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5 ways to increase blog traffic & make money with your blog | Bleeding Espresso Bleeding Espresso

5 ways to increase blog traffic & make money with your blog

Euro and dollar bills by jmjvicenteOne of the questions I get asked most frequently via email involves how to make money with a blog, so I decided to write a post about it.

If you’re not the least bit interested in making money from your blog, that’s your choice, and I respect that; it’s certainly a personal decision. But this is a post for those of you who wouldn’t mind having a couple more dollars, euros, pounds, whatever in your pocket each month. I’m far from an authority on the subject, but hey, you asked!

I imagine I get this question because you can see that I have BlogHer Ads, Google AdSense and an Amazon store. I’m not making a fortune by any means, but I am covering my online operating expenses including web-hosting and my Internet service, so I can’t complain.

There are two aspects to the question of how to make money with a blog; the first involves what kind of advertising opportunities are available for blogs.

As mentioned, I use three of them, but for even more options, see Problogger Darren Rowse‘s article How to Make Money From Your Blog – Direct Methods.

[On a side note, search around Darren’s site for *tons* of great advice. Seriously, if you’re interested in making money with your blog, you *need* to subscribe to Darren’s Problogger.]

Since revenue is intricately linked with blog traffic, the next issue becomes how to increase blog readership. There are many ways to increase blog traffic, some which require more time and dedication than others but all likely to get more people reading you and, hopefully, clicking on your ads.

To get you started, here are some helpful articles:

Now here are my 5 ways to increase blog traffic:

1. Decide on what your focus will be and stick with it, more or less.

Anyone who has ever taken a writing class has heard “write what you know.” I’ll see that advice and raise it a “write what you like” when choosing a focus (or foci!) for your blog.

How do you choose a focus? Other than picking a topic you enjoy, if there’s something special about you that you can highlight, use it to your advantage as your “hook.”

You don’t *have* to stay on your topic 100% all the time, but do take cues from your readers (like they’re not coming anymore) if you stray too much.

An example of a hook: I live in Italy, so that’s certainly something that draws a certain number of readers to me. Will they come back to the blog only because I live in Italy? Probably not, which is where the next tip comes in.

2. Write quality content.

My best advice? Write posts that you’d like to read. And then proofread. Please! Provide links to other sources for more information. Use photos, either your own or through sites like iStock, Stock.xchng, Creative Commons, etc.

Many of the posts I listed above have more in-depth content writing advice, so do check them out.

A small tip regarding formatting: use paragraphs, more so than you would in normal writing. Seeing white space every so often is pleasing to the eye. Am I saying that I’ll skip over large blocks of text even if it’s award-winning? Well, yeah. My Internet attention span isn’t the longest, and I’m not likely to keep returning to a site that won’t give my eyes a rest no matter how much I might like what the writer is saying.

3. Visit blogs in your niche and—capital letters here—COMMENT.

How do you find more blogs like yours *and* blogs that have readers that might be interested in reading yours too? Blogrolls and comment sections of other blogs like yours are great places to start. Another tip is to go the Technorati page of blogs like yours or blogs you enjoy and see who has linked to them.

Now, go visit blogs and get your blog name out there by leaving quality, insightful comments (more than just “Great post!” is advised), and people will get curious and come and visit you.

A small tip here: I sign my comments “Bleeding Espresso.” Why? Because if I use “Michelle,” would that make you click over and see my blog? Perhaps, but “Bleeding Espresso” is much more likely to entice someone. Yes, I could also do “Michelle of Bleeding Espresso,” but that’s more typing, and time is money peeps!

*EDITED: I find myself going with “Michelle of Bleeding Espresso” more often; I think it’s better for when commenting on new blogs since it gives people a name to go with the blog name and in most commenting forms, the information is stored anyway, so no typing and retyping (so no time-wasting either).

Now please don’t take this to mean that you should be visiting blogs willy nilly and leaving your mark like a dog. Too graphic? Ahem. Then how about this? Take time to read the posts of your fellow bloggers, carry forward an online conversation, and you will be rewarded with more visits.

4. Enable comments and put a contact form or email address on your blog.

This is a personal preference, and you may feel differently, but here’s my take: I rarely, rarely read blogs that won’t let me comment and/or that don’t give me a way to contact the author.

Ever been around someone who only talks about himself/herself? Blech.

In conjunction with this, respond to comments you receive, messages through your contact form, and emails. I don’t like being ignored, and I don’t think my readers would like it either. You don’t have to respond to every comment, but letting your readers know that their opinions matter will encourage them to return and make your site feel more like a community.

5. Participate in blog events, social bookmarking/networking, etc.

I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but it’s true: blogging is a community, and the more you’re involved, the more traffic will come your way. Of course if you’re lucky you’ll also make some great friends along the way like I have.

