At this point in our Start a Money Making Blog series, you should have your blog up and running, looking great and have at least 10 high quality articles published. A common mistake many bloggers make is to think that their blog will just suddenly get picked up by Google and a rush of traffic will arrive. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Unless your blog is linked from another credible blog or website, Google won't find you right away, if at all. In lieu of getting a link from a credible site, one way to get your site on Google's radar is to register your blog with Google.
Register your blog with Google
To register your blog with Google, we'll use a site Google provides for webmasters (yes that's you) called Google Webmaster Tools. Just login using your Google account (if you don't have one, create one) and you'll be presented with the main home page. Follow these steps to add your site:
- Click the Add a Site... button
- Enter the URL of your site and press Continue. One note here, it's very important that you use the right URL. If your site is set-up to be preceeded by www, than enter the www, otherwise leave it off. If you aren't sure how your site is set-up, login to your hosting account and see how you set it up. Most sites have the www.
- Now we'll have to verify your site. I recommend using Google's recommended method which involves downloading an HTML file and uploading it to your server. Just follow the instructions Google provides. If you need a refresher on how to upload a file to your server, read over my What is FTP article.
- Once your HTML file is uploaded, click the verify button.
- That's it, your site is now registered with Google.
Submit a Sitemap
Next you'll want to submit a sitemap so that Google can easily find and index all that great content you've been writing. A sitemap is a special file that is placed on your website that contains a listing of all the URLs to each of your websites pages. So instead of Google having to find your content, the sitemap actually maps out all of your content for Google so that it can easily find it. If you're curious, you can view the sitemap for Side Income Blogging here.
The easiest way to do this is to install the Google XML Sitemaps plugin. Once installed and activated, head over to the settings page (Settings>>XML-Sitemap). At the top will be text that says "The sitemap wasn't built yet. Click here to build it the first time." Click the "Click here" link to generate your sitemap for the first time. From that point on, the plugin will automatically update your sitemap and notify Google of your new content.
Now that we have a sitemap, we need to return to Google Webmaster tools and tell it about your new sitemap. To do this, do the following:
- Login to Google Webmaster Tools
- From the home page, select your site. You'll be presented with the Dashboard for your site.
- Open the Site configuration menu to left by clicking on the + sign. Select Sitemaps.
- Click on Submit a Sitemap. When prompted for the location, your domain name will already be populated. All you have to type is: sitmap.xml.
- Click on Submit Sitemap.
A little help
While registering your site and sitemap with Google Webmaster tools certainly doesn't guarantee it will help your site, in my personal experience it has proven to get my sites indexed much quicker and results in seeing search engine traffic much sooner. As we'll explore soon, getting search engine traffic is critical for earning money from advertisements. Getting search engine traffic is the key strategy we'll explore to earn a side income blogging. So stay tuned.
Those of you with experience has registering your site with Webmaster tools and submitting a sitemap helped your site? Any cons that you can think of? Join in, add a comment!