Wednesday, September 17, 2008

13 ways to promote your blog

Darren Rowse, in his post on Pro Blogger gives us 13 ways to promote our next blog post:

Read and learn… It is an excellent post:

Written on September 16th, 2008 at 10:09 pm by Darren Rowse

13 Ways to Promote Your Next Blog Post

Blog Promotion,You’re slaved over your post - crafting titles, opening lines, adding depth, designing the post to be eye catching and more - you select the perfect time for your post to go live and hit ‘publish’!

It’s over - another post ‘released’ into the wild - there’s nothing more you can do except sit back, see how people like it and start on your next post…. or is there?

Instead of seeing the moment of publishing a post as the end point in the posting cycle of a post - I see it as the birthing moment of a post. The work has only just begun and what you do in the minutes and hours after it goes live can exponentially increase the effectiveness of the post!

Original Image by Elephi Pelephi

Today I want to talk about promoting your blog posts.
A lot is written about promoting and marketing blogs (as a whole) but I’ve found looking at ‘promotion’ on a more micro level (at a post by post level) can be a highly effective strategy.

Having hit publish on your post - don’t just leave it to chance that your post will be read by people. Giving it a few strategic ‘nudges’ can increase the exposure it gets exponentially.

Let me describe a few post promotion activities that I engage in.

note: I don’t use all of these techniques on every post but instead see them as a variety of tools that sit in my blog promotion toolbox and pull out different ones on different posts depending how suitable they are.

13 Ways to Promote Your Next Blog Post
1. Pitching Other Bloggers
One of the most effective ways of getting the word out about a new post is to let other bloggers know about it. There isn’t much more powerful a way to find new readers than another blogger recommending something you’ve written to people who trust them.

Getting other bloggers to link to your posts is not always easy though - particularly in the early days of a blog or if you don’t have some sort of profile or pre-existing relationship with the bloggers that you’re pitching. However it isn’t impossible. Here are a few tips on how to pitch your posts to other blogs:

Relevancy is key - don’t pitch stories to other bloggers that have little or no relevance to their blog. You’ll just be wasting their time and yours.
Only pitch your best posts - you will have a much higher success rate at getting a link if you only do it with your best stuff. I would only ever do this with around 1-2% of my posts.
Give them an angle - don’t just shoot the link over - tell the blogger what the story is about and why it might be relevant to their blog. Save them a little work by showing how the post might be interesting to their readers.
Keep it brief - if the blogger wants lots of details about your post they’ll click the link. Be to the point, communicate what you need to say and then let the blogger get on with their day.
Be polite - don’t assume you’ll get the link or insist that they link to you - make the suggestion and let the blogger decide if it’s relevant for them.
Be personal - use their name, their blog’s name and show you are not just spamming thousands of blogs with your email.
Read more tips like these on pitching other bloggers at 13 Tips on Asking other Bloggers for Links.

2. Social Messaging
An increasingly large source of traffic for my own blogs over the last year has been Twitter and other social messaging sites (like Friendfeed and Plurk). I use a mixture of automated tools and personalized tools to drive this traffic. On twitter I use TwitterFeed to tweet items from my blog’s RSS feed.

I find that this works best if your blogs feed is not the only thing that you’re putting up on Twitter. Add your own personal tweets, link to other people’s content, ask readers questions etc - the more you mix it up the more effective your own automated tweets will be accepted and clicked upon by your followers.

Don’t be afraid to use social messaging to promote posts that have good discussion on them also. I find that 12-24 hours after my post goes live can be a good time to shoot out another tweet if there’s a particularly hot conversation going on (in fact this can drive even more traffic than the first TwitterFeed automated tweet as it alerts your followers to a conversation rather than just content).

3. Social Bookmarking
This is something that I only do on selected posts - those that I think could do well on bookmarking sites like Digg or StumbleUpon.

I won’t go into great depth on this topic in this post as I recently wrote on how to get to the front page of Digg and have posted other tips at Using Social Media Sites to Grow Your Blog’s Traffic.

