According to our new plans, Inoreader Pro is required to export RSS feeds.
If you are the owner of the feed, please consider upgrading to Pro.
According to our new plans, Inoreader Pro is required to export RSS feeds.
If you are the owner of the feed, please consider upgrading to Pro.
Posted by TheMozTeam
Google let it be known earlier this year that snippets were a-changin’. And true to their word, we’ve seen them make two major updates to the feature — all in an attempt to answer more of your questions.
We first took you on a deep dive of double featured snippets, and now we’re taking you for a ride on the carousel snippet. We’ll explore how it behaves in the wild and which of its snippets you can win.
For your safety, please remain seated and keep your hands, arms, feet, and legs inside the vehicle at all times!
This particular snippet holds the answers to many different questions and, as the name suggests, employs carousel-like behaviour in order to surface them all.
So, if you searched [savings account rates] and clicked the “capital one” IQ-bubble, you’d be looking at a snippet for “savings account rates capital one.” That said, 72.06 percent of the time, natural language processing will step in here and produce something more sensible, like “capital one savings account rates.”
On the new snippet, the IQ-bubbles sit at the top, making room for the “Search for” link at the bottom. The link is the bubble snippet’s query and, when clicked, becomes the search query of a whole new SERP — a bit of fun borrowed from the “People also ask” box.
You can blame the ludicrous “IQ-bubble” name on Google — it’s the class tag they gave on HTML SERP. We have heard them referred to as “refinement” bubbles or “related search” bubbles, but we don’t like either because we’ve seen them do both refine and relate. IQ-bubble it is.
Back in April, we sifted through every SERP in STAT to see just how large the initial carousel rollout was. Turns out, it made a decent-sized first impression.
Appearing only in America, we discovered 40,977 desktop and mobile SERPs with carousel snippets, which makes up a hair over 9 percent of the US-en market. When we peeked again at the beginning of August, carousel snippets had grown by half but still had yet to reach non-US markets.
Since one IQ-bubble equals one snippet, we deemed it essential to count every single bubble we saw. All told, there were a dizzying 224,508 IQ-bubbles on our SERPs. This means that 41,000 keywords managed to produce over 220,000 extra featured snippets. We’ll give you a minute to pick your jaw up off the floor.
The lowest and most common number of bubbles we saw on a carousel snippet was three, and the highest was 10. The average number of bubbles per carousel snippet was 5.48 — an IQ of five if you round to the nearest whole bubble (they’re not that smart).
Depending on whether you’re a glass-half-full or a glass-half-empty kind of person, this either makes for a lot of opportunity or a lot of competition, right at the top of the SERP.
When we’ve looked at “normal” snippets in the past, we’ve always been able to find the organic results that they’ve been sourced from. This wasn’t the case with carousel snippets — we could only find 10.76 percent of IQ-bubble URLs on the 100-result SERP. This left 89.24 percent unaccounted for, which is a metric heck-tonne of new results to contend with.
Concerned about the potential competitor implications of this, we decided to take a gander at ownership at the domain level.
Turns out things weren’t so bad. 63.05 percent of bubble snippets had come from sites that were already competing on the SERP — Google was just serving more varied content from them. It does mean, though, that there was a brand new competitor jumping onto the SERP 36.95 percent of the time. Which isn’t great.
Just remember: these new pages or competitors aren’t there to answer the original search query. Sometimes you’ll be able to expand your content in order to tackle those new topics and snag a bubble snippet, and sometimes they’ll be beyond your reach.
So, when IQ-bubble snippets do bother to source from the same SERP, what ranks do they prefer? Here we saw another big departure from what we’re used to.
Normally, 97.88 percent of snippets source from the first page, and 29.90 percent typically pull from rank three alone. With bubble snippets, only 36.58 percent of their URLs came from the top 10 ranks. And while the most popular rank position that bubble snippets pulled from was on the first page (also rank three), just under five percent of them did this.
We could apply the always helpful “just rank higher” rule here, but there appears to be plenty of exceptions to it. A top 10 spot just isn’t as essential to landing a bubble snippet as it is for a regular snippet.
We think this is due to relevancy: Because bubble snippet queries only relate to the original search term — they’re not attempting to answer it directly — it makes sense that their organic URLs wouldn’t rank particularly high on the SERP.
Next we asked ourselves, can you own more than one answer on a carousel snippet? And the answer was a resounding: you most definitely can.
First we discovered that you can own both the parent snippet and a bubble snippet. We saw this occur on 16.71 percent of our carousel snippets.
Then we found that owning multiple bubbles is also a thing that can happen. Just over half (57.37 percent) of our carousel snippets had two or more IQ-bubbles that sourced from the same domain. And as many as 2.62 percent had a domain that owned every bubble present — and most of those were 10-bubble snippets!
Folks, it’s even possible for a single URL to own more than one IQ-bubble snippet, and it’s less rare than we’d have thought — 4.74 percent of bubble snippets in a carousel share a URL with a neighboring bubble.
This begs the same obvious question that finding two snippets on the SERP did: Is your content ready to pull multi-snippet duty?
Since bubble snippets are technically providing answers to questions different from the original search term, we looked into what shows up when the bubble query is the keyword being searched.
Specifically, we wanted to see if, when we click the “Search for” link in a bubble snippet, the subsequent SERP 1) had a featured snippet and 2) had a featured snippet that matched the bubble snippet from whence it came.
To do this, we re-tracked our 40,977 SERPs and then tracked their 224,508 bubble “Search for” terms to ensure everything was happening at the same time.
The answers to our two pressing questions were thus:
If we’re being honest, we’re not exactly sure what to make of all this. If you own the bubble snippet but not the snippet on the subsequent SERP, you’re clearly on Google’s radar for that keyword — but does that mean you’re next in line for full snippet status?
And if the roles are reversed, you own the snippet for the keyword outright but not when it’s in a bubble, is your snippet in jeopardy? Let us know what you think!
Last, and somewhat least, we took a look at the shape all these snippets were turning up in.
When it comes to the parent snippet, Heavens to Betsy if we weren’t surprised. For the first time ever, we saw an almost even split between paragraph and list formatting. Bubble snippets, on the other hand, went on to match the trend we’re used to seeing in regular ol’ snippets:
We also discovered that bubble snippets aren’t beholden to one type of formatting even in their carousel. 32.21 percent of our carousel snippets did return bubbles with one format, but 59.71 percent had two and 8.09 percent had all three. This tells us that it’s best to pick the most natural format for your content.
If you can’t wait to get your mittens on carousel snippets, we track them in STAT, so you’ll know every keyword they appear for and have every URL housed within.
If you’d like to learn more about SERP feature tracking and strategizing, say hello and request a demo!
This article was originally published on the STAT blog on September 13, 2018.
Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!
Customers always seek to grab better deals ahead of making any purchase. Smart customers, in most of the cases, look for better and new promo codes for the things that he or she wants to purchase.
While on the other hand, there are other customers who don’t waste time searching for offers or deals. They simply subscribe to the coupon alerts and newsletters. Promo codes happen to be convincing for the customers. For customers, coupons aren’t just a mode of saving extra money but they also help customers to get free offers.
As a matter of fact, promo codes are strategic and are easy to notice. When a customer starts browsing an online store, the promo codes pop up. This noticeable feature of promo codes lets customers get hold of multiple offers when making a move for the purchase. In addition to being noticeable, promo codes are shareable over the Internet.
Customers have a habit of sharing coupon deals to their near and dear ones. This lets the store acquire more traffic and conversations as well. To make a safer attempt of using the promo codes wisely here’s presenting the tips that might guarantee to increase your sales through promo codes and coupons in 2019.
Distributing your promo codes or coupons sans identifying the target market would not be a fair idea. Instead, one must start to employ the ‘Personalization Tactic’. One can also send customized promo codes to the specific customers, more specifically the ones who aim at celebrating their birthdays or other anniversaries. In such a scenario, collecting their personal data for the newsletters would be a safer decision. Alternatively, reviewing customers’ past transactions and sending them offers would also be justifiable.
Getting double sales isn’t a piece of cake, it, in fact, requires a lot of hard work and effort. Offers such as buy-one-get-one-free can encourage customers during the off seasons. In this way, the sales can get higher, and there would be more customers to continue their shopping. Contrarily, during the high seasons, one can also provide customers with offers such as free shipping. This will encourage them to buy more products concurrently. Festive seasons should also come with special offers too.
When coupons are offered, they are meant to reach the right queue of folks. One can do this in on way, and that is by posting the coupons in order to target the dedicated shoppers. Customers often visit a particular shopping site in order to get hold of discounted deals. Another method of increasing sales is by promoting the coupons with the help of newsletters. One can also send the offers through emails. Alternatively, one can also use the promo codes on particular blogs or sites.
