According to Lifehacker the average income of a blogger varies from $19k to $79k a year.
Imagine having an extra $50k in your bank account.
What would you do with an extra $50k?
Probably go to Bora Bora.
Or maybe spend more time with your family.
Or maybe, you’re a very practical person and you want to save and invest for your future.
You get my point.
That having Blogging as a source of income can bring endless possibilities in your life.
And that's what this article is all about.
To help you get started on your path to becoming a successful blogger.
So you can make all those possibilities a reality.
It all starts with the fundamentals.
As the G.O.A.T. Michael Jordan once said -
So, lets get down to the fundamentals and what you must be doing as a blogger, no matter what:
KPI full form – Key Performance Indicators.
If you don’t know where to go, you’ll go nowhere.
So, from Day 1 of opening your blog, know your KPIs.
For example, here are my KPIs - Visitors, leads, subscribers, inbound links and social media shares.
Once you now your KPIs.
You’ll know what’s working and what’s not working for you.
And where to put more effort.
If you don’t know them, how can you help them?
Do extensive research on your audience and readers.
Know their pains, fears, dreams, hopes, desires, etc...
For example, if you’re in Dating niche. Some of the priorities of your audience would be to –
Get a date, be attractive to the opposite gender, never be a pushover, etc...
Let’s have a look at Google Keyword planner and look what it suggests :
An editorial calendar will help you stay on schedule and keep your blog on track.
If you’re in it for the long run, then definitely give it a try.
Nobody likes a slow website, not even Google.
Here’s an official statement from Google.
Stating that: Site speed will also be taken into account in their search rankings.
An easy way you can fix this is by getting a premium hosting.
In 2014, Google started recognising https as a ranking signal.
So, if you got the money.
Do invest in an SSL.
Especially if you’re selling products on your website and have some sort of a payment gateway.
FREE themes are fine but you can’t scale big with them.
Go for a premium theme if you got big plans with your blog.
You’re not going to get much FREE traffic without SEO, more specifically Link Building.
Google released a video regarding this as well.
Basically stating that: They don’t just look for the content on your page. But also the external links pointing to it and the quality of those links.
Most directories offer the free option to add your URL to their listings.
This will give you a slight edge in web traffic and search engine rankings.
A broken link breaks your whole SEO.
So if you want to stay ahead form your competitors audit your site SEO and technical SEO.
This is similar to knowing your audience.
But still knowing your audience and knowing which keywords are going to bring you more traffic are two different things.
Use Google Keyword Planner for this.
Look for keyword from high to average search volume and medium to low competition.
I get a lot of questions from people asking me -
How many articles should I write per week?
The simple answer is -
Write as many great quality articles as you can.
You can’t just create a quality article and leave it.
You’ve got to promote it as well.
From the different social media platforms to Email outreach to fellow bloggers.
There’s a famous African proverb that says -
It can’t be any more truer for Internet Marketing and Blogging.
And the best way to build a healthy network is to give value first.
Always think – How can I help others? What skills, value can I bring to the marketplace?
If you want to make money from your blog, then you need to be a marketer, not a blogger.
People listen to you when you’re an authority. Period.
Use these tips to become an authority in your niche -
It’s based on the principles of Borrowed Authority.
Simply, it makes your audience think: If he/she is with them (an expert). He/she must be like them (an expert).
Plus, interviews give you exposure in your marketplace.
Read my Interview Series with Experts here.
A round up post is a compilation of expert answers to a single question.
The more experts and authorities you can bring in your circle.
The more your authority will rise in the eyes of your audience.
Positioning simply means: How do you want yourself to be introduced to your ideal customers?
For ex – Look at Jeff Walker.
He’s the Launch guy.
This is how the whole marketplace knows him as.
There are over 500 million blogs out there on the internet.
Because of which the Internet is going through a serious credibility crisis.
Meaning it has become very hard for people to trust.
Don’t just talk. Show.
