Real Talk: This is What it Takes to Work as a Full-Time Freelancer
Much like the Perfect Beach Body or The Ultimate Morning Routine, a life as a Full-time Freelancer has become as much an over conceptualized vision of entrepreneurial freedom as the avocado eating beach-bound Twenty-something influencers that have adopted it as their mantra. Though a life as a Full-time Freelancer is an absolutely attainable goal that many entrepreneurs achieve in their careers, we can tell you from first-hand experience, that as a Full-Time Freelancer, the only place your business-running-body is likely bound to go, is to the nearest Starbucks and back for your much needed daily latte. Real Talk: This is What it Takes to Work as a Full-Time Freelancer The Good, The Bad, and The Angry - Bad News Doll Face, the Internet is not a nice place. The same person who might pay for the groceries of the elderly Veteran standing in line behind them at the whole foods irl, might tell you that your blog is a piece of sh*t and that you're a waste of life online (Direct quote.) You have to develop a thick skin, and a thicker portfolio to focus on for when you need to keep the haters at bay while you're working on gettin' your pay. Discount Den - One of the biggest struggles with making a living as a Full-Time Freelancer is fighting for customers like a hyena scavenging on the Savannah. There are always bigger and more well-known people in your field who are going to be competing against you for jobs but don't give in to the temptation to bottom out your prices just to get a bid or you will be certain to undermine your worth both literally and figuratively. That Nomadic Strife - Here's the thing, Instagram's only got it half right. The Life of a Full-Time Freelancer can be glamorously nomadic and because you work for yourself, you are able to be more mobile than in almost any other career. The bad news, however, is that there are definitely restrictions on the practicality of being a mobile entrepreneur. Though the glory of cloud computing, laptops, and smartphones has enabled us to have more work/travel options than ever before, Shorter Customer Deadlines due to the advancement of technology, Poor WiFi Signals, and Bad Cell Reception all factor into a last minute hotel lobby panic attack about an impending deadline that is soon to be missed due to 5 hour upload times, spotty reception, and a trip that was quite possibly more trouble than it was worth. The Side Hustle - Becoming a Full-Time Freelancer isn't going to happen overnight. You'll need time to build up your personal brand, gain the required skills, and get to know a regular set of clientele which means that starting out the pickings are gonna be slim. If you want to keep living at the lifestyle you're accustomed to, you're gonna need to either dig into a side hustle, or that 100th bowl of Ramen. Missing The Benefits - In the modern era of hospitals and healthcare, unless you intend on living your life like the boy in the bubble, it's probably safe to say you're gonna need Insurance. Though most positions come with the standard Health, Dental, and Vision package, when you start working for yourself, you could find that you are suddenly sans safety net, and seriously super sick. Lookin' Lonely - As much as it sucks, it turns out that working for yourself actually means that you have to do the work by yourself. If you're used to having a manager watching, and a strict set of rules and guidelines to follow, you'll realize all too soon that you're the only one in the room. Though freelancing presents an unmatched opportunity for growth financially, personally, and professionally, it also means that no one is watching over you to make sure that you meet deadlines, and no one is there to save you if you fall behind.
The Complete Guide To Quickly And Organically Growing Your Blog Readership
One of the toughest tasks that any blogger will face as they grow their online presence is building a strong readership. You can have the jazziest blog posts in the world, but if no one is reading it regularly, Your Blog will stagnate and die. While we prefer to use Pinterest as our favorite mode of expanding our tribe, there are a number of ways that you can build up reader loyalty and recurring traffic through small actions and tricks that consistently keep fans coming back for more. The Complete Guide To Quickly And Organically Growing Your Blog Readership Going Post-al - Here's the thing doll face, so many blogs only post once a week and wonder why they don't have more views, but think for a moment about everything that happens in a week. It's super unlikely that your readers will even know that you update regularly if your posting schedule is so infrequent, let alone remember to check back once you finally deign to grace them with a post. Aim for twice a week or more to keep your content fresh and stop your fans from fulfilling their reading needs elsewhere. Creative Tip- Every Niche is different so check out how often your competitor posts to get a better idea of the kind of schedule you need to be maintaining. The S Word - Uh oh! Time to talk about the three letter S word that makes everyone all sweaty and nervous, SEO. While Most People freak out over the mere thought of having to optimize their content for search engines, the truth is that most of the things you can do to help keep your blog on the top of the charts are both simple and innate. Rename every photo you upload to your blog, use keywords in both your titles and posts, and most importantly download Yoast and let them do all of the heavy lifting. Creative Tip- Long gone are the days when getting to the top of google was as easy as front loading your content with key words and setting it free unto the wilds of the net. Today's content needs to be written with the user in mind. Get Toned up - Let's get this one out of the way right now. As a company, we collectively might just be the worst spellers in the world. Our grammar is simply meh. Our Information is basic but informative. Our pictures are lovely, but purchased, and our site's are about the same topics that everyone else so laboriously exhausts. So, you might ask, why do we excel and thrive, while everyone else just barely survives? Our real secret sauce is in Our vibrantly conversational writing tone. Unless you're diagnosing diseases or describing disasters, there's no need for super serious sounding sentences with dictionary level details, just tell 'em what you want to say in a fun and interesting way. Creative Tip- Keep a thesaurus at the ready while writing to increase your vocab in a hurry without having to search and worry. The Social Edition - We've said it before, and we'll say it again, no matter how you feel about it, it's 2019 and your presence on social media is going to be one of the single biggest influences on how quickly your readership grows. Where SEO was once king, and just showing up to the game in terms of social media was enough to take home the gold medal, the way that our potential readers find their favorite new blogs and sites has changed dramatically in the last few years. Just having accounts for your blog doesn't automatically mean your social media presence is where it needs to be. Your accounts need high quality, non-spammy, valuable content, presented in a lovely and curated way. If your potential readers feel as though your social media feeds aren't worth their time, they definitely won't be giving your site a visit, and the sad but sobering truth is that they are far more likely to make first contact with your profiles than they are with your index page. Creative Tip: Social media management is nothing if not time-consuming, and when you're trying to answer emails, produce content, and keep your site's aesthetic up to par, time is the one resource that is going to be stressed the most. When the going gets tough, even the toughest turn to automation to fix their time crunch woes. The Gated Community - While they are one of your biggest potential sources of new readership, your social media interactions aren't the only online connections you need to be concerned with. Your best source of new fans is going to be the community of like-minded people who already exist somewhere out there on the net. Rather than focusing on winning over an audience who isn't already invested in your niche, focusing on those who are already interested in your topic and are actively searching for information, will lead to deeper, longer lasting relationships, that will provide a far better return on your time investment. Search for other blogs within your niche, and take the time to read and interact with them and their readership on an honest level by leaving comments that add genuine value to the conversation to start spreading your name in a more natural way. Creative Tip: Always keep your community interactions honest and polite. Follow the rules of online etiquette, and any rules specific to your niche. While sincere comments can be a huge boon, being labeled as a self-promoting spammer is a quick way to lose any momentum you might have gained. Write Away - While a constant and consistent production schedule for your content is important, there's more to being the best at blogging than just producing more posts than anyone else. If your articles don't instantly provide your readers something for their time, then your readers can and will spend their time elsewhere. Avoid the temptation to save your best stuff for your sellables, and make sure that every piece of content you produce and promote gives your readers a solid takeaway. Creative Tip: Giving away free, high-value digital content as a subscriber incentive with your articles is a great way to show potential regulars that your blog can not only provide them with tangible value but, also convince them that your products might just be worth paying for.
