Making money on the Internet is very attractive for students, stay-at-home moms and people who don’t want to be stuck in a 9-5 job. Admit it, not all of us love our boss. Some of us may, but the idea of being able to stay at home and working online is tempting.
I was out of school when I found out that people are actually earning from the Internet. I started out with PTC sites (think Clixsense and clicksbux), data-entry (those captcha typing stuff that won’t give you a penny no matter you type the whole day), and article writing.
TIP: If you’re serious about making money on the Internet, avoid PTC sites and captcha typing. These are like plagues that will do more damage than good. Don’t waste your time.
Article writing is the first gig that made me money working online. I remember it was a simple writing task that I finished on Freelancer.com. That was more 6 years ago. Looking back, here are the things I wish I knew before starting to build my online reputation.
Offering your services online means you are willing to connect with people worldwide who are looking to pay someone to complete a job. Usually, these clients would pay through payment processors like PayPal. I had no idea how PayPal worked so I had to rush in order to accept payments.
First, you have to sign up on PayPal.com. It’s easy – you just have to fill some form. And then, add your bank (this will allow you to withdraw your PayPal money to your local bank), and you’re done. You will be able to start accepting payments only after you complete this step.
2. Not Everyone Pays
This is the painful truth: there are still people out there waiting to scam innocent workers. To avoid going through this, do some research about a potential client. Better yet, join communities like Fiverr.com or Freelancer.com. These websites allow you to post your services, or find clients and at the same time, protect you from not being able to receive the money that you deserve after delivering your work.
Being the “new guy” and not having a lot of good feedback on your portfolio makes it hard to win a good client. The online business has grown so big that potential employers could easily miss your profile no matter how good it is.
Here are some of the reasons why:
There are a lot of freelancers who have already established their brand, and it’s hard to compete when you are just starting out.
Most freelancers are cheaper compared to you. Believe me, there are people out there who will deliver a high quality service at a small price.
Most good clients have already found “the one”, meaning, they are not interested at looking for new freelancers to work with them. Which takes us to the next one:
4. Building a Good Reputation Takes Years
Having been in this industry for 6 years now, I can say that it’s not easy to build a good reputation mainly because there are a lot of competition who are willing to accept small payments for a quality work. In fact, it’s only now that people are actually Googling for my name to get me to work on something – and that’s because they love my work.
TIP: When you work on something, even if it’s just for a small amount, work on it with your whole heart. Deliver quality service EVERY SINGLE time because eventually, your passive income will come from returning customers.
5. Making Money on the Internet & Staying at Home Doesn’t Always Mean More Time for Family
Most people are looking for online opportunities because they want to have a flexible schedule, and more time for their family. Well, it doesn’t always end up like that. A 9-5 job will require you to focus on your job for only 8 hours, while some online jobs are per project basis, which means you only get paid full amount after delivering what you promised.
On a 9-5 job, you get paid as long as you fill your hours and make your boss happy, whereas, being an online worker, you only get paid according to the tasks or projects that you complete. Sometimes, this means staying up all night working on a project or not getting paid at all.
Something to think about:
Being employed means you get to receive a paycheck at least every week, no matter how you did at your job. Clocking out usually means you don’t have to think about your tasks anymore, or the company. Going home means you focus on your family or your social life. Whereas, freelancing means having a business that you personally own and manage. You have to formulate a strategy on how to acquire new clients, deliver services efficiently, and maintain a good reputation. There is no guarantee that you WILL get paid at the end of the week.
Making money on the Internet means you are the boss, you make money based on how you manage your time. But know that this business is not always dreamy. It requires hard work for it to last.
My final tip: Hold your job, make your boss happy. At the end of the day, maybe work online if you need more bucks. Find a few clients and keep them. Maybe one day, these clients will keep coming back, and eventually, you’ll start earning passive income from home.
Article was originally published on March 23, 2015.
I love graphics and I became fond of Photoshop once (once. Simply because I find Canva easier to work with). Although Canva has a lot of amazing features I love, it couldn’t be a Photoshop alternative if you are looking for online tools to enhance a person’s appearance, or completely alter an image. However, if your image needs a quick filter, or you need to create a professional-looking graphics without spending a lot of time, then Canva is the best free online graphics design tool for you.
I have been using Canva for three months now, and this is the first time I fell in love with an online graphics creator. Below, let me share with you the things I came to love about this website.
1) The Interface
The homepage itself looks very professional. Also, I love that the cursor is interactive so that when you move it in the background, there’s a brush-like effect that clears the path of the cursor when you move it. Aside from that, the site is pretty simple and is very user-friendly.
2) Sign-up Process
With Canva, you do not have to fill up a form to sign up. You can just enter your email address, desired password and you’re in! If you don’t like that, you can sign up with Google+ or Facebook instead.
3) Different Pre-set Canvases
As a Social Media Manager, it is important to squeeze different tasks in a short span of time. Because creating graphics and visuals for social media contents often take a lot of time for me, I find Canva a really helpful tool in this area.
When you sign up, you will be redirected to the “Your Designs” page where you are presented with a preset canvas in different sizes (posters, presentation, Facebook post or cover, Twitter post or header, and much more!). I love this feature because it just takes one click to start creating a graphics for a certain social media profile.
4) Pre-made Graphics
When you start designing, you will be re-directed to a page I call “workspace”. On this page, you can make your unique graphics with ease, given the number of pre-made graphics available to use. Most of these graphics are free (who doesn’t love free?), and with “free”, I don’t mean a lousy graphics you can use because you have no choice. Their graphics are high quality. You can also customize them to your satisfaction and make them your own. My website’s logo is actually made with Canva.
