Seven Simple Ways to Attract Loyal Readers Fast

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mappa_blog (Photo credit: francescopozzi)

If you want to make a real living blogging, it’s repeat readers that are going to get you there. SEO might help you to climb Google’s ranks but the real profits are always going to be to attract loyal readers.

It’s repeat readers that will visit your blog regardless of where you rank. It’s repeat readers that will leave well thought out comments and build natural backlinks for you.

Attracting a loyal following for your blog isn’t rocket science but it does take time. Here are seven simple tips for speeding up the process.

Post to a Schedule

One of the first rules of building a following is to post on a regular basis. You don’t need to post daily but you do need to post to a schedule. Let visitors to your blog know how often you plan on posting and do your best to stick to that schedule each and every week. You want people to expect posts on certain days and visit your blog as a result. Constantly disappearing for a week or two is not how you achieve this.

Be Memorable

When somebody reads a great post on your blog, the last thing that you want is for them to forget where they read it. An important goal for every blogger is therefore to run a memorable blog. Avoid generic, easily forgettable domain names. Get an eye catching logo designed and combine it with a memorable tagline. Research how blogs in your niche typically look and fashion your blog in a completely different style.

Be a Real Person

If you want to attract a following fast, don’t be an anonymous blogger. Using your real name and putting a face to that name with a photo is very much recommended. When you blog anonymously, you are needlessly handicapping yourself. You are making it far more difficult for your readers to really connect with you. Clever bloggers take this one step further by including the odd talking heads style video post.

Share Your Opinions

One of the easiest ways to attract a following is to be opinionated. Facts are everywhere online but your opinions can be exclusive to your blog provided you actually include them in your posts. Regardless of what you’re writing about, try to include a few sentences regarding how you feel about the subject matter. Controversial opinions are especially effective at keeping readers coming back for more.

Be Different

Take a look at your competitors blogs. In all likelihood, the people that visit your blog are reading your competitors blogs also. If you want to attract a following, you therefore need to offer something different. Just about every niche has ample competition these days and it’s the bloggers that manage to differentiate themselves from the crowd that make real money. What are your competitors failing to write about?

Talk to Your Audience

If you want loyal followers, you need to be willing to talk to them. The best bloggers understand that blogging is a two way conversation. When somebody leaves a well thought out comment on your blog, make sure that you respond in kind. Let your readers know that their input is valued. And because your blogs comment section is the primary vehicle for discussion with your readers, it’s important to keep it well moderated.

Offer Genuine Value

Finally, if you want to attract a loyal following, you need to offer visitors to your blog genuine value. You need to write posts that genuinely help them. Ask yourself what problems your readers are likely to have and how your blog might help to solve them. Nothing builds loyalty quite as fast as problem solving. This is one of the reasons why well thought out tutorials make for excellent blog posts.

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Beginners Guide to Traffic Boosting – 5 Useful Tips for Increasing Action-Oriented Visits

The internet has changed quite a bit since my early days of online marketing. Back in 2005 my wife Arlene and I were involved in link partnering. We don’t do that anymore, we have more tried and true methods that we employ now. I’ve been a successful online businessman for over a decade now, it’s been a great ride seeing familiar faces year after year at summits and conferences.\

To Make a Sale, You’ve Got to Get Them Through the Door

I’ve learned quite a bit in my years as an internet entrepreneur and podcast host. My programs such as “Affiliate Buzz” and “Coffee Talk” have featured many experts in the field of marketing and social media as necessary drivers for a successful business. In a recent edition of “Coffee Talk” I had the opportunity to host a good friend and colleague, Mario Bonilla.

Mario, formerly of PRWeb, is a self-taught social media expert – he went from knowing very little about the internet to training others during his time as a platform trainer and customer delight specialist. A host of many informative webinars available at PRWeb.com, Mario thrilled “Coffee Talk” listeners, and recent graduates of my SUPER BootCamp, with his insightful advice.

Social Media Starts in Your Own Backyard

  • Make a list of people in your community – Editors of newspapers, periodicals, local publications, and radio rely on fresh, interesting news each day to fill up their pages with relevant content. You can help them with this by contacting them and asking how they like to receive their information. Some may like email, others by fax, some may prefer good old snail-mail. Whatever the preference, update your local news outlets regularly in a manner they prefer.
  • Community is online as well as offline – When Arlene was setting up her website for www.epilepsymoms.com she searched Google from top to bottom, looking for sites similar to her own. After she had a solid list of 50 or so sites she contacted each of them and offered them a chance to publish one of her articles each month. Reaching out this way has helped her build strong ties in the epilepsy community.  Keep in mind this is a give and take relationship, Arlene provides a unique and fresh article per month and receives similar content from these other sites. This strengthens Google rankings by building credibility and backlinks.
  • Give regular updates of relevant happenings – Set aside time each month to write a press release about the current news and announcements relevant to your business and target audience. Distributing your press release is easy with the help of PRWeb’s flexible pricing and service options.
  • Use a solid template for monthly press releases – Writing a press release that gets noticed takes some practice, but it doesn’t have to be daunting. Make a list of all the valuable, noteworthy things your business has accomplished, and condense this into a focused, announcement-style document. Templates and how-tos are readily available online to coach you through the process. Start with a solid headline and build from there. Remember, it’s an announcement, not a sales pitch.
  • Contract out if necessary – When in doubt, contract out! I happen to love hiring contractors through Elance.com because it’s so convenient and I’m always pleased with the level of professionalism I receive for a reasonable price. If you can’t afford to hire a contractor, consider what sorts of barters and trades you can make with talented writers in your area.

