How Much Traffic Should a Blog Have Before Running Advertising

Speed-Postingiamluc asks “How much traffic should you have to offer advertisements on your blog?”

“When should you put advertising on your blog?”

Funnily enough I’ve been asked this question four times in the last 24 hours so it’s probably a good time to answer it.

Before I answer the question though – let me say that there are numerous approaches to this question and if you ask a variety of ‘pros’ you’ll get a similar variety of responses. Here’s how I do it:

I put ads on my blog from the day it launches (actually they go in before it launches). My reasons for doing this largely come down to two reasons:

It’ll earn you a little bit from day 1 – even if it’s a dollar or two a day that does add up to a few hundred dollars a year and I don’t know about you but I don’t mind a few extra hundred in my mortgage at the end of the year.

It gets readers used to ads – most people who don’t put ads on their blog early on tell me that they make this decision because they want to build readership and community first and add ads later.

I understand this on some levels, they don’t want to put off new readers with advertising, however I’m a little skeptical how many people are put off by websites with advertising and wonder if there could actually be more problems when you change the rules later on and introduce ads onto a site that people have become used to being ad free.

Further Reading:

I expand upon this topic a little in a previous post – How Quickly After Starting a Blog Should I put Ads On it?

9 Essential Questions to Ask Yourself Before Posting to Your Blog

Speed-PostingHaraldJohnsen asks “As a quality control, what are the most important questions to ask before hitting ‘submit’ / posting a blog post?”

Great question Harald – I actually think that most of us as bloggers could improve many of our posts by pausing before hitting ‘submit/publish’ and asking a few basic questions about the post. Here are a few questions that I ask myself:

  • Does this post give something useful and unique to my readers?
  • Will it enhance their lives in some way or is it ‘fluff’?
  • Is the spelling correct?
  • Does the post make sense grammatically?
  • What could I cut out of the post to make it more concise?
  • How could I make the post easier to ‘scan’ for readers (headings, formatting, images etc)?
  • Is the title engaging? Does it draw people into the post?
  • Could I give this post a little more time before publishing to ‘mature’? Would coming back to it tomorrow help me to add depth to it?
  • Have I written on this topic before and can I link to it?

I only had 3 minutes to write this post as part of my SpeedPosting series – so I’m interested to hear what questions you’d add to the list?

Update: Just before publishing this post I thought I’d take my own advice and search my archives to see what I’ve written on the topic before and found 13 Questions to Ask Before Publishing a Post on Your Blog which has even more questions to ask.

How to Be More Positive

Speed-Posting@SmallFishMedia asks about ‘”How To Be More Positive On A Daily Basis”

What a great question and one I never expected to write about here at ProBlogger – it’s a little off topic but as I was asked it – here goes.

Firstly, I’m no expert on being positive. I’m a bit of an optimist (my wife complains that I can turn any situation into a positive one) though and like to be around other positive people.

For me it comes down to a few things. The first is being intentional about finding the positive things in your life. My parents taught me to be thankful and when I don’t feel thankful to find things to be thankful for anyway and to ‘practice being thankful’. Just like you don’t become good at anything without practice, sometimes being positive is something you need to learn to do and practice. Start with the small things – tell others about the, pray about them (if that’s your thing) but look for them and celebrate them in some way.

The second thing I’d say is to learn to turn problems into opportunities. My Marketing lecturer used to challenge us when we did projects to identify our weaknesses in business and turn them into strengths and to turn our threats into opportunities. This is somewhat counter intuitive but it’s a powerful thing when you do it right.

What do you think? Positivity can be an great thing to have as a blogger – how do you keep yourself thinking positively?

How to Establish Trust Online

Speed-Posting@eMarv asks – “how do you establish trust online?”

I’ve touched on this with a few of my other answers this weekend but let me share three thoughts:

  1. It’s not something that happens quickly – I wrote a post a while back titled ‘Do you kiss on the first date? The Art of Courting as a Blogger‘ that explores how you need to work up to taking your relationships with readers to the next level. Trust takes time to build and you should see every post you make as a way to grow the relationship.
  2. It is something that is earned – you’ve got to put the runs on the board somehow with your readers to show that you’re worthy of trust. This includes blogging for the long haul, showing that you know what you’re talking about, demonstrating your transparency, going the extra mile for readers etc.
  3. The recommendations of others are really important – while I can tell you why you should trust me you’re far more likely to actually trust me if someone else tells you that they trust me and recommend that you do too.

Read more on this topic with a series that I wrote on Blogger Credibility.

How do you work to establish trust with your blog’s readers?

Should I Have a BlogRoll on my Blog

Speed-Posting@SalesBlogcast asks – “What’s the difference between haveing “links” vs. a “blog roll?” Benefits? Chosing wisely?”

Ultimately the word ‘blogroll’ is just a different term used to describe a list of links, usually on the sidebar of a blog. It’s just a different label for the list of links I guess.

When I first started blogging everyone had a blogroll but these days I don’t see as many. One of the problems with them when your blog grows is that they can become quite political to maintain. I ended up giving up on having one on ProBlogger as I had so many requests to be on it – now I just have one with my b5media co-workers.

