Blog commenting used to be one of the most preferred ways of getting blog traffic to your blogs. Many of the successful internet marketers and bloggers have talked about this is in their books and blogs. This was considered to be one of the easiest modes of getting traffic. But it is no more so!!
If you are surprised as to why your comments are not getting any traffic to your blogs, then the tough truth is that it won’t.
I know you are one of the very frequent visitors to those established blogs from an established blogger. Let me ask you a question. Have you ever read through the comments in the posts that you last read at one of these blogs? Did you click on any of the links to check out what the commentator has on his blog?
That is the truth. You do not do that. I even wonder if you have actually spent some time reading the post that you visited. If you didn’t, then you know the reason why your comments are not getting any traffic to your blogs.
The reason for this decline in traffic from comments has to do with the attitude with which a blogger frequents well know blogs. These days, there are very few genuinely interested readers. People come to a blog only with a view to get a backlink or, to post a comment, in the hope that they will get some traffic from it.
No Traffic from Comments -
If you have ever taken the time out to read a few comments in one of those posts at problogger or, entrepreneurs journey, you will see a lot of comments saying, “Nice post, I enjoyed it”, “Good thought, You made my day”, “Well written, what a post?” etc. Are these comments relevant and adding to the post-value? I do not have a reason to think so.
Commenting on blogs is about adding value to the already valuable post. Most of the blogs these days are “No-Follow”. Hence expecting a backlink with comments like the above ones is utter foolishness and if you are one such blogger, then I would suggest that it is time you quit. But if your expectation is that you will get some traffic with a comment like the one above, then I will have no words to describe you.
What is the essence of commenting? When a reader reads through a blog post he will be looking for additional information on the topic or, some experts comments which could further build on the post. This is where comments come into play. It also helps the blogger to know what is good and what is not about the post he had written and also if he needs to improve on his writing. At times these comments also serve as a topic for a new post for the author of the blog. For a reader the comments provide additional value and it is then that he would be interested in knowing the details of the commentator. He would click through the link on the comment and visit the author’s page. Will a comment like the above do this?
Comment count explosion –
These days the number of comments in a really good post is countless. There are numerous people commenting on blogs in an attempt to get a backlink or, a trickle of traffic (which does not happen) and most of these comments lack value and relevance. I as a reader to a blog would have wanted to read through the valuable comments to gather further information, but this comment count explosion restricts me. I would not want to spend time scanning through the numerous comments in an attempt to find a valuable comment. It is here that commenting has lost its charm.
Commenting, no more gets any traffic because nobody is interested in reading a comment or, clicking on one the links of a commentator to visit his site in an attempt to know more about him.
Spam Comments –
The internet has gained its notoriety, thanks to its users – not the genuine ones, but the ones with a destructive mind. Such people are there everywhere. You will find them in the commentators as well. There are numerous spammers out there who spam your comment box with comments that are irrelevant, useless and are stuffed with links. The expectation is to get a few backlinks. There are numerous tools today to stop these spammers, but one drastic step that bloggers took to stop them was to put a “no-follow” on their comments. This means you have lost valuable backlinks that you could have got.
In spite of the fact that the tools stop spammers, there are quite a few spam comments that get approved in many of the blogs and the more valuable comments gets lost in these spam comments.
Commenting is no more a way of getting traffic to your website. At least that is what I feel. What is your opinion? Don’t forget to let me know about it.
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How many blogs do you have in your favorites list?
I have quite a few in mine. I am a voracious reader and I am frequent visitor to many of the blogs authored by the best bloggers on the internet. Yaro Starak’s entrepreneur’s journey, Jeremy Schoemaker’s shoemoney.com, Carl Ocab’s carlocab.com (I even guest authored a post there), Brian Clark’s copyblogger.com, Daniel Scocco’s dailyblogtips.com and Darren Rowse’s problogger.com, all are blogs that i frequently visit and have subscribed to. These blogs have been a source of learning and information for me over the past few years.
There were certain other blogs as well that were part of my favorites list but which dropped off them in the past few days. If you ask me the reason why, I would probably have to be a bit too blunt in saying that they had started to drop in terms of quality. John Chow’s blog and Caroline Middlebrook’s blog is amongst these blogs.
