the conversation going.

  1. Convert your account to an Instagram Business account to get access to analytics.
  2. Avoid Instagram automation tools. Instagram is known to ban people for trying to cheat their system.
  3. Use Instagram’s search and find relevant #hashtags.
  4. Put your blog URL or specific blog post URL in your bio.
  5. If you have unused video content, use an app to edit those videos and post them.
  6. Create an original hashtag to use in your posts if you think it will gain momentum over time.


Get Traffic from Pinterest

Each blog post should have at least one big shareable image somewhere into the post, so when you Pin your posts, your big image will be a selectable option. Pinterest is fine with aggressive pinning.

  1. Convert your existing account to a Pinterest business account or create a Pinterest Business account for access to analytics.
  2. Enable Rich Pins, to add extra details to Pins from your website.
  3. Create relevant boards similar to your blog categories.
  4. Pinterest wants you to Pin “fresh content” to their platform. You can pin your content or other people content. However, Pinterest is one of the platforms that doesn’t mind if you post only your content.
  5. As of this update, Pinterest is still okay with simple automation tools such as TailWind.

Related: Pinterest Marketing Strategies

Get Traffic from YouTube

YouTube simply want great content from you. Their algorithm will do the rest of the work.

  1. You can post videos that compliment your blog posts. Remember to add the specific blog post URL in the video or description box.
  2. Be consistent with your YouTube uploading as subscribers will expect a new video from you on specific days.
  3. If you don’t want to upload videos, you can engage with others on relevant videos. If users are asking questions that your blog answers, then reply with some information and a link to your blog post. This method works best if the admin isn’t strict, so try it on older videos.

Get Traffic from Quora

Quora is great for bloggers but your answers must be relevant and provide great value.

  1. Search for current questions related to your specific niche. Write the most meaningful responses you’ve ever written. After you have provided a great response, only then can you include your blog URL.
  2. Share your Quora answer link to other social media platforms to increase visibility.
  3. Don’t waste time answering those questions from a year ago, unless you’ve received a personal request to answer those questions. You don’t want to get banned for spamming old questions.

Get Traffic from LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a great platform for business professionals and job searchers. Additionally, LinkedIn is doing a great job with their Groups feature that is great for engagement; allowing bloggers in the business and entrepreneur niches to grow their followers.

  1. Complete your profile and create a brand for your LinkedIn profile. First, you’ll have to build up your network.
  2. Try to post updates at least 2 days each week to get your brand seen without spamming your connections.
  3. Follow the 80/20 rule, post articles to other relevant articles and you’ll have opportunities to post your blog.
  4. Join relevant LinkedIn groups that are active.

Get Traffic from Twitter

You must be aggressive and constantly engage and tweet to be successful on Twitter. It’s hard work but can be rewarding to try to tweet or retweet many times throughout the day.

  1. Use Twitter’s search and find #hashtags that are relevant to your niche and save them.
  2. Tweet a few lines of text from your blog post along with the URL and 1-2 hashtags.
  3. Constantly tweet, like, and retweet content that’s relevant to your niche.
  4. Tweetdeck is awesome for managing Twitter. This dashboard tool has many that allow you to monitor lists, mentions, users, phrases, and #hashtags all on one screen.
  5. Use scheduling tools such as HootSuite and Buffer to schedule posts. Schedule tweets that will spark engagement.
  6. Create an original hashtag to use in some of your tweets, someone may search for something similar one day.

Get Traffic from Medium

  1. You can use the import tool on Medium to import your blog posts to their website (wait a few weeks so Google will index your post first).
  2. If you don’t want to use the same content, you can always repurpose your content and post solid snippets there (some bloggers believe having duplicate content on Medium doesn’t hurt your site).
  3. Provide Medium with some original or experimental topics you aren’t sure about adding to your main blog.
  4. Use eye-catching high-quality images in your posts.

Get Traffic from Snapchat

  1. Post content daily and URL to the specific blog article.
  2. You can try using Geofilters if you’re at relevant events related to your blog. An example of using geofilters would be to submit one at a music concert if you have a music blog.

Conclusion

This is how you can grow your blog traffic for free using social media. That’s all of the social media advice we have for now. Writing high-quality content and practicing great SEO will always be the best and cheapest method in the long run. However, these tips will jump starts your blog traffic while you wait for Google and that organic traffic.

