How to Find Untapped Audiences Offline – By Letting Others Republish Your Content

One of the increasingly common emails that I’m getting from my Digital Photography School blog is along the lines of:

‘can I republish and article from your blog in my periodical/newsletter/magazine?’

It is an interesting question and one that I’ve had a change of heart on over the past few years.

Previously I was much more protective of my content and would rarely allow it to be republished (with or without permission) in any form unless there was some very tangible benefit from doing so (ie either payment or a very large readership of the other publication).

However over the last year I’ve begun to see the benefits of allowing my content to be republished – particularly in offline publications.

My reasoning in this thinking is simply that it opens up new audiences and potential reader relationships that you might previously have not had.

One of the challenges that many bloggers face is that after a year or two of running that they often hit a ceiling in terms of readership. Every other blog in their niche knows about them and has already linked up and as a result most active blog readers in the niche have already made a decision about whether they’ll follow you or not.

The main way that you can then grow traffic is to break into untapped and un-reached audiences. There are a number of ways to do this that include:

  • build your SEO ranking and find new readers searching for information on search engines
  • break into a related niche by expanding the topics that you write about and appealing to other blogs on related topics
  • finding new offline sources of traffic

It is this last point that allowing the republishing content can help you with.

Let me offer just one example (of many from the last months):
[Read more...]

How to List Your Blog in MySpace News

MySpace have recently launched their News service (complete with some very nauseating flashing ads that I’m seeing right now).

Loren from Search Engine Journal posts that blogs and news sites wanting to be considered for this new index can submit their link here.

This is a worthwhile endeavor for any blogger wanting to promote their blog as MySpace is bursting traffic and any new service that they add has every chance of sending the sites that they link to with some significant traffic – especially considering that their news service has a voting/social bookmarking type system attached to it.

Their FAQ doesn’t really outline what requirements your blog needs to meet to be included in the index other than that it should be topical, that it should publish regularly, that it has a a core audience and that other news sources link to the site.

Being ‘Discovered’ vs ‘Slow and Steady’ Blog Growth

Reader QuestionsKumiko asks – ‘I was studying John Chow’s traffic patterns through Alexa and noticed that his popularity really surged after four of his articles were listed on Digg and his traffic went through the roof. He was ‘discovered’ through these and his traffic levels have never really looked back. And receiving a link in one of your posts has done wonderful things for my own traffic!

What were landmark posts or actions that you did in order to receive the traffic that you have now? Was there a single post or link that sent your traffic sky-high and made you a ‘pro-blogger?’

Good question – although not the easiest one to answer as there have been many such moments in the 4 or so years that I’ve been blogging.

Before answering the question from my own perspective let me make a more general observation.

Being ‘Discovered’ vs ‘Slow and Steady’ Blog Growth

Every blog is so different and for some the process of ‘being discovered’ that you write about above is definitely a factor (usually after a big blog or social network site links up).

On the other hand there are also many popular blogs out there where the rise to success was much more slow and steady.

For this second group it is the accumulation of good blogging over a sustained period of time that gets them discovered – one reader at a time, one day at a time and one post at a time. I suspect this second group represents the majority of bloggers.

Speaking Personally

If i were to plot my own blogging experience on the spectrum between being ‘discovered’ and the ‘slow and steady’ approach I’d have to say that it’s differed for me from blog to blog. Here’s how it’s been on three of my own blogs:

[Read more...]

The Ultimate Guide to Getting Lots of Link Love

This Guest Post was written by Wendy Piersall from eMoms at Home.

Good link love, bad link love, do we really care who links to us? A savvy blogger would say yes and no. Based on the 80-20 rule of business – 80% of your traffic will come from only 20% of your links (by my stats, it’s less than 20%).

Of course, links from A-Listers and high Google Page Rank sites are a worthy pursuit. But why should we care about the 20%, those links from anyone, especially the sites that will likely only send us a couple of visitors a week?

Quite frankly, there are four compelling reasons to care about “little links”:

  • Little links can turn into big links. One of my top referrers of all time, Steve Olson, linked to me in the fourth post he wrote. His blog has grown so big that this post still sends me consistent traffic to this day, and we’ve become great friends in the process.
  • Technorati. If the A-Listers only had links from A-Listers, they wouldn’t BE A-Listers!
  • The long tail of referring domains. If I added up all of the referrals from domains that sent less than 4 people a week to my site, together they would be my fourth largest source of traffic.
  • Google only loves you when everyone else loves you first. (Rather shallow of them don’t you think?!)