This is How to Actually Make a Beautiful & Profitable Blog
Real Talk, Blogging can be the most profitable adventure you’ve ever had the good fortune to take, it can shape the rest of your life and mold you into the badass Business Woman you’ve always wanted to be, or it can be a H.U.G.E. money eating time sink the likes of which were previously only seen in bitter celebrity divorces and online-only for-profit college schemes. You ABSOLUTELY can still make a 6 figure blog, but only if you work your well-styled ass off, and not if you waste your time and energy following cheesy, outdated, and just plain bad advice. For the last decade of our lives, our team has been dedicated to building blogs, sites, and businesses, with Style, Humor, and Kick-Ass Branding. We’ve cried over mean comments on social media, wrestled with WordPress posts, and wigged out when we got our very first Affiliate Check in the Mail. We’ve been EXACTLY where you are and have come out the other side far more badass and WORLDS more successful for it, and Friend, Now. It’s. Your. Turn. The Creative Anthology Mission: It is our mission to provide you with a thorough and well-researched list of tools that come personally recommended by The Creative Anthology Team. We put a lot of time into finding the right tools and sites that we hope you’ll love and we promise to only publish opinions we fully support and believe in. Some of the Links we publish are affiliate links to the advertisers and sponsors that make this site possible by providing us a small commission at no additional cost to you, so please use our links to show your continued support for the site you Know and Love. ♥ Step 1. - Are You Blogging for Hobby or Profit? Step 2. - Narrowing Down Your Niche Step 3. - Choosing a Timeless Blog Name Step 4. - Purchasing Your Domain Name & Hosting Plan Step 5. - Selecting a Template Step 6. - Selecting the right plugins for your new blogging platform Step 7. - Reviewing Your Site Before You Launch It Step 8. - Connecting With Your Audience On Social Media Step 9. - Gathering your first crowd Step 10. - Automation Step 11. - Monetizing Your Blog This is How to Actually Make a Beautiful & Profitable Blog Step 1. So Tell Me What You Want, What You Really, Really Want… ( Are You Blogging for Hobby or Profit?) If you’re serious about getting into the blogging game, it’s time for you to decide what you want to get out of it. When it comes to blogging, there are two primary schools of thought about your possible end goals, Blogging as a hobby, and Blogging to make a profit. Blogging as a hobby is a great way to gain new industry insights in your chosen niche, meet new people, and it’s relatively low pressure. You won’t have to specifically focus on pushing products, building a massive audience, or creating your own sellable, and you’ll be free to publish what you want when you want. The downside, however, is that you’re probably not going to see much in the way of cash flow no matter how stylish your blog looks. Blogging for profit, on the other hand, is a full-time job (and then some) where you’ll be responsible for juggling social media, content creation, and monetization on a pretty much constant basis. Unlike a hobby blog, you can’t just set it down and walk away when you get frustrated. The upside, however, is that regardless of what you may have heard, there’s some serious cash to be made as a blogger and with a little hard work, the payout that you get back will be more than worth the effort you put into it. Either way that you choose to take your new blogging baby, be aware that you will need to know from the start whether you’re looking to end up with a full-time blogging career, or just a fun side project, because once you’ve gotten into it, it’s going to be tough to switch gears. Adding or removing monetization systems late in the game is the sort of fight you don’t want to get into, and switching content patterns after you’re already established is the perfect way to alienate and lose the attentive audience you’ve been carefully cultivating, so consider just how deep down the blogging rabbit hole you’re ready to dive. Step 2. What cha Talkin’ Bout? (Narrowing Down Your Niche ) Now that you’ve got an idea of what you’re looking to get in return from your blog, it’s time to figure out what it's all about. Finding the right niche for you can be a challenge that feels next to impossible. Even if you’ve already got the perfect idea in mind, don’t assume that what’s fun for you to write about is going to be just as interesting to your potential audience to read. Aim for a Goldilocks balance of selecting a topic that is broad enough to attract a substantial audience, capable of supporting your fiscal blogging goals but narrow enough to give your content a focused and cohesive feel, all while ensuring that the topic will remain engaging to you. Step 3. What’s In A Name? That which we call Your Blog by any other Name would Sound as Clever? (Choosing a Timeless Blog Name) Now that you know what your blog’s all about it’s time to get some of the little details out of the way. First and foremost, you’re going to need a stylish name that’s timeless and easily recognizable for your new bouncing baby blog. List as many potential titles as possible and know that you can always tear them down to combine the pieces into the ideal words later on. At this stage there’s no need for perfection, so don’t waste time getting caught up in the drudgery of the details. While Farmhouse Living is ideal for a lifestyle blog with an emphasis towards rural life, unless you’ve got some odd chicken-based workout routines, it’s probably not such a perfect choice for a fitness blog, so make sure that the name you choose is related to your niche in a way that your readers will naturally understand. Your name should be timeless and free from modern slang or references to current events, unless you’re ready for a painful rebrand in a year when that trend makes your blog look old and outdated. Just as with a real baby you’ve spent nine months cooking up, you’ll live with this name for a long time to come, so if you’re not 100% in love with it, then it’s not the right name for your blog. Step 4. My Compliments to the Host… (Purchasing Your Domain Name & Hosting Plan) Now that you’ve got a better idea of what you want your blog to be it’s time to begin it’s buildout. Start with a digital home to call your own, and that means two things, finding a host and purchasing a domain. Your hosting is where all of your blog’s files are stored, much like the plot of land where your home is built, while your domain, is the street address, guiding your soon-to-be audience on their way to your new site. First, figure out which host best suits your needs. Unless you're technically minded your best bet is to purchase your domain from the same site that you get your hosting. Your level of technical expertise is the main factor in host selection, but as a basic rule of thumb, we recommend you avail yourself of the hosting Google Cloud Services offers if at all possible. You’ll see a lot of free, and super “low cost” hosting options out there, but when it comes to server space, you get what you pay for, and going in on shady dealings will almost certainly mean downtime, crashes, and tears later on down the road, so do yourself a favor and start with a well-tested, highly professional option. Pick your host from the list below and follow the instructions for assistance with your domain and server configuration: Google Cloud Services (GCS) - The most powerful and difficult to use of our suggested providers, Google’s answer to hosting puts you in complete control of your own site storage with customizable virtual servers that can easily scale with your blog as you grow. The only downside is that you’ll be playing the role of both blogger and sysadmin, meaning that you’ll need to know a bit about managing your own networks, and some benefits that other hosts offer, like built in email and SSL certificates are things that will have to be manually added on. Though there is tech support available, it comes at an added cost, which may be a sticking point for those who aren’t technically inclined. Access to your very own virtual server leaves you in complete control of all of your settings, but that means that an errant flip of a switch can cause your site to fall offline, or worse, so you’ll need to take precautions. If you’ve got some cash flow concerns, GCS offers one year or $300.00 worth of service for free when you first sign up, giving you the best at a rate you can afford so