These graphics work well with infographics as well as professional presentations.
5) Amazing Fonts
Canva is the place where I met new awesome fonts. There are about less than a hundred fonts on the website, but that doesn’t mean you cannot find good ones. They’re actually well-chosen so that you are not overwhelmed when you’re deciding what font to choose.
6) Free Space
On Canva, you can save all your works and you can be assured that your hard work will still be waiting for you when you need to go back to them or re-download. You don’t have to worry about losing your designs because Canva saves them on “the cloud”. This means, you can also save space on your computer, considering these high quality images are pretty big on size.
7) Auto-Save Functionality
You have probably worked hours on Photoshop and forgot to hit Ctrl+S, not expecting that your computer will die later on (your cat probably found a magical place beside the outlet and accidentally pulled the plug, don’t ask me how).
How you wish there was an auto-save on Photoshop, right?
Breaking NEWS: I heard CS6 has auto-save?
8) The Upload and Save Function
Not only can you upload on Canva. You can also use it to store images and graphics for future use. I love being able to open my Canva on different computers and continue my work with ease. Your past works will also be saved on your profile, so you have the ability to edit your works, in case your boss changes their mind on a design you submitted months earlier.
This feature saves me a lot of time, especially when I designed something before and want to reuse it for another project. You can easily duplicate a saved design and then work on the duplicate as a new project.
9) “Copy this Page” Function
This is one of the features I love best! This feature allows you to duplicate a slide within a workspace. It is great for making presentations, when you are using one template for multiple slides. You can save time recreating the design by simply copying the page and then working on the duplicated slide as a new page.
I also use this feature when we have a social media campaign, or is using a single template for many images.
10) Public and Private Toggle
This enables you to make your work Public or Private. One time, I needed to design a sample magazine cover and collaborate with a Layout Artist. The “Public” feature lets us work on a single workspace together virtually. So if you need to work as a team, you can just make your work Public and send a link to your partner. Don’t worry, your personal files (saved designs and uploads) will not be shared with others, even if you send them your public designs.
11) Download As Image, As PDF, and Pages in Range
When you have a design with many pages, you can download it as an image (in a .ZIP format), as a single PDF file, or you can download them in pages. For example, you only need the pages 1 and 5 of the design you created, you can specify it on the download panel.
There. I never realized I have 11 things I love in Canva until I finished this blog. I hope you find my list helpful. By the way, I worked with PicMonkey as well but it does not have the features found on Canva.
There are a lot of things to consider when planning to launch a new blog site. First, you have to do a lot of keyword researching to find the perfect niche that is both interesting and beneficial to you. Next, you have to plan your contents, setup your website, and finally market it. Because what’s the point of working hard on a website that no one is visiting? Today, I will show you the things you can do today to get website traffic to your new blog.
I for one have failed in blogging a few times. I love writing, but it is very frustrating to know that my contents are hard to find. In fact, I have already set up at least 5 blogs with top level domains, not to mention the blogs I have on WordPress.com and Blogger. I gave them up instantly.
Keep Reading to Learn How I Got 498 Website Traffic in One Day to My 6-Day Old Blog
This time, however, after setting up this blog, I made tons of research on how I can work on driving website traffic without wasting my time. Here are a few things that I learned:
1 | Write Contents that Are Worth Sharing
Researching is the most important part of keeping a blog that people will want to go back to.
You need to research about things that people are searching answers for.
Write a well-written blog post that answers their questions.
Gather high quality keywords that you can use within your blog post. (And don’t keyword-stuff)
Ever asked that question? Answer is: Either because they are not attracted to your post, or your awesome content is hard to find.
Remember: Don’t publish a post just for the sake of adding content to your blog. Treat every blog post as something that others will find helpful. In time, you will notice that people will start sharing your post.
2 | Make It Easier for Your Readers to Share Your Contents
If your content is great but requires extra effort to get shared, you might lose some of the shares (and website traffic) you could have gotten if only you optimized your blog for social sharing. You can see that on the left side of my blog, there are floating social media icons that makes it easy for you to share this blog post. (For mobile users, it’s at the bottom of your screen.)
I use the WordPress PluginSumoMe to encourage my visitors to share my posts to social media. This plugin also has a feature where you get notified when someone tweets your contents.
And yes, it’s worth it. Sometimes, I see people are sharing my contents to Twitter, and I find it rewarding to know that they are confident in letting their friends know about my blog.
Pinterest is actually a good platform to share your blog posts. It takes time to create Pinterest-friendly images, but it WILL be worth it. Why?
On Pinterest, your images never get lost. In my experience, I have some images pinned from last year but are still getting re-pinned until now. That means, when people find your pin “re-pinnable”, you MAY be rewarded with unlimited re-pins and website traffic in the future.
TIP: Pinterest experts suggest creating vertical images for Pinterest since they get more likes and re-pins. Also, your images must be of high quality to get more attention.
As you can see, this blog’s featured image is a little small so I made a different image especially for Pinterest. Yep, it’s worth the extra work if you really want to attract website traffic coming from Pinterest.
4 | Share to Twitter and Use #Hashtags
I’ve been sharing my contents to Twitter since forever, but I don’t usually add hashtags. That changed when I realized something. Just last month, I started adding relevant hashtags to my Twitter shares and I noticed that people started adding me to lists.