The other thing about blogrolls is that I hear people trying to get on them because of the SEO benefits of doing so. I’m sure there is some Google juice passed from blog rolls but suspect it’s not massive. Google seem to have more of an emphasis on links in content rather than links that appear on every page on sidebars/footers from what I can see these days.

I’d be interested to hear whether others have blogrolls, why they do (if they do) and how they decide who is on and who isn’t?

Hiring Virtual Assistant to Help Administrate Your Blog

Speed-Posting@jb108 asks – “how do you feel about VA’s, do you use any, how many, how much work and what type do you delegate to others.”

I love the idea of VA’s (virtual assistants) and can see a lot of tasks that I could potentially have one do for me – however I’ve never really felt completely comfortable with the idea and don’t currently have budget set aside for one.

I do have Lara help me with comment moderation and a little other admin work when I have a project going on that I need assistance with but apart from that I don’t personally delegate much work.

Of course at b5media we have quite a sizable team of staff to do a lot of the administrative stuff to keep our blog network running (I think at last count there were 12 full time staff).

followup question from @jb108 – at what point in blogging career do you recommend delegating to VA’sI think it partly depends upon ylife situation. I know one bloggers who works a full time job and runs multiple blogs. He doesn’t want to give up his work so he’s always hired VAs to do everything except write content on his blogs.

It probably also depends partly on your own skill set. If there are parts of blogging that you don’t enjoy or can’t do very well then I don’t have a problem with hiring someone to do them. If it’s going to take you 3 weeks to do a job that someone else can do in a day then that’s 3 weeks that you can work on something you are good at.

I’m probably talking more about outsourcing things like setting up a blog, design etc – but the same thing applies to ongoing jobs on your blog. I know that Having Lara work an hour or so a day for me means I’ve got an extra hour to write content each day – something that is important to me. I guess it’s about priorities and what you feel you can do with the time freed up.

How to Grow Beyond Blogging

Speed-Posting@itravin asks – “you’ve gone from blogging to b5 to become an author now, can you do a post on blogger growing beyond blogs”

You know it’s never really been my long term goal to write a book or even to start a blog network. In fact when I started blogging I didn’t even think it’d be more than a hobby! So I guess without going too deeply into the topic my advice would be to go into whatever you do with low expectations but with eyes wide open to the opportunities and possibilities that might present themselves to you.

b5media came about as an opportunity as a couple of other bloggers (Duncan and Jeremy at first) approached me to ask if I’d like to explore what working together might look like. None of us had any real idea on what would come out of the discussion but we all entered into it open to the possibilities.

The book was similar in that Chris and I started out to write an ebook together. This evolved into a ‘real’ book one day when a publisher at Wiley dropped me an email to see if I’d be interested in publishing something with them. It was out of the blue and unplanned but when I began to explore it it felt right.

The same thing was true for me when I started Six Figure Blogging with Andy and even when I started the Job Boards here at ProBlogger. In post situations it came about as a result of someone else approaching me with an idea.

Of course this isn’t the only way – other bloggers are much more strategic and proactive – but my personality and style is perhaps a little more laid back.

So to sum up my approach – work hard, watch, listen, be open and when opportunities that ‘click’ come along – leap at them.

Do you have any tips for itravin on how to extend from being a blogger to explore other mediums and opportunities?

How Do I Make Money Fast Blogging?

Speed-Posting@eMarv asked – “how can one make 25K in 2 months by blogging? :) I know, I know… “

I think you know the answer to that question from your last few words. But when it comes to blogging it’s not a get rich quick thing. I don’t know too many (any) bloggers who made $25k in their first two months. Having said that – I did meet a blogger this week who started a blog and 2-3 weeks later sold it for $3k – so I guess there are some ways to build them quick and sell them off (but this is probably an exception rather than the rule).

My philosophy of building money through blogging is that the secret is in trending up over the long haul.

If you’re after fast money head to the casino – but don’t hold your breath there either!

What would you add to this? Is it possible to make fast money blogging? How would you try if you had to make money fast through blogging?

Read more on this topic at Make Fast Money Blogging Products – My Reaction.

Full or Partial RSS Feeds?

Speed-Posting@SeanBannister asks – “on Problogger your RSS shows the entire post but on DPS it only shows a teaser”

Whether to post excerpts or full feeds is something I’ve grappled with on and off for years now. I used on only do excerpts here on ProBlogger too but in the end decided to switch. The main thing that held me back from switching to full feeds on ProBlogger was the issue of duplicate content. I see a new blog scraping my content every day or two so there must be many sites with the same content as ProBlogger out there. This is frustrating and while I try to track down those who do so without any acknowledgement of source I can’t possibly stop them all.

The good thing now is that ProBlogger has authority in the eyes of Google as it’s been around for a few years and I’m pretty confident that Google ranks us as the original source of all the duplicate pages. I’m a little less confident of this with DPS so have kept it as an excerpt feed. Having said this – I’ll probably switch DPS to full feeds at sometime soonish as it’s got a fair ranking in Google now.

Further Reading on Full vs Partial RSS feeds: