Blogging Lesson For Newbie Bloggers

Whenever we talk about earning money online, Blogging seems to be the easiest way. Everyone will advice you to start a blog, put AdSense or any other monetization program and start making money. This sounds so easy. Though, in this post, I’m going to be little Harsh on you and going to talk about few things that I have learned the hard way or things that I have learned after following pro in my field.

Blogging Lesson

When I was in college, making money online was a myth for me, and when people talk about they earn online, I see it as another online scam or find it hard to believe it. In Feb 2009, when I received my first $10 on my PayPal account for a quick Webmaster fix, I realized online money is not a scam, and people like me and you can earn from online work.

Blogging Lesson For Newbie Bloggers

Here in this post, I’m not going to talk about how you can make online, but rather this is a post for all bloggers, who either started blogging or already running a blog for some time and waiting for next kick start to go to next level.

Quality over Quantity

When I started blogging, one of my primary goals was to publish 4-5 posts a day. Quality doesn’t matter that time and whatever interesting stuff I came across, I curated the same on my blog without any new insight. Yes, I was curating news, and this was one big mistake that I made in initial days of Blogging. Believe it, there is no shortcut to success, and if you are in the race of being a successful blogger, it’s time to find out mistakes that you have done regarding quality. If you are one of those who are publishing tons of post every day, it’s time to change the style and jump into the category of quality blogging. While writing a post, try to find what’s new you are giving to your readers. A simple way to do is find the best post on the Internet about the topic you are writing about, and your goal should be write something better than that. And, this can’t be done without research, testing and proof-reading. By the end, if you can turn a single reader into subscriber you have achieved a goal.

Subscriber over Search Engine traffic

For Adsense Blogger, search engine traffic is great, but the real win is when you are converting those one time reader into a subscriber. This could only be done, when you are giving something new and offering a quality experience to your readers. This doesn’t only limited to quality post but also consider another aspect like site loading time, no. of advertisements and so on. If you consider this blog or any other blog as a quality blog, try to find what is your blog missing regarding quality. What made you subscribe to that blog and in most of the cases it’s quality of the articles. Stop reading about unlimited WordPress tricks, but work on basic of a blog and that is placing ideal subscription box and offer popular subscription options. Don’t forget to leverage the power of Facebook, which is Google itself in term of traffic.

Maintain Email list

Again, it depends upon your Blog niche but having an Email list is always a plus point. From the Branding and from sales perspective. Now, most of you are thinking why do we need Email list when we have Feedburner and other free options, but have anyone told you about the limitations of Feedburner. Email marketing services like Aweber, Mailchimp offers feature like Instant delivery, double opt in, spam control and that too at minimal cost. More over, think about the time when Google might become your biggest enemy, how are you planning to drive traffic then? Social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Email list will be your biggest asset. One of the biggest mistake which I did here is, despite of reading about Aweber and Mailchimp advantages, I delayed integrating it into my blog.

  • Why your blog need a Mailing list
  • Start Aweber Email marketing for $1

Stick with Positive people Only. Period!

When we talk about serious Blogging, it’s a creative work. I consider Blogging as a Job of journalism and artistic work. For an artist, it’s important to have positive energy around you and it only comes when you have people with lots of positive energy around you. Follow the entrepreneur, creators, and market leaders. By the end of the day, you will have something new to gain. Get rid of people, who talk negative, see the glass half empty all the time. This will give you more positive approach and seeing people who believe in creating something new, will help you to boost your productivity.

Reading should be a part of your life

When I was 14-year-old, one of the best tip which I got from a wise man is “reading should be an integral part of your life and everyone life”. It doesn’t matter you are 10 or 100, reading is one habit that you should never ignore. Reading habit gives you a new way to see things, you learn a new thing every day, your vocab will improve, you can talk to people about new things and reading something in your niche, will slowly enhance your knowledge and will help you to be an expert with time. Still not convinces, read how reading makes you better.

