Targeting Your Reader’s Emotions

Rand has a great post over at SEOmoz on The Emotions that Make Us Link.

It’s one of those ‘why didn’t I think to write it’ posts.

I guess I’m linking up to it out of ‘envy’, mixed with a little ‘sharing’.

PS: Actually Rand’s post reminds me a lot of a great book that I’ve been meaning to write about – Hot Button Marketing: Push the Emotional Buttons That Get People to Buy (aff).

In ‘Hot Buttons’ the author Barry Feig shares a variety of buttons that marketers use to make customers buy. What struck me in reading the book was how similar many of the ‘buttons’ were to engaging readers (whether to get a link as Rand writes about) or to get them to do other things (make a comment, buy a product, subscribe to your blog etc).

It’s an insightful book that might be worth the read if you want to explore the theme more.

Building Your Personal Brand – One ‘Straw’ at a Time

“Customers build an image of a brand as birds build nests. From the scraps and straws they chance upon.” – Jeremy Bullmore

I heard the above quote from Bullmore a couple of months ago and since then have continued to mull it over as I think it applies to bloggers pretty well.

I received the following email from a reader last week (slightly modified for anonymity):

Hi Darren, I’ve just subscribed to your ProBlogger blog after a strange line of coincidences that I thought you might like to know about.

I first heard of you via a family member who lives in Melbourne (I live in Sydney). They suggested I check out your church blog as we’re thinking about similar issues to you.

Three weeks later I saw an article in the Sydney Morning Herald that was a profile of your photography site.

A few days later I was searching Google as I was researching the purchase of a new camera and your site came up as the number 1 result.

About a month ago I stumbled upon your facebook profile as you are one of my friends friends. I added you as a friend.

Two weeks ago I saw one of your photography articles on the front page of Digg. I decided to subscribe to that blog that day as I thought it was a bit of a coincidence.

Last week I was chatting to a friend about my blog and he was telling me about some Aussie guy who was making a full time living from blogging. He gave me the URL of the site to check out. Imagine my surprise when I saw your photo on the site. Up until this I didn’t realize that you wrote about blogging.

After finding you in six different ways already I decided I should probably subscribe to your blog.

PS: Is there anywhere else that I’m likely to bump into you? You seem to be everywhere! For example I just discovered your Flickr account and Myspace page. Where else are you?

It strikes me that Jeremy Bullmore’s quote has a lot of truth to it and in this case it’s pretty well illustrated.

Every online interaction you have, every social networking or bookmarking site that you participate in, every comment that you leave on other blogs, every interview that you do, every decision you make about your own blog, every comment that you leave on a forum, every guest post that you write on another blog – all of these things (and more) add to your own personal brand.

Combined these ‘straws’ build an overall brand that people assemble in their own time, order and way.

The Power of Getting Readers in the Door at Amazon

Two weeks ago I started an experiment over at Digital Photography School which I think highlights the power of getting people in the door at Amazon using their affiliate program.

The experiment centered around a review that I wrote of a book – Complete Digital Photography.

The book is a brand new release (an updated version of an old book) which I ordered the day it came out so that I could be one of the first reviews on the web going around of it. Having owned a previous edition of the book I knew it was likely to be a good one – and it was.

In the review I linked back to Amazon where readers could get their own copy. The link that I used was my affiliate link and it contained a ‘tracking ID’ which enables me to track what those clicking on the link end up purchasing at Amazon. After two weeks the sales are continuing to come in but I think the initial results give some insights into what people do when following such links.

Here’s a summary of what people bought after clicking the link in this review post:

We’ll start with the books mentioned in the review:

OK – so no surprises so far – but what interested me most was in what else people bought – items NOT mentioned in the review: [Read more…]

Why is my Technorati Authority Falling?

Help – my Technorati Authority Ranking is decreasing – how can this be – I know I’m getting new links but the number is decreasing!?

This is a question that I’m asked quite frequently by readers and the answer is pretty simple.

No you’re not being penalized by Technorati and no the blogs that once linked to you are not being deleted….

The answer to this problem is that the incoming links to your blog are simply getting old.

Technorati calculates how many links are pointing at your blog from other blogs (your blog’s ‘authority’) based upon the last 6 months activity. This means that a blog that links to you today will be counted – but in 180 days it will not be counted any more.

This is how Technorati attempts to keep things fresh and not disadvantage new blogs entering he blogosphere. If they didn’t do it, old blogs would have an unfair advantage in terms of overall rankings. It means that all blogs need to keep active in order to maintain their ‘authority’.

