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How to Choose Webhosting for Your Blog

This post contains affiliate links. 

Wondering how to choose webhosting for your blog?

Your webhost will dramatically impact your blog’s ability to maintain traffic demand, remain search engine optimized, and provide a quality user experience. But when you are shopping for a blog host company, the jargon can be confusing.

Wondering how to choose webhosting? Confused by all the jargon when choosing a blog host? Understand what those terms mean so you can make a wise decision and learn ways to save money on webhosting.Let’s discuss the most important features of webhosting and how you can discern the best blog host for your needs.


All quality webhosting companies offer 1-Click WordPress Installs. However, not all companies will transfer your website from one blogging platform to another for free.

So, if you are in the market for a change, consider how much the company will charge your to move your website or the cost to have a professional to transfer your blog.

Money Saving Tip: High-quality blog hosting companies like Siteground offer a one-time transfer as a complimentary service. Having your website migrated for FREE is a huge stress-reliever.

Blog Accessibility

Your blog host regulates the accessibility of your website including the amount of traffic your blog can take at any given time as well as the amount of resources it can provide to a number of people simultaneously.

Two extremely important factors in choosing webhosting are website space and bandwidth.

Website space

Some hosting companies may refer to website space as disk space or storage space as this is the memory of your blog.

Your need for website space depends on the number of posts and pages as well as the size and types of files: text files, images, scripts, databases, and emails.

A younger blog will naturally have less need for webspace as there are not as many images and posts to store in the memory. Therefore, almost any webhost can accommodate a new blog.

Money Saving Tip: Save large files (like PDFs and videos) on a 3rd party platform like Amazon S3 instead of in your media library to avoid needing additional website space on your hosting plan.


The amount of data transferred during each connection is your blog’s bandwidth.

Usually counted in bits per second(bps) or bytes per second, bandwidth can be impacted by high traffic volume as well as large file sizes. If too many resources are being pulled from your blog’s memory by readers at the same time, your blog bandwidth will become full and the website load time will slow or stop.

Money Saving Tip: If you plan to host a linky party or affiliate program where other bloggers will be sharing your images, use a 3rd party cloud for images. Every time an image from your website is loaded on another blog, it pulls resources from your webhost and can force you to upgrade your service.

User Experience

If your website peaks around your hosting limitations, you may notice connection errors that are hazardous to your SEO and user experience. Examples include “connection timed out” or 504 error code.

504 Connection ErrorMany hosting companies use words like “unlimited” and “unmetered” to draw you attention. Understand that “unmetered” does not mean “without limitations.” If an offer seems to good to be true, be sure to read the terms for hidden messages like:

For plans or packages featuring unlimited websites, domains, or email accounts, we do not enforce any official limitations. Customers are able to utilize as many of these features as they wish. That said, these are of course not infinite resources and there are inherent maximums associated with the technology powering them.

That disclosure is code for “We can shut down your blog without notice if something seems weird to us or you receive a high volume of traffic.”

Shared Hosting Problems

Another issue that can hamper your blog growth occurs when your blog is on a shared platform with other large blogs or spammy websites.

Shared hosting means that several websites are grouped together on one platform within the hosting company’s resources.

Shared hosting is an excellent option for small blogs. The problem occurs when other blogs on your shared hosting platform begin to peak beyond their allowed limitations. Memory and bandwidth may be redistributed within the platform and slow your website.

Rarely, a shared hosting platform may include a website marked as spammy. In some situations, all websites on the platform will suffer as search engines react and block the content from the server.

Money Saving Tip: If your blog host is pressuring you to upgrade your service, ask to be moved to a different shared hosting block first to determine if it is another website on your shared host causing your issues. Also, seek a second opinion. Some hosting companies will review your blog’s memory usage and make recommendations to help you avoid unnecessary upgrades.

When to change webhosting companies

If your blog is experiencing repeated downtime, connectivity errors, and/or slow page speed, you might consider changing your plan or hosting company.

If you are thinking you need to move to another host, here are the most popular companies (although this is list should not be considered a recommendation):

Please be aware that no one stays with the same blog host forever. Likewise, every hosting company eventually has problems. However, many blogging experts push webhosting companies as “the best” because of the huge affiliate payout involved.

For instance, Blue Host offers between $75 and $150 for each account created. Therefore, when looking for reviews on webhosting, make note of the articles that include affiliate links. Try to discern whether or not a company is just recommended based on payout.

One way you can check for accurate reviews is to search the name of the webhost and the word “downtime.” Searching the word “review” often pulls up planted efforts to drive affiliate conversions. The word “downtime” seems to reveal a more authentic detail of user experience.

You can also check Twitter for honest reviews. You can spot the sincere responses because they are not pushing an affiliate link or blog post URL.

Also be aware that many blog hosting companies are owned by the same parent company. BlueHost, Host Gator, and A Small Orange are all related so you can expect the policies and service to be similar.

Money Saving Tip: Sign up for your webhosting company’s affiliate or referral platform and link to them from your footer. Use your affiliate link when talking about your awesome host and schedule tweets to promote your link. Take your affiliate income and invest it back into your hosting.

Why not free blog hosting?

If you are thinking about blogging and not sure you will like blogging as a career, I think dabbling with a free host is fine. However, once you decide to blog for profit, you should upgrade to a paid, professional hosting platform.

Unfortunately, free hosting options do not offer the options of paid hosting companies.

With free blog hosting, you often have problems with:

  • limited website design and theme options;
  • rules against your freedom to monetize; and,
  • inability to add useful plugins and extend your website’s abilities.

Some bloggers have even discovered their “free” blogs were deleted suddenly and without notice because they broke an unknown rule.

Another negative… free hosting companies are often dinged by search engine robots because so many spammers use free hosting platforms. The exception to this rule seems to be Blogger, who is owned by Google and therefore can still appear in Google search results. Even so, it can take longer for a website on a free webhosting platform to be recognized by search engines as a reputable website.

Just to be clear… the vast majority of all bloggers change hosting companies from time to time and every webhosting company will have routine problems. But, if you find your blog is down more than once a year or your blog is loading slowly (or not at all), it is time to choose a new webhost.

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101 Ways Bloggers Can Use Snapchat

There this fun little video app where I have been spending time each day. SNAPCHAT. Maybe you have heard of it? And maybe you are wondering, “How can I use Snapchat to market my blog?”

How to use Snapchat for bloggers - Over 100 ideas to help you get started!

Snapchat is the fastest growing social media network with over 10 billion snaps sent every day. Billion… with a B. Created by over 100 million users. [Source: Snapchat]

That’s millions of people waiting to see how creative you can be.

The target audience for Snapchat is ages 18 to 34. However, the age of Snapchat users continues to grow older as the popularity of this mobile video platform.

Why Snapchat for bloggers

Live video is the best thing to happen to the blogosphere in a long time. And with the rise of internet broadcasting on social media and the ever-increasing importance of video-based content, Snapchat gives you the opportunity to dabble in video without a significant commitment. If you hate your snaps, they are gone after 24 hours. Never to be seen again.

Snapchat gives bloggers the perfect opportunity to build trust in their community through transparency.

How to use Snapchat for bloggers - Over 100 ideas to help you get started!

