10 Tips for Beginners to Set Up a Blog Properly

By Blog Tips

If you’re interested in starting a blog for profit, or have a blog that’s not performing as well as you think it should, there are a few core blogging tips that may help you make more money with your blog.

1. Choose your niche carefully. It’s best to be interested in your subject matter or an expert in your field. However, choosing a blog topic to make money with is important. Sometimes a more narrow focus can be more profitable as it's easier to optimize and if there are targeted affiliate products available. Generally, it’s best to plan for a broad topic and optimize small sub-topics within the blog.

2. Start your blog on an easy-to-use interface like Blogger or WordPress so you don’t have to waste too much time learning to manage your blog. Your time is much better spent on creating content and building up your social networks.

3. Create your primary categories or labels geared toward key phrases related to your subject matter. And identify the search strength of keywords (use Google Keyword tool) and make the most popular phrases your categories.

4. Make a list of article titles that you plan to write using the keyword phrases that you’re targeting. Not only will these blog titles get SEO recognition for your blog once their posted, this step will help you stay focused when you don’t know what to write.

5. Create easy-to-read content: Don’t use big words or dense paragraphs. Create lists like this article with 1-3 sentence paragraphs broken up by a space. Use photos wherever possible. And make sure each article gives the reader something of value.

6. Build your following: Set up a feed of your blog posts to your social networks and place invite buttons prominently to attract new followers to your blog. Add share buttons after each article. Your social media followers will provide the fuel for your primary traffic.

7. Identify guest posting opportunities where you can submit your material to higher ranked sites. These sites usually allow you to include a couple of links to your blog which will provide excellent exposure for your new blog. Also, syndicate your material to places like Yahoo! Contributors, Ezine Articles and Squidoo to build backlinks.

8. Start a newsletter for visitors to sign up for daily email alerts or weekly special reports. This helps build your target audience and may be monetized once you reach a respectable level of subscribers. Consider offering a free report or gift to encourage sign-ups. Use MailChimp to manage your list; it’s cheap and a huge time saver.

9. Implement the most easily manageable monetization vehicles to your new blog; Google Adsense, Amazon Associates, 1-2 top affiliate programs, write sponsored posts and reviews, offer sponsored link opportunities, and use BuySellAds.com to manage direct advertisers.

10. Write, write, and write some more, and watch your blog grow organically in followers, traffic, and profit as people share your amazingly thoughtful content. No blog tip is more important than creating consistent and compelling content.

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5 Most Profitable Blogging Subjects

By Blog Tips

If you’re looking to start a new blog to make money, there are a few topics that stand out for their popularity and profitability.

First, you must know that in order to truly be a successful blogger, you should be passionate about your subject matter.

If you’re robotically writing material and aggregating content simply because you think it will make money, you’ll likely get burnt out before you make anything substantial. You can’t fake passion and your readers will sense that you aren’t genuine.

In fact, passion is probably more important to your blogging success than your choice in a popular subject. There’s an audience for all topics large and small, so focus on what moves you more than what appears to be popular.

However, for the people who simply want to blog themselves a job and have the discipline to stay focused, there are some subjects that are the most competitive in terms of ad revenue because of their popularity. If you happen to be passionate about these topics, then you have a winning combination for profit.

Here are the blogging subjects with the most potential:

1. Finance and Investments

Admittedly, the finance and investment sector is already saturated with bloggers. It’s part of the reason why it’s so competitive in terms of ad revenue. Because of the saturation, it’s best to focus on your micro niche area of interest or expertise.

Are you into stocks, bonds, real estate, precious metals, etc? Stick to what you know best and put out the broadest possible content within your niche.

Adsense ads will pay you up to $10-per-click in this field and there are tons of affiliate programs and other direct advertiser opportunities.

2. Natural Health

More and more people are increasingly looking for alternatives to so-called “modern medicine.” Websites like Mercola.com and NaturalNews.com are massively popular. And relatively new blogs like NaturalSociety.com have climbed in rank very quickly.

Besides the competitiveness of Adsense campaigns for these topics, there are 100’s if not 1000’s of affiliate programs to promote in this field.

3. Technology

The technology field ranges from electronic gadgets, to web design, to gaming and everything in between. The technology field is also saturated, but readers are ferocious information seekers and advertisers are plentiful.

Again, focus on your niche and assume you’re writing to people who know absolutely nothing. Many tech gurus or web development/blogging experts have naturally moved to a more advanced audience. Write helpful tips to newbies and you’ll have an audience seeking to learn.

Advertising in this field is perhaps the most diverse out of any subject. Therefore, besides the competitiveness of Google ads, offering ad space at places like BuySellAds.com would likely bring high fill rates.

4. Parenting and Education

I know a guy who ran a survey to find out what was the most popular “how to” subject for an ebook. The response was overwhelming for one topic “How to teach kids to swim”. It seems odd, I know, but he wrote the book using several existing sources and made a fortune.

