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Reading Roundup: What’s New in Blogging Lately?

Reading Roundup: What's new in blogging this week / ProBlogger.net

Coming to you live from the pit of Facebook reach hell! Are you in the same boat? Ugh.

Here’s a tip that might help!:

Facebook Audience Optimization: Better Engagement and Insights for Bloggers // Jon Loomer

Did you know if your page has fewer than 5000 likes, you can switch audience targeting to get better reach on your organic posts? (that is, if you have an English language page). If your page has more than 5000 likes, it’s automatically switched on – just click the crosshair icon when composing a post and target your audience.

Hat tip to Zoey from Operation Move for that one!

Free Stock Photos: 73 Best Sites to Find Awesome Free Images // Canva Design School

Because we’re always looking. I love how much info they give, and their ranking system. I’ve bookmarked!

What’s it Take to “Go Viral”? 11 Traits to Give Your Idea Wings // Moz

There are a few things you need to ensure you’ve included if you want your post to be shared and shared again. Also has a case study that’s super-useful.

Why Being Afraid of Failure is a Huge Waste of Time // Smaggle

Fear holds us back from a lot (did you hear Pat Flynn talk about it with Darren on this recent podcast episode?). Carly thinks there’s only one way through that fear – what do you think?

How to Write Conversationally: 7 Tips to Engage and Delight Your Audience // Copyblogger

How to make your writing not sound like writing (you’ve deleted too-salesy marketing emails in your time, haven’t you?!). Being human will get you everywhere.

Facebook Changes up Your Newsfeed, Again // CBS News

This week one of my Facebook posts reached three people. Three. If you’re struggling again with reach, this is probably why.

7 Tips to Become an Influencer in Your Industry // Jeff Bullas

I’d never heard of MyBlogU! I signed up. At the end of the day, though – it still comes down to people. Your audience. They are the ones who share you with their friends! Are you treating them right?

How to Promote Your Blog with 105 Content Promotion Tactics // CoSchedule

Click straight to the section on the platform you need the most help with – super user-friendly!

8 Steps to Becoming a Successful Guest Blogger // SEM Rush

Having been the editor of ProBlogger for more than two years now, and seeing ALL sorts of guest blog pitches, I have to say these are some pretty solid tips to getting it right.

The Bumper Guide to Small Business Blogging // Mark it Write

If you use a blog as a promotional tool for your business, you need to read this.

What news did you come across this week?

Stacey Roberts is the Managing Editor of ProBlogger.net: a writer, blogger, and full-time word nerd balancing it all with being a stay-at-home mum. She writes about all this and more at Veggie Mama. Chat with her on Twitter @veggie_mama, follow on Pinterest for fun and useful tips, peek behind the curtain on Instagram, listen to her podcast, or be entertained on Facebook.

How to Get into the Flow of Creating Great Content for Your Blog

Image credit: Jonno Witts

Image credit: Jonno Witts

Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been blogging some time, you can almost always find yourself falling out of flow. One minute you have tons of ideas and are cranking out posts, the next something’s off and you’ve lost your mojo.

This episode of the ProBlogger podcast is continuing our series on Blogger’s Block (you can catch up on episode 83 Types of Blogger’s Block and episode 84 How to Come up With Fresh Ideas to Write About on Your Blog here), with my tips on how to finally get back on the content producing wagon, flexing your creative muscles once again.

I find that once you figure out what kind of blogger’s block you have – whether it be too many ideas and not enough time, or getting back into the swing of things after a brief break – you’re one step closer to figuring out how to beat it. The advice I’m sharing in this episode is from my own perspective, and include:

  • how to change your environment
  • tools to help you focus and minimise distractions
  • background noise
  • morning pages
  • answering questions to help formulate post ideas
  • using personas
  • getting personal – putting yourself in the shoes of your readers
  • deadlines, schedules and editorial calendars – what works, what doesn’t
  • rhythm and flow
  • inspiration
  • the types of post structures that engage my creativity and help keep me on track

And other practical ideas you can try at home to boost you out from the black hole of uninspiration and getting you back in the saddle again.

