Caught off guard by the iPhone’s runaway success, Microsoft’s version seemed hurried and not particularly well thought out. (http://www.cracked.com/craptions/)
Although it’s been a tried and true strategy for years, it seems that bloggers are now catching on to the benefits of article marketing as the competition for traffic intensifies. For those who may not be familiar with the technique, article marketing involves submitting short articles to directories such as Ezine Articles, with permission for others to republish your work on their blog, website or in their email newsletter. In return, you get one or more links back to the site of your choice.
Article marketing was mentioned in strategy ten of the Viral Copy Report. Since it’s an important part of any traffic-building strategy, article marketing is the focus of my next viral marketing update. An article that hits a nerve can end up republished all over the ‘net, each with a nice back link to your blog or free resource.
This time around, I’ve teamed up with Yaro Starak of Entrepreneur’s Journey. Yaro provides insights into his initial experiences as an article marketer, and his piece serves as a great introduction to the strategy. I follow up with specific tips that can help you get the most out of your article production efforts.
The result is a free 10-page PDF article marketing report. Feel free to leave any feedback here in the comments section, or share your own experiences with article marketing.
In the last six months, we’ve been lucky enough to help quite a few companies and websites drive significant traffic to their sites. Many of these campaigns have been constructed around the goal of building search engine rankings, as this is our primary business, but we’ve also found that our ability has given us great power in the fields of brand-awareness and marketing overall. Thus, the following ten processes are primarily about building traffic and through it, attention.
#10 – Targeting Unmonetized Searches
- Ingredients: KW research tools like Yahoo!’s KW Selector Tool, Wordtracker & KWDiscovery + Overture’s View Bids Tool and Google’s KW Tool
- Process: Identify some relatively high-traffic search terms or phrases that have a very rough relationship with your industry, business or site but have little to no advertisers buying keyword advertising. For $0.10 a click (sometimes less), you can build your branding and your site’s visibility. Make sure to serve up great content that targets exactly what the searchers want – a list of resources, an informational how-to article or the like. If you deliver great results in a search where you’re the only advertiser, searchers will remember you, re-visit you and, occassionaly, write about and link to you.
- Results: Campaigns of this size can be anywhere from a few dozen to a few thousand visitors per day depending on your budget. In either case, be sure to have some action items for visitors to follow and watch your analytics like a hawk to ensure that you’re bringing in real value with the terms you’ve chosen (i.e. if your abandonment rate is 75%+, you need to tweak something).
- Examples: On this one, its very hard to give examples without giving away clients or potentially spoiling opportunities, but luckily, Graywolf has a perfect example in his Pirates of the Caribbean post, where there’s a lot of searches trending that way and no advertisers – a perfect opportunity for the right player to get in the game (pun intended).
Note the lack of ads…
#9 – Creating Controversy
- Ingredients: A passionate audience or community with strong (and hopefully misguided) feelings about a subject, person, company, etc.
- Process: Create content through a blog, article, report or statistics that challenges commonly-held beliefs or assumptions or specifically challenges the views of a very popular person or organization. Be prepared to defend your positions, write about them in comments on blogs, in forums, chatrooms, online groups and wherever appropriate. Sometimes, you can even leverage the editorial section of a newspaper and re-print online.
- Results: Heavy traffic levels come through multiple channels, but your biggest source is often the direct response of the disagreeing party. Be sure you’re handling the dispute in a professional and even-handed manner and you can earn a respectable following. It’s all dependent on industry and size, but a between a few hundred and a few thousand RSS subscriptions are usually on the table.
- Examples: Dead2.0 (who I posted about earlier today) makes a great example, and Danny’s post at SEW about his Google hates also follows along this tradition.
Ever found it hard to get other bloggers to link to a new blog? Sure you have, it’s not easy sometimes. Even established blogs need to expand their traffic and influence on a regular basis, and linkbaiting is one way to do it. It’s not without potential perils, but the time honored tradition of being contrary, in order to get attention is well proved, and done right, it’s a killer way to break into a new area. There are also safer ways of linkbaitng, they’re just less fun :)
In order to bait a link, you need a hook. Hooks come in variety of flavors, some of the more popular would include:
- News hook
- Contrary Hook
- Attack Hook
- Resource Hook
- Humour Hook
There are others, but you see the point. There are two main types of hook in there, the nice hook, and the nasty hook. I’d say in most cases you can get away with a contrarian viewpoint, but not an attack. No one likes an arsehole, so there’s no real benefit, as sure you may get a ton of links from outraged blog peers, but they’ll likely ignore anything else you write.
Saying that though, it’s a judgement call. I’ve often slammed someone on a blog, but you need to be able to judge it very well. Go just a little too far, and you’ll do more harm than good.
The easiest, and safest is the nice hook. And when i say easy, i mean it. Have a look at some examples of each type of hook i’ve listed:
Here’s a tip for how to get people to link to your blog.
