Category Archives for "Blog Building 101"

The Secrets of Maintaining a Consistent Blogging Schedule

Summary: Consistent blogging is where the money is. Sure, if you have a very small niche, you can probably post a few articles and call it a day. That isn't what we're doing here! Get yourself on a schedule. You will thank me later.

You now know how to choose a niche, monetize your blog, drive traffic to your blog, and create posts that promote affiliate products and engage your readers.

But here’s the thing:

The secret to creating a successful blog is to post regularly and consistently.

Think about it. If someone visits your blog for the first time and sees a lot of useful content, you can bet they’ll bookmark your blog. If they join your list, they’re sure to visit it again in a matter of days.

But imagine if they check back again in a few days, and there’s no new content. No big deal – at least not yet. Then they check back in another few days. It’s been a week now, and still no new content. They check back in a week – and still nothing new. That’s two weeks without new content.

So what happens?

The visitor is unlikely to check again. She’s lost interest. She may even remove your blog from her bookmarks since your blog isn’t helping her solve her problems.

Fortunately, you can avoid all of this.

A slow website will kill your rankings and user experience. Want to know how to speed it up? Click here.

The solution?

Commit to a regular blog posting schedule. You should post at least once a week, but posting a couple times per week is even better (as it keeps people coming back to your blog more often).

Here then are five tips for keeping a consistent blogging schedule

1. Write it on your calendar. Do you have a to-do list or calendar where you note important tasks you need to do or appointments you need to keep?

If so, schedule in two months of blog posts on your calendar right now – and keep scheduling them until you’re in the habit of blogging.

And if you don’t have a calendar or to-do list? Then start one immediately to help you stay focused and on track.

2. Vary your posts. Not every post you create needs to be a 4000 to 6000 word article. Sometimes you may post a single 100-word tip. In other words, you don’t need to spend hours per week maintaining a blog. Change up your post length.

3. Create weekly features. Earlier I mentioned you could create a weekly feature, like a “question and answer” session where you answer questions from your readers. You can also create weekly features like a “Product of the Week” or even just a “Tip of the Week.” You can also do “roundups” of the most popular blog articles others have posted in your niche.

The point of these features is twofold:

First, they help keep you motivated to post regularly, since you know your readership is looking forward to them. And it keeps your readers coming back regularly.

4. Pre-write your content. You don’t have to set aside an hour or two each week just to blog. Instead, you can spend several hours at a time creating several blog posts. Then you can publish them at a later date. Or better yet, create them today, click “Edit” next to the “Publish Immediately” button, and choose a future date for WordPress to post your articles!

5. Outsource your posts. If you enjoy blogging, then feel free to create the content yourself. Otherwise, visit Elance.com or GetAFreelancer.com to find a ghostwriter in your niche who can create (and maybe even publish) your posts for you!

Today’s task: Create a weekly (or twice) weekly blogging schedule and then add this schedule to your calendar.

And tomorrow?

Well, since you’ve come to the end of this course there aren’t any lessons left.

That means it’s up to you now to apply everything you’ve learned.

Hopefully you’ve been completing the tasks at the end of each lesson. If not, please start working your way through them immediately. Because the sooner you start, the sooner you can earn money as a blogger!

How to Promote Your Blog Using Email Marketing

Email marketing is the most effective way to reach buyers in any market
Email marketing is still the best way to reach your target audience

Summary: Email marketing is the most effective way to reach buyers in any market. In this lesson, you will learn the ins-and-outs of email marketing.

In the last lesson you learned how to promote your blog using forum marketing. Today, you’ll learn about email marketing. Read on…

You’ve probably noticed that I’ve mentioned email marketing a few times throughout this course. And that’s because it’s important for you to start building a mailing list as soon as possible.

You see, some of your blog visitors will come to your blog just ONCE. They won’t buy anything. They might bookmark your blog and promise themselves that they’ll visit again later. But they’ll forget, so you’ll never see them again.

Here’s what you need to do.

Step 1: Get an Autoresponder

Some of the most trusted and most popular third-party autoresponder services include Aweber.com, GetResponse.com and iContact.com. Pick one, register an account and move to the next step…

Affiliate Disclaimer: The above link is an affiliate link. What is an affiliate link? It's a link I send you to outside of this site – when, if you buy the vendor's product, they pay me a commission.

Step 2: Create a “Bribe”

You need to give your prospects a reason to join your mailing list. And one of the best ways to do this is by creating a multi-part mini-course that you deliver by email (just like you're taking this course).

Tip: Another incentive you can offer your subscribers is the ability to unlock a password-protected post on your WordPress blog. Then you can send subscribers the password immediately when they join your list. Learn more about adding password-protection here: http://codex.wordpress.org/Writing_Posts.

You already know how to write this course. All you have to do is expand on some of your existing articles, split the end result into lessons, and load each of these lessons into your autoresponder.

Want a handy checklist to use with your email marketing campaigns? Get it here!