Parents love their kids more than anything in the world. Starting a blog with helpful parenting or educational information will be a homerun if you’re passionate about it.

Adsense campaigns are very competitive for secondary education and will deliver great returns per click. There are also enough advertisers targeting the young parent sector that you’ll get good fill rates on your direct advertising slots.

5. Politics and Alternative News

Alternative news is growing leaps and bounds. More people are discovering the mainstream media has been less than truthful and are getting their news online. The truth movement is happening in health, economics, politics, activism, environment, and so much more.

Although mainstream advertisers are lacking in this field, heavy traffic will always translate into income on Adsense and other CPM networks. Affiliate products are also plentiful.

Bonus subject:

Travel is also an excellent blog subject that can earn you a nice income.  Significantly, travel bloggers make money not from traffic, but from writing and hosting sponsored posts for their blog.  Because the online travel industry is so competitive, you can make over $500 per post depending on your blog's ranking.

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Cool Blog Titles - 12 Proven Tips for How to Write Them

By Blog Tips

The importance of writing great blog titles to draw traffic to your posts cannot be overstated. You may spend all day writing the greatest article in the world, but without a magnetic title your post may never get read.

In terms of SEO for blogs, titles are just as important as the article itself.  Keywords in titles carry the heaviest weight with search engines. Additionally, having good titles are crucial to draw blog traffic from social networks and other places that may syndicate your content.

So making the extra effort to perfect your titles on each and every blog post may help take your blog to the next level.

Here are 12 proven tips to write good blog titles that will help your articles go viral:

1. Brainstorm: Before you do anything else, write down at least five titles for your article's topic the way you would search for that content.

2. Include Targeted Keywords: Always include strong keywords and phrases relevant to your article (use Google Keyword tool). Find the most-searched key phrases with the least competition from your brainstormed list of titles and string together the most compelling phrases.


Keyword Bonus Tip: Search your primary keyword phrase in Google with quote marks ("cool blog titles") around it to see how many search results are returned for that exact phrase.  The lower number of results the better in terms of how many web pages you'll be competing with for those terms.

3. Keep them Short: More keyword phrases does not translate into a better title. Since most people are headline skimmers, it’s best to keep your titles short, catchy, and to the point.  If longer titles appeal to your subject matter then break them up with a hyphen.

Example: Healthiest Dog Food Brands - Where to Find Them at the Best Prices.

4. Stay Relevant: Make sure your blog title stays relevant to the content in your post. You don’t want to get a reputation for sensational titles and lackluster content, but make them as dramatic as possible for the topic.

5. Make Lists: Because we live in a fast-food world, people love their information in bullet points. Top ten lists like 10 Reasons, or 10 Ways to do this or that are very popular.

6. Leading with ‘This’: Many bloggers use leading headlines with great success. Mercola.com is the king of these. These titles are typically lacking in keywords and information but intrigue the headline reader to click.

Examples: This Daily Habit Can Cause Cancer or This Common Mistake Can Cost You Money.

7. Questions: Similar to leading titles, questions may compel readers to click through to article to find the answer. Also, if worded properly, question titles may be the exact thing people will search to find your article.

Example: What are the healthiest dog food brands?

8. Bold Statements: Be bold when you’re writing an article to educate or to rank items. Use words like best, proven, top, secret, tips, etc.

9. Use ‘How to’: Many people search with the term ‘how to’ when looking for information. So if your article aims to teach your reader something, including this term will be helpful.

Example: How to Blog for Money

10. Call to Action: Start your titles with action words like discover, become, win, learn, etc. Example: Discover the Main Reason You’re Not Losing Weight

11. Do NOT use ALL CAPS: Don't use all caps, or exclamation points, and words and phrases like BREAKING NEWS should be avoided. Although they may be compelling for your followers, Google frowns on their use.

12. Keywords in Front: Putting the targeted keywords first has many advantages.  They will appear in the URL of the article on most platforms and will be the first words in the article meta tag and any link to the article itself.

Now that you’ve read this article, let’s break down the title to this post; Cool Blog Titles - 12 Proven Tips for How to Write Them. You’ll see I used many of the techniques listed here to construct this title.

My first 2 brainstorm titles (the way I would search this material) were:

• Tips to create magnetic blog titles
• How to create great blog titles

After researching keywords, I found that ‘write blog’ was better than 'create', and ‘blog titles’ were both very well-searched phrases in the keyword tool, but search results told me they were too competitive for a new site like this. And ‘tips’ combined with the word ‘blog’ was also attractive to my overall SEO purposes.

But my keyword focus was whether to use "good blog titles" or "best blog titles" as both are popularly searched.  However, each returned 135K and 88K results, respectively, in searches which is fairly competitive.

Upon digging deeper, I found that "cool blog titles" was actually searched more times than "best" and returned a much less-competitive 22K search results. So I decided to make that my primary keyword phrase.

Then I formed the material into a list, used the bold word ‘proven’, kept it relevant and short, and added ‘how to’ for extra kick.

