The one key to generating traffic that nobody talks about

New to blogging? Been doing this for two months now and still nothing? Only a trickle of traffic coming in?

Hardly surprising. Most bloggers give up during the first few months of blogging because they’re not seeing results, so you’re not alone if you feel like throwing in the towel.

Don’t give up just yet. There’s one thing that your blog is missing: The right amount of content. The good news is that as you keep blogging, things should improve significantly!

The key to generating web traffic

Let’s say you wrote a really good blog post. It’s engaging and fun to read. It’s relevant to your audience. It’s well-SEO’ed for your keywords. You promoted your post on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.

Let’s say you’ve been doing that twice a week. Religiously.

Two months after you start your blog, you have a total of 16-18 excellent blog posts.

That’s simply is not enough.

How much content do you need?

As much as possible, obviously. The number depends on your niche and what the competition is like.

I have one website which gets millions of pageviews a month. It has 293,000 pages indexed in Google. A smaller website (a blog, this time) gets 15K pageviews a month. It has 5,220 pages indexed in Google.

This blog you’re reading right now – Yeys.com – is a new blog. One of the six blogs in the Blog Revival Project. It has 888 pageviews a month. Which makes sense, considering Google only indexed 41 pages here.

See the pattern?

Your traffic is directly related to the number of pages available for consumption on your site. In more ways than one, as I’m about to show you.

Casting your fishing lines

Let’s say you’re going fishing. You get your hook and cast your line in the water. Hey, you may even catch a fish!

Fishing with one hook

If all you want to get out of fishing is some peace and quiet by the lake, good for you!

Our metaphoric fish here are the users – or web traffic. The hook is your web page, most likely a blog post. You may catch a few people with it everyday, but probably not enough to feed you with sufficient revenue.

Now, if you were to throw in seven more hooks, your chances of catching fish are so much higher!

fishinglines

The more hooks you have in the water, the better your odds for catching fish! Lots of fish!

lotsofhooks

How does having more posts increase your traffic?

In more ways than one!

1. It increases your odds of hitting the jackpot.

Just like with a roulette, the more chips you have on the table, the better your odds of winning.

In our case the jackpot is a ranking high for a desirable key phrase. Another possible jackpot is having one of your posts go insanely viral.

No matter how well you research for keywords, you can never know which way the Google gods will play the search results. After all, a lot of it depends on the competition and you don’t really know how many backlinks they generate for their competing post.

With social media, unless you’re already an established blogger with a large following, you’re going to need some (a lot!) of luck for your post to go viral. That’s just basic epidemiology. 

The most posts you have – the better your chances of hitting one of these jackpots. Each one of your hooks has a chance of X to win you one of the jackpots. As you cast more lines into the water, those odds add up and you have an overall better chance of catching a big fish.

2. You have more to offer visitors, so they stick around and generate more pageviews.

We all want our blogs to be sticky, right? Quality content is like super glue. Entice your visitor with more on-topic content and they’re likely to stay and read that as well.

Of course, you should present that sticky content in strategic places. Related-posts plugins are a good way for keeping visitors glued to your blog. Placing “ads” for your best posts in the sidebar is another. Just linking to other posts from within your post is great too. The point is you have to have something of value to link to.

3. It turns you into an authority site.

Visitors will see a post on your blog then move on to read something else. A couple of days later, searching for something else in your niche, they come across another one of your posts. And then a third. Hey, you’re all over the place!

This has an accumulative effect. They realize you’re an authority in the field and will be more likely to bookmark your site, sign up for your mailing list or spread the news about your site.

Reaching “Critical Mass”

Every blog and website has a “critical mass” point. Once you reach that point, you begin to feel the accumulative effect of becoming an authority site.

At that point, people will be far more likely to follow you. These followers will then be more likely to share your content and link to it. See where this is going? Your traffic begins to perpetuate more traffic.

In my opinion – and I don’t have any research to back this on, only my 18 years of experience – Google picks up on these signals. I’m not sure how they factor into the algorithm and I don’t think it’s something you can manipulate. It does mean that on top of everything else, you stand a better chance at ranking high in the search results.

So, should you just create more posts?

Should you perhaps increase your posting rate to 14 new posts a week instead of 2? Well, yes and no.

Don’t start spamming people (or search engines) with trash posts just to crank out new content on your site more quickly. More hooks is important but just like in fishing, you should invest in quality ones. And not all hooks are made the same.

Invest in quality hooks

What constitutes quality content changes according to your niche and audience. Whatever that elusive component may be – stick to it. Don’t lower your standards just so you can publish more often.

And just like with hooks, offer some variation. Don’t stick to the same kind of posts at all times. Some posts can be lists, others can be stories, and then some may be quizzes or photo posts.

Don’t give up!

 

I like to read success stories by other bloggers. Most of them say that there have been blogging for months on end before they started generating a significant amount of revenue. Many mention how close they were to giving up.

In my exprience, it takes a solo web publisher or blogger an average of 1-2 years before they get to a semi-decent level of income. Sure, if you invest in buying content and hiring people to promote your blog or if you’re very lucky, you can reach that point sooner. For most of us, a year makes more sense. Possibly two.

It’s taken me three years before I made enough money for it to be considered a respectable “salary”. My mother-in-law kept suggesting that I give up this “Internet nonesense” and become a school teacher. Fortunately, her son backed me up and provided for both of us (and a couple of babies later on) while I was shoveling more plutonium into my web publishing engine. Once I reached critical mass, I never looked back.

Do not despair. If you enjoy blogging as much as I do, stick to it. Your own critical mass point may come sooner than mine, or it may come later, but it will come. Just keep on producing quality posts and doing everything you can to have the best blog you possibly can.

So, how about you?

Where are you in your journey? Have you reached critical mass, or not yet? Leave me a comment to let me know. And if you found this post encouraging (I hope you did!) help me push towards the critical mass for this blog and share it around! Thanks!

What makes a blog post really great?

Everyone knows that great content is crucial for the success of a blog. By creating awesome quality posts, you’re far more likely to get social shares and organic incoming links. Sounds like an easy-to-follow formula?

Ahh, but only if you can identify what makes a blog post really great for your readers. And trust me, that is not easy.

What makes a blog post truly great?

Why great content matters

Whether you are trying to get your traffic through social media channels or via Google SEO, there’s one rule that always holds true:

~ Offer great content ~

Great content pretty much markets itself. All you need to do is jump start viral sharing. If you have enough of a following, that will pretty much happen by itself. Once great content starts “making the rounds” it becomes viral because people want to share the awesomeness with their friends.

