4 Blog Niches To Avoid At All Costs

I’ve spent some time talking about good blog niches that have a healthy profit potential built right in, but I haven’t yet discussed the top blog topics that new bloggers should avoid.

These are topics that might seem good on the surface – where “good” means “could make a decent amount of money” – but they aren’t. In general, these topics are bad because they have one (or more) of the following negative characteristics:

  1. Small Market Size – No eyeballs equals no money from ads, limited sales, small search volume, and a powerful negative trait I like to call “need to capture.” Need to Capture is a term I made up (because I didn’t know a better one and I’m good with the English) that essentially means – when a market is very small, a successful business must capture a huge percentage of that market in order to succeed. When Need to Capture is high, even small amounts of disruptive competition can completely destroy your business. Note: Small market size, by itself, isn’t always bad. The market for vintage Rolexes is small, but lucrative if you can pull it off. It is, however, surely subject to the Need to Capture effect.
  2. Low Market Value – Some markets just aren’t worth much money. Probably the first thing that pops into your head when you hear this is some kind of market focused on low income participants or low value products, but both of those things are wrong. Low value markets are often low value either because they’re so big that each individual participant in the market is only worth a tiny amount of money (which means you need to be a juggernaut to capture enough eyeballs to turn a profit) or because the products associated with the market are difficult to assign a monetary or transactional cost.
  3. Difficult to Monetize – The best example in the universe is Reddit. Reddit is freaking huge, but it makes very little money. Big forum sites in Web 1.0 were also like this. Both Reddit and the old-timey forum sites drive/drove insane amounts of traffic but can’t/couldn’t turn that traffic into dollars. There are a lot of reasons for this, but it often comes down to the fact that people use sites like this in an informaational or recreational way, which means they’re not generally viewed as venues for conducting commercial transactions. Now, if anyone ever manages to figure out a good micropayment system, these types of sites could turn into enormous revenue generators, but the internet has been waiting for twenty years for someone to figure out micropayments, and nobody has been able to pull it off
  4. High Transactional Risk – These types of topics either have difficulty operating within the traditional, well understood financial structure that everyone is familiar and comfortable with, or they walk some kind of regulatory fine line between “yeah, that’s ok” and “what, shut it down!” These topics are to be avoided at all times, without question.

–> Check Out The 7 Top Blog Niches That Have Million Dollar Income Potential


 


The Five Worst Blog Topics for New Bloggers (Or Any Bloggers, Really)

1. Super Specific or Outlandish Topics

Imagine that you created a brand new sandwich – Peanut Butter & Chili (Chili, the hearty tomato-based stew with beans, ground meat, and spices). This is gross, but your mom and best friend think it’s the bees’ knees. They’re probably lying, but that’s not really the problem. In fact, they might not be lying – they may actually totally love your gross new sandwich.

But, you’re still going to run into a lot of problems trying to grow your PB&C idea into a global franchise of restaurants. Because most people are going to think that crap is wack any never give you any money.

The problem with outlandish or super specific topics is not necessarily that the niche is just outlandish or super specific, it’s that the market is so small.

While peanut butter and chili sandwiches might be super delicious (ewwww) to your mom and your bestie, it’s still going to be hard to open a food truck and convince a lot of people that’s the case.

There’s no market built into the product.

Without a built in market, you’re going to face the task of not only doing all the stuff that goes into launching a normal food truck, but also a whole different list of hard stuff you’ll have to do to find and build a market for your outlandish product. You have to recruit people to your weird new sandwich.

More ominously, what if it actually turns out that you’re right, and PB&C sandwiches are the next big thing?

Well, unless you have the capital to very quickly build out your food truck empire and establish a dominant presence in the market you’ve created, someone with more capital – and maybe more experience running food trucks – is going to swoop in with fifty food trucks and take over the market before you can get your other foot in the door.

Outlandish or hyper-specific topics can be done, but they’re risky from the outset and require a lot of resources to build out if you happen to get lucky and discover a new market. So, in the worst case, you’ll fail with an outlandish topic because you won’t find a market, and in the best case you’ll either have to raise/have a bunch of money to grow your business quickly or you’ll fail because someone who already has a bunch of money will swoop in the second they see an undercapitalized niche.

It’s sometimes hard to tell when a topic falls into this category vs when it’s actually a profitable sub-niche. For example, you could probably build a pretty solid business around certain models of vintage Rolex watches. The market is small, but the product is expensive and the people who comprise the market are very dedicated.

On the flip side, concentrating on baseball cards of players with the first name Paul who played from 1977-1983 is probably going to fail.

Likewise, a topic built around older Leica cameras could be a home run (dedicated fan base, expensive product, exclusive market) but first-generation 3MP digital cameras from HP is a bust.

2. Food

Man, I love food. I love learning about it, making it, eating it, sharing it with friends and family. Everything.

And so do a lot of other people. Well, kind of everyone, actually. I mean, we all have to eat, right?

There’s a huge market in the food niche. Maybe one of the biggest markets in the world. But the food niche is strange. Even though the market is big, super shareable (tweets, facebook likes, youtube subscribes, etc), and just plain interesting, it’s very hard to monetize.

It suffers from the Reddit problem, where participants in the market tend not to view it in a transactional way when they interact with it on the internet.

Try imagining yourself spending some time doing the food topic online. How would you do it? What types of content would you provide?

Coming up with those ideas is probably easy, but now switch gears and think, what kinds of revenue streams could you create around that content?

Crickets. Chirp, chirp.

