Posts Tagged: "blog traffic"

5 New Year Resolutions To Make For Your Website (Or Forum)

5 New Year Resolutions To Make For Your Website (Or Forum)

A new year will soon be upon us any day now. I suppose it’s time to start rolling out the resolutions and setting goals for the new year. In fact, I don’t suppose. I would say it’s an absolute must.

Whether you have a website for your business, a blog, or own a forum it takes work to see success. Building an online business or community is no easy feat — it requires a great deal of work. The problem so many website owners face is not having direction. You need to set goals.

Are you ready to make some resolutions for the New Year? Here are a few we can all agree on:

My New Year’s resolution is to…

Increase my traffic by 100%

This is a resolution that most webmasters will gladly nod their heads to. The thing is, you need to be specific with your goals. Don’t simply say, “I want more traffic”. Put a number on it.

The same goes for email subscribers, Facebook fans or Twitter followers — pick a number for your goal so you know when you get there. In other words, be specific.

Make content and social media a habit

Social media and content are not slowing down in 2014. In fact, you can almost certainly expect them to be the gold standard for online marketing. If you are online, you need to be investing in content. There are a number of reason why. Here are a few:

  • Thought leadership
  • Organic search traffic
  • Owned content to share on social media

Good content helps your website perform in the search engines, and it builds trust with your visitors. It may take some upfront work or investment, but down the road when that organic (free) traffic is sending you visitors and customers I don’t think you’ll have any regrets.

Build relationships with influencers

This is important and if you are not doing this right now you are doing your marketing a disservice. It’s easy to get sucked into thinking all you need is links and high rankings, but at the end of the day it’s about relationships more than anything. Connecting with influencers can elevate your brand.

And, over time, you build a rolodex of influencers you can reach out to. A little more time, you become the influencer.

Work on my website like it’s my job

If you have a job, at any given moment you know exactly what you should be doing. In fact, if you’re not doing that right now there is a good chance you’ll hear about it. Despite what some may claim, working online is just as much of a job as… well, a job.

No matter where you’re at right now with your website or forum, clearly defining what tasks you should be doing day-to-day is a must. Having a routine and system for marketing your site will nearly always deliver results.

Fortunately, there are some tools of the trade that will help you keep track of what you should be doing.

Google calendar is a free app that is bundled within Google Drive. It integrates with Google+, and is synced with your email. You can also create individual calendars, to keep everything in its right place.

Trello is a project management app that allows you to work with a team, or simply keep track of your daily ‘to-dos’. Trello uses a ‘list’ style interface, which gives it a natural workflow. Plus, it’s free.

Wunderlist is another ‘to-do’ list style app. What’s handy about this one in particular is that you can create individual lists for specific projects. For example, you can create individual lists for each website you manage, or separate your marketing activities into their own categories to keep your workflow neat.

Here are some examples:

  • Daily Task Checklist
  • Weekly Goals
  • Monthly Planning

I’m sure you get the point. Simply use the Inbox list to add reminders for your next-day tasks. For the things you do everyday, add those to the Daily Task Checklist.

Keep track of my progress

You won’t know when you made progress if you don’t track your progress. The first thing you need to do when building any website is install Google Analytics. Numbers are important. They do not lie. Keeping track of how your site is performing will help you make the right decisions. You’ll be able to see what works for you, what needs work, and what might not be working at all.

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The Impact of Blogging on Small Business

The Impact of Blogging on Small Business

Blogging allows you to connect with your audience in a more personal, transparent way. The popularity of blogging has skyrocketed, and this means more competition for you. It also means more opportunity.

How Blogging Has Impacted Small Business

In an otherwise Big Business dominated world, small businesses have the advantage when it comes to blogging. They have the ability to move quickly on implementing and launching new ideas. They’re not bound by corporate restraints. Pockets might not be as deep in the small business sector, but when it comes down to being able to connect with customers, local trumps big business every time.

The personality of your business is able to stand out when you blog. Deep down inside, we’re all cynical towards business because there tends to be too much “fluff”, not enough substance. It’s too gimmicky at times. Once the curtains are pulled back, and the behind-the-scenes footage comes out, people get to see the real picture. And that is exactly what they want to see.

