Let’s Make Your Blog Earn: Free Reviews Today

Carol Tice

Free Day of Blog Reviews by Carol Tice. Makealivingwriting.comEver wish a successful blogger would tell you how to make your blog earn real money — even if you only have a small audience?

Well, today’s your chance.

I’m in a giving mood, because tomorrow is the release (at last!) of my new e-book, Small Blog, Big Income.

One big thing I talk about in this e-book is the urgent need for startup bloggers to build strong relationships with subscribers. Let them know you love them!

When you have a small blog audience, one way you can stand out and build your subscriber count is to keep surprising readers with fun, free goodies, so your audience thinks you’re awesome, and they never want to leave you.

Today, I thought I’d take my own advice.

Here’s what I’ve got for you: Every blogger who leaves a comment on this post on the day it’s published is getting a piece of feedback on their blog from me.

I’m excited to give back to my terrific readers. I’ve been doing a lot of blog reviews lately, and I can see bloggers really need the help! There are plenty of courses out there about building our blog — but I’ve discovered they’re no substitute for getting personalized advice about your blog.

I’m excited to spotlight my (sometimes contrarian) advice on how small bloggers can earn real money. This comment thread will be like a free taste of the e-book.

How to get your free blog feedback

A few ground rules so that this will go smoothly:

  • Put your URL in the right place. Please note that if you leave your URL in the body of your comment, the comment will go straight to spam. 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 your lost comment. It’s going to be crazy here today and tomorrow!
  • State the age of your blog. Knowing how long it’s been around helps give me a sense of where you’re at with your blog.
  • Tell me your top blog question or problem. That way, I can give you the feedback you need most. If you don’t tell me anything, I’ll just pick the thing that jumps out at me as the most glaring issue.
  • Deadline is midnight Pacific time. That ought to be enough time for bloggers all over the world to see this and post a comment. (If you just wander in here now and then and you didn’t see this post in time, subscribe via email, to make sure you’re in the loop for all my freebies!)
  • Allow 48 hours for response. I’m not sure how swamped I may get with this freebie offer! So please be patient. Some feedback may take a day or two.
  • One blog per customer. Let’s be fair here and let everyone have a chance. If you operate multiple blogs, please pick one of yours for me to look over. Remember, if you try to list more blogs in the comments, you’ll just end up in spam.

Last day for discounts & bonuses

Did you notice I said tomorrow is the launch day for Small Blog, Big Income?

That means today is the last day you can get a tasty set of presale bonuses and discounts on blog coaching, plus an invite to a *free* live blog-review call coming up on April 6.

That’s all just for reserving a copy before the e-book comes out. Yes, even just one day before! These are insider deals just for my subscribers, that I offer before the e-book goes up on Amazon.

If you like what you see on the comments below, you might want to grab the e-book today, so you can get my whole system for building a blog that earns — even with a small audience.

And now? Ready, set, let’s fix your blog!

What’s your biggest question about how to make your blog earn? Tell me in the comments, and I’ll give you some feedback, right here.

Small Blog, Big Income: make your blog earn


  1. Megan

    Carol, wow! Thanks so much for this awesome opportunity! My blog is just shy of 3 months old, but I’ve been guzzling down your wisdom for a while now. (Hopefully that shows in my blog.) I don’t have a specific question for you, so any expert piece of advice would be deeply appreciated. Thank you!

    • Carol Tice

      I see you’re using SumoMe…have to say I’m not a fan, I think that cram-down box is pretty obnoxious. Also, yours is a bit confusing — there’s a freebie, but won’t I also get ongoing blog post updates via email? If so, you’ll want to disclose that.

      Your blog title makes me think this is a productivity blog, but the topics seem to roam all over the place and you’ve got a pretty wide umbrella defined in your tagline — making your time, money, and home work for you. That’s like a productivity blog, a finance blog, and a lifestyle/living/home blog all rolled into one!

      I worry as I read through that it’d be hard to attract subscribers because the topics range from how to make money online to managing your gmail to saving money on Easter candy. I’m not sure that’s the same reader. Think about where your passion is within this umbrella — you might want to refine your tagline and your topic so it’s easier for new visitors to quickly understand whether the blog is for them or not. And so that when they get one post on email they like, the next one would be one they’d also like, and not one that feels off-topic to them.

      • Geri Spieler

        Wow Carol. Super nice of you, but I’m not surprised. You are very generous with your time and advice.

        I overhauled my blog from the last time I signed up for a review from you. I hope it is better.

        My question is, I have not sought people to sign up for it. I’m guessing I should do that and build an audience? Is it difficult? Do I offer a freebie to get people to sign up for it?


        • Carol Tice

          To take those one at a time:

          My question is, I have not sought people to sign up for it. I’m guessing I should do that and build an audience? YES, YES, YES.

          Is it difficult? Some would say yes. If you mean is it technically difficult to set up an opt-in and collect emails, let me acquaint you with Mailchimp — check them out on my Products I Love page.

          Do I offer a freebie to get people to sign up for it? You won’t get many signups without one, these days.

          But first…write a name and tagline for your blog, that tells us what you write about who the reader is.

      • Megan

        Carol, thanks so much for taking the time to offer me advice. It’s so valuable to have a fresh set of eyes — and an expert in the field no less! — look at my blog and offer impressions!

        • Carol Tice

          Don’t know if I think of myself as an expert, except in how I made MY small-traffic blog earn. But I feel like along the way, I’ve learned a lot of blogging best practices for low-traffic blogs that I’m excited to pass on in the e-book.

    • Anne El Bey

      Thank you for the regular tips in the emails, Carol.

      I’m trying my best to make a living as a freelance writer. It’s hard work trying to get assignments, but I will not give up. I’m an optimist at heart.

      Thanks again,


      • Carol Tice

        Anne, I don’t see a blog on your site…let me know if I’m missing something! All I see is a box way at the bottom to SUBSCRIBE to a blog…but where is it?

        • Anne

          Thanks for replying, Carol. I have a website with various blogs. I will also be adding another category. They will still be health and wellness related.

          The link is provided in the section for website. The site would not let me place the link in my post.

          Thanks again.


          • Anne

            I guess I lucked out on a follow up.

  2. Williesha

    This is awesome considering I had to cancel my review! Thanks for your feedback. Please note I’m in the process of changing domain hosts and I’ll be getting a self-hosted site in the next month.

    • Carol Tice

      Willi, when I come on this blog, I get that it’s something to do with being a young nerd, but that’s about it. The tagline is all about you and your life — “A geek who’s married to a geek and geeks out more than she should.”

      The new visitor is asking, “What in it for ME?”

      What useful, practical tips that help address primal needs — you’ll make me healthier, wealthier, or happier — are you going to address with these posts? Then your freebie is about getting active politically, which seems to have nothing to do with nerdiness, on the face of it.

      Remember: Write in service of a reader. Write a tagline that INCLUDES your reader, so they feel welcomed and like this is for THEM. Then, focus your topic around delivering what those readers need.

  3. Nicholas La Salla

    Hi Carol!

    What a great service. I’d like to participate in this, and I’d like you to give a piece of advice to my personal writer blog. I don’t really have a “problem” to cite here, more interested in your opinion.

    You’ve already mentioned the “About Me” thing about Blogger, so you don’t have to bring that up . . . anything beyond that would be great. 🙂



    Nicholas La Salla

    • Carol Tice

      Hi again, Nicholas — interesting to see your other site! (Nicholas did the presale blog review video on one of his other blogs, folks.)

      Quick reaction — the phrase ‘freelance writer’ is extremely hard to rank for on search. I’d niche that down if I were you — something like freelance entertainment writer?

      I’d make ‘services’ your tab next to the home, since the main point of this site is to get hired, right?

  4. SuzanneG

    Carol, I’ve been blogging since March 2011 and reading yours for years. I’d love higher, more consistent traffic. I’m in the process of refreshing my blog with a new theme. It will have a fresh, bright look and focus more on my services. But, you’ll be taking a look at my old theme because the new one isn’t finished yet. 🙁 Any advice would be greatly appreciated and implemented in my new site.

    Thanks for all the generous and free advice you share with your readers.

    • Carol Tice

      Hi Suzanne!

      Have to say, as I look at your header and tagline I feel some disconnects. The name is Transformational EDITOR, which makes me think you’ll be talking about your editing services, or how to be a good editor. But then the tagline is “Writing Your Way to Publication.”

      Which makes me wonder — what SORT of publication? Fiction novels? Reported magazine articles?

      Then your opt-in box has no free product, and they don’t know what they’re ‘signing up’ for…so I’ll run on the assumption you’re not getting a lot of opt-ins.

      Hey, instead of saying “If you’d rather I not be compensated” on your affiliate book sales (if you decide to keep them, which I’d think seriously about, and at least put on a subpage and off the home), say, “Thanks for supporting my blog — you won’t pay more by purchasing these through me.” Run on the assumption that they are glad to give you the commission!

      I’d think about rebranding this so that the URL, blog name, and tagline are all in alignment — this is something I talk about in Small Blog, Big Income.

      P.S. Many of your blog headlines, scanning through, have no key words that would help you attract the audience you want.

      • SuzanneG

        Carol, thank you for all these ideas for improvement. I’m saving your comments so I can make sure I tick off each of these as I complete my new website. What a generous gift you’ve given us today. Can’t wait to get my copy of your book and read more ideas for improving and monetizing my website.

  5. Williesha

    Omigoodness I didn’t follow instructions. My blog is about 5 years old but I’ve only been contributing more reader friendly posts for about the last 2-3 years. I’m wondering if there’s potential for monetization at all. That is my main concern. My current opt-in is something I created for a blogging challenge and will be replaced.

    • Carol Tice

      No prob!

  6. Tracy

    Wow! What a generous offer. Thanks, Carol. Your advice over the last couple of years has helped me keep a sense of direction and out of the content mills.

    • Carol Tice

      Hi Tracy — there’s something awkward about the phrasing of your tagline — Successful writing advice from Tracy. It makes me feel like you’re reassuring yourself that you are successfully giving advice! And as with Suzanne’s blog, there’s a discounnect between this tagline and “Walkabout Writer” which makes me think this will be a travel blog about being in Australia or something.

      Ditto for the advice I gave Suzanne on blog headlines.

      You may want to think more on how to unify your themes here, so on a quick glance, new visitors have a clear understanding of who you are writing for and what sort of useful info they’ll get.

  7. Mary Blowers

    Carol, this is so generous. I love your newsletter and have found some good tips there. I’m anxious to see what your comments are on my blog.

    • Carol Tice

      Hi Mary —

      What I get on first visit is that you’re an author. What I don’t know is why I should read your blog.

      Try this exercise:

      What is the goal of your blog?
      Who is the reader you are hoping to attract?
      What are their needs, and how will you meet them?

      The blog posts seem to be about various unrelated topics, and as much as I love to watch Riverdance videos, I’m unclear what they might have to do with your goals for the blog. Fill me in a bit more. Subpages seem to be all over the place — freelance thoughts, referrals, and attempts to attract guest posts and perhaps products to endorse?

      You don’t want to affiliate sell random products — one of the big things I go into in great detail in the ebook is that the route to strong affiliate sales for low-traffic blogs is only selling products and services you have personally used and can enthusiastically and authentically recommend, on a subpage.

  8. Clara

    Carol, I really enjoy reading your blog and getting all of your amazing writing tips. I started my blog back in December. Some of my biggest questions are how to bust through writers block? Usually, I never have this problem, but lately, I just can’t seem to think of anything to write. Any advice you have about style, organization or content would be really helpful and appreciated. Thank you. I can’t wait to read your new book!

      • Clara

        Thank you Carol. I have been considering a new tagline for my blog. Your advice is the conformation I needed to make this change! My tagline is now updated. Any other advice you may have is greatly appreciated!

  9. Loredana Pascal

    I’m following your online activity for a while now (your emails are also really useful) and, first of all, I want to wish you the best of luck with your new project.

    As fort my blog, Travel – Moments in Time is 6 years old and I’d like to increase its traffic so that I could also better monetize it. Thanks for the review!

