The Great Big Blogging Q&A: Over 100 Common Questions Answered

219 amazing comments

qandaMy goal for this blog is to help you guys as much as possible.

I write about tips and strategies that have worked for me over the past few years in the hope that they will save you time and money and give you new ideas.

Hopefully they also allow you to build a better blog that, in turn, grows and helps more and more people over in your neck of the woods.

But today (and for the next three days) I thought we might do something a little bit more involved and direct.

Curious? Read on.

Got a blogging question? Ask and I’ll try to help.

The concept is really simple.

For the next three days (until the 11th of March) I’m going to be hanging around in the comments section of this post answering any question that you might have about starting a sweet new blog or growing a big old mailing list or any other blogging problem that you might be having.

I’ll visit the website of everyone who leaves a comment in order to better address your question and get a sense of who you are and what your site does.

Sometimes we get over 200 comments on this blog so I could have my work cut out for me! *breathes more heavily*

I’ll limit it to one question per person to try and make this more achievable.

What’s in it for me?

As I said at the top of the post, I really do genuinely want to help as many people as possible.

But one thing you might have noticed here on Blog Tyrant is that I tend to write most of my content for beginners and this means that sometimes the longer term readers of this site find themselves a little bit hungry for more advanced topics.

A Q&A session like this can give me a wonderful insight in to what everyone is struggling with and where I should be aiming my content for the next few months so that beginners and more intermediate bloggers are satisfied.

So you’ll be helping me a lot as well.

I’ll be taking some of the best questions and turning them into fully fledged articles in the next few months. So there’s also a chance that you’ll get your question answered as well as a back link if I decide to cover your topic in more detail.

Sound alright?

Let’s do this!

If you have a blogging question for me please just leave a comment below and make sure you are subscribed to get notifications for when I reply (it’s the little check-box under the comment field). I’ll do my best to help you as much as possible.

A quick disclaimer: None of the tips I give should be considered business, legal, or financial advice. I’m just sharing what has worked best for me but you should always carefully consider all your options.

A quick not disclaimer: If you’ve found this post useful please consider tweeting about it by clicking this link to tell people about the Q&A.

SO, WHAT'S NEXT?

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219 Comments. Join in. *Closed after 30 days*

  • Kavita

    Hi Ramsay,

    I will ask you the most basic question; how important is link building for ranking?
    I have seen so many blogs where in content is not that great but then also these rank higher due to higher amount of backlinks.

    Now there are theories which say that you give your best in the content and links will take care by itself. I don’t agree with that as no one will know how great is your content till the time you rank.

    I don’t know if it is too general question to ask, but this is my biggest problem which i have as a beginner blogger.


    1. Ramsay

      Hi Kavita.

      Great question!

      In my opinion, link building is still the most important factor for good rankings. I go over it a lot in this article: http://www.blogtyrant.com/how-to-get-google-to-send-you-119717-visitors-every-month/

      Now, the problem seems to be that a lot of new bloggers and marketers think that any link is a good link. Or that more links are better. But, really, what you need is relevant links from authority domains. For example, if you get lots of universities linking to your blog then Google is going to automatically think your blog is legitimately good information.

      So how do we do that? Well, for me it’s been about producing the best content I can and then trying to build relationships with the people who own those sites. It has taken a long time but it works slowly. I have never bought a back link in my life. They are all earned.

      One good tip is to write amazing content and find a way to link to the very people who you are trying to get the attention of. That often works.

      Hope that helps.


  • Jamey

    K I’ll give this a go.

    What is your insights into sharing things for free on reddit, imgur and the like?

    Are those shares worth their weight in links, shares and exposure and should you forgo reddit and imgur and keep your content on your own domain?

    Btw love your website and love this idea I’m excited to hear your response.


    1. Ramsay

      Hi Jamey.

      Another good question.

      I always try to shy away from putting all my eggs into one basket. I don’t like the idea of writing too much amazing stuff over on social media sites because then you don’t own that asset.

      That being said, you can get some incredible traction from doing so. Last week I mentioned a LinkedIn article called Could The Last Person in Sydney Turn the Lights Out? which was a long form piece that had over 1 million views. So it does work.

      I think you need to make it part of the picture but not the whole picture. Always focus on growing your mailing list and blog as a priority.

      Hope that helps.


  • Vishal Ostwal

    Ramsay,

    I see you as a role model in blogging along with a few others.

    I’ve been observing on Blogtyrant closely since the day one of reading it and found out that you break a lot of rules and succeed in spite of denying the conventional approaches that have become quite dogmatic in blogging.

    For instance, you don’t publish posts so consistently and yet provide enough value, neither you accept guest posts, you don’t use manipulative headlines (thanks for treating us like sane humans, we love that!), most of your content is kind of evergreen and barely time sensitive (I shun the ‘currently hot’ topics) or something that involves tutorials and other such stuff.

    I’ve even checked your archives and old posts to get an idea of your whole journey till now. One thing I’ve found that you follow the ‘slow and steady wins the race’ philosophy and keep Blogtyrant unaffected from trends by staying focused clearly on your niche.

    So I’d love to know more about what kind of long-term pattern do you think is beneficial for a blog to make progress. I know that there is no specific way of doing this, so I’d rather prefer your personal opinion.

    I’d be happy if you could make your answer into something in quick step-wise bullets like:

    1. Start with creating a lot of content,
    2. Build some genuine connection with the people in your niche, etc…

    and so on in a specific order.

    (Also, is there any way I can make my blog earn for its own survival at least if not earn me a fortune? I would like to know if ads work well in that case. I thought I’ll avoid this question for now but I had to ask it.)

    Excited to hear back from you! 🙂


    1. Ramsay

      Hey mate.

      Got your email. Sorry haven’t replied yet – been super busy.

      I think for bloggers the most important steps are to make sure you’re doing something distinctive. You have to find a way to stand out.

      Then you need to solve problems with amazing, long, detailed content and mention a lot of other bloggers as you go. Linking to other people and showing them how incredible you can be is extremely important.

      That’s the trick though: it has to be amazing the first time they see it. They need to be impressed.

      As for the money, of course. It’s possible. Each blog is different and the best thing to do is experiment and see what works best. Testing is really important. Also, don’t be afraid to look to other jobs things like freelance writing, etc. while your blog is growing.

      Hope that helps.


  • Tracy

    Hi Ramsay,

    Hey, I run the blog Chump Lady http://www.chumplady.com — it’s an infidelity support site (tag line “Leave a Cheater, Gain a Life).

    It’s on WordPress and I have a lot of engagement on the blog. About 200 comments or so per day, per post. (I post 5 times a week.)

    My question is the comments — I used Jetpack for comments and there’s this big delay before the comment goes through. I don’t moderate (but I do delete trolls). It’s just annoying. My IT guy says to dump Jetpack, but I don’t know of a better comment function out there. And then what happens to my archives?

    Do you know of any better options? That might have up-voting or cool stuff? Or am I limited on Word Press? THANKS! Love your blog.


    1. Ramsay

      Oh that’s a tricky one.

      I’m honestly not sure about whether or not the Jetpack deletion would cause your comments to disappear. I wouldn’t think so but I’m not 100% sure. The best bet IMHO is to go for the default WordPress comment string and then add plugins (or build them) for things like up-voting, etc.

      There are services like Disqus that are another option but that’ll mean migrating your old comments. Might be worth chatting to them to see if they know the answer.

      Sorry for the vagueness!


      1. Tracy

        Thanks! Migrating anything strikes terror into my heart. So I’ll see about making do, or adding plug-ins.


    2. Chris Lovie-Tyler

      I just want to put in a little plug for Postmatic and its counterpart Epoch here.

      I don’t work for Postmatic, and I’m not blogging anymore (I’m writing a TinyLetter instead), but personally I think the Postmatic/Epoch combo is the future of commenting in WordPress.

      It’s fast, and you can comment and reply *by email* (really)! It also includes a subscription module.

      I used it for a while, and if I were to start a blog on WordPress again, I wouldn’t think of going back to standard comments. It’s just so much better.

      I hope you don’t mind me giving my two cents worth, Ramsay. I just can’t help but mention Postmatic when people bring commenting systems up.

      All the best!


      1. Tracy

        Thanks for the tip!

        You wouldn’t happen to know what happens if you change comment features, would you? I’m just wondering what happens to all my old comments if I use a different plug-in. That’s really what keeps me stuck — not wanting to screw up the site. (People read the archives and comment quite a bit.)

        But it’s worth researching! Thanks for weighing in.


        1. Chris Lovie-Tyler

          Hi, Tracy.

          You shouldn’t lose any of your comments. From what I understand, Postmatic and Epoch actually use (and improve) the native WordPress comment system. Flick them an email through their site, and they’ll answer all your questions. They’re very responsive.


          1. Tracy

            The sticky wicket is that I’m not using the native WP comment feature — I’m using JetPack for comments. (And there is this annoying delay before the comment posts, and sometimes nesting issues too.) But I will shoot them an email. Good to know! Thank you!!


        2. Chris Lovie-Tyler

          On your latest comment: You should be able to pretty easily migrate from Jetpack to Postmatic, and Epoch (the front end) should solve those problems. It’s pretty much real-time comments and very nice nesting. But certainly contact them.


  • Andy Cockrell

    Ramsay,

    I have wanted to write for several years, never took the plunge for a variety of reasons. About 5 months ago I dove into the effort of writing a fiction novel.

    I knew little about writing fiction, less about publishing, even less about marketing and promoting. I started gleaning as much as I could, and one of the common tips was that authors should blog to “build a platform” or “create a footprint.” A lot of what I see in the blog world to that end amounts to a bunch of poorly written posts thinly veiled to communicate “like me and buy my stuff.” To me, that’s miserable (and futile).

    About a month ago, I saw a purpose develop for a blog and I finally gave it a try. I have ZERO working capital right now, so I have to use a free hosting site (and free author pages, free everything). Another challenge is that my blog isn’t directly related to the books I am writing.

    Given my limitations, what can I do to speed up the effort to enlarge my footprint/platform? Does my blog have any obvious design flaws or missing elements? How do I go about obtaining links? I don’t want it to be a flash in the pan, I prefer sustained growth over fast growth.


    1. Ramsay

      Hi Andy.

      If I was in your position I would spend 99% of my time writing for other blogs and websites. Try and arrange to do guest posts on your friends or affiliated church websites. This is the best way to grow a footprint online.

      I’d also perhaps make your blog more of a homepage for yourself, so to speak, so you can have a page for your works, contact, writing samples, etc.

      At a very minimum you need your own domain name. Unfortunately, having a free domain name doesn’t communicate trust or professionalism anymore. You can get them for around $9 a year on Namecheap.

