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Advice for new bloggers

Someone asked me last week what advice I have for new bloggers. In theory I have a lot, but let me focus most on content. Because without content, you don’t have a blog. Then we’ll touch on other subjects like SEO and monetization. But mostly, let’s talk content.

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Statistical significance – why it matters

Statistical significance may be the most important concept you’ve never heard of. It takes more than knowing Mark Twain’s joke about statistics to know how to understand them. It’s easy to lie with statistics, after all. But it’s also not difficult to know when someone is lying with statistics.

Statistics work when you study a large enough segment of the population to be able to extrapolate with reasonable confidence of being accurate. Statistical significance is the key to measuring the quality of those statistics and the conclusions someone is making from them.

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What are keywords for SEO?

What are keywords for SEO? They’re absolutely fundamental for understanding SEO, but I think many people overcomplicate them. Here’s an explanation for the rest of us.

Keywords are phrases that people type into search engines. Search engines use them to figure out what a web page is about, and then try to match readers with web pages.

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How much does a blogger make?

How much does a blogger make? It depends on how much traffic you get. But it’s certainly possible to estimate how much you can make as a blogger and plan accordingly. Some people even manage to make a full-time living off it, though that’s certainly not a guarantee. Nor is it a necessity, in some cases.

A blog that gets 3,300 pageviews per day should generate $30/day in revenue, if not a bit more. A blog that gets less traffic than that only makes a few dollars a day. Over the years I’ve devised a formula that can get you into the $10 per 1,000 pageviews territory.

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Is Yoast SEO good?

Let’s talk blogging. Specifically, let’s talk SEO. Is Yoast SEO good? You’ll hear mixed opinions of that. So I’ll share my personal experience, as someone who blogged without it for a decade.

My best blog posts didn’t need Yoast SEO. But there’s no question the majority of my blog posts do better with it, and I’ve never seen one do worse.

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How much does an author make?

Let me tell you a dirty secret that may surprise you. Authors don’t make a lot of money, generally speaking. How much does an author make? It varies, but if you’re not famous, probably less than you think.

Writing the book is the easy part of making a living as a writer. Selling the book is the harder part, and many authors find there aren’t enough hours in the year to do both and make an average income.

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Put your blog posts on Pinterest for free

There are several plugins that put your blog posts on Pinterest and other social media, but Pinterest is always an option that costs money. But recently Pinterest made a change to allow you to send it an RSS feed. Here’s how to use RSS to put your content on Pinterest for free.

If your audience is largely female, being on Pinterest is a must. Even if your audience is largely male, being on Pinterest can be helpful, and is worth the effort, especially now that Pinterest has made it much easier.

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News vs propaganda

A day after watching the Netflix documentary¬†The Great Hack, which is mostly about modern propaganda, I had an exchange on social media that got me thinking about news vs propaganda. What’s the difference? It can be subtle, but here are things I look for, as a former journalist myself.

News follows several rules, but the most important rules are named sources and the quantity. If a story doesn’t have three sources, it’s not news.

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Why is Wikipedia not a reliable source?

I have mixed feelings about Wikipedia. Maybe that makes me unique, as it seems most people think either too highly of it, or give it zero respect. In its early days, I was a top-1,000 contributor. But I have serious problems with the site. So why is Wikipedia not a reliable source? Let’s dig into the problems.

The problems are serious enough that you’ll never see it cited directly in an academic journal, or in most good research papers. But it can still be useful. You just need to know how to use it with caution.

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