Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Keeping Your Special Visitors

Special Visitors

Two of the best ways to get new visitors to your site are from guest posting and participating in blogging carnivals.  Guest posting allows you to get new visitors from an already establish site.  The trust they lend when hosting your post helps to send readers to your site as a vote of approval for you.  After all, they are hosting your post which is a form of promotion.

Blogging carnivals tend to be very popular sources of many viewpoints on a shared topic.  Many times these readers will visit your site and view your carnival submitted post.  If they enjoyed your content for the blogging carnival, there next step may be to review your current post or look at interesting topics in your archives.  Either way you want to keep those special visitors coming back.  You want to convert them into new regular readers and not just a one time visitor that bounces right out of your site after reading your original entry.

How To Keep Them

There are a few things that you can do to help your rate of converting those new special visitors into regular readers or subscribers.  After they become subscribers or regular readers, there are much better chances that you can convert them to customers, if your goal is to market a product of your own or to promote affiliate products.

Here are a few strategies to help convert special visitors into subscribers or regular readers.
  1. Make sure you have a top quality post on days that blogging carnivals are released.
  2. Have a high quality post on the day your guest post airs on another site.
  3. Have an area that showcases your most popular posts so favorite posts can be easily found.
  4. Have your newsletter or subscribing option listed above the fold so it is easily seen.
  5. Use deep internal links within your submitted carnival and guest post entries.
Anyone have any other strategies for converting your special guests to regular readers?

Monday, January 17, 2011

The 7 Types of Social Media Sites

Social Media

Social media is a hot topic these days, but did you know there are more types of sites than just Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter?  Myspace just fired almost half of their staff and is changing to be less of a social media site and more of an entertainment launch pad.  Facebook and Twitter are growing, but there are other types of social media sites out there.

The Seven Types Of Social Media Sites

  1. Social Networks (Facebook, Myspace)
  2. Blogs (Blogger, Wordpress)
  3. Bookmarking Sites (Delicious, Ma.gnolia, StumbleUpon)
  4. Microblogging Sites (Twitter, Plurk)
  5. Media Sharing Sites (YouTube, Flickr)
  6. Popularity Sites (Digg, Reddit)
  7. Aggregators (Flock, FriendFeed, Streamy)
All seven of these categories are important to explore because the are all connected with each other.  Social media has the potential to spread a message farther and faster than any other vehicle.  You can use multiple types of social media sites to spread the message about your product or your company.  Knowing which sites are the current trends or hot spots is a big advantage in getting your message out, building your brand, and capitalizing off of marketing efforts.  The more types of sites you are familiar with and using, the better your chances of getting a good spreading sneeze response to your message.

Are you exploring more than one of the seven types of social media?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Social Media Sneeze Principal

Social Media Sharing
The Social Media Sneeze Principal

The most important thing to understand about the nature of social media is The Sneeze Principle.  The various types of social media allow a visitor to read an article or blog post, watch a video, or see some other form of content.  That visitor can then "Sneeze" or somehow indicate what he thinks of the content by leaving a comment, bookmarking the site, clicking on a Fan Box or a Like box, or any other form of social media sharing.

That is the Sneeze Effect.  When one visitor sneezes, otehr see that sneeze.  Others will then go and look at that same content.  They may also sneeze and spread it to their circle of friends or followers, who in turn could sneeze again sending it even father.  Every view has the opportunity to sneeze and share the message with others.  A great post can be far more than you can reach alone, thanks to social media and its sneezing effects.

So be sure to have easy and highly visible access to popular social media platforms.  If you look at the top of my page, under the header, you can see the row of buttons.  This makes sharing or sneezing the posts or site easy for everyone to spread.

Sneeze Factor / Viral Effect in Action

You do have buttons for your readers to sneeze don't you?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Blogger Code To Swap Default Title Order

Swapping The Title Order

If you are using Blogger as your free blogging service, then there is a simple quick fix that you can do to better improve the search engine optimization for each of your post pages.  When creating your url address of your individual post pages, Blogger puts your title at the end of the page address.  Ideally you want the title to be keyword rich and placed at the front on the page address.  This will provide better results when your topic is searched for.  To swap this default setting around open your layout and click on edit html.