      Switch to a minimal theme like this one where the writing is the focus and there isn’t any big distractions or design flaws: https://penscratchdemo.wordpress.com/

      My last tip would be to look at other modern authors who have come from a similar background to you and study how they did it. There’s no point re-inventing the wheel. I do this a lot and it always gives me ideas.

      Best of luck.


      1. Kirsten

        I’m jumping in on this too (if you don’t mind, Ramsay!) because I’ve got a foot in the writing world. I DO think Ramsay is right about back links through great guest posts. I also think looking at people like Jeff Goins or Joanna Penn of The Creative Penn would be helpful. It’s hard when you are doing something on the blog differently than your fiction, because you WILL build two different audiences with some crossover. That’s not a bad thing! But it does mean you can’t expect all the people on your blog to buy your book…or vice versa. There are also a lot of great writing podcasts that have guests and really great information. I love the Sell More Books show for the indie side of things, which also works well much of the time if you’re building a platform for a traditional publisher as well. Chad R. Allen and Beth Hayden are great people as well for publishing and platform. I hope that helps and that it was okay for me to jump in this thread!!


  • Ilene

    Hi and thanks for this opportunity to ask questions!

    I know how essential it is to grown an email list. When I think of doing it, it feels overwhelming. What are a few “easy” ways to begin doing that? I am thinking of doing that via Facebook… with a link.


    1. Ramsay

      Do you mean ways to promote your mailing list?


  • Ale

    Ciao Ramsay,

    This would be a little far from your usual execution, so feel free to answer “I wouldn’t build it at all” 😀 How would you move if you were to build a micro-niche site with a target of 100$/m? I’m interested in and excited about hearing your view about niche picking, keyword strategy, content structuring and traffic building.

    Thanks (btw, great idea the Q&A)


    1. Ramsay

      Me and my friend Justin used to do this a lot a few years ago with the goal of having 100 sites making small amounts of money. I never really loved the model, but we learned some things.

      If I only needed to make $100 per month I would honestly just find an affiliate product on CJ.com, get a minimal landing page theme, add some copy and then go on Twitter and search hash tags for people looking for related things. I’d strike up a chat and perhaps suggest the website at some point.

      I really wouldn’t bother building a whole blog if the point was just to make money. I think you can make money much easier ways online.

      Hope that helps.


      1. Ale

        Thanks Ramsay. So, my next question would be what are those easier ways? 🙂 Because I’ve always seen blogging as a 2-3 years commitment to breakthrough, in terms of compounding, and the same goes for email marketing… What entice me a lot about this model is that it is scalable (once I’ve set it up), you get rapid feedback (also rapid income), and with some SEO work it can become a passive income. The tip that you gave to me, although very helpful, it is not in the style of “passive income” (you have to engage Twitter users if you want the affiliate fees). Do you think that an authority site would be much easier to set up and manage & quite as faster in terms of profitability?

        Thanks a lot


        1. Ramsay

          Hi Ale.

          I honestly don’t believe there is any passive income online anymore. Well, not much anyway. You always have to be managing ads, adding articles, doing outreach, etc.

          All of these kind of small jobs though can be outsourced pretty easily.


  • Niels Bosman

    Hey bro,

    Thanks for al the awesomeness during the years. Here’s my question. I run a weight loss business in Holland. Things are going well (i sell a low carb diet plan) and i make enough to make a living from it 🙂

    I have invested a lot of time and money in writing new content for my blog. But my organic results still stay way behind i want them to be. I expected more traffic from organic.

    What do i need to do according to you:

    1) Guestblog to get more backlinks?
    2) Try to get mentioned in the media or other websites with authority?

    I also get a lot of request from people who want to do link exchange. Is that a good idea?

    Would love your insights on this. Cheers brother!

    Niels Bosman


    1. Ramsay

      Hi Niels.

      I wouldn’t do anything like link exchange. Not a great idea at all.

      The other two suggestions are great. Hiring a PR person can be fantastic in some situations. They have contacts in main stream media that can be really huge for getting new traffic.

      But the best bet is to focus on writing quality content on as many authority blogs as you can. It’s hard to land the gigs but absolutely worth it. Think outside the box too – don’t just approach weight loss blogs – look at other blogs where people might benefit from that knowledge like parenting, etc.


      1. Niels Bosman

        cheers bro 🙂


  • Zach

    Ramsay,

    Thanks for doing this! I usually don’t take advantage of these opportunities, but thought I would give it a go this time.

    Anyways, I have a question regarding traffic growth.

    I am in the golf instruction niche, and there doesn’t seem to be many high quality blogs in this niche that I would like to reach out for guest posts. I have done some outreach, but this niche seems like there are so many outdated blogs! Given, there are a few popular golf forums, but I do NOT want to have a forum on my site. I think forums are unfocused, and not my style.

    Anyways, I wanted to hear your recommendations for gaining traffic in a niche where:

    1. There aren’t many high quality blogs (outdated, low page rank)
    2. The popular golf sites are HUGE, focus mainly on golf news (I’m focused on Evergreen, lasting content), and have forums with thousands of members (although they don’t allow promotion unless you donate to their site)
    3. I’m blogging anonymously (screen name=”The DIY Golfer”)

    I am growing my mailing list (at 75 now), but only getting about 45 page views a day after a year.

    Do I amp up my content creation frequency for SEO purposes?
    Do more outreach?
    Pay for advertising?
    Get another cup of coffee? 😉

    Help! 🙂

    Thanks again Ramsay I appreciate everything you do here at Blog Tyrant!


    1. Ramsay

      Hey Zach.

      I would absolutely be donating to those big golf sites if you can afford it. It sounds like very targeted traffic and if you can get them to promote a really good, detailed tutorial that you have it might be extremely worth your while.

      But, to be honest, the real winnings for golf is on YouTube. I’d be trying to get on there as much as possible with the basics (glove selection, grip, stance, etc.) and then include those videos in your posts and paid promotion.

      Good luck!


      1. Zach

        I’ll definitely aim my efforts towards donations and YouTube in the future.

        My reason for staying away from YouTube at the moment is an issue regarding my status as a college athlete (not allowed to create a personal brand until I’m out).

        Anyways, thanks so much for doing this! I will keep this advice in mind and implement it when it is time!


        1. Ramsay

          You could always start filming with another male or female golfer and build up a big tutorial base ready to go when you can. Or just put someone else on camera if that’s allowed.


  • Filip

    Hi Ramsay,

    There is no shortage of tactics or strategies on how to create content, drive traffic, or monetize a blog. I feel like someone could spend 40+ hours a week on these activities alone.

    What would you advise someone who only has 10 hours a week to spend on their blog for all of these? How many hours would you spend on creating content vs promoting it?


    1. Ramsay

      Hi Filip.

      If you can write (or pay someone to write) something AMAZING then spend all of your time promoting it. You really don’t need that much content on your blog to be successful with it if you know how to run a few ads campaigns, funnel traffic and grow a mailing list.

      Promotion is very important.


      1. Filip

        Thanks Ramsay. Focusing on the right thing, at the right time, is my most difficult challenge.


  • Faaa

    Hie…I have done my first blog post on WordPress.com it’s faaa21.wordpress.com
    How can I make my blog popular and let it grow please help


    1. Ramsay

      Keep focusing on long content that stands out from the crowd and helps people. In the beginning stages I think the most important thing is to figure out how to be distinctive.


      1. Faaa

        Where to share the blog so that people can get an easy access to it


  • Dan

    Hello Ramsay,

    I have currently been body-building for a year now, and I have just finished a 30 day extra lean phase.
    Ultimately, my idea was to show people what I ate everyday, along with the workouts I did and daily progress pictures. I wanted people to take this information and get motivated to work out and basically I want to build my blog on this topic. Although my final goal was to get coaching clients from this progress. I still have not posted the results or created the website mainly because I feel the niche is saturated and why would they want to listen to me over many other people from larger websites. Also if they would even want one to one online training from someone who is not qualified with any personal training certifications.
    These two things are holding me back, my question is from your experience, do you think its worth trying? Is there a potential for customers to want online training from a small blog?

    Thank you for doing this! I appreciate the advice.

    Dan


    1. Ramsay

      Hi Dan.

      That is a really hard one, I agree.

      One has to be extra careful in the health niche because your advice could really impact on someone’s well being. I’m going to see if I can get my buddy Steve Kamb from Nerd Fitness to come over and answer this one as I reckon he’d know better.

      Hope that’s cool…?


      1. Dan

        Yeah! That would be great, thank you.


        1. Ramsay

          Dan, I think I’m going to turn this one into a post if that’s okay with you. I reckon there are a few niches these concerns apply to and it’d be good to take a deeper look.


  • Stéphane

    Hi Ramsay,

    It’s Stéphane, a French blogger commenting regularly your articles.
    I’m always surprised with the way you find wonderful ideas for your articles. And even if my blog is about sport at home, you inspire me.

    Sadly, I’m not sure you’re reading French, so I’m not going to ask you some tips about my blog. But, if you can I’ll take them.

    My question would be basically about earnings. I was asking myself how you can have incomes with your blog (even if wonderful)? Is it just because of the affiliation links you put throughout your articles and your tools section? This is the kind of system I’m using for now with my blog.

    Have you got a e-course or something like that, because I do not see anthing on your site?

    I hope I’m not bothering you with my questions about money, but as we say in France “c’est le nerf de la guerre” [“this is the nerve (or fuel if you prefer) of war”].

    Keep up your great work.


    1. Ramsay

      Yep, you’re right!

      Most of the money my company makes is from affiliate links. I try to mention them very gently and naturally, and I only ever promote products that I have used myself, that have a good refund policy, and that offer customers quality support help.

      Does that answer your question?


      1. Stéphane

        Yes, exactly! And I’m really happy to hear that, because it means it’s possible.
        Thank you again.


  • Kristie

    Hello Ramsey. I am an absolute beginner and recently stumbled upon your site. I currently have a Jewelry business (www.HauteCorals.com) and now want to add a blogging section to help grow my business and increase sales. Problem is I have no clue where to start. The jewelry/fashion and style industry is a somewhat saturated field for blogs. With a limited amount of time to spend on blogging (I already work a fulltime job) how do I determine my niche area and what to focus on. Any guidelines on how to prioritize what to do – building a mailing list, increasing traffic/seo, writing content, social media marketing and promotion, or try to get a virtual assistant!


    1. Ramsay

      Hi Kristie.

      For any store you should be trying to get every customer signed up to your mailing list. That’s a given. To those people you can just promote new items once a month.

      You can then use your blog to make your company more “human”. Talk about the story behind it, or perhaps show people how items are made or sourced.

      But right now Pinterest and Instagram are really big for this niche. I’d be spending time on taking really good photos and posting them with some informative descriptions that have little stories or bits of information about where to source things ethically, etc. People love to share that.

