What Makes People Comment
Before we can generate more comments, I think it’s a good idea to look at why people comment in the first place. It’s actually a very unnatural reaction. Most people simply absorb and digest information on the Internet. Very few every actually contribute to the conversation. But, with the right tactics, you can get even the digital wallflowers to toss in their two cents. • Strong Opinion – If someone has a strong opinion on something, they are nearly 10 times more likely to post a comment. Your job is to generate strong opinions without generating unnecessary controversy. Our post about bark deterrents from earlier is a great example of this. Many dog owners and advocates are very much against debarking and shock collars and would gladly add their two cents in a conversation on the topic, with few readers taking offense to the subject matter. • Peer Pressure – If someone feels part of a community and the community is involved in conversation, they will feel pressure to represent themselves. This can be hard to generate in a blog post, but if you hit the right buttons, it will work. Your goal needs to be remind people of their social role in that niche and why you need their input. • Existing Comments –Few people want to be the first person to comment on a blog post. However, someone who might have a comment will gladly add it if another voice has already been voiced. This is where subtle comment building strategies like Twitter, Facebook, or trackbacks can come in handy. • Specific Expertise – If someone has knowledge in your field they will generally want to share that knowledge with other people. This comes about from getting lots of backlinks and general traffic. The more people see your posts, the more likely one of them will have an expert opinion to share. • A Question Asked – Some readers simply have questions. Don’t forget you’re putting yourself out there as an expert in your field. For this reason, you need to be willing to respond to questions that your readers have. Scan your comments daily and look for questions you can answer. By interacting with comments, you will facilitate your readers to ask even more of the same. • In Search of an Answer – As I mentioned earlier, a blog post is very similar to a sales page in how it drives actions out of your readers. As a result, you should finish every blog post with a call to action. It could be a call to think on the subject, click on a link, or to sound off in the comments section about the topic. In almost every case, that call to action will relate to interacting with your blog post.
As you can see, there are quite a few reasons why someone would leave a comment. Your job then is to tap into those urges and force those readers to release their opinion – something many of them hold very close.
InCreasIng your CoMMent Counts There are quite a few ways to actively increase your comment counts once you get working on your blog. Some bloggers I know will only use a handful of methods, but I personally like to use as many as possible to generate new backlinks for my sites.
The key to getting comments lies in producing content that is worth reading and generates a rapport with your readers that encourages them to add their voice to the conversation. As we already discussed, there are a number of reasons why someone might have something to add, and many times, if you can get someone to comment first, the rest of the hangers-on will follow suit.
After all, with only 1 in 10 people actively engaging, you need to get every potential commenter you can as quickly as you can to generate that kind of ongoing readership.
The Easy Way
The easiest way to get comments is to ask for them. Simple, right? Not always. I’ve found in many of my blogs that if you just write a “please comment” at the end of a post, most people ignore it. It’s a standard part of most blogs and people tend not to read it.
That’s not really too surprising. People zone out a lot of things. So, your goal as the writer needs to be to integrate your call to action with the rest of the content. This is done by asking prescient questions. Here are two examples of the final 100 words of a blog post:
Example A:
Dogs are, after all, animals. They have expectations based on their animal instincts and you need to train them with that in mind at all times.
Share your thoughts. Please comment below.
Example B:
Dogs are, after all animals. You have probably seen it a hundred times in your own pets, that sudden urge to do something strange that would make perfect sense in the wild. I’d love to hear what all of you have encountered while training your dogs – whether a goofy behaviour or a confused look because of their animal instincts. Comment below with your personal stories.
In Example A, I end my blog post with a thought of my own and then ask people to comment. There’s nothing wrong with the end of the post – I make my point and a lot of readers will likely respond. However, in Example B, I actually engage those readers by turning over the story to them. I flip it around by saying “you probably see it”. But giving the story to the reader, I open them to make a response, as you would in a real world conversation. When I then ask them to comment, they are likely far more primed to do so.
Being Social
Another very important aspect of blog comments is remembering to interact with the ones left on your posts. If you want more people to respond to your posts, you need to respond to them when they do. The same goes for social media like Twitter and Facebook, so it’s great practice as a marketer to get out there and respond whenever possible.
The problem with this method is not the interaction – most of us are perfectly happy to defend our posts or post answers to questions. The real issue arises when you start getting 10+ comments a day and need to respond to them regularly. How do you decide which ones to reply to and how often to do so?
