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      How to Monetize Your Blog: 14 Top Strategies


      We get it! You wanted to connect with other like-minded folks, share a hobby or skill, or promote a small business. There are lots of great reasons to start a blog, and making money might not have been the one that got you into the blogging game.

      But generating a little jingle from your online efforts is definitely worth considering, especially if it helps cover maintenance costs. For instance, using a high-quality web host and a professional theme can make a big difference to the quality of your blog, but they also aren’t free.

      That’s where a monetization strategy comes in handy!

      Fortunately, there are many ways to create reliable streams of revenue through your website. With just a little planning and creativity, your blog can be a source of significant, self-sustaining funds.

      In this article, we’ll offer some detailed guidance about how to monetize your blog. We’ll also share some vital money-making tips and advice about timing your monetization strategy. If you’re ready to make some dough, let’s get started!

      Why Monetization Might Be Right for Your Blog

      In this context, “monetization” simply means turning a regular blog into an income-generating website. If you’re still not sure whether you can make money blogging (or even want to), let’s look a little more at what it entails.

      Naturally, the main reason to monetize a blog is to create a source of passive income. If you’re worried about devoting time to a new endeavor, don’t worry! Most monetization methods won’t require a lot of work to maintain after you set them up.

      If you’re trying to decide whether monetizing a blog is the right for you, here are three of the best reasons to go for it:

      • You want to support the expenses that running your blog incurs.
      • Your readers want more from you, and you’re ready to expand how you engage with them.
      • It’s time to improve your website by adding in some advanced plugins or premium themes and even upgrading your hosting.

      If any of those scenarios fit your current situation, then you’re in the right place! You might be ready to take a big step with your website. First, however, let’s talk about how to time your monetization venture for the best effect.

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      How to Choose the Right Time to Implement a Monetization Strategy

      Timing your foray into the world of blog monetization is a critical element in the process. No, you don’t have to be a full-time blogger to start making money from your blog, but if you take this step too early, you might find that you’re not getting the results you expected.

      With that in mind, let’s look at a couple of scenarios that indicate you’re ready to monetize your blog.

      First and foremost, your audience is a vital element in any monetization strategy. In fact, finding your niche and attracting readers are essential parts of starting any blog. If you’ve found a focused niche for your content and your readership is growing, you’re in a solid place to begin making some revenue.

      Additionally, if your content is really resonating with your target audience, that’s another good indication that your website might be ready for monetizing. There are a couple of ways to find out how your content is performing. Monitoring your traffic, for example, can help you determine whether your readership is growing over time.

      Another key indicator is audience engagement. For instance, if you receive regular comments on your posts, you know that your readers care about your blog and take it seriously.

      Finally, if you have a structured approach to your content management process and a regular, reliable content schedule, you also might be ready to monetize your blog.

      An Introduction to the Most Common Money-Making Options for Bloggers

      Thanks to some innovative open-source tools, there are a wide variety of ways to generate income with a successful blog. While not all options are right for everyone, knowing your audience can help you match the appropriate technique to both your goals and your readers.

      Let’s briefly look at a few common ways to generate money with your blog. For example, affiliate marketing is when you’re compensated for linking out to particular products or websites in your content. Alternatively, you can always generate funds by selling your own products or services.

      If you’re not in the position to do that, you can explore offering ad space for other companies. Of course, there are plenty of alternatives to direct advertising as well, such as taking donations, hosting events, and more.

      Below, we’ll cover each of these strategies in detail.

      How to Monetize Your Blog: 14 Top Strategies

      Now that we’ve covered the basics of monetization, let’s dig in and take a look at some of the best options available to you. Our list has a little bit of everything, so you should be able to find at least one or two techniques you can implement. Plus, we’ll provide some practical advice you can use to get started right away!

      1. Become an Affiliate Marketer

      We mentioned affiliate marketing earlier, but let’s take a look at exactly how you can start making money this way. You’ve likely encountered blogs in the past that mentioned their “content may contain affiliate links.” If you’ve clicked on one of those links and ended up buying something, the blog’s owner got paid for it.

      That’s how affiliate marketing works in a nutshell.

      As you’re writing content, you include links to affiliate products or companies you’ve agreed to partner with and promote. If your readers click on the links and make a purchase, you’ll get paid. The details may vary from program to program, but you generally earn a small commission on each sale resulting from a click-through originating on your site.

      For example, let’s look at our own affiliate program.

      We’ve established a user-friendly affiliate program that clearly details what payouts are available and when you’ll receive them. This brings up another critical thing to note about affiliate marketing. You’ll want to make sure it’s clear what the expectations are not just for payouts, but also what the company expects from you as a marketer.

      It’s pretty easy to get started with affiliate marketing. Just be careful that you don’t end up being required to market something you’re not entirely comfortable with. You want your readers to trust you, so keep that in mind as you explore the many options that are out there.

      You can also check out one of the many WordPress plugins that help you manage your affiliate programs. ThirstyAffiliates is a popular tool.

      “The ThirstyAffiliates WordPress plugin.”

      This plugin can help you manage all of your affiliate links. You can easily add preformatted links to your content as you type. You’ll save time this way, and you’ll also have access to valuable analytics and reports.

      2. Use Ads to Generate Income

      Another common and easy way to generate money from your blog is by allowing advertisers to bid for space on your website. Just as a business might be willing to pay for the best billboard location on the freeway, they’ll pay for prime spots for banner ads or display ads on the internet too.

