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Methods for Free Traffic Generation – Part 2

Most bloggers are working on a tight budget, especially those that are just starting out.  Finding ways to bring traffic to your blog is one of the most challenging tasks you will face, almost as challenging as consistently producing the valuable blog content that will keep your readers interested – after they discover your blog. A very effective method of bringing in traffic is to harness the power of the search engines (also known as SEO, Search Engine Optimization) by paying very close attention to how you use keywords in your article writing.  The search engines must be able to find keywords in your blog titles and within the body of your article. “Competitive keywords” refer to words that basically tell what you are writing about. For example, if you are writing about how to maximize a three-day holiday in Paris then you might want to make sure that competitive keywords like “Paris,” “France,” “short vacation in Paris,” or “Paris in three days,” show up in your article, preferably more than a few times (within the normal flow of your well-written article). Definitely use variations of your keywords to keep from sounding redundant. Your title should also reflect the keywords of your article to draw attention from readers who are interested, and to maximize your search-engine presence. Make sure that any photos you include in your articles also use your keywords, as well as the URL address for your blog post.  The URL addresses for your posts are going to be shared around the internet so make sure they are clear and concise and let potential readers know what they are going to get when they click on the link. Guest posting and commenting on blogs are other popular ways to gain traffic for your blog. If you can find some other blogs willing to let you do some guest posting, make sure the articles you write for those sites are as good as (or better) that the ones you post on your own site.  You want people to see the value of your knowledge and that your blog is one worthy of their attention. When leaving comments on other blogs or forums, make sure that your comments are relevant, well-researched, and provide value to the discussion. Otherwise people will assume you are just leaving a comment for the sole purpose of leaving a link to your own blog. If you truly gained some knowledge and appreciated someone else’s post or comment (but do not really have anything else to add at the moment), you should consider leaving a heartfelt thank-you comment – other bloggers enjoy hearing how their writing has inspired others and...

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Methods for Free Traffic Generation – Part 1

For most bloggers, the biggest challenge is finding ways to get people to visit their blog. Site traffic plays a crucial role in blogging, mainly because it’s a quantifiable measure of success.  This number allows bloggers to track the performance of their blog on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. As such, traffic generation remains a key challenge for most bloggers. Most successful bloggers use a combination of different techniques to drive traffic into their websites.  One key method for traffic generation is to use social-networking websites and forums. The popularity of free social-networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter has definitely allowed bloggers to expand their reach in the World Wide Web. Not only is membership in social-networking sites free of charge, it is also very strategic to establish your presence in different social-networking platforms. Forums, on the other hand, have also allowed bloggers to connect with like-minded people and interact with them on a daily basis. Both options are beneficial ways to build meaningful relationships with active internet users. The micro-blogging nature of Twitter has made it a very popular social-networking website. Most successful bloggers have increased the traffic to their blogs by creating Twitter accounts. The 140-character limit results in tweets that are simple and to the point – as such it allows you to share snippets of your blog posts, facilitate mini-promotions, or simply voice out whatever interesting thought you had in mind. With over 500 million subscribers, Twitter is an excellent way to find potential readers and subscribers whose interests are aligned with yours. Some bloggers open their Facebook profiles to the public; however, if you’re not one to share your personal Facebook account with the entire Facebook population, you may instead opt to create a Facebook fan page just for your blog. It’s one of the most successful methods for you to capture interest for your blog and to generate more traffic. Forums can also be tapped to drive traffic to your site. The trick is to look for active conversations on the Internet. Since there are numerous forums in the Internet ranging from topics on gaming, technology, science, food, health, and all different interests, it’s really easy to join an ongoing discussion on a topic that is relevant to your blog theme. You can spark interest in your blog using a strategy called “link baiting.” That means deliberately leaving links to your previous blog posts on your comments and replies.  Make sure though that you are positively participating in the forums, offering those users good information and thoughtful comments – not just dropping a link to your website in hopes of getting some new readers. Making good use...