I don’t advocate spending tons of time in the pursuit of mass quantities of links from small sites. I do advocate spending a little bit of time each month cultivating links from a wide variety of sources, regardless of the amount of traffic potential.

So without further ado, here is the world’s greatest list of posts dedicated to the fine art of Link Love. Note I didn’t say longest, because there are a lot of long lists out there (which can get quite overwhelming). These are the BEST posts on the subject written within the last year… [Read more...]

A Strategy for Relationship Linking

The following post has been contributed by Liz Strauss from Successful Blog.

Blogging is more than writing and sharing information with the masses. Publishing a post only starts the heartbeat of growing blog. Yaro Starak says Don’t Be An Insular Blogger, never linking to or talking about other bloggers. Mike Sansone can be heard repeating “Link out at least once in every post.” It’s number 4 on his Blog Posting Mantra.

Linking out is a great strategy for attracting incoming links and traffic. Even more it’s a great way to establish quality relationships that grow as your blog does. Use this strategy to find bloggers that you will have long-lasting linking relationships with.

  • Define your brand values. Know what your blog is about and have values. Every established brand has values. That’s what draws us and keeps coming to a brands that we love. Figure out the key values of your blog and identify blogs that share the same values as yours. You’ll have a lot in common. as people.
  • Have a standard of quality. Write down the traits you hold as a standard and look for them before you link. If you’re want a long-term relationship, go for quality and relevance before traffic. A quality blog that’s a friend for months or years has lasting value after a spike in traffic is long forgotten.
  • Look for bloggers who have differentiated their blogs. High-quality, one-of-kind blogs have huge growth potential and the bloggers who run them usually have plenty of marketing savvy to share.
  • Keep current with relationships you already have. Visit and link to the blogs that have been your friends all along.

Relationships make for stronger, more relevant links. It’s relationships that will see you through when other links break or fall off. Linking for traffic or for incoming links is a short-term strategy. “It’s called link love,” Phil Gerbyshak just said to me. “Link because you love the blog, the information, the post, the ideas that are being shared.”

I couldn’t agree more.

I want relationship not a one-link stand.

Read more of Liz’s work at Successful Blog.

5 Ways to Tap Hidden Money Making Opportunities With Your Blog

This Guest Post was written by Wendy Piersall from eMoms at Home.

Although Darren writes frequently on the ways to monetize a blog, it’s no secret that many of his tips work best on a product-focused site such as his Digital Photography Blog. This leaves many of us who write content-focused blogs scratching our heads sometimes, wondering how we can translate the monetary success of a product blog into our own content blogs.

The fact of the matter is, you can’t. Making money off of a non-product blog takes a completely different approach, and much of the earning potential of this kind of blog is created indirectly.

Darren goes into great detail on the indirect methods of making money from blogging in this rather timeless post. The points he covers include consulting, book deals, business partnerships and speaking opportunities among others.

These opportunities are open to pretty much any writer on the planet. But the way to really leverage them to your advantage takes good blogging skills as well as good old-fashioned business and people skills:

  • The Ability to Sell – The most successful people in business are sales people – but I’m not talking about just selling products. Visionary leaders sell us on ideas, beliefs and indeed they sell us on ourselves, by influencing our thoughts and actions.
  • Solid Networking Skills – Not many people get to the top alone. I’m fond of saying that groups of people function at the level of the ‘lowest common denominator’, meaning that many times we do the bare minimum that we can get away with. Make it a point to know successful people for the simple fact that it will force you to raise your own standards (the doors they can open aren’t bad, too!).
  • The Law of Reciprocity - Add value. Give to get. Successful bloggers know they have something to offer, and ensure that their focus is on giving rather than getting. When you give a lot, the receiving part is a natural part of the cause-effect equation.
  • Get Uncomfortable – Becoming well known is something that many people aspire to, but in actual practice, pushes us to the absolute limits of what we feel we are capable of. Andy Wibbels has said it far more succinctly than I could, “If I don’t feel like a fraud at least once a day then I’m not reaching far enough.”
  • Strong Branding – Developing your own unique voice is critical, because millions of blogs are a dime a dozen. No matter if your readers love you or love to hate you, it is most important that you develop yourself as a “brand” and build on that foundation congruently.
  • Determination – Otherwise known as motivation, inspiration, etc. When it comes right down to it, finishing a big project can get downright boring at times. It’s easy to lose steam when results seem months or years away. Sometimes it takes a good old fashioned pep talk from a friend to stay on track until that book deal is within reach.