See, the people you might have as an audience in this niche spend a lot of time watching videos, researching recipes, sharing things with friends (pinterest, anyone?), etc. They spend very little time buying food online, buying access to recipe collections, or subscribing to cheese clubs.

The major cash stream in this niche is going to be advertising, which pays peanuts until you have a big, big audience. Now, if you can get a big, big audience, and you have a quality product, then you may be able to attract tier-1 direct advertisers, which is big money.

Wait, what? What did that sentence mean?

I mean, if you have a lot of eyeballs – lots of followers on twitter/Facebook, an active and engaged user base on you blog, a bunch of youtube videos/subscribers, or things like that, then big, important companies like Williams Sonoma, Jura, and Sur la Table might actually be interested in paying you directly to put their ads in front of your audience. And those kinds of deals can be hundreds of thousands of dollars. But, obviously, you need a huge audience and a sophisticated way to prove it.

It can be done, but it will take a very large investment of time and money to get there.



3. Gambling, Adult, Spammy Garbage

There’s no money to be made in these dark side niches. It’s not productive for me to outline all the problems built in to these niches, but let’s just say that it’s a never-ending ball of headaches that isn’t worth the time. Just stay away. Please.

4. Tech

I bet this one surprises a lot of people, but it’s true. And it actually is kind of surprising, on the surface.

I mean, everyone interacts with tech every day. Everyone. So, the potential market is absolutely huge. Moreover, tech is perfectly suited to transactional experiences. Huh? People buy tech stuff. They buy phones. They buy xboxes and laptops and software. It’s a transactional topic – it has the idea of buying/selling built into it, and people are both are comfortable with that fact and ok with buying this product online.

It’s also very mainstream, so there aren’t a lot of transactional risks involved since credit card processors, banks, and PayPal all totally understand the idea of someone giving you money in exchange for you giving them an iPod.

Supply chains are also well established, regulated, and high quality.

So far, it seems like we have a winner on our hands. And, indeed, a lot of people try this one out. The problem, though, is that this market is captured. It’s controlled by a relatively small number of big, big players, and people prefer to do their business with those providers.

Of course you can, silly! Linus is one of the most trusted tech sources on the whole internet. Check out their youtube channel for hours of techy fun and weird Canadian humor.

In short, tech stuff is generally kind of expensive, and even though the topic is transactional, it requires a high level of reputation and trust to get someone to engage in a high value transaction with you.

It is time and labor intensive to build those kinds of relationships, so this topic is poorly suited to the blog ecosystem these days. I say “these days” because I think there was a time, maybe ten-ish years ago, when tech was probably a really good topic for a new blog. But, there are now too many big players that control the majority of the audience and too many small players competing for the crumbs that are left behind or the few remaining roads into the distribution channels that the big players have.

If this is a niche that interests you, you’re probably better off trying to set up some kind of storefront and dropshipping products. Then you can concentrate your time and energy on building your reputation as a good provider and building a customer base. But, as a blog topic, not so great.

I mean, yeah, you can start some kind of tech review blog and try to monetize it with Amazon affiliate links to products and a little bit of advertising, and it will probably make you a small amount of money. But, as a medium for a growing business, I think it’s a dead end. The business model has too low of a barrier to entry, it’s super hard to write authoritatively on the subject, and the search engine competition is like a gladiatorial life and death battle. (In English, it’s, like, hard and stuff).

In other words, while you can probably drive some Amazon sales you’ll have a hard time ranking well enough in search engines to drive a lot of traffic, you’ll have a hard time building a brand that people seek out independently, and you’ll have a hard time converting users of other platforms into users of your platform.

5. News

News is a curious topic. It’s a little unique because it suffers from an interesting combination of people’s problems and machine problems.

First, obviously, trying to start a blog that provides truly original journalism is probably as crazy as it comes. It’s like starting a TV network or a cable channel. You’re going to need a ridiculous amount of infrastructure, talent, and awesome employees to get anything done. Plus, your competitors are going to be some of the biggest companies in the world. And, honestly, would you rather get News from CNN and the New York Times, or Bob’s Super News Channel? There’s a trust and name recognition problem right out of the gate.

But, you could possibly start a blog that was more of a news aggregator. Some kind of setup that pulls in popular or trending new items and puts them all in one place. I mean, News is kind of Facebook’s entire business model. Yeah, on the surface Facebook lets you post pictures of your cat, share racist and false political memes with your comrades, or make fun of Cindy’s new boyfriend (he’s a dirtbag, Cindy! omg).

But that’s not how Facebook makes money. Honest. Facebook makes no money off of your cats or badmouthing Cindy’s scumbag boyfriend. They make money off of your newsfeed. Or, rather, by inserting things into your newsfeed that their creepy Orwellian algorithms have identified you might respond to.

What I’ve just described is the “machine problem” of news as a blog topic. It’s easy. I mean, there’s a stupid WordPress widget that lets you insert news stories into your sidebar and have a newsfeed of your very own. Because it’s so easy, it has very little value.

I love it. freakingnews.com

The “people problem” of the news topic is that a lot of places are starting to make funny (funny bad, not funny haha) rules about aggregating news stories. All of the organizations that produce the news content have started arguing that news aggregation sites should be outlawed, since they’re profiting off of someone else’s work and investment.

They make these arguments primarily because they are jerks and don’t understand how the entire internet is supposed to function or that its proper functioning builds the importance of their brand.

But, whatever. The bottom line is that news is a bad topic for a blog because it’s too easy to find, too hard to add value, and might, someday soon, get you into actual legal hot water.