For example, if you have a “top ten” tips article, then expand each of those tips to create ten separate lessons that you deliver by email. Or if you have a “how to” article with seven steps, expand on each of these steps and then make each step a separate lesson.

Examples:

  • The Seven Easy Steps to a Flatter Stomach
  • Ten Tips for Creating Cash-Pulling Copy
  • The 12 Swing Secrets Every Golfer Ought to Know

Tip #1: Just as you would in your blog articles, most “lessons” (aka, articles or posts) should promote an affiliate product. For best results, focus on promoting just one or two affiliate products within the email autoresponder series.

Tip #2: You should send content to your newsletter subscribers regularly – about once per week. At a minimum, email them to let them know that you’ve posted a new blog post. This, of course, is in addition to delivering your daily or weekly lessons.

Step 3: Encourage Visitors to Join Your List

Finally, the last step is to create an advertisement on EACH page of your blog. One way to do this is by putting your ad and the newsletter subscription form in your blog’s sidebar.You may also create a “Page” about your newsletter – that way, information about how to join your newsletter appears at the top of your blog in your navigation menu.

Here’s an example of an ad you’d place in your sidebar or on your newsletter sign-up page (also known as “squeeze page” or “landing page”).


Who Else Wants to Lose 10 Pounds Before Summer Starts?

Don’t you just hate summer? You have to shed those bulky clothes that so nicely hid your overweight belly.  You’re paying for the winter-long binge of holiday desserts. And there’s not a swimsuit in the world that can make you look good.

At least that’s how it used to feel. But this year is different. That’s because you’re about to discover the “Seven Secrets of a Flatter Stomach” – and best of all, you’ll get these secrets for free when you join the “Easy Fat Loss” newsletter now!

Just enter your email address and name in the form below now, click submit, and I’ll rush you the first issue of this seven-part e-course. You’re going to love the way you look this summer on the beach

But only if you subscribe now!


Today’s task: Get an autoresponder, write and upload your mini e-course, and create the ad for your newsletter subscription. Then be sure to include this ad and your subscription form on your blog’s sidebar.

Meanwhile, tomorrow you’ll discover how to create(and keep) a consistent blogging schedule!

A slow website will kill your rankings and user experience. Want to know how to speed it up? Click here.

How to Drive Targeted Traffic to Your Blog Using Niche Forums

Summary: You can drive quite a lot of traffic to your blog by posting quality information in so-called “niche forums.”

Yesterday you learned how to get a product vendor to help promote your blog. Today you’ll learn about forum marketing.

Most forum owners and members frown on overtly commercial posts (also known as “spam posts”). And that’s why you can’t join a forum and just start blasting ads for your blog.

What you can do, however, is join niche forums. Become a valuable member of the community and then use your signature file to drive traffic back to your blog.

Here’s how:

Step 1: Find Niche Forums

You’ve probably already uncovered several niche forums when you worked on your niche research. If not – or to find more – all you have to do is go to Google and search for your niche keywords alongside forum keywords.

Examples:

  • Golf forum
  • Golf bulletin board
  • Golf discussion board
  • Golf discussion
  • Golf phpBB
  • Golf vBulletin
  • Golf SMF

Choose forums that are busy with a large, active membership.

Step 2: Register and Lurk

Next, register on the popular forums, but don’t post immediately. Instead, spend the next several days just reading the rules, reading posts, and getting a general feel for the forum's etiquette and style (they are all a little different). You should also fill out your profile information, including adding a photo. Add your site's URL if you're allowed to.

Tip: Be sure that the forum allows commercialized signature links.

Step 3: Contribute

After you know the rules, start contributing. You do this by answering other people’s questions.

Don’t just post a teaser and then point to your blog for the rest of the answer, as your posts are likely to get deleted – and you may even get banned. Instead, answer all questions thoroughly on the forum itself, without ever directly mentioning your blog (or any of the products you’re promoting).

This approach helps earn people’s respect and trust. And when people start trusting you and viewing you as a good source of information, then they’re more likely to click on your signature file link.

In short, they want to know more about you after you've proven your worth to them and have shown them that you're trustworthy.

As such, your signature file should include a short advertisement for your blog.

Example #1: “Did you like my answer above? Then you’ll love all the free advice you’ll discover on my blog. Click here to discover how to [get a benefit] – you won’t be disappointed!”

Example #2: “Who else wants to discover the secrets of [getting some benefit]? Now you can, for free! Click here to discover the secrets…”

Today’s task: Find the biggest and most popular forums in your niche, register accounts on these forums, and start lurking so that you better understand the rules and forum etiquette.

Then stay tuned, because tomorrow you’ll learn how to promote your blog with email marketing!

A slow website will kill your rankings and user experience. Want to know how to speed it up? Click here.

A Sneaky Way to Get Product Vendors to Promote Your Blog

Summary: Is there a way you can get product vendors to promote your blog? I mean, it seems backwards, right? Well, there is.

