How To Pick A Profitable Book Topic – Monetize Low-Income Blog Content

September 12th, 2010

Welcome to my “Write a book” series.  Here are all the articles:Create-Space

Article Summary

  • You can make good money from some blog content using Adsense and affiliates.
  • Most natural blog content doesn’t make any money from Adsense and affiliates even if there is demand for that content (search engine traffic).
  • You can’t charge the readers directly for the non-money-making blog content.
  • You need to repackage the non-money-making content into a format where you can charge the readers ie book/ebook/course.
  • Example of evaluating a product topic.

On with the article!

One of the themes of this blog is that if you want to write a blog post that has money making potential from Adsense and affiliates, the topic must be evaluated against the following three criteria:

  1. Demand:  It must be a topic that at least a few people are searching for information on.
  2. Competition:  If there is too much competition in the SERPs (search engine results page), you won’t be able to rank high enough to make any money.
  3. Advertisers:   They have to want to buy ad spots on your post.

Popularity and competition are somewhat basic business concepts which apply to pretty much any kind of business – not just SEO posts.  If you are operating a store, then it should sell something that people want to buy.  If there are already too many stores selling that same product then you probably won’t be successful.

The third idea that you need advertisers to want to buy ads on the post, is not as universal.  Most companies operate using a business model where the client pays the business directly for a product or service.

For example; the business model of a bakery is that the baker creates the product, a client walks into the store, hands over some cash and buys the bread.  There are no other business entities directly involved in the transaction.

But what about a radio station?  They give their product away for free, so how do they make money?  Third party advertisers of course.  Normally when you listen to a sports talk show, you will hear commercials that are often geared towards the supposed audience (men).

Radio station programmers don’t plan talk shows to cover any topic the host wants – they plan the topics to attract an audience that is desirable to potential advertisers.  That’s how they make money.

If you want to make money from blog posts, then you have to do the same thing.  Write about topics that will attract the search engine visitors that advertisers want to be seen by.  If you can accomplish this feat, then you should be able to do well with Adsense and affiliates.

What happens if you like writing about topics that do not attract third party advertisers?

If that is the case, it’s a lot harder to make money.  Adsense and affiliates will probably not perform very well on those posts, even if you are getting decent search engine traffic.  Not all search engine traffic is valuable.

For some reason, which is a mystery to me – it is verboten for online content providers to charge money for their content.  This is quite unfortunate, since there are a lot of interesting topics which are not covered extensively on blogs because there is no way to make money from them.  Conversely, there are a lot of topics that are beaten to death over and over again on many blogs, just because those topics are money makers.


If it was acceptable for blogs/websites to charge “reading fees”, then the content would be determined by reader demand for topics, and not just the demands of third party advertisers.  However, that is not reality.

My novel (pun intended) solution

Write a book or product on your topic that doesn’t do well with Adsense.  Of course, this idea is not novel at all – I just thought it was a good pun.  Book..novel…ha ha.

In the language of make-money-online bullshitters bloggers everywhere – “Productize your content“.

Of course, a book is not the only product you can create – it can be a physical book, ebook, course/tutorial, presentation and probably many other formats as well.

Why will creating a product make money when my blog doesn’t?

By creating a product to sell, you are essentially charging people to read and learn from your content and expertise.  As I mentioned, it would be easier and more logical if you could just charge your readers directly, but that ain’t gonna happen anytime soon.

How to evaluate your topic for money-making potential in the form of a product you can sell

If you want to create a product that you will charge money for – you have to evaluate the product topic against the following criteria:

  1. Demand:  It must be a topic that at least a few people are searching for information on.
  2. Competition:  If there is too much competition for this product, you won’t make much money.
  3. People want to buy your product.  Does it give them value?

Demand and competition are still factors you have to look at.  If you offer a service nobody wants, or if everyone and their brother is already offering that service – then it will be very difficult to make any money.

The difference is #3 – instead of a blogger relying on third party advertisers to create Adsense income for a post – a blogger selling a product relies on the client to pay for the product directly.   With Adsense or affiliates, a financial transaction takes place between the reader and a third-party company.  With your own product, the financial transaction takes place between you and the reader.

There has to be a financial transaction involved in order for any money to be made.

By selling a product directly to the client, you change your business model from the typical blogging model where third party advertisers provide the revenue, to a more common model where the client provides the revenue.

Specific steps to choose a product topic

  1. Decent search engine traffic
  2. Minimal Adsense or affiliate income
  3. Enough content for a product
  4. Value added for reader?
  5. Will people buy it?

Pick a topic that gets decent search engine traffic.

Search engine traffic should be the first indicator of demand for your product.  If your topic doesn’t get much search engine traffic, that indicates not many people are interested in the topic or there is too much competition.  Either way you won’t sell any product based on that topic.   Do you have several topics that are high traffic/low income?  Start with the highest traffic topic.

Pick a topic with low income

Of course, you can productize a topic that makes good Adsense/affiliates, but that’s not the purpose of this post.  Pick topics that are not making money already.

Pick a topic with enough content

Your product doesn’t have to be huge, but it’s a tough sell if you are offering a book that is only 600 words.  Or a tutorial that is only one 15-minute lesson.  You have to make the product “big” enough to be able to charge for it.

Pick a topic without too much competition

The fact that search engine traffic is decent probably indicates that competition is moderate.   If I wanted to write an ebook/book on a topic then I would try to do some Googling on the topic as well as check Amazon for books on the topic.

Pick a topic that gives a value proposition

When I say “value proposition”, I really mean “saves money for the client”.  I wouldn’t say this step is mandatory, but it’s a lot easier to sell a product if the product promises to save the buyer money.  At the very least, it has to promise some sort of benefit for the buyer.

An example of a potential product

Search engine traffic and income

I know from some blogger friends that posts on natural cleaning products that you make yourself fit the criteria for a potential product.  That topic gets decent search engine traffic (which indicates demand) and very little income from Adsense or affiliates.  If you think about it – what advertiser would want to be seen by someone who is interested in a diy product which doesn’t involve buying anything?  Answer – none.

Ok, so now we have identified a topic that has demand and minimal Adsense and affiliate income.


Competition is hard to measure – offhand I don’t think diy cleaning products is a hot topic, so I’m guessing there isn’t a ton of competition.  The fact that the posts get good search engine traffic is also a good indicator that competition isn’t too fierce.

Let’s check for some potential book titles using the following searches:

Diy cleaning products
Do it yourself cleaning products
Homemade cleaning products

Those searches indicate that there are books on the topic, but not too many.  I’d say competition is not too heavy.

Enough content?

