A Few Blogging Questions and My Answers
It’s time for another round of questions and answers!
In this post I will be answering a variety of questions about blogging which have been asked by ShoutMeLoud readers.
Usually when a reader emails me, I try to answer them directly via email, though this does depend on how much time I have available to put into answering individual questions.
Writing an article related to questions from readers, however, will help more people, as other bloggers have similar blogging questions related to their blogs.
Some of the questions I have answered the past are associated with the following topics:
How to become a professional blogger & leave your job?
What to do when your genuine comments going to the spam folder
Today’s Blogging Questions:
Today’s questions came from Vandhana of intradayprofittips.com, and here they are in order:
Q1.What are the best WP plugins to use for SEO purposes? Does installing many plugins in WP affect the loading time of the website?
There are many plugins which directly or indirectly help with the SEO of your blog. For example, the WordPress Cache plugin helps in faster loading of your site, and site speed is a ranking signal.
I have already shared a list of the Best SEO WordPress plugins, and at the time of the writing of this post, I’m using the following plugins for the SEO of my own blog:
Genesis theme & WordPress SEO by Yoast.
Author Hreview to add rich data snippets in searches for review posts. It helps in improving CTR.
Broken link checker (I use once in a month) to check for any broken links on the site. Dead links are bad for SEO.
Google XML Sitemaps to create sitemaps. Google image and video sitemap plugins.
SEO friendly images to optimize images for SEO. It uses the name of the image as the alt tag, and search engines use alt tags to identify images.
W3 total cache to add speed to the site.
ShortPixels to optimize images, which also helps in faster loading of the site.
These are the plugins I use. Yes, installing many plugins will affect your site’s load time. You can use the P3 Profiler plugin to find out which WordPress plugins are slowing down your site. Whenever possible, try to use manual codes. For example, instead of using plugins to add social bookmarking icons, you can use custom codes.
Q2. Is blog commenting good or bad for a website? Should it be done only moderately in accordance with the current Google algorithm? How does it affect SEO?
Blog commenting is always good, as long as you’re commenting only on relevant blogs. Comments will not only help you to fetch backlinks, but meaningful blog comments will also help in building connections and improving the branding of your profile. Make sure to sign up at Gravatar.com to attach an image with your comments. Read this guide on blog commenting, which will give you important details and input for commenting.
Read: Blog comments: When it is useful and when it is harmful
Q3. What is the healthiest method of backlink creation according to the current Google algorithm?
Natural links are the best, and those come when you are creating original and unique content. List-oriented, well researched, controversial posts are especially good for obtaining natural links. In addition to your own articles, take advantage of guest posting, blog commenting, and article directory submissions, but only on high-quality sites.
Here is a nice guide on Kikolani where you can learn about link building in the post Google Penguin world. Also, check out my previously published guide on SEO in a post-Panda world.
Q4. Is there any free software or website to analyze keywords and/or to act as a keyword phrase finder, etc?
I use a combination of SEO tools. Here is my list:
SEMRUSH to analyze and find new keywords. (You can take advantage of this SEMRUSH coupon to get a complete Pro account for 15 days.
Google keyword tool to analyze keywords
I also try to keep playing with new SEO tools, for example: Ahrefs for link analysis, HitTails for finding long tail keywords (not recommended for the price!), and many others.
For further details and informaton, you can also check out the complete list of Blogging tools I use regularly.
Q5. How do I use white hat methods to bring visitors and comments to my website for free?
There are many ways to drive traffic. I will outline a few of them here:
SEO will help to make your site more visible to search engines. If you are not an SEO fanatic, or if the concept of SEO is foreign to you, you only need to take care of few matters, including your on-site SEO, on-page SEO and offsite SEO.
For on-site SEO, take care of WordPress duplication and indexation issues. Submit sitemaps to major search engines. Give a unique meta title and description to your site’s homepage using target keywords. Also take care of site speed, and be careful not to overwhelm your site with ads.
For on-page SEO, deal with the issues of keyword research, keyword placement, keyword density, readability, outbound link SEO and be absolutely sure to write high-quality content.
For off-site SEO, take care of backlink building, social signals other things we have discussed in the past to promote your blog.
Finally, add social bookmarking icons to increase the social signals to your site.
This is my favorite and most highly recommended method. You can read my complete guest posting campaign guide for traffic, to learn the details.
Blog commenting is another easy and excellent method. By adding meaningful comments regularly on some of the blogs you read, you will not only be building connections and improving your branding, but you will also be driving traffic throughout. To learn how best to take advantage of this method, you should read our previously published guide on how to be the first one to comment on a blog post.
Forum posting is yet another good method, and there are many quality forums like Warriorforum, V7Nforum and other do follow forums, where you can use signatures to drive traffic to your blog.
There are endless other methods as well, such as social bookmarking, video blogging, email marketing, social media and many more.
Here are some hand-picked articles which will help you to learn more about driving traffic:
How to get free traffic to your blog
How to drive huge traffic to your blog
10 ways to drive traffic from forums to your blog
16 useful resources to drive traffic to your blog
6. How do I contact you other than here? I am very impressed with your blogging skills.
I try to respond to questions whenever possible, but due to high volumes of email, I unfortunately miss the opportunity to reply to many emails. You can ping on Twitter @denharsh
Read: 5 effective ways to connect to a professional blogger
Q7. What are some free ways to generate income online?
Ahh… This is a tough one because I believe in the concept of “it takes money to make money“.
With that said, there are some free methods that work, and some that don’t. You can get yourself a free blog on BlogSpot.com and monetize it with AdSense or other alternatives.
If you have some unique skills, then you can sell or promote your services on Fiverr, or check out other freelancing sites to see if your skill set matches any offered jobs. If you are an exceptional writer, you can easily apply for any blogging jobs or content writing jobs.
Here we have discussed some of the easy ways to earn money online while sitting at home. If you can make videos, you can easily earn money via a YouTube AdSense partnership, which is another free way to earn. If you can use your creativity to create viral videos, you could potentially earn huge money. You can earn money for free via affiliate marketing programs like the Dreamhost Affiliate Program as well. But again, blogging is the best way to promote your affiliate programs.
You should also read: 5 ways of making money online.
Thanks for some excellent questions to address this week. Next week I will answer another set of questions I receive. However, before you send me any blogging questions, make sure you do a search on Google to locate answers there. If you can’t find any helpful information, you can always drop me your questions via my contact form.