I know I am kicking off a debate and am being a very rude critic when I write this post. But the fact of the matter remains. Top bloggers have started loosing focus in their posts. The quality of posts have dropped.
Most of the successful bloggers either write a couple of posts in about 10 days, most of which are posts on affiliate products or, they are discussing off-topic things like the dinner they had the earlier day and the like. What do I have to do with the information on their dinner menu for the previous night? It is true that a bit of harping about your lifestyle and your earnings can motivate new bloggers on the blogosphere. But too much of it is injurious for both the blogger and the reader. Isn’t it?
This is where I am still a fan of Problogger and Copyblogger. Information contained in these blogs even after so many months of producing content, is relevant and informative. You feel like reading their posts again and again and you feel like remaining subscribed to them.
Carl Ocab, for instance had been basking in the glory that it attained as a “blog of a 13-year old blogger” for a long time. The quality of posts had dropped and there were very few or, no relevant posts. “Make money online” was only a mere punchline for the blog. There was nothing about making money online in the blog. I who was a frequent visitor to the blog, stopped reading the posts there. My interest in the blog also dropped. I am sure there would be quite a lot of readers like me, who would have unsubscribed from the blog. Though the quality of posts have suddenly improved there, it is going to take some time for a reader like me to start frequent visits to the blog.
What is the reason for the drop in quality?
These big boys in the blogosphere have lost their focus of blogging. With the kind of cut throat competition that is there in Internet Marketing business today, survival was a matter of “who has the most apples”. In this ensuing competition, most of these bloggers started shifting their focus from mere blogging to other arenas like affiliate marketing, product creation, social media advertisements etc. But what they forgot was to maintain a balance between the numerous apples that they were juggling. They started ignoring some of the things that they were doing and consequently the oldest project – in this case their blogs, started to go stale.
Does it mean that you should not venture into other projects?
Of course, not. What it means is that it is very important to maintain a balance between the projects that you are doing. It is here that a good business plan comes into picture. You should know the basic requirements that any new assignments need and the time that your will have to devote in order to get the project up and running and sustain its optimum performance. If you have an exact blueprint of your newest project you can work out schedule where your ensure that you do not ignore your current project and in the process loose your current readers and subscribers.
In addition to this, somewhere I also felt that many of these top bloggers were a victim of fatigue. It is not long back that I started blogging. The reason why I started this blog was because of my horrifying initial experiences with Internet Marketing. I wanted to make available to the newbie internet marketers, everything that I kept searching for and couldn’t find. After about an year into this blog, I feel many a times that I am running short of material to write about. These big bloggers, who have been blogging for the past 3-4 years are sure to experience this phenomenon. Some of them who are very strong and knew what they were doing overcame it and are still doing good. But yet others who couldn’t overcome this fatigue, slowly started to move off-topic and lost focus.
How to stay focused on your topic?
What I am about to say is better said than done? I know it is difficult, but you have to remain focused in order to achieve your financial goals in life.
Reading – The best way of remaining focused on your topic is to read. Read as much as you can and read relevant news and information on the internet. Read good blogs, articles and ezines. You will gain insights into a lot of things that are happening in your area of interest when you read. In addition to that you will also get information that can be duplicated in your own writing style, in your blogs. These information could be of help to your readers. Being updated with the latest is, in a way one of the easiest ways to remain focused.
Posting – This could sound a bit controversial and my opinion on this is a different from what the other bloggers feel. This opinion of mine has stemmed from my personal experience.
How many latest blog post updated would you want to receive in your feed reader from a particular blog in a particular day or, week?
There were days when I happened to see almost 3-4 recent posts from a few of the blogs that I had subscribed to. After a few days, I started to feel tortured. I did not want to read so many blog posts at the same blog in a single day. Also the flavor and aroma of the oldest post was lots in minutes because of the newer posts coming in. I was in a way fed up. This is a reader experience.
Such frequent posting leads to idea erosion as well, if you think from the perspective of the blogger. Today I might have about 10 different ideas to blog about and tomorrow I will have none. So does it mean that I should publish all my ideas today itself and publish nothing tomorrow. No, absolutely not!!