I think it’s safe to say that there are many possible diy home cleaning products – if you have only written about one or two – then you’ll have to find more and write about them as well.  Content won’t be a problem for this topic.

Does it add value for the reader?

This section can also double for marketing ideas for the product.

  • Save $200 per year on cleaning products by making your own.  Everyone likes to save money.
  • Create environmentally-safe and green cleaning products.  Green is in.
  • Make your own cleaning products that are safer for your family.  I have no idea if this is true, but it sure sounds good.

Go for the long tail

This is really part of the competition section, but it’s worth examining by itself.

The “long tail” is term used by bloggers to refer to search engine queries for very specific items.  For example – I can write a hundred posts with “gold” as the main keyword, and I will never rank high enough for “gold” to get any search engine traffic.  Competition for the keyword “gold” is fierce!

What about “How to store gold in Toronto?” – keywords are “store,gold,Toronto”.  This search is far more specific than just “gold” which means that:

  1. Less competition
  2. Less traffic

Of course, if traffic is too low, then those keywords are useless.

The point is that if you are a blogger, you need to write posts that are more specific so that you aren’t competing with the big boys in your niche.  Same thing with products.  Want to write a book about general personal finance?  Good luck – this field is dominated by huge celebrities like Orman, Bach, Ramsey etc.  Joe Smoe cannot in a million years compete against those guys.  Even big name personal finance bloggers like JD Roth and Trent Hamm would have a hard time against the big names.  Both of those bloggers have written books recently which are probably selling ok, due to the fact they have a large audience.  Outside of reader purchases and reader-influenced purchases (ie a reader telling a friend about the book), it is unlikely they will have many sales from people who have never heard of them before.

How about a book or ebook topic called “Balance your budget using the envelope system”?  That topic is far more specific (long tail) than a general personal finance book.

  • Is there any demand for that topic?  I don’t know – start blogging about it and see if you get any search engine traffic.
  • Competition?  I can guarantee that there will be less competition for that book compared a general personal finance book called “How to improve your finances”.
  • Do you have enough content?  Start writing and find out.
  • Does it add value?  Of course, who wouldn’t want a balanced budget?


If you have blog content which is popular, but doesn’t generate income – consider creating a product that you can sell.

To evaluate a potential blog product consider:

  • Demand
  • Competition
  • Will people buy it?  Does it give them value?

If you are trying to come up with a product topic, then try to be more specific (long tail) rather than more general.


Why You Have To Make Money Blogging

September 12th, 2010

Often newer bloggers really enjoy creating content for their blogs, interacting with readers and they don’t worry too much about making money.  They might try some monetization, but if it’s not successful then they give up and go back to just writing.

There is nothing wrong with blogging for fun, but in my experience the “blog for fun” bloggers, otherwise known as the “bloggers who don’t make much money” almost always end up fading away into the sunset.  I believe the reason is for this is that once the novelty of blogging wears off, their passion for the topic isn’t enough to keep a long term commitment to their site.  I’m not suggesting that long term bloggers like myself are only in it for the money, but there is no question – it is a big motivator to continue.

Although it’s not a good idea to worry too much about money when your blog is new – once you have been at it a while then you should make it more of a priority.

If you are interested in making more money with your blog, but don’t have the time – you need to change your regular blog activities.  If you put out 5 posts a week then cut it down to 4 and spend the extra time on money making activities.  If you spend 2 hours a day reading other blogs, cut that down to 30 minutes and spend the difference on money posts.

Make more money with your blog – it’s survival depends on it!

Don’t Be A Slave To Your Regular Blog Readers

August 23rd, 2010

One big issue some bloggers face is allegiance to their regular readers, combined with a fear that they will all leave en masse if the blogger changes their writing style in any way, shape or form.

This is usually a function of the fact that a lot of new bloggers start their sites for themselves and their readers and making money isn’t a big consideration if any.  We love getting new readers and comments and hate to do anything to jeopardize that.

The problem is that eventually the novelty of having a blog and an audience wears off.   Now you want to make some money!  Adding advertisements and changing some of the content can be a scary thing.  Will my readers desert me?  My readers need me – I can’t let them down.

Change the way you think about regular readers

Some facts:

  • You give your readers free, regular content.  You don’t owe them anything on top of that.  In fact you don’t owe them anything at all.
  • They aren’t going to leave in droves unless you completely change the way you blog.  Smaller incremental changes are perfectly acceptable.
  • Regular readers don’t make money for you – search engine visitors make the money.
  • If you are not willing or afraid to change then you are probably giving up potential income for the (perceived) benefit of your regular readers.

You aren’t your regular readers

Most readers subscribe to a lot of blogs, but they don’t read everything you write.  This means that if you do the odd “affiliate” post or review which is basically an ad, then they will just skip it and will be back to check out the next post.  It’s just not a big deal to most people if you want to make some money.

Consider monetization changes to the blog as a “fee” for the readers.  Maybe some of the posts are not your normal topics, perhaps you have a popup advertising your newsletter or recent product.  The readers have to deal with it if they want to keep reading your fine material.

Do you want to make more money or not?

If you want to make more money then you have to make some changes to the way you do things.  It’s as simple as that.

It’s important to note that making changes doesn’t mean you have to change everything.  You don’t have to plaster your site with ads and do spammy posts all the time in order to make more $$.

You can do both

What if you wrote some articles for your regular readers and some for money?

It doesn’t have to be all or none.

Think about starting slowly and replacing one “regular” post a week with a “money” post which is geared towards you making money.

One problem with money posts is that they are often not very interesting for the blogger.  Doing a mix of both types of posts can be a great way for the blogger and the regular readers to stay interested in the blog and make some more bucks!

How To Write Money Making Posts More Efficiently

August 18th, 2010

One of the keys to making more money with your blog is post volume.  Quality is important of course, but everything else being equal – the more posts you have, the more money you can make. The problem is that you only have so much time to research and write posts.

Most good research posts (which tend do well with search engines) have two main components:

  1. Research – If you are not familiar with a topic or have limited knowledge, you will have to spend some time researching the topic.  This part can be very time consuming.
  2. Writing the post.  Some people will take hours to write a post, but a lot of bloggers can crank out a post in 30-60 minutes, once they have the information they need.

The research portion of this process can be quite time consuming, which is why you often see bloggers write about topics which don’t require any research.  The problem with those types of posts is that they often don’t contain any useful information and won’t get much search engine traffic.  An example of this type of post might be “What I ate for breakfast today“.  🙂

If you have any expertise in a topic, then you can use that knowledge to help you write research posts without doing a lot of research.

