A Tale of Three Websites

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400 posts redux; Lesson #1

Image representing Alexa as depicted in CrunchBase
Image via CrunchBase

This is the first post in what I anticipate will be a 7 part series…

11 months ago, I posted this introspective piece on the results I was getting from blogging…

Yesterday, I passed the 400 post mark. 400 posts over 18 months. Wow! Roughly a post a day for a year and a half. Is that a lot? Is that too little? I really don’t know. What I do know is this — when I use my ‘pass or play’ methodology, traffic to my site increases and my ‘pipeline’ fills…

My good friend [and brother in law] Jim Gilligan has a blog that he’s starting for his life coaching business at EffectiveLiving, LLC. Jim asked me how many posts he should create before he goes ‘live’. I told him a dozen or so is enough to get started but recently I did an experiment and I believe the number at which you start to see good results is closer to 100 over a 3 month period. Here’s a real world case study…

I had neglected my business blog for a little over a year — my passion was politics and I was attempting to leverage my social media skills in the political space. My political blog was ranked most influential in Wisconsin a dozen times earlier this year and my Alexa ranking rose to within the top million sites in the world, but it didn’t get me what I wanted. More business. One year ago today, my business blog, however, had only served up 147 page views for the month. The whole month. Two weeks ago, I got 233 pageviews in a single day and my traffic so far this month is 11 times greater than a year ago [and the month’s not even finished yet]. By the way, the Alexa rank on my blog is currently 338,142. [That was in the US at the time — now my rank is 341,593 global. ed.]. All this as a result of 100 posts over a 3 month period. Pretty good return on investment, I think.

Yesterday, I passed 2,400 posts — 2,000 additional posts — in less than 11 months. What do I think I’ve learned? Here are some more or less random observations…

1. Blogging is the best, fastest, least expensive way to establish a thought leadership position. Period.

The key to thought leadership is having a point of view that is ‘searchable, findable, knowable and shareable‘ as I say in my seminars. There is not better way to do that then frequent reiteration of that point of view on the internet. If you use the right set of tools, it’s easy and fun to do as well…You can read my posts on blogging here, but two of the best I posted within the past week; read ‘Why I blog’ and ‘Confessions of a really new blogger‘ for two different perspectives on why blogging rocks. It is helpful, however, if you have a simple, repeatable process so that you don’t burn out…

There are 6 more lessons that I’ll roll out over the course of the next week or so; be sure to collect all 7…

How often should I post?

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Image via Wikipedia

Let’s start here…

“Without question, blogging provides an effective way to market your business, be a valuable resource and build your personal brand online. And most folks know that, generally, the more frequently you blog, the higher your traffic. But does that mean you should follow the advice of many to create a new post every single day?

Focusing only on traffic numbers, instead of the concentrating on sharing content and building relationships will send you down the path to burnout. Here at WebWorkerDaily, we have multiple writers contributing to help keep the content fresh. But for one-person blogs, blogging daily works for some and not for others.” Source: Just How Often Should You Blog? – WebWorkerDaily

Go to the source for some good thoughts on ‘how often’ — it’s really good stuff! In the meantime, I’m heading in another direction…

I just closed out my best blogging month ever traffic-wise. What was significant to me was that I did it in a ‘short’ month with no speaking engagements. Usually, when I have a chance to speak, my traffic spikes because all the seminar attendees check out my site — it’s usually good for a couple hundred pageviews. In February, however, I did it all on my own, post by post by post. I’ve already laid out all my tactics and tools in the series “Top 10 Tactics and Tools for Tightening your Tribe” and yes, I used them all this past month. I did make two significant changes, however. #1 I redesigned my site using the ‘Thesis’ theme which promises some kind of magic SEO foo and really seems to have delivered for me. #2 I experimented with spreading my posts out throughout the day. Instead of posting 3-5 posts at 6:00 AM, I spread them out every two hours or so throughout the day. Whether it was one, or the other, or both, my traffic’s going nuts!

