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Blogging for Dummies: Professional Blogger Do’s and Don’ts

How many times have you searched for something online, only to come across a blog that’s obviously been abandoned by its owner-no new posts, bad design, and outdated content. What happened-you may ask? Well, it could be a number of things. Blogging has become a way for hundreds of thousands of everyday folks to quite their jobs and chuck the deuces to their employers. However, the hard work and dedication needed to actually make a blog successful involves much more than just tossing up 10-15 posts and hoping that the cash comes flowing in. In this post we’ll discuss some of the biggest pitfalls that new bloggers fall into and how to avoid them. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Hobby Blogging vs Professional Blogging
  • NOT Email Marketing & Getting Subscribers
  • Using Free Blogging Platforms vs Paid Blogging Sites
  • Bad Blog Design
  • Bad Blog Posts Headlines

Hobby Blogging vs Professional Blogging

When it comes to deciding if you want to be a hobby blogger or a professional blogger it really boils down to whether or not you want your blog to generate income for you. And if so, HOW MUCH income you’d like to see generated from your blog. Are you looking for the touted $10k a month? Or maybe even $50k or more every month? If so, it’s a professional blog that you’re looking to create and not a hobby blog.

Let’s define these more clearly.

Hobby blog: A blog that created mostly for interest in a particular subject matter. While it can provide a steady (and substantial) income stream it’s not a dependable source of income for the blogger. In other words, its not “full-time job money”.

Professional Blog: A blog that’s created for interest in a particular subject matter or to solely provide income for the blogger, with the ultimate goal of creating a dependable revenue stream…like that of a full-time job.

Being clear about the purpose for your blog make it easier for you when you start to build out your blog. Why? Because the approach that you’ll take as a hobby blogger is going to be totally different than the approach that you take as a professional blogger.

It’s often that a hobby blogger will become a professional blogger over time as they realize the income potential with blogging for a living. But if you know for a fact that you want to want to blog for profit then it’s important to set yourself up for success by outlining the important aspects of profit-earning blog.

Things Needed When Blogging For Money:

Good Blog Niche Ideas

Starting a blog without a specific topic that plan to cover isn’t going to fair well in terms of building an audience. People search online for specific topics and if you’re blog isn’t centered about a particular subject (or a variety of subjects) it’s going to be pretty hard to get steady traffic. Not only that, but Google will simply overlook your blog posts and rank them lower because there are other blogs with posts that are more concentrated in respect to specific keyword search terms.

Finding the right blog niche can be as simple as doing a bit of brainstorming about your passions. What things do you love talking about? What are you an expert in?

Once you define your blogging niche, you’ll need to determine whether or not it’s a niche that’s viable for profit creation. Blog niche ideas such as Marketing, Health/Recipes, Travel, Productivity, Technology, Music, etc. make excellent niches because there are scores of people interested in these topics.

It would be especially challenges to profit from blog niches such as Typewriter Maintenance, Ferret Pet Care, and Whiskey Bottle Collecting because while there certainly would be people interested in these subjects, chances are they wouldn’t drive the amount of traffic as the previously listed topic-they’re just too specific. To see if you’re niche is profitable, try searching for other blogs related to your niche idea and determine its level of visibility online.

SEO Knowledge

SEO (search engine optimization) is the cornerstone of Google page ranking. This is what will drive the traffic to your blog and provide Google with an incentive to rank your blog for specific keywords. The better your knowledge of SEO and how Google works, the faster you’ll be able to rank your site. You don’t need to spend $300/month on a SEO consultant to get 1st page rankings on Google (most professional bloggers don’t anyway), you really just need quality content, SEO-optimize post, and a bit of patience. You can brush up on SEO on sites like Search Engine Land and Moz.

Blog Promotion

While having SEO-optimized posts is definitely necessary for blogging success, any professional blogger will tell you that promoting your blog can you get traffic WAY faster than waiting for Google to rank your site. Why? Because of word-of mouth. Think about it, how often have you had a friend recommend a product or service to you because they tried it and found it to be helpful? More times than you can imagine, right? Well imagine someone reading one of your blog posts and then sharing it on their own blog, which has a monthly viewership of 20,000 people. You’ve just reached a whole new audience. This is how posts, videos, images, and other content goes viral online. The more you promote your blog, the more you increase your chances of having others share its content and promote it for you. And you can do this for free via social media, blog-sharing communities, online, forums, and other mediums.

NOT Email Marketing & Getting Subscribers

You’ll often hear top bloggers say that growing your email list is something that you should do early on in your blogging journey-and it is. Email Marketing is the best thing that you can do for your blog. Here’s why.

When you’re able to get subscribers to your newsletter you’re able to increase your chances of converting them into customers 3xs faster than non-subscribers. Why? Because as you continue to email them useful information and quality content (which is important), you increase the level of trust and authority for your brand, which is the biggest factor in converting prospective customers. Even, if you don’t have your own products that your promoting (as with affiliates) your subscribers are more likely to purchase these suggested products because they trust your recommendations.

You’ll always get more conversions via email because they are “warm” leads. Meaning, they’re already familiar with your brand and the types of content (or products) that you provide. This is EXACTLY the type of audience that you want to keep engaged.

Top bloggers know this, which is why they make sure to make their email subscription offer worthwhile for their readers. And while getting your readers to subscribe isn’t exactly rocket science, it does take the right bait (offer) to hook them in.

Here are a few ways that you can turn your readers into subscribers:

  • Create an exclusive offer for people that’s only available to email subscribers
  • Give away something for free-this could be a piece of content, a list of resources, a free course-anything! Just make sure it’s of good quality
  • Offer a free webinar to new subscribers and in it provide in-depth knowledge and helpful tips about the things that are important to them
  • Create an offer centered about content from an industry expert (Q&A, interview, blog post, etc.) that’s only available if they sign up for the newsletter
  • Create an “ultimate guide” piece of content that goes in-depth about how to do something (make sure to have a good idea of what topics would matter the most to your audience)

You can probably think of a ton of other things to get your readers to sign up. And once you do, be sure to do these 3 things:

  1. Have them confirm their email address once they subscribe.
  2. Let them know how often you’ll be emailing them, what content you’ll be sending, and what email address it’ll come from.
  3. Include an “unsubscribe” button so that readers can remove themselves from newsletter if they change their mind.
  4. Include your address at the bottom of each email (CAN-SPAM Act)

These things may sound small, but NOT doing them can cause a huge drop email subscription rate and/or you to get your email address backlisted-which is no fun at all.

Building your email list early on in your blogging career can do wonders for your revenue streams once you build up your audience base. To make things easy its best to go with dependable email marketing software providers such as MailChimp and ConvertKit which will allow you automate your and save you a TON of time.

Using Free Blogging Platforms vs Paid Blogging Sites

The truth is that it really costs nothing to set up a blog. You can go to platforms like Blogger and have blog up and running in a matter of minutes. Anything that you get for free usually has some sort of limitation, annoying attachment, or many times it just won’t offer you the same value as something that you’ve paid for.

Free blogging platforms are great if you’re not looking to monetize your site. However, if you’re looking to make part-time or full-time income from the traffic that your blog receives, you’re going to have to cough up the few bucks that it takes to get self-hosting.

Why? Because it’s all about giving your visitors the presentation of a professional website that they can trust (especially if you’re selling products directly from your site). With free blogging platforms you typically won’t have the ability to customize your theme, establish a custom domain name, or incorporate dynamic pages and capabilities that’ll make your site stand out. It’s almost like taking a cookie-cutter approach to blogging.

Think about it. Imagine that every clothing department store that you walked into had the same apparel, the same store décor, the same logo, and the same store policies-a lot of shopping malls would be pretty empty, no? What would distinguish one blogger from another?

Websites are no different. Most bloggers make money from either affiliate sales or selling their own products, and if you have a sight that helps you to establish trust with your audience, then you have a winner.

Bad Blog Design

You’d think that since most bloggers use WordPress as their preferred blogging platform that good blog design wouldn’t be an issue…but it is.

Having a user-friendly web presence is an absolute must if you want to be taken seriously as a professional blogger.

While good web design doesn’t encompass a specific look in order to be aesthetically pleasing, there are definitely elements of a website that can easily turn offer readers, resulting in high bounce rates and low overall engagement.

Here are a few examples of bad blog design:

1. Bad Website Wireframe and Design Faux Pas

The wireframe of your website represents its visual blueprint as a source of information. Whether it’s a blog, online catalog, business portal, or community forum, the page schematic and overall structure of your website must make sense in order for visitors to be able to navigate it. If you look at most blog sites, you’ll often see the following menu setup (aka “Wireframe”):

  • Home
  • About/Who We Are
  • Blog Roll
  • Shop/Product (if applicable)
  • Contact

This setup works as a common default for professional bloggers because it provides a clear and concise overview of where to go on the site to get to the information that they’re seeking. The first glance of your site plays a major role in visitors deciding whether or not they want to continue reading or hit the “back” button in their browser.  

Imagine visiting a site with the following setup:

  • Home
  • Inspiration
  • Innovation
  • Break Time
  • Link Up

You’d basically have to guess which page offers the products and which page discusses who the blogger is. It’s confusing. People (and Google) don’t want to be confused when searching, they want information…and fast!

This is also why Google loves sitemaps, because it offers their algorithm on how to crawl your site in an effort to accurately display pages during search engine requests.

When choosing your blog design template, it helps to check out other similar sites to see what options are available and discover new blog design ideas.

Here are a few of the worst offenders when it comes to blog design:

  1. Pages that take too long to load (over 5 secs)
  2. Poor quality images or logos
  3. Confusing layouts, too many colors, and/or too much clutter
  4. Low-quality web and product copy
  5. Annoying pop-ups on every page within
  6. Too many typefaces and/or font colors

If your bounce rate is high, chances are that you could be committing one of the mentioned web design offenses.

  1. Optimize your images and install a good cache plugin
  2. Make sure that your images and logos are JPEG or PNG format (or GIFs if animated) for the best quality.
  3. Find the best templates and designs for WordPress
  4. Create high-quality content and if you’re going to use content mills for your blog writing, use reputable writers.
  5. Create pop-ups only on specific pages and set them to appear after an allotted amount of time on the page as to give users time to engage in your content (before signing up for your newsletter).
  6. Stick to headers and sub-headers for your pages/posts and a maximum of 2 font colors.

2. Poor Content Quality

These days you can easily go on Fiverr and pay someone to write a 350-word blog article post on anything for $5 with a 2 or 3-day turnaround. Not only is this a super-cheap option for building a blog, but it can be done relatively quickly. The downside, the content will likely be of poor quality: either spun content, and/or a bunch of fluff-filled pointers that lack depth and true value. You don’t want to go this route. Why? Because a blog with 25 solid, in-depth articles will perform better than a blog with 50 shallow articles that contain a bunch of regurgitated and generalized pointers about a topic.

Here’s how to avoid poor content:

Stay Fresh – Make sure to keep your blog updated. Posting at least once a week means that Google will be incentivized to crawl your site more often and the more it crawls, the more you’ll rank.

Avoid cookie-cutter post – Avoid writing the same thing that everyone is writing. Sure, there will always be competing blogs, but finding a way to stand out or present information in a new and refreshing way will help you to really build your audience.

Dig Deeper – Use your platform as a professional blogger means really digging into your content’s quality. Find out what your audience craves as far as content is concerned and then do as much research as possible (or draw information from your own knowledge) and give them substance. Provide them with resources, show them real-world examples and case studies, walk them through things step-by-step. This is the level of content that professional bloggers put out to keep their visitors coming back for more!