Now, I find this helpful because when you are added to a list, you will be able to reach people in that list even if they are not directly following you. I also got more likes and retweets on posts with relevant hashtags. I have almost 14,000 followers on Twitter and I thought that was a lot, but they are not targeted so I feel like I have only about 25 followers who really care about my tweets. This is why getting at least 1 retweet means a lot to me.
Don’t Overdo It!
Research by Buddy Media shows that tweets with one or two hashtag receive 2x more engagement, while tweets with more than 2 hashtags have 17% drop in engagement.
BONUS: I got more than 1,200 website traffic from Flipped.com when I boosted my Twitter post
One time, I published a new post to my other blog. It was about running and weight loss. I shared the content to Twitter. I used the tool AddMeFast to get retweets and likes to that Twitter post. The next day, I had over 1,200 website traffic to that blog post.
When I checked my Google Analytics, it shows that most of the traffic came from Flipped.com. It is possible that the post got noticed by a Twitter user who has active followers on Flipped and shared my content to that site. I’ve been using Flipped since that day.
5 | Get Targeted Website Traffic by Participating in Facebook Groups
Join Facebook groups that are related to your niche. Participating in Facebook groups is one way to reach high quality website traffic because you can be sure that the members are really interested in what you have to say.
Why I don’t recommend joining blog comment exchange groups:
I found Facebook groups for bloggers who support exchanging comments on their posts. I’ve actively participated for a while but I noticed that during the days when we have to exchange comments, my bounce rate is high (about 80%) when usually I only have around 50%.
This is possibly because the other members who participate in the comment exchange visit my page just for the sake of completing the “task” of leaving a comment, and then leave immediately. Some comments I receive even reflect that they haven’t really read the whole article I wrote.
What is bounce rate and why should I care?
Bounce rate is the percentage of users who leave your site immediately after viewing just one page. For example, if you get 100 users and 70 of them leave after visiting a page, while 30 click on a link to another page on your site, your bounce rate will be 70%.
Low bounce rate means that you have contents that your audience find interesting. The longer they stay on your site, the better. Plus, high bounce rate tells search engines that you have low quality contents, thus affecting your ranking.
What is a good bounce rate?
It purely depends on your content. On average, a good bounce rate is at 50%, and some bloggers find 40% a great bounce rate. However, if you run a website that publishes viral contents for quick reads, higher bounce rate is okay.
6 | Share Your Contents to StumbleUpon
StumbleUpon is a great website to give your content a chance to go viral. Know however, that not all articles on StumbleUpon go viral. If you have great content, your post may get thumb ups. Traffic from StumbleUpon may not always be of high quality, but it can greatly help with spiking your Google Analytics stats and sometimes your organic website traffic.
Walkthrough – Get Free Website Traffic from StumbleUpon
7 | Submit to Reddit
Like StumbleUpon, Reddit also allows you to submit interesting link articles that Redditors may want to read. When doing this, make sure that you are submitting to the right subreddit. Meaning, the subreddit that has something to do with your content.
For example, if you are blogging about cooking, the subreddit r/food will allow you to promote your own blog posts from time to time to get website traffic. But don’t overdo it. Only promote your own contents if you believe that the members will find it unique and beneficial to them, or else, you will get downvoted, or worse, banned from the subreddit.
Also, do not create additional Reddit accounts to attempt to upvote your content. Reddit is smarter than any of us, and will definitely detect illegal activities on the site.
I only share high quality self-promotions to Reddit, and even if I’ve already posted that link weeks ago, I still get a few website traffic from the site on most days.
8 | Join Forums Related to Your Niche
This one’s my favorite. Not only do I get the chance to interact with like-minded people, I can also freely advertise my blog through forum signatures and direct links that answer questions posted by other members. This is actually the channel that drives the most website traffic to my blog.
Joining and being active on at least 3 different forums on your niche will greatly increase your website traffic.
I find related forums by simply searching on Google. With a cooking website niche, you can simply search for your niche’s keyword + FORUMS (cooking forums).
Choose a forum with a decent number of active members. There are 2 ways you can drive traffic to your blog using these forums.
Post a new thread. When posting a new thread, make sure to use the forum’s search bar to check if similar threads already exists. IF it already does, ask yourself if it is necessary to start a new thread that discusses the same topic. Does your thread add something unique and interesting to the topic?
Comment on other threads. Keep interacting with the other members of the forum by commenting on other people’s threads. Make sure that your comment answers the question of the original poster (OP), or adds value to the discussion.
Don’t be rude to the other members and don’t get even if you think they are being rude to you. Remember, your website can be seen in your signature and you don’t want to lose potential visitors by being rude to others.
9 | Blog Commenting
I love blog commenting just as I love the forums. Here are some of the benefits of commenting on blogs that are related to your niche.
Only target blogs that are related to your niche, Or else, Google may mark you as a spammer.
Start good relationship with like-minded bloggers.
Build links back to your site. (Only when the blog you comment on gives you the ability to do that)
Get passive traffic by putting your name out there.
Tips to actually get website traffic from blog comments:
Leave comments that add value to the article you are commenting on. “Nice post” and “Great article” are low quality comments and do not deserve getting approved by the blogger.
Focus on blogs with CommentLuv and/or Top Commentator features.
Repeat this process daily.
Keep Reading to Find Out How I Use Blog Commenting to Get Passive Website Traffic
10 | Build Your Email List and Post New Contents Regularly
If you want to keep your audience coming back, then NOW is the right time to build your e-mail list. The simplest way you can do that is by optimizing your site for collecting e-mails. I use SumoMe to do that. After installing SumoMe List Builder, I noticed that new visitors are actually signing up for newsletters.