      Hope that helps.


  • Margaret

    Hello, am a beginner. I want a website, I have three areas of expertise, music, gardening, leadership. Would like a “lifestyle” site that had all three and marketes/sells products. Having real trouble coming up with an angle for that. Should I go with three different blogs or sites, or try to make the big one work?
    Thanks for all the help you give us,
    Margaret


    1. Ramsay

      Hi Margaret.

      I honestly would not attempt the trifecta. Mixed-topic blogs often don’t do very well because they simply can’t find their audience.

      I’d start with the one you know most about, love the most, and can find a distinctive angle for. Work on that for a while and see how it goes.


  • Margaret

    Thanks so much!


  • Bill

    Howdy Ramsay,

    I really like your style, the way you write and your seemingly casual approach to everything. Although it seems casual I know its anything but, as you always provide real quality.

    I am just starting out, the blog is not even “open” to be viewed yet. I am a victim of “do not re-invent the wheel” syndrome. My question, what is the best strategies to get past this procrastination stage?

    My mind does not want to accept that it’s really as simple as get started then deal with things as they come up.


    1. Ramsay

      Hi Bill.

      I got to the point where I realized that I was spending 95% of my time on 5% of the project – and that wasn’t really helping myself or other people.

      I think at some point we just need to let go and also be happy with the fact that when we make mistakes or things go wrong we get more stuff to write about! People don’t care about our mistakes anywhere near as much as we think they do.

      Best of luck!


  • James Bogash, DC

    I’ve been using LeadPages on MigrainesAndEpilepsy and have not been very happy with it. It’s really not that customizable (can’t do bullet points, couldn’t use a video if I wanted, can’t move stuff around..), but Popup Domination was totally crashing my main site and they couldn’t fix it, so I went with LP. ModernHealthMyths is being built as we speak and I don’t want to go with LP.

    Current recommendations for pop up plug ins? (the pop up slider, however, is functioning very well, so no changes there)


    1. Ramsay

      I think your stuff would benefit incredibly from SumoMe for those purposes. Looking forward to it!


      1. James Bogash, DC

        Ok…went to their site…VERY confusing on pricing (apps included? apps an add on cost? what apps are available?).

        I’ve reached out to them for clarification. I’ll see how it goes.


  • Lorie

    Hi Ramsay,
    I’ve been working on a flagship blog post for weeks. It will be about 10,000+ words and my goal is to explain my content in a way a third grader can understand. I struggle with perfectionism and keep editing and rewriting and having new ideas. I know there will come a point when I just need to put it out there.

    I struggle with organizing my content and getting it from my brain to my word processor in a way that flows. Do you have any tips for organizing your content when you put together lengthy blog posts?

    Thank you!
    Lorie


    1. Ramsay

      Firstly, publish the darn post! 😉

      Secondly, I generally just write and it all comes out but occasionally I use a technique where I break things into smaller topics. For example, I’ll start out by talking about how to throw a punch and then get smaller and smaller down into topics like how to make a fist, the anatomy of the hand, etc. That always seems to help me go in the right direction.

      I also always leave the title in view so I can keep answering the question. I like to get the title sorted at the very beginning.

      Looking forward to seeing that big article!


  • beth

    I like the idea of a 3 day q and a…gets my creativity going on how I might use a similar idea. My question is what is the best way to use your blog to grow your list?


    1. Ramsay

      In my experience the best thing to do is make your blog an “offshoot” of your free giveaway that people get when they sign up for your blog. That way, everything you write is somewhat of a promotion for your mailing list.


  • Joanne

    Hi Ramsay,

    Thank you in advance. This post is similar to the golf site comment above…

    I think I have a great idea for a super niche site directed to a segment of outdoor sports for women but I think I might be ahead of the curve… Any remote competition have sites that are outdated and they are not niche focused. The major brands in this space are generally highly focused towards men. When I use keyword planning tools, etc. it just appears like there is not a lot of searching for my topic(s) <50 month.

    Creating a site and promoting takes so much work and I would hate to put a lot of effort and money into something when the market isn't really there. On the other hand, if the market grows, I could be positioned as a thought leader down the line.

    Help.. what other tools can I use to market research this segment and see if there is potential traffic out there? And if traffic is limited because there is such a small following, at what point do you just let the idea go? I don't want to do this as a hobby. On the other hand, have you seen it to be possible to be a profitable market maker of a niche that hasn't yet been addressed?

    Thanks for the advice!


    1. Ramsay

      Hi Joanne.

      That’s a hard one.

      I guess it’s good to remember that you don’t need a lot of traffic to make a lot of money as long as the product or target market is right. For example, I’ve seen people make $xx,xxx per month off one or two clients in the plastic surgery niche.

      The real question would be less about how many searches there are, and more about how helpful you think your idea is. If you have knowledge that says that women would benefit from this particular idea then it’s about creating it and promoting it properly. Facebook and Google ads can do that cheaper than ever before in history.

      In regards to your last question: yes. Think iPhone, Walkman, motor cars, skateboards, televisions and just about any other breakthrough technology.


  • Jessica C.

    Good Morning Ramsey,

    I read one of your previous post about how to start a blog and it was a godsend. I took your advice and bought my domain name and a hosting package through blue host. Being that I am not a developer, I bought a demo package from them and my site looks great! The question that I have now is, how do I arrange my webite (i.e. change tabs, font, pictures, etc.) myself or is this something that I have to hire a professional to do?


    1. Emmanuel Aniekan

      Jessica,
      You can give your new site a professional look with the right guidance, you don’t necessarily need to be an expert in coding.

      On my blog, most of my readers who have set up and designed their self-hosted blog are total beginners who knew nothing about web designing. Thanks to the free tutorials on my blog and my book: How to Create a Website search Engines Fall In Love With.

      You can read about the book here: http://www.onlinebloggingincome.com/how-to-design-your-wordpress-blog

      I’ll be more than willing to send you a free copy of the book to give your site a professional look.

      Regards,
      Emmanuel.


      1. Jessica C.

        Emmanuel,

        Thanks for your response. I would love to receive a copy of your book. Any and all additional education that I can gain on this is greatly appreciated.


    2. Ramsay

      Hi Jessica.

      All of that stuff can be done yourself or done by a professional. One of the great things about WordPress is the support forums and codex. You can find almost every answer here: https://codex.wordpress.org/


      1. Jessica C.

        Ramsay,

        Thank you. I will be sure to research the information that you provided to me and take it from there. Wish me luck!


  • Effrosyni Moschoudi

    Hi Ramsay,
    I am an independent writer. I’ve had my website for about 15 months now but I blogged for another year before that using a free WordPress blog. My site includes a book blog where I mostly post interviews, reviews and kindle deals. Even though I seem to be driving a lot of traffic to my blog via my Twitter account (had 345,000 hits in February for example), I don’t get that many comments and only gain new followers to my blog very seldom (via Feedburner). When I had the free blog, because I had the advantage of WordPress’ Reader, my blog used to be discovered a lot more, and I had way more comments on that. Is there an alternative to Reader for self-hosted sites? How can I put my blogposts out there, further than where my social network can allow? I am not technical and have built my site using a free tutorial, then read a little online to add a few plugins, and that’s my limit really. So excuse me if my question is perhaps not clear. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated so I can get more blog followers and more comments on my posts, thank you.


    1. Ramsay

      If you’re getting 345,000 hits per month you should be giving me lessons! Do you know where that traffic is coming from?


      1. Effrosyni Moschoudi

        Really? I didn’t know it was that high. I have nothing to compare my performance with. That’s good news, thanks, Ramsay. I have 36K followers on Twitter and most of my traffic comes from there because I tweet 24/7 via Socialoomph, as well as use it manually daily, of course. My problem is getting followers to my blog though. People seem to get to the blog just to read the posts (or to read about my books), but not to follow for next time… I have a nagging feeling in the back of my mind that it’s because I chose Feedburner as opposed to Mailchimp to get blog followers. Is there any logic in this notion? What do you think? Thank you!


        1. Ramsay

          I’m not really sure why Feedburner would make a difference. However, I do recommend you move away from that as soon as reasonably possible and start paying for a proper service. At 300k visitors a month you have a very valuable blog on your hands and it would be good to start converting as many people to a proper mailing list as possible. Feedburner, as a free service, has far too many limitations.


          1. Effrosyni Moschoudi

            It’s 300K hits, actually, not visitors. I get up to 7K unique visitors a month only. But I see what you mean. I’m unemployed and live in Greece (nuff said!), so my budget is limited. But I can try migrating to Mailchimp for a start that allows a couple of thousand subscribers for free. That should buy me some time. I already use Mailchimp for my sparse newsletters to 150 subscribers who enjoy my novels, but it would be great to have another list for blog followers. Thank you for your precious time, Ramsay – you really spurred me on with your comments 🙂


  • Danny

    I am barely started in a blog. I am older (retired), and somewhat inexperienced in the technology of having my site look more professional. Oh, did I mention a limited amount of $$ to put into assistance?
    Is there a theme compatible with WordPress that is easy for non-techies, like myself, to incorporate our content and make it more appealing? Or, should I depend on content to drive design changes?
    I am still writing articles and content to post when it looks like something not designed in pre-school.
    Thank you for your input, and thanks for this great idea of the q and a.


    1. Ramsay

      Hi Danny.

      If you go into WordPress and go Add Themes > Search and type in “minimal” you will see some really good ones with lots of white space. That’s what you really want. Less clutter and more on the content.


  • Kirsten

    I know you’ve addressed this before on your blog in some ways, but what are some tools to use to zero in on our target audience? And what would you recommend if it turns out that we have an audience, but they are NOT the target audience we want? I think that happens sometimes when people start out blogging without intention and then accidentally build an audience that isn’t the ideal. Thanks for this! What a great idea.


    1. Ramsay

      Hey Kirsten.

      What kind of information about your audience are you looking for?


      1. Kirsten

        I think the whole nailing down of an avatar thing is really tough. (Also, I HATE the word avatar.) I’m a little eclectic and think I attract the same kind of people. So kind of narrowing down that target audience and one idea reader kind of stuff just is a big topic.


        1. Ramsay

          I guess it’s important to think about it in terms of building new audiences as opposed to finding out just what audience you already have.

          For example, I promote hosting a lot here and that is really aimed at absolute beginners. But that doesn’t mean I don’t also target experts with products like VPNs or marketing tools.

          I would encourage you to set up more funnels on your blog. Start with the end result (mailing list or product on offer) and work backwards to a landing page and then content that promotes the landing page. You can then use tools like FB Ads and Adwords to target the right audiences for those specific offerings. Keep it tight.

          Hope that helps.