One trick to efficiently produce a money-making post is to find a topic from your everyday life that has earning potential and then write about it.  If you are not sure how to determine earning potential then I suggest you read this post about different types of search engine visitors.

If you are familiar with how retirement accounts work or if you like buying new electronic equipment, then write about your experiences.  If you have done some research before making a large purchase, then you have already have the research portion done – now just write the post.

If you think about it – if you can write 5 articles in 10 hours that make $3 per month,, that will give you a reasonable payback for your time.  But if those same articles require extensive research and take 5 hours each – then the payback will be a lot longer.

This strategy is limited, since you probably aren’t buying major items every day or changing banks every month, but it should give you a bit more bang for your buck.

The easiest place to use this technique is consumer purchases – items that can be ordered online are best, but pretty much anything goes.

Have you bought a camera lately?  Do a review – you might have to do a bit of research on the technical details of the camera, but you should be able to talk about why you bought the camera and what you think of it from your experience.  Replaced your hot water heater?  Did some renovations?

Some examples of common stuff that might have earning potential

  • Electronics – Dvd players, tvs, cell phones.  If you have purchased anything like this in the last year or two then do a review.  You can talk about what you were looking for in said device and then talk about whether it met your expectations.
  • Books – Book reviews aren’t great money makers for me, but if you have read a recent and popular book, then doing a review might make you some money.
  • Banking/investment accounts – Do you have a credit card, bank account, investment account?  Write about it.
  • House insurance, car insurance, life insurance –  If you have it, you must know something about it and can produce a post.
  • Cell phone plans/home phone plans – What plan do you have?
  • Internet packages/cable tv – Talk about which company you use, which package you have.
  • Vacations – Write about airline deals, hotels, tourist destinations, travel insurance.

If you have any hobbies, do some keyword research to see if there is any earning potential. The payoff doesn’t have to be high since you can put the content together quickly and will probably enjoy writing the content.

How To Prevent Legitimate Comments From Being Marked As Spam By Akismet

August 11th, 2010

Do you have a regular commenter or two who are always ending up in the Akismet “spam dungeon”?  Does this happen to you when commenting on blogs? In this post, I’m going to cover several possible options to prevent this from happening.

As every blog owner knows, there are a lot of people out there who will try to leave comments on your blog that are considered spam.

What is spam?

Most spam comments are pretty easy to spot – they are completely off-topic, often are quite long with nonsense words and many links.  There is another group of spam that is harder to spot – some site owners will leave comments with a link to their own site in the comment or the comment url.  If these comments are too basic or complimentary “Great post!” then they are probably spam.

Spam filters

To combat this problem, there are plugins which will filter out the spam.  Akismet, NoSpamNX are a couple of examples.  The problem is that they sometimes get a little overzealous and mark legitimate comments as spam.  The blogger has to unspam and approve the comments which can get time consuming.

According to the Akisment webpage:

Help! Akismet is catching a regular comment as spam!
Don’t worry, if you see a regular comment on your Akismet page, just click the “Approve” button or the “Not Spam” checkbox and submit and the comment will be sent back to Akismet as a mistake. The system will learn from your submission, though it may take a day or so in some cases. False positives, as they’re called, are extremely rare and we watch them closely.

All I can say to this is Bull!!!  I have one commenter on my main blog, who’s comments have been marked as spam for over a year.  I must have approved him 500 times and yet Akismet never learns.  I came across another blogger who had some information from Akismet.  Apparently the “spam” status is set for each blog – not a collective vote which I had assumed.   I’m skeptical.

How to remove commenters from Akismet blacklist

These are the methods I’ve used with varying degrees of success.

1)  Ask the commenter to change their name and email address.  Akismet uses these fields so sometimes changing them can fix the problem.

2)  Ask commenter to change their IP address.  This can usually be accomplished by having them reboot their cable modem.  The IP number is the main identifier for Akismet.

3)  Contact Akismet and ask them to remove a person from their blacklist.  You must be able to provide that person’s IP address.

4)  Try another spam filter.  I suspect this might have mixed results, but it’s worth a try if all else fails.  Invest It Wisely has switched to Bad Behaviour and SI Captcha anti-spam and says it’s working well.

5)  Don’t bother fixing it.  I hate to suggest this strategy, but there has to be a limit on how much work you should spend on this problem.

Does anyone else have any other ideas on how to deal with this problem?  Is it worth the time to deal with it or should you just let some commenters go?

Write Useful and Positive Post Titles and Content

July 17th, 2010

I came up with this topic when helping someone with their book idea recently.  I just finished writing one of my own, so I had lots of thoughts to share.  The thing with books and blog posts is that they are one and the same, except that books tend to be a lot longer than most posts.

The book title he told me sounded a bit negative, so I told him that something more positive might sell more books.  We’ll analyze his book title later.

Titles are important!

There are too many blog posts for one person to read each day.  A reader has to make decisions about which posts to read and which posts to skip.  Potential readers will generally use the post title to decide whether or not to read the post.

A search engine user will often see dozens, if not thousands of results for their query.  They need to use the title and to a lesser extent the description to decide whether to click on your link and get to your blog.

Google looks at post titles to help determine what information your post might contain.

You write a post or book to sell it

Why do you write posts?  Why would you write a book?  In most cases writers want to sell their material.  This doesn’t just mean selling for money, writers want to be read and get reactions.  If I write a blog post and it gets linked by 50 different sites and gets 100 comments, then I would be very pleased and that would be payment enough.  Money is also another acceptable form of payment.  🙂

If potential readers decide not to read your post, you haven’t sold anything and won’t benefit at all.  I don’t really like the idea that most readers will decide whether or not to read my post based on the title, but that is just the way it is.

Try to align yourself with the potential reader

It’s nice to think that we can change the world with each blog post we write – if we have a bad experience, maybe writing a post will help discourage others from making the same mistake?

Fat chance.  The reality is that if someone is looking for information on a topic, they have already decided on a plan and are just looking for details.  You might think that trying to warn people of the perils of credit cards might be doing them a favor.  You might even be right.  However, most people who are searching for credit card information have already decided to get a new card and just want information about which card is best for them.  You can try to put up roadblocks but those potential readers will either never see your post or will just ignore it if it comes up in the search engine results page.
Give readers what they want

If you want to warn people about something, align your post topic with what they are looking for.  Give them the credit card information they are looking for (and affiliate signup links of course) and give your warnings as well.  Those warnings might not be heeded, but at least they will get read.

