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Learning from Problogger experts

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of listening to the Problogger webinar. It was not on a specific topic (well, no more specific than blogging anyway!) but was a three person team (named below) answering questions.

elements of an effective blog

Learning how to run an effective blog

As always, I shared various tips from the webinar on Twitter as I listened, but I am also going to share a summary of those tips here.

Writing out my notes helps cement the ideas in my head, for one thing, but I also like to share information  to help others so this post is a win-win!

Blog content

Obviously, a blog offers little value if it doesn’t have any content so this is a crucial aspect to cover. Shayne and Darren both agreed that content is the priority – you can adjust the layout and visuals of your blog if need be, but poor content really limits the success of your blog.

  1. Create content to show your expertise/credibility relating to your goals. So if your goal is to get more coaching clients, write content that shows you are a good coach and how you can help people
  2. there are many advantages to adding content to your site consistently, especially when your blog is new
  3. it is ok to ask for help, including in blog posts and on social media, as it builds engagement
  4. create a reader profile so you know who you are writing to/for. And figure out where they are online so you can go there, too.
    1. test where your readers are – try different social media platforms, etc
  5. grow your reader base by helping people. Become a resource for them, do things like answer relevant questions on Twitter/Facebook
  6. featuring others is a good way to engage with people and build interest (and therefore readers!)
  7. be  honest to develop trust – for example, the carryology blog gives honest product reviews, even of competitor products!
  8. generally, adding opinions and personality to blog posts results in more engagement and loyal readers – it helps differentiate you from others covering similar topics
  9. SEO knowledge should inform the way you write, not drive it. So yes use keywords in your content and titles, but don’t focus on SEO – focus on your readers.

And always remember that blogging success can take time so hang in there and don’t give up too soon!

Advertising on your blog

While not all blogs have advertisers, for those who do want this income option a common question is whether to get direct advertisers or use something like AdSense. Here are some of the comparisons from the webinar:

Small blue advertising icons

Accepting advertising can make you money

  1.  using AdSense can turn off other advertisers  – or they will just rely on AdSense to get onto your site (so you share the profits!)
  2. you need a decent amount of traffic to get direct advertisers paying you. Personally, I think the amount of traffic needed is less for a very niche blog or if the blogger has some connection so advertisers can be sure the blog will pick up.
  3. in the early days, expect to contact advertisers rather than waiting for them to approach you. And continue this even when you have advertisers approaching you!
  4. you have less control with AdSense so less desirable ads may be shown on your site – and may therefore be part of  a first impression for a new reader. Remember you may not even see the ads your readers see, especially as Google is targeting ads at people’s past browsing history more and more.

Moving beyond blog posts

Many bloggers have found their blog has led to other opportunities – and many make more money and gain credibility more from those extras. Of course, many other bloggers are happy to just blog or use the blog to support a business.

  1. if you are thinking of using a freebie to entice people to sign up for something or subscribe to a newsletter, plan ahead. For instance, if you expect to sell eBooks in a year or so, don’t start giving away an  eBook now as an enticement. Once someone has received a free eBook from you, they are less likely to want to pay for one later (although hopefully they will have seen the value in your eBook!)
  2. while good writing is always a good thing, remember that your sales page is not just about the writing or describing what is in the eBook (or other product information) – it has to induce action (ie buying!)
  3. a blog can be a great testing ground and experience for writing eBooks. There was a lot more about eBooks in the webinar but I think that can wait for another blog post!

Who or what is Problogger?

Problogger is a website about blogging (what a surprise!) started by a Melbourne man, Darren Rowse. Darren and the site have gone on to be well recognised as blogging authorities, with a range of blog posts, eBooks, webinars and the annual ProBlogger conference (and virtual conference attendance) to help other bloggers learn and develop.

Today’s webinar was hosted by Darren and included Shayne Tulley and Jasmin Tragas. Shayne manages Problogger’s marketing and website design/development – and has a one week old baby – while Jasmin produces the eBooks and live events for Problogger.

Between them, this trio has a lot of knowledge and they generously shared some of it with us today.

Additional resources

Some other information gained from today’s webinar included:

Or you can listen to a recording of the webinar 🙂

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