Why Does Your Business Not Blog?

A recent study by HubSpot found out that businesses that actively maintain their blogs draw as much as 7 times more visitors to their websites than businesses which do not have blogs. What does this mean?

Does your business depend on getting many visitors to your website? Or, would it benefit your business if your website had more visitors? Yes? Then you need to have an active and well maintained blog for your business.

What makes a good business blog? It may surprise you, but the big accounting and consulting firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers once did some research on what makes a good corporate blog. Here are their published results. From reading their white paper, some of the main points, in my mind, are:

  • Demonstrate expertise – Position an employee and/or the business as the industry thought leader.
  • Build customer relationships – Develop personal, long-term relationships with customers; collect feedback, insights, suggestions, complaints and endorsements; and increase intimacy by giving the business a human voice.
  • Enhance company credibility – Utilize a high-profile, press-monitored venue to directly address and respond to issues related to the company. During times of crisis, explicitly address needs and concerns of stakeholders. In other words, use the blog to paint the best picture possible for your business.
  • Expand company visibility – Link the blog to related Web sites via RSS to generate interest from new parties, including the media and competitors’ customers. Basically, use the blog to increase the number of people who know about you, and can find you.
  • Increase collaboration – Create a workspace in which project teams can interact.
  • Promote knowledge management – Provide employees with information and resources in an easy-to-navigate format.
  • Strengthen recruitment – Generate interest in the business from potential recruits by demonstrating candor and credibility in the blog.
  • Test progressive ideas – Gauge public interest to out-of-the-box thinking by posting ideas and monitoring responses.
  • Heighten search engine rankings – Raise rank and profile of business by building a high number of links to the blog.

Apart from those pointers, the white paper goes further and lists some additional tips:

  • Remember that blog readers are not passive consumers; they are actively seeking a ‘scoop’ or insight from your blog.
  • Do not just blog for blogging’s sake. Make sure that what you write about is interesting and engaging.
  • Authenticity is critical to creating a successful blog; readers know when content is primarily focused on marketing the firm/company.
  • Updating the blog on a regular basis is key to engaging readers and driving return traffic.
  • Be sure to incorporate RSS feeds. RSS feeds allow readers to receive blog updates in real-time.

So, why exactly does your business not blog?

How To Make Money With A Simple Blog Business

Well, after all the boring stuff – thinking of a topic, researching, setting up a simple blog and promoting it – it is now time to start earning some money out of your new simple blog business!

As said previously, the strategy is to set up a blog and optimise it so that when people search for your topic, they find you. You think make money from Google Adsense when they visit your blog. But what is Adsense? Basically, Adsense is a tool that allows you to place advertisements on your blog. Google uses fancy software to make sure that the advertisements are relevant to your blog. For example, if your blog is about golf, your readers will see golf related adverts. How do you earn? Whenever someone clicks on any adsense advertisement, you get paid. Therefore, the more people who click on your adsense ads, the more you get paid. Nice, eh? Thousands of people earn their money this way.

Integrating adsense into your blogger blog is very very easy. Here’s some excellent reading for beginners:

For best results, I recommend that you set up your adsense “ad blocks” in these three places:

  • The top of your blog, just below the title
  • The sidebar
  • The footer. This works best if you have set your homepage to show only one blog post

By doing the above, you’ll maximise the chances of people clicking on one of your adsense adverts.

How do you get your money?
You are able to check your earnings at any time in your Google Adsense Account. Google will only pay you when you reach a certain minimum limit ($100). It may certainly take you over a month to reach that limit but if you follow the steps I have outlined here and in the other posts of this series, you are guaranteed to get more and more visitors and see your earnings rise and rise. Google will then send you a cheque or transfer the funds electronically.

How much can you earn?
Depending on the topic you are writing about, you’ll make anything from a few (US) pennies to one or two dollars every time someone clicks on your Adsense ads. This can quickly build up if your site has a good number of visitors. The more you blog, the better it gets!

So that’s it – a simple step by step guide to starting a simple blog business. Any questions? You have no excuse – get your own simple blog business.

You can use KeyWordSpy to estimate how much each click pays for the topic you are writing about. The amount that you will earn is approximately half the amount that Keywordspy estimates the click to be worth.

How To Promote Your Simple Blog Business

If you’ve been following the series so far, we’ve managed to have a good thought about what we want to blog about. We then did a little research and finally set up nice new blogs. Before we start making money from our blogs, we need to let the world know about them – or else the will die, painfully.

If you recall, the simple blog business strategy revolves around getting visitors from our blog from search engines. Therefore, when telling the world about our blogs, the best way is by high quality backlinks. If done right, this will give you a high ranking on the search engine results pages and you will start getting visitors. Ideally, you should be spending two or three hours a week doing this. Here are just a few ways to get you started:

Yahoo Answers – This is a pretty simple and effective approach. Just head over to Yahoo answers and answer related open questions, putting your blog as the “resource”. The trick is to make your answers very high quality. It takes only a few minutes to post an answer but if you do this 2 to three times a week, you’ll have lots of great backlinks from an authority site.