Bad Blog Posts Headlines

Bad blog post headlines (titles) can be detrimental to your reading rates. A good headline will grab the reader’s attention and offer a clear idea of what the blog post is all about.

Professional bloggers typically write their blog post headlines to align with whatever keyword they’re looking to rank for with a specific post. For example, if you’re looking to rank for the keyword term “used upright pianos”, you might write a post entitled “Where to get to find the best used upright pianos”.

The biggest mistake new bloggers make is not making their post titles match the content in the blog. Often times it’s unintentional, but nevertheless, it can result in low engagement for your posts.

Here’s an example of a bad blog post title. Let’s say you enter the keyword term “sound proof flooring ideas” for a new search. And in the SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages) you see a post entitled “10 Soundproof Flooring Ideas”.

You click on this post, but instead of finding “sound proofing ideas” you actually find a list of places that sell sound proofing equipment-not sound proofing ideas. See the disconnect?

Understanding user intent is important when writing blog posts and blog headlines, so it helps to take a minute to consider this when crafting new content. Remember, you can have super-great content on your blog, but if it’s not matched with an attention-getting, appropriate headline then it can easily go overlooked.

The post Blogging for Dummies: Professional Blogger Do’s and Don’ts appeared first on Read Write Work.

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The idea of growing your blog’s audience and reach can often seem like a bid of a headache, especially if you’re new to online marketing. Not only is there a lot of information out there about SEO and Social Media Marketing, but there is also misinformation that seems to pervade blog chat forums and marketing websites that can easily send bloggers running into a dozen different directions trying to increase traffic on their blog and get visitors to notice them.

In order to increase your blog’s visibility both in the search engine’s and with users is to do a little “Influence-jacking”. So, what is influence-jacking?

Blog influence-jacking encompasses the same logic that big brands use when posting ads on buses, in commercials during sitcom show breaks, and when interrupting radio play with their ads.

You want to know why big brands like Nike, Macys, and State Farm are so successful at marketing? It’s not because they have the best products/services to offer in their industry (although quality absolutely matters), but it’s because they know EXACTLY where their target audiences are and they know EAXCTLY how to get their messages in front of them. This is why you see so much Nike gear at basketball games, and State Farm logos at car dealer sites-it’s all strategic placement.

A little more on how this works. It’s understood that big events (whether online or offline) will pull in people by the masses, the type of people (based on their research) that these brans want to market to. So, why not “hi-jack” these events for their own gain?

Are they “stealing” the spotlight? No. Are they “borrowing” it for a moment to introduce themselves or instill more brand awareness in the mind’s of their target audience. Yes.

Well, how does this relate to me and getting traffic to my blog, you say? Simple, in order to increase traffic to your blog and build your brand in a record amount of time you just need to temporarily borrow the spotlight from blog influencers.

Blogger Influence-jacking 101

The concept of spotlight-jacking has been around since the beginning of time when small merchants gathered in town squares during main events in order to sell their products.

When it comes to blogging, the influencers with the biggest crowds (i.e. highest amounts of monthly traffic) can bring you boatloads of traffic and help you gain SEO rankings and new visitors 3xs as fast as manual link-building.

Why not do it the easy way? Or better yet, the super-fast way?

How To Search For Blogging Influencers

Blogging influencers can be found everywhere online. The more challenging part of this technique will be getting them to notice you, which we’ll cover in a bit.

But for now, let’s discuss how to find the right influencers for your hijacking efforts and where to look.

Google Your Blog Topic

The first place that you should begin your blog influencer search is simply on Google. Think of 5-10 search terms related to your niche and make a list of the top twenty blog sites that come up. You can even do this for about 40xs and you’ll start to notice the same blogs popping up-chances are, these bloggers hold a considerable amount of influence in your niche. Make a list of these blogs and save it for later.

Feedly

Feedly is definitely our 2nd best pick when it comes to finding blog influencers for outreach. Feedly gets about 100million views per month and is one of the best ways to find influencers across several platforms such as social media, online publications, press releases, keywords, and related blogs-you simply can’t go wrong here!

The only thing that sort of sucks is that the free version of Feedly only allows you access to up to 3 feed and doesn’t offer unlimited sources like the paid plans (which start at $64/year). However, the free plan offers more than enough to gather a decent list of blogging influencers in your niche.

Twitter

Twitter is a great place to see who’s who in the blogging community, but it can also be a bit tricky. Why? Because a blogger can have a lot of influence, a ton of monthly traffic, and hundreds of thousands of followers, but very little engagement on Twitter as a social media platform. For example Neil Patel is one of the biggest SEO bloggers and marketers out there and gets millions of viewers to his blog monthly. He has over 300k Twitter followers, but if you look at his Retweet, Like, and Comment engagement, its not that reflective of his high level of influence.

Now take a look at the blogging couple Marc and Angel’s Twitter profile (who receive less than a fourth of the monthly traffic views that Neil receives btw) you’ll see that they have under 60k followers but average about the same number of Likes, Retweets, and Comments.

So to say, double-check to see HOW BIG your Twitter influencer is before adding them to your list.

Look for common hashtags, groups, or retweets surrounding your topic, and jot down the names of the bloggers who’re getting the most engagement.

Note: YouTube is also a great place to find a TON of blog influencers

Choosing the RIGHT Blog Influencers

Having a list of at least 50 blogging influencers is best because you’ll have more to work with once you begin to comb through your list and do your outreach.

Before reaching out to any of the bloggers follow these steps first to create your plan of attack:

  1. Create a spreadsheet with the following columns:
  2. Influencer Name
  3. Number of monthly visitors or email subscribers – Many top bloggers list this somewhere on their home page or email signup page. You can also check out there Alexa rank.
  4. Top Social Media Platform(s) – List their best-engaging social media platforms in this column. You can do this by number of followers (or by average engagement (share/like) in their last 50 posts)
  5. Blog Comment Engagement (Yes/No) – List whether or not the blogger replies back to commenters under their blog posts.
  • Sort your list in ascending order according to the blogger’s number of monthly visitors (or email subbies). The point of this is to establish a hierarchy between the bloggers based on the amount of their influence. 

Note: If you find an influencer who has little engagement on their social media profiles and doesn’t reply to commenters on their blog posts you may want to skip this influencer as this can be a sign of lack of engagement. Meaning that your outreach efforts may be ignored.

How To Do Influencer Blogger Outreach

Ok, here’s the fun part. Keep in mind that chances are these influencers high that these influencers are pretty busy people…with lives. So, getting their attention as a new blogger may take a bit of legwork. But don’t fret! The cool thing about this blog marketing strategy is that once you get 1 or 2 blog influencers, its MUCH easier to get others to notice you.

The biggest mistake that you can probably make is going for the “top dawg” blogger. For example, musicians don’t start their careers by performing concerts in 10,000-seat venues. Most musicians begin their musical journeys by performing in small clubs, doing background vocals, and singing at local venues.

The point is, you’ll want to work your way up to the bigger bloggers. Start reaching out and connecting with the bloggers who have smaller audiences and engage with their followers/readers.

So, how do you get noticed? There area several ways that you can do this, here are a few!

Make Them Feel Great

Making people feel good about their work will always be a great “in” to getting noticed by them. Why? Because everyone loves to have their ego stroked a bit. No matter how popular a blogger is, or how much influence they wield over an industry, having someone who genuinely appreciates their insight and knowledge is always validating.

Ways to do this:

  • Give a lengthy, thoughtful comment on a blog post and share how it helped you
  • Include them in an “expert roundup” post where you cover a topic that they’ve written about, and then email them the link or tag them on social media
  • Send them an email stating how you shared the post with others and how they’ve benefited from it
  • Follow them on social media and share a few of their posts daily/weekly

Buy What They’re Selling

If they have products available that you can afford go ahead and whip out your credit card. Reputable bloggers will always have an autoresponder and subscriber list for customers who purchase from them. You can use this as a well to establish a rapport with them and give them feedback (good feedback, that is) on their products. Talk about how you’ve recommended the product(s) to your friends and other business associates.

Nothing beats social proof when it comes to marketing, and this could be an excellent way to potentially get yourself included in a testimonial page or video-which means they’ll know your name. On top of that, they’re target audience will know your name and business as well! Boom…traffic!

Be A Resource

Just because your influencer is an expert in their niche, doesn’t mean they’ve covered EVERYTHING there is to cover and know about EVERY resource pertaining to their niche.

This could be a great opportunity for you to educate them on something they may not be aware of at the moment. Perhaps news coverage of a related event or company update. Maybe there are new products that just hit the market and you’ve tried them out already.

A confident influencer will always be open to learning about new things happen in their industry, so don’t be afraid to ping them in their comment section, via social media or email. Influencers love sharing new information, and chances are that they’ll mention you when they do…more traffic your way!

Here’s an example of an email you can send about a new industry update:

Hi Allen,

I hope all is well. I follow your entrepreneur blog and your posts have helped me tremendously with “enter something here”.

I came across this article on “enter link to article here” and I think this new legislation will be a game-changer for the SMB industry. I, along with a few of my colleagues are very interested in getting your take on this.

I’ve written my own piece about it, which you can find here if you’d like to take a look at it.

What are your thoughts on XYZ?

Many thanks for all of your work,

Your Name

Even if your blog influencer doesn’t cover the topic, chances are that you’ll at least get their attention, which can set you up for more engagement with them down the line. (Note: Don’t fret if they don’t get back to you immediately, people are busy. Give them at least a couple of weeks, and then maybe just send them a link to your post via social media.)

Leave Memorable Comments

While it’s great to leave succinct comments such as “This was great, thanks for posting!” or “I really love this piece”, these aren’t necessarily the comments that are going to capture the attention of your influencer. Why? Because these are the most common comments left on any blog post. It’s like when someone sends you a birthday or X-mas card with a simple “I love you” or “Thinking of you” written inside versus someone who writes a short paragraph about a great memory that they have of you, or offers a few words of encouragement. People love well-thought out personal notes, because they make you feel appreciated and in the cases of blog post comments, heard.

Get your blog comment noticed by doing the following things:

  1. Be Relatable: Are you able to relate to the post, or do you have experience with the topics discussed in it? If so, let your influencer know.
  2. Stir Things Up: This is always a great way to get noticed. Try playing devil’s advocate and offering an opposing view or different take on what’s discussed in the post. Be careful not to do this in a harsh or arrogant way, as this probably won’t work to help you build a good rapport with influencer. It’s a bit of a balancing act, but what you want to do is just offer new perspectives on the topic, without making the influencer look incompetent or short-sighted.
  3. Give Compliments: Stroke your influencer’s ego a bit. Not in an overt way that’s easily detectable, but perhaps illustrate how you’ve seen their points play out in real life or how you love their ideas and can’t wait to implement them and/or share them with others.
  4. Be Curious: Ask thoughtful follow-up questions about a certain point made in the most. Bloggers love these types of questions because it illustrates to them that you were actually engaged in the post and not just looking to comment for the purpose of gaining backlinks to your own blog.

When you actively engage with your influencers in a way that seems genuine and insightful, they’ll naturally want to know about you and your content offerings. It’s just human nature.

Be A One-upsman

Friendly competition is never a bad idea. Find some of the best posts from your influencers and make your own better version of them.

For example, of your influencer wrote a listicle about 15 ways to market your business without spending a dime, write your own listicle showing 30 ways to do it. It’s all about sharing quality content at the end of the day. And if you’re influencer thinks that your post will help their audience, boom…traffic!

To find the best posts to re-create for this strategy consider going to Buzzsumo to see what content is being shared the most in a given niche and by whom. Make a list of 5 posts that you feel will resonate strongly with your audience and go to work!

Get Involved

Getting your name out there and establishing yourself as a new thought leader in the community can help you to gain more credibility even before you reach out to your blog influencers.

