Blogging Basics

First of all I want to thank Danielle from The Mommy Chronicles I swiped this right from her site.  Why? Because its good info for all of us and needed to be shared.  Make sure you drop her a word of thanks if any of this is helpful to you.  Thanks Danielle

Mommy Blogging Basics (SEO, Traffic, Backlinks and Monetizing)

Since I have entered the world of mommy blogging I have been blown away with all of the handy information that I have found out there on everything blogging from SEO to monetizing your blog.  I have really taken an interest in this part of blogging and how it all comes together.   I was making my rounds through all the mommy blog networks and I kept seeing a common theme new mom bloggers and even not so new mom bloggers were trying to figure out what they were doing wrong and why they were getting the traffic, follower and money they had expected to see from there blogging venture.

So I have compiled everything that I have come across and learned here to make a sort one stop shop for mom blogger across the web. There is so much information that I want to pass to you all so I would suggest just taking it all a step at a time I will try to break it down into steps based on the order of importance.

Note:  One thing that I am not going to address here is content because I feel that we as bloggers should all know that by far content is key and its content that will keep them coming back for more.
Here goes…. (Hint: If its a color it’s a link)

Step One:  SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

What is this you may ask well this plainly said this is something that you do to make your site more attractive to search engines.  You want to make sure that you have the best possible keywords and phrases in your meta tags so that search engines with pick you up and send you more traffic.  You may be thinking how will I know that I have picked the best possible keywords well here is how by using the free keyword tool provided at Google AdWords (here is the direct link Keyword Tool ) by plugging in your url or different keywords and phrases you can find out how popular those particular words and phrases are and what the competition level is within those keywords.    Here is what I do I get the big list of keywords and phrases that google suggests and I pick the ones that get the most searches monthly and then I narrow those down to the ones that have the least amount of competition this way I know that I have a better chance of showing up higher in the search.

Your ultimate goal here is to show up on the first page when someone searches your keywords and phrases.Now if you are saying to yourself I have no clue how to add meta tags or how to create them there are some very good resources out there to help you out here are the links.
1) Meta Tag Generator
2) Free Meta Tag Generator
3) Submit Corner

Okay so your meta tags are complete and you have picked the best possible words and phrases so lets move on…There are some other things that go with SEO but we are just sticking to the very basics here.

Step Two: Increasing your Traffic
Ultimately you are probably writing a blog because you want someone to read it. Right?   So here is my extensive list of how to drive more traffic to your  site.  Increasing your traffic is all about how you market and promote your blog.   If you take the laid back attitude that some take it may take you a much longer time see the real flow of people that you are hoping for.  But if you are ready to get serious and network and market your butt off here are my suggestions for you.

EntreCard- This is a lot like a business card for bloggers. It is divided up in categories so that you can target other bloggers in your specific niche. You install a small widget on your blog and when other members of entrecard stop by they drop on your widget. You can drop up to 300 times a day and for the most part if you drop they will follow. It offers a nice boost in traffic.

Adgitize- This program offers 2 things they offer advertising for about $14 a month and they offer to have you as a publisher put their ads up on your blog. As a publisher you get points everytime your page loads, these points translate into dollars. You also gain points from clicking on other people ads ( which are just other blogs). As an advertiser you also get points that translate into money. In the first month you make your $14 dollars back basically making you all profit and increasing your presence in the blogger community.

Blog Directories-
I can’t say enough about getting your blog out there.  No one will know that it exist if it isn’t listed anywhere.  There are a lot of directories out there but these are the top three in my opinion that you want to make sure that you are listed with.  Check them out and submit your blog.  Not only will these help to generate traffic but they will also help in the creation of backlinks which will discuss shortly.
1. Technorati
Blog Catalog

Blog Networks- The five networks I have listed here are by far the best networks for the mom bloggers out there.  You want to get out there and talk to other moms that are blogging you want to go out and visit and follow other blogs.  Your blog is not the only on the web and you need to see what’s going on within the world of the blogging moms.  Being linked to these networks will also spark new ideas, friendships, networking opportunities and make your blog better for you and your readers.  Don’t just join these networks and think you are going to get an explosion of traffic but actually participate in discussions and make sure to link back to your blog in every discussion or post that you do while visiting (backlinks).  You want to build your presence in the community and let everyone know that you are here and your ready to rock it and people should take notice.  Be helpful there are enough people and traffic for everyone.  Help your fellow blogger out because you never know when you might need someone help you out.

1.     SITS Girls-  I am only going to write about this one because it is unique in the fact that they have created tribes (small networks) that you can join so that you can get better acquainted with your fellow mom bloggers.  You are given assignments each week to build up your network and to help build up your blog.  All the members of each tribe follow and comment on each other’s blogs.  They follow you on twitter and become fans on facebook.  This networking site offers a much more personable atmosphere.  This has to be my top pick as far as blogging networks.

2. Bloggy Moms
Mom Blog Network
Mom Bloggers Club
Blog Frog

Here is the skinny on giveaways.  You like free stuff, well so does everyone.  A very good deal of traffic will come to your site if you tell them you are going to give them something that is free.  This is how I have build up my email subscriptions.  You set up a giveaway and then you make the rules.  If you are comment hungry you can make a rule that in order to enter into your giveaway they will have to comment on at least 2 of your post, this is all really up to you.  I didn’t realize the power of a giveaway until I put one up on my page, try it and you will see.  And if you are wondering how anyone will know about your giveaway here is how.  You have to tell them simple as that you need to go into your networking sites and post that you are doing a giveaway you will also want to post to giveaway directories such as the ones I am going to list for you below.

