“Want to know how to start a blog and make money as quickly as possible?” This article will highlight ten really important, but easy-to-implement features that all good, money making blogs have in common.
Like any “top ten” list, it is probably quite easy to find examples of blogs that are successful without having each and every feature. This is because content quality is the over-riding factor in determining how much traffic, and therefore how much money can be made blogging.
If you can create interesting content that people love to read and share, you can make money blogging!
Creating quality blog content takes a bit of practice, and if you are not an experienced blogger, I recommend reading the following articles on how to blog effectively before continuing:
- How to create award winning blog content from a small business ‘Top mover’
- Three laws of blogging that get traffic and maximize ROI
- Anatomy of a blog post: How to get more traffic and social engagement from your content
- Top reasons why your content is not driving traffic and how to fix it
- Five top SEO tips for small business bloggers
Blogging and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) go hand in hand, so if you are not familiar with SEO, I recommend you also browse through this list of the top SEO articles.
Top 10 features of money making blogs
This top ten list of features focuses on the features of the blog itself and not on the writing or content quality of the blogger.
As mentioned it is the quality of the blog content that will ultimately determine success or failure, but implementing all of these important features on your blog will ensure that “making money blogging” is as quick and painless as possible.
1. Images and other media
Images are absolutely vital to blogging. They can serve a number of roles from providing visual clues to what a blog post is about, to helping readers assimilate and remember your posts.
Most importantly, images and other media (like video blogs) offer additional ways for people to find your content via search. In fact, Google now offers people the option to search for “websites with images“.
Like images, video is becoming more and more important. It’s now super-easy to record video and upload it to YouTube, where a whole new social marketing platform awaits. If you are serious about getting a lot of exposure then images and video are a must.
2. Great SEO
Without fantastic SEO, you better be prepared to for a long haul. No SEO = no organic search traffic = uphill battle.
Search Engine Optimization is something you must learn, but it takes a bit of time and you shouldn’t expect to get everything right overnight. These great SEO articles will get you started:
- What is SEO? Here’s the ultimate small business SEO guide
- Five top SEO tips for small business bloggers
- How to research SEO keywords: Five SEO tips from top SEO experts
3. Social sharing and following
It’s important that readers have a way to share your content with their friends. Not only that, but they also need to be able to follow you with one-click.
Every single blog post needs social sharing buttons, as well as social follow buttons. Share buttons are available directly from all the major social networks, and your blogging platform may offer a plug-in that does them all-in-one.
Obviously, you will also have to create an account on each of the social networks you want to gain a following on. I recommend Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn (for business related blogs), and FaceBook.
4. RSS Feed (Feedburner)
The way content is shared online is via RSS feeds. All good blogging platforms offer RSS feed features, so hopefully this won’t be too much of a problem for you to implement.
I strongly recommend you use feedburner to manage and monetize your feed.
RSS feeds can be used by other websites to “syndicate” content. Make sure that only a portion of your blog posts are shared via RSS, otherwise you may run into Google Panda algorithm penalty problems for duplicated content.
Encouraging readers to engage with your blog, share ideas, thoughts and opinions is important for building a sustainable and loyal blog following.
Be careful not to allow spammers to spoil the quality of the comments. Remember Google will pick up on spam content and downgrade your blog post’s ranking in search if it is full of spammy comments.
A spam filter is a good idea.
Not everyone who lands on a blog post will find what they need straight away. It’s important that you provide an option for them to search within your blog – otherwise, they’ll hit the back button and go to find someone else’ blog.
7. Related articles
Hand in hand with the above point are “related articles“. It makes sense that if a reader is interested in a particular blog post then they may well want to read other blog posts that are related.
Having a related blog posts block gives readers the chance to explore your blog further.
The longer they are on your blog, the more they read, the more likely they are to remember you and come back, or sign up for a newsletter, connect socially, or even purchase something.
Newsletters are important because they help to keep visitors in touch with your blog. A periodical newsletter can offer a convenient way to receive and browse your latest content without having to constantly visit your blog.
In addition, building a large newsletter list is a good opportunity to make money from advertising down the road.
9. Guest blogging
As your blog becomes more popular, so it will become a more attractive proposition for guest bloggers to contribute content.
Guest posts are a great idea because the contributor will also help promote their article on your blog.
A good guest post is also convenient in the sense that it saves you the hassle of writing that content yourself. In other words, you get the SEO benefit and resulting revenue without the labor expense.
10. Free eBook
Offering free eBooks is a great way to promote a blog. Not only that, but the process of creating, marketing and promoting a free eBook is a fantastic learning exercise for marketing and promoting anything (your blog included) online.
eBooks can take a bit of time and effort to make. Not everyone has the time to do this, but here’s a great tip that you can use to incorporate eBook creation into your blogging.
What techniques do you use to promote your blog? This list only covers ten out of hundreds. Share your thoughts and experiences on starting a blog and making money blogging in the comments or join me on Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+ to carry on the conversation.