Each of your ideas should be carefully captured into your posts and these posts can be scheduled over a period of time. Ideas do not have a shelf life. So you need not worry about it getting stale.
I am of the opinion that you should only publish about 2 posts in a week, so that you readers are able to digest what they have read in your post. This helps in maintaining freshness in your blog and would also prevent “idea erosion”.
A blog is your personal asset. It is an idea that had taken shape in your mind and that you had expressed in the form of words. It is entirely upto you, how you want to maintain it. The thought expressed in this post is entirely my opinion and I would surely encourage a healthy discussion around this. You are free to express your opinion in the form of comments. Also this post is not aimed at tarnishing the image of any blogger named herein, and all of them command respect from me.
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Can you really make money with free materials available on the internet?
I had often asked this question to myself, when I was doing a regular job and happened to hear about the success stories of the internet marketers.
The first thing that I did was to sign up to a few newsletters with the internet marketing gurus, to see what they were promoting and how they were doing it. I found that a lot of these newsletters were talking about getting free money. And I wondered if I could actually get free money. But in a world where there is nothing for free, where will you get get money for free?
You cannot get money for free. You have to work hard for it. I realized that after about a month of clicking on the links that came to me saying I could earn money for free. None of those thousand clicks could get me any money, instead I was just moving off from my goal of creating and running a real online business.
But it is true that you could make money with free things. If you are wondering how, then read on.
I had earlier mentioned that I signed up for quite a few newsletters with the already successful internet marketers.These internet marketers kept sending me free information and links to ebooks and reports. Many of them were absolutely useless and I had to do a shift+delete.
But the ones who were indeed successful and knew how to succeed, also knew that they had to win the confidence of their subscribers in order for them to sell me anything. Hence they ensured that they send me material that was worthy of reading and which could provide me an insight into making money online.
These material was what proved handy for me. When I started my internet marketing journey, all I had was a few hundred dollars to invest, most of which went into getting a few domain names and a hosting account. I used the remaining money to buy one good ebook and one keyword research tool. By the time I had bought all of these, I found that I was left with nothing.
I had no other option but to look for free material that could guide me in my internet marketing business.
Making money with free -
The internet is a free resource. There are numerous sites that are reservoirs of free information – Google, Youtube, Myspace, Wikipedia etc. If you know how to search for information, you will get that information for free.
A “how to” for everything is available at Youtube. Search for it and you will find. But there is one huge drawback with making money with free.
When I joined the internet marketing revolution, I was able to lay my hands on a hard drive full of free material in the form of articles, ebooks, videos, audios etc. After a month I found that most of it was lying in my hard disk, the way it was downloaded and was gathering dust. I had not touched any of these things in months.
This is a problem with anything that is “free”. You don’t normally realize the value of it and that valuable information contained in it goes waste. My advice is, don’t download too many free material from the internet. Only download things that are relevant and that you think can help you achieve your financial objectives. The basic mantra for any business remains the same. There would be a couple of very simple tricks that are involved and that is what will be repeated in all the thousands of free material that you will download if at all you choose to do that.
But there is one thing that you need to bear in mind. Free information can help your earn money but cannot help you become financially independent. Financial independence needs extensive information and that will only be available for a price because nobody will be willing to part with that information for free. But the best part is that you can use the free information that is available on the internet and scale up to a level where you are able to shell out some money for that extensive education.
How to make money with free?
Making money with free things is not difficult. All that you need to do is just repeat whatever you would have done if you were to start and internet marketing business with the free things available on the internet.
I know that it is easier said than done. So let me explain a bit into how to make money with free information.
Just like the way you would be looking for free information on the internet in order to start your online venture, there would be thousands of people who would be browsing the internet for free things. Provide them whatever they are looking for. The information that you give could be in the form of a free ebook, an interview, a report or, any other form that you can package it in.
The golden rule of internet marketing says that,
It is relations that you build that pays you in internet marketing and not the products that you sell’.
It is not difficult to understand the inherent meaning of this statement. You will have to build relations, if you are planning to set up a successful business online.