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Methods for Paid Traffic Generation

Bringing in new traffic to your blog is going to be one of the most difficult obstacles you will face as a blogger.  As you spend hours creating quality content for your readers, you will also need to pay attention to your site statistics to see how much new traffic is being generated for your blog based on your efforts.  Many of the free traffic-generation methods are successful, but it may take months for you to see any real profits.  Consider making an investment in your blog and adding some paid traffic-generation services. The following are different kinds of paid traffic-generation methods you can use to improve your blog’s performance and statistics: 1.    Social-Networking Advertising As the most visited social-networking site in the world, Facebook has a global reach of 1 billion active users as of October 2012. Placing advertisements on Facebook is a great way to get your information out to a lot of internet users quickly. Facebook advertising campaigns are setup according to demographics (i.e., age and gender) and even psychographics (i.e., likes and interests). This niche marketing strategy is definitely a cost-efficient way to strategically reach a highly targeted group of people. You can also advertise on Twitter using services such as Sponsored Tweets an Ad.ly. 2.    Text-Link Advertising Text-link ads are basically paid text endorsements placed on relevant blogs or websites. The ads contain a hyperlink to your blog thereby increasing your site traffic and improving your site recognition. 3.    Search-Engine Marketing  If you are aiming to get better search-engine rankings for your blog, it is wise for you to invest in search-engine marketing. For starters, you may setup your advertising campaigns through Google AdWords, Yahoo! Search Marketing, and Microsoft adCenter. They provide numerous online tutorials for beginners, which make it easy for newbies to run real-time advertising campaigns that can easily be monitored and modified anytime. At the end of every advertising campaign, you should also take some time to browse through the analytics. This will give you better insights on what factors actually helped in delivering results. 4.    Mailing List A mailing list is a necessary tool for you to provide weekly/daily RSS blog updates to your current list of subscribers and ensure you can grow your daily readership with new subscribers.  With a list-subscriber service such as Aweber.com, your e-mail subscriptions will be handled automatically. People can subscribe or unsubscribe and you do not have to manage it. Your e-mails to that list are sent out through a well-known and protected e-mail sending service so they will not get blocked by spam filters. When people unsubscribe, you do not even have to look at the request or...

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Generate Traffic With a Blog Contest or Promotion

Generating traffic for your blog is a challenging task that, at times, will need a lot of creativity on your part. As such, bloggers have been partnering with marketing companies to facilitate contests. This has been proven to be a very effective strategy to bring in new readers, especially for popular bloggers. Holding contests is definitely a great way to increase traffic for your blog. By giving away big-ticket prizes such as getaway trips, the latest smartphones, or even expensive beauty treatments, people have extra motivation to actively visit your blog and participate in your contests. The more enticing your prizes are, the more people will find good reasons to keep visiting your blog. Blog owners usually cannot afford to give away big-ticket prizes on their own. Most bloggers partner with marketing companies who provide the prizes. Since this is an indirect way to increase brand awareness, most marketing companies are usually interested in partnering with popular bloggers. Some marketing companies approach bloggers to suggest a product giveaway so they can in turn benefit from the free advertising and product exposure. You do not need to have expensive prizes to hold a contest.  Even a brand-new blogger can hold a fun contest with a small group of readers by giving away something like a $5 gift card to Itunes, Amazon, or something relevant to your blog theme.   A contest like this certainly might bring in new readers to your blog, but it also is a way to thank your current readers and let them know that you appreciate the time that they devote to your blog.  If you have products available on your website, you might offer one as a prize for your contest.  If you have an e-book available, offer free copies.  Be creative and work within your budget. The mechanics of the contests actually vary from blogger to blogger. The method of joining can either be through liking a photo, answering a random trivia question, submitting a video entry, or even recommending the blog site to five new friends. In fact, a popular way to facilitate a giveaway contest is through comment posting.  By leaving a comment to a blog post, you are automatically given a chance to win the prize. The nature of the contests is really dependent on the bloggers. Try to go with the easiest methods for people to sign up; the more steps people have to take, the less likely they are to actually participate in your contest. Social-networking sites are also effective platforms for product giveaways and contests. Since there are more active users on these websites, you can reach more people with your contest or promotion....

