The greatest thing about the Internet is that it is full of so much information on how you can build great websites that have the potential to allow you to quit your day job and start a working-from-home-Internet-business. This is also the worse thing about the Internet as so much of the information out there is complete drivel.
So, the hopefully help combat this problem the Internet faces I shall share a few tips that helped me turn myself from a clueless blogger to a reasonably successful online businessman.
Let’s first be clear. I say “reasonably successful” for a good reason – although I am living off my websites, paying my mortgage and supporting my family, I am certainly not driving sports cars or going on exotic holidays. I am surviving online and I am very happy with where I am, but I am a million miles from being an Internet millionaire. So if you are looking for tips to make a million online you have come to the wrong person!
Where I can offer guidance is in how to turn an ordinary blog, or series of blogs, into a small business.
1. Build a Great Site
This may seem obvious but so many people see this as something to do later. Over the years so many people have got hung up on SEO, search marketing (paid ads) and social media that they have forgotten why they want to drive traffic to their site in the first place. Make your site great, make it stand out amongst the others. You may not have many readers now, but ensure that you provide each of your readers with something truly worth reading. And make sure that your site looks great.
People do not like slow and ugly sites, they love sites that look great and respond quickly.
2. Write your own articles
If you are a blogger then for your main money sites you should really be writing your own articles. For a blog to develop into a brand it needs an identity, and your voice is the first identity it will have. If your site has a hundred different writers there will be no continuity across through the pages and readers will soon get bored.
People do not follow good blogs, people follow good bloggers!
3. Build social media pages
Do not go overboard on social media, just build a few of the important ones. Facebook, Google and possibly LinkedIn. There are hundreds of social bookmarking sites that you could build profiles on but your time is better on building a few very good profiles rather than many thin and infrequently updated ones.
4. Do your own SEO
OK, I mentioned SEO earlier. Some people make the mistake of doing nothing but SEO, and that is bad. Still best to get your site in order first. But just as important, in my opinion, is to be in control of your SEO. If you outsource then you lose control.
Now, some SEO agencies are excellent and worth every penny (or cent) that you pay. However, their prices are very high too, far too high for a small time blogger. There are many cheaper overseas agencies, but these are not always a good option. The biggest problem with outsourcing SEO is that they will just follow their own usual methods which may not be efficient or even helpful for your business. Also, SEO is not a one time solution, but a constant part of your business. One method I use in SEO is to always look to build new relationships when I create new content. There was a time when you could just write new content and new visitors will come. That is still the case for well established sites, but if your site is new then you need to keep working on it.
There is a good reason for this approach though. If you have just written a new article then it may be a topical subject which means that you can easily build up some buzz. With some well time social commenting and guest posting you can build so relevant links to your site and hopefully build some conversation about it.
5. Continuous Improvement
During my years in banking, some managers always talked of the importance of continuous improvement. Always look for ways to streamline processes and do things more intelligently to produce the same results faster or better results in the same time. This holds true online too.
If you wish to grow and develop your blog into a profitable business you must be prepared to continuously improve it in all areas. Improve the content, improve the design, improve your networks with other blogs, with social media and keep on top of the SEO. Also, keep testing revenue models, always look for new opportunities for making more from your site, keep testing, keep a log and implement the best designs, layouts, SEO tactics and advertising or product placements. Never stand still.
Building a great site is a long and hard process. As with any business, it is mostly the people who work hard and never give up that succeed. Try to be one of those people.
Jon Wadehas been working online for many years. He started out running blogs as a hobby but now manages several large information websites. His current major projects areEssex PortalandShareholders Portal.