Niche Ideas, Traffic Strategies, and Tools You Need to Make Money Blogging

Posted at September 16, 2016 at 10:23 am by Jerry Low

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When I first started blogging and affiliate marketing in 2004, there wasn’t much competition. It was easy to get your foot in the door and make money.

Now, things have changed. More and more people want in on the action, and Google is cracking down. While that all sounds like bad news, there is still a lot of money to be made in blogging. Take Pat Flynn, for instance. He made more than $93,000 in July 2016, and he’s just one example.

Of course, you can’t be like Pat Flynn overnight unless you have some smart strategies in place.

Fortunately, once you know how to get the ball rolling, you can start making some money with your blog.

I am going to help you with some personal tips of mine in this article.

Niche Ideas: Finding A Niche that Pays Well

You’re only going to be able to make money at blogging if there are people interested in spending money in your niche.

That means you need to pick a niche that you can make money on if you’re going to succeed. It’s important to understand that passion is critical since you’ll be blogging on the same topic for years. However, passion is only part of the equation. If you can’t make money in the niche, passion is futile. You’ll only be blogging for yourself.

Once you come up with an idea, you need to see if there is money to be made.

Tool #1 – Google Adwordshttp

Start with Google AdWords. Head over to the Keyword Planner and type in a keyword related to your niche. For instance, if you’re interested in PlayStation 4 video games, type that into the search box. Look at the search trends and the competition levels for the keyword. You’ll see that the competition is high, meaning advertisers are snatching keywords related to PlayStation 4 games up.

Tool #2 – Buzz Sumo

Next, you need to head over to BuzzSumo to see how your niche performs on social media. When you type your topic into the search bar, a list of results will come up, displaying all of the social shares and backlinks for that topic. This will give you a very good idea of how much social buzz your niche has.

Tool #3 – Commission Junction (or any affiliate network)

Now, you’re almost done with your niche research, but you need to use one more tool. It’s time to head over to an affiliate network, like CJ.com. Look for merchants that sell products in your niche and check out their network earnings. This will show up in the green bar. If their network earnings are good, that is a great sign.

Traffic Strategies

Once you found a profitable niche and started a blog, you’re ready for the next quest, targeted traffic.

First, you need to understand what targeted traffic is. When someone searches for a topic that is relevant to your niche, that is your target audience. Also, when someone follows a competitor on a social media site, that’s part of your target market. The same is true for someone who engages with a relevant social media post or a blog post. This is your target market, and you have to win that market’s attention.

How do you make that happen?

Where to Find the Traffic – Some Ideas

You know you need to develop web traffic, but where do you find it? It turns out the Internet is full of great places to get traffic.

Traffic Source #1: Facebook Advertisement

As the largest social network, Facebook provides ample opportunities to reach your target market. You can do this with Facebook ads. Facebook ads offer a fast and easy way to reach your target market. Just remember that your profit equals your revenue minus your cost, so you need to keep your costs down to excel with this strategy. Also, use Facebook Pixels to track your conversions so you know that you’re making money with your ads.

The key is to target your ads based on interests, digital activities, demographics, life events, and locations. The more targeted your ads are, the easier it will be to reach your target market.

There are a number of strategies and tricks you can employ with Facebook ads.

1. Boost Your Photo Albums

While many people create text posts and ads, photos are your best option on Facebook. According to a study, Facebook posts with photos have 120 percent more engagement. That engagement shoots up to 180 percent if the post has a photo album.

Of course, you aren’t going to put a photo album up as a Facebook ad. You have to get creative with this. You can turn a photo album into a graphic article, which is a fun way to transform a standard album into a visual presentation. You can also take a page from my playbook and take the photos from an album and turn them into a slide presentation. I briefly elaborated on each slide and included the relevant links for the photos. So far, this album has reached over 140,000 people, received more than 8,000 clicks, and gotten more over 950 page “Likes.” Of course, I didn’t get all of that traction by simply putting it up on my page. I managed to do that by creating a cool post and then boosting it.

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This is a fun ad option that lets you send your post out to the masses. Just be sure to boost it to people outside of your page. That way, you can pull in new people.

