Category Archives: Blogging Tips

Blogging with Passion and Discipline

Do You Blog With Passion or Discipline?

This post contains affiliate links, which mean if you use these links to purchase an item or service I receive a commission at no extra cost to you. Visit my Affiliate Disclaimer page here.

A common question I see from new or newer bloggers is “What should I write about?” or “What niche should I choose?”, and they always seem to get the same answer. “Write about something you are passionate about.” I believe that is an incomplete answer. I feel that follow your passion is over distributed advice that is easier to give than the whole truth. It should really be, “follow your passion with discipline and hard work.”

Passion

Passion is an emotion. It waxes and wanes over time. It can be incredibly deceiving. Is it a genuine lifelong passion, or something you just discovered that you really like? It can be interrupted by old passions coming home to roost, or new found passions you never knew existed. I was just reading an article about someone who started a blog solely on a topic they were passionate about. They talked about how wildly successful this blog was, but further into the article, they also state that they haven’t touched this blog for almost a year now because they started another one and they were spending their time on the new one. Their passion only garnered them a few months of work before they got a new idea. Most blogs are abandoned within their first year due to a declining interest. Passion alone is not enough to carry you through to success. You also need self-discipline.

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Discipline

If passion is the driver of your success, than discipline is the fuel it runs on. Discipline is stability, and direction. It is the foundation that good habits are built from. It is all too often that social media makes life look so easy. The world is full of successful bloggers and writers making thousands a month on their products. The truth is, if they are making anywhere near as much as they say they are, it’s not easy. They have had to work for everything they have. I recently saw a pole question asked of bloggers. It was “How much money do you make from your blog, and how much work do you have to put into to it to sustain that amount?” If all of the answers were honest, then anyone who makes $1000/month or more put 5 hours a day or more into their blog every day. That is a minimum of 35 hours a week. That’s a full-time job.

How many of you are still passionate about your full-time job? Probably very few, but you still get up every day at the same time and manage to make it in. You have to treat your blog as what it is. It is a small business start-up. If you had opened a storefront you would go to work every day until it was successful enough that you felt comfortable handing the management duties off to someone else. You wouldn’t just go to work on the weekends. You wouldn’t work only in the evenings while watching T.V. with your family.

SEMrush

Your self-discipline is what carries you through the periods of dwindling interest. In The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg explains that habitual behaviors come from the basal ganglia, the part of the brain that controls memories, emotions and patterns, while decisions are made in the prefrontal cortex. If you decide to work on your blog every day at 9a.m. for 4 hours, then it will become a habit. You have to first make the decision to build the self-discipline required to run a successful business. Then you have to decide every day that whether or not it is still what you want to do. Running a business is not easy, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Remember, follow your passion with discipline and hard work.

 

Finding your market and selling to it.

Finding Your Market, and Selling to It

This post contains affiliate links, which mean if you use these links to purchase an item or service I receive a commission at no extra cost to you. Visit my Affiliate Disclaimer page here.

 

This post started as something else completely. It was never meant to be the article that it turned into. It was started as research on selling products traditionally marketed towards women to men. My girlfriend is a doTERRA health advocate. Which in plain speak means that she educates people about and sells essential oils, among the many other things she does. I know about half of you tuned out as soon as I said essential oils, but stick with me. It’s because so many eye rolled at essential oils that this post is needed. What are you selling? Are you marketing your own “Make Millions Blogging” or “Quadruple Your Website Traffic in 3 Days” course? I know I roll my eyes every time I see someone offer a class like this. But why? Maybe because it wasn’t marketed for me. Or maybe because it wasn’t sold to me. How do you stop eye rolls at your product or service?

 

Differences in Marketing and Selling

It’s all too often that marketing and sales are lumped together, and while they depend on each other, they are quite different. Marketing turns cold leads into warm leads, and selling converts those leads into sales.

Marketing

Marketing is a multilayered strategy designed to build trust in your brand, and promote products. It also creates prospects and drives them to your website or into your store. Some examples of marketing strategies would be television advertising, social media campaigns, brand marketing, and public relations campaigns. The one thing that truly sets marketing and selling apart is the relationship with customers. Marketing is one-on-many, targeting the general public.


