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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.
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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 seobook.com

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

How a Trackback after a Comment Can Start a Relationship

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

I was working today, answering comments and writing a post, when in came a trackback from a blog I didn’t know.

It immediately got my attention.

I went over to see who was talking. Of course, I knew the name of the blogger. He had just been on my post and written two comments. I could remember what they said, but I really didn’t know him. I had been planning to visit his blog later, but you know that later sometimes just doesn’t make it.

With a trackback – something about answering Liz’s compelling question — that blogger made sure I went to see him. His trackback had captured my full attention. What question? What was his answer? I had to find out. I wanted to solve the puzzle. I was at the point in my day when I needed some fun.

That’s the power of a well done trackback. It’s an intriguing invitation to visit, and I knew the place I was visiting was a blog where they knew me because the trackback called me Liz. Trackbacks are a great to begin a relationship, especially if you’ve left a comment first. Here’s why:

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How to Promote a Blog

If there’s a question that I get asked more than any other it’s about how to promote a blog.

Here’s some of the most popular posts that I’ve written on the topic of promoting blogs:

How To Drive Traffic to Your Blog – The Advice of a 12 Year Old

DavidpressRemember 12 year old blogger David Wilkinson from Techzi? David and I have kept in touch with one another since I posted about him last and recently I asked him to consider writing a guest post here at ProBlogger. I thought a 12 year old’s perspective on how to get traffic to your blog might be worth hearing. Here’s his post.

When Darren Rowse comes up to you, and asks you to write a post for ProBlogger.net, it’s not something you can really say ‘no’ to. Not that you’d want to of course, but more the fact that it’s the opportunity of a lifetime. Why should I write, of all people though? Well Darren wanted to hear the methods that I as a young person use to drive traffic to my blog, without spending any money.

Learning the basics

First you need to grasp and understand that the Internet is a big place. Several billion web-pages, and often with very little time available to the end-user, they’ll use several techniques to find what they’re looking for.

SEO

Search? Standard engines like Google, Yahoo and Live are the most popular nowadays, and optimizing your site to be found easily, can be easy and hard based on many factors.

My best advice for someone starting out would be to start by building quality content for somebody to see, then progressing to “The Three Cs”. This way, you’ll get noticed by genuinely interested people, who’ll actively want to play a part in your site’s development, by giving you quality feedback on ways to improve, design and usability.

If you have a blog or a website that’s been going for several weeks, perhaps a month or two, and you’ve done “The Three Cs”, or at least some of them, would be to start focusing on building on your existing content, with fresh, interesting, relevant and unique content. Note I say ‘relevant’ and ‘unique’. This is important. There are so many splogs out there now-a-days, that people can quickly distinguish whether an article has been written by somebody or not, at least the majority of the time. Relevance too, like I said, is a key factor. If you have a very personal blog, then one day write something completely off-topic about a new type of golf club that comes out, people will start to wonder if you and your blog actually have an aim or a purpose, which is yet another vital thing to consider.

If you’re somebody with a very mature blog, that is several months or more old, you can now focus on the technical side of things, which is mainly down to the spiders. If you’ve been blogging this long, then if you’re not on your own domain, or hosting, I recommend it, as it allows for greater flexibility, design and SEO. Search engine optimization? Yep! A Google Sitemap can be stuck on your server for the Google-Bot and metatags can be added, which let you pre-define information about your page automatically, such as the author, a description, keywords and feed information. This also makes usability easier for feed-ready browsers like Firefox and Internet Explorer 7. Tacky pre-set designs become a thing of the past too, and upgrading to WordPress can be a smart move, as the developer community there will help you along the way with every aspect of your blog, from the writing itself, to the advanced functionality like widgets that are available, and the themes that are freely downloadable to customize your blog’s look. Of course you could always give design a go yourself as I did at Techzi.net – though admittedly I enlisted the help of two professional designers as well.So, what are these ‘C’s that I’ve been talking to you so much about anyway? Read on to find out…

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