  • Johnny Lloyd

    Ramsey,

    Love your posts and thank you for your QnA service.

    My site is freefit.co and I’ve been working with limited time on this home fitness site that sells a physical product. I am starting to write a few blog posts now to get some content on the site. How much do you recommend spending in the beginning on FB ads if I were to use that avenue to drive some targeted traffic?

    My goals are to
    1)first build the list
    2)sell the gear and training

    Thank you again.


    1. Ramsay

      If you have the budget for it then FB Ads are absolutely fantastic. You just need to spend a little bit of time getting the landing page and targeting right.


  • Kris

    Hi Ramsay, I have a new blog, and there are so many tasks that are important – publishing content, guest posting, social media outreach, etc, etc, etc. It’s hard doing all, and even harder doing them all well. So, what do you think are the top 2-3 things a new blogger should focus on in the first 3-6 months to grow a new blog? Thanks!


    1. Ramsay

      Hey Kris.

      In the beginning stages I really think the emphasis needs to be on creating quality content for other blogs. You really want to be doing as much outreach as possible. Make sure there is some really good stuff on your blog, and then go out and promote it and get your name out there.

      This one goes over a lot of it: http://www.blogtyrant.com/blogging-strategy/


  • Amber

    Hi Ramsey,

    I am going to be launching my blog in a couple months. I’ve worked diligently for months to ensure that the content I will be offering is king. My fear is that I won’t get enough exposure/traffic to the site. I will have social media pages (my blog is fashion/fitness so Instagram and Pinterest…considering Twitter…are where I’m starting). I’ve been working on growing my email list prior to the launch as well. But I’m still worried that I won’t bring enough eyes to the site. I know Marina DiGiovanni had major success launching her blog via Facebook adds…that led people to her giveaway. But I honestly don’t think my target audience are on Facebook, so I’ve kind of ruled those out. Would love your opinion on how to “launch” my blog in the style that Marina did (luring traffic in via Facebook ads that promote her giveaway, which in turn majoring grows her email list.)


    1. Ramsay

      Hi Amber.

      You can apply the same principles from Marina’s FB Ads to Instagram. They have a very similar thing going on now and if your photos are good enough you’ll do extremely well.

      Let me know how it goes.


  • Mickie

    Hi Ramsay,

    Your advice has been very helpful in helping me set up my site over the last few months. Thank you!
    My question: Over the last few days I’ve ‘lost connection’ on my WordPress site and received an Err_connection_timed_out screen on my search engine. Why is this happening? And how can I make it stop?

    I’ve contacted Bluehost and they say nothing is wrong. I thought it might be related to a specific search engine (Google Chrome) but that doesn’t seem to be the case either.

    It locks me out of my site for up to half and hour. Very frustrating. Obviously I’ve attempted to find the answer online but I thought I’d ask your opinion.

    Thanks!


    1. Ramsay

      Hey Mickie.

      That is an error to do with your home internet/modem, not your blog. It might be a firewall setting on your computer too.

      I’d contact your ISP if you can’t find the solution here: http://www.toppctech.com/error-code-err_connection_timed_out/


  • April Joy Lloren

    Hi Ramsey!

    I’m a new mom and started a blog to talk about my experience. Thing is, I didn’t realize how demanding being a mom was, so I was only able to post one article. Yup. One. Now that I have more time, I don’t really know what to focus on my blog..

    So my questions:
    1. What do you think I should focus on to get more readers/visitors? Something that would really spark interest.-
    2. I read that others made blogging a fulltime job since they are earning alot from it.
    How do I generate enough money to make it a fulltime thing?
    3. How often does one need to post to get good traffic or be qualified for google adsense?

    I have a lot to learn (which I am, thanks to you) and need to do to earn from blogging, work anywhere at anytime and be able to spend as much time as I want with my little one.
    Thank you for everything that you do Ramsey.. 🙂


    1. Ramsay

      Hi April.

      I highly recommend you read this article first as the questions you’ve asked are really quite broad and in depth. I think if you take your time going through this you’ll get a lot more from it than if I try to answer here in the comments: http://www.blogtyrant.com/blogging-strategy/

      Best of luck!


  • alqintara

    Whats the best hosting company to use for my blog?


    1. Ramsay

      Here are my recommendations: http://www.blogtyrant.com/start-a-new-blog/


  • Elise Xavier

    My questions are a lot different from everyone else’s it seems, as I’m more interested in learning from your experiences and some general insight;

    1. What have been your biggest consistent sources of traffic?
    2. What actions/techniques have resulted in some of your biggest spikes of traffic?
    3. How long would you say it takes most blogs to get some traction?
    4. How many page views would you say it took to be considered a small/medium/large sized blog?
    5. What are your favourite plugins/the ones you feel are most valuable to your blog?
    6. What are your favourite online marketing sites, blogs about blogging, etc. Is there anyone you like reading or listening to that’s even just general business/marketing related that you could recommend?

    Thanks in advance for your response!


    1. Ramsay

      That’s a lot of questions. I’m going to keep the answers short as I was only going to do one per person. 😉

      1. Google by a long way.
      2. The strategy I talk about here: http://www.blogtyrant.com/start-a-new-blog/
      3. Between 1 and 3 years.
      4. I never really thought about it like that. This particular blog started getting noticed from week one as I was lucky enough to hit the front page of Delicious and get a few shout outs.
      5. PopUps Premium, Bulletproof Security, Scroll Triggered Boxes.
      6. The only one I really look at these days is ViperChill.com

      Hope that helps.


      1. Elise Xavier

        Perfect. Short & sweet is just the type of response I was looking for.


  • Raul Tiru

    Hi Ramsay,

    Thank you so much for doing this. Shared it with my few thousand social friends 🙂

    I just started a platform where I want to help World-Changing organizations by giving Marketers and Designers a platform to give free advice.

    It’s hard for me to truly understand my audience. What do they really need, how can I provide value etc. This is even more difficult since it’s a two-sided platform. On one side Marketers and Designers and on the other side World-Changing organizations.

    We’ve already run a successful first project with Lucky Iron Fish. You can check it out here: http://www.raultiru.com/lucky-iron-fish, so that’s comforting. Still I’m pretty much in the same situation as you. Looking to provide an immense amount of value but I’m not 100% sure what my audience needs.

    Looking forward to seeing the results of the test you’re running at the moment and to your feedback.

    Best,

    Raul Tiru


    1. Ramsay

      Hi Raul.

      That’s a really excellent idea.

      I’m not really sure what you’re looking for from me though? Are you trying to figure out how to find more organizations to work with?


      1. Raul Tiru

        Hi Ramsay,

        Sorry for wasting your time and not formulating my question properly.

        You are right. I’m trying to get in front of more Social Enterprises and Non-Profits. My problem is that I don’t know what kind of content I should create to be a valuable resource for them, to attract more organizations.

        At the moment, I’m writing resource articles like: “everything you need to know about visual marketing” and “how to grow your business with the best tools”.

        My hypothesis is that all Social Enterprises and Non-Profits are searching for ways to get more traffic.

        Still, I think this may not be the best approach.

        Kinda like you. You write amazing content but have a feeling that your audience is more diverse and want to figure out which problems we have to make content that appeals best to us.

        My biggest struggle is:
        How do I figure out what kind of content my audience ‘loves’.

        My niche is:
        Social Enterprises and Non-Profits

        What I already did to get my question answered:
        Looking at their Social Media to see what they share (not the best approach)
        Key word research (definitely not the best approach).

        Once again, thank you for your time!


        1. Ramsay

          A few months ago I tweeted to GiveWell saying that I could help them improve their website conversions. On the back of that I got an email from the CEO of the Against Malaria Fund saying that they were redesigning their site and looking for tips.

          I think for you the best thing would be case studies and outreach. Write up some really lovely examples of the work you’ve done and how you’ve improved certain things and then reach out to charities and NGOs that you KNOW would benefit from help. A lot of their websites need attention.

          Hope this helps.


          1. Raul Tiru

            Thank you very much! Very helpful.
            If I can help you in any way, besides sharing your content on Social Media, (I already do) please let me know!


  • Brian

    Greetings Ramsay, my traffic has plateaued at around 100 visits a day, I reluctantly renewed the hosting for one more year as I have a ton of posts about Irish music, travel tips to Ireland, and personal Irish experiences. After reading many of your replies I probably am writing too many short posts, but don’t really know. My hope was to make some money on the site at some point but after 3 years I know it needs to produce better. How do you target the same keywords continually, to increase traffic.


    1. Ramsay

      Hi Brian.

      It’s all about long tail keywords and creating great, long form content for those.

      For example, if your root keyword is Holiday in Ireland you’ll want to start creating content for things like The 21 Best Cafes to Visit When on Holiday in Ireland, 15 Ancient Hotels to Stay at When on Holiday in Ireland, etc.

      You want a unique spin on everything that you do and use photos and lots of personal tips to make it stand out.

      Does that help?


  • Jac

    Hi Ramsey,
    Glad to have this opportunity! Thanks much! 🙂

    I have a blog named todayisfriday.com were I promote happiness and well being life style. One of the main issues I see on my niche is to show results in a subjective service matter since there is not a tangible results to measure.
    In your opinion, what should be a good approach to show tangible results on intangible outcomes?

    Thanks in advance for your big help! 🙂


    1. Ramsay

      That’s a really hard one.

      There are a lot of studies and research at the moment on the science of happiness, how the brain works, etc. so it might be good to try and find some basis for each article that can be backed up. I think WIRED and other magazines have done really well taking that approach. You could always then work in your own experience or thoughts about how that might work to your own situation?


  • Emmanuel Aniekan

    Hy Ramsay,
    First, I want to say a big thank you for the awesome stuff you’ve been dishing out. It’s all thanks to you that I’m seeing great result with my new blog.

    I’ve made building my email list my number 1 priority and so far I’ve over 200 subscribers. It’s growing gradually!

    My question is: “Will it be a good idea to add a forum to my blog where people can share their thoughts, ask questions, render advises on blogging …etc?”

    If you (and other experienced bloggers) can help me check out the blog and offer helpful recommendation on how to improve the site, I’ll really appreciate!


    1. Ramsay

      Hey Emmanuel.

      I don’t think a forum is necessary. It’s probably better to focus on building content.

      As for your blog, I would recommend changing your font away from Times and use something more modern and professional like Arial or Source Sans Pro. You can get them on Google Fonts.

      Also, the blog and logo and things are loading really slowly. That site speed will affect your readers a lot. Can you investigate this? Try Pingdom Tools and see what is taking the longest to load.

      Good luck!


      1. Emmanuel Aniekan

        Thank you, I really appreciate!


