Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Feb 27, 2014
As with the post I wrote the other day about high quality content (did you watch the video?), it seems that something else I’m always reading about these days I had actually written on a couple of times, but a very long time ago.
Back then we talked about traffic, whereas these days we talk more about visitors. The way I see it, traffic was always about numbers, ala sales and marketing, where the more people you can get to come to you or see what you have to offer the better the opportunities for making sales. It sounded good but in today’s world we talk more about visitors, which is getting people to your space who are more targeted and more likely to consume what you have to offer. Indeed it seems people are scared of high numbers if they’re not getting anything out of it.
Yet, when I wrote that first post in October 2008 asking people what they’d do to get more traffic, it really wasn’t giving many ideas on how to get it, but asking how far folks might be willing to go to get that traffic. I had tested one of those traffic websites that under delivered and under performed years earlier on my business blog and talked about that and the disappointment that type of thing brings. Seems there are still companies selling traffic and people buying it; stop that because it doesn’t work.
The next time I wrote about it in March 2009, I came at the topic a different way in debating some of the tactics advocated on another blog post on driving massive traffic to one’s blog. I took on each point and broke it down, saying what worked, what didn’t, and giving opinions on the rest if I didn’t have experience with it. A lot of that stuff is still valid, so I hope you check it out.
It’s time for another one of these, but I’m offering an early caveat. A lot of this stuff I haven’t done. That’s because, as some of you know, I’m traveling these days for my consulting business, and I’m just tired in the evenings, and one the weekends is when I try to get in some writing as well as catch up on some rest.
However, some of these tactics I have done in the past. Some I’ve read about. And after so many years blogging I know how to do a lot of this stuff, but some I’ll never do.
Why? Some of it will take a lot of work, consistent work. Not everyone is cut out for it. There are some folks who are very good with it, following processes they’ve developed so they can earn their living online. But for most folks, trying to understand what working 12-16 hours a day for yourself is incomprehensible. You have to love it and you have to be willing to take some chances.
Nothing says you have to jump all in full speed immediately. Some of these things I’m going to offer you can ease into until you see how it works for you. I’m not here telling you how to make money though; I’ve done that in the past and, well, most folks weren’t ready for all of that either.
Still, I figure it’s as good a time as any to give you 10 ideas and then allow you to decide which of them you want to try. There won’t be tons of detail here; it’s my hope you’ll figure out what I mean by what I write. But if you have any questions, ask me in the comments. By the way, these aren’t in any particular order, and only four of these have anything specific to do with your blog. Are you ready? Let’s go!
1. Make your blog a dofollow blog. This blog is a dofollow blog, a decision I made back in 2008 because I was feeling magnanimous with the world. Fast forward to today and I might think about it a little more but I’d still do it. I find this strange, but people actually go out looking for dofollow blogs to comment on, and will skip those that don’t have it. Truthfully I’m of the feeling that people should comment wherever they want without worrying about it, but since there are still people looking for it your blog could stand out because of it.
2. Accept guest posts. I hear some regular readers of this blog saying “Hey, I thought you hated guest posters”. I wouldn’t go that far with it, even if I did write about problems I’ve had with guest posting requests for my finance blog, the only blog I ever really accepted them from. Still, if you’re looking to increase traffic to your blog (I have to go there first so I can come back to visitors), one of the best ways to do it is to have a lot of consistent content. And if other people are willing to write that content for you so you only have to do it here and there, it’s something to think about.
Personally I found it to be a lot more trouble that it was worth after a while, but my finance blog did jump pretty high and for a while I was earning some nice cash from folks wanting to advertise on the site.
3. Add CommentLuv to your blog. This is the last point that’s specific to your blog, and I’ll give you two reasons why. The first is that people love commenting on blogs that have it if they have the ability to select which of their blog posts they want to highlight. It gives commenters a second link back to their site by them commenting also; they love that.
The second reason is more for you though. It’s going to be followed up more in point #5, but for the moment I’ll just say that when you use CommentLuv, you’ll often see articles that interest you that you may want to go check out.