  1. Prizey- I have gained the most hits from using them I would have to give them two thumbs up.
  2. Tip Junkie Giveaway Directory

Social Media- Love it or hate this is your way to reach a very large audience.  By combing all or a few of these things you can reach a very big group of people who will spread the word about a your blog, a funny article you wrote, an awesome picture you posted just about anything that they found that interested them.

1.     Facebook- Create a fanpage for your blog and then guilt all your facebook friends and family into becoming your fan’s.  This will have domino effect because once they do this then all  of their friends will know about and maybe come fans and it will just continue in that manner.  A lot of the bloggers that I interview for my Mom Blogger You Should Know articles on Mondays credit facebook to their increase and steady flow of traffic.

2.     Twitter- I am not twitter but like I said this will put you out there to a larger audience.  Just about anybody and everybody has a twitter account and because people are nosy by nature they will follow just about anybody so you may get some very unlikely visitors but more traffic never hurt anyone.  Also by getting a wider fan page you can get a wider range of comments and thoughts about the things that you post.

3.     Digg- This is my holy grail.  The majority of the traffic that I get comes from Digg.  After you register on Digg you can go in and comment on their top stories. Within your comment link back to your blog or one of your post and as people read your comment they will more than likely click on your link and check out your blog. If you have entertaining content that pulls them in you may just hook so new readers and followers.

4.     Reddit- Much like Digg but a little less pretty and actually becoming more popular after the recent updates that digg has done to their site.

Step Three: Backlinks, Backlinks, Backlinks

Backlinks serve as validation to your site.  When a site links back you they are basically saying hey this blog is alright and worthy.  Now here is the deal you don’t have to wait for someone to link to one of your post you can go out there and go backlink crazy on some blog butt.  What you want to do is find is comment,comment, comment.  When you comment anywhere you always want to include the link back to your site.

So as you make your round to all the networks, forums, directories and social media sites you need to be dropping your link on all of them so that you can create a good amount of back links.  The key here is to place your link on sites that are related to your niche and one that have good google page rank.  When you leave your link on a site that has good amount of page rank you get a little shine off of them and google takes this into consideration when it comes time to rank you.

The more good solid backlinks you have the better your page rank will be.  So go crazy on the comments and get your backlinks up.  If you are wondering how many backlinks you have you can check out one of my fave backlink checkers.

1. Free Back Link Checker Tool

Step Four: Show me the money (Monetize Your Blog)

Alright so now you have completed steps 1-3 and you are thinking to yourself I want to see the money right now.  I am sitting here pouring out my heart and I have not made not one single penny from this darn blog.  Yeah I know it’s frustrating but now you’re ready to monetize your blog.  I know that everyone has their own way but here is what has worked for me thus far.  I have actually ordered them in the order of what has shown me the biggest returns.

  1. Adgitize (yes you saw this before and it is back)-  I have to say that I was surprised by this site it really isn’t much to look at but it pays well.  The payout is based on a point system you get a certain amount of points a day and those points are then converted into money.  Your points come from a variety of different avenues such as how many times your page loads and the ads are displayed, how many page views you get, your participation in their forums, and if you are an advertiser (only $14 bucks a month which you make back within the first month).
  2. AdBrite- This is like adsense but I have noticed that I get better payouts and am always well above what adsense pays me.  I love this site because you get to pick and choose the ads that you want on your site based on your own critera so you can go in and choose the sites that payout the most and only show those or you can set it to auto and show all the ads. They also let you add adsense so if adsense has a higher paying ad they will show that one versus the one from them (this is a win-win). You can request payment as soon as your account reaches $5.00
  3. Commision Junciton- Now if you have a really good traffic base and you have a really good idea of what your readers like or you are a blogger that blogs about a specific thing lets say cooking for example you can go to CJ and find The Pampered Chef and become one of there affiliates and then place their ads on your site and whenever any of your readers visits and buys something your will get a percentage of the sale.  You also have the option of showing specific products to your readers and selling those on your site.  Some of the companies also just pay for leads such as CafeMoms they pay $2.00 for each person that just signs up for their free community.  This is an excellent tool to monetize your blog in my opinion.
  4. Adsense- I think we all pretty much know what google adsense this is much like adbrite that I discussed earlier.  I personally find them more difficult and you have to reach $100 dollars before you ever see a dime of your hard earned money.   This one is by far the lowest on my list because I am not that big of a fan of it but I know that some bloggers love it and think that it is great, to each his own.

And I didn’t mention these two but now I am:I believe that these are valuable assets when it come to seeing how your blog is performing:

  1. Google Analytics
  2. Website Grader
  3. Blog Grader
  4. Page Rank Checker
  5. Alexa

Now I hope that my tips have helped you and I want you to know that I am always here to help.  If you need some one on one hit me up at .  I am one class away from a degree in elementary education so I am a teacher at heart and am more than happy to help anybody who is looking to further their vision and blog.  Also comments are enabled on this page so if you would like to make a suggestion that could benefit everyone please leave it here and share the knowledge.

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