A Solid Press Release Can Launch a Website

I love to use my beautiful wife Arlene as an example. When she was putting together www.epilepsymoms.com she worried a bit about the slow trickle of initial traffic. I suggested she put out a press release and within a week of doing so she was not only at the top of Google and Yahoo News, she also landed on the front page of our local paper with an additional two pages dedicated to her website and our son, Adam! Arlene often says that press release launched her website, and I have to agree. If you are on a budget try taking advantage of the many press release coupons available on the web, and see what press releases can do for you.

About the author:

Industry veteran James Martell has enjoyed success as an affiliate trainer. As the author of the very popular “Affiliate Marketer’s Handbook”, as well as the host and creator of the “Affiliate Buzz” and “Coffee Talk” podcasts for affiliate marketers, James also developed a “SUPER BootCamp” training course, a collection of 12 recorded lessons, hours of audio, live Q&A sessions and more. James often uses the Internet as a resource and reads sites like http://www.forexdice.com when browsing for economic news.

Four Reasons Why WordPress Is the Best CMS Platform

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cms press (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

WordPress is a free publishing platform that continues to please many web enthusiasts worldwide. Since its inception in 2003, it has grown from a blogging only platform developed using MySQL and PHP, to become the most powerful and flexible Content Management System (CMS) on the internet. Whether, you are starting a blog, a personal website, or an e-commerce establishment, WordPress can satisfy all your needs. This article highlights four reasons why WordPress is the best CMS platform.

Why WordPress Is the Best CMS Platform

WordPress has enjoyed the status of being among the best CMS platforms for a long time. This is because of its many desirable features. They include:

Ease of Use

WordPress is very easy to use. You do not have to learn or understand complicated coding languages, to create an elegant and functional website. You only have to install WordPress in your web hosting account and manipulate its many features to meet your needs. The ‘Fantastico’ script offered by many established hosting companies facilitates automatic installation of this exquisite CMS platform.

After you have installed WordPress, you can easily add, manage, and update your content, without manipulating any code or hiring a professional webmaster. Its point and click interface helps you to create new pages, edit existing ones, and make any other changes that you want. Finally, you can use its site enhancement modules, to set your website apart from its competition.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

To have a successful website online, you must attract targeted traffic to it. This is why SEO is very important. One of the main reasons why WordPress is among the best CMS platforms is because it is SEO optimized. Search engines such as Google love WordPress because of several reasons. First, it is basic template is ‘clean coded’. This pleases the bot algorithms of major search engine.

WordPress also generates SEO friendly permalinks. It also has other inbuilt SEO features such as a self-updating nature and automated ping tool. If you couple the foregoing on-site features with other offsite SEO techniques, your site will rank higher in search results, and attract a lot of organic traffic.

WordPress Extensions

Unlike other CMS platforms, WordPress is very flexible, and easy to customize. It offers thousands of free and paid themes and plugins that you can use to expand your website. If you want to match the theme of your content with that of your website, you only have to research, and choose a good application from its arsenal. You can also customize you website with contact forms, polls, or ratings, even if you are a novice user. You do not have to hiring a professional website developer.

Support System

WordPress has a good user support system. If you do not understand how to use a custom feature, there is a pool of WordPress enthusiasts who are always ready to help. They host dedicated websites and forum boards where they share WordPress tricks and tricks. If you want to clarify a given issue, you can post in on such forums, for WordPress users to discuss. If you do not get a satisfactory solution, experienced officials on the official WordPress support forum can always help.

Author’s Bio: To know more why WordPress is the best CMS platform to date, visit www.make-a-web-site.com. This reputable web resource covers this and a host of other web design topics, in detail. And also the author of this article focused on this topic.

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Tips and techniques for promoting your business online

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(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Competing in this tough world is a bit difficult but not impossible. When you are into business remember that you are competing with several thousands who have the same dream to make it big in the chosen field. Your business might be related to anything from health, technology, finance even a PPI Claim company but any business should need proper promotion for the growth. However here are a few tips to help you with promoting your business online:

Promoting your Business Online

Video marketing:

You can now promote your business easily with the help of video marketing. It might have not been possible without sites such as YouTube. With the world concentrating on the events through the internet you have greater chances of promoting your business on the net through these videos.