Snapchat is not meant to be gorgeous. (And if you need a little help with that, use a filter!) You do not need any special lighting or equipment. No staging of photos required like on Instagram. Just be YOU.

I have friends who are always saying, “Tabitha, your readers just want more of YOU. Give them YOU.” And that is what I am saying to you right now. Take your blogging to another level of… intimacy… for lack of better word… and invite your readers to see the live, unedited YOU.

I know what you are thinking… “One more thing that I have to do.” But really… your snaps can be as complicated as you want them to be. Or not.

How to Use Snapchat

Snapchat is like a dark room. You have no way of knowing who else is there until you connect. You cannot see what they are doing and they cannot see what you are doing until you follow one another.

How to use Snapchat for bloggers - Over 100 ideas to help you get started!

The only way to find people on Snapchat is through your contacts list, by Snapchat username, or through Snapcode. You can also add people who are close to you which is handy at blogging conferences.

To share with the people following you, add snaps to your “story.” Followers can view your story for up to 24 hours.

How to use Snapchat for bloggers - Over 100 ideas to help you get started!

You can send snaps to individual people but I DO NOT recommend this as a way of sending out your content. If someone sends you a question, respond with an individual snap. If you have a question, ask. But please do not send your unsolicited, self-promotional snaps directly to a person. That’s spam. And I unfollow anyone who does this to me.

Building your Snapchat following

When you are ready to build your following, mention you are on Snapchat everywhere. Cross-promote on other social media. Save a few snaps to share in blog posts.

How to use Snapchat for bloggers - Over 100 ideas to help you get started!

Change your social media profile pictures to your Snapchat code. People can save the image and easily follow you.

Also snap consistently. Try to add at least one snap to your story every day, but don’t snap just for the sake of adding something to the feed. Be creative. Add value to the lives of others.

>>TIP: Looking for people in your niche to follow? Use the GhostCodes app.

101 Ways Bloggers Can Use Snapchat

If you are struggling to see how you could use Snapchat as a blogger, I have compiled a list of ideas.

Check out this example…

Some are niche specific, but there are enough ideas for using Snapchat to market your blog that you will surely find some inspiration.

  1. Show off your newest find… at the store, flea market, conference, etc.
  2. Take a tour of your house, shop, desk, etc.
  3. Share process photos of a DIY project.
  4. Team up and play checkers with another Snapchat user.
  5. Share exclusive content.
  6. Post a “rant of the day.”
  7. Share the funnies you notice at a conference or store.
  8. Network with other bloggers through individual snaps.
  9. Announce a giveaway winner.
  10. Check out live events for blog post ideas.
  11. Offer a limited time coupon for followers only.
  12. Reveal your dirty side… like your kitchen sink.
  13. Have theme days like Tools Tuesday or Food Friday.
  14. Show off an organizational hack.
  15. Unbox a new product.
  16. Lipsync.
  17. Share your multiple personalities… if you have them.
  18. Show off your favorite products.
  19. Read a book. Page. By. Page.
  20. Motivate.
  21. Draw something. (A skinny stylus helps.)
  22. Show off your newest tech device.
  23. Create a wish list of products.
  24. Share your recent blog post.
  25. Vent.
  26. Doodle over your image.
  27. Take ugly selfies… on purpose.
  28. Create a diary of your travels.
  29. Make up funny songs.
  30. Display your favorite place to work.
  31. Illustrate a quote.
  32. Tell what you did today.
  33. Shout out to other Snapchatting bloggers.
  34. Post your favorite deals.
  35. Do celebrity impersonations.
  36. Encourage others.
  37. Share wisdom.
  38. Answer your email and respond to questions in snaps.
  39. Take a tour of a popular tourist destination.
  40. Ask for blog post ideas.
  41. Take a survey and ask followers to “snap back.”
  42. Create an emoji story of your life.
  43. Give an hour by hour peek into your life.
  44. Share a “tip of the day.”
  45. Snap before and after pictures of a project or remodel.
  46. Tell a joke.
  47. Reveal a secret.
  48. Host a scavenger hunt.
  49. Plan a challenge and record your progress.
  50. Post a tutorial.
  51. Illustrate your favorite pun.
  52. Show off your typos.
  53. Karaoke.
  54. Let followers choose your next blog post.
  55. Give away a freebie just to followers.
  56. Show off your shopping receipts.
  57. Read the beginning of your recent blog post.
  58. Overlay emojis on pictures.
  59. Dance. Or try to dance.
  60. Tell them what you are learning.
  61. Feature people at an event with you.
  62. Share a screenshot from your favorite Snapchat user.
  63. Announce when you sent out your email newsletter.
  64. Show what you wore today.
  65. Review a product.
  66. Outline a lesson plan.
  67. Make money sharing affiliate links with Pretty Link.
  68. Takeover another person’s Snapchat account for the day.
  69. Offer a flash sale.
  70. Play with your pet.
  71. Create a recipe.
  72. Teach a lesson.
  73. Record a (harmless) prank.
  74. Let viewers peek inside your new product.
  75. Host a newsy SnapCast on your topic.
  76. Celebrate special moments.
  77. Host a classroom tour.
  78. Be inspirational.
  79. Share how you made it.
  80. Talk about your 5 essential items.
  81. Require responses to be entered in a giveaway.
  82. Download your snaps into a compilation video.
  83. Give a peek into your family life.
  84. Video a science project.
  85. Experiment with stop motion animation.
  86. Post your party planning.
  87. Go shopping.
  88. Host a book club.
  89. Give access to private events.
  90. Peek into your “coming soon” file.
  91. Engage with a themed “Snap a Day” challenge.
  92. Edit downloaded snaps to enhance your content.
  93. Share a cultural difference.
  94. Be sarcastic.
  95. Snap about an open position in your team.
  96. Cross-promote your other social media channels.
  97. Use Q&A to learn about your followers.
  98. Hype. Hype it up.
  99. Snap back to influencers and celebrities.
  100. Share an extreme close-up for a “what is it?” contest.
  101. Just have fun!

What ideas do you have for how bloggers can use Snapchat?

Leave us a comment and make sure to include your Snapchat username.

More resources to help bloggers with Snapchat:

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May Blogger Income Expenses Report 2016

When I first learned that you can make money blogging, I was astounded. “How is this possible?!?” I wondered and began learning as much as I could. With a lot of time with Google and YouTube and the help of fabulous bloggers who generously invested their time and information in me, I have successfully doubled our family’s income. To prove that you can do this too, I share my blog income reports each month.

Bloggers from any niche can make money blogging. See how she does it in this blogging income report.

Since my income is diversified between two types of blogs, I divide my income and expense report so you can see that it is not just bloggers who teach blogging that make money. Lifestyle, homeschool, DIY, food, fashion… whatever your niche, you can be a profitable blogger.

As a matter of fact, if you look closely at the numbers below, you will notice that my “regular” blog brings in almost the same amount of income as my “how to blog” blog.

Multiple streams of income

When you study a blogger’s income report, look for where the income originates.