It’s easier to sell useful information than a rant

People want to read posts that will either entertain them (which won’t make you any money) or provide them with useful information.  The problem is sometimes writers will hide useful information inside a negative, ranty post (sorry Evan, your post was just too perfect).  For example a post entitled “I hate [big American cable company]” might be full of great ideas on how to save money on cable bills and tips on how to deal effectively with customer service representatives.  But most readers will assume this post is simply a rant from a disgruntled customer or ex-employee.  Rants have very little value other than as a warning not to use that company.  Given that the best companies still make mistakes once in a while, seeing the occasional criticism of that company might not mean much.

If I’m looking for an entertaining article, then I might check out that rant.  If I’m looking for useful information, then I’m skipping it.

A more useful title?

  • How I saved 20% on my [company name] cable bill with one phone call.  Write about comparing packages, picking an appropriate package, threatening to walk etc.
  • Why I switched from [company name 1] to [company name 2].  The emphasis on this article should be the good things about company 2, rather than the bad things about company 1.
  • How I solved [problem] with [company name].  Was it an over-billing problem that got you angry?  Did you get it resolved eventually?  Describe how you got it fixed – that might be of use to people in the same situation.

You can still include the negative stuff in the post

If your post and title contains useful information and is desirable to readers, then they will read your post.  You can still include all the gory details of your bad encounter with company X if you want to.  Maybe add it to the end of the post and keep it short.

Pick a topic, write a useful sounding title and then write the post

If you write the post first, your title will be constrained by the content.  If the post is one long rant about your local grocery store, you can’t then title it “10 tips to save money on your grocery bill“.

The title helps sell your post.  The title has to accurately describe the contents.

  • Figure out the basic topic first.
  • Come up with the post title.
  • Write the content to match the title.

Let’s look at the book example

My friend wants to call his book “Things about the used car industry nobody will tell you”.  This friend is extremely knowledgeable about that industry and I’m sure the book would be both entertaining and useful.  The plan is to talk about all the bad things and then suggest solutions to those problems.  The book will contain a lot of “how to” information.  Sounds great except that someone reading that title might think the following:

  • Book will contain all negative material.  I want to buy a used car and I want to read about how to save money, not just hear about the problems.
  • Book sounds like it was written by a disgruntled ex-employee.  Will they be constantly whining about their personal “mistreatment” in that industry?  This will provide no value to me at all.

What is a more positive and useful sounding title?

  • The complete guide to buying a used car – Step by step guide to successfully buying a great car at a great price.

I’m sure there are many other great titles as well.  Of course this book will still discuss negative topics like slimy salesmen, but that will be in the book – not in the title.

How about a post example?

I wrote about how to do keyword research and came up with a post topic which ended being titled “Canadian Dividend Stocks“.

The post is about Canadian dividend stocks (obviously) and provides information about various dividend stocks, as well as sources of information on how to get started with these stocks.  It occurred to me as I wrote this post, that the title could be improved.

At the time of writing the title is made up of the keywords “Canadian dividend stocks”.  It’s accurate and not a bad title.  However, it is a bit ambiguous – what information does it contain?  A list of stocks? Recent prices for stocks?  Something else?

Now I’m thinking that the title should be a bit more specific and describe the content a bit more.  This particular post is very good and contains a lot of useful information so having a neutral title might be underselling it a bit.

More useful titles:

  • How to start investing in Canadian Dividend Stocks
  • How to invest in Canadian Dividend Stocks
  • Information about Canadian Dividend Stocks

Can you think of any others?  Leave your suggestions in the comments and I might use it!


  • The post title sells the post and helps determine if it will be read.
  • Make your post titles and content useful.  Can the reader take something from the article and actually put it to use in their own lives?
  • Make the title match the post content.
  • Don’t forget about formatting the title for SEO.

The Importance of Links and Link Building To Increase Your Blog Income

June 20th, 2010

In the past few articles we’ve discussed how the type of content can affect your blog income, how to do some basic keyword research, and even the best way to format your posts for SEO, to make them more alluring to search engines.

Let’s quickly review the main keys for making more money with your blog:

  • Content – Certain topics make more money than others.
  • Links – Inbound links to your posts and blog help with monetization.
  • Format of the article – Search engines use algorithms to figure out what your post is about. Use standard formats to make it easier for them.

This post is all about links. First we’ll discuss why links are good, then talk about the different link types and formats. Finally I’ll offer some suggestions for getting links.

Before I continue with this lengthy post, I’ll summarize the whole thing by saying that links are good. With a few exceptions, the more links you have pointing to your blog, the better off you will be.

How search engines work

There are two things you need to know about how search engines work:

  1. They find new pages by following links from old pages
  2. They evaluate pages by rating the links pointing to that page.

Now those aren’t the only factors search engines use when finding and evaluating a web page, but for this discussion, they will suffice. It should also be noted that nobody outside of Google really knows how Google works, so take everything you read with a grain of salt. This includes any information provided on this site. 🙂

What is Google Juice?

This is a made-up term which refers to the amount of search engine currency that an inbound link can give to the receiving web page. If the incoming “Google Juice” is higher then it should help a web page rank higher in the search engine results page (SERP). If the “Google Juice” is weaker, then the page might not rank as high.

Let’s learn about links.

Internal links

An internal link is a link from one web page on your blog, to another web page ,also on your blog. These are very useful since they can help lead your visitors to other related relevant material on your site.

An example of an internal link which links to another page on my site would be:

How to make money with your blog posts.

Search engines will also use these internal links to help find and rate pages on your website. There is Google juice passed through internal links, but not as much as for an equivalent external link.

External links

An external link is a link from a web site other than your own, which points to a page on your site. For example here is an external link to my other site. This would be considered an external inbound link from the point of view of the other site.

Money Smarts Blog

Note that this link is not to a specific page, but rather the home domain or the front page of the blog. This is still a valid link. Links can be to an individual post, category, archives or the main page. If there is a url, then it can be linked to.

All other things being equal, external links will pass more Google juice than internal links.

Link hypertext

If you do any reading about SEO methods, then you will have run across the term “hypertext”. Basically, hypertext is the visible text which is linked to another post.

For example – The brown fox jumped over the hypertext example, and then fell down.

In this example the words “hypertext example” is the hypertext portion of the link. The words used in the hypertext are very important, because they are used by search engines to figure out the keywords or topic of the post being linked to.

Ideally you should use descriptive, relevant words when setting up an internal or external link.

For example if you are linking to a post on the direction of interest rates, it will increase the “Google juice” or SERP rankings to use the words “interest rates” or “interest rate direction” in the hypertext. Using words like “click here” as the hypertext is not good practice. This can be tough to do sometimes, since you want the hypertext to be readable within the context of your post.

You can’t control the hypertext that other sites use when linking to your post, so put your keywords in the post title, because the post title often forms the hypertext for external links to your site.