      Ad networks take available ad space and offer it at auction to various advertisers. In turn, those advertisers will often set parameters for their campaigns. That might include specific target audiences, style and formatting preferences, and goals for how many impressions the ad should get.

      This means that if you have substantial traffic numbers and some space for text or visual advertisements, you can join an ad network. The most popular option is Google’s AdSense.

      “Google’s AdSense platform.”

      One of the nice things about AdSense is that it tailors ad placements to the layout, structure, and content of your website. This makes the ads highly relevant to your readers, increasing the chance that they’ll be clicked on. Plus, you can get started quickly by simply inserting the AdSense code into your website.

      There are other advertising networks out there too. Some of them have more rigorous approval processes than others. If you’re just starting out, you might want to check out some ad networks that are geared towards new websites. For example, PopAds has fast approval and caters to smaller publishers.

      3. Grow Revenue with Sponsored Posts and Reviews

      Creating partnerships with brands and companies that fall within your blog niche is another excellent way of making money online. You can offer to place or write content related to their products on your blog in exchange for a fee.

      There are a few things to consider when doing this, however.

      First, you’ll want to make sure you’re adhering to the Federal Trade Commission’s rules regarding disclosure. In a nutshell, if you’re located in the United States, you need to clearly disclose your sponsored content or any product reviews you’re being compensated for.

      However, before that, you’ll need to secure a sponsor. There’s really nothing stopping you from “cold calling” a business you like. You can ask if they’re interested in paying you to feature content on your website about their products or services.

      Alternatively, you can register with sites like PayPerPost.

      “The PayPerPost website.”

      Essentially, PayPerPost is a directory where bloggers can register, and sponsors can find potential blogs to be featured on. Sponsors can search the directory by topic to narrow down the field of options.

      To get started, you just need to complete a fairly simple form. After that, your information will be searchable in the PayPerPost directory. This is a nice option because you could potentially pair it with another strategy. You can also decide how aggressive you want to be in terms of seeking out sponsored post opportunities.

      4. Partner with Brands as an Influencer

      Establishing yourself as an influencer is another way to create reliable revenue streams. This involves using your social media status to barter with brands. If you have built up enough of a following in certain spaces, you might already be considered a micro-influencer.

      Whether you approach a brand you’d love to showcase on your blog or the brands come to you, these relationships can be financially beneficial. Just as with featuring sponsored reviews, there are some websites out there that can help you establish your influencer presence. Cooperatize is one of them.

      “The Cooperatize micro-influencer platform.”

      If you’re not sure how to go about becoming an influencer, there are a lot of resources out there that can assist you. The basics involve fine-tuning your social media profiles and content. You’ll also need to build up your networks and closely engage with followers.

      After all, it’s hard to “influence” if you don’t have an audience for your posts and content. If you can establish a relationship with a brand that fits your blog’s niche, there can be plenty of benefits for both parties.

      5. Sell Physical Products

      Thanks to the entrepreneurial spirit, social media, and Content Management Systems (CMSs) like WordPress, the online market for goods you can sell yourself is quite vast. The possibilities are just about endless, especially when you take into account the success of websites like Etsy.

      “The Etsy website.”

      In case you’re not familiar with it, Etsy was one of the first websites to offer an online marketplace for handmade goods. It’s the go-to shop for unique and customized items. However, if custom products are not your thing, there are other options.

      Apps that connect you directly to manufacturers have opened up new reseller opportunities. Resellers source desirable or trending products directly and sell them online for a profit. With this strategy, you don’t have to worry about developing, storing, and shipping your own products.

      Of course, you can also design your own online storefront! If you’re using WordPress to create your blog, you also have access to one of the most popular e-commerce plugins out there. WooCommerce makes it extremely easy to set up an online store, and it’s free to use. You can also add many premium features to handle marketing and customer engagement.

      Once you’ve decided what kind of products you’ll sell, you’ll need to get your website set up and choose what type of payment gateways you want to offer customers.

      To launch your online store, it’ll be critical to have an email marketing strategy in place. We’d recommend focusing on building an email list so you can easily let your loyal fans know about your latest offerings. A great way to do this? Create your own email newsletter.

      6. Sell Digital Products or E-books

      If you have expertise in a specific area and have written stellar blog posts on that topic, you might consider marketing some related digital products. For example, you could create an e-book based on either your most popular blog posts or made up of entirely new material.

      If there’s a topic that readers continuously comment on or ask about, that might be an excellent place to start. If an e-book seems too ambitious, you can also think about serializing content and pricing certain portions of it as premium products.

      Whether you decide to offer e-books, music, or another type of digital item, you might want to check out the Easy Digital Downloads plugin for WordPress.

      “The Easy Digital Downloads plugin.”

      Adding a tool like this to your website setup can help you offer user-friendly checkout options. Additionally, the free version of the plugin comes with both the PayPal and Amazon payment gateways.

      Something to keep in mind is that this monetization strategy doesn’t have to be your only source of income. Offering a digital download or two on your blog pairs well with many other options on our list. For example, you could easily incorporate ads or affiliate marketing as well, in order to boost revenue.

      7. Offer Coaching or Consultations

      Similar to turning your expertise into e-books or another downloadable product, you can also offer coaching services or consultations for a premium fee. If you enjoy engaging with people one-on-one, whether virtually or in person, this can be a satisfying way to monetize a blog.

      Fortunately, WordPress can help you manage a busy consultation schedule. For example, the Booking Calendar plugin is a highly-rated and well-maintained solution.

      “The WordPress Booking Calendar plugin.”