So it takes a bit of thought, research and some trial and error to become a great title writer. But it’s well worth the effort especially when you work hard to create quality content.

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Niche Blog Strategy - 8 Steps to Make Money Fast with Niche Blogs

By Blog Tips

Do you want to make a residual income from a blog that requires very little upkeep?  Well, niche blogging might just be perfect for beginners to get their feet wet making money online.

Most people use niche blogs as a sounding board for narrowly focused subjects, but many affiliate marketers use them as a platform to make money.  And because the focus of those blogs is laser targeted, they can usually be optimized quite quickly to become profitable.

Although affiliate marketers vary slightly in their approach, there is a general strategy that works well if you're looking to make money fast with a niche blog.  Here are the basic steps that affiliate marketers take to create a successful niche blog:

1. Find a niche product:  The very first thing you must do is find a quality affiliate product that has a good conversion rate and pays a solid commission.  Clickbank is one of the more popular places where you can choose from 1000's of digital products that offer commissions up to 75%.  Find a product for your niche that has good reviews and marketing materials.

2. Research related keywords:  Next, you want to research keywords related to that product.  This step is probably the most crucial step to creating a profitable niche blog.  You want to find a primary keyword phrase that is searched at least 3000 times a month, along with 5-10 more related keyword phrases that have sufficient searches a month.  Chances are those phrases won't be too competitive, but you'll want to check how many Google search results there are for those exact phrases.  You'll want to see less than 30,000 SERPs (search engine page results) for the keywords you ultimately choose. (Get FREE Ebook - SEO For Bloggers)

3. Buy a domain:  You'll want to find a domain for your primary keyword phrase (the one with at least 3000 or more monthly searches and less than 30K SERP).  The closer the match to the exact phrase the better.  For example, if your keyword phrase is 'niche blogging', then nicheblogging.com (or .net, .org) is what you want.  In fact, if a .com, .net, or .org is not available for the exact phrase, then the phrase is probably more competitive than your initial research showed.  In other words, it will be harder to climb to the first page of Google with nicheblogging.info if those other domains are taken.

4. Create a simple blog: Once you have your domain purchased, you'll want to build a simple blog.  You can either go with a free service like Blogger which allows you to easily host the blog under you custom domain, or you may buy hosting and use a platform like WordPress to manage your content.  Choose a plain but attractive 2-column template, make a nice logo, write a keyword-rich meta tag description, and create a page where you can display the details of your chosen product with your affiliate purchase link prominently available.

5. Create Content: Next, you want to create some compelling and SEO-friendly content.  Your first article should be a general post about your primary subject using your domain keywords in the title and throughout the article.  This article should hit on all the important points and benefits of your affiliate product and should contain at least two links to your affiliate product embedded in bold anchor text.  You'll also want to create at least 2 more original versions of that same general material.  After that, write articles around those other 5-10 sub-keyword phrases you found, but you don't want to post them all just yet.

social media marketing services6. Link Building:  Since you're a brand new blog with hopes of getting on the front page of Google with your niche, you'll must build backlinks to your blog.  You can do this with an article marketing strategy that will also get you some affiliate sales.  Post the 2 articles that mirror your primary blog article to article hubs; one to EzineArticles.com and the other to a lens at Squidoo.com.  Make sure they have different keyword rich titles.  Ezine permits 2 dofollow links at the bottom of the article (and nofollow links within content), so put one link back to your blog embedded behind anchor text for your niche blog's subject (ie. "niche blogging").  Put the next link to your affiliate product's landing page.  Squidoo also allows dofollow links within the content.  They also offer "resources" widgets where you could post the links again. Again, include a link to your new blog and a link or two to your affiliate product.

7. Market Your Articles: Now that you have built a few backlinks to your new blog from high ranking websites, you must begin to support them.  In other words, now you must build backlinks to your "backlink" articles.  There are several ways to do this; first you should open an account at SocialAdr which is a powerful social bookmarking service.  There, you can get 100's of organic bookmarks to your articles with your chosen keywords.  Next, you can use Blog Blueprint SEO tool. To use this incredible tool, you write short original blog posts with one link to your hub articles and the tool syndicates that post into their network of highly ranked blogs.  Both of these tools appear organic and can raise the Google rank for your hub articles very quickly.

8. Second Phase: Phase two is simply repeating the tasks from above with new article topics.  Post a new keyword rich article at your niche blog, write at least two more original versions of the same material to post to article hubs, include links back to your blog post and affiliate product, and market the hub articles using SocialAdr and Blog Blueprint.  But, this time, start using SocialAdr and Blog Blueprint to slowly build links back to your niche blog in addition to the hub articles.

If you have chosen and used your keyword phrases wisely and follow this niche blog strategy, your blog will soon be attracting search engine traffic along with your hub articles.  Once you begin to realize organic traffic to your blog, you may then add other ways to make money with your blog. And an additional benefit to posting Squidoo is that you get article revenue sharing on top of your potential affiliate commissions.