  • Gayle Grant

    Sorry to sound ‘beginner-ish’ here but if (eventually) I wanted to blog on 5 completely unrelated topics, would it be best to set up 5 separate domains or is it better to set up 1 generic domain and 5 subdomains? How do the pros do it?
    Thanks!
    Gayle


    1. Ramsay

      Hi Gayle.

      I definitely think having five topics on one domain is too many. I would recommend starting with just one (the one you like and know best) and giving that your best shot before getting swamped down trying to manage five websites.


      1. Gayle Grant

        Thanks so much for your reply. I definitely have no intention of starting five sites at the same time 🙁 however I will be starting multiple sites eventually – one after the other and I’m trying to be strategic and how mom thinking and what I’m starting to lay out now. Thanks again – Gayle


  • Maria Geronico

    Ok, let’s help you achieve 200 comments on this post!! Here my question:
    I’m following an e-commerce master with the idea of opening an e-shop on my blog. OFC right now I have a free version on WordPress.com which I have to upgrade onto a self hosted domain. Going straight to the point, when the moment of leveraging the blog/e-shop comes, should I contact an agency, or you really think I can build something chic by myself?

    Thanks!!!


    1. Ramsay

      What would you be contacting the agency for? To promote?


      1. Maria Geronico

        For the set ip and design of the Website


        1. Ramsay

          Sometimes it’s worth it, sometimes it’s not. You want to work with a team that really understands web conversions. If not, it’d be better to go with a platform like RainMaker from Copyblogger and use their designs.


  • Erin

    Hi Ramsay
    So appreciate your generosity! Okay quick background before question, I’m an Aussie blogger, have been blogging for 9 years and have a small but loyal band of followers. However I’m past ready to GROW my blog, ideally make some income as well. From all my research it appears I’m best to focus on my passion rather than my interests, however my passion isn’t necessarily what my readers tell me they want (based on survey). Research also stresses growing an email list, this is an area in which I’m left confused, are ‘they’ simply recommending getting readers to sign up for new posts or am I to write a newsletter?
    Simply all this is to ask, what is my blog lacking, or how do I grow my blog to a larger following and income?


    1. Ramsay

      Hey Erin.

      The problem with surveys is that they only tell you what a very small portion of your EXISTING readers want. Further, it only tells you what they THINK they want. Think of the story of the Walkman – when they first pitched that idea the CEO of Sony thought that no one would want to carry music around with them!

      I recommend you get a book called How Brands Grow by Byron Sharp. It’s very short but shows you why you need to focus on getting new people to see your brand and not focus so much on loyalty. It’s a big change in how we think.

      As for the mailing list, I give people a free eBook and then have a few follow ups but after that they just get notified of new posts. No separate email newsletter.

      Hope that helps.


  • Jennifer Waddle

    Ramsay,
    What do you do with old/outdated blogs that you wrote a long time ago?
    I used to use Blogger and write short aimless blogs.
    When I switched to WordPress, I selected only some of them to remain published.
    Now, there are a lot of 404 errors when searching my blog content. Do I need to republish them even if they were subpar?
    Thank you!
    Jennifer


    1. Ramsay

      Hi Jennifer.

      Whatever you decide to do with the old posts it’s a good idea to fix the 404 errors as Google really doesn’t like seeing them. You can use a plugin to redirect them if you don’t want to do any server code.

      It might be a good idea to use some of the old posts as the basis for new and improved ones but it doesn’t really matter as long as you fix up the errors.


  • Fred

    Hey brother!

    Do you have any good 1-on-1 coaching recommendation for starting an online business… A blog that sell info products?

    I’m starting a blog and a youtube channel that helps people lose weight.

    I’ve read so much about online business that I sometimes feel I know it all… It’s silly to pretend you know it all when you haven’t figured it out for yourself… I’m aware of that… but I swear that’s how I feel. And so I’m getting stuck sometimes but not sure why and what I should do.

    Which is why I’m looking for an affordable ongoing coach.

    I’ve seen Bryan Harris over at Video Fruit but it is not really in my price range right now.

    I’m still really interested to invest in someone who have a proven record.

    BTW are you offering 1-on-1 coaching?
    If not, any recommendation?

    Thanks for your generosity Ramsay!


    1. Ramsay

      Have you checked out the program over at Fizzle? I hear lots of good things about those guys.


      1. Fred

        Yes! But I was more looking for a 1 on 1 coaching. Someone with whom I share my goal and maybe help me get there faster. But I should give a try to fizzle you’re right! Thanks


  • David Lewis

    Hello Ramsay,

    Just wanted to say I love your work. I am working on starting a real estate blog in my area to promote my real estate business but the problem I am having is a lack of focus. I want to have all the moving/relocating tips and tricks like others do but also want to do posts selling the local area and a section for Realtors about stuff we need to know. I want all this to link to the same site so that I can be THE local real estate site for my area. Population is only about 40K so there is not a huge amount of competition.

    My question is do I need to run multiple blogs to avoid overcrowding and if I do how do I link them to my megasite to get the rankings where I want them? Also, down the road, do you recommend a staff copywriter or should I stick with freelancers for my writing?


    1. Ramsay

      Hi David.

      I have a couple of friends who have done really well with their real estate blogs in this regard. I’m going to email them and see if they can come and offer some experience.


  • Ansa John

    Hi Ramsay,

    thank you for this opportunity of Q&A.

    I am building two niche blogs on careers and education targeted towards Nigerian audiences, i have search for authority niche on careers and education blogs in Nigeria to guest post but found only one. My question is; can i guest post on other authority blogs on careers and education niche outside Nigeria? (i.e blogs not written for Nigerian audiences) as i find it difficult to get guest post from Nigerian university sites.

    secondly, how can i effectively use reddit and stumbleupon to promote my blog? i have sign up on them but find it confusing to use.
    i shall be grateful if you can help me review my blogs as well. they are: http://www.ansacareers.com and http://www.eduansa.com

    thank you for your time.
    Ansa


    1. Ramsay

      Hi Ansa.

      Absolutely! Look outside Nigeria. You could start by using sites like LinkedIn (a HUGE job market) and post some success stories or case studies about what is happening in your country.

      It’s also important to remember that a lot of future jobs are going to be online. Many Nigerians would benefit from working online for companies based overseas. So there’s no reason just to focus on one country.

      I hope that helps.


      1. Ansa John

        Thanks Ramsay, but i don’t know if you have review my blogs yet. still awaiting your respond. thanks once again.


  • Neil

    Hey Ramsay,

    Thanks so much for doing this! So I’m Neil from Bushwalking Blog. I’ve been blogging for 8 years but my traffic has been steady for waaay too long and it doesn’t seem to matter what I do, I can’t increase it. Have I gone too niche?

    I’m pretty close to giving it all up right now and starting something else, but maybe I should just broaden my subject matter. I’m just worried that I’ll lose my entire brand if I do that.

    I’ve started another website, AussieHikingTours.com, reselling hiking tours from all over Australia. This has me wondering if the two sites should be one and the same. Ugh. So lost at the moment. Any help would be appreciated.

    Thanks
    Neil


    1. Ramsay

      Hey Neil!

      Thanks for commenting. I’m going to hit you with a bunch of tips so I hope you’re ready!

      Firstly, you have a lot of great content on your site. I think part of the problem is that it’s not being promoted properly.

      1. It’s time to get a new design. The main issue with the current theme is that it’s not mobile responsive and so a LOT of your traffic would be bouncing because it’s too hard to navigate your content.

      2. You have a lot of great photos. These need to be emphasized a lot more in the design. Take a look at some parallax themes and how they make photos part of the design.

      3. I’m not sure about the branding. I love the domain name but then when I click through to insta and see the “tours” aspect it kind of feels a bit impersonal. I wonder if it would be better to make the blog more about you or the people involved and have the promotion for the company done as a by-product of that great content? It makes it more human. These guys do it well: http://www.ytravelblog.com/

      4. I’d really up the emphasis on your mailing list. It’s buried in the sidebar. No pop up or slide out or special offer hit me. The more people you can get on your mailing list the more people you can promote new content to. It’s so essential.

      5. I’d drop the Melbourne statement in your header. Your blog is not at all exclusive to Melbourne – 90% of the article I looked at could be nicely applied to any hiker or bush walker. If you’re worried about not having enough specific trails or whatever from other states then think about getting your mates or colleagues to contribute now and then.

      Hope all this helps. Love the blog. It’s got lots of potential yet so don’t give up!


      1. Neil

        Hi Ramsay,

        I’m so sorry about the delayed response to your excellent advice. I never received a notification to say you’d replied, so I only realised when I came back to check.

        They’re all fantastic tips and I agree with them completely. I think I will attempt to find some time for a new website and rebranding soon.

        Thanks!

        Neil


        1. Ramsay

          You’ve got a wonderful site. Hope it goes up and up.


  • Andy fawcett

    Hi,

    Some great Q&A it’s really quality that you are giving this time.

    I’m a beginner blogger and I’m working hard to produce content regurlarly and at quality.

    My question is, by using good Seo and Longform content techniques will exposure be boosted the more I right. I.e. Does google apply any cumulative effect to sites that produce consistently good work.


    1. Ramsay

      Hi Andy.

      Yes I do think that Google likes to see new content on a blog. But it’s also a chicken and egg argument because the more good content you produce then the more good links you can attract – and that boosts rankings.

      In the beginning I think just work on having three or four AMAZING posts on your blog, a mailing list, and then go out and write for as many other people as you can. This helps to get your new blog noticed.

      Good luck!


  • Tracy

    Hi Ramsay, I had another question…

    It’s about advertising. My blog gets pretty good traffic (upwards of 350K page views per month) and I’m part of the BlogHer network, and run their ads above the fold, and as a bar below. A couple issues:

    1) The ads slow down the load time on my site. I understand that can affect the Google rankings?

    2) While I appreciate not having to shop for advertisers, my cut is 40% of the CPM. Last month I made $2,000 in ad income. Which is great, but of course, I wonder if I could be doing better.

    How does a blogger go about getting advertisers? Do I cold call people? Google agencies? I did reach out to one, but they said I didn’t have enough traffic to warrant interest. (Hmm.) Is there a threshold of traffic to be desirable to advertisers?

    I’m contracted with BlogHer until this fall. But wanted to start exploring other options. Any pointers?

    Thank you!


    1. Ramsay

      Hi Tracy.

      I’ve actually seen their ads before on friends’ blogs and I think they are awful. The load time is a HUGE issue for user experience and SEO and I honestly would consider other options.

      To be honest, with that level of traffic and the amount of engagement you could easily be making a lot more than that from affiliates and your own products. A book/eBook would do extraordinarily well if it was focused on helping people get through that tough time. I would also consider a paid members area where people can connect and find help from each other.

