We started experimenting with blogging and online marketing back in 2011. Most of the time, a blogger’s goal is to generate traffic to his or her blog. Bloggers can monetize their blog either using ads or using affiliate product links, or a mix of both. We’ve tried both, and we’ve tried several methods for gaining traffic, from good white-hat SEO tactics to bad and dumb black-hat tactics. We made many mistakes along the way, but the good thing is that we learned from these mistakes. Here’s what we learned from our experiments; here are 16 crucial things we’ve learned about blogging, online traffic generation, & blog monetization:
1. Never use paid-to-click sites as a source of traffic
This is a useless and harmful blackhat tactic that will only get you “fake traffic”. Google will penalize you for it and lower your ranking, and your Adsense account will be disabled for policy violation. You’ll never be able to get it back or get a new one, and your domain will be blacklisted.
2. Longer articles are cool because of content
The saying “content is king” is actually true. Longer articles will organically get you traffic through search engines, and will also rank higher if they are keyword optimized.
3. Forums are a good source for traffic
Leaving relevant comment backlinks in relevant forum topics will get you traffic and help you rank higher, specially if the forum has high PR, lots of traffic, and is an established, trusted, popular site.
4. Use keyword SEO, it works
If properly done, SEO will get you lots of free organic traffic!
5. Adsense sucks, wait till u have a lot of traffic and then implement Adsense
Adsense sucks because they might disable your account anytime without notice and without giving you a clear reason. For all you know, you might be the victim of a competitor attack and end up losing your account and earnings. You also wouldn’t want to have a spammy site full of ads specially if you’re still starting off, so wait until you have a lot of traffic and people like your site before offering those annoying ads.
6. Use Infolinks
Infolinks is a good ad network that uses your text keywords as ad links. It’s a great source of monetization for your blog, and you can make good money off of it. You can sign up to Infolinks by clicking here.
7. Clicksor or YesAdvertising are also fine as an Adsense alternatives
These are 2 ad networks you can use if you got banned from Adsense or prefer not to use it.
8. Don’t use some unknown ad network because that might get you banned from Google!
We made the mistake of trying an ad network called Propeller Ads once. Turned out that the ad network served some low quality spammy ads, so our whole website was removed from Google and blacklisted. If you tried to visit the site, Chrome wouldn’t let you and it would say something like “website might be harmful bla bla”. It was scary, but luckily we were able to solve it by getting rid of that spammy ad network.
9. Choose an affiliate site that has good looking checkout or sales page
If you’re into affiliate marketing, when choosing a product make sure you choose an affiliate site that has a good looking checkout page, or else your potential buyer would freak out and leave and you’d lose the sale if the checkout page looks scammy or unprofessional.
10. Useful plugins to use
One of the most essential plugins to use is the Yoast SEO plugin because it helps you easily optimize your articles, which helps you rank better on search engines.
11. Use pics and name them with relevant keyword
This will help you be found by people who are using image search.
12. The money is in affiliate sales, not ads
Unless you’re focusing on writing viral content, then the bigger money is in affiliate sales and not from ads. However, if you’re writing viral content and getting thousands of visits per day, then ads is the way to go for you.
13. Offensive or silly posts go viral
Silly topics, social topics, or offensive posts go viral and get shared and viewed way more than informative or technical posts unfortunately. You can read an article about how to create viral content by clicking here.
14. Don’t use someone else’s pic
Don’t use random pics you found on Google. If you use a copyrighted pic or someone’s pic without their permission, they will find out and sue you. The internet world is small and they will find out, specially if your post goes viral.
15. Either disable comments or use a Facebook comments plugin so people don’t troll
Enabling anonymous comments will get you a lot of spam and trolling comments, and guess what; only 2-5% of people actually subscribe to receive comment replies. They just drop their shh and leave.
16. So is running a blog worth it or no?
It all depends on how you’re using it and what you’re getting out of it. If you’ve been at it and not getting the results you want then it’s not worth it. Keep in mind it’s not easy to make it, so don’t expect easy or overnight success. It takes a LOT of time, effort, and actual dedication to get successful results in the world of blogging, passive income and affiliate marketing. If you’re getting good results or you’re just doing it for fun and enjoying it, keep it up, otherwise you may need to use your time in something that brings you higher returns, whether that’s money or happiness.