Categories
Blogging

Best Tips to Get Blog Followers & More Website Traffic

The best thing to do is to get blog followers organically. You can easily do this by using slow and steady content marketing strategies.

Having a solid content marketing strategy can help drive relevant traffic to your website. So let’s go over a few tips to get blog followers and increase your overall blog traffic.

Tips to Get Blog Followers

One of the strategies that successful content creators practice is to acquire relevant backlinks. Backlinks are essential in SEO rankings and can be a great tool to help boost your overall success for your site. But where do you begin when it comes to backlinking?

There are multiple types of backlinks and the more you know about them, the better chances you have of increasing the success of your site.

Different types of backlinks will have different types of costs and effectiveness. One method may have a high cost but will drive more traffic to your site. Another may have a higher potential for your SEO but maybe has a lower chance of traffic. There are many things to consider for backlinks, and it does get easier the more you know about them and the more practiced you become.

Follow our useful SEO Tips article to focus on getting organic traffic using keyword research. The following methods below are simpler ways to increase your blog traffic without waiting on Google and SEO.

Social Media Profile Link Strategy

The social media profile bio section can be a powerful tool if used correctly. Basically, you’re sharing content on social media hoping someone clicks on your blog link that’s in your bio. That’s it… once they are on your website, you must have great content to convert them.

This is one of the last useful Web 2.0 strategies that are similar to the PBN strategy of the old days. These quality social media profile links can help increase your websites SERP presence. This strategy is an old but solid method for getting more traffic to your website. Just remember, never create empty social media accounts just to add your website link to it.

Local Business Listing Strategy

Backlinks for a business listing or citation is a great way to form a beneficial relationship with a legitimate establishment and build trust around your site. Google appreciates these listings and incorporates them into its search algorithms. If you create a backlink to a business listing, there is a good chance they will give you a DoFollow, which is great for increasing blog traffic. This method is easy to do and gives you legitimacy for your site without having to worry about coming across as spam.

Editorial Backlinks Strategy

An extremely popular but difficult method for increasing blog traffic. The powerhouse of backlinks, editorial backlinks are hard to come by but produce extremely successful results when you need to get visitors to your website. If you don’t have an insider at a reputable news source or magazine, you must rely on immensely high-quality content in order to be a reference. Also, your content must pass editorial review, which can be challenging.

Having both high-quality content and a good standing relationship with bloggers in the industry can increase your chances with this particular type of backlink. But just like anything else in the world, if you don’t have either of these things, you can always buy an editorial backlink.

Press Release Strategy

Press releases are a good way to get blog followers. Press releases can be pricey, depending on the company you choose to work with. PR links can range from $100 to $500.

However, if you are backlinking to average content, the chance of success is low. Remember that putting too many links on articles can trigger red flags and set yourself up as spam. As long as the links are coming from high-quality sources, you’ll have a better chance of success with this method. A successful press release can greatly increase your blog followers, website traffic, and overall rank in the search engines.

Blog Resource Page Strategy

Unlike other methods of link building, resource pages are easy to find and there is a mutual desire that consists of the website owner actually wanting to link to you. They need resources and you need a backlink, therefore it is beneficial for both partners. The key to backlinks for resource pages is that your content must be of high quality. The website owner is looking to have scholarly links that will support their own blog and help them drive traffic. This means they aren’t just going to link to any website, they will want a resource that contributes to their content.

Another reason to backlink to a resource page is a simple fact that these pages exist to help, not to sell its audience something. They’re meant to be educational, so the pressure is on the reader and they are more inclined to click on the provided links.

We have created useful resource pages, as well, such as our Ultimate Resource List for Content Creators article.

Guest Posting Strategy

Another popular method to get blog followers quickly is by guest posting. Guest posting is a great way to further relationships with other bloggers and also drive traffic back to your own site, thus increasing your SEO standing. Much like commenting on relevant blogs, creating a guest post can give you further authority and authenticity on the subject matter. A genuine post that contributes to the site will be considered good quality content, taking you out of nefarious hunting spam filters.