Avoid useless comments

Every blogger love comments, even a small comment like “nice post” “useful post”, is an ego boost for us. But, let’s see from SEO and value perspective, a comment like “useful post” doesn’t add any value to your readers and your post. Moreover, one backlink will be going to a Website, which doesn’t even deserve it. And since, SEO is all about linking, how can you give a link back to a blog which doesn’t even earn it.

Google Related Links

Moreover, linking to an irrelevant domain is a bad idea. See the image below and most of these links are coming because of commenting. From SEO perspective, it would be better it Google is showing related links to the blog that I often link to. Related links, should show blog which are relevant to your niche, and such comments link might dilute the value of your domain. Accepting feedback from irrelevant domain is not bad, but make sure they earn it. You can check for your domain by typing related:domain.com in Google search.

Don’t be afraid to linking out

This is most common newbie mistake, as Blogger afraid that adding links to an external domain will let your reader jump out from your domain. Which is true, but at the same time you are letting your reader go without adding value. Either you should be a wiki, where you can link to your domain for all stuff or start linking out to useful and best post from the internet. Though, if you are worried about bounce rate, use “Open in new tab” for external links. Also, adding a useful link within your post will help you to create a better relation with other bloggers and also people will find your post more valuable. Don’t you believe so?

And the last but not the least tip, when you read any tips on Blogging, don’t just read it but implement it too.

Google Panda Penalty: Why Your Site Traffic Is Going Down

Google Panda PenaltyGoogle Panda penalty is one of the most talked term in Blog-sphere from last 9 months and we have seen lots of iteration in Panda. Now, when Panda was first released in Feb 2011, my blog traffic was slightly hurt and Panda being a new thing, I completely ignored it. Situation become worse when traffic went down from  18000/day to 4000. And in blogging, losing this much of traffic is like losing a fortune.

Last month in a bloggers meet, I met few pro-bloggers from India and one of the hot discussion topic was Google Panda Penalty. The sad part was, most of them were taking SEO and panda non-seriously, and none of them showed interest to fix it and recover from Panda. Many of them were like it’s just a tweak and with time, this will be fixed.  My answer: Want to recover from Panda, stop planning and start acting right away. The very first step to start with is: Why Google Panda updates are impacting your site. If this impact if good or bad. If after every update your traffic is going down constantly, it’s time to make a well-planned SEO strategy and work on it.

What is Google Panda penalty?

Before we move ahead with reasons for Panda penalty, let’s see what Panda is and what Google Panda penalty means. Google Panda is a major tweak in search engine algorithm, whose aim is to push the quality site up and lower down the ranking of low-quality content. Unlike all previous update, Google Panda is a domain level penalty, which means even if you have 5-10 low-quality content, your whole domain might get hurt because of this. The best way to check for Google Panda penalty is to open your Google Analytics and check these dates for any traffic drop or increase.

Google Panda update dates:

  • Feb 24th 2011
  • April 11th-12th 2011
  • May 9th 2011
  • June 18th 2011
  • July 23rd 2011
  • September 28th 2011
  • October 9th 2011
  • October 13th 2011
  • October 18-19 2011

In most of the cases, you will either notice an increase or notice a drop. Well, somebody loss is somebody gain here again. Now if you have seen a traffic drop, it means somewhere your site is lacking something. Or, you might be giving such signals to Google, which push your site down from the grade of quality site or trust-able site. Your first goal is to find what is it? Is it : Content quality-thin content, On site SEO, Too many ads, blog load time, design and many more. I will focus on some major points which will be helpful for you to lower down the impact of Google Panda penalty.