      By combining this plugin with a popular payment gateway like PayPal, you can be up and running with a money-making coaching or consulting business in no time.

      There are a few things to keep in mind if you’re interested in this approach.

      This is a monetization strategy that requires a bit more work on your end, both upfront and on an ongoing basis. If you’re looking for a way to ease into your own full-time business, however, this is definitely an on-ramp worth exploring.

      Something else to consider when developing your strategy is how you’ll promote interest in your new services. One of your best options is to put together one or more dedicated landing pages, which can provide all the details needed to turn readers into clients.

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      8. Run an Online Course

      There’s no doubt that the option to take courses online has become a popular and accepted form of education. Professionals can add to their knowledge base in this way, and students can even complete degrees.

      As a blogger with something to teach, running your own online course is another top monetization possibility. One way to determine what topics might be popular is to look at LinkedIn Learning and research what’s trending.

      “LinkedIn Learning course options.”

      Once you determine which subjects might be appealing to your readers, you can experiment with WordPress’ Learn Dash plugin. This is a tool that can help you turn your WordPress website into a full Learning Management System (LMS).

      LearnDash includes just about all of the features you’ll need to create an online course. This includes pricing functionality, points, and certificate options for students. You’ll be able to create an engaging learning opportunity for your readers, earn some money, and establish yourself or your business as a knowledgeable authority.

      9. Host a Virtual Summit

      If you’re not sold on some of the other options on our list, but you want to find a way to generate revenue while engaging with other professionals in your field, don’t worry. Monetization is still very much a possibility for your blog!

      Thanks to a wide array of accessible and affordable communication technologies, you can organize and host virtual summits. These mini-conferences can also be delivered as live or recorded webinars, for both new and old readers to engage with.

      One way to coordinate efforts between your webinar platform and your website is to use a plugin like WP GoToWebinar.

      “The GoToWebinar plugin for WordPress.”

      To use this tool, you’ll need a GoToWebinar account. Then you’ll be able to easily embed a list of upcoming webinars on your site, as well as connect to registration forms. Keep in mind that if you have a global reach, however, you’ll want to make sure your offerings follow the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) rules.

      If you need to have a lot of control over your schedule and can leverage specific times of the year when you require an income boost, this is a great option. With a virtual summit, you can pull in your favorite professional resources and create an engaging online event for your followers.

      10. Start a Podcast

      Podcasts hit the big time in 2019. Crossing over into the mainstream, statistics soon showed that just over half of the U.S. population had listened to a podcast. While it might seem like “everyone” has a podcast, however, that doesn’t mean there isn’t room in the market for yours.

      A podcast can be an excellent companion to an existing blog. Once you find the right niche, you can scope out some top podcast charts to see where you might fit in. After that, getting your podcast website ready for monetizing is your next step. Once you’re set up and have established a following, you can experiment with some of the other solutions on our list.

      For example, ad spending on podcasts is a growing area that can have better results than traditional advertising options. However, if you’re not interested in placing ads on your site or mentioning sponsors during each episode, there are other monetization options.

      For instance, you can create a podcast membership site with the Ultimate Member plugin.

      “The Ultimate Member plugin.”

      This is a popular, well-maintained, and highly-rated tool. One caveat is that you’ll need to upgrade to the premium version if you want to integrate it with WooCommerce for paid podcast memberships. Alternatively, there are some plugins like Paid Member Subscriptions that offer a few more features for free.

      11. Create a YouTube Channel

      Similar to podcasting, creating an engaging YouTube channel can be a lucrative (and fun!) endeavor to complement your blog. However, it might seem overwhelming at first to keep up with all the best practices for monetizing videos online.

      One way to make things simpler is to do some research into the YouTube Partner Program. While it’s possible to use your YouTube channel to boost your on-site revenue, the platform offers specific and beginner-friendly tools through its dedicated program as well.

      “The YouTube Monetization tool requirements.”

      If you’re not able to apply for the program, you can still use YouTube to drive traffic to your blog. When you combine elements like AdSense, affiliate marketing, and more, you can create a dynamic money-making system. You can even link to your own landing pages from your YouTube videos.

      12. Accept Donations

      If you don’t need income to keep your website afloat, but would like to make money blogging to pay for future upgrades, accepting donations is an option you might explore. Loyal readers will likely support your passions if you have plans that will bring them more of the log posts they love.

      For example, if your niche is travel and photography, you could accept donations that are earmarked to go towards your next expedition.

      While you can use one of the many online crowdfunding options, there are also some useful plugins available, such as GiveWP.

      “The Give plugin for WordPress.”

      This tool has a lot of features to offer for passion projects, non-profits, and blogs. The free version includes such a robust feature set that most users won’t need the premium add-ons.

      Alternatively, you can structure a donation system with a well-styled form and a payment gateway such as PayPal. WPForms is a great place to start if you need a form-building plugin. Just keep in mind that you’ll want to be as transparent as possible with how you’re using the donations, so readers will feel confident in giving.

      13. Offer a Paid Membership Plan

      We mentioned some membership plugins earlier when talking about how to monetize a podcast. However, there are other ways to offer and manage a membership plan for your blog itself. One of the most popular platforms for this is Patreon.

      “The Patreon membership platform.”

      One of the best aspects of Patreon is that you can get started for free. The cost of the platform is based on the level of service you choose. Each level takes a cut of your monthly donations. For example, the “Lite” level charges 5% of your monthly donation income.

      Patreon makes it pretty easy to set up content-specific membership sites. You can offer premiums for different levels of donations. This means you can give specific donors access to exclusive content on your blog, or annual premiums.