Tune in at the end of the week for the next Blogger’s Block installment, where I discuss what you should do before you publish every post to make it fully complete.

What do you do when your brain has taken a bit of a vacation? How do you bring it back to writing mode?

Further Reading:

How to Create and Use Infographics to Drive Traffic to Your Blog

This is a guest contribution from Luke Guy.

Let me start this post by telling you a quick story: I once created this niche site that I thought would do really well. I wanted to flex my SEO skills, and see if I could a new site ranked rather quickly (I talk about how I perform outreach with sites like this at Lukeguy.com).

The new site would solve a problem like no other in its field – I had created this site for insect identification purposes, and it would help people with identifying bugs within hours. You would upload an image and there you got your bug identified rather quickly. So now you could find out if that bug was potentially harmful within a short amount of time.

Screen Shot 2016-02-01 at 3.02.03 pm

I thought this helpful tool would promote itself, and would climb quickly. But was I wrong! I thought by me building it, people would come. I was wrong again. Wasn’t long before I realized my cool little tool needed promotion just like anything else. That’s when the journey began.

I turned to the greatest promotional tool on the planet, the blog, to launch my tool that I had created. I have been collecting steady links ever since, and was even  featured on Lifehacker within just a few months.

How did I do this? It all started with one thing: the infographic.

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As bloggers, our goal is to increase readers and traffic. The best way to increase traffic is to put out great content, and the number two way is by increasing the promotion of that great content.

You can have the greatest content in the world, but without amazing outreach, it’s not going to be discovered. With my niche site, however, I understood that fairly early on and now find my blog climbing the ranks with Google as well. All because of this one infographic creation plan I’m about to tell you about.

Infographics and Traffic

How does an infographic drive traffic when all the info is included in the picture? Good question!

As you know, SEO traffic is the largest source of traffic that major sites get. By getting links from large sites, this will help your Domain Authority and increase your position in the search engines. The reason an infographic is great at getting this is because you can create one and have it posted on hundreds of sites. You create one graphic and get it posted everywhere without anything bad happening! You can’t do that with guest posting, and copy the same content everywhere, without Google penalties. This is a great reason to do infographic in my eyes and many others.

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My infographic was about bugs that bite people and what they looked like. That was it. However it was important to know and people were looking for something like this, and they wasn’t getting it. The infographic is landing major sites and collecting many links from sites all over. By this happening, my past post is now increasing in ranking with Google also and are being seen by more people also. Which is pretty sweet when you think it about it. The infographic has been seen by over 19,000 people and many more to come.

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The infographic is amazing stuff, but remember you may not be able to do this all the time, simply because infographics take a lot of energy and time. But they will definitely pay off if you do it with strategy. I don’t recommend one every week, or even every month. Just have a good one and promote it for months. Blogs are so much easier to write and they’re not as costly. However, the infographic gives you that extra nudge which every young blog needs in the beginning. They help the most with backlinks which is very important with SEO according to Cyrus Shepard from Moz.

Screen Shot 2016-02-01 at 3.10.08 pm

Before you build your infographic

Let’s talk about how to create your infographic. First of all, study what you want your infographic to be about. The best infographics solve a problem by focusing on a solution. It makes someone’s life easier in less time. It’s entertaining and as well as being helpful, so by you creating an infographic that solves a problem you’re more likely to receive a timely response with traffic. Like they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.

So think of a major problem you can solve for your readers, and brainstorm how you can make it an infographic. Make it enjoyable to look at, and as eye-catching as possible.

Factors your infographic should include for best results:

  • a solution to a problem
  • great design
  • educational and entertaining
  • statistics
  • sources

How to ensure your choice of infographic topic is a successful one

A suggestion I have is to build an infographic around content that’s already successful on the web. I’m not saying plagiarise, but build upon or put your own spin on the topic. That successful content may offer a solution to a problem your readers are needing to solve, but you see some holes you can fill, room for improvement. You want to turn this up notch with more data, more images, creating your very own masterpiece. With their shares, likes and comments as an indicator that people liked what they saw, you can be assured that it will do well when turned into an infographic. So by confirming validation from another source, you can be assured through the process that this graphic has potential.