I have mentioned before that profitable bloggers have multiple streams of income. For me, those avenues include:

  • Self-publishing to Amazon Kindle
  • Passive sidebar advertising with Adsense and 3rd party networks
  • Creating my own products and connecting them to sales funnels with ConvertKit
  • Maintaining affiliate relationships with others who have created awesome products
  • Soliciting sponsors through direct relationships
  • Accepting sponsored campaigns through 3rd parties like TapInfluence
  • and more…

If my income streams were meshed into a flowchart, my revenue sources would be buckets and under each would be multiple contributors to help fill each bucket.

An example of how a blogger can increase income by adding multiple streams of income.

Just in case you were wondering why I do not use affiliate income to generate revenue from Inspired Bloggers… I want you to purchase my products and not someone else’s stuff that might appear in 3rd party advertising on my website.

Blog Income Report – May 2016

InspiredBU represents Inspired Bloggers properties including this website, Inspired Bloggers University and the associated Facebook communities.

Meet Penny is the group of blogs I write under a pseudo-name, Penny. These blogs are lifestyle and food focused.

InspiredBU Affiliate Earnings $8
InspiredBU Product Sales $3,730.75
Meet Penny Affiliate Earnings $328.44
Meet Penny Advertising $2,669.24
Meet Penny Product Sales $108.02

Total Income = $6,845.44
May Goal = $6,000
Difference = +$845.44

Advertising $97.62 (Facebook Ads)
Contractors $413.90
Paypal Fees $140.69
Email Service $149.00 (ConvertKit)
Internet Service $194.13
Cell Phone Service $183.08
Stock Image Membership $99 (GraphicStock)
Audible Subscription $14.95
Office $207.25 (GoDaddy domain renewals, Canva, PicMonkey, etc.)
Total Expenses = $1,499.62

Net Profit = +$5,345.82

Join the Inspired Bloggers University for FREE and get the Blogger Income Expense Spreadsheet.

My business mistakes

  • My products perform really well but I think I am probably missing income potential with affiliate sales. Don’t be surprised if you see more of my affiliate links coming soon… in a completely non-spammy way, of course.

My business successes

  • FOUR sponsored posts through TapInfluence. I love this company so much! They allow you to choose your fee for sponsored content and only send you offers from brands willing to pay your asking price.
  • I went back to the business plan that I knew worked. It’s okay to try new things. It’s also okay to go back and do what you know will work with your audience when new plans fail.

Hey blogger! Track your income and expenses easily. Get the free XLSX spreadsheet.

Register as a Free Inspired Bloggers University Member

Join the Inspired Bloggers University and find the Blogger Income / Expense Report on your profile page.

Not a member? Join for FREE.

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What is SEO? Using Search Engines for Organic Blog Growth

>>Download the SEO Cheat Sheet Now<<

If you have wondered, “What is SEO,” you have taken a step towards a stream of organically driven traffic that does not stress over constant social media changes.

If you have wondered, "What is SEO," then you have taken a step towards a stream of organically driven traffic that does not stress over constant social media changes. Includes a free printable cheat sheet of SEO tips.SEO is an acronym for search engine optimization, or creating a website that search engines recognize as an authority that delivers answers for which people are seeking online.

People are always searching the internet for information.

You are always creating content for your website.

It’s a match made in… search engines… but you need to know how to optimize your website so that search engines refer traffic to you.

But, this goes beyond search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. An unseen benefit to understanding search engine optimization is that the SEO practices you learn and implement also impact your results on YouTube and Pinterest.

Strong SEO strategies improve your rank with Google, Bing, Yahoo, YouTube, and Pinterest.

But how does a search engine know what you have published on your blog? How does the search engine choose the results to show?

How Search Engines Rank Content

Have you ever wondered how search engines work?

Each search engine is different but they function in similar ways.

Google’s artificial intelligence (AI) is called Rank Brain. Designed to be the best search engine, the AI constantly sends search robots/bots/spiders to crawl over 60 trillion pages on the internet, cataloging pages based on topic, quality, and hundreds of other factors.

The search bots travel by links, following strings of text until a new link directs the bot in a new direction, and reports the information to “the index” that contains over 100 million gigabytes of information.

When someone searches for a topic, algorithms use over two hundred rules to determine the true desire of the user and lists the AI’s best guess on the SERP, search engine results page.

The facets of the algorithm are a closely guarded secret but Google emphasizes the importance of:

Basic Elements of SEO

Hundreds of factors go into which websites rank at the top of search results but most SEO experts agree that there are some universal elements playing a tremendous part including:

Structure – How your website is built

  • Hosting/site speed – Faster load times are better. If your choice of host or your hosting package causes pages to load slowly, your website will be dinged.
  • Theme – Some themes are set up with clean coding that makes it easy for search engine bots to crawl your website. I personally recommend using the Genesis Framework.
  • Navigation – Drop down menus can hinder search engine crawlers, but your website should be mapped and easy to navigate, for the reader and the bots.
  • Usability – Keep your website clean and user-friendly. Excessive ads and image maps can impact the user experience and be difficult for search engine robots to navigate.
  • Mobile optimization – If your website is not viewable on mobile devices, you will fall farther down the search results and may not show up at all.

Topic – What your content is about

  • Authority/niche – Check the Google Search Console to understand how Google perceives your expertise and niche.
  • Trends – Understand the number of people searching a particular topic will vary seasonally and according to current events.
  • Type of content – Videos are given precedence in search engine results. Increase the impact by placing your keywords and other relevant content close to the embedded video.
  • Quality – The quality of your content supersedes all other factors.
  • Length – While some believe the optimal length of a post is between 300 and 500 words, others think longer posts of 1,500 words or more receive greater recognition.
If you have wondered, "What is SEO," then you have taken a step towards a stream of organically driven traffic that does not stress over constant social media changes. Includes a free printable cheat sheet of SEO tips.
Subscribe and receive the SEO Cheat Sheet by email.

Keywords – Which words you target to achieve ranking

  • Voice-recognized results – Choose long-tailed keywords, or keyword phrases, based on how someone would naturally ask you a question. This increases the SEO value for voice-entered search inquiries.
  • Focused content – Your post should focus on your keyword or keyword phrase.
  • Uniqueness – Have a goal to optimize each page or post for one set of keywords.
  • Frequency of keyword use – Write naturally but avoid overusing pronouns (it, they, there, etc.) within your content. Use your keywords (or variations of your keywords) instead, but do not “keyword stuff” your content.

Placement – Where the keywords are placed within your website and posts

  • On page – Have keywords in text links, page URL, image names, image alt attributes, and subheadings of your post.
  • Meta date – Set the meta data for each post and include keywords in the description. Using a plugin like WordPress SEO by Yoast allows you to determine the meta description and can increase your click-through rate from search engine results.
  • Link building – Link out to other relevant blogs in your niche as this can help Google relate you to your chosen niche.
  • Nofollow – Protect your website by using the rel=nofollow attribute when linking to an affiliate or sponsor.

Promotion – How popular your content is on the internet and in social media

  • Backlinks – Keep backlinks from quality sources as they increase your value. Increase incoming links to your website by guest posting on other websites within your niche.
  • Social media – Social media marketing has been an important part of SEO since 2011 and increases in importance each year. Do not neglect promoting your posts on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, etc.
  • Google+ – Use your keywords in your G+ status update. Google owns Google+ and gives SEO bonus points to content posted to Google+.
  • Content aggregation – Seek to be included in content round-up posts focused on a particular topic as researchers speculate search engines prefer sources where content is aggregated by topic.