Participating in blog events like 5 Minutes for Mom’s Ultimate Blog Party and various food events and groups–especially The Foodie Blogroll–have brought me many readers that may not have found me otherwise.

For more info on social media (places like Digg, StumbleUpon, Twitter, MySpace, Facebook) see (you guessed it) Problogger’s Using Social Media to Grow Your Blog’s Readership.

Now it’s your turn:

Is your blog monetized?

What has worked for you in increasing your blog traffic?

Buon weekend, and be sure to check out My Bella Vita for Cherrye’s
La Buona Cucina Americana recipe–Chicken and Mushroom Quesadillas!

53 Beans of Wisdom to “5 ways to increase blog traffic & make money with your blog”
  1. 06.06.2008

    Full of good ideas as usual! I have trouble keeping on topic…and I would have to stop wasting my time watching those bello footballers on scherzi a parte and balla nando, err, I mean learning italian!

    Homebody at Heart’s last blog post..Sea Kayaking, Sea Otters and the Aquarium

    I would *never* advocate doing such crazy things! If you have a personal blog, of course, staying “on topic” is either much harder or much easier depending on the way you look at it. I would say I have quite a few foci here (Italy/Calabria, cooking on Wednesdays, current events when they strike my fancy, and then P, the dogs, and me); this works OK for me.

    Lots of successful bloggers, though, stick to the topic of “me” and it works for them. You just have to play around with it and find your happy place 🙂

  2. 06.06.2008

    Thank you for sharing all this great information with us. I have debated adding ads to my blog, and I am still thinking about it. I will check some of your links, and get informed.
    You were one of the first blogs I visited, and I loved what you had to say from the very first moment. I think the fact that you post every day of the week helps with traffic too, as we all know that we can count on you.
    Great post 😉

    Beatriz’s last blog post..We have a winner!

    Thanks so much for the kind words Beatriz. Excellent point about posting frequently–I’ll say you should at least post consistently so your readers can feel your rhythm. Of course just as you praise my 5-day-a-week postings, I’m going to announce on Monday that I’m dropping to three for the next month (Mom visit!). I hope you’ll forgive me 😉

  3. 06.06.2008

    Wow, there’s nothing like a bit of free advice and lots to think about here. I have to go and get a caffe and have another read through. I totally agree about the paragraph thing a blog guru of mine gave me the same advice early on and it made a big difference to my blogs appearance. Also about the ‘commenting’ it took a while for me to catch on but now I’m out there putting in my penny’s worth and I love it, it’s what makes blogs work and gives them life.

    Blog events? I’m still not sure, I tend to stick to the ones where I know the hosts blog well because I get a bit freaked out in crowds of strangers. Lastly advertising, now this I really have to read up on. I love blogs that are true to the original sense of the thing and if they get too corporate or full of ads and listings I tend to switch off in the same way that blogs that are too personal turn me off, I prefer the suggestion of someones family life rather than pictures of the kids.

    Your blog , Michelle, is a wonderful example of how to do it right, with gracious subtly and wit. This is great stuff and thanks for giving it out.

    amanda’s last blog post..Sopranome

    Well thank you for the kind words, Amanda; they are *most* appreciated 🙂

    We sound quite similar indeed in our blogging approaches–things that are too personal tend to turn me off as well and I, too, was nervous about entering blog events. I started doing exactly as you did–getting my feet wet with people I already knew, and for the most part, that’s what I still do, although the circle of people I “know” keeps growing, of course.

    I think I’ve only done two truly huge events; one was the Ultimate Blog Party (*so* many people found me through the first one, I just had to do it again) and the other a group writing project through Problogger, which gave me the post “Top 5 Italian Words You Really Don’t Want to Mispronounce“–absolutely one of my most popular.

    As for advertising, I’m with you there–when something gets too corporate, it’s tainted. That’s why I’m not big on product reviews, although book reviews are fair game 😉

  4. 06.06.2008

    I’m certainly favoriting (does this word exist?) this post. It seems like you wrote it just for me – the new blogger in town !

    There are lots of great tips there.

    (Notice the white spacing)

    You never know, I might just be able to raise my readers from 5 (that’s optimistic) to 500 (going overboard here).

    You know what attracts me to your blog ? Your personality seems to leap out of the page ! You are an intelligent and witty lady and …

    you reply to comments personally which makes everyone feel welcome !

    Scintilla’s last blog post..Sand at Fornillo

    Aw shucks. All these compliments are going to go to a girl’s head! I do hope the tips help you, and I hereby declare that “favoriting” is a word, at least on my blog!