      14. Develop a Branded Swag Shop

      When you really love a band, writer, movie, etc., it’s common to want to show your support by sporting its branded gear. If you have the resources, creating your own branded swag shop can also be a fun way of making money.

      WooCommerce is, of course, the most popular e-commerce tool out there. It’s an easy addition to any website. However, you can also look into print and ship services, if you’re not prepared to handle the logistics of fulfilling orders.

      The good news is that you can turn your WooCommerce shop into a fulfillment center as well. The Printful integration for WooCommerce is a great place to start.

      “The Printful integration for WooCommerce.”

      With this add-on, you can create a shop by choosing from Printful’s inventory of over 220 items. You can provide designs that are specific to your blog, or choose from the pre-built templates. Additionally, you can set up items that can be individualized by your readers.

      After a purchase is made, Printful will make it and ship it for you! It’s that easy. You can even estimate profits with an online calculator. This will help you set your prices to ensure the level of revenue you need.

      You CAN Make Money Blogging

      Once you decide you want to monetize a blog, you may be tempted to dive in headfirst and try everything you can think of. However, taking a measured approach often leads to a more profitable blog in the long run. We’ve outlined many feasible options for monetizing your blog, but it’s important to keep some specific points in mind when choosing your strategy.

      For example, remember that not all forms of monetization work for all blogs. It’s key to determine whether you’ve found the right blogging niche first. Next, focusing on one or two complementary possibilities are likely to yield the best results. For instance, you might pair AdSense with a podcast or video channel.

      Finally, no matter what approach you take to generating income on your blog, you’ll want to make sure you have the hosting resources you need. We recommend checking out our shared hosting plans as a great place to start!



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      How to Write a Blog Post: A Step-By-Step Guide


      1997: the year the Pathfinder landed on Mars, Madeleine Albright was sworn in as Secretary of State, and Titanic demolished box office records.

      It’s also the year the term “weblog” was officially coined (even though the first blog is said to have existed in 1994, at the near genesis of the internet). For two decades, starting a blog has been a powerful way to connect with internet audiences and share creative content.

      Yet, with blogging’s established rep as a powerhouse (and dominant) form of web content, it’s easy to witness the ever-changing and ephemeral landscape of the internet. Blink and virtual crowds have abandoned one novelty social media platform for another. Viral memes and web fads frequently give internet audiences virtual whiplash. Content creators are fighting to garner the ever-depleting attention spans of web users.

      So are the web’s 31.7 million blogs losing relevance anytime soon?

      Not at all.

      It turns out 77% of internet users read blogs regularly. What’s more, 61% of Americans spend three times the amount of time-consuming blog content than they do email content.

      Blogging is still very much a crucial part of a thriving brand and a next-level content marketing strategy in 2020. Whether you’re a brand or a business, you want to attract traffic and offer something of value to visitors. Blogging is a major key to that engagement — having a blog on your website increases your chances of ranking higher in search engines by a massive 434%. Plus, bloggers wield immense influence on the web — giving your brand the opportunity to grow in a big way.

      So do you have everything you need to be a blogging success? Let’s find out. Passion? Check. Website? Check. Fueled by a great *ahem* web hosting company *ahem*? Double-check. You’re ready to share your own unique content with the world wide web.

      Power Your Blog with DreamHost

      We’ll make sure your blog is fast, secure and always up so your visitors can engage with you. Plans start at $2.59/mo.

      OK, wait. How do you write a blog post? If you want to create value for readers and attract traffic to your site, it’s not as easy as typing up a few sentences in haste and clicking Publish. No, writing a great blog post requires creativity and smart crafting. And with the abundance of bloggers and the influx of ideas out there, you need to be at the top of your blogging game to cut through the noise and get eyes on your content.

      But don’t worry!

      We’re here to help. This everything-you-need guide covers it all: the reality behind blogging (aka vital stats to know), the ins-and-outs of crafting a great blog, and what handy resources are available to help with every aspect of writing your article.

      Dig in and study it word-for-word or just jump to the sections you need:

      Before we dive in too deep, let’s address something really fundamental: Why is writing a good blog post so important? Why does it even matter?

      So glad you asked (we love this topic)!

      Why Does Writing a Great Blog Post Matter?

      So what difference does a quality blog post make anyway?

      Well, the difference between a so-so blog post and a can’t-stop-reading blog post is a matter of only a handful of factors, but they’re crucial.

      An exceptional blog post not only helps attract your target audience to your site, but it helps establish you as an authority in your field and motivates visitors to continue engaging with you.

      In fact, 30% of people rank quality content as the top factor that adds credibility to a blog, so not only do you need to start a blog, you need excellent blog content. As you provide valuable content, readers will be more likely to develop loyalty to your brand. They’ll share your content with their friends, and trust us, social shares are the virtual word of mouth you need to flourish online.

      If you want authentic growth, you need killer blog posts.

      What Makes a Good Blog Post?

      So let’s break it down. What makes a perfect blog article? Here are the nine key ingredients.

      1. Targeted Message

      Or, in other words, Know Thy Audience. Ideally, you already know who you’re trying to reach with your brand or business.

      Similarly, your blog posts should be geared toward reaching and influencing a particular target audience — your specific niche — and addressing their needs. With a focused target, you are more likely to connect with audiences and build your brand. Casting an overly-wide net with your message will cause you to miss out on the key audiences that are most important for the growth of your brand.

      Valentine's Day post from House That Lars Built
      Brittany Jepsen of House That Lars Built knows her audience — creative DIY crafters — and tailors content for them.