Comment On Other Blogs – Most blogs let you comment on each post on the blog. Just find related and interesting blogs and post your comments on the articles you read. Make sure you actually read the posts and leave a meaningful well written comment. Most comments left on blogs will not really help you rank better in the search engines but they will popularise your blog and connect you with other bloggers.

SquidooSquidoo is another effective way of promoting your blog. Set up a squidoo lens and put up a bit of quality content – you can steal this from your site. Make sure you link back to your own site. Also, optimise your squidoo address to be relevant to your blog. For example, get something like: squidoo.com/yourblogname

Your Other Blogs And Sites – Place links to your new blog from other websites or blogs that you own/run. If it is your first blog, create another free blog on WordPress.com and link to yourself from there.

Submit articles to article directories: I’d say the three main directories are EzineArticles, GoArticles and SearchWarp. The articles that you submit should be keyword optimised (just like your blog posts) and should be unique. Make sure you link to your own blog – the author Bio area is perfect for this!

Submit your blog to social aggregation sites like Digg, Netscape, Stumbleupon, etc. Even if your articles don’t get a high rank on these sites, the backlinks you get are very helpful!

Directories – Submit your blog to as many online directories as possible. One particular directory, DMoz, is of note – make sure you submit there. It is hard to get listed (your blog needs to be high quality) but a link from Dmoz is very valuable.

There are probably 100s of ways to promote your blog but the above are some of the most simple and popular. Keep doing this effectively and in 30 days or so you will start seeing consistent and growing numbers of people visiting your blog from search engines. Here are 52 other ways to promote your blog.

To track how many visitors you get and where they come from, use a simple and free tracking tool like StatCounter.

Ok, that’s it for today. Next, we’ll get to the part where we start making money! Do not miss out. 🙂

How To Start A Simple Blog Business

Okay so we’ve thought about the topic we want to blog about and even did some keyword research. It’s now time to create our simple blog business. The easiest place to create a blog to make money from is www.blogger.com. So go on over there and create your blog in five minutes. Once you have filled in your information and accepted their terms of service, you get to the point where you get to pick the name of your blog. Nice, eh? You’re almost there.

You’re going to base the name of your new blog on the keyword that you selected. Remember? For example, I’d choose “classic cars” so I would want my blog’s name to be:


Those are probably already taken, though. What to do? Simple, let’s add a word infront to make it unique:


I hope you see that the possibilities are endless. Just pick a name and go on. Don’t get stuck choosing! It doesn’t really matter much whether your name has dashes (-) or not.

Ayayai, we have a spanking new blog. What shall we do first? Write our first blog post, of course! This is the part where most people fail. It is really very easy but it requires consistent work and focus. You need to spend between 2 to 3 hours per week doing this. Is that too much? Yes, it is a little bit of work but it WILL pay off. Just do it and stick with it. If you can consistently write optimised posts for your blog you willl attract the attention of Google and other search engines and you will get visitors to your blog. You will then be able to make money using adsense. (We’ll discuss how in a bit, no worries).

First things first, what type of things do you write on your blog? Remember the keywords? Specifically, the keyword list, like this one:

Google Keyword Tool

Well, you’re going to write a letter two to three times a week related directly to one of those keywords. You can fake your way to a great blog by pretending you’re writing a letter to a friend. Easy? That’s all that blog is, in a nutshell. Assuming you picked a topic that you just love, is writing letters about it that hard? Each letter you write is going to be about one of the keywords that you found. So, for my cars example, I’ll have to write about old cars, used cars, sports cars, etc etc. Get it?

For each of your blog postings:

  1. Should be 100% valuable and interesting to anyone who may read it.
  2. The title should be the exact key word that you are writing about.
  3. Should be between 350 to 500 words long and should contain your exact keywords repeated three to four times.
  4. Should have the exact keywords in the first 50 and last 50 words.

That’s it! Go forth and start blogging 🙂

If you write 3 or 4 ‘letters’ a week you will start getting visitors to your blog and you will then be able to start earning money from your blog. But you need to start getting those visitors. That’s the subject of the next article in this series. Make sure you don’t miss that!

How To Make Money With A Blog

I once wrote elsewhere, “What is a blog? A web log, which is usually shortened as blog, is a type of website in which entries are made much as in a journal or diary and displayed in chronological order. But that’s just the technical mumbo-jumbo. A blog can be anything you want it to be. Your diary, your magazine, your newspaper, your photo album, whatever.”

Three years later, the definition of a blog hasn’t changed much. Enough with definitions, though – I’m sure many people don’t know (or don’t care) what a blog is. The more important question is, how do you make money from a blog? There are lots of ways to do it, and I shall talk about a few today.

Before you even think of earning from your blog, you have to think of how you will attract visitors to your blog. If no one ever reads/views your blog, then you can be certain that you will not make even a single shilling from it. Got it? Good. On the internet, traffic is key.