that you have the chance to set things up, build them out, and perfect your aesthetic before the bills begin to roll in. Amazon Web Services (AWS) - The closest to GCS in terms of structure, AWS is Amazon’s response. Fully customizable, non-shared virtual servers mean that you get exactly the power you need, and pay for nothing more, and real time resource scaling means that you won’t get hit with sudden, unexpected throttling the moment your posts get popular. Because this host puts you in control of your entire technical structure, make sure that your IT skills are up to par in order to manage everything from server design to development stack. While there are some pre-built deployable containers that can get your blog up in short order, support costs extra which can leave you out in the cold if you don’t know the first thing about server management. To get things fully off the ground, you may need to get down with your server’s command line, so if GUIs are more your game the investment to have tech support take care of it may be worthwhile. Much like GCS, AWS comes with a year's worth of free service after start up, so as long as you're ready to commit to the climb of tackling that technical mountain, you’ll have plenty of time to learn everything that you’ll need to know to get your network engineering skills up to speed before your big launch. Bluehost - The first of our more traditional hosting options, Bluehost is a well-trusted, highly -recognized, long standing business, extensively-versed in meeting bloggers’ needs. They offer a combination of virtual servers, shared hosting plans, and dedicated server space, and since you’ll be getting your hosting from a company with a team of technicians and prebuilt containers to deploy from, you don't need anywhere near the extensive level of knowhow or expertise that AWS and GCS both require. Bluehost also offers pre-configured WordPress optimized hosting which comes built in with all the goodies you need to get your blog started. The downside is that scaling can be complicated and you will see limits that more open ended hosts don’t have. Certain settings won’t be accessible, and you may find less customization options in terms of network and system management. Additionally, file limitations may be burdensome to those hosting a large number of images or datafiles, and while 1 Million nodes may sound like a far off figure now, you’ll soon find that all those uploads add up. At the shared hosting tier you may also experience throttling causing your traffic to drop down to an exceedingly slow pace if the system so deems that you’re using more than your fair share of resources. For a service that “Just Works”, even with its downsides of potential throttling and inflexible resource management, Bluehost is our recommendation to new bloggers looking for a safe place to host their site that will take the technical weight off their shoulders. GoDaddy - While they lack some of the prestige that Bluehost has built up within the blogging community, GoDaddy’s name certainly carries some considerable weight as one of the most well-known hosting sites online today. They offer a full range of virtual and physical servers, and their modest price point makes them an attractive option for brand new bloggers. They also offer WordPress optimized hosting, and have a plethora of other features that are included, like free SSL certificates from highly trusted sources, and an email system built right into your management suite, but they are vulnerable to many of the same flaws that hosting services all too often fall prey to. Throttling resources when traffic is high can be incredibly detrimental to your readership, limitations on the number of files hosted restrict site size, and difficulty upgrading on the fly makes scaling more problematic, especially when it comes to special requirements like running multiple instances with load balancing. This means you’ll need to keep a careful eye on visitor count and resource usage to upgrade as appropriate, stay ahead of major rushes, and prevent your site from going down. HostGator - This traditional hosting service has both virtual private servers that offer you full root access and WordPress specific shared hosting. They blend in some of the nicer features of their more modern rivals, like scalability and root access with tech support teams and one of the lowest costs in the industry. You’ll still find that there are definite downsides though, with support coming at an extra cost to VPS and Dedicated hosting users, and many of the management features restricted to their WordPress specific tier. While they may not be forthright about it, our sites were also taken down several times due to resource throttling. Additionally, Root access is not available to WordPress optimized users, making configuration difficult, and directly ruling out some common fixes to potential problems that might crop up as you’re preparing your blog. Overall we would not recommend anyone use HostGator, but if you do, here is our tutorial on how to get WordPress running in the quickest and easiest way possible. WordPress.com - WordPress.com is a site dedicated to one thing and one thing only, WordPress blog hosting. While the technical management that other hosts offer isn’t as strong with this one, a bevy of host specific themes and plugins developed in house by their team may make up for it. There is a free tier for their hosting, but it comes with a .wordpress.com domain, which will cripple your blogs legitimacy right out of the gate. Hosting through Wordpress.com is easily the simplest option on our list technically speaking, but that can leave a lot of the changes that you may need to make to fix common issues with WP well out of reach. Step 5. Make It Nice (Selecting a Template) Now that you’ve got your blog ready to run, it’s time to dress it up so that you can finally get down, and in WordPress “terms”, that means that it’s time for a stylish new theme to get your aesthetic up to par. While a tech blogger will more than likely rely heavily on words and code, a food blogger is more liable to need a template that favors images. A travel blogger may need a more sequential display of posts to track their way through their scenic trips, but a beauty blogger will want galleries to display their carefully curated collection of looks and tips. The overall layout of a theme can also influence the type of niche in which it best fits. A simple, single-column theme can keep the focus on individual pieces, styles, and looks for a fashion blogger, while a more complex layout may be a necessity for a site that posts more often to ensure that a reader doesn’t miss some freshly published content hot off the “Press.” If at all possible, we recommend grabbing a great theme from our Feminine Wordpress template building friends at Blu Chic because they are built on the solid framework of Genesis and provide an added sense of stability, as well as a stylish and modern aesthetic, but there are a lot of themes available on Etsy, Creative Market, and Theme Forest that could also suit your new blogger needs. Each theme will have a variety of features like built-in recipe cards, galleries, sliders, and customizable pages, that are highly blog-specific, as well as ease of use features for you and your readers, like built-in dropdown menus and ajax loading for your post categories. Once you’ve got a few favorites narrowed down within your niche, start thinking long term with considerations like support for an e-commerce platform such as Woocommerce or Easy Digital Downloads and automatic ad placement. For a step by step guide on how to install the template of your choice, check out this tech tutorial on how to install a WordPress Theme. Step 6. Plug It In, Plug It In (Selecting the right plugins for your new blogging platform) With your theme installed, it’s time to take a look into the wide world of plugins so that you can extend your site’s basic functionality and turn it into your dream blog. While your initial copy of WordPress will come with all the handy little tools you need to write and publish your articles, if you want your site to offer more than just a few posts, you’re going to need to explore plugins. From the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’re covered by an expert security team, to the ability to make a little cash by selling your very own wares on your blog, the WordPress plugin library has the extra code required to keep your corner of the web stocked up and on track, all without needing to know even an ounce of PHP. No two