Frequent Posting and Short Posts Work Best for Me

This is just a quick post to report something I find very interesting. I was making experiments with my other website and found that when I increase posting frequency to three posts a day my repeat visitors numbers grow by at least 15 percent!

Now this is huge for me, because I tried posting daily before but there was no difference. For some reason it only has positive effect on my numbers when I post three posts per day, one post isn’t enough.

It might seem like hard thing to do, and I agree, it’s not effortless, but your posts can be (or perhaps should be) short. You don’t have to write three 1000-word posts or even three 500-word posts. Just write something interesting – anything. I report news, latest research, post quick tips, review interesting products – you get the picture.

Another positive change is bounce rate. When I write these short posts / articles, my bounce rate goes down. It’s embarrassing that it took me so long to understand this. I was convinced that to be taken seriously my articles should be at least 500 words, but as it turns out, that’s not what most people want.

Great Way to Get Free Content and Quality Backlinks

spotlight

One of my favorite ways to get good content is to interview someone. Initially I came up with this because I wanted to inject something new to my other website. I tried to look for guest bloggers but it takes time and trial and error to find a good one. Then it would be just the same type of content I already had. I wanted something exciting, something exotic!

spotlightThen I remembered I received an “offer” from one fitness website to write for them free content in exchange for exposure and links. The deal wasn’t good. I have some experience in this and usually I can tell a successful website from a struggling one and this one seemed to be from the second category. They had some very good days in past, but over last two years they seemed to suffer a big traffic loss. If I remember correctly they give one dofollow link for eight original articles. I was more offended than complimented!

However, this website still manages to get content from real experts for free. Typically these experts have their own websites and a book or a DVD to sell. They aren’t marketers, they are genuine experts struggling to sell their products online. I decided I will approach one of them and ask for interview.

To be honest I didn’t even research much. I simply contacted the author of a random article. Of course I made sure her article was good, I visited her website to see what she was selling but nothing more than that. That lady happily agreed for interview within 10 minutes I hit Send button. Little did I know that she co-hosts a Canadian fitness show and is many times bodybuilding champion! If I knew all this, I would be intimidated to send her my request in the first place. But luckily I didn’t know all this and we made that interview. I just sent her a few simple questions and she wrote an excellent 1800 word piece. I was also allowed to choose any picture of hers and publish on my website. She shared our interview with almost 6,000 fans on Facebook and twitted it on Twitter!

My second interview was with owner of one Japanese company. They sell lifestyle products, including beauty products. Similarly I sent him a few questions and he wrote an absolutely wonderful piece. I mean really great! He talked about Japanese women and how they take care of themselves, about Japanese garments and the concept of hidden beauty. I loved it and I could tell my visitors loved it too. I was happy to link to them and refer customers to them for free. They did such a great job!

If you have a website with some content on it, give it a try. You don’t have to have a huge traffic. I never mentioned my traffic numbers. All you need is a website that looks presentable and has some content on it. Don’t be afraid of rejection. If you want to maximize your chances of success, look for someone who has a product to sell and has a weak website. That Japanese company was running Adwords campaign a few months ago and I saved their URL, otherwise they are nowhere to be seen in search engines. Tell them you are interested in their products/work and you have a few questions to ask. You must mention that they can talk about their products. At least one of your questions should be about their products.

Asking for interview is not like asking for free content. Typically when you ask someone to interview him that person feels complimented. He wants to make a good job answering your questions and he wants to share it with his website visitors and fans.

You win in so many ways:

  • you get free content,
  • you get quality backlinks,
  • your website looks like a big deal because you actually can interview someone,
  • you make new friends in your field.

Give it a try and tell me how it goes.

What’s the Key to Sustainable Website Traffic?

traffic

trafficWhen I started online a few years back I was taught to research keywords, write keyword-focused pages with keywords in all the right places while trying to sound natural all at the same time. It was a great way to generate free traffic and it worked for many, including me. I was told that blogging was bad and borderline stupid, because…

  • it’s hard to come up with subjects to blog about on regular basis,
  • blogs don’t rank well in search engines (what a lie!),
  • who needs those list posts anyway.

There was much more but I don’t remember now. Those days I believed that blogging was not professional and was more of a hobby than business.