4. Find 10 bloggers who you either respect, who are in your niche, or whose blogs are ranked high and comment on their blogs consistently. Here’s where the first real bit of work is going to start coming in, and it’s only part one.
There are many top bloggers in the “make money” realm who will tell you that to become influential you have to know influential people. What makes a blogger prominent? Truthfully, it’s the amount of visitors they get, and often it’s manifested in the number of comments they get on almost every single post they write. Some of them accept guest posts (see #2) and maybe if you hang around enough they’ll accept a guest post from you, which may or may not help your visibility.
I wrote “comment consistently”; what I meant to say was comment on every single post that shows up on their blogs. This means even on those guest posts that might not interest you. It also works best if you can be an early commenter. Often on popular blogs that get a lot of comments, the owners will respond to early comments, but then then get back to work and may not ever come back to view any other comments on published posts. You obviously want to be seen by others, but you want your name seen by these folks also. Even if they never respond, if your name gets into their field of vision often enough, it’ll at least seem familiar to them as time goes on.
5. Find anywhere from 1 to 9 other people whose blogs you like, whether they’re in your niche or not, but make sure they’re popular. Why are you doing this? Because not all of the first group are going to write something every day.
Wait, didn’t I mention that part? You want visitors? You willing to work? Part of this means that you have to comment on at least 10 blogs a day. You start with your #4 group first, and if they don’t have anything new then you move to this group. Now, it’s possible that none of the first 10 will have a post on a single day, but pretty improbable. However, if it happens then I’m giving you a break by only having to comment on 9 of them; aren’t I nice?
6. Post at least 3 of your blog posts 5 times a day on Twitter and Google Plus, and connect at least one of your blogs to LinkedIn. I’ll give you an opportunity to diversify a little bit here if you have more than one blog and you have articles coming from more than one of them on the same day.
Why are you doing this? Both of them move really fast. On Twitter, if you’re connected to someone who’s following 10,000 people (heck, even 1,000 people), there’s a major probability that they won’t ever see anything you put up. For that matter, if you’re connected to a more than 100 people who are connected to more than 100 people, and you only post a blog link once a day, you have a 1 in 10,000 chance of anyone ever seeing it.
Doing what I’m telling you to do brings your odds of your content being seen up to 1.5 per thousand. Those still aren’t great odds but 5 times a day means you’re posting something either approximately every 4 hours and 45 minutes or every 1 hour and 36 minutes. That’s just the math; the reality is that there are specific times when there are spikes in the number of people who are online, and if you research you’ll find out when you should be trying to make your posts visible.
Still, you want to spread them out. Yes, you’d have a greater chance of being seen by people if you posted all 15 of your links in the same hour, but some folks will keep seeing those links, get irritated by you, and leave.
Google Plus is close to the same thing, only your audience is much bigger. You could decide to send your links only to people you’re connected to, but they won’t like that very much. Instead, you’re posting to Public, but it still works out in your favor. Those people following you are more likely to see your stuff than on Twitter; that’s just how it goes. And if you have enough content, you can get away with sharing some of it more times than not as long as you space it out a few days or so. And if people comment on it, then people they’re connected to sees it; talk about opportunities to go viral!
Oh yeah, LinkedIn. I have my business blog linked there, and what happens is that every post I write there goes directly to LinkedIn. I find myself getting comments on my blog posts there, and other people see those comments who are connected to me on LinkedIn. So they may never make it to my blog but they’ll see my stuff.
However, don’t do on LinkedIn what I mentioned doing on Twitter and Google Plus; they won’t like it. Instead, if you join some groups and your content is pertinent to the people in that group, try to start a discussion using your blog link at least twice a week. But always write up a one paragraph description of what your post is about; they hate links without them.