blogs are alike, and there’s no one size fits all set of plugins that we can recommend, but if you’re on the hunt for a few generalized starter options, we always suggest WordFence, Akismet, and WordPress Editorial Calendar. For your blog’s more specific concerns, however, make a list of functionality that you want your site to have, and do a little research to figure out which plugins meet the needs you’ve specified. Usually, the plugin search in the control panel of WordPress is more than enough to find what you’re looking for, but if it doesn’t return a result that suits your requirements, a quick trip to Google can often turn up a third party site that does. Step 7. Getting A Second Opinion (Reviewing Your Site Before You Launch It) If your build-out is done, but you’re blog’s not quite ready for the fun, it's time to get a second set of eyes to take a closer look over everything that you’ve designed. Building a blog is anything but a simple process, and while it may be easy to rationalize away a small error here or there, your highly discerning readers won’t be as quick to write off unpolished imperfections. A link that leads to a 404 page or a menu that drops below the edge of a reader’s device could push a previously enthusiastic first time visitor beyond their breaking point, and if your carefully chosen pictures aren’t making the impact you once imagined, sooner or later, even the most exceptional content won’t make up for the chaos. Don’t lose out on readership due to careless mishaps, well before you set your sights on conquering your niche, get some backup to make sure that everything functions the way that it should. Just looking at the same device over and over again is a great way to catch only the errors visible on your tech, while leaving a plethora of navigation, usability, and even aesthetic problems behind for your newly-won readers to find on their own. Instead, have as many of your family and friends check out your budding blog on their computers, phones, and tablets as you can, or run the risk of surprise cross-browser and mobile incompatibility after your long-awaited launch. If you’re worried about getting a genuine response from your loved ones who may be willing to be slightly less than honest in order to spare your feelings, a little scared to show off your blog while it’s still got potential issues to your judgemental friends who already don’t believe that entrepreneurship is a “real” job, or if you feel like your sample size might be leaving blind spots in your analysis because it’s too small to get a comprehensive picture of everything going wrong, you can opt to have an external source look things over and give you the full breakdown of where your problems may lie. Our Show & Tell service offers an exhaustive 158 point unbiased evaluation of everywhere that your site is lacking, so that you have the complete picture of everything that you still need to work on before your blog is reader ready. Knowing exactly what your blog’s weaknesses are now gives you the opportunity to catch bugs and dysfunction before they become full scale disasters later, so that you’ll feel less loss further down the road as your site starts to become popular, and readers start checking into those long forgotten corners where potential problems have come to rest. Step 8. It’s time for an Engagement (Connecting With Your Audience On Social Media) Where once SEO ruled the worlds of blogging and business, a modern audience is more likely to locate your latest content via Pinterest or Instagram than they are via Google. Any excuse you once could have used to avoid joining any of the plethora of social media platforms out there has long since been outdated. If you want to keep up in the modern era you need to ensure that you’re available on any platform where potential customers might want to access your newly established brand and that you provide the information that your customers are looking for in an easily consumable format. Always seek to inform instead of promote. Don’t be spammy. Don’t be insincere. Don’t be salesy. JUST BE AUTHENTICALLY YOU. Step 9: Come Together, Right Now, Over me... (Gathering your first crowd) It doesn’t matter what your niche, content, or monetization method looks like, if you want your blog to succeed, the number one resource you need is readers. Thankfully, there are a few places where newly-minted fresh faces can find the following that they need to start making it legit. Look to the idols who originally inspired you to take an interest in your niche and see what some of the biggest names out there are posting, commenting, and sharing in their feeds. Find their most popular recent post and start scrolling through the lists of those who have liked it and those who have commented on it. Like at least three posts that you can genuinely provide honest commentary on from the feeds of everyone who’s interacted with the original post, and leave those users a comment or two directly and meaningfully discussing the content of their posts. If you’re only in it for the followers, your potential fan base will be able to tell as soon as you start interacting, and nothing will drive them away quite like having your blog foisted onto them. These followers may not even be interested in your content for its own sake, and some may simply ignore you outright, but as long as you approach the situation with sincerity and be authentic in your interactions, you’ll start to see a return on your time investment. No one likes to hear that success won’t be instant, but one afternoon of liking and commenting is not going to be enough to turn you into a viral sensation. If, however, you’re willing to keep at this somewhat tedious labor, you’ll soon find that your numbers are starting to look a little more lively. Once you’ve got them interested, don’t leave your new followers out in the cold, or you can easily find your follower count shrinking just as quickly as it rose. Keep responding to comments, like your followers latest posts, and absolutely respond to every single non-spam message that you get. Though all that interaction may be time consuming, building blog loyalty now means readers who will stick with you later, vouch for you within the community, and who will genuinely care about your blog’s lasting success. Step 10. Machine Head (Automation) The biggest obstacle that any new blogger faces is the hectic schedule that comes with running a digital empire, while you’ve still got your own life to work around. The sooner you start using automation tools to take over some of the tedious tasks your days are filled with, the sooner you can get on with the things you actually started this hustle in order to do. Tailwind – Thinking about being super active on social media is a ton of fun. Actually taking the time to build an audience, create unique content, and keep up with the latest hashtags and trends on each social media platform, however, is super not fun. If there’s one thing that running multiple blogs, businesses, and websites has taught us, it’s that social media can quickly go from a fun way to relax to a life-sucking daily grind that consumes all of your free time and most of your soul. Unfortunately, Social Media Automation is imperative to the success of your business, your social profiles, and your sanity. Enter, Tailwind. Their almost magical ability to schedule a bajillion Pins in like a nanosecond and their super neato analytics tools make this social media savior, our champion for both Pinterest & Instagram. Planoly – Instagram is such a visual platform that it needs to be perfect every time. Sometimes, however, it can be hard to mentally visualize what photo is going to look good next to another photo. Being the organization loving control freaks we are, we set out for a solution and found one in the well-recommended Planoly. It enabled us to see how all potential posts will look in our feed BEFORE publishing, let’s us get most of our post planning for the month out of the way all at once, and with the right permissions, it can automatically post all of your Instagram content, leaving no possibility of errors in your carefully planned out designs. Plluuuss There’s a free version with less importable photos that’s the perfect size for small accounts. Ninja Pinner – An absolutely essential tool if you’re looking to automate a Pinterest account for business, Ninja Pinner has been our go-to tool for Pinterest automation since we first started blogging. Ninjagram – Just as helpful as Ninja Pinner, but built for the gram, this simple to use tool has enabled us to