Find the following code (Control F brings up a page search box)


and replace with:

<b:if cond='data:blog.pageType == "item"'>
<title><data:blog.pageName/> - <data:blog.title/></title>

Then save the changes to your template.  Your page titles should now start with your keywords instead of ending with them.  This is not a retroactive change so old posts will still be archived from the old settings.  Therefore doing this as soon as possible is highly recommended.  I just learned this trick yesterday and I really wish I would have known from the beginning of my blogging career.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

7 Reasons To Showcase Popular Posts

Showcase Your Popular Posts

You can showcase your most popular posts with a widget.  There are many reasons why you should use this option on your blog.  The widget ranks your posts based on page views, so your content that is the most read is easily available for others to read.  You can set up to show up to 10 posts as the most popular.  Your most viewed pages are probably your best posts and should be easily available for new visitors.  Be sure to place this showcase of your content above the fold on your landing page.

Reasons To Show Your Top Posts

  1. Your most popular posts are usually your best content.  You should show it off.
  2. New readers will appreciate the consolidation of posts and it gives those new readers a great list of articles to read to get the feel of your site and your writing style.
  3. Showcasing your top content can lead to more subscriptions to your feed reader or newsletter.
  4. Once you have identified your most read posts, you know what kind of posts your readers are looking for.  You can better target posts for your audience.
  5. Your page views and time on site will increase, while your bounce rate also decreases.
  6. You are providing a list of content that has a better chance to be linked from others sites.
  7. Having identified some of your most commonly viewed posts, you can go back and add affiliate advertising links or purchase options on those high traffic pages.
I use a popular posts list on all my sites.  Do you?  Can you think of any other benefits from showcasing your popular content?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

How To Build An Image Link

Linking An Image To A Page

Here is the basic code for creating a link to a page from an image.  It is very similar to creating a text link, except that we are going to use an image instead of anchor text.

First make sure to either upload you image to your directory and copy the url location of the hosting site or find the url of the image online that you want to use.

Don't put a space between the 2 sets of code because some browsers will place a small box after them image, which looks odd.

<a href="Enter the URL of the page to link HERE"><img src="Enter your image link here"/></a>

Monday, January 10, 2011

Twitter Link Shorteners


When using the microblogging site Twitter, each tweet you send is only allowed to be a maximum of  characters.  Often you will want to send text along with your link.  Many times you will be linking to a page that has a long url and sometimes the link alone will be longer than the allowed 140 characters.  Therefore, you must find a way to shorten you link in order to allow for the link to be included with a short description and hashtags.

Twitter Link Shorteners

There are multiple sites that provide link shortening services.  You can view a large compiled link shortener list over at searchengineland.com.  I prefer to use Bit.ly as my preferred link shortener.  It is rather easy to use.  Just copy and paste the link into the main box and it will shorten your link down to less than 14 characters.  You can also use this same page to track the clicks of any links shortened with Bit.ly.  Be sure to check it out, if you are in search of a link shortening service.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Shameless Self Promotion

I wanted to share with you an excellent article that I read over at Disciplinary Action.  This is a blog that is within my main site's gaming niche, which focuses on World of Warcraft normally.  This post has some references to other Warcraft blogs, but all of the content is an excellent guide to promoting yourself and your site through the various channels of commenting, forums, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

It is an excellent post and is well worth the read.  Check it out and see if you are using these same tactics.  I know I already am.  Are you shamelessly promoting yourself?

Shameless Self Promotion: A Guide To Driving Traffic To Your Blog

Thursday, January 6, 2011

What Is Your Daily Routine?

Get Into A Routine

As humans we are creatures of habit.  We tend to like to stick to pre-established routines and straying from that routine can cause unwanted stress.  Having a routine helps to keep you focused and in tune with your work.  Conversely, not having a routine or set pattern can lead to chaos, missed deadlines, and panic.

Sticking to a routine can help you build your blogging consistency and is also a great way to stay on track towards meeting the goals you have set.

My Daily Routine

  1. Log onto my blogs and check to make sure that they posted without issue.
  2. Check the traffic to the blogs from the day before.
  3. Check referral data to find any incoming links from fellow bloggers.
  4. Read any comments that I have not already seen.
  5. Reply to comments as needed.
  6. View all the blog posts of blogs in my blogroll.
  7. Leave relevant comments on these blogs and any links to similar posts I have written.
  8. Send out a Twitter tweet on new posts 3 times a day.  Auto-tweet in morning when posts go live, then manually in the afternoon and evening (to reach more foreign traffic).  Follow me at @SSmith0911
  9. Research and work up new posts as needed and set to auto-post.
  10. Engage comments left throughout the rest of the day.
  11. Submit excellent cornerstone posts to article marketing sites as needed.
  12. Comment on forums on relevant topics leaving links as appropriate.
  13. Make sure to have a pad of paper in my back pocket throughout the day for making notes and saving post ideas.

