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The advantages of Different Types of Traffic

WorkBoxers writes a great post comparing Search Engine Traffic to Daily Visitors, Which Is Better? I agree with Scrivs again on this one – its a ‘both’ thing – both types of readers have their value to your blog. You can successfully target either one exclusively or even both depending upon what the goal of your site is.

Targeting Search Engine Readers – For example when we ran the Olympics blog last year we were not really too interested in loyal daily readers (apart from the two weeks of the game themselves) – we did have a few of them but the vast majority of the 2 million readers we got that month came in via Google. Whilst the loyal readers were great and added something special to the site they were in the minority and not our main focus. As Scrivs say its the SE readers that most believe click on ads more than loyal readers so this group of readers can be quite rewarding.

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Random Blog Tips – Purple Cow Blogging

PurplecowOne of the common mistakes that I see in many blogs is that they are quite simply unremarkable.

We’ve all seen seen these blogs – (and most of us if we’re honest will admit to having written them at some point) – they are the blogs you look at for a few seconds without actually seeing anything before you surf on to some other site.

A couple of days ago I told you that blog readers stay on any given blog for an average of 96 seconds. Its not long so you’ve only got just over one and a half minutes to make an impression – to do something remarkable that will rock your reader’s world a little and shake them out of the web surfing zombie like state that they are probably in.

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The 4 Secrets to an Effective E-Newsletter

One of the good blogs that I’ve started reading a bit more of lately is Search engine optimization and Online marketing, a group blog written about Affiliate programs, B2B Marketing, Business Blogging, SEO and more. They write an article today that might be helpful to bloggers wanting to explore developing an E-Newsletter to add to their blog and keep readers in touch with their blogging. They write 4 secrets – the first of which is:

Make it Useful. With a business to business newsletter in particular, it’s difficult to get any traction with readers if you don’t give them some kind of actionable “aha” with every issue you send. They are barraged with emails, and eager to click the delete button as often as possible.

Your goal therefore, is to give them pause. To make them live in fear that if they delete your newsletter, they will miss some insight that would have made a significant impact on their success. Useful information rises to the top of the pile, and when your newsletter is on top, you need not worry about how big the pile is….’

Read more of this article at The 4 Secrets to an Effective E-Newsletter

I would recommend starting an Email Newsletter for your blog if you’re interested in developing a more loyal readership. Last year I started one on my Digicam blog that has now been signed up for by 3000 or so readers that have opted into the newsletter which lets me promote my latest posts to them every week. Its really added a new dimension to what I do. Of course if you’re wanting to start such a newsletter make sure you’re willing to actually deliver what you promise to your readership.

Letting others Promote your Blog for you

Finding readers for your blog can be one of the hardest and most frustrating parts of blogging. You slave over your content, writing witty, clever, insightful, humorous posts and check your stats at the end of your day and barely anyone has taken any notice – it can be downright depressing. I’m always on the lookout for new and fresh ways to expose potential readers to blogs and love to check out how others do it.

One of the more innovative things I’ve seen recently is over at Idol Blog – particularly in their American Idol Section where they have just made public their American Idolblog Popularity Tracker.

The tracker is basically a poll about which contestant people like the most. The poll is reset every week and tracked back on the blog in graphical form. Up until now they’ve only run these popular polls in their own sidebars but now they are offering them via a javascript code to other bloggers and websites.

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Why Posting about the Oscars Today is 2 weeks to Late

This morning as I do the rounds of some of my favorite blogs I’ve noticed a theme. Its the Academy Awards – the Oscars. I wonder how many blogs are listing the winners of the 2005 Oscars today – I’ve just seen at least 10.

As I surfed around and saw these entries I asked myself – ‘why are they posting these posts today?’

Ok – most people are posting the Oscar results out of a genuine interest in the Oscars – however I suspect some are doing it because they think people are searching for the information today. I’ve got news for them – you’re two weeks too late with your post.

Why? Well to put it simply – if you are blogging about an event and you want people to find your post via Google or one of the other search engines you need to anticipate what people are searching for in advance and put up a post about it early. Here is what I would have done if I’d have wanted big hits yesterday and today from people searching for the results.

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How to Keep First Time Readers to your Blog – Part IV

This is the fourth and final post in this series on making first time readers loyal readers. Read previous parts at part I, part II and part III

Promote your RSS Feed – Under my invitation to receive an email newsletter I have an invitation to subscribe to my RSS feed on each post. Again this just gives readers another opportunity to hook themselves into what I write about on a daily basis. Make it easy for them to get involved

Search this site – have a clearly labeled feature that allows readers to search your blog. My readers regularly use my search features to find if I’ve written on specific topics. I tend to use the Google search option that Adsense gives you that allows you to run Adsense ads in your search results. This not only allows your readers to search your site but gives you an other income stream for your blog.
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How to Keep First Time Readers to your Blog – Part III

Here are a few more tips for helping to convert those one off readers that stumble onto your blog into loyal readers. Read part 1, part 2 and part 4 also.

Include a link to other relevant posts – your reader has somehow ended up on your blog because the post you’ve written has gotten their attention either on a search engine or on someone else’s site that has linked to you. Something about the topic you’ve just written on interested them enough to visit your site. A logical way of keeping them on your site is by providing them with more on the same topic. There are a number of ways you can do this:

1. Firstly within your posts link to other things you’ve written that are relevant. For example, if you want to know some of the benefits of internal links in a blog you might also be interested in this post.
2. Some blog tools have plugins that help you point to ‘relevant posts’ at the end of your post. WordPress and Moveable Type have the ability to do this – rather than having to manually find previously written relevant posts they’ll find them for you based upon keywords and title.
3. Include a link to the category you’ve classified the post you are writing in. For example at the bottom of this post will be a link saying ‘More from Blog Promotion’ which will take readers to a page with other articles written on how to promote their blogs.
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How to Keep First Time Readers to your Blog – Part II

You might also like to read part I, part III and Part IV of this series on helping those first time readers to become loyal ongoing visitors to your site before reading on. Here are a few of the things that I’ve tried over the past few years to help those one off first time readers to stay around and interact with me and my blog a little longer than a one one off visit:

Individual Page Design – Make sure the individual pages on your blog are as well designed and laid out as your front page. I constantly come across blogs with very poorly individual archive pages. Work on making your pages engaging and easy to navigate – they are a potential doorway into the rest of your blog and therefore deserve a little attention when it comes to the design of your blog. It is worth asking a non blogging friend to test your blog’s usability and navigability to see just how easy it is to use.

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How to Keep First Time Readers to your Blog – Part I

This is a 4 part series on how to keep first time readers on your blog (or how to make your blog sticky). This series of posts continues at part II, part III and part IV.

Wayne has a good post titled Previous posts still bring visitors which picks up on the importance of your old posts in blogging. He writes:

‘Blog posting on a regular and long term basis pays off in visitor traffic.

Older posts are like a good gift that keeps on giving.

Like a beautiful flowering apple tree, a blog continues to grow and bear fruit. It also provides sustenance from the past, like apples frozen for pies at a later date….’

How true Wayne’s words are. The way I like to think of it is that my blog’s archives are perhaps my blogs greatest asset. Each post I write has the potential not only to reach current readers – but readers for many years that surf in after finding it on search engines.

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