    • Carol Tice

      Hi Loredana —

      There are a million travel blogs in the universe…and the key thing is to stand out, and to tell me what I will get OUT of your blog, as a reader who may be interested in traveling. You need to communicate those things in the headline and tagline — new visitors decide FAST whether they’re interested.

      Right now we have — Travel — moments in time. And the tagline is, “Places we’ve been, people we’ve seen.”

      In general, this isn’t a monetizable setup for a blog, because it’s all about you, and after that scan we still don’t know WHERE you will be writing about.

      At this point, good travel blogs have a niche. Who is this WE? Are you traveling with 6 kids on a shoestring, with your husband by bicycle? Figure out WHO your travel audience is and what they would want to know, then write a name and tagline that would attract that reader.

      Having an identified travel audience is how you sell sponsorships or ads on a travel blog — which is one of the few niches along with food where ads seem to be workable!

  10. Deepali Joshi Adhikary

    Hi Carol…your advice on blogging and writing is always amazing. It would be great to have you review my blog which is almost 2 years old but I have been working on it seriously since last 8 months only. Now ,the problem where I need your help- my articles do pretty well when I post them on other websites and social media. But the traffic does not come to my blog How do a get people to engage in posts and comment. Looking forward to your valuable guidance.

    • Carol Tice

      What this means is you’re a good writer — but your blog isn’t set up to convert those readers. This is something I devote a whole chapter to in my ebook, on how to CONVERT those visitors who no doubt come over from your guest posts…but then they leave without subscribing.

      Problems and pushbacks that are probably making for few signups:

      You have 2 sidebars, right and left. Get it down to one on the right.

      You don’t have an attractive opt-in box — look at the one at the top of this blog’s home page or my sidebar for an example of what you need — a graphically interesting box that explains what I’ll get if I’ll subscribe, including a free product I get immediately.

      Your blog name and tagline don’t tell me what the blog will be about, but it sounds self-interested. Kolorpencil – thoughts unlimited!

      I have no idea what you’ll be writing about here, besides ‘your thoughts.’

      The big thing bloggers need to understand is that READERS DON’T CARE ABOUT YOUR THOUGHTS. They care about…THEIR PROBLEMS. You need to show, in the headline, URL and tagline, that you have identified a reader problem you are here to help with.

      • Deepali Joshi Adhikary

        I wont be able to thank you enough Carol for such a detailed review. I will address all the issues you highlighted here.

  11. Mary Blowers

    Sorry, the age of my blog is 3 years I think. My top question: how to increase subscribers, where do you list a blog to get better response.

    • Carol Tice

      Mary, if you’re referring to the old strategy of ‘listing’ your blog in a lot of indexes of blogs, that’s no longer useful.

      You attract subscribers by having fascinating, useful, focused content that helps them with a need they have.

      And…you would get more subscribers if your link to subscribe was clickable. It’s a naked, dead link right now. Look at the signup boxes on this page for an idea of how to lure readers to subscribe.

  12. Patricia Coldiron

    Thank you so much for doing these reviews. I am enjoying writing about menopause and would like to know the best promotion method. I have submitted to a blog directory, but what about ad-sense or pay per click?

    • Carol Tice

      Submitting to blog directories is a strategy that was helpful…in about 2009. I’ve never done it, and now have about 80,000 monthly readers!

      AdSense ads and pay-per-click gambits work well…if you have 1 million monthly views. For the rest of us, it earns pennies. This is one of the BIG points in my e-book. Low-traffic bloggers slap these up, earn $1 a month, get no subscribers…and wonder where they’re going wrong.

      Before you worry about earning, worry about setting your blog up so that it attracts an audience you CAN earn from — you really don’t want to worry about it before 300-500 subscribers or so. From that point, the ebook outlines how small bloggers earn — and see my notes above about selling select products you personally use.

      You can attract more subscribers by guest posting, and by aligning your blog headlines with key words for your topic — seeing many posts with headlines that aren’t helping you get found online.

  13. Beth P

    I just want to know if I have a “writer’s voice” to pursue blogging. I’ve had my site for several years now and only recently was told I needed to really push it. Any suggestions you have would be great. Thanks!

    • Carol Tice

      I have no idea what a ‘writer’s voice’ is. We all have a different writing style.

      Right now, your blog is under a tab named “blog.” For starters, if you’re serious about blogging, you’ll need to name your blog, so people know why they should click and read it.

      Scanning your headlines, it seems on the order of a personal journal, which isn’t usually a monetizable concept. I get the sense you have a calligraphy business you’re looking to promote here. Think about key words your clients would use to search for services, and start getting them into your headlines.

  14. Patricia Coldiron

    Sorry, I forgot to put in my start date for the blog. I started in February.

  15. jean compton

    Thanks Carol!
    I’ve been blogging for approximately the last five years.
    I’m in the process of switching the focus of my blog from helping entrepreneurs with life balance, relaxation, mind/body connections, time management, etc., to one that is more design focused.

    • Carol Tice

      So…helping an audience of WHOM with design issues about what? Is this website design, home decor?

      I gave it another look and I’m pretty confused — it looks like maybe you’re a photographer, but the post is about your Avon sales.

  16. Lisa Beach

    Thanks for the incredible offer, Carol! I launched a humor blog last August as a creative project. I needed something fun to jumpstart my writing after taking 10 years off to raise & homeschool my 2 boys. I’m now moving forward with paid freelance writing gigs (copywriting, online content, magazine articles), but I still want to continue with my humor blog. Most of the blog advice I read pertains to service-oriented blogs that offer how-to advice, expertise, free downloadable content, etc. Can you offer any relevant advice to help me grow (and potentially make money from) my humor blog? Do you think having such a blog detracts from my more serious freelance writing, or should I try to spin this to offer “copywriting with a sense of humor”?

    • Carol Tice

      It seems like most humor blogs end up being a platform to get a book deal, as with The Bloggess and Hyperbole and a Half. They can be terrific writing samples, too, I think! I don’t think it’s a negative at all.

      I LOVE the idea of copywriting with a sense of humor! Go for that.If your blog is popular, selling from a ‘hire me’ tab can work as well — got a post on that: https://makealivingwriting.com/land-paid-blogging-gig/

      • Lisa Beach

        Thanks, Carol! As always, you have great insight and so willingly share your expertise. I’m glad you don’t think humor will scare away potential clients and might, in fact, be a plus I can use in my favor. I’m going to check out the link you provided, too. Thanks again!

  17. Jaime A. Heidel

    Hello, Carol,

    My blog has been up for six years now. I didn’t have a lot of time for it in the beginning, so I’m definitely lacking in email subscribers. I’m fine with you telling me the most glaring issue of my blog. Since I spread my time out writing for others for pay and writing for my own blog for no pay (save a few advertising dollars that trickle in), I would like to know how to earn more on my blog, so I can nurture it a bit more.

    Thank you for your time and all your great advice!


    • Carol Tice

      I want to give you my first reaction to this blog name, which is that it was some Gen X site about stuff that’s ‘sick’ which you may know they use for ‘great’.

      Once I got on the site, I see a tagline/link to “Life Beyond Chronic Pain,” which helps…but it seems like an ad, the way it’s formatted. I click and get to what looks like an in-depth blog post.

      I see you’re doing a good job with a personal recommendations product page. There’s a lot of clutter on this site though, pare down, take off outside ads, and…how do you SUBSCRIBE to this blog? I can’t find a way. Which means no subscribers, and little chance to monetize.

      And as I read further just want to say…we think our daughter’s mental and physical issues are all caused by food allergies as well, but good luck getting her to stop eating her exclusive diet of cheese, white bread and candy. ;-(

      • Jaime A. Heidel

        Thank you. I’ll look into making these changes. I wish you the best of luck with your daughter.

        • Jaime A. Heidel

          Just a quick update: I made the changes. I’m so grateful you looked at my blog. I can’t believe how many obvious things I was missing! Thank you again!!

          • Carol Tice

            Wow, that was fast!

  18. Tracy Bowens

    Hi Carol. The timing couldn’t be more perfect for me. At the moment my blog is part of a bigger site that includes my portfolio. It has been that way for a few years now. Back then, it was fine because I didn’t have a specific direction and it has helped me get paying gigs. I update my portfolio, but not the blog that much these days. Now, however, I see myself emerging as a copywriter and think that I need a blog that highlights my copywriting skills. My main question is, should I get rid of this site or keep it and start a new copywriting site and blog under a different name? BTW, I know that I need to get my own domain name and not use the WordPress default.

    Also, if I create a copywriting site and blog, should I include samples or just testimonials?

    Thank you so much. Not just for this, but your posts in general. They have helped me a lot.

    • Carol Tice

      This seems like it’s more about your writer website than the blog. Which is named blog. See my notes to many others above about that…doesn’t work. Needs a name, tagline, defined audience.

      I think the question is whether you need a blog at all. Copywriting is different from blogging (though some would say not that much).

      My question would be — do you have a passion for blogging, and a topic you’re passionate about, that you could envision writing 100s of posts on?

      If not, don’t blog…as I explain here: https://makealivingwriting.com/talk-blogging/

      • Tracy Bowens

        Hi Carol,

        Relief is just one of the emotions I am experiencing at the moment. Thank you so much for your advice. This is exactly what I have been telling people lately about my blogging efforts. Now my mind is free to devote more time to marketing.

  19. Tammie Edington Shaw

    Thanks, Carol for the opportunity. My blog is five years old. I seem to have lost energy to post. Sometimes that old “fear” comes in and I don’t want to post. I am doing interviews now with faculty of a conference I’m involved with as you will see. Need an opt-in? I think it is called maybe, etc. Any comments appreciated.

    • Carol Tice

      Fear…of what? No lives at risk here…just posting on a blog. 😉

      Not sure what you mean by “it’s called maybe, etc.”

      My big comment is that when I see that default blogger/blogspot style format, I move on. You can’t expect to be taken seriously or build a blog that earns on this platform. It screams “I’m a dabbler” to new visitors, and they leave. If you’re serious about your blog, you need to pay for hosting and get a unique look.

  20. Chelsea

    Hi Carol, this is an awesome freebie! Thank you for taking the time to look at my blog. I have had the site for a couple of years but just recently turned it into a health and wellness blog. My biggest issue is finding my audience! Thanks!

    • Carol Tice

      I’m not surprised that you state that’s your issue, because I don’t know what “round roots” would be about, and your tagline, “Everything works better,” does not enlighten me.

      Remember, you have 3-5 seconds when a new visitors comes, to communicate what your topic is, and who you are writing for. Think about how you could revamp your headline/tagline so that we can tell!

      • Chelsea

        My tagline is “Be Happy. Be Healthy.” – not “Everything Works Better” – but thanks for taking a look and I will work on better communication when people first visit my site!

        • Carol Tice

          Weird, I didn’t see that! So get that in the tagline spot.

  21. Ava Ming

    Hi Carole, I’ve been following you for about 3 months now, thanks for this incredibly generous offer.

    The Age of My Blog: My Blog is now 5 months old.

    My Blog Question: I’m planning to upgrade my wordpress blog in two months allowing myself time to post a significant amount of articles.

    Could you please tell me if you see the potential to monetize my blog? I’m thinking of offering downloadable pre-written courses on learning how to speak Chinese or selling ebooks on living and working in China, or maybe both.

    Thanks again and best wishes,Ava

    • Carol Tice

      Ava, it would need a conceptual revamp to be a good platform for selling those things. Right now it appears to be a personal diary, from both headline and tagline.

      How could you take your knowledge of China and reslant this blog so it’s focused on helping the reader understand China — and so we’d understand that immediately when we come on your site? That’s your route to setting up your blog to earn.

      • Ava

        Thanks Carol for taking the time to this for us. Such great advice running throughout the whole page.
        Best wishes,

  22. Scott Goodwin

    I’m a newbie, Carol, but I’m interested in learning all I can about the monetized blog world – thanks for your kind offer!