I’ve been reminded by this again today by seeing just how many people are linking up to Piaras Kelly’s list of Tips on writing content for your blog. I must have seen 10 or 15 people link to it in the last few hours (including me). Even though I don’t agree with all of it there is something about a list that bloggers and blog readers love. Here’s a list of reasons why lists can be good for your blog:
- Lists are Scannable – online readers are notoriously lazy. A list helps communicate a number of points quickly and easily
- Lists keep posts succinct – there is something about a list that keeps you from rambling
- Lists look ‘neat’ – I don’t know about you but when I surf onto a site that is full of messily formatted text – I don’t tend to stick around long. Lists on the other hand can be quite visually pleasing
- Don’t use site-wide links. They are highly deprecated in the latest algorithm changes, and may even lead you to a penalization of your website’s SERPs. As a measure of precaution, I recommend a maximum of one site-wide (no matter the number of pages) for every 40 to 50 unique links from 40 to 50 unique domains.
- Use the title and meta description tags as wise as possible. They are your best choice of avoiding supplemental pages. Try to make each page with it’s own unique title and description, and never repeat more than 20-25% of the title and description tags content on different pages. Use a limited number of characters (8-10) in the title tag, and put the most important of them, relevant to each page, at the beginning.
- Read my previous post on 14 search marketing questions, asked by Digitalpoint members.
- Try to use H tags (1,2,3 etc) at the top-most possible location in the pages of your website, in the source order, and NOT visual order.
1. Creative and Playful
One of the things I love about blogging is that it can be a very playful space. Bloggers who find new ways to communicate old truths and that have the ability to surprise their readers with fresh perspectives and means of communication often find themselves on a fast track to a wide readership. Also, in the midst of ‘playful’ experimentation new discoveries come that help a blogger to develop in maturity and influence in their niche.
Image by Yelnoc
“There is no doubt that creativity is the most important human resource of all. Without creativity, there would be no progress, and we would be forever repeating the same patterns.” – Edward de Bono
Often ‘innovative’ is used to describe a blogger’s use of technology – but it goes well beyond this. Innovative bloggers are those that are able to extend and explore their topic in ways that others are not. They are thought leaders and forge into new ground not only in the way that they present in what they say.
“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” – Steve Jobs
Most successful bloggers that I’ve interacted with have an insatiable desire to connect with as many people as they can. They have an ability to connect not only with their readers but other bloggers and key people in both the online and offline world. Their networks are often far reaching – enabling them to draw on all kinds of relationships when needed.
“It’s not what you know but who you know that makes the difference.” – Anonymous
I have noticed lately that my work has been taking over my whole life. The responsibility of owning my own business, paying bills, etc. has meant that I have been spending less time with my friends, family and hobbies. Last week I realized that it was getting out of hand and made a decision to find some ways to spend more time on me and my loved ones. In this post I want to show you how you can find more time for you.
How to make more time for you
It is very important to make time for yourself and the things you deem to be important. If we allow it to, money will take over our lives and we will have nothing of substance left. I see this happen to people all the time with work, study, etc. The focus only on that at the expense of everything else.
Here some things I have been doing lately to make more time for myself.
1. Get up early
A while ago I made the commitment to get up at 6am everyday without exception. At the moment the most important past time in my life is my meditation practice. However, between working and paying bills I never seem to get the amount of time to meditate that I would like. So I decided to get up earlier.
The reason this was so important for me is because I was making myself anxious. During the day I would think to myself “Oh I am going to have NO time to meditate again” and get really stressed. By waking up early and meditating I am taking a lot of pressure off my routine because I know I have done the most important thing in my day first.
If you think you might want to get up early you should read this post on how to wake up fresh. Many people don’t wake up early because they struggle to get into the routine. However, with a few handy tips like these you might find it a little bit easier.
Waking up early is also the perfect way to get some exercise into your day. Take a look at this post on how to exercise before work everyday.
While getting started on your way to be a money blogger, you’ll have to go through that first really hard and awkward period where you’ll be blogging for absolutely nothing to get known by your competitors and such. The first 2 months are the hardest for any blogger because of the pressure, to make ’some’ money doing what you’re doing and the constant ups and downs in your stats that may discourage you alot. Making money through a blog is much more hard then people give it credit for, although the phrase writing for a living sounds really good but when it really comes to writing things it’s a whole another game.
If you’ve just started a blog and are struggling with writer’s block, unstable traffic/reader count or low serp rates, then its probably time to take some time to focus on what you are doing and what needs to be done. The best way to figure out the weak spot in your plan is to check the following things carefully on your blog;
- How many readers do you get added to your feed count per article posted
- Which articles get the most views and comments
- Which site gets you the most traffic, work on those sites more.
- Since spending money while advertising a blog that has just started is against any rules in my book so..You’ll need to do alot (20+) link exchanges with other blogs that are getting traffic. But, you need to keep only the ones that are being updated regularly (every 5 days atleast) and have a good technorati status.
After you have the info desired you can make better decisions, to be honest, content is all that it takes to make or break an earner. In order to constantly grow your blog you would need to research every aspect of your blog’s statistics, and take steps to make your blog bigger and better. Constant strategic development is necessary to get a blog off the ground, to start earning anything you need alot of discipline as well.
Sick Of Making Painfully Low AdSense Earnings Every DayThat Don’t Even Cover The Cost Of A Small Coke At McDonalds?This will empower you!
Make Money Blogging is one of the most used terms these days but the facts are to Make Money Blogging is way harder then people think. I decided to make this Make Money Blogging video to explain in detail why the Make Money Blogging model not only is it hard but some times the Make Money Blogging expectation is totally unreal.