–> Check Out The 7 Top Blog Niches That Have Million Dollar Income Potential

How to Write a Blog Post in WordPress and Publish It

So you want to be a blogger. That’s awesome! But what if you’re new to this whole blogging business, and you don’t know the first thing about writing a blog post? Maybe you already have writing experience, or maybe not. All you know is that you have things to share with the rest of the world. In this article, we will help you get started by walking you through writing your first post and publishing it with WordPress.

Start With an Idea

As any experienced writer will tell you, writing is hard – especially getting started. But don’t be intimidated! All it takes to begin is an idea. If you’ve already got an idea, or even several, that’s great! If you don’t, this section will help you start brainstorming ideas of things to write about (and maybe inspire some more for those of you with ideas already).

First, you need to answer some questions. What is the purpose of your blog? Is it intended to be about anything and everything, or is it just filling a particular niche in the blogosphere? Identifying your goals for the blog will help you come up with post ideas.

Part of coming up with post ideas is having a reason for posting. Why are you writing the post? What are you intending this post to do, if anything? The reason could be as simple as “I’m posting just because I can”, but here are some more questions to get you thinking (which, by the way, could also relate to the purpose of the blog and not just the post):

  • Are you writing tutorials?
  • Sharing recipes?
  • Informing the masses about a cause or important topic?
  • Sharing your thoughts and opinions?
  • Providing expertise?
  • Updating friends and family about your life?

Whatever you decide to write, the important thing is that you’re writing about what you want to or what you care about. Writing for your blog isn’t the same as writing for hire – you can pick your topics without having to get them approved or reviewed by anyone. Maybe it’s a rant about a controversial issue. Maybe it’s advice or a tutorial that you wish someone had given you. Maybe you really enjoyed a meme, or recipe, or book, or movie. Maybe you’re just reblogging a post someone else wrote that you liked. You’re only limited by what you can come up with.

Writing Your Post

Writing Your Blog Post

There’s really no right or wrong way to write a blog post, but there is a basic process most writers follow: Brainstorm. Outline. Draft. Revise. Proofread. Publish.

After you have listed some ideas and chosen a topic, it can be helpful to plan out what you want to write. An outline serves as a guide for what your post will say. But not every post will require an outline, so don’t feel like you have to have one every time.

What if, outline or not, you just don’t know what to say? That’s okay. Just write. The act of getting words down on the page will get more words flowing, and before you know it you’ll have written several paragraphs, maybe even several pages. It doesn’t matter if what you’ve written is enough or too much or good or even publishable – this is only the first draft. (Granted, sometimes you can get it right on the first go – but don’t expect to!)

The next step is revision. As with outlining, this is not a step you must take every time; you can choose to simply publish your first draft as is. But depending on who your readers are and how professionally you’re presenting yourself, it may be beneficial to do at least one revision. You can look at what you have written, decide what’s important and change what’s incorrect or doesn’t make sense.

Proofreading is important. Autocorrect does a lot for you spelling wise, but it can’t check the context of the words you’re typing. So just remember to do a little proofreading to make sure you’ve used good English and don’t have any typos. If you want someone to look over your post for you before you write, grab a friend or colleague you trust.

WordPress Search Engine Optimization

Because your blog is on the internet it’s important to remember SEO as you’re writing your post. There is tons to learn about SEO (there are entire blogs dedicated to it, like Yoast and Moz), and we’re not going to be able to cover everything about WordPress post SEO in this post. But one of the most important SEO points to remember when writing your post is keywords.

Keywords are the focus of your post, and you’re probably going to use the same keywords over and over again as you write more posts for your blog. Search engines (like Google or Bing) will notice when you add content regularly and when the same words or short phrases keep popping up. This will help you rank in search results for those terms, making it easier for new readers to find you. To help with your post SEO, you might also consider a free plugin like Yoast SEO or All In One SEO that adds SEO options right on your post page.

You now have the basics of how to write a blog post. If you still want or need some writing help, there are plenty of other resources available. But for now we’ll move on to publishing your post.

Creating A Post In WordPress

Now, there are a couple of ways you can get your draft into WordPress to be published. The first, and easiest, is to write it right in WordPress. Simply log in to your site and add a new post, which you can do one of three ways:

  1. Click the plus sign icon in the header.
  2. From the WP Admin dashboard, go to Posts in the sidebar menu and click Add New.
  3. Also from the WP Admin dashboard, use the Quick Draft widget.

Three Ways To Add A WordPress Post

Whichever option you go with, click into the text editor box and start typing. If you aren’t publishing it right away – for example, if you have to stop in the middle of writing, or you want to revise it later – click the Save Draft button. This will save your draft so that you can go back to it later, even if you log out.

And don’t forget to SEO optimize your post title. Try to choose something catchy that people will want to click. You should also add in some keywords so that you’ll hopefully show up in search results.

save draft

The second way to add your draft to WordPress is to write your post in a word processing program and copy and paste it into the text editor in WordPress. This can be tricky because sometimes the formatting will change or cause problems when you copy and paste it, so if you want to go this route we recommend using a basic editor like Notepad or TextEdit.

Clear Post Formatting

If you really want to use Word or Pages, then just make sure to paste your content into the “text” tab when creating your WordPress post. If you forget, and paste your content in the “visual” tab you can use the “clear formatting” button to remove text formats (bold, italic, strikethrough) – but you will still have to click over to the text tab to look for any spans or tags.

Formatting Your Post

Once you’ve created your content, you can make it better by adding formatting. WordPress has tons of great options built into the post editor to help make your content more readable, both for actual human readers and for search engine bots. To see them all, click on the “toolbar toggle” to open up the kitchen sink.