The key is in remembering that not every comment needs a response. If someone says “nice post”, you don’t need to say anything. It’s a compliment but it doesn’t need a reply. However, if someone adds a counterpoint or simply states something you don’t agree with, you should absolutely reply and offer an extension of your original point. If you write a post about why bark deterrents are inhumane and someone disagrees with you, it’s important to defend your opinion or your readers will think you lack conviction (and fail to respond to comments).
Keep it Simple
Another thing that I see get in the way of many blogs when it comes to comments is how hard it is to comment. This a tricky one for a few reasons, because you do need to have boundaries and you do need to moderate to some degree, but you need to have limits to your control. • Avoid Moderation on All Comments – Here’s what I do. Every time a new user posts a comment on the blog, I require moderation. Once someone has passed moderation the first time, additional comments are automatically approved. Every now and then someone gets through and says something crass or tosses out spam in the second post, but usually if they are good the first time through, they maintain that decorum going forward. This makes commenting much easier. • Avoid Login Systems – Don’t require your readers to register and login to comment each time. Luckily, WordPress turns this off by default, but don’t get tempted to turn it back on. • Place Comment Forms Next to Posts – Place the comment box directly beneath your content. This will make everything easier when it comes time for them to decide whether to reply to your content. If you hide the comment form or require multiple clicks, they might give up before they get that far. • Post Simple Rules Up Front – Often, having a few basic rules about what goes into a comment can help encourage commentators. It alleviates the worry that they’ll be made fun of, and tells them exactly how to format their comments. However, keep those rules simple and to the point. Too many complicated rules and you’ll scare away borderline participators.
Overall, commenting should be simple and straightforward. If you get the urge to make it complicated, you’ll lose whatever interest you had from them after the post has been read.
return reaDers Commenting is probably one of the single most powerful ways to get someone to return to your blog multiple times. Once they have invested their intellectual energy into a post, they want to know what other people think of their comment and if your blog changes direction or responds to it. With that said, hoping someone comments is not a good plan for getting repeat readers to your blog. Here are a few methods I use to generate long term readership and maintain interest from current readers. • Easy Subscriptions – Every blog should have built in RSS feeds that make it possible to subscribe to the blog and get updates directly delivered to any number of other devices like netbooks, PCs, macs, or phones. Your blog should already have an RSS feed on it since you’re using WordPress. Just make sure the button is prominent and up top so they can subscribe without having to hunt for it. • Regular Posting – The easiest way to maintain return readership is to post on a regular basis. If you write 10 posts one week and then skip the next 9 days, people are going to forget about you, not because they are not interested; just because you don’t bother. It’s a bad precedent to set and it hurts your blog’s overall performance in multiple ways. • Wide Range of Content – Integrate as many forms of content into your blog as possible. This will attract different readers in your niche and keep them coming back on a rotating basis. If you write only about training techniques for small dogs, the big dog owners will quickly decide to go elsewhere. If you mix it up, they’ll all return to see if you write anything they can use. • Integrated Social Media – Get people to signup for your pages on Facebook, Twitter and more by adding buttons to your blog. Additionally, have each new blog post updated to your social media profiles (more on this later), so your friends and followers can see when there is new content to read. • Ongoing Series – Create series of content that your readers can keep track of. Having a Part 1-10 series on a very important topic can keep even casual readers following your syndication as they wait for the next chunk of useful information. • Following Popular Content – Spend some time each week reviewing which pages on your blog are popular and why they are popular. If you find that, despite the content you enjoy writing, something else is doing very well, write more on that topic. Always give the people what they want. The traffic you generate because of it will make up for not getting to write what you want.
Repeat readers are huge. They generate more comments, help boost your position in the search engines, and represent a chunk of people who may click on review links and sign up for your newsletters when you start monetizing.
lInk swaPPIng anD guest PostIng One of my favourite methods for getting new followers and readers is to swap information with other blog owners. This can be a huge way to generate new readership.
No matter how cutting edge or original you think your content is, trust me – it’s not new. There are dozens of other blogs and hundreds of other writers out there offering content in your niche and you shouldn’t necessarily view them as competition. They can also be partners, helping you find new readers.
The key here is to find people who can actually help you, and that you can in turn help.