Guerrilla Marketing Tactics for Your Blog

Aaron Brazell has put together a post Guerrilla Marketing Techniques that Anyone Can Do which have some less common tactics to get word out about your blog.

I doubt any of them will bring in a deluge of traffic – however sometimes it’s the small ways of building traffic that add up to make a blog popular.

What small and less common techniques do you use to build traffic to your blog?

An Example of a Guerrilla Marketing Tactic

I met a blogger recently who had a blog with a very local focus. His Guerrilla Marketing Tactic was to do a deal with three internet cafes in his area to make his blog the home page on all of the computers. In return for this he gave them some free advertising on his blog. The same blogger made a similar deal with the local library who also made his blog the home page of their public internet computers. This worked particularly well for him as his blog was on his local area.

Are You An Ungrateful Link Getter?

45n5 has a post that has got me thinking – Are You An Ungrateful Link Getter?

In it Mark asks his readers whether they say thanks when another blogger links up to them. He also wonders out loud how a blogger who gets quite a few links each day copes with it.

I left a number of comments over at his post so I won’t regurgitate them all – but here’s a few of the main thoughts that come to mind for me:

  • saying thanks with a comment on the post that you get the link on can be really worthwhile
  • realistically it can be difficult to do when you do get quite a few links each day
  • commenting with more than ‘thanks for the link’ is worthwhile to do. Add to the conversation in some way.
  • commenting not only on the post that linked to you but other recent posts can also have an impact and grow the relationship
  • returning a day later to see if the blogger has responded to your comment is extra good
  • emailing the blogger to say a more personal thank you can also have an impact
  • all of these suggestions can make it even more time consuming and difficult to keep track of – however it can be worth it
  • I fail dismally on all of the above. I try to keep track of incoming links and be grateful – however it could become a full time job in itself

Do you say thank you for links? How do you do it? Head over to 45n5 to have your say.

Speedlinking – 29 July 2007

  • Digital Inspiration reports that Blogger have added a new feature that allows their users to add comment policies to their blogs. Excellent idea.
  • BlogHer is currently running. This is one of my favorite Blog conferences to watch (from the other side of the world). If you’re there and blogging the event feel free to let us know about it in comments below. Wendy from eMoms is and has a couple of good recaps of sessions here and here.
  • Nate analyses his RSS subscriber growth (he’s up over 400 now in six months) – I love reading these types of posts – it shows the power of interacting on others blogs, running competitions, getting links from other blogs and posting consistently. Nate’s been doing some good blogging of late – my guess is he’ll break 1000 in a shorter time than it took to get to 400.
  • SEOMoz have another good Whiteboard Friday video – this one on what to do when someone breaks your copyright – the process that they go through.

Generate Multiple streams of blogging income

Brad-IsaacThis guest post has been submitted by Brad Isaac – software programmer and blogger at Achieve-IT!

You are probably losing more money than you think…

One common beginning blogger question I hear is “what is the best ad or affiliate program that will make me the most money? ”

Unfortunately, this question is flawed because there is no right answer. In fact, after you have read this, I hope you will see that there are several right answers instead of just one.

What you’ll learn in this article is how creating multiple streams of income is the smart and safe way to increase the amount of money you make from your blog.

First the problem: You may have tried Adsense, or a different pay per click product and found that you only make a few dollars a day. It is easy to become discouraged when you see just a little amount.

But with a multiple stream philosophy, you are always looking at the forest – not the individual trees. So when the tree is small you don’t cut it down. You simply plant more trees so you can build a forest.

In blogging terms, you’d earn a little from Adsense, a little from Text-Link ads, a little from affiliates, a little from your own product and before you know it, you are earning a lot. The whole is much greater than the individual parts.

Here’s how it works on my site:

Pay per click – $150-$600/mo
Text Links network – $100/mo
Affiliates – $375/mo
My own products – $1200 – $4000/month

As you can see when you add it all up it’s not a bad part-time income. Some of you might think, “hey drop the others and focus only on your software!” When you do the math, it appears that by dropping the others, the software sales would increase. But the reality is software sales are seasonal for many of us. The other streams on my blog compensate for the down times.

In fact, all of the streams are ‘seasonal’ in some aspect or another. Some weeks Adsense performs better than others. Some weeks, my affiliate promotions outperform everything else.

Why it’s deadly to put all your eggs in one basket

Here’s why focusing in on only one income stream is a bad idea. What happens if that stream fails? Then what?

[Read more…]

Media Whiz Aquires AuctionAds

Congratulations to the team behind AuctionAds who today announced that they’ve been acquired by Media Whiz. Well done Jeremy and Dave – don’t spend it all at once!