Using promo codes or coupons for one product in order to promote other product is a good way for increasing sales. Instantly, when a customer is asked to sign in for an account in order to receive a particular coupon, he or she can also get directed to other sites with discounted products. As a matter of fact, promo codes generate traffic. When landing pages have relevant products, doubling the sales becomes a piece of cake.
Missing the important deals wouldn’t be something that a smart customer would want. So, the easiest way to provoke them for the purchase is by using some simple tricks. One can add phrases like ‘offer ending tomorrow’. ‘a few hours left’, ‘expiring midnight’, or ‘for today’. This will make the smart customers order the respective products.
A shopping site gets popular only with the help of its long-term customers. An age-old customer can only bring the newer queue of customers. Friends of friends and family members are more convincing than the site itself. Hence, using smart referral methods will increase the sales convincingly.
Using the plugins for hiding coupons or promo codes might be a safer idea. As a matter of fact, customers who already made the purchase don’t necessarily need to get notified for the availability of the product. Alternatively, one can even segment the email list and subscription in order to be aware of who exactly has gone for the purchase.
There are possibilities how one can double or triple the sales with the help of coupons or promo codes. One just requires getting hold of proven strategies in order to get best returns on the investments.
The post How to double your sales with coupons and promo codes in 2019 appeared first on Social Media Explorer.
When it comes to creating your own blog, you have two options. There are pre-built platforms like Medium, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, etc. These can be considered blogging platforms, and with them you can get started right away. There are obviously cons to these, but one pro is that these platforms come with built-in audiences. I’ll also refer to these as blog sites.
Then there is blog software, like WordPress.org. I’d also group website builders like Wix here as well. Again, there are pros and cons to these: you’ll need to do a little more work at the outset and you’ll build your own audience from scratch, but you’ll own and control your site completely. With a blog platform, you’ll be beholden to the platform’s choices, settings, changes, and algorithms.
A quick summary of my recommendation: If you plan to make money from your blog, build your own site with WordPress.org. A good second option is Wix. If you’re not trying to make money from your site, then you should use a blogging platform (Medium, LinkedIn, Instagram, or Facebook) and make content where your audience is already consuming that type of content.
In this guide, I’ll break down both ways to set up your blog in this post and help you pick which blog site, software, or platform is best for you. Let’s get to it.
Best Overall — WordPress.org
I’d recommend going this route to anyone serious about building a blog that makes money. You’ll build and own your own site with complete control. (If you’re a beginner, this is still very doable for you.)
Website Builder — Wix
If you want to have to your own site, but don’t want to build it, then I’d recommend you go with a website builder. It’s a drag-and-drop editor that’ll get you up and running quickly, and you’ll still be building your blog on your own website, not on someone else’s platform.
Traditional Blogging Platform — Medium
If you’re not creating your own site and your blog is a classic blog — long form posts about a topic that’s meaningful to you — I like Medium. It has a built-in audience that’s interested in reading and an interface that’s seamless.
Best Blog for Business — LinkedIn
Blogging about business or hoping to be a thought-leader in a certain industry? You could go with Medium, but a more rabid and useful audience might be waiting for you on LinkedIn. I know, it might not seem like a blogging platform, but LinkedIn users are really engaged and content hungry.
Best for a Creative Blog — Instagram
If you’re doing anything with images, art, creativity, or lifestyle, you’ll probably find your audience on Instagram. There are already so many people there and it’s easy for new followers to discover you through hashtags, comments, and the other people you and they are following.
Largest Audience — Facebook
Lastly, the biggest audience is on Facebook. There are millions of people there, and though organic reach on the platform isn’t what it once was, it’s still a massive platform. It’s also a great spot for building a community page element to your blog.
The first question I have for you is:
Do you want to make money with your blog?
If your answer is yes, you want to build your own site. No question.
If you don’t want to make money, skip ahead to the blog sites — your choice will be based on the type of content you’ll write and the audience you’re after.
There’s no better option than building your own blog on WordPress. You’ll own your blog and website and you’ll have true flexibility. There is no argument here. It’s the default content option and runs 30% of the internet for a reason.
You can also build your blog using Wix. It’s an all-in-one drag-and-drop website builder. It’s an easy option if you’re looking to have your blog on your own site, rather than on a blog platform or service like Medium or another form of social media. The downside is you’ll be paying a subscription fee and you’ll be locked into Wix’s themes and tools. So, you’ll trade some convenience for some flexibility.
They are great if you aren’t trying to create an income: They have built-in audiences and you won’t have to pay anything. My recommendation of which one to choose is based on the outcome that you’re trying to achieve — what is your blog like and who do you hope will read it?
Medium is the best all-around traditional blogging platform. It’s where the majority of readers who’re looking to read classic blog-style posts are right now.
Deciding to blog on WordPress vs Medium isn’t an either-or choice. You can also publish your site and re-publish some posts on Medium to take advantage of its benefits, just like you would any syndication deal. You can thoughtfully approach this, but there are some technical how-tos we’ll get into below. You’ll need to import your posts to Medium properly and set the canonical tag, so you’re not penalized by Google (at worst) or simply out-ranked by the Medium version of the post (at best). Overall, though, I prefer to see each channel as a separate channel and create and publish unique content for that channel.
If you’re blogging about business, or something related, like management, then I’d say to build your blog on LinkedIn. There’s a pre-existing community of people there talking about those topics and ready to read your posts too. You’ll be able to build business followers, which is different than a “connection.”
The audience on LinkedIn is premium: 45% of LinkedIn article readers are in upper-level positions: managers, VPs, Directors, and C-level. If you’re building thought leadership, brand value, or community, rather than trying to make money, I recommend going to where your audience is rather than trying to woo them over to where you are. Build content for them where they already are and they’ll love you for it.
If you’re a creative — especially in a visual field, then your blog should really be an Instagram account. You can post images of your work and use the caption field for your written post. If you’re not used to this idea, it might seem kind of zany: That’s not a real blog. But it is. People read Instagram captions of the accounts they follow like they’d read a blog — and your visual work will be well highlighted in your feed and the general feed.
And, of course, Facebook is the juggernaut in the room. It has the largest audience of any of these platforms. Creating a Facebook page might be all you need to build a blog — post on Facebook like you would on your blog and build your audience right there on your page. The comments and interaction on Facebook are even better than a traditional blog. You can really focus on building true fans on Facebook.
There’s another warning due here. If you build your blog on a single platform that you do not own, well, then you’ve built your blog on a single platform you do not own. That means you’re beholden to another person’s business and their algorithm for your business. What’s good for their business and algorithm may not be what’s good for yours. That’s why I say if you’re here to make money, you should own your site. You’ll have more control.
WordPress is the hands-down king of websites with content. It’s the default choice here. If you’re building a blog on your own site, that means you’re building with WordPress. (Quick Sprout is on WordPress.)
To build your own site, you’ll need to buy a domain name, get web hosting, and set up your WordPress account. It’s all pretty simple. There’s more information on our post The Best Web Hosting for Small Business and on The Best Web Hosting for WordPress, which is about selecting a managed host that’s designed for WordPress. It’s more expensive but also super premium. If you have the coin, go for it. If you’re budget minded, you can skip it.
You’ll pick a theme, apply it, and honestly you’ll be just about done. We have some recommendations on SEO WordPress plugins you’ll want to add. The backend of WordPress is pretty intuitive, and if you get lost there are so many tutorials out there to help.
Like I said before, the choice between WordPress and Medium isn’t either/or. You can build your own blog and then use Medium selectively as a syndication tool. It’s worth thinking about if you want to grow your audience, but ultimately build your own site.
I like Wix for blogging because it’s one-and-done. If you want to go the easy route for owning your own blog, this is it. The templates are great looking and you can customize them with a drag-and-drop editor. The blog manager is simple and intuitive, and you’ll get analytics and SEO built right in. It’s simple to add the basic features you might want on your blog: social tools, likes, comments, hashtags, categories, and a subscriber forms. All of the SEO features you need are easy to access too: alt tags for your images, internal links, SEO titles and descriptions (that are different from you post title), and nofollow tags for external links. Wix blogs have an automatic email subscribe feature and a social media bar beneath each article for sharing on Facebook, Twitter, and more.
To build a blog on Wix, you’ll sign into your account and pick a template. There’s a Blog template category, which is a great place to start.
Once you have your template selected, I suggest updating the font, colors, and logo to personalize your template and help it stand out from the rest.
Writing a post is as simple as clicking Create a Post, writing and adding images. You can save drafts, or even give other contributors writing privileges for you site. This is all just as easy from a mobile device as from a desktop — no app required.
