FINALLY, this is the last in the [intlink id="2458" type="page"]Common Sense Blogging[/intlink] Series.
By trade, I develop tons and tons of WordPress-based websites for other people and myself. Some are pretty, some are for utility, some are just for ranking and backlinks, and some are for me to increase skill, try things out or test theories.
But the reason I developed BizChickBlogs.com was for fun and to share information. As you’ll notice from looking around, this blog is not designed for dollars. Anything that makes money is out of the way. If it were designed to be monetized, my money making things would be above the fold and not easily missed. A monetized blog typically displays Adsense or other network advertising, such as JuiceBoxJungle, or something else. You’ll see a small ad for Scribe SEO, and prior to that, I had Examiner up there. It’s great when people click on those but the click itself does not generate cash. And those are mainly for visual interest or because I just really want you to see them.
Update 9/1/2010: As you can see, this blog is a bit more monetized now. As traffic builds, it’s not a bad idea. It’s still not designed for dollars, but I do display sponsors and paid text links.
Where am I going with this…
Monetizing a blog or any type of website doesn’t happen by accident. Many courses and programs out there take you step by step how to get tons of traffic and make money online. Bring the Fresh is one (see Resources below), and I can tell you from personal experience that it ROCKS. I’ve just started using it and the instructions are so clear that even if you had never created a website from scratch before or earned a single dollar, you could do it.
Note that I’m not talking about blogging for money as in “paid blogging.” I’m talking about developing a blog and monetizing it through the sale of services, products, advertising, paid links, paid posts, or affiliate offers.
Whether you are selling your services, products, advertising, or making money through paid links, paid posts or pay per click or cost per action, the common thread is that you need traffic.
Three main ways of getting traffic to your blog are:
- Promotion through email marketing
- Promotion through social media and blog commenting
- Natural traffic via search engines
Natural Traffic via Search Engines
We’re just going to focus on this one for now. Bring the Fresh is one of the programs out there that clearly outlines how to get natural traffic via search engine. It is not a magic pill that you take. There is a science to it. The nice thing about guides like that is that you can take whatever you learn from it and apply it to ANY website going forward.
True story: A couple of weeks ago I changed the title of my blog to Complete Guide to Blogging. Frankly, I just wanted something more descriptive than BizChickBlogs, and I also wanted to test the power of keywordluv. So after I changed the title, I did what I normally do and left comments on some blogs, but this time, I used my keywords. I didn’t seek out any new blogs; they are the same blogs I always comment on except I decided to try out keyword luv.
I knew that I would be competing with a book called Complete Guide to Blogging that pretty much owns the first page of Google results. I was curious to see how a simple change to my page title and a few anchor text links would work out.
My blog now ranks #10 on the front page of Google in the US for ‘complete guide to blogging’, and I did nothing more than that. There are 69 million competing indexed pages in Google with a broad match for that phrase, but there are only around 5700 pages with titles that match that phrase. Interesting, right?
Prior to the change, my blog did not rank for that keyword phrase at all.
That was two-three weeks ago. Imagine what will happen if I publish a few articles with those keywords as anchor text, or if I started a Hubpage or Squidoo page and linked to my blog with anchor text there. Seriously, everyone, getting ranked in search engines is not a difficult task. It’s not magic, either. It’s just science, and like all science, it must be executed precisely.
Today’s Lesson: Page Titles and Anchor Text
If your blog has been around for a couple of months and is indexed, but you’re not ranking for your keyword phrase on page 1 of Google, try the following:
- Change your blog’s title to the exact keyword phrase you’re attempting to rank for. Don’t add anything in front of it, but you can add things after it. Write it for humans – they’re the ones who are going to click on it in search results, so don’t pack it full of keywords that don’t make any sense. Traffic will be a moot issue if the link is so ugly that it screams of desperate SEO.
- Visit some keywordluv blogs and leave a (good, relevant, decent) comment. Just visit the blogs you normally do; chances are some of them are keywordluvving blogs. Although it isn’t critical for search engine ranking purposes, for page ranking purposes you should probably be leaving comments on blogs in your own niche. I’d say leave between 4 and 5. It doesn’t have to be all in one day. Commenting should be part of your natural rhythm in blogging, so just do it naturally.
- Update your own blog. If you have XML sitemap installed and activated, when you update your sitemap, the search engines are notified. If you use Pingomatic or use the Ping List in WordPress, your update will trigger a ping. When your blog is crawled again, the new title will be duly noted.
- Hopefully, the blogs you leave comments on are regularly updated, and if they are WordPress blogs, the pings occur in the manner I just mentioned. But if you leave a comment on a blog that isn’t updated very regularly (say once a week at the most), go to Pingomatic.com or Pingler.com and ping that blog. That will tell the ping services that there is something new there to check out.
Then wait. In one to two weeks, see if the change has any effect. It may take three weeks but probably not.
Then, leverage whatever change does occur. For me, it’s really a side thing and I’m interested in my new Google ranking for that phrase, but I probably will not do much with it. If you’re blogging for money, though, you have a vested interested in continuing to increase the search engine ranking for your desired keyword.
Assumptions & Resources
I make the following assumptions in the above instruction:
- Your keyword phrase isn’t out of left field. If your keyword phrase is Complete Guide to Blogging and there’s not a single mention of the word blogging anywhere on your site, this won’t work. It must be supported. So choose something relevant.
- You’ve done some research on your chosen phrase. Go to the Google External Keyword tool and figure out if people are even searching for your desired phrase. Then, go to Google and search for it. Make a note of how many search results come up. This will tell you the competing pages. Then, type in allintitle: your keyword phrase and find out how many indexed page titles contain your keyword. If it’s more than 15,000, choose something else. If it’s less than 10,000, you’re in the money.
- Your site is indexed. This is huge. If your site isn’t indexed yet, forget ranking. You need to focus on getting indexed.
- Bring the Fresh. Many guides, many products, due to the nature of my work I’ve used practically all of them. I can tell you, though, that Bring the Fresh is a really good one. The Fast Start Guide alone is perfection, but they have a full disclosure membership that has a huge set of videos ranging from mentality to practical instruction.
- Keywordluv blogs. There are many others not in this list, I’m sure. If you’re in the blogging niche, chances are many of the blogs you circle are keywordluv blogs.
REALLY HUGE NOTE: Just because a blog isn’t “keywordluv” per se, that doesn’t mean you can’t leave a comment with your keyword as the name. It just greatly decreases your chances of getting your comment approved. But on BCB, this is a dofollow blog and I will accept keyword phrases as the name, if that’s what you want to do. Many bloggers feel the same way.
Let me know in the comments. I’m a massive SEO geek and I don’t talk about it very much here since this blog is dedicated to “blogging” so this will give me a chance to bounce ideas around.
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