This is the method movie producers take. They watch a book and see how people react to it. If it becomes a bestseller, that book usually (almost always) turns into a film. They’re about to invest millions, and they’re not about to do it on an unread book.

Outsourcing your infographic

If you don’t have graphic design experience or software, you may wish to hire someone to complete your infographic, which can cost anywhere from $100 to $600 and even beyond, depending on the content and how much time you have. However if you invest money in your infographic, it can be a driving factor when pushing this into the atmosphere. It can make you push harder when you realize you’ve invested actual cash in making your infographic successful.

Creating your infographic

If you have opted to create the infographic yourself, you might find you struggle with where to find great fonts and images. I myself use daFont and they have over 28,000 fonts there (for free) to choose from. Once you find a font you like, simply download it, and install into your font file on your computer. Here are some articles that show you how to install fonts step-by-step:

  1. How do I install fonts on my Windows PC?
  2. How to install a font under Windows?
  3. How do I install fonts on my Mac?
  4. How To Install Fonts on a Mac

There are also plenty of image creation tools like Canva or Piktochart which allows you to use the icons already available. These sites have templates you can just populate with your ideas, rather than starting from scratch.

Researching your infographic

By you reading other articles, and by getting a feel of how other people view your topic, you will have an idea of the conversations around it. Reading all the articles on the subject gives you an idea of what’s missing out there. I’d consider plugging your keywords into Buzzsumo and see how many popular on social media your subject is.

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Finishing your Infographic

Once you’re done, how do you know your work is complete – it’s not like you can go and change a line here and there like you can on a blog post?

To be honest, I don’t think anyone ever feels like their graphic is “complete”, but there is a point where you must release and watch what happens. You’ll know when that time has arrived. The most important thing is that you have gone the extra mile in bringing reliable data together. If that data is incorrect, everything else falls apart.  Header design won’t help you, great fonts won’t help you, cool illustrations won’t help you. Make sure to stress data accuracy.

To see what successful infographics look like, I have compiled a list for you of featured infographics by major blogs (such as Hubspot). They either featured these from other blogs or made it themselves.

Inspiration: Successful Infographics

You might like to have a look at this list I’ve put together of infographics that have done really well to help you get an idea of what works and maybe what you can include in your offering.

  1. Nutrition 101 Recap: Top 5 Tips to Eat More Nutritiously
  2. THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO NOTE TAKING IN CLASS
  3. The Ultimate Guide to Creating Visually Appealing Content
  4. Imaginary Factory
  5. Games controllers
  6. What happens in an internet minute?

Promoting Your Infographic

As for the promoting of the infographic, you really need to write an amazing blog post to go with it. It will help give your infographic context, and provide background and more information. If readers and other influencers link to your blog post when they share, all these words that you have in that blog post could trigger some search engine traffic, which increases your exposure. By you adding the infographic to your blog post, the chances of someone linking to you has now increased tremendously. People can’t copy/paste your content onto their blog and be successful with SEO, however they can use your infographic and do quite well. That means more shares and backlinks for you, and that’s a good thing.

From there, start looking for major blogs in the same niche as your infographic, and reach out to them. Email them and see if they would be willing to possibly publish your infographic once you have it up, and explain what is in it for them. It might not be the path that everyone would choose, but what I would do is aim at sending it to 100 or 200 journalists. Figure out who they are, what their contact details are, and see if they would be interested in sharing this infographic with a tailored email pitch. If only five major blogs out of 200 use your infographic, it could mean 50,000 views and many other quality backlinks to your site 

Once the ball gets rolling your infographic could land in search engines and give you steady traffic every month. – thus completing the mission for your blog.

If you’re looking for an email template in how you should present this, I’ve compiled a list of articles that explain that very well. Even though there’s only four here, they are slammed with content that can help you land your infographic on “mega-sites”.