A Real World Example

River Pools and Spas started as a small fiberglass pool installation company in Virginia. In business since 2001, River Pools managed to carve out a name in the pool industry. They also received national recognition. One of the owners, Marcus Sheridan, has even been featured on Problogger. Needless to say, he’s been able to make a name for himself as a blogger. And he did it all, blogging about pools.

How did he do it? By answering questions. As with most industries, real answers can be difficult to find online. It’s either not there, erroneous, or an obvious sales pitch. That is, until blogging changed things.

Welcome to How Content Marketing Really Works

People have questions. The big question in the pool industry was: which pool is better? Is it fiberglass or plaster? They both have benefits, both have drawbacks. What separated River Pools was the fact that they spelled out the facts. They listened to the questions their audience were asking and they responded, no matter the question. Who do you think started showing up in the search results?

Content marketing is about answering the questions your target audience is asking.

Wouldn’t you know, today Marcus has propelled his pool blogging experience into a whole new career. He now writes for his own blog dedicated towards sales and inbound marketing, called The Sales Lion. Not only did he do that, he became a public speaker, delivering keynotes and speeches at major industry events.

It’s Your Move

You will only become remarkable if you do remarkable things. It’s a steady process. Success never comes overnight. If the next story that gets told is about you, what do you want it to say?

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3 Rules & Tools That Will Challenge You To Become A Better Blogger (In 3 Weeks)

3 Rules & Tools That Will Challenge You To Become A Better Blogger (In 3 Weeks)

Blogging takes work. Anyone that says anything different doesn’t know what they are talking about. It takes time and effort to develop a reputation as a good blogger. In fact, if you want to fast track your success, blogging needs to become your habit.

Are you ready? Do you have it in you? If so, it’s time to harness your chi. Unleash your inner badass. If you’ve gotten this far, I’m assuming you’re ready to get started.

The Rules

As with all things in life, rules do apply. You won’t get far without them. Would you expect Floyd Mayweather to keep winning fights if he didn’t train like an animal? Of course not. Your blogging career demands the same level of dedication. It’s the only way you’ll get to the top. If you want to be singing the “winning” phrase like Charlie Sheen, you’ve got work to do. Let’s get to it.

Rule #1: Own Your Niche

This is essential, a fundamental component of your success as a blogger. If you don’t know your niche like the back of your hand, you will not get far. Your niche has to be your passion. It has to be your hobby. It has to be your life. You’ll never be able to keep up the gusto, writing on a topic you care nothing about. It will show in your writing. Find something you love, and start there.

Rule #2: Hone Your Craft

Your “craft” is your voice. It’s how you deliver your message. You have to develop a style that suits your personality and will appeal to your audience. If you sound like everyone else, why would anyone listen? The best thing you can do for your readers is simply be yourself. Don’t get caught up trying to sound professional. Don’t make things overly complicated. Just do you.

Rule #3: Wow The Audience

Overdeliver. That one word says it all. Never write, simply to publish a post. You need purpose. Every post is a chance to offer a solution, to connect with an audience, to gain a subscriber. You should be proud of every post you publish. It’s no mystery: most writers are overly critical of their own work. If you can finish a piece and be impressed, chances are your audience will be, too.

The Tools

Every profession has a toolbox. Blogging is no different. Productivity is important. It’s crucial. You have to approach blogging with the intensity of an entrepreneur. You’re running a business.

Here’s those tools I was talking about:

Tool #1: 21Habit

If you are just starting your blog, regardless of your talent, there is one area where you are severely lacking. That area is content. 21Habit is a free, online app that challenges you to make or break a habit in 21 days. You create an account, enter your habit, and from there check in each day to chronicle your success (or lack thereof).

Here’s your challenge: Commit to writing 500 words each day for the next 21 days.

If you can do this, you’ll hone your craft, develop your writing style, and have plenty of fresh content for your blog, plus a few guest posts to boot.

