Blog Marketing & Amazing People

September 21, 2008

Thanks To All You Amazing People

I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve done very little in the way of blog marketing at all - especially since I was banned from Stumble Upon. This is mostly due to lack of time. So, I’m tremendously grateful to all of you amazing people who’ve sent blog traffic my way, through stumbling my posts, linking to my blog etc. Thank you.

I try to give something back by linking out to regular readers and folk who’ve linked to me. But I’m hoping I’ll be able to do a bit more than that in the future. I’m in the process of putting together a proper marketing plan for this blog, so hopefully I’ll be able to pass some more linklove back to all of you.

Blog Marketing Changes

In the past, every couple of months or so, I’ve been writing massive resource posts. They take a lot of time to write but they’re usually a good blog marketing exercise, as they receive a heap of traffic from social networks. But this month things have changed and I’m wondering if long resource posts are still the way to go.

Since May, 43 Amazing Resources For Writers” was a massive traffic generator. But 7 Ways to Cover Your Ass In Business has knocked it off the top spot, receiving 16,599 page views, over the last 16 days.

This surprised me, as I expected 47 Brilliant Blog Marketing Resources to do better, but it came nowhere near.

So, I’m not sure if it’s the end of a trend, or if social networking folks prefer articles on business or writing, as opposed to blogging. Skellie has written an interesting article which discusses blogpost trends, which is worth checking out: Number + Adjective + Contents: What Happens When A Formula Dies?

Changing Views On Using Titles That Stand Out For Blog Marketing Purposes

I’ve been quite lazy about SEO as part of my blog marketing strategy in the past. Often, I preferred to use titles that stood out, to attract folk who are browsing their feed reader, or social networkers. Trouble is, those weird and wonderful titles can bring some totally irrelevant traffic to your blog. This months, I’ve received far too many visitors who’ve typed sex on a plane, into their browser, following this meme I participated in: Swimming Naked, Biscuits and Sex On A Plane.

To me, that’s just a waste of my time and theirs. But what really made me decide to cut back on the outrageous titles were the folk arriving at my site after keying in “kids swimming naked” and worse. None of us want those types on our blogs, so if you’re on the fence re: using SEO as part of your blog marketing strategy, remember that it’s more likely to bring you visitors who are looking for what you’re offering.

Entrecard As A Blog Marketing Tool

Earlier in the week, I joined Entrecard, upon the recommendation of Valerie Morrison. It’s too early to say how effective it’s going to be as a blog marketing tool, but I’ll monitor it and let you know if it seems worthwhile. And if you’re already a member, you might be interested to know that because I’m new, it only costs 32 credits to advertise on my blog right now. I think it’s a bit of a bargain, as it could send you a heap of traffic. Also, I don’t put my ads way down the page like some folk seem to do.

What blog marketing strategies have you used so far and which ones worked best?

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23 Responses to “Blog Marketing & Amazing People”

  1. Stacey / CreateaBalance on September 21st, 2008 4:01 am

    I haven’t experienced visitors from vulgar keywords, but it sounds like a horrible experience. Also, I just jumped over to your Entrecard site. So far, Entrecard has generated a lot of traffic for me since a joined a few weeks ago.

    Stacey / CreateaBalance’s last blog post..Bingo! Embracing Money

  2. Avani-Mehta on September 21st, 2008 4:26 am

    I did join Entrecard but haven’t really paid any attention to it. I usually stumble and network via comments for blog marketing. That’s about it. Anyways, these too take up so much time that I usually try not to use more strategies. Too time consuming and sometimes exhausting.

    Guest posting is the next one I am interested in.

    Avani-Mehta’s last blog post..New Blog Of The Week

  3. Vered - MomGrind on September 21st, 2008 5:19 am

    I think the topic of blogs doesn’t do too well on SU. So that could explain it.

    I totally get what you say about SEO. I got some terrible searches for “sexy school age girls” after I gave one of my posts the title “wealthy men, sexy girls”.

    Vered - MomGrind’s last blog post..Wordless Wednesday: Mona Lisa, Enhanced

  4. Barbara Swafford on September 21st, 2008 9:08 am

    Hi Catherine,

    I haven’t done very much marketing on my blog with the exception of visiting other blogs and commenting. I’ve tried some of the social networking sites, but have found they are too time consuming.

    I do agree good titles are important, but using the wrong words does attract the wrong traffic. Who knew?

    Barbara Swafford’s last blog post..Priorities - Signatures - Open Mic

  5. Lance on September 21st, 2008 9:43 am

    This is a good discussion on what works in marketing a blog. It’s a real learning process for me. I do a little SEO when I create a post, but I really don’t have a feel for how much it is helping (or hurting). I need to dig into this more. Entrecard is something I’ve not really heard of - but I will be checking it out. I also agree that there are certain types of visitors I don’t want to attract. While certain keywords will bring more traffic, will it be the traffic I want?

    Lance’s last blog post..Sunday Thought For The Day

  6. cathlawson on September 21st, 2008 2:48 pm

    Hi Stacey - You’ve obviously been smarter with titles than I have. And thank you for advertising on my Entrecard spot.

