Free Blog Review Day! Let’s Make Your Blog Earn

Free Blog Reviews by Carol Tice. Makealivingwriting.comWould you like advice from a successful pro on how to turn your blog into a money-maker? Well, today’s your chance, because I’m calling a free blog review day.


Well, I’ve been quietly working on a whole new blogger training program that’s getting some pretty cool results. But I suspect many of my readers don’t even know about it!

So I’m here to give you a free taste of my blog coaching and introduce you to what I’ve got. And celebrating by putting my two Small Blog, Big Income ebooks on a 2-for-1 bundle sale this week.

These e-books outline my 7-Step system for positioning your blog to earn (without a huge audience).

They unpack all my tips from 9 years (!) writing this blog, and building it into the basis of a multi-six-figure business.

First tip: When you have a small blog audience, one way to stand out is to surprise readers with fun, free goodies. That way, your audience thinks you’re awesome, and they never want to unsubscribe.

And so…free blog reviews today!

Ready to turn your blog into a money-earner? Here are the blog-review rules:

How to get your free blog review

It’s simple: Every blogger who leaves a comment on this post the day it’s published gets a piece of feedback on their blog from me.

A few ground rules:

  • Put your URL in the right place. If you leave your URL in the body of your comment, the comment will go straight to spam. To get your free blog review, don’t get lost in the shuffle — leave your URL only in the box provided. It’s right at the top of your comment form. I don’t want to miss you, and won’t have time to dig through my spam to hunt for lost comments. It’s going to be crazy here!
  • State the age of your blog. When I know how long it’s been around, it helps give me a sense of where you’re at.
  • Tell me your top blog question or problem. That way, I can give you the feedback you need most. If you have a question, I’ll just pick the thing that jumps out at me as the biggest issue.
  • Deadline is midnight Pacific time. That should be enough time to see this post and leave me your URL, no matter where in the world you live.
  • Allow 48 hours for response. I usually get pretty swamped when I offer free blog reviews! So please be patient.
  • One blog per customer. Be fair and let everyone have a chance. Remember, if you try to list more blogs in the comment text, you’ll just go in spam.

Small Blog Big Income ebooks - free blog review dayI’m excited to give back to my terrific readers. I check out your URLs when you post on my blog comments, and I know a lot of bloggers really need help!

Happy to share my (sometimes contrarian) advice on how small bloggers can earn real money. This post’s comment thread will be like a free taste of those Small Blog, Big Income e-books.

Extra: 3 winners get review videos

To give you an even more robust taste of what my blog mastermind group is like, I’m going to pick three interesting cases and do a more thorough, 15-20 minute blog review video for each of those.

I’ll get those video reviews on a page and share that link with everyone on the next post coming up.

The videos will give you a much better sense of the level of feedback you get as a member of my Small Blog Big Income small-group mastermind.

UPDATE: Videos taking a little longer than expected, thanks to a cold — I will email them out to subscribers later next week. If you’re not already one, subscribe here to get that link.

On beyond blog reviews

If this whets your appetite, how can you get more feedback from me on your blog?

That’s what my blog mastermind is for. In this small group, I help you execute on my 7-step system, saving you a boatload of wasted time and helping you see your best earning opportunities.

The mastermind has got room for a few more members — and once it’s full, the price is going up. A lot.

It’s an application process to get in, so if you’re interested in that, read up on the group and apply now.

Ready to get started? Then let’s fix your blog!

What’s your biggest question about your blog? Tell me in the comments, and I’ll give you a quick free blog review.

Make your small blog EARN BIG! Join the Blog Mastermind with Carol Tice, Author of Small Blog, Big Income: One Niche Blogger's 7-Step Formula



Tagged with: , , ,
214 comments on “Free Blog Review Day! Let’s Make Your Blog Earn
  1. Very helpful advice, Carol. Thank you!

  2. Alex Johnson says:

    How do I advertise my blog to increase traffic especially so that potential clients can see my blog and hire me?
    Alex Johnson recently posted…10 Ways to Improve Your WordPress Blog WebsiteMy Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      Alex, the blog-review day has ended…but in general none of us ‘advertise’ our blog to increase traffic. We promote posts in social media, guest post, and in the case of creating a blog that’s meant for writing client leads, we try to appear on the most popular blogs that prospect would read with a link BACK to our own blog. That’s usually the major referral engine.

  3. Carol Tice says:

    OK, I have now TRIPLE-checked, and found some comments I somehow missed. I believe I have now given feedback on ALL the blogs posted up until about 10 am Pacific this morning (which is really day 2). If you have NOT seen a comment from me and posted by then, please let me know!

    Now, to shop for my 3 video subjects…
    Carol Tice recently posted…Inside 4 New Content Mills: What Freelancers Need to KnowMy Profile

  4. Susan A. says:

    Cool, I’ll look into ways to do free marketing. Could you just look at this blog example really quick? Linked it into commentlove. It ranks on Google, and it was one of the blogs I was trying to copy with my site. Do you still think it’s missing anything? It doesn’t have an about page for example, so I just want to see what you think a blog really does need, like the absolute things.

    • Susan A. says:

      Oh, here it is, the link didn’t go thru the first time.
      Susan A. recently posted…6 Ridiculously Fun Netball DrillsMy Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      I’m confused, since you’ve stated that same site as your site. Yours is something different?

      I’m not really reviewing individual blog posts here — but if you want to drill down at that level, feel free to join me in the mastermind!

    • Carol Tice says:

      And remember, just because you found A post on a competing blog that ranked for some search, that in no way means that site generates money. Knowing how to turn visitors into buyers is a whole ‘nother skill set.

      • Susan A. says:

        That’s a good point…I don’t know if it generates money. There is Adsense but the payouts can be so low…You gave me a good POV thanks again.

        • Carol Tice says:

          My experience is typically, people using AdSense report to me that they’re making about $1 a month. It’s a joke. I’m always asking, “So why do you still have that up? People hate ads.” But I guess it’s hard to admit that what you’re doing is NOT going to work…because then you have to engage in the harder work of finding out what DOES work.

          This is what my blog mastermind is all about! Stopping the insanity and finding how to really monetize your blog.

  5. Carol Tice says:

    Just want to note that — review day has officially ended! I will be reviewing the URLs that are BELOW this comment. Writers have continued posting far beyond the 24 hour deadline, and at this point, I’m calling it. Thanks for the chance to look at so many interesting blogs!

    Next, I’ll be selecting 3 of these for video reviews that are more extensive — stay tuned next week for a link to those!

  6. Akshay Gupta says:

    Hi Carol,

    Love this idea of blog review. I can’t wait for your feedback!

    Please tell me how to make my blog an authority in the career development niche.

    Age – 2 years.

    Thank you.

    • Carol Tice says:

      Akshay — your blog seems to be having technical problems. It’s got a lot of messages across the top telling me you haven’t posted in a while and changes have been lost, etc. Not sure what’s up there… and then each of your social proof ‘as seen on’ graphics appear twice. So it’s sort of a mess.

      But I’ll just say that “Up To Work” is one of those phrases that native English speakers never use. Not really sure what it’s supposed to me — like am I up to working or not? I need to get up in the morning and go to work? You’re going to help me feel up to working?

      I see a lot of blogs that use English this way, coming up with word combos that don’t make obvious sense in English. I’m not really sure what the blog’s about, not seeing a tagline except in meta, where it says ‘Best career advice articles for Job Seekers’ — which your blog headlines seem to relate to as well.

      If you want to blog in English, you have to find a blog name and tagline that communicate well in English.

      Headlines actually seem pretty strong! But you’ll need to fix the many technical problems here that make this blog visually uninviting to visit. Maybe time to collaborate with a designer.

      More importantly…what is your vision for how this would be monetized? Are you hoping to get resume writing work through it, for example? I’m unclear what sort of ads you might be able to get if you built it up, maybe from temp agencies? Look at what earning methods are on competing sites.

      • Akshay Gupta says:

        Thank you so much for the valuable advice.

        Yes, we will find a better name. And, I’ll hire a tech guy to do the needful.

        About monetization, I intend to get readers to buy the premium plan which offers resume and cover letter writing services.

        Any other tips on how to build engagement and traffic?


        • Carol Tice says:

          Akshay, have you seen any other website earning by that model, of trying to sign up resume/cover letter clients thru the site? Because I haven’t.

          My experience working with MANY freelance writers, though, is that resume is the WORST writing niche there is. Clients are consistently broke, want to pay peanuts, and they do one resume, and then they’re done! And you get to start over and find another client. There’s no ongoing work, which is the mainstay of successful freelancing. So in general, I’d say to do more research into this niche and see if there’s anything you can really upsell here that will work. I’m not seeing a lot of job-seekers buying a ‘service’ level on a platform. 99% do their own resume using free online forms, at this point.

  7. Nick Segal says:

    Hi Carol,

    Love what you are doing for the writing community,

    Many Thanks,
    respect and goodwill,
    Nick Segal

    • Carol Tice says:

      I’m assuming you wanted a review, Nick?

      I find your blog…mystifying. You use abbreviations and words that we don’t know. You’re making jokes we’re not in on. There’s also a sloppiness to the writing, extra spaces, grammar/typo problems.

      If you want to create a blog that earns, you have to begin by caring about the reader, inviting them in, and giving them a great experience. Start with a tagline we can understand, not:

      Walking the extra mile in the mind. Don’t believe me , check it..Any questions replied to

      What does that mean, walking the extra mile in my mind? Your tagline needs to EXPLAIN it, not say it over again.

      Then there’s another tagline: Be the author of your ity. I don’t know what that means. If you’re hoping readers will read further hoping to decipher it, I’m afraid most won’t.

      Who is your intended reader, and what will we learn here? I’m seeing everything from apparently hardcore erotica to advice about mental health issues. Successful blogs are not a catch-all for whatever you feel like writing about each day — they have a focus on the reader. See if you can find your one passion topic that readers would benefit from, and put your focus there. Explain what’s going on to the reader, in plain English, so that they feel like this site is for them.

      And of course — get it off free WordPress, if you’re serious about it!

  8. Benjamin says:

    Wonderful, Carol! I have learnt lots of stuff reading comments and immediately implementing some of your advice. In fact, I’m presently writing an eBook to offer as freebie to my audience based on your responses on this post.

    I hope that’s not plagiarism 🙂 Of course I will acknowledge you in it.

    Book Title: What Veteran Blogger Carol Tice Says About Your Writing Site

    Quite amazing!

    • Carol Tice says:

      Benjamin — my comments on my site ARE my property, as are my blog posts. So I’m afraid ripping them off to create a product for your subscribers would be plagiarism. I expressly DON’T give permission for my blog comments to be turned into a product someone else offers their audience. You would really also need to seek permission from each of my posters to use their questions and URLs as well, but since I’m a no, that won’t be necessary.