Other factors – Where, what and how

  • History – The search engine includes a user’s browser history when calculating the search results.
  • Frequency – Posting regularly to your website increase the number of visits from a search engine bot and boosts your SEO ranking.

Free Printable SEO Cheat Sheet

For these search engine optimization tips and more, sign up for the SEO tips cheat sheet.

Blog traffic got you down?


Tired of ever-changing algorithms on social media?Subscribe and receive the SEO Cheat Sheet with over 25 tips proven to generate organic traffic from search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, and even Pinterest!

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April Blogger Income Expense Report 2016

April was the perfect storm of expenses and low income, making this month’s blogger income expense report anything but perfect. In fact, these numbers are so bad that it is tempting to close up everything and go work for someone else instead of striving to be a financially independent blog-preneur.

Through blogging, I have managed to more than double our family's income. This year I committed to prove it by sharing my blog income reports each month.

But is it possible to make money blogging? Yes. Through blogging, I have managed to more than double our family’s income. This year I committed to prove it by sharing my blog income reports each month.

Just ignore this month’s discrepancy.

The majority of bloggers will never incur these kinds of expenses.

Why is this month’s blog income report so terrible?

Travel expenses

My trip to speak at a blog conference in April was the most expensive I have attended. Not including airfare, my hotel, cab fare, and meal expenses were over $1,000.

What you might not realize is the majority of blog conference speakers are paid NOTHING in exchange for their service. In most situations, the speaker must also cover their own travel expenses and accommodations.

Specialty Equipment

When Katch announced they were closing shop, I had to move quickly to move my 100+ Periscope broadcasts or lose them forever. I purchased a huge external memory drive.

Specialty equipment can be a HUGE expense and is best purchased when you can budget and plan ahead, but sometimes the unexpected happens. Thankfully, most bloggers will not require a lot of high-price equipment.

This month, I had to invest in new equipment AND pay for annual updates on existing services like my subscription to WebinarJam. Ouch.

Sponsored Post Expenses

April also brought a surge in sponsored posts, requiring an investment into the ingredients, events, and other items necessary for creating the post. However, I will not receive the payment for those posts until May or June.

Hey blogger! Track your income and expenses easily. Get the free XLSX spreadsheet.

Blog Income Report – April 2016

InspiredBU Affiliate Earnings $292.53
InspiredBU Product Sales $1,977.20
Meet Penny Affiliate Earnings $209.58
Meet Penny Advertising $774.99
Meet Penny Product Sales $80.38

Total Income = $3,334.68
March Goal = $7,000
Difference = -$3,665.32

Advertising $23.94 (Facebook Ads)
Contractors $225
Paypal Fees $190.84
Email Service $149.00 (ConvertKit)
Travel $1,124.90
Internet Service $194.13
Cell Phone Service $183.08
WebinarJam $297
Office $2,044.30 (Images, Photography, Ingredients for Sponsored Posts)
Total Expenses = $4,431.29
Net Profit = -$1,096.61

My business mistakes

  • I built too much of my business on a 3rd party (Katch). Never, ever rely on a 3rd party to support your business because when it fails or changes, you will suffer the expense.
  • While the travel was a huge expense, I cannot consider it a mistakes as I had the opportunity to pour myself into dozens of bloggers to help them be more successful.

My business successes

  • Without a surplus of income from previous months, I would not have survived the financial expenses this month. Always plan ahead for the unexpected and leave a cushion in your bank account.

Hey blogger! Track your income and expenses easily. Get the free XLSX spreadsheet.

Register as a Free Inspired Bloggers University Member

Join the Inspired Bloggers University and find the Blogger Income / Expense Report on your profile page.

Not a member? Join for FREE.

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Periscope vs. Facebook Live

Over the last two weeks, I have struggled with whether or not to abandon Periscope to use Facebook Live exclusively as my live broadcasting application. There are certainly benefits to both platforms, making the decision even more difficult.

If live broadcasting is a game-changer, which app should you use? Learn the pros and cons of Periscope and Facebook Live as well as tips for using Facebook Live. (Free Guide)

Live broadcasting is necessary

If you look over the last few years, you can easily discern the rising popularity in video as a way to market your blog. Video has crept into the newsfeeds on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

But people want more than video can give. Studies show that social media leaves people feeling isolated. [SOURCE] But how does that relate to live broadcasting?

Human touch

I believe people are craving a more human touch and live broadcasting provides entertainment and companionship.

My viewers have said things like:

  • I love being able to hear your voice.
  • I like the intimacy of live broadcasting.
  • I listen to you every day.
  • I feel like I really know you.

The transparency of live broadcasting increases the connection between users. In my experience, these relationships result in a stronger tribe, more blog traffic, and increased product sales.

Breaking news

At the same time, a generation is budding under the sun of instant news… and they like it. Students of the information age want news immediately as it is still breaking.

The sudden growth of Periscope is proof.

Why use Periscope?

As an active participant on Periscope since the live broadcasting app was only seven weeks old, I have experienced significant growth (both personal and professional) by using it to connect with my audience and expand my reach.

Periscope gives you the ability to instantly connect and receive immediate feedback through comments and hearts.

The simple sharing mechanism also empowers your viewers to generate interest in your message through social sharing. With a simple tap, viewers can instantly invite all of their followers on Periscope, Facebook, and/or Twitter to join your broadcast.

Why use Facebook Live?

Facebook remains the most popular social media platform of all time and with the rise in the popularity of live broadcasting, this could be a game-changer for Facebook… and for bloggers.

Where the people are

For most bloggers, their established following on Facebook exceeds their presence on Periscope.

Even if a blogger has seen success on Periscope, Facebook boasts over ONE BILLION more users than Periscope with a total of 1,500,000,000 users. [SOURCE] This means the potential for growth is greater on Facebook than on Periscope.

Qualified viewers

In addition to the mass of people using Facebook, you also have the flexibility of using Facebook Live on your personal profile, business page, or group.

These people are already familiar with your brand. They have visited your page and connected with your message enough to “like” you, meaning they are marketing qualified leads (MQLs) and primed for hearing more about you.

Periscope vs. Facebook Live

Which platform should you use for live broadcasting? If I was brand new to live broadcasting, had to choose between Periscope and Facebook, and had a larger audience on Facebook, I would choose Facebook Live.



Here are additional insights to consider:

Periscope Pros/Cons

PRO: Periscope yields the opportunity to connect with new people outside your current reach while Facebook is primarily for reaching your existing audience.

CON: The platform often has technical problems involving analytics and broadcast stability while Facebook Live seems to have a stable interface in most browsers.

PRO: The live broadcast seems more intimate than Facebook Live ask the comments flow over the personal broadcasting and hearts float up the other side. With Facebook Live, the comments are restricted in a box below the broadcaster.

CON: Trolls and creepers frequent live Periscope broadcasts and can overwhelm a broadcast with incessant comments, prohibiting the natural flow of conversation. Since Facebook Live is with an existing audience or even within a group, spam is much less frequent.

PRO: If you choose to send your broadcast to Twitter, the live broadcast and replay are available in the stream of people following you on Twitter.

