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How Basic SEO Strategies Can Help Your Blog Make Money

Updated on October 1, 2015

An Internet Connection, A decent Laptop, and Love For Writing Could Make You Money Online

Enjoying writing a blog post as I enjoy my drink and making money at the same time.
Enjoying writing a blog post as I enjoy my drink and making money at the same time.

What To Expect As You Read This Hub

  • A narrative of how I was able to reach 1 million views on HubPages alone
  • Income Sources for Bloggers
  • How I Got Accepted In Google AdSense
  • What SEO or Search Engine Optimization Is
  • Basic keyword and backlinking strategies
  • Sources To Keep Yourself Up To Date on SEO
  • Social Media and What's Beyond SEO

1 Million Views in 2 Years With Just 158 Articles

First of all, Google AdSense (the ad network of Google) prohibits its users or "affiliates" to share ad views, impressions, clicks, and other data to the public. There are many stories of people being banned just because of this policy, perhaps put in place to avoid gaming or "black hat" SEO (which I will discuss further later) strategies that make spam rank on search engines.

To give you an idea, here on HubPages alone (and I have several blogs that cater to my different interests outside of HubPages), I was able to reach 1 million views in just two years. When I reached this milestone, I briefly talked about it in my hub How To Get 1 Million Views on HubPages. This was back in 2013, and if you do the math, you could imagine my traffic nowadays (although changes and improvements in Google's search algorithms drastically decreased the rate). As mentioned though, I cannot disclose the full data.

I wouldn't even consider myself an SEO expert. It just so happened that it was a popular industry back when I needed an internship and got accepted in a local SEO firm. And, again, you don't need to be an expert.

But Here's the badge on my HubPages profile that showcases this:

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Income Sources for Bloggers

Many years ago, it was as simple as clicking "monetize" on your Blogger account and you will already be a member or affiliate of Google AdSense. Sadly, it's much harder for people to do so nowadays. Google has become stricter due to people abusing or "gaming" strategies that give them high traffic in spite of low content. I'll discuss that further later on.

Aside from Google Adsense, there are other ad networks that will be willing to pay for their ads to be placed on your blog. Amazon and Ebay have their own similar affiliate networks. Local companies and ad networks are also very common. There are also localized networks, for instance, like the Nuffnang network that has different incentives and practices that connects bloggers and brands. You can read more about AdSense alternatives here on HubPages.

Aside from all these ad networks, HubPages also serves its own ads that can be placed on your what you write here just as I am now. It just so happened that my personal choice is Google AdSense.

Just a heads up: although making passive income online is a great idea, you should always prioritize quality content first. If you don't have a blog yet, make sure people will want to read what you write. Make sure it's something worth sharing, informative, and relevant. If you think of these first, income will come naturally afterwards.

I personally choose Google AdSense because of the incentive to learn and provide quality content. As they get stricter and as the search engine algorithms are able to discern spam from relevant and quality content, I am always at my feet to make sure I don't lose my passive income.

Applying is now a tedious process and many are frustrated to join. The rule of thumb is to have a blog with a following first and already has credibility. This means you can't just create a new blog with no content and then apply. The blog will also be reviewed and as disheartening as it can get, this only pushes you to create quality content that people will read, follow, share, and look for online.

My own advice: start blogging, keep on blogging, and make sure you love what you're blogging about. Once your blog is gaining traction, go ahead and apply for AdSense.

Google AdSense pays me through Western Union as I am from the Philippines
Google AdSense pays me through Western Union as I am from the Philippines

Basic SEO

Okay, no need to make it complex. At the end of the day, Google is still just a program and it can't intelligently discern between spam and quality content. In spite of their improved algorithms in the past years, they still rely on keywords and links from already established websites. That's all you need to know: keywords and linking.

If you want to blog about something, try searching for that topic and look for specific keywords search engine users are typing along with your topic. As you may know, Google already has predictions or prescriptions on what you'll type next when searching for something. The next step is to check if this topic is already cluttered with so much content and how you can make yours stand out. One is by providing information that is unique or more informative than others. Another is by using a keyword tool. Keyword tools analyze what people search, words associated with these keywords, and the competitive clutter.

There are tons online from free to paid. But ideally, even with just basic use of the search engine (how you would use it) you could use these keywords in your topic headlines or as your main blog title. There are a lot of factors here and overdoing it could result in keyword stuffing which will result in the search engine penalizing you instead of giving you better rank.

Links are important. Trade links with fellow bloggers. Make sure to link back to your previous posts if relevant. Engage in forums relevant to your blog. Use discovery points such as hashtags in social media as these rank as well and are searched by people.

These are just very top of my head strategies but trust me that this is all I needed to know and I am able to sustain the traffic and income I get. Start applying these or at least keeping them in mind when blogging and I assure you, you will start to notice an increase in your traffic as compared to posts where you didn't bother to think of keywords and linking.

Important Sources of Information

If you want to remain objective, there's one main source to get news and updates on the search engine and how to optimize content: The Official Google Blog.

When it comes to strategy and how to adapt depending on changes they will announce, it will really be up to you to have that innate desire to learn more if you want to increase your traffic and rank well on search engines. For example, Google has been emphasizing mobile-friendliness of websites or blogs as a key factor in ranking. Just by knowing this, making sure your blog or website has a mobile-friendly version adds to your rankings. It's really not that hard or technical especially since most blogging platforms already make these things very easy for any writer, even those with no blogging experience.

Eventually, you'll find other sources if you really want to get into search engine optimization. Do keep in mind that content comes first an optimization is second if you don't want to be trapped as a content writer who writes for the sake of numbers. Blog because you want to share something or because you want to compel people. Blog about what you love, regardless if it's about rocket science or simple food recipes. The competition for ranking is crazy, but if you enjoy what you're doing then I don't see anything wrong with taking that route. In fact, that's the type of blogs or websites that networks like Google AdSense want to be affiliated with.

What do you think is most important for a successful blog?

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    • NateB11 profile image

      Nathan Bernardo 2 years ago from California, United States of America

      I like how you presented this information in a clear and easy to understand way.