      Please come up with another idea for your giveaway! That is not really ‘writing an ebook,’ is it? It’s copying text from this comment thread. Please stop.

      • Benjamin says:

        Hi Carol,

        I’m sorry for that…Its ok..Alright…I’ve stopped! No Problem.

        I thought I was being a little bit creative here as this is one thing you’ve always insisted on as a mentor.

        Offer them freebies and get their email :-)want to sell? email is where the money is…

        Lots of love from a hustling writer aiming to make mid 5 figures in 2017.

        • Carol Tice says:

          There’s an ocean of difference between ‘being creative’ and plagiarizing. Yes, of course you want to create a free product. But make it one built on YOUR expertise. That’s how you build your authority and make YOUR blog successful.

  9. Hi, aside from getting over the fear and self-esteem that have both stopped me writing for a while and growing a readership, how do you set up an effective mailing list/newsletter? Also is it crucial to have a niche? I still don’t know exactly what it is I want to write about. Sorry I’ve asked a few more questions than one.

    • Carol Tice says:

      Crucial to have a niche? Yes. Read through my comments here. #1 problem facing bloggers is lack of a focused niche that serves a reader.

      As for setting up a mailing list, I love Mailchimp for that — you can read about my experience with them on my Products I Love page — see the top tabs.

  10. radha says:

    My blog was started in July 2007, almost 10 years old.

    I do not seem to generate revenue, though I researched and wrote just what people asked for. Now the posts are less frequent.

    • Carol Tice says:

      I think few blogspot blogs DO generate income — they’re really not set up to do that.

      Anti-aging tips is certainly a monetizable topic, but you’d need to get it off blogspot and to a professional designer, and have a plan for actively marketing the content, for starters.

  11. My blog is about me and my religious/philosophical journey, so pretty personal. I only started in in July of 2016 so I could practice my writing. I’d like to monetize it so I can give money to charity. Which means I would need more readers, but no real idea how to get them, especially given the content. I do post/link my posts in Facebook group Hevriabook. I’m also planning on moving the blog from blogspot.
    Billye Roberts recently posted…My name is Issac. My father tried to murder me this morning.My Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      Billye, as I’ve stated in response to many others below, blogs that are basically your personal diary put on the Internet in general aren’t the kind of thing that attract a big audience or prove to have a means of creating an income.

      You’d need other basics — a tagline that explains to us who this blog is for, and what we’ll learn. An About page where we hear your story. A font big enough to read. Decide if you have something useful to unpack for readers, and focus on it!

  12. Thank you for this! You’re just so awesome!

    My website is more of a portfolio, and I’d like to know how to structure it to reach my goal. It is pretty new, just started it last month. I have a lot of ideas to write on the blog section, but I’m thinking more of guest posting to boost my portfolio.

    • Carol Tice says:

      Diana…what IS your goal? I can’t tell you how to reach it when I don’t know what it is…

      Please keep in mind I’m reviewing BLOGS here, not writer websites. So if the goal is to get hired for freelance writing gigs…not doing that today.

  13. Sara says:

    Hi, Carol.

    I started Nitpick in June 2016 as a monthly newsletter (blog). I want to know how to attract more subscribers without having to spend a lot of time creating a freebie. (It took considerable time just preparing to launch the thing…designing it, learn new software, etc.) Please keep in mind that I am in Canada where anti-spam legislation prohibits us from sending unsolicited electronic commercial messages.


    • Carol Tice says:

      A monthly newsletter is quite a different thing from a blog, Sara. And yes, here in the US we also wait for people to opt in and confirm their subscription before we send them anything.

      I’d think having blog posts you could promote in social media would help you move this forward. Right now, it’s a newsletter graphic inside your writer’s site. Can you tell me WHO you are aiming your tips at? It’s pink, so I’m guessing women, but if so spell that out, I’d say.

      The meta for that newsletter page says “Sara’s Newsletter | Sara Bedal.” It needs something about the TOPIC to help you find people.

      There are lots of ways to quickly do a freebie — my first one was a handout from a live Webinar I gave once.

  14. Lauren says:

    Hi Carol! Thanks for this opportunity! I’ve kept a travel blog for ten years, although this iteration is about five. Most of my followers are people I know in real life (true of Facebook and Instagram too) and I want to know how I should expand my following beyond that group. Thanks!!

    • Carol Tice says:

      Really, the same stuff I’ve been saying all day. This has no tagline. Who’s it for? What will I learn if I read it?

      Write blog post headlines. “Ch-ch-ch-changes” is not a blog headline. It’s a diary entry. You’ll have a hard time moving beyond your personal friends unless you identify and write in service of a reader.

  15. Mary says:

    I’m looking for tips on design and content of my blog! I’m not sure which pages are actually helpful and what content/design factors are hurting my blog. I’d love overall tips/advice too though!

    • Carol Tice says:

      Interesting. I’m not sure the fact that you have migraines is the most interesting thing about you, or what you want to build a brand around — find a way to broaden the audience, as I was saying to the Christian blogger above.

      Then, yes, get a designer. Very dated look, square header image in a rectangular space. Define WHO should read your blog. Current tagline says it’s about and for…you.

      Everything in your sidebar should be eliminated — just clutter. Nobody searches a blog by month. Social icons tell people how to connect there.

      The question is…what useful information can the reader take away here, that helps THEM? Orient the whole blog toward that.

      Or, it’s a personal diary on the Internet, which isn’t a monetizable concept, generally.

    • Carol Tice says:

      Also wanted to say when I hear the name ‘the Headache Heroine’…I don’t quite know what to think. You’re here to give me headaches? You defeat your enemies by giving them headaches, like that’s your superpower? Not sure it’s getting it done, branding-wise.

  16. Laura says:

    I’m moving my blogs out of WordPress. So I’m behind in updating them. But, I would like feedback on what I’ve been doing. I have the plan of selling my art (see blog link below) as greeting cards. So much to work out with that, selling on my own site vs. using something like CafePress. I get the odd person commenting about not having text files with the art, but that just makes it all too easy to steal/ borrow freely. I don’t spend time working on SEO. There are only so many hours in a day and, I just don’t worship Google all that much. I don’t like the idea that I should try to please an inanimate object/ software.

    • Carol Tice says:

      I used to feel the exact same way, Laura — but I’ve learned it’s worth 5 minutes per piece of content to see if the phrase you’re going after actually gets any searches.

      This stuff looks like it WOULD make some cute cards! I say just find a way to get started marketing it — whether it’s Cafe Press or an Etsy store or whatever it is. THEN…network with other artists! See if you can guest post and leave them a piece of ascii art.

      I think a tagline that’s less cryptic would help you, like “Whimsical art for computer nerds by Laura” or something. Look at the ThinkGeek catalog and how they play to that crowd! Their copy is amazing. Think about a little creative writing to sell this stuff, and go for it!

      • Laura says:

        Thanks Carol. I didn’t even have the tagline on my list so that is a good idea. It’s such a great thing to have someone else look at your site. New perspective. 🙂

        I’m bad at actually networking and being social but, I do have all the links. I founded and still edit the ASCII art category at That might work for a tagline if I add some whimsy to it.
        Laura recently posted…Imperfectly Valentine’s Day 2017My Profile

        • Carol Tice says:

          What might work for a tagline — “I’m the editor of the ASCII art category at dmoz”? No. Good taglines aren’t about YOU — they’re about the reader, as I discuss in detail here:

          • Laura says:

            No, not that directly. 😀 But that information presented in a creative way. I wrote for a site called BackWash years ago. The tagline was “the Internet by personality”. We had some fun working on names for columns, newsletters, etc there. There was a lot of experimentation going on with what worked and what did not. SEO was barely a thing then. It was all about being reader friendly.
            Laura recently posted…Imperfectly Valentine’s Day 2017My Profile

            • Carol Tice says:

              Well…it’s a thing now…a thing that can help you earn MONEY. You seem like you’ve got a fun concept — maybe get with someone with SEO experience who can help you on that end?

              Your editorship of that other site is NOT the most interesting or useful piece of info to put into a tagline, is my point. Instead, describe your product and who it’s for. THAT is what belongs in a tagline.

  17. Eliza says:

    Hi Carol,
    What a generous and timely offer. I’m in a total blog funk at the moment and wondering if I should move onto a new project. I’ve had the blog since October 2015, but had a baby in between so I’ve come back to it in the last few months. Mainly I’m feeling swamped by all the advice out there on blogging that’s leaving me with the feeling that I’m doing everything wrong. I work on it during nap times which means my progress is really slow. What I’m working on at the moment is making my posts more ‘sticky’, improving the headlines and making sure posts have actionable advice.

    • Carol Tice says:

      Eliza…if you want to pursue it, decide who your reader is. It’s personal finance…for who? Retirees? College students?

      And I think financial freedom takes more than thoughts. 😉 Try to come up with a robust tagline that really says what people will learn here, and WHO it is for.

  18. Hi Carol,

    My blog is about five years old, but I abandoned it in 2014 when I had a baby. I’m wondering what I need to do to make it something I can actually monetize – besides posting stuff. 🙂 What should the focus be? I feel like there are way too many people writing on the same topics.

    Thanks much,


    • Carol Tice says:

      Sabrina, your blog is named after you, and has no tagline. So visitors have no idea what it’s about, and aren’t likely to stick around.

      If you want to monetize a blog, you need a concept that provides useful information to the reader and is branded around that.

      Your focus should be…something you’re passionate about and could imagine writing 100s of posts on.

    • Carol Tice says:

      Sabrina, this blog doesn’t seem to have a name or focus. Only you know what your passion topic is that would be worth committing to ongoing blog development! Cross that with market research on what sorts of blogs appear to have good earning mechanisms, and you should be able to find your focus.

      To answer your direct question of what you’d need to do to monetize it — it’s really not set up to be a blog that earns, as it is now. Have you read that first Small Blog Big Income ebook? It really walks you through the fundamental steps of making sure your blog is positioned to earn, and you’re not just spinning your wheels.

  19. Lindy says:

    Hi Carol,

    Thanks so much for this offer!

    My blog is very new – I started it in January this year with the aim of documenting my journey from hobby writer to full time freelancer. I’m including interviews with freelance writers, editors as well as my own learnings.

    I’d like to get more readers/email subscribers – I am currently working on a lead magnet/freebie for readers about the top strategies I use to get high paying clients on LinkedIn.

    Are there other ways that I could be driving traffic to my website?

    Thank you!

    • Lindy says:

      I should have also added that I meant the blog to be a resource for writers who have dabbled and have made some money from freelancing, but want to go full time.

    • Carol Tice says:

      Lindy, what you’re trying is called a ‘follow along with me’ blog. You don’t know more than your audience.

      Back in the day, if you tried to sell something based on that we called you…a charlatan. And there are a ton of scams in this segment, so you have to work hard to prove you have something valuable.

