Do you have a family blog?

If you are looking for a unique and easy way to interact with your extended family then WordPress is the ultimate solution.  

Creating an online family newsletter is a great way to keep your relatives up to date on your life.  

If you are considering doing a family newsletter, check out four reasons why WordPress is the perfect platform…

1. Price

WordPress is free, you can even use their WordPress.com service to host your site for free.  You also don’t have to pay any money to design your family website.  WordPress has thousands of free themes that will change the whole design of your site with the click of a button.

2. Dynamic Nature

WordPress is the ultimate tool to post dynamic content.  What that means is it is made for publishing time sensitive content that is continually being updated.  Out of the box with no settings tweaked WordPress will naturally publish your content by date, with the freshest news displayed.

3. Easy Picture Galleries

WordPress makes it so simple to upload a picture.  You just click one button and you can add a picture to your latest news posts.  Take it one step further though and upload a number of pictures.  WordPress has a built in gallery feature that will allow you to share all your Christmas pictures in one post.  They will appear in a nice grid formation as thumbnails that expand when clicked.

4. Add Authors

You can easily add other authors to your WordPress powered site.  Why is this important? Well imagine you and your family live in NY, but your brother and his family live in LA.  You can add your brother as an author and he will be able to add his own family updates and pictures.  You can add as many family members as you want as well.  WordPress will also show which author wrote what, so you won’t get confused on updates.

These four reasons alone should be enough to show you that WordPress is the best way to deal with family updates and/or newsletters.  

The ability to add content constantly, have it organized and include picture galleries means that your family newsletter will never be looked at as boring again.

How to centre an embedded YouTube video

At some time you will want to embed a Youtube video on your WordPress site.  Video can add interactivity and excitement to a blog post.  Luckily, WordPress and Youtube make this a very  easy process.  Centering your Youtube video can be a tricky process though, especially if you don’t know any coding.  There is a very simple fix though, that will ensure you can center any youtube video, or any object for that matter.

First you have to get the video into your post.  You go to Youtube, click embed (under video), choose your options and copy the code.  You then take that code and paste it into the WordPress HTML editor. Remember you have to set to HTML, using the button in top right corner.  Then you simply paste in your Youtube embed code. Now you have the video in your post or page.

Once you have that done you can switch back to the visual tab on the WordPress editor.  You will see your video (or object) as a large yellow box.  Ideally, you could simply click on that box and click the center button on the editor.  That doesn’t work.  I am not sure exactly why, but it is probably because the center command in WordPress inserts html code that the object doesn’t recognize.  Even if you wrap the object yourself in < center > tags it won’t work.

The fix is pretty simple though.  You just have to navigate back to the html part of your editor.  You won’t see the yellow box now you will see the embed code for the video.  Right before the embed code, enter: 

div (in between html brackets of course)

And then after the end of the embed code:

/div (also in html brackets)

When you switch back to your visual editor you will notice the yellow box is centered!  Now that you have learned this code you can center any youtube video or other object in each of your posts.  Use it often enough and it won’t be long until you have the code memorized. Try it on your next blog post and let me know how it works.

A Quick 11 step WordPress Set Up Cheat Sheet

This is a quick, 11-step WordPress set up guide. This won’t teach you how to completely create your site but it is a good reminder of the simple starting steps everyone should take when they begin their WordPress journey.

1. Install WordPress

This is pretty self explanatory. The first step should be to install WordPress on your host. WordPress has a great guide to follow so this shouldn’t hold you up. Some webhosts even have something called Fantastico, if your hosts does you are in luck! Fantastico will install WordPress automatically for you.

2. Login to your new site

Again self explanatory. The way I usually access my WordPress site is by adding a /wp-admin after my domain name in my web browsers address bar.

3. Make sure your email addresses are set

This is important because this is where you will get your updates and password if you ever lose it. There are two places to make sure your password is set. The first spot is in Settings->General. The other spot is in your Users menu – you will want to ensure your Admin email is correct.

4. Change your permalinks

I suggest this to all clients. In your Settings menu there is a Permalinks section. Open that menu and then choose your new style of permalinks. For the ultimate in clean URLs I suggest choosing custom structure and inserting the following string: /%postname%/. This will make the title of your posts be the web address.

5. Add your title and tagline

In General Settings once again add the name and tag line of your blog. The name is anything you want – keyword rich is best. The tagline is your site’s description.

