Google Update and Writing Online for Money

One of the keys to making money by writing online is to get enough traffic to your money making websites. Ranking highly in search engines for frequently searched terms is one way to accomplish this. While Google updates the algorithm that chooses how to rank websites on their search engine results pages (SERPs) on a frequent basis, most of those tweaks can be ignored by writers looking to profit by writing online. However, when the big updates come out, it is important to at least check and see how you are being affected.

Google Counting Links

There are really only two main parts to Google’s search ranking algorithm. The first part is how closely a particular webpage fits the phrase searched. In this case, the best thing is an exact match to the title tag of the webpage. Or, if there isn’t one of those, then an exact match to a header tag, and so on. Of course, a close match comes next, and so on.

search engine updates

In a place as big as the internet, there is a pretty good chance that for any given search term, there is more than one page that matches. When this happens, Google essentially counts how many links point to each page that matches and then ranks the one with the highest number of incoming links at the top.

Everything else Google does is basically a tweak to the above formula in order to keep people from cheating. Many of the supposed 200+ ranking factors at Google are nothing more than the increasing or decreasing the value of incoming links. Links that are nofollowed count a little less than those that are do follow. Links from comments are less valuable than those in the middle of content. Links from higher ranking sites count more than those from tiny abandoned sites, and so on.

As a writer building online websites to earn money, you probably check to see what you rank highly for, and how much traffic that drives to your website. For the most part, changes in these rankings come slowly and infrequently. That’s because, your site and the other sites that rank don’t necessarily gain a bunch of incoming links, without you (or them) doing something to manually boost them. When, that happens, it generally only happens to one page, so you’ll see your webpage go from ranking 4th to ranking 5th. That’s just normal.

Big Google Updates

But, sometimes, Google makes a big update and that can dramatically shake up the rankings. Not only can you go from 4th to 12th, or from 8th to 1st, on one page, that same thing can happen to multiple pages across several different websites.

It’s best to keep at least one ear open for these kinds of changes. A quick check of the headlines at seroundtable.com (it stands for Search Engine Roundtable) can let you know if a big algorithm update is underway, or if it’s just strange things afoot at the Circle K.

The important thing is not to panic. These changes often lead to big movements, but wait for them to settle down and see what is, and is not, permanent. Then, maybe go through, and update and tweak the pages that you lost some ranking on. Most importantly, keep adding fresh, useful content.

If there is one static thing in Google rankings it’s that the search engine values sites that are current over those that have gone stale, and that more content means more pages to attract links and gain authority.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Read More

Make Money Online By Earning $1 Per Day

Making money online by writing isn’t impossible, but it can take time. Depending upon your goals, it can take a lot of time, and a lot of hard work. Unfortunately, too many people give up before they can make money writing online because they can’t see around the bend to where the money starts coming in.

When I first started trying to earn money by writing online, I got approved for a Google AdSense account and then put the code on to the couple of blogs I started up. As you can imagine, I wasn’t impressed. I wasn’t even making a penny a day. At the time, there was a $50 or $100 minimum payout, so I got nothing. I stopped even logging into AdSense, but I kept writing.

earn money slowly grow

Several months later I got something in the mail from Google. It was a letter in the actual U.S. Postal Service mail. (This was before they always sent out those “coupons” for $100 in free AdWords.) Curious, I opened it. The letter informed me that if I wanted my money from AdSense I had to verify some information and submit my W9 form.

I was fairly certain it was some sort of scam, but I logged into AdSense, and sure enough, there on the screen was the report showing that I had earned a little over $200 the previous month. I spent the rest of the day trying to piece together exactly what happened. As it turns out, a couple pages of my blog started ranking, and then some online attention was paid to those topics. The result was people searching and then visiting my site, and believe it or not, some of them click on ads.

While you’re at it, check out my Acorns app review.

Make $1 Per Day

The really interesting part though was that the two other websites I had were make a few dollars each day as well. That, plus the little boost meant that not only was I going to get this check, but I was going to keep getting AdSense payout checks every month.

From that day forward, I realized that while hitting it big is great (it really is) there is also a way to make money from just consistently turning out quality content and letting the traffic and ads do their thing.

These days, I have several websites. Some promote other business activities, some are focused on products that I’m creating, and others, like this one, are informational. The purpose of the latter is to generate ad revenue. Obviously, the more ad earnings, the better, but the key thing to remember is that there is nothing wrong with starting small.

As a goal, shoot for every one of your websites to earn $1 per day. That doesn’t sound like much, but if you have five websites, that is $5 per day. Over the course of a thirty day month, that’s $150. Now, you aren’t retiring to Aruba on that, but it pays for your hosting, and internet access, and maybe a nice dinner. But, the really important fact is that whatever you did to get your site to earn $1 per day, you can do again, to get it to earn $2 per day. That’s $300 per month.

Keep going and eventually you can have five websites making $10 per day, or $1,500 per month. That’s not rich, but it’s worth doing, and more importantly, it’s worth keeping going. Can you earn $20 per day, or can you earn $10 per day with 10 websites? Either way, that’s actual earnings, and that’s before you do anything else like freelance writing work, or some web development, or whatever else.

Start small and keep going.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Read More

Trick to Keyword Research

Whether your are new to writing online to make money, or you have been using your online writing skills for profit for a long time, you probably have put some thought into keyword research.

Keyword research is the act of looking at various keywords and key phrases to determine if they will be profitable, or effective keywords for your particular websites. Depending upon your goals, your keyword targets may be very flexible, or absolutely necessary. Either way, it’s nice to know what your task looks like before you get started.

Problem With Keyword Research

The problem with keyword research is that you already have to do something about the keywords you are after before you can do it.