      The question is, do you really WANT traffic right now? Or perhaps would you like to blog for a year until you actually become a successful writer, and then unpack those learnings? That allows you to be an ‘authority’ blogger, where you have proven information. Something to think about…

      • Laura says:

        Lindy, an experience blog can be great. Make sure you post about things that go wrong. If you only post about what is working it will just be a writer’s blog, a personal sales page. Write about rejection letters you get, all those discouraging things and how you find ways to keep working on your writing goal.

        Hope you don’t mind the extra comment Carol. I review writer’s sites for a web directory.
        Laura recently posted…Imperfectly Valentine’s Day 2017My Profile

        • Carol Tice says:

          Not at all. Fails obviously do great as well, good point! But point of difference, USP — that’s what’s needed in I’d say nearly EVERY blog I’ve looked at today, except the art ones!

  20. K. Johnson says:

    Hi Carol,

    I have been blogging since 2011 and actively writing valuable content since 2015. I started my blog as a hobby and treated it as such. I took a 2-year hiatus and lost the motivation to write for my blog while juggling a full-time job, freelancing on the side, and sudden medical issues. Since I’ve returned, I notice a decent amount of traffic coming to my blog but rarely is there ever any engagement. I feel that my about page is mediocre at best, this I know, but what am I doing wrong to draw in the reader to want to comment or sign up to my email list? Also, I feel that my niche is sometimes limited in monetization unless you are well-known within the industry or have very high blog traffic. I often wonder if the name of the blog has a lot to do with it. I loved it when I first started, but I have since outgrown the name and wonder if others have as well.
    K. Johnson recently posted…5 DIY Face Mask Recipes for Acne TreatmentMy Profile

    • K. Johnson says:

      P.S. Carol, thanks for offering this service!

    • Carol Tice says:

      I don’t agree — I’ve seen this kind of niche site do well, I had a guest poster with a site for women who had a lot of body hair, for instance.

      I worry that your ‘napptural’ brand isn’t something people recognize, and the tagline also doesn’t have keywords women would use to find this information…tweaking that could help.

    • Victoria Anderson says:

      Hi K. Johnson,

      I am glad that I came across this post and saw a link to your site. I am a person who is big on natural hair and skin care. I look forward to perusing your site when I get a chance. Stay encouraged!

      Victoria A.

  21. Maya Spikes says:

    Hi, Carol!

    I re-launched my blog almost 5 months ago. My top blog question is: How do I start making money with my blog?

    Here’s some additional info: I started my blog in late 2012. After two posts, I didn’t write anything else on the blog for years. In October 2016, I re-launched the blog as an advice and lifestyle blog for freelance writers. I’ve posted at least one blog post per month, every month since October and I’m making plans on posting more frequently and working my way up to posting weekly.

    My main focus is to start earning money with my blog. My two follow-up questions are: How do I build an email list? And how do I use keywords and SEO to attract more people to my blog? I feel like building my email list and learning more about SEO are two of the next steps I should take to build my blog to start earning money from it.

    Also, is there a quick way –say a 30 minute to an hour strategy — to use one or few top keyword/SEO tactics while writing a blog post? My goal here is to balance using SEO while producing posts in a timely, efficient manner to help produce posts more frequently. (It seems like a blogger can get overwhelmed and spend hours lost in SEO jargon without having a concise, effective SEO/keyword plan for blog posts.)

    Thanks for your generous offer to help other bloggers and I look forward to your feedback!
    Maya Spikes recently posted…4 Easy Ways to Stop ProcrastinatingMy Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      Yeah — once a month is probably not going to build this. You’ll likely need to rebrand to a URL that relates to your topic, too. There are a TON of ‘start writing and get published’ type sites out there. You’ll need to figure out what help you have that they can’t find elsewhere. Just cranking out generic anti-procrastination tips and such probably isn’t going to do it.

      What do you have that we can’t find elsewhere? You’ll want to make that USP clear to us.

  22. Karen says:

    Hi Carol. Thanks so much for offering this service. I started this blog in May 2016. My main concern is that it’s getting very little search engine traffic. Most of my traffic so far is coming from social media and my very small subscriber list. I’m no SEO expert but I’m using the Yoast SEO plugin, and trying to follow basic SEO best practices. I thought I’d be getting more search traffic by now.
    Karen recently posted…How To Use Facebook Groups To Promote Your Blog or BusinessMy Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      Are you guest posting? Creating resources that would be linked to in roundups? You may need to build more backlinks from popular sites.

      Also, your pink branding says ‘only women,’ which cuts out way more than half of all solopreneurs, and it doesn’t say online business, consulting…maybe niching it down would help you magnetize a more loyal audience?

      • Karen says:

        Thanks for the feedback, Carol. My plan is to focus on guest posts going forward. I’m really wobbling over the pink branding, but to be honest I love working with other female solopreneurs and that’s who I want to attract. But you’re right of course, cutting out more than half of all solopreneurs doesn’t make a lot of sense…. unless of course I niche it down to female entrepreneurs! Sorry, now I’m just thinking out loud in your comment section. Time to go away and have another think!
        Karen recently posted…How To Use Facebook Groups To Promote Your Blog or BusinessMy Profile

        • Carol Tice says:

          Don’t apologize — that’s exactly the thought process you need to have. If you really DO just want to coach women entrepreneurs, then SAY that and go all the way with it.

    • Laura says:

      Your “read more” button is huge. If you can, make it smaller. Also, one good header image would break up all that text. I suggest having a photo of yourself standing to one side of something relevant to your blog. Try different angles and lighting so you aren’t too small in the photo.

      I really like the idea for your site. I agree about toning down the pink.
      Laura recently posted…Imperfectly Valentine’s Day 2017My Profile

  23. Tara Heavey says:

    Hi Carol. Great offer, much appreciated. I attach the URL of my blog which I started last August. As you will see, I have not posted since the start of January as I have been focussing lately on freelancing and don’t know whether or not to continue with the blog. My biggest question is how together traffic, followed, by how to convert into sales. Many thanks. Warmest wishes. Tara

    • Carol Tice says:

      Well…what could you sell to people trying to cope with depression? What are the top sites in this niche, and what are they selling? You need to do your market research and find out, yes?

      If you want to build traffic, you’ll need to learn to write blog headlines designed to make people click. “Happy New Year” and “A Christmas meditation” aren’t blog headlines, they’re diary entries. The difference is huge. You’ll need to learn to construct posts with keywords in the headlines to attract people struggling with depression, or this doesn’t have a chance to grow.

  24. Susan A. says:

    Hi! It’d be great if you could look at mine. I just want to see why, it’s not getting any traffic at all. It’s been live for about a year. I optimized it for SEO, I followed the top tips for on page SEO and built backlinks…Zero or 1-2 hits per day though.

    Thanks for your help and time BTW
    Susan A. recently posted…Natural Incense Smells: Herbs and Flowers!My Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      I have a few theories on why:

      1) It’s on blogspot, which is known as an amateur platform. Also, isn’t it hard to sell on there? As I recall they make it difficult to put up even an Amazon sales sidebar or anything.

      2) It’s ungrammatical, from “Natural Incense and Candles DIY Tips!” to ‘articles on the natural incenses you can buy…’ It sounds like a keyword-stuffing microsite exercise designed to sell candles, by someone in the third world.

      3) There is no About page that tells the story of why I should take your advice about incense. I don’t see your picture or meet you.

      4) Every headline ends in an exclamation point, an amateurish style that went out a long, long time ago.

      5) Font is unreadable.

      I could go on and on. This site doesn’t seem to have a person behind it, doesn’t look professional, and doesn’t seem to be imparting much valuable info beyond that we should buy candles and incense. I think people don’t respond well to hard-sell and lack of valuable info in blog posts…especially from anonymous posters who don’t even leave us their name. I can’t imagine what backlinks you built — what authority site would link to this? Or did you maybe ‘buy’ backlinks, a strategy that does nothing?

      You’d probably need to reposition this. As you can see, simply stuffing in a bunch of SEO keywords does not a money-earning blog make.

      I don’t know what you do to promote these posts — but if you don’t market your content, it often does result in zero visitors.

      • Susan A. says:

        Thanks! It’s been easy to add affiliate links to the blogspot, but you make really good points. And the backlinks are normal. How would you say I should promote my posts? Facebook ads are expensive.

        • Carol Tice says:

          Guest posting, Susan! Promoting your posts in social media — I’d think Pinterest & Instagram would be GREAT for your niche. And creating the sort of posts other sites in your niche would link to because they provide so much value.

          Facebook ads are actually incredibly cheap, relatively speaking, but not generally needed for promoting blog posts if you know how.

  25. kapush says:

    Hi Carol,

    Thank you do much for this opportunity!

    I have filled in the box above with the URL of my Amazon affiliate site. It was set up in 2011, left dormant for the next five years and then revived after a domain change from NET to ORG last August.

    My problem is twofold: getting clicks to Amazon, of course, and getting engagement in the form of comments. Previously there used to be at least moderate interaction. Lately, I have noticed not even spam in the comment box!!

    Just in case cat litter or amazon affiliate site is not your thing, please replace the sub domain with ‘seocontent’ and you will reach my writer site launched last September.

    Thanks again, and looking forward to your reply 🙂
    kapush recently posted…9 Best Flushable Cat Litter Brands Review – All Organic and BiodegradableMy Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      Kapush, I don’t see how exactly you sell on this site — but I’d say coming to a site and seeing it’s name is CAT LITTER is probably a turnoff.

      Also, I think it may be unethical for you to operate a .org URL, which is for nonprofits, if your main point is to sell on Amazon. It’s possible you don’t get clicks because not many people order cat litter online, the shipping is too expensive. Also, the main URL is still ‘Kapush’ which for those in English-speaking countries is a nonsense word…so that’s not helping attract anyone.

      This seems like another microsite, as I saw before with incense and candles farther up in this thread. I gather this sort of SEO play worked once — I think it doesn’t anymore. Nobody visits sites like this, that clearly exist just to sell something.

      • kapush says:

        Hi Carol,

        Thanks for the prompt feedback. This IS a non profit – all income goes to the maintenance of my stray animal shelter. And at least 50% of what I earn from writing content goes into that as well. I changed from NET to ORG because I have plans to use the main domain for a non profit I shall be setting up in the near future.

        As for ordering cat litter online, well, Amazon ships them free of cost and rest assured, people do buy cat litter online. This is a niche site, not a micro site and I was hoping it would not be a turn off for cat lovers looking for car litter.

        SEO wise, I rank on the first page and among the first five results (Google rolled out the most recent update on Feb 7th and that has been causing some ups and downs lately for small sites in particular – so things could be a little better or worse right now) for at least four main key phrases and with four different articles. You can see how I am confused that visitors spend almost 5 minutes on my site on an average but do not click as much as I would like them to!