      2. Clever Headline

      Your headline is often the make-it-or-break-it factor between someone clicking on your blog post or passing it by for some other site (likely a competitor’s content!)

      Your headline should grab readers, make them want more — tease and tantalize! — while still giving them a roadmap for the journey you’re going to take them on as well as an idea of what prize they’ll earn by adventuring. Invest the time to craft a good headline — it makes a big difference. Choose each word carefully.

      Pro-tip: Use a headline analyzer tool to get insight into the efficacy of your title and ways to improve.

      Behind-the-scenes blog post of Disneyland happenings.
      The author of this Disney Food Blog post entices readers with a behind-the-scenes look at Disneyland happenings.
      Blog post from At One Good Thing by Jillee.
      At One Good Thing by Jillee, this headline explains that the post will address a very common pain point — needing room-temperature ingredients in a pinch.
      Example of blog title using numbers.
      Using numbers is a solid way to quantify what value you’re offering to readers, like this post on author K.M. Weiland’s writing blog.

      3. Interesting Intro

      Kudos! You got a reader to click on your post, interested in finding more about your topic. Now — how to keep them reading (and keep your bounce rate steady)?

      You need a hook. You need to start your blog post with a captivating intro to draw the reader into your post. Whether you lead with a shocking stat, an engaging anecdote, a thought-provoking question, or an innovative idea, make your intro so compelling that your visitors can’t stop reading. Lure them in and hook ‘em.

      But take note — the introduction needs to satisfy the intent you hinted at in the headline or your audiences (and search engines) will punish you with lower traffic and rankings.

      Example of intriguing blog post intro.
      This post from Greatist hooks readers with an unexpected, intriguing intro.

      4. Valuable Content

      What does your blog post offer audiences? Readers are more likely to read and engage with your blog content if it offers them something of value, addresses a burning question, or solves a particularly deep pain point. Are you providing them with info they can’t find anywhere else? Is your content exclusive, comprehensive beyond your competitors, or outfitted with freebies or rich resources? Does it solve a problem?

      If so, then you’re on the right track.

      Let’s spend some time on this. Great blog posts are really all about understanding your audience — what they need, what they care about, how they behave. This type of research is crucial. Get to know them by reaching out to them, soliciting feedback, and asking questions. Get to know them and show you care.

      Next, do some internet research. Look at what people are searching for, what types of questions they’re asking (Google Auto-Complete anyone?). Browse Reddit, scout out competitor sites, and read comments.

      Simply put: Do your homework.

      Based on the intel you gather, develop a list of blog posts and content ideas that address the needs of your audience. You can start out with broad topics and then narrow the scope as you hone in on your niche. Plan what you need to distinguish your blog and beat out competitors in what you’re offering audiences.

      Popular content on the CSS-Tricks blog.
      The blog at CSS-Tricks clues readers into popular content and entices with the promise of answering a burning question.

      Need ideas on what kind of content to offer? Here are some well-received examples:

      • Listicles
      • Roundups
      • How-Tos/Tutorials
      • Exclusive Insights/Behind-the-Scenes

      5. Captivating Stories

      Visitors are more likely to connect with content that is relatable, human, and engaging, so gather your readers around the campfire (metaphorically, of course) and share relevant, captivating tales.

      Example of captivating story from Expert Vagabond blog.
      This post from Expert Vagabond hooks readers immediately with a captivating story.

      6. Easy-to-Scan Text

      Here’s an important stat for you. The average person spends only 37 seconds reading a blog post. If your text is long and clunky, it could be even less.

      Make your content easy to consume, organizing your snackable text in bite-sized pieces that’s easy to digest.

      Break up text into short paragraphs often, guided by informative subheads, emphasized text, and bullet points. Vary the length of your sentences, and utilize white space to provide visual breaks for readers’ eyes. Making text easier to read with consistent and organized formatting will help keep eyes on your content.

      7. Thoughtful Design

      It’s not just the content of your blog post that matters. Design (and blog structure) plays a big part in getting audiences to consume your content and engage with your brand. Pairing strong content with aesthetically-pleasing design makes your blog post that much more impactful.

      Thoughtful design includes smart use of white space, an attractive color scheme, easy-to-use navigation and menus, and other guiding design elements like leading lines and composition.

      It should also take into account the typical f-shaped scanning pattern when laying out design elements.

      Joi Knows How blog color scheme.
      The blog at Joi Knows How is united by a cohesive color scheme and engaging design elements, and thoughtful navigation.

      8. Authentic Writing

      The quickest way to turn off your audiences? Write content for them in an inauthentic voice. Visitors to your site don’t want salesperson speak, overly-technical jargon, academic mumbo-jumbo, or an unapproachable narrator — they want YOU. Your real, one-of-a-kind voice will keep them coming back for more.

      Example of relatable blog copy.
      Jessica of How Sweet Eats brings appeal to her blog posts not just by sharing delicious recipes and food photos — her writing feels real, relatable, and fun.

      9. Mobile-Responsiveness

      Mobile is king. Mobile internet usage has grown exponentially in the last few years, now dominating its share of traffic over desktop usage.

      Plus, more than five million people have smartphones, meaning that if audiences can’t access your blog post on mobile (or if your post isn’t responsive or attractive on their phone or tablet), they’re likely to hop to a competitor’s site.

      Prioritize a mobile-friendly blog to grow your brand. Use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to test out your site for possible responsiveness issues (this includes keeping things speedy!).