6. Choose your theme

If you want to use a theme (you do) you can find a wide variety to choose by using your WordPress back office itself. Just navigate to Appearance->Themes and then use the tools they have to search for a theme. Once you find one to your liking download and activate it.

7. Install your plugins

Any plugins that you wish to add, do so now. Plugins are very flexible so you can add more later on if you discover one you need. Install whatever plugins you think you need. I would suggest that you definitely include All-in-One SEO and XML Google Sitemaps. They will both help with your SEO and each has fantastic support if you need to know more. I would also suggest Askimet but it comes installed already.

8. Activate Akismet

I think this should be done as soon as possible. Askimet is a great spam blocking plugin that ensures your site isn’t full of spam comments. As soon as you start adding content you will notice the spam beginning. Askimet has a huge database of comment spam so it can usually pick up and block any on your site. If it does make a mistake then you can manually override it for a particular comment and it will actually learn from that. The one caveat to this is you have to get a WordPress API key. To get that API key you have to sign up for a free account on wordpress.com. Not a big deal, but an extra step you might not be aware of.

9. Check your privacy

In your Settings menu there is a Privacy heading. Click it and make sure your blog is visible to everyone. If it isn’t, Google will not index any of your content!

10. Add your widgets

Under Appearance there will be a Widgets menu. You can use this to add functionality to your WordPress site using the sidebars. If you chose a widget ready theme (most are) you will have one or two sidebars (or more) on your site. In the widgets menu the sidebar will show up and you can drag and drop “widgets” into it. These widgets can be things like a search bar, an archive, a calendar, a recent posts list or a text/html box that you can put just about anything in. There are even more widgets than that available. There are even downloadable ones if the standard ones don’t do everything you need.

11. Create content

Now you can create some content! You can add pictures, galleries of those pictures, an about page etc… You can also start making posts – remember to create categories to keep them organized. Take advantage of the tag feature as that will come in handy when you have hundereds of posts. It helps with searches on your site as well.

That is the bare minimum to get started with WordPress. You will have to learn a lot more but when you do, you will be happy you made the move to WordPress. Happy blogging!

Are you making these 3 big traffic mistakes?

Do you care about your blog’s traffic?

Some people don’t really care about traffic, they just write about what they are feeling.  They are happy to just have friends and family find their blog.  There is nothing wrong with that. For other people traffic is king.  Some people use blog to make money through ads or affiliate offers.

Other people use it to build a brand and direct traffic to their money sites.  In either of the latter scenarios, traffic is important.  If traffic is that important to your site then you have to monitor it.  There are a lot of free options out there to monitor traffic.  The problem is that people get way too wrapped up in these.

If you care about traffic and want to monitor it, then avoid these mistakes:

1. A visible counter

These used to be found on a lot of sites, there is a reason they aren’t anymore.  They are lame.  Counters on your website are just too old fashioned.  No one really cares how many people have been to your site, except you.  Besides being cheesy, they are also completely useless and usually inaccurate. There are a lot of options that let you monitor traffic behind the scenes, so stick to them.  

2. Living and Dying by Alexa Rank

Alexa is a website that ranks other sites based on traffic.  People new to blogging love to watch their site rise on the Alexa rankings.  I used to be one of these people until I realized how useless it really is.  

First off, Alexa only counts when someone with the Alexa toolbar comes to your site.  So sites that attract webmasters and technical people will have better results than a site that doesn’t attract people likely to have the toolbar. For example, I had a general interest blog that got about 13k hits per month.  My friend had a blog that attracted more techy people and got about 3k hits per month.  Even though he had 10k less visitors per month than me, his Alexa ranking was hundreds of thousands better than mine.

You can easily tweak your ranking too.  Just install the Alexa toolbar and surf your own site.  I installed it last night, and checked out my site a couple times, I woke up this morning having gained 6 thousand spots on Alexa.  That was with NO effort either.

3. Stat Addiction

This happened to me and it was worse than crack.  I had to wean myself off of checking my stats to curb the withdrawal symptoms.  Okay, it wasn’t that bad, but it can be quite addictive.  I had three traffic monitors on my site at one time.  I had Google Analytics, StatCounter and Woopra all on one site.  Besides negatively effecting my load times there is no need for this.