Ways to do this:

Find trending topics on Google that are related to your industry and comment on the stories about them (be it on a news site, or influencer’s blog).

Subscribe to newsletters from your blog influencers as well as other bloggers in your niche and subscribe to their newsletters. This’ll give an update on the latest and greatest regarding their posts, places where they hangout online, and it’ll also give you ideas for your own blog posts as well.

Find out where your influencers are having discussions online. Which social media platforms are they on? Find trending hashtags about your topic and reshare and post your own content including them.

Find 5-10 forums related to your niche and get in on the discussions. Asks questions, bring up current events, and slide in references to your content whenever you get the opportunity.

Note: The worst thing that you can do on forums is to make it all about you and your content-and users will have no qualms about calling you out on this.

Forums are all about discussions and giving insight/advice, so be sure not to overly promote your brand. Once you answer enough questions and build a reputation as an expert, people will naturally gravitate to your profile and will want to check out your blog’s content.

Find local and national events related to your niche and get your brand out there. Request to speak, offer insight, or assistance in any way that you’re able to.

Getting your blog influencers to notice you is really just a matter of making yourself noticeable. Get out there, be helpful, provide insight, offer solutions and research. Once you build up your brand’s steam, influencers will be knocking at your door (your inbox, that is) with request for you to contribute to their blog, podcasts, interview segments, roundups, and other events.

Remember, influencers want to get content out there-and they love not having to create it by themselves all the time. You want to get in front of their audience members. Prove yourself worthy of this and you’ll find yourself getting exactly what you want, which is to borrow their spotlight for a moment to shine it on yourself!

The post How To Grow Your Blog Traffic…The Smart Way appeared first on Read Write Work.

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Can you make money blogging? This question has popped up on blogging forums and chatrooms ever since WordPress hit the scene in 2003. Since then it’s become the #1 place for bloggers across the world to share their thoughts, business ventures, and lives with the world. Not only has blogging become a fantastic way for everyday people to reach audiences worldwide, but it’s turned a ton of 9 to 5 workers into six and seven-figure income earners. So yes, you can ABSOLUTELY make money blogging and in this post, we’ll show you exactly how bloggers are doing it.

Here’s how we’ll break things down:

  • What is Blogging
  • What should I blog about?
  • How do you make money blogging?
  • HOW MUCH money can you make blogging?
  • How to make money writing online when you don’t have a blog
What is blogging? And what is a “blog”?

So, what is a blog exactly?  Many people ask what’s the big difference between a blog and a “regular” website. The thing is that A blog IS a website, what sets it apart is the fact that its content is often updated, in the form of “blog posts”. Similar, to a news site, blogs thrive on fresh content in their blog roll and with the latest posts displaying at the top (or in a different order if you have sticky posts). This way, readers can always view your latest updates, stories, and news. These days you can find a blog about nearly everything under the sun. Here’s a list of the most common types of blogs that you’ll find online.

  • Art
  • Beauty
  • Book Review
  • Business
  • Car
  • Comedy
  • Cooking
  • Education
  • Finance
  • Fishing
  • Health
  • Home Décor
  • Lifestyle
  • Love & Relationships
  • Marketing or SEO
  • Music
  • Parental/Childcare
  • Personal Development
  • Photography
  • Productivity
  • Real Estate
  • Technology
  • Travel
What should I blog about?

The first step in starting a successful blog is deciding what you want to write about. What are your interests? What topics fields do you just rock at? If you’re unsure, it’s worth exploring other blogs to see what things interests you.

Here are 3 questions to ask yourself before venturing out into the blogging hemisphere. And taking time to answer these questions can hopefully prevent you from becoming one of the many thousands of bloggers who started a blog with high hopes, only to abandon it after 5 blog posts. That doesn’t have to be you!

1. Do you enjoy learning about the subject and writing about it?

Do you care enough about your topic or niche? If not, chances are you won’t have a successful blog. Why? Because having a successful blog requires writing numerous posts about your topic and essential covering it from A to Z. And if that seems like more of a headache-inducing chore than a hobby, then it just isn’t going to work. Of course writing blog posts 3-5 days a week can be challenging for many people, especially if you’re not used to doing it.

3. Do people care about the topic?

As mentioned earlier, you can start a blog about anything under the sun. However, if you’re looking to have a sizable audience, it’s helpful to find a topic that will interest (or affects) millions of people.

Why should people follow your blog? Does your blog solve a problem?

If you’re looking to start a niche site, it’s crucial to make sure there’s an audience for it beforehand.

For example, a personal finance blog will more likely attract more readers than a blog about geode rocks. Why? Because people are always looking for ways to make or save money, while only hobbyists or geology professionals may be interested in expanding their knowledge in the vast world of geode rocks.

Finding your niche and determining its audience size can be as simple as searching for other blogs that are already covering it. Check out other blogs about your topic and look at their subscriber counts, blog post comments, and social media engagement levels. You can take it a step further by making a list of 5-7 blogs about the topic to get more insight on its potential. On the opposite hand, if you’re covering a topic that countless other bloggers are talking about (such as personal finance) it’s helpful to find a way to make your blog stand out. Think of a catchy blog name, logo, or blog post format (or design) that is easily recognizable and will distinguish you from the rest of the clutter in your niche.

3. How financially viable is your topic?

Blog topics such as travel, fashion, business marketing, and health are financially viable because there are TONS of dollars spent in these markets on a daily basis.

Not only can you make money on the retail side by offering your own products and affiliate recommendations (which we’ll cover in a bit), but the audiences for niches are so big that once you develop a considerable readership, you’ll have advertisers sliding in your emails (and DMs) looking to pay you money just to place links and banners on your blog.

Understanding your blog’s financial viability is super-important if you’re looking to make money as a full-time blogger. As mentioned before, a good way to determine the financial potential of your blog idea is to check out other bloggers in the niche you’d like to purse. Look at how they monetize their posts, how often they blog, and if they do any guest blogging ( a great way to get referral links and attract new readers) on related sites in their niche.

You can make over $1000 a month from a small niche site alone if it has a big enough audience and they have incentivization to spend their money while on your blog.

How do you make money blogging (How do bloggers make money, really?)

We’ve all seen the rich bloggers who posting pictures online of them sitting in Ferraris and or oceanside on exotic islands. And they attract people because many people dream of the ability to make money in their sleep and take a vacation at the drop of a hat.

The difference between bloggers who make money from their blog and those who don’t is really just consistency and good monetization strategies. It takes dedication to sit down at your computer, day after day, week after week, writing blog posts for one or two hours-especially when you have full-time job and/or a family. Like starting any new business (because blogging for money is a business), you’ll get out of it whatever you put into it. If you write on a part-time basis, you’ll likely make part-time money. If you take it to the max with posting, getting backlinks, and growing your social media profiles you’ll definitely see a jump in income derived from your blog.

So to answer the question of “Can you make an awesome income from blogging alone?”

Absolutely. And here we’ll break down the numerous ways that you can do it.

Below are the 5 Most Popular Ways to Make Money From Blogging:

Make & Sell Products: It’s common for most bloggers to begin their monetization strategy by selling products made my publishers on platforms such as Clickbank, ShareASale, Commission Junction, Amazon, or Rakuten. However, if you want to make more money and keep all the profits you definitely should consider creating and then marketing your own products.

Affiliate Advertising: Affiliate advertising is when you promote the product of a publisher (through a publishing platform like the ones mentioned above) and receive a commission anytime a visitor clicks on one of your links and purchases a product. This can be anything from books, apparel, software, and technology, to lead signups, downloads, or courses-almost everything in retail has an affiliate program. Check out the sites of some of your favorite brands and chances are you’ll see the “Affiliate Program” or “Partners” link at the bottom of the page (or you may have to join through one of affiliate platforms). Commissions range from company to company, industry to industry, and can be anywhere from 4%-50%. Affiliate Advertising is definitely a high-income earner for many bloggers.

Paid Sponsors: Sponsorship is a traditional way for businesses to get their brands out there in the public eye, and if you have a site that caters to their audience (a sizable audience, that is) then chances are when you reach a certain number of monthly visitors a sponsor will send you a message inquiring about posting ads on your site. Or, you can reach to them if you believe they may be interested in working with you.

Paid (Influencer) Reviews: Paid reviews are great of you have a niche blog with an engaged audience. If your audience is engaged and trusts your opinion, you can make a sizable income just doing reviews alone.

Paid reviews from influencers have actually made many young YouTubers very wealthy. The YouTubers will post a video giving a review of a product (which has been sent to them for free, of course) and they’ll go over what they think of it. Companies typically want you to have an impressive subscriber count (around 50k at least) before they’ll be interested in reaching out to you about a paid review offer. The amount paid depends on how big the brand is and how much “influence” they believe you have which is determined by your subscriber count and average video view number.

Google AdSense: Google’s display advertising program is a Pay-per-click program that allows publishers to create ads to be displayed as a result of Google searches or on any type of website. Every time someone clicks on the ad (via codes for links, texts, and banners to be placed on your site), the publisher has to pay a commission to the site owner. These commissions range depending on the monthly search volume and competition for the keywords associated with the ad. The individual commissions don’t compare to that of affiliate advertising so you’ll need to have a high volume of monthly traffic to really see a nice commission from Google Ads alone.

17 ideas that you can use to make money with your blog:

  1. Write an Ebook and sell it on your blog (or on Gumroad or Amazon).
  2. Create Video Tutorials and How-Tos, and recommend products for purchase on your blog.
  3. Create a Podcast and sell “Premium Episodes” for $10.
  4. Hold Webinars for your blog and charge for attendance.
  5. Add Specialty Online Service offerings to your blog (Ex: SEO, Consulting, Graphic Design).
  6. Find blog Sponsors For Your Online (or offline) events.
  7. Advertise your “freelance writing” skills on your blog and sell ads on it.
  8. Stream Live Workshops (consider sponsorships as well as attendance fees).
  9. Create Niche Blog Sites and Sell Them (check out Flippa).
  10. Embed Polls and Surveys from companies that’ll pay you to place them on your site.
  11. Create A Job Board site on your blog and charge for job posting and ad space rental.
  12. Charge Users for “Premium Content” on your blog.
  13. Use Email Marketing to sell products to your subscribers (this a goldmine for bloggers).
  14. Create a Membership site (or Forum) for a specific topic which charges affordable monthly or annual dues.
  15. Buy Domains (anywhere from $7-$14) and sell them at premium prices. Check out this popular guywho does it for a living.
  16. Create a Community site and charge for posting (Ex: Craigslist).
  17. Place RSS Adverts on your blog’s RSS feeds.

 

HOW MUCH money can you make blogging?

There are plenty bloggers making $4,000-$10,000a month from blogging alone. Then there are the bloggers who make $50,000-$100,000 a month. Finally, there are those super-bloggers who are pulling in over $100,000 a month from blogging and have no plans of slowing down anytime soon.

Blogging requires a long-term commitment if you’re looking to make this type of income. But it’s definitely possible! And what’s so great about creating a blog nowadays as opposed to a over a decade ago when blogging first became a “thing” is that you don’t need to learning web developer coding to put up a blog site. You can sign up on WordPress and have a blog in less than 15 minutes!

Also, with the rise in the number of bloggers given its revenue potential, there are TONS of blogging tools that make it easy for you to create content, publish it, streamline workflows, and monetize your blog. All that it really requires is that you simply WRITE-and you can even hire blog writers to do that for you.

With an average monthly visitor count upwards of 7k, this blog makes about $2,200 a month, and we only work on it on a part-time basis because we’re busy with other projects. Imagine if we worked on it full-time and got up to 100k a month in unique monthly visitors?