Building a Relationship
To meet and build a relationship with other blog owners, you need to get out there and start interacting with them. There are a few ways to do this, including: • Comment on Other Blogs – If you thought only your readers would be commenting, think again. One of the easiest ways to meet other bloggers and to develop additional readership for your own blog is to comment on other niche blogs with lots of readership.
If you have something interesting to say, people will follow your links back to your blog, including the blog owner. You’ll eventually develop a much larger following as a result. Additionally, when you contact this blog owner, they will already recognize you from your comments. • Link to Them – If you have a story that relates to a post on another blog, or you simply want to give them kudos for a post you liked, link to them. It doesn’t need to be a blogroll link or a prominent link for something else, but a small, basic link can create quite a bit of attention. Most bloggers will know immediately when they get a new back link. • Email Them – You can contact someone directly and ask them for a link swap or guest post opportunity. Many blog owners, assuming they’re not running a small corporation, will be interested in what you have to say. • Follow on Twitter or Facebook – Get on Twitter and Facebook and start looking for these other bloggers and stay in touch with them there. It may seem informal and distant, but you’d be amazed what a few comments and wall posts will do for you when trying to get to know someone. • Offer Guest Posts – If you have quality content on your site, simply offering a guest post to someone can be greatly beneficial to you. However, you will need to be sure to generate a good chunk of content before doing this so they can see what they are agreeing to ahead of time. • Meet them in Person or IM – If the other blogger lives near you, find a way to meet up and discuss your mutual projects. If they do not, use a service like Skype or even an Instant Messaging program to chat with them about the needs of your site.
Keep in mind that, until you’ve developed a couple dozen posts and a readership of your own, you don’t have much in the way of collateral to offer in exchange for someone’s help. If you go to a blogger who gets 500 hits a day and ask for a link swap, what do they get out of it? It’s important that there is a fair exchange of value happening between you and your fellow site owner. So, build your site, generate value and then start looking for swapping opportunities.
wrItIng a guest Post Guest posting is a big deal and should be taken very seriously. Already, I hope I’ve instilled in you the value of a good blog post. But, with a guest post, you need to notch things up a bit. It needs to present a certain level of value to the readers of that other blog and you need to show that you have expertise in a given field that exceeds what the original blogger could have offered.
Why would another blog owner need you to write a post about “10 ways to train a dog” when they have already written plenty of similar content? Instead, you need to develop a set number of hyper specific niche areas that you can showcase your knowledge in. This will allow you to offer something unique, original, and highly valuable to other bloggers.
Additionally, you should go above and beyond the normal 400 word posts you write for your own blog. If you get 20 hits a day and the blog you’re writing for gets 400, think of your post as being 20 times more important. And if something is that much more important, shouldn’t you spend a bit more time working on it?
otHer fun ways to generate traffIC froM otHer Blogs While guest posting is one of my favourite methods around, there are other ways to generate traffic from other blogs. Here are a few of my favourites. • Blogroll Placement – A blog roll is a list of blogs you like. You can create a list of your own, but in reality, you should try to get listed on as many other blogrolls as possible. Provide regular free content, comment a lot and mention those blogs you’d like to be linked to. You can even ask for a blogroll link and many bloggers will consider you. • Interviews – I do a lot of audio and video interviews with other top niche experts and it has a huge impact on the traffic I generate on a regular basis. People love to hear podcasts of me talking to experts and in turn the buzz it generates on their pages and on Google in general adds a lot of traffic to the site. • Advertising – You can always pay for a posting on someone else’s page as well. This can be costly and sometimes a bit dangerous if you’re not careful about where you publish your links, but if you find the right resource and blogger, paid advertising can generate quite a bit of traffic for your site.
• Link Swapping – Once your site offers a good amount of content and develops a strong following on a regular basis, you’ll be able to ask other bloggers to swap links with you, either in blog rolls or in a post where you simply mention the other site. This is a powerful SEO strategy and a great way to get new readers. • Comment Linking – Comment on other blogs and if they are nice, they’ll leave your backlinks intact so anyone who reads your comment can click back to your site.
The long and the short of it is this – if you get involved with other bloggers and get to know them and their content extremely well, you’ll be able to take advantage of the traffic and readership they have on a daily basis. And eventually, you’ll have other bloggers coming to you for the exact same thing, and you’ll get traffic just for being the awesome blogger that you are.
soCIal MeDIa If ever there was a topic I could write an entire book on, it would be social media for traffic generation. So, you’ll have to bear with me if I keep this section fairly straightforward and related only to blogging.