Kitchen Sink Blog Post Formatting

The Basics

Some important options that you’re likely to use should be obvious from the button icons. Bold, italics, underline, bulleted and ordered lists should all be familiar. These are important tools to help increase the readability of your blog posts, and to emphasize your keywords for search engines.

Blog Post Formatting

Adding Links To Posts

When creating your post, you might want to add in links to related content. This is great! Linking out makes your content more valuable to your readers, plus search engines like it when you link to reputable sources. Just highlight the text you want to add a link to (called the anchor text) and click on the insert/edit link button. Make sure when inserting your links to check the box to open your link in a new window or tab, this way your readers will still stay on your site.

Blog Post Links Formatting

Another link tip is to add a title attribute in the “text” side of the editor (and if you don’t want to do this, or don’t know how, we’ve created a simple plugin that will automatically add title attributes for you). Link titles are important since they let readers know where you’re sending them, as well as for SEO since you can add a better description (with keywords) for your link as opposed to relying on the anchor text.

Adding Headings & Subheadings

You should add headings to pretty much every post you write. These might even be the same headings you used when originally outlining your post. Headings help your readers navigate your content and follow your flow of thoughts. For SEO, your heading structure tells search engines which content is the most important (so don’t forget those keywords).

Blog Post Headings Formatting

Just click on the dropdown box to select your headings. Typically your blog post title will be an Heading 1 (which uses the H1 formatting tag), meaning that it is the most important phrase on the page. After that you should use H2 headings for your main sections of content, followed by H3 subheadings below. You can keep going (H4, H5, H6) but unless you’re dealing with very detailed content it’s usually overkill, and after your H3 headings you can simply use bolded text instead.

Publishing Your Post

WordPress includes a few options for when you’re getting ready to publish your post. You can choose if you want your post to be public or password protected5, and whether you want to publish it immediately or schedule it to be automatically published at a future date and time. There’s also a button for previewing your post so you can see what it will look like live.

publish

WordPress Categories & Tags

You also have the option of adding categories and tags to your post, which we recommend doing before you publish. Categories are more broad, and should be the general topics that your blog covers. For example, here at WPExplorer our blog categories include WordPress Themes, Tips, Reviews, Giveaways and a few others. Tags are more specific, and should be very focused. If tags were added to this post they might be blogging, writing, beginner, blog SEO or something similar.

As you can see, categories and tags are very important for your website SEO, and once you have several posts you should add one or more category and tags to each one.  will help keep them organized for future reference, and help readers as they browse your posts.

categories_tags

WordPress Images

The very last option you might want to add is a featured image. You can insert all kinds of media into your WordPress post, but the featured image is selected using the option to the right of your content.

WordPress Featured Image

Featured images are a great tool since they will appear in image search results. When you upload a new image, remember to give your image a good, SEO ready title and alt text. The image title is more for accessibility, and will be used by screen readers while the alt text is what search engines will see.

Adding WordPress Featured Images

With all of these options set, you are finally ready to publish your post! Just click the Publish button, and you’re done. Click the button to take your post live, where people and search engines can find it!

Need To Make A Change?

If you ever feel the need to go back and change anything, or if you realize you’ve made a mistake, you can go back edit published posts at any time. You can do this from the “Your Stuff” widget on your dashboard, or from the “All Posts” screen.

Conclusion

Writing your first blog post can be scary, but it doesn’t have to be! Follow the tips in this article for how to write and publish a blog post on WordPress, and you’ll soon be blogging like a pro. What was it like writing your first post? How did you feel when you clicked Publish? Share your stories in the comments below!

11 Real Reasons Why Your Blog Is Not Succeeding

Sure, you want comments.

And subscribers, and shares, and likes.

But you don’t really care about any of these things. You want what they will eventually lead to …

Money.

Yes, traffic is good, and so is reader engagement. But if you’re reading this, chances are you’re running a blog with the intention of marketing a business and making some money.

Now, that could be a bit distressing, because most bloggers are broke.

Some bloggers don’t have traffic or reader engagement, and some bloggers have lots of both. But most bloggers aren’t making any money.

Here’s why …

The chain of conversion is everything

We tend to think of conversion as a single event, but it’s really more like a chain of events.

If you market a business online, several conversions need to take place:

  • A stranger has to convert into a lead by being exposed to your message for the first time (in the online world, we call this traffic)
  • A lead has to convert into a prospect by liking what you have to say (this is often done by opting in to your email subscriber list)
  • A prospect has to convert into a customer by buying something from you
  • A customer has to convert into a repeat customer by turning a single purchase into an ongoing buying relationship

This entire process is called the chain of conversion.

Does that sound like a tall order?

It should, because it is — for your blog to make money, you need not one, but many people to smoothly move through this entire process.

And if your blog is like most, then that probably isn’t happening.

Let’s explore all the reasons why that might be, and what you can do to fix it.

Problem #1: You’re a billboard in the desert

The most common problem that bloggers face is that strangers aren’t converting into leads.

In other words, there’s no traffic.

And if there’s no traffic, then it doesn’t matter how well-optimized the rest of your funnel is, because nobody is feeding through it.

