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Tips & Tricks

5 Ways to Add Convertkit to WordPress to Get More Free Leads

Email marketing is still the most effective way to reach your readers, with over half of consumers preferring email over other communication methods like social media, text, and others.

Getting lead capture forms throughout your site is essential.

ConvertKit has simple, painless ways to collect leads on your website and grow your email list.

The best part? You can do it for free!

Let’s get into how to add ConvertKit to WordPress so you can start collecting leads in five powerful ways.

How to Install the ConvertKit WordPress Plugin

To get started, navigate to Plugins > Add New from your WordPress dashboard and search for ConvertKit. Install and activate the plugin. You can also download it straight from the WordPress plugin directory.

plugins

Setting Up ConvertKit

Getting ConvertKit forms set up is as simple as installing the plugin, adding your API key to the plugin, and customizing your lead generation forms. You’ll be ready to start collecting leads in no time.

Add Your API Key

API key

Log into your ConvertKit account, click on your account menu, and go to Account Settings. Under Account Info, copy your API Key. (No need to mess with API Secret—you’ll only need the API Key for lead collection.)

Next, go back to your WordPress Dashboard. Go to Settings > ConvertKit, copy and paste your API key in the corresponding field and click Save Changes.

API key default form

The last thing we’ll want to change is the Default Form, which is a signup form that appears on all your posts and pages.

5-Ways to Get More Leads with ConvertKit on WordPress

  1. Capture leads with an “in content” form on your blog posts and pages
  2. Capture leads with a targeted lead magnet per specific post category
  3. Get leads in your WordPress website sidebars
  4. Create a compelling ConvertKit website popup
  5. Build a high converting landing page on ConvertKit for free

Designing Your First Form

landing pages and forms

Click on the link under Default Form. You can also access this from the Landing Pages & Forms tab from your ConvertKit account—just click Create New.

Click Form when asked how you want to gather subscribers. For your Default Form, we’ll want to select the in-line form.

in line form

Here, you’ll be able to customize your form’s images and text, set up a landing page, and choose what happens after someone subscribes to your list through this form.

Assign a Form to a Post Category

The ConvertKit Form option overrides your Default Form in the ConvertKit plugin settings. This is useful when you don’t have a lead magnet for a particular post, but have something relevant for that topic.

For example, you could create a form to download photo presets for the photography category in the screenshot below. If you had another category, like social media, you could create a different form and direct your readers to post ideas or a social media calendar.

Go to Posts > Categories and click or Edit the category you want to assign a form to.

convertkit form

Then, click on the ConvertKit Form dropdown and choose the form you want to use.

charlotte form

Incentive Emails

incentive email and redirect to

ConvertKit’s incentive emails are one of the features that really set it aside from other email marketing services. It makes it super easy to tie downloads to specific forms.

Incentive emails give you a way to offer unique downloads based on the form your subscribers sign up through. Just check the option to “Send incentive email” and click “Edit Email Contents” to customize the confirmation email.

At the bottom of this section, you have the option to redirect to a URL or a download. If you have multiple downloads or offerings on a landing page already, you can just add that URL here.

Otherwise, upload the file you want subscribers to download.

Lastly, this section gives you the option to “Auto-confirm new subscribers.” While this might sound convenient, stick to the confirmation email in the beginning.

This makes sure your list doesn’t get clogged with incorrect or fake emails, which can lead to wasted subscriber slots and bad delivery rates.

Once you’re done setting up your first form, click Save. Go back to your ConvertKit settings on your WordPress dashboard and click Refresh forms. You should now have the option to add it under Default Form.

Save your changes and give yourself a pat on the back—you’re done with your first lead generation form!

Create Forms for Specific Posts or Pages

Creating opt-ins for specific blog posts is a great way to collect more targeted leads. For instance, if you have a post about how morning routines lead to increased productivity, you could create a printable that helps readers make their own routine.

Once you have a form created, click to edit your post and select the form from the Form dropdown below your post.

This setting overrides both the Default Form in your ConvertKit settings and the Category Forms.

Add In-Line Lead Capture Forms

In-line forms offer a convenient way for readers to subscribe before they forget, without being taken away from the post they’re reading.

If you’re writing a blog post or landing page that mentions a download, encourage your readers to take action now.

Not in a few minutes, not once they’ve finished the post, but right then and there.

Offering an in-line form while things are still fresh in their mind is the best way to get them to take action. If done correctly, they’re unintrusive and actually more convenient for your reader.

Add an Optin Form to Widgets

Widgets are an easy way to display your signup forms in the sidebar or footer on your site. Go to Appearance > Widgets and drag the ConverKit Form widget to the widget area you want to display it in. Then, select the form you want to display.

In the beginning, you can just leave this as your default form and change the form later.

Landing Pages & Pop-Ups

Create a Pop-Up Form (Modal)

display trigger devices

Pop-up forms, or modal forms, are perfect for capturing attention shortly after your readers arrive or as they’re leaving. To create a pop-up form, create a new form and choose the Modal option.

Under the settings tab, you’ll see some new display options—Exit Intent, Scroll Percentage, and Timing. By default, timing is selected for 5 seconds.

Optimizing Modal Forms for Mobile

Google considers certain forms intrusive, especially if they block the content and prevent readers from easily accessing content.

It states that intrusive interstitials (popup/modal forms) lead to a worse experience than pages where content is immediately accessible. In your case, this refers to things like welcome mats (forms that take up a lot of space above the content) and many kinds of popup forms.

If you’re worried this will impact your mobile site performance, read more about what Google considers intrusive.

ConvertKit also offers the option to create desktop- or mobile-only forms. Under settings in the form creator, there’s a dropdown under “Which devices should see this”—just select Desktop if you don’t want a popup to appear on mobile devices.

Landing Pages and Subscription Actions

Landing pages are an all-out approach to promoting your products and services.

Rather than dedicating a section at the end of a blog post or a quick mention of your products in your content, you’re dedicating a whole page to converting your readers to buyers.

Each ConvertKit form has its own landing page in case you want to link to the form on its own. By default, these pages use ConvertKit’s domain, which you can rename under your Account Settings > Account Info.

You also have the option to use your own domain name, but it’s best to use ConvertKit’s domain in the beginning. If you do want to use your own domain, ConvertKit recommends using an entirely separate domain that isn’t being used for website hosting or anything else.

Learn how you can create a high-converting landing page and collect even more free leads.

Next Steps

Once you’re more familiar with creating forms and have an idea of where you want to display them, you’re ready to start collecting leads!

Here are a few things you can do to give readers a reason to sign up for your list:

  • Ask your existing social media following to sign up. Let them know what valuable information they’ll get out of it!
  • Write a blog post announcing your new list. Talk about what kind of content they (subscribers only!) can expect to see.
  • Create a download for each of your major categories and set up a form for each.
  • If you’re stuck on what to write to your new leads, start with a story. It could be what inspired you to start your business, a recent success story from a client, or something to inspire them.
  • Once you start getting signups, ask your readers what kinds of incentives or content they’d like to see. Sometimes a direct approach is the best way to get ideas.

The most important part is to reach out to them in the best way you can. Connect with your readers and let them get to know you more.

Categories
Tips & Tricks

WordPress Tags vs Categories: What’s the Difference?

If you’re new to WordPress, it’s easy to confuse the purpose of tags and categories.

After all, they almost work the same way:

You assign them to a post and a new page is created that displays all posts labeled with a certain tag or category.

But once you know how they work, using them together is a great way to organize your site and make it easier for your readers to find the content they want.

Here’s what you’ll learn about categories and tags:

  • What are WordPress categories?
  • What are WordPress tags?
  • Categories vs. tags
  • How to add categories and tags in WordPress
  • SEO tag problems to Avoid

Let’s get started.

What are WordPress Categories?

Categories are the default way to categorize your content in WordPress. They tell both readers and search engines what kind of content lives on your site.

If you have a blog in the health niche, some of your categories might be “healthy eating”, “exercise” and “mental health”.

Your readers can click a category on your blog posts to read more content in the same category. Or, you can add categories to your navigation bar to let them quickly find relevant content.

You should have at least one category for each post. If you don’t create any categories or add them to your posts, everything will go to WordPress’s default category:

Uncategorized.

What are WordPress Tags?

WordPress tags are not like hashtags on Instagram and Twitter.

Trust me, if you were to see 15-30 tags thrown in a post like you see on Instagram, it looks awful.

Numerous Tags in a Post Flowing out of the Door

On top of that, each tag you make creates a new page on your site, which can be a little confusing to search engines.

Like categories, WordPress tags are also a way to categorize a post or page. But unlike categories, you’re not forced to use them. You could go without using tags altogether.

If they’re so similar, what’s the point of having both categories and tags?

Let’s dig a little deeper into the difference between categories and tags.

WordPress Categories vs Tags: The Difference Explained

The main difference between categories and tags in WordPress is this:

Categories are a broad way to categorize your content, while tags are used to define the details of your post.

For instance, you might have a category like “recipes” on your site.

You would use tags to further categorize your posts and pages. You might add a chicken stir fry recipe to the category “recipes” and tag it with “chicken” or “dinner recipe.”

When a reader clicks on the “chicken” tag, they’re brought to something similar to a category page. It displays all of the posts tagged “chicken.”

To sum it up:

You use categories as a broad way to categorize your content and tags to display a more detailed feed.

When Should You Add Categories and Tags?

The best thing you can do when it comes to utilizing categories in WordPress is:

In the beginning, just start with one category. Call it “blog” or something you find catchy and fun.

So when should you start adding categories and tags for WordPress?

Try to aim for 100 blog posts.

I know that sounds like a lot! But hear me out.

How to Categorize Posts on WordPress

While there isn’t a limit to how many categories you can create, it’s important to make sure your blog is focused.

If you stick to a single category until you have lots of content, you’ll be able to see what direction your site has gone and organize content based on your existing topics.

You don’t want more than three categories starting out. If you have a focused niche and a well-planned site, you should only have a few and can add more as you create more articles.

The alternative?

You wind up with lots of unused pages or ones with only a single blog post. These do nothing for your readers or the search engines.

Then, you have to do a lot of cleaning up and set up redirections for all the tags and categories you don’t need down the line.

It’s a huge hassle—I’ve been through it with my own personal sites when I first started blogging. I started out writing about one thing, then took a different direction that didn’t involve a lot of the tags I was using.

I had to set up about 80 redirects and completely change the way I organized my blog posts!

How to Add Tags and Categories in WordPress

It’s easy to add tags and categories in WordPress right from the post you’re working on:

Adding Tags and Categories to a Post

Just click “Add New Category” under your Document Settings to add a category.

For tags, just type the name of the tag you want to add and hit Enter or place a comma.

You can also add and manage categories from your WordPress dashboard under Posts. Here, you can also delete and edit categories and tags.

SEO Tag Problems to Avoid

At most, you only want a combined six to eight tags and categories.

In general, you should only have a single category per post and one to two tags per post. Otherwise, you get lots of issues with competing pages.

Many posts don’t need tags at all. Only create tags once you have a lot of posts that would fit that tag.

For instance, if you have a social media category and focus a lot on Facebook, you could add a “Facebook” tag.

But if you only have a couple of posts about Instagram, wait to create a tag until you have more content to fill it. Readers can easily search “Instagram” on your site and find what they’re looking for—they don’t need tags.

Avoid this Rookie Mistake

You also want to avoid having too many posts that are in multiple categories or share similar tags. Categories and tags should be unique—if they share lots of similar posts, they’re not helpful to readers and can create pages that compete with each other for rankings.

As far as a search engine is concerned, tags and categories (functionally) don’t impact SEO. They’re mostly there to make it easier for readers to navigate your site.

