Showing posts with label blogging. Show all posts
Showing posts with label blogging. Show all posts

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

You Should Buy a Domain Name for Your Blogspot Blog (ironic isn't it?)

you should buy a domain name for a blogspot blog
you should buy a domain name for your blogspot blog

I have had my main blog now zulumuscle for just under 17 months, I have seen the traffic grow, because of my efforts such as writing regularly and writing articles elsewhere for link building, commenting on other blogs, submitting articles to article directories and submitting every articles to bookmarking sites. For those same reasons I have seen my blog lose most of its traffic. It has been a journey building, having my house damaged and rebuilding for the past 17 months, I have survived google update after google update, and now it seems my blog is coming out even stronger than before. The first 16 months of my blogs existence it had a after the blog name so that affected it in many ways which I shall discuss below. domain names suck

Hosting a blog on blogger is affordable well because its free and it is reliable so you know that your site is always available. Just because you are hosting your blog on blogger does not mean you have to have a free domain name that ends with www.blogname.blogspot .com, for 10$ a year you can have a domain name yet many people fail to buy one. I was one of those people but I always wanted to buy a domain name it’s just that I did not know how I was going to buy it as no one in my household has a credit card (we are against credit cards because you are spending money you don’t have), I tried 4 months in to buy a domain name with my debit card but the bank I was in said the card I had even though it was a visa was unable to purchase things online, I could get paypal because putting money into paypal or receiving money from paypal, heck verifying paypal in my country without having a credit card is a pain in the ass. So you get why I did not purchase a domain name earlier? That was ofcourse until a month or so ago when I found this local website which sold domain name where I was able to pay for my domain name with a local bank card (debit card); I was over the moon and purchased the domain name immediately.

Country specific urls suck

Now let me get back to telling you why free domain suck before I can tell you how me buying a domain name is connected to this whole thing. See early last year blogger made it so if you were using their free domain name, visitors from different countries will see/visit different urls. Those from UK would see , Canadians would see and a few other countries would see country specific urls. What this meant was it was like you had many sites with the same content and different urls. This sucked on many levels as this meant you would now have to rank different urls for different countries, this would affect your traffic and your pagerank. I for one saw this effect my blog was growing in traffic for a while before the changes it had a page rank of 3 at one point then the different country specific urls were activated and I started seeing a decrease in visits and my page rank dropped down to 1 for the url, I did not bother checking the rest as they gave me insignificant traffic except for 

I started noticing that my traffic became one sided, by this I mean before the country specific urls I was seeing growing traffic from all countries afterwards other countries disappeared and my traffic became mainly us, ca and uk.  Brasil, germany, Poland, spain etc. who seemed to be growing before dropped off the map. I tried different things, still posted regularly but traffic did not seem to be directly proportional to the work I put in like before. I got my traffic back to the level where it was before at around 800-950 page views per day but I had a hard time growing it past that point. These multiple urls certainly were not helping if I wanted to improve global numbers, my link building was always directed at my url and not the other country specific ones no wonder my us traffic was growing to replace the traffic I once had from other countries.

Have you ever seen a blogspot domain being number one in the search engine for a competitive keyword? I haven’t and on the rare occasion that it is, that’s usually right after google does one of its updates and shakes up search engines and it’s usually a spam blog probably created for linking purposes with garbage in it. People do not take a blog serious; they do not click ads as much as they would in a private domain because they do not trust blogspot domains becuse of the bad reputation that spammers give blogspot domains. Many blogspot domains are run as casual blog sorta like this one so no one really takes them serious. It is hard to build an authority blog on a blogspot domain name. There are some really popular blog with blogspot domain names but it’s much easier especially now with these country specific urls to just buy a domain name. There are many of us with well kept, regularly updated blogspot blogs who would be more successful had we used a private domain name which brings me back to me buying a domain name. So this month I got a private domain name and was expecting to lose some traffic first but I have been surprised by the results.

What has been happening in my first month with a private domain name?

