Which comes first, the blog or the visitors? Ans: The blog
You need superb content and masses of it on a good-looking blog before you even start looking for visitors or they are never going to visit, read, link or join in.
If you have any website your objectives will be the same. You want your targeted group of people to:
- Visit your site
- Have a good time on your site
- Link to you
- Pass on your blog address to friends
- Come back again
- Become part of your blog community
Your site has to be totally ready for visitors from the very start, or any visitors you do get will quickly go away and never come back, never link to you and never pass on your address to their friends.
Everything about your site has to be right.
1. To visit your site
Initially you will get a few people visiting your site from search engines. A frequently updated blog ranks better than a static site with similar content, so make sure that you post new materials at least once a day.
If you are an active member of any online groups like InfoBarrel, then telling people there will garner you a good number of visitors. You will get Facebook Likes and Twitter Tweets from these visitors.
Your e-mail contacts might click through if you include your new site in your email signature.
Install Zemanta, either as the WP plugin or the free download widget, and add your site to Zemanta’s database. Other users will see links to your site when they are writing related posts. Some will visit, and some of those will link to you.
2. To have a good time on your site
Your site must be easy to navigate, have plenty of unique information/points of view and look good.
Easy navigation includes category lists, links to posts from the Home page and lots of inter-linking of posts. Links should be in an easy to spot colour.
Unique information/points of view means lots of unique and top quality posts with an individual ‘take’ on things.
Good looks mean no ads at all initially, and even eventually, only very discrete ads. It means no pop-ups or other distractions. It means that your site has a unique look and style, rather than just the standard black Georgia font on a white background.
3. To link to you
Visitors will only link to you if all of the above are true.
Your posts need to be absolutely top class for someone to put their own credibility on the line by linking to you.
Using infographics encourages links, as will surveys and questionnaires.
Installing Zemanta will help to get other websites to link to you.
Another plugin to help you get noticed is Repost.Us, which is a syndication service where your posts are shown to other users to embed in their own blogs and link back to your original post.
4. To pass your blog address on to friends
Once you have given your visitors a good time they are more likely to pass on your posts to their friends or business contacts.
You can make it easier for visitors to Like you and Tweet your posts by installing a social bookmarking plugin and showing the icons on each post. Include an email this link, too.
5. To come back again
Giving your visitors a good time is essential if they are going to come back. Add an RSS feed link to each post, some visitors will subscribe and be notified when you make new posts.
People will only come back if you continue to post new material. This is another reason why frequent updates are essential.
6. To become part of your blog community
You need to talk to your readers so that posts become conversations rather than monologues. Ask questions and use the first person when you are writing.
A necessary pre-requisite is that you have a particular group of people in mind when working on any aspect of your site. If you have no target group then your site will ultimately fail.
This site’s target users are people who are trying to earn money by writing online, whether for their own blogs or for article sites like InfoBarrel.
The target group can be as wide as you like, but there has to be at least one common factor.
Written by Phil Turner, an ex-teacher from Ireland. Phil believes that to succeed in anything you have to help others and share your own knowledge. He makes a living mostly by writing on his own sites, which include HowToMakeExtraMoneyWriting.com and 21CWoman.com.
- How to Breathe Life into a Dead Blog (infobarrel.com)
- Zemanta Facebook application (zemanta.com)