      The brand is excellent and you’ve clearly hit a nerve with people. I really don’t think advertising is the best way to make money and I don’t think it’s the most useful way to help people.

      Last suggestion: I don’t promote it on my blog but I donate a portion of my income to charity. I think your blog could really help some women’s charities out there, and it might be good if you do add some paid element to donate a portion to a women’s shelter or even a womens’ empowerment charity in India. Not only would this benefit them immensely, it creates a real sense of genuineness for your blog. Partnering with a specific organization could have wonderful benefits for everyone.

      Anyway, hope some of this helps.


      1. Tracy

        Hi Ramsay,

        Thanks. On affiliates — I’ll check your archives, but did you reach out to folks, or did they find you? Honestly, the only companies that have approached me are people I wouldn’t feel okay advertising. (Mostly spy ware — which isn’t legal everywhere, and I’m about *leaving* cheaters, not playing Soviet surveillance games with them.) And the other ones were dating sites. (Not my message exactly…)

        On the e-book thing — I did that in 2014. Had a hit (#1 on Amazon in divorce first day it was for sale!) and then (I don’t know how smart this was from a monetary standpoint) I got an agent, got picked up by a trade publishers, and got a book deal. The new book comes out in May. http://www.runningpress.com/book/leave-a-cheater-gain-a-life/9780762458967

        I appreciate what you said about the ads and how sucky they are. You’re totally in agreement with my IT guy who loathes them. I find them annoying, but a necessary evil, because as the blog has grown, so has the costs associated with hosting it. (I use WPEngine and am really happy with them.)

        I didn’t start the blog to make money, but to help people, because the predominant message out there (okay 99.9 percent of all the resources on infidelity) are how to WIN BACK your cheater. And send some shiny-haired charlatan $300 and they’ll “affair-proof” your marriage. Ugh… I wanted people to know there is a better life on the other side of toxic relationships.

        Anyway, it was a labor of love for a couple years, and lots of time and money. I only monetized it with ads about 18 months ago.

        Per the charity work — I’m on it! At Christmas and Valentine’s Day we give to Confident Children out of Conflict in Juba, South Sudan. http://www.confidentchildren.org It’s an orphanage/school in a war zone. (I had a friend stationed in Juba, which is how I heard of it. They do amazing work.) We abused the diplomatic mail pouch privilege with our Sparkly Shoe campaign. (Filled my friend’s Amazon wish list for the school… um, and broke a few rules…) That’s one of the BEST things about “Chump Nation” (as they call themselves) — big hearts and lots of generosity.

        Thanks for your generosity, sharing all your wisdom with us. I’ll research affiliates!


        1. Ramsay

          Hey again.

          Mostly they don’t reach out to you, you have to go and find products or services that you like and join up. I only promote companies that I use personally and love.

          Nice work on the book!

          Let me know when your next charity thing is and I’ll promote/donate.


          1. Tracy

            Thanks Ramsay! Will do! 🙂


  • Soon Lim

    Hi Ramsay,
    I have just started a website (and this is the third). I dont want to talk about business or email list yet. I focussed on getting readers. Don’t seem to get any (extrapolated: less than 500 a month).
    The gurus seem to recommend guest posting a lot. Do you think guest posting is really the way to go? It would be another struggle to get accepted ( but I am willing to keep doing it, if it is the solution). I am a social media retard, I think.
    Maybe, I there is somehting inherently wrong with what I have done at my site ( the design, the type of posts, the way I write….). You wisdom is much appreciated. Thanks


    1. Ramsay

      Hi Soon Lim.

      It’s important in your niche to find a way to be as distinctive as possible, as well as helping people as much as possible. I would do a study of all the top blogs in your niche and see what they do differently and then try to come up with something.

      Guest posting really is extremely effective but it can be a difficult strategy to begin with. Perhaps look at sites like LifeHack who are always looking for new authors.


  • Cindy Lybbert

    Is it best to have a blog on your website….and only use that…or
    do I just have the “blog” page,…and direct people to my website? Both? one or the other? Thank you, I do am a beginner and regularly read your blog to learn how to do all this. Thank you,
    Cindy


    1. Ramsay

      Hi Cindy,

      I think having a blog as part of an overall website strategy is the best way to go. As to how heavily that blog is featured, it’s up to you and your own website’s needs.

      Good luck!


  • Arnaud

    1.5 year ago, at the urge of a friend who knew I love cooking, I started a food blog. Little did I know that it’s a niche where the winner takes all, i.e. you either go big or go home.

    After marinating in the IM world for a bit, I realize it’s extremely hard for small food blogs to monetize. You need loads of traffic (for ads / affiliates) and it’s not a niche where people splurge (for products).

    What would you do if you were in my shoes? Would be great to get your opinion. Thanks, Ramsay!


    1. Ramsay

      Hi Arnaud.

      I’ve had a good look at the food blogging industry and the top blogs all have a few things in common. They all take extraordinary photos, spend a lot of time on insta and Pinterest, and they all have some unique angle or story.

      If I was in your shoes I’d try to find the top 50 blogs and do a study into what makes them so good. I’d then try to find out how I could make my blog better or different in some new aspect.

      I’d then spend time trying to get writing spots on main news channels or news websites. Those sites have a lot of traffic and are always looking for food-based content.

      Good luck!


  • Shakti Renu

    Hi Ramsay

    I am a beginner blogger. I have a food blog and have posted 9 recipes so far and I am working in every way to make my blog more profesional and wonderful. I am yet to understand clearly about:

    1. should I create a blog profile in social media or my personal profile and then connect my blog to it. Really confusing. I hope this question is clear; and
    2. google adsense. I have a previous experience of getting rejected or disapproved for my other blog which is no longer active. So I have not yet applied for it. Please guide me.
    3. best type of affiliate marketing for food blogs. Does affiliate marketing differ as per blogger’s location. I am in India.

    Thank you. Your blog is simply wonderful. Your way of explaining things is really clear and crisp. I am able to understand clearly your articles in one reading. Thank you again 😀


    1. Ramsay

      Hi Shakti.

      1. I prefer to use a personal account in case you ever stop that blog or sell it. Then all the social media accounts you have built up become obsolete.

      2. I don’t use Google Adsense. I think it’s a waste of visitors as they have to leave your site forever for you to make any money.

      3. I don’t really have any experience with affiliate marketing for food blogs I’m sorry. It might be good to look at the top 20 blogs in your niche and see how they make money.

      Hope that helps.


      1. Shakti Renu

        Thank you Ramsay. Your answers definitely helped me. I have now forgiven the idea of having google adsense as they are sometimes annoying when I visit other blogs and yes, I should take a tour of top food blogs. Thank you and may you get infinite more ideas to make your blog unique 😀


  • Kristen Raney

    Hi Ramsay,

    Thanks for this opportunity and for all the info on your site! Maybe this is a bit of a chicken and the egg question, but do you monetize your site with affiliate links right from the get go, or do you wait until you’ve built up your readership?

    My website is http://www.shiftingroots.com. I’m still in the baby stages of writing content and figuring out what I want on my site, so I haven’t started a big push to get it out there yet. I’m planning on it in the next month or so.

    Thanks!


    1. Ramsay

      From the beginning. It’s often a good idea to think about what end-result/action you want people to take and build your content backwards from there. So it’s nice to know what you’re going to be promoting before you start building masses of content.


  • Michael Pozdnev

    Ramsay, thank you very much for the possibility to ask you questions directly. Some praise in the beginning…

    It was your blog that helped me to decide on a choice of a course of my life 1.5 years ago. I am sure that you will be able to reach anything you want, and very soon we all be buying some online course from you (I’m already ready to buy it :)).

    My questions:

    1) How do you promote your new posts? In the past you used to write guest posts, you were more active in commenting on other blogs and so on.

    2)How do you think, what aspects should I concentrate more on? I’m in the niche of online marketing, and my rivals are real giants 🙂 Brian Dean, Neil Patel, Robbie Richards and you 🙂


    1. Ramsay

      Hi Michael.

      Thanks for the kind words. Means a lot.

      1. I mainly now just promote to my mailing list and, if the post is good, they do a lot of sharing. I still dabble with Facebook Ads and they work quite well if you can work on getting the targeting right. Guest posts are still so important and if I was starting out again that is where I’d put my energy.

      2. I think the thing you should concentrate on is the thing you know best, and find a way to do it differently. In a crowded niche it’s vital to find a way to stand out.

      Best of luck Michael.


  • Gabe

    This is a really cool thing you’re doing Ramsay!

    I’m curious, would you suggest developing a product before starting a blog, or would it be wiser to start putting out content while working on a product?


    1. Ramsay

      I think both are good but, either way, it’s good to have some idea about what end-action you’re going to want your readers to take in the future. So you don’t need to have a product before you launch your blog, but it’s a good idea to know what’s coming so you can target your content towards it.


  • Emmanuel Aniekan

    I have another question Ramsay. Which blog(s) do you recommend for tutorials on how to publish on the Amazon Kindle platform the right way.

    Thanks for your time.


    1. Ramsay

      No idea, sorry.


  • Louisa

    Hi Ramsay,
    Thanks for the opportunity to ask you direct questions. I’m quite a beginner in terms of blogging. I understand that promotion is really important. But sometimes, even though a blog article is promoting via social advertising, it doesn’t get a great level of engagement. Sometimes, a piece of content not promoted via paid advertising gets a better level of engagement.
    What would you recommend to test the piece of content before investing money in promotion? What are the key metrics to look at?
    Many thanks for your time.


    1. Ramsay

      Hi Louisa.

      With FB Ads you can test dozens of different titles, images, etc. all for the same ad and see which one performs best before you put your main budget on it. That’s a good way to go.

      Another way is to just Tweet the article with different headers and see if that makes a difference.


  • Olamide

    Hi Ramsay. I have had my blog for a while now. I doubt if there are enough affiliates for the niche(legal). So, I am wondering if you could give me info on other ways to monetise my blog. It would be well appreciated if you can provide a link to a great article on this issue. Thanks.


    1. Ramsay

      ViperChill.com has a lot of good strategies for this type of thing. One option I’ve seen is that you try to rank for really good legal keywords in your local area and then contact local law firms who might want to advertise to secure that top spot.


  • chris

    Wow, I only get one question…gotta make it count…

    Here goes…

    I don’t do any PPC advertising. It helps that I write for trade mags – print & web so I get direct links (and trust) from those articles. I’ve thought about doing facebook ads but I feel my niche is too small. Is that possible?


    1. Ramsay

      What would the ads be pointing to?


  • Tony

    Hi Ramsay,

    I am brand new to blogging and this is a wonderful Q&A as I am learning a lot.

    I just got a siteblog account and am currently writing content. This is a personal blog that focuses on the story of an unexpected pregnancy that I am experiencing right now with my girlfriend.