Please have a look at this: How to build a successful website.

So, how do you make the chapaa?
I shall assume that you have somehow managed to build a successful blog, and that a reasonable number of people visit it everyday. Also, I shall assume that your blog is filled with content (words, videos, pictures, etc) that people find interesting or useful.

Here’s how you make money from such a blog:

Advertising – The obvious way to earn from a blog is by selling advertising space. Look at it this way, you have a good number of readers who visit you everyday – advertisers will be interested in pay to reach those visitors.

There are two ways to earn from advertising:
1. Self served Ads – basically, ou approach a company and tell them that they can advertise on your blog. If they agree, well, you get paid.

2. Advertisement networks – if you don’t want to go through the trouble of approach companies directly to advertise with you, you can join an advertising network where they approach the companies themselves and all you do is display the adverts and earn. This is a very popular way of making money online and thousands of websites (including blogs) survive and thrive on this model. Normally, you are paid a few cents (US $) when someone clicks on an advert. If you have many visitors then you can earn millions.

RSS Advertising – all blogs have an RSS feature. (What is RSS?). The idea is basically the same as above – place adverts in your RSS feed. Feedburner is a popular RSS advertising service.

Sponsorship – You know how Project Fame is sponsored by Tusker? The same thing could happen on your blog and is already happening at a lot of other blogs.

Consulting and Speaking – So you’ve built a really successful blog and it is widely read. This means people will start viewing you as an authority in the topic in which you write about. For example, if you write extensively on relationship advice, you may one day get the opportunity to be a paid get speaker at some event somewhere. Another example: even though Like Chapaa is young, we’re getting offers to act as consultants guiding new internet business owners. The returns are gooood.

Merchandising – In my own opinion, this one is tricky to pull off but it is possible. Suppose that you built such a wildly successful and popular blog named “Example Blog”. Maybe some people would buy and proudly wear Tshirts and other merchandise bearing your blog’s name and logo. Cafepress is powering an increasing number of bloggers to earn in this way.

Digital Assets – Increasing numbers of bloggers have been developing other digital assets to support and add revenue streams to their blogs. By this I mean that I’m increasingly seeing e-books, e-courses and e-seminars being run by bloggers.

Affiliate Programs – basically, this is using your blog to sell other people’s goods and services for a commission. It is one of the most popular ways of earning on any website (not just blogs). Where do you find these goods and services that you can sell at a commission? try: Clickbank, or CJ.

Blog Network Opportunities – Blog Networks are groups of blogs which work together to attract visitors and earn incomes. Blog networks these days are high profile and popular. Joinging such a network could be lucrative. It may not be easy, though. Why should you join a blog network?

Business Blog Opportunities – many companies (internationally, not sure about Kenya) are now starting blogs. (Because blogs are too important to ignore). Some companies use their existing staff to write their blogs. But an increasing number are hiring specialist bloggers to run their blogs for them.

Writing Opportunities – When you have a popular blog, people notice you. They know how good you are at writing on the subject matter of your blog. It is therefore not uncommon for bloggers to get jobs or freelance gigs at magazines and newspapers. (For example: I’ve been approached several times to have things I write on Like Chapaa printed elsewhere).

Flipping Blogs – Build a big beautiful blog and sell it for huge profits. This actually happened with NBB.

Donations – put out the tip jar and ask your readers to support you. It’s a simple concept 😛 Kottke.org is the only example I could find of a blog doing this well.

I realise that just mentioning the above is not good enough. I shall therefore follow up with case studies of each or most of the above methods being successfully used. Stay tuned! Subscribe to my RSS feed (free) or sign up for free email updates so that you don’t miss a thing!

How To Build A Successful Blog (Interview)

Meet Alborz Fallah, the owner of the famed owner of Car Advice. In 2008, Alborz’s blog was independently valued at $5.9 MILLION dollars. He now has a team of full time writers producing content and he gets to drive expensive cars, which he then writes about in his blog. And giess what? It all started with a computer in his bedroom.

Alborz was recently interviewed over at Yaro’s blog. Here’s some of the most important points to take away from the interview (in Yaro’s words):

  • You can start a blog and choose top level categories in very competitive markets, if you niche it down based on geographical location. In other words, you can start a car blog and target just your country to differentiate it. There’s big bucks to be made as the leading blog in just one country for mainstream subjects.
  • When you don’t know what topic to blog about, pick what you think might work and just put something out there and see what happens.
  • You can build a significant blog based only on part time labor, if you are dedicated and get things done during the time you have available to work on the project.
  • Sometimes, being controversial can do wonderful things for your traffic. Strong opinions will always stick out and grab attention.
  • Search engine traffic is very powerful if you just do a few things right, like blog post titles in Alborz’s case.
  • Think BIG with your blog, it doesn’t have to be just a small publication – consider taking things to the next level with the help of financial investors.

Download an mp3 of the whole interview, or get the text as PDF.

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