7. Share posts from others you’re connected with and be sure to add their Twitter handle or Google Plus name to the post. You getting tired yet? Here’s the thing; even though it’s all about you, it shouldn’t look like it’s all about you. Sharing is a good way to give your audience more things you care about, but sharing people’s names means they know you did it. They’ll either thank you or not, but they’ll see your name because they’ll get notified of the mention, and if you do it enough for certain people they’ll definitely get to know you and want to know more about you. And if you happen to go to their blogs and comment…
8. Ask if you can write a guest post. I hate this by the way, and I’ve never asked anyone if I could write a guest post for them. However, I’ve had 14 guest posts over all the years on this blog from people I knew beforehand and I didn’t mind sharing them at the time.
Here’s two realities of this however. One, you might not get any traffic from writing those guest posts. I’ve almost never gotten any visits from blogs where I’ve written a guest post (I’ve always been asked). However, the owners of those blogs remembered that I did it and you’ll always be in their minds, and if they’re popular that’s a good thing.
Oh yeah; make sure that guest post is as good as, if not better, than anything you’ll ever put on your blog. As an example, look at this epic post on social networking that I wrote for Adrienne Smith’s blog. Heck, this particular post is getting close to that one, which was more than 2,800 words. I didn’t get any visitors from that blog post, but Adrienne gives me mad respect and, well, look at how highly her blog is ranked and look at how many comments that post got.
9. Find a community on Google Plus that’s all about your topic or create your own. Is your energy level still up there? If so, this is a place where you can actually post all your stuff, your thoughts and beliefs, hold contests, whatever. It’s also the one and only time, if you create your own community, where you can invite (only do it once though) everyone you’re following. Some people will join just because they like you but that’s okay. You’re also inviting the public, and there will be some of those folks you’re not connected to that will probably join.
The thing about having your own community is that it’s hard to keep it going with a lot of content if you’re handling it all on your own, or, like me, traveling so much that you don’t have the time to put into it properly. Thus, you can do two things.
One, you can name some other people moderators if they’ll take it on, and they’ll help you with content.
Or two, you can invite anyone in the community to post their own links for discussion topics as long as they’re on the same topic as your community.
If you can get and keep people engaged they’ll all remember your name because you started it, and of course those folks will want to visit your blogs to read what you’ve written, since you’re only giving them the links.
10. Make sure what you’re writing on your blog is share worthy. If you build it they will come. If it’s lousy they’ll leave and never come back. I’m not getting into the number of words or colors or fonts or having contests or any of that type of thing. I am saying that you might want to review what I wrote in my last post, the first link on this post, as an introductory guide to trying to make your blog a place where people will be informed, educated or entertained. See the symmetry of this post now?
There you are, tips on what to do to get massive visitors to your blog. As I said, if you try to do all of these immediately it’s a lot of work, you’ll burn out and quit probably. Instead, look at these tips, see what you can do with some of them, and take some baby steps, then teenage steps and see if any of it works for you.
By the way, #6 and #8 are the only two I’ve never done at all… well, I’ve written guest posts, but I’ve never asked if I could write one so I can stick with that. Remember, Matt Cutts said if you’re looking to write guest posts for SEO reasons don’t do it, but if you’re looking to do it to increase your visibility, you’re good to go.
Whew, I’m tired, but I hope I’ve given you your money’s worth. By the time you’re reading this I’ll probably be on an airplane heading home for a long weekend, but if you leave comments you know I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.
Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Feb 24, 2014
You’re getting a post, a link to a post and a video; what more could anyone want?
I found this interesting. With all the talk about writing great content that I see on so many blogs, I never see anyone talking about just what great content is supposed to be. I remembered that I wrote a post about it, this post, and it turns out it was written on February 25th, 2011; almost 3 years ago to the day. Kind of freaky isn’t it?
Considering how long ago I wrote that post and how many articles I have on here, I think it’s pretty cool that I remembered it in the first place. However, seeing how long ago it was, it reminds me that sometimes we have to address certain topics more than once because some of them stay relevant and some of them modify, and all of them can tie in together to help bring a bit more completion to a topic; wouldn’t you agree?
Thus, Saturday early evening I decided to do a video on the topic and, as an added bonus, experiment with the Q&A app via a Google Plus Hangout. I wanted to see what it would be like taking questions and answering them, and I also wanted to see how it would work later on while viewing things. Supposedly people are supposed to be able to watch the video on G+ later on and see the questions I actually selected and responded to at the point in the video I did so. It didn’t work for me but that’s okay.
