Tag Archives: make money blogging

Why It’s Important for Affiliate Marketers to Self-Host WordPress Sites

Do You Want to Blog for Money?

It’s very tempting for affiliate marketers to take advantage of “free” blogging platforms such as BlogJob or revenue sharing sites using a WordPress interface. These platforms have their advantages and many of us have used them with varying results. BlogJob is great if you want to be in a community situation and be able to earn with social activity as well as your blogs. If you are a serious affiliate marketing blogger, who wants control over the monetizing options and how your blog looks, it’s important to self-host your WordPress site. 

Affiliate Marketing Rocks! Giant Coffee Mug
Affiliate Marketing Rocks! Giant Coffee Mug
View more Affiliate marketing Mugs at zazzle.com

Advertising Options

I have six blogs on BlogJob. I wanted to try some different themes that were new to me. I chose the Arcade Basic theme for my blog Trees in My World because I wanted to feature a lot of photos and I liked the large photo header. What I could not predict when writing my posts was what would happen when BlogJob’s placed their Adsense ads on my blog. Here’s what did happen.

Why It's Important to Self-Host Your WordPress Site
BlogJob Placed Ad Covering my Text

As you can see, the ad is covering my text — not something readers will appreciate. It makes me look bad and most readers will just click away, increasing my bounce rate..

I only discovered this was happening again when I was about to promote the page. These ads are pesky because when you are writing your post, you have no idea where they will appear and what form they will take. They don’t show up until someone is actually reading the post. This only has happened when I’ve been using this theme. In all fairness, the administration fixed this for me once, but the site just had a major update and it’s broken again.

When you self-host, you place all the ads. You don’t have to put one in the middle of your post if you don’t want the flow interrupted. You don’t have to worry about ads that will compete for clicks on the products you are linking to yourself. I remember times on revenue sharing sites when I was promoting certain Zazzle products and the same products would also appear in the ads to the right, competing for clicks and commission.

When you self-host, you  don’t have to worry about nasty or questionable ads being placed by your host that you would never approve or want your readers to see. (In all fairness, BlogJob has never placed ads I was ashamed of. ) You have full control in Google’s interface over what ads you do and don’t want to see when you host a site yourself.

Third Party Display Aids

Affiliate marketers want to make their products look attractive on their pages. Some like to use Amazon’s Native Ads. I like to use Easy Product Displays. It’s a very reasonable paid service that lets you easily build attractive displays of affiliate products.

I’m still on the basic plan that lets me search Amazon and Zazzle, my two main affiliate programs. It costs a bit more to include Share-a-Sale. You can choose between several layouts to find the best fit for your page, preview it, and switch products around in the display until you get it just right. Then you copy the code and put it in the text view of your page where you want it.  Here’s an example of a display I just built. (Disclaimer: I chose these books at random because they looked interesting to me.)

 Blogging For Dummies How To Make Money Blogging: How I Replaced My Day Job With My Blog Affiliate Marketing: How to make money and create an income How To Blog For Profit: Without Selling Your Soul Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business

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There are ways I could adjust this display in the code to make the Amazon buttons line up more evenly, but that isn’t the primary focus of this post. You can display only one product or more than fifteen, if you please, in different sizes or in rows of two, three, and four products. It’s fun to play with it before you get your code.

I cannot use this display in BlogJob because of code conflicts. Amazon Native ads also have to replace one of your Adsense ads at BlogJob. I discovered today I can’t even display the normal text/image ad from Amazon there. I have no control over how the code is written. BlogJob pays the bills and they get to call the shots. They have to make money, too, but if you want control you need to self-host.

Full Control of Affiliate Products Promoted

So far, BlogJob has not limited how many products I may promote per post, only how they are displayed. Revenue sharing sites like HubPages are the most controlling when it comes to this. I hate having robots decide where affiliate links can be placed and how many. Anyone using HubPages will understand what I mean. That is one reason why affiliate marketers are leaving HubPages to self-host. Many who have done that are making much more money after moving their posts to self-hosted sites than they ever did on HubPages.

If You Are Serious about Monetizing, Self-Host

If you are starting from scratch with self-hosted WordPress, I recommend you spend the small amount of money it takes to purchase the course that will show you how to set it up correctly to make money and get traffic. It’s called Set Up a WordPress Site in One Day, and I have purchased it myself.  I thought I knew plenty already, since I had been using self-hosted WordPress for years. After getting this course, I was surprised to learn how much I didn’t know yet.

