Blogger Study

Traffic! Who needs it? Well we all need some.

As the internet age advances, more and more businesses are finding new life online. The potential benefits of such a venture are great as the internet allows for access to millions of possible customers across the globe. The startup costs tend to be lower as many entrepreneurs run their online businesses from home. Unlike a physical store or office, online businesses are usually open 24hrs a day, everyday. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the success rate for startup online businesses is about 10% as 9 out of 10 online businesses simply don’t work. Getting traffic to your site can be the most difficult of tasks. There you are eager and ready, your website looks great, your merchandise or service is ready and the future seems bright. So how do you get people to come to your site? The following will give you 5 methods that will help steer you in the correct direction.

1. Search Optimization
Search optimization is the method used to allow for your website to be ranked higher as a result of a search for specific keywords or phrases by a search engine such as Google or Yahoo. Businesses will target certain keywords that are relevant to their content and place them on the homepage and/or other pages on their site. As an example we can look at the online retailer, jewelrypayless.com. They optimize words such as “silver jewelry” or “men’s ring”, etc. When Google receives a request for one of these key words jewelrypayless.com will come up in the search results. It is, however, not as easy as this. Your site may show up on page 100 buried deep within the search result listings. In order to get listed higher more work has to be done, as described in this article. Also, the act of optimizing a site requires some knowledge of HTML which is the basic language with which websites are built. You can use an HTML editor such Dreamweaver or Frontpage to add keywords to the pages which you are optimizing.

2. Linking Strategy
Websites often reserve an area of their site dedicated to links. The page usually consists of categorized links pointing to other recommended sites. Usually, websites will exchange links for mutual benefit. The more links you have pointing to your site, the better. Links to your site(inbound) show the search engines that your site has value. The best way to go about this process is to establish good content on your site and begin targeting websites you would link to exchange links with. You can buy software to help you do this or you can manually send out link exchange invitations via email.

3. Pay Per Click
The fastest way to get traffic is through pay-per-click advertising. Essentially, every time a web surfer clicks on an ad of your creation, you will pay. The price can range from 25 cents to $2 per click depending on the popularity of the keyword or phrases you’ve chosen. Basically, your ad will pop up in an area designated for paid ads once the keyword has been searched. It is important that you understand the correct keywords for your business in order to avoid paying unnecessary fees for irrelevant keywords. The most effective and popular of the pay per click ad sponsors are Google and Overture. You can also use shopping malls such as Nextag.com, Bizrate.com or Shopping.com to advertise via pay-per-click. Make sure to set your budget and monitor the results carefully making adjustments as you go along. Pay-per-click can be unreasonably expensive if not managed carefully.

4. Affiliates
Affiliates are companies, individuals and organizations that you have established business relationships with in order to increase your exposure and sales revenue. Affiliates send traffic to your site via a link representing your business on their site. If the prospective customer should buy from you the affiliate gets a commission from the transaction. In order to use affiliates you are required to register with an affiliate program and begin recruiting affiliates to work for you. Offering a handsome commission can attract affiliates to sign up. Having a professional website that will be easy for them integrate with their own site can also peak the interests of potential affiliates. Always treat your affiliates well, paying them on time and communicating with them on a regular basis.

5. Offline Advertising
An often neglected part of marketing online businesses, offline advertising, can be an effective means by which to bring in new customers and create “word of mouth” interest in your site. Ads in magazines, newspapers, tv, radio and local publications are some of the ways through which you can promote your business. Passing out flyers or sending out postcards can also result in new business, especially if you are offering a discount in the form of an exclusive coupon code. Be creative in trying to promote your business on a grass roots level. Read books such as “Guerilla Marketing” by Jay Levinson to gain insight on how to go about marketing in a cost effective manner.

In conclusion, succeeding online can be difficult but rewarding. If you use these methods to help you in your research and application of a business and marketing strategy, along with sacrificing time and putting forth a strong effort there is a good chance that you will be successful with your online business.

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You Can Succeed At Blogging

Whether you are starting up a new web site aimed at bloggers or whether you are looking to make your existing blogging site more distinctive, the key to building and maintaining a site that will capture the interest and attention of the blogging community is finding your niche. If you can fill a unique need in a way that no other web site does, you’ll be able to build a lasting readership among web surfers. Once you have discovered a niche, you will still have a lot to do, but finding your place in the blogosphere is the place to begin.

Every great blogging web site starts with a great idea, and you can’t build a successful site that will last without one. There are many great sites aimed at today’s bloggers, and competition for the attention of this growing demographic is fierce. To make your blogging web site stand out from the pack, you will need to offer something that no other site is currently offering, or you will need to do the same thing that an already popular site does but in a more impressive or valuable way.