As far as the actual backlinks are concerned, you must create your backlinks in a relevant context. Don’t just throw links in randomly – you are creating high-quality content, so you want your backlinks to reflect and emulate that as well. Google will notice if you are not sincere in your posting and backlinks, but if you are authentic, then you will see more traffic, higher SEO ranking, a partnership with other bloggers, and your efforts will be highlighted in search engines, a win-win all around.


Blog Commenting Strategy

The blog commenting strategy was a very easy way to get blog followers back in the old days of blogging. This strategy is still useful if you can find relevant websites with a DoFollow comment section (this is rare these days). Blog comment backlinks may be a tedious approach but the rewards are worth it. These backlinks can diversify anchors, create relevancy in a website, obtain referral traffic, and perhaps the most beneficial is creating a relationship with the blogger for future backlinks and leverage. The tedious part of blog commenting is creating unique comments that contribute to the quality and discussion of the blog in which you are remarking on.

You don’t just want to write two or three words that are meaningless and do not spur further discussion, you want to produce a comment that helps build a relationship and shows further thoughtfulness and value. Remember, to get visitors to your website with blog commenting you want a working friendship with this blogger so you can have a symbiotic partnership that can be maintained to benefit both of your SEO ranks.

Social Media Marketing Strategy

Using a social media marketing strategy won’t give you backlinks but will help with your online profile. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest are all examples of social media platforms that can help promote your website and content.

Never overwhelm yourself and try to do every social media account by yourself. The best social media strategy is to find the platform that is best for your audience and stick with it until you have mastered the platform. For example, Blackandise promotes mainly on Instagram and Pinterest… Google+ was a dud, Twitter works best for memes, and Facebook has no reach if you aren’t paying for their ads.

You’ll probably have the most success with Pinterest or Instagram. However, it’s best to figure out which social media platform works for your niche.

Related: Pinterest Marketing Strategies, Social Media Growth Tips

These Tips Will Grow Your Website

There are many other ways to get new blog followers, but we only wanted to focus on safe and evergreen methods. Of course, the landscape is always changing, and even the methods listed here that seem legitimate may not be as effective next year.

You will get more website traffic and blog followers as long as you keep at it. So when you find a strategy that works, go all out and focus on that winning strategy!

⭐️ The most important thing to remember is to keep it legit, never try to cheat the system. Search engines will blacklist your blog and social media platforms will delete your profile. It sucks…

Conclusion

The more time you spend really creating meaningful backlinks and content, the more you will see how much this matters. Having working relationships with other bloggers is much better and more beneficial than making a computer program spit out thousands of meaningless backlinks that may even just lead you to spam. Again, it is important to consider which methods of backlinks will drive traffic, increase SEO, and how much each type of backlink will cost you, either concerning your finances, resources, or otherwise.

Related: Popular Blog Post Ideas, Blogging Tips for Starting a Beauty Blog, Google Ads Paid Search Marketing

Categories
Blogging

Finding Lifestyle Topics to Discuss

Often, when people decide to start blogging, they feel overwhelmed: “What should I post about? Will, anybody read this? Does anyone even care?”

I think you’ll find that if you just pick a certain lifestyle topic or an area of focus and stick with it, things will become much easier and less stressful.

Having a true focus will give you the answers to your other questions.

Lifestyle Topics to Discuss

Now if you know what you’ll be writing about, you know who to target, why they might be interested, and what to do to keep them engaged. To get you started, here are some broad lifestyle blog topic umbrellas to choose from. Maybe one of these will speak to you, and before you know it you’ll be off and away, a pro blogger in no time!

Personal Blog Post Ideas

Possibly the most obvious of lifestyle blog topics is talking about yourself and your life. You might wonder whether anyone would even care, but you’d be surprised how many people are surfing the internet looking for connections and people they can feel close to.

This is especially the case if they’re shy, in which case they might prefer to just be able to read about your life and feel like your friend without feeling the pressure of keeping up their side of a friendship. Furthermore, having a blog about your own life lends itself well to storytelling, something that humans instinctively love and latch onto.