 

That is the most basic definition of marketing. We are going a little more into depth about selling, since that is where my research started in the first place. We just can’t cover both too deeply in one post. There are entire books on both subjects, and one article will not do either justice, so we will be concentrating on a few key areas.

Selling

The basic definition of a sale is exchanging goods or services for currency. It has a one-on-one or one-on-small group relationship with the customer.

 

That’s it. Now anyone who has ever professionally sold things knows there is way more to it than that. Realtors, car salespeople, telemarketers, and the age old door-to-door salespeople all know that there are strategies and psychology involved in closing sales. There was a study published in “Psychology and Marketing” in 2014 that found the color red in your wardrobe makes you appear more persuasive and your statements more accurate. Selling is the art of turning a rebuttal, and is far more than exchanging goods for currency. But how do you translate that into a digital business? How do you “sell” to someone you cannot see, hear, or talk to? First you have to understand a little about the people you are selling to.

Age

For example, in the U.S. 54.4% of people have made purchases from Amazon Prime. That market is mostly made up of the 30-39 age range with 65% of people within that demographic shopping on Amazon. Almost 6% more than the next closest age group which is 18-29. So if your main source of income is the Amazon Associate program you want to target the under 40 crowd for best results. The 30-39 demographic is also more likely to purchase items online then pick them up at the store, while the 18-29 age group is the opposite. They are more likely to examine an item in the store, then order it online to be delivered. If you advertise your product on social media 31.7% of your customers are likely to be 18-29, while only 11.4 % over 60. When it comes to digital shopping habits in the U.S. the largest participating age group is 18-29 with the numbers declining as the age range increases, except for examples cited above. Occasionally there is only a slight change in the 18-29 and 30-39 age groups, for example there is only a .6% difference when it comes to purchasing travel services/products digitally. All above statistics were found in various places on statista.com.

 

I know. What does this mean to you? How does this help you? All of this information is just a piece of the puzzle. Different groups of people will react to your content differently. Doing the research and finding out how will determine how you sell your services or products. Using trendy words from the times period and pop-culture references is one way to help connect with particular age groups.

 

Hello fellow kids

Men/Women

Women are more emotional shoppers whereas men tend to be more mission or goal oriented shoppers. If a man needs to buy a pair of jeans, he will typically enter the store, go straight to the jeans, pick out his size, and ring out. The whole process usually takes about 30 minutes. A woman on the other hand realizes that what she actually needs is a pair of pants, not necessarily jeans, and will shop until she finds something comfortable that will suit her needs. Which from start to finish takes much more than 30 minutes. Selling to men and women is much the same.

Men

Men want all the pertinent details upfront, then some time for quiet contemplation. Once they make a decision, men often remain fiercely loyal to “their brand”. Whether it’s the razors they shave with, beer they drink, kind of car they drive, or bbq sauce they use when cooking on the grill. Men pick a brand then stick with it. Changing their mind can take an act of God, or the opinion of someone they deeply respect. However, if a man chooses your brand, he will do his best to get his buddies to do the same.

 

If your site markets “male” oriented products, then you want to be very straightforward and upfront about the benefits of using your products or services. No beating around the bush. If your product is better simply state how and why it’s better. If there is some science behind what makes it better, state that too. In general men don’t have to completely understand the science behind everything, or how everything works, but it is very important that they know you understand what you’re talking about. Show them the value in your product. How does it solve their problem? How often will it need to be replaced? Why should they choose yours over other similar products? What do past purchasers have to say about it?

 

Racked published a very interesting article a few years ago about selling Beauty products to men.

Women

Women want to build a relationship, and talk their way through a decision, usually by asking questions. They are rarely loyal to a brand, but are often loyal to an experience. If they are treated well, and their many questions answered patiently and informatively with respect, women will loyally shop at that store or with that particular salesperson. Women will often follow a salesperson that treated them well through multiple jobs. Like a car salesperson to another dealership, or a hair stylist to another salon. It is more about the relationship with that individual then it is about the product. Women will tell everyone about their experience in a particular store or with a particular salesperson.

