Home › Category Archives › Blog Traffic

Making These Blogging Mistakes?

Are Blogging Mistakes Costing You?

Are YOU making the following mistakes that could be costing you in your blogging business?

Mistake #1: “Blogging For Dollars”

Some of the most profitable blogs are the ones that focus on growing a community in a niche market for people to come together, read your ideas, and share their own. I don’t know anyone who goes to a blog with the intent to buy “anything”.

So why then do the most profitable blogs rarely have anything to do with the blogger him or herself making money?

Because they focus on solving their READERS and subscribers problems.

Do this, and the people will be much more inclined to buy something from you. Actually, just about anything, in order to reward you for the value you consistently put out on your blog.

Mistake #2: “The Infamous Get-Rich-Quick Scheme”

Anyone can start a blog. Nothing special about that. So why do people think starting a blog is a license to print money?

It’s not. Continue reading »

Blog Traffic

Blog TrafficI have a quick question for you:

“If your utility bill was due and you knew that you had to earn just another few dollars to take care of it, which one of the following choices you would pick to give you the better odds at making money with blogging?”

A. Entertain your audience and pray they donate pocket change or click on an ad sense ad to support your cause. Or…

B. Solve a SPECIFIC problem your target audience will be happy to pay you to fix from your blog.

If you’re like most people, of course the logical answer is “option B”, but the hidden and unspoken answer is “option A”. Here’s why:

When most people think of blogging, they assume if they write what they’re passionate about, money will magically show up from nowhere to pay expenses and buy fancy vacations. Yet, the truth is…

If YOU don’t offer your customers something to help them gain pleasure or escape pain, you’re not going to make a dime. And, it all goes back to basic fundamental truths about marketing — even with something as personal as a blog.

Don’t be mistaken…

I’m not saying you “shouldn’t” blog about what you want.  Just understand that, unless you’re in a target market where people are known to spend money — you won’t make very much if your goal is to crack jokes and entertain your audience.

Listen, people read blogs for relief from boredom, but selling entertainment alone is a little tricky because the expectation on the web for people who look for entertainment is “free, free, free”. Just look at what record companies and movie studios are dealing with right now in piracy.

A key success trait in many successful bloggers is having a solid understanding of who your market is, how they’ll find you, and what problems you solve for them.

So that basic fundamental aside, increasing traffic to your blog website is a top priority.

While it might seem like an intimidating task, there are actually some easy ways to increase your website’s traffic on a consistent basis.

Advertising

Assuming that you are solving a problem and have something folks would purchase, buying blog traffic is surely one way to increase the number of visitors to your blog.  You can do this through pay per click ad campaigns on Google, Facebook, or other types of advertising on various ad and publisher networks.

While this is a straightforward and undemanding path to more traffic, it does have a number of downsides.

First, the only way to maintain the increased blog traffic is to maintain your spend.  You must continue spending money and many internet-based businesses simply don’t have the available cash.

In addition, some advertisers have found that the quality of the traffic that they buy is not always as good as they might hope. You will need to manage and test your campaigns and advertising budget.

Getting a thousand new visitors to your website isn’t worth very much if none of them buy anything or sign up for your mailing list.

Fortunately, you can increase your traffic – long term traffic – without having to spend any money.

Consistent Content

The first way to improve your traffic is simply to continue updating your blog or website with quality content on a regular and ordered basis.

If you are not publishing a new blog post at least once a week (this is at a minimum), then you aren’t going to attract the same degree of attention from Google and the other search engines.

In addition, unless you are publishing new information frequently enough it makes it less likely that your visitors will come back to your website again.  It is worthwhile to note that the recent Google Penguin algorithm announced in late April does have a focus on new- not duplicate content.

Actively Comment

One more way to improve traffic to your website is to become active on other websites and blogs that are associated with your particular line of business.  The clear-cut way is to comment on the blog posts and articles that appear on those other websites.

Do this properly.  It is critical that you post substantive comments that relate directly to the article.   Do not simply say something like – “Super article! Please visit my blog here: [LINK]”.  This will only make you look cheesy and diminish your potential.  When visitors to those other websites see objective and pertinent comments, the will eventually recognize you as knowledgeable on the subject will be more likely visit your site. Here is a good and free resource Leveraging Other Peoples Blog Traffic.

It is important to use some discretion and thought when you are identifying the other blogs that you might want to become an active participant.   Focus on those sites that allow you to comment using a Facebook, Disqus, Google+ or similar accounts. Use the social media services to broadcast your opinions….it is a bit like free advertising within a targeted market.