5 ways to Increase your Blog Traffic

This post has been submitted by Neil Patel. Neil is co-founder and CTO of ACS) and writes regularly on social media issues through the company’s blog, Pronet Advertising.

Traffic, traffic, traffic! We all want more traffic but sometimes it can be hard to sift through all the things you can do and figure out the best way to increase your traffic. For starters, here are five proven things you can do that will increase your traffic.

1. Hit the GYM

A great source of traffic is search engines, so why not leverage them to their fullest before worrying about anything else. Getting your website placed high within search results is determined by three main things: code, links, and content. Because you are a blogger, content isn’t the biggest problem however the other two might be. By following these simple steps, you can increase your rankings and increase your search traffic.

2. Don’t be shy

There is always something hot in the blogosphere, just keep an eye out for what’s hot and make sure to join in on the conversation. This can boost traffic and links almost immediately. Sites like Techmeme feed off of what’s hot in the blogosphere and are a great place to put on your watchlist for the latest hot topics. One great example of this is the 5 rules of social media optimization. This article was taken by a handful of other bloggers and ended up becoming the 16 rules of social media optimization. This did not only create tons of links for the original article, but it also created tons of links for all the other bloggers who added to it.
[Read more...]

What Does it Mean to Optimize a Blog Post?

This post has been submitted by Aaron Wall – the author of the comprehensive Search Engine Optimization e-book SEO Book. He blogs at

With so many people writing online today, just appealing to the robots is a surefire way to never gain market-share. Keyword research is important for creating targeted content, but focusing on things like keyword density leads to dense sounding content. And nobody wants to read that!

Even if your content exactly matches a search query, Google is not going to trust it much unless other people trust it first, which leads to a chicken vs egg scenario.

Until you get subscribers, build market attention, and people regularly link at your writing, then it is important to put people well ahead of search engines. When writing your headlines make sure they are clear and compelling, but place human emotional response ahead of trying to match as many keyword phrases as possible.

If you are new don’t be afraid to ask for help with marketing. Write comments on popular blogs, participate in discussion forums, buy AdSense ads on related blogs, interview someone who is popular or blog about them. Eventually people will notice. We are all selfish. We are each the most relevant thing in our lives.

Read more of Aaron’s work at his SEO Book Blog.

How to Leverage the Traffic of an A-List Blog

This Guest Post was written by Wendy Piersall from eMoms at Home.

When I look back over the last 11 months of how my own blog has grown, it’s safe to say that the person who has had the most influence in my traffic and growth has been Darren. Getting to meet him at Elite Retreat was incredibly cool, and at dinner one night we chatted about his Group Writing Projects. I mentioned that they had made a massive impact on creating long-term readers, links, and was the key to several very strong partnerships I have made along the way (especially when I first started out). The conversation got me thinking about all of the ways I have leveraged the audience of this site to grow my own blog.

Big blogs wouldn’t be big if they didn’t have a big audience – and on ProBlogger, Darren has created massive opportunities for you to share his fame, traffic and exposure.

Group Writing Projects are the easiest and best way to tap Darren’s audience. Here are my tips for getting the most out of these week-long traffic festivals:

  • Get your entry in the first day
  • Spend more time on your headline than you do on your post
  • Make a splash by submitting your best work
  • Keep your post on the short side, preferably under 600 words
  • Make it easily scan-able with subheads and bullets
  • Spend 30 minutes or so each day visiting other submissions, and be sure to comment
  • Actively link to the posts that are most relevant to your own blog
  • Stay active in the project the entire week

You don’t need to wait for a Group Writing Project to start tapping each others’ resources. Other ways to leverage the ProBlogger audience are:

  • Visit the bloggers that leave comments here, and consider introducing yourself to them
  • Link to each other frequently – Darren’s readers are a goldmine of knowledge!
  • Join Darren’s MyBlogLog Community, and use his widget to find others in your niche (I ALWAYS click the mom avatars!!)
  • Comment on his readers’ blogs, letting them know you found them through ProBlogger
  • Answer each others’ questions in the comments on this site
  • Praise each other in the comments on this site (I assure you, that will get you noticed!!)
  • Subscribe to the blogs Darren links to and leverage their traffic in the same way

Blogging is one of the few marketing mediums on the planet in which it’s not only ok to try and steal readers, it actually helps everyone when you do. Darren has a vested interest in your success – and has created a community on this site that can help you as much as he can directly. Leverage it to your advantage and watch everything grow.

Edit: Sorry everyone – somehow I turned comments off of this post! I’ve turned them back on now. *sheepish grin* -Wendy