If you’re looking to make money blogging, the potential is there, you just have to put in the work. If you’re looking for a step-by-step on how to start a blog you can check out this “How to start a blog” post and be on your way to blogging success in just a few minutes!

How to make money writing online when you don’t have a blog

If you’re tired of the rat race looking to work from home as a writer while you get your blog off the ground, or just looking to become a paid writer to earn extra income there are plenty of sites that are always looking for great writers for all types of freelance writing positions.

You don’t have to have a blog to make money writing online while working at home.

Here a few steps to transition to someone who spends 2 hours commuting to and from an office to someone who works in their pajamas.

First, before signing up and applying for any WAH writing position you’ll want to make sure that you have a http://paypal.com account as most of the freelance sites pay using this method.

Also, be sure to have (or be reading to create) a few writing samples to demonstrate your skills. Lastly, be reading to take an online spelling or grammar test for many of these companies before being accepted as a paid freelance writer. (Note: If you don’t use Grammarly, you may want to start as it’s going to save you a lot of time with editing).

Our Top Picks For Legitimate Work From Home Writing Jobs
  1. Crowd Content – Has freelance work available, though not always consistent. Pay is bi-weekly and you must apply for each project. Projects include writing product descriptions, articles, and editing. Most projects pay around .02-.06 cent per word and depends on your writing level. Be sure to pay attention to the project style guides before submitting work or prepare to hear back from the editors. One of the best sites for making extra money, as some projects can become pretty consistent.
  2. Constant Content – Write about basically anything and set your own fees for your work. CC takes 35% when your articles sales so be sure to set your fees accordingly. Most common content is for blog posts of about 500-700 words and you can also apply for requested work and expert groups. You have to complete a writing quiz and submit a sample to apply. Pays on the 1st and 15th, but it takes the editors 3-7 days to review your work before they add it to the catalogs-so write fast!
  3. Blogmutt – Blogmutt always has work available for writers. Application process requires a grammar/plagiarism test and writing sample.
  4. Writing Jobs: Gives you access to higher-paying writing jobs. Try for free for 7 days.
  5. Writers Access – Has a thorough application process in which you must fill out a profile fully in order to get work. May have to compete with tenured writers on the platform for assignments but pay is decent. Pays monthly.
  6. BKA Content – NY-based company that hires for freelance writers for web content and product descriptions. Pay is good and projects range from a variety of clients. Must write at least 2k words per week. There’s a 15-minute grammar assessment that you must past (80% or above) and after you have to submit writing samples. Pays every two weeks via Paypal.
  7. Textbroker – Hires freelance writers for all types of writing projects-mostly articles though. Pay can be as low as .01 per word for new writers (must take skills assessment) and upwards of .05 per word if you get a higher rating. It may take weeks to receive a higher rating. Must submit a short writing sample.
  8. Hire Writers – Offers writing jobs, though the initial pay is on the low side (.o1-.02 cents). But as you write more you’ll get a better rating to make more money. Easy app process.
  9. Dotdash.com – Hiring contract content producers for the 3-month long project. Must work a minimum of 20 hours per work.
  10. Wise Bread – Get paid to write content surrounding personal finance and life hacks. Doesn’t list the pay rate and you must submit 3-5 pieces for review.
  11. Cactus – Hires work from home full-time and freelancers for writing, customer service, translation and more. Cactus has a great reputation and lots of work available when positions are open.
  12. Online Writing Jobs – Offers freelance writing contracting for new and experienced writers who can earn about $15-50 per job. Pays weekly. Make sure to look at your deadlines before applying for the projects to avoid missing them.
  13. Writers Domain – Currently has a waitlist for writing apps but they pay weekly ($0.02 to $0.05 per word).
  14. Article Document – Chicago-based company that hires freelance contractors. If you’re looking to grow as a writer this may be a good place to start. Pay varies per assignment. Not only can you accept paid assignments but they also have monetization benefits. Be sure to thoroughly read their Writer Agreement first.
  15. Iwriter – Hires freelance writers for a variety of job assignments. You get 86% of whatever the price of the project is, and it can be on the low side for new writers who haven’t built up their ratings yet. Worth checking out though. Pays weekly via Paypal.
  16. Listverse – Pays you to create fact-based lists. Pays $100 for each list (minimum of 10 items on the list). Must cite sources for content. Pays via Paypal.
  17. ProofreadingServices.com – Offers online proofreading and ESL Tutoring jobs. Full-time and part-time opportunities. Must past online assessment (20 minutes). Pay varies per job.

Check out our complete list of WAH writing opportunities here.

The post The Truth: Can you make money blogging? appeared first on Read Write Work.

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We decided to put this post together for everyone who may be looking to delve into the fun and fascinating (and at times confusing) world of blogging, and anyone who currently has a blog and may be looking for information on how to get more out of their blog with this awesome blogging tips!

The most interesting thing about blogging is that your blog will be whatever you make it. You can make use it to generate traffic and monetize it, bring awareness to your brand or cause, or just share your thoughts and lifestyle with people from all over the world-the possibilities are endless!

We’ve broken this post down into the following categories:

Blogging Tips for Beginners

Blogging Tips for Businesses

Blogging Tips for Writers

Blogging Tips for Beginners

We could write tips about the best SEO practices until the end of time-there’s just so much to learn, and new things are concepts, techniques, and tools seem to pop up left and right. Let’s talk about the most important aspects of SEO as well as some tips that you won’t get from other bloggers.

  1. Spend Time Analyzing Competitive Site Keywords

You’ve probably read hundreds of articles on SEO terms such as low-competition keywords, SEO keyword research & analysis, Search Engine Results Pages, (SERP), Search Engine Marketing (SEM), best keyword tools, keyword density, and keyword stuffing, etc. And it’s for a good reason-good keywords are truly the foundation of any high-traffic blog. Why? Because Google’s algorithms are designed to give web users the absolute best experience when performing web searches. And though many bloggers know this, it seems that a lot still miss the mark when it comes to getting their sites to rank, which explains why you’ll see tons of articles on SEO more than any other aspect of blogging.

The best way to understand the mechanics of how Google ranks sites for search terms is really by analyzing the sites of your competitors when you type in certain keywords. The level of insight that this can offer is priceless, and while there are tools that can do this for you (one common one used by bloggers is LongTail Pro), it’s absolutely FREE to just make a list of 10-15 keywords that you’re looking to rank for, type them in your search browser, and then create a list of the top 10 sites (SERPS) that come up on the first page of your search. Study the site’s page, keyword density (using Ctrl + F), information, outgoing links, comment section feedback-get in their business!

  1. Find ONE Good Promotion Strategy

With the amount of bad/confusing information about SEO and blog ranking on the net, embarking on every promotional strategy there is may seem like a good idea. However, if you have 5 promotional strategies and your metrics are showing that none of them are hitting the goals that you had in mind such as traffic numbers, newsletter subscriptions, or product sells, then this could mean that you’re simply doing too much. Most successful bloggers start out by going all in on one specific online marketing strategy. Initially, they may tinker around with a handful to see what works the best, but when they find that one strategy that outperforms the others they go full-speed ahead.

  1. Outdo Your Competition with Better Content

Online marketing is like an athletic competition, everyone’s competing for the same goal: to be in the #1 spot on Google’s search page when their keyword is entered. But how do you compete when there are millions of other bloggers and business owners vying for the same spot? Well, just like in competitive sports, you simply aim to be the best. Sure, you can buy your way to the top by paying for SEO services such as paid ads or organic traffic-building techniques (even blackhat techniques), but if your content isn’t of any quality then you’ll find yourself with a lot of traffic, but low conversions and short on-page time from your visitors. 

Google is always saying that “Content is King”, and they’re absolutely right. Writing quality content takes time and effort, something that too many “make money blogging” enthusiasts fail to mention while they’re selling you their products. Here are a few tips for writing quality content:

Find out what your audience is looking for

Spend time on other blogs, social media, news sites, and related forums to see what people are talking about. Check out posts from your competitors’ sites to see which posts received the most engagement. Check out platforms such as BuzzSumo (paid) and Feedly (free) to see what influencers and content types/subjects are the most popular in a specific niche.

SEO the hell out of your posts

Make your On-Page SEO absolutely stellar. On-Page SEO refers to the optimization of all of the web pages on your website.

This includes:

  • Page Titles – The name of your blog post or page
  • Keyword Density % (how many times your keyword appears on the page)
  • Meta Data – Any Meta Tags and Meta Descriptions listed on your page that provides information about what your site is about.
  • Image Alt Tags – These attributes refer to names and descriptions that are available for users to view in the event that they can’t view your image.
  • Embedded or Uploaded files – Any document that you’ve included on the page such as photos, infographics, PDFs, MP3 files, etc.

Create Long-form Content to Dominate SERPs

Have you ever searched for something online, perhaps an answer to a question, online to come across a page that offers you a shallow answer to the stated question? Google loves long-form posts because when its web crawlers (aka “spiders”) crawl your site and find a 2,000-word post related to a searched term it seems a better fit than a page with a 300-word post. Writing-long form posts not only gives you the opportunity to provide your audience with more information (which is great for building your authority), but it allows you to incorporate your target keyword more often within your posts. For example, let’s say that you wrote a 350-word post on “SEO strategies for businesses”. The recommended keyword density of 5% (as to not potentially get penalized for keyword stuffing) would mean that it’s safe to toss the keyword in your post about 18 times. However, if you wrote a 2,000-word post you could throw in the term “SEO strategies” a whopping 100 times! Which post do you think Google will favor more?

Though people have mixed opinions about what actually qualifies as long-form content, an overwhelming majority seems to agree that upwards of 1,200 words seems to be an ideal length by which you can really engage your audience. And if they’re engaged, they’ll keep coming back as long as you keep posting!

Blogging Tips for Businesses

Create & Commit to A Practical Content Calendar

Creating a content calendar and sticking to it is crucial for online success on any platform. Most successful Bloggers, YouTubers, Tweeters, Pinners, etc. typically have one thing in common-a TON of content. Churning out new content on a consistent basis not only builds your credibility as a brand but this is what’s going to boost your SEO traffic. Google LOVES authority sites, and those with upwards of 150+ quality posts in a particular subject are always going to rise to the top (thus why they rank highly for high-search volume keywords).

There are several options on the market (free and paid) that can help you set up and organize a posting schedule that makes sense for your blog. Be sure to take into consideration your industry, audience demographics, and competitors’ posting schedule. In the beginning its an excellent idea to do a little research before committing to a posting schedule. Questions such as who’ll be writing/posting the content, which mediums the content promoted on, and the subjects and overall structure of each post are important to know before setting up a schedule.

Some of the most popular content scheduling platforms worth taking a look at are PostPlanner (paid-$3/mo) or SproutSocial (paid), or you can go the FREE way and just download an editorial calendar template online and save it to your pc (or https://www.google.com/drive/Google Drive if sharing with others).

Use Visuals to Make it Engaging

Numerous studies have shown the huge impact that great visuals can have when incorporated into your blog posts, social media posts, and branded videos.

A bit more on the impact of images:

1. Twitter conducted a study on engagement on the platform and found that tweets with photos help boast Retweet percentages by 35%.

  1. Another study by HubSpot showed that 43% of people admit to skimming through blog posts.
  2. Great imagery and visuals are the main component (along with attention-getting headlines) that drive social media traffic and reshares.
  3. Mobile video usage has also increased by nearly 10 million daily viewing minutes in the last two years.
  4. According to Search Engine Watch, Facebook updates with images have 2.3x more engagement than updates without one.

