Tag Archives: search engine

Blogging builds traffic. 30 days and the stats to prove it.

The numbers don’t lie!

Last month, a friend of mine who blogs, issued a 30-day blogging challenge.

She had fallen off her blog game, and resolved to write a new post every day, for 30 days.

She invited other bloggers to join her on her quest.

When I read her blog, I was inspired.

I too, had fallen off my blogging game.

In fact, I’m constantly falling off my game.

Even though I routinely counsel my clients on the importance of providing a regular and steady stream of content on their websites and social media profiles, I don’t really practice what I preach.

And since I don’t blog regularly, I can’t really speak to the issues involved in maintaining a regular output schedule.

Nor can I (genuinely) speak of the real impact that regular output has on a brand’s metrics.

Sure, I preach that the more you put out, the more of a footprint you create, the more pages of content BOTs can crawl to, the more relevant you become.

But for me, that’s all been theoretical.

I mean, I do blog.

This year marks the fourth anniversary of my blog.

Since I started blogging, I’ve posted over 250 times.

That’s an average of 60 posts a year.

Or a little over once a week.

But I really blog in fits and starts.

So I can’t say, honestly, what the impact of regular blogging actually is.

And because of this, I realized that I needed to take Aliya up on her challenge.

On August 31, Aliya completed her 30 day challenge.

Two days ago, I finished mine (I didn’t actually start when Aliya issued her call to action).

Looking back, I’m glad I did.

Because I now have empirical proof from the experience that reinforces the things I’ve been saying about the significance of blogging.

First, blogging creates traffic.

Period.

Since the start of the year, my traffic is consistently higher than it has ever been.

Last month, there were 3,638 view of my blog.

That’s my highest month of traffic ever.

My next highest month of traffic was in June 2010, when I hit 3,458 views.

Back, when in one day, I had 686 views.

The previous month (July), there were 2,712.

The month before that, 2,421.

Second, blogging increases your online presence.

Search engines, like Google love regularly updated content.

Every time you post a blog post you put your site/blog further up in the search results.

Google re-indexes your blog every time you update with new content, giving your site higher search ranking.

And if you’re using well written, relevant keywords, that only makes it even better.

During my month of blogging, I was getting hits for everything from futsal, Katy Perry, the iPhone, Nicki Minaj on down to SoundHound and Shazam.

Try it.

Google “Shazam vs SoundHound” or “Morgan Freeman is not dead” or “Chris Anokute” and invariably, my little blog is returned on the first page.

Third, regular blogging generates backlinks.

I can’t tell you how many times other folks linked to my site.

Whether it was because of the subject matter, the context, the images, tagging or the keywords, something about my content seemed to resonate with other bloggers.

As a result, I generated quite a few backlinks

Fourth, writing every day keeps you relevant.

Whether it’s politics, fashion, technology, music, entertainment, social issues, if you’re writing about topics of the day, contemporaneously as they happen, your voice, and your opinions will resonate will some audience somewhere.

If I could give bloggers one tip, it would be to write about what you love.

The biggest impediment that folks report for not writing every day (or regularly) is that they don’t know what to write about.

I write about whats going on – in my life, around me, in technology, social media, sports – whatever.

The second biggest blocker is time.

I’ve taken to getting it in whenever and wherever I can.

Sometimes, I blog on the train to work.

Other times, when I’m sitting on the ‘throne’ (some of my best work has been on the throne).

Point is, you need to make time for it.

Because one thing is for certain, blogging is an invaluable tool to generating traffic to (and awareness about) your site.

But don’t take my word for it.

Blog for yourself and see!

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Lesson Two: You are the Brand (Be the Brand reprise)

So over the last few days (weeks actually) since I last posted, I learned that my concept of ‘being the brand’ was not only a catchy way to express my concept of self-promotion, but someone else’s trademarked IP.  “Be The Brand” is the title of a book by Tamara Jacobs, in which she provides her advice on presentation skills.

