How I Lost 60% Of My Blog Traffic

November 19, 2008

What would you do if you lost 60% of your blog traffic? It happened to me last week. Ok, so I didn’t lose 60% of my total blog traffic.

But I lost 60% of the traffic for a keyphrase that usually brings me a decent amount of traffic to my blog.

It was my own fault and I want to share my mistake with you, to help you avoid losing blog traffic too.

Blog Traffic: Why The First Page Of Google Isn’t Enough

If you’re on the first or second page of Google for some less popular longtail keyphrases, that get a reasonable amount of searches; they’re probably not bringing you much blog traffic. So when you’re optimizing a blog post for those type of searches, you really need to try your best to get the number one slot, at the top of the first page of Google. It’s not that difficult and it’s worth the extra effort.

I was at the top of the first page of Google for one of those type of keyphrases, so I was getting quite a lot of blog traffic for that keyphrase each month. Trouble was, because I’d got quite complacent about staying at the top of Google for that particular keyphrase, I never noticed something was amiss. Then the Google traffic I received for that keyphrase took a huge dive.

Being 2nd On Google Means A Massive Drop In Blog Traffic

I checked to see why my blog traffic had dropped for that keyphrase. And I wasn’t surprised to find that I’d been pushed to the number 2 slot. What did shock me was the amount of difference that one position made - I’d lost around 50% of my blog traffic for that keyphrase. A couple of days later, I was pushed to number 3 position, resulting in a traffic loss of around 60% for that keyphrase.

So When That Happens - Can’t You Just Tweak Your Blog Post To Get The Traffic Back?

You could tweak the particular blog post, to get your number one position back. I did that and Google already crawled that page and moved my post back up to number 2. But it’s far easier to stay on top, once you’re already there. So, it’s better to keep an eye on the blog posts that are bringing you the most traffic.

And at the same time, you can keep an eye on your competitor’s posts, directly beneath yours and keep tweaking those posts, so they can’t push you off the top.

You Really Do Get A Lot More Blog Traffic By Doing This

It really is worth tweaking your posts to get a number one postion on Google for particular phrases. The difference it can make to your blog traffic is significant. For just one fairly unpopular keyphrase, linking to one blogpost, you can get hundreds, or even thousands of visitors, to your blog each month, if you’re in the number one position.

But if you were at the bottom of the first page, or the top of the second page, you’d probably only get a handful of visitors to your blog as a result.

Optimizing Your Blog To Get More Traffic Isn’t Complicated

Optimizing your blog to get more traffic isn’t complicated - if it was, I couldn’t do it, as I probably have the learning capacity of a 3 year old when it comes to technology. It isn’t even hard work. To be honest I do far less than I should.

In fact, I would normally recommend a product I used a good while ago, because I was too lazy to read another thing about SEO.

But some of my readers kept harping on about how great SEO School is and eventually I was forced to read it. And I’m glad I did. The other SEO book I recommended was good but it read more like a textbook. Also, it is no longer available in book form - you have to pay a monthly membership fee and at $100 a pop, it may not be worthwhile unless you intend to become a full time SEO, or your job is in SEO.

So I believe that SEO School is a better option. It has great information on search engine optimization and it’s a heap more fun to read. Also, it is around the same price as a regular hardback book.

If you want to get more traffic to your blog and attract visitors who will actually click on your ads, you’d be an idiot not to check out SEO School and learn how to optimize your site properly.

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Should You Turn Off Blog Comments?

October 18, 2008

I used to believe blog comments were essential to the survival of a blog. But now I’m considering turning off mine altogether. Don’t get me wrong, comments can be useful - particularly for networking with other bloggers, or to get feedback from customers of your business.

But comments from assholes who are just looking for an argument, to attract traffic to their own blog, don’t serve a purpose at all. I get a good amount of traffic to this blog, because I’ve put in a lot of hard work. And while most of my blog commenters are friendly, wonderful people, this isn’t some traffic charity for a few not so wonderful readers who are too lazy to do the same.

Blog Comments Can Sometimes Harm Your Business

Naomi of Itty Biz recently disabled comments on her blog and apparently this annoyed some of her commenters. But as she explained - her blog is there to advise readers, not for folk to discuss whether they agree with what she has to say.