Well for the first few days, traffic went down because the blog was still in transition, redirecting and whatever goes on behind the scenes when you buy a domain name after more than a year using a free domain name. I had nothing to lose since my page rank was so low and I had read that I would not lose traffic as it would all be redirected to the new address. After the redirection my traffic was back to normal, but what happened next surprised me, I started getting traffic from terms I was not ranking for before, I also saw a rise in traffic on a few day it was double of my normal traffic. This month is not over yet I am just talking about these past 20 days. I have started doing some linking work to make sure I rank my new web address well, because it was not possible before with the free domain name. I also suspect people share content more when it is a dot com then when it’s a blogspot dot com. I have began to see increased sharing of my posts as well but that could be because of my increased activity in social media, which I shall write about soon just to let you know how I have grown my following on several different social media sites. The traffic this month is right now equal to the most traffic I have ever gotten in one month, even though I had a couple of days with just around 25% of the usual visits because of the transition and I have only published for articles this month which is less than usual. I cannot wait to see what happens next.

I have always noticed that other blogs in my niche did not post regularly, they posted about 4 times per month and had 8 times my traffic, with what I have seen so far it’s evident that the domain name plays some part in that not only content because I have some good content and case studies, and list posts. I used to post  a lot in the past with more than 12 posts per month but I slowed down to about 8 per month for a while but my intention was always to post less but longer posts and focus more on marketing because what’s the use of having great content if no one ever gets to see it.

The next post will be about How I have been growing my social media following so be sure to come back for that soon.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Ways to Use Tumblr – How to Increase Visitors on Tumblr

Tumblr is a blogging/social network on the rise. It owes its popularity to the fact that it acts as both a blogging platform and also like a social network. Short image posts are what works best on Tumblr, but   text based post work as well especially if the text is made into an image or printing on top of an inspiration background. Tumblr has a very viral nature and if people love your stuff they reblog it and your message spreads like a wildfire and followers follow suit.
Get traffic, followers and monetize your Tumblr

There are lots of ways in which you can use Tumblr, such as using it as a mini-blog to increase your blog network and get your message across to a different audience.  You can use Tumblr best if you are an image based blogger, to spread your photography around the web for more people to see with a link back from you the original source. With enough followers and traffic you can monetize your Tumblr blog so that you make some coffee money while social networking.

How to Grow Traffic and followers on Tumblr

First I will tell you how I began using Tumblr, I was trying to do some back-linking by creating little web 2.0 satellite sites. I posted only one article at the time which was a long text article (not knowing that the Tumblr audience favoured image posts) with a link pointing to my fitness blog. I had no idea of the viral nature of Tumblr’s reblog function. I later on posted a more image based post with some text, Upon check my Tumblr a few months later I realised that my post had been shared and that my links in the post were still intact in the other people’s Tumblr’s, I also realised I had gotten followers.

From then on I saw the value of Tumblr to promote my non-Tumblr fitness blog. I decided I would be more active on Tumblr. At first I would post once or twice every week and would notice that every time I posted I would get more followers, I also realised that not all posts got reblogged the same, some were more popular than others. In fitness blogs the inspiration quote on an inspirational background was the most popular amongst fitblr (which are fitness bloggers in Tumblr language), also images of aesthetically muscled guys and fit hot babes were a hit. Once you get to a certain number of followers on Tumblr they reblog everything you post (I am yet to reach that stage, I just recently started working on increasing my efforts on Tumblr).   

I realised that the most reblogged and followed Tumblr’s posted very often more than 5 times a day sometimes, they also follow a lot of other people (some people follow you, if you follow them), popular Tumblr blogs also like a lot of other peoples posts and comment on other peoples Tumblrs. It is also important that you reply to messages from your followers to build a great community environment.

Another way to build Tumblr traffic is to not focus all your efforts on activities on Tumblr alone, try to target search engine traffic and rank for your key word. You can do this by mixing the types of posts you make from images, to text to video and quotes. (If a lot of people ask you question that could be a lot of helpful content when you are having question and answer sessions).

