Welcome to the first Tune Up Your Blog Video!
Is your blog making you as much money as it should be? While it’s true that Adsense earnings are directly related to your traffic, it’s also about ad size, ad placement, and targeting your ads. Experimenting with different setups is the best way to increase your Adsense earnings right away.
You get three ad spaces on your blog for Adsense. That doesn’t mean you have to use all three, or that using all three will make you more money, but they’re available to use. Ads above the fold are going to generate more clicks than ads below the fold do. Above the fold is your prime real estate, so that’s where you put the important stuff.
Placement is vital to your success (and income!). Test having ads at the top of your blog, before the content but after the menu bar, on the sidebar. For example, through testing we found that on one of our niche blogs, just having one ad above the fold before the post was our sweet spot.
Keep testing. Try using a large rectangle (336×280), with a white background (or whatever color your site’s background is). This ad looks like most web-links do, so visitors are more likely to click on them.
If you are using a mobile responsive theme on your blog (and I hope you do!), your best bet is to use the new Adsense responsive ad unit. This ad will automatically resize depending on your reader’s mobile device. The key to success with ads is making them blend in with your website as much as possible. You don’t want flashy ads – that will scare everyone off.
You always hear that “content is king” when it comes to blogging. This is true when it comes to ad placement as well. The more content-rich pages you have, the more targeted ads you’ll have – which means more people will click. More clicks, more moolah!
Tip: Build content around what your readers want to see. You don’t need to change your values or your voice, just pay attention to the keywords that you rank well for (or have the potential to rank well for) and use them. Also, run a google search with the keyword you want to use and look for ads. If there are no ads, it means that keyword won’t generate much income.
Watch your analytics. Link your Adsense account to your Google Analytics. Don’t obsess – it’s so easy to do – just watch. Check in every few days or so, to see how things are doing. How long are your viewers sticking around? Which pages are they visiting?
Install the Google Chrome Extension Google Publisher and study your post page analytics that you can find right at your fingertips. Run a test! Then run another test! Test colors, ad placement, size, and even rotate the ads so you can see which is doing better. Some bloggers run split tests where they show certain ads to half of their visitors, and other ads to the other half. However you prefer to do it, you need to run some type of side-by-side so you can compare and see which ones do better.
When it comes to making money with Adsense (and other ad networks), it’s a simple numbers game. Get your numbers up (increase your traffic), and keep people on your blog for as long as possible. When your readers trust you, you make more money!
Welcome to out first income report!
Here, you’ll find how our new projects are doing. This month we are just highlighting one of our web properties that after being pretty much stagnant it has now become a lifestyle blog where I plan to write about my journey to getting fit as well as have contributing writers to talk more about running and healthy foods.
For now, we are exploring three income streams on niche site #1: ads, affiliate products and working with blogging networks (which I’ll talk more about them in another post).
Niche site #1
Ad networks: $12.22
Blogging Networks: $100
Niche site #2
No income yet.
Total for June: $112.22
Web Hosting: $23.00
Thoughts on what went on July:
We are going to keep exploring blogging networks. I’m from the school of thought that you should monetize early rather than later. It sets the expectation that I should be paid for my efforts and the hard work that goes into sharing quality content with my readers. This post from the decor8 blog should be the anthem for
For expenses, I’m not counting my time just yet. I’ll start counting my hours starting on the 15th to give you a better idea. I’ve been reading tons of income reports for the BIR Matrix (Blogging Income Reports) with plenty of golden nuggets that I’m looking to experiment with and report back the outcomes.
Now is time to stop thinking and strategizing and time to take action!
First of all, it’s super inspiring to welcome an additional 22 blogs to the Matrix. One thing I’ve really noticed is that some bloggers have more than four different income streams. This is key, if you ask me. In our realm, most of us count with sponsored content as our primary way to make money.
What I’ve learned from the most successful bloggers on the Blogging Income Report Matrix is that the rely on multiple income streams for their monthly income.
