That's right folks, I've decided to take a look at the lighter side of the beautiful game, the beautiful fans and players who enjoy it!

So with that, Gruffgoat Media has created a new blog:

Soccer Babes and Hotties

This is bascially an aggregation of some of the finer fans and players out there...nothing too over the type mind you - it's not an adult website or anything - but some of the pics could be Not Safe for Work.

I'm hoping that this site will serve as yet another source of entertainment for those tuning in to some football news.

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One hundred unique visitors in one day!

OK, when you say it like that, it doesn't seem like a lot - but I've been writing my ass off for the last three weeks, trying to get some good content in front of soccer readers in the States.

Some things have worked, and some haven't. But yesterday I finally topped 100 unique visitors in a single day - that's not page views, but unique IP's according to my google analytics report.

I'm a bit worried that I won't be able to keep up this pace of writing however, so I've asked a couple of guys whose style I like to contribute when they get a chance. Between the four of us, I'm hoping that we'll still produce content that's timely and interesting to our readers.

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Well fellow bloggers - Gruffgoat's Football Blog seems to be leveling out with steady readers at about 50 per day based on my content alone. I think this is respectable considering it's so new but I'm also impatient!

I've asked a couple of fellow bloggers that I like to link back to me and my soccerlinks ranking has increased from over 200 to 151 - which is pretty cool.

I'm also going to try my hand as a guest blogger on to see how that works out.

Lastly, I submitted a couple of my more cogent posts to - one got approved but I realized that I submitted under the "football" category which meant it was next to a bunch of NFL drills and such - so I found the "soccer" category and had to resubmit. I'll let you know when those articles get published.

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My Gruffgoat's Football Blog hits are steadily increasing (so is the How to Write for Dollars Blog incidentally) and I believe I can contribute the steady rise to a couple of factors I'll call "Guerrilla Marketing."

1. I have Gruffgoat's Football Blog listed on several soccer specific feed aggregators and blog lists such as,, and These guys pick up every new post I write and as a result I seem to be growing a few loyal readers via their referrals!

2. I have created my own page of Gruffgoat's Friends where I can link to my favorite soccer blogs or sites in exchange for these folks linking back to me. I also created a cool "link back" button that people can put on their site. I want to be somewhat discerning here though and not just link to anybody under the sun - so I've asked for site owners to send me a request first. I've even linked to sites without reciprocation if I've found that they have good unique content, are useful, or that have showcased my writing.

3. In addition to posting current content of my own, I've been hitting a few regular sites and adding my own comments. I'm not talking about innocuous "nice site" or "good article" comments either, I want to leave something thoughtful behind. I think this is also adding credibility to Gruffgoat's Football Blog.

My next step is to actually start some targeted marketing. I have over 70 posts on Gruffgoat and now it's time to start pointing friends, family, colleagues with an interest in soccer, etc. to the site. This is only risky if you're filling your posts with crap, after all you're going to actually see these people! But if your stuff is good - there is a good chance they'll not only start reading, but they will share with others outside of your network.

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Well folks, the op-ed piece I wrote about the MLS potentially coming to Atlanta seemed to resonate and I hope to have picked up a few loyal readers. But that piece reminded me of Step 1! In the growing universe of soccer blogs out there, content is indeed king. But what is content?

I'm trying to figure that out myself. The way I see it, much like a newspaper, there are a couple of different types of content.

1. News (recounting events that have happened either to you or someone else)
2. Opinion (picking a subject and talking about it)

In order to gain readers, you have to add value to either of those categories. How? In writing, there are only a couple of ways to add value to the reader: Unique subject matter or good writing style. That's really it.

Gruffgoat's Football Blog is a sports blog, focusing on one sport. Sure there are nuances in that the sport is soccer and there is always drama when you talk about soccer in America, but are people in London tuning in to my blog to re-read the same news they can read from the BBC or Guardian? I doubt it. So how does one differentiate the news to make it more valuable or interesting? First, let's look at the types of news:

News on Me! - probably the most common blog type is the news update This is the personal journal blog. For the first time in history, this medium call the "blog" has opened News on Me up to the entire world. What you're reading now has an element of that.