        Thanks again for your view on the matter.
        kapush recently posted…9 Best Flushable Cat Litter Brands Review – All Organic and BiodegradableMy Profile

  26. My blog has been up less than 2 months. The question or problem would be: What should our lives look like if we live and practice what we believe?

    • Carol Tice says:

      Interesting — that’s not what I get from looking at it, Jon. I get: “Here’s another Christian blog.”

      Also, what does “Duck in the Pulpit” have to do with anything? Why a duck? Is it a Christian in-joke that I don’t get or something?

      Your tagline is “Practicing our Christian Beliefs.” If the tagline were “Help for living your values” or something like that, it would have a much broader audience. As it is, into the Christian-blog pigeonhole you go.

      My experience is Christian and other faith blogs rarely monetize — super-tough niche, and I gather very, very crowded.

      You might be interested in the GoodLife Zen example — her tagline was originally something about improving your Zen practice. Clearly only for people seriously into Zen philosophy and practice.

      Then, she changed it to, “Practical inspiration for a happier life.” And suddenly, it was a blog for everyone who ever wanted to enjoy life more. And it became a huge success. 😉

      Think about how you could position this where you could talk about your Christian journey, but in the lens of helping all comers apply their values to everyday life. In other words, be the U2 of Christian blogs.

  27. Sorry, I didn’t follow your instructions exactly! I will enter my blog’s URL in the right place. My main question, aside from wondering if my blog is actually monetizeable, is how it looks. I have no idea how the design should look.

    And I apologize for not creating paragraphs for easier reading, yikes! I’m such a newbie.

    Thanks, Carol

    • Carol Tice says:

      There’s not really enough there for me to be able to tell how the blog will look or work yet, Jennifer — but good luck with it!

      • Jennifer Loss says:

        Thanks for looking at my blog. I know I’ve done very little there as of yet (it’s still all in Latin!). I’m still reading comments, and find them enormously helpful and will apply some of this as I move forward. Thanks so much!

  28. Darren Thornton says:

    I started a weekly letter long before ever hearing the word blog. I was hoping that it’d lead to some paid writing assignments. Some suggested making a book out of some letters. Unfortunately, a complete set doesn’t exist. It’s been more challenging since the advent of social media. I try to save some stuff just for the letters. How can I leverage these letters for paid assignments? They’re available to anyone who sends me an email address.

    • Carol Tice says:

      Not sure, but seems off the topic of blog reviews, Darren.

      Self-created samples are a poor converter for paid assignments — you’re better off finding a pro bono client who’ll give you a real clip that pleased a client and earned testimonials and referrals.

  29. Jennifer Loss says:

    Hi Carol, I recently joined the Den and am studying everything there. I’m having a blast and am so grateful to have found you and this amazing resource. I’m a former opera/classical singer, and want to start a blog to help singers (of any genre) with vocal health and vocal issues — allergies, vocal damage (I had a nodule early on from extreme vocal tension), self-talk, the absolute gamut. I was also an R.N. in a former life. I have purchased a domain name already, I plan to post weekly and probably have enough subject matter to last me at least three years, probably much more. I had someone start to build the site for me; it’s up, and waiting patienly for me to improve it and start posting. He was actually very uncomfortable with doing it, but it was an exchange for piano lessons for his kids. So it is nowhere near done, and may not even be ready for comments from you! I thought maybe offering special reports could be something. No idea, really, if this is something that can be monetized, and that wasn’t ever my first thought. I want to offer advice, and I’ve seen not much of anything like my idea on the internet. I am an expert in my field (including the piece of paper from graduate school), with a successful career (not famous, but had some great gigs, and accomplished with 2 homeschooled kids). And then the R.N., which I think gives me a special perspective. I’m curious as to your thoughts at this very early stage. Thanks!

    • Carol Tice says:

      Really, there are no online voice-lesson type sites, selling videos or something? I get nearly 3.5 million results for that.

      Study how these sites earn, and you’ll see what works in this niche.

      • Jennifer Loss says:

        Thanks for your reply, Carol! You are so generous. I will start studying singing sites for more insight. I don’t want to spend a lot of time teaching online, because that is time-consuming, but I recognize that could definitely be part of a monetizing plan. I wonder if my blog becomes popular – I sure hope! – if affiliate marketing could come into play.

        I love reading all the comments, and have learned a lot from them. Thanks again for your time!

  30. Hi Carol,

    Thanks for this. I launched my blog a month ago. I aim to post daily, not only for readers, but for myself. What’s the best way to grow and gain more subscribers? Am I on the right track? My goal is to give away as much free content as possible. I want to help people and share my writing success with them.

    Thanks for your time,

    • Carol Tice says:

      Got a few questions —

      1) Why post every day? Nobody I know does that anymore. Posting once a week and heavily PROMOTING that post, while guest posting elsewhere, is going to get better results. People unsubscribe like mad from sites that email them every day, especially new ones that don’t yet have a lot of value to deliver.

      2) Why do you want to give away as much free content as possible? You should give away just enough free content to make sales happen.

      3) Your blog is named ‘blog’ — meta says ‘Freelance Writing Tips Blog’ – if that’s its name, buy that URL. Then, write a tagline that helps us further understand your concept.

      There isn’t one best way to grow and get subscribers. But it begins with having a point of difference. How many writer sites are there like yours, “Read how I got my first $1,000!” I feel there are loads and loads of ’em. How is yours different? Figure that out and make it obvious.

      You’ll want to solve the design problem, where your posts are listed just as enlivened links — that’s visually unappealing. The skinny excerpt boxes are kinda messy, as well.

      You’ll need a freebie for subscribers. And then, you’ll need a marketing plan to promote your content, guest post, and get readers to your site so you can convert them and get them signed up. Right?

      The biggest conceptual problem is — “I earned my first $1,000 by following something Onibalusi said.”

      That means you have nothing new to share with us. We can just go over and read his site. Right?

      The purpose for a writing tips site is that you’ve got some tips we can’t find elsewhere. If you have some, make that your emphasis.

      • Hi Carol,

        Thanks for the feedback. I post daily because I want to write every day, whether it’s for my readers or not It’s just a personal choice.

        I guess I need to decide what I want to do with my blog really. Thanks for all the constructive feedback you’ve provided. I’ll copy this for safe keeping an implement these changes over time.

        I’ve already worked out how to sort the links issue out. I’ll just create a separate page for that.

        Hmm…in terms of the positioning. You’re right I need to look at what makes it different. I suppose that I actually got the results in two months by following the strategy as a Newbie…lot’s to think about.

        Thanks 🙂 I appreciate it.

  31. Thanks for your generous offer to review my blog, Carol. I started my outdoor lifestyle blog almost a year ago as a way to share my passion for the outdoors and the health benefits of being outdoors in the natural world. I have also used it as a vehicle to showcase my writing for the kinds of publications I would like to write for. I would like to monetize my blog and would like to know how to increase traffic
    Sheila Dearden recently posted…Goat Rocks Wilderness: Winding Trails, Amazing Views and MountainsMy Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      OK — you will increase traffic by first off having a tagline that says who this site is for. There’s no tagline that I can see right now, though there is one in meta. It’s just single words in a string, instead of identifying the reader. Is it moms? Kids? Families? Older adults?

      Then, write posts that give us practical tips on how to get more out of outdoor exercise. It looks like many headlines are simply summaries of where you went — you’ll have to work harder to fascinate us and make us need to read the post. Topics like ’10 reasons why today is the first day of spring’ fall in the ‘that’s mildly interesting’ category. Which doesn’t get any clicks.

      Blogs that earn are in the ‘WOW I MUST READ THIS’ category. Think about make your topic ideas into must-reads.

  32. Hi Carol,
    I am so excited to hear your advice. I am a brand new blogger. My site has been live for about two weeks.

    I have a ton of questions about how best to set up my site- I can’t really figure out how WordPress works- it’s been trail and error up until now!

    However, I think my main question to you would be about how to get people to see my blog, and how to generate some kind of income from it.

    Thanks for any insights and help!
    Best regards,

    • Carol Tice says:

      Hi Bobby — I’d say hire a designer to work with you on WordPress — it’s not really a skill you have to acquire, just get a pro to help you, especially if you want an earning site.

      First off, they can get you a graphical, engaging header. This name I think limits you, because it’s only about skiing if you’re a mom, in DC? Pretty tiny niche here! Maybe it could be all things winter sports & activities in the DC area? It seems pretty narrow. That said, maybe if you built up traffic, you could get a ski resort as a sponsor or something.

      Ask yourself if your could write 100 different posts about skiing in the DC area. Would that be tough? Because you’ll need 100s and 100s of posts to earn from this.

      Have your designer start by getting you a readable, sans serif font that’s bigger — this one, honestly, I wouldn’t take the time to slog through. See my notes above on learning to write blog headlines. “Hello!” is not a blog headline. Headlines are EVERYTHING in blogging. Seriously. Like 75% of your time should be spent on crafting the right headline. Take a flip through mine here and you’ll see what I mean. Ask my blog editor how many HOURS we all spend talking about and tweaking our headlines, doing SEO research, and then finally…changing it again, because we got a better idea. The post before this one was a classic — changed it to the final day before.

      You get people to see your blog with terrific headlines, promoting that content (usually in social media), and by guest posting to bring new readers to your site. First up: Cook up a free handout for subscribers — nobody subscribes just to get the posts anymore. Good luck with this!

      • Thank you so much, Carol. All of your ideas were very helpful. I realized from your comments that one thing I needed to change right away was having my “About” page be the static home page, so now at least I’ve set it up so you can see the posts directly on the home page.

        I have a friend who’s a designer so I will get her help ASAP, but I already have made changes based on your suggestions that I think make a big difference.

        Thanks again for your generosity in helping me!
        All the best,

  33. I just checked and my blog – gulp! – is 7 years old! It suffers from identity crisis. I’ve used it to promote my novels, to support other writers, to trial ideas in a blog post (that I’ve later rewritten and re-angled into saleable pieces, whilst deleting the original), and I’ve managed to snag a few sponsored posts. As my thrillers are published by someone else I can do giveaways, and my own self-pubbed books have been given away previously and don’t sell well. Help!
    Derek Thompson recently posted…Cornish short stories wantedMy Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      Well…first you’d have to decide what the GOAL of this blog is, Derek. Is it an author platform? Something else?

      Once you have a vision for what you’re trying to do here, you can get the elements aligned so that you build an audience.

      • Thanks for the response, Carol, and for the really useful comments about blogs on this thread. Kind regards, Derek.
        Derek `Thompson recently posted…Cornish short stories wantedMy Profile

        • Carol Tice says:

          Derek, what’s your goal with this blog? If you want anyone to take it seriously, you’ll have to get it off blospot, for starters. You tell us what your blog is about…but who is it FOR? Business owners who want to write better? Other freelance writers? Define your audience. It’ll really help.

