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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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Last Updated on April 11, 2019

How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

Possessing strong communication skills will help you in every phase of your life. This is especially true in the workplace.

I have personally worked with several leaders who were masters of communication. A few were wonderful speakers who could tell a great story and get everyone in the room engaged. Those of us in attendance would walk away feeling inspired and eager to help with what came next. Others were very skilled at sharing a clear direction and job expectations.

I knew exactly what was expected of me and how to achieve my goals. This was the foundation of an energized and vibrant role I was in. What I have found is strong communication skills are incredibly helpful and sometimes critical in how well we perform at work.

Here we will take a look at how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

How Communication Skills Help Your Success

Strong communication skills pave the way for success in many ways. Let’s look at a few of the big ones.

Create a Positive Experience

Here are two examples of how well developed communication skills helps create a positive experience:

When I first moved to the city I now live in, I began a job search. Prior to my first live interview, I was told an address to go to. Upon arriving at the address provided, I drove around and around attempting to find the location. After 15 minutes of circling and looking for the address, I finally grabbed a parking spot and set out on foot.

What I discovered was the address was actually down an alley and only had the number over the door. No sign for the actual company. The person that gave me those very unclear directions provided a bad experience for me.

Had they communicated the directions to get there in a clear manner, my experience would have been much better. Instead the entire experience started off poorly and colored the entire meeting.

As a recruiter, I frequently provide potential candidates with information about a job I’m speaking to them about. In order to do this, I also provide a picture of the overall company, the group they might be joining, and how their role fits in and impacts the entire company.

Time and time again I have been told by candidates that I have provided the clearest picture of a company and role they have ever heard. They have a positive experience when I clearly communicate to them. Even when the position does not work out for them, often times they will want to stay in touch with me due to the open communication and beneficial experience they had during the interviewing process.

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Strong communication skills will provide a positive experience in virtually any interaction you have with someone.

Help Leadership Skills

It’s certainly a skill all its own to be able to lead others.

Being a mentor and guiding others towards success is a major hallmark of great leaders. Another characteristic of effective leaders is the ability to communicate clearly.

As I referenced above, having a leader who can plainly articulate the company’s mission and direction goes a really long way towards being the Captain of the boat that others want to follow. It’s like saying “here’s our destination and this is how we are going to get there” in a way that everyone can get on board with.

Another critical component of everyone helping to sail the boat in the right direction is knowing what your portion is all about. How are you helping the boat move towards its destination in the manner than is consistent with the leaders’ vision?

If you have a boss or a manager that can show you what it takes for not only you to be successful, but also how your performance helps the company’s success then you’ve got a winner. A boss with superior communication skills.

Build Better Teams

Most of us work in teams of some sort or another. During the course of my career, I have led teams up to 80 and also been an individual contributor.

In my individual contributor roles, I have been part of a larger team. Even if you are in business for yourself, you have to interact with others in one manner or another.

If you have strong communication skills, it helps to build better teams. This is true whether you are in an IT department with 100 other fellow programmers or if you own your own business and have customers or vendors you communicate with.

When you showcase your robust ability to communicate well with others while interacting with them, you are building a better team.

Now let’s jump in to how to improve communication skills to help you pave the way for your workplace success.

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How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

There are many tips, tricks, and techniques to improve communication skills. I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much information, so let’s focus on the things that will provide the biggest return on your time investment.

Most of these tips will be fairly easy to become aware of but will take time and effort to implement. So let’s go!

1. Listen

Ever heard the saying you have two ears and one mouth for a reason? If you haven’t, then here’s the reason:

Being a good listener is half the equation to being a good communicator.

People who have the ability to really listen to someone can then actually answer questions in a meaningful way. If you don’t make the effort to actively listen, then you are really doing yourself and the other person a disservice in the communication department.

Know that person who is chomping at the bit to open his or her mouth the second you stop talking? Don’t be that person. They haven’t listened to at least 1/2 of what you’ve said. Therefore the words that spill out of their mouth are going to be about 1/2 relevant to what you just said.

Listen to someone completely and be comfortable with short periods of silence. Work on your listening skills first and foremost.

2. Know Your Audience

Knowing your audience is another critical component to having strong communication skills. The way you interact with your manager should be different than how you interact with your kids. This isn’t to say you need to be a different person with everyone you interact with. Far from it.

Here is a good way to think about it:

Imagine using your the same choice of words and body language you use with your spouse while interacting with your boss. That puts things in a graphic light!

You want to ensure you are using the type of communication most relevant to your audience.

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3. Minimize

I have lunch with a business associate about 3 times a year. We’ve been talking for several years now about putting a business deal together.

He is one of those people that simply overwhelms others with a lot of words. Sometimes when I ask him a question, I get buried beneath such an avalanche of words that I’m more confused than when I asked the question. Needless to say this is most likely a large portion of why we never put the deal together.

Don’t be like my lunch business associate. The goal of talking to or communicating with someone is to share actual information. The goal is not to confuse someone, it’s to provide clarity in many cases.

State what needs to be stated as succinctly as possible. That doesn’t mean you can’t have some pleasant conversation about the weather too.

The point is to not create such an onslaught of words and information that the other person walks away more confused than when they started.

4. Over Communicate

So this probably sounds completely counter intuitive to what I just wrote about minimizing your communication. It seems like it might be but it’s not.

What I mean by over communicating is ensuring that the other person understands the important parts of what you are sharing with them. This can be done simply yet effectively. Here’s a good example:

Most companies have open enrollment for benefits for the employees in the fall. The company I work for has open enrollment from November 1 to 15. The benefits department will send out a communication to all employees around October 1st, letting them know open enrollment is right around the corner and any major changes that year. There’s also a phone number and email for people to contact them with any questions.

Two weeks later, we all get a follow up email with basically the same information. We get a 3rd communication the week before open enrollment and another one 1 day before it starts.

Finally we get 2 emails during enrollment reminding us when open enrollment ends.

There’s minimal information, it’s more of a reminder. This is effective over communication.

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5. Body Language

The final critical component to how to improve communication skills for workplace success is body language. This is something most of us have heard about before but, a reminder is probably a good idea.

When I am in a meeting with someone I am comfortable with, I tend to kind of slouch down in my chair and cross my arms. When I catch myself doing this, I sit up straight and uncross my arms. I remember that crossing arms can many times be interpreted as a sign of disagreement or conflict.

In general, the best rule of thumb is to work towards having open body language whenever possible at work. This means relaxing your posture, not crossing your arms, and looking people in the eye when speaking with them.

When you are speaking in front of others, stand up straight and speak in a clear voice. This will convey confidence in your words.

Conclusion

Possessing strong communication skills will help you in many facets of your life and most certainly in the workplace.

Good communication helps create better teams, positive experiences with those we interact with, and are critical for leadership.

There are numerous tactics and techniques to be used to improve communication skills. Here we’ve reviewed how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

Now go communicate your way to success.

More Resources About Effective Communication

Featured photo credit: HIVAN ARVIZU via unsplash.com

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