Not to ride the wave of some else’s brand identity, I needed to take some time to rethink how I wanted to position myself.  Since my ultimate objective is to demonstrate how to distinctly brand onesself, this dilemna presented a singular opportuity to offer Lesson Two:  You are the Brand.

When someone Googles your name, what do they find?  Does your Google search generate 1000 hits?  100? 10? Do you come up at all?  If not, what does that mean?  It certainly doesn’t mean that you don’t exist, but it does mean that you’re off the radar. Now if its your intent to stay off the radar (and creates the mystique that is ‘you’), then ignore the balance of what I have to say on this subject.  If however, you want to show up as a returned result from a Google (or any other enginge) search, listen up.

You are the brand refers to the fact that as a unique person, you are your own calling card.  People’s perception of you is shaped initially, not by the ACTUAL you, but by the PERCEIVED you.  Its not the internal you, the soft, caring, sensitive person who loves everyone, that people see.  Its the external, irreverent abrasive, jerk (and I offer this dichotomy for illustrative purposes only).  My point is that people have formed their opinions of you before they ever meet you.

In today’s world, one’s perception of another is shaped by Google search results, the number of Myspace friends, Facebook friends, Linkedin contacts, webpage Alexa rankings.  Its shaped by the content returned in those search results, the quality of your friends, quantity of contacts, impressiveness of your statistics.  All of these perceptions take place in the absence of you.

By the time you actually run into the person who has Googled you, they have already formed an opinion of who you are, which, invariably, ends up being a large part of how you will be defined in the eyes of that person.  If you are, in reality, who you represent yourself to be virtually, then its all good.  If however, you are not, and your virtual self is a mis-representation of your actual self, then I suggest you take stock of this lesson and apply it forthwith.

The steps which follow will help you re-define yourself, or if you’re happy with the virtual you, enhance your already impressive appeal.

Step 1:  Audit your virtual self.  You’ve got to know what’s out there painting the virtual picture of you.  Since your virtual self is the extension of your real self, you should make sure that you’re happy with it.  Perform a Google, Yahoo, Ask.com, and any other kind of search to learn what the ether has amassed about you.

Step 2:  Assess your virtual self.  Are you happy with what you’ve found?  Does your virtual self exist at all?  How far off the mark is the virtual self from the real thing?  Is the information about you old, out-of-date or inaccurate?  If you didn’t know you, what impression would you have of you?  Positive? Negative? Indifferent?  Come up with a concrete picture of yourself that articulates the positives and negatives of the virtual picture of you.

Step 3:  Create the perfect virtual you.  Having conducted your audit and assessment, you’ve learned a few things about yourself.  Now you should take a stab at defining the you that you WANT people to see.  Make a list of all the things that you’ve done, places you’ve worked, people you know and accomplishments.

Step 4: Get the perfect virtual you online.  There are a number of strategies you can employ to re-define yourself online.  There are things as simple as putting up a Myspace page, creating Facebook and Linkedin profiles, setting up a blog or website.  If you’re really savvy, you can engage in some SEO activities and create anchors that route people to you and populate search results with information you want them to see (while pushing down the relevance of other content that may not be as favorable).

Step 5:  Analyze your efforts.  Now that you’ve rebuilt yourself online.  Do that Google search again.  You liking what you see? If not, don’t worry, we can fix it.  Sometimes it takes a few days for the results to populate these search engines, so chillax.  If however, you’ve set up a website, created online profiles, written a blog, commented in an online forum, you may find that those elements appear instantly.  In either instance, be patient, your virtual identity wasn’t created overnight.

There’s a saying which goes, ‘you can’t judge a book by its cover.’  And while that may be true, people do, in fact, judge books by their covers every day.  Today’s covers are no longer merely the physical package, but also the virtual book jacket that provides glimpses of the story within.  At the end of the day, you are the brand.  You’ve got to be cognizant of that all the time, and take steps to define it, lest you be defined by others.

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