Email Outreach Templates:

  1. The Link Builder’s Guide to Email Outreach (template at bottom)
  2. How to Get Influencers to Promote Your Content for Free (template midways)
  3. Outreach Letters for Link Building (template at beginning)
  4. How to Email Busy People (template midways)

Where to find influencers to share your infographic

This maybe the hardest part of the process for you, I know it was for me.

The best thing I can advise is know your niche. Understand what is the focus of your niche and who is the top influencer in that category. Once you have this down, you must scout possible sites that you can reach out to. If you’ve never seen an infographic on a site, good chance they won’t publish yours. I’d also look to see if they’ve published infographics from other sites, if they have, that’s a very good sign.

With larger sites, they seem to cover every subject, and they have many authors on those sites. If you watch the subject and the tone of the journalist and you see a match with them within your niche, I’d consider reaching out. There’s a good chance they write for other major blogs also.

To find these rather quickly, I’d suggest using the Google method.

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Simply replace “keyword” with the word that matches your niche best and put “infographic” in quotations like this: keyword “infographic”.

Your search could look like more like:

  • marketing “infographic”
  • seo “infographic”
  • logo design “infographic”
  • pest control “infographic”
  • marriage counseling “infographic”
  • dating tips “infographic”

Conclusion

Understand outreach isn’t easy and can even be depressing at times, but by keeping a steady pace, you could really get some traction, resulting in traffic to your site. You will get tired, and things maybe tough during this process. You may have to take a break and come back. However, if you make outreach a daily habit, there’s no reason why you can’t completely crush your niche. It all takes time.

My ranking is doing well by the way and I’m on the verge of cracking a major keyword. That keyword come to a monthly of around 10,000 people. I’m three positions away from hitting frontpage and to think the site is only just a few months old. I’m ecstatic!

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I hope this post helps you, and that this post helps fulfill your blogging dream.

Luke Guy is THE SEO guy who isn’t your average robot who talks just about backlinks. He focuses on connections and uses this ability to rank well among search engines while using his strategies. Get his free eBook “How To Guest Post On Any Blog While Crushing SEO” to learn more.

8 Ways to Find Trending Topics and Key Words

8 Ways to find trending topics and keywords for your blog and social media.

One of the key success factors in marketing is the ability of a marketer to seize a certain moment – jumping on a trending item that will resonate with their audience, and repackaging it so it’s relevant to the reader.

We’re all individuals, and what we like could be totally different to our friends. But if people are interested in your blog, they are interested in you, and what you’re interested in. If something is trending that you know they will love, it’s easy to capitalise on that for the benefit of your followers.  Here are a few places you can keep tabs on the pulse of what’s new and interesting on the internet, so you can bring your audience the latest.

Where to find trending topics and keywords for your blog

While a decade ago it would have been difficult to find such trends in real time, internet has now made it very easy to locate the live trends and come up with smart content to cash in on the same. So, let us have a look at a few tools and methods for locating the accurate trends for you.

1. Twitter

It hardly needs introduction! While the idea has existed for a long time, Twitter brought it to public attention by directly listing current trends on their homepage and profile pages. It is still the best way to find out the present political and cultural trends as well as the mood of a nation. You can check global trends or look for country specific trends as per your needs as you search the hashtags.

If you have the budget, you can also consider using “promoted trends” in Twitter. These hashtags will show up at the top of the list in the homepage of your target region. Include your brand name in the hashtag for the right impact.

2. Google Trends

Google has many services to provide analytics. Google Trends is the best option out of them to find trending topics. You can search any topic here and check out the volume it is receiving. You can also make country-specific as well as sector-specific searches to make the results more targeted.

You can explore in depth by clicking on the country name and then the state names to get completely localized details which will help you to find extremely targeted keywords for your focus market.

3. Social Mention

It is a smart tool that analyses content in a huge number of websites. It does not only limit itself to major networks like Twitter and Facebook but also goes through more than a 100 sites including the likes of Digg, YouTube, FriendFeed and basically anything that hosts user generated content to find out trending topics.