Thinking for myself

Time passed and I can think for myself now. So I’ve got that high-traffic website and it’s true that it still works (although I never know how long this is going to continue). It’s a good website, I put a lot into it. There is a lot of people every day but for some reason it’s incredibly hard to monetize. The irony is that it’s in what is considered one of the most profitable niches out there and still all it can do is generate some petty Adsense clicks and sell advertising to brands. Brands don’t care, they just want to have their logo in front of as many eyeballs as possible.

One might argue it’s not niche enough, but to me if I go too niche I can’t generate more than a few pages. Despite responsive design, catchy images and high-quality information, the bounce rate is about 70%. Because readership comes only with regular updates and interaction, I never built a real following. All those thousands and thousands of people come and go, just like flour through sieve. About 20% come back but once they read everything there is to the subject they are gone forever.

I believe that when you build around keywords you aren’t necessarily attracting people interested in your topic. Usually what happens is that you simply answer questions. Their search term is always a question, something they have in their minds at the moment they perform this search, but once they got their answer they are gone. I’ve done this myself hundreds of times. So while you do generate a lot of traffic you don’t retain it. In addition, you are at mercy of Google, which is bad enough by itself.

Blogging, on the other hand, is about building readership. It does need much more effort and consistency, but you do have something substantial, real readers, real followers. Perhaps it will take more time to get traffic, but the reward is much bigger.

There is downside to blogging too. Once you stop updating your readership is gone. Apparently there is no one single perfect strategy, but perhaps we could combine keyword research, blogging, social media and email for best possible results.

Writer’s Block? Here is the Solution for You!

copyblogger

Although I do read Copyblogger, I must admit I didn’t find this one myself. John Chow, blogger who makes money by telling people how he makes money online, referred to it in his new book Blogging with John Chow – How I Went From $0 to $40,000 in One Month (highly recommended). I think it’s a great infographic. It’s really helpful and something that is definitely worth sharing.

22 Ways to Create Compelling Content - Infographic
Like this infographic? Get more content marketing tips from Copyblogger.

Content Writing – The Power of Being Yourself

writing

I have a number of websites and up till now I used my real name and profile only here. On my other websites, I used to use words like “we” and appear like a serious company. And really, most of the time I wasn’t alone. I did a lot of outsourcing. In fact I had a huge success with outsourcing. I even considered myself good enough to write a detailed tutorial on how to get native English speakers write for you for less. It’s here.

This strategy works. However there is a few downsides.

Demands

When you appear like a big company, you are held to a higher standard. I don’t suggest for a second that if you are a simple blogger you can get away with low quality. You probably can’t – at least not in a long term. But you can be yourself enough to have a little spelling mistake here and there. You can speak your own simple language. If someone absolutely hates your non-native English, he has plenty of other websites and blogs to choose from (and you don’t hesitate to let this be known, just in case).

To make things worse, most people won’t purchase your products or services, however they will demand free consultations, answers to their questions and scold you if your English is less than perfect.

It’s less rewarding

In fact, it’s not rewarding experience at all. When you are being yourself, creating content is fun. You have a feeling you are talking to your friends and once you are done with your post you feel great. It’s relaxing indeed, as if you had a cup of coffee with your best friend at Starbucks. It doesn’t even feel like work.

This post is a good example. I don’t expect it to rank for anything. I am not trying to sell you anything in this post (you might see some intext affiliate links – they are created automatically). If no one ever reads this – I am not sad, after all this blog was supposed to be my diary. I realize that not everyone wants to know how I feel and it’s okay. My payoff is in simply writing this just for the sake of venting my webmaster’s feelings and expressing my opinion.

What I did

I am always concerned about my privacy. You know these old school friends that find you via Facebook? I will confess – I don’t like it. At least most of the time. If they really cared for me, they would keep in touch before Facebook was ever founded. But they didn’t. I am also not really interested to let them know what I do for living. If you are a web publisher, you know most people don’t get it. And if you are like me, you are tired of explaining – they probably won’t get it anyway.

So what I did is I took a pen name! Now I can use words like “I” and be myself. This doesn’t mean I will stop outsourcing, but I will definitely enjoy contributing to my own web publishing business much more. I wrote my very first post under my new pen name just now and guess what, it was almost 900 words and I didn’t even feel I made an effort! I am not sure how long it took me, but it felt like nothing more than 15 minutes. Funny things happen when you stop counting words, worrying about conversions and are simply being yourself.

I just wrote another 600 words. Not everyone will find this post horribly useful, but it’s ok. The payoff is in the pleasure of writing – something I didn’t experience for a while.