2. Create a Facebook Video Playlist

Facebook video playlists are another great way to reach your target market.

Don’t embed the videos from YouTube. Instead, upload the videos directly to Facebook. You can create video tutorials, behind-the-scenes footage vlogs, interviews, or anything else that you want, and then use them to bring in lots of people.

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There are lots of tools out there that make it easy to create videos. Use Wimeo, Magisto, and Animoto to make videos easily. If you want something that’s better quality, you can go with Camtasia Studio.

3. Amplify What Works Best for Your Blog on Facebook

You likely have some posts that have performed really well on your blog. Amplify those posts with Facebook ads. These ads will have high levels of engagement, and they will help you reach more people. You’ll drive more people to your blog or your Facebook page, which will help you monetize your blog in the long run.

Traffic Source #2: Search Engines/Google

Search engines like Google provide an excellent way to make money from your blog. Better search rankings equal more traffic and revenue. It really is that simple. Whenever someone stumbles on your blog via Google, the person is considered a warm lead. If you can provide relevant information to these leads, you can turn them into fans. Then, you can turn them into paying customers.

The question is, then, how do you rank better so you can get more traffic?

On Page SEO

While a lot of marketers put all of their time and energy into off-page techniques,you need to spend a lot of your time on your time on various on-page SEO ranking factors. This isn’t rocket science. You need to get back to basics, which means you need to tweak the headlines and title tags. Google doesn’t broadcast how it ranks websites, but researchers have determined that it still pays attention to headlines and title tags. It’s up to marketers to guess what it views as important, and titles and tags are still important.

Off Page SEO

It does go beyond titles and tags, though.

For instance, there was a rumor not that long ago that Google added CTR to its algorithm. Sites with a high CTR moved up into the results. Rand Fishkin at Moz ran an experiment and determined that Google does give sites with a high CTR a bump in the rankings.  That means that you need to tackle this issue so you can benefit from this algorithm change.

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If you follow these steps, you’ll boost your traffic from Google and other search engines. Once you get that traffic, you can convert it and start making money with your blog.

Traffic Source #3: Other Relevant Blogs

Your competitors have already done a lot of the hard work for you. They have spent time out in the trenches, digging up traffic. You can pull some of that traffic away from them by commenting on their blogs.

Blog commenting is one of the best strategies out there, and it’s also one of the most overlooked. It’s often overlooked because it’s rarely effective. It’s not ineffective because it’s a bad idea. It’s ineffective because people aren’t good at it. You have to engage in a meaningful conversation with a stranger. If you can do this properly, you will kill at this strategy. If you just go in and drop a link, you’ll be a nuisance. On the other hand, if you say, “nice post,” you won’t be a nuisance, but you won’t get anything done, either. You have to create a comment that makes people want to learn more about you. Then, they will visit your blog and become one of your readers. If you do this really well, you’ll even get the blog’s owner over to your site.

So how do you do this well?

First, only leave a comment when you have something meaningful to add to the discussion. Also, only leave a link when it’s appropriate to do so. If you have a post that is relevant to the original post, add it, but do this sparingly and be very careful. Spend a lot of time on the blogs and add to the conversation. You will start to notice a spike in your blog’s traffic coming from the blogs that you visit.

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Wrapping up…

You have the power to drive traffic to your blog, and then you can monetize that traffic. In order to make that happen, you need to find a profitable niche, and then you have to reach your target market. Spend time on Facebook ads, and then double down with Google and other search engines. Finally, head over to other blogs so you can reach your competitors’ traffic. If you use all of these strategies correctly, you’ll have a successful blog on your hands.

NBCRightNow Press Release

Posted at August 30, 2016 at 9:17 pm by Stacey Talieres

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At InterServer, we believe in delivering quality over quantity. As part of our core beliefs, we never want to overload our servers in order to take in more customers. In this day and age, where a vast majority of companies value profits over people, we at InterServer strive to do things differently. Two months ago we were determined to set a precedent that revolved around our values. Many that follow us know that we established a daily web hosting capacity limit to better serve our new and existing customers.

