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How I Immediately Increased Ad Revenue

Want to Increase Your Ad Revenue?

Being within my first 5 months or so of blogging on a fairly regular basis has meant getting up to speed with, quite literally, a whole new world. Delving into Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), however, is almost a whole new world in and of itself, and in my view is far more technically advanced than even setting up a blog and starting to publish content. But, if you’re at all interested in making money, however large or small, from your blog/website, it’s something you do have to dip your toe into at some point to gain a deeper understanding of how you can better monetise your site from ad revenue.

To find out how I first got started with SEO and my initial, surprisingly pleasant, results with this see my previous linked article below uploaded a couple of days into the tweaks I made following some basic SEO tips:

https://myholisticliving.co.uk/2019/08/04/feeling-frustrated-with-ad-revenue/

One Month In

Whilst the early results were pleasing, what has been just as pleasing is seeing consistent improvements in ad revenue over the last 4 weeks or so. So just what have those changes been?

  • Prior to the “tweaks”, the maximum continuous weekly passive income prior was for 4 weeks in June.
  • Recently, a steady stream of weekly passive income for the last 6 weeks.
  • In August, following the adjustments there was 5 continuous days of earnings previously no more than 3.
  • The immediate effect of the tweaks saw an initial jump in income from very little at all to a 500% – 600% increase in ad revenue for a couple of days.
  • It then dropped to a lower but more consistent daily increase on revenue before the tweaks.
  • Looking at the ad revenue on a daily and weekly average increase, there has been a 200% increase in passive income since the adjustments.
  • Viewing the ad revenue on a monthly average increase, this is a whopping 900%!

Findings

It’s hard not to theorise that these more advanced techniques and tips on site indexing haven’t been the cause of these positive changes given the timings, especially when you consider that visitor numbers and views have been lower this month, leading to less ads being served and yet higher CPM and therefore increased revenue rates.

My basic understanding of it at this time is that the easier it is for search engines like Google and Bing to categorise your content, whether articles, images or videos, the more likely you are to climb the ranks into higher ad revenue territory.

As a result, I’d have to conclude this month’s experiments with SEO to be a resounding success.

Despite the huge increases seen in a relatively short time, however, I’ve still got a long way to go to start making any meaningful revenue.

Future Strategy Planning

It’s important to note that there can be a lot of fluctuation in ad revenue which can be affected by all sorts of things: location of visitors, website and/or article niche, number of visitors and followers, etc. As all of these can and do fluctuate to varying degrees and at different times, this likewise can cause variables in revenue received. The message here is to not place all your eggs in one basket i.e. don’t make ad revenue your sole source of income to better avoid financial worries.

The best thing to do is enjoy it when there’s revenue to be had whilst trying to better understand what helps you maintain a steady meaningful passive income as much as possible. If your aim is to at some point achieve a meaningful income from blogging/your website full time, then it’s worth looking at other ways to monetise your site too.

SEO can seem a bit tedious at first, but another unexpected pleasure of delving into this more technical side to blogging is that I’m actually quite enjoying learning something new. There’s clearly an art to using it effectively and whilst I’m a relative newbie in this regard, it’s been a promising start so far.

The Downsides

Depending on your reasons for blogging, there may be downsides to understanding and implementing SEO strategies to increase ad revenue. This isn’t made any easier because most sites are unique in their own way so it can be hard to make comparisons without a lot of broad yet detailed research. Personally, I enjoy learning about it the more I understand it so not a huge problem but some might find it tedious and slow-going.

What you will notice is that most stats reports using these webmaster tools aren’t in “real time”, usually a day or so behind actual time and it takes a while for some of them to get enough data from their crawls of your site to produce measurable results. Again not a major issue for me personally but something you might want to plan for.

I suppose the biggest warning I’ve followed from other bloggers is to have a reasonable understanding of what you’re tweaking, when and how you’ll measure improvements.

Firstly, you do want to have an idea of what you’re messing with in case you mess it up – you’ll want to know how to fix it. It reminds me a bit of learning to knit and how to recover a dropped stitch without losing all your work. The way I’ve dealt with this has been to read up on as many articles as possible before tweaking anything! Also, keep the tweaks minimal so that you can eliminate issues more easily and log what you’ve done, when so you can further adjust as necessary or hopefully enjoy greater increased ad revenue.

Outcome

My take on SEO one month in is that it’s well-worth investing the time into if you’re someone wanting to increase your ad revenue. When the time is right for you to do that really depends on how quickly you’re able to get to grips with SEO and start effectively implementing the techniques. If you’re not sure what you’re doing, you could opt for hiring professionals to help with this, finances permitting.