So the first order of business is to get traffic flowing to your site. Here are some of the reasons why that might not be happening, and how you can fix it:

  1. Build it and they will come. Yes, content is king, but without an army of marketers, the king can get pretty lonely! The truth is that while epic content is critical, it won’t go viral all by itself without an existing audience to start the ball rolling by seeing and sharing. If you don’t have traffic, you have to go and get the word out about your content.
  2. You just tweet to your followers. If you’re Guy Kawasaki, then your marketing can consist of tweeting to your followers, and calling it a day. But for the rest of us (who don’t have 400,000 followers), you’ve got to get out there and promote. Build relationships with other bloggers, write guest posts, put viral campaigns together, and apply any other strategy for blog growth that you can think of — just get out there and do something!
  3. Marketing in the wrong place. We love to fall for the promises of magic strategies that will get us tons of traffic — the kind that showcase the success that somebody else had. The problem is that you aren’t going after their audience, and your audience may not hang out where theirs does. If you’re marketing in the wrong place, then your audience will never find you! Of course, to market in the right place, you have to know who your audience is …
  4. No clearly defined audience. Obviously, you can’t market to your audience if you don’t know who your audience is. It isn’t enough for you to have a general idea that you’re marketing to “bloggers” or “writers” or “stay at home moms” — you’ve got to get way more specific, to the point that you’ve created a profile of the ONE person that you’re targeting.
  5. Asking for the wrong action. If they haven’t heard of you, then don’t start by asking them to buy — it isn’t likely to happen. Remember that your goal with each piece of messaging is to get the audience to take the single next action. When you’re talking to strangers, the goal is for them to become leads (visit your site) and then prospects (opt in to your list). So don’t even mention whatever it is that you’ve got for sale.
  6. You don’t hook their interest. Yes, I’m talking about headlines. For your blog posts, for your ads, and for the teaser links to your content. They all need to hook your audience’s interest. And you happen to be reading the world’s best blog about copywriting. So go read all about headlines!

Problem #2: Selling ice to Inuits

The second problem is that you get traffic, but they all bounce — no subscribers, no customers, and you’re on a constant treadmill to generate more traffic.

In other words, leads aren’t converting into prospects.

Here’s why that might be happening, and what you can do about it:

  1. It’s all about you. Yes, that’s right — all of your posts are about your news, your products, your company. And you wonder why nobody signs up for more? Forget about your subject area, and think about your customers. What are their problems? What matters to them? That’s what you need to be writing about.
  2. Your content is “me too” content. If you’re just writing generic, bland content of the “6 tips everyone already knows about productivity” variety, or (gasp!) going so far as to actually spin articles, then the truth is that there’s no reason for people to come back to your site, because you haven’t impressed them yet. So pull out the stops and write some truly compelling content!
  3. You don’t draw them in. You get them to start reading your stuff, but their attention wanders, and pretty soon they’re gone forever. You need to draw them in and keep them going, section to section, until they reach the action that you want them to: subscribing!
  4. You don’t make it explicit. Yes, that’s right. If you want your visitors to opt in to your mailing list, then you have to say so, in so many words: “Sign up for my list to get all sorts of goodies. Do it now. Click here.” Put those words, or words like them, near your opt-in box, and make sure to include a call to action in your posts, too.
  5. You don’t optimize. No matter how good you are, and how well you’ve done everything else, there’s always room for improvement — and improvement is had by split-testing, split-testing, and then split-testing some more.

Problem #3: “Just the free sample, thanks”

Sometimes you’ve got traffic, and you’ve got subscribers — but you still aren’t making any money.

In chain of conversion terminology, prospects aren’t converting into customers.

This might not sound so bad (“at least they have the traffic and subscribers”), but without the money, you’re just sinking more and more work into what might be a dead-end project.

The good news is that when you’ve got an audience, you can usually find a way to make some money — let’s explore why they might not be buying, and what we can do to fix it:

  1. You’re selling what they need instead of what they want. As an expert in your field, you know exactly what the customer’s problem is. I don’t mean the symptoms, or the issue that they want to fix right now — I mean the real problem that lies deep down at the root of it all. The trouble is that they don’t know that, and so they aren’t looking for that solution. Start by selling what they want, and then you can deliver what they need along with it.
  2. It’s in the wrong format. Maybe they love what you’re offering, but they just don’t like the format. I mean, really, how many more e-books can someone buy? Try a different format — like audio, video, a virtual conference, live workshops, infographics — or something else entirely.
  3. The price isn’t right. Maybe your product is great, but the price doesn’t fit. You could be asking for way too much money, or you could be asking for way too little. Remember that not only does the price have to fit with the buyer’s budget, but it also has to communicate the right thing about how valuable your offering really is. So test different prices, and find the price that works best.
  4. You don’t ask for the sale. Yes, this comes back to being explicit. Don’t just have an “Add to Cart” link on your site — you’ve also got to tell people that you want them to buy your stuff. Tell them why they should do it, and what they’re going to get. And tell them when they should do it (right now!), which leads us to the matter of urgency …
  5. There’s no urgency. Why buy today when I can buy tomorrow, right? You need to give your audience a reason to take action now. Make sure the constraint is real — maybe you’re raising the price after a certain date. Maybe the first 50 people to sign up get a special bonus. Or maybe you’re closing your program on September 1 (hypothetically speaking, of course …).
  6. No social proof. Nobody wants to be the first one to arrive at a party — you want to know that other people are there, and having a good time. So who’s already bought your product or service? What was their experience like? Were they happy? Were they a lot like the person who is thinking about buying today?
  7. No guarantee. There’s something comforting about a money-back guarantee. It provides a safety net, and shows how much confidence the seller has in whatever is being offered. Most companies offer guarantees, to the point that it looks sketchy if you don’t. So you have to offer a guarantee. But don’t just offer a simple “if you’re not satisfied we’ll give you your money back” guarantee — go over the top. Give them 110% of their money back. Donate $100 to charity. Set it up so that it’s not just about satisfaction, but about results (we guarantee that you’ll add $1,000 to your bottom line in six months, or your money back).
  8. You don’t optimize (again). Yes, it applies here, too. If you want to make more sales, then there are a lot of things for you to split-test: your headlines, the placement, text and colors of your opt-in boxes, the style of your introduction, your product imagery, your trust seals and their placement on the site … and the list goes on.

