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January 10, 2013

3 Easy Things To Boost Your Site Traffic Today

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traffic

Write great content

You’d be surprised how many forget this one. They choose a platform, they load it up with a million plugins, they advertise to their existing social media circles, but when it comes to writing they miss the mark completely. What is great content? This is material which engages your audience. It is researched, highly structured content posted once a week or more that meets people’s needs head on with solutions. It produces a response (in their sharing) to their questions because it’s entertaining but also informative. Pick a niche, and then research ways i.e. read other blogs and construct a way to say what they are saying, but in your own voice. DO NOT REINVENT THE WHEEL.

Promote properly

I previously mentioned promotion as a way to grow your traffic. But here’s the thing about promotion: too much will kill your success before it gains traction. Many of you, including myself, have probably done the following when starting out: start blog, tweet 100 times a day, get onFacebookand beg people to”like”, then auction your soul to the Devil when that doesn’t work out. This is not only painful, it’sunnecessary. The best promotion tactics, by far, are the ones which never get talked about. For instance, writing great content often produces a series. Conversion of these articles into PDF format and sharing witheBookdirectories and free document sites like Scribd or Helium is a great way to bump the odds in your favor. Angering your readers by over-promotion is an avoidable situation, so don’t do it!

Engage your audience

If someone, say a family member or friend, asked you a poignant question which gave you pause, would you ignore them? OF COURSE NOT! You’d jump right on the bullet train to Intelligentsia (sorry, bad puns abound in my world) and figure out a worthwhile reply to their query. So why is it when you post on your site, the only thing you see is the occasional greeting from Grandma?The ‘gurus’ bread and butter is no longer figuring out how to get traffic, it’s merely conversing (read:engagement) about all the traffic they get, thereby getting more. It’s a topic which spews dividends every time it is brought up. Simply put: present a question in your great content, then engage with your audience’s feedback. This method can be accelerated if you use forums to become an expert on your niche and use your blog URL as a signature in your profile.

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January 22, 2009

Time to Give Again

Over two years ago, the Blog Herald held a small contest with a $200 USD cash prize for the winning blog. Given the gloom and doom around blogosphere today owing to the economic crisis, we feel that there could be no more appropriate time to repeat this contest and once more offer $200 USD for the most deserving blog.

The criteria for a blog to be able to enter is purely that it “should be helping to make the world a better place”:

This can be achieved in many different ways, from increasing our awareness as a society, being a symbol of hope through example or more obvious ways- such as fundraising or research.

The previous winner of the contest was Gifter.org and the Million Dollar Blog Post, the brainchild of Austin Hill and the Project Ojibwe team. Incidentally, Gifter asked us to donate the proceeds of their winnings to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).

As before, to recommend a blog or to apply, please leave a comment or email us before midnight, PST, Jan. 31st: editor[at]blogherald.com.

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November 18, 2008

Exploring Social Media: Social Means Personal

Exploring Social Media article series badgeIn “Duke DesRochers: Future Social Media Renaissance Man,” I introduced my cousin, Duke DesRochers, highlighting his fun cooking show audition tape as a great example of how to market with social media in mind.

With the advent of blogs, YouTube, podcasts, and online social media tools that allow anyone to publish anything they want within the law, everyone could become their own entertainment production company, putting the masses in charge of not only being the entertainment, but providing it.

With inexpensive video equipment and software, and an innate sense of comedy, drama, and style, Duke DesRochers has an intuitive way of bringing the “common man” into his audition video that I hope will gain the attention of the judges. It’s time to go back to the real people, rather than the exaggerated people, to find the humility and fun in entertainment. We need to get people thinking, “Hey, that’s me! I can do that!”

Another part of Duke DesRochers I want to celebrate with you is how he took two fairly diverse passions, and molded them into one specialty to totally redefine himself for this video audition for the Food Network: handyman in the kitchen.

As part of this ongoing series on Exploring Social Media, I want to talk a little more about the important points that Duke’s Food Network audition efforts brought up: getting personal and brand identity. read more

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August 28, 2008

Who Would You Like to Meet at a Blog Conference?

I’m going to be at Blog World Expo in Las Vegas on September 20-21, 2008, and so is David Peralty, who listed “Some People I Hope to Meet at Blog World Expo.”

The list of Exhibitors and Speakers at Blog World Expo this year is incredible. A veritable list of whose who.