It would be good to know if you’ve seen any positive results from improved SEO knowledge and implementation. What’s worked for you? What hasn’t? I like to think that sharing information like this will help to make us all better bloggers 🙂

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Feeling Frustrated with Ad Revenue?

Blog Stats: the Ads

Like many people, I began blogging as a bit of a creative hobby when I first began only around 3 or 4 months ago but I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t hope it would ultimately bring in some monetary payment too as an added bonus. I’m sure it’s the same for any hobby, hence the saying that if you can find a way to live by doing something you love, then you’ll never have to work a day in your life.

The Early Days

There was something of a steep learning curve for me starting a blog but again, just as with any new hobby or skill, learning the finer points of the art is often part of the fun.

For the first few months, my learning has been more on understanding some of the terminology of blogging and useful insights to take from my normal traffic stats page as well as the practical side of learning how to use blogging systems. And, I still feel like a newbie!

Getting Curious

I think an inevitable stage of blogging comes when you start to take more of an interest in SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). I had a vague notion of what it was when I first started blogging but when there’s so much to do in those early days, I was very much guided by helpful articles on the web advising content is king with design another key element of successful blogging long-term before worrying too much about SEO, especially if blogging for “fun”.

Now that the intense early days excitement of blogging has settled into an enjoyable routine hobby, that’s allowed me to take a wider interest in the more advanced side of blogging and the various theories on how to be good at it. After all, when we enjoy something we can do, don’t we always want to do it well?

I’m very much in the early days of researching as much as I can on SEO for 2019. At first, it sounded utterly dull to me but after some time I can now see how it could be interesting to learn about.

Already Surprising Results

The article that spurred this latest interest I found in the Support Section (that little question mark in the bottom right corner of your screen on WordPress sites), https://en.support.wordpress.com/getting-more-views-and-traffic/

I had actually taken a look at this article a few times when I began blogging and had done pretty much all the suggestions save for the first, mainly because, I didn’t really understand it!

I had of course checked that the site was public, which it was, but what did all that talk of site indexing mean? So I left it to come back to another time, which just so happened to be yesterday when my curiosity got the better of me and I decided to follow, what turned out to be, a simpler process than what I’d thought it might be and indexed my own site. Link to the article I followed here: https://en.support.wordpress.com/webmaster-tools/

Essentially, by getting your blog or website “site indexed” or listed in Bing, Google and Pinterest, you get access to a ton of additional stats. It should be noted that as WordPress state in the article, you do not have to do this, I just thought I’d give it a go to see if it was helpful to me, with some instantly surprising results that I thought I’d share.

Since the blog launched in May 2019 until today being 4 August 2019, the ad revenue had been virtually non-existent at 5 cents total! After implementing the site indexing techniques suggested in the linked article only yesterday, I logged on today to see that for yesterday alone I made 5c!

I’m not one to jump to conclusions but that seems a bit of a coincidence!

5 cents in 3 months, a few tweaks and voila 5 cents in one day. I appreciate that 10 cents is not a lot to get excited about, by the way, I just didn’t expect those tweaks to have such instantaneous results.

Of course, it could simply be a coincidence – far too early to tell really but interesting nonetheless. I’ll obviously have to keep things under review with my now all-singing-all-dancing additional stats reports from my site indexing and report back at a later date.

In the meantime, if you’ve not already, take a look at the articles suggested to see if there’s any ideas in there that could boost your traffic and maybe even help make you a few bob too!

Let me know how you find the wonderful world of SEO.

How to Use Social Media to Promote Your Blog

Part 3: Facebook

The final instalment of a 3-part series on how to use social media to promote your blog.

You can find Part 1: Instagram along with some general social media tips here: https://myholisticliving.co.uk/2019/06/23/how-to-use-social-media-to-promote-your-blog/

And Part 2: Pinterest here: https://myholisticliving.co.uk/2019/06/23/how-to-use-social-media-to-promote-your-blog/

Facebook

The granddaddy of social media especially for those of us of a certain age – Facebook is the social media platform I felt most comfortable with adapting for business use.

The way that I have converted my previously solely private account for promotion of my blog is to add a page. I did this mainly as I really didn’t want to annoy my friends and family by constantly uploading my content to my private account. There’s also the issue I’ve discussed previously of having separate areas for personal and business use, which allows you to keep your business use on brand.

Even though my followers are smallest on my Facebook page at a very modest 22 only, looking at the stats, I expect that my target demographic in terms of age are more likely to be using Facebook than say Instagram or Pinterest even.

