Make money with a blog – part 4

Now That I’ve Got Content, How Do I Get Traffic?

Probably the trickiest part for any online business owner is getting targeted traffic to their sites. This is more science than art and has spawned an industry all of its own. Search engine optimization or SEO as its more affectionately referred to, is a major player in how you get targeted traffic to your sites or in this case, your blogs. There are other promotional and marketing strategies that you can employ to get traffic, but it all starts with optimizing your blogs for SEO. If you want your blog to be found, you have to optimize it for the search engines.

But here’s the good news. Search engines like Google love blogs. That means blogs tend to be indexed much faster than websites and stand a better chance of ranking well in Google or in any other search engine. This is because blogs offer fresh content regularly, which is what search engines want. Some bloggers have even made B.L.O.G. an acronym for Better Listings On Google.

How much optimization you can perform on your blog depends once again on whether you’re using a hosted blog platform like Blogger.com or a standalone like WordPress.org.

A standalone platform like WordPress.org is the best way to go for SEO purposes. There are no limits as to how you can customize your WordPress.org blog. But because most beginners tend to use the hosted option, we’ll explore SEO tactics that everyone can benefit from.

Split Your Blog’s Search Engine Optimization Into Offsite And Onsite SEO

Offsite SEO can be summed up as just this – inbound links. This means blogs other than your own, are linking to your blogs. Inbound links are quite possibly the most important SEO tactic that could get your blogs highly ranked in the search engines.

So how do you get others to link to you? Here are some ways to get you started:

* Write Quality Content – Nothing gets you links faster than writing content that affects your readers. If a little bit of controversy helps, throw that in. As word gets around about your posts, bloggers will inevitably link to you.

* Post Comments On Blogs You Read Don’t hesitate to post worthwhile comments on other blogs, be it your competitors or not. You may get a follow-up with a link pointing to your blog. And if that happens to be from a competitor with a huge audience, you’ll be looking at some major traffic influx to your blog.

* Submit Your Blog To Directories – You can submit your blogs to blog directories to generate more inbound links. Apart from buying links, this is something many bloggers do to get more traffic. Technorati.com and DayPop.com are amongst two of the more popular blog directories right now, but you can perform a Web search to find more.

* Buying And Swapping Links – This is becoming hugely popular amongst bloggers. Though how successful this method is, is still unclear. But companies like LinkAdage.com and LinkWorth.com are catering to this burgeoning market.

Onsite SEO requires customization within your blog itself. Here’s how to get started:

* Optimize Your Content With Targeted Keywords – This topic really requires intense study, as it one of the more important subjects when discussing SEO. But in a nutshell, your blog posts should contain the keywords or keyword phrases that your potential customers or readers would most likely type into the search engines to find what they are looking for.

This requires advanced research of keywords on your part so that you can place these targeted keywords within your blog content. The result would be a highly optimized blog for the very information your potential customers are looking for.

This works especially well if your blog specializes on a certain subject, for instance, dog training. If your blog then branches out into cat training, training your parrot to talk, etc., the chances of losing your status as an authority site with the search engines will be high. So, keep each blog specialized.

Have your posts focused on one specific topic as well, so that you can moderate the keywords going into your content. Over-stuffing keywords can make for terrible reading which defeats the purpose of finding and keeping your customers.

Make your posts as original as possible and update your blog frequently, at least three times a week.

* Place Your Keywords Here Too – Within the URL of the page, page and post titles, heading tags such as H1, image alt tags and meta tags. Bold your keywords where you can too.

* Create A Good Linking Structure Within Your Blog – Create links that link from a certain post in your blog to another relevant post which you had written previously. This interlinking makes it very easy for search engines to re-index your blog, allowing for more of your pages to be indexed. Categorize your information and place them on your blog’s sidebar. Create a sitemap once your blog starts growing larger in size.

* Ping Your Posts – Pinging is a way of notifying the search engines that you’ve just posted something on your blog. It is an invitation to the search engines to visit your blog. Most of the blog platforms automatically do this for you, but just in case, you can visit Pingomatic.com to get the job done. And it’s free.

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