Blogging, like any pastime, can quickly turn into a passion. I know that it has for me. When I first started blogging, which is really a form of article marketing by the way, it was more or less a hobby. Soon thereafter, however, I noticed that some advertising and affiliate programs that I had signed up for started to bring in some money.
Once that happened, something changed. I quickly realized that there was a webmaster/blogger stirring inside me looking to claw its way out. I grew little horns and from that point forward, it was all over with. I was trapped. I realized that blogging and running an online business was a passion that I never knew I had.
That being said, like anything, once you do it long enough, you quickly become bored with the “status quo” and you find yourself looking to push the envelope more and more.
Lets Do This!
Generally, in terms of blogging, this means challenging yourself to drive more traffic, ranking higher in search results for not only more search terms, but more competitive search terms to boot. Additionally, if you’re like me, you’re always looking for ways to “juice” the bottom line too, if you “get my drift”.
Now, if you have a website or a blog and have been at it for a while, you may have experienced a meteoric rise in popularity at one point only to see it slowly taper down on the back-end. This is what many have complained about and I, for one, attribute this to a great degree to the latest string of search engine algorithm updates that have been released.
Three Out-Of-The-Box Ways To Take Your Blog To The Next Level
If you feel that this is happening in your case, then here are three simple ideas that I have implemented on my own site that I feel have benefited me and that have helped me take my site “beyond” SEO. So here they are in no particular order:
Offer A Free Service
Oops. Did I just use the “F” word? Yep. I sure did. I said “Free“. You will just have to trust me on this. In my opinion, this is a great idea because it is a great way to get your foot in the door in terms of marketing your products and services. Why do you think software and drug companies offer free trials? Its to “get ya hooked, man!”
If your website or blog is based around a product or service, take a close look at it and see if there is a simplified or stripped down version of it you can offer for free. Then, paste a giant banner front and center on your site that advertises it. Now that’s what I call “link bait“.
Of course, this will cost you money on the front end, but if you play your cards correctly, it will be worth its weight in gold in terms of advertising expenditures. 😉
Syndicate Your Blog Posts Or At Least Some Of Them
I have had a lot of success with this personally. Now this is a bit of a grey area in terms of SEO and marketing according to some, but in my experience, article marketing (even post-Panda) still pays off. Side note: And its a great way to dilute the effects of black-hat scrapers that steal your content.
With that in mind, all of your blog posts are prime candidates for syndication. You can syndicate to a variety of places such as other blogs, e-zines, article directories, document sharing sites or even your own private network if you have one.
Of course, you don’t have to syndicate all of your posts, but at least try a few that you feel may not be getting the love they deserve while just sitting there on your site. Just remember, follow Google’s guidelines on this matter for the greatest benefit and they are as follows:
“Syndicate carefully: If you syndicate your content on other sites, Google will always show the version we think is most appropriate for users in each given search, which may or may not be the version you’d prefer. However, it is helpful to ensure that each site on which your content is syndicated includes a link back to your original article. You can also ask those who use your syndicated material to use the noindex meta tag to prevent search engines from indexing their version of the content.
Interestingly, some blogs and directories disallow linking back to the original because they feel that it detracts from the “use experience”. I say “nonsense”. They’re just trying to outrank you for your own article. Don’t fall for it.
Give Your Reading Public A Vested Interest
What in the world does that mean? Simple. It means “link out” WITHOUT slapping the “nofollow” attribute on everything. It never fails to amaze me when webmaster “nofollow” everything thinking that they will be conserving “link juice”. I say “Give And Ye Shall Receive”.
One of the best things I have ever done to my blog was remove the “nofollow” attribute from my comment names. Sure I get some SPAM, but I’n not afraid of it.
If you have trouble with comment spam, simply enable the “Bad Behavior” and “Growmap Antispam” plugins for WordPress and these problems will disappear. Sorry “Scrapebox”. Its nothing personal. Please understand. LOL!
Honestly, why would you NOT reward visitors that add highly valuable (SEO-valuable that is) User Generated Content (UGC) to your site or blog. Why would you NOT reward contributors that increase your “ping rate” keeping your site and posts fresh in search results? Why would you not reward your visitors who so kindly keep your site from looking like a “ghost town”?
So, Whats The Bottom Line?
The Bottom Line Is This: SEO by itself is simply not enough. You have to offer value and give your reading and visiting public a vested interest in your site. THAT is what will keep them coming back and THAT is what will take your site to the next level, which, in turn, will lead to higher traffic levels and (you guessed it) more revenue. 😉