automate growth of our Instagram accounts to focus on more important things. Fiverr – When running not just one, but several blogs, time is definitely at a premium, and good help is hard to come by. We use Fiverr to get some freelance assistance with the tedious little things that take up to much of our team’s time. For a few bucks, we can take something off of our plates, giving us back our time to work on the things that really matter. While it may not be automation to a machine, any task that you can distribute to someone else is more of your time saved, making those extra helping hands an absolute must. MailChimp – Our Newsletter management tool of choice, MailChimp was one of the first mass mailers we used, and while we’ve given a few others a try since then, we’ve found that there just aren’t any options out there that we enjoy quite as much. Easy to use, with a built-in editor that’s saved us hours of frustration in designing and building newsletters and opt-in forms, MailChimp get’s our approval. The ability to schedule automated emails, push newsletters to lists of your readers, and keep up with a pre made contact schedule all make MailChimp invaluable to any new blogger. ClickFunnels - Though we don’t currently use it on any of our sites, ClickFunnels is a well renowned solution to the dreaded game of how to collect leads and upsell products and services. As a purveyor of digital goods it is often hard to manage the fineness of a live sales person suggesting addons to customers carefully curated baskets. ClickFunnels has managed to take the guesswork out of getting your customers to purchase more. WordPress Editorial Calendar – Scheduling can be a rough game for bloggers, and while paper might work when you’re small, when you have multiple blogs running at once, a posted post-it of posts just isn’t going to do the trick. Having our editorial calendar attached to our blog made sense at the time, and has been a boon ever since, and being able to schedule posts to push automatically whenever they’re needed most is a handy way to ensure that you never miss fulfilling your publishing schedule. Yoast SEO – Yoast is the quickest, and easiest way to set up a system for SEO on WordPress based blogs. It automates a lot of the more tedious parts of SEO and offers a somewhat set it and forget it option for most of our metadata needs. Not every blog will have the exact same requirements, and depending on your niche you may find more or less tools out there to fit your exact needs. Check out the myriad of options available for automating everything from your blog’s security to keeping track of an increasingly complex set of publishing dates and times, and remember that every hour saved is time you can use doing the things you love most about running your blog. Step 11. I’ve got My Mind on My Money and My Money on My Mind (Monetizing Your Blog) Though we can’t predict how much money your blog will actually make, we do suggest a “the simpler the better” mindset when initially starting to monetize your finally finished framework. There will always be fads and ever-evolving tricks that promise to sky rocket both your blog and your pockets to the fullest of your dreams, but we believe that a steady and straightforward approach to blogging, by treating it like an “actual” business is the only way to see true and lasting progress toward building your brand. Services- Offer knowledge to others in the form of a service that specifically appeals to your target audience and directly pertains to the information you share within your niche. Consult for other businesses if you’re a business blogger, develop websites if you’re a tech blogger, and offer your styling services to your followers for a fee if you’re a fashion blogger. Sell Your Own Products - If your blog is focused on things like DIY or being a maker, you may already have a number of prior projects that you have created leaving you with products that could easily be sold. Add in a link to your stylish store or your Etsy or eBay page and start selling your chic wares to make some extra cash and get a little more mileage out of those projects. Affiliate Products - For blogs with a focus on other people's products, like fashion, beauty, or home decor blogs, affiliate programs are a great way to make cash off of the items that you already review and show off. Your readers come to you to get your opinion and curation on the seasons latest and greatest, so why not make some money off of those recommendations. Share a Sale, CJ, Pepperjam, and even Amazon are all excellent choices for affiliate networks and will provide you with a massive repository of the sort of sleek and stylish companies you'll want to work with, including many of the biggest names in just about any industry that you can imagine. Ads - While a lot of modern day bloggers write off adsense and the like completely because of the minimal amount of money you make per click, we strongly recommend using ad networks as a secondary or tertiary way to bring in revenue to your site. There are numerous ad networks that you as a blogger can implement on your site to take the guesswork out of trying to sell ad space, without breaking your stylish design or having your home page overrun by the sorts of spam we all hate. Ads provide a set it and forget it revenue stream, and while you most likely won’t strike it rich off of ads alone, there’s no reason to look gift profits that you don’t have to work for in the mouth. Sponsored Posts - Paid posts are another way to make some money from the companies you are already blogging about. These are reviews or features of products or services that you are paid to write by the company offering the items. This is an area that can be quite lucrative but comes with several pitfalls, most notably that there are legal items you will need to read up on to be sure that you have properly disclosed to your readers that you are writing a paid post. Another trap to avoid is writing positive reviews for features that you don't personally believe in, as driving your readers to products or services that are sub-par can lead to you making some money, but losing a large portion of your readership. Always be as transparent as possible with your readers and never recommend a product that you wouldn't use yourself. Write Ebooks - The time and research that you are already pouring into writing your blog will give you the stores of boss level knowledge you need to quickly and easily create a book on your chosen topic, and while in the past getting a book to print would mean finding a publisher and going through editing, e-books can be published through channels like Amazon in an incredibly short period of time. E-courses -Tutorials and guides can easily be written using your existing knowledge base. No matter what your niche is there is someone out there looking to learn more about it, and if you can provide the knowledge that they are looking for, many of them will be willing to pay a price for access to it. Bootcamps - Your readers are coming to your blog to learn more about your niche, and hosting your own Bootcamp or class can be a great way to get them the information that they're looking for, and get you the money you're looking for. If you plan on selling classroom time, you need to make sure that your students see you as an expert, not just a novice. To do so, make sure that the content you provide on your blog has value to your readers, and resist the urge to save all the best details for your seminars as it will be difficult to attract the audience that you need without first proving to that audience that they need you. Speaking Engagements - Once you have yourself firmly established in your niche, and are finally seen as an expert, you can turn that expertise into a monetization method, made for networking. Most public events will need keynote speakers, and presenters to draw in sponsors and crowds, and that is where your expertise can really shine. Be sure to offer contact information on your site for anyone who is looking to book you for an appearance, even if you aren't big enough to get many offers yet, attend conferences on your own if possible to get your name out there in your community. With the last pieces of your burgeoning empire firmly in place, you’ve got all the ingredients you need for success, with only time, and your hard work standing between you and your blog based end goals. Stay persistent, keep learning, and never stop working to grow your blog into the digital powerhouse you dreamed of as you first looked into purchasing your own domain.
