Home » traffic

Tag: traffic

My Top 5 tips for building interest with Facebook

keep your fans engaged with facebookIt’s no secret that I am not the biggest fan of Facebook.

That opinion is based mainly on the consumer side of Facebook where the now giant corporation that is Facebook, dictates how its users interact with it; for example the forced changeover to time-line view.

However, I try to put all of that to one side when I am dealing with the great FB for business and especially when I am helping clients to grow their business exposure to the world. Facebook cannot be ignored in that sense, there are just too many users for that.

FB Fan Pages are very useful tools for building traffic to your website or blog and also to your Facebook profile pages.

Fan pages outstrip profile pages due to ability to have “Fans” and for your content to be constantly updated to your followers’ feeds by whenever you post something new.

The best way to build traffic through a Fan page is by encouraging your Fans to interact with your fan page. Here are my 5 top tips for doing that:

  1. Ask questions. Just ask the people who like you on your fan page a question. You might start with closed questions that just require a yes or a no, to get the ball rolling and to build confidence in your readers. Obviously these questions will be related to your business, art or philosophy and not just “did you see the state of Ian Beale on EastEnders last night?” As you build the interaction and confidence of your likers, you can move on to more open ended questions and actually have your likers grow the useful content value of your page to some extent.
  2. Point out updates. Just pointing out what you’ve added to your readers can increase interaction, boost responses to your questions and allow your new readers or fans to get up to speed with your content more quickly.
  3. Set up a landing page. Just as you might do on your website or blog, set one up to encourage people to “like” your page in exchange for a free download, discount, benefit or gift. This can help to build your opt in email list and allow you to gain permission to keep in touch my means other than Facebook.
  4. Use Facebook Advertising. I’m not usually one for recommending advertising but this is a solid way to attract otherwise passive traffic into your Fan pages. You should ideally send them to a landing page so that you hook the opt in email as well. (Building the number of likes you get will ensure that you appear on more and more news-feeds of the fans who sign up and subsequently this will turn into even more traffic.
  5. Content is Still King. I shouldn’t really have to say this but it stands to reason that you need to be providing useful and compelling content to your fans, to hopefully keep them coming back, spreading the word and coming on through to your website or blog to get more in depth info from you.

Today is 4 donkeys Famous Freebie Friday of course and if you liked this post, you better make sure you are on the list by 15.00 UK time today.

Today’s Famous Freebie Friday pack will include an in-depth eBook on Facebook Marketing packed with tips and strategies just like those above…plus another few little surprises…make sure you get on the list here.

As always…if you need help with anything social media, blog, WordPress or on-line related just give me a bell on 07939 149103 or drop me line

Creative Commons License Moazzam Brohi provided today’s photo, thank you Moazzam!

Delivering fresh blog content on demand

writers block wont be a problem any moreWhilst many Internet marketers still say that ‘the money is in the list’ there is strong evidence to show that fresh, useful and above all high quality content is just as, if not more important if you want to be successful at making a living online.

And of course blogging and list building aren’t mutually exclusive and can work hand in hand to help you extend your reach and interact intimately with your readers.

It is this concept of fresh content that I want to talk about today. Recently we looked at how, for a business blog or at least one you hope to make money with, you really need to stay on topic.

Doing that is sometimes easier said than done however and you wont be long into your blogging career when you experience the dreaded writer’s block or hit the wall for the first time.

This is where your beloved readers come in.

Here’s one trick (professional writing technique) you can employ to give you inspiration for tens if not hundreds of blog posts.

Open up the admin area of your blog and at the same time open up notepad or your favoured word processor and have them in side by side windows.

Now simply scroll down your comments list in the back admin area of your site and either copy and paste the title of each comment or type a sentence that captures the essence of the subject that each comment is covering.

Make a new line for each comment and capture something unique about each one. Even if there are 20 comments on one post, there’s probably 20 different views or opinions there.

Once you’ve completed that, open your cpanel area and go to awstats or whatever stats program you use or your Google analytics account and look under Site Search.

Now scroll down to where it says “Search Key Phrases”. This is a goldmine of information and a great source of inspiration for any blogger. Click the link that allows you to open the full list of Search Terms and copy and paste this into your notepad file.

You now have titles and subject matter for possibly hundreds of blog posts. Start writing the posts right there in the notepad file, starting under each title.

Not only is this a good source of inspiration, but it also guarantees that you are talking about the exact subjects that your kind of reader wants to know about.

Get to it!

Meantime if you need any help with anything WordPress related or to do with blogging, social media and /or doing business on line, as always just give me a call on 07939 149103 or drop me a line. Happy blogging!

Photo thanks to: Haris Awang via Compfight, cheers Haris nice work!