There is no real benefit to monitor your traffic every 10 minutes.  I can understand checking it after a new post or something.  That way you can monitor how effective the post was.  Besides that though, you need to chill out on the traffic monitoring.  

It is a huge time sink.  

I was checking my stats 10x a day, taking 5 minutes to do so each time.  That is almost an hour of wasted time. 

I could have created two high quality blog posts in that time.
I could have created dozens of backlinks to my site.
I could have promoted my blog through social media.
I could have done anything more productive than staring at my traffic stats!  

My suggestion is to check your stats at the start of the day each day, and maybe at the end of the day as well.  That way you can still monitor the effectiveness of your content, but you won’t waste hours a week doing it.

Monitoring traffic is important for most blog owners.  We all want traffic right?  With that said, make sure you avoid the above mistakes.  Don’t get swept up in the traffic monitoring hurricane.  

Traffic is important, but it will come whether you monitor it or not.

4 big reasons to use premium themes…

WordPress is a one of the internet’s most popular web publishing platforms. One of the biggest reasons for this are the themes.  With WordPress themes you can instantly change the style and look of your website, with literally a click of a button.  

Another great feature is that many of these themes can be found for free.  If you have been using WordPress you have probably done many Google searches for free themes.  They are out there and in some cases they are fabulous.  

What about paid themes though?  Have you ever thought of paying for a theme? Would you? 

I think in the right case, a paid theme makes a lot of sense.  What are the benefits?  

Well here are four big ones…

1. Support

When you are paying for a good WordPress theme you are also paying for support.  Any reputable dealer of WP themes will offer support, and most likely in the form of a forum. If you have any issues with your paid theme you can check out the forum and by either searching or asking you will get an answer.  The support team will be able to troubleshoot any problems you have with the theme.  They will be able to diagnose any plugin conflicts.  They may even help you with some custom coding.  On a premium theme forum I belonged to, the mods would even give me the exact code I needed to customize my site.  You will not get any or much support with a free theme.  Certainly not at the level described earlier.  For the most part you are on your own.  The time saved on troubleshooting alone will be worth the added price in no time.

2. Under The Hood Features

A lot of free themes look great, but they lack the under the hood features of paid themes.  Most paid themes will add a settings panel in your WordPress back office that is unique to that theme.  These control panels can make tasks like logo upload, favicon upload and other design features a snap.  These admin areas will also help you control what is shown on your home page and in any featured posts areas.  Sometimes you will even be able to change the color scheme of your premium theme from this area.

3. Removing Attribution

This might not be a huge deal for you, but if you are working for a client it might be to them.  Almost all free WordPress themes require you to keep a credit or attribution to them in your footer.  It isn’t a huge deal but it might mean your footer says something like; “Powered By Apple Green Designs” which is a link to the free theme home page.  If you are designing a site for a client, they might not want that.  In fact, even if it is your own site you might not want that.  Paid themes will usually offer you the chance to get rid of the attribution.  In fact some will have an option in their control panel so you can just click it off or replace it simply.

4. Subscription Opportunities

One last bonus I will mention is that many times theme developers will let you pay a cost to access all their premium themes.  This way you have access to a lot of really well designed themes.  These themes are often geared towards a different use too.  There are themes for photographers, tube themes, eShops, real estate etc…  Their will be a theme for just about any use you can think of, as well as a wide variety of style choices.  These kind of packages are great for the home based web designer.

These four reasons alone might be enough for you to make the change to a paid theme.  Free themes have come a long way and they offer some great features and design, but to really kick your site up a notch you might need to make the switch to a premium theme. 

When you want to take your WordPress site to the next level – think premium.

Lie, cheat & steal to a better blog…

Yes you read the title right – if you have been blogging with no results, then it is time to turn to the dark side.

No more Mr. Nice Guy blogging for you.

You have tried your best at being honest – now it is time to embrace the darkness.  You need traffic?  Then you need to lie, cheat and steal your way to blogging supremacy. Let me guide you down this dire path. If your pure and innocent mind is telling you to stop reading, you might want to continue just to see what I mean.