Possible personal blog ideas include:

  • Personal stories (an embarrassing moment, a triumphant moment, a breakup, a memory from your childhood, or an epic failure)
  • Your current lifestyle (your morning/evening routine, why you chose a certain diet, or a day in the life of you)
  • Advice (how to succeed in a job interview, how to navigate college, relationship advice, or managing finances)
  • Random tidbits

Inspirational Blog Post Ideas

It might sound strange to advise you to write about something you haven’t done as a lifestyle blog topic, but if it’s something you want to do and are passionate about, that passion will shine through and attract readers.

People love hearing stories of struggle or achievement or even failure, and these types of stories often have more passion and energy behind them than telling a story of what you’ve done in the past. Readers will get caught up in your excitement and will want to be with you throughout the journey, wherever it leads.

Possible inspirational blog ideas include:

  • Bucket lists (things you want to do before you die, places you want to travel to, experiences you want to have, movies you want to watch, or people you want to meet)
  • Resolutions (fitness, dating, dietary, spiritual, or financial)
  • Monthly/yearly goals
  • Participation in a challenge.

Roundup Lifestyle Blog Post Ideas

Everybody loves these roundup lifestyle topics because it means you’ve done all the hard work for them already! They no longer have to trawl through hundreds of Google search results to find the best rice cooker or movie night movie because you’ve given it to them right there on your blog. They might even find that you post “top” lists of things they didn’t even realize they needed. Sticking with a list of favorites as your lifestyle blog topic will give you unlimited blog post ideas.

Possible roundup lifestyle blog ideas include:

  • New media (from books, movies, podcasts, magazines, or music)
  • Must-haves (from stuff in your life, kitchen appliances, makeup, or workout gear)
  • Event ideas (from birthday parties, holidays, weddings, or group hangouts)
  • Recipes
  • People (from social media, authors, bloggers, or YouTubers)
  • Smartphone apps

Money Making Blog Post Ideas

These are the money making lifestyle topics to discuss. These are the lifestyle blog topics that people seem to enjoy reading!

Basically, if you can show people how to do something they couldn’t before, find another use for something they were going to chuck or give them information that might change their outlook on and approach to life, you’ll have devoted, lifelong followers. These are blog topic tips for those wanting to focus strictly on making money on day one.

Possible money making blog ideas include:

  • Tutorials (cooking, home improvement, gardening, crafting, tech, social media, or productivity)
  • Hacks (upcycling, multiple uses for an object, improving upon pre-existing items, how to travel more efficiently/painlessly, anything that saves time, or money)
  • Life lessons

Simple Lifestyle Blog Post Ideas

Finally, these last lifestyle blog post ideas are simple ways a content creator can help readers improve their day. They will come to this blog for beautiful or creative posts, posts that show them how to be their best selves and posts that make them feel just a little bit better about the world.

Possible simple lifestyle blog ideas include:

  • Daily photo
  • Weekly artwork (samples of your work, behind the scenes moments of your work, pieces in progress, or participation in a challenge)
  • Inspirational quotes/stories/interviews
  • Things that make you happy
  • Advice from successful people

Conclusion

Now that you have an idea of what to write about, check out our post on tips for lifestyle blogs to make an even better product and gain even more followers!

Related: Learn How to Start a Blog, Best Blogging Tips for Beginners, How Do New Bloggers Drive Traffic to Blogs, Secrets for Blogging [book]

Categories
Blogging

Best Blogging Tips for Beginners

This article will go over the latest blogging tips for beginners.

First, you need to know that blogging takes time. Success will not happen overnight with blogging. You need to treat blogging like a part-time job, so keep at it and don’t give up.

Our blogging tips for beginners is useful for all bloggers, in any niche.

New Blogging Tips for Beginners

  1. Learn about long tail keywords and follow SEO tips.
  2. Write great content regularly because consistency is how bloggers succeed.
  3. Original content is important. Blatantly copying other bloggers work is disrespectful and a waste of time. You can be inspired by others work but just don’t copy it.
  4. Every blogger must have an email list. Every successful blogger will say that having and growing an email list is important. After you have an email list, you can promote your content directly to your audience.
  5. Use a solid social media marketing strategy to help generate traffic. You probably found this site thanks to social media. Social media is one of the best blogging tools that we have at our disposal so please use it.
  6. Set a publishing schedule and stick to the schedule, so readers will know when to come back to your website for new content.
  7. Go back to old posts and fix those broken links. A broken link may prevent you from making a sale. A great plugin for managing external links is Pretty Links.


