About Blog Designs and Increased Readership

Blogs have evolved

Blogs have increased in popularity over the past years due to a number of reasons, including their ease of use, improved technology and the low out-of-pocket cost associated with starting one; and many people have created personal blogs to express their thoughts and feelings, as well as to publish business-related content. Web-based companies have also started blogs to inform consumers on the latest product news and reviews.





Because of their popularity, blogs are also being used by major corporations as Web marketing media, a departure from the pattern of how Web marketing was done before, which is the placement of banners and links on popular websites, such as news and information sites. These banners and links were also included with newsletters and marketing materials sent to members of the company’s mailing lists.

The truth is that many people spend time reading blogs; whether they be their friend’s blogs, their favorite author’s blogs, blogs on topics in which they are interested, and/or blogs on product reviews; and with the continued popularity of blogging, some established news entities even fear that people will rely on blogs more and more to get the latest news.

While getting news reports from blogs isn’t always reliable, some people look for product reviews published to blogs, because in some cases, this is more dependable than a traditional marketing website or Web page, both of which are designed strictly to making the sale. While it is true that some media persons are being paid to write good reviews about certain products, blog writers blog about their actual experiences with products and services from particular companies.

Traffic-pulling blog content

Since there are Web users who read and start their own blog-sites, blogs are considered today as a good medium in which to market a product; and with the increasing blog traffic comes increasing product sales. Blog traffic can be increased by joining affiliate programs and sites, which will list your blog under a certain search category or name; and a blog owner can also have his/her blog advertised on popular websites. This, however, will cost some money and is not advisable if you have just started blogging.

A writer who has just launched his/her blog will want as much traffic as possible in order to increase advertisements on the site; and it is important to attract the right businesses, because some advertisers pay every time their link is clicked, or the page that has their link is viewed. And when you, as a blog owner, have increased traffic on your blog, you should try to keep your visitors coming back as well as recommend your blog to friends, relatives and colleagues.

Part of attracting a large readership to your blog is by having informative and, sometimes, amusing content and good blog layout and design. You can develop your own content or you can acquire the services of a web-based content writer to provide you with the most interesting and compelling blog articles. The blog’s layout and design also plays a big role; but most companies that offer free blog hosting provide pre-selected templates, even though there are a few that allows customization which, if you utilize this feature correctly, can increase your blog’s traffic.

Blog-growth tips and designs

The few tips provided below can be used to make your blog stand out from the millions of blogs out there that have standard designs.

Customize the banner, which usually have the most generic designs common to blogs from a blogging company or service; but you can personalize this banner by having your graphic meet the required dimensions of the banner. You can also edit the graphic so that it will include the title of your blog also. In this case, you can create your own graphic or you can purchase professional looking graphics online for less than $10.

Personalizing photos will certainly help, and most of the photos you’ll be posting are likely to be your own – not necessarily of yourself, but photos you have taken of other people and objects. However, if you don’t customize the photos before posting them, you may miss maximizing the enhancing benefits graphics can add to the page. Adding photo borders can help the photo stand out from the page, which can add to the design of your blog. You can choose a standard border or you can create your own border which might be associated with your blog’s templates.

Adding a favicon to your blog has wide appeal among blog users and owners. Do you agree with those who think that sites with icons on the address bar before the website’s URL are cool? Many people share this belief. These favicons add a professional look to the URL, and its easy to do using photo or graphic editing software.

Blog template additions

Check out blog templates, layouts, backgrounds, textures and skins from sites, since there are a number of sites that offer free blog templates, layouts, backgrounds, textures and skins. You can make use of these so your blog will not look generic like most of the blogs hosted by the service provider.

Include RSS feeds, since this inclusion is really a cool way to inform people with newsreaders about your blog headlines. You can find tutorials on RSS feeds and how to create and install them on the Web.

Audio makes your blog more personal, not only from a standpoint of personalizing the blog, but it can also keep your visitors coming back. You can try to utilize streaming radio stations, mp3 files or playlists loading with your blog.