Number of links to a page/site

The amount of Google juice being passed from internal and external links to a page is cumulative. A page with a greater number of external and internal links to it, will have a better chance of ranking higher than an equivalent page with less links.

More links are good!

Link authority or weight

One of the key concepts with link building, is the idea that not all inbound links are treated equally by the search engines. Search engines will evaluate inbound links by evaluating the sites where they originate. They do this by looking these factors (among many):

  • Age of site.
  • Number of inbound links.
  • Authority of site.
  • Relevancy of site/page topic.

Let’s say you write a post on dog grooming on your animal site, and several sites link to it. Let’s take a look at these sites and try to guess how much weight Google will assign to those inbound links. We’ll assume they all use the same hypertext.

Link 1 is from a brand new site about kids, has two posts and has no inbound links.

Evaluation – Although, this link is better than nothing, it is probably close to worthless. Of course, if that site gets bigger and gains authority, then this link could become more valuable.

Link 2 is from a well-established dog site, 3 years old with thousands of inbound links.

Evaluation – This kind of link is great. The originating site has plenty of Google juice to pass and this should help your post rank higher in the SERPs.

Link 3 is from a big government site or university.

This is the best kind of link to have. Educational and government websites have the most “Google juice” to pass. It’s not a coincidence that these kind of links are hard to come buy. Having one link from NASA to your astronomy website, will be far more valuable than links from 40 small Star Trek fan sites.

10 links from 10 sites are better than 10 links from 1 site

One of the factors that search engines consider is the popularity of your post or blog. Getting many links from the same 3 blogs each week is not as good of a popularity indicator as getting different links each week from different blogs.

The ratio of links to text on a page might diminish Google juice

I don’t know how accurate that statement is to be honest, but intuitively, it makes sense that if a search engine is crawling a page – it might give more creedence to links if there are less of them. On the other hand, if a page is full of links and very little text, which you might see on a link roundup or carnival page, then perhaps a search engine might downgrade those links.

My suggestion is that a natural inbound link that is inside a related post will be more valuable than an inbound link that is on a page with many other links.

Do-follow and No-follow links

When you create a link on a blog post, you have the option of setting it to be “do-follow” or “no-follow”. The “do-follow” option is the default and the “no-follow” has to be set.
If a link is “do-follow” then that means you are telling any search engine bots that the link is ok and go ahead and let them pass any Google juice they decide from your site. “No-follow” means that you don’t want them to necessarily continue through the link and definitely don’t pass any Google juice.

To determine if a link is do-follow or no-follow, then you must look at the html. Go to a web page, select “view” and “Source” which will display the page html.

In this example, there is no mention of either “do” or “no” follow which means that the default “no-follow” is in place.

<a href=””>how do you pay your advisor?</a>

This link shows what a “no-follow” link looks like – you can see that they just added the ‘rel=”nofollow”‘ to the beginning of the link.

<a rel=”nofollow” href=””>how do you pay your advisor?</a>

This is one area where the rules have been changing, and I’m not 100% sure how effective the no-follow tag is anymore. I wouldn’t be surprised if the rules keep changing, so it might not be worthwhile to plan any major strategies around this information.

The main use for the no-follow tag is to conserve your Google juice. The theory is that your web site or web page only has a certain amount of Google juice, and by linking to other sites with a do-follow link, you will lose some of your juice. I personally haven’t followed this this strategy, but I have thought about doing it. 🙂

Different parts of a blog have different Google juice power

Not all links from a blog are equal. Posts which have more inbound links should have more Google juice to pass than posts with less inbound links. Links from the main page of a blog (such as in the sidebar) are generally worth more than links from any of the posts.

Not all inbound links are good

Yes, it’s true – a link from a site which Google has deemed as “bad” could have a detrimental effect on your rankings. What does “bad” mean? Well, one example could be a link farm ie a site which is just a million outbound links. If you follow reasonable link building practices, then you shouldn’t have to worry about this problem.

Suspicious link activity

This goes under the category of “Mike does some speculation”, but if I were a search engine, then I would be on the lookout for these types of red flags:

  • Many links to a page with identical hypertext. This just isn’t natural. Change up the hypertext in different links.
  • Many links from unrelated sites. Again, this just doesn’t happen by itself on a large scale. Why would a website about surfboards link to a post on cats? Sure it will happen once in a while, but not on a regular basis.

Link building strategies – or how to get more inbound links to your blog

At this point we have completely exhausted my link knowledge, so let’s move on to something more practical – how to get the damn things!

Internal links

Internal links are easy to get because you can just create them yourself. Of course it takes a bit of time, but that is time well spent. Make sure the posts are related and the proper hypertext is used.

External links

Here are some suggestions for getting external links, roughly in order of ease.

Link from other sites you own.

If you own more than one related site, then creating links between them will be as easy as doing internal links. Of course this strategy is fairly limited, since most bloggers only have one site.

Comment on “do-follow” comment blogs.

Most blogs have their comments set to “no-follow” so if you leave a comment and put your blog url in the “site” section – there will be no Google juice passed. However, some blogs will use plugins or change their settings to allow the comment links to be “do-follow”. Find out which blogs you frequent have do-follow and try to comment more on those blogs. Keep in mind that you need to leave good comments and it’s not considered good form to put the url of a specific post into the “site url” box.

Link out to other blogs

One good method for getting inbound links is to link out to other sites. This won’t work everytime, but if a site owner notices that you are linking to their material, they might try to link back to return the favor. This probably works better if you are linking to similar blogs of roughly the same size.

Enter blog carnivals

Blog carnivals are a very easy way to get links. The idea is that you submit your post for a carnival, then host of the carnival decides if they want to include your post. If the post is accepted, then you are expected to link back to the carnival.

Hosting blog carnivals

I truly believe that hosting blog carnivals is the most time-efficient way to get a lot of varied backlinks to your site. You can put together most carnivals in a couple of hours (hint – just skim the posts to make sure they are on topic and not spam) and can expect probably 50% or more of the participants to link back to your site.

Yes, the links will be to the carnival page and won’t have good hypertext, but I don’t care – there will be a lot of links from different sites, and that is not a bad thing.

Tip – if you are hosting a smaller carnival or even a larger one – try to solicit posts from larger blogs. They often have less to gain from entering carnivals, but will do so if prompted. The reality is that most carnival participants are new blogs looking to build a readership and links from them are not worth much. If you can solicit another half dozen links from decent sized blogs, then the Google juice received will be much higher.

Create your own carnival

If you find that there are not enough related carnivals then create your own. Using Google forms you can create an input form which allows people to enter links which will port to a spreadsheet. You put up the links (after weeding out the crap) and then they will link back to your blog.