CON: Periscope replays are available for only 24 hours before vanishing forever… unless you save your broadcast to your device or Facebook Live replays are available indefinitely, can be saved to your device, and/or deleted from your timeline when you choose.

PRO: Periscope analytics, although not completely reliable, are much more detailed compared to Facebook Live. After your broadcast, you can see the total number of viewers, average time on the broadcast, and retention percentage. Facebook Live only records the number of people viewing the broadcast.

Facebook Pros/Cons

PRO: Facebook Live counts down with a 3-second warning prior to the live broadcast while Periscope begins broadcasting immediately.

CON: The physical space for Facebook Live is limited to a square while Periscope uses full portrait or landscape mode.

PRO: You can start a broadcast with the either the rear- or front-facing camera on Facebook Live but Periscope requires you start with the rear-facing camera and then double tap to flip the screen.

CON: During replay, Facebook Live appears as a regular video. Comments do not display during the broadcast as they do on Periscope.

PRO: Videos can be edited after the live broadcast has ended. For instance, you can add a video thumbnail to avoid an awkward facial expression unlike Periscope where a blurred image becomes your thumbnail.

CON: The Facebook news feed is filtered by a complex algorithm while Periscope (and Twitter) are still chronological. Currently, Facebook is pushing live broadcasts to the top of the feed but this may not always be true.

PRO: Viewers after a Facebook Live broadcast can continue to comment on the video, encouraging engagement for an indefinite period of time.

Best tips for using Facebook Live

The more I use Facebook Live, the more I like it.

If you feel swayed towards Facebook Live, I don’t blame you. I encourage you to jump in while Facebook is favoring live broadcasts in the news feed.

Use these Facebook Live tips to have the best broadcast possible from your very first Facebook Live.

If live broadcasting it a game-changer, which app should you use? Learn the pros and cons of Periscope and Facebook Live as well as tips for using Facebook Live. (Free Guide)

Even if you are familiar with live broadcasting through other apps like Periscope and Meerkat, be mindful that Facebook is a different platform and should be treated as such.

  • Understand what your followers like.

Prior to a live broadcast, research your existing following through the insights available on your page. Make notes of the items that received the greatest reach and highest engagement. Plan your first live broadcasts on these topics.

Expand on what you know works before dabbling into unknown areas. For instance, if your Facebook page responds well to DIY and crafts, they will probably bounce off a live broadcast focused on Nascar racing.

Should you never live broadcast about Nascar? It depends on the target audience you hope to attract. Just be aware that any sudden changes can send your page spiraling into the Facebook abyss.

  • Have a plan.

Live broadcasting can become addictive. As you see your reach grow and engagement increase, the temptation is there to live broadcast EVERYTHING. That is why I suggest having a longterm plan for how you will use Facebook Live.

Create a strategy that involves one of these:

  1. Increase page views – Perhaps you broadcast each time a new post is published on your blog. Give details about why you wrote the post, why you think it is helpful, and ask for your viewer to share it.
  2. Increase email subscribers – Entice viewers to subscribe by offering exclusive incentives available only to those who watch you on Facebook Live. Have a password-protected page on your website and reveal the password towards the end of your broadcast. Tell everyone the secret too early and your viewers will bounce off to grab the goody.
  3. Increase product sales – Incorporate Facebook Live into the launch for your next product or weave gentle mentions of your existing products into your live broadcast. You can also offer special discounts just for those who view your video. But remember… no one wants to feel like they are being cornered by a salesman, and Facebook Live is not the place for infomercials.

If you are tempted to broadcast and find that the topic cannot include one of the strategies above, think twice before clicking to go live.

  • Get to the good stuff.

When you start your live broadcast, get to the topic quickly. Always introduce yourself and mention your website, but then jump into the conversation about your topic. Facebook viewers have a short attention span and if you do not grab them from the first minute, they are gone.

  • Have notes to stay on track.

If you have trouble staying on topic, have notes nearby. Never ramble. Don’t misunderstand… story-telling is great but if you get too far form the purpose of your live broadcast, people will be bored and disengage.

Once you have lost a viewer to boredom, it is very difficult to get them to come back for future videos.

  • Encourage viewers to comment, like, and share.

Even after the live broadcast is completed, your viewers can keep the conversation rolling in the comments. Any engagement (likes, shares, comments, views) are fabulous for the increasing the reach of your video. However, many viewers think that if the broadcast is no longer live, they cannot respond.

Encourage additional comments while you are live by asking for them. Then, after the broadcast is complete, join the conversation with your viewers so they realize you are still actively participating in the conversation.

  • Make links easy to say and remember.

You can easily monetize your Facebook Live videos with affiliate links but you have to be able to SAY them. Use a link shortener like Pretty Links to make your URLs easy to say and remember. You can direct traffic to a recent blog post, affiliate link, sponsor… get creative.

  • Change your thumbnail.

Facebook Live videos can be edited AFTER the broadcast. Unless you like the awkward face Facebook chooses for your video thumbnail, change it. Update the thumbnail with a piece of stock photography or a graphic that clearly represents the topic of your conversation.

Get these Facebook Live Tips for FREE.

Subscribe to the Inspired Bloggers University and get this free printable emailed to you!

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ABCs of Blog Media Kits with Free Blog Media Kit Template

Before we get started, please do not think this is about how to create a blog media kit. I have covered that in detail several times on this blog, in our Facebook group, and on Periscope. No more.

It’s time to apply what you know and learn what makes a blogger’s media kit stand out from the others.

Let’s search for the best blogger media kits… to find the ones that say, “I’m not like everyone else. I have my stuff together and THIS is why you should work with me.”

And exactly what does that look like?

The A in Blog Media Kits – Authenticity

If you are creating a blog media kit, you want work with a brand. The first step in developing that partnership is proving you are trustworthy by showing authenticity.


Trust begins by communicating who you are and what your blog is about.  By using your tagline and a short section detailing your story, your media kit can echo the vision present on your blog.

Many bloggers are passionate about certain topics but fail to adequately represent those interests when pitching a brand. Or, the opposite can be true. The blog’s purpose is vague but the media kit communicates a strong idea.

Your passion and your blog’s purpose should maintain consistency across your blog and in your media kit.


Another aspect of proving your authenticity is by sharing accurate statistics. If you lie about your blog’s numbers, there are many paid (and some free) services companies can use to find the truth.

Always be honest.

If your blog traffic has recently seen a significant change in traffic, use an average of the past three months. Also, be careful rounding numbers up. Some media kits boast 100,000 page views when they only gain 85,000 page views. The difference might seem insignificant to you but could leave the brand questioning your authenticity.


Also, if your blog focus does not match the brand you are pitching, the company will immediately step away because your proposal does not come across as authentic.

For instance, let’s say Jane Blogger decides to take her family on a vacation. Her blog is about fashion but she pitches an all-inclusive vacation resort promising to post a review. And where does that fit on her blog?

Instead, Jane Blogger should approach the vacation destination with “casual yet classy fashion tips while on vacation” and pose for pictures featuring the benefits of the resort.

The B in Blog Media Kits – Branding

When you look at a blogger media kit, does it give a sneak peek at the blog’s design? Does it represent the colors? The logo? The style?

Or is it boring?