 

What’s more important to women is who they buy from. If your site markets more towards women then you need more content that tells the story of the product or service. Something that helps form a genuine connection. In general women want to understand everything about the product or service and make an informed decision. The “why” behind a product is also very important to them. Women want to know why someone else may have bought your product /service and compare if the situation applies to them.

 

The statements above are generalities. The truth is everyone is different. You can’t boil people down to their basic category and expect the same results from all of them. We are the sum of our experiences, and we tend to remember bad ones much longer then the good. Because of this, as consumers we tend to be naturally suspicious.

 

“You cannot underestimate people’s ability to spot a soulless, bureaucratic tactic a million miles away. It’s a big reason why so many companies that have dipped a toe in social media waters have failed miserably.” -Gary Vaynerchuk

 

Whether you are an affiliate marketer or you are selling your own products you face the same hurdles and difficulties. In 1936 Dale Carnegie said “Dealing with people is probably the biggest problem you face”, and that statement is no less true today. Knowing what we discussed earlier it is more important than ever you treat people honestly and fairly. Not only is it more likely to result in a sale, but not doing so means greater consequences. Long gone are the days when the tale of a misogynistic salesman doesn’t make it any further then the immediate neighborhood. If you treat someone poorly, the world will be informed. If your site appears to be “talking down” to a particular group, Facebook and Twitter will hear about it. If it is unnecessarily difficult to return an item or correct a mistaken order, your reputation can be ruined in short order. And without the social cues of facial expression and body language you are far more likely to be misinterpreted than ever before.

 

The original book “How to Win Friends and Influence People” is considered one of the best self-help books of all time. Carnegie believed that your greatest influence comes from genuinely wanting to help others, and that in all interactions you should leave the person you interacted with better then you found them. Now consider that today you have dozens if not tens of dozens interactions every day though the wonder of the internet. The adapted “How to Win Friends and Influence People in the Digital Age” discusses how to execute Carnegie’s principles through online exchanges. Some of which I’m sure you already practice unknowingly. “He [Carnegie] taught principles that flowed from an underlying delight in helping others succeed.” –NY Times. By publishing helpful and entertaining information on your blogs at no cost to your audience you are already producing interactions beneficial to your readers.

 

Where Carnegie discusses people in a manner that translates to sales, Robert Cialdini discusses sales in a manner that can also translate to human interactions. In “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” Cialdini lists the six principles of persuasion and teaches you how to wield them ethically in order to make sales. The first principle is Reciprocity used in sales to persuade someone to make a purchase by offering them something for free. Like BOGO deals or a free gift for “ordering now”. Because when someone gives us something we feel obliged to give them something in return. Which can be applied to personal dealing by the simple, treat others as we wish to be treated. If you hold honest dealings than you will receive honesty in return. The video below describes the principals in a way only a video can.

 

 

Through the research required for this post the most important and amazing piece of information I discovered is that the ideals and practices behind being a good salesperson, are the same ideals and practices behind being a good person. Being a good and responsible businessperson requires being a good and responsible human being. Help others succeed and thrive and they will reciprocate.

 

Get your copies of books mentioned above right here.

Off page SEO techniques for beginners

Off Page SEO for Beginners

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This post contains affiliate links, which mean if you use these links to purchase an item or service I receive a commission at no extra cost to you. Visit my Affiliate Disclaimer page here.

 

Check out this video made by Google about how search engines work.

SEO Strategies

When I see someone ask for tips on increasing traffic to a newer blog, there is always a host of people crying “do SEO.” As though SEO is something that you do. SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a strategy comprised of many techniques involving the formatting of your page, the text used on your site, backlinks, and internal links just to name a few. There are on page techniques like optimizing keywords to acquire your target audience, and off page SEO techniques like social media marketing. Saying “do SEO” tells a new website operator absolutely nothing. It is an unhelpful tip parroted by people who don’t know any better because it’s the only advice they got when starting out. Let’s see if we can help lay out some of the strategies involved in “doing SEO.”

