Monday, 16 June 2008

Traffic Generation Tips (3)

In continuation of my Traffic generation tips I want to talk about the importance of having video clips on your blog. There is an impact video plays in conveying a message that written words cannot. When a visitor is watching a video, he only sits back and relax but when he is reading you are making him do something. Few people want to read anymore because fewer people want to do anything for themselves these days.

One of the ways to ensure that your visitors come back to your site is to accompany your blogs with relevant videos once in a while. I’m sure you’ll be wondering why I’m not taking that advice I have just given you myself. Note that I said, relevant videos not just any video. When I get a relevant video I will definitely insert one into my post.

I was supposed to have put this post up last week Friday in continuation of my Traffic generation tips series. Like everyone else however, I checked my personal e-mail and I saw a mail from Patrick Chan, a well know Info product entrepreneur and I always read Patrick’s mail as soon as I see one. It was the latest post on his blog that he forwarded to me. Now, as if Patrick was reading my mind the post was about the impact copy-writing had over video for the purpose of promoting a product. I posted a comment back to Patrick disagreeing with him. That was the first time I would disagree with him. Like I mentioned above, a video does the work for you while you just sit back and relax. It fills in so many blank spaces left by written words.

I also mentioned that it could actually be easier to get a video clip especially with the proliferation of video sharing sites these days. Whereas, compelling a visitor to take an action like buying a product with written words could actually require some expertise. I also mentioned in my comment that if a picture is described as ‘a thousand words’ then what is a video? Probably a million words.

The interesting thing was that Patrick posted a reply to my dissenting view a few hours later and that thought me a lesson, these Internet Marketers work really hard. Again, I would like to say that making money on the Internet could be very rewarding but it is not a ‘get rich quick scheme’ with no hard work. In his response he clarified his position and I got to understand him better. In his response he suggested the integration of both video and text.

Patrick’s response takes me back to my first traffic generation tip about leaving comments. There’s no way to tell if Patrick visited my blog but at least I got his attention and for me that is good enough. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
To get traffic you’ve got to leave comments on other people’s blogs.

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Traffic Generation Tips (2)

In my last post I explained why leaving comments on other people’s blogs will bring traffic to your blog. It’s not enough for people to visit your blog once you want them to come back expecting to find useful material there.

One of the ways to guarantee repeat visitors is to write ‘how to’ posts. If you write posts explaining to people how to do things they will always want to come back and learn.

Conduct adequate research on how a certain thing is done or to be done within a niche market and put a post up on this.

One of the best methods of writing a ‘how to’ post is to outline your points in a chronological order. By doing this, your readers will find it easier to read your posts. You can even make the title reflect this method. For instance, ‘ten methods of preparing a romantic dinner’ or ‘ten mistakes to avoid as an Internet marketing beginner.’ These headings make your posts look more attractive.

The thing about human beings is that we are very curious and constantly seeking to learn new things. A lot of people write blogs about their personal lives and that is good. After all, a blog is like a diary. If you want to make money with your blog however, I’m sorry to inform you that very few people are interested in your personal life. A lot of people want to learn something new. Most people want to learn something Mr. Jones down the street has never heard off. The best way to make money with your blog is to come across as giving value to people by teaching them how to perform a particular task they could not perform before. On the other hand, if you are a celebrity then your personal life could be so interesting that you would attract a lot of visitors to your blog.

Finally, when writing your ‘how to’ blog make sure that the processes covered are simplified to the barest minimum without coming across as condescending. A lot of people like to read simplified material but you don’t want to give your visitors the impression that you think they are dumb.

Monday, 9 June 2008

Traffic Generation Tips (1)

When I started this blog, I stated that my mission was to form a team of beginners to Internet/online marketing. I started by telling you experiences I’ve had in the past and the lessons I have learnt from those experiences. I also put up posts from time to time relating to developments in Internet technology to encourage people about the ever growing prospects of Internet marketing.