News on Niche Stuff - unreported on mainstream news channels (i.e., US Open Cup news, a lot of the Atlanta area soccer news, etc.)

The rest of the News - reported on mainstream news channels, but I try to add some editorial content that adds to the reading experience

As far as news reporting goes, I don't have the resources to travel the world and provide proper journalistic first hand updates, so I pull selective stories from sources and retell them in my own words.

The other type of writing is the Opinion stuff. For Gruffgoat's Football Blog, this is an important area of writing. Floating opinions on subjects as wide ranging as the Offside rule, MLS expansion, or the Future of Spectator Soccer in America, is one of my whole purposes for starting the blog.

Who knows who is reading this material. But, if Don Garber gets word that there are people in Atlanta who think the only way Atlanta sports fans will get on board with MLS is if there are two teams, then he may just dismiss that as poppycock, or he may, somewhere in the back of his mind, start thinking about the challenges of geographic dispersion on a sport that requires roots in fan intimacy, and consider what it means to have a cross town rivalry.

At any rate, until I can bring a cadre of crack reporters on board, the near term future of Gruffgoat's Football Blog is less focus on mainstream news, and more and more focus on the unique news stuff and the opinion stuff. Happy Reading!

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I started to get antsy about the title of my post and changed it from the somewhat generic "Can Atlanta Support an MLS Franchise" to "MLS in Atlanta? Why Not Make it a Double?"

We'll see if that resonates better.

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I just published a piece on the potential expansion of the MLS in to the Atlanta market called, "Can Atlanta Support an MLS Franchise?" which I think is both topical and interesting and could drive some traffic to Gruffgoat's Football Blog.

For these first fourteen days, I've been submitting my own pieces to digg and other social networking sites, but I want to let this one sit on my site for a day or two to see if anyone thinks it "diggworthy".

Also, views seem to be pretty steady at around 35 per day; which is still quite low, but I'm ok with that for now. I've had a total of 329 unique visitors so far with 1,340 pageviews.

Interestingly enough, my most popular article so far has been about the collision between Turkey's Ayhan Akman and Germany's Simon Rolfes. Both players needed medical treatment on the sideline - Akman actually got his head stapled shut before returning to the pitch - I guess that kind of grit and determination has broad appeal!

I'm going to keep Gruffgoat's Football Blog as a blend of news interest stories, local Atlanta interest stories, and commentary...with that backdrop, I have 63 posts and counting - I'm thinking about enlisting some help; particularly for the local Atlanta interest stories...I just don't have the arms and legs to do all of it, but still want Gruffgoat's Football Blog to be a key soccer resource with broad reach.

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Folks, this is how Gruffgoat's Football Blog looks today, 5 July, 2008:


My template originally looked very much like this one:


I've circled in red the Ads I removed from Gruffgoat's Football Blog. The Ad Bar on the top right header, the Adsense bar above the first post, and the 2x3 line of 125x125 ads on the right quadrant.

Why? After looking at my soccer site and looking at some of the highest rated by links and readership, I was thinking my site looked very busy. It looked like it was more about advertising and less about content. So about ten days in, I moved almost all of my ads to a single "Sponsors Page" that looks like this:


I'm going to track hits to this page through Google Analytics and report on how well this is working.


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Step 10.

Here we are at Step 10, the final step...and the step is - share the love! What does that even mean?

Well, it's more of a request actually. If you've liked what you read here, if you've learned something new, or if you've just found something useful, please place a link to any or all of these steps on your own site or blog! Remember, the URL here is:

Also, please share your results, make comments to these posts, send me emails with suggestions, tell me what has worked (or hasn't worked) for you!

This concludes my 10 steps - pretty neat that it ended up being 10 - for getting Gruffgoat's Football Blog up and running.

After this post, I'm going to transition my entries in How to Write for Dollars to more of a journal. I'll tell you what I've tinkered with, what seems to be working, how much (if any) money I'm actually making, and so on! Thanks again and stay in touch.