For any query, Social Mention also gives you a list of influencers, i.e. people who regularly post on one of the social networks on that topic and are popular with high number of followers and engagements. You can find potential collaborators and endorsers from this list.

8 Ways to find trending topics and keywords for your blog and social media.

4. Keyhole

Keyhole is an interesting tool that allows you to track hashtags across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. It just works like Google alerts, but for social media. So, you can set an alert for a certain topic and observe it on real time.

Use it as a defence mechanism for your brand, if necessary – If you have the resources, put one dedicated person to monitor all mentions of your brand in real time using this app and immediately respond to any issues or criticism.

5. Agorapulse

Agorapulse is mainly a tool for creating contests and other marketing campaigns on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. But it also lets you create customized queries for specific keywords on Twitter and identify the buzz around the same.

Its analytics clearly tells you which your best performing Tweets and FB posts are. Go through the posts in the recent weeks to get an idea about more popular topics and fine-tune your keyword list.

6. Buzzfeed

Buzzfeed grew simply by posting content on trending topics. So, you can rest assured that the people at Buzzfeed know how to find the right trends. The good thing is that they also display Buzzfeed trends for everyone to see on the right hand side of the homepage and so you can easily find out how to your trends through this site.

Buzzfeed’s trending topics are mostly in the shape of listicles. What you can draw from here is not only keyword ideas and topics but the most effective way of framing the titles. This site works simply because it can make people click on the links. You learn it too.

7. Reddit

Reddit is a hugely popular site where everyday people are having heated debates on every topic under the sun. The topics can be voted up or down on the site and so the ones with most “upvotes” only are seen on the homepage. So, in a way, one look at the Reddit homepage can give you a very good idea about what is trending right now.

The best way to exploit Reddit is to discover subreddits i.e. instead of just exploring the homepage, find subpages that are dedicated to specific topics and offer more specific insights. You can directly search for subreddits based on your topic of interest here.

8. Topsy

Topsy is another tool for smart marketers. It allows you to search for topics in a targeted manner. For instance you can even search for trends on a certain date, time or place. You can set alerts, monitor and analyse all the trends to figure out existing social sentiment towards them.

For instance, suppose you have a plan for a campaign focused on the next Christmas. So, you can just go to Topsy and look for the trends from the last few years’ Christmas to find out useful keywords. Such date specific search would have been a nightmare with most other tools.

Conclusion

All these tools discussed above have their own USPs. In order to make the most of them, you should stick to a few that give regular results relevant to you.

Born in Los Angeles, Blair Strasser is a business and marketing enthusiast that enjoys sharing his knowledge through his writing. He is also Founder and CEO of eMerchantBroker and passionate about technology. @BlairStrasser

Reading Roundup: What’s New in Blogging Lately?

Reading Roundup: What's new in blogging this week / ProBlogger.net

January has sped by, and I can’t believe we’re staring down February 2016 already! This year has felt like a brand new start to many of us, and we’re beginning to see the results of the new things we’re trying. I hope they’ve been positive results! Everything changes so often it can be hard to keep up – but I also encourage you not to be afraid to fail or make mistakes. Everything moves so quickly we’re absolutely bound to, but you remember what Thomas Edison said:

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

If you’ve failed or something fell flat, then you’ve just found what not to do, which means you’re a step closer to getting it right. And when you keep refining, keep honing those skills then you’ll hit upon something that really works for you. And the more you try, the faster you’ll get there.

So go forth and fail!

80% of Facebook’s Ad Dollars Came from Mobile // Fast Company

All very nice for Zuck, but what does that mean for you? Well, more and more users are viewing on mobile (1.44 billion at the moment), so are all your ads set up for prime mobile viewing?

Sure, some of that may have come from Instagram ads (I know I’ve sure seen a whole lot more), but the fact remains the same – optimise your ads for mobile and see if that makes a difference.

5 Growth Hacks to Help You Grow Your Blog Business // Jeff Bullas

Food for thought there with number 4.