In the past, I’ve only used the sidebar widget for collecting emails. But after 2 years of blogging, I got zero results.
When you start getting subscribers, keep your schedule of posting new content to feed them with fresh information from your blog. You don’t want them to forget you!
How I Got 498 Website Traffic in One Day to My 6-Day Old Blog
Now I will show you the things I did to get almost 500 pageviews in just one day – and that’s on a new website. I am sharing this as a win because in 2 years of blogging, I never got this amount of website traffic on a single day from promoting my blog aggressively.
During the first few days of my blog, I focused on planning my contents and scheduling them for posting. I never did any promotions until the 6th day, and this is my website traffic for that day:
This is how I promoted my blog that day:
1 | Forum Posting
I spent about an hour interacting in forums. I was mostly active in Warriorforum just because it’s my favorite forum website for blogging and Internet marketing. I started a thread and actively commented on threads that interest me.
2 | Reddit
Since my blog was supposed to be about making money through Get-paid-to sites, I searched for a subreddit that focused on making money online (with at least 1,000 members). I made sure that there are people who are currently viewing the subreddit so my new thread will get noticed immediately, and hopefully generate website traffic.
I went ahead and started a new thread that directly promoted my website. Since people there are already looking for ways to make money online, I told them that I just launched a site that lists money making sites and will be updated regularly.
3 | Facebook and Twitter
I simply scheduled multiple blog posts to be sent out to Twitter. I use Buffer to do this. On Facebook, I shared relevant contents to the different groups that I am already in.
4 | Blog Commenting
I installed Feed Demon to my computer. This is a free tool that will allow you to keep a list of blogs that you want to keep returning to. It is very useful for when you want to leave comments on different blogs quickly.
How it works:
After installing, search for blogs related to your niche. Remember, these blogs must allow do-follow comments. Do a search on Google for do-follow and high PR blogs for commenting. You will find tons of lists of these sites.
Add the domain to your Feed Demon. After that, you will be able to browse websites on your list without opening your browser.
This is how I attempted to get website traffic to my new website. If you keep doing this, you will eventually have a steady stream of traffic to your site. Right now, I am focusing on Forum posting and blog commenting because they give me the most page views. Also, I always see traffic from these channels even on the days when I don’t promote my website.
You can see that most of my website traffic came from the forum, and my third traffic generator is another forum website.
Do you have other great traffic generators that you use for getting website traffic to your blog? Share them in the comments section below.
Long tail keywords are group of words that can speak both to search engines and your target audience. These keywords are important for digital contents because they make it easier for the search engines to find your content. A lot of bloggers actually find it beneficial to do research for high quality long tail keywords before creating their content.
Sure, it may take time for your contents to get indexed in search engines, but you can make it faster by using long tail keywords. Good keywords are usually in the form of a question – something that users are really looking for. When your target audience see the exact keyword they typed on a search bar, the possibility of them clicking on that search result is greatly increased.
What Exactly are Long Tail Keywords?
Long tail keywords are made up of 3 or more words that are commonly searched. A regular keyword is “DSLR camera”, while a long tail keyword is “best DSLR camera for beginners”. Notice that the long tail keyword is more specific than the regular one.
Benefits of Using Long Tail Keywords
1. Lower Competition
The competition for long tail keywords are lesser because they are very specific. A fewer people will be searching for a long tail keyword compared to a regular one, but you will be assured that the ones who see your content are targeted – the ones who will really benefit from what you have to offer.
This also means that you will compete with fewer contents in terms of ranking. For example, if you want to rank for the keyword “DSLR camera”, there may be thousands of contents already covered by that keyword. However, trying to rank for “best DSLR camera for beginners” narrows down the competition.
2. Longer Keyword = More Intent to Buy
Research shows that people who use longer keywords to search for something specific are more interested in actually buying something.
With regular keywords, you may be able to show your content to tons of people, but only a percentage of that number is interested in what you have to offer.
5 Ways to Find Long Tail Keywords
1. Use Google Keyword Planner
Google Keyword Planner is a free tool that you can use to easily search for keywords that are commonly searched.
When using Google Keyword Planner, I like to click on the “Keyword Ideas” and sort the keywords to “Average Monthly Searches”.
2. Use Google Search
Simply search for related keywords and press enter. Scroll down to the bottom of the search results and you will see related searches to your keyword. Search for different keywords to find the best match for your content. Sometimes, it is also good to use the keywords provided by Google Keyword Planner.
3. Use Google Search Auto-fill
Playing around with the search bar can also help you find the best long tail keywords to use. Just type in your keywords and you will notice that Google will give you suggestions. These suggestions are the most commonly searched keywords related to the one you typed in.
Soovle is an alternative when you can’t seem to find good keywords on Google. Not only will it show you long tail keywords coming from Google, you will also find KWs from other sites like Youtube, Bing and Amazon.
5. Google Trends
Google trends is a good tool to search for more long tail keywords. Type your keyword on Google.com/trends search bar and scroll to the bottom to see the related searches.
With these free tools, you can easily find high quality long tail keywords that you can use to rank your content. It may be time-consuming for some, but by using high quality keywords, you can be confident that your content will be found and clicked on.
Setting up a self-hosted WordPress blog is one of the easiest way you can publish a professional-looking website. In fact, most bloggers choose WordPress over any other platforms because of its ease-of-use and the huge number of free WordPress blog plugin that it offers.