    Hi Avani - You’re right, it is all so time consuming. I accept guest posts on business and life/self improvement topics.

    Hi Vered - you could be right about the blog topic thing on stumbleupon.

    Some of those strings are sickening. I wish they’d invent some built in computer device that would give those sickos a nasty electric shock when they type in those kind of searches.

    Hi Barbara - I didn’t really think about it. They can type in a search of maybe a combination of two words you have on different posts too, so it’s hard to avoid them.

    Mind you - because I used sex on a plane in a title, I’m now getting heaps of folk searching for that. I had no idea so many people would be looking for sex on a plane.

    Hi Lance - to be honest, I didn’t think about relevant traffic earlier on. I just wanted any traffic. But if you use too many of the wrong keyphrases, it’s like dragging vegetarians into a butchers.

  7. Kelly@SHE-POWER on September 21st, 2008 10:58 pm

    Hey Cath

    I need to understand more about SEO, but somehow I never find the time to learn. I think I also have an in-built bias against it because I consider myself a writer more than a blogger. I don’t want to butcher my posts or site for SEO, though I understand if you do it well and a little it doesn’t have to be that way. I just don’t know how.

    Mostly I’ve marketed SHE-POWER in accidental ways by commenting and being a big reader and a big stumbler. Since I came back from Europe I have done some StumbleUpon marketing by adding more friends and and increasing my influence and connections, but I won’t thumb up stuff I don’t like and I prefer an easy relationship with someone, not them shoving their posts down my throat every day or two. I just don’t think that’s appropriate. But it has been helpful for getting my traffic momentum back up after taking so much time off, and I’ve met some great people to be friends with, like Jenny Mannion, who I’m doing the new Healing Heroes group writing project with.

    Sometimes I wonder why my blog subscribers aren’t growing (though my traffic and comments have) and I wonder if I just don’t have a clear enough niche/reason to read on my blog. This gets me worried for a little bit and then real life takes over again and my attention moves on. I take this to mean I am still treating my blog very much like a hobby. A hobby I think I’m good at and I love with a passion, but a hobby nonetheless.

    Things might change next year when Bunny goes to pre-school more. Maybe then I won’t feel like time spent on my blog is time away from my kid and my novel.


    Kelly@SHE-POWER’s last blog post..Hell Is Buying A Bathing Suit

  8. Davina on September 22nd, 2008 6:09 am

    Hi Cath. I can echo what Barbara said… “I haven’t done very much marketing on my blog with the exception of visiting other blogs and commenting.” I submit articles to Digg, but haven’t really done a lot more than that.

    I spend time coming up with good titles. That is part of the fun of writing an article. I’ve come to appreciate catchy headlines from working in advertising for so long.

    Davina’s last blog post..Stepping Out Of These Old Shoes

  9. Alex Fayle | Someday Syndrome on September 22nd, 2008 10:15 am

    I’m slowly building ways to market my blog. I’m starting with commenting and conducting an experiment of sorts based on that. In October I’ll be away for three weeks and while I have regular posts planned I’ll be neither commenting on other people’s sites nor responding to comments on my own site. When I’m back I’ll check out how my visit stats have changed and adjust my marketing focus from that point.


    Alex Fayle | Someday Syndrome’s last blog post..Picking a Goal and Pursuing It: Harrison McLeod Interview

  10. Hunter Nuttall on September 22nd, 2008 4:27 pm

    Wow, I can’t believe how high you rank for “sex on a plane!” I think that shows how hard it is to have a title that’s optimized for everything.

    I’m sure your title stood out when people were scanning posts in their RSS readers, but it also brought you the wrong search traffic. Titles that are SEO-optimized might not be interesting to read. Titles with numbers might do well in social media but they might be annoying to people who don’t read Cosmo.

    I guess we have to decide what aspects we want to optimize our titles for. I tend to mix them up, depending on the post.

    Hunter Nuttall’s last blog post..Best Blogging Interview Of The Century

  11. Lin Burress on September 22nd, 2008 5:15 pm

    Hi Cath, post titles are extremely important, and I’ve made a few mistakes in that regard but things have gotten much better over the last year or so.

    I also get quite a bit of search engine traffic by people using extremely vulgar terms, but I won’t list any here so you don’t end up seeing those same search terms.

    Post titles have a lot to do with what articles on my RSS feed list that pull me into the article. Bland, non-specific post titles are ignored, and I go searching through for the titles that tell me exactly what I’ll find by reading the post.

    Not only does that help draw in regular readers but it also works extremely well at search engine rankings and bringing in search engine traffic.

    I can’t even begin to tell you how many blogs I’ve unsubscribed from because of their post titles being non-specific, or worse yet… post titles that do draw me in but the post itself has absolutely nothing to do with the subject matter being written about.

    I used to use Entrecard, for several months actually, but have since removed it from my blog and deleted my account there. The biggest problem people will find from using Entrecard is the high bounce rate, and that’s not good. I had a few Entrecard users that subscribed and comment pretty regularly, but the majority of Entrecard users would do what I refer to as a hit-and-run comment, never to be seen or heard from again. Since removing Entrecard, the bounce rate on my site has gone way…..down, people stay around a lot longer and read other articles, rather than skimming one and leaving.