Advertisements are excellent sources of income for blog owners who are committed to growing their audience; and one such advertising source is Google AdSense. So if you have signed-up with Google AdSense, which many blog and website owners have done in an attempt to monetize their sites, make sure that the ads are conveniently practically placed so that they will not hinder your readers’ ease in accessing the information on your blog.

Etc., etc., etc.

These tips are provided to help you increase and retain traffic on your blog; but they are only good aad effective when being used correctly and appropriately; so do your research, get as much information as you can about these elements of blogging and make sure you understand clearly what you are supposed to do before proceeding the implementation of the them.


Blogging: A Money-Making Web Marketing Tool





From mere comments to profits!

Blogging has come a long way since the late nineteen-nineties when it was seen as a way to merely comment on existing webpages, or an opportunity for visitors and readers to interact with each other and voice their opinions about various types of content. The amazing thing is, what started as a single-sentence commentary has evolved into pages of personal views on just about any topic imaginable; and as it stands today – March, 2016 – and continues into the future, blogging has increased its revenue-generating potential by attracting an increased share of online advertising.

So if you are already a blogger who have spent, and still spend, a fair amount of time blogging, you could literally make money simply by asking for it, as long as you had previously laid the groundwork for this eventuality. In other words, if you’ve already established a blog for which there is a regular readership (following), the expectation that a portion – if not the majority – of this following can be transformed into a customer base for any products/services you recommend is certainly reasonable. Therefore you would have an easier time turning a profit by hosting sponsored links or banners on your blog, thereby deriving an income from this activity practically overnight.

But even if you did not start your blog with the intentions of turning a profit, the ability to earn supplementary income from your blog may be easier than you think. Keep in mind, however, that there is still a lot of time, work and effort involved in the monetization process; but the question any serious-minded blogger must address is, if s/he is already putting in the appropriate time, work and effort needed to monetize a blog just to maintain it, why not also opt for the monetary reward? And for anyone who is not currently blogging, but might want to embark on a career in blogging, this method of making money on the Web might be just the thing that could start your Web marketing career as will be discussed later.

Blogging: Simple, authentic, free!

The simplest and fastest way to express your point of view on the Web is through blogging, because there really no skills required other than the ability to legibly convey your thoughts in a way that others can understand; so in this regard, an average adult who can read, type and click a mouse can start a blog and be good at it. Blogging can be compared to having a virtual piece of paper on which you write your ideas, experiences and new products while hoping that the truth and quality of your articles shine through and entice readers to also try your product. And to think that all you need is a PC and an Internet connection to beging blogging and attracting advertisers.

In this day and age when advertising saturate our lives, we question the credibility of promoters’ claims, and this is where the authenticity of a blog is not only an asset to its owner, but is seen as a valuable resource to those who read and follow it. And although blogs, in their truest form, allow real people to share their real-life experiences without the distraction of paid advertising, reading a blog about first-hand product use is like talking to an individual about his/her first-hand experience. And after all, don’t most people prefer to buy tried and tested products?

Blogging is free, and despite the fact that, today, it is considered a marketing tool from which considerable incomes can be generated, many blogging platforms like WordPress, Blogger and Tumblr as well as several others, still see it as something to augment current marketing tools and offer it free of charge. This opportunity for a free web space and time is definitely a plus for new businesses that are just starting up, and needless to say, a blogger having the ability to monetize his/her blog pages without incurring an expense for the space and time in which the blog is accessible, can generate a generous income for his/her growing blogging business.

Blogging credibility builds your market

A prerequisite to establishing a following and building a market for your blog is credibility. Your blog’s title, content and availability on the Web (reliability) must be credible; so that as you proceed through the writing of your experiences on a particular product or industry, your readers will come to realize that they can depend on your posts for their own information needs. Therefore, you become an expert in the particular topic of conversation and are seen as such, which results in more readers visiting your blogsite and more bloggers linking to it.

When companies and professional organizations notice the growth of your readership base, they will soon contact you with offers for advertising on your blog page or make you an affiliate, in which case you’ll be compensated by the affiliate program for every referral to the merchant’s site that was generated from your blogsite. So credibility is that element of blogging which must be maintained at all costs in order to begin the very important task of building a market for your blog; because unless you are a known entity (pro athlete, Hollywood star, politician, etc.) chances are that nobody reads your blog, except maybe your mom and a few friends and family members.