Welcome, Step 1, Step 2, Step 3, Step 4, Step 5, Step 6, Step 7, Step 8, Step 9, Step 10

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Step 9.

Wow, you've almost caught up with Gruffgoat! You have a nice clean blog, you have Adsense ads, you have an store, you have ads running through your affiliate partnerships, and most importantly, you have content!

What you're missing now, is readers.

First, you have to know how many readers you've got. Go back to your Google account and make sure you sign up for the "Analytics" tool. Within a few clicks, Google will serve up a snippet of HTML code that you will need to embed in your blog. Do not be daunted by this if you're not a techie, it's really just a cut and paste exercise - but before you do anything with your HTML, make sure you BACK UP YOUR TEMPLATE to your hard drive in case something goes terribly wrong.

Once that is installed, you'll be able to get some business understanding of your Blog's traffic or, as Step 9 suggest, lack thereof.

One of things I've done to drive up traffic on Gruffgoat is to give my readers an easy option to share my posts. If you take a look at the bottom of each post, you'll see a list of buttons. These buttons give readers an easy path to share my posts on digg, technorati, and so on.

There are several methods to do this, I prefer adding the little graphic buttons you see below each of my posts.

Here comes the science!

First - go to your blog's Layout Tab and select Edit HTML:


Make sure you check the Expand Widget Templates box:


Now you're going to look for a line of HTML code in your template that looks a lot like this:

Hit return a few times just under the closed div tag to give yourself some space:


Now the fun part. Copy and paste the following code right in there. Feel free to use my code, but note that my graphics are linked to my photobucket account - so if one day I decide to chuck it all to work on a dude ranch in Montana, then you might be in trouble.

Of course by now you know to Preview before you Save! But this should add all of the social networking buttons I like, to your blog ;-)

When have a great post that you think the world is interested in, use these links yourself to send it out to your growing audience!

Welcome, Step 1, Step 2, Step 3, Step 4, Step 5, Step 6, Step 7, Step 8, Step 9, Step 10

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Step 8.

We are almost done with the "Money Making" part of Gruffgoat's journey to date. There are future money making avenues I hope to explore, such as writing reviews for money, but most of my research thus far suggests that my blog will need to be up and running for at least three months before product managers will even give me a glance. I will let you know as soon as I get some intel on that revenue stream.

And speaking of streams, I wanted to talk to you about one of the mightiest of streams,! In Step 7 I talked about placing ads as an affiliate partner with vendors, now I want you add one more item to your growing "to do" list, and that is sign up as an affiliate.

I separated this Step from the previous because of one reason - the Amazon store. As an affiliate, you'll have access to link buttons much like you found with Affiliate Future, but you'll also be able to create your own Storefront to sell products related to your content! Pretty cool huh?

I have two stores with now: Soccer Super Store
"How to Write for Dollars" Store

and both are linked off my blog front pages. With your Amazon store, you can add only the products you want to sell, or you can add products by category. Either way, you should certainly consider giving your readers the option to browse your own Amazon store. Again, it's a commission model which means you don't have to do anything but send people that way.

Which leads us to Step 9 - How to Get People to Read Your Blog!

Welcome, Step 1, Step 2, Step 3, Step 4, Step 5, Step 6, Step 7, Step 8, Step 9, Step 10

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Step 7.

Right, you may have noticed on this blog and on Gruffgoat's Football Blog, that I have more than just Adsense ads up and running.

So you want to know how I got hooked up with global brands like Adidas, World Soccer, EuroSport, Four Four Two Magazine, TicketMaster, and so on? Be ready to use some elbow grease folks, because this gets to be a bit like work.

First of all, the decision for these guys to let you list their ads is not automatic, so you really do have to have good content. But to get these ads set up, you may need to put down your pen for a while and roll up your sleeves.

It took me about three weeks to get all of the ad partners that I wanted set up and listed on my blog. With the benefit of this post, hopefully it won't take you quite that long.

I decided to try running ads as an affiliate. Basically that means that I earn a commission off of anything a shopper buys, IF they click through to the shopping website from an ad on my site and IF they end up buying something! Those are two very big IFs!