However, there can be a problem if you’re indexing all your tags.

Every time you create a tag, you’re creating another page for search engines to index. Due to how similar they can look to category pages, it’s easy to cause pages to compete with each other.

So what’s the fix?

How to Fix Duplicate Content Issues

The easiest thing is just to make sure your tags aren’t indexed. Most SEO plugins for WordPress have an option to turn off indexing for tags and categories, so you can just go in and set it to “noindex.”

Dont Show Tags in Search Results

However, if you have enough content or you can make tag pages unique enough to avoid issues with duplicate content, there is another solution.

You can create unique copy for each tag and make sure the titles don’t match up with any of your categories. You’ll also want to make sure that most of them show a different selection of articles and aren’t too similar to what category pages are displaying.

However, this is a lot of extra work for something that won’t have a huge impact on your SEO. In general, it’s better just to avoid indexing most tags.

Wrapping It Up…

Now you understand the difference between tags and categories, as well as how best to organize your site with them.

Neat and Organized Book Shelves with Boxes and Plant

Just remember there isn’t a single right way to use them. It’s highly dependent on your site, niche and how much organization you need. Figure out what works best for you and when in doubt, just think of what will make things easiest for your readers.

Categories
Tips & Tricks

How to Install WordPress the RIGHT WAY! Free Step-By-Step Guide

How To Install WordPress

You want to get busy building your website and have decided to use WordPress.

Great choice!

Since WordPress is the most popular platform, there are plenty of ways to go about it.

Whether you are experienced in coding or not, by the time you are done reading this you are going to be able to install WordPress!

In this post, you are going to learn how to install WordPress through auto-installers.

You will also learn how to install it manually.

Or you could go a different route, and get an inexpensive web hosting provider that offers you pre-installed WordPress packages.

Let’s dive in.

WordPress Installation Overview

To make things easier for you, these WordPress-installation methods have been grouped from the easiest to the rather challenging method in a descending order. Here’s a quick overview of what you are going to learn:

In This Article:

Installing WordPress Using Auto-installers

Many hosting companies on the web offer you auto-installers that allow you to install WordPress in a matter of minutes.

So how do you get your hands on an auto-installer? Well, auto-installers are accessible on the C-Panel of your website.

Step 1: Access Your C-Panel

Simply put, a C-Panel is a dashboard interface that helps you manage various elements on your website.

Not to mention, this is where you find a WordPress auto-installer.

Examples of such auto-installers include MOJO Marketplace, Quick Installer, and Softaculous.

While these auto-installers might have different user interfaces, they work in the same way.

In this installation process, you are going to learn how to install WordPress using Softaculous.

However, the steps are similar even if you are using other auto-installers.

To install WordPress using an auto-installer, you must create a hosting account with a company that offers you domain hosting.

You can either create a hosting account using Siteground or Bluehost. Those are two of the best hosting providers out there.

Once you create a hosting account and purchase a domain name, log into your C-Panel by adding a “/c-panel” after your domain name.

You should get something that looks like this: “yoursite.com/c-panel”.

Enter your username and password in the text boxes provided below.

Basically, they should be the same credentials you used while signing up for website hosting services.

(You can contact your hosting provider if you don’t remember the details.)

Head over to the Softaculous Apps Installer section and choose the WordPress auto-installer option.

go to softaculous apps installer

You will be redirected to a page that will ask for your site’s information.

Don’t worry if this process takes a few minutes!

waiting for install

Step 2: Fill In Your Site’s Information

Choose the protocol that suits your site under the protocol section. Since you are installing WordPress for the first time, choose the HTTP:// option.

You can install an SSL (secure socket layer) certificate after you finish the WordPress installation process.

software set up

Select the domain where you want to install the WordPress application.

Leave the directory section blank. This will trigger the auto-installer to install WordPress on your main domain.

Go to the Next section, then add the name and the description of your website.

Step 3: Key In Your Login Credentials

Login credentials will give you access to your WordPress site. You can create login credentials on the Site Settings section.

Examples of such credentials include the Admin Username, the Admin Password, and the Admin Email account.

site settings

Finish the setup process by clicking the Install button on the bottom part of the page.

While some auto-installers might have additional sections, these are optional settings that can be left blank.

Some auto installers might ask you to choose the plugins/themes that you want to install on your WordPress website.

  • Pass on installing additional plugins for now!

Step4: Install An SSL Certificate

Installing an SSL certificate on your site can help it rank higher in search engines.

It also gives your site a secure connection, making it possible for visitors to share personal information without getting hacked.

To do this your will need to first go back to your Cpanel, you can do this quickly by clicking the CP logo here –

go back to cpanel

Access your C-Panel, then scroll down to the bottom part of the page. Click the Let’s Encrypt SSL option.

let’s encrypt SSL

Under the Issue A New Certificate section, select the site you just created, then click the Issue button.

your domains

Check the different boxes to include different domains, then issue the SSL certificate.

Log into your WordPress backend, here’s how.

How to login to your new WordPress Site

To access your new WordPress website you can do this easily in one of two ways.

One, the most common, typing your domain address followed by /wp-admin/ and entering your login information.

Ex. example.com/wp-admin/

Then enter your website login credentials created earlier.

login to wordpress

If this doesn’t work for any reason, you can simply go back to the softaculous installer and below the install section you will now see your current installations.

Simply click the person icon and you will be able to enter WordPress from here.

login to wordpress via cpanel

Once inside WordPress you will activate your websites SSL with a free SEO plugin.

To do this, go to the plugin section of your website.

Wordpress plugin section

Click the add new button

and enter Really Simple SSL and click Install.

install simple SSL

Once you activate it, it will ask you if you are ready to migrate SSL. Click the Go Ahead, Activate SSL button.

almost ready to migrate

The plugin will log you out of the HTTP version of your website.

Type in your login credentials again to log into the secure version of your website.

Head over to the general settings section, then click the SSL option to confirm that everything has been configured correctly.

That’s it! You have successfully used the auto installer.

If you are up and running via the auto installer, then get busy with your website.

Check out this article for next WordPress plugins to connect your new website.

If you encountered any hurdles, here’s how to do each step manually to get your website rocking.

How To Install WordPress Manually

Since auto-installers have become so popular, this WordPress-installation method is rarely used.

However, you can use this method if you want to learn something new and develop your technical skills.

To start this process, you must have an FTP (file transfer protocol) application.

The FTP will help you upload files to an online web server.

One of the best FTP (file transfer protocol) software out there is FileZilla.

Step 1: Install And Set Up FileZilla

Visit the FileZilla official website, then click the Download FileZilla Client button.

filezilla

Once you finish downloading the files, click the Run button on your computer to initiate the installation process.

Open the FileZilla application and click the File button on the top menu bar and select the Site Manager option.

file, site manager

Click the New Site button.

file manager

Enter “ftp.yourdomainname.com” in the Host field (yourdomainname.com should be substituted with the name of your website).

Add your username and password in the User and Password textboxes.

Finish off by clicking the Connect button.

ftp.mysite.com

Step 2: Download The Latest Version of WordPress

Once you install FileZilla on your computer, visit the WordPress official site and download the WordPress files.

get wordpress

Extract the WordPress files from the zipped folder, then use FileZilla to upload the files to your website’s server.

You should upload them to the Public_html directory of your website.

public html

Step 3: Create A Database for The Installation

Log in to your C-Panel. Head over to the Database section, then select the MySQL database option.

mysql database

Create a new database and name it.

Make it a simple name, since you’ll be using the name again.

Then write it down so that you won’t forget it.

bluehost mySQL

Afterward, scroll down to the MySQL Users section.

Now create a new account.

Make sure that you come up with a suitable username and a strong password.

Scroll down to the next section and add the user to the new MySQL database.

In the next step, give the new user account all the privileges to perform superior functionalities in the MySQL database.

bluehost manage user

Click the Make Changes button at the bottom part of the page to apply the changes in the database and user account.

Step 4: Visit Your Domain Name on A Web Browser

Open your browser and type in your domain name.

You will find a WordPress Installation Wizard on your site.

Choose the most suitable language for your site.

wordpress language selection

Now you need to add in the information you created earlier.

Enter the MySQL Database Name, the Username, the database password, the Database Host, and the Table Prefix.

Click the Submit button to proceed to the next section.

wordpress database name

In the next section you will set up WordPress on your newly-created MySQL Database.

Create the login credentials that will help you log into your site: WP Admin Username, Admin Password, and Your Email address.

wordpress welcome

Finish off by clicking the Install WordPress button.

And you are set! You have just installed WordPress manually.

Your next step is to get busy building your website.

You can find the best plugins to use right here.

Best Cheap Hosts That Installs WordPress For You

Various web hosting services offer you different plans that come with pre-installed WordPress.

Some of these companies will even go further and offer you managed WordPress hosting.

This means that WordPress updates, daily backups, and the security of your CMS (content management system) will be handled by the company that is hosting your WordPress site.

If installing WordPress by yourself is be out of the picture, these are two of the best web hosting services that offer pre-installed WordPress packages:

  • Siteground- It packs multiple WordPress-related features.
  • Bluehost- Powerful, affordable, and features different WordPress plans.

Now It’s Up To You

If you are not experienced in using WordPress, you can use the auto-installer method to install WordPress.

If you want to make it even easier you can pay a hosting provider that will pre-install WordPress.

If you are looking for a new WordPress installation experience or to improve your technical skills, the manual installation process might just be for you.

All you have to do is download the WordPress files and upload them to a web server.

No matter what you do, make sure that you install an SSL certificate on your site.

This will give your site a secure connection, which might increase the traffic to your WordPress site.

So what are you waiting for? Go on and make your website awesome!

Categories
Tips & Tricks

The Best WordPress Plugins For Blogs & The 3 Plugins to Avoid

There are over 55,000+ plugins in the WordPress directory and new ones are being added every day.

It can be overwhelming figuring out which plugins to install.

That’s why you need to know:

3 Plugin Types to Avoid Like the Plague

things to avoid

Keeping plugins to a MINIMUM is a HUGE deal.

When you first get into the WordPress store it’s like a free vending machine in Middle School!

However, just like too many candy bars and doritos, less is more.

You should keep the number of plugins on your site to a minimum.

Here’s why:

Having too many plugins on your website is a fast way to slow down your website and open security vulnerabilities.

Here are three things to avoid when choosing plugins.

1. Outdated Plugins

If a plugin hasn’t been updated in at least six months, it could pose a security threat to your website.

Here’s why:

Plugins are lines of codes written in the PHP programming language.

And not being updated means some part of the code may be vulnerable to new malware injections, hacking or bot attacks.

It is in your website’s best interest to make sure that all your plugins are up to date to avoid dealing with security issues and hack threats.

Here’s how to find out if your website is updated:

On your WordPress Dashboard, go to Plugins > Installed Plugins.

 

Next, choose a plugin and click on view details.

view details

Check the date under last updated.

last updated

If the “last updated” is under six months, then you have absolutely nothing to worry about.

But if it’s more than six months, you may need to find and replace it with a similar plugin that is up to date.

2. Untested for WordPress Version

If you are about to install a plugin and you see it’s untested with the version of WordPress you are using, it’s a red flag.

Here’s how to find out if a plugin is untested for your WordPress version:

From your WordPress Dashboard, go to Plugins > Add New.

Add New

Next, search for the plugin you want to install.

Then you’d see whether or not it’s compatible with your WordPress version.

WordPress version

If it’s not, the best thing is to find a similar plugin that is compatible with your current version of WordPress.

3. Slows down Your Site

Another way to determine if a plugin is a right fit for your blog is to check your site speed before and after you install it.

You see, Google uses site speed as one of its signals in its search ranking algorithms.