However, the group of people you know is certainly not big enough from which to build a market, so you’ll need to start looking at a number of different methods that can be effective in your market-building objective and take your blog to the next level. because without a viable market for the products and service promoted on your blog, you could be destined to the same fate of those who have spent months or even years blogging just to realize that the money they make from advertising adds up to such a negligible sum that it is hardly worth mentioning.

Blog market-building tips

Concentrate on those elements (prequisites) mentioned earlier (title, content and reliability), and then make sure that the subject matter is appealing to your target audience, which in turn will enduce advertisers to reach out to you and help you to monetize your blog. With this in mind, we hope you find the tips and methods provided in following paragraphs helpful to your your blog marketing aspirations.

Start using your email to communicate, if you are not currently doing so; because today’s blogging is overcoming the popularity of emails to quickly and effectively reach and expand a market. And in this age of speed and quick access, logging in and downloading email is simply taking much longer than clicking into a blogsite. So allow them to explore your blog by using a short email message as a teaser to your blog site; and if your email is on an entirely different subject, simply use your email signature to provide them with a link to the site.

Invite readers to subscribe to your blog or to a newsletter. In order to do this you’ll need an opt-in form through which your your readers can provide their name and email address, two of the items needed for them to authorize you top send them information via email. Giving your readers an opportunity to subscribe to your blogsite, and providing them with exclusive information that is not given to anybody else, will entice them to subscribe by giving their name and email address. Just make sure to be responsible in your use of their information, as the last thing you want is a comment on your blog that you are a spammer.


Surveys and blogging networks

Make a serious and ongoing effort to understand your readers. You can start by conducting a simple survey for them to complete, which will provide you with a better understanding of their profiles and advertising preferences. Ask your blog followers and readers to give you feedback on a post, an ad link, or a product trial that you shared. Using this approach is like interviewing your readers without the commitment and intrusion of a face-to-face interview.

Consider joining a blogging network, which is a collection of blogsites that consist of content about a common industry, common interests, common readership base, common payment mode, and other similarly common characteristics. Most consumers find credibility and convenience in clicking one link to several real bloggers about a single subject. In this regard, more bloggers are clearly better than, and more influential, than a single one.

Ultimately, the only way to find out if you can succeed in blogging by taking advantage of the free software offered by the various platforms, build credibility, create a market and succeed in attracting advertisers to monetize your blog, is to start one; and if you are already blogging, you really have nothing to lose. So give your online presence a boost by effectively using this free Web marketing tool that could propel you to new heights in the blogosphere.

Affiliate Marketing With & Without a Website




Website ownership responsibilities

Dating back to the “dot com” boom of two decades ago, a website has always been something that people wanted to possess. Some individuals paid to have websites created, while others learned how to create their own sites with the aid of software platforms like WordPress, Joomla, Weebly and other such providers; and while there were varying reasons for coveting a website, the underlying motivation was most often about making money from home.

We can all agree, however, that whether or not an individual owns a website, making money is often the result of providing a useful (in-demand?) product or service to consumers; but this is where many new website owners – and those who still wish to own one – encounter a significant challenge because, simply put, most people have nothing in the form of a product or service (‘product’) to offer and end up supporting a website from their own personal resources.

Yes! It takes money, time and work to operate a website; and while the cost of a domain name (ranging from $3.00 to upwards of $20,000 yearly, depending on the type of domain and extension), and the cost of Web hosting (ranging from $3.99 to upwards of $55.00 monthly, depending on the hosting company and account type), may not be a lot of money to some folks, there are still costs that must be absorbed if the website is not generating an income.

The website expense solution?

It is because of these costs that so many new website owners have sought ways to make money from their websites and, as a result have joined affiliate marketing programs, many of which are readily available at absolutely no cost for new affiliates. In short, affiliate marketing provides first time website owners the chance to market something online without their own product to sell, and the only requirements are to sign up with affiliate marketing program and agree to adhere its terms.