The other advantage is that if someone is interested in learning more about you, they can simply click your picture or name and view your online Facebook, Google+, or LinkedIn profile.  Whatever account you’re using or service that you are registered with, they can easily see the website or business you are connected with.

Properly developing yourself, your blog/business, and your professional identity on the internet is an investment and does take some time.  However, it is likely to be one of the easiest, and without a doubt one of the most successful, long-term ways to increase traffic to your business.

You must always be thinking ahead.  The combination of quality, consistent, new content, with a modest effort in advertising is an excellent starting point.  Take into account that your market or your business will likely change and expand over time so building traffic exclusively to a single site, connected to a single offering, supported by particular focused advertising might not be as valuable as getting people to follow you for your expertise and integrity.

Once you create that type of following, whether you move on to the next generation of your product, expand your market, or develop your next business – you’ll already have an ‘en suite’ audience and large amount of traffic.

Precisely.

Jerry Duling is a Marketing and Business Consultant, Professional Speaker, and Social Media advisor. Jerry shows businesses how to use Social Media to build their brand, generate leads and close sales. Jerry also provides individual resources for the Internet Entrepreneur. Connect with

 

[pinterest]

Improve Traffic…Build Links

There is one hard and fast rule in generating income for your website: A steady flow of website traffic. If no one goes to your site, it hardly has a chance of generating an income. Link building and traffic go hand in hand.  Link building is the single most important factor to search engine rankings; even so it’s one of the least understood topics.  Not all links are treated equally.  Actually, many links that website owners seek out aren’t even calculated in Google at all!  If you want to succeed in the search engines, it’s crucial that you follow link building best practices and keep up with the changes.  Some specific link building procedures are at in the closing paragraphs, from a broad-spectrum perspective to do well in the search engines and get traffic, give some thought to:

Write and Submit Articles to Sites that Accept Guest Articles

There are many e-zines and online encyclopedias in the internet which provides free space for articles to be submitted. If you want to save costs, you can do the articles yourself. There are many freelance writers who are willing to write for you for a small fee, but to save money, it is wise to do those articles yourself.

Write articles that are themed along with the niche of your site. Write something that you have expertise on so that when they read it, they can feel your knowledge about the subject and will be eager to go to your site. Write articles that produce tips and guidelines to the subject or niche your site has.

Include a resource box at the end of your article that can link them to your site. Write a little about yourself and your site. If you provide a light, information-laden and interesting article, they will go to your site for more. There are many sites in your industry that depend on outside articles for their success.

To find the right sites do a Google search for terms like:

– Keyword + “Submit an Article”

– Keyword + “Guest writer”

– Keyword + “Guest article”

– etc.

Try to find websites that regularly host other people and try to get an article on their sites.

Get On Twitter, Google +, and Facebook!

Though many of these links are no-follow links, the exposure will often get you in front of other people who will create permanent links to your site.

Create a Google+ business page.

Create a Facebook fan page.

Also make sure the LIKE button, the +1 Button, and the retweet button are on all the pages that you want people to link to.

Join Online Communities and Forums

This only requires your time and nothing else. You can share your knowledge and expertise with many online communities as well as your website. You can get free advertising when you go to forums that have the same subject or niche with your site.

Share your two cents and let them see how knowledgeable you are with the subject. As you build your reputation, you also build the reputation of your site, making it a reputable and honest business that could be frequented and trusted by many people.

The most important thing to keep in mind with these link sources it that every post you make should be a high quality post, not a junk post designed just to get a link back.

Write high quality responses in forums and blogs and include a link back to your website. You’ll build both your backlinks and your credibility in the field as you get more well know.

Go Local

One trouble-free, high quality link is to get a link from your local chamber of commerce.  All you need to do is show up at your local chamber and register as a business. They’ll then put a link to your website from their high authority (see below), high ranking PR site back to your site.

Get In Directories

Directories are one easy way to build a cluster of backlinks quickly. You can submit them individually or contract the process very affordably found within internet marketing forums.  Be sure to take advantage of the easy ones.  For Facebook try these: Facebook Business Pages Directory, Fan Page List, and The Page Finder.

Submit Press Releases

Submit press releases to online news services like PRWeb, PR Newswire and PR Leap.  Many of these offer free press release services, in some cases you’ll have to pay a small amount of money.  These releases will almost definitely generate a collection of backlinks to your website. If your story is particularly well written or you hit a current hot spot, you may get picked up by news media or a prominent blogger and get a high profile link.

Lure Them in…

Join sites like Digg and Reddit.  Once you have a good standing on the site and are making friends and attracting followers, start submitting your own content. Bookmarking a few of your top pages will likely boost your followers almost immediately. You’ll start attracting people who are interested in you and your business. Create content designed to spread virally.  Review these sites and create content relevant to a news topic or category that these groups support.