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Common Blog-Killing Mistakes: Refusing to Delegate

It is very important to be in control of the content added to your blog site. The final say when it comes to topics, writing style, tone, and information should be yours. What do you do when you have your hands full? For such situations, it is important to be strategic and opt for task delegation. What exactly does delegation mean when it comes to blogging? Delegation involves two important aspects—assessment and strategizing. It is important to conduct a complete evaluation of the amount of work which needs to be done, starting with conceptualizing, then researching, writing, and finally uploading the content. Once you have a better grasp of things, you can proceed with designating the tasks to people you trust. When you will not delegate because you are a control freak Are you feeling apprehensive with the idea of someone else doing your work? Avoid the bigger mistake of sacrificing the quality of your work because you are juggling too many tasks at the same time. That is why it would be smarter to spear-head all the tasks while having a pool of people help you out in accomplishing each one. If you feel that your inner control freak is surfacing again, be the one to come up with topics for the blog posts and identify the style and tone that you want. Find a person who can write high-quality articles for you. More importantly, there should be an open communication line between the two of you. That way, you can maintain your high standards and still find time to focus on other aspects of your blog (or life) that need your attention. Why delegating is important When it comes to building your website, it will be important to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses (related to blogging skills) and the amount of time that you have to dedicate to your website. It is a fact of life that each individual can only do so much in a day. Aside from that, mediocre writing skills should not hinder you from coming up with a good blog site. Proper delegation of work will lead to better quality blogs. Tasks will be done simultaneously, which increases productivity. The combined effort of your team will ensure that the blogs will maintain their high quality. Keep in mind that working smart is often much better than working hard. Delegating to contractors Do not be overly anxious when hiring contractors. With careful strategizing, you can find a person who will give you excellent blog posts and articles so your site can attract more visitors. For starters, have your contractors work on one or two articles. See what their writing...

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Common Blog-Killing Mistakes: Fear

People have different reasons for blogging. Some individuals set up blogs to make money, while others blog to express themselves. Whatever their reason, do you want to know why they are successful? They brushed all their fears aside and did not let these get in the way. If you have always wanted to start your own blog, drop all the excuses and get your hands busy A.S.A.P! Here are some fears people have with regards to blogging… and most importantly, some helpful tips to get over them quick: 1.    “I don’t have the time!” No one is too busy to ever get what he or she wants. So if you ever catch yourself making dozens of reasons to procrastinate, perhaps this is not really something you want. If you want to start your own blog, set time aside. If you are most productive during the day, by all means, work when the sun is out. If you like to write at night, go for it.  It is your blog and you should work when you are most able.  When you are first starting out, try to dedicate at least an hour of your day to write for your blog.  Then do it. 2.    “I don’t write well.” Not all bloggers are famous novelists, seasoned writers, or editors-in-chief of their local school papers. Truth is, anyone can be a blogger as long as they have interesting content to write. “Interesting” is a matter of perspective, so find things that matter to you – so you will have no problem writing about these topics! If you are worried about not being creative enough, it is never too late to start reading blogs, magazines, books, and newspapers. The trick is to learn from how other people write. You will get better as you practice. Lastly, if you are worried about grammatical errors, you should find another set of eyes to help you. It is often a good idea to have someone else proofread your blog content before posting if you are not skilled in writing (or even if you are).  Find a friend to help you or contract out the work to a freelancer at a site like elance.com. 3.    “The Internet is too open.” The openness/exposure of the World Wide Web should not scare you; in fact, this should empower you. It means you can easily influence millions of people around the world through the use of your words. 4.    “There are thousands of established bloggers out there already.”  The fact that a lot of people are already blogging should not stop you. This should, in fact, inspire you to work harder to differentiate your blog...

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