Getting 20,231 Views with One EPIC Roundup Post: A Step-by-Step Guide // Sumome

Epic indeed! What a post, what a response. If you’re planning an expert roundup post, you might wanna check this out for ideas first.

LinkedIn Driving Traffic to Publishers Again – Including Bloggers // Real Lawyers Have Blogs

Well this is interesting – for most of last year, LinkedIn prioritised the content posted directly to LinkedIn, but now has changed Pulse (the news aggregation app) to consider “universal links”. Which means if you’re sharing your blog posts on LinkedIn, there’s more of a chance people will see them now and click over to your blog. Yay!

How do You Measure Passion? Figuring the Value of Social Media Followers // NPR

It’s not just numbers, although it’s hard to quantify anything else. Companies are now springing up to do just that.

Heavy use of Social Media Linked to Sleep Problems // Psych Central

If you’re not sleeping, then you’re not making the best decisions. You can be the best blogger you can be if you’re not taking care of your health. In this case, less social  social media is definitely more.

Will You Like Facebook’s New Reactions? // BBC

They removed the “yay” because people didn’t understand it? Tell me this isn’t true…

The Hustler’s Guide to Getting Your First 1000 Email Subscribers with Content Marketing // Copymonk

The basics, but better. So much info packed into one post – and a downloadable checklist! It cannot be overstated – know who your target market is, and know where they hang out.

How to Write a Blog Post: The Definitive 10, 273 Word Guide // Be a Better Blogger

You’re going to need at least two cups of coffee for this one. And a notepad + pen.

How I got 1.7 Million Pin Views to My E-Commerce Pinterest Account in 2015 // Kissmetrics

If you’re on Pinterest, you need to read this. If you haven’t yet leveraged it, do so! It can be incredible for driving traffic to your blog, no matter the niche.

Have a great week!

Stacey Roberts is the Managing Editor of ProBlogger.net: a writer, blogger, and full-time word nerd balancing it all with being a stay-at-home mum. She writes about all this and more at Veggie Mama. Chat with her on Twitter @veggie_mama, follow on Pinterest for fun and useful tips, peek behind the curtain on Instagram, or be entertained on Facebook.

How to Come up with Fresh Ideas to Write About On Your Blog

How to Come up with Fresh Ideas to Write About On Your Blog - on ProBlogger.net

There comes a time in the life of every blogger when they feel as though there’s nothing left to say – that they’ve said it all, and no new ideas are forthcoming.

It can strike when you have been blogging for some years and have spent a lot of time crafting posts on the important issues in your niche, and one day you realise you’ve written about every topic you care to write about and the tank is empty.

The newest episode of the ProBlogger podcast is the second in a mini-series on blogger’s block. In the previous episode I discussed the different types of blogger’s block you can experience, and what I’ve done over the years to help counteract it. Today, though, I want to tackle the issue of coming up with ideas to write about, and if you haven’t completed the task in episode 11 about what change you’re trying to bring to readers’ lives, that would be an excellent place to start.

While everyone is entitled to blog about what catches there interest, there is a strong record of blogs that change the lives of their readers in some tangible way are the ones that tend to be successful. Identifying this change (as mentioned in episode 11) is going to be a great foundation for you to then map out the journey you want to take your readers on, and can potentially then help you come up with tons of ideas to fulfil their needs.

I also discuss plenty of other options to help you break through blogger’s block and tap into that well of knowledge, inspiration and ideas to get your content rolling again. I can give you advice about how to identify these needs and problems, and all it will take is a few minutes of your time.

You can find the show notes for episode 84 of the ProBlogger Podcast How to Come up with Fresh Ideas to Write About On Your Blog here, and I’d love to get your comments below.

Further Reading:

In Brief: Are You Making the Most of the Amazon Affiliates Program?

Are You Making the Most of the Amazon Affiliates Program?

This is a guest contribution from Joy Allford.

When it comes to making money from your blogging there are main routes most blogs take: 

  • Selling a product or service
  • Monetizing with advertising such as Google AdSense
  • Affiliate marketing

Something that is often overlooked by personal bloggers that are simply blogging for a hobby, or only interested in making a small income is how effective amazon marketing can be as a secondary income. 