I recommend you host with SiteGround. I have moved my main site there.  Here’s why.

 

If you want to blog mainly for personal satisfaction or you don’t care if you make money with your blog, go ahead and join BlogJob.  You can still make a bit of money there — probably faster than on HubPages — while enjoying the community aspects of the site and participating in forums. Just keep in mind that if you want to start seriously monetizing a blog to make a business of blogging, you will get much better results if you self-host. 

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Why It's Important for Affiliate Marketers to Self-Host WordPress Sites

 

Should You Start a Blog?

Advice to Those Who Want to Start a Blog

 

I recently read a post by Angie Tolpin, You Don’t Have to Be a Blogger to Be My Friend. That got me thinking about my own blogging experiences, and what advice  I might give someone today who likes to write and may want to start a blog.  Angie’s readers seem to be mostly mothers with children still at home. I am past that. There was no internet for me back in those days, or I might have jumped on the blogging bandwagon then, too.

Should You Start a Blog?
Letter from a Swedish Pen Pal in My College Days

I had always wanted to write, and I satisfied that urge with a journal and by writing to penpals in various parts of the world. That continued through my college days.

After I got married and began to be active in churches as an adult, we led the college group and what I had to say was usually specific to certain friends who had shared their problems with me. So I wrote letters of encouragement, especially to those who were away at college. I also wrote letters to some of my high school students who had graduated and joined the service. There was no shortage of ways to communicate in writing. In the days before social networks, people did actually use snail mail.

What Made Me Finally Start a Blog?

After my 14-year-old son died in 1991, I started a book business for which I did a lot of traveling. It kept me too busy to take on anything else. But after we stopped traveling and I took the business online, I heard that people in business should start a blog. So I did. I wasn’t really passionate about it, and coming up with ideas was hard. I probably should not have started it, now that I look back. I don’t post to it much anymore because other subjects interest me more than currently published educational materials.

I had one other blog I started in 2006 that still continues to this day — my gardening blog. It is a more satisfactory way to keep a photo history of my garden to refer back to than the written journals I had kept earlier. I was passionate about gardening, and only one thing kept me from my blog in those days — too much else to do in the garden itself, and the squirrels. After the attacks in which the squirrels destroyed my garden I had little to write on that blog anymore, so I changed the focus.

Something else kept me from the gardening blog for over a year. That something was a new and very profitable writing site, called Bubblews, which was great while it lasted. I started posting my gardening journals there instead of to my blog because I earned more from them there and had more readers.

But one dark day last year Bubblews finally went down, as many of us were sure it would.  I have gone back to my blog to publish my garden journal — when I have time. I couldn’t work in the garden for almost a year because I’d had two surgeries, but I’m now posting again on Barb’s Garden Observations.  The lesson I learned was that if something is really important to you, host it yourself and keep it on your own site.

Social Blogging on Medium: A Path to Starting Your Own Blog

Social blogging didn’t exist when I started my first blogs. As far as I know, Bubblews was the first social blogging network. I now use Medium for social blogging. Here’s my Medium profile so you can get a feel for it. I just joined a few weeks ago because I heard it was a great promotion tool. I’m not sure it is, but it will help you start writing online if you are new to it. You will make new writing friends. You will be exposed to new ideas and get in some interesting conversations you would never find on Facebook.

I would advise anyone thinking about starting a blog who does not yet have a focus, to join Medium and start social blogging. Why? Because it is a good way to get your feet wet and develop a focus. It’s kind of like test blogging to see if it suits you, to make contacts for when you start your own blog, and to give you a wider perspective on the rest of the world and to communicate with people who don’t necessarily share your values and beliefs. If you want to start a blog now, I recommend you keep reading.  Joining the Pajama Affiliates is one of the best ways to get the training you need to get off to a good start.

Learn How to Earn Money on Your Blog

Most bloggers, myself included, begin blogging without a clear plan on how to make it earn for them. If you haven’t started your blog yet, I would recommend you learn how to do it correctly from the beginning. Learn from experienced bloggers who have mastered making their blogs pay off and have the payment proofs to support their claims.

Should You Start a Blog?Recently many of my old friends from Squidoo started talking about how much they were learning in the Pajama Affiliates blogging courses and how their incomes had increased because of it. Since most of those people had made a lot more affiliate income on Squidoo than I ever had, I was impressed. I already knew of the teachers of the course because they had also written on Squidoo with me.