The Definitive Guide to Blog Post Inspiration for Fashion Bloggers
Every. Body. Gets. a. Unicorn. With a low barrier to entry and a high burnout rate, Fashion blogging is one of the most popular niches to get into for new bloggers. Whether you’re looking for a simple springboard to dive into your next stylish post, or you're in need of a fashionable backlog of ideas to help you keep the block at bay, a little list of writing inspo could be just the thing you need to take your blog from mythical mindset to must read right now. Unfortunately, because it is so popular, the competition to put out ever-more-trendy posts that speak to your audience, leave them feeling more in the know than before they appeared at your beautifully staged door, and presumably hand out free unicorns like Oprah gives away cars, is becoming increasingly more intense. (Every. Body. Gets. a. Unicorn.) The Definitive Guide to Blog Post Inspiration for Fashion Bloggers Never Look a Gift Unicorn in the Maintenance Expenses. The 5 Essential Makeup Tips You Need To Know For Fall These 8 Ankle Boots Are Winter Must-Haves The Definitive Guide To Picking The Perfect Lipstick The 3 Fashion Trends You Need to Know About Our Guide To The Best Places to Shop for Feminine Fashion These Sun Dresses Are The Key To A Designer Level Summer Wardrobe Elevate Your Summer Outfits With These 25 Sunglasses The Definitive Guide to Picking the Right Accessories for Your Outfit 4 Up-and-Coming Designers to Watch this Year This Year's Hottest Budget Conscious Beauty Products The Ultimate Guide to Dressing Like Your Favorite Celebrity 5 Holiday Must-have Looks My Must-Have Fashion Wish List The 6 New Fashion Trends You Need To Be Following 12 Extravagant Products That Are Actually Worth Their High Price Tags 6 Stunning Swimsuits For Next A Level Beach Vacay These 20 Outfits Are Perfect For Fall 5 Halloween Lookbooks To Elevate Your Blog This Year's Best Hair Dos, and Hair Don'ts 12 Ways To Finish Off Any Outfit 7 Tees Your Closet Needs Instagram's Top Fashion Posters The 5 Products That Everyone Needs To Stop Ignoring 10 Worst Fashion Faux Pas (And How They Can Be Easily Avoided) The Ultimate Guide To Dressing For A Job Interview The Best Instagram Accounts to Follow For The Latest Fashions Monthly Best & Worst Look Roundup How to Dress for a friends wedding These 12 Dresses Are Perfect Party Outfits 9 Beauty Hacks That Will Surprise You The 7 Essentials That Need To Be In Your Purse (And Aren't) These 10 Plus Size Looks Are Perfect For Spring The Definitive Guide To Choosing the Best Bag for Your Outfit Tips and Tricks to Reuse Old Jewelry 6 Stylish Heels For Your Next Night Out The Best Way to Stay at the Forefront of the Latest Fashion Trends These Tips Will Help You Beat Closet Clutter Beauty Bag Surprise: The 10 Things I Never Leave My House Without 6 Fashion Rules You Should Be Breaking 4 Must-Have Bags of Summer 12 Trendy Hair Products That Are Actually Bad For Your Hair The Right Way to Build a Capsule Wardrobe 4 Things in Your Closet to Throw Away Today The Best Pair of Jeans For Any Body Type The 8 Correct Ways To Wear White in the Winter How to Wear It: The New Pantone Color of the Season Lay It On Me: The Ultimate Layering Guide For Every Body Type 6 Wardrobe Basics Your Closet Needs The 10 Best Dresses for the Start of Spring The Right Way to Mix and Match Prints The 6 Reasons Your Jeans Aren't Fitting Right Your Guide To Seasonal Hemlines 12 Feminine Dresses That Match Every Style The Budget Friendly Guide To Getting Your Favorite Brands Work Friendly Ways To Elevate Your Wardrobe Mixing Style And Comfort: How to Stay Fashionable & Relaxed 7 Cute Workout Outfits For the Gym How to Wear Orange without looking like a toddler Warm, Comfortable, and Fashionable: This Year's Hottest Winter Coats 7 Must See Looks To Keep You Fashionable And Cool This Summer 3 Cute and Comfortable Running Shoes For A Designer Level Workout 12 Must Have Shoes For A More Fashionable Workwear Wardrobe 6 Fashion Trends You Should Definitely Pass On These 12 Timeless Classics Will Never Go Out of Style How to Get the Latest Looks Before Your Friends Do 10 Hot Nail Polishes to Complete Your Look The 3 Biggest Fashion Events You Should Be Following How to Get This Year's Hottest Nails 4 Chic & Patriotic Looks for the 4th of July The 7 Looks That Are On Their Way Out Of Style The 5 Makeup Mistakes You Are Making Right Now These Stunning Dresses Will Make You the Belle of the Ball The Perfect Picnic Dress Guide 5 Fashion Trends That Will Be The Next Big Thing Europe's 10 Biggest Fashion Trends You Need To Follow The Ultimate Weekend Wardrobe Makeover 6 Halloween Costumes To Help You Stand Out at the Masquerade How to Actually Wear Sequins Without Looking Tacky The Budget Conscious Guide To Rebuilding Your Wardrobe These 3 Retro Trends Are Coming Back Into Style Last Years Top Looks That Are Already Out of Style These Are The Fashion Industry Icons You Need To Follow 4 Fall Scarves To Make Any Outfit Cuter These 10 Gloves Add Feminine Flair To Any Outfit Hats Off to You: The Latest Trends in Headwear The 5 Best Outfits For Comfort and Style on the Go The Ultimate Guide To A Designer Level Graduation 10 Chic hats that will give you life These 5 Stylish Boots Are Perfect For Rainy New York Weather 7 Ritzy Outfits for a Night on the Town The Must Read Guide To Selecting Outfits For The Fashion Challenged 12 Budget Conscious Ways to Fix an Outdated Look 4 Ways to salvage Old and Worn Clothing 4 Stunning Formal Outfits You Can Use For Any Occasion How to Rock a Retro Look Without it Looking Like A Costume The Best Flip-flops That Are Actually Worth Wearing This Summer These Stunning Vegan Leather Skirts Will Elevate Your Wardrobe These are the 7 Dresses You Should Be Wearing To Prom 4 Simple Tips For Spring Cleaning Your Wardrobe 10 Spring prints for the floral fearful These Are The 12 Hottest Winter Wardrobe Looks To Complete Your Collection
These are the Essential Free WordPress Plugins Every New Blogger Should be Using
As the simplest solution to the larger problem of how to create and manage a website with no programming experience, more than any other blogging platform, WordPress dominates the space like a mother lion on the prowl. When WordPress stops working, however, or needs a customization beyond the bounds of a normal blog, both budding bloggers and proven professionals turn to the pre-packaged problem solving of plugins. Offering an all in one solution to getting the functionality you need from WordPress while still being able to bury your head in the sand and not learn php, plugins provide the blogosphere with a host of site saving options without the time-sink of custom dev. These are the Essential Free WordPress Plugins Every New Blogger Should be Using Click to Tweet – We’ve been using click to tweet for the last few years to increase social shares for our posts. The plugin lets us quickly create tweetable blurbs embedded within our articles so that we can highlight our favorite passages and make them easily shareable for our readers. While we don’t use the plugin anymore due to Twitter’s dwindling popularity, its a great plugin if you’re in a Twitter heavy Niche. Akismet – Coming Pre-installed on most standard WordPress installations, for as long as we’ve been making sites on WordPress, we’ve been using Akismet to keep spammers at bay. Free of charge for smaller bloggers and businesses, this plugin provides quick and easy protection from spam, and is completely automated, meaning that we don’t have to take time out of our busy days for the tedious task of filtering out nonsense comments on our blogs. Yoast SEO – Yoast is the quickest, and easiest way to set up a system for SEO on WordPress based blogs. It automates a lot of the more tedious parts of SEO and offers a somewhat set it and forget it option for most of our metadata needs. CommentLuv – The quick and easy way to draw in commenters from other blogs while adding extra links to your pages, we’ve used CommentLuv for years on nearly every site we’ve produced. Automatically pulling the commenters latest blog post, giving them an incentive to comment and you a higher likelihood that they will leave a comment, we love using it for our new blogs that need a quick comment surge in a well-read, but not highly engaged niche. WordPress Editorial Calendar – Scheduling can be a rough game for bloggers, and while paper might work when you’re small, when you have multiple blogs running at once, a posted post-it of posts just isn’t going to do the trick. Enabling us to Post on the regular while keeping track of the progress of our upcoming articles, editorial calendar has been the organizational boon we needed, ever since we first began. WP to Twitter – A few years back we decided to look into automation tools to cut down on the amount of time that we were spending pushing new posts out to social media. For Twitter, we found WP to Twitter, a simple to use, super lightweight plugin that automatically pushes all of our latest posts titles and excerpts, and since then we’ve made sure that it was installed on every site we worked on. It’s a great way to fill up your feed without having to Actually visit Twitter. Pinterest Automatic – We’ve had this handy automatic Pinterest pusher for a couple of years now, and we don’t know what we’d do without it. Automatically posting all the images out of a post to Pinterest when it publishes, this plugin is a huge timesaver and one of our favorite ways to stay active on social media. Heartbeat Control – As content management systems go, we’re pretty big fans of WordPress, but if there was one tiny issue we would take with it, it’s that it sometimes freezes solid and eats 4 hours worth of work. Sick of slow load times and out of nowhere crashes, we decided that it might be time to cut back on some of the more resource intensive functions of WordPress, namely, the Heartbeat. This slick little plugin lets us turn the heartbeat process on or off at will, ironically enough keeping our WordPress from dying right in the middle of writing an article. WooCommerce – While on the hunt for a solution to a store building issue in WordPress we came across a young WooCommerce only a couple of years out from its initial release. While we ended up going with a different solution to that particular problem, we were impressed enough to watch it grow into the staple of WordPress blogs that it is today, and even include it on a few of our other sites. Google XML Sitemaps - Providing more SEO goodness to enjoy in the form of a sitemap created to Google standards, this search engine supercharger allows spiders to more easily traverse your blog, adding a little boost to your Google search ranking without any added effort. Wordfence - If you have a blog, you need Wordfence. With the ability to scan files to determine if they have already been infected, and allowing us to limit login attempts while blacklisting problematic IPs, free of charge, this plugin gives us enterprise level security on an entry level budget.