    • Carol Tice

      Seth, what’s your goal with this blog? I have to say, looking at the headline, tagline, and first post headline, I have no idea what the point or drift of the blog is. You’ll have to fill me in a bit more!

  23. Stephanie DelTorchio

    Thanks so much for all you do to inspire other writers. My blog is about 5 months old. I get lots of traction on social media with my posts and graphic quotes about finding your awesome every day. I want to get more subscribers to receive the posts by email via sign up on my website. I appreciate your honest and candid feedback. #BeFAT

    • Carol Tice

      I have to be honest and say I thought this was going to be a blog about shape-ism pride, you know, being fat is OK, that sort of thing? So I’m not sure that abbreviation is working well for you.

      But you seem to have a real passion for this niche, and I love the positioning of this.

      Once you get on the site, you can see it’s about being awesome. So that’s good!

      You need a free product for subscribers — you won’t believe how many more you’ll get. You clearly have some social media and design savvy — now, you need to create an AWESOME subscribe box that entices people to sign up — say, like the one on this blog. 😉

  24. Jolene MacFadden

    Hi Carol! Thanks so much for this post and I wish you much luck on the launch of your new eBook! I have several websites so I will focus on one for now. It has been up and running since 2012. Sadly, I haven’t been consistent in posting so I know that is one problem but I would really like to get more people to post non-spam comments.

    • Carol Tice

      Hi Jolene —

      I think there’s a lot of interest in your RV-ing topic — but this blog needs a ton of cleanup. Lots of design & usability issues here and clutter. Rotating headers, no picture of the 2 of you, too many colors, too many sidebars.

      And — what do *I* get out of reading your blog? You need to let us know this isn’t your journal and I don’t get anything useful from it…with your headline and tagline. What about, “2 southern women share U.S. travel tips — from an RV.” Or something like that — where you get ‘U.S. travel tips’ as a keyword. That would help you get found.

  25. Timothy Clark

    Hi Carol…great promotion! I started my blog about three months ago, so I still have that ‘new car smell’. My problem is no traffic! How can I drive readers to my blog?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Carol Tice

      Um…guest posting, networking, getting big blogs to mention you. All points I go into a TON of detail on in the ebook!

      PS — You’ll want to get your blog URL and headline to align with each other — you have a nonsense URL, which will really repel a lot of readers.

  26. Michele

    Hi Carol, my blog is a little over a year old. I am about to go full time with this so I can post more often. I wonder if my niche is too broad, but struggle to narrow it down. I am interested in any comments you have. Thanks much!

    • Carol Tice

      I think your niche comes across just great, Michele! This is a nice, clean site — take a look, writers!

      Thing I’d say — too many things in the sidebar. Free stuff, free stuff, and THEN sign up for the blog. Sign up is most important thing! Put it higher…and develop a free report or ebook for your subscribers. That’ll help get more signups.

      • Michele

        Thank you for your time and all the value on you site!

  27. John Kufer

    Hi Carol, I started blogging about two months ago as a way to showcase my professional writing as a transition away from a clinical nursing career. I’ve told old colleagues and family about my blog and I am starting to build some followers using Twitter. My next step is growing my audience and upgrading the look of the page.

    • Carol Tice

      So you’re writing for an audience of…nurse supervisors? I worry that’s too narrow.

      Other problems off the bat:

      No graphics whatsoever. People will not read the giant blob of text. They just leave.
      No sidebar, no way to subscribe, no About page where we can learn who you are.

      This Blogspot format is NOT set up for writers who want to get clients or monetize…just have to say. It doesn’t help you.

  28. Tiffany

    Good day, Carol. 🙂 I love when you do these freebies. My blog has been around since 2013, but I just purchased this domain name a few days ago. I’d say that I overall just want to make it more appealing to people who could possibly hire me.

    • Carol Tice

      It seems to be blank, just has the ‘welcome to the world, new blog!’ type message on it, so afraid I can’t tell much!

  29. Rossi Thomson

    Wow! You are the best, Carol!
    My blog is 18 months old. It is about my life and experiences in three different countries – Italy, UK and Bulgaria, so it is a mix of travel advice, personal thoughts, tips, cultural shocks and some food-related posts. Any advice and/or opinions you can give me about it, will be much appreciated.

    Best wishes,


    • Carol Tice

      If you want to monetize it, Rossi, you’ll need to make it stop being a mix of five different topics! Pick the one you’re most passionate about, that you see people earning well with, and focus it in.

      • Rossi Thomson

        Thank you for your time, Carol! Unfortunately, at this moment in time, just one topic would not provide me with enough material for regular updates. I will consider your advice in depth though.
        Kind regards,


        • Carol Tice

          Well…that’s the trick about blogging. You need one passion topic where that gives you enough material for many posts.


    Thanks so much for the wonderful offer of reviewing my blog. My biggest question is how to get traffic. I am aware of some of the problem but have gotten discouraged about finding solutions. I would love your input.

    • Carol Tice

      I’m not really seeing a blog here, Joyce. Seems more like a portfolio site?

  31. Dylan Boor

    Hi Carol, My blog is about five months old, and like many I’m using it as a form of creative expression but now I’m trying to make it an enterprise of sorts.

    What are your initial impressions of my blog, and what can I do to draw in viewership and impress any editors whom I may want to do freelance work for?

    • Carol Tice

      Stop writing for an audience of yourself, and write in service of a reader. “I’ve always wanted to be a writer,” makes visitors say, “Bully for you!” Then they leave, because you don’t seem to care about THEM.

      See if you could write a tagline and choose a topic you’re passionate about, to attract the readers you want.

  32. Brooke Fredericksen

    Thank you Carol for this opportunity! My website has been running since January 2016, so it’s only a 2-month old baby!

    My main question is how to get more traffic and get advertising on my blog (from appropriate advertisers).

    Thank you again. I hope I am earning some money from something in the next few weeks so I can buy your ebook.


    • Carol Tice

      Brooke, you can’t get advertisers on a new site with no traffic. I mean, you could put AdSense on there, but you won’t earn anything. That is a widespread fantasy of many bloggers, from what I’m hearing.

      First, you’ll need to fix the fundamental issues, attract an audience, and lay the GROUND WORK for earning.

      That begins with giving us orientation information so we stay on the blog. So far we have Tea and Greens — don’t know what that will be about. Food blog? Healthy eating? Travel blog maybe?

      It has no tagline to fill me in further. I see you describe yourself as a vegan, tea drinker, writer and editor…but who are you writing this blog FOR? What will you write about on here? I can’t tell.

      Also, when you say, “Hi I’m Brooke” — you need a picture of you to go with that. Feels weird otherwise.

      Try to crystallize what the concept of the blog is and who you want to write for, then write a tagline that helps those readers want to stay on the blog.

      Also, seeing no way to subscribe.

  33. Megan

    My blog is 2 years old. I want to do a better job of marketing my ebook to my readers along with my coaching services. I am a health coach and holistic nutritionist in training so I haven’t put anything on my site for coaching services yet. But it is something I intend to do in the next few months. THANK YOU for this!

    • Carol Tice

      Now, here’s some hot branding! And clearly, you’ve been busy guest posting — nice job!

      You have a double-sidebar, which is too cluttered. Cut it down to just one. Your site loads very slow too — might want to see what you can streamline.

      I’m curious if you’re earning much from your many, many ads and videos. I’m betting no…whittle down or eliminate. With this branding, you might look for sponsors…once you have a subscriber base. Which you’ll get after you put up a box so people can subscribe!

  34. Elliott

    Great offer Carol, I’d be foolish not to take advantage of it! My blog has been up for over a year, and started off as a way for me to organize my thoughts about moving to the Czech Republic. It’s now a year later, and I’m trying to break into freelance writing. I’m not sure how to use my blog to this end, other than as sample of my writing skills.

    I appreciate any advice you have,

    • Carol Tice

      Well, if your blog is popular and gets lots of comments and shares, you can potentially get clients via a ‘Hire Me’ tab on this blog. Guest posting on bigger, more popular blogs to bring more readers to your blog will also help.

  35. Brian Wu

    What a kind offer! Best wishes the book.

    • Carol Tice

      Hi Brian —

      This is a blog that’s on a writer site, under a tab. And it’s named ‘blog.’

      The problem is, that’s not very enticing! So no one clicks. Name your blog, give it a focused concept, and use that name in your tab, to get more readers.

  36. Edwin

    Hey Carol question:
    I have some material but no actual URL/Blog/domain yet (working on it)! May I still submit a sample or two and receive your opinions? Thanks

    • Carol Tice

      Sorry, just reviewing live blogs today, Edwin! But you might want to grab the ebook — probably save you a ton of time in doing the important envisioning and launch phases of your blog.

  37. Jennifer Waddle

    Hi, Carol,
    I’ve been blogging just over a year, but when I switched from Blogger to WordPress, I lost some momentum. I am currently updating my site, but please check out my blog and let me know how I can really make it take off!
    Getting in on your book deal today. Thank you so much.

    • Carol Tice

      Jennifer, I get the following four different concepts above the fold on your blog — God. Author. Speaker. Musician.
      And then below the fold, another tagline — Encouraging women everywhere in faith and life. I think THAT tagline needs to be what we see, and not the Author/speaker/musician, if that’s the goal of this blog. It’s quite confusing what goes on here, as is. Remember that during those first 3-5 seconds of a new visitor, they often won’t scroll down.

  38. Corinne

    Hi Carol,

    Thanks so much for the generous offer. My blog started in January this year. I’m struggling to think how to engage people in my niche – I’d love to offer freebies, but not sure that a blog critiquing international volunteering has that much room for it. Would love to hear any thoughts you have. Cheers to you.

    • Carol Tice

      So, you’re down on international volunteering? I guess I wonder if that’s enough of a premise for a blog. Could you write hundreds of posts on that topic? How much is there to say — sounds to me like something that perhaps could get done in a SINGLE post…so concerned it’s too narrow.

      • Corinne

        There’s a lot to say. I’ve got a notebook full of post ideas (if I could find time to write them – that’s the main problem really). I’m more worried about getting people to engage/subscribe. I don’t think the topic lends itself to the usual strategies of offering a free e-book/run a workshop etc.
        “Down on international volunteering” isn’t quite right btw, the blog tries to give a balanced view of the problems in voluntourism and explore how to volunteer ethically.
        Thanks though!

        • Carol Tice

          I think a site that’s purely negative — ‘this thing is bad, I need to educate you about it’ — is really tough to monetize. It’s like asking us to take castor oil all the time.

  39. Sophie Playle

    That’s a very generous offer 🙂

    My blog is aimed at fiction authors. This particular blog is six months old, but I’m in the process of transferring the posts from my old site (I rebranded, you see) to this one – and that blog was about three years old.

    I’d love any feedback. Thanks.

    • Carol Tice

      Sophie, since “Liminal pages” doesn’t have any keywords your audience would search for or really spell out what your topic is, it’s a bit obscure, you really need a tagline to help define what it’s about.

  40. Mrs R

    Hi Carol! I’m so excited about your new ebook and this free review is awesome. I could definitely use some pro help. I need to build my subscribers. I’m working on a freebie to help me do that now. I would love your opinions on my blog. I started it in 2012 but due to family obligations I had to step away for awhile. This year I’ve been working fast and furious to get it back up to par. I believe I have targeted my niche market but I would love your opinion on this. Thank you so much for this offer! I think your awesome 😉

    • Carol Tice

      Mrs. R, you’ve got some technical problems going on. I saw the blog at first, but then a HelloBar came down that I can’t get rid of and a force pop-up to subscribe came on that I cannot dismiss. You don’t want to do that — when people can’t get back to reading the content, they’ll just leave. People HATE force boxes like that, with no option to close it up.

      • Mrs R

        Hi Carol, Thanks for looking. I just checked it and everything seems to be working correctly. The sign up box has a “close” button in the top right corner. I’m not sure what happened but it seems to be fine now.

        • Carol Tice

          It’s important to check how widgets like a pop-up or opt-in box work on ALL browsers and all devices. It may work great on yours, but not on others. I’m on a Mac on Firefox.