Note: There are 2 types of WordPress sites: WordPress.com and WordPress.org.
Differences of Free WordPress Blog and Self-hosted WordPress Blog
Allows you to quickly register through their site and setup your blog
You have access to free beautiful themes (no web design skills needed!)
Allows you to connect and communicate with other bloggers
Allows you to connect your blog to a hosting service
You will have your top-level domain
You will have access to MORE professional-looking themes just like you see on this blog
You will have access to awesome and useful WordPress blog plugin that will enhance your site’s performance and appearance
You have full control of your blog
If you want to make money through blogging, I recommend using a self-hosted WordPress blog to establish your brand. This way, you can add advertisements in the future and earn from them. Also, domains like myblog.wordpress.com don’t look professional. (No offense)
5 Reasons Why WordPress is Great for Blogging
(Remember, we’re talking about WordPress.org here, not WordPress.com):
Ease-of use – Yep, all you have to do is buy a hosting and install a WordPress app to your plan.
The community – There are times when you would encounter problems with your site. With WordPress, all you have to do is type your issue on Google search (it would be better if you add the keyword wordpress.org as well) and you will find answers to your problems.
Awesome themes for free – We love free things, and we love them more if they look so good to be free. WP offers hundreds of themes to choose from, whatever your blog is about, you will always find something that fits your niche.
Great for ECommerce sites – You can also easily integrate an e-commerce site within your WP blog. I use Woocommerce for my e-commerce site, and believe me, it’s not as complicated as I thought it would be.
WordPress Blog Plugin – Of course, aside from having a great-looking site, we also need plugins to improve the performance of our blog. Most of the plugins that you will need while starting your blog are free.
What are Plugins and Why Do I Need It?
If you do not know how to tweak the codes behind your website, plugins will do that work for you. These tools are pre-coded – this means that when you need an additional feature for your blog, all you have to do is search for a plugin that can do the job for you.
How to Install WordPress Blog Plugin
Step 1. Search for the plugin by going to your Dashboard > Plugins > Add New
Step 2. Type the name of the plugin you want to install then press enter. Click the Install Now button.
Step 3. WordPress will now start downloading the plugin to your dashboard. Click Activate Plugin.
That’s it! Depending on the plugin, sometimes you will have to configure its settings so you can maximize its benefits.
My Basic List of WordPress Blog Plugin
The WordPress blog plugin that you need depend on the nature of your blog. If you want your blog to run smoothly, some bloggers recommend to have at most 10 plugins installed. I tried installing only 10, but found that my site needs more.
This plugin will help you manage the comments left to your blog. There are tons of spams that may leave comments that are not useful and may just mess up your comments section so I recommend using Akismet.
My other blog does not have this plugin and I receive hundreds of spams per day. I don’t have the time to even sift through them anymore (to approve the real comments) because they quickly grew to thousands.
Auto Post Thumbnail (Optional)
If you have already started publishing a blog post, you will notice that you can set a featured image for each posts. Images will make your blog look nicer. I’m the kind of blogger who loves to add images before an article, and sometimes, adding a featured image will double the work.
Auto Post Thumbnail will automatically add a featured image to your blog even if you don’t set it, as long as you have an image within your post. This WordPress blog plugin is extra helpful for when you want a featured image whenever you share your blog post to social media.
Broken Link Checker
To blog better, you need links within your articles, Broken Link Checker will regularly check your blog for broken links, or links that return errors. This way, you can fix the links earlier before Google, or a reader finds it.
Disadvantages of broken links:
Crawlers will stop crawling your page when they encounter a broken link. This means that your page may not get indexed.
Visitors may leave your site early. This results to a higher bounce rate that will make the search engines assume that your site has low quality content, thus giving you a lower ranking. (You don’t want that)
CommentLuv is a great plugin for bloggers who want to contribute to the community (of other bloggers). As you can see on my blog, I have this Wordpress blog plugin enabled so that when a blogger comments, their latest post will be featured after their comment.
Contact Form Maker
This is for contact pages. There are many plugins to choose from.
Google Analytics Dashboard for WP (Optional)
This plugin will show you your site’s stats without logging into Analytics.Google.com.
Huge IT Lightbox (Optional)
Instead of redirecting your viewer to another page, this WordPress blog plugin will open a modal, or a lightbox, within the page whenever they click on images in your post.
Insert Post Ads (Optional)
This is the easiest way I insert ads to within my blog post without messing up with the backend code of my site.
This is helpful for when you are interlinking articles within your blog. Interlinking is important because you want your readers to stay in your blog as long as possible. Insight will create another section below the page where you create new posts.
Simply search for a keyword that’s relevant to what you are currently writing and your relevant blog posts will show up. You will need this WordPress blog plugin especially when your blog is bigger and it becomes difficult to track your articles that were published months ago.
MailPoet Newsletters (Optional)
You want to keep your subscribers from forgetting you. MailPoet is a free tool like MailChimp that will let you send newsletters to your subscribers. What I love most about this free plugin is the ability to automatically send alerts to your readers after you publish a new post.
No Self Pings (Optional)
To prevent your WordPress from pinging you.
Like inter-linking, this will also help make your readers stay longer.
There are a lot of things to love about this WordPress blog plugin. The two features that I use for this blog is the Email list builder (in case you saw a pop up that asks you to subscribe to my blog – that’s how it works), as well as the SumoMe Share (those social media icons you see floating on the left side). SumoMe Share is mobile friendly and will know if your user is viewing your site from a small screen. Instead of showing on the side, SumoMe will show on the bottom of the screen.