Site speed is important to users as it helps improve their experience on your website.

Here are two interesting facts you should know:

47% of consumers expect a web page to load in two seconds or less.
40% of consumers will wait no more than three seconds for a web page to render before abandoning the site.

Source

Contrary to popular belief, having multiple plugins on your website doesn’t make it slow.

However, there are certain plugins that are renowned for slowing down your site.

One such example is Jetpack, which comes with lots of features you probably won’t need.

Another one is Google Analytics, which pulls incomplete data to your website from Google.

It’s best to analyze your traffic from Google Analytics website to get a comprehensive report.

Bonus: How To Find Out If Your Current Plugins Are Slowing Down Your Website

Want to know if your current plugins are slowing down your site?

Here’s how to find out:

First, go to GTmetrix.

Next, enter your website.

enter your website

Take note of the load time.

Take note of the load time.

Now, install and activate a plugin.

Go back on GTMetrix and recheck the page load time.

GTmetrix3

If you see a significant decrease in your site’s load time, it means the WordPress plugin has affected it.

You will need to look for a similar plugin that doesn’t affect the speed.

9 Best WordPress Plugins For Blogs

1. Yoast SEO for On-page Optimization

Yoast SEO

Branded as the #1 plugin for SEO, with over 5 million downloads,it is the best WordPress plugin for blogs.

It has lots of key features that can improve your blog’s ranking.

The most important is Yoast helps to generate XML sitemaps which connect your WordPress blog to Google Search Console.

It also uses Flesch reading scores to offer suggestions to improve the structure and style of your content.

So Useful!

One of the best things about Yoast plugin is the custom title and meta description box at the bottom of each blog post.

You need to use this every time!

Why is this important?

These titles and metas are what searchers on Google see which helps them to decide if they are going to click and read your post or a competitor!

Yoast helps you make sure the lengths of these descriptions are not too short or long.

It is so easy to make sure you are staying within the length that Google will show in their SERPs.

Whether you are a newbie or a seasoned professional, Yoast is the best plugin to take your blog’s SEO to the next level.

Key Features

  • Optimise your on-page SEO by adding Meta tags, Meta Title, Meta description, etc.
  • Optimise for keywords, keyphrases and synonyms
  • Generate XML sitemaps and link Google Search Console
  • Use snippet editor to preview your page will look like on Google
  • Use canonical URLs to avoid duplicate content on your blog
  • Improve content readability using Flesch Reading Ease score

Price:

  • Yoast SEO is totally free
  • Premium version is $89.

2. Akismet for Blocking Spam Comments

Akismet

One annoying thing you need to deal with when you use WordPress for your blog is spam comments.

But with Akismet plugin, you never have to worry about spam again.

With over 5 million users, Akismet is the best plugin for WordPress to filter spam on your site.

It works by checking all incoming comments against a global database of spam.

Once a comment is flagged for spam, it prevents it from being published on your blog’s comment or contact form.

As at the time of writing this post, it has kept out a whopping 500,900,438,122 pieces of spam off the web.

Key features:

  • Analyse and flag spam comments
  • Put Spam in a spam folder to review comment (to automatically deleted after 15 days)
  • Works with Jetpack and contact form 7

Price:

  • Free for personal and non-profit sites
  • 5$/month for professional or commercial websites and blogs.
  • 50$/month for large networks or multi-site installations.

3. Thrive Architect for Building Pages

Thrive Architect

This is a WordPress page builder that makes it easy to build stunning landing pages without design or coding skills.

With Thrive Architect, you can quickly build landing pages, sales pages, webinar pages, blog pages and more.

It uses an intuitive drag and drop editor, something their team dubbed “click-to-edit.

And with over 267 beautifully designed templates to choose from, it makes designing websites look like child’s play.

It ‘s not free, but it’s affordable.

Key Features:

  • Simple, user-friendly drag and drop builder with pre-designed templates
  • Comes with loads of elements like testimonials, countdown timers, lead generation forms and so on
  • Integrates perfectly with third-party services like Getresponse, Hubspot, Infusionsoft, Mailchimp, Zapier and many more

Thrive Membership has two Pricing Options:

4. Pretty Links for Shortening URLs

pretty links

Do you plan to promote affiliate links on your blog?

This plugin is for you.

Pretty links plugin is a URL shortener that helps you to shorten, track and manage your links.

Here’s the most exciting part:

You can shorten your affiliate links using your domain name. Unlike other URL shorteners like tinyurl.com or bit.ly which add their name to the URL.

This will give your URLs a unique and clean look.

Let’s say your domain name is mywebsite.com

Assuming you have an affiliate page on Amazon, here the kind of pretty link URL you can create for your affiliate link:

mywebsite.com/amazon

Now, this link will do a 301 redirect to your amazon affiliate page.

You get the idea, right?

That means:

You can share your link on forums, social media, and emails without making it look spammy.

In addition to this, you can track your links from email and social media and get a comprehensive report about people who clicked on the link.

Key Features:

  • Easily shorten URLs using your domain name
  • Create temporary or permanent redirects for your pretty links
  • Track number of clicks on your link
  • Create and share affiliate links on forums, social media, comment sections etc.
  • Get a comprehensive report about IP address, browser, operating system, referring site etc.

Price:

5. Classic Editor for Editing Pages and Posts

Classic Editor

It is an official WordPress plugin that allows you to use the old editor to edit pages and posts.

It’s easy to use without all the complexities of the new editor.

And according to the WordPress team, this plugin will be maintained until at least 2022.

Key Features:

  • WordPress admins can select the default editor for all users
  • WordPress admin can also allow users to change their default editor
  • Users can select the editor they want to use to edit each post

Price:

  • Free

6. Redirection for Managing Redirects

Redirection

Nothing pisses off users more than visiting a site and seeing a 404 error.

This is why it’s important to make sure there are no errors or broken links on your blog.

You do this by using the Redirection Plugin.

Boasting of over 1 million downloads, it’s easily the best and most popular redirection plugin.

You can use it to manage 301 redirects and track 404 errors.

And the best part?

You don’t need any technical knowledge.

Key Features

  • Easily create and manage redirects
  • Redirect based on conditions like redirect if a user has logged out or redirect uses a certain browser
  • Logging option to view all redirects happening on your website
  • Track and fix all 404 errors

Price

  • Free. No premium version

7. WooCommerce for Creating an Online Store

Woocommerce

WooCommerce is a flexible plugin you can use to design beautiful eCommerce stores.

It is fully customisable and works with various free & paid third-party extensions to give it better user experience.

Key Features:

  • Built on WordPress, it integrates perfectly.
  • Set up product pages, cart pages and checkout pages
  • Accepts various over 140 payment gateways like Stripe, PayPal, Apple Pay and more
  • Integrates nicely with Facebook, Mailchimp and Google Analytics
  • Comes with a dashboard to view and track essential metrics
  • Set up free and flat rate shipping options

Price:

  • It’s free to use. You can use paid extensions to extend its functionalities

8. WP Rocket for Improving Page Load Time

wp rocket

Recognised by WordPress experts as the world’s most powerful plugin, it makes your WordPress website load fast.

It’s easy to configure and launches when activated.

Here’s how it works:

When someone visits your site, WordPress has to fetch information from its database, which sometimes makes your website slow to load.

But WP Rocket crawls your entire and preloads a cache…

…So anytime someone visits a page on your site, it loads from the preloaded cache.

This drastically improves the speed and load time of your website.

Key Features:

  • Requires minimal configuration. Install, activate and launch. No coding required
  • Once you activate WP Rocket, page caching is activated automatically
  • Uses minification to reduce the weight of your site’s HTML, CSS and Javascript file which makes it lightweight and improves its performance
  • Your WordPress page images load only when the visitor’s scroll, which makes it faster to load

Price:

  • Starts from $49 per year for a single site’s license

9. Smush for Image Compression

Venn diagram

One of the factors responsible for a slow blog is large image size.

If you use large-sized images on your blog, they will increase the time your site loads.

And as we mentioned earlier, Google takes page load time very seriously.

Same with your blog visitors.

With over 1 million active installs, Smush has become the go-to plugin for compressing images.

This plugin automatically reduces the size of your image whenever you upload it on your WordPress media library.

All you need do is upload your images, and it will take care of the rest for you.

Key Features:

  • Compress images without reducing quality
  • Automatically compress uploaded images.
  • Lazy load feature that prevents offscreen images from loading until visitors scroll to where they are.
  • Compress up to 50 images with a single click
  • Set max-width and height to scale down before compressing
  • Compatible with any image in your directory, themes, and builders

Price:

Final Thoughts

There you have it!

Nine of the best WordPress plugins for blogs.

They have been carefully chosen based on their recent update, compatibility and how it affects your blog’s speed.

You can use all nine or any one that suits your needs. The bottom line?

They are ALL guaranteed to improve the functionality of your blog.

You know the types of plugins you need, which actual plugins work great and how to evaluate your current plugins.

All that’s left is for you to go out and do the work. Good Luck!

Categories
Tips & Tricks

Top 10 Blog Niche Ideas That Will Make You Money [2020 Update]

Top 10 Blog Niche Ideas That Will Make You Money [2020 Update]

Congratulations! You’ve finally decided to start a blog.

But, are you finding it difficult to choose between the hundreds of profitable blog niche ideas?

You are not alone.

Fact: Did you know most people who start blogs quit within the first 3 months?

Here’s why:

They expect to make money almost immediately, and when that doesn’t happen, they call it quits.

That is what happens when you blog about something you don’t have passion for. You can get tired of it really easily.

So, how do you choose a profitable niche without compromising passion and money?

Everything you need to answer that question is in this post.

Today you will learn the top 10 blog niche ideas and how to find profitable products in your blog niche.

You’ll also discover the secret to massive success, finding an overlap between what you love and how you can make money online with the Venn diagram.

Ready to blog your way to riches?

Let’s dig in.

How the Venn Diagram will Save Your Blogging Career

What is the Venn diagram?

The Venn diagram is an overlap of your interests, knowledge, and your audience’s problems. When these three things connect in the middle, you discover a super-specific narrow niche that you can crush.

Venn diagram

Why is this important?

An overlap in the Venn diagram will blend your passion and knowledge with profitable products and services that people will value enough to pay money for.

When you blog about topics you have knowledge and passion in that are also easy to monetize, putting out daily content becomes easy.

Carving out your own blogging niche will make it easy to build your own true 1000 fans. These are the people who will read all your articles, buy everything you create or recommend, and happily promote your products to other people.

Here’s how to use the Venn diagram to brainstorm profitable blog niches so you can discover an idea you love.

You will also see some profitable blog niche examples to help fine tune your custom profitable niche.

Circle 1: Passions

what are you passionate about

Before you choose a blog niche, ask yourself, “What am I passionate about?”

While you can still make money from choosing a blogging niche you don’t have passion for, six months down the line, will you continue writing when you haven’t made a dime?

This is a critical question that needs an honest answer.

You must be willing to grow your blog until it becomes profitable. You can only achieve this when you write blog posts that you have an interest in.

Choosing a niche you are passionate about will help you write personal stories other people can relate to. This will keep them coming back for more.

Come up with a list of 10 to 20 topics you have passion for and put them in the first circle of the diagram.

Circle 2: Knowledge/Expertise

knowledge and expertise

Another vital thing to consider when choosing a blogging niche is the level of knowledge you have.

You don’t want to waste hours doing loads of research before you write a 1000-word blog post.

Choosing a niche you have a sufficient amount of knowledge about can make writing blog posts faster.

Many profitable blogs teach their readers how to solve problems or do something.

You can use your personal experience to share this kind of information on your blog.

You don’t need to be an expert or have specific qualifications before you write on a topic.

