Friday, July 18, 2014

Start a blog to travel: the wrong way to monetize a blog

Start a blog to travel 'win $9000 with a travel blog... nothing the first year'. Here is the title of the first of the 4 videos of pre-launch training start a blog to travel, this blogger's. We had the opportunity to Exchange several times together over the years and we rejects little last summer when I came back to Europe. This blogger asked me my expert opinion concerning his training: here it is. With training 'start a blog to travel', you apprednrez the basics to create your travel blog. But you will not learn how to monetize it...

Training registrations are closed since last Sunday, but hey, it may not always be within the time :). At least, I can in this article be 100% objective.

I started blogging in 2009. I am independent since 2011 and recognized as a digital Nomad (I also write this article since the Colombia). I shoot my earnings of several websites and webmaster services, including some with several bloggers in the field of travel. This training would be destined to also become a digital Nomad: start a blog to travel.

On the form, «start a blog to travel» is a rare quality training

start blogging to travel
I took quite a lot of video training online and the first reaction to this blogger videos: Waaaoouuhh! This is pro! You can feel the button «David Jay! It is worked in a mini-studio, with a teleprompter, the videos are accompanied by very good quality Powerpoint animation. This blogger seems like the traveller perfect. He is handsome, he speaks well, he smiles and he motivates... It is very pleasant to watch. On the form, nothing to complain about. It is a very good job.

On the bottom, you will learn how to create your travel blog (and to monetize it?)

The message is clear: This blogger will help you assemble a travel blog that will allow you to finance your holidays, your travels or your round the world: initial brainstorming, choice of the name of the blog, the domain name, the template, definition of the editorial line (of niche if possible), WordPress installation, first, first invited initial comments dofollowSEO in search engine strategy... Classic. Need to know: it is a formation that is clearly intended for beginners. It also reminds me my module "Create a blog" that I taught in the Alliances Françaises. Regarding the promise of starting, this blogger focuses the strategy of monetization of a blog on blogs and sponsored links (what is the great problem of its training - I come back in the last section of this article). It's actually the lure of his training, the core marketing which puts into action. Yet, this monetization strategy is not all good.

Here is the list of the blogging training modules for travel:

Module 1: the indispensable foundations for good design blog

This blogger explains to clients what I call for different projects on which I worked the brainstorming phase. Choice of the theme, main keywords, study of competition and choice of categories of his blog. It is pretty short but the main phases of the brainstorming are almost all addressed, apart from that of monetization that ought to be central. For example, the categories and the editorial line should be defined at the outset in relation to the products or services that may be linked.

It also lacks a Board that seems essential to me: how to stand out from the competition? This should be rule number 1! With all the travel blogs found on the internet, it is essential to be different, otherwise, it will inevitably drown in the mass...

Module 2: installing his blog and the tools necessary to become a flagship blogger

This blogger presents the creation of a domain name, hosting personal on OVH purchasing, installing WordPress, choice and installation of the graphic theme. The majority of this module is shot through the screen as a tutorial. It is complete enough and there are some good tips, including how to configure WordPress SEO by Yoast.

Module 3: create content that will appeal to readers and Google

In his 'start a blog to travel' training, this blogger explains what kind of article work well (article 'list', 'tutorial' or 'shock'), how choose the main keyword of the article (with Google Keyword Planner), how to choose a good title or how to use the WordPress Editor. There is good advice, but even once, nothing is worn on monetization. Traffic that is not targeted on a product or a service you will only serve to increase your stats, your hearing, your Facebook fans but will not turnover bring you.

Module 4: promote its site and articles

This blogger addresses in this module the traffic acquisition strategy. Listing in directories, in forums, comments in the blogosphere, link exchanges... Some of its points are essential indeed, but require a lot of work. Note that this blogger proposes to use Alexa or SEMRush to analyze the backlinks of competitors. This is a very good technique used by SEOs, certainly tedious, but provides good results when it is used intelligently.

Module 5: make money with her blog and go travel

The lure of gain, and it is well known in Web marketing, is a powerful lever to make sales. It is also one of the main levers of sale that uses this blogger in his blogging training to travel. 2 points are treated: links or sponsored items sale and the achievement of 'good plans travel' (i.e. Exchange of visibility against nights of hotels for example). But here goes: every good thing has an end and these monetization techniques are from early 2014 down very sharply...
The monetization of sponsored links is doomed to disappear (it is perhaps already the case)... You can no longer focus your strategy of monetization on sponsored links, at the risk of losing your readership!

start a blog to travel and monetize
Google fighting for several years already the sponsored links. After several algorithms, Google engineers have clearly understood that it was very difficult, if not impossible, to identify efficiently and automatically articles and sponsored links. Google France teams check therefore manually from internet sites and if they realize they are selling links, they penalize them. This is called a manual action of type 'dummy outgoing links '. Result of a penalty: PR0 and decrease traffic by at least 50%, or more than 70% if the links are not removed quickly. And if the penalty is withdrawn after a decline in traffic, all the evidence I've read say that it is very difficult to recover its traffic of the past. Many advocate squarely in this case to change the domain name!

Since the history of Buzzea, many travel blogs have fallen. In my network, it is at least 10 bloggers who were concerned. They have seen their PR 0 and have due tediously removed all their sponsored links (or implement nofollow). I have the impression that the team of Google France operates once per month, on Friday. Each time, dozens of blogs are concerned.

Advertisers were aware of this transfer (some are all similarly trolling by incompetence) and change strategy. We can hope that they continent to work for lower rates with nofollow links or posts featured on networks.