Reading through several long blocks of texts on a blog post can sometimes be a bit daunting, particularly when it comes to business posts, which typically aren’t meant to elicit strong emotions such as anger, sympathy, amazement the way that other types of content may (i.e. op-eds or personal essays).  

Business readers are looking to be educated about a subject or product, but they don’t want to be bored while they’re doing it (just like children love color books-adults like cool imagery as well) and keeping them engaged is the key to having your post read in its entirety. Try to break up every paragraph (every 4-5 sentences) with some sort of visual such as screenshots, photos, data graphs, vector images, videos or infographic. You can easily hire a designer on Fiverr or Upwork to create some cool images for your blog posts. It’s worth it!

Don’t Blend in With the Rest

In today’s crowded blog space, there really isn’t an industry that’s competition-free. So how does one stand out against so many other people looking to get their brand out there? Well, there are a few things that you can try actually.

  1. Be the contrarian – Being on the opposing end of various discussions in your niche can definitely set you apart from the pack. Find ways to play devil’s advocate with your marketing strategy. With the rise of social media and its far-reaching impact on brand image, a lot of businesses (and people) would rather play to the masses than be the black sheep (even if you are a voice of reason). Think of ways to distinguish your company’s messaging from the rest of the pack.
  2. Get creative with your posts – Find interesting and new ways to deliver your messages to your audience. For example, how many people knew about the ALS Association before the famous “Ice Bucket Challenge”, not nearly as many that did after the challenge went viral in the summer of 2014. ALS could’ve hosted charity concerts or created tv commercials, but they chose an innovative way of spreading the word about their cause by getting celebrities to do something kind of ridiculous (and super funny) on camera. Consider brainstorming ways that you can add a bit of liveliness to your posts.
  3. Tell stories – There’s a reason why Instagram and YouTube have exploded with storytime videos-because people love hearing stories. Think of ways that you can tell engaging stories in your posts (it doesn’t have to be a video).
  4. Show why you’re an authority – Find ways to flex your authoritative muscles and illustrate exactly WHY you’re a pro in your field. Incorporate statistics and relevant research studies in your posts. Bring in other experts in your industry to share their knowledge with their audience. Collaborate with your competitors and related industries. Make your site the #1 spot where online users can go to find out EVERYTHING about your industry (examples: YoungArchitect, SEOBook, Investopedia).

Become Your Audience’s BFF

Get to know your audience. If you’re looking to boost engagement (and “average time on page” metrics) engaging with your audience is a great way to go. A great way to increase blog engagement is to open up a comment’s section on your blog posts (many businesses use Disqus to keep the spammers away). It gives your audience a chance to offer their own views on the subjects, and it offers you an awesome insight into the types of content that resonate more with your audience-this is awesome information to have! Here are a few other ways to increase engagement on your blog posts:

  • Engage with other bloggers
  • Ask for feedback about specific things in the comment section
  • Create useful infographics
  • Reach out to your audience via social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) and respond to THEIR posts
  • Create a good internal linking structure to other posts/pages on your blog

Increasing engagement on your blog will help to kickstart the growth of your audience.

Blogging Tips for Writers (Beginners & Professionals)

If you write for a living or are looking to get into this as a part-time or full-time career starting a blog is one of the best things that you can do. One, because it’ll give you practice with writing every day, as well as the opportunity to get feedback from other writers online about your work. Second, it helps you to get your name out there. It doesn’t matter if you’re a copywriter, short storyteller, novelist, poet, journalist, etc.-having a body of work that people can read is always a good idea for your brand.

It seems like the biggest hurdle with writers is finding ways to monetize their skill sets.  Once you start blogging and developing an audience you can then make money from sponsorships and affiliate programs, your own products (ebooks, courses, etc.), or you can leverage your authority to just get clients. Here are a few ways that writers get the most out of their blogs.

Keep your blog posts organized in easy-to-read chunks

Create categories of common areas related to writing such as paid freelance writing, marketing, writing seminars/classes, sending pitches, creating portfolios, productivity, etc. Covering the areas of writing that new writers often have questions about can help you to establish yourself as a great source for writing info. It also helps tremendously if you can keep a consistent posting schedule (as mentioned in the above tips for Businesses).

Start building your list ASAP

Don’t wait to start your email list. You may think, “I don’t really have that many followers, it can wait.”, but so many bloggers think this and end up missing out on a ton of potential subscribers-and sales opportunities to market to their list (this is the best type of sale for your blog because it’s a “warm” sale.)

Write about your life as a writer

If blogging has taught us one thing, it’s that readers love personal stories. Personal stories increase engagement and can help you build your audience in record time through the power of social media sharing. Take your audience on a tour of your writing space (via pics or videos) and provide insights on how you stay productive.

Create a community that supports, motivates, and inspires people

Encourage your audience to share their personal journeys as writers and foster an online space where writers can come to receive advice, encouragement, and vent if need be. You want your online visitors to be repeat visitors, and a strong sense of community on your site can help to establish this.

Find what questions your audience is asking, and answer them

Conduct online searches to find what both writers and the people who are actually hiring writers. Discover what their needs are and provide this information on your site. For example, if you find that many online magazine publications are requiring all writers be familiar with both APA and MLA writing formats, you can write an article about this on your website and link back to those companies within your post (then send them a link to the post via email or social media). Writers will appreciate the information and there’s a chance that you’ll get on the company’s radar as a potential freelancer.

Don’t engage with trolls

It’s inevitable that you’ll get a few trolls on your website. Don’t engage with trolls in your comment section, simply delete/hide their comments and if need be block them completely. It’s important to keep the atmosphere on your blog positive and professional so that commenters can feel comfortable engaging with you and sharing their thoughts.

Remember, community + education + engagement = brand awareness!

The post The Best Blogging Tips For Any Type of Blog appeared first on Read Write Work.

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Finding interesting blog post ideas and interesting topics to write about isn’t always easy. Here, we’ve compiled the most popular types of blogs on the interest and have put together a list of blog post ideas for each one. We’ll be updating this list often as we come across new ideas so be sure to bookmark it!

Let’s first start by listing the most common types of blog posts:

  1. Listicle Post – Lists posts about anything under the sun such as cool websites, quotes, books, and other resources
  2. How-to Post – Break down how to build something, do something, or educate audiences on a new hack that you’ve created
  3. Solution Provider Post – Find a common problem relative to your industry and write a post about it along with a proposed solution
  4. Case Study Post – This type of blog post is great for businesses. Conduct a study about a product or new research to build credibility.
  5. Checklist Post – Help your audience outline the steps of getting something done by providing them with a checklist (example: car maintenance, house buying, starting a business, etc.)
  6. Industry Terms Post – Craft a resource post (or page) full of industry jargon.
  7. Series Post – Series posts are great for covering hot topics, complicated processes, or educational courses
  8. Ultimate Guide Post – These posts are super-comprehensive guides which walk you through how to do something step-by-step.
  9. FAQ Post – Answer questions from your audience all in one post and use it as a way to develop new topics to talk about on your blog.
  10. Daily Inspiration Post – Post encouraging words to your audience or quick pieces of advice.
  11. Holiday Post – Create posts weaving in themes and ideas surrounding upcoming holidays seasons.
  12. A Day in the Life Post – Take your audience to work with you and show them what your typical workday looks like in the office or on-the-go.
  13. Behind the Scenes Post – Post back scene footage/images of new projects that are in the making and tease with
  14. Random Rant Post – Type up a post about something in your niche that’s been eating away at you. It could be something such as a new fashion trend, a current product in the market, or just a random rambling.
  15. Challenge Post – Create a fun challenge for your readers and post up a final tally once its over. Examples, 30-day book challenge, 10-day vegan challenges, etc.
  16. Ask a Question Post – Think of a subject in your niche that tends to be divisive and poses a question about it. (note: this type of post is a great way to get readers engaged in the comment section-unfortunately, controversy will always bring in more views)
  17. Product Review Post – Test out new products in your niche and create rating criteria for each. Post the views on your blog and give each product a star/point rating.
  18. Survey Post – Pose a survey question one of your social media channels (FB, Twitter, Instagram) and include the results in a blog post. Include the reasons why you created the survey and what conclusions you’ve drawn from the results.
  19. News Story Post (aka “newsjacking”) – Go to popular news sites and find stories that make sense to talk about on your site. Create a post weaving in the recent news story and leverage the pull of the story to attract new visitors (via posting it on all of your social channels as well as other sharing sites)
  20. Latest Trend Post – Keep up with the latest trends in your niche and create a post about your opinion regarding it, its influence, and compare it to past trends.
  21. Meme/Giphy Post – Scrounge up 10-15 of the funniest memes and giphys that you’ve seen on your social media timelines and weave them into a funny post about a subject in your niche.
  22. Storytime Post – Create a personal post about an interesting experience that you’ve had. Themes that tend to do well on these types of posts are humor, lessons learned, suspenseful, or inspirational.
  23. Twitter Follow Roundup– Post a roundup of 5-7 of your favorite people on Twitter. Be sure to include links to some of their best tweets (or posts) and tag them when you post
  24. Reaction Post – Create a post giving your feedback on a topic that’s currently flooding the news feeds or social media channels.
  25. Hypothetical Post – Lay out a hypothetical situation that your audience may face as it relates to your niche, and create a post asking how they’d react in the situation.
  26. Expert Post – Bring together industry experts or influencers in your niche to cover a specific subject matter.
  27. How We Did It – Reach out to influencers in your niche with a list of questions related to how they got their brands off the ground. Then create a roundup post for your audience showcasing any recurring business strategies or lessons learned.
  28. Devil’s Advocate Post – Stir up a bit of controversy by creating a post with an opposing view on a topic that’s generally agreed on and wait for the surge in comments that’s sure to come.
  29. Best of Post – Create a “Best of” list for industry products, resources, tools, companies, or articles (yours or from other bloggers) and share with your readers.
  30. Top 10 Post – This post is similar to the “Best of” post. Think of all of the things that your readers look for and mention in your posts and craft a “Best of” list around it.
  31. Income Report Post – If you’re a blogger who’s promoting your own e-courses, books, or other products related to blogging for money, create monthly income reports breaking down your monthly views and the income that you receive from each revenue stream, as well as your monthly expenses for managing your blog.
  32. Business Update Post – Use the business post to keep your readers updated with new announcements such as product launches, forthcoming interviews, events, etc. (Note: be sure to share these on social media as well).
  33. Comparison Chart Post – Select a handful of popular products, software, brands in your niche and create a post comparing their features, prices, pro’s versus con’s, etc. (Note: infographics are great to use in these types of posts, you can quickly have a designer create on Fiverr for less than $10.)
  34. Mashup Post – Compile a list of the best photos, infographics, videos, or other visuals that you’ve come across that are related to your blog’s niche and throw them together with a funny or creative theme.
  35. Interview/Profile Post – Conduct an interview or research on a key influencer in your industry. Include their background, credentials, work habits, quotes, and any other information. Encourage your readers to follow them on social media (and be sure to share the post with them, of course).
  36. Weekly Update Post – Find a topic to cover on a certain day of the week. Things like current news updates, new product launches, new happenings with your brand/blog are a great place to start.
Art Blog Post Ideas
  1. Latest artwork pieces for modern art
  2. List of 50 artists that few people know about
  3. Upcoming artists in various cities and countries
  4. 20 popular architectural installations
  5. How to deal with criticism as an artist
  6. How to stay inspired as a new or seasoned artist
  7. Art works that were banned when they premiered
  8. Famous artists who dealt with depression
  9. 5 art mysteries that were never solved
  10. The first artist to “enter something here”
  11. Sculpting for beginners
  12. Where to find materials for architectural installations
  13. Rank the top 25 canvas works by number of sales
  14. Great places for artists to showcase their work
  15. How to create a portfolio as a new artist
  16. List of the best books about artists or art history
  17. List books about how to create income as an artist
  18. Review of paint brushes, paint brands, and other tools
  19. Things to do to boost creativity
  20. How to draw the human face (or body) for beginners
Auto Blog Post Ideas
  1. How to save on car insurance
  2. Rate the best winter tire brands
  3. Review new car accessories
  4. Create a car buying checklist for used and new cars
  5. List 10 cars that are perfect for teenage drivers
  6. Rank the top 15 safest cars according to various criteria
  7. Compare electric cars to fuel-based cars both functionally and financially
  8. Create post about DIY fixes that car owners can do to save money
  9. Make a list of 10 cars and their first year of production (include great images)
  10. Make list of the 20 worst cars in history according to various consumer reviews from industry sources
  11. Craft a post about the industry of classic car shows and ownership communities
  12. Write about precautions that drivers should take when driving on interstate highways (i.e. ice, animals, bad drivers, etc.)
  13. Provide a post on tips about how to save money when buying a new car from the dealership
  14. Create a piece about car paint repair and preservation
  15. Write a piece about the importance of getting consistence oil changes
  16. Create a checklist of importance car maintenance activities such as windshield wiper replacement, battery replacement, oil changes, tire pressure checking, etc.
  17. Write a post about the Asian car manufacturing industry versus U.S.-based production
  18. Compile a list of your favorite cars (10+) that have been made in the past few years
  19. Provide a post for car searches listing the best and most trusted car auction resources
  20. Go to a data site and grab some statistics on women drivers and men drivers. Create a post comparing the two.
Beauty Blog Post Ideas
  1. The 10 best smokey eye looks
  2. The best 5 natural mascaras to try
  3. Nightly skincare regime for dry (or oily) skin
  4. How to pick the right microdermabrasion specialist
  5. How to buy the best shades for your skin tone
  6. How to create different eye make-up looks for different occasions
  7. The worst things that women do to their skin on a daily basis
  8. How to choose and apply skin foundation for beginners
  9. A to Z list of the cheapest, quality all-natural products for face and body
  10. How to prevent split ends in the summer and winter seasons
  11. How to choose and apply eyelashes for beginners
  12. 25 ways that you can use coconut oil for your hair and body
  13. How to know when its time to throw out your old makeup
  14. Overhaul of the 5 most-recommended skin hydrators
  15. How to pick a complete make-up palette for beginners
  16. 5 reasons that you should buy a loofa sponge
  17. How to maintain highlights and prevent dryness
  18. The top 3 shampoos for dry hair
  19. 10 beauty essentials every woman over 40 should have
  20. 15 strange beauty secrets from women of the 19th century
Business Blog Post Ideas
  1. 4 ways that you can fund your new business without getting a business loan
  2. 20 marketing resources for your startup
  3. The psychology of true selling: How to make customers sell themselves
  4. 5 trends that you should be incorporating into your marketing strategy
  5. The science beyond the color red and marketing
  6. Conduct a 30-day lead development challenge (i.e. cold-calling, online advertising, event hosting, etc.)
  7. Do a list post of the most popular business logos, slogans, or mascots
  8. 5 ways to manage conflict in the office
  9. The 6 things every business should be doing to prevent data compromises
  10. How to hire an HR team when you’re a new business
  11. Create a list post of 20 quotes from famous entrepreneurs
  12. Perform a small case study of any aspect of your business (product research, consumer feedback, etc.)
  13. Write a “day in the life” post about your daily office duties, interactions and goals
  14. Create a “business terms” post for young entrepreneurs (ex: finance terms, legal jargon, etc.)
  15. Pose a question to your audience asking them what their most challenging issue is with their business at the moment? (then pose potential solutions to the most common complaints)
  16. Create a post discussing the 4 most common reasons why businesses fail (include stats and facts from reputable business sources)
  17. Draft an infographic post illustrating how to obtain and nurture leads from various sources
  18. Create an ultimate guide on how to develop a new product from start to finish
  19. Post a product review article about your top 5 business accounting software providers
Comedy Blog Post Ideas
  1. Draft a post about the most popular comedians (according to standup sales) in the past 5 years
  2. Create a post detailing how to become a standup comic or talk show host
  3. Draft a post detailing how to start your own comedy show on a budget
  4. Do a listicle of 20 of the most widely-quoted lines from movies
  5. Rank 10 comedic actors from best to worst according to film sales for roles in which they starred
  6. Do a “best of” post with screenshots of iconic looks from the 70’s
  7. Draft a “funny pets” (or animals) post capturing hilarious moments from non-humans
  8. Create a Family Guy post mashup with screenshots and quick blurbs from some of the most iconic scenes and episodes of the cartoon
  9. Create a “best new series” post listing the latest comedy series that with the best ratings
  10. Draft a post that includes 20+ resources for upcoming comedians and comedic writers (education, where to find gigs, best cities for opportunities, etc.)
  11. Do a rap or popstar parody video
  12. Create a list post of your top 20 comedy sites (be sure to link back to them)
  13. Draft a list post of popular comedy channels and comedians on YouTube
  14. List 10 tips quoted from the most famous comedians in the last 20 years
  15. Draft a post on the “psychology of humor” as it relates to Point of View and audience demographics
  16. Conduct an interview with an upcoming comedian and have him/her talk about the best ways to rise to the top fast in the world of comedy (along with pointers of what not to do)
  17. Hold a contest for your audience to submit their best 2-minute skits and create a post containing the top 5 (according to viewer ratings)
  18. Create a “best of everyday people” post that images sent in from viewers who’ve captured funny images or videos on camera
  19. Draft a post compiling 10+ videos of epic fails on the water (i.e. boating, canoeing, surfing, water skiing, fishing, etc.
  20. Create list post of the all-time best celebrity roasts and have your audience rate them from best to worst
Cooking Blog Post Ideas
  1. Create a “best of” holiday recipe blog post
  2. Draft a post on the best ingredients for gluten-free living
  3. Write a post about the benefits of paleo living
  4. Create a list post of the best slow cooker recipes you’ve ever found
  5. Write a post about how to cook chicken without drying it out
  6. Write a post about how to remove the smell of garlic from your hands (or how to easily peel garlic cloves)
  7. Do a juicer or blender review
  8. Write a post about 20 must-have ingredients for Indian cuisine cooking (or any other type of cuisine)
  9. Draft a post about the perfect steak recipe
  10. Write a “day in the life” post following a vegetarian or vegan
  11. Write a post on how to make common fast-food favorites at home (i.e. Chick Fila, McDonalds, Subway, Chipotle, etc.)
  12. List the best places to buy all natural meat and dairy products
  13. List the top 10 food spot recommendations when travelling in New York, LA, Chicago, or Houston
  14. Write a post about how to include more greens in your daily meals (kale, spinach, arugula)
  15. Rank 5 of the worst cheeses for dieters
  16. Write a post about how to eat healthy when dining hot
  17. Create a post about 10 ways that you can eat avocados
  18. Create a post on how to create your own spice or rub recipes
  19. Write a post about meal prepping (for students, dieters/weight lifters, or busy adults)
  20. Write an ultimate guide post on how to make smoothies with almost any fruit
  21. Write about 5 places to take cooking classes in a big city
  22. Do a kitchen knife review
  23. Write a post about how and where to buy the freshest fish and seafood products locally
  24. Do a “how-to” post on deep fryers
  25. Write a post about how to avoid eye irritation when cutting onions
  26. Create a listicle of 30+ ways to stay sanitary while cooking a meal
  27. Write a post on breakfast ideas that don’t include eggs
  28. Do 5-day juice diet challenge with your audience and have them post their weight results
  29. Write a post about 10 easy snacks that you can make in less than 10 minutes
  30. Draft a post about how to eat healthy foods on a budget
Education Blog Post Ideas
  1. Write a post about children’s reading development expectations from grades kindergarten to 12th grade
  2. Create an ultimate guide of how to choose the right school for your children
  3. Write a pros vs cons post on homeschooling
  4. Draft a post on how to work with children with specific learning disabilities
  5. Write a post about the importance of reading to your children
  6. Create a post about how to find a tutor when your child is struggling in a particular subject
  7. Write a post about a research study about ADD or autism
  8. Draft a listicle listing the best places to purchase reading programs for young children
  9. Create a post highlighting 5 child prodigies in the United States
  10. Write a post about how to spot and prevent bullying amongst high school students
  11. Write a “day in the life” post about a teacher at a local school
  12. Create a series about the benefits and downsides of standardized testing in schools
  13. Write a post about the 4 types of learning styles and how teachers can cater to each one
  14. Write a post about the DoE’s (Department of Education) budget downsizing for art and music programs
  15. Draft a post about the importance of student’s learning foreign languages
  16. Highlight the best public universities in the U.S.
  17. Create a list post linking to various college-funding resources for high school graduates
  18. Rank 10 online degree programs from best to worst
  19. Draft post on how to improve writing skills for high school students
  20. Write a post about how to support students interested in foreign exchange programs and where to find resources
  21. Craft a post for high school teachers about how to make their curriculum more interesting
Event Planning Blog Post Ideas
  1. The 10 worst places to host an event
  2. Write a checklist article about what to look for in a venue when event planning
  3. Do a “top 10” post for the best restaurants for hosting private dinner parties in a given city
  4. Write a post about how to find new clients when starting an event planning business
  5. Create an infographic post illustrating the most important steps of planning an event from A to Z
  6. Draft a post about how to resolve to most common challenges faced by event planners
  7. Create an open question post asking your audience to share their stories of the worst events they’ve ever witnessed (insert the best 5 in a new post)
  8. Create a 5-day post series walking your audience through the steps of planning an event
  9. Create a listicle on the 5 most popular types of event planning mistakes
  10. Find an event from a big brand and create a post highlighting some of the best features that made it a success
  11. Do a 30-day event planners challenge on finding local venues for weddings
  12. Write a post about the top 4 things couples look for when planning their wedding with an event planner
  13. Create a listicle of 20+ event-planning resources that every event planner should know about
  14. Conduct interviews with local event planners and have them speak about their daily routines, lead development strategies and how they find venues
  15. Write a post about how event planners should determine and increase their rates when necessary
  16. Draft a post about how to deal with clients who run into budget constraints
  17. Write a post about how to prepare for bad or uncertain weather conditions when planning outside events
  18. Create a listicle post listing everything that’s ever gone wrong in your experience as an event planner, and invite your audience to do the same.
  19. Write a post about how to plan for technology-based events
  20. Draft an article about how to deal with vendors in event planning
Blogger Blog Post Ideas
  1. Write a post about how to find writers for your blog
  2. Create a post about how to start a blog
  3. Draft a post detailing a study illustrating how word count impacts a blogs’ views
  4. Write a post about to make full-time income as a blogger
  5. Draft a post about how to find new niches to blog about
  6. Create a post about 10 six-figure bloggers and why they’re successful
  7. Write about how to make money from a blog that gets less than 7k views per month
  8. Write a post about the 5 most common reasons why blogs fail (include research if possible)
  9. Write a post about choosing the right design for your blog type
  10. Write a listicle about the various ways that you can increase traffic to your blog using social media
  11. Write a detailed post about how to do attraction marketing with newsletter signups
  12. Craft a post about 10 blog design fails that can affect your page visit time
  13. Draft a post about how to create a perfectly SEO-optimized blog post on WordPress
  14. Write a post about anchor text and its importance when blogging
  15. Create a resource list of your most-recommended blogging tools for both new and seasoned bloggers
  16. Draft a post about how to increase engagement with blog posts
  17. Write an article on the best places to find tutorials for blogging tools
  18. Create a post about how blogging can increase brand awareness for small businesses
  19. Draft a post about how to speed up your website (and check the speed) to increase conversions
  20. Write a blog post about the most effective ways to sell products on your blog
Finance Blog Post Ideas
  1. Write a post about how to save money by going green
  2. Draft a post about the most common energy usages in a home and how to reduce them
  3. Write a post about 20 side businesses that you can start in under 30 days
  4. Create listicle of money-saving smartphone apps
  5. Draft a post about 10 things to not do when shopping for a new or used car
  6. Write a side-by-side post about long-term investing versus short-term investing and how to determine which is best for you
  7. Create an article about how to make money from home (freelancing, VAs, Craigslist, etc.)
  8. Write a blog post about investing in a 401k from A to Z
  9. Create an ultimate guide post listing over 50 places to find WAH (work-at-home) companies that hire year-round
  10. Do a roundup of 10 other Finance blogs and link out to them
  11. Draft a post about how to trade stocks as a beginner with a small budget
  12. Write a post on how to budget as a college student
  13. Create a post about buying a home versus renting
  14. Draft a post about ways to save money while traveling overseas (and precautions to take)
  15. Create a post..
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Productivity and habit changing often go hand-in-hand as one tries to develop new approaches and establish more fluid workflows, all in an effort to keep up with every day personal and professional demands. Who hasn’t wished that there were 30 hours in a day instead of 24, though if this were the case the new target would be 36, right?…Parkinson’s law.