  5. 06.06.2008

    I never had much luck with Google ads – in fact they banned me! – and never made a cent from Amazon or other traditional ads, BUT I *love* Text Link Ads. They’re installed via a WordPress plugin, so I don’t have to do a thing. They sell the ads, they make sure the plugin displays the ads, the ads are extremely discreet (so discreet, actually, that I have a hard time finding them myself!) and last month they paid me (drumroll!) $40 for doing nothing. This month it seems like I’ll earn $50 – by doing nothing! And my blog is not that targeted or anything, not like yours.
    I know there are bloggers that earn tons of money from their blogs, but to achieve that you have to see blogging as a job and that’s not something I think I could do. I blog for fun, for me.
    TLA pay you every month, no matter how small the amount. Some months I’ve earned just a dollar or two, but the way I see it it’s all just bonus money that I get for doing something I would otherwise do for free!

    I’ll try to insert a link here (yes, because I am that shameless), if it doesn’t work just remove it will ya!

    Text Link Ads

    Annika’s last blog post..Euro 2008

    Annika, I *think* I’ve fixed it so that you’d get referral credit. Thanks for the tip. I see you also have Crisp Ads on there too. Google doesn’t do all that much for me either, so I may be in the market for some new ones…thanks 🙂

  6. 06.06.2008

    Ok it didn’t work, but there *is* a working link to TLA on my blog, on the right, so please if you decide to sign up with them, I would appreciate it a lot if you used that link. Thanks 😀

    Annika’s last blog post..Euro 2008

    The link above should work to get you a referral, but for anyone else signing up, you should be visiting Annika anyway! Head on over 🙂

  7. Gil
    06.06.2008

    I never see Google or Amazon ads with Firefox. Do you get paid if people click on Firefox and the other links in that column? If so, I’ll try to remember to click on a few.

    A lady from Utah makes bigs bucks every month from the following blog according to ABC News:

    http://www.dooce.com/

    Hope the checks roll in for you too!

    Yes Gil, Dooce is definitely one of the queens of blogging in regards to monetary rewards. Magari!

    I get paid for clicks on Google ads, yes, although we’re not supposed to tell people to click them. So I’m not. I’m just sayin’ 😉

    For the Amazon links, they aren’t per click, they are only if someone buys something–so even if you don’t want to buy anything in my personal Amazon store, so long as you follow the link from my page and then buy something, I get a small percentage. You don’t need to see the Amazon ad, btw, to find my store–it’s also listed up on the top bar as “store” and that will get you there too.

  8. These are great tips.

    I’m not sure if I will put ads on my site or not.

    I will participate in more Blog events. I really enjoyed Jen’s short story exercise and your/Sara/Shelley’s World Nutella day event.

    I agree with you about content. The bloggers I read the most really have a way with words (like you).

    I will email you. I have a question about What’s Cooking Wednesday.

    nyc/caribbean ragazza’s last blog post..Flashback Friday – Afternoon Delight – ANCHORMAN VERSION

    Thank you for the compliment, and I hope your email about WCW means you’ll be joining! It definitely counts as a blogger event in my book 😉

  9. Joanne at frutto della passione
    06.06.2008

    Excellent post, well written, clear and it didn’t once sound preachy. I (before I knew better) used to just leave my name when I made comments. Now I am slowly trying to make the transition to just Frutto della Passione. Sometimes, on blogs where I tend to lurk more than anything I will post a comment just to say – hey, I’m here, I like you, keep up the good work – because I want that person to know that they are appreciated but otherwise I only comment when I have something to say.

    I think that your advice was excellent, but for now I am not trying to earn money. My blog is still at WordPress.com, so as long as the hosting is free, I’ll wait to try and make money from it.

    Have a great weekend.

    Bloggy love
    J

    Joanne at frutto della passione’s last blog post..Spreading a special kind of love

    So happy you enjoyed the post, Joanne, and I’m *very* relieved that you didn’t find it preachy, as that certainly was not my intent.

    It’s very nice of you to check in where you lurk as well, even if it’s just to say hello. I try to do that myself every once in a while with all the blogs I read through Bloglines (and it’s *a lot*) 😉

    Oh, and yes, I think it’s actually against Worpress.com rules to have ads, isn’t it? Excellent point!

  10. 06.06.2008

    Within a week you have introduced me to flikr, moo cards and now this! (And I’m someone who inadvertantly deleted two posts and lost my favourite photos.)

    In any case, it’s all good stuff and I thank you for the information. I’ll have to return several times to digest it all.

    I’m with you on paragraphing, proofing and content, but that’s why I enjoy your site so much.

    Notice I put my web name up and gave my site address this time? Thanks again.

    casalba’s last blog post..Fiori di olive

    Always happy to share info Sally; yes, this is a pretty long post (I should’ve also mentioned that posts shouldn’t generally be very long as readers lose interest!) so it’s probably best digested in small chunks 🙂

  11. Hey – This is good advice.

    The best thing I have found to create money is;

    1. Stick to your niche

    2. Provide quality advice

    3. Help others

    4. Persist and be patient.

    Ideas flow when you are generous.