Great content is also the cornerstone of SEO. Ideally, other bloggers will link to your post just because it’s so absolutely and irresistible awesome. All of these organic links will eventually make Google realize what a gem your post is, pushing it up in the search results. Bingo!

What makes a blog post really awesome?

How can you tell if a post is really awesome?

Lots of recipes for writing great blog posts out there. I’m going to briefly cover the most commonly discussed aspects and then tell you why they’re not necessarily important. They mean absolutely nothing when it comes to determining how great your post is, and I’m going to show you why.

First, the attributes which people often mention as important. These aren’t meaningless on their own. It’s just that following these rules won’t necessarily help you.

1. Post title

We’ve all been told that a great post title can make or break a post. People have short attention spans, so you have to carve out a title that will be compelling enough for them to click. There are tons of tutorials out there on how to craft the perfect post title. Here’s one of my favorites, an oldie but goodie!

2. The length of your post

The Yoast SEO plugin recommends 300 words as the minimum length for a blog post. I’ve seen successful posts that were shorter. I’ve also seen many which were much much longer.

I think the current trend is to write extremely long blog posts. I guess there are SEO experts out there who think a lot of verbiage might convince Google that your post is truly awesome.

3. Readability & voice

There are ways to determine how easy it is to read your post. I’ll mention Yoast SEO again because its free version comes with a built-in readability checker. Which is kinda cool, really. It means you can instantly see how your text measures up to commonly accepted standards of readability.

Your style also reflects your  writing “voice” though that is a more intricate concept. Finding your voice goes beyond issues of grammar or the average number of words in a sentence.

4. On-page SEO

On page SEO is basically a question of having the right amount of keywords and key phrases in your text. Finding that goldilocks zone of not too little and not too much. It’s also about where these keywords are placed in your text and in the page code.

5.  The Visuals

A picture is worth a thousands words. And an infographic has those thousands words in the picture. Surely having such great visuals in a post will make it go rival, right?

It’s all about providing value

The bottom line of these parameters? They all try to gauge the amount of value a blog post provides for the readers.

Because in the end that’s all that really matters: Was the post valuable to the reader? Precious minutes were spent reading it so were they time well-spent?

We tend to equate value with money. Hardly the case here. Yes, an awesome post can help your readers get more money. For example, it can teach them how to place ads in the way that gets them more revenue. Or it can offer a list of the best-converting affiliate programs in their niche. These types of posts certainly can have monetary value attached to them.

However, posts can offer other kinds of value.

A blog post can warn you about something. For example, it can tell you about the latest recall of baby food or warn you about a disease in a travel destination you were considering.

A blog post can offer you just cool trivial information which you can then tell your friends about and look really smart about it.

A blog post can simply make you laugh and help you pass the time while you’re waiting in line for something.

These are all valuable posts for those reading them. At least they can be. It depends on who’s reading them and when.

Which brings me to my main point –

Who determines what really makes a great blog post?

Who’s to say what makes a post awesome? Your audience.

They – and only they – are judge and jury to this question. Not your colleagues, not your friends, not our Mom and definitely not you.

Find what’s valuable for your readers.

One of the things I’ve learned is that what I see as valuable in terms of content can be very different from what the blog’s niche audience sees as great content.

Let me give you a few examples.

Example #1

Posts that try to scare you about something, especially those with an emotional title, can be great for some audiences.

“Just One Bite Of One Of These 17 Foods Can Give You Cancer” is a post that can be great for some audiences. Some people crave this kind of information and will gladly pass on to their friends any post that explains how lemons are 1000 times better than chemotherapy.

Now, if you ask me – or any one of my skeptic friends – these posts belong in the trash bin. A very literal trash bin. They should never see the light of day. They are nothing but stupid clickbaity scaremongering.

But hey, who am I to judge? For the right audience they are super quality posts. The kind that gets shared and linked to.

(I would never write them myself, mind. I’m just saying many people find value in them).

Example #2:

I really don’t like LOL pictures. I mean, I like some of them but I think most are garbage. When LOLCats started out, I was appalled. Surely everyone will see these are low-quality images with terrible typography and horrible texts?

Turns out, most people love them. They couldn’t care less about the images being low-quality. They love catspeak. They even love the use of the Impact font. For the right audience, LOLcat pictures rock. They make awesome content.

It’s not just the images. Turns out people are ok with texts that are barely legible if you pretend they were written by a cat. There are successful bloggers out there who write blogs from their cat’s point of view. And these cats aren’t really good at grammar or spelling either. So much for readability.

These posts get shared like hotcakes in social media (assuming you’re the kind of person who loves sharing his hotcakes!) There is obviously a wide audience who finds great entertainment value in them.

Know Your Niche & Your Audience

That’s really the bottom line.

Don’t try to measure up to what blogging tutorials tell you are the golden standards.

There are no golden standards. You can have a post that has –

  • The worst OnPage SEO
  • A title that doesn’t meet any of the criteria for writing catchy titles
  • No visuals.
  • The wrong length of text (or none at all, if you’re going with visuals only).
  • Terrible grammar and spelling.

It would still get shares and incoming links and land you tons of targeted traffic.

In that sense, it would a GREAT blog post! Your audience loves it – even if it doesn’t meet the strict criteria placed by other bloggers.

And in the end, that’s what matters.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying you should start producing posts which you feel are junk. More likely than not, your audience will think they’re junk too and you can kiss your returning visitors goodbye.

What I’m saying is that you shouldn’t stick to blogging standards someone else tells you about while ignoring your audience’s preferences. Experiment with types of posts that seem popular in your niche. See what people actually like and try to provide them with that they feel is valuable.

 

How to find the best lead magnet for a blog

Part of my blog revival project includes building a mailing list for each blog. Time to work on mailing list growth and utilize lead magnets. Most online advice on lead magnets is geared towards product marketing. I need something a little different, so it’s time to sieve through the tips and ideas and find out what makes the best lead magnet for a blog.

Best lead magnet for a blog

This post covers the basic definition of a lead magnet and the adjustments needed for blog promotion. It also includes a list of 10 lead magnets formats and how they can be applied by bloggers.

What are lead magnets anyway?

The “lead” is a basic concept in marketing theory (and practice).

Salespersons crave access to potential clients. A “lead” is simply a way to gain access to a client. Traditional leads include phone numbers, physical mailing addresses and even ways to meet people in person to pitch them your offer.

In the digital realm, leads are usually ways to contact a potential client via email. Working en masse, the tool for connecting with these potential clients is often an automated mailing list.

How does that relate to blogging?

We all work hard on getting blog traffic. The problem? Once visitors arrive, read the post and – hopefully – get what they came for, they may disappear forever.

