Profitable Blogging Blueprint

So you want to be a Blogging Rock Star huh?

No doubt blogging can make you a very nice living. Could make you famous as well.

What ya say we go over some of components of a successful blog…

  Theme – Layout  

Might as well start right from the beginning.

I wouldn’t say your theme or layout could make or break your blog, there are some important things to keep in mind when choosing your theme.

  • Easy to Navigate – If your readers and visitors have a hard time getting around on your site, frustration might make them leave, never to return again. Lost potential.
  • Easy on the eyes – Remember not to use bright colors, or too many colors, as it could be a turn off for your visitors. Some times this even happens on a sub-conscious level. People don’t like your site and they don’t even realize why. Another important part is to have plenty of white space. Your writing should be bumping in to your ads or borders, it just looks “bad”.
  • Uncluttered – This really goes back to being easy on the eyes, but an over indulgence of advertising, heavy graphics or just “too much” going on could lose you repeat visitors. I look at some of the magazine themes coming out these days and I think why? 3-4 columns, featured here, featured there. Talk about confusion for the visitor.
  • Good Typography – It’s obvious… you want visitors to enjoy reading your content.  If you use a good theme, this should already be incorporated into your blog. If not you might want to look at other theme’s or edit your theme’s CSS, if you have the knowledge. One of the more popular font sets these day are Google Fonts which are free.
  • Custom Theme – This is not for every one, as it can get expensive, but if you really want to grow your brand or identity, a custom theme is the best way to stand out from the crowd. When you have a theme or layout that no one else has, your unique.

  Content  

They say content is king. And rightly so, it the engine behind your blog., Without it, there is no reason for any one to visit and no reason to return.

I can’t tell you what your content should  be, because I don’t know what your site is about.

But I can tell you some things that will help you create better content:

  • Personality – No matter what your market might be, or who your attracting to your blog, you gotta add some personality. Who want’s to read boring content? Be yourself. When your being yourself, your going to be more “real”.
  • Follow Your Passion – As they say, do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life. Same goes for blogging, if you can blog about something you enjoy, something your passionate about, your content will flow out of you easier.
  • Informative or Useful – What can you teach your visitors? What can you explain? Maybe you can put together a how to post. You could list resources or useful web links. The list is almost endless.
  • Entertaining – Your blog doesn’t always have to have killer content. Some times a funny picture or video can be good content and entertain your visitors.
  • Encourage Discussion – In my opinion, your content should be some what of a beginning not the end. It should be just you talking. It should be about building a community, possibly raving fans or your own “tribe”. Far to often I see a blogger post end and that’s it. The end of your post should always be where you ask your readers, what they think, if they have anything to add, ect. That is, if you want return traffic? More on that in just a minute.
  • Ask Your Readers – Some of the best content comes by asking your visitors what they would like to know or what they struggle from. Add a survey or post a question. With your finger on the pulse of your visitors, you’ll be the expert in no time.

  Social Sharing  

As I am sure you know, social media is where everyone is hanging out these days. And it’s the place to drive traffic your blog.

From the very beginning, you need to set up your blog so you make it easy for your visitors to share and spread your content.

There should be two options, first to share your posts, and second to follow you or your business. Implement both and your site will have the best chance of success.

[OPINION] I’ve recently come to the conclusion (and think I’ve read it elsewhere) that my sites have had too much social crap on them. Instead of having 20 social buttons, I now limit them to just the big ones, Twitter, Google+ and Facebook.

Why?

First off, what social sites have the biggest traffic?

Second, every social “button” adds more code to your pages, making your website pages larger in size, and they will take longer to download. And just as important, search engines want content, not code. More content and less code is always better.

  New Traffic  

No matter how wonderful and compelling your content is, it doesn’t matter if no one comes to read it.

I like to use the analogy of:

A new website is like a store in the woods. No one will find it until you build roads or tell people about it.

How?

Every one has their own ways of driving traffic, but let’s look at some ways you can use:

  • Blog Commenting – The simple process of commenting on other related blogs. Most blogs allow you to add your website address when you comment. Some even use features like CommentLuv, which will also add a recent post from your site at the end of your comment. that This is one of the easier ways to draw visitors to your blog. While it can be time consuming, it works.
  • Social Media – This one is self-explanatory, and I’ve already touch on it, but it bears repeating again. Not only do you need to share your posts on your social media profiles
  • Guest Posting – If your a avid writer, use your talent to write posts for other blogs. When you guest post, you are allowed to add a link to your own blog. The trick is to find blogs that have traffic. A blog with many comments is a pretty good indication they have visitors.
  • Related Forums – If your a member of a forum, that allows signatures (most do), make sure add a link your blog. If your a contributing member who provides value, forum members will click your signature.
  • Search Engine Optimization – In my opinion, this is a by-product of good content and social interaction. Make sure your posts are SEO’ed, create great content, make yourself a part of the community (blog and social) and the search engine traffic will come.

  Repeat Traffic  

It’s one thing to drive new visitors to your blog each and every day. It’s a good start, but there is something more important.

You need to keep people coming back. If all you generated was new visitors, your limited in growth. Let’s face it, we only have so much time in the day and pushing new traffic can be time consuming. Not like we have access to unlimited traffic, right?