    • Carol Tice

      Hm…this blog is in another language, so I’m at a bit of a handicap here. Wonderful photo — but see my comments on the other travel blog above. What is your niche? There’s no tagline to orient the reader as to what your slant is on travel. You need that to stand out.

      • Brygida Gołębiewska

        Hi Carol! Thank you for your comment! I will definitly do what you sugest. I don’t know if my definition of audience is right, but I aim for people who aren’t happy in their life, have dreams but also lack of courage and motivation to pursue them. I also aim to show them the world and change the way we see it as sary & dangerous place.

  41. Tom Bentley

    Carol, congratulations on the book—I hope it goes swimmingly! My blog’s a few years old, and its broad topic is the freelancing life (writing ideas, pitches, marketing, writing whimsy, telecommuting). But that “freelancing life” generality is sliced up among copywriting, fiction writing, travel writing, essay writing, book editing, content writing and yikes!—more.

    Because I write in all those genres, I write about writing in them too, which undoubtedly splinters my audience. (And my audience is small, whether the chicken came before the egg or after.) I do occasionally get copywriting clients from my blogging, but that’s rare. My dilemma is that I would like a broader audience, but I truly enjoy the breadth of my subject material.

    Also, I also use my blog as a kind of writing prompt, so at least I amuse one member of my audience, me. Thanks for your generosity here.

    • Carol Tice

      So…what’s your goal here? I don’t see a big problem with writing about multiple kinds of writing in a single blog. But not sure where you’re trying to go with this…URL is your name, so that doesn’t help us know ‘writing blog’…

      Seeing a tagline about your writing and editing services makes it feel salesy, where good blog taglines include the reader and offer the promise of a benefit for reading.

      • Tom Bentley

        Thanks Carol. I changed the blog title, URL and filled out some meta stuff in the SEO plug-in about the blog’s character. The writing/editing line is built into the logo graphic, on every site page. I could have that logo not appear on the blog page, but I’ll have to think about that.

        I appreciate you taking a look and the good counsel.

  42. Jett Murdock

    Well, It’s a relatively new website, like a week. My problem is drawing customers in…


    • Carol Tice

      Jett, see my comments above about having a blog named ‘blog’ — doesn’t work. Give it a name and use it in the tab!

      Also, make sure your headlines have key words your target audience would search on.

  43. Renayle Fink

    Hi Carol, and thank you for doing this! Your post on a certain content mill (GLV) help me leave that trap. Ive had my blog for a little over a year, and I’d like to learn how to grow my audience. My blog focuses on getting into a writing habit and also has book reviews. I hope it’s not too niche where no one can find it! Thank you!

    • Carol Tice

      Well, certainly if you made it about developing ANY KIND OF good habits, you’d have a broader audience.

      I see you have a SumoMe box for trying to get client leads…that doesn’t work. Take it down.

      Hm…I’m not really SEEING a blog on this site. Is there one? Hmm…see a few ‘recent posts’ (which you never want, only most popular posts are worth the space) in the sidebar — but where is the roll of recent posts that I expect on the home page of a blog? It’s not clear how to even get ONTO your blog…

  44. Lauren Steinheimer

    This is awesome! Thank so much, Carol! You rock!

    What originally started as a running/ranting blog several years ago morphed into my writer website, where I use a separate page for the blog.
    This allows prospective clients to see my un-edited writing style as well as what I have included on my portfolio page.

    I guess my biggest concern is whether this approach is working, or if I’m better off starting over fresh with an entirely separate website? Also wondering if my home/about page is weak?


    • Carol Tice

      I don’t know — you tell me, is it working? Are you getting lots of clients this way?

      In general, a writer website with conversion copy as the home is better than the blog — UNLESS your blog is very popular and doing great. Then you can put a ‘hire me’ tab on the blog and sell that way.

      • Lauren Steinheimer

        I’m not getting lots of clients period!

        But I have had clients comment that they really like my writing style in the blog over published articles, so it isn’t hurting.

    • Carol Tice

      I’m not seeing a blog on here — is it hiding somewhere?

  45. Hadass

    Hi Carol,
    Thank you so much for this fantastic opportunity! I would LOVE to get some advice and critic, I am planning to set up four blogs, two of them would base on interviews (like magazine interviews) and would cover Technology (B2B), mostly electronics, and science.

    My original plan was to make it as one tech-science blog, but after reading one of your previous posts on this subject I have realized they each has a different target audience and must be separated to two blogs).

    The other two blogs would be all about advising and information (animals and travel).

    But here is the thing: I have started to research and already conducted interviews for the tech and science blogs, but I don’t have anything up in the air yet, since in December I was diagnosed with some nasty health issues. So at the moment, with all the treatments, I don’t have the energy to do anything. I’m supposed to get rid of this situation and get back on my feet around the end of 2016.

    I was wondering if you would consider having a “round 2” of this really generous offer, around November, for those of us who still don’t have a blog up and running (If you do, I promise to send only one URL 🙂 )

    I realize I’m asking a lot, and would totally understand if it’s not something you planned. I just thought I’d ask.
    Million thanks in any case 🙂
    Looking forward for the book tomorrow.

    • Carol Tice

      Sorry about your health issues — and sorry, this offer is unlikely to be repeated anytime soon!

      But I can give you one big tip: start ONE blog.

      I have NEVER met a writer who successfully ramped and launched more than one blog at a time. Don’t spread yourself all over the place. Pick the topic you’re MOST passionate on, and create a blog on it. Build it. Then start another, if you’ve got the bandwidth.

      • Hadass

        Thank you very much 🙂 I’ll do that although it’s difficult to choose, but I suppose you are right 🙂

  46. Jo Amos

    Hey Carol,

    This is a great offer – thanks!

    My blog is a really new thing for me. It’s literally about a month old, and I haven’t started promoting it yet – this is the first time I’ve shown it to anybody aside from friends, but this is a one-time offer so I thought I’d be brave…

    I’ve had a freelance writing business for almost 3 years now, and been a digital nomad for about 15 months. I want to specialise in travel writing/blogging/copywriting so started the blog as a way of showcasing my travel writing skills. I’m still feeling my way and have a lot to do on the blog (I keep getting distracted by my client work), least of all decide on my tagline and add more content. But feedback is very welcome at this stage 🙂

    Thanks again!

    • Carol Tice

      Some snappy branding there, Jo! But you seem to have some theme issues. I started trying to read your tagline — which is way, waaaay too long, and then it disappeared and I was on your About page and it wouldn’t ever show it to me again, and some of the text was cut off so I couldn’t read it all.

      But I got the part that said it’s “part memoir”…and that’s a positioning from which you can neither get freelance writing gigs NOR monetize.

      To monetize a blog, write in service of a reader. Memoir navel-gazing does not attract a crowd online, unless you’re The Nie-Nie Diaries.

      To make it a good writing sample, report travel stories. Don’t make them all, “And then I saw X.” Write pieces like you would for a high-end travel magazine. Then, you’ll have good writing samples on your blog for getting gigs.

      • Jo Amos

        Thanks so much for the feedback. I don’t actually have a tagline yet. I think what you’re referring to is the snippet for my About page, which has ‘read more’ at the end and leads to my full About page… This is the way my theme is set up, but if it isn’t obvious I need to have a look at it.

        Thanks again for your time!

        • Carol Tice

          Aha — the weird thing is, viewing it today I don’t get that weird excerpt. I think this theme isn’t doing you a lot of favors in terms of usability.

          And…write a tagline! I think travel blogs particularly need them, because there are so many, and we need to know what’s fresh and unique about yours.

          I saw where you’re staying now…jealous! It’s difficult to travel, and sort of a waste of money, with 2 mentally ill kiddos.

  47. Liliana K

    What an amazing opportunity! And I can hardly wait to discover your new project – best of luck with it (though I have no doubt that it will be a huge success).
    As for my blog, it is a travel related one – almost three years old. It was launched after Google gave up its PR rankings, unfortunately. I admit I didn’t manage to write as often as I would have liked, but I made a plan – weekly posts for a month – and I’ll be following it.
    So, the issue is how to get more traffic, what type of articles would be better for it, how can I truly grow it.

    • Carol Tice

      Hi Liliana — Not sure I follow you about PageRank or how that would have helped you.

      You’ve slanted this blog very BIG — Earth’s Attractions. But some of the posts don’t seem to be about major attractions, they’re about other things, so I find that a bit confusing. One’s about ‘why we travel,’ for instance. I’d stick to your topic.

      One tip – your tagline isn’t visible on the site, it’s only in meta. I think we need it visible on the page.

      Also, I’m glad you showed me this, because you’re one of the many blogs I’ve looked at today that has an automatically rotating header. These are proven to LOWER conversion rates — too distracting.

      I see no way to subscribe to this blog — so start by putting together a free product and a subscription box! It’s difficult to sell if you have no audience you can email.

      A blog like this might also be a good candidate for sponsorships or ads, once it builds up some traffic. Hope this helps!

  48. Cherrilynn Bisbano

    Carol, Thank you for you insight and kindness. How do I drive more traffic to my blog? It is less 16 months old.

    • Carol Tice

      Hi Cherrilynn — I think you have some challenges here.

      If you had told me a blog named “Pelican Promise” would be about your relationship with God, I wouldn’t have believed it! It seems very far afield…and you can tell it really is, because it takes you a 3-line tagline to explain the connection. Most new visitors aren’t going to travel that far with you…they’re going to leave.

      A good tagline is about 4-8 words long. That’s all the space you’ve got. Needs to be short and snappy.

      You need to make this a lot easier to understand — and possibly, rebrand it.


        Thank-you. I thought the same thing. Going to change it

  49. Fouad

    Wow, I’m so excited at this offer. Thanks a lot, Carol. You rock!

    My blog is barely two months old. I don’t really have any specific question.

    I got the domain name inspiration from your Freelance Writers’ Den website.

    • Carol Tice

      This is a pretty confusing site, Fouad — instead of a blog, I get your name and a tagline for writing services, and the blog is under a tag named ‘blog’, but the site URL is I gather the blog name.

      That’s a lot for people to figure out when they land on you!

      Reading through your posts, I think if you’re positioning yourself as a crack copywriter in English, your posts will need to be free of grammar errors to help attract clients. Seeing plenty of them.

      You probably need to decide whether your primary focus here is building a blog or getting freelance clients — right now you’re kind of split, and I think it doesn’t do well for either goal.

  50. Linda

    This is encouraging Carol, and I want to jump on it. I’m ready to restart my blog, but I have so many ideas I’m not sure where to start.

    My blog can run two ways and that’s where I’m stuck. Since I’m a professional resume writer, I can focus on career development, resume and cover letter design and content, and marketing campaigns, how employer’s vet potential employees and topics like that.

    On the flip side, I want to incorporate business-related topics like writing case studies and why they work. Are online customer reviews valid or faked by hackers intent to slander a business? And topics that connect business with consumers.

    I stopped blogging a few years back based on an overwhelming workload and not being ready for the success. Things have changed and I want to get to blogging again. But now I’m seeing that writing blogs are like article writing requiring interviews with experts, research and longer posts. I’m capable but how much time will that take and can I write shorter posts with just as much authority?

    Amid all this, I’m thinking of revamping my website into a freelance writer’s website rather than focusing on both resume writing and business writing. So my biggest question about restarting my blog is–Are blogs still comment pieces about a topic, or have they become more like articles written for magazines without the editor and publication backing? I’ve an idea for my audience, I’m just scattered to focus and take action.

    Thanks for this opportunity. I’ll be rewriting content for my Services page, Home page and About Me page within the next week or two. I’ve been swaying back and forth and finally decided my direction. Now I just need a little more guidance to make sure it will all meld.

    Look forward to your comments, Carol. I’ve followed you for a long while and know you’re the best.

    • Carol Tice

      Not understanding — do you have a blog now? Or do you have a question you wanted me to answer?