          • A great question, Carol!

            It’s for: 1. Readers of my books. 2. Clients looking for a freelance writer. 3. Writers and other creatives looking too network.

            Kind regards,
            Derek Thompson recently posted…Writing can be a funny old businessMy Profile

            • Carol Tice says:

              Those are 3 very discrete audiences, Derek — probably going to be hard to serve them with a single blog. Is there a common topic of interest between those? I’m imagining it would be tough to find one. Which means that you’ll likely alienate all 3 audiences, as you flit from topic to topic. Unless…you set it up with 3 discrete channels on different topics that folks could subscribe to SEPARATELY. Is the other solution.

              And…how would writers and creatives ‘network’ via your blog?

              In general, if you write novels, I have never, ever seen an author site like that make a good platform for getting hired freelance. It’s a massive turnoff for business clients — they assume you’re all arty and busy writing your novels and won’t care about their stuff.

              If that’s the deal, recommend setting up a separate site for freelance — one where you don’t brag on your novels. They’re like separate silos. Yes, you’d think it would count for something that you can tell a story, but unfortunately it just seems to backfire.

  34. Dana Martin says:

    My blog is six years old, but it started as a school project and I didn’t do much to promote it at first. It is not monetized, I’m not trying to gain ad revenue or anything, I am just interested in gaining more traffic and engagement with my posts. Many thanks for your help!

    • Carol Tice says:

      Well, couple quick things (besides loving that header illustration!) —

      1) Nobody takes Tumblr blogs seriously. They’re for people who’re goofing around. I can’t tell you the last time I read a blog on Tumblr.

      2) This site is all about you. Your tagline describes…you. That’s why there’s no traffic or engagement.

      Write in service of a reader and provide useful information they can use FROM your life as an illustrator, and you’ll start to be able to get some traction.

  35. Haneef says:

    I started my blog last summer and have just began self hosting my blog and my theme and overall blog aesthetics are a bit basic. But they say to stick to quality content and engagement instead of worrying about how pretty it looks. I’d like to know if my content is interesting and engaging. I’m a beauty, fashion, and lifestyle blogger.
    Haneef recently posted…Back At It AgainMy Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      You know, I took a look at this site the other day, after one of your blog comments. Why is it called Rose Gold Pearls and there’s a picture of a cabbage? That just made no sense to me, and I left. You’d think we’d see…jewelry, right? Make sure you’re not creating confusion and disconnects for your readers.

      Given that ‘beauty, fashion, and lifestyle’ are INCREDIBLY large topics, I’d recommend giving us a little more direction on your point of view.

      Make sure your headlines are set up to help readers find you — ‘Back at it again’ is not.

      This is certainly an area where bloggers can earn well, but this will need a sharper focus on design. Posts are going on, mile after mile, in part because photos don’t wrap text. I go to ‘About’ and there’s just a HUGE photo of you. And you don’t look happy. If I don’t scroll down, I don’t learn your story.

      I would get with a designer — this is a niche where the blog needs to look fantastic. Not sure who ‘they’ are, but this is a niche where design definitely matters. And you know what? I started with that exact same assumption: “My blog is for writers, so design doesn’t matter.” And I was SO. WRONG.

      • Haneef says:

        Thank you for the feedback! Wow I didn’t know you actually stopped by my blog before! Sadly you didn’t stick around;Sorry the “cabbage” threw you off lol. it’s actually a flower, a default sample photo that came from my computer lol. It was placed there as a filler, I just thought it was pretty. I definitely wanted the header picture to be of literal rose gold pearls, or some form of pretty shiny jewelry in a rose gold color. I have ideas for my design and layout but I just haven’t implemented them yet.
        As of now I want to try it out for myself, the designing, but I’m certainly open to getting some help. I only have a Fiverr kind of budget right now so I can look at my options there and hire someone good.
        In the meantime I’m going to put lots of my time in making improvements that I can, like the about page, and taking your advice. I know the headline part is very important, so I’ll keep in mind using ones that catch attention and offer help and advice and avoid making things too broad or too personal. For instance instead of “my favorite Skin care products” I’ll say “Must Have Skin Care Products for Oily, Acne Prone Skin.”

  36. Nancy says:

    I’ve had my family lifestyle blog NY Foodie Family for a little over two years now. It started as a hobby, but now I’m looking into getting started in freelancing and making money from my blog and writing. Any suggestions you have would be appreciated!

    • Carol Tice says:

      Nancy — you can put a ‘hire me’ tab on this blog and see if it gets you blogging gigs — did a post about that:

      But…our topic for these reviews is making your blog earn in itself, rather than as a writing sample that gets you freelance gigs.

      Were you hoping to attract food-company advertisers, for instance? I see you get free food for reviews.

      If you want to take this bigger, you’ll need to write stronger headlines, and get a bigger, more readable body copy font. Too tiny! Think about your tagline, which right now is about you — your family. Can you make it relevant for the reader, instead? That’ll help you grow.

  37. Jan Gioia says:

    Thank you for this generous offer, Carol. I’ve read Small Blog,Big Income and many of your other books.

    My blog is one month old. I am a former special education teacher and I write primarily for NPOs and companies who serve those in the disabilities community and children with special needs.

    I would eventually like to sell my bibliotherapy books on the site, but really it is a labor of love. I just want to help anxious children by offering articles and advice from some of the top mental health and holistic professionals in the field.

    I am working on offering a “freebie” beginning in March. My biggest question is how to get more traffic to the site. I am working on some guest posting opportunities.

    Thank you again for your kind offer. It is much appreciated.
    Jan Gioia recently posted…Happily Ever After: A Service Dog Success StoryMy Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      Jan, I think this may be an example of a site that’s TOO niched. But if it’s just a labor of love, you can do anything you want with it! My focus is on helping position blogs so they have BIG income potential, following the 7 principles in my Small Blog Big Income ebooks.

      Looks like you’ve got one of those blogs named ‘Blog’ — I would think you want to position this so the blog is the home page and take the name of your URL.

      I’ll just say the pastel-rainbow graphic to me says ‘this site is for parents,’ NOT companies or educators…so you might want to look at that, if the latter is your audience.

  38. Hi Carol! Thanks for this opportunity. I started my blog quite a few months ago and have made some changes since, but have not been consistent in writing as I should be. I have a list of topics to blog about, but I am taking a hard look at how to organize them and present them in a progressive manner, beginning from addressing the issues of single mom empty nesters, to discovery of underlying emotions, and going beyond the usual “get busy” advice that is found on other blogs, as I believe that advice is more of a band-aid than a solution. Most books on the subject suggest taking trips with girlfriends, etc., but for most single moms, finances are a big issue (I read that in a review of one of the empty nester books on Amazon) That’s another thing… there aren’t many (or very few) blogs of this type, so finding quality blogs to link to is difficult. So I’m thinking I could be the forerunner. Ideas for monetization include journals, t-shirts, and maybe even coaching down the line. I’ve looked for forums in order to connect with other single mom empty nesters, but they are outdated. FB is a good possibility to connect I think. So, I think my questions are where to connect with and obtain readers and general structuring of the long-term blog. Thanks, again, Carol.
    Diana Murdock recently posted…Our Child’s Independence Lights Up Our IssuesMy Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      Diana, if there aren’t popular, lucrative blogs in this niche, that’s a big red flag. Because there are no undiscovered niches that work in blogging, at this point. You are not a forerunner…you are likely going down a dead-end alley.

      Selling tshirts and journals is unlikely to be enough to make this a business. And what would you coach on? I DO know sites that sell group trips they lead, and that CAN be lucrative in this space, for those who CAN afford it.

      Maybe there’s another way to slant this where the audience is broader or better, and there are popular blogs you could guest on and get backlinks from? It’s very, very hard to build an audience without other bloggers to network with.

      Not sure why it has to be only single-mom empty nesters. I feel like the whole ’empty nester’ positioning feels sad and lonely — successful blogs are usually positive and uplifting, so maybe another way to spin this? “Life After Kids” or something?

      • Diana Murdock says:

        Thanks so much for your insight, Carol. I will go back and rethink this and if there isn’t a twist that can take this blog off the ground, I may have to shift gears completely. Life after kids or even life after 50 might be better. Thanks again!

        • Carol Tice says:

          Do some research within this niche and see what’s being successful. Market research is the step all bloggers seem to want to skip! But if you study what looks like it’s gaining advertisers or successfully selling courses or whatnot, you can save yourself a lot of trial-and-error.

  39. Chanoa Tarle says:

    The first post went up yesterday. It’s just an introductory post to the blog but it should give you enough material to work with!

  40. Anne says:

    Hi Carol, my blog is slightly more than 2 years old with 4 pages and 9 blog posts. I’ve been using this blog as a creative playground experimenting with different writing styles and topics, I’d like now to also use it to showcase my writing style and quality.

    As I’d like to market myself as a freelance writer and use this to employ myself, my question is: Should I create a separate writer’s website or simply tweak this blog into a writer’s website? My writing showcase is mainly under ‘Favourite Reads’ in the side menu. Thanks so much for offering this!!

    • Carol Tice says:

      Sadly, Anne, this blog doesn’t make a good writing sample for getting gigs, because it’s all about YOU. And on a variety of topics. It’s even NAMED after…you.

      This is more of a personal journal on random topics, which doesn’t impress clients. They’re looking for niche, focused blogs with strong headlines that are getting lots of comments and social shares. I’d set up a separate writer site, leave this blog behind, and if you want to blog to get gigs, start a focused niche topic one.

  41. Eva Barrows says:

    Hi Carol. My top issue has been finding my niche. I want to position my blog as a writing sample for other freelance writing gigs. I am comfortable writing about local historical places and targeting travel publications for freelance work.
    The blog is 4 months young!
    Eva Barrows recently posted…Twice Removed: Lathrop House, Redwood City, CAMy Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      See my previous comments about blogs named ‘Blog.’

      I’m not sure writing a blog to try to get print pubs to hire you is a great strategy, Eva, since those editors tend to look down on blogging. Better to find niche travel pubs you can write for and show them those clips.

      If you’re going to blog…learn to write the sort of headlines that get traffic. You might want to check out my ‘How to be a Well-Paid Freelance Blogger’ ebook for how to leverage a blog to get hired. The secret is knowing how to get a LOT of engagement — comments and social shares. And that’s going to take GREAT headlines.

  42. Ty says:

    I (re)launced in January…and have no idea where to begin (again). Not only am I freelancing these days but I am also travel writing and renting (and soon selling) homes. I would love to combine the three onto one site if possible. If not, the writing biz needs to remain. Thanks, Carol. Great “seeing you again”.

    • Carol Tice says:

      See my other comments about multiple topics, Ty — sadly, it’d be hard to find an audience that wants to read about travel, writing, AND selling their homes. You’ll need to pick the one you’re most passionate about and focus on it. Then, give it a name that makes sense for that topic, and isn’t about you.