When you offer valuable information for free, you build a trust and rapport with your prospects. They value the information you have given them and would gradually start to realize the fact that the free information that you offer also carries immense value. It is this trust that will then prompt them to buy the products that you are offering.
Build your prospect base by offering free information and you will realize the fact that you can indeed make money with free information but money is not free.
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Are you using WordPress for your blogs?
WordPress is an amazing CMS and publishing platform especially if your are into blogging. No Content Management Solution is as smooth and easy to use as WordPress and add to it the numerous functionality that WordPress offers and you have a killer tool to publish.
But it is not uncommon for any tool to get stuck up at times and that too at silly things and you then have a recipe for frustration. Most of the responses for any such small issues and snags with WordPress can be found at their support center, but there are still some issues that you will not find an answer to.
If you are not a high investment blogger, you might not want to spend money on hiring a web developer just to resolve such issues. I have come across numerous such instances and that is where the thought of delving into troubleshooting steps and solutions to problems with WordPress came to my mind.
One such common problem that people encounter with their newly installed or, just upgraded blog is a problem with “image upload”. You might come across an error saying “Unable to create directory /wp-content/uploads”/ The last line in this error will ask you to check the permissions of the parent folder in which you are uploading the image.
This is how you can resolve the problem.
First of all check if the uploads folder in your WordPress installation has a write permission. This is normally called as CHMOD in the Linux language. Your “upload” folder should have a permission 777. In order to do this just login to your ftp client and right click on your “upload” folder. Select “permissions” and enter 777 under CHMOD. Don’t forget to check the “recurse into sub-directories option” as well.
Once you have set the permissions for your “upload” directory, login to your WordPress blog’s dashboard. Go to “Miscellaneous” under the “settings” tab. Against the field saying, “Store uploads in this folder” enter “wp-content/uploads”. Note that there is “/” before “wp-content”. It is extremely important to remove this “slash”.
Now try uploading your images and things should be alright.
Don’t forget to tell me if this worked for you.
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What is the keyword that has given your blog the highest hits so far?
At first when I started blogging, my objective was to read as much material as possible, learn from them, set up my blog and start monetizing them.
After only the first week of setting up my blog, I saw visitors coming in, spending some time at my blog, reading my posts and giving me a few hits on my adsense links. My Google Adsense account showed a few hits and a few cents. I was very happy to see them, and I decided that I should do more with my blogs so that I can make more money online. I put in more efforts and waited to see more money dropping in. But, nothing of that sort happened. I kept wondering as to what went wrong and where. It took me almost 3 months to understand where I went wrong.
My problem was that I was not tracking my statistics.
How important is it to track your statistics?
It is a commonly observed behavior in every new internet marketer, that they do not track their statistics. It is more of ignorance and lack of skill, than the willingness to do it. If you know somebody who is not tracking their website statistics because they are not willing to, then there is nothing you can do to help him, because he is sure to fail in his online business, whichever the form is – blog, affiliate marketing, websites etc.
If your objective is long-term, then tracking the statistics of your website or, blog is extremely important to understand things like -
- Visitors – Who were the visitors who came to your website, from where did they come, what is it that they came looking for?
- Referrers – Which were the websites that referred your visitors?
- Keywords – What keywords did your visitors type in the search engines to come to your website?
- Conversions – Which links in your website is converting well? What products that you are selling are the best-sellers?
There is a load of information that you can gather if you are tracking your website statistics. Each of these information is valuable and you can use it for various purposes like improving the performance of your websites and making more money from them.
Tools to monitor website statistics -
You financial situation will determine the kind of tool that you would want to use on your website to monitor its statistics. There are a variety of tools available on the internet, from free to paid tools to monitor statistics. Each of these tools have a unique feature of theirs and that is what keeps each of them unique and distinct. But the more common and important ones can be found in all of these tools. Hence it is irrespective of what tool your are choosing, if your purpose of tracking the basic statistics is solved.
Let’s see a few such tools that can track web statistics -
- Performancing Metrics – Performancing is a paid-service. So be absolutely sure before your decide to go in for it. They also offer a free service which is also available. You can start using it and upgrade it once you feel that you are ready for the the upgrade. You can check out Performancing Metrics by clicking here.
