Blogging for Money
Yes, you are blogging for money and there is nothing to be ashamed of that. Why do some people make it seem like a crime to monetize your blog? You work hard to build your blog and you making money through blogging is just you picking the fruits of your labor.
The Riddle of the Falling Tree
Blogging is just like any other business. A business needs customers and quality products to thrive. Customers need quality products and vice versa. Customers without quality products is like a jam-packed club with flashy neon lights but without music. People will be attracted to the neon lights and visit the club but they will feel silly dancing in silence and eventually will decide to just leave the club. Quality products without customers is like a huge tree falling in an isolated forest. The sight of the huge tree falling might be spectacular but without people to see or hear it, the tree might as well not fall or never exist and it would not make any difference.
If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?
Search Engine Optimization is SEO. If blogging is your business and you would like to get lots of customers SEO can be your bestfriend. As a struggling, newbie blogger sometimes I cannot help hating the SEO giants. Unlike me, they know a lot about SEO and that is what I call unfair advantage. In the cutthroat world of blogging for money, SEO giants versus struggling, newbie bloggers is a lopsided battle match as lopsided could ever be. Instead of sulking I decided to learn about SEO and I would like to share my experience with you. I was able to accomplish the following SEO tricks:
- SEO plug-ins
- Alt tags in my pictures
- HTML improvements
- Google authorship
You can install HTML codes in your WordPress called plug-ins. For SEO purposes, I used to adore WordPress SEO but now no more. I replaced WordPress SEO with SEO Ultimate. WordPress SEO is good but SEO Ultimate is better; the latter has a lot more features you cannot find in the former such as 404 Monitor, Canonicalizer and a lot more which are too many to mention here. I suggest you install SEO Ultimate and take advantage of all its features. I especially like how easy it is to put meta tags and descriptions. These meta tags and descriptions help you make google robots task of crawling and indexing your site easier.
Make Your Pictures Visible to Google
I use a lot of pictures here in Money Soldiers and I was surprised to learn that all of those pictures are invisible to Google because they do not contain alt tags. Alt tags are HTML codes you put in pictures so that Google can see, crawl and index your pictures. Without these tags, your pictures are as good as thin air as far as Google is concerned, The native WordPress media library lets you put alternative text for your pictures. I thought these alternative texts are the alt tags but when I looked for alt tags in the HTML view, I could not find any. Also, I confirmed that no alt tags exist in Money Soldiers when I checked Money Soldiers in AboutUs. I fixed this alt tag issue by installing the plug-in, WP Image SEO and boom! all my pictures are now with alt tags and title attributes.
Get Rid of Duplicate Pages
Duplicate pages are pages in your website that can be accessed with multiple URLs. This means that there exist in your website different URLs pointing to the same page or content. Through Google Webmasters Tool in the HTML Improvement section, I learned that I had 49 duplicate pages. These 49 duplicate pages had 49 duplicate meta descriptions and title tags which are bad SEO-wise. Google does not like duplicate content and if you have duplicate pages in your website, you are not to get Google love. Google might even think you are a spammer. With duplicate pages, you might get lower page ranks because duplicate pages can dilute page ranks. I fixed this issue of duplicate pages by using the Canonicalizer module of SEO Ultimate. Now, when I check my Google Webmasters account I am down to 4 duplicate pages. In no time, I will have zero duplicate pages as Google crawls my website again.
I Almost Went Crazy
Google Authorship almost made me kill myself last night. I spent six hours trying to get rid of the error, “Warning: missing required field ‘updated'”. Google authorship is linking your website to your Google+ profile so that when your website is shown in Google search engine results, your picture will appear next to your website. It was proven by intelligent people who did research that showing your picture in search results translates to higher click-through rates. This means that people are more likely to click your website when there is a picture beside it than when there is none in search results. Higher click-through rates means more customers. I successfully linked my Google+ profile with Money Soldiers but there was an error. I tried fixing the error by installing lots of different plug-ins but I was not able to fix it. The plug-ins that I installed are listed below:
- Allow REL= and HTML in Author Bios
- Author Box With Different Description
- Google Authorship for Thesis
- Google Seo Author Snippet Plugin
- Gunner Technology Authorship
- SEO WordPress
- WordPress SEO
- WP Biographia
- WP Google Plus
If you are trying to resolve the “Warning: missing required field ‘updated'” in your Google authorship please do not waste your time trying the plug-ins I mentioned above. They cannot make the error go away. I searched far and wide for a solution. I even came across a blog which said that I can fix the error by uploading a 128 x 128 pixel profile photo. I followed his advice but when I was uploading my 128 x 128 pixel photo, Google scolded me and angrily shouted, “The picture you are uploading is too small!”. How stupid that advice truly was. Haha! I was not able to fix the error. Try as I might I could not do anything else but to sleep with a broken heart.
Start of a brand new day, a new hope. It dawned on me to do a Google search. Out of the results I picked one website with a picture showing beside it. I took note of the website URL and entered it in the Google Rich Snippet Tool. Alas! Look at what I discovered! When I scanned the results, I saw that the website had the same error that I have. The website had the “Warning: missing required field ‘updated'” error and yet a profile picture is shown beside it in search results. This means that it is not necessary to get rid of the error for my picture to appear beside my website in search results. Problem solved.
Sometimes, we search far and wide
deep and profound
When right under our nose,
the solution can be found.
As a newbie blogger for money like myself, please do not be discouraged when blogging seems too difficult to do. Go on and try the SEO tricks I shared with you, Though these SEO tricks are basic, do them anyway. After all, Rome was not built in a day.