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      How to Write a Blog Post (In 6 Steps)

      Now, it’s time to write that blog post! Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty and do this step by step.

      1. Plan

      First, you need to sit down and prep your post. Planning is imperative to crafting a home-run blog post, especially if you want to stand out amongst your competitors and garner the attention you need.

      First off, you need to get yourself organized. Keep a running list of post ideas based on the research you’ve conducted on your audience and on valuable keywords. Brainstorm and mind map your thoughts. When planning your content calendar, consult your ideas and choose what would be the most useful for your target audience.

      Once you’ve settled on a winner, use a blog planner (like this one) and map out your topic. Create an outline with basic points and conduct the necessary research to flesh out important details. Visitors can get fake news anywhere on the web, so you owe it to your audience (and your brand) to only plan and create well-researched, high-value posts.

      And remember, it’s great to have a lot of content — more blog posts will draw more traffic. BUT. Make sure you’re prioritizing quality content over mere quantity and that you’re passionate about what you’re writing about.

      If you are, it will be evident — and contagious.

      2. Craft a Headline

      Your headline is crucial, remember? It’s got to be strong, or it’s not going to draw readers in.

      Remember: you want to entice and hint at what readers are going to get out of clicking on your article instead of someone else’s. A few headline pointers:

      • Optimal headline length is 11-14 words, both for social shares and search engine efficacy.
      • You need a captivating hook, plus enough info that your readers know what to expect and what value you’re offering them. Don’t just use throwaway clickbait phrases or pack in keywords. Trim the fat and use each word with intention.

      3. Write Your Post

      Time to start tickling those virtual ivories — meaning, it’s time to start writing your blog post. The average time spent writing a blog post has been increasing, so give yourself enough time (at least a few hours) to get your thoughts down and fully engage the writing process.

      The optimal length for blog posts is 2200-2500 words, so keep an eye on word count as you write. For now, don’t worry about making it perfect on the first go-around. Just keep those fingers moving and get the words down.

      Make sure to include a CTA (Call to Action) as you wrap up your post — you want your readers to be motivated to do something. And if they’ve stuck with you through a whole blog post, there’s a good chance they will.

      4. Find Images

      A blog post without images earns a big whomp, whomp, whomp — and gets little interest from readers and higher bounce rates. Blog articles with images get 94% more views.

      This means images — relevant, good quality ones — are absolutely necessary for your posts.

      DIY some of your own photography, get proper photo permissions for others’ work you want to share, or use a royalty-free site like Pexels or Unsplash to add images to your post and edit as necessary.

      You can also consider including alternative elements like infographics, charts, and graphics to create unique visual interest.

      Example of eye-catching image on Our Travel Passport blog.
      Eye-catching images are a hallmark of the Our Travel Passport blog, drawing readers in with visual interest.

      5. Edit Your Post

      Wait! Before clicking Publish, you need to edit your post. And no, a simple run of your standard-issue spell check isn’t enough.

      Here are some editing best practices:

      • Take a Break. Polish your post by stepping away from your keyboard for a time, then returning later with a fresh pair of eyes. The break will help you see errors you might have missed before.
      • Play Editor. Proofread your post with a fine-tooth comb and correct any grammar and spelling errors. Also take the opportunity to edit your text for clarity.
      • Think Syntax. The same type and length of sentences can get really boring — and difficult — to read. Vary your sentence length to keep things interesting.
      • Pack a Punch. Flimsy, weak-sounding copy turns off readers and leaves them unsatiated. Eliminate weak verbs and passive voice. You want your words to be strong and meaningful.
      • Get a Sounding Board. Read your text aloud to ensure it flows smoothly and sounds authentic and on-brand. Have a friend or colleague read over it and give feedback for an outsider’s perspective.
      • Fix Formatting. Make sure your text isn’t wonky when published. Preview it to ensure that it looks the way it’s supposed to — professional and well laid-out — providing plenty of visual space for eye breaks.

      Your blog content is a representation of your brand, so make sure it reflects a professional and polished image.

      6. Promote Your Post

      If you’ve followed the steps above, you’ve likely got a great blog post on your hands. That’s all fine and good, but if no one sees it, all your hard work is for naught! You’ll need to put in the content marketing legwork to get your post in front of your audience.

      Whether you use social media promotion, email marketing, paid advertising, or search engine optimization — ideally, a balance of all of these tactics — work to promote your post in ways that make sense for your target audiences.

      Helpful Blog Post Resources

      Don’t worry. We’re not done yet! We’ve got a handy-dandy toolbox of resources to help you make writing blog posts easy (and fun) — and above all, to help you build a successful blog and grow your brand. We know starting and maintaining a blog isn’t easy, but we’re here to help.

      Here are some super useful tools for each step of the writing process.

      Building a Website

      Planning

      Writing

      Editing

      Promotion

      The Final Word on Starting a Blog

      Ready to craft some kick-butt blog posts? You’ve got everything you need to write great posts; now you need to team up with a great web host.

      We’ve got you covered.

      We’re experts at making things easy with top-tier tech support and resources for any SOS moments. Plus, we’re your biggest fans. Go you! Our Shared Hosting plans + your epic blogging skills = the perfect pair.



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      How to Do Keyword Research for Your WordPress Blog


      iPhone repair near me. Easy dinner ideas. How to create a website?

      A key way to get traffic to your website? Understand how people search for things on the internet.

      By tapping into search behavior, you can help optimize your website for high rankings in search engines. With a well-positioned search engine spot, you have a better chance of getting found by internet audiences.

