In 2020, my main income comes from creating small blogs, i.e. WordPress blogs with around 5-10 pages. I still build small blogs regularly to keep adding to my portfolio.
The blogs should have a minimum of five or six posts to get your initial ranking. If the blog performs well it is worth creating more posts if there are suitable related keywords with enough search volume. If the blog performs less well or there are few good volume long tail keywords then you will be better off building a new blog. These blogs are not designed to become authority sites and so the best return on my time is generally to build more sites rather than bigger ones.
About a year ago I started training students how to build these small blogs and it was so popular that I have since created a number of “how to” and “training” products. It is relatively easy to create training materials that you could really learn from. I offer full support for all products and students via a helpdesk system. This is a huge overhead for me however I really don’t want to outsource this part of the business as it enables me to really connect with my customers and students.
Going forward I see my business still firmly based on making money with blogs and websites selling products or advertising. As I develop new, better, faster, easier techniques or methods then I will develop training packages around them. I don’t want to move to the “Guru” model of mass launches and up-sells of questionable products that seems to be getting a bad name recently however I suspect that’s what happens when you lose touch with your customers.
I want to make enough money for me to keep me in this nice lifestyle however I also want to keep my integrity and I want to sleep soundly at night.
So, a conventional website is simply one with pages and content designed to fulfill a specific purpose. i.e. sell a product, deliver news items, gather memberships or show of pictures of your new baby. Although many new tools and applications are now available for you to create websites they are fundamentally static information sites.
Blogs are really dynamic sites. They have fixed content of course however new content is generally added regularly in such a way as the home page will change regularly. They are also interactive. Site visitors can leave their own comments on the blog content and converse with the blog owners.
The popularity of blogs used as online diaries helped to create specialist platforms to make these blogs and WordPress has emerged out as the market leader. The continual “fresh” content and visitor interaction was quickly seen by Google a good thing. Exactly what Google wants from web sites; up to date information, useful information and information that visitors can influence.
Google have modified their “algorithm” to give a boost to sites built with platforms like WordPress. Many marketers like myself have moved to creating sites with WordPress and other blog platforms because of the extra “ranking power” they offer.
As soon as you understand how Google looks at and analyses websites it’s not difficult to get any blog, or in fact any site, indexed in Google within a few hours. To get good rankings, and by that I mean appear near the top of the search results quickly, it is crucial to choose good domain names and keywords. With low competition keywords you can rank on the first couple of pages in the google search results within a couple of weeks.
There is a lot more to ranking your blog than just picking good keywords. What you need to do will depend on your long term strategies. In short though you have two areas that need your attention. Firstly the on-page SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) which in most part is taken care of by your keyword selection, the WordPress application and few clever plugins.
Finally you need to add your off-page optimisation which in practice is your backlinking strategy. There are many different tactics for backlinks and guest posting.
Blogs are great ways to generate revenue and Google currently show them make them an ideal vehicle for selling advertising or products. These can be your own product, affiliate products , Google Adsense (my current favourite) or any other advertising.
You need to ensure your blogs add value for the visitors and selling them an affiliate product should not be seen to the main objective of the site. I have a specific method of keyword research that does not focus on products or niches however more on “the numbers”. My process tends to uncover untapped and less competitive niches. I can’t go into specifics as it is the subject of a training program I am developing.
One of the big problems with building blogs is the time it takes. Even with applications like WordPress you still need to do a lot of configuration and adding content etc and this can be very time consuming. As the name suggests my latest product is a “template” and process to build blogs much faster than by conventional methods.
The original idea of creating the template was something I’d had in mind for some time however a number of other factors needed to be in place before it would work. One of those was the template theme or style. There would be little point in putting out dozens of blogs that didn’t make any money because the design was wrong. I had already been teaching students how to build blogs and I had a fairly large network of my own and I was able to see what blogs performed better than others and from that I designed a theme that was liked by Google and encouraged good “click-through” rates from visitors.
The blog network that I use to generate the backlinks actually came to me while I was sleeping (believe it or not) whether I was dreaming or just suffering from an over-active mind that night I’m not sure however it really did just “pop into my head”. Putting the two together was simple, and when I built a few blogs and used only the links from the network (which was pretty small at that time) I found I was getting page 1 and page 2 rankings within a few days.
One of the most boring jobs (for most people) online is building backlinks to your sites so I have included automatic inclusion into a blog network to create backlinks. I developed this initially for my own use and then made it available to everyone when I saw just how much easier it made the whole process of putting up a blog. Once your blog is indexed in Google you can add it to the backlink network. If you chose low competition keywords that may be all that is needed to get your site onto page 1. If not then a few more quality backlinks will normally do the job.
Content creation can be a real challenge for some people, either they just find the writing difficult (or boring , I know I do) or may not have a good understanding of the blog subjects, or maybe not even the time.
These are small blogs with only a few posts so yes some people may be tempted to not post low quality content. This will be the quickest way for your blog to fail, especially with the latest Google changes, so I think the system will be self regulating. Each blog registering with the network is human vetted before being accepted so there will always be someone checking the blogs.
When you’re creating products you do need a few basic tools. I am a great believer in using open source applications when I can however not if that means producing a lower quality product. For document production I use Open office. It has a similar set of office applications as Microsoft Word so a word processor, a spreadsheet, a presentation creator. For graphic editing I use another open source program called Gimp, an alternative to Photoshop.
Much of what I create is based on the things I need when I am working. I do also research a little to see what other solutions are available and if anyone is talking about the same problems on forums. I have built a list and continue to do so and these days I only offer my own products to my list. There are always lessons to be learned and things you can do better in the future. You should never rest on your laurels. Even from a hugely successful launch you should learn new things. Sure pat yourself on the back and enjoy the glory (for a short while) however don’t fool yourself that you’re perfect.