But having a certain level of expertise about a topic will go a long way in positioning you as an expert to your readers.

For example, anyone can go online and write a blog post about how to rank a post on Google’s first page.

But if you’ve done it and you can show your readers a step-by-step guide, it makes your post more helpful.

Not sure of what you are knowledgeable about?

Ask yourself:

  • What do I have work experience in?
  • What kind of topics do people constantly question me about?
  • What can I talk about for hours without getting tired?
  • What do I enjoy reading about?

After doing this, come up with another list of 10 to 20 topics that answer the questions above.

In the Middle: Find an Overlap

The next step is to compare the lists to find an overlap between your passions and interests.

It doesn’t have to be the exact same topics on both lists.

But as long as they complement each other, it’s a good start.

For example:

On your passion list, you could have food, and on your knowledge list, you could have experience in making pizza.

Come up with as many complements as possible.

Now that you have a good list of potential blog ideas, see if there’s any demand for them.

Market Demand

market demand

Before you choose a niche based on passion and experience, it’s important to find out if there’s a strong demand for products and services in your niche.

After all, passion and experience won’t pay the bills.

There’s no point in starting a blog if you are unable to monetize it (unless you plan to just do it for fun).

And how do you find out if there’s market demand?

By using a simple tool called Google Trends.

Google Trends will show you if the blogging niche you want to write about is increasing in popularity. I.e., if more people have been searching for the topic over a period of time.

For example, if you have a passion for pizza and you’d like to start a blog for vegan pizza lovers, go to Google Trends to find out whether there’s an increase in demand.

Google upward trends

The image shows there has been an increase in search for “vegan pizza” in the last five years.

This ticks all the right Venn diagram boxes to start a blog on vegan pizza.

But a topic like Paleo diet shows there’s a downward trend.

Paleo downward trend

It’s not a good idea to blog about it even if you have passion and experience.

If you are still in the dark about your niche idea, not to worry.

We’ve hand-picked the top 10 niche ideas that can make you money right now.

As long as you follow the Venn diagram illustration, you’ll find a niche that can make you money.

Without further ado, let’s dive right in.

Now let’s look at the top 10 blog niches.

Top 10 Blog Niche Ideas that Can Make you Money

1. Personal Finance Blog

personal finance blog

Personal finance is a niche many people don’t take for granted.

Here’s why:

They are always looking for new ways to spend less, save more money, invest reasonably, grow their income, get out of debt, and so on.

If you are well grounded in finance and can offer a fresh and unique perspective that works, you can make high income from this niche by selling digital products or consultation services.

However, personal finance is a broad niche.

To avoid competing with other popular blogs, you can narrow it down to sub-niches that are profitable.

You can blog about:

  • Financial independence
  • Effective budgeting
  • Debt repayment
  • Paying off student loans

2. Health/Fitness Blog

health or fitness blog

If you are a health and fitness enthusiast, you’ll derive joy from choosing this blog topic.

Every day people search for how to lose weight, reduce belly fat, gain abs, stay fit, and so on.

Affiliate links, display ads, sponsored posts, and your digital products are the best ways to monetize this blog niche.

Here are some health and fitness blog niche ideas you can choose from:

  • Mental Health
  • Diet: keto diet
  • Cardio fitness
  • Low carb food
  • Diseases – prevention and cure
  • Skincare

3. Travel Blog

travel blog

The travel niche is another popular and profitable niche you can go into, especially if you are the type that loves traveling.

It’s also one of the easiest you can monetize. Here’s why:

Millions of people travel every day, whether for business, vacation, retreat, honeymoon, or family visits. There’s always a reason to get on a flight or a bus.

And most travelers are always on the lookout for the best travel deals.

You can create helpful content around the best travel tips or destinations and join several affiliate programs you can recommend to your readers.

Before you know it, you will start earning some affiliate commissions.

Here are some travel niche ideas you can run with:

  • Travel deals for organizations – food, hotels, flights
  • Honeymoon destinations for newlyweds
  • City travel guide for foreigners
  • Places to visit (in a state/country/continent)

4. Love/Relationship Blog

relationship blog

With the alarming rates of breakups and divorces in recent times, it is no surprise that love/relationship blogs are booming.

People are looking to find that special partner and also need the best advice they can get on how to be a great partner.

So if you are passionate about seeing people’s relationship blossom, this niche may be your calling.

You can monetize it by promoting affiliate links or offering relationship consultation services.

You can also sell your eBooks… like a dating guide or an online course about how to become a better partner.

It’s essential to research what your readers need before you create a product. But with a little upfront work, you can create a product that will sell while you sleep!

Here are some relationship sub-niches you can choose from:

  • Dating and relationship advice for young adults
  • Wedding and marriage tips
  • Divorce tips for working-class women

5. Food and Cooking Blog

food and cooking blog

Another hugely popular blog you can make money from is the food/cooking blog.

People love to eat and try out new recipes.

If you are passionate about cooking, starting a food blog will be a fun experience. And there’s an excellent opportunity to make money from it.

Several food blogs are raking in hundreds to thousands of dollars monthly.

To run a successful food blog, make sure you take lovely pictures to attract food lovers.

You can monetize the blog by promoting affiliate links and display ads.

And if you generate your own recipes, you can create a digital product like a recipe eBook or an online course showing people how to prepare mouthwatering dishes.

To stand out from other food blogs, you can blog about:

  • Diet – Low calorie, diabetic, gluten-free, vegan, healthy
  • Recipes – homemade, low-cost, 15-minute, 5-ingredient
  • Ingredients – Beef, chicken, pasta, pork
  • Dish types – salads, smoothies, cakes, bread

6. Lifestyle Blog

lifestyle

Another popular blog niche you can make money with is the lifestyle blog niche.

As a lifestyle blogger, you can create content around your interests and experiences for a specific target audience.

However, considering it’s a broad niche, it’s better to choose about two or three categories to focus on.

It will give your blog a clear and solid online presence.

For example, some common niches you’ll find on lifestyle blogs are:

  • Travel
  • Parenting and motherhood
  • Food
  • Home decor
  • Fashion
  • Beauty
  • Family
  • Fitness

Which of these journeys best describes you?

In between the ages of 30-40 and interested in parenting, maintaining your identity while being an awesome mother, and staying on-trend yet age appropriate?

So are thousands of others.

A man in your 40s trying to clamber your way up the ladder in your j.o.b. while staying fit and young with travel and cool tunes?

You can mix the topics depending on your passions and interests. Document your own journey. There are thousands who have the same problems and dreams that will relate to you and respect your honesty and insight.

7. Fashion/Beauty Blog

fashion blog

Fashion and beauty are profitable blogging niches that will never go out of trend.

People, especially women, are always on the lookout for the latest fashion trend in town.

Who is wearing what and how?

What kind of makeup are they wearing?

What’s the latest eyeliner craze?

In this niche, people are moved by what they see. So, you’ll need to take lots of great photos that will quickly grab the attention of your target audience and make your blog stand out.

You can monetize this blog niche by promoting affiliate links and displaying ads on your blog.

If you are a fashion designer or a makeup artist, you can offer to help your audience design trendy dresses or give them a beautiful makeover.

Rather than compete with large fashion blogs, you can carve out a more targeted sub-niche for yourself.

Here are some fashion and beauty blog niche ideas:

  • Women’s fashion – dresses, blazers, bags, shoes, gowns
  • Men’s style – business, casual, shoes, caps
  • Jewelry – earrings, watches, chains, necklaces, rings
  • Makeup & cosmetics – lipsticks, foundation, eyeliners, powders, mascara
  • Haircare

8. Pregnancy/Parenting Niche

pregnancy and parenting

The pregnancy and parenting niche is another profitable blogging niche you can go into.

This is a much-needed and sought-after topic for women from when they first become pregnant.

But to succeed in this niche, you must have experienced what it feels like to be pregnant or be a parent because there are thousands of women (and even men) who have questions.

So it’s not enough to have just knowledge or passion in this case. Your unique experience will go a long way in helping answer your audience’s questions.

Affiliate products, consultation, eBooks and online courses are some of the best ways to monetize this blogging niche.

There are various sub-niches you can blog about too. Think of how many articles you could write to cover these difficult transitions!:

  • First-time moms: what to expect
  • Nursing moms
  • Potty training your child
  • Getting fit after pregnancy
  • Breastfeeding

Pick one and start your blog. Again, think about your own experiences. What did you learn? What was helpful and what wasn’t?

Here’s number nine.

9. Online Business and Marketing Blog

online business and marketing

Do you have a business or an online marketing background?

Have you built an online business from scratch before?

Then it will be a great idea to start a blog in this niche.

As more people move their business online, they are looking for ways to market their business and grow their income.

Who better to teach them than someone who has built successful online businesses.

You can create and sell digital products, promote affiliate products, and offer consultations to generate more income.

There are many blogs in the business and marketing niche.

But using the Venn diagram strategy, you can find profitable blog niches.

Here are some ideas:

  • Instagram marketing for podcasters
  • Digital marketing for small business owners
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Business tips for solopreneurs
  • Facebook Ads for entrepreneurs
  • Social media marketing for real estate agents

10. Personal Development Blog

Personal Development Blog

We all have our inner demons we deal with.

Sometimes it’s a struggle, mainly when it affects your level of productivity.

If you struggled with a specific problem and you were able to deal with it, you can start a blog showing people how they can also get rid of the problem.

You’d be surprised by how many people suffer from whatever you’ve suffered from and are looking for someone to help them.

There are various ways you can monetize this niche.

You can either sell digital products, create a membership group, offer one-on-one consultations or recommend tested and trusted affiliate programs and earn a commission.

As with other blog niches, you can choose a sub-niche to focus on.

Here are some examples:

  • Impostor Syndrome
  • Time management & productivity – how to manage your time and become more productive
  • Anger management – how to manage anger issues
  • Anxiety and panic attacks
  • Confidence & self-esteem – how to improve your confidence and self-esteem

Discover Other Unique & Profitable Niche Ideas

Is your passion or interest not in the list of the top ten blog niche ideas?

Not to worry?

There are other profitable blog niches that you can still make a decent income from.

Examples of these blog niches and sub-niches are:

  • Gardening blog for retirees
  • Sports blog – golf, tennis, surfing
  • Faith/Religion blog – Islam, Christianity, Hinduism
  • Pets blog – pet adoption
  • Farming blog – poultry, fishery, piggery
  • Crafts blog – sewing, painting
  • DIY blog – interior design, carpentry
  • Education/Tutorial blog – curate best how-to blogs

How to Find Profitable Products in Your Niche

One way you can make money blogging is by selling profitable products in your niche.

But first, you have to find out if the blogging niche you choose has products you can profit from.

And how do you find out?

By researching the demand for products and services in your chosen niche.

Here are some sites where you can carry out your research.

1. Amazon

Amazon

If you want to monetize your blog by selling affiliate products, the best place to find profitable products is Amazon.

What started out as an online bookstore has since transformed into the world’s biggest platform for online shopping.

To brainstorm product niches, go to Amazon.

Choose a product category

Choose a sub-category

Choose a sub-niche

Now, assuming you plan to blog about skincare and anti-aging in particular, the first 4 results show that there is a HUGE demand for anti-aging products.

You can do this for three, four or five products and select a winner.

If you plan to sell digital products like eBooks and online courses, you also can head over to the Amazon book section to find out if there is a demand for digital products in your blogging niche.

Again, go to categories…

Click on kindle readers and books…

Click on kindle books…

Enter your niche topic…

Check out the ratings.

The number of ratings for “keto diet” shows it’s a niche you can profit from.

2. Udemy

udemy

Another way to find profitable products in your blogging niche is through Udemy.