The Definitive Guide to Blog Post Inspiration for Travel Bloggers
A lack of creativity has guided you to a bland and uninspired place. With a literal world of experiences and unfamiliar sights to explore, the excursion fueled life of a travel blogger is filled with the wondrous undertaking of seeing the world while digitally documenting the infinite splendor of their far-flung, adventurous days. Though the constant treks and surreal expeditions may belie that the next adventurous outing is always just around the bend, when the lustrous grandeur of the unknown has begun to lose its wonder, you may find that much like the paper towns on an old map, a lack of creativity during your overabundance of awe has guided you to a bland and uninspired place. The Definitive Guide to Blog Post Inspiration for Travel Bloggers These Are The Best Honeymoon Destinations In Europe This is the Only Right Way to travel with children These Travel Hacks Will Keep Your Stay From Exhausting Your Wallet These Travel Agencies Are The Only Places You Should Be Booking Through The Most Innovative Ways to Document Your Travels The Complete Guide To Travelling Light You Absolutely Must See These Places Before You Die The History Buff's Guide To European Countries The Most Instagramable Beaches In The Caribbean These Islands Are Perfect For A Relaxing Tropical Getaway Make Travel Fun Without Breaking The Bank With These 7 Activities You Can Do In Any City The Beer Lover's Guide To The Best Breweries of The US The Top 9 Countries For The Traveler With An Adventurous Palate Tech Travels: Must Own Gadgets For Any Nomad The Comprehensive Guide To Your First International Excursion This Is How to Learn the Basics of Any Language in Just 14 Days These Are The Best Ways To Manage Living Expenses During Long-Term Travel The 5 Best Countries for Getting Back To Nature You Need To Avoid These Awkward Faux Pas While Traveling Abroad The Best Countries In The World To Host A Destination Wedding In 10 Local Cuisines That You Cannot Miss When Traveling In Asia These Instagram Worthy Locales Are The Most Photogenic Countries The World 20 Islands You Can Actually See Without Blowing Your Vacation Budget The Complete Guide To Surviving Long Distance Flights 6 Cities To See When You're Broke AF This is How to Get Through Customs Without All The Hassle Weekend Destinations That Will Leave Your Friends And Followers Jealous These Unique Vacation Ideas Will Cut Your Travel Costs In Half The Comprehensive Guide To Safety For The Single Traveler The 6 Can't-Miss Historic Pubs To Have A Pint In London Traveling Alone: How To Make Travel Fun When You're By Yourself The Complete Guide To Traveling The World Without Spending A Cent These Crowd Pleasing Activities Will Ensure That Your Entire Travel Group Enjoys Their Trip The 10 Most Photogenic Castles In Europe Adventurous Vacations For Thrill Seekers This Is How to Pack Like A Travel Pro These Quotes Will Fill You With Wanderlust The 5 Best Amusement Parks For Thrill Seekers The Most Beautiful Natural Parks In North America UNESCO Heritage Sites You Need To Visit Around The World This is How To Actually Dodge Jet-lag The Top 6 Romantic Travel Destinations In Europe These Are The Clearest Waters To Dive In Throughout The Pacific This Is Why You Should Drop Everything You're Doing And Start Planning Your Next Vacation Now The Most Incredible Countries You've Never Heard Of (And Why They Should Be Your Next Destination) This Is How To Fly When Your Budget Is Already Strained These Eco Friendly Safaris Are The Best Ways To See African Wildlife The Complete Guide To Upgrading Your Trip Without Upgrading Your Budget Unusual Hotels That Will Make Your Experience Unforgettable Beat The Heat With These 6 Cool Summer Travel Destinations The Coziest Inns In New England The Most Photogenic Places to see The Fall Colors These Can't-Miss Mountains Are Perfect For Winter Sports Enthusiasts Beat The Winter Blues With These Delightful Destinations In The Southern Hemisphere These Are The Road-trip Ideas Your Whole Family Will Actually Love These Natural Phenomena Must Be Seen To Be Believed Country Living: A Guide To The Rural Bed And Breakfasts For The Northeast These Cathedrals Are Must-Sees For Classic Architecture Enthusiasts These Irish Bed And Breakfasts Are The Ideal Way To See The Irish Countryside The Complete Guide To Wining And Dining In The Niagara Region Relaxing West Coast Vacays To Help You Love That Cali Lifestyle Brews and Burgers: The Best Pubs On The Golden Coast This Is Why New Zealand Should Be Your Next Getaway These Are The Top Art Museums In The World These 12 Ancient Ruins Are The Most Fascinating In The World The Complete Guide To Your Vatican Vacation This Is Why The Yukon Wilderness Is A More Interesting Travel Destination Than You Might Think The Only Time Of Year You Should Be Traveling These Family Friendly Restaurants Offer Some Of The Best Food In All Of NYC See Southeast Asia Without Breaking The Bank By Visiting These 3 Countries Don't Visit Spain Without Seeing These Lesser Known Cities Everything You Need To Know About The Beaches Of Eastern Australia Eat Like A Foodie At These Berlin Bistros This Is Why You Should Still Consider Visiting The American South These International Casinos Are The Definition Of Opulence The Comprehensive Guide To Family Travel Safety This Is How To Survive A Long Plane Ride With Your Children Up Your Instagame With These Top Stops In The Southwest Skip The Hotel No Matter Where You Travel With These Unique Lodging Options The Complete Checklist For Prepping Your International Trip This Is How to Avoid Surprise Costs When Traveling The Lesser Known (But Totally Amazing) Monuments Of Washington DC The Top Tips To Tackle Train Travel These Are The 4 Experiences You Can Only Have in Shanghai Everything You Need To Know Before You Hit The Monetary Exchange The Best All-Inclusive Resorts In the Caribbean This Is How To Actually See the Best of New Orleans in 3 Days Or Less These Are The Street Foods You Can't Miss Out On From Around The World The Best Adventures The Outback Has To Offer Make Your Vacation More Adventurous With These South American Tours The Caver's Guide To The American Southwest These Cities Are The Safest Places To Take Your Family On A European Vacation These 8 Simple Travel Tips Will Improve Your Business Travels The Amazing Roman Attractions That You've Never Even Heard Of Don't Lose Touch While You're Away From Home With These Communication Tips These Shocking Landscapes Are The Most Colorful Places In The World The Most Scenic Paths For Road Tripping Across North America These Tiny Tapas Restaurants Are Your Best Lunch Options In Rome Live The Provincial Life In These European Hamlets Why You Shouldn't Miss An Opportunity To See The Cloud Forests of Central America The Most Elegant And Opulent Palaces In The World
Follow These Steps To Maximize Your Potential When Traffic Is Down