Make sure that you update your SEO settings for every post: this is what’s presented in the search results page and is critical for ranking in organic search.
The resulting post will have an automatic read-time count, like a Medium post right next to the author’s name, which I also like a lot. I also like the ability to live-chat with your readers in the Wix app. If you build a real community in your blog or are open to answering reader questions in real time — say about an online course you’re offering or a webinar that’s coming up — then it’s a cool feature.
It’s hard to pin down how many users Medium has — they focus on sharing how much time is spent on the platform reading instead. I dig it. The platform, was founded by Twitter co-founder and former CEO Evan Williams as a response to the hyper-short limits of Twitter, hence the name Medium. At one point, there was some distinction between even longer blog platforms, but that’s dissipated by now.
In 2017, Medium had 60 million unique visitors. From personal experience, I know that when I read on Medium, I read with curiosity and intent. I’m ready to put in some time reading, and the read times on each article get me to commit to sticking it out for the whole thing.
Posting with Medium is super simple. There’s a clean, very white WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor. Basically, as you type, you see what the post will look like when it’s published. There are a lot of tips and tricks to format your post that are a little hidden in the simplicity of the interface.
Publishing on Medium is so effortless. Formatting content and uploading images takes basically zero time. It’s really the best web-based publishing experience I’ve had to date.
Don’t stop at this point though. Instead of just a profile, I recommend creating a Medium Publication. This gives you the option to add other writers and editors to your blog. More importantly, it gives you a lot more options for controlling what is essentially your blog homepage. Take a look at the difference between Patagonia’s basic profile and REI’s publication.
One is a simple chronological feed and the other is a designed page with useful menu options. When you create a publication like REI has you also unlock the ability to send a newsletter to all of your followers.
There are 590 million LinkedIn users, 154 million of them in the US. And a lot of them are active: 44% are monthly active users. LinkedIn used to be basically a resume hosting platform. In a lot of ways it was like a job-hunting dating app: you’d go on if you were looking to hire or looking to get hired but not much else. In the last few years that has changed dramatically.
If you’re building a business blog, the audience on LinkedIn is premium: 45% of LinkedIn article readers are in upper-level positions (managers, VPs, Directors, C-level).
Hardcore LinkedIn users know that there’s a certain warm professionalism that underlies many exchanges on the platform. In short, LinkedIn offers a kind of stability, civility and real value that’s sorely needed on some social platforms.
— Ryan Holmes, “Is LinkedIn Poised To Be The Next Big Social Network … For Brands?” for Forbes.com
Publishing doesn’t make you a LinkedIn Influencer, unfortunately. That’s a hand-selected group of people that rotates throughout the year “to include only the most engaged, prolific, and thoughtful contributors and to ensure that their expertise matches our members’ interests,” according to LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is a social network. Your influence grows in proportion to the size of your network. The more posts you publish, the more connection requests and followers you’ll attract. Writing consistently not only expands your network, it also reinforces the message about the depth and breadth of your knowledge of the subjects that you write about.
— Glenn Leibowitz, “10 Tips for Writing LinkedIn Blog Posts That Expand Your Influence” for Inc.
An article isn’t a post and vice versa. A post is a smaller update you’d share with your feed and connections. Think quick anecdote or pro tip. They’re limited to 1,300 characters, which is about 5 lines. Articles are longer and more in-depth. They’re something that the broader LinkedIn audience would be interested in reading. A person who reads your article can also follow you from there, so they’ll be alerted when you publish your next article. Any articles you publish will appear in the Articles section of your LinkedIn profile.
Want to improve? Check out LinkedIn’s own course on getting better at blogging on the platform, Writing to be Heard on LinkedIn. Because when they own the platform, what’s good for them is successful content that people want to read and engage with!
Instagram is primarily visual — the feed is all the images or videos, and very little of the captions. You can use the caption field for your text, and users like a long caption. You’ll be capped at 2,200 characters or about 300 words.
Instagram is perfect if what you’re sharing is visual: a lifestyle, art, dance. Or if there’s some way to share it visually like in a how to mini-video.
In fact, in a lot of ways, Instagram has killed the entire genre of lifestyle blogging.
It’s become a lot harder for upstart “bloggers” in the crowded yet lucrative fashion, beauty, wellness, and lifestyle spaces to build a following centered around their own blog. At the same time, social media platforms have given influencers more and more tools—including e-commerce, groups, and direct messaging—to keep them (and their followers) from going elsewhere online.
— Rosie Spinks, “Instagram Has Killed the Art of Lifestyle Blogging” on Quartzy
Instagram is so good now that it’s hard to want to go anywhere else. The downside is definitely that you’re beholden to the algorithm and the feed, and the changes the platform makes. On the flip side, you also don’t have to be the product manager, hire a developer, or build an audience from scratch. You’ll have to weigh the pros and cons yourself!
You can also host vlogs on Instagram Live — simply tap the camera icon (top left of the screen, or by swiping right from the Feed) and tap Live at the bottom. When you’re ready to actually go live, it’s as simple as tapping Go Live. You’ll be able to see the number of viewers you have at the top of the screen and comments will pop in at the bottom. When you’re done, tap End. From here, I recommend tapping Save to save it to your camera roll, and tapping Share to add it to your story. It’ll live there for 24 hours to be replayed by anyone who wasn’t around when it was actually live.
You can only have one link in your profile, but with something like Linktree, you can add more links. I don’t think it’s a great idea to build a blog somewhere hoping to get your readers or followers to move from there to somewhere else on the regular. It’s feasible to get your Instagram followers to also subscribe to your newsletter, but it’s not really logical to hope they’ll leave Instagram after ever post and go read your blog. They’re scrolling through Instagram, not trying to read your website.
Think about your own behavior here — how much momentum does it take to get you to follow a link that leads away from the platform you’re in? For me, it takes a lot of work. There has to be something I really want to buy, or really, really want to read.
It’s more likely that I’ll follow someone on Instagram for a while and then one day I’ll buy something from that person, or follow them somewhere else. Instagram, and all blogging really, is about creating a relationship with the people who’re reading your posts. Once that relationship is strong enough, then people will be interested in going wherever you’re taking them. Until then, you’ll need to deliver on that relationship within the platform itself.
I mean, what’s 1.49 billion daily active users to you? It’s a huge number, and one that’s worth noting. How many of those active users will make it to your page or your post, now that’s another question.
Organic reach on Facebook was once not such a wild aspiration, but in 2016 there was a huge decrease in organic reach. SocialFlow found that brands saw a 42% decline in organic reach over Q1 and Q2 2016.
The easiest way to build a blog on Facebook is to create a group or a page for your business or brand. From there, your posts will literally be Facebook posts.
To make it easier to post and handle all your interactions in one spot, I recommend using the Facebook Creator Studio. It’s an all-in-one dashboard for publishing and analyzing your content. If you’re new to Facebook and are really using it as a classic blog platform, you’ll want to create Notes. These are the closest things to blogs: a header image, a title, and text down the middle.
From here you can also go live, post videos, gifs, polls, recommendations — any type of Facebook post you’ve seen you can create from this dashboard. You can even save, schedule, and backdate posts.
Do you plan to make money on the page?
If so, go with WordPress or Wix.
If not, then think about your niche:
I have a major disclaimer before we begin.
A good part of my career has been working for some of the folks in this list.
In fact, I was personally responsible for setting annual revenue goals and hitting those goals while I was the Senior Director of Growth and Product at I Will Teach You To Be Rich. In that case specifically, I’m extremely familiar with revenue totals and what drove that revenue.
Not to mention the affiliate commissions that were paid out to some of the people on this list, numbers that were shared in confidence after a few too many drinks, and second-hand rumors that I picked up along the way.
Unfortunately, I’ve got sad news.
I’m not going to share any of that insider knowledge. Sorry.
Some folks don’t mind publishing their revenue numbers but others keep it extremely private. If I shared that kind of info on how their blogs make money, I’d shatter the trust they placed in me. I take that trust very seriously.
For this post, I’m only going to be sharing revenue numbers that have been shared publicly.
Now here’s what I can do for you.
With the background that I have in this space, there are some common rules of thumb for figuring out revenue. They’re not perfect rules but they do tend to get the right number of digits. And after a while, you get a general sense for people’s revenue based on the size of their audience.
For most folks on this list, I’ll give a guess based on their public audience size and any hints that they’ve released publicly about their revenue. I’ll clearly label at is as a guess and you should take it with a grain of salt.
Revenue = I can’t tell you
If you poke around the site a bit, it’s pretty obvious that the blog makes most of its money from infoproducts.