And I can see exactly where she’s coming from. After all, she’s offering a professional service on her blog. Only a fraction of her readers are commenters. She doesn’t want potential customers seeing conflicting and misleading advice from commenters. Who would?

To me, it’s kind of like having an open day event in your office, to attract new customers, then a competitor bursts in halfway through and says, “I disagree - she’s wrong. Why don’t you all come over to to my office, because I know what I’m talking about.”

You just wouldn’t do that would you? So why do some folk think it’s ok to do it on other people’s blogs?

I don’t offer a service on here. But I’m not a charity - I can’t afford to offer my expertise free of charge forever. So I certainly don’t want my blog to be turned into some customer grabbing festival for the types who only turn up when they want to say, “You’re wrong”, “Or I disagree”.

This weekend, I made the decision to ban one of these types of commenters, as opposed to switching comments off on my blog but I’m going to see how it goes.

Does Blog Commenting Waste Too Much Time?

Do you get tired of blog comments? Do you find it too time consuming to read heaps of blogs and make comments? After all, the process of clicking through to a blog you’ve read and commenting is time consuming.

I enjoy the networking aspect of commenting. But I must admit, it’s become too time consuming to read other blogs every day and I certainly don’t comment on everything I read.

Also, I find that when I have too many comments on a thread on this blog, it seems to take forever to reply to them all. Of course, I could just say something like “thanks to everyone for commenting” but that would be almost as bad as saying nothing.

Who Are We Writing For Anyway?

Naomi also mentioned that aside from time wasted, having comments on her blog impacts the way she writes. This is because many bloggers feel that blogging should be about discussion, not a lecture

And I can relate to what she says. I try to write posts that will attract different types of reader. And the posts which attract most folk finding me through the search engines, or social networking don’t often appeal to commenters at all.

Liz Strauss is brilliant at writing posts which provide a solution to readers problems and encourage discussion at the same time. But I must admit, I struggle with it. I did find Liz’s book, How To Write A Successful And Outstanding Blog was a brilliant help. And I would recommend it to anyone who wants to learn about conversational blogging. But I still have a long way to go before I master this art.

Recently, one of my readers emailed me to say my articles were beginning to look like I was asking my readers for advice, instead of giving them advice. And that is definitely not a good impression to give.

Are Some Types Of Comments Even Worth Having?

The Traffic Needy

It’s not just the argumentative types who are looking for traffic. Many new bloggers almost always comment on other people’s blogs to attract traffic to their own. And this is fair enough, so long as their comments are useful and not just something like “great post”. New blogs need all the traffic they can get - sometimes their commenters are their only source of traffic.

But often, these types of commenters, don’t bother to read the post and leave some neutral comment. And I don’t feel that these type of comments are particularly useful to a blog. I would much rather spend my time marketing, or writing new posts, than responding to them.

You Comment On My Blog And I’ll Comment On Yours

I’ve heard some new bloggers say that they’ll only read and comment on blogs, if the blogger comments on theirs. And I have to wonder how useful this is. If someone is only reading your blog, because you comment on theirs, are they really a potential customer?

When I first began blogging, I would read and comment on some of the busier blogs, but I didn’t expect them to do the same for me. After all, it would be physically impossible for them to keep up, as they get so many comments.

By leaving an intelligent comment, on a topic I found interesting to read, I was rewarded by several of that blog’s readers visiting my own blog. But if they had commented on my blog back then, they wouldn’t have got such a great reward, as their comment would have been seen by few people.

Does This Mean I Think Blog Comments Are A Waste Of Time?

No - it doesn’t. I do think blog comments can be a useful networking tool and a great way to communicate with potential customers. But I don’t think a comments section is an invitation to tell a blogger their advice is wrong - especially when they’re using their blog to market their business. And I don’t see the point in commenting on a blog, when you haven’t even read the original article.

This post is closed to comments, as I feel it will attract the wrong type of comments, as opposed to genuine readers.

I’m not closing comments on this blog permanently but I reserve the right to ban folk who aren’t welcome here.

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Making Money From A Blog: Mistakes To Avoid

October 13, 2008

Are you one of those people whose aim is making money from a blog? If so, you’re not alone. There’s tens of thousands of folk out there who hope to turn their blog into a business.

But making money from a blog isn’t easy. And you could be blogging for a long time before you make a single cent. Also, there’s a few mistakes that could stop you from making any money from your blog at all. I should know - I’ve made a few.