HubSpot gives me a grade of 96 on my site, Google tells me I have 6,076 pageviews over the past 30 days and Alexa tells me my site is ranked 484,123 in the US. Not much left to prove from my perspective and the thing that excites me most is that my success is the result of a systematic process I can teach to anyone. I usually benchmark myself against local radio station WTAQ because I like to see how I fare against ‘old’ media in my market. They have an Alexa ranking of 116,615 which is really awesome. It thrills me that I’m actually ranked higher than local social media wunderkind Dana VanDen Heuvel [a good friend to e1evation], although I’m sure that won’t last long. He’s at 520,219…

I’m certain my traffic will drop some during the upcoming month as I’ll be directing a great deal of my creative energy toward three projects I announced in February. They are the Social Media Academy — an online training class on the top tactics and tools for effective social media, The Damn Good Social Media Guide — the accompanying ebook, and last? A weekly podcast. I’m currently looking for beta testers for the Social Media course. If you’d like to save yourself the $499 fee and get all the content in a rough format for free, comment, call or contact me and let me know. As always, thanks for reading…

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What a blog adds to your business…

I have a lot of preconceived notions about blogging and one of them is that blogs drive traffic to your site, especially if you update them on a regular basis. Along comes HubSpot — one of the best social media sites on the internet — with a great blog post about websites and blogs and what a blog adds to your business. The HubSpot content was difficult to bring into this post in a way that made sense so I encourage you to go to the site and read the whole article — it only takes a minute or two — but it demonstrates in a graphic way why blogging is good for business…

I’ve seen this happen in a very graphic way in my own political blog. By using tools that update search engines and drive content into social media, my blog continues to rise in the rankings. Last week for example I was ranked 7th most influential in the State of Wisconsin and my one week Alexa ranking average was 1,077,607 in the world — not bad for a little political blog!

What’s my secret? I use WordPress to custom design websites that have blogs and use blogging combined with a well thought out strategy using search engine optimization and social media. You can check out some of my projects here. If you’ve got a point that you’d like to get across, I’d love to show you how you can do the same things I do easily and economically!
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400 posts

Image representing Google Reader as depicted i...
Image via CrunchBase

Yesterday, I passed the 400 post mark. 400 posts over 18 months. Wow! Roughly a post a day for a year and a half. Is that a lot? Is that too little? I really don’t know. What I do know is this — when I use my ‘pass or play’ methodology, traffic to my site increases and my ‘pipeline’ fills…

My good friend [and brother in law] Jim Gilligan has a blog that he’s starting for his life coaching business at EffectiveLiving, LLC. Jim asked me how many posts he should create before he goes ‘live’. I told him a dozen or so is enough to get started but recently I did an experiment and I believe the number at which you start to see good results is closer to 100 over a 3 month period. Here’s a real world case study… Read more of this post

So you wanna be a thought leader?

Here’s what I’m thinking at the close of the weekend and the start of a new week…

To paraphrase my good friend Dana VanDen Heuvel of MarketingSavant, the difference between a thinker and a thought leader is that while the thinker has a point of view, the thought leader has a PUBLIC point of view; a point of view that is searchable, findable and knowable. This public point of view gets the thought leader a share of voice which leads to a share of mind which leads to share of market which in turn adds to the bottom line. Almost anyone can establish a thought leadership position using the tactics and tools I discuss and use every day; a good thought leader can beat the great thinker to the customer by learning to use these tools well. If you want to know about the STRATEGY of being a thought leader, then you need to head over to MarketingSavant.com, subscribe to the rss feed and newsletter and learn from Dana — he does the thought leader thing much better than I do. If you want to know about the TACTICS AND TOOLS of thought leadership, however, read on…

As of today, this website is ranked 364,509 in the United States by Alexa — and thanks to my friends in the UK, it’s ranked 273,939 there [btw, I want to use my incredible influence there to say one thing: “Hey, British dudes! Give Ireland back to the Irish! but I digress.”]. Three months ago, my site was not even within the top 20 million in the world so that’s a pretty rapid ascent. Traffic this week is more than double that of last week. Traffic this month is 59% greater than that of last month and today is only the 18th of the month. What’s the secret? Home bases and outposts. Home bases and outposts. Home bases and outposts….

Every day I use my ‘top 10 tactics and tools’ [tomorrow I’ll be writing about #2; using Google Reader to help establish your point of view] to market my business. Using a systematic process, I take the reading I do every day and spin it into a blog using good, fast, and cheap cross-platform tools widely available on the internet — kind of like Rumpelstiltskin spinning straw into gold — and I could teach you how to do it too. If you want to be a thought leader, Dana has the data and the strategy and I’ve got the tactics and tools; together we can help you get the market share you want!

Questions? Feedback? Leave a comment or use the contact form…

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Is your website a 'billboard in the desert'?

In December of last year, I embarked upon an experiment to see if I could leverage a website with a blog combined with social media tools to increase traffic to a site. In that month, my sandbox site had a grand total of 670 pageviews. In the month that ended yesterday, I had a total of 15,985 — an approximate 25 fold increase in traffic! This morning I got 670 pageviews by 10:00. Here are some other statistics… Read more of this post