Oh, no! Gone forever?

Ahh, but what if during that brief visit you somehow managed to convince them to give you their email address? You have a way to get them back again! Woohoo!

You can communicate with them again in the future, offer new content and maybe even sell them a product or service. You have your lead!

The question remains: How do you get a visitor to sign up? What can convince a visitor to let you into their inbox?

Which is where the magnet comes in…

If you want to get your visitor’s email address and turn him or her into a lead, you need to offer something in return.

For some people and some blogs, getting updates about new posts can be enough. However, if you aim at getting more visitors to subscribe, you need to offer more than that. You should create something which will attract people to your mailing list like flies to honey! Like iron chips to a magnet! Hence, the term “lead magnet“.

Lead magnets exist all over the place in traditional marketing. They are items or services given for free, or almost for free, in return for getting a person one step closer to becoming a profit-generating client.

So, what makes the best lead magnet for a blog?

Unlike some forms of traditional marketing, in blogging we focus on building a relationship with our audience. For many of us – myself included – the mailing list is first and foremost a way to get return visitors and augment a long-term relationship with our readers.

A blog’s lead magnet doesn’t have to be geared towards selling a particular product.

A lead magnet for a blog should ideally –
  • Build trust between the blogger and the reader.
  • Establish the blogger’s expertise the field.
  • Engage the reader and encourage him or her to reach out again to the blog when they need more advice.

To do that, the lead magnet should provide readers with added value. Something that relates to your blog’s theme and expands on what your posts provide.

How much value should a lead magnet for a blog provide?

My impression is that this is niche-specific. In the blogging niche, the competition is harsh. With so many free offers jumping at readers from every direction, you have to fight for their attention and for their email address. You want your lead magnet to stand out by providing even more value than the competition.

A lead magnet for a blog: Which format to use?

Ok, so now we know what a lead magnet is and that it needs to provide a visitor with enough perceived value so that they are willing to give you their email address in exchange.

The topic should relate to your blog. In fact, some lead magnets can even be post-specific (which means lots of smaller lead magnets, spread across your blog).

But what about the format? Lots of ideas bouncing around, so I created a list, with my own observations about whether or not these would make a good lead magnet for a blog. They may be awesome as lead magnets for a company that wants to sell you life insurance but will they work for augmenting your blog’s mailing list?

1. A PDF version of a post

This is probably the easiest lead magnet of all to create. It simply means wrapping up your post and saving it as a PDF. However, its added value is limited. All of the information is there on the page, why “pay” with an email address just to download it again?

2. A tip list/checklist

Relatively easy to come up with (assuming you’re an expert). Short and concise which saves your readers’ time, enhancing its value. It may be too little in competitive niches but could work well in others.

3. A “recipe”

By that I mean, a list of instructions for creating something which relates to your niche. It can be an actual recipe in a cooking site. It can be a design plan, a gaming walkthrough or a cross-stitch pattern. Depending on the value tag of the recipe, this could be a good magnet in some niches.

4. A template

This is a great lead magnet for a blog that deals with design or publishing. It’s a bit like a recipe, only set up for a simple customization by your readers to fit their own needs.

5. An E-book

A short helpful e-book could make a good lead magnet. It’s important to let the reader know in advance what the ebook covers and how long it would take them to go through it. You don’t want them overwhelmed by an e-book that’s too long or disappointed by one that is too short.

6. A webinar or workshop

Giving readers access to a past webinar can work for some niches. I’m not sure access to an actual live webinar makes a good lead magnet. It’s too much value for this stage. However, access to recordings of past webinars may work.

7. An online course

Joining a course can work only if you have no added costs for bringing on new students, or if you established a clear way of monetizing the course. Otherwise, this seems to be too much of an investment for a lead magnet.

8. Giveaways/raffles

This is a very interesting type of lead magnet. With giveaways/raffles you give one expensive product and your readers give you their email address for a chance to win. Choosing a prize that relates to your niche and has enough perceived value is critical here.

A raffle/giveaway is always limited in duration. Which means you need to be sure you will actually be getting enough traffic to generate enough signups. otherwise, you could end up giving away a prize worth $500 for 50 new emails.

There is also a cost to setting this up. Rafflecopter and similar services offer a very limited free service. If you really want to make the most of a raffle/giveaway, you will probably need to upgrade. And then of course, there is also the cost of the prize which needs to be much more valuable than a usual lead magnet.

9. Quizzes

With quizzes, your lead magnet is usually the end result. A quiz usually takes your reader through the process of answering all the questions and then asks for their email address. With some quizzes, the results are blocked until the email address is provided. That’s not a good approach in a blog as it can frustrate your readers and alienate them.

However, a quick quiz that generates a positive outcome has other benefits for a blog. It’s a tool for viral sharing, for example. So, as an added lead magnet, it can work to enhance your mailing list. I wouldn’t use it as the main lead magnet in the signup form.

10. Coupons and discounts and real-world freebies

Offering a coupon or a discount is not a classic lead magnet for a blog. A coupon usually relates to a product or service. Your readers need to actually be interested in that product in order to sign up.

It may work for bloggers who blog solely to promote a certain service or product but otherwise, it is too far removed from the idea of providing a lead that focuses on creating trust in your brand as a blogger.

Choosing the best lead magnet for my blogs

I started this process because I wanted to experiment with a lead magnet for one of my blogs. It’s even in my task list and you can read all about that here.

I am going to use a simple tip list as a lead magnet for that blog. I think it should make a good lead magnet for a blog, being relatively quick to put together and hopefully providing my readers with just the needed amount of added value.

Next, I will be looking at signup forms to see how to make sure visitors to the blog do not miss out on my awesome free offer. Stay tuned for more, I will very likely blog about that as well 😉

Thanks for following through with the post. As always, your comments are welcome!

Best WordPress Plugins To Install On My Blogs

A month ago I asked which WordPress plugins I really needed to have on my blogs. I decided on six plugins which I then installed on half of my blogs. A month later, having tried them out, it’s time to decide which to keep and install on the other blogs, and which to uninstall. As promised, I’m blogging about it to share my conclusions.

A quick recap, in case you’re just joining me: This is all part of the Blog Revival Project, where I’m trying to bring six blogs from the brink of death, back into the land of the living. You can read more about it here.

Choosing just six plugins to use on my blogs

I don’t like the added liability that comes with plugins, so I want to keep their number to the minimum. You can read more on why plugins can hurt your blog in this post.