In the video, I took elements from the post I linked to above and added a few things to it. At that time I had just started adding images to posts, and I had never added my own videos to a post, though I had added other videos I found on YouTube. To me, great content is mainly about the written word, but other elements definitely help make some posts great.
I mentioned quite a few people in the video as well, but I’m not naming names here. Of course Holly Jahangiri knows about it because she watched it, and my buddy Phil Phren was also there, and they both asked questions that I could answer and thus get to test the plugin; thanks to both of you.
In any case I hope you check out the video and, well, this post might not be one of those that has fully great content based on what I’ve written, but I have linked to sources, linked to some of my other blog posts, and added both a video and an image; not bad if you ask me. And now, the video:
Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Feb 17, 2014
A couple of weeks ago the Hot Blog Tips Crew (without me these days…) did a video on the subject of what to share on Google Plus without, what Brian Hawkins of said Hot Blog Tips believes, is spamming. I thought it was a fairly interesting video, and since I’m not a part of it I’m just going to include the link to that video and tell you to check it out.
One of the things he said in the video I totally disagreed with, and in thinking about that one particular thing it got me to thinking about some other things, hence I thought it was time to share some thoughts while asking y’all what you think of these same things.
There was another blog post I read a couple of months ago (from where I can’t remember) where the writer was saying that in today’s social media world sometimes you have to “like” your own submissions. He didn’t mean you have to like what you write as much as publicly affirm that you like what you write by clicking a Like button or a +1 button on those platforms that allow you to do it.
His reasoning was that often some of these items you share won’t get seen if no one ever clicks on them, even if they’ve viewed them, and he’d done a test where if he voted his own submissions upwards that they’d get more attention. He didn’t talk about YouTube so I doubt that was a part of his testing.
Frankly I think that kind of thing is dubious, yet if you create a Facebook business or fan page you actually have to like your own page to be able to access it properly, and the same goes for groups you might create. Thus, in an odd way you become the first person promoting you as an authority so that others can see what you like and potentially come by even before you invite anyone.
By the way, this isn’t the first time I’d seen such a thing. Another of my online friends had said the same thing over a year ago, but she was speculating without testing. I didn’t quite like it then and I don’t like it now, so I refuse to go that route.
However, Brian’s contention is that if someone shares something of yours on Twitter, G+ or Facebook and you give them a “like”, it means you’re suddenly spamming people because they probably have seen it already if you shared it. And, if other people share what you’ve posted and you like or acknowledge all of them, now you’re really spamming and people are going to hate you for it and possibly unsubscribe from you.
This is the concept I have a problem with, and I’m going to explain why. One of the things we all talk about is acknowledging people who share things of yours. It’s a nice thing to do and it encourages people who like what you do to share, knowing that you’ll appreciate it.
I think sharing should only be done if people have actually read the piece, which is another interesting topic of discussion because I know some people who share things from blogging sites or shared sites that they’ve never read to get rankings; that’s kind of smarmy, although if you do it you won’t see it that way. I never put my name on anything I haven’t read or looked at because I care about what I approve.
Anyway, if someone shares something of yours, how do you acknowledge it? Is there really a proper way? Maybe yes, maybe no; let’s look at it deeper.
Let’s look at Twitter. There you have two things you can do to thank people. You can retweet what they’ve shared and thank them or you can just thank them. Twitter moves fast; there’s tons of messages and still 24 hours to kill, and even if you share your blog articles 4 times it means you’ve missed 1,436 minutes where people might have missed it. Is it so bad to use the opportunity to share it again and let other people know why you’re thanking someone? Maybe if it’s been shared 20 times within an hour but if it’s shared 5 times total?
I think not.
Let’s look at Google Plus and Facebook. You have two options there as well. You can +1 the article or “like” what’s being shared by someone else or you can comment on it.