Problem #4: Once is (apparently) enough

Okay, if you’ve made it to this point in the chain, then you’re probably doing all right — you’ve got traffic, you’ve got subscribers, and you’re even making sales.

But customers aren’t converting into repeat customers.

Which means that you’re always scrambling to find new customers, and to keep that wheel in motion. Wouldn’t you rather have the wheel sustain itself?

Here’s why your customers may not be buying from you again, and what you can do to change that:

  1. You don’t deliver. This is a HUGE problem; if you promise something, your customers sign up, and then you don’t deliver, then you are doing irreparable damage to your reputation and business. In the words of my marketing professor, “marketing is a promise that the organization has to keep” — and you should never, ever break a promise. This probably doesn’t apply to you, but if it does, stop reading this article, and fix it immediately!
  2. There’s nothing else to sell. This is a more common problem: you’ve worked so hard to build and sell your product, that by the time they’ve bought it, there’s nothing left to sell. This is worth taking the time to fix; think about what else they might benefit from — an easy add-on is some consulting to help them get the most out of what they’ve already bought. Remember that a customer who’s already spent money with you is 8 times more likely to buy from you again, and you’ve already spent the time and money to convert them the first time!
  3. You don’t communicate. This is sad to see, but easy to fix; you’ve got happy customers and more great stuff to sell to them, but you don’t communicate with them after that first purchase. This is terrible — you should be communicating with your customers on a regular basis, both to collect feedback about their experience, and to keep the lines of communication open so that you can sell to them again. An easy way to do this is to build follow-up directly into your product, for example with automated follow-up emails and surveys.
  4. You don’t ask for the sale (again). Yes, you’ve got to ask for the repeat sale, too — periodically reach out to your existing customers to see if there’s more that you can do for them, and have a specific offer ready if they do have a need.

Fixing your blog, one link at a time

Every blog has holes in its chain of conversion — and most have lots of them!

So where should you start making repairs?

The answer depends on whether you’ve already got a functioning funnel:

If you’ve already got traffic, opt-ins, and customers: Start at the end, and work your way backwards. First get more customers to buy again, then get more subscribers to buy from you, then get more website visitors to subscribe, and only then get more people to visit your website.

If you don’t have any of that stuff: Then start at the beginning — start by getting traffic to your site, and once you have traffic, work on getting them to opt-in, and then buy from you, and then buy from you again.

Now, a question: how long are you willing to wait before your blog starts delivering dollars to your bank account?

Having realistic expectations is important. If you try to run a marathon as though it were a sprint, you’ll end up exhausted on the side of the road. And if you try to run a sprint as though it were a marathon, you’ll finish dead last.

So what kind of race do you want your blog to be running?

If you’re willing for it to take 2-3 years to get your blog to where you want it to be, then a good strategy is to read business books for bloggers, along with the best blogs in the industry.

But if you want to see results sooner, then get some help. For example, you could click the link in my bio and read about our marketing training program, that just happens to be closing to the public on September 1.

Free Blog Images: 9 Best Sites to Grab Beautiful Stock Images

Are you looking for some royalty-free images for your website? Adding images to your content will help you to attract more readers (and hold their interest), however, it’s not always easy to find good quality, royalty-free images.

In this article, we will share the best places to find royalty-free images for your blog posts.

If you’re a photographer you’ll even find these sites to be great places to upload your images and get some exposure. 



1. FreeImages

FreeImages formerly stock.xchng, has a large collection (300,000+) of photos and illustrations that are well categorized and searchable. There are many ways to find the perfect photo for your blog even new and popular filters.

2. Pixabay

Pixabay is a popular place to find royalty free images that are CC-0 licensed. All the images are organized into categories and tags, so they’re easy to find.

One of the amazing features of this site is the advanced search feature that allows you to search by color!

3. Unsplash

Unsplash has royalty free CC-0 licensed and public domain photos. It also has a great search feature to find images by theme, such as greenery, skies, portfolios, and more.

For fun, there is a Google Chrome extension that displays a new photo in the background every time you open a new tab. (You can also download this background image for personal use.)

4. Photo Pin

Using the Flickr API, Photo Pin is an amazing platform to find images for your website and blog. It searches creative common licensed photos from around the web.

Tip: Try searching by author if you want to find more images from a photographer you like.

5. Pexels

Pexels is an uber-popular website with a large collection of royalty free and public domain photos. You can freely use these images on your website and blog.

All the images are high quality and properly categorized. It is very simple to find images by filtering them into categories or tags.



6. Public Domain Pictures

There are many royalty free and public domain photos available at Public Domain Pictures. You can use the search feature to find something specific, or just browse the categories.

7. New Old Stock

New Old Stock contains only historical vintage images sourced from public archives. Beautiful images capturing amazing events from the past. All these images are in the public domain.

8. Pickup Image

Pickup Image has royalty free photos and clipart. They are all searchable, and divided into tags and categories for ease of browsing.

9. Public Domain Archive

High Quality images that are royalty free and stock photos are available at Public Domain Archive. This website has a range of new and old style photos.

