Archive for the Category »Increase Traffic «

Since blogging basically has no rules,

it’s time we stop believing it does.

~Barbara Swafford

Before our first post is published, we’ve usually done enough homework to educate ourselves on blogging; from choosing our blogging platform (WordPress, Blogger, or other) to what we’re going to write about.

The rules of blogging or the lack thereofIn the process, we’ve probably learned a little about what blogging is, what to expect and what not to do.

Today’s Lesson

Depending on from where or whom we learn about blogging, often determines how often we blog, the theme we use, how we build our blog, plus much more.

Some bloggers believe the magic bullet is to follow the rules of “abc”, whereas others proclaim it’s “XYZ”.

So, who’s right?

Neither.

What’s happening is bloggers are sharing what works for THEM. Since we’re not THEM, there’s no guarantee what they do will work for us, no matter how hard we try.

Granted, we can learn the basics of blogging and tips from others, however to stand out from the crowd and to feel authentic, we need to be creative, step out of the blogging box and ask ourselves questions such as:

  1. Do I really need to publish a post every day? Week? Month?
  2. Does my theme reflect who I am, or am I copying someone else?
  3. Is guest posting all it’s cracked up to be? Or am I better off showing my writing talents or knowledge in a different venue?
  4. Is it really necessary to market myself and my blog on Facebook and/or Twitter, or is there a better way to promote my work? Or, do I want to (self-promote)?
  5. Is commenting on other blogs helping to drive traffic to my blog? If not, does commenting have any benefit?
  6. Does it matter if what I post might go against what others believe? Do I care?
  7. Instead of just looking at my blog as a place to share, can I use it as a vehicle to propel me further? If so, how?
  8. Is the time I spend socializing with my online friends helping me to advance? Or is it just a distraction which keeps me from my fulfilling my dreams?
  9. Are affiliate links the best way to monetize my blog? What about Google AdSense? Or do I even want to monetize my blog?

How we blog and why we blog is up to us. Let’s remember that and learn to enjoy the journey.

Happy Blogging! 8)

Today’s Assignment

What “rule(s)” of blogging have you found to be false?

Have any “rules” you’ve followed proved to be true or beneficial?

Care to share?

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Blogging can drive us crazy if we let it.

We get one visitor, then we want two.

One comment, sale or ad click leads to wanting more.

Soon, more is never enough.

Today’s Lesson

There’s a lot of talk in the blogosphere about visitor counts, page rank, subscriber counts, followers, blog revenues, SERPS (search engine result pages) and much more.

For some bloggers, these numbers matter.

However, if we get caught up in the numbers, blogging can begin to feel like a race; a competition.

Sometimes we’re competing with other bloggers, but oftentimes it’s an imaginary competition where we think if we don’t have big numbers, we’ve failed.

But what about the blogger who doesn’t want to be a star in the blogging world? Who doesn’t care about “the numbers” or making a name for themselves?

What about the blogger who just likes to write? To share? To publish their work online?

In some circles they might be labeled as a failure.

But, who cares?

If a blogger enjoys the process of blogging and isn’t interested in making money or gaining notoriety, that’s okay, too.

In the blogosphere, there’s room for everyone.

Today’s Assignment

Are you concerned with getting more traffic? More subscribers? Making money?

Or, are you blogging for the pleasure of it?

Care to share?

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Trump familyOn a recent episode of “Celebrity Apprentice”, the task was to create a slogan and a display for Donald Trump’s new cologne, “Success”.

Each team did a good job, however the team which lost had a poor slogan and failed to provide a “take-away” for the cologne campaign.

The winning team had provided two take-aways; one was a small card, printed on both sides and included detailed information about the cologne, plus they also designed a cardboard “sniffer” stick.

George, a Trump executive, stated how no matter how great a campaign or product is, people quickly forget. Hence, having a take-away is vital.

Today’s Lesson

George is right. With all we have on our mind, it’s easy to forget not only what we saw or read, but where we saw or read it.

This holds true not only for products, but for blogs, as well.

With a product such a cologne, it’s easy to create a take-away. Just brand a “sniffer” stick and hand them out to customers with a sample of the scent. No hard sell is needed, and the customer leaves feeling they got “something” of value.

So what about blogs?

Do people quickly forget us and what we shared?

With millions of blogs online, probably.

So the question becomes, how can we become more memorable?

What can we do to encourage our readers to return? To remember us?

Here’s a few ideas bloggers try.

  1. Offer something for free.
  2. Whether it’s a free e-book or podcast, make sure your freebie is well branded. Link back to your blog so your readers know where to find you again.

  3. Ask readers to subscribe via a RSS feed.
  4. Keep in mind, although readers might subscribe to our blog, if we do not continue to provide valuable content, chances are they’ll either unsubscribe or not continue to read your posts.

  5. Offer a free newsletter via email.
  6. A lot of bloggers use this technique to not only harvest email addresses, but are also able to keep their name fresh in their readers’ minds. This “freebie” can be beneficial IF the subscribers are opening these emails, however the regular emails can become a nuisance and subscribers either move the emails to their trash file or unsubscribe. Just like blog posts, newsletters must have value.

  7. Have a unique blog theme.
  8. I remember when the “fad” was to have a black and white blog theme (black header, white background for content). Not surprisingly, none of these blogs stood out from each other.

  9. Have a memorable or easy blog name to remember.
  10. If you take a look at some of the popular sites, one thing they have is a memorable and often, short name such as Problogger or Mashable.

    This is something I wasn’t aware of when I started blogging and before I realized I had made a mistake by using such a long name, I felt it was too late to change it. That said, I now use my mistake to my advantage and proudly broadcast “I’m blogging without a blog”.

  11. Create content which so good, readers will find any way they can to not lose sight of you.
  12. When I find a site I want to bookmark, I’ll either share a link to the site on Facebook or Pinterest since I no longer use my RSS feed and my “bookmark” file is over-flowing.

  13. Build an online presence others want to follow.
  14. If we spend time on Facebook, Twitter and/or Pinterst and all we do is self-promote, chances are those who follow us will quickly stop listening. Take time to promote the work of others, share informative finds, become a “go to” person for different topics of interest and be unique. Guy Kawasaki has done this not only on Twitter, but on Facebook, too.

  15. Be outrageous
  16. When I think of people who gained popularity by being outrageous in the real world, I think of Madonna and Lady Gaga. These ladies have not only been outrageous in their appearance, but in their song lyrics, as well. Online, this could be a harder task to accomplish, however Perez Hilton might fit into this category.

So, what about you?

Today’s Assignment

What are you doing online to be memorable?

What other methods can a blogger use to stand out from the crowd?

Care to share?

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Photo credit Waiting For Tonight

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