This whole course is designed to teach you how to make money with a blog – namely, by promoting your affiliate links. But did you know that you can get the product vendors to promote YOU? It’s true.

How to Get Product Vendors to Promote Your Blog

The vendors whose products you’re promoting on your blog will often be eager to help you make sales in whatever way they can – especially if you’ve already demonstrated an ability to drive traffic and sales to their site.

The good news is that there’s one way to ask for help that also benefits you. Namely, by asking the vendor for an interview.

Here’s how it works.

You ask the product vendor to do either a live interview (on the phone, in a video conference or in a teleseminar) or a written interview.

Either way, the interview should focus on the product you’re promoting and any links mentioned in the interview should be your affiliate link.

Example: If you’re interviewing an ebook author about his rose gardening book, you can ask the author questions about rose gardening. Just like the posts you’ve written for your blog, this interview will end up being useful but incomplete. That means the interview offers useful rose-gardening tips and advice, but those listening (or reading) the interview will need to purchase the ebook to discover ALL the gardening secrets.

As mentioned, your affiliate link appears at the end of the interview (or whenever the product is mentioned), so both you and the vendor make money any time a prospect orders as a result of the interview. And the best part is that most product vendors will happily post the interview on their blogs or send them to their newsletter readers – which means you get free traffic and exposure for this interview.

In addition to making affiliate commissions through the interview, you can also promote your own blog. You can start the interview by saying something like this:


“Hi, this is [name] from [your blog link], and I’d like to welcome you all to

[complete your opening remarks]

…”


Naturally, at the end of the call you can repeat your blog link, perhaps with a call to action. For example:


“I encourage everyone who’s listening to this interview to go to [your blog link] right now and read my review of [product name] – you might be surprised at what you discover!”


All of this sounds pretty good, right?

Here’s how to approach a vendor. Please note that it helps if you’ve already demonstrated that you can make sales for this person.


Subject: [Name], I’d like to interview you about [product name]…

Dear [name],

Hi, it’s [your name] here from [your blog]. I’m an affiliate for [product name].

The reason I’m writing today is to request a 30 minute telephone interview with you. I’ll use this interview to promote [product name] to my blog visitors and subscribers. You can also sell or giveaway the interview to your customers and subscribers, which they’re sure to appreciate.

Hit reply right now or call me at [phone number] to set up a time for the interview. I look forward to hearing from you!

[sign off/name]

P.S. I’ve already sold [number] of copies of [product] – this interview should boost your sales significantly. A good ROI on just 30 minutes of your time!


Tip: Of course you don’t have to rely solely on the product vendor to promote the interview. You too should promote it by blogging about it, linking to it on forums, sharing it with your social networks, posting ads on CraigsList.org, and so on.

Today’s task: Approach the vendors whose products you’re currently promoting and request an interview.

Then tomorrow you’ll learn about forum marketing!

How to Use Social Media Sites to Drive Traffic

Summary: Social media channels like Facebook, twitter, and YouTube are great places to share your blog posts. Doing so will drive some traffic back to your blog and make you more affiliate sales!

Last time you learned about submitting your articles to article directories and certain social media content-sharing sites to drive traffic to your blog.

This time you’ll learn how to use social bookmarking and social networking sites to get traffic.

Get Traffic Using Social Networking

The biggest social networking site around is Facebook.com. Maybe you already use it for personal reasons, such as keeping in contact with friends and family. Whether you’re already using it or not, you should start using it to stay in touch with business connections and prospects.

If you don’t want to mix business with personal contacts, then open up a Facebook Business page. You can do this by logging into your existing account and then going to: http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php.

Once you’ve created your page, you can start sharing your blog posts. You can also publish post “teasers” – this is where you publish part of a post and then point your readers towards your blog to read more.

Want 8 FREE blogging resources? Click here.

Tip: You can cross-promote your Facebook Business Page by linking to it on your blog. Doing so gives you just one more way to connect with your prospects on a regular basis. You can also use Facebook’s pay-per-click advertising to advertise your Business page.

Drive Traffic Using Social Bookmarking

Another way to drive traffic to your site using social media is by using social bookmarking sites. Some of the top sites include:

When you publish a post on your blog, you can then “bookmark” the post using the above sites. Here are a few tips to make it more effective:

  • Bookmark share-worthy content. Rants, controversial posts, or highly useful posts are the best types of content to share on bookmarking sites. That’s because people are more likely to follow your lead and share this content with their social networks.
  • Encourage others to bookmark and share your content. An easy way to do this is by installing a social bookmarking plugin on your blog, like this: WordPress Social Sharing Plugin.
  • Get involved on the sites. These aren’t just bookmarking sites – they’re social bookmarking. And that means you should spend time finding and befriending others on the sites who share your interests. Be sure to bookmark and comment on their content, too.

Today’s task: Choose one of your most share-worthy posts, publish it on your blog and start bookmarking it using the sites above.

Tomorrow you’ll discover a unique way to get more traffic – for free!

>