In order to decide which plugins to use, I did something fairly simple. I looked up every list of “top wordpress plugins” posted by bloggers in 2016. I wrote them all down and tallied up the votes. That’s how I came up with the final list of 6 most recommended wordpress plugins for 2016. The finalists were: Jetpack, Yoast SEO, W3 Total Cache, Wordfence, BackupBuddy and Akismet.

I then decided to test them for one month on three of my blogs, leaving the other three plugin-less. Akismet was the exception here. I’ve been using it forever and there was no need to test it.

So, were these plugins worth it?

1. Yoast SEO

This plugin really helped re-focus my attention back to onpage SEO. I love its interface. Tiny traffic light icons light up in red, orange or green and give you instant feedback on two parameters: SEO and readability. Yoast SEO measures your score on these criteria, literally as you type. Scroll down the page and there’s a box under your editor where it tells you exactly what needs improving. This is what the readability tab looks like –

yoast screenshot

 

And there’s a similar one for onpage SEO –

yoastseo

At first, I found myself trying to make Yoast SEO happy. I really wanted to turn all of the little lights green! I may have over optimized a few blog posts that way. I don’t do that anymore. I just work at things until I reach a green light.

The bottom line is: Yes. It’s a great plugin which I’m going to install on all of my blogs.

2. W3 Total Cache

It’s hard for me to evaluate W3 Total Cache at this point. All of my blogs are relatively small and don’t get a lot of traffic (yet!), so server loads just aren’t high enough to see any significant difference with caching.

I’m going to deactivate this one for now. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with it, it’s just not necessary at this point.

3. Wordfence

Another plugin which is difficult for me to evaluate. It delivers what it says on the package. Fortunately, with no attacks on any of my blogs, all it does at this point is let me know when I need to update plugins or templates. That’s something that WordPress does just as well on its own by displaying little red circles in the dashboard.

Web security is important but at this point, I’m not sure Wordfence adds much in that respect.

4. BackupBuddy

I actually couldn’t get BackupBuddy to work on the first blog I tried it on. I never bothered with trying too hard. Instead, I just moved on to another recommended backup plugin: BackWPup.

BackWPup works as advertised. I now have weekly backups on the blogs where it’s installed. Complete backups of database and files are regularly placed in my Dropbox. No complaints. Backup is important, so this is one plugin I’m keeping and installing on the other blogs as well.

5. Jetpack

Hmmm. Still not sure how I feel about Jetpack. It does have a lot of features but the only one I actually use is social sharing. Now, that’s something that can be done using other – much smaller – plugins.

Its other features are nice-to-have but not something I rely on. So, the jury is still out on this one. I think I’ll keep it where I installed it. If nothing else, it provides an element of site protection and an extra stats counter.

So, to sum this up.

BackWPup and Yoast SEO stay and get installed on all of my blogs. I may even invest in the premium version at some point.

Wordfence and W3 Total Cache get uninstalled.

Jetpack stays for now on the blogs where it’s been installed. Still thinking about whether or not I need it on the other blogs. It’s a “Wait and see” with this one.

So, only three plugins?

I wish! Other needs have come up over the past month which made me install a couple of other plugins.

Affiliate redirects –

I’m trying Pretty Link on this blog and Easy Affiliate Links on another. I need them to streamline those ugly affiliate links. They also add with tracking clicks, so that’s a nice bonus.

CommentLuv –

It’s always been a favorite of mine. I comment on a lot of blogs and I really like instantly seeing what another commenter’s blog is all about. CommentLuv provides that and I want to offer it on my own blogs.

I hope this post helps others figure out which plugins they should be using on their blog. I’m always happy to hear what others use, so please leave me a comment! With CommentLuv installed, you even get to show off your latest blog post!

Asking the right question: How to get your expert roundup topics in focus

There are many excellent blog posts about how to put together an expert roundup post. They cover all aspects of the project but seem to focus on marketing and promotion. After reading dozens of these posts, I’ve tried to distill the essence of one particular aspect: Asking the right question.

After all, it’s always important to get the foundations of the post right and only then worry about promotion. In the case of expert roundup posts, the cornerstone of your foundation is that brilliant question that readers crave reading the answers to and experts can’t resist answering.

Asking The Right Question

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you already know what an expert roundup is. In fact, with this being a blog about blogging, I think I can safely assume you’re probably sick and tired of expert roundup posts by now. Fair enough. There have been way too many of them in the blogging and SEO niches. If that’s your niche, you may as well stop reading here and go find something more interesting to do. Maybe go read my post about the blog revival project and leave me a comment there?

So why would I be doing an expert roundup post now?

Expert roundup posts can still be very valuable.

I believe it all comes down to the value you’re providing for your audience. People are always looking for authoritative answers to their problems. Basing the answers on the opinions of actual experts in the field is a good way to lend authority to whatever it is your post or article are saying. Believe it or not, it’s not been done to death in other niches. Readers are still interested and experts are eager to participate.

With that in mind, I’ve read a couple of dozens of posts and guides about how to create the perfect expert roundup post. I’ve sifted through a lot of advice and come up with the golden nuggets of guidelines for asking the right question.

What an expert roundup post is truly all about

An expert roundup post is a transaction.

The product is solutions to problems. The potential sellers are the experts. The buyers are your readers. You’re the mediator. The real estate agent that’s taking your readers to view various possible homes in the hope that one of them would be just the perfect fit for their need.

As the mediator, you are the expert on finding experts in your niche. That means you have to know your market and know which assets (experts) are best fitted for your home seeker’s needs. In the end, it’s why you get paid for your efforts in that precious currency of blog traffic.

That metaphor oversimplifies things a little but the principle is true. And just like a real estate agent, the key for putting together a good deal is by understanding the needs of both parties – buyer and seller – and creating the best possible real estate tour in a single blog post. No need to go anywhere else but to your blog because all possible quality solutions are there for your reader to look at. No need for experts to list their solutions elsewhere because your blog is where things are happening and where their potential buyers will be!

Asking the right question gets you two things –

  1. It entices the experts in your niche to participate and show their goods on your blog.
  2. It promises (and delivers) real solutions for your readers.

When you’re asking the right question, readers feel they must keep on reading and find out the answer and experts feel they can easily provide that answer based on their experience and expertise. It’s all about transferring information from expert to layman. Make your article the vehicle for a successful transfer and your post will become invaluable to your readers and have the potential to go viral.

11 guidelines that guarantee asking the right question

1. Cover a problem that your readers are actually struggling with and the solution can save them time, money or aggravation.

2. Target a problem where professional authority matters and expert knowledge is needed for the solution.

3. Address a problem that can actually have answers in the form of general advice. If they need individually tailored advice to solve a problem then you’re not asking the right question.