The videos should be informative about your products and services which you provide. This way you can create a good demand for your product. Utilise the medium which is available to reach out to the masses.

Writing business related articles:

Content related to your business is a great way to promote your products online. Provide the customers with articles related to the products and services that you provide and ensure that the article is informative and related to what you want to express. The details should be clear and the language used should be simple enough that all the readers can understand. This way you can spread the horizons of your online business and promote in the right mediums.

Newsletters:

Dig out all the old data from the sent mails to your customers and compose newsletters that are relevant. This helps to keep them updated about your latest products or business ideas which you are planning to implement. This helps to maintain good relationship with your valued clients and customers. This helps greatly in promotion of business.

Press releases:

Another way to proclaim your achievements or launch of new things is through press release. You can use internet as a platform and make a press release which is seen by several viewers across the world. This way you can promote your business.

Social networking:

People monitor on social networking sites 24/7. All you need to do is make use of this golden medium to boost up the promotions. Think different should be your motto as you would be competing with thousands of users. Try innovative and creative methods to pull the crowds and open up discussion and make note of the opinions of the followers as it may give you a new idea for another start-up. Hence keep your eyes open and follow all the discussions that take place on your Facebook or Twitter page. This way you will never fall short of promotional ideas.

Business directories:

Though these might appear to be outdated in the current world yet are given prominence in the business world. Even today business owners check out the directories in the web to know about different businesses that have come up. Ensure that you register your business in one of these directories to promote your business. This doesn’t cost much and is pocket friendly with its own advantages. It is essential to be known in the business world as to get better and good projects.

Author Bio: The guest post was contributed by Lucy, financial guest blogger from Manchester, UK. Find out more about her blogs @financeport.

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Facebook Advertising 101

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Image via CrunchBase

Want to expand into Facebook?  Facebook has several different types of advertising, and each is idiosyncratic.  Here is a brief overview:

Standard External URL Ads

These are the kind of thing most people associate with the term “Facebook Ads.” They are external links to your website, introduced by a title, some text, and a 110 x 80 pixel image.

External URL ads can be targeted at users based on age, sex, geographic location, and interests.  You may bid either for user clicks or for user impressions.  Your ad will be ranked with other ads for each user, based on your bid, your ad’s quality, and your advertising campaigns’ previous performance.

The general wisdom in SEO circles is that Facebook external URL ads are efficiently priced when bidding for clicks, but inefficiently priced when bidding for impressions.  Facebook representatives have countered that impressions alone are valuable because they increase brand awareness.  Personally, I like ad campaigns with clearly demonstrated and measurable effects, so I would advise against paying for impressions if at all possible.

However, the standard external ads are only a small part of Facebook advertising.

Sponsored Stories

Sponsored stories are a unique, and profitable, form of Facebook advertising.  They are stories about people interacting with your company’s page that are given a boost in their ranking system so they appear on more people’s news feeds.

For example, say a user named Jim just Liked your company’s page.  Now, say Jim has a friend named Bob.  Bob has lots of friends and a very busy news feed.  The EdgeRank algorithm, which determines which stories show up on Bob’s newsfeed, would ordinarily determine that Jim Liking something was not newsworthy.  However, you can set up your advertising account to bid for a spot on Bob’s news feed as soon as Jim or anyone else Likes your company.

Like external URL ads, sponsored stories can be paid for either per click or per impression.

Facebook Exchange

Facebook has also introduced a new type of advertising that interfaces with third party data providers called Facebook Exchange.  Facebook Exchange ads use cookie trackers to target Facebook ads to users based on their recent browsing history.  These ads can be targeted very precisely.  For example, an online bookseller could target ads only at people who just visited another online bookseller and reached the checkout page, but did not actually go through with the purchase.  While the thought is still fresh in consumers’ minds, they see a related ad on their Facebook profile.  This technique is known in marketing circles as “retargeting.”

Comparison to Google Advertising

Facebook ads generally have a much lower click-through rate than Google ads.  Facebook users have trained themselves to just skim read all the adspace.  There has also been some pushback from users over sponsored stories cluttering up their news feeds.  In order to do well on Facebook, you must be able to sell people on your product in less than a paragraph.  You also need to have ad images and stories that pop out and get noticed.

However, Facebook advertising has its advantages as well.  In Facebook, you can target your ads to very specific age and demographic groups.  This means that your impressions are being spent where they are needed most.  If you’re up for the extra challenge, you can do well with Facebook advertising.

Steve is a Social Media Manager and Google AdWords Certified Individual at TechWyse, an internet marketing firm based in Toronto, Canada. TechWyse specializes in SEO, PPC and Social Media Marketing. You can read more of Steve’s writing at TechWyse.com/blog.

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