3 Guaranteed Ways to Grow a Personal Finance Blog
If you already have a personal finance blog or found Jim's 25 steps to creating a personal finance blog, you are likely trying to find ways to grow your audience; I have a couple extra tips that are guaranteed to bring a bunch of visitors to your site.
Its simple - take advantage of the signup bonuses offered by the search engine advertising companies. If you signup for these 3 bonuses it will cost you a total of $5, but bring you 2,000+ visitors ($225, at ~$0.10/visitor). This is a great way to introduce your personal finance blog to others and help bring new readers to the whole pf blog community.
Signup for Advertising Accounts
All of these accounts are very similar. Use the links below (or other coupons if you have them), and follow the site's instructions to sign up for an account. Each program will ask for credit card information, but Microsoft Adcenter is the only site that charges a $5 enrollment fee*. All the programs will bill your credit card if you consume your bonus money and continue advertising. Each program is slightly different so thoroughly read each program to understand how it works. Once you signup you should see the signup bonus money in your account balance.
*Note:The other sites may charge them as well, but they were waived when I enrolled.
Creating An Ad
Each site is different, so my only suggestion is to use the ad as an extension of your personal finance blog. If your site is focused on retirement then I would be focusing on retirement keywords. You can create several different ads - use trial and error to find ads and keywords that work.
The most important way to get targeted readers is to select the right keywords (at the right prices) to find people that are going to be interested in reading your content. If your personal finance blog is about debt reduction I wouldn't be focusing on "retirement goals" as a primary keyword. Again this is where the focus of you blog is important in choosing the right keywords to advertise on.
Here are some keywords that were very successful for me:
personal finance blog
401k early retirement
average net worth
two million (suprise!)
This is a complicated subject, but through trial and error you will learn what works and what doesn't. To maximize the value of the $225 in bonuses I just focused on less popular keywords with lower click through prices to allow a slow flow of visitors for the cheapest amount possible. I tried to keep all my advertising at $0.10/click or less on all 3 advertising sites.
Bonus #1: A $55 credit for a Google Adwords Account
Just follow the instructions to signup - it requires you to enter your credit card information and says it will charge $5.00 to your credit card to activate you account. However once I logged back into my Adwords campaign under Billing Summary" it showed a $55 credit and a $5 account charge for activating the account deducted from the credit - so in effect it didn't cost me anything to enroll and left me with $50 in advertising credits. This program is completely self managed so you can being immediately and select several keywords
Bonus #2 $75 Yahoo SponsoredSeach
Promo Code US1999
Similar to Google Adwords, easy to sign up and I found this to be the best performing site for me. A small annoyance is that all keywords you select have to be approved.
Bonus #3 $100 Microsoft Adcenter
$100 credit promo code BNR-100-1006
I found this site the easiest to use despite the $5 enrollment fee and the worst performance. It was easy to add all the keywords to my account.
So far I have received several hundred visitors from the advertising for an out of pocket cost of $5. It appears to be a great way to introduce the site and the entire personal finance blogging community to new people, now I just hope those folks that found this site will find it of value and stick around!
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