Write Data driven content.
As the great Dr. W. Edwards Deming said -
And if you’re anything like me, then you don’t wanna be just another person
Showing your own success story or of your students is just an icing on the cake.
For example – Look at Pat Flynn’s Income Reports.
They’re just a treat to read, plus it grows his authority and expertise in the eyes of his audience.
If you also got something like this to show, go for it.
If you’re a beginner, then your goal should be to -
Wrap yourself around the name of other authority figures and experts.
And asking for a quote is one such way to do just that.
Here’s an example of how you can do this -
Guest posts increase your exposure.
So, you wanna do as much as you can when you’re just starting out.
An easy way to find guest posting opportunities in your niche -
Play around with the keywords, to find more and more guest post opportunities.
Podcasts are one of the easiest and fastest ways to gain exposure and authority.
But, please don’t spam people.
And your time will come.
Original is always more valuable than the copy.
Whenever you can, conduct your own experiments, researches in your niche.
Here’s a perfect example of it -
No wonder Brian Dean is one of the biggest authorities and expert when it comes to SEO and traffic.
A book is a fantastic brand building tool, can drive traffic back to your blog, and if you really nail a good book launch, can cement you as a leader in your industry.
And you don’t even need to write your book.
But be sure to give credit to the actual writer.
This is going to seem incredibly obvious, but it has to be included as one of the most powerful modern-day traffic techniques available.
If you spend time on one particular social platform and work hard to establish a strong following (just as you do with your blog), it can become the most consistent source of traffic you have.
If you have 100,000+ followers on Twitter or Facebook, the simple act of sharing your content on a regular basis will drive significant traffic back to your blog.
Your following also grows more rapidly the bigger it gets.
Focus is key.
Become an expert on one rather than a generalist on many.
How you brand yourself and your site, plays a huge role in how people are going to perceive you.
Branding includes -
Your site’s personality, your name, tagline, color scheme, your logo, etc...
This is what will differentiate your blog from the seventy kazillion other blogs.
There’s a study that even says -
The most important constructs for increasing initial trust in our experimental context are branding and Web site quality.
Meaning if you want your newer audience to stick around your blog and become regulars, you’ve got to focus on branding and the overall quality of your website.
47% of consumers globally say -
They have increased their live streaming since last year.
Plus, this builds instant authority and credibility.
Cause not everyone can do a livestream.
You have to truly know your topic to go LIVE.
Snipers mean Foundational content.
It is a 3 to 7 pieces of content that will establish your blog as the go-to resource in your niche.
It’s content that’s proven to get results — and it’s the easiest and fastest way to build credibility and generate traffic shares, and sales.
Attending events and meeting people in your industry is the single best way to foster relationships.
Nothing beats face-to-face contact.
If you attend an event or even just a local gathering with other bloggers or famous people, take advantage of the chance to photograph, record an audio interview, or if you have the capabilities – capture some video of the event.
While masterminds are great for holding each other accountable and solving problems.
It’s greatest advantage is that -
It’s the most effective way for collaborations and exposure.
If you like webinars and want to take the next step, get yourself up on stage at a live event.
Nothing is more powerful in terms of connecting with people and presenting yourself as an expert than crossing that line at an event and talking on stage.
Once you move from sitting in the audience to being on stage, you gain instant credibility and have a captive audience.
The money is in the list.
Take a look at this -
Source: Argonyx Marketing
So, without further ado.
Use these techniques to grow your list on steroids:
You want as many eyeballs as you can on your lead magnet.
Especially if you have a blog.
And feature box will do just that for you.
Take a look at Yaro Starak for example -
The key is to make sure that your offer is inticing and irresistible.
Your loyal readers and audience want to be in your list.
So, it’s better to have a separate newsletter sign up page where they can opt-in and be on the inside.
You can look at Tim Ferris for example -
People who know Tim and his work, would gladly sign up for this and more.