Make a Newsletter

This may sound like hard work because of all the articles you may need to use to build a newsletter but on the contrary, this is not so. There are many writers and sites that are willing to provide free articles as long as they can get their name in on your newsletter. This can result in a backlink to your site and also provide free advertising for them as well.

As your newsletter gets pass around, you can widen your public awareness and build an opt-in list that can regularly visit your site.

Direct efforts towards One-Way, High Authority Links From Related Sites

There are many factors that determine link quality, the three factors are the most important factors are:

  1. One way links – Building link popularity these days is not easy given the recent trend to penalize self-serving reciprocal linking programs. If the link is reciprocal, Google will greatly discount the link.
  2. High authority – Getting one link from the Huffington Post, The Daily Beast, or the New York Times is by far worth more than thousands of links from newbie websites. Get links from high authority sites. In the past “authority” meant page rank, but today Google takes a lot more than just page rank into account.  Remember: nearly half of what determines the rank of your site is based upon the types of links driving to your site.
  3. Connected and Related – Obtain links from within your industry.  If you have numerous unrelated sites linking to you, Google will consider your site apprehensively.  In normal business markets, people connect to one another within the same industry and with common themes. Search engine spammers on the other hand tend to buy mass links from unrelated sites.

Use Deep linking within your site and use Anchor Texts that are Relevant

Often site owners will link primarily to their home page. If that is your only strategy, chances are you’re missing out on a lot of opportunities to get sub-pages ranked.  Deep linking is simply making a hyperlink that points to a specific page or image on a website, instead of that website’s main or home page. Such links are called deep links. Instead of sending all your links to your home page, link to relevant subpages and get these ranked for long tail keywords (a keyword phrase that has at least three and some times as many as five words in the phrase). A serendipitous result is that your home page will also gain in ranking. In a word, concentrate on getting backlinks to pages deep within your site.  Moreover, make sure your anchor texts are relevant to the page they’re linking to, rather than your home page. Anchor text is extremely important in determining the relevance of the link.

Make link building a part of your overall search engine marketing efforts. Spend a little time every week trying to find a few more links. You’ll be surprised at the snowball effect that link building has. Use a mix and diversify your link sources, deep link, get the right anchor texts and aim for high authority, related one-way links.

Precisely.

Jerry Duling is a Marketing and Business Consultant, Professional Speaker, and Social Media advisor. Jerry shows businesses how to use Social Media to build their brand, generate leads and close sales. Jerry also provides individual resources for the Internet Entrepreneur. Connect with

 

[pinterest]

Fundamental Fighting…. the Panda Principles

Google is always changing the rules. Webmasters and bloggers, who adapt regularly, can get a lot of free traffic from them. Let’s take a quick look.

After the Panda update in 2011, Amit Singhal of Google published new content guidelines for webmasters and bloggers, at Google’s Official Webmaster Central Blog. While Panda affected many sites adversely, it also helped many rank better.

While that list is extensive, 10 essential points stand out in my opinion. Try to keep these in mind when adding content to the web…

1. Is the information presented trustworthy?

There’s a reason this number one on the list. Trust is the key online. You can earn trust with great content and a respected platform such as WordPress. You can earn trust with the way you write, with proper grammar, lots of details, relevant facts, sharing both sides of an argument and more. Strive for believability in every bit of content you write and you’ll earn trust instantly.

2. Is the author an expert or enthusiast who knows the topic well, or is it more superficial?

I never agreed with experts who said that when monetizing a site with AdSense, you should be general and not give too many details. Their logic was that if you shared content that was “too good” your visitors would not click your ads. I would submit that the stronger the info the better and the more details the better. Knowing a topic well and sharing your knowledge without holding back gets you more traffic from search engines via more long-tail searches and better overall ranking!

3. Does the site/blog have replica, overlapping, or redundant articles on the same or similar topics with just slightly different keyword variations?

Duplicate content is tricky subject. Many people think Google punishes sites for duplicate content. Instead, pages with duplicate content simply do not rank as well, especially post panda. With this statement Google is basically telling webmasters and bloggers not to try and game the system by rehashing content, and to instead publish fresh, unique content on a variety of subjects related to the core topic. That takes more work but enhances the experience of searchers.

4. Are there spelling, stylistic, or factual errors in the article?

This is easy enough. Verify everything before you publish it. Write in a tone that is easy to follow. Edit everything before you publish it. If you take time to do this your pages will usually outrank poorly written content on the same topic.

5. Does the author provide original content and information, original reporting, original research, or original analysis?