Link exchanges

It’s quite common for 2 or more bloggers to agree to “exchange links”. This could be in the form of exchanging 2 specific links or an agreement to link to each others blogs on a regular basis, ie once a week. These arrangements can be quite beneficial, but sometimes they don’t work out if one blogger is not living up to the agreement.

Blogger network

Another method for getting inbound links is to join up with other bloggers and agree to share links on a regular basis. This is a great idea for smaller bloggers who need more readers and links.

A perfect example of this is the Yakazie Challenge. Some might argue that this is a blog network gone wild, since I think they have almost 100 members, but I think it has really helped the members who participate.

That particular network has been using the Alexa ranking as their measuring guide, which I think is quite flawed, however their methods of linking to one another will definitely help their blogs to become more popular and have more income potential.

Here are a couple of very time consuming methods to get links

These methods are not all that useful for the typical part-time, not-enough-time blogger, but they are effective.

Guest posts – Write posts containing links to your blog for other blogs to publish. Check out my Guest Post Secrets post for more tips on how to do effective guest posts.

Article directories – Sites like will accept your posts and can contain backlinks to your site. These posts are typically shorter and easier than a proper guest post but it still take a bit of time, especially if you want to submit to several article directory sites to create links for one post.

Beware of link automation or services

There are services available which will place links to your site around the internet. I would suggest steering clear of such services – you have no control over where the links will original from, and risk getting penalized by Google.


Links are good.

Getting any links is better than no links. In conjunction with having content that has income potential, and good formatting, links are the other key to making more money.

If you are planning to increase your link-building activities to make extra money, then make sure you focus on posts that have income potential.

Any other ideas out there for getting links to your blog?

How To Do Keyword Research Using Google Keyword Tool

April 27th, 2010

In this post I will give some details on how to do keyword research using the Google external keyword tool.  Of course Google changed the default tool just after I posted it but the old tool is still available at

If you feel this method is too technical or too much work then don’t worry.  It is only one way to do keyword research and we will be discussing other methods in future posts.  I would strongly suggest you at least give the keyword tool a chance since it is quite useful.  If nothing else it will help determine if a topic has any $$ potential at all.

The goal here is not to turn everyone into keyword fanatics but rather add another tool which will help you either look for profitable topics or decide if a particular topic is worth writing.

Keep in mind as well that I am not an expert at keyword research.  I have read quite a bit about it, I’ve had some success but there are other sites with people with far more knowledge than I.  The goal of this post is to help bloggers use some basic keyword research to increase their earnings – not to become keyword research ninjas.

In a previous post – How to Make Money With your blog posts, I discussed how your content needs to have the following three criteria to make money:

  1. A topic (or keywords) that people are searching on.
  2. The topic can’t be too popular (too much competition) or too rare (not enough traffic).
  3. A financial connection between search engine visitor and a company that might advertise on Adsense.

There are a number of ways to approach keyword research.  One way is to take a somewhat general topic and use the keyword tool to help you come up with a specific topic that has earning potential.

Let’s say that you like writing about debt and frugal living.  You are in mood to write a post about “reducing debt” which of course could include a lot of different topics.

Let’s use the keyword tool and see what we find for the keywords “reducing debt”.  Select the “previous interface” link in the upper right hand corner.

First step is to enter your keywords into the box where it says “Enter one keyword or phrase per line”.

Then fill in the kaptcha – you only have to do this once.

Then press the “Get keywords ideas” button.

You will now see the results for these keywords in the default format.

To only see the data that is relevant for this exercise then complete the following 4 steps.

1)  Hide the “Advertiser Competition” column by clicking on the “Choose columns to display” dropdown box and select “Hide Advertiser Competition”.

You will now see that the Advertiser Competition column is gone.

2)  Using the same method as #1 – Hide “Local Search Volume”.

3)  Using the same method as #1 – Show “Estimate Avg. CPC”.

4)  Change “Match Type” to “Exact” using the drop down box shown here.

Once this is all done you should see the following columns

  • Keywords
  • Estimated Avg. CPC
  • Global Monthly Search Volume
  • Match type should be set to “Exact”

Now we have the tool setup the way we want and have our first data results.  If you want to try other keywords then just go up to the original keyword box and enter them.  You don’t have to do all the setup steps again.

Before we look at our results – a bit more about the different sections of the results page

Keywords – This column contains various derivatives of the keywords you entered.  You can use these suggestions to look for possible topics or to change a topic you have already selected.

If you scroll down the page you will notice that the results are broken into two sections.  The first part is “Keywords” and the second is “Additional keywords to consider”.

The first section will contain derivatives of your keywords (reduce debt) whereas the second section will contain related keywords which might not contain either of the words “reduce” or “debt”.  This section can also be useful for coming up with topic ideas.

At the bottom of each section is an option to download the results into a .csv file which can be imported into a spreadsheet.  This is a great idea for more advanced keyword research but for this exercise we are going to keep things simple and just look at the screen.

The next column is “Estimate Avg. CPC” which is short for “estimated average cost per click” which is what advertisers would pay for clicks on those keywords.

This column tells us if there is any earnings potential in our keywords.  I don’t put much stock into the actual CPC values but suffice to say if the CPC is $15 then the amount of money paid to the blogger per click is likely to be pretty decent.  Probably a dollar or more.  If the CPC is only $0.05 then needless to say the poor blogger isn’t going to get much.

CPC quick points:

When I look at these values I generally choose keywords with a CPC of $2 or more.  This is a pretty arbitrary number – the main thing is don’t choose topics with a very low CPC value.

I also avoid CPC values that are too high.  There are people who make their living doing advanced keyword research and trying to get posts to rank high for top paying keywords.  They earn their money by using their skill and time to out compete.  Bloggers like me make money by choosing topics with good (but not great) earning potential and with volume (lots of posts).  The higher the CPC, the more competition there will likely be.

In a future post we will be doing some more research using actual examples to see what kind of values make sense for your blog.  For now – just use trial and error and see what works for you.

Global Monthly Search Volume

This is the number of searches executed worldwide for those keywords.  Again, I don’t put much faith in the accuracy of these numbers but it is useful to compare the volume for different keywords.  This number will help you eliminate keywords that don’t have any searches on them.

Volume quick points

I generally want to see volumes of at least 200, and less than about 50,000.  Again, this is very arbitrary and subject to trial and error.  Suffice to say that if the volume is too low then nobody is searching for those keywords.  If the volume is too high then there is a good chance that there is stiff competition.

The last part of our tour is to point out that by clicking on the column headers – we can sort by that column.  For example clicking on the Volume header will sort the data from highest volume to lowest.