Find Your Blogging Niche

No matter what you decide to do, knowing your niche is important! The internet is crowded so finding a good solid niche would be great to do before you spend too much time on your project. When you have a niche, especially a niche in an uncrowded space, you have a higher chance of getting solid traffic by ranking organically in the search engines.

There are so many niches that you can base your blog on, these niches include:

  • Technology
  • Lifestyle
  • Finance
  • Gaming

Now if you want to dive deeper into the niches by going the sub-niche route, you can get more specific. Using sub-niches is recommended as it’ll allow you to write for a specific group, which is easier than trying to write for a diverse group. A few examples of sub-niches include:

  • Best smartphone tech
  • Budgeting personal finance
  • Blue chip stocks
  • Women gaming

If you want to get more specific, you can keep going the sub-niche route. Some additional sub-niches includes:

  • Best luxury speedboats for traveling
  • Best blue chip technology stocks
  • Best Nintendo women gamers

This is a time-consuming process but once you know what you want to focus on, you can start writing high-quality content for that niche.

Related: Blog Post Examples

Best Blogging Platform to Make Money

WordPress is great and is somewhat of a standard in the blogging community but there are other options out there.

I know some bloggers like to use other software as they feel WordPress is too bloated and loads slower each update. I recommend you try WordPress first and see how it is for you, if you like it, then definitely keep using it. If you dislike WordPress, there are other options out there such as Medium or Tumblr

Related: Content Marketing Tips for Beginners

Best Web Hosting Service for Blogging

You need a good web host if you want to blog using WordPress. Choosing a reliable hosting service is important if you want to keep your website online and loading fast.

There are many different types of web hosts available, so you’ll need to decide which one you prefer, through research. However, the web hosting rate should be around $3-7 per month for basic hosting. You DO NOT need any of the advanced web hosting services that cost $20 or more per month.

I recommend using Bluehost for your web hosting, Bluehost has reliable web hosting and great customer service.

Related: Best Affordable Web Hosting Services, Best Web Hosting Companies

Conclusion

These blogging tips are here to help you get started. This list will be updated as the industry change. These are some really important points to consider if you be a successful blogger.

Good luck!

Related: Ultimate Resource List for Content Creators

Categories
Blogging

Best New Tips for Blogging

It looks like you’re interested in starting a lifestyle blog.

Since you’ve already hammered out what it is you want to write about, here are some tips to really make your lifestyle blog stand out and shine!

New Tips for Blogging

When you’re writing blog posts, try to really lay your emotions bare and put them in your posts. Readers respond to real emotion, whether it’s something you’re excited about or something you’re upset about. But even if you choose not to write a blog all about your life, or even if you want a little more privacy, try to write about something you’re passionate about.

This will not only make your writing job much easier, but it will grab readers and show them why they should be passionate about that topic as well.


Introduction to Blogging

Create several social media accounts that are linked to your lifestyle blog niche and be sure to consistently post updates and engagement with your growing audience. You might find that some potential readers will be drawn in by your Instagram feed way before they’re interested in reading your blog. But enough solid, high-quality posts on your Instagram will win them over and turn them into devoted readers.

Another way to increase visibility is to befriend other bloggers. It’s a supportive and engaging community, and if you feature someone’s blog or post, you may find that they’ll return the favor, introducing you to a whole new set of readers.

Be Transparent

Don’t try to trick readers or pull a fast one on them. If you are being sponsored to write a post, it’s much better, in the long run, to be honest, and upfront about it. If you’re worried readers won’t respond well to a sponsored post, you could write about why you decided to accept sponsorship.

It would also be in your best interests to make sure that it is a quality post, sponsored or not so that readers will take value out of it even if they’re not interested in the product. If you try to trick readers and they find out later, their sense of betrayal will be strong enough to completely ditch your blog without a second thought. Blogging communities are based on trust, and you need to be careful to cultivate and maintain that.

Best Days to Blog

Readers like to know what to expect, and they won’t know what to expect if you just blog whenever you feel like it! Chances are there will be some occasions where you just don’t feel like blogging, but consistency is key.