And that’s where I want to point your attention to. Have you tried ads? Sit down to prepare an editorial calendar with post ideas that can incorporate affiliate links (disclosed of course)? Prepared an ebook for sale? All these are viable ideas to monetize your blog!
My challenge to you is to think what topics you can blog about as perhaps a series that you can incorporate one new income stream.
Other lessons in this series:
Lesson #1: Growing Requires Patience
I’ve been working on the Blogging Income Reports Matrix for the past couple of weeks. It’s very inspiring to see all the blogs that are reporting income. Lesson #1: growth requires patience.
As of May 29, we have 72 blogs. The one common denominator is their consistency and patience. Some of these people have been blogging for at least 4 years. Heck, I’ve been at it for five and a half with no end in sight. I truly love this “laptop lifestyle”.
As you chose the topics you want to write about and explore to attract readers and customers to your blog keep plugging along. Consistency is the magic word. For real! When people know what to expect the stick around.
How would you feel if you didn’t know when the next episode of 24 or Dancing With The Stars comes on? That would be a recipe for disaster for the producers of the show that are looking forward to make a profit from the show. Same idea with blogging. If have to set those expectations with your readers and build your community.
We are just days away from the six months left in the year mark. Incredible, isn’t it!
I admit that income reports mesmerize me. After having a conversation with other multicultural bloggers it sparked or better yet gave me the push that I needed to start sharing this kind of information.
The plan is to start reporting income for two projects I’m just bringing up from the back burner and share with you what tactics and strategies are working and which ones are not. One of the projects is a lifestyle blog and the other one is to create an authority niche blog.
Welcome to the Revenue Lab!
This week it’s all about setting our intentions + plan of attack to the next six months. I don’t know about you but I need to use a GPS every time we drive to a new destination. The vision statement is just like setting your GPS for your blog.
I’m not even thinking about monetization… just yet.
The vision statement is like the secret sauce that will guide your actions. It must answer these questions:
- Why are you in business?
- What’s your primary purpose?
- Who are we here to serve?
- How are you going to help people?
- What you will never do? (Non-negotiables)
- What you will always do?
Let’s do this:
Here’s a script you can use to get you started:
__[Your Blog Name]____ helps/creates/bring __[What’s your primary purpose]____ for people who __[Who are you going to serve]____.
To never lose sight of this goal, we will never __[Your non-negotiables]____.
__[Your Blog Name]____ will __[What you will always do?]____.
I cannot remember when was the first time I heard the phrase “empire building,” but I love it + that is going to be my goal for the rest of 2014. By the way, can you believe that we are like 6 months 2 weeks away from the end of the year? That’s insane!
Now it’s the perfect time to review your 2014 goals, make changes and adjustments or just pivot. This time is also perfect to redefine or have a better grip of what you want to target audience to be. The more specific you are the better.
In my case for this blog, just wanting to serve Latinas is not specific enough. My mission is to help Latinas between the ages of 30-45 that want to use blogging as part of their business model to build their own empire. They live in the US, most likely on the East Coast, and need help as they are not confident in their tech-y and SEO skills.
When you go specific, and we’ll talk about this more, it allows you to better keep in touch through your writing with the audience you want to serve.
Going forward I’m planning to share with you tactics, tools, and strategies that have worked for me to bring supplemental income to our family.
Let the journey begin!
I was invited to speak at Blogalicious 5 on the 10 Step Intensive panel. My presentation was geared towards defining your ideal client or reader.
My wish is that you take at least 15 minutes and answer the 5 questions. They will be a helpful guide to stay focused and to create an idea list for your blog posts.
A wrote every day. For months. After a couple of months and taking a look at my analytics there was barely anybody reading my posts. It was so puzzling! disappointing! And then it hit me, I needed to figure out the most important first steps for the blog.