  43. Crystal Hill says:

    This blog is brand new this month. I decided to ditch my old blog for a blog with a more focused niche. Any advice appreciated. Thank you for all your great work!
    Crystal Hill recently posted…The Absolute Best Advice for New MomsMy Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      Wow, well solid start for such a new blog! Simple living combined with being a mom seems like a great double-niche to me, as you could guest post on both simple living AND mom blogs to attract more readers.

      Think hard about STRONG topics for posts that would bring something fresh to these readers. Avoid over-promising: “The absolute BEST advice for new moms.”

      You have a weird layout thing where your graphic appears BEFORE your headline…a little disorienting. Love that you’ve got a freebie already set up! Study others in your niche and think about what you’d feel comfortable selling here.

  44. Lori says:

    This is awesome!!!! Constructive feedback it so appreciated.

    I launched my blog/website on – 1/6/2017

    Top problem – Traffic
    Lori recently posted…Guest Post For The Savvy CoupleMy Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      Lori, see my notes above about blogs named ‘blog.’ You’ll need to ENVISION the point of this blog, give it a name and tagline, to start attracting people. Then you’ll also know where to guest post on related sites.

      Your headlines — many are FAR too long. 12 words is pretty much too long, at this point, watch how Google cuts them off. Longer than that and you’re really losing readers. Counting 21-word headlines here! You can’t really write a paragraph and call it a blog headline and expect that to work for readers…just TMI.

  45. You did this for me last year, and it was immensely helpful. Thank you for offering this again. 🙂

    • Carol Tice says:

      Hi Jaime — great mini-bio, but you need a tagline — think 5-8 words — that tells us IMMEDIATELY who this blog is for.

      Your meta (what shows in the browser tab) just has your URL and no words at all — you’ll want to fix that.

      Your headlines are functional, but need to take it up a level to really magnetize your audience. For instance, instead of commands like “Heal chronic illness by feeding your cells!” give us X concrete WAYS we can do that that are new, unusual, groundbreaking, little-known, etc.

      • Thank you so much. I’ve had my tech guy fix the meta issue, and we’re working on figuring out how to get my tagline to show up (since the theme I’m using hides it). I also revised my “About Me” page because I realized it had been years since I’d updated it.

        I’ll definitely take your advice on the headlines thing. Thanks again!

  46. Rohi says:

    Hi Carol,
    Thanks for this wonderful opportunity!

    My site is two years old. I’ll be changing it tomorrow – new theme, new pages and new content. The goal is to get clients for my health-writing services.
    Rohi recently posted…Beyond Satisfaction – Book ReviewMy Profile

  47. Vera Lawlor says:

    Hello Carol,

    Thanks so much for this opportunity. I have purchased many of your books and taken a few of your classes, and I really value your feedback. My blog is three months old. The title of the blog is “On The Pet Beat” and the purpose is to inform readers about pet care and pet issues. Going forward I will have a sub-category devoted to animal welfare issues. Currently, my blog is part of my freelance writing website and is hosted by DreamHost. I plan on making it a separate site with a dedicated URL. My question is how do I get and track followers to the blog? I look forward to your response.

    • Carol Tice says:

      It’s hard to find the NAME of your blog…it’s not in the meta data of your blog page, and tab just says ‘blog.’

      On the Pet Beat sounds to me like it’s going to be tales of being a staff Pet reporter somewhere. Instead, think of what your unique take or angle is on pet care or pets — is it all kinds, horses, turtles? Or just cats or something?

      Tracking followers is easy — you get an email program like Mailchimp and make them opt in and subscribe. GETTING subscribers is the trickier part. As with others here, learn to write STRONG blog headlines and to focus topics so they’d attract the readers you want. Avoid ‘all in’ headlines like “Every season is tick season in New York State,” where we don’t need to read the post because you’ve given us the gist all in the headline.

      Pets are certainly a niche that can earn, so find your slant on this!

  48. Erica says:

    Hey, Carol! I’d love a review of my blog. It’s only about a month old so it has a lot that needs to be done. I guess I don’t have a question persay so whatever sticks out to you as a major issue. I just want to know if it looks like something that would be successful in the future. I’m still learning though!

    • Carol Tice says:

      Well, right now you have a blog named ‘Blog.’ Start by giving it a concept, a target audience, and a name. Then you’ll be able to move forward to find your audience, know where to guest post, what to sell, etc.

  49. cheshta says:

    A couple of months ago, I had launched my personal blog. It is based on love and relationships, but the biggest turn off was when somebody told me that I can be successful in this niche if I write erotic stuff most of the times. This is what people love reading. But I am not much interested in writing such content yet. Shall I switch to another niche (most preferably beauty niche) or keep on posting lovey-dovey write-ups?

    • Carol Tice says:

      If you don’t want to write erotica, then don’t. Certainly there are a ton of successful beauty sites out there!

      • cheshta says:

        Will it be fine if I stick to writing premium content instead of creating videos in this beauty niche? Can you please suggest what should I focus on (product reviews, beauty tips and advice, DIY or anything else)? Also, I am not at all fond of make up, so is it fine to neglect this specific area for a while (until unless I get it outsourced)? Any loopholes that you noticed on my previous blog that you would like to tell? Kindly recommend some amazing beauty sites too so that I can have some idea about the topics and content?
        cheshta recently posted…5 Ways to Keep Your Guy On His Toes In The RelationshipMy Profile

        • cheshta says:

          Awaiting your valuable response ma’am.

          • Carol Tice says:

            Um, can you comment again and leave your URL? I don’t know what you want me to look at for review, sorry.

          • Carol Tice says:

            Cheshta — what’s your blog URL? I can’t review it if I can’t find it…

            • cheshta says:

              I tried posting link here, but the server said that I’m posting too many URLs in one go. 🙁

              Link (in text form):

              Hope it helps now.

              • Carol Tice says:

                You need to put your URL into the FORM slot for it rather than in text is the issue…

                OK, see the site now. So what IS ‘The Jaunty Hub.’ That’s a meaningless phrase, to me. Hub for WHAT? You need a tagline that tells us what this is about. And why is ‘jaunty’ the important adjective to give me. Do you know what that word means, even? I’m unsure, reading through, since I’m not getting a ‘jaunty’ vibe out of anything.

                Next, if you want to blog in English, hire an editor who can help you do it correctly — I see the first blog headline I’m looking at is ungrammatical. You’ll need to take the blog more seriously, and get it off free WordPress, to make readers think it’s a legit place to hang out.

                • cheshta says:

                  Okay. I’ll take care of it. My next question is regarding the beauty blog that I may be starting up soon.
                  Is it mandatory to create videos for succeeding in this niche, or even the premium quality content can do the needful? Can you please suggest what sub-niche should I focus on (product reviews, beauty tips and advice, DIY or anything else)? Also, I am not at all fond of make up, so is it fine to neglect this specific area for a while (until unless I get it outsourced)? Some amazing beauty sites too so that I can have some idea about the topics and content.

  50. Carol, thanks for this opportunity! I started a blog mostly to better my writing. I’ve been doing it for 10 months, and it has certainly paid off in a personal way, but I’m not even sure it’s the kind of blog that could make money…or is it? My main goal is to get more readers. I’ve been reading some of the Den’s resources about guest posting, but haven’t figured out how to put it into action for me just yet.
    Sarah Donnell recently posted…I’d Rather Sing Love SongsMy Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      As long as your blog headlines contain the word “I,” it won’t be monetizeable.

      Not sure what the mystery is about guest posting…pitch sites with similar topics! But first, I’d figure out the WHY of your blog. If it’s just a writing exercise for you, that’s not a concept that earns. If you have a topic you think you can bring fresh info on to people who need it, you may have something there.

  51. Carla says:

    Hi Carol, thank you so much for offering such a wonderful service once again. My blog launched in April 2016 so I’m almost a year old! I have a small email list and am having a difficult time coming up with a paid product. I am interested in doing a paid ecourse but I’m scratching my head as to what folks in my niche would actually paid for?

    • Carol Tice says:

      Look at other simplicity blogs that are the top contenders, and see what they sell, Carla!

      I think there’s a bit of confusion also, since it seems like it’s about simple living from the title, but then the tagline says it’s for only midlife women, and it’s about inspiration, support, health…lotta topics floating around there. I think getting a focus would help.

      • Carla says:

        Thank you so much Carol for your review! I think a little rebranding is necessary here … and a new header image/tagline … I’m not going to beat myself up over it just regroup and charge forward … Later this year I will be launching another blog geared to beekeeping which is my passion so this is a really good foundation for learning and growing for me. I’ve enjoyed my blog and will continue to tweak it until I get it right but it will be nice to start my beekeeping blog knowing what not to do … again thank you so much for your review!
        Carla recently posted…This Summer Salad with a Citrusy Kick Is Simple PerfectionMy Profile

  52. Ann Goldberg says:

    I first started blogging 7 years ago under the title Living and Writing in Israel but when I set up my website 2 years ago I decided I ought to stick to writing only.
    The site has brought me a lot of writing,coaching and editing work but I have totally neglected the blog.
    I am intimidated by the number of wonderful writing blogs around by writers far better qualified to offer advice than I am (like yourself) and so I’m always trying to come up with a subject that hasn’t been covered many times before by better writers than me – and don’t manage to – hence the lack of posts.
    I look forward to hearing your advice.
    Ann Goldberg recently posted…Should you go to a writers’ conference?My Profile

  53. Siobhan says:


    It’s so awesome that you’re doing this for us.

    My blog is in an interesting niche – Tarot reading, crystals and other alternative interests. My question/problem is how can I leverage my blog to start making money? My aim this year is to make it earn 1k per month. It currently earns around £100 per month, including freelance work I gain off the back of it.

    I’ve had it for about 2.5 years, but only started taking it seriously since January 2016.

    Thank you so much!

    • Carol Tice says:

      My sense is blogs like this sell…tarot cards and crystals and such. Not sure there’s a ton of money in it, unless you can find more lucrative products or services to sell related to it.

      I would do your market research — figure out what the top players in this space are doing (and selling) that you’re not. And…guest post on them, to get new readers!

      But you could start in the right direction by picking a blog NAME that tells us what we’re going to learn, and then writing posts that are about that. The top one seems to be about…productivity, rather than tarot or crystals. You’ll need to stay on topic to build a blog audience.

  54. Mitchell says:

    Thanks Carol for this amazing opportunity. My blog has been around for three years (launching in November of 2013) but it’s often a struggle to get the attention in such a competitive entertainment field. How do you suggest that I keep the site striving on a daily basis when there’s so much competition?

    I’m hoping to hear your valuable insight on it.

    • Carol Tice says:

      Funny, I’m coaching someone right now who has a Disney-related blog!