4. Ask about something the answer to isn’t too obvious.

5. Find a question with diverse possible answers. If there are only three possible answers to the question, it could get dull after the 5th expert’s answer.

6. Choose a topic that’s not too controversial. If experts end up providing conflicting answers, you’ll end up frustrating your readers. Ideally, your readers should come out with a clear conclusion and a solution to their problem.

7. Where applicable, consider a question where experts reveal their own personal way of handling the problem. “Monkey see, monkey do” is a legitimate – and highly attractive – decision making tool for all of us.

8. Formulate a specific and concrete question. Avoid questions that are too vague or general. Asking for their favorite tool for task X or a list of top three items helps focus the question.

9. Find a question that an expert can answer almost effortlessly. It should be something they can answer from their own experience and expertise without having to look up data.

10. Look for a topic that’s original and interesting for the expert to write about.

11. Pinpoint your topic to a question that can actually be answered within a specific length. Something that they can elaborate about for no more than a paragraph or two and still get the message across to your audience.

Putting it all together

You know your niche and your audience. If you’re blogging about it, you are very likely somewhat of an expert yourself. Which means no one is better situated than you to come up with topics.

Find your topic – that problem that your readers are always asking about – and write down at least 10 different questions about it. Now, go over your questions and review them in light of these 11 guidelines.

Good? Bad? Awesome? Just horrible? No question will ever be 100% perfect but some will shine out like beacons of quality roundup questions while others will very clearly not answer most of the criteria and can be crossed from your list.

Once you hit that sweet spot where your expert can provide a concrete question about a topic in a couple of paragraphs on a topic your audience really needs a solution for, then you’re asking the right question. That’s the question that can help get you the best answers to your expert roundup, creating a resource so invaluable in your niche that it has the potential to go viral.

Time To Give Blog #1 Some TLC

The recap: I’m on a mission to revive six different blogs. All of them withered away over the past few years because I was busy with a separate project.Time to bring them back to life!

You can read more about the goals and the strategy here.

I’ve put together a generic list of actionable blog promotion items. They cover content creation, branding, social media and additional promotion strategies. As per the master plan to take over the world revive the blogs one by one, I’m going to start in July with CatsGoShopping.com.

What's in store for CatsGoShopping?
What’s in store for CatsGoShopping?

Today, I’ll go over the list of blog promotion ideas, analyze which to apply to CatsGoShopping and how.

I’m going to bold in green the items that make it into my to-do list and in red the ones I decide not to deal with this month. Bolded in gray are the items that I’ve already accomplished or that I already do on a regular basis, so there’s no need to add them to my to-do list.

Content creation

  • Create a content strategy and a content plan
    Check. All of my blogs currently have a content strategy and content plans. For CatsGoShopping, the plan includes a weekly post about a cat-related product, a weekly “eye candy” post and a weekly “something else” post which could be a blog round-up or a post on something else related to shopping for cats (I have lists of ideas to choose from).
  • Come up with ideas for SEO-worthy posts using a tool like LongTail Pro.
    Since I already have a content plan in place, I’ll use LongTail Pro mostly to fine-tune titles and key phrases targeting within the chosen themes.
  • Keep posting at a constant frequency.
    Check. Three posts a week it is.
  • Write engaging posts with a good readability score.
    Check. Using Yoast SEO for instant feedback on readability.
  • Write appealing titles (and check with a tool like this one).
    Check.
  • SEO content with a plugin like Yoast SEO.
    Check. I need to be careful not to over-optimize though.
  • Optional: Create repetitive features (such as weekly picture or quote).
    Check. Weekly cat picture post + weekly product review.

Branding

  • Decide on a color palette and a font (or two fonts) for the blog.
    I’ll be looking up palettes and deciding on a final one today.
  • Get a logo.
    I’m going to look up a designer on Fiverr and buy a logo for $20-$50.
  • Create photoshop templates for featured images.
  • This is something I can do once I have the logo.
  • Use an appealing “about me” write up, including a good picture.
    Check. Already done.
  • Apply colors, logo, picture and write-up across social media platforms and directories and in mailing list.
    Will be done following logo design.

Social Media

  • Formulate a social media strategy.
    I need to tread lightly here as I can’t spend too long on social media, so strategy focuses on some amount of automation. It includes:
    Pinterest – Using my existing account which already has 1K+ followers and pinning three times a week, two images at a time.
    Twitter – I’m going to set up an account for the blog and then have it auto-tweet new posts. I will follow other niche bloggers on that account but won’t have time for a more personal form of interaction. Will follow up on mentions etc but not much else.
    Facebook – The blog already has a Facebook page. Automated posts only there too.
  • Set up social media accounts as per the strategy and use tools such as Hootsuite to put it into place.
    Adding the following to my to-do list:
    Create Twitter account and automate posting.
    Pinning task 3 times a week.
  • Join forums and online communities relating to the blog’s niche.
    Nope. Not at this stage. This is one of the most time consuming ways to promote a blog. With the exception of webmaster forums, online communities are highly sensitive to spam. This form of promotion only works if you’re already an established and contributing member.

More Promotion

  • Comment on other blogs in the same niche. 
    Already doing that and will continue to this month. I have a recurrent task of commenting on least 5 blogs a day.
  • Mailing list: Set up a content strategy (automated RSS vs. newsletters).
    At this point, I’m going to stick with the existing RSS-generated mailings for blog updates. I won’t have time to manage an actual newsletter.
  • Mailing list: Set up a promotion strategy (type of blog ads, pop-ups and lead magnets).
    Major item here. I do want to experiment with different types of subscription forms, including pop-ups. I also want to experiment with a lead magnet. These are all aspects I don’t have prior experience with, so there’s a learning curve ahead.
  • Create giveaways/raffles with appropriate prizes.
    Another major item which I’d like to experiment with. I’m going to set a lower priority to this task because I’m not sure I’ll have time left to properly organize a raffle/giveaway.
  • Set up a guest blogging strategy. Who to approach and how to approach them, depending on your niche.
    I don’t think guest blogging is necessarily a bad way to promote a blog but it is time-consuming. I also have a hunch that it may not be the right time for this specific blog and in this niche. I think I’d like to network some more before asking people if I can guest blog for them. If I get an offer, I’ll take it. However, I’m not going to actively promote this at this point.

The Final To-Do List

Looks like I’m doing well on content creation. I just need to consistently keep at it.

As for actual promotion, the focus this month will be first on branding and a bit of social media. Then I’ll tackle a couple of big tasks: the mailing list and (if I have time) giveaways/raffles.