There are some firms, such as Ticketmaster, who run their own affiliate program, but most farm it out to an affiliate clearinghouse to manage the sign-ups, the tracking, the links, and so on.

The two affiliate partners I use are:

Affiliate Future
Commission Junction

You will have to spend some time in this process, but this is a big step to getting your site looking the way you want it, placing their ads, and then getting back to the fun part - Writing for Dollars!

Welcome, Step 1, Step 2, Step 3, Step 4, Step 5, Step 6, Step 7, Step 8, Step 9, Step 10

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Step 6.

So here we are, six steps in, and you're finally starting to talk turkey? If I were to break down the "How to Write for Dollars" blog in to "How to Advertise my Blog", then this would be Step 1! I'm not sure if that's a consolation prize for you or not, but nonetheless, you have to march from Step 1 to Step 5 before you can offer any one anything even remotely compelling.

The first ad program that I tried with, was definitely the road most was also the road most accessible! And when you're just starting out, seeing the road in front is a big big plus!

If you are using blogger per my suggestion in Step 2, then you will see that it is already tightly integrated through the Layout tool with Google Adsense!

But not so fast, make sure that you have signed up for a Google Adsense account at:

You will get a unique id that will be associated with your Google account and this id will provide the tracking that Google needs to ensure they are counting the clicks write and paying you accordingly!

An important rule you should know about - you sneaky little rascal - is that you can't click on your own ads to generate revenue (not that you would of course ;-)

Get those adsense ads set up and working!

Welcome, Step 1, Step 2, Step 3, Step 4, Step 5, Step 6, Step 7, Step 8, Step 9, Step 10

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Step 5.

Congratulations! With several posts on your blog, you're starting to get in to a rhythm. You are building some read-worthy content!

I was a bit fortunate in that I had been writing about soccer and participating in discussion forums for a couple of years before I started my money making blog, In fact, my pseudonym, gruffgoat, is an old handle from one of my favorite news aggregators,

What this meant for the creation of my football blog was that I was able to ramp up a lot of material in a short amount of time. So with that confidence, I set out discovering the secret of search engines.

Search engines are inescapable creatures - if the internet is your body, then search engines are a your neurons, processing requests for information from your brain to your toenails, and at lightening speed.

They are ubiquitous and they are at the core of the internet's biggest players, Google and Yahoo, while other tech giants, such as Microsoft have done their best to grab a piece of this vital pie.

When you want information on the internet, if you are like most people in the world, your first stop is Google. And most likely, you're reading this post to learn how to get your new blog to show up in any search for the knowledge you're sharing!

Sound scary? Well, it's not...not by a long shot. Submitting your sites maybe is the easiest step we'll encounter in the journey to making money.

Simply have your URL ready and some key words and follow these links:
Google URL Submit
Yahoo Search Submit

Sure there are more out there, but I'm just telling you what's worked for I learned you have to be patient, the technologies are not immediate...and you must understand that listing is a long way from showing up at the top of the heap. I'm not there yet with Gruffgoat's Football Blog, but I've shared what I'm doing to drive up my readership numbers in Step 9, "How to Get People to Read Your Blog."

Welcome, Step 1, Step 2, Step 3, Step 4, Step 5, Step 6, Step 7, Step 8, Step 9, Step 10

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Step 4.

Stop what you’re doing and write. That’s right. Write.

I promise this is not a cop out step to frustrate you. This step is meant to remind you why you’re here in the first place. I’ve been there and I know you’re getting excited. You want to get your whiz bang blog up and running, you want to share your knowledge, and you want to start making some extra money.

No doubt you’ve followed Step 3 and picked a new template and boy it looks good. But guess what – you can’t have white space in your blog posts. But it’s more than just filling white space; you need to make sure your material is good. And by good I mean timely, well written, and interesting!

So don’t worry about anything else now except writing. Shoot for five to seven solid posts before you even bother with Step 5, listing on search engines.

Now put pen to paper and spread some knowledge!