 

Just using the right keywords and headers isn’t enough to get ranked highly on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). There is so much more to it than that. Search engines are getting smarter, not like AI take over the world getting smarter, but they are being consistently updated to give users the best experiences possible. Google for instance wants to continue to be the most used search engine. The only way they can do that is to continuously improve the user experience. That is why tactics previously used for search ranking, like invisible text, and keyword stuffing no longer work. Google wants to ensure that when a user performs a search that they only receive truly relevant results. Search engines are now being programmed to read and translate the text on a page and rank its value to the search performed. Then that is taken into account along with roughly 200 other things to weigh your placement on SERPs. One of those things is your sites’ DA (Domain Authority) which is of course effected by backlinks.

Off Page SEO

Off page or off site SEO is by its most basic definition actions off of, or outside of your site taken to acquire “mentions”, or backlinks from reputable sources. That’s the gist of it. Google can read a mention even without a link. So if someone writes “I really love The Ragged Writer” but doesn’t backlink to anywhere on the site, google still recognizes that. It does not carry as much weight as a link however. Any time another site voluntarily links back (backlink) to your site without the rel=no follow tag, they are “vouching” for its authority. To simplify this post, or to not complicate it further, we are going to assume all backlinks are “do follow” links.

 

Just to clarify we are talking mainly about naturally acquired backlinks. By voluntarily I mean not compelled to in any way. Not payed for links, or link for link exchanges. No transactional interactions that may be considered “Black Hat.” Links that are payed for often end up on sites with a large number of outgoing links, and without any real value to the end user. These sites are classified as spammy, and links to them actually penalize your site rather than boost its authority. Excessive link exchanges are considered “link schemes” by google and will also penalize your site. They never clarify exactly what is considered excessive, or how the penalty is applied. If you participate in only a single link exchange, but partner with someone whom has engineered over a hundred, do you get caught up in their link scheming? Please use caution when exchanging links.

Social Media Marketing

So how do you get organic backlinks or brand mentions? I’m sure you have heard the phrase “content is king.” You have to create quality content that adds value to the end user. Plainly put, you have to write good stuff. For someone to share, cite or reference your page, it has to equal or surpass their standards, be relevant to their audience, and they have to like it.

 

Once you have created your well written work of art, the next step is to market it. Just plastering links over Facebook again and again isn’t what we are talking about here. Link building through social media requires deliberate and targeted marketing techniques. The idea is exposure to website/blog owners relative to or within your niche that may reference or cite your material. This is different from using social media to build your audience. Use Facebooks targeted advertising and twitter searches to get your posts in front of the right eyes.

Guest Posting

When thinking of off page SEO techniques guest posting or guest blogging is usually the first thing that comes to mind. Unfortunately most people use guest blogging incorrectly. Let me explain. One of the factors used to determine DA is domain age. As a website ages its DA increases in what google calls an “expected pattern.” One of the expectations of growth is acquiring backlinks over a timeline. If you go on a guest posting campaign to build links, then you will acquire too many too fast, and be judged as trying to manipulate the system. Google does not look kindly on attempts to manipulate the algorithm. Keyword stuffing and low quality backlinks are examples of attempts to manipulate the system. The latter was the cause for Google’s Penguin update. Which addressed link spam and put more emphasis on the quality of backlinks rather than the quantity.

 

Guest blogging just for the link is falling back into transactional interactions. There it is. There is the moment that you think to yourself “This guy is an idiot, then what is the point of guest blogging?” Exposure. You do it for exposure. I can see the hair on the neck of all you freelancers standing straight up. “We don’t work for free.” In most cases I agree, but this isn’t writing for someone else. Link building is a dying strategy. Google puts much more weight on links earned through valuable content. Google can tell the difference between a link built on and inserted into a post on yourwebsite.com (self-built link) vs (natural link) one built on forbes.com for example. Link earning is slowly taking over as the top off site SEO technique, and you earn links by creating great content. Am I saying that you should not include a backlink in a guest post if offered the opportunity? Absolutely not. I am saying that that backlink does not carry as much authority as one earned editorially, and links should not be your motivation for guest blogging.