They are searchable, or you can view the categories.



10. SplitShire

You can find a collection of Daniel Nanescu’s photos that are CC-0 licensed and royalty free images at SplitShire. He adds new images on a regular basis.

Simply search the images with the mosaic view, or filter the photos by tags to find the right images for your website and blog.

11. LibreShot

More than 40 million royalty free images and stock photos are available at LibreShot with CC-0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication. You can use these photos on your website or blog for free.

12. Skitterphoto

You’ll find many unique photos that aren’t commonly used at Skitterphoto. All images are royalty free and CC-0 public domain.

13. Stocksnap.io

Stocksnap.io is a beautiful website filled with amazing royalty free and CC-0 licensed photos. These images are well categorized. There is also a search bar or you can filter the photos by categories and tags.



16. WikiMedia Commons

One of the largest sources of royalty free images is WikiMedia Commons, a project of the WikiMedia Foundation. They allow you to use the images for free or give attribution to the photos that ask for it.

However, you can also find many images in the public domain which do not require any mention. Just make sure you check out the information below the image before you use it.

15. ImageFinder

ImageFinder boasts over 130,000 high quality free stock images from some of the world’s best photographers.

Categories are based off of popularity and there is even a trending and new tab. This site is great for stock nature, fashion or generic blog post pictures with images that purposely allow you space to write text on the picture.


16. Shutterstock

ShutterStock is a paid platform. However, it has a large variety of images and vectors that you can use in your website and blog, royalty free. These images are available in multiple sizes and formats.

We hope this article has helped you to learn how to find royalty-free images for your blog posts. 

9 Best Blogging Platforms to Make Money

Looking for some free blog sites to help you start sharing your writing with the world?

Whether you just want to share updates with your family and friends or you want to start a blog and build a broader audience, we’ve put together nine great sites where you can start a blog for free.

We’ll also try to steer you towards the specific platform that’s best for you so that you can get started on the right foot.



Here’s what you need to know:

Nine of the best free blog sites to consider in 2019


1. WordPress (www.wordpress.org)

Best for…people who want to 100% own their blog and customize it. It’s perfect for setting up a serious website that you plan to work on long-term.

WordPress.org is the king of free blogging sites. It is a free platform and can be downloaded from here, but you need to build the site mostly by yourself afterward. While you can find some free WordPress hosting, a better long-term strategy is to pay a moderate amount for standard WordPress hosting.

This is where Bluehost comes into play. Not only is it very cheap (just $2.95 per month on the Basic plan), but it also provides solid features, including a free domain name, 50 GB of disk space, unmetered bandwidth, free SSL, and 100 MB of email storage per account. At this very moment, Bluehost is the cheapest sensible WordPress hosting you can find out there.

Because you’re hosting the WordPress software yourself, you have full control over how your site looks and functions, as well as how you make money from your site. But the flip side is that the setup process is a little bit more hands-on.

Here’s what the WordPress interface looks like when creating a new post:

WordPress - perhaps the very best among free blog sites

On the opposite side, there’s WordPress.com, which is the other face of WordPress – a platform used mostly for personal blogs because it’s easy to set up and free (if you’re okay not having a custom domain name). However, you’re also quite limited in the way you can customize the site.

And especially if your plan is to monetize your blog in any way, WordPress.com will prevent you from doing that. There are better solutions for that purpose out there when it comes to free blog sites.


2. Wix (www.wix.com)

Best for…non-techies who want some “regular website” functionality along with a blog.

Wix is a free website builder that can be totally managed from the front-end. The main characteristic of this platform is that it comes with drag-and-drop options, so you don’t have to handle anything in the back-end. The design is very intuitive and modern, which can be used by both beginners and advanced.

The nice thing about Wix is that it has free hosting included, so you just need to arrange the layouts, pick a template, and you’re all set. It provides a nice collection of free and premium themes and templates for different purposes, including blogging.

To launch a Wix blog, just sign up and make a choice: you can either let the Wix AI create a site for you based on a questionnaire or build your blog yourself – which includes selecting a template and arranging the layouts via the WYSIWYG editor. If you go with the second option, all you need to do is to find a beautiful template and start customizing everything on the front-end, in a live preview mode.

You can add multiple elements to your pages, from multimedia widgets to backgrounds, menus, typography, forms, video boxes etc. When you think the site is ready, click Publish and start blogging your stories. After publishing, you can return anytime to edit the content blocks.

The Wix interface:

wix interface when editing content



3. Weebly (www.weebly.com)

Best for…non-techies who want some “regular website” functionality along with a blog (yes – just like Wix!)

Weebly is another website builder that you can use not only to blog but also to sell products or showcase your portfolio. It is somewhat similar to Wix to the extent that it provides a WYSIWYG editor with drag-and-drop elements. If you want to add a certain button, you can simply drag it to the page and customize it. The same happens with photo galleries, slideshows, and any other multimedia element.

Weebly provides sidebars, media boxes, forms, ad spaces, social media icons, newsletter subscription, and many more. Moreover, the platform comes with built-in analytics and lets you use your own customized domain (for which you need to pay).

On the free plan, you get five custom pages, a Weebly subdomain, 500 MB storage, and ad spaces.

The Weebly interface:

weebly editor


4. Medium (www.medium.com)

Best for…people who just want to write, are looking for access to a built-in audience, and don’t care about having their “own site”.

Medium is a multipurpose platform tackling diverse topics, where anyone with an account can write. Unlike most other free blogging sites, the big advantage of Medium is that your articles will be exposed to a wide audience since the platform is visited by 60 million readers per month (and the number increases every year).