You can expect to start seeing results within a weeks if your affiliate product converts well, and you can experience incredible Google search strength within a month or two if you keep working this strategy with new articles every few days.

Clearly, if this strategy works well with one niche, it will work well with others.  So, you may be inclined to start many niche blogs with which you could conceivably be making a full-time income online in 6 months to a year if you're diligent.

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10 Guerrilla Marketing Tips for Your Blog

Blog Tips

There are many ways enhance traffic to your blog. Some of them will bring immediate traffic, while others may just be building backlinks to your blog and expanding your overall reach.

Many of these guerrilla marketing tips will also enhance your search engine visibility. All of these tasks have value, but they require time. So it's best to test these tactics through trial and error to see which ones work best for your blog's topic.

Here are ten sure-fire ways to start driving traffic to your blog today:

1. Topic-focused forums: Since you’re passionate about your subject, you probably already engage in popular forums related to it. Make your website name the signature at forums and drop links to related articles on your site when appropriate. The more you engage in these forums, the more visitors will follow your information.


2. Comment sections on large websites: Again, use your blog’s name as your username to make comments under relevant articles on large websites. Don’t just spam sites with links. Write genuine comments in response to an article. Most major websites have their comment sections set up with “no follow” links which means search engines will not recognize the anchor text in the backlink. So it’s only worthwhile for you to put intriguing or informative comments that may entice people to click your link. Some website's comment sections, like Commentluv, automatically include an RSS link to your latest article.

3. Post links on social networking sites: Besides your articles feeding your Facebook page, many fan sites will allow you to post links on their wall. Take advantage when you have a new article. Be respectful, and keep to a couple of links a week. Also, drop links in other social networks where you don’t have a direct feed. Every little bit counts.

4. Post answers: Places like Yahoo! Answers and YouTube allow you to answer questions or give video responses. Make sure you link to your site in your profiles, the resource box, and under your answer or video response.

5. Mainline forums: Reddit.com and Fark.com are huge forums that can drive significant traffic. Reddit has a share button which helps because visitors can post your link and boost your votes there. Fark arbitrarily chooses which links they'd like to promote, but it only takes seconds to submit them.  Both forums require some engagement to maintain good status with them.

6. Ping your blog posts: To alert search engines of your new blog posts, use free ping services such as Pingler.com and Pingoat.com.

7. Create a Hub: Repost your original material at article hubs. Or create a hub page or lens about your blog subject and drop links here and there. Go to HubPages.com or Squidoo.com. The sites are also article revenue sharing sites that pay you for traffic.

8. Press releases: Write a press release about the launch of your site, a current project or news related to you topic and submit them to free press release distribution sites like PRweb.com. Make sure you write it properly and avoid too much salesmanship. If you get two links back to your site in a press release, that’s a victory. Press releases also have the potential to go super viral if you opt for the wide distribution plans.

9. Get business cards: Like they say, “Don’t dress for the job you have today, dress for the job you want tomorrow.” Even if you have a day job, get business cards made up for your blog. Make sure they’re creative and pass them out at all occasions. If you treat your blog like a credible enterprise it will become one.

10. Exchange links or banners with other bloggers: In addition to sharing content with other relevant blogs, ask to exchange links with them or even banners. Make banners for free at Picmonkey.com

There are countless more ways to drive traffic to your blog, but those listed above have a proven track record.

Tell us your guerilla techniques in the comment section below.  Your links are allowed ;)

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10 Tips to Fix Your Crappy Blog

By Blog Tips

Many excellent writers maintain horrible blogs that look like they were started yesterday with some garbage default template, with no additional pages, no contact information, and no clear theme. There’s no excuse for this, especially if these writers are wondering why they don’t make any money from their blog.

It pains me to see that they don’t invest any time learning the skills to become a true blogger. A blogger is so much more than a writer. Bloggers must not only be able to create compelling content, but they must also acquire some basic skills for blog design, social media marketing, and business management. Bloggers are entrepreneurs that must handle all these tasks and more.

Good writers may have thousands of social media followers but they’ll rarely convert to blog traffic if it is inadequate. If you’re one of these bloggers, there are a few key ways for you to spruce up your blog to appeal to more people.

These tips and tricks can’t replace being passionate about your blog, but they will give you a significant head start or face lift needed to be successful.

1. Define Your Niche and Purpose:  What is your bog about?  What is its purpose? Many bloggers throw together random thoughts about many broad topics. This is great, but new visitors should be able to determine the general theme and purpose of your blog without too much trouble.  If your theme (niche) is not obvious, make it obvious.  People want to follow good blogs about narrow topics that they're interested in.

2. Change Your Design: If you’re someone still using a default template because you’re scared to cross the murky line into blog design, I assure you it’s not difficult or scary. In fact, templates have become so easy to upload and customize that there is simply no excuse to have a bland looking blog. Even if you just put in a little time customizing your default template, your trial and error time will be well worth it. Finally, if you absolutely can’t do it yourself, it is so cheap to hire someone to do this for you. Just pick a new look that works for your topic and hire a freelancer to drop it in for you.