His list of people he’d like to meet got me thinking about my list. And then I started thinking about all the conferences I attend and speak at every year and all the fantastic people I meet, some famous and some not, who change my life in those few minutes of meet and greet.

I love blog and web conferences. I learn so much. While many think that I am there to be the educator, I enjoy them because of the lessons I learn from fellow speakers, but most of all from fellow attendees. Those quickly caught moments in corridors, exhibition halls, at my book table, or even in the restroom. Those are where the real business of a conference really happens. Those quick moments of connections made that last long after the conference. read more

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July 29, 2008

WTF Blog Design Elements: Twitter, Tumbler, and Microblog Babble

As we explore our blogs and clean out the clutter in this ongoing series on WTF Blog Design Clutter, we’ve looked at the pros and cons of blog clutter with too many “friend” pictures and badges, calendar archives, and most recent comments and shout boxes. Remember that clutter is in the eye of the beholder – the visiting user – not necessarily the blogger. What we see when we visit and use our blogs is not necessarily what the visitor and return reader see or experience. We need to explore our blog’s design through their eyes to help them use and read our blogs.

The usability factor in web design is critical. We often add design elements (widgets and gadgets specifically) to our blog for fun or novelty. We’re flush with the excitement of the latest and hottest whizzbang goodie and we want to share the fun on our blogs. If your blog is getting cluttered with a lot of WordPress Plugins, Widgets, Gadgets, Scripts, and whizzbangs, maybe it’s time to analyze these design elements to find out which ones are most important to your blog and its users – and which one are just clutter.

Today, I want to explore the pros and cons of microblog clutter on your blogs. Are you microblogging?
read more

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MyBlogLog Redesigns

MyBlogLog have redesigned, something dedicated users will probably have seen by now. You should check it out for yourself.

The launch post suggest that there are more things to come:

We went and completely upgraded the featured blogs by scrolling through the top 20 sites (based on number of members), and displaying a more straightforward message about what we offer; Discover, Broadcast, and Connect. You’re going to hear these three words more often from us, I’d love to hear if this description it resonates with you.

It certainly looks better, but I can’t say I’m that impressed really. How about you?

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July 28, 2008

WTF Blog Design Elements: Most Recent Comments and Shout Boxes

In this ongoing series on WTF Blog Design Clutter, we’ve talked about blog clutter with too many “friend” pictures and badges and calendar archives, two of the many elements many use to clog up their blog’s sidebar. “Clutter” is a matter of perspective. If these added design elements really work for your blog, serve your blog’s purpose, and enhance the reader’s experience, leave them. In fact, put them at the top where they are the first thing people will see next to your post title and content beginnings. Promote them. If they are that important, let them stand out.

If they are not important, then they do become clutter.

One of the most popular blog clutters are the Most Recent Comments and Shout Boxes that many feel are important elements to a blog’s design.

The web is now social. People are experimenting with all types of methods to bring the social to their blogs and emphasize how social their blogs are – or at least appear to be. Among the most popular and easy to do are most recent comment widgets and chatting shout boxes. read more

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July 24, 2008

Blog Design: WTF Is That Doing There?

Remember the old adage that you never get a second chance to make a first impression? You personally may get a second chance to sway that first impress, but your blog doesn’t. If you don’t grab them within the first micro-seconds of a visit, they won’t subscribe and they won’t be back.

Digging through a lot of blogs recently to research an upcoming article, I found myself thinking “WTF” as I looked at the designs. I was constantly distracted from the content I was eager to read through and quote towards things that blinked, flashed, or listed irrelevant stuff. My eyes had to work overtime to stay focused on the information I was there to glean.
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9rules Getting Ready for Round 7

9rules is getting ready for Round 7, where bloggers can attempt to get in the popular blog network by submitting their blogs for review. August 6 is the date you need to mark in your calendar if you want in. As they did the previous time, a special page will be available, open to submissions for 24 hours.

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July 21, 2008

Prepare Yourself for the Blog Bullies

In 2006, I wrote about copyright violations saying that it wasn’t a matter of if but when your content would be stolen. The same premise applies to blog bullies.

It’s not a matter of if a blogger will blog bad things about you but when.

It’s going to happen. It may have already happened. It’s happened to me plenty of times. So what do you do when someone makes fun of you, pokes at you, says hurtful or harmful things about you or your blog on their blog? read more

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