    I love that Bob; helping out your readers definitely comes back to you, at least it has for me 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

  12. I think this was a great post! 🙂 And not too long because, in the end, you also formatted it for skimming and highlighting! Another good tip re: being consistent in your content. I definitely admire how often you post…It’s hard for me!

    Ah yes, subheadings and “bolding” words…more great tips for formatting! I also like when I can skim down and see what I need/what I can come back to later, etc.

    As for consistency, I’ll soon be dropping to three posts a week, so don’t admire me just yet Sara 😉

  13. 06.06.2008

    Great post. I have read so much about making money, mostly because the expense involved is starting to get me down. I got my first check this month! After more than three years I made one month’s phone bill: euro 88.
    That was cumulative.

    I don’t like blogs without comments. They seem authoritarian to me, like if you don’t like my opinion, well, so what, I don’t even want to hear yours. I also think bloggers who never respond are silly. Communication goes two ways! Or three, or four. I love to see people share a discussion from their various POVs.

    I am not sure how much longer I will blog. It takes money and time and you really have to do it because you feel like it, because responses never reflect the numbers who read. I have met people in real life who say, “I always read your blog!” and have never said boo to me online.

    Judith in Umbria’s last blog post..Made in America: chicken and mushroom quesadillas

    Well I, for one, hope you’ll be blogging a long, long time. It’s so true, though, that it can sometimes feel like you’re just writing into space. I wish more people would say “boo!” too.

    As for the authoritarian no comment blogs, I’m with you Judith. I don’t necessarily *want* to have a back and forth with just the blog author on some things, so a contact address really isn’t the same for me; I like that there can be different opinions, a conversation including more than two going on. Discussion is definitely my preferred method as well.

  14. 06.06.2008

    Thanks Michelle!

    I can attest to the fact that I follow quite a few of your tips already, but you provide some great info and I must come back and check out the links you provided…I am sure they are chock full.

    I was originally against ads, but I now participate with BlogHer, Google and Amazon. BlogHer is the biggest revenue right now.

    Google is, well, useless. I’ll dump them once I reach the magic number where they give you a check. That might be 2010.

    I don’t make squat from them and Amazon is running a close second. As you know, it’s not about clicks it is about purchases.

    I was also lucky enough to be contacted by an ad agency in the UK, who paid me cold hard cash to place a few text links (I wouldn’t allow image ads) on my site. They were related to my content so I was fine with it. I wouldn’t consider it if it wasn’t related. I loved the fact that it was free money…for doing nothing 😉

    Wish I had more of those little blessings….

    My Mélange’s last blog post..Travel Photo Friday

    Wow, Robin, I wish I had those little blessings too! As it is BlogHer is my biggest source as well, Amazon next (especially around the holidays it’s good), and then Google, which does very little for me to be honest with you. I think I’ll be dropping them too once I hit the magic $100, which will hopefully be in about three to four months 😉

  15. 06.06.2008

    Great tips, Michelle. You should definitely keep this baby somewhere where other new readers can easily find it. Thanks for doing the homework for the rest of us.

    – On a side note I sometimes I have a hard time commenting when I have to fill in the letters/numbers for spam filters. After 2 or 3 missed attempts, I give up. I always want to email that blogger and tell them I tried to comment, but I don’t …

    Cherrye’s last blog post..La Buona Cucina Americana: Chicken and Mushroom Quesadillas

    Oh yes, the spam filter letters. One thing I can tell you that *may* help is that they usually “time out” so if you’re hopping around a bit (like I always am) and then forget to go back and enter the letters, it probably won’t accept your letters/numbers even if they’re right–so if you know a site has that, try to remember that and do it as soon as you can when the new window comes up (assuming it’s one with a new window).

    I do feel your pain though. I’ve had many a frustrating experiences with those, and for those bloggers who have them, they may consider that those things may be losing them comments and research another way to filter 🙁

  16. 06.06.2008

    Have a nice weekend Michelle…great advice and post as always.

    Lucia’s last blog post..Here Comes the Heat!!!!!

    Thanks Lucia; hope you have a nice weekend as well!

  17. 06.06.2008

    Thanks Michelle-I’m clueless about a lot of blogging things and your well written advice will help a lot! I appreciate you sharing your expertise. Little by little I’m learning and it’s thanks to other bloggers who are generous with their knowledge. (Sara taught me how to link!) Grazie…

    Always happy to share Janie; I didn’t know *anything* a couple years ago either; isn’t learning as you go the best? 😉

  18. 06.06.2008

    Great post!

    (ducking)

    Crazy Like Whoa’s last blog post..?????????????

    You *are* aware that I have plenty of tomatoes at my disposal and I ain’t afraid to throw ’em 😉

  19. 06.06.2008

    I’m a newbie when it comes to blogging, but posts like yours get me thinking…of all the things I need to think about!

    I’d like to get in on a blogging event, but always seem to find out about them when it’s too late! Do you have any advice there?