      • Linda

        I have a blog that’s old and haven’t updated a new post for a long while. Your comments are welcome on what I’ve done in the past, but my question now is this:

        Are blogs still comment pieces about a topic, or have they become more like well-researched articles with interview sources and related quotes, and references to support the topic?

        I’ve read a number of blogs. Some are commentaries. Some are long articles with videos, references to other websites or blogs, or include quotes from interviewed experts.

        I’m confused as to whether I can write a blog post commentary or the expectation has become to write a well-researched article- or essay-type blog post. Does that make more sense?

  51. Cookie Arnett

    I have a few blogs of different types, but I just started a new one and really want to make it work for me to build my writing career- help me!

    • Carol Tice

      Afraid your link doesn’t work, Cookie!

  52. Jason Little

    You’re too awesome to make this offer available. My blog has been around for a few years but I keep deleting posts and restarting, as I can’t seem to find my groove (or silence my internal editor). I recently created a content calendar and have begun to post more often. I can’t wait to get feedback on the posts I do have on there.

    I don’t get much traffic and I’d like to eventually build an audience and earn. Any help you can provide would be most appreciated!

    I can’t wait to read your new book!

    • Carol Tice

      Deleting posts? Never do that — just add better ones. 😉 I’ve got some crap in my 800 post archives I could show you…

      This is a blog under a tab on a writer site — named blog. Begin by giving it a name, a target audience, and a topic we can easily spot, Jason. Think about key words in your headlines, once you decide on your direction.

  53. Tatiana Aquino

    Hi! My blog is called Style with a Hint of Mint. I’ve had it for about a year and a half. My main goal is to show how you can be super stylish by using clothes from thrift stores and make it your own style without breaking the bank. That’s the main goal. However, I also have posts with clothes that may be a bit expensive. I post every week one outfit post. And now I will try to post 2. One about the outfit and one just about a random topic. I’m kind of stuck were I am not getting followers anymore. People like the post but they don’t follow it… How can I get more people to visit my blog post. And is it possible to earn money with a blog like this? Thank you for any help or insight you can give me!

    Tatiana Aquino

    • Carol Tice

      I don’t think upping your frequency is the problem, Tatiana. The problem is we don’t know what goes on on your blog. OK, it’s a style blog, we get that. But your tagline is “have a twist to the perfect outfit.” Which I don’t get.

      And there don’t appear to be any words at all — it’s just pictures of outfits. I think you’re going to have to deliver more value. Can you write a couple paragraphs that tell us about each outfit, how much it cost, and how it was put together, and what the twist is?

      Fashion blogs are certainly monetizable — I know there are apps where you can click on an item and find yourself at a cart, buying it. You can get sponsors and advertisers, once you get some traffic. But we need more to orient us and engage us in this blog.

      Oh wait, I just found some text finally! People aren’t going to scroll down past 5 pictures to see there’s writing — put it directly below the first picture, or wrapped half-column NEXT to the first picture, like you see me do on this blog.

      I think the challenge is if this is all about Goodwill outfits. Then you have no obvious sales angle. Maybe some of the items are from stores or brands?

  54. Lisa Musser

    Hi Carol,
    My blog was moved from blogger to a self-hosted site and has been there for a couple of months now. The template has built-in SEO for the posts but it doesn’t seem to be helping with traffic. It’s a mommy blog and I have affiliate accounts for baby and toddler products through Amazon and Zulily. I want to use it for affiliate sales but so far have not had any luck. I read your blog and subscribe to all your wonderful newsletters trying to get all the information I can. Thanks for being such a big help to new writers.

    • Carol Tice

      Well, here’s a headline and tagline that are working well!

      You won’t have much luck affiliate selling items on autopilot, in the way you’re trying, unless you have massive traffic (I mean WAY more than I have now).

      The alternative is to sell in a personal way that’s authentic and has integrity, like you see me doing on my Products I Love page. You don’t want any ads on your home page, really, unless it’s for your own stuff. I’m looking at some IBM ad on the top of your blog right now…and that makes most people leave.

      Not sure what ‘built-in SEO’ you think you have, but you’ll need to write much stronger headlines with more key words and information in them, to help search engines find you, and readers get interested enough to click. Most SEO tools only work if you know how to use them and put the keywords in all the places they need to be.

      Put a picture of yourself and baby on your About page, so people believe you’re real and not an Internet scam…and rewrite that About so it’s all about your passion for sharing and helping other moms with their journey. Right now, it has more of that ‘this is all about me’ feel. Blogs that earn are all about helping the reader.

      Beyond that..think about what ELSE you could do on this blog besides affiliate sell, because few small niche blogs succeed by simply affiliate selling.

  55. Jennifer

    I’m still in the research phase, so my site isn’t up yet.

    Domain – Silverologie
    Tagline – Because wonder is ageless.
    Goal – To provide practical information regarding the logistics of being a long term traveler over 50.

    I’ve reviewed several blogs by older people (as per your instructions), and it’s rare to find information about what it means to be older (and the realities of winding down): selling everything, advance directives/estate planning, getting medication in another country, dying in another country, visas for particular ages, expat options, available transportation (required walking, stairs, etc), health insurance limitations, and so on.

    I’d like to monetize my blog.

    Thank you!

    • Jennifer

      I just saw the comment about only replying to live blogs today – I’m sorry! :/

      • Carol Tice

        No prob!

    • Carol Tice

      The problem I see is neither your headline nor tagline really tell me what the blog will be about. Your headline could work if the tagline told us it’s a senior travel blog.

  56. Emma Side

    Hi Carol!

    Thanks for this fantastic offer. My blog is a toddler, already 4 years old; however, it’s a recent endeavor trying to get it to make money.

    I simply have no real idea where to start. I assume it is with increasing my readership? I suppose my question would be what is the first step I should take, and if my market is clear enough already to take that step?


    • Carol Tice

      Emma, good questions!

      Yes, building an audience IS the first step to blog monetizing.

      I find your blog confusing. Its name is non-informational, and then the tagline seems to be an ad for your freelance writing. So if I don’t want to hire a freelance writer, I now leave. Because we don’t really know what your blog is about!

      You’ll need to resolve that problem to attract your blog audience.

  57. Joshua Lisec

    So awesome of you, Carol! I’m aiming to find that ‘sweet spot’ niche that differentiates my material from alllll the other blogs that focus on the same topic…thanks again for the review!

    • Carol Tice

      Hi Joshua —

      Couple first reactions — one is that there are no graphics, and about 5 different kinds of type. It feels very hard-salesy, like an old-time direct mail letter.

      Second is the attitude, which I have to say I find condescending…a tone you never really want to take with your readers.

      Your blog is apparently named “Where the Good Sh*t is”.

      Cute…but I still don’t know what it’s about. And we’re mostly trying to get hired as a freelance writer here.

      I see you’ve got a force SumoMe box, but it’s so overwritten I don’t really know what I’m opting in for. There’s a toolkit? But no description or picture of it.

      It sounds like you want readers who are business who want clients? Or something like that? Or is it other freelancers?

      Looking at blog headlines, it seems like freelancers.

      Couple problems — again, no graphics. And headlines aren’t in headline case, so we’re not sure they even ARE headlines…and some are about 16 words long, which is too much to slog through.

      I have a feeling you’re going to need to decide on a direction with this one, and then apply some blogging best practices to make the blog invite readers in.

      • Joshua Lisec

        Thanks Carol, you’re the first person to bring up any of these concerns, so I had been totally blind to them before. Thank you for being a real trooper and slogging through the rubbish. 🙂

        • Carol Tice

          Joshua, I wish I could take credit for being the first person to notice that design and usability matters on a blog, and many of the other fundamentals I take you through in this e-book (and on this comment thread!), but I’m definitely not.

          What I bring that’s new here is a realistic approach to making blogging pay WITHOUT a huge audience. Or at least, that’s my goal!

  58. Lizzie

    Hi Carol!
    I’m a huge fan of your work and really excited to get feedback from you. My blog is a few years old but I have only recently started getting really serious about it. I get dozens of emails from PR firms and companies wanting me to feature and/or review their products, but I am struggling with how to appropriately ask them for money, and also how to make sure that my content has integrity. Any advice?

    • Carol Tice

      Ah, the world of sponsored posts. I don’t allow them, but for product-focused blogs they CAN work. The trick is to not do too many of them, and to be COMPLETELY transparent about it.

      PR companies who ask you to review won’t give you any money. They might give you a free product.

      When companies start approaching you asking your rate for sponsored posts, it’ll mean you’ve attracted enough traffic to get paid posts on your blog. But be careful! As you suspect, too many of these can really hurt your credibility.

      For a good example of someone who I think does a great job with sponsored posts without losing his soul, you can check out my former mentee Nick Evans’s Macheesmo blog.

  59. Angie Mangino

    Thanks so much for offering to help like this. I began my website, which includes book reviews and Amazon affiliate links in 2010. I added the My blog link in 2011 on the History of Tottenville, the topic of the book I researched and will be writing. Unfortunately, I let it go dormant at the beginning of 2014, but want to resurrect it.

    • Carol Tice

      Angie, I have to ask — why do you want to ressurect it? Is there more to tell about the history of this town?

      I think history blogs are a pretty tough niche to monetize…so think about your goals before you invest too much time.

  60. Melissa

    What a neat freebie! My blog is part of my business page and is coming up on 2 yrs old. My top question/issue is that I have difficulty generating interest from blog posts, but word of mouth is going well. Part of it is my larger range of topics, but also I am terrible at SEO. What to do?

    • Carol Tice

      I’m not actually seeing a blog here — possibly why the blogging isn’t going well. Where is it hiding?

      • Melissa

        Well, then, apparently my host is broken at the moment. -.- It was there this morning. sigh I will see what I can do about that.

        • Melissa

          Okay, I see it now. IDK what the issue was/is. They certainly took my auto pay a couple weeks ago for the next 3 months of service so it should be online and working ALWAYS IMO. lol

          • Carol Tice

            Yeah, I saw it’s back up.

            Here’s the thing about putting a blog on a site that ends in “LLC” — nobody takes that seriously. It doesn’t have the right tone for a blog. It’s too salesy, with a tagline that’s selling your services.

            Blogs have to serve readers with free, useful info, and telegraph that that’s what they’ll do, in their name, tagline, sign-up box, etc.

  61. Elizabeth Aldrich

    Thanks so much, what a great offer!

    My blog is only a few weeks old although I’ve been writing posts and working on the design and whatnot much longer.

    I guess my big question right now is how to move forward? I have social media accounts with small followings but not much yet in terms of viewership or subscribers, but I feel like it’s too soon to run any big campaigns or advertisements. I know I need to keep putting up more content but other than that I feel unsure of how to proceed.

    • Carol Tice

      I’d go back to basics — start by getting rid of the rapidly rotating header (designers love them, but they frustrate the heck out of readers!), and give us a tagline, since I don’t know what “Temporary Provisions” would be about.

      Can you tell me who your audience is for this and what the topic is? Also FYI your home page meta says “Home – Style 3 – Temporary Provisions”, so that’s not helping.

      • Melissa

        Thanks for taking the time to look and comment. 🙂

      • Elizabeth Aldrich

        Thanks! Fixed the home page meta.

        The topic is travel and culture. Rather than mostly offering destinations guides, the bulk of the content will be articles on art and culture, food and drink, politics and activism, and animals and nature, all with an international focus. There will also be travel essays from various contributors. It’s meant to target travelers and people interested in travel, but also people who just want to read and learn about other places and cultures from their own home. In bringing in lots of outside voices and contributors, I have hopes of it one day taking the shape of online magazine.

        • Carol Tice

          Elizabeth, it does sound like it’s got that lifestyle-mag set of topics. If that’s your goal…what’s stopping you from putting these posts into channels and doing that NOW?

          I can really advocate for the idea of using the ‘I’m publishing a magazine’ mindset in terms of going for quality and graphics — that’s ALWAYS been my philosophy here at MALW.