This one is a little trickier. Original content should be no problem, but the sources where you get your ideas, i.e. other websites and blogs, can pose a threat to true originality. Analysis is often closer to opinion however, and it seems Google does want webmaster and bloggers to share their opinions in addition to simply reporting facts. Think of some of the top blogs you read and you may find that it is really the style the writer uses. This can be challenging to adapt but over time it gets easier.

6. Does the page provide significant value when compared to other pages in search results?

This is an easy one. If you’re slapping up short blog posts that are vague and general in nature, you’ll likely get outranked by others who go into more detail on the same topic. People visit sites and blogs for information on a subject of interest. If they have to search through 5 pages at 5 different sites to get their answers, those pages can easily be outranked by a site that shares all that same info on a single page.

7. Is the content mass-produced by or outsourced to a large number of authors, or spread across a large network of sites, so that individual pages or sites don’t get as much attention or care?

This one really irritated a lot of webmasters who share large amounts of useful content created by multiple users. Personally, I do not feel they should be penalized for outsourcing their content, however I do understand that Google is trying to make the search experience better by giving preference to webmasters and bloggers who are passionate about their subject and give every page personal attention. While outsourcing content is certainly OK, personal attention to each web page or post needs to be a priority.

8. Was the article written and prepare for publication well, or does it appear sloppy or hastily produced?

It seems as though Google is finally cracking down on spun content that is sometimes impossible to read. That’s good news. Every piece of content you place on the web should be edited so that anyone can read it easily. If you’re spinning your articles to get more use from them, take time to manually rewrite sentences and paragraphs to add more content, and you’ll stand a better chance at getting more mileage from your content.

9. Would you want to bookmark, share with a friend, or recommend the page?

For bloggers in particularly, I think Amit left something out of this sentence. I think it should have read… Is this the sort of page you’d want to leave a comment on, bookmark, share with a friend, or recommend? In my experience, posts at my blogs that have user comments tend to move up in ranking and do better than posts with no comments. It could be because of the added length of content on the page when users comment, but one thing is for sure… content that people want to share does better, especially lately. With that in mind, try to make it easy for users to share your comments by offering a share link with all the common social networks. If you’re on WordPress, a free plug-in like Sociable will do the trick.

10. Are the articles short, trivial, or lacking in helpful information?

It seems to me that blog pages and posts with more than 700 words do better than blog posts with 400 words or less. Bear in mind, this is one person’s interpretation based on my own experience. Yours could differ.

Oh yes, in addition to these 10 points, Google has since revealed a few new insights into recent algorithm changes. One of the most significant in my opinion is the fact that they now factor in the “freshness” of content. That means that sites and blogs who regularly add fresh, original content stand a better chance at outranking sites that do not update regularly. So, if you’re experiencing some trouble with your Google rankings, it could likely more due to another recent algorithm change. As you may know, Google makes nearly 500 changes a year – sometimes more than one in a day. Most don’t have as big of an impact as Panda, but there is always the possibility that one will impact your site.

This week, Google revealed 21 previously unannounced changes that were made in December. Take a look at those if you haven’t yet.

If you want to discover how to get the most from your blog so you’re earning far more than you currently are now, check out this FREE Report 5 Quick Ways to Monetize Your Blog, which reveals:

  • How you can be paid every time one of your site visitors clicks an ad on your site (and it’s not just AdSense either!).
  • Two effective ways to promote other people’s products from your site to earn more affiliate commissions than ever.
  • Two popular marketplaces that you can search for high paying products to promote from your sites.
  • Five niche-related examples of how to market your own products successfully through your site to make more sales.
  • How to create a portfolio to showcase your skills, and dress up your site to make it eye-catching to your visitors.
  • How to include popular forms of media on your site to attract attention in the right places, and get your message out to more prospects.
  • The five key items buyers are looking for, and the secret methods of making money quickly and easily.
  • And much more?

Precisely.

Jerry Duling is a Marketing and Business Consultant, Professional Speaker, and Social Media advisor. Jerry shows businesses how to use Social Media to build their brand, generate leads and close sales. Jerry also provides individual resources for the Internet Entrepreneur. Connect with

 

[pinterest]

SEO…science and art.

seoRecently, I was asked to give a brief review of SEO to a group of non-tech types.  It is by every measure a science and an art.  The following is an excerpt and you can find more using the link at the bottom.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the visibility of a website or a web page in search engines via the “natural” or un-paid search results. In general, the earlier (or higher ranked on the search results page), and more frequently a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine’s users. SEO may target different kinds of search, including image search, local search, video search, academic search, news search and industry-specific vertical search engines.