Here’s what I’ve noticed on both. If you write something on those shares, people in your sphere of influence see it, whether you “like” it or +1 it or not. For that matter if someone comments on a YouTube video of yours and has it go to Google Plus, and then you comment on their comment it shows in both places, but on G+ others who weren’t connected to the original poster are now going to see it.
This means that if you decide you want to thank someone for sharing something of yours, it’s going to go out to the masses anyway. Are you spamming, or are you being courteous? Should you ignore people who share things you’ve put out or not?
One last point here.
Normally we think of spamming as more of an automated thing. I hate that stuff, and I notice on Twitter sometimes that some things pop up every 15 minutes or so. At some point if I get sick of it I’ll just unsubscribe from that person and get on with life because I know they’re not there and don’t really care.
To do the acknowledgements however, you have to be present. Truthfully, how many times for most of us does our stuff get shared? Maybe for someone like Ileane Smith or Adrienne Smith (no relation lol) they could get 20 to 25 shares per article, but that’s across all platforms.
Are any of us really upset when we see different people sharing their things and then seeing them being thanked for the honor?
Are we really that sensitive to seeing things more than once when most of the time, because of how fast the internet and social media moves, we’ve probably missed it not only the first time but every subsequent time as well?
All of this is both my question and my opinion. Now it’s time to ask you for yours. Is the option not to ever thank people for sharing your posts and videos and whatever as opposed to thanking as many people are you can recognize? If you thank one person and ignore everyone else how to you think they’d feel? And put yourself into both of these situations; how would you feel if it’s you?
Making you think on a Monday; I’m so wrong…
Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Feb 13, 2014
This is a minor rant, one I touched up a couple of months ago when I did a video rant; I’m including that below in case you want to see more things I griped about. lol
About 2 years ago I wrote a long article on blogging. It was mainly for folks who were either new to blogging or had started blogging but found they were having some difficulties with it. My purpose was to write something known as a “pillar post”, where the intention is to highlight your expertise in something by putting a lot of information into one particular post. Search engines supposedly love pillar posts; I wouldn’t really know, but I was up for the challenge.
However, my post ended up being almost 5,900 words, and I thought that would be a bit much. Thus, I broke it into a 2-part series, starting with Better Blogging Part One and Better Blogging Part Deux. It seemed like a much smarter thing to do, breaking such a large post into two parts; I stand by that decision for the sake of the readers.
You know what we’re getting a lot of these days? These websites that will have something like The 20 Top Baseball Players Of All Time or 8 Actors Who Say They’ve Seen Ghosts or a host of posts like this. Sometimes it’s even stuff that’s good for you or knowledge you need, such as foods you shouldn’t eat or learning more about a pharmaceutical you might have to take.
And what to you get? You get the privilege of going through multiple pages to see them all; I mean, not even one page where you can see a list of all of them with any extra detail.
Now, if you’re going to give me 20 baseball players and you’re going to do a nice write up on each one, I could excuse you having 21 pages (the first page is the set up page). But having 21 pages with only the first page having any significant content… now I’m irked. I don’t know about everyone else but I don’t have the time to go through 21 pages for one article all the time. That mess got old really quick for me; I’m a curious kind of guy but my curiosity stops when someone is putting messy stuff in my way.
There are two reasons these sites do stuff like this.
One, because they know Google loves tons of pages, and even with the Panda and Penguin updates, and any other animals that might crop up here and there, these sites seem to be able to weather the ratings hit quite well.
Two, because of advertising. The sites rank high, which brings in lots of advertisers, and thus they can pack each page with a bunch of advertisers links and banner ads, knowing that an overwhelming majority of people are going to keep hitting those links to get to the next page.
A site that does a little something like this that I actually kind of like is called Cracked, which has very long and often quite detailed articles that they’ll break into 2 or 3 pages. In that instance you’re getting so much content that it makes a lot of sense breaking it up, and it’s quite entertaining stuff.
Some of you might be saying “hey, I never see any of those pages”… really? If you’d like to see an example go to CNN.com, click on any news story there, go to the end of the story you clicked on and look at the links to either more news stories or other goofy stuff. Ugh!