    You’ve given me lots to think about…thanks for a most interesting post.

    Under an Olive Tree’s last blog post..Little House on the Prairie…in Italy.

    Hmm Diane, timing *is* everything, so the best I can say is to keep up to date in the blogosphere…are you subscribed to RSS feeds? This is the easiest way to keep track of what your favorite bloggers are doing, including hosting and participating in upcoming events. If you need more info on that, let me know 🙂

  20. 06.06.2008

    These are really good tips. I’ve seen them before though and tried them. Other than commenting and getting the occasional visitor, none of them has worked for my site. So I kinda only blog every now and then since I don’t really have much of a life.

    Jenny’s last blog post..Friendship Around The (Blog)World!

    Oh I’m sure you have a life, Jenny, but maybe you need to blog about something specific that interests you and work on the content for that? What do you like to do in your spare time? Lots of people have been successful with knitting blogs (with life thrown in), just as one example…find your life passion (always a good thing!), then blog it and go with it!

    In any event, blogging “every now and then” probably won’t make people want to keep coming back either…if you look back at my posts in the beginning, I had very few readers and comments, but I just kept on writing. You have to be persistent too 🙂 Best of luck!

  21. 06.06.2008

    Wow! That’s great advice, and those are wonderful tips. I’ve thought about it… hadn’t really done a lot with it. If I did, I’d definitely have to post more often; must invest the time to reap the benefit.

    I’m very glad that you put this up, though, I truly admire your willingness to help others and encourage success in everyone else. May you be blessed a hundred times over for it, all of your days.

    Big hugs

    Scarlett & Viaggiatore

    Wanderlust Scarlett’s last blog post..Flickr Windows

    Why thank you dear Scarlett. It is *definitely* true that you have to put time into this thing to get benefits, even if you aren’t doing it hoping to make money; relationships with fellow bloggers are certainly more fulfilling when you’re around to have them 🙂

  22. 06.06.2008

    Awesome advise! I’m going to print this out and read it further.

    Have a wonderful weekend 🙂

    Jane’s last blog post..Imperfections, getting older and loving it all

    Hope it’s helpful Jane 🙂

  23. 06.06.2008

    Thanks for all the wonderful suggestions, Michelle! I’m going to have to return to this and really study it.

    jen of a2eatwrite’s last blog post..Farmers Market Thursday – June 4, 2008

    Glad you enjoyed Jen, but don’t study too hard…school’s out, isn’t it?!

  24. BettyWestern
    06.06.2008

    Hi there, just stumbled across you via other favourites – am looking forward to taking some time to study all those recipes!

    I just got back from Puglia and rediscovered a vegetable I tasted 14 years ago in Gaeta – I’m sure it’s popular all over Italy but I can not source in the UK and stupidly, I didn’t write down the name of it! So, I was after your help….they are peppers that look like oversized jalapenos but aren’t nearly as hot. I was shown how to simply fry them long and slow in olive oil with some garlic, covered with a lid so they get quite soft after a while. Have you any idea what I’m referring to? Would love to find them again.

    Thanks. BW

    Hi BW, nice to see you here 🙂 I don’t offhand know what these are called, but I’m working on it….

    Update: Trusty correspondent Judith in Umbria (Think on It) says:

    I saw the plants at the nursery the other day. I think they are called Corno di Bue? Used the same as frigitelli, but usually allowed to turn red first.

    Hope this helps BW!

  25. 06.06.2008

    I used to make a few dollars from paypal, before I got thoroughly involved in ministry…It really did help pay for online goodies…and after reading this post, I will most certainly get my site monetized!

    and thank you so much for your words of congrats! 🙂

    PayPal is *great* for online goodies…almost too great! Best of luck with monetizing your place, Andrena, and thanks for coming by 🙂

  26. 06.07.2008

    Michelle – What great ideas from you and your readers! I’m very much interested in ways expats make money as I know my obsession with Italy will some day take me there on a semi-permanent basis. Finding ways to bring in a income will only make this dream come true sooner.

    I’m not a writer which free lancing seems to be a common way to bring in an income, getting comments from your readers on what they do is helpful.

    It was through reading your blog and encouragement that I started my own blog and I believe a lot of your success is due to your consistency in posting, responding to comments, and your genuine kindness. Thank you!

    Good points about commenting on blogs that you visit, I’m very bad at this and am trying to mend my ways. The blog world is new to me and it does take time to do this. Trying to figure out problems on why something’s working or not is another aspect. I still haven’t figured out why my site counter won’t work, in due time.

    What is the benefit/difference to having a web vs. blog site?