It’s not as effective as the other strategies.
Something is better than nothing.
Plus, if you’re putting out, crazy, amazing content.
Your readers will gladly give you their emails.
You can offer these from a popup or a sidebar.
Popups are still one of the best converting places on a blog.
Especially the exit intent popups.
First of all this creates a buzz and gives you massive exposure in the marketplace.
Plus, after this you can lead with a product launch and make a lot of money.
This is one of the best ways to lead with value.
Grow your list.
And again.. After the end of the FREE course, you can always offer a more advance paid course.
Cross promote by doing ad swaps with someone in your niche.
Firstly, find someone in your niche with a similar sized email list.
Lead with value and..
Send an email about their opt-in offer to your list.
Then ask them and they’ll happily reciprocate by sending an email about your opt-in offer to their list.
So, it’s a win-win for everyone.
As already stated above, on average a blog makes around $50k a year.
So, let’s get down to the knitty-gritty of how you can increase your blogging income fast.
A funnel is only as successful as your messaging and positioning.
So, keep testing and experimenting.
And if you know your audience well, you will get it right.
If you’re not into making your own products, you can go the easy way.
And sell other people’s products through Affiliate Marketing.
You can sign up to Clickbank (the best platform for affiliates) and get started as soon as today.
This is the mother of all promotions.
And has more earning potential than anything else.
But it also takes a lot of work, such as -
You’ll have to figure out what your readers want to learn about.
Then do in-depth customer research.
Plan your course.
Write the material.
Film your videos.
Come up with a name.
Get a logo designed.
Write your sales pages, etc...
So, it’s a lot of work.
But the rewards are also huge.
According to a research customer retention leads to a profit swing of 25-80%
It also states that – The value of customer retention is simple.
A 5-year old customer relationship is worth more than a new relationship.
And a 10-year old relationship is worth more than a 5.
Because of the profits it provides.
So, always be working on customer retention and providing insane amounts of service to your paying customers.
They’re the backbone of any business, especially an Internet business.
An affiliate program can be one of the best sources of traffic you will ever have because you offer one of the best reasons to drive traffic to you – money.
Basically, it’s based on a partnership.
You’ll have to give anywhere around 50%-75% commission to your affiliate.
It is not a beginner technique.
You need something to sell – and it has to convert (actually sell), in order to convince affiliates to promote it.
A joint venture is like an affiliate promotion on steroids.
Instead of just giving a person an affiliate link and waiting for them to send traffic to you, a joint venture is a special coordinated effort between you and your affiliate.
The key with this technique is a tailored promotion just for the audience of your partner.
But, all this requires a lot of value giving on your front first.
This is a great technique because you buy an asset that can significantly increase your audience reach overnight.
You can go to Flippa.com for buying and selling blogs.
Even though, this is not scalable.
But it’s definitely a positive income stream, if you’re not yet selling your products.
Do make sure that your terms of agreements and other legal stuff are in order.
Offering a service where you charge to review products is easy if you have enough traffic.
You can also call these – Sponsored Posts.
Do make sure that you’re cheating your audience and have actually used the product.
All sales happen based on 3 factors – Know, Like and Trust.
An easy way to build KLT is to become an authority.
Which we already discussed earlier.
And then, genuinely give more to your audience, than you ask of them.
Traffic is the lifeblood of any online business.
More traffic means more emails, more exposure and ultimately more money.
You need it and here are some ways you can get it -
It’s only recommended for new bloggers.
Starting out, when you lack content, go for a content sprint.
Write 30 post in 30 days.
Although it’s very hard.
But most of the successful bloggers I have met applied this in their first year to gain a lot of traffic and exposure.
I don’t like this for long term.
But maybe a month is fine.
Controversy and sensationalism are old tricks to gain more traffic to your site but they still prove to be the most effective in getting your content shared virally on the internet.
So, create a controversial post which is industry or niche related.
Ex – Why link building is Dead, Blogging is dead, etc..