There are few things in the world of blogging more frustrating than periods of low traffic. Even though there are absolutely things you can do to raise your readership and drive traffic to your blog, the temptation to give up and throw in the towel can be all too real. However, much like the sea to the shore, if you position yourself on the right path, your tide of readers will always come back. So spend your time preparing your blogging beaches now, before the tidal wave of traffic hits your site’s sunny shores. Follow These Steps To Maximize Your Potential When Traffic Is Down Take a moment to explore things you might otherwise ignore. A Handyman's Haven - From page load times to permalinks, Now’s the time to fix all those little issues before they stack up and become bigger problems down the road. Take a moment to explore things you might otherwise ignore like Meta Tags, Mobile Optimization, and SEO. Check out the site’s flow and make sure you’re actually directing users where you want them to go. Customize your 404 Page, Create Content Clusters, and work on building your sales funnel. Doing the work now when you have lighter traffic will mean not needing to do it all later when working on the site could potentially damage your user experience. Your tiny tribe might be just the right size depending on how you try to monetize. Less Traffic “Mo” Money - Not every monetization method requires you to have a weekly viewership that dwarfs the population of most modern European city states. Because some revenue streams revolve around the personal connections you can only forge when you have a small audience, your tiny tribe might be just the right size depending on how you try to monetize. First, focus on making better content than anyone else in your niche. Make it Longer or make it more fun, make it more valuable, just get it done. Then, try implementing low traffic high-value monetization methods like high dollar affiliate links, custom bootcamps, and making your own courses. To get repeat traffic you will need a backlog that gives readers something new and now. Bulk Up to Get ahead - Now is the time to build up your content and bulk up your backlog of articles. Having a few posts is enough to get readers to visit once, but to get repeat traffic you will need a backlog that gives readers something new and now, each and every time they come to your site. Use low traffic to your advantage and write some extra posts now, so that later you’ll have more time to work on more advanced things like monetization and perfecting your lead pages. Now is the moment where you can have the biggest one on one impact on your readers. Catch of the Day - In a room with a thousand voices, individuals become all but impossible to hear, yet, within a small group, a real conversation can grow and flourish. Don’t dismiss that trickle of traffic that is still flowing, while it may not be huge, now is the moment where you can have the biggest one on one impact on your readers. Conversational comments, a weekly newsletter, and direct, personal responses on social media will show your followers that you really do care, and build up a kind of loyalty that money can’t buy.
This is How To Protect Your Blog From Hackers (A Must Read)
Hackers don’t care about your feelings. Beat the buggy blog blues by adding some serious safegaurds. They don’t care about how long you’ve worked on your latest post. They don’t care about how many hours you’ve put into your marketing and social media, and they certainly don’t care that you think of your blog as a very personal extension of you. Unfortunately, there are a variety of reasons why someone might want to hack into your blog, some involve money, some may be your rivals, some are even just because they can, but one truth holds firm, regardless of the hackers motivation, if they succeed, you will be left with a huge pile of un-fixable pieces or a hefty ransom to pay. This is How To Protect Your Blog From Hackers The Name of the Game- In our current age of internet privacy breeches and network security flaws, one of the most dangerous and prevalent problems on the net is the Socially Engineered Malware Attack. Once a hacker has gained access to your site, they force your site to display requests for your trusting readers to install software. Once downloaded, the software will then destroy data, steal personal information, or lock up your readers' computers and hold them for ransom. If a hacker takes a fancy to your lovely little slice of the net, they're already halfway to hurting you in a hurry if they know your username. If you wouldn't make your Password "Password" then don't leave your Username as Admin. Change Your Username to Something more Specific and Change it RTFN. Creative Tip: Hackers will read your blog to find things you talk about often so don’t make it a relative's name, pet’s name, your favorite food or the city you live in. Strong and Long - Not only is a tough to guess username important, but a difficult password is equally imperative. One of the most popular ways to Hack into a WordPress Blog is called a Brute Force attack, during which, a computer tries to guess the password repeatedly by using different word and letter combinations related to your site. The longer and more complex your password is, the better chance you stand of avoiding attacks, and the less risk you and your customers are in. If you need to store your password, write it down and keep it in your desk. Never store your password on your computer, and definitely don't store it anywhere online or on your phone. Creative Tip: If you're having trouble remembering your password, try making a story out of it. Use four of five words that form a cohesive narrative for added security and ease of memorability. For a little password humor with your lesson check out this fun comic from one of our favorite sites, XKCD. Wordfence - They say the best defense is a good offense and Wordfence is the single best offensive line that Your WordPress site could Draft. Vigilantly allowing you to detect malicious software that could be installed on your site by a hacker who is looking to gain additional access to the more highly secure areas of your blog, it can also be setup to run scheduled scans of your site and theme to ensure that they are functioning as expected and haven't been altered by someone without your knowledge. With features like the ability to blacklist known problematic IP addresses, and the option to limit access to the admin section of your blog, Wordfence is definitely our pick for a simple solution to a prevalent problem. Creative Tip: There is an amazing lite version of this incredible plugin available for free if you are a small blogger or organization. Just search "Wordfence" in the WordPress plugin directory for more details. ♥ Back that Thang Up: Backing up your site is essential to the success of your blog and your sanity. The amount of man hours you can lose if someone decides to break into your site and delete all of your posts is absolutely staggering and completely avoidable. There's no excuse for not having a backup in 2019, so make like your outgoing friend in the club and back, back it up. Creative Tip: Don't set up your back up through a WordPress Plugin. Back it up through your host WITH THE DATABASE INCLUDED so that in the terrifying event that your site is disabled, you can still restore all of your hard-fought Data. Gotta Keep 'em Updated: So here's the thing, as a blog owner, The Kardashians aren't the only thing you should be keeping up with. During a SQL injection, hackers override database information on your site by exploiting Wordpress vulnerabilities caused by plugins, themes, or WP editions that have not been properly updated. The team that makes WordPress is amazingly diligent in keeping up with the latest in security flaws, and patching any issues in super short order, but all of the patches in the world won’t do your site an ounce of good if they are sitting in the install queue waiting for your permission to help you. Creative Tip: Upgrade your site at night after pulling down a copy so that if something goes wrong, you can fix it before a ton of your readers find the flaw.