4. Internal Links
A great deal of blog promotion tips focus upon how to promote your blog on other people’s blogs and sites - but a great way to promote your blog post is to do it on your own blog.

One thing that I try to do with my best posts after I publish them is to think about where I could promote it on my own blog.

While it is at the top of my blog’s front page (the primary place to promote it) if you think hard you’re bound to find a few other posts in your archives that you could link to this new post. Find places where you’ve covered similar topics before and add your link as a ‘related reading’ link or even add a link to your new post within the content of an old post.

You might also want to add your new post to previously written ‘sneeze pages‘ or your sidebar if it’s a key post. Every link you add on your own blog to your new post potentially sends your current readers to your new post but also helps your blog with Search Engine Optimization (internal links count too).

5. Newsletters
If you have a newsletter list on your blog and you’ve written what you consider to be a key blog post - include a link to it in your next newsletter. Doing this will drive traffic but also signal to your readers that it’s a pillar post that you feel deserves their attention.

As with each of the points above - only do this with your best and most relevant posts. If you do it with every post reader will become desensitized to your recommended reading.

6. Other Blogs Comments Sections and Forums
NOTE: tread carefully with this one and only do it occasionally and in a way that adds value.

If you’ve got a post that you think relates strongly to something that another blogger has written about or that is the topic of discussion on a forum - leave a link to your own post.

The key to pulling this off without being labled a spammer is to leave a genuinely useful comment on the blog or forum. The comment itself should add value, be right on topic and contribute to the conversation. Then if you include a link introduce it with a ‘I’ve written more about this at….’ type comment rather than just a spammy call to action.

The other option is to email the other blogger first and ask if they’d mind if you leave the link. You might even find that the blogger will add the link to the post itself (don’t assume this).

7. Email Signatures
If you use a service like Feedburner they have a little widget that you can add to your email signature that highlights your latest blog posts. I’m not sure how effective that this is at driving traffic but the principle is a good one.

I know of a couple of bloggers who do the same thing by hand - they pick one or two of their latest key posts and add links to them as ‘featured posts’ in their email signatures. Many of us have links to our blog’s main URL in our email signatures but it strikes me that a link to a recent individual post could actually be more effective as it sends people to your very best content - food for thought.

8. Followup Posts
If you’ve just written a post that you feel is important a great technique to give it a second round of attention is to write a second post extending the first in some way.

This technique is very powerful at adding a sense of momentum to your blog.

‘Treat every post as an introduction to your next’. Here’s an image that describes this process taken from How to Keep Momentum Going by Building on Previous Posts.

Also check out how I use Mind Mapping to extend posts and do followups like this.

9. Advertise Your Post
This one won’t be for everyone and is definitely only for those special posts that you write that you particularly want to drive traffic to - but why not put a little budget aside to promote a post with some advertising.

Key posts that have a high ‘usefulness factor’ to potential readers are a great way to find new loyal readers to a blog. Rather than advertising the front page of your blog a high quality post can actually be the perfect landing page for an advertisement.

There are a variety of ways to advertise a blog but one of my favorites is on StumbleUpon where you can actually start an organic rush of traffic to a good blog post with a relatively small budget. Learn more on how to do it at Run a StumbleUpon Advertising Campaign for your Blog.

4 More Ways to Promote Key Blog Posts
The list could go on - here are a few more quick tips on how to promote individual blog posts:

10. Write a Press Release - some press release services don’t cost anything (or much) and they can be surprisingly effective with a little luck.
11. Pitch Mainstream Media - some posts will have mainstream media appeal. Shoot a paper, magazine, TV or Radio station an email - you might get lucky.
12. Article Marketing - while I’ve never done article marketing I know a few bloggers who swear by writing articles for ‘free article sites’ as a way to promote themselves. While they often include links back to their main blog in these articles I think there’s some strong arguments for doing it to individual posts.
13. Add a Comments Competition - if you want to increase reader interaction on a particular post run a comments competition where you give one commenter a prize. To increase the ‘quality’ and not just ‘quantity’ of comments offer a prize for the ‘best’ comment rather than a random comment.

