Why writing a blog is no longer enough when it comes to blogging

I’ve known for a while that writing a blog and not promoting it effectively makes all the effort pretty much redundant. It’s like locking a work of art in a dark room.

Consequently, and deliberately, I’ve used Twitter, Linkedin status and group discussions, Ecademy and other publication sites like Yahoo!’s Contributer Network (formerly Associated Content) to publish links and teasers to drive traffic and interest.

It has worked well, but seems to have levelled with around 200-300 visits to the site a day, another 200 or so on other sites, 100 or so email registrants and an indefinable number of readers using RSS / reader feeds.

To supplement this, and to raise profile, I periodically posted relevant responses on blogs of interest (I follow lots through Google Reader) and sometimes strategically on blogs with significantly more traffic than mine. This seems to be paying dividends as when I happened to look at the statistics on one of my better performing blog posts this week, I found the following:

There seems to be three distinct factors at play here.

1/ The author’s seeding strategy is key, and forms the basis of successful content marketing. Placing content in selected places where you know your targets ‘graze’ encourages take up and sharing.

2/ I didn’t place most of the links showing above, which suggests someone else did.

3/ Reading, commenting on, reaching out to and sharing other blogs has a positive effect on delivering traffic back to your own blog. Why? Because when you log in to add your comment you can insert your blog URL which when the comment goes live sits as a hyperlink on your name.

Therefore, posting insightful comments intrigues readers who then might click through to see what else you are saying.

I then looked at what was being read.

The fascinating thing is it isn’t always the blog post of the day. I put this down to the ‘recently posted’ and ‘most read’ lists on the home page. If you haven’t activated these tabs, add them today!

So, even once you’ve selected a topic, got going and kept it regular, is not enough. You should promote and link to previous posts, seed and interact with better visited sites to drive real take up and traffic.

A take away action: Pick the ten most important news, portal and blog sites related to your business and start reading, tweeting and most importantly commenting and see where it takes you.

Image: Revegetation Services

Marketing Metrics 7: News & blogs

Search is the dominant marketing tool of the moment and rightly so. Most of us use search engines daily when it comes to researching something, whether it is a personal purchase like a car, holiday, DVD or insurance, or a business purchase where the Internet can be used to shortlist suppliers, distributors, partners, agents and graduates. Statistics from the recent B2B Marketing Buyosphere survey support this.

One of the more pressing requirements in ensuring your business is indexed in search results relevant to your business lies in how you rank organically. Pay per click advertising (like Google Adwords which is found on the top and right hand side of Google) can still be used to great effect at launch or during key promotional periods.

However, the sustainable and long term approach to search is in operating a search engine optimised site with regularly updated, keyword rich meta data and on page content. And, this boils down to effective use of news and blogs.

Regularly updating your website news page is critical as changing content remains one of the hallmarks of a dynamic and leading web site. Ensuring new news features on an optimised home page regularly checked by the search engine ‘spiders’ remains one of the key ways of improving your organic listing.

And blogs, the one time hobbyist website, have come of age. With an estimate 130 million blogs on the Internet, there are an essential information resource and way of getting your message out. Sites like WordPress, Blogger and Tumblr offer impressive optimisation because of the high traffic passing through them on a daily basis.

Blogs can be used effectively for business and without the need for layers of approval. Business owners and middle managers can use them to talk about the science, technology behind the product to answer customer service issues and produce and distribute FAQs, or to comment on industry developments. As blogs of this nature are personalised and removed to a degree from the corporate entity, any concern about damage is reduced.

When developing content to drive your profile, the most crucial elements in marketing 2.0 remain the right of reply and the ability to share. Metrics can be set up to measure reads, shares, subscriptions, downloads and many other datasets.

Image: smbmarketingguide

Can you give makeover advice to The Marketing Assassin?

The Marketing Assassin blog is going to get a makeover in September 2010 when I move it from wordpress.com to fully functional wordpress.org status. It’s daunting and exciting, not least as I attended Wordcamp in Manchester in July and most of it went right over my head!

But if this little blog is to develop and start to take on the world, I think it needs to be designed a little better, have a more intuitive navigation structure, be more accessible to readers, be optimised for search and the major blog directories, be able to handle video, audio and rich media content and be easy to share, retweet etc.

It was set up with the content solely in mind (I’m a writer not a programmer), but I’m interested in your suggestions on improvements, what you’d like to see added, changed or taken away.

Please feel free to leave comments and any recommendations of other attractive WordPress sites on this page.

Thanks.

Image Casper College