WP Super Cache
This caches your pages whenever a visitor comes in. It gives the illusion that your site is loading faster than it really does. Happy reader = the longer they stay.
One of the most important WordPress blog plugin that I use. Yoast SEO will not only help you enhance your on-page SEO, it also has a built-in sitemap that is essential for indexing your site.
Also, there are some WordPress blog sites that encounter problems with featured images when sharing their contents to social media. Yoast eliminates this problem with their “Social” feature.
These are the 15 WordPress blog plugin that I normally use to enhance my site’s performance and appearance. Do you have other plugins that you find helpful? I’d love to hear about them on the comments below.
Starting a blog as a hobby is as simple as writing your daily journal. You don’t have to worry about anything else and just the fact that you can express yourself is enough to inspire you. “How to Start a Blog and Make Money?” is a common question from people who love to write, or those who have hobbies they want to talk about.
You sure need some basic knowledge of how to start a blog that matters, not just to your potential customers, but also to the search engines.
Step 1. What do you want to blog about?
This is an important question. In order to make money from blogging, you must have a unique topic: either something that has not been covered yet, or a topic that is not too competitive. You want your blog to be seen when someone searches about something, and because it is hard to compete with established blogs, you have to choose your niche carefully.
Also, it would be more beneficial if you blog about something that you already know, or something you are passionate about.
How do I know if a niche has low competition?
Let’s say you want to create a fashion blog. Go to Google Keyword Planner and search for keywords related to fashion. (If you want, you can also target a location for these keywords searches. You can see the Targeting options on the sidebar).
Take note of the keywords that have at least 1,000 searches per month and with average CPC (Cost Per Click) of at least $1. Also, make sure that these keywords have low competition.
Note: You can find the CPC under the Suggested Bid column
Benefits of choosing the right keywords:
Search engine will easily recognize your blog and you will eventually rank higher on Google. Higher Google Rank = more people seeing your blog whenever they search for your keywords.
You will receive more organic and targeted traffic (traffic from search engines). This traffic pays more when they click on your ads.
These are some of the profitable keywords related to fashion. Choose one main keyword that you will focus on blogging about and use the others to sprinkle within your articles.
What if I don’t find a keyword with low competition, decent monthly searches and good CPC?
That means your blog will not be profitable because only a few are interested in it. Try another topic with better stats.
After collecting all the good keywords, do you think you can produce enough blog posts that can sustain your blog upon launching? Can you keep adding more articles based on those keywords?
Publishing relevant articles regularly is important to keep your blog active. An active blog will gradually climb up the search engine ranking.
Always add long tail keywords to your articles whenever possible. Long tail keywords are the search phrases that are always typed into the Google search box. There are two ways to find them.
1. By typing directly in the search box and taking note of the suggested searches. Use your creativity!
2. By checking out related searches found below the search results feed. On the example below, I used the keyword fashion apps, and these are the related searches that you can use.
If you can generate a unique domain that is short and easy to remember, that’s great! If not, consider using your main keyword as your domain. Not only will it help in improving your page rank, you will also get more clicks when users see your relevant domain showing up on search engines.
Your Domain Name Extension
SEO-wise, .Com, .Org, and .Net are the extensions that can rank your blog globally.
Step 3. Choose Your Hosting
Choosing the right company to host your blog is crucial. You don’t want your visitors seeing an error page while browsing your website, right? There are a lot to choose from.
I recommend using Bluehost.com for good hosting service and customer support to help you succeed with your blog.
BONUS: You can get free .Com domain from them when you purchase a hosting plan that at $5.95/ month.
Step 4. Set up Your Website
Don’t know how to develop a website? No problem! You can use WordPress to build your website. Bluehost allows you to install the WordPress platform when you choose to host your site with them.
Setting up your blog is the easiest section of blogging. Maintaining your website can be tough, but this is the first step to actual blogging. On you blog, make sure you have these important pages:
These pages are for your readers. They need to know who you are and how you use their information (in case you decide to add a subscription feature where you’ll have to collect their emails).
Another important page is the Sitemap. This will alert the search engines of new updates coming from your website. SearchEngineLand.com discusses the importance of sitemap and how you can implement it to your website.
When launching your site, publish at least 5 high-quality articles for your readers to see.
How long should each blog post be? Read Neil Patel’s answer here.
Now you know how to start a blog. Of course, you have to attract people to visit your website in order to make money blogging. On my next post, I will discuss different ways of how you can keep your blog active, and how you can bring more traffic. So, stay tuned!
PayPal has been helpful when it comes to secure transactions online. However, there are times when you’re not aware that a merchant can automatically charge your account once you have had a transaction with them.
This is common for purchases that need recurring payments. When you don’t want to have to go back and pay your subscription every time, Paypal automatic payments is a good feature for you. To those who like to cancel PayPal recurring payments, just follow the steps below.
Login to your PayPal account. From your dashboard, click on the PROFILE tab.
On the sidebar, click on MY MONEY.
Look for the section “My preapproved payments” and click update.
The page will show you the merchants that have your Paypal automatic payments activated. Choose one of those merchants, and click on their name.
Find the status of your authorization and click Cancel.
Confirm that you want to cancel your subscription and you’re done. Now, you don’t have to worry about being automatically charged again.