Have a blah media kit and expect blah results. Your goal is to stand out and not be “just another Jane Blogger.”


Before creating your blog media kit, take a look at your blog. Is your template clean and floral? Contemporary and colorful? Trendy and tonal? The design elements you use to decorate your blog should be the same ones you use in your media kit:

  • Place your blog logo at the top of your media kit.
  • Embellish blank space with your tagline.
  • Use the same colors or patterns.
  • Select the same fonts you use on your blog.
  • Have the same headshot on your media kit as you do in your sidebar or about page.

blog media kit cheat sheet facebook ad


And not that I like to nitpick but… don’t start every sentence (or ANY sentence for that matter) with the word “I.” Be your business because you are a brand too.

Your media kit is about you and your blog. I understand that. While it is hard to think of yourself in third person, remember you are presenting yourself as a business and not as an individual.

By sending your blog media kit to a company, your goal is to build a professional relationship with a brand. I love this from Brand Meets Blog: “Talk less about YOU and more about them.” Focus on your readers and their needs because that should be: 1) the emphasis of your blog; and 2) a part of why you are pitching a company. Because you want to connect your readers with solutions.

The C in Blog Media Kits – Content

This is where we run into HUGE problems with blog media kits.

As a blogger, your definition of content is closely related to WORDS. However, nothing on a media kit screams, “I’M BORING” like a page of blah, blah, blah… words. So you need to learn to say more with less.


You can communicate with pictures, design elements, tabbed lists, tables, and graphics. Do not think for a moment that a brand representative is going to read paragraph after paragraph.

blog media kit cheat sheet facebook ad

Free Blog Media Kit Template

Subscribe and receive the Free Media Kit Template.docx and Blog Media Kit Cheat Sheet.pdf by email.

Brand representatives are not looking for a novel, and I can guarantee you that no one is plodding through blogger media kits for pleasure while sipping tea and thinking, “Oh, I wish these bloggers would tell me a good story!” No… they are looking for someone who will stand out and get to the point because time is valuable.

If you really want a brand to read more, then link to your “about page” from your PDF document. Or, even better, have it linked within the email you send.

Keep your content short and sweet.


But what SHOULD be in your media kit? Which items are the most important?

You might have a different list (and we can debate that in the comments) but I think every blogger media kit MUST include:

  • Blog logo – It all goes back to branding.
  • Blog’s purpose – What are you trying to accomplish with your blog?
  • Your headshot – Make a personal connection.
  • About you – Keep it brief. Two to three sentence MAX.
  • Numbers – Social media followers and blog traffic.
  • Services – Maybe not EVERYTHING but a bulleted list of what you offer to advertisers.
  • Your contact information – Your name, location, blog URL, Twitter handle, and email address.

Should you include your prices? Not on the first page. Again… you can debate with me in the comments but I prefer to create a relationship before talking about money. It just feels… icky.

Page one of my media kit is my introduction and page two is for sales. But honestly, I often just send my first page until I am asked for prices or can send a pitch I have personalized for the company.


And please! For the love of blogging… do not send a Word file or an image. In Word, Pages, Publisher… and a gazillion other software variations, you can click to “save as” and find the option to make your blog media kit into a PDF.

Posted on 6 Comments

March Blogger Income Expense Report 2016

Is it possible to make money blogging? Absolutely.

Through blogging, I have managed to more than double our family’s income. This year I committed to prove it by sharing my blog income reports each month.

Through blogging, I have managed to more than double our family's income. This year I committed to prove it by sharing my blog income reports each month.

Blogging income is not a predictable science. Deposits can vary based on traffic, promotions, and so much more. But this doesn’t mean we should not plan or set monetary goals.

Plan and Perform

During my planning week, I sat with my Blog Success Planner and wrote out my monthly income goals. Writing down a number is easy, but without a plan, your number is just a day-dream. You must put action steps to your goal.

Income goals are easy but without a plan, your number is a dream. #blogging (CLICK TO RETWEET)

So, I flipped over to the calendar and wrote down my plans for blog series and product launches. For me, creating a product, marketing the product, and generating sales for the product is the precipice on which all of my goals are constructed. All of these steps must be planned and performed in order to make my income goal a reality.

Assess and Adjust

When I wrote my financial goals at the beginning of the year with plans to be a six-figure blogger, I planned to have ten to twelve people going through the Blog Success Mentorship program during each session. I also planned to have multiple sales funnels generating traffic to my products.

It’s amazing what we learn in just three months. 

As I worked through the first Blog Success Mentorship session, I quickly realized that it took a lot more time (and energy) for each client. So, before launching the second session in March, I altered the number of people I would accept. However, I did not change my income goal… because I forgot.

Now, at the end of the month, I find that I fell short of my goal and I am totally bummed. (Pardon the 1980’s coming out of me.)

So… it’s time to adjust.

I can either change my goals… or I can change my plan.

I would rather change my action steps and increase my efforts than give up on being a six figure blogger.

Hey blogger! Track your income and expenses easily. Get the free XLSX spreadsheet.

Blog Income Report – March 2016

InspiredBU Affiliate Earnings $0
InspiredBU Product Sales $4,064.63
Meet Penny Affiliate Earnings $221.28
Meet Penny Advertising $1,468.46
Meet Penny Product Sales $106.75

Total Income = $5,861.12
March Goal = $7,000
Difference = -$1,138.88

Advertising $195.78 (Facebook Ads)
Contractors $325
Paypal Fees $139.57
Email Service $178.52 (ConvertKit)
Office $1,446.29 (Images, Paid Content)

Total Expenses = $2,285.16

Net Profit = +$3,575.96

My business mistakes

  • Feeling bummed that this is the second month in a row I have failed to reach my goal. Part of that is because of poor marketing. Part is assuming I would have more students to mentor. However, as I have seen how much time it takes to adequately mentor other bloggers (and to do it well), I cut back on the number of people I would accept. I just never changed my annual goals to reflect those changes.

My business successes

  • Although this was my largest expense for the month, I consider buying blog content to be a huge success. I have always been obsessive about doing everything myself. However, as I noticed the traffic at begin to slide and knowing that I did not have time to devote to generating two posts each week on multiple blogs, I let it go and bought quality articles that fit what my readers need.
  • I have ONE completed sales funnel with ConvertKit, and it is amazing me! I make money every day and do nothing. It runs by itself, completely passive, and sells my products while I focus on other details of my blogging business.

Hey blogger! Track your income and expenses easily. Get the free XLSX spreadsheet.

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Working with Brands: More Than Just Page Views

When I mention the possibility of making money by working with brands, your knees turn to jelly and your mind begins to race. “I don’t have enough page views. They wouldn’t want me,” you explain.

I look you straight in the eye and say, “You are wrong.”

Why my access to working with brands is about more than just my page views. Love these points! Encourages me as a new blogger to stay focused. Free spreadsheet too.

Over the course of my blogging career, I have been blessed to work with a cornucopia of brands. Big brands, little brands… some who did not know they were brands. But a few things are the same, regardless of company size.

The main similarity?

Brands want a trustworthy relationship. They are always looking to work with someone dependable who will deliver value.

The difference page views make

If the most important part of working with brands is in the relationships, why so much emphasis on page views? Because page views make a difference but they are not always as important as you think.