I am going to start today, a series on how to attract traffic to your blog. Someone once likened writing a blog, which attracts no visitors to winking in the dark, you are the only one who knows what you are doing.

The tips I’m going to give are in no particular order.

This is probably the simplest advice that could be given to a beginner blogger. A friend of mine, who is also an Internet newbie set up a blog talking about events relating to his home country. He had been in the United Kingdom for over ten years and had not returned to his native country for a long time. My friend was hoping to clinch the blogging pole position as regard blogs relating to that country so he was disappointed to find out that there were quite a number of people blogging from that country but he started communicating with them by leaving comments on their blogs. Sometime he would leave comments on six-ten different blogs on a single day. Less than two weeks after he started writing this blog, he was pleasantly surprised to discover that his profile had been viewed almost one hundred times. He then explained to me that it’s almost automatic to want to visit a blog if the owner had left a comment on your blog. In some cases, being a newbie and out of excitement he would visit the commentator’s blog just to say, ‘thank you for leaving a comment on my blog’.
Another tip beginner bloggers receive is to visit blogs written by the leading bloggers in your chosen niche and leave comments on their blogs. That is probably good for trackbacks. If you leave comments on such blogs however in order to attract the blogger’s attention you might be disappointed as very few of them are able to visit blogs written by everybody who leaves a comment on their blogs. The reason is that everybody wants their attention just like you do. A strategy I have devised is to visit blogs written by bloggers leaving comments on such blogs. I don’t go after the main blogger, I go after bloggers seeking his attention. For these bloggers, this saying becomes true, ‘if you reach for the moon and fail you might be able to catch some stars’. Never mind the astrological inaccuracy of that statement.
So you can leave a comment on a blog written by the leading blogger in your niche but leave comments also on a few other blogs written by other people who have also left comments. These other bloggers tend to appreciate your comments better than the leading blogger and the likelihood that they will visit your blog is higher.

Friday, 6 June 2008

How the Internet Helped Barack Obama

I really don’t know if I have to apologise for bringing Barack Obama into my blog but after reading in the Independent how Silicon Valley helped him raise over Two hundred million US Dollars during the recently concluded Democratic Presidential nomination campaigns I thought it was something I had to share with you.

The amount of money the Barack Obama campaign raised over the Internet and the way the money was raised is just a typical example of how powerful the Internet is as a money-making tool. The Obama campaign website, is in itself a social networking media, like facebook, where volunteers meet up and discuss ideas and strategies on how to create an effective campaign. Traditionally, candidates for elections in the United States relied on certain fundraisers to gather rich and influential people together and raise money from them. Remember however, what the golden rule is, ‘he who gives the gold makes the rules’. While in the past Presidential candidates relied on about one hundred people who could donate a hundred thousand Dollars each, the Obama campaign team created a social networking hub consisting of millions of people who donated their time, ideas and other resources. They also donated money no matter how small. In some cases the donations were as small as $50:00. The Obama campaign team also created electronic products like ring-tones, which volunteers bought. Each time their phone rang they would remember their commitment to the Obama cause and usually the first question they would ask the caller is, ‘have you registered to vote yet?’ The Barack Obama campaign team also prides itself in not receiving any sum of money from Washington lobbyists.

The Internet provided Barack Obama, not only with a bottomless cash machine but a limitless number of foot soldier.

Now, you definitely do not need the sort of money Barack Obama raised within the time frame he raised it, which means the Internet can provide you with the sort of money you need if you know what to do.

I will be starting a series of posts on how to draw traffic to your blog next week and I am really looking forward to it. I’m sure it’s going to be a lot of fun.

Wish everyone a nice weekend.

Thursday, 5 June 2008

Big Encouragement For Internet Newbies

Are you one of those Internet marketing beginners who beat themselves up over the fact that you are just geting involved with Internet marketing now? This could get worse if you read testimonies of those who started an online business fairly recently and have made amazing progress within the last one year or even six months. Don't worry, it's not too late to start an Internet marketing business becuase it has been discovered that with the introduction of broadband connection facilities the use of the Internet in homes has greatly increased. Also, more people are shopping online than ever.