3. New Logo: If you haven’t created a custom logo with your tagline, then shame on you. It’s free and easy and even if you think you’re not creative, anything you create will be infinitely better than the plain logo you currently roll with. Check out these resources for where to make free logos.

4. Pages: At the very least every blog should have an “About” page that eloquently describes you (or your blog), your background, your philosophy, and your mission. You should also have a “Contact” page for readers, advertisers, and contributors to reach out to you. You may also consider page tabs that lead to blog categories that some readers may seek to browse. You may want to add a store, forum, or product page, too.

5. Metatitles: It’s amazing how many blogs don’t have a metatitle. A metatitle is the short description of your blog that appears in the browser tab when people visit your site. It also appears in all search engine listings of your blog. If you hope to ever rank well for core keywords related to your blog’s subject, you’ll have to incorporate a keyword-rich metatitle, but one that also reads like an intriguing tagline.

6. Share Buttons: Make sure that you have the best share buttons for your articles that encourage sharing. Services like ShareThis offer free tools to customize share buttons to target networking sites most appropriate for your niche.

7. More Images: Everyone loves photos. Just a few well-placed attractive photos can really improve the design, and they can help improve impulse clicking on your articles. Create a folder of images that you are free to use; your own images, Creative Commons images, and paid photos from places like iStockphotos.com. Even if your topic is not a visual theme, find as many relevant images as possible. The images can also spark article ideas that can be written around them.

8. Find Contributors: If you can't add enough content by yourself to keep your readers visiting each day, find guest writers or other bloggers that you can syndicate at your blog.  This adds content diversity to your blog and gives you one more link to share through your network or in newsletters.

9. Engage Social Media: If you want your social media followers to grow and translate into blog traffic, you must engage with your followers.  There's no way around it.  Set aside a block of time each day that will be dedicated to social media maintenance and engagement and your numbers will increase.

10. Set Goals: If you don't know what you want, you'll never get it. Set goals for your blog: number of original articles to post each week, growth of social media followers, traffic growth, profit targets, newsletter signups, keywords to optimize and comments-per article are just some of the metrics to target.

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Best Blogger Designs 2012

It has long been a complaint of Blogger users that WordPress has a much bigger selection of theme layouts.  Blogger has the advantage having free hosting for a blog with a custom domain name, while WordPress requires paid hosting for the same privilege.

If only better Blogger designs were available, right? Well, developers have converted several popular WP themes and created some custom templates that are starting to rival the look and function of sophisticated websites.

If you want to create a website or blog, don't overlook Blogger because you think there aren't enough top designs.  Before you build a new blog with the custom templates below, make sure you read the best book about making money with a free blog.

Below are 5 of my favorite Blogger templates of 2012:

1. Gadgets for Blogger – Imagine having a Blogger site that looks and functions like the Huffington Post. This brand new custom blogspot design is an incredible aggregator template powered by gadgets. It’s FREE and offers a variety of versions.

For a Demo visit this live blog about underground hip hop artists.

Versions: There are two versions of this template available. One is modeled after Huffington Post, while another can be a direct link aggregator similar to the Drudge Report. Each can come with a featured image slider or without the slider.

View the news aggregator template at Best Blogger Template or another version at this family travel blog.

Because the home page of this template is managed by gadgets, this design offers unmatched flexibility for creative bloggers. Each version also has feature gadgets that are fed by category labels which automatically update the home page when posts are added to designated labels.

This template also comes with complete instructions for customization which is priceless for beginners.

Download this FREE template HERE.

2. Simplex Portfolio- There are many talented photographers and artists who don't have a website to display their portfolios. Now they can have an attractive gallery hosted on the free easy-to-use Blogger platform.

View Demo of this template here.

There are a few decent gallery templates for blogspot, but none as nice and as easy to use as Simplex Portfolio. The front page displays the most recent images added to the blog and a link to the post.

All Simplex designs are FREE and simple to use as the designer includes instructions for all templates.

Download this FREE template HERE.

3. Newsportal - This is magazine style design that has a strikingly similar appearance to Yahoo’s front page. Compare the screenshot above with Yahoo and you’ll see what I mean.

View the Demo of this template at the site for Costa Rica Real Estate.

You may also notice that the website using this template is a complex real estate website hosted at Blogger for free. It goes to show how far blogging platforms have come that nearly any type of website can now be managed with them.

Newsportal has an image slider that is fed by a designated label. The categories display in magazine format. And the three columns offer a lot of diversity for organizing blogs with a lot of content.

Download this free template HERE.

4. Thesis - This very popular WordPress theme is now available for Blogger.  It's a clean and simple magazine format that is excellent for focused blogs that post less than daily.  It comes with or without an image slider and sufficient instructions are available from the designer.