One way to discover an ideal model for your blogging web site is to look at the sites that have successfully captured a blogging audience already to determine if you can appropriate some of their strategies to help realize your vision. Of course, you will also need to add a unique flair to your project in order to stand apart from your competition. Many people agree that the websites that do the best in today’s market are the sites that have the most personality. The fiercely individual surfers who are bloggers are a demographic that responds especially strongly to personality, so consider how you can give your site a unique and attractive feeling by lending your own voice and sensibility to your site’s design and content.

Once you have a great idea for your site, have pinpointed a special niche that you are well equipped to fill, and have infused the site with personality, the next step is figuring out how to get the word out to bloggers. In the long run, a great idea just isn’t enough to propel your blogging web site to success. You will need to draft a smart and realistic marketing plan in order to draw readers to your site. Once you hook a blogger, your great content will keep them coming back, but it is vital to get that first glance or your site won’t have a chance to shine.

Hope you enjoyed reading,

Gary

Tips – Building Your Blog’s Readership

Attracting traffic to a blog or a web site is challenging enough. So from the very beginning, when you start to see visitors coming to read your blog, be sure that they feel comfortable to stick around. And there are a number of ways you can help them to do just that.

Here are seven vital ingredients for building a successful blog with a loyal following.

1. Publish Regularly.

As your readers become familiar with the frequency of your posts, it will influence their visiting behavior. If your readers know that you post fresh content every day, they will probably come every day to read it. If they know you post on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, that’s when they will come.

2. Stay on Topic.

Stick to your niche. If your blog doesn’t have a niche, give it one. Readers like blog’s that are focused on a particular theme or topic. If you have no theme and just post about anything, then readers are less likely to become passionate about your blog and will probably move on to somewhere else.

3. Use Meaningful Titles in Posts.

This not only announces clearly what the post is about, but it will help people navigate your blog and also influence your ranking with search engines.

4. Interact With Your Readers.

Think of your blog like a conversation. You post. Readers comment. Be active and be positive as you interact and converse with your readers.

5. Highlight Your Best Posts.

Don’t let your best posts get lost in your archives. It’s always a good idea to link to your best posts from a ‘best posts’ category on the main page.

6. Provide Good Navigation to Popular Pages

If you help people find the key pages within your blog, their visit will be a much more enjoyable experience.

7. Avoid Not Posting for Extended Periods.

If someone visits your blog and discovers that the last post was three weeks ago, they will probably be disappointed. If you don’t post, people may give you the benefit of the doubt and come back on a few days to check, but you better believe they will lose interest quickly if you fall out of your regular schedule and stop posting.

There you have it. Seven little tips that will make a big difference to your blog’s readership. It’s not rocket science. It’s just using some common sense when posting and interacting with your readers.

Hope you enjoy reading

Gary

Early days – Thanks

Hello fellow readers or bloggers,

I would just like to thank all that have followed this blog so far.  I set this up yesterday just to see what kind of interest there was sharing my experiences.  I endeavor to provide articles that are both interesting to read and useful to the reader.

 

Thank you for your support.  In the future I will be offering a free gift (probably an ebook) for all my followers.  Also let me know what you think about the articles in the comments.  Feel free to share any information that I post.

 

Best Wishes,

Gary

5 Tips – Finding Your Blog Topic

Blog topics are an important part of a successful blog. Some bloggers simply write about whatever is on their mind, creating an online journal of sorts. Successful bloggers know however that to have a great blog, you cannot always write about what you want to write about. You must also keep the interests of your readers in mind when writing. After all, if you want a successful blog, you have to depend on the readers to show up often. To keep your blog as fresh as possible, consider using these five ways to find winning ideas for your blog topics.

Do Your Research

Smart bloggers know that each day there are popular search terms listed on large search sites. Bloggers can use these search terms to help them get more traffic to their blogs. Each day a blogger can look at these popular search terms and creating posts using them. If the blogger is lucky, they will increase their traffic due to more people looking for that term. By researching the topics that are hot with readers each day, bloggers can create things specifically for the readers. Doing research may take a little time and you might never be writing about what you want to write about, but you will likely have more traffic than ever.

Ask Around

If you have been blogging a while you might have began to hit low points where you really have no more topic ideas left. Some writers call this “writer’s block” while others just see it as a small hurdle to be surpassed. When you have come to this difficult point, the best thing to do is ask around. Talk to interesting people you know. You can ask them what topics they find most interesting at the time. If you would rather be a little more subtle, simply bounce a few topics off of them to see which ones they respond strongly to. Use the topics that they respond strongly to in order to gather ideas for posts.