1. Lie!

It is time to forget the ten commandments, lying can help you devise some catchy blog posts that will get talked about.  I have to admit that my idea of lying might not be as evil as you were expecting.  I am actually talking about satire.  You can use satire to craft funny posts that people may feel more inclined to spread.  This might be hard to explain so I will give you an example.  I pretended to get a sneak peak at some upcoming software.  I picked a software release that won’t be happening for years and I gave ten “secret” facts about it.  Of course I was “lying”, I just made up new comedic features that were so over the top no one could take it seriously.  It ended up getting some twitter love and was one of my more successful posts.  The creator of the software even retweeted it and thanked me for giving him a good laugh.

2. Cheat!

We covered lies, so now lets move on to cheating. What evil ideas will I come up with here?  Well once again, it is a little ,vanilla.  I think for us bloggers consistency is key.  If you release posts everyday you will get Google love and more traffic. Sometime this is impossible though.  I have had days so busy I can’t possibly get a blog post out.  That said, my RSS subscribers still got a notification in their email about a new post…because I cheated!

WordPress and most other blog platforms allow you to schedule posts.  When you are “feeling it” and ready to crank out content — crank out as much as possible and then like the infomercial says: “set it and forget it!”. You can even keep a couple blog posts in a text file so you just have to copy and paste on your busy days

3. Steal!

Alright this is clear cut, I obviously meant you should go to someone else’s blog and steal their content.  This is simple!  It is also plagiarism and I’m joking, I do not support that. 

What you can steal are ideas!  Browse your favorite blogs and get inspiration from them.  You can easily and honestly get a topic or general themes from them.  You can also go one step further and use a part of their post in your post.  You can review their blog, you could review a video they made or you can take a single quote from their blog post (with attribution of course) and discuss your feelings about it.  Stealing is usually frowned upon but I think in this case blog owners will be happy to receive exposure from your site.

We grew up learning not to lie, cheat or steal.  I think the majority of people would agree they are wrong but even the most prudent person would agree my methods are pretty tame.  If you are in a rut then don’t forget; you can lie, cheat and steal your way to creating constant content!  This should give your blog a much needed boost, and hey sometimes it feels good to be bad.

Five blogging mistakes to avoid…

If you are a blogger and you want to do the best you can then this article will help you avoid five costly mistakes.  No one is perfect but everyone should be able to cut down on the mistakes below.  These are not accidents, they are willful transgressions that will hurt your bottom line. 

Clean up these mistakes and you will already be far ahead of the pack.

1. Not proof reading.

A simple mistake but it can definitely make you look bad.  Spellchecking is great, but you can’t rely on just that.  You have to read your blog post 2 or 3 times to make sure you catch all your grammar mistakes. It might not seem like a big deal but here is one example of a mistake I have made.  I wanted to write “now four styles to choose from” and I wrote “no four styles to choose from.”  Spell check didn’t catch anything, but that one sentence means a big difference to the reader.  If you want to take it to the next level, get someone else to proof read your blog post.  They will catch things you miss every time.

2. Plagiarism/Spun Content/PLR.

Alright if you have an adsense bait autoblog, ignore this mistake.  Put up whatever crap you want.  However, if you care about your personal brand and your blog, then at all costs avoid this type of content.  Creating content can be a pain in the butt, but stealing someone else’s’ can hurt you dearly in the end.  If you get caught (and you will) you lose all credibility instantly.  The same thing goes for PLR content or articles you have spun.  If you want to use these elsewhere to build backlinks OK, but keep them off your personal blog.  It just looks tacky and people will notice.

3. Not being consistent.

This might be the biggest mistake.  If you are committing to running a blog then it is a commitment.  Treat it as such.  Don’t fire out 5 articles your first week then sit back and relax.  You have to constantly create content in order to engage your visitors.  Fresh content is also good in the eyes of Google. We don’t want to make the Google Gods angry do we?

4. Not marketing.

I was guilty of this mistake.  When I first started blogging I hid it from people!  What the heck is the point of that?  I posted away and hoped people came, but never worked at marketing it.  I didn’t start to see success until I sent it out to my Facebook and Twitter lists.  I began using Digg and Stumbleupon.  I talked about it at social gatherings.  I even got some business cards made up that had nothing but the URL of my blog.  It began to work and I finally got to see some significant traffic.  You can post all you want, but what use is it if no one sees it?

5. Not responding to comments.

If you are lucky enough to get comments on your blog posts, then you should reply.  For one it is the polite thing to do.  Secondly it will engage web visitors and make them more likely to come back.  Also people who haven’t commented will be more likely to comment if they see people getting responses.  A blog full of active commenters is the start of a potential money making machine! 