To start with, traffic generation as a whole is very much related to the performance of your social media sites. If you have a good following on Twitter or Facebook, you’ll get a lot more traffic to your blog, squeeze page, or whatever other website you’re promoting. For bloggers this is even more true because of the nature of your site.
Marketing Yourself as an Expert
The goal of a social media profile for a blogger is to showcase your expertise and your name as a brand. The difference between this and marketing your blog itself is that when people see a website name they tend to think of a faceless entity that will feed them information. However, when they think of a blog that has a regular author they can interact with, they think of a conversation – an ongoing back and forth that they can take advantage of and learn from.
So, in my opinion, any blogger who uses their own name on their blog should have the full range of social media profiles to keep their readers up to date on all new posts as they become available. However, that doesn’t mean you need to use your personal account. It just means you need to have a page set up for your blog.
Linking to Social Media Sites
Once you at least have a Twitter and Facebook page set up for your blog, you should place links to your social media pages on your blog, preferably beneath your content in a prominent location. Don’t place it next to the social media bookmarking links as it can be confusing. Instead, you should say something like “follow me on…” and then have links to those profiles. Here’s an example:
As you can see, the intent is very clear. I want my readers to click the link and stay up to date with my recent posts. It goes in both directions, however. On your social media pages, you need to place links back to your blog posts as they become available. There are very easy ways to do this. In fact, both sites have multiple third party options for updating content on the page over and over again.
On Facebook
With Facebook, however, it can now be done directly through Facebook’s interface (recommended).
1. Go to “Profile” and then “Settings”
2. Here, you’ll see a section that lists where you can import stories posted by you. You’ll see a number of options here. Click on “Blog/Rss” and a small box will show up beneath this section for you to enter a URL
3. In this box, you’ll need to enter the URL of your RSS feed. The RSS of any WordPress blog will be http://www.YOURSITE.com/RSS. Enter that into the box and all of your future posts will automatically be posted to your wall as a new “note”. All of your friends will see it in their newsfeed when an update occurs.

On Twitter
On Twitter, you will need a third party tool, but thankfully it’s incredibly easy to use and very fast – updating your posts on Twitter within a few seconds of posting something new to our site. My site of choice is “TwitterFeed.com”. You’ll need to register for the service, but once you’ve done that, all you need is your Twitter URL and your RSS Feed URL (shown above).
Within seconds, you’ll have the Twitter account setup to post all new blog posts with a tinyurl back to your blog. If all that sounds like Greek to you, don’t worry – it’s so easy to setup that it doesn’t matter how it works. In short, people on your Twitter follower list will see when you have new blog posts available.
Maintaining Your Social Media Profiles
One of the major benefits of having a direct link between all your profiles is that it automates everything. You really don’t need to go into Facebook or Twitter very often to add content when you have blog content being blasted there three or more times a week. However, if you’re serious about adding followers to your social media sites, you’ll need a lot more content than just your blog posts. People expect value, and syndication is not value (it’s too easy).
Proper maintenance of a good social media profile can be time consuming and require new content every day, but trust me in that you’ll get your time’s worth out of it. The higher levels of fans and followers will almost instantly provide you with the added level of readership your blog needs to be successful.
tHe Value of a strong followIng for your InCoMe Your income is directly tied to how successful your blog becomes (at least in this endeavour). If you are serious about making a substantial amount of money, you need to have readers on your blog devouring that content. Part of your readership will happen naturally, if only because you have a lot of quality content to offer. However, a good chunk of your income will need to be built up by you through commenting tactics, social media, viral marketing, and link swapping with other bloggers.
Never be satisfied with just a handful of comments and readers. Always aim for more readership and more responses to your content on a daily basis. The greater you can perform, the better your overall results will be when it comes time to cash in on all that hard work.

adsense on your Blog Thus far, everything we’ve discussed has related directly to creating, maintaining, and getting traffic to your blog. I’ve only barely mentioned how you’ll be making money with this site, but trust me, there is plenty of money to be made. Before I get knee deep in how affiliate marketing integrates with your blog, I want to touch on probably the easiest money making method with a blog – AdSense advertising.