Udemy is an online learning platform that hosts and markets over 100,000 courses online.

A quick search on Udemy for “Facebook ads” shows it has a strong demand.

Insert image

You can start a blog around Facebook ads and eventually create an online course for it.

To niche deeper, you can focus on Facebook ads for interior designs or fashion designers depending on where your interest and passion lies.

This will make your blog different and unique to other generic Facebook ads blogs.

3. Affiliate Networks

Affiliate Networks

Another surefire way to find profitable products in your niche is through affiliate networks.

Affiliate networks are platforms that connect publishers (sells products and services) and merchants (owners of the products).

For example, if you have a health product, you can add it to an affiliate network and affiliate marketers will help you promote.

Some merchants offer as much as 50% commission on a product.

An example of an affiliate network is JVZoo.

To find profitable products in your blog niche, head over to JVZoo and create an account (don’t worry, it’s free).

Once you are in, click on Affiliate > Find product

Insert image

Then simply enter the keyword, category or sub-category.

You can find products by entering a keyword or you can search for it in categories and narrow it down further by searching the subcategories.

What you should look out for are products that have a high sold rate and a low refund rate of less than 10%.

This shows that there is a demand for these products.

Other notable sites that you can research and find profitable products in your blog niche are:

Final Thoughts

There you have it!

As you have seen, starting a blog and making money from it is not as hard as it looks.

The first step is to choose a profitable blogging niche that matches your passion and knowledge and has market demand.

Also, make sure you identify your target audience, the kind of content they want, their pains, desires, etc.

When you’ve grown your audience to the point where they know, like, and trust you, you can monetize it by recommending affiliate products, promoting digital or physical products, offering your service, and displaying ads on your blog.

You can even have two or three blogs in several niches to help you generate more income.

But remember, finding a profitable blogging niche where you have the knowledge and enough interest is the key to becoming a successful blogger.

You’ve been armed with profitable niche ideas for bloggers and everything you need to help you choose the best blogging niche that will help you make money.

Now go and start a successful blog.

Categories
Tips & Tricks

How To Hide The Featured Image In WordPress

It’s something we’ve all run into, crappy generic photos that have nothing to do with your blog being forced onto your page.

Images have an incredible power to inspire. The right image before your article can set the tone for the whole blog.

So why would you leave this critical element up to default?

I’m going to show you how to take control of the featured image by learning how to hide images that don’t help you.

There are two easy ways to do that, using CSS and plugins.

I am gonna show you how to do both, right now.

Let’s jump in.

Why You Should Hide The Featured Image

On some WordPress themes, the first image is selected automatically as a Featured Image.

That image has nothing to do with your article.

Worse, that image may get repeated for multiple articles.

Another thing that happens, a lot, is that the image isn’t formatted for mobile!

Which means that when a visitor is on their phone a giant picture will take up their whole screen before they see one word you’ve written. That’s not cool.

Let’s hide that image and take control of your website.

How To Hide Featured Image Using Plugins

Install Hide Featured image plugin on WordPress.

You can install the plugin directly from the dashboard.

Go to plugin >> Add New >> search the plugin >> click install >> activate it

After activating the plugin, you will notice the “Hide Featured Image” menu under the settings section.

Click it. If you want to hide the image for all posts and pages, click on the “Yes” redo button for both posts and pages, and click on Save.

Hide Featured Image

If you want to hide the featured image for a specific post, then click edit on the post where you want to hide the image.

Edit specific post

On the right side options, scroll down and click the “Yes” redo button under the “Hide Featured Image” section and click Update.

Click yes hide featured image

Note: This plugin will hide the image from appearing at the frontend. It won’t delete the image. If you ever want the image back just click on the “No” redo button to retrieve the image.

How to Bulk Edit Featured Image

If you want to add, remove, or replace the featured image from the post dashboard, install the Quick Featured image plugin.

After installing and activating the plugin, you will notice an additional column with an image section on the post dashboard.

Insert or remove the feature image directly from the post dashboard.

insert or remove image

How To Hide Featured Image Using CSS

To hide it on the Twenty-twenty theme, go to

Appearance >> Customize >> Additional CSS >> Paste the following CSS code and click publish.

.featured-media{
display: none;
}

Note: it will hide the image of all the posts including on the homepage.

To hide the image on other themes, find out the CSS class or ID of that image and replace “featured-media” in the above code with the respective class or ID.

To find out the CSS class or ID, use the inspect element on your browser.

The reason for using CSS code instead of a plugin, is that the CSS code won’t consume as much CPU as the plugin.

So it won’t affect the website loading time.

When It Comes To The Featured Image

The Featured Image can be meaningful for your website but not if it doesn’t fit your design.

It’s worth disabling them until you can add the image you choose.

You can disable it using either the plugin or through CSS.

If you don’t know how to use CSS code, use the plugin for ease.

Now you know how to set yourself up for success or you can leave it up to the website default.

The choice is yours.

Slug: how-hide-featured-image-wordpress-post

Meta description: If featured image is annoying to your website design, it’s better to hide them for proper user experience. Learn how to hide Featured image without coding.

Categories
Tips & Tricks

How to Edit Your Footer in WordPress Fast

Today you will learn how to make your footer more beautiful than the Grand Canyon at sunset to your customers.

The “Footer” refers to the bottom section of any website. 

The tedious, leftover, lifeless bottom. 

And everybody knows the footer is the most boring, useless part of any webpage, right? 

Wrong.

These pages provide authority to the website. They make your visitors feel they can trust you.

How? 

Your website should already contain important information and pages such as: 

  • TOS (Terms of Service)
  • Affiliate links disclosures
  • Contact us
  • Copyright text
  • Privacy policy
  • And more.

But these pages are ugly!

You don’t want to include these pages on the menu bar, (on the header) because they will occupy the space you need for more pressing pages you want people to read.

What do you do?

You put them in your footer!

These necessary pages for reaching out to you and covering your butt from lawsuits is how the footer will save your day.

Let’s dive in.

How To Edit Footer In WordPress

Before editing the footer, ask yourself,

What do I want to remove or add? Do I want to remove footer widgets?

Do I want to remove the “Powered by WordPress” label from the footer?

We will show you three ways to edit your footer.

  1. Change the code
  2. Change the widget
  3. Hide it altogether

One of the first things people want to change on the footer is the “Powered by WordPress”, so let’s start there.

Ready?

How To Remove The “Powered by WordPress” Link From The Footer

Method 1: Use The Code In “footer.php”

To remove the “Powered by WordPress” link, you need to remove some piece of code from footer.php.

Find the code as shown in the figure below. Select it and delete the code. Click the update file button.

delete existing footer code

This method lets you edit the code without adding in any new code.

Method 2: “Hide” The “Powered by WordPress” Using CSS

If you don’t understand coding and are worried about messing up your website, you can use the following CSS code to “hide” the label “Powered by WordPress” link.

To edit CSS, Go to Appearance >> Customize >> click on Additional CSS >> Paste the following code >> click on Publish

.powered-by-wordpress{
display:none;
}

hide powered by wordpress

This method lets you make changes without editing the footer.php but does require adding in minimal code.

How To Remove “To the top” Link From The Footer In The Twenty-Twenty Theme

Instead of showing “To the top” link, you can place important links such as privacy policy, contact us, about us page links.

To remove the “to the top” link, go to the theme editor. Delete the following code from footer.php file and click update file.

remove to the top

How To Edit Footer In WordPress

To edit the footer and get it exactly how you want it, you will need to alter the scripts coded on “footer.php” of the theme.

“Footer.php” is a file that holds the code that controls how your footer will appear on the website.

I will walk you through the whole process.

Edit Footer Using Theme Editor

Now, you must have a basic understanding of coding to use the theme editor.

If you don’t you can move on to the next method.

Here is an example of a default footer and a footer widget.

default footer

IMPORTANT NOTE: Since the footer consists of important code (executable scripts), you must keep a backup code to get the website back to where it was if anything goes wrong.

The easiest way to Theme Editor for the footer, Go to Appearance >> Theme Editor >> Select Active Theme >> Click Select >> Click Theme Footer (Footer.php file)

theme editor footer

The Footer.php contains the executable PHP code. If you miss any code, you could break your website.

The Footer.php is needed on every page of the website since it contains the ending tag of the body and HTML. Make sure you download the Footer.php file from FTP as a backup.

How to add important page links on Footer

Now that you have learned to remove aspects, you want to add the links you want for your website.

To add important page links on the footer, you need to add a piece of code to the Footer.php file.

Copy the following code and paste it on Footer.php.

<p class=”to-the-top”>
<a href=”/sitemap.xml”>Sitemap</a>&nbsp;&middot;&nbsp;<a href=”/contact-us”>contact us</a>&nbsp;&middot;&nbsp;<a href=”/about”>about Us</a>
</p>

NOTE:
&nbsp; = for adding single space
&middot; = or adding point symbol

adding links

IMPORTANT NOTE: It’s shown on the Twenty-twenty theme so, it might not look the same on other themes.

How to Modify Footer Widgets

You have learned how to edit the default footer using code. Another way to edit the footer is by using a widget. Here is how to edit the footer to make it what you want, using a widget.

Method 1: Through widget option

To modify Footer Widgets, go to Appearance >> Widgets >> Footer #1 or Footer #2

You can either drag and drop to the widget or you can add widget manually clicking the Add widget option.

modify footer widgets

After adding the widget, configure it according to your requirement, and click on save.

configure widget

To delete the widget, click the arrow that is placed on the right side of the widget title, and click delete.

Method 2: Live customizing the theme

Go to Appearance >> customize >> Widgets >> Expand Footer option >> Click on Add a Widget >> Select the widget >> Configure it >> click done >> Click Publish

After clicking Add a widget, you will see the list of available widgets. Click on the widget you want to add.

list of widgets

How To Add A Menu As A Footer Widget

Another great thing you can do with the footer is add another menu at the bottom of your page.

You can add a menu on the footer widget on the twenty-twenty WordPress theme. For adding the menu to the footer, go to Appearance >> customize >> Click Menus

click menus

Click view all locations

view all locations

Scroll down and under footer menu section click “create a new menu”

create new menu

Now, enter the name of the menu and click the checkbox of the footer menu and click next to choose the links you want to display on the footer.

enter menu name

After pressing the Next button, click on “add items”. You will have options to choose the link. You can select links for pages, posts, categories, tags, etc. to show as a menu on the footer. After selecting the links, click publish.

add items to publish

How To Hide The Footer (In Case You Don’t Want A Footer)

If you don’t want a footer on your website, you can hide it using CSS code. In some cases, if you use Footer widgets to show useful information, you might not need the Footer. In that case, you can hide it.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Never delete Footer.php file.

Go to appearance >> customize >> Additional CSS >> paste the following code and click publish

#site-footer{
display:none;
}

Now You Know More About Your Foot(er)

Footers can really matter, if you use them properly. Visitors scroll the website to the footer to find out the information about the website.

Also, For SEO purposes, footers provide credibility to the website.

When search engine spiders crawl your website, if they find the important pages link on the footer, they increase the authority of the website on the search engine.

In short, adding the right information to the bottom makes your website better.

Taking it from leftover to the very thing that tells your visitors they can trust you.

The footer is now another tool that you can use to make your website work for you!

Categories
Tips & Tricks

Do Blog Directories Work In 2020? Or Are They Dangerous?

Do Blog Directories Really Still Help Your Site Rank?

If you’ve done any research on SEO and how to get your site ranked, you’ve probably come across this advice at one point or another:

“Your blog needs a link from every one of these 300+ sites today!”

Worst. Advice. Ever.

While it’s a good idea to have your site listed on social media and relevant, industry-related directories, submitting your site to a bunch of low-quality sites in a short period of time is asking for trouble.