Try link building outside Tumblr and doing article marketing to promote yourself where you share your Tumblr in your author bio box. Going back to your onsite work, you should have static pages like your about me where you can write long text descriptions to help people know where you are coming from and why you do what you do, also you can make other static pages where your non-image content can be shared. Make sure it’s long, descriptive and well optimized for search engines then you could build backlinks pointing to those static pages. If they rise in the search engines, more people will be exposed to your blog. Your static pages could include links to your other social networks that you use and your main blog.    

Ways to Monetise Tumblr

Tumblr is tricky to monetise, and let me tell you why, it is more of a social place so people might not like to have ads show when they visit your Tumblr, it could chase away visitors or followers, and secondlyfollowers hardly ever need to visit your blog after they follow you because Tumble shows all updates to blogs you follow in a dashboard format which does not show blog format, but only the post itself. A way to make followers click so they actually go to your Tumblr would be to post image based pictures in sets with post describing the images so that followers would have to click to view the whole thing.

One of the most popular ways to monetise Tumblr is using ad networks like Google Adsense,  if you use Google adsense it would serve you well to read some of the suggestions I made above so you can get more search engine traffic as its more targeted traffic then traffic from within Tumblr.  If you are a text based Tumblr you could use ad networks like infolinks to advertise. There are a lot of adsense alternatives you can find if cannot get approved for Adsense such as Bidvertiser, Exit Junction, Chitika, Clicksor, I am not sure if they cater for Tumblr blogs but they are worth a try.

Also you could be an affiliate for a Clickbank product if you are into affiliate marketing, make sure your Tumblr does not look made for that affiliate product though, that is frowned upon and may get your Tumblr deleted. You could have a reviews of products and have some affiliate links (not every post though, but maybe one of your static pages) or banners on your side bars.

You could also sell your own services on Tumblr, especially if you become a Tumblr pro-blogger. You could sell your own product on Tumblr to your loyal and growing followers.

That is all for now, I will update this post should I acquire more information in the near future, good luck in your blogging endeavours, I hope I have been helpful.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Increasing blog traffic – alternative strategies

As a blogger I am always on the lookout for ways to increase blog traffic. There are methods that were used in the past that are no longer as effective now, post goolge panda/penguin. Needless to say I am not a big time SEO guy or a problogger, I pick up ways of growing traffic by reading major blogs like, and a whole lot of other blogs.  I also learn by not only reading about ways of growing traffic but implementing them and seeing what results I get from several methods.

Back in the beginning about 6 months ago, I was using updating my blog regularly as my only strategy of growing traffic and that was going well and it has been proven to work well but, It was going to take a long time to get a lot of traffic and I am a one-man team so I cannot keep posting regularly without sacrificing quality, which counts more than quantity if you plan to retain viewers. I do not post often for this blog but I try to post as much as I can for my fitness blog.
rise through all the challenges and come up ahead

I started blog commenting  but I was not doing a lot of that, so I have not seen much progress from that yet, maybe I need to increase the amounts of comments I make to maybe 5-10 daily comments to blogs in related niches. It has worked for many others before and its works now even during these google updates.
As I said in my other post about things I have learnt in a few months blogging, I realised that other fitness bloggers had steady daily traffic and yet they only post a couple times a month. 

So I started trying to build strong back-links using eZine Articles, squidoo and hub pages. What happened next is that my blog disappeared for 2 weeks probably because of what’s called the google dance. I had built too many good back-links in a short space of time and I was punished because it did not look natural. At a later point I decided I will no longer submit to eZine Articles except for maybe once or twice a month.

Hubpages was bringing me some decent traffic and Squidoo as well, these types of sites seem to be doing well after the google updates. I plan to submit more articles to these sites (when I find the time), but I read somewhere that if you want your Hubpages or Squidoo  pages to do well you need to build back-links pointing to them, that will help both your pages and sites rankings and increase your traffic.

I have guessed posted a couple of times to a related fitness site, which is one of the top fitness sites on the web. I got some traffic from those posts on the day, still waiting a few weeks to see the effect of all these back-links on my traffic.

I was hit slightly by the updates luckily my blog was still new and I have been working my way back ever since but things seem to be looking up now, the problem then was that I was relying of blog content only and I had no back-links.