For example, if you write a personal financial advice blog, you would need to already have some idea of what keywords you are targeting because just typing in “financial advice” or something like that isn’t likely to generate much in the way of usable keyword research. Instead, you’ll need to know how to narrow down large keywords. After all, you could spend a lifetime trying to rank for “life insurance” and while that would certainly, eventually, be profitable, in the meantime you could be missing out on much more viable keywords.

The trick in keyword research is that so much of the information out there focuses on how to refine, or pick from, an already well generated keyword research list. But, how do you get to a good keyword target list in the first place?

keyword research google planner

One common tool many people use is the Google Keyword Planner. It is technically a tool to find the keywords for paid ad campaigns, but it’s also a good way to find out what people are searching for, and how many are searching for it. You need an Adwords Account to use it, but it is free (you never actually have to run a campaign).

However, the two main keyword tools require you to have some idea of what keywords you want to research, and the closer you are to the actual keywords you want to rank for, the better.

For example, if our finance blog wanted to target retirement planning, what would the best keywords be?

Just typing “retirement planning” in the Google Keyword Planner gets you a long list of keywords, but are any of them useful for your needs? For example, the keyword retirement calculator seems to have a lot of high priced searches, but is also a very competitive term with numerous retirement calculators from well-known brands out there. Your chance of ranking for that term and profiting from it with online writing is slim.

But, it is a starting point.

Now put “retirement calculator” back in the keyword planner tool. Only a handful of more specific tools come up, and each of those has a search volume of around 10 per month.

Here is the trick to keyword research. I know from experience that there are terms around the subject of a retirement planning calculator that

  • a) can be ranked for
  • b) get more than 10 searches per month
  • c) are profitable, but nowhere near the CPC listed for the keywords on Google Keyword Planner
  • (No, I won’t tell you what they are.)

So, what gives?

The issue is that the Google Keyword Planner is not designed for making money with online writing. It is made for people to start and run ad campaigns. These are two different goals.

In order to make money online with writing, you want people to find your content, visit it, and then click an ad.

In order to make money running ads, you want all the people who might buy, or otherwise do what you want them to do, to click on your ad.

See the difference?

The right ad keyword should target people all over the web if they are reading about the kinds of things that you have useful information or products for.

The right keyword to make money online is the one that gets people from a search engine to choose your particular webpage and then click that ad, hopefully after finding some good information. In fact, it would be just as good as a writer, or publisher, if people came to your website for one thing, clicked a link for another thing and clicked a completely unrelated ad.

As a smaller publisher, your best bet are what are known as long-tail keywords. In general, these are more specific keywords. These keywords are often longer. For example, “life insurance” is a high-traffic keyword, and potentially profitable, but it will take you a lot of effort to rank for it.

On the other hand, denver life insurance is slightly less competitive, more specific, and more likely to generate ad clicks. Even better might be something like denver electrician life insurance. (They get it through the union, so this isn’t actually better, but you get the idea.)

But, and this is the key, no matter what keywords you stick in the Google Keyword Planner, it will almost never come back with something like denver electrician life insurance. In fact, while four or five word keywords can be gravy in many situations, the keyword planner (and other keyword research tools) tend to stick with two and three-word key phrases.

Keyword Research for Writers

As a writer, your ace in the hole is that as you generate content, you will be able to see what kind of content and keywords bring people to your website. Leverage that knowledge to fine tune your content on various topics.

We’ll get into just how you do that next.

 

 

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Read More

search spider index

Write Anything for Better Earnings and SEO

When you start trying to earn money by writing online, there are a lot of things to learn and keep straight. However, the most useful online writing tip to make money is the simplest.

Just write something.

Current and Fresh = Active and Used

When it comes to earning money from your website writing, the reality is that you are going to need traffic. In order to get traffic you’ll want to build and audience, and get subscribers, and develop and email list, and a bunch of other things. You’ll also want to show up in search engines when people look for content on your websites. This is where writing something, anything, is so important.

search spider indexThere are literally billions of webpages out there. The search engines, whether it’s Google, Bing, Yahoo, Duck Duck Go, or whatever else, all have to index and rank those pages in order for their search engines to work. They use programs called spiders to move around the web finding and indexing content. As you can imagine this is an intensive process.

In order to make it all work, the different search engines all have various shortcuts and algorithms that help them rank and index faster. Many of these tweaks are trade secrets, but one well known maneuver used by all search engines is noting the freshness, or current state of various websites and acting accordingly.

So, for example, if this website gets updated every day, the search engines will eventually decide that they need to come check and index new content every day or two. If this website gets updated monthly, they’ll notice that too. If it doesn’t really get updated at all for a while, they probably only show up when a new link points them this way.

More importantly, for most of your online money making endeavors, a fresh, or current website, counts much more ranking of the other websites the links point at. So, if you have a knitting website which links to your sewing website, the links from the knitting website are much more powerful if they are not considered to be coming from an inactive website.

While it is important that the content you are actually trying to get ranked highly, and that which you actually want to drive traffic to on all of your websites should be the highest quality, best effort you can manage, the posts necessary to keep your page “alive” in the minds of the search engines can be less inspired. No one is saying your posts should be low quality. However, not every post has to be an amazing, inspired idea. Write good quality posts, just write about those less in-depth things as well.

(Note: This assumes, as most things on this website do, that you are a good writer. A good writer’s efforts are often higher quality than a non-writers best effort.)

Keep your websites active by updating them on a regular basis, and watch your online writing portfolio increase its income and value. Otherwise, your ad revenue will dwindle, not just on the websites you are not updating, but on those that depend on the incoming links from those sites as well.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Read More