How do You Promote Blog Posts?
I’ve covered 12 ways to promote an individual blog post above. What would you add?

How have you done it? What success have you had?

Keep in mind I’m not asking about how you promote your blog in a general sense - but how do you drive traffic to individual blog posts?

Read the Full Series
This post is part of a series on how to craft blog posts. It will be all the more powerful if taken in context of the full series which looks at 10 points in the posting process to pause and put extra effort. Start reading this series here.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The world in turmoil, the door of opportunity opens

As the world is in turmoil, and hopes and dreams are crushed, the weak will lay down and perish, while the visionary and the strong will just get up, brush off the dust, and keep on going. One of my favorite sayings: “when the going gets tough, the tough gets going”, is as valid as always.

The eyes of the world are fixed in the United States. Will the economy of the most powerful nation in the world recover, or collapse? Will the United States repeat the mistakes of the past and re live the great depression of the 30’s?

Who knows… Seth Godin has a point when he said: “most of us aren't focused on flipping assets. We're building value by creating interactions that work, by writing stories that spread or by designing products and services that actually create something worth paying for.”
We are talking about the bloggers, the marketing experts, the thinkers, those who pride themselves on providing a worthwhile product, and more often than not, they provide value.

There will always be a place for those who refuse to give in, and with hope, and optimism, face the future, thus, making life better, not only for themselves but for others as well.

There is no limits to what the mind can create. Success does not come easy either. It requires discipline, persistence, and intuitiveness. A good does of imagination does not hurt either.

Keep on trucking, keep on writing, the doors of opportunity will always be open for those with the right frame of mind.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Delicious web site

While reviewing and researching businesses for an article, I came across Chris, who is a self-described entrepreneur. She made the case for starting your own business, facing the risk of assuming full responsibility for your decisions, and provide a product that you could actually sell.

While I am not into selling food, or selling anything for that matter, I am a fan of true courage and responsibility. It takes guts to put your money where your mouth is and start your own business; and that is what Chris did. She started the Dippy Chick Company, in which she sells dips, and shares recipes Here is her link, check her out, you might like her recipes, and dips:

Pay it forward 4 profits

Many of you have probably seeing or heard about Pay it forward for profits. Well, so did I.

I joined “Pay it forward for profits” since I kind of liked the concept. I found that someone had reviewed what the program was about, and how much money was required to actually make money from it. Here is the complete scoop, the program was reviewed on, and there is an interesting very long thread on it, I just copy and pasted the important parts, which is the description of the program, hidden costs, and what is all about.

If you want to try it, sign in only AFTER YOU FINISH READING THIS POST, here is the link:

Again, do not sign in until you have read this entire thread, I did the homework for you; the least you can do is read it, and make up your own mind.

Here is the scoop:

Part 1: Funded Sponsoring (Franchise System) Explained

Part 2: Affiliate Programs
There are 3 Major Parts to the Funded Sponsoring Franchise of Pay-It Forward 4 Profits that you need to set-up:

1. Funded Proposal
Global Domains International: $10/month

2. Secondary Sales
Traffic Oasis: $59.95/month

"Traffic Oasis is a Leads Membership company...THEY DON'T SELL LEADS! They provide exclusive leads to it's members each month. These leads are the best. How do you know they are any good? Because chances are, YOU are one of the Traffic Oasis leads your sponsor received with his/her membership :-) So, all you have to do is invite these leads to your Pay-It Forward 4 Profits website and give away the free membership! Then let the system take over from there!

3. Primary Business for Long Term Wealth
"The 3rd product that you need to be affiliated with is a Primary Network Marketing or Affiliate Business. The main reason we include the opportunity to have a 3rd Affiliate Program is that this will be your bread and butter, long-term residual income business...and YOU CAN CHOOSE to use any business that you feel will help you reach your goals."

Comment: I guess this is really optional since you have already paid $69.99 a month to PIF4P ($10 + $59.99). So if you sign up their MLM, then it is icing on the cake. If you use your existing MLM, it is good for you.