Ramit is absolutely at the top of his game when it comes to infoproducts and I consider this site one of the best to learn from if you’re considering monetizing your own blog with infoproducts. Make sure to sign up for his email list — you’ll start getting the launch funnels and you’ll be able to see how it all works.
There are also a few products available for purchase from the products page. That’s a great source for inspiration to see what an amazing infoproduct sales page looks like.
Revenue = My guess is several million per year
Marie has been blogging for a while now. She also put in a lot of work into her YouTube channel.
He content has a great reputation and her copy is world class. I assume most of her revenue comes from infoproducts, particularly her flagship program B-School. It’s been a while since I followed Marie closely but for a period, she launched B-School once per year.
She’s an amazing person to study if you want to learn how to produce high-quality positive content. She’s also brilliant at balancing valuable content with going for the sale in an authentic way.
Revenue = Over $1 million per year
What I love most about Steve’s business is how he’s chosen a specific segment of the market and differentiated himself from other fitness blogs. The fitness space is crazy competitive but by branding his entire business around fitness for nerds, he clearly separates himself from that competition. Even in the most competitive categories, there are still opportunities to target a niche with your blog and make real money with it.
Revenue = At least $2–3 million per year, maybe more
Amy’s About page states that she’s built a multi-million dollar business, something that I absolutely believe based on her audience size.
I’m assuming that the vast majority of her revenue is from her infoproducts, but it looks like she does some affiliate promotion too. Her affiliate page is pretty classy and well done. It’s a great example of how to promote products in an authentic and non-pushy way.
Revenue = Over $1.2 million per year
In this post, Jon states that he’s doing over $100K per month in affiliate revenue which is pretty impressive.
He also has several of infoproducts available for purchase on his site. I bet these do about $30–50K per year on their own. I’m not sure what Jon’s email funnels look like but if he’s pushing launch funnels aggressively, he could easily have another few million in revenue from infoproducts on top of his affiliate revenue.
Revenue = My guess is about $10 million per year
Problogger has been around since 2004. That’s an eternity in online marketing. It’s one of the original “how to blog” blogs. Darren also owns Digital Photography School which has 8X as much traffic and revenue as Problogger.
Darren did do a income report on the first half of 2016. At that time, 46% of his revenue from both sites came from affiliates, 31% came from infoproducts, and the rest from a smattering of different categories.
Revenue = My guess is over $2 million per year
Seth Godin had plenty of success before his blog: he’s written 18 books, built and sold a company to Yahoo, and then was a VP at Yahoo. And his blog has cemented him as the leading marketing thought leader. If you were trying to come up with an ideal example of a thought leader, you’d have a hard time finding a better example than Seth Godin.
Seth’s blog is the original, longest running, and possibly highest value blog in marketing. He’s posted every day for like 20 years or something.
For a long time, he never montized it. Unless you consider featuring his books occasionally to count as monetization. Recently, he has done a few infoproducts including the altMBA and The Marketing Seminar. I went through The Marketing Seminar myself and quite a few people were in the community, so it sold well. Seth’s site says that over 5,000 people took the course in total. At $800 per sale, that’s about $4 million in total spread over several years. Plus all the revenue from altMBA.
Revenue = I’m not even going to guess
I worked for Neil when he was a co-founder of KISSmetrics. He’s the one that originally hired me. Also worked with him on some other projects after that. I’m not going to even hazard a revenue guess here since I don’t want to reveal anything that Neil would prefer to keep private.
He has stated publicly that his main site, neilpatel.com, generates over 2.5 million visitors per month. I’ll let you figure out the revenue from there.
Revenue = Over $1.6 million per year
In this article, Selena reported that she made $1.6 million in 2017. I assume the majority of her revenue comes from infoproducts that she launches to her email list periodically. Considering the stage of her business, she’s built out a pretty impressive infoproduct portfolio along with some higher ticket mastermind offers.
Revenue = My guess is about $1 million per year
Sam gives a few hints on what he makes with his site. First, he does give the revenue of his infoproduct ebook which is $36,000 per year.
Funny enough, he chooses not to include his Adsense revenue or affiliate revenue as “passive” income within any of his passive income reports. Most folks in the industry would consider these revenue sources to be passive.
Sam does break down some hypothetical revenue amounts of blogs of different sizes here. One example includes a personal finance blog that’s generating about one million visitors per month. I remember Sam stating somewhere along the line that he has about that much traffic. The traffic estimation tools like Ahrefs also put his site in the range. So, the example that he gives should be close to his actuals. Using his projections as a guide and knowing that he has plenty of affiliate links along with Adsense on his site, a $1 million per year estimate should be close.
Revenue = Over $1 million per year
He launches infoproducts to his email list a couple of times per year. I believe he has a course on SEO and one on YouTube. With his traffic volume, each of these launches should be doing upper six figures, possibly $1 million per launch.
He has stated in a few interviews like this one that he’s doing seven figures per year.
This is a great example of a business that’s focused really heavily on generating traffic, turning that traffic into email subscribers, then monetizing via a few infoproduct launches per year. It can seem magical to have a business with ridiculous profit margins at this stage. Most of us would love to have a $1 million per year business with a super small team and a handful of moving pieces.
Revenue = Over $1 million per year
James used to publish his annual revenue in his annual state of the blog posts but stopped as his blog became more well known. Here’s his 2019 state of the blog. His last reported income was $187,862 in 2014. He does mention multiple times that he’s now running a seven-figure business, so his current revenue is at least $1 million per year.
He does have a book by the same name. Looking through his site, the majority of his revenue comes from affiliates, ads, and sponsorships.
His email list is extremely small for the size of his blog — it’s only 21,725 subscribers. And with a small email list, any infoproduct launch is going to be limited to five figures. He does have an infoproduct on creating your own financial plan for $499. If he focused on conversion to email and got good at infoproducts, he could add another $1–2 million in revenue to his business.
Revenue = My guess is about $10 million per year
Tim has a massive blog that’s been around for a long time. He started it before he even launched his first book, The 4 Hour Workweek.
Currently, I assume that the majority of Tim’s income comes from his podcast sponsorships. I have seen ads on his blog in the past but it doesn’t look like there are any right now. I don’t think he’s ever done an infoproduct or pursued affiliate ads aggressively.
According to this form, his podcast sponsorships go for $36K per slot. At 4–5 slots per episode, that’s $144,000 per episode at least. Tim averages about six podcasts per month, which would produce $864,000 per month or $10,368,000 per year.
The reason I’m not going to even guess is that I don’t have any experience buying or selling podcast sponsorships which I assume are his main source of income right now. Also, sites with Tim’s reach tend to start breaking standard revenue rules. Having one of the largest and highest rated podcasts can give you a lot of leverage, allowing you to charge more than normal on each sponsorship slot.
Revenue = Over $25 million per year
Timothy has been around for a while now, predominantly selling infoproducts on how to invest in penny stocks. According to this interview with Nathan Latka, Timothy was on track to do $25–27 million in revenue in 2016, $20 million of which came from infoproducts.
Timothy is a great person to follow if you want to see how an infoproduct business looks at scale.
Revenue = Did $11 million per year in 2015, could be as high as $50–70 million per year now
Dr. Axe is a massive site with a huge audience. According to this press release, it has 17 million visitors per month, which is insane. They also push products pretty hard via their email list. It’s obvious that they know what their doing. Their revenue is a mix of infoproducts, affiliates, and supplements.
Supplements are a great category with nice margins. I only have a little experience in the health and fitness category but the advice I always get from the health and fitness experts is to go hard on supplements.
I did hear that they have a solid paid marketing engine going for their funnels. If that’s true, they could be doing easily $50–70 million per year by now.
I consider Dr. Axe to be a great example of what a health and fitness blog looks like when taken to its absolute height. If you’re considering a health and fitness blog, I’d study Dr. Axe closely
Revenue = About $400,000 per year
According to this article from the New Yorker, Peter pulled in about $400,000 per year as of 2016. Ahrefs reports that Peter’s traffic has been static since the 2016 period. If that’s true, I would expect his current revenue to be around $400,000. Sounds like the majority of the revenue, possibly even all of it, comes from affiliates.
Revenue = My guess is $5–10 million per year
Jordan Harbinger didn’t reveal exact revenue but did say that it’s multiple seven figures per year. Based on the fact that the revenue is mostly infoproducts and the overall size of the audience, my guess is that Art of Charm does $5–10 million per year in revenue.
In 2018, Jordan Harbinger split from the Art of Charm and started his own podcast.
Revenue = $2,171,652 per year
Pat Flynn posts all his income reports here, going back all the way to 2008.