So, my new tasks for July are –

  1. Decide on a color palette and a font (or two fonts) for the blog. (7/5)
  2. Get a logo. (7/10)
  3. Create templates for featured images. (7/12)
  4. Set up Twitter account and put that on auto-pilot. (7/12)
  5. Apply colors, logo, picture and “about me” write-up to Twitter account, Facebook page and mailing list. (7/12)
  6. Experiment with other types of subscription forms for the mailing list. (7/15)
  7. Experiment with lead magnet for the mailing list. (7/20)
  8. Create giveaways and raffles with appropriate prizes. (7/25)

This in addition to the repetitive tasks for this blog –

  1. Post 3 times a week. Quality, engaging posts, SEO’ed and with catchy titles.
  2. Pin 2 images, three times a week.
  3. Keep commenting on niche blogs. Three comments a day linking back to CatsGoShopping seem like a good target.

Is this doable within 10 hours a week or have I bitten more than I can chew? I guess time will tell. I’m going to report back by the end of the month, along with the monthly traffic and revenue report. Stay tuned and if you have any tips, ideas, thoughts of commiserations to offer, please do so in a comment!

How To Resuscitate A Blog: The Complete Action Plan

A recap: My current project is to revive six blogs and turn them from dormant – semi-dead – blogs into active profitable blogs. You can read more about this project here where I outlined the overall goals and strategy. Now is the time to delve into the actual tactics. This post sums up a list of actionable items that will help me bring these blogs back to life.

Blog revival action plan

The original title of this post was “How to resurrect a blog”. However, my blogs aren’t entirely dead. They are only in a coma 😉 What they need is methodical CPR from a dedicated paramedic (that would be me!).

Each blog is different. They are in different niches and target different audiences. They will therefore need slightly different action plans. Each plan would be geared towards getting the blog that elixir of web life: content & traffic. The one area which won’t be covered here is monetization. I don’t think it’s a good idea to focus on monetization of a comatose blog. I want to get a significant amount of traffic coming in first.

This post will therefore be a generic checklist for all the possible steps which could help in the resuscitation process. If you’re struggling to jump start your own blog, by all means, feel free to use the list!

Content creation

  • Create a content strategy and a content plan. Write them down.
  • Come up with ideas for SEO-worthy posts using a tool like LongTail Pro.
  • Keep posting at a constant frequency.
  • Write engaging posts with a good readability score.
  • Write appealing titles (and check with a tool like this one).
  • SEO content with a plugin like Yoast SEO.
  • Optional: Create repetitive features (such as weekly picture or quote).

Branding

  • Decide on a color palette and a font (or two fonts) for the blog.
  • Get a site logo designed.
  • Create photoshop templates for featured images.
  • Use an appealing “about me” write up, including a good picture.
  • Use colors, logo, picture and write-up across social media platforms and directories and in mailing list.

Social Media

  • Formulate a social media strategy.
  • Set up social media accounts as per your strategy and use tools such as Hootsuite to put it into place.
  • Join forums and online communities relating to your niche, especially any that are for bloggers in your niche.

More Promotion

  • Comment on other blogs in the same niche. Making a genuine contribution and focus on interacting with the blogger as well as with other commenters.
  • Mailing list: Set up a content strategy (automated RSS vs. newsletters).
  • Mailing list: Set up a promotion strategy (type of blog ads, pop-ups and lead magnets).
  • Create giveaways and raffles with appropriate prizes for your niche. Find sponsors if possible.
  • Set up a guest blogging strategy. Who to approach and how to approach them, depending on your niche.

These are the items I came up while brainstorming. Since only one brain was involved in the storm (my own!) I’d love to get some feedback. If you have other ideas which you think can help me resuscitate a blog, please do add them in the comments. If you come up with something that’s a good fit for my blogs, I’ll work them into the list and give you credit (including a link back).

So, what comes next?

If you’ve read my post about the project strategy, you may remember that I’m going to focus on one blog every month from now until December. I will still be posting on all of them, generating quality posts in line with the content plan devised. However, in terms of branding, marketing and promotion, I’ll be focusing on one blog at a time.

The first blog to receive the full CPR is CatsGoShopping.com. I am going to take this checklist and go over each action item to see if and how it can be applied to that blog. The result will be a plan, broken into tasks with the appropriate schedule to follow up on each one. That is the only way to deal with a strategy: break it down into manageable tasks and set up a timetable for them.

And guess what, I’m going to post that plan here as well!

The challenge: Set feasible & realistic tasks

Sure, the best thing would be to have Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook accounts for each blog, all with fresh interactive constant updates. Unfortunately, there are only 24 hours in the day. There is no way I can effectively manage so many active social media accounts for so many blogs. Remember, I have another huge website to take care of! Not to mention an actual life which includes a husband and two kids!

Social media is just one aspect. The same goes for every other parameter. At this point, the blog revival project is a one-person show, so there is a very real issue of potential burnout too. While more may be better for any blog in the short term, less would be better for the long run.

Again, I’d love to get more ideas! If you have any leave me a comment, will ya?

June 2016 Blog Traffic and Revenue Report

Woohoo! Time for the first ever, here’s the Yeys.com traffic and revenue report!

blogsrevivalrevenuejune16

This blog is where I document the progress of my current project: Resurrecting six dormant blogs and bringing them back to life. You can read more about the project and the reasons for it right here.

The “woohoo!” part is purely excitement over the fact that I’m actually writing my first stats report. There was no significant revenue, nor was I expecting any. It took me two years to get my flagship site to make a significant profit. I don’t expect things to go a whole lot much faster with this project. I hope they will. I just don’t expect them to.

A note about traffic stats

The traffic figures are provided for general assessment. They are too small to indicate much so I won’t bother with displaying traffic sources at this point.

At least three of the six blogs had some reporting issues during June where the Google Analytics code went AWOL. This was my fault for not using a GA plugin and changing templates without updating the code in the footer. All blogs now have a GA plugin and a few of them also have JetPack which also monitors traffic. I can always check server stats but as I said, at this point, the numbers are too small to worry about missing a couple of days of tracking.

As you can see, all of these sites have had a trickle of traffic coming in. This report merely establishes a baseline from which – hopefully – traffic will grow in the future.

So, what have I been doing this month?

It’s been a busy month! I’ve been working an average of 60-70 hours a week! About half of that time was invested in my flagship website (not covered here) and the rest went into the blogs project. I also spent a bit of cash on hosting, templates and SEO tools. Let’s go over what I’ve done and how much it cost me.

1. I’ve put together a strategy plan

This month, I finally set down the guidelines for this project. I hope this will help me focus my efforts over the coming six months. You can read more about my goals and strategy and how they were formulated.