Part 3: Your Auto responder
Where Does Every Single Internet User "Travel To" On a Daily Basis; Their Personal Email Inbox. This is our "Location" in an Internet Business ... Remember, the BEST LOCATION to be on the Internet is in your Prospects Email Inbox.

To be successful as an Internet Marketer (or Network Marketer) you need to:

Build A List == > Build a Relationship and Market To Your List == > Cash Your Checks

Your Auto responder Is The Most Important Tool In Your Internet Marketing Business.

Sign up for Response Magic + Hit Counter for only $17.95/month!

You have 3 websites and 3 individual auto responder email series.
Then you continue to another system.

Fast Start Traffic School

Part 1: Traffic Swarm

Part 2: Co-operative Advertising Program
"With the Co-operative Advertising Pool, you will be able to harness the power of leverage through pooling money with other members to get better results in the advertising, and also you are able to take advantage of an already skilled advertiser in Joel Broughton, as Joel will be running the Google Ad words campaign for the Co-operative advertising pool."

1. Cost is $25 per share; you will receive 5 members per share
2. Payable to: Joel Broughton
3. Be sure to Include Your Full Name, PIF4P's Username, and Your Phone Number, and Number of Shares that you want.
4. Mail To:

Joel Broughton
829 Norwest Road, Suite 104
Kingston, Ontario
K7P 2N3

Part 3: Direct Matches
"Direct Matches is the first in the online business and social networking industry to deploy a multi-matchmaking system that helps people locate everything from business contacts to network marketing professionals. It is the first business and social networking service with a contact management system that operates on a "dynamic basis", where members are able to select from dedicated networking communities."

"You will want to get at least a "Managing IR" membership ($19.95) to be able to get the most out of this tool."
Part 4: Ad Land Pro
You are invited to sign up with a free Ad Land Pro site to create ad. You get some 500 free credits. I don't know what the regular credit cost.
After this, you really get to see the Advanced Internet Marketing Success Guide.
Day 1 - Get to know your new websites
"Pay close attention to what I am about to say...

Referring people directly to your Pay-It-Forward 4 Profits website is more profitable than referring people to the individual company's links.

I'll say it again in highlighted bold. It's that important.

Referring people directly to your Pay-It-Forward 4 Profits website is more profitable than referring people to the individual companies links! (Don't send them to the individual company websites directly)
Now I want you to say this out loud to yourself, just to make sure we've got it:
"I will refer people directly to my Pay It Forward 4 Profits websites because it will be much more profitable for me than if I refer people to the individual company's links."


Why would it be more profitable to refer people to your Pay-It-Forward 4 Profits website than to your GDI, Traffic Oasis or your Primary Business Affiliate links one at a time?

That is a very good question. I'll answer that for you...

First, sending people to your Pay-It-Forward 4 Profits website is more profitable for you because it is a DIRECT RESPONSE website designed to have a very specific, focused purpose. Generate an opt-in and direct them to your member's area! The members’ area is, in fact, a multi-million dollar sales letter that is designed to very effectively inspire your visitor to sign up in 4 of the most lucrative moneymaking programs on the Internet under YOU. This page has been carefully crafted and is extremely effective at making the sales for YOU.
By sending people to your Pay-It-Forward 4 Profits website, you have an extremely high likelihood that they will sign up with you in Global Domains International, Traffic Oasis, your Primary Business, and Success University. Without the Pay-It-Forward 4 Profits website, the possibility of enrolling someone in these 4 programs with you is dramatically reduced. The Internet is a DIRECT RESPONSE environment and to succeed, you must learn to promote DIRECT RESPONSE information websites. This is very, very, very important to understand. If you don't "get it" yet, read the paragraph above again until you DO get it. Your success depends on it."
Day 2 - The Key To Success: You and Your Prospects!

Day 3 - Set up your FREE Traffic Accounts & Start Earning Traffic Credits!

Day 4 - Tell Your Friends, Family & Everyone You Can About Your Website

Day 5 - Setup Your Sig File, Get Involved and Make at Least 5 New Posts Today

Day 6 - Get Instant Access To Over 100 Million People In Less Than 10 Minutes With Google Ad words

DAY 7 - Unleash Your Residual Income Profits!