How aDsense works Google AdSense is a program provided by Google in conjunction with their paid advertising service AdWords. It allows content sites to join the content network, where advertisers pay to have their ads placed. If someone clicks on one of the ads that an advertiser places in Google’s listings, you get paid a share of the money the advertiser spends on those ads. Google’s cut varies, but usually you’ll receive between $0.01-$1 per click depending on the niche and the bid values of those clicks.
Luckily for you, most of the niches that you’ll be marketing in are high volume, high price niches that will allow you to make a hefty profit, but only if you generate content and traffic in a way that will optimize the ads that appear and the number of people that click on those links.
How aDs are PlaCeD Advertisements from Google’s partners are placed using a number of different algorithms and while no one has a blueprint for how to manipulate those algorithms effectively, we can discuss what Google looks for from your content and the ads to place them. Why does this matter to you?
Because, if you want to make a lot of money with AdSense, you want ads that have high click values. Some ads are only worth a penny or two when clicked. Others are worth a dollar or more. If you can manipulate your content to attract ads that get those $1 clickable ads, you’ll have a much better chance of making money with an AdSense blog. You would only need 100 clicks to get your first check, and that isn’t all that hard to do. Here are the factors that indicate which ads are placed:
• Publisher Preferences • AdSense Context Filtering • Advertiser Choices
In short, other than what you set in your options (which are minimal) and the format the advertiser chooses, the majority of filtering is done according to your site’s content. In recent years, Google has also grown more adept at measuring how well the ads on your site convert to clicks. Google then optimizes further to match what has proven successful in the past.
aDDIng aDsense Once you’re sure you want to place ads on your website using AdSense, it’s as easy as signing up for an account through Google. You should already have AdSense management tools in your blog from the themes and plugins we discussed earlier in this issue. You can alternately choose to manually place your ads, but beware of the technical issues related to doing this.
Signing Up for AdSense
If you don’t already have a Google AdSense account, visit http://adsense.google.com and click the “Signup now” button to get started. If you have ever started an account with Google, you must use that account as you’re only permitted to have one account per name and address. Google will dig through its records and see you already have one and you’ll be out of luck in starting a new one.
After clicking the “Signup button” you’ll be taken to the basic information page where you can get started.

Google wants a few pieces of basic information to get started. Like most of these signup screens, if you’re unsure of the answer or you need to change it later, that’s fine. You just need something to put in there right now. • Website URL – Enter the URL of your new blog. Make sure it is up and has content on it first or you could get declined. • Website Language – Choose a primary language for your blog. • Disclaimers – You must also click on both links that state “I will not place ads on sites that include incentives to click on ads” and “I will not place ads on sites that include pornographic content”. These are both against the Terms of Service and Google wants to make extra sure you have read them. • Account Type – There are two account types – individual or business. It actually doesn’t matter which one you choose unless you have a business name you’d like them to write your check to. For now, choose individual if that’s not the case. • Country or Territory – Choose where you’re located and where your checks will be sent. • Payee Name and Address – This should be your name and address and should be 100% unique to the system. If you already have an account, you’ll be rejected. • Telephone Numbers – Google requires a number on record in case there are complaints or issues with your site. • Policies – Finally, you need to agree to all of Google’s rules and regulations. Note that you’re not supposed to click on your own ads, and should not already have an AdSense account approved with Google.
Once you’ve completed this page, your application will be submitted for approval and you’ll need to wait for a short while for Google to approve and send out verification of your new account.
Once you’ve been approved, you’ll receive an email with your Publisher ID and a login to AdSense. Now, you can get started creating your ads and placing them on your blog.
usIng aDVertIsIng Manager If you have a custom theme or a premium theme with AdSense Management, you should refer to the documentation that comes with the theme. Most paid themes will have detailed instructions for how to use these features. However, for Advertising Manager, I’ll give a short walkthrough on how to integrate ads into your posts.
Creating an Ad
To create a new Ad, go to the “Ads” menu located on the left side of your dashboard screen. You can either “edit” or “create new”.
Advertising Manager will ask you to past in your ad “code” which you can generate from AdSense by creating a new ad there.
To do that, return to AdSense and go to the “AdSense Setup” menu located at the top of the screen

From here, choose the “AdSense for Content” option. Next, you’ll need to choose which type of ad you’d like to create. Your options are Ad Unit or Link Unit. I generally recommend the “ad unit” option so that you can also receive image ads.