According to medium, long-form content results in 56% more social shares.
To simply put it -
Think content? Think crazy.
Don’t write 5 ways, small guides, etc...
Write epic posts, 101s, full guides, etc...
Think of it this way -
You’re helping your readers solve a specific problem.
So are other bloggers.
If you don’t add something extra or go the extra mile, why would your readers prefer you over the other bloggers?
You ought to serve your readers better than your competitors if you want to win.
Look how far I took it.
That’s how you out-serve.
And slowly, but surely that’s how you make a name.
As the G.O.A.T. MJ says -
Do you want to attract foreign traffic?
Traffic from countries you never thought possible?
Then add a translation widget on your site.
You don’t need to translate in every language.
Just find out which are your top 5 countries in terms of traffic.
And then translate your content in their native language for a better user experience.
By this I mean -
Be consistent with your brand, your writing style, your content, your fonts and almost anything and everything else.
Imagine this -
You ask a blog owner a question to a particular blog topic?
And then you leave the blog hoping you’ll get your answer soon.
Chances are you’ll come back to the post to check the blogger’s answer.
What does this do to his website?
That’s what happens when you engage with your audience.
They come back for more.
While a link on these sites won’t likely do much for your SEO, many of the Q&A threads rank really well for very targeted search phrases.
Chances are questions related to your blog topic are being asked on these sites.
If you go in and provide helpful answers, with the occasional link back to one of your blog posts for more info, you can bring in a source of highly targeted traffic.
One of the best ways to get the attention of a certain person is to write them an email with the subject line -
“I bought your product”.
If you want to get some incoming traffic to your blog, buy a product from someone who has the audience you want to get in front of.
Write a proper review of it, including pictures and video if you can.
Then email the product creator showing them your review and asking if they are willing to share the review with their audience.
Not only will they possibly share the review via social media and their website, since it’s a win-win.
They might make your review a permanent part of their marketing sequence, sending you a steady stream of ongoing traffic
Suggest other content on your site to visitors with a custom designed 404 page.
This is so that even if they accidentally land on that page, they don’t bounce from your site.
Bounce rate is very important for Google traffic.
This is one of the easiest ways to increase the average session duration of your website.
You don’t need to create videos.
Other videos which are related and helpful are fine.
The iTunes Newsstand is an underutilized source of traffic for bloggers.
Magazines are very similar to blogs, so coming up with content for one is not hard.
As I type this there is not much competition in the Newsstand, but plenty of people using their iPads and iPhones looking for magazines.
You can reach new people simply by having a magazine in the newsstand.
One of my favorite techniques for “passive” traffic is to create some kind of community element as part of your website.
Of-course the challenge is how to get people to show up and keep using the community tools you offer.
I suggest you only apply this technique once you have a few dedicated readers.
A forum can start small – just a handful of regular readers who check in every day can be enough to get things started.
Triberr.com is a community of bloggers in different niches grouped in tribes.
Every time you publish a new post, everyone in your tribe will tweet it to their followers.
And you do the same for everyone in your tribe.
This will get your blog off the ground and buzz with traffic in no time.
Too many bloggers take the traffic building advice “post comments” and go and leave nothing but crappy one-liners on other blogs.
If you really want to build traffic using a commenting strategy you need to make an impact when you comment
There are two groups of people to focus on when you comment:
To truly impact these people you need to present ideas when you comment.
Don’t just compliment an article, compliment it and extend upon it by talking about an example from your life.
If you disagree, explain why you disagree with an argument that makes sense, not just an insult or blanket statement with no evidence.
The problem with commenting on the large blogs is that your comment is lost in the flood of conversation.
it’s a smarter practice to go after the lesser known blogs and interact in the comments there.
The smaller blogs may not have as large an audience, but when you leave a comment you know it gets read.
The author appreciates the comment more, and because you are not competing with all the other comments, your comment stands out.
This results in engagement.