Not sure if Pat decided to stop but it doesn’t look like he’s posted any new income reports since 2017. Regardless, I highly recommend reading through the first few years of income reports from Pat. That’ll give you a strong sense for what it takes to start making money with a blog.
The majority of Pat’s revenue comes from affiliate offers and his own infoproducts, about 50/50 between the two. He also has a few books published, How to Be Better at Almost Everything and Will it Fly? Other than the months he received the advance from the publisher, I bet these books have a negligible direct impact on revenue.
Revenue = $2,029,744 per year
No one really needs to guess at John Lee Dumas’ revenue, he posts monthly income reports directly to his site.
He also put together a nifty revenue breakdown by source:
Sponsorships are slightly larger than everything else. Otherwise a pretty even split between infoproducts, affiliates, and his journals (The Freedom Journal, The Mastery Journal, and The Podcast Journal).
To get a sense for how blogs really make money, I highly recommend you read through the monthly income reports from the last 12 months for Entrepreneur on Fire. You’ll get an excellent feel for what a seven-figure blog looks like. I also recommend you read through the income reports from 2012 and 2013, which will show you what revenue looks like at the beginning and how it changes over time on the path to $1 million per year.
Revenue = My guess is $300–500K per year
Navid is in the online marketing space and offers infoproducts on virtual summits. According to his About page, he’s earned over a $1 million dollars in “a few years.” Safe to say he’s easily doing six figures off his blog. Hence my guess above.
Revenue = At least $100,000, possibly $1+ million per year
Tim Urban got crazy popular and his blog posts were being shared all over the place for a while.
This is probably an example of what most people dream of when they start a blog. They plan to write a bunch of stuff, a rabid fan base will appear out of nowhere, they’ll offer some t-shirts, posters, and a Patreon account to make tons of passive income. They’ll finish by riding into the sunset of eternal blogging glory.
For Tim Urban, that’s basically what happened. And he absolutely deserves it. His content is phenomenal. It’s so good that people have been angry because he hasn’t posted in a while. Very few of us can write content that good. I can promise you no one gets upset when I stop blogging. So for us mortals, we should look to some of the other examples on this list for how to monetize our blogs.
I know that I gave a really broad range on the revenue here. Blogs like this are really tough to guess. Tim clearly has a massive, adoring audience. That doesn’t necessarily mean he’s swimming in gold. Although he might be. Blogs with massive audiences like this sometimes make a ton of money, and sometimes they make very little. It also looks like his main source of revenue is his ecommerce store. Unlike consulting, speaking, infoproducts, or affiliates, the margins on ecommerce products are much smaller. It’s entirely possible that he’s making a ton of top-line revenue but only enough profit to live a decent lifestyle.
That’s pretty common with ecommerce entrepreneurs. They claim that they’re making millions of dollars with their business but only take home $50–100K per year. Once you factor in costs of goods sold and overhead, there isn’t a ton left over. I have no idea if Tim Urban falls into this bucket. I simply don’t know.
I know the list above is full of people making serious money.
Here’s the crazy part.
For every blogger making a million dollars, there are thousands that make enough money to quit their job and work on their blog full time.
The list is too long to keep track of — I wouldn’t be able to put it together.
It is absolutely reasonable to start a blog with the goal of quitting your job and being your own boss. So many people have already done it you’d be walking a well-traveled path at this point.
I also believe that there’s still a ton of opportunity to be made blogging. I see new up-and-coming bloggers every year. It’s still possible to start a blog today and have it support you. I put together a 12-step guide on how to start a blog here. It’ll walk you through the whole process.
I started my first blog to avoid getting a job.
I’m completely serious.
I was coming to the end of my undergraduate degree in international affairs and the thought of getting a job at the state department or in journalism sounded like a horrible idea.
So I learned how to start a blog and built one on international affairs with the hopes of eventually monetizing it and supporting myself.
That didn’t really work out as planned. Hah.
But it did lead to a career in online marketing and now I do work on blogs to avoid having a real job.
Whether you’re trying to avoid a job entirely or trying to quit your current job, starting a blog is a reliable path to supporting yourself and your family. It takes a lot of work and some time but it is a well-traveled path at this point. It’s not nearly as crazy as it was when I started.
I’m going to walk you through the 12 steps to start a blog, which are particularly useful for beginners who have never done this before.
Before we begin, let’s cover how website technology works. There are a few things you’ll need to sign up for so it’s good to see how they all connect before starting.
First, there’s the domain. This is the URL of the website. Think of it as the address for your business. You’ll need to buy your domain.
Second, the domain registrar. This is the company that you’ll use to buy your domain and hold it for you. They don’t host your site or anything — they just store your domain and point web traffic to your site which will be on your web host.
Third, the web host. This is the company that hosts your site. Your site will be on its servers.
Fourth, the tool to build your site. Very few sites are built by hand using raw HTML and CSS these days. Almost all of them are built using a tool. The tool handles a lot of heavy lifting and makes building a site substantially easier, especially if you have no idea how to code. This is how you’ll configure your site and publish your blog posts. For blogging, these tools are called content management systems (CMS) and the only real option is WordPress. Once you’ve installed WordPress on your host, you’ll be able to start building your site.
To recap, you’ll buy a domain using a domain registrar, install WordPress on your host, then start building your site.
Now let’s dive into the step-by-step process.
The most important decision to make when starting a blog is which category you’re going to write about.
Why pick a category at all? Why not write about anything that interests you?
When it comes to building an audience, increasing traffic, and monetizing your blog, you’ll get a lot further a lot faster if you stick to a specific category.
Think of it like this: Let’s say you stumble on a blog of mine. You find an amazing post about how to turn email subscribers into fully passive income. You love it and subscribe to my email list. Then I send you an email about how to organize your closet. How would you react? Maybe you’d love it if you also really love organization. But most people would be turned off. They want more content about email lists and making passive income.
Jumping categories can be really jarring for any audience. Google also greatly prefers blogs that are focused on a single topic, which will help you with SEO a lot.
Whatever you do, pick a category and stick to it. If you want to try another category, start a new blog.
Here are a few popular categories that always do well:
My recommendation is to pick one of the categories above and niche it down one more time. Personal finance for people making over $100,000 per year is a good example. Or fitness for people over 60 is another.
Categories get tough when they’re super consumer focused and have extremely large audiences. Celebrity blogs are a great example. There’s tons of competition in this space but also very limited money compared to other blogging categories. It’s a brutal combo. All the work without any of the payoff. Recipe blogs are another example of a brutal category. World-class competition and very few ways to monetize. Try to avoid categories like these.
One of my favorite category types is B2B. This includes categories like how to do marketing, build products, HR, customer service, manage a team, or improve your sales skills. The volume in these categories is always lower than the popular categories that I listed above. But the quality of traffic is always incredible. Businesses are always willing to spend more than consumers to solve their problems; they have access to a lot more cash. The downside is that you need to have experience and skills in these areas before being able to blog about them. They’re not nearly as easy to break into.
Hobbies can also do okay, but they’re typically more difficult to monetize. That said, I’ve come across entrepreneurs who have built six and even seven figure businesses in hobby spaces like horse riding or learning the guitar. It’s doable. It’s just more difficult because people aren’t willing to spend as much on their hobbies.
Find a domain that’s somewhat related to the category you picked and is also available for purchase.
I highly recommend you keep searching until you find a domain that’s available. While it is possible to buy a domain from someone who already has it, that’s an advanced option and can get expensive fast.
Low quality domains will usually go for a few thousand dollars. Highly quality domains that are two words can easily go for $10,000 to $50,000. I’ve even been in discussions to purchase domains for over $100,000 and the really hot ones can break seven figures. Not to mention all the hassle that comes from finding the person who owns the domain, negotiating with them, and transferring the domain if you can get an agreement.
Your best bet is to keep going until you find a domain that you like and can purchase directly from a domain registrar for about $10.
We’ve also got some more tips on buying a domain here.
If this is your first blog and you’re not completely sure what you want to blog about, I recommend that you use your personal name.
The reason is that changing your domain later will mean that you have to start over from scratch. There are a lot of mistakes in blogging that can be corrected later; having the wrong domain isn’t one of them.
Let’s say you pick a domain like fitnessfordoctors.com. Then after six months, you realize you’d rather be doing personal finance blogging for doctors. You’d need to get a new domain and start over from scratch.
Personal domains are much more flexible — it’s just a name after all. So if you jump categories after a few months, it’s not a big deal. Take down any old content that’s not relevant with your new direction, start posting new content, and you’re good to go.
That said, personal domains have two major downsides:
These are pretty advanced problems to have though. So if this is your first blog, the benefits of using your name as the domain greatly outweigh the costs that only show up down the road.