It’s super simple to use – you pretty much just sign up and start writing. But the downside is that all your content is on Medium. That is, you’re not really building your own “space” like you would with WordPress. Read this post for more on the differences between WordPress and Medium.

The interface at Medium:

the best free blogging sites medium


5. Ghost (www.ghost.org)

Best for…people who need something simple (simpler than WordPress, for instance) but offering a modern vibe at the same time.

This is another WordPress-like blogging platform. While the Ghost software can be downloaded for free, you need paid hosting for fuel. DigitalOcean is a great service that supports Ghost: it is cheap and comes with a bunch of nice features to get you started.

To create a post in Ghost is easy once you set up your website. The editor is simple and minimalist, and it offers a live preview of your text on the right side of the screen. On the front-end, you get a Medium vibe, so it’s nice. Near the editor screen, there is a sidebar with settings, where you can choose your preferences.

The Ghost interface:

ghost



6. Blogger (www.blogger.com)

Best for…people who want to write and aren’t concerned about owning their own site…but also wouldn’t mind making a little pocket money!

Blogger is one of the oldest free blog sites, though its popularity has dipped in recent years.

It’s a solid solution for personal blogs, but it’s not the best resource for professional use. It works just like the other hosted platforms: you need to create an account first in order to use it. After you create it (which is simple), you have to pick one of the default themes and you can start writing your thoughts down. This platform has an interface similar to a Google+ profile and the editor looks like a Word page.

Blogger delivers a bunch of themes to choose from, each providing different skins, advanced color filtering, and various minimalist gadgets (aka widgets). But nothing too fancy or any advanced design customization. In general, Blogger has simple appearance options, so the focus stays more on the writing part. A nice part about this site is that it comes with ad spaces that you can place within your content pieces.

The interface at Blogger:

blogger


7. Tumblr (www.tumblr.com)

Best for…people who are into more short-form, image-focused content and don’t need any “regular website” functionality.

Tumblr is one of the original free blogging sites on the web. It’s just a bit ‘milder’ than the others on the list. Unlike the rest of the platforms that are mostly created for publishing purposes, this one here is more oriented to multimedia or social media-like content. The interface of Tumblr is more playful and is easy to get started with – you can simply sign up and then you’re allowed to start posting.

Just like a regular blogging platform, it provides multiple post formats for different types of content. The thing with Tumblr is that it is purely for personal use and wouldn’t put up a great solution if you have business-oriented plans. It is simplistic, offers basic customization options and, like I said earlier, has more of a social media vibe.

Despite not being built for business, it does let you display ads on your page, use affiliate links, and integrate your blog with Google Analytics.

The Tumblr interface:

tumblr


8. Joomla (www.joomla.org)

Best for…people who want to launch a simple personal blog, but care about details such as having a custom domain and being supported by a host. Moreover, if you’re more into old-school, basic website designs, Joomla will offer you that.

Joomla is similar to WordPress.org but not as obvious when considering the free blog sites available out there. Just like WordPress, the software is free but needs hosting and a domain. As in the WordPress case, we recommend Bluehost because it is both very cheap and reliable (and it includes a free domain).

In general, Joomla has a flexible interface that can be used not only for blogs but also for more complex websites (you can choose from a variety of templates and extensions to add custom functionality).

When it comes to the ease of use, the platform provides an old-school editor, that somehow looks like Microsoft Word. It allows you to choose the font, color, size, emoticons, tables, or background. I mean, the tools in the menu make you feel like you’re in a Word window.

The Joomla editor is tabbed. The first tab is the classic texting window per se, then you need to switch tabs to select the post categories, tags, date, meta description, keywords etc.

The Joomla interface:

Joomla



9. Jimdo (www.jimdo.com)

Best for…people who are more comfortable editing the content directly on the front-end of the site. That, plus: you do not need a blog of a high complexity.

Jimdo is more than just an example of free blogging sites. However, in its free version, blogs are the most recommended, given Jimdo’s basic features. So you can quickly create a website with Jimdo by going through a few items (you take a basic questionnaire about your site’s purpose). After you check these options, your site is automatically created based on your picks. The downside of Jimdo is that you can’t have a custom domain (at least not for free) and you can’t remove the ads unless you upgrade.

An important aspect of Jimdo, though, is that it is a page builder: you create blog posts right via the front-end and not via an editor (like the other blogs do). This means that you need to go to every content box on a live page and edit it on the spot, without being redirected to another page. The footer and the logo can be edited the same way. When it comes to the content elements, you have a few options: simple text, text with image, photo gallery, columns, buttons etc.

Via the left sidebar, you can make more tweaks, such as adding the post’s date, title, category, status (published or draft), summary, and image preview. In short, your article will be entirely built from many individual elements that you will edit separately. Text, picture, button… the order is up to you.

The Jimdo interface:

jimdo

Ready to launch a blog with these free blog sites?

What do you think? Which one sounds like the best solution for you?

Also, if you used any of these free blog sites in the past, we would like to hear about your experiences. Submit a comment below.

Free PDF Reveals How I Went From $0 To $10,000 Monthly Income Just Blogging As A Beginner

There have been people that have followed the method described in this PDF that have made more than $10,000 by the end of 90 days JUST BLOGGING WITH NO PRIOR EXPERIENCE.

ONLY DOWNLOAD IF YOU ARE COMMITTED TO MAKE $10,000 IN THE NEXT 90 DAYS BLOGGING

You’ll get the PDF instantly!