  62. Sarah

    Hi Carol

    My blog is about 2 months old now. My goal is to inspire others. I fear that may be too broad ? Also I’d like to know if I can advertise on my blog…


    • Carol Tice

      Oh, you can — it’s just that nothing will happen. Without tons of traffic, you won’t make any meaningful sales.

      For now, worry about building a blog that attracts an audience, since no sales happens without that. Also, you can’t advertise on a blog that’s a tab on a writer site — that will only confuse prospective clients.You’d have to spin it out to its own site to even entertain that idea.

      For starters, you seem to be blogging on 5 different topics on a drop-down menu. That’s a straight ticket to zero readers — too confusing!

      Pick the topic you’re most passionate on, and focus on it. Begin by naming your blog and giving it a tagline, so we understand what it’ll be about. I’m scanning through it and not getting your ‘inspire people’ theme — seems more home/personal care/lifestyle oriented.

  63. Deena

    Hi Carol, and thank you so much for this!
    My blog is seven months old. My issue is how to position an opt-in box that offers my free ebook. Should I embed a pic of the cover onto the box? Should I put it on the top of the page?
    I really like my sidebar opt-in box as it is now, and don’t want a gaudy one, but “they” keep telling me that I must have a more prominent opt-in box with a freebie. And I don’t want too many boxes on the same page.
    All the best. I can’t wait to get the book tomorrow! Congratulations.

    • Carol Tice

      You want the cover IN the box, so people understand that they get that thing when they sign up — take a look at mine.

      • Deena

        Thanks, Carol! Do you think the box should stay on the sidebar or be moved to the top?

        • Carol Tice

          Deena, you’ll notice I have both. 😉

          • Deena

            Thanks for the time you spent with this. It’s a great opportunity for all of us.

  64. Cookie Arnett

    I think the wrong website was entered the first time- sorry

    • Carol Tice

      Cookie, this blog is like so many I review — like most of them, really. It’s named after you. Its tagline is “Life is an adventure.” Which doesn’t tell me a whole lot about what the topic of your blog will be — travel? Overcoming adversity? Parenting quintuplets? No clue.

      First post I see is “Lost in the Maze of Life.” Posts like this get zero traffic, because we don’t know what they’re about.

      To sum up, it’s all squishy. There’s no THERE there yet. Try to refine this concept so we understand what useful things we might learn, and who should read this blog.

  65. Rai Rose Cornell

    I literally JUST started my blog (on Friday), so I don’t have a lot of content up yet. I’ll be posting 2 posts per week for the first 2 months, then I’ll ease back to 1 post per week once I have that decent cushion of back content.

    Thanks so much for this free review! This is terrific!

    PTSD Champion – On the Vanguard of PTSD Treatment, Self-Help, and Research

    • Rai Rose Cornell

      Oh, and I meant to also mention that I’m working on a freebie to give away to subscribers. The working title is “# Tips for Living with PTSD”, but I might adjust that to something ‘trendier’ like “# Lifehacks for Living with PTSD”

      • Carol Tice

        Hi Rai —
        I wonder what you can sell to an audience of…people with PTSD. Do you see other sites like this? If so, how do they sell?

        Also, when you say “In the vanguard of…” It makes me think you’re a PTSD think tank or professional association or something? Not sure that’s the right tone and positioning.

        Blog posts have no images…it’s just all gray text. Not likely to get a lot of clicks.

        Headlines will need to be robust — you’re not going to be able to rank for generic topics like “What is PTSD?”

        • Rai Rose Cornell

          Hi Carol,

          Thanks so much for your review! I went through and added images for all my posts (luckily since the blog is brand new it didn’t take me long).

          I’m not really trying to sell anything to people with PTSD. My intention for this blog is twofold: 1) to help people overcome PTSD; 2) to have a live portfolio where potential clients can see my work and hire me.

          I will definitely work on my headlines. It’s an art form that I have certainly not mastered. Thanks for that tip!

          Also, with my tagline “On the Vanguard…” I was going for the warrior, champion, soldier vibe since the vanguard is the first line of soldiers into battle. I want the tone to convey that I and my readers am on the front lines, living with and trying to conquer PTSD.

          • Carol Tice

            Right…but I’m telling you that the word ‘vanguard’ may convey something else to others. I get your concept for it now — definitely work on headlines…because your strong headlines are what will get you hired.

  66. Mercy Gallardo

    Hi Carol!
    You have an awesome offer! I started my blog in 2012. I´m in Europe..
    I was a working wife when I started my blog and share my own experience on crafts, home, gardening, cooking.. anything that is challenging to me. Now, that I´m close to retirement (2 months) I guess I now have the time to blog. My job had been stressy. I know, my blog needs a restructuring. All the bars are so chaotic I would say. I would probably get my own domain soon.

    Now, that I have the time, I would like to get tips from you as an expert on how to increase my readership and let readers come back on my site as well as tips on how to monetize my blog.

    Would be thankful for any hints and advise.

    Thank you and best regards!


    • Carol Tice

      Yes — that blogger/blogspot setup is NOT ideal for earning! But you’ve done a pretty decent job with it.

      I have the same reaction I did to the fashion blog above — more text with those photos to guide us through, please!

      Also, headlines with capitals, so they’re easier to spot. 😉 Love your mini-bio! Nice job on that.

      If it were me, I’d try to boil down your tagline so it fits on one line, ideally get it under about 8-9 words.

  67. Ronni

    Luv youre-bbok, and I sincerely appreciate this chance for blog up-do advice. Our blog is 7 years old, and my daughter no longer writes here. In addition to quilt projects, I also write quilt stories and poems (please see “Pearl’s Posts”). Our social media platform is 3,000, eventhough our blog only shows 100 followers. How much should I charge for initial sponsor banners and sidebar ads?

    • Carol Tice

      Ronni, here’s the bad news — your number of social media followers isn’t what sponsors and advertisers buy. They buy TRAFFIC on your blog. Subscriber numbers. It’s unlikely you can charge anything for that right now. Maybe post an offer in social media for everyone who signs up on the blog?

      Focus on getting that blog-sub number up. And blogs don’t have followers — make sure you’ve got a subscriber mechanism where you’re collecting emails and can message those people. You’ll need at least several hundred to start with — and you’ll do better selling hand-selected items than slapping up ads, likely.

  68. Dave

    I’ve loved all the advice from you. The hardest thing in this game is getting paid so I decided to go down a different route; I give readers the option to only pay me if they like my work and to pay whatever they like. My question is, am I being totally nuts?

    • Carol Tice

      Dave, the ‘donate button’ option really doesn’t create any substantial earnings, even on high-traffic blogs.

      You CAN win at putting paid products such as ebooks and courses on a pay-what-you-want mode. But people expect blog posts to be free.

      I HAVE also seen and at one point contemplated micro-monetizing platforms where you see partial posts and then pay $.99 to see the rest, like itunes for blog posts! But I got STRONG negative feedback about implementing it. I think people, as I said, are expecting the blog content is free, and you upsell them other things that are higher value.

  69. Sajib Mannan

    Thank you Carol for this amazing opportunity. My blog is 6 months old and I blog about getting leads through blogging and social media.

    Can you suggest me how I can make my website look more appealing?

    • Carol Tice

      Hi Sajib — I have to say, I’m stopped by the grammar error in your tagline. I think like me, many readers won’t read on beyond there.

  70. Joan

    I just purchased your ebook. Looking forward to reading it. As for my blog, well… it is a work in progress.

    • Carol Tice

      Maybe you want a review after you read it? You’ll see I will be offering a video review service. 😉

      • Joan

        Yes thank you, that would work. 🙂

  71. Pinar Tarhan

    Hi Carol,

    This is a terrific opportunity, though I’m a bit scared. 🙂

    My blog is about 5 years old. I hate that I’m using a free theme, but all the blog designers that came recommended seemed out of my price range, and I didn’t want to use Fiverr. But I looked and looked for premium themes that I could implement myself, but they all seemed too generic. I’ve always wanted my design to be uncluttered, but also with personality. I’m still looking.

    Other than that, whatever clients I’ve got, they didn’t come from the blog, and I’d like to change that. (I also want to work with other writers as clients because I know I have a lot to offer. I just doubt I did a great job representing my skills.)

    Thanks, and I look forward to buying and studying the book.

    • Carol Tice

      Hi Pinar!

      Well…other writers are in general not your ideal target client. Who IS your ideal client? How would you like to focus the blog? What topic might work well for that?

      I have to tell you, I know 1 million writers trying to write a blog to attract their clients, directly. And I see few that work.

      What works is to write a blog about a topic you LOVE, make it successful, get lots of subscribers, traffic, and shares…and that will attract clients, who want you to replicate that success for them, in other industries.

  72. Genita Kovacevich-Costello

    Carol-I write a blog for my Realtor-husband that promotes the quality of life in the community where he works–“52 Reasons to Love Lake Oswego.” It’s been going for about three years now—he has actually gotten a few clients from it and we pick up subscribers slowly. The blog’s purpose is two-fold—to promote the quality of life in our town and to present him as someone who really knows the community and the real estate market. We interject a real estate related post maybe every tenth post—the rest have to do with what’s happening in the community—what’s great about living here. One of my struggles is defining what other bloggers to connect with—have listened to lots of webinars that talk about guest posting and building relationships with your blogging community in order to grow your own following. But I don’t know what that community would be—what blogs I’d guest post on. And is that even a purposeful strategy for this type of blog? Your input on that and then overall reaction to the blog would be appreciated. THANKS.

    • Carol Tice

      Genita, I think it’s not my input you need — it’s market research. See what other successful realtor-blogger sites are doing! And steal their ideas…

  73. Cora Vasseur

    Hi Carol! Thank you for the opportunity for feedback. I’ve really enjoyed your work and trust your judgement.
    I started my blog in 2010 and it’s had a couple of evolutions. I started it when I was at Second City and writing, directing, and producing sketch comedy. Many of the posts explained the process of putting together a show and behind the scenes tidbits. I’m now focusing on fiction and nonfiction that I perform at live lit. I wrote posts on how to overcome writing challenges after that to build an audience. Now I write about fitness. People have been enjoying the posts and I’ve received the most comments on these posts. I maintained the blog to feature my writing and my writing style to build an audience. I’m open to any feedback on how to improve the blog’s appearance and continue to build an audience. Thank you!

    • Carol Tice

      I think I’m going to need to know the goal of your blogging here. I see your name is the URL and blog name, and the tagline I don’t even understand what it’s about…seems to be maybe something about working out? So is it a fitness blog? I think you’ll likely need to be a lot less obtuse.

      Also, the theme does not say ‘fitness’ to me, it says ‘home/lifestyle blog.’

      Try this exercise:

      What is the goal?
      Who is the audience?
      How will it earn?

  74. Sherry B

    Hi Carol,

    Wow, this is so generous of you! I’ve been a fan of yours for quite a few years now and absolutely love what you do for us.

    Well, here goes…I started this website last year in July, but haven’t done a whole lot yet on it since I wasn’t sure which direction I should go with it. I started out with the idea to focus on my artwork and sell my existing art (as prints, greeting cards, etc. linking to another site that does this) and to get clients needing artwork done.

    But, the thing is in doing it in that direction, there’s not a whole lot of writing I can do. So, I started adding tips, a product review, and a few posts showing the progress of my artwork.

    What I’m wondering is which one to focus on more on the main page…the tips and products for artists (affiliate products) or my own artwork? Or, should I have these as separate sites/blogs?

    I haven’t really shared my site much yet since I know there’s still a lot of work to do on it…I don’t really have a freebie offer yet either, the banner to subscribe to my newsletter is there, but I didn’t exactly want that so I need to fix it.

    Plus, there’s still the contact me buttons that I need to link up with an actual page. I probably should add more of my artwork there too, but just wasn’t sure which direction I should focus on more.

    Any advice you can give that would sort out my mess I truly appreciate, Carol! Thank you so much for taking the time to do this!

    Best wishes!


    • Carol Tice

      Sherry, I think you’ll have to decide if your point is to sell your art…or it’s something else. Then, you’ll know what to post about and how to align all the elements of the blog.