Use the News

The news is a great place to gather topic information for your blog. News teams research and investigate for hours to gather their topics. By using similar topics, you can skip all of the hard research work and still be a success. Never use their ideas exactly, just take them and use them to develop your own. For instance, if there is a major political issue going on in the news, consider creating a post about what you think about it. You don’t have to use the news story, just the topic idea along with your own words.

Follow the Lead of Others

When you are looking for great blog topics, consider visiting popular blogs to see what they are talking about. Don’t steal their ideas, but use the visit to stir up great ideas of your own. Sometimes when you see others working at their highest potential it can spark new potential in yourself. You can see which topics get the best response for their blog and decide if you could get the same response with a similar topic.

Sleep On It

If all else fails and you are still trying to come up with a list of interesting blog topics, consider this interesting strategy. Go to sleep each night with a clear head. In the morning, before you even open your eyes, target the first thing on your mind. Write it down immediately so you don’t quickly forget. Then use these things to develop interesting blog topics. You would be shocked at how inspiring our first thoughts can be. They are so interesting because they are not clouded with any outside stressors from reality. They are simple thoughts typically that can be used successfully on a blog.

These five ways to find winning blog topics are proven to be among the best. A blog topic is one of the basic important aspects of your blog. Be sure that you pay attention to which topics get the best response on your blog so you will know which ones are most effective. Use all or some of these tips to help you get on your way to better blog topics right away!

Hope you enjoyed

Gary

5 Big Mistakes Bloggers Should Avoid

If you’ve just entered the world of blogging or if you’ve been blogging for a short time and find that things are not working out as you expected, it will be worth your while to spend some time understanding the common mistakes that bloggers make, mistakes that make it hard to enjoy what should be an enjoyable, satisfying experience: Blogging!

The five most common new blogger mistakes are:

Diving in (rather than wading in)

Having unrealistic expectations

Losing focus

Plagiarizing

Ignoring the reader

Diving in! Many bloggers are so anxious to get started that they dive in rather than wading in slowly — its a mistake in an unfamiliar swimming pool or pond and its a mistake when entering a new arena such as the ‘blogosphere.’ Consider these things before you start your Blog:

Find a focus for your blog . . . a focus that reflects what you know, what interests you and what you enjoy talking and writing about. No topics are out of bounds: politics, religion, science, sexual orientations, comedy, exercise, diet, diseases, etc., etc..

Take the time to read dozens of different blogs: note the colors, graphics and layouts to get an idea of what appeals to you. Also note that some bloggers are long-winded and others are brief and to the point . . . others are just chatty and entertaining and have no particular point to make . . . this too is a personal style you get to choose.

You need a host for your blog, some are free, some charge a small amount per month for their service, some are simple to use and some require more technical knowledge, some have more features than others; choose carefully, once you’ve established your blog and have a few regular readers you may not want to change your address (your URL).

You may or may not want to use your real name on your blog, this depends on many factors, not the least of which is your stance on controversial issues and how publicly you want to be identified with your opinions.

Unrealistic expectations! If you come to blogging expecting instant results: a large readership and many complimentary comments, you may be disappointed. There are tens of thousands of blogs online vying for the same audience. Patience and tenacity are essential on your part. If you write well, find a unique niche to fill, have appealing titles for your posts and tirelessly promote your blog the readership and comments (some of which will be complimentary) will come.

Losing focus! When you started your blog you had a particular reason for doing so; it might have been to express your views on a topic or it might have been to just communicate with a close circle of friends about your daily activities. Readers will come to your blog for the first time and either be interested in your subject matter or not, will either like your style or not and, if they like your subject and style they may comment and then come back later. Once you’ve established a topic and tone for your blog you’re free to change it but to do so you’re basically starting all over.

Be aware that you can have more than one blog, each one devoted to a particular topic and each one, if you choose, under a different identity.

Plagiarizing! There are some great bloggers out there and as you surf through blogs you might find one who said something really well, something that resonated with you and something you want to put in your blog. DON’T just copy and paste someone’s words in your blog without giving them credit, making it look to the world like the words are yours. If you write it, write it in your own words and write it better, adding your own thoughts and feelings and then be gracious, mention where you got the idea and provide a link.

Ignoring the reader! Some of the people who read your blog will leave comments; some readers will agree with you and some readers may even praise your insights but most will pick a point you’ve made and criticize it. People leave comments on others blogs for the same reason they themselves blog, to exchange ideas and express their points of view. Always respond to your readers comments; thank them for reading and taking the time to comment (even the severe critics) and then respond, as appropriate, to their comment. If you ignore your comments your readers may end up ignoring your blog.

Hope you enjoyed

Gary