I had known part of what they did to make their money and be successful at affiliate selling, but I never knew how to do it myself. To tell the truth, part of me resisted having to do affiliate sales to support my content writing. But now that those content writing sites where I made my income are gone or paying peanuts, I need to make the income to cover my blogging expenses and buy some of the extras I want. The blogging course my friends were taking went on sale and I had enough in PayPal to cover it so I signed up.

Instruction is given by video and written summaries. There is a private Facebook group for all those taking the course to ask questions and get help. The group members also visit and help promote each other’s blogs. That in itself is worth what I paid. I’m already learning steps I can take right now to increase the effectiveness of my blogs.

Best of all, Leslie, who teaches the class, is showing me that I don’t have to write spammy blogs to make money. Her blogs offer a lot of information, cleverly presented,  and almost sneak the product links in. The complete course price is $297, but the course is often on sale for much less. The best deal is the new all-in-one blogging bundle that has everything you need to know about blogging. If you’d like to see what the course is like without paying for an entire course, try the new free Affiliate Fast Pass course that lets you sample the course for free.  

Here is the information on the Fast Pass Course.  Leslie is making thousands of dollars from her blog a month, and I’m lucky to make a hundred a year the way I’ve been doing it. Should You Start a Blog?I just signed up for two more courses, Social Media Marketing and Buyer Keywords and I’m glad I did. These are included in the new course. Find the details and current price for the Affiliate Marketing and Business Bundle here.  You will often find courses on sale.  If they aren’t on sale, take the free course, join the support group for free, and wait for a sale.

 Blogging on Medium

Medium is probably the easiest place to try out blogging.  Follow the link, sign up for free, and start reading what others have written. Search by tag to find posts that may interest you. Follow the people who write posts you like. Highlight parts of those posts that speak to you. Comment on the posts. Any comment you make becomes a new post for you and goes on your profile page, along with your longer posts and passages from posts you have highlighted. Recommend posts you enjoyed to others by clicking the green heart at the end of the post.

You will find people responding to your comments and even starting conversations. This helps you get to know people and some genuine friendships can develop. You will also have people looking forward to your posts and following you so they don’t miss any. These are all people who may later want to read your blog because they feel they know you.

So what do you post? Anything that interests you and has general appeal. Personal opinions and experiences do well. Share information on subjects you know well from your unique perspective.  Use some of your photos to write photo essays. You can even import blog posts from sites that you believe will close soon into Medium, photos and all, with a single click. Just check your work for errors before posting. Many of your readers will be professional writers and bloggers.

Gradually, you will find your writing voice — that style your followers will come to expect from you. You will also begin to see what you seem to be writing about most. That means you are beginning to focus on your passions. It also means the idea for your own blog is in the process of hatching.

Monday Blogs

If you plan to blog, you should start by reading other blogs — a lot of them. This will give you ideas on what is possible, themes you might want to use, how others monetize effectively, and what about a blog makes you want to read it and what makes you click away. I suggest you follow @MondayBlogs on Twitter or search the hashtag #MondayBlogs . It will introduce you to a wide variety of blogs and you can start following those you most enjoy reading and commenting on them. It never hurts to become a familiar face to your favorite bloggers.

Triberr is another place where bloggers read and help promote each other’s blogs. I’ve covered Triberr at How to Promote Your Blog on Triberr. 

Are You Ready to Start Your Own Blog Now?

By now you should have some idea as to whether you should start a blog. If you seriously want to make money blogging, you will need to monetize your blog and to do that right you will need to host the blog yourself.

I would suggest using SiteGround (affiliate link) as your host if you plan to use a self-hosted WordPress site. Prices are reasonable. I just opened a new domain there and I’m getting my domain name free for life. I opened the account because I was unhappy with a current host for my main site and I wanted to switch it over. They managed the transfer for me free.  So far their customer support has answered all my questions quickly and easily and getting my new site installed was a snap.

If you have decided to start your blog, do it now and sign up with the Pajama Affiliates.   I’m taking the Beginner Blogging and Affiliate Marketing Course right now and it includes a smaller course that helps you get your WordPress Site up and running in a day. I followed the simple direction in the videos to get mine up with a new host.    It’s worth spending the money if you intend to apply what you learn right away and do the hard work of making your blog pay off. No course is magic, but the Pajama Affiliate Marketing classes will help you.  Do yourself a favor and get the new Affiliate Marketing and Business Bundle now. And remember, you can now sample the best of this course and be admitted to the private Facebook support group for free.

Why not start a blog today?