 

Within the strategy of link earning, the point of guest blogging is to put quality work in front of a new audience that will result in added traffic back to your site, and backlinks from related sites. When you are starting out getting a post on a site with 500-1000 visitors a day is a pretty big deal. Hell, I’m 6 months in and it’s still a pretty big deal to me.

How do you get approved for guest posts?

Look for sites or articles related to your site, topic, or niche. Backlinks from completely unrelated sites carry very little weight and are often spammy. Check their guest post policies, the stricter the better. Stricter policies indicate they are trying to avoid spam posts and likely have higher quality content, and higher authority backlinks. After identifying your target spend some time cultivating a relationship. Leave comments on blog posts or Facebook pages. Follow their site or tweet their posts. If you tweet their post make sure you @username the site operator. Read their posts to identify their audience, voice, and what kind of posts they are looking for. Once you’ve done your research, email your pitch. Since you have been interacting with them they will recognize your name and be more susceptible to your ideas.

 

When you get approved to submit a post do not include affiliate links or self-advertisements. Only place a backlink in the body of the text if previously agreed upon and it fits. Don’t just shove your link in there, it looks tacky and unprofessional. Be prepared to promote your work. Sometimes so many Facebook or Twitter posts are part of the deal. Check back on your post a couple time a week for a few weeks and respond to comments just like you would on your own site. It shows you’re genuinely interested in keeping the professional relationship and could attract more opportunities.

 

If you have been here before you have probably noticed all sorts of mistakes and inconsistencies in this site. I stated from the beginning that I was going to allow this site to be a road-map of the mistakes I make building this site so you can use it to avoid them. My onsite SEO practices up to now have been atrocious, but they are improving. One of the things I am not doing is going back and fixing mistakes as I learn the correct practices. I want to be sure that you can learn from my mistakes as I have. 

Sites That Are Offering Guest Posting Opportunities

When I was gathering the information for this post I asked around for any sites that accepted guest posts and wanted to be linked on my page. Surprisingly only a few cared enough to actually follow directions.

 

Website- Adventures of Southern Motherhood

URL: http://adventuresofsouthernmotherhood.com/

Niche: Motherhood & Lifestyle

Basic description: I am a Motherhood and lifestyle blogger who loves to help other bloggers with their blogs.

Guidelines for guest writers: 400+ words, must promote on social media, no vulgar language.

 

Website- The Frugal Mom Guide

URL: www.frugalmomguide.com

Niche: Parenting, Frugal Living & Blogging Resources

Basic Description: I help moms (and dads) with parenting hacks, frugal
living tips and money-management in general. I also share my info on my
blogging journey.

Guidelines for Guest Bloggers: Posts must fall within one of the above
niches (parenting/frugal living/blogging)

 

Website- SIM Tourist

URL: https://simtourist.com/

The site includes general travel content / tech reviews, and guest posts are wide open – so long as it is something that might interest our readers. We are particularly interested in content relating to France.

Guest posts must be at least 600 words long, and of course original!

 

Website – Tech Shout Us

URL: https://techshoutus.com/

Niche- blogging & SEO

Description- Tech Shout Us is a Blog for Bloggers which helps you to become a better blogger. Tech Shout Us comes to rescue by helping you with quality and easy to follow Tips, Tricks and Tutorials to make a successful Money Making blog.

Guidelines for guest writers- minimum 600 words of post. With unique article.

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WordPress Blog building

The One Thing Every WordPress User Should Own

This post contains affiliate links, which mean if you use these links to purchase an item or service I receive a commission at no extra cost to you. Visit my Affiliate Disclaimer page here.

 

When I started my site I didn’t have a lot of experience building a website, and by not a lot I mean none. Absolutely none. Not a little bit, not I’ve seen it done once, not even someone told me I could but I didn’t believe them. Absolutely none. I didn’t have any idea that someone could build a site on their own without 6 years of schooling and two masters’ degrees. Which also goes to show you how little I knew about schooling and degrees. But, I’ve learned a lot since then. It’s been a long bumpy road with many ups and downs, and I realize that my journey has really only started, and that learning something isn’t the same as mastering it.

