You might not realize it initially, but blogging is a powerful platform for generating traffic. It will not only provide you with a means to generate large bursts of temporary traffic, but it can also help you to improve your search engine ranking positions (and to generate long, persistent streams of traffic well into the future).
Through blogging and related activities, you can rapidly go from having a site with few visitors; to a bustling hub of traffic that receives visitors from dozens of other sources; and then directs them to various product offers, affiliate links, and paid advertisements.
When it comes to generating traffic through blogging, one of the most important decisions you can make is which platform to use. I personally suggest that you use one of the following platforms:
• WordPress. This is the platform of choice for many Internet marketers. Its primary advantages include its selection of plug-ins (including plug-ins that automatically optimize your blog for search engine traffic), its high-quality and user-friendly administrative panel, and its ease of installation. If you want to start using a Word Press blog, you can probably set one up with a click of a button with your web host.
• Blogger. Another favorite platform among bloggers (and some marketers, too) is Google’s Blogger. Some benefits of blogger include the following: 1) it’s free; 2) it has a user-friendly UI, and 3) it is hosted by Google. Additionally, some argue that Blogger sites rank better on search engines because Google hosts them.
• Movable Type. If neither Blogger nor WordPress looks good to you, you may want to consider using Movable Type instead. Similar to Word Press and Blogger, this platform is free.
With all of this said, it cannot be emphasized enough that you should select a platform that you are a) comfortable with; and b) are able to use flexibly and extensively for SEO purposes and traffic generation tasks.
Now that you’ve selected a blogging platform, it’s time for you to actually create a blog. The initial setup is typically simple. If you’re hosting it on your own domain, you will need to select a short, easy-to-remember subdomain to place it on. To the contrary, if you host it using Blogger or another service that will host your blog for you, then the service will typically determine the URL for your blog.
Regardless of which platform you use, you will also need to create a catchy name for your blog that relates to your site’s content. In addition to this, you will want to take the following steps to ensure your blog is setup correctly:
• Find a Good Template. If you opted to use WordPress, you will have many options when it comes to selecting blog templates. Additionally, at least a handful will come free with each blog platform.
• Install an SEO Plug-in. If you’re using WordPress, you will probably want to use the “All in One SEO Pack”; however, if you are using a different platform, there should also be a myriad of different SEO plug-in templates. Spend some time finding the right one for you, and then put it to work.
• Create Tags for Your Blog Entry Categories. When you begin posting on your blog, you will sort things roughly according to the category of the post. For instance, if you have an Internet marketing blog, you might have the following categories: 1) SEO, 2) Direct Marketing, 3) PPC Marketing, and 4) Copywriting. You should create these categories when you start your blog and then continue to use them as you post.
If you achieve each of these objectives, you are well on your way to creating a good blog.
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With your blog up and running, the next natural question is what to post. This is a lot more difficult than many non-bloggers realize. In fact, this is the part of blogging that eventually leads to the undoing of many blog starters. I personally suggest that you do one (or more) of the following:
• Hire a Ghost, Blogger. Like a ghostwriter, a ghost blogger will create all of the content for you but will allow you to claim all ownership to it. You can provide the ghost blogger with some simple direction by giving him or her a fixed number of posts to complete each day, along with categories on which she should focus.
• Create Interesting Themes. If you’ve visited any well-established blogs lately, you’ve probably noticed that some of them repeat blog themes again and again. For instance, they might have a specific post for the “picture of the week” or the “joke of the week.” These running themes not only give people a reason to come back to the blog, but they also help the blogger to come up with good ideas.
• Coupons, Sales, and Announcements. Of course, the primary purpose of your blog is to make sales. This is why it is important that you use it to announce important events and discounts as they become available.
• Non-Commercial Announcements. If you just read a powerful tip about marketing, share it with your readers immediately. If you found it useful, chances are that they will find it useful, too. They will appreciate it; and will come back to your blog as a result.
• Thoughts and Musings. From time to time, you’ll have thoughts about your niche and about your business. Posting these makes your blog more personal, and invites others to participate in the discussion. This will not only help you to gain repeat traffic, but it could also help you to gain insight into how others perceive your business.
Finally, once you begin adding entries, you will want to get into the habit of pinging them regularly. You can do this by entering your blog name, URL, and XML feed here: pin got(dot)com. After that, you will need to check off each blog directory that you wish to ping. Each time you post a new entry, do this again. This will bump your blog to the top of post category for each of those directories (which can potentially give you a short burst of traffic). In addition to this, if people like your entry, many directories allow them to vote for it, prolonging the amount of time it spends at the top.
Overall, pinging has two important effects. The first effect is the short, initial burst of traffic that will send new visitors to your blog. And the second effect is to give you an inbound link from a high-ranking directory site, which can help your search engine ranking positions in the long term.
As a new blogger, you might not feel like you have much direction in terms of how and where to promote your blog. Well, as a procrastinator, one good way in which you can do this is to post on other people’s blogs.
The main benefit of this method should be clear: it will make all of the promotion work seem like it isn’t work at all. However, if you want to make this method work, you will have to make an attempt to actually pay careful attention to the blog entries you are reading; and respond to them with well-thought out responses, including advice, links, and tutorials.
In addition to simply responding, you will want to be sure to include a link that points back to your blog at the end of each comment. This will pull some of the traffic from that blog to you own. Additionally, it will generate an inbound link pointing to your site, which will improve your search engine ranking positions over time.
Finally, make sure you avoid spamming or posting links on irrelevant blogs. Doing this is unlikely to generate a lot of visitors, and is more likely to get your IP address banned from posting on high-profile blogs.