On top of that, many of these sites get scraped by data aggregators, which then list your info on even more spammy sites…

Not good.

Fortunately, there are plenty of resources to help you determine what makes a “quality” blog directory and skip the spam.

Let’s get into it!

Why Blog Directories Are a Problem

problems with blog directories

First off: What’s a blog directory?

A blog directory is a listing of blogs categorized by niche. The best directories have active moderators that manually review submissions. They categorize blogs and make sure their websites meet certain quality requirements.

So why are they a problem?

They’re just not as relevant as they were when search engines were still difficult to use and most of them haven’t done anything to make their sites relevant to today’s search-focused readers.

Getting a blog listing on most directories doesn’t help your online presence as much anymore.

The Biggest Problems with Blog Directories

Directories went from being a way to help people navigate the web to something that was abused to game search engine algorithms and artificially boost a site’s rankings.

And when something exists solely to game algorithms and does nothing to help readers, it gets penalized pretty quickly. (Sites associated with these types of directories can be penalized as well.)

Even more of a problem, some directories try to charge you to remove listings from their site.

A business would hire someone to list their website in a bunch of directories, only to have to deal with getting them removed later when it had a negative impact on their rankings.

That kind of situation is a little less common in recent years due to the wide availability of helpful SEO resources. However, it’s still not unheard of for business and website owners to fall into this trap.

Blog Directories: More Harmful or Helpful?

The number of directories that actually take the time to review blog listings has dwindled over the years.

Many blog directories have turned to automated processes, or worse, have no way of filtering submissions.

This opens them up to lots of spammy, low-quality sites that you don’t want Google to associate with your blog.

While local directories still have their place, most blog directories don’t help readers or website owners.

In general, they’re unhelpful at best and harmful at worst.

In addition, Google is cracking down on low-quality directories more and more. Back in 2012, Moz pulled a sample of 2,678 directories, 20% of which had been penalized or banned altogether.

Even some of the bigger, reputable directories have shut down in order to focus on more useful areas of their business, showing one thing: directories have run their course.

How Do Listings on Blog Rankings Impact Your SEO?

If you’re a new site, you might see a little improvement in your rankings at best. However, websites that have lots of links from low-quality sites and directories may get penalties.

And here’s the kicker:

It’s incredibly difficult to recover from penalties (and bans, in extreme cases). You’ll have a much easier time if you slowly work on improving your search engine rankings the right way.

Don’t put yourself in a position where you have to recover from risky SEO practices. It’s just not worth it.

Do This Instead

write content instead

So what’s a good alternative to getting lots of blog directory listings?

Even if getting some links from directories helps your SEO a little, there are things that you can do that have a much bigger impact on your SEO.

Spend your time consistently creating epic content that readers will love. You’ll find that, even without fully intentional SEO, you’ll rank for certain keywords just by having good content.

Obviously, it’s better to have both good content and SEO!

So How Do You Get Links?

It might sound a little counter-intuitive, but it has nothing to do with trying to get links to your site.

Google eventually gets an idea of which sites are violating their guidelines. So rather than risking your rank and reputation…

Just focus on creating content so amazing and valuable that people can’t help but link to it!

Click here for some great resources on the skills you need to develop this kind of content.

The Best Way to Connect with Other Bloggers in Your Niche

Connecting with other bloggers in your niche is another great way to get backlinks, but how exactly do you go about doing that?

Here are some ideas:

Follow and engage with them on their website and social media. You wouldn’t walk up to a complete stranger and ask them to share something with their friends—it’s important to build a relationship first and introduce yourself.

Ask for an introduction. If anyone you know has a connection with other bloggers in your niche, ask them to introduce you! This often goes a lot faster than trying to engage without any referral (but you still need to build things up a bit!).

Link to them, then email them or mention them on social media. If you link to anyone in your blog posts, send them an email letting them know you really enjoyed their content. Include a link to where you mentioned them.

You can also tag them on social media when you share your post—they’ll likely reshare, getting you more exposure.

Try to get links from link roundups. People are always searching for things like knitting blogs, music blogs, design blogs, and other specific niches, which is part of the reason roundups are so popular.

Just do a quick search for your niche and you’ll likely see something like “Top 20 Best X Blogs in X Year” at the top of the search results. Connect with bloggers who have posts like these and work your way up to valuable backlinks!

Now that you’ve been sufficiently turned off of blogging directories, here’s something:

Not all blog directories are bad!

While most directories don’t serve much of a purpose anymore, there are some good ones still out there. Here’s a list of the best blog directories to check out.

Top 10 Blog Directories to List Your Blog

good blog directories

Highly focused “niche” directories and ones that focus on connecting you to specific communities are still useful.

Even Google sees them as valuable—you want these links, even if they don’t provide direct SEO benefit.

For instance, if you’re a wedding photographer, you want to consider looking for sites like Wedding Wire. Industry-specific directories are usually the most valuable links you can get due to the kind of traffic they can send.

Which Blog Directories Are “Safe” Places to List Your Site?

Safe blog directories

While there’s no way to guarantee a blog directory won’t get penalized, just consider a few questions:

  • Can I see my target audience using this site?
  • Does it have an active community?
  • Are there any sites closely related to your blog topic?
  • Are submissions gated or actively moderated? Or are they free and potentially open to spammers?
  • What other value do they provide—or is it just another directory?

A good blog directory is highly relevant, has an active, supportive community, and does more than just “list your site.” They aim to truly serve readers and bloggers.

The best blog directories have a host of free resources that aim to help website owners improve their sites and visibility.

Getting a website listing from a good directory probably won’t directly impact your SEO score, but it might send some relevant traffic to your site.

And if nothing else, you’ll find some active blogging communities where you can network with other bloggers. Just use your best judgment!

Unsure about whether or not to use a directory? If the site looks kind of spammy, just be safe and skip it.

Another good way to qualify a blog directory is to use MozBar (it’s free!) and check the domain authority (DA) and spam score of the site. You’ll want to aim to get links from sites in the 20-70 DA range.

There are very few blog directories that score above 70 and they’re generally for brick-and-mortar businesses.

What to Do When You Already Have Lots of Blog Directory Listings

If you followed some advice that suggested listing your website everywhere

It’s okay!

If it was from a reputable source, it probably won’t hurt.

Even if they are low-quality links, Google typically won’t penalize your website, especially if they’re “nofollow” links that don’t pass PageRank.

The best thing you can do is move on and try to make sure you only get links from good blog directories (and eventually, links from other sites—100% organic!).

The only reason you would ever want to remove your listing from a directory is when you’re positive it’s getting your site penalized or affecting your rankings. Otherwise, don’t worry!

Cognitive SEO has good information about what to do about these links here.

And if you really want them gone, you could try the simplest way to get them removed—just reach out to the directory and ask!

Wrapping it Up

Meaningful connections

Your blog will gradually start ranking without the need for “shortcuts” and risky SEO practices associated with backlinks.

Just focus on the helpful parts of joining a blog directory—networking, making meaningful connections, and getting in front of a relevant audience with time, effort, and effective strategy.

Categories
Tips & Tricks

11 Free Keyword Research Tools – Best Tools for Bloggers

How to Find Blog Keywords Fast With 11 Free Tools

You probably know what you’re planning to write about. Right?

Maybe.

But what if you could steer a blog post or article in the right direction from the beginning? Without having to go back and plug in random keywords after?

That’s what these free tools will help you do. By using them, you can create a running list of keywords to focus on for each and every article.

No more guesswork! No more trial and error to see which posts will gain readers!

Now you’re thinking, that’s great, but…

How do I know which tool is best for me?

Here are 11 free blog keyword tools (plus a bonus!) to help jumpstart your keyword research with zero investment:

    1. Wordtracker Scout
    2. Keyword Surfer
    3. Google Trends
    4. Keyworddit
    5. Answer the Public
    6. Google AdWords Keyword Planner
    7. Keyword Tool
    8. Keyword Tool Dominator
    9. Soovle
    10. QuestionDB
    11. Keyword Sheeter

Bonus!: Bulk Keyword Generator for location-specific keywords.

Let’s dive in.

1. Wordtracker Scout

To pull keywords fast, Wordtracker Scout is worth an in-depth look.

Wordtracker Scout is a free Chrome extension. With a click of the mouse, any webpage becomes a keyword generator while doing relevant searches.

Which means…

You can start creating a list of topics you want to write about. If you do this on the regular, you’ll never run out of blog post topics!

Not only that…

But doing this ensures your article is keyword ready from the start. This helps people find your article easily because you already know what they’re looking for. AND you are writing an article specifically for them!

So how does it work?

Let’s use Google to search for the topic “backlinks”.

We’ll take the first organic webpage from the search results.

Click the extension, and you’ll see a myriad of keywords listed on Page Summary.

Wordtracker page summary

Look at the top and you’ll see other tabs: Insights and Keywords.

Don’t worry about the Wordtracker tab. That’s a paid feature. We want the free stuff.

Insights provides you a summary of what the page is about.

Wordtracker insights

The Keywords tab lists on-page keywords along with other metrics: searches, competition, and opportunity.

Beneath the tab is the relevance score. This tells you how important the webpage is to the keyword. The higher the score, the more relevant the keyword.

Beside the relevance score, you can choose No. Keywords. This allows you to narrow the keywords based on length. For example, if you click 1, 2, 3… Wordtracker Scout will exclude all one-worded keywords, two-word keywords, and so on.

Wordtracker Keywords

This tool can save you so much time in research, and it’s all wrapped up in a little free package. This is one of my favorite free SEO tools to use.

Now let’s look at another one…

2. Keyword Surfer

Keyword Surfer is a free Google Chrome extension. It analyzes global search volume from over 70 countries.

keyword surfer chrome extension

Some of these countries include the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, and Australia.

keyword surfer search countries

It only takes two clicks to install.

After entering a topic in Google’s search engine, you’ll see a list of Keywords ideas. You’ll also see a correlation chart with Traffic, Words, and Keywords data.

keyword surfer ideas

The axis of the graph (numbers 1-8) represents the first eight organic search results on Google.

Hover your cursor over the bar to view data.

Traffic shows you monthly incoming traffic.

Words will show you the exact amount of words on each webpage.

keyword surfer correlation charts words

Keywords will depict the number of keywords found on the webpage.

keyword surfer correlation charts keywords

Keyword Surfer is one of my favorite SEO tools because it allows me to assess keywords metrics without jumping between tabs.

3. Google Trends

Google Trends can help identify seasonal trends and search volume.

How useful is this for keyword research?

Well, it can easily help you plan and create content throughout the year.

Let’s assume you’re a holistic health company, and you want to publish an article on dieting. All you have to do is search for the seeded keyword “diet”.

google trends search

You’ll see a historical chart that displays the search volume of the keyword diet over 12 months.

google trends historical chart

Looking at the chart as it is now, it doesn’t provide much information. To solve this, let’s change the historical time from Past 12 months to Past 5 years.

Let’s see what we get now.

google trends past 5 years

Notice how around December and January there’s a spike for the keyword “diet”?

From this, we can infer there’s a higher interest in dieting during these months. Probably due to holiday feasting or maybe New Year’s Resolutions.

Either way, plan to publish related content 3-6 months before these peaks to get ahead of the bigger competition. During the peak months, you can promote your already-published material, giving it an extra boost at just the right time!

If you’re a huge blog or site, you can publish during those peak months only.

But if you’re small or just getting started, it’s important to give your post time to gain traction. Then you can circle back to it and really push it hard during those critical times.

What else can Google Trends do?

The #1 problem with free and even pricey keyword tools is this:

Every “search volume” is just a best guess! NONE are accurate and none really have a clue.