Audience size is second runner up to 1) your niche and 2) your engagement.

General niche needs a larger audience.

Bloggers who struggle to choose a niche will also struggle to find brands willing to work with them if they have fewer page views.

Think about this like a bag of marbles. You love to collect marbles. All shapes and sizes. Doesn’t matter what they look like. You just want a bunch of them to carry around in a bag.

One afternoon, you decide that you want to look at only the blue marbles. You reach into your massive bag of marbles and pull out… an orange marble.

Nope. Back into the bag it goes.

You try again. Nope. A green marble with yellow swirls.

Geez. This is hard! Why? Because your bag contains all different kinds of marbles. Finding your ideal marble is a lot more difficult.

Why my access to working with brands is about more than just my page views. Love these points! Encourages me as a new blogger to stay focused. Free spreadsheet too.

Likewise, if a brand marketer is wanting to reach one particular type of reader, they know it will be more difficult on a blog with varied topics. Because a general niche fails to have a specific audience, a brand will consider the potential return on their investment to be lower.

Typically, a blog with multiple topics may attract more readers, but it takes longer to build a consistent community and the interest base is diluted. Therefore, a brand will either:

  • think the blog is not large enough for their marketing purposes; or,
  • will want to pay the blogger less for the same type of advertising.

Micro-niche means smaller audience but targeted audience.

Now consider a different approach to your marble collection.

You decide that you only want to gather clear marbles. They may not be exactly the same on the inside but each has the similar characteristic of being clear.

Why my access to working with brands is about more than just my page views. Love these points! Encourages me as a new blogger to stay focused. Free spreadsheet too.

Marbles like this are harder to find, but you are very precise. While it takes longer to grow a collection, you know that when you are ready to look at a clear marble that is exactly what you will pull from your bag.

If a brand wants their product presented to a specific interest group that can easily be found on your blog, the number of readers is not as critical because they know exactly what they are getting. Therefore, a smaller blog audience can have a greater value to a brand because their interests are all the same.

Different campaigns. Different goals.

If this is true, then why do page views seem to be so important?

There are reasons why a company would want to work with a blogger who has an abundance of page views, but the requirements depend on the goal of their campaign.

Larger general niche blog with less engagement.

Perhaps a brand’s goal is product recognition. The main purpose of their campaign is to have a lot of eyes on their brand. They hope that by pushing their logo into a crowd of people that those readers will feel a greater connection with the product when they see it in the store.

The engagement of the blog is not as important as the size. The topic is somewhat important but it is not critical to the campaign’s success. So, the marketing department chooses a large blog.

Smaller micro-niche blog with moderate to high engagement.

But, what if the goal is conversions?

If the brand is looking for product sales or to grow an email list of hot leads, the campaign requires a laser focus. The company knows exactly who their target audience is, and they look for topical blogs to match.

Engagement also becomes important.

If the audience is responsive and the blogger maintains an active community, the brand understands that the readers TRUST the blogger. Trust is easily measured by the amount of transparency shown when readers engage. As for the amount of engagement needed, the average engagement per social media platform varies.

Why relationships matter

But how does a brand find you? How can you get their attention?

Focus on the relationship.

Giving value. Getting attention.

If you want a brand to invest in you, invest in the brand. When you use their product, show it off on social media. And tag them! Use pictures to show off how you are using their products. Include them in your blog post.

Here are a few examples…

  • Staying the night in a hotel? Share a picture of the comfy bed on Instagram and tag the hotel. You can share the location if you choose.
  • Cooking with a certain ingredient or tool? Mention the company in a tweet when you post the recipe.
  • See a brand share a post to Facebook? Re-share it to your blog’s Facebook page.
  • Notice a hashtag on a brand’s marketing? Use it to share relevant content that adds value to the brand.

Engage with your favorite brands on social media by commenting, liking, sharing, and retweeting their posts. Big companies are seeking engagement just like bloggers. Plus, when you can add value to their message, they will love you even more.

Show you are a fan before sending a pitch. #Influencer @TabithaPhilen (TWEET THIS)

You want to clearly communicate that you are a huge fan of a brand before you ever contact them with a pitch.

Making friends. Getting campaigns.

Despite the numbers, engagement, and niche, you must remember that brands are actually run by people. People who are looking for meaning in their lives. People who desire relationships.

When you build genuine relationships with the people managing a brand’s marketing, you getting a double bonus. Not only do you make a friend, but you become the person they think of when a new campaign matches your blog.

The best way to meet the public relations team for any brand is at blog conferences. Brands will sponsor a conference with the intent of scouting for bloggers. They pay for the food you eat, bring loads of swag, and want to work with you. It’s the ideal situation!

So choose your conferences wisely and research who the sponsors will be.

Do your homework

Preparation is always key to your success.

As you build relationships and before you send your pitch, you need to put on your super sleuth hat and do your research. Ask yourself some important questions about why you want to work with a brand and determine if that company is a good fit for you AND your audience.

Visit their website and look for these clues:

  • What is the company’s mission statement?
  • How are they marketing themselves currently?
  • Are they focusing their marketing on a new product?
  • What hashtags are they using?
  • Have they sponsored content on other blogs?
  • Who is the media/PR contact?
Why my access to working with brands is about more than just my page views. Love these points! Encourages me as a new blogger to stay focused. Free spreadsheet too.

Also google to see if other bloggers are talking about the brand.

  • Which product did they review?
  • Which benefits did they feature?
  • Which benefits did they miss?
  • What would you do differently?

As you research the brand, keep notes in a brand tracking spreadsheet so you can easily reference the information and save time in the future.

Another tip: Every time you mention the brand on your blog or in your social media, link to their website using a short link that will track the number of clicks. If the number is good, mention it when you approach the brand to prove your audience is interested.

Then, when you are ready, send your pitch.

A brand will never work with you if you do not first express interest. Yes, you could wait for them to approach you, but why? Start building relationships and making money today.

Free Tracking Spreadsheet for Working with Brands

Want the spreadsheet I use to research brands? Get it for free as an Inspired Bloggers University Member. You can sign up for FREE and find the spreadsheet on your profile page.

I Need this spreadsheet.

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Writing Content to Produce a Profit

If you interview the most experienced bloggers, they will tell your that 80% to 90% of their blogging income comes from 1% to 10% of their posts. The most popular posts contain content that converts into a profit.

Are there certain keywords that can increase the profitability of your blog posts? You betcha! Learn how to write posts that will increase your blog revenue significantly.

Meanwhile, you are slaving away and cranking out post after post hoping to get lucky.

How is it possible to write less but profit more? There are two paths you can take.

Path One: The Adsense way to profitability

Don’t bounce off yet. I know… many of you see the word ADSENSE and automatically freak out. I promise to make this as simple for you as possible.

How Adsense works

Google Adsense is a bidding-based advertising platform. Some companies are willing to bid more through Adsense to show up as an advertisement in search results and/or on your blog’s sidebar. When you use search engine optimization on your blog to create a blog post or page targeting these keywords, you can drive traffic to the Adsense ads on your blog.


Imagine an auction where people crowd in with their numbered paddles and wait for the auctioneer to open bidding on items of interest… except in this scenario, the crowd is full of advertisers and the auctioneer is Google.