Now that we know our way around the keyword tool results page – let’s look more closely at our data.

There is no one perfect way to analyze the data.  This is how I typically approach it.

1)  Rank by CPC from highest to lowest

2)  Start browsing down the list.  I’ll skip past the first few since the CPC values are too high.  What I will do is look at the keyword column to find a possible topic.  I’ll do this for keywords that are from maybe $15 down to $2.  Usually a keyword might make a good topic if it fits into a possible blog title easily.  For example the keywords “reduce debt faster” could be a post called “How to reduce your debt faster”.

Once I find a keyword that sounds interesting – I’ll verify the volume to make sure it is not too high or low.  Again, these numbers will be dependent on your blog.  If you have a big blog that ranks well then you can use higher numbers – if you have a small blog then go for smaller volume numbers.

In this case, when I go down the keyword list the keyword “reduce credit card debt” speaks to me.  I’m thinking of a post called “How to reduce credit card debt” or “9 easy ways to reduce credit card debt“.  The CPC on this keyword is $10.91 which is good and the volume is 4,400 which is also good.  For someone who is worried the volume is too high – just go further down the list and choose “reduce credit card debt quickly” which pays almost as much and as has a volume of only 320.

You can continue this research and find other possible topics or stop right here and move on to the next step.

Determining competition.

When you write a post with keywords – you want people who type those keywords “reduce credit card debt” to be able to find your post.  If you only rank 467th on the search engine results page for those keywords then you are not likely to get much traffic.

This is why it is important not to get carried away with the CPC and volume numbers – the keyword tool gives the illusion that you are using a fine-tuned instrument but in fact once you factor in the rankings and competition – there is a lot of guesswork.

To make money on a post, you need some decent CPC value, you need some traffic volume and you need to get a high enough rank to get some of that volume.  If you are lacking in any of those 3 categories then the post will likely not make any money.

I have to be honest here – rating the competition is the part of keyword research where I am quite weak.  I don’t know if it is because I haven’t done enough research or if it is the most difficult.  Regardless I hope that some of the examples I’ll be using in this blog will help my own knowledge as well as yours.

The rank you need to make $$ is dependent on the CPC and the volume.  If the keyword has high volume then you could probably rank in the top 20 and still see some traffic.  If it is lower volume then you might have to be in the top 10 or even top 5.  With a higher CPC values you don’t need to get as much traffic to make it worthwhile so a lower ranking might work for you.  A lower CPC with a low volume means you need to rank high, probably top 5.

Some methods to figure out the competition

SEO for Firefox extension tool can be used to determine the pr values for your competitors.  I’m going to refer to a real expert on this topic because I don’t feel like adding any more screen prints to this post.  This post shows how to use the tool to look at the pr values for sites that rank high for your keywords.  I’m not that confident in the accuracy of this method but let me know if you have had some success with it.

Common sense

Another quick check for competition is the keywords themselves – do they form a common or obvious phrase?  “Reduce debt” seems to be a good candidate based on the CPC and volume, but I know that this is a common phrase and will likely have a lot of competition.

“Reduce credit card debt” seems to be somewhat common to me but it is four words (longer keywords generally have less competition) and I’m a bit biased since I see this sort of topic all the time.

Eyeball it

One of the methods which I like to use the most is to just do a search on the keywords and see what pops up.  If the top 10 sites that come up are Wikipedia, eHow, various large newspapers, a couple of government sites and a couple of the largest blogs in your niche then you know the competition is tough.

If the top ranking sites are smaller sites – perhaps some of your blogging colleagues then you know you probably have a good chance of ranking high for those keywords.

When I search on “reduce credit card debt” I see nothing but big sites that I recognize which means I’m going to have a hard time competing.  When is ranking 14 then you know you are in trouble.

That said, at this point you can still go ahead and write the post if you are keen on it.  This isn’t an exact science and the reality is that if you write a good post with lots of useful information, there is a good chance that you can rank for other keywords.  We know there is traffic volume when talking about reducing debt and we know the CPC values are decent so there is still a chance of making money.

I don’t have a huge interest in writing about reducing credit card debt so I’m not going to write this post since I’m just not confident that I can rank high enough to make it worthwhile.

The next step is to go back to the keyword tool and see if I can find any more possible keywords to write about.  Unfortunately it looks like all the keywords that have a decent CPC are very competitive.

Now I’m going to try a different test.  I like writing about investing so I’m going to try the keywords “dividend stocks”.

I can see that the first entry is “Canadian dividend stocks” which is very interesting to me since I am Canadian and I’m quite familiar with Canadian dividend stocks so I’d be able to cobble together a post pretty easily.  The CPC value is $5.66 which is fine and the volume is 1,000 which is also fine.

Now let’s check the competition.

For this search I’m going to use since that it probably used more in Canada.

The results are very interesting indeed.

First of all I don’t see any big sites in the rankings such as Wikipedia that I don’t have any chance against.  Secondly I see the top six (unpaid) results are the The Financial Blogger, Million Dollar Journey and The Dividend Guy who are all fellow Canadian bloggers.

This is very encouraging because my site is similar to those 3 sites in terms of size which means I can compete with these keywords.  I may not beat them, but at least I have a chance.   My blog writing partner Mr. Cheap covered this topic last week and our ranking is #5 which is pretty good.

Summary methods

Pick a topic – money, investing, gold fish, dried beans and run it through the keyword tool to see if there is any money and traffic.  Check the competition to see if you can rank decently.

So there you have it.  I’ve covered some basic tools and methods to help do keyword research.  Please indicate in the comments if you have any other info to add on this topic.

How To Format Your Blog Posts For Search Engine Optimization

April 20th, 2010

Here are the basic rules for formatting your posts so that they are more accessible to search engines.  You want Google to easily figure out what your post is about.  The benefit of doing this is not just for Google but it also makes the article more readable/scannable for your human readers as well.  If you find this is too much work then just skip down to the bottom for my “short form” must do suggestions.

The list we’ll be looking at is:

  • Keywords in the url.
  • Keywords in the meta title (and hopefully post title as well).
  • Use and bold the keywords in the first paragraph.
  • Use the keywords in the first subtitle which should be H3.
  • Use H3 subtitles to break up the post.  Or use any “H” tag – it doesn’t matter which one.
  • The post title should be H1.
  • Keyword density – use the keywords in the post but not too much.
  • Set the meta description.

Url – keywords have to be in the url.  You can leave the default title (your post title) in here or strip out the extra words.  For example, your post title might be “Why I chose Ally Bank for my savings account” – the url can be shortened to Ally-bank-savings-account which are your keywords.