Every site needs a web host. This is the company that stores your site on its servers and makes it available for anyone who visits your site.
While there are a few other choices it really comes down to two options:
Best WordPress Host for Beginners = SiteGround
For your first blog, you want a host that is popular, trusted, easy to use, reliable, and reasonably priced. No need for anything fancy.
SiteGround fits this need perfectly. The best part is that its plans start at $4/month. That’s a steal considering how many positive reviews it gets.
For the vast majority of folks starting blogs, SiteGround is going to be the best bet for hosting their blog.
Best WordPress Host for Advanced Bloggers = WP Engine
In my last few jobs, I managed blogs with hundreds of thousands or millions of visitors per month. They had thousands of posts on them. We always used WP Engine for sites of that size.
WP Engine comes with a lot of extra hosting features for security and scalability. For sites of that size, you end up having to do a lot more maintenance in order to keep the site healthy. WP Engine handles all that stuff for you. Their support team is also world-class. They do a great job.
But there’s a major downside: it’s more expensive. The lowest plans start at $35/month. This is 7X the price of other hosts.
If this is your first blog, I wouldn’t go with WP Engine.
Now you have a domain and a host for your site.
The next step is to point your domain to your host so that people end up at your site when they go to the URL of your domain.
Every host has slightly different settings you’ll need to configure at your domain registrar. They definitely have a support doc on with the details on what to do.
Here are the details for our recommended hosts:
If you have any trouble with this, contact the support team for your host and they’ll walk you through the exact steps.
You’ll need a content management system (CMS) to build your site and manage your blog posts.
There’s only one option for this: WordPress.
Seriously, it’s not even a decision. Use WordPress.
Years ago, there were a few competitors to WordPress like Joomla, Typepad, or Blogger.
No one uses those anymore.
This is going to sound kind of bad but whenever I hear of someone using one of those old WordPress competitors, I just laugh. It’s hard to take them seriously.
WordPress powers 30% of ALL websites. That’s how popular it is.
Use WordPress for your blog, end of story.
Because of how popular WordPress is, most web hosts offer a one-click install for WordPress. It’s super easy. Log into your web host, find the install WordPress opton, click it, then follow the instructions. This is what you’ll need to do if you signed up for SiteGround.
And if you’ve decided to go with WP Engine, it comes pre-installed since WP Engine is a hosting company for WordPress specifically.
WordPress is the foundation of your site. There’s an easy way to change how WordPress looks without having to code anything yourself.
WordPress uses “themes,” little packages of code that can be swapped in and out. Whenever you change your theme, your site will also change. The best part is that your blog post content won’t change. This makes it very easy to evolve your site over time without having to rebuild your entire site from scratch.
For now, you’ll need to pick your first WordPress theme.
The number of themes out there make me dizzy. There are… a lot.
When picking a theme for any of my sites, I go straight to StudioPress. The themes are a bit more expensive at $130. (Most themes go for $20–50.) In my opinion, the higher price is well worth it. StudioPress was purchased by WP Engine and WP Engine now includes all the StudioPress themes as part of its hosting package. It’s a nice freebie if you are already planning on hosting your site with WP Engine.
If you want a wider selection of WordPress themes at standard prices, Themeforest is the most popular WordPress theme marketplace. You’ll find just about anything you want in its selection.
After you purchase your theme, log into your WordPress site, go to the Theme section which is under Appearance in the WordPress sidebar menu. Then follow the instructions for adding the theme. You’ll have to upload the theme files to WordPress and activate the theme from within WordPress. You can find the upload option by going to Themes > Add New, a button towards the top. Then you’ll see this option to upload:
You’ll be able to manage any themes you’ve uploaded to your WordPress site from your Themes section:
Once of the best parts about WordPress is that it’s infinitely customizable. Since it’s open-source, you can change it to do whatever you want.
WordPress plugins are little batches of software you can install within WordPress to get extra functionality. This is how you’ll add a bunch of extra features to your site without having to code anything yourself.
Be careful here and try not to go overboard.
Some bloggers will install dozens or even hundreds of plugins on their site. That can cause a bunch of problems later on. Not only can plugins cause unexpected conflicts with each other, they become a security liability since it’s unlikely that every plugin owner will maintain the plugin over time. They also become a huge headache to manage. When you have that many plugins, you’re never sure which plugin is causing a particular problem.
I like to keep my plugins limited to 5–10 amazing plugins. Here are a few of my favorites:
There is a plugin for just about anything you could want to do with your WordPress site. Use the plugin page within your WordPress site to search for anything that you need.
When you’ve found a plugin you want, install and activate it from within WordPress.
Google analytics is a free website analytics tool from Google. Even though it’s free, it’s still the best analytics tool out there.
Analytics is just a fancy word for website data.
Yes, analytics can get pretty complicated and overwhelming.
Which is why we’re going to ignore the majority of what’s in Google Analytics for now.
All you need to do is create a Google Analytics account and install it on your blog. There are two reasons for this.
First, Google Analytics stores your data over time. When you’re ready to dive in later, you’ll be thankful that you’ve been collecting data since the beginning.
Second, it’s exhilarating to watch people visit your site in the beginning. I remember the first time Google Analytics recorded a visitor on my first blog. I thought it was a mistake. “Someone visited my site? Really? Why would they do that? Who are they? Did they like it?”
Seeing those first visitors come in will give you a huge motivation boost. Even if you only check Google Analytics to see your total traffic, it’s well worth the time it takes to set up.
It’s also pretty easy to set up.
Sooner or later, you’ll hear a stat like this:
“Email marketing has 22X the ROI of any other marketing channel!”
Technically, this is true.
The response from email will always dominate any other channel that you try pushing a campaign to. But you have to acquire those emails in the first — they’ve already been filtered for the most receptive people. In other words, email by its nature is more responsive, so the comparison ROI stats are kind of dumb. They’re stating the obvious.
It’s kind of like going to a strawberry field, picking the best strawberries in the entire field, putting them in a gift basket, then declaring the the gift basket strawberries are 12 times as delicious as normal strawberries. Of course they’re more delicious — you picked the best ones already!
That’s how email lists work. They’re a gift basket of the best strawberries.
Every marketing engine I’ve built for companies has relied on emails at its core.
Think of your email list as a giant laser ray you can focus on any offer you want. Selling consulting? Pitch your list. Publishing a new blog post? Pitch your list. A podcast just interviewed you? Pitch your list.
Of all the marketing channels that have come and gone over the years, nothing compares to the power of a high quality email list.
Even if you’re not sure what to send your email subscribers, that’s okay!
Using MailChimp, you can start collecting emails on your blog so that the list is ready for you as soon as you need. It takes time to build a decent size list so your future self will be extremely grateful if you set it up now.
You only need two things:
MailChimp has a free account for up to 2,000 email subscribers, which will cover your blog for awhile.
There’s also a super easy WordPress plugin for MailChimp. Once you install it on your WordPress blog, it’ll connect to your MailChimp account and give you an easy way to add an email signup form to your blog sidebar.
Even a super basic opt-in in your blog sidebar like this is enough to get you started:
Don’t even worry about sending any emails yet unless you want to. The main thing is that you’re collecting email subscribers from the beginning. Email lists can be a gold mine once you have a few thousand subscribers, and the money really rolls in once you have 10,000 subscribers and above.
Writing blog posts isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon. More like a multi-day backpacking trip.
The best bloggers settle into a consistent writing pace they can maintain for a few years. That’s right, years.
Here are a few posting frequency rules of thumb:
I know writing isn’t easy. After writing blog posts full-time for three months, I always want to throw my MacBook out the window. It’s a grind for all of us. This is why I recommend one post per week. That still gives you the majority of the week to focus on other aspects of your site while also giving you a break from writing blog posts all the time.
A really great post should take you two days to complete. The first day is for research and outlining, along with as much writing as you can complete. The second day is for finishing the writing, proofreading, and publishing the post in WordPress.
Also, push quality as hard as you can. The key to building a site and traffic over time is to write posts that are more valuable than what other people have already published in your category.
There’s a super famous article in blogging circles: 1,000 True Fans.
Basically, getting 1,000 true fans means you can fully support yourself. You can quit your job, work from wherever you like, and be in complete control of your life. All from hitting a very reasonable goal of 1,000 true fans.
With blogging, you’ll build your audience of 1,000 true fans slowly and consistently.
As long as you keep it at, you will get there. Typically, it takes a few years.
Here’s what to focus on in order to get there faster:
As your blog audience matures you will want to change your traffic strategies as you grow.
There are really only two ways to monetize a serious blog.
Yup, only two.