I am not going to be discussing how to build a complete site with Amazon (you can find the ultimate guide here), simply how to add some extra income to your blogging efforts with only a small amount of extra effort.

Related Reading: How to Make Money as an Amazon Affiliate

Why do I recommend Amazon Associates?

Amazon is the largest online market place; with I dare not count how many products.  Put simply, there is a product related to every blog post you write.  The downfall is they have a 24 hour cookie, meaning you only earn a commission if someone clicks your link and then makes a purchase of any item within 24 hours. Another downfall is if you live in a country where Amazon does not really ship to or have a large database of items for sale – but it depends where your readership is, and if they will make the purchases you suggest.

Social Media and Amazon

Adding amazon items to your social media schedule is a great way to boost your income.  You could choose to share items simply of interest to your fan base or related to your products or service.

Another great way is to share quirky or funny products.  These are often the types of products that will be shared or re-tweeted, meaning the life of your affiliate link can go on forever.

I tend to keep my sharing ratio low, 1 in 10 social media updates will be a product, it depends on which account I am using as to what kind of product I share.

Remember, there is nothing stopping you sharing items of interest to your friends on your personal accounts either, your friends probably shop on Amazon as well.

Your blog and Amazon

I have three websites: one is a passion niche, and one is focused on niche marketing, and the other of a viral nature. 

On my viral blog I create entire list posts featuring amazon products.  If you were in the wedding niche for example, you could create a list post once a month that is completely dedicated to Amazon products, maybe the 10 most expensive wedding rings, 15 bouquets under $100.  These types of posts get shared, and anyone that clicks on your link doesn’t have to purchase the item you recommend for you to get paid.  If they add the item to their cart, your cookie gets extended to 90 days, so if they complete checkout in the next three months you still get your commission for that item.

Related Reading: 11 Wacky Things Bought via My Amazon Affiliate Links in 2010

My niche marketing blog is where I write a review on a related Amazon product once a month.  I then share that post on social media regularly until the next review is released. 

Let’s assume you have a blog related to finances, you could review the latest budgeting book each month, often when new kindle books are released you can download them for free, you then wait until the free period is over before you release your review.

My lifestyle blog features Amazon’s custom ad banners, this allows you to add a selection of products to a banner style ad. For best results, I display this about half way through the post, with a mix of cheap and more expensive products related to the post.  A recent post was related to de-cluttering your home; I put a banner in the middle containing five books about de-cluttering. 

Regardless of what your niche is, you can make better use of the Amazon Associates program by thinking outside the box and a little careful planning.  You can read Darren’s post about how he has made more than half a million dollars from the Amazon Affiliates program here for extra ideas too.  It’s a pretty nice income just from promoting products that your readers want to look at and will find useful.

I hope you have got some great ideas, leave any questions in the comments and I will do my best to help.

Related Reading: How to Increase your Amazon Affiliate Earnings for the Holidays

Joy blogs about niche affiliate marketing here, and you can find her on Twitter.

SEO New Years Resolutions for 2016

SEO New Year's Resolutions

This is a guest contribution from Sarah Walsh.

The new year has undoubtedly brought to you resolutions or new ideas for your work.

You might be gung-ho to start out with fresh goals or you might acknowledge that a lot of resolutions are forgotten before February rolls around. Despite the pros and cons for creating resolutions, there’s no harm in setting new goals for the year to enhance your SEO skills, as long as you keep them realistic. With these simple resolutions focusing on upcoming SEO trends, you can take your know-how from average to impressive by December.

SEO New Years Resolutions for 2016

I resolve to conduct a monthly audit

The best way to start anything is to begin by taking stock of what’s going well and what could be improved. Knowing how you’re ranking and what kind of traffic you’re getting is essential to any site or client. But don’t limit your troubleshooting to just the first of the year. Take time on at least a monthly basis to see what strategies are working and where some tweaks could be useful. If you’re really pressed for time, you can even do an effective audit in five minutes with this guide from Search Engine Land.