One of the many things I learned is that thanks to WordPress pretty much anyone can start their own website. WordPress is hands down the most user friendly site builder/content management system in existence today. It is so easy to use in fact that 31.4% of all websites in existence use WordPress. Aside from its ease of use WP (WordPress) is so widespread because its developers keep it open source. In layman’s terms that means it’s free. Well, the code required to build a site is free. In most cases, you still have to pay to host your site. It’s like if someone gave you all the materials and plans to build a house. You still have to purchase or rent land to put that house on. That’s what you get with WP, the materials and plans. Actually, you get a seemingly endless supply of materials, plans, and templates that you can tear down and rebuild on a whim.

 

 

There is almost as many website hosting companies as there are internet service providers. You have Liquid Web, Host Gator, SiteGround, Blue Host, Kinsta, and WPEngine just to name a few. All of them have their pros and con’s, and getting into that will require a whole separate post. I, on the other hand, went the other direction and hosted this site on WordPress.com. As a beginner this gives me a certain piece of mind. While it may cost me a little more than some of the sites listed above, I don’t have to worry about things like site security, or site back-ups as WP takes care of all of that for me. WP also has great customer service, and has on one occasion worked with customer service of another company to help me get through a problem.

 

While I say WP is the most user friendly site builder out there, it’s not without its growing pains. Things just aren’t where you would expect them to be. For example you can’t just go to settings and change your font. Font isn’t anywhere near settings. Your font is determined by your theme, preset layout, and to change your font you must customize your theme. If there is a particular font you want, and your theme doesn’t contain it, you have to download it, then upload it to your site. Sometimes you have to actually purchase it first, depending on where you get your fonts. That seems like a lot to go through just for a font.

 

I know that makes WP appear incredibly complicated but it’s really not. If you find a theme that works perfectly for you, and you can use it for your site with little or no customization, you can have a site up in only a few more minutes than it took you to choose the theme. And if you’re ok with a run of the mill cookie cutter website than you’re done there. If you want your site to accurately represent you or your business, than you have some changing and customizing to do. There is an almost countless number of adaptations and modifications that can be done to a WP site. Anything from Font and background color to graphics placement and shadowing effects can all be changed by you. I know this sounds a bit overwhelming but once you get the hang of it, it’s really pretty easy.

 

I struggled to get the hang of it. I’m sure as a new user I’m not the only one. I just couldn’t find where the settings were. I couldn’t grasp the relationships between what I wanted to do and dashboard control placement. At first, it didn’t make any sense to me that something as simple as font wasn’t just in settings. I struggled pretty hard. My 10 minute website was coming up on 3 weeks of building time, and I still didn’t feel like it was ready to go live. Someone who was a very good friend and is now much more brought me a book one day. This book may have saved my sanity and my site. It was WordPress, The Missing Manual the book that should have been in the box.

 

This book goes over everything from step by step instructions on signing up for a WordPress site through WordPress.com, to the evolution of dynamic vs static sites and how WP works, and that’s just the first 20 pages. If there is anything you want to know about WordPress it is in this book. If you want to set up multiple users for your site, for instance if you have contributing authors to your blog who don’t need access to the Admin Dashboard, it’s in there. If you need to know how to use JetPack’s LaTeX formatting, or how to add mobile support to self-hosted sites, it’s in there. There is even a section on WP specific SEO. If you are not already a WordPress master, “The missing manual” is worth your time to read. If you are a WP novice, than it is an absolute necessity.

 

Throughout the book there are images of websites, sort of. These are real images of not exactly fake sites to demonstrate one feature or another the book is talking about at that time. The sites actually exist and are navigable. There were 6 sample WP sites created and while you can’t actually modify the sites, they are good representations of the features described. There are also snippets of HTML and CSS in the book to help give you a basic understanding of code, if you don’t already have one, which you are allowed to use on your own sites without further permissions beyond purchasing the book.