The key is to let your site do the work for you. How?

By setting up your site to to grab your visitors and

One of my preferred methods is to use the Jet Pack plugin Subscriptions feature.

There is a VERY good reason I prefer it. With the subscription feature, you can set up your blog so that your visitors can subscribe for updates by email. The plugin offers a widget subscription you can place in your side bar. Or you can use their shortcode to add a subscription box pretty much anywhere you want, in posts or pages.

JetPack Short Code and customization

Better yet and the BIG reason I like this route is that everything is handled by Woprdpress.org. They take the subscriptions and they send out the update notices to your subscribers.

What is this important?

Because your emails notices are going to make it to your subscribers inbox. What mail provider doesn’t trust WP?

Sure you could run your own subscriptions through your blog. There are even autoresponder plugins you could use. But I can tell you, your emails might not make it to your subscribers. And who’s to say your site won’t get blocked or marked as spam, by email providers? Let WordPress do the work and you take advantage of their trusted reputation.

Encourage Discussion – I touched on this a little earlier but it deserves more attention because it’s very important. As I’ve said when you end you post, ask your readers to speak up. Not only does these foster communication, it can build a community.

Using something like jJetpack, you can add check boxes on your comment forms, “Notify me of followup comments via email” and “Notify me of new posts by email”. See where I going here. It’s yet another way to get traffic back to your site. Unless you have enough traffic?

  Advertising  

The fact that your reading this means you want to make a few bucks from your blog. Right? May be even lots of bucks. It’s all possible.

You do need to be careful, that you don’t cross the line and have too much when it comes to ads. Although I have seen some sites that have no ads and the blogger wonders why they are not making any money.

There is another reason I bring up advertising…

Something SO MANY site owners don’t even think about.

Track your ads!

The thing is, we only get so much traffic to our blogs, why wouldn’t you try to squeeze every penny you can out of it. Guess that sounds kind of cold, but we are doing this to make money right?

So, it’s in your best interest to get the most from your banners. That means, tracking each ad, to find the winners and the losers. Obviously the winners are the ones that get the most clicks from your visitors.

Here’s the thing, you can not tell by looking what banner is going to do the best. We could guess, but surprisingly we might be wrong most of the time.

It’s not as hard as it sounds. Maybe that’s why many bloggers don’t do it.

Trick is to have ads posts and rotate banners in those spots. At least two per spot.

Using a plugin, such as Adrotate you can easily cycle ads on your blog.

Look at it like this:

Banner 1 has a 5% click thru rate. Which gives you 5 banner clicks per 100 views.

Banner 2 has a 30% click thru rate. Which gives you 30 banner clicks per 100 views.

Big difference huh? 6 times more traffic going to your advertising.

We could go in and do more math, but I think you get the point. Just the above example, you could make 6 times more from your blog. Think it’s worth it?

Of course.

  Work It  

There is NO doubt, the reason why most people don’t make money online.

You probably know this, but I wouldn’t do this post justice if I did not mention it.

Sadly to many people talk alot and do little.

They talk about starting a business, they want money, they want the freedom.

Problem is most people are just talk. Many don’t do.

Over the years I’ve had friends ask me to help them start their own online business. Not that I’m some Guru or expert. Only because I’ve found some success online. So I know a few things.

But… of all the people I’ve helped, only one actually followed my advice. All the rest did a little bit, then gave up.

Guess who made money and was able to quit their day job?

The one guy that listened, followed a plan and worked it.

Again, it’s not like I handed him some secrets. I just told him how I made money and he did it. He even went on to learn other things and did his own thing.

My point is, the moral to the story is, you don’t give up. Never err!

Did I forget something? Probably, it’s late. If you have anything to add, hit me up in the comments below. Love to hear from you.

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Ron Killian
Full time internet marketer since 1999, Digital product creator and sales, including private label rights. Enjoys helping others build their own successful online business.
Ron Killian

@theplrstore_com

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Ron Killian
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  • http://lesliedenning.com Leslie Denning

    Hi Ron. Thanks for the download of this article. It has a LOT of useful information in it.

    I love PLR. I use it for newsletters, products, blog posts – and I’m using it more since I got a couple of tools that make using it easier. I’ll be doing reviews on them in the next couple of weeks, so come back and visit my blog!

    All the best,
    Leslie Denning, The Home Biz CEO

    • http://www.theplrstore.com Ron Killian

      Hey Leslie,

      Glad to see you. Thank you for your comment. Course I am bias when it comes to PLR. I love it for many reasons. Sadly it often get’s a bad rap and too many times labeled as junk.

      Hope to see you back again.

  • http://davidmerrill101.com David Merrill 101

    Great tips for folks trying to monetize their blogging efforts, Ron.

    Of course, as you suggest, nothing trumps great content. Successful bloggers not only offer value to readers, but they often it consistently and keep it strictly congruent with their niche.

    After your great content is in place, then, you’ve got to go on a promotional campaign consisting mostly of sharing it on the big social media sites that you mention, here. Twitter, FB and G+.