Bloggers try a ton of different ideas, maybe about a dozen.
Out of those dozen, only two work at scale.
So what are they?
Affiliates and infoproducts.
Check out this list of of 21 bloggers making money.
Out of the entire list, all but three or four of them make the majority of their revenue from infoproducts, affiliates, or a combination of the two.
I could write a book on this. For now, we’ll keep it simple. Here’s the model:
Now this sounds too good to be true. While there are a few catches, it’s mostly true. What are the catches?
First, you’ll need to get extremely good at direct-response copy.
Second, it helps to be in the right category. People want money, status, and relationships.
It’s pretty simple: You go about creating as large of an audience as possible. Then, throughout the your content, you recommend products that are helpful to that audience. When your audience clicks through the link of that recommendation, they get a special tracking code. If they end up purchasing, you get a cut of the sale.
The main downside is that only a small percentage of people will ever click through and an even smaller percentage of people will purchase. So it really helps to have a massive amount of traffic in order to make enough money from your blog.
Those are really only the two options? Is there anything else for beginners?
Yes, there is.
While infoproducts and affiliates are the main ways to make serious money, you also need serious traffic in order to make them work. At least if you want them to work well enough to make six figures per year…
And to get that much traffic, you’ll need a lot of time on your blog. As much as I love blogging, getting a new blog off the ground doesn’t rain dollar bills right away.
There is one way to make a lot of money fast. It also will change your life.
Instead of trying to turn your blog into a completely passive money-making machine, go the other direction. Ditch passive and get active.
Start freelancing and consulting.
To make money quickly, this is by far your best option. It’s also the easiest to do.
When I worked at I Will Teach You To Be Rich, our freelancing programs taught thousands of people how to get started freelancing. What always blew me away was how life-changing those first few freelancing gigs are.
I went through that exact change myself. Years ago, I started my personal blog larslofgren.com and got a few freelancing clients doing it. I’ll never forget that first $100 payment sent via PayPal. The amount sounds so small now, but the real impact was knowing that I personally produced that income myself.
Guess how much traffic that personal blog of mine has? Only a few thousand visitors per month, spread across about 20 blog posts.
Anyone can create a blog that size and use it for freelancing lead generation. It’s enough to build a client base that pays you $3,000 to $5,000 per month. That’s enough to quit your job. That’s life-changing.
And it’s a much easier goal to hit than a full-ramped affiliates or infoproducts marketing machine. You always have the option to build that stuff later anyway.
Most of them are a waste of time. The impact on revenue is marginal, it’s a complete distraction. A few are worth doing for marketing and branding. The rest should be ignored entirely. Here’s the list that bloggers always try at some point:
For the past 18 months, the official line coming out of Facebook HQ has been that video content is the future of marketing on Facebook. In response, brands both big and small have allocated significant resources to creating not just short-form videos, but also extensive long-form video content. In some cases, they have even launched weekly shows on Facebook, all in an effort to build reach and engagement. But now it looks like that strategic approach might need a serious re-think.
For example, Social Media Examiner recently pulled three of its weekly shows from Facebook in October 2018. They have decided to scrap two of those shows entirely, and move the third show exclusively to YouTube. According to Social Media Examiner, the Facebook shows simply weren’t pulling in enough viewers, and those viewers they did get were hanging around for less than a minute. In contrast, viewers on YouTube were sticking around for over 4 minutes.
So why is this happening? One factor has to do with user behavior and the way that people think about different social media platforms. In explaining why it was leaving Facebook, for example, Social Media Examiner pointed out that “Facebook is a highway” and the way people prefer to use Facebook is by scrolling through post after post. If you’re traveling on a highway, are you really going to pull over and watch a 1-hour show? No way. In contrast, YouTube is much more similar to a TV-style experience, where people are sitting down to consume longer-form content.
This, of course, has major implications for brands and digital media marketers. The old days of telling clients to create a lot of long-form video content for Facebook may be coming to an end. As much as Facebook would like to become a form of online TV, with people tuning into 30-minute and 1-hour shows at specific times of the day, people don’t seem to be buying into the idea.
And, yet, there is one major factor that keeps marketers coming back for more – and that’s the sheer size of the Facebook platform. In short, you can’t ignore any social platform with more than 2 billion users. Other video platforms, not even YouTube, can compare with Facebook. As Social Media Examiner pointed out, their total number of followers on Facebook is 500,000 while their total number of followers on YouTube is just 20,000.
Ultimately, marketing has always been about “fishing where the fish are.” So it’s hard to see marketers abandoning Facebook completely. Other video platforms like Twitch and TikTok are still very new and very unexplored. So the key might be finding the highest ROI ways to use video on platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
Video isn’t going away, but it’s clear that long-form video content is not the panacea it was once thought to be. Instead, short video clips under 2 minutes (and, preferably, under 1 minute) appear to be the best solution for business owners, brands and digital marketers
The post The Case For And Against Using Facebook Video For Marketing appeared first on Social Media Explorer.
I’m SUPER excited to announce the release of the SEO Marketing Hub.
This free resource library covers over 35 key topics — including Schema, sitemaps, SEO software, content audits, link bait, rich snippets, and lots more.
You can check out the brand new SEO Marketing Hub right here:
All in all, this resource library contains over 50,000 words, 700 screenshots, as well as 150+ custom-designed diagrams, charts and visuals.
Needless to say, this is the biggest content project my team and I have ever worked on.
I’m really happy with how The SEO Marketing Hub turned out.
And I hope you get a ton of value from it.
The SEO Marketing Hub is broken down into 7 core topics:
I’d love to hear what you think about the new SEO Marketing Hub.
Specifically, I’d like to know:
What’s the #1 thing you want to learn about SEO right now?
Also, I plan on adding more resources to the hub soon.
So let me know if you have any topics that you want me to cover.
The post Introducing: The SEO Marketing Hub, A Free Library of SEO Resources appeared first on Backlinko.
Posted by rjonesx.
Howdy Moz readers,
I’m Russ Jones, Principal Search Scientist at Moz, and I am excited to announce a fantastic upgrade coming next month to one of the most important metrics Moz offers: Domain Authority.
Domain Authority has become the industry standard for measuring the strength of a domain relative to ranking. We recognize that stability plays an important role in making Domain Authority valuable to our customers, so we wanted to make sure that the new Domain Authority brought meaningful changes to the table.
What follows is an account of some of the technical changes behind the new Domain Authority and why they matter.
Historically, we’ve relied on training Domain Authority against an unmanipulated, large set of search results. In fact, this has been the standard methodology across our industry. But we have found a way to improve upon it that fundamentally, from the ground up, makes Domain Authority more reliable.
Rather than relying on a complex linear model, we’ve made the switch to a neural network. This offers several benefits including a much more nuanced model which can detect link manipulation.
We have greatly improved upon the ranking factors behind Domain Authority. In addition to looking at link counts, we’ve now been able to integrate our proprietary Spam Score and complex distributions of links based on quality and traffic, along with a bevy of other factors.
At the heart of Domain Authority is the industry’s leading link index, our new Moz Link Explorer. With over 35 trillion links, our exceptional data turns the brilliant statistical work by Neil Martinsen-Burrell, Chas Williams, and so many more amazing Mozzers into a true industry standard.
These fundamental improvements to Domain Authority will deliver a better, more trustworthy metric than ever before. We can remove spam, improve correlations, and, most importantly, update Domain Authority relative to all the changes that Google makes.
It means that you will see some changes to Domain Authority when the launch occurs. We staked the model to our existing Domain Authority which minimizes changes, but with all the improvements there will no doubt be some fluctuation in Domain Authority scores across the board.
First, make sure that you use Domain Authority as a relative metric. Domain Authority is meaningless when it isn’t compared to other sites. What matters isn’t whether your site drops or increases — it’s whether it drops or increases relative to your competitors. When we roll out the new Domain Authority, make sure you check your competitors’ scores as well as your own, as they will likely fluctuate in a similar direction.
Second, be prepared to communicate with your clients or webmasters about the changes and improvements to Domain Authority. While change is always disruptive, the new Domain Authority is better than ever and will allow them to make smarter decisions about search engine optimization strategies going forward.
Finally, expect that we will be continuing to improve Domain Authority. Just like Google makes hundreds of changes to their algorithm every year, we intend to make Domain Authority much more responsive to Google’s changes. Even when Google makes fundamental algorithm updates like Penguin or Panda, you can feel confident that Moz’s Domain Authority will be as relevant and useful as ever.
We plan on rolling out the new Domain Authority on March 5th, 2019. We will have several more communications between now and then to help you and your clients best respond to the new Domain Authority, including a webinar on February 21st. We hope you’re as excited as we are and look forward to continuing to bring you the most reliable, cutting-edge metrics our industry has to offer.
Be sure to check out the resources we’ve prepared to help you acclimate to the change, including an educational whitepaper and a presentation you can download to share with your clients, team, and stakeholders:
Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!
If you are reading this article, you probably want to integrate a video CMS for your organization or have an idea of launching a video streaming service. By this time, you might have come across many software solutions claiming to give a kick start to your cause. You might be wondering which one to choose. Is it better to use an Open Source video CMS, or should I go for a SaaS platform?
Is that what you are wondering?
If yes, keep reading because this article mainly aims at clearing the same dilemma. We will follow the best approach of clearing a dilemma that is, providing unbiased information about all the choices and let you lock the best fitting option according to your aims and objectives. So let’s start from the very basic.
A video content management system, or simply call a video CMS is a ready-made videos sharing script, developed for managing the video content and its distribution across the web. A content management system (CMS) as an individual software lets a power user perform all the functionalities required for content creation, distribution, and organization. Similarly, a video CMS is an especially designed platform for performing the same set of actions for video content.
There is a huge difference between the types of content being processed by the two types of software. A CMS, in general, is a tool for text and images based content management. However, as the name suggests, there is video attached to the term video sharing CMS. Both the solutions function in different ways and the way video and text-based content are distributed and browsed is also different.
For example, there are dissimilar tools for text and video content creation. There are different networks for text and video content distribution. And there are a different set of requirements for the web browsers and devices to load text and video-based content.
The difference between a SaaS and Open source software can be seen as the differences in the ways different software vendors earn from their solutions. It can also be seen as the differences in the business models of different software vendors to handover software after getting paid for it.
SaaS (software as a Service) is simply leasing software to a client for a specific period and bound the usage in terms of contracts and fair use policies. The client does not own the software but buys the rights to use it in return to the monthly, weekly, or yearly subscription charges. To prevent the software from getting copied or pirated vendors generally make the SaaS solutions close-source. That is, the client does not have access to the codes of the software.
On the other hand, an Open source software is mainly based on buy-to-own model, where the client gets access to the code. As you own the software, you do not need to subscribe to any recurring plan. Such open source solutions are generally distributed and regulated under a GNU General Public License. According to GNU GPL, you can use, share, and customize the software in any ways you like, as long as the original developer is getting the explicit credit.
Video sharing CMS distributed on both models possess their own set of ups and downs. Depending on your business model, budget, manpower, and set of requirements, you can compare the pros and cons of both to select the best-suited option for your cause. Here is a list of the pros and cons of SaaS and open-source video content management systems for you to consider to create a video sharing website like YouTube.
SaaS solutions are generally developed by vendors with great infrastructure. They possess all the resources and manpower required to develop and distribute the solutions. With a great team, they can offer the best of the solutions made after years of research and development.
These solutions offer graphical UI for the Admins to customize and manage the platforms. As an admin, you don’t need to be an expert coder to upload and distribute videos. Just the basic computer skills and experience with general CMS (like WordPress) is enough to understand the technicalities.
The great infrastructure and men power also enables the SaaS vendors to deploy abundant resources on the cloud for assisting the clients. They possess all set of documentation, knowledge base and training assistance required from deployment to the maintenance phase.
You don’t require to play with the codes to add a new feature. The vendors regularly update their software and let all the clients’ benefits from them through a central location. In fact, you would find most of the required features already available in the base script or as a paid add-on.
The SaaS vendors typically make their software compatible with all the popular third-party integrations. You would find add-ons developed for almost every popular CRM you wish to integrate into your video sharing platform.
Comes pre-integrated with all the tools required for editing, sharing, and organization of video content. For example, you might find Google Analytics, or work-flow management tools in-built.
You don’t need to integrate any heavy code on your existing website to integrate a SaaS-based video CMS. They offer ready-made API, which you can integrate into your existing website, CMS, or ERP. After that, you can access a central dashboard on the web to manage your videos.
Comparatively, SaaS-based solutions are easy and faster to deploy as you don’t have to waste your time and effort playing with the codes.
As the vendors manage the codes, updates, and upgrades, you don’t require to hire an in-house team to manage the same. With minor training, your existing team can easily learn the software and its management skills.
You don’t need paying higher upfront cost in buying software when you can rent one. This is a good option for start-ups as they might not possess enough assets to own expensive software and its management complexities (infrastructure and men power).
You don’t own a SaaS-based video CMS, you just rent it. The ownership and rights to distribute it is still possessed by the vendor.
Generally, these solutions are developed on private frameworks, which are different from other vendors. As a result, due to any random reason, if you wish to port the existing platform to any other software, you cannot do that. You have to again start from scratch.
Though you might find the lower subscription rates affordable, they eventually become broad as the time passes. The vendor may increase the subscription cost or charge profoundly for the customizations. Moreover, if you pile up the subscription cost, it is actually much higher than what you can save and utilize to own software for good.
You are dependent on the vendor for every sort of customization required. You cannot edit the codes as per your requirement. You have to deal with whatever features you are getting as in-built.
This over-dependence on the vendors makes you paralyzed. You have to contact with the customer support for even the minor changes you wish for or for troubleshooting an error. In the meantime, you might lose a great deal of business due to this dependability.
You are bound to use the ready-made APIs and Add-ons being offered by the vendors. You cannot integrate any third-party tool of your choice.
As these are closed-source, third-party developers don’t have knowledge about the frameworks being used for development. As a result, they cannot offer any assistance during the desperate times.
Most of the SaaS solutions do not allow the clients to re-brand the interface. You would have to use the platform under a brand different from your own brand.
They offer their own cloud hosting, CDN, and video streaming engines. You don’t get to choose your own preference for any of them.
They offer integrated payment gateways. You don’t get to choose your preferred payment gateway.
They offer integrated revenue models. You don’t get to modify the same to match according to your custom business plan.
You get access to the codes and all the benefits coming through it.
Access to the codes allows you and your in-house developers to customize your video sharing platform the way you want.
Open source video sharing scripts are developed on the popular frameworks and programming languages. They have enough online resources to let any developer learn the same and develop custom modules to be integrated into the existing system.
As you have the codes, you can always tweak it to integrate the video sharing platform with popular third-party solutions. For example, you might want to integrate a third-party payment gateway.
You don’t need to pay recurring charges. With one-time fixed cost, you can buy the software for your own and get all the rights to edit and distribute the software as long as you are complying with the fair use policies.
With open-source, open resources, and abundant documentation, any third-party developer can learn to code for your video sharing platform.
You are not dependent on the vendors for every sort of modification or troubleshooting on your video streaming script. As a result, you don’t need to share your website private data like dashboard access with the developers. You can always maintain a replica of the existing site and get the developments done there. Later you can apply the same codes on the production site to commit the modifications.
The complete access to codes let you customize the UI the way you want. As a result, you can remove the vendor’s branding and tweak the UI to match your own brand. Moreover, you get the power to choose your own hosting server, video streaming engine, CDN, Payment gateways and revenue generation models.
The access to code comes with a price. They deployment is comparatively complex and takes some time.
The codes are exposed for general use. As a result, you don’t want a person with no coding skills to access the same. You would always need technical expertise to handle the codes on your own.
It is costly to buy the software at once. Moreover, you have to pay to the in-house, third-party, or the vendor for every other customization you wish to make.
Not recommended for the entrepreneurs with no coding skill or who cannot afford to hire an in-house developer. At least you must possess the budget to outsource the development if you cannot hire an in-house developer.
What if I told you there is a way to avoid all the downsides of a SaaS-based solution and get the benefits of both in the third type of video sharing CMS?
Yes. There is a way called Turnkey open sources solution. Such solutions are ready-made software just like SaaS but are offered to the clients as Open-source. That means you get all the benefits coming with an open-source software with the simplicity and rapidness of the deployment at the same time. These are also called as clone scripts of popular video sharing platforms in the market.
For example, if you are impressed with Netflix’s UI, features, and revenue models, you can buy a Turnkey Netflix clone and start a similar video streaming platform on the go. If YouTube’s model is best fitting your requirement, you can go for YouTube clone script. The advantage of such solutions is that like SaaS, you can set up your website in few hours; like video CMS open source, you get the code accessibility to customize the UI, Payment gateways, revenue models and many more.
A turnkey video streaming script is indeed the solution you might want to go for. However, this article has already offered the information you need for making an informed choice. You can select any of the threes depending on your requirements, budget, team-size, skill-level, and business model you entice for.
The post Why you should opt for an open source video CMS instead of a SaaS platform appeared first on Social Media Explorer.