In a recent Newspaper report, it was said that more people are doing their shopping on the Internet now, apparently as a means of beating the credit crunch. The report went on to say that Britons spent a whooping £14.7billion making purchases over the web last year alone. That is almost $30billion in Britain alone. This amount is also said to be nearly ten times the growth rate of the total retail market.
The report went on further to state that the number of people who bought goods online also increased by 24.7 per cent to 22.6million. The Research also showed that people are spending over the Internet more regularly. People spent over the Internet an average of 16.9 times last year, up from 14.2 times in 2006. This research was carried out by and published in various newspapers.

In another recent report, published in The Guardian of May 22 2008, it was said that in the United Kingdom, 59% percent of rural households have Internet broadband connections while the percentage of urban households with Internet broadband connection is slightly lower at 52%. The reason given for this slight discrepancy is that people living in urban areas have shops and other facilities nearby unlike those living in rural areas who would probably have to travel long distances to get to the nearest departmental store, which makes it more convenient for them to shop online.
The objective of the report is to show that people living in rural areas use the Internet more than those living in urban areas but I am citing these reports to encourage those who are still contemplating setting up an online shop. The market is growing rapidly and it will definitely grow bigger.

Small business owners who do not have an online presence now will most definitely lose a lot of business to their competitors who have set up websites to promote their businesses. A website has been described as a virtual landed property, which, under normal circumstances, should increase in value with time.

There has never been a better time to start an online business than now. A number of big businesses now have affiliate programmes, which any webmaster can take advantage of.

Online shopping is expected to reach about £50billion by the year 2012. Would you not like to have a slice of that cake?

Monday, 2 June 2008

More Blogging Tips For Beginners

I am still on the issue of blogging and the difficulty in getting your blog seen by the outside world. That reminds me of a story recorded in three of the gospels, Mathew, Mark and Luke. I particularly like St. Marks’s version of the incident. It is more detailed than the other versions. It’s not important whether you believe the story or not, (I do). It’s the principle being taught in the story that is important.
During the time of Jesus Christ, there was a blind beggar in Jericho named Bartimeus who always sat by the side of the road begging. The bible records that when Bartimeus heard that Jesus Christ was approaching Jericho on a particular day he started calling out to him in a loud voice for help. The bible records further that the people around him urged him to keep quiet but the more they urged him the louder Bartimeus shouted. Eventually, Jesus Christ heard him shouting and asked him to be brought up to him. According to St. Mark, the irony of the situation was that it was the same people who were urging him to keep quiet that helped him to his feet and took him to Jesus Christ who restored his sight.
One of the principles to be learned here is that Bartimeus was not the only person who needed help from Jesus Christ on that day but it was his tenacity that got him what he wanted. The same principle can be applied to blogging. Agreed, you are not the only blogger out there but you could make a commitment to post a blog every single day, read as many blogs on your chosen blog topic with a view to posting as many sensible comments as possible. That is the method I have decided to adopt and I am certain that I will be noticed.
Here are a few points to note when considering blogging as a gateway to Internet marketing:
1) Out of the millions of blogs out there less than half are in English and a significant number are mere splogs.
2) There are countless subject-matters on which blogs are written. Your competitors would only be among those writing on the same subject matter you have chosen.
3) Reading their blogs would give you an insight into what sub-topics they are not covering and a fresh angle from which you can approach the subject-matter.

Let us consider the following in summary:

1.) How many people post a blog every single day on a particular topic?
2.) How many of these people who post a blog every single day on a particular topic read other people’s blogs and post comments?
3.) How may sub-topics on a particular subject-matter are being covered by these bloggers?
4.) Finally, what fresh angle can you approach the subject matter of your blog from?

I’m sure that if you consider all these the number of blogs, which will be on all fours with yours will be greatly reduced and that should make you feel better about blogging and getting noticed.