August 1, 2014

Choose the right monetization model for your blog

Photo by Julia Manzerova on Flickr (CC BY)

Target audience: Bloggers, small businesses, self-publishers, nonprofits, educators, Web publishers, journalists.

Ayelet NoffEveryone has different reasons why they decide to create their own blog or website. Many use it as a platform to share their opinions with others. Others see it as a great way to build up their name or business.

Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus can also play a big role in a blogger’s effort to promote themselves, but they have their drawbacks too. Facebook is a great tool, but when it comes to self-promotion they use a pay to play kind of system where you only see limited content and if you want to be more viral you need to pay for it. Twitter is widespread, but also limited, a maximum of 140 characters per tweet will only get you so far. As for Google Plus, well, it may claim big numbers, but when’s the last time you actually hopped onto your account?

Anyone who runs a blog knows that it takes a fair amount of time (and sometimes, money) to create the kind of interesting content that keeps visitors coming back — or to entice others to contribute to it. Getting a return on your investment can be challenging, but for many bloggers and personal website owners having your own blog is a great opportunity to make some extra cash. Continue reading

April 15, 2013

Images to make your small business blog pop

Stock images

10 stock photo sites with low-cost or free images

Guest post by Megan Totka
Chief Editor,

MeganTotkaThere’s something about a great image that draws attention and makes people want to find out more. Using stock photos for your small business blog will help you stand out and grab more eyeballs — not to mention keep your visitors coming back for more.

As a small business, you probably are already stretching every dollar you have. This means you don’t have hundreds of dollars a month to spend on blog photos. The good news is, you can still get great quality images, licensed for commercial use, for less than $5 each — or, in some cases, for free.

Here are the best sites for low-cost, high-quality images for your small business blog.



iStockphoto: Millions of royalty-free photos

1A stock image staple for more than 10 years, iStockphoto offers millions of royalty-free photos, illustrations, videos, and audio files. The site features easy browsing by category and a powerful search engine, and images are tagged with lots of keywords to help you find just what you’re looking for. There’s a wide range of pricing on iStockphoto, from 1 to 150 credits per image, with credits costing between 95 cents and $1.50. Continue reading