I would like to earn money from my blogging, and have monetized my blogs, but how to get readers who will really click on ads, and how to get people to buy from my shops?
Sher from Czech off the beaten path posted the above question. And it is a very, very frequent one! How to make money with a personal blog? Can a personal, diary style weblog make money or is it a lost cause form the beginning? If you do a search for ‘make money with your blog’ on google than you’ll notice that one word keeps coming up over and over again. It is the (in)famous word ‘niche’. Now personal blogs like Sher’s are not exactly niche, so what can be done? Quite a lot, first:
1. Understanding how Google Adsense works
Asking ‘how do I get people to click my ads’ is actually asking things the wrong way round. It should be ‘what can I do that google displays ads that are relevant to my readers’. Lets recall how adsense works (in the ideal case). Somebody does a search for ‘something’ on google, a post of your blog shows up as a match for the search for ‘something’, the searcher comes to your, relevant, page and after reading it for a while, clicks an ad, leaves your site/ blog to go and purchase the advertised product. That is the kind of traffic Google is after for their ads. For a mixed bag blog like yours, Sher, it would help enormously if you would display only one post per page. The Google ads would be far more targeted and more likely to be clicked by the right kind of person. I would also try and play around with different ad formats and locations. The blogger platform makes it very easy to ad ads in different spots of the blog. To further increase your Adsense success I would suggest to
2. Using the niche concept on a personal blog
A niche is basically a tightly focused blog or web site. Classical niches include ‘making money online’ or ‘lawyers/ insurance by geographical area’. Now, I don’t suggest that you change the way you write your blog completely, but perhaps a bit the way how you organize it. Jot down your main topics like Prague, traditions, travel etc. Think in terms of categories and keywords/ tags. Simply try to optimise each post to the best of your ability for the search engines. Try to organize your blog content as neatly as the blogger platform allows. Some important places to check out are
Google Keyword Tool to check what Google thinks your blog is about and to brainstorm keywords and
Google Webmaster Tools to check the Google health of your blog.
3. Spring cleaning your blog
Actually this one should have been point number 1! As I checked your blog it was like, eh, oops which ads/ shops is she talking about??? Your sidebar is a bit unorganised and pretty cluttered with all sort of things. Think of your sidebar(s) as real estate, everything above the fold is prime location, the next ½-1 screen scrolled down is middle ground and everything below that is dumping ground. Go through each of your widgets/ gadgets/ text boxes etc and ask yourself:
3.1. Is this adding something positive/ value for my blog visitors?
3.2. Is this adding something positive/ value for my blog as such (traffic/ income etc)?
3.3. Is there any reason why I have it?
3.4. How important is this really?
3.5 What would happen if I delete it?
And than go and change the order of things, the least important get deleted, the most important ones moved to the top, the rest arranged by importance in the middle in between 😉 For example, your twitter widget box. Why do you have it? I try to answer the questions for you:
3.1. Nops. Your visitor comes to read your blog posts and as your updates are protected will not necessarily try to follow you.
3.2. Nops, as you have your updates set to private (at least in the twitter time line) and really don’t ad many people to your followers, so it doesn’t help much in terms of traffic. The only thing which is a bit positive, is that it updates your blog with a tiny bit of new content regularly.
3.3. That one you have to answer.
3.4. Not very.
Solution: If you want to keep it, at least send it to the bottom of your sidebar.
OK, your turn 😉 Spring clean time for your sidebar! In the long run you might want to think about changing your template to a fluid, two column one that allows for more flexibility in arranging content and makes a better use of space. There are tons and tons of free blogspot templates out there 😉
Your online shops:
I guess you know it for yourself, both of them need some updating/ lay-out improving/ more content.
The Amazon one is pretty good, you might want to play around a bit more with the color and lay-out. I also would include less, but more targeted, products here. Do the majority of your visitors come from the US? If not, you might want to ad more, country specific, shops to your list. In all the cases I would move this one more to the top and advertise it with a nice banner, so that the link stands out more.
The Zazzle one has only one single photo on 9 different products, here you have great potential for improving! And as soon as that one is updated and ready for visitors, move it also to the very top of your sidebar! Zazzle provides all sorts of widgets to make the display on your sidebar more visually appealing than a simple text link.
Résumé or Check List for a better converting blog traffic:
1. You have great, frequently updated content on your blog. That is a huge plus you can be proud of!
2. Set display option to one post per page.
3. Use Google Tools to learn more about how Google sees your blog and to get ideas.
4. Start to think about the possibility to get a new template.
5. Organize content better.
6. Clean up sidebar and re-organize.
7. Update your shops.
I hope my answer was not to harsh and helped you at least a bit to improve the earning from your blog! It is certainly possible to earn money from a personal google blogspot blog. You are already of to a very good start! Next one please 😉 SY
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