Choose the format of your ad (the size you’d like to place on your site) as well as the colors. Most of the time, the default Google colors are fine, but if you have a specific layout you like, it might be a good idea to match them up here.
Next, choose your fonts and corner styles. These are all aesthetic options and I generally leave them as the default. However, if you want to split test later to see what works best, these are options worth checking.

Next, choose what to display when there are no relevant ads for a given page of content. You can show non-Google ads, which I recommend, or you can leave the space blank. There is also an option to display Public Service ads, for which you will not make any money from clicks.
The next step is to choose Ad Channels, which allow you to track certain ad units on your site. When you review you earnings, the channels are used to show you which types of content are generating you the most income. I would recommend you create channels for the name of the website and at least one or two for the niche topic.

Finally, submit your ad and get the code which you can paste into the Advertising Manager back in WordPress.
Setting Up Your WordPress Ads
The ads feature is pretty much automated once you’ve installed it so that you can add a widget to any part of your page in the “Widgets” menu. The “advertising” option should appear at the top of the list now, allowing you to place your ads anywhere you like on the screen.
Drag and drop your Advertising unit to wherever you want to place it on your blog. Each section of the page should be labelled accordingly. You may need to do some plug and play to see where each one appears (sometimes the labels don’t match up right because of the theme you’re using).

After placing your ad unit, give it a title, and choose which type of ad you’d like to place. Right now, you want to choose Google AdSense, but if you decide you’d like to use another service like AdBrite, the option is here as well.
Your ad should be established now and will run automatically in that position. The Plugin will track impressions, clicks, and overall performance on its own, and you can get reports from Google AdSense as well, allowing you to analyse how your ads perform overall.
Placing Your Ads
I would like to go into detail on the actual placement of your ads – something few bloggers pay much attention to.
There are quite a few places you can put ads and there is no perfect answer for where that should be – it really depends on your blog and your testing results. Here are some of your options: • Banner at the Top • Side Bar • Between Post and Comments • Before Post • Navigation Bar
These are all viable locations, but in many cases, only one or two locations will prove effective for your particular blog. So, it’s a good idea to test your positioning.
If you want to make money with AdSense, they need to be in the right place. That means two things. First, you need to ensure every visitor at least sees the ads. However, you also need to be sure your readers see your titles and read your posts, otherwise they have no reason to click the ads before leaving the site.
In my experience, the following locations have proven effective for placement, based on testing and a decade of experience: • Above Post Content • Below Nav Bar • Above Page Footer • Side Bars
There are plenty of other locations to put your ads – in banners, in the footer, on the right side of the page, or at the bottom, but these four locations have proven most effective for me. It could be for any number of reasons.
Readers read top down and left to right, something that my ad positioning takes advantage of. Additionally, placement of ads beneath the nav bar ensure that the content is never upended by ads – a psychological no-no that tells your readers your ads are more important to you than what you’ve written.
I recommend you test each position multiple times. For each testing session, spend at least 2 days gathering data to see what kind of click-through rates you’ll enjoy. If you get better results in one location but have not tested every location, don’t stop. You never know how a small change can affect your overall earnings.
aDVanCeD aDsense tIPs For most people, AdSense seems rather straightforward, but it can be a lot more complicated if you let it. Here are some tips that help improve the ads that appear and how they convert to clicks. Content Rich Sites
A good AdSense site is content rich in a way that will not only attract ads, but that will keep readers on the page. It doesn’t mean anything to have the right ads on your page through content targeting if your readers don’t stick around long enough to read those ads. You need to focus on longer on-screen time, then worry about which ads appear. Maintaining Your Theme
It’s easy to become distracted and start writing about off-topic ideas. And for the most part, there’s nothing wrong with this. But, the vast majority of your blog should stay on topic and utilize specific keywords that will draw the right ads. Just by staying on topic, you can generally guarantee that your ads will remain as you need them to be. Popular Formats
We already discussed placement of your ads, but format is equally important. The format you use will vary depending on your audience and your test data, but for the most part, the most popular options are the ones that are compact and easy to read, including the 336×280 rectangle, the 300×250 rectangle and skyscraper ads (any size). They present an easy-to-read chunk of text and it sits beside your content easily. The Number of Ads
Google only allows you to place three blocks of ads on any one page. That’s fine because you can easily adjust how large those blocks are and how they are placed. However, don’t let yourself be worried into not placing enough ads. If they are out of the way and you don’t place enough, not every reader will even see the ads. Your goal should be to maximize exposure with at least 2 ad placements, and probably three. Images with Ads
Placing images near or beside your ads can have a dramatic impact on how many people click on them. The human eye is attracted to images, so if you place an ad next to an image, you’ll guarantee more people see that ad and consider it. This is a fantastic way to boost your overall click-through rates. Tracking Your Ads
Use whatever tracking tools you have at your disposal. Google AdSense gives you channels you can use for tracking, with up to 200 options. These channels can be used to track ads on a per-page basis if you like, though with a blog your ads will usually appear site-wide. Additionally, Advertising Manager will provide you with data on how many impressions and clicks each of your ads receives per day.