Unless having very high traffic, it is therefore essential to monetize a blog to have an entrepreneurial strategy. It means, sell products or services. It is the base of the undertaking and the blogosphere will not escape there. Study the American market and you will quickly understand. This change in the design of a blog the brainstorming phase and the study of the market. In my opinion, but I may be a little hard, only blogs that sell products and services will be able to survive in this decision-making from Google, which is of course investing in the fight against the sponsored links because they represent a direct competition to their main source of income: Google Adwords and Google Adsense. This is done this blogger, selling courses...

Can we really become a blogger and travel?

This blogger said in one of his videos that can "manage his blog without a laptop computer", "from Internet cafes' or 'since a tablet or a smartphone. Is anything exaggeration! Blogging is a very time consuming activity. Even more so when one is beginning, that we do not control tools that allow you to be productive and that was not optimized and automated its processes of work. Imagine the galley in a cybercafe in Burundi, with a 0.5 Mbps connection and a qwerty keyboard (this is life)! All passenger bloggers I know that generate at least $500 CA travel long and settled for several days or several weeks on their trips to take care of their blog. They travel with their laptop. Also, the Internet is for me a priority during my travels. I can not afford to lose 50% of productivity due to a wobbly internet connection.

In short, Blogger-traveler is a very special traveler, far from the clichés you can imagine. And it is very difficult to gather 2 activities, especially when your blog finance your travels. Careful therefore not too fast to the shortcut.

Conclusion on formation "start a blog to travel"

start a blog to travel is surely one of the best French-language training to create a travel blog. The content is quality and we can only congratulate the blogger and its partners for their work. It is a formation that only caters to beginners or bloggers who have no knowledge of SEO. Let US be frank: the marketing bait is, however, misleading. Could generate a correct income via the links sponsored in recent years, but today, it's finished. And above all, do not overlook the power of Google on the internet. A few days after he has penalized Buzzea to buy or sell links and blogs sponsored, the advertising was for sale...

News and travel, start a blog to travel, travel blog monetization, blogging curtail travel
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Monday, July 7, 2014

Custom Url Shortener

There are several url shortening services or even custom shorteners like the known/important,,, Some services are offered by big players in the web like Google with and some sites of micro blogging like Twitter with tweetburner/twurl. The objective of this article is not to quote all services of shortening of urls (urls shortener services) but trying to understand if there is any SEO benefits derived from their utilization. I will however make a small benchmarck of the main existing shorteners 7 criteria-based urls.

Custom url shorteners (or urls shortening services? What's that?) a bit of a do...

We are operating in a world of micro-blogging, communities and social networks where every character counts and that`s a bit of a do. The shortening of urls services are there to allow us to transform a url that is long, complex, with lots of incomprehensible parameters sometimes, to a url very very short 10 maximum character.

For example, when you want to share a url of this type:,d.bGQ

This may not pass by mail, since some mail clients cut on the first line not to mention that some people (ex: my mom) will not click out of fear of receiving a virus or other malware (yup, it still exists, I promise you :-)). Finally, some sites like twitter do not accept more than 140 characters per message while this url alone has way more... etc you tighten so happy to make this long url in, no? As you can see the value of having such services. ( is so far my favorite)

Custom URL shortener: what advantage does it have for SEO?

Searching the web implementation examples succeeds this url shortening service, I realized that the whole point of the service is either marketing or functional but brings no benefit in terms of pure white hat SEO optimizations. (because the blackhat ones are many) Here I draw a few conclusions:

1. the primary objective of the use of the custom url shortener is no SEO since thus used links pass no credit to the destination page. (most being 302 redirections)

2. There is a question of reliability of the services that could make a havoc on the website building or promoting community and social networks if these shortening services came to a fall. If they all became 'dead' (dead links) preventing links / killing all of the sharing of information on networks.

3 from a usability or user experience standpoint, the use of these services remain very useful since it is always easier to find/share a shorter link versus as a long and complete one. This is especially true since some services of micro-blogging like twitter limits the number of characters in your message to 140.

4. from a SEO standpoint, there therefore is no direct advantage since the links redirect 301/302 or by javascript (for certain urls shorteners as to the choice to landing pages.

A good practice is therefore to use a 301 permanent redirect but it might not transmit all the credit (link juice) to the destination page. There is therefore no interest to prefer this type of service (from an SEO perspective) to a good and solid link which, meanwhile, will forward any popularity and will also incidentally know/recognize the brand as we clearly see the domain name (in the case of micro blogging or social networks).

Benchmarck of 3 custom urls shorteners services:

There exists dozens of good services of shortening for your urls and now it seems like one is created daily... (hence how to pick one to use it in your daily blogging and sharing? to answer this question, here's a little benchmarck of the article Danny Sullivan: URL Shorteners: Which Shortening Service Should You Use?
Here is the comparison of 15 shortening services and is based on seven criteria, namely:

1. the type of redirection HTTP (301-permanent or temporary-302),

2. the possibility of tracker urls (for statistical purposes for example),

3. the length of the url (http://xxx.yy/) database,

4. the length of the variable part (ID),

5. the ability to customize

6. the possibility of sharing the url

7. the total length of the url.

custom url shorteners

There are several other services shortening of urls which are not illustrated here, so you can apply the 7 criteria used above above to select your favorite ones.

I am writing this article to prove that as of today, I don't see any advantages in terms of pure white hat SEO. If you see some benefits, do not hesitate to share via comments and open discussion ;-)