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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 January 15, 2021

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

Posture

First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

  • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
  • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
  • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
  • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

Facial Expressions

Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

  • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
  • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
  • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

2. Relax Your Face

New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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3. Improve Your Eye Contact

Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

3. Smile More

There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

4. Hand Gestures

Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

5. Enhance Your Handshake

In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

“Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

Final Takeaways

Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

Reference

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