Tool #2: Evernote

I’ve found this tool to be immensely useful. I know, you’ve heard it before. I’ve only recently began using it. Originally, I simply bookmarked stuff I found online in Chrome, but after awhile, it really becomes difficult to keep track of bookmarks stored in your browser. If you spend a lot of time on the web (which I do, the whole job thing), there’s no doubt you come across a lot of good information. Evernote will help you keep track of it. Then, refer back later for inspiration when you write.

Tool #3: Task Timer

This is going to put the pressure on you – in a good way. Task Timer is a Chrome web app that allows you to set-up timed tasks. You don’t want to spend all day writing a post. The more you can push yourself to get your thoughts down quickly, the faster you will develop as a writer.

You can always refine and edit your post before it goes live. First, get your thoughts on the screen. Personally, I set the clock for an hour and go from there. Decide what works for you and stick to it.

What are you waiting around for? It’s time to get to work.

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12 Forum Marketing Secrets That Work

Forum Marketing Secrets

Forum marketing involves reaching out and engaging with the right audience. Of course, you want exposure, but there is a careful line to walk. You want to gain exposure and establish yourself as an authority, but you don’t want to be annoying. Forcing your brand down people’s throat simply for a link will get you no where. So, where do you start? That is the question a lot of ask when we first start out trying to build a website or blog.

It doesn’t have to be hard. If you’ve been snooping the web looking for some ways to promote your website, chances are you’ve heard about forum marketing. We’re here to blow the lid off the misconceptions and expose 12 forum marketing secrets that are tried and tested.

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SEO Tips for The WordPress Newbie

SEO Tips for The WordPress Newbie
WordPress is the way to go. Whether you are a blogger or business owner, WordPress is a blogging platform that will help you reel in the traffic like a fisherman. Of course, you can’t set up a blog and have the whole world wide web knocking on your door with a simple post. If it was that easy Google would come knocking with a Frankenstein creation made of penguin and panda parts (but that’s a discussion for another time.)

Today the topic is how you can actually get traffic to your WordPress blog. Search engine optimization may not be your strong point, but if your goals involve online success – get used to it. SEO has to be factored into every post and page on your website. Social media and offline marketing are great assets in your quest for blog domination, but search traffic is highly targeted, has higher conversions, and lower bounce rates.

Here are a few quick SEO tricks you should implement on your WordPress blog:

Newbie WordPress Tip #1

First things first – change your permalink structure. By default, self-hosted WordPress blogs use a permalink structure that is crap-ola for SEO. And it’s ugly.

  • Standard issue: www.domain.com/?p=123
  • Optimized: www.domain.com/my-new-blog-post

See the difference? If you are using your keyword when naming your posts (which you should) it shows up in the url structure as well. This helps search engines display results based on relevance. This brings me to my next tip:

Newbie WordPress Tip #2

Install an SEO plugin. A good WordPress SEO plugin can pay off enormously for ranking in the search results. I’m sure there are countless ones available, but in my opinion there are only two that bear mentioning.

Basically, the WordPress SEO community is divided between these two. Personally, I prefer the Yoast plugin because of it’s features and simplicity. The major benefits of using this plugin for SEO noobs is the fact that once you enter the keyword you wish to target (“Focus Keyword”) it will give you tips on how you can improve the page based on accepted SEO best practices. Get it, use it.

Newbie WordPress Tip #3

When you structure your posts you should make ample use of your chosen keyword by including it throughout your post. Make sure your keyword appears in the following:

  • Post title
  • Meta description
  • In the first paragraph
  • Within the body copy
  • Image tags

Don’t take this to mean you should cram as many keywords as you can into every post you make. Write for people first. Optimization is only one part of getting more traffic to your WordPress blog. SEO will help visitors find your site, but good content is what keeps them coming back.

Newbie WordPress Tip #4

One often overlooked SEO trick is to optimize your images. Random strings of numbers add nothing for the search engines to pick up, so stop uploading images like this: 87u21oydkj9010.jpg. What you should do when uploading images for the page or post you are working on is rename your image using your focus keyword. Don’t forget to add this keyword in your image alt and title tags as well.

Newbie WordPress Tip #5

Don’t be stingy with old posts. Link to other pages and posts within your WordPress blog. This will help search engines crawl your site deeper and it will also keep visitors on your site longer.

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