What do you do? How do you choose “best blenders for smoothies” or “best blenders for protein shakes”?

You use Google Trends.

Here’s how:

Using two keywords you found from one of the previous free tools…

Place one of the keywords into Trends and hit search.

Google trends search keyword

Then change the duration of data to 5 years to see the trend.

Google trends 5 years data

Enter your second keyword, looking at the 5-year data…

Google trends second keyword

and you will now see clearly which one of these two search keyword phrases is searched for more often.

Google trends keyword comparison

You can add up to five keywords to compare at one time!

Google trends five keywords

What’s next?

4. Keyworddit

Keyworddit is a unique tool that extracts keywords ideas from Reddit.

Reddit Keyword Research Tool

Reddit is one of the most popular sites on the web. Millions of people go there to share and exchange ideas, tips, opinions, and facts.

That’s why this tool is good for getting the latest conversations on topics related to your field.

Start by entering the name of a subreddit group like “keto”.

A list of Keywords with Monthly Search Volume and Context will appear.

keyworddit results

Now you know keto dieters care about things like:

  • Weight loss programs;
  • High protein diet;
  • Full body workout;
  • Etc.

Monthly Search Volume gives you an idea of the popularity of the topic.

Click the Context link to see the thread where those conversations took place. This can provide you insight on how these terms are being used, which can be helpful for user intent.

keyworddit context subreddits

Google Trends and Keyworddit can be used together to find the trendiest, most relevant topics for your articles so your readers know you’re on top of your game!

5. Answer the Public

Answer the Public displays keyword research as questions, prepositions, comparisons, and alphabetical.

Need clarification?

Let’s address each of those categories.

Enter the keyword seed “chocolate”.

answer the public keyword research tool

The first results show the most common questions that relate to your keyword.

answer the public chocolate keyword results

The next set of results you’ll see are prepositions.

Prepositions are words that express a relation to another word. Some common prepositions are: can, for, near, to, with, and without.

Examples:

  • “Chocolate can be eaten.”
  • “Chocolate for dogs”
  • “Chocolate with caramel”

Next, we have comparisons (i.e., an, like, or, versus, vs).

Examples:

  • Chocolate versus Vanilla
  • Chocolate or Strawberry
  • Chocolate and Beer (Ew, disgusting, but you get the point.)

And finally, we have alphabetical autocomplete suggestions.

answer the public chocolate keyword alphabetical results

Think of all the topics and articles you can generate from this free tool!

If writer’s block ever hits, this is a great tool to get the ideas flowing like melted chocolate. (See what I did there? You’re welcome.)

6. Google AdWords Keyword Planner

Google AdWords Keyword Planner is a tool that helps you discover keyword ideas and traffic estimates.

This tool is typically for advertisers. Yet, marketers also utilize this platform for SEO research.

Let’s give you a rundown of how this thing actually works…

Start with entering keywords “meal delivery,” for example.

google ads keyword planner discover new keywords

You’ll see a list of keywords that relates to your search. Take a look at the Average monthly searches column. You’ll see how many people are searching for that exact phrase.

The Competition column ranges from low to medium to high. This represents the difficulty level of ranking for that keyword. Low being the least difficult and high being the most difficult.

google ads keyword planner competition column

If you want to model keywords from rival websites, go back to the GKP homepage and select START WITH A WEBSITEhealthy food delivery google results. There you’ll be able to copy and paste the URL’s filter keywords from other websites or select webpages.

From the results above, let’s say we chose “healthy food delivery”.

We’ll plug in that keyword in Google and select the first organic search result, which is HealthLine.

Click the headline. Copy and paste the URL into Keyword Planner and select use only this page. Then click Get Results.

healthline url keyword planner

7. Keyword Tool

Keyword Tool is a free tool that can generate up to 750+ long-tail keywords for a single topic.

It utilizes Google autocomplete to find and deliver keywords people are searching for.

As you see below, the tabs give you the option to choose between the top search engines people are using.

keyword tool search home design

After entering the seeded keyword, a list of keywords will appear.

keyword tool home design results

You might have noticed to access the keyword metrics you need the pro version of this software.

But don’t you worry.

I’ve laid out other tools throughout this article that you can use in conjunction since you can at least see the long-tail keywords, which is what we’re after here.

8. Keyword Tool Dominator

Keyword Tool Dominator uses autocomplete data from Google, Amazon, Walmart, Bing, and eBay.

This tool is ideal for finding long-tail keywords.

Enter the target phrase and you’ll see a list of keywords with source, country, top 10, and the most notable rank.

Let’s take a break from Google and use the Amazon Keyword Tool.

Enter a product name or keyword, select a country, and choose a department.

amazon keyword tool search coffee

Rank determines the order of the keywords. Word count and word frequency will determine the rank.

Then you have the popularity scale. 10 is the most popular and 1 is the least popular.

amazon keyword list coffee

Use the Filter option to narrow down your search.

For example, if you’re looking for long-tail keywords, set the word count filter “min” to 5. This will show all keywords that have at least five words.

amazon keyword list filter applied

There are other filter options you can explore with this tool. Toy with it until you find what works best for you.

9. Soovle

Soovle collects data from more than 15 search engines. Some people call this tool the search engine of search engines.

It’s simple, easy to use interface makes it easy to scan concepts and store search results.

Enter a keyword in the search bar, and you’ll begin to see results before you finish typing the word.

soovle keyword search dog food

Clicking the keyword will send you straight to the search engine result page.

Pro tip: Use Soovle for specific keywords to generate subtopic ideas for your content.

Example:

  • “Dog food” is too broad a keyword for Soovle to be useful.
  • But “raw dog food diet” is specific enough for Soovle to help you create a topic outline.

soovle keyword search raw dog food diet

10. QuestionDB

QuestionDB helps you find questions associated with broad keywords.

The answer to these questions reveal:

  • What problems people have
  • What people care about
  • What people are interested in

This is a useful tool for discovering people’s pain points.

We know that top-performing content is solution-oriented. Thus, your content needs to address problems and solve them.

Start finding questions by entering a broad term like “protein powder”.

Now QuestionDB can pull questions for the keyword you entered.

You can sort through questions by selecting New or Popular from the dropdown tab.

Be sure to feature these questions in your headline or introduction. This helps draw the reader in.

QuestionDB search protein powder

11. Keyword Sheeter

Keyword Sheeter is useful for brainstorming keyword ideas quickly.

It also uses Google autocomplete to pull around 1000 ideas per minute.

A major downside to this is that it’s quite basic. It doesn’t offer anything more than a list of keywords.

It has no metrics whatsoever.

But, it does try to make up for this with one other notable feature: Negative Filter and Positive Filter.

The best way to show you is a demonstration.

Let’s run a search for the term “hiking”.

keyword sheeter generate ideas

If you want to narrow your search, use the Positive Filter to include a new word.

So let’s include “shoes”.

You see? Now you only see searches that include the keywords: “hiking” + “shoes”.

generate ideas hiking shoes

Use the Negative Filter in the same way as the Positive Filter. Only this time you omit words from the search result.

For example, assume you are researching keywords related to the tech company Apple. To avoid getting the company confused with the fruit, exclude words like “cider”, “sauce”, and “pie”.

12. Bulk Keyword Generator

Bulk Keyword Generator scans business sectors for local keywords.

Local keywords are keywords used by people in a particular demographic. In other words, it refers to the process of making your company easily found online by local people. Otherwise known as Local SEO.

This can give you a huge advantage over local companies that don’t include these keywords.

Start by choosing a business type. Let’s go with “Interior Design” for this example.

Bulk Keyword Generator choose business type

Next, you’ll see a list of related keywords relevant to your services.

Select your service types.

Bulk Keyword Generator service type

Enter your Location.

And now you have a list of local keywords that you can include on your banners, ads, and webpages.

Bulk Keyword Generator location results

Final Thoughts

You don’t need the latest, expensive SEO tools to find a great list of suitable keywords.

With a little elbow grease and duct tape, you can make just about anything possible!

Categories
Tips & Tricks

Blog Ads Are The Worst Way To Monetize… Do This Instead!

Blogging is great.

Making money is great.

You are ready for these two powers to join forces but how?

Running ads on your blog is a viable option, right?

WRONG!

What you are going to learn here is:

  • why ads are the worst way to make money on your blog
  • what to do instead.

Then

If you’re one of those stubborn people who are gonna do it anyways, keep reading to the bottom to learn the right way!

Why Advertisements Undermine Your Blog’s Goal

ads are annoying

Remember:

Why does someone even come to your blog in the first place?

To solve a problem. Period.

Your bottom line is your ability to help your readers.

That’s it, nothing else matters.

How do blog ads undermine your blog’s goal?

In a few key ways. Let’s dive in.

Ads Deter Readers Away From Your Site

How long do YOU stay on a site that is popping ads everywhere?

That’s right… not long!

Now picture your blog’s visitors.

Is this the experience you want them to have with your content?

Instead of finding helpful information, they’re bombarded with irrelevant ads.

This is what will happen:

You’ll lose the opportunity to become a trustworthy authority and they’ll be gone.

Congratulations, you’ve sacrificed a potential long-term customer relationship for a measly dollar.

That is one of the main reasons why ads suck, they negatively affect your bottom line.

How else?

A Dollar a Day Won’t Keep the Job Away

If you’re still not convinced that ads negatively affect your bottom line, consider this.

If that number still is not sinking into your head, maybe this example will.

Let’s assume that you get a whopping 30,000 visitors to your site per monthly, that’s roughly 1,000 visitors per day!

Keeping the same model above, your CTR is .05%. Let’s take the extreme and say you’ve been working your arse off and you convince google to pay you $5 per click.

When in reality you’re getting around $1 or less, but let’s be optimistic.

Now let’s do the math.

1000 site visitors x .005 (.05%) = 5

5 clicks x 5 dollars per click = wait for it… wait… kaboom! $25.

Your daily revenue is twenty-five-freaking-dollars.

Congratulations!

Your reward?

A 2 for $20 meal at Applebees.

Earning the normal around $1 or less per click would mean: your making less than $5 per day!

Your ability to generate thousands of traffic each month deserves a lot more than a movie trip for two.

Click here for a deep dive into the best ways to monetize a blog without using ads.

What’s The Alternatives?

give and receive

The ingredients to success is taking an audience approach over the give-me-money one.

You’re not a salesperson or con artist, you’re a professional blogger who cares about your audience’s core missions and values.

Take for example, Tim Urban co-founder of Wait But Why who spends 10+ hours per article for the sole purpose of creating content people care about.

His 10 step formula has amassed hundreds of thousands of subscribers and millions of traffic each month:

  • Step 1 – create something that people give a crap about
  • Step 2 through 10 – repeat step 1 as many times as you need to

Remember, your blog content is a product within itself, a free one at that.

Your audience will appreciate your efforts and they’ll feel obligated to patronize your brand because your blog helped them in the past for free.

By creating skyscraper content – that is content that’s unrivaled in backlinks, shares, engagements, etc. – you’ll have the grounds to turn your readers into customers.

Their desire to patronize will be so strong that you can get away with selling almost anything.

You’ll be surprised, I’ve seen tech blogs make bank from selling plush toys and t-shirts.

If you want to turn your readers into customers, you’ll want to first focus on monetization strategies that enhance your ability to create engaging and shareable content.

Become an Affiliate Marketer

Affiliate marketing is all about practicing what you preach or selling what you use.

A big negative with ads is that you have no control over what is advertised on your site. That is totally up to the advertisers. Even worse, if you don’t adhere to particular guidelines you will be cut, tarnishing your reputation.

With affiliate marketing, you have all the perks of ads but none of the cons. You have total control of what company you chose to work with.