    Linda

    Ice Tea For Me’s last blog post..on your special day

    There was definitely a huge learning curve for me in this as well Linda; I kept having to tell myself that it would feel so good someday when I understand things more…I think that’s happening 😉

    Blog vs. website could be a whole other post, but I can tell you that I switched to a dot com because this way I have complete control over how everything looks, the pages I want to add, and can also make this more of a tradition website with added blog if I really wanted to. It’s also easier for readers to remember the address 🙂

    For monetizing purposes, generally the more static pages you can add, the more chances you have to make money; this wasn’t so “clean” to do in Blogger, and although it’s possible with WordPress.com, ads aren’t allowed there. So that was another reason I got my own domain.

    Google this topic, though, if you’re really interested; I’m sure others have written about it!

  27. 06.07.2008

    Great post Michelle. Thanks for all the great tips!

    Shan’s last blog post..tiny moment – two going on fourteen

    Glad you enjoyed Shan!

  28. 06.07.2008

    I managed to get the bathing suit! 🙂
    I’ve got to finish the bills…
    This is some cool info, right here. I don’t use ads on my blog but I might reconsider. A blogger friend of mine started using the Blogher ads a while back and she’s managed to make enough to cover her web hosting costs.. I think that’s great.
    OK, girlie.. have a good weekend.

    bella’s last blog post..list friday makes a comeback.

    Yes, Bella, it’s pretty cool to be able to at least pay for online expenses indeed 🙂

    Congrats on your progress! Woohoo!

  29. 06.07.2008

    THank you for the advice on blogging. However, I am having trouble with returns to my site. I have commented on various blogs and have only had a few comments left on my blog. And I usually write good comments. What am I doing wrong?

    D.Marie’s last blog post..“Wicked”

    It may not be anything you’re actually doing wrong, D.Marie, as there is also some luck involved in blogging, who finds your site and when, etc.

    The best advice I can offer is to keep doing the right things; I just read a great article on Problogger that sort of speaks to this dilemma:

    Leaning Into the Blogging Dip

    For when you hit a blogging lull (and we all do) 🙂

  30. 06.08.2008

    Great info. My friend just yesterday was asking me about Google Adsense and why I didn’t have it on my blog. I didn’t really have an answer! It’s at least worth checking out.

    Susan’s last blog post..Freaky Friday Night

    Agreed Susan; definitely at least looking into; if you’re going to go with ads, I highly recommend BlogHer–I make much more with them than with Google and a lot of readers have told me the same in the past few days 🙂

  31. Michelle,

    Just wanted to tell you that Google will penalize you by dropping your page ranking if you add Text Link Ads. Basically b/c it competes with Adsense. If you Google it, you’ll turn up tons of blogs talking about this subject when TLA first appeared. And since page ranking determines whether random people find you, I decided not to do it. The majority of my hits come from Google, not from subscribers. I didn’t want to chance a drop in people finding me.

    Also, “pay per post” will also bring down your credibility and reduce your page rankings too.

    Just two FYIs.

    Wandering Chopsticks’s last blog post..Mango Chicken

    Thanks for the info! I knew that TLA and Google weren’t compatible, but wasn’t sure of the specifics. And thanks for the info on Pay per post; personally that wouldn’t be something I’m interested in doing anyway, but just in case other readers are looking at it, this is good to know.

  32. 06.08.2008

    Great tips Michelle! You are just full of great information! Thanks 🙂

    Dory’s last blog post..The Lazy Crab

    My pleasure Dory!

  33. Maryann
    06.08.2008

    Hi Michelle,
    I never liked ads because of the way they clutter the blog, just a personal preference.
    I like how you stressed the importance of community. I love this aspect of blogging!
    As far as writing content..a wonderful friend and writer once told me to write for yourself without the preconceived ideas of what others might think. Kinda like “If you build it they will come”..lol.

    Thanks for your wonderful blog 🙂

    I can see where you’re coming from, Maryann. I think there are certainly blogs who take it too far and get cluttered, but I don’t have a problem with things in the sidebars, which would only have other “things” in there anyway 😉

    And yes, I’m also a believer in the “if you build it” philosophy 🙂

  34. what a great informative post! Thank you so much for sharing all of this information. We always wondered how people make money. Now we know.
    We made about 32 cents from adsense and pulled the plug on all adds because we really didn’t think they work. But I guess they do for some people!

    Adsense *definitely* is not great for me either; from what I’ve read, it’s most effective on sites that have a very specific theme, so someone like Problogger for instance. Thanks for stopping by; always nice to see you 🙂

  35. Hi Michelle, all of the links you provided in the beginning of your article are excellent resources, I’ve used 3 out of the 5, I’ll have to check out the other 2! 🙂

    You also mentioned the Ultimate Blog Party – that’s how I found your blog (I’m #1248 on that super long list 🙂 ). Hope you had fun with it, I look forward to next year’s too. Thanks!

    JoLynn Braley from The Fit Shack’s last blog post..Your Weight Loss Excuses – Write Em Down & Ship Em Out!