Welcome, Step 1, Step 2, Step 3, Step 4, Step 5, Step 6, Step 7, Step 8, Step 9, Step 10

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Step 3:

So you've noticed huh? The blog template I picked from blogger looked like all the rest! My marketing brain said that I ought to figure out some way to differentiate myself.

Remember, I haven't spent a single cent of my money so far and I'd like to keep it that way for as long as possible. So I went to my old friend the Google search bar and typed in a very simple search query:

Free Blogger Templates

Try it now using the search bar below:

BAM! I was flooded with sites offering free - DIFFERENT - templates. Like I said, I didn't want to pay for my own unique template, so I spent a copule of days cruising through the various sites until I found one that I thought looked clean and professional, had add space, and had features that I could adjust in my blogger dashboard.

What you see before you is a variation on the theme I picked for Gruffgoat's Football Blog.

So Step 3, before you start cranking away trying to format your blogger blog template, decide if it's the one you want to keep. If not, spend some time searching for a FREE template you can use.

Welcome, Step 1, Step 2, Step 3, Step 4, Step 5, Step 6, Step 7, Step 8, Step 9, Step 10

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Step 2:

As I began to ponder the possibility of writing about the sport I love, I asked myself that very question, "now where do I begin?"

No doubt you have reviewed my post on content, and have your idea ready to go.

The first step is to chose your medium. I knew about Google's "blogger" program and knew that to get started, it would cost me exactly ZERO dollars! That's right, to get a blog started on Google blogger, you pay nothing. Zip, zilch, nada.

If for future branding purposes you want to move your content to a new domain, you certainly can, but again, I was thinking speed to market. Period. How fast can I get my content out there.

Within the first week of starting Gruffgoat's Football Blog, I was finding myself at the top of Google searches for World Soccer stories and was averaging 100 impressions a day.

I'm fairly technologically savvy, but an XML programmer I am not. This program is a great way to start getting your content pages out of your head, and in to cyberspace.

Links You Need:

Welcome, Step 1, Step 2, Step 3, Step 4, Step 5, Step 6, Step 7, Step 8, Step 9, Step 10

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Step 1:

So if these posts are to be considered a road map for success, then the first, most vital step, is to figure out what it is that you can write authoritatively about. Then figure out if you can write about it a lot. I mean...a whole lot. Is there enough there to sustain an audience with a billion choices at their collective fingertips?

This will be your CONTENT. Content is bold for a reason. On the internet, a blog, website, newsroom, discussion forum, whatever, is nothing without useful content.

Content keeps people coming back for more and more, convinces people to try the products you're selling, encourages them to talk about your site with their like minded friends, and so on.

My love, my content is football (or soccer if you're reading this from the United States). So my goal, is to make money writing about soccer.

That being said, I also love making money. So why not share my journey to share my passion of football, with those who share my passion of making money! Ergo, the blog you have before you!

Chances are you know what you want to write about, so go ahead and move on to Step 2.

Welcome, Step 1, Step 2, Step 3, Step 4, Step 5, Step 6, Step 7, Step 8, Step 9, Step 10

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Welcome Message.

What is a blog if not a tool to chronicle events or share information in near real time? This is my thought as I begin this inaugural entry; I realize that this project is going to be an experiment of sorts.

I'm talking about a parallel accounting of my attempt to make money - not a lot of money - just some extra money, by writing about things that I love.

I love soccer (or football as the world knows it) and what is better than making money at something you love?!

So I've organized How to Write for Dollars in two main parts:

The first part is a History, which serves as the "How To." I've organized what I did to start up Gruffgoat's Football Blog, as a series of Steps that you can emulate to get your own money making blog up and running.

The second is classic blog. It is me, tracking what worked, trying new things, making suggestions, implementing changes, messing up, venting, maybe making money, and so on. These are real time, journal-like posts based on what's happening with Gruffgoat.

Welcome to my journey, and welcome to How to Write for Dollars.

Welcome, Step 1, Step 2, Step 3, Step 4, Step 5, Step 6, Step 7, Step 8, Step 9, Step 10

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