Don’t forget that small blogs grow, and you may find yourself benefiting from all the comments you leave on a site that increases in traffic over time.
If you already have a list.
Then sending an email blast everytime you publish a new post is one of the easiest ways to bring a surge of traffic to your blog.
Especially in the critical early periods of a new blog post.
According to an article on Hubspot -
Infographics can increase web traffic by up to 12%.
Infographs display a lot of information, usually mixed in with statistics, in an appealing visual style which makes it a magnet for getting backlinks and exposure.
And all it takes is just one very popular infographic and you will have viral exposure for your blog.
While content is king or not, is still up for debate.
But there’s no debating the fact that:
High Quality Content brings you more traffic, more shares, more backlinks and ultimately more exposure.
Now, here are some tips for you to create high, quality, breathtaking content that your readers will love -
Storytelling is the best way to build a brand.
Just look at Nike, for example.
They go to lengths and beyond to tell a story in their each and every new product launch.
But how can you apply this with your blog?
Think of any instance in your life that is related to your audience.
Example – If you’re a blogger. Then a story of how much you failed at blogging. How you were an afterthought once, etc...
That’s the story you need to share.
A good strategy you can apply with your blog is make it a mix of long and short blog posts.
It doesn’t look monotone and helps add a variety of topic in your blog.
Evergreen content is content that will always be relevant to your reader, and won’t lose relevancy or interest over time.
For example – My post on “How to write Viral Blog Posts”
I know it’s highly relevant to my target audience and won’t lose relevancy or interest anytime in the near future.
What’s in it for me.
People don’t read your content thinking – Some xyz guy/gal wrote it.
They invest their time thinking – What's in it for me?
Whether you’re writing an article or doing an outreach, always use WIIFM.
Let them know upfront, what’s in it for them.
As Theodore Roosevelt said -
Although, do make sure that you have done extensive audience research and know your audience well.
Don’t do this -
Do this -
Make sure that your content isn’t cluttered.
Break up your content, use a lot of subheads, paragraphs, etc..
Not everyone learns with theories, especially at a first glance.
They’re a learner’s best friend.
This is a copywriting technique to explain technical jargon.
Ex – Suppose an absolute rookie asks you, What is SEO?
Then, giving them an explanation like this -
Is not worth it.
You can say -
SEO is kinda like the Gatekeeper of Google Traffic.
Get what I mean?
People love transparency.
Be it showing your real face, to showing your actual website stats.
Let’s give you a reality check.
Visitors read only 20% of your content.
All of the hardwork you do to write a content.
And only 20% of it is actually read.
But, you know as they say -
A picture is worth a thousand words.
One of the absolute best ways I've found to increase the reader’s session duration is using relevant visuals.
It helps me get my point across, gets them to consume more content and also helps with the analytics.
Imagine if this blog post was about -
You would think - 101 ways to what?
And possibly won’t even check it out.
That’s where specificity comes in.
Use actual numbers. facts and events.
Kill the generality.
Take a look at this amusing research.
Now, website owners and bloggers must always account the mobile users with everything that they do.
Including the fonts of their website.
Cause if you pic a small or an ugly font.
It’s gonna be very hard for the users to read it.
I suggest anywhere from 15-18 font size is fine.
This is not only morally correct, but this is what’s legal.
You can’t just steal other people’s studies, research or concepts.
Plus, citing other sources makes your content more credible.
It’s all about user experience.
That’s the name of the game.
So, spend some effort into making your content readable as well as easily skimmable.
While showing a Lamborghini in your garage might make you famous.
But, if you ain’t actually got it, don’t fake it.
If you can answer these questions, you are half way to writing a good article.
Who is the reader? Your target audience.
Why should the reader care?
When can this information be used?
What is the main idea of the article?
Where can the information be used?
According to Moz, 80% of readers never make it past the headline.
This goes on to show the importance of headlines.