Affiliate marketing programs are usually owned by online merchants and/or retailers (‘merchants’) who encourage affiliates to sign on and promote the the merchant’s products in exchange for payment of a commission or flat fees to the affiliates for sales and/or referrals generated through the affiliates own efforts and expense.

That having been said, if you are a new website owner or you’re new to online marketing and want to make money from your website but you don’t have enough experience or capital to start your own online business, you might be in luck, because there are a number of affiliate marketing programs for you to choose from.

Becoming an affiliate marketer with the typical affiliate marketing program is often a pretty straightforward and easy process; but many newcomers still have some reservations about signing up, since they lack experience, basic knowledge and many of the skills required to generate sales and earn money. But they still must spend money to maintain their websites, so signing up is often the most practical thing to do, as it gives them an opportunity to earn money.

It’s a well known fact that affiliate marketing can be done without a website, as evidenced by the many instances in which online marketing has been done successfully by individuals who did not own websites; but these marketers utilized different strategies to promote their affiliate products. Such strategies included email marketing, offline promotions, e-book writing, article writing via ezines and participation in online forums, chats and message boards.

The following paragraphs describe such strategies in more detail

Email Marketing

Email marketing, or maintaining email lists, is actually the most popular affiliate marketing strategy that doesn’t require the affiliate to maintain a website. In this affiliate marketing strategy, what you basically do is maintain a list of the email ads of your prospective customers and provide them with articles that are relevant with the affiliate products and programs you are promoting.

Articles that you provide your contacts with need not always be promotional, because many individuals find such types of email annoying. To avoid causing such annoyance it would be better if you provide them with some relevant and informative content with just one or two small text ads that link to your merchant’s site.

Offline promotion, ebooks & free ezines

There are many ways on how you can promote your affiliate products offline. Among the common medium used for such promotions are classified ads, brochures and flyers. Classified ads would generally work better compared to the other two because classified ads in periodicals often get a wider audience.

If you are comfortable with expressing yourself via the written word, writing an e-book can be the best way for you to promote your affiliate products in the absence of an actual website. Just like in emails and newsletters, your readers would better appreciate your e-book if it is not too promotional but rather informative.

Be sure, however, to make the contents of your e-books relative to the actual affiliate products you are promoting. And just like in email marketing, you can just place text ads or banners somewhere near the end of your e-book that links to the merchant’s site.

Ezines are publications or articles that aim to inform individuals about a particular topic. If you don’t have a website and yet want to be an affiliate marketer, you can certainly use ezines to promote your affiliate products through articles that you write in which you insert links to your merchant’s site.

On the other hand, if you have a website, your ezine article may actually work well as content for your site; but when you have no website you can simply submit your free ezine articles to various websites that host ezines, like goarticles.com, ezinearticles.com and others. You can learn more about article writing, or refine your article writing skills to insure success.

Online discussion venues

With or without a website, you just can’t ignore online discussion venues (forums, chats, message boards, etc.) because they are great places for marketing your affiliate products. In chats, forums and message boards as well as discussion boards with topics related to your products, you can easily find people who may be interested in the products you are promoting.

With all these strategies it may seem that a website is really not a requirement to start marketing affiliate products and promoting affiliate programs; and while starting an affiliate program without a website may be easy, achieving success in without a website is quite another thing. A marketer can actually achieve enormous success in affiliate marketing without a website, but it is a rare instance when a “newbie” will reach the same level of success.

Having a website is not a pre-requisite for entering into an affiliate program, unless the program owner requires you to have one; and while this is so, I would still recommend that you have your own website, if not now, then maybe at a later date, because having a website can create a lot of advantages in affiliate marketing.

For one thing, a website provides you with a place where you can creatively promote, not only one of your affiliate products, but all of your affiliate products; and with a website you can also advertise your affiliate products to a wider market.

Again, having a website is not a requirement infor marketing affiliate products; but with the advantages that a website can provide, having one would certainly enhance your marketing efforts and could possibly be helpful in many other ways beyond making your affiliate marketing a lot easier.