  75. Clara Mathews

    My blog is about 5 years old. It is primarily a portfolio for my copywriting business. I am trying to re-focus my services on writing and social media for the hospitality and entertainment industries.

    I’m writing a landing page for each type of service that I will offer. Maybe even a blog post series and a couple of guest post. Also: changed the descriptions on all of my social media profiles.

    What else would you recommend to gain more leads and prospects for my business.

    • Carol Tice

      What role do you want your blog to play here, Clara? I’m unclear.

      But see my comments above about trying to write a blog that attracts your writing clients, and the other ways to go about blogging that may well work out better for you.

  76. Annemarie

    Wow, Carol that is amazing! You keep on surprising me. And don’t think that you don’t do that often. You do! Thank you so much for all the effort and help you put in on this blog and newsletter!
    My blog is nearly 2 years old and still quite small in its readership. Lately I have been rather demotiviated because of that and not posted as often and consitently as I like but I am trying to target it more for women who need a little encouragement to chase their dreams and travel the world by themselves and that on a budget but still in comfort and safety.

  77. Alanna

    Yikes! You’re insane for doing this, but it’s a such a great idea and I love you for it.

    Okay, so my blog has been live for 3 years, and I haven’t until recently started updating it regularly.

    My question is, I have several categories on my site that I write under. Do you think I should stick to just one or is my strategy of covering a few topics workable? I have a total of zero people really following or commenting on blog, and I honestly don’t know how to generate a real audience based on what I’m doing.

    In hindsight, I sound like an unorganized mess, but am thankful you are taking the time to offer some advice. Thanks Carol!

    • Carol Tice

      Well, most blogs are pretty disjointed, Alanna — that’s why they can’t be the basis for a business.

      I see some disconnects here — Colorful Creativity makes me think it’ll be about painting or something, and the first post is about anxiety, and the tagline doesn’t add new information to help me understand what the topic will be.

      The short answer to the many topics is — it’s a lot harder to build an audience. But if they all fit under an umbrella it can work. For instance, here at MALW, ways to make a living writing include blogging, self-publishing, and freelance writing for magazines AND businesses. To me, those all can work on one blog.

  78. Marsa Morse

    After years of stewing, I’ve finally launched my very first blog! YAY! My concern is whether or not I come across as a writer that will be taken seriously.

    I plan to keep each blog to 500-550 words.

    • Carol Tice

      I’ve got a post about that, Marsa — https://makealivingwriting.com/be-taken-seriously-freelance-writer/

      Why make a rule about how long your posts should be? My rule is, they should be as long as they need to be to concisely deliver the information of that topic.

      I see your topic is ‘finding my muse.’

      This is not a monetizable concept. It’s all about you. Is there something you could unpack for others and make it useful to readers? That’s the key.

  79. Ravi M

    I created 2 sites, but the one I mentioned is created months ago.

    I created this site to write about literature, education, and technology. Posted some posts at first, but now I took a long break. Could you suggest how can I write for all 3 categories in the site regularly?

    Thank you for the opportunity and loved the idea.

    Ravi M.

    • Carol Tice

      Not on the same blog, if you want to attract an audience!

      I meet many bloggers who simply can’t STOP themselves from jamming multiple topics onto the same blog. Sadly, I don’t know a one of them who earns a living from blogging. It doesn’t work.

  80. Betty

    Hi Carol,

    What an incredible undertaking you have made for yourself today!

    My blog is nearly 6 months old – the same age as my second child.

    It’s been an interesting run and I’m only just starting to get into a rhythm by giving myself a deadline for a linkup.

    I have a miniscule following and I don’t have a subscriber option. I’m still working out how it’s all coming together.

    I see lots of potential but fail at the follow through for a number of different reasons.

    Trying to present information in a way that easily consumed
    Ensuring I’m not offering ‘advice’ – really big no-no and a litigious minefield

    In any case, I want to keep writing as the more I write, the better I write.

    I’d love your thoughts/suggestions.

    Thank you so much!


    • Carol Tice

      Betty, I offer advice all the time. Here I am doing it all day long on these comments. Why are you worried about giving advice?

  81. June Whittle

    Hi Carol,

    I hope I’m not too late. Not sure about the time as I’m in the UK.

    I’ve been blogging since 2011 and have only just thought about monetizing my blog. I get roughly 500 visitors daily. One of the main reasons why I want to monetize it is because I pay for hosting each month and domain yearly. I think it’s time the blog pays for itself.

    Also, three articles on there have been read 340,000 between them and shared 1,905 times. So I guess people are interested in what they read. But I haven’t got a clue how to monetize it. I get lots of offers to write posts with links in them for payment. But I don’t feel comfortable doing that.

    I recently changed my niche to cater for abused women. I’m no sure if that’s clear to new visitors. To be honest, my blog has been generic for a long time. So, I’m not sure if I’m going in the right direction in terms of clarity. I hope that makes sense. My main question is how do I monetize it?

    I’m going to buy your eBook because I’m sure I will get a lot of value from it.

    Thank you Carol. You’re very kind to make this offer to us bloggers.


    • Carol Tice

      Hi June — you’re in plenty of time, it’s just that at the moment I am about 4 hours behind on giving feedback!

      We are RACING behind the scenes to get everything in place for launch day tomorrow, so this is the craziest work day ever at this blog. AND I had a 90 minute Den 2X mastermind to chair this morning. I am clearly nuts.

      But helping people earn more is…so fun. Better than butter, actually.

      On to your blog! If it’s 500 visitors a day, that’s 15,000 a month. That’s a chunk of traffic. That’s why you’re getting offers to do paid links (I get many, daily.)

      BUT…what are your subscriber numbers? (And…where’s your FREE PRODUCT for subscribers???)

      I think you can begin focusing this niche by writing a tagline for this blog. It seems like it’s got some real potential to me, and obviously you’re a strong writer.

      I don’t know that taking it the direction of “I’m just going to write for abused women” is the monetizable one…so think that through carefully.

      And I’d encourage you to think BIGGER than just making the blog cover its bills! You work HARD on this, and it should pay YOU, not just break even.

  82. Milveen

    Wow what a great opportunity! This is just the help I need. My blog is technically 6 months old but I’ve only started trying to promote it in the last month or so. My reason for this approach was to build my confidence writing and ensure there was lots of content available when readers started to visit (I’m hoping this encourages readers to stay on the site longer). I’m ready to monetize my blog but still trying to build a community which is key to this. I don’t have a specific concern but if anything stands out that would be great to know. Thanks so much, I appreciate you taking the time to provide some feedback.

    • Carol Tice

      Wow, this is pretty darn nice!

      If only I could subscribe to it…but I don’t see a way to. ;-(

      As I look through posts, they seem to ALL start X Quick Tips. My e-book goes into the need to vary your post types so readers don’t get bored.

      And…you’re not ready to monetize your blog. Call me back when you have 500 subscribers. 300 at least. Until then, there’s no point to that. Just focus on audience-building. You should be able to do some great guest posts in this niche!

      • Milveen

        Thanks for the feedback! Will definitely focus on those items.

        I’m using Leadin to manage my subscriptions but will update to have the popup form appear sooner as well as add an option to the sidebar.

  83. Dave

    Hi Carol,

    My blog turns one year old later this week, but posts were pretty rare for most of that time. I got serious in February and have been more disciplined in getting posts out and promoting my blog. My main goals for this year are to build up a good sized audience and improve my writing.

    I don’t have a specific question to ask, but any feedback on possible improvements would be so appreciated.


    • Carol Tice

      Hi Dave — I’m not quite sure what the blog is about. It says you have a passion for ‘presence.’ What does that mean, exactly?

      I think it needs a tagline up by the headline that helps us understand.

      I notice you’re talking about yourself in the third person there on the signup box — don’t do that! You want to talk 1 to 1 with readers and not distance yourself from them.

  84. Larry

    Thanks Carol – such a nice offer. I’d love to have your feedback on my parenting blog. It’s been around for a few years.
    Good luck with the new boo.

    • Carol Tice

      Larry — I think if you’re serious about that blog, it should be spun off to its own site.

      You seem like you tackle some good topics, but need stronger keyworded headlines, so readers can find you. It needs a tagline to tell us what YOUR parenting blog slant is, among the millions.

      • Larry

        The millions is right. It’s a tough market to stand out in.
        I’ve considered spinning it off in the past.
        Do you have any posts or can you recommend any on keyword headlines?

  85. Peter DeHaan

    Carol, this is such a generous offer!

    My blog is five years old. I’d like to get more subscribers and comments (engagement) and more signups for my newsletter.

    • Carol Tice

      Hi Peter — Can you put together a free e-book of reflections or something for subscribers? That would help build your list.

      For engagement on a topic like this — have you thought of setting up a Facebook group? Then you link them back to the blog, use FB to discuss what’s on the blog…I know some authors who are KILLING with that strategy.

      • Peter DeHaan

        Carol, thank your for looking at my blog and for your suggestions. I really appreciate it.

  86. Janice

    Wow, Carol! Thank you so much for offering this. I am going to sign up for one of your blog coaching packages, because I need all the help I can get.

    You’ve helped me with my copywriting/content marketing site so much, but now I want to turn attention to my travel blog, which has less than a dozen subscribers after roughly five months. I had another travel blog that had about 50, but no one is coming to this new one.

    Once again, thank you so much!

    • Carol Tice

      Janice, my question would be — what are you doing to PROMOTE your blog?

      Visitors do not arrive to a new blog by magic. It’s hard work, getting those first few hundred signups — then it starts to get easier.

      This seems like a fairly serviceable travel blog…but there are a million of them. Travel blogs need an ANGLE, an ATTITUDE — something that sets them apart, and makes their niche easy to understand. See if you could write a tagline that helps us see your writing personality a bit more.

  87. Sharilee Swaity

    Hi Carol! Wow, you have had a landslide of comments to this post! My blog is about seven years old, and has seen a lot of changes. It started out as a blog about my weight loss journey, and has transformed into its present name, “Life in the Woods.” The URL doesn’t match the title, and it is a hodge-podge of topics: simple living, organization, love of nature, and reflections/encouragments. I am very irregular in posting.

    My biggest struggle is defining this blog and knowing its purpose. And getting a loyal readership that comments and interacts with me.

    Thank you so much for taking the time to have a look! I so appreciate your time and expert eyes.

    • Carol Tice

      I think you’ve got it nailed. Blogs that are undefined don’t go anywhere.

      With this, you’ve got an ‘all in’ headline — in other words, I feel your message from this blog is all IN the headline, so I don’t need to read further.

      Probably time to think about whether blogging is your passion, and what you’re MOST passionate to blog about — then, narrow your focus, and let readers know what it is.

      • Sharilee Swaity

        Thanks for the feedback. That’s interesting about the headline. Do you mean that it needs to be changed — it gives too much away? And yes, it is undefined, because I keep changing my mind about what direction to go. But about my passion for blogging — I have been doing it for a long time, and constantly think about what to do with it. So, yes, I am very committed to it, but hate doing it without a clearly defined purpose. I have tried hard to define this purpose, but somehow it is not just not coming together clearly.

  88. Sibylla Nash

    Wow! Thank you Carol, that’s so generous of you with your time! My blog is a year old and my biggest problem is traffic.

    • Carol Tice

      Hi Sibylla — this blog has a nice focus…but a very cluttered sidebar.

      Unless you’re earning from those random Freshbooks ads and such, I’d take them down. It takes a long time to find how to subscribe with the pop-up, and I see you’re writing about yourself in the third person on your About page. Instead, write in first person and introduce yourself to your readers.

      Scanning topics, they don’t all seem to be about how to pay for college…I’d try to stay on track.

      • Sibylla Nash

        Thank you Carol! I’ll get on these changes!

  89. Amanda Cleary Eastep

    Thank you so much for this, Carol. You’ve helped me so much already. I launched my freelance writing business full time in October after three years of building it on the side. I have two blogs, but my freelance writing blog is the one that should be bringing me clients. However, I don’t have an opt-in or an incentive and therefore, no email list, which I realize is a huge issue. I have had the blog/site, which I built on WordPress, for almost 4 years.