      Keywords are vital for search engine optimization (SEO). Doing some research into the things people are searching for will not only help you better understand your target audience but also to plan and utilize high-value keyword phrases in your blog posts to earn better rankings in search engines.

      In this guide, we’ll show you how to conduct smart keyword research, then how to use those target keywords on your site to boost your organic traffic and earn prime search engine rankings. Let’s get started!

      Optimize Your Site with DreamPress

      DreamPress’ automatic updates and strong security defenses take server management off your hands so you can focus on keywords and not kernels.

      What is Keyword Research?

      First, let’s talk about what a keyword is. When people are searching Google for something, they use certain words to find what they’re looking for. Those words or phrases are keywords.

      Keywords used in a Google search

      Doing research into the keywords people use when searching online can help you optimize your website for those keywords — helping improve your blog posts and increase your traffic.

      The great thing is, you don’t need to take a stab in the dark at guessing the keywords people are using to search the internet. There are actually smart keyword research tools available to help you make data-driven, effective decisions when it comes to accomplishing essential tasks, such as:

      • Identifying the keywords people are actually using
      • Creating relevant content that ranks well
      • Understanding your audiences (and adjusting your offerings to meet their needs)
      • Scoping out your competitors’ SEO strategies
      • Earning more web traffic
      • Building a loyal audience

      Long story short: Making keyword research a part of your content strategy will help you build visibility and, ultimately, grow your site.

      Of course, optimized keywords aren’t the only way to earn your content prime search engine real estate, but it’s an essential building block for SEO, increased conversions, and rush-hour e-traffic. Plus, if one of your overall goals is to monetize your site, you need to embrace SEO as the foundation of your site’s content. The numbers prove it: 81% of shoppers conduct online research before making purchases.

      How to Get Started with Keyword Research

      Now that you know how vital the keyword research process is, let’s get into the real nitty-gritty: how to do keyword research for your WordPress blog.

      The obvious place to start is Google. Today, Google handles more than 100 billion searches every month — around 60,000 every second. But even with billions of searches and the abundance of available info on the web, 60% of all organic clicks go to the top three organic search results, so the ranking of your site in search engine results matters.

      Most SEO-focused keyword research for WordPress focuses on Google — the powerhouse search engine fuels more than 76% of all global desktop search traffic, and over 94% of the mobile/tablet searches. Plus, Google’s free Keyword Planner is one of the most popular keyword research tools, allowing you to identify the most searched keywords, and use that essential insight to better your blog’s visibility.

      Before really diving deep into keyword research, it’s important to understand a few terms:

      • Search Volume: The number of times or volume of searches that are conducted for a particular keyword during a specific time-frame.
      • Search Traffic: The number of visits to a website measured by search results clicks.
      • Search Intent: The reason why a consumer is conducting a specific search. It indicates what they’re looking for — whether that’s information, a particular brand’s webpage, an answer to a question, or a product they intend to purchase.

      Understanding these terms is critical, as they indicate different data that you can use to do better keyword research and content development. Some keywords might get a high search volume — meaning, they get searched a lot — but don’t receive a lot of search traffic, meaning the number of clicks.

      Capital of Maine Google search query.
      The search volume for this query is likely higher than the search traffic — because it displays an answer box, the results might not receive as many clicks because the searcher has to take no further action to find what they’re looking for.

      In that regard, search volume can be misleading. In addition to volume and traffic, it’s essential to understand not only what keywords people type in a search engine, but also what their search intent is — meaning, what they’re actually looking for. Don’t worry — search intent doesn’t require any mind-reading, as most search queries can be separated into a few main, easy-to-identify categories:

      • Informational: How-to or what-is searches, (i.e., “how to make tea”)
      • Navigational: Branded searches, (i.e., “Facebook login” or “Capital One”)
      • Commercial: Specific attributes queries (i.e., versus or best queries, “women’s plus size dresses”)
      • Transactional: Searches directed toward a purchase (i.e., buy, download, etc.)

      There are generally certain types of content that are displayed in the results for each search intent category; for example, informational search intents might include guides, and commercial investigations will likely include comparison articles. When planning and creating content for your site, you’ll want to gear it towards what the searcher is looking for — their search intent — so that you can meet a need and create value. Additionally, when competing for keywords (more on this later), you’ll want to investigate the content types of the top-ranking pages so you know how to build your own content.

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      How to Do Keyword Research for Your Blog — in 3 Steps

      If you’re just starting out and looking for a free or very low-cost keyword research tool to get you going, we’ve got you covered:

      • Soolve: a simple but great tool for building a keyword list from multiple search sites.
      • Moz’s Keyword Explorer: a comprehensive keyword research tool that analyzes keywords by search volume, sorts by predictive keyword metrics, performs competitive keyword analysis, and allows you to review SERP details by keyword. In addition, you can find keywords in question format and access Moz’s proprietary Keyword Difficulty score that shows how easy (or hard) it is to rank on each SERP. Requires an account setup and allows 10 free queries a month.
      • Keywords Everywhere: a paid browser extension that’s easily installed on Firefox or Chrome that offers valuable data on monthly search volume, cost per click and competition data of keywords on multiple websites. This tool works by credits; 1 credit = 1 keyword, $10 for 100,000 credits.
      • Ubersuggest: This tool goes beyond simply offering keyword suggestions, extending its capabilities to competitor insight, top SEO pages reports, valuable backlink data, and deep dives into well-performing content pieces.

      If you’re looking to up your SEO game, check out a few above-and-beyond paid keyword research tools, like MarketMuse, BuzzSumo, Ahrefs, or SEMrush.