      Yours lacks a tagline that helps us understand WHY we’re here — what happens on this blog? I see it’s in your meta, but not visible on the page. That would help!

      As with any crowded niche, you have to figure out what your unique proposition is — what’s your fresh angle here on all things Disney? This is certainly a monetizable space with obvious advertisers including the hotels and other tours located near these parks.

      I’m not a fan of posting daily — as I’ve said above, consider guest posting on other travel sites to help draw new visitors. Also, cook up a free report — few people are giving up an email to subscribe without one anymore.

  55. Hi, I have a question about my free Subliminal Messages Report. I have an opt-in box for people to sign up, but my report can also be accessed as a page on the blog. So right now, if i give people the link, it goes straight to my freebie without having to opt in. How can I fix this?

    • Carol Tice says:

      You need a firewall of some kind that protects people from accessing the report directly, without opting in, for starters. Lots of products that do that.

      Then, you need mailing list software that gives you the forced opt-in, where you deliver the product on an email link or something after they are successfully on your list. If this isn’t making sense, hire someone who understands the signup/optin/conversion process to help you. Definitely don’t want to hand out your freebie without getting emails!

  56. Lianne says:

    Awww, I am just getting started with blogging and haven’t purchased hosting for my blog yet. (I have a semi-abandoned personal blog on the free WP platform haha). Anyhow, just wanted to say what an awesome person you are for offering this free blog review 😀 I’ve been an avid reader of your blog for quite some time and am a student at your “Earn Big as a Young Freelancer Course.” I do hope this opportunity gets offered again sometime soon when I have a decent blog 🙂

  57. Hi Carol, thanks for the offer.

    You reviewed my blog in an earlier session and I took some of your suggestions , but could do with further guidance.

    The blog is about 5 years old. I started it as a joint student venture and invited my fellow students to become co-authors. They did not participate so I used it as my own site.

    The target audience is content marketing managers who need a freelance writer to create content such as webpages , blog posts, email marketing, and larger projects in future like white papers or case studies.

    The problem is not getting any clients through this site. I know I should post more often and have trouble getting around to it. I plan to provide a free whitepaper on content marketing and am working on one, but I’m not sure how to set that up on my site.

    • Carol Tice says:

      Hmm…content marketers are a pretty tough crowd, and they read a lot of the top blogs — Hubspot, MarketingProfs, etc. The question is — how would YOU break into that echelon and be a must-read for them?

      I think it would begin with a modern, real design. A default template with teeny-tiny tagline lettering isn’t going to cut it. This is a very sophisticated group, and your ‘look’ would have to communicate that you understand best practices in online marketing. This site isn’t doing that.

      Beyond look, what do you have to say that they won’t read on those other big blogs? You’d need to find a USP, an angle, an approach that makes you stand out.

      I’ll just say that 99% of blogs I review where the intent is to get writing clients are a failure. I think that’s a very tough row to hoe, because blogging has to come from PASSION. Your passion about a topic. And if it’s really all just a big marketing gambit, readers sense that…and they leave.

      Think about whether this is your passion topic to blog on or not — if so, find a USP. Then, start promoting it! Guest post on the big guys, and start attracting your readers.

  58. Hi Carol

    Thank you for this opportunity. My blog is 16 months old though in truth it’s been an on and off project in that time. The aim of my blog is not directly to make money but to attract followers in the outdoor adventure sports world that could lead to writing jobs or sponsorship for my mtb racing.

    My biggest problem is understanding the best way to get my blog seen by more people.

    I look forward to reading your suggestions.

    Thanks for all your many helpful posts.

    • Carol Tice says:

      Sounds like you’re going in several directions here — which is what makes it so difficult to get any traction. Readers who’d be interested in sponsoring your racing would be a very different crowd from possible writing clients, right?

      Your tagline seems to indicate it’s a personal-development/inspiration site, and neither of those. Time to pick a focus! That’s how you’ll find your audience, know where to guest post, what freebie to offer subscribers…everything else will flow from that.

      Begin with market research into the type of blog you propose, and how the top contenders in that space earn. Is that for you? That’s how you discover your direction forward.

  59. Tom Owens says:

    Hurray for Carol! Your words and insights are an uplifting mix of sunshine and caffeine. My tiny blog hatched in 2010. I love writing. However, MONETIZING is my challenge, and my question for you. I’ll be grateful for any input.

    • Carol Tice says:

      Tom, I feel like this blog is THIS CLOSE to being a great fan site, but it’s a little too old-timey feeling and too niched out. It’s just about getting autographs?

      I read your headline/tagline and don’t really get what your focus is. Why is it baseball ‘by the letters’? WHAT letters? WHO ‘lived the game’? Is it really interviews with successful players that you’ve talked to? If so, play that up.

      I think successful sports sites are very NOW, in their feel. Here’s what’s happening THIS WEEK. Rather than backward-looking. As with many entrants here, you’ll need to learn to write blog headlines that get you traffic to move this forward. But I’d think in this niche there are plenty of OTHER blogs you could guest on to help bring you new visitors!

  60. Maria says:

    My blog is about three years old. I’m planning to buy a domain soon, but life got in the way recently with the death of a close family member.
    Maria recently posted…Thwarted Escape: An Immigrant’s Wayward Journey by Lopamudra Banerjee – Book BlitzMy Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      I see you have a book-review blog, Maria. Aside from being the next GoodReads platform, this is a niche without a lot of earning opportunity. You get to affiliate sell books for a few pennies via Amazon. Hard to see where the upsell is where you earn anything meaningful.

      I get asked about this space a lot, since as writers, we writers all love to read! Wish there were a real business model there, but not as I’m aware.

      • Maria says:

        Thanks Carol. I have other ideas going on. But I’ll stay with this for the moment.
        Maria recently posted…Thwarted Escape: An Immigrant’s Wayward Journey by Lopamudra Banerjee – Book BlitzMy Profile

      • Maria says:

        Carol, I have to say that I was slightly gutted by that review. Which was really just a comment on the earning potential (or not!) of book blogs in general, rather than a review of my blog in particular. I asked around among my book blogger friends and some of them are doing okay, so they say. One of my book blogger colleagues uses it as a shopfront for her business of offering blog tours to authors. Another is an indie author and uses hers to sell her books, from which she claims to make a living. It seems that a book blog needs an ulterior motive. Also I think that book bloggers should try to avoid copy pastes from authors and try to post original content wherever possible. Anyway, thanks a lot for stopping by my blog 🙂
        Maria recently posted…Guest Post by the Author of Throwing The Light, KA ServianMy Profile

        • Carol Tice says:

          “Slightly gutted” seems like an oxymoron…but I’m glad you got the main drift of it, which is that you have to develop a business model for it beyond affiliate selling a few books, in most cases. Certainly, some authors have a website that allows them to communicate with fans and build a list there. I love your one friend’s idea of using her book-review blog to troll for marketing work helping authors arrange blog tours to promote their books — now that’s clever!

          One specific tip I’ll give you is not to put ‘Guest Post by’ in a blog headline. That’s something I learned early on. Readers become fans of YOUR writing, and if you give them a heads-up in a headline that the post isn’t by you, many of them will skip it.

  61. My blog was created two years ago and has been revised four times. I published it a couple of times and didn’t get any clients. So I revised it again. I hope it is better this time and looking forward to having a successful VA business. I love helping business people be successful by helping them with the behind the scenes work that seems to keep them from accomplishing the most important work in their business.

    • Carol Tice says:

      The URL you’ve noted here seems to be nonworking, Deborah. I get an ad for Bluehost there.

      Sorry to hear you’re focused on VA work, it’s super-low paying. I’ve worked with so many writers who’re desperate to get out of that ghetto! I don’t know how you build a blog about VA work that helps you earn more…unless maybe it’s focused on things like ‘how to hire a VA’ and aimed at businesses. Wish I knew more, but the site isn’t up.

  62. Thank you for this generous offer. My blog is 5 months old. It is a faith based blog and I focus on becoming the unique I individuals we are created to be. My biggest challenge is building my email list. I am using ConverKit as my email host.

    • Carol Tice says:

      Don’t know a thing about ConvertKit…but the big problem is you have a blog named after you, with a tagline that just hints at the content. You’ll want to choose a blog name where we GET what your topic is, and a tagline that helps us understand if this is for US, the reader.

      Sadly, I find the Christian space a desert of poverty. Doesn’t seem to be pay in this topic. I gather folks want you to do everything to glorify His name, not to get paid.

      All I can say is to find successful blogs in this space and study what they do, but it seems to be a place only the top-selling Christian book authors do well, with public speaking work.

  63. Amy Butcher says:

    Hi Carol! It’s funny that you are offering this today, as I’ve been working on my blog and going through your books this week! Ah, synchronicity.

    I’ve had my blog for about 8 months, and I’ve got about a hundred people on my email list and a small but engaged group of people on Facebook. My audience is new freelance translators, and I write about translation as a craft and a business (what I want to write about) and finding clients (what my audience wants to know about!).

    My top problem is growing my audience. There are hundreds of thousands of translators out there, but they are an extremely wary bunch when it comes to scams (as they should be; their problems are very similar to freelance writer content mills), so I find connecting on social media difficult. There are a couple of solid translation blogs that I’ve put on my radar for guest posting, but it will take some time to make a relationship. But translators don’t have popular blogs like writers do (they tend to collect on translation boards instead and on Facebook groups), so I’m trying to figure out how to apply the guest posting strategy to this context.

    If you have any ideas about how to grow my audience in this type of situation, that would be most appreciated!

    • Carol Tice says:

      Well, before worrying about growing an audience of new translators, I’d wonder if this is a monetizable niche.

      Can you find successful blogs like this? If so, what do they sell? Could you do a series of advice books, or sell courses? Given that people translate from every language to every language, I wonder how it could be focused into paying products.

      I worry this is an audience that seriously lacks money…so I’d do some market research on whether there’s an opportunity here before I invested too much more time in it.

      One final tip — focusing your blog ONLY on brand-new translators will really limit the audience, as opposed to be a platform for learning for ALL translators at various career stages. But either way, find out if there’s a business here.

  64. opus T.J.K says:

    Hello, I’m a big fan of your work and I’m really grateful for this opportunity. I started my blog in 2015. It’s a short story blog. I write across genres. My question is, how can I monetize this blog?Alot of people seem interested in reading my work(s) but i don’t know how that translates to making money. I continue to write because it’s my passion. Google adsense didn’t approve my what do i do?
    opus T.J.K recently posted…BIG BRUCE HOUSE (Case of the black soot) part 5My Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      Opus, my heart goes out to you and all the other poets and short-story writers. Because creating a blog of this type that earns is a real moonshot. I believe the big win is you attract a huge audience and get a book deal, and publish an anthology. Just…not a big money-maker. I’m sure you know how much short-story anthologies typically sell.

      I would focus on posting some of these stories on some of the free platforms for sharing them around, in hopes of attracting some attention to them, a la Hugh Howey with Wool.