Usually, the best days to blog will depend on your niche. The usual good times are between 6 – 9 pm. So read your data and make a schedule (even if it’s just “twice a week,” any two days of the week) and keep to it so that readers know when they will receive new content and know they can depend on you.

Blog Design Matters

Your lifestyle blog is an online representation of you and your brand, and it’s important that you represent yourself well. Even if your writing is stellar, if your website design and layout and your photos aren’t up to snuff, it will reflect poorly on you.

Also, people like things that are aesthetically pleasing and are much more likely to read your blog (and to trust you) if it all looks good.

Related: How to Choose a WordPress Theme

Friendly Blogging

I know I said to write what you’re passionate about and that sometimes you’re passionately angry about something, but stop and take stock for a moment before posting it on your blog.

If, after your head clears, it seems like a productive thing to write about and bring attention to (a company mistreating workers, a social cause you care about that’s being threatened), write about it in a measured and balanced way. If it’s not in line with what you usually write about, however, keep in mind that your readers might have different stances than you on these topics, and speaking up might lose you some followers.

People come to your blog for lifestyle tips, not politics. And absolutely never say something negative about another person or blog. That will just start a beef that will spin out of control, bring negativity to your blog, and drive readers away. Stay positive and at the very least, polite, about other people.

Conclusion

If you want to really succeed with your lifestyle blog, you have to know what works and what doesn’t work. To do this, pay attention to how readers respond to certain posts. If they like certain posts, do more of that. If there’s less response (or worse, a negative response) to another post, try to figure out what about it isn’t working so you can avoid that in the future.

Another way to gain more insight is to read other people’s blogs, especially really popular ones. See what they do different or better than you, and figure out how you can learn from that, internalize it, and make it your own.

Related: Finding Your Lifestyle Blog Topic, Learn How to Start a Blog, Ultimate Resource List for Content Creators, SEO Tips for Organic Growth

Categories
Blogging

Are Self-Hosted Blogs Better?

Sometimes a self-hosted blog is the best way to go.

Even though, there are many free blogging platforms to use such as WordPress.com, Medium, and Tumblr. Setting up your own self-hosted blog is the best choice. However, if you need time to decide, starting on a free blogging platform makes sense.

Once you have some momentum and a solid business model, you should definitely consider moving to a self-hosted blog platform.

Are Self-Hosted Blogs Better?

If you’re blogging with a goal of making money then you should definitely take the leap and go with the self-hosted blog, such as WordPress (not WordPress.com). And don’t be overwhelmed by the self-hosted technical talk. It basically means that you control your website.

Now the only thing you’ll need is a domain name and good web hosting, we recommend using Bluehost or HostGator because of their customer service, user-friendly dashboard, and reliable services.

Here are a few other reasons why we recommend using a self-hosted blog.

Professionals Use Self-Hosted Blogs

The main reason I am stressing about using a self-hosted blog over the free website options such as Tumblr, Medium, or Blogger is that you want to be ready for your moment. Using a free blogging platform will certainly lower your chances of earning money online because advertisers, sponsors, and companies will ignore your blog. The reason they’ll ignore your blog is that you will not be able to install their custom scripts or visitor tracking codes.

More Freedom With Self-Hosted Blogs

There is a lack of control for people using these free platforms, if you get shutdown then it can be extremely hard to recover. If you’ve ever had a YouTube video removed or a Facebook page shut down, you’ll understand the fear of relying on these platforms. The traffic from these free platforms can be great but eventually, you’ll want the free platforms to be the backup to the self-hosted blog that you fully control.

Self-Hosted Blogs Are Harder To Grow

Growth is definitely the biggest challenge for bloggers, especially bloggers with a self-hosted blog. Getting consistent traffic to your blog is going to take time because people won’t just stumble upon your blog anymore. However, bloggers can get traffic slowly with great search engine optimization. Or bloggers can try viral triggering marketing or pay-per-click marketing. Overall, the only higher power to watch out for with a self-hosted blog is Google and Bing, these search engines are fair if you aren’t doing anything against their policies.