Today we are excited to announce our efforts have not gone unnoticed. We greatly appreciated NBCRightNow for covering this important story. Being able to gain recognition for doing something different than our competition will allow our current customers to know how much we appreciate them. This article will help our customers better understand the meaning behind why this was implemented. Our customers can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that the servers they intrust here at InterServer will never become overloaded. We will never sacrifice our superior customer support for a dramatic increase in new customers.

If you are looking for an affordable web hosting package at a per monthly rate of $5 with constant 24/7 customer support, InterServer is the web hosting company to choose. The price of your account at InterServer will always remain the same and will automatically renew each year at the same rate. Additionally, you will never be locked into a contract because that just isn’t our style. Simply put we believe in our service that much that we allow our customers the freedom to come and go as they please.

The Year 2000.

Posted at August 2, 2016 at 7:52 pm by Stacey Talieres

Change is an inevitable part of any process. The occurrence of change is not only limited to people, but business as well. Many are opposed to the notion of altering different facets of their lives or functions of a business. The common cliché that exists out there against any change is, “if its not broken do not fix it”. The fear of uncertainty that comes with change is all to familiar, however it is a bad business practice to ignore it. Refusing to adapt will leave your company strategically and operationally limited.

Since 1999, a lot has changed not only in the world, but also here at InterServer. In the past 17 years, a lot has changed in terms of the types of technology that exist. As seen in the archived image below of our website from 2000, the technologies that were new or standard at the time included PHP and T1 connectivity. It is incredible to think that we had begun just at the beginning of Web 2.0, the turn of the century, and even Y2K was a impending concern.

 

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As the years kept moving along, it behooved us to make sure that we kept up with the existing technologies in order to meet our clients demands. At InterServer we offer a wide array of products that we did not offer back in 1999. We offer the best products to meet the needs of an individual freelancer to a Fortune 500 company. With the customer’s needs in mind, we are always ready to adapt to their requirements when it comes to technological advances

With all these changes, many would believe that we have had to sacrifice our core principles and beliefs. However, we can attest to the fact that those goals have not and will not change. We will never budge on our core principles that include outstanding service and support. Our team will always be dedicated to offer the best security, reliability, and technical expertise in the industry. We always work around the clock, 365 days of the years to make sure that your business never skips a beat.

InterServer was built upon a vision led by Mike Lavrik and John Quaglieri. They built their dream around the belief of having the best service at the right price. This common goal, imagined by the two, has led to the growth and success of InterServer. Technology will continue to evolve around us, however it has never and will never change our core values and principles. As we look towards the future our mission remains to provide the best web hosting experience in the industry.

As you can see in the past decade, InterServer has undergone countless of changes. We have come a long way from our humble beginnings…

 

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DrupalCon 2016

Posted at July 12, 2016 at 2:17 pm by Stacey Talieres

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Early in May, InterServer was a proud sponsor of DrupalCon in New Orleans. It was a spectacular event comprised of a long list of amazing guest speakers a majority of whom traveled from afar in support of Drupal. Over 3000 Drupal enthusiasts and fanatics eagerly attended. DrupalCon gives the people who develop and use this system a chance to take part in activities that involve learning sessions, talks, code sprints, and of course social events. Here at InterServer we were delighted to take part in such an event that allowed us to meet individuals who have the same passion for Drupal as we do.

We always look forward to attending these events especially in the Big Easy because it allows us to gain awareness from fans of Drupal. Having a presence at these events is exciting because it enables people to learn more about InterServer and the hosting solutions that we provide. Not only is our main goal to provide the best hosting solution to our customers, but in addition, we strive to offer the most optimized Drupal hosting experience on the market. We would like to take the time to not only thank those that took part in this event, but also the fans who made InterServer’s visit to New Orleans exhilarating. Attending DrupalCon in New Orleans makes us eagerly look forward to the next year’s DrupalCon. Do not be shy to follow our blog as we will continue to offer support and advice for those who use Drupal.