3 Costly blogging mistakes to avoid.

follow this guide to avoid common blogging mistakesBloggers make mistakes all the time. But most of them are easy to avoid, and even easier not to create in the first place.

As a blogger you might think that anything goes when it comes to the content of your blog posts. Well, by and large of course it’s up to you what you write, but if you started your blog for a reason, for example to promote your business or art then you might have to give it a little more thought than just doing a brain dump on the page every morning.

Mistake number one then –is not sticking to the topic of your blog. Blogs are usually designed around a theme – and the more focused the theme, the more likely you’ll attract interested traffic. Many new bloggers however either ‘cast around’ for a theme, hoping to hit on something that works, or are just scattered in general. You can see this on lots of blogs, where people talk incessantly about their bloody cats when they’ve run out of business stuff to share.

Solution – keep your posts as focused as possible on the overall topic that you set out for your blog and don’t be afraid of sharing too much detail about what you do or even how you do it with your avid readers. If anything this kind of sharing builds trust and is more likely to get you work or a following than if you keep it all secret.

No business operates in vacuum and its crazy to waste energy trying to hide your ideas from your competition.

Mistake number two – bloggers don’t spend enough time or expend enough effort in promoting their sites and driving driving traffic back to them.

Blogging isn’t just about posting content. Unfortunately, many people seem to think that ‘if they build it, they will come’ and that’s simply not true. New and fresh content is vital to your success and not updating often enough will really impact on your traffic. Most bloggers start out really well – they write lots of posts and then, it tapers off. They become discouraged, or worse, they think they aren’t doing ‘it right’. Blogging needs just as much attention as any other site, sometimes more so – and like most sites, unless you hit on something really big, you’ll find that you don’t make much of an impact at first.

Driving traffic to your site can be fairly simple though – you can do it by taking part in other sites, and using your url in your sigline, you can comment on other blogs and forums, bookmark your site and of course create a social media strategy – with wide exposure you’ll gain far more traffic than simply relying on SEO.

Mistake number three – not connecting with others in your niche. This isn’t restricted to bloggers of course, its a feature of business generally. Many owners of small businesses try to play their cards too close to their chests in an effort to protect their trade secrets.

Solution – its important to contact others in your niche, because it gives you a chance to participate in link exchanges and maybe even collaboration on projects. One of the best ways to do this is ‘mutually’ recommend one another’s sites – you can do this, quite simply, by asking the site owner to review your site, and you can do the same. That way, you’ll build a more valuable ‘link base’ for the person you’re reviewing, and though they are creating a two way link exchange with you, the review style link exchange is always more valuable.

No matter what mistakes bloggers make, or the length of time they’ve been making them for, its never too late to get things back on track. There’s always a way to fix common problems including the mythical writers block.

How do you continue to find interesting ideas for your blog?

It can sometimes seem like you’ve said it all, and just very occasionally this is actually nearly true. Most times however, its not and there are some great strategies and tools you can use to generate new ideas and exciting fresh content for your blog. I’m just about to use one such tool:

Tomorrow, I’m going to talk about how you can keep your blog fresh and come up with an endless stream of new ideas to share with our readers.

Until then, if you need any help with any aspect of blogging, be it technical or content…just give me a call on my mobile number 07939 149103 or drop me a line.

Photo thanks to:  J. Money via Compfight, right on the money!

5 essential steps to make your blog a success

learn the 5 essential steps to starting a successful blog

Lets say you’ve decided to start a blog to help get the word out about your business, art or philosophy on life.

You’ve got some decisions to make about where your going to do that. By that I mean what blogging software/platform are you going to use?

Where will this be hosted? Will it be a free blog at blogger.com or WordPress.com, or will you have it hosted so that you can have a greater control over its look and it’s destiny should anything go wrong at these 3rd party free blog providers.

No matter where you blog, or what you decide to do with your blog, there are some ‘must do’ steps as follows:

  1. Make sure you’ve configured everything correctly. There’s nothing worse than having done 99% of the work, only to be let down by the final 1%. To ensure you’ve got the best fighting chance to get the best attention for your blog, you should fill in everything that you can. This includes any profile settings, and in the case of WordPress, any plug-ins or other information that needs to be completed – many plug-ins and themes require some work to make them usable.
  2. Pick a design theme and stick with it…at least for a few months. Radical design changes can upset your readers, especially if you haven’t alerted them to this in advance. Changing your design theme in WordPress is a breeze. Making your blog stand out from the rest is a major step in retaining traffic. More importantly, if you make it yours, the you’re more likely to work on it more often. Changing away from the default theme in WordPress has other benefits as well. Although the default theme is rock solid and very customisable, it does make your site look like just another WordPress blog. Another thing to consider is that if you update your WordPress software to the latest release, this can sometimes break or delete any customisations you have made in the default theme, as quite often the theme itself is updated with new versions of WordPress.
  3. Write some content. Try to write 5 or 10 blog posts in advance before you tell anybody that you are blogging. This way when people start to turn up, there will be a good amount of valuable content ready for them to read and to make sure they return you should plan a blogging schedule.Tell your readers what this is right on the front of your blog if you want. This will keep you accountable not just to your readers but also to yourself. If your goal is to build a strong following, then I suggest you try to do a lot of writing at the front end of your project. Daily posting isn’t too much if you can manage it; its certainly what I try to do here on 4 donkeys. You can scale back later when you have a bigger archive of material for your readers to engage with.
  4. Promote your content – once you’ve got a nice stock of content up start promoting your blog. Consider using your posts on article sites, get active on related forums and share your wisdom and of course links back to your blog. You’ll get more traffic if you diversify, so remember to add your site to bookmarking sites and make good use of social media to spread the word – and, encourage your readers to do so too.
  5. Be authentic; if you don’t know it from experience, don’t make out that you do. It doesn’t mean that you cant write about it, but its better to speak from experience and its better to be just you, don’t try for any fancy image or to change your personality into something you are not. By saying it from the heart, you will be more encouraged to continue when you start to get positive feedback from readers…and if you are genuine…you will get feedback.

Blogging, ultimately, is about making connections with readers and will help you to build a reader base to discuss your work and share your ideas with. It allows you to express yourself, make valuable contacts and to showcase yourself as the expert you are in your field.

Photo today thanks to:  Adam Tinworth via Compfight; keep clicking Adam, cheers.

What do you want me to do?

don't waste hard won traffic, make it obvious what to do with colour and design

The most valuable and hardest to get resource on the web is Attention, followed closely by Permission.

The attention of like minded people and their permission to keep in touch with them by email.

You know from bitter experienece how hard it is to get people to your wesbite.

The hours of tweeting, connecting on facebook (you do include links back to your site when you do that don’t you?), offline networking, SEO tweaking and blog post writing do pay off eventually.

However, I am still overwhelmed by the number of sites I come across where there is no obvious reason for the site being there in the first place.

Look at your analytics and the number of one page visits will tell you how many people are getting to your site then immediately leaving again, usually because they can’t see a good reason to stay.

Getting people to stay on your site is crucial to building a readership and an audience for your business, but how do you get them to interact with your site?

The first thing to do is make it obvious.

Have a look at the front page of this site and try to guess what I want visitors to do.

When someone lands on this front page I want them to give me permission to stay in touch with them by email.

To achieve that here’s what I do:

  1. First of all I want to give them something interesting to read about and for the majority of my readers that will be something novel about blogging, website design and probably wordpress related. I usually try to help my readers to learn how to do cool things with their wordpress site for free or on a DIY basis…they like that.
  2. Secondly if they scroll down the page, they will see that there will be something interesting to read on a regular basis; I try for daily in that respect.
  3. Last and most importantly I make it obvious that I want them to do that. I do this by making my main sign up attraction obvious, which means:
    1. it must be above the fold (so they don’t have to scroll to find it)
    2. It must be obvious which means contrasting colours to the main site design
    3. there must be a good reason. For people who might otherwise be just surfing, I have a clear and very valuable offer on the top right of the page. This should be attractive to most people who find 4donkeys by organic search, its a pack of 3 premium eBooks giving excellent information on building your website’s success.

For regular readers who haven’t signed up yet, I have a less obvious but very clear sign up box on the right of the page, which explains 3 things:

  1. Exactly what I will be sending them if they give me their permission.
  2. How often this will be. Famous Friday Freebie will obviously be once per week and in addition to that I will send “occasional” valuable stuff like tips and offers. I take great pains to be very very clear about this, because I don’t want anybody to be annoyed by what I send them.
  3. I make it clear that I won’t be a pain in the ass by drowning them in spammy junk.

These principles hold true for any web page, blog post or article.

So when readers click through to the free offer page, there is nothing else to do but sign up; there are no links out of the page, so they either sign up or leave or hit the back button.

When you write a blog post, write it for the people you really want on your site. The headline of your post has the sole purpose of getting people interested in reading the first line of the post and the first line should make them want to read the second and so on.

Be genuine, if you don’t believe it yourself, don’t say it.

If you don’t think the item is valuable, don’t sell it or even give it away.

If you haven’t experienced it, don’t say you have.

If you don’t ask permission to keep in touch, you are wasting a huge amount of energy.

The Famous Friday Freebie today has at least a £20 value and will give you a clear strategy for getting results with Twitter, Facebook and Social Media in General. If you’re not on the list by 15.00 BST, you wont get it and the offer wont be repeated.

Photo thanks to @Doug88888 via Compfight, cheers Doug