Day 8 - Newspaper Classified Ads

Day 9 - Fill Your Auto responder And Start Earning Automatic Email Profits

Day 10 - Get Your Own Article Written And Published All Over The Net To Earn Automatic Lifetime Income

Day 11 - Launch Your Own Blog And Attract Free Traffic And Profits For Life

Day 12 - Use Ezine Solo Ads To Pull In Big Auto-Pilot Email Profits

Day 13 - Expand your Forum Presence & Create More Signature Files
Here are the suggested forums:

Day 14 - Start Your Linking Campaign & Drive An Unstoppable Flood Of FREE Traffic To Your Website!

Day 15 - Start Placing Free Pay-Per-Click Advertising

Day 16 - Place Over 200 Million Ads Online Instantly for FREE

Day 17 - Stop Learning and Start Doing!!

Day 18 - Schedule Your Weekly Ezine Solo Ads!

Day 19 - Expand Your Google Ad Words Campaign!

Day 20 - Continue Growing Your Opt-In Email List!

Day 21 - Maintain Your Productive Habits
After skimming over day 1, I lost interest. So here you are, the first brief summary of PIF4P and its initial cost.

Global Domains International: $10/month
Traffic Oasis: $59.95/month
Response Magic + Hit Counter: $17.95/month
"Managing IR" membership: $19.95
Co-operative Advertising Program: $25 per 5 members

This is so far the best MLM that I have seen - no fixed cost (office, factory, storage, etc.) and no variable cost (material, management, employees, etc), just initial marketing production cost and monthly website hosting cost. In addition, each program is linked/tied to other programs.

Again, if after you read the entire article you want to give it a try, here is the link:

Free search engine optimization tip of the day

Over deliver and you will be a star. Your free search engine optimization tip for today is simple. Over deliver, over deliver, over deliver. Social media owes it’s popularity to the fact that people is tired of the inhuman touch. The human being is a social creature. We enjoy each other’s company, and as long as we are comfortable, we are happy in the company of friends. Web site marketing or social media marketing will only make you successful if you remember that you work for one person only, your reader.

But there are other considerations in web site marketing. You cannot satisfy your customer’s need if the search engines cannot find you. How can we help the search engines so they can help us help our customers?

It helps if we know what our customers want. What exactly is our customer looking for? How does the customer find what they are looking for? This is elementary; they go into a search engine, and type a few words related to what they are looking for. They will type something like: Colorado Springs. But that is way too generic. They will soon realize that here are thousands of links to follow, so they have to refine their search, so they enter “Colorado Springs Museums”. That narrows the field, and makes it a bit more manageable. So, lets say that the customer wants to find an art museum. So, he or she types: Colorado Springs art museums. Bingo, that zeroes in on what they want, and they are happy. I do not want to sound patronizing, but those words that the customer used to find the art museums in Colorado Springs, those are key words; and you need to know what key words your future customer will use to so you can provide them for them.

Here is another free search engine optimization tip: use a keyword tracker, Google has one, or you can go to and enter the generic key word you want. This word tracker will tell you how many times that word was used last month, and will give you specific phrases, and how many times they were used. Here is a suggestion: the word “marketing” was search 3820 times when I researched it. That is too much; it is too generic. Find a phrase that was searched about 100 times. That is the phrase that you will need to build or write your web site, blog, or article about, and make sure that you use that phrase on the meta tags, tags, title of the article, title of your website, or blog, and of course, you use it on your article.

That key word or phrase is what the customer is looking for; so it is your job to provide as much information as you can on that topic. That means: RESEARCH IT.

Now, here is another free search engine optimization secret: since you used the key word so many times, the search engine ranks your article, web site, blog, whatever, highly relevant for that particular key word, and hopefully, you will break the top 10 or 20.

So, here is one benefit of over delivering in your web site, when you give your customer what he or she wants, you are, at the same time, giving the search engines robots or spiders what they want. You have in fact become a partner in providing a quality product for your customers.

Also, make sure that you do not use black hat search engine optimization techniques.