2. I’ve created new hosting accounts

As part as my “getting back into the swing of things” and “finding a fresh point of view” I decided to check out two leading hosting companies.

I moved two blogs to new hosts that came recommended by fellow bloggers. Yes, they are heavily promoted through affiliation. And yes, I’ve become an affiliate as well. I plan on adding a detailed review for each one soon, for now they get their first mention here: HostGator and Bluehost.

I also still have my reseller account with my original host. Four of the blogs are hosted on that server.

So, this is what I paid for hosting this month –

Bluehost: $59.4 for 12 months of hosting 

Hostgator: $52.56 for 12 months of hosting

My regular host: Nothing. I paid an annual sum which covers my current hosting for  a few more months.

New premium templates

At least for a few of the blogs, I wanted templates with a magazine-style homepage. After trying several free ones – as well as a premium template which didn’t work for me – I finally found templates that I’m happy with for now.

I chose to buy the premium bundle by ThemeZee (Look Ma! No affiliate link!) It’s a small company, basically a one-man show. So far, Thomas – founder, coder, marketer and tech supporter – does a good job answering my requests in a timely and efficient manner.

I paid 79,00€ (Thomas is in Germany) which translates into $88. That gives me access to using the pro versions of all ThemeZee templates.

Templates cost: $88

New WordPress Plugins

After much deliberation, I installed six WordPress plugins on three of the blogs. Two weeks later, it’s a mixed bag of things that need to be tweaked and things that have really helped already.

I will post a proper follow up report in mid-July and based on the conclusions, I’m going to decide which plugins stay and get installed on the other blogs and which get deleted or replaced.

New tools and services – both paid and free

Blogglovin’

I discovered this awesome tool for following blogs. I now follow about 200 blogs in the same niches as my own. I’m going to write more about why I do that but for now just wanted to give BlogLovin‘ a shoutout.

Stock Photos

I buy stock photos for use on my blogs. I currently use Fotolia.com and I paid $75 for a monthly package of 50 photos.

Stock photos cost: $75

Longtail Pro

It’s been awhile since I tried my hand at keyword targeting. I needed a tool to help me so I went back to an old favorite. I probably drove them a little bit crazy with all my questions during the 10 days trial period but they were always quick to reply, friendly and helpful. So, I’m paying to keep it going. I signed up for the discounted Platinum program and paid a total of $297 for an annual subscription. Click here if you want to check it out and start your own trial for only $1.

SEO software cost: $297

And now, finally let’s get to business. It’s time for the actual traffic and revenue reports (one per blog)! Drumroll, please!

Traffic and Revenue Reports

Blog #1 – CatPicsBlog.com

Total number of posts: 173

Posts made during June: 30

June unique visitors: 52 pageviews: 106
May unique visitors: 126 May pageviews: 215

Revenue:
The site is currently monetized using 2 Google Adsense units, one in the header and one in the sidebar.
June Adsense revenue $0.30
May Adsense revenue $0.51

What I’ve done in June

  • Daily posts
  • RSS feed auto-campaign mailing list that also posts to the blog’s Facebook page.
  • Commenting on cat-related blogs.

Any changes planned for July?

I’ve been posting on a daily basis with relatively short posts. The results are less than stellar. I plan on posting every other day in July while making sure posts are better SEO’ed and are at least 300 words long.

Blog #2 – CatsGoShopping.com

Total number of posts: 44

Posts made during June: 12

Traffic: 
June unique visitors: 124  pageviews: 415
May unique visitors: 161 pageviews: 323

Revenue:
The site is currently monetized using 2 Google Adsense units – one in the header area and one in the sidebar – and Amazon affiliate links in posts.

June Adsense revenue: $0.16
May Adsense revenue: $0 (blog had no ads)

June Amazon revenue: $0.47
May Amazon revenue: $0

What I’ve done in June

  • Template change
  • Hosting move (to Hostgator)
  • Content pruning – this one is important. I went over very old posts which were not up to par with the current blog standards and deleted most of them. The ones that were getting any amount of Google traffic I kept and updated.
  • Commenting on cat-related blogs
  • Pinning images on my Pinterest boards
  • RSS feed auto-campaign mailing list that also posts to the blog’s Facebook page.

What’s going to change in July?

This blog is the one I’ll be focusing on in July. I’m going to continue with everything I’ve been doing so far and plan on adding the following –

  • Guest blogging
  • Mailing list revamp including a lead magnet
  • Setting up Pinterest & Twitter (more on that in a future post)
  • Adding a raffle, possibly through rafflecopter or a similar service.

Blog #3 – Gifts4Kids.net

Total number of posts: 111

Posts made during June: 7

Traffic: 
June unique visitors: 56 June pageviews: 120
May unique visitors: 36 May pageviews: 167

Revenue:
The site is currently  monetized using 3 Google Adsense units -one in the header area and 2 in the sidebar – and Amazon affiliate links in posts.
June Adsense revenue: $0.01
May Adsense revenue: $0.01

June Amazon revenue: $0
May Amazon revenue: $0

What I’ve done in June

  • Template change
  • Content pruning – Same as above!
  • Commenting on parenting and shopping blogs
  • Pinning images on my Pinterest boards

Blog #4 – home-decor-hub.com

Total number of posts: 366

Posts made during June: 7

Traffic: 
June unique visitors: 351 pageviews: 580
May unique visitors: 402 pageviews: 754

Revenue:
The site is currently monetized using a single Google Adsense unit placed in the header area and Amazon affiliate links in posts.
June Adsense revenue: $3.79
May Adsense revenue: $2.66

June Amazon revenue: $3.48
May Amazon revenue: $17.51

What I’ve done in June

  • Template change
  • Content pruning – Same as above.
  • Commenting on related blogs
  • Pinning images on my Pinterest boards
  • RSS feed auto-campaign mailing list that also posts to the blog’s Facebook page.

Blog #5 TripMemos.com

Topic: Travel

Number of incoming links: 12 (according to the Google Search Console).

Total number of posts: 19

Posts made during June: 8

Traffic: 
June unique visitors: 72 pageviews: 339
May unique visitors: 151 pageviews: 151

Revenue:
The site is currently  monetized using a single Google Adsense unit in the header area. It’s only been there for a week.
June Adsense revenue: $0
May Adsense revenue: $0

What I’ve done in June

  • Template change
  • Commenting on related blogs
  • Pinning images to my Pinterest boards
  • RSS feed auto-campaign mailing list

Blog #6 Yeys.com (this one!)

Number of incoming links: 186 (according to the Google Search Console).