Conclusion

So to sum it up, a few reasons why you’ll love using a self-hosted blog instead of those free blogging platforms are:

  • More control over your blog, your updates, your appearance, etc.,
  • No more fear of having content blocked or deleted,
  • The ability to give temporary and limited access to guest writers,
  • Creating your own platform to gradually grow your audience,
  • Having access to powerful plugins for growth, marketing, networking, and anything else you can think of to help with your blog.

One More Thing

If you are new to all of this “blog stuff”, then you probably don’t have your own domain name so signing up for a new Bluehost account is perfect because you’ll get a free domain name if you sign up for their yearly plans (you can cancel at any time). If you’re interested in using Bluehost to start blogging then read our article, Learn How To Start A Blog.

Related: Learn How to Start a BlogBlackandise Ultimate Resource List

Categories
Blogging

Best Food Blogging Tips for Beginners

So you love to cook and you “hey, why don’t I just start a food blog? A food blog should be easy! I love to cook!”

Well slow down there Jamie Oliver because if you just go out and make a food blog without any planning, you’ll quickly get lost in the sea of foodies, people who think they’re the next Gordon Ramsay, and people who think they’re the next cake boss.

If you want to be successful in the wild west frontier that is the internet food scene, you’ll have to make sure you’re as ready as you can be. This article will provide you with the best food blogging tips available so that you’re not quite as much of a greenhorn as you look.

Best Food Blogging Tips

The most important food blogging tip is keeping your blog website user-friendly!

A food blog must be easy to navigate or else they’ll go to a competitor’s blog within seconds. If a website is hard to navigate or super ugly, no one is going to look twice at it. Make a gorgeous website, no matter what. You might even want to invest in a web designer and possibly even a graphic designer to make a logo for you. Anything you can do to boost the memorability of your website will be working in your favor.

Food Blogging Photography

Food blogs need beautiful photography. You might make the most amazing dish in the world, but if your photographs don’t reflect that (if the lighting is off, you’re too zoomed out, the colors aren’t saturated enough, it’s not plated nicely – the list goes on to eternity), you will get exactly zero followers. There are so many food blogs out there that the bare minimum requirement is to have good photographs of your food.

Just think about the last time you searched for a recipe for something. Did you read through each and every recipe to compare which would be the best one? No, of course not! You looked at the photos and picked the one that looked most appealing. Humans are such visual creatures that appealing to that visceral initial visual reaction is super important. You want people’s first look at your food to be “wow!” and not “blech.” There are tons of free tutorials online, but you might want to consider spending some money on this just because it will genuinely carry or hurt a food blog. If you have a newer smartphone then it’s okay to use that to get started as long as you have consistency. After some growth though, many food blogs upgrade to better DSLR camera setups or use a freelance food photographer.

Related: Best DSLR Cameras for Beginners

Food Blogging Niches

Again, with all the food blogs out there, it’s easy to get lost in a sea of choices. And when it comes down to it, readers will grace the websites of more experienced blogs before they look at new ones.

So how do you stand out? You have to find your niche. It will be hard to find you among the other food blogs. Maybe you can try a food blog about:

  • Vegetarian food recipes
  • Vegan food recipes
  • Gluten-free food recipes
  • Paleo only food recipes
  • Meals made for only $10
  • Keto only food recipes
  • Meals made in under 30 minutes

As you can see from this nowhere-near-extensive list, the sky’s the limit. But the importance of finding a niche can’t be understated. There are tons of blogs catering to vegetarians and vegans these days, so you might want to choose something a bit more niche. In general, the more niche you can get (to a limit), the more likely people are to find your blog when they google certain keywords. And the more likely they are to share your food blog with their friends, family, and followers. This goes double for if you have something humorous or pandering to an often-forgotten set of dietary restrictions.

Conclusion

As you start your food blogging journey, take time and think about what you want to do. Look at other successful food bloggers and see why you like them. And when you’re ready to make the move, do it and pick an easy and brandable domain name. You want something easy to remember but that still stands out. A generic blog such as bestfoodever2015.com will be successful in this blogging environment. If possible, try to tie your domain name into your niche.

Anyway, this is nowhere near comprehensive, but these are some really important points to consider if you want your food blog to be at all successful.

Good luck!

Related: SEO Tips for Food Bloggers, Content Marketing Tips for Food Bloggers

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How to Increase Affiliate Income in 2019?