Now, it’s bad enough that websites are doing this, but now I’m seeing some blogs doing it. Most of them are blogs with lots of images, and what they’re doing is putting up a lot of pictures but making each picture a blog in and of itself, even if it’s a series concerning the same thing. These folks might write a paragraph about the picture if you’re lucky, but come on now… Sure, it’s building up your pages but it’s ridiculous to visitors and I’m doubting that all of these images are getting comments. The few I’ve seen have had very few comments; what’s the point right?
Maybe I’m being sensitive, so I thought I’d put it out as today’s question. Have you seen this phenomenon on websites and/or blogs, and if so what do you think about it? Does it irritate you or do you think it’s creative? Take your time in thinking about it while watching my rant video below lol:
Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Feb 6, 2014
I have a few consistent commenters on this blog. Most of them I’ve known for quite a few years and they’re pretty popular commenters on the blogosphere as well. And yet, some of them have an interesting problem.
They’re comments have been showing up in my spam filter, and spam filters of other blogs they comment on. They didn’t do anything wrong as far as they knew, and as far as I knew either. One day their comments were showing up fine, the next day and every time after that they were going to spam.
Now, I do have some settings where some people are going to go to spam. One too many words in the name field, email addresses that begin with certain words… that’s where you’re heading. If I’ve named you as spam and added your IP address, you’re going to spam. But that’s not what was going on with these folks.
A couple of weeks ago I decided it was time to check something out. I was talking to Brian at Hot Blog Tips about it and I asked him to send a comment to me using his smartphone. He did and his comment showed up without going into the spam filter. He thought that maybe it was coming from a different IP address.
I then wrote our buddy Adrienne about it in the private message area of Facebook and asked her to try the same thing. It worked for her as well. However, when I looked at her IP address I noticed it was the same as her normal comments, and when I looked at Brian’s I noticed the same thing. So it wasn’t the IP address.
But I had the mind working well at this juncture. I asked Adrienne to pull up a different browser and send me a comment. She did and it went through; yippee! I told her it worked and asked her which browser she normally used, and she said Chrome.
I then reached out to Brian and asked him to try leaving a comment on my blog using a different browser. At the same time I asked Mitchell Allen if he’d try leaving a comment on this blog using a different browser as well. Both of them did & their comments came through just fine.
What browser were they all using? Chrome! In my mind, it was a pretty good experiment and possibly the reason so many people were ending up in spam filters around the world! Well, that might be dramatic, but one of my friends is in India and he always goes to spam, and I’m not sure which browser he uses.
Now, whenever I see something like this that looks like a pattern, I always go to Google to see if there’s anyone else mentioning it. There were lots of topics that looked like it, but they were all talking about something else. So maybe I get to scoop them all!
Meanwhile, Adrienne decided to try something else first. What she did was uninstall Chrome, reboot her computer, run her antivirus program, reload Chrome, and try again. This time her comment came through perfectly; problem solved.
The only question would be what’s in Chrome that could be affecting so many people? Well, there’s a second question, which is what if it’s not just Chrome users this is affecting? Anyone else who shows up in the spam filter isn’t a regular writer, at least yet, so I don’t know if the initial problem could happen with other browsers and could be solved by switching.
So, this is a twofold testing question for all of you. One, if you notice that your comments, or the comments of someone who comments on your blog often, seems to be going into the spam filter, ask them to try a different browser to see if their comment comes through fine. If it does, ask them what browser they originally used and let’s find out if it’s a Chrome thing (by the way, I’m a Firefox user). Tell them that if they want to continue using their regular browser to try uninstalling, then reinstalling to see if that takes care of things (running the virus program wouldn’t hurt, but I’m not sure if that’s a part of it or not).
If it doesn’t, then it’s possible they’re really on a blacklist, which is a totally different issue and one I’m not ready to address right now. Still, I know I’ve taken care of a couple of people who comment so far, and maybe we can help some other people as well. As an addition, I was talking to Adrienne about this and supposedly some people have found that if they leave everything off before the domain name that it seems to work for them & CommentLuv still works. So try domainname.com to see if that might cure your issue also.