Key highlights:

  1. Our swag was pretty off the chart with most all attendees sporting InterServer tote bags and enjoying our water bottles in an effort to remain hydrated.
  2. We enjoyed meeting tons of Drupal Developers all of whom presented tons of great questions and had great ideas and feedback.
  3. We had the opportunity to meet and develop partnerships with universities and other educational institutions.
  4. My favorite highlight from the Con  is that we were able to launch our special offer of one free year of hosting to anyone who holds an .edu email address. Since its launch at DrupalCon it has become a major hit amongst many! It’s our hope that this program benefits students all across the world looking develop projects that require web based services.

In light of the recent events involving Acquia who will no longer be hosting Drupal Garden customers’, we believe here, at InterServer, attending these events is crucial to the people who use and support Drupal. As we have mentioned in our previous blog entry, InterServer is offering a promotion of 1 penny for the first month of service followed with a per monthly rate of $5 in an effort to help all these customers find a new home. We are offer fully managed and free migrations. All of this will be handled by our team of migration experts carrying no contractual obligations.

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InterServer Is Now Migrating Drupal Gardens Customers

Posted at June 9, 2016 at 11:37 am by Stacey Talieres

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As of 8/1/2016 Acquia will no longer be offering hosting for Drupal Gardens customers. With that in mind InterServer is offering a promotion of 1 penny for the first month of service followed with a per monthly rate of $5 in an effort to help all these customers find a new home. We are offer fully managed and free migrations which are then handled by our team of migration experts. Our service comes with 24/7 on site support and with no contractual obligation.

When you export or migrate over to InterServer it will not disrupt your website’s layout or functionality in anyway. Below we have outlined the key steps that are required for a successful migration.

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Exporting:

In order to export your website to a backup:

    1. Login in as an admin to your website with the System: Administer site configuration website permission.
    2. Go to Configuration > Site export.
    3. Then Select a reason for exporting the list, and provide us with your reason for exporting the site. You will be required to provide further explanation in a text box.
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    4. Select Export.
    5. Shortly after Drupal Gardens creates a backup file, it will send the file to your browser.  Then save the .tar.gz file to your computer.Quick Tip: Varying upon the size of your site, it typically takes a short period of time for Drupal Gardens to create a backup and send it over to your browser.
    6. Evaluate the .tar.gz file to ensure that it carries the files relating to your Drupal Gardens site.

Quick Tip: File sizes may vary, therefore archived files for large Drupal Gardens sites may not have files in the /sites/default/files folder.

If your archive file has no files in the docroot/sites/default/files folder, we advise taking the following steps and downloading them from Drupal Gardens:

  1. You should install or have access to the wget utility.
  2. Remove the archive file to a different location on your computer.
  3. Use the command window to find the new docroot folder using the cd command.
  4. Use the following command depending upon your OS:
    • Mac OS X

./get_files.sh

      • Windows

get_files.sh

Drupal Gardens will direct your site’s remaining files to the docroot/sites/default/files folder.

Quick Tip: The site archive file does not include the /sites/default/files/styles folder or its sub-folders. When you import the site archive file into another Drupal environment, Drupal recreates the /styles folder and its sub-folders.

You should also export your site from the My sites page by selecting Export site in the site’s Actions menu.

Getting Ready to Import:

  1. Download a new site archive file from your personal Drupal Gardens site.
  2. Take the files from the site archive file to the folder from which your web service hosts your site’s files. That new folder will be the docroot of your website.Quick Tip: When you take the contents of the site archive file, you should not make a folder called docroot. However, take the site archive file contents of the docroot directly into the folder that hosts your website’s files. This will include the files in sub-folders (such as /sites) with a maintained folder structure.
  3. Locate the new docroot folder for your site where you will then open credentials-[sitename]-user1_[random].txt, where [sitename] is your Drupal Gardens site-name, and [random] is a vast array of numbers and letters.
  4. Acquire the User1 user name and password from that file.User1 is a Drupal superuser account. In the past this was not readily accessible when your site had been hosted by Drupal Gardens. When the site archive file creation process occurs, Drupal Gardens creates a new user name (user_1 plus a random text string) and generates a new password.

For further information about the user accounts in the credentials file, see Exporting your site.

  1. In the new environment, form a new database with no tables.
  2. Configure the new database and double check that your database user account has the required permissions to import database information.