Most young adults get out of high school and choose a career based on how much they assume they would make per year. But do these careers really pay off? Let’s take a look at these people who have the best paying jobs that really aren’t.
Not all doctors make good money. On a survey performed by WebMD we can see that doctors make decent earnings per year depending on their specialty, Orthopedics making the most at $413,000 per year, and doctors specializing in HIV/ID making the least at $174,000 per year.
Most doctors who just graduated from medical school also have to pay their loans and would possibly be earning a good amount in their forties.
Earnings also vary per region. Whether a doctor says he loves his job depends on the tasks he has to face on a daily basis. For example, 70% of family doctors who are making $176,000 per year commented that if they would have to choose their career again, they would still choose medicine.
Like physicians, veterinarians have the same stigma of making huge money for taking care of animals. Both vets and physicians are on-call 24/7 and think that they are earning less than they expected. Hospital partners make more though.
However, most of these people are so passionate about their job, so their earnings don’t really matter.
This depends on how smart you are at building your profile as a lawyer. What lawyers make depend on how many clients they have.
Most young lawyers make around $40,000 – $65,000 per year. NALP.org reported that this career has a mean salary of $82,292 per year, but not everyone can easily get the mean salary.
Most people assume that pilots have the best paying jobsPilots work regular hours like most of us. They would “be at work” for 8-12 hours everyday, but their hourly compensation is different. They are only paid for the hours they are on flight. That means, they may be “at work” for 12 hours per day but will only be paid for the 6-hour flight.
New pilots can make $20-$40 / hour and health benefits on top of that. Major Airlines pay about $50,000 per year for an entry level. It is true that a pilot can earn $200,000 per year. But that comes rarely, and only if you already have a lot of experience.
Chemists and Biologists
Most people think that becoming a scientist pays well because of how hard you have study in college, and most importantly, because of the studies they have to perform for future innovation. If you are a fresh graduate chemist, you will have to invest for your own lab and hope to make money out of it.
Management positions seem to change this, though, as you can make more. But again, that’s after lots of experiences.
If you are still in college and taking one of these majors, don’t feel discouraged. People succeed in these fields because of their love for what they do. In the end, it’s not how much money you make, but how much you help the society.
Work from home websites are labeled SCAM when they don’t pay their members after finishing a certain task.
Most of the time, first-time freelancers are lured by online job companies who ask for money claiming that they can train you to do easy jobs that pay $$$. They also have these videos on their landing pages that show you how one person is making hundreds per day by just doing surveys. Who doesn’t want that? We all do. But is it legit?
Paid surveys is just one of the many flexible online jobs that can easily lure you into believing that you can get paid online. This is also true for some writing and data-entry jobs. I think these “scammy” businesses are targeting these categories because they are easy tasks and everyone likes to work from home and make money online without spending a lot of time and effort.
When searching for genuine work from home jobs, your search results will show you a huge list of websites who claim to be legit. It is beneficial to check these sites one-by-one.
Carefully read what’s on their home page. If they tell you that you can easily make $10 with one survey, get out of there! If people really make that much from that site, then they probably wouldn’t need more members because of large numbers of people who would wanna make money online that easily.
Note: Before being assigned a survey, you have to fill out personal information about yourself, thus it is important to know how these sites use your information.
What if I am a freelancer looking for a new client?
A freelancer faces doubts when being contacted by a potential client. Before, a lot of freelancers would have to beg their clients to pay after delivering their work.
If you are someone who likes to work from home completing project-based jobs, it is advisable to join communities like Freelancer.com and Fiverr. These sites require buyers (clients) to deposit their budget before they can post a job they want done. This will assure the freelancers that they will get the payment after finishing the project.
Use your search engine and find out what people say about a certain website. Sometimes, though, people would label a website a SCAM even if it really is not. The reason is because some sites would promise that you can make huge earnings doing small tasks, when in fact, that is far from reality.
Lesson: Don’t expect to earn much doing work from home jobs. Let this Reddit comment explain it further.
The author of the blog The White Rocking Chair has also commented about her earnings from Inbox Dollars.
Use your judgment. Be careful of blog posts that claim a website is legit just so you click on their affiliate links and make money for referring you.
Don’t Invest Your Money for MORE Money
It is okay to invest, but that’s not true for legit work from home jobs. You might find some websites that promise you hundreds of dollars per day if you pay a one-time fee. (Yes, these sites exist). Remember, you’re searching for a job because you need money, and no one should ask you to pay them so you can receive a list of assignments.
If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.
There are a lot of online job sites who are willing to pay hard-working and dedicated people like you. Just don’t get excited about too-good-to-be-true offers. Read lots of reviews and compare these websites so you won’t waste your time with the ones who won’t send you the payment after long hours of work.
Publishing your first book can be scary. Sometimes, thoughts of whether people will like, and actually buy your book may stop you from publishing a book. For some, publishing an e-book seems impossible. In reality, it is possible to self-publish an eBook for free. All you need is a story, patience, and determination.
In the past, it’s not easy to run after book agencies to get your book published. However, because of the changing technology, you can easily learn how to write and self-publish an eBook for free in just a few clicks. (Well, that can be an exaggeration, but assuming you have already finished a book and done all the proof-reading, you’re good to go.)
As an indipendent publisher, you would have to do all the work, from writing to editing, publishing and marketing your book. Now, that’s a lot of work. But determination and patience is the key here.
This elephant has just finished a book. Give him a break!