I have found an awesome way to get back-links and traffic to my blogs, Using Tumblr. You see Tumblr has a viral effect and if you create related content in the short most viral form like images and smart little quotes, you can get a lot of back-links through reblogs and more people can be exposed to you blog that way by placing relevant links in your content.

Plus using Tumblr is fun, I prefer it over twitter but I do both. I will create a Facebook page for my fitness blog when I have enough traffic, for now I will learn more about using Facebook to drive traffic, and how to build effective Facebook pages. Oh and I almost forgot I also use Google plus, I share all my post there but I am still not sure how to get more people using it. One person can only do so many things by themselves, I think its best just specialising in getting traffic using 1 or 2 social networks.  

Monday, 23 April 2012

Lessons I have learnt in my first few months blogging

I have been blogging for almost 5 months now, and there is a lot of information I have picked up during this period. I have read hundreds of articles on blogging. They range from social media, SEO, monetising creating back-links to content creation.

INFORMATION OVER LOAD - Finding someone to listen to

What I have noticed is that there is so much information on blogging out there, most of the time everyone says the same thing, there are no fresh ideas but other times there are bloggers out there who go out of their ways to show that they know what they are talking about and actually prove that their back-linking strategies work and that you can still have a successful blog in this day and age. There are successful 6 & 7 figure bloggers out there who share what others make you pay for free. It is hard to sift through all the garbage on the internet and find these guys but once you do, you never really need to listen to anyone else. There are guys out there that are supposed to teach you how to make money online and have a successful blog when they have no idea what they are talking about, when they themselves do not make any money and hardly have any real traffic and no authority what so ever.
image by graur codrin

I have learnt that you need to blog about something you know and are passionate about so that you share quality content with your readers, I was lucky enough to be a fitness junkie when I started my first fitness blog so it was not difficult for me to choose a niche that I wanted to appeal to, it was not difficult to post legit proven content because I was living it. I did not need to make up stuff and have to do research all the time because I had knowledge and experience with my topic. When I created this blog Genie Rising I wanted to post about other random things that interest me that were not just fitness, I did not have a niche in mind and I still don’t and that is fine with me to be general.

PLANNING AHEAD - Growth strategy

I have learnt that is it good to plan ahead, set goals for the growth of your blog so that you know what you are doing now and why you are doing it. When I started blogging I used to post every other day, which would result in 3 posts per week and about 12 posts a month. I felt like that was the right move but then I read to improve in search engine rankings and Alexa rankings I had to posts as often as possible, because in the blogging world it is believed that content is king. I then increased the number of posts per week to 5 and it did bring me results, exponential growth in fact my fitness blog moved from a page rank of 0 to 3.

Content creation was always my main kind of strategy for growing my blog with blog commenting here and there. I realised that I was listening to the wrong kind of advice from guys who were not in the same niche as me, posting once or twice everyday was their advice for the fastest growth and that really works but it is really difficult considering the fact that I am a one man team. When I looked at top fitness blogs they did not post that much on their blogs and yet they were getting lots of traffic from search engines and other places as well.

Quality vs Quantity

The key in the fitness world was quality more than quantity because unlike other niches, the content was more evergreen than stuff sites about blogging had to post because the internet is ever changing but working out and keeping fit does not change much. I realised that I was on the right track when I was posting just 12 posts a month. I have since decided that for my main blog I will post as much as possible but only if the article is great quality and I have decided to make my posts long since that helps with rankings. So now I put a lot more detail in my posts, I now make my posts a minimum of 400 words unless it is a video post or an update on something but preferably I will post articles of over 600 words, I have already implemented this on my fitness blog and the past few post have been averaging over 800 words.

I like to mix in list posts, motivational post and highly informational posts with the occasional post that is sort of like a case-study or experiment to show that the workouts I’m doing work. I have found the combination to be successful in bringing in different sorts of traffic.


I noticed that my fitness blog took a little hit in the recent update because I really was not doing enough back-linking and I managed to bounce back. I started creating a lot of strong back-links and link wheels through satellite site. I was submitting unique articles to ezine articles, Squidoo, Hubpages, made satellite sites on blogger, Tumblr and it was proving effective. A couple people used my ezine articles and I got linked to by others, everything was going great till one day on the 12 of april I lost 75% of my traffic and I could not find my blog anywhere on search engines. I was ranking on the first page for many keywords I was targeting and I had a lot of my posts on the second and third page of Google before the 12th, but it was all gone in 1 day.