But what are the items up for bid? They are keyword searches based on topics. For example, “easy slow cooker recipes,” “best laptop deals,” and “printable calendar” are all potential keyword searches.

As a hot item – or a popular keyword – is placed up for auction, the bidding begins and is pushed higher and higher until one advertiser trumps all others with a high bid. That advertiser is then seen in two potential places: search results and in space designated for Adsense ads on topical blog posts.


When you write a blog post or create a new page, Google sends robots to scan for keywords.

Keeping with the auction analogy, think of the robots as prospectors who are checking out the items before the auction begins. They report back to Google with what they find and Google creates a catalog of the entries in preparation for the auction.

When someone places those keywords into the search bar, the auction begins. When the person selects your link from the search results, the highest bidding advertisers shows in the Adsense placements available on your blog.

We will save how Google chooses who shows up first in search results for another day but this is the point… When a person clicks or views the advertisement (depending on the advertiser’s contract with Google), you receive a payout.

Simply put…

It boils down to how Google makes money. Content that attracts an expensive audience helps Google get paid. When you are using Adsense and writing the content people want, Google passes part of that profit on to you.

[Credit: Wordstream
[Credit: Wordstream]
Using Adsense to monetize your blog

But should you write just to drive traffic from Google and get a payout? No.

Your content should be a natural extension of your blog’s personality. Otherwise, your tribe of readers will wonder what has happened to you and leave without a second glance. So, consider your current niche, your existing categories, and find the hot keywords related to your content.

Sound complicated?

Lucky for you… there is another way to write profitable posts.

Path Two: Affiliate-driven blog content

A different option for writing blog posts that convert into profit is to think from the outside and work inward.

Choosing your affiliate partnerships

When you consider your blog, what are your readers needing when they land on your posts? Which companies offer products that can solve their problems? And do those companies have an affiliate program?

Not sure? Just search the company name and the word “affiliate” to see what pops up.

Nothing? Be sure to check the major affiliate marketing agencies: Shareasale, Commission Junction, and Linkshare.

Picking the payout

What if there are multiple companies who can offer the same solution and you have no loyalty to either? Choose the one with the higher commission.

Ever wonder why so many blog experts recommend BlueHost over other blog hosting companies? Is it because they are the best? (Insert choice adjective here) no! It’s because they have the highest payout of any blog host.

But, how do you find the profitable keywords?

How do you know which keywords receive the highest bids? Which words should you use in your posts to target the more profitable ads?

Ideally, you want to find keywords with a high popularity and low competition. Google Adsense Keyword Planner is a free tool available for advertisers trying to create Adsense campaigns but it is also available to you.

Keyword Analysis for Newbies

If the idea of using the Keyword Planner intimidates you, other keyword analysis tools are available.

HitTail -This is probably the simplest tool I have found to locate keywords you should target based on your existing blog content.

Have your website analyzed automatically and receive recommended keywords that fit the topics on your blog. You can try it for FREE and export the recommendations in a CSV file (which can be opened by Excel, Numbers, or with Google Drive.)

>>Try HitTail for FREE.<<

If you love it, you can keep the subscription and unlock more recommendations for just $9.95 per month.

HitTail also offers a free SEO crash course available to email subscribers.

SEMRush – You can see the keywords people are using to find your blog content and who is linking to you with SEMRush. Also use SEMRush to research keywords for new categories and see their popularity and the competition across the internet.

>>Try SEMRush for FREE.<<

Get started now! Place your blog URL in the search bar and see your backlinks, popular keywords, referring blogs, and much more.

And a HUGE keyword tip

There are certain keyword helpers – or long tail keywords – that I call “cart triggers.”

As people are searching with the intent to purchase, they go to the browser search bar and look for the item PLUS a cart trigger word or phrase. These long tail keyword are often high traffic and low competition making them prime targets for your posts and pages.

Some of these cart triggers include “free,” “coupon code,” “best,” and “review.”

Are there certain keywords that can increase the profitability of your blog posts? You betcha!
Sign up for FREE Inspired Blogger University membership and get the cheatsheet to increasing your profits!


Let’s see how this looks in real life…

Sally goes to her computer because she is thinking of purchasing a new refrigerator. She is budget conscious and searches for “best refrigerators.” If you are have an affiliate relationship with a company that sells refrigerators, this is your moment to let her know by having a post on your website called “best refrigerators.”

Perhaps Sally has narrowed her search and wants to see what others are saying about a specific refrigerator. She searches for “LG refrigerator review.” See how these qualifiers can add value?

As you add cart triggers to your niche keywords, you will see the amount of traffic drops as people are making more general searches. However, the intent to make a purchase increases with specificity and that drives up your profit.

Final tips for converting content to profit

I would fail you miserably if I did not issue some final advice for writing content that produces a profit.

Give your best content

You want your content to convert into a profit? Then give those posts your absolute BEST. Hold nothing back. Fill the page with amazing, problem-solving solutions. Concise. To the point. But undeniably… the best you can write.

Don’t play games, making readers jump page to page. No. This is not about getting page views. This is about getting PAID.

Don’t fluff up your content with adjectives trying to make it sound more interesting than it is. Buyers can see right through that. Offer balanced advice and real solutions.

Do link to other amazing content on the subject. Do give readers a way to subscribe to your blog. Do remember to insert your affiliate links.

Then, promote the heck out of your post.

Abide within the rules

When you signed up with Adsense as an affiliate and each time you commit to a new affiliate agreement, you are agreeing to the terms of the partnership as outlined by that company. Did you read those contracts? If not, do it now.

You want to make sure you understand the rules and keep within the limitations. For instance, Google has limits on the number of Adsense placements you can have on each page of your blog. They also state that you cannot have a drop down menu (or any drop down feature) over an advertisement.

Do not risk getting bounced from the Adsense program by violating those rules. You will NEVER (okay… maybe not NEVER but it will be REALLY hard to) be added back.

Place ads in hot click locations

If you are thinking about the Adsense path, you want to maximize your efforts by putting your ads in strategic locations. Using a heat map can help you find those spots on your blog. Typically, the best locations are:

  • below or within your blog header
  • top of the left side bar
  • under your post title (That’s mobile-responsive area too!)
  • within the text of your post (That’s mobile-responsive area too!)

Not sure where to find a heat map? You have one available for free in your Google Analytics account. Just choose Behavior > In Page Analytics. Then, select to “show color.”

Are there certain keywords that can increase the profitability of your blog posts? You betcha!

You can also use the Page Analytics Chrome Extension.

Keep it simple

As you are creating your new blog posts and pages, the temptation will be to load the page down with your affiliate links… but don’t.

Remember how your mother taught you that less is often more? In your blog post, you need to have a clear call to action that motivates the reader to the ONE THING you really want them to do. Often, if you give a reader too many options… too many links… too many ads in the sidebar… they will choose to do NOTHING.

Have a very clear call to action and let everything within your post, around your post, guide the reader toward your goal.

While researching and preparing your content for these profitable posts and pages will take significantly more time, the revenue will make the effort very satisfying.

Now… get busy.

Are there certain keywords that can increase the profitability of your blog posts? You betcha! Learn how to write posts that will increase your blog revenue significantly.

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