So instead of having baby diapers advertised on your tech blog, you can reach out to tech companies and start getting paid from products you endorse or personally use.

This is one of the most common ways bloggers make money.

In fact, 57% of bloggers earning over $50k/year are affiliate marketers.

How-do-bloggers-make-money

Remember, try to recommend products or services that you personally use in your day to day task.

Take Ryan Robinson for example, he makes tens of thousands of dollars pitching just a few services (that he personally uses) to his audience..

ryan rob

How to become an affiliate marketer

get paid to share

Anyone can become an affiliate marketer, but not everyone can produce winning content that drives traffic and generates conversions.

Affiliate links are very similar to ads in that your audience has to click the link or take action in order for you to get paid. This is known as Click Per Action (CPA).

Affiliates have particular guidelines you must read to find out exactly what action is needed for you to get paid.

That action could be to click the link, sign up to a newsletter subscription, or buy a service or product.

Now I can’t go into too much detail here but I can provide you enough information where you can get started today.

Create content that drives traffic

Create content that answers search questions.

The best way to do that is through keyword research.

Keyword research not only tells you what people are searching for in search engines like Google, but it also inspires content ideas tailored around target keywords or phrases.

Let’s face it people are searching for ways they can make their lives better. Maybe that’s how to change a headlight, maybe it’s a recipe for a cold, delicious smoothie, or maybe it’s advice on how to start a business.

Either way, if you can find the exact language people are using you can better understand your audience to connect with them.

However, keyword research doesn’t come cheap. You need search engine optimization (SEO) tools like Moz, SemRush, or Ahrefs to find keywords if you want a better chance at ranking high in search engines.

But these platforms can run a pretty penny starting at $99 per month.

Now if you can’t justify spending that much, check out this article on free keyword research tools.

Find affiliates to work with

The first step is to find an offer.

You can find an offer by using either ODigger or OfferVault – they’re like the Google of finding offers to promote.

Enter a keyword and you’ll see a list of products/services you can vet by payout and category.

offervault keyword

Click “type” to view all the CPA opportunities.

To get general information about the company select one of the companies in the “OFFER NAME” column.

Read the description and view the landing page to affirm if that company is worthy of promoting.

landing page

Here are a few signs you should look for in an effective landing page:

  • Clean, professional design
  • Look for social proof or trust signals (i.e., logos, testimonials, shares, likes)
  • Make sure the page is mobile-friendly

effective landing page

Next, you want to join an affiliate network.

Do this by simply clicking on the “Join Network” button on the offer page.

After you fill out the application, at some point you can expect a call.

Yep, the dreaded call that all online entrepreneurs hate.

But if you want tips on how to get accepted check out Brain Dean’s “CPA Marketing: The Ultimate Guide.

There you’ll find an in-depth guide on how to join a network and how to design your site around CPA and much more.

Sell Digital Services

Digital products can range from a myriad of things. Some of the most popular being consulting, courses, and ebooks.

Bloggers often repurpose these services to double as lead magnets for different stages of the buyer’s journey.

Consulting / courses

helping with online consulting and courses

Consulting

Consulting is a great blog monetizing strategy. You can begin consulting while simultaneously working as a freelance writer.

Being able to write helpful content is an important skill to have when positioning yourself as a trusted advisor in your industry.

Most consultant’s fees can range from a couple hundred to a few thousand dollars per session.

According to data from Glassdoor, the average consultant makes about $77k a year.

Most bloggers offer free 30-minute consulting sessions in an effort to upsell an extended service.

Courses

Courses are hit or miss mainly because most information in paid courses can be found for free on the web.

Not saying that’s true but it’s something you have to take into consideration if you’re going to be selling courses.

The worst thing you can do is sell a $500 course on information that could be found easily for free.

It’ll tarnish your reputation and you’ll get hate mail for it.

If you don’t believe me visit a subreddit forum, you’re bound to see someone going on a diatribe on how they got scammed.

However, if you do this right you’ll be rewarded beyond imagination. Creatambitionate (Creative, Ambitious, Passionate), Melyssa Griffin helps businesses grow traffic and email lists and charges $997 which earned her $258,108 in one month from e-course sales.

e-course sales

Keep in mind that’s stats for only the launch of that course and is still pumping money into her account right now as you’re reading this.

Imagine if you had a similar outcome to your course. After four courses you’ll literally be a millionaire and earning residual income while you sleep.

Not to mention if you add resources throughout your blog linking to some of your top-performing blogs with affiliate links to relevant tools. In addition to course revenue, you’ll also receive income from your affiliate links and boost SEO. Talk about killing three birds with one stone.

Ebooks

Lastly, ebooks are a popular choice amongst writers. The main reason why is because you return to your blog archives and repurpose your content into ebooks.

Not only can you sell your ebooks on your own website and sites like Amazon, but you also can use your ebooks as lead magnets to gain new subscribers to your email list.

Just make sure that you attached your ebook to relevant blogs. Something as extensive as an ebook people are more willing to give up their email address in exchange for helpful information.

Recommended reading:

  • 69 Highly Effective Lead Magnet Ideas to Grow Your Email List

Sell Physical Product

Physical products are tangible materials, so you’re probably wondering what product can I offer as a blogger?

That’s why you have to use what your momma gave you, your brain.

They’re two types of readers your blog attracts:

  • Looking for a quick fix to solve their problems
  • Fans in for the long-rid

Physical products such as t-shirts and coffee mugs are good for the latter.

However, if you create a catchy phrase, anyone is likely to buy and share it.

Copywriter Pete Boyle for example, sells a t-shirt with catchy slogans.

catchy slogans

If you’re in the freelance niche whether you’re a freelance home decorator or web developer you’re going to find a couple of uses for that shirt.

I instantly think of theme parks or state fairs when I look at the shirts, or you can wear it just to flex on haters.

Either way, a catchy relevant phrase is the way to go.

Self-Publish Books

publish book

Back in the day if you wanted to publish a book you had to grovel and beg one of the big 5 publishing companies to read your cover page let alone the entire book.

But that age is dead (thankfully!). Now authors are self-publishing their books and pocketing up to 70% of book royalties.

With that freedom comes a new set of responsibilities like marketing, cover design, editing, and pricing. Luckily, Amazon kindle direct publishing has made it easier for entrepreneurs like you to publish content with a single click.

Don’t let the name fool you. Amazon (KDP) used to be strictly for ebooks but Amazon KDP merged with CreateSpace, a book publishing company, resulting in KDP being able to publish paperback books in addition to ebooks and audiobooks.

How to set up your KDP account on Amazon

  • First, you want to visit https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/ and sign up with either your Amazon account or email.
  • Second, you must fill out all your tax information in order to publish your book. (Note: will not be allowed to publish your book if this information isn’t filled out)
  • Third, after your tax form is complete, hit “Finished” and ta-dah your account is complete.

Once your account has been set up, you are now able to upload and publish your content.

You want to follow the best SEO practices and learn the correct format that is common.

While blogging requires very short sentences and paragraphs, books you can be a lot more lengthy in your paragraph structure.

Also, you’ll want to be aware of which format is most conducive to fiction or non-fiction style or writing.

Before you publish your book amazon will want you to choose up to two categories where your book will be found. The best way to select a category is to examine best selling books in your chosen field and choose the exact same categories.

I don’t have enough time to walk you through how to become a best seller author in this blog but I know someone who does.

6x bestselling author Chandler Bolt is a self-made millionaire who contributes most of his success through self-publishing his own books.

His website SelfPublishingSchool has helped thousands of authors to become better writers through his books, blogs, and course.

Recommended Reading: How to Publish a Book in2020: A Step-by-Step Guide for Frist-Timers

Offer Writing Services

Offering writing services is more than about getting paid for your skill, but it’s also about building relationships and positioning yourself as a reliable source of information.

Let’s take a look at how you can monetize your best asset — your ability to write!

Freelance writing

Freelance writing is the easiest way to monetize your blog as well as earning brand recognition.

With this approach your blog now becomes your application, resume, and autobiography all in one.

According to GlassDoor, freelance writers can expect to earn on average $53K.

However this is highly dependent on niche and skill set, you can easily be making double that!

Due to the fact that great content writers are hard to come by, companies are willing to pay top dollar for engaging content.

That’s a great way to keep your bills paid while improving your skills and waiting for the more rewarding monetization techniques to kick in (we’ll touch that latter).

Based on data from HubSpot, the ideal blog length is 2,100 – 2400 words.

Long-form blogs, blogs above 1,000 words, are on record for achieving more clicks and shares than their shorter counterparts.

Becoming a freelance writer helps you understand these industry standards and avoid the pitfalls other bloggers will face by mindlessly producing content that doesn’t convert.

In addition to understanding the business side of things, you’ll also be rewarded with being able to stamp the logos of brands that you work with in the past. Thus, appeasing the appetite for those who need a little social proof that you’re the real deal.

You might still think that freelance writing is not for you, that you can spend your time writing your own content instead of making someone else rich.

But consider that nothing worthwhile ever came out of void. In other words, if you can write well enough that someone is willing to pay you for it, you certainly can write well enough that your readers are willing to subscribe and become customers.

Think of freelance writing as going to college with a full ride scholarship. Your work will be vetted, critique, and eventually better. Thus, preparing you for that moment when you showcase your independent blog to the world.

Guest blogging

Guest blogging expands your personal network.

Most blogs chose to strategically guest blog 1-5X per week.

Because it’s hard to get popular sites like Forbes or National Geographic to hire you as a freelance writer, writers resort to guest blogging as a way to work with big companies and gain recognition.

Each guest post you published on a top influencer’s blog gives your website a boost in search engine rankings.

By focusing on reaching out to websites with a domain authority of 50 or more, Google will perceive your website as being a reliable source of information.

In fact, 70% of readers view websites with multiple authors to me more credible.

For that reason, companies are constantly looking for writers to contribute relevant information to their audiences.

While they’re many claims that guest posts are no good, those claims are usually directed towards guest blogging ability to generate referred traffic.

While guest blogging does indeed sucks in that respect, it’s certainly an excellent method for building backlinks to your website. Thus, making it easier for your target audience to find your content when searching on search engine platforms and giving you a boast in organic traffic.

The more page views you have the more money you make from other monetization techniques like affiliate marketing.

Join Premium Ad Companies

your ad here

If you are still not convinced and are hell-bent on incorporating ads in your blog monetization strategy, at least use premium ad management agencies such as Mediavin and Adthrive.

All the time-consuming tasks that come with Adsense are gone when you’re working with superior ad management companies.

They take care of all of the nuisance tasks like finding quality ads and managing those ads.

Even better, your RPM that’s your rate per mil, or estimate per 1,000 page views is more than 15 to 25 times more than what Adsense pays.

However, there is a caveat. These premium ad management companies reject 75 to 85% of applicants.

Why?

Because their reputation exceeds them. Ad agencies are willing to pay top dollar to these management teams because they get results that are profitable. So in order for you to be accepted there are requirements:

  • Have 50,000 pageviews/ month (Mediavin)
  • Have 100,000 pageviews/month (Adthrive)
  • Produce high-quality original content.
  • Be in good standings with other ad agencies.

There you have it. You have a lot of work to do.

Whether you want to use advertising to make money on your blog the choice is entirely yours.

However, you see that there are plenty of other options available. I recommend you go without ads and focus on creating content that attracts and engages your reader. Use one or all the blog monetization options to put some money in your pocket. Once you prove yourself as a reliable source of useful information then perhaps maybe consider a top-end ad management company.

But you may have a different monetization strategy in mind that I didn’t mention?

Feel free to drop a comment below and let me know how you feel about ads and how you’re monetizing your blog.