    Do I just get it live with what I have (2 posts?) Can you fill me in on some basics of building an audience and following? How can I monetize this site down the road? I know that I will not start making money tomorrow.

    I feel that many people experience this in life and we go through a lot of tough times. The aim here is to tell our unique story (I am an American living in Poland and having Oliver here) and make some additional income with google adds or something similar.

    Thank you


    1. Ramsay

      Hey Tony.

      You can launch with two posts for sure – just make sure they’re amazing!

      I think you’d really get a lot out of this post on blogging strategy from last year: http://www.blogtyrant.com/blogging-strategy/

      Best of luck.


  • Willie-M

    Hi Ramsay
    Thanks for the opportunity to share my website with you. We have been working in this site for over two months. We have some traffic but the kind we would love and need to have to make it successful.
    I read every single post that you send and the emails.
    I have tried to follow but there not much result.
    How do I bring more traffic to my website and to my blogs? If you have the time please visit me and tell me what is going on.
    I post in my social media and connect with friends and co-workers but not much has happened.
    I know traffic is what we all want our site and with so much info out there, it is hard to find what is good to read.
    Please, advice this is my dream.
    Thanks for you time
    Willie-M
    http://www.stylewithwillie-m.com


    1. Ramsay

      Hi Willie.

      What promotion do you do?


  • Christen

    Hi Ramsey,
    I have a question for you – I’m trying to start an art website featuring my own art for sale as prints, pet portraits, and promoting my various public events, but as to the blog part I’m having a hard time coming up with it. So do you know of any great art websites with blogs? I would like to check them out to have a better idea of what I might try for myself. My website hasn’t gone live yet.


    1. Ramsay

      Hi Cristen.

      Actually, no I can’t really think of any.

      If it was me, I would focus on taking beautiful quality photos or time-lapse videos of the art being created. Show the process and the person behind it. That can work really well – especially on instagram and so on.


  • Laura

    Hi Ramsay,
    I found your blog a few weeks ago and have enjoyed the info. I have my domain name and am now building my website with Weebly through Bluehost (per your suggestions!) I’m currently in the sponge stage, soaking up as much info as possible. My niche is candy making. I owned a candy making business for seven years and was even featured on an episode of a Food Network show. I closed my business 4 years ago and have been working PT for a non-profit that helps entrepreneurs. I’m currently working on filming 25 (I’ll add more later, but wanted several to start with) how-to videos, breaking down the basics of things like making caramels, marshmallows, toffee, etc. I will also go into creative packaging for “homemade” gifts, talk about specific ingredients (corn syrup, inverted sugar, use of acids, flavorings, etc), shelf life, and suggested “tools of the trade” to purchase. The videos are informative, but with a bit of humor tossed in. I will also offer consulting services if someone wants help turning their home recipe into a marketable product. The way I look at it, I have two potential audiences – those who want to start a business selling their handmade candies, and home cooks wanting to make candy for themselves or to give as impressive gifts. My question – sorry for the long back story, but I felt the info was needed 🙂 – should I create two different blogs & youtube channels, one for each audience? Or one blog & youtube channel, but separate the info into 1. wanna-be business owners and 2.home chefs looking to impress their friends, family, and colleagues? Thanks for the opportunity to ask you questions. You’re very generous with your time. Cheers.


    1. Ramsay

      Hi Laura.

      Just a detail – I recommend WordPress not Weebly. Is that what you meant to write?

      I think your brand could be awesome all as one thing. If you focus on the personality and the great content your produce, then there’s no reason why you can appeal to different people from the money-making side of things. Lots of bloggers and internet personalities do that these days.

      Best of luck!


  • Slavko Desik

    Wow this thread!

    I’d go ahead and ask something slightly out of the ordinary, which I believe concerns every blogger who is making a living out of his blog.

    It goes like this- What’s your advice for a person with entrepreneurial nature (I believe that’s most of us here) who decides to scale his online biz by creating another blog or related projects? Cause I’ve been back and forth in-between projects hurting the potential of each and every one. Can one successfully manage to balance between four or five projects (some of which related to the blog), and how?


    1. Ramsay

      Hey bro.

      Absolutely. Although I think it depends on the person.

      I do not, however, think it’s possible to do it alone. Think about a restaurant owner. If they want to open another one they need new managers, staff, suppliers, etc. Sure, you can be the boss, but you can’t run it.

      I think the best thing one can do in that situation is get good at hiring. Finding good staff is hard. You want to partner with someone who is able to work independently on your vision. You really need to move out of it for everything except the large decisions.


  • Hazel

    Hi Ramsay, thank you for offering this!

    My questions are:
    1. How do you promote your article effectively for more targeted traffic? In your case, you may send it out to your list. That is one traffic source.

    But what do you suggest for someone that has no to small audience? (I have about 100 subscribers now.) Like, what are the steps one should do after publishing a new post?

    This is my business blog: http://www.kindlestation.com/blog

    I want to become a trusted source in my niche and build my own audience, so that potential clients come to me eventually.

    I know guest blogging works and I am going to try it, but I am also looking for a series of steps to streamline my promotion every time after I publish a new post. (Think: checklist)

    2. How do you validate your blog idea and craft a content plan around it, so that every time you sit down you know what you want to write and going to write an epic content that will help your audience?

    I am intending to start a personal blog, and it is meant for sharing what I know about hustling a side business while having a day job, and taking a leap to quit it and start travel and running a location independent freelance business.

    I am in the process of doing this myself, so writing on this blog helps to document my journey and hold me accountable.

    I feel that I have a lot to write but I am not sure where to start. I am hoping to help people to do the same eventually so I want to write content that people can benefit from, even if the articles are based on my own trial and error.

    That’s all. Thank you very much!


    1. Ramsay

      Hi Hazel.

      Both of those questions are pretty well covered here: http://www.blogtyrant.com/blogging-strategy/

      The main shift I’d encourage you to make is that you want to grow your mailing list instead of trying to promote each individual post. For example, you might have a landing page and a free giveaway/competition and then promote it via FB Ads. This will grow your mailing list really quickly and then you’ll be able to promote new posts to those people. Trying to promote individual posts is, in my opinion, a bit of a scattered approach.

      Check out the post above and let me know if that helps.


  • Jordan Kelsey

    Dear Ramsey,

    Thanks so much for posting this Q and A scheme.

    I have recently started my blog 2 weeks ago, it is a lifestyle, style and fitness blog. I have read all your articles and even been in touch with Marianna.

    Now with the market being so saturated with this, how really do you stand out and make it work for you. Obviously like you have said before writing great content but what else?

    I have decided to take a slightly different approach for my readers and that is ‘live the life you aspire to’. I am writing motivational and inspiration content to help my readers. So hopefully this is fashion and lifestyle with substance. It contains alot of self-help life problems and coping mechanisms through fitness and confidence building so that is makes it alot more relatable for the audience.

    I am wanting to raise exposure for my brand and not just be ‘another fashion or lifestyle blog’ and stand out in a completely different light in the future. I am wanting to get brands on board for a charity event so if they sponsor they would get free advertising etc and it would look good for them to work with charities but I do not have enough exposure for this.

    Now, with this do you think on predicting the future of blogging I should focus on gaining exposure through tapping into brands ideologies on how they are growing and go with them or follow the norm of what all other blogs are doing, but just try and do it better?

    Kind Regards
    Jordan Kelsey


    1. Ramsay

      Hi Jordan.

      You ask a pretty complicated question here and so I recommend you read a book called How Brands Grow by Byron Sharp. It talks a lot about what you ACTUALLY have to do to grow, based on data.

      One of the most important things is finding a way to be distinctive. You don’t need to be unique but you do need to find a way to stand out. That’s very very important.

      I think start at the end. Figure out what you want to do, what action you want people to take, and then work backwards with your content and guest posting.

      Hope that helps.


  • jill brock

    Hi Ramsey, I’m not sure how to ask this and I feel kind of silly asking it because it’s something I think most people already know but here goes. I want to know who I can ask for help if I want someone to set up my WordPress site with all the stuff I need to make it run smoothly. I’m willing to pay for it as long as it isn’t too expensive.

    I really enjoy writing but I never know if I’m doing the techie stuff right or not. It’s just the basic things like setting up a proper email sign in and connecting with social websites etc. I know it seems super simple to most people but it drives me nuts.


    1. Ramsay

      Hi Jill.

      Not a silly question at all. In fact, it’s smart! It’s better to pay someone to do this instead of spending weeks trying to figure it out.

      I recommend CrazyXHTML.com for this kind of stuff. Sometimes they are over booked but they are very trustworthy. If that fails, check out Freelancer.com and find someone with great reviews.


  • Kristine Bobrosky

    Hi Ramsey,

    Thank you for taking the time to do a Q&A.

    As I am starting my blog I wanted to ask your thoughts on promoting myself under a public figure name. (ie. you refer to yourself as the BlogTyrant).

    I will be using my blog as a promoter and educator in the beverage industry, focusing on wine. I have all my social media accounts under the name “The Thirsty Pinup” but I refer to my actual name in the About sections. For my blog would you recommend me writing as Kristine Bobrosky or as The Thirsty Pinup? Or even both!?


    1. Ramsay

      Hi Kristine.

      The Blog Tyrant thing was only because I was anonymous for the first two years. Actually, it’s probably more of a hindrance.

      I think personal branding is probably the way to go these days because if you decide to sell or start something new you can do it under your name. You can’t do that with a brand.

      Hope that helps!


  • Doug Fechter

    Ramsay,

    I am looking to get into blogging and appreciate so much the information you are providing. I am sorry if you have already answered this – there are so many Qs and As – but I’m wondering about how to find out what keywords relevant to my topic are more used than others and does that cost anything? I’d like to know before I finalize a domain name. Does that make sense?

    Thanks!
    Doug


    1. Ramsay

      Hi Doug.

      Great question.

      One of the main things you can use is just Google Adwords keyword tools. They are really good for estimations. But I think when it comes to the domain name sometimes it is better to go for something distinctive and memorable above something with good keywords. I’m still divided about which is best. You see less and less keyword-based domains on the front page these days though.

      Best of luck.


  • Gillian

    Hi Ramsay,

    Thank you so much for your time. I have a few questions, if you only answer one I’ll still be eternally grateful! The first one is the most important to me.