This next paragraph is an example of what not to do, see if you can figure out why:

“People engaged in web site marketing, in their futile efforts to rank high on the search engines, often try to use not so innocent tricks. One that I saw not to long ago, and it really sucks, was to include Monica Lewinsky’s name and bill in the same paragraph, and since you already saw the word suck before, it should give you an idea of the intent of the paragraph, specially since we are in the middle of the presidential campaign.”

Please do not do that, it is offensive to your customers. You are trying to trick them, which means, that when they visit your site, they will leave in disgust.

If you use black hat search engine optimization techniques, whether you do them for free, or you pay someone, I suggest you stop. When the search engines find out, they will ban you.

Again, let me know your opinion, and fell free to contribute, comment at will, feel free to subscribe to our blog, or visit often.

Celebrate life.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Two money making ideas, or how to make more money

Everybody wants to make money¸ everybody is selling something, or joining the next best affiliate program, or talking social media, or Internet marketing. So the question now is, how do I weed out what works and what does not?

I sent a note to my FaceBook group about a business opportunity, which by the way, has the potential of making tons of money, and immediately, I received four affiliate offers on my inbox.

There are a lot of people that will graciously give you tips ant try to help you by telling you that their program is the best; and you know what? They might be right; and then, they might not. I am convinced that a majority of those who send you their promotions are: trying to make money, and not trying to swindle you.

Here is the bottom line. You want to make money online? The best two ways of doing it are:

1. Affiliate marketing. You either sell your own product, or, if you are not that good at writing, public speaking, or just talking for the sake of talking, sell someone else’s stuff. Nothing wrong with that, as long as it is a good product.

2. Provide content, and sell advertising.

I prefer the second way of making money. It allows me to express my many opinions, help others by answering honestly, and frees me to find the next best thing.

I can tell you that I have being called “a great teacher”, twenty two years of Army experience, teaching everything from survival, to how to read a map, and lately, cultural awareness, tend to make you good at what you do; and when you spend as much time as I have teaching, and some of the things that you teach, if you teach it incorrectly, can cost someone’s life, you better take it seriously. A blog is hardly that exciting, but again, if you are going to teach, is best if you have something to teach.

You can create a blog, like this one, or why not, an e-zine. But, if you are like me, you get bored with articles that are designed to just sell you stuff. So, the first and best tip that I have for you is to respect your readers enough to let them know when you are selling something.

I have read dozens of free books on how to write copy, or sales letters. I don’t know who came up with those names. To me, copy is what you make on a copy machine, and copyright is what you apply for and pay so nobody plagiarizes you. But, it annoys me beyond belief when I see sales letters with testimonies, some of them legit, some out of someone’s mind (read between the lines on this one), trying to tell me that if I do not jump now and buy whatever it is, I will be missing the opportunity.

So, the bottom line again, respect your reader, and provide them with something useful, like CONTENT.

It is ok to place ads on your blog. Just look to the left of this article and you will see ads; or read between the articles, and you see more ads intended to have you click on them. I make money when you do. And, if Google is reading this, please note that I have not asked readers to click on them.

So, spend some time often enough, researching your topics, so you can provide useful and up to date info to your readers.

Read many blogs, and make yourself useful. What do I mean by that? Contribute to their readers by commenting on their articles. Make it a legitimate contribution. Share your ideas. Become a regular. Once you have done this, email the blog creators, maybe they will be willing to add a back link to your blog. Back links will help you gain “authority”. The search engines will see that as a sign that you actually know what you are talking about. Your ranking will improve. Make sure that you understand that they, the bloggers, are not obligated to place your link on their blogs. It is not personal, it is just business.

And, of course, make sure that you grow your list of contacts, and potential customers.

This takes time. Be patient. Rome was not built in a day.

It is called social media for a reason; you need to cultivate friendships. The more friends you make, the more possible customers you get.

We talked about content, research, back links, and your list. If you follow these tips, you will make money, eventually.

Let me know what you think. I am always open to new ideas, and contributions.

Monday, September 1, 2008

SEO Simplified or Search Engine Optimization for Dummies