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Beginner’s Guide: Start a blog, get 100,000 page views and make over $100 your first month

Beginner’s Guide: Start a blog, get 100,000 page views and make over $100 your first month

If you’re a blog reader, chances are you’re also an aspiring blog writer. Launching a for-profit weblog is extremely attractive because it has the potential for endless profit with practically no overhead. Launching a blog is a quick and easy process even for the absolute beginner. The following is what I learned from my pre-lifehack.org blog in which I earned over $100 and received over 100,000 page views my first month blogging. I did it and you can too! Make the jump to find out how.

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Technical stuff
First things first, you’ve got to get the technical stuff out of the way. The “technical stuff” I’m talking about includes choosing a blogging platform, choosing a hosting service, and choosing a domain name. Chances are you’re well aware of the various blogging platforms so I won’t spend time going over them. I think the best blogging software to use is WordPress. Darren Rowse over at ProBlogger.net has an excellent post that describes the features of WordPress 2.0. After you’ve decided on a blogging application, you need to chose a domain name and a hosting service. If you have never blogged before (or even if you have) you will find that it is easiest to chose a domain name and hosting package from the same service provider. GoDaddy.com has 24/7 technical support (although you will pay a premium compared to other hosting providers) and it will completely automate the installation of WordPress for free. If you are not a technical person, this frees you from messing around with all the technical junk.

Domain name
It is extremely important that you think long term before picking a domain name. After you establish your blog, you aren’t going to be able to transfer your domain name without losing your readers, really! Think of your domain name as being permanently attached to your blog. Your domain name should be as short as possible, easy to remember, easy to speak, and not include any part of your name unless you’re a celebrity (which you’re not). You should avoid using any part of your name because if your blog becomes popular enough to sell, having your name as part or all of the domain name will drive down some of the blog’s value.

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Get advertisements immediately
Sign up for advertisements immediately. You’re not going to make any money without advertisements. Yahoo!, Google, Microsoft, Amazon and many others offer advertisements that you can easily integrate into your site. I had great success using Google Adsense. Despite what you may have heard, you can make some pretty good money with Google ads. Checkout Darren from ProBlogger’s survey about Adsense income. I also recommend signing up with PayPopUp banner ads. PayPopUp pays you every time their ad is displayed, you don’t have to rely on users clicking the links. This will not make you nearly as much money as Google Adsense, however it is guaranteed money even if no visitors click your advertisements. After your blog is established, the goal should be to ditch third party advertisements and sell advertising space directly to companies.

Get Google Analytics immediately
You will want to track as much information about your visitors as possible, the easiest and most detailed way of doing so is with Google Analytics. Amongst many other things, Google Analytics lets you see the referring URL of your visitors, your top content, what Google searches are landing users at your site, how long users are staying, and their exit points. Knowing this information will help you customize your content so that you can maximize your readership. You should also consider using Site Meter to publicly display your site’s up to the hour traffic to potential advertisers.

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Write 50 posts
That’s enough talk about setup, it’s time to talk content. That’s right, you need to write at least 50 posts your first month. That’s 2-3 posts per day, everyday for 30 days. It may seem tough, but it is absolutely necessary. The number one way that you will lose potential readers is to not update your site regularly. You need to establish readership, and get your Google Page Rank up, if you can’t come up with 50 posts the first month, you may want to consider finding another topic for your blog. Adding several posts per day will help increase the amount of Stumbleupon traffic your site grabs.

Submit every article to Digg
This recommendation is going to bring some negative comments, I’m sure. Regardless, digg.com is a tremendous way to advertise your site for free. Honestly, submit every article you write to digg. When you are starting a brand new blog, besides exchanging links with more establish blogs (which I recommend) there will be absolutely no links to your site. Even if you think the article is no good, submit it to digg. Let the digg community decide what is good content and what is not. You might as well let your work get some exposure. Some of my most popular posts through Stumbleupon got less than 4 diggs. Every article that doesn’t make the front page of digg will land you about 100 page views. If you do make the front page of digg (it’s a great feeling, believe me). You will get anywhere between 3,000 and 20,000 page views per day.

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What would you do differently
I know some of you have been blogging for a very long time. What would you add that I didn’t mention? Is there anything I suggest that you disagree with? Please share your opinion in the comments.

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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