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The 10 Point Blogging Framework That Will Help You Build A Profitable Blog In 2016

Blogging Framework


You're no longer a blogger if you've decided to start making money with your blog.

I'm quoting Jon Morrow:

If you've taken the decision to build a profitable blog, you've just become an entrepreneur, and your blog is your business. " 



It doesn't matter if you're new to the blogging world, you can make your very own profitable blog this year, remember:

 A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step."   — Lao Tzu


This simple blogging framework outlines and discusses what you need to do to start a profitable blog.





1. Find Your Blog's Voice

There were 152 million blogs on the internet in 2013 when this infographic came out:

Source: WPVirrtuoso

That number of blogs didn't stop there. That's why it's crucial for your blog to have its own USP (Unique Selling Point) that people like, trust and associate you with.

By virtue of you being you, your blog will be different than others, even if you pick a topic other people are already writing about. But your efforts in making your blog unique, valuable and trustworthy shouldn't just stop there. 

Here's a list of other exercises you can do to find your blog's voice, even if you're in an already crowded niche or otherwise (Kimberly Gauthier mentioned these exercises in a book she wrote about standing out in a popular niche):

  • The "So that" exercise — Get a pen and paper and write down "I want to stand out as a professional blogger "so that" and then continue writing all the reasons you can think of.
  • When it comes to writing, which subjects are you most excited about?
  • Who is your ideal reader? Your ideal reader is someone like you! After all, you're writing this blog and giving it so much time and effort because you care about it, right? Identifying your problems can help you identify your ideal reader's problems and then offer solutions.

Alternatively, I also suggest reading the following posts by my favourite bloggers: 



2.  Content is King — more than ever!


If you've read any articles out there on the internet, you must have read this little piece of advice at least a thousand times! Do you know why? Because it's true

These two love well-written, error-free, long-form, valuable content. And if you're blogging, these two are the only two you should be caring about!

  • Google (Basically Search Engines)
  • Your audience (readers that come to your blog)

I put Google on top because it is from Google that these readers will stumble upon your blog, and if you want Google to think you're worthy of showing in the top ten results, you've got to have some killer content. 

The logic behind this is pretty simple. Google would lose its value if it started giving out bogus, spammy results to its searchers (its audience) and why would Google want to lose its position? So as a search engine, it wants to show its audience the best content out there. 

So if you're able to write the kind of content Google thinks is valuable (Google is smart) you're going to get readers back on to your blog.  And these readers will most probably believe that you have high-quality content (why else would Google rank you and not anyone else?) and will become your readers. In the long run, your content will get shared on social media, and you'll be creating the buzz, you bee

If you're not convinced to write good content, then I'm hoping this will convince you!


Source: Inklyo

What does this mean?

It means, most marketers out there believe that content marketing is most beneficial to their businesses, even in that quality content is what matters, marketers are investing in getting quality content. 

They even believe that content marketing is the only marketing there is. It only means that you need quality content to succeed, and your readers (your customers) need quality content. [Tweet This]


How to write quality content?

No matter what you're writing about, these are some characteristics that quality content is identified with:

  • Your content should be easy to read, and well organised. Yoast in their SEO plugin, even measures the readability of your content, for a reason. The posts that you write should be structured in a way that it is easy to read for your readers, and your vocabulary shouldn't be better than a fifth grader unless you're running a blog about teaching your readers English. Neil Patel, an expert online marketer, believes in readability and well-written content as well.
  • As I mentioned before, your content should be error-free and by that I mean you should be able to write without any spelling mistakes or grammatical errors. It's alright if your English isn't too good, or if you struggle with writing in English. I use Grammarly for making sure that my copy is free from silly mistakes, grammatical errors, and many other advanced writing issues.
  • Your content needs to be valuable for your readers; it should be the most detailed piece of advice, information, and solution to your reader's problems. Write all content keeping in mind that after reading the information or advice you've offered your readers they should be satisfied and happy knowing they have got the information or solution they wanted (through you).