No matter what kind of advertising you’re doing, the data you receive from tools like AdSense or Advertising manager is vital. It’s not enough just to place an ad unit on your blog and wait for clicks to come in. You need to be active, providing content that will draw readers, ads that draw the eye, and incentives to keep coming back. Do that and your ad units will start generating far more income that you ever expected.
otHer aD networks A point of major frustration for me is when writers and bloggers assume that the only viable advertising option is AdSense. Google would be happy to hear it, but I’m not, because there are so many other options out there – many of which can make you a pretty penny.
Ultimately, what works will depend greatly on what you write and how well it performs on your site. But, until you start testing, you won’t fully know the potential of your content. Do you attract visual readers who respond better to banner ads? Or do you have more cerebral, text-based followers who want basic ads from Google? Do they spend money more often or are they likely to signup for something?
AdBrite is probably the largest competitor to Google AdSense, providing a wide array of ads that match you up with advertisers by demographic, space and ad type. In short, it’s a much more direct, one-on-one style of ad syndication whereas AdSense is all algorithm based.
The big benefit of AdBrite is the breadth of ad options you can install as well, with keyword targeting, full page ads and in-line text ads. I don’t recommend the in-line ads for a blog due to the nature of the content, but full page ads can be effective and the ability to generate content based on your preferences, not the keyword breakdown of your content, is very much welcome.
Although AdBrite and AdSense are the two biggest and most common ad networks on the internet, don’t be afraid to look around. There are dozens more that all offer simple integration and that are supported by Advertising Manager in WordPress.
Affiliate Marketing with Your Blog All the AdSense strategies in the world won’t get you to the plateau you’ve been dreaming of – the big numbers and hefty profits that you have heard about from other super affiliates and Internet Marketers. Sure, you can make a nice profit from your blogging with just ads, but if you’re interested in real profits – the kind that come with $27 commissions on info products – you need to turn your attention toward affiliate marketing.
I won’t say there are any problems with affiliate marketing on a blog – it’s a very effective place to do it after all. But, it’s not exactly straightforward either. You cannot just put up three basic posts and then write a review that says “buy this book so I can get a new TV”. People won’t do it. They need to trust you and they need to know that they actually have a reason to buy that product.
It’s entirely your responsibility to show and tell them those things. If you want your readers to follow your advice to buy a certain ebook, you had better give them a good reason to do so. That’s where the following strategies will come in.
MaIntaInIng QualIty The first thing every blogger must do when they start trying to make affiliate commissions is to maintain the quality of their blog. I’ve seen a lot of marketers start off strong and then start copy-pasting marketing copy from a product’s affiliate page without personalizing or polishing it one bit.
There are a dozen things wrong with this, but primarily, it’s a wasted opportunity. Not only will you fail to get it indexed in Google where reviews of popular info products do very well for bloggers, but your readers will immediately know that you didn’t write it. Every blogger has their own style and when you take content from somewhere else because you’re too lazy to rewrite it, they’ll know.
Imagine if a stranger called you up and said they were your best friend Jim and that you should buy a new Dell computer because they really like theirs. Not only would you ignore the recommendation, you’d probably try and find a way to complain about the message.
Maintaining voice and quality are the two most important things you can do as an affiliate marketer with a new blog. Otherwise, you’ll lose your readers and potential customers, negating the purpose of your blog immediately.
To make sure you’re not “selling out” your readers, have a friend take a look at any plugs you write before you publish them. This will give you a good idea if the content crosses any lines that might hurt your site’s readership


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