I was worried and I’m still worried about what was happening, I did not know what was happening. I Google to see if anyone has ever had the same happen to them and what they did to combat this problem, I found out about the Google dance, apparently if you suddenly start a back-linking campaign which is what I was doing your site does the Google dance because Google does not know where to put your site, it may take anything from a few days to a couple of weeks for your site to go back to normal and people say that they often see an improvement in their ranking after the dance is over.

I had just gotten adsense and was starting to make some money when this happened to me, I did not have too many ads above the fold so I did not think that I was affected by the update relating to too many ads above the fold.

The past couple of weeks have been very depressing for me; I even lost inspiration to write posts for a couple days. I enjoy blogging and find it to be addictive and I am statistics obsessed which is why I have been depressed lately because I was making such good progress. I have decided that I am going to push on and that now is not the time to give up, I have to learn from my mistakes and continue to use all of the knowledge I pick up and eventually my blog will have multiple steams of traffic not only Google traffic.

I have that I will create back-links every month but this time my link building will be more spread out, I will continue to only use white-hat tactics so that I do not get in trouble. I hope to continue blogging and hope that my hard work pays off in the end. Every blogger experiences little speed bumps on the road and maybe it’s these little hurdles that make the difference between the successful bloggers who are killing it online and those that give up before their hard work pays off.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

How the recent google update has affected my blogs

The recent update (last week) has gotten rid of some link networks and many people who used link networks have been affected, I have not used any link networks since I cannot afford them yet, i prefer to spend money made from blogging to get more blog related paid products.

My other site which was starting to get some decent traffic was affected, before the update I was getting regular clicks and just as I joined click bank affiliates my traffic took a hit. This could have been because I did not have enough back links yet, I really have not been creating enough back links to get google trust. I could have done more in terms of blog commenting, guest blogging and submitting to article directories but I was still focusing on content creation on my other blog. My strategy seemed to be working until the update but I feel I will be back to where I was in terms of traffic in a week or so.

And as back up I have started to create content for ezine articles and I have began creating satellite sites to earn extra from affiliate sales and direct traffic to my site, this is already paying off, so I expect to be doing even better then I was before the update.

It is actually a good thing that the update came now, it has thought me to link build some more and forced me to start now and do a bit each day that will make sure my main blog grows exponentially in the next few months. I am certainly not the lazy type and I like creating new content especially in the fitness niche as I am passionate about working out and helping others gain the muscle they want.

I know that there are many more google updates coming, and I want to make my blogs so that they are not negatively affected by google updates. Pat from smart passive income made some very valid points in his lastest update. There has been talk of google taking social media into account to rank sites, that will not do me any good since I am not active yet in social media but I want to focus on content creation and building links from now onwards.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

blogs are like tv shows

Successful blogs have a lot of traffic, and a loyal following that looks forward to every post and buys the products the blogs release and advertise. Successful tv shows like the Dr Phil show or the Oprah Show before it ended work much in the same way, they have a loyal international following making their traffic flow in by the millions and making their hosts filthy rich. What ever these shows endorse people mindlessly buy just because Oprah said its a good book or something like that, instantly taking those products to the best sellers list.

Shows associated with Oprah like the Dr Phil show and that show with Dr Oz become an instant success and get alot of traffic, its just up to them to entertain and keep the traffic by having relevant and interesting shows.

This is much like how if a young blog suddenly gets noticed by an established blog it receives alot of traffic and then its up to you the small blogger to make sure your blog is prepared for the traffic, it is monetised (if you are in it for making some money) and that you have content that people would be interested in so that they subscribe to your blog.

Just like the successful television shows, anything that the big blogs advertise is an instant hit with the big blogs loyal following especially if the blog has a reputation for recommending good products. I am beginning to see that many things that are successful have a lot of things in common, whether its a radio show, or tv show or even a good relationship.  

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