3. Search Engine Optimisation 

Mostly referred to as SEO is a method of optimising your website and the content it has in a way that search engines easily find it. It is how you can guarantee that people will be able to find your blog.

You don't need to hire an SEO agency; you can get by for much less. For those of you working with a self-hosted WordPress site, you can download the Yoast plugin for optimising each and every post you write and making in SEO friendly. 

But in case you can't do that, keep these basic Search Engine Optimisation tactics in mind

  • Your content should be at least 300 words (I recommend more than 600 words).
  • Your content should be focused on the right keywords for your niche.
  • Make sure your keyword appears in the title of your post and its meta description.
  • Your keyword density should never exceed 3% if you want to avoid Google penalties for trying scam the system.
  • Your content should have well-placed images (plus, it's boring to read content without any visuals)
  • Your headings should contain the keywords (please don't add your keyword to all the headings you have.)
  • Place links in your content for citing sources of information, whether to your posts or someone else's. (Don't make it too spammy, there's a penalty for that).

You can also read Neil Patel's guide to advanced SEO (it's free, and I  have it downloaded to my PC for reference.)

You can also start following me on Instagram as I put quick SEO tips there all the time! ;) 




4. Get A Premium Blog Theme or Design

I mean, get a paid theme. Seriously. Your blog's design is a part of your brand. If it's crappy, or just not easy to navigate, people will bounce off your site, and they probably won't trust your advice either.

Having a clean, easy to navigate and memorable design is your gift to your blog, and it will help you grow. 

Personally, I love floral, vintage, minimalistic, and black and white or black and gold designs. 

Think about it, if you go to a blog and see a beautiful design that looks professional and feels authentic you'll most likely trust the advice of that blogger, right? I know I would! 

Other than paying attention to your blogs design, also make sure that the design you get (buy) is fully responsive, that is, it has a tablet and mobile responsive design. Why? See for yourself!


Source: FatBit




I've used Designer Blogs for stylish and affordable templates and designs. Currently, I'm using one from Fearne Creative Designs.




4. A Social Media Strategy For Generating Buzz

Social Media can be a fantastic tool to grow your online presence. It will help you generate that buzz you need to build your very own profitable blog. 

Marketers already know this, and that's why they love it so much: 

Source: Social Media Today Photo Credits: New Media And Marketing

So, more than 60% of marketers believe that social media is important, and have integrated it into their marketing plans.

By generating buzz around your blog and a proper social media strategy, you can double your traffic and increase your profits. [Tweet This]

Here's a social media strategy by a blogger that I like — Holly, she says that this social media schedule will help you increase your blog's traffic by a 100%

If implemented right, your social media strategy will help your blog grow, in terms of visitors, and profits.  

I want to point out, though, don't start with all social media platforms you can think of. When starting a blog stick only with one or two social media platforms at once. I only use Twitter and Instagram, but Google+ shouldn't be too bad a choice for starting out with social media. Google+ shares and +1's are also a Google ranking factor. 

Here're two Google+ social media strategies you can use

If Google+ isn't your thing, remember,  it's really about finding the social media platform that you enjoy most because you're going to have to spend time on it, each day building your presence. 

I use Twitter because it's fun and challenges me to keep it short and to the point, and Twitter and bring in a lot of traffic to your blog as well.



I also started experimenting on Instagram and am liking it so far; I'm not using any social media strategy for Instagram yet, but this one caught my interest:




5. Get Familiar With Google Analytics

Google Analytics is what most bloggers out there use to measure their stats — all kinds of stats.
Launched in 2005, after Google acquired Urchin, Google Analytics is now the mist widely used web analytics service, and it's free!

What can you measure with Google Analytics?


  • Number of visits to your blog
  • Number of Unique Visitors that visit your blog
  • Returning Visitors
  • Bounce Rate (number of people that only read one post on your blog)
  • The time people spend on your site
  • E-commerce
  • Set goals
  • Revenue
  • Downloads of your ebooks etc. 

