Archive for the Category »Increase Traffic «

If you’re worried about competition in the blogosphere, the good news is, most blogs don’t make it past the first month or two.

My guess is, many bloggers jump on the blogging bandwagon believing they’ll make a substantial amount of money in a short period of time and when that doesn’t happen, they quit.

They don’t even give blogging a chance.

Although writing blog posts or publishing photos or videos can be easy, oftentimes new bloggers don’t realize there’s more to blogging than just publishing.

To become successful, we need to “get found”.

That’s the hard part; the part of blogging that takes work.

Now for the bad news; most blogs don’t make it past the first month or two.

Today’s Lesson

If you own a business in the real world, there’s more to it than just getting a business license and hanging up a “OPEN” sign. In order to get clients, you’ll need to advertise and network.

Blogs are no different. We need to advertise and network, too.

In previous lessons we learned how commenting on other blogs can help us get found. Although this technique helps, just leaving comments on the blogs of others is not enough.

In order to expand our reach  we  need to self-promote.

Self-promotion means learning SEO (search engine optimization) and attracting the likes of Google, Bing and Yahoo.

Self-promotion means we need to get out of our comfort zone, announce we’re online, try to entice others to come by our blog, to read what we’ve shared, to comment, to subscribe to our posts and to tell their friends about us, too.

Self-promotion entails setting up social networking accounts, getting others to not only follow us, but to read what we’re linking to and to share our posts with their followers.

Writing stellar content is the best way to make this happen, but one post, one link, one subscriber is only a start.

Self-promotion is something we can’t stop doing.

Self-promotion is never ending.

Most importantly, self-promotion is not a one way street. That which we want others to do for us, we also need to do for them.

Sadly, if we aren’t continually showing up in places where others frequent, if we’re not giving back or we’ve stopped publishing value based posts, we could be forgotten. If we’re not updating our blog, search engines could stop sending us traffic. When traffic dwindles, that which we worked so hard to build, could all be for naught.

… and another blog bites the dust.

Today’s Assignment

What method of self-promotion works best for you?

Care to share?

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Sample of wordpress dashboard - commentsUntil comments begin to show up, new bloggers often feel like they’re in an echo chamber – talking to themselves.

For some blogs, it can take months before someone comments. For others, a matter of days.

It’s when we feel what we’re sharing isn’t being read, we think of giving up.

After all, blogging is supposed to be interactive.

Today’s Lesson

I feel fortunate that I receive the amount of comments I do. Comments inspire me to continue on. Comments inspire new posts. And via comments I get to meet other bloggers.

But it wasn’t always that way. My audience (or lack thereof) remained silent for quite some time.

I’d publish posts, but no one seemed to care.

But I didn’t give up.

What worked for me were five things.

  1. I visited other blogs and left comments.
  2. Not every blogger reciprocated with comments on my blog, but some did, as did some of their readers. HINT: Comment on new or smaller blogs. Generally, A-list bloggers do not reciprocate comments.

  3. I linked to other blogs, but I did it a little different.
  4. I set up a series which I named, “New Blog Of The Week” (NBOTW) and hunted for new bloggers (usually under four months old). I used Tuesday as my NBOTW day and would write a post showcasing their blog, including excerpts from three of their posts/pages and included links to them.

    This was a slow process, but over time, I began to build my readership, as well as my blog community.

    I’ve discontinued this series, however, the list of 90 blogs remains here.

  5. Another important aspect to receiving comments, ASK questions.
  6. Even if you feel your post is complete, it doesn’t hurt to ask your readers, “Did I forget anything?’, “What are your thoughts on this topic?”, or ____fill in the blank___.

    Give readers a reason to comment.

  7. I answered the comments I received.
  8. Although I occasionally miss comments which show up on older posts, my goal is answer all comments I receive on this blog.

    Unfortunately, due to the amount of spam I receive, I closed the comments on posts older than 90 days.

  9. I asked a comment expert for additional advice.
  10. Liz Strauss, of Successful and Outstanding Bloggers is known for the huge amount of comments she has received over the years so naturally she was the one I approached for advice.

    In a two part interview, I asked Liz, How to Maximize Blog Comments and How To Get Readers To Join Your Community.

    The information Liz shared is priceless.

For some bloggers, comments aren’t important, but for others, they become the real reason to continue on.

Today’s Assignment

What technique(s) do/did you use to entice your readers to comment?

Care to share?

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closing comments on blogClosing comments on a blog can be a huge decision for any blog author.

With the closing of comments comes the death of the community which was previously built on a blog; community which may have taken years to amass.

It would be extremely difficult for me to say “good bye” to the community I’ve built on this blog.

Don’t worry.

I’m not saying “good bye”, but am closing comments on this post.

Read on and you’ll understand why.

Today’s Lesson

The longer we blog, the more important community becomes. Even on days when we aren’t motivated to write, it’s often our peeps who inspire us to squeeze in a post.

They like to hear what we have to say, as do we, them.

When we’re uncertain if what we’re posting has value, it’s our community which lets us know it does.

And even if our community is small, we treasure each and every reader/commenter.

Unfortunately we sometimes become complacent and don’t make time to grow our community. We visit the same blogs and wonder why they number of our interested readers stays the same.

Visiting new blogs and commenting is the best way to not only grow our community, but to meet other bloggers and expand our knowledge base.

That’s where today’s assignment comes in.

Instead of leaving a comment here, your assignment will be to visit a blog you’ve never read before and leave a comment.

To get you started, I’ll list several past posts from this blog.

  1. Discouraged With Blogging?
  2. Blogging Pet Peeve Number One
  3. Blogging Sheeple
  4. You Tell Me
  5. Or, click over to my Free Blog Registry and find a blogger there. (There are over 550 bloggers who have shared their blog information and are hoping to “get found”.**)

Today’s Assignment

  1. Click on one of the posts/links listed above.
  2. Scroll down to the comment section.
  3. Click on the avatar, name or CommentLuv link of a blogger whose comment catches your eye. Someone whose blog you’ve never visited previously.
  4. Check out their blog and leave them a comment.*
  5. If time permits, spread the love even further and take time to Tweet, Stumble and/or share their post on Facebook.
  6. Remember…others may be doing the same for you.
  7. Have fun meeting someone new.

See you in the blogosphere, and/or in the comment section on my next post. 8)

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*Some of those who comment on this blog are linking to their products or services pages, therefore you may have to repeat this assignment until you find an actual blog.

**If you haven’t done so already, feel free to add you name to the Blog Registry, too.

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