    • Carol Tice

      Sounds like you’ve self-diagnosed your problems there, Amanda!

      Also, if you have ANOTHER blog, do you also need one on your writer site? I just know so few writers who can successfully keep up more than one blog…

      • Amanda Cleary Eastep

        I don’t update the one on my writer site too often, which may be a problem in itself. The other blog is more memoir/personal essays on family and faith called Living Between the Lines. I’ve thought of combining them into one site, but they don’t seem to fit, especially since many of my clients are universities and technical companies. Maybe I just need to attend to the opt-in and not worry about the blog. Thanks for your reply!

        • Carol Tice

          Well, if you’re not posting, no one will opt-in.

  90. Amanda Cleary Eastep

    Also, I just grabbed the book and can’t wait to read it!

    • Carol Tice

      That’s awesome! Folks, I am CAUGHT UP!

      I’ll be back tomorrow to see what blog URLs posted here between now and midnight Pacific (4.5 hours from now).

      This has been INSANE…and AMAZING…and a great chance to get to know my readers a lot better.

      I’ll just share that I’ve had a massive complex about doing this ebook because I felt: “Doesn’t everyone already know this stuff?”

      And what I learned today on this post was no, they don’t. Writers NEED the help! I’m glad I took the time to boil down my system for earning from a blog, so I can get it out there and help more writers earn. 😉

      More tomorrow!

  91. Laura Reagan

    Hi Carol, I’m thrilled by your offer and ready to re-work my blog. I’m one of your mentees and one of your freelance writers on your e-book, “Start Here: Forty Freelancers Share.” As always I’m so grateful and impressed by your generosity. I want to be like you when I grow up! I’m ready to tackle my blog now. Thanks in advance for the review. Looking forward to the e-book. All the best! Laura

  92. Nicole Cappelleri

    Wow thanks Carol! I’m Australian so I may of missed the cut off but I’ll post my Question regardless. I’m scared to launch a coaching service but would like to know how should I launch it on my blog (when I eventually do) and tips you have surrounding it.

  93. lisa

    hi carol – thanks for doing this. My blog is actually over 6 years old, and it has morphed a couple times during the years and I am now actively saving up for a redesign/rebrand where it will become more lifestyle & career girl focused and less music focused, so it might be hard for you to give me specific advice since I have a clear idea of how it will change (many things will be changing) but I’d still love to hear any advice/feedback you might have. I started it at 24 and now that I’m 30 i’m in a very different place and I will be rebranding it with a white design and a focus on the lifestyle things that interest me: f&b, health and wellness, music/film/tv/art, local events, giveaways, advice from and for creative entrepreneur ladies, and travel. It’s a wide spectrum which I know you advise against but it is a classic lifestyle blog in that it’s about my life, but I do want to find a way to make it more profitable and more interesting to readers longterm. I am working on a freebie giveaway for the rebrand, but having trouble coming up with an idea i think would appeal to all.

  94. Will Kersten

    Hi Carol,

    Thank you for being so generous with you time. I’m totally new at blogging, and my site is a couple of months old. I do work on a team of technical writers, so I’m used to the proofing process (i.e., being ripped to shreds!).

    I have a lot of questions, but an overall impression is what I’m really after. Am I on the right track?

    One specific concern I have is whether I should stick to a niche on my blog, or vary my articles to show a more rounded portfolio.

    Any feedback you can give will be greatly appreciated!

    Thank you, and best regards,
    Will Kersten

    • Carol Tice

      Unfortunately, a blog isn’t a good place to create your whole portfolio and post on many topics. Have a portfolio page for that!

      You don’t want to post on a single blog on many topics, because no paid blogging gig you’d get would be like that. Companies looking to hire are checking out your blog to see that you:

      1) Know how to stick to a niche
      2) Get engagement — comments and shares
      3) Write strong headlines with key words

      Those are the 3 elements that make them want to hire — because all business blogs are on, you guessed it: one topic. And they’re hoping you know how to get them some engagement.

      • Will Kersten

        Thanks a lot Carol! You did a pretty cool thing here.

        • Carol Tice

          Or a crazy thing — but I like to keep laying the surprises on my readers. 😉

          In the book, I talk about how providing MORE hands-on help is one of the big ways niche bloggers can stand out, so just trying to walk my talk here.

  95. Deanne Welsh

    Thank you for the generous offer Carol! I’m struggling to find my niche and brand. Any feedback is welcomed.

    • Carol Tice

      Hi Deanne —

      I can see that. I don’t really get your tagline, Embrace movement not perfectionism. Is it an exercise blog? A productivity blog? A writing blog?

      Few blogs that have the name of a person do well…unless you’re Seth Godin or Rand Fishkin, I’d give your blog a name of its own. 😉

  96. Patricia

    Hi Carol,

    I’ve been blogging since 2011, though I just changed my domain name two years ago. I blog every other Wednesday and my niche is lifestyle and wellness. I’d like to learn more about how to increase engagement in my blog.

    Thanks a lot! Appreciate the feedback.

    • Carol Tice

      Patricia, I think there’s a disconnect between the title “Ideacrib” and “Live healthy, celebrate life.”

      Ideacrib, I think is going to be a business idea blog or something, maybe for entrepreneurs.

      Also, this theme isn’t doing you any favors. I’m looking at just a giant swath of image and no posts or copy, above the fold. And then another image…rotating header. Very distracting, and you never quite get to seeing the blog. We really need to be able to find that top blog post fairly fast. It took a while to even see any posts…so fixing all that would probably improve the number of signups and comments you get.

      I scrolled down all the way, and never saw any way to subscribe to this blog.

      One way you get engagement is by having an email list you RSS out your posts.

      When you really want to get serious about engagement, you do what I did the day before THIS post came out — I emailed out a tease and just told people something crazy was going to happen the next day, be sure to check out the blog for it.

      If you have dreams of monetizing in the future, building an email list is critical, so I’d get started on that!

      • Patricia

        Hi Carol,

        It’s a long story why I decided to keep my blog name, but thanks very much for making me realize that my current theme isn’t doing me any favors! I’m gonna change it right now.

        It’s worrisome that you never saw any way to subscribe to my blog. I have an email list and you should’ve seen a pop-up window at some point. Will fix that too.

        I’ll definitely email a tease next time I have something exciting coming up in my blog. I’ve actually never thought of that before. Thanks for that tip!

        Bought your book last night. Can’t wait to read it next week. 🙂

        Thank you,


        • Carol Tice

          Yes, we often have a long story about our attachment to a particular name or brand — but if it’s not working, we should change it.

          My pop-up was not a-poppin’…just another reason to not like pop-ups. Tools like that need to work on every browser and device, and as updates happen, sometimes they break.

  97. Carmen Myrtis-Garcia

    Hi Carol,

    Thank you for your offer to take a look at our blogs. I’ve been blogging since 2010, but I began this new blog several weeks ago about my journey through the land of grief following my husband’s death.

    My intent is to use this blog to gain readers and promote my upcoming book about my husband’s and my journey through his pancreatic cancer and the end of our biggest dream that we had only recently began living.

    My question is how to most effectively draw an audience to my blog, to inspire others, but also to develop a following of potential readers for the book.

    Thank you very much.


  98. Emily

    I’m not looking for a blog review, but just wanted to say how helpful it’s been to read through your comments and take a look at other people’s blogs. Thank you! I’ve gotten some great inspiration for tweaking my own website.

    • Carol Tice

      No kidding! The free review day is over…but you could click the links above and look at the feedback, it’s practically like a free course!



    Thank you for this post and others. They are very helpful. I have a blog. It is called flyboy445. I would like to know how I can monetize it. Please browse through my posts and give me feedback. Thanks and Regards, Ani

  100. Susan


    I kind of found this by fluke, but super happy I did 🙂

    I literally just started blogging a couple weeks ago, but any advice on something I’m doing wrong or can improve on would be totally awesome!!! I would (eventually) love to do more writing on other people’s blogs, just don’t really know how to go about it yet 🙂

    Still finding my voice I guess:P



  101. Carol Tice

    Hi folks — just a quick note to everyone posting this morning that the free review day is over!

    BUT…I think if you read through the comments here, you’ll probably get a lot of tips you can apply to your own blog.

    If you’d like me to take a look at your blog, the good news is I’ve got a launch-week sale going on for video blog reviews, right here: https://smallblogbigincome.com/blogreviews Prices on that go up in a few days!

  102. Steffany Cartellone

    Hi Carol! A HUGE thank you for this opportunity, thank you, thank you, thank you. My question is this – I just applied for adsense with google, I use Facebook to promote the blog, I know I need to write more posts (working on generating a list of topics and then posting at least twice a week) – what more do I need to do to generate an audience? I think I know the answer but want an experts advice 🙂
    Thanks again and thank you for your blog – truly, truly helpful!!!

    • Carol Tice

      Adsense isn’t going to help you, Steffany — read the ebook to learn about how to earn from a low-traffic blog.

      There’s lots to do to build an audience — it’s 2 whole chapters of the book on attracting and then getting them to subscribe.

  103. Joan

    A special announcement to freelance writers, bloggers, and everyone else who finds their way to Make A Living Writing.

    I purchased Small Blog, Big Income by Carol Tice, and have read 2 chapters.

    Do yourself a favor and get this book and read it before you do anything. Don’t worry, Carol didn’t ask me to write this, that’s not her style.

    Personally I’m fed up with all the guru marketplace, over-the-top “experts” telling you, it’s easy, you can do it too, and in no time you’ll be up and running.

    From Small Blog, Big Income, after reading 2 Chapters, I’m getting the picture of how it works in what I call a real-time paradigm. Proven ideas through real-time action to get to that level. No promises or empty phrases, real facts based on experience.

    “Your authority is your experience,” said the famous Statesman, Sir Francis Bacon.

    I get the picture of where I am in the 7 Step process. Experience is a wise teacher.

    Carol, with your permission when I have my resource page properly set up I would like to put the e-book on my website.

    Now back to reading Small Blog, Big Income…

    • Jennifer

      Having purchased Carol’s book last night, I completely agree with Joan. I’m only on page 14, but filling in the workbook and checking all the links takes some time.

      It’s extremely helpful and affordable!!!

      • Carol Tice


        I think it would be mean to put out a book like this without a workbook — because it’s really an action plan for transforming your blog. You need somewhere to brainstorm and take notes!

    • Carol Tice

      Hi Joan — Wow, I am so excited to hear this book helps you ‘get it’.

      And yeah, if one more $1 million blogger tells me I need a $10,000 product, or that I should do a ‘big launch’ with dozens of Webinars and 27 emails, I’m going to throw up. That doesn’t work for us ordinary mortals!

      Affiliates of mine CAN sell my ebooks — https://freelancewritersden.com/affiliates

  104. Jim Thomson

    I completely agree with the others who have posted on how wonderful your new book, Small Blog, Big Income, is for any blogger. The information is golden, but the workbook is the golden key! Thanks, Carol!

    • Carol Tice

      Glad it’s helping you, Jim! The reactions to this ebook have been really exciting. I’m hoping it’ll help a lot of low-traffic bloggers start earning.

  105. Karl

    Carol, I thank you and your readers so much for all the wonderful advice and insight. I’m not procrastinating, though I haven’t as yet started my blog I’m heading slowly in search of a goal and target audience. Terminology is so odd for me, but I think I will not “launch” for a couple of months, perhaps less. I will most definitely come back to your blog! Thanks again. Karl

  106. TravelerBoy69

    Thanks Carol, you really helping me.
    My question is, what my site is user-friendly with you?


    • Carol Tice

      Not sure I understand you — think we’re having a language issue. I’m not currently doing free blog reviews, this was a 1-day offer quite a while back.

      BUT…if you’re a subscriber, stay tuned as I AM going to have a free blog-review Webinar coming up!

      One quick tip — your URL is ungrammatical. I think that’s a real handicap to earning well with an English language blog.

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