    1) Mine will be a lifestyle blog, but an artful and easygoing one. Lots of pics…of me in action, I’m sure, and maybe occasionally of my son or husband. I’m excited to put myself out there and think I have something valuable to offer…but on the other hand, I am personally very private and don’t want my life (or my son’s) to come under scrutiny… I want to put out what I want to put out and protect the rest. Is this a normal feeling? I was considering writing under a pseudonym for this reason. Like, instead of the About Me section saying, “Hi, I’m Gillian _____,” it would say, “Hi, I’m Sara Smith!” But maybe that’s just ridiculous. 😉

    2) Another question came up earlier regarding social media accounts to promote a blog, you mentioned that yours is connected to a personal social media account as opposed to one created just for the blog? If you can expand on this I’d appreciate it. I was considering setting up a social media account for the blog…but that’s a no-no?

    3) Is a blog something that is simply a list of entries, one after another, or is it more like a website with tabs? I’m a complete novice and have been getting confused. The BlogTyrant is a blog, right? But you have multiple tabs to click on depending on interest…or maybe that means your blog has many “sub-blogs” within…man, I know I sound completely green asking that, but hey, why not? 😉 I’m just looking at your blog wondering how it is you can start out with, like you’ve said, a few awesome pieces of content. I feel like I’d want a few under each header.

    4) Finally, should one already have other social media in place when launching the blog? Instagram, Pinterest, etc.? Or can those be developed afterwards?

    Thank you again, Ramsay. Your blog has been so inspiring to me I can’t even tell you. You’ve created a monster! 😉

    Best,

    Gillian


    1. Ramsay

      Hey Gillian.

      1. Totally normal. It’s totally fine to write under a pen name. Many authors do that. One blogger that springs to mind is James Chartrand from Men with Pens.

      2. The main thinking here is that if you build a personal brand you can then launch other product or sell your existing things. If you build all your social around one website then it all gets lost if you move on from that brand.

      3. A blog is whatever you want it to be! It used to be just dated entries but now the more successful ones are fully functioning websites with mailing lists, permanent pages, etc. I encourage you to just try to help people as much as possible – whatever form that takes.

      4. Develop as you go. Don’t try to do them all. Social media really is an afterthought compared to writing content.

      Best of luck!


  • Gillian

    Hi again, shoot I know I’m really pushing it but I forgot one something…I plan to develop an eBook at some point and I wonder whether that should be a more urgent goal. My concern is that, while it would be a great way to attract new subscribers, I’d have no way of alluring my existing base to read it. Or maybe it’s supposed to be offered to them for sale? Sheesh, there’s so much to sort out. Thank you, Blog Hero!


    1. Ramsay

      Yeah, having a high quality giveaway like an eBook is a very good idea to have ready from day one.


  • Nicholas Hay

    Hey Ramsay,

    First off, I just want to thank you so much for doing this.

    Here’s my question. Since my blog is rather new, it’s natural that I don’t have any traffic flowing to it. I’ve been publishing some content and guides regularly, but I don’t see any growth in my traffic.

    I’ve read that at this point I should be doing blogger outreach, like trying to get in some guest posts, OR run a small paid traffic campaign to test out if people like reading the stuff I publish.

    I’ve been having a hard time deciding what I should be doing or focusing on next. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    My blog here: http://www.valueacademy.net
    Latest blog post: http://valueacademy.net/im-a-pessimist-and-i-hate-optimists

    Your new homepage is awesome, by the way.

    Thanks again, and cheers!
    All the way from sunny Singapore,
    Nicholas


    1. Ramsay

      Hey Nicholas.

      Yep, it’s all about the stuff you do AWAY from your blog at this stage.

      I’d recommend writing a really epic post and mentioning lots of great blogs in it. You can then email them all letting them know that you mentioned them and see where those relationships go.

      I talk more about that strategy here: http://www.blogtyrant.com/blogging-strategy/


  • Will Kersten

    Hi Ramsay,

    I’m brand new at all of this. Here is one of many questions. When guest posting, what format should I expect to use to create/send my content in?

    Thanks for all the great content!

    Will Kersten
    http://willkersten.com


    1. Ramsay

      Hi Will.

      That all depends on the blog you’re writing for. Sometimes they want it in Google Docs so the editors can make changes as you go, other times they want it as fully marked up WordPress format.

      Best to just try and land the gigs and go from there I think.


  • Ansa John

    Hello Ramsay,

    Thank you for your quick respond to my previous question.
    my next question is; how often can i submit my sitemaps to google and bing webmaster tools. i publish 2 times a week.
    thanks


    1. Stephen

      Hi Ansa John
      I use the plugin Yoast SEO and this builds XML files for your blog automatically and notifies the search engines for you. I find it works very well and I have seen many favourable remarks on blogs like this one.


      1. Ansa John

        Thanks Stephen.
        This is the same plugin i used to generate my xml sitemaps. however, i don’t know how to set it for automatic sitemap submission to google and bing webmaster tools when i publish new posts.
        I shall be grateful if you can tell me how to go about it. thanks once again


        1. Ramsay

          It does it for you.


          1. Ansa John

            Thanks Ramsay. Please do you mind reviewing my blog?


  • Kenny

    When do you call it quits on your business idea? I thought I had a good niche (Brand Ambassador) at http://brandambassadorworld.com but when I put out feelers for a potential course ($57) to my list of 600, I only had 3 pre-orders. Any thoughts oh how to help it blossom?

    Thanks so much!


    1. Ramsay

      Hey Kenny.

      I actually wrote a huge post about this but never published it. Maybe it’s time I did?

      It’s a really hard one. Your blog might not be the problem, it could have been the product or the landing page selling the product.

      3 orders is 0.5% of 600 which isn’t that bad. You really only ever sell to around 2-3% at best so don’t worry too much. You might just want to promote it better off-site with ads and so on.

      Hope that helps.


      1. Kenny

        Ooooo yes please publish that post! It sounds super helpful for people who are having a hard time converting in a tough niche.

        I have hardly put any effort in promoting it or tweaking the sales funnel so I’ll focus my energy there in the meantime.

        Thanks for getting back to me and I look forward to reading that post when it goes live 😉


  • Queti

    Hi Ramsay,

    Thanks so much for all your blogging tips. They are so helpful and informative especially for a super newbie blogger like me. My concern is, I blog on DIY and craft tutorials and it is picture heavy more than text. I know you always talk about content and that it must be long, is it 700-1000 words? The thing is I hardly reach that but I don’t just wanna blabber useless stuff just to add to my word count. My tutorials are not complicated at all plus I show step by step pictures. What could I possibly touch on to extend the content? Or is it really necessary to reach that much word count if it is a blog about easy to do crafts and DIY?


    1. Ramsay

      Yeah you’re on the right track. The images would compensate for the words. I had a quick look and it’s perfect the way you’re doing it. As your blog is image heavy you’re getting some slow load times. I ran a test with pingdom tools and it was around 6 seconds. You need to get that down to around 1 second so perhaps talk to your server admin about how this can be achieved.


      1. Queti

        Thank you so much for taking the time to check out my blog and even checking the load time! I was wondering about that,too, I just didn’t know how to find out. I will do just what you said and ask my server for a faster loading time.

        I really appreciate that you take time to answer queries. I am trying to learn and study so much about blogging and wordpress, sometimes I feel like a hermit! Too many hours on the computer really…it’s nice to hear from a fellow earthling haha! You are a tremendous help for us bloggers.

        All the best to you!


        1. Ramsay

          I’m really glad it helped.


  • Samwel Dollah

    Wow..been following all the blogging tips here and applying them on my blog hoping one day with have a strong community like yours here.Thank you so much for such insightful post


    1. Ramsay

      Thank you Samwel.


  • Hammo

    Wow, I finally got to the end. (for now)

    No questions. I just wanted to say thanks for providing some great answers to these questions.


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks for saying that, Hammo.


      1. Hammo

        Your welcome 🙂

        And keep living the dream.


  • Stephen

    Hi Ramsey,
    I think your blog is awesome and I was going to post a question on your SEO for Idiots post but you seem to have closed this post for comments.
    I wished to ask about the importance of placing a 301 Redirect in place when you update/change the slug for an existing post.
    I had hoped that the search engines would recognise the update as being for an existing post but Yoast SEO reminds me that I SHOULD ensure the change is redirected.
    What is your experience with this?


    1. Ramsay

      My understanding is that it’s quite important from a user experience point of view as well as a SEO point of view. There are plugins (I think it’s just called Redirect) which automatically detect where the new post is and points to it. Then you just need to check and see if it’s done it correctly. Does that help?


  • Cameron

    Hey Ramsay,

    First off, thanks for the detailed posts. I think your blog is probably one of the better blogs for those looking for advice.

    The real reason for my comment is really just to look at your squeeze page. It would appear comments are closed on that post, or I would have just said you were handsome back there.

    Anyways, you’re handsome and thanks for all the advice!


    1. Ramsay

      Ha.


  • Vedad Grozdanic

    Hi, Ramsay.

    Firstly, I would like to say that I think you have a great blog.

    … …

    My question is: does every blogger eventually use a child theme? The reason I ask, is that, when my current theme had an update, the “copyright” phrase at the bottom of the blog.


    1. Ramsay

      Child themes can be tricky to update for this reason. It’s best to talk to a developer about this and have someone who understands your set up. I recommend http://www.crazyxhtml.com


  • Darragh Coyle

    Hi Ramsay

    I love reading your blog posts. I am not really a blogger per say, I have a forex trading education website and I have a blog also, however it is a tricky niche to blog about. I have paid for content from fiverr.com which is hit and miss and just recently used textbroker.com and was very happy with thr content produced. I really want to come up with some unique content to blog about but I am really struggling. Have you any pointers that may help me get some more traffic to my site.


    1. Ramsay

      Hi Darragh.

      I am beginning to think that with most niches like this you have two options: create a big brand/company, or make a website/blog that is based around your own stories, methods and wins.

      I think that second one suits you. Just focus on the successes you have had with your own trading and write case studies. These seems to be really well-loved and are easy to promote with FB Ads.

      Does that help?


      1. Darragh Coyle

        Hi ramsay
        Thanks for getting back to me. I will concentrate on the latter from now on. I have been outsourcing my content writing for my blog and the cost was ramping up with little feedback. Thanks again

        Darragh.


  • Mudasir Yasin

    Hi,

    This post is full of true facts and figure and explain the reality in a very good details. I use to keep learning the news thing online every day, so today plan to follow your blog for improving my skill and keep my blog healthy by using these tips and learning.

    Thanks for sharing such a great ideas.


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks for reading!


  • Kendra @ Life Quintessentials

    I really appreciate all these ideas and tips, I definitely will be incorporating all of this into my business blog. Thanks so much for sharing!


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks, Kendra. Glad you enjoyed it.


  • shaun

    Hey ramsay,

    I have a question for you!

    How do we help people understand that making money online whether its through blogging like you do or affiliate marketing or whatever is legitimate and you can actually do it?

    So many people it seems are so skeptical and think all the ways are just fake. Our industry really has a bad name for a lot of people. What are your views?


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