My 3 favorite headlines are -
This is the first impression the reader will have of your article.
You could write the most fantastic, helpful article ever, have an average title, and it would never get read.
This is one of the worst things that can happen to a great piece of writing.
You can use the AIDA or the PAS in your hooks to make them interesting.
Bucket Brigade are connective words.
These words keep your paragraphs flowing together tightly and continuously.
Words like - And, So, Plus, in addition, not only, because, but, once, there's more, again, that's why, that's not all, etc...
You can use from authorities in your niche.
Either way, just make sure that the quotes are relevant to the point you’re trying to make.
In 2020 and beyond.
Just having a written blog ain’t gonna cut it.
Optimization is that last piece of the puzzle between you and becoming a successful blogger.
Too many bloggers, overlook it.
But we won’t.
So, let’s get to it.
Understanding and optimizing for search intent is very important for your rankings and SEO.
In their recent quality rater guidelines, Google has specifically added Search intent as a very important factor.
A start here page is one of the most important pages of a website.
It introduces you and what your site is about to the readers.
And what’s the possible next step they should take in their journey on your website.
It can also be used as a great Email generation tool and even be used to bring traffic to famous and popular articles.
Jon Morrow from Smartblogger uses this strategy a lot.
It's a great interlinking strategy which also helps with search engine rankings.
This is somewhat similar to the above tip.
Only difference is – Above you interlink your popular content on sidebar.
While in this tip – You interlink your content inside the article.
Interlink the pages on your site as often as you can.
Just make sure they’re relevant.
We’ve already gone over and about how mobile is a big part of the Internet now.
So, make sure that not just your font.
Your whole blog appear well on mobile browsers.
If you’re a WordPress user.
Then, no worries.
Most modern WordPress themes today are responsive, which means you may not have to do anything and your blog will automatically format better for mobile.
There’s a very famous Tony Robbins saying -
You can apply this in blogging as well.
For example – If a famous blogger, is using Infographs as a part of his CMS and it’s working for him.
Then you should do it as well.
It’ll work for you as well.
The blog feed is a great source of traffic.
So, don’t let it go to waste.
Offer your freebie in the above the fold area.
The homepage is the best place for positioning yourself.
This will give your visitors a first-hand look of what you and your blog is about.
The about page is one of the most searched web pages on your blog.
And also the most important one.
Cause this is where you let your visitors know -
If they should follow your blog or not.
Just keep in mind that your About Page is less about you.
And more about how you can help your readers.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization.
In order to optimize your blog for search engines your blog must be properly formatted.
What it does is,
It lets the search engines know what your site is all about so that it shows your content to the right audience.
In order to do this make sure you use subheadings with H2 tag in your article, write proper SEO title and meta description like the picture shown below.
The plugin I'm using is Yaost SEO plugin.
You must always stay up to date about what’s working and what’s not for your readers.
That’s how you deliver them the solutions they need.
Use Survey Monkey for doing surveys.
And understanding your audience deeply.
If you have an Email list, then from time to time, ask them a simple question in your email -
What are you currently struggling with in [your niche] right now?
Some of the greatest customer insights come from these kind of emails.
It’s very important that you measure how far you’ve come.
That’s how you’ll know if you’re on track or not.
And focus your efforts on your biggest needs.
You just read 101 ways to become a successful blogger in 2020.
And I hope that in 2020, you’ll become one of the biggest blogging names in the industry.
But, before you leave.
I’d like to ask something from you.
What was your favorite tip in this post?
Are you going to go ALL IN on search Intent?
Or will you try to model other successful bloggers?
Or maybe, you just want to ask something from me.(You can ask me anything that’s related to this topic)
Either way, comment and let me know what you thought of this EPIC post.
Shakir is a professional Internet Marketer and blogger who helps ambitious men and women build profitable blogs and scale to $10,000 (or more) per month in 90 days (or less), so they can replace their 9-5 rat race income with a laptop passive income.
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