Establish the purpose of your blog
It’s important to establish the purpose of your blog. Do you want your blog to be your creative escape? Do you want to polish your writing to get freelance gigs? Do you have a product or service you want to sell?
These are questions that although you might not want to answer right away, they will help you give some structure to your blog.
Define your personal brand
How do you want to be perceived by your readers? What values do you want for your blog? Of course, write from the heart, be transparent and authentic! These traits will help you define your brand.
Write and help your ideal customer or reader
This is the one step that took me the longest to figure out. At first, it was almost a fight with myself because it felt so close minded. It took me a read to Stephen King’s (one of my favorite authors) On Writing (aff) to learn that my writing hero had created an ideal reader. By the way, did you know his wife is his ideal reader, when he writes he’s thinking in what is going to scare her!
Asking yourself questions like these will help you hone in your ideal customer or reader: How old is she (or he)? What does she look, sound, and act like? Is she married? Where does she live? Where does she work? What does she do for fun?
Let’s do this!
Today, I want you to take 10 minutes and pen & paper (or a new page on Word) and answer the questions:
How old is she (or he)? What does she look, sound, and act like? Is she married? Where does she live? Where does she work? What does she do for fun?
This will give you the framework to write your posts. Think of him or her when you are writing them.
If this post hit home with you, please share it with your friends and followers. (I’ve got a lovely array of buttons and social media outlets for you to choose from!)
Google Reader will be saying its last good bye on July 1st. This means you might be a little nervous of losing the email subscribers that you have worked so hard to get.
Steps to move from FeedBurner
1) First thing you need to know is to use:
WordPress blogs: http://www.yourblog.com/feed
Blogger blogs: http://yourblog.com/feeds/posts/default
as your new feed URL. What’s the point in still using http://feedburner.com/yourfeed if we don’t know when it will go away.
2) Second, you need to pay a visit to your FeedBurner Dashboard click on your Feed Name (it will be bold blue text)
- click on the Publicize tab
- click on Email Subscriptions link
- click on Subscription Management link
- click on View Subscribers details
- Click on Export CSV
That will download a file which you’ll use to setup your service with another company.
The third step is deciding what RSS-to-email service to use.
What I did
For my main blog, I decided to go with MadMimi almost a year ago. (And yes, love them so much I’m using my affiliate link) It was a pretty painless process to move my subscribers. The one detail is, you will get an email and/or phone call asking how you obtained those subscribers since obviously they don’t want to spam anybody. Once, you get this “clearance” you’ll be ready to go! To give you an idea, I’m on the $42 plan which cover my almost 10,000 subscribers. If you have let’s say 500 then your price is about $13.
Their pricing is very generous (read, cost effective!) Their free plan lets you send up to 12,500 emails to up to 2,500 subscribers a month. That’s like emailing 416 subscribers once a day monthly for free. Here you can read more about their service.
Free RSS-to-email option
For WordPress blogs, there is a free “no frills” option. My recommendation is using Jetpack. One of their offerings is email subscription service. You will be able to see the number of readers and download their emails, but that’s about it. When it comes to customization it is pretty much alike FeedBurner in that you won’t be able to do much.
Paid RSS-to-email options
OK, let’s say you need something different than Madmimi. There’s:
I started with Mailchimp, which is not bad at all, but when my email subscriber list exploded, MadMimi (again, love them so much I’m using my affiliate link) was a better option for my wallet. I’m a very cost-conscious gal and my reasoning was why pay more. Don’t get me wrong, I do miss a few bells and whistles from Mailchimp like their A/B testing or their template gallery however, when it’s time to get help from customer service, MadMimi is spectacular.
Want to read more, check this post by The Crazy Egg team.
I must warn you because I don’t want you to get mad. You WILL lose email subscribers. Most of the ones I lost were bad emails (probably closed accounts), and people that forgot they were subscribed in the first place. After that, the email subscriptions started to grow again. Now, I have better grasp of what content my readers like and using their analytics I can sell advertising space or communicate special promos just for them.