As I’m undertaking some heavy-duty research for a couple of clients on Social Media initiatives, I keep stumbling across some familiar blogging personas.
As a result of the constant exposure I keep asking myself the question;
How do some bloggers (like Danny Brown) get such huge followings and so many interactions?
Granted they have had an online presence for quite sometime however followers in the tens of thousands don’t come easy. Additionally the cost component required to develop the content, edit it and then manage the interactions can also be a burden. At the end of the day though there is one golden egg to strive for – organic SEO. Lets face it nothing brings more love and joy to your website than the super secretive search engine algorithm.
For those of you not in the know, it’s the secret hidden maths behind the scenes powering Google, Bing, Yahoo ect. Each Search engine works differently yet all search for one major element….who loves your site enough to want to link to it.
At the end of the day you are not going to get much in the way of a page 1 ranking unless you either pay for it or sneak in some weird SEO technique like buying links from far and away ‘ghost’ sites.
Now that the search engine element is out of the way, how do we actually attract the human element back into our website or blog?
Most believe it’s all about delivering value in each of your posts however I have dug a little deeper for you and found a handful of must ‘knows’ in order to really make an impact on the net.
I have discarded most of the normal everyday ones like links and ALT tags (descriptors used to highlight an image name) and have posted this summary of my favourite 7 ways to maximise return and visitation to your site or more importantly your blog.
Here they are in no particular order of preference apart from number 7 – but you will need to read on to find out my favourite.
# 1 – Publish often publish good
Blogging or web works takes a certain amount of your day and efficient time management is critical. As a rule I generally hit my laptop at around 830am grab a cuppa and read through all the relevant email headers. I then ditch the rubbish and highlight the ones that need actioning.
I then spend a few minutes reading some of my favourite blogs and add a comment or two. I also then spend a few minutes jotting down some ideas I feel my readers would be interested in.
This is not rocket science – ideally you should consider your topic of expertise. Reminds me of the guy I once met who perfected the perfect badminton shuttlecock – he had a technique (ritual) that allowed for greater control in the trajectory and he came to me asking about telling the world of his new-found wisdom.
Obviously badminton as a sport would have a massive amount of followers and no doubt Trevor’s revelations would appeal to many if not all. I suggested he begin listing the ideas but at the same time start gathering other elements that the badminton players out there would be interested in.
A couple of weeks went past and we ran into each other again – lo and behold he did what was suggested and had amassed an incredible 300 odd blogging headers specific about badminton. Picture of a shuttlecock Pinched from here.
Roll on 2011 and Trevor has lied low my last recollection of him was the Joondalup BC the Body Club in Western Australia. However there is little doubt his enthusiasm resulted in some pretty interesting subject matter.
Now a word of caution – don’t hammer out massive amounts of useless dribble – it does nothing for you or your end target market. Ideally set up a content ‘farming’ plan and hopefully plan to lead one post into the next and so on…always good to give away a hint or two on your next post ‘currently in development’.
Dumping a massive amount of posts does nothing and most readers will smell a rat if they marry up the dates of your posts all fell within the month of March 2008.
Remember also that when you publish fresh content Search Engines have a habit of finding about it quicker than it takes to fire up a Windows XP driven laptop.
I generally tackle a list no longer than about 20 future posts and generally plan to upload one or two discussions, photos, posts everyday.
Doing so also keeps interested readers on your side (regular updates hit their in boxes and RSS feeds) and within a very short period you will end up growing your followers without actually knowing it.
# 2 Advertise yourself everywhere
It’s amazing how some bloggers don’t go to a lot of trouble on this one…
Look at ways you can ‘push’ your knowledge and website the best way you can. The biggest one I keep pulling up my contacts on is the lack of publicity they forgo with their email signatures.
You email signature is a prime piece of real estate and with the average Australian said to send over 35 emails on any given work day the opportunity for publishing your efforts on the web care as simple as providing a link to your presence.
Go on do it now!
#3 Get out there and keep asking for the sale
Sorry guys – no hard sell here but from your end do not pass up the opportunity to seek out a subscriber to you blog or website (if offered.)
As a rule most of early design and usability discussions with new clients revolve around the old chestnut – ‘Call to Action’
Have a look through at some of your past posts – have you bothered to ask people to subscribe, register or make contact with you?
By the way have you registered with my Blog – there’s heaps of posts coming up that will help you and your web endeavours!
#4 Update your Google Profile
Did you know that under your Google account (surely you must have one by now) there is an opportunity for you to tell the world as little or as much as you want about yourself, your dog, the house you first lived in ect.
This is critical as its a great way to start the idea of cross linking back to your online blog and websites. There you go simple – you have your first back-link – second if your mum beat Google to it.
Essentially when someone does a search on your name and finds the profile the links to your sites will appear just below or along the summary section. This forms part of the recent changes Google made to the Profile Results.
Dont forget to give links to your LinkedIn, Flickr, Facebook and any other site you subscribe to and have a profile set up for.
#5 Syndicate to all of your other Social Media sites
By syndicate I mean make sure any updating tools you have at your disposal are turned on and allow for notifications of an updated post.
Modern CMS driven blogging platforms and website have these already built-in. Check to see what tools are available so it removes one less hassle of publishing your content to the many sites you work with.
The screen shot below is my WordPress.com backend and the arrow points to my auto syndication facility to Twitter. With the flick of a key I get to control which platform displays my post. Great for when personal posts don’t necessarily make for great reading on your professional LinkedIn profile page.
I know that when this post is done, a Twitter notification will be dispatched, my Facebook updated and LinkedIn advised so that my followers and or network are aware of the effort taken and content developed.
# 6 Consider authoring and submitting articles
This tip is a little debatable but worth a shot. Visit one of the many article submission websites such as ezinearticles.com and consider authoring articles for the use of others.
Check out the conditions attached to make sure they fit with your thoughts on IP and Copyright. I like Ezinearticles.com because you get to update the authors details and place your url / website addresses in the boxes article users must use as a way of acknowledging the work of the originating author.
This can be incredibly powerful if done right – be warned though it’s a killer way of making time fly.
#7 (My Fav) Ensure your headlines hook readers in
Now I could bang on about my past experiences in writing traditional ad copy and headlines but won’t. One thing I learnt many birthdays ago was the need to keep the headlines to any adverts short sharp and succinct. I also applied something used in email marketing called Multivariate Testing.
Multivariate testing is one of my favourite forms of analysing and fine-tuning internet based marketing. The short version is the ability to have two different headlines sent through to a select group of email subscribers (normally 100) and then await the response ratios to come through. The most popular headline wins and the rest of the subscriber list gets the winning email headline which will hopefully convert the most.
Putting this excercise into motion is important as blog postings allow for you to play with the wording in your ‘hooks’. Obviously I’m not condoning re-posting the blog with a different headline but a more sedate way of looking at the title and thinking in the shoes of your readers. Ask yourself this;
Would I open this email / post / advert?
Better still share your intended post with others in the room via email first and ask for opinions, perhaps give them two or three different headlines and work some of the Multivariate magic into your last headline.
Oh, always remember to add a post every now and then with a number in the title – it’s a little lame and I hate doing it but the stats don’t lie – incorporating a number into your headline really does work….just don’t over do it.
So what do you think? has this post helped you and your ambitions of telling the world your quirky little story? Trevor have you progressed your Badminton Shuttlecock secret any further?