    Ah, the Ultimate Blog Party just never stops giving, does it? So happy you found these tips useful, JoLynn, and thanks for stopping by 🙂

  36. You know I *love* your blog.

    It’s funny because I had been thinking to ask you about this but just have not gotten around to doing so. I was so glad to see this post. I, for one, appreciate helping other bloggers and this post did that.
    I’m glad you provided links for more information on the topic. Thanks!

    I agree with your 5 ways. I’m really good at commenting and I do so because I enjoy it but I have neglected my own garden, so to speak. I’ve struggled with the first two of your five. Focus and quality.

    I’m not sure why but I needed a reminder to “write what I like”. Somewhere along the way I’ve confused inspiration with comparing myself to others and then convinced myself that my stuff isn’t somehow good enough. I hate to admit that but it’s true.

    I do like the fact that I feel I can engage in conversation with you. It is nice for people to let you know they are reading your blog.

    Thanks for the tip about making sure my writing is broken up into smaller paragraphs. I don’t think I make habit of long ones but I never realised it was an issue for readers, so thanks!

    I’m a lover of blog titles. They always have me intrigued and of course certain ones really grab my attention and make me curious so I couldn’t agree more with commenting under something a little more “catchy”.

    Also wanted to add that Scribbit offers a lot of great info and tips about this subject filed under “blogging” at her site. It’s nice to be able to pick and choose from all the info offered. I have a lot of homework to tend to now.

    collette~all over the map’s last blog post..words that resonate

    Oh Collette I think it’s *extremely* easy to look around at what other people are writing and even subconsciously start doing similar things because you know it’s working for them. Being true to yourself is hard no matter what you do when you’re directly or indirectly in competition (although some of us think we’re more in competition with others than we really are) 😉

    Your comments are always so lovely and appreciated here; I think I can tell the difference sometimes between someone who genuinely enjoys commenting/interacting and someone who does it just because she’s supposed to…you’re definitely in the former category 😉

    And thank you for mentioning Scribbit! Michelle has awesome tips on blogging and so much more 🙂

  37. 06.09.2008

    Michelle, Thanks for all the info, I have homework to do! Being not so computer savvy sometimes blogging can be a bit overwhelming especially when learning technical things, so thanks again for all the info!

    Marie’s last blog post..WINE, FOOD, FUN! …A little more of my vacation

    I hear you Marie! Many things have taken me much longer than they really should just because I had no clue what I was doing…it gets easier, though, the more you learn and the more confidence you have in yourself and your abilities…I know, I know. Getting there is the hard part 😉

  38. 06.09.2008

    All true!

    I run BlogHer on my site too for my hosting expenses. I can only vouch so much for commenting on other blogs to get noticed and have readers follow you through the link you left in the comment but while I was doing so much commenting before, the internet police in my new office blocked blogspot comment form and wordpress.com blogs. I can only comment on self-hosted blogs (like yours). Really, really disappointing because I don’t have time to go online at home.

    No wonder my readership has dropped big deal.

    grace’s last blog post..no bad hair for this week

    Oh that’s not cool Grace. What party poopers 🙁

  39. 06.09.2008

    I really learned a lot from this post. Thanks Michelle. As I wrote you before, now I’m just concentrating on the writing side of blogging. If I can make any money off of it later, great. But since I’m on wordpress, I don’t even think I can put ads on my site unless I buy my domain. Because of time constraints, I can’t post or comment as much as I would like to increase traffic. But I am learning a lot.
    Question: what do you think the future of blogging will be? How long do you think blogs will be successful or what do you see it evolving into? Personally I can’t see it going on for more than 5 years (in this format) before some other media becomes more popular. It’s the nature of the beast, I guess.

    milanesemasala’s last blog post..Liverpool – Beautiful Night

    I don’t know about the future of blogging; it’s been around for a long time, actually, and has only grown, but I suppose like with everything, it’ll probably hit a plateau someday. Will be interesting for sure.

  40. 06.09.2008

    A very informative post! Thank you.

    Diane Mandy’s last blog post..Amazing!

    My pleasure Diane!

  41. 06.09.2008

    Thanks, I have visited your blog before, but I don’t think I have commented.

    I have just started my own website/blog. Still working on the design and understanding WordPress and its functionality within my blog. A bit frustrating at times.

    I have started with google adsense, so I have one ad on my site. I am going to check out more, when I have the time.

    I find the site is almost like having a second job. But if I want to make money with it, I do want to look at it as a job as well as a hobby.

    Thanks for the advice and links.

    thotlady’s last blog post..Hot, hot, hot…

    Thanks for commenting! Your site is looking great so far…keep writing! And yes, you’re onto something if you believe that making money with your site means it is at least *part* job…excellent point 🙂

  42. 06.11.2008

    Excellent post, thanks for bloggin about this. I could sure use a few more pounds lol. I opened an adsense thing when I started my blog but i have about 3 dollars in over a year ha ha. I think thats my fault though for not posting regularly enough 🙁

    BecsLifeOnline’s last blog post..Broken Chains Festival 2008!