Sticking to this routine daily does pay off in the long run, as I am engaging my comments and leaving comments on other blogs and forums to help drive new traffic to my sites.

Do you have a routine that you follow daily?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Email Marketing and AWeber

Marketing With Email

Email marketing is a great way to increase your ability to earn from your site.  The #1 recommended email marketing company online is AWeber Communications.  This one is recommended by a ton of successful bloggers and business owners including Darren Rowse of ProBlogger, author of ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income.

Marketing With Email Helps

  1. Increase Sales Conversions
  2. Generate Repeat Sales
  3. Turn Web Users Into Offline Purchasers
  4. Promote Affiliate Products
  5. Create Newsletters
  6. Up-Sell and Cross Sell Products
  7. Gain Feedback From Customers
  8. Build Your Brand Identity
AWeber allows you to set up some great automailers as well.  You can set these up to promote affiliate products over time at set intervals.  So you can have many time delayed promotional pitches mixed in with daily RSS feeds, weekly newsletters, insider tips, or anything else you can imagine.  After you build your subscriber base, you can continue to have many more oppurtunities to convert sales.  Best thing is you can pre-set when certain mailers go out with AWeber's automailers.  The oppurtunities to bring your readers together within your mailing lists are only available, if you get an email marketing campaign underway. 

AWeber is the best bang for your buck as it is only $19 a month and the first month is only $1 to try this great program out.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Above The Fold

Above The Fold

What does "above the fold" mean?  "The fold" is the lowest edge of a webpage viewable before scrolling down.  So everything that is in plain view on the landing page is considered "above the fold".  This fold can vary depending on what device the web page is viewed on and is also effected by things out of your control, like the viewer's browsing toolbar set-up.

You want to try to place certain things above the fold.  Anything that is displayed "above the fold" is going to be part of the initial impression of any new visitors to your site.  Use this space above the fold wisely.  Be sure that your site.   Certain things should always be above the fold.  Your page title, header, navigation tabs, subscriber links, contact info, and the title of your current post should all be visible above the fold.  If you are a blogger, having easy links to some flagship articles or most popular posts above the the fold can help to increase your visitor's time on your site.  If you are selling something, you definately want your product, store, or shopping cart to be easily found above the fold. 

Any advertising you place above the fold will have a much better chance of being clicked than those listed below the fold and down the page.  Depending on what type of site you have will determine what is most important to place above the fold. 

Stop and take a moment to view your page and what is above the fold.  Do new readers understand what your page is about without having to scroll down the page?  Do you have your most prominent items and articles placed above the fold or are they hidden down the page?  Think of all the information above the fold as highlighting your site, with a few advertisements mixed in.  Anything that is linking to another site or blog can go below the fold as you want to highlight your site above the fold.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Why You Should Promote With Business Cards

Why You Should Promote With Business Cards

Business cards are a valuable tool for any business, but have you ever thought of creating business cards for your blog or web site?  Business cards are a nice tool to help grow your site and to lead more readers towards your products or advertising.  

I am in the process of designing business cards for my main sites.  Often times I am verbally giving my website out or scribbling the url on a piece of paper to hand to someone.  How unprofessional is that?  Having a nice business card with my site info to hand out would look MUCH more professional than a scribbled piece of paper.  

Another reason I want to create a business card is to put my amazon affiliate information on the flip side.  Many times I mention the Amazon affiliate program to friends and co-workers in hopes of earning affiliate commissions from people that I know that are already using Amazon for purchases.  Having a business card with a direct link address or instructions for navigating to my affiliate link is more professional and easier for the recipient.  Plus a business card is more likely to be kept than a scribbled note.  

Another use I will have for business cards is when I am out doing some parking lot flyering at conventions within my niche.  I can hit all the cars with flyers, then go inside the convention and hand out business cards in person.

After looking all over for the best deals on business cards, I can report the best value is with Vistaprint.  This is where I will be getting my business cards once I finish my design.

 Save up to 80% on custom printed products at Vistaprint. Order today!