Site indexed pages

I’m not going to talk in-depth about your site SEO, as there are many resources on the Internet which will help to learn about on site and page SEO. Let’s see the other way, let’s check how Google indexes your blog. Go to Google.com and search for site:domain.com. Replace domain with your domain address. For ex: Site: ShoutMeLoud.com

You will find all the pages that are indexed in Google from your site. Quickly analyze what all pages are indexed and most important part is making sure none of your tags, categories, labels, search pages and any such part of your sites are indexed which doesn’t add any value.  Especially go to the last page and if it’s saying “Show omitted results,” click on that and see if your site pages are indexed with parameters like replytocom or iSalt or any other. If yes, well you need to work on the following factor:

  • Block wp-content, wp-includes access from Robots.txt
  • Add noindex meta tag to Tags, Categories, Authors and any such page which doesn’t add value.
  • Use  canonical tag.

Specially if you are tired of URL parameters and such useless link which is getting indexed in Google due to non-canonical tag, you should grab this .htaccess code for clean WordPress URL.

User behaviour

User behavior on your site is one major factor for search engine ranking now. Bounce rate, time on site are some factors that play a significant role here. If your site is cluttered with news from different niche, your site might have bounce rate. Also, no. of page views/visit is like 1 or 1.5; you need to work hard on your site design, content and architect. As, on an average as a user is reading your post and jumping away. The user might be leaving your blog instantly because of some of this factor: low-quality content, irrelevant page,  too many ads, difficult to read or slow load time. Your target should be lower down the bounce rate and increase the no. of page views/visit.

Thin or low quality content

If you have been writing all news post with no insight or little insight, your domain might be on the verge of Google Panda penalty. There is no exact definition of  Thin content, but here I’m going to give you a quick task, which will help you to understand the difference. Go to Google.com and search for “How to write SEO optimized content” and analyze the first five results. Rate all the five pages on the scale of 10 and once done, analyze why you rated someone higher and why lower. Obviously, all these five results are quality content but at the same time, you measured differently to all 5 of them. If you find an answer to this, you are on the right track and now read on.

From my experience. I was working on analyzing and finding thin content on my blog.

  • Most of my early days post which are usually 100-200 words and most of them are outdated.
  • Too many meta Keywords
  • Too many use of H3 tags
  • Announcement post which dies after some time. For ex: Hostgator June 2010 discount coupon.
  • Pages with high bounce rate.
  • Useful topic but without any insight.
  • Long meta description
  • Page load time
  • Duplicate content (PR, news posts)

Now, once you have found out all thin content on your blog, there are couple of actions which you can take:

  • Re-edit the posts
  • Noindex them and remove from Google Web search.
  • Delete them and remove from Google Web search.

If you are not an expert in this, you might like to hire any SEO expert or SEO company that can do all this thing for you. Talking about my actions: I mostly re-edited those posts that fall into the category of thin content but are useful. I added more information and republished it on the same day. You can see on such example on my post on BuySellads review. This post was earlier in 300 words and offer very less insight. Though the information was accurate but many more information can be added to it. I made all the changes and used LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) to make the content more SEO friendly and boom, that post is now on the first page of Google.

Too many Advertisements

Without ads, it’s impossible to survive as a professional blogger. Google never says No to the ad but a big NO when it comes to too many ads.  If your ads are added in a way, which clutter the site design or you are adding too many ads around the post, you might be standing in the danger zone. Especially, if you are in the practice of adding ads in between the post. This is one of the must things that you should not do. Make sure, you don’t have too many ads above the fold and not too many ads around the content. Check 5 Profitable ways to monetize your blog without banners.

Site SEO

People are speculating that Panda means the death of SEO, which is not true at all. Panda enhances the complete algo of Google search and makes it better. There are many safe SEO practices that everyone should follow for example: Canonical URL’s, backlink building, Sitemap, Site Architect and other SEO checklist. Your on-page SEO also plays a great role here. If you have never done SEO optimization of your website, you might be missing a big chunk of traffic and most important your site might not rank well in search engine.

There are many other factors like Page speed, too many poor backlinks, spun content, too many down times. The best way to judge your site, it let a layman browse your site. See how he takes the action and if he go to other content or just leave. Is he facing problem understanding your content or he has some additional questions after reading your content?