I resolve to continue producing great content:

You’ve known for awhile that content is king, but you’ve also heard the rumors—content is dead. Or wait, was it resurrected to be more important than ever? No matter what your school of thought on the matter is, it never a bad idea to have good content readily available to your users. If the content is done well, your user will have an answer to their search and have had a positive experience with your site, increasing the likelihood of return visits. 

I resolve to try new tactics

You might have a wide array of tactics you use that get great results, but with opportunities to build links and create relationships constantly evolving, there’s at least one strategy that’s probably fallen off your radar. Instead of playing it safe, branch out to make new connections. Maybe there are a couple industry professionals that you’ve been meaning to reach out to via Twitter, but something else always seems to get in the way. Or maybe you’ve fallen back on your established contacts for clients you have an established relationship with. Much like your favorite pair of sweatpants, they might be comfortable but not have the best fit. Put a better foot forward by looking for new contacts that might be interested in linking to your content.

I resolve to read the SEO newsletters I’ve signed up for

Hopefully you have at least a couple SEO-related newsletters appearing in your inbox on the reg. If there are any quality ones missing from your subscription, make sure to sign up asap. You never know which one will have a piece of revolutionary information that will completely change your SEO game. And while signing up is all well and good, make sure to actually take the time to read said newsletters and digest the information. We’ve all been guilty of letting things we know we should read pile up in our inboxes, only to be later unceremoniously sent to trash.

I resolve to optimize my site for mobile viewing

Every year more and more searches are taking place on mobile devices. As eMarketer revealed earlier, mobile searches have surpassed desktop searches in volume. Instead of spending time focusing on how to optimize your content for desktop viewing, make sure that users can easily navigate your site on their mobile device. Don’t update your site without first checking to see if mobile compatible. This way you’ll make sure that your customer’s on-the-go experience is just as effective and pleasant as if they were at their desktop.

I resolve to increase my rich answer opportunities

Being featured in a rich answer is like being named SERPs prom queen; you were selected as the best of the best. If you’re already practicing resolution #2, you should be well on your way to reaching rich answer status.  With research on longtail keywords to find out what questions are being asked in your niche and direct reference to the question you wish to ask, you’ll significantly increase your likelihood of getting featured. Make sure all of your pages are crawlable; otherwise, all of your hard work will be for nothing

By sticking to these resolutions, you’re bound to become a better SEO this year whether you’re improving your own site or a client’s.  And remember that the key to successful resolutions is consistency so keep reading those newsletters and conducting audits!

Sarah Walsh is an Online PR Specialist at Web Talent Marketing, a full-service digital marketing agency based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania that delivers exceptional results to clients. 

Battling Bloggers Block – Where do you get Stuck?

Battling Blogger's Block - where do you get stuck?

Recently, I had a question from a listener:

“Darren do you have any tips for bloggers with bloggers block? I want to take my blog to the next level in 2016 but I’m stuck. Every time I sit down to write nothing comes and the more that happens the more stressed I feel and the less it seems to flow!”

And it gave me an idea – so today is the first in a mini-series of common problems that many bloggers face, and one of the biggest issues revolves around content. What happens when you run out of ideas? What happens when you feel as though nobody is hearing you? What happens when bloggers’ block strikes? It can happen to the best of us, and when it does it can be incredibly frustrating.

As I’ve given this topic much thought over the years, I’ve come to realise that there is not just one type of blogger’s block. To be more specific, there are different stages of the blog writing process that have tripped me up from time to time.

In today’s episode of the ProBlogger podcast I want to help you through this common stumbling block by talking about the three types of blogger’s block I’ve suffered from, and what I did to break out of those ruts. Whether it’s at the ideas level, the productivity level or falling down before the finish line, if you’re feeling it, chances are I’ve been there too.

You can find the show notes here, and if you have any questions I’d be happy to answer them in the comments or on Twitter, where I’m @problogger.

 

Have you ever suffered from blogger’s block? What did you do about it?

Further Reading: