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30 ways to get more targeted visitors to your blog

A few years ago Seth Godin wrote a great post on how to get traffic for your blog. Seth listed a number of excellent ideas and techniques that any blogger can use to generate interest, attention and advocacy for their blog. Six years on and many of Seth's practical traffic-generating tips are still very relevant today, so Dave Chaffey and I thought it was worth sharing for those who missed it first time around. However, a few things have moved on, so I thought I’d re-visit the post and pick out some of the best tips (30 of the original 56) for getting more targeted visitors to your blog: (more…)…

A case study showing how the power of digital media can help small charities engage a passionate following

Many not-for-profit organisations have developed a compelling, inspirational web presence for their cause that has helped create a passionate social media-led community and strong interaction. When discussing good practice in digital marketing for charities, Amnesty, Cancer Research, NSPCC, Oxfam and PDSA are the usual suspects. My case study looks at how a campaigning site against Knife Crime was created from a standing start with minimal budget, but created fantastic engagement. In my post, I'll say a little about the background to the site and how it's doing and then look at how we used blogging, SEO and social media to gain awareness and engagement.  I hope you find it inspiring. The site was started after I was in a McDonalds fast food restaurant with my family one Saturday lunch time when a former…

Learning a text markup language editor like Byword can help you focus on writing, not formatting

Many of us happily spend many hours editing text in our favourite blogging platform or CMS. In my case, and for many others this is Wordpress. I love Wordpress, but there was one big step backwards compared to my previous Plone CMS; the lack of a built-in markup language to make it easy to enter text without using HTML or fiddling around selecting formating and linking with the buttons using a mouse. I did check a couple years ago, but there were no suitable plugins for a multi-author blog. But my problem is solved thanks to a tweet from Paul Boag (@Boagworld). Now I can edit without any distractions, without using the mouse!

What is a markup language?

Byword, the editor I’m using uses a syntax called Markdown. You can see it’s easy…
My experience with clients, is that businesses that produce high quality blogs produce positive results. But what is 'high quality"? Well, the great tips in this infographic from SEOMoz certainly help show how the functional aspects of blog design and layout can help improve blog quality. But as my other tips and links below show, it's the content quality that matters far more than these functional aspects.

Click image to see full size

My tips on creating Quality blogs

It's not just the functional aspects that are important though, so here is a short checklist of my recommendations on creating successful blogging sites / sections: Use Wordpress if possible - In my opinion it is the easiest to use & has such a large following & library of plugins Submit Sitemap(s) (if the blog is a section of your site include it as a…

Which approaches work best to take your traffic to the next level?

What should you do once you have your inbound marketing up and running? The scenario is that you're creating or maybe curating great new material on your corporate, brand or business blog, you're in the content marketing curve and all's well in the world, the content feels right and peer feedback is generally great too. Yet traffic from your blog seems to be a tad slow, or simply not growing like you thought it might based on the size of your market and the blogging competition, maybe you're getting the wrong traffic and the page bounce rate seems high? Most of us have been here, are currently here, and will be here again - so don't worry! Whether you're improving SEO, social media marketing or content creation and content marketing, it's a process and so improvement never stops, neither does the…
I'm working on several projects at the moment that require the integration of a blog into a wider commercial online presence. During one conversation we got into discussing, why is it some blogs die, yet others are so successful - what are the success factors? I jotted down the notes from that conversation during my train journey home and thought that I'd share them with you.

People buy people

Your audience are searching for information, something of value to help with decision making so it helps enormously if they can buy into real people as a part of that process. This is where the notion of thought leadership is powerful, where I can be a trusted source for you about a topic. I think this is why video blogs or blogs…

What are the barriers stopping companies blogging and how can they be encouraged?

I strongly believe that every business should have a blog since they're an essential hub to your digital marketing activities. If you don't have one, you're missing out on one of the best ways to engage existing customers and to get new customers through the power of advocacy and SEO. So we're on a bit of a mission to get more companies blogging, but know we need to understand what is holding companies back. I find when I ask in my training workshops, that often only a quarter to a third on the course have a blog. So there must be some serious reasons behind low business adoption of blogs. In the spirit of encouraging more companies to adopt them I've summarised here the reasons for and against. But first a poll - thank to those who helped devise…

Why your blog should be *the* focal point for building your brand online?

I'm still surprised how little blogs feature in digital marketing strategy and planning -- whether marketers run a corporate or brand blog as part of their web strategy, or leveraging third party blogs via blogger out-reach. Blogs can also give you a hub for syndicating content and offers via the social networks as this post by Dave on blog content syndication shows. I believe that this area really needs taking more seriously, the latest information from Technorati's 'State Of The Blogosphere' (Technorati quiz several thousand bloggers) reveal some interesting take-aways that I'd hope provide some motivation: Blogs are the new news: The blogosphere is still in transition, and still they have mainstream influence - you only have to look how progressive brands are leveraging bloggers to promote their latest product, message or campaign. Blogs are social:…

Lighten the load and increase the impact

Value: [rating=3] Our commentary: The CMI (Content Marketing Institute) have posted a case study that we can all likely take something from. The company, OpenView Venture Partners, have more than tripled visitor traffic to their blog by getting everyone in the business to post on the company blog at least once per week. The company has shared their seven steps to how they did it - and not surprisingly, step 1 was about getting over all of the eye-rolling from across the business. Marketing implications: There are some real gems from the post, assuming a corporate blog is something that's relevant to you. Lessons 5, 6 and 7 are more widely relevant and understood in regard to writing for personas, optimizing for search and of course marketing the blog content. The way that OpenView created the internal process and motivation is what is a little different. It's worth reading, beyond…
I have a confession.  I use the Typepad text editor and I have even recommended it to others... This means against the Top 100 blogs shown in the graphic, I sit with Geekdad, The Pioneer Woman and Seth Godin who all favour this easy to use WYSIWYG platform.   But Typepad is not the mainstream choice, used by just 16 of the Top 100 bloggers.  So what are the choices and what are the SEO fundamentals to check for? At the heart of any blog is great content, I guess it goes without saying doesn't it? It also goes without saying that SEO is just as important for blogs as it is for websites.  When you are considering SEO for blogs, there are many established techniques you can use so that search engines can discover your content, however…