Keywords (convert rrsp rrif) should be in the url.

Title – put the key words in the title.  I’ve read that putting them earlier in the title is better, but I doubt it will make much difference.  Don’t forget that you can have one title which will show to your readers and a second (meta) title which the search engines use in the search engine results page.

Read my post on how to write positive post titles.

You should write a title using your keywords that is directly relevant to the post topic.  “Where art thou Romeoil?” is an amusing title for a oil price-based post but search engines won’t get the joke.  Use something like “Is the price of oil going down?”.  The title should be in the H1 format.  You can check the format of your title by looking a post and clicking on “Edit” and then “Page Source” in your browser.

The post title is in H1 tags in the html.

Meta title – if you look at the source html for a post page you should see the meta title which is in the <title> </title> tags.  This is the title that shows up on the top line of the browser as well as the title that is used by search engines.

The meta title appears on the top line of your browser.

If you are using an SEO plugin or if your theme supports it then you can set the post title to your clever title and then set the meta title to the correct title with your keywords.  This way you can impress your readers with your punnery and keep the search engines happy at the same time.

Leaving the meta title blank means the actual post title will be used for the meta title.

Bolding – use the keyword in the first paragraph and bold it.  Bolding tells the search engine that you are emphasizing those words.

Subtitles – use subtitles to break up the post.  Use h3 for the subtitles and use the keywords in one of those subtitles – preferably the first one.  If your H3 subtitles are not formatted to your liking then change your css settings to make them bigger/smaller etc.  Can you use H2 for this purpose? Sure, the whole point is to differentiate the subtitles from the rest of the text.  The difference between a subtitle (with no special formatting) and a very short paragraph is not obvious to a search engine.  I’ve read that H3 is the standard for subtitles, but I suspect you can use H99 and it will still work.

Here is the html showing an H3 subtitle.

Keyword density – This refers to how many times in a post you repeat the keywords.  Using the key words too often makes the post unreadable and could be a red flag for Google.  I would suggest not using it more than once per one hundred words maximum.  I really think if you use it in the title, url, first paragraph and the post topic is indeed all about those keywords then you should be fine.

Meta Description – This is the description which should show up in the search engine results page.  Similar to the meta title, this can be entered using an seo plugin such as All-In-1 seo plugin.

You'll notice that the description is the same one shown in the all-in-1 seo plugin screen shot.

Post length – If the post is too short then it’s hard to imagine it contains much useful info.  On the other hand some of my highest paying posts were quite short (around 300 words).  One benefit of longer posts is that you can have more than one main keyword so your overall income might be higher (ie income coming from several different keywords).

Smaller paragraphs.  This really has nothing to do with search engines but I’ve found that shorter paragraphs are easier to read.  The paragraph you are currently reading is a perfect example.

Short form must do items

Ok, so maybe you are thinking the list above looks too hard.  It isn’t, but if you want to get started with formatting right away then just do the following items which I feel have the biggest impact.

  • url – keywords in url (this should happen automatically so just don’t do anything)
  • title – write a title with the keywords that is about the topic. If your settings are correct the title in the <title> tags should be the same as the post title.
  • subtitles (h3) to break up major paragraphs.  This really makes it more readable.


None of these rules are set in stone, but most of them are intuitive if you know how search engines work.  Do the best you can with formatting – you can always go back and improve old posts so in the interest of time you might want to just do the “must do” items for new posts and only go back and improve posts that end up getting some search engine traffic.

You’ll notice that I didn’t mention the “keyword” tag which has been used extensively in the past.  According to Google, they ignore the keyword tag so there isn’t much point in populating it.

Example of SEO post formatting

If you look at this post, you’ll see that I have followed all the rules indicated above.  You should know that I actually could not find a post of mine that followed all the rules listed and had to modify this one to use as an example.  Apparently I don’t use bolding very much.  🙂

  • My keywords for this post are “converting rrif rrsp”.
  • Keywords are in the url
  • They are in the post title as well as the meta title.
  • I’ve (recently) bolded those keywords in the first paragraph.
  • I used them in the first H3 subtitle
  • I used several H3 subtitles to break up the post
  • I use the keywords 3 times in the 800 word post (not counting the subtitle).
  • I’ve set the meta description – <meta name=”description” content=”Rules and strategies regarding converting your RRSP account to a RRIF account.” />

How To Make Money With Your Blog Posts – Overview

April 7th, 2010

Most bloggers start thinking of making money with their blogs at some point.  Some start their blogs with the idea of making extra income and some only start monetizing their sites after years of blogging.  I think it is a great idea to try to make at least a little bit of money from your blog so that it will give you motivation to continue posting.

I’ll be doing more detailed posts on the topics discussed here.  This post is an overview of the the three main keys for making money:

  1. ContentCertain topics make more money than others.
  2. LinksInbound links to your posts and blog help with monetization.
  3. Format of the article – Search engines use algorithms to figure out what your post is about.  Use standard formats to make it easier for them.

What kind of content?

On occasion you will hear big bloggers give out such sage advice as “write good content” when asked about how to make money.  Unfortunately this advice is completely useless.  Who sets out to write “bad” content?   How do you know what “good” is?  What if you aren’t a good enough writer to produce “good content”?

If you currently monitor statistics and earnings on your blog per post then you might notice the following:

This is because of the content and the topics you discuss.  In a nutshell, if you want to write a post that has the potential to make money you need the following:

There has to be some sort of potential financial connection between the search engine visitor and a company that might advertise on your post.  For example if you write about a product or service that can be ordered online then those companies will have a financial incentive to advertise on your post.

If you just write about what you had for breakfast every day then there might not be any kind of financial connection between a potential advertiser who might buy ads on Adsense and the product you are talking about  (ie bacon and eggs).

Inbound links

Inbound links are what search engines such as Google use to determine if the material in your post is trust worthy.  The more links you have and the higher the quality of the source, the better off you are.  Site authority is also important, if your site has been around for a while (1 year+) and has lots of inbound links then that tells the search engines that the site is probably legitimate which means you will rank higher in the search engine results page.

Article formats

The following guidelines are not written in stone, but they will all help to some degree with the search engines.  Worst case scenario they make the post easier to read and won’t hurt your rankings.  If these terms don’t mean anything to you – don’t worry, they will be discussed in future posts.

  • Keywords – should be in the url, in the title, in the first paragraph, bolded somewhere, in one of the h3 subtitles.  If nothing else put the keywords in the url and title and somewhere in the beginning of the post text.
  • H3 tags – should be used for the subtitles within the post.
  • Title tags should be used for the meta title.  The post title should be using H1 tags.

Here is a more complete article on SEO article formatting.