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Blogging Tips For 2012 And Beyond

Introduction

We, at CMSHelpLive, have many clients who maintain blogs as their main source of income. If you are a blogger, you already know the benefits of blogging in order to get traffic. After all, the first things people search for before buying a product is information. And information is the hook that will attract visitors to your site.

A New Era

There was a time when SEO was easy. About 10 years ago, when competition was relatively low, one could easily rank for keywords with high search volumes in a short period of time. Over the past couple of years, the playing field has changed dramatically. Although SEO is still important, some of your traffic should be now be coming from other mediums. This is the era of social media, forum interaction, and content collaboration.

I am a professional blogger with several years of experience making an income through blogging. Over the past 2 years, especially since the new Google Panda update, I have seen more and more bloggers turning to social media and non-seo related means of driving traffic to their blogs.

How To Create Blogging Success

If you have a blog, and would like to know how to achieve better return for time invested, I will give you the lowdown on the best ways to market your blog in the year 2012. The following list includes the latest common sense tips that I, as well as most professional bloggers, use to drive traffic and build their brand.

Make A Schedule

How often do you get distracted by Facebook, Twitter, CNN, and other self-indulgences? It is true that everyone needs to set a balance of work and play. But when play turns into procrastination, it becomes a cycle that is difficult to break. The best way to get out of the cycle, and get your mind in track with more efficiency is to make a tangible plan for everyday blogging activities.

Set your everyday tasks in a daily planner, and no excuses. Determine what your targets are, and plan around them.

Try using an Excel sheet to track your rankings on a weekly basis. Use Google Websmaster Tools to track how you rank for your main keywords.
Make a predictable schedule for posting to your blog. This will keep your readers interested and will help retain more followers.
Tweet (or Digg, FB, etc…) your blog posts when your followers tend to be online. Determine the optimal times to post for each social media avenue and stick to it.
Dedicate time in your schedule to interact with your readers.
And always remember to dedicate time for training. The internet is in a constant flux of change, and the playing ground changes every year. Your plans must keep changing accordingly.
Interact With Your Competition
Well, the word ‘competition’ may be a bit of a misnomer. Professional bloggers are friendly bloggers. A blogger should be build friendships with other bloggers in the niche. I’m not saying you need to go for coffee with them and talk about your personal life. These should be professional relationships based on mutual respect.

You can mingle with other bloggers of your class on Twitter, Facebook, Digg, and other social media avenues. Take the time to read their posts, and make comments. Some make return the favor. Once you build a good rapport with other bloggers, you can ask offer to make a guest blog post on their website. This most successful if the blog you intend to contribute to is achieving the same level of success as yours. It is mutually beneficial since it brings visitors to your blog through your website link in your bio, in exchange for adding original content to the other blogger’s website. Also remember to accept guest posts to your own website.

Do not be afraid to disagree with another blogger by posting an opposing point of view. This could become an interesting discussion with other visitors, some of which might be interested in visiting your link. Just take care to be tactful so as to not make the owner of the website angry. Leave the heated arguments for CNN and BBC website commentators.

Another highly effective way to drive visitors to your site is to interview some influencers in your niche. Prepare an email with potential questions to ask of the person you would like to interview. Explain how it would be of benefit to them to get exposure on your site. Let them tweak the questions to their liking, and let them know where they can direct their following to view the post. You will get extra traffic from their fans as well as recognition of expertise in your niche.

Increase Your Blog Posting Rate

Research has proven that posting more often to your blog will drive more traffic to your website. One reason for this is that content is king in the eyes of search engines. The SERPS are perpetually giving higher rankings to websites who offer fresh, unique content. So they will crawl your site for often.

Another reason is readership retention. If someone visits your site, and realises that you are posting at least once a day, they will be more likely to return. And, if you are offering something of value, you may get some natural backlinks to your site.

Every time you make a post, link to it in your social media platforms of choice. I am a Twitter fan myself. With Twitter, once you gain a following, you can keep your readership interested by posting your followers’ Tweets. Some will post your Tweets in return.

Create Forum Authority

You will often hear that forum posts is a great way to drive targeted traffic. But the rules have changed a bit in terms of when you can posts backlinks in forum replies. In some cases, if you want to post a backlink in a forum that receives heavy traffic, you must make a minimum of 10-15 posts and do this over a certain time span in order to unlock the url feature. This is not necessarily a bad thing, since you will want to create a relationship with others using the forum. Once you gain a bit of trust, people will be more likely to click your signature link.

Submit To Blog Directories

Submitting your blog to directories such as Technorati can get you a constant stream of new visitors. Blog directories will include your new posts in a queue starting with the latest in their respective categories. But this can be a bit tricky when you are first starting out.

To get a popular blog directory to feature your posts more often, you must work on creating quality backlinks to your website. Blog directories like Technorati will consider your site according to Alexa ranking and social media engagement. Continue to optimize your website and reap the rewards of blog directories.

Submit Social Bookmarks

Some will argue that social bookmarking can only create unqualified traffic. But submitting to Digg, Stumbleupon, or Delicious have the potential for providing a swarm of traffic!

When you get an article ranked on the front page of these bookmarking sites, people will link to it. This will create more link juice and get the article ranked in Google. This is where you can get swarms of qualified traffic for competitive keywords.

Final Words

As you can see, there is more to getting traffic than SEO. You must actually promote your website, just like any other marketing strategy.

Remember that regardless of what methods use use to drive traffic, you must have a quality product, and that product is your website. First and foremost, you must focus on creating the quality content that visitors are looking for in the first place.

Good luck and happy blogging!

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