Take for example the Indie Author E.L James. She started out by writing fan fictions for the Twilight series. She soon turned her writings into the well-known and best-selling 50 Shades of Grey trilogy. Her first books were published as an e-book, and according to The Richest, she had an estimated net worth of $60 Million.
Now let’s go back and talk about you. I know, it might sound impossible to beat her, but you don’t have to do that yet. Because today, you just want to be an indie author who wants to self-publish an eBook for free- that’s achievable!
What if I’m Struggling to Finish My Book?
Don’t worry. Most of us have been there, too. I was still in high school when I started writing short stories for my classmates to read. I like how they react, and I soon realized that I’m the kind of writer who loves not-so-happy endings. They hated that, though, but still they can’t stop reading.
It’s not easy to complete a novel, but you may want to consider finishing a few short stories that you can compile into one book. Readers will read anything that moves their imagination.
Try Joining NaNoWriMo
NaNoWriMo is a fun writing program that will encourage you to finish writing a 50,000-word book within 30 days.
Skeptics would comment that a 50,000-word book written in just 30 days has a low quality. For NaNoWriMo, their goal is to help you write your draft. If you submit a 50,000-word book after 30 days, you win. (That means that your book will be printed and sent out to you.) After that, the proof-reading season starts.
This program seems to work for starters since a lot of writers get to win every 30th of November. There’s not a huge prize, but you sure would be really happy for finishing your first novel and showing your friends a hard-copy of it. (You get 5 copies, by the way.)
I joined this program once, but I finished my book without reaching the target word-count. I felt bad, of course, but I’m happy I finally have a complete story.
What About Writer’s Block?
Writer’s block is your worst enemy. It’s hard when you really want to write something, even if it’s just a few paragraphs and you’re facing a dead-end.
Chris Mandeville has formulated 52 exercises to get out of your writer’s block.
Mandeville writes in a conversational style with a light and lively pace. Her book is a quick and easy resource to jumpstart your creativity. You can read these fast moving chapters from start to finish, or you can focus on a category or a specific exercise. All are written with insight, humor, and advice. This is a must read for writers at every level.
I’m Done Writing, Now What?
Yay! You’re now ready to self-publish an eBook for free! Make sure you make a back-up of your manuscript. I usually write on Google Docs so my updates are saved online. That way, I can access it wherever I am.
After that, turn off your computer. Grab some food. Travel. Spend time with your family.
Forget about your novel for a while and focus on different things. When you get back to it after a few days, or weeks even, you will be able to look at it from a different perspective.
Now start reading your book. Focus on how you structure the events. Then take note of your grammar and how you have written your sentences. You might find the Hemingway App useful for grading your sentence structure.
Reading aloud can help you spot awkward sentences. When you find errors and scenes that seem out-of-place, don’t be afraid to remove them from your novel.
Ask a trustworthy friend to read your book and let them criticize it. When they comment, view them as a reader, not someone who should be approving everything you do. Think about the things they have pointed out and stay open-minded.
Don’t get mad at them for having negative thoughts about the book that you work hard on. Remember, they’re doing you a favor for giving the first reviews. If they noticed some errors in your book, you don’t want your readers seeing those as well.
Designing Your Book Cover
Your book cover is as important as your story. This is the first thing that a potential reader will see while looking for a new book to read.
I use Canva.Com to design my book covers because it is easier to use than Photoshop. Canva also has preset sizes for different graphics, including regular and Kindle e-book covers.
I find it easier to use high-quality images as backgrounds instead of designing my own. I then choose a font that I think would suit my book and the background image.
This is the second book that I self-published, by the way.
If you’re publishing with Amazon Kindle Direct, they have a cover creator that you can use.
How to Self-Publish an eBook for Free on Amazon
I choose Kindle Direct as a publishing platform because Amazon is a huge website. The drawback is you’ll find yourself in the middle of millions of indie writers who are also hoping to venture the writing world. Worse, some of them have already established their brand.
Knowing this about KDP publishing, I told myself that I have my own story, and I want to put it out there. If someone notices it, then that’s good. In the end, we all have our own stories to tell.
There are different ways you can upload your manuscript to the site. Check them out here. The easiest is by uploading a Word file (.DOC or .DOCX).
Some formatting notes to consider:
Make sure you have correctly formatted your file. You don’t have to worry about the font because Kindle will use their default font after processing your file.
On the first page of your manuscript must be the book title and your author name. Use page break or hit CTRL+ENTER on your keyboard to start on a new page without the spaces.
Make sure there is a page break after every chapter so your book will look organized after processing.
You don’t have to add pages on your manuscript file.
Don’t add your cover photo in the manuscript.
After uploading your manuscript, you will have to upload your book cover and fill in important information about your book.
Sell your book with your book description. It’s not an easy job to do, but Bryan Hutchinson gave some good tips on how you can do that.
Congratulations on publishing your very first e-book! You’re now a certified indie-writer. Go ahead and share that download link to your friends and family through social media and e-mail.
These are the steps that I followed so I can self-publish an eBook for free. I never paid for anything for the 2 books that I published on Amazon. However, some writers may choose to pay someone to design their book cover, proof-read or format their book. Some even buy services to promote their newly launched e-book. There’s nothing wrong with that, what’s important is, you have a good book with your name on it.
Note: I never promoted my books aggressively, but sometimes, I share them on Twitter. Without promotions, I still get to earn per month for selling a few books. Also, I get to earn from Amazon’s KENP (Kindle Edition Normalized Pages) Read. This program allows writers to share earnings according to how many pages were read from their books for free.