We all know that affiliate marketing is the process of being rewarded with a commission when promoting a product from another person or company. Affiliate marketing can be a great way to make money online and you don’t even need a website to earn your affiliate income. The issue is that some of the reliable affiliate programs have low commission rates. Let’s go over a few ways to fine-tune your blog so that you can increase your affiliate income.

 

Only Recommend Trusted Products

There are many products out there that may pay a great commission, however that doesn’t mean you should promote it. You must ask yourself: Is it worth making an extra hundred dollars sharing a crappy product? You probably would feel terrible misleading your audience so only promote products or services that you trust, love, and would use. Your audience will appreciate your honesty and you’ll become an authority of time for your great recommendations.

Take this blog, for example, the all tech category focuses on the top products in a category rather than every new product in a category. I’m not trying to confuse my audience by recommending every single product that may have a high commission. Some products have a 1% commission while others have an 8% commission. I really don’t care as I’m only focused on writing about the best, in my opinion.

So before you decide to recommend a product, have your audience’s best interest in mind. Your audience can tell if you genuinely love a product or service. If you’re only promoting a product for the commission, your audience will know! Be honest with your audience and they’ll support you and your blog.

 

Keep It Simple

There are so many choices today for consumers, so do your audience a favor and keep it simple. Don’t waste your audience’s time by recommending 5-10 products every blog post. Some readers may prefer a roundup of the top 3 products in a category. Keep it simple and try to only write about the best of the best for the category.

I’m not the best at this but I’ve revised many old blog posts and plan to not overload my audience going forward. I had to remind myself why I started blogging… because I was tired of reading product essays reviews that compared 15+ products.

This approach isn’t for everyone as it can be extremely difficult to convince your audience of something you love and trust in less than 800-1,000 words. Trying this approach can be rewarding though and if done correctly can give your audience high value without overwhelming them. The best thing to do here is to ask your audience if they prefer the simple top 3 approach or the comparison approach.

 

Create Long Shareable Content

For the people that aren’t too thrilled about the less is more approach, I understand. Some of the big bloggers I follow believe in the skyscraper approach. These skyscraper blog posts have a higher chance of being liked, tweeted, or pinned because of the great content.

The skyscraper approach will give you the opportunity to write everything that you’ve learned about the product. Do your audience a favor and keep it neat and use some type of anchoring system if your post is over 3,000 words. Also, don’t forget to use good SEO with this approach.

Google love these type of blog posts so if you can pump them out, go for it! I believe that once you reach a certain level of blogging success, you do not have to rely on these type of blog posts as much. This skyscraper approach is a great way to increase your affiliate income because it relies on creating great shareable content that will likely rank high in the search engines.

 

Ask For A Raise

So you’ve gotten the hang of affiliate marketing but not seeing enough money! Now is the time to make a choice, you can look for a higher paying affiliate program or you can ask your current affiliate program manager for more money in order to increase your affiliate income.

If you are an affiliate for one of the smaller companies out there, then you have a high chance of increasing your affiliate income (sadly, trying to get a pay increase with a big corporation such as Amazon or Rakuten will probably be impossible). Anyway, these affiliate program managers at smaller companies know that finding great affiliates is a difficult task. If you have been performing well with one of your affiliate programs, then reach out to that affiliate manager and try to negotiate a pay increase such as higher commissions or flat rates per sale. This is a simple way to increase your affiliate income. It doesn’t hurt to ask if you’ve already shown your worth.

 

Use A Link Manager

Never miss a sale because of a broken link. This is a suggestion from one of my favorite bloggers, Making Sense of Cents, that suggests using a link manager such as Pretty Links can increase your affiliate income as it’ll be easier for you to manage all of your affiliate links in one location. If your affiliate links need to be updated or removed, then you can do so in one location instead of having to edit every page that mentions that product. Remember to check the affiliate program policy before using a link manager such as Pretty Links.

 

I’m actually doing a combination of the first 3 recommendations, I plan to ask for a raise when I can provide an affiliate program, other than Amazon, with more traffic. I know Amazon won’t budge with their commissions so I’m not going to waste my time.

Bloggers Increase Your Affiliate Income

What’s next after you’ve learned how to increase your affiliate income?