Taking care of home, staying on top of our business affairs, while trying to maintain our own personal needs can be a handful for anyone in today’s fast moving world. Finding ways to become more productive encompasses finding your own set of unique practices based on things such as peak alertness/energy times, lifestyle, and schedule…and of course a willingness to introduce new habits into your realm of daily functioning.

Which brings us to why we’ve sifted through some of the most highly-praised productivity and habit-developing books available today. Check out our pickings below to discover ways to be your best “productive self” and you may find that you can shave HOURS off of your day just by tweaking a few habits and outlooks.

5 Must-Read Productivity Books

1.Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity

This book arrived on bookshelves in 2001 and has remained a top seller since. Written by productivity veteran and New York Times Best Selling author David Allen, it includes some of the most effective methods for increasing performance, and in a way that isn’t chaotic or haphazard, but done with a clear and stress-free mind. Allen incorporates several principles into his delivery of some of the best ways to change the way you view and approach tasks. Inside the book Allen provides details on how to:

-Apply the “do it, delegate it, defer it, drop it” rule to get your in-box to empty
-Reassess goals and stay focused in changing situations
-Plan projects as well as get them unstuck
-Overcome feelings of confusion, anxiety, and being overwhelmed
-Feel fine about what you’re not doing

2. 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

In this page-turning read, Covey uses anecdotes, thoughtful insights, and a real step-by-step approach to functioning with authentic and holistic living principles. Covey’s theory of how certain personality traits and characteristics are prevalent in many of today’s most successful people is truly thought-provoking. Be sure to highlight the section on empathic (aka “effective”) listening, as it’s definitely one to refer back to. It’s hard not to spoil this one because it’s filled with so many gems on human nature and mindset patterns-but we’ll let you be the judge!

3. Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

Greg McKeown A New York Times Best Seller, Essentialism pulls focus from hoping for more time, to focusing on the “must do’s”. He illustrates how we can develop and apply an evaluation of what things should require our time-and how much of it they should require. This book is a great read because it takes a different approach from so many other productivity books, and brings home the point that we have the power to create more productive and fulfilling days for ourselves by taking specific, selective ownership (and guarding) of our time.

4. Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business

A best seller on Amazon, authors Charles Duhigg and Mike Chamberlain tackle productivity by demonstrating that “How” we think is more important that “What” we think. This read speaks to how new apps, productivity software, and other automation tools that are designed to make our lives more efficient can actually end up doing the opposite. This amazing read allows you to delve into key personal findings from various professionals on how they view the world and as it relates to their daily productivity-super interesting! Each of the 8 chapters focus on a different key component of managing productivity from Goal Setting and Focus, to Managing Others and Motivation-all the makings of a perfect read that encompasses productivity improvement with self-awareness as the backbone.

5. Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World

A WSJ Best seller, in this read, Jeff Bottoms and Cal Newport define “Deep Work” as “the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task. Deep Work actually flips the narrative on impact in a connected age. Instead of arguing that distraction is bad, it instead celebrates the power of its opposite. Dividing this book into two parts, they first makes the case that in almost any profession, cultivating a deep work ethic will produce massive benefits. Then they present a rigorous training regimen, presented as a series of four “rules,” for transforming your mind and habits to support this skill.

6 Must-Read Habit-Changing Books

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

The Power Of Habit is a longtime Best seller for The New York Times, USA Today, and The Habit Loop, and after reading it you’ll soon understand why! With fascinating examples and science-based deductions, Duhigg introduces a completely new deconstruction of human nature and its potential for transformation. In this brilliant read Charles Duhigg presents the argument that neurological patterns govern our habits. The pattern itself he mentions, consists of three elements: a Cue, a Routine, and a Reward. He demonstrates how understanding these components can help in understanding how to change bad habits and/or form good ones.

The book harnesses new science to illustrate how a “Habit Loop” is always initiated by a cue, or a trigger. Subsequently, your brain responds by determining which habit to use. Then finally, there is a reward that helps your brain ascertain if this particular loop should be stored future use. Anyone looking to make any type of major transformation in their life should ABSOLUTELY check out this book!

2. Who Moved My Cheese? An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life

Authored by Spencer Johnson, this entertaining read offers an amazing illustration about change. The two main characters, Scurry and Sniff (who are mice btw) are met with unanticipated changes and their contrary reactions to these deviations provide profound truths about the concept of change, and how it affects each of us differently. Suitable for all ages this short read (it’s less than 100 pages) provides a wonderful parable with strong messages surrounding how to survive in an ever-changing world. It’s definitely a book that’s worthy of an occasional re-read as needed!

3. The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simply Truth Behind Extraordinary Results

Gary Keller and Jay Papasan definitely struck gold with The One Thing. Keller co-founder of Keller Williams Inc. and Papasan, editor at Harper Collens Publishers immediately suggest to readers that they ask themselves one question, What is the one thing I can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?” Next, they suggest that your main day-to-day priority should be protecting and managing your time in order to focus on this solely. In the book, they offer super-effective (and easy to start)approaches to achieving and improving results in the many areas of our life for a complete professional, personal, and whole-body health.

Every chapter ends with a summary of its “Big Ideas” and even includes pre-printed pencil underlines to highlight the key ideas within each-so you won’t have to! Talk about an A for creativity!

4. Habit Stacking: 127 Small Changes to Improve Your Health, Wealth, and Happiness

A recommended WSJ best seller for anyone who’s serious about making significant changes in their life, Habit Stacking provides the perfect formula for developing a daily routine to achieve multiple goals. Broken down in to 22 different aspects of life including: ProductivityRelationshipsLeisureHealth/Fitness, and Finance, S.J. Scott presents a workflow approach to accomplishing many tasks within a given day in order to chip away at personal goals-all while avoiding overwhelming yourself.

Inside this book you’ll learn how to create easy and simply daily routines (and corresponding checklists) to build small habits that produce BIG results. Scott offers such a practical approach to change and habit formation that productivity will almost become second nature when implementing these strategies.

5. Mindset: The New Science of Personal Transformation

While this book may not be a bestseller like many of our recommendations, it definitely comes highly recommended. Dr. Siegel, a psychiatry professor at UCLA has offered a deep and mind-blowing insight into emotional intelligence and how obtaining it can allow us to free ourselves from toxic thoughts and actions, such as reliving bad memories and breaking unexamined emotional patterns. Through scientific research and stories from his psychiatry practice, he presents various approaches on how to gain this “mindsight” via everyday applications and acknowledgement.

Truly inspiring, you’re guaranteed to have an “aha” moment with this read.

6. The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can do To get More of It

Written by Kelly McGonigal, a psychologist at Stanford, Willpower Instinctexamines the psychology behind the various elements self-control. Based on her renown course, The Science of Willpower, McGonigal argues that willpower is a biological function that can be improved with mindfulness being at the forefront, and that emotional elements such as shame and guilt can and do often plague willpower, causing setbacks repetitive patterns. McGongial covers the topic from all angles and provides substantial case studies and research-based theories to show how self-awareness plays a critical part in how we harness the willpower to create sense of self-control.

The post 11 Book Picks for Productivity & Habit Changing appeared first on Read Write Work.

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Everyone has something that they’re good at, whether they’re aware of it or not. People who start their own side businesses or “side hustles” typically begin with something that they have an aptitude for, and then find ways to earn a profit from it. To assist you in brainstorming the perfect side hustle for your skill set(s) below is a list of low barrier to entry, budget-friendly side gigs that won’t require super-specialized training or high-priced certifications that can take months and years to attain.