Google Analytics will give you some crucial insights about how your readers interact with your blog, and with that, you can further identify what kind of content your readers like the most, improve upon existing content, and more.

You'll also find that most brands, and advertisers will want your Google Analytics Data before sponsoring you.  So it's best you say Hello to Mr. GA (Google Analytics) and start spending time with him on a daily basis.

Here's a post that will help you with Google Analytics:




6. Grow An E-Mail List ASAP

Your mailing list is your top most priority! Traffic will come and go, but e-mail list stays. These are the people that genuinely like what you have to say; these are also the people that trust you enough to buy from you. [Tweet This]

Your e-mail list is your audience; it is also where most of your profit lies. A new reader may land on to your site because you have great content, but after he's/she's satisfied with the information he/she wanted, they'll leave.

With this same reader signed on to your mailing list, he/she will never leave you. You can always be in touch with them and have a one on one personal relationship with them.

Source: Plain Wrap Printing

With every $1 spent on e-mail marketing, the ROI (return on investment) was $40, and that's why it's so important — it works.

How can I grow my e-mail ist?

Marketers have been offering people, what they call incentives, for getting people to sign up for an e-mail list. 
It could be an e-book, a video course, a cheat sheet, free printables, or some other exclusive content. You know, get creative!

So people will sign up for the free content, and if they genuinely like you. 

Using pop-ups, and smart bars to collect e-mails is also an excellent option especially if you don't have your incentive up for grabs yet. 

Alternatively, here's some great advice on growing your e-mail list:




7.  Build Your Brand

The whole point of social media, having a blog with amazing content, getting your premium design is so that people can start identifying you and your brand. 

When people like what you write, they should subconsciously be able to connect you with your brand, and the message it gives. 

Growing your brand takes time, and doesn't happen in a matter of 6 months, let alone overnight. 

I'll give you some example of people, their personal brands and how they give out a message by establishing themselves: 


Designer Blogs

This website design screams to me that these people make beautiful, stunning and stylish web designs.  The way everything blends in perfectly tells me that they are no novice in their field and me as a customer can trust them. They also appeal to my feminine senses, and I have a major gut feeling that most of their customer base is female, meaning they are targeting female bloggers and entrepreneurs. 


Here's another example of a good way of branding:


Melyssa Griffin



Melyssa Griffin, I've been following her blog long enough that I now see these two colours, a beautiful yellow and a sky blue and immediately think of her. When you visit her blog, it's clear that she wants people to be focusing on her courses, which help her audience to grow their audience and monetize what they love doing.

She rebranded her blog to her name, from "the nectar collective". Now that's some smart way to grow her brand and herself. 


and the last one:

QuickSprout

Neil Patel, the face behind Neil Patel and QuickSprout, he's a smart entrepreneur and is great at what he does — internet marketing (I wish he would just... just show us his angel wings already!)

So you can clearly see a solid green colour, a QuickSprout logo and an e-mail list incentive I was talking about earlier, they all build his brand. He's already a brand. If you see his other blog, you'll see a solid orange (I think orange is more his colour, but green is my favourite).

And you'll quickly figure out he's targeting businesses, other internet marketers, influencers, SEO specialists, etc.  and he's already helped a lot of them.


What have you learned from these 3 examples?

  • Visuals play a great role in branding.
  • Your brand's logo is very important.
  • Make sure your design is simple and not all over the place.
  • You should ideally have your photo in the about me section, or it should be put somewhere on the blog where it's visible to your readers.
  • Your graphics should match your brand 



8. Have A Proper Monetisation Plan For Your Blog

You could be doing everything right, all the seven points I mentioned and still be struggling to make money from your blog if you don't have a proper monetization plan in action. 

Luckily for you, I'm here to help you build and experiment with your very own monetization strategies. 


How do I monetize a blog?