Cut out these five mistakes and you will definitely notice a traffic increase to your blog.  You will also notice you have more interaction with your visitors and in the long run it will offer you more chances to monetize your site. 

If you have to only choose a couple from the list above, please post consistently and market yourself. Curing these two mistakes alone, will mean great things for your site.

Why you should never use these 3 phrases…

There are a lot of people making money online.  There are also a lot of people who want to teach other people how to make money. That means a lot of money making products and lessons.  These can definitely be valuable, but as someone who has been bombarded by offers I have come to hate a couple widely used terms.

These terms must work because the big names use them. Money is being made by people who use these terms so who am I to hate them?  Well, I think there is room for more transparent and honest online marketing. The first step for me is to not use the following terms:

1. Guru

There is already a growing resentment to this word in the online marketing community.  I think it comes down to over saturation.  Everyone is now a “guru”.  Oh they may not have results, and they might be new to the field but hey, they are a Guru so they must be good!  

I was contacted by a man who was new to online marketing.  he wanted a WordPress website built.  One of his specific requests was to have Guru in his header.  I did it no problem, but I have to admit that I found it rather hilarious.  This guy was new to online marketing, was into like seven MLMs and was making no money.  What exactly is he going to teach anyone?  Wait a second, who am I to question a Guru!  It is in his header after all – must be true.

If someone is claiming to be a Guru do your research – and if you are going to buy something off a “Guru” ask them about their results.  There are some truly knowledgeable “Gurus” out there – but be aware that anyone can call themselves a Guru and at the end of the day it means nothing.

2. No Brainer

I hate when someone tells me their service or product is a no brainer.  Unless I am handing you $1000 and you instantly hand me back $1500 then I can’t envision any deal being a “no brainer”.  It is almost offensive in a way too.  Do I look like some rube who is buying snake oil off the back of a van?  Do you really expect me to not think about my forthcoming purchase?  Oh it is a no brainer? Give me seven!

I am not the type of person who tosses my money at a product without doing research.  I would suggest anyone looking at online marketing programs do the same.  I have seen a lot of product launches come and go over the years and I can say without a doubt there has never been a “no brainer” product.  

3. Newbie

This word is a bit different than the others on the list.  It is different because I know it works and is effective.  New people love to see this word and it makes them feel like “Hey I’m new I can do this!”.  The reason it bothers me is purely saturation.  Everyone has their newbie product.  Overkill.

I will take it easy on this word because I understand it’s power.  But in general – UGH. To me it is a warning sign that someone might be trying to take advantage of people new to the industry.

These words are never going to disappear from internet marketing.  They worked at one time and probably still do.  Even if they aren’t nearly as effective as they once were, people will still use them because people like to follow.  That may seem harsh but anytime something has worked online it is almost always ran into the ground.  If you are like me and can’t stand these words you better learn to live with them. 

If you are using these words and not making money then maybe you should change it up.  Try transparent and honest..I heard that sometimes works.

Emoji support from 4.2

With WordPress 4.2 comes the ability to include emojis in your blogs.

????????

Use a Mac?

Go up to the top menu >Edit>Emoji & Symbols

Use Windows?

  1. In Desktop mode, right-click the Taskbar
  2. Select “Toolbars”
  3. Select “Touch Keyboard”
  4. A new icon will appear in the System Tray (lower right corner of your screen) that looks like a keyboard.

You can even add emojis to your URLs, like I’ve done here!

A SEO cheat sheet…

Your WordPress SEO Checklist, Dominate The Google Rankings

If you are getting frustrated watching your site stagnate in the Google rankings, then you will want to make sure you follow these tips.  You need to make sure you research properly and the proper plugins installed.  

You also have to make sure your page is setup properly and you are creating content.  Lastly you need to build backlinks to your content.  

Once you have read about these steps below, you will be able to skyrocket your site to the top of Google.

1. Research

You have to research your keywords.  A lot of people, and I mean a lot, are going to tell you to look for low competition long tail keywords.  I disagree.  I say you go for the big guys first.  Do your research of course though.  If you want to rank for a spanish course then “Learn Spanish” is a great place to start.  Using programs like Google’s free keyword tool you can find out an estimate of how  many people search for a term.  The higher the better.  Do a Google search yourself and see if people are buying Paid Google ads – if so that means there is money to be made.  Don’t be scared of very competitive terms either – that is where the money is. 