You're on a live Demo of a customized version of Thesis

You can add a variety of image sliders to this template as well.  See here for how it looks with a slider.

Download this free template HERE.

5. Best Blogger Store Template - Yes, you can even host a professional looking store on Blogger thanks to a few attractive template designs.  You can see two older layouts that are also effective here and here.

View live demo of this HERE

Although those are impressive storefronts, the 2012 Blogger Store template by Johnny Black is the premium choice.  It is professionally designed to rival any e-commerce website on the Internet.  There's not a hint that this comprehensive template is hosted for free on Blogger.

So if you're looking to set up a drop-ship storefront, an Ebay or Amazon affiliate shop, or even a website for your retail business, this template may be just what you need.

Download this free template HERE.

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10 Tips for Effective Article Marketing

Article marketing is continuing to prove itself as one of the most powerful ways for businesses to increase brand awareness and for bloggers to grow their readership numbers.

Article or content marketing is where bloggers write an informative guest post for article directories that link back to a website or product/service the writer is promoting.

When it’s done right, you can use article marketing to find new customers and increase the number of sales or boost overall traffic to your blog.

To use article marketing effectively, here are ten tips to consider as you begin forming your strategy:

Aim for quality and quantity.

If you want to be successful in your article marketing, it is important to find a balance between writing quality articles and writing a useful quantity of them. You can sit down and churn out ten articles a day, but if they are full of useless and indistinctive information that no one cares to read, you are wasting your time. Plan, instead, to set a goal to write only a few quality articles each day and put all of your effort into doing just that.

Your headline is the bait.

The first thing that readers are going to notice is your article headline, so you have to make it appealing. Does it promise to answer their question? Does it grab their attention? Does it make them want to read the rest of the article? Spend time on your article title to make sure that it not only sounds good but sounds like an article they have to read. Having your headline start with a phrase like “How to” or “Top 10” is very effective at drawing in readers.  Learn to write great blog titles.

Find your right keywords.

Know what keywords and phrases are going to be searched for most online. Write down your important niche keywords and then do research to see how Internet search users are entering their own queries into search engines like Google. The Google AdWords tool is handy in that you can enter in your keywords and see how many people are searching for them. You will also see what different phrasing is used around those keywords. Always choose keywords and phrases that make sense. For example, “the best car insurance rates” has a better flow than “car insurance rates best.” Learn more about how to find keywords.

Maintain the right keyword density.

The last thing you want to do once you’ve found your right keywords is to over-saturate each article with them. This can cause your content to sound unnatural and throw off the message of the article. Remember: you are writing for the readers, not the search engines. The better your writing, the more readers are going to share your content, which will help with your ranking naturally. The acceptable amount of keyword density is about 2%, so for a 500-word article, use variations of your keywords no more than 10 times. (Get free SEO For Bloggers Ebook)

Make it easy to read.

With online content, readers typically do not have enough attention span to get through a long and wordy article. Break up the article into chunks by adding bullet lists where you can. You can also break the content down under sub-headlines. Readers tend to scan quickly over an article to see if it has the information they need before settling in to read it from the beginning.

Always proofread and do a spelling and grammar check.

The point of writing articles is to show others that you are knowledgeable and even an expert in your niche. You want readers to be confident that you will tell them all they need to know. That image is damaged each time you have a number of misspelled words or grammatical mistakes in your content. Always stop and run your articles through the spell checker and grammar checks to catch and correct mistakes before you publish your article online.

Stay on top of industry trends.

Whatever your niche, be sure to do research often in order to stay current on what people are talking about, what they want to know, what they need. This will help give you more ideas of what topics you should be writing about.

Get your articles to go viral.

Once you submit your articles and they are approved on various article directories, you can give them an added boost and help them to go viral by bookmarking them on websites like Reddit, Digg and StumbleUpon as well as adding them to your websites and blogs.

Create an effective Resource Box.

Your resource box is where you get the opportunity to tell readers more about you and your business. Do not write a one-line description and attach a link to your website and call it good. Give details that are important to readers to show them you are an expert. Include your contact information and a call-to-action like “click here for a free e-book.”

Each of these article marketing tips will help you to build an effective strategy to benefit your blog or business. Get started making the best content possible as guest posts to syndicate on article directories.  Each article will represent a lure to bring new people to your brand.

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Writing Good Blog Content: 15 Tips For Dummies

By Blog Tips

I despised English class in school. I couldn't have cared less about grammar rules or Shakespeare, and I barely skimmed the Cliff Notes of books I was supposed to read.

I slept through almost every English class my Junior year prompting my teacher to send me to the school nurse and accuse me of having a drinking problem due to my drowsiness. What can I say, English was directly after a late lunch and it was b-o-r-i-n-g. It was a miracle I passed the class.

As you could imagine, I never considered myself to be a writer. Yet, today I'm a professional blogger and an author of multiple books. How is this possible when I couldn't identify an adjective clause if my life depended on it?  I just Googled it and I'm still confused.