    Yes Bec, it definitely takes some dedication to get a readership growing…but I still love checking in on you 🙂

  43. 06.12.2008

    i have to agree that when you are blogging we have to monetize the site some how to make it worthwhile especailly as my sites information is free…. also check out http://www.crazyegg.com, this is a heatmap ppl can check where people are clicking on on their site… its free for the first 5000 clicks

    come by my blog some day… its about traffic generation strictly

    Traffic2mypage’s last blog post..Tools to help generate traffic to your site articulately!

    Great! Will be visiting for sure 🙂 Thanks for coming by!

  44. 06.15.2008

    I coudn’t help but notice… pretty new colors on the U.S. money! I was getting tired of the same old green… Well, not that tired that I wouldn’t accept a few more. Great Post! (Ooops, couldn’t resist)

    katie’s last blog post..Asparagus, Two Ways; The Joys of House Hunting!

    Hah! A “great post” is always welcome here 😉

  45. Wow, thanks for the heads up on earning money online though a blog, currently i only use Google Adsense which covers my hosting costs, but will look into usingsome your ideas though as their good tips

    women in wheelchairs’s last blog post..Women In Wheelchairs Going Places

    Glad you enjoyed the tips; I hope they’re successful for you!

  46. Pellet stove Reviews
    08.10.2008

    Quality content is key and we must focus on our topic, s many blogs change their drection though a year when they lose their focus and direction.

    Thanks for stopping by!

  47. 09.04.2008

    I am considering adding google adense then in future i use amazon store too….

    corn stove’s last blog post..Locating a Supplier of Shelled Corn

    Best of luck!

  48. helena
    10.25.2008

    Thanks very much for the tips. Blogs seem to be time consuming, labor intensive and obviously the best ones radiate heart and soul, so a lot of emotional energy goes into them as well.

    There are so many people worldwide writing eloquently on such a wide variety of subjects, I’m just constantly in awe of what’s out there on the subjects that interest me.

    I fully agree about feedback. I was contributing regularly to a blog from which I got almost no feedback from the author, and decided in the end it wasn’t worth it. I also noticed other regular contributors have dropped off as well.

    Really enjoy your blog, and others on Italian life. Here’s hoping the global financial crisis doesn’t cramp your style!

    Only 10 sleeps til Obama takes the White House…

    So glad you enjoyed this Helena! If possible, I feel even stronger about the feedback point now than when I originally wrote this–I’ve really stopped visiting many places at which the authors really don’t interact at all with readers. I just don’t see the point.

    Even fewer sleeps now 😉

  49. Wunschdenker
    10.28.2008

    Sognatrice! Seems everytime I visit you, there’s so much more new *stuff* you’ve added! I found this article purely by accident – from your livefeed (which listed me as being from Pfullendorf?), I saw the title in another readers “history.” Sorry if I sound like a techie-wimp, but this stuff boggles my mind – or bloggles, more like it. And, how oh how do you find the time to respond so thoughtfully to every single comment? – also mind boggling! I’m plugging (extremely slowly) away at Synthasite…your tips will (hopefully) eventually come in very handy! Thanks….WunschD

    Well you know I’m here if you need extra help 🙂

    That Live Feed thing often says (on other people’s blogs) that I’m in Sicily, so it doesn’t know much 😉

  50. 01.17.2009

    a really nice article michelle, rightnow i am also trying to stick to one topic like your first advice, wish me luck.

    “poer of ihostingcoupons”

    hosting coupons’s last blog post..RegFly Special Deals – Domain and SSL Discount Coupons

    Best of luck Poer!

  51. 05.03.2009

    Thanks for this post! I have recently begun considering my blogging and writing could be something more. Need to take advantage of this life abroad! First time I have commented as my blog name instead of emily also considering the ads! Thanks again and look forward to exploring your blog more…especially foooooooddddd!

    take care, emily

    ohhhsweetturkey’s last blog post..“No but of course yes”

    Best of luck, Emily, and thanks so much for coming by 🙂

  52. Repeneva
    05.03.2009

    hh. interesting..

    Thanks for stopping by!

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Michelle FabioMichelle Fabio is an American attorney-turned-freelance writer living in her family's ancestral village in Calabria, Italy and savoring simplicity one sip at a time. 

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Recipes

 

Homemade apple butter
Green beans, potatoes, and pancetta
Glazed Apple Oatmeal Cinnamon Muffins
Pasta with snails alla calabrese
Onion, Oregano, and Thyme Focaccia
Oatmeal Banana Craisin Muffins
Prosciutto wrapped watermelon with bel paese cheese
Fried eggs with red onion and cheese
Calabrian sausage and fava beans
Ricotta Pound Cake