As an Internet marketing strategy, SEO considers how search engines work, what people search for, the actual search terms typed into search engines and which search engines are preferred by their targeted audience. Optimizing a website may involve editing its content and HTML and associated coding to both increase its relevance to specific keywords and to remove barriers to the indexing activities of search engines. Promoting a site to increase the number of backlinks, or inbound links, is another SEO tactic.

Observations

This brief is not intended to be a complete guide, as SEO can be complex.

Generally:

  • Free traffic generally requires more work than paid traffic.
  • Every free web traffic strategy can (and probably should) be outsourced
  • The top organic search results get a LOT more traffic than the paid advertisements.
  • The top 3 organic results get the lion’s share of web traffic. It’s more important than ever to aim for the top 3.

Choosing the right keywords to base your site optimization around is an important first step. General or generic keywords are usually not the best approach, and sometimes it’s better to be a little more specific and focus on niche keywords relating to your product or service.

Keyword Research (and Competition Analysis) is foundational to good SEO.

Objectives of keyword research:

1) Come up with a list of keywords.

Free keyword tools:

Google keyword tool
Traffic Travis

2) How popular is the keyword?

3) How competitive is the keyword?

  • On Page optimization of the top 3 sites for the keyword
  • Google PageRank of those sites
  • Quantity and quality of backlinks to those sites
  • Use Yahoo Site Explorer

On Page Optimization Factors:

Domain Name – Use your primary keyword. Hyphens are optional. Use a top level domain (.com, .org. net). Country domains can be used if you’re optimizing for your country only.

Page URL – Use the page’s targeted keyword as the page file name. Hyphens are optional.

WordPress makes it easy. See training for permalink setup. If you’ve already got WordPress posts with non-SEO friendly URL’s, use a permalink migrator plugin, such as Dean’s Permalink Migration or Permalinks Moved Permanently.

Title Tag – Use the page’s targeted keyword at the beginning of the title. If you’re using WordPress, use the All In One SEO Pack plugin.

Meta Description – NOT generally used for SEO ranking, but still important. Use your keyword one time, keep an honest non-spammy description, and make it compelling to entice clicks.

H1 Tags – Use your targeted keyword within an H1 tag at the top of the page. This can be a headline.

Keyword Usage – Forget about density, frequency, LSI, etc. Just be sure to use your keyword at least once in the content, and use it up to several times in a natural way that makes sense. It may help to make it bold one time.

Images – Use your keyword as the image name, and in the “alt” text. Just make sure your picture accurately fits the name and description.

With good image optimization, you can get a lot of extra traffic from image searches. In general this traffic is known for NOT converting into sales, but is traffic nevertheless, and in some cases can be converted.

Site Structure – Your site should be easy to navigate. Use canonicalization (no duplicate content within your own site). Front-load your content in the coding of your page (ie. you don’t want a big navigation menu to be the first thing the search engine robot sees).

Internal Linking – Use keywords when linking within your own site.

Site Map – Use an XML sitemap. To make your own, see the protocol at sitemaps.org. Or use one of the many site-map generators, or a WordPress plugin such as Google XML Sitemaps by Arne Brachhold.

Privacy Policy and Terms of Service – Some people say this affects SEO, although it is very questionable. But even if it doesn’t affect SEO, you should still have the proper legal docs on your site. And on the topic of compliance, you also need to follow Google’s technical and quality webmaster guidelines.

“No Follow” Link Attribute – For SEO purposes, it’s probably best to use “no follow” on your blog comments. Also, you may wish to use it for affiliate link, and any link to a “bad neighborhood” (but you shouldn’t be linking to bad places).

Fast Page Load Time – Your site should load FAST. Don’t bog it down with many plugins and 3rd party apps. Use clean, minimalist coding.

Original Content – Yes, content is king. Not just for SEO, but for long term success of any website. Good content does not inherently bring web traffic; you still have to be a marketer. Good content is also necessary to decrease your bounce rate (helps with SEO), increase the time visitors spend on your site, and increase repeat traffic.

Fresh Content – Posting more frequently can help you gain authority with the search engines more quickly. And I’m not talking about auto-blogging. It must be good, original content.

Google’s Starter Guide
Seomoz Beginner’s Guide

And this leads us to the toughest part of the Google SEO process — back-links. Back links are websites that link directly to your website. Read more>>>.
Precisely.

Jerry Duling is a Marketing and Business Consultant, Professional Speaker, and Social Media advisor. Jerry shows businesses how to use Social Media to build their brand, generate leads and close sales. Jerry also provides individual resources for the Internet Entrepreneur. Connect with

 

[pinterest]