It's possible because readers don't give a crap about grammar rules either; blatant mistakes and typos, yes, but imperfect grammar, not so much. They care more about interesting topics and how they're presented.

So you don't need to think of yourself as a "writer" in order to become a successful blogger. The secret to writing good content is telling a unique story about interesting topics. That's it.

But there are a few simple ways to make yourself a better writer and ensure that you consistently produce quality content. I promise these rules and tips will make you a better blogger and are not as boring as your high school English class.

Here's 15 tips for writing good blog content:

1. Be yourself: First and foremost, be yourself. There is so much similar content on the web, but there is only one you. It's important to put your original spin on every topic you write about and to let your personality shine through.

Write content so simple that even Homer Simpson
could understand it (Image: 20th Century Fox)
2. Keep it simple: A brilliant online marketing guru once said "Write content for the Homer Simpsons of the world and you will have great success." That may seem insulting to your readers, but be honest, you clicked on this article because it had "dummies" in the title, didn't you?  Don't use big words and complicated language just to sound smart.

3. Write what you want to read: This may be the most important tip on this list. Write about topics that interest you in the format you wish the information was delivered. Create articles around questions that you're curious about finding the answers to, research them, and present them in your own style.

4. Write as if you're speaking directly to the reader: This is the best advice I can give to those who don't consider themselves to be "writers".  Write as if you're having a a face-to-face conversation with your readers and you're trying to explain something to them.

5. Let it flow: When you have an idea for an article, just write it as a stream of thought without making corrections or stopping to research specific facts. Let it flow from your mind to the keyboard and go back and polish it afterward.

6. Less about you, more about the subject: If you were the main character in all of your blog posts, they'd probably get boring after a while. Use less "I" in your articles and more "you" when you're teaching something. Or practice writing articles with neither in it. Your English teacher would call this writing in the third person, or simply narrating events in your article.

Be sure to entertain and inform
7. Inform and Entertain: Your goal should be to both entertain and inform your readers with your articles where they tell a story in some fashion with a theme, a setting, characters, facts, action, a lesson or opinion, and a conclusion. This will give great value to the reader and make them want to share it or revisit your site.

8. Use Hegelian dialectic: One easy strategy to write an interesting blog post is by using the Hegelian dialectic: problem, reaction, and solution. In other words, identify a problem within your subject, explain the reaction to this problem, and outline the possible solutions.

9. Video commentary: A great way for beginners to improve writing skills is to write short commentary about an interesting video clip. Write a few paragraphs explaining the video; the subject, the people in it, some of the best quotes, and your general take on it. Then embed the video below your commentary. Eventually, you can string together multiple videos with commentary into a comprehensive article.

10. Frame out a list: Everyone likes a good list article like the one you're reading now. They're perfect for our attention deficit world because they give useful information to the reader quickly. To write effective list articles, frame out the bullet points of your list before you do anything else. Once you're happy with the focal points, then write your intro, detail your bullet points, and conclude the article.

11. Make it easy to read: Reading online is different than reading from a book. Long dense paragraphs are very cumbersome to read online. Therefore, write easy-to-read content with short paragraphs of only 2-3 sentences broken up by a space between paragraphs.

12. Keep it clean: Maintain a standard font throughout the article with the possible exception of bold or enlarged headlines. Nothing is more annoying and distracting than multiple font styles, sizes, or colors in a single blog post. As a general rule, don't use ALL CAPS or bolded phrases as it can diminish the importance of the rest of the content.

13. Be factual: It probably goes without saying, but if you want to build up trust with your audience, make sure the facts in your articles are well sourced. Don't assume something is right because you heard somebody say it somewhere. Google it and link to the source, especially with controversial topics.

14. Use images: Pictures may be the best aid for inexperienced writers. As the saying goes, pictures are worth a thousand words. We are all drawn to images.  If images are well placed throughout a blog post, they'll lure the audience to read entire articles they may otherwise just gloss over or skim.

The last thing you should do is proofread your article very carefully
15 Proofread: Proofreading is without question the most important task to do before publishing an article on your blog. For your final proofreading, try to put yourself in the shoes of the reader instead of as the author. Fix any obvious errors and polish the rough edges out of the article. Even better, have someone else proofread the article if possible.

Since I'm a grammatical dummy, these are the rules I follow for writing good content. I also never stop working to improve my craft by learning new writing techniques and challenging myself to push the limits of my meager ability. My English teachers would probably be shocked to discover that I became a professional writer.  But if I can do it, so can you.

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10 Best Ways to Make Money Online

By J.P. Hicks

Even though you probably know someone who makes their living online, it probably still sounds too good to be true. Or you may be thinking it must be extremely difficult to achieve a full-time income from the Internet. You're wrong on both counts.

Although there are millions of people making money online, there is no silver bullet or get rich quick  idea that is better than the rest. Success is primarily determined by your interests and skill set.