Total number of posts: 44

Posts made during June: 12

Traffic: 
June unique visitors: 168  pageviews: 377
May unique visitors: 136 pageviews: 151

Revenue:
The site is currently  monetized using 2 Google Adsense unit, one in the header and one in the sidebar.
June Adsense revenue: $0.02
May Adsense revenue: $0

What I’ve done in June

  • Template change
  • Hosting move to Bluehost.
  • Content pruning – Nothing was deleted in this case but I did go back to some of the first posts and edited them a bit. I started this blog as a personal notebook. Now I want others to read it too, so I need to polish up a few posts.
  • Commenting on related blogs

June Revenue Summary

Expenses: $571.96

Revenue: $8.23

Profit: -$563.73

Which is perfectly ok.

In fact, I’m thrilled with how June went! I worked hard and I enjoyed every minute of it! It felt great getting back to tweaking blogs and playing around with code! I learned a lot and I got to virtually “meet” other bloggers too!

I have so much to talk about and I have this blog where I can do that. If you’re reading this – thank you for dropping by and allowing me to share this new adventure with you! Leave me a comment and let me know what you think!

The Blog Revival Project: Setting Goals & Strategy

It’s time to reveal my current project in all its glory and provide the framework of what I’m trying to do: Revive six dormant (practically dead) blogs and turn them into successful revenue-generating blogs. In this post, I’m going to introduce the participating blogs and present my goals and the strategy I plan to use.

The Blogs Revival Project: Goals & Strategy

I started this project about a month ago. At first, I was hesitant about revealing the names of these blogs. Why? Good question. I think I was just used to the “old-times” when webmasters-turned-bloggers used to work in stealth mode. I’ve decided to change my ways and embrace the new approach of openness and  transparency. In fact, as soon as I have the final data from Google Analytics and Adsense, I will post my first painfully honest revenue and traffic report!

So, with that in mind, it’s time to reveal the six blogs and share my goals as well as the strategy I’ve come up with for this project.

Drumroll…

The Blogs!

Six blogs are included in this project. First, I’d like to present them and explain where they stand now.

#1 CatPicsBlog.com

This blog is all about beautiful cat pictures. I buy the pictures to avoid any copyright issues. I know quite a bit about cats and cat care, so I try to add some additional information and useful tips.

This blog was launched almost 7 years ago. According to the Google Search Console it currently has 1,428 incoming links.

I stopped working on CatPicsBlog five years ago. Since then traffic and revenue pretty much died out. I started posting again in March 2016 and have picked up steam and moved to daily posts in June 2016.

#2 CatsGoShopping.com

Yup! Another cat blog! This one focuses on shopping for cat products and services.

It was launched almost 8 years ago with posts promoting Amazon products. It too was abandoned about five years ago. I took up posting again in March 2016.

According to Google Search Console this blog currently has 315 incoming links.

#3 Gifts4Kids.net

Another shopping blog, this time about choosing the right gifts for children. Every post offers one product or more, all with Amazon affiliate links.

It’s not a very good domain name but it is almost 11 years old and has 41 inbound links. I posted on this blog sporadically over the years, up to 2012. I picked it up again in March 2016.

#4 Home-Decor-Hub.com

This blog is a mix of posts about principles of home design and posts about specific products on Amazon you can use for home decor (mostly the latter).

The domain is hyphenated and isn’t one I would choose today. Still, it’s one of my older domains – almost 12 years old – and has no fewer than 1524 incoming links. I’ve been adding posts intermittently since 2008.

It gets the most traffic of the six blogs in the project but revenue has dropped dramatically to pretty much zero over the past couple of years.

#5 TripMemos.com

A fairly new domain, for a change. I decided to get into the traveling niche because we love traveling and have made two very long road trips with the kids. The domain is 3 years old and I only got around to developing the blog last year, so it has very few old posts and most of the posts were made after May 2016.

#6 Yeys.com

This blog you’re reading right now! An ancient domain name bought 11 years ago just because it was a 4-letter.com with a positive sound to it. I’ve used it for various projects over the years. It has 186 incoming links but its current incarnation is very young.

I launched Yeys.com as a blog for me to post about my projects in May 2016. At first it was just to have a place on the web where I can keep my “notes” and rant away. I’ve been inspired by other bloggers to take this one step further and the result is what you’re reading right now.

Setting The Goals

So, now that you know what we’re working with, on to the goals.

These six blogs currently make a total of close to zero revenue. You can take a look at the stats in the June 2016 Revenue & Traffic Report. Trust me, it’s not even worth clicking through for the numbers themselves: Each of the six blogs has 300-500 pageviews a month.

In that respect, they are brand new blogs and I need to start from point zero.

What I have is 18 years of experience developing websites and blogs. You can read here about my personal life, why I stopped developing my blogs five years ago and why I’m embarking on this project at this point.

My experience makes me 100% positive you can make money from blogging. I also know it can take awhile to get to that point with any new (or renewed) site. It’s taken me three years of hard work to start making money online when I started out back in 1998.

With that in mind, I’m trying to set realistic goals for this project.

My goal is to get the six blogs to make at least $200 in December 2016.

That’s for all of them put together. Too much? Too little? I’d love to get your opinion in the comments section!

Plotting A Strategy

Managing six blogs takes some coordination. I can’t do everything for every site everyday so I need a good plan that will help me focus my efforts. Each blog has a different niche or angle. They therefore should be promoted and monetized in different ways.

I took pen to paper and wrote down my current stats and my goals for each month in 2016. I also wrote down what I think would be the best strategy for each blog in terms of content creation, marketing and monetization.

Next, I wrote down a “Grand Scheme” plan for the next six months. I intend to focus my efforts on a single blog each month. During that month, that blog will receive the TLC it needs to “take off”. This could mean a new logo, promoting social media accounts, guest blogging, creating freebie products to promote the mailing list with, etc. It may include new monetization methods if by that time it will have significant traffic. The order I’ve set up is this –

July: Cats Go Shopping

August: Gifts For Kids

September: Trip Memos

October: Cat Pics Blog

November: Home Decor Hub

December: Yeys!

This does not mean I’m going to put the other blogs on hold while focusing on just one. All of the blogs will be getting the same kind of attention in terms of content creation, basic promotion and possibly even monetization. It’s the more time-consuming major processes that will be dealt with one blog at a time.

Stay tuned for my next post where I’m going to detail the items that will make the actual Action Plans for each blog and for the Revenue & Traffic report!

If you’re reading this (and I realize not too many people do), I’d love to get your feedback on my project! Do leave me a comment – I may be “old and wise” but I could still use some encouragement!