2. Plugins

Make sure you install all applicable SEO related plugins.  At the very least you should be installing All-IN-One Seo and XML Google Sitemaps.  The first plugin will help with on page optimization, while the latter one will build a XML sitemap and submit it to Google.  Do some research and see if any other SEO related plugins could fit on your site.

3. On Page Optimization

Although not as important as it once was you should still make sure your website is optimized.  You want all your title tags to be keyword rich.  That is the first thing Google sees.  You also want to make sure you have no broken links on your site.  The keyword appearing in your body as well as in H1 tags will also help. I would also make sure my permalinks were keyword rich.  To do this set your custom permalink structure to something like /%postname%/.  That way whatever you title your posts will become part of your URL.
 
4. Constant Content

Start adding content and don’t stop ever.  Google loves fresh content and so do your visitors.  Try to post everyday, if not really aim for five times a week.  If you need to get guest bloggers to help you do that, but make sure you have a steady flow of content.

5. Build Links

Build links, everyone knows Google loves backlinks.  Get them wherever you can.  Online  directories, blog comments, forum signatures, forum profiles, social bookmarking and social media all have opportunities to place backlinks. You can research proper backlinking and find tons of great ideas.

These five steps are very simple, but they are the key to getting your WordPress blog to the top of Google.  

If you research, plugin, optimize, create and build, you will blast to the top of Google.

When something goes wrong

Using WordPress is a smart choice for anyone who is looking to build a web presence.  One of it’s best “selling” points is that it is free.  Their .com site will even provide hosting for you. 

There is one downside to this though – there is no one to call when something goes wrong.  For the most part you are on your own.  It is usually up to you to fix your own problem, but luckily there is some help out there:

1. WordPress.com/WordPress.org Forums

Whether you host your own site or use the .com service, both instances have an online forum.  This is probably the first place you should look for any issues you are having.  If something is wrong with your WordPress site there is a good chance that someone else has dealt with it. 

Before you make a post asking your question, do a search on the forums and you might find a thread with your answer.  If you can’t find an answer that addresses your issue, then you can make your own thread dealing with it.  Titling and tagging your post properly will be a huge help in getting the answer you need.  Make sure you describe your issue in detail, including your website URL never hurts.

2. Paid Theme Support

This is only helpful if you have paid for a WordPress theme.  Most of these premium WordPress themes will have their own support.  If you come across an issue, this should be the first place you look.  Either email your theme provider or use their support forum (they should have one).  The reason this should be your first stop is that there will be people there that know specific issues with your theme. The WordPress.org forums won’t have access to certain details about your theme.

It will also be hard to find support elsewhere, because paid theme providers make sure that theme specific support info is only shared by them.  This ensures people aren’t just stealing their theme.

3. Google

Google is your friend.  Just today a friend of mine upgraded WordPress and had an issue.  His admin panel was all of a sudden full of error messages.  We had no idea what to do, and no idea what the error meant.  I simply took as much of the error code that wasn’t specific to his site and Googled it.  I got a couple different results but the fixes didn’t work.  I then Googled the error code with the name of his theme, and instantly got the fix from a blog.  It was as simple as changing a tiny piece of code. Google is the world’s leading search provider for a reason – it works. 

By using the above methods you can probably address just about any problem you come across.  The toughest part of fixing your problems is properly explaining them and only with practice will you get better.  

The more times you use a support forum means the better you will be at using it.  The same goes for Google, once you have spent some time hunting down answers you will get a knack for stringing together the right search terms.  

Good luck, and I hope you find the answer to all your probelms quickly and painlessly.

The Joy Of Blogging….

I would never claim that blogging could cure depression.  Depression is a serious issue and should be dealt with by a doctor.  

That said, are there any therapeutic benefits to blogging?  I think there are. If you have been feeling down or overwhelmed then starting a blog might be just the thing to let you channel your frustrations.  

A blog allows you to release your emotions, interact with other people and it can be a consistent and stable factor in a hectic world. 

I believe the following three benefits are proof that a blog can be therapeutic.

