Dropped the top level domain name for this blog

After a long debate with myself, I decided to drop the top level domain name for this blog. I just could not see paying $10 a year (or whatever Google wants to charge) for having a domain name that was not doing anything for the blog. Sure I will have people with broken links that are pointing to this blog but If they did a little searching they can find it again. In fact I am going to help the search engines right now -

Old domain http://scratching-out-a-living.com has changed to http://scratching-out-a-living.blogspot.com

There, that should do it.

Mostly I want the blog to be found for its content and not through links. Google can handle that quite well.

My blogging income just tripled in 3 days!!

I just boosted my blogging income. I could not believe how easy it was. You can do this, it is so simple.

First up you need to know how to use Twitter and have account that is just to promote you as a writer for your blog. You can promote yourself as the blog owner, editor or writer. Once you have that you need to get followers and having as little as 30 followers will get you about 50 visitors more a day to your blog. Here is what you need to do and not to do:

Do -
  • Interact with your followers, retweet their interesting tweets, talk to them, be interested in THEM 
  • Only send out 2-3 tweets a day, some people will unfollow people who tweet every 3 minutes
  • Mention other twitter accounts in your tweets, they begin with an @. They usually end up following you
  • Be selective of who you follow. Just because someone follows you does not mean you need to follow them back. Only follow them if you like their tweets
  • DO NOT Sign up for TrueTwit validation service, it sends out private messages that try to get your followers to validate their twitter accounts. Most people, me included, will unfollow someone faster than the roadrunner when we get one of those messages. DO NOT use that service.
  • Do not auto tweet or schedule your tweets, be natural and there for your followers
  • Do not send out a constant flow of self promotion. Yes you WILL get more followers but most of them will be bots. 
There you have it, some really simple tips on how to use Twitter to promote your own blog. Remember, your Twitter account represents your blog and you, don't treat it like trash or neglect it.

PayU2Blog customer service sucks

I have been using many companies for paid blogging posts through the years. Since I have over 20 active blogs many of them have gotten approved and writing a paid post was consistent if not down right profitable at times. During periods of unemployment paid blogging paid the bills and almost equaled my regular paycheck and once and awhile exceeded it. This brings me to one very profitable company that I use to blog for PayU2Blog. Yes I earned lots of money from them, one year over $5K. But that had all ended now.

Around the beginning of January of this year (2013) I tried to log in and couldn't. I kept getting an error message that said "this page is for approved bloggers" written in red letters. Strange, I never had that happen before. I thought it was a glitch and tried again the next day, same thing. This kept going on for a week and then I sent them an email. No response from the email so I sent a message through their Facebook page, still nothing. I then sent another email, still no response. I finally posted on their Facebook page and the only comments I got were from other users, who were also having problems with them (those posts seem to have been removed). PayU2Blog does not like people to use Facebook as a social tool???!!! WTF! Don't they know how to use Facebook at all?

So what did I finally do? Since I no longer seem to be a blogger for Pay U2 Blog, I gave it until May 2013 for any emails from them and when none came I started to remove ALL the paid blog posts from my blogs that I did for them over the years. Some I just removed the links while other the whole post was removed. I am still finding a few of them and it will take time to remove them all but it will be done.

I wonder why a company that use to be so good to me just shut the door in my face without an explanation? I guess I will never know.

Why you should not join blogging networks

If you are new to blogging or have been blogging for a few years, you would have probably heard of blogging networks. They are blogging communities that allow you to put a link to your blog, discuss your blog and even pay to advertise your blog......all to other bloggers. That is the problem, you are singing to the choir. Most avid blog readers are not bloggers themselves.

One well known blogging network that is now gone was EntreCard. I was a member for several years until Google started to down grade websites and blogs for high bounce rates. EntreCard was well known for encouraging high bounce rates among their users. In order to curb high bounce rates on my blogs I removed all the EntreCard code.

So what do you do to encourage new visitors or engage your readers? Simple, use social networking sites  like Twitter, Facebook or Google+.  Google the search engine really loves social networks and if it finds links to your blog on them it will boost your blog pages in searches. To Google the more people talking on social networks about your blog means your blog has value.

So forget the blogging gimmicks and engage your readers naturally and socially.


How to get more visitors sent to your blog from Google

There is no secret that Google likes good blogs with unique content, so why is yours being overlooked? It is often what Google finds and dislikes on your blog that will determine if you get more visitors or not. Google is about links and bounces not so much about what is actually written as long as it is different from another page.

Before I begin, let me say that the tips I have will only work on blogs that you host on your own domain with wordpress.org software. If you have that then let's begin.

All of the methods I will mention I have used and gotten great success from them.

  1. Check those broken links and repair or remove them. Google does not like broken links. You can install a plugin to check broken links and they do work. When I installed one on my wordpress blogs I got over 115 broken links on one blog alone. Once I removed or fixed them, my visitor rate from Google search went up by 25% a day.
  2. Find and fix your 404 errors. Yep those pesky "file not found" errors. If you removed a post or renamed a page then you are going to get those 404 errors. A visitor ends up on one of those generic 404 pages and quickly surfs away from your blog. Install a 404 redirect plugin. The good plugins for that will show you the pages that are resulting in 404 errors and you can redirect them to other pages in your blog. Instead of your visitor getting a 404 page they will be greeted with a page that they can do a search on or find the information they were looking for. I started doing that last month on 2 of my blogs and both of them have now doubled the amount of daily visitors. One went from 50 a day to 260, mostly from Google search.
  3. Install Google analytics. Yep, let Google know your visitor and bounce rate. When Google sees the bounce rate going down, they will send more visitors to your blog. Works for me every time.
I only wish blogger would have some of those options then I could tweak my blogspot blogs.