There’s also the issue that Instagram and Pinterest are of course visual social-media platforms primarily whereas my content is more article-based. Users of Facebook, I believe, are more likely to be expecting to read more detailed content as opposed to simply looking at an image/quote as on other social media sites.

I also get far more referrals from Facebook to my website than on any other platform save for the WordPress Reader. The click-through rate is much higher leading to higher traffic as a result.

At this stage I’m not sure if that’s because I’m more comfortable with Facebook or because that is where my demographic is most likely to be found or some other reason. It will be interesting to see if the other social media accounts start converting more of my audience into website hits once I get more familiar with these. Having said that, I know that when I’m on Instagram or Pinterest, I rarely go to someone’s website, choosing instead to go over to their Profile only. Really then, I have Instagram in particular purely to raise my brand awareness and not because I expect referrals per se. Pinterest, as I indicated in Part 2, is more of a filing and sorting system for me, although I do of course upload my own content there too.

You still have to grab your reader’s attention but what I like about Facebook is that I can play to my strength (e.g. content rather than images) far better. Catchy titles and excerpts are important here as you’re aiming to get your reader to want to read on enough to click the link to the full article rather than simply scrolling through their feed. Images are still important of course, but less so than Instagram and Pinterest, for my content anyway.

Over the last 7 weeks, I’ve noticed the following have worked for me:

DoDon’t
Set up a Facebook page just for your website/business including links to your website and related social media accounts so that posts to your website are automatically uploaded to your page on Facebook.Expect your Facebook followers to grow overnight – this has been the slowest platform for attracting followers but good for engagement of followers
Match your page to your brand-style on your website and other social media accounts including your logo and a matching cover photo so that people start to become familiar with this.Bombard your followers on your personal Facebook account – I know that there is a feature to invite your friends to follow your account but I have to admit that I really don’t like it when my friends do this to me. Let your friends know that the page is there and if they wish to follow it, they will do because they want to, not because they feel guilt-tripped into doing it!
Remember to review your “Settings” – I have mine on far more accessible features on the basis that I want as many people as possible to see it, unlike my personal account.Make your page a carbon copy of your website – I made this mistake at first and got very little follower interaction as a result. Once I started seeing that photo carousel and slideshow posts as well as videos were popular on my Facebook page, I soon changed my strategy to include more of this just for my Facebook followers.
Familiarise yourself with features such as “Creator” and “Publisher” which I’ve found great (although a little unresponsive in terms of speed), in creating unique slideshows and carousels of photos that have proved quite popular in terms of engagement.If someone contacts you on your page, don’t dawdle with your response if possible – mine is currently 20 minutes, which needs to improve if I want their “badge” as a quick responder.
Do include detail about yourself in the “About” section. I kept this on-brand by simply copying and pasting from my “About Us” section on my website once I’d reviewed it to see if it would work or if it needed tweaking.If you decide to use advertising to promote your page, don’t be afraid to invite those people who engage with your ad to like your page. I felt nervous about this at first, like I was being too pushy, but actually, I had a reasonable conversion rate as a result of doing this.
Use the “Services” feature to set out a basic menu of services and rates for whatever your business/website provides.Facebook has its own analytics page so don’t forget to take a look at those stats too occasionally especially when strategy planning.
If you host any events, e.g. we recently held a WWF Fundraising Event, be sure to add this to the “Events” menu on Facebook to promote the same amongst your current followers.Depending on the type of business user you are, within settings you can set up what tabs feature first on your page so don’t forget to reorder these as to what you think is most likely to draw your followers in.
Consider using advertisements to increase your reach and followers – ads I’m using are approximately £1.00 per day and you can set how long they run for. I even got something like £15.00 worth of free advertising when I first set the page up so definitely use this at least to promote your website and see whether paid advertising in this sense works for you.Don’t worry about being a little informal – at first, I was a bit too formal with my approach to Facebook – when I mellowed a bit and put on some quotes and images rather than just articles, the interaction rate improved.

If you prefer to see how some of these strategies that I’ve started implementing work in practice, head over to:

https://www.facebook.com/HolisticLivingWithCarla/

Remember that these are just my observations on how I’m learning to work with Facebook as a business-user in a relatively short period. No doubt there are other tips and tricks that you find work well for your blog – feel free to add these to the comments below!

This brings this 3-part series to an end. I do hope that you have found something helpful within it. Our next update for bloggers will be available from 21 July when I’ll upload the monthly stats update.

As ever, feel free to share this article if you think others will benefit from its content.