      Also, your blog needs an ABOUT page — that would help people get intereted in who you are and what you write about.

  65. Your posts are always packed with valuable tips and advice. So many bloggers wish they could have someone look at their blog and tell them what they see is successful or unsuccessful about their blog layout, fonts, images and general impression visitors get when they come to your homepage. This is really an amazing opportunity because Carol Tice is an award winning blogger who can give you advice and insight from the nine years she has been blogging and writing. It would be great if everyone had this opportunity. Thanks Carol for offering this service.

  66. Luanne says:

    Hi Carol,

    Following Seas is 15 months old. I started it as a personal blog, writing about various topics & life changes from the perspective of a middle-aged woman. I wasn’t considering freelance writing as income at that time. Now I’m trying to add that (freelancing) as a component and post twice weekly (once about mid-life stuff and once about writing.) My plan is to create a writer’s website and link the two.

    For this blog, I need to create a “freebie” to capture email addresses and a plugin to start building an audience. My question: I’m having trouble coming up with an original idea for the freebie since it seems like everything has already been done a million times.

    I’m enjoying my Den membership and grateful for your encouragement and feedback.

    • Carol Tice says:

      Hi Luanne — sounds like your blog is going in a lot of different directions. Successful blogs to in ONE. So you’d have to start by deciding what your goal is for this blog. It would need just ONE — it can’t be your personal middle-aged-woman diary (see my other comments about the inability to monetize personal-diary style blogs), mid-life advice column, AND writing craft blog.

      Once you decide who your audience is and what your topic is, I think it’ll be easier to develop a free product for subscribers.

      PS – Whatever you do, don’t make your tagline a quote from some OTHER writer. Your blog needs to be written by YOU.

  67. Sahishnu says:

    Thanks for this great offer Carol. My site is about two years old and has a lot of information about the city of Bhopal in India, but relevent traffic is low and the traffic is actually going down.

    • Carol Tice says:

      Interesting. I wonder how many people visit Bhopal, best known for a gas explosion in the ’80s. Not sure that’s enough of India to attract an audience — perhaps better to slant it more broadly?

      As with others on this thread, you’ll need to learn how to write strong blog headlines if you want to grow this.

      And…consider guest posting on other travel blogs about India that have more traffic, to get yourself more readers. I also see no way to subscribe, no free gift for subscribers. It’s hard to build an audience without one.

  68. Thanks, Carol!

    I would love more traffic, OR to generate some income through the blog. I’m an Amazon Associate and so have links to Amazon.

    I started the blog a year ago, but haven’t been active for a while

    Thanks for your support!
    Roger A. Ford recently posted…How To Fishing: Why Is Fishing Fun?My Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      Roger, I feel like I’ve seen this blog before — one for my husband!

      Feature your About page more prominently — I almost thought you didn’t have one. That story is important.

      I have to ask how those Amazon affiliate ads are working out for you? No sales? Yeah. Their program is pretty failtastic. And wouldn’t work unless you had a LOT of traffic. Instead, offer a free bass-fishing guide, start gathering subscribers, and then reach out directly to companies in this space for better ad programs.

      You’ll want to be grammatical, and not write headline after headline that says “How To Fishing…” when we expect it to say “How to Fish” or how to catch fish, or something else that makes sense in English. That’s sort of a turnoff.

  69. Shanelle says:

    This is awesome; love this idea!

    My blog is about seven months old, and my biggest question/problem is finding an audience. I know finding a niche would help, but I’m struggling to do that, too, because it is a personal blog and I want it to reflect what I’m thinking and interested in at the time.

    • Carol Tice says:

      Shanelle, sadly ‘personal blogs’ about what you’re thinking are generally not monetizable. They don’t attract an audience because they don’t SERVE an audience. They serve your whims.

      Ask yourself how you could write about what you know in the service of a reader. How what you write could help them 1) earn more 2) save more 3) feel happier. These are the 3 primal needs successful blogs address, as I discuss here:

      You’ll also need to learn to write blog headlines — ones like ‘Lionheart’ or ‘Merry Christmas’ are guaranteed to find you zero readers. See my note above on the 2 resources that help writers learn blog-headline format.

  70. Hi, Carol!
    I have so much to say! But I will try to keep it brief…I am in the process of trying to make a go of the freelance life, but currently have 2 jobs and a 3.5 year old. In a few weeks I will be able to devote even more time to my blog and writing overall as that is when an unsatisfying position as a contract professor will be coming to a close for me (at least for the spring and summer sessions and I hope that I don’t need to return in September). My current blog leans on that platform, being a professor, as my base, and I offer writing tips in that regard (I have taught academic and business writing and I teach liberal studies and anthropology courses currently). I am not truly sure if this is my passion (offering writing help from the perspective of a professor) but I felt it was a plausible one. I am actually more interested in being a health and health science writer, but I am trying to get my chops together with the basics of how to build an audience for my blog. So, that brings me to my question: what would be the best next steps for me? My blog at its current domain is only a couple of months old. I do not have the premium version and suspect I need to get that. Thank you SO much for this offer. I love your site and am literally following your blueprint to try to make a living writing.
    All the best! -Adrienne
    Adrienne Kitchin recently posted…Hello world!My Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      You suspect right on getting a premium theme and layout, Adrienne.

      I’m really stopped by your name/tagline — “The Writing Prof — Writing Help From the Professor’s Desk.”

      Writing help…for WHOM? College students? Business owners?

      This is a point a lot of blogs go wrong on, lack of audience identification. When visitors come, the first thing they want to know is, ‘Is this advice for me?’ Right now, they can’t tell.

      I’d challenge you to look down the road on this idea and ask yourself HOW it would be monetized. Look at similar sites and see how THEY are monetized. Do they appear to earn much?

      I think the ‘profs’ approach has certainly done well for MarketingProfs and Ann Handley. Not sure if you could do something similar here. The big problem I see is that most lucrative writing is the OPPOSITE of the kind you would ask a professor for help on. Academic writing is a niche rife with unethical ghosting of other students’ exams and such. So I’m not sure the positioning works here. But…do your research into what’s out there that’s similar and earning.

      If you can’t find anything like this that appears to make money, that’d be a big red flag.

      So to answer your question, your next step is…market research. And stopping to ENVISION your goal with this blog, your target audience, and how it could likely be monetized. See if something there makes sense in the marketplace.

      If you’re ‘more interested in being a health and science writer’ and pursuing your own freelancing, this may not be what you want to spend time on.

      The only niche that really earns TERRIFIC on writing is teaching business owners and marketers to write well, in my experience. Think James Chartrand’s Damn Fine Words course for $1000+.

      • Thank you, again, Carol, for your advice and for taking the time to review my blog. I have been struggling with my niche and I may have gone with what I thought was the obvious way to go, but your question of it being obvious to whom is a great one. I think my net was indeed cast too wide. I am back to revising and trying to be more specific with my efforts. I definitely need to do much more market research on what it is I am doing and the intent and purpose of my blog.
        Adrienne Kitchin recently posted…Free(writ)ing the Writer WithinMy Profile

  71. Jody Halsted says:

    I’ve been following and using your advice (and buying your books) for a few years and they have always proven a great help- especially when I am pondering a change.
    Thankswyped for all the terrific resources!

    • Jody Halsted says:

      Oops- forgot blog age. The one I linked is 6 years, but I have been a blogger since 2004.
      Jody Halsted recently posted…Ireland Travel Tip: Save Money on Flights From Other AirportsMy Profile

      • Carol Tice says:

        Aha — that’s a lot of years to be writing this on a volunteer basis. Hope the tips in my other comment can help you build some traffic and start earning from this! If you want, you could also market tours of Ireland that you conduct through this blog, too.

    • Carol Tice says:

      You’re welcome, Jody — that didn’t tell me the age or goal of your blog, but let me take a look.

      Ah, I see you have a VERY niche travel blog about going to Ireland. I would focus on learning to write the sort of blog headlines that would get your blog found, create a great free thing for subscribers, start building a list…and then go after advertisers or sponsored posts. These sorts of blogs certainly DO make money! I’m sure there are tour companies and the like that would love to advertise here, once you can prove you’ve got a lot of traffic.

      2 resources on headlines I can recommend are Jon Morrow’s Headline Hacks report (see it at and ‘Why Do Most Headlines Fail?” by Sean D’Souza, over at Psychotactics. Best of luck with this!

  72. Mau says:

    Wow! Thanks for this free blog review Carol. First time commenter here.

    The age of my blog is five years. Started out as a hobbyist blogger but since I’m putting effort into it, might as well monetize it, right?

    Top blog question: I believe blogs which contain helpful information have more chance of being widely read as opposed to artsy/cartoon blogs like mine which serve as entertainment instead of informative (most times my posts do not even have any text). Does this mean my blog is doomed? Or do I just lack marketing strategy and/or poor blog format?

    Thanks in advance Carol!

    • Carol Tice says:

      Mau…have you read Hyperbole and a Half? She’s on her second hit book at least, she has calendars, notecards… and her blog is INCREDIBLE. Her cartoons focus on her recollections of her toddler/preschool years, and they are h i l a r i o u s.

      That’s just one of the great cartoon-focused blogs I know. Mars Dorian? Fantastic.

      What these successful cartoon bloggers have that you don’t is high-quality visuals. Compare the look of what you’re doing (and the content) with theirs, and I think you’ll see a big difference. Yours look like scratchy colored pencil. I think if you get into professionally inking your images, you could be selling tshirts and mugs of them, like Allie Brosh is doing. Go for it! Think about creating iconic sayings or expressions that people would love to have on a shirt.

  73. Kate says:

    This is so fantastic – thank you so much!

    My blog is a year and a half old. This is quite a big question (or request for feedback) but what I struggle with is niche. I want to write about my experiences living and travelling abroad, but worry that this isn’t “niche” enough. Do you have any thoughts or advice? Thank you so much in advance, this is such a wonderful thing you’re doing and as a relatively new blogger, I really appreciate it.

    Kate recently posted…31 Things to See, Do, Eat and Drink This YearMy Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      It’s not that it lacks niche — travel is certainly a great niche many are profiting from.

      It lacks a focus on serving a reader. “I want to write about my experiences traveling abroad.” That’s your premise. That means your blog is about you, you, you.

      Even your tagline is a bit of an in-joke with yourself: “The Life and Times of a Petite Abroad.” The reader asks, “A petite what, exactly?” It’s unclear how being short or a size 0 gives you a different point of view about travel for this blog that would make you stand out (speaking as someone who’s 5’2″).

      Blogs like that are very difficult to attract an audience to and earn from. It’s basically like putting your diary on the Internet. Remember, readers aren’t interested in your life…they’re interested in THEIR problems. Can you write about travel so that it solves some of their travel questions? If so, you could position this to earn.