There are many easy ways to make an income online, but it's important to define "easy" for those of you who remain skeptical. Easy simply means that anyone can do it. You don't need to have a college degree, special training, or even be very tech savvy to earn a living on the Internet. You just need to be motivated and to have a plan.

What easy doesn't mean is that you make a six-figure income in the first year by doing very little work. Sure it's possible to make that level of income in the first year, but not without a lot of hard work.

To make money online you're essentially creating a business or, at the very least, a job for yourself where you will only get out what you put into it. You could end up making a little residual income here and there, or you could end up needing Sun Document Filings because you have grown so large you’ve decided to incorporate. The benefits, however, are obvious; no bosses or dress codes, the ability to do something you enjoy, freedom to work in your underwear or from a hammock at the beach, and you make as much money as you want depending on how hard you work.

Whatever your motivations are for looking to the Internet for income, it's best to find a path that both interests you and that fits your skills.

With that in mind, the following techniques are the easiest and best ways to make money online in 2013:

Writing for cash is easier than ever!
Blogging: Anyone can blog about anything, and all topics have the potential to make money. Blogging platforms are free, the design work is simple, and income vehicles are abundant. However, it does take time to learn how to build a blog, to fill it with content, build a social following, and get enough traffic to monetize it. Yet, when these tasks are achieved, the blog itself becomes a valuable asset. Most importantly, whether you have your own blog or not, writing good content is essential to almost all forms of making money online.

Freelance Writing: If you don't want to invest the time into creating your own blog, there are still several ways that you can make a nice income as a writer. You can write your own content for a number of websites that share revenue with writers like eHow, HubPages, and Squidoo. Or you can get paid to write for a number of high-profile blogs or gurus. And, finally, there are a variety of outlets where you can write sponsored posts or product reviews like SponsoredReviews.com and ReviewMe.com.

Social Media Manager: This is the hottest online career going. If you're a social media junkie just for the fun of it, why not turn it into a business. Even the best bloggers and website owners in the world have no idea how to maximize their social media following. Additionally, they simply don't have the time to engage as much as necessary to benefit from social media. All successful bloggers I know need this service, and virtual assistants haven't quite specialized enough yet to drive down the salary of this growing career. You can find a social media training course here.

Website/Domain Flipping: Website and domain flipping has become a popular way to make money for those with the knowledge to turn a profit. Entrepreneur Mike Mann has perfected a domain strategy and makes around $400,000 per month just buying and selling domain names. Others are buying seasoned domains and stale websites, refurbishing them and reselling them on Flippa.com. Another good place to find seasoned domains is DigitalPoint.com. These strategies take some time to learn the details but can be quite profitable for those who find a good formula.

Sell Your Photos: Who doesn't like to take pictures? Well now you can upload your images to photo hubs like Shutterstock or iStockPhoto which pay you a commission each time they sell one of your photographs. It will likely take heavy volume to build a healthy income but if you're passionate about photography, this method can be very rewarding.

Affiliate Marketing: There are countless products and techniques for an affiliate marketer. Affiliate marketing basically works like this: find a product that pays a decent commission to affiliates (you) and promote your affiliate link to that product. This can be done by writing articles about the product or industry at your blog or article hubs, adding the link below videos you upload to Youtube, by creating a sales webpage or store for the product, email campaigns, pay-per-click ads and many more. You will find that nearly any item or service for sale on the internet has an affiliate option, but the most popular affiliate programs are Amazon Associates, Clickbank, and Commission Junction.

Ebay Business: Nearly 2 million people earn a living from eBay. If you're someone who's an expert in used items of any kind, or you love to find deals at garage sales, or you are an avid hobbyist or you create homemade products, then eBay is the right vehicle for you to make money online.

Niche Web Store: Although there is much work involved, creating a niche store has never been easier. Easy-to-use platforms like WordPress and Blogger can now host storefront websites. Paypal and other checkout services make the order processing simple and organized. You just have to find a niche and the right products to fill your inventory. These products can be affiliate products or drop ship agreements negotiated with wholesalers. Two great examples of this strategy are friends of mine, one that sells survival gear and one that sells electronic cigarettes.

Vlogging/Podcasting: If you're not a writer, then you may consider vlogging (video blogging). Many people make a handsome living by uploading their video commentary about everything from politics to entertainment to Youtube. Even if you're not comfortable in front of the camera, you can still make compelling videos with your custom footage, still images, and news clips. Or you can simply speak into a microphone about the subject you're passionate about and turn it into a podcast. Each of these avenues can be monetized and the sky is the limit.

Consulting: You can become a consultant for anything with the use of the Internet. Typically most consultants will run a blog that serves as a home base to generate clients. However, you can also use services like Elance.com or even Craig's List to market yourself. Again, it's best to find a niche that you're genuinely interested in. However, techie fields like web development, app creation, SEO, etc. are the most in demand for 2013.

J.P. Hicks is an entrepreneur, pro blogger, editor of BlogTips.com and author of Secrets to Making Money with a Free Blog

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