    • http://www.theplrstore.com Ron Killian

      Hey David,

      Thanks for your comment and thanks for visiting.

  • http://suejprice.com Sue Price

    Hi Ron

    Wow this is a very comprehensive guide to blogging. I was thinking while I was reading you could almost have an eBook here.

    Oh yes and I remember when I started blogging and it felt like I was writing to myself as no one visited. I joined some blogging syndication groups and that was excellent. I also visited (and still do) other blogs and left comments in the hope they would visit me. I think many bloggers start that way.

    This is a great post.

    Sue

    • http://www.theplrstore.com Ron Killian

      Hey Sue,

      Thank you for your kind words and thanks for stopping by.

      Your right, at first it can be tough, like your writing to dead space.

  • http://readyfortech.com/ harish

    Hi ron,
    The guidelines you have given are very precious for new bloggers like me,i agree with your post our blog must be having unique theme and with simple ,and with clear titles . Post the articles in your blogs those posts must be helpful to the visitors of your blog and those must be attractive then more visitors comes to our site. by posting articles of our interest also with little effort we can make them attracted by the users and also get more traffic your site . i will definitely follow your guidelines ron. thank you for your valuable post.

    • http://www.theplrstore.com Ron Killian

      Welcome Harish and thank you for your kind words.

      Yep, blogging can have it’s advantages. As for little effort, you must have a secret or super powers, because it takes me a little time and a few brain cells to create posts like this :)

      Hope to see you back again soon.

  • http://JoyHealey.com Joy Healey

    Hey Ron.

    Wow – that’s a post packed full of info – and a site layout that “practices what you preach”.

    I do agree with you about the Social Sites. I had a zillion of them on my site originally, but I’ve done a hatchet job on them. In addition to the ones you have, I have also included LinkedIn and Pinterest (just my excuse to go there and look at yummy recipes).

    Joy

    • http://www.theplrstore.com Ron Killian

      Thanks for stopping by Joy!

      Ya, I heard some one else talking about curbing the social buttons and it made so much sense. Guess it’s like the 80/20 rule. 20% of the sites sending 80% of the traffic. Plus who the best to increase your social signals. Well, just my thoughts.

      Hope to see you again soon :)

  • http://TunaHack.com Rob McNelis

    Nice in depth post Ron! You pretty much cover all the bases. After blogging for a few years I sold my site and decided to focus on subscribers. Having some pretty interesting results. Hit me up sometime if you want to connect. I would be curious to hear more about your long term growth strategy/goals.

    Thanks,
    Rob

    • http://www.theplrstore.com Ron Killian

      Good to see you Rob. I almost but an n instead of a b there :)

      Sounds like you have a plan that is working for you. I’ve done some email marketing, but not enough and I have not “worked” it enough. I need to change that and get out of getting stuck in other things. Stuck in things that don’t pay off as well.

      Now your going to get me thinking :)

      Yes, we need to connect.

  • http://enstinemuki.com Enstine Muki

    Hey Ron,
    You left nothing untouched here man. This is detailed and complete 😉
    I think it would be good strategy to get readers signup to download the pdf version. How about that?

    • http://www.theplrstore.com Ron Killian

      Good to see you again Enstine.

      Sign up for PDF? hhmm… maybe. Or better, maybe sign up to get all posts as a PDF?

      Well, it’s a thought.

      Hope yo see you back soon.

  • http://bloggingtips101.com/3-tips-for-an-awesome-blog-headline/ Catherine Holt

    Great list Ron.

    There is certainly no point in writing content if no-one is going to read it, so driving traffic should be a bloggers priority. But it’s not just driving that traffic, but keeping it coming!

    Encouraging discussion is great because not only does it show that you page is live and people like it, but it also means that you have the opportunity to build relationships with others. Those relationships lead to more shares, traffic etc. It’s never a good idea to ignore your community.

    • http://www.theplrstore.com Ron Killian

      Thanks for stopping by Catherine.

      You are spot on, bloggers need to build relationships with visitors and their community.

  • http://kabenlah.com Emmanuel

    Hi Ron,

    One thing is clear, there is no doubt every blogger wants to be a super blogger but I think one thing many are lacking is patience that is to me.

    This was a great piece filled with lots of insights!

    • http://www.theplrstore.com Ron Killian

      Good to see you Emmanuel.

      I agree, many folks don’t have the patience. Traffic and profits sure doesn’t come in over night. Takes some work.

  • http://marketingwithtorsten.com Torsten Mueller

    Hi Ron,

    thank you for sharing your tips on how to make a blof profitable. You share some valuable ideas here.

    Although I am tracking my ads, I like the idea of using the Adrotate plugin, I will look into that soon.

    I agree with Enstine about making people signup to your newsletter in order to download the pdf, rather than give it away for free. Or alternatively to hide it behind a share locker script and give it away after sharing/liking your post on one of the social networks.

    Cheers,
    Torsten

    • http://www.theplrstore.com Ron Killian

      Hey Torsten,

      Good to see you, thank you for the kind words. Ya I keep kicking around the idea of requiring opt-in or share for PDF download. It’s a thought. Course, I also think, the easier it is to download something, the better chance it could spread. On the back burner :)