 

You also get access to a page containing 181 links, they are not numbered I counted them myself, to WP websites (as demonstrations), free plug-ins, or free resources for things like HTML and CSS tutorials, and how to create a test site.

 


 

The book itself is divided up into 5 parts, each part broken down into chapters. I recommend reading the Manual in its entirety, but you don’t actually have to. Each chapter touches on a particular design feature or necessary area of knowledge, such as registering a domain name, or adding a slide show. Once you know what kind of site you want to build, the book will direct you to which chapters you absolutely need to read. For example if you only want a simple blog you only need to read the first two parts. If you want to add music player to entertain visitors as they read your musings, then you will also want to read chapter 10. ECommerce store? Chapter14. Self-hosted? Appendix B-Securing a Self-Hosted Site. It can even help you with migrating your current site to a new host.

 

Let’s be honest, WordPress is a living breathing open source tool. It currently contains over 423,759 lines of code and encompassed 112 person-years to build, and currently has 70 fulltime developers contributing to the core code. By the time I finish this post WP will probably be able to do something it couldn’t when I started writing it. “The Missing Manual” may not contain every single piece of existing information about WordPress, but it most certainly has all the information you need to start and maintain a WordPress site. As for missing information, the book has already been updated once, and there will most likely be a 3rd edition. There is even a page to inform the authors of errors or submit feedback.

 

I would not have made it this far without this book. I wish I would have found out about it much sooner, I hope it helps you as much as it did me. Click below to get yours now.

7 Tips for Driving Traffic to New Blogs

This post contains affiliate links, which mean if you use these links to purchase an item or service I receive a commission at no extra cost to you. Visit my Affiliate Disclaimer page here.

 

When you are a newer blogger one of the riddles you struggle to overcome is how to drive traffic to your page. You will see hundreds if not thousands of articles on how SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the best way to drive organic traffic to your site. Which is absolutely true, however SEO is a long game. Even if your SEO strategy is absolutely perfect, as a new site it can take many months to make it to the first page in search results for your niche. So where do you get your views? Easy, other bloggers.

 

Blogging is a community in its own right. There are 409 million blogs listed on Tumblr alone. There are 30.6 million active bloggers in the U.S. right now, according to statista.com, and interacting with as many as you can will drive traffic for the first few months.

 

 

We are all trying to be successful and make a living from our blogs. It isn’t a contest, teamwork makes the dream work. It may feel like you are competing against other bloggers but I promise you, that isn’t the way it works. Interacting with other bloggers helps you garner a following, and that following will spread your name, and talk up your site. If you work for it.

 

Visit other blogs.
               Visiting and viewing other blogs is a good practice to maintain. It helps you stay up to date on trends in the community, and can supply you with ideas for new posts. Never steal another bloggers content, but it is perfectly ok to write about the something you saw on someone else’s site in your own words and style. You should visit a few blogs within your niche every week, and leave comments. Not just hello, or The Ragged Writer was here, but things that add value to the original post, or personal insights you may have about the content. Some sites even allow you to link your own blog in your comment. Which may attract a few visitors.

 

Reply to comments on your own site.
              If you visit and comment on other blogs, people will begin to return the favor, and you should reply to every comment left on your page. If you engage and interact with your visitors they will continue to return week after week. The comment section should read more like a conversation, then just a list of individual remarks at the bottom of the page. I know what you’re thinking. If you have perused this site then you know that replying to comments is not one of my strong suites. And you want to know if I didn’t do it, then why should you. Well, it’s because I didn’t, that I know how important it is. I know that people that used to come to my page every week stopped coming because they felt insignificant or ignored. You may even begin to build professional relationships or friendships with people that have already been through what you a going through, and their experience and advice will prove to be incredibly valuable.

 

Subscribe to informative blogs in your niche.
           If you find blogs that are full of great content, informative, up to date, and pertinent to the industries you write about than following them should be a no brainer. Subscribe to their newsletter. Sign up for email notifications of new posts. It is extremely important to stay current and informed in your niche. You may not be the first to know, but you should never be the last. If someone seems to have the inside track, than get in line directly behind them. Besides, people tend to reciprocate. If you are following and subscribing to bloggers in your niche, then a percentage of them will follow or subscribe to your site also.