How to Use Social Media to Promote Your Blog

Part 2: Pinterest

Part 2 of a 3-part instalment on how to use social media to promote your blog. You can find Part 1: Instagram along with some general social media tips here: https://myholisticliving.co.uk/2019/06/23/how-to-use-social-media-to-promote-your-blog/

Pinterest

I’ve used Pinterest for years on a personal basis but only converted my account to a business account linked to my blog around 6 weeks ago when the blog launched.

The way that I use Pinterest mainly is as a source of inspiration, a kind of sorting office or filing system for topics that I may wish to blog about in the future or that I find resonate with the Holistic Living with Carla brand.

I still use it on a personal level as well and have a number of “secret” boards that I keep locked just to me if it’s something that I don’t feel it is appropriate to share to followers but that I’d like to keep.

Like Instagram, Pinterest is almost entirely visual based. That’s not to say that there isn’t any text or information that you can add to your “pinned” posts or boards but no one is likely to be reading much of that information if the visual effect of the pin doesn’t grab their attention first.

My learning points from the last 6 weeks of using Pinterest for business purposes include:

DODON’T
Create a Pinterest account or convert your personal account to a business accountUse faulty links as Pinterest penalises these. Ensure any links you include do work and review these from time to time.
If your blog account permits it, “claim” your website on Pinterest (lots of articles online about how to do this).Forget to include sub-categories within the board topics to really help your followers find what they’re looking for with ease.
Start creating and/or organising your boards – you want to make it as easy as possible for your followers to be able to find what they’re looking for.Just post your blog content – whilst Pinterest is quite different to other social media platforms in a lot of ways, interaction and support of like-minded users is an area in which it is still similar to other social media platforms.
Ensure that you use the “Edit” feature for each board – this is where you can add that all important text and information such as what the board is about and link to your website. It’s also where you can maximise publicity with a good “keywords” strategy.Forget to make use of the “tried it” feature. This is a great way of recommending someone else’s post to other Pinterest users and the poster will be pleased with the interaction, so much so that they may well return the favour.
Make it easier for readers on your blog to “pin” or “save” your content directly from your blog to their Pinterest account by adding the Pinterest logo to your blog.Have too many boards – this is fine with a personal account I think but when I converted to a business account, I tried to make the boards themselves more general with then 4/5 sub-categories of smaller topics in each one.
Have a consistent “pinning” schedule or use one of the many apps available such as “Later” to help you do this.Forget to work on the aesthetics. Take a moment to review how your Pinterest account looks to other users. For instance, do you want a static cover at the top of your account with your favourite pins on there or would you like this to be updated with most recent pins?
Engage with others on the platform, pinning their posts and following either their whole account on Pinterest or just the boards of theirs that interest you.Underestimate the power of brand style, colour, font, etc too. I tend to be more into this on Instagram but think about whether you would like consistent colours and the like so that your followers come to recognise your brand quickly.
Review the analytics regularly to see which of your posts are most popular and at what times/with whom so you can refine your Pinterest strategy to maximise results.Post uninspiring or “boring” images – try to think about how your pin will stand out from the extensive number of pins constantly being uploaded to users’ feeds.
Use the “Explore” feature to see what’s “trending” on the platform – this can be used as inspiration for your next blog topic.Forget to re-use your pins in your other social media platforms. I often use Pinterest and Instagram in conjunction because of the visual appeal similarities of posts but would still individually alter the accompanying text for each site to best suit the platform.

If you prefer to see how some of these strategies that I’ve started implementing work in practice, head over to https://www.pinterest.co.uk/HolisticLivingWithCarla/pins/

I can’t say that I’ve started using all of these strategies myself yet but this week I’ve managed to get around halfway through re-organising my boards and pins into better labelled categories and sub-categories. Once this is updated, I plan to move onto the aesthetics and branding of Holistic Living With Carla so that content is more readily associated with my brand as an advertising technique, that whilst time-consuming, is in fact in money terms, cost free.

You can of course run ads yourself on Pinterest. I haven’t written about it as I haven’t tried this yet and until I feel as though the account is branded and as aesthetically pleasing as it needs to be, this isn’t an avenue I’m ready to pursue just yet.

So again, these are just my observations on how I’m learning to work with Pinterest as a business-user in a relatively short period. No doubt there are other tips and techniques that you find work well for your blog – feel free to add these to the comments below!

The final instalment of this short series, Part 3 will take a look at Facebook social media strategy and will be available next Sunday. Check back then if you think that this is where you’d like to focus your social media strategy.