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Monday, July 18, 2011

Why Are You Blogging - To Fill Space Or Get Traffic?

Why are you Blogging?
For about five hours in the middle of the night, I cleaned up multiple email accounts, which meant I checked out a lot of links in emails generated by the social networking sites I subscribe to. I saw a lot of blog addresses and started plugging them in to Alexa.com to check their global and regional rankings. I was in shock. It forced me to ask the question: "Why are you blogging - to fill space or get traffic?"

There must have been about 40 sites I plugged into Alexa.com. About half had no traffic rank. A few had a global number that was in the range of about 12,000,000. One, had a global rank around 1,600,000 and a regional rank of 9,800 for the authors home country of Peru. Not one site was ranked higher than this site. And I've only been blogging here for four months.

I understand when you first start blogging you're caught up in appearances or pumping out those first posts. Thoughts of blog marketing, traffic ranking, SEO (search engine optimization) writing and all the things that bring people to your site have not migrated to your frontal lobes. Unfortunately, some bloggers plug away for years and never consider whether what they are doing generates traffic. Isn't that what it is all about?

There are bloggers that want to maintain a simple diary-style blog that is primarily for their children or their family. What they post is only of interest to a small circle of people. That's fine. You have every right to do that. However, there are people that write good content, which should be read by a broad audience, but because they don't know how to market their blog or write content that is search engine friendly, they are doomed to obscurity on the Internet.

This blog has a broad appeal and touches on some very popular subjects - Popular TV Shows, Hot News items, Health Issues, etc. A lot of traffic comes in from search engines to this site. Why? Because I write the posts for search engines. Blogging is a science, not an art form.

Your site might appeal to a specific audience. Let's say it is in the medical field. There are still ways to market your site through various networks like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIN where you can get your message to people that are in that targeted audience. And you still need to write with SEO in mind for your subject matter.

Before you get twisted up in any of that, you have to get a clear picture of who your audience is. Who are you writing for? How old are they? Are you writing for men and women or just one group? Is your audience gay or lesbian? Are they parents? Are they sportsmen - fishing, hunting, auto racing? Are they highly educated or can anyone enjoy your writing? Nailing down your target audience is critical to how you will continue to write and what content you will provide. You have to get inside the head of your audience. What do they want to see, read or be introduced to?

When you understand your audience, then it makes it easier to go after them. That can be done through targeted social networking. But you still want to write for SEO.

I wrote a 10 Lesson Course called, "How To Start A Blog" - which is actually "How To Start A Blog For Profit." (Link provided below) The first couple lessons are about setting up a Blogger blog, but the content can be applied to Wordpress, Tyepad or any other blog platform. The subsequent lessons teach you the importance of keywords and specifically how to write a post so that your post gets picked up by search engines. I know it works. I regularly wind up on Page #1 of one or more of the search engines, including Google.

And I did it with a PageRank of "0" and NO backlinks. In fact, three times I beat NBC on Page #1 of Google for Celebrity Apprentice this past season. PageRank "0" - NO backlinks - beat NBC. I've also beat NBC for America's Got Talent. 

I'll show you. Go to Google. Type in: America's Got Talent Jul 13. I have two posts that show up on Page #1 of Google. Type in: America's Got Talent Hollywood and I'm on the very bottom of Page #1 of Google. (Keep in mind, over time, content shifts. For today, July 18th, they are there.)

How is a punk like me writing at Denny's and Dunkin' Donuts on a Fisher Price iBook beating Entertainment Weekly, Access Hollywood, Huffington Post and other powerhouse sites? I'm freakin' good at SEO writing. And if you follow what I teach you in the course, you can do the same thing too.

Over the next six weeks, I'm going to greatly expand the content of the course and make it available as an eBook - for a unrealistically low price. But, you can get the basics FREE right now.

So, why are you writing? I know why I write. On LinkedIN, there was a discussion on one of the groups I joined. It asked, "What is the best compliment you received about your writing?" My answer was simple, and I've gotten this over and over and over - "Thank you. You've changed my life."  OR "Thanks for the laugh. You totally made my day."

Is that the kind if impact you want your content to have? You have a tool, if taken seriously, that can change lives, brighten people's days, give someone hope, teach a person a new skill, etc. What a great feeling to have. What a noble pursuit.

Know who you hope to serve and serve them well.

I guess you have to decide what you want your blog to do. And ask yourself, "Why are you blogging - to fill space or get traffic?" That answer could make all the difference in the world.

Related links:
www.Alexa.com - Check your global and regional traffic ranking 
Google PageRank Checker

Related articles:
How To Start A Blog | 10 Lessons On Starting A Blog For Profit
How To Build Your Brand On The Internet And Social Networks

Best of My Funny Blog Posts


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3 comments:

  1. very interesting stuff. Been blogging in my spare time for a just a couple years now. As a creative writer dealing in mostly film satire, I'm fascinated by new ways to market my brand. Twitter has been the best course of action thus far. Another great question a blogger must ask themselves "how do I stand out?"

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  2. That was a good read, i will sure use a tip or two from there.

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  3. @Markus - Standing out can be achieved a few different ways. What does your site look like? Does it look different? Or is it a bland template?

    This site is a template, but I've added bells and whistles to it. I can't say I've seen a Blogger site that looks like this.

    Also, how do you write?

    To me, every post is like a well written email to a friend. I'm having a conversation. I'm telling my friend something that might interest them. And as in real life, I try to make them laugh, when it is appropriate.

    Add elements of interactivity to your site - Polls, make sure you can take comments and encourage them. Listen to what people have to say and respond.

    Your traffic will be two-fold. Search engine traffic that may come and go, but s few stick. The people that bookmark your site and come back, you want to form a relationship with them.

    I'm an open book. People that are regulars here know what is going on in my life. That's my style. Make your site YOU.

    @GM - nice to see you again. ;)>

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