      As we mentioned, Google has a great (free!) tool — called Keyword Planner — that helps conduct keyword research for your WordPress blog. While its features are geared primarily toward PPC advertisers, the Keyword Planner is still an excellent platform for identifying keywords that will help you build a strong SEO strategy. Because we think Keyword Planner is the best place to start, we’ll focus on how to use this particular tool in our guide.

      1. How to Use Keyword Planner

      First, you need to get set up with a Google Ad account — if you don’t already have one. Click on the “Tools and Settings” button, then under the Planning Tab, click “Keyword Planner.”

      Then, click “Discover new keywords.”

      In the search box, you’ll enter words and phrases related to your business and/or enter your site URL and click “Get Results.” You can adjust or add keywords, or add filters to refine your search.

      Let’s say you enter a few keywords related to your niche — for example, “custom smartphone cases.”

      The resulting data displays additional keyword suggestions, along with a broad, average monthly search range, competition level (how many people have bid for that particular keyword in Google AdWords), and bid price ranges for specific keywords (this can help you judge the commercial intent of a searcher). You can analyze and utilize the data by filtering results, downloading keyword ideas, adding keywords to your plan to get detailed forecasts, accessing visualizations broken down by categories, and searching volume data.

      When conducting keyword research, start by searching broader keywords, then gradually narrow results down to identify keywords with low competition and more search volume. Focus on selecting keywords that answer your customers’ questions and aid them in making smart buying decisions. With the tool’s results, you can see your own keyword performance and then compare it with your competitors.

      With the displayed results, you can build a list of potential keywords for use on your site.

      You’ll likely want to target those keywords that earn high search volumes in order to bring crowds to your blog.

      But don’t forget about long-tail topics — a way to smartly utilize keyword research.

      Long-tail keywords are search queries with a low individual search volume, but as a group, they usually have a large total search demand. Targeting long-tail keywords can help you rank well and drive traffic to your blog. The easiest way to identify long-tail topics? Scout out your competition’s traffic-generating pages.

      2. Incorporating Target Keywords on Your Website

      Next, incorporate your list of keywords into your WordPress site.

      Essentially, you need to include those keywords on your site — on landing pages, documentation, in content like articles and blog posts, as well as in titles, descriptions, and categories for products you sell. Keywords are vital for helping you create better content that meets your audiences’ needs and get found by your target consumers.

      Now, you’ll want to take your keywords and incorporate them into your site to start optimizing your site for search engine rankings. Start by adding your strongest keywords to your site’s title and tagline. To do this, go to the Settings tab on your WordPress dashboard, then click General.

      WordPress site title and tagline.

      An important caveat: this is more appropriate if you’re just launching your website. In fact, it’s the ideal time to make SEO decisions about your domain, title, and tagline. If you’ve got an established site, proceed carefully with rebranding. You’ve likely already built a following and should avoid whiplashing your visitors with sudden changes. If you’re still looking to boost your SEO — and every website should be — focus on adding your keywords in other places.

      Outfit your header, slider, and individual page headings with customized keywords. Make sure your site’s images have descriptive alternative text and don’t skimp on writing a solid meta description for each blog post — take advantage of every opportunity to include relevant keywords on your site.

      Then, add optimized keywords to your individual posts and pages. Try to add targeted keywords at the beginning of each blog post in a natural way. Meaning, they should fit the content and not confuse, annoy, or distract your audience. An SEO-specific WordPress plugin — like our fav, the Yoast plugin — can help.

      3. Analyze Your Efforts

      Now, it’s a good idea to get analytical. Meaning: review the success of your keyword research efforts.

      How do you know if your keywords are earning you prime search engine real estate and successfully driving traffic? Tap into the Google Search Console and Google Analytics by using a tool like MonsterInsights on your WordPress blog to track analytics and user engagement from your keyword implementation. The results can help you adjust your strategy as necessary.

      Google Search Console

      Google Search Console helps you understand and improve how Google sees your site. The tool gives you an overview on search and site performance, helping you check indexing status and optimize the visibility of your website. The Coverage section is particularly important, giving you insight on which of your site pages Google can and can’t index, as well as intel into keyword queries. It alerts you to technical issues that need to be resolved in order to earn better site SEO.

      While Google Search Console is used to improve and optimize your site, Google Analytics is another valuable resource that gives you data about the performance of your site, including information on the number of visitors to your site, where visitors are coming from, how much time they spend on your site, what devices they’re using, and other useful insights.

      Google Analytics homepage

      Under the Acquisition tab, you can identify which channels bring visitors to your site. The “site search” section under the Behavior tab can show you what users are searching for on your site —  this can also help you develop valuable content ideas and improve the usability of your navigation. Bounce rate is another important metric that can clue you in to the UX of your website, as well as the success of your keywords.

      Understanding analytics can take some time. But utilizing Google’s free tools to improve upon even the smallest aspects of your site can boost your website’s visibility in search engines. Keep working!

      Searching High, Not Low

      Strong SEO begins with smart keyword research. Targeting smart keywords and optimizing them on your site helps you to not only attract more traffic to your WordPress website but also to build authority and trust with your audience.

      The ultimate goal for your site? Get more traffic by providing what people are looking for. Keyword research helps you target the correct keywords and gives you insight into how to utilize those keywords on your site and in your content, in foundational ways that will improve your SEO and bring searchers to your site.

      When they find you, your site should wow them. With our award-winning services, DreamHost can help bring your WordPress site to the next level. Check out our web hosting solutions today.



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