Friday, September 21, 2007

Smart commenting can bring traffic to your blog

What do you and the rest of the world prefer - two steps or one? Human beings are smart creatures, and lazy too - they prefer the elevator to the stairs, the easy path to the tougher. And a smart marketer keeps that in mind - make things even slightly difficult and the response rates will go down.

If you are a blogger trying to promote your blog, you are essentially a marketer - and you will have to think like one, if you are to succeed.

Keep that in mind when you are leaving nice little comments on other blogs with the 'honourable' intention of getting some traffic from them coming back to your own little space on the big bad world wide web.

When you are posting a comment on a blogger/blogspot blog, the comments page gives you 3 identity options:

- Google/Blogger

- Other

- Anonymous

Chances are you are a Google Blogger and you sign in with your user name and password, as most people do. It might be the right thing to do, but doesn't help much.
When the comment is published, if someone clicks on your name, he or she is then taken to your 'Blogger Profile' page. Surely your objective is not increase views of your profile page. Now, the fellow has the option to search for info on your blog on that page and make his/her way to your blog, but that's the long, tedious path - it's the staircase route which human beings don't really care for. Then why not give them the faster elevator?
Instead of the previous way, choose the "Other" option. This is what you will now see:

Just type whatever name you fancy to appear and right below put in the URL of the page you want the traffic to be directed to. Next time someone reads your pretty little comments, they just need to click on your name to come straight to where you want them to!!!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Get that coveted inbound link to your blog

One of the biggest problems faced by a new blogger is - 'How do i get quality inbound links?'. While every blogger is looking to acquire links, established bloggers will not be keen to give link to a newbie. After all, while your Google Page Rank is 0 or 1, they have a higher Google Page Rank and don't see much value in exchanging links with you. How then should a new blogger go about getting quality links pointing to his blog from relevant sites. ( Relevant site = Sites which have content that is similar/relevant to your blog. For example - If you have a cricket blog, Google will be happiest if you get links from cricket blogs or sites).
The solution to this conundrum is: Go out of your way to acquire that coveted link. Follow these steps:
1. Shortlist 1 or 2 blogs from which you want to get links to your blog.
2. Start paying them a visit often, leave comments on their blog and please make sure that they are meaningful comments. Spend time on writing your comments. Your objective is twinfold: a)catch the attention of the blog owner and b) your comments should provoke/encourage return comments from other visitors to the blog. The blog owner should realize that you are adding serious value to his blog. Everyone, including veteran bloggers likes attention !! Give it to them.
3. Make special efforts when providing links to these 1/2 blogs that you have shortlisted. Give them a relevant link from your post/s. Send them some traffic.
4. When you visit their blog, make sure that you are clicking on the link in your blog. That ways they may notice the traffic coming from your blog on their statcounter report sheet.
If this doesn't elicit a favourable response, try sending an e-mail to them asking for a link. Bloggers are nice people - and if you have already softened them, chances are they will melt!!!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

More Traffic on Your Blog = More Money

After you have done your first few posts, all excited about your new project, the reality of nothing 'real' happening begins to creep in. You keep checking statcounter all day long and the single digit graphs depress you no end. You get that sinking feeling of 'talking to the wall'. It's now time to get the world to somehow make their way to your blog pages. After all if no one is visiting your blog, who is gonna click on those nice Adsense ads that you have so carefully put around your posts! So here are a few handy tips to get some traffic for your blog.
1. Submit your blog to as many blog directories as possible. While you can submit to blog directories of all sorts, make sure that you do add a link to your blog to all the Indian Blog directories. This can be a bit of monotonous and time-consuming process. Two tips will help you: Write a short description of your blog and save it to word-pad so that you don't have to type it time and again. Secondly, don't waste time finding out what the best directories are. Simply submit it to all and sundry. Surely an extra submission can't do any harm.
2. Increase traffic for other bloggers!! Yes, start paying a visit to other blogs - other Indian blogs and blogs from your niche. Leave a nice comment there and see other bloggers sniff all the way back to your blog. However selfish your intentions maybe, don't make it too obvious. Try and write something genuine about the blog - strictly no spamming. We don't want you earning a bad reputation in the blogosphere, do we?
3. Write frequently: The google spiders love fresh content. If they see that the content on your blog is frequently updated, they will visit you more often. More content means more keywords and strings of words for google to pick up from. While your blog will not be ranked high on google for general keywords, you will be amazed that for some strange keywords you are ranked very high. People type vague and weird things on Google - when i had just begun i used to be amazed to see people making their way to my blog after having typed some vague cluster of keywords and more interestingly my blog used to be on the 1st page of Google search for them.
Also, if you write regulary, other bloggers will have more reasons to visit your site often. As a thumb-rule, do atleast one post a week. However my advice is: more the merrier. But do watch out for quality - don't compromise quality for quantity;at least not always.
4. Make the most of social networking/bookmarking sites: Do you see the 'Digg it' button on the side of this post? That's an attempt on my part to make it easier for readers of my blog to submit my site to Digg. The more people digg a post, the higher it goes up on the Digg rankings. Higher rankings will mean more people are likely to see it, come here, increasing my traffic. Not all of them will click on the Adsense ads but more traffic means i become more saleable for Text Links and I get more chances to do a review at PayPerPost and i qualify for better paying reviews.
If you are on Orkut, add your blog as your webpage. Surely a few of your friends are going to click on the link - a few of them may like your blog and become regular visitors. They may even end up recommending your blog to others. If you are not on Orkut, join.
On Orkut again, join blogger communites. Join the community of Indian Bloggers - tell other members about your blog through the forums there.
There are many other social networking/bookmarking sites like Delicio.Us that you can use to your great benefit. For Indian bloggers, HumSurfer is a great place. They send tons of traffic to my cricket blog.
Also join Technorati, for sure.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Earn your blog money through Text Links

If there is one most hassle-free source of making money from your blog, it's Text Links. Have a look at my MBA/CAT 2008 Prep Blog and note the links on the top of the right side-bar. (marked under "check them out"). This innocuous looking text-links earn me a tidy sum every month - not a huge sum but I don't need to do anything except let them be!
Why is your blog paid for Text-Links?
Because of Google!!
The most important source of traffic for most sites across the world including blogs - indian or otherwise, is search enginge traffic. And when is it most likely that someone will arrive on your blog? Of course, when you are ranked high on Google, Yahoo and other search engines - preferably on the 1st page or atleast in the first 3 or 4 pages. Rarely does someone go beyond the first few pages.
Google ranks search results based on a number of parameters - and one of the most important one is "Inbound Links" to your blog or webpage. Every inward link to your blog is a vote by a fellow blogger or website administrator for your blog. It counts all the more if the inbound link is from a relevant page - a page with content related to your blog.
Can your blog make money through Text-Links?
Yes, but you need to put in lots of effort first. When someone buys text-links on your site, it's for two primary reasons:
1. As explained above: more inbound links raises the 'Google Page Rank' of your site. If you have a high 'Google Page Rank' you are more likely to be able to sell text-links on your blog. Secondly, the higher the page rank of your site, the more you are going to earn per link.
So you need to put in effort to get more and more links pointing to your blog, so that your Google Page Rank goes up and your blog becomes more saleable.
2. The second reason why someone may buy text-link on your site is actually simpler. He simply needs more traffic directly - this are people who will place links on blogs or sites with an overlapping target audience.
Text-link buyers of this kind would prefer higher traffic blogs over others. (Alexa serves as a good indicator of traffic rankings here)
Register your blog with Text Link Ads and get ready to earn more from your blogs.