1. Release of Emotions

Everyone says you shouldn’t bottle up your feelings.  Some people have no problem releasing their emotions while other people have a tough time talking about their issues.  A blog allows someone to release all of their emotions through their daily posts.  You can get a lot off your chest in a blog post.  Most importantly for some people, you can do this anonymously. This is a big plus for some people.  If you are suffering from some negative thoughts, or anger then it might be easier for you to express that knowing you are anonymous. A blog offers people the perfect forum to share their thoughts and release any pent up emotions that might be harmful for them to keep inside.

2. Social Interaction

Of course nothing beats getting out and meeting people, we all know this.  The problem is that not everyone is a social butterfly.  They might naturally be shy people who would rather stay in, or they might have an issue that makes face to face social interaction stressful.  Blogging and micro-blogging allow people to interact with other people online.  It doesn’t beat the real thing but it is a start.  Interaction can come from people contacting you based on your story or from comments to your blog.  One of the great things is when you share a personal story and you get a comment from someone going through similar things. A blog allows anyone to interact with other  people, and is a great tool when trying to reach people with similar interests or problems.

3. Consistency and Stability

This might be an overlooked value when it comes to blogs, but I think it is important.  Some people live in a chaotic world that helps keep them feeling the way they do.  A blog offers some consistency and stability.  The blog is always there, stays pretty much the same and just waits for you to post.  There are no demands or pressure.  You have a blog that is always there and ready for you.  It is also great to have that routine for people.  A blog could be something that people look forward too each day.  Outside of technical difficulties, it isn’t likely to let a person down.

I am not a doctor and I would never claim that a blog is a cure for any level of depression.  That said I am a blogger, and I do have some insight into that world.  I think I can safely say that blogs do have some therapeutic properties.  

If you are looking for stability, social interaction or a way to release your pent up feelings, then try out blogging.  It doesn’t cure problems, but it might help you cope.

How to make money from your blog…

Monetize Your Blog Today, It is Easier Than You Think!

If you are looking at transforming your blog traffic into income then follow the five tips here and you will be able to instantly monetize your blog.  If you can create a product, or display some ads, you should be able to start making money from all your efforts.

1. Products.

Products are a great way to monetize your blog.  If you have a loyal community they will be open to purchasing from you.  You could easily use a site like CafePress to create just about any physical product you want.  This is especially effective if your blog has morphed into it’s own brand.

Besides physical products you can also create your own eProducts.  You could create your own eBook and sell it on your site.  If it is enticing to your current web traffic you could sell hundreds of these books with little effort and marketing.  Anything you can think of can be a product.

2. Lead Capture.

This isn’t an instant monetization but it can have far reaching benefits.  If you capture the emails of people who are visiting your site you will be building a “list”.  You can keep a running dialogue with these people and when you do have an offer to sell, you will have a list of warm leads.  What salesperson wouldn’t kill for that?  You just need an autoresponder service (like Aweber) and an offer that people will want to give their email to get.  Overkill the value here – offer something you feel like you should be charging for.

3. Members Area.

If you have a ton of traffic you can also create a premium members area.  This would be best for helpful blogs. If you had a blog about WordPress tips, you could keep your premium tips, advanced code, and offer support in a paid members area.  If your blog is powered by WordPress (it should be) there are free plugins that will give you this capability.

4. Adsense.

Adsense might not make you a rich man, but it can be a nice boost to your income.  You can choose to display Google ads on your site and whenever they get clicked you get paid.  Google ads will display ads based on your content and some content is worth more than others.  One downside is you have to be really careful how you display your ads, because Google has strict requirements.  You probably won’t make a killing, but a couple bucks a day (or more) is entirely possible.  There are also a ton of other similar Pay Per Click advertising opportunities out there,just do a Google search to learn more.

5. Donation.

I saved this to the end because I personally do not like it.  If you want though you can easily add a donation box to your blog.  These boxes usually have you the blog owner asking for a donation, or for your guests to buy you a beer, or coffee, or etc… Much like everything else, you can add this through a WordPress plugin.  To me it seems kind of like electronic pan handling, but that is my own personal bias.  If you offer a helpful blog, then asking for a donation may not be that bad.

There are many ways to monetize your blogs, and I just showed you five quick tips.  if you put even a couple of these tips into place you will be ahead of most people.  You spend your time blogging faithfully, it is time to get something back.  

Monetize your blog today and get what you deserve.