- Crazyegg – This is a monitoring tool that shows you the statistics of your website or, blog by showing heat maps. The areas on your website or, blog which get the most clicks is shown as the hottest spot. The heat keeps decreasing as the number of clicks keep reducing. Crazyegg is a paid website and has a few different plans, all of which are affordable. You can check their plans here.
Whichever form of tracking you do for your website, you just need to map it with your objectives. If your objective is monetization, then you should use a tracking tool that give you the information about the clicks on your website. If your objective is traffic optimization, you should use a tool that can give you the information about keywords and referring site etc.
Don’t forget to comment upon the tracking tool that you are using and how useful do you find it.
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How many times have you experienced a shortage of time in managing your blogs?
When I started blogging and I entered the world of WordPress, I was overwhelmed with the options that WordPress offered. There was so much that I could do. Everyday I would login to my blog with the intention of writing a few blog posts. But by the time I logged out I found that all I did was upgrade a few plugins, add a few codes to the wordpress theme, in order to customize something, create a backup of my blog and check my blog stats.
I would regret having done all that because none of these activities were productive and I knew I was wasting time doing all this. But all these were still essential. How could I get rid of these? Was there an alternative solution to doing all this?
I thought there was none and that I had to live with it. But that was not the case.
Outsourcing! Yes, indeed outsourcing was the solution.
I learnt it from the successful bloggers on the internet. In order for you to be productive, it was essential that you categorized all of your activities into productive and unproductive.
But will only categorizing solve the purpose?
Absolutely not. There is a need to plan your activities and your day in addition to categorizing and outsourcing.
5 step to being more productive -
There are 5 very simple steps to be more productive on any given day. Follow them and you can ensure that you don’t regret not having done anything productive at the end of the day.
- Identify the productive – You will first need to identify the productive activities that you do in a day. If you are a blogger, writing a few posts, commenting on other blogs and forum, might be the productive activities for you. Evaluate every associated activity to check if it is important and productive. For an affiliate marketer, blogging could be a non-productive activity, but researching affiliate products might be. He would want to spend more time on this rather than attending to his blogs.
- Write down 5 productive to-do activities – Once you have identified your productive activities, write down about five of them that you wish to do everyday in order of priority and allocate a time duration for it.
- Outsource – Everything can be outsourced today. You will be able to find a good quote for outsourcing every non-productive activity. Pick the best quote and outsource. Even blog management can be outsourced these days. Keep reviewing every once in a month.
- Time-Check – Keep a time check on your productive activity list. Don’t overdo anything such that it become non-productive for you. The best way to keep a time check is to write down the expected start time and the end time of each activity and set up the word document as a wallpaper on your computer. This way you will be able to keep a check the actual time.
- Review – Review each of the activity on the list every month to see if anything has fallen off your productive list and can be outsourced in order for you to spend some more quality time on something else that is more productive.
None of these techniques is new. All of these are simple steps that every business unit that is production oriented does. Follow them and you will see a change in your productivity.
Blogging solutions is a service that can help you with your blog management in case you are blogger. Blogging involves writing quality posts. If you blog is not constantly updated and lacks quality posts, you will struggle to get visitors to your blogs. Hence it is imperative that you spend most of your time on productive activities like that of writing posts and commenting. So the easiest solution to this is outsourcing your blog management.
Blogging solutions does a good job is managing your WordPress blogs. It is affordable and easy to complete. In case you wish to try, check them out here.
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Are you struggling to get your affiliate website up and running?
The most difficult part with newbie internet marketers is keyword research. But there are a lot of tools and books that can help you do this. Once you are through with Keyword Research, come the next most difficult aspect. This is to get your affiliate website up and running. You are neither unable to bear the huge charges demanded by web designers nor, can you design your website on your own.
For such people, the Affiliate Theme by Unique Blog Design is a solution. Coupled with WordPress, you can get your affiliate website up and running in minutes. Check out the below video.
Check out the Affiliate Theme from Unique Blog Designs.