There are many different ways you can choose if you want to start monetizing your content and audience. So these are the ways in which a blog makes money:

  1. Advertisements 
  2. Selling A Product/Courses/E-Books 
  3. Setting Up An E-commerce Shop On The Blog 
  4. Affiliate Marketing 
  5. Donations

Now let's take a deeper look into these particular ways that you can use to build your profitable blog:


Advertisements

You can start selling space on your blog whether directly or through programs like Adsense, Chitika, etc.  in return you get paid. 

There are different kinds of advertisements your can place on your blog such as:

  • PPC Ads (Pay Per Click) these ads pay the publisher every time someone clicks on them. They are usually ads that Adsense and Chitika serve. 
  • CPM Ads (Cost Per Mile) these ads don't pay you when someone clicks on them, but they par for even 1000 impressions of the advertisement that's displayed. Adsense also has these types of ads, but CPM networks like Conversant Media, Technorati Media, and Clove Network are better known for CPM advertising. It's useful to have these ads when you get a large number of pageviews per month.
  • Selling Direct Ads is often considered better than advertising through a network, but you need to be a well-established blog to get any high-paying advertisers that want to advertise on your blog. BuySellAds is a good place to get started with selling ads directly.


Sell Your Product

This can include physical goods as well as digital products. The good this about selling your product is everything goes into your pocket. And you don't need to have a large audience either. You just need to have an adequate audience. 

You can sell anything you like, but most people tend to sell courses, e-books, consultation, or something that they made. Setting up an Amazon Shop or an Etsy Shop is quite easy, you just need to make sure that your product has a good market, and you have a loyal reader base. 

And your product should be good as well, or people won't buy it.


Setting Up An E-Commerce Shop

For instance, let's say you have a fashion blog, which has a decent amount of following and people trust you to give them good fashion advice.

So for example, you did an "Outfit Of The Day" post, now you can set up your shop in a way where people can buy what you wore if they liked it with simple "Shop This Post" buttons. 

Similarly, a beauty blog can sell beauty products in its e-commerce store.



Affiliate Marketing

Not everyone can manage an e-commerce store for selling things. After all, running and maintaining a blog is hard work enough. 

And that's why we have Affiliate Marketing. The formula here is simple, Brand X has a product,  and then brand X has an affiliate sign up. This means if you sign up and become their affiliate, you will promote their products and every time someone makes a purchase; you will get a commission.

Most blogs depend on affiliate marketing as advertisements don't always guarantee a recurring income.

Here are some affiliate programs you can sign up for:




Donations

The least used way to make money from blogs, and I'm not even sure why. Probably because people think that donations are only for non-profit organizations, but hey, bloggers need to live too! 

You can easily put up a Paypal donations button on your blog, and if people want to, they will make a donation. And that's also a reason nobody looks at donations being a way of making money through blogging. 

It's unreliable, and sometimes you'll get a lot, and the other times, just enough to get by.

But here's an interesting thing: many websites in the world make money, or rather raise enough money because people donate to keep them living.

Here's a website that makes money from donations:


and there's also a browser that uses donations to keep itself funded:

So why can't a blog do that? If you kept all your services free and just asked for donations, would that work out for your blog? Yes or No? What do you think?





9. Consistency Is The Key To Growth

Hard work is important without a doubt. And so is determination. But it all won't mean a thing if you're not consistent with your goals and work. [Tweet This]


You need to be consistent with your efforts, not just in blogging but in everything you do.  People haven't built highly successful blogs overnight; they spent years making their blogs profitable. 

You just need, to not give up, even when things get tough and you feel like you want to give up.




10.  Build Your Authority 


Time heals all wounds, time also makes you wise, wise enough to be the authority in what you do. 

If you follow all these nine points, each time you blog, little by little you will build your authority.
And when you are an authority in your field people will want your expertise, they will want things you tell them, and they will be your audience. 

Look at Arianna Huffington from The Huffington Post; she's an authority at what she does. And yes it took her all that time to build her authority. 

And if you are consistent with your efforts, you will succeed too. 


To conclude, I'd like to quote Biz Stone:

Timing, Preservance and Ten years of trying will eventually make you look like an overnight success."



Happy Blogging :)







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