    Lin Burress’s last blog post..Donate Christmas Toys For Tots - Christmas Donations for Needy Children

  12. Cath Lawson on September 22nd, 2008 8:08 pm

    Hi folks - my router is broken, so I’m quickly typing this incase it cuts me off again. I’m not ignoring anyone - I’ve just had no Iternet access for 24 hours.

    Cath Lawson’s last blog post..Blog Marketing & Amazing People

  13. Cath Lawson on September 22nd, 2008 8:17 pm

    Hi Kelly - Jenny is brilliant isn’t she - I’m also hoping to write for the project if internet gets fixed. Got your email & will try reply if it doesn’t stop cutting me off. Stu is away and he usually fixes the wireless thing.

    I’m wondering about this subsriber thing - James Chartrand said we need to have something to do with Google installed so I’m wondering if we’re getting accurate stats anyway?

    Hi Davina - I love those headlines you do - they really draw people in - your post was what i was just about to read when internet broke.

    Hi Alex - that’s a smart move - a few months ago, I stopped doing so much of the commenting thing and it made very little difference to the number of subscribers. But - regularly visinting other people’s blogs is more of a networking thing. Hope you’re having a good time in Paris.

    Cath Lawson’s last blog post..Blog Marketing & Amazing People

  14. Marelisa on September 22nd, 2008 9:13 pm

    I think it’s important to set milestones (I’ll have X amount of readers by Y date), and then decide how you’re going to reach those milestones. That is, what marketing strategies you’re going to use to draw people to your blog. Of course, at the end of the day it’s the content that makes people stick or bounce, but they have to find your blog in the first place.

    Marelisa’s last blog post..Creativity Insights from Seth Godin

  15. Wendi Kelly-Life's Little Inspirations on September 22nd, 2008 9:13 pm

    Hi Cath,

    I think I have been woefully inadequate about a marketing plan. My strategy has been to focus on good content of articles, establish relationships with people I enjoy spending time with and let things build gradually and organically. I am in for the long haul not the short quick climb. So, I can afford to be patient and learn how what works in the long run.

    I’m sure that I am not doing the things that could be bringing me the fast success and the quick limelight. I could be doing better.

    But..I don’t want to attract the *flies* by catchy titles that have nothing to do with my posts. I want to write with integrity and I don’t have eight hours to comment on every blog I read. ( and I read a lot) So, there is really only so mch I can do!

    Wendi Kelly-Life’s Little Inspirations’s last blog post..Remembering Pen Pals…

  16. Cath Lawson on September 22nd, 2008 9:30 pm

    Hi Hunter - I know - over here I’m on first page of google for it. It’s always the stuff I’m not aiming for that I get the best ranking for. Would you believe I get a few searches for biscuit sex too, which has totally baffled me.

    Hi Lin - so it sounds like we’ve got to be aiming for interesting but specific. I will remember that from now & hopefully get better results.

    I did wonder about that with Entrecard. I’m noticing there’s a lot of newer sites using it so I did worry that it might be like you said.

    Hi Rita - I know I read you had lost internet access too. I was beginning to worry that we’d both been bugged by some internet sucking virus.

    I noticed your experiment is taking up a lot of your blog. It’s exciting and interesting though. Maybe even if you could alternate it ever other day, so we still get to read your stories to. Will email you in morning.

    Hi Mare - that’s a good point. I know Steve Pavlina and Problogger have both mentioned milestones they achieved in some posts. And many of them were mega impressive like doubling their traffic in a month or so. Those types of feedback definitely give us all encouragement.

    Hi Wendi but you’re doing like lots of us have done. You’re building a good foundation that you can build on more later. that is a smart move.

    Definitely time is a huge factor though. I’m trying to research that right now as I would love to see bloggers, freelancers and small businesses find it easier to market themselves effectively without a huge time or money commitment.

    Cath Lawson’s last blog post..Blog Marketing & Amazing People

  17. Evelyn Lim on September 23rd, 2008 2:37 am

    I’ve not heard about Entrecard. I think I’d rather focus on one strategy. Previously, I tried to do a few strategies at the same time and my effectiveness went down. I’m also less on Digg now, as I truly wonder on the quality of the traffic that it brings.

    Evelyn Lim’s last blog post..Mind Travel To Ancient Egypt

  18. cathlawson on September 23rd, 2008 4:23 am
    Hi Evelyn - I’m not keen on Digg either. I don’t think it’s as effective as StumbleUpon. I wish it was Digg I’d got banned from instead.
  19. Natural on September 24th, 2008 12:47 am

    Yes, please keep us posted on your EntreCard experiment. I do think dropping is important in the beginning, just letting people know you are out there. I drop some the morning and some in the evening.

    So far this one works for me. I just joined Twitter, that’s fun staying connected with other bloggers and just people in general.

    I stopped digging/SU everything that people asked me to. If it’s something I really like, I will do it anyway.

    Natural’s last blog post..A Million Little Pieces

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