Mistake 1: Listening To The Interior Designers of Blogging

These are the folk who tell you that you must create an aesthetically pleasing blog. You should have no clutter, or ads. And as for colour - white is best. Plus each of your blog posts should have at least one pretty picture. And these bloggers usually have a massive following, who take on board ever bit of advice they give. I know I did.

Most of the interior designers are lovely, helpful people. But they’re usually making bugger all from their blogs. They may know how to make stuff look pretty. But they don’t have a clue how to make money.

Check out Steve Pavlina’s blog. Even I can tell he doesn’t have a clue about design. There’s a lot of blue and green - probably the worst colours you can mix. And the only picture I’m seeing in today’s post is an adsense picture ad at the top.

But the guy is raking in a fortune from his blog. Last I heard, he was pulling in $40,000 + a month. Which would you rather have - a pretty blog, or an amazing money making machine?

Mistake 2: Trying To Turn A Nunnery Into A Brothel

If you were running a nunnery, you wouldn’t start selling the same stuff as the brothel next door would you? And I’m guessing you wouldn’t be trying to flog ad space, in your monthly newsletter, to the same folk either.

But the trouble is, many bloggers do exactly that. They hear about blogs making heaps of money, from affiliate programs, or adsense and try to do the same, even if the blog they’re copying is on a completely different topic.

When we begin blogging, we hear all these stories about how other folk are making heaps of money through Google Adsense, or advertising and we assume we can do the same. But different products, services and ads work better on some blogs than others. Do some research and find out which is best for your blog.

Mistake 3: Doing What The Little Preachers Tell You To Do

If you read blogs regularly - you’ll probably know that there’s lots of little preachers out there telling you how you should blog and what you should not be doing under any circumstances.

They’ll tell you things like “Don’t be mean to commenters”. That one really gets on my tits. Sometimes I get assholes on here. If I want to tell them they’re an asshole - that’s my choice. Heck - I even had some idiot show up on here once claiming that blowing up the Twin Towers was an entrepreneurial act. What was I supposed to say? “Great idea - I really admire those entrepreneurs who blow up buildings and murder innocent people.” ??

You will not make money from a blog by being nice to assholes. Assholes don’t visit you to buy and even if they did, you wouldn’t want them as a customer. And the little preachers don’t really have a clue about making money from anything - let alone a blog.

Mistake 4: Listening To The Amateur Probloggers

There’s the odd few sites out there that give good advice on making money from a blog but there’s also thousands of misleading ones.

When I first started blogging, I tried doing some of the things I learned on those blogs. But none of it worked. And I quickly realised that most of those “make money bloggers” weren’t making a bean. They were simply regurgitating the crap they’d read on other blogs.

But you don’t need to struggle like I did. There’s now a wonderful course available: The 8 Week Power Blog Launch. I’ve reviewed it and it will help you avoid the mistakes I’ve mentioned and many more. You can check out my review of The 8 Week Power Blog Launch here.

What other mistakes have you, or other people made that have stopped you from making money blogging? Do you have any advice or ideas to share with others?

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Increase Your Blog Traffic In 30 Minutes

October 8, 2008

Have you tried to increase your blog traffic and got nowhere? Or, have you managed to get more visitors to your blog but none of them are clicking on your ads, or buying a single thing from you?

Trouble is, not all blog traffic is created equal and an increase in visitors to your blog isn’t much use, if they have no interest in what you’re selling.

Are you writing for real people instead of the search engines? I did that for a long time. I thought it was great. No more keywords stuffed content for me. I could write whatever I wanted and use cool titles to attract people’sattention and bring them to my blog.

And it worked, I managed to increase traffic to my blog. I also managed to attract some complete nutters. Can you believe folk actually search Google for “Richard Branson swimming naked”? So much for writing for people instead of search engines.

If you read the article about the guy who just sold his banking blog for $15 million - you’re probably wondering how he did it. Well, no prizes for guessing that he didn’t do what I did.

Luckily, you don’t have to guess at all. Kathy from Virtual Impax has analysed his blog and several others, to show you what you need to do to increase your blog traffic and attract customers who want to buy what you sell. And you can download her report here $15 million blog analysis.

Kathy has also just released “8 Week Power Blog Launch” for folk who are serious about building a successful blog. You can read about it here

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