  1. Virtual Assistant — Virtual assistants are a great asset to company executives and busy entrepreneurs (and busy people in all walks of life), as they offer much-needed assistance with scheduling and follow-up activities. You can contract out employees on a full-time or part-time basis in no time.
  2. Catering — Caterers will always be in demand. Try offering to cater the next gathering that you’re invited to in order to get a feel for a “day in the life”. Catering is a low-cost business to start and you can advertise via word of mouth as well as locally. Events are great too!
  3. Create an online store — Do you have anything that you simply love to purchase, make, or any interesting hobbies that you’re well-versed in? An online store is a great place to sell anything related to your favorite past-times. You can even create an authority site and take submitted articles and media from others (for content and SEO purposes) which’ll help you build up your authority fast-translating into more traffic. Setting up a website with an online store can be done in a matter of minutes, and there’s a TON of options when it comes to products.
  4. Baking — Do you have a baked dish or specialty that’s always requested at parties and soirees? Perhaps you can start spreading the word about your new “home-baked goods” in your city and maybe even hook some big events!
  5. Computer Repair — While computers become more sophisticated, it doesn’t mean that they’re fault-proof. Most households today have at least one computer and if you’re extremely computer/tech savvy, you can make a pretty penny assisting those who aren’t. Try to find a niche, as this market may be tough to break into given competition such as Best Buy, Apple, and other larger retailers who offer computer repair services as an ancillary product.
  6. Airbnb– Easily rent out your house for short-term lodging if you have extra room or are on vacation.
  7. Consulting Services — If you have specialized training or significant experience/expertise in any field providing consulting services is always a way to generate additional income, as individuals or small businesses may be more willing to seek out freelance consultants due to generally less expensive rates.
  8. News Paper Delivery — A reliable car (preferably an SUV or van) and GPS are all that’s needed for this side gig, which could net you an additional $200 or more a week. Granted, you’ll need to have an early morning availability, possibly even as early as 2am, in order to pick up your newspapers and deliver them to various neighborhoods.
  9. Event Piano Player/DJ/Vocalist/Band If you have any musical skills that’ll get a crowd of people on the dance floor, or are able to provide a nice mood music to an event, this may be a sweet side gig for you.
  10. Babysitting — A “no-cost” business, if you’re great with small children and babies, then babysitting can provide great side income for you. You can even join a babysitting service that’ll advertise for you locally.
  11. Life Coach — Life Coaches have been around for years, but the field has definitely received more attention within the past 5–10 years. If you’ve got any training in Psychology, Sociology, or perhaps just a knack for helping people with personal issues, why not get paid for it? Various training certifications are available in this area, and it’s definitely worth looking into.
  12. Caregiving — There will always be a need for caregivers for the elderly and those suffering with disabilities. You may need to get a certification or two, such as CPR, but this is a pretty quick business to get into-and a lucrative one if you’re looking to set up your own company. Simply contract out the workers, conduct thorough background checks, and start advertising.
  13. Influencer/Brand Ambassador- Do you have a large online following on social media? If so, you’re like catnip to companies looking to get their products in front of customers-which is all companies. Try reaching out to companies who sell products that you use and pitch them-big companies mean big payments.
  14. Dating Site — Dating sites are popping up left and right as people become more comfortable with the concept of online match-making. It’d be helpful to find a niche to cater to in order to establish a unique place in this field.
  15. Car Detailing — Depending on where you live, an on-the-spot car detailing service could be a quick set-up side hustle for you to make some extra money in high-traffic areas of your city/town.
  16. Uber/Lyft Driving — Uber and Lyft have taken the world by storm. If you have a decent driving record and reliable vehicle you can join the thousands of drivers who’re making a side notable income with these companies.
  17. Drop-shipping — Drop-shipping involves advertising tangible products online, acting sort of as a middleman, as the supplier then ships the products to the customer-which means you don’t have to worry about the headaches associated. Try visiting Alibaba to get a feel of wholesale products available within your niche.
  18. Mystery Shopping — Mystery shoppers visit local stores and restaurants to help companies gauge the level of customer service that their employees are providing, and they can provide a nice chunk of change depending on the job and company.
  19. Apparel Alterations — Do you love to sew? You can definitely stand out by offer cheaper pricing than most alteration providers (which is typically the cleaners) due to little to no overhead cost.
  20. Dog Walking — Work and family obligations means can often take people away from their pets, prompting them to hire outside help to keep their furry friends happy. Dog Walkers are prevalent in big cities and you’ll definitely be able to find a lot of dog lovers who want the extra cash.
  21. Search Engine Optimization Freelancer — New bloggers and websites need SEO in order to rank in search engines. If you have any training/experience in this realm the possibilities are endless as most SEO companies can be very expensive with fees starting around $300/month. You can also advertise your services on freelance platforms such as Fiverrand Upwork.
  22. Interior Decorating — Let’s face it, everyone doesn’t have an eye for decorating. If you have any interior design experience or knowledge and you like working with people, this may be a match for you. Even offering home staging services for mortgage companies can be a viable stream of side income.
  23. Cover Letter and Resume Service — If you have any writing or human resources experience, you may find a wonderful opportunity in providing resume services. As the workforce grows more and more job-hunters are looking to perfect their resumes, affording you an easy business to set up in no time.
  24. Furniture Making — Who doesn’t love hand-crafted furniture? If you’re good with your hands or enjoy woodworking, this may be something to explore.
  25. Cleaning Service — Another low-cost to entry business idea, a cleaning service can be a great if you’re comfortable managing staff. Or you can also even be your own cleaning service and work entirely alone. You’ll just need to purchase some equipment (and have a utility vehicle to haul it around)and start advertising. It’d be wise to check out the competition first to get a feel for the business.
  26. Ghostwriting — There’s so many fields that need ghostwriters that the possibilities are truly endless. This includes songwriting, blogging, online content, etc. Sites like Fiverr and Content Development Pros can definitely help you with getting more exposure.
  27. Party Planner — If you know how to throw a soiree this gig is perfect for you. Having great organization and planning skills are a must to survive in this business, but startup cost are little to nothing. Simple offer to throw a few events for your friends and co-workers, and word-of-mouth marketing can have you on your way to a nice side hustle!
  28. Personal Assistant — Lots of people are looking for assistance with running errands. There are even errand-running services such as Task Rabbit where you can work on-demand and earn some extra cash.
  29. Graphic Design Service — Graphic design services aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, even with plat forms like Canvas offering more simplified approaches to design. Sites like Fiverr, CrowdSpring, and 99Designs can provide you with great exposure to potential customers.
  30. Car Flipper — Do you know your way around an engine? Well, if you’ve got the sales skills to accompany it then car-flipping may be a way to make lump sums of money on the side. There’s tons of places on the net to find used cars such as online auctions, Ebay, and Craigslist.
  31. Handyman/Handywoman — Whether it’s a homeowner who doesn’t know the difference between a nut and a screw, or a management company that needs a part-time maintenance worker, this is another skill set that’ll always be in demand.
  32. Moving Service — Do you have access to a utility vehicle and a couple of friends who don’t mind working up a sweat-well here ya go! An easy gig to start, especially in large cities where there’s always a new apartment opening.
  33. Direct Selling — Though given somewhat of a bad rap due to shady companies and dishonest sellers, the direct selling world can be very lucrative. There’s tons of product and serviced-based companies that offer genuine opportunities. The reason why most people fail however is because they don’t set up a daily lead generation system (and this doesn’t mean harassing your friends and family) for their business. Like any other business, if you’re planning on selling it’d behoove you to find solid ways(or one great one) to generate your leads for the opportunity, its product/service, or both.
  34. Notary Public Service — Becoming a certified notary is about as easy as it gets and should cost about $100 for a state certification. And if you can provide mobile notary services you’re guaranteed to make some extra bucks for the added convenience.
  35. Financial Assistance — We all know someone at our job who does accounting and/or tax preparation on the side. If you’ve got a background in Finance, this may be a great fit for you.
  36. House Sitting — Yes this a thing. If you ever become struck with a wanderlust that takes you away for months at a time, then house-sitting may offer you the luxury of free paid lodging while you explore the world.
  37. Create a Niche Websites — Niche sites provide information on very specific topics and with good traffic can earn money with affiliate programs, online stores, and paid ads.
  38. App Developer– With new updates on smartphones coming out by the second, there’s a huge market for app developers for both iOS and Androids-and online video games as well.
  39. Buying Websites — You don’t always have to start a blog from scratch in order to make money blogging. Sites like Flippa are great places to find bloggers who’re looking to sell their blogs for various reasons (usually from a lack of time to manage them). Some of them are already making money and you simply need to develop content and continue SEO/advertising activities.
  40. Mobile Laundry Service — We’re living in an age where busy people are looking for on-the-go personal services in order to cut down their errand-running time, this could mean big profits for you.
  41. Junk Hauling Service — Services like this can be easily overlooked, but offer wonderful opportunities. If you can put together a small staff and have access to a hauling truck or utility van, this can be a great side gig as people are always looking to get rid of junk upon moving out of their house or apartment.
  42. Selling Ebooks — Digital book publishing has afforded many authors and writers the opportunity to easily and quickly publish their works online without the headache of having to deal with traditional publishing houses. Kindle publishing is definitely worth checking out as a good place to start.
  43. Blogging — Everyone knows that blogging can be a revenue generator these days. You can write about ANYTHING! Simply think of your niche/topic, set up your blog, and type way! It may take some time to get traffic, but the rewards are worth it!
  44. Home Inspection — Home Inspection can provide a substantial side income. You’ll need to get certified within your state which can be done in a matter of weeks, and it helps to have some construction knowledge-but if not, that’s ok too!
  45. Estate Sale Service — Estate sales are excellent cash machines. Be sure to do your research to get started in this business, and it’d be wise to check out other estate services to see what percentages they’re charging at the sale to be competitive.
  46. Modeling — Up and coming photographers and magazine editors are always looking for new faces. Check out your local newspaper and online community ad sites for gigs near you.
  47. Carpet Cleaning — An easy business to set up if you have the time-and a low-cost one as well. If you have a van or suv, you can quickly rack up some customers and make some nice profits, especially if you set up semi-monthly/annually maintenance service plan-a great option for people with pets.
  48. Gigwalking — This is a relatively new smartphone app that pays for the completion of simple, local errands. Worth looking into if you have free time during the day.
  49. Medical Transcription Service — Medical Transcription (transcribing doctors’ notes and voice-recorded memos) requires training and certification which can take up to 18th months, but there’s definitely a sea of opportunities available in this field. You can also start your OWN service and hire work-from home transcriptionists who already have their certification.
  50. Human Billboard — We’ve all seen and have shaken our head at the Liberty Tax Service workers twirling signs on the corners of intersections. Granted you’re in acceptable physical health, and are comfortable with laughing at yourself to some extent, this may be another revenue stream for you during the summer months.

The post 50 Ways To Make Extra Money: Side Business Ideas That You Can Start Now appeared first on Read Write Work.

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We’ve all fallen victim at some point or another to the mental anguish and flat out frustration known as a “rut”. The dictionary defines a rut as “a habit or pattern of behavior that has become dull and unproductive but is hard to change”. A rut is nothing more than a mental block that can develop from a myriad of reasons including: anxiety, being overwhelmed, fear, or even a lack of a fresh outlook. A psychological barricade at its finest, a rut must first be acknowledged before any true progress can be made to get past it. Below are a few tips on ways to climb out.

Cut Out The Chatter Of Outside Noise

Sometimes in an effort to gain direction we look in a thousand different directions, which can overload us and complicate simple steps by making them too complex with ideas. Keep things simple by avoiding outside opinions, online “how-to” browsing (which can cause a rabbit hole effect), and the “how we did it” stories of other people. Simply put your head down and listen to your own voice. Which leads us to the next point…

Gain Clarity

Knowing exactly what you want to achieve is key in driving your plans forward. When you’re on the fence with a goal or unsure about how to go about it, this lack of clarity will manifest itself in your activities. This can mean activities that never take place, or ones that simply aren’t generative of anything significant relating to your goal. Be clear about your goals and why they’re important.

Don’t Try To Do Too Much

We’re all guilty of biting off more than we can chew from time to time, for reasons varying from pressure from bosses at work, or our own self-induced pressures stemming for instant gratification. Learn to recognize your bandwidth, and remember that a good work/life balance is essential to both your physical and mental health. (This is one that I personally have to work on-a lot.)

Go Off-Course

NEVER be afraid to think outside of the box. We’re living in an age where millennials are leading the pack by defying conventions and creating new ways of doing things. And while this concept of Lateral Thinking really isn’t new at all, our shift as a culture has definitely become one that embraces innovation, encourages, and undoubtedly fosters it.

Fear Nothing

Fear the most toxic and debilitating of all human emotions. Its ability to place a locked grip on our psyche is unlike any other. When we truly fear something, be it to our physical self or to our emotional self (our psyche), we can lose creativity and cognitive reasoning ability. This easily sets the stage for an onslaught of limiting beliefs and self-sabotaging traits. In order to realize a goal, you must actually believe that you are capable and competent enough to undertake it. YOU ARE!

Acknowledge When You’re Making Excuses

The worst lie that we can tell is one to ourselves. If you find that there’s always a reason why you can’t complete the tasks, take a step back and ask yourself, “am I just procrastinating, if so, why?” Procrastination can mask itself as meaningful “must-do’s”, which are just time-wasting activities in actuality. Tedious activities, or ones that require deep focus or long periods of concentration usually provoke the best forms of procrastination. Be sure to recognize the difference between a true setback, and an elaborate excuse.

Stop Repeating What Isn’t Working

As the popular saying goes, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results.” Don’t be afraid to change course if you find that something isn’t going as you expected. Planning in itself is forecasting. You can make predictions based on what you already know and past circumstances, but until you’re actually in the thick of it you may just not know. Try making a small list of new ways to approach your plans in order to gain the breakthrough that you’re looking for. Also, consider stepping away from it in order to gain some prospective-a weekend trip with some friends perhaps, or a simple bike ride to help with brainstorming new approaches.

Being stuck doesn’t have to be your reality, and often times it’s not. Once you recognize that you’re not moving forward, begin taking small steps to unravel what’s holding you back, and before you know it you’ll be off to the races!

Remember, you CAN do this!

The post 10 Ways To Stop Being “Stuck” appeared first on Read Write Work.

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