 

Share on social media.
           Join blogging Facebook Groups and post your work when allowed by each individual group’s rules. Post on Twitter and Pinterest also. You can acquire reasonable views by “selling” your work, but you will fare much better by being part of the community. Share your posts to social media, but share posts from other bloggers as much if not more than your own. Spamming your content to the same 100 twitter followers over and over will not get you any more readers. But, if you catch the attention of, and impress 10 bloggers who share your work with their 100 followers, then you’ve just received a big boost to your page views. When you share someone else’s work, be sure to leave them a comment telling them. It lets them know someone appreciates their work enough to introduce it to their network. People will generally reciprocate by visiting your site, and if they like your work they may share it as well.

 

Eye catching headlines.
                It is important to get your work in front of as many eyes as possible because only a percentage of people who see your post will actually take the time to read it. For example, if all 1000 people in the paragraph above actually see your post only 80% will take the time to actually read the headline (CopyBlogger). Of that 800 people only up to 20% will read the post. Whether it’s 1% or 20% depends on your headline. If you title your new post “My New Post” then only the insanely curious will click through. However, if it’s titled “20 Reasons this Article is so Genius that the only Title I Could come Up With Was ‘My New Post’” then I’m going to read it to find out if it is in fact genus, or as cluttered and rambling as the title. It doesn’t actually matter why I would open it, only that I would because of the headline.

 

Building and maintaining reputation.
                Be the authority in your writing. You don’t have to be The Expert, but you should know what you are talking about. That doesn’t mean you can only write about things you have done for a living, just make sure you research your topics thoroughly, and site your sources. Do not state facts without being able to back them up, or at least stating how you got that information. You don’t have to link every source, but you should always site it.
If you are writing about your own experiences try to be as open and honest as possible. Everyone understands that there are things you don’t want to share with the world, but you have to share enough to form a connection with your readers. And for god’s sake don’t make big bullshit claims. Don’t tell people you can teach them how to get 1000 page views a week, when you wrote a post last week about this being your first site and it’s only a month old. If your readers trust you, they will keep coming back. If they don’t, they will make it known.

 

Guest Blogging.
              Many sites accept guest posts. Guest posting is writing content for an existing blog other than your own. Generally doing so will cumulate links back to your site or Backlinks. Backlinks are the primary form of off page SEO. Basically if your site is linked to a reputable site, than google believes you must also have a reputable site, therefore ranking you higher in searches. You are judged by the company you keep. If you have a lot of good friends, you must be a good person, or in this case a good website. This is why your reputation is so important. When someone offers you a backlink they are putting their name at risk for your benefit. If they feel like they can’t trust you, than they will not take the risk. On top of backlinks, guest blogging also offers exposure to a new group of readers that you may not have been able to reach otherwise. Essentially, guest blogging is extremely beneficial in both short and long term returns.

 

 

The biggest tip I can give to anyone starting a blog or thinking about starting a blog, is Be Part of the Community. Interact with other bloggers, be it through Facebook, WordPress, Twitter, or actual blogging communities. Don’t just drop links to your posts in your groups and run off. I spend the majority of one day a week, usually Friday, reading the blogs that are linked in the groups I belong to or follow through email, and commenting on them or sharing them on social media. You don’t have to read everything. It is perfectly ok to stick to your interests. A single guy who lives alone doesn’t have to read 10 mommy blogs a week just to prove he is part of the group. Just understand that if you write primarily about video games, mommy bloggers may not be reading your work either. That is the truly amazing thing about blogging. There is literally something out there for everyone.

 

However the thing you need to realize is, quality content is incredibly important. Probably the most important. You can do everything else perfectly, but if you don’t put the time and effort into your writing, you won’t get anywhere. No one will attach their name to your work, by sharing or linking it, if it is full of typos or misinformation.

 

Write well, be a valuable member of the community, and traffic to your page will take care of itself for the first few months. You may even come away with a few lifelong followers.