One simple approach that I suggest you to keep is searching Google for the topic you are writing. Analyze the content of first 5-6 results and get an idea of what all you have to cover. Not to forget, even if you are writing complete detail, you might be missing the important on-page SEO factors like Keyword in the permalink, H1-H2-H3 tags and so on. You can probably consider purchasing plugins like Clickbumb, Easy WP SEO or ScribeSEO and optimize your content better on WordPress platform. I have been doing the same from last few months, and all such re-edited posts started getting their traffic back. One easy way to monitor is, grab  Keyword monitor software and check keyword position of any page before editing it, and compare it after 3 days of re-editing it. Adding more to it, after three days, do the social bookmarking submissions and promotion and check the Keyword position for that post.

I have seen my keyword position improving in following pattern 89>38>8. Before editing my experimental post, it was ranking at 89th position for my target keyword, after optimizing and adding more information, it jumped to 38 in 12 hrs. After social media submission, it jumped to 8th position. Though 3-4 posts are too less to come up with such conclusions but yes, it does help. The best way is to try it now and see it yourself.

There are few things that you should start doing from now on:

  • Write quality posts with complete detail.
  • Social bookmarking. (Very important)
  • Regularly update your blog.
  • A nice site layout with less clutter
  • Use Breadcrumbs
  • Utilize Youtube  & Flickr to drive more traffic.

Well, if you fall in the category of Panda beaten blogger, you might be having nightmare about your Blogging future. Though, there is no 100% recovery but once you start recovering from Panda penalty, you will be getting more targeted traffic than before and your earning will be back to normal, even with less traffic.

  • Recommended reading: How to recover from Google Panda effect.

Do let us know if Panda hurts your domain? What all strategies are you taking to gain your traffic back?

4 WordPress Plugins You Should Try Today

One of the WordPress power is it’s numerous plugins and it helps a lot in increasing your blog productivity. Though if we will have a look at WordPress plugin directory we will feel like lost in big directory of WordPress plugins.

One thing very true about WordPress is it’s memory hogging and one way by which we can keep our WordPress  blog optimized for speed and performance is by using some cache plugin and limiting the number of plugins. I have already shared about 4 useful WordPress SEO plugins in one of my earlier guest post. In this post I will be writing about 4 WordPress plugins which are under-rated but are very useful :

Watermark reloaded:

Wordpress Watermaek reloaded

This is one of my favorite plugin these days. Watermark reloaded helps you to quickly add watermark to your images. This is very useful if you use lots of images on your blog and content-thieves copy them on their blog. Specially if  you add interesting images into your blog post, this will help you a lot to drive direct traffic.

RSS Footer Plugin:


This is one of my favorite plugin to get free Backlink. RSS footer plugin add a link back to your blogpost and Blog in your RSS feeds. This is very useful for get a backlink from Auto-RSS blog.  I have few popular blogs whose content is copied by many such auto-feed blogs. To make most out of such blogs, I add link back to my new websites also in the settings of RSS-Footer plugin and this helps in getting free back-link from such blogs.

WordPress Insight plugin:


Internal-linking your blog post is very useful for any blog to increase their ranking. Earlier I used to search via my blog search box to find appropriate article to internal link my old post into new post. WordPress Insight plugin will help you to quickly interlink from your edit post page.  Check this video to understand how this plugin works:

My Comment Manager plugin:


To increase comment we have lots of plugins like comment luv WordPress plugin, Top commentator plugin and so on. Though one simple way to increase comment is by replying to all comments on your blog. This is more like greeting your readers. Sometime you miss replying to comments made on your old posts and this time this plugin comes in very handy. This plugin will let you quickly reply to all un-replied comments from dashboard.